“Women need to feel emotionally connected in order to enjoy sex. Men need to have sex in order to feel emotionally connected.”
We hear this all the time as validation for why marriages struggle so much with intimacy.
It sounds like grid lock to me. Women can’t have sex until they talk, and men can’t talk until they have sex, so they just stop connecting. The gate is put up by the wife, the husband retreats feeling rejected and they spin away from each other.
It’s like that age old question, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” There is no right answer, there is only debate.
The normal strategy to break the grid lock is to encourage both husband and wife to serve the needs of their spouse. Husbands, “even if you don’t feel like sharing your feelings, do it for your wife.” Wives, “even if you don’t feel like it, have sex with your husband.”
One Christian book I read said this to women, “Sometimes sex is a bother. You’re too tired… busy… preoccupied… whatever! But even then love is to be nurtured. Love involves sacrifice, meeting the needs of your mate even when you don’t want to. Maybe it’s not convenient, it’s uncomfortable, it’s not on your timetable – but you do it anyway for the sake of love, not passion.”
Now I don’t know about you, but if my spouse was having sex with me, just to do it, I don’t think I would be too thrilled.
And if a husband was sharing his feelings with his wife and hating every second of it, I doubt if she would feel very emotionally connected.
So let’s go about this another direction.
Maybe we are supposed to stretch in these areas for ourselves, because God wants us to experience even more intimacy than what comes naturally to us.
Wives, if God created sex to make us into “one”, maybe it is when we are feeling disconnected that we most need to have sex. Could we believe that our husband loves us even when he has not demonstrated it with his words? Could we let go of control and trust God in the details of clearing our head, and preparing our bodies? The act of sex communicates in ways that words cannot. Even in the midst of unresolved conflict, the act of sex confirms our commitment to each other. It says, “We may not be on the same page right now, but I am committed to you and to our marriage and we are one.”
Husbands, is it possible that you could experience an intimacy greater than anything you might imagine if you stretched yourself to connect emotionally with your wife. Could non-sexual touch, eye to eye contact and conversations filled with hopes and dreams fill your longings to connect? Could you trust your wife enough to share the most-tender parts of your heart, even your failures? Revealing yourself emotionally may feel as vulnerable as your wife feels during sex, and yet it is an amazing way to know each other.
God created us with certain things that come naturally, and others that are really hard. Marriage refines us and makes us more like Him as we stretch to love our spouse and we end up experiencing more of life.
How have you stretched to meet the needs of your spouse and realized the benefits for yourself in that growth?