What Do You Need to Let Go to Have a Better Sex Life?

For the past three years, I’ve chosen a theme of sorts for the year and published posts that encourage us toward the goal. They’ve been:

Feeling Beautiful (2015)
Knowing Scripture (2016)
Praying More (2017)

I’ve given a lot of thought over the past several weeks to my theme for 2018. When I didn’t feel that God was clearly speaking to me on what it should be, I consulted trusted advisors who had provided me godly counsel in the past. Their answers weren’t clear either.

The only thing that kept coming to mind were vague phrases like:

Let go
Step back
Surrender

Hmm, tough words for a gal who likes to be passionately proactive. But after a lot of mulling over those phrases, I feel like God wants me to let go of the theme this year. Not because it isn’t a good idea, and I might return to it in 2019, but keeping that up takes time that might be better spent right now on finishing books, tending to my email inbox, and pursuing speaking in a more focused way.

As usual, I asked myself how this lesson I’m learning in life applies to marriage and the marriage bed. And here it is: Oftentimes improving the intimacy in our marriage doesn’t start with doing more stuff, but rather choosing to let go.

Oftentimes improving the intimacy in our marriage doesn't start with doing more stuff, but rather choosing to let go. Click To Tweet

Although I enjoy giving advice on actions you can take to help your marriage enjoy greater sexual intimacy, sometimes the right answer for a spouse’s situation is to just let something go. Here are some ways in which spouses may need to step back or surrender:

  • Let go of that sexual fantasy your spouse doesn’t want to engage in and appreciate all the activities you do enjoy in your marriage bed
  • Let go anger about your spouse’s past sins and focus on the present and the future
  • Let go of your inhibitions and learn how to absorb pleasure in the moment
  • Let go of the worry about what you might discover or what others will think and visit the doctor or counselor already
  • Let go of unrealized expectations and create new dreams for your marriage bed
  • Let go of the anxiety you feel about confessing sin and come clean to your spouse and/or your Christian community
  • Let go of your tension over the kids knowing that you have sex and embrace lovemaking for your marriage’s sake (and theirs)

What do you need to let go to create a better, more intimate marriage in 2018?

What do you need to let go to create a better, more intimate marriage in 2018? Click To Tweet

I’m sure your answer and mine are not the same. But it’s a question we should ask ourselves. The best goal for the sexual intimacy in your marriage this coming year could be letting go of something you’ve been holding onto that keeps you from experiencing the deep intimacy God wants you to have in your marriage.


Speaking of goals, the Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Marriage ebook is on sale for the month of January for ONLY $2.99! This book is for new marriages, old marriages, and everything in between—because the brief devotions are focused on God’s Word, “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12), speaking to us wherever we are.

The New Year is a great time to start, and at $2.99 the ebook is less than a latte at Starbucks! Your marriage is worth more than your next cup of coffee, so head over now and purchase your ebook.

25 thoughts on “What Do You Need to Let Go to Have a Better Sex Life?

  1. B

    I need to let go of a LOT of stuff. Especially the way I see myself, as ugly, too old, too tall, and definitely not worthy of love, especially from someone as great as my husband. Basically very poor body image and self esteem. Being too self-centered in a negative way (so I’m not like “oh I’m all that and more” but I’m more like “I’ll never be good enough and therefore deserve nothing” – which is different but equally destructive.)

    But I am working on it. Probably not as hard as I should, but like all of us, I’m kind of busy to just focus solely on this stuff.

    I hate the idea of journaling, but perhaps I should start. Because my initial reply to this comment was a laundry list of all the things I need to let go of, like all the things I believe about how my husband couldn’t possibly love me, how I’m not pretty enough for him (in my eyes), etc. And then I reread it and I was thinking “why am I typing all this in this comment?” People might tell me “oh you shouldn’t feel that way”, or “just get over yourself” and I’ll read it, and be hurt and/or convicted, but then I’ll go on my way having not actually dealt with it.

    And so, maybe I should journal this junk, painful as it will be, and read it and deal with it myself.

