Tag Archive: relationships


aka ‘What The Back of His T-shirt Should Have Said’ [spoken word – Micah Bournes]

some powerful thoughts contained in this spoken word as a response to seeing a t-shirt with the words “Virginity can be cured” on it:

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So my other blog, The Weekly Mash [and Peace!] has been running for close to 3 months now and it’s interesting to note what the most popular posts have been so far – as each day has a different theme i thought it would be good to look at the top performer for each day in terms of visits, reads and shares and so here they are:

Monday = Fun Day – Humour: It amuses me completely that Cloud man is the most popular post i have had on the new blog out of all of them because this is one of those strange random things that for some reason never fails to put a smile on my face, no matter how often i look at it: I give you Cloud Ambition Man

Tuesday = News Day – Local/International news stories that grab my attention. It was quite interesting that it was the two marriage articles dealing with Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and also Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner that got the most interest in this category although maybe that just says something about our draw towards celebrity. I am hoping more people will engage with Tuesdays and share their interesting/bizarre/life-giving stories so that is can be a sharing of reads worth checking out but here is that post in the meantime.

Wednesday = Wed Day – Relationships and not just dating or marriage but friendship and all other types as well – there were two that were pretty close at the top here so i will include them both, namely the one on leaving the door open when a friendship has gone bad/difficult and then this more children/parent focused one, although it can apply to all relationships in terms of being present and available.

Thursdays = Thirsty – Spiritual matters and this has been quite a popular day and i’ve looked at a variety of quite diverse topics, but it was this post that got created and influenced by Twitter as i was writing it on the John Piper saga [and the importance of understanding messages in context] that unfolded in the wake of the recent tornado.

Friday = My day and really just the opportunity to write about whatever i choose to which again lends itself to quite a variety of posts which have received different interest depending on the topic but it was this post called ‘Blessed are the Geeks’ on the effects of labelling people that really got people’s attention and feedback.

Favourable mention must got to yesterday’s video clip with the woman with the nail in her head [on listening in relationships and not just giving the answers, even when they seem obvious; the human dummy ventriloquist and boy with tape on his face; this post on loving people especially when you don’t feel like it; and  Jesus’ response to a young man who was about to reject His message.

If you missed any of those, this is a good way to catch up on some of the very best… hope there is something you will enjoy.

light colour galaxies

Another week, another ‘The Weekly Mash [and Peace!] – see what’s been happening this week on the other side of my blog garage…

Monday saw some Buttersafe cartoonage depicting the ridiculousness of chess pieces and the trap of the workplace

Tuesday saw us take a look at the boy who couldn’t be buried, the incoming plague and the no celebration relay team orders

Wednesday saw some more cartoons with a simple yet powerful contrasting of Together vs. Not Together

Thursday was an indepth scratch of the tip of the iceberg of the cruciality of forgiveness to assist healthy living

Friday was a revolutionary paradigm shift read in terms of how we spend out time and how productive we are – worth putting some time aside to read!

[for next Saturday’s round-up containing elements of Jack Bauer and The Bluths, keeping the friendship door open and the petrol pump kareoke couple, click here]

[also catch up on last week’s Saturday Round Up: of being Matrixed, bone marrow matches, heartfelt apologies and a boy with tape on his face.]

And now a glimpse into the story of Steve and Helene from Helene’s side:

Helene and Steve

I will start with the here and now – Steve and I have been married two and a half years and together six years. I feel very blessed and fulfilled by our physical intimacy, and am looking for many years of exploring what that will look like in the various seasons that await us. Knowing where the other comes from with respect to sexual history makes us want to honor the other, and bring healing and peace and respect to the other in a way that no one else can. With that comes a humbling responsibility and great power, but also a deep desire to bless the other and receive the joy of sex that God intended for us to experience together. I am sure it will not always be like it is now – sometimes it will be better (whatever that will look like, I don’t know yet) and sometimes it will be worse, but I have a deep trust that this is something we both want to prioritize because we have been uniquely placed by God in a position to offer that to the other. I would say that right now, our biggest challenge is that we often feel like life gets in the way of us making time to be intimate as often as we’d like. Thankfully we are quick to notice it and since we don’t have children and have a fair degree of freedom in our activities, we plan impromptu time in bed or put a hold on our calendar for a romantic evening on short notice to remedy the situation. Life is good.

