Do You Believe Couples Go Through Sexual Seasons In Their Relationship?

Jay Dee

Do You Believe Couples Go Through Sexual Seasons In Their Relationship?

Oct 07, 2012

This is the seventh post in the 1/2 Marathon being orchestrated by the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association.  I have a bunch of questions left from the A Males Perspective teleconference I spoke at last week.  As such, I’ll be using this marathon to answer some of the questions I received.

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This is the seventh post in the 1/2 Marathon being orchestrated by the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association.  I have a bunch of questions left from the A Males Perspective teleconference I spoke at last week.  As such, I’ll be using this marathon to answer some of the questions I received.  Please note, these are my perspective.  I cannot vouch for all males and when I’m giving my perspective on women, I certainly cannot vouch for all women.  Also, all references to gender traits are based on the average population, there are exceptions of course.  Please do not be offended by these if you are not “neuro-typical” for your gender.  So, on to the question:

Do you believe that couples go through sexual seasons in their relationships?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: We’ve been through a few already in our short (11 year) marriage.

When my wife and I got married, we didn’t have a lot (if any) advice/discussion/help on how marriage would be.  We went to pre-marriage counseling, but honestly, that didn’t do much.  Don’t get me wrong, I think pre-marriage counseling is a great thing, but I’m not sure ours was effective.  Perhaps we were too young and immature to make use of it, I’m not sure.  On top of that, we are both the eldest of our siblings and first to get married on both sides.  Both set of parents basically have the “don’t ask don’t tell” conservative Christian mindset, and so, we were on our own.  Two 20 year old’s trying to figure this out on our own.  This is a bad situation to be in.  So, when my wife started taking birth-control pills right before we got married, we had no idea what the side effects could be, how much it would change her libido, her attitude, her mood swings.

Our honeymoon was a disaster for different reasons.  I had the flu, started getting a fever on the way to the resort.  It rained all week when we had expected to make use of the trails available.  Our vehicle broke down on the way an hour from any town.  That was day 1 of being married.  For years I thought this was the reason for our initial trouble.  I though the anti-climactic start of our marriage was what placed us on the wrong foot for the next few years.  It probably has some effect, but not as much as I thought.

On my end, I wasn’t much better.  I have never been a empathetic person and my wife is the opposite.  I try, but often what I think I’m doing has the opposite effect. After sex, I would immediately kiss her goodnight and go to the computer to play games.  I thought I was letting her sleep.  In fact, I was abandoning her when she needed to feel close.  I also had a porn addiction that I’d been fighting since a teenager that was hindering my ability to open up to my wife.  It’s hard to be transparent when you are always hiding something.  In addition to this, there were times I was so frustrated with our sex life that when I knew she was in the mood I wouldn’t initiate sex because I wanted her to come to me and initiate.  I think I believed it would be some sort of apology, or perhaps retribution, for her to need to come to me for sexual satisfaction for once.  This was just stupid as it dropped our frequency even lower.  When your starving, you don’t reject the food just because it’s on the wrong color plate.  There were also times I ignored the signal because I had already had an orgasm once, or multiple times that day watching porn and didn’t think I could perform again.

About 5 years into the marriage, we decided to start having children.  We always knew we wanted them, we started discussing having children the first month we started dating, and now we were somewhat established, had a house, and so it was time to start filling it.  My wife went off of birth-control pills, but after 5 years of those hormones re-wiring her brain, it’s not as simple as just taking them away.  Those patterns were fairly ingrained, and so were my responses to them.

Side Note: It is amazing how a wife, trying to conceive, can turn her libido around on a dime for a short period. Again, not her fault, I blame hormones.

So, combine a husband who is a bit of a jerk, and a wife who cannot control her emotions, mood swings, and whose libido had crashed (through no fault of her own, bad medication), with a failed honeymoon, and our marriage started off in a nuclear winter with some short visits at hot springs for the conception of the first 2 children. During this season of winter, we could be described as having a “sexless marriage” (10 or fewer times a year) for the large majority of the 8 years.  But, as far as the rest of the world was concerned, there was no issue.  I mean, we had kids, we must be doing OK in bed, right?  I think we were both depressed.  Marriage was not what we were promised.  We were distant from each other, and had become more like life long room-mates than spouses.  Contrasted to before the wedding where we were both constantly horny, talking multiple times a day and generally couldn’t get enough of each other, and I think we both felt like we had been cheated, tricked into marriage.

Somehow we finally decided enough was enough and that we had to focus on our marriage.  We started focusing on communication to start, because that seemed to be the root of a lot of issues. We started sharing stuff we had read and found online and in books that might help.  I came across The Marriage Bed and started realizing our situation wasn’t quite unique and started sharing some posts with my wife.

