Dr. Kevin Leman is the host of the new daily television show, Reality Talks with Dr. Kevin Leman. He is also the founder and president of “Couples of Promise”, an organization designed and committed to helping couples remain happily married. Dr. Leman’s most recent book is, Sheet Music.
Dr. Leman, How do you suggest that married couples study this book together?
Ha, ha, ha. Carefully. You know, it sounds like a fun book, doesn’t it?
You know what? Sex ought to be fun. It ought to be a great part of your marriage. I think the best way to enjoy the book is as a couple. The other day one guy told me he Need Help? and his wife took two different colored magic markers and he underlined what he thought were the most important parts and she underlined what she thought were the most important parts. Then they exchanged books. It was really a cool way to do it. Obviously the couples who will best benefit from this are people who will really use the book as a tool.
In the book you write that a good sex life colors the marriage from top to bottom. Can you explain that concept to us?
Rarely do you ever see a marriage where they have this fantastic sex life and no communication and no emotional intimacy. I mean those are about as rare as they come. So your sex life really is a microcosm, if you will, of the marriage. Where I come from, the wedding bed cannot be defiled, in other words, we should be able to enjoy each other. In fact, it’s a mandate — if you’re a Christian — it’s a mandate that you will fulfill each other in marriage, sexually.
When do you suggest, Kevin, that an engaged couple start talking about marriage sexual expectations and why?
Well, certainly as soon as they’re engaged. This book is written in such a way that the first four chapters are to be read by the engaged couple. If you read past the first four chapters in this book and you’re in love and you’re engaged, I’ll tell you, it will make you frisky.
I just think it’s so important to talk about what these expectations are. So many wedding nights are just disastrous for couples, because they have these unrealistic expectations. Here you’ve had all the hype of the wedding all day long. You’re tired and exhausted. And now you’re supposed to perform? Huh, good luck.
And then get up at 4:00am to catch that flight to go to the Bahamas.
Yeah, you got it right. Sex is not the most important thing to most women in marriage. I found a Louis Harris poll once that surveyed American women and asked them to rank the things they really like doing in life. Well, guess what? Sex was 14. Gardening was 13.
What can we do, as a married couple, to keep lovemaking “on the front burner” of our marriages, as you say in your book?
I say in “Sheet Music” love is an all-day affair. Taking out the garbage without being asked is foreplay. When you come home and you see the kids have trashed the family room,get the kids to pick it up. Most women are dealing with fatigue. It’s really tough being a mom today and to be a lover. I suggest a husband takes his wife away for an over night…
Well, that costs money, Dr. Leman.
Well, so do TV sets. They don’t do much for your marriage. I think doing those little things really help. Ladies, send your husband an email today that says, “Hey, great news, the kids are gone tonight. I’ve already made reservations to your favorite restaurant at eight. If you could be home by six, we’ll have a great time to enjoy the h’orsdouvers, which I intend to be wearing. I love you.” If you email your husband with that, you prove a point of the “Sheet Music” book that anticipation is as good as or better than participation. Use a bar of soap, gentleman, and write your wife a love note in the morning on her mirror. There are all kinds of little ways just to say “I love you” and “I care about you”. Even if you have to schedule spontaneity, schedule (it). Take time for yourselves to be a couple.
Dr. Leman, is there anything else that you’d like to say to our viewers?
The first ten years of marriage I thought that sex was obviously the most important thing. It took me a while to grow up and find out it was more than that. I wish I could show you the inside of my wedding ring. It says, “You are my richest blessing”. If you could say that after 35 years of marriage — all you young guys who are reading this — what a great gift. When you’re “follicley challenged” (balding) and you’ve gained a few pounds and the cellulite is creeping up on you, it’s a great gift that God gave you this person who loves you — as Billy Joel said in his wonderful little song “I Love You Just The Way You Are”. You know, that’s really the message that I get from Almighty God. My prayer for every couple is that they will understand that being submissive to one another is the key. It’s the 100/100 relationship; it’s not a 50/50.
Copyright © 2003 Growthtrac
Best-selling author Dr. Kevin Leman has made house calls for FOCUS ON THE FAMILY with Dr. James Dobson as well as numerous radio and television programs including OPRAH, LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY, CBS’ THE EARLY SHOW, TODAY, and THE VIEW WITH BARBARA WALTERS. Dr. Leman is a frequent contributor to CNN’s American Morning with Paula Zahn.