Keeping pure within marriage

I am more susceptible to an affair right now than I have ever been.
Ouch. How challenging was it to type something that honest? Very.

But I am FIGHTING for my marriage. And in order to do so, I absolutely MUST be honest with myself. Right now I have two children under the age of 2 in the house. I am a full-time stay-at-home mom. My marriage is sexually-hungry. I feel completely unattractive. I am challenged to find my worth in Christ rather than in what I do (and our culture does not prize the SAHM very highly, let me tell you). A few weeks ago my (wonderful) counselor told me that statistics show that the more preschool-aged children in the house, the lower the marital satisfaction is. Add that to the fact that I am high desire wife who doesn’t have sex as often as I wish (or even need), and I am a prime target for the enemy of my soul.

I want to encourage you to be very aware of how vulnerable you are in your marriage. Especially if your sex life is under attack. If sex is the superglue of marriage, then a sexless or sex-poor marriage is not very strong. That doesn’t mean there isn’t Divine Strength to walk pure. It just means you have to be very, very aware of the ways the Enemy might attack.

As high desire women we have to be diligent to guard ourselves. So what if your low desire friends don’t have to do any of this stuff? Don’t compare, just do what you need to do to stay safe.

Here are a few things that I personally have to avoid:

1. Extensive hours on Facebook. Everyone else’s life can look amazing and I tend to compare. Which makes me even more discontent and angry , which = dangerous. Not to mention that connecting with an “old flame” or high school sweetheart has led to many an affair. Just say no to those friend requests. Or unfriend them if you need to. It is worth it to guard your marriage.

2. Any pictures of guys that are strong and handsome. Doubly so if they are shirtless. A few weeks ago I was reading one of my favorite blogs & the blogger posted a picture of her husband putting together a bed. He was fully dressed, it wasn’t even a provocative picture. It’s a home improvement blog, for goodness sake! But I found myself following the curve of his forearm and thinking how strong he looked. I immediately had to repent and get off that blog. As a high desire wife, my lack of sex gives me no excuse to go looking. You know all that “bouncing of the eyes” that is taught to men everywhere? It’s our turn to apply it, ladies.

3. Long conversations (or sometimes even short conversations) with men who are wonderful, kind, thoughtful..etc. You get the idea. Pretty much any man who makes me wish I was still single, or who I think I could be good friends with, I avoid. I am not rude, I just am not especially kind. If I do have any extended conversations (i.e. over a few minutes long), it is usually with my husband present. Case in point, there was a certain guy who I knew that I could be good friends with. I was presented with an opportunity to work together with this guy for a charity event, and I had to turn it down. A few months later this same man left his wife for a woman he was having an affair with. I am not fooled into thinking that couldn’t have been me. He was fun, good-looking, and our personalities played perfectly off each other. He was prime target #1 to avoid, and I knew it. I am so, so grateful I did.

4. Any romance book at all. We are not even talking 50 Shades of PreAffair SexDriveBoosting Lust or whatever. Even Francine River’s Redeeming Love (i.e. a Christian romance novel) can be too much for me. When I am especially weak, any romance can be a gateway drug to so much more. I got caught once in a cycle of reading unhealthy romance novels. I lived vicariously through these women. And I got so, so dissatisfied with my own lot in life. I urge you, run away from line – don’t try and see how close you can come without being burned.

What about you? How do you guard the purity in your marriage? What do you have to avoid?

On Monday I will be talking about what things to do to in order to help guard purity in marriage. We don’t just need to walk away from the Enemy, but we need to build some solid walls that will help protect us.

Pray for me today. Pray that I stay strong and avoid the pitfalls that are so cleverly laid. I will pray for you too. Pray that you have eyes to see. Pray that you have the strength to say no.

Until next time ladies,
Annabel

12 thoughts on “Keeping pure within marriage

  1. I can honestly say an affair is one thing i do not have to deal with… I have no desire to be with anyone else, i only have the desire for more intimacy with my husband. I too, have to watch facebook and novels, etc also because i get caught up in what our marriage “could” be like and it makes me more resentful towards him which is a sin… I just rexently finished reading the book “captivating”. If u havent read it yet perhaps that will help… I have signed up for numerous devotions and blogs, etc on how to be a Godly wife and how to focus on what I need to change and am praying that through the changes in myself and my heart, God will also improve that part of our marriage. He has done soooo much for us already. Someday i plan to tell our story because our marriage is truly a miracle..

