In the last couple of weeks, we’ve received a few anonymous questions, and as I mentioned on our weekly update to the newsletter (subscribe here if you haven’t already), I’ll be answering them here for those who want to read and comment below.
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On to the questions.
Question 1 – Adult Nursing Relationships
I was wondering if you would touch base on an ANR (Adult Nursing Relationship) between a married couple – husband and wife. This doesn’t seem to be as taboo as people think or as once was. Husband and I read an article that a married couple (once their children were teenagers or grown) seems to drift apart. They had read how this act done daily would draw them closer together in an almost indescribable way. So my husband and I have discussed starting this together and partaking in it 2x a day – first thing in the morning when we wake before getting out of bed & at night when we go to bed as the last thing we do before closing our eyes. So it’s an everyday thing for about 10-15 minutes per side. Some couple state they do it “dry nursing” & some couples say that their wife actually starting lactating and that it made it even more of a bond & enjoyable because the wife was providing the husband with something everyday that no one else did. So we are torn. Would this act still be considered taboo and would it be considered a sin. We have talked with other Christians and we get some saying yes and some saying things like – the bible does mention the man being at the breast. Share your thoughts. Thanks.
This question has come up before, and I wrote a post on Adult Nursing Relationships to answer some of the questions I was getting. I’m afraid I don’t have much to add to it. My wife and I tried it as an experiment, but we didn’t experience the results you mentioned. Doesn’t mean you won’t, I’m just saying not everyone has the same outcome.
Question 2 – How do you re-establish intimacy after repeated hurt?
How do you re-establish intimacy after repeated hurt? I brought an unresolved pornography addiction into my marriage and as soon as my wife began suffering from unexplained depression and panic attacks our sex life dried up and I turned back to my old coping skills. I felt that this was wrong so I started secretly taking pictures of my wife, thinking that it wasn’t “stepping outside of my marriage”. These were discovered and I was confronted, and then discovered again after my backups were found. This was also the time that I wasn’t made to leave the house but I moved onto the couch and haven’t been back in the bedroom since. With all of these gone, after a long period after our first child was born and postpartum depression hit like a ton of bricks and I started working overtime to support the family, I found a blog run by someone who sold custom pornographic pictures, I don’t know how to justified it but I did, and the emails making requests for these pictures was found out. This almost broke us apart but we were able to reconcile. I attended counseling for some time and we were in a good place for awhile. When she became pregnant again, things were great, I had a new job we had a new house and we were more physically and emotionally close than ever. This ended in a miscarriage which almost destroyed us both. Not much later she became pregnant with our 3rd child, and this one she carried to term, but barely. Hyperemesis Gravidarum took everything out of her for 9 months and then postpartum depression returned after the delivery. All told, we made love about 3 times in an 18 month period. During this time I was working 7 days a week and found ways that I could get around filters and safeguards while I slept alone and when I couldn’t find any images or videos, I turned to alcohol. This was finally discovered again right after our youngest’s first Birthday and she told me we were separated. Since that time I’ve gone to counseling, started recovery and accountability, and we have renewed our vows, however I found myself paranoid after finding out about her choice of reading which is very graphic “romance” novels. Any time I confronted her about it, she would get angry at me and say that she didn’t read “those parts” and that I was trying to take away her privileges like a child. I also became suspicious that she was using her vibrator regularly while we weren’t having sex more than once every 4-6 weeks. She caught me snooping around her kindle account and her “personal” drawer and now says she’s so hurt that she can’t be intimate with me…
I love what you’ve put up here about communication and strategies for fostering emotional and physical intimacy however when I try to talk about it, I’m told that “all you think about is sex” and that I’m trying to start a fight. I am currently the only one working, I do about 80% of the housework and try to not go more than 2 days without giving her at least an hour or two to herself to read or take a nap or go out. I tell her I love her and that she’s beautiful every day, but I feel like nothing makes a difference. I’m still sleeping on the couch or in the guest room and I’m wondering if it would just be easier to try to just shut down my physical and romantic desire and just focus on being a good Dad and provider? Is it too late? Am I doing too little? If you do answer this publicly, please feel free to edit for clarity and length. Thank you for this site and what you are doing. God bless you.
