I am about to get married and I hate sex, will I still have a happy marriage?
Not every bride is happy about sex on her wedding night.
Most women are excited about intimacy, but I’ve heard from a few who are anxious and upset that they “have to have intercourse to make the man happy.”
Why did God create sex, anyway? Why did he create a woman to receive a man, carry his children, bear his name, keep his home?
I used to ask these questions too, growing up. I was upset at how God created men and women, and relationships in general. I am not mad anymore, and I adore marriage.
If you are distressed about the intricacies of marriage and sex, let me tell you my story. I hope it helps you look at your story differently. And more importantly, I hope it inspires you to give God a chance to work on your heart.
I was born and raised in Kenya, and for most of my younger years, I disliked being a girl.
Argumentative, naughty and boyish, I daydreamed of being a boy. I admired the loud, rough, obnoxious life of my rural ‘hood boys. And they didn’t seem to have a lot of strictures regarding what they could do or expectations regarding what they shouldn’t.
Through the eyes of a child, the older boys, namely the men, wielded a lot of power. In fact, women were at their beck and call, having their babies, working their land, cooking their food, keeping their home, carrying their name, hustling in the markets.
It seemed like men had all the power and not a puff of responsibility. At least not as much as the women.
The women! Laboring behind the scenes and not lifting a single finger to fight for recognition? Allowing men to “sit” on them?
I was going to change all that, at least in my life! Remove all the fluff and weakness inherent in femalehood. Toughen up. Show the men (and women!) how its done.
And removed the monthly bleeding and rounding hips and sprouting chest, while am at it. Speak out without fear of repercussion. I would be different!
Lifting the veil of brokenness
As a grown up, I can find a few words to describe my confusion back then, but growing up, my thoughts were not as clear.
All I knew was that I liked to dress as a boy, (my parents indulged my tomboy ways), play as a boy, argue like one, day-dream I was one. All I felt was a weird fascination and dull anger at male gender.
And so it is with women who have an aversion to sex for non-obvious reasons (sexual abuse is an obvious reason, if sexual trauma is in your past, please watch this video).
You might know what you hate or despise, perhaps even why you dislike it. But you are too close to your story to put all the pieces together.
For example, while my war was apparent (overthrow men by becoming a smarter version of one) the underlying reason was not.
My iceberg-under-the-surface was a strict upbringing; a home big on discipline and order and low on affirmation or the feeling of acceptance.
My parents, of course, loved me and all nine of us, but they were from a generation that communicated love differently.
As their last born child, I was the neediest and desperately wanted their soft side. When it wasn’t forthcoming, I regressed to anger at society, revulsion at God and his order, disappointment at women, and a weird mix of anger and fascination with men.
My mother used to say “with that mouth, you will struggle to cope in marriage!” and I’d retort quietly “Worry not mommy, I am not planning to “cope“!
Being different became a big deal, as I grew up. I was obsessed about standing out. And I was so proud of my thinking and “revelation.”
And sometimes that is the story of every person who travels down the broken road. We come from using our brokenness as a shield to holding it up as a trophy.
Addressing your brokenness
If you hate sex for non-obvious reasons, the chances are that you did not suddenly decide to hate it.
You did not suddenly decide intimacy is wrong, carrying your husbands name is terrible and no woman should bear the burden of bearing children and keeping a home.
There’s a story behind your beliefs, a reason why you think the way you do. In fact, there’s probably a story behind your story.
And while it’s important to understand your “why” I have come to believe it is even more important to understand God’s why because it is in understanding and accepting God’s way of doing things that we become truly whole.
Staring at a reflection of yourself in a mirror, wondering why you are so weird, getting all psychoanalytic on yourself will not get you closer to God and His ways.* Cultivating intimacy with Him will.
Ezekiel 36:26 – 27 promises
“I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.”
Please note the progression; a new heart and spirit. Then the old heart is taken out. God’s light expels the darkness of our soul. We don’t need more understanding of our issues to get better; we need more of God.*
If you are engaged to be married and hate sex, you need to dial back and begin to figure out what God says about the area you are conflicted about. Rather than work at the issue from your viewpoint, take a walk to God’s side.
He is waiting to help you. His revelation will blow away the webs of confusion and dilemma. He will help you face the iceberg-under-the-water;
The wounding from your father. The confusion from the boyfriend who slapped you one minute and then told you he loved you the next.
The neglect by your mom who was too busy fighting her own battles and to help you fight yours. The poor examples in your extended family.
The lingering effects from the pornographic pictures you were exposed to as a child. The steamy romantic novels from high school which introduced you to masturbation.
God will peel back the covers.
Three practical ways to adjust
A common thread emerged as I interacted with brides to be. Let as look at them; one more reason a bride-to-be might hate sex and two possible paths to find health and freedom.
