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When Intimacy Doesn't Seem So Beautiful
I really appreciate the comments on my Wifey Wednesday post below. A few anonymous posters said that, for them, sex was really difficult because they were promiscuous before they were married. Here's the issue:

This is a constant struggle for me in my marriage. I was wild before I became a Christian in my second year of college and my previous lifestyle is totally affecting my marriage now. There are so many mental barriers that I have created that I now have to work through. I let quite a few men into that bond with me, thinking I would be fulfilled emotionally or something.

The whole idea of sexual intimacy has been so perverted in my mind now that I often feel that sex can only be dirty and carnal. Though it is certainly neither of those things (when the stars align and I actually can get past those mental blocks to enjoy being with my husband), it's getting past them and letting my husband in that is so difficult.

I just really feel these women's pain (there was more than one, and I know many more didn't comment!), and I want to get back to some issues they raised and maybe offer more of you some hope.

At the Family Life marriage conferences where Keith and I speak across the country, and in my book, Honey, I Don't Have a Headache Tonight, I talk about this issue a lot.

Here's the gist of it, as I wrote in an earlier Wifey Wednesday post:

I think this whole problem started because our society has divorced sex from relationship, and so now all that's left is to make sex better by pushing the physical envelope. Think about it: how often do you see articles on "how to make sex better by improving your relationship", vs. "10 great new tricks in bed"? It's always the new tricks. And trust me, humans have been doing this for thousands of years. There's nothing new.

But because sex is now so common outside of marriage, where it's not used as an expression of love and commitment, it becomes all about the physical. Thus we live in a pornographic culture that promotes the physical above all else, and this has invaded the church, too. Because it's everywhere. And it's how even Christian men and women think of sex.

Now I don't think there's anything wrong with feeling great physically. But here's the issue: sex at heart is a spiritual, emotional and physical union. The reason it feels so good is because all three of those are connected. And when you get that spiritual connection while you're making love--when you're able to express true love and commitment at the same time--it's a really profound thing.

It could be that you were so promiscuous before you got married that you tried to eradicate this spiritual dimension of sex because you never actually committed with the men you were sleeping with. And now sex does seem all about the physical, and it is somehow dirty, or not really a way to express love.

I think if you can restore that, then other things will fall into place. But I know it's not easy. It really isn't. It takes a long time to rewire the brain. But I also believe it can be done, and God can help you.

So here's a simple tip: look into each other's eyes, especially at the end, if you know what I mean. That's a really powerful thing. Make it about each other. If you're looking at each other, you're thinking about each other, and not just about how your body feels. So

Another commenter said that she recited the Song of Solomon. I think that's a great idea! Why not read that together, and then--and I know this is going to sound weird--pray about it? God does know when you're having sex, after all. It is okay to pray to Him about sexual issues!

Finally, why not try something OTHER than sex? If the spiritual aspect of sex is lacking, why not take two weeks when you don't have sex at all, but you do "explore" each other, so to speak. Be naked together, but really try to memorize his body, and have fun just touching. The more you are playful, and intimate that way, the more it may be easier to restore a healthy feeling of intimacy to your marriage.

Anyway, these are just a few thoughts. I hope they help! Feel free to leave anonymous comments if you prefer on this one!

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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