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Boost your sex life: 3 habits hurting your intimacy in marriage (and what you can do to improve it)

How do you improve your sex life in marriage? There are three bad habits that interfere with cultivating healthy intimacy in a marriage. Read more.

Sex + marriage.

Whoa! As I wrote the first line, a deep sigh left my body.

From the beginning of starting my blog, wives asked me to approach this sensitive topic. Women who love their husbands. Women who want a healthy sex life with their husbands. Women who want to talk.

As a wife and Christian, I think it’s important we talk about developing a healthy sex life and intimacy IN marriage. I just wasn’t sure where I wanted to start. I wasn’t sure what God wanted me to share.

But now, it’s time.

You see, even in the best of marriages, we can let subtle bad habits sneak into our sex lives. It doesn’t matter if you have no kids, small kids, teens, or are an empty nester, sometimes our sex lives in marriage take a hit.

Life gets hard. Hormones shift. Bodies change.

I know.

I’ve been the wife who gained weight.
I’ve been the wife who felt awkward after having a baby.
I’ve been the wife who just wanted to go to bed after a long day with four fellas.
I’ve been the wife who prioritized work over my marriage.
I’ve been the wife who had hormonal changes.
Oh, yes! I have been her.

So I know firsthand how easy it is for intimacy and our sex lives to be reshaped by outside influences.

Now, I do realize there are deeper physical and mental health issues that impact sex in marriages. Today, I am not addressing this significant dynamic.

#marriage #marriageadvice #relationships #couples #marriedlife

Instead, let’s talk about three common bad habits we allow to sneak into our marriages causing us to disconnect from a healthy, regular sex life in our marriages (plus ways you can turn it around).

Lack of communication

When it comes to sex, no matter how long you have been married, we can take for granted our spouses know what we want and that we know what our spouses want. We don’t have the conversations. Let’s be real–the talks can be awkward, especially if you were never taught about healthy communication in marriage.

In those early years of my marriage, I was reserved to talk with my hubby about our sex life. It just felt a little weird saying the words out loud, especially since talking about our sex life requires a deeper level of vulnerability. Even though talking was different, not talking creates bigger issues. So this lady was determined to talk. Thankfully, my hubby and I were intentional in creating a safe space for us to be transparent and vulnerable. I got over my awkwardness and shared. (Let me say, this was particularly beneficial once we started having kids and my body started changing.)

Sexual intimacy in marriage is meant to be beautiful and a reflection of our oneness in marriage. Unfortunately, wives and husbands don’t always have the same views about sex or the same definition of intimacy.

Make talking about your sex life and intimacy a priority. Ask challenging questions. 

Some questions to help kickstart your conversations:

    When do you feel most connected to me before sex?
    What prevents us from having regular sex?
    How can we prioritize sex in our marriage?
    Are you happy with our sex life?
    What would you like to improve?
    What about our sex life is going well?
    What would you like to start doing?
    What would you like to stop doing?
    How often do you want to have sex?

Embrace “I” statements as well.

  • I like it when you ________.
  • I feel sexy when you _________.
  • I feel most connected to you when you _____.
  • I enjoy ________.

Being married for over 15 years, my hubby and I discuss these questions regularly. When we do, I make a conscious decision to hear with an open mind and heart. I choose not to be offended if my hubby says something hard to hear, because I know having the conversations are worth it. We become closer, and our intimacy improves. Be mindful of creating a safe space to talk, to share, and to connect.

#marriage #marriageadvice #relationships #wife #newlywed #spouse

Technology in bed

Ouch!

Sadly, many of us (myself included) are guilty of bringing that third guest to bed—your phone.

How many times have you said you are too tired for sex or don’t have time for sex, but you stayed up watching the latest tv show or spent an hour skimming through Instagram? How often have you laid in the bed next to your spouse working on sending that last-minute email for work? Or have you stayed up responding to the group text from your friends?

It seems harmless enough, but this bad habit hurts the intimacy in our marriages. Our time, our focus, and our energy is in the technology instead of the loving spouse we have in the bed next to us. We are physically present but emotionally and mentally distracted.
It’s not surprising our spouse would choose to go to bed without initiating sex. Our behavior communicates the technology is more important than being present.

Thankfully, we can turn this around.

