It is normal for most men to experience some level of difficulty during marriage with low sexual desire, getting or keeping an erection, and controlling the timing of their ejaculation (climaxing too quickly or difficulty achieving an orgasm). Many couples also experience conflict over their desire levels. Others find themselves simply going through the motions of sex, lacking creativity, passion, and intimacy.
It doesn’t mean that you are less of a man or that something is horribly wrong because you experience any of these difficulties. Despite the myths of movie-quality sex, these are all part of the average guy’s sexual experiences. When issues become frequent or pervasive and become a “problem” for you or your wife it may be time to seek help. Know that there is hope. Much like hiring a golf or tennis pro, a sex therapist can help you improve your sex life.
Embarrassment keeps many men from seeking help. While this is understandable, don’t let it keep you from the sexual fulfillment God intended for your marriage. Don’t cheat yourself and your wife of God’s best due to your embarrassment or pride.
Where to Begin
Even once we are willing to admit something is wrong we can be unsure where to go for help; we like to fix things on our own. Overcoming sexual difficulties is not as easy as taking a pill. It is more complex than that as you must address all the areas that contribute to the problem to be effective.
It has been said that a man’s penis is one of the most honest parts of his anatomy; its responsiveness often highlights underlying physical, personal, and relational issues. Sexual problems can be related to a physical or medical problem such as diabetes, high blood pressure, low testosterone, thyroid, or prostate difficulties. Get a physical, rule out, and treat any physical problems.
The husband who experiences depression, hurt, exhaustion, anxiety, or is distracted by life’s demands will have more difficulties with his desire, erections, and ejaculations. Engaging in compulsive or addictive behaviors will also influence a man’s sexual responsiveness.
Your marriage relationship itself is another major factor affecting your sexuality. It is hard to experience that lovin’ feelin’ in the presence of disrespect, nagging, rejection, or alienation. Your wife’s sexual responsiveness and problems will also affect yours. If she is uncomfortable with sex or if it is painful for her you may back off, lose your erection, or train yourself to quickly get it over with to protect her from more pain and discomfort.
An individual or marriage therapist can help you with the personal and relational problems interfering with your sex life. A counselor trained in sex therapy may be needed to coach you through self-help exercises that address your more specific sexual concerns and help you to regain your sexual confidence.
A Family Matter
The marriage bed is sacred and should be kept private. At the same time, what happens or doesn’t happen in your bedroom has an impact on the rest of your life. A satisfying sexual relationship helps to create a loving and affectionate atmosphere for the entire family. This foundation will bless and serve your children well later in life.
On the other hand, the man who struggles with sexual difficulties is more likely to overreact to the normal challenges in marriage, parenting, work, and life. A very different family atmosphere is created in the presence of pervasive sexual difficulties.
An Opportunity to Grow
It is easy to assume that our sexual difficulties are due to incompatibility, inhibitions and “hang-ups,” or just getting older. We settle thinking this is as good as it gets and limit our own sexual satisfaction. Often what is needed is not a new technique but personal and relational growth. A great sex life depends more on who you are, and how you are growing as a couple, than on what you do.
Challenge yourself to see your sexual “problems” as an opportunity (or wakeup call) to continue growing into your sexual potential. Courageously confront yourself and deal with the issues interfering with your sex life. Be willing to get help sooner rather than later.
Be honest, playful, and creative as you build an intimate marriage and enjoy a great sex life!