Intimacy

“At the heart of humankind’s existence is the desire to be intimate and to be loved by another. Marriage is designed to meet that need for intimacy and love. That is why the ancient biblical writings spoke of the husband and wife becoming “one flesh.” That did not mean that individuals would lose their identity; it meant that they would enter into each other’s lives in a deep and intimate way”.

~~Dr. Gary Chapman

Every man wants something in a woman

Know your man, then you’ll know his needs and how you fit in with meeting those needs.

Then, know yourself also, if you really are the one you think he really needs.

©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

Cover Image Credit: https://instagram.com/alfred_darling_art_gallery?igshid=1mxpv9n1rmnv4

God is sharing marriage partners 😊

God always brings the right person; but it’s your job to know and to take the chance. He obviously won’t just drop a perfect partner on your lap just because you’re the most faithful or committed Christian, so you can just take him/her and go. Or would He?

There’s something called searching and deciding (taking a step of faith) when it comes to landing a life partner. This is a personal commitment or personal effort. If you like, do nothing, just pray all you want and continue shying away from all the good guys and ladies (with all those flimsy excuses and wish lists) and see how that works out?

Well, the longer you wait for God to do some magic for you, the more the years come flying by. Well, miracles do happen, but, if you want it, you got to go out there, strategically position yourself and be discoverable. Of course, trust the hand of God in the process but also take personal responsibility and step out in faith.

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©Mark Gadogbe (2020)

An excerpt on what men and women want

“She creates a home that offers him a refuge from the stresses of life. She manages the household responsibilities in a way that encourages him to spend time at home enjoying his family. She understands and appreciates him more than anyone else. She reminds him of his values and achievements and helps him maintain self confidence. She avoids criticizing him. She is proud of him, not out of duty, but from a profound respect for the man she chose to marry”.

“He creates an environment of affection that clearly and repeatedly expresses his love for her. He never leaves her with a false impression and is truthful about his thoughts, feelings, intentions and behaviour. He does not work long hours, keeping himself from his wife and family, but is able to provide necessary support by working a 40-45 hour week. While he encourages his wife to pursue a career, he does not depend on her salary for family living expenses”.

PS: I can’t remember from which book I read the above to properly reference the author, but I found it interesting chancing upon it again in my ‘journal of quotes’.

Featured Image Credit: Moesha Buduong | Instagram

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Secret love relationships 

Growing up, I made a very important decision early that when I fall in love, I was not going to encourage it to be a secret relationship. I told myself I will do all I can to meet her siblings and parents, either while we are friends or within the first year of dating. Why? I just thought it was the wisest thing to do if the end goal of my relationship with her is marriage. If it’s not for marriage, then well…it wouldn’t matter meeting anybody because we won’t need anybody’s approval or disapproval really.

Maybe it was not so much a decision I made; maybe it’s because I was brought up that way. My mother of blessed memory never encouraged wrong associations and would make sure we bring our friends home. She was very homely and just wants to know our friends and wants us to feel comfortable bringing them home instead of staying at friends homes. She was very protective and interested in what kind of friends we had. If you have a mother who is very strict on the rule that all her children be back home by 6pm no matter where they said you were going to, then you would understand how she never joked with certain things. It became a part of us that no matter where we were or which friends we are with, as long as it is approaching dusk, we start making our way home.

It was like the default setting. It didn’t matter to her whether you are the eldest or youngest or whether you are old enough to take care of yourself, you just must never stay out late!

So, yes, I grew up with the decision to feel it’s very important and safer to bring my girlfriend home quite early in the relationship or to get to know her family early. That one thing was very important to me because I needed to know very early in the relationship whether or not her family will accept me, first of all as a friend, and then potential partner, and whether she and my family will be cool as well.

Travelling the distance in a relationship to later discover you are not accepted by either of your families is a pain and wasted years. I will rather break things off early than sink in deeper before that reality dawns on me. I know how families can be and I didn’t have to lie to myself that all will be well when we are ready to marry.

In the culture we find ourselves, family approvals have a very important place in marriage. Our people say that marriage is more about two families coming together than just two individuals. Deciding not to care about parental approvals and blessings and just elope to get married is a recipe for disaster. As such, it is better to cross that bridge earlier than later in a relationship and that was my principle.

For me, I believe whatever you run away from in your journey to marriage or in life generally, you will still meet later. So, why not get the hurdle at least half solved now or why not know your fate sooner than later in a relationship leading to marriage?

Secret relationships will surely only have one or two outcomes, and that could mean it ending in tears 🤷🏽‍♂🤷🏽.

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…And do share your opinions with us.

