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The Truth about Sex after Marriage

The Truth about Sex after Marriage

They had been married for two years - but they were still virgins. 

They had entered the process of being sexually intimate carrying a lot of emotional baggage. They had been told their whole lives how bad, shameful, and dangerous sex was, and now - suddenly, they were supposed to see it as good, incredible, and amazing. 

They didn’t even know where to begin unpacking and unlearning all that they’d believed. There were things to work through, and wounds from their past that needed to be healed. They didn't know where to start.

It might sound crazy to you, but these are some of the things you don’t get to hear from the outside looking in: men and women, saving themselves for marriage, but then struggling to enjoy all that they have saved.

Somewhere along the way, there’s a misconception that if we save ourselves for marriage, our wedding night will be filled with hours and hours of amazing sex. We imagine all the stars aligning in that perfect moment, our bodies naturally taking over, knowing exactly just what to do. And then the moment comes, and it’s never exactly how we thought it would be. Though maybe not as extreme as the couple I mentioned above, I hear from so many couples whose wedding night was filled with frustration, fears, and the shedding of a few tears. 

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Part of the problem is that we often go into marriage with unrealistic expectations.

Part of the problem is that we often go into marriage with unrealistic expectations.

Maybe they’re expectations we glean from the movies we watch and the entertainment we take in. Maybe they’re expectations passed down to us by the things our parents have told us (or the things they DIDN’T tell us).

But slowly, the unrealistic expectations begin to develop. One thing I know for sure is that as both a professional counselor and a mother, I want to be able to speak truth into the lives of the next generation, helping them to have both a healthy and realistic expectation of why we wait – and what they can expect along the journey of following God’s best plan for our lives. Here’s what I want them to know:  

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1. Waiting is ALWAYS worth it, but not for the reasons we think.

1. Waiting is ALWAYS worth it, but not for the reasons we think.

We often tell young men and women that they need to wait until marriage to enjoy sex, but fail to tell them why, or make them think that virginity is the one and only key to a fulfilling sex life come wedding night. But none of those things are the REASONS we wait. We don’t wait so that we can we can have an evening of ecstasy on our honeymoon night (because trust me… that’s RARELY the case) .

We wait because through the process of waiting our relationship is built, our trust is strengthened, and our commitment to one another is tried, tested, and refined. We wait because through the process of waiting, we learn discipline, self-control, reverence for the sacred. We wait because it’s an act of worship and obedience, to a God who knows exactly how we’re wired, what we need, and what is best for our lives. Our waiting is an act of trusting… and trusting God always leads to greater things. We wait, not because of what it will do FOR US, but because of what it will do WITHIN US. 

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2. Sex is a process.

2. Sex is a process.

They say good sex starts in the kitchen - and it does. What's meant by that is that it’s in the everyday interactions with one another that our sex lives begin to grow, to form, and to take shape. Through marriage you learn that sex isn’t this one-time action in the moment like the Hollywood movies tend to portray. Real sex, in its intended form, is a process. It’s a process of learning selflessness, trust, communication, and a whole lot of grace. 

It’s a process of learning to be vulnerable, asking for what we need, and trusting our spouse to meet us where we’re at. It’s a process of becoming a better person as much as it is about becoming a better lover. The framework of marriage is the one way that we get to watch this process unfold in the most meaningful way - the process of becoming healthy, becoming whole, and becoming one. There’s a lot to learn about having a healthy sex life. It's a lifelong process of learning along the way, not something that you can figure all out on your wedding night.

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3. Practice makes perfect.

3. Practice makes perfect.

I look back at our wedding night and I have to chuckle a bit. I'll spare you the details, but it was quite a learning curve filled with laughs, trial and error, and a whole lot of practice. But practice makes perfect, and I have to say I am honored to have the chance to practice with this man that I love so deeply for the rest of our lives. That’s what marital sex is all about.

Just like anything significant in life, good sex takes time, energy, and practice to get better. I hear from older couples who are investing in their relationship and thriving in their marriage that their sex life always follows suit- getting healthier, happier, and more exciting along the way! I recently met a couple in their 60s who said their sex life is the best it’s ever been! The honeymoon was simply the start: the beginning of the lifelong journey. It’s important for us to have healthy expectations of this thing called sex long before we enter a marriage relationship.

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Choosing Marriage

Choosing Marriage

This excerpt was adapted from the beginning of Chapter 8 of Choosing Marriage Sex Marks the Spot: From Infatuation to Adoration and used with permission. In the rest of the chapter, we talk through some really important things that often go unaddressed in the church. Here are some of the topics I cover in this chapter:

-Understanding that single or married - you have something called a sexual palette that influences your view of sex.

-Learning about the things you're doing today that are actually SHAPING your sexual palette (for good and for bad).

-Revealing the Top Sexual Problems 1,000 married people reported facing after marriage, as well as how to practically get through each one.

-Talking through physical attraction in marriage - how important is it, how many couples report not having it, and what happens when it fades.

-Tips to achieving the best possible sex life after marriage.

-Getting your expectations of sex RIGHT, before marriage.

-Comparing and contrasting the difference of what singles think the honeymoon will be like vs. what the honeymoon is actually like.

-A hilarious TRUE honeymoon story!!

-And so much more!!

And that's just Chapter 8!!! Pre-order your copy of Choosing Marriage before May 1 to get $50 of free bonuses thrown in!

Enjoyed this article? START READING CHOOSING MARRIAGE FOR FREE! Enter your email below to get the first two chapter sent to your inbox instantly!

Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, and Choosing Marriage: Why It Has To Start With We > Me where she writes candidly about love, sex, dating, relationships, and marriage. You may also recognize her voice from her 200+ articles at Relevant Magazine,, and all over the web! She’s the creator of this True Love Dates Blog, reaching millions of people with the message that healthy people make healthy relationships!  Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!

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