Category Archives for "Sex & Family Planning"

May 18

What Do You Like About Sex?

By Julie Sibert | Sex & Family Planning

What do you like about sex?

This is an important question.  A lot hinges on what you and your spouse would each say in response to “What do you like about sex?”

what-do-you-like-about-sexNothing? Everything? Some things? Most things?

“I like the pleasure, but not the mess.”

“I don’t like the vulnerability.”

“I do like the oneness.”

“I hate how much he wants it.”

“I love how much she wants it.”

“I don’t like that we fight about it.”

“I love the desire, the passion, the uninhibitedness.”

“I like the way it makes me feel.”

“I don’t like the awkwardness.”

“I like the way he caresses me when we make love.”

“I like her body next to mine.”

“I don’t like the painful memories it stirs in me.”

“I like how we are nicer to each other afterward.”

“I hate it that I can’t relax.”

“I just don’t like sex and I don’t know why.”

Recently, someone suggested to me that I give the impression that sex is the most important thing in marriage – that marriage is just about sex and little else.

Of course, that’s not my take on it. After all, like most of you reading this, I am married.

I know marriage is a complex weave on so many levels that it could never be reduced to being “only about sex” (no more than it could be reduced to being only about children or only about finances).

But.

Sex in a marriage carries more significance than many people give it. That is sad truthful commentary.

In many marriages, sex is a side note, an extra “we’ll get around to if we ever have time and energy.”   Some marriages don’t get around to it at all, beyond the babies they created in the early years.

And then there are some people who would be eager and excited to answer the question “What do you like about sex?”

From the Lord’s perspective, marriage is the one place sex is not only permitted, but designed to be celebrated, pursued and mutually enjoyed.

A husband and wife who thoroughly pour themselves into profound sexual intimacy have found a bit of a jackpot. Sure, there is richness in their bed, but it is a unique kind of richness that amplifies richness outside the bedroom as well.

The question “What do you like about sex?” seems simple, doesn’t it? But how two people in a marriage answer that question sheds light into their relationship.

And when there is sexual disconnect in your marriage (because let’s face it, there likely will be at some point), how do you handle that disconnect?   Do you ignore it? Seek to heal it? Refuse to give up … or give up easily?

I’m not saying everything in a marriage banks on your answer to, “What do you like about sex?”

But it’s definitely an area worthy of investment. What about you?  What do you like about sex?

For more reading on this topic, check out 5 Ways to Like Sex in Your Marriage.

May 12

These 4 Letters Could Destroy Your Marriage

By Dustin | Sex & Family Planning

Covenant EyesThere’s an incredibly serious problem facing many marriages today. It’s also the fastest growing addiction in North America.

It’s spelled P-O-R-N and there’s a good chance that you’ve either been affected by it or will be at some point.  

In this recent post, a counselor shares the first-hand accounts of several women who have been hurt by their husband’s use of pornography.  

It’s pretty chilling, and these real-world examples show that porn impacts all areas of our marriages – even though our culture tries to minimize it as harmless fun.

If you or your spouse have experienced the grasp of pornography, you know all too well about the damage that it causes to your intimacy, trust and communication.  It’s very difficult for porn and a healthy marriage to co-exist for any length of time.

But there’s more to the story than just husbands getting sucked in and hurting their wives in the process.  This is an issue that impacts all of us, especially if you have children.

  • Did you know that 43% of kids first view porn before the age of 13?
  • Did you know that the fastest-growing group of porn users is WOMEN age 25 and under?

As a Dad, that first fact in particular sends chills down my spine.  Porn is extremely easy to access in our connected world, and our kids are targeted more than we would ever imagine.

So what can you do about it?

The only way to combat this issue in your house (and on all those mobile devices that you and your kids have) is by being proactive.  

That’s why I highly recommend a service called Covenant Eyes to protect you.

Specifically, Covenant Eyes’ Internet Accountability service allows you to see a detailed report on the online activities of each of your family members.  This not only cuts down on the temptation to visit questionable websites, but it allows for a conversation to take place among family members to help everyone make wiser choices about their web usage.

