Counselor: “So, how have things been going?”
Jacqui and Thomas: “I’d say we’re doing very well.”
Counselor: “Well, over the past 6 weeks we’ve discussed a lot about your marriage. We’ve discussed getting on the same page financially. We’ve talked about being on the same page relationally with one another, and your children. And in all honesty, you’ve made some really good strides in these areas. But we haven’t discussed much about your sex life. How is that working out for you?
Jacqui: “Oh, that. No problems there.”
Thomas: “Well dear, I guess that depends on how you define ‘problems’.”
Jacqui: “What you mean? We don’t have any ‘problems’ in the bedroom.”
Thomas: “Well…’problems’ no. But we’re definitely not 100%.”
Jacqui: “What’s 100% exactly? We get naked. We have a good time. Am I missing something?”
Counselor: “Sex isn’t just about getting naked and having a good time. It’s a union. A close bond. And more than that, it’s about freedom.”
Jacqui: “Listen. I know it’s a ‘bond’ and a ‘union’. But when you start talking about ‘freedom’, there are just some things I’m not willing to do. Is that wrong?”
Counselor: “That’s not how I would define ‘freedom’. I’m talking about being unashamed. I’m talking about being fully present without any other cares or worries. I’m talking about full-on passion. I’m talking about…”
Thomas: “Yeah, he’s talking about…”
Jacqui: “Let me stop you right there. I think you’re right, we have made good strides in a lot of areas in our marriage over the past 6 weeks. But I don’t want to get into mind games about our sex life.”
Thomas: *getting frustrated* “Is that what you think this conversation is about? Mind games?”
Counselor: “Hold on, hold on…let’s take a step back. Jacqui, I do think there are a number of things we should discuss about this part of your marriage. But first things first, and that’s freedom. Real freedom. You know, with your husband.”
Jacqui: “Real freedom is a myth. Why can’t we just enjoy it for what it is.”
Thomas: “Because when we’re 100%, we’ll enjoy it even more. Right, doc?”
Counselor: “In my opinion, he is right, Jacqui.”
Jacqui: “As I said. It’s a myth. I honestly don’t know what there is to talk about.”
Our tagline says it all. Freedom may be found behind closed doors. Some don’t understand it. Others have never experienced it. Others, still don’t even believe it’s possible. Hence, the word ‘may’. Freedom MAY be found behind closed doors.
Sadly, there are a number of hindrances that prevent true freedom from being experienced. While dozens could be brought forth, we’ve decided to stick with five. And over the next five posts, we’ll discuss these in no particular ranking.
I (Justin) remember talking with a man about his marriage once and asking how things were going. His response is something I’ve never forgotten. “Well,” he said, “my wife is learning what it means to be a better wife. She’s learning about what it means to be submissive. She’s learning what it means to be stronger. She’s learning what it means…” I almost punched the guy in the throat. OK, not really.
But I immediately understood that here was a man with a serious ego problem. He was in his marriage for himself. And he thought that his wife was there only for his benefit, too.
The question, however, is what happens when just one spouse has this same kind of ego in the bedroom? When they’re in it mostly for their own pleasure, and not thinking of it as an opportunity for OUR pleasure? I know what happens. Sexual freedom isn’t experienced in that marriage. It isn’t found behind closed doors. Heck, it probably isn’t found anywhere in their relationship.
That said, while some cases of ego are blatant, others are much less observable. They’re less observable because oftentimes we don’t want to look at ourselves as having an ego problem. We see ourselves as the perfect lover….or at the very least, a good lover for our spouse. And we think that should be enough. Isn’t it?
In a word, no.
Think of it this way. We have some wonderful friends who identify everything in their lives on a scale of Good, Better, or Best. For example, a healthy diet is good. But ‘healthy’ can be on a number of levels, including good, better, or best. The same criteria could be used to determine a healthy sex life in your marriage as well.
What would happen if you viewed sexual freedom in your marriage in levels of good, better or best? What would happen if you used some strong criteria about your performance? Would you discover you have a little bit of an ego? Some things you could work on, perhaps?
Feel free to think through the following statements, and reflect on them answering with one simple word – Good, Better, or Best.
- I do a good – better than I used to – the best I can of looking at our sex life as an opportunity for US to be completely free with one another
- My desire in the bedroom isn’t only for my pleasure, but our pleasure.
- Our sex life is good, better than my lowest expectations, exceeds my highest expectations.
- I have discussed all of my sexual desires with my spouse.
- I have discussed my entire sexual past with my spouse.
- When we close the bedroom door, I only think about that moment and nothing else.
- I am completely unashamed while enjoying sex with my spouse.
- I believe our current sex life is _________.
- I know exactly what to do to delay my spouse’s orgasm and make it a richer, fuller experience.
- I believe sexual freedom is possible.
- We currently experience freedom in our sex lives regularly.
Now, if you answered “Good” to any of the above, you may not currently be experiencing full-on freedom in your sex life. We’re not here to criticize you for it. Not at all. But if you answered, “Good” to #’s 4 and/or 5, then you may want to consider having some serious dialog with your spouse in the near future. If you answered, “Good” to #7, you need to do some serious self-evaluation. What are you ashamed of, exactly? And if you answered, “Good” to #8, then you need to think about specifics as to what would make it Better, and eventually, Best.
This is only our first post in the series, so we’ll be addressing some of these subjects in greater detail in the very near future. But for now, take some time to think about your role (not your spouse’s) in your sex life.
- Are you bringing any selfishness into the bedroom? If so, what is it?
- Is it possible that a little bit of this selfishness is preventing your marriage from experiencing full-on sexual freedom?
- If so, what are you going to do about it?
Take the opportunity to not just think about these questions, but write them out. Preferably in paragraph form. The more time you take to think through and refine your answers, the sooner you’ll pinpoint a little bit of your own ego. More importantly, the sooner you’ll be willing to lay it aside and get on the path to experiencing more freedom.
This is Part 1 in our series on Five Hindrances of Sexual Freedom in Marriage. Additional posts in the series can be found at the links below. And stay tuned for our next series: Five Ways to Sustain Sexual Freedom in Marriage.