We don’t always talk about it in church or among our friends, but sexual problems are one of the main causes of tension between married couples.
I’ve counseled many couples who marry with great sexual energy and attraction only to end up fighting—or even divorcing—because of sexual problems.
Unresolved anger is one of the main causes of sexual tension. Anger is inevitable in every marriage. There is simply no way two people can live together without getting upset at each other on a regular basis. Even healthy couples struggle with this.
The issue isn’t whether we will experience anger, but how we deal with it.
There is a direct connection between our emotions and our sexual responses. When we can resolve marriage issues successfully, our sex lives are great! We are unhindered and able to fully express our physical love.
But when issues go unresolved and anger or frustration builds, our sexual desires change. We become less interested in sex. We are less responsive. For this reason, I believe unresolved anger is the most dangerous element in marriage.
How should we handle anger? First, it is critical for husbands and wives to be honest about their emotions.
Second, husbands and wives must allow honesty from each other. If you want to be treated with grace, compassion, and understanding from your spouse, then you must extend the same grace, compassion, and understanding toward them.
Third, anger must be dealt with quickly. In Ephesians 4:26, the Apostle Paul tells us to admit our anger but not to let the sun go down on it. He’s not giving a technical rule—if you’re still angry after sunset, you’re in big trouble!—but reminding his readers that anger shouldn’t be ignored or swept under the rug.
Why? Because sexual health depends on much more than our bodies’ response to sexual stimuli. Sex is tied to our emotions, as well—and unresolved anger hijacks our emotions.
When we don’t deal with anger, we allow feelings of hurt, mistrust, or violation to fester within our emotions. The more these feelings accumulate and remain unresolved, the more it will be reflected in our sexual responses.
In marriage, sex acts as both a thermometer and a thermostat. As a thermostat, sex makes marriage better. Good sex increases the emotional temperature of the marriage and generates feelings of intimacy and goodwill.
But as a thermometer, sex reflects the state of the relationship. It offers a warning signal during times of difficulty. A lack of healthy sexuality between a couple for any significant length of time ought to warn them that unresolved anger may exist in their relationship.
If you recognize this in your marriage, be honest with your spouse. Allow your spouse to be honest with you. Discuss your feelings, commit to forgive each other, and refuse to allow anger and emotional wounds to remain.
Anger robs you of the intimacy and sexual pleasure every married couple should experience. Your marriage is too important to let anger go unresolved.