multi-tasking destroying sex
September 24th, 2015 by Julie Sibert


Who among us hasn't found ourselves multi-tasking -- during sex!

The number of details flowing through our brains can be downright distracting, especially during intimacy!

Sheila Gregoire of To Love Honor and Vacuum tackles this topic today to help all of us (particularly us women!) gain a healthier perspective on not letting sex suffer.

Sheila's post is part of my ongoing guest blog series on things that destroy sex in marriage

Has this ever happened to you?

Things are getting nice and steamy when suddenly, out of nowhere, the thought pops into your head: "I think we're out of vacuum bags."

And then you start wondering what else you need at the store.

multi-tasking destroying sexAnd the mood is gone.

Most of us women are by our very nature multi-taskers, probably more so by necessity than by choice.

At any given time, a woman must mentally and sometimes physically keep tabs on a barrage of specifics.

You could be making the grocery list AND preparing a proposal for work AND checking on the child’s homework. Needless to say, there’s a lot going on in your world.

Now, to be fair to the men, I think they too juggle quite a few details. It seems, though, the tasks many women must focus upon have daily urgency, especially if you are in charge of the calendar and anything associated with the children.

After awhile, all that multi-tasking can take a toll! And maybe it’s taking too big of a toll on sex with your husband.

It’s just hard to step back from a relentless “to do” list and gain perspective, because honestly, sex feels like one more thing on the list.

It’s not that you don’t want to offer your body and your undivided heart and mind. It just feels impossible to give him the whole package on any given day.

If that describes how you feel, what can you do to stop the negative impact multi-tasking is having on sex in your marriage?

Here are 4 ideas:

1. Recognize it’s an issue.

Nothing will dig you deeper into a hole than denial. We like to tell ourselves we can do it all well, but truth is that some things suffer.

You have to start counting the costs. Maybe instead of juggling so many balls, let a few fall – the ones that don’t have big consequences.

The health of your marriage is vital, so that’s one you don’t want to leave to chance.

Take an honest look at what you have expected from yourself as a mother, homemaker, volunteer and employee. If you have set the bar unreasonably high (maybe even bordering on perfection) in some of those areas, decide to give on a few things.

The energy and focus you will have for intimacy with your husband is worth it.

2. Enlist the help of your man.

You may think I’m going to say get him more involved in wrangling some of those details, so they are on his plate and not yours. Well, that’s not a bad idea, but that’s not exactly where I’m going.

What I really mean by “enlist” his help is be frank with him about what you need to de-program and reset your mind for getting busy beneath the sheets.

If you know that a hot shower or a hot bath will relax you, then tell him that’s what you need – and ask him to help you make room for that.

If you need more foreplay to redirect your mind toward sex, then tell him you need more foreplay.

If you need to go for a walk after dinner so you can just vent all the things that are on your mind and get them out, then tell him! I explain it to my husband like this:

"Inside my head are all of these different pinballs, just like on a pinball machine, going back and forth, rattling around in my brain. If I'm going to be able to enjoy sex tonight, I've got to get those pinballs out first!"

So now we go for "pinball" walks, and it helps me get my head in the game immensely!

3. Concentrate on your body.

Sure, your brain's default is to multitask. But that doesn't mean it HAS to multitask. You just have to fight back!

And the way to do that is to get out of your brain and start focusing on your body. When you're making love, ask yourself, "What feels good right now?" Or "Where do I want him to touch right now?"

That may sound clinical, but here's what often happens to us women:

We start making love, and nothing feels that great because we're thinking of a thousand different things. We figure that if our husbands do just the right thing and are perfect lovers, they'll get us out of our heads and they'll make us feel good. So until we feel good, we'll just make a grocery list.

But your body can't feel good -- no matter what your husband does -- until you concentrate on it, because our sex drives are almost entirely in our brains. If our brains aren't engaged, our bodies won't follow.

So the answer is not for our husbands to be perfect lovers (though that can't hurt!); it's for us to fight against the grocery list and start thinking about our bodies.

That gets our brains thinking below our necks, and helps our bodies to engage. When you ask yourself, "What feels good right now?", you may just realize that something does!

And then you can go with that feeling.

Oh, and if you do figure out that something wants to be touched -- tell him!

4. Stop thinking sex is just for him.

One last thing: as busy as we are as wives and mothers and workers, sometimes we think that sex is “just for him.” As long as you show up, all is good, right? Wrong.

Sex is for you too. And beyond the obvious benefit of strengthening your marriage, it also has other awesome effects.

It helps relieve stress, contributes to your general sense of well-being, and releases healthy endorphins into your system.

And besides all that -- it helps you sleep! How many times did I say, "Not tonight, honey. I'm just exhausted," only to lie there and toss and turn because I know I've disappointed him, I'm ticked because he's ticked, and we're both not sleeping?!

But when we have sex, I sleep like a rock! So now when I'm tired I say, "Come put me to sleep, baby!"

Plain and simple, nurtured sexual intimacy can help you have a better outlook on your crazy busy life. Sex isn’t just good for your marriage. It’s good for you. And you’re worth that kind of investment.

Looking back on some of the above ideas, what are you inspired to do differently going forward?