    Ha! I have written and deleted so much in this comment. 😊 I really need to learn not to over share, and to deal with things on my own. I don’t mean that folks here have made me feel alone, quite the contrary, but I mean I think I’m starting to realize that I’m the only one who can change me. Or the much harder part, change my way of thinking.

    I wish folks could understand that my way of thinking has become so ingrained it’s really hard to just “snap!” – change it. So it’s not that I try to be difficult, it’s just really hard. And I think the theme of this post – letting go – might be one of the keys to the changes I need to make.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Real change isn’t easy. It takes effort, time, and even patience.

      One of my pet peeves is when we see conversion stories in the Bible and act like they had this immediate turnaround and it was all “happily ever after.” Case in point: Saul has an encounter with Jesus in Acts 9, and then he’s preaching later in that chapter. So it seems like he had a 180-degree turnaround, but actually in Acts 11, years later, Paul is still in Tarsus when Barnabas goes to look for him. What was Paul doing? We can’t say for sure, but I suspect he was studying, learning more from Ananias, rethinking his life…changing.

      Step by step is how change happens. Maybe just pick something small to work on and start there. And the journal you might want to try is a gratitude journal. I’m also thinking this year of writing out scriptures, which could be a good idea as well, to get them to stick. You’re in my thoughts and prayers, B!

      Reply
    2. alchemist

      I would encourage you to journal. But don’t just write this stuff down. Challenge the thoughts, determine why they are false, and write new ones down that are actually true. This is very hard to do, but try. And then just keep on trying.

      Another way is to do affirmations. If you feel silly writing things like “I am beautiful”, “I am loved” etc. and repeating them to yourself, then try Bible verses instead. You *KNOW* those are true right? So it’s not a question of you being vain or whatever. God said so. Are you going to argue with God?
      Some suggestions to get you started
      Psalm 121 and 23 (memorize them line by line on in chunks if you want. Whatever works)
      Jeremiah 31:3
      Isiah 49:15-16
      Isiah 54:10
      Isiah 43:2
      Zepheniah 3:17
      Hosea 1:14-16a
      Romans 8:38-39
      Effesians 3:18-20
      Or search your Bible for verses about how God love’s his people. There are several images of God being a bridegroom waiting for his lovely bride in her wedding jewels. The bride is the church. You *are* part of the church right. Therefore, you are the bride.

      Of course no-one expects you to change over night. But you’ll never get there if you never get started. So just start. I know exactly how hard it is. I’ve been through at least 2 rounds of cognitive behavioural therapy myself. Which is essentially changing your thoughts. It’s very difficult, but it works. It also gets easier the more you keep at it.

      I started a bullet journal in 2017, and it’s amazing for tracking sloooooow progress. You can make a little tracker with things like exercise, going to sleep at a decent hour, challenging thoughts, doing your gratitude journal, whatever habits you want to break/ establish and colour a block every time you do it. Just doing little things to take better care of yourself should help.
      Self care is good. Do it.
      You can keep your gratitude journal in there
      You can put memory verses on your daily/ weekly pages (if you want to use it as a planner)
      I can go on forever about how cool and life changing bullet journals are.

      But yeah. Go B!! Challenge those thoughts! Throw them out! Replace them with good thoughts!

      You’ve got this.

      Reply
      1. J Post author

        (I’m totally into the bullet journal too! I love how flexible that system allows you to be, and how I can see actual progress over time.)

        Reply
      2. B

        Thank you, @alchemst, for all of this great info!

        I HATE affirmations, and really struggle with not feeling like I’m being egotistical, so this idea REALLY helped!:
        ” If you feel silly writing things like “I am beautiful”, “I am loved” etc. and repeating them to yourself, then try Bible verses instead. You *KNOW* those are true right? So it’s not a question of you being vain or whatever”

        That is a great suggestion, thank you!! So helpful!

        And I looked up bullet journals, and it seemed SO complicated. I’m not super artistic or organized, so it just seemed like added stress. But after thinking about it, who says my journal has to be done the “right” way, or even any way other than however I want to do it? So I think I’ll try and just do whatever works for me.

        Thanks for taking the time to write such a helpful comment!

        Reply
        1. J Post author

          Good to hear!

