Do you ever think about what you think about in the bedroom?
My thought life has been an on-going battle in the bedroom. The very difficult memories of sexual abuse coupled with memories of past promiscuous behavior have their way of popping into my mind's eye at very inopportune times. The enemy uses these intrusive thoughts to distract, shame, or accuse me of past behaviors or abuse. They disrupt me and emotionally take a toll on me during special intimate times set aside for my husband.
My desire as a wife is to be involved with my husband physically, spiritually and emotionally with full abandonment. Do you know how hard that is when these images from the past interrupt intimacy? Even when I don't think it is noticeable, my husband can sometimes tell if I am present with him or with my thoughts.
I find the harder I try not to focus on these thoughts, the more they seem to consume me. That is why I have to take practical, proactive steps to distract these uninvited messy thoughts. Here are some of the tools that I use to help keep me focused on my husband:
- I open my eyes to look at his face. It is affirming to me that I am with the man I love, not a dark memory that causes me pain.
- If it is dark, I may choose to turn on the light. This helps me to focus on the here and now.
- I talk to him in loving ways, I say his name out loud.
- I thank God for the gift of my mate.
These action steps are not a magic formula. I have had to be proactive in using these tools and it has taken time. Sometimes it would have been much easier for me to be uninterested in sex on any particular night than to fight these dark and painful memories that pop up uninvited.
God has called me to purity and intimacy in my role as a wife. As I make the choice to go in God's direction, I find that the the power of the memories decrease a little at a time. Now when I struggle in this area, I can clearly see it as an attack from the enemy to disrupt intimacy with my husband rather than personalizing it and looking down on myself as a loathsome person. That in itself is so freeing and makes intimacy so enjoyable.
The enemy may think he is more powerful in this area, but greater is He that is in me, then he that is in the world.