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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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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lack-of-orgasm
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…

...now, 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 MarriageGems.com. Her book First Kiss to Lasting Bliss: Hope & Inspiration for Your Marriage is available on Amazon.com 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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July 24th, 2015 by Julie Sibert

 

Many married Christians have unintentionally let their sexual intimacy suffer, all because they were busy doing ministry.

Kevin Bullard of Marriage Works! is sharing today as part of my ongoing guest blog series on things that destroy sex in marriage.

I so appreciate Kevin and his wife Cetelia, and the great wisdom Kevin offers in this post.

churchIf you are in ministry as a pastor, teacher, elder, deacon, worship leader, administrator or any other position that requires significant time, you need to read this blog to ensure ministry doesn't destroy sex in your marriage.

Although it may seem weird, the truth is that out-of-control ministry can destroy sex in your marriage, because true sexual intimacy is built on genuine intimacy -- not just physical actions.

That said, heed the following 3 strategies to ensure you're building intimacy in your marriage so you’re not destroying sex:

Strategy 1: Beware the Sprinkler effect

As leaders we're ready to serve and reach the world. What happens all too often, however, is the sprinkler effect.

Have you ever noticed that the grass closest to the sprinkler is always dry? It's because the water always shoots to the far edges of the yard while missing the grass closest to it. This can happen in marriage if we're not careful.

Everyone else will get fed while our spouse is malnourished (and perhaps becoming bitter).

I've seen this happen too many times, and it's unfortunate. Understand there's nothing wrong with serving the Lord. You just need to ensure you're ALSO serving the one you entered into holy covenant with.

Strategy 2: Save the Preaching for the Pulpit

To the spouse who preaches at church and at home, let me tell you that you're not alone. I've done it to my wife Cetelia more than once, and I've seen how damaging it is.

I'll always remember one occasion before marriage when I preached a pretty lengthy sermon on the virtues of money management. It sounded and felt good to me, until I realized that I had demoralized Cetelia, and made her feel like a little kid. Ouch!

I'd like to say that I have not given her some sermons (another name for a lecture) since then, but that would not be genuine. The only way I know to keep from preaching to her (and my kids for that matter) is to first of all LISTEN without offering a solution.

It's not easy, but it's doable. When Cetelia wants to share heart, she wants my ears, not my mouth, which requires empathy.

Strategy 3: Spend Time Together

Perhaps this should have been number one (or perhaps this is a good spot for it, now that your mind is being stirred up).

The simple fact is this: If you don't spend time with your spouse, you're going to grow apart. We get distracted by ministry responsibilities and opportunities, and lose sight of the one we committed to spending our forever with.

Get this: If all your time is spent going to church, and you're not spending time with your spouse outside of church, the two of you are going to move further and further apart until you either become roommates who occasionally have sex or yet another couple who can't find a reason to stay together.

I've been zinged for making that assertion, but I stand by it.

Couples must spend time together outside of church where they can focus on one another, rather than the business of the church.

Strategy 4: Ensure Your Church Respects You as a Leader and a Spouse

If given the opportunity, people at church will drain you dry, then leave your carcass lying at the altar for Jesus to resurrect.

While folks don't mean to be parasites, sometimes they are. They will call on you day and night until you're stretched thinly, worn out, and have no more energy to give to your spouse (and family).

The answer is to guard feverishly against this by setting boundaries for your time and availability. This is easier said than done, I know.

As ministry leaders, we have this incorrect attitude that says, "If I don't, it won't." Viz., if I don't do this, it won't get done. This is a double booby trap, and here's why:

(1) We can become full of ourselves thinking that we're God's gift to the world, and

(2) We handicap everyone around us and stymie them from becoming leaders in their own right, because we're doing everything (been there, done that).

When we ensure that people respect us as leaders and as spouses, we send an important message that says, "I am your leader, yes, but I am also my mate's spouse."

From my experience, we must teach people this principle because they do not intuitively get it. The best ways to successfully teach this is to continually say it then live it.

Conclusion

Blending marriage and ministry is NOT easy. There is a lot of pressure from both sides to do everything well and without error.

First, free yourself from that unfair and unrealistic expectation.

