Love Language Minute: Sexual Fulfillment Starts Here

from Dr. Gary Chapman

The Question
In your book, Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married, you discuss that sexual fulfillment is not automatic. What do you recommend for couples who are trying to figure out how to have a fulfilling sex life?

The Answer
First of all, that they need to be honest with each other about their past history sexually before they get married. I continue to run into couples that have been married two to three years and then they find out that the person they married had been sexually active with a number of other people before they came to them, but they never shared that or they shared part of their history but not all of their history. The person feels deceived, and it's difficult to deal with after you're married.

So, what I'm saying to singles: when you get serious about thinking about marriage, it's time for you to share your histories with each other. For example, if you were sexually abused as a child or teenager, that needs to be shared, because if you have not dealt with that sufficiently, when you bring that into marriage, it's going to distort everything else about your sexual relationship. And if you've been sexually active with others, that needs to be shared. Now, sometimes singles will say, "Well if I really tell the truth, then they're going to walk away and leave me, and I don't want to lose them." It's far better to tell them beforehand and let them walk away than to be married three years and they found out and then they walk away. Much better to deal with it before you get married.

Then when you get married, or when you're getting serious about marriage, I am suggesting that you need to learn something about male sexuality and female sexuality and the differences between males and females. We assume before we get married that it's going to be heaven for both of us, we'll just do what comes natural. The reality is that's not true. It takes time to learn how to pleasure each other sexually, and if we understand that, then we won't be disillusioned when three months into the marriage, one of us is saying, "You know, I'm not getting this. It's not working for me." If we understand we have to learn, and we're willing to take some time to read and think and talk, then we can develop mutual sexual fulfillment. But I think couples need to be aware of the fact that this doesn't just happen because you get married. Just as we have to grow together intellectually and socially and spiritually, we have to grow sexually as well.

*adapted from An Interview with Dr. Gary Chapman on startmarriageright.com.

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