Revive Your Marriage: Revive Your Sex Life

Revive Your Marriage Series

It’s time to…Revive Your Marriage! I’ve had such a good time this month with three bloggy friends, writing every Monday on how you can Revive your Marriage!

We’ve talked about reviving your attitude, reviving your friendship, Reviving Your Praise, and reviving your prayer life. And now we come to my favorite one: Revive Your Sex Life!

Revive Your Sex Life: Stop Feeling Like a Failure!

I’ve written so much about this it’s hard to sum it up in just one post. But I’m going to try!

Have you ever heard it said that men are like microwaves and women are like slow cookers? I think what they mean is that men heat up quickly, while women take longer to “get in the mood“.

I don’t buy it.

That analogy assumes that, given enough time, a woman WILL always get in the mood. And that’s not true for one simple reason: for women, sex is almost entirely in our heads. If our heads aren’t in the game, our bodies won’t follow. So what we think about sex has a tremendous influence on how much we enjoy our sex lives.

And one thing I found when writing The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex is that many of us feel awfully defeated when it comes to sex. I know I did in the first few years of our marriage. It didn’t feel very wonderful, he wanted it all the time, and I was always inadequate. It seemed like a big rip off to women for me.

What I didn’t understand was how wonderfully intimate it is when you are able to make love, and not just have sex.

That’s hard to do if you’re seeing sex in a negative way. So let me encourage you here this morning. So many women give up at sex because it seems like too much hassle. Or it doesn’t work well. Or they just feel inadequate.

But if God created sex to be something beautiful and fulfilling and intimate for you, why would you deprive yourself of that? Don’t let personal doubts and condemnations stop you from experiencing all that God has for you!

You can’t revive your sex life is you’re feeling like a failure.

So we need to confront these feelings honestly, and put these doubts and fears behind us. So let me assure you, as firmly as I can, that:

You are not a failure if sex doesn’t feel that wonderful to you.

Women do have a harder time becoming aroused than men do, and it takes more work to figure out how to make it feel good. In the surveys I did for my book, the best years for sexual satisfaction are years 16-20 of marriage. Sometimes it takes a while to get it right! So if it’s not feeling that great, that’s okay. Just take that as a challenge to start a fun research project with your husband!

You are not a failure if you’re packing some extra pounds.

Not even supermodels look like supermodels–they’re all air brushed! No, you may not have a perfect body, but your body is the only one that your husband is allowed to enjoy. And your body is the vehicle that God has given you to enjoy sex with. Don’t let your own insecurities rob you and your husband of passion. If he wants you, then you’re desirable, and you’re beautiful, no matter what you may think of yourself.

You are not a failure if your husband uses porn.

That doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. Most men are really tempted by this.

You are not a failure if you started out marriage with sexual baggage.

Most Christian women did. Fewer than 40% of Christian women were virgins when they were married (according to the surveys I did). Yes, you didn’t live up to God’s plan. But that’s what Jesus died for. And now you and your husband are one flesh, new creations in God’s sight. Don’t let your past rob you of your present.

You are not even a failure if you don’t like sex very much!

A lot of women wonder what all the fuss is about. Wondering if it is really so great is nothing bad; but letting that belief stop you from embracing it, or from trying to discover how to truly enjoy making love, is.

You are not a failure if your sex drive is much lower than your husband’s.

It doesn’t mean that you’ll never be enough for him. It doesn’t mean that you’ll always be in conflict over this. It just means that you need to understand each other more. (And one more hint: when you understand the nature of a woman’s sex drive, you’ll see that we normally aren’t that turned on until we start making love. So go in with a good attitude, even if you don’t feel particularly sexy, and your body will usually follow!).

And finally, you are not a failure if your husband has a low sex drive.

This doesn’t mean that you aren’t desirable. It just means that he has some issues, but God is big enough even for those.

So don’t let these thoughts defeat you! Your marriage is worth so much more than that. Instead, just see sex as something beautiful that God made for both of you, and then start an action plan for how you’re going to get it “great”! Two good places to start:

Start thinking positive thoughts about sex, instead of negative ones, and it can change the whole dynamic of your sex life, and your marriage.

Here’s our final challenge:

My three blogging friends have also written on this today, and you can see what they have to say, too!

Courtney from WomenLivingWell, Darlene from TimeWarpWife.com, and Jennifer from UnveiledWife.com have all written awesome posts on praise! Click on through to see what they have to say.

 

 

 

 

 

And you can have your say, too! Just leave a comment to tell us the struggles you’ve had with your sex life, the solutions you’ve found, or what you love doing together.

