Well, I learned a lot more than 5 things, but since we’re talking about sex, I’ll stick to that topic. Here goes:
5. Hormones do matter.
Libido (a Latin word meaning desire), aka “sex drive,” is governed greatly by hormones. I was on the birth control pill for a good portion of my first marriage, and had NO IDEA that it was negatively impacting my sex drive hormonally. (In layman’s terms, the pill essentially tells your body to not ovulate. The message “I want to have sex” often does not get through because if you’re not ovulating, your body instead is saying, “What’s the point?”)
There also is mounting concern that the pill has the potential to be abortive, which I obviously didn’t know at the time either.
Now, I’m not telling you to ditch the pill; but I am encouraging you to talk with your doctor. This goes for any medications and prescriptions you and/or your husband are taking. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions, “How could this medication impact my sex drive? How does this medicine really work — what does it do in my body?”
Additionally, if either you or your husband experiences low sex drive, consider testing for low testosterone. Both men and women have testosterone (men just have it at a much higher rate). Low testosterone obviously can impact your desire to have sex.
4. Offering my body was not optional.
God’s Word in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 clearly and lovingly shows that the marital commitment includes the pledge that husbands and wives will not withhold their bodies from each other. In my first marriage, I think I conveniently overlooked this, much to the detriment of our relationship. Some women ask me, “Is it ever okay to say ‘no’ to sex?” Well, sure it is, because marriage should be a place of mutual respect and kindness. But I believe “no” should be the rare exception, communicated with compassion and a tone that conveys, “not right now…but later.”
3. “Someday” never really comes.
I wasn’t oblivious to our lack of sexual intimacy; I was just consistently telling myself, “We will figure this out someday.” Well, the elusive someday never really materializes on its own. Had I intentionally walked in the direction of “someday,” we likely would have overcome many of our sexual struggles.
2. Communication is what makes sex great.
Honestly, my first husband and I had horrible communication about our sexual intimacy. It wan’t his fault alone and it wasn’t mine…it was a shared problem that we never really shared. It’s humbling to admit that now…to look back and see that had we made the effort to talk…really talk… not only about our struggles sexually but also about our needs and wants… sex likely wouldn’t have been such a neglected aspect in our relationship.
And the number 1 thing I learned from my failed marriage…
1. Isolating never solves anything.
I knew sex was a big issue for us, but I didn’t seek out resources that could have helped me individually and us together as a couple. And let me tell you…there are a lot of Christian resources out there. If you feel alone in any of your sexual intimacy struggles or questions, staying isolated in that painful and confusing place is not going to solve anything. Consider some of the resources I have listed here. You could also ask your trusted Christian friends if they know of resources.
After my first marriage fell apart, I vowed that if the Lord were to ever bless me with marriage again, I was not going to take sexual intimacy for granted. I’m happy to report that I have never regretted that decision. Neither has my current husband. Be blessed!
Hey all, I’m trying to shed more light on this vital aspect of marriage. Would you consider following me on Twitter (@Intimacy4Life) and on my Facebook Fan Page (Intimacy in Marriage)? Thank you!
Copyright 2010. Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.
17 thoughts on “5 Things I Learned from My Failed Marriage”
Great list – I wish every woman would read and understand it – preferably BEFORE marriage. For that matter, I wish every man would read and understand this as well – the better we understand our brides, the better we can work with them.
Thanks for sharing from your past pain – doing so blesses many.
Thanks Paul! It all sure is information I wish I would have had before my first marriage. I agree with you totally…speaking out of brokenness reveals so much. When I talk with women and hear their hearts, it resonates with me greatly. I have walked where many of them are walking…I pray it helps them feel less alone and to know I want to speak hope into their situations.
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What is most telling about this post dear sister (in Christ), is that you have taken personal responsibility for your part in the failure of the marriage. I’ve added you to my feed and look forward to many more insightful posts!
Thank you Yemi for the comment. I definitely take my share of responsibility…and I am grateful for what I have learned. The marriage I enjoy today is as good as it is partly because of what I learned. Thanks again! I look forward to your future comments!
Great post, thanks for sharing your thoughts! I especially agree with #2. Communication is one of the key factors in a successful marriage. I think that couples believe that they might be having communication problems when they simply have different conversational preferences. It’s important that a couple distinguishes the difference because some couples tend to believe that there is lack of communication, when it simply is about differences in preference. To avoid misinterpreting differences in communication styles, it’s important to know what their partner’s conversation style is. After which, an individual can address this concern to their partner. This would lead to a stronger marriage intimacy.
Thank you Linda for your comments and insight…really adds a lot to the discussion. You are so right…misinterpretation is highly likely if a couple doesn’t pay close attention to conversation styles. Our sensitivity and defensiveness can be up too, because sexual intimacy is such a vulnerable place…literal and figurative “nakedness.” Thanks again…I look forward to any future comments… Julie
The nice thing you learned from your mistakes… and lift it up to the lord.try this site maybe it could help..:)
Have you heard about Mojofiti.com? http://www.mojofiti.com is a website where anyone can get an international blog and every entry, email and group is translated into 28 different languages for free. It’s awesome, finally a world without language barriers!
Hi Julie. Stopping by from BHF and thanks for doing what you’re doing! While certainly not the most important thing in a marriage, sex can be a major point of contention and something that doesn’t get talked about enough in my opinion. So thank you and I’ll be following!
Thanks Pop! I appreciate the comment. thanks too for reading the post on BHF… Eric is doing a great thing with that site! I soooo appreciate anyone who is speaking out in favor of specific ways to nurture healthy marriage.
This is a wonderful post, thank you for opening more than just my eyes, but also my heart.
I was brought here through the Better Husbands and Fathers blog. I have to make sure I say thank you.
I really enjoyed this article (and I am fully aware that this post is a year old), but I am totally in love with your site. I am currently single, but am always looking for resources and godly information that will help me develop a positive and GODLY view of my sexuality. Your insight here-particularly point five- was extremely helpful for me. Some Christians believe that contraception is a (mild) form of witchcraft/rebellion, and even condemn it as abortion. When I marry, I really want to experience the intimacy of sex without condoms, but have always thought to use birth control pills or get a shot or something. I believe in family planning-that is, using birth control until my future spouse and I decide we are ready for children-but am open to new ideas on the matter. What are your thoughts? You may contact me via email if you prefer to relay them there.
I agree that isolation never solves anything. Couple should communicate often and discuss anything and everything. Your article is very informative. Thanks for sharing.
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