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In the course of my twenty-five year marriage, we’ve made good sex a priority. That doesn’t mean it’s been effortless. Anything in marriage that’s good takes effort and intentionality. In all regards, we’re still a work in progress.

We had more than a few vulnerable conversations about our hopes for the marriage bed before saying “I do!” At the top of our list was the desire to always be present to each other while we were intimate. Then and now, if we can’t be present, we wait. This has sometimes translated to lying side by side for half an hour until both of us can clear out the day’s debris. (And if we can’t, we ask for a raincheck.)

In order to be completely present, my husband had to ruthlessly end his addiction to sexual fantasy. He had to not only leave behind the familiar images, but also invite me into his sexual expressions. (Control and self-centeredness being two of the more nefarious effects of pornography that rarely get discussed.)

And I had to learn how to trust him. To believe that I was enough. That he could enjoy my flawed and imperfect body. My default response in the face of fear is to withdraw. When you’re naked next to the one who knows you best, no act of resistance goes unnoticed. Even when the lights are out.

To read the remainder of this article, please click this link to The Mudroom.