[quote="newbie25553, post:1, topic:329270"]
I am posting this because I am guessing I am not alone in an ongoing dilemma I have in my marriage.
It really boils down to:
My wife respects my views on the Church's teaching about sexuality very much, but isn't attracted to me for it (sexually).
I realize this is a false dilemma, and ideally we should have both (respect and attraction).
We both brought baggage into our marriage, and it seems as if her previous sexual experiences were wrapped up in lustful "games", and so true intimacy is a new experience for her.
Unfortunately, it feels at times that when we go there, she completely shuts down, and getting anything started takes a really long time (if it happens at all). It feels very one sided as well - as she does not seem to be very emotionally open or available during the act.
I want to be a good husband and a good man, and with many Graces from God have overcome some barriers to true intimacy myself (masturbation and pornography). But, I want our connection to be stronger in our marriage. I want the Church's teaching on sexuality to help us flourish in that act - not to be a barrier in us connecting in that way.
I am looking for advice that anyone might have - both from men and women who have found themselves in this type of situation before. Are there women (or men) who found it hard to transition from a lust-filled sexual past to a love-filled marital union? What helped you in that transition?
I don't know what you mean by "lustful games," and I don't need to know. I believe that it should be possible to learn what true sexual intimacy consists of, when we have been warped by porn, masturbation and other perversions, but I don't know exactly how to do this. :( It's like I grew up believing that I only had one leg, although it was strapped behind me the whole time, and even though I now have unstrapped my leg, I can't walk on it, I just don't know how. I don't have any feeling in that leg, and I find myself hopping around as I always have.
For many people, sex = intimacy. There isn't any other way to be "intimate" with your significant other. So trying to get more directly intimate meets with confusion and a stalemate. That might be where you are, or it might not be. Your respective pasts will not disappear and you will likely fight some aspect of this for a long time. I don't mean to be a downer, but there are temporal effects of grave sin. I know because I live with it myself.
How long have you been married? Are you using artificial contraception? Is your wife Catholic? Does she regret her sexual past? All are important considerations.
Counseling may help you find ways to be more intimate outside of sex, and help with communication of desires, needs, etc.