©Mark Gadogbe, 2020

Marriage Tip 101: The right foundation

I believe a right and timely information shared is a life saved, or possibly a marriage saved or reoriented. So, here are a few tips on getting a marriage set on a good Christian foundation for success:

  • Our husband-wife relationship continues to show the unseen relationship between God and His Son, Jesus; and also show the relationship of Jesus to His bride, all believers.
  • A husband who sacrificially serves his wife shows what our Savior’s love is like.
  • A wife who helps her husband demonstrates the work of the Holy Spirit.
  • A wife’s willingness to follow her husband’s lead mirrors the sheep Jesus called to follow Him.
  • A husband’s desire to understand his wife is like the gentle Spirit of God who is our Counselor and friend.
  • Your home’s stability and health depend on this God-created design working as He intended.

Got a few tips of your own? Do share with us, you never know whose marriage that useful tip may help save. ❤

Cheers and may our marriages do great! 🙏🏾

©Mark Gadogbe, 2020

The rise of women and the struggles of men living in a woman’s shadow

Perhaps, many men out there are very insecure and so used to a male dominated world that they want things to stay just as it has always been, to their advantage. It seems difficult for them to live in the shadow of a woman, especially in this modern day progressively feminine world. Men are born leaders and their ego worries them a lot, especially when they are not able to function in their natural role of providing and fully leading, or just being in total control of things. It worries many a man when his woman begins to rise above him and call the shots in the union and he appears to gradually lose his voice as a man. Many men will worry about having to adjust their life to tag along their woman’s lead.

It appears society is more accepting of a woman building her life around her man’s dreams rather than the opposite. Majority of men are yet to get used to such a life of being the “follower” in a relationship. Perhaps, that concept is a huge paradigm shift for a man or perhaps, it is rather the way some women handle their rise above men that freaks men out. Truth be told, some very successful women can really rub it in their man’s face with their kind of attitude.

It appears that it is not enough at the dating stage for a man to say he has no problem with his woman rising above him, say earning more than him, being more educated than him, being more vocal and wanting to be heard more than him, etc. Many women fall for that only for reality to hit home later when the same man who said he has no problems with stuff like that suddenly begins to struggle to come to terms with it when that reality manifests. See below one woman’s sad agony:

Even though it shouldn’t be, in our part of the world, a woman’s rise above her man sometimes hurts the man’s very nature and gradually develops into a life of insecurity and if not managed, depression could set in. In such instances, nothing the woman does going forward seems to satisfy the man. He may sometimes be successful in his own field but he still feels his woman is now competition…especially because many such women too don’t learn to shut up sometimes. They begin to feel bossy and act like they don’t need the man for anything as she is now self-made and anything she needs she can get…she may only need the man for sex.

Before her rise, the man probably feels he has 70% voice in the decisions of the house or decisions about their life. After her rise and the fact that the home has to perhaps adjust to her schedules to run effectively, he naturally feels he’s only got 30% voice or control in matters of their life/family and that “kills” most men silently. It’s perhaps not an inferiority complex but the fact that the natural course of nature/society as men have been used to is changing faster than they can handle. It takes very few exceptional men today with great understanding, to see their women rise above or be more successful than them and not complain, want to “kill” themselves or move to take a woman at a lower level that they can more easily control or command.

Somehow, it appears many men just can’t stand women calling the shots in any setting. However, women also appear to have grown tired of sacrificing their dreams and passions to simply follow a man’s bidding or vision for life and becoming reduced to mere housewives taking orders from their men.

It’s a difficult decision for today’s woman who wants to be independent of her man, achieve her own dreams and build a life of her own, to now have to tag along her man’s dreams or leadership. Unfortunately as it becomes, many women find themselves in a seemingly bitter place of either choosing her own rise and risking it all, or sacrificing her rise and focusing only or more on becoming a man’s home builder.

That kind of sucks because today’s woman kind of hates the tag “home builder” or “housewife”. They didn’t ask to be called by that and feel it’s a stereotype society/religion (at the time) has put on them. They now feel their purpose in life is way beyond just building a home. They are or want to be commanding leaders too and want that to sink into every man’s head. Whatever she chooses to sacrifice in the end (her own rise in the corporate world as against building a home) is her choice. It’s a difficult one but it’s a personal choice that she does not want to be resented for.

After all, life is all about choices and perhaps, it should be okay for homes to run on two separate visions, the woman’s and that of the man’s? Some say many marriages or homes are breaking today because it is increasingly difficult to find homes running on a common vision and united front; rather, you find the woman pushing her own separate dreams and the man likewise. Building a stable home has become secondary to our careers and dreams and nobody is willing to make the bigger sacrifice, it seems. Perhaps, the greatest losers are the children born in such homes as they become often lost in the mix as daddy and mummy are left exhausted daily after chasing their personal dreams and have little time to spare building a home.

