In my freshman year of college, I had a friend who was struggling with a crisis one morning. Sure, it was the garden variety crisis of a college freshman, but a crisis nonetheless, at least in our 19-year-old minds.
My friend wanted to meet as soon as possible, which meant I was going to miss my English class. I went to my English professor, explained there was a crisis and I was going to miss class.
She was less than sympathetic. She looked at me matter-of-factly and said, “Well, you have to do what you have to do.” (In other words, I wasn’t getting any special accommodations to go play wing man to my friend).
I went to meet my friend anyway. That’s how willing I was to help her.
I know we are all grown ups here, with a boatload of more consequential crises and triumphs under our belts, but my story bears witness to the proverbial crossroads and fork-in-the-road and whatcha-gonna-do decisions we all have to make.
I’m a sex blogger, so I’ll stay on point.
How willing are you to improve sex in your marriage?
I’ve had countless conversations with people, received as many emails, and been privy to the insights of folks more credentialed than me who write on this topic. More often than I can count, in many marriages, a husband and wife could profoundly improve their intimacy if they both would be willing—actually willing—to do something toward such improvement.
“You are preaching to the choir, Julie,” many of you are saying right now (some with eyeroll, sarcasm, and despondency thrown in as well). I get it. I do. I know that for many of you reading this, you aren’t the one lacking the will. It’s your spouse who has pushed sex way off the radar.
And for some of you, it’s not that you both aren’t willing, but you just aren’t quite sure how to start the conversation. So you don’t start the conversation. Like ever.
A hard conversation is where these things usually are headed, no matter what camp you’re in. Status quo of intimacy problems or intimacy miscommunication or intimacy crises usually doesn’t drift into a healthier status quo without a hard conversation.
And I know that an uncomfortable, sloppy, muster-up-the-courage conversation is no guarantee that anything will change.
But I think it’s wise to have it anyway. To speak in the “I.” To say what you desire and what you feel.
If you have been hinting at wanting sexual intimacy to improve, or worse—simply hoping your spouse will read your mind—then I encourage you to try a more intentional direct approach.
Yes, be respectful. Yes, pick a good time to initiate such a conversation (not when your spouse is tired or hungry, for example, and not during sex). Yes, speak in the “I” as much as possible, rather than being accusatory. And yes, share your deep desire for nurtured intimacy; solutions rather than staying stuck.
And if your spouse is not on board with taking even baby steps in that direction, then express that you will get counseling for yourself to find ways to better cope and navigate. If you can’t afford counseling, consider these three options if you can’t afford counseling. << That post talks about marriage counseling, but read it closely and you’ll see the three options would likely be helpful for individual counseling as well.
Sometimes the question, How willing are you to improve sex in your marriage?, is one God will use to stir your own heart. This blog post may be your prompt to ask yourself the question and finally stare at it long enough till you make a decision.
It may be your crossroads. Your fork in the road. Your whatcha-gonna-do.
I can’t answer that for you. But I think you can.
Copyright 2019, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.