Why don’t you discuss sex while dating?

While dating, there’s that huge temptation of being interested in actually having sex than discussing the subject of sex and your expectations of sex in marriage. Majority of cases, you can bet that subject is not broached at all. One seems to wonder then, how do lovers jump from talking about sex to rather how many children they will want to have and what kind of home they will want them growing in? Sex precedes children (it’s actually what leads to children), so why don’t lovers discuss the sex itself before bringing in the topic of kids? Why assume everything about your sex life in marriage will just fall in place?

It’s fair to say that most dating relationships have little conversation about sex, forgetting that a great percentage of success in marriage depends on how you handle your sexual expectations in marriage. You may be surprised sex sometimes happens less frequently in marriage than you expect (after telling yourself you will have so much once you marry). And when that happens, how do you handle that mountain of unmet expectations?

Like Dr. Kim Kimberly puts it, “it is interesting that we live in a sex-charged world, yet talk so little about it in our marriage relationships. I think that going into marriage I felt like I knew all that I needed to know and that a great sex life would just happen. That theory didn’t hold water very long“.

There are a lot of realities about sex to discover in marriage than is out there or you may have even experienced in your many bouts of pre-marital sex. Everything else is different in marriage and you will get to learn that you need a lot more than just the sexual compatibility or attraction that makes you want to test the “forbidden waters” before locking it down. No matter how much effort you put in the “doing sex” rather than “talking sex” before marriage, chances are things will be a whole lot different in marriage even with all the experience you may think you have gained with pre-marital sex.

Married sex is a game changer and you can sometimes be left disappointed if you just assume things will just pick up perfectly once you’re married. You’ll be surprised you’ll have to learn loads of patience, experimenting, empathy, forgiveness, listening, understanding and a lot of “rewriting of scripts” from your pre-marital escapades. Very few couples get their sexual expectations met right from the honeymoon. You may be surprised to discover that very few people get it right from the word go, even for those who have been sexually involved before marriage.

It becomes therefore very important to have realistic expectations of and discussions on sex before you enter marriage with a truck load of fantasies and thinking you have mastered the act or got it all together in your head how things should play out.

OK, so here’s where we end for today. Till next time, do share your thoughts with us. Will love to hear them…we learn as we share!

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

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Two Becoming One

I think the biblical “two becoming one” is not to be interpreted mathematically to mean the fusing of the personality traits of two individuals into one.

Some couples wouldn’t mind the total erasure and wiping away of their individual identities, dreams and interests to take on that of another person and we cannot resent them, yet for many others, that brings a feeling of total nonexistence and a kind of living in a cage.

There’s a place for sacrifice and compromise in every relationship. Nonetheless, individual passions, dreams and interests must be nurtured where necessary for the good of the relationship. It’s one thing sacrificing, compromising and still being happy in a relationship and it’s another thing sacrificing, compromising and pretending to be happy taking on the identity of someone else you are quite or totally out of touch with. Then again, there is a place for shared passions and interests.

In reality and the field of play, it’s always about finding a balance and not about partners trying to fuse themselves into something like a ‘nuclear fusion’ thing. The oneness of which the Bible speaks, I believe, is not a kind of abstract science or reasoning or some idealist thing.
Everyone’s reality of “two becoming one” is different and I can bet the biblical “two becoming one” is still a mystery being reviewed and interpreted by theologians…just like we know in part and we prophesy in part. Lol

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Needs and red flags

The very core of marriage is about meeting the needs of each other. That’s the very foundation. Destabilize that and then marriage is as good as dead. No amount of prayer will meet a man or a woman’s physical needs…at most, it will meet their spiritual needs.

The tragedy with being too spiritual is that you believe marriage is a spiritual union and so you give little attention to physical things…you think everything physical is carnal to you. Marriage may be spiritual but it is lived 100% of the time in the physical.

No marriage can survive, no matter how much you pray, without the physical and emotional needs of both partners being met. The problem sometimes is that, as our marriage evolves, we stop asking the critical questions of what our partners needs could be at every phase of the marriage. We assume we are meeting their needs but sadly, we actually may not.