Sheila is the author of The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for saying you are not a failure if husband uses porn. My self-esteem took a tumble when he looked at images and it is hard to want to be intimate (for various reasons) when he has done this. Be blessed:)
    Jennifer (keltrinswife) recently posted…Grasp—my #FMF postMy Profile

    • You’re so welcome! And it honestly is SUCH a common problem, and I do think it’s something that men struggle with but separate in their minds from their relationship with their wives. In their minds, “it has nothing to do with you”. We can’t understand that, but I do think it’s true!

      • I believe it is a common problem, but one that isn’t talked about. Such a taboo, amongst wives who have been affected and husbands. I don’t get it–I have heard a lot of times how women need to be modest except around their husbands, and I agree. You don’t hear how women are affected when husbands look on internet,etc. I feel like sometimes all of the blame, and work is on women. I don’t mind doing my part for my marriage, but do you think, in your opinion, the church (as a whole) is lacking here?
        BTW–LOVE your Honey-Boo-Boo post.
        Be blessed:)
        Jennifer (keltrinswife) recently posted…Grasp—my #FMF postMy Profile

        • livinginblurredlines says:

          Jennifer, I too felt like all the work was on me, and boy, did I work. It ate me, it consumed me, I tried everything to be an honoring, submissive, loving, sexy yet modest wife and it did nothing buy cause problems and I broke down. I was sick of the unfairness of it all. I was sick of being a doormat. I was sick of competing with the world of women around me. Hubby wasn’t or isn’t addicted to porn, thank God, but he has looked and he is daily surrounded by that sort of influence. But when I turned it all over to God and fell on my face in complete submission to HIM and let God direct me in our marriage…praying for myself, praying for hubby, praying for our marriage and our marriage bed, the pieces started falling into place.

          I learned that in my insecurities, I began to try to control my surroundings to minimize the pain hubby or the world inflicted rather real or imaginary. I was outwardly the perfect little wife and inwardly I believed that. But, it’s amazing the work God can do when we completely submit to him.

          It was hard letting go of my husband. I felt like I was divorcing him (no, we didn’t divorce or separate, but letting go of that part felt like divorce in a way to me). I was scared to let go…to step away from the marriage into God’s perfect will. God just said “trust me.”

          I learned to lean on God and not my husband. I learned that my value is fully with God, not just my husband. I learned that no, I am not the most beautiful or sexiest woman on the planet and I never will be, but I am a beauty in my own right. Of course I can’t compete with the women on the screen or in glossy magazine spreads…they can’t measure up to me! Why? Because I am the wife! And because I’m the wife all blessings are with me. All other women or sexual situations are emptiness.

          Why gain the world and lose your soul? These women have the perky chests, the brazilian waxes, the tiny waists, the pouty lips, the firm buns….they have the world, but they have lost their souls and have nothing to give but their failing, sinful, often disease-ridden bodies. We, as wives, have so much more to give to our husbands. We measure so far above these women, even when our bodies don’t match theirs….because our bodies are still beautiful in their own right AND we have our souls and spirits to give our husbands. True intimacy.

          Anyhow, I’ll stop going on and on and sum it all up for you here: take it ALL to God. I mean ALL. Let Him have it all….your hurt, the porn, your husband, your marriage, your marriage bed, yourself….ALL of it. Ask Him to open it all up and lay it all out for healing. Let God guide you in this. A lot of the advice I got online was good, but ultimately it turned out to be in my own power and opposite to what God had me do. So, I’m not going to give you any of my testimony other than what I have because, really, the only advice you NEED is to give it all to God. Hit your knees praying to Him. No formula prayers, no “power prayers,” just you and God and the raw truth of it all.

          Beautiful restoration and growth is happening in my marriage….and reviving our sex life? Oh yeah! Let God show you when it is ok to be vulnerable, to forgive, to heal with your husband. Pray that the enemy does not invade your mind (or his) with the fear of those images creeping in. The enemy wants to destroy intimacy in marriage, but God will build it up stronger than you could ever imagine!! The battle is already won if we just let go and let God win it!

          • Wonderful words! Thank you so much. And I just want to reiterate what you said: God can bring incredible healing to a broken marriage bed. So please, readers, don’t give up! Many of us have experienced hurt and humiliation, especially with husbands who use porn. But God is bigger, and He is more powerful, than porn. And He has done amazing things in so many marriages. He wants all of us, and He wants us to experience true intimacy, not some false idea of what sexuality is. When we submit to His design for sex, things go so much better.

