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The circumstances are as varied and vast as stars in the sky, as cliche as it may sound.
And there is legitimate and heart-wrenching pain within every scenario, where behind closed doors, the true character (or lack thereof) of a marriage is forged and revealed.
Many, many sexual struggles.
One person in the marriage wants nurtured healthy sexually intimacy. And the other person does not.
Another (yet less frequent) version of this scenario is the two people do want to heal, but they can't agree on what healing looks like. So they stay stuck in their corners.
Lack of mutual resolve on doing something -- anything -- about the sexual disconnect sets the foundation for more of the same. Sexual struggle becomes their normal.
"Oh. My. God. How did we get here?!" you could hear at least one of them (maybe both of them) screaming from the pit of their soul.
Sexual struggle may even become so normal that it seems completely counterintuitive and cumbersome for the couple to climb their way to a better healthier sexual normal.
And you know what?
Without even hearing all the details about such a marriage, if I would arrive on the scene, I would bet my last dollar I would find one person who genuinely and humbly wants to walk in the direction of healthy intimacy.
And one who does not.
I was talking to a great friend of mine the other day and we were musing about feeling excited about the new year.
Quite the segue I'm making here, huh?!
My friend and I were talking about the new year, and she said her word for the year is "intentionality."
"I love that!" I said.
Being intentional about anything takes effort, which is probably why the word doesn't inspire waves of action among the vast majority of people.
Being intentional means having to fight against your natural tendency of taking the path of least resistance.
Hard. Tiring. Frustrating. Overwhelming.
Something better at the other end of all that intentionality, if you stick with it.
There's a lot of psychology behind why we as the masses suck at this whole thing of being intentional and pursuing healthiness as our normal.
But come on. You don't want to hear a psychology lesson right now.
You don't really want to hear why you like the cheese curls and chocolate better than the chicken and cauliflower.
We generally, though, know what's healthy and what isn't. You'd be hard pressed to find someone who would say "the cheese curls are DEFINITELY healthier than the cauliflower."
And you'd be hard pressed to find someone who would say that sexual disconnect in a marriage is healthier than authentic sexual intimacy in a marriage.
Nearly all of the people who read my blog land here because nurtured sexual intimacy is far from their reality. Their norm is sexual disconnect, discouragement and, for some, desperation.
If you are reading this, either you are the one in the marriage who wants to work on healthier sexual intimacy. Or you are the one satisfied with the status quo.
Which one are you?
Could this blog post open the door to some dialogue with your spouse about sexual intimacy?
Psychology lesson aside, it all circles back to the truth that you gotta do something if you want something to look differently.
I can't give you guarantees that if you move in the direction of healthy sexual intimacy that your spouse will want to move in that direction with you.
But it's worth a shot to at least try.
Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.