Wife “HD” says that despite enjoying sex with her husband, sex is often the furthest thing from her mind.
I have a bit of a problem. Growing up, sex was something that I thought/felt was wrong. I didn’t date much mostly because I was afraid of the relationship getting too close to sex. When I started dating my now-husband I was smitten! I wished so badly that we were married all the time so we could be intimate. Now that we are it seems like sex is the furthest thing from my mind. He tells me every so often that he isn’t getting enough. My immediate response is guilt and shame and that motivates me to have sex because I want to make my husband happy and because I don’t want to feel guilty. Once those feelings of guilt and shame have subsided, I fall back into my old way of not thinking much about sex or doing much about it.
I know that this is toxic to our marriage but I honestly don’t know how to change. It’s not that I can’t do it, or don’t have the resources to come up with ideas, it seems like an issue with my heart and also probably my way of thinking. I want to have sex with my husband because I love him and I want our relationship to grow, not out of guilt and shame. Do you have any advice you could offer?
HD and I exchanged a few emails. Her situation isn’t uncommon, and I have a set of questions for wives who are feeling this way. I wrote back:
Thanks for your email! It can be hard to go from growing up and having the perception that sex is wrong to then be expected to flip a switch when you get married and love sex. Sex, with how natural it is, takes some learning to enjoy. Sex is a gift from God, and having the right attitude towards it allows you to enjoy that gift to the fullest. I have a few questions that will help me answer your question. :)
Do you orgasm when you have sex with your husband? This can be a tricky thing to figure out! It seems that many people don’t know that most women need some help to be able to orgasm during sex.
Do you take time together to explore what your body enjoys?
Are you comfortable with giving feedback? When he is doing something you like, make sure to reinforce that, but you also need to tell him when it is not enjoyable so that he can learn your body.
Do you pray for your sex life? Pray that it would honor God, that you would enjoy it, that your heart would change towards it. Let me know about those questions and hopefully I can give you some guidance.
I actually do orgasm. Pretty much every time we have sex, even a few times.
I feel like my husband is great at doing what feels good and I try to tell him when I like something and when I don’t. I think that we do well at exploring and giving feedback.
However, sex is just the furthest thing from my mind most of the time. Many times it still feels like I am doing something wrong or that I should not be thinking about sex. And sometimes It feels even like an inconvenience, which I feel really awful about. If I want to pursue him, which he loves, it takes a lot more effort for me and I don’t get as excited about it because the “perfect moment” that I plan usually gets foiled by something else and that feels discouraging.
I have been trying to pray about it a lot more and I even started a devotional/ Bible study on the topic. Some days it goes great but other days it feels a lot harder. I still feel like I am not hitting the mark.
I hope that makes sense!
My final response was:
Thanks HD, that’s helpful! I have a few thoughts, hopefully they can help. I think it could help to develop some new patterns of thinking in regards to sex. The Bible speaks a lot about sex, and when it talks about sex within the bounds of marriage, it is a gift, and something God created for humans to enjoy. Dig into scripture – Song of Solomon, Proverbs 5:15-19, 1 Corinthians 7:3-5. Pray and meditate over the Song of Solomon, some of the imagery in there can make me blush! The point, God created sex for you to enjoy within marriage. Make a list of the positive aspects of your sex life, and make it a point to reflect on those. The more that you create positive pathways of thinking, the easier it will be for your mind to travel along those paths.
You also mentioned creating the ‘perfect moment’. It’s easy to set up high expectations that deflate our enthusiasm when they are not met. When you allow some space that things will happen in an unpredictable way, it will ease the burden and allow you to enjoy the moment more. Life is made up of a multitude of little moments, and the more you focus on the quality of those little moments, the less weight the big moments carry. And where do you live the vast majority of your life? It’s in the small stuff. So don’t shy away from planning stuff with your husband, plan it and let it unfold in its own way.
Don’t feel discouraged when you don’t feel like having sex. Our bodies and desires ebb and flow with our cycles, so just because you don’t hit the mark one day doesn’t mean you can’t try again tomorrow. It sounds like you are making your sex life a priority, and hopefully you will start to hit the mark more and more. Remember that sex is a lifelong part of marriage, and you can choose to make it great rather than see it as a duty. Our perceptions shape our experience, and it takes a lot of work to make sure our perceptions are on the right aim, but it is worth tending.
I hope this helps. I prayed for you now! It sounds like you are already on the right path, and you care, so that alone will help things to improve.
We try to always pray for our readers immediately when we receive emails, so we don’t forget later. Our advice may or may not be helpful, but there’s no doubt that God hears and answers prayer!
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