This marriage blog was originally for women–married, Christian women, to be exact, although honestly anyone is welcome!
It’s about advice for marriage from a Christian perspective, and I deal with everything quite openly–including sex.
Most people who read here are women, and my hope and prayer is that we can become a real community where people can come when they have questions to real marriage problems we all face, but no good place to get answers in “real” life. Often we just don’t have people to talk to about some of our most intimate problems, and that’s one thing the internet is great for!
However, I also have some readers who aren’t women. Many husbands read this blog, and often make comments on some of my posts,
“I wish my wife would read this, but I don’t know how to ask her without getting her mad.”
Today, I want to write a post that these men can show their wives. And so I want to talk to you wives who are having a hard time when it comes to sex. A few years ago I wrote such a post, but I’d like to revamp it and run it again, because I have even more men reading now, and I’d like to write an intro for their wives.
I’ve written a lot online to help couples who are struggling with mismatched libidos have fun again! I wrote 31 Days to Great Sex, where we looked at all kinds of different aspects to sex–from getting over difficulties to learning how to enjoy it more to just plain learning to laugh together. And I wrote The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex to help women understand that sex is so much more than physical–it’s emotional and spiritual as well (and those emotional aspects often make the physical even better!).
Like this post so far? You should also check out:
And I guess I write so much about this because sex the area that is the most contentious, and often the most difficult, in marriage, because men and women approach it so differently. And many, many men are frustrated that their sex lives aren’t better, but it just doesn’t seem to be a priority to their wives. So guys, this is the post you can show your wife. Bookmark it, and email it to her, or ask her to read it and then you can talk about it later. I’m now going to talk to your wives and explain why you want her here.
Ready? Okay, here goes.
Ladies, thank you for reading this far.
I know you likely have your back up. Why does your husband want you to read something called “Bare Marriage”? And what’s all this stuff about sex? Are we just going to get into that fight again?
Let me try to answer those questions by telling you a little bit about who I am and where I’m coming from, which I really think will put you at ease. This blog is called Bare Marriage because my first book was called “Bare Marriage: When you feel more like a maid than a wife and a mother“. Many women get married thinking they’re signing up for a beautiful relationship, and five years in it feels more like a job. You run around taking care of everything else, and your whole life is one big to do list rather than a passionate adventure. What went wrong?
And so I started writing about how women can work on their relationships so they find joy again, and work on organizing their lives so it’s not so chaotic.
That’s what I started to focus on. I know what it is to feel as if you spend your whole life caring for everyone else, and no one seems to be caring for you (even if it’s simply because your hubby wants to, but he’s too busy).
But the more I wrote, the more I found my niche really writing about marriage. It’s not that I don’t write about parenting anymore; it’s just that marriage is where my heart is, because if the marriage relationship goes right, then the parenting will be so much easier. And the more I wrote about marriage, the more I started focusing on sex, until before you knew it, I became the “go to girl” for all things sex. And my main book was born out of that.
That doesn’t mean that sex has come easily for me.
It hasn’t. In fact, in the first few years of my marriage I spent most of my time crying about it. “Why does this have to be so hard, God?” I would ask. I think I now have the answer. It’s because God was preparing me for this. And when I say that I understand what it is to wish sex didn’t exist, I mean it. When I say that I know what it is to wonder if it will ever feel good, I’m telling the truth. When I say that I know what it is to be so sick and tired of fighting over it, I know that, too.
For me, the problem was that sex was painful, and at the same time I felt basically zero pleasure. But I had been taught my whole life that sex was a necessary part of marriage, and that my husband needed sex to feel loved, so I forced myself to “let” Keith have sex, even though it was hurting me. Sex became entirely about him, and not about me. And it was really, really dysfunctional.
So I know what it is to hate sex and see it as a burden.
But I also know the other side. I know how amazing it is when sex works well. I know what it is to really experience love when you make love. I know that it does feel stupendous. But it took a lot of work, a lot of humility, and a lot of refocusing of my priorities to get there. And now I can honestly say that I love my marriage!
