March 10, 2010

Marriage: Satisfied?

Warning: This post is rated LO (ladies only)
A few weeks ago I placed a little survey on my blog about marriage.The question posed was which do you struggle with the most 1) communication 2) intimacy 3) conflict over parenting styles. Each scored several points, but the winner of my unofficial survey was intimacy. This came as no surprise. Unfortunately, my husband and I have recently discovered the alarming number of marriages that are suffering greatly in the area of intimacy.
Ladies, I'm going to be very frank. Your man NEEDS to have sex. Hello, nothing like starting the day with a cup of coffee and a sentence like that! It is a physical/physiological need. God created him that way. Kind of like he created me with a need for chocolate. --Kidding! (Sort of)
Just like the body needs water to live, a marriage needs intimacy. Some days I don't drink enough water. Am I dying? No, but my lips are dry, my skin is rough and things don't ahem flow like they should. If I deprive myself of water for too long, then yes, I put myself in danger. Marriage without intimacy is the same way. If a man and woman are not sharing physical intimacy, then companionship is diminished and the protection against temptation is impaired. If the lack of intimacy continues, then it leaves an opening for something (or someone) to fill the void.
I love how Martha Peace puts it in her book The Excellent Wife:
"The word "satisfy" means to be satiated. In other words, the husband is so satiated with her love that no one else would even get a second glance. It would be like eating and eating until you were stuffed. If someone then offered you your favorite dessert, you would not even be tempted. Likewise, the husband is to be "satiated" with his wife's love."
The first time I read that passage, I was 9 months pregnant and remembered thinking, "I don't think my husband is satiated right now." :)

As with most things in marriage, we must be willing to put our spouse first and self second (within a context of healthy boundaries). Sure, there are many times when I don't feel like it, have the energy, much less the desire for physical intimacy. That's when I need to remember how important it is for my marriage.
Every couple is different when it comes to frequency. I once had a friend ask me how often they should be having sex. The mere fact that she was asking, was an indication that they 1) need to sit down and talk about it, during daylight hours 2) increase the frequency.

Are you withholding yourself from your husband?
Are you using physical intimacy as a "trump card"?

Think of intimacy as the best gift you can give him. Don't use it as a weapon. Ask God to help you see it as a gift rather than domestic drudgery.
Be creative.
Keep it frequent.


Gretchen said...

You are a brave & awesome soul! And truer words were never spoken. Some folks don't like the idea of "planning" intimacy. For me, if I don't have it at least on my imaginary to-do list, I'll forget. And I love him so much that I don't want to forget. And, the longer we're married, the more I want him to know what he means to me. I've said this before, but...if one of my girlfriends needed me to stop by & get her something from the store, or watch her kids for 30 min while she ran to the bank, I'd do it if I possibly could. Doesn't my husband rate at least that much consideration?

Carpool Queen said...

Cowardly Lion can't use a pressure cooker but can talk about sex on the Internet????

Lacy said...

So true sister....I can tell a difference since my attitude changed on this subject a few years ago. Still working but much more confidence in our marriage. Thanks!!! Miss ya.

Laura said...

You go girl! Now if I had chocolate with my coffee this morning, this blog would have been easier to read :)

Due to so many distractions in our lives lately like the computer and tv, my hubby and I decided to make some rules for ourselves to strengthen our relationship instead of let things come between it. We have picked two nights where we watch our favorite shows and then the other nights we are in our bed by 9 at the latest. That's solely to talk, read, or "do" whatever. That way its not too late, we shouldn't be too exhausted, there are no interuptions, and the little ones are sound asleep.

ashley said...

What a great post! I am loving this marriage stuff. This one was a great encouragement to me, as we are certainly still working on this area of our marriage. Little ones are exhausting! At the end of the day I often feel like I can do nothing except lay on the couch. :( Thanks for your reminders and encouragement.

Angie said...

(Laura's game plan is good! I should follow suit...)

Thanks for the oh-so-true reminder! In the fall I was being far more intentional in this area, and our marriage reaped wonderful rewards. (I mean, it was GOOD!)

