For many years, I made a dumb marriage mistake. It was a mistake that caused stress for me, confusion for my husband, and frustration between the two of us. In some ways it was a simple mistake (although not necessarily an easy one to fix), but for a long time I didn’t know how to avoid it. Honestly, for many years I didn’t even know I was making it.
I kept doing the same thing and getting the same result – a less-than-stellar sex life – which was the exact opposite of the result I wanted.
So what was this dumb marriage mistake that I kept on making? It’s embarrassing, but I’m going to share it because I don’t want you to make it too. And if you’re making it, I want to encourage you to stop what you’re doing and try something different.
My marriage mistake was that I engaged in magical thinking about my sexuality and my enjoyment of sex in my marriage. I thought that a great sex life would just happen. Magically. I left it to chance. And when it didn’t happen magically I thought that something was wrong with me. Or my husband. Or our marriage.
It was ridiculous.
Fortunately, I finally figured out that great sex doesn’t just happen. Because real life isn’t like a romance novel or a romantic movie. It’s messy, tiring and complicated. Which means that real-life sex isn’t automatically magical. It isn’t all fun and games and roses and chocolates.
And that’s fine. As a matter of fact, it’s perfectly normal.
What isn’t fine is sitting around waiting for something magical to happen. If you want the magic, you have to take charge and make it happen. (Obviously, this involves your husband too. And it requires some open communication and a generally healthy marriage. But you need to start the ball rolling.)
When I finally dispensed with the magical thinking and actually started working on embracing my sexuality and increasing my libido, sex in my marriage improved significantly. Is it perfect? No. I have baggage and I’ve developed some negative thought processes over the years, and sometimes those things get in the way. But I’ve made a lot of progress – and you can too.
Are you making the same marriage mistake I made? Are you frustrated with your libido, your attitude toward sex, or your sex life in general? If so, you’re not alone and – here’s the most important part – you can do something about it. Things don’t have to stay the same – you can change them and create an entirely different situation in your life and marriage.
If you’re ready to get started, here are some ideas for turning your thoughts and actions around so that you can embrace your sexuality and really start to enjoy sex in your marriage:
5 Ways to Stop Making this Dumb Marriage Mistake
1. Become absolutely convinced that sex is for you too – not just for your husband. The idea that sex is primarily for men is a message that women (and especially Christian women) hear over and over. But it just isn’t true. If you believe that – even just a little bit – read these articles and start right now to work on changing your thoughts: You Deserve a Great Sex Life Too, I Thought Sex Was Just for My Husband, and What is Sexual Interest and Why Should I Care?
2. Recognize that women’s sexuality is often quite different from men’s. The fact that you aren’t the same as your husband is fine – and it certainly doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you. For more information, check out this article on sexual response in women, this article on what’s “normal” for many women and this episode of the For Christian Wives podcast, where four Christian marriage bloggers (including me!)talk about women’s sexual response.
Then start thinking about how to enjoy and embrace sex in ways that make sense for you. For example, your husband may be able to transition from “crazy hectic evening” mode to “hot and heavy” mode in about 5 minutes, but it may take you an hour. Or he may be able to ignore unspoken tension between the two of you and get in the mood anyway, but you can’t.
That’s fine. Nothing is wrong with you. But don’t use those differences to avoid embracing your sexuality and enjoying sex. Instead, identify them, talk about them with him, and learn to work with them.
3. Read books and blogs that talk about sex in an open, honest, and encouraging way. We don’t know everything we need to know about sex and intimacy – it’s a big topic. So subscribe to some blogs or invest in some books that will help you learn and grow. Here are some of the ones I like.
4. Recognize that some issues create significant barriers to embracing your sexuality and enjoying sex in your marriage. These issues can include previous sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse, and serious marriage problems. Typically, you’ll need to work with a professional counselor to address these kinds of issues. There’s absolutely no shame in that – it’s the smart thing to do.
5. Take practical steps to increase your libido and embrace your sensual and sexual side. Do simple things that help you feel more sensual or enable you to embrace your sexy side. Organize your life in a way that gives you time to feel like a sensual woman. And begin to practice taking care of your body and your health.
Seriously, don’t just think about this – do it. Plan at least one step you’ll take or one change you’ll make this week that will allow you to feel more sensual and sexual and to better enjoy sex in your marriage.
It took me a long time and a lot of trial and error to figure this out and stop making the marriage mistake of engaging in magical thinking. (Honestly, I’m still figuring some of it out.) You’ll probably find that it’s a process for you too. And that’s perfectly fine. Every step you take is a step toward embracing your sensual side, owning and enjoying your sexuality, and strengthening your marriage.
If you’re making this marriage mistake, you’re not alone. Just acknowledge it and then begin moving toward a new way of thinking and creating something new for your life and marriage.
(The tips in this article won’t help women who are facing significant sexual problems, dealing with serious marriage problems or living with an abusive spouse. If you’re in one of those situations, please contact a professional counselor, a crisis line, or law enforcement right away.)
Have you ever made this marriage mistake? Are you making it now? What have you done – or can you do – to stop making it and move in a more postivie direction? Please share your thoughts in the comments or email me at [email protected] com. I’d love you to hear from you.
If you’re looking for a way to jump start this process, take a look Sheila Gregoire’s Boost Your Libido video course (affiliate link) and consider using it as a starting point. Sheila is a leading sex expert for married women, and she’s put all of her years of experience into a 10-video course that tells women exactly how to avoid magical thinking, and instead to embrace and enjoy their God-given sexuality in their marriages. The course includes 10 videos, a workbook, and practical (and fun!) exercises for putting the things you’re learning into practice. The cost is $49 and includes unlimited access to the videos and course materials.