SIDEBAR: Drawing Boundary Lines

A couple must be honest with one another about their sexual history (particularly a history that involves sexual abuse, addictions, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancies, and/or abortions). However, couples need to draw certain boundary lines so they do not create new trauma during these conversations. For example, certain details such as (1) the identity of previous sexual partners, (2) specific sexual acts previously engaged in, and (3) specific places where those acts took place do not serve any purpose other than as painful reminders of a spouse’s sexual misconduct. Rather than focusing on the who, what, where, when, and how of a person’s sexual history, focus on the lessons learned during those seasons, what the healing process has looked like since, and how the spouse-to-be can be of support in the continued growth and maturing process.

You cannot have genuine sexual intimacy without genuine sexual integrity. A sexually healthy couple is comprised of two sexually healthy individuals, so encourage both to be honest about any sexual and emotional baggage that may surface during their lifetime together. By cultivating certain fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22,23 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control), couples can forge a rich, vibrant marital relationship in the future, regardless of what is in their past.