There’s a lot of stuff going on here. I’m not sure I have much of an answer. To be honest, I think you both need to sit down and decide what it is you are doing. You either need a lot of counseling, likely together and separately, or you need to try and restart your marriage. Not many people can manage to do that one on their own.
The basic premise is that you both decide that from this day forward, we’re going to leave the past in the past and treat it like a new marriage. That means leaving all the guilt, shame, and accusations in the past. Bringing them up in an argument, or holding them against yourself or your spouse is not fair game. You start fresh.
It also means understanding that you are starting trust levels over fresh again, which in your case is a good thing, since you both have broken trust with the other, multiple times it seems.
But, doing this doesn’t mean just rewinding and having a go at it again. It also takes acknowledging that you need skills that you didn’t have the first time around. Communication skills being the most important in this case.
Because, honestly, I don’t think it matters what you say or do at this point unless she’s actually interested in staying married. For myself, I’d probably stop sleeping on the couch or in the guest room. Starting tonight, I’d get ready for bed, and get into bed with her. If my wife asked what I was doing, I would say “As far as I’m concerned, we’re married and this is our bed. If you want to leave, you can, but I’m not giving up on this marriage.”
That way the ball is in her court. It sends a clear message that you still want to be married and aren’t giving up. Just a warning though: it also forces the issue, which she may take as an opportunity to file for divorce if she’s not interested in staying married.
Honestly, the only thing I can really recommend is that you talk to her about what her intentions are with the marriage. If she wants to stay in it, then get help, together. If not, well, then there’s not much hope. You can’t force someone to stay married. I’m not saying it’s right if she leaves, but it is legally her right to leave.
Question 3 – How can you be encouraging and loving to a spouse who, you believe, is making wrong choices?
Your advice has helped in the past [Thank you!] and so I am hoping that it will again.
My wife has been very physically fit her entire life. Basketball and Track were her life – she even competed at a nationally recognized college. Health and fitness have always been a big deal. Months after all three kids, most people didn’t believe she had been pregnant because she shed the weight so quickly. As a husband, I enjoyed the perks of a physically fit wife. I would never call myself a “Butt guy”, however, my wife’s backside has been darn near perfect for me since the day I met her. For most of our time together she has preferred multi-inch high heels and shorter skirts; I can not say how much joy and pleasure this has brought me.
At the beginning of the school year [~9-10 months ago] she was introduced to a new group of “school moms”. At first I was really excited that she had found friends that seemed to be very solid Christian mothers with kids of similar ages who all claim to enjoy “healthy living lifestyles”. The group seems to be very much into phrases like “God loves you as you are”, “We should seek God’s approval, not human approval”, “Women shouldn’t adorn themselves outwardly but should adorn themselves inwardly with God’s righteousness”, and “The fruit and light of the Spirit should be the only thing others see.”
On the surface, these are great Bibically based principles and it is really hard to deny the fact that she is FAR more versed in scripture than she ever has in the past. However, it has had an interesting side effect. One that, I can’t even argue without being lambasted for denying scripture!
Let me explain the side effect.
- I honestly do not think she has stepped inside of the gym or gone on a run since November. “Exercise isn’t important when you eat right!” explanation.
- She made a “special exception” once in December to wear heels, but she has preferred tennis shoes since October.
- Skirts shorter than mid-calf are now “too worldly” but that doesn’t matter because it has been months since she’s shaved her legs.
- Her primary clothing style seems to be a cross-mix between 90’s grunge and homeless. The rattier, more frayed, and torn the better – it seems to me anyway.
- She’s practically given up on smelling nice. It’s often hard to be in confined spaces with her. I think partly because of the near vegetarian diet mixed with the all natural “soaps”.
It’s gotten so bad that the rambunctious, high energy, and always doing something wild and crazy five year old often looks more presentable and smells nicer than she does.
I’ve tried bringing this up to her. We always end up in a fight. She says that I should only love her because she is a child of God and not for her looks. She claims that she doesn’t feel like I love her at all unless she is dressed a certain way and looks a certain way. Inevitably there will be a comment about how my heart is too worldly and how she refuses to live the world’s standards anymore.
I won’t lie or try to convince you otherwise. Yes, I miss my wife’s legs and I really miss her curvaceous backside. But overall, I don’t care that she’s put on a few pounds or doesn’t look the same at 37 as when I met her at 24. Nor am I going to leave her because her looks have changed. And yes, there is a part of me that gets so frustrated that I just want to yell “Here’s a brush, comb your hair! Here’s deodorant, put some on! And for the love, please put on clothes that don’t make me look like I’m mistreating you!”
