Let’s face it.
Marriage isn’t a walk in the park. We know this. We live it.
The covenant of marriage is rich with God’s abundant blessings, but also is not short on His opportunities for painful growth.
That can be hard. I get it.
Recently I was speaking at a women’s gathering, and one of the women asked what to do about the resentment in her heart toward her husband.
Even though the issues were relatively minor ones, the resentment was killing her desire for sex.
She didn’t want to make love. She was frustrated and resentful.
Here are three tips you may find helpful:
1. Think about a time you needed grace.
This is particularly helpful if your husband’s slights against you are rather minor. He didn’t pick up his laundry. He forgot to swing by the store. He was late to your kid’s parent/teacher conference. He said something that was hurtful to you, even if he didn’t intend it to be.
We all need grace. All of us. I’m not saying don’t express your disappointment or desire for him to step up his game a bit (“be on time, please”), but who among us hasn’t done many of these same things. We slighted someone we love and we needed grace.
Sometimes when we can remember a time we needed grace (and received it!), we are more likely to forgive our husband and choose to let the resentment go.
2. Address big issues.
Certainly, there are big serious icky issues that can happen in a marriage that feed resentment relentlessly. I don’t need to list them all, but suffice to say betrayal, cold-heartedness, and careless choices with serious consequences would probably cover the gamut.
We can let resentment fester or we can get down to the hard and cumbersome work of addressing those big issues. No, there is no guarantee that your spouse will share your commitment toward healing, but you will never know if you don’t try.
Some of the strongest marriages and most tender of sexual connections are built upon the tenacity of not giving up when the going gets awful. Address big issues.
I am not listing pray last because it is not of vital importance, but rather because I thought you would see it way too cliche if I listed it first. Now that I have gotten you this far, I imagine you are more willing to hear me say pray.
Pray that God would help you forgive.
Pray for God to reveal to your heart the damage resentment causes.
Pray for your sexual intimacy, that God would help you embrace it and pursue it as if your marriage depended on it.
Pray that you would hunger for a peace that surpasses all understanding.
Pray. Pray. And then pray some more.
Pray without ceasing.
I know it comes as no surprise that little resentments (and big ones too) that are left unchecked will consume our hearts and minds if we let them.
Consumption is resentment’s gig… its calling card. When we are resentful toward our husband, we lose capacity to want to be naked with him.
On the other hand, when we feed grace, resolution, peace, problem-solving and friendship with our spouse, we are more likely to WANT to get naked with him. Not a simple correlation, I know, but a correlation nonetheless.
Is resentment killing sexual intimacy in your marriage? What are you going to do about it? Cling to it?
The other option would be to start counting the costs of what it will mean to cling to it. They are costs I don’t think you genuinely want to pay, even if it may feel good in the moment.
You may think you want to punish him with little or no sex, but it will become impossible to punish him without simultaneously punishing yourself and your marriage.
And who wants that? Not me — in the short run or the long run.
Copyright 2017, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.