Sheila Wray Gregoire is the author of The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex and 31 Days to Great Sex. She blogs everyday at Come on over and get her free ebook, 36 Ways to Bring Sexy Back to Your Marriage!
Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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Posted in marriage problems, passion, sexual intimacy struggles, sexual struggles, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , ,

September 16th, 2015 by Julie Sibert

It is no wonder that skewed beliefs about sex begin to take a huge toll on sexual intimacy in marriage. Sadly, some people are numb to all these skewed beliefs.

Paul Byerly of The Generous Husband sheds light today on the reasons we need to hold up any of our beliefs about sex against what the Bible really says. 

Too often, what we believe about sex doesn't even come close to God's vision for our marriage. Paul's post is part of my ongoing guest blog series on things that destroy sex in marriageI so appreciate Paul and his wife Lori, who have been champions of authentic intimacy for years.

Google defines skew as "make biased or distorted in a way that is regarded as inaccurate, unfair, or misleading."

We’re surrounded by skewed sexuality.

skewed-sexual-beliefsPorn skews the thinking of men and a growing number of women. Various non-porn magazines teach all kinds of inaccurate things about sex.

We get sexual messages from TV, our friends, church, and our culture in general.

So many sexual messages, and virtually all of them are inaccurate, unfair or misleading.

As a part of our modern culture, you’ve had a number of skewed sexual beliefs piled on you. Even worse, it started long before you were interested in sex.

Your thinking about sex was skewed before you were really thinking about sex. We’re like fish who have no idea we are in water because it's always been there.

Are those skewed beliefs destroying sex in your marriage? They certainly are not making sex great!

More than a decade ago, a missionary to China told my wife and me a very sad story. Western-style porn had become available in China, and those who watched it tended to decide what they saw was how sex is supposed to happen. Husband and wife would watch porn, and then try to emulate what they watched.

Unable to do what they saw, they blamed each other. At best this led to frustration and anger; at worst, it led to divorce. Skewed sexual beliefs destroyed not only their sex lives, but also sometimes ended their marriages!

We tell ourselves we're more sophisticated than those folks in China seeing porn for the first time. We tell ourselves we're less easily influenced by skewed sex messages. Perhaps both of these are true, but only to a degree.

Some of the most dangerous skewed sexual beliefs are the negative things we get from our family of origin and the church.

These range from subtle hints that sex is overrated to blatant proclamations sex is just for men. Mothers "warn" their daughters to protect themselves from their husbands, rather than encouraging them to enjoy sex with abandon. They pass their disappointment and frustration on to the next generation, setting up another marriage for sexual problems.

God says sex is good.

He says both men and women should greatly want and wildly enjoy sex.

In the Song of Songs and elsewhere in the Bible, several passages talk about sexual abandon using words normally applied to being intoxicated with alcohol.

God is not calling us to limited, orderly sex; He’s calling us to wild, uninhibited enjoyment of His gift of sex in marriage.

Any beliefs at odds with what God says are skewed beliefs. If you want a better sex life, root out skewed beliefs and reject them the way you would reject any other kind of posion!

Eat, friends, drink, and be drunk with love!” [SS 5:1b ESV]

p-l-kissPaul has been blogging about marriage since dinosaurs roamed the Internet. He blogs to men on The Generous Husband, to women on The XY Code, and writes about all things sexual with his wife Lori on The Marriage Bed. He and Lori recently set out on an adventure to become full-time RVers. 

Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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Posted in authentic, marriage problems, sex education, sexual intimacy struggles, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , ,

September 15th, 2015 by Julie Sibert


I'm probably going to frustrate a few people with this post.

Or maybe not.  I'm not sure.

At any rate, soldier on in reading, even if you are tempted to stop. Where I am going may surprise you.

Sometimes I hear from husbands who are not interested in sex because their wife has "let herself go" -- not shown interest in being healthy, wearing attractive clothing or embracing her femininity.

Sometimes it is wives who are emailing me about their husband who has put on some extra pounds, not paid attention to his grooming like he did when they were first married and stopped embracing his manliness.

And sometimes the emails are from people lamenting not about their spouse, but about themselves, claiming they "let themselves go" and this is the reason for the intimacy woes that are plaguing the marriage.

Whether someone is complaining about their spouse or complaining about themselves, I think this whole "let yourself go" issue is not really the issue.

Because let's be honest.  For the vast majority of people, your body at 40 or 50 is not going to look like your body at 20.

It's just not, what with that thing called aging (not to mention carrying and birthing and nursing the little tykes for us women).

That's not to say you can't aim toward being physically healthy, dressing in appropriately fitting and attractive clothing, and so forth. Yes, this is all well and good.

BUT, the real issue, in my opinion, is your attitude about sexual intimacy and your willingness to have healthy confidence in yourself (not just in your body).

Do you want to know something about those scenarios I shared at the beginning of this post? The ones where I hear from people complaining about their spouse "letting themselves go"?

Those emails by far are a tiny percentage compared to the number of emails and comments I receive, particularly from husbands, who actually have a different quandary.

What torments these guys is their wife has let go of her sexual confidence, despite the husband's repeated encouragement and affirmation.

You see, these men don't care about the extra pounds their wife has put on. And they don't care that she doesn't look like she did when they first married.

What the husband hungers for is a wife who wants to make love, wants to be close and wants to give him the privilege of seeing her naked body.

But she is resistant, even belligerently self-defeating when it comes to nurtured sexual intimacy and sexual passion in the marriage.

