Recently on my own blog, I wrote a post about the 5 Worst Excuses for Not Having Sex.
Someone commented on that post inferring that husbands need to let go of this “woe is me” attitude about not getting more sex.
The woman went on to imply that if the husband had to walk in the wife’s shoes for a week, he would see why she isn’t enthused about sex.
Her tone was adversarial, almost as if the husband is one big inconvenience that happens to live in the house (and sex was obviously one big inconvenience that went along with him living there).
Such commentary stirs in me the desire to ask a humble question. If you see yourself in this scenario, I pray you will reflect upon your honest answer.
Maybe you’re not bitter about sex per se, but at the minimum it is, as the cliche goes,”one more thing on your to-do list.” It is a chore you avoid as long as possible — until the tension is enough that you give in to tide him over till next time.
This is an important conversation I’m trying to delve into, because disagreements about “frequency” of sex are common in marriage.
One spouse wants sex more than the other spouse, and they are too paralyzed (maybe even too angry) to find a solution that leaves them both feeling satisfied and happy.
I’m not gonna lie. Marriage is hard (as anyone who is married knows). But this perspective of viewing sex as a negotiable that you and your spouse will “get around to someday” — or will never get around to — is not working.
It just isn’t.
If that describes your marriage, and you know with everything in you that this is causing horrendous division with the person you love, then I encourage you to take a breath.
There are countless marriages that are less than they could be — and less than what the two people who stood at the altar ever envisioned they would be — because of complacency. And resentment.
And an unwillingness to address real struggles in a way that leads to viable solutions.
I don’t know your particular struggles with sex. I don’t know if they are because of marital tension or exhaustion or misconceptions about sex, lack of pleasure or deeper issues of having not healed from past sexual trauma, past promiscuity, etc.
I do know this, though.
If you are married, then you can’t ignore this matter of sex. You owe it not only to your spouse, but also to yourself, to nurture sexual intimacy in your marriage.
1. Have I been careless with this area of sex in our marriage?
2. If I have been careless, will I be courageous and humble and ask for forgiveness?
3. What do I see are the core issues of our sexual struggles?
4. What can I do to work on those issues?
5. Have I really explored what the Bible says about sexual intimacy in marriage?
6. Do I appreciate not only experiencing sexual pleasure, but also helping my spouse experience it?
7. What Christian resources could I explore specifically on sexual intimacy in marriage? (counseling, books, websites, retreats, etc.)
8. What does sex have to do with strengthening my marriage?
9. Do I love my spouse?
10. How can sex help them experience that love?
I and so many other marriage advocates wouldn’t be so passionate about encouraging marriages if we didn’t believe with everything in us that your marriage is worth it.
Julie Sibert writes and speaks about sexual intimacy in marriage. You can follow her blog at www.IntimacyInMarriage.com. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband and their two boys. When she's not writing, she's probably drinking ridiculously overpriced coffee.