PODCAST: Keith Jokes Around, Awkward Newlyweds, and More!

by | Jun 6, 2019 | Podcasts | 14 comments

The Five Whys Podcast

Keith’s joining me for part of today’s Bare Marriage podcast!

A number of  you said that you wanted to hear more from him, so we decided to record at night when he was home. You’ll get a sense of what we’re like together–we were kind of joking around a bit. I hope you all will listen, but if you don’t have time, I’ll have some links and rabbit trails below so you can read all you want as well!

And consider this podcast “extras”. If you want to go deeper into what I talked about in the podcast, here are some more things to help you.

But first, here’s the podcast:

Main Segment: How to Use the Five Whys

I wanted to talk about yesterday’s post–using the 5 whys to uncover the root of marriage problems. We shared some of the issues we’ve had in marriage, and how we found the root. And we talked about how we grew apart, and also how we figured out how to stay connected, even if we were often in different cities.

I go into both of these things in 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage, too!

What’s holding you back from a GREAT marriage?

Do you find yourselves taking each other for granted?

Has marriage lost that “spark”?

Learn how to feel connected again–and how changing the way you THINK about marriage can make all the difference.

Reader Question: I’m a Newlywed, and Sex Isn’t Going Very Well

I shared this question from a lovely young woman:

I have been reading your blog off and on since getting married and read your book ‘Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex’ and so I figure the following questions I have are not going to be too awkward for you to handle. It took us two weeks to go ‘all the way’ because my muscles were tighter than the security at Fort Knox. 2 days into marriage I called my mom-age nurse friend whom I had been told to call if we had questions. She told my husband how to manually stretch me to allow for intercourse.

It wasn’t fun, but once again showed me that my husband loved me and was willing to work and fight for me.
Now we’re kinda stuck again in our sex life. We understand the longer we’re married the more we’ll grow in these areas, but it feels like we’ve plateaued. I’m loose enough for intercourse, but still not very loose. We can only do the missionary position, any other experimenting causes pain. I’d really like to experiment with some other positions because I think it may end up having sex more pleasurable for me in particular. My husband has only hit my ‘spot’ a couple of times, and it felt great, but we’ve never managed to coordinate enough to bring me to orgasm. And, we’ve never managed to get more than half of him inside of me.

Second of all, my dear husband has a hard time staying stiff. I love to get him all excited, but it seems like he can’t stay stiff for very long at all, and if it’s a day that I’m more tight, it’s just a bad combination. More foreplay helps me loosen up, but unfortunately it has the same affect on my husband most of the time. My husband gets very discouraged because he can’t figure out how to work through these issues his body is experiencing and I get very discouraged because it seems like as his wife I should be able to excite him enough to stay stiff. Travel and work stress also make him less able to stay stiff, and the last thing I want is for him to feel inadequate just because his body isn’t up for it.

Wow! Lots of issues there. I answered in the podcast what their next steps should be–basically, she needs to see a pelvic floor physiotherapist, and he should likely see a doctor (and also make sure there’s not porn issues at play). But the big thing I want people to know is that after you’ve been married for a few months, if sex still isn’t working, it is okay to ask for help from professionals. It really is!

Comment: I Finally Understood Why Some Think that the Man Has to be in Charge

I thought I’d talk this week about a Twitter conversation I got in to that was very enlightening. It all started from a tweet I put up that went rather viral (Al Mohler is a leader in the Southern Baptist Convention and the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary).

I had a number of conversations result from that tweet and several like it, and with one man I was talking about how God’s aim is that we follow His will. So I said to him: If, in marriage, the husband wants A, and the wife wants B, but B is definitely God’s will and the wife knows it, what should she do? He reiterated that she should do A. But what was so interesting was WHY. I had never understood this before, but he said that she should do A because it’s impossible to know God’s will because God doesn’t speak to us anymore.

He only speaks to individuals very rarely. And that’s why he put authority structures in place for us to follow.

Wow. What a breakthrough. I feel like I finally understand where some are coming from. I asked him for chapter and verse on how God doesn’t speak to us anymore, which of course he couldn’t provide (and there are many, many telling us that we can discern God’s voice and discern God’s will), but I finally understood.

