Wrapping it all up

July 28, 2009

in Series, Sexuality

I suspect these tips on sex have not been what some of you expected – or wanted. I know many of you want ideas on what to do in bed to make sex better. I will continue to give some such tips from time to time. I know some of you want to know how to get your wife to want or enjoy sex more (or at all :-x ) . I do what I can on this, but unless your behaviour is the major reason for her not wanting or enjoying sex, there is really very little you can do to change things. Ultimately it’s her choice, and since she knows you stand to benefit from the change you want in her, she will find it difficult to trust you. Sadly this seems to be true even when a wife freely admits her husband is loving and trustworthy in every other way; the problem is that women fall victim to the prevalent “men are selfish pigs about sex” attitude that is so common in our culture. The best you can do it nurture a marriage relationship that makes sex something she will desire (see below).

My primary goal in this series of tips has been to show you sex as something different than how you have seen it – different, and so much better! Men are easily trapped by a counterfeit of sex because it taps into their God given visual sex drive, and promises (but fails) to meet their desperately unmet need for physical release. The counterfeit promises what most men think they want, but it’s all a lie.  Aside from the fact that the counterfeit can’t really satisfy, it also draws a man in a direction that his wife can neither enjoy nor respect. The counterfeit is all about the physical aspects of sex, and nothing but the physical. Sure, it can pretend to care about the deeper aspects of sex, but that is just an illusion which may fool you, but will not fool your bride.

The sad irony is that the only way to satisfy your physical sex drive is to choose to make it less of a priority. In truth, he who seeks to satisfy his body will fail, while he who seeks the deeper aspects of sex is the one who can find physical pleasure and fulfillment beyond imagination.

Sex, real sex, great sex, satisfying sex, is an integral part of a deeply committed and intimate relationship with your bride. You can’t have great sex without a great marriage, and if you are not willing to put in the time and energy needed to have a great marriage, you can forget about ever being sexually satisfied. If your sex life is not what you want it to be, the odds are your best bet is to say and do nothing about sex, and do all you can to make your marriage better. There may come a time when you need to nudge your bride about her wrong ideas about sex, but you have no hope of her listening to you if you have not given her reason to think you are all about her and what blesses her.

Great sex requires a long term investment. You need the ability to not get too excited when things improve, and the ability to not get upset when things seem to be going in the tank. The changes in a marriage, and in a sex life, are very erratic in the short term.  If you were to chart the level of intimacy you have with your bride, based on what you see and feel, there would be some significant drops that could be very depressing. There could also be some short term improvements that look better than they are, and you can easily get despondent when the “upturn” proves to be short lived. Learn to look at your intimacy year to year, not day by day or month to month.

Don’t let the chance for a short term “good time” get in the way of what you need to do to build the intimacy needed for great sex. Most of us have pushed just a bit at some time, with the immediate result of what seems to us to be very good sex, only to discover later that our pressing injured our bride, and set back intimacy a great deal. This can even happen when she is the one who pushes for something because she is caught up in the heat of the moment and will do something she will regret later. As difficult as it is, don’t just run with anything she seems open to – better to take it a bit slow and not cause harm that will take weeks or months to heal.

What if you really are not “getting enough”? I know this is a valid issue, and I know from personal experience that a lack of sex with your bride is very difficult in many ways. I know it hurts, not just physically, but emotionally and mentally. I understand how this situation pushes you to lust after other women, and to pressure your bride for sex. I understand the temptation to look at porn, or to masturbate secretly and frequently. I also know that all of these things are counter-productive to the goal of having a deeply intimate marriage and a great sex life. The more you can hold back, the more you can sacrifice, the better your chances of someday having the sex you really want.

Finally, a rather personal comment on this: For years I pressed my bride to take care of my physical sex needs. She became very generous in taking care of me, by hand at least, whenever I asked – and I asked very often. In looking back it seems to me that this “benefit” cost both my bride and I a good deal. It took her a good deal of energy to get to where she could give me what I desired. Once she got there, it sometimes took a good bit of energy to provide what I wanted, and at times it interfered with developing greater intimacy.  Had I been willing to settle for less, much of that energy could have gone to her healing – resulting in her getting to really wanting and enjoying sex much sooner. Had I not focused so often on sex, the rest of the marriage would have grown much faster, and that would have brought about the sex I really wanted much sooner. If I could go back and do it again, I’d ask for significantly less sex, and I am sure I would gain so much so much sooner. I think I failed to take as much of a long term approach as I thought I was – putting my immediate physical needs ahead of building a foundation that would support great sex.

