Making Sexual Changes: What Is Your Story?

Knowing your story may be the first step in changing it.

I hear from many women about how they came to decide to work on sexual intimacy in their marriages. Not a single one has ever said that she woke up one morning and just decided to do it out of the blue. Nor has anyone told me that it was easy.

If you are a wife who has made the decision to change, you may be asking yourself, Now what? This post is for you. Actually, so are the next two posts. I had so much to say that I decided it would be easier for you to read one bit at a time.

Today I would like to encourage you to think about what brought you to your decision to change. 

In some ways, it doesn’t make any difference at all how you ended up resisting, controlling, or refusing sex. Sexual intimacy affects the overall intimacy in your marriage—and so does the lack of sexual intimacy.

No matter why you’re on this journey, here you are.

However, we do better when we understand why we are on the journey—not just why we struggle with sexual intimacy in the first place, but why we were finally convinced to make changes.

Knowing our own stories can be helpful and empowering. Many of the difficulties I faced in making the changes were directly related to the story of how I got to this journey in the first place. As I made changes in sex, I encountered issues in my heart that needed healing, confession, and repentance. Understanding myself helped me deal with these issues.

If you have made the decision to change, I encourage you to embrace your own story of what brought you here. It is all part of who you are and what you bring to this voyage.

Why do wives decide to work on the sexual intimacy in their marriages? What pushes them to realize that they need to change the climate in their marriages?

Here is what I hear the most from women:

  • They recognize the emotional pain they have caused their husbands. Perhaps they finally hear and understand what their husbands have been telling them all along. Or, as happened with me, they finally understand when they hear the same words coming from others.
  • They have healed from the emotional wounds that first placed barriers in the marriage bed. Through prayer, therapy, pastoral counseling, or the passage of time, they have finally set themselves free of the chains cast on them by past sexual trauma or sexual baggage.
  • They are convicted that depriving their husbands of sexual intimacy is sin. (Read these posts about sexual refusal as sin at Intimacy in Marriage and Hot, Holy & Humorous.)
  • They fear loss, exposure, or failure as their husbands have stated their intention to divorce, moved to separate bedrooms, or dropped the pretense to others that all is well in the marriage.
  • Their husbands have been working on their own growth as husbands, slowly removing the barriers that these wives clung to in avoiding intimacy. Now nothing is left to blame except what she sees in the mirror.
  • They have replaced negative beliefs about sex with the truth of God’s design for sex in marriage and realize they’ve been doing it all wrong.

Do any of these reasons resonate with you and what you’ve experienced? I’d love to hear from you in the comments about what convinced you of the need to change.


The knowledge about why I decided to change has been a window into my heart and a source of motivation as I continue this journey.

When I have struggled in the journey, I have always been able to recall that turning point to restore my motivation. Every time I asked myself, Why am I going through this? I could go back to my decision and renew my desire to persevere.

What does your decision show you? Do you feel broken and crave wholeness? Do you want to reclaim something that was stolen from you or that you discarded? Do you seek holiness in your marriage? Do you have a fear to conquer?

So many of my prayers in this journey have been related to what I learned from my decision: I felt broken and craved wholeness. Even as I worked to rise above that brokenness in my marriage, I have turned to God to seek the wholeness for which I yearned.

Flawed and scarred as we may be, we are beloved daughters of our most merciful God. Click To Tweet

Knowing our stories can help us accept our flaws, our shame, and our pain as part of who we are. This knowledge can remind us who we truly are. Flawed and scarred as we may be, we are also beloved daughters of our most merciful God.

Knowing your story may be the first step in changing it.

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9 Comments on “Making Sexual Changes: What Is Your Story?”

  1. (This comment has been edited in order to remove potential identifying details.)
    I ran most of my life from any relationship or sexual intimacy … i am working on my marriage and sex life asking for God’s deliverance but I know he has brought me a long way. i still cry though. … i just want to be a Godly woman wife but pain, shame and guilt and pain … I walked away God brought me back I’m trying to change and overcome.i read books on marriage and sex a new d I listen to Christian music and pray spend time with God.

