What happens in your marriage bed when you and your spouse have a serious emotional issue (ie, or sexual, thinking through this in reverse), one which has days or possibly weeks of lasting effects? Does your sexual intimacy come to an abrupt halt or are you and your spouse able to work through the emotional hitch simultaneous as you continue to enjoy passionate sex?
GR and I had such an issue come up this past week; we were both at fault. We rarely have emotional issues these days so when it does happen, it is usually big. Although it takes work and dedication, we both agree that when things are not at their absolute best outside the bedroom, it is in no way reason to allow our marriage bed to suffer.
Here is the tricky part-- Many of us agree that emotional and sexual intimacy are closely related so if they are, how do you separate them so that a fall-out in one area does not cause a fall-out in the other? I think most guys have the advantage in these situations because they, more easily than women, naturally compartmentalize each area of their life. Can women learn this skill? Absolutely if they are willing to work at it.
When this issue came up last week one of the first things I thought was, “Oh, great… our marriage bed has been going strong and now this. What will happen with us in the bedroom?” And then I was reminded of something. Those of any Christian Faith can benefit from doing this analysis when problems arise in the marriage relationship. In Christian Orthodoxy we rely on what we call “7 grievous sins” and “7 virtues”, which we analyze extensively when we need to confess any kind of sin. It helps us to quickly and efficiently identify our problem/sin areas where otherwise we may ignore or overlook them and then it helps us to focus on the virtues. We list them as follows:
1. PRIDE: the lack of humility befitting a creature of God.
2. GREED: too great a desire for money or worldly goods.
3. LUST: impure and unworthy desire for something evil.
4. ANGER: unworthy irritation and lack of self control.
5. GLUTTONY: the habit of eating or drinking too much.
6. ENVY: jealousy of some other person's happiness.
7. SLOTH: laziness that keeps us from doing our duty to God and man.
In our situation I could see that if I was not careful I would end up ushering into my life the sins of pride, anger and sloth and that these sins would clearly interfere in the mending of the issue at hand. Once I identified which sins I was battling against it made it easy to work towards overcoming them by focusing on the virtues. So my task at hand- to truly confess my pride, anger and sloth and to pray for humility, temperance and diligence. Voila! How I wish I had learned this years ago but better late than never. With each of us truly confessing and praying through this, we were able to successfully go to bed that same night and enjoy passionate sex. One problem did not have to create another.
So I will ask again--- What happens in your marriage bed when you and your spouse face serious emotional issues? Does sexual intimacy go down the toilet or are you and your spouse able to work through the emotional hitch simultaneous as you continue to enjoy passionate sex?
May we all become smarter and more obedient to God in the handling of issues in our marriages and in our lives!