During one of our fights, she called me out for not complimenting her anymore. I responded that it would be a lie to say she looks good or smells nice [I admit fault on that one]. To her, that proved her point that I was unable to complement her “about anything that is actually important” and that I should be more focused on her character. I agreed character is more important and pointed out that I had actually just complimented her on being a mother earlier that day as well as complimenting her scripture memorization abilities the day before to friends in her presence. Those were genuine compliments but they weren’t the ones that she wanted but I feel would be enabling what I believe are bad choices.
Due to some administration issues at the school at the beginning of the year, the group has pretty much scattered to other schools. She still keeps in loose contact with them over Facebook (a whole different issue about how much influence Facebook has over her) but it is no longer a daily thing. I was hopeful that with the group disbanding that things would go back at least partially, but that has not happened nor does it appear likely.
It would be easy to focus on her issues, but that isn’t what I would like your advice on. Rather my own.
I seem to have completely lost the ability to praise and encourage my wife. It seems that unless I am encouraging the exact behaviors that I loath, everything else she shoots down as me attempting to be manipulative to get her back to where she thinks that I think she should be. In the Venn Diagram of “Things she wants me to compliment her on” and “Truthful compliments from me” the middle set is a shrinking minority.
Now for my exact question, which I hope will be general enough for others as well.
When a spouse appears to be making choices contrary to your beliefs and you find it extremely difficult to support them in those choices, how can you be encouraging and loving without being an enabler in the choices you feel are wrong [not as in wrong-evil but wrong-unwise/unhealthy/bad direction]?
Well, firstly, I want to correct the idea that people who eat vegetarian smell worse than people who don’t. They should smell better unless she’s doing it in an unhealthy way. If she’s not showering, that’s another issue , but it’s not because of her vegetarian diet.
Now, I don’t think it’s right she stopped exercising, and I think some of the things she’s being taught are a bit off. Some good principles mixed with bad, unfortunately. However, there isn’t much you can do at this point. She doesn’t want to hear it. She may be willing to later, or not. However, if you abandon her now (emotionally, physically or legally), I can almost guarantee that if she does snap out of it one day, you won’t see the benefits of it.
So, I would say, find a way to love your wife as she is. Her friends are right on that part, God loves us as we are. Now, that doesn’t mean we should give up on trying to be better, on caring for our bodies that we’re stewards of. That would be taking God’s love for granted. Rather, we should seek to thank Him and show respect by being good stewards of our bodies. But, even if we don’t, He will still love us. So, take from His example. Love her regardless.
Now, if she asks why you aren’t as interested in her lately, I think you can be honest and let her know that her smell is a difficult obstacle to overcome, and that you find it difficult to see her neglecting her health. But, that’s not an excuse not to show her love.
In short, love her, and be authentic in that love. It’s a hard line to walk, but often that’s all we can do. When she’s open to talking about it, then you can do so in a loving manner. Also, show her by example what it is to be a good steward of the body God has given you. That’s often the best way we can preach to others. Ultimately, everything we do should be to glorify God and should work to further God’s kingdom. Perhaps one day she’ll see that it’s hard to evangelize if people don’t want to get close to you. In the meantime, do your own good work in that area, and hopefully she’ll join you when she’s ready.
Question 4 – Is it alright for a husband to ingest his own semen?
Is it alright for a husband to drink and share his semen with his wife? Is it okay for a husband to ejaculate on his wife and drink it off of her ? What about snowballing?
I’ve answered a similar question in the past here: Can you have oral sex after intercourse? But let me tackle this specific one. I can find nothing in the Bible that morally opposes this practice. Neither can I see a medical reason why you can’t or shouldn’t. That generally covers all the bases for whether it’s okay.
Now, some get a bit homophobic about practices like these, but in the end, homosexuality is about the gender of the person you are with, not the activities you engage in.
I’m not sure what else to say about the topic. I hope that’s enough.
That’s it for today. If you want to share your thoughts on any of these, please do so in the comments section below. Also, if you have a question you’d like answered, check out our anonymous Have a Question page and we’ll try to get it answered for you in the next week or two. Otherwise, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I generally respond much quicker than that.