Sex is the Gift of Being in the Moment. And that Is a Gift!

by | Feb 6, 2019 | Uncategorized | 27 comments

Merchandise is Here!

I don’t live in the moment well–and that can make sex more difficult.

I’m a woman, and like most women, I have a million things going on in my head at any one time: What’s for dinner tomorrow night (and did I remember to take something out of the freezer?); what birthday gift do I need to buy; what errand did I forget to do today; what do I do about my friend who seems distant; etc. etc. etc.

It’s never ending.

And it saps my joy. In fact, it’s one of the biggest joy sappers that I have.

When I hear people talking about the difference between men and women, and how men have a “nothing” box where they can go and think about absolutely nothing, I get insanely jealous. When I read that Men are Like Waffles and Women Are Like Spaghetti, and that men can jump between boxes without the last box impeding on the first, while women have these threads noodling into every area of our lives–well, I want to know how that feels. I want to be in a box without all the worries and cares of the world.

Every month, I like to find a new theme to develop on Wednesdays, and this month I want to talk about intimacy, and how to stay close to each other. I actually started talking about it last week, when I was talking about “Indivisible”, and how important it is to keep talking about the hard stuff. But I want to continue that theme in different ways throughout November. How do we feel connected? Why don’t we feel close? How can we improve that?

As we start our talk about intimacy, I thought I’d start with something super basic–how sex can help focus us.

Now, normally I’d write a “how to” piece about that, like what to do if something’s not working, or how to make something better in your life–and we’ll certainly do some of that this month.

But I want to start with a bit of gratitude.

One of the things that I so appreciate about how God made sex is that I am learning, ever so slowly, to be in the moment. I am learning to be in a box.

And it is good.

I think God made women’s bodies the way He did as a gift.

Sex isn’t just the gift of feeling close, or just the gift of feeling pleasure. Sex is the gift from God that, just for a few moments,  you can just BE. You can just experience. And it’s that raw passion that brings you together, because you don’t have that with anybody else.

Here’s how it works: As I’ve talked about before, for women to enjoy sex, we have to be able to get out of our heads and concentrate on our bodies. If our heads aren’t engaged, our bodies don’t follow. That’s why we’re so distractible! You could be having a great time in bed, and enjoying everything that’s happening, but then the stray thought enters your brain–“is there milk in the fridge?”

You didn’t mean to think about milk. But once you do, you can’t stop. And now you’re rattling off a whole grocery list in your head, and pleasure has completely collapsed.

When we don’t pay attention to our bodies, sex feels meh.

For sex to feel good, we have to train ourselves to forget about everything else, and just to feel what’s happening NOW.

Of course, that can be a bit of work, and it isn’t always easy. It means learning to give up control. It means getting your head in the game!

But when you do, you’re finally able to be totally focused on just what’s going on right now. No guilt about what you should be doing, or what you’ve left undone. No voices telling you something else you should be doing. You’re just here. YOU. With the man that you love. And that’s enough.

That’s the gift.

I think if it were easy for women to feel pleasure even if we did have 15 things going through our heads then we’d never be able to fully relax. But because we need to learn to let it all go, well, then it shows us that God wants us to let it all go sometimes. God wants us to just BE.

In many ways, that makes sex purer.

I don’t mean pure in a morality way (although it certainly is that in marriage, too). I mean pure in the sense that this can be all there is. Just like Ivory soap says that it’s 99.44% pure, or whatever they claim, for those few moments, you can be totally 99.44% focused in the moment–focused on your husband and you, together.

It’s like what C.S. Lewis wrote in his book The Four Loves, about Eros. He says:

[W]e are more ourselves when fully clothed. By nudity the lovers cease to be John and Mary; the universal He and She are emphasized.

When we’re naked together, all the other concerns that are unique to us cease, and it becomes simply about a raw hunger and a love that is actually quite pure. Being able to experience that–that is a gift.

Are you ready to spice things up?

Check out my 31 Day challenge that you do with your spouse. Super easy–just read a few pages a night and do what it says. Learn to talk more, flirt more, be more affectionate, spice things up, deal with baggage, and so much more!

