Bad Sex in Marriage

Bad Sex in Marriage

How does having sex before marriage lead to bad sex in marriage? Doesn’t practice make perfect? Apparently not, since an estimated 40 million women in America complain about their sex lives. Although there can be many explanations for the trend, sex before marriage can only contribute to this sad phenomenon because…

The Epidemic of Bad Sex in Marriage

A 2013 iVillage survey reported that 80 percent of married men are either ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’ with their sex lives, whereas only 60 percent of married women are.

…that means 4 out of 10 married women aren’t happy.

This isn’t new information, and things aren’t getting better for married couples as our culture becomes more and more sexually permissive. As far back as the year 2000, an estimated 40 million women in America were complaining about their sex lives. They hate having it, sex feels like a chore, there is no enjoyment, no intimacy — these women have lost the desire for sex.

Why? There is no easy answer, and certainly isn’t one that is true for all women, but the reality that so many women are unhappy with their sex lives affects not only them, but also their husbands and marriages. A widespread acceptance of sex before marriage is almost certainly contributing to this sad phenomenon.

The two stories that follow were made public on “Oprah” in June 2000.

One frustrated woman describes…

“Before marriage, we had sex 3-4 times a week; but after marriage, it became like a chore.”


Before marriage, this particular woman admitted that sex was used as a tool (to get a man to commit, and/or for her own personal comfort). In this situation, the act of sex was used inappropriately. Sex inside marriage is designed to be an emotional experience that bonds a couple through good and bad times. It is not meant to simply “comfort” a relationship. Individuals often become misguided as to the role of sex in a relationship and it is only through a great deal of effort, forgiveness, time, and healing that people are able to discover the beauty of sex in marriage.

When someone habitually uses sex in a certain way (whether it be for personal pleasure, or to get a person to commit) that becomes the reason to have sex. Now that the woman had the permanent commitment, what was the reason to have sex? It wasn’t an intimate bonding experience for her, so she lost the desire to have sex anymore.

Sex before marriage destroyed her ability to bond with her husband and enjoy sex as an intimate experience in marriage.

Not just affecting women –

One frustrated man describes:

“My wife doesn’t fulfill me when I’m having a hard time. She doesn’t make love to me when I want it, when I need it. Our marriage is falling apart.”


This man is familiar with having sex when he wants it and using sex for his own personal satisfaction and fulfillment. Sex is created to be a completely giving experience – to give the best, and all, of yourself to your spouse, so as to fulfill them. If someone has sex outside of marriage, they often use it for themselves, even if they believe it is a loving thing to do for their relationship. The wife in this situation does not enjoy sex because it is done for her husband’s satisfaction, not as a gift of self to one another.

Sex before marriage ruined this man’s ability to become a gift for his wife through sex and his ability to sense her needs as more important than his own – and at the same time, also ruined his marriage.

These certainly are not isolated situations. Such lack of intimacy happens on a regular basis in many marriages. Movies don’t usually show this, and so many couples are afraid to publicly talk about it.

Sex Before Marriage

These kinds of habits or motivations can ruin a marriage, even before the marriage begins. You cannot be completely self-giving in sex outside of marriage because there is no permanent commitment which allows you to give all of yourself (heart, body, spirit, mind). If you gave everything of yourself in sex outside of marriage, you risk losing everything, because that person might walk away the next day, month or year.

So, we train ourselves to not give away all of our “heart and soul” in sex. We hold back emotional or intellectual attachments that we don’t want to be hurt. We condition sex to be more of a physical than emotional act, or simply use it to fulfill our immediate needs. Then, when we get married, we wonder why sex isn’t totally giving, beautiful, and bonding. It is simply because we chose to turn sex into something it is not. We abused the gift of sex.

Sex should be a place where a couple grows and connects and discovers each other better, not a place where old baggage, motives and comparisons keep spouses divided and frustrated.

What do you want to bring into your marriage?

Do you really want to habitually use sex out of context, out of God’s plan? How much of your marital intimacy do you want to endanger for sexual moments now?

You’re making that decision now. God wants to bless your marriage with awesome sex, as a totally bonding and giving experience. Chastity can help you to achieve it.

And there’s good news: it’s not too late to start over. If you want to have great sex, start by choosing chastity today.

Rachel Leininger is the full-time chastity educator for the Archdiocese of Saint Louis' REAP Team retreat ministry. She's married to the excessively creative and unfairly gorgeous David. Her favorite things include decorating their home, everything Cardinals baseball, and coffee.

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