You forget to say thank you when he changes the baby’s diaper. You keep washing the dishes in the morning as he walks out the door, not thinking to see him off to work. You can’t remember the last time you and he had a conversation that wasn’t about the house or the kids, or had more than 10 words in it for that matter. You feel estranged, lonely, sad, and wonder why your marriage seems to be so out of sorts lately.
When was the last time the two of you had sex?
Yep. Sex. Does that seem oversimplified? Does it seem like I just inferred that sex is the answer for all marital problems? Well, that’s probably because I kind of did. Stay with me here. *Disclaimer: Obviously, I know that sex is not the answer for ALL marital problems.*
I’m going to be transparent here and admit that for YEARS of our marriage this one simple fact made me angry. When we had problems, I felt like they seemed layered and multifaceted and emotional, and it ticked me off that if we just had sex I would feel like he “liked” me again. It didn’t seem right or fair.
When I got over myself (it took years…), I realized I was missing such a simple idea: Sex was a gift given by God for this very reason, to keep our bond tied as tight as is possible.
When we have sex with our spouse, the “two become one.” Our souls mingle. Intimacy is as heightened as it can be. This doesn’t happen with a roommate or a friend; we can be close to them but never in a one-flesh sort of way. There is so much more to this act than just the physical side. All the emotional layers underneath it are like the proverbial iceberg. This is why God wanted us to save the act of sex for the ultimate commitment of marriage, there is no other relationship that can handle the weight of this kind of connection without breaking.
I’ve heard it said that if sex is good, it makes up only about 10% of your marriage, but if it’s bad, it’s more like 90%. I’ve seen this as truth in many relationships, as well as my own. When this part of our relationship is where it should be, then it’s not something that takes up a lot of mental space. It does its job of keeping the bond tight, and we can move on with all the other things that life throws at us. But when the sexual relationship is not where it is supposed to be? It takes over everything. That’s not an overstatement. Everything.
I’ve written before about how selfish I sometimes feel in this area of marriage. I can easily let my exhaustion get in the way of intimacy. But I have seen over and over again in our relationship that if we take the time to put each other first, if we push through the tiredness of dealing with work and kids all day and just be together the way God intended, then our relationship can hit a sweet spot I didn’t even know existed. But I won’t lie, it’s a struggle. As much as we all wanted to have sex before we got married, I still find it strange that this can be a struggle.
So, let’s get back to the question: When was the last time the two of you had sex? If any of the feelings from that first paragraph have been running through your mind lately then my guess is—it’s business time.
Lock the door, ignore the kids and get it on. It’s worth a try. Heck, if it’s doesn’t fix everything, at least you’ll have fun together.