Sign up for Meridian’s Free Newsletter, please CLICK HERE
Before marriage, many Christian couples struggle with various concerns regarding sexual intimacy in marriage; specifically, things like not knowing what to talk about, not being comfortable about the topic of sex, and just not knowing what exactly they need to know or what they should expect. Likewise, many couples after getting married struggle with common challenges like discrepancies in sexual desire, orgasm difficulties, mental health or pornography issues, and knowing how to keep the spark alive throughout their marriage.
From Honeymoon to Happily Ever After dispels anxiety over the common concerns Christian couples have when it comes to the sexual relationship by helping them develop greater comfort, confidence, and understanding about sexual intimacy. This rare resource is one of a kind in being specifically written to help couples be better prepared before marriage to have a positive honeymoon experience as well as to create their own sextraordinary relationship within marriage as God intended.
For most couples, it takes many years to create a healthy and mutually connecting intimate relationship in their marriage, but this book will help couples get there much sooner than they would otherwise. It’s a game changer—especially for those who get their hands on it before marriage!
What Makes This Book Unique
Currently, there is no such book that dives directly into the specifics of what to know, what to expect, and how to prepare before you are married for a healthy and mutually fulfilling sexual relationship in marriage. Couples need knowledge, skills, a healthy mindset, and open dialogue to develop sufficient comfort and confidence regarding this topic and the upcoming marital relationship.
Though this book is meant for couples both before and after getting married, it specifically dives into important things couples can learn and do before marriage to help mentally prepare for a healthy sexual relationship. The topics in this book can help you get better educated and more comfortable with the subject of sex, instead of having to make such a major mental transition after marriage—from “no, no, no” to “go, go, go!”
The following factors are what set this book apart from any other marriage prep book:
- Primary focus is on sexuality. The primary focus of this book is the intimate relationship—including the emotional, spiritual,mental, and physical dimensions—and not just the mechanics of sex. Not many books take an affirming and uplifting approach—shedding light on the goodness and godliness of sexual intimacy—nor help to dispel the common fears and anxieties surrounding sex.
- Before-marriage preparation. Given the fear, guilt, and shame that usually surround sexuality before marriage, we tend to avoid helping prepare young people for a healthy sexual relationship at all. The focus tends to be on generic marriage-prep but not on specifically preparing individuals beforemarriage for a positive honeymoon experience anda mutually fulfilling intimate relationship once you are married. There are things, though, that people can do before marriage to prepare for intimacy while still remaining chaste and worthy.
- Professional expertise. Most books about sexual intimacy are not written by someone with the advanced training and clinical expertise of a certified sex therapist. The extensive specialized training required for certification is like having an additional master’s degree in sexual issues. There are very few certified sex therapists out there and even fewer that respect God’s teachings on the subject of sex and reverence the sanctity of sexuality as God designed it.
- Practical and applicable counsel. Having practical, specific, clinical, and easily applicable suggestions for real-life issues are much more helpful than the general or peripheral answers found in many faith-based books. This book provides both principles that apply to many situations as well as straightforward information and suggestions for specific common challenges. You’ll find “Action Items” at the end of each chapter to easily put into practice the self-help suggestions I’ve shared.
- Accounts for female wiring. For many years, sex therapy and research has focused mostly on male sexuality and a male perspective. Only recently has the “human sexual response” been updated to include the unique, contextual, relational, emotional, and responsive (versus spontaneous) sexual wiring of most women. Having a book written to include the female perspective allows for both the male realities, needs, and viewpoint of sexuality as well as the needs of women to be more thoroughly addressed. I have purposefully spent my professional life trying to learn how to “think like a man” so that I can be as helpful as possible to both husbands and wives in the intimate department.
- Aligned with Gospel teachings. Last but not least, and maybe most important, is having a trusted resource that is in accordance with the principles of the Gospel and the teachings of our Savior Jesus Christ—especially on the sacred topic of sex. People want to be able to confidently turn to a trusted resource on this delicate and generally taboo topic. Satan has deceived many on this subject and gets more and more bold at leading people astray—both weakening them spiritually as well as keeping couples from their shared intimate potential in marriage.
