However, marital intimacy is a struggle for many couples. Maybe all couples? Because of that, we are trying to get at the root of Why. Why do we struggle to make this a vibrant part of our marriage? Why don’t we serve each other better and more thoroughly? This week we will throw out some ideas, starting with the guys.
Problem 1: Adam’s sin – Passivity
Too often we are too passive. We don’t ask for what we need because we think it would be selfish to do so, and we don’t ask her what she needs, because we figure if she needed something she would say something. We fail to lead.
You may think that I am implying that we should be more demanding, but that isn’t what I’m suggesting. I’m saying that we need to be servant leaders. Marital Intimacy is an important area of your marriage, for both of you, so as the leader you should not just let it drift along and hope for the best. She wants you to be a leader.
Problem 2: Culture of Lust
This hurts us in two ways. First, every time I give in to my desire to look at someone else, I am moving away from my wife. God put the desire in me so that I will be drawn to her and her alone. If I’m getting that need fulfilled outside of marriage then it is a wedge, not a magnet. Second, it takes our expectations to absurd new levels. You can’t watch an hour of NFL on TV without seeing a variety of commercials involving well-scripted, highly paid, physically perfect, digitally manipulated seductresses. I have to constantly remind myself that I only have eyes for Dana, but even when we make the right choice and look away there is still a seed that is planted. There are ideas about what is ‘normal’ or what happens in other bedrooms, and that doesn’t do us any good at all.
Guard your eyes, guard your heart. Pray that you will be delighted and enchanted and satisfied with your wife, and with your wife alone. This will mean shutting off the TV at times, installing filters and accountability software on your computers, and meeting regularly with another guy who is interested in maintaining his personal integrity.
Problem 3: Lack of kind, understanding, caring, gentle, supportive, Ephesians 5 love
I don’t always treat my wife as the treasure that she is. Either I am careless and rude, or thoughtless and distant. (I tend towards the second. Some of you may tend towards the first. Both are bad.)
Remember, as I’ve said before, her ability to be intimate is rooted in a feeling that she is safe and a belief that she is beautiful. When you serve her, you are putting both of you into the correct mindset. I’ve often said that wives are Ferraris and husbands are Jeeps. A Ferrari is a finely tuned high performance machine, but if you take it off-roading you will tear it up. It’s not designed to be treated so roughly. In the same way, treat your wife right! When I take the time to really listen to my wife and find out what she needs from me, and if I take the extra time needed to be kind to her…to treat her like a queen…it turns out that she likes it! Who would have guessed?!? I’ve heard that Marital Intimacy starts in the kitchen (or living room), and that is true. Be kind and gentle and loving and caring all of the time, and things will just naturally go better. She will respond.
Problem 4: Selfishness
Maybe you’re desperate. It’s been 7 days and you think you are about to die. Acting as desperate as a starving man on a desert island is a major turnoff for your wife. It makes her yet again feel like she is not able to meet your needs adequately, which strikes right at the heart of who she is. Plus she is probably mentally comparing you to your 3 year old son who is ‘sooooooooooo hungry,’ or thirsty, or whatever. Not a good mental picture to get her in the mood. Or maybe you’re selfish and it’s all about you. Since it isn’t as strong of a desire for my wife, too often I know that I think that marital intimacy is mostly to keep my needs fulfilled.
Pray. And read this post about Expectations. Focus on Solutions 1-3. Communicate. Find out what feels good for her. Find out what makes her feel loved, and do it. Bring her to climax every time. (If you don’t know how, buy this book.)
Problem 5: Anger Towards Your Wife
Perhaps you are like me and you only have a vague sense that you have feelings at all. However, I have found that deep down inside of me there are a lot of feelings. Trust me. They usually just manifest themselves as anger or apathy. So, if your wife has been disrespectful or unloving in some way, such as by belittling you or shaming you or rejecting you in some way, there is a chance that deep down you will have difficulty even responding to her.
Pray. Forgive her. Focus on Solutions 1-3. Communicate.
This has gone from a blog post to a short novel, so I will stop. However, I hope that these thoughts will be the beginning of a journey for you. Think about them and diagnose the areas that you can improve. We hope that you and your wife will slowly but surely bring about a new level of one-ness and joy through marital intimacy.