Second, know that when you build intimacy in your marriage, you set yourself up to have a loving and successful sex life.

Make ministry a part of your life and marriage, not the master of your life and marriage.

Kevin and Cetelia Bullard encourage marriages through their Marriage Works! blog and their countless marriage resources.  They are true champions of marriage, hosting conferences, mentoring other couples, and speaking hope and biblical encouragement into broken places.

They live in Texas with their children.

Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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July 12th, 2015 by Julie Sibert

 

Dustin Riechmann of Engaged Marriage is sharing today as part of my ongoing guest blog series on things that destroy sex in marriage.

For many of us, parenting does take a toll on sexual intimacy!  Dustin offers great insights...

When we become parents, it's super easy to put our kids at the center of our lives.

It all starts when they're babies, and they legitimately require a major part of our time and attention.

toll of parenting on intimacyAs our kids get older, the tasks transition from diapers to baseball games to school projects and beyond, but the constant needs (and wants) of our children never cease.

It sounds innocent enough to pour everything you have into your kids, and you should rightfully be proud to be engaged and involved in the lives of your children.

But where does that leave your spouse in your list of priorities?

Put Your Kids Second…or Third!

The problem with putting your kids first is that it means you're putting two other MORE important people after them when it comes to how you spend your time and energy.

If you're a Christian like me, you should really strive to put God first and at the center of your life. When you do, prayer is a top priority and your faith is the rock from which you live and serve others.

Right after God should be your spouse – the one you vowed to love for life above all others. As a married couple, it's your job to serve your spouse and to help your husband or wife get to heaven.

It's no small task, and it requires that you put your marriage first…ahead of your role as a parent.

It may seem weird to say that your kids aren't your top priority, but it makes a lot of sense when you consider what comes ahead of them.

As Christians, we have no greater responsibility than to pass along our faith and love of God to our children. And the best thing we can do to help our kids live happy and healthy lives is love our spouse well and model God's love through our marriage.

How to Be a Great Parent and an Even Better Sexy Spouse

So, hopefully you can see now WHY you should put your vocation as husband or wife ahead of your role as parent.

But how do you put it into action?

Below are three simple actions you can take starting today to make it happen. It's all about quality:

Quality Affection

It's super easy to get into a "Romantic Rut" after a few years of marriage, especially after kids come along. That's why it's more vital than ever that you consciously and proactively do something special to show your spouse affection.

The best way I've found to accomplish this is through a simple, heartfelt romantic love letter. When's the last time you’'ve shared a love letter with your husband or wife?

To make it easy, we have a free Love Letter Checklist (click here to grab it) that hundreds of couples have used to reignite the romance. It only takes a few minutes and doesn't cost you a dime.

Quality Time

When I'm asked for my #1 tip for married couples, especially new parents, it's always to commit to 15 minutes each day of quality "Couple Time."

While it doesn't take much of your time (less than 1% of your day), the impact on your relationship will be profound!

If you're ready to get started or just learn more, don't miss this post on how to get your 15 Minutes of Couple Time each day – and what to do during this special time together.

Quality Sexual Expression

To this point, I've barely talked about the act of sex itself since so many aspects of "life" impact our sexual intimacy. However, I'm willing to bet that you and your spouse have faced some sexual challenges in your marriage. I haven't met a couple yet who has not.

Whether it's low libido, a lack of romance and anticipation, or a straight-up loss of passion between you, sexual challenges are real. But there is also help available to you!

Julie does an amazing job with many of these topics, so you can start your search right here on her blog.

At Engaged Marriage, our most popular program is called Intimacy Reignited. It's a complete step-by-step guide to rekindling the passion and romance in your marriage.

You really can have it all - even after kids bring about all the joys and chaos of parenthood.

Just remember that you'll be a better parent when you focus first and foremost on having great sex with your spouse!

Dustin and Bethany PhotoDustin Riechmann is the author of 15 Minute Marriage Makeover and creator of Engaged Marriage, a site devoted to helping other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen.

Dustin's passion is providing practical tools that you can use to keep your marriage fresh and fully "engaged" even when life gets hectic. He's been married for over 14 years to his best friend Bethany, and they are proud parents to three very energetic kids under the age of ten.

