Category: Intimacy

How to Get over a Past Physical Relationship

Q: I’ve had past physical relationships and I want to get over them now that I’m getting married. What do I do?

Gary: You are identifying one of the major scars of premarital sex. Sexual intercourse is not simply the joining of two bodies. It is a deep, emotional and spiritual experience. It was designed to bond a man and a woman together for a lifetime. It is very difficult to erase the memories because the two of you bonded. My suggestions include: confessing your sin to God and to your wife, then picture the blood of Christ flowing over your sin and hiding it from your sight. It happened but it is now covered by his blood. That is the way God sees your past and that is the way he wants you to see it. The blood of Christ is the most effective medication for healing the memories.

Q&A: Sexual Intimacy During the Reconciliation Process

Q: My husband and I are in counseling because of an affair he had in the past. Is it still right to be intimate with him during this process?

Gary: When a spouse has been unfaithful to you, it takes time to work through the pain of betrayal. Your husband must understand this. There has to a measure of healing before sex can be a part of the relationship again. However, when you come to the place where you can be intimate without feeling used, it is a positive part of the healing process. All healthy marriages have a sexual aspect.

Q&A: Memories of Past Sexual Experiences

Q: Will having a sexual past affect my upcoming marriage now that I am a believer? 

Gary: The short answer is yes. All of our past failures will have an effect on our future. I was recently talking with a man who had been married for twenty years and he said to me, “Gary, the fact that my wife had sexual relationships with two other men when she was in college still comes to mind when we are intimate.” Either spouse having a sexual past will affect the marriage, but there can be healing. I suggested to the man that he ask God to let the blood of Christ cover his knowledge of his wife’s sexual past so that it becomes a blur. For you, I would ask God to have the blood of Christ cover the memories of your past sexual experiences. Healing is always possible.

Intimacy in Marriage

Would you like to have an intimate marriage? Then make time to talk and listen. Plan a daily ‘sharing time’ with your spouse. Couples who have a time to sit down and talk each day have a higher level of intimacy than those couples who talk ‘whenever and wherever.’ Isn’t that also true in our relationship with God? If you have a daily quiet time with God in which you listen to Him as He speaks through the Scriptures and then, you talk to Him about what you have heard, your intimacy with God will grow. The same is true with your spouse. You schedule time for lunch. Why not schedule time for daily conversation? Communication leads to intimacy and intimacy leads to a growing marriage.

God’s Design for Sex

What is the purpose of sex in marriage? What is God’s design? I want to suggest three reasons clearly revealed in Scripture. First, the most obvious: procreation. It is God’s design to provide a safe haven in which to rear children. A second purpose is companionship. Sex is a bonding experience. The biblical phraseology is, “The two become one flesh.” It is deep, deep companionship. I believe this is why sex is reserved for marriage. It is our unique expression that we are one. The third reason for sex in marriage is for pleasure. If you doubt this, read Song of Solomon. God’s design was mutual sexual pleasure.

Sexual Oneness in Marriage

We live in a society that is saturated with sex. Why do so many couples struggle in this area of their marriage? One reasons is that we fail to communicate; your wife will never know your feelings, needs, and desires unless you express them. Your husband will never know what pleases you unless you communicate. I’ve never known a couple who’s gained sexual oneness without candid communication about sexual matters. Make a list containing suggestions for your spouse to make sex better. If you would like to read a list made by other husbands and wives, see my book The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted. Communication is the road to finding mutual sexual fulfillment in marriage.

God, the Author of Sex

Contrary to the opinion of some, sex is not a topic that God shies away from. He is the author of sex. He created humanity as male and female, and he instituted marriage with the intent that the two would become one flesh. Why then do so many couples fail to find satisfaction in this important area of marriage? I would like to suggest one major reason: unrealistic expectations. Films, magazines, and novels convey the idea that sexual thrill and mutual satisfaction are automatic. That is simply not true. God told Israel that a young couple should take a year to learn how to pleasure each other (Deuteronomy 24:5). What makes us think we can do so in less time?

Q&A: A Husband’s Lack of Sexual Interest

Q: How much pressure should I put on my husband to be more intimate with me? It seems that I’m the only one interested in this aspect of our marriage

Dr. Gary Chapman: If by intimacy you mean sex and your husband isn’t interested, there’s definitely a reason. There are numerous possibilities as to why, and you should find out. Perhaps he has homosexual tendencies, perhaps he has a pornography addiction, or he may even be involved with someone else. There could also be a physical reason, and if so you need to encourage him to see a doctor because there’s medication that can help with that. It’s a matter of figuring out the reason for his lack of interesting and then taking positive steps to correct it.

Marriage & Intimacy

Intimacy is at the very heart of a growing marriage. I believe that God designed marriage to be the most intimate of all human relationships. We share life intellectually, socially, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. The Bible says that we share life to such a degree that we actually become ‘one flesh.’ That does not mean that we lose our individuality, but it does mean that we share life deeply. My observation is that couples who learn how to do that find marriage extremely satisfying. Those who do not build intimacy may find marriage very empty. What are you doing to build intimacy in your marriage? Don’t waste time waiting for your spouse. Take the initiative; ask a question, share a thought. Without intimacy you drift into isolation and loneliness.

The Need for Intimacy

A number of years ago, I started the single adult ministry at my church. Do you know the most common complaint of singles?: “I am so lonely.” There is something about the way we are made that cries out for intimacy with another. It is not normal for a person to live in isolation. When God looked at Adam, He said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” The word ‘alone’ literally means ‘cut off’ or ‘isolated.’ God’s answer to Adam’s aloneness was the creation of Eve and the institution of marriage. That does not mean that a person must be married to find happiness. It does mean that we need people. Intimacy is the word used to describe a close relationship. Intimacy is also one of our deepest emotional needs. It is the language of friendship.