Maybe it wasn’t a lightbulb moment. For many people, sexual intimacy dying is more of a slow fade.
My mom tells the story of the thermal security blankie I carried around as a toddler. It slowly began to unravel, but I didn’t grasp what was disappearing before my eyes. Then one day while vacuuming, she accidentally sucked up the few remaining strands.
For others, the lightbulb moment is precipitated by an event or sudden recognition that things are far worse than you previously thought. An affair. A particularly cruel conversation about sex. A harsh refusal. An unfiltered comment. A confession.
And still for others, it’s a complex mix—the perfect storm where sex has become like a contender that can no longer stay in the ring with the two of you. You’re battle worn. Your spouse is battle worn. And sexual intimacy taps out of the fight.
In my line of work, the comments and emails that wreck my heart the most are the ones where one or both spouses just know. They know sex is dying, maybe beyond salvage. Or they know sex is already dead, and resurrecting it feels too risky or too impossible.
I have to give voice to this every now and then.
And I’m an optimist to the core, so you can imagine how hard it is for me. You can imagine how my propensity is to think sex in every marriage will be made whole and healthy. (To my credit, I always am thinking it can be. I just know it doesn’t always happen—even if it could have happened.)
I am humbled when people want to share their stories with me, a mere stranger—someone just typing away in her small home office in the middle of the United States, passionately and enthusiastically unpacking the value of phenomenal sexual connection in marriage.
Yes, I am humbled when people want to share their stories. I learn from the victories when people turn things around and once again breathe sexual passion into their marriage.
And I learn from the sadness and profound heartache when someone concedes it’s just not going to happen for their marriage. More often than not, it doesn’t happen because only one spouse is lobbying for nurtured intimacy and the other doesn’t share that desire. Those stories in particular grieve me. But I learn from them.
Was there a lightbulb moment you knew sex in your marriage was dying?
Copyright 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.