alone - when sex hurts there is hopeI don’t like to admit it, but there are some times when I wish I wasn’t alone. I occasionally have those moments when I wish things were a little different. Most of the time I don’t think about it, or when I do I can’t get past the fact that relationships are hard and, frankly, not always worth it. When I do long for someone to love me I don’t think about my previous relationships. That is not the love that I want. I want someone to love me for me—for who I truly am, for who God sees me as. I try to believe in my heart that it’s possible, that maybe one day someone will love me like that.

I can see how I’m healing. I can feel it. Continue reading

I still need healing

I was very much reminded today about how much I still need healing. The sermon series that my church is speaking on is about doing love and sex God’s way and today’s message was about how to have great sex (no, I’m not kidding, that was seriously the topic). So before the pastor began they had a special music solo—a love song. It was a great song but as I started listening to the words I just wanted it to hurry up and be over. The soloist was singing about what love is like—what it’s supposed to be like but wasn’t for me. The chorus said something about give your all to me and I will give my all to you. I’m grateful the lights were low so I wasn’t quite so noticeable as I dug out whatever tissue I could find from my purse. Just hurry up and finish this song I kept thinking, trying to shift my thoughts to any distraction I could find.

And then there was the sermon message. I guess I should’ve known, I should’ve expected that a message about great sex would be difficult for me to hear. The pastor did a good job and shared important principles, but it just made me sad. It reminded me of the hurt, it reminded of how far from that ideal my marriage had been, and it reminded me of how broken I still am. I think the principle that hit home most was how great sex is secure. It is safe—there is no judgment or condemnation—you can be completely vulnerable. That is certainly a big piece of the healing puzzle for me. I never truly felt secure in our sexual relationship.

In the past few weeks God has been giving me glimpses of how He is doing His work to heal me in this area. I have begun to realize how I never feel secure enough in my I still need healing - when sex hurts there is hoperelationships with men to be vulnerable. Obviously the true place for full vulnerability is in a marriage relationship, but even in friendships I have a difficulty being truly authentic in a way that opens me up to vulnerability. I am still afraid, perhaps because I am still putting too much emphasis on how others view me. But, maybe it’s just that I’ve been hurt—I’ve been made to feel less than desirable, like I’m not worth it—and that has made me afraid and left me broken.

Here is an excerpt from my prayer journal earlier this month which describes this need for healing in more detail… Continue reading

God at the center

God at the center - when sex hurts there is hope

I truly believe that the number one factor in a successful marriage is keeping God at the center of it. I have met some amazing couples who have been through their share of life’s struggles and yet have the strongest connection to each other, a passionate love that you can see in every interaction. And they will tell you how it hasn’t always been easy, how they never could have done it on their own. They will tell you of times that they wanted to give up and times that it was just too difficult for them. Then they will tell you how God at the center is what made all the difference, giving them the courage and strength they needed to overcome. Continue reading

Not just your problem

Painful sex is not just your problem individually. If you are in a relationship and dealing with pelvic pain, don’t make the mistake of thinking that it is just your problem to deal with. You may think that if it is your body then it must be your issue alone, but that is not true. If you are in a committed relationship nothing is ever just your problem or just his problem—whether it be painful sex or credit card debt—it affects you both.not just your problem - when sex hurts there is hope

I faced my pelvic pain as if it were my problem alone. I searched for a diagnosis, I tried different tests and treatments, I saw a sex therapist, I went to weekly physical therapy sessions, I did self-treatment at home, and I dealt alone with the emotional and psychological distress that accompany a pelvic pain disorder. Yes, I asked my husband to support me and he did in some ways, but neither of us ever faced the issue as if it were our problem. Continue reading

Have higher expectations

Have higher expectations - when sex hurts there is hopeIn life and relationships we will often receive advice to temper our expectations of others. We hear things like “give them the benefit of the doubt”, “nobody’s perfect” and “be reasonable.” While that advice is all well and good and often important to keep in mind, there is also a danger to that way of thinking. We run the risk of lowering our expectations too much and settling for a life or a relationship that is not fair to ourselves as individuals. Continue reading

Communication, communication, communication

effective communication - when sex hurts there is hopeThe three most important aspects of a healthy relationship are…communication, communication, and communication.*  Okay, so there is a lot more that goes into maintaining a healthy relationship, but I just want to emphasize how important effective communication really is (so important, in fact, that I expect I will be creating multiple posts on this topic in the future).

In order for communication to be effective it needs to be two-way, constant, and not hurtful.  You both need to communicate with each other—if you do all the talking, and he never responds, then you can only get halfway there.  Continue reading