I have been so excited to write this post for a few weeks now, but I wasn’t sure how to start! Well, I still don’t know how to start this, but I’m going to just dive into it anyway! 😉 Intimacy in marriage can be sort of a touchy subject for some, but I’m braving the topic because it’s SO DARN IMPORTANT! Creating more and better intimacy in our marriage has changed our relationship drastically, and I’m hoping that this post will do the same for you if you find your marriage struggling.
Disclaimer: I’m going to be REALLY candid in this post. I’ve spoken with my husband, and we both agree that these things are hard to share but that we need to in order to share our truth with you. This post will discuss things that might be controversial and that are also quite personal to us. I encourage you to read the post in it’s entirety and show kindness with your comments. Thanks! Let’s do it!
(*This post contains affiliate links.)
P.S. I have no problem talking about sex in marriage if it’s helpful to you! Make sure to leave a comment below when you’re finished reading if you would like more posts involving intimacy in marriage!
First, let me give you an inside look into the state of our marriage before this little “experiment”.
For the first year of our marriage, Alex and I have been doing what I would assume most newlyweds do…we have been pushing past the growing pains and trying to figure it all out. We had the same simple struggles as everyone else such as figuring out who would do the dishes after we both have had a long day at work, how much time apart do we need in order to stay sane and not kill each other, and how to make it through a fight without screaming so loud the neighbors can hear. 😉 We’ve done pretty well with figuring those things out, but the topic of intimacy in our marriage has always been a difficult one.
Here are a few of our “stats” to illustrate why it’s been so difficult…
- Alex and I were not sexually pure when we married. We had both been intimate with other people and also each other before we made the decision to follow God’s commands and abstain until our wedding.
- My love language is Words of Affirmation and Alex is a Physical Touch guy, so it was often difficult to understand what the other person needed.
- After abstaining from sex for our engagement and feeling some shame about my previous intimacy sins, I wasn’t as quick or as comfortable to jump back into it as my husband was. This created many arguments that ultimately led to further distance in our sex life.
- Alex admitted months into our marriage (after lying) that he had continued to watch pornography into our relationship and marriage. He stopped, and then started back up a few weeks later.
- Up until the Intimacy Experiment, I wasn’t very excited about the idea of having sex and I didn’t make much effort to hide it while being intimate. I was a very selfish lover.
I’m sure that there are many things I could list, but I think you get the point. Husband who struggles with a pornography habit from his past who just wants to be loved and shown affection by his wife in the form of intimacy. He feels hurt by his wife’s seemingly nonexistent desire to have sex, and doesn’t feel emotionally cared for. Wife who doesn’t feel confident and isn’t quite as comfortable with the concept of sex after admitting to sexual sin in the past. She is hurt by her husband’s desire to watch pornography and doesn’t understand how he could want that AND also to be intimate with her as well.
It was a horrible cycle, and I honestly wasn’t sure how to get us out of it. Alex did his part as a husband and apologized for the pornography, stopped it altogether with the grace of God, and provided so much love and support in trying to get us back on track. But something in my brain just wasn’t clicking when it came to sex. I still didn’t want it.
So what the heck did we do to fix it??
1. I didn’t expect my husband to change
Now, don’t get me wrong here! This is not to say that he wasn’t going to have to change or that he wouldn’t be willing to change! However, for the longest time, I was finding myself always leaning on him to fix things. He must be the one with the problem, right? 😉 Ladies, you know what I mean! I realized that if things were going to change in all areas of our marriage, I was going to have to figure out this “sex thing” and do my part to make a change. It took me a long time and a lot of Jesus, but I finally realized that if there is a problem…it starts with ME to fix it! So I started my intimacy experiment. I decided to see what would happen if I made sex more of a priority in our relationship!
“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.” -Theodore Roosevelt
2. I started my Intimacy Experiment with learning
This sounds kinda weird, huh? Ha! I haven’t met anyone yet that goes around telling the entire world that she needs to learn more about how to be a servant lover and a good sexual partner…so here we go! I’ll say it, “I needed help!” You may be wondering why sex was such a struggle for me since I had partners before my husband. Girlfriend, that is exactly why there was a problem!
I try my best not to have regrets, because I know that God has a perfect plan for us all…but if I had one regret, it would be that I had sex before marriage! Being intimate with other people before being with my husband created an unrealistic and sad representation of what sex really should be like! I wasn’t used to having a completely safe place to unveil my whole self, and when I realized that’s what sex in marriage is, I froze. Literally. All confidence seemed to go out the window as I realized that sex in marriage is a totally different thing. I was used to giving my body, but not my heart and soul as well. I didn’t know how to be the complete, vulnerable, responsive, servant lover that my husband deserved me to be. I was scared!
