In this post, I suggested that you work intentionally and consistently on your sex life for one year and see if anything changed in your marriage.
One reader, Mrs. Stud (don’t you love that name?), commented that she had done just that! I invited her to share her story with us here.
After a year of deciding to look at sex as a frequent and positive feature of their marriage, her marriage is stronger than ever.
Thank you, Mrs. Stud, for sharing your story with us here!
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A little over a year ago, I wasn’t satisfied in my marriage. My husband and I had been married for 17 years and had what I would consider to be an above-average marriage (I would have rated it a 7 out of 10 at the time, I think), but I wasn’t content. I didn’t feel understood the way I wanted to be or secure in my husband’s love for me and I didn’t feel excited by the direction we were going as a couple.
Our sex life had been average, too (we probably averaged 1-2 times per week), but average isn’t good enough for me. I didn’t feel safe or satisfied in our intimate life that the way I wanted to, either. I have had health problems (stage IV endometriosis, leading to a hysterectomy at the age of 27, then increasing fatigue and digestive problems that led to a diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease last May) throughout our marriage and my body frequently feels like a hostile, incomprehensible alien to me. I often felt like a failure because an evil voice inside my head criticized me the whole time. It blamed me that I couldn’t get aroused the way I wanted to (my brain told me I wasn’t doing it the “right” way, like a man: immediate and laser-focused!) I communicated these feelings poorly in the first couple of years of our marriage, but I felt so stupid trying to explain feelings that didn’t make any sense (even to me!) that I stopped trying and instead decided I would be a good soldier and just work through my craziness on my own. It’s no surprise that these actions led to me feeling increasingly isolated and misunderstood. I now understand that I feel unsafe when I believe that my feelings are illogical or unacceptable and when I refuse to share them.
Last October, late one night after what I considered to be a sexual “failure,” I found myself online, looking for answers. God took me to a number of blogs and websites where men were talking about their marriages, and they all said that the thing they really want from their wives is a healthy and involved sexual relationship because that’s how they feel close to their wives. I remember reading that a woman grades herself in marriage on her housekeeping skills, her mothering skills, her looks, and all sorts of other things. She figures that if all those are graded A and her sex life is rated F, she still averages out to a C overall, which is pretty good, and most wives are satisfied with that. But for a man, I learned that if his sex life rates an F, his whole marriage rates an F even if all the other areas are graded A. I didn’t like the ramifications of that.
I decided (looking back, I know it was by the prompting of the Holy Spirit) to make a decision that would hopefully lead to the changes I wanted to see in my marriage. I decided that our sexual default would from then on be YES. This meant that the assumption would be that we would have sex every day (barring unforeseen circumstances such as illness, busy late nights, etc.). I didn’t tell this to my husband immediately, but I made myself more available and began to work very hard on speaking the truth to myself about sexual topics to keep my brain in the right state to be receptive.
I used to avoid sex to avoid scary feelings, but since I had decided not to avoid sex, I couldn’t run away from those feelings and instead had to talk about them. I had to share my fears of being not good enough, my feelings of being misunderstood (due to my lack of honesty!), and my frustration about my body not being as sexually responsive as I wanted it to be. Strangely, talking about these things with my husband, who truly loves me, caused the fears to slowly diminish. My orgasm rate still isn’t as high as we would like, but talking about my discouragement and how it feels as if my body often fails me is getting easier. When I tell him how I’m feeling, my husband pulls me out of the mental pit of self-blame and anger. He speaks the truth to me and encourages me – he is my hero!
It has now been over a year since I made this momentous decision. Nothing is ever perfect in this life, but I feel close to my husband in a way I hadn’t for a long time. I still fight a mental battle with choosing to believe what’s true about sex and about my husband, but it’s part of the adventure we share. I pray that he feels blessed and grateful for the marriage we have worked to build. I know I do! He has told me that he is sometimes tempted to brag to his co-workers about how much sex he is having (they are mostly unhappily married, single and lonely, or divorced).
As I have shared my journey with women around me, most of them are shocked and even dismayed that I have been working so hard mentally, emotionally, and physically on a mission they see as unimportant or even threatening. I have had good women friends tell me that maybe daily sex is too much. They think I’m expecting too much from myself. I think most women who have libido challenges like I do believe that their frequency setting is normal and their husband’s is wrong (deviant, perverted, whatever), but what if you assume that his preference is RIGHT? Try it, maybe just as a thought experiment.
What if God gave you your particular husband AND his sexual desire for you in order to create a closeness between the two of you that nothing else could create?
What if knowing that “every day is a day on which I will be sexual” actually increased your awareness of yourself as a sexual being and your body as a vehicle of pleasure? What if you often felt like an exciting and highly desired girlfriend rather than a staid, predictable wife?
What if your husband’s physical love for you would calm you and give you a sense of safety that nothing else could match?
What if your husband’s sexual need for you made him more secure in his manhood and made you feel more secure in your femininity?
What if frequent sex led to deeper and more honest communication between you and your husband?
What if you both got your deep, unspoken needs met – even if you didn’t both reach orgasm?
This is what has happened to me over the last year. It has been a reawakening.
And I continue to learn.
I am learning that God’s plan for us includes me speaking my feelings (even when I believe they are crazy) and my husband calmly talking me through them and encouraging me. My husband is a strong man, and I need his stability and logic.
I am learning that my husband feeling like a man in the bedroom helps him to feel like a man elsewhere in life. Since the sexual frequency in our marriage has gone up, he is taking control and getting things done in other areas (this alone has been a turn-on for me!)
I am learning to listen to and trust my husband’s opinions because he is smart and wise. He is becoming even more of a leader as I trust that HIS impulses are likely to be the right ones.
I didn’t expect any of these things to happen. God continues to surprise me with how following His prompting leads to my needs getting met much better than me acting in ways that I think will meet my needs. I am thankful.
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