But it wasn’t always like this. What I had to bring to the table on our wedding night was a soul and body so disconnected by a misguided sexual past that I thought I would never be able to fulfill my role in sharing wonderful physical intimacy with my husband. And it really broke my heart, because I felt that Steve had spent so many years (mostly) holding back from physical intimacy until he found someone to marry, while I was out carousing with any guy who wanted to lay a hand on me, and now all that brokenness made me unable to give something to Steve that he so rightfully deserved. I felt shame and disappointment and guilt. I felt unworthy and dirty. And more than anything, I felt scared to give him access to my body and my soul together as one – which is something I’d never done with anyone.

You see, my body hadn’t always been mine. My childhood, despite my wonderful parents’ love and care, was filled with physical attacks from a violent brother as well as the unwanted advances of a male babysitter before I even reached puberty. At a young age I learned that my body was something people could use to hurt me. I learned that those closest to me were the ones who would hurt me. So I simply dissociated my soul from my body – if people wanted to use my body for evil that’s fine, I could keep it at arm’s length and not be affected by it. In teenage years I became very promiscuous – which seems counterintuitive but I learned later that it is a very common way for survivors of childhood sexual abuse or violence to cope with a feeling of powerlessness. It was as though I had to affirm that my body didn’t matter, therefore what happened to me as a child didn’t matter. What it did however, was widen the chasm between how I related to my body and how I related to my soul – I didn’t understand how the two could coexist together as a whole. It also taught me that you can have countless partners but that you never have to trust anyone, especially the ones you become closest to. So in a weird way sex became a tool to keep people at a distance, not bring them closer. I had no concept of what it could mean to have sex with someone and respect them, or be respected for that matter. By the time I entered my thirties I had left that wildly promiscuous past behind, perhaps more as a result of finding fewer people willing to engage in the practice because of my age, or perhaps because unbeknownst to me I was growing up a little. Then Steve entered the scene. We started dating and he told me about not wanting to have sex before marriage. I thought “well heck, I’ve never tried THAT before!” Since nothing else had worked to that point with respect to finding eternal love, I was willing to give it a shot. Not only was I attracted to Steve in the conventional way at the onset of dating, but I was also very intrigued by the idea that someone could value a relationship with me that wasn’t based on the physical. In hindsight it is an incredible story of redemption that the Lord would have put Steve on my path, because out of that relationship came a deep reconciliation between my body and my soul, and a feeling of wholeness has emerged that I had never thought possible.

It was not easy at first though. I didn’t know how to be sexual and at the same time stay engaged emotionally and spiritually with him. I knew that I could not treat this incredible person the way I had treated sexual partners in the past – by using him as an object. At the same time, I did not know how to stay connected with him during physical intimacy because I had trained my soul to just go hide somewhere deep inside whenever I was naked with somebody and to leave my empty shell of a body for the person to use as they saw fit. At that point, we’d just gotten married and I wanted desperately to give him a wonderful sexual experience, but it all came crashing down on me. All those years of protecting myself had essentially disabled me from knowing how to let somebody in, body and soul, into my life. So in the first few weeks/months, I remember letting “it” happen but feeling pain and incredible sadness that I couldn’t connect with Steve in that way. I felt a lot of rage and guilt that all these years I had been able to have “great sex (whatever that means!)” with strangers and now with the one person whom I loved and trust, I couldn’t do it. But that was actually a blessing, because what was happening was that for the first time in my life I cared enough about someone that I did not want to use him and let him use me. I wanted to experience what God intended for us to experience, but I didn’t know how. I felt too broken to have anything to offer. I was at an impasse, so I went to see a counselor who helped me sort out all these feelings I was having. She gave me and Steve tools for overcoming this initial difficulty in our intimacy. She gently encouraged me to start trusting Steve in a way that I had never trusted anyone before. At first, I sometimes had to make him stop in the middle of the act because I couldn’t stay with it emotionally and I did not want to let myself dissociate from my body. It was better to make the whole thing stop than to let myself go back to that secret place inside and leave my empty shell in bed with Steve. It was awkward of course, and I am forever grateful that Steve gave me the space and unconditional love to work through all these emotions – all the while he was experiencing his own disappointment that sex with me wasn’t quite the amazing and exciting experience he had hoped it would be. What made the difference was that I knew he trusted me and trusted that I was committed to getting past this and having a wonderful physical connection with him down the road. He never pressured me, something for which I am, again, so grateful to him. Within that sacred, safe place I began to heal.