No blaming. Just solutions–and a whole lot of fun!

This is easier for me to do as I get older.

Maybe it’s because my children aren’t small anymore, or because I’m more at peace with myself. But I am noticing that as I am able to let all else go while we make love, it gets easier to do that at other times, too. In effect, feeling close to Keith THEN makes it easier for me to experience life unimpeded at other times, too.

I can stop washing the dishes and just appreciate the sunset.

I can stop reading the news and just listen to the praise song that is singing, and not do anything else.

I can just stretch and experience how good that feels without thinking, “I should hurry up and get back to work.”

This month we’ll be talking about how to foster intimacy, and how to make sure you feel close. But I wanted to start the month on the right foot, just saying that sex truly is a gift, on so many levels. Sometimes we make it more complicated than it needs to be. And increasingly, that lesson (“don’t make things more complicated than they need to be”) is what I am learning.

And so I breathe deeply.

I know Keith loves me.

I think about how much he loves me.

I’m able to just enjoy the moment.

I’m able to enjoy life.

And that’s good.

So as we start this month, can I encourage you all to think about what you have to be grateful for when it comes to sex and intimacy? That can set the stage well for the challenges that may follow!

And now–breathe.

Sex is the Gift of Being in the Moment

Let me know in the comments–do you know what I mean about the gift of being fully present? Do you have trouble with turning off multitasking, too? Let’s talk!

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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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27 Comments

  1. Phil

    My wife will spin circles around most people. She is a task master. Grace and I were talking about this topic last week. I have been catching her doing nothing more and more lately. I call nothing reading a book or news or watching TV. She says she compartmentalizes things. I think not. Recently, she actually got up in the middle of intercourse one morning and said I need to get the kids ready for school or they will miss the bus and she got dressed and left me hanging to go get the kids. I was like what? Sure she apologized – and it is what it is. There was no reason we couldnt have driven them that day. So I get the nothing in a box. Not an issue for me lol. I can sit on my front porch with a cup of coffee and watch nature for hours without any guilt. I call that peace. I ask my wife to join me quite often and she will but not for any more than 10-15mins maybe. By my calculations our sex life is in the toilet right now. We had a bunch of stessors with sickness and holiday messes and a conversation that triggered a disconnect that has been going on in the sex department since December. I believe it stems from our past. She says not but I disagree. So how can I help her be more present? I am giving her space. I am removing MYSELF from her and our sex life. I am done pushing her. So I have thrown in the towel for a while. I have decided I am not leading this effort for now. It is on her. Since I read 5 love languages about a year and half ago I have made sure her cup is full in every catagory as best I can. I have tried to spur her to review materials that will help her and help us in our sex lives and truly I want her to enjoy sex! Cuz honestly – when she enjoys sex I enjoy it more! I truly can say that my favorite sexual activity is being part of my wife enjoying sex. She probably wouldnt buy that but it is true. She just wont let me help her enjoy it. So banging my head against the wall is not working so I am changing my approach. I have chased her for 20 some years. Maybe its time for change. I am not giving up. I am just going into surrender and acceptance mode for a re-evaluation. My wife is a strong woman and I love her dearly. She has lead me before in many areas of our life and I am going to see if she will lead me here on her own accord without me iniatiating. I will stay present. No I am not going to find a new hobby. No I am not going to stop filling her cup. I am going to fill it more gently and less directly and more slowly. I am not going to crawl in a shell and mistreat her because my sex life isnt working. I am going to wait and watch and pateintly follow her lead. I am ready to be present for her in our sex life. When she is ready it will be good.

    Reply
    • Bethany

      Hi Phil, I keep thinking about this comment, and I am wondering if you have talked to your wife about her mental load at all – like the life-managerial stuff, remembering everything that needs to happen in the household, all the little details that need remembering. I find that it is this stuff, this mental weight, that makes it hard for me personally to be in the moment, and I know a lot of women feel responsible for remembering everything and keeping stuff going. Talking with my husband about it helps a lot. Anyhow, I wish you much health and joy in your marriage. You talk about your wife so tenderly and respectfully, and it is really beautiful.

