Useless to Pretend Otherwise–How I feel encouraged from someone else’s brutal honesty
The title of the blog post was Sex and Loneliness and Jesus. I took one look at it and thought "Welcome to my world".
This moving post called forth a comment out of me that turned out to be long enough for a blog post. So here it is. With love.
I am experiencing actual chest pain reading this post. Sometimes heartache actually physically hurts.
By the grace of God (and I am staggered by this) I have been celibate for 3 years.
After I walked through a swamp of sexual brokenness caused by childhood sexual abuse, as a married woman I made friends with my sexuality. After I had surgery to correct a birth injury, sex was no longer physically painful. Years into our marriage, I finally got it. I realized how powerful and good sex can be. My joy could not be contained. So I started a blog to help other wives enjoy the freedom I had found.
Then my husband had sex with another woman. He was not repentant. It got ugly. In order to prevent my son from growing up internalizing this model as normal, and knowing I had Biblical grounds, I divorced my husband.
That was three years ago.
I cannot tell you the agony I feel. I worked so hard for 17 years to finally walk in sexual wholeness and freedom as a married woman. And to be forced into early retirement. It's a killer. My excellent libido did not disappear when my husband chose to sin. The libido I carefully nurtured with counseling and prayer when I was married did not vanish when the judge declared me divorced. It is not only a longing for physical relief, although there is plenty of that and that is valid. It is a deep longing of the soul to be safe and intimate and loved and connected with a man who loves me and is committed to me. My sexuality is such a precious aspect of who I am and not being able to fully connect on that level and share myself fully is just agony.
I turn down inappropriate sex on average of once a week. I'm talking unsolicited invitations. I am a godly woman in her forties who lives in the suburbs and works in corporate America.
It is so difficult to find godly men to date who will honor my desire to remain celibate till remarriage. The Christian dating world is rampant with promiscuity. A huge majority of the Christian men I have dated fully expect some kind of sexual behavior by date 2.
I felt such outrage toward God that after I worked so hard to learn how to embrace healthy sex, I had to give it up because of someone else's sin. I live with longing and it is not my fault. I know the book Brant mentioned in his blog will resonate with me. I am currently writing the heterosexual version of that book.
My desert experience has forced me to get brutally honest with God and a few safe close friends. I have come to the conclusion that if you're not willing to go to the ugly cry, you will never make it as a celibate.
I cannot tell you how risky it is as a Christian woman to admit that sex is important to you. People are eager to write you off as a slut or a shallow Christian. I am neither. So many people want to write off sexual desire as evil "the lusts of the flesh". But I know from experience that healthy sexual desire for healthy married sex is not lusting to just use someone's body in a dehumanizing way. I don't want sinful sex. I want hot holy married sex. I turn down hookups all the time because my heart craves the real thing-healthy married intimacy. So many Christian singles fall into one of two ditches on the sexual road. One extreme is to try to wall off their sexuality, cut it off, deny it. The other extreme is to just succumb to the culture of promiscuity. It took me 17 years to fully connect my heart and my body. I don't want to risk them splitting apart if I engage in cheap meaningless sex. So I haven't.
I long for the real thing I have experienced before. I know it's real. I know that Biblically I am a young widow who needs to remarry so as to not burn. So at great sacrifice I am searching for a mate by wading through the sea of promiscuity looking for a godly husband. It's not easy. Holiness is very very lonely.
I have a dynamic spiritual life. I have a healthy emotional life with good connection with godly friends. I have hobbies and interests and a ministry I find fulfilling. It's not enough. I am not meant to sleep alone. I am meant to be a wife. My ex-husband's sin did not cancel my vocation to marriage. So I am brutally honest with a few safe friends and I am doing my very best to be faithful in this season. Hardly a day goes by that I don't weep. I am not depressed. Those 20 minutes of appropriate sadness do not ruin the rest of my day. I am simply lonely in my sweet inner self. There is no pretending otherwise.
I want to be a wife again.