Don’t Lose That Loving Feeling

♥ You Need It To Divorce-Proof and Affair-Proof Your Marriage ♥

Love is more than a feelingIt is a commitment to do what is best for the beloved.


But in order to keep your marriage alive and well, you need to fall in love and stay in love with your mate.  And there are some things you can do to accomplish this.  We think of “falling in love” as an uncontrollable, mysterious feeling that just happens.  We almost think of ourselves as victims of love.  Some believe that it comes and goes of its own accord, and once it’s gone, it can’t be regained.

But think of the song, “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” by Hall and Oates. It’s actually right on about what happens in marriages and what a wife can do to save the marriage or the husband if HE’S the one who has lost that loving feeling. You really can bring back that loving feeling.

I have been reading several books about marriage, and I have noticed a common theme. We need to work on maintaining that loving feeling in our marriages no matter how long we’ve been together. The books I’m reading are Love Life for Every Married Couple by Dr. Ed Wheat and His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F. Harley, Jr.

Dr. Wheat lists these truths about true love:

Real love is not mysterious or irrational.
Real love is not a simple, easy, doing what comes naturally.
Real love is not an uncontrollable feeling.
Real love is not produced by trying to attract it.

I can understand what love is through the Word of God.
I can learn the art of loving.
I can choose to love.
I can produce love by giving it first and giving it wisely.

Love recognizes a unique value in the beloved.
Love chooses to affirm the value of the beloved always.
Love consistently does the best for the beloved.

Love is an active power to be controlled by the will.
Love is always a choice backed up by action.
Love is costly even when the giving is pure joy.

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Dr. Harley uses the analogy of a Love Bank. We each have a Love Bank that people put deposits in and take withdrawals out of by the way they treat us or make us feel. The more deposits you put into your spouse’s Love Bank, the bigger the balance in your account. When you do things that make them feel unloved or unappreciated, your balance goes down.

Basically, Dr. Harley says that we need to meet each others’ needs. He has taken surveys of many of the couples he has counseled over a period of 15 years, and has asked the question: “What could your spouse do for you that would make you the happiest?” He classified most of their responses into ten emotional needs- admiration, affection, conversation, domestic support, family commitment, financial support, honesty and openness, physical attractiveness, recreational companionship, and sexual fulfillment. The thing that complicates the process of each meeting the others’ needs is that the most important needs of women are the opposite of the most important needs of men! If we try to meet the needs we consider most important, we are meeting the least important needs of our spouse. What a predicament!

The first need he lists for women is affection. The first need for men is sex, of course. He says that you can’t have one without the other. A woman usually needs to feel a oneness with her husband before she has sex with him. A couple achieves this feeling through exchange of affection and undivided attention. Affection is the environment that will cause sexual desire to thrive.

He presents the Golden Rule of Marriage:

Meet your spouse’s needs as you would want your spouse to meet yours.

Dr. Harley explains that a person feels warm, loving feelings toward someone who meets his needs. When he associates these feelings with a certain person, he feels “in love” with that person and feels like he needs that person in his life.

The next need for women is conversation – a hard one for many men to fulfill. He says that couples need to spend lots of time together to achieve this. Women need their husband’s undivided attention during conversation. As they do things together, they have more to talk about. If they do things separately, they will grow apart. If they do things together, they will grow together. You need to find things that you both enjoy doing, and do those things instead of the things that only one enjoys.

The next need for men is recreational companionship. I was surprised at this. This is something we definitely need to work on. He only likes to play video games as recreation. I hate video games. We have a problem here. We will be discussing this in the future.

There is an inventory in the appendix to help you find recreational interests that you have in common. My husband and I need to go through this together. If we are going to spend 15 hours a week together, we need to find some things we can do together that we both enjoy. And they have to be things that allow for conversation!

It appears that although men and women have different needs, some of these needs work in tandem. When a woman’s need for affection is met, she will be more willing to meet a man’s need for sex. When a man’s need for recreational companionship is met, there are more opportunities for the conversation that a woman craves.

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This is what I have discovered so far. The main point is that we can do things every day that will help maintain a warm, close, loving relationship with our spouse and will keep that feeling of being “in love” alive. We cannot take each other for granted. We must work together to build a marriage, not just do whatever comes naturally and assume that our spouse has to take whatever we give them. We need to study each other and find out what their needs are. Then we need to love them enough to endeavor to meet their needs. The answer to marriage problems is to :   FALL IN LOVE! ♥

Quick Break for a Homeschool Update

I want to use this blog to keep track of what we do in homeschooling, so here’s what we’ve been doing lately.