      Reply
      • Molly

        I agree with Bethany. When my husband talks about the stuff in my head and makes me feel like its important to him too, it takes the weight off it off of my shoulders and i can relax. And usually, it’s stuff that benefits him too, or things that he’s responsible for but is maybe is slacking on. Like if we have sex before church, it’s nice when he makes sure we all eat breakfast and i get everyone dressed. I feel closer to him when he shares my burden.

        Reply
      • Phil

        Oh Bethany thank You so much. I got a chill from reading your note and a big smile. thank you thank you thank you. I really appreciate your insight and I have been working on taking away the mental drag from my wife and I so get that sex is not just about physical but everything balanced. My comment may have seemed like a bit of a downer but the bottom line is regardless of our past individually and as a couple I know that there could be so much more for our marriage, sex being a part of that and in my case my wife likes to give me fix me sex which means when I’m in a bad mood or she feels disconnected etc we will have sex so it changes me and I’m done with that. I recognized that there are some patterns in our Sex life that aren’t healthy on her part. of course I have my own stuff. I can only change me. so my newfound approach is already working. I want sex for her. I want her to enjoy sex. I want her to enjoy me. I want us to enjoy sex together. I know we can have that so I’ve set a boundary. first she has to initiate and second sex must be focused on her at this point. we have talked and I told her these things and what I can tell you is so far the results have been beautiful. this is a bit live and I know sometimes I share a bit too much around here but I think it is inportant to talk about this stuff. today I was able to give to her 100% without taking any thing from sex. that’s how I want it to be for a while. I am not sure what her issue is. we tried 31 days to great sex and got stuck at Day five which is all about focusing on her. That book has been put away for over year and I’ve been doing. Day fiveWithout saying anything as much as I can for the past year. It wasn’t working. let me tell you how great it feels to be able to give and get nothing in return. wow. There is a challenge for me physically but who cares! I feel so great I can give to her. I know we will make it through this season of our sex life and I know it will be good. again thank you so much for reaching out and talking to me I really appreciate everyone here thank you.

        Reply
    • Phil

      I would like to add that my wife is dual love language meaning she likes physical touch and acts of service as her #1 love languge. I fill that cup as high as I can and spill it over as best I can. In lihht of your comments Thank yoh momly as well…my weak areas are laundry and bes times with kids. So I am now going to add in a focus on that in effort to reduce her drag. I really do appreciate your comment and I intend on acting on it. Thanks.

      Reply
      • Phil

        Thank you Molly not momly lol.

        Reply
        • Molly

          Haha you’re welcome my brother actually calls me Momly lol.

          Reply
          • Phil

            Thats too funny. Also I need to clarify. I Had a brain bubble. My wife’s love language is #1 physical touch and quality time and #2 acts of service. So while I would never consider my wife high maintenance, I do have my work cut out for me. Its ok though. I love it. 😀

  2. Erin

    Is it still “pure” if I have no feelings of love and neither does he? We both agree love can just be a verb but when it’s never a noun it starts to feel dirty.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Do you mean that sex is more about animal passions and not about love? Is that what you mean? Or that you don’t feel love for each other in general?

      Reply
  3. Erin

    We don’t feel love for each other in general. And the common Christian advice is “fake it until you make it” or “love is a verb not a feeling”. But it still makes sex really hard to look forward to or enjoy when there are no feelings of love.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      That is hard! I will say that most people find friendship again before they find love or sex. Obviously you once felt something for each other, but life has gotten in the way. Can you find things to do together, or start just spending time together again? I do have a free emotional connection email course that may help. And I am sorry! Hang in there.

      Reply
  4. Kate

    Sheila, i learned about men’s “nothing” box when i was a young girl. One afternoon my dad was sitting on the couch staring out the window, and i remember asking, “dad, what are you thinking about?” he replied, “nothing.” I was so confused. I asked him how he can think about nothing. He said, he just can. And then i was given the book, men are like waffles and women are like spaghetti and it all made sense. lol! If i attempted to think about nothing, i would think about the nothing i was trying not to think about. You know what i mean. It won’t work! ahahha.