You deserve your dream marriage, and it's Dustin's mission to help you make it happen.

Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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July 11th, 2015 by Julie Sibert

 

The-Unveiled-WifeI recently finished reading Jennifer Smith's book "The Unveiled Wife," in which she chronicles with raw vulnerability the struggles she and her husband Aaron faced from the start of their young marriage.

With transparency and courage, she shares about her hopes for an amazing marriage, including profound sexual intimacy, once she became a bride -- only to encounter instead physical pain during sex that left both her and Aaron exasperated and confused.

Digging deeper, she peels back even more layers of emotional pain rooted in both of their pasts, and the horrendous impact such pain was taking on their fragile marriage.

Their difficulty in coping was compounded by denial, poor communication, selfishness, pride and an unwillingness to be honest about the depth of the struggles.

She at times contemplated divorce.  I have to be honest -- as I was reading the book, I was expecting at any moment that she would share they did indeed separate.

Through betrayal, disappointment, anger and anxiety, she and Aaron fought hard for their marriage (although not always at the same time).

They found comfort and truth in the Lord's Word and in the wisdom of other married couples who were safe haven for them as they sought to heal their marriage.

Jennifer and Aaron had begun their marriage steeped in her romanticized version of a Christ-centered relationship. They instead found themselves with no other alternative but to mature toward something even better and more reflective of God's provision.

It was there where they built genuine intimacy with each other and with God.

Jennifer writes the book primarily through her voice and lens, which I think makes it a book to which other women may easily relate.

While the physical pain Jennifer experienced during sex is a key thread throughout the book, the book definitely explores other marital struggles that are more universal.

Jennifer is quick to point out that her experiences may not mirror other women's experiences, but that her journey is abundant with lessons that can enlighten and encourage any marriage.

I couldn't agree more.

Throughout the pages, I easily sense Jennifer's hunger for deep abiding relationship with the Lord, amidst flawed and sometimes uncomfortable human frailties.  That, no doubt, is a lesson for all of us, regardless of the circumstances we face.

This is a good read, particularly because it feels unsettling at times -- to be so honest about disillusionment within marriage.

I appreciate anytime someone vulnerably shares their story and sheds light where light needs to be shed.  Thank you for that, Jen.   When we do this, especially as Christians, we empower others to be real about their own struggles.

Ultimately, as a body of Christ, we can then celebrate that authentic relationship -- with each other and with the Lord -- is a messy, messy endeavor.  And it is rich with potential.

To find out more about Jennifer and her books, check out her wildly successful blog The Unveiled Wife.

Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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July 2nd, 2015 by JulieSibert

 

As part of my ongoing guest blog series on things that destroy sex in marriage and what we can do about those things, I today welcome Gaye Groover Christmus of Calm Healthy Sexy.

Such great insights in this post...

Do you often feel too exhausted to be interested in sex? If so, you’re not alone.

A study by the National Sleep Foundation found that 25% of spouses say they’re frequently too tired for sex, but I'd guess that the percentage is actually higher.

In fact, if I was a betting woman, I'd bet that exhaustion is causing more damage to sex in marriage than anything else. Not because it's the worst problem – clearly things like infidelity and childhood sexual abuse are much worse – but because it's so widespread.

exhaustion and sexIt pervades modern marriage and family life and, in some ways, has become a badge of honor. After all, if I'm so busy that I’m exhausted all the time, it must mean I’m important, I’m needed, or I’m busy doing God’s work. Right?

Well, maybe.

But if you're so tired all the time that sex in your marriage is suffering, something needs to change.

And the reality is that the culture we live in has set us up for this: It's created a perfect storm of busyness, stress, and overstimulation that is, frankly, exhausting.

And we’ve allowed it, by allowing unrealistic expectations, community commitments, electronic devices – even church activities – to rob us of joy, health, and peace of mind.

And then we wonder why we’re too tired to focus on our marriages and enjoy sex with our husbands or wives!

