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So I just finished reading a submission to the syndicated advice column that appears in our local paper.
Yeah, I read those. It seems like at least a couple times a week they have to do with sex, so obviously I'm interested. Go figure.
Anyway, this particular one was written by a wife who had lost all interest in sex and was tired of going through the motions. She was resigned that her lack of interest was merely the natural course of nature in a woman's body.
The tone of her letter even seemed angry, and she ended it with this: "Nature has pulled the plug. Why isn't there a pill to make a man less interested so we are on an even footing?"
The advice from the columnist?
"We know a lot of women who would be quite interested in that pill."
Ugh. My heart was grieved by such "advice," which really wasn't advice at all, but rather careless affirmation that the woman's perspective was completely rational.
I wonder what it is going to take for us collectively as a society to recognize the sacred value of sex in a marriage. More importantly, if you are a wife who has no interest in sex, have you really counted the costs of what such indifference is doing to your marriage?
Hey, I know this isn't easy. If sexual intimacy in your marriage has been a struggle, I imagine the reasons are complex and emotionally draining. For a couple that is contentious on this topic, getting on the same page may seem insurmountable.
But good Lord, is there a way to at least get in the same book? The same chapter?
As for me, I am glad there is not a "pill" with the sole purpose of diminishing a person's sexual desire. A better solution -- albeit one that requires more effort -- is that each person within a marriage do what they can to take their marriage vows to heart.
And please don't even start with me about how a person can take their marriage vows to heart, but still be totally unavailable to their spouse sexually.
I'm not talking about going through the motions. I'm talking about genuinely figuring out why you don't like sex -- and then doing what you can to get to a place where you defend that time with your husband the same way you defend the time you spend on leading Bible study or volunteering for your kids' school parties.
For those of you not familiar with my story, I know first hand that sex is definitely not something to ignore in a marriage. I have a failed marriage under my belt to remind me painfully of that. My sexual unavailability wasn't our only issue, but it was definitely a contributing factor.
Of course, I learned all of this a bit too late for my first marriage, but let's just say my current marriage is living proof that a wife can be sexually available -- and more importantly, genuinely love sex. Seriously. I like it way more than chocolate or wine (both of which I like tremendously, so the statement is saying a lot).
A husband called me the other day, upset about the extreme lack of sexual intimacy in his marriage. His question? Had I ever heard of couples that had experienced differences in desire levels and were able to turn things around and both enjoy sex?
"Is it possible?!" he asked me exasperated.
I told him that of course it was possible, because we follow a Lord Who is redemptive. It's His gig to take brokenness and make it whole. But rarely does He do that by lightening bolt divine intervention.
Instead, He asks of us that we humble ourselves, learn His Word and His ways, and then walk in the direction of what we have learned. For some people, like me, it also takes a failed marriage to get the point across. The reason I write this blog is I'm trying to spare couples of that loss before the loss shows up in the form of a husband walking out the door.
As much as society and media would lead us to believe that a wife's lack of interest in sex is "no big deal" or is "just what happens along the way," God is calling us to believe His truth.
Certainly every study on sex and marriage would tell us that couples who nurture their sexual intimacy do indeed have stronger marriages. But do we really need a study to tell us this?
I could stand on any street corner and yell, "Hey, all you married people -- if sex is a struggle in your marriage, do you think solving this struggle would make your marriage stronger?"
Yeah, I know, that would just seem weird. I mean, me standing on a street corner and all. But, if people wandered over to me, what kind of responses do you think I would get?
If sex is a struggle in your marriage, do what you can to figure out why. And then commit to do what you can to change that pattern.
Copyright 2011, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.