There are five basic ingredients to a sexually healthy and fulfilled marriage. These are the things all of us need to do in order to find ultimate sexual fulfillment with a spouse.
1. Commit to meeting your spouse’s needs in a faithful manner.
1 Corinthians 7 says our bodies belong to each other when we get married. This isn’t a license for abuse, but is a license for use. Your spouse is your place of pleasure and delight.
What does this commitment look like? It’s one spouse saying to the other, “I’m committed to meeting your sexual needs for the rest of my life. You will never not have your sexual needs met because of me.”
2. Communicate your needs to your spouse.
You must communicate your sexual needs to your spouse, and your spouse must communicate with you. Many marriages struggle to talk about this issue, but it’s vital: What do you like? What do you dislike?
Talk about your needs, and don’t be ashamed of it. When couples don’t communicate, then what happens is mostly negative—it’s one spouse pushing the other away for doing something he or she doesn’t like. By communicating what you want beforehand, you avoid this kind of negative situation.
3. Commit to sexual purity.
Protecting the integrity of your marriage is a big deal. What does sexual purity mean? It means taking your thoughts captive. Pornography and temptation are centered in your mind. You refuse to allow fantasy or lust for another person into your life.
A big way that this happens today is when one spouse develops an inappropriate emotional or sexual relationship with another person outside their marriage. Facebook and the internet make this easier than ever. I suggest couples share a Facebook account, or at least have each other’s passwords.
Nothing should be hidden from each other. If you don’t have the password to everything your spouse is doing online, there’s something wrong with your relationship.
4. Create an atmosphere of sexual pleasure within your marriage.
Romance is a big part of sexual pleasure. Give each other small gifts or notes to show that your spouse is on your mind. Plan regular date nights. Even plan sexual encounters. This is especially important when you have young children.
5. Deal with sexual problems together.
Most of us are going to run into a sexual problem at some point. It could be a lack of desire. It could be fatigue. It could be an unresolved conflict. Whatever it is, deal with it. Talk to a doctor. If it’s an emotional problem, get help or counseling.
Don’t let a sexual problem keep you from meeting your spouse’s needs. Deal with that problem together. Be aggressive with it, for the sake of your marriage.
God created sex, and wants every marriage to be fulfilled sexually. It’s possible. Commit to adding these ingredients to your marriage and you’ll see it happen.
This article originally appeared on xomarriage.com.