Though we might not realize it, all of us will eventually face things that threaten our sex life. Sometimes the challenge lasts for a short season, like the lack of privacy when living with your in-laws during a housing transition. Other times the challenge lasts for a season like when you feel exhausted raising kids. And sometimes, the challenge might never end. Receiving treatment for prostate cancer may forever alter the way a husband’s body responds. Most of us wait to work on something until we have a problem. But If you want to enjoy sex for a lifetime, choose today to create a resilient sex life that can handle the challenges of tomorrow.
It reminds me of Joseph from the bible. People must have thought he was crazy when he required a portion of the crops be saved for coming years of drought. After all food was abundant and overflowing. Life was good. Why did they need to give a portion of their profits for a drought that might never happen? Clearly God gave Joseph a dream to warn him about the 7 years of drought. But Joseph still had to follow through with the hard work of preparing when everyone else wanted to relax.
Sometimes the most challenging times to intentionally invest in my marriage is when things are going well. Why rock the boat, or bring up something that’s not bothering me right now? It is easy to live in denial or become complacent. But I know I have to continue to invest, even when things are easy, because challenges will come again. I want our marriage and our sex life to be so resilient, that Jim and I can work through anything together.
In order to create a resilient sex life, I had to…
You will never build a resilient sex life until you understand it’s value beyond the physical aspects. Someday your body might not yearn for sex. Will you make it a priority anyway?
Understanding how God connects your marriage through sex, helps you prioritize sex. When you understand God’s design, sex becomes a way to give and receive comfort and to find restoration. Do you value sex enough to prepare for times when your body does not physically ask for sex? An Awaken Love class can help you understand and embrace God’s design for sex. Don’t wait until you need help.
If you want your sex life to be resilient, then you must move beyond just having sex, and learn to talk about sex. Comfortably communicating your challenges during sex will help your spouse discover ways to help and to find solutions. Instead of avoiding a situation like a lost erection, or lack of orgasm, you embrace them as a way to express your love, support and adaptability. Constant communication about sex helps you to know and understand your spouse.
One of the best ways to start talking about sex is by reading a book like Awaken Love out loud to each other. Starting on a neutral platform, conversation flows easily as you periodically check in and ask, “Do you agree with that? As you gain comfort with the vocabulary you can embrace opportunities to have fun conversations, as well as more challenging ones.
Redefining sex as way to get to know each other removes performance pressure and expectations, and ultimately makes sex more resilient. Sex becomes about discovery and shared experiences rather than dependent on an erection, the right setting, or a prescribed outcome. Adaption becomes a natural part of getting to knowing each other as we change or grow. Sex is not stagnant but it is always changing. Simplistic outcomes like orgasm during intercourse become less important and are exchanged for the joy of being present with each other.
Expand Your Repertoire
If you only have one route to get to church, then a simple road closure can throw you into a panic. But when you’ve had the pleasure of taking many different routes to church, you hardly notice the change.
If sex works great for you and you never learn anything new, you won’t be prepared when a roadblock comes. Expanding your repertoire is fun, but it is also a necessary element of creating a resilient marriage.
Can you enjoy sex without an erection? Can you enjoy sex without intercourse? Can you enjoy sex without using your mouth? Can you enjoy sex with little time, or little privacy? Can you use words to create excitement when you can’t touch each other and must Skype from a foreign country? How many different pathways have you discovered to create connection and pleasure together? Expand your repertoire, have fun, and prepare for a rainy day.
Too many sex lives hang on by thread. As long as no one experiences a malfunction, has to talk about sex, or adjust their expectations, sex can be enjoyed. But when challenges or adjustments need to happen, couples would rather give up, then do the hard work. Don’t wait. Create a resilient sex life that can survive the challenges that come. Embrace God’s design for sex, learn how to talk about sex, focus on getting to know each other, and create a repertoire filled with possibilities. What you do today, will make a huge difference tomorrow.
How have you created a resilient marriage?
btw – Listen to part 2 of my podcast on Delight Your Marriage about how to make intercourse more enjoyable for the wife.