  • Give your technology a bedtime.
  • If you must work, consider working AFTER spending time to connect with your spouse.
  • Communicate your boundaries with others. Let them know unless it is an emergency; you are prioritizing your time with your spouse.

Prioritizing others

Now this one hit home. As someone who often puts the needs of others ahead of my own, I had a bad habit of prioritizing others before my marriage. I focused on taking care of our children, the responsibilities of my career, helping friends, and being available for family. I spent more time making sure they were okay, only leading to days where I was too tired and too distracted to connect with my hubby.

This was NOT okay.

I didn’t see prioritizing others as not prioritizing my marriage, but that’s precisely what it is. Although my children, my career, my extended family, friends, etc. are important to me, they are not meant to take priority over my marriage. My priorities were out of order and order needed to be restored. Can you relate?

I started praying for God to reveal ways I was distracted and disconnected in my marriage.

Instead of prioritizing others, I started focusing my eyes in my own home and in my marriage.

Are you more available for your extended family member, friends, career, or kids more than you are for your spouse? Do you find yourself struggling to make time for your spouse? Do you often make excuses about why you don’t have time or are too tired to have sex?

If we want to improve the sex lives in our marriages, then our marriages must be a priority.

So how do we shift this?

  • Say no: Just because a good opportunity comes up doesn’t mean it’s the best for your marriage.
  • Say yes: Take time to initiate the intimacy you want
  • Plan: Be intentional in creating time for you to be intimate
  • Communicate throughout the day: Send a loving, flirty text. Make the phone call to say, “I love you.”
  • Remember: God intentionally chose you to be your husband’s wife. Remember to choose your marriage every day.

Sometimes these bad habits hurting your sex life in marriage are simply symptoms of hidden issues of rejection, fear, isolation, or hurt. As a wife, take time to reflect on your heart and views toward intimacy and sex in your marriage. Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal areas where your heart may have become hardened, or you have allowed others to take up space in your life where your husband should be (this includes your kids).

Don’t hesitate to reach out for additional help if needed. Talk to your doctor, a therapist, or help at your local church for prayer. You don’t have to walk alone.

Above all, talk to your spouse, pray together, and be intentional in prioritizing intimacy in your marriage.

Cheering you on,

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58 comments on “Boost your sex life: 3 habits hurting your intimacy in marriage (and what you can do to improve it)

  1. Such a good post. I love your suggestions for conversation starters! I struggle with always feeling tired and I hate that I leave my hubby hanging. I’ll certainly try your tips!

    • Mamie L. Pack

      I hope our conversation starters lead to some phenomenal talks.

  2. susanhomeschooling

    Praying together as a couple can really make a big difference because of the spiritual vulnerability that happens during shared prayer.

  3. Lindsey | GreenMamaLife

    Ah yes! Thank you!

  4. alunderfullife

    Technology in bed is something I definitely need to stop doing!

  5. This is very helpful. Will work on it. Sadly I am that momma that just wants to pass out after a long day.

    • Mamie L. Pack

      You are not the only one. Being a wife and mom can be exhausting at times for sure.

  6. Thank you for opening up and sharing this! It’s so needed. I’m looking forward to utilizing your advice. 🙂

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Yay!! The more we talk and give voice to these issues then better our marriages can Ben

  7. Sex and marriage should be so natural but as you said… life happens and it becomes less the norm the longer we are married. With small children I find a lack of connection that hurts us… recommitting to spending one on one time with him this week 😉

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Oh, I had three fellas four and under. Prioritizing intimacy was a challenge but so worth it. Celebrating you committing to spending more one on one time with your hubby this week. Yay!!

  8. gimmeallthecoffeemama

    I am definitely guilty of this, when I put the kids down, i retreat to my bed and to have some “me” time leaving my husband to do whatever. I need to make it “our” time!

    • Mamie L. Pack

      You are not the only one momma! Having a consistent bedtime for our fellas has helped with giving my hubby and I alone time and us time.

  9. coffeechaosdryshampoo

    I love the questions you listed to help get a couple talking. Great ideas!

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Thanks! They really help get to conversations started. Any questions you would add?

  10. Thank you for posting this, I think some of us are embarrassed to talk about this because we don’t want to admit that this is true.

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Yes, it can be embarrassing and awkward for sure. But the more we talk and open up, we can gain support to help improve our marriages.

  11. Octavia Peck Palmer

    Beautiful, articulate post! I will continue to reflect on your words.