          And oh my, you should see my bullet journal. It’s sooooo pared down. Some people go overboard, but I’m not crafty or detailed AT ALL. I just use the parts I like, and leave the rest behind.

          Reply
        2. alchemist

          I know how you feel about affirmations. I tend to feel silly about it too. Like *eyeroll*. That’s why I suggested it 🙂

          I’m not organised at all. In fact my counselor strongly suggested I get tested for ADD. I do my journal in a very free flow-y kind of way all in pencil. Not nearly as pretty as the ones on Pinterest. But just having one book where I can write quotes, Bible verses, my weekly menus, my to-do lists, notes from meetings, book list, gift lists- you know all that random stuff you tend to write on little papers and then can never find again- has been life changing.

          Glad you’ve found it helpful B. You’re on my prayer list – in my bullet journal. 😀

          Reply
          1. J Post author

            That describes a lot of how I use my bullet journal too — as a calendar and catch-all.

  2. Johanna Galyen

    Thank you for your sweet share. It probably took more character and love to write this post, than most of the ones you do. And I sincerely appreciate the thought and vulnerability behind it.

    I know in my life, I struggle with control. I want everything to fit into my schedule, check off the boxes, and *somehow* I expect my husband to read my mind and figure it all out too. But life doesn’t work that way. So many times, I have to step back and realize that change and control have to start and stop with me. With letting God do it versus me barking out orders. With letting go of my “persona” of a good Christian and let others see the faults in me and realize that I struggle just as they do.

    Yeah, it’s not easy. But for true growth, letting go & surrender is exactly what is needed in my life. So again, thank you. I know I needed this today

    Reply
  3. Dave

    Your first bullet in the list hurts, I do have a lot of unfulfilled hopes/dreams/fantasies. But overall my desire is to have a hot holy humerous sex life like you talk about, but the wife is not interested. Should I let that go also?

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      No. Although sometimes we need to let go of something we desire, do not let go of what GOD wants you to have — holy and intimate sexual intimacy in your marriage. That’s the difference: Is it from you or from God? Honestly, in the case of sex, it’s a little of both…but we do know that God intended spouses to experience connection and pleasure through sex. Keep working toward and praying for that. Saying a prayer for you myself.

      Reply
    2. Chris

      I am in the same boat dave. I am trying to let go of my libido. Not easy but making some progress. Sometimes i relapse and read marriage blogs but i am hoping i can wind that down by the end of 2018.

      Reply
      1. J Post author

        Oh my, this is soooo not what I meant! *head desk* Okay, I’m leaving this between y’all and God. (But from what I read in the Bible, He’s pretty much in favor of you keeping a desire for sexual intimacy in marriage. ‘Nuff said.) 🙂

        Reply
  4. Anonymous

    I am learning to let go of a fulfilling sex life after decades (nearly 40 years) of unsuccessful attempts. This is helping my spiritual life, focusing on God instead of my desires. My regrets over my sex life (other regrets too) have affected my spiritual life far too long.

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    The previous couple comments from husbands hit home for me too. I’m only in my 30s but I feel like my drive for sex is very selfish and puts a lot of pressure on my wife and that God may be calling me to try and set it aside. It’s scary!

    Your blog and other Christian resources have helped us become so much more of a team in our sex life but when it comes right down to it the only time she has the drive/desire I do is the few days a month she is fertile. (And I don’t think I’m some sort of freak….while I’d like it every day, 3-5 times a month is what I am used to.) Most times, while she enjoys it, it’s usually to satisfy me, not her/us.

    I keep trying to do/suggest all the things that will help her enjoy and desire sex like I do so we can share in it but I am usually met with a “no” or a sigh if it’s not one of those couple of days. Your blog has helped us make great strides toward her pleasure but she still rarely experiences the pleasure I do (orgasm) if she ever really has at all. She says orgasm is not really that big of a deal to her and does not like the focus I tend to put on it. I just keep thinking how can that not be a big deal and if she would experience it she might desire sex more?! Something I said or did that made her feel sexy when she was fertile is taken completely differently when she is not. Throw in our belief in NFP and things get down right tough for me!