In addition, Covenant Eyes offers filtering services to ensure your kids, your spouse and yourself don’t access harmful sites in the first place.  Both services work across all of your devices, so you can rest assured that your family is being protected at all times.

Covenant Eyes also has some incredible free resources on their site:

Click here to grab the “Porn and Your Husband” e-book

Click here to get the “Your Brain on Porn” Christian e-book

Thank you for taking a few minutes today to think about this issue and take some action to protect your marriage and your family.

It’s one of the most important things you can do to protect your marriage and your kids.

Apr 20

The Sexiest Thing You Can Do For Your Wife…

By Julie Sibert | Sex & Family Planning

It may look like this post is just for the guys.

But I encourage you wives to read it as well.

sexiest-thing-you-can-doNot long ago on my site, I did a post titled The Sexiest Thing You Can Do for Your Husband.

The attention that post received got me thinking that doing sexy things is an equal opportunity proposition.

So guys, let me start with the disclaimer that obviously I don’t know your wife and what she specifically finds sexy.

(Hint. Hint. That’s your cue to read this post as a springboard into studying the woman you do life with and figuring out what turns her on.)

As for you wives reading this, please know that if your husband is like many husbands, he wants to turn you on… in the way you want to be turned on.

But you have to be willing to be turned on.

If you regularly shut him down sexually or don’t help him learn what you find arousing, then he pretty much feels like he just can’t win.  And he is the guy who won your heart way back in the day, which you probably found soooo attractive.  (Ironic. I know.)

Guys, you may think I’m going to say that the sexiest thing you can do for your wife is to help out around the house more.  But you know, I’m just not so sure that “chore play” is the best foreplay.

You’ll hear jokes about how a woman has never found her husband sexier than when he’s vacuuming or scrubbing the kitchen floor.

Those things may have some impact if “acts of service” is one of the ways she receives love.

But do those things really make her want to get naked with you?

Hmmm. I kind of doubt it.

The sexiest thing you can do for your wife is more likely rooted in connecting with her emotionally.

I know.  That is a mantra tossed around a lot in the world of marriage enrichment.  And you may be tired of hearing about emotional intimacy.

Interestingly, though, as someone who blogs about sex in marriage, I find that most husbands really want the emotional connection too.

Sex is never just about sex.  I’ve yet to hear from a husband who is eager for his wife to offer the use of her body but never the revelation of her soul.

Nope.

Duty sex loses its appeal almost from the get go, especially if duty sex is the only sex on the menu.

The sexiest thing you can do for your wife is to genuinely be her friend and hunger to know her emotionally.

This isn’t about being to her the same type of friend her girlfriends are to her.  Friendship in a marriage is different than other friendships, but still equally needed (and, in some ways, more needed than what we share with our other friends).

And wives, this is where you need to embrace a bit of wisdom:

If he is genuinely trying to connect with you emotionally, and your gut reaction is to see his attempt as nothing more than a ploy to get sex, you are hurting your marriage. (Or maybe you are sabotaging intimacy by telling yourself these three lies.)

Sadly, in too many marriages, the “sexiest things” a husband and wife do for each other have become a system of bartering.

My guess is that’s not really what you want for your marriage — emotionally or sexually.

Possibly you are reading this right now and you are thinking, “I’ve given up on trying to figure out what my spouse finds sexy.”

Or possibly you know what your spouse finds sexy and you have slacked off in pursuing them the way you used to.

Or maybe you both do want more sexual intimacy, but you both feel so exhausted.

No matter the camp you are in, I encourage you to get courageous for the sake of your marriage. Invest not only in expressing what your spouse means to you, but also in asking for the emotional and sexual intimacy you need.

The sexiest thing you can do for your wife?

I’m not sure. You know her better than me.

Maybe cleaning the kitchen floor will make her want to enthusiastically pull you into the bedroom. Or maybe — just maybe — there are other levels of intimacy she’s hungering for you to explore.

