Posts tagged ‘Schnarch’

October 7, 2008

Please suggest some books on living well….

by Rod Smith

My family has constant struggles and I am always trying to define myself and things seem better for a while and then I slip back into old patterns. Are there books you’d suggest everyone read to get a handle on living well?

Regarding your observations within your family – my experience is exactly like yours. I too slip back into former patterns. Then, once I notice it is occurring, I re-group, and try again! Such is the nature of growth and change. Embrace it.

What to read? I’d suggest Harriet Lerner’s books for men and women, even though the books are specifically written for women. I call the books the “Dance” series for each book has the word “dance” in the title. For the more committed student of families and family process I’d highly recommend Rabbi Friedman’s Generation to Generation. Then, for persons challenged by the often-messy dynamics of intimate relationships, I’d suggest either The Sexual Crucible or Passionate Marriage, both are by David Schnarch. Perhaps the most challenging book I have read in the past few years, and it is particularly geared to leaders, is Rabbi Friedman’s Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of a Quick Fix.

December 5, 2007

Stay out of control…

by Rod Smith

“I want to save my marriage. Our situation has risen to a new level with issues of jealously and trust. He takes my car keys, he checks up on me, I no longer have friends around, and am no longer allowed ‘ladies nights.’ My brother is not allowed to visit. My husband doesn’t want children. He picks on me constantly. He complains that I don’t give him enough sex. He checks on my cash slips so I don’t spend too much money. I have the urge to run and run. I was independent and a professional artist but he took it away. I am constantly walking on eggshells not to upset him. He turns things around so I look bad. Please help. (Minimal edits for space)

Dance on the eggshells, invite your brother, and make a spare set of car keys, invite friends to visit, go out as often as you want. Initiate sex only when YOU want sex. Take back your power or this will never be a marriage. Control is never love so stay out of it. Get your life back: you are a wife, not a prisoner. His jealousy is HIS issue. Don’t make it yours. Until you focus on your behavior and not on his, this marriage will not improve.

December 1, 2007

Christians and sex…

by Rod Smith

Christians ought to be the most free, most fun loving, joyful people of all, and, when married, ought to be having the very best “wall-socket” (a David Schnarch term) sex on the planet.

Surely, knowing a creative God, being engaged in a dynamic relationship with the very Giver of life, the very source of joy – ought to translate every Christian marriage into a powerhouse of sexual joy and fulfillment?

It seems to me that “sexless” and “Christian marriage” – apart from very unusual circumstances, ought to be next to impossible to find – and an oxymoron if there was ever one. While, as a therapist I know this is not the case (for sexuality has become so very soiled for so very many people) it is not unreasonable to expect that people who claim to know and serve the Living God ought to enjoy and know the best sex and most powerful relationships God and life can offer.

Since equal, mutual, and respectful sex between a husband and wife is one physical representation of the love of God, sex between married Christians is in itself one of many acts of worship – at least with as much importance as reading the Bible or attending church, feeding the poor, or having a “Quiet Time.” Good, mutual, and respectful sex is one way to get closer to God and improve the spiritual dynamic of everyday living.

October 25, 2007

I want to get to the bottom of how she feels…

by Rod Smith

“My wife spends a lot of time at home because of family commitments and I understand that she needs to circulate with other people. When she does go out she seems to go over the top and stays out late. She doesn’t want to talk to, stating that she knows everything about me. When she spends a lot of time with other men, I tend to get jealous. I have been married before and I am scared that my wife will leave me for another man which is what happened in my previous marriage. She says she loves me but I don’t know whether of not to believe her. I am really fighting with my self internally to give her the space she requires and to not stifle her. Is there some things I might read, or things I should do to try and releive my fear, or try and get to the bottom of how she feels.”

Getting to the bottom of how you feel is sufficiently difficult, let alone trying to get to the bottom of how she feels. Leave her feelings alone. Read David Schnarch’s Passionate Marriage. The book will help you see where you end and she begins – that is what is at the core of your troubles.