    I guess I need to offer the abstinence up as a sacrifice. It’s just so hard (no pun intended!) that she can want to love on me like she does when she is fertile and then not want that at all for the rest of the month. The more I bring it up the more pressured she feels. I don’t want to accept that this is how it is but month after month God is showing me that it’s me pushing her and maybe “us” looks like a lot less sex than I would like. It’s tough, but sacrifice always is. My wife and our marriage is worth the sacrifice and I have faith in Gods plan with this.

    Thank you for allowing me to get this out, thank you for your blog, cherish the desire you and your husband have for each other and please pray for us!

    Reply
  6. Wayne

    If I could give counsel to some of our commenters, it would be: stop trying so hard. And yes, I am talking to me, too. God really does know and care about our needs. I’m not saying “quit working”, we all have things we’re working on, at work, at home, in church, etc. But it is God’s grace that allows us to bear fruit in our labors. Paul said something about that in Corinthians.

    For me, the thing I may need to let go of is past fantasies and dreams that really have come true for my wife and me, *so that* new ones can happen. Right now I am looking at our recent past, what has gone right in the bedroom, as well as how we might have gotten off track. Probably by handling and being challenged by those everyday nuts and bolts. It happens.

    God has brought me as a man a very long way in overcoming my frustration in what I have learned to call “dry seasons” rather than terming ours a sexless marriage. I make no claim as some role model, and it’s only by the grace of God (again). Not always by working harder. THAT, has been a hard lesson to learn…but I am learning it.

    Reply
  7. Leroy

    Thank you so much for your blog, it’s really starting to help us work thru wife’s excess baggage from childhood on her thoughts of what sex should be and we’ve been married for 30 yrs. and 4 children, sometimes it’s been 3-5 yrs without sex, was at a crossroad not knowing how to proceed. Then I find your blog and the forgiven wife site, so we both started reading and she was like WOW I’m so sorry I never realized…….yep she’s added extra # but so did I! I still love my wife……believe me when I look at her, she’s just this beautiful person. I appreciate that you are keeping it in a Christian perspective. Keep looking up and loving your woman guys

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Wow, thank you for sharing this. It’s truly wonderful on this end to feel like you’re making a difference. So pleased that you and your wife are working through these issues. May God richly bless your efforts!

      Reply
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  9. Christian

    This was so interesting. God also gave me the word/theme of surrender this year! I have been subscribed to your blog for a while now and this is my actual first time reading a blog and I am so glad I chose this one! I have so many insecurities when it comes to the marriage bed. I was sexually abused before so I’d have had a hard time feeling like enough for a man who thinks I’m beautiful even on my worse days! I look forward to working on letting go of a lot this year! Thank you for this blog!

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Oh, I’m so saddened that you were sexually abused. My heart just aches for those who have gone through such mistreatment. There is healing, and I know many spouses who have come to have a healthy and holy view of sexual intimacy. Saying a prayer for you. And glad you found my blog!

      Reply
  10. Colin

    First thing that I’d like to say is”Thank you for your blog.”
    I have read this blog and MANY others over some time as our marriage has had some issues and now we are at a point were everything is mostly okay.
    I think many of us enter marriage with expectations that we don’t necessarily share with our spouse but somehow just assume that they will have the same views on various aspects of marriage. Sex is probably the biggest issue where these differences can cause problems. (Money and how to raise kids can also be big issues too).
    It’s taken a long time for us but this year things are going quite well but there are some things that I wanted in marriage that I may just have to let go of (even if just for a time) and appreciate what I have here and now.
    I believe that it is good to pray for any issues in marriage and to try to work through them. Never give up!!! God can fix marriages and help people through difficult times, but some things we need to let go of and focus on doing our part, to love our spouse as God loves us, to continue to pray for help and to appreciate what we have, and to remember that God loves us and knows what we are going through, to trust Him for what we need because He is with His people.
    God doesn’t leave or forsake us, He knows our pain, He knows what we need, we just need to know what to let go of, and what to hold on to. Hold on to what is good, trust in God and never give up!
    This is what I am learning and trying to do.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Amen, Colin! I’m glad y’all have made real progress. And isn’t this so true: “somehow just assume that they will have the same views on various aspects of marriage.” Well said.

      Reply

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