For as long as we can remember, our dream has been to see marriages grow, succeed, restored, and prosper. We aim to help as many couples as we can. And if we help only one, we have achieved our dream. If you don't believe a great marriage is possible, hang around here for a bit. And see what God wants to show you. Our marriage is far from perfect, but right now our marriage is better than it ever has been!
July 8, 1995 was the day we said I do! It was the best day of our lives. We were young and in love and best friends. We loved just hanging out and being close together. It really did not matter what we did as long we were together. That was nearly 23 years ago. Looking back, we both have little recollection of where and when things went wrong. We actually think it was a very gradual thing that evolved over time. And to pin point it is almost impossible.
Wes was busy with his new career as a teacher and I was a part time piano teacher/stay at home wife. Times were tough but we always seemed to make it through. We both wanted to have children so that is what took most of our time over the next 15 years. Somewhere during that time, things began to fall apart. I (Rachel) was busy raising our family and Wes was preoccupied with his career as well as our part time construction business. The time that Wes spent away from our family caused so much tension between us. I (Rachel) wanted him at home and Wes wanted to stay away. It was not how we had envisioned things would be.
I (Wes) wanted to be with my wife and family but the tension that was present was sometimes too much to handle, so I withdrew. Not that I wasn’t available physically, I just checked out emotionally. We still had some great times and considered each other best friends. We just had some areas that were gravely in need of attention.
Over time, the area of sex and intimacy began to take a beating. I (Rachel) wanted desperately just to be with Wes and hangout like we used to, and Wes was starving for sexual attention. We had no clue what was happening and even less understanding of how to fix it. We spent many nights arguing and crying but it seemed to just make matters worse. The toughest part was we felt like we were alone in our struggles. We had no idea that so many others were struggling the same way as we were, which we only found out later. We had no one to reach out to but even if we had, we probably wouldn’t have just because of the fear of what they might think.
Things got so bad that at times I (Rachel) would say things like, “you married the wrong person” and “I just can’t be who you need me to be”. The big D word would also creep in during out heated discussions.
I (Wes) would often try to express myself through writing my thoughts and feelings down on paper and then sharing them with Rachel. Not really sure why I tried that as many times as I did, because each time it would end up in a fight. I felt hopeless. But along came Google and I began to do some research about marriages. I came across some podcasts that I was sure was going to help. I shared them with Rachel and she was on board. For the first time in our marriage, it seemed like we were making progress.
But somehow, the issues surrounding sex never seemed to be completely solved. I (Wes) still felt like something wasn’t quite right. Our discussions surrounding this sensitive topic were still tough but we managed to talk a bit more civil more often than not. I (Rachel) really still struggled with sex and wondered if something was really wrong with me. Wes just couldn’t understand why I was the way I was. And honestly, neither could I.
As we look back, we both realize that there could’ve been a lot of pain and heartache avoided had we known what we know today. But we didn’t. We were both ill prepared for marriage and it plagued us for many, many years. I (Rachel) had developed a belief system about sex that kept me from enjoying sex like God made me to. I truly loved Wes. But the problem was that Wes did not feel that love. Every time I would say no to sex, a piece of him would die. I really wished I could just be the woman he wanted and needed me to be but I just did not know how.
It wasn’t until I (Rachel) had decided to make sex a priority that things began to change. The process was a long one and it definitely wasn’t magical. But it was miraculous. God brought to us some very special people that were exactly who we needed to help us get our breakthrough. Mike and Connie Smith, who now are our spiritual mentors, spoke things into our lives that we both really needed to hear. Connie said some things to me that took me a while to soak up. I was upset and I rebelled for a while but shortly after, God got a hold of me and I was willing to hear more. We took in as much information as they would give us and we watched our marriage heal. We both read books that helped us reframe our beliefs around sex and intimacy. And we started reading blogs on marriage and sex. We filled our minds with new information that we should’ve had when we were first married. I (Rachel) started to learn that being sexual was very much a woman thing and that sex was for me too. I learned that I needed to change my mind on sex and all that it entailed. I began to welcome thoughts on sex instead of push them away. Wes pushed me to explore thoughts and ideas that in the past were very foreign. I (Wes) started to realize that I needed to change some things too. I wanted Rachel to trust me with her life but for some reason she struggled to do so. I made it my goal to show her I how much I loved her. And for the first time in our married sexual life, we began to have sex like God had intended. The walls began to come down and we honestly felt like we were in heaven.
Because of what God has done in our marriage, through great people like Mike and Connie, we can’t help but want to do the same. Our story is not unique but it is one that we will tell over and over again to as many people who will listen. We want you to have the marriage of your dreams, just like we are!