    I read Sam Houston by Jean Lee Latham last week, thinking that we would be moving to Houston. It was good to learn about another great American even though we didn’t get the job in Houston. We won’t hold that against Sam Houston.

    I’m reading the second book of the Wilderking Trilogy, The Secret of the Swamp King. We really get a kick out of the antics of Aidan and the Feechiefolk. I love reading this book aloud to the kids. This is one accent I can do without effort. Southern twang.

    Morgan is reading all of The Box Car Children books. He is telling me what he reads. He says he’s even learning some history like Captain Cook discovering vitamin C and its healthful benefits, especially protection from scurvy. He has read four books so far, and is now starting from the beginning of the series.

    Kelsey has read several books lately: My Evil Twin; Junie B. Jones– lots of titles; McBroom’s Wonderful One-Acre Farm -Three Tall Tales; Trumpet of the Swan; Living In a World of White; A Little Princess with Daddy.

    I’m reading aloud to the oldest six:

    The Great Little Madison by Jean Fritz
    The Laird’s Inheritance by George McDonald
    I just started The Chestry Oak by Kate Seredy, recommended by Edith Schaeffer. It looks like it will be a good one. It reminds me of At the Back of the North Wind.

    There are so many other books I want to read to them.  I’m thankful for the time and opportunity to read with them.  What a bonding experience it is.

    Copy work for Kelsey and Morgan about the first six Presidents.

    Math – the older kids have been using YourTeacher.com for free this summer, and it’s actually working pretty well.

Surprisingly Good Picture Book Find

I checked out some books from the library to read to my youngers so they could finish the summer reading program, and I picked out old familiar ones that I knew they would enjoy and I would, too.  I got several Eric Carle books.  We always like those.  I hadn’t read them to my little ones yet, so I knew it would be fresh for them.  I read Eric Carle’s The Very Busy Spider and The Very Lonely Firefly to them.  They enjoyed them, and I enjoyed their interest and excitement, so we were having a very nice reading time together.  Even Emma and Abby were listening pretty well.

Then I started reading My Chincoteague Pony by Susan Jeffers.  I have seen her name before, and it sounded familiar, so I assumed that she was a good picture book writer.  I read the note from the author to myself, then I read the letter she received from Marguerite Henry, who wrote the original Chincoteague pony books,  Misty and Stormy, etc.  As I read these introductory notes, I began to realize that this was more than a cutesy little story about a pony.  I just glanced at the synopsis and noticed that the story was about a little girl wanting to buy a pony really bad but not having enough money.  Then people around her started giving her money.  That was enough to make me anxious to read the story.  I didn’t want to spoil it by reading any more of the introductory note.  I dove into the story with excitement to see what would happen.   The pictures were warm and homey-feeling.  Her ponies were cute and cuddly-looking.  But the story itself was heart-warming.  The girl in the story wanted to buy a pony at the auction on Chincoteague Island in July, so she did all kinds of jobs to earn money throughout the year.  When she got to the auction, she kept bidding, but the price always went too high.  Then a woman next to her told her not to give up and handed her some money.  The girl’s mother started to object, then a little boy handed her some money, too.  Several people did.  She realized that she might have enough for the next pony, but they were all taken already.  Then one pony was returned.  The auctioneer looked straight at her, she raised her hand, and she got the pony she had wanted all along.  It was so well-told that it made me cry.

I won’t tell you the next part, so that you’ll have something to look forward to.  It’s really wonderful, too.  I love stories about people helping others.

I sure didn’t expect a picture book about a pony to make me cry!  One of the older kids (they all listen when I read) asked if that was a true story.  I told her that it was.  We all had a nice, warm feeling inside after hearing that story.  I was so happy to have accidentally discovered such a sweet, caring story among all of the picture books in the library.

Here’s where you can get it:

I plan to check out more of Susan Jeffers’ books now.  I’ll let you know what I find.

Expectations: Are Yours Too High?

Setting Reasonable Expectations Makes Homeschooling Sustainable

I was talking to my friend about her experiences with her oldest son.  He’s 5 years old, and she is homeschooling for the first time.  Actually, she has been teaching him a lot from the very beginning.  For her son, that meant he learned his letters when he was 2 years old!  Can you believe it?  I could hardly believe it when she was telling me at the time.  Everything has been easy for him except handwriting.  His memory is practically photographic.  He can memorize scripture so easily that she never has a problem with him wanting to do it.  But she has a daughter, too.  Her daughter is 3 now and still doesn’t know her letters (gasp!).  Her memory is not as good as her brother’s and things don’t come as quickly for her.  But she is very bright and intelligent.  My friend knows that she will have to always keep in mind that her son is advanced and gifted and her daughter is more “normal”, or she will expect too much from her daughter and be frustrated with her.  She sees me as a more experienced mom, so I knew she valued my opinion, and I told her she was exactly right.  She used the words, “If I don’t keep that in mind, I might be too hard on her.”  I told her not to be hard on anybody.

