Monday, July 5, 2010

Thoughts as a single vs. thoughts as a married person

This thought occurred to me today. You hear so much heartache about married couples living with serious marriage bed issues where they are not really dealing with it in an aggressive, proactive way. For the spouse who is afraid of sex or... those who just don't like it for one reason or another or... those who are sexually selfish, being only willing to do it when they feel like doing it... what were their thoughts about marital sex when they were single?

Did they spend time thinking about marrying someone one day? Did they think that sex would be an occasional event after a wedding... that they and their spouse would only be "buddies" or "roommates"? Were they sexually active as a single and then freaked out when they married, causing them to sexually withdraw? Or did they have healthy sexual thoughts before and after marriage?

For me, I was highly promiscuous when I was single so I just assumed that I would always be that way. Not once did I dream that I would one day, sexually shut down. I never thought my promiscuity would hinder my marriage. I never thought that going back to church, albeit a different type of church, would contribute to my years of frigidity.

What were your sexual thoughts (or your spouse) as a single vs. your current thoughts as a married person?

10 comments:

mr. self respect said...

As I have confessed previously, I married primarily for sex. I needed it, badly. I thought I finally had found someone who would give me all the sex I needed. I was sadly mistaken.

I remember sitting in church, and praying before the altar, for God to send someone to have sex with me. I was a 23-year-old virgin, and I didn't want to die without having sex.

I married the first person who would have sex with me. Now, after 20 years of marriage, we haven't had sex in 17 years. My wife tells me we will never have sex again. She means it.

In retrospect, I should not have prayed what I did. It was selfish, and I am sorry.

job29man said...

Our case is pretty predictable.

As singles we both figured sex would be beautiful and fun. We had pretty realistic expectations that eventually the cares of the world and busyness would get in the way and we'd have to work at keeping our sex life good.

That is exactly what happened. We work at it, and pretty much succeed in keeping it good. Although there have been years where my bullheaded insensitivity made it more of a chore for Sarah. We both still think it is beautiful and fun.

Cocotte said...

My thoughts and actions have not changed at all. I thought about sex a lot before marriage and still think about it a lot now. I was horny all the time back then and still am :)

landschooner said...

I think what was a surprise to us is how much work "real life" is. We dated in college and "thought" we were busy. My wife was very amorous then and was actually the one who pushed the physical part of the relationship. We were virgins when we married but we went farther than we had originally intended. Anyway, this lead me to believe she was a "passionate" woman. What I didn't know was that this was her at her PEAK; The least busy she would ever be and in the peak of excitement, newness, and romantic pursuit etc. I on the other hand, was just getting started. I was WAY WAY holding back.
I agree with Job that it takes work. I DID work at it for YEARS. Tried to be the most romantic husband I could be. Her libido, if you can say one exists, did not survive life. Not extraordinarily difficult hardships. Just plain old regular 8-5 workaday life without kids. She did NOT work at it. Just wanted to be romanced. To be pursued as before, but rarely wanting to be caught. And low libido folks always seem to think that we "just had sex last weekend" they almost never remember really because they aren't keeping track. But when you're on a starvation diet of anything you NEED, you KNOW when your last meal was.

I think she was surprised. She actually told me while we were still newlyweds, after another argument about sex, that "this is the one area where she never thought we'd have problems in"

(We were arguing about whether we would go tho the farmer's market on Saturday morning or if we would have sex that morning. It was a fairly regular argument. She loved the romantic idea of us shopping through the farmer's Market, hand in hand looking at Strawberries and jalapeno breads and the like. never mind that Saturday morning was about the only time she'd ever say yes to sex. Why would I opt to shop for vegetables when I hadn't had sex in three weeks? Sex or radishes. Sex or radishes. Hmm.)

Neither of us gave any thought to how often we would have sex. We thought we were compatible. And we were. She was at her peak and I was being restrained. While we dated, we were compatible.

Its like we were two horses at the starting gate. The Wedding bells ring, the gates fly OPEN! I'm OFF! I'm sprinting down the track! Finally!!........I look back. Where IS she? Where IS she??

....there she is!

....she'd trotted over to the side gate and is ambling over to the stables to rest.


Its funny. I believe my wife thinks that she is a veteran married woman in the bedroom. I've met newlyweds online on TMB who after 6 weeks have more experience than we do after 18 years. I feel like were a fumbling newlywed couple who barely know what they're doing. "You mean there is MORE than one position? How does THAT work?" I guess I shouldn't compare but it didn't take TMB to show me that. The Song of Songs tells me the same thing, but more beautifully. (so did pre marital counseling books. So did the public elementary school yard frankly)

I suppose I might feel differently if this were actually true, but I find myself wishing that my wife had a promiscuous past. At least she'd have something to get back to. I'd have something to hang my hat on. Like, I might at least be able to think "Its IN THERE if we could just get through to it." I guess my most deep fear in all this is that there really isn't anything there. That this is all she wrote.

