What Did You Assume About Sex in Marriage?

Today, please welcome guest poster, Julie Sibert from Intimacy in Marriage, who is sharing about the dangers of making assumptions.

What did you assume about sex in marriageIt’s easy to do.  Make assumptions, that is.

Marriage is a beacon for that sort of thing, drawing in all the wayward assumptions that are looking for a home.

Of course, we like to think that other marriages are plagued by all the naive assumptions (“certainly he won’t mind spending every Christmas with my family”), while our marriage will be home to all the mature assumptions (“we may encounter a few disagreements, but nothing that our love can’t handle”).

Truth be told, there aren’t too many assumptions that don’t eventually become pesky thorns in our relationship. Before long, if left unaddressed, the assumptions land you right in the middle of a bunch of resentment, disappointment and confusion.

What about assumptions and sex?  What did you assume about sex when you got married?

Some people assume the passion and desire they felt when dating or first married will sustain (or even increase) as their marriage progresses.  Sex in marriage will always be deliciously wild and uninhibited.  And easy.

Other people who are anxious or indifferent about sex often assume that simply saying “I do” will miraculously awaken their desire and set them on a course for profound sexual connection.  The angels will sing.  The pleasure will be tender.  The sex will look like it does in all the romantic movies.

And still others assume that sex is nothing more than one tiny compartmentalized aspect of marriage.  Kind of like that zippered pocket in your purse that you rarely get into and only if it’s absolutely necessary.  The rest of the time, you pretty much ignore it.

Under this assumption, if sex is not creating a child, then it is annoying fine print in the marriage contract – something you tolerate rather than pursue.  Sex feels more like a mundane transaction than an encounter drenched in fervent love.

You may see yourself in one or more of those assumptions (or a whole host of other ones about sex that I haven’t explored).

You’re not alone.  If most married people are honest, they will admit they have been in bed – literally and figuratively – with all of those assumptions at one time or another.

Could these assumptions be sabotaging the potential for better intimacy in your marriage?  I’m not just talking about sex (although that’s a big part of it). I’m talking about authentic intimacy all the way around.

Physical, emotional and spiritual intimacy are meant to mingle so closely in marriage that we can’t see where one begins and one ends.  There are to be no hard lines.  Our hearts long for transparent intersections that remind us that marriage is unlike any other relationship. In a good way.

It took me awhile to realize that a passing glance at marital intimacy wouldn’t get me there.  (If I’m being brutally honest – which, of course, I am – it also took a failed first marriage and the gift of a second marriage to get me there).

I started writing and speaking about sexual intimacy in marriage, not because I thought sex was more important than any other form of intimacy.  Nope.  I speak so openly about sex because I know it impacts the marriage far beyond what’s happening beneath the sheets.

It takes intentional effort to push assumptions aside and actually seek intimacy.

If you want to better understand the rich significance of sex and the positive impact it can have on your marriage, visit my blog or take a look at the eBook I recently co-authored.   Through December 2, you can get the eBook on Amazon for Kindle, for a reduced price.

Pursuit of Passion: Discovering True Intimacy in Your Marriage (Amazon Canada)

Pursuit of Passion: Discovering True Intimacy in Your Marriage (Amazon US)

What did you assume about sex in marriage?  Are those assumptions helping or hurting your marriage?  Please share in the comment section so we can encourage one another toward more authentic marital intimacy.

I long to be teachable where it matters most. Second only to my relationship with God, nothing matters more than my relationship with my husband. It’s not just about the great sex… It’s really about so much more.

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Julie Sibert writes and speaks about sexual intimacy in marriage and is the co-author of Pursuit of Passion: Discovering True Intimacy in Your Marriage.  You can follow her blog at www.IntimacyInMarriage.com. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, their two boys and one rambunctious German Shorthair Pointer dog.


Comments

  1. ButterflyWings says:

    Only assumption I had was my husband would have a normal male drive – or at least a semi normal drive.

