Monday, November 16, 2015

Sex and Intimacy: Part 2

We firmly believe that a healthy sex life is important for your marriage. In fact, we feel so strongly about it that we would rank it in the top five of “most important things” for your marriage. Unfortunately, though, sex is talked about a lot before marriage—particularly, I mean, the abstinence from sex—but sex is hardly mentioned after marriage.

I will let Howell address the men on this topic, but for today, I want to talk to the wives. Sex entails intimacy, but intimacy does not always entail sex. Women everywhere might shout “Amen!” because they think this means their husband should hold them, cuddle with them, listen to them, cry with them, etc. without (always) having sex implied.

But there are other forms of intimacy that are important for men, too. And, as women, we fail to return to our husbands the intimacy we so often demand. While there may be other forms you can offer, I believe there are three main areas where we, as women, fail to offer intimacy to our husband:

1. Let your husband see you naked. Often. Obviously nakedness is implied with sex, but it’s important and healthy for your husband to see you naked other times, too. Don’t hide in your closet or behind closed doors when you change clothes. Don’t rush to put a towel around yourself after stepping out of the shower. Take a bubble bath with the door open. I recognize that some of you might cover yourself,  to avoid being seen by your children. But you can take extra measures to ensure privacy.

You might be thinking, too, Well, my good-looking-body ship has sailed long ago. In fact, you can’t even see it from the shores of the beach! Believe me – it doesn’t matter.  I have often felt self-conscious about my body, but not once has Howell ever complained when I let myself be vulnerable before him. Trust me, whether you’re big or thin, saggy or perky—your husband loves you, he desires you, and he wants to see your body.

2. Let your husband touch you and kiss you. As women, we long to be held, embraced, caressed. My favorite is when Howell scratches my back in bed. But there are other “touches” that men desire—and as wives, we need to open ourselves to their needs. And, in relation to this, let your husband kiss you. Often. Wherever. Don’t shrink back. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to leave. Don’t be too preoccupied with the kids, or dinner, or work—or your Facebook! Let him kiss you—and kiss him back. A good, passionate kiss reminds us of our dating days, rekindles our desires for each other, and reaffirms the security of each other’s faithfulness.

3. Let your husband compliment you. I have found that many women struggle to receive compliments from their husbands. When Howell tells me I’m beautiful, I usually find a way to shrug it off or disagree or change the subject.  While I might think I’m being modest, or humble, or whatever—I’m actually putting down my husband’s confidence to compliment me. Men love complimenting their wives. Your husband is proud of you, proud that you are his wife, proud that you are the mother of his children. And, to him, you are beautiful. You are sexy. You are desirable. Don’t take that away from him—receive it, encourage it, be grateful for it.

I could say more on this subject, but I’ll leave it at this for now. Most marriages fail when a healthy sex life fails to exist. Sex is the highest, most intimate form of communication you can have with your partner. It connects your hearts and revives your faithful commitment to one another. There’s just something about sex that is healing: open, honest, and vulnerable. But the precursor to a good sex life is intimacy. As women, we sometimes think, well, I don’t want to just jump into sex; I need to be “wooed.” My husband needs to be “intimate” with me more often.

I’m not denying the truth or importance of this statement. But sometimes, as wives, we put so much pressure on our husbands to “perform” intimacy for us when there are things we can do, ourselves, to be intimate with our husbands.

If you’re each waiting for the other to take the first step, then you’re both being selfish. Love is not selfish—love freely gives. Take the first step, wives, and practice being intimate with your husband—on his level of intimacy. [Tweet this.]

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