5 comments
jjinbillings
jjinbillings

Wow did this one hit home. Thanks so much for your message. I've been married for nearly 31 years and the last few years have been getting better and better, not only our commitment to each other, our emotional connection, but our intimacy level has gone way over the top. For the first several years of our marriage, I was a self centered male jerk. I was enamored with pornography and masturbation, simply to fulfill my own desires and really really failed my wife. Why she stayed with me, I have absolutely no idea, other than her total sweet loving nature. (Actually I think she prayed a lot for me to change.) After being miserable (yes I knew I was doing wrong), I started following and obeying God rather than my own selfish interests. I read and reread Ephesians 5, and began practicing the commands for husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. What a change, a dramatic change! These days, rather than being a selfish jerk and resenting doing some of the chores around the house, I find that I want to do things to help her because I know it makes her life that much more enjoyable and she can concentrate on the things that she does best. To see her pleased and happy is truely one of the most rewarding experiences I know of. Also to affirm her as a woman and letting her know that she is 2nd most important being in my life, God being #1, is a truely amazing feeling. I used to not like any kind of PDA, partly because I was embarassed about us both being somewhat overweight, but now we hold hands, gaze into eyes, sometimes a discrete pat on the rump, or a whispered I love your boobies, a caress of the cheek and she has responded to those things amazingly. She now knows that she is appreciated as a woman, loved as a companion and confidant, and is desired totally as a partner in intimacy and God's intent for sexual matters. Concentrating on her needs rather than my own has totally transformed our marriage into the biblical marriage that our Lord intended & I am so very blessed, but also saddened that it took me so very many years to finally wise up. I just pray that my hard lessons might prevent someone else from doing the same thing. Thanks in advance for allowing me to post and God Bless. Jim

Eleutheros
Eleutheros

There is much to think on here... but the one thing that struck a cord with me was when you said there is really little a husband can do to inspire her to want or enjoy sex more, except to be patient and good and loving in every other area of the marriage. Just like Jesus Christ loves His bride and gave Himself for her that she might be presented to Him spotless and perfect. Sometimes, though, I think it sucks being a godly man, emulating Christ. It just doesn't seem fair. But, that's only when I find myself thinking only of what I want. I do not for one micro-second think The Father intended, from the begining, for us to experience the kinds of frustration in marriage that you are talking about here. And that's because I see those very frustrations as the logical consequence, the fall-out, if you will, from the when the world was diverted from where it was supposed to go, to become what we know it, now, to be. Because, just like it took offering a deception to the already questioning thoughts of our mother and father to turn them and disrupt the world Elohim intended for us, so we all, men and women alike, still buy into the deceptions offered to our thoughts; the lies that lead to actions that produce results with no satisfaction, leaving us spent but unfulfilled. But, do we care? Or, do we, like those from whose ranks we came, still justify our conscience with a shrug of our shoulders and call that love? Those born of Jehovah don't. Even as I see it reflected in the desires of the three men who posted here today. It is the better way to be concerned about your own heart, first and what it thinks; for what is the heart if it is not the sum total of what we think? And train it to think on whatever is true, whatever is grave, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is agreeable, whatever is renowned-- and if there is any virtue and if any thing to applaud, be taking these into account, where our bride is concerned. Do this and like me, you will find your thoughts leading you to actions that produce satisfaction, leaving you spent, oh, yes, but fulfilled and happy with no guilt and no regrets for the response of your bride to the Jesus in you. And so, be good! Exactly as you were created to be.

Robert
Robert

Again, you've spoken words I badly needed to hear. I needed a kick in the seat of the pants this morning, thanks for delivering it! My bride is in the midst of peri-menopause. Based on my reading, it is very common for women to experience depression, loss of intimacy and a dramatic drop in sexual interest. My sweetheart is experiencing these. Somtimes I feel alone and abandoned, and while I try to be respectful of my bride's feelings about sex and other things, I can do better. Much better. She deserves my unwavering support in this difficult time. You made me examine my own conduct. I need to really listen to my wife. When I suggest sex and get a lukewarm or halfhearted reply, I need to take that for the "no" that her heart is really saying, rather than permission for me to blunder forward as if it were an genuine "yes." The last thing I really want is for her to feel used or put-upon. I can, and must do better. Of course, what I truly want is love my wife back to her old self. I can't really do that, but I sure wish I could. Probably the only thing I can do is to love unselfishly and sacrificially. To put my bride's needs in this time of change WAY above my own. No matter how hard that may be for me to do. Thanks

billybarue
billybarue

Kudos, Thank you for your transparency, it is comforting to know we are not alone. After an eighteen year, self centered marriage that ended in divorce (surprise)and now a sixteen year, Christ centered marriage that is still going strong (not surprised), I have learned that we are called to be good stewards of all of God's gifts. His gift of Grace is by far my most precious gift, but my wife is certainly second and growing in value each year. When Christ is the foundation of your marriage, it can't help but get better as the years go by. Just as sanctification is a process, so too is marriage; we will achieve perfection the moment we take our last breath. Christ came to serve and not be served and that is the motto I've adopted when it comes to living my life. It has taken me a few years of re-training myself, but I have become a servant lover and both my wife and I reap the benefits!

erikanderson
erikanderson

Bravo sir! Something that really blesses me is a teacher (especially a pastor) who is walking the same road I am on. Hearing thoughts about how you have gone through the things you are writing about has given me a better understanding that I'm somewhat normal, and that the things I struggle with are things a lot of guys deal with. It gives me hope that I can change and improve. My wife and I just celebrated our 6th anniversary. Those younger than us look at us as though we are on about mile 23 in a marathon. Those more experienced look at us and say "ah, young love... just getting going!" We're in it for the long haul. Not easy, but so worth it! Keeping that in mind gives me such a better perspective on identifying my needs and meeting hers - in all areas!

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