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I think the vast majority of us know full well that financial struggles can cause all kinds of problems in a marriage, including a toll on sexual intimacy.
In today's post, Jennifer Smith of The Unveiled Wife digs into what financial struggles can do to sex in a marriage and how a couple can try to lessen the impact of those struggles. Jennifer's post is part of my ongoing guest blog series on things that destroy sex in marriage.
Jennifer also is author of the book The Unveiled Wife, which I reviewed here.
Many conversations and even arguments are held between couples regarding how money is spent. It is one of those necessities in life that influences and affects us in many ways, including our emotions and attitude.
I believe finances can be a source of contention in marriage because our expectations of how we experience life are dependant upon them.
When I became a wife, I desired a nice home with nice things. The reality of our situation was that we decided to put that kind of life on hold to travel as missionaries. However, in our second year of marriage, we returned to our hometown because we were low on funds and my husband’s debt came looking for payment.
We lived with my family for two years, as we put every penny we earned toward paying off my husband’s school loan. I did not always have a good attitude about how much money we were sending away.
Truth be told, I emotionally kicked and screamed, blaming my husband for his debt being the cause of misery in our marriage. I was angry that our financial situation was so bleak and I dwelt on all the things our money could buy instead of getting out of debt.
I harbored bitterness in my heart toward my husband, because we always seemed so low on funds. I was convinced I had made a mistake getting married and that the life we had together was not the life I wanted.
My attitude and the negative thoughts that stirred in my heart kept me from being intimate with my husband. We already had intimacy issues in the bedroom, but this was just one more reason as to why I never initiated sexual intimacy.
Our finances were destroying our sex life!
It was not until I grew in maturity and in my understanding of how important it was for our future to be debt free that I was able to embrace being a team with my husband to knock out the debt together.
It required that I changed my attitude and my perspective of our situation. It required that I sacrificed the things I desired during the time we were striving to get debt free, so that we would have the means to build the life we desired.
Once I was able to accept the responsibility of being one with my husband in the area of finances and agree to the budget we set up, I was better able to embrace true intimacy with him in other areas of our marriage, namely sex.
I believe there are many marriages where couples are so torn apart in an area such as finances, that they are hindered in their sexual intimacy. We need to recognize the importance of being a team with our spouse, especially in finances.
We need to be willing to communicate about the state of our money and keep each other accountable to reaching specific financial goals. As we do this, we will see the positive impact it has on our intimacy.
My challenge for you is to have a transparent conversation with your spouse about the state of your finances and make a plan of action that you both can keep each other accountable too as you strive to reach your goals.
Be open about how your finances and the way each of you spend money makes you feel. Also, be sure to listen just as you desire your spouse to listen. Be willing to come to agreement about your budget, including the sacrifices you may need to make now for the benefit of your future.
And lastly, encourage each other in the area of finances and communicate about your budget daily to avoid letting bitterness settle in your hearts.
Jennifer Smith blogs at The Unveiled Wife and wrote the book The Unveiled Wife: Embracing Intimacy with God and Your Husband. You can follow her on Twitter @unveiledwife.
Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.