(Closed) Saving yourself

posted 7 years ago in Intimacy
Post # 32
Member
476 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

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@This Time Round:  I don’t feel like compatibility is going to be an issue for us. We have a hard enough time being chaste; our serious attraction to one another makes it difficult. We will have our whole lives to get sex “right”, to become the best sexual partners for each other. I am not naive to expect fireworks from the beginning. There are plenty of people who have great sex, but don’t know how to love each other and that’s much sadder. 

Will our honeymoon be awkward and uncomfortable with first time sex? I can’t say I haven’t thought about this, but I’ve come to the conclusion that Tahiti will be incredible regardless (really, can Bora Bora be anything less than magical!?) and the sex doesn’t have to be perfect for it to be a meaningful expression of our love. We’ve taken amazing vacations before (without sex) and we’ll take many more (with better sex). Our honeymoon will be special because we are husband and wife.

It’s unfortunate that you have such a negative view of religion. I think it is a bit reductionistic to view organized religion (and which religion?) as wishy-washy and getting swept up in the tides. If anything, my religion gets critiqued for not keeping up with the times, for being stuck in the 1950’s and not caving to societal pressure on its teachings on sex and marriage.

In my religion, I have found something much deeper and more beautiful than our culture’s view of sexuality (e.g. hook-ups, “twerking”, pornography). Women were promised liberation in the sexual revolution, but it seems like an empty promise to me. Sure, we’re free to sleep with as many men as we please, but does this bring happiness? Thanks to birth control, we are supposedly free from the inconvenience of being a woman, but there’s still those nasty side-effects of pumping hormones into our bodies, and the abortion rates show that we still have to go to great lengths to completely rid ourselves of the consequences of our sexuality. 

I find myself much more drawn to a vision of sexuality that recognizes the human person as body and soul, that teaches that human beings are to be loved and never to be used, that praises the goodness of the body and the delight that husband and wife have in one another, and respects a woman’s body without treating her fertility as a disease to be suppressed. 

When my God died on a cross, he showed us that true love is much more than warm, fuzzy feelings, but to will the good for the other, no matter how uncomfortable it is at times. 

Post # 33
Member
11506 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

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@This Time Round:  I know that we generally underscore each other’s counsel on these boards when it comes to a great many areas but that this particular topic, along with a few other major issues, is one on which we strongly hold very different views.

However, I just wanted to say that I am very glad that you took the time to raise an extremely valid point that sometimes couples who have waited until marriage to have sex do indeed experience great disappointment and frustration in this area (and perhaps many other areas) of their marriages, and that they may be shocked, stunned, confused, disappointed, upset, angry, and even devastated to discover this. I do think it’s important that people are aware of this possibility, not because I am agreeing with you that they should test the waters prior to marriage, because I definitely do not believe that, but because I think it’s very helpful if people are prepared for the possibility that they may face some disappointment when they first begin having a sexual relationship.

I know this not only because I am somewhat familiar with Kathy Lee’s story as well as that of another prominent Christian leader involving his first marriage from a similiar timeframe, and not only because I’ve had Christian friends and family in real life who have experienced this, and some of them  have had friends and family who have experienced this, and because I’ve had at least one anonymous bee PM me on this topic after I commented on her thread about this issue, but also because it happened to me.

Because I married so late in life, and I had waited such a long time for God to bring the man He had chosen to be my husband into my life, I certainly had many years to dream about what married life would be like, including intimacy.  Like most people in our culture, I am sure that my views on love, romance, dating, marriage, and sex were at least somewhat influenced by the rather unrealistic portrayal of romance and relationships by the media and the entertainment industry.  I’m sure that, in part because of this, and, in part because of my own imagination, I had developed some rather lofty and unrealistic expectations about what married life, including intimacy, would be like. I don’t mind saying that, although I was intellectually familiar with this very real possibility, I was completely unprepared emotionally, and, I think, even spiritually, for the reality.

However, as a born-again, Spirit-filled, evangelical Christian, I believe that God’s Word is — and will always be — the final standard by which I must live my life and that it is God’s will, His purposes, and His plans that matter, not mine. His Word is clear that He will honor us if we will honor Him. His Word is filled with wonderful promises for those who obey Him. He has proven to me, over and over and over and over and over and over and over again that I can have great trust and confidence in Him to do what is best and right for me, if I will surrender my will, plans, and desires to His will, even in times when choosing His way may not make any sense at all to many of those around us, and even when it is not easy.

As you know from reading many of my other posts, my DH and I had all kinds  of major challenges to overcome when we made the decision to join our lives together (completely long distance relationship, commuter marriage for almost the first year, DH’s incredibly busy schedule and his working every weekend; my becoming a stepmother to multiple children and taking on the role of senior pastor’s wife; my having to leave behind my career, my friends, my church and my very full and happy life in my city and relocate to a small town in a rural area of another state, where I knew no one but my DH and his children and a few people I had met from his church, etc. etc. etc.) There were geographic adjustments, financial issues, relationship stresses, continuous schedule conflicts, and so much more. He is a night owl, and I am a morning person. We had young ‘tweens/teens with us much of the time we were able to be together, especially early on in our marriage. We had very different ideas of and expectations regarding what our life together was going to be like.  And there were many, many times when one or both of us said to ourselves, and, in perhaps different words, to each other, “This is NOT what I signed up for.  This is NOT what I thought it was going to be.”  We were both surprised, hurt, upset, disappointed, disillusioned, and angry. There were times when we did not like each other very much at all.  Obviously, this backdrop was not the ideal canvas against which to begin to paint our physical intimacy. There definitely were many, many tears — most of them mine, feelings of frustration, and feelings of loneliness and unhappiness for both of us as a result.