I started learning about how to be a servant lover using books, YouTube videos, blog posts, and Pinterest! Keep in mind, I wasn’t actually learning how to have sex, but how to be present, responsive, excited, and unselfish in the bedroom. This learning process has been all about figuring out what God intended for sex in marriage and how to honor God through my relationship with my husband. I’ll leave some of my favorite resources down at the bottom of the post for you to check out!
3. I kept my word and followed through
This has been huge for us! Before starting my intimacy experiment, I would often make excuses for why I didn’t want to have sex, head off to work, and then feel terrible for it while I was at work away from my husband. I would then promise a grand romantic experience upon arriving home from work, AND…I wouldn’t follow through. By the time I got off work, rode the bus to my car, made my way through traffic while trying to stay awake after a long shift, and opened the door to the house, I just wasn’t in the mood for sex anymore. You know what I mean, right? It can be hard when you’re just so dang tired!
This third change that I made was all about making sure that if I made a promise, I stuck to it! If I said I was going to come home and be intimate with my husband after a long day at work, I came home and was intimate with my husband after a long day at work. Simple as that!
The thing that has really helped me break through my pattern of not following through has been realizing that I don’t have to be in the mood to have sex with my husband! Through a lot of my reading, I have learned that women tend to get excited about sex during sex…not before! Now, of course, there will be times when I’m ready to just jump in bed with my husband and go to town! But for the most part, I’ve learned that most women get in that elusive “mood” AFTER sex has already begun! Instead of saying no when I just don’t feel like it, I am now saying yes more often because I know that within a few minutes, I’ll be happy as can be and ready to have fun! Give it a try, girlfriend!
4. I asked myself a simple question…
“Would I enjoy making love to someone if they were putting in the effort that I am right now?”
Looking back, the answer to this question would have been “heck no” a lot of the time! Now, I’m learning to ask myself this question when I feel like maybe I’m not being as much of a servant lover as I could be! Our husbands don’t want us to just lay there and pretend to be interested. They want a willing and excited wife who is thrilled to explore intimacy and becoming closer as one! Asking myself this question often ensures that I’m putting my husbands needs before my own and makes for an amazing experience for both of us.
What things have I learned/gained with this “experiment”?
- Becoming more intimate and being more involved with the process instead of just “getting it over with” has increased our connection so much! We are closer and more in sync than ever in all areas of our marriage!
- Laughter and communication come more naturally now! With the stress of sex behind us, we are able to focus more on having fun! When problems arise, we are better able to talk about them and be respectful of each other, because everyone feels emotionally supported.
- The more you “do it”, the more you want it! Now that we are having sex regularly and it’s getting better and better, I actually crave that connection with my husband! I’m more excited to be close to him than ever!
- I get more of the things I need in our marriage. I had no idea that sex was such an emotional thing for men! I always thought that my husband was just being a “guy” when he expressed his need for more intimacy. Now, I know that it’s truly a way for him to feel emotionally secure. Because I’m making him feel that way now, he’s better able and more willing to make sure that my emotional needs, such as kind words and a listening ear, are met!
- The sleep lost is worth the happiness afterward! One of my biggest excuses for not wanting to take the time to be intimate has been sleep. I never seem to get enough! I realized that taking the time to have sex and feel connected is well worth the loss of a little sleep! After that intimate time, both of us are so much happier and more relaxed, and it’s well worth any sleep that I might lose!
I hope that this post has encouraged you in your marriage, because it has been pretty hard to write! 😉 Below are some of my favorite resources for intimacy in marriage!
- 10 Ways to Rekindle Intimacy in Your Marriage (blog post)
- Intimacy Ignited: Conversations Couple to Couple: Fire Up Your Sex Life with the Song of Solomon*
- The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex: (And You Thought Bad Girls Have All the Fun)*
- Intimate Issues: Twenty-One Questions Christian Women Ask About Sex*
- The book of Song of Solomon from the bible!
- Pinterest! (Here is my board for Intimacy in Marriage)
(Items with an * next to them are affiliate links. Learn more about what that means for you, here!)
These are not all of the resources out there, so get out there and search for answers! Don’t forget to pray!
Let’s chat! Did you find this post helpful? Would you like to see more posts on the topic of intimacy in marriage? Let me know below!