If you feel exhausted much of the time and find that you're frequently too tired for sex, here are 5 steps you can take to feel more rested and take better care of yourself and your marriage:

1. Make sex and intimacy a priority.

None of these steps will work if you haven't prioritized enjoying sex and intimacy with your spouse. If you're not sure it warrants that kind of priority, I encourage you to read (this blog is a great place to start!), think and pray about it.

Sex is the thing that sets your marriage apart from all of your other relationships. It's the thing God created to draw you closer to your spouse than any other person in your life. Without it, you and your husband or wife are just good friends who live together, which really isn't what most people want for their marriage.

2. Identify the source(s) of your exhaustion.

Before you can reduce exhaustion, you need to know its source. Extreme fatigue is normal at certain stages of life – settling in at home with a newborn, caring for a sick child, starting a new business. In those cases, it usually passes within a few months (although you can do things to get more rest and feel better until it does).

But much of our exhaustion is self-inflicted. We try to do too much, say “yes” too often, or work too hard to keep everyone happy. We don't ask for help, or maybe don't know how to accept help when it's offered.

Or maybe we just feel better about ourselves if we're always on the go. The source is different for each person, so it's important to figure out what’s driving your exhaustion. Only then can you begin working to reduce it.

3. Whether it’s you or your spouse who tends to be too exhausted for sex, talk about it.

Work together to figure out a way to prioritize sex and intimacy in your marriage. Figure out what you’re thinking and feeling, then share it with your spouse.

When our children were young, I had to figure out that I simply could not work all day and evening on child, house, and job responsibilities and then fall into bed and be interested in sex.

Then I had to communicate that to my husband.

And, honestly, I had to communicate it more than once, because I'm not that great at communication and the things I was saying were completely alien to him! So talk about it and keep on talking until you work it out.

4. Make time and save energy for sex.

On a very practical level, the spouse who is often too tired for sex needs to be proactive about managing his or her schedule and energy. If that's you, you probably need more sleep – at least 7 hours a night.

And you probably need to "schedule" sex a couple of times a week. (Although that sounds so unromantic, not having sex is even less romantic!) Make it a priority on those days, and don't allow other activities to crowd it out.

In addition, be sure to save some energy for it. Don't work yourself to the bone, then fall into bed at 10:00 pm and expect to be rarin’ to go! It just won’t happen.

Instead, structure your day and evening so that you can take time to relax, connect with your spouse, and focus on allowing your body to feel good. If your spouse is the one who tends to be too tired for sex, be proactive about helping him or her get more sleep, shed some responsibilities, and take time at the end of the day to relax and unwind.

5. Take it for a "test drive."

Once in a while, when you feel too tired for sex, consider taking it for a "test drive." Agree with your spouse to kiss, make out, or fool around for a few minutes. Often that will be enough to pique your interest and get things going in a sexy direction.

If it isn't, agree ahead of time to do something quick for your husband or wife, so he or she isn’t left feeling frustrated. This may be particularly helpful for women, who often can't transition easily from mom, homemaker, teacher or professional mode to lover mode without some sort of "bridge" activity.

Your marriage needs regular sex to keep it strong, and you and your spouse both need the fun, joy and connection that regular sex provides.

If exhaustion is ruining your sex life, begin taking steps today to reduce fatigue and reserve some of your time and energy for sex and intimacy.

For more great posts in this series, go to this page.

Gaye Groover ChristmusGaye Groover Christmus is a wife and mom to two almost-grown sons. In her "day job" she works as a writer and editor in a health field. Her passion, though, is encouraging married women to slow down, live with vitality and energy, and create joy and intimacy in their marriages. She believes that small steps can lead to big changes, and that women armed with knowledge and a plan can transform their hurried, hectic lives. Gaye blogs at Calm Healthy Sexy.

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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June 21st, 2015 by JulieSibert

This is part 3 in a guest blog series on things that destroy sex in marriage and what we can do about it. Part 1 was on body image struggles and part 2 was on sexual inhibition

Today I welcome Kate Aldrich of One Flesh Marriage to chime in on the ways friends can have an unhealthy impact on sex in marriage. 

 

There is nothing quite like laughing with a bunch of girlfriends.

friends-impact-our-sex-livesIt’s just so good to get together, take a break and chat.