Everybody changes and same with our needs. Yesterday’s needs could be totally different from today’s needs. A successful marriage is one that makes a conscious effort to continually carry out a needs assessment of the players in the marriage as the years go by. It’s not enough to only assess your needs just before marriage; it’s equally important within the marriage, year in year out.

I came across a beautiful piece by Joy Ehonwa and the second paragraph is what’s so important to me!

Joy Ehonwa wrote:

“Some marry for love and wish they hadn’t attached so much importance to it and married “sensibly” instead. Others make practical choices and later wish they had held out for love. There are no guarantees to this thing.

What sucks is underestimating the power of who you really are, and marrying someone who is unable to provide what you need, eyes wide open.

People who do this are normal people like you and me. They often suspect before the wedding that they’re short-changing themselves, and so they avoid discussing the contract.

Affection is a vital need for Ayo, but she marries a man who is aloof, because he has money and can give her the good life.

The prayer team leader doesn’t stir Dave as a lover should, but she would be a good accessory to his pastoral ministry so he goes ahead and marries her.

Nkechi needs quality time to thrive, but she marries a man who is always travelling, because time is running out and she needs to settle down.

Love is delicious – I’m a huge fan – but it is never enough to sustain a marriage. Why can’t we tell ourselves the truth about what we really need, what we can give up, what we can live without, what we can offer, and marry accordingly?”

Read that? What a beautiful piece. Guess it’s fair to say life is all about choices and we must either make the right ones or blame no one when we make the wrong ones. In serious retrospect, you would have realized you could have avoided the many pitfalls you are probably in now but you chose to ignore the red flags and treated your decisions lightly.

The lesson in here is probably to know that when it comes to marriage, you don’t make light your decisions…even though it is a chance we are all taking and just hoping for the best outcome.

…………………………………………………………

Till next time, do share your thoughts with us. We all could learn a thing or two, so don’t hold your thoughts. 😊

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Sex is a big deal 

Women usually don’t understand why men make a big deal out of sex; it’s like their whole being is wired to sex. It’s a simple answer: SEX IS A BIG DEAL!

Never trivialize sex. If it were not a big deal, a man could simply go have it with another woman and not come facing his wife’s wrath. It’s a big deal and you would know when you check the statistics on how many marriages hit the rocks over sex related issues.

Again it’s a BIG DEAL because even the Bible stresses on it a lot and even recommends that couples have sex on the regular to avoid falling into temptations. The only exception given is the 1 Cor 7:5 clause “…except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer“.

It is important to build healthy intimacy in marriage and one of the best and proven ways is through SEX.

When you trivialize sex, you risk truncating your marriage; and when the sex is dull, it saps the shine out of the marriage. There’s a reason why it’s called “intimacy”. And who doesn’t like all the many benefits of intimacy?

You can always bet the one who doesn’t may be the same one whose marriage is suffering. Why? Because it is often hard to see a couple with a great sex life or physical intimacy talking divorce. “Sex nips divorce in the bud“. So give it, and give it all; not in small tots as if it’s a harmful alcohol. It’s rather a good kind of intoxication so don’t withhold it.

Instead of getting into the habit of looking for ways not to indulge, understand that marital success hinges a great deal on sex. Let everything be good but the sex bad and u can still bet 90% that things will fall apart. So why not channel as much energy there, as you do all other areas of your marriage? If the sex is not that great, work at improving it in love…not looking for reasons to avoid it.

But whatever you decide, know that sex is one of the surest ways of keeping a man…every man. The porn industry knows that too well…else, why do you think it’s always a thriving business? The interest of man (in general) in sex, his fixation on sex, the curiosity, the adventure, the excitement, the adrenalin rush…just name them, will keep every man asking for more and making it a BIG DEAL. It’s a big deal to a man when your interest is more into anything but sex. Lol

God is not stupid not to have known that about us His most priced creations, hence the 1 Cor 7:5 reference. And don’t forget the prostitutes know that so well too…so keep looking for excuses and lose him (same goes for the men too; keep looking for excuses and lose her) to the next bidder who will put much value on what you don’t value.

Great Sex = Great Marriage

Do the maths!