Perhaps, it may be best for couples to strive for a good balance in their personal interests and dreams. Nonetheless, the kind of life we want to live is always our personal choice and whatever we choose in the end, we must be ready to live with the consequences. But we hope and pray our choices turn out right and work for us. For good or bad, society’s wellbeing depends on our choices.

©Mark Gadogbe, 2020

Cover image source: John Ritter |theatlantic.com

Pressures of young married couples

Young married couples need money to run their life. Once you marry in our part of the world, your responsibilities skyrocket because it’s never about just you and your partner. There’s so much to do and there’s so much external pressures…especially from our families. You don’t have to complain in our part of the world…you just have to cope; it’s called being “responsible“.

We’ve seen many young couples unable to survive because many fail to sit down and plan their monthly expenditure early in their marriage. When you do, you’ll actually realize you have very little to save for your future after trying so hard to satisfy “everybody”.

Everybody is trying to get money out of you in our part of the world and funny enough, they see it as their “right” to have a part in your small money. Family, friends, church, strangers, etc. Some take it as a loan and do not pay back, perhaps thinking your situation is better than theirs. Others think it is their “human right” to demand money from you just because they are your family. The Churches especially, if they have their own way, they will take all your monthly salary and tell you to go depend on God’s supply.

Many churches these days don’t care the source of your money or how their members make a living. It doesn’t matter to them how young folks make their money (genuinely or not), as long as they bring it to Church. The more you give in church, the more you’re liked and the closer you get to (or the better attention you get from) the “man of God”. The more affluent you seem, the more the Church tries to get closer to you or act as if they care about you. Minus the money, you’re on your own. Some Pastors live on Church funds (which of course keeps growing) so it doesn’t matter to them to even think about the kind of financial responsibilities their members carry outside the Church.

Out of over spirituality too, many struggling young couples themselves too don’t mind throwing money at Church even if they can’t feed their family. If their family member is in real need even, they will rather send the money to church than help the family member with it and not have anything (e.g. tithe) to give at Church.

Some churches have no clue at all what work their young members do. In fact, they know close to nothing about the people they call “members”. They care rather more about “members” bringing in money to give tithe, offertory, covenant offering and all the many others they have devised in our part of the world.

We are living in a time where many people are doing very dubious things just to make money and some feel encouraged or rather pushed by our churches and their constant demand for money and so will do just anything to “save face” in church or feel they also belong. Imagine how close you are to the “man of God” or the position you hold in Church and most times that he asks for members to sow “a seed befitting your status” you are unable to give. Some Pastors will even force you to give by calling out your name or putting you on the spot with all manner of tricks.

But the sad truth is that, most times when young married couples or “members” are even in need, family and friends offer help faster than the Churches we give all our lives to with 100% religious devotion. In fact, you even feel more comfortable going to family and friends for help than the Church. The Church mostly becomes the last resort when all avenues have been exhausted. How many churches even help their poor members? Most times, they even take longer to help. It is mostly when “members” need the Church to come through for them that the Church starts acting funny with their “are you a member in good standing” antics, but surprisingly, one’s membership never comes into question when the Church needs your money (tithes,offerings,fund raisings for projects, etc).

The financial pressures are just so much on young married couples…but many times too, we are our own enemies because we try to do too much to please everybody. We must learn to live within our means, always watch our finances and have good financial plans for our life. We must live with the mind that help is never coming from anywhere. It’s sad because I often see young married couples depend on alms just to get by, yet still give all they have without thought to church, family and friends…just to save face and thereafter wallow back into poverty. I don’t know what kind of mentality that is though. 🤔

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

Image source: El Carna Studios

Sexual appetite

Okay, we are going sexual again today. 🙈

No man is different in their appetite for sex. Any normal man will have a high sex drive; the only exceptions to the rule are those suffering from some kind of sexual dysfunction.

So, dear sister, don’t feel burdened by a man’s craving for sex; rather be glad it is you he is interested in getting down with and not somebody else. If you are intentionally not offering sex to your partner (in marriage) because you feel burdened by it, you are intentionally pushing him to get it elsewhere. Perhaps you would rather he craves for someone else?