Husbands, will you try?  Wives, will you believe him when he tries?

Sex is never just about sex.

Mar 16

When Was the Last Time You Made Love?

By Julie Sibert | Sex & Family Planning

Okay, I admit it.

when-was-last-time-you-made-loveThis is kind of a trick question.

On the surface, it looks like this post is only for people who can’t remember when they last had sex with their spouse.

But really, this post is for all married couples with regard to sex in their marriage.

When was the last time you made love?

Some of you can’t remember because it’s been sooooo long ago, maybe even years.

And some of you can’t remember because sex is woven into the fabric of your marriage in such a way that it really is hard to discern one time from the next.  For you, sex is not a monumental “once-in-awhile” event, but rather a vital and frequent aspect of how you do life with the person you married.

And some of you fall in between those two camps.

Wherever you fall on the spectrum, could you ponder for a moment not on sex itself , but rather what sexual intimacy (or lack thereof) does to your marriage.

Sex is never just about sex.

Despite what the movies and society and the hook-up culture try to tell us, sex is never just about sex.

And interestingly, I think we see this truth most in marriage, where one life is entwined with another.

Day in and day out, this is the person with whom you navigate finances, a busy calendar, work demands, family commitments, mountaintops, valleys, laundry piles, weed-filled lawns, new tires for the car, neighborhood gatherings, holidays, dog puke, empty milk jugs, little league fields, messy garages, whiney toddlers, lying teens, birthday cakes, smiles, slights and clogged drains.

In the midst of all that, sex is never just about sex.

When there is ongoing sexual refusal in a marriage, it is difficult to ignore or escape the pain and disconnection that such refusal causes.

And, on the flip side, when there is ongoing nurtured sexual intimacy, it is difficult to ignore the reassurance and oneness such intimacy causes.

When was the last time you made love?

I’m not overly concerned with whether you can remember the last time. I’m more curious about what sex is doing to your marriage.

Is sex bringing you closer together, better equipping you to do life together and making you feel grateful that this is the person you chose as your spouse?

Or is sex a thorn in your side — a source of frustration and division, either because you are having it so rarely or because you struggle immensely with agreeing on what nurtured sexual intimacy even means?

Don’t become consumed with answering the question, “When was the last time you made love?”

Do, though, get courageous, go to your spouse and get real about what the sexual connection or sexual distance is doing to you and to the marriage.

Don’t assume your spouse knows how grateful you are for sex — or how discouraged you are because of the lack of it.

Yes, it likely feels scary to be so vulnerable. But this is the person to whom you’ve committed your life.

And you both are worth transparency that has the potential to make the marriage stronger — whether that transparency is filled with joy or drenched in a cry for healthier sexual intimacy.

When was the last time you made love?

For a few of my favorite posts along this topic, check out Extraordinary Sex In Your Ordinary Life and 5 Dangers of Regularly Saying No to Sex.

Feb 16

3 Things Sex WILL Do For Your Marriage

By Julie Sibert | Sex & Family Planning

3-things-sex-will-doI met recently with a bride-to-be who wanted some insight on sexual intimacy in marriage.

In a few short months, she’ll be joining her life with the man she loves.

She had a few questions about sex, and she wanted me to shed some light on the realities (good and bad) of sex in marriage.

I was her “go to” gal for this, because obviously I have few inhibitions talking about this sort of thing. (I know. You’re surprised, right?!)

If I were to ask those of you who are married about sex in marriage, what would you say?

I know for some of you, your responses would be drenched in heartache, disappointment, confusion and maybe even anger.

Depending on your circumstances, you envisioned sex in marriage to be amazing, frequent and — dare I say — magical.

But those visions have failed to materialize.

If you are a woman, you probably thought it would be a lot like the sex portrayed in your favorite romantic movies.

Easy. Mesmerizing. Passionate. Tender.

If you are a man, you probably thought it would be mutually-valued, frequent and a smorgasbord of stimulation.

God gave you the green light, and you were all about “full speed ahead” on savoring that blessing.

