When the Wedding Night Isn't So Great

Does the fact that I was utterly uninterested in sex mean that God had not kept His promise to me?

BY: As told to Sarah Zacharias Davis

 
This is the story of "Kate," one of more than 20 women who shared their experiences of Christian marriage in Sarah Zacharias Davis' "Confessions from an Honest Wife: On the Mess, Mystery, and Miracle of Marriage."

My marriage began with a magical romance and all the promise of the beginning of something wonderful. A fairy tale wedding ended with our departure in a horse-drawn carriage, my shoulder-length veil fluttering in the breeze and a sixpence in my shoe for luck as we waved good-bye to the people most dear to us in the world. All the dreams of my short lifetime culminated at the moment we rode off into the distance, into some bright unknown.



For us, though, the "happily ever after" of our wedding was just a beginning. We expected more to come. A script had been written…hadn't it?

For me the script began with my upbringing in a strict Christian household with very defined values, clear dos and don'ts. A big don't that I'd been taught all my life—I'd been threatened, really, and bribed, and scared to death—was not to have sex before marriage.

All the while I knew my time would come—and it would be the most wonderful because I'd waited. I even reasoned that my friends' and schoolmates' marriages were possibly doomed from the start because they'd gone ahead and had sex. So I felt bad for everyone doing it—really—but I was also self-righteously glad that I wasn't like them, that I'd waited, and that sex with my husband would be worth the wait. God was going to bless my marriage, after all. I knew all this because every adult in my young life had told me so: parents, youth pastors, chapel speakers, Sunday school teachers—and I believed them, every one. I really did.

A few months before the wedding, however, I noticed it wasn't quite so difficult to wrench myself away from my fiancé and schlep home after a long good-night kiss. I wondered if all my hard-won willpower was finally becoming habitual—annoyingly ironic since in a short time I wouldn't be needing it. Yes, soon my trusty sexual willpower could take a long-needed vacation, I told myself, and it didn't need to come back, because when it went on vacation, I'd be on one too—with my new husband in Jamaica.

Then that glorious night arrived!

Only I didn't feel all that glorious. All the time I told myself it was nerves or fatigue. Our wedding day had been huge, long, and exciting, and I was spent. 

When we finally got to our hotel, late as it was, I hardly felt like ripping off my clothes and jumping into the sack. For one thing, I didn't want to take off my dress at all. I knew I'd never wear it again. So after delaying the inevitable as much as I could, I went into the bathroom to shower and change. Slowly I peeled off my wedding dress and put on my beautiful white satin nightgown that I'd so meticulously chosen. I then proceeded to attempt to mummify myself in the white, fluffy terry-cloth hotel bathrobe. Very sexy, right? I finally emerged from the bathroom, and I won't say any more about that night except this: we were two totally ignorant, complete novices. Was there really any hope for great sex that night?

The thing is, the sex never got better. We made disastrous attempt after attempt, but I never felt in the mood and absolutely dreaded bedtime.


Continued on page 2: If sex isn't important, why is it the source of demise for so many relationships? »


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