I have always loved those sweet times with my dear friends. Yet, over our 16 years of marriage, I have realized that not all of my friendships were healthy for my marriage.

Friends can be a tremendous encourager to marriage or they can be a huge stumbling block. The same is true of sex and intimacy in marriage.

I encourage you today to take a hard look at your friendships and evaluate whether they are marriage and sex positive or not.

So how can friends contribute to destroying your sex life?

Spouse Bashing

It is so easy for a friend to start in on their husband, sharing their honest frustrations, and all of the sudden it is an all-out husband slamming get together.

I used to take part in these conversations, even starting some of them myself. It was always better if I wasn’t alone in my complaining. You know why?

Because hearing their frustrations made me feel justified in my lack of sexual desire and horrible attitude towards my hubby!

There is only one thing to say to this: Don’t do it! It isn’t helpful to you or your friends. It is hurting both your marriage and theirs.

Spouse bashing sessions only reinforce the negatives and do nothing to bring about change. Though I am writing from the wife perspective, all of this applies to guys and their buddies as well.

Friends Hold Different Values

We have to realize that what our friends believe about sex and marriage comes from their influences… good, bad or ugly. That does not mean they are Biblical. You will encounter people who have attached human standards and beliefs to sex.

Some might hold to the overly traditional “sex is dirty” message. Others might have an overly free view of sex. Either way, their values can easily be harmful if you allow them to influence you.

Sharing and talking is fine, but make sure you define whether or not, their views are truth. There is great freedom for husbands and wives in the marriage bed. Freedom to enjoy each other and please each other uninhibitedly. Just because your girlfriend thinks oral sex is “yuck” doesn’t mean you have to as well.

Surround Yourself with Marriage Positive Friends

I now have a few trusted girlfriends that I talk with about my marriage, when I need prayer, challenging, or encouragement. They are the women in my life that are marriage and sex positive. They know the value of sex in marriage even if it is a struggle at times.

If there is anyone who is going to know very intimate details, about my life it is them. They still don’t know as much as my hubby and that is the way it should be.

From time to time we even share frustrations, but it is always with the goal to encourage one another through God’s word of how we can be the wife that God is asking of us.

Friends of the Opposite Sex?

It doesn’t matter how long you have been great friends . . . once married, friends of the opposite sex need to have good boundaries. It’s not about trust; it’s about transparency and intentionality. Be transparent and intentional with your spouse!

Some great ways of doing just that are to make sure your spouse is there when you get together, or at least a group of friends. Make sure you communicate openly with your spouse about the boundaries too!

If your spouse is uncomfortable with the relationship, you need to respect that. Your loyalty is to your spouse, above all others.

Building or Tearing Down

All of these things -- bashing your spouse, friends with different values, and friends of the opposite sex -- have the potential to destroy your sex life with your spouse.

If you bash your spouse, listen to friends who take you away from God’s words about sex, or neglect the boundaries in your marriage, it will not lead to building intimacy.

Worse than that, it will inhibit you. The enemy will use whatever he can to destroy the gift of your sex life. Friends are a great way for him to do so. You have to make sure that doesn’t happen!

Have you seen evidence that friends can destroy sex in a marriage?

How have you sought to keep friends and their thoughts in their place where sex and marriage are concerned?

kate individualKate with her amazing hubby, Brad, write and speak on all things marriage. In 2009 they followed God’s prompting and founded One Flesh Marriage Ministries, a blog based on their marriage journey and God’s word in Ephesians 5. Brad is the Director of Small Groups and re|engage (marriage ministy) at their home church, the Worship Center. Kate is a homeschooling mom and a natural light portrait photographer. God has given Brad and Kate three amazing blessings, two biological and one adopted, who have enriched their life and marriage. They live in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where the Amish buggies roam. You can find their blog at www.onefleshmarriage.com

Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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June 11th, 2015 by JulieSibert

This is part 2 in a guest blog series on things that destroy sex in marriage and what we can do about it. You can find part 1 on body image struggles here).

Today I welcome Belah Rose of Delight Your Marriage to chime in on the ways inhibition takes a toll on sex in marriage. 