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Marriage & Personal Development Author

The scary future of our children

This day and age where people are becoming transgender and going into marriage without disclosing their true identities to their unsuspecting spouses is truly scary. In effect, they are making people unconsciously gay or lesbian. Because if I could be married to a man-turned-woman for a year without the slightest knowledge or cue, then the person has made me technically gay against my wish. 😂

My wife told me a true story that was shared on a social media platform she’s part of. Apparently, a man is in his 6 years of marriage and his “wife” (who was born male) and desperately wants kids but they are not coming. Now he’s been suggesting going to see a fertility specialist but his “most beautiful and elegant wife” sensing the truth will come out if they go, keeps finding reasons to prevent them from going. Now “she” doesn’t also know how best to come out clean to the man “she” claims to love for six good years and she’s out on social media anonymously seeking advice!

Guess, it’s no longer enough in our children’s future world to ask “were you born male or female” before accepting to marry people but they must go beyond to see at least childhood pictures displaying the genitals huh? 😂

In fact, I will surely tell my daughter not to marry any “man” who says he doesn’t have a childhood picture to start with. Who knows, she may even need to go and check the hospital records where he says he was born. Seriously, our children will need to do more due diligence in their choice of a life partner than we did. Surely, our parenting work is really going to be tough. Let’s brace up because this things are real.

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Love your spouse less

Today I read something very intriguing titled “LOVE YOUR SPOUSE LESS” from a marriage devotional:

“…In Matthew 10, Jesus gave a job description to His disciples, which included a warning that following Him would lead fathers to divide from sons and mothers from daughters—it would even lead to enemies in one’s own household. Not the family-friendly message we often associate with Christianity!

Jesus was clear that the disciples’ families could not take priority over the mission He was giving them. On another occasion (recorded in Luke 14), Jesus turned to the large crowds following Him and told them that any man who refuses to hate his wife for the sake of following Him can’t really be a disciple. Yikes!

“Hate your own wife” is probably not the advice you were expecting to receive from a study on marriage. But that’s how Jesus instructs the husbands who were interested in following Him.

Honestly, it’s a message we don’t like to hear. But Jesus was clear: You can’t follow Him if you’re clinging too closely to your family. No relationship takes priority over your relationship with Jesus. If you want to follow Jesus, you can’t even cling to your own life.

Count the cost. That’s how Jesus ended this dialogue in Luke 14. Clinging to Jesus requires loosening your grip—perhaps letting go completely—on every other thing in your life.

Are you sure you want to follow Jesus?”

No justification for cheating? 

“I am married to a preacher. I love him, but he’s hardly home. Preaching assignments here and there. The little time we get to be together too is always ruined by visitors and phone calls from Church members and their ’wahala’. Dave, I can’t even compete for his attention, let alone, time. That’s why I am having an affair with my Ex-boyfriend. At least, he sees me.”

This thing eh. Extremists say there is never any justification for cheating and someone who truly loves you will never cheat on you no matter what. Eh? Be there and be talking big grammar. 😊

Me, I always say whether cheating is justifiable or not does not take away the fact that there are plenty of “good reasons” why people cheat which must never be overlooked or made light of.

It may not make sense to you, but it made sense to them enough to even consider the possibility of cheating on you (maybe grace kept yours from going all the length so don’t boast). What is so trivial to you is not that trivial to somebody o. No human being takes neglect or abuse (of any kind) forever. It gets to a point where enough becomes enough, and no matter all the scriptures you quote…there’s no turning back for them. That’s how sensitive a human beings’ needs are.

Keep trivializing things in your marriage/relationship and keep taking for granted the balance between physical/emotional needs and spiritual needs.

This thing is some way o. I’ve seen a lot of “hard tongue speaking busy for God people” whose life became miserable after the marriage they took for granted, giving all their time to God’s work, began to shake. One will wonder in the end, if their marriage was that equally important to them before they kept relegating it to the background and kept quoting a million scriptures and reasons to keep their partners sacrificing and sacrificing and sacrificing. To what end, only God knows.

I’m not against doing God’s work or winning the whole world for God or any other good paying secular work for that matter. I’m all about creating a good balance in life because even Bible is against a false balance. And I’m all against abusing marriage in the name of doing God’s work and trying to justify it.

If the reason why you keep putting everything else above your marriage or partner’s needs is good enough justification for you, then their reason for cheating on you (or leaving you) because their needs are not being met should be equally good enough justification for them. Who’s the judge of what’s justifiable to a person?

Yes, I’m not for cheating and neither am I a fan of that blunt lose talk or phrase “there can never be any justification for cheating“. Action and reaction has long been a proven fact of life. So is the saying “you reap what you sow”. You can’t reap a good infidelity-free marriage/relationship if you don’t give it good enough time and effort it requires to safeguard it. You can’t boast of well trained children when you don’t stay present in their life to play your parental roles.

Why marry when you know you can’t have or make enough time for it. Nothing takes our time except we allow it to. It is we that made ourselves busy and we have the choice to always undo that at will. If you don’t want to, be willing to pay the price for it, after all, every choice in life comes at a cost.

So stop making all that noise about, when someone cheats on you, then it means they don’t love you. It’s not a general or universal rule, so don’t make it one. Even Jesus we proclaim our undying love for but we keep sinning against Him. We keep “cheating” on Jesus and breaking His heart 😊. Probably they loved you to bits but you took it all for granted, refusing to change and still expect them to be there. So yes, some will cheat on you and still be there…even after all our sins we don’t break off from Jesus, do we? 😊. Oh, that’s different? How different?

Some people will leave you so fast, others will wait on you for so long, but in the end, everybody moves on or away from anything toxic or that which makes them constantly unhappy. Even Jesus will throw you into Hell eventually if you constantly keep breaking His heart and not repenting 😊.

It doesn’t matter how long it takes, they will eventually move. So if your pride is that your partner has been tolerating your “stupidity” for so long and haven’t left or cheated yet, it’s just a matter of time. Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you, but ever seen marriages that break after so many years; 10, 20, 30 years? You will wonder wonder what happened after all those years. You think human beings tolerate nonsense forever? 😜

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

Marriage: A step of faith

At the end of the day, marriage is always a step of faith…there really is no best time. Once you are of marriageable age, every time is the best time. 

You just need a little bit of preparation, some small finance and seeking of God’s face and grace. If you want to wait until you get everything right, you may never enter it the time you should. 

What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility. Compatibility is important but you will lose out on a lot more if you put all your focus on just that. Marriage goes way beyond compatibility issues. 

So, take that bold step of faith. On your marks, get set…go!! 

©Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2018

I can love him/her better than you 

Always remember that everything you are doing to or for your husband/wife or your boyfriend/girlfriend, somebody else can do it and even do it better. Don’t say it’s not possible…it is! 

If you’re giving him/her sex, somebody else can also give them that and even give them better. Maybe your stronghold is food or taking care of the home…but do you think nobody else cooks better than you or can ever manage your home or partner better than you? You think nobody else can spoil your girl/wife better than you’re doing now if they get the chance? 

Everything you do in life, somebody else can do it better than you. The only reason why you are still there and still the only one doing it is simply because that other person has not been given the CHANCE. So, never lose guard and start playing dull moves. Everybody can potentially lose their partner to the next available highest bidder. 

You’re not irreplaceable in even the most loving of all relationships. Just do something very silly, or worse case, just die now and see how soon you’ll be replaced by someone else. It’s natural for voids to be filled, just like in every working environment. 

Like Sam Casey put it: 

“It’s easy to see your position in leadership at the office as becoming more important than your job as the leader of your home. No one is indispensable. Everyone can be replaced on the job. God can raise up another leader to do what you are doing. It’s worth asking your spouse from time to time to make sure you stay on the mark” 

Never stop loving your partner, never stop doing right by them. And never stop evaluating yourself and each other. Start treating them wrong…and you will soon see. You will wonder where that highest bidder taking what belongs to you even sprung up from. Oh boy, they have always been there! They have always been secretly admiring and wishing for what you have. All it had to take was your negligence. 😜

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple), 2017

Marriage & Personal Development Author 

3 Wedding Day Prep Tips for Men’s Mind, Body, and Spirit

They don’t call it the “bridal” industry for nothing, folks. When it comes to weddings, men are usually seen as a handsome prop rather than one half of the important union that is about to take place.

No matter what the bridal industry says about men and their weddings, getting married to “The One” is an important rite of passage that should be treated as such. You may not care about floral arrangements or choosing wedding colors, but it’s important that you take the time to prepare yourself for your wedding day. This doesn’t just mean your wedding day outfit either. Check out this list of tips and helpful tools to help you look your best on your wedding day and beyond!

Your Commitment and Communication

Now I know that you have already completed a big task by asking your partner to be your fiancée, but your duties don’t stop there. Wedding planning is typically seen as the bride’s responsibility, but she needs your help too! You’re making a big life commitment, so continue to commit to helping with the wedding all the way through the process. You probably have no idea what goes into planning a wedding and that’s okay. Do a little research and check out this groom-specific wedding planning guide from The Knot.

The best thing you can do when wedding planning begins is ask your partner what she’d like you to be responsible for. If she doesn’t know right away, that’s okay. Just make sure to keep asking how things are going and if you can help throughout the process. Sometimes just being a listening ear for her to vent is more helpful than you know. You’re in this together, right? Also, if your future bride asks for your opinion, it’s not helpful to say, “I don’t care.” It may seem like you’re doing her a favor by giving her the final say, but not giving your opinion at all isn’t what she’s looking for. Your partner is looking to you, her future life partner, for reassurances and validation, so offer it!

Find a handy list of ways a groom can help plan too. If you have strong opinions about an aspect of your wedding day, speak up in the beginning.  Communication is a two-way street and something you and your partner need to continually work on for your whole lives together.

Effective communication makes a happy bride

Your Looks

While your wedding is about your love and your commitment to each other, there’s no shame in wanting to look amazing on this day. You don’t have to completely change how you look for your wedding day, but it’s important to look your best for you partner and feel confident.

Hair

You want to make sure your hair is feeling and looking healthy. It’s advised not to try a new hairstyle that radically different from what you usually have right before the big day. Instead, work with a trusted hairstylist in the months leading up to your wedding date. You can find a look you love, and work on maintaining it. Is your hair starting to thin? Take steps to keep your scalp and hair healthy by checking for signs of baldness, taking care of your health overall and consider adding a biotin vitamin into your diet, like biotin gummies from hims, a men’s wellness company. Hims has other hair loss products that can help your hair health too. Not only will biotin help your hair grow, it’ll help your nails grow too.

 

Hims products

Nails

Paying attention to your nails probably just consists of trimming them every now and then, but think of the photos on your wedding day. Your new rings and held hands during your ceremony will be photographed! So don’t overlook this detail. Treat your bride-to-be to a manicure and ask if you can join. It’ll be a fun way to prep together! If you’re not interested in going through the entire manicure process in a salon, consider asking your partner if she’ll help you out. It’ll save  you money too!

Skin

This is another important aspect to not overlook. If you have skin issues, start to address them months in advance. Skincare doesn’t have to be complicated, so start to develop a simple routine now. A beauty routine isn’t just for the ladies! All you need is some face wash, moisturizer, and a lip balm to keep your face looking smooth. There are cool skincare products from Harry’s that you can subscribe to and have shipped right to your door. Their products are sold in Target too, so you can give your lady another reason to shop there. Additionally, eating well and drinking plenty of water does wonders for your health and your skin.

Men’s grooming essentials

Your Health

Mental Health

This shouldn’t be limited to wedding prep, but it’s a good time to mention it anyway. If you’re struggling with your mental health, there’s no better time to address it than the present. See a therapist or speak to your doctor about how you’re feeling. If you’re unable to see a medical professional, seek out your pastor or other trusted friend or family member. Sometimes all you need is someone to talk to and share with. There are apps like Headspace that can help you learn how to meditate too. Taking care of your physical health can have enormous benefits on your mental health too.

Physical Health

Again, this doesn’t have to be limited to wedding prep, but having your wedding date on a calendar is a perfect goal to help motivate you to make changes for the better. If you don’t already have a gym routine, start to establish one now. It can be at home or in a gym with a trainer – whatever you’re comfortable with. If you’re not a gym person or don’t feel comfortable going to one, start simple! You can simply start going for power walks or runs around your neighborhood or download an app like Nike+ Training Club and many more. Buy yourself (and your future bride) a Fitbit and start challenging each other and tracking your steps, calories burned, and sleep.

Working out brings out the best in you

So there you have it… Now, it’s your turn to share your thoughts with us. We’ll love to hear them. 😊