Recently I went to a vision board event with a bunch of super awesome gals who are intent on living their best life — with their health, business ventures and countless other goals. It was so inspiring and uplifting to be with these women.
As we sat there clipping photos and quotes out of magazines and writing down goals and dreams and plans on our pieces of poster board, a common theme in the air was accountability, especially accountability to ourselves for making positive changes in our life.
It didn’t take me long before I noticed the contrast of this positive outlook to the negative perspective of someone with whom I have been in conversation as of late.
This person wants to blame all his woes on everything else and everyone else. He has every excuse in the book, from crappy things that happened in his childhood to the way people have wronged him to his general unlucky fortune.
Who do you think is more likely to see positive growth in their life? The one who owns their journey or the one who wallows and stays stuck in blaming others?
And then I got to thinking about sex in marriage. (I know, seems like a stretch to segue from vision board meanderings to thinking about sex, but that’s how I roll! Those of you who have hung around this site long enough should know that by now).
I was thinking about sexual struggles in marriage and what a difference it would make if a husband and wife each own their part of those struggles.
And before you think I’m naive, trust me when I say I know this is not always an equal ownership matter. Sometimes it’s glaringly clear that one person is responsible for the bulk of the sexual pain and disconnection.
And I know that unlike personal goals (such as the ones displayed on an individual’s vision board), marriage is a team sport. One person alone cannot compensate when the other person refuses to own their part of the struggle and their part of the solution.
I’m just trying to nudge you to think… to lean into humility and take an honest look at sexual struggles in your marriage. If there are struggles, are you the reason? Or are you at least part of the reason?
More importantly, are you willing to make healthy changes in order to become part of the solution?
For some people reading this, the marriage may already be beyond repair. But for most people reading this? I would bank on the likelihood that if you made your way to my website and you are reading this right now, there is still so much hope for the two of you.
But for things to work, you each are going to have to own your part of the sexual struggles.
That includes owning any healing you need to individually work through because of things that happened long before your spouse came into the picture.
Were you sexually abused when you were younger?
Did your parents or other adults give you skewed and unhealthy messages about sex?
Were you promiscuous and you are struggling with accepting God’s forgiveness?
All of the above experiences can take a toll on how you view sex now, so it’s well worth it to courageously heal and move beyond past pain. Be exhaustive in your search for resources to help you with this, whether it’s professional counseling, seminars, webinars, Bible studies, books or online platforms.
Some sexual struggles may be because one or both of you…
have a hardened and prideful heart.
have been careless about sexual intimacy, downplaying how critical sex is to a marriage.
have been unfaithful, whether it be an emotional affair, physical affair, use of pornography or graphic literature, or reckless thought life.
Again, if the above describes what’s going on in your marriage sexually, be intentional about finding the resources to help you individually and as a couple. Do whatever it takes.
When you consider all that you have read to this point, is the Holy Spirit stirring something in you? For the sake of your marriage, can you answer if you are the reason sex is a struggle in your marriage?
God is redemptive. But He asks that we walk in the direction of Him and His heart for our marriage. He asks that we do our part.
Owning how you have contributed to the sexual struggles is a great place to start (much like a vision board is a great place to start for individual growth). But you have to move beyond acknowledgement to action.
I encourage you to pray about this post and vulnerably decide what it means for your marriage. Maybe share it with your spouse as a conversation starter about sexual struggles in your marriage. This could be one of the most important conversations the two of you have for the health of your relationship going forward.
And I have a 5 video series available on building better sex in your marriage. Great way to invest in your marriage! You can find out all about it at this link: Better Sex in Your Christian Marriage.
Copyright 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.