    Who wouldn’t assume that?

    • Spicy Wife says:

      I assumed the same as ButterflyWings. My husband not having much of a drive at all has been a HUGE challenge9to say the least) but finally I am relying on God to change my heart and attitude. Still a painful struggle but I do have hope and his name is Jesus.

      • ButterflyWings says:

        Don’t make the mistake I did – pray for your drive to be taken away. About four months ago, when my hormones went crazy at the beginning of the second trimester of my pregnancy, amongst other things I lost my drive to the low levels that my husband has. All it has done is make me feel broken.

        It however has made me all the more sure that it’s a testosterone deficiency. Because it’s not normal to feel like this. I actually hope my drive returns after baby is born. I’d rather be sexually frustrated than feel broken, like something serious is missing from inside of me.

  2. My biggest assumption about marriage was that it would be constant sex, that both of us would want to have it all the time, and we’d have trouble getting out of bed for “real life responsibilities”. When, in fact, our sex life all but disappeared after the wedding, I was very disillusioned. Sometimes I felt like Jacob with Rachel and Leah, as if someone had switched my wife at the wedding. Gone was my fiancée that was constantly in the mood, instead I had this wife who wanted nothing to do with me physically. I felt utterly rejected and worthless, my own wife didn’t want me. The reasons of this are varied, and there is enough blame to go around between my wife and I, our families, culture, church, medication and who knows what else. These days, I feel like I got my fiancée back thanks to a lot of work on both sides. Things are better than ever and constantly improving.
    Jay Dee – SexWithinMarriage.com recently posted…Is it OK not to swallow?My Profile

    • Wow, I could have written that myself Jay.
      G.

    • Jay, sometimes I feel like I am your wife. Would you mind telling me what kind of “work” you both did. I am very interested in knowing how I can better this situation in our marriage :) Thank you!
      Jenna@CallHerHappy recently posted…Are you a social media master? At what cost?My Profile

    • ButterflyWings says:

      That’s exactly how I feel. To this day I still don’t understand how he thought our honeymoon was a time for him to chill out reading and playing computers – by himself – the whole time. I thought honeymoons were supposed to be about two things – sex and spending uninterrupted time with your spouse getting to truly know them.

  3. I’ve only been married for almost 6 months. I was expecting the wedding night to be rough since I did wait until I was married to have sex, and I am a bit older than the average. (And I’m glad I wasn’t assuming otherwise, because it was honestly awful for me!) But I was also assuming that it wouldn’t take too terribly long to figure things out, so I’m really discouraged that it still feels uncomfortable for me even now! My husband’s been very sweet and encouraging, and I asked my doctor and she said that given that I did wait, this is perfectly normal…but seriously, when does it start feeling fun?

    • Stephanie P says:

      Becky,
      Congratulations on your recent marriage and also on being committed to abstinance before marriage. That is awesome! I did the same and was nervous/excited to experience sex on my wedding night…It was painful….and just to be honest I still had pain during or after sex for a couple of years afterwards. My doctor said it was normal that there was nothing wrong with me….I always told my husband if it became painful and he was very understanding and patient with me. After a while though, I became discouraged and lost all enjoyment whatsoever…this caused a lot of problems with my husband and I. Distrust, resentment, and insecurities set in.

      I’m not saying all of this to scare or discourage you. In face I want it to do the opposite. I finally found that different positions made it easier for me and didn’t produce pain…and of course extra ky jelly or just taking it slow. My husband was so eager when we first were married because we had waited…and so sometimes I had to explain to him over and over the importance of foreplay…that he was a microwave and I was a crock pot…..

      Communication before, during, after sex really helped a lot….It will get better…but for me it took a while…but please don’t become discouraged like I did….communicate and let that guide you both…Sometimes I still enjoyed the sex, even though it was a little painful…mainly because he was so understanding and we could talk through it and I truly saw how much he wanted me to be ok and us to both enjoy sex mutually. Now it’s not painful….and through the years we have both moved passed the distrust, resentment, and insecurities…we realize that it ALL takes work…..and now I really enjoy sex with my husband. You will get there!

