On your wedding day, each of you carried a special book up the aisle . . . and then back down the aisle after you were pronounced husband and wife. You didn’t start a new book together. No, your individual books are still with you everywhere you go, and they govern everything you do.

Your book is called My Sexual Rulebook, and it’s unique to you. It rules your marriage, including every aspect of your sexual communication. That book is what makes you comfortable or uncomfortable with certain sexual acts and decides how you’ll interact with your spouse. It was developed as you were growing up, based on experiences you had in your family of origin, with peers, and while dating, as well as anything that happened to you in the relational realm, especially in the way the opposite gender treated you.

Problem is, most couples have no idea they are carrying that book around or how it affects each of them. It is time to uncover what your book says about your expectations of yourself, the opposite sex, and your relationship.

How Your Parents Treated You

The kind of relationship you had with your parents has everything to do with how you expect to be treated by your spouse. Which of the following do you most closely identify with?

The princess/prince syndrome. Did everything revolve around you as you grew us? Did you get what you wanted when you wanted it? If so, you’ll naturally assume that the same techniques will work in your marriage—crying, faking illnesses, throwing tantrums, or giving the silent treatment.

The unnoticed one. Did you grow up in a home where you could have been missing from the dinner table and no one would have noticed?

The Inferior/Criticized One

Did you grow up thinking you could never be pleased your mother or father? When you did something wrong, no one needed to clobber you on the head because you did a good enough job of eating yourself. Now you bend over backward trying to please your spouse. Or you may have gone the other direction, saying rebelliously, “Who cares? I’ll never be good enough for them, so why should I try?” Because of your insecurity, you’re critical and controlling in your marriage. Often people who grow up with critical parents end up becoming flaw pickers themselves.
The rock-strewn path. Some of you experienced a tumultuous relationship with one or both parents, or you may not have been raised with parents. Instead, the adults in your life were distant emotionally or physically or were verbally or physically abusive. You may have tried to be perfect to please that adult . . . and still failed. Likely, you exited your home with a lot of frustration toward family relationships in general.

The Way Your Parents Interacted with Each Other

The patterns you’ve set in your marriage have a lot to do with the way your parents interacted with each other. Did they treat each other with respect and listen to each other’s ideas? Was there a healthy exchange on issues both larger and small? Or did one run the home while the other was expected to go with those decisions? How they interacted as male and female helped develop your own perspective about how opposite genders would treat each other. You are living proof of their influence because the rulebook you carried into marriage had everything to do with your parents. If theirs was a negative influence, it is time to pull back the sheets and kick them out of your bed. No one can change the past, but you can make a decision now to think and act differently in your own marriage.

It’s time to pull back the sheets and kick your parents out of your bed.

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How Your Parents Treated the Topic of Sex

Did your parents show positive physical affection—hugs and kisses—in front of you? Or were they stiff and perfunctory? How your parents related became ingrained in you as the way a man and woman should relate. If you grew up in a home where sex was regarded as dirty or distasteful, or not talked about at all, you would understandably be uncomfortable with the topic. After all, every time you engage in sex with your spouse, your parents’ words or disapproving stares flash into your mind. But portraying sex as disgusting and something you do only to procreate is so far from the truth. It’s the most amazing connection a committed couple can share.

If you grew up with Queen Victoria reigning in your home, it is time to cut your mama’s apron strings and step away from your father’s dour expression when the word sex is even mentioned. You know they did have sex, right? After all, you’re living proof they had it at least once.

Who cares what your mother would think anyway? It’s your spouse who desires you, so why shouldn’t you go for it?

And believe me, Momma isn’t the only one who needs to be shooed out of your sex life. So many men and women, especially those from conservative backgrounds, settled for less than what they can have because they’re so worried about what’s “okay” to do in sex and what’s not. One woman told me with great disgust after one of my seminars, “There’s no way I’m ever going to be on top. That’s not right. That’s the man’s role.”

Don’t settle for “less than.” Go for the wow factor. If you’re committed in marriage to each other, and you both agree on what you want to do together, the sky is the limit!

Your sex life is not up for discussion by anyone except the two of you. It’s certainly not to be shared with girlfriends over coffee. In fact, ladies, probably the biggest turnoff for men is if you talk about your sex life with your girlfriends. There’s a reason a man doesn’t like to share with others about his marital intimacy or what does on his bedroom. He wants to handle the matter himself.

Honor each other and increase your intimacy by kicking all others out of your bedroom, your kitchen, or anywhere else they tend of congregate. Instead, choose to focus on pleasuring your spouse. Be expressive, be creative. Unleash your charms in every form you can think of, all for the love of the person you married. Learn to let go of your preconceived notions of what sex should be and enjoy exploring together.

It is time to kick Mama and Papa out of your bedroom . . . for good.

From Have a New Sex Life by Friday by Dr Kevin Leman. Copyright ©️2017 by Kevin Leman. Used with permission of Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group bakerpublishinggroup.com.

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