And sorry to burst your bubble, but a man will surely look for what he’s not getting elsewhere once his patience runs out o 😂. Only mad people go about looking for what is not lost. A good man will not go looking for what he already has, unless it’s lost. Once it’s not lost, why go roaming the streets? A man will drink from his own well as long as there’s sweet water in the well to continually quench his thirst. So, sisters, don’t let your wells run dry. 🤗

Understand the concept of a man’s sexual appetite and discover the reason why that good man may be cheating or being tempted to 😊. It could sometimes have a lot more to do with your “inabilities” than him. That’s not to say cheating is justified or entirely a woman’s fault anyways. But the fact is that a man’s sexual appetite is a fire that needs quenching, else it burns. 😊

The other day, a woman was complaining her husband bothers her with sex. Then she was asked if she would rather some other lady gives it to him sometimes and she said hell no! Apparently, she’s not ready to offer, neither willing to share. 🤗

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2019

Marital rape and abuse?

A woman comes into a police station and tells the officer at the front desk that she wants to report that her husband is committing domestic violence against her, including committing marital rape against her.

An officer takes her into a room to begin interviewing her.

Officer: “Mam please describe to me incidents of marital rape and other types of domestic abuse that your husband has committed against you.”

Wife: “Well officer it all started 5 years ago after we got married. I turned him down when he asked for sex and he started telling me that because we had a Christian marriage, he and I both had a right to have sex with one another, and except for short mutually agreed upon times for when we’re sick or otherwise unable to, we ought not to turn down one another”.

Officer: “Did he force himself on you that night?”

Wife: “No – he just walked away, but I felt intimidated by the fact that he believed it was a sin for couples to deny each other, I felt pressure for the next time he wanted to have sex”.

rapewife

Officer: “Ok – so tell me more.”

Wife: “I decided I needed to set my husband straight about sex. I believe every person’s body is their own and no one has a right to coerce or convince someone to have sex when they are not in the mood, not even in marriage. I shared this truth that all of us as enlightened people should accept now in modern society. I told him it is NEVER selfish for me not to want to have sex for any reason, but it is ALWAYS selfish for him to try and convince me to have sex when I am not in the mood.

I told him that I would no longer feel pressured to have sex with him, and that really sex is just a small part of marriage. I told him I believed sex in marriage was not a “right”, but a privilege and that it should only happen when BOTH he and I were in the mood because of how happy and in love we were with each other. In fact, I even told him that just because I don’t want to have sex that often, that does not mean I don’t love him, I just don’t need it that often. I said we ought to be able to enjoy our marriage with one another, without having to need sex all the time – it should happen on special occasions when we are both in the mood.”

Officer: “So how did he respond to that?”

Wife: “He asked me if he was doing something wrong in the bedroom. He asked me if he could help to put me in the mood more often. I told him it had nothing to do with anything wrong he was doing, it was just the fact that I don’t need sex that often, and he ought to respect that and accept that. He was not happy with my view on sex and said my belief was a sin according to our mutually held belief in the Bible as God’s Word. I thought overtime he would overcome his beliefs, and realize that he could take care of himself if he needed it and just be grateful for the times when I was in the mood and wanted to have sex.”

Officer: “Mam but when did he commit marital rape against you?”

Wife: “Well there were many times, that I was not in the mood, and I said No.”

Officer: “So are these the times that he forced himself on you?”

Wife: “No he did not force himself on me, but he coerced me into having sex with him.”

Officer: “How did he coerce you?”

Wife: “Well he told me that I was being selfish, and that I was sinning against God and him by denying his sexual needs. He told me if I continued denying him that we would need to go to a Christian counselor – so I gave in many times and let him have sex with me when I was not in the mood”.

Officer: “So you gave consent? Or did her force you?”

Wife: “Well he did not physically force himself, but I felt pressured because he was going to have us go to a counselor, so I just gave in and let him. But that was still rape right?”

Officer: “Uh, no mam that was not rape. Your allowing him to have sex with you when you were not in the mood because you did not want to go to a counselor was not rape. You made a decision, you decided you would rather have sex with him than go to a counselor, you gave consent.”

consent

Wife: “Ok but later he did even more things to coerce me…”

Officer: “What things did he do?”

Wife: “He eventually got me to go to a Christian counselor, and I felt really pressured by that counselor that I had to have sex with my husband more, and that I needed to let him try to put me in the mood even when I was not – I could not believe it –who did this counselor think he was? I told that counselor he was full of garbage.”

Officer: “Then what happened?”

Wife: “Then my husband asked me after the counseling appointment if I really loved him and cared about our marriage – and I told him “Of course I do! I love our life together – we just disagree about sex”. I told him if he could just accept my views of sex our marriage would be perfect, he was a good man and I enjoyed going places with him and doing things with him. This was now two years into our marriage and we had an infant son, and my husband was such great father to our son. For some reason that was not good enough for him, he thought we needed more sex in our marriage.”