The husband isn't hung up on what she perceives as having "let herself go."

She is.

If you are still reading, this may well be your come to Jesus moment as far as what has truly been sabotaging intimacy in your marriage bed.

Maybe you have.  And maybe it has nothing to do with your body.

I hear from countless guys who say that what they find incredibly sexy is sexual confidence.

Given the choice, they would be more excited about a wife who maybe has put on some extra weight and has a few wrinkles YET still has interest and enthusiasm in bed than a wife who looks like a Victoria Secret model YET has zero interest in sexual passion with her husband.

I could do a "man on the street" survey (because, honestly, that sounds like fun). You know where I would arrive with that survey?

That a wife's sexual confidence is sacred ground -- thoroughly enjoyed by husbands whose wives exhibit it -- and coveted by countless husbands whose wives don't have it (and have no interest in having it).

I'm just not so sure this "let yourself go" argument is really about what we have too often made it about.

I think the deeper issue is about sexual confidence. Not the extra baby weight.

If you're going to let go of anything, let go of this idea that you first have to lose the extra weight or get in better shape before you build sexual confidence.

A better approach just might be to build sexual confidence now.

What do you think?

And for more reading, check out my favorite post on "body image" at this link.

And I might catch some grief for sharing the below video, but it has an incredibly powerful message (warning though, especially for guys, it does contain subtle nudity).

Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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Posted in authentic, body image, sexual intimacy struggles, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , ,

healing from porn
September 9th, 2015 by Julie Sibert

It is no surprise that pornography has a devastating effect on marriages. 

Stu Gray of Stupendous Marriage shares today  about the depth of that devastation and what a couple can do to heal from it and restore trust. Stu's post is part of my ongoing guest blog series on things that destroy sex in marriage.

Stu and his wife Lisa where some of the first marriage bloggers I connected with when I started blogging.  I am grateful for the solid encouragement and difference they are making in so many marriages.

Every couple fights. Some fights you remember, some you don’t. Some are funny two hours later, and some leave scars for months.

One of our funnies: I was flipping channels on TV.

Lisa sat down and said, "What's on TV?"

I replied, "Dust.”

That one we laugh about.

Another, not so funny was when I walked in to her crying, slouched at my computer.

“I saw what you’ve been looking at.”

That one nearly cost me my marriage.

Battling in a Porn Culture

healing from pornPorn is wreaking havoc on couples. Our culture is saturated with pornographic images. Every where you turn, you see another body part on display.

Porn is difficult to escape from, especially in a culture that glorifies sexual images that would have been considered ‘risqué’ only a generation ago.

There is no excuse for porn in marriage. There are too many people smarter than mebeginning to come out and say what a problem it is on many levels.

Simply: Whenever you bring someone else into your marriage (even if it's just pixels), that leads to problems.

The Crazy Things Porn Does

Porn creates problems on many levels, not just in a sex life. If you struggle with porn, you may notice that you become emotionally distant, have unexplained rage, objectify people, have a lessened respect for marriage and family, sexual dissatisfaction, erectile disfunction or premature ejaculation (for husbands).

Maybe it has led to financial problems, emotional issues, infidelity, increased distress in your marriage, or a desire for more graphic images or movies.

Get this though: Porn also creates issues for spouses who don’t look at it! Things like loneliness, depression, isolation, and anger pop up. Not to mention many feel they "can’t measure up” to porn “standards."

It’s sad what happens when the powerful gift of sex that God has given to married couples is abused in an ungodly way, isn’t it?

Get Over the Porn Hump. Forgive the Pun.

Let me encourage you, if porn is destroying your sex life, you CAN get past it, but it takes work from both spouses.

If you discover your spouse has a porn habit, be firm, yet loving, in regard to their struggle. Ask to see a real change of behavior and progress toward being porn free.

If there is no movement in that direction, or there is refusal, decisions need to be made about consequences for the struggling spouse. Unfortunately, many who have struggled with porn need to hit a metaphorical "wall" before changing directions.

Here are 5 Steps Back to Sexual Health in your marriage:

1. Get into a safe group.

The one who struggles with porn needs a place to be honest and deal with core pain they may not realize they have. Porn is a big problem, but it's just a symptom of other brokenness. That's what needs to be explored and healed.

I encourage the supportive spouse to get in a group too. Hurt feelings and anger don’t do well if they’re bottled up.  It helps to have safe people with whom you can be accountable and who can link arms and share the burden.

2. Clear your devices.

If porn is always accessible, behavior is never going to change. Get images and websites off your devices. This resets your brain and also indicates to your spouse that you are serious about standing for your marriage.

If filters are needed, get them. If passwords have to be shared, do it. If computers need to be placed in a common area, humble yourself and take that step.

3. Battle porn through prayer.

Remember that you are on the same team with your spouse. You are  …”not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world…and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Battle it together by praying with one another and leaning on God to bring health and reconciliation to your marriage.

4. Give up sex (for a season).

I know, this is a blog about sex. I’m not saying give it up forever! Perhaps several weeks. A person's mind and body have to readjust to a "new normal" without pornographic stimulation.

During this season, have some no sex dates where you work on communication and rebuild other areas of intimacy.

