By Joyce Oglesby

Q: “My husband and I argue constantly. We love each other, but we disagree on everything. Whether it’s our viewpoints on how we rear the kids or where we want to eat, it seems we cannot agree on anything. I’m to the point where I’d rather be in another room when he’s home. But that’s not the case when we’re apart. We laugh and joke, text and talk, and no one would suspect we don’t get along. It has affected our intimate life for more than a year because one of us is usually mad at bedtime. There has to be a better way to love, but how do we get there?

Joyce: Discourse by day equals no intercourse by night.

It seems you both have found the disgruntled merry-go-round, and you can’t find your way off. However, we can’t ignore the connection you still have when you’re apart. There is your love. But why save it for the moments you’re apart from one another? That’s no fun!

Sexual intimacy is a vital ingredient in a marital relationship. Its bonding effect is no secret. A number of physiological functions occur during intercourse. The increased level of oxytocin, better known as the “love hormone,” at the time of orgasm triggers the release of endorphins, which is a natural painkiller. So, yes, sex is healing. God truly has designed an amazing body, and a pleasurable way to keep it fine-tuned! Depriving yourself of the emotional healing — that bonding agent which can mend fences — keeps the sore spot festering between you.

Ignoring this trouble will find you in deeper distress. It will be a matter of time before laughter and joking by day ceases as well. Here are a few starters to begin a new way to live and love:

  1. Agree not to disagree. Begin slowly. Initially, decide that one day a week you will be nice to one another, especially at home. (Yes, choose the day that will be.) It will take a concerted effort. Your intentional energy devoted to this arrangement might feel forced at first, but eventually it will become easier for you to be nice while in the presence of one another.
  2. Increase your efforts. Yes, expand the days to two, then three, and eventually seven. There are going to be days when you will disagree about something, but your habits will change to a better way of showing respect. When your admiration increases for one another, your kids will take note.
  3. Kindness is not just for strangers. So often we spend our best behavior on perfect strangers, friends, and/or coworkers. By the time we get home, only the dregs are left for the ones we love most of all.
  4. Your actions are contagious. If your kids have not picked up on how you treat each other as husband and wife, they soon will. In its present state, your home life is destined to quickly become one of chaos. Disrespect will run rampant as your kids learn to manipulate you and disregard your authority. No longer will you have time to fight one another. You’ll be battling the kids on issues no parent wants to face.
  5. Seek professional guidance. Yes, the sooner, the better. Many couples can talk to everyone else, but when it comes to communicating with each other, they often fall short. Work together with a professional to reach a healthier lifestyle and love life.

Whatever you do, get it together! It’s time to talk and get a plan for how you can get on a better path for your marriage. Many marriages fail because little things are allowed to become monumental. Yes, divorce can happen “overnight,” because as I said above: discourse by day equals no intercourse by night. And that is a disaster in the making.

Struggling with a relationship issue? Write Joyce Oglesby or listen to The Just Ask Joyce Show, M-F from 3-5pm on WFIA 94.7fm/900am. It’s where real life and family values connect!

How do you and your spouse handle disagreements? Have you ever been in a situation like this?