SPICE: E is for Emotional/Pyschological

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SPICE reminds us that our sexuality is multidimensional and has many aspects beyond just the physical act of intercourse. Our sexuality is Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Creative and Communicative, and Emotional and Psychological.

SPICE challenges us to be sexually whole.

This week we will discuss another aspect of SPICE, the Emotional/Psychological component.

Last week I began a discussion of communication and how it is vital to a happy, fulfilling and long term marriage.  We reviewed the Creative/Communicative aspect of communication.

Let’s look at the second aspect of communication, the Emotional/Psychological aspect of communication.  The Emotional/Psychological aspect of communication deals with our feelings and emotions.

I encourage couples to set aside time to explore and express their feelings.  This can be difficult for either or both spouses but if done within the context of a trust filled marriage, can lead to openness within the relationship.

I encourage spouses to be totally open with one another.  This openness leads to a bonding which results in feelings of profound closeness and intimacy.

The last several years of my marriage have brought times where this Emotional/Psychological aspect of communication was vital to getting through some stressful times.

We have a rental property that was severely damaged after a tenant and needed much repair.  It took a lot of energy and money.  I was pregnant with our youngest child and having to juggle taking care of multiple children with managing major repairs on the rental home.  My husband also had to juggle travel, work and the rental home.

This was a great opportunity for tension, stress and frustration to creep into our marriage.  We instead chose every night to sit at our kitchen table and talk about how this situation was affecting us personally.  We discussed our frustrations and anger and really took the time to listen to one another.

My husband & I celebrating our new home

By taking this time out of our day to discuss our feelings about the rental situation, we were able to come to resolutions together.   We felt closer to each other because we were tackling the problem as a team instead of as individuals.

The loss of our Maryrose was unexpected and devastating.  Men and women grieve differently. It was important for us to take time to discuss how we each processed her death.

I am grateful to my husband and all his support during this sorrowful time in our lives.  I was glad to hear and understand how he felt about her loss.  This also helped me to offer the support he needed during this time.

After Maryrose’s death, we were blessed to become pregnant with our youngest son, David.  As with all of my pregnancies, this one had its own share of difficulties.  I had severe depression and anxiety for the last 3 months of my pregnancy.  It was extremely difficult to get out of bed and take care of my family.

I felt hopeless and alone most of the time.  My husband’s willingness to listen to me every night about my struggles is the reason I survived those last months of pregnancy.

We all have stressful events in our lives.  Some marriages experience more intense struggles than others.

We must not shut out our spouse.

  • We are ONE.
  • We are a team.
  • We need to set aside time daily, weekly, and/or monthly to address stress and frustration together with our spouse.
  • We are called to support and lift up our spouse.

What if you or your spouse are frustrated with using a fertility awareness method?  What if you are frustrated with avoiding genital contact?  Is this normal to discuss?

Absolutely!  As I discussed here, it is completely normal to be frustrated with what is required to avoid genital contact while using a fertility awareness method.   My husband and I have experienced this frustration.  

The important thing is to provide a safe atmosphere to discuss these feelings and learn from one another.   SPICE is what builds up this trust allowing for this level of communication.

The same applies to those struggling with infertility and are frustrated that the System is not providing immediate success.  That is completely normal and is worth discussing with your spouse.

By venting our frustration with one another, my husband and I have been able to learn from each other and recognize important concerns of the other.   We discuss resolutions to these frustrations so that we can enjoy using the System again.

Resolution is important.  The simple expression of frustration and anger is incomplete.

The Emotional/Psychological aspect of communication reveals our vulnerabilities to our spouse.  When we open up and share our feelings with our spouse, we are revealing more of ourselves.

By sharing our vulnerabilities with our spouse, we strengthen our bond and as a result we discover true intimacy.

We see our spouse as a partner in life, not an obstacle to overcome.

Check out my Marriage/SPICE Pinterest board for inspiration and conversation starters!

Is sharing your feelings difficult for your or your spouse?  What do you do as a couple to set aside time to practice the Emotional/Psychological component of SPICE?