Sarah: “Can you please turn the lights out? Thanks.”
Jonathan: “But we almost always have the lights out. Can I at least light some candles or something?”
Sarah: “I’d prefer we not. Alright…let’s do this!”
Jonathan: “Let’s do what, exactly? Romp again in the dark? Don’t get me wrong, you totally turn me on. But I’d love to not just feel you during sex…I’d love to SEE you, too.”
Sarah: “Oh, please. You don’t need to see this body, that’s for sure.”
Sarah: “Yeah, right. Breathtaking? Get real. There’s nothing breathtaking about this body.”
Jonathan: “Don’t I tell you how beautiful you are every day?”
Sarah: “Of course you do, but…”
Jonathan: “And don’t I enjoy putting my hands on you?”
Sarah: “Yes, I just…”
Jonathan: “You just what? You just don’t believe me? You don’t believe I find you to be beautiful?”
Sarah: “Well, when you put it that way…I guess…I just.. I don’t even know what to say. Can we just please leave the lights out?”
Jonathan: “You still find yourself unattractive. So much so that you won’t even let me in on what you’re thinking. To be honest, now I don’t even know what to say.”
Sarah: “OK. Well…can we go ahead and get started?”
Jonathan: *Sarcastically* “Sure. We can get started.” *Jonathan turns the lights out and walks out of the room*
Thus far in this series we’ve discussed three different hindrances to sexual freedom. These include ego, differing personal interests, and sexual history. It’s our hope that you’ve taken some serious opportunities to not only read these posts, but think through whether any of them are currently preventing your marriage from experiencing sexual freedom. (For those of you who haven’t yet read through these, we’ve provided links at the end of this post for each part in this series.) Today we want to bring up another issue that can destroy sexual freedom in marriage – personal inhibitions.
Inhibitions are an interesting beast in a marriage relationship. They wreak havoc not only on the sexual aspect of marriage, but also on the marriage friendship itself. Holding on to physical or emotional inhibitions is one way of saying, “I like you, but I’m not sure I fully trust you enough to put my whole self out there just yet.” It’s saying, “Yes I know we made a vow. But this part of my life is off limits to you.”
Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? But think of it this way. Let’s say that your spouse is availing their everything to you on a regular basis. They put it all out there all the time. Mind, body, and soul. They love and trust you not only physically, but also bring out every life struggle they have. They share their fears. They share their joys. They share what God is teaching them and what areas He’s working on in their lives. They share everything. And there’s only one person in the world they’re sharing this with – you.
And over time they begin to notice you’re not quite sharing everything. There are some areas of your life that are still off-limits. Sure, maybe you don’t have any physical inhibitions like Sarah in the story above. But there are other areas you’re not quite ready to put out there. Even after 5, 10, even 20+ years of marriage, your spouse still isn’t your best friend. They’re not the person you share your most intimate thoughts and struggles with. They’re not your shoulder to cry on. Maybe they’re not even the first person you think about calling when something awful happens. You have inhibitions, and full-blown sexual freedom isn’t something your experiencing on a regular basis.
We write this post simply to give you (both men and women) the opportunity to think through whether you are currently experiencing any inhibitions in your relationship with your spouse. And as we’ve done in each post throughout this series, we’re going to provide a series of statement below in which you can answer with a simple one-word answer. Simply fill in the blank with either the word GOOD, BETTER, or BEST.
- I do a _______ job of trusting my spouse when they compliment my physical appearance.
- I do a _______ job of sharing the details of my day with my spouse.
- I do a _______ job of loving my spouse as a FRIEND and as a LOVER.
- I do a _______ job of sharing my fears and life struggles with my spouse.
- I do a _______ job of not being physically embarrassed when naked with my spouse.
- I do a _______ job of discussing with my spouse what God is teaching me.
- I do a _______ job of sharing all of my emotions with my spouse.
- I do a _______ job of being completely uninhibited with my spouse.
To conclude, we want to note that if you are experiencing any inhibitions in your marriage, you will need to take gradual steps to open up physically and emotionally with your spouse. One of the best ways to do this is to confess your inhibitions to your spouse and then discuss together how you can work on them. Simply allowing them to be part of the discussion will reap dividends on your friendship, and before you know it you’ll be opening the door to a new world of sexual freedom in your marriage.
What inhibitions have you worked through in your relationship with your spouse? Feel free to let us know in the comments.
This is Part 4 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.