Vows, Sex and Marriage (#807)

Can the commitment of marriage actually destroy the spontaneity and thrill of romance? That's a question Kyle gets from some of his younger clients and he poses the question to Wayne. That leads them to a wide-ranging discussion about marriage and why knowing someone well enough to commit yourself to them for life is a key ingredient to a life-long fulfilling relationship with another person. In a world, that treats sex so casually, however, how do we help people recapture the wonder of the most precious relationship God offers us in this world. They also discuss extracting yourself from an abusive relationship, making sure you marry well by finding someone with the emotional integrity to grow with you, and finding a way to live together that never makes your spouse a victim of your desires or never asks him or her to be untrue to themselves.

Podcast Notes:
Wayne's article: Divorce Can Be a Triumph
Past Podcasts with Kyle
My Friend Luis, the podcast
Order Wayne's new book Live Loved Free Full

8 Comments

  1. What happens when you do everything right: abstain before marriage, have only ever had a sexual connection with each other, spend 16 years with a person in a great marriage in many aspects, but because you were married at a young age, and have grown since – discovered a sexual
    Incompatibility.
    One persons sex drive being much higher, than the other.
    Add in some liberation from evangelical beliefs , it leaves one person feeling as if they are missing out on sexual fulfillment and the other feeling like they are not enough.

    Neither want to hurt the other, but one is standing firm that they need more adventurous sex, and the other is at a loss as to how to accommodate that.

    There are times that it feels like you have given everything you can in a marriage, but it leaves you feeling unfulfilled.

    Doesn’t it breed resentment to ask the other to give up their sexual desires in order to continue to function in the status quo of a really good marriage?

    • Your comment makes my heart hurt. I’m so sorry that in the midst of a great marriage you’ve not been able to carve out a sexual expression that leaves BOTH of you fulfilled. That’s the desire of getting to “us”. Every couple deals with the differences in sexual drives, appetites, and even fantasies. “Standing firm” is not the way to get to “us” whether it’s to be more adventurous or not to be. (Of course, that depends on what the adventure is and whether it is appropriate.) Remember what we talked about on the podcast about never making the other person your victim or asking them to do something untrue to themselves. I suspect you’re now seeing this situation as a contest between mutually exclusive options. At times like this Sara and I have always looked for a third way through that we’re missing. Sometimes it takes a maturer couple or a good counselor to help you sort this out. But I’ve no doubt there is a way to move here that you will both find satisfying.

    • My heart breaks as well for you. Sadly it is not an uncommon story. I have worked with couples who have a very similar story with regards to “Doing everything right” and then as the relationship grows, the sexual intimacy deeply struggles. Whether it be from shame/guilt/trauma/distorted ideation born out of conservative religious views, some form of sexual disfunction (1 in 3 women will experience some form of sexual disfunction in their lifetime and 1 in 5 males. Not a topic that is often discussed in church settings), or a wide variety of other issues, sexual pleasure in a relationship is a key aspect of having a wholehearted married. All couples have one member in the relationship that has a stronger sex drive than the other. This can also shift back and forth depending on age, stage of life, social/work stressors etc. I agree with Wayne when he describes the idea of “not being a victim” to the other person. There are a LOT of different issues that may be influencing this challenging aspect of an otherwise wonderful marriage. I would strongly encourage finding a trained counselor or marriage coach that can help you navigate towards a more whole expression of “us”. Just some of the areas that may be in play are: Identity, Self-Esteem, Self-Image, Sexual Disfunction, previous Trauma, Unspoken or Unmet Expectations/Desires, Distorted Ideation (for guys and a growing percentage of ladies, this is often fueled by the use of pornography, also social media, tv/film, modern fiction and other social influences can radically impact sexual ideation), Physiological Issues (Thyroid, testosterone level etc.), Mental Health (depression and anxiety can have a major impact on sex drive) and the list goes on. I would also challenge the idea of what a “Really Good Marriage” looks like. When you say that, what do you mean? What is the “Status Quo” according to your social group, religious community or family of origin? This is an excellent questions that can help you explore what the Father’s Heart is for a good marriage. You may find some completely new areas of freedom and joy and you may find God re-envisions some old ideas that may have been twisted over time. Another question is what is driving the exploration into more “adventurous sex”? Where is the picture of what is “more adventurous” coming from? Is this a healthy, wholehearted source of inspiration? There is SOOO much underlying your post. If you would like to continue the conversation on a less public forum, please feel free to reach out to me at kylerice@me.com. I also want to echo Wayne’s statement that there is a way through!! It may not be easy and it takes both individuals in the relationship choosing to press into the search of a more wholehearted experience of “Us”. Thank you for sharing such personal and thoughtful comment!

  2. Does Kyle have any more info on that question he posed regarding the commitment of marriage. My husband is a chaplain in the Navy and most days of the week he has a steady stream of young sailors coming in to discuss their strained relationships with their partners. I was just curious about any info that could help us understand this idea of non-commitment. Perhaps that will be another podcast.

    • I don’t know if Kyle has more on that or not. I think he was just sharing what he hears often from those age groups. Commitment is the key to a long, fulfilling relationship. That’s what a contract is in business, isn’t it? Without it, people are just left to convenience and that won’t last. Maybe Kyle will check in here, or perhaps we will explore it more in the future.

    • Hi Nancy! I do have some additional thoughts and resources that may be helpful to your Husband. He is facing a uniquely challenging demographic to work with. The added relational pressure of the fear of mortality, long stents of relational separation, loneliness and restricted communication are just a few of the additional challenges that the men and women of our Armed Forces have to try and navigate. I would be more than willing to schedule a zoom session to process some of the challenges that he is helping others navigate and provide whatever resources and potential ideas I can to aid him in his MUCH needed work. Shoot me an email and I can get you my zoom and cell contact info. All the best to you Nancy and to your Husband!! (kylerice@me.com)

  3. You guys had me laughing. I enjoyed the conversation as always. Have always been single .. struggled with it but then what u gonna do if marriage doesn’t happen. So thankful for God in my life.

    It’s funny I was thinking just recently how much I enjoy The God Journey and have benefited from all ur offerings . Such good stuff. And I was thinking what a big part Sara must play in all this. Because of Sara you can really fulfill ur calling and help so many. And u expanded on that so nicely in this podcast.

    So I want to give a special THANKS to Sara. I know you guys r a team.

    God bless u both (and Kyle and Jess).
    ?

  4. I’ll pass that along to Sara. She appreciates when people realize how much a part of this team she really is, though her gifts are far different. Thanks for your comments and you never know when that special someone might come along. Marriage is such a gift, it does pain me for the friends I have who have yet to find someone to share their life with. Blessings to you!

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