Well, for some of you, maybe it is too late. But my tendencies tend to bank on hope and optimism, so I’m going to say that for many of you, it is possible to fix what’s wrong with sex in your marriage.
I hear from countless people who are searching, wondering and believing that the mediocre or, in some cases, non-existent sexual intimacy in their marriage can be improved.
Good news! There are many resources to help you do just that. One is my 3 Keys to Passionate Sex God’s Way, which you can download for free. I wrote it primarily for wives, but trust me, husbands — you’ll find some eye-opening insights as well.
And I have so many fellow champions for sex out there, it is ridiculous. So many bloggers, authors, speakers and purveyors of amazing resources for Christians wanting better sex in marriage. There really is no better time than now if you are a Christian wanting Christian resources on improving the sexual struggles in your marriage.
Below are some ideas, too. Probably a combination of some or all of them would yield the best outcomes.
1. Have the hard conversation.
Oh for the love, I started with something hard. Well. If sex has been a big issue for a long time in your marriage and you haven’t addressed it directly, then maybe it’s time to do just that.
Come right out and say, “I’m concerned about the lack of sexual intimacy in our marriage. There’s no reason we couldn’t be having sex and yet we rarely (or never) have sex. I need us to talk about this.”
Then wait for the response. If it’s too hard to bring up the matter verbally, start with a letter (with the goal of it being a springboard to conversation).
Another suggestion on addressing something you think may be a contentious topic is to bring it up when you are side by side, rather than face to face. Say something like, “I really want to talk about something and would like us to go on a walk. I think it may be easier for us to talk about it that way.”
2. Get vulnerable about what sex means to you.
See, here’s the thing. For two people who are doing life day in and day out together, it’s amazing how they can totally misinterpret, misunderstand or just plain miss what is going on with each other.
Does your spouse know what sex means to you?
For the person avoiding sex, it may be because of skewed perspectives on sex or past abuse or a struggle with body image or something else. If you are the one avoiding or denying sex, have you been real with yourself AND with your spouse about those struggles? Can you now courageously start to deal with the struggles instead of pretending like they aren’t damaging your marriage?
If you are the one who loves sex, does your spouse know why you love it? Get specific.
When we make love, I feel so safe and secure in our relationship.
When you desire me sexually, I feel grateful and loved.
Sex is never just physical for me. It’s so much more than that. Every time it reminds me how grateful I am God brought you into my life.
I feel the most alive when you want me sexually. No matter what I’m facing at work or any other difficulties in life, when we make love, I feel like we can overcome any challenges together.
Whether you are the one who wants more sex or you are the one who avoids sex, talk about the why behind all that. And then commit to what it will take to better nurture intimacy.
3. Play the short game to win the long game.
What in the world does that mean, Julie?! (Some of you regular readers will think I’m dropping all kinds of sexual innuendo in here, but not really). What I mean is the sexual struggles possibly could be incrementally solved if you start investing incrementally in other ways.
No, I’m not saying barter for sex. “I’ll give you one clean kitchen for one awesome night beneath the sheets. Do we have a deal?” I’m not a fan of that approach or attitude, because it’s a veiled attempt to appear altruistic when you’re just looking out for yourself.
What I am saying is that if we authentically invest daily in our spouse in small ways, it can strengthen the overall relationship exponentially.
I know that some of you have tried this — genuinely poured yourself into giving hugs, writing nice little notes, running errands for your spouse, giving back rubs, complimenting, etc., and your spouse at best ignores your efforts and at worse accuses you of ulterior motives.
Whether your spouse responds negatively or positively, come right out and say why you are putting in more effort. Tell them that you genuinely care and you’re trying to show it… that you want a strong friendship and a marriage where you both desire to spend time with one another.
Even a little touch can go a long way.
When was the last time you reached for your spouse’s hand? When was the last time you went out of your way to pick up your spouse’s favorite coffee? Or to pitch in on a project where they could use some extra help? Or to say “thank you” instead of just assuming your spouse knows you appreciate them?
Start playing the short game to win the long game of a stronger marriage, including a stronger sexual relationship.
4. Enlist the help of a professional.
I see a counselor once a month simply to help me process life. She’s a great sounding board who also has the credentials and experience to challenge me (in a good way) about things that otherwise would be off my radar.
Needless to say, I am a big fan of professional counseling. Huge.
Individual and/or marriage counseling gives you an opportunity not only to talk about what is going on with you personally, as well as the two of you together, but also to specifically shed light on this issue of sex.
There is nothing you can say to a counselor that is going to surprise them. Marriage counselors especially have heard it all. So don’t be afraid to talk frankly about sex. Counselors are skilled ninjas at asking thought-provoking questions to get you moving in a healthier direction.
It’s never a sign of weakness to see a counselor. Always a sign of strength.
Like I said earlier in this post, saving your marriage sexually may take a combination of some or all of these tips. As long as two people are still in a marriage, they should give it their best shot at making it strong and healthy. Sometimes it comes down to one person being willing to take the first step in that direction.
For more reading, cruise through my list of past posts.
Copyright 2018, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.
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7 thoughts on “Sex and Your Marriage: Is it Too Late to Fix What’s Wrong?”
Been there, done all that. Nothing worked.
#2 if I had only realized this 53 years ago, thought it was all about physical needs. Never too late! Thank you.
#3 is particularly hard to see when we want SEX! like an addict needing a fix. It’s like going to high school & college to become a professor just so you can adventure after the arch of the covenant. It really is. We don’t think much about the quality of the off season. We just think about how desperate we are to get in the batters box, oh there’s a pun. But # 3 is by far the one I see that changed the weather in our bedroom. But, I had to quit being the hormonal teenager that did anything to get some. I had to grow up & realize my wife was more important than the sex I panicked for. There was no quick fix. I actually had to start loving her as I love myself.
I am at the point where I don’t want to have sex with someone who has to be convinced they find me sexually attractive and interesting. I find it so deeply degrading.
When a wife has refused sex for 6 years, told her husband that his penis does not work, and tells him that he is a horrible husband, it is too late.
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Tried these and got only more resistance. We are both 61 now, there was little sex for the first 5 years and none for the last 33, the die is cast. Even if God were to work a miracle and change her heart I doubt that we have enough time left to even overcome the past.