I am exhausted: I’m talking bone weary, touched out, cuddled out, kissed out kind of tired! I spend all day serving and cleaning up and snuggling and loving on my 5 children. When my husband comes home in the evening, I’m bordering zombie land, just trying to salvage some remnant of affection from the seemingly empty well within. It isn’t that I don’t love the man, it’s that I feel completely tapped out and the idea of meeting the needs of yet another person can seem completely overwhelming. The reality is there just doesn’t seem to be enough me to go around these days. For years, I have poured out everything I am during the day and my husband is relegated to an affectionately esteemed stray dog, just picking up the pieces that I have left. But it isn’t meant to be this way, and as I have been sitting here pondering my sorry outlook on sex, I know I am not alone. I have debated writing this post, I have hesitated, I have questioned and doubted. This is a vulnerable post and this topic tends to be a bit taboo in the Christian community, but the more I pray about it and find freedom in my own life, the more I feel called to speak out. So let’s just take a few minutes to talk about the elephant in the room.
What is Festering in Our Marriage Beds?
One of the biggest problems I see with the way women can view sex is that we start to think it is “for him”. Have you ever thought of sex as your duty-an obligation? As just another thing pulling at you, another item on your checklist? Are you starting to resent having to spend this time with your husband when you don’t feel like your needs are being met? Maybe you have started to feel bitter and jaded and plain old sorry for yourself that you are expected to meet his physical needs when he isn’t meeting your emotional ones?
I know you, I have been you! The more kids I have, the more I have struggle with desire, or lack thereof. Chalk it up to a mess of hormones or lack of sleep, but the sad fact is there have been whole seasons of my life that I’m just not in the mood. I would rather do pretty much anything rather than have sex. I crave being alone, working in my planner, writing, singing, having a nice bath, maybe reading a book. I mean, sex is the very last entry on a very long list of possibilities. Somewhere, nestled in the corner of my heart, is the truth that sex is important, for my husband, for me even, but in that moment, I can’t seem to remember why. Don’t get me wrong, we are not one of those couples who go months without sex, but it is nowhere near the same as what it was in the beginning. I tell myself it is just a normal result of being married for nearly 10 years, the spark just ain’t what it used to be.
But friends, that is a LIE.
The truth is, it isn’t supposed to be this way, we don’t have to accept it. We need to stop wallowing in self-pity and bitterness and start stepping out with a little passion. It’s no wonder the fire is burning out when we have given up. We’ve let ourselves become so busy, we’ve accepted the lie that this is normal, and we have allowed a seed of bitterness towards the expectation placed on us to grow. You see, we spend so much time focusing on what our man isn’t doing, that we are blind to what we are doing. And it has to stop. If we want to have a passionate relationship with our husbands again, it needs to start here and now, with US. We need to put aside our attitudes and outlooks and start going taking what is rightfully ours. We need to stop being such a martyr and start showing some initiative. Take a look at some of the top reasons why this is important for YOU and what changes you can expect to see in your marriage and life when you start making time for sex.
5 Reasons You Need to Make Time for Sex
- Sex is a Release: Do you feel stressed, overwhelmed, emotional, uptight, irritated, impatient, at the end of your rope? Do you know that God created sex, for YOU, to be a release? This isn’t just about your husband here, stop for a minute and think about you. All of that tension you are feeling, the fact that your brain just can’t stop thinking, you just can’t stop doing… sex is a way of releasing that, of giving you rest from your worries and physically releasing some of that energy you have built up inside of you. When you invest into your sex life, you are investing into your emotional well-being and you will find yourself more relaxed and at peace in the day-to-day.
- Sex is Connection: One of the most powerful aspects of sex, especially for us women, is that connection we feel with our husbands during and after. It is a moment of emotional intimacy that nothing else can truly compare with. Sex actually increases Oxytocin, that is the love hormone that helps us build love and trust. There literally is a chemical, physical, and emotional connection that are all building into your relationship with your man. When you have sex more often, you will be building your love and passion for your husband.
- A Healthy Sex Life Protects your Marriage: It is easy for us to assume we need to keep our man satisfied so he doesn’t “stray” and that seems to be the message we receive in today’s culture. However, because of the strong emotional connection we experience during sex, and NEED, we are just as susceptible to temptation. If we don’t feel connected to our husbands, we are vulnerable to anyone who starts to take an interest in us. A healthy sex life is kind of like a routine vaccination, it keeps your immune system strong (well, literally it does, but sticking with the simile, it keeps your communication and connection strong) and helps prevent catastrophe.
- Sex helps you sleep better: I mean, from the perspective of exhaustion, doesn’t a better, more effective sleep sound like just what the doctor ordered? We sometimes view sex as something that is “keeping” us from sleeping but the reality is gives us a deeper, more refreshing sleep than the ‘toss and turn’ sleep pattern that can leave us feeling like the walking dead. Investing the time to have sex means that you will be getting more of that REM sleep that you so desperately need
- Sex is part of your identity: You were created to have sex. It is part of your emotional makeup, your hormonal makeup, your spiritual makeup, and your physical makeup. It is part of who you are, the kids that exhaust you so completely are a direct blessing from this incredible, holy act with your husband. When we compartmentalize sex as “only for our husband’s physical needs” we fail to recognize the power it has in our own lives. When we invest in our sex lives, when we make it a priority, we feel like a treasure. We feel valued and important and beautiful and confident, it impacts the very way we flip our hair in the morning, the sway of our hips, the tilt of our heads. You see, when we have a healthy sex life, we seep confidence. We are confident in our marriage, we are confident in who we are as women, and we feel beautiful and desirable. It is an incredibly empowering thing, and it is our gift when we make sex a priority in our relationship.
It’s Time to Stoke the Fire
There is no excuse, we need to do this not just for our husbands, but for ourselves. We need to re-ignite the passion and love we once felt. Maybe you feel like it is impossible, I certainly did. I have had a complete hysterectomy friends (read the story here), my hormones are a MESS. I have blamed hormones, 5 kids, exhaustion–I feel like I have every good excuse for being the way I am. But the great news is that I also serve a God who is bigger than all of that. Who made me for my desire to be for my husband. Who wants me to walk in freedom in that and can give me what I need to be who He created me to be!
If you want to find the passion that seems but a dim memory of the past, you need to pray! You need to give up and get God involved! He is the one who can balance your hormones without manufactured chemicals that are carcinogens. He is the one who can heal past hurt and baggage that is driving a wedge between you and your husband. He is the one who can help you to refocus, to not get so bogged down with the pressure of life and have the time, energy, and even desire for your husband again. Lay down the burden tired mama, give up on the idea that you need to do MORE. That you need to find that perfect book, that right supplement or pill, that perfect diet or exercise regime. It’s flat out exhausting, is it not?
Not through man–through God.
You see, it is possible to desire your husband again, to desire sex again. It is important to work on your sex life… not just for your husband and the sake of your marriage, but for you personally. It is worth the time and energy you invest, I promise you that!
Stuck at home and can’t get a babysitter? No problem! Take a look at these home date ideas, choose one and surprise your man with a little initiative tonight… for both of your sakes.