    As for the kids….. We have 11 children btw the two of us. 6 of which are at home ages 14 to 3. I know also the frustrations of the stay at home mom an finding time for everyone. Am praying with you and thank you again for letting me know im not alone :). Anytime u would like to contact me directly to chat or support or whatever, let me know. God bless :).

    • Christen,

      Thanks so much for your thoughts on this! I would LOVE to hear your story if you ever want to email it to me. I am trying to collect stories of wives who have a joyful testimony to share & who are walking in hope in their marriages. So often I think we only hear the hard stories, the ones that are in the midst of loneliness. If you ever get a chance to write it, please let me know! I would love to post some of these stories on my blog, or at least link to them if you blog also.

  2. A couple of questions and ideas for future blogs:

    1 – Have you talked about your problems with your husband? And what has been his response to your pain?
    2 – Have you taken steps to try to work on the problem?

    (I do apologize for being a guy and wanting to fix things.)

    • Chuck,

      Thanks for the questions! The quick & easy answers are yes. To all the above. And yes, I have some blog posts coming soon about these questions. However, a huge part of why I started the blog was to answer the question my counselor asked me recently, “what will you do if it never changes?” I am fighting for wholeness, with or without my husbands healing. And that is probably a whole blog post unto itself.

      Thanks for the questions. Feel free to keep asking them – I will take any & all fodder for blogging. And if you would like a more immediate response, give me a shout out via email. Happy to answer your questions there, too.

      Annabel

  3. This makes me so angry. Not that you are going thru this but it reminds me of what I have been going thru for the past 30 years. I have a husband that when we have sex its great. He does a great job. But its on his terms. When he wants..etc….I just found out 2 years ago he has been having affairs for the last 27 years!. Im so mad that all that time I was wanting more he was getting more but not with me! we have reconciled are working our marriage and at this time he has health issues that limit him sexually. Well I havent changed but Im left hungry all the time. Its so not fair that the years i spent crying and alone he was getting his else where. I try to understand but its not easy when he can stay so busy doing everything but take care of me in the ways I need. I ask when can me spend time sexually and its always the same answer…Soon.
    I cant spend anytime thinking about other men or it would be devastaing to what left of our marriage. I would never do to him what he did to me. That is what keeps me faithful. The sheer weight of his betrayals makes me sick to even think someone would take the time to cheat with me because the would be horrible people anyway in my eyes. Im a mess.

    • Anonymous,

      I grieve for you. I am praying for you. May the God of grace abound in your life. Do you have a trusted counselor or pastor you could go to? You desperately need someone to talk to & I pray you find it.

      Grieving with you, dear sister
      Annabel

  4. I have to be careful of men who pay positive attention to me. It’s amazing how easy it is to be sucked in and start seeking their flattery. Thankfully, I love and want my husband so much that this really isn’t an issue for me. I do have to be careful with my eyes. Not so much celebrities or magazine spreads or Magic Mike or what have you. None of them “do it” for me. But, maybe the young guy jogging down the street, or the romantic love interest in a Christian novel, or the husband being so loving towards his wife, or the dad at the park who’s obviously a champion father. In movies, it is more the overall romance that gets me rather than the man himself. No need for comparisons there, either.

  5. Your story could be mine, except I’ve been in it for about 15 years now. If I don’t get sex, it’s like I’m starving, and I get cranky, and just can’t handle life anymore. If it’s the middle of my cycle, I swear, I feel like he’d better step up, or else I have a hard time not oogling or being attracted to other men. Even ones that aren’t that attractive!
    I look forward to reading more from you. 🙂

  6. Hi,

    I’m a high desire wife in a poor sex marriage. I have been married 3 months and I have never felt more lonely or unattractive. It takes all I have not to regret my choice in partner every day. Before we were married it took all we had to try to remain clean and we failed (somewhat happily). Now, his lack of desire to have sex with me hurts me every day. I feel like I have tried everything there is to try. All of my friends who are newly married talk about the exciting, all-night-long encounters they have with their husbands while I listen in envy trying desperately to catch hints of how they made their husbands want them so much. I can’t even listen to country music because it puts a desire in me that threatens to break me apart. My only defense is pulling away from him and the worst part is, his emotional handicaps make it so that he hardly notices. He’s next to me right now watching football and doesn’t even know I’m crying.