    Reply
    • Natalie

      I always laugh when people talk about meditation (in the non-Christian sense) and “clear your mind”…. like, HOW?!?!?! If there’s a void, it’s gonna be filled asap! :p haha. Thankfully, there are a lot of things to think about and focus on during sex that keep you in the moment.

      Reply
      • Kate

        Exactly! I tried to clear my mind and 2 seconds later i was thinking about SOMETHING! That’s probably why the Bible tells us to meditate on the scriptures because an empty mind will eventually be filled with something and when it does it better be the word of God. Sometimes i’m suspicious about this “nothing” box. Does it REALLY exist? Due to the Bible telling us not to empty our minds. Oh, well. Everyone will answer to God on their own, i just need to be concerned about myself. 🙂

        Reply
        • Madeline

          Where does the Bible say not to empty your mind? I know it tells us to meditate on the scripture. Just curious if you had a passage to point me to.

          Reply
  5. Natalie

    Maybe it’s hard for me to relate to this post or think of ways I have or could apply this concept in my life because either I’ve never experienced this or haven’t gotten to that stage in our marriage or my life yet. But I have some questions:

    Firstly, I should say that while I’m a decent multitasker, I’ve also always been good at putting thoughts aside to enjoy beauty or enjoy a particular moment I want to savor. I’m also very good at focusing on my body and the sensations it’s feeling and visualizing what’s going on (something I attribute to years of pilates and other forms of exercise that engage the mind as well as the brain… not “meditation” per se like yoga, but more being conscious of what your body is doing in that moment and making sure you have the proper form so you get the most out of that specific move). So when I reflect on my sex life, I honestly don’t think that my issue is being in the moment or allowing my mind to wander. The only thing I can think of that may be distracting me in the moment is my husband’s weight and how he looks physically (there’s lots of jiggling during sex that really distracts me), which I know I need to get over since I can’t change him, but honestly, that’s a SUPER hard, mental hurdle for me to jump that I haven’t been able to achieve yet in 5 years of marriage and 10 years of being with him.

    So when you said “Sex is the gift from God that, just for a few moments, you can just BE. You can just experience,” I was wondering if you’re talking more about the physical, emotional, or spiritual aspect of sex, or all of the above. Because I find that even when I’m in the moment and feeling really connected to my husband, I just can’t get to the point where sex feels good or sexually pleasurable for me unless my clitoral vibrator is involved. I honestly wonder why this is. I really don’t think it’s my mental state or random thoughts coming into my head, cuz I’m definitely in the moment during sex and I want to feel connected to him and I want sex to feel good…. SO BADLY!!! For the longest time, I thought maybe I was part of the 10% of women that was incapable of experiencing an orgasm. My husband suspected the same thing, so perhaps due to that, he didn’t spend as much time on me as he should have because our experience together had shown that 30-60 minutes wasn’t enough for me to orgasm but was definitely enough time for him to lose heart and get demotivated / feel deflated cuz he couldn’t please his wife. But getting a vibrator changed all that and showed us both that my body is not only capable of an orgasm, but multiple orgasms back to back/ toe-curling / full body orgasms / etc… ya know, the stuff you read about in articles as the epitome of what the female body is capable of sexually. Well, there’s no doubt in our minds now that I am physically capable of all that. However, my husband can’t seem to get me there on his own without using a vibrator (something he’s actually totally okay with because it means less work for him and guarantees I’ll orgasm during every sexual encounter we have… way less stress for him. But I wish he was willing to put a little more effort in and practice more with his hands and mouth instead of just touching me down there for 30 seconds to a couple minutes, sticking his fingers inside to rummage around, then go for the vibrator since it’ll get me there in 2-5 minutes, which is about how long it’ll take him to orgasm too). I’m super happy I can orgasm now and it feels amazing! But sex still feels so unfulfilling… like I know we could be having SUCH a better sex life than we currently have (though, sadly, this is the best our sex life has ever been).