Officer: “Ok did he come to accept your view of sex?”

Wife: “No – he actually setup an appointment with the Pastor of our church and his wife! I went even though I did not want to, and our Pastor actually told me I was sinning against my husband by denying him! The nerve! It’s my body, and no one, not my Pastor, not my husband is going to tell me otherwise.”

Officer: “Mam but how did your husband commit domestic violence against you? Or when did he rape you?”

Wife: “Well after the appointment with the Pastor all of a sudden he canceled with the babysitter and stopped taking me on our weekly dates. I asked him why and he said it was because I was “sinning against him and our marriage by my willful sexual denial” wasn’t that domestic abuse? After all he was using our date night to get me to admit I was wrong about sex in our marriage.”

Officer: “Um mam – he is not required by law to take you on dates.”

Wife: “But wait – there is more. We had a new kitchen remodel that we were ready to sign papers on and he called and canceled the meeting to sign the papers to get the work started. He said the kitchen we had while outdated, was still functional and he was not comfortable with spending the money to do it. We were only cleared to get the work done based on his income, and I don’t make enough to do it on my income alone.”

Officer: “Um mam – he is not required by law to get your kitchen updated.”

Wife: “But wait you need to hear this. He used to go clean out my car every weekend. I would pick a room each weekend for him to dust and clean, and now he stopped doing that. He used to give me back rubs at least once or twice a week. Now he stopped doing that too – he can’t do that right? This is emotional abuse! This is manipulation right? He says it is “discipline” to bring me to understand God’s view of sex in marriage.

Officer: “Well mam maybe he is manipulating you or maybe he just does not want to do these things for you anymore. Either way, none of this so far that you have told me is illegal, you might not like it, I might not like it, but it is not illegal.”

Wife: “What do you mean not illegal? The law says he can’t make me do anything I don’t want to do?”

marital-rape-can-a-husband-rape-his-wife-l-llfnkm

Officer: “Mam, from everything you have told me, you have done whatever you did by your own choice. You might have done it because you wanted to avoid stress, or going to a counselor, or you just did not feel like arguing.”

Wife: “But there is still one more horrible thing I have not told you – my husband changed his auto deposit of his paycheck so it no longer goes in our joint checking account, he has his own account now. He goes grocery shopping for us each week now. I used to do the grocery shopping. He gave me the credit cards that were in my name for me to pay out of my own paychecks. I work too, but I don’t make nearly as much money as my husband. I used to be able to go anywhere I wanted and spend what I wanted, but now I have no spending money. That is financial abuse right? He can’t do that right?”

Officer: “Mam is he providing food, shelter and clothing for you and your child? Is he holding you in your home against your will?”

Wife: “Well yes he is providing those things for me and my son, and no he is not holding me against my will. He makes sure my car is fully fueled every week. He gives me some cash for if I need some things during the day when he is at work. But I used to have full access to all our money in our joint bank account and I was able to do what I wanted with our money, and now he took that from me – he can’t do that”.

Officer: “Mam – why are you still with this man? You clearly don’t see marriage the same way he does and it sounds like he is either trying to teach you something or he is getting ready to divorce you by separating his money into another account. He may have even had an attorney advise him to do that with his paychecks. If you get with a divorce attorney, your attorney can get a “status quo” order, which then requires your husband not to spend any sums of money without clearing it with the court and your attorney. The court can order that he has to provide you with a certain dollar amount each week that you can put in your own account and spend as you want as you go through the divorce process and they can order him to continue paying all the household expenses.”

Wife: “Divorce process! I just want him to stop what he is doing and let us go back to our old life. I love him and the life we have. I don’t want to have joint custody of our son, I don’t want to see my son every other week, I want to see him every day! We would have to sell our home, and even if I could keep it in the divorce I would have no way to make the payments even with child support and alimony from him. I don’t want half my life, I want all my life – the way it was! Can’t you or another police officer tell my husband to stop doing these things and we can still stay married? Can we have a judge order him to take me on dates, upgrade the kitchen, put his money back in our joint account and stop asking me for sex? My girlfriends at work told me what he is doing is domestic abuse and is illegal – that means you can stop him right and force him to stop doing all this right?”

Officer: “Um- no sorry no one can do that for you. I don’t mean to get in your personal affairs mam, but it sounds like you have quite the dilemma, there is an old saying “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”. You have to make a choice, either work out the sexual issues with your husband and make your marriage work, or divorce him and try and find a man who believes as you do, that whoever wants sex the least determines how often a married couple has sex.”

© The frustrated feminist wife. Biblicalgenderroles.com (2015)