Updated: Mar 15, 2022
The first time we used the word "sexpectations" in front of single and married friends they looked at us crazy! I didn’t realize how uncommon this phrase is so I want to normalize it and talk about its relevance to marriage.
If we break down sexpectations it is "sex" and "expectations" joined together.
Simply put: it is the anticipations or beliefs a spouse has for sex in their marriage. Everything from frequency, to how long, to who initiates, toys, scheduled or spontaneous...all of it is included.
There is a school of thought that believes expectations are not needed in marriage, but here at Forever Marriages, we believe otherwise. Healthy and realistic expectations are important and work well when there is agreement and communication between both husband and wife.
Think about this - you, me and everyone else had an idea of what marriage, especially what sex would be like when married. These ideas were formed by what we saw on TV, what our parents may have said (or not said) and what was talked about in our friend circles.
More than likely you thought one or more of the following ideas:
Your husband would or should always initiate sex
Your wife would desire you frequently
Sex would be effortless (natural without issues or nothing would get in the way)
Sex would be adventurous
Then you got married and realized all of these were fallacies, sex wasn't what you thought and as a result issues started to rise. If you find yourself resonating with this, understand there are many others like you, including us.
Mismatched desire is a common source of contention in marriages today and creates a ripple effect of problems if left unaddressed. One spouse may have a high libido and other could have a low one, one spouse may have health challenges and the other may not, etc. With that being said, there are solutions to reach a place where both of you are making the effort to come to agreement and prioritize this important type of intimacy.
Some steps to take to navigate are below:
Understand intimacy When you really understand the definition and components of intimacy, your approach to sex will change
Show Empathy Seek to understand your spouse's feelings even if it makes no sense to you and try not to jump to negative conclusions such as "they don't love you" or "they are selfish"
Have the Conversation Often issues go unaddressed and begin to fester. Make sure to find a time to talk to them about what you would like to see different and avoid making this about your needs. Although it sounds nerve wrecking, silence or avoidance, doesn't help so we highly encourage this conversation to take place asap
Invite the Lord In Do you pray about your intimacy, desire, romance and affection? Because sex is God's idea, He cares and He wants you to have a fulfilling sex life just as much as you do.
Learn What the Bible Says Yup - go straight to the source! Open your bible and search the following verses: 1 Cor 7:5, Song of Songs 7:6-12, Prov 5:15 and Heb 13:4. Continue to do your own search and study through the various free tools available online.
Normalize talking to your spouse about sex.
Studies show married people want to talk to their spouse about sex satisfaction and performance but were uncomfortable, embarrassed or didn’t want to hurt their feelings.
We encourage you to search deep and find a way to bring up this important topic that could be hindering you from having a more enjoyable marriage. Its good to clear the air and not harbor anything that could come in between you and your spouse growing closely.
Your vulnerability creates more room for vulnerability and the more you practice this the more your communication and sex life will improve.
When you have this conversation for the first time with your spouse, aim to come up with 2-3 realistic agreements for where you are currently such as:
If you are wondering how you should You may ask questions like:
In what ways can our sex life improve?
How often would you like us to have sex?
Are there different positions that you want to try?
What is comfortable for you and what isn't?
Remember that no couple reaches a point of arrival in sex, let alone marriage. You will have to work at your sex life continually. The idea is to get to a place where you are having open recurring dialogue and enjoying sex with each other because sex is God's idea. There may be really good seasons and not so good depending on real life things such as: health, family life and other daily stressors that can get in the way.
Do you feel more equipped to having this hard convo with your spouse? If not, we are available to help you and/or your spouse make progress.
By the way, what sexpectations did you come in to marriage with that you had to manage or work through?
Praying for your forever marriage!