    Reply
    • Natalie

      I guess that’s a long way of saying this: does it sound like my inability to orgasm from my husband alone is due to something other than my ability to mentally let go? I’ve gotten over the “good Christian girls don’t _____” mentality which I had when we first got married cuz that was a hard transition for me to make (total virgin to full-on sex regularly). And I’ve gotten over my body image issues I had when I was younger too (something I actually think pregnancy helped with a lot). I’ve never been physically, emotionally or sexually abused; I had a wonderful upbringing with lots of love. I’m able to pretty easily get in the moment mentally like your article talks about and put aside distractions and focus on having “us time”. The only thing that leaves that I can think of is the physical interaction between my husband and me, and how much/what type of touching that entails. Maybe that’s what’s not enough? I just don’t know what else it could be that’s holding me back! It’s so frustrating!

      Reply
      • LS

        Hey Natalie,
        I sometimes find that if there’s something going on between me and my husband outside of the bedroom, even just a low grade irritant, and then something happens during foreplay to remind me of that friction I get tense without even realizing it and my husband’s efforts begin to irritate me. It sounds horrible, but what felt great yesterday is bothersome to me today – and it’s because of an almost imperceptible shift in my emotional state. I’ve had to learn to bring my emotional state back to the present more than my mental state. I’ve followed your story a little bit in the comments (in our marriage I’m the obese spouse), could it be that seeing a reminder of all the times your husband has disappointed you with his health choices is causing a shift in you emotionally that prevents you from enjoying sex? I find that I can still disassociate and climax ( sex is always great/fulfilling physically), but afterwards I feel hollow and empty. Could that be a contributor to your feelings towards sex? Just a few thoughts.

        Reply
        • Natalie

          Thanks for your input LS. Honestly, that’s the only thing I can think of. That and the fact that his weight and body image have been an issue for so long that I’ve never experienced sex with him where I was 110% visually and physically turned on completely. (May be TMI, but I feel like I’ve always needed penetration first before the natural lubricants start flowing. But even then, penetration isn’t anything special, definitely not orgasm-inducing). Plus, he knows that I’m turned off by his current physical state, so I don’t think he’s as (hmm, what word is best) “unbridled” as he could be in the bedroom. And the more confident he is and the more turned on I am, I feel like the more likely it’d be that we’d try new things (namely he’d try new techniques and positions on me, since we’re rather limited on that right now) that would lead to my orgasm. But again, this is all just a theory I have in my head. I’m not sure if this is even a valid idea, or something I’ve just told myself or an excuse I’ve made to make myself feel better. And when I ask my husband about what he thinks, he’s not much help and often doesn’t want to even talk about the subject, so I’m not quite sure what else to do.

          Reply
    • Kate

      I just want to add Natalie, the more you use the vibrator the less you will be able to orgasm by your husband. A human being can never outperform a machine. Once you train your body to do something you will have to retrain it back to its original state. I’m saying this as someone who once used a vibrator and was able to orgasm in 1 minute and couldn’t orgasm with my hands no longer. I knew then, if i had trained my body to respond to a machine then there is no way i could orgasm with my future husband. I gave it up after only 1 year and now am able to orgasm with my fingers. I retrained my body.

      I think you’re fighting a losing battle. Get rid of the vibrator and go back to retraining your body to respond to his touches. Whatever your issue is the vibrator is only exasperating the problem not solving it. And i wish you the best! 🙂

      Reply
      • Natalie

        Yeah, I’ve thought about that a lot, Kate. That was the primary reason I didn’t jump on buying a vibrator when I realized on our honeymoon that I wasn’t orgasming. That’s why I waited and gave it 5 years of trying to see if an orgasm would happen. It didn’t. Honestly, I’m glad I now have the assurance that I’m able to orgasm. That was becoming an issue for not only me but my husband too. And now, a part of me thinks that idk if my husband will ever be able to make me orgasm. Heck, I was never even able to make myself orgasm on my own before introducing a vibrator. I also don’t know if my husband’s endurance or desire to make me climax will ever change. So the way I see it, I can orgasm now with a machine or ditch the machine and never orgasm again and go back to the way I was. :/
        Also, I’ve noticed that if I go several weeks without using it, I do return to my normal sensitivities. Yes, I may be used to orgasming with a machine, but I’m pretty sure that if I was adequately turned on and he took his time and had the right technique (which I’m still not sure what that even is or means), I’d be able to orgasm without the vibrator. Using the vibrator has taught me what it feels like leading up to an orgasm, and has also helped me learn mental control of my orgasms too. It’s just a matter of somehow, someday being able to get to that same state without it and only my husband.