  12. Thanks for addressing this and I thought your suggestions and insight were spot on. Great job!

  13. Rigel Celeste

    We’re guilty of the technology in bed! That’s a hard habit to break for sure. It’s my one good chance to catch up online, lol.

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Oh, the evening time is prime time for many of us to have some quiet time, also time for us to connect with one another as well.

  14. I definitely think sex and marriage and relationships should be talked more about and love this article!

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Oh, thank you! Talking about how we can improve intimacy and sex in marriage should be a normal conversation instead of something awkward.

  15. These are excellent tips. We mentor couples in our church and I will be sharing!

  16. Many people will find this post useful and appreciate its wisdom. It’s important for married couples to remember the beauty of our intimate relationships and how important they are to our health. Technology, as you point out, is a big culprit is disrupting our sexual lives. There are many great points here, and the one about our tendency to prioritize others over our spouse was a reminder I related to personally.

  17. These are all such important tips! We don’t even allow our phones onto the second floor of our house, let alone into the bedroom!

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Oh, that is terrific. What a way to prioritize your marriage.

  18. Claire Thompson

    This is perfect advice! My husband and I are coming up on our 4 year anniversary/ First wedding anniversary(they are on the same day) this fall! We have had two children and have already faced many challenges along the way. I love the idea of having an more structured open conversation about our sex life. I think it would really bring us years ahead in our growth journey together. Thank you for sharing your experiences, this was a great read!

  19. vbacmama416

    This is so important and I’m glad you brought it up from the christian marriage perspective. Having an open conversation where we don’t get offended is a great suggestion, because sometimes that’s my go-to response. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Brittany Stein

    This is a great post about keeping your sex life a priority. My husband and I have only been married two years (but together for 10) and we are always super honest about what we like/don’t like and voice our opinions. I feel as though it has helped us maintain a healthy sex life in our marriage!

  21. momelite2

    My husband and I are both guilty of technology in bed. Such a hard habit to kick.

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Sadly a lot us are guilty. Thankfully, we can turn it around today.

  22. Marriage can change so much, especially when we have kids. These are good reminders and tips.

    • Mamie L. Pack

      When the changes happen, it’s important our marriage change with it so we can strengthen them.

  23. Aditi Wardhan Singh

    So important to keep in mind..it can be such a struggle to be on top of staying connected as a couple

  24. I really love the questions to ask each other that you talked about and the “I” sentences. That makes it feel like you’re not blaming or attacking your spouse. Really great thoughts!

    • Mamie L. Pack

      Using the “I” statements are extremely helpful and takes the pressure off when talking.

  25. This is great! I know as new parents its hard to find time for intimacy!

  26. we both do end up with devices – reading, watching videos, or something.. but the moment one of us puts the device down, the other does so too..
    great tips and so important

    • Mamie L. Pack

      It’s good you are aware and proactive in responding to each other.

  27. Thank you for approaching this topic in a Christian marriage. Intimacy is important. After being married for almost 30 years, its important to be open and communicative about all of it. You’ve presented some great questions. Great job!

  28. Wow Mamie, This was awesome! This is so on point and an often times “hard to hear” topic. Thank You for all the amazing ideas and discussion topics,I will definitely be using them.

  29. These are simple steps to help intimacy in marriage, but that doesn’t make them easy! Thanks for a great roadmap to make it happen!

  30. Solid read!! I am bookmarking this now! 🙂 #BLM

  31. OMG this is super good! I’m not married yet but I’m definitely bookmarking this and sharing it with both my married and single friends.

  32. Such a great post, informative and well put together. Thank you for sharing this one. I love this.

  33. nadaliebardo

    I suppose in all things communication is key! Great advice for those who need an intimacy boost.

  34. Tiffany Haywood

    These are really great ways to refocus on what is happening in the bedroom and how it can be greatly impacted by what’s happening outside of that same bedroom. Thanks Mamie!

  35. What a great way to start the conversation about this topic. But you said it best suggesting that the 2 in the marriage communicate with each other. No one size fits all.

  36. This is such an important topic to address. Christian wives everywhere are grateful

  37. I can relate to several of these for sure. These are healthy tips to approach a tough conversation.

  38. Thank you for the conversation starters and the reminder to use I statements. This convo can be a little uncomfortable to have.

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