What would you do different if you could go back to your newlywed days?
We’ve been talking newlywed experiences here at Intentional Today in preparation for the launch of my new book – The Wedding Night: Embracing Sexual Intimacy as New Bride, which releases next week! Update: the book is now available! Check it out here!
And I was thinking about what I would do different if I could relive my first day of marriage.
Like many newlywed couples, our first night of marriage was filled with many firsts! New beginnings have their excitements. And anxieties!
In conversing with new brides and from my own experience, I’ve found it important to expect both the highs and lows of marriage; not in a dramatic or negative way, but in a “God is with us and we can do all things through Him who strengthens us” mindset.
I believe we wives should be at the fore front, not tailing at the back, when it comes to anchoring and mentoring newer brides.
Yet sometimes we hold back and hope new wives will somehow figure out it. Or we are shy and don’t know where to start (I’ll be releasing a brand new Wedding Night Mentoring Guide to help with that!)
Or we suppose Christians shouldn’t be talking about intimacy, maybe one of the reasons so many people unsubscribed from my blog last week, after I sent out this article.
I am excited about my latest book because I’ve heard from many engaged women and new brides who are stuck. And I believe this book, The Wedding Night: Embracing Sexual Intimacy as a New Bride will offer insights and shed light on areas of conflict.
Our first night of marriage was fun because we had been looking forward to intimacy! But it was also filled with anxiety because it was the first time!
So here are a few things I would do differently if I could go back
1. I would be okay with prayer
Like most virgin brides it took a minute (i.e., a while) to work past the initial discomfort of first-time intimacy.
Notwithstanding, sexual intimacy was a deeply spiritual experience for me; God felt really close. And talking to Him about the physical discomfort was natural.
But I soon realized it felt comfortable because it was a quiet conversation, going on deep in my spirit. But once we worked through my discomfort the quiet whisper became a much louder conversation and the awkwardness set in.
If I could go back, I would find peace with expressing my gratitude to God, the creator of intimacy. I would definitely continue to pray over my married bed because a vibrant sex life pours out of deep intimacy with God.
2. I would relax more
Alongside my amazing husband, the other thing that made for a night of fun was the desire to relax. I was a new bride, fighting new-bride jitters. And chickenpox!
I tried the take-small-steps-don’t-be-in-a-rush thing for approximately 30 seconds flat. Or thereabouts.
One piece of advice I would give to a bride-to-be and all brides? Just because you feel ready for intimacy does not mean your body is ready: give yourselves time.
And as a bride, don’t be frustrated when you move at a slower pace than your husband. God created us uniquely, and our differences are meant to be complementary. So savor both!
Remember you are designed to enjoy intimacy, and that means learning what works for you, not just what works for your husband.
Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why Apostle Paul tries to be clear and state “each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.”1 Corinthians 7:2(NLT)
The satisfaction and delight of both matters.
Ps. If it turns out your husband has lower libido, I have a whole chapter in the book dedicated to that. It will give you insights on what to do. Meanwhile, you can also read this post – To the wife with the higher sex-drive
3. I would exercise
A few months ago I read an article where one woman took up exercise in preparation for wedding night intimacy. What a fun idea!
If I’d known that I would have increased general physical activity. Back then I worked an office job and spent most of my days in front of a computer.
While I walked some of the time, I might have accelerated up routines to ready my body for new postures and habits. After all, sex is a form of exercise, and like any exercise, it helps to ease into higher intensity routines, not ramp up to 100mph on day 1.
To every engaged woman, and many read this blog, pick up some exercise particularly if you live a more sedentary life. And consider sticking with exercise, not just for your wedding night, but the rest of your marriage.
4. As a new bride, I would switch off distractions
I had no idea how much concentration is needed for a wife to enjoy intimacy fully.
So on our wedding night, we had the TV running in the back ground. And my mind fixated on the then-gone glorious wedding day. Looking back I would switch off the distractions.
I would decompress, perhaps go over the events with my sweetie to help get the excitement out of my system.
Many of the forty-seven wives I surveyed for my upcoming book took the time to ooh and ahh over the details of the day, and it helped her decompress and let go of the day.
If you are getting married soon, remember to decompress. Figure out ways to help you relax and slow down and connect. (I have tons of ideas in my upcoming book!)
Your husband might have no such need, so you may have to educate him. And decompressing is not limited to new brides either, and we’ll look at ways to decompress later in marriage in my book.
These are my four things! What do you think? What would you do differently if you could back to the start of marriage?
I am talking about all this and more in The Wedding Night: Embracing Sexual Intimacy as a New Bride which is now available here! Are you engaged to be married or know someone who is? Are you a newlywed wife? Then make sure to get yourself a copy!