Then my wife read a few posts at The Marriage Bed dealing with sexual refusal.  She asked me one day “Do you think I’m a Refuser? (a term given by the community to someone who refuses sex as a habit).  I felt like a deer caught in the headlights.  I mean, this was a big question.  Right answer could heal this bridge in our marriage, wrong answer could widen it.  So I chickened out and said “what do you think?”  This started a long discussion about our marriage and our responsibilities in it, what we wanted out of it, and what we weren’t getting.  And by long, I mean years.  This wasn’t a couple hours one night, this has continued through the rest of our marriage.  I learned that I was being insensitive in a lot of areas, my wife learned that sex is a real need for a marriage.

I’m not going to say our marriage turned around overnight, but the direction changed nearly overnight and spring came around.  Sometimes it was still cold and uncomfortable, but it was starting to warm up.  This sort of got interrupted by the pregnancy and birth of our third child.  So, we got stuck in spring for a while.

After that, we took the 7 Days Of Sex Challengeover at OneExtraordinaryMarriage.com.  That was amazing.  We did the challenge and kept right on going.  We hit summer full on with a heat wave.  We had sex for 16 days in a row, took one day off and did another 16 days in a row.  Over the next few months, we were having sex 4 out of every 5 nights.  We were making up for lost time.  This really knit our marriage together.  One thing we are not taught is how much sex binds a couple together, physically and emotionally.  I finally kicked my porn addiction that I’d been fighting for over 15 years and came clean to my wife, the first person I ever told.  I wrote a large letter to her explaining the whole thing because it was still easier to write than to say.  I ended it with “I feel like crying, and I hope you still love me, and I hope you can forgive me some day.”

After she had read it, I asked “so, what now?”  My wife, with all the changes she’s been through and all the growing, looked at me and said “You’ve just been the most open and honest you’ve ever been, I think she would go have some really good sex”.  And so we did.  There is nothing she could have done or said that would have made me feel better.  As I’ve wrote before, an acceptance of a man sexually feels to him like an acceptance of everything he is.  This, to me, meant forgiveness, love and acceptance of who I was at my core.  Nothing in my life has ever impacted me so much.  Even thinking about it makes me teary eyed.

Then we got pregnant with our 4th child, and things cooled down a bit.  Early fall perhaps.  Still great, and the memories of summer not faded yet.

Then short winter after the birth where I wrote some posts to channel some of my frustrated sexual energy keeping me focused on my wife:

How Pregnancy Affects Sex

What I Hate About Breastfeeding

You should know my wife reads almost all of my posts, so I don’t write anything I wouldn’t tell her.

So, how we’re in spring.  The baby is not weaned yet, so my wife is up multiple times a  night feeding her.  Sleep is low and so we’re not quite up to where we want to be.  But summer is just around the corner and I’m looking forward to it!

So, yes, I believe in sexual seasons.  I know there are more to come, but after what we’ve been through, we can handle them.  And we want to help those who don’t yet have the experience or resources to deal with it.  That’s why I started this blog.

How about you?  Have you experienced sexual season in your marriage?

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23 thoughts on “Do You Believe Couples Go Through Sexual Seasons In Their Relationship?”

  1. Jolene @ The Alabaster Jar says:

    Great post, Jay. I was a sexually broken wife…not my husband’s fault. I suffered through chronic illnesses, hormonal issues, you name it. I’ve never denied my man my body, yet, the Lord allowed our sexual winter season to take place in our lives. Within the first 5 mos. of our marriage I had laser surgery to my cervix and that was just the beginning. 14 years later, God has healed my body tremendously and we’re catching up for some lost time. Keep sharing your story.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Yes, sometimes sexual seasons come on us through no direct cause of our own. Sometimes they are impressed upon us through external forces.

  2. Jenny says:

    I’ve been on birth control pills since we were 18, and they have never impacted my sex drive…..actually, I’m on three medications that typically lower sex drive, and I haven’t experienced that at all. On the other hand, my husband has experienced sexual side effects from an SSRI (one class of anti-depressants).

    The birth control I’m on keeps my hormones on an even keel, too, so that’s absolutely fantastic. I tried a different kind once and it threw me for a loop big time.

    I think there are definitely sexual seasons in marriage. We’ve also been through all the seasons. Ours started out the opposite, though – for the first few years we were averaging 3 times a day. We never slept through the night, and couldn’t even watch an entire movie without a sex break! Then we started fighting, and it lessened a bit; and then he became severely depressed, and it all but ended. I finally started working on myself, rather than trying to change him, because I realized that there were a lot of changes that I needed to make. I completely changed myself around, in order to love him, respect him, support him, and encourage him as God desired me to, and as my husband needed me to; and he noticed the changes, because they really were gigantic changes. He finally got to the point where he reached out for help for his depression, and sex became more frequent…..but then we had to learn how to deal with sexual side effects from the medication. So it’s been interesting (to say the least!), but we’re to the point now where we have sex 5-6 days out of the week. On some of those days, we’ll have sex more than once. We’re definitely at a healthy place at the moment, and are enjoying ourselves immensely. I hope this “summer” lasts for a long time. 🙂

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Birth control does not always change a wife’s mood for the worse, sometimes it helps, but it happens often enough and is little known enough that I think it’s a serious issue that needs to be brought into the light more often.

