Avoiding Hallway Sex

Sex within a marriage carries a certain stigma: boring, redundant… lackluster.

Maybe that’s why some women’s magazines and websites actually recommend affairs… to “spice up your marriage,” after all, “life is short.”

Do many marriages eventually grow stagnant? Is there truth to this stereotype?

How would you describe your sex life?

How would your spouse?

Have you put any effort into kindling the romance in your marriage?

Twenty years ago a friend told me an edgy joke that I’ll never forget… probably because it describes so many marriages today. The joke is worth telling to examine the stigma behind it. It goes like this:

What’s the difference between newlywed sex, marital sex and hallway sex?

Newlywed sex is when you’re first married. You have sex anywhere, anytime, anyplace, any position.

Marital sex is after the first few years of marriage and monotony kicks in. It’s always the same time, same place, same position.

Hallway sex is after a couple has been married for a decade or two, they happen to be walking down the hallway at the same time, and they say, “F*** you!” “F*** you too!”

Yes, I, a pastor, just told a joke with the F-word. Sadly, there are some who read this who will be more focused on my use of the f-word than the glaring blemish of their own stagnant marriage.

This joke paints a pretty bleak picture about marriage. Sadly, it’s a pretty realistic picture for so many marriages, because both parties have just given up.

I’m always amazed to discover how many marriages are limping along today, as stagnant as ever. If you’ve ever been in a men’s accountability group, you know exactly what I mean. You hear story after story of marital strife, dissention and pain. Many times, the only glue that binds the marriage together is the kids.

Whenever I ask men what efforts they are putting into their marriage, the most common response I receive is an awkward “pause” followed by a mumbling of excuses, “Well, she knows I love her, and… uh…”

Let me ask you a simple question: what efforts have you done today to show your wife that you are head over heels in love with her?

Okay… most men failed on that question, so let me expand the timeframe a little. What efforts have you done this week to show your wife that you are head over heels in love with her?

If you rolled snake eyes both times… you might want to rethink how much effort you are really putting into your marriage.

Have you shaved, brushed your teeth, put on cologne, kissed your wife, embraced her, telling her how much you love her? (yeah, the shaving, brushing teeth and cologne really make it a much more pleasant experience for her)

Have you done a chore for her that she hates and told her, “I mopped the kitchen floor for you, because I know how much you hate it, and you deserve a break.”

Have you taken the time to buy a Hallmark card on a normal day, write her a love note, and leave it on her pillow with her favorite piece of chocolate?

I know that marriage is much more than Hallmark cards and a hug. But don’t fool yourselves and think that efforts like these aren’t necessary. They speak loudly.

My wife came home from work about 20-years-ago and told me about a friend of hers at work who always found little notes in her pocket from her husband, or told stories of breakfast in bed, flowers delivered, etc. This man was a spiritual leader in the home, demonstrating Christlike love and sacrifice to his wife and his kids daily. My wife, describing her friend, said, “She is soooooo in love with that man!”

I’ll always remember that.

How long do these efforts take? Some of them just 5 or 10 minutes?

What efforts could you do today to rekindle that love you have for that girl you walked down the isle with years ago?

Don’t settle for hallway sex. Take a few minutes today and write a note, stop by her favorite store, fix that squeaky door that’s been driving her nuts… do something to put effort into your marriage. And then do it again tomorrow, and the next day…

  • Ed

    Great post. My one comment – if I tell my wife, “I mopped the kitchen floor for you, because I know how much you hate it, and you deserve a break.” I lose about 75% of the equity I just built up. :) It makes it sound like I’m calling attention to a chore I did, which I should probably share equally with my wife. Remember Jesus exhorted us to not call attention to our good deeds. :) I don’t think we need to be that explicit; believe me, they’ll notice.

  • javasuz

    This is a great post! I will say though, I really appreciate it when my husband does a chore that is not always readily apparent to me, b/c when he brings it up…it’s my cue to STOP what I’m always pre-occupied with and put my arms around his neck and really thank him for his considerate effort and love!! It’s a win win – and the prompt IS helpful to me. Thanks again for writing this article and the joke was worth the jarring – Amen.


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