I’ve yet to hear of a marriage that has never experienced at least some sexual frustration and disappointment.
Even the people I know who have what I would consider incredibly healthy marriages would admit they have had their share of sexual challenges.
The degree to which a marriage experiences struggles runs the spectrum.
Some couples have a lot of sexual struggles and some have very few and then the bulk of the couples likely would fall somewhere in between.
Because… well… it is marriage.
Whether we are talking about finances, parenting, the calendar, home projects, career changes or sex, none of those roads in marriage is smoothly paved for the entire trip. Not one of them.
We spend a lifetime figuring out life, so it stands to reason we spend an entire marriage figuring out marriage.
Sometimes we are rock stars at that. I kid you not. If it was all happening 100% in the presence of spectators, there most definitely would be times when people would be high fiving us and waving those foam fingers declaring we are “#1 BEST MARRIED COUPLE EVER!”
Other times… well… other times we are just grateful there are no spectators. No one there 100% of the time to witness our sinfulness, stubbornness, selfishness and/or short-sightedness. No one there to see how we can be quick to anger and way slow to forgive.
Marriage is a tricky perplexing place to keep having to grow up, adult and figure out what is a reasonable boundary rather than a hardened heart.
I was talking to a teenager the other day who was concerned about whether she would be ready to be an adult. I assured her that we never stop learning. We spend a lifetime facing baffling and even scary scenarios, and the best we can do is keep growing in our willingness to ask questions.
Ask for help when you need it. Ask for guidance. Seek to learn. Own your choices and the consequences. And if given similar scenarios in the future, decide if you should make different choices than you made in the past.
So basically all the skills we need for being an adult are (not surprisingly) the exact same ones we need to figure out sex in marriage.
And, of course, don’t miss the small joys and things that seem inconsequential but are actually quite monumental to wellbeing.
When it comes to sex in marriage, a huge reason I speak and write on sex is that I am trying to help people in the throes of struggles and I’m trying to help people better equip themselves to not experience such struggles in the first place.
I’m trying to help people bank the odds in their favor. In my own marriage, I’m trying to help my husband and I bank the odds in our favor.
I never think it’s going to be perfect for any of us. But if we are wise, we lean in on trying to bank the odds.
I’ve yet to hear of a marriage that has never experienced some sexual frustration and disappointment.
I have, though, heard of plenty of husbands and wives who have grown and learned how to enjoy and appreciate sex more. They’ve stared at the struggles and decided incremental change in the right direction was better than staying stuck in the pain and miscommunication.
The goal is never perfection. The goal is growth.
Am I more aware and mature in how I care for sex in my marriage now than I was yesterday or last week or last year?
Am I teachable?
Do I have a positive perspective about sex?
Am I willing to own my part in what it takes for us as a couple to experience authentic sexual intimacy?
Lots of questions. Lots of really good questions. No marriage is sexually perfect. But we can strive in the direction of sexually authentic.
Copyright 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.