When we were first married, sex was great and happened often. I had a happy husband to say the least. It was deeply spiritual, engaging, and we enjoyed our new hobby. 🙂 It was fun and exciting, and we quickly fell into a rhythm that felt good for us.
Fast forward about 7 years.
We now had 2 children, and our sex life sucked. No, honestly, I don’t say that for shock-value. It’s true…it stunk!
My poor husband was frustrated and felt like I was just going through the motions; and I was, even though I didn’t know how to do anything other than that. I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong, and despite his brainstorming, nothing was getting us out of our rut. Our marriage was suffering, our connection was suffering, and we were starting to resent sex. Ugh! Something God has designed for us to enjoy fully and freely in marriage was drudgery.
Before doing the following 5 things, what I described above was normal, expected, and what we had come to accept as our new normal for sex after kids. We felt so defeated! We knew in our hearts that there was something better, even in this difficult season of life, we had to find it.
Here are 5 things that shifted everything for us:
We got honest with each other. We shared things we had been hiding, and were afraid to talk about. We spoke up about what we wanted, and stopped judging the others intent or desires. We leveled the playing field, and started fresh.
We shared things we had been hiding, and were afraid to talk about.
We sought to understand each other. When we attended the First Steps to Success training weekend last spring (contact me if you want to know more), several things Dani Johnson spoke about clicked for me. She taught us about our personalities and how to understand each other, learning to speak each other’s language in a sense. No, this wasn’t about love languages, but actually speaking in the way your partner thinks. She shared her own experience as example, talking openly about how it wasn’t always this way, about her desire for her husband and how she pursues him, loving and respecting him in his God-given leadership role of their family and marriage. When both of you approach your marriage bed with the intention of understanding one another, your communication will improve, and when you truly grasp what the other is saying, then the sparks can really fly! 😉
Note: sex is a skill-something you practice, get better at doing, and learn to do well. Seeking to understand isn’t something you do once, it’s something you commit to doing every time you interact with your spouse.
Seeking to understand isn’t something you do once, it’s something you commit to doing every time you interact with your spouse.
Another resource that has helped us tremendously is the book, Strengths Based Marriage. I won’t re-write everything I’ve already said, so go read my review here.
We started serving each other. No, not in bed. 😉 I’m talking practically by doing dishes, folding each other’s laundry, making sure the other was up for a morning routine or workout. Figure out how you can serve your spouse in a way that makes a difference for them, and try it!
Asking for Help.
We reached out for help. We talked with mentors, pastors, and other individuals who could offer wisdom for our situation. We took time to process our past and learn from our mistakes and choices. We studied how our past affected our present, and began making changes to our interaction so that we could course-correct for sustained and healthy effects in our relationship. We faced body-memories and mistrusts that were rooted to choices we made a decade ago in our relationship. This part isn’t easy for anyone, but the rewards are worth the difficulties faced.
Two great resources I would recommend for understanding sex and your relationship are The Red Band (or The Green Band if you are single and reading this) as well as Sheet Music by Dr. Kevin Leman.
If you need help being satisfied physically, check out this article from Hello Dearest. There are some great practical gems in that article!
If you think about it, pray about it. That is a statement I have adopted for myself to help keep my mind and thoughts focused on the right thing, and to consistently surrender my burdens to the Lord. Sex can be a significant frustration in even the best of marriages, so how much are you praying about it and not just dwelling on it?
Here are some ways you could pray about sex:
- Pray for wisdom to know how to love your spouse in the way they need it most right now.
- Pray for opportunity to connect and have sex.
- Pray for yourself to be walking in the Spirit and choose to love your spouse over your selfishness.
- Pray for your spouse to receive your love and affection with humility.
- Pray for your spouse to choose holiness, endurance and purity in the face of temptation.
- Pray for support and accountability.
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