When my husband and I married almost ten years ago, he was a virgin and I was not. In fact, an artist and idealist, he had not dated much at all before me because he wasn’t interested unless he knew it could potentially be a lifetime commitment.
I found his nonconformity in this area fascinating and, yes, very sexy. I, on the other hand, had a string of unhealthy relationships under my belt and was in some ways starting from scratch when it came to my love life.
Having already been friends for quite awhile first, we only dated for three months before he proposed. And we were married less than four months later. We chose to wait to have sex until our wedding night, which is a decision that we are absolutely thankful for. But I’m going to be honest: In the beginning, it wasn’t that great for either of us. And it stayed that way for a while.
Sound depressing? It’s actually very normal, but most people don’t talk about it! Especially if you’ve been waiting for marriage, there is a certain pressure to maintain an appearance of rainbows and roses regarding your sex life. But honestly, it makes sense that it wouldn’t start off perfectly.
Think about it: You are each baring the most vulnerable parts of yourself, both literally and figuratively. You haven’t figured out each other’s likes and dislikes, and you are still too embarrassed or self-conscious to verbalize it. You don’t yet have years and years of partnership behind you to have a deeply unshakable trust in one another.
In addition to the actual sexual act, differing expectations often come into play. My husband and I had different assumptions about what our sex life would be like, informed by our own experiences, our personalities, physiology, etc. For instance, we quickly found that our expectations of how frequently we would have sex were very different. The result was a lot of frustration and hurt feelings.
Luckily, at the time all other aspects of our marriage were pretty easy for us. We didn’t have any big ongoing arguments, we didn’t struggle with unfaithfulness, and we felt really unified in every way. Sex might not have been earth-shattering, but it wasn’t bad either. All in all, life was pretty good.
But three years into marriage, we began to run into outside circumstances that were harder than anything we’d experienced yet. As we relied on each other for emotional support and a companion who understands, our sexual relationship began to improve. Years four, five, and six were the same way: Outside stress built and built, and our trust in and commitment to one another grew and grew. And sex got better and better.
We’re on year ten now and have been through multiple moves, family grievances, counseling, major parenting struggles, financial stress, graduate school, three kids, and every little thing along the way. Life has not been smooth or particularly easy, but the trust and reliance we now have together is worth everything. As a result, our sexual relationship is remarkably different than it was in the beginning. It has become one of the most powerful expressions of our love for one another and trust in each other. And it’s really fun too.
We live in a culture that often glorifies “no strings attached sex,” but honestly I feel sorry for the people who fall for that line. Because there is nothing in the world that can compare with becoming one with the one person with whom you have built a strong foundation of trust, who unquestioningly loves the real you, and who has committed their entire life to you. I guarantee that kind of sex is worth the wait.
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