5. Rebuild trust.

If the hurt spouse needs reassurance, like checking in about your day, or where you have been on the internet, know that this season of building trust back is vital. Trust can be lost in an instant, yet takes time to earn once again.

What steps have you taken to battle porn in your marriage?

Stu Gray is a youth and family pastor in Middle Tennessee. He is the creator of, where he and his wife Lisa encourage challenge and inspire married couples!

Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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Posted in marriage problems, promiscuity, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

no sex in marriage
September 7th, 2015 by Julie Sibert

no sex in marriageOccasionally, I receive an email from someone who is beyond frustration (and somewhat exasperated) by the fact that they have never had sex in their marriage.

Usually the person I hear from is the one being denied sex, and they don't know how to resolve this.

One husband who wrote to me said he and his wife had been married 7 years and never once had had sex. Seriously. 7 Years.

Most emails I get about this topic, though, are desperate cries for help from people who have been married less than a couple of years.

Regardless of how long a couple has been married -- a few months or a few years or even longer -- it is not okay that one person (or sadly, in some cases, both people) have completely avoided consummating the marriage.

Sex is part of marriage.  No matter how anyone would try to argue or justify otherwise, God and His Word are not vague about this.  Sex is intricately woven into the design of marriage.

Yes, in some instances, there are medical reasons that make it difficult for a woman in particular to have intercourse. She likely was a virgin when she married, and understandably didn't know these challenges even existed until she and her husband tried to have sex.

I'm not downplaying physical challenges.

In those instances, I know it takes courage for a woman to reach out to doctors, but that is what she needs to do.  The impact of physical challenges, such as vaginismus, often can be eliminated or at least minimized through the right physical therapy and medical assistance.

If you think there is a physical challenge that is preventing you from having AND enjoying sex, please do not delay in seeing a gynecologist.  If you have to, get second and third opinions.  Don't give up.

If there is not a physical reason for sex being painful or extremely difficult, then what could be some of the other reasons sex hasn't happened?

If you are in a marriage that has not been consummated or if sex has happened only a few times, do any of the below resonate with you:

1 Do you have skewed views about sex?

Did you grow up hearing that sex is always wrong, dirty or gross?  Sadly, Christians perpetuate these lies the most, particularly Christians who never saw the value of sex in their own marriages.

Or did you simply hear "don't do it" so often in your teen years and early 20s, that now it is difficult for you to see sex as permissible, even though you are married? Oh my, I hear from many married women who don't know how to "flip the switch" and now see sex as something to pursue rather than something to avoid.

I encourage you to dig into God's Word and reliable Christian resources that will help you see that sex is a totally good and needed experience in your marriage.  God designed sexual pleasure and sexual oneness for a husband and a wife.

It's time to put lies and half-truths behind you and get down to the holy business of being married, including enjoying sex.

2 Are you scared that you don't know how to have sex?

If you and/or your spouse were virgins when you married, you may feel apprehensive about sex, because you aren't sure how to have sex.

There's a lot to be said for trial and error -- simply exploring each other's bodies and offering good feedback to each other about what feels good.  Give yourself permission and room to learn and grow in your sexual confidence.

Don't rule out books, websites, etc., that give solid Christian guidance on enjoying sex.

3 Do you have relationship struggles outside of bed?

If you and your spouse are already having a hard time enjoying each other's friendship and company while you are clothed, it is no wonder that getting naked and vulnerable beneath the sheets feels impossible.

Don't ignore the disconnect and problems you are having in your relationship.

The more you shed light on those problems and seek to resolve them, the more likely your intimacy (sexual and otherwise) will grow.

4  Are you stuck in the "no sex" routine?

Sometimes when I hear from people who haven't had sex yet in their marriage, the scenario looks something like this:

The wedding was so exciting and exhausting and incredible.  Then the honeymoon was eagerly anticipated, yet the couple was still exhausted from all the wedding festivities. Then they came home to settle into life together, go back to work, and write thank you notes.

And. Still. No. Sex.

Before long, they fell into a routine of "no sex," all the while thinking, "It will happen someday."

Someday never came. And then weeks and months (and sometimes years) passed, and someday still never came.

And now the two people are paralyzed (and possibly embarrassed) in knowing how to finally have sex.

If that describes your situation, time for a heart-to-heart with each other.  Time to get real.  This situation isn't going to fix itself.

The two of you are going to have to get outside your comfort zone, get outside your routine and start exploring a sexual relationship with each other.

You are husband and wife.  You need to be having sex.

5 Were you sexually abused in your past?

Your hesitancy about sex could be rooted in the tragic experience of past sexual abuse.

Sometimes people know full well they were abused and other people have repressed these experiences, only to have them then resurface during intimate encounters during their marriage.

If you were sexually abused in any way, I hope and pray you know that those people who wronged you and committed the abuse are to blame, not you.  While healing from and moving beyond past sexual abuse can be a difficult journey, that kind of healing is vital for the health of your marriage.

There are resources available to help you face and heal from that pain, including counseling, books, seminars, blogs, etc.

The reality is that as a married person, you are left with a choice.  You can either continue to let that abuse wreak havoc and devastation in your life or you can find ways to embrace sex in its right context of marriage and enjoy it.

Don't let past sexual abuse continue to rob you and the person with whom you fell in love.  Sexual abuse has already taken enough from you.