    1. Mary, my heart hurts for yours. What you describe in your full comment goes far beyond the scope of how my blog can help you. I have no words of wisdom that can make your journey easier.

      Please seek healing for yourself. You can find a Christian counselor through the American Association of Christian Counselors. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) has an excellent website that can point you to helpful resources as well.

      Please know that I am in prayer for your heart to heal and for God to mold your marriage.

  2. Thank you so much for your blog. As a Pastor I have tried to be understanding in our not only sexless marriage of 17 years but no intimacy.
    She has said many times she does not want to be like this and has many times been to the doctors only to be told everyone has a slump in their marriage, or stress, burn out, or it could be menapause. After reading your blog today she is going to use what she read with her Doctor and hopfully work on our relationship. Thank you

  3. Five months ago, I made a decision to change, a wake up call, a realization that I hadn’t been there for him as I should have. I Strongly suspected he’d moved on with someone else. I don’t know of he had, he says not, or was it the unexpected intense feelings I had of needing to trust him before I gave more of myself to him. Now, our relationship has changed,. But sometimes, my emotions are all over the place. Sometimes wanting more nice words about me from him,. When he does open up and say something sweet, he is extremely sincere and loving. I love my husband immensely, and I’m grateful for all the years he stayed with me, with little in return, sex wise.

    1. Although many husbands will eventually respond with changes of their own, we have to work on ourselves and accept that what we do is best even if it doesn’t give us what we want. That is a hard thing, I know. Seeing growth in yourself and change in the relationship is an encouragement to keep going.

      1. Thank you, I agree. Thank you for sharing your experiences, and for encouraging both women and men toward growth and change in marriage.

  4. I am not sure if I’m ready to begin the arduous journey to change. Refusing sex has become one of the only things I have control over in our relationship. I enjoy (sadly) the feelings of being obstinate and defiante as a result of withholding intimacy. I hate that the Bible tells me it’s my duty and that it’s a sin to deny lovemaking. To me it is an incredible burden to carry and I’m pretty sure God has had about enough. This not the only reason I do not have sex. Quite simply I am lazy and don’t feel like it. It has become a chore and the last thing I ever want to do. Also I lack the desire. What I don’t understand is that at the beginning of any relationship I had I was totally into sex. After about three months any drive I had was completely gone. It was like a light switch. I stopped thinking about sex, I have no desire to have sex and I simply could care less about it. My husband is beyond fed up with me We fight constantly about it and I dread going to bed because I know what is going to unfold. One big fight that leaves my feeling like total crap, and full of guilt and him making sure I know he is masterbating and its all my fault. It’s awful. Completely and totally awful. I’m tired of being this way, I’m tired of feeling like I’m just a vessel, I’m tired of hearing in the morning “so, maybe we can have sex tonight?” He needs to make an appointment to have any kind of intimacy. I forever find myself feeling so bad for him imagining how horrible it must feel to be constantly rejected. How unloved and self conscious he must feel. I absolutely love him with all my heart and cannot get into my head why sex is such a big deal. I cannot see myself any other way. I feel so hopeless with this. I am sure this resonates with many woman who read this. I am willing to hear any and all advice that may be offered. I do want to mention that this is the first time in my life that I have ever spoke of this besides the fights with my husband. I thank you for reading this.

    1. Thank you for sharing your heart. What you say will definitely resonate with a lot of women. You’ve expressed what I felt for so long.

      I remember how resigned and sad I felt when I realized that I really was going to have to work on sex. I grieved at that realization. Letting go of the control in our relationship was scary and hard.

      It sounds to me like you are starting to see your husband’s heart. (This post can say a bit more about that.)

      There are so many things I want to say to you, but I don’t want to overwhelm you with advice or links to posts. Stick around and read through the archives. (This page should help you find the things you’re looking for.

      You are not alone. Many of us have resisted this journey. Many of us who have begun the journey have done so with heavy hearts. Ask God to do for you what you think you cannot.

      I am so glad you’re here. (((Hugs)))

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