W11: Transitions in Marriage: Fidelity and Physical Intimacy

Hi everyone!  I hope that each of you is faring daylight savings time better than I am.  A quick little update… I have been in bed since late Friday afternoon with a horrible cold which has been fed by all of the spring tree pollen.  I am drowning in mucus…. so there is my first TMI for you in this post.  And, as you might have guessed, due to the topic of this week’s post, there just might be another one.

I’m just going to jump right in to the topic this week and not pretend that it’s an elephant in the room.  No one wants to talk about these issues, but they are a must.  What I read this week for my class, I want to make sure that my children know.

The home that I grew up in was open.  My parents openly loved one another, we kids saw mom and dad hug, kiss, hold hands, and dance in the kitchen on a regular basis.  I grew up in 80’s not the 50’s and it was a wonderful example.  I want the same for my children, and today… my husband and I kiss, hug, hold hands, and dance in the kitchen in front of whomever might be in our house.  We simply don’t care about showing the love that we have for one another to the world.  We hold hands in public, we sit on the same side of a booth together when we go to dinner which makes the person seating us look at us sideways because they put the menus opposite one another.  We then bow our heads down to pray for our meal, holding hands at the table in the restaurant.  You may be asking yourself, what’s dinner prayer in public have to do with affection?  It’s not the fact that we pray wherever we may be for a meal, it’s the fact that we pray together – wherever we may be.  We are close.  We are commanded by the Lord for husband to leave his parents and to cleave unto his wife, and the wife is commanded to cleave unto her husband and they are told to become one.  That’s the goal.  When we are not intimate, when we allow a wedge to be driven between us, Satan does his little happy dance and hits the head of the wedge with a hammer to drive it in further.  Remember, I don’t have a perfect husband and I am not a perfect wife – we do not have the perfect marriage.  We both do things that drive one another crazy, but we do our best to tolerate our nuances and move forward.  Marriage isn’t about changing our spouses, it is about learning how to deal with the challenges put before us in the attributes that Heavenly Father gave our spouses.  Marriage is the ultimate challenge in this life – and I want to be successful.

Being successful means being honest with my husband.  When I mess up, I know that I can come to him and tell him what happened… even if I know he’s going to be upset about it.  It’s still safe.  Being successful means that both husband and wife are committed to one another in complete fidelity.  We have heard from our modern prophets that we are to love our spouses with all our hearts – and all of one’s heart leaves no room to allow anyone else in to share that intimate love.  Wives should not have male friends that they speak to on a regular basis outside of their marriage without their husbands, husbands should not have female friends that they hang out or have private conversations with either.   Having a quiet lunch with someone of the opposite sex for a married person is out of the question … this is how infidelity starts.  And I’ll just be blunt here:  any touching, holding hands, kissing, sexual intercourse or other sex acts with anyone other than one’s spouse is unacceptable in the eyes of the Lord.  For those of you that are not married – this goes for you too – these things are for married spouses only (well, except maybe holding hands and smooching).  And my last comment here about infidelity, pornography counts.  In my heart and mind, pornography is the worst kind of infidelity.  Pornography is addictive and more destructive to any marriage than anything else that exists in our world today.  Stay away from it 200%.  There are just no exceptions here.

How do we keep infidelity away and intimacy alive in our marriages? I don’t have all the answers, but I’ll tell you what we’re doing here in our house.  First off, we have a copy of Dr. John Gottman‘s book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.  We read it together. … okay, I read it out loud to my husband, but he listens.   We do some of the exercises in this beloved book together.  We started dating one another again.  When we go on weekly dates together (sometimes it’s a pizza and a board game locked in our room), we make sure that before our date is over that we added to our love map.  Even if this means saying – hey wait!  did we learn something about one another on our date tonight?  We just do it.  We don’t care about being corny, we care about making our marriage work.  Learning about one another, understanding where one another is coming from and stands is important – it just can’t be forgotten.  When we love one another and we are adding to our love maps each week, and sometimes even each day – it makes our marriage work better.  When husbands are happy and wives are happy – intimacy happens by nature.

Sex is part of marriage, and it is an important part.  I promise.  There are couples out there that are unable to have intercourse, and that’s to be understood – but if they are to make their marriage happy and healthy they will find other ways to be intimate with one another to fulfill this need.  There are wives that withhold sex because their husband didn’t pick up their socks.  There are husbands out there that withhold sex because their wife was late getting supper on the table.  These scenarios are not okay.  Sex is not a tool – it is a gift given to married couples by God in order to both have offspring and to grow together as one.  We are commanded in marriage to be one.  There is no other way that I can think of that will allow a husband and wife to be one than to be together in a sexual relationship on a regular basis.  When husband and wife are in harmony in life, they are in harmony behind closed doors too.  Is every sexual encounter going to be over the moon wonderful?  Nope.  But when husband’s and wives are in harmony with one another about daily life – sexual encounters will be more fulfilling; if not physically, then spiritually.

Sisters love your husbands.  Brethren, love your wives.  Date, talk, pray, enjoy one another behind closed doors.  This is part of being a spouse – and part of having a spouse.  Love and care for. Be gentle.

In closing, I know that there are those out there that truly feel that they don’t fit into this category.  There are those that think that they are the exception.  For some of you, this may be true – and if it is you, then I can only imagine that your spouse 100% understands and holding your hand down a treacherous path of healing and recovery.  For those of you that think you are the exception – I would urge you to take stock of your feelings and how you treat your spouse.  Are you being selfish and withholding?  Think on it, pray on it – get an answer from God and then act on it.

I leave you my testimony that I know that having a sexually intimate relationship with our spouses is God given.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.