How Does a Husband/Wife Cope With The Issue of Past Sexual Abuse When It Comes To the Marriage Bed And The Fears/Tensions It Leaves?

Past sexual abuse is particularly damaging to women. Previous sexual experiences cast a long shadow on present day intimacy. This is especially true if first sexual experiences are abusive in nature. A woman who is sexually abused can begin to associate all forms of sexual intimacy, even with a loving spouse, as abusive.

There is no easy answer to this complex question. Long-term Christian counseling should be considered. Apart from counseling, the non-abused partner will need to focus on loving their wounded mate tenderly and patient. The non-abused partner will need to focus on restoring their spouses trust in sexual intimacy. The abused partner will need to prayerfully ask God to help them feel intimacy as a God honoring and loving part of marriage.

A couple experiencing this frustration should make this a matter of prayer. They should ask Jesus to perform the truth of 2 Corinthians 5:17and transform them into a new creation that is not controlled like a puppet by the wounds of the past. The hope is Christ will allow them to pursue their spouse with a healthy intimacy that is not tampered by historical wounds.

A couple struggling with this should focus on developing a biblical attitude towards marital intimacy. Sex should not be seen as a way to satisfy themselves but as a way they are uniquely able to love and serve their spouse. When sex is view as a way to bless your spouse, not yourself, many sexual frustrations are diminished.

Paul reminds us that a husband and wife should seek to serve the sexual desires of their mate.

But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife,... But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 1 Corinthians 7:33–34 (ESV)