1. Sometimes we hate sex because we expect intimacy to be without effort.
Incorrect perceptions about sex will set us up for disappointment, even revulsion. When we believe sex is (or should be) a smooth tumble into ecstasy and then hear it is not, our hearts can despair.
If you are disappointed because you heard married sex takes a little work and intentionality to get it right (and keep it right), I encourage you to change your attitude towards “work.”
Godly work, building-healthy-intimacy-type-of-work is good work.
Reasonably God could have created a bland, mechanical transaction between a married man and woman and called it sex. An efficient no-fluff process, to increase the number of humans on earth. Quick and sterile. No work, no fun.
But God made it such that a husband and wife would have to get out of their comfort zone, learn their spouse, engage and serve each other in order to reap the fruit of their effort.
Satisfying intimacy may require stepping out of your personal cocoon, but oh what beautiful effort and fruit.
And it is this same energy and effort which reminds us of our heavenly Groom, Jesus Christ. How He loves and serves his bride the Church and how we adore and worship Him for all He has done.
2. There’s no growth without risk
It took many many years to begin to understand my childhood and teenage angst.
In fact, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I began to have a clearer picture as to why I desperately wanted to be a different gender than the one I was born in.
The revelation did not happen overnight but, every step of progress was victory gained, and it was mine to keep.
Here’s the thing, though, I had to start exposing myself to godly leadership and molding to shed off mistaken inclinations.
It’s far too easy nowadays to cry about our aches and pains, shake a fist at God without doing dot to move towards the answer.
If you hate sex or are struggling with the idea of sex in marriage, God has a better vision for you. Confusion, anger, hate, revulsion are not your destiny. But you need to see it!
You need to get in the posture of learning and receiving.
The disabled beggar had to stretch out his hand towards Peter Acts 3:1-10. The woman with the issue of blood had to press through the crowd Luke 8:43-48. The bed ridden man had to trust his crazy friends to carry him to Jesus. Luke 5:18-20.
What do you need to allow in your life today? Connect with a new church family? Join a home group? Open up to a mentor? Surround yourself with friends who have their heads on straight?
Start premarital? Talk with your fiancé about the past?
Commit to a daily habit of prayer and reading the Word so your mind can be renewed? Remove yourself from toxic environments and relationships? Discipline and quieten your heart through fasting and prayer?
Widen your knowledge, gain wisdom through reading a book? Make an appointment with a counselor? God wants to heal you. But you need to move your feet.
3. Yes, a sexless marriage is unfair
God created sex to be enjoyed by both husband and wife.
If one of you is planning to withhold, or fight this area of marriage, it is unfair get married with the battle largely unwon.
Your fiancé is not marrying you for the cuddles and kisses and general companionship alone, he’s expecting the complete package.
It would have been unfair for me to get married to a man while holding on to hot ideas about genders and their roles.
Marriage is a wonderful gift, but we make it hard when we jump in prematurely, without taking the time to get well.
It took a long time to get my head straight about men and marriage. But by the time I met Tommy, God had dealt with much of my hot hotheadedness and corrected my wrong theology through years of mentorship.
I am still trying to understand some things, haven’t figure it all. But before I took my vows, I had dealt with the harder stuff and was open to learning and correction in marriage.
What I am about to say might sound harsh but if you cannot see yourself making love to your husband, consider postponing the wedding.
I am not saying break off the engagement. I am saying slow down and take that time to do business with God. You won’t fix everything this side of the altar because marriage is such a refiner.
But it will be exciting, and fair, to shed off the obvious baggage so you can enjoy marriage as God intended.
You can move from “I hate sex” to “I see why God made is so!” You can overcome the aversion and abhorrence. God can re-calibrate your view and heal you completely. You can enjoy sex!
So get with God. You can start with this post – experiencing spiritual intimacy while you make love . Then address those underlying issues with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Start a daily habit of prayer and reading the Word of God. Look for an older wiser mentor, accept correction. Surround yourself with other Christians. Got church. Embrace continued work. Give God a chance.
If you are dealing with trauma arising from abuse, remember to watch this video.
I’ll be talking about how to overcome the past as you prepare for intimacy in marriage in my up-coming wedding night resource. Stay tuned for release dates.
If this post was helpful, consider sharing or forwarding to a friend who needs it.
Now tell me, what area is God working in your life concerning marriage and intimacy? For the married, did you have any sexual/marriage hangups before marriage? How did you deal with them?
Struggling to wrap your mind around intimacy and how God wired you for sexual intimacy in marriage? I just released a new book, The Wedding Night: Embracing Sexual Intimacy as a New Bride and it’s a handbook for sexual confidence in marriage. Learn how God created intimacy for both of spouses, not one, shed mindsets that hinder sexual confidence in marriage and embrace the joy of marital intimacy. Buy the book/find more information here