        Reply
        • Sarah O

          Hi Natalie,

          I’ve been reading your comments, and I really do feel for you and think your husband should be taking stewardship of his body more seriously for lots of reasons, not the least of which is your well-being. I get it, I really do. However, this may be one area where the first step is about controlling your thoughts (listen to Sheila’s last podcast.

          I know there are some issues in your marriage, but they sound like pretty normal (not unimportant, just normal) marriage issues, and that your husband has a lot of good qualities. You now know you are able to reach orgasm, and you also know that you don’t have trouble being “in the moment”. Even if he started today, your husband can’t fix the weight issue overnight. Christ loved us while we were still sinners, and we’re supposed to love each other that same way. Ignore his behavior for a minute – how would you behave differently if your husband were physically fit? Challenge yourself to start behaving that way now. Pray for a heart that sees your husband the way God sees him and to start loving the way you want to love – NOW. I don’t mean you should stop confronting issues, but that you don’t withhold love or affection or enthusiasm that he would otherwise get. I’m not saying to fake it either, but just to pray that your heart softens toward your husband. Focus your mind on his good qualities and the good things he’s done recently.

          Second, accept that learning how to get enjoyment from your husband will require training. Learning how to orgasm wth my husband was difficult, and because I find sex pleasurable he used to not feel much motivation to make sure I had one (you enjoyed yourself didn’t you?) I enjoyed it but after being sort of abandoned mid-stride enough times, my body stopped trusting him. His touch would actually turn me off because my body didn’t want to get all worked up and then left frustrated. After a while, I no longer even found sex pleasureable, but something to clench my teeth and get through, which of course then bred resentment and bitterness.

          Happy ending though – I finally actually SAID something (more on all my communication issues another time). He was honestly not aware and was more than happy to put in some extra effort.

          The first time my husband gave me an orgasm, it took a really long time. Like more than an hour. For some time after that, it was really difficult and sometimes one or both of us would wear out before I could get there.

          But slowly, over time, he rebuilt trust with my body. My body learned that he was committed to following through and that it was ok to let the guard down and enjoy!

          Now, it is generally 10 minutes or less (yes, really!) I generally get a turn 2 out of 3 times, and I am the one who decides whether I want to sit this one out and just enjoy the closeness.

          So it can be done, and it does get WAY easier. I hope it might help you both to know that – it can be pretty daunting in the beginning when it takes so much effort, but it pays off!

          Ps – we’ve been married 5 years, together for 14 years, and we’re in our early- mid 30s if it makes any difference.

          Reply
          • Natalie

            Thanks for your advise Sarah. Something you said really stood out to me:
            “I enjoyed it but after being sort of abandoned mid-stride enough times, my body stopped trusting him. His touch would actually turn me off because my body didn’t want to get all worked up and then left frustrated. After a while, I no longer even found sex pleasurable, but something to clench my teeth and get through, which of course then bred resentment and bitterness.” That’s literally exactly what I’ve felt and dealt with too. Heck, I still do feel that way. Sure, his weight is an issue because it’s a constant visual reminder of all the times I’ve tried to help him and he’s just shoved it back in my face and done the complete opposite. His unwillingness to find the determination to lose the weight, too, makes me feel like 1) he doesn’t care about how it makes me feel or how it affects me emotionally/mentally, 2) he doesn’t care about being healthy and being here for me and his family for the long haul, and 3) he doesn’t value my sexual response and pleasure as much as he values his own. I think that last point is further strengthened in my mind by his lack of desire or willingness to put in the time needed to make me orgasm. And that’s rooted in years of reinforcing, like you said, “my body not trusting him” due to time after time having my engines revved but then being let down and not going anywhere.

