For 31 years of being married, my wife and I never talked about sex.

For the first time, we both thought our marriage was finally solid. After years of secrets and affairs and bringing our own traumas into our marriage, we went to a marriage conference, for once, not because our relationship was barely hanging on by a thread, but to get encouraging information that we could share with other couples as we started our own marriage ministry.

Then there was Saturday night.

The homework for that night concerned sex.

Not necessarily doing it.

Talking about it. To each other.

I remember going to the room feeling good because I didn’t think we had much to talk about in this area, and it would be a breeze. We’d go to a nice dinner and do the project quickly.

Kathy was very quiet, like “you could cut the air” silent, until we got to the room. Her plan was to skip going to dinner, to order room service, and to give the project our all:

“For me, Kathy, I remember thinking that there were some things I wanted to talk about regarding sex, like how there were some things I didn’t like about what Tim was doing and how I felt that he was doing more what he wanted, when he had never really asked me what I wanted. We both got defensive. We were both filled with pride, but as we broke down those walls of pride, we were better able to talk and to understand what each other was saying. It was a good start.”placeholder

Today, I am really glad Kathy stuck to her guns and didn’t settle for brushing over the topic of sex that night. It really was a good start, but that’s what it was…a start. We had a lot of work to do, and we sure didn’t always do it right.

For Kathy, after marriage, sex was an afterthought; for me, sex was the thought.

Prior to our 1982 wedding, my sexual expectations were very clear, at least to me. One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t take pre-marital counseling seriously, and I don’t remember sex even being a topic. I just figured that marriage to Kathy would give me the right to have sex with her whenever I wanted, which looked like nine times a week.

Nobody told me differently, and I assumed she knew. It never occurred to me to talk to her about it. After all, we had lots of sex prior to marriage, so why would I think it would change?  I had grown up promiscuous, but, as a husband, I didn’t want to be, and I had high hopes that since Kathy would take care of all my sexual needs, I would change.

There was one huge problem. She didn’t get the memo.

Going into our marriage, Kathy had entirely different thoughts. She would have our baby and take care of our house. I would help with the little one, and we would just fit sex in where we could. Unfortunately, that’s the memo I missed.

For Kathy, after marriage, sex was an afterthought; for me, sex was the thought.

Neither one of us bothered to tell the other. We went on this way for many years, which left Kathy feeling isolated, unheard, and sadly, not loved:

“For me, Kathy,  sex felt like an obligation. I really didn’t even have the desire after we got married. So many things were wrong with the marriage, and emotionally sex wasn’t enjoyable because of that.”

The pain she felt still breaks my heart today. Our opposing sexual expectations led both of us on a search for feeling loved and for that romantic feeling of love…and away from each other.

Tim Bush and his wife Kathy have a new book out about how to save a broken marriage with God’s grace.

Tim Bush and his wife Kathy have a new book out about how to save a broken marriage with God’s grace.

It took almost three decades for me to realize the sex was not about me, that it involved love, and, most importantly, that God created it for marriage.

We didn’t talk to each other about sex.

We did not find out what each other likes and doesn’t like.

placeholderWe didn’t know that we really should enjoy each other before, during, and after sex.
But we knew we needed to do something. Our sex life just wasn’t “all that.”
Tim and Kathy Bush's new book about rescuing a troubled marriage.

Tim and Kathy Bush’s new book about rescuing a troubled marriage.

Sex to the Fullest

Since serving in marriage ministry together, we have found that it is very common for husbands and wives not to talk about sex. We are now happily unified in this area and enjoy each other selflessly in ways that we didn’t expect. In fact, on most days…

We talk about sex.

We pray about sex.

We thank God for the gift of sex.

We always ask Him to increase our desire for each other.

We are thankful that God created sex to celebrate marriage and that He has made it so easy for us to talk about it and to enjoy it as a gift from Him. Because He created sex for our marriages, it should not be anything other than a blessing to them.

As you may already know, our marriage started with sex on the first date, and we know that’s not what God wanted. In fact, we even named our book, “Sex on the First Date: A Story of a Broken Beginning to a Radically Transformed Marriage.” Now, after over four decades of marriage, we are enjoying sex to the fullest, just as He designed.