Sexual intimacy is one area that couples struggle with the most within marriage. It also has the potential to be one of the most exhilarating, fulfilling, bonding experiences couples can share together if they are both willing to put in the work. Starting early, even before marriage, to develop a healthy sexuality will pay significant dividends for your future (or current) sexual relationship with your spouse.
Pre-Marriage and Post-Marriage Help
The following is a preview of the topics discussed in the book From Honeymoon to Happily Ever After: 23 Keys to Prepare for a Sextraordinary Marriage by Laura M. Brotherson.
#1 — Preparing for Intimacy in Marriage
#2 — Developing a Healthy Sexual Mindset
#3 — Alleviating Fear and Anxiety About Sex
#4 — What to Know and What to Expect
#5 — What to Talk About Regarding the Sexual Relationship
#6 — Determining Appropriate Affection Before Marriage
#7 — Sharing Sensitive Information from Your Past
#8 — Understanding Sexual Compatibility
#9 — Preparing for the Honeymoon
#10 — Discussing Birth Control and When to Have Children
#11 — How to Handle Sexual Abuse, Depression, and Anxiety
#12 — How to Handle Pornography Problems
#13 — Navigating Difficult or Painful Sex
#14 — Talking About Sex Within Marriage
#15 — Determining What’s Okay and What Isn’t in the Bedroom
#16 — Determining Sexual Frequency in Marriage
#17 — What If You Want Sex and Your Wife Doesn’t
#18 — What if You Feel Like All Your Husband Wants is Sex
#19 — What if She Wants Sex More than Her Husband Does
#20 — How to Work Through Her Orgasm Difficulties
#21 — How to Work Through Common Intimacy Problems
#22 — Keeping Intimacy a Priority After Children Come Along
#23 — Keeping the Spark Alive Throughout Marriage
One husband married for over ten years said that he wished he had this book before he got married and even yearned to go back and start over and try again to have a better beginning to their intimate relationship. The principles, ideas, practical suggestions, and action items discussed in this book will help you avoid the common pitfalls that many couples face. Instead, you can develop and create the kind of sexual relationship that we all dream of.
Happily ever after in marriage is possible, but you must be willing to put in the work of personal growth, self-sacrifice, and smoothing off your own rough edges in order to create harmony between you and your spouse. It’s worth the effort.
[Excerpted from the “Introduction” of Laura M. Brotherson’s new book — From Honeymoon to Happily Ever After: 23 Keys to Prepare for a Sextraordinary Marriage.]
Stay tuned for additional articles in this series…
BIO — Laura M. Brotherson, LMFT, CST, CFLE
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Sex Therapist, Laura M. Brotherson is the founder of “The Marital Intimacy Institute“ with a mission to help couples create “sextraordinary marriages.” She counsels with couples, individuals and families in private practice (and online) and is passionate about helping couples navigate the intricacies of intimacy–specializing in healthy sexuality, sex therapy, and sex addiction. Laura is the author of the best-selling books, And They Were Not Ashamed: Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment, Knowing HER Intimately: 12 Keys for Creating a Sextraordinary Marriage, and now her latest book — From Honeymoon to Happily Ever After: 23 Keys to Prepare for a Sextraordinary Marriage.
As a Certified Family Life Educator, Laura is also actively engaged in providing marriage education through “Couples’ Cruises,” articles, newsletters, radio and television broadcasts, “The Marital Intimacy Show” podcasts, and presenting at conferences and workshops. Laura is a regular contributor to the KSL Television “Studio 5” morning show. Laura is passionate about helping couples navigate the intricacies of intimacy to help build strong marriages and families. Laura and her husband, Kevin, are the parents of three grown children and are the founders of StrengtheningMarriage.com—your trusted resource for education, products and services to strengthen marriages … intimately!
Connect with Laura: