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10 Things You Must Know Before Going Into Marriage

In many cases people go into marriage without having slightest idea of what they are going into. By the time they realize this after they must have contracted the marriage it would have been too late. This leaves them with the statement: Had I know. Before going into marriage, there are number of factors that need to be known, failing which the marriage may be dead even before it is contracted. Some of the factors include, but not limited to, the ones explained below:


Financial Management

One of the principal factors that determine whether a marriage will withstand the test of time is finance. Marriage requires quite a lot of money to be sustained. Its adequacy or otherwise determines if the marital experience will be exciting or not. This will also say much about whether the marriage will succeed or not. There are several things that will require money before, during and after wedding. Some of them include, but not limited to, baby care, medicare, housing, car, clothing, and others. This therefore requires that couples going into marriage should give a primary consideration in their quest marital union to the issue of finance. No matter how small the family budget is, lack of money or inadequacy of it can cause serious crises in the family that will turn what would have been memorable and exciting experience to an unpalatable one. Lets avoid it. Let us plan ahead.


Sexual Desires & Concerns

Are you guys sexually compatible or not? If you are not then you guys need a rethink. Discuss it and dont feel shy. Be bold and courageous to discuss your sexual preferences with your partner. Dont pretend. Say it exactly the way it is. If you dont tell him/her then dont blame him/her. Many people go into marriage as pretenders, not willing to declare who they are sexually. And when their partners could not fathom what such desires and preferences are, then they remain unattended to. Frustrations arising from this could lead to communication gap, marital crisis and this may lead to eventual crash of such marriages.


Extended Family

Extended families are very important because they are the big trees from which our individual conjugal families come from. In other words, they are the sources of various nuclear families as we have them today. No doubt these families need their respective extended family members for one reason or another. But they should not be over relied upon. They should be dealt with cautiously. They should not be allowed to have over bearing influence on the nuclear families in such a way that they will start hurting the expression of the huge potentials that abound in the families. Couples should be careful at the beginning to ensure that what is happening in their homes are not dictated from outside in the name of extended family.


Friends’ Involvement

Both couples have friends, males and females. Some with good intentions, and others with bad intentions. You can hardly differentiate who is who because the holy book says, The heart of man is desperately wicked. Who can know it? Couples should take charge of what is happening within and among them. They should learn to treat their matters with minimum reliance on external parties called friend. Cases abound of where the so called friends took advantage of the gap between couples to scatter their marriages. Empathic communication among couples help removed such unpleasant experiences.


Household Chore Delegation

Who does household chores among the couples? Big question, right? Traditionally, one would say that this roles automatically goes to the woman of the house. But things have changed so dramatically since the modern industrial and technological era. As a matter of fact traditional roles of genders have been altered significantly. So caution is the word here. We have to face reality. Gone were the days when the woman will be doing all the house chores and the man will be sitting in the palour, reading newspaper or watching television. Both couples should make themselves available for domestic chores to help one another and to reduce tension in the family. This is a clear demonstration of love and spirit of helpfulness.


Career Aspirations

What does your marriage mean to your career plan? Death or growth? You need to sit down to talk about this. Everyone has lofty dreams before marriage. The question is, what happened to those lofty dreams after marriage? Will the woman still be allowed to chase the dreams or she will be asked to abandon them and stay at home all day long? Both couples should organize themselves in such a way that they can both pursue their respective careers to the glory of God. No one should be made to abandon his/her dreams. This is the least they could do to help themselves, their family and the society at large. 50/50 rule should apply here.


Parenting Philosophies

Parenting is a major aspect of family function that needs to be handled with great caution. Couples must agree on the belief and philosophy that will be deployed to guide childrens thought process and world view. If the parents are looking in different directions in this regard there will be confusion as the children may be lost as to which philosophy to adopt. The children may be left with no option than to chart new courses for themselves. This new direction may not be what the parents wish to have.


Relaxation Time (what they like to do in their free time)

This may sound funny but it has to be given all the seriousness it deserves. Having an idea of how, when and where you want to spend your spare time and sharing same with your partner may be a very powerful way to get yourself understood by your partner. This may in turn create room for mutual understanding and trust. For instance, if you have never told your wife that you enjoy attending night club at your leisure time and she discovers that you always go there, this may create trust issues and brewing point for crisis. Such crisis may shake the marriage to its foundation if it is not well managed.

Personality Traits

Do you know the personality traits of your partner? Is he/she short tempered, gentle, aggressive, etc? Is he/she gentle, harsh or calm? People are not the same on all these traits. And the traits each of the couples has will go a long way to affect his/her approach to the other partner. This in turn may have serious implications for the marriage.

Similarities & Differences of the Families couples grew up from

The Similarities between the families the couples come from may go a long way and overall stability of their homes. Although this is not a guarantee but the chances of success could be high. This explains why people are often afraid of going into inter-ethnic marriage.

Building Loving and Enduring Relationship

By

Margaret Oliwe

Photo Credit: BetterHelp
The bible says in Hebrews 13:4 that ‘marriage is honorable in all…’ whether you have been married five years or fifty, you know life with your spouse is filled with its different seasons. We have to be frank, life is not a bed of roses, and even a bed of roses is not without its thorns. There are moments of happiness that last as long as can be imagined while they are sometimes short-lived. Rise and fall are the essence of drama and so also the essence of marriage. There is no perfect marriage, as far as no individual is perfect. This is especially when marriage institution is one where you are issued your certificate before your learning process begins. Couples break up and make up, disagree and agree. There are moments of outright miscommunication and downright conflict. Sometimes, the need for intimacy isn’t the same for the two people involved due to different pressure being faced in the course of struggles for survival, then frustration or discouragement sets in. Sometimes the relationship suddenly seems one-sided, becomes sidetracked by something as seemingly harmless as fascination with social media, parenting problems and all the likes. The act of continually knitting together the busy lives of two imperfect people into a healthy Christian marriage can be a great task demanding loads of hard work, creativity, and reliance on God.
To build a lasting home full of joy and happiness, we need God at the centre of it. Remember that God is the architect of marriage, He is the creator of everything including each spouse, it does not matter how that marriage is contracted God can take charge if you let him take the centre stage and He will turn your frustration into fulfilment.
There are two basic needs of every successful marriage, which include communication and need to satisfy sexual gratification of each partner.
Communication
“Assumption kills” goes the saying, couples sometimes take each other for granted and assume the other party should know what we know, what we are thinking about or our perspective about a matter without effective communication. The breakdown of communication in many homes is the architect of avoidable problems being faced in families today. To make communication effective in any marriage relationship, couples must develop what is called listening ears. You must not assu me what the other party has in mind or jump into conclusion without listening to your spouse point of view, this kind of attitude can result to anger which is not pleasing to God. The word of God teaches us to be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to become angry. Therefore, to be an effective listener we must prayerfully strive towards the following:
  1. Be slow to speak, quick to listen
We need to really slow down to listen well. Pay close attention to what your spouse is saying.
  1. Curiosity
Being curious keeps your attention on the person speaking. Curiosity as to the reason for what is being said, why it is being said, the importance of what is being said as well as the benefits embedded in what is being said.
  1. Respect
We must understand that our spouse deserves our undivided attention when we are being communicated to. Therefore, our attention must be given to the one communicating with us, if our communication will be effective. We must understand that listening is the highest form of love and respect. We listen because we love and care.
  1. Understanding
It is highly essential to understand our partner. It is therefore important to ask questions when confused and be very patient to avoid judging them.
  1. Sensitivity
To listen means to be sensitive about our spouse’s point of view, it helps us to ask questions when necessary and when to be silent. Sensitivity breeds healthy relationship.
Listening is the foundation of every loving relationship, so it is not optional for two people who profess to love each other, it is mandatory.
Sexual Intimacy
The problem of sexual intimacy in marriage relationship is an age-long complaint. Men crave sex and feel entitled to it, while women crave trust, safety, and intimacy. Often these needs collide, creating undue marital stress.
Sometimes, men complain of their wives withholding sex as a way of punishment for what they have done or not done. However, individual party in marriage must seek to understand how each person is wired. As a man, have you asked yourself some salient questions that will make you understand your wife’s position better? Is she truly depriving you or is she seeking a more intimate relationship with you?
I believe sexual relationship should be a bye-product of a man’s tender loving and care. For example, how do you relate with her and how do you manage her feelings. Know that when there is physical intimacy between couples, sexual intimacy will be spontaneous.
While God created us to enjoy emotional, spiritual, and sexual intimacy, He also created us to love one another selflessly. “Love does not seek its own way” (1 Corinthians 13). Love builds the other up and offers protection. Love is not demanding, but understanding and caring.
Therefore, to build a lasting sexual relationship with your spouse, you need to consider the following:
  1. Explore all the factors involved in the situation
It can be tempting to reduce a complex situation with simplistic explanations. Pull back and seek other explanations as to why your wife withholds sex, other than to punish you. Women have many reasons for lack of desire, including exhaustion, feeling dishonored because their man is looking at other women and pornography, feeling unloved, or feeling unprotected emotionally.
  1. Make sure you are showing her sacrificial love
Again, love does not seek its own way. You must be certain you are creating a climate in your marriage where lovemaking will naturally occur. This can be achieved by helping around the house, you don’t leave her to do practically every chore there is in the house. She will definitely be exhausted and loose interest in sexual intimacy. Women needs protection and sense of security, a woman that feels unprotected and unloved by the husband may find it very difficult to yield to the man’s need for sexual intimacy.
  1. Work together to have a fulfilling sexual relationship
It takes two to tangle, therefore, you both must work towards ensuring a vibrant, healthy sexual relationship which is achievable when a couple talks openly and respectfully about this aspect of their marriage. Share your feelings and needs openly. You need to work together to create a mutually gratifying sexual relationship.
  1. Maintain a strong emotional connection
Women crave emotional connection and cannot feel open sexually unless they feel loved. If your wife feels unloved, she is not likely to want sexual intimacy. If she withholds sex, it’s probably not an act of rebellion or punishment. It is likely emotional issues are at play, and you must explore what they are and remedy them.
God wants us to have a close, intimate, loving relationship with our spouses. But, the atmosphere in our homes must be such that we feel respected, loved and cherished. We therefore must do everything in our ability to make our homes safe places for love to thrive.
Above all, God is the architect of our lives and marriages, we must turn everything over to him, allow his fear to rule our hearts. When we love God, it will become easy to love our spouses without condition and then our marriage will become heaven on earth and we will enjoy the bliss it brings. In this way, our offspring will grow in the atmosphere of love and peace.
About the author:
Margaret Oliwe is the Human Resources Manager at Rich-Rotoye Group.  She can reached her email: margaret.oliwe@gmail.com and her phone: +2348034672565.

13 Reasons why Wives Deny Their Husbands Sex

By
Ronald Olusegun Olaiya
Photo Credit: Depositphotos
Having sex regularly is the ideal thing in a marriage. Couples are expected to be looking up to doing this as much as possible. This is especially the case when taking into consideration the various social and health benefits of sex to both the husband and the wife. However, despite all these we still have reports of wives refusing to have sex with their husbands when occasions call for it. This leaves us with the question: “Why are wives doing this considering the fact that this could lead to serious crisis that could literally bring down the marriage?”
Sequel to the above question, we have attempted to find answer as to why wives are denying sex to their husbands. Consequently 14 reasons have been identified as to why wives are denying their husbands sex. They are explained below. However, it is imperative to note that the list may not be exhaustive, but they could inspire us to search for and know more about other reasons in the course of time.
  1. Unresolved Issues
There may be some pending issues begging for resolutions between the couples that the wife feels should be resolved as quickly as possible. In fact, the wife by this action has made such issue priority in her scheme of things. She is using this opportunity to press home her demand for the resolution of the matter. The issue involved could be a promise not kept by the husband, disagreement/misunderstanding with members of extended family, poor financial state of the family, among others. The husband will be lucky if this is made known to him straight away as he will be able to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. But some women could be very tricky as they may not come out straight, thereby leaving their husbands to figure out the reason themselves.
  1. Little or No Communication
Effective communication is the engine of healthy relationship anywhere in the world. Where communication is absent or inadequate, a very fertile ground is created for rumour mongering and misunderstanding. As this continues unabated, it may start taking it tolls on the relationship between the husband and his wife. This may take the form of sex denial on the part of the wife. Most times the foundation upon which the denial is built is false; meaning that the man is just being punished for nothing. Couples should endeavour to build their relationship on effective communication. This should be a habit. Nothing should be left to chances.
  1. Punishing the Husbands
Sometimes, the wife may decide to deny her husband sex as a way of punishing him. This may be for the purpose of revenge or to register her displeasure on the way certain issues were handled or are being handled in the family. Any woman that really loves her marriage is advised to avoid this way of resolving conflict. Other options for conflict resolutions should be explored to avoid complications in the relationship. If this should continue unabated, the husband may retaliate and cracks may start showing up in the marriage.
  1. Exercising Dominance Over Husbands
In certain instances, some women feel that they cannot be dominated in their relationship. They want to have a domineering influence on their husbands. So they resort to using sex denial to launch emotional warfare against their husbands; always expecting him to come and start begging for sex. In the process of doing this terms and conditions are dictated to the husband that may eventually lead to his submission to the wife. It should be noted that this is a dangerous game because it may boomerang. If the man is aware of this motive he may choose not to bow down to such trick and this may lead to crisis.
  1. Running Through the Act/Painful Sex.
Some women do not just deny their husbands sex; the pain they go through during sexual intercourse is the factor responsible for this. This is especially when the couples are not careful enough as to make the experience a pleasurable one to both the husband and the wife. For instance, if a lady is not wet before sex the dryness of the vagina could make the intercourse very painful to the her. To avoid this ugly situation, the man (husband) is required to keep to K.I.S.S. principle – Keep It Slow and Sexy.  Use the opportunity of foreplay to get the woman wet to lubricate the vagina. This will ease the penetration without pain to the woman.
  1. Lack of Adequate Foreplay
One other reason why your wife may deny you sex is that over time you have reduced the role of foreplay in sexual intercourse. The foreplay helps to lift the spirit of the woman preparatory to having sex. The process of foreplay helps in taking woman to a level where her initial passive mood is being upgraded to active mood where she will now begin to crave for it. The attendant wetness shows that she is now prepared to enjoy sex. Some women enjoy this than the actual sex. So if your wife is such a person and she is not enjoying it from you, she may not be willing to participate in future intercourse. You need to watch out for this.
  1. Lack of Respect for the Marriage
Some women do not really have respect for the institution of marriage. They probably got themselves into it for the purpose of procreation or perhaps due to societal pressure. For instance, some female bisexuals do not really fancy having sexual intercourse with men. They are into marriage to hide their true sexual orientation or motive from the larger society. So a wife with this orientation will always find reason to deny her husband sex. But she will always be hunting for lesbian of another female bisexual to catch fun with.
  1. Poor Health Condition
This is another ground for which a woman can deny her husband. Sex requires some measures of energy and physical ability. It is excusable if a wife who is in terrible health condition tells her husband that she could not go to bed with him. For example, a wife who is just recuperating from a major illness may not have the needed strength to engage in sex. The husband has to give her sometimes to be fully recovered. The same thing applies to a woman that has just put to bed. It is even more serious if her delivery was through caesarean operation. Stroke patients may not be favourably disposed to having sex either. A woman who is infected with Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) may want to deny her husband sex until she is fully recovered from it. She will do everything to resist sex during this period. This is a very dangerous development because by basic health standard, she is expected to undergo the treatment with her husband. The list is endless.
  1. Tiredness
“Every day is not Christmas”, so says an adage. Sometimes, the wife may be too tired due to activities during the day. This may have gotten her exhausted and tired. Sex will definitely be the least thing in her mind at a period such as this. The husband should show some understanding and control his urge during the period. This is especially the case since it is not a frequent or daily excuse.
  1. Mood Swing
There is this terrible thing that is common with most women. It is called mood swing. This is an irrational and unpredictable change in the mood, especially from the state of happiness to sadness. A woman going through this swing may most likely deny her husband sex without blinking an eye.  All that is required is for the husband to give her sometimes to get over it and normalcy will return.
  1. Extra Marital Affairs
Infidelity is a very powerful and destructive factor that could be the reason behind sex denial from the wife. If the woman is seeing another man elsewhere her attention to her husband will be divided. This is even more serious if the man friend is perceived to be better in bed than her husband.  A woman in this trap will no longer understand why her husband should be worrying her with sex advances. For a woman who loves money, that may be a major hook from the man outside.
  1. When Sex Is Turned To Routine
Sex is not static; it is dynamic. If you want to leave an enduring memory in your wife that will make her beg you for sex, you have to be innovative and creative. Think of new ways of mutually enjoying your sex. Try new approaches, styles and positions beginning with foreplay. Doing the same thing over and over again could be so boring and displeasing.
  1. Not Emotionally Connected to the Husband
Where there is no emotional connection between the wife and the husband, the tendencyTO  have sex may be lacking. The couples may not be attracted to one another, let alone having sex. Any sex advance or request by the husband will always be hitting a stone wall. Where this is the case, the couples are required to identify and work on the repelling sources and remove them completely in order to restore their sex life.