However, both of us were, and still are, committed to God, and both of us were, and still are, committed to our marriage and each other.  Even in the most difficult and most emotionally painful of times, we knew the character of the God that we serve, we knew the character of the person we each had married, and we knew that we were going to obey God and honor the vows we had made.

Because of this, and because of the grace and power of God; and with the help of a good, Christian counselor; and thanks to the supremely wise counsel of Godly friends; and with the spritual insight gained from some wonderful, eye-opening, faith-based resources (John and Stasi Eldridge’s book, Love & War being my favorite), we have seen God at work in every area of our marriage, including our physicial relationship.

We both have had to experience new levels of surrendering to the Lord.  We both have had to experience in new ways the daily “dying to self” that is so crucial to being a Christ follower. And, in the process, we have begun to live out and experience the statement that I chose to quote as part of what I said to my DH when I addressed him at our wedding, immediately prior to our taking our formal vows.  It is a quotation that I first heard more than 25 years ago from Christian psychologist and author Dr. Richard Dobbins:

“Christian married love is the persistent effort on the part of two people to create for each other the circcumstances in which each can become the person God intended him or her to be, a better person than he or she could become alone.”

That is the type of marriage I wanted, and, I am so thankful to say, that is the type of marriage that I have.  God is the center of our marriage, and He continues to be faithful to us in every area of our marriage, as we choose to honor and obey Him.  It most definitley has not been easy, but, then again, almost everything worth having in life takes effort. God is FAITHFUL, and He does indeed bless and honor those who choose to honor him, even, and, I think, especially, in the hard times.

So, I do not disagree with many of your observations,  and I think it is very helpful that you have taken time to detail them. However, where I must continue to hold a different view is in regard to some of your conclusions.

As always, I enjoy communicating with you on these boards, and I appreciate so many of your comments.

Post # 34
Member
834 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013 - The front lawn of our church

We waited. Was it difficult? OMG YES!!!!! But I’m so glad we did. I’ve read a lot of posts on the bee that say that marriage didn’t really change anything for a lot of couples. It’s true that emotionally, couples are committed long before the officially say “I do.” But for those who wait, it makes the actually marriage a little more meaningful. I’m not saying that those who don’t wait don’t have meaningful marriages. I’m just saying that according to what I’ve read, most people feel that the marriage itself really isn’t too much more than a celebration of your love and commitment to eachother. For those who wait, it’s the commencement of their lives joined as one unit. 

Post # 35
Member
267 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@sarahroby:  My SO and I are waiting for marriage as well! It was something we both agreed on at the very beginning, we have been together for almost 3 years now. We also aren’t planning on living together until we are married (still waiting for the proposal though! gah!!). We are just very traditional about those things I suppose.

Post # 36
Member
11736 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Not for me, but to each their own.  

Post # 37
Member
859 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Congratulations on your decision to wait! It’s definitely not the easiest decision. This is just a stab here based on some of the things you wrote, but are you Catholic? Fiance and I are catholic and are also waiting for personal and religious reasons. Anyway, I don’t have much to add since I am still in the waiting stages (less than a year left, yay!) but I just wanted to say I so respect yOu and am happy for you and your FI!! I think it will be worth it and will be something that truly blesses our marriage. 

Post # 38
Member
9681 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@sarahroby:  I’m not religious so I have no interest in not having sex. I feel it is natural progression of intimacy in adult relationships. That’s my agnostic bias though.

It’s great that it has been working for you guys and that he is supportive.

Post # 39
Member
9681 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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@This Time Round:  +1, as usual.

It’s always amusing when people who have never had sex say that it won’t be an issue or that they find each other hot so it will be fine. There is a lot more that goes into it than desire. For fulfilling sexual relationships in the long term, it takes some work and know how!

Post # 40
Member
1332 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Nope.  But I did wait until I was 100% ready so I lost mine later in life compared to my friends.

Post # 41
Member
2966 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Not me. It never crossed my mind. Also, I have a couple of friends who did this – only to be sorely disappointed about the actual act itself. 

Post # 42
Member
2023 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@sarahroby:  We waited til we got engaged…..3 1/2 years.  It took us over a year from then to get on the same page sexually.  But i do find that now that we are married I want him A LOT more! like its insane.

Post # 43
Member
476 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

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@MrsPanda99:  There is no need to be condescending. I was talking about this issue of compatibility with fiance, who isn’t a virgin, and he thinks it’s silly. If he thought it was important, he’d marry a girl who is open to testing sexual compatability. I’m sure he was compatible with his ex, but they were not very good at loving each other.

Sure, good sex will take more than desire, but I think that’s part of the beauty of marriage, having your whole life to know each other so intimately, to work at it. 

I am sure there will be many ways in which we aren’t compatible, whether it’s the fact that I like staying up late and he goes to bed early, or that I’m ocd about clutter and he’s sentimental and likes keeping everything…none of this stuff really matters though. Marriage is about working through it when incompatibility becomes obvious. Instead of preparing for our marriage by having sex, we can grow together in service, sacrifice, listening to one another, practicing forgiveness, being thoughtful and aware of each others needs outside the bedroom.

 

Post # 44
Member
9681 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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@vanessa7:  I don’t believe I was talking to you. If you assume I was and got so defensive so easily, you may want to examine that. 

Post # 45
Member
1090 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

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@MrsPanda99:  +1

Fiance and I have been together for 7.5 years next month and the sexual aspect of our relationship is always a work in progress. Sex is a a large part of a relationship and I would never go into a lifetime committment without having sexual compatability.

Post # 46
Member
9681 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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@bellaluna290:  You said it better than I did. Without going into unnecessary detail, my partner and I both have unique fetishes. Neither of us would be fulfilled without getting to engage in them. Sexual compatability is equally important to emotional and intellectual compabaility in my books. I could never enter into a lifelong commitment not knowing. 

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