After about a year, things started getting better. I found myself looking forward to sharing intimate time with Steve whereas before I had to talk myself into it a little. I started trusting him, trusting my body to be a source of joy and pleasure and not a source of pain, trusting that it is possible to have someone touch me with respect, with love, with care. And I feel so incredibly grateful when I find myself wishing we spent more time in bed together now–after my journey it is such a blessing to find myself in such a mundane, simple predicament: simply to wish for more intimate time with my husband. More importantly, all the time Steve and I spent not being fulfilled sexually has created a relationship that is based on trust and mutual respect and we have learned to find other ways to feel valued and loved. I look forward to and love the times that we spend physically intertwined together, but I also look forward to and love the times when we just sit and talk about what we’ve been reading and thinking about, cook together, kayak together or serve others together. We were able to develop an incredibly supportive and challenging relationship even as we were struggling with relating to one another sexually, which had two pretty awesome outcomes: one, we appreciate the lightness and depth of our physical intimacy even more because we worked hard for it, and two, we don’t worry about how it would affect our relationship if for some reason (sickness, distance,…) we couldn’t show our love physically to one another. We know so many ways to show and receive love and to feel connected to one another, one of which happens to be sex. It’s a wonderful gift, but not the “end all be all” of marriage in my opinion.

[to read Steve’s side to this story, click here]

Steve and Helene

Val and I met Steve during our time at the Simple Way and although we have spent a really short amount of live time together, he has quickly slotted into my folder of ‘Favourite people.’ Steve is someone who really strives to live out the Good News of Jesus practically and is an absolute inspiration. He jumped at the chance to share his story here and I hope that it will encourage and challenge many of you as it has me… On his second visit to the Simple Way we got to meet his lovely wife, Helene. Here is a glimpse into their story from Steve’s point of view:

My pastor has a saying: “Sometimes you have to let a dream die before God will resurrect it.”

I became a Christian shortly before my 19th birthday. Being somewhat of a high-school nerd I had still – had my virginity intact without much threat to it as I entered my college years. Truth be told when I became a Christian it was mainly because I wanted to date a girl who would not date non-Christians — we were best friends and there always seemed to be the ambiguous friends-more-than-friends paradigm/angst to our relationship. Of course, it was me who usually had the more romantic interest in her. Needless to say that romantic part of our relationship never worked out with any longevity, but being close Christian friends we made a covenant with each other that we would remain virgins until we found the person that we would spend the rest of our lives with. And we would wait until we married that person. She held up her end of the covenant while I did not. I was close, but I blew it. Of course she did get married in her early 20s, while I would wait until I was nearly 40 to have God give me the person that I will spend the rest of my life with.

Finding the woman that I would marry was the number one goal of my twenties. It was frustrating to see my male friends that were not holding to my standards of sexual morality fall in love, and get married. I would pray and ask God, “My friends are sleeping around and getting rewarded with wives. You know this is the desire of my heart, I am not sleeping around with anyone – Okay I did buy that Penthouse magazine, but geez I threw it away the same night I bought it and even went back to the store clerk and confessed that purchasing it was wrong—so when do I get rewarded with the woman that I get to spend the rest of my life with?”

By the time I was 29 I had had it! Most of my guy friends were married and my closest friend who I was living with had just gotten engaged to a possessive and jealous woman and I had to move out and our friendship eroded quickly. In the process of this, I began dating a non-Christian woman who I was up front with about waiting until marriage before having sex. She was fine with this agreement. But my anger and resentment toward God for not giving me what I deserved with my chaste lifestyle boiled over. I still remember the night that I had sex for the first time. I remember my girlfriend honoring me – three times she said “You don’t need to do this if you don’t want to. Are you sure?” I was sure! It was obvious that God was not for me and if God was not for me, than I was not for God.

I had heard stories about how if you have sex before marriage you will wake up feeling guilty the next day. This was not the case for me at all — I woke up feeling great, in control, and like a man! However, our relationship would begin to fall apart soon after this decision. Despite me being the initiator of sex, I gradually began to lose respect for her and I think that was the primary factor that led to me breaking off the relationship.
It would be two years before I would have another relationship at the age of 31. Christina* was a divorcee, 6 years older than me, a recovering alcoholic, but a Christian. We both agreed to wait until marriage to have sex. We also agreed that we would date for at least a year. While we never had intercourse, I would not exactly say that were not sexual. Regardless, we were dating for 11 months and I was beginning to think about buying a ring when she abruptly cut the relationship off. I was devastated—It was one of the most difficult times in my life — God had again shown that he is not for me.

