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Today's post by Dustin Riechmann of Engaged Marriage kicks off a series I'll be doing over the next several weeks.
A tremendous group of marriage bloggers will be digging into the different altars married couples sacrifice their sexual intimacy on.
If you're like most people, you probably did not begin marriage thinking someday you might sabotage sexual intimacy with your spouse.
If you find yourself in a discouraging place with sex -- and you have visited the altars we'll explore in this series -- hear my heart when I say that you are not alone. Glean from this series, because the people writing these posts are passionate about encouraging marriage and healthy sexual intimacy.
Have you encountered times in your marriage where one or both of you wanted to have sex, but there just wasn't time or energy for it?
I know that we used to face this realization way too often in our own marriage. We would exchange some "indications" earlier in the day that we were looking forward to an intimate evening.
However, after a longer-than-usual time spent getting the kids to go to sleep, we would remember the need to straighten up the house for guests the next day or a work deadline would surface that needed immediate attention.
Before we knew it, one of us was busy working on a project while the other had fallen asleep on the couch. At this point, it's often easier to just say, "Let's try again tomorrow. Good night."
So, how can we avoid this recurring problem where we feel there's no time to have a quality sexual relationship with our spouse?
The simple answer is that we must make sex a priority in our marriage. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but there are practical ways to make it happen. It all starts with our mindset.
I want you to imagine for a moment that you know that your spouse is not going to be alive tomorrow night. Tonight is literally your last night together on Earth, and you know that both God and your spouse desperately want your last night together to be spent making love and sharing a deep intimacy with one another.
Now, do you have time for sex tonight?
Obviously, this is an extreme example, but the point is that we cannot treat sex with our spouse like another chore on our to-do list for the day. We cannot say that we'll have sex as soon as the "important" stuff like the dishes, laundry and baseball game are out of the way.
A healthy sex life is the center of a holy, healthy and thriving marriage. And when you treat sex like just another chore, it becomes just another chore.
And that is not okay.
There is unbelievable power in spending just 1% of your day (15 minutes) sharing some intimate Couple Time with your spouse.
I challenge you to set aside 15 minutes each day for the next week to spend with your husband or wife free of distractions, and you'll see the remarkable difference it will make in your marriage.
Would you like a better sex life? Yes, that's a rhetorical question.
One way to make it happen is to spend one of your 15-minute periods together talking about it. I'd like you to talk openly and honestly about where each of you sees sex fitting into your lives in terms of priorities. Discuss both where it sits in your own mind and where you observe it to sit in your partner's mind.
Please be forewarned that there's a very good chance that your personal perception will not be your spouse's reality when it comes to this sensitive topic.
Do not get into a fight about who is right or wrong, but instead treat your partner's thoughts as the truth. After all, when it comes to your sex life, it's truly their perception that matters.
Spend a few minutes talking about how you can make improved intimacy (including sex) a higher priority in your daily lives.
Finally, I’d encourage you to spend this evening thanking God for your spouse and pretending like it is your last evening together on Earth.
If you’re ready for a better marriage, invest 15 minutes and go make it happen!
This exercise is adapted from one of the 28 easy 15-minute exercises in my new book:
It's guaranteed to help you with your communication, romance, sex life and even your finances. You can download two sample chapters for free at the link above if you’re not sure it's for you.
Dustin Riechmann provides practical advice for busy couples looking to get more from life at Engaged Marriage. He's also the co-founder of Fit Marriage where he helps busy couples and on-the-go parents get fit, stay healthy and live a life they love.