Is Crappy Sexual Intimacy Your Normal?

We are creatures of habit.

There is a lot — I mean a lot — of truth in that observation.

Sometimes the way we do life or even navigate minuscule daily tasks becomes so woven into our fabric.  It’s not until something challenges the circumstances or routine that we get tripped up.

Here’s a basic, somewhat inconsequential, example:

If you keep the cereal in a certain cupboard — and then you rearrange your kitchen — I’m willing to bet you will several times continue to reach for the cereal where you previously stored it before your mind and body build a new “memory” of the changed location.

I could give countless examples.

  • The route you take to work. (Ever hear the saying, “I could probably drive there in my sleep” ?)
  • The way it feels natural to write with your dominant hand — and completely awkward to write with the other one.
  • The way you keep tripping on the new carpet that was just laid on the bare floors you’ve had for years.

You get the point.

The “go to” tendencies of how we do life are so engrained that we really are almost unaware of them. It can seem unfathomable to do life any other way.

What does this have to do with sex?

A lot actually, especially if your sexual intimacy sucks.

Habits can develop in the way you do (or do not do) sex — and the results can be devastating for your marriage.  Here’s a few examples:

  • You rarely or never have sex.
  • You and your spouse have poor or no communication about sex.
  • Sex is an incredibly tense topic in your marriage.
  • You allow the past to dictate what sexual intimacy looks like now.
  • One or both of you is sabotaging healthy sexual intimacy with such things as pornography, manipulation, abuse, inattention, etc.
  • Your sexual intimacy is predictable, and not in the “we feel so happily comfortable together” sort of way, but rather in the “I know this routine so well I don’t even have to pay attention” sort of way.

Given the time to sit around and really peel back the layers on this (while enjoying a pitcher of margaritas?), I’m sure we could come up with other circumstances that reveal deep-seated icky habits.

Not surprisingly, those of us who blog about sex and marriage speak out of our own stories.

We have seen and lived the pain of disconnect, misunderstanding, misinformation and devastation when it comes to sex — and then, for whatever reason, we chose to walk a healthier path.

Lori Byerly just did a fabulous MUST READ post called Tip Me Over (seriously… you gotta check it out).

My pal J also has a testimony that is so well written and raw and real and worthy of your time, as do Brad and Kate Aldrich over at One Flesh Marriage.

There are countless other stories, but I’m being kind of lazy right now and don’t want to go find all the links.  Trust me, though. They are out there.

We as marriage bloggers want to speak hope into broken places, because we are well-acquainted with broken places.

I recognize that if you are the one in the marriage who wants things to improve — and your spouse is anything but a team player in this effort — then this post may aggravate you more than encourage you.

If this describes you, hear my heart that God is indeed well pleased in your commitment to your marriage sexually, and your spouse will have to give an account to the Lord for their carelessness.

If, though, this post feels more like your wake-up call, then by all means, wake up.

Don’t delay in being an advocate for your marriage sexually.

Humble yourself.




Have a vulnerable conversation with your spouse.

Ask for forgiveness if need be.

Seek God’s Word.

Seek God’s heart.

Talk to a safe Christian counselor or friend.

Do what you need to do — and don’t wait to do it.

Some habits are made for breaking. Sometimes we need something to trip us up, so we can discover what it means to stand on solid ground.

Copyright 2012, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage blog.

5 thoughts on “Is Crappy Sexual Intimacy Your Normal?

  1. Nicole says:

    Well said, Julie! My husband and I just started a marriage blog, and we, too, speak out of experience. We were definitely in a broken place… so thankful that God rescued us, showed us grace and is healing us. God bless!!!

  2. Jenny says:

    I hope my Father is pleased with my commitment. I hope He will hold my husband accountable. My heart is broken with my husband’s consistent inattention. I don’t know how much longer I can hold on.

  3. Doris says:

    Well, Julie, your post brought memories to my mind. Thank God I never experienced sexless marital traumas with my hubby. Perhaps I was warned somehow by this sad story.

    No sexual intimacy was a social norm time before, too bad. If you want the world to be a better place, then start by making your man a happy hubby!

  4. Bonny Logsdon Burns says:

    We didn’t just have crappy intimacy, we didn’t have any at all. What if you communicate to DH, to the best of your ability, the issues in the marriage and you are still beating your head against the wall? He’s trying to hear you. But, he just doesn’t get it. That’s where we were after 15 years of marriage.

    The chemistry we had shared that produced enormous exothermic (hott) situations had dwindled to tepid. Frankly, he was desperate for sex. But, I was desperate for conversation. We were both desperate for each other’s admiration. We had teenage children going amuck. He had a burgeoning sex addiction. I was self medicating through alcohol and food. I’d lost my G-spot. He was miserable. I was miserable. We couldn’t figure out how to fix it. But, we weren’t going to give up.

    I was reading every self-help marriage/sex book I could get my hands on. Practical tools were scarcely talked about. HOW do you clearly communicate your problems to your husband? HOW can he discuss issues with you without overreaction? I prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed some more. Then, God answered my prayer in the form of an 8 week course called Dynamic Marriage through

    Our lives will never be the same.

    After this class, my DH found a way to converse and managed not to work so much. My libido returned with a vengeance. We smile a whole lot more. We liberally give each other praise and dispense positive words.

    Now, before you lose your lunch over the wonderfulness that, we, as a couple now are, let me clarify. We still have conflictual moments. It’s just that we no longer have screaming futile arguments. Our debates come to conclusions without blows or raised voices. The WE of our marriage became top priority. I know him better than I ever thought I could. Because, for 8 weeks we were in a safe environment. All emotions were kept calm. He shared with me difficult things and I didn’t lose it in a melt down. We learned techniques in communication. We have a common vocabulary. If he mentions ‘disrespectful judgement!’ I know exactly what he is talking about. We brainstormed through our problematic issues and worked out agreed upon solutions. We’ve given each other permission to hold one another accountable in our relationship. When problems arise we return to what we learned. We pray, out loud, together over coffee in the morning.

    Another effective tool in our arsenal is a book called “Sex, God and Men” by Douglass Weiss. It addresses the relationship between sexual addiction and intimacy. For 7 years, we have practiced daily an exercise Mr. Weiss suggested. This exercise helps our hearts remain closely knitted.

    When in the midst of my marital crisis, even reading an article about satisfying sex would make me cringe. It was after the monsters in our marriage were subdued that I could return my attention to a hott affair with my husband. Sexual fulfillment in YY’s (women) is very much a brain game. Secure intimacy, emotional connection, is the only way to achieve ‘the song of solomon.’

    I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Dynamic Marriage course to help learn tools to overcome the crappy intimacy.

    Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

    I’ve recently discovered your blog, Julie. I am learning much and agree with much. Thank you.

  5. Clark says:

    I think the question of whether the sexual intimacy in our marriage is crappy is kind of a personal thing, and could be defined differently for each person and each couple. Is it possible for a married couple to be perfectly happy without any sexual intimacy in their marriage? Is it possible for a married couple to be perfectly happy making love the same way every time? For me, it becomes crappy when we aren’t desiring each other sexually on a regular basis, or one of us isn’t having orgasms at all, or if we are not changing things up to keep the fire burning. When things are going well with intimacy in a marriage, it is having the courage to recognize there is a problem, and caring enough about the marriage to do something about it.

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