  3. livinginblurredlines says:

    Hubby used to have hang ups about touching my breasts when they were lactating. Now, after several children, there’s no difference. I love having them touched and he can enjoy fully their temporary fullness.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I think my wife has the hang-up about me touching her breast when they are lactating, plus she’s sort of all “touched out” there, and they are way too sensitive at the moment. Can’t wait to be back to “normal”.

  4. Hannah Williams says:

    We’re going through a seasonal change in our sex life right now… a good one, but we’ve had our fair share of bad ones too. I believe it’s healthy to have seasons in your marriage and your sex life. It’s even Biblical. Ecclesiastes 3 says, “to everything there is a season.” It helps you grow and learn about each other, deepen in your intimacy, and understand your values as individuals and couples.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I think there is an underlying theological disagreement somewhere with what you are saying. It sounds a little too much like when something horrible happens to someone and they are told “don’t worry, its part of God’s plan.” I don’t think God ever plans for a season of winter in a marriage due to sickness, porn use, infidelity, death in the family, or anything like that. I think God allows it as a byproduct of freewill, but I cannot be an instant believe that God planned for us to suffer.

      In the same token, the “to everything there is a season” I’m not sure can be applied the way people think it can. There is never a proper season for ignoring God. There is never a proper season for mass murder. There is never a proper season for taking up drugs. Now, these might be extreme, but I’m trying to illustrate a point, that there is never a designated season by God for us to do evil.

      Now, I don’t think that was your intent, but I took your “we’ve had our fair share of bad [seasons] too” and “I believe it’s healthy” and “It’s even Biblical”. And it started to drift a little to close to “God intended for us to have bad seasons”.

      Sorry for the rant, just couldn’t leave it alone.
      I’m so happy you are in a good season right now!

  5. T Bittner - Genuine Husband says:

    I’m glad you touched on the subject of a man feeling fully accepted when he is accepted sexually. You hit on an important aspect of oneness from the male perspective. Thank you for this post.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I’ve touched on the subject a few times, because, I agree, it is a huge aspect that I think most women don’t understand. It’s just not taught or talked about, because, in the wrong context, it can seem very selfish. But in the right context, it is how we were created and there is a purpose for it, and nothing God given should be discounted.

  6. Jamie Bishop says:

    Our stories DO seem similar. Though for me, sex wasn’t the issue. I like it. I would beg my husband to come to me, even if I wasn’t in the mood, instead of porn. But he always felt like he had to satisfy me too. He was so lost in the addiction he didn’t want to interchange the two. Even though he was bringing porn into the bed every time we had sex, he somehow saw the two differently. Now he doesn’t. Now that he is no longer in slavery to it, he sees the truth. We used to go through seasons. We asked early on in counseling how we should approach sex…because I would put so much pressure on my sex to be available for sex even if I didn’t want to be. It was always this internal dilemma. The counselor advised that we should try picking a number of times we thought was reasonable for sex per week/month. It has really helped us. I’m interested in this challenge you mentioned. I’m going to have to check it out!

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I think picking a number of times per week/month that is reasonable is a great idea for the majority of couples. The only problem is when sex drives are too different. One spouse will say never and the other will say twice per day.

      The 7 Day Sex Challenge from One Extraordinary Marriage is great. They are the first people I’ve seen do it (now it’s a huge fad since that TV show came out about having sex 7 days in a row), and they do it from a Christian perspective. Integrating lots of prayer as well. It is really a great ministry.

  7. Overcoming with Love via Facebook says:

    Thank you for your transparency. <3

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I’m hoping it helps someone.

  8. Anonymous says:
  9. Paul H. Byerly says:

    I love the hat tip to a couple of web sites that helped your marriage along the way. Web sites and blogs can be a huge help to many couples.

    And thanks for now giving back by adding your voice – and for saying some very good things.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Give credit where credit is due. I’m so glad I can be contributing to others peoples marriages because so many have contributed to mine in meaningful and helpful ways.

  10. Chris Tian says:

    Yes I do, I think we need to practice self-control in these times. I also think a marriage goes through seasons as in the sex changes. I remember my first few months of being with my husband, but we’ve grown and it’s so much better now. 🙂

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