For some of you reading this right now, sex has been all of those things and more.

As someone who has lived a previous marriage where sex was a huge struggle and now am in a marriage where sex rocks my world in the most fulfilling way, I certainly have spent time in both the camp of sexual disappointment and the camp of sexual “wow!”

I’m no idealist.  Marriage is hard, eh?

I think it is one of the hardest endeavors we ever choose to enter, and this may surprise you, but that’s why I think nurtured sexual intimacy is soooo important.

There are benefits to sex in marriage beyond the orgasm.  As great as pleasure is, it is pleasure and connection with the person with whom you do life that affords you marvelous realities that you just can’t find anyplace else.

Here are 3 things sex will do for your marriage:

1.  Help you extend grace.

This is big, and at the beginning of marriage, we can’t fathom how much we are going to need it.

Early in marriage, we are still riding the wave of the fairytale and believing our marriage will be spared the struggles other marriages regularly encounter.

Then we come face-to-face with the truth that doing life with another person who is sinful like us is oftentimes excruciatingly hard.

We have to learn how to extend grace, over and over again.  Sex helps you do that.

There is something about frequently giving yourself sexually to the person you married that softens you to each other.

As I have often said, I like my husband better after we have sex.

Are You Ready to Bring Back the Passion & Intimacy in Your Sex Life?

Use these proven techniques to enjoy more sex and deeper intimacy...so you can feel like newlyweds again:

Click here to learn more about Intimacy Reignited

2. Relieve stress.

This piggybacks a little on point #1.  Life in general is stressful, and marriage is not immune to that.

In fact, in some regards, married life (and the little tykes that eventually show up) can be incredibly draining.

Yes, orgasm from a physiological standpoint has been proven to relieve stress, but more importantly, I think pleasure with the person you are doing life with is what really has power to reduce stress.

Instead of waiting for stress to subside before you have sex, why not reverse that train of thinking?  Be more intentional about having sex regardless of the circumstances in your life.

Convey with your body and heart that your sexual desire for your spouse is not contingent on everything else in life moving along smoothly.

My guess is that deep down, you both want to know without a doubt this tender reassurance: I’m in this with you. I’m right here.

3.  Equip you to be a better witness for Christ.

I’m not going to go all Jesus freak on you, because most people hate that sort of thing.  But I will say this…

Sexual connection with the person you married is one of the best ways you can worship God and serve in His name.

I know.  Sounds completely ludicrous that I so closely tie these two things — sexual intimacy in your marriage AND your Christian witness.

Sadly, I hear from many people whose spouse is completely careless with sex in the marriage, yet steadfast bent on serving at the church.

If you are spending countless hours leading Bible studies, making food for funeral luncheons, organizing Vacation Bible School or singing in the choir — yet you are purposely negligent at nurturing intimacy in your marriage — then I humbly encourage you to pause for a moment.

Take a good look at God’s heart for your marriage.

We are better equipped to serve the Lord if we are diligent about the intimacy — and sometimes sexual healing — that needs to happen in our own home.

When you read the above 3 things sex will do for your marriage, I pray you feel encouraged and inspired.

I pray you will bravely start desiring greater possibilities for sex in your marriage.

You’re worth it. Your spouse is worth it. Your marriage is worth it.

Are You Ready to Bring Back the Passion & Intimacy in Your Sex Life?

Use these proven techniques to enjoy more sex and deeper intimacy...so you can feel like newlyweds again:

Click here to learn more about Intimacy Reignited

Jan 19

Do You Want Better Sexual Intimacy in 2015?

By Julie Sibert | Sex & Family Planning

 

better sex in 2015I used to be a New Year’s Resolution junkie.

I mean, I was hard core. I loved the idea of fresh starts and new beginnings and embracing optimism to its fullest.

Honestly, I’m still a little bit that way.

But I’m less enthralled with the “thinking” about resolutions and much more focused on the actual “doing.”

And the older I get, I am most conscientious of healthy “doing” in my relationships, particularly my marriage and with other people who are closest to me.

