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.
It’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?
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 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
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Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.