    I want to have a happy marriage. I don’t want to be miserable anymore.

    Help me.

    • Brittany,

      Your comment broke my heart. I am praying for you specifically today. Praying for your husband & marriage. But most of all, praying for your heart. I want to encourage you, first, to find a good counselor. You need a safe place to talk without the danger of tearing down your husband in front of people who know him & might be challenged to see good in him (i.e. friends, family, etc.)
      First, do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? That is, for me, the most important and foundational part of being able to walk with this journey with hope. If so, do you have a church you attend? Perhaps there is a pastor who you can connect with? Or I encourage you to find a Christian counselor that can walk with you through this. I also want to urge you to PRAY. There is a war on for your marriage.

      I am so, so sorry you are finding yourself in this situation. It is cruel, painful and heartbreaking.
      I am PRAYING for you. I am HOPING for you.
      Please stay in touch.

      Annabel

      • Wow I totally relate to Brittany. I do have a relationship with God, but have been stuck for a good while. It’s not all feelings, I know, but I used to know Him and I just can’t feel or relate to God anymore at all. Aside from a fairly new marriage that I’m not sure I can stay in, we lost a child and I’m so very bitter. I blame God and me and my husband doesn’t want to hear about it and expects me to just get over it. He’s ok with no sex ever again and not only that, there’s no affection or interaction and when I try he will literally push me away or tell me not to sit by him. He won’t sleep in the bed with me. This is nothing like how I thought marriage would be and a lot if times now I regret it. Life sucks and everyone telling me to pray doesn’t do anything. I’m so close to done with my husband and with God.

  7. Dear Annabel,

    As a young man (married for 6 years now), I have three comments to share on this nice post:
    First, your post was quite useful to me and I think the discussion of how to protect ourselves against the Enemy (a quite crucial case of marriage life in this post) that you discuss, could be quite useful for anyone (men or women) who are looking for some practical insight into how to practice life in a more successful way. As a believer in Lord, I also look for finding ways to get closer Him through my life and definitely finding the right way to please Him. No doubt, Lord likes the bondage of marriage and He only endorses the satisfaction of sexual desires between a husband and a wife. This leaves out any thought of ‘other’ ways to go about meeting this need. At the same time, we note that ‘belief’ in Lord’s utmost knowledge and hence His unquestionable discretion about what is ‘really’ good for us tells us that as long as we are married, sticking to our promises and pledges towards our life partner is honoring what Lord likes and thus commanded and hence it is towards our perfection as a human being. I see the post takes this premise and suggests ways to stay away from God-forbidden breaking this covenant with Lord.

    Second, although the discussion comes from a presumption that the problem is crucial for a ‘high drive’ person, I would also believe it could potentially be the problem of most of us and crucially even for those who ignore it. So, thinking in the same lines and looking for practical solutions — some of which you nicely share — and exercising them, getting feedback on them from time to time and revising them is a necessity for all of us, especially in this environment that we are living. Believe me it is very hard for men…

    My last comment is that I find the post quite thought provoking to me in minding possible effect of my good conduct towards ladies. I start to see the logic behind some of the prescriptions of religion with respect to looks, tone of voice, behavior, touching, and overall any action that attracts the other sex to me. I find it that sometimes leashing my inclination towards being more funny at presence of ladies to some extent could avoid more problems, and it is towards Godliness. I think, I should try to understand the position of each person in life better. I could have lived with any other lady, but Lord has decided that I live with my (dear) wife at this time. Whatever apparently the problems of our couple life, (as long as God-forbidden, we have not both decided to break it), I take it that Lord tests my belief and through the test, He wants to keep me closer to Him. O Lord, you sometimes test very hard, but the reward and payoff is far more valuable when I pass those hard ones.

    May He bless all those who struggle in His way and believe right in Him?
    Majid

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