          • Amen!
            Jennifer (keltrinswife) recently posted…Grasp—my #FMF postMy Profile

          • Wow! What encouragement! I have not come to the point of “believing” that my body is okay the way it is and that God made my body for my hubby to enjoy. I really enjoyed this post as well as your comment.

            Also, being preggo has taken a toll on our sexual intimacy. We both agree that sexual intimacy has gotten more difficult because of this pregnancy. We are excited to be able to have that sexual connection once my 6 weeks are up after the new baby! LOL

            But I do wish I could “take hold” of this belief of what Sheila said in the “extra pounds” section of this article and what you suggest. But I DO NOT have a “good” body like so many other women who have had 2 children and c-sections! I am very insecure and it hinders our sexual experiences. My hubby is very comfy in his skin and sexuality and I wish I just had a pound of his confidence, then we would have an absolutely wonderful sex life!!

  2. I feel like I’m abnormal, but I’m thankful for it. I ALWAYS want sex. My body is always ready for it, and my head is always ready for it. Even when my husband and I were having terrible problems, I always wanted to have sex with him. And I have multiple orgasms every time. I read what happens to a woman’s body during arousal and then orgasm, and all of that happens to me every single time – and it happens right away! We never need lubricant. Three times a day sounds great to me! I’ve been like this from the very beginning. When we first started having sex it hurt like crazy because I was a virgin, but I knew that it would eventually stop hurting and I wanted sex SO BADLY that I jumped him at every opportunity – and many times when there wasn’t an opportunity! If there isn’t an opportunity, we make one! I very often even have sex dreams about my husband. I’ve never watched porn, I rarely masturbate if there isn’t a chance for sex because it just makes my desire through the roof and unbearable without the relief of intercourse, I’ve never been interested in “toys,” I’m not attracted whatsoever to any man other than my husband, I never “look around,” and I never fantasize about other men. My sex drive is extremely relational and revolves solely around my marriage, but I can’t get enough sex!!! I can’t keep my hands, my eyes, or my thoughts off of my husband. And we are both extremely giving and loving in the bedroom, and genuinely care about each other’s pleasure, and always say “I love you!” multiple times during sexual activities, which makes it a thousand times better. Not to mention, we are both great at it! We don’t have kids, so we walk around in various states of undress all the time (as soon as I get in the door, my clothes come off), and have sex whenever we want to, wherever we want to, and as loudly as we want to! I feel like frequent and amazing sex is essential to the marriage relationship.

    • Also, we’re never going to have kids (NEVER!!!!!), so this lovely relationship of passion will continue unhindered. :)

      • That’s great that you have such a marriage! I’m a lot like you, but my husband’s drive is lower than mine. While the choice for children is ultimately yours and your husband’s, I would hope that your decision isn’t based only on the false idea that children hinder your sex life. We have 4 children and it doesn’t hinder ours much….we just have to make adjustments…and really, the intimacy and passion that comes out of the knowledge that we came together sexually and intimately as God designed and children grew out of that love and passion is AMAZING! Has having babies changed my body? Yes…for the better!! I don’t want my pre-baby body back! I feel like a woman! Have our children walked in on us? Yep, numerous times (really have to remember to put that lock on the door), but we just gently usher them out and return to fun. Have the needs of young children stopped us cold in the middle of our fun? Rarely, or we’ve just had to postpone 20 minutes or so….no big deal. And the blessings of having children are boundless! I can’t bear the idea of how lonely it must be for people once they’ve grown old to not have children.

        Oh, and as for sex during pregnancy and after giving birth, don’t worry about it. We’ve dealt with it all and managed to change things up to accomodate….and hubby loves the rounded me (especially the bigger chest!) when pregnant. It’s not “sexy” as in the world’s view of sexy, but it is beautiful and the knowledge that he “knocked me up” is a turn on. It’s a whole new level of intimacy…even if you can’t have children…to just be free to be open to the possibility during sex…even the remote chance…is breath-taking.

        • Kat, wonderful comments, and I agree totally! Children brought my husband and me closer together.

          I believe, though, if I remember correctly, that Jenny’s issues have more to do with health and hereditary issues that she and her husband face. But thanks for throwing that out there, because I do think parenthood today gets a bum rap.