    • Becky… I’m sorry to hear about the pain, but I definitely have hope for you that it will get better. Lubrication can help. Astroglide is a good over-the-counter one, and Sliquid is a fabulous one you can order online. Also, I agree with Stephanie P that communication is key. Also, more foreplay. Help your husband understand what feels good for you, and that is probably going to take a lot of caressing and foreplay to get your body ready for intercourse. There are also quite a few good Christian sex books on the market… Sheila’s book of course (Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex) and another one I often recommend is “When Two Become One: Enhancing Sexual Intimacy in Marriage” by Christopher and Rachel McCluskey.
      Julie Sibert recently posted…Why People Think Christians Have Boring SexMy Profile

  4. I really assumed it was a small part of marriage as a whole. Call me naïve, but I really thought it was something people did a couple times a month. And when it turned out to be extremely painful for me physically and that my husband wanted it all the time.. our marriage was devastated. Picture it like this- you think it’s gonna be this nice experience every now and then- but it turns out it feels like you are being kicked in the shins. And then you discover that your husband wants to kick you in the shins 4-6 times a week. For four years we had this dynamic.. and he and I try everything recommended to make it better, but at the end of the day I felt like he was demanding something he knew would give me pain, sometimes for several hrs following. (Not reality precisely, but as a young bride that’s how I saw it- my husband dearly loved me, but didn’t empathize with the pain. He was just too excited to be “getting some” ).

    Turns out sex is the glue- and necessary as a large component of marriage day in, day out. I am still working to undo the emotional scars of those first four years. Even though physically it’s fine now, those old thought pathways creep back in constantly- that sex in marriage is just for the husband, and this time had better count toward his satisfaction, and he should be more grateful because I really am trying. ugh, so selfish.

    • Just wondering if you have been able to forgive him for his selfishness and lack of consideration. I am not bashing him, understand. I can identify with his need to have sex to connect with you and, because of that, his willingness to overlook your suffering, especially if you were in any way playing the part of the dutiful wife for him. But, I suspect those are some of the feelings about that time that still haunt you. “How can he keep hurting me if he loves me?” You married a man you trusted to have you interest at heart and he violated your trust. He showed a lack of respect. If you lay all the pieces out and inspect them, that is what it is. He may not have been malicious about it and even felt some guilt about the part he was playing in your pain, but if that is how YOU felt, you are allowed to own those emotions. If those are the emotions and thoughts you seceretly or openly own, those are the ones you have to forgive him. That is why I tell you I am not bashing him. Until you honestly identify the cause of your emotional hurt and communicate it to him, you won’t get past this. You have to identify all the elements responsible for your emotional pain to forgive them. He has to be aware of your feelings and let you own them. Once he acknowledges your pain, he can begin to see his part in causing it. He cannot begin to empathize and make amends for his part until make him aware of specific actions on his part that caused you pain. I doubt that he identifies this as a breech of trust for instance. It would take some deep communication between the two of you to get to that point. If you forgave him for being selfish and lacking consideration for your apparent considerable pain, but ignored or failed to recognize the trust aspect of that dynamic and address it, you would never completely heal. It can be tough to apply those tags to someone we love, but at the end of the day, to whatever degree, that is how they behaved, and THAT is what we have to forgive so we can move forward with healing and growing.

      • It’s always been my understanding (esp from blogs like this) that you can’t ask a man to apologize for a healthy sex drive. It’s important as a wife to just try and keep up. So I am unsure how this conversation would even go. But your comment made me cry, because trust is always the issue we get stuck on. My lack of trust in him in many areas wears on our marriage and I wonder if it goes back to this…

        Yes at it’s base is how I felt and still feel.. betrayed and violated. Because why would he keep asking, and making jokes, and innuendoes about having more sex when I was trying to say yes as often as I could physically take it. :( And now- based on my visceral reaction to this conversation I would have to say you are very right- there is a lot of hurt still pushed way down there in the dark.