LS

ukFred said...

DW has told me that she expected to want sex more than she did when we were married. I had expected her to want sex more frequently and to want to be more participating. We did not discuss frequency or anything else to do with the physical aspects of sex before marriage. I was also naive and thought that if I was Christian and spiritual, then I would not want sex anything like as much as the old, pre-Christian carnal me did. So I suppose I only have myself to blame for being a frustrated married man. In the past few months, DW has been making an affort, especially after I started to mark the kitchen calendar with an R every time I was refused. But recently, we have not felt at all connected emotionally, and this has reduced my desire. DW has not initiated, I expect because of the lack of emotional connection.

Gemma said...

ukFred said: "I was also naive and thought that if I was Christian and spiritual, then I would not want sex anything like as much as the old, pre-Christian carnal me did."

There you have it! I can't tell you how many Protestant Christians I’ve spoken to who have this mindset. Not to be insulting but I don't see Roman Catholics and Christian Orthodox going through it. It’s like many Protestants are afraid that their sexuality is “of the devil”. As a former Protestant, I went through it, too. We think that sexual activities were wrong when we were single, therefore, too much sexual desire must also be wrong in marriage. The more passion and erotic the marital sex becomes, the more we're allowing the devil to rule our passions. That's a load of cr@p and I wish I could shout this from the mountain tops—

Sex for singles = sin and is ‘of the devil’. Passionate sex for married couples = spirituality and godliness. God grieves over sex for singles. He is pleased when we enjoy our marriage bed and the more we enjoy it, the more we keep the devil away from our marriage.

Sexual Responsibility: A Look at 1 Corinthians 7 (by Paul & Lori at TMB) http://www.themarriagebed.com/pages/bible/says/1cor7.shtml

Gemma said...

ukFred said: "DW has been making an affort, especially after I started to mark the kitchen calendar with an R every time I was refused."

Good job, Fred. Keep up the good work with the calendar while you and wife also work on the emotional connection. Some people need a visual reminder to encourage them to try harder in doing the right thing.

And why are you guys not experiencing the emotional connection? Have you pinpointed the reason(s)? Or is it just keeping up a hectic schedule? You can easily slow down outside commitments. Many things we think we need to do... we have a choice to say, "Nope, this has to go so we have time for intimacy."

job29man said...

Gemma,

I'll take exception to your comment that Catholics tend not to have such hangups. Actually I think Catholics are FAMOUS for having sexual hangups, or maybe it's just the Irish Catholics that I'm familiar with. There can be such a "Madonna Complex" kind of thing. As in Mary the Madonna never had sex, ever, ever, never. She was "blessed Mary ever virgin."

I remember hearing that "blessed Mary EVER virgin" all the time growing up. They taught that she NEVER had sex with Joseph. Now why that would be important AFTER Jesus' birth is beyond me. Never mind that Scripture clearly says "Joseph kept her a virgin until the birth of Jesus." Never mind that Scripture also talks about the fact that Jesus had at least four brothers and at least two sisters.

My Catholic apologist friends say "No those weren't brothers and sisters, they were 'kinsmen', i.e. cousins." Gimme a break!

My Catholic friends all had a concept that sex was dirty, period.

I never remember hearing, in 18 years of attending Mass, a single sermon about the beauty of married sex. I never had a single CCD teaching on this, never heard a single reference by friends to this.

But when I became a Protestant I finally started getting good teaching about married sex, in adult Church classes, and even heard such things in Sunday sermons.

My Protestant Church history is Calvary Chapel, Mennonite, Southern Baptist, IFCA, and Non-Denominational. Each one of those churches had great attitudes about married sex in my congregations. If they didn't, I'd have left them.

Gemma said...

Job,

Obviously, many of the Roman Catholics you know have sexual hangups. Most of the ones I know have healthy views. And no, RC's probably wouldn't give a sermon during mass on marital sex any more than Christian Orthodox would teach on that during our Liturgy. But still, most of the RomanCatholics and ChristianOrth I know DO have healthy views.

And think about it--- TMB forum is for any and all Christians who seek sexual help. From what Christian Faith is the majority of posters there who struggle in their marriage bed? I'm going on that, too.

Cocotte said...

TMB seems to be overwhelmingly dominated by protestants for a reason. I think that many of the things that are 'acceptable' on TMB are not acceptable amongst RC - notably masturbation, oral sex and birth control. Those are all BIG NO-NO's in the RC faith.

From time to time, we will have a RC poster who argues about those things. They usually don't stick around long.

I truly don't think struggles in the marriage bed have anything to do with one particular faith. I even have Jewish friends who act as though sex is something to be handed out like candy to their spouse, only when he deserves it.