So I thought I’d talk in this podcast about how I hear God’s voice, and about how the idea that you CAN’T hear God’s voice is really where bad marriage theology comes from (and likely where that terrible list of 98 sins that you can commit against your husband comes from, too).

Plus I featured a brilliant comment by EM, left earlier this week:

Having your spouse be disappointed in you is hard. It hurts. But if you tell wives they are sinning for expressing their hurts, you guarantee that her husband will not mature. And if you tell him that he is being godly for acting that way, it is practically hopeless. He may not become abusive, but you have stunted his personal growth. It’s like this whole movement was created to shield men’s fragile egos.

Great comment!

It was fun having Keith join me. Rebecca didn’t this week–too much going on in her life. But tell me what you’d like to hear about from Keith and maybe we’ll talk about it next time.

Written by

Sheila Wray Gregoire


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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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  1. Wifey

    Hey! I wrote that email to you almost 2 years ago and I want to give an update.

    Since giving birth last fall, things have been easier for me. Things are still tighter than I expected after delivering a nearly 10 lb child, I really probably ought to go to a dr since our traditional position is still the only one that works 100% of the time. I still haven’t reached the o yet, but I do feel a lot more (I get small waves that are amazing!!) It doesn’t feel out of reach or impossible now. Trying to constantly learn how to love each other better in this special way and not get discouraged.

    I am so thankful to report my hubby is doing so much better! I think it was a training thing to learn how to stay stiff. Porn has never been an issue in marriage and he works hard to stay accountable to several men when ever temptation may cross his path. He is comfortable talking with me if an image or movie cause him to need a bit extra prayer in that area. Because of his openness and his proactive approach, I feel like we are really in this fight together.

    Anyway, thank you again for taking the time to read my questions from a few years ago and I wanted to celebrate the progress!

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      TWO YEARS?!?! Oh, dear. I’m sorry! I have such a big backlog but I didn’t know it was that big!

      Okay, if you just delivered a 10 pound baby (congratulations, by the way!), then you really need to see a pelvic floor physiotherapist! Doctors often don’t know how to help, and they’re not trained in this in the same way. But a physiotherapist can really help. In France, after delivery women are routinely given 6 appointments. I wish we had more of that here, since most women don’t know they exist!

      And I’m so glad your hubby is doing better. Honestly, it likely just was a stress thing with sex not feeling good for you. I’m glad all has calmed down. Hope life is good with baby!

      • Wifey

        Thanks again for your thoughts!

        Where would you find a physiotherapist? I’ve never even heard of that particular field! I don’t have traditional insurance that would cover something like that, and we are still broke just-past newly weds… but I would like to take care of my body for the glory of the Lord and the enjoyment of my husband and myself! Is there any book you could suggest for me to learn a bit more?

        Yes, I think that was totally it, stress is still a big turn off factor for my hubby- so much for the ‘just give him sex’ fix all advice I heard before marriage! My man would prefer a bit of space then the chance to talk the stress out with me before sex is even thought of- if at all! I fortunately didn’t get many wrong (and unbiblical) views on sex before marriage but that is one that I heard and naturally had no way prior to marriage to prove or disprove!

  2. Phil

    Hey Keith great to hear you! Glad you could find the time and hope to hear you again soon. I really think that having two married people engaged in speaking the truth about themselves within the realm of a topic can have huge impact on getting people to think. Sure the blog always gets you thinking. This however is a different perspective so Thank you. Sheila. – I loved your description in teaching folks how to listen for God. I am grateful that I do have that relationship and I can hear God speak to me. However, I need to hear people tell me their story or how to listen over and over again to be reminded not to get stuck in this world. Great podcast. Thanks

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I’m glad people are saying that they liked the part about hearing God. I just felt that was important to say (maybe that was me hearing God? 🙂 )

  3. EM

    I loved this podcast! It was great to hear you & Keith together, and that you two have your misunderstandings as well. It’s encouraging somehow to know that even marriage experts struggle (and that you work through it together!).