My husband and I had dinner the other night with a friend whose husband recently died rather suddenly of cancer at the age of 53.  It was devastating for all of us, but obviously most for her and their children.

She and her husband were deeply in love, living a strong healthy marriage.  They envisioned many years ahead together.

Our conversation drifted to “life being short” and “you just never know” and the importance of relationship.  It is true that we build a rich life by building strong and compassionate relationships, and at no time does that become clearer than when we lose someone we love.

It is easy to be enamored with the concept of New Year’s Resolutions, but I am convinced a better approach is to simply “do” something — even baby steps, as I have often said.

Do something.

You don’t have to write it down.

You don’t have to first buy elaborate marriage courses or sign up for marriage retreats.  Those things have their place and are among many great marriage resources available.

BUT — and this is vitally important — there’s a lot to be said for being intentional on what you are already equipped to do.

More affection. More kindness. More affirmation. More touch.

I write and speak about sexual intimacy in marriage, so that’s my wheelhouse.  That’s the topic that floods my email inbox and comment stream on my blog.  That’s where I get a glimpse of deep pain and miscommunication in the marriage beds of so many people.

Possibly your marriage bed and relationship are starving for sexual intimacy.

Can you do something about that?  Will you do something?

Will 2015 be a year of better sexual intimacy in your marriage?

I obviously don’t know your particular situation or circumstances, but I do know there are a lot of marriages where the two people in it need to take a humble and honest look at their sexual intimacy. (Or lack thereof, as the case often is).

And that’s hard.  I’m not going to sugar coat it.  It’s hard, even painful, to take accountability for where we’ve played a part in weakening our relationship.

But it’s worth it — and it’s wise — to take that accountability.  To be brave. To do something.

Anyone can give lip service to “wanting to change.”  (Go to any gym in January and see how crowded it is, and then go back in April and see how less crowded it is).

Don’t let “thinking about change” or “resolving to change” be your stumbling block to actually doing something.

The mental gymnastics will kill you if you think you need a solid plan or all the details figured out before you start.

Will 2015 be a year of better sexual intimacy in your marriage?

Not long ago, I spoke about sex to a women’s group.  It was a group to which I had spoke on the same topic before, so they were well familiar with my passion about authentic sexual intimacy in a marriage.

One woman shared how my talk a year previously had challenged her to make some changes and to nurture the sexual intimacy that was lacking in her marriage.   She shared that it was her wake-up call and that she knew she had to do something.

And she smiled when she said that because of what she had done, her marriage was stronger.  She and her husband were more connected, sexually and otherwise.

Will 2015 be a year of better sexual intimacy in your marriage?

I hope and pray it will be.  I hope and pray you will do something in that direction.

Any time is really the right time to do something to strengthen your marriage. Will you do something?

Dec 16

Does Sex Increase or Decrease Your Stress?

By Julie Sibert | Sex & Family Planning

 

sex-and-stressWhen “benefits” of sex are listed, “stress reduction” is usually somewhere in the mix.

It may be phrased a number of different ways, alluding to both physical and emotional side benefits.  No matter how we label it, the people who study this sort of thing often hold up “feeling less stressed” as a big plus of nurtured sexual intimacy in marriage.

And certainly scientists and doctors could explain this reality physiologically. From a scientific standpoint, they would confirm that something good indeed does physically happen within a husband’s body and wife’s body when they enjoy making love.

And I’m not just talking about orgasm.  There’s a lot more going on than just that powerful response, right?  If ever there was a masterpiece of tremendous complexity, it is the human body.

BUT, I imagine it comes as no surprise that for quite a few married people, sex is a source of stress, not a pathway toward relieving it.

And I’m not just referring to stress in the actual act of intercourse, but also stress in discussing it, navigating difficulties with it and so forth.

What is your experience? Does sex increase or decrease your stress?

I’m personally in the camp of loving — even craving — sex for all the positive things it does to my body and my marriage.  But I’m sensitive to the reality that for some people, sex is a source of tremendous discord in their heart and home.

