How Can I Start
Hello…I have a rather simple question: where do I start, how do I begin a journey to improve my marriage bed? I want to change, and I’ve promised my husband many times that I would, but then in a blink of an eye many weeks go by and there is still no change.
I mean well…but….
Help me. For those wives that have turned themselves around, how did you start?
I just shared some ideas in your welcome. But more simply, you feel the conviction, you’ve made a choice…
Have you confessed and repented to the Lord?
Have you confessed and asked your husband’s forgiveness?
Find someone you can confess to, who will pray for you and who can and will keep you accountable. This was a HUGE step for me. I wasn’t quite ready to tell my husband about it all because I didn’t want the extra pressure, and if I was honest, I was keeping a crack in the door so I could back out if I decided. Which was the very reason I sent an email to a friend almost immediately. I knew the Holy Spirit had convicted me and I wanted to be obedient. But it was within a week or two I ended up telling my husband, which I needed his help to fight my flesh and win this battle of changing.
To go with a friend, join an online community and actually be a part of it. Here is a great place, but I know TFW has one (though it is slow in activity) and there are FB groups, like Better Than the Honeymoon.
Choose to stop refusing. If for some reason a time is not good, offer a reschedule within the next day or so, and follow through.
Depending on how your husband is conditioned, you may have to take the lead initiating. Or if you can promise not to say “no”, he may feel free and embolden to initiate. I am sure The Forgiven Wife will have some good ideas and more specifuc first steps, and following steps.
I have stood where you are. I am beginning a new leg of my own journey. I am praying for you. You have everything you need, in Christ Jesus, to make this change! Hugs and blessings my fellow sister sojourner!
How to start:
1. Stay with this group, honestly. The support here is super. Reading posts here daily will keep you accountable to yourself. It will also keep sex on your mind more frequently, which can help with libido.
2. Be kind to yourself. This takes time. It is a process of self discovery, and you may have setbacks along the way. That’s normal, and it’s what this board is here for. You’re more likely to stick with this if you expect setbacks and then just work through them. As a friend of mine likes to say, the enemy likes to attack us. If we know about it ahead of time, we have the advantage and can fight it off better.
3. Educate yourself. There is so much great information on TMB website. And learn what you can about your body. It will help you better figure out why you react to sex the way you do. Remember that there is a wide range of normal for the female body, and loving yourself for who you are during this journey is important.
I recommend the books Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski, and The Female Brain by LouAnn Brizendine. The first is the book that really got me to realize what my issues were, and how to have the courage to start to make changes.
4. And finally, pray. God will help you as you go through this.
You ask “where do I start, how do I begin a journey to improve my marriage bed?”
Answer: you just did.
As SC said, one important component of this may be responsive desire. If you don’t know what that is, it is basically that you don’t tend to want/desire sex off the top of your head. Instead, you only tend to want sex once it starts in one capacity or another (from as little as verbal foreplay to as much as PIV intercourse). Neither of us knew this was a thing until last summer, and it explained so much. I strongly recommend you read up on this subject if that sounds like you. One author that we found spoke very well to us was Jay Dee at Uncovering Intimacy (he did the podcasts that are mentioned in the link SC gave). Here are some related articles from him:
Now, if he doesn’t write in a way that works for you, consider some other blogs:
The Generous Wife (written by a woman for women)
The XY Code (written by a man for women, to help them understand men)
The Generous Husband (written by a man for men, but there will be some explanations of women that might help you see stuff in yourself)
At your age, you’ll be post menopause and Zelda and I have no experience with that. And the long history of refusal/gatekeeping is tough. SC mentioned to you The Forgiven Wife, and I’d strongly recommend it too. DG mentioned some books that I’ve heard good things about (seriously, just pay attention to everything she says actually).
Finally, one thing that has really weighed on me lately–if you’re willing to answer, do you actually enjoy sex when it happens? Do you feel real sexual pleasure (while not a perfect measure, do you orgasm at least some of the time)? Does your husband (abbreviated DH here) work to make sure it’s good for you?
Good luck in this journey!
I thought of another thing that could be highly beneficial to you, and that’s understanding “responsive desire”. You could search those keywords on here, and read what you find. I know at this link, there are some links to check out. I know that @Scott from the couple Scott & Zelda on here, has shared many things in reference to this. I couldn’t quickly find them, so I am counting on him and his canny memory and wonderfully ability to link to show up and share more!
Thank you each for your responses. It seems I can’t reply under each of your posts as a comment as I am used to on most other internet forums. Still trying to understand “points” here. I will look at each of the items suggested. I have actually already found The Generous Husband/Generous Wife sites, and have also found The Forgive Wife. All those sites are now book-marked and I’ve submitted my request to join the FB Group mentioned.
I know I have a long road ahead, but I am willing and ready to do what is necessary. To answer @Scott question: yes, I do enjoy intimacy once it starts! Very much so. I have a very attentive husband in the marriage bed: he is always kind and generous to meet my needs! My biggest issue is up-front desire, and the willingness to initiate…and on the side: convincing my husband that it’s OK for him to ask often, I won’t get mad anymore.
Hi Time4Change. I don’t have much to add to the great responses above. For over 20 years my DW and I had a very stressful marriage bed. She desired sex very infrequently, and when we did have sex it was not very pleasurable for her since she did not know how to orgasm. To make a long story short, things began to get better only after both of us resolved to develop a concrete plan to make our marriage bed better for both of us. As the ‘spontaneous’ desire spouse, I have done most of the research and in particular this forum and its predecessor were crucial as a source of ideas, suggestions, etc.
I will mention two concrete things we did that were very helpful. First, we schedule sex to occur on Saturday morning unless something serious prevents us from doing so (illness, etc.) Scheduling may sound like it takes the sizzle out of sex, but on the flip side, a schedule really helps my wife commit to being mentally and physically available for love-making, and it gives me something to look forward to at the end of the week. This is not to say that sex never happens at other times, but having a time scheduled for sex ensures that our intimate life does not vanish under all the pressures of life (raising children, helping aging parents, work, etc.) Second, we worked very hard to figure out a way for my DW to learn how to O. Clearly, this task fell on her more than me, since she really was not familiar at all with the sexual response of her body. One thing that helped was she began to do Kegel’s, but what really turned the corner for us was when we decided to see if a vibrator could help. This was a big step on my wife’s part, since she was a bit nervous about introducing toys. After trying a variety of toys, we finally found one (a magic wand) that indeed helped her to have an O.
I guess the key for us was lots of honest communication, and a willingness to get beyond the frustration both of us were experiencing. I can say that for us this is a process that is still going on; we are trying to have a regular ‘sex meeting’ at least once a week so that we can continue to keep our marriage bed a dynamic and exciting part of our marriage.
I will prayer for you and your husband.
Disclaimer: I have not been a low-drive spouse (except during times of ill-health) but I do have an idea for you. Since you do enjoy intimacy once it starts, maybe it would help to put a special effort into remembering pleasurable encounters after they happen. Cement the memory of the best sensations in your mind and go back to the memory again and again the next day and until you next come together. Maybe memory can begin to morph into anticipation. Scent is one of the most powerful links to memory; if he has a cologne you like maybe start making sure he wears it when you ML so that whenever you smell his cologne it brings your last time together to mind.
Get a calendar and mark sexual activity that you will partake in daily. Maybe as simple as picking out an outfit you know your husband likes. Maybe creating as sexy situation in your mind. Maybe initiating sex. Maybe just pleasing yourself. But map it out and follow through.