Guest Post: The Restorative Effect of Sexual Intimacy

I have a few guest posts lined up and the first one below is from Jim and Carrie Gordon. They are all about supporting married couples in their quest for authentic intimacy.  Whenever I speak with people about nurturing marriage, I encourage them to glean from a number of resources.  Be sure to cruise around the Gordons’ site to find nuggets of gold that will enrich your relationship. As you read the below guest post, think about what aspects could apply in your marriage…

Great news everyone! We at The Intimate have done some exhaustive personal research and concluded that frequent sex is really, really good for you! We like to refer to it as “sex-connect therapy!” It is restorative, it promotes physical well-being, helps relieve stress, promotes intimacy in a relationship, and more! While this may not be as groundbreaking as we’d like to think, we would like to offer yet another reason to “get frisky.”

Many husbands have a natural tendency to withdraw or disconnect from their surroundings when they feel isolated through stress or if they are struggling with self-condemnation. This can even happen when a marriage relationship is generally healthy. Wives, you’ve probably recognized the symptoms: he’s withdrawn, moody, and uncommunicative – maybe feeling needlessly guilty or overwhelmed by perceived failure.

Whatever the case may be, the way you respond to your husband is crucial in re-establishing those deep emotional connections. Any husband wading through a case of “the blahs” may not have much sexual desire for his wife, but you must be aware that your husband needs that physical/emotional bond with you now more than ever! You can help make the darkest of perspectives brighter and brimming with renewed hope.

The adverse effects of his depression on both of you may make the idea of having sex one of the least favourite things to do at the moment! Understand that bouts of depression are problematic, and that intimacy can be part of the solution.

Persevere as you initiate foreplay despite his reluctance.  His mind may be telling him he doesn’t want sex, but deep in his heart, he more than likely knows that having sex with you is the “lifesaver” that will free him.  During these times, it may almost be impossible for him to choose to make that connection with you.  Your gentle persistence will likely win him over, and the sexual intimacy you share together could be the best therapy for him!

Most husbands connect deeply with their wives through sex. During the times that he is feeling blue, down, moody, or depressed, sex-connect therapy works wonders. And those barriers inside him that shut everything and everyone out of his world? They don’t stand a chance. Feelings of self-doubt and discouragement are often just blown away! Essentially, a wife’s love can medicate her husband’s soul-sickness.  Sexual intimacy can re-establish the emotional connection between a husband and wife. This reconnection allows feelings of love and acceptance to flow freely.

“Sex-connect therapy” must include follow-up conversations:

1.     Express unconditional love to your husband
2.     Affirm his worth and value
3.     Encourage him to share the thoughts or feelings that contributed to his depression
4.     Pray together

This follow-up talk will add an entirely new dimension to the idea of after-glow!

Wives, choose a time when both you and your husband are feeling encouraged to take a few minutes to read through this article together.  Then agree and commit to applying this whenever necessary.  Ladies, don’t be surprised if your husband occasionally approaches you with a silly grin and a wink, saying, “I’m so depressed. What can we do to help me feel better?!”

He’s just found another reason for the two of you to make love!

6 thoughts on “Guest Post: The Restorative Effect of Sexual Intimacy

  1. forthisreason says:

    Good advice. But why call it “therapy”? Unless you’re just being catchy with the phrase. Why not just call it by the biblical term, “encouragement”?

  2. Jim and Carrie Gordon says:

    Yes, we were “being catchy with the phrase” and you are right, a wife is being an encouragement to her husband when she is sensitive to his sexual/emotional needs and takes initiative to reconnect with him when he is withdrawn or feeling “blah”. Honestly, we all need a dose of therapy at times!

    It’s so neat to see how God designed marriage to work! We were made to be in relationship; we need one another! God said, “It isn’t good for man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18) and then He formed Eve. Sure, a wife can be a “helper” and “encourager” through her domestic support, but what a great gift she gives her husband when she “encourages” him through sexual intimacy in marriage.

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  5. whatisright says:

    Doesn’t this encourage unhealthy behavior? Isn’t the husband being rewarded for moody, depressed, even angry behavior? What if this is his only mode of sexual encounters? Couldn’t this be in hindrance rather than a help to healthy relationship behavior?

  6. Jim and Carrie Gordon says:

    When a wife initiates sex with her husband during times he is moody or depressed, she isn’t rewarding that behavior … rather she’s giving a beautiful gift to her husband, to her marriage, and ultimately even to herself! When a wife reaches out to her husband with love and care, the sex they enjoy together helps the husband reconnect emotionally with her. That reconnection will help him appreciate her and work harder to become a better husband. God sure knew what He was doing when He designed marriage to include sexual intimacy!

    I also have to think about Tim Kimmel’s book, “Grace Based Parenting”. He encourages parents to exercise grace with their children. I’d like to suggest that we learn to extend that same kind of grace to our spouses. When my husband may not “deserve” to have sex with me, the most Christ-like expression I can make is to reach out to him with tenderness and love in a way that God designed just for marriage… sex!

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