          • It does have to do with health and hereditary illness. I can’t get pregnant – I mean, physically I’m able to, but I can’t be off my medication for any length of time. If I were to become pregnant, my life would be seriously at risk, and I would have to live in a hospital, even for awhile after I had the baby. Both my husband and I have severe mental illness that runs in our families. Not only that, but our illnesses make it so we would not be able to deal with the 24/7 stress of parenting – not even when we’re completely stable on meds. So adoption is out too. It’s easier to focus on the perks of not having kids, rather than what we might be missing out on. :)

          • Good for you for focusing on the positives and making an awesome most of the life you are living!! I am sorry if I said anything that caused you pain or offense. You are a gracious woman and may the Lord bless and enrich your marriage!!

          • Don’t worry about it! We’ve accepted it. We both wanted children at one point, but have come to realize that it’s just not an option, so we just focus on building our marriage and having fun with one another. We play together a lot, and laugh together a lot, and spend a lot of time talking about anything and everything. Deciding not to have kids was hard. We came to that decision gradually and slowly over the period of several years, sometimes resenting ourselves and each other – even God at times – because of it. It’s hard not to question why this had to happen to us, why we have to deal with these illnesses, why we can’t just be “normal,” especially when one of us is struggling. But that’s not healthy, and no one with any sort of life-altering illness wants to have it! We have a wonderful life together, we spend a lot of quality time together and we also get our much needed quiet time to recoup, and we enjoy dreaming about the future together. We are much stronger as a couple and as individuals because of the things we have had to deal with. I believe that God can use anything for the good.

  3. there are times i could just cry. because nothing seems to work and i feel like theres something very wrong with me, i can go months without an orgasm, feeling like a loser cause sex is suppose to be so natural and automatic.

    • Cindy! don’t lose heart….for something so “natural and automatic” I don’t think it happens that way for many of us….I’ve been married for 17 years and its only in the last 4 to 5 years that its clicked for us. I’m sorry that you are struggling, and I think its amazing that you are still persevering! Do you have any godly women to speak to? Praying for you!

    • Cindy, believe me, I felt like that for a long time, too! And what you’re going through is very common. Three quick thoughts: focus on intimacy, not orgasm. Honestly, sometimes we get so stressed about it and feel like there’s something wrong with us that it doesn’t feel like something good. If you can focus on what is good about it–that you get to be close to your husband–sometimes that can change the way we think. Two, RELAX! Don’t get into this cycle where sex is always a PASS/FAIL thing, as if you’re doing something wrong. Just relax and enjoy being together, even if your body doesn’t always follow. Three: and this is more practical, get lubrication. Really. It’s not admitting defeat to use lubrication, and sometimes that can jump start our libidos and make it feel nicer from the get go. So relax, focus on intimacy, and do what you can to help it feel more pleasant. If you do those three things, and focus in your wider relationship on what God has done for you, it’s very, very likely that your body will eventually follow!

  4. Curious why you stated that when the wife has the lower sex drive “It just means that you need to understand each other more.” But when the husband has the lower sex drive “It just means that he has some issues.” That sounds rather condescending or accusatory toward men. When the wife has a lower sex drive, she needs understanding. When the husband has a lower sex drive, he has issues and just give him to God. No need to bother trying to understand him or what the wife may have done to contribute to the lower sex drive. Please clarify if that’s not what you meant.

    • I think it’s kind of the same thing. When someone has an exceptionally low sex drive or sexual problems – whether a man or a woman – there is usually some sort of issue behind it, whether it be a health problem (a hormone imbalance, depression, etc), side effects from medication, pain from a past trauma, guilt from a sexual history, problems in the marital relationship, or any number of other things. There’s generally always an issue, and it always requires understanding, love, gentleness, proactive work to deal with the issue, and teamwork to overcome those things.

  5. Sheila,

    I’ve really been enjoying your blog, as a young wife. I’ve heard you say a few times that supermodels don’t even look like supermodels. My friend told me about an article he read the other day stating that even supermodels use body doubles! I found it here: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/09/27/who-knew-even-supermodels-use-body-doubles/

    So you’re absolutely right! Even supermodels don’t look like supermodels.

  6. Sheila: I loved your book and “No More Headaches” was a great one too. I mentioned both in my post and I just love love loved this series. Hope something I shared would encourage couples to make sex a priority in their marriage too! Thanks for all your knowledge. Love how candid and funny you are!
    Mary Newman recently posted…Revive your sex life!My Profile

  7. I am compelled to respond to the statement in your post “In the surveys I did for my book, the best years for sexual satisfaction are 16-20.”. I realize these are the results of your findings and don’t mean to dispute them. However, I do want all the young women to know that the best years do not necessarily end when you are 20! I am in my fifties and I know my body to the extent that sex is so much richer and more wonderful for me now than it was when I was younger.