I have been reading what people are saying in some online homeschool groups about teaching math.  One lady in particular said that after seeking lots of advice and looking at different curriculum and soul-searching, she came to the conclusion that her daughter’s diagnosis was “urmamaisnuts”! (Can you figure out what that says?)  She said that since she found out that other children have similar problems and that some people really do have a hard time learning the math facts, she realized her daughter wasn’t just being lazy.  Now that she has stopped stressing about it so much, their school days have been much more pleasant.

I feel so strongly about keeping our expectations reasonable because I have experienced the pain and frustration of having expectations that are too high.  When I expect too much from myself, I get frustrated and quit.  When I expect too much from my children, I get angry and start yelling.  When I expect too much from my husband, I start thinking terrible thoughts about him, and my attitude and behavior toward him are not godly.  Whenever someone tells me that they’re frustrated and feel like they’re failing at homeschooling, I almost always see where their expectations are too high.  I tell them to relax and set more realistic goals for themselves and for their children.  Many people have thanked me for that advice and have been able to continue homeschooling because they eased up and lowered their expectations, and life became more pleasant for the whole family.  I truly believe that many people who give up on homeschooling never made these adjustments and if they had, they might have had a completely different experience.  When the Lord tells us to do something and it makes us miserable, then we must be doing something wrong.  We need to seek Him and find out what His expectations are.

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The translation of the daughter’s diagnosis is:  Your mama is nuts!

Somebody’s Been Reading John Taylor Gatto!

Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Schooling in Graduation Speech

Here is an excerpt of what she said in her speech:

This is the dilemma I’ve faced within the American education system. We are so focused on a goal, whether it be passing a test, or graduating as first in the class. However, in this way, we do not really learn. We do whatever it takes to achieve our original objective.

Some of you may be thinking, “Well, if you pass a test, or become valedictorian, didn’t you learn something? Well, yes, you learned something, but not all that you could have. Perhaps, you only learned how to memorize names, places, and dates to later on forget in order to clear your mind for the next test. School is not all that it can be. Right now, it is a place for most people to determine that their goal is to get out as soon as possible.

I am now accomplishing that goal. I am graduating. I should look at this as a positive experience, especially being at the top of my class. However, in retrospect, I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system. Yet, here I stand, and I am supposed to be proud that I have completed this period of indoctrination. I will leave in the fall to go on to the next phase expected of me, in order to receive a paper document that certifies that I am capable of work. But I contest that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer – not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition – a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. I did what I was told to the extreme. While others sat in class and doodled to later become great artists, I sat in class to take notes and become a great test-taker. While others would come to class without their homework done because they were reading about an interest of theirs, I never missed an assignment. While others were creating music and writing lyrics, I decided to do extra credit, even though I never needed it. So, I wonder, why did I even want this position? Sure, I earned it, but what will come of it? When I leave educational institutionalism, will I be successful or forever lost? I have no clue about what I want to do with my life; I have no interests because I saw every subject of study as work, and I excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning. And quite frankly, now I’m scared.

John Taylor Gatto, a retired school teacher and activist critical of compulsory schooling, asserts, “We could encourage the best qualities of youthfulness – curiosity, adventure, resilience, the capacity for surprising insight simply by being more flexible about time, texts, and tests, by introducing kids into truly competent adults, and by giving each student what autonomy he or she needs in order to take a risk every now and then. But we don’t do that.” Between these cinderblock walls, we are all expected to be the same. We are trained to ace every standardized test, and those who deviate and see light through a different lens are worthless to the scheme of public education, and therefore viewed with contempt.

H. L. Mencken wrote in The American Mercury for April 1924 that the aim of public education is not “to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. … Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim … is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States.”

To see the original article, go here.

Here is the video of her speech:

I believe what she says about our education system is true. I was a valedictorian, too. I appreciate the teachers who tried to pass on knowledge to me and did their best within a flawed system to prepare me for my future.

But I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to do something completely different with my own children. Through homeschooling, my children have been allowed to explore their interests, learn at their own pace, and have time to ruminate on what they’ve learned.

There isn’t any known way to bulk- educate; it’s all custom work.~John Taylor Gatto

They are prepared to do what God made them to do, not just to be worker bees in the hive. The best schools in America still pray. But they also listen to what He says and obey!