            Last summer, we worked our way through 31 Days To Great Sex (ended up getting pregnant again too due to the increase frequency of sex, lol). It was a lot of fun and forced us to do more sexual things on a daily basis, which was good and what we needed (whereas, for the year or two leading up to that, we probably had sex 10-12 times each year and no sexual contact other than those 10-12 PIV encounters). But even after the 31 days, I still wasn’t anymore orgasmic than I was before. My mentality about sex had changed, but my body still didn’t trust him and I still had (and still do) have a lot of mental barriers put up, I think, largely due to what I’ve mentioned above.

            I will say, I think I’m way less harsh on him in my mind than I was last summer and before. I’ve been praying a lot for God to soften my heart towards him and help me look past his fat and everything that represents to me. And while that has gotten night and day better and thus improved our marriage and relationship too, I find I still have these mental hang-ups or distrust or whatever you want to call it that get in the way of having a great sex life and a great, trust-filled marriage. I’m kinda at the point now where I don’t even know if there’s more I can do. Perhaps there is and I’m just not trusting God enough or I’m not totally willing to remove all the barriers I’ve put up. But on the flip side, perhaps the ball is in his court and he needs to rebuild his trust with me, which is something I can’t do for him. We’ve talked about this too, and he agrees that he needs to work on his physical and spiritual life and rebuild trust with me (which he’s already started doing since installing Covenant Eyes months ago, but hasn’t done anything yet on the weight loss front). I feel like ones that trust is rebuilt, it’ll be easier for me to be more trusting in bed in the emotional sense. I’m not self-conscious about my body or new positions or the noises I may make or stuff like that. But if I really think about it, I think what the primary issue is is that I feel like I can’t trust him completely because he’s continuously let me down in several aspects of his life. I’m not sure how to get past that.

          • Sarah O

            Wow Natalie – that is a lot going on! Not to mention all the stuff that pregnancy and childbirth does toyihr body while you’re workin your way through that (we have 3 under 4).

            Honestly though – it sounds like you are definitely putting in the effort – and starting to see results from it. You should be so so proud of that progress! It is such hard work when you’ve got all these hurts to work through. Look at what you’ve accomplished so far:

            – completed 31 days. FYI, we got to day 5, couldn’t find a babysitter, got distracted, and now it’s been sitting on our “to-do list…that’s fantastic that you both stuck it out until the end!

            – increased sexual frequency – that is an improvement!

            – “im way less harsh on him in my mind” HUGE

            – “I’m praying to God a lot to soften my heart toward my husband”. YES! I have to constantly reign myself back in to make sure I’m praying for my husband REGULARLY, but it makes a huge difference when I do!

            I think you should be so so proud of those changes. Every one of those took enormous work. Rebuilding trust, training your body, and mutual learning about your partner takes work, consistency, and time.

            It sounds to me like you may not be stuck, just moving slower than you would like. I’ll be praying that things accelerate for you and hubby to reach the life you dream of, but in the meantime don’t miss the fact that movement is happening!

  6. H

    I find it so very difficult to be in the moment, and yes, that is probably my #1 struggle with sex, and even intimacy in general. My hubby and I talk about this a lot so I am happy with your choice of this month’s focus. I always just wish I knew *how* to be in the moment, but the problem is that it’s just as much about what you’re NOT doing or thinking as what you are. Kind of funny if you think about it, but also pretty frustrating. I don’t know whether I’m supposed to be trying or not trying! Ha ha 🙂
    I’m glad to hear that it gets easier as you get older (or at least in your case), but in my mid-twenties, five years into my marriage, with three (very little) littles, it seems so far away! My marriage needs me to learn this sooner rather than later 🙂 Anyway, I hope I learn a lot from your series this month.

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  7. Becky

    Ugh, this is so hard. I definitely get the random housework/kid thoughts distracting me bit. Though, honestly, I think that fighting vaginismus makes it a lot harder than it probably should be. I mean, how do I just let go and be in the moment when my brain has to be fully focused on things like forcibly keeping my pelvic floor muscles from freaking out? In a situation like that, I don’t know where to even begin to focus on anything that I might find pleasurable, let alone ever figure out how to actually orgasm. It’s so frustrating. Any suggestions?

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