Whatever camp we are in regarding sex — loving it or dreading it or discouraged about it — I think we owe it to our spouse and marriage to unpack that camp a bit.

Sure, if you love it, seems like there’s nothing to unpack, right?  But I’m a firm believer that good areas of our marriage can continually be made better.  Nothing really is as compartmentalized as we would like to believe.

If sex is a mutually valued part of your marriage, pay close attention to building upon the positive impact it has on your relationship beyond the lovemaking.  Don’t become complacent in showing each other affection out of bed as much as you do in bed.  Don’t assume your spouse knows what sexual intimacy means to you.  Tell them. Affirm them.

If you are in the camp of dreading sex, have you gotten to the root of the reason?

I make it sound so easy, don’t I?  Well, trust me — I’ve written, spoken and read about sex for long enough to know that the reasons can be profoundly difficult, complex and painful. Rarely do I ever think it’s easy to dig into those.

But if sex causes you stress and you know the issues are yours to own, what will it take for you to seek healing for those sexual struggles?  Baby steps count.  Do something, because doing nothing may feel like it’s keeping stress at bay, but it’s more likely just masking the stress.

And if you are in the camp of feeling discouraged about sex in your marriage and tired of feeling rejected sexually by your spouse, I am sensitive to your pain as well.

If you haven’t already, get real with your spouse about what the lack of sexual intimacy is doing to you and to the marriage.  Express to your spouse that you want the two of you to do whatever it takes to work together toward better intimacy (sexual and otherwise).

If they have no interest in your request, then at least you know you did your part in trying to address and heal the matter.  And if they do show interest? Well praise God for wake up calls that help us make our marriages stronger!

All things considered, does sex increase or decrease your stress?

I’m humbly asking you to give that question more than a mere passing glance.  Sit down with it for awhile.  Let it comfort you — or make you uncomfortable.  Marriage begs us to unpack that question with our whole heart.

Will you?

Nov 17

Is There “Plenty of Time Later” to Fix Sexual Struggles in Your Marriage?

By Julie Sibert | Sex & Family Planning

The phone rang at 4 a.m.

No surprise that my husband and I both startled out of our groggy slumber.

It was my mother-in-law, who lives in her own home, but cannot drive. She was in pain. A lot of pain.

My husband and I decided I would take her to the hospital while he stayed with our 9-year-old, who was fast asleep and unaware of the phone call.

Hospital emergency rooms are clarifying places, aren’t they?

As we waited for tests, I listened to the drone of hospital noise.

Footsteps on cold tile floor. Beeps and flashes from medical machines.  The rhythmic opening and closing of doors.  The distant chatter of nurses and doctors, rambling through their own lingo of acronyms and medical-ese.

Unless you truly are dying or show up with a gaping chest wound, emergency rooms ironically feel anything but urgent. This is no reflection on the staff, who more often than not are compassionate and professional.

But even they can move the process along only so fast.

So there is waiting. And more waiting.  The drone of hospital noise your constant companion.

Fortunately, my mother-in-law will be okay. For now.  She is elderly, though, wrought with health issues.

Six hours in an emergency room in the wee hours of a sleepy Sunday morn gives a person time to think, my mind drifting to the fragility of life.  And the shortness of it, really.

I have met plenty of people who live comfortably, yet naively, in the mantra “plenty of time later.”

And because I blog about sex and marriage, I am keenly perceptive of how “plenty of time later” shows up when some married people talk about sex.

For the record, when a married couple struggles sexually, usually one person is indifferently camping in “plenty of time later,” while the other spouse is desperately wondering, “When will that time ever come?!!”

Are you aware of the mantra “plenty of time later?”

Plenty of time later to fix what is wrong with our marriage and our sexual intimacy.

Plenty of time later after the kids are grown.  After money isn’t so tight.  After a climb up the career ladder.

Plenty of time later to stop believing the lies about sex.

Plenty of time later to fix our miscommunication.  To forgive.  And to genuinely humble ourselves and heal the pain in our sexual disconnection.

Do you think there is plenty of time later?