        Frankly, after staying a virgin til age 28 and expecting an enthusiastic bride (which I was until we actually tried having sex), I think he felt a lot of the same things, in a different way. So there is that barrier too. How to talk about it without it being my bad lot, vs his bad lot.

        God has brought a lot of healing physically- and some emotionally. But we still come up against this wall – the issue of him having my interest at heart, and trust. He knows there is more intimacy in a relationship that trusts and asks why I can’t? Maybe this is the root- but how do you tell a loving, devoted husband that you are harboring feelings of this magnitude and ask him to take responsibility for something he didn’t mean to do?

        • Kindly tell him the truth. Your last sentence says it all. “You are a loving, devoted husband – yet I am struggling and harboring feelings of this magnitude and I am asking you to take responsibility for something you didn’t mean to do.” If you can talk about it alone together – really listening and not arguing – great! If not, perhaps you should involve a trusted Christian mentor or counselor. I am wondering if he even truly understands what you are feeling. If you haven’t completely opened up to him, maybe he truly doesn’t understand. I’ve been married for almost 20 years and I am still learning that men think, hear and see things MUCH differently than women. I am guilty of expecting my husband to read my mind and then getting mad when he doesn’t. Telling him how I feel instead of assuming he should know works much better. (I’m not saying you do that – but I do – and it can make things tough). Communication is hard, but important. Praying for you ~

        • I’m so glad you didn’t see my comment as bashing your husband. Thank you Becca for expanding on my comment with a woman’s point of view about how sometimes we think our partners should know exactly what we are feeling, how we are hurting and what it will take to soothe us, heal us and restore trust. If they do not behave as hoped, we then try them in kangaroo court without representation.

          Breaches of trust are not only about sexual or emotional fidelity either. Can your partner be trusted to be on time, to honor commitments, to stay employed, to manage finances, to maintain their health, and so many other things that have nothing to do with sex, but can still affect our desire for them. The deal with trust is if they do not honor their commitments, they are showing us a lack of respect. “I love you, but not enough to honor my promises to you.” How can they breach trust, and still say they respect you. Being respected is a big issue with men, but it is no less important to women. You cannot respect someone you cannot trust and you cannot love or desire someone you don’t respect.

  5. Becky! I’ve been married nearly a year now and my story is similar to yours. I had been told that it would hurt the first one-to-three times, and then I’d be good to go. Maybe that’s true for some people, but sex was pretty consistently uncomfortable for me for about the first six months, and even now every once in a while, out of the blue, it will hurt a little. It is continually getting better though! Don’t be discouraged :-) and don’t be afraid of lube.

  6. I assumed that we would have sex every day (unless ill), some days more often. This didn’t take into account our busy schedule, particularly my husband’s schedule at the time of working 12-hours shifts with a 30- or 40-minute commute. The first time he was too tired, I was devastated. A few weeks into marriage, we ended up in the living room of an older married couple, getting help. Sad to say, my selfishness in the early days lasted a long time, and the effects of hurting my husband lasted longer. Over the 18 years we’ve been married, however, we’ve grown tremendously in our intimacy, thanks to God!

  7. I assumed that sex would be like it was before marriage. My husband and I both believed sex before marriage was wrong, but we continued to do it anyway. Unfortunately, part of what was so great about sex when before we were married was that it was wrong and we had to hide it. When we were married, it was still fun for the first couple of weeks, then my husband sort of lost interest. The thrill wasn’t there anymore. That took a LOT to work through. I was hurt because I was still interested and he wasn’t. Two years later those issues are worked through and we have a great, healthy sex life (most of the time!), but it was a really rough start that I wasn’t anticipating.

