Many of the emails and comments I receive are about sexual struggles in marriage.
Rarely does the person writing express that the struggles are a shared concern. If anything, the overwhelming sentiment from people writing is they want more authentic sexual connection—but their spouse is indifferent.
Yes, I know. I’m hearing only one side of the story. But after doing this for as long as I have, I have a fairly good gauge on whether someone is being genuine. And most the time when I hear from people discouraged by the lack of sexual intimacy in their marriage, they are at a loss as to what to do. They love their spouse, but the lack of intimacy is leaving a trail of collateral damage.
Maybe you are reading this right now and you’re saying “yes” a thousand times over. You too have felt the sting of sexual rejection from the only person you can morally share sexual arousal and pleasure.
What do you most want your spouse to understand? Do any of the below adequately capture your perspective?
I would want my spouse to understand that…
when they reject my desire for sex, I question my self worth.
sex is more than just a release to me. I hunger to be close to the person I fell in love with and committed my life to.
when they just go through the motions sexually or want it to be over as soon possible, I end up feeling worse. I didn’t just need an orgasm; I needed to connect intimately.
their lack of interest in sex makes me question their love for me and the strength of our marriage.
when they never want to work to overcome our sexual struggles, I start to doubt if our marriage will survive.
I so value our relationship, but I can’t be the only one to put effort into sex.
I would be more than willing for us to get professional counseling to help us face and overcome our sexual struggles.
it would mean so much to me if they showed they truly desired me sexually.
I feel as if our marriage, including sex in our marriage, is rarely or never a priority.
ever since we had kids, maintaining a healthy connection as a couple has fallen by the wayside.
if they are always too tired for sex, then something is out of balance in our life.
I sometimes imagine what it would be like to not be married.
I am heartbroken there is not more intimacy on all levels in our marriage.
I would feel so affirmed, cherished and valued if they touched me affectionately and sexually.
when we go weeks and sometimes months without intimacy, I feel incredibly discouraged and depressed.
sex is never just sex to me. It’s so much more than that.
I feel confused and sometimes resentful when they continue to promise me sex later, but then later rarely arrives.
had I known they were going to be so disinterested in making love to me, I would have given more thought on whether I even wanted to get married in the first place.
sexual rejection cuts me to the core, but I’ve learned to hold my feelings in. But doing that is just causing more distance between us.
I believe we are dishonoring God and our covenant by not enjoying sex regularly. We have been so careless with His gift of sex.
I want us to have sexual intimacy we both value, but I can’t fix these struggles on my own.
I don’t know your marriage. I am not privy to the history of your sexual struggles. I have no doubt you never could have fathomed the toll the struggles have taken.
I am wondering if you still have hope—even a glimmer of hope—that sex can improve in your relationship? If so, what next step can you take to raise your spouse’s awareness about the seriousness of the problem?
Maybe it’s a heartfelt letter you write as a springboard to in-person conversation. Or maybe it’s an ultimatum that if the two you don’t go to a counselor together, then you will go on your own to better understand ways to cope and respond. Or maybe it’s ways you start to value yourself enough to not continue to get caught up in the sexual indifference perpetuated by your spouse.
Ultimately you can control only yourself. You can express your concerns to your spouse and ask that the two of you get intentional about healing these sexual struggles. Is there risk in such expression? You bet there is.
But sometimes you risk more by saying and doing nothing. Unhealthy patterns do not self-correct. No one drifs toward healthy sexual intimacy, so it’s probably going to take you intentionally shedding some light on the matter. Maybe, just maybe, your spouse will then start to see the damage their indifference about sex has caused.
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 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.