Today I’m addressing one of my readers questions regarding changes that have taken place to the physical intimacy of their marriage. I relate to her pain as I’ve lived through my own as a young bride.
I am dealing with a touchy subject and I am desperate for encouragement. I have been married for 22 years to a loving christian man. We have 5 children and busy lives. We have different personalities along with not really learning to communicate in all areas – we have never really talked about sex/making love…it just was part of life that we both enjoyed – when we had time. There are things I would liked to have said to him so he could know me better and I tried to get him to open up and we were doing better. But we were too busy with the kids and life a LOT. I always thought we would have time to make up for our lack of intimacy – later. My husband is 51 this year and he is going through some physical changes. As you may have guessed things have become relatively non-existent in the bedroom. I feel blind-sided by this. I don’t know if I should mourn or pray and hope things might change. ( The doctor responded generically and basically gave him all the same responses I found on-line) I don’t know how to support him and he is as devastated as I am – I’m sure more so. I ashamed that I don’t know how to support him and I feel guilty that I am selfishly considering my own (our) loss I admit. There isn’t much about this subject out there in the christian realm – lots about responding to your husband sexually and fulfilling him which hits me in the gut and makes me long for – yesterday literally (seems). Can you direct me/us? In between praying I feel like I am forgetting to trust and I feel panicked and afraid.
~a changed wife
Dear Changed Wife,
I’m so sorry you are hurting due to this recent change in your marriage. And by the way, your problem is not that uncommon, believe it or not. The reality is, it’s just not talked/written about a lot. There is a good percentage of wives who do struggle with this or they have the higher sex drive in the marriage.
9 Ways to Keep the Spark Lit in the Marriage Bed
- I’d recommend you read the book, “The Act of Marriage after 40″ by Tim and Beverly LaHaye. He does address this problem in his book and his writing is from a Christian perspective. (And no, I don’t get paid for mentioning this.)
- Don’t make a big deal over the fact that your man’s body has changed. Just change with him.
- I wouldn’t recommend that you continue talking about the issue with him either because that will just exasperate the problem. Most men don’t want to hear over and over how they are so-called ‘broken’ in the bedroom.
- Still be intimate and enjoy yourselves. If things happen, they happen. If they don’t, they don’t. You’re still connecting with him when you are physically intimate, so don’t shy away from doing so. When he is slow to respond, let him delight in you. He’ll probably get aroused by that anyways!
- Plan your time of intimacy. This may help him process the act throughout the day. For example, say you plan for Wed. nights, then I’d encourage you to dress somewhat provocatively and be all dolled-up for when he comes home. (Now, I’m not meaning dressing for only his eyes when you’re in the bedroom.) I simply mean the way you probably dressed as a newly married wife and one without kids. Sometimes wives dress more like moms than they do as wives, which I’m not an advocate of! Men are visual and it’s okay for your man to see you and delight in you. You can still dress sexy in your own home! Modesty is for when you go out and you’re around other men. If you’re in your own home, you don’t need to be as modest. (I’m not!) Also, consider being physically intimate in the morning as well. Generally speaking, most men are more responsive in the morning. Just plan that time if that is the case. Get up earlier to make intimacy happen, then you can go about your day.
- Flirt with him throughout the day. Text him or email him messages. Leave him steamy love notes in his lunch.
- Kiss him passionately, just because. Do this daily.
- Grab him and let him grab you….even in front of the kids! This is healthy for them to see so don’t shy away from it.
- And last, don’t feel panicked. God is allowing this to take place in your marriage for a reason. Be flexible and adapt to this season. Yes, you will need to change from what you did in the past, but that’s okay. If you’re diligent and intentional about still connecting physically, your marriage won’t suffer, in fact, you might be surprised that the trial the two of you are experiencing may even draw you closer together. Remember, trials ARE a good thing! Yes, they really are for our benefit.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4
Now dear friends, it’s your turn. Do you have any additional advice for this sister? Please share in the comments.
Live a poured out life for Christ,