It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you follow up either by commenting or by writing your own post! Today I want to talk about something that can cause many women an incredible amount of loneliness.

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Photo by Cia de Foto

Fibromyalgia. MS. Migraines. Chronic fatigue. Chronic pain. Back problems. Even pregnancy. All these things can cause us to feel horribly, and definitely lower our libidos!

So what do we do if we’re honestly feeling horribly, and yet our husbands still want to make love? He wants to get pleasure from something that seems to be causing you pain. That just seems wrong, and slightly disgusting. You want to be honoured and loved; and he wants to feel loved in a sexual way. But how can sex be good if it results in you feeling pain?

Unfortunately, you’re essentially at loggerheads: he wants something that you feel that you can’t give him, and so you don’t feel loved; and you don’t want to give him what he feels he needs, and so he doesn’t feel loved. Both of you have legitimate problems, and neither is going to win by getting into an argument as to whose needs are paramount. Both of you require the other to give something that seems too large to give.

What needs to happen is not that someone gives in and just gets rid of their needs; what needs to happen in order for true oneness to occur is that a big mindset change happens.

First, let me give a little background on women’s sex drives. We are largely in our heads. In order for us to become aroused, our heads have to be engaged. Men aren’t like that. Men are very body-focused, so for them to be ready to go, they don’t have to think much at all. But because we are mostly in our heads, we’re also extremely distractible. If a stray thought comes into our heads, we can lose any amount of arousal we feel. Thus, the “not tonight, honey, because I have a headache” is very real for most women. When we are feeling pain, it’s supremely hard to get in the mood because something else is intruding.

Nevertheless, that’s often the best treatment. Researchers have found that one of the best cures for migraines is sex. The sudden release and euphoria often stops the pain, and frequent sex seems to prevent them. So even though it’s counterintuitive, sex often helps with headaches.

The same is true with other kinds of muscle pain. Sex allows muscles to relax, and is a tremendous physical boost. And it helps you sleep better!

I know it’s hard to see it like that when you’re in pain, but pray that God will show you that sex can be something that helps with pain and exhaustion, not something that can contribute to it. When sex becomes all about something you do for him, it’s a chore, and it’s only going to contribute to your pain and your exhaustion. When sex, on the other hand, becomes something you can share which can help you relax and help you feel less pain, then you’ve got a stake in it, too.

The key is to get to the point where you can actually physically enjoy sex when your body itself is in great discomfort and very tense. Instead of looking on it as a chore, though, why not look on it as a challenge as a couple? It may be that you need to spend a lot of time relaxing first, in a hot bath together, or with a massage. You may need to work at finding a position that feels the most comfortable for you. You may even need to work at achieving orgasm for you some other way than intercourse (even if he achieves orgasm through intercourse), since it’s orgasm that’s most likely to help you relax.

Explain to your hubby that you want to see if you can start connecting physically and sexually so that you feel better together, but also so that your body finds new ways to relax and get some sleep. That means that sex has to be something, for you, that is gentle, drawn out, and low-pressure. But it also means that, for him, it is something that should be rather frequent. It means that he’s going to have to learn a lot of foreplay, and learn to do a lot of massage. But the good part is that you get to connect a lot more and feel a lot more intimate.

Maybe with this being a new year you can try to turn over a new leaf and pray that God will help you see sex differently, as a potential to make you feel more physically safe and comfortable, and more intimate with your husband.

And perhaps, instead of sex being something you fight over, sex can become something which helps both of you feel better!

Have you ever struggled with pain? How did you resolve it as a couple? Let’s talk!

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