The above 5 reasons are not exhaustive, but they cover quite a bit of ground as to why a couple possibly hasn't had sex yet.

For some couples, this is a real issue.  And they would never dream of talking about it, even to their closest friends or family, for fear of feeling like a failure or being seen as an oddity.

But I want to shed light into those dark places and speak hope into your discouragement and paralysis.

If there really is no reason you shouldn't be having sex (like illness, injury or extended separation because of military deployment or work commitments), then you need to be having sex -- and finding ways to fully enjoy it.

You are worth it. Your spouse is worth it.  Your marriage is worth it.

Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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Posted in marriage problems, sexual intimacy struggles, sexual struggles, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

menopause effect on sex
September 6th, 2015 by Julie Sibert

For many women, perimenopause and menopause can take a significant toll on sexual intimacy in marriage. 

In today's post, Debi Walter of The Romantic Vineyard shares authentically about her own journey, as well as information I think you will find helpful no matter your age. Debi's post is part of my ongoing guest blog series on things that destroy sex in marriage.

Before I begin, may I encourage all of you who are in your 20s and 30s to not check out of reading this because you think it doesn't apply to you.

menopause effect on sexI’ve researched and written this post primarily with you in mind. Promise to read it? Ok, good. Thank you!

When Julie asked us to contribute to her guest blog series on things that take a toll on sex in marriage, I knew I had to approach the topic of Sex and Menopause and Perimenopause (PM).

Having gone through this myself (I’m 56), I only had my limited experience and a few friends I’ve talk to from which to glean. This is why I decided to ask readers through a 10-question survey about this apparently much-needed topic.

I also solicited the help from the CMBA marriage bloggers I know and asked them to alert their readers of the survey as well. I am pleased with the response. If you participated, thank you!

First, let me say, menopause is a mystery to most couples, even when you’re going through it.

Desires that once were a given, may no longer be on the radar screen. For those who have yet to experience it, you most likely don’t care to think about “that stage” of life. You’re too busy raising a family for goodness sakes.

I get that.

Second, everyone is different when it comes to how they’ll go through the “change of life,” as my parent’s generation called it.

After reading nearly 200 respondents answers to my survey, I understand why they gave it that name; It can change your life in ways you never thought would happen- - not to you anyway.

Finally, whatever difficulty you’ve had with your sexual intimacy and in your marriage for that matter, will be magnified during this season. This is why if you’re young and reading this, please, please work hard to keep the lines of communication open through all that you face together.

Holding back out of fear, shame or pride will only make things worse as the years pass. The pain you experience now in facing it won’t compare to the pain many of the couples shared who are facing menopause and unable to connect with their spouse in an understanding way.

If you’re not sure what the difference is between menopause and perimenopause or what any of it is, The Mayo Clinic provides this helpful definition:

“Perimenopause means 'around menopause' and refers to the time period during which a woman's body makes its natural transition toward permanent infertility (menopause). Perimenopause is also called the menopausal transition.

Women start perimenopause at different ages. You may notice signs of progression toward menopause, such as menstrual irregularity, sometime in your 40s. But some women notice changes as early as their mid-30s.

The level of your estrogen — the main female hormone — rises and falls unevenly during perimenopause. Your menstrual cycles may lengthen or shorten, and you may begin having menstrual cycles in which your ovaries don't release an egg (ovulate). You may also experience menopause-like symptoms, such as hot flashes, sleep problems and vaginal dryness. Treatments are available to help ease these symptoms.

Once you've gone through 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period, you've officially reached menopause, and the perimenopause period is over.”


My experience began overnight when we went through an unexpected stressful season in our life. I thought I was struggling with anger and moodiness because of our situation, but it wasn’t like me.

I’d always been very optimistic about life, but suddenly I was seeing things like a pessimist. Everything was a negative, and my husband was perplexed to say the least.

So was I.

About 6 months into it, I had my annual appointment scheduled with my doctor and this is when we discovered my moodiness wasn’t only a reaction to my circumstances. My hormone levels had bottomed out as if I were in menopause, yet I was still having regular menstrual cycles.

I was full blown in the perimenopausal stage. I was 50.

Thankfully, because my husband and I have worked hard through our marriage to keep the lines of communication open, and we have enjoyed a healthy sex life, we were able to navigate the moody waters of my hormones.

I believe we have weathered the worst of it now, nearly 6 years after it began. Sure, things are different. The physical desire isn’t as strong as it once was, but it’s still there. It just takes a little more time to get things going.

The emotional connection to my husband and the love we share makes sex worth pursuing. It may not occur as often as it used to, but when it does, I would say it’s better than it’s ever been.

That’s our story, and it’s only one among thousands that are unique to each couple. Everyone is writing the story of their sex life with each encounter that they share. You will experience things that will challenge your intimacy in ways others may not.

The key is to be intentional together as you walk through difficulty.

Here are some facts that will help you know what it can be like for some women and the difficulty they have to enjoy their sexual encounters. (Source: The Mayo Clinic)

Physical Challenges of Perimenopause (PM):

Vaginal dryness

Lack of libido (desire for sex)

Weight gain

Lack of sleep due to hot flashes and insomnia

Embarrassing sweating to the point of having to change clothes often

When touched the heat soars, which limits physical contact with husband

Thinning of vaginal walls causing bleeding and severe pain

Mood changes

Loss of bone density

Change in cholesterol levels

Vulnerable to urinary and vaginal infections

Menstrual irregularity - including skipping periods altogether or heavier, longer lasting periods.

