Is there help for a sexless Christian marriage?
by Dr. Andrew D. Atwood, LMFT
As one who is both a Christian Pastor and who has been a busy professional Marriage and Family Therapist for over 30 years, I know that there are many, many good Christian people out there that are completely stuck in a sexless marriage.
There are a handful of issues that can keep good people stuck in such a frustrating situation. I’m going to offer some observations from my personal and professional experience, but I want to also offer a word of caution. Muslims, Jews, Buddhists… all religious traditions have their own struggles. So think bigger when you confront these issues.
The more fundamental you are in your faith, the more you probably struggle with the notion that sex is sinful. While I obviously do not believe this to be the case, I do understand that the early Christian church developed this belief. How are you supposed to have intimate erotic sex if sex is sinful? Puts you in a real bind, doesn’t it?
There is very little frank talk about real sex in a Christian community, especially if the persuasion is toward the fundamental side of the spectrum. I’ve had people in my office that have gone to their pastor for help with their sexual relationship only to have received the most naïve and close minded advice. Without permission to talk about the most natural of subjects, good Christians turn to other sources, such as Hopeful Solutions for a Sexless Marriage.
There is a lingering belief, especially within Roman Catholic circles, that sex is meant only for procreation. You have sex to have children, not to celebrate communion with the divine essence with you both. So, you just don’t go there.
Christian tradition has tended to give men the opportunity to be dominant, while women have been encouraged to be submissive. In fact, “good” women are submissive to their husband. Giving your husband sex when you don’t want to can build a hell of a lot of resentment. I choose my words carefully.
Fear. A lot of it boils down to fear. Fear of going to hell. Fear of being too wild and crazy. Fear of disapproval. Fear of emotion. Perfect love casts our all fear unless there is so much fear that love can’t get a foothold.
In my ebook, Hopeful Solutions for a Sexless Marriage, I offer pages of material that outlines a normal way of growing in faith. We all start out in life with the mind of a Child. Then we become Rebels. Then conventional Adults. Then we move beyond the law and become Outlaws. Finally, after great growth, we become Lovers. Christians (and those of all faith groups) that grow from stage to stage… come to celebrate the intimate erotic sex that God has given them… and within it… find God.
All of life is a journey toward Oneness, and that Oneness can be experienced in deeply intimate and erotic sex.