    I also loved what you had to say about hearing God. That underlying belief that we can’t hear God explains so much, doesn’t it? It’s been really cool in our marriage when we’ve submitted to the one who is hearing God. Several years ago, he was hearing God that it was time to get ready to move, even though we had no idea where we were supposed to go. I was only hearing crickets but I trusted him and said ok. Within months he was in a training program and we were in a position to move at the drop of a hat. A few years later, I definitely heard God’s voice that we were supposed to have another baby. This time he wasn’t hearing anything, and wasn’t sure he wanted another one, but he trusted me and said ok. That baby looks just like his daddy and they are besties. It is so sweet!

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Isn’t that just lovely? Like truly? That’s definitely how it’s supposed to be! (Did you like that I featured your comment? 🙂 )

      • EM

        Yes 😊

  4. Mary

    Hi Sheila – I just listened to the podcast & I really enjoyed what you had to say about listening to God. You’re right – that Twitter comment about not being able to hear/know God’s will is a real insight into legalism in all it’s forms.
    I liked your account of incidences in your own life when you have heard God speak and felt His direction. My experience is the same, and it’s a wonderfully faith-affirming thing to experience.
    You gave three ‘categories’ if you like, of hearing God’s voice…
    1) A direct message
    2) The Bible – a verse of scripture or a Bible-based song/hymn
    3) A feeling – discomfort or unrest vs. peace about a particular course of action.

    I’d just like to make the point that number 2 is the place to start for those who are reading this and wanting to deepen their relationship with God and wondering how! The written Word is God’s message for us and by reading it, we are learning more about Him; His character, His relationships with real people in the past and His plans and purposes for us. It is, if you like, God’s ‘get to know you’ course!

    As we dig into the Word of God and get to know Him better, we develop the instinct to discern how He would think and feel about the circumstances of our lives.
    And that leads us to experience points number 3 and 1.

    I’d like to also note, that points 3 and 1 are ALWAYS consistent with point 2. God doesn’t contradict Himself!

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Very good points! I’d also add a fourth–sometimes through another person. That happens a lot, too. But we have to be listening. And I have found that God is far more likely to say something if I’m actively asking. When I actively ask, then He responds. But if I’m not actively asking, it’s harder for Him to get my attention because it wouldn’t be obvious what He was saying.

      • Mary

        Yes! So true. I’ve noticed too that sometimes if a person is not actively asking, God can be downright shouting at them and they don’t hear it! You have to be spiritually ‘in shape’ to recognise the voice of God.

        I thought of this to add also regarding legalism… in my weekly church Bible study we’ve been studying Romans and in chapter 14 it talks about being gracious with weaker Christians (particularly for the Romans this related to whether or not they felt free to eat foods that had been offered to idols). The REALLY interesting point that came up in our discussion was that the weak Christians in this passage are actually the ones who have a lot of rules! Which is exactly the point you made in the podcast. Those who have a strong relationship with God don’t see the need for rigid rules. They live instead with an awareness of His presence and guidance and are prepared to make decisions one at a time rather than feeling the need to follow a precedent or refer to a rule book.

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          YES to the thing about the weak Christians! I wrote about that passage exactly and that conclusion on my post about not being a stumbling block. We have that passage totally backwards.

  5. Natalie

    I was just driving to a dentist appt (my first solo outing since baby #2. I’ve never looked forward to going to the dentist so much!! Haha 😂). While driving, I literally started sobbing when I heard you talk about how you felt God told you no more children of your own but that your blog would be impact the children of God. I’d say, He also meant in more ways than one! I’d like to tell you Sheila that not only did we conceive baby #2 while reading “31 Days to Great Sex”, but baby #2 also decided to come 10 DAYS after his due date on May 25th (which if I’m not mistaken is your birthday, right?) So clearly you and your ministry have not only HUGELY revolutionised our marriage, but you’ve also helped us add another member to our family (a sweet baby boy named Andrew, who was a lot more fun to conceive btw than his brother lol), who will be raised to love the Lord and be another member of the body of a Christ. Just wanted to share that with you, and hope that info blesses you. Thank you so much for your work, Sheila!!!

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, Natalie, that’s so wonderful! Thank you so much for blessing me with that today. I really appreciate it! And congratulations on the new baby, too! (And, yes, that is my birthday!). And we need lots more amazing men of God, so that’s wonderful that you’re raising them!

      (PS: I always knit at the dentist’s. It makes it so much easier!)


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