My mission is to get you from a place of discomfort and fear to a place where you can deeply enjoy your husband and he can deeply enjoy you in sexual intimacy.

I work to help wies move through their fears into pleasure because I was so broken and hurt by these issues. I don’t want others to have such anxiety, pain, and loneliness when dealing with their issues in sex.

No Stranger To Bedroom Inhibitions

I grew up understanding zero about sex. Well, we had lots of animals. So, I did understand being “in heat” meant the girls and boys wanted to be in the same pen. And it was important we didn’t let that happen! It was a “part of life,” but I was never taught what it was for humans.

It was not talked about, but I saw clues of sex in movies and at school, which made me assume I was just not a member of that “sexy” female race.

My ignorance grew into a significant curiosity that was fed in unhealthy and sinful ways, including struggling with an eating disorder and very negative thoughts about my body. I got married to the first man who had the guts to clue me in that my body was desirable.

Insecurities Exacerbated In Marriage

But my insecurities weren’t alleviated in marriage. They were exacerbated.

I was a virgin, but my husband wanted me to know and understand way more than I did. He also wanted me to act like the women from sinful movies and online visuals. And that just made me feel worse.

I was having trouble understanding what was right and godly in marriage. My husband was telling me it was godly but was informing his judgments through the lense of porn. So, I thought that he just wanted me to do sinful things.

We eventually got divorced, which was one of the hardest decisions of my life.

Reflecting back, there were so many inappropriate dynamics that I can only see in retrospect. God was kind enough to bring me back to Himself after a season of sadness, promiscuousness, and rebellion following my divorce.

God did that through a man.

He sent me (my now husband) to teach me what my body was really worth. Now, I’m passionate about helping women avoid the pain and difficulty I had and move through their inhibitions to feel free and confident in the marriage bed!

If you’re anything like me, here are the inhibitions you may be dealing with:

1) I don’t have a good body (forget “perfect”);

2) I’m a Christian and it’s sinful to act like that;

3) My husband knows me, and I’m not a “sexy” kind of person;

4) I don’t feel comfortable and I don’t know what to really do;

5) I am scared of looking silly, sinful, inappropriate, crazy, "too much," too free, too...fill in the blank!

What Are Inhibitions Really?

In this context, inhibition is just another word for fear. Fear is a thief. Fear should not be ruling your life. Joyce Meyer says fear is putting your faith in the things Satan wants for your life. Wow.

But of course, the enemy does not want you to have a thriving, happy, free, enjoyable, unified, godly marriage. Absolutely not.

So, he wants you to fall prey to every fear (especially those that have had a track record of making you fall in the past). But, I think God wants you to be free, fulfilled, and generous in lovemaking.

Why Is It Important To Get Over This?

Aside from the great marriage (and sex) you’re missing out on, when you become faith-focused instead of fear-focused in the bedroom, God teaches you to do that in other areas of your life also.

Let me be clear: If you're afraid in your intimacy of looking silly or being imperfect [or whatever], you're afraid of those things outside bedroom too. How we are in intimacy is how we are in a lot of others areas of life (though only you, your husband, and God know that truth).

Getting A Biblical Grip On Fear (In The Bedroom)

While praying for this topic, I believe God showed me: sex is the safest place to exercise your faith this side of eternity. I’ll explain this more.

Think about this for a second. Adam was created and God describes it this way after Eve was created:

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”

“For this reason” directly follows Adam’s poetic response to meeting the newly created Eve. I think we skip over this so often. But, is it any wonder our society is sex-crazed and sex-obsessed? God made us (at least in part) “for this reason."

Let’s recap Genesis 2: God made Adam, He said it’s not good for him to be alone, God made Eve and said “for this reason” they should get married and have sex. Wow. Let’s talk about why.

God made Eve so Adam “would not be alone.”

That speaks of the relational and companionship piece women generally, strongly crave. And I think “for this reason...they shall become one flesh” speaks to sexual piece men generally, strongly crave. Both are God-given and God-ordained purposes for marriage.

Why Sex Matters To God

I’ll briefly go into some reasons here. God says intimacy between a husband and wife is an analogy for how He loves us (many verses, including Eph 5:32). God wants you to feel totally free, completely accepted, and utterly vulnerable with your Creator.

