FamilyLife Blog

Why Do I Struggle with Sexual Intimacy?

by | Mar 16, 2020 | Marriage, Mental Wellness, Sex

The abuse you experienced in the past could be impacting your enjoyment and desire for sex with your spouse. In addition to the ways sexual abuse damages our bodies, spirits, and emotions, it also damages our view of sex. When we’ve been used for others’ sexual pleasure, the experience becomes associated with a negative view of sex.

One of the most confusing things for the sexual abuse victim is how their bodies responded during the abuse. How can something that feels scary, wrong, and shameful also feel so good? Often a strategic pedophile grooms his victim by awakening their sexual desire, making them a more willing, pliable participant. Now something that God designed for a holy, precious union between a husband and a wife has been seared on the young person’s brain as something shameful, dirty, and painful.

Then they get married to the person of their dreams. They’re madly in love. They want to have sex with this person; except, when their sexual desire is aroused, the unexpected happens. The old familiar feelings of shame, disgust, and the sense that this is wrong squelches their desire and causes them to shrink back from the loving touch of their spouse.

Or if the abuse was violent, sexual arousal could cause fear and feelings of helplessness, even though your spouse is a safe person. Sexual abuse not only robs a child of their childhood, it also steals from their future. The result is an emotional and physical withdrawal on the part of the sexual abuse victim fracturing the marriage union at its foundation.

If this is you, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry for all that has been robbed from you — your yesterday and your today. But there is hope for you. The abuse no longer has to rob you of your future. You can choose today to break its hold on you, to heal from the pain and shame, and to love and live in freedom and wholeness.

I can hear some of you saying, “But I’ve done all the counselling… I’ve tried everything I can think of, and nothing has worked.” You may not like my answer, but I’m going to encourage you to not give up. Don’t give up. Healing is a journey, a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. Along with the support of a professional counsellor, I encourage you to try the steps of healing offered in my article, “Healing from Your Sexual Past.” I’ve seen God transform and heal the lives of hundreds of women as they’ve brought their hurts and pain to Him.

There is hope for healing. God can heal anyone. He can heal anything. He’s done it for me, and countless others. And He wants to do it for you, too.

Please, just don’t give up.

You don’t have to face this alone. Email a mentor.