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I'm so glad Jim and Carrie Gordon of The Intimate Couple are adding their insights to my "altar" series. Their below post is a perfect follow up to my post the other day about unintentionally killing your sexual intimacy.
Have you become indifferent to sex in your marriage?
If that seems like no big deal to you, listen closely to the Gordons' wisdom on ways you can go from being indifferent to intentional when it comes to nurturing sexual intimacy. (For the other fabulous posts in the ALTAR series, see the links at the bottom of this post).
Everyone wants a dream marriage -- a relationship where both husband and wife enjoy the deepening love, intimacy, and sex God designed for them to have.
Like most things, though, a dream marriage doesn't come automatically: It requires being observant, careful tending, and regular investment from both husband and wife.
Tragically, there are husbands and wives who simply don't value their sexual relationship. There is a disregard and lack of interest in understanding the importance of healthy sex in marriage.
They are unaware of the final price tag of this indifference towards sexual intimacy.
What may start as naiveté, turns at a frightening rate to ignorance and then indifference.
It's tragic really: potentially the most glorious relationship known to humankind is sacrificed and spoiled on the altar of indifference! Apathy. Disregard. Unconcern. Disinterest. Undervaluing.
Apathy and indifference towards sex can actually kill a marriage.
Either of these sound eerily familiar:
Their day had been a pleasant one. Perhaps tonight she'd be okay with having sex. Andy reached his arm around Gail's waist and felt her stiffen against his touch. "Not tonight, Andy. We can cuddle if you want." Andy withdrew his arm and rolled over. It had been 3 weeks since they had enjoyed sex together. They were averaging sex less than once a month! He remembered Gail's comments the other day, "Andy, I don't need sex like you do." Gail thought their marriage was "just fine" and there was nothing that needed changing, but he was becoming more discouraged and frustrated as month after month went by.
Carol had a special evening planned. She thought surely Steve wouldn't be able to resist her advances tonight! Her preparations included special music, candles, and a new negligee ready to model for him! But Carol had misgivings. It had been 5 weeks since they last had sex together. Steve never asked for sex and he always had excuses whenever she mentioned it. "You’ve been really busy, Carol, so just get yourself some rest." Or "I've got a lot on my mind. Not tonight, okay?" Always excuses. Carol wondered if Steve was dabbling in pornography again. If only he knew how much she desired intimacy with him!
These are two typical scenarios that spouses often share with us through our website for married couples. A husband or wife is crying for deeper sexual intimacy while their spouse seems to only show lack of interest and disregard—indifference.
Warning Signs of Pending Indifference Towards Sexual Intimacy:
a spouse is naïve about the differences between a husband and wife's needs and desire for sex
a wife, with less sexual drive than her spouse, isn't willing to talk about this difference with her husband
a self-centered spouse is blind to the desires of their partner and puts their own needs and wants first
there is a fear of asking one another, "Are you satisfied with our sexual relationship?"
an insecure husband is unwilling to work hard at being open and vulnerable with his wife
a lazy spouse has an "I know it all" attitude and sees no need for change or improvement in the sexual relationship
But apathy doesn't have to stay! An indifferent partner can learn to care, understand, and value sexual intimacy in marriage.
Steps to Remove Indifference Towards Sexual Intimacy:
1. Educate yourself about the differences between a husband and wife's needs and desire for sex.
2. Talk about these differences with your spouse.
3. Learn to communicate how you really feel: be open and vulnerable.
4. Be intentional about understanding how your spouse feels about sex.
5. Become a student on marriage topics (through books, podcasts, seminars) and then apply what you learn.
6. Ask one another, "Are you satisfied with our sexual relationship?"
7. "Kill" selfishness; put your spouse's sexual needs and wants ahead of yours.
8. Be willing to try new things to have better sex!
For married couples that want to guard against the effects of apathy, we highly recommend our stay-at-home, week-long course designed for re-igniting sexual intimacy: The 7 Day Sex Challenge, our best selling eBook!
Read below as Jim describes how we avoided sacrificing our sexual intimacy through indifference. Instead, we now enjoy an awesome sexual relationship … truly we have our dream marriage!
Carrie and I would both have said our marriage was great! But inwardly I was frustrated. I tried my best to "make do" with the sexual intimacy we enjoyed -- which was less frequent than I hoped.
I did my best to ignore my frustrations simply because it was obvious Carrie didn’t need sex in the same way I did. Why wasn't Carrie's desire for sexual intimacy like mine? She was oblivious to my inner struggles and disappointments.
Carrie was, in many ways, naïve about sex -- although certainly not against it, she was just totally unaware of the typical male sex drive.
I was unaware that differing sex drives were classic. I needed to learn that it was crucial for me to open up, become vulnerable and communicate clearly with Carrie what was going on with me.
Thank God, I was able to be honest and open with Carrie about my frustrations. She responded, not with indifference, but with a desire to see our marriage become all God designed it to be!
Has indifference threatened your sexual intimacy? Take steps today to remove the indifference, and re-ignite your sex life!
Jim and Carrie Gordon's site explores the vital areas of intimacy in a marriage: sexual, emotional, intellectual and spiritual.
Don't miss the other posts in this on-going series! Sign up with the RSS-thingy so you can catch what other great marriage bloggers will be saying about the Altars We Sacrifice Sexual Intimacy On.