September 2, 2017 Office Hour Recording

Relationships Topics

This is the full recording of the entire session from the September 2 office hour for themes related to the course content of Strengthening your Relationship and How to Talk to your Kids about Sex.

If you wish to listen to the September 2 Relationship Office Hour from start to finish, play the above recording.

For listeners who prefer to browse -- to read the questions and selectively listen to their responses -- or who have difficulty streaming large audio files, the individual questions in the above recording have also been extracted into separate segments below for easier browsing.

Note that there is no question in the above full recording that is not also found below, and vice versa. They are recordings of the same office hour.

Question #1

  1. Recommendations for what to tell my barely-turned 8 year old when he asks what the middle finger or F-word is, which he heard at school? We have not yet given him "the talk" (soon!). I've tried to explain that people use the F-word to express extreme hate or a desire to hurt someone, but he's not satisfied. I'm not sure whether he's heard more or just senses that it's not as straightforward as that.
  2. With my young kids, I'm trying to find the right balance between letting them enjoy their bodies without shame but also trying to teach them when and why certain behaviors are not appropriate.... I'm trying to reframe my own thinking around exploring one's own body and enjoying it and finding pleasure in it, even as little children, that this is good and part of God's plan, so it's hard for me to articulate to them the "why" behind when and where certain things are appropriate.

Question #2

As individuals, you're asking us to analyze our own limitations and try to be honest and courageously open up with ourselves to find out what is needing improvement in ourselves rather than focusing on our spouse. What if our spouse fails to recognize their limitations, won't believe it when someone else tries to help them see their limitations, or really can't see their limitations and then has a serious impediment to their progression as a couple because of this? As you say, we tend to want to think of we are always right and our spouse is wrong. But what if we need a third party (counselor) to step in and point out the areas of improvement since they can't see it and won't believe us? What if, for whatever reason, there is no counselor available and you feel stuck?

Question #3

What advice or encouragement can you give for a relationship where one person is actively trying to apply the "relational skills" and the other person still has a death grip on all their favorite "loosing strategies"?  Attempts at problem solving typically turn into a heated discussion about the approach that was used in trying to communicate rather than solving the actual problem (you didn't use the right words, or you're asking too many questions, or this is not a good time for me, or you are always so critical I feel like I never do anything right).  Their personal feelings, discomfort, defensiveness, etc completely hijack the conversation. The need or want that was the original purpose for the discussion gets completely sidelined.  Ultimately it ends up being a frustrating and negative experience for both parties, and it feels like it's all for nothing because it doesn't come close to a solution or even a resolve to do something different. What good does it do to self confront and identify what I need or want, then have the courage to ask for it if it will likely be interpreted as a personal attack? How is our family or relationship ever going to experience any growth or change?  What can I do to make the process more productive and less frustrating?

Question #4

A listener asks for clarification of the advice about the F-word.

Question #5

Lately when we discuss/argue about things it seems like we go from calm to extremely contentious very quickly. I feel like I can literally walk into a room say one insensitive sentence and the next thing I know I’m leaving in my car and she is saying she doesn’t think our marriage is going to make it. I feel like this is a new thing for us and would like to know if you have any advice on how we can discuss intimate things calmly with love and a lighthearted attitude?

Question #6

I'm trying to look at reactivity a little more deeply. My situation is at work rather than in the family.  If I'm trying not to be reactive, I still feel like there's so much just bubbling below the service, like I'm trying to control it, but I'm not actually calm.  Is there a way to get to the calm before talking about things?

Question #7

In a marital relationship, what is the difference between managing your spouse and choosing your spouse?

Question #8

I have three teenage boys, two living at home. It is hard for me to engage in sex with my husband [because the boys are up late].