When ‘One Flesh’ Isn’t Working, Part 2, Day 14
I don’t always feel like having sex. However, if I waited until I felt like it, I might not have sex all that often. Having sex can become overwhelming when there are so many other things pressing on a woman’s heart and mind.
Male and female brains are hardwired differently. The common analogy is that men think in boxes and women think in networks. Men pull out the box and focus just on that box. Sometimes they can jump from box to box, but typically they focus one issue, concern, topic, or interest at a time. Women have these intricate connections to everything in their minds. This is why sometimes my husband mentions sex and I can think sex…
…oh the sheets need to be cleaned
…do I have enough detergent to do laundry soap?
…I’ll have to go to the store
…The car needs gas
…I’ll have to stop by the bank to make that deposit so I have the money to buy gas
…and while I’m out, I’ll pick up dinner for tomorrow night
… and so on.
Can you relate?
Usually if I’m having difficulty in the bedroom, it’s because I can’t really enjoy sex until everything else is in working order. I’m not an expert, psychologist, therapist, or medical professional so the following suggestions are from my own personal experience.
When ‘One Flesh’ Isn’t Working: 9 Suggestions for Overcoming Sexual Difficulties in Your Marriage
1) Choose to put distractions aside.
Consciously decide to let your to-do list go.
2) Set the tone.
What helps you get in the mood? Do what you need to create a distraction-free, safe, relaxing environment.
Your husband isn’t a mind reader. Tell him what you want – what makes you feel good, what doesn’t, what you’d like to try, what’s on your off-limits list. Let him explore, or guide him to where you want him to be.
4) Take care of your body.
Sometimes I’m so focused on taking care of everyone else that I neglect myself during the day. I have a hard time focusing on sex with my husband when I forgot to shower, skipped a meal, or I’ve only slept for 5 hours. Take care of your physical self. This also applies to getting regular check-ups with your doctor. If you’re having problems physically, your doctor may be able to help you find solutions to discomfort, pain, or lack of libido.
5) Watch your emotional health tank.
Give yourself a little personal time each day – doing something relaxing and fun. I know this is easy to say as a married woman without kids, but I’ve heard my MWK friends say the same thing. Personal time is important for your emotional health and your sanity. I have a hard time focusing on sex with my husband when I’ve spent every second of the day doing things for others and I’m feeling “peopled” out.
6) Make God a priority.
Take care of your spiritual health. When I’ve neglected to spend time with God for a couple days, I find my whole self to be off – body, mind, heart, and spirit. I feel disconnected. I feel moody. I feel achy and stressed. I feel overwhelmed. Adam and I are prone to have more arguments. This is not a good place to be in when I’m heading into the bedroom with Adam. Take time to connect with God daily.
7) Spend quality time with your husband.
I have a hard time connecting in the bedroom when my emotional needs aren’t being met by my husband. Sometimes it’s his fault; sometimes it’s mine. We both get too busy with other things and then it’s hard for me to get into a “get-it-on” mentality. There’s nothing wrong with telling your husband you need to spend time connecting emotionally before you’re ready to be intimate physically.
8) Work through conflict.
Practically, your heart and body won’t be in the right place if there’s a major point of contention between you. Get out of the bedroom, talk it out, genuinely listen to one another, find a solution, create a plan to implement said solution, and then plan to follow up and evaluate your progress.
9) Don’t bury past sexual baggage.
This is, by far, the hardest one to do. Past sexual experience and/or trauma can seriously hurt a woman’s sexual desire. Everyone is on a different page and at a different point in their healing process. I don’t want to dig up old wounds, but ignoring your past isn’t going to help your marriage. Please seek professional help. Share what you can with your life partner, and help him understand the time it might take to talk through things, and there are some things he may never understand. I had to learn the hard way that punishing my husband for things another did to me wasn’t fair and by keeping him in the dark, I was hurting our marriage bed. By doing these things, I was hanging onto the victim mentality instead of living in the true freedom that Christ gives.
Today’s Challenge: Pick one of the nine suggestions to work on today.
Bible Passage: 1 Corinthians 13
In lieu of a “share with us” question and Facebook page content, I wanted to add a personal note.
Marital intimacy is a tough subject for some of you. In our fallen, broken world, marital intimacy and sexual responsibility often gets warped into a message of guilt and shame and a weapon used for selfish purposes. Dear sister, if you are struggling with sexual intimacy because of a physical, psychological, emotional, or spiritual issue in your marriage, please seek professional help. Pop over to the Facebook page for encouragement and ideas for how to pray for your sexual intimacy.