Somehow, I took to heart one of the things that Christina told me when she broke up with me. If you want to understand me you should attend Al-anon — a twelve step program for families and friends of alcoholics. I don’t know why I would take the advice of the woman that just broke my heart but I did. Al-anon literally saved my life. It was in the Al-anon meetings that I began to realize how egocentric I was! For a solid year I was at Al-non twice a week and on bad weeks more! One of the biggest turning points was on Good Friday — I attended a meeting that I did not normally attend because it was just a really hard week for me. I remember gushing tears after that meeting and going up to Val, who was always knitting through the meetings, and flat out told her, “I am unlovable!” She immediately gave me a hug and reassured me saying, “You are totally lovable.” She meant those words and somewhere inside of me I knew she was right.

Things did not get instantly better after that night but that was the turning point. I began the process of realizing God is for me — a process that continues today. Somehow, it occurred to me that maybe I was not meant to get married. I decided for the first time in my life that I would trust God with this. If I was meant to be married God will make it happen in his timing, but I was really willing to accept that maybe I might be called to be single for the rest of my life. That latter scenario was a bit hard to swallow but I was okay with it. I was okay with it until gradually I started to really enjoy it.

I would not go on another date for more than six years! I had gotten used to single life and I was loving absolutely every minute of it! And then bam! I asked a woman that I barely knew if she would like to share gas money to a river festival. This was the time when gas was more than $4.00 a gallon, I was driving a gas-guzzling SUV and the festival was three hours away! We were both avid whitewater kayakers and would be able to hang out with our respective friends once at the festival. Helene was a “safe” option — I was sure of it!

God had other plans! It did not take long for us to realize on the ride up that there was a connection between us. We talked the entire way without either one dominating the conversation at any point. I remember being excited and confused at the same time. Needless to say, the river festival was the catalyst to us beginning a relationship. The big problem for me with this though, was that Helene was an atheist, had a promiscuous past and had also recently dated a good friend of mine. Again, I laid out the boundaries of no premarital sex and was shocked to find another non-Christian agreeable to this.

I was committed to loving Helene for who she was and not for what she believed. I was very hands off with respect to sharing my faith with her. I was open to sharing what I believed and why I believed what I believed and would recommend books that had influenced me — mainly so that she could better understand me. Regardless, God began to enter her life.

I happened to be what is commonly termed as “dechurched” at this time. Al-anon was still serving that purpose for me at the time, albeit more like 2 times a month. Helene heard about an Alpha group at National Community Church (NCC) in Washington, DC and started attending. Before long she was going to services and then this atheist girlfriend started asking her Christian boyfriend why he did not go to church — weird how God works sometimes! God uses atheists to get Christians into church — NCC is still our church home today!

It was not long before our relationship would fall into the trap of what I call the “Bill Clinton” school of sexual abstinence. Everything but intercourse is not waiting until marriage, but it would take us a while until we realized this. We dated a little less than two years before we got engaged and moved in together not long after. About 8 months before our wedding we went through a six week prepare group with our church for engaged couples. The group leaders are empty-nesters and they are awesome and they do a great job with the group! However, it would be the week after the group ended that I would pick up Lauren Winter’s book, ‘Real Sex,’ off of my wife’s bookshelf. I will not go into details about the book other than to say that it was the kick in the butt that I needed and that it is a great read for dating couples! I read the book in a few days and immediately gave it to Helene and said, “You need to read this and then we need to talk.”

We agreed that waiting until marriage to have sex is not about doing everything but intercourse. We were cheapening what it means to honor God with how we were approaching our physical relationship. We set up an appointment with the leader of the prepare group and he let us have it. At that meeting, we agreed that I would move into the spare bedroom starting that night. The only problem was the Helene’s mom was visiting and staying in the guest room at the time. So instead we agreed that I would sleep in our bedroom but on the floor on a camping pad until Helene’s mom’s visit was over. We very specifically agreed on body parts that were off limits to the other until we said “I do.” We also wrote confession letters to each other that we would burn together as well after reading them aloud to each other.

The decision to do these things was paramount for the health of our relationship. Showing love physically is easy. It can be a challenge to show love in other ways. Helene and I had to be creative. Notes around the house—putting them in sneaky places where one would least expect it was one thing we did. Reading Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages and learning what those are for each other was also good for us. Moreover, the decision to step away from the physical aspect of our relationship was a step of faith in trusting that God knows what is best for us. Instead of seeing God as wanting to take away the fun things in our life–in this case sex—I decided to go all in (no pun intended) with trusting Him!

