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Sexual repression causes pain too

We can clearly see the damage done, we treat our sexuality like the prodigal son, selfishly indulging in every simple pleasure we can find. And often in reaction to this, not wanting to be the prodigal, we go to the opposite extreme and functionally repress our sexuality. This is not always intentional, but it leaves us with pain and heartache as well.

Unconsummated marriage, Erectile Dysfunction, Delayed Ejaculation

This might be the guy who, after years of trying to keep himself sexually pure, doesn’t know how to be at home in his own body, or to move toward his wife sexually. And after years of marriage they are still living in an unconsummated marriage. Or it might be the guy who consistently struggles with ED, or who is able to have penetration but not able to climax with his wife.

Hurts both husband and wife

And on both sides, the husband and the wife are left frustrated, disappointed and confused.. He feels broken. While he loves his wife deeply, he doesn’t understand why he can’t get his body to respond and move toward her sexually in the way that they both desire.

And she’s left feeling undesirable…that what’s wrong with her, that her husband doesn’t desire her, can’t move toward her in these ways. They both grieve that they cannot freely enjoy the fullness of their sexual union and even more so when this keeps them from having the kids that they desire.

Absence of the positive 

And so while the guy may not be sleeping around and engaging in obvious sinful indulgences, the presence of the negative, the absence of the positive, his inability to offer his sexual self as a generative blessing brings a strain to the marriage as well. And both a need healing, a deeper healing in their own right.

Need for sexual formation

It’s not a lack of knowledge that holds the repressed man back sexually, but rather a lack of being. And he must engage in this intentional process of sexual formation so that his body soul and spirit are all aligned and bringing more life and goodness into the world and to his relationships through his sexual self.

And so while we don’t want to be the prodigal with our sexuality, we don’t want to be that that fearful servant who buries his gifts in the ground either. And we become just that when we allow ourselves to stay functionally repressed.

And so whatever our starting point, and however we got there, true sexual faithfulness means we must cultivate the presence of the good and not just avoid the bad. We must do both.

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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