PODCAST EXTRAS: How 2019 Changed Me–and How Growth is the Word for 2020!

by | Jan 2, 2020 | Podcasts | 13 comments

Podcast Year in Review 2019

2019 was a watershed year for me.

I’m talking about it more in tomorrow’s post, when I share the behind-the-scenes look at how my goals and mission changed in 2019 when I finally got woken up to how much destructive teaching about sex is swirling around the church.

But today, Rebecca and I talked about it, as we shared some of the top posts from 2019, and where I hope to head in 2020.

But first, here’s the podcast.

Our Top Posts

This week I spent some time looking back over the last year, to see what posts and podcasts resonated the most for people. Listen in to Rebecca and me analyzing some of them, but check out these round-up posts for all of the top ones!


What People Are Learning on Bare Marriage

I highlighted a great comment left this week by Nathan, who talked about what he was learning by reading the blog. He said:

If you ever want to start a list of “top things that people have learned on your site”, here are the two biggest things I’ve learned…

1. Despite the stereotype, Porn is NOT just consumed only by single men or men whose wives have lost interest in sex. That last one in fact is extremely rare. Often, especially among married couples, porn use predates the marriage and continues afterward. In fact, it’s fare more common that porn leads to a sexless marriage than the other way around.

2. Extensive porn use actually rewires your brain so that you PREFER to watch a screen than be with a real live woman, and in fact this site has many posts from wives who will literally BEG their husbands to have sex with them but are refused as he would rather watch porn.

Absolutely. But while these are really heavy and sad, I think being aware of the impact of porn is actually empowering, because now we’re equipped to fight it! To learn more about these things, check out:

And check out these resources, too!

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COMMENT: Thank you for being a voice for domestic violence victims!

I shared an email that came in from a woman who has now escaped an abusive marriage (her husband is in jail for child abuse). But through it all, the church told her she had to stay and it was a sin to leave. This breaks my heart.

And so in the podcast I share my heart for the body of Christ. It’s real. It’s healing. But not every church is actually the body of Christ. Here are ten signs you may be in a legalistic church:

10 signs you may be focused more on rules than on Jesus

Reader Question: How Can I Turn My Marriage Around?

I want to end with this one, because it summarizes where a lot of couples find themselves. A woman writes:


My husband and I have been married for a decade and have several young children. To be blunt, I believe we have fallen out of love. I have told myself for a while that if we just survive these years with the kids, we will be OK. 1. I realized lately that my marriage shouldn’t be surviving kids but thriving. 2. I’m not sure how much of marriage will be left to salvage. To make it all worse, I don’t believe we are attracted to each other anymore. I can only speaking for myself in saying that is the case. Intimacy has become a once a week check mark off my list. We need help and I don’t know where to even start.

I think a lot of people are there–wondering how the marriage got so distant.

To be blunt, I’ll sum up with this: If your marriage isn’t going well, it’s not going to suddenly turn around unless you start doing things differently.

If what you’re doing isn’t working, then you’ve got to find a new way of doing things.

It’s the new year, and that’s a great time to start new habits and get into new routines! And there’s an awesome resource available right now that can help you do just that. The Ultimate Productivity Bundle is filled with ebooks, ecourses, membership sites, and printables to help you build routines, get organized, manage your time, set realistic goals, map your life, overcome obstacles, review and reflect, and shift your mindset to build the life you know God wants for you–a life where you ARE thriving and not just surviving, because you’re emphasizing your priorities.

I love these bundles and am eager to start working through this one this weekend, especially the section on mapping your life. The bundle is filled with $2800 in resources, but it’s for sale for just $47–but only until next Wednesday. Get it today for the early bird deal, and you’ll also receive the #goalcrushers mastermind course–for free.

Ultimate Productivity Bundle

Check it out now!

Often when we get the rest of our life more manageable, it’s so much easier to work on our marriage.

And what about your marriage? Build your friendship first.

But my best advice is to take an emotional needs inventory together. I’ve got free printables to help you with that!

That’s it for the podcast today!

Let me ask you the question that Nathan answered: Have you learned anything surprising from the blog? Let’s talk in the comments!

Written by

Sheila Wray Gregoire


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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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  1. SmittenedinKC

    Welcome back! Hope your holiday was refreshing and life giving. I look forward to journeying with you through this year.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thank you so much! I did have a lovely Christmas. We played so many board games, too! It was wonderful being with family (and with the new baby!).

