I know when it’s been too long.
I can feel it. I think every aspect of our life together can feel it when my husband and I have gone too long without making love.
What about your marriage?
What does it do to you as an individual and to you both as a couple when you go too long without having sex?
I will speak from my own experience, but I imagine some of these ring true for you, too.
5 Signs I’ve Gone Too Long Without Sex
1. I lose patience quicker when I’ve gone too long without sex.
While every Hallmark movie would lead us to believe marriage is an endless slumber party of bliss, you and I both know that marriage requires a boatload of grace.
It’s mind boggling the coordination and cat-like reflexes needed to run a household. And if you managed to replicate a Mini-Me or two (or three or four or more), those creatures have an uncanny propensity to sabotage all your cat-like reflexes.
Oh for the love.
Add to the mix jobs and financial issues and needy relatives and volunteer commitments and lawns that need mowing and fridges that need filling.
When we commit our lives to one another in marriage, we are committing to swimming upstream for longer than we ever could have imagined. I’ve yet to meet any married person who would argue otherwise.
I don’t know about you, but I found out fairly quickly that if my husband and I were going to do marriage well, we needed to develop incredible muscle memory on what it means to extend grace.
So it shouldn’t be a shock at all that when my husband and I go too long without sexual connection, my grace and patience plummet. The very grace I need to extend in legitimate “grace deserving” situations evaporates. Nada. Kaput. I’ve got nothing.
Sex isn’t just good for my body. It’s literally good for my home and the life we are managing together. Like I always say… I like my husband better after we make love. It’s easier to extend grace to the man I like, not just the man I love.
2. I feel stressed when I’ve gone too long without sex.
Speaking of my body, though, I find sex incredibly relaxing. I physically and emotionally feel better after we make love. I like being touched and held and pursued sexually, so the longer I go without that, the more stressed I become. There is a direct correlation I could recognize a mile away.
Research upon research has proven that when we enjoy sexual connection with our spouse, it benefits us physically and emotionally. Oxytocin rises. Cortisol goes down. We feel tingly. Orgasm isn’t just about bonding, it’s also about a release — a release no one word could adequately describe. We just know.
Sure, some stress in life is normal and actually motivating. But persistent sustained agonizing stress never did anyone any good. And yes, there are many ways to relieve stress (exercise, counseling, hobbies, journaling, meditation, talking with a friend.)
Married people have those stress-relieving opportunities too, but what sets marriage apart from all other relationships is that it is a covenant relationship that includes sex. Not as an option, but as an intricate part. Even couples who physically cannot have intercourse for medical or other reasons are still afforded sensual touch and, in some cases, the ability to still reach orgasm.
I think God knew that the very nature of marriage is a hotbed of messy stress, so He gave us a way to keep some of that stress at bay. Get naked with each other as often as possible. Keep the stress at bay. I know it works for me.
3. I am more tempted to masturbate in secret when I’ve gone too long without sex.
I know this is a rather transparent and vulnerable thing to admit, maybe even from someone who blogs about sex in marriage, but it’s true. When my husband and I have gone too long without sex, I am tempted to secretly satisfy my desire for climax.
Hear me out. I’m not opposed to masturbation in marriage when certain parameters are in place. It’s just that one of those parameters I believe is it shouldn’t be done secretly —an activity that you hide from your spouse.
Sadly, I hear from many husbands and wives who feel sexually neglected by their spouse, so they seek sexual release alone through masturbation. And that becomes their go to. That becomes their normal, to the point that they no longer think sex with their spouse is even up for discussion or is even an option. It’s a heartbreaking path too many people head down.
All things considered, I would much rather my orgasm come through the handiwork of my husband’s technique and touch rather than of my own alone experience. And the kicker is that masturbation is never going to fulfill the way mutual sexual connection with the person you married will. It’s just not.
Go too long without sex with the person you married and masturbating in secret becomes all that more alluring.
4. I start to question the strength of our relationship when I’ve gone too long without sex.
Lack of sex doesn’t make me question if we are going to stay married (although I do hear from people regularly who do feel that way, so it’s a legitimate experience no doubt). But lack of sex does start to entangle me in way too much doubt about how strong our relationship really is.
I start pondering things like, “maybe our best years as a couple are behind us” or “maybe this is just how it is and I need to lower my expectations.”
It’s exhausting, really… to start to drift into a mode of settling when I know in my heart we don’t need to settle. But that’s what happens when we’ve gone too long without sex. I start to question the strength of our connection. And I hate that feeling.
5. I get bored when I’ve gone too long without sex.
The older I get, the more spontaneity I need. Not in an obsessive sort of way, but I just need each day to have some variety in it.
Sex is fun! It’s rich entertainment that’s cheap. Doesn’t cost us a thing except a little time, creativity and energy. And it doesn’t require we go out anywhere. We can make our own private paradise of fun right in the comfort of our own home.
So I know it may sound odd, but if we go too long without sex, I start to get a little bored with life.
Not only do I want more spontaneity the older I get, I’m also increasingly aware of how fleeting life is. Do you ever feel that way? Like one day you got married and here you are years (maybe even decades) down the road, and it all seems like one tremendous blur.
Clichés are clichés because there is some solid truth to them. Life is short. If you are married, there is no better time than now to be having sex and to have fun doing it. I don’t want to feel bored with my marriage.
So there you have it. 5 signs I’ve gone too long without sex.
What about you? Do you sense when it’s been too long? What does that do to you? What does it do to your marriage? Please share in the comment section.
Oh and I have a 5 video series available on building better sex in your marriage. Great way to invest in your marriage! You can find out all about it at this link: Better Sex in Your Christian Marriage.
Copyright 2019, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.