Celibacy Ruined Our Marriage
Before you ask, seven years. It was seven years before we married. Our no sex before marriage rule was upheld right to the night of our wedding. We were friends who fell in love and then went the distance… for seven whole years!
We believed waiting would make our love stronger. Sex is a precious thing. It’s something to be savoured, respected, celebrated in the sanctity of marriage. There’s no better way to start out life than to do things by the book, by the way God had intended love to be.
It all started fine. It was true, abstaining from sex richened our relationship. We became good conversationalists and worked on many projects together. After all, there’s a lot more minutes in a day without sex than with it. Couples should be able to work together too, right? So we did that.
On paper it sounds really good, doesn’t it?
What went wrong is that it became a habit. Sex had been pushed so far away for so long that it never really came out. It was a painful experience, both emotionally and physically. Seven years struggling with awkward intimacy led to a mostly sexless marriage.
We took our problem to a doctor but the doctor found nothing. She suggested a counsellor would be of more help. For four more years, we struggled to broach a topic we had practiced to avoid. There were lots of tears. Hearts were broken many times over.
After eleven years of marriage, we decided to end those sessions… and the marriage itself. Our sexual differences had been revealed and there was no repairing the damage. We never had children and we haven’t spoken again, not since since we went our separate ways over a decade ago.
Now that some time has passed, I believe that it’s important to pass on the knowledge I gained over the experience.
Sex isn’t a big deal. Love matters most but abstaining from sex doesn’t guarantee the quality of love. You either love someone or you don’t. No sex before marriage won’t change that fact but it certainly can hide crucial sexual issues, important things that will matter for the success of a life-long relationship. Holding back only holds back what you don’t know. I’m not suggesting that we all jump into bed at the first chance we get. That’d be ridiculous. What I’m saying is that celibacy can be unintentionally hurtful and destructive to a partnership, especially if it’s done for a long time, like we did.
Whatever your reasons for choosing celibacy, keep in mind my story. No sex before marriage is a nice ideal. It’s the stuff fairytales are made of. When it’s applied to flesh and blood people though, it comes with certain risks.