And then... I got pregnant (with #4-ish).

And now... we're in a major dry spell. Morning sickness and fatigue do that to you. And even though the morning sickness is gone, I just... don't... feel like it. And hubby is NOT happy about it! Despite how pregnant I might feel, you've reminded me today that even now I need to put MY needs aside and realize that I'm pushing his aside, and am in turn hurting his self-esteem and our intimacy.

So thank you... I think. ;)

Bugs and Sunshine said...

Carpool queen is cracking me up!

God enabled you to speak His Word with boldness today.

Good words Sista!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Well said, Gretchen. And very true.

I would add that women "need" it more than they realize. I don't think it's a physiological need for us like it is for men, but I believe we need it for our emotional health! That's just my opinion of course, but I strongly believe it.

Mich said...

Speaking the truth in go girl!!!

Thank you for the sweet comment you left me. I know my sister thinks the world of you, and I am learning why. We appreciate all your prayers.

Sandy said...

The "cowardly lion" is a savvy lioness! And her mama-lion is so proud of her!

ashley said...

I wanted to let you know that this subject was so heavy on my heart all day yesterday that I approached my hubby with tears to talk about this area of our marriage. We has SUCH a great conversation and we both feel so much better about sitting down and communicating, sharing our hearts, and coming up with a plan for the future. THANK YOU!

Kay @ Off the Beaten Path said...


Kay @ Off the Beaten Path said...

Gulp. I hear you girl and you're right on.

Amber said...

Heavens dear one, you ate your Wheaties just before you wrote this one, huh?

You are a brave one.

But I agree with everything you said. And you are now my hero for going THERE HERE.

Love you muchly.

Tiffani said...

OK, so I'm slightly late to the party but I've some sickly kiddies and I'm just now reading through some blogs and catching up!

Girl. I have to be honest. I love a good sex talk. :) (Did I scare you away?!?) It's IS so vital and so important to make a marriage work and talking about it helps remind us of it's importance but to be free, fun and encourage each other in that area!

I wouldn't say intimacy is our #1, it's the parenting styles. But, I think that is because being intimate is a priority for us. We don't "plan" but we know when we need it and have been known to stop what we're doing and enjoy each other's company. I love what Mer said, too, about it being for us too. We DO need it, maybe not as much, but we do.

OK, I could go on, but I'm afraid I'd be spilling a lot of beans! :)

I loved this post!

Sarah said...

Yes, and I can attest to the truth of this!! I've been on the side where there was..uh..a lot of abstinence going on (and we didn't even have kids yet at the time!!!)
But, we were determined to finally make this a GREAT thing in our lives...but, it took a lot of work!!...and yes, a LOT of practice and talking.
I'm so glad we did! I love to talk to women about this subject!!

Jodee Leader said...

Wow! What a super post! Thanks for reminding me that I need to make intimacy a priority in my marriage! The hubs needs it way more than I do! I am beat after working all day and parenting all night!

Cathy said...

Good stuff!

I've been a little MIA lately but so glad I discovered this little gem.;) can include Oregon in the "Bloggers Block Club"...way to break out of it with a good ole sex talk!

Looking forward to reading more!

Cindy said...

Nothing like JUST finding your blog from New friend Friday. Are your posts always this deep? :) Just kidding. All I know is that communication is the most important thing in a marriage and intimacy is a close 2nd. I have been married for 17yrs and our relationship is better now, in ALL ways. Granted we got married when we were 18 and our lives were crazy with a new baby. Anyway, I have been told that people who are genuinely happy in life have are having good sex.

Shannon O | Confessions of a Loving Wife said...

Hi Gretchen,

Thanks for the great blog post!

I mentioned this post and included a link to in on my blog here:

Janel@Dandelion Dayz said...

Oh, such an important topic and so brave to discuss on your blog.
Awesome points about our men, but I'm with Mer, too - God created sex for both of us. Women can experience lower stress levels, great exercise ;), and deeper intimacy with their hubby. It's good all around!