  8. “Physical, emotional and spiritual intimacy are meant to mingle so closely in marriage that we can’t see where one begins and one ends. There are to be no hard lines. Our hearts long for transparent intersections that remind us that marriage is unlike any other relationship. In a good way.” Julie, this is eloquent truth!! Thank you for this. I’ll be looking into your new book. Congrats!

    I feel I had pretty realistic expectations about sexual intimacy going into marriage. I liked it!! I didn’t expect my desire to disappear, which it did because of factors similar to Jay Dees. I didn’t expect it to be so complicated on both sides.

    The key to the complications is to fix your focus and desire on Jesus. He’ll help guide and provide resources. Prayer is powerful in helping align our expectations with his will.
    Bonny Pearl recently posted…Week 46: Centering PrayerMy Profile

    • ButterflyWings says:

      I find my desire has disappeared because of pregnancy (not that it has made me so no to my husband) but the problem I have (and get no support from him for) is he is HAPPY about it. He now has his way and we have sex once a fortnight or less and he rejoices. Even though I have little desire, I feel a gigantic hole in our relationship.

      I’m not going to keep chasing my husband because the rejection is even more painful now. But how do I get over him being extremely happy and rejoicing in my loss of interest? How can I make him see it’s not normal, that something big is missing in our relationship?

      • Butterfly,

        I understand where you are coming from. Sometimes these articles make me feel like a pervert, because I like sex with my husband. Not just the physical, but that feeling of close connection. So often we read of women who would rather do anything else, and their husbands are always after them, and they don’t want to be with them, and women like us start to wonder, “what’s wrong with me? Why do I want to be with him and why doesn’t he want me?” I like sex so I must be a pervert! Especially if my husband is not that interested, and all of the other women of the world are trying to avoid sex with their husbands. (none of this is true, by the way – these were just the crazy thoughts swirling in my brain).

        Don’t lose hope! I can read the frustration in your writing and I was where you are just a short time ago. I was so frustrated and so MAD at the other women who would comment how much their husbands wanted sex and they didn’t want to do it and all I could think was that there was something horribly wrong with me. It’s not a weight or appearance thing – it’s not a porn thing – so what else could it be? I figured I just wasn’t the kind of woman he was into. I even tried dying my hair a different color. I was barking up the wrong tree. Then when you read the “oh you should initiate” articles, and you initiate and get rejected – SMACK – that is a terrible, terrible feeling.

        In my case, my husband was completely overwhelmed and stressed at work. I got so focused on me “why doesn’t he want ME” and so wrapped up in feeling sorry for myself, I wasn’t taking time to dig deeper and see what was wrong. Plus we have a huge scheduling issue. He is up for work by 4:30 am – and I don’t go to bed until around midnight – so our schedules didn’t allow for much intimacy. So after some deep conversations, some soul searching, and reading a suggested book by Dr. Eggerichs called “Love and Respect” – I am happy to report things are going much better. I now take time to ask him about his day and LISTEN to the answer. He’s not a big talker, so sometimes it takes a while, but he wasn’t talking because I wasn’t really listening. I’ve noticed if he gets some time to unwind and share what has been bothering him, he is in a much better “mood.” The scheduling thing is still hard, but we are working on it.

        I will pray for you. So many women from another blog post prayed for me and – prayer works! Keep trying to communicate. So often the issue has nothing to do with the act itself. I was so frustrated because my husband would repeatedly tell me how much he loved me, and he is so kind and would show that love in so many ways, so I didn’t understand the lack of sex. I really didn’t believe stress could have anything to do with it. But it did. And in our talks, as I became more upset, he confessed that our home – which is supposed to be a haven – started to feel more stressful to him, and so my frustration just added to his stress and a vicious cycle was spinning! I am so grateful to God we got through it. Now we are enjoying finding new ways to connect and work through obstacles. Please be willing to talk to your husband – I know it is hard, hard, hard. I would also recommend the book by Dr. E. I didn’t like it at first, but it opened up a world of understanding on both of our parts.

