When my sister-in-law was in the hospital in labor with my niece, I thought it would be an ideal time to show her (and everyone else in the room) the fabric I’d picked out for my bridesmaid dresses.
I. Kid. You. Not.
I literally laid the fabric across the foot of her hospital bed and asked for opinions.
Can you believe it?
As a 21-year-old soon-to-be bride, I was dripping with self-absorbed wedding enthusiasm. I was blind within my own tunnel vision of cake flavors, processional songs and flower bouquets.
And fabric choices for the bridesmaid dresses.
I wasn’t even phased by the look upon my sister-in-law’s face that seemed to scream (between contractions), “Seriously?! Now?! You want to show me this now?!”
I even went on to elaborate about a lace overlay that was going on the bodice of the dresses. It would have all been so comical at the time. If it hadn’t, of course, been… well… so true. I mean, I was serious about this fabric. (Stunning shade of green, in case you were wondering).
Well, that baby niece just turned 21. Ironic how time passes. And I look back and laugh about my antics that day in the labor room. Someone else’s labor room. Even my sister-in-law laughs about it.
If I’d known then what I know now, instead of spreading dress fabric across the foot of a hospital bed, I would have been more concerned with someone telling me a thing or two about marriage.
If I’d known then what I know now, I would have sought the words of wise mature married Christian women who would share with me. About grace. About growing up. About leaving and cleaving.
And about sex.
If I had known then what I know now, I would have been better able to brace myself for and seek solutions for the real struggles my first husband and I encountered with our sexual relationship.
I always figured we would sort those struggles out “someday,” but I never really walked in the direction of someday. Our “someday” showed up in the form of divorce papers. And unrelenting emotional pain.
No, I can’t go back. What I can do, though, is be the wiser woman and share with younger women what I have learned about marriage and sex.
When my co-author and I set out to write a book about sexual intimacy based in God’s Word, we were thinking not only of the countless people who have been married for awhile, but also of people who are engaged and newly married.
If you are an engaged or newly-married woman, I want you to know that it is easier to build something strong from the start — than to try to mend it after years of damage.
5 Things I Tell Young Wives About Sex…
1. Communication is what makes sex great.
Authentic, vulnerable communication where you seek to understand each other is the difference maker.
Don’t try to read your husband’s mind and don’t expect him to read yours. Talk about sex. Talk about what feels good and what doesn’t. Learn each other’s bodies. If you want to become more comfortable having sex and talking about it, do both of those things. Often.
2. Your orgasm matters.
If you and your husband do not take to heart the importance of you experiencing sexual pleasure, you will soon find sex to be a chore. You will resentfully endure it at best and outright avoid it at worst.
Sexual pleasure is not just for your husband; it’s for you too.
God’s design of your clitoris is part of His vision for profound intimacy between you and the love of your life. (Check out the orgasm page on my site for lots of great posts)
3. Real sex doesn’t look like a romantic movie.
Real sex is often messy (I mean, literally messy).
Real sex is often awkward, especially until you get the hang of things.
You may think right now that you want sex to look like it does in your favorite movie, but truth be told, you don’t.
Just like you thought what you most wanted was the perfect wedding… when deep down what you really want is a strong and loving marriage.
Don’t let Hollywood fool you. Real sex is better than fabricated sex. (Check out my post: 5 Fabulous Truths About Sex that You Won’t See in a Romantic Movie).
4. Not all sexual encounters are created equal.
Don’t let any one sexual encounter be your gauge of how things are going in your marriage.
Sometimes sex is “off-the-charts-leaving-me-speechless” amazing. If you are paying attention to points 1 and 2 above, you will have orgasms and soul-drenching connection that will be unlike anything you could have even imagined.
Other times, though, sex feels routine.
When you occasionally have sex that feels routine, don’t slip into paranoia and start thinking things like “we’ve lost the magic” or “he must not be attracted to me” or “the best is behind us.” That is destructive thinking that will lead to division and heartache. A better approach is to see point 1.
