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Sometimes it takes just one thought, one concept, to change everything in your marriage.

Yesterday I shared the top 10 posts from 2021 that garnered the most comments and were the most talked about.

But there’s another category of posts I thought it would be important to share: the ones that I think are life changing, either because they teach something that can change everything, or they invite you to see something from a different perspective–and that different perspective can change everything.

The post I keep coming back to from 2020, that everyone refers to, is my emotional labor and mental load series. But there were ones from 2021 that I know I’ll be returning to again and again as well.

I’ll start with the practical ones that teach you a specific skill, and then move on to the ones that invite you to change your perspective:

2021 Practical Posts that Can Change Your Marriage

 

#1

FB 5 Reasons Direct Communication - 10 Totally Life Changing Marriage Tips You Needed to Learn in 2021

Why Direct Communication Can Be Difficult

Our direct communication series struck a chord–why direct communication is difficult for people; specifically why direct communication is difficult for Christian women, and why it’s difficult for Christian men. The 6 markers of direct communication. And so much more!

The whole series was important, so start here and then follow the rabbit trails!

#2

FB Nagging not Real Problem - 10 Totally Life Changing Marriage Tips You Needed to Learn in 2021

What if Nagging Isn’t the Real Problem?

Here’s a post that was also part of the direct communication series but deserves its own slot! 

Often women get lambasted for nagging too much. But what if there’s another dynamic going on? And if THAT dynamic needs to be dealt with first? 

#3

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Are You Doing Marriage on Hard Mode?

We’re often told that “marriage is hard work,” and to a certain extent that’s true. But it’s also true that our own choices can be making marriage much harder than it needs to be.

So we spent a month looking at some of the reasons that marriage may be more difficult. At the start of the year, it’s worth revisiting that series to ask if any of these things should be addressed this year–so that 2022 can be a lot easier!

#4

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Does Your Vagina Need some TLC?

You want a practical post? Here’s a super practical post! Did you know that your vagina goes through changes with childbirth, hormones, age, menopause, etc.? And what can we do to keep it elastic, lubricated, and more? Some ideas! (And seriously, sorry for the TMI, but the Femallay melts are amazing). 

Posts that Challenge You to Change Perspective

#5

FB Suffer to be Holy - 10 Totally Life Changing Marriage Tips You Needed to Learn in 2021

Having a Difficult Marriage Doesn’t Make You Holier

We’re told that suffering brings holiness, and that we can learn through holiness. We’re told that the point of marriage isn’t happiness. But that doesn’t mean that having a difficult marriage brings you closer to God, or that it’s something that we shouldn’t try to change. Let’s take a look at how our skewed perspective on the point of marriage can make us overlook major problems. 

#6

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Do You Know what Arousal Non-Concordance Is?

Arousal has two components: Mentally thinking, “I want the sexy time!”, and your body becoming lubricated and physiologically aroused. And the two do not always go together! That’s arousal non-concordance, and when you realize what this is, it can help relieve a lot of shame and guilt you may have with sex. 

#7

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5 Steps to Getting Over the Obligation Sex Message

In our survey of 20,000 women for our book The Great Sex Rescue, we found that the obligation sex message was one of the most toxic. But if you’ve been taught it your whole life in church, it’s really hard to get over it. Here are 5 steps to ditching it–and don’t forget to listen in to our podcast on how duty sex isn’t sexy too!

#8

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The Slippery Slope of Hierarchy Theology

What happens when we believe that men are supposed to be in charge, and women are supposed to follow? That’s the question that my husband asks in this blog post where he shows the slippery slope of giving men power over women–and why that’s not of Jesus. Tune in to the awesome podcast we did on hierarchy theology too. It had lots of fireworks!

#9

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With Porn, We Need More than a Gospel of Sin Avoidance

Why is porn so difficult to quit? Maybe because we don’t look at the problem in the right way. It’s not just about stopping doing something bad. It’s about total transformation and vulnerability. This is a huge shift that needs to happen in the church, and we’ll be revisiting this a lot in 2022!

#10

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The 3 Markers of a Sexually Confident Woman

What if what’s holding back your sex life is a misunderstanding of what you’re supposed to be aiming for? What if sexual confidence is less about sexual tricks and adventurousness and more about acceptance? I think this is a freeing message!

And now, some podcasts that I thought were also really informative!

If you’re new to the blog and the Bare Marriage podcast, here are some great episodes to binge listen to that can teach something important:

 

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The Power and Statistics Podcast

How to tell if authors are misusing statistics in their books–with some great examples! Because science shouldn’t be this hard. 

FB Podcast Neuroscience Gender Differences - 10 Totally Life Changing Marriage Tips You Needed to Learn in 2021

Are There Really “Pink” Brains and “Blue” Brains?

Rebecca and Connor recorded this one while Keith and I were on vacation, and they combed through the neuroscience peer reviewed literature to find out if male brains and female brains are really that different when it comes to sex.

A look at how evangelical authors have been misusing neuroscience–and what the neuroscience really says. 

fB Podcast Standards for Christian Teachers - 10 Totally Life Changing Marriage Tips You Needed to Learn in 2021

Your DIY Guide to How to Tell if a Marriage Book is Harmful

In this podcast we invited listeners to get a marriage or parenting book off of their shelf, and then walk you through some steps to give some clues if that book is likely harmful or if it is instead evidence-based. It’s not foolproof, of course (you’d still have to read the whole book to be sure), but these steps are important ones to know and can be used to quickly screen the books you have!

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How Vaginismus Affects Marriage

Not everyone needs this podcast–but if you’re someone who does, it can be life changing! One of my goals on this blog is to raise awareness about vaginismus and tell people’s stories. Listen in as Rachel talks about her story with vaginsimus, and how she found healing. 

That’s it–some of the best posts of 2021! If you’re newer to the blog and you haven’t read everything I’ve written, those give you a great place to start.

Thank you so much for joining me in 2021. We have a lot coming this year–The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex and the totally revamped Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex launch in March. I’m working on a mother-daughter book, and then Keith and I are writing a big marriage book. And we’re moving domains really soon!

We’re making a difference, and it’s because of you all who keep coming back and sharing my stuff. I’m grateful for you more than you can know. Happy New Year!

New to the Blog? Here are great places to start exploring!

And, of course, pick up The Great Sex Rescue, the book everyone’s talking about. It launched in 2021, and it tells the story of what I’ve been trying to do here on the blog to transform marriages. It truly is life changing.

10 Posts 2021 Change Everything - 10 Totally Life Changing Marriage Tips You Needed to Learn in 2021

What’s the biggest thing you learned on the blog in 2021? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Sheila is determined to help Christians find BIBLICAL, HEALTHY, EVIDENCE-BASED help for their marriage. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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