Firing up your Love Life in Marriage


            This article is not about pornography, sex toys, or watching popular movies with sizzling sex scenes.  In fact, reading and applying lessons will reduce the time and money you will want to spend with those things.  I won’t be mentioning any body parts or sexual acts here, because our focus will be on the primary sex organ, the brain.  The sexual body parts will feel and behave differently only when things change up at headquarters.  This is how you kindle the fire that keeps you both warm.

            Because I work mostly with married males, I want this article to sound like a personal conversation, man-to-man.  The insights and techniques will work just as well for single people and women, yet my language here is to a husband, teaching him how to make better love to his wife. 

I am giving you a technique that should heat up your bedroom better than anything you’ve ever done.  I didn’t figure it out until I was in my early thirties, from trial-and-error learning.  It’s what I learned when my wife told me she wished I’d “man up” in how I made love to her.  I’ve come to call it pre-validated tenderness.  Ten years later psychologist Dr. David Schnarch called this approach “self-validated intimacy”, and he rightly warned this is not for rookies or the faint of heart.  I believe God designed it to grow us all up, as responsible adults, and as mature children of our heavenly Father!

            You need to know who you both are without each other.  And you need to like who you both are.  You can’t go in feeling insecure or needy and then expect your mate to fix that.  You can’t see her as an object, or as a means to the end of your pleasure.  To man up, you have to bring three things with you into the bedroom:  spiritual centeredness, mate appreciation, and self-awareness.

            1.  Spiritual centeredness.  You need to see both yourself and your wife as created by God with natural desires for emotional and sexual intimacy with each other.  See yourselves as your heavenly father sees you.  Trust God to help you forgive and accept each other completely, just as you are.  Believe that you both desire to give and receive, both to love and pleasure each other, in an embrace that is both tender and passionate.  If you need help looking past negatives to see yourselves this way, ask me for my articles entitled “Psychology 101:  Making Sense of Motivation,” and then to take it to the next level, “An Invitation to Improve our Sexual Communication.”

            2.  Mate appreciation.  When you remember past rejections from your wife, and expect her to disappoint you once again, you are de-preciating her, discounting her as someone who can’t or won’t trust herself with you, or trust you with herself.  Ask God to refresh your memory of the person you fell in love with, the spontaneously affectionate and delightfully passionate woman you believed you were marrying.  Believe that’s who she really is down inside.  Ask God to show you that deep inside, she is still that way today, that she can and wants to grow increasingly that way down the road.  See this playfully warm lover as a young woman locked away in a tower that is guarded by the foolish young people and jaded elders in our sick culture.  It is also protected by all the snarky women and selfish men who have ever hurt her, including perhaps the self you used to be.  Now you are the hero, riding up to rescue her, and take her away on a wonderful adventure.

3.  Self-awareness.  Ask God in prayer to give you this, and in your meditating response, wait for it.  It takes time for you to let God heat up your heart and your mind.  You need to come to love with your desires already stirred up, by prayerfully thinking about what the two of you might do and feel together.  You bring in your own bucket of nice warm passion.  If you come in asking your mate to make you feel OK about yourself physically and romantically, or expecting her to make you desire her, you’re leaking passion.  At least for the moment, you need to plug the holes in your self-esteem and romance buckets.

            To pour in your own desire before contact, concentrate on the full part of your passion bucket as you approach her.  Don’t focus on her bucket, hoping she will come on to you like some star in a romantic comedy or porn movie.  You are taking all the initiative here.  This means you have to carry in a good body image, feeling good about how you look as you approach her.  Eating, exercising, and evaluating your body in healthy ways beforehand is the “attitude foreplay” contributed by the mighty sex organ between your ears – it’s mind over matter.

            You are not a consuming connoisseur of beauty, passion and love, but rather, a confident carrier of these gifts.  It helps to see your body as belonging as much to your maker and to your mate as to yourself.  That faith about your body is both a gift from God, and your gift to God.

            Let’s assume now that you are feeling good about yourself, and that you are confidently carrying your desires to give affection to your mate, and to receive it back from her.  You still have one more mental preparation to make before expressing yourself.  You can’t be concerned about the outcome.  It can’t matter how far you go, or whether your mate even agrees to get started.  Regardless of whether it’s received, reciprocated, or rejected, it’s got to be rewarding enough for you just to express yourself, and offer your gift of “I’m full of good stuff and so are you.”  You’re determined to feel better about yourself and your mate after this, no matter what.  You’ve suited up and showed up, and even if your offer isn’t reciprocated, you’ve built up your self-esteem, and shined up your outlook.

            So it’s win-win.  Even if your honey doesn’t love herself enough to receive and return your gift, you hold your head high.  These may not be your actual words, but your attitude needs to be:  “Hey, check me out.  I’m wanting to give you some sweet lovin’, right now, or later on, whatever.  How about it?”  Worst case rejection scenario is you walk away with a smile, and this attitude:  “I’m sorry you feel that way.  It’s your loss, Baby, because I’m enjoying my desires.  I’m still loving us both, so I’m good.  Don’t worry, I’ll be back before too long, and I’ll give you another chance.”

            Are you wanting to give this article to your wife?  Defeats the purpose.  Cut it out, put it away, and wait until she asks, “What’s got into you?  I like it!”  Then you can show her how and why you did it.  You are already better off.  The spirit of romantic adventure is back.  You’re bringing it!

Dr. Paul Schmidt is a psychologist life coach you can reach at [email protected], 502 633 2860.

Dr. Paul Schmidt is a psychologist life coach you can reach at [email protected], (502) 633-2860.


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Dr. Paul F. Schmidt