I share all of this with you because it helps to be informed. Many women would rather not think about it. I know, because this is what I did.

I was afraid to hear of the nightmares other women had experienced. I didn’t want to think that that could be me one day. I totally ignored the wisdom and advice that could have prepared me more for this season, because I was too proud thinking that would never be me.

I don’t want you to go 6 months wondering what in the world is wrong with you, like I did. Burying your head in the sand will not make it go away. It will just ensure you’re not prepared when it comes.

Surprisingly, many menopausal couples no longer have sex or rarely do for various reasons. This is sad to me, and makes me grateful that we are still able to enjoy our sexual intimacy. But there are many couples whose sex life is still going strong, even if it’s not as often.

I want to close with this excellent advice from one of the survey respondents to all of you who are wondering what this season will hold for you. Don’t be fearful, instead prepare. Here is what they had to say:

“Let your husband be a priority in your life. He will be with you through all the ups and downs. Have date nights, do your best to keep romance alive. Put him before your girlfriends. Get away for the weekend if you can. I wish I would have trusted God more and worried less. My husband has taken good care of us and our kids. Have fun with your husband!!!”

To read the survey results, see the embedded graph further down in this post or go to this link.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8,11 ESV holds new meaning when read in light of our subject.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace...

...He has made everything beautiful in its time.

Kind of sounds like those vows we said on our wedding day, doesn’t it?

For richer or poorer, for better or worse?

We hope this helps open the door of communication between you and your spouse. Let them read this post and see if they can relate to what has been shared.

Take time and read the responses in our survey (the survey results are below or at this link).

Set aside some time to talk about it. If menopause is far down the road, still plan a date night to discuss with your spouse how they would respond to some of the examples given.

Be aware and prepare.

Menopause and Its Effect On Your Sex Life

Debi Walter blogs regularly at The Romantic Vineyard. She and her husband, Tom, are true champions of marriage.  They live in Florida and have three grown children.

Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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Posted in marriage problems, passion, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

oral sex in marriage
September 4th, 2015 by Julie Sibert

oral sex in marriageRecently a young wife emailed me, asking for tips on giving great oral sex when she and her husband were on an upcoming vacation.

Kudos to her for wanting to bring her husband this pleasure and for reaching out to ask for tips on how to make it even better!

So below are 5 tips on giving great oral sex to your husband on vacation (Or at home. Seriously, why would anyone limit this pleasure to a hotel room?!):

1 Ask him what feels good.

This seems like a simple one, right?  Well, you wouldn't believe the number of women who won't offer oral sex to their husbands because they are afraid they won't do it "right."

I'm not going to say there aren't some techniques that make it more enjoyable, but trust me on this -- you can't really go "wrong" if you show effort and enthusiasm.

So my suggestion is try different things and ask him for feedback.  Guys, please give feedback.   If ever there was a skill perfected through trial and error and lots of practice, this is definitely one!

2  Don't just use your mouth.

Somewhere along the way, we totally got the idea that oral sex is only about the mouth. Not the case, ladies.

I would be willing to bet my very last dollar that if you also make good use of your hands and breasts, you will discover that most phenomenal oral sex for your husband is rarely just oral.  His penis is not particularly finicky in the attention it craves.

If your husband is like most husbands, he wants his wife to touch him with her entire body. This is as true during oral sex as it is during intercourse.

3 Speaking of your hand...

Okay, if you use your hand and mouth at the same time, this tends to offer the right amount of pressure around his penis in a rhythmic and wet motion that is irresistible.

Ask him to give you a good sense if more or less firmness in your grip is what he needs.  As your hand slides up his penis, wrap it up over the top and then back down as your mouth comes over the head of his penis. Just an idea.

4 Do it because you like bringing him pleasure.

I hear from wives who think oral sex is disgusting, and that makes me a little bit sad.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I know that some women have really strong gag reflexes and there are aspects of oral sex that take some getting used to.

If you as a wife are having a hard time with oral sex, I encourage you to simply reframe your perspective on it.

This is the man you married and with whom God desires you enjoy an exclusive sexual relationship.  Nowhere in the Bible do we see that oral sex between a husband and wife is forbidden (if anything, we see scriptures in Song of Solomon that would indicate oral sex is a good and holy thing in matrimony).

Guys, be sensitive about what will make the experience easier for her.  Shower before you come to bed.  Cleanliness can go a long way in making oral sex enjoyable (for both a husband and a wife, by the way).

If she can't swallow, don't make this a deal breaker.  While I know many guys have said that their wife swallowing is a big turn on and makes them feel valued and loved, I also know that for some women, it's just not possible.

Also, as a husband, you can't push yourself into her mouth, as tempting as that may be because everything is feeling so good right in that moment.

You really need to let her drive this experience.  Offer feedback and affirm her when she's getting it right.  If you can't talk in that moment, any happy expression of ecstasy will do.

I mean, don't wake the neighbors or small children down the hall, but you get the idea.

5 Draw the experience out.

Oral sex leaves a lot of room for tantalizing creativity.  There is so much freedom in being able to bring him to the edge and back down a bit and then bring him to the edge again.

