When is the last time you heard some information about sex that gave you insight into your spouse’s desires in the bedroom? For most couples, this information comes from anywhere but their own marriages. We read blogs, listen to podcasts, watch TV and movies, and look at the headlines of magazines as we wait in line to buy groceries. But, an overwhelmingly small number of couples actually talk about their own sexual desires with one another. This is disappointing, because I really believe Christians should have a fulfilling sex life.
Talking about sex is hard!
One of the reasons struggle with this talk is because we’re under the impression that sex should come fairly easy for couples that love one another. Newlywed couples expect that they are the only one’s that have problems. Those married for a while start to believe that an unsatisfying sex life is such a norm for them that they have no expectations for change. Both of these situations makes the sex talk hard.
You’re not alone if you want sex to be more enjoyable than it currently is but you just don’t know how to bring yourself to express those desires. We all have a tendency to run and hide when it’s time to face a difficult conversation. We get in patterns where it is much easier to hide from the rejection we’re sure we’ll face if we honestly talk about our needs and desires in the marriage. This is especially true when it comes to sex. But, couples that are able to talk openly about their sexual relationship report a higher level of marital satisfaction and closeness. What a good reason to have that uncomfortable conversation!
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It may seem a little strange to have a blog on a marriage site about returning to sex when it’s been a while, but many, many couples report that they have little to no sex in their marriage. This can be the case for several reasons; chronic illness that makes sex difficult or painful, emotional pains in the relationship, busy schedules, or a lack of attraction for one another.
Eventually, most couples who are not having sex would like to start having sex. But, even when both feel that way it can be difficult to get started on their journey to intimacy. Here are just few tips to make that easier.
Start with talking about sex:
Couples often struggle to be honest with one another about their marital intimacy. It can feel incredibly intimidating to tell your spouse, “I’m not happy with our sex life.” This is even more difficult for couples who don’t talk about other areas of pain within the marriage. Even so, I encourage you to speak both truthfully and gently with your spouse.
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Millennials for Marriage
Feb. 16, 2017
I chose to study about sex therapy for a couple of reasons; my own brokenness and the brokenness of others. I truly believe that God can cover our hurts and imperfections and allow us to rest in the peace that through Christ we are redeemed. Even when I get the opportunity to share those points with others, it isn’t at all unusual for people to wonder just exactly what happens in the office of a sex therapist, especially the office of a Christian sex therapist. While, I’ve written before about what you might learn in sex therapy, I thought it would be helpful to also explain the basic process.
Like before, I’m going to give a bit of a disclaimer. It takes quite a bit of time and work to actually get certified as a sex therapist. I’m doing my certification through the American Board of Christian Sex Therapists, but I’m not completely through the process. So while I have more training in this area than many of the therapists I know, I’m not a certified sex therapist yet. And…disclaimer over!
The DEC-R Model
The process of sex therapy can be explained through the acronym, DEC-R: Dialogue, Education, Coaching, and Referral. This isn’t a linear process and you’ll likely notice that we move from one domain to the next quite fluidly, going back and forth to each one until you’ve finished the process of therapy.
Part of my job, for anyone who works with me, is just to make the entire process of talking about sexual issues easier. Most people find it quite difficult to share their concerns or disappointment about their sexual lives with their spouse. I work with a couple to create a safe place to speak about sex.
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Many, many couples face what’s known as a desire discrepancy or a desire gap. One spouse wants sex more often than the other. Statistics seem to show that in about 1/3 of marriages, the wife has the higher level of desire and in the other 2/3 of marriages the husband has the higher level.
There are times when a gap like this can cause quite a bit of conflict in the couple. The couple may begin to argue more in general because they are connecting less often physically, or they may even begin fighting directly about sex.
Luckily, there is hope! If you and your spouse have been arguing about sex, or if you just feel like the two of you disagree on how often you should have sex, watch this 6.5 minute video for some advice on lessening the gap or gaining some compromise.
If watching this video makes you want to seek out some extra help, I encourage you to contact the American Board of Christian Sex Therapists to find a counselor in your area. They can help you resolve issues related to your marriage and your intimate lives.
Be blessed friends!