I’ve been thinking lately about incongruency.
I’ve been asking myself where my behavior is incongruent with the goals I proclaim are important to me.
It’s a brutal and humbling self-reflection process. My friends will be the first to tell you I am falling down drunk in love with self reflection. When they ask me how I am, the word “reflective” is bound to be somewhere in my answer more often than not.
But for as self reflective as I am, I don’t always like what I find. And within that incongruency, I can either be defeated or get determined. The choice is mine and mine alone. The big incongruencies coming to light for me as of late are in the arena of personal growth (self development, fitness and health, and business stuff). The goals I say are important to me don’t always line up with my actual behavior.
So I have to take what I learn in that self reflection and decide if I am going to be defeated or get determined.
I know this same reflective process is vitally important in marriage. I can’t tell you how many times I hear some version of “I love my spouse, but I just don’t like sex” or “I love my spouse, but I just don’t see why it’s a big deal I don’t want to have sex.”
I also hear people try to justify ongoing pornography use or affairs, all while claiming they still deeply love their spouse. And in other situations, one spouse is using sex to be malicious or abusive, rather than kind and compassionate.
Is the love you proclaim for your spouse incongruent with how you behave sexually?
If you see your sexual behavior reflected in the scenarios I just noted (or ones more specific to your marriage), I imagine the room feels like it is closing in on you a bit. There are some brutal and humbling realties stirring in your heart.
Or you are scrambling to defend the incongruency and paint it as way more inconsequential than it actually is.
My hope, of course, is for the former—that the brutal and humbling realities are wrecking your heart in a way that you are now hungering to become determined. Determined to make some positive changes to erase the incongruency.
If you have been careless with sex in your marriage, will you reflect on that right now? Carelessness shows up in various forms. Here are a few to consider when thinking about yourself:
Do you regularly deny sex or show disinterest in your spouse’s sexual desires?
Are you unwilling to deal with issues negatively impacting intimacy in your marriage?
Have you continued to commit sexual indiscretions and sexual sins, despite the negative toll on your marriage?
Do you treat sex as mere duty rather than as a sacred and enjoyable gift to experience with your spouse?
Do you use sex to belittle, manipulate or control your spouse?
These are hard self-reflective questions to explore. I know. It would be nice if I could write posts only on romance and passion and sexual pleasure, but I can’t. I have to occasionally write about the deep sexual issues that are gravely affecting the health and sustainability of a marriage.
Do you say you love your spouse, but behave sexually in a way that is not loving?
You can either be defeated by what you find in that self reflection. Or you can get determined to do better.
What choice are you going to make?
Copyright 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.