In my surveys and in the comments to this blog, and as I talk to many men at marriage conferences, I find the commonality for so many of these guys is that they don’t just want more sex. They want their wife to be engaged in sex. They want to feel passion and intimacy together. They don’t actually WANT sex to be all about them. They feel that a lot of the traditional teaching on sex in marriage, like when the best-selling Christian marriage book Love & Respect teaches that sex is all about the husband’s physical release, is totally off. They sense there’s something far more than just physical release. There’s connection. There’s intimacy. There’s real relationship.
If your husband has sent you here, chances are that it does not mean he thinks there is something wrong with you. It does not mean he is mad at you. It does not mean he blames you for any problems in your marriage.
It means simply that he wants your marriage to thrive.
He wants it to be all that it can be. He doesn’t want to settle for mediocre; he wants it to be intimate, stupendous, exhilarating, safe, and uniting. He wants it to be joyous, and full of laughter, and full of real communion. And he thinks you really want that, too, but he’s worried that right now you’re not experiencing that together. And he wants to get past that–together.
Now, some men may be using sex as a weapon against you, and may be trying to control you. If that’s the case, this post on emotionally destructive marriages is more for you.
But most guys do want a great, mutual marriage. They don’t expect you to do all the work. They just want to find a starting point where you can begin the journey together and just talk openly about some of these things. Your husband may be hurting because he feels like both of you are missing out on all that marriage is supposed to be, and he doesn’t want to settle for that.
I have lived in a mediocre marriage, and I have lived in a stupendous, intimate marriage, and I can tell you that the latter is way better.
It is worth the effort. Maybe you’re upset because you thought you had a great marriage, and your husband obviously doesn’t. That’s okay. That just means that you still have room to grow–we all do. And if there are some areas where your spouse wants you to grow as a couple, don’t take that as a criticism of you. Take that for what it is: an indication that he loves you. He cherishes the marriage. He cherishes it so much that he doesn’t want to settle for anything less than the best.
Look, I do have a wonderful marriage, but in two weeks my husband and I will be speaking at a FamilyLife marriage conference in Whistler, British Columbia, and I know we will come home with some new tools and new thoughts about how to make our marriage better–because we always do. No marriage has ever “arrived”. No marriage is ever perfect. If your husband wants to work on something with you, that only means that he is committing himself even more fully to your marriage. That’s a good thing; not a bad thing! And if you can read what I have to say with an open mind and heart, I think you’ll find that you can get excited about what’s in store for your marriage, too!
And so I want to give you a challenge:
I really encourage you to try the 31 Days to Great Sex with your husband.
Don’t worry: It’s not 31 Days OF Great Sex. It’s 31 Days TO Great Sex. It’s 31 days of challenges that help you talk more, learn to flirt again, be more affectionate–and yes, even some steamy stuff. But it’s all about getting you to connect emotionally before you connect physically. And then getting you to feel truly intimate, too.
Isn’t that what we all really want?
Do you find it hard to talk about SEX?
If that’s too big a stretch, then I encourage you to sign up for my marriage emails. When you do, you’ll start getting weekly emails about how to build your friendship, your spiritual intimacy, your sex life–and even how to handle libido and hormones.
Now seriously, ladies–no pressure. If this is too much, I understand. But your husband really wants to be close to you. Please don’t give up. In fact, you can even start exploring some of what I write about how to combat some bad teaching about sex and what sex is really supposed to be here:
- Why Women’s Sexual Pleasure Matters
- Can We Talk about Men’s Sexual Needs in a Healthy Way?
- Godly Sex is Mutual Sex
- The Theology of the Clitoris
And then there are posts on how to make sex feel great, too! Tons of them, including:
Just start reading, and then you’ll find links to so many other things. I hope it helps you!
Welcome to the blog. I do hope you’ll come back.
And now, to my commenters: Many women will be showing up on this post as their intro to the blog. Do you have any words of wisdom for them? Any stories of how you felt before you started reading this? Or any favourite posts? Leave a comment to welcome them (and if you remember a post, but can’t find it, just tell me what it was about and I’ll pop the link in later!)