Have you ever heard, “Someone’s gotta go first,” in regards to making a change to improve an unhappy marriage?
Well, I didn’t go first.
Oh, I may have found the resources. However, my husband took the first steps. He showed me what true change looks like. He quickly grasped how to apply the skills we were learning.
No matter who went ‘first,’ I can pinpoint the moment my heart began turning from feeling neglected to cherished. It was not an overwhelming u-turn. It was slow and steady.
The moment our marriage changed is the day we started praying together.
That was the day our sex life started to improve, because many hurts in other areas started being addressed.
It’s not magic. It’s humbling yourself to God and then to each other. Prayer helps you both become aware of the other’s hurts. I began to understand my husband was hurting in areas I never dreamed he could be hurting. He also became aware of my hurts and acknowledged them as real.
Prayer helped heal my heart so that I could take a true and candid look at my husband’s heart. When my hurt was raw, I couldn’t see clearly. The pain blurred my vision. Everything was tinted with my pain.
Nomatter how much we may not understand our spouse’s perspective, we need to acknowledge it is real and valid to them. Joe Beam explains it like this, “If someone tells you that your child has been killed in a car accident, you are going to experience great horrendous pain. Then, if that person calls back and tells you that there was a mistake and your child is still alive, it doesn’t make the first pain-filled reaction any less even though the facts were wrong.” All emotions are valid, even if we don’t understand our spouse’s emotions. Accept them. If you think your spouse is stupid for feeling that way, you will make no progress towards a happier marriage.
Only when we accept our spouse’s emotions as true for them and make no judgements, will the real work of healing begin.
Prayer channels love. Loving your spouse enough to put your heart aside to look at their wounds is not easy. Considering that you were the cause of those wounds is even harder. Prayer makes it possible.
Everyone’s story is different. But, when it comes to a lack of sex in marriage, it’s usually not about sex.
Sex problems are just symptoms not the cause. The cough of pneumonia gets a lot of attention because it’s obvious and bothersome. The cough is not the cause of the illness. The real problem is infection in the lung. Infection something we don’t consider until we exhaust all other possibilities of why we are coughing.
Sexual Conflict is the cough. 95% of the time, sex problems really aren’t about sex.
However, you can’t start to cure pneumonia without addressing the cough along with the infection. The cough is nagging and will keep your lungs in an uproar. The healing in your lungs will take longer if the cough is not calmed, while battling the infection with antibiotics.
Just like with an unhappy marriage, you have to address the lack of sex as well as address the underlying infection (betrayal, neglect, angry outbursts, etc.)
Prayer helps you juggle all of this. Prayer helped motivate me to understand my husband’s deep need for me to be sexual with him. Prayer helped him understand I needed him to show me love by moderating his mood, using a sweeter tone of voice, and consulting me when he made his schedule for the week.
Prayer helped me develop a plan to meet his needs in spite of my low libido. God helped me turn sex into a mind and heart connection, not just a physical one.
No matter which of you is the high drive spouse, praying together will be the beginning of a change.
If sexual conflict is a reality in your marriage, pray for God to reveal what might be the true underlying cause. Pray that you will be able to accept whatever the revelation may be. Pray that God will guide you through the healing process and bring people and resources to your aid.
I’m not sayin’ your marriage has pneumonia, but if your marriage is struggling with the cough of sexual problems, it just might be infected. Prayer is the strongest prescription available!
1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”