I will admit that it was not always easy but it was certainly amazing! I gained more respect for Helene. I gained more respect for myself. It was a catalyst for me to allow God deeper into my life. I also learned how to make Helene feel loved beyond the scope of just being sexual. And I felt redeemed — even all the mess that Helene and I created with keeping God at arms-length in our premarital sex life — God was able to redeem it once we invited Him in!

God had truly resurrected the dream that I had let die!

[*Name Changed to protect the innocent]

[To follow Steve’s musings in his regular blog ‘Steve G’s Eclectic World’, click here]

[to get a glimpse of part of Helene’s story, click here]

Wow! So this one should get people clicking on it. It may seem like a bit of an unusual topic to list under ‘Taboo Topics’ which after all was a series designed with the aim of talking about some of the issues that are very prevalent in the world, but that the church [and often even the outside-of-the-church world] rarely speaks about, or into. But think about it for a second. Preaching about sex in church? In any context other than the ‘Thou shalt not!’ of pre-marital sex… I certainly can’t remember the last time i heard a good preach on how to have good sex in marriage.

I know what a lot of you might be thinking – of course not, how inappropriate would that be, that is something for a counselling sesssion… or something like that.

It certainly is something for somewhere. And if the majority of married people are not receiving any form of counselling, then chances are it is not being spoken about. At all. Does the bible have anything to say about sex? Absolutely, and it definitely has a lot to say about how we should be treating each other.

So I wanted to get the ball rolling and so i sent out a general email to a bunch of my married friends, and Steve and Helene responded almost immediately and having read their stories i am so excited to be able to share them with you as there is so much Love and Grace and Redemption within them, that I really believe these are going to change lives and hopefully share a bit of an ‘I get it’ with some of you who may have felt as if you are the only one who understands what you’ve been through. While each of our stories is different, sometimes it just takes hearing the story of someone who has gone through something similiar, to be able to feel a little bit encouraged and have a lot more hope that this can turn out alright…

I should say before we begin that I really do believe that marriage is the place God created for a man and a woman in a committed relationship to have sex in. That is how God designed it to be. Although at the same time, it is important to acknowledge that we do live in a broken world and we live with a lot of that brokenness in us {which God is bringing to redemption], and so it doesn’t always end up that that is where sex happens. Fortunately we have a gracious and loving God who is able to enter into our stories where we have messed them up…

This was the original blog post and two responses that invited the whole focus on this topic – click here to read ‘How much Sex in Marriage?’

Click here to read the story of Steve Graybill and his wife Helene Scalliet

Click here to read the story of Helene Scalliet and her husband Steve Graybill

brett FISH and tbV

the other day i posted an answer to a ‘how much sex in marriage?’ question that someone left after a ‘Singleness’ blog post and it got a whole lot of attention… realising that Sex in Marriage is a bit of a Taboo Topic that doesn’t get much attention, this felt like a healthy conversation to continue and so i had an online chat with Val about some of the stuff that came up in the comments section, so we could share it with you:

[Brett]: Hey Val, so when you read through the comments section on the ‘How much sex in marriage?’ blog, there were one or two things that got your back up. What would you say was the biggest of those that caused a reaction in you?

[Valerie]: Hi B. I think for the most part I appreciated the comments and agree that sex (or at least one or both partner’s interaction with it) can be an indicator of deeper issues in a marriage. I think my biggest issue was the implied suggestion that a lack or reduction of sex is indicative of marital problems. This comment in particular got me: “I think that if a relationship is done properly, and both people are happy, comfortable and secure in the relationship, sex will follow, however if there are issues elsewhere in the relationship, sex will illustrate that.”

[Brett]: Hm, interesting. I agree that if there are issues elsewhere in the relationship then sex is likely to be one of the places where that will be picked up. But I imagine you are more hesitant about the idea that if things are good in a relationship that sex will naturally follow? Is that right or what exactly is it about that statement [in the context of what you’ve said about problems with sex can be an indicator of deeper issues within a marriage] that you are taking issue to?

[Valerie]: I think what I heard some folk say is that a lack of sex is ALWAYS an indication of deeper issues and marital “rot”. I don’t like the idea that the natural result of happiness, comfortability and security is SEX! The implication being that sex is directly correlated with happiness, comfortability, security and general health of a marriage (the more you’re having the better it is; the less you’re having the more “in danger” you are.) My concern here is that this plays strongly into the dominant role sex plays in our culture, both within the church and without.

For many churches, the prime focus on relationships before marriage is sex. Don’t have it!

