A husband and wife rarely have sex alone. That’s a weird way to say it. Let me try again.
When a husband and wife make love, they bring others with them. Hmmm. Still not right. Let me try again.
When you and your husband have sex, who and what influences your thoughts about that experience?
Now we’re getting closer.
When you and your husband married, you each brought some preconceived notions about sex with you.
Whether positive, negative, indifferent or a combination thereof, those notions likely played a ginormous role in where your marriage headed sexually.
I’m guessing if you take a moment and devote some serious attention to that last sentence, you may have a few “aha” revelations going off in your head. You may or may not like those revelations, but they are there nonetheless, right?
Those preconceived notions then mingled with other influences along the way.
Maybe it was the complaints of your married girlfriends annoyed by their husbands’ countless attempts to initiate sex. Or it was stuff you saw strewn across society’s landscape — the whispers and shouts of pop culture, magazine covers, and mainstream erotica that didn’t leave too many Gray areas.
Possibly there also were influences gleaming with healthy truths. Wisdom from a Christian friend who raved about how much she enjoyed sex. Blogs, websites, books and marriage conference speakers that echoed God’s design of nurtured sexual intimacy.
You’ve arrived where you are sexually in marriage now in large part because of the voices — positive and negative — that have fed your perception of sex.
I knew a woman once whose mother never spoke positively about sex. NE-VER. Mom even told this woman that sex was gross, nothing more than mere duty, a requirement of marriage for the man’s sake.
No big surprise that it didn’t take long in the woman’s marriage for sex to look eerily similar to what mom had described.
I also know a woman who as she was approaching her wedding day, was fortunate enough to have Christian sisters-in-law who gave her good and godly insights on the incredible benefits of nurtured sexual intimacy. She (and her husband) benefitted from these intentional positive voices.
Every husband and wife arrives at the marriage bed with
some many preconceived notions about sex. Even people who have been incredibly sheltered arrive with at least enough understanding of the basic mechanics of sex to have had their honest curiosity stirred.
If you headed into marriage with a positive perception of sex and a mature and eager desire to nurture it and appreciate what it meant to the health of your marriage, THEN you and your beloved are likely reaping the benefits of that.
Sadly, a lot of people don’t arrive at marriage with a healthy perspective on sex. They discover that right there in bed with them are all the skewed, untruth, promiscuous and/or tragic sexual messages that piled into their heart to that point.
Brutal and terrifying and exhausting to undo that messy web, isn’t it?
BUT necessary at the same time. I’ve long said that whatever direction we walk in long enough becomes our normal. If you cling to unhealthy and damaging perceptions about sex and if you refuse to heal from past sexual hurts, they will consistently taint your sexual experience. They will fuel sexual struggles in your marriage bed.
They may even convince you that healthy and enjoyable sexual intimacy is impossible for you.
Who and what is in bed with you and your husband? Not literally, of course, but by this point you get what I’m getting at, right?
If whatever is in bed with you — all those perceptions and input from the past — is helping you experience incredible oneness and sexual intimacy as God designed it, that is reason to celebrate. Maybe people in your life spoke positively of sex or maybe you on your own did the hard work to right the wrong messages that settled in, but the reality is that you savor sex with the person you married.
If that describes you, then I implore you to be a positive voice in someone else’s life. As a woman, come along side a young sister in Christ who is on the brink of marriage and plant some seeds of truth. Tell her that it is worth it to nurture sex, study God’s Word on it, and not lose sight of how pleasurable it can be.
I know many of you reading this right now are discouraged because of the toll your negative perceptions of sex have taken on your marriage. If you arrived at the altar or have spent married life camped out with negative sexual viewpoints, what are you going to do to get those intruders out of your bed?
They aren’t making things better for you and your spouse. Debunking them means you will indeed have to debunk them. You’ll have to figure out what is untrue about them so that you can replace them with God’s healthy sexual truths.
Far be it from me to imply that’s going to be easy, especially if those negative perceptions have lived beneath your covers for a long time. Nope. Not easy. But so worth it.
Maybe start with a heart-to-heart conversation with your spouse about what has influenced each of you sexually — why do you each think the way you do about sex? A vulnerable conversation that starts there can be the jumping off point for healing and restoring and redeeming sexual brokenness.
You and your husband are never in bed alone. Might as well figure out how to wrap yourself up in positive perceptions of sex.
Copyright 2018, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.
Never want to miss one of my posts? Subscribe via email on this page. And be sure to join my more than 9,000 followers on my Facebook page and 10,000 followers on Twitter.
8 thoughts on “Are You and Your Spouse Ever Having Sex Alone?”
Julie, I can sympathize with the woman you mentioned in this article. While my mother never complained about, she never talked about it. Period. I learned everything I needed to know about my wedding night from the World Book Encyclopedia, my premarital physical, and from studying science to become a Registered Nurse. It definitely created a lot of interesting struggles throughout my marriage, culminating in me finding a coach to work through all this.
While I don’t fault my mother for not knowing what to say (her mother was killed in a car accident 2 years before she was married), I am diligently and purposely working not to make the same mistakes with my children. It is my goal to make sure each of them knows the joys and blessings of a godly intimate life .
Yes we bring the preconceived notions about sex to bed with us, but how can I have that conversation with my wife when every conversation ends with her saying I’m comparing her to a younger version of herself. For example, the last time we had a conversation, it was after multiple times of me asking when we could have a conversation. Finally, I told her that I needed to chat about this and we discussed our bed and the lack of intimacy. It had been less than once a month for the previous 6 months. I mentioned that when we first got married, she was more interested and what could we do to get back there. Well, that ended the conversation because at that point, I was judging her and comparing her to a younger version of herself and that just wasn’t “fair” to her.
That was 3 months ago and I am tired of being refused. This has done irreparable harm to our marriage, but she doesn’t care enough to engage in any conversation. Frankly, she is the one who is being unfair. Anytime I have suggested this is a way to change, I’m given the “you must be comparing me to X” argument, and that is one in which she wins. So maybe she’s just won, and I’m here having not asked/begged for sex in 6 weeks. I hope she’s happy now…
I see what you did there with the “Gray areas.” Lol 😉
My parents never talked about sex much. But I’m just trying to ignore that and focus on my own sexual life.
I have a question for you, Julie. Slightly off topic. Can the weather affect libido? Where I live, it’s been dark, cold, and snowy since October. Yesterday was a very sunny day and DST just started, and I went home from work wanting sex with my husband. Lol
Rookie, anything that affects our emotions can affect sex. (Married over 44 years).
For me, it is not right that we give negative impression about it to others. We all have different experience but we should not let others feel that because you had a negative experience, they will have it too.
Yesterday my daughter came home from 2nd grade with a paper that had a boy and a girl in bathing suits on that the kids were to color.
The message on the paper was:
Bathing suits cover the parts of your body that are private. People should keep these parts of their body to themselves. You should not touch someone else’s private parts and they should not touch yours.
Unfortunately, those messages are necessary these days. But there are several messages in that paragraph. It’s aimed at 2nd graders. Just think of the millions of insidious messages we receive over our lifetime that can skew our thoughts about our sexuality. And it starts young.
Will my daughter’s teacher end up in bed with her?
Rookie, look up Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Pingback: A Loveliness of Links ~ March 2018 - The Forgiven Wife
One preconceived notion we dealt with for years was that sex has to be soft and romantic. As a mature woman with a curvier build, I prefer it hard – really hard, actually. We have worked up to that now but it took a real effort to break through our collective mindsets – his that he didn’t have permission to go at me that hard and mine that it was somehow not proper to want it that hard.