        • ButterflyWings says:

          Thanks. I’ve read the Love and Respect book. It’s alright if you can ignore the sexism in some bits, just nothing that I didn’t already know.

          I’ve spent our entire relationship doing 99% of the (attempts at) initiating. Hubby just doesn’t do it. I can probably count on one hand the times he has.

          We don’t have any of the issues you mention. Hubby works a very normal, 38 hour a week job that is very low stress that he loves. He also works on flex time – so he starts when he wants, finishes when he wants, can have shorter and longer days as he pleases – just as long as he gets his total hours for the fortnight in. I’ve always asked him about his day, pretty much since we met. It was hard to draw him out (as he is a very quiet person). He knows I genuinely listen and care.

          Part of the problem is it’s “his” issue not a marriage issue. He suffers from severe anxiety and thinks no one wants to hear how he is etc. Even though he has me and a wonderful supportive family, he won’t speak up about how he feels because he doesn’t want to “annoy” them and one of the things we’re working heavily on in marriage counselling is the counsellor teaching that when people say they want to listen to his day (even negative stuff) that they really do want to. Our last two appointments were majority made up of her just working through this with him – it impacts on our marriage in a huge way, but sadly there isn’t anything more I can personally do – he needs to work through his long standing anxiety that he’s had since he was little.

          Going on medication a few months ago did help him a little ( we went from having sex once a fortnight to once a week, occasionally twice a week) but most of the time he still did it out of duty/pity not because he actually wants to most of the time. Now that he knows I’ve (hopefully only temporarily) got a decreased drive from pregnancy complications, we’re back to only once a fortnight and he is so happy about it.

          I’ve heard so many with low drive spouses pray to lose their own drive, but now I know that doesn’t change the feeling of brokenness of the sexual relationship. I think in many ways it just highlights it.

          About once a month I remind my husband of his promise to get a testosterone test done, because I am 100% sure that’s where the problem lies as he is other symptoms of low testosterone and he’s not interested even when he is happy and anxiety free.

          All prayers very gratefully accepted ;)

  9. Stephanie P says:

    Sheila,
    I am so thankful for your website and for your vulnerability and willingness to speak openly to women about the importance of sex in marriage. It seems like as women we have all of these outside influences about sex….Most women talk about sex in such a negative way that I think it becomes commonplace or ‘ok’ for us to think like that…it in turn bleeds into our marriages because we have allowed these negative influences to invade our minds and for the most part haven’t had anyone to combat those negative assumptions. What do you think it would be like if more wives stood up for the intimacy in our marriages and encouraged the younger married women to think in a positive way about sex and not as their ‘duty’ to their husbands?

    I remember, when I was planning my wedding, having all of these older married women tell me about how after a few months I wouldn’t want to have sex with my new husband and how they HAVE to give it to their husbands a few times a month to keep them happy…they dreaded it and laughed about it – and were ok with that…it seemed they were fulfilling a dreaded obligation…as if their husbands were these cavemen that bashed them on the head and drug them by their hair into their caves to have sex….It terrified me! I didn’t know what to think…and my mother had never really explained to me that sex in marriage is beautiful and not this dirty hush hush awful obligation….so I entered into marriage under the assumption that sex was as you said an obligation to the fine print in the ‘marriage contract’…..I am SO glad I no longer feel that way…and I plan to teach my daughter the beauty of it as she gets old enough.

    • ButterflyWings says:

      “What do you think it would be like if more wives stood up for the intimacy in our marriages and encouraged the younger married women to think in a positive way about sex and not as their ‘duty’ to their husbands?”

      Then you’d have a lot more wives like me who suffer in silence, who love sex and are lucky to get it a few times a month as our husbands just do it as a duty because they think it will somehow make us happy to be “given” pity sex a few times a month.