The more confident you grow in using your entire body, particularly your hands, mouth and breasts on his penis, the more exciting it will be for him.

And don't forget that most guys are incredibly visual when it comes to sexual stimulation.  It will probably be a big turn on for him if he can watch you pleasure him orally. You don't need the overhead light on, but maybe a closet light or some candlelight or a nightstand lamp? (Or if you are camping, maybe a well-placed flashlight?!)

So, all the above being said, are you willing to get outside your comfort zone and make the next romantic getaway more memorable with some awesome oral sex?

(Word to the wise, you don't need to wait for the vacation. You could start tonight).

I've written about oral sex before and I imagine some of the above tips show up in the below posts, but there might be another gem or two.  Plus I've given you links to some other bloggers' posts.

How to Give Your Husband Amazing Oral Sex
3 Secrets to Amazing Oral Sex
Some Thoughts on Oral Sex
Is It Reasonable to Say "No" to Oral Sex?
Enough With the Double Standards Regarding Oral Sex
An Important Follow Up to the Oral Sex Post

Oral Sex: How To
Oral Sex: Better to Give and Receive, Volume 1
Oral Sex: Better to Give and Receive, Part Deux
Oral Sex: Survey Says…
Oral Sex

Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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Posted in intimacy, orgasm, passion, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

sexual intimacy in marriage
September 2nd, 2015 by Julie Sibert

sexual intimacy in marriage

Well, it's really a redesign of the old website, but you get the idea!

I am pumped about the new look of my site!  I am so excited to continue to offer up resources that will help you heal, improve, grow and strengthen sex in your marriage.

The call on my heart is to encourage couples, particularly Christian wives, in nurturing authentic sexual intimacy in marriage.  I know -- I really know -- how difficult that can be at times.

Yet God regular reminds me that we never stop learning how to be married.  A big part of that is continually learning, through all seasons of marriage, how to build amazing intimacy (not just sexual intimacy, but what can I say?! That's what I like to talk about the most).

So bookmark the site, sign up for to receive the posts through my feed or via email, and don't hesitate to comment or contact me about your thoughts on the topic!

Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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Posted in intimacy, sexual intimacy, sexual intimacy struggles, Uncategorized Tagged with: ,

August 15th, 2015 by Julie Sibert


Orgasmic pleasure in a marriage can elude many couples.  The causes behind the struggle can vary.

In today's post, Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo of One Extraordinary Marriage share about the impact orgasm has not only on sexual intimacy, but marriage as a whole. The DiLorenzos' post is part of my ongoing guest blog series on things that destroy sex in marriage.

I so appreciate them sharing as part of this series.  Tony and Alisa were some of the first bloggers I met in the internet world of speaking encouragement into the lives of married couples trying to nurture their intimacy.


lack-of-orgasmIs lack of orgasm destroying your marriage? The short answer is yes AND no.

Well, that cleared things up for each of you, didn't it?

The truth is that marriages are destroyed by many things and there are two sides to this particular question.

Let's explore this in more detail.

First, let me be very clear, I am able to have an orgasm and I do enjoy them.

I do not have an orgasm every time that I have sex.

Sometimes that is by choice and sometimes that is by circumstances.

I know that not everyone is able to have an orgasm. There can be medical reasons for lack of orgasm. There can be emotional reasons for lack of orgasm. There can even be knowledge reasons for lack of orgasm.

Let's start with that last point -- the fact that you have to know how your body works.

You have to know what feels good for you in order to be able to share that with your spouse. If you don't know what works, how can you expect your spouse to figure it out?

Your spouse does not have ESP.

Am I referring to self-exploration? Yes! Mutual self-exploration.

When you were in school, did you have a  Sex Ed class?

Well…, you get to participate in the grown-up, married version, and it's SO much better than what was in any textbook.

You have the opportunity to explore and learn with your spouse in a loving and creating environment. So what are you waiting for?

Now, back to the original question:

Is Lack of Orgasm Destroying Your Marriage? YES

For a person to experience orgasm, especially a woman, there has to be a combination of factors:

  • emotional connection
  • vulnerability
  • trust
  • communication

To fully let go in a sexual experience, to be willing to throw all caution to the wind, to be fully present in the moment, you have to let go of everything else around you.

You have to be willing to be caught up in the experiences, to surrender your body, mind, and soul to another person.

In the busyness of our world, that is a hard thing to do.  It takes a combination of willpower and desire to "flip the switch" to decide to be vulnerable, to decide to be fully present.

When these factors are not present, the chances for an orgasm are greatly diminished.

It's more than just the orgasm though.

When these particular factors are not present, there are greater problems in the marriage.

The lack of orgasm, and more likely the lack of sex, becomes a symptom of something else going on in the relationship.

So yes, if a lack of orgasm is due to the factors listed above, it could be indicative that your marriage is being destroyed.

Is Lack of Orgasm Destroying Your Marriage? NO

On the other hand, there are those times when the two of you are engaged in sexual activity with no orgasm. It happens and it's OK, as long as the two of you are able to communicate what's going on.

You won't always come to orgasm when you are having a quickie or when you are in a different place.

Many times there is a medical or situational lack of orgasm, and the two of you are aware of it.

You know that something is going on with the health of your spouse. You know that you only have 5 minutes before a child is going to come and knock on the door.