5. Authentic sexual intimacy will make your marriage better.
This is so hard to see right now, but you’re going to have to take my word on it. If you are like most married couples, you will soon discover that along the way, life gets complicated.
There will be details.
Like mortgage payments. And babies. And car seats. And, “What are we doing for Christmas?” And, “You want to take a job where?!” And dog puke. And minor fender benders. And overtime at work. And, “We’re out of milk. Again.” And, “There is 2 inches of water on our basement floor.”
Oh, there will be delight and joy and tender memories too.
But it’s the hard stuff and daily grind of doing life that take the greatest toll on a marriage.
Sex helps you navigate all that crap, because it equips you to remember you’re in it together. You will be better able to extend grace. To take a breath. To embrace a long-term perspective on short-term roadblocks.
You will see your husband more as your ally than your adversary.
Those are the 5 things I tell young wives about sex.
What about you? If you’ve been married awhile, share in the comment section what you would tell young wives about sex.
And for more insights on better intimacy in marriage, invest in yourself and your beloved with our book Pursuit of Passion: Discovering True Intimacy in Your Marriage. I genuinely believe you will be glad you did!
Oh, and if your friend, sister or relative is ever in labor, that’s not a good time to ask her opinion on fabric samples.
I’m just saying.
For more reading, take the time to dig into Why God is So Thrilled When You and Your Husband Make Love and 4 Devastating Assumptions About Sex in Marriage.
Copyright 2014, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.
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15 thoughts on “5 Things I Tell Young Wives About SEX”
This is something I think is seriously missing in our Christian culture: talking to young people about sex in a positive way. They hear so much what not to do that we forget to tell them what to do when they are finally married.
But, now we have the problem that talking about it with young people is so stigmatized, that if you do it, you could get a lot of negative reactions. Have you come across this Julie? How do you combat it if you have?
You nailed it. This is a problem with many Christian couples. Point 1 is the key. Communicate and do something about it. God designed sex and as Christian we cannot neglect that part of our marriage.
That is so funny! I just posted about this, but you brought up some different (and very true) points about sex. I think that most newly weds disregard any real thought into sex because it’s so EASY when you’re young and first married. It’s not until “real life” sets in that sex becomes something you have to work at!
“1. Communication is what makes sex great.
Authentic, vulnerable communication where you seek to understand each other is the difference maker. Don’t try to read your husband’s mind and don’t expect him to read yours. Talk about sex. Talk about what feels good and what doesn’t. Learn each other’s bodies. If you want to become more comfortable having sex and talking about it, do both of those things. Often”
Julie, I wish the internet and you were around when my wife and I first married. This is a great website. It is said often that communication is key to a great marriage. However, that seems to apply with everything except sex. It is almost as if sex is dirty….we don’t talk about it, so it must be (?) As you stated in point number 1; authentic, vulnerable communication is key. The sad part is no one really wants to be in a vulnerable position. I don’t. The point I would like to add for the young women is that your husband may want to try things that are outside your comfort zone. It may also be outside his too. In fact, as newlyweds many things could be perceived that way. You wont know what is right for you or feels good unless you try it. Please don’t reply to your husbands inquiry or suggestion with “you wanna what?” That is a mood killer and sets up an air of judgment. Your husband had to let down his guard to tell you what he likes. Shaming him only makes him feel bad. Talk, talk,talk
I totally agree with eammon & wonder if he is now where he wants to be with his wife on communicating about sex. If he is, how did he get there? I’m trying to reach it with my wife of 22 years (my first & only) and still not there. We’re in that stage of life being complicated and full of details. I want to improve the quality/quantity of sex to “help navigate all that crap”, but have been struggling with getting my wife to buy into that. The message I get from her seems to be that “once all that crap is taken care of, then I’ll think about our sex life”. All else seems to take priority. Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t have it terrible…but I know it could be better. I want better. How can I get her to want better, too?