  2. Nathan

    Thanks for putting my post on your list! I really have learned a lot on this site, and it’s fun being here.
    And what you said “when I finally got woken up to how much destructive teaching about sex is swirling around the church.” comes in pretty high on my own list, too. I knew that this happened here and there, but I didn’t realize the extent and depth of it until I got here.
    Especially heartbreaking is the woman who was basically told by her church “stay in your marriage even if he’s abusing you and your kids”. Not good in any way.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      It really isn’t. I honestly was so naive. I really thought that most people were just searching for healthy marriages, and it just stunned me to see the depths of bad and dangerous teaching out there. There’s a lot of good, too, of course, but some of these myths and hurtful things, like a large part of the purity culture, persist. It’s just been shocking. Up here in Canada the church culture really is quite different than a lot of the U.S., and so I didn’t understand how deep a lot of this stuff went. It’s been eye-opening for sure. But there are such amazing churches, too, and that’s what I want people to know. You don’t need to leave church. You just need to find Jesus. And if He’s not in your church, that doesn’t mean you can’t find Him in community. It just may mean you need to find a different community.

  3. Nathan

    Oh, yes. Many good churches out there. Our is pretty good. We pray for all people everywhere and work with other churches and groups worldwide. We even realize that the “submission” verses apply to husbands and wives equally!
    We still need to work past the idea of “Wives, have sex with your husbands because HE needs it, and if you don’t, he’ll lust and it’s YOUR FAULT”. Other than that, though, we’re a pretty good place. We like to quote that line from Augustine (slightly paraphrased) “In essentials, unity; in non essentials, freedom; in all things, love”

  4. AspenP

    I have learned to have hope for healing my marriage. We’ve come a long way, but it has been so cool to get some healing sexually even if it is just getting freedom from false beliefs I have carried about sex.
    I had figured we would always be in this stuck place because I didn’t know blogs like this existed.
    I feel like I binge-read post after post this year FINALLY hearing Christian Sex-Ed in a holy and God-honoring way.

  5. Chris

    I disagree on one point. I think that the reasons people start or continue to use porn are numerous. I am sure that in a lot of marriages porn use predated the union. But i am also sure that it can start well into a marriage, a sexless one or not. I really am not comfortable with this narrow view of male sexuality; either he’s horny all the time or ladies, he’s on the porn!! Uh, no. There are a lot of reasons why a man may not be interested in sex and believe it or not, they don’t all involve porn. I think it sells men short to paint it that way. It is to some extent the same view of men that the secular world has. How sad that the Christian world is following suit? But just as there are many reasons why a man may not want sex, there are also many reasons why he might start using porn. It could be a deep seated childhood issue or yes, it could be because his wife is not interested in sex anymore.

  6. Nathan

    Chris, you’re very correct that not all men are high sex drive engines of testosterone. Some men have a low sex drive, and some men go up or down in their desire. So no, don’t just assume that a man is into porn just because he doesn’t want sex all the time, but Sheila and this website appear to understand that.
    And also you’re correct in that there are SOME men who watch porn because their wife has lost interest in sex. Studies have shown that this is a very small group, but it does exist, and my heart goes out to them, and anybody who is being deprived of their physical or emotional needs in a marriage.
    I believe that Sheila and the bulk of posters on this site understand that, and sympathize with those who are deprived, but because it’s such a small group, sites like this usually focus on the opposite end: Men who came into a marriage addicted to porn or who started watching it even while their marital sex life was very good.

  7. Nathan

    One other comment…
    There’s a poster named Phil who works with men who are addicted to porn. Of all the men he’s worked with, he reports that NONE OF THEM have ever used the excuse “I only watch it because my wife will no longer have sex with me”.
    That doesn’t mean that this group doesn’t exist, just that they’re a very small group numerically. But here’s the interesting thing…
    On other sites, I’ve seen a few posts from men who say that this applies to them: They almost never looked at porn, then got married, then had a good sex life, then the wife lost interest, and they turned to porn out of desperation.
    But, I’ve never seen any commentary on any web site from the wife in that situation. In other words, I’ve never seen a woman say that everything was great, then she lost interest in sex, then her husband turned to porn, and she’s heartbroken about it.

  8. Natalie

    Great podcast, Sheila & Rebecca!!! So hopefully for & looking forward to 2020!

  9. Ken Brigden

    Hi Sheila,
    I am so glad that you are speaking out about the book “Love and Respect”. I read the book several years ago and it did not sit right with me. Now, after hearing testimonies from your readers and listeners about how destructive the book was to them I think you are right to speak up.
    I am a Christian husband of 30 years. I would not want my young married kids or any of their friends to be exposed to this type of teaching.
    I sent an email to Focus On The Family Canada and recommended that they remove the book and all related materials from their web site and teaching.
    Instead of focussing on why “Love and Respect” is so flawed, I would rather promote marriage materials that are positive, so I am looking forward to your new books.
    Thank you for all of your great material!

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thank you, Ken! I have one more post coming about Love & Respect and Focus on the Family, because I have one more big thing to say, and then I hope I can put it all to rest, too. There is so much to say, because it’s been used to hurt so many, and I do think the critique has to be thorough. But then I’d really like to move on as well. There’s so much to say that can get people going in a better direction!

  10. Hopequre qure

    Thanks for sharing informative content,


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