Marriage is a vulnerable experience.
Living life in such close proximity to another provides enough friction that can lead to hurts, doubts, and other frustrating emotions to rise up. Marriage doesn’t always play out how we expect it to, or desire it to.
When I was dating Aaron, I had a strong sexual desire for him. We both had made a personal commitment to wait to experience sex until after we married…which was all the more motivation to marry young. My hormones were raging and I was consumed with the thought of being with my love.
A few months into marriage, my entire view of sex had been shifted. We did encounter an unusual problem from the first night of marriage – painful sex – and sure it made me apprehensive to keep trying, but I was willing.
Aside from the problem of painful sex, there was something else I was struggling with…our “chemistry” the way we interacted with each other just wasn’t the same. I remember wishing we were only still dating and not married.
I believed that somehow getting married changed things between us and took away the thrill of sexual desire.
It just wasn’t the same.
As I kept dwelling on our past, I was confronted with other doubts in our marriage…
Maybe I am not attracted to my husband anymore.
He is not the guy I thought he was.
Did I make a mistake getting married?
Do I even like sex?
Maybe we are not compatible.
Is there something wrong with me?
The issue with considering these doubtful thoughts was that it started to chip away the belief in my heart that I married my best friend and that I am attracted to him. The issue with these negative thoughts is that they hindered me from being motivated to initiate sex, therefore reinforcing an idea that we were different after marriage, that there was no chemistry.
I am sharing this with you, because I have heard these types of doubts in other wives. I have witnessed other wives wrestling with these thoughts as if they were being pulled back and forth in an emotional tug-of-war. We desire truth, but our insecurities can often times lead us to believe the lies instead. We are not alone in our struggles and in our doubts. I thought it was time to expose some of these lies and expose the fact that they come from the enemy.
Now many of these types of thoughts will bombard a newlywed, not every newly married person, but many. However, they can also assult anyone who has been married any length of time. These doubts are presented to our hearts in a vulnerable time of marriage by the enemy. He takes advantage of our insecurities and drives thoughts of doubt so hard that if we do not resist him and cling to truth, we are convinced of a lie which then severs unity and intimacy in marriage.
I reminded a friend of mine just recently that the enemy hates marriage and that we have only been on this earth for 30 years, meanwhile the enemy has been perfecting his craft of evil for thousands. Just because he seemingly has experience with taking advantage of people, destroying marriages, and so much more, doesn’t mean he is stronger. If we have Christ, then we have everything we need to fight him and win! And he hates this too.
We need to safeguard our hearts and our marriages. The only way to do that is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and we need to know His truth! His truth is what sets us free! There are some other things we can do too….
When we look at porn, when we think about exes, when we lust through fantasizing, selfishly chasing after a desire for sexual satisfaction we are actually sinning, we are severing unity with God, we are severing unity in marriage, and we are leaving room in our hearts for comparison and insecurity to lead to doubts.
Stop lusting and start pouring your energy into what you have. Let your marriage be satisfying. Look for ways to better your relationship that steers clear away from sin. (Click HERE to read of ways to build intimacy with your husband!)
My husband and I have both viewed pornography and I will tell you it does destroy marriage. The secrecy kills marriage. The lust for more kills marriage. The sin, if not repented, leads to more sin, and it kills intimacy in marriage. One of the biggest reasons I believe I wasn’t attracted to my husband anymore is because I was viewing pornography. I began comparing my husband to people on the screen and eventually I started believing that he wasn’t what I desire. The culprit was me giving my heart to porn, instead of to my husband. I thank God for His grace and forgiveness. I repented of this lust and I have been set free from the bondage of pornography and you can too! Pray and repent of your sin.
When we let our insecurities and doubts flood our hearts, there is no room for motivation to pursue something so intimate as sex with our spouse. We become paralyzed with fear. We avoid and we isolate. Then we are confronted with that pestering doubt of maybe this was a mistake or maybe we aren’t in love anymore. Don’t believe that! Love is a choice and that choice is evident when we pursue intimacy with our spouse physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
From one woman to another, it is good for me to remind you that our minds are powerful! Our minds have a huge influence in whether or not we will enjoy sex in marriage. I personally have experienced an increase of desire for my husband the times that I initiate. But this requires having a mindset that is willing to engage. See if initiating does the same for you!
God calls us to have faith. Faith is believing even when we cannot see. We need to have faith that we can be healed, that our relationships can be reconciled and restored, that our love is on fire, and that better days are always ahead. Faith screams that marriage is worth fighting for. Faith is a motivator to do the hard things our flesh doesn’t want to do. Faith is necessary!
My husband and I are still married today because we had faith in God to help our marriage grow and get better. We prayed many prayers for the healing of my body and our marriage. God has to be at the center of your marriage. He is the One that designed marriage, so lean on Him and trust Him to help you through it.
We may all still experience hardship in marriage, sex may be painful, offenses will occur, BUT…we must not give the enemy a foothold! Don’t dwell on doubts of whether you are not attracted to your husband anymore…have faith that you are attracted to him and believe in real love, unconditional love, the love that comes from the Father!
The more I grow in my relationship with God, the more quickly I recognize and can distinguish the truth from the lies. I am attracted to my husband and I can confidently say he was never a mistake! I am so glad that I didn’t allow my insecurities and doubts to ruin our relationship completely. When we know the truth, the lies don’t stand a chance sprouting.
With the enemy hating marriage and all, attacking relentlessly, I wonder…Has the enemy influenced our culture as a whole to view marriage and love through a distortion lens. Meaning what we believe about love and marriage is skewed because of what we have been taught by our culture, which is manipulated by the enemy through influences who are not believers or followers of Christ.
If so, then our perspective of what sex and love should be like after marriage might be conflicting with the reality of what it actually is. This doesn’t mean marriage is a bad thing or a let down, rather our perspectives are leading to unmet expectations of something that is not true.
Let me give you an example: If culture raises a generation to believe marriage is suppose to be easy, and that sex is suppose to be easy and clean and take place all the time, and that good sex is evidence of a great marriage…then…when we get married and realize marriage is hard, that sex can be painful, messy, and sparing…we may believe based on the evidence that our marriage is not great and perhaps a big mistake. We are let down. We are disappointed. We want out. And to make matters worst, when our culture makes it acceptable to divorce, when we want out we get out. No accountability. No one telling the truth that divorce hurts.
Our perspectives about love and sex are wrong.
It is not some emotional and physical equation that proves what a good marriage is. True love is unconditional and it is a choice. Your choice! Real love is committing to the one we marry regardless of circumstance. Love is recognizing that life is not easy and that there is real pain, and being compassionate is a must.
Great sex doesn’t prove whether a married couple are still in love, them choosing to love each other unconditionally every day is proof that they are still in love.
It is time that we remove the perspectives about marriage we have gained from culture. It is time that we embrace reality and truth and unconditional love. It is time that we experience sex with our spouse out of an overflow of desire to be one with them. This is the beauty of marriage. It is real, it is raw, it is at times painful, and at best ecstasy, but all of it is a reflection of God’s beautiful love story…one in which His Son suffered because of unconditional love providing a way for all of humanity to experience oneness with God!
If you are experiencing painful sex, I am so sorry and I want you to know I get it! I share more details about my experience and my healing in my book The Unveiled Wife if you need a resource to help you! In the back of the book there is a list of things you can consider to help your situation as well.