marriage bed symbol

marriage bed symbol

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Secret Sexual Sins In Marriage - Part 3

Here's the links in case you missed part [1] and [2]  

Another view of ‘secret sexual sins’ would be the opposite of sins of commission. Instead of involving outside parties for sexual stimulation, it’s also a sin (of omission) to not seek the help of professionals or ecclesiastical leaders when we are having difficulties in our marriage that affect sexuality. 
Do Get Help or Instruction When Needed 

A mutually satisfying sexual relationship in marriage is part of the vital mortar that holds it together. Mark Gungor, author of “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage, posted in a recent meme
“ Many people consider turning to others for help in marriage as a sign of weakness. But this is not weakness – this is life.”
A secret sexual sin of omission occurs if we’re having trouble connecting sexually with our spouse, but we don’t talk to them about it or seek to get help to correct the problem, even if that help comes from a book, such as Laura M Brotherson’s book “And They Were Not Ashamed,”  or Michele Weiner-Davis’ book “The Sex-Starved Marriage,” or reading the articles found here.

It doesn’t help a problem to ignore it, and it doesn’t improve your relationship to just avoid discussing sex and hoping your spouse’s intimacy needs will just go away. In many cases, avoidance can lead to the destruction of the relationship.[i] 

This may require swallowing our pride or humbling ourselves enough to admit there is a problem no matter how threatening it may be to our ego, our pride, or our ability to save face. In order for intimacy to exist, there must be conflict. When the couple lovingly and patiently work together to overcome the conflict, the intensity of the intimacy can be nuclear!

But know that most times where there is conflict (in regard to sexual intimacy in marriage) there is a smart, but usually not an easy or gentle way through it.

Dr. David Schnarch said

“Many authors and therapists believe that couples gradually achieve the degree of intimacy they want through accumulated experiences of mutual trust, acceptance, empathy, validation, and reciprocal disclosure.

In all my years of therapy, I’ve never seen intimacy unfold in this idyllic way. Certainly I’ve seen couples who tried this idealized perspective, but it just doesn’t work in the real world of marriage. Ironically, intimacy seems to develop through conflict, self-validation, and unilateral disclosure.”[ii]

The first person that should be confided in is the spouse themselves. This is part of what complete fidelity means. Fidelity means showing faithfulness through continuous loyalty and support.  Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught
 “Our concept of marriage is motivated by revealed truth, not by worldly sociology. The Apostle Paul taught ‘neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.’ (1 Cor. 11:11)”[iii]
Lack of trust in a marriage is not an edifying or bonding attribute. Complete honesty and disclosure is required, as these attributes hit very close to people’s hearts. If you find you need help in this area, when choosing someone outside the marriage to confide in, make sure it’s a person who will keep your confidences sacred, and work for your marriage, instead of someone who will side with one spouse against the other. Whenever possible, seek advice from someone who has an adequate understanding of gospel principles.

Tune in next week to read about how our spouse’s emotional life can be an element of secret sexual sins.

[i] Zaragoza, Samuel, The LDS Marriage Bed, The Four Marriage Killers – Silence,

[ii] Schnarch, Dr. David, Passionate Marriage, Henry Holt and Company LLC, 1997,103
[iii] Oaks, Dallin H., The Great Plan Of Happiness, Oct. 1993, Conference Report 96-102