There’s only one way to grow a marriage.

Do you know what it is?

It’s time for a new episode of the To Love, Honor and Vacuum podcast!

I hope you all will listen, but if you don’t have time, I’ll have some links and rabbit trails below so you can read all you want as well!

And consider this podcast “extras”. If you want to go deeper into what I talked about in the podcast, here are some more things to help you.

But first, here’s the podcast:

 

Main Segment: The Only Way to Grow a Marriage

Learning about how marriage works is so important. Learning principles about building a great marriage is essential.

And, as I talked about in the podcast, our beliefs about marriage do influence our actions. I did a bit of a detour on the idea of a husband needing to make the final decisions. When we believe that, it influences our assumptions about the amount of conflict that is natural in marriage, and how easy it is to resolve that conflict. We do need to get this right!

But the main point I was making was this:

If you want a marriage to change, you have to actually DO something!

I gave the example of my post 4 Things You Must Do If Your Husband Uses Porn. Often I get comments on that where women tell their very sad stories, and then say, “so what should I do?” But the post listed 4 things to do. Yet often we don’t want to do those things because they’re hard, and we want something easier.

Stuff doesn’t change until you start changing the dynamic!

So I gave a bunch of examples of small things I’ve changed in my marriage that made a big difference.

But ultimately, what this segment was really about was this: I love teaching about marriage, but I want to make sure it makes an impact. And so I’m going to start having weekly challenges on the blog, where I try to help you implement one new small thing. This week it was about cleaning out your lingerie drawer! And then we’ll have contests on Facebook where I’ll draw a random person doing the challenge to win an ebook collection, or contests on my Friday email. (Are you signed up yet?) Take a look at this week’s contest here!

Are you TIRED of always being too tired for sex?

GettyImages 482032047 - The Only Way to Change a Marriage--Plus You Don't Have to Obey Your Dad When You're 24

Do you yearn to actually WANT to make love–and figure out what all the fuss is about?

There is a way! And in this 10-module course I take you through what libido is (it may surprise you!), what affects libido, and how we can reclaim the excitement that God made us for.

Why Do We Struggle if our Husbands Think Someone Else is Pretty?

I had Rebecca on to talk about a comment we received last week where the woman was really struggling. She said:

 

I’m married to an incredible, godly man who is so diligent in protecting our marriage and honoring me with his eyes. I realize that noticing a woman isn’t wrong, but I’m still struggling with feeling inadequate/less pretty if my husband DOES think someone is “cute” or notice them. I think my insecurities are hurting our marriage, though, because he is constantly “on guard” so he won’t unintentionally hurt me, but I don’t want him to feel stressed out all the time as though seeing a woman who is dressed inappropriately is wrong. I guess I’m fighting against myself because I want him to have the freedom to just enjoy life and not be scared of “hurting me,” but I have to be honest with him in that it does still hurt. I tell him it’s an issue with me that I need to get over, but he cares about me so much that he’s afraid to even think a woman is pretty. That’s not how I want our marriage to be. I know he thinks I’m the most beautiful woman in the world, (he tells and shows me all the time) but I still wrestle with deep insecurities. Any advice?

I talked about how we have far too physical a view of sex, but then Rebecca talked about how in our culture we view our worth too much in our looks. I thought her take was infinitely more awesome than mine, and you really should hear it. It’s powerful.

Reader Question: My Long-Distance Girlfriend’s Father Won’t Give Permission for Us to Date

Okay, here’s a thorny one:

 

My girlfriend and I are 24 years old and are strong believers. We met one year ago and have been dating for 6 months, almost entirely long-distance. She lives with her parents [across the world] and I live by myself in the U.S. She’s a strong
Christian, a hard worker, and has amazing character. Our plan is for me to move to where she is soon, once I find a job down there. Both of her parents and both of my parents are also strong Christians. My mum, dad, and her mother are happy for us and think we’re a good match.

However, her father doesn’t want us to officially start dating until I first move there and he has a few years to assess my character. He believes his responsibility as a father involves testing my character and knowledge of the Bible and love for God over the course of several years before giving his blessing for us to officially start dating. The last time I visited my girlfriend’s family, her father wouldn’t even talk with me about the possibility of me and her officially dating. Nearly everyone in her community and mine think that it’s unrealistic for me to move across the world for a woman who isn’t allowed to date me, but her father will not change her mind. He uses verses such as Ephesians 6:1 and the story of Isaac and Rebekah to defend his position.

I am very concerned about moving [across the world] to pursue this woman while her father is adamantly against us dating. What do you think we should do?

This was a great one to answer, and I hope you listen to my take. But basically–the problem here is not the father. It’s the girlfriend.

Listen in to see why I’m saying that (and all about the stay-at-home daughter movement), but then chime in with your advice, too!

That’s it for the podcast this week. I hope you all will listen in! You know, the podcast is doing really well. I’ve got a LOT of listens every week, and my subscribers keep growing. But from the survey I recently did, over 70% of you haven’t listened yet. So I just want to encourage you to. They’re funny. You learn more of my personality. And we can get into things in greater detail than we often can on the blog!

So let me know in the comments: why are we so nervous around pretty women? What do you think of a 24-year-old woman thinking that her father can dictate her marriage? Let’s talk!

SheilaSidebarAboutMe - The Only Way to Change a Marriage--Plus You Don't Have to Obey Your Dad When You're 24 Sheila Wray Gregoire has been married for 27 years and happily married for 22! She loves traveling around North America with her hubby in their RV, giving her signature "Girl Talk" about sex and marriage. And she's written 8 books. About sex and marriage. See a theme here? Plus she knits. Even in line at the grocery store.
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