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Busting Marriage Myths Series: Part 5

by John Thurman

Myth # 7 A Great Relationship Has Nothing to Do with Sex

Don’t believe that for a minute. Appropriate sexual relations between a married man and woman provide a necessary time-out from the stress and strains of fast-paced work and adds a quality of closeness that is extremely important. Sex is a needed exercise in vulnerability wherein you allow your partner to get close.

Many falsely believe that sexual intimacy dries up after a few years of marriage. And while childbirth and work demands can certainly dampen things, sexual intimacy should still be a priority.

You see, when sexual intimacy stops in a relationship, it’s a sign that both partners may need to work on some underlying issues.

Sex can be of enormous symbolic importance in a relationship. The sexual urges and needs are natural, appropriate, and essential to act upon in the proper marriage context. I’m talking about sex as a physically intimate experience, combined with a mental and emotional connection. In this context, I define sex as all forms of private (and to some extent public) touching, caressing, holding, and any appropriate means of providing physical comfort.

We view physical intimacy as a super glue that makes our marriage sweeter and more resilient. We want to encourage you to continue to grow in this critical area of your marriage.

So, when spontaneous passion stops in the bedroom, don’t leave things to chance. If you want your sexual intimacy to be fantastic, work at it and bathe often.

Myth # 8 A Great Relationship Cannot Survive a Flawed Partner

Most professionals in my field of counseling will tell you that if you have “craziness” or even extreme weirdness in one or both partners’ character makeup, a healthy relationship is impossible.

I have known many a marriage that has come to an end because “The person I married turned out to be crazy.” “He (she) was a nutcase.” “I don’t know what happened. After the wedding, they started acting bizarre.

When you stop and think about it, what does healthy mean? When working as a therapist in a Mental Hospital, patients would often ask; what makes you different from me? My standard response was that I either had keys or know the key code to get out. The patients would usually laugh—because there is sometimes a very short distance between normal and abnormal.

Everybody you know has some characteristic or quirk that is unique. Even though that trait may not be known to you, or also they might choose in a perfect world, it should not be allowed to frighten or dominate your thinking about who they are. And that applies to your relationship.

You and I have baggage that we are not rational about. I heard a term that I like that refers to our brokenness. One author calls them “enduring vulnerabilities.”

All of us are imperfect. The trick to making a marriage work is to maintain a growth mindset and tolerate each other’s “crazy side” to appreciate each other’s enduring vulnerabilities. We are called to understand and learn how to handle our partner/s Enduring vulnerabilities with care, affection, love, and respect.

And as long as the quirks or nuances are not abusive to you or blatantly destructive to your partner, you can certainly learn to live with them.

Special Note: Situations like severe mental, physical illness, depression, addictions, phobias, and PTDS require the support of knowledgeable, trusted, and experienced mental health professionals.

The beauty of the Gospel is that we are all broken, and we all have issues, but the Lord’s grace and mercy will help us with and through them.

Myth # 9 There is a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Make Your Relationship Great.

NOT TRUE!

While there are clear guidelines about building a life-long relationship in the Bible, they are wrapped up in trans-cultural principles. There is no right way to show affection or support. There is not only one way to raise children, relate to each other’s families, handle disputes, worship God, or deal with life.

What is important is that you find ways of being together that works for you. Whether it meets the same standard as your parents, some popular book, or the latest talk show is a moot point. Ephesians 5:21 say that a couple is to be mutually submissive. One application to that principle is that I find unique ways to serve my spouse, not out of a sense of duty but out of joy.

I hope that this segment has been helpful. I cannot understate how important it is to be aware of some of the myths that I might believe about my relationship.

With this in mind, I will show you how to begin investing in your spouse’s love account.

Biblical Wisdom

In the same way, you husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way [with great gentleness and tact, and with an intelligent regard for the marriage relationship], as with someone physically weaker, since she is a woman. Show her honor and respect as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered or ineffective. 1 Peter 3:7 Amplified Bible

I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to share your comments.

Related Articles

Busting Marriage Myths Series: Part 1

Busting Marriage Myths Series: Part 2

Busting Marriage Myths Series: Part 3

Seven Secrets to Building Resilience in Your Marriage

 

John Thurman M.Div., M.A., is a Licensed Mental health Professional, Author, Speaker, and Certified Corporate Crisis Response Specialist who lives with his wife Angie in Albuquerque, NM. In addition, he is the Director of Covert Mercy Inc., a ministry that provides Stress Management Consulting and Training for ministry leaders and missionaries serving in the North Africa Middle East area. Learn more at JohnThurman.net

Reprinted with permission from John Thurman.

 

 

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