And the prime focus on relationships after marriage is sex. Have it!

So sex dominates our understandings of relationships, marriage, love, mutuality, fulfillment, sin and right living, and health – in the church. Meanwhile, outside the doors, sex dominates too. We have a culture driven by sex and sexuality – it pervades our music, movies, the market place, books, magazines, and is placed at the forefront of relationships.

I feel uncomfortable with this preoccupation with sex both in and out the church, both before and after marriage. is all

[Brett]: I hear you on that and definitely agree with you. The church could definitely improve their stance on sex in terms of the way it is presented and spoken about [and not spoken about]. Ultimately if the church is not speaking about sex, then we have to turn to the other voices on it which will primarily be the media and Hollywood, not great proponents of healthy attractive sexuality.

Karen seemed to have a similar opinion to you on sex not being at the centre of marriage, but also spoke of how it can be a good indicator if something is not healthy.

“Many counsellors and leaders in churches that I know, when helping couples will ask what the sexual relationship is like to get an indication of the health of the marriage. So although it is not the be all and end all and both parties should be happy with the amount of sex that happens in the marriage, we have to make sure our marriages are healthy, that our relationship with God is healthy so that we lack nothing, that He fulfills our needs and makes us happy, so that we don’t expect our spouses to make us happy.”

Is that something you would agree with? That a good marriage is not defined on how much or little sex you are having [other commenters mentioned things like emotional issues, abuse in the past and other aspects which can affect your sex] but that it might be a warning sign, a smoke alarm if you will, to the possibility of there being a fire needing to be taken care of?

[Valerie]: In short, I don’t think the strength or health of a marriage should be defined on how much or little sex is happening. But, if one or both parties are finding the amount of sex (shall we leave the quality to the side for now?) an issue, which I believe is where the first blog post started, then by all means that needs to be addressed. And I think the first blog did that well – in essence you flipped it on it’s head from “how much am I entitled to” to the deeper issues that could, and often do, underlie a question like that. The back-story if you like.

My main concern is that we don’t perpetuate the myth that sex is the pinnacle of a relationship. It’s what we tell Christian young people before they get married and create in essence a mythical “IT”, much like Hollywood does. When the newly-wed couple eventually gets down to it we have bogged them down with so much guilt, shame, expectations and assumptions along with an idealized vision of “IT” which, let’s be honest, has little to do with the actual messy, fun, awkward, emotional, vulnerable, experience of sex-in-real-life that it’s little wonder they get so easily entangled in the complexities of it.

And I’m worried that similar discussions of sex and it’s place in marriage do essentially the same: elevate sex to being the “IT” of marriage – the purpose, the indicator of health, the thing we should be striving for (more or better of), the reason why we do the things that make our spouse feel loved etc (ooh, and that last one especially, the “I’m buying you flowers because I love you, but secretly I’m really just earning brownie points and we both know it.”)

[Brett]: Yes, exactly. You’re talking about the ‘No sex til marriage’ whip that is held above Christian young people [which becomes completely guilt-inducing every time they mess up in any way sexually] and then at some stage they get married and are instantly meant to change to a “sex is allowed and great” mentality. That is such a confusing thing we do to people and it can take years to work through that one.

Sex in marriage IS great. But you know what is also great in marriage? Cuddling. And cooking a meal together. One of my favourite things [and I think yours] is to lie next to each other at the end of the day and just talk about life and ‘solve all the world’s problems’ [well, most of them]. Also playing board and card games together. Watching a series we both enjoy. And so on. I think this is a message that could be given out a lot more on this one – that sex is great alongside a lot of other things that are great.

[Valerie]: Totally. We follow up the “no sex outside marriage” whip with the “sex in marriage” whip (that’s another story!) that creates a lot of guilt about how much is being had, shame about what is and isn’t allowable now that the general veil has been lifted, expectations about what it’s going to be like. So phrases like “if a relationship is done properly, and both people are happy, comfortable and secure in the relationship, sex will follow” just add guilt on guilt and shame on shame and resentment and disappointment and even blame at its worst. Yes, it IS wonderful. It is messy and awkward and vulnerable. It is fun. But it is also one – yep, just ONE – of a myriad things that make my relationship good and fun and healthy and fulfilling and satisfying and comfortable and secure and and and. Let’s get a little perspective in here, yo!

We would LOVE to hear your thoughts and comments on our thoughts and comments and any follow-up questions you might have…

[to read the original blog post that started this all, click here]

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