      “Giving” anyone (husband or wife) sex out of pity or duty is demeaning and while some people are happy to take the scraps thrown at them with the attitude of “oh well at least occasionally is better than nothing at all”, for other people only being “given” pity/duty sex just crushes the soul and sometimes no sex at all is better than occasional pity/duty sex.

  10. Thank you everyone for your vulnerable comments. I know it takes courage to share about such an intimate aspect of marriage, especially when there has been difficulty, pain, confusion.

    For any women who want more sex and find that there husbands have the lower drive, I do have a page on my site with a list of blog posts from several marriage bloggers addressing this dynamic. You can find it at the below link (and also, if you know of other blog posts that I should include on the page, please let me know.

    http://intimacyinmarriage.com/resources/wives-who-want-more-sex-and-arent-getting-it/
    Julie Sibert recently posted…Why People Think Christians Have Boring SexMy Profile

  11. To the girl who has pain when having sex,
    I, too, had pain when I first started having sex with my husband (we’ve been married 5 1/2 yrs). I did some research to figure out why. I would have anxiety about the anticipation for sex. In my head, I basically was preparing myself for pain instead of pleasure… Because ..well, It hurt! Also, I found out after I still was in pain after a couple of years- that my hymen was still in tact. Many women break it on their own just by using tampons. My was especially thick. In fact, I just had a baby in May and my Dr. had to perform a Hymenotomy to make room for baby’s head to come out. It had stretched (it’s an elastic like membrane) overtime from sex so it eventually became less painful but the pain didn’t go away completely. We had to be very specific with HOW we had sex. He had to enter me the same way every time or else it hurt. I also would clench or tighten up out of that anticipation of fear, as I stated earlier. I had to learn to breath, relax, my self talk had to be good: “this is going to feel food, my husband loves me and doesn’t want to or like to hurt me, I want this too.” I also had VERY OPEN and HONEST communication with my husband. We took things slooow (which, for a man that’s been waiting for sex- is sometimes hard). There were times it felt so good to him and so bad for me I cried and pushed him off because he would get out of control with the pleasure and sensation. It hurt my feelings the same way- why would he do that when he knows it hurts me. To be honest? Men can’t think clearly during that time. You have to be patient and just teach them. I would just stop. He learned after a while that he couldn’t be selfish if he wanted to participate! After my Hymenotomy- sex is the best it’s ever been!! We can do anything and everything pain free.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t get discouraged. I had my own Obgyn (who I DO NOT GO ANYMORE) tell me if I was sexually active, the hymen shouldn’t be a problem or should have been broken already. She didn’t believe me that it was a problem. My OB I go to now said she thought she could help stretch it during delivery but realized it was much thicker than she first thought. Always rely on your instincts because you know your body better than anyone. Also the psychological aspect is HUGE. You have to get out of your head. If you already hold a lot if resentment- you will have to work through that first. One last thing is another possible medical dx: Vaginismus. Maybe this, too, could be a factor?

    I hope I’ve given you some helpful ideas to look into or at least some hope. Sex is a wonderful gift between husband and wife and everyone deserves to have enjoyable sex! Good luck!

    • That’s very interesting. Sex didn’t stop being painful for me until I gave birth vaginally. And I had so many drs say oh just give it some more time. 4 yrs of time. Ugh.

      So how did you “get out of your head” so to speak? For me it’s the psychological aspect that just keeps hanging around, rearing it’s ugly head. When sex is painful, you spend a lot of time in your head controlling every aspect of a sexual encounter in order to minimize the pain… tips for breaking that habit and being fully present?

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us!

  12. Yeah, no problem! I like to be helpful… Especially with something I struggled with. (Side note: sorry for typos- my iPhone thinks it’s smarter than I am).

    So the psychological aspect, as Sheila even talks about a lot, is huge for women. We are all about feelings and emotions and don’t forget about concentration. Totally can’t be going through the checklist of “to-do’s” while trying to get in the mood. I always have to get focused and make sure my thoughts are about the moment right then and there (and I’m serious, it takes effort to concentrate on what’s going on instead of “was that the baby stirring, is he okay, do I need to get up, I have so much laundry to do tomorrow” etc etc). It’s not that sex is the last thing on my mind, it’s just that I have to get my engines revving before I can start the race (and not even be worried about crossing the finish line).

