Three Steps to Increased Intimacy in Marriage
- Thursday, April 07, 2005
Now that I have your attention let us get down to business. Too many couples suffer from a lack of sexual fulfillment because they never get to the fantasy of sex. That's right -- I said "fantasy" and "sex" in a Christian article! But why do they struggle with this? I believe Christians spend so much time avoiding sex during their dating years that once they get married they cannot turn off their inhibitions as easily as they hoped.
Good Christian people go from no, no, no, no, no -- to YES in literally the time it takes to say, "I do." But the transition from "no" to "yes" is often more difficult than the couple expects. The fears of sex, the inhibitions, the "sinful" attitude while single, can all make sex during marriage a chore and incredibly difficult to talk about.
Here is the simple truth. Are you ready for it? Great sex is only possible when a husband and wife define specifically what great sex looks like. If you are in the dark when it comes to what really turns your mate on, then your sexual intimacy will suffer. If you do not fully understand what turns your mate off, then once again your sexual intimacy will suffer. It's really not all that complicated. But many times couples are too embarrassed to talk about sex because they spent a quarter of their life avoiding the topic.
If you want to discover your sexual fantasies -- I mean the behaviors and attitudes that will turn your mate into a raging bull of desire -- then try the following three steps:
1. Be Encouraging
If you are critical about your mate's physical or emotional traits, don't expect to ever discover her fantasies. When someone feels belittled or criticized the natural action is to become distant and protective. Which basically means they become totally closed to you relationally and would never share anything intimate. So go overboard when it comes to complimenting, encouraging, and validating your mate. The results will speak for themselves!
2. Be Bold
Somebody in the marriage is going to have to take the first step in sharing. It is scary and even potentially embarrassing, but it is necessary for a healthy sexual connection. Put aside time to discuss sex in an environment that is safe from distractions and interruptions.
I do want to give you one caution, though, when it comes to sharing your sexual fantasies:
Healthy sexual fantasies will never include third party elements like pornography, sex toys, or the obvious one -- other people. Keep it about the two of you.
3. Be Specific
Once you start sharing what's on your mind, get beyond the feelings of embarrassment and move quickly into specifics. You need to let your mate know exactly what you like. There is nothing a good Christian couple needs to keep from each other when it comes to physical intimacy. Your sex life is a blank slate where you get to color in the uniqueness of your sexual desires. Resist the temptation, especially guys, to compare your sex life with your perception of another couple's sex life.
Always keep in mind that your first goal in sharing should be the well-being of your mate. This means you would never force your mate to do anything he or she is uncomfortable with. You will kill your sexual relationship by forcing your mate to do something he or she is not comfortable doing.
If you tend to find a lot of roadblocks when it comes to sexual intimacy, then be patient and kind. Help your mate discover why he or she struggles with sexual intimacy. There may be things you have done in the past to hinder this relationship, so you need to seek forgiveness and repair the damage. There might even be a history of sexual abuse that you are unaware of. If this is the case, then allow your mate the space and time to seek healing from a professional counselor.
Adapted from the Smalley's latest DVD session and in-depth study guide How Hot is your Sex life? Please visit www.theforeverfactor.com for more information.
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