I’m so excited today to have my fellow marriage enthusiast and new friend, Shelia Wray Gregoire from To Love, Honor and Vacuum, sharing here on FancyLittleThings. I had come across her blog several times while researching & reading for biblical views on sexual intimacy in marriage when I heard she would be coming to my MOPS group to speak! I was over the moon!! In a semi-stalking approach, I invited to meet her for dinner before her speaking engagement, and just love her bubbly personality, her authentic voice and her passion for shedding God’s light on the topic of sex.
In movies it’s all breathless and stupendous and fireworks-inducing, but how often do women lie there and think, “do I have to tonight? How
many nights has it been anyway?” Then we sigh and decide, “Well, he really needs sex tonight, so I guess I can.” See how selfless we’re being! But if you dissect this, what we’re really saying is:
I’m doing something I don’t want to do to try to make you happy.
In other words: I think of sex as a chore.
That’s not exactly going to boost your marriage. Now, for many of us sex is difficult because we have some real issues–maybe pain during sex, or past trauma, or relationship trouble. I totally understand, and I know that it can take a while to get through some of these things.
But for most of us, that’s not the issue. It’s not that sex hurts or it brings back flashbacks. It’s that sex has become a chore. And we think, “why should I make love to him if he can’t even be affectionate towards me? Why should I go out of my way for him if he can’t do the dishes sometimes or lighten my load? And doesn’t he understand that I’m exhausted?” And so we don’t.
What if there were another way of looking at it? What if you could actually start to believe that sex was for you, too? It isn’t something you just “give” him; it’s something that actually benefits you, and that can help you with your exhaustion, or your insecurities, or your loneliness?
So let’s jump in. Here’s why sex is good for you, too:
1. You Sleep Better
Honestly! If you are really exhausted, sex is often the best thing for you. You’ll fall asleep faster, and then you’ll sleep deeper. And it’s not just the orgasm that brings on sleep (although that is a big part of it). Simply feeling close to him, and repairing some of the emotional distance, can also help you sleep.
Some nights when I know it’s been a while, and I know we should really make love, I say no because I’m so tired. Those are often the nights I toss and turn and can’t get to sleep. And I’ve realized it doesn’t work. So now when I’m really exhausted, I say to my husband, “Put me to sleep, baby.” It works every time!
2. You Feel Closer
Often the reason that we don’t want to make love is because we feel distant. You’re not sure if he really loves and values you the way he once did. He hasn’t been feeling affectionate.
Do the close feelings come before sex, or does sex bring the close feelings? Often it’s not obvious. For many of us, we feel closer after we make love. And the reason is quite simple: by making love, we reaffirm our commitment and our love. When you do make love, you say, “I would marry you again.” And God designed sex to bring us together! We release hormones during sex that help us to “bond”. So if you’re feeling distant, maybe the solution is to make love, rather than to wait to feel closer.
3. You Feel More Secure
Sex helps you to feel like your relationship is strong. When you make love, you cement it together again. Sex makes you feel protected. It makes you feel loved. It makes you feel like you have a future together. It makes you feel happier.
On the days after you make love, you can smile slyly at each other because you have this secret. You can giggle with each other more. You touch each other more. But most of all, you feel like the relationship is stronger. That’s because sex is a vital part of a relationship. As one commenter wrote in the comments yesterday, “sex isn’t the icing on the cake; it’s the oil that keeps the engine going.” When we don’t make love, our relationship can get really clogged up. When we do, we feel like things are humming along much better.
4. You Feel Wonderful
Let’s not forget the final part: sex actually feels good! Now, maybe for you it doesn’t yet. That’s okay. As I found in the surveys for my book The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, it can take a decade or so for couples to find that sex works like clockwork. It needs practice! So if you’re not there yet, pick up the book for some great tips.
But don’t settle for mediocre! If sex isn’t wonderful for you yet, don’t despair. Take it as a research project you can do together–a project with lots of benefits. Maybe you need to hit the reset button on your sex life and start over because you’ve developed some bad habits, like rushing through it. Or maybe he doesn’t know what you like.
But don’t despair! Sex does feel wonderful. And you can get there!
So if you’re feeling exhausted, and feeling distant from your husband, and feeling tense, then instead of saying, “there’s no way I can make love given how I feel“, why not say instead, “I had better make love given how I feel!” Making love can cure all of those problems!
Sheila Wray Gregoire blogs everyday at To Love, Honor and Vacuum. She’s been married to her husband Keith for 21 years, and happily married for the last 17 of those years! She’s the mother of two teenage daughters, and the author of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex.
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