Even if you do bank on there being plenty of time later (a risky roll of the dice for sure), possibly a more important question is, “How do you want to spend it?”

It sounds so cliche to say life is short and time is fleeting.  Behind every cliche is a sliver of truth, though; an epiphany of sorts.  You don’t have to wait for 4 a.m. phone calls or endless hours in an emergency room or divorce ultimatums or a host of other “a-ha” moments to start taking care of what matters in your life.

My hope is that your marriage — and sex in your marriage — matter in your life.   (Yes, I realize some of you right now are saying, “Yes my marriage matters. But sex?  Not so much.”

If you say your marriage matters to you — and there really is no reason you and your spouse couldn’t be having sex on a regular basis, yet you still don’t — then I wonder how much your marriage really matters to you.

Harsh words? Maybe. But they are real words. Humble words.

Is there plenty of time later to fix the sexual struggles in your marriage?  Maybe. Maybe not.

Either way, don’t you think it’s worth exploring the question now?

Oct 19

Is Sex in Your Marriage Inconvenient?

By Julie Sibert | Sex & Family Planning

marriage-sex-inconvenientRecently on my own blog, I wrote a post about the 5 Worst Excuses for Not Having Sex.

Someone commented on that post inferring that husbands need to let go of this “woe is me” attitude about not getting more sex.

The woman went on to imply that if the husband had to walk in the wife’s shoes for a week, he would see why she isn’t enthused about sex.

Her tone was adversarial, almost as if the husband is one big inconvenience that happens to live in the house (and sex was obviously one big inconvenience that went along with him living there).

Such commentary stirs in me the desire to ask a humble question. If you see yourself in this scenario, I pray you will reflect upon your honest answer.

Is sex in your marriage inconvenient?

Maybe you’re not bitter about sex per se, but at the minimum it is, as the cliche goes,”one more thing on your to-do list.”  It is a chore you avoid as long as possible — until the tension is enough that you give in to tide him over till next time.

This is an important conversation I’m trying to delve into, because disagreements about “frequency” of sex are common in marriage.

One spouse wants sex more than the other spouse, and they are too paralyzed (maybe even too angry) to find a solution that leaves them both feeling satisfied and happy.

I’m not gonna lie.  Marriage is hard (as anyone who is married knows).  But this perspective of viewing sex as a negotiable that you and your spouse will “get around to someday” — or will never get around to — is not working.

It just isn’t.

If that describes your marriage, and you know with everything in you that this is causing horrendous division with the person you love, then I encourage you to take a breath.

Resolve to make some changes.

There are countless marriages that are less than they could be — and less than what the two people who stood at the altar ever envisioned they would be — because of complacency.  And resentment.

And an unwillingness to address real struggles in a way that leads to viable solutions.

I don’t know your particular struggles with sex.  I don’t know if they are because of marital tension or exhaustion or misconceptions about sex, lack of pleasure or deeper issues of having not healed from past sexual trauma, past promiscuity, etc.

I do know this, though.

If you are married, then you can’t ignore this matter of sex.  You owe it not only to your spouse, but also to yourself, to nurture sexual intimacy in your marriage.

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself to get started:

1. Have I been careless with this area of sex in our marriage?

2. If I have been careless, will I be courageous and humble and ask for forgiveness?

3. What do I see are the core issues of our sexual struggles?

4. What can I do to work on those issues?

5. Have I really explored what the Bible says about sexual intimacy in marriage?

6. Do I appreciate not only experiencing sexual pleasure, but also helping my spouse experience it?

7. What Christian resources could I explore specifically on sexual intimacy in marriage? (counseling, books, websites, retreats, etc.)

8. What does sex have to do with strengthening my marriage?

9. Do I love my spouse?

10. How can sex help them experience that love?

Your marriage is worth this kind of reflection and action.  It is.

I and so many other marriage advocates wouldn’t be so passionate about encouraging marriages if we didn’t believe with everything in us that your marriage is worth it.