    For me, personally, I have a LOT of self esteem issues. (Gained a lot of “baby” weight). I battle depression, too. If I want to make things happen, I have to kind of prep for it all day. Do things that make me feel good like take a shower (lol! New mom probs) and text sexy things to the hubby while he works. I try hard to make the day a good day, so he can come home to a happy home. Then foreplay is huge. I have to concentrate on liking what’s happening, realizing it’s good and that I want it. If it isn’t that great, I help “guide” things along. I would literally close my eyes, focus on breathing, and try my best to relax my body. Sometimes that meant plain ole’ missionary position without much movement on my part. Sounds pretty boring but once things got going and it didn’t hurt (because of everything I was doing to stay calm) then it would feel pretty good and I could get more involved.

    Like I said, for me “getting out of my head” was about the pain (and the self esteem). If you’re having a difficult time with pain, then try that (or it could be medical like I stated in my previous post). If it’s not pain and it’s just psyching yourself up for things- same concept. If you REALLY want it, you can put the effort into: thinking about it (so it builds up the desire all day), trying to be flirty either via text or email or phone call. If he’s home you can kind of tease him with a tooshie grab or a 7 second kiss that leads no where. Take a shower together that night. Anything that turns you on, really. (Because the HEAD GAME is about you- the woman- not the man. Most guys don’t have these issues. They get turned on very easily). Once your ready to be intimate, you just have to stay in the game. You want this, it feels good, he loves you and your body, it feels good, it’s healthy for your marriage, and did I mention it feels good? Lol

    It’s harder said than done, I understand. It definitely takes commitment and hard work/effort to get to this point. Marriage in general is hard work, so why wouldn’t we want to put the same effort into something that was made special just for that union? It’s an important aspect of marriage.

    My husband told me last week during a rather enjoyable night that it was one of the best times ever. I asked what was different. His answer will forever make our night rendevues more pleasing. He said I was into it. I wasn’t “faking” or just playing nice to give him what he wanted… He said he could tell I Wanted it too! And that was huge. I didn’t realize he knew the difference.

    Sorry for going on and on. I’m done. Lol (: hopefully that answered your Q? It’s sometimes hard to help when I’m not 100% sure of the situation at hand. What is in your head that makes sex and it’s expectations difficult? Thanks for reading

    • We so desperately want you to want it too. Like you, we want to be desired too. We don’t want to feel accommodated. Better an orgasm than none perhaps, but you quickly find no pleasure or joy in that type of sexual experience. Do whatever it takes to get off while I lie here in immobile silence. Believe it or not, at some point, we will not invest the time and energy into a live blowup doll. It is much quicker and convenient to take matters into our own hand. It may not be near as satisfying, but at least our “partner” will be willing and desiring of our company.

      • ButterflyWings says:

        userdand I do understand what you’re staying about a responsive partner, and I totally agree! But just to clarify one thing… a woman doesn’t have to orgasm to greatly enjoy sex and be responsive. I’m not sure if some men realise this. I think it may be a hormonal thing (some times of the month it’s easier to orgasm than others – although that’s just a personal experience, I’m not speaking for all women). But for men who are frustrated that their wife doesn’t orgasm (or orgasm much), I just want to reassure you that as long as she’s finding pleasure in it, don’t worry if she doesn’t orgasm if she says not to worry about it (and truly means it). sometimes women feel like they need one (much as I’m guessing guys feels like every time?) but sometimes women don’t need one and just want to enjoy the process.

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  1. […] Physical, emotional and spiritual intimacy are meant to mingle so closely in marriage that we can’t see where one begins and one ends.  What Did You Assume About Sex in Marriage?  By Julie Sibert […]

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