Why did you get married (or why do you want to)? I’m sure it’s not just so you can have sex with someone. You and your spouse made a decision to build a life together. You’re combining your hopes, dreams and deepest desires to form a complete picture of the story you will write. Hopefully you’ve done your homework well and you’re ready to give all of yourself, and receive all of each other.
What are You Bringing to the Picture?
Spouses are not independent beings sharing a living space. If there’s something on your mind, your spouse will know. Even if you walk in the door with a smile, if you’re feeling troubled or upset, your spouse will pick up on this. You don’t just share a bed and body parts, sexual intimacy creates an emotional sensitivity to each other.
Love in marriage brings the mind, body, spirit and soul of two beings together. The union feels incomplete when one of those components is missing or diverted. So when you try to hide or withhold something, your spouse may not know exactly what’s going on, but they sense something. When you’re not totally invested in this exclusive relationship, your spouse feels a loss.
Man and Woman Complete Each Other
Men are generally visually stimulated and women usually care more about romance and relationship. That may be a gross overstatement, but it’s based in biology; brain function and hormones. At some point in our growth process we start to long for the opposite sex because something inside is telling us we’re meant to be together. There’s a reason spouses call each other their “better half”.
But a man does not complete a woman just by having sex with her. And a woman doesn’t complete a man by being a dumb object. Intimacy in marriage is sharing our thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, and our bodies. Through intimacy we become a new entity – a couple. But this union is fragile, it depends on total and continuous investment by both halves.
People are complicated
Each personality has so many layers, nooks and crannies that it takes a lifetime to really get to know someone. We sometimes don’t even know or understand ourselves. Through marriage, we can dive into the fascinating world of another completely different human being. In the process, we begin to discover our own unique potential as well.
This is what makes life and relationships so interesting and exciting, and endlessly challenging. But the hope and dream of true love – being known and cherished by another – holds steadfast in every human heart. So much so that when something blocks the process of love’s unfolding, we feel hurt and full of despair. Devastated even.
Don’t reduce sex to biology
Popular culture wants us to believe that sex is just a biological need. That comes from a very narrow view of what it means to be human, that we’re just another species of animal. When we reduce sex to the level of physical need it loses the power of real intimacy – expressing love. But receiving intimate love is the primary need, and that’s why we can never be satisfied by sex alone.
Married porn users may not realize how much their spouse is suffering. Their spouse desires a holistic experience of love, while the porn user is trapped in a chemical dependency/need fix mode. They’re on completely different wavelengths, which usually ends in the relationship falling apart in all other areas as well.
Intimacy Requires Honesty
All marriages require work and investment in the relationship. Only in movies and fairy tales can we experience ‘love at first sight’ and ‘happily ever after’. So, for the porn user, the place to start is being completely honest and taking responsibility for the damage to the relationship.
For the spouse, it’s important to appreciate the honesty no matter how painful it is. The spouse might need time and space to work through their hurt feelings. There is no quick fix for either the porn user or the spouse, and both will need help from others.
Intimacy develops in the space where we can feel vulnerable and safe at the same time. Trust grows as we feel accepted, cared for, and appreciated by the other. We may have to work through a lot of baggage from childhood or the culture we grew up in, but it’s worth it. Happiness and fulfillment is the goal of two becoming one.
Come back next week
for the final episode of
90 Days Clean!