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Sex and money are two of the most heated topics of discussion in marriage; often causing so much turmoil it fuels on toward divorce. In today’s economy, 19 million Americans are struggling financially, largely because of a job layoff followed by trouble finding full-time employment. The overwhelming emotions that come with this kind of hardship can be toxic on the marital relationship, certainly smothering the flame for sexual passion.
My husband and I lived it ourselves a few years ago. It was a long, emotional, and financially devastating trial – the toughest thing we’ve had to face as a couple so far. Despite our loving, Christ-centered marriage and steadfast faith that God was at work in our situation, the stress of being strapped for cash and jobless with no prospective employers calling, caused a wall of strife to begin growing between us.
Little by little we stopped smiling at each other, hugging each other, holding hands, kissing each other, and sleeping together. There was almost zero affection between us. Still, my husband expressed a desire to have sex with me, which fueled anxiety-filled questions of “how can you even think of sex when we have no money?” I was angry, disappointed, and full of fear and uncertainty over what the future held. How in the world would I be able to get in the mood to make love?
Then one day, we both reached an emotional breaking point. We were so lonely and missed the deep connection we once shared. We agreed God created sexual intimacy to be an essential ingredient in our marriage – a way of becoming one – but we didn’t know how to reignite a mutual flame of passion when we were so stressed out. We prayed and talked a lot that day, and with God’s guidance we found answers that worked!
Here are 3 ways to reignite sexual passion in your financially stressed-out marriage:
1. Keep Things in Proper Perspective
Whatever you’re going through – it won’t last forever. In Ecclesiastes 3, Solomon teaches us there are a season and a time for everything. Not a single moment of our life happens without first passing through our all-knowing and loving God’s hands. Pray for Him to give you eyes to see how He might want you to grow or deepen your faith through this trial, and ask for courage and guidance to do so. Let your hope rest in knowing He makes all things beautiful and His provision is always right on time. When stress is high, take life one day at a time. Don’t try to control things you can’t. Tackle today’s problem today and avoid worrying about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34). In God’s perfect time, and not a moment before, His glory will shine bright and you’ll be sharing with others how He orchestrated awesomeness into your life!
2. Find Healthy Ways to Reduce Your Stress Levels
The key to overcoming negative thoughts is to focus your attention on happier, more productive experiences. Get into a regular fitness routine to help burn off stress. Set aside time each day to do something you love. A hobby like gratitude journaling or gardening can be very therapeutic. Practice deep breathing for relaxation. Pray without ceasing, and meditate on God’s word. Listen to your favorite music. Do something fun with your children. Volunteer to help with a good cause. Have a knee-slapper belly laugh with your husband. Join a support group or get involved in a women’s group at church.
3. Get Your Mind Ready For Sexual Intimacy
In order to get the stressed-out female mind refocused on intimacy, it really helps to plan for it and move toward sex slowly.
First, agree to meet each other in the bedroom every evening immediately after the children are tucked in. Whether it’s for 10 minutes or an hour, this is your time to reconnect as a couple. It doesn’t have to be about sex. Just make it face to face conversation, kissing a little bit, holding hands, catching up on the day’s events. No television or electronics interfering. If it leads to sex, great! If not, that’s okay too. These are no-pressure opportunities to just be together.
Next, pick one evening each week to set aside specifically for sexual intimacy. This will allow your mind plenty of opportunity to switch gears. That evening put the kids to bed early. Take a steamy bath or shower so you’re clean and smooth. Put on lotion for silky skin. Wear something sexy. Light some candles. Kiss him passionately and let the flame of desire take off from there. Snuggle up for a movie and a glass of wine afterwards. Declare that evening “date night” going forward and avoid letting other schedule conflicts interrupt it. Over time you’ll both look forward to these special evenings together and you may even decide to enjoy them more frequently.
Reigniting sexual intimacy in a financially stressed marriage won’t be easy. It can be done though. Be intentional and prayerful, and in no time you’ll feel the temperature rise.
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