Yes. I know.
I’m living proof there are more than three things.
I could lay out the plots and sub-plots of countless situations, circumstances and behaviors that have robbed my husband and me of phenomenal sex. Not always, mind you. But definitely sometimes.
But if the above headline was 300 Things Robbing Married Couples of Great Sex, your willingness to keep reading would probably be nil. No worries. The three I am going to unpack cover so many of the subplots that three is enough.
Do any of the below resonate with you?
3 Things Robbing Married Couples of Great Sex
1. Mediocre Clothed Connection
What happens when our clothes are on matters. I was discussing this line of thinking with my husband recently—this whole concept of trajectory, and if a husband and wife do not feel like they are on the same trajectory together, the default becomes drifting.
Drift apart. Drift to fewer shared interests. Drift to shallow conversations.
I am not a fan of mediocrity or shallowness, especially in the most crucial relationships of our life.
Sex is powerful in a marriage, and while my husband and I have certainly had our moments of raw passion that needed virtually no onramp, the vast majority of our incredible sexual encounters come on the heels of feeling connected long before we were naked.
So what does your relationship look like when you are clothed? And I’m not talking about the logistics part. For these optics, don’t look at the times you are only managing details like who is picking a kid up from practice or paying the bills or doing the grocery shopping. All very important life details, mind you.
But what I want you to reflect upon is the more subtle aspect of clothed connection.
What are your personal interactions like with each other? How do you touch each other?
Do you show an interest in each other’s struggles and joys and anxieties?
Are you vulnerable with each other?
Do you have fun together in seemingly inconsequential ways—how you banter or watch a show together or cook a meal together?
I am queen of the second question. In other words, the story behind the story. What is really going on in your relationship when you are clothed? How well do you know each other and want to be in each other’s individual lives? Do you see each other?
If the story behind the story reveals mediocre clothed connection, my guess is one or both of you are not feeling overly inspired to make love passionately. What happens when our clothes are on matters.
2. Disregard for the Burden
Ironically, in my previous point, I wanted you to not look at the logistics. But for this point I want to talk about the logistics of life. I wish life were neater and that marriage and all it entails came with way more clean edges and a lot fewer loose ends.
But cars sometimes break down. Dogs throw up occasionally. Everyone in the house still needs milk and bread and that “one kind” of ketchup that is their fav. Bills still need to paid and lawns mowed and birthday parties planned. Passwords and accounts and PTA fundraisers don’t manage themselves. Email inboxes apparently will go to great lengths to be anything but empty. And for the love, why does life come with so much paperwork? Whether it’s in a file on your computer or a stack on your kitchen counter or a pile on your home office floor, the paperwork of life is relentless.
The responsibilities of doing life and marriage are hard. They are time consuming. Throw in the emotions, stress and grief that are inherent with life, and a husband and wife can begin to feel overwhelmed.
So how are you at helping each other with life’s burdens? How good are you each at stepping up?
Sure, I wish it was all 50/50, but you and I both know that life is so messy. The 50/50 concept is illusive. The goal posts are constantly moving. The two of you either learn how to help each other swim or you’re just going to thrash around in the water alone.
What in the world does this have to do with sex? A lot.
More passionate and authentic sexual connection in the bedroom becomes easier if you each are committed to easing each other’s burdens. Notice I didn’t say “taking over” each other burdens. Nope. There’s probably never going to be a time in your marriage where you both aren’t managing a fair amount of details and mess.
But can you ask the Lord to give you eyes to see where you can help? If something is particularly hard or overwhelming for your spouse, how can you step in and make that at least a little better for them? It could be situational. It could be just in that moment where your spouse needs you to take over bath time with the kids or needs you to call the vet or needs you to screen the phone call.
Where do you need to run interference so your spouse has a hot minute to breathe?
Raising your awareness in this realm makes it much easier to feel connected sexually when the lights go down and the house gets quiet.
3. No Sexual Teachability
How teachable are you when it comes to sex? Do you pay close attention to your spouse’s sexual arousal and pleasure? And I’m not just talking physically. Here’s the sexual dance, so to speak, and when couples master it, the sex becomes phenomenal.
Sex is profound fuel for emotional, spiritual and physical oneness in a marriage. And we best discover that through being teachable.
And it only truly works if you both master the teachability. That’s the crux of it. If only one of you is paying close attention to the other one’s sexual arousal and pleasure, resentment will sneak in so quickly and build so rapidly that it will sabotage sexual connection.
You have to master being teachable when it comes to sex. Are you willing to let your spouse show and tell you what they need sexually? Are you willing to explore and re-explore the nuances of arousal and touch and emotion—and then have the steadfastness to recognize how you have to do all that over and over as both of your bodies age and change and your self awareness and life experience grows?
You both bear the responsibility for this. If you want phenomenal sex, you both need to be vulnerable enough to give AND receive feedback—and to do it with words and touches drenched in love.
This isn’t about demanding certain things sexually. Nope. There’s no love in that equation. This is about the mutuality of wanting to not only bring your spouse incredible sexual encounters, but also to experience that for yourself as a result of their touch, technique and effort.
Don’t rob yourself and each other of phenomenal sex. Be teachable. Have the humility and maturity to be teachable.
While I’m not in the guarantee business, I will say I believe the above are solid jumping off points if you want to flood your marriage with great sex rather than rob it of it.
Unpack the above points with your spouse. Be tender. Be real. Build from here.
Copyright 2021, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.