    I read an article that explained at this age, we are no longer building our careers, financially we are more secure, and for many of us our children are now grown and on their own. The pressures of raising a growing family have relaxed and we are able to focus more on one another and on our own selves.

    And I don’t want young women to think you have to wait until you are 50 for sexual satisfaction! It does take work… or practice, if you will! And for me it was the most fantastic journey to be here today. i hope the same for all of you.

    • Sorry, Anne, maybe I wasn’t clear. It’s years 16-20 of MARRIAGE, not of age. So you actually get better as you get older!

      • I reread the text and I had missed that you said “of marriage”. So, I am sorry that I did that! I even did it more than once! Geez!

        I learned of you through Pinterest. Signed up for your emails and have been enjoying them so much that I have ordered your book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex. I’m looking forward to learning from it and continuing to enjoy your posts.

        • Anne, you’re not crazy! I edited it to make it sound better. SO SORRY, my bad, I should have put “UPDATE”. That’s proper blog etiquette. :)

          Anyway, so glad you found me and I hope you love the book!

  8. I totally agree that sex for women, or at least for me, is mostly in our heads. At the very least it starts there! If hubby wants to have sex, the best thing he can do is start talking to me about it! Knowing what he wants to do to me, often before we’re even together is the easiest way for him to make sure I want sex by the time we get the chance!

  9. I really enjoyed reading this. I do think that as Christian women one doesn’t see much writing on the topic. You ladies have done a terrific job introducing the subject and creating a positive dialogue.
    Rona recently posted…Menu Plan Monday ~ October 1, 2012My Profile

  10. Sex isn’t bad. The when and with whom is where problems enter. God made sex for a husband and wife to enjoy each other. Sin enters in when you enter into a sexual relationship before marriage, if you step out of the marriage and have an affair, or a homosexual sexual relationship.
    Personally I love having sex with my husband. I have the best husband in the world and he is the most handsome man in the world. I love that man.

  11. My husband and I have different sex drives. It’s definitely reversed. I want sex all the time. Anytime. He doesn’t want it very often at all. I feel very frustrated,rejected and starved for sex. we’ve

  12. Virginia Jones says:

    I usually have a negative outlook on sex because I feel it is the only time we have time together. I started reading The Five Love Languages and I tend to be the one who likes a date and flowers before an intimate moment. As it has been said before ” sex starts in the kitchen.” When the only time we see each other is in bed I feel emotionally robbed. I have struggled with this for years and I realize that my husband can’t be everything to me. If we do go on a date we have to schedule it and then it feels like a duty rather than an idea that he came up with. Sorry this comment is so long.

    • There’s nothing wrong with scheduling time together – it’s a necessary part of life! Sometimes we just have to change our attitude about it. For example, instead of thinking of it as not spontaneous enough to be legitimate (which is kind of a silly way to think about it, anyway), think of it this way: he really wants to spend time with you, even though your lives are busy, and he wants to spend time with you so much that he’ll set time apart specifically to have quality time with you. Also, don’t spend your dates watching movies or always going to restaurants. Go somewhere that you can have fun together, and actually talk. For example, take a long walk together and hold hands the whole time. Or just set time aside to play and and laugh together! If you only have time that day to spend together when you’re going to bed, spend some time in a tickle fight first, or talking about anything that’s been on your mind.

  13. Both my husband and my sex drives are great. The thing is I’m more of a night owl and he is a morning person. So he wants to make love in the morning and I want to make love at night (it takes me a while to wake up:))

  14. Tanya Mcnelly says:

    So excited I found this! I am one of those that doesnt like sex. Have had no desire for it ever. My hubby is in over drive all the time. Wants it 2 or more times a week. Gets it once and still complains.
    I didnt even want to on our wedding night 26 1/2 yrs ago.
    I developed fibromyalgia about 12 yrs ago and along with that came allydonia. There are 3 types of it and I have all three. my skin hurts all the time and being touched is awful. Its like having ticklish feet, but all over my entire body. including my head!! Even the wind will hurt my skin.
    I have been praying for years for this to go away, but apparently is not going to. There is no cure or remedy. This is the number one and really only thing we argue about. If hubby doesnt get sex he doesnt talk to me for days. but, he always gets in that one time a week. always. and i hate it.
    So over the years he has developed “crushes” on other women and has texting relationships with them. I dont know if its ever gone on to be more than that but it really hurts. He knows I know because I’ve caught him doing this several times.
    So now, I am paranoid all the time. all the time. He hasnt done it in awhile (i think).
    I will say I do love him and he is my best friend. He is a great dad to our 5 kids.

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