Oct 15

Headache Again? 3 Real Reasons Why Married Women Lose Interest In Sex

By Dustin | Sex & Family Planning

3 Real Reasons Why Married Women Lose Interest In SexHas earth shaking, bed breaking sex  turned into a Saturday night snooze fest, or a quickie between taking the dog to the vet and picking the children up from school?

Even though sex is an absolutely critical part of a healthy and happy marriage, many women are losing interest in intimacy with their husbands.

Why does it happen even in the happiest of marriages?

After conducting personal research and reading many letters from people around the world, three problems seem to remain common. Women said their waning interest in sex was related to the low overall satisfaction in life, institutionalizing the relationship, and being de-sexualized.

What does all this mean, and how can we change it?

  1. Low Overall Satisfaction From Life

The reason women lose their libido is often unrelated to relationship issues.

Women can be very happy with their spouse, but not so much with their lives in general. They regularly feel stressed, overloaded with work, and simply bored with their predictable life as a married woman.

Many women don’t realize that this general unhappiness and boredom is the reason behind their libido being so low. A boring sex life is just a part of overall life routine.

Many females admit that there was a lot of desire when they were dating. They were upset when the “honeymoon” was over and regular life problems occurred, moving away the excitement. With both partners working outside of the house, it is no surprise that marital sex has suffered. After working all day, there is little time to do anything else but eat and sleep.

Most women don’t have enough time, and sex becomes not one of their top priorities. What’s more, married women have a hard time with the two different, yet demanding roles that are expected from them.

Going from mommy to vixen is quite difficult. Women of young children often feel over-touched or on a sensory overload and therefore, the idea of her husband wanting to touch her later that night is totally rejected.

When was the last time you dated your spouse?

I don’t mean spending time watching TV with her, but really DATE your partner.  Put a thrill of excitement into your relationship by doing something unusual with your wife. Make sure that someone is taking care of your kids, so she can relax and spend quality time with you.

Take her for a diner or a short trip out of town, so she can remind herself of the old sweet times when you will still dating. Let her forget about everyday issues and rediscover your passion.

  1. Lack Of Excitement

At some point marital sex is too socially sanctioned, sanitized, and women are absolutely tired of the same old routine.

Since they have been married, wives know exactly how their husband is going to touch them, they know how much their spouses love them and they are not embarrassed to take their clothes off. There’s a comfort there that is important to people which is a crucial part of any happy marriage. On the other hand, this lack of adventurousness is followed by a diminishing of desire.

Biologically speaking, desire is fueled by the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine levels rise in response to anticipation and excitement.

Knowing what comes next, the brain and other essential body parts say “why bother?” and the level of excitement isn’t there. The women miss the early days of dating with its flirting and uncertainty, which brought a lot of happiness. Stagnant romance and sex is a buzz kill.

Spice up your sex life with new positions, different places to make love, and mastering foreplay. It’s also helpful to take better care of yourself.

When was the last time you went to a gym? I’m sure your wife loves you as you are, but surely you will appear more irresistible to her if you take better care of your body.

  1. Feeling Unattractive

Female desire is somewhat complicated; they want something more than just intimacy. They want to feel needed and wanted.

Most women are not comfortable with their anatomy especially when they are naked. Women who are uncomfortable with themselves masturbate less and have less sex. Their libido has left the building! Only about 29% of women actually achieve an orgasm while having sex, compared to the 75% of men who achieve orgasm.

If more women felt sexually attractive, they might find sex more gratifying and not just another chore that has to be completed. Make sure that your wife knows how much you love her and how beautiful she is.

Realistically speaking, marital love does not mean nonstop hot sex. If more people realized that, then perhaps there would not be such an obsession with sex.

Sex is an expression of love, the sooner we learn to respect, and treat it as such, the sooner we will be able to enjoy it more.

SarahI’m Sarah Williams.

I’m a writer that is passionate about psychology. After several relationships and a LOT of dates, I would like to share my honest female perspective about dating with you on my Wingman Magazine. After all, I’m just a hopeless romantic trying to figure it all out.