It's no surprise that due to stress, one of you might not be able to orgasm…

...and yet, the two of you are making the time to connect with one another, to be physical with each other.

To do what you can, with what you have, allows the two of you to be able to grow your marriage, no matter what the circumstances are.

The orgasm can be a barometer of what's going on the relationship, but not the only measure.

The most important thing in your marriage is that the two of you making time for one another and making each other a priority.

If you would like to read more posts about orgasm, check out this page.

Tony & Alisa equip couples struggling with a lack of time, communication or intimacy with specific tools and strategies to create the extraordinary relationship they desire. One quick tool is their 6 Questions To Get The Conversation Started This Week (And Keep It Going).






Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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Posted in authentic, marriage problems, sex, sexual intimacy, sexual intimacy struggles, sexual struggles, Uncategorized Tagged with: , ,

August 4th, 2015 by Julie Sibert


It's hard to argue that society doesn't impact marriages. A busy and sometimes expensive lifestyle can spell doom for a couple's intimacy.

Lori Lowe of Marriage Gems shares sound wisdom on nurturing our marriages, despite society's standards that rail against margin. Lori's post is part of my ongoing guest blog series on things that destroy sex in marriage.


Fuel gaugeI recently read about a family's decision to leave an expensive city lifestyle and move to a rural, laid back community to reduce stress and have more time together.

It was a reminder that our lives are full of choices, and that our lifestyle is not a permanent decision.

I'm convinced the societal standards for most Americans are putting an immense strain on families and marriages; so much so, that many couples are too exhausted for physical and emotional intimacy.

For couples just getting by financially, the pressures are even greater to make ends meet, putting the marriage on the back burner.

The pressure to live in a large home filled with expensive furniture, to wear fashionable clothes, to send children to the best schools with private lessons, to take nice vacations, and to drive new cars contributes to a perceived need to work longer hours and attain promotions.

Many couples believe they can't live on one salary, even when one of the salaries is quite high.

These desires are promoted by the culture (through advertising, movies, Facebook, etc.) and lead to either debt or the need to earn more.

The result: Increased stress and less time, both of which contribute to a poor sex life.

Families with children have to face additional societal pressures to join artistic, educational, and athletic teams and activities.

A generation ago, a baseball team would practice perhaps one day a week in addition to a weekend game. Today's sports teams often require daily practices and most of the weekend. Many kids I know practice before and after school every day, plus weekends.

Ballet, piano, swim, choir, band, soccer—the options are endless and costly, and the pressure to join starts very early. Family time suffers, and budgets are strained. Parents often divide on weekends to cover all the activities, making weekends as much work as the weekday.

Where does sex fit into the schedule?

Frankly, it's difficult to be in the mood when you haven't had time to connect during the week or the weekend. You're both tired and trying to catch up on household chores. There may even be resentment when one or both spouses feel they are doing more (of the childcare, of the chores, or earning the money).

If only one spouse is working, he or she may feel compelled to focus on work to fulfill the family's needs and wants. A lack of connection can develop if not enough time is spent with one's spouse and family, hurting the relationship and getting in the way of a good sex life.

Millennials are starting to pave the way with prioritizing work/life balance above climbing the corporate ladder. Building balance into our lives allows us to nurture our relationships.

There's nothing wrong with living in a nice home, driving a nice car, and taking your kids to soccer practice.

However, if societal pressures are preventing a quality family life, consider what changes could be made.

Are you willing to live in a smaller house to have more time together?

Could you drop out of some activities and have more free time together?

Is it possible to live on one salary or for one partner to go part-time?

How can you carve out time for daily/weekly connection?

When my family found ourselves spread too thin and separating for sporting activities on the weekend, we dropped my son out of the travel soccer team. Instead, we found ourselves enjoying relaxing Saturdays as a family, and able to go to church at our regular time on Sunday.

We adjusted our lives so that I could work part-time. The extra time allows me to have much of the shopping, laundry and chores done during the workday. Evenings and weekends aren't overwhelmed with these tasks.

I don’t think we have won the battle against all of society’s expectations.

One struggle we often have is the high volume of homework, studying, and projects our kids complete each night, sometimes requiring our support. The pressure to help our kids succeed is high and time consuming. This stress can also bleed into the marriage relationship and keep us from having time to relax as a couple.

Now that our children are teens/tweens, we sometimes have to force ourselves to leave them to do their work, and take time for ourselves as a couple. We go out to dinner and allow them the practice of cooking and cleaning up after themselves.

It's important for us to prioritize the marriage; a strong marriage is a great gift for our children.

We plan for long-term goals, including trips and college, but we try not to succumb to many of the pressures that would take too much time from our marriage and family. We are blessed to have our children at home, and we also look forward to different phases of our lives.

To be successful and have a happy marriage once our children are gone, we need to make time and space for one another now. We make frequent changes to try to achieve better balance, and at least question the activities in which we are involved. Balance is a moving target.

If you think your marriage and sex life is getting put on the back burner, sit down individually, as a couple and as a family to determine what changes are possible to give you more of the life you want.

Lori_LOWE Red_Dress_50Lori Lowe writes research-based marriage tips at Her book First Kiss to Lasting Bliss: Hope & Inspiration for Your Marriage is available on and in all e-book formats. Lori has been married to her high school sweetheart for 20 years this fall. They live in Indianapolis with their two children.





Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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