But you pretty much hate it.
And you find yourself having to “talk” yourself into sex. Not surprisingly, a vicious cycle of resentment grows in your marriage. You resent having to talk yourself into sex – and if your spouse knows you’re talking yourself into it, they resent you.
After awhile, you may even wonder if you even should keep talking yourself into it. (Tragically, some people eventually arrive at a “no” and decide to withhold sex completely).
I hope you’re not to that point. I encourage you to try a more humble (albeit, harder) approach.
A better question to ask yourself is, “Why am I having to talk myself into sex?” Until you understand the why (and seek to do something about it), then you’ll never get beyond the resentment dance that has come to define all of your sexual encounters.
Each marriage is unique and I obviously can’t cover every scenario, but the below three situations may urge you toward healthier sexual intimacy in your marriage.
This is a broad area, I know. Past pain can mean anything from abuse to past promiscuity to abortion to adultery to pornography to a host of other sources of sexual pain.
Past pain can skew sex in our hearts and minds so severely that it may seem almost impossible to see sex as good and holy and worthy of pursuit.
But getting stuck in your pain will sabotage not just sexual intimacy, but all intimacy with the person you married.
Resolve to seek God’s heart through prayer, as well as the countless Christian resources available, including counseling, books, websites and conferences. It is possible to heal from past sexual pain. You and your spouse are worth it.
God designed sex to be pleasurable for a husband and a wife. Orgasm was God’s idea, His gift to both men and women.
It’s no surprise that if you are not experiencing orgasm fairly consistently when you and your spouse have sex, you likely see it more as a chore than a privilege.
Begin having some authentic conversation with your spouse about what turns you on, what turns them on, what it will take to make sex more pleasurable.
Are these conversations awkward at first? Well, sure. But the alternative – status quo of little or no sexual pleasure – isn’t doing your marriage any good.
A married couple arrives at extraordinary sex through lots of trial and error – through a willingness to enjoy foreplay and to show each other what feels good. Don’t limit yourself to missionary position, which for many wives is often one of the worst positions to achieve orgasm.
If you are a wife who struggles reaching orgasm, you might find some ideas from the many posts I have on this resource page on my site.
We usually have to talk ourselves into something because we’ve yet to grasp what gain we’re really getting out of it
This is true with exercise too – until we start to see the transformation in our body and health, the thought of getting on the treadmill or lifting the weights sounds dreadful, tedious and boring.
When it comes to sex, the benefits to a marriage are countless. When a husband and wife regularly carve out time to make love, to mutually enjoy pleasure and to understand each other sexually, they begin to reap benefits beyond the bedroom.
Sexual intimacy endears a couple to each other, helps them extend grace, better equips them to do life together, and relieves stress.
There’s a boatload of science that explains all this (endorphins, the power of touch, oxytocin, hormones, etc.). But few people need science to tell them what they genuinely feel.
Truth be told, I don’t just love my husband more because of our nurtured sexual intimacy, I also like him more. I honestly think the “liking” is the “it” factor that propels marriages beyond mediocre to something quite profound.
It’s just easier to be friends with your spouse if you both are attentive to sexual intimacy – the one form of intimacy that you can’t ethically or biblically go find elsewhere.
My hope for any marriage is that “talking yourself into sex” is the rare exception — not the rule — in your marriage.
Build an attitude into your heart and marriage that enthusiastically proclaims, “We GET to have sex!” – not “We HAVE to have sex.”
For more reading, check out 5 Ways to Be Sexually Playful While Clothed!
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.