These were bang-on Julie. I would add that sex is like anything else in life: You’ll get out of it what you put into it. And, sometimes you’ll be on the same page of timing and sometimes you won’t.
I’d like to see the five things you’d tell young husbands about sex. As far as what I’d say: you can’t make a man talk/communicate about sex or anything if he doesn’t see the use of it. Best to marry a guy who shows you before marriage that he can and will communicate, or at least is willing to learn how.
Hi Average Joe, In response to your question ” I totally agree with eammon & wonder if he is now where he wants to be with his wife on communicating about sex. If he is, how did he get there?” It troubles me to say it ( sexual communication) is further away. My point is not to come to a website and complain about our sex life. Rather, I hope to offer some advice to the younger couples about how serious a matter sex is in a marriage. Yes, it is so true that us guys think a lot about sex. We all know that without desire sexual relations would not occur. Desire is there but the ability to communicate is not. When we first married, we didn’t have to talk. Now that we are older and require different stimulation or techniques, it is not so simple. Good luck in your communication. I pray that you can find whatever words to open those lines.
Thanks eammon. I will do the same for you, and wish you the best in your efforts as well. Just knowing there is another out there searching for answers is reassuring.
Young Christian wives, do not defraud your man! Virtually every Christian man I know was duped into marrying a woman who pretended to be someone she wasn’t simply because she wanted (insert ring, wedding, car, house, babies etc.). She wanted so much and so deeply she would become whatever she needed to be in order to trap that nice young man. And then after the wedding, the hair is cut, the nails go udone, the sweat pants are put on and the weight gain begins in earnest. You landed him after all. You won. No further work on your part needed. And he’s a Christian so he has to stay with you and stay faithful. Ladies, as a group you have sinned against your husbands! How about we shut up about pornograpghy for a while and start reviewing the crap Christian men have been enduring from so called Christian wives. Of course pornography is wrong and of course men should not view it. But ladies… The time has come to step up and do your part. And don’t start with me on Ephesians 5:25! I have consistently been that husband for my wife but I have received neither respect or sexual participation. Virtually every Christian man I know who has loved his wife Biblically has received the same “reward”. Oh well, don’t worry about it… Your participation in ladies groups, bible studies (uh gossip groups) and Christian conferences makes up for it. Not!
Very helpful. I was worried just last night that things were starting to get routine. But I’ve been on medication that has made sex incredibly difficult and a little painful – so I think I have kind of been conditioned not to want it. Hopefully in a few weeks things will be back to normal. Thanks for the uplifting words 🙂
Lars, while I know marriages like you have described exist I would like to encourage you that is not the case everywhere; you are right to encourage others against going down a path of deceitfulness. I also believe though that your marriage and those others’ can be healed as well. Bitterness and disappointment in your marriage is difficult to overcome but there is always hope in Jesus Christ. If you too are a Christian then you have this hope, it is your right given in Christ; and you have been given the greatest power in the world: God’s strength, power and might through faith in His Son our savior Jesus. In our weakness His strength is made perfect. I would simply encourage you to press on praying on passages like Romans 4:18 where Abraham had hope against hope; my prayer for you and all marriages in such dire states is Romans 15:13. God bless you and your wife and all others that find themselves in difficult marriages.
Wow lars. You are so bitter and resentful it is palpable! I’m sure you are in perfect shape and a joy to be around and it’s just your wife that has disappointed you. The mysogyny in your comment is clear, you need to actually love your wife as Christ loves the church because right now you are all about “me me me” when god told you to die to yourself. Grow up, mate.
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The problem with Lars’ comment is that it’s true for a shockingly large percentage of Christian men. If he’s describing his marriage, OF COURSE he would be angry or bitter. His bitterness is not the issue, the personal and sexual neglect his wife committed is. I personally know a Christian wife that did EXACTLY what Lars describes, and was aghast that her husband had an affair and left her.