A relationship like that is out of this world, and yet will do so much for the Kingdom.

I received the below from a listener of my podcast not too long ago. She has been married over 25 years, has 8 children, and from our subsequent conversations, it is clear she is able to do so much for the Kingdom!

"For the early years of our marriage, I did not appreciate and was woefully unaware of the importance of sexual love, the gift that husband and wife were intended to be for each other. I came to appreciate that an enthusiastic and passionate expression of sexual love is the very best thing I can do in our marriage for my husband, for our children, and for myself. Passionately loving her husband in a sexual way is the best gift a mother can give to her children to ensure their future happiness on earth and in eternity. It is the key to a happy and fulfilled married life."

Not Where You Are?

Wow, powerful. If you feel far away from this, I want you to know: I hear you. I want you to know that you are not alone.

And I want you to know that there is hope for you and your marriage. I was where you are and more than likely much worse.

But God brought you to this article because I believe He’d like to further you on your journey to freedom in love with your husband and God. Both are worked out in a passionately-intimate marriage, focused on Jesus.

How To Get Past Your Fear (In Lovemaking)

Fear should not be present in love.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)

When we are totally in love and totally loved, we do not have fear.

When we are afraid, “we are locating our faith in something that is finite,” says scholar and pastor, Tim Keller. Whatever that finite thing is, it can be taken away.

If we’re putting our hope in a finite thing, fear would actually be an appropriate experience. But, when you locate your worth, value, and feelings of love in God’s love for you, you are at peace because it is not going away.

If you know you are loved and accepted by Jesus, you can face the world with confidence. Why? Because you truly have the God of the universe enraptured by you.

Why Sex Has Anything To Do With God’s Love

I get that this is hard to get your mind around. I feel that difficulty too. But I think that is why God gives us lived experience to better understand the depth of His love. And I believe intimacy in marriage is that lived experience.

Sex is with your best friend, life partner, generous server, faithful companion, helpful listener, kind supporter, gentle correcter, enamored protector, handsy-playful-fun-lover...your spouse! But, it is still finite. That is why our love must first and foremost be found in Jesus.

Jesus tells us the greatest commandments: to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. The second is like it, “to love your neighbor as yourself” (found in Matthew 22:36-40). God has made a way for us to love Him with all and simultaneously love others the same way we love ourselves (which should be the way God loves us! 1 John 4:19)

You cannot find a safer person than your spouse. (If they are are not safe now, get help so they can become that. And do everything you can to help them get there---you’re off to a great start by reading articles on this site!).

You chose your husband for a reason. You vowed before God that this person was who you would spend your life loving (in the 1 Corinthians 13 kind of active love!).

Take The Next Step With God

So, now that you’ve found out that God is interested in your sex-life being a whole, full, and free experience together with your spouse, it’s time to get there. I believe you’ll need to understand these deep-seated insecurities better and work with God to discover truth in each area. Actually, I believe this simple article is not enough to really change your heart.

But if you submit to God’s guidance through godly men and women who have been there, I believe He will show you how to move from your insecurities to a place of freedom and passion in the marriage bed.

If your insecurities are like mine were (body image, wondering whether or not God approves, feeling too free/vulnerable, and not knowing what to do), I believe I can help you.

I would like to invite you to have a live, private, FREE conversation with me on an upcoming webinar (it’s easy for the non-techy and techy alike!), but it's only for wives.

Together, we'll dive in to the Biblical principles to understand the joy of generosity and the enjoyable application (in the bedroom!)

Seek God On This

I look forward to chatting with you on the webinar and in the meantime, please ask God about His heart for sex in your marriage. Just open up the conversation with Him.

Check out some of the verses referenced and ask God to show you more. I’m so grateful that you have taken the time today to seek Him about this vital subject. It is SO important. You could have done a million other things with your time and attention. But I believe that you believe God wants you to be free in this area.

His heart is so incredibly in love with you and He wants to show you that more and more!

Belah Rose blogs regularly at her site Delight Your Marriage and offers a podcast, where she frequently interviews other writers and speakers on sexual intimacy in marriage.

 

Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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