How Sex Saved My Marriage: The 30 Day Challenge

Ladies, it’s time we had a talk. Not THE talk, but you’ll definitely need to have had THAT talk before we have THIS talk. It’s a subject that gets joked about, glamorized, and sensationalized, but it’s rarely treated with the sincere power it’s capable of. I’m talking about sex. More specifically, it’s time we had a talk about how much sex you and your significant other are having. A little too personal? Trust me, I agree, and if this wasn’t a subject I felt extremely passionate about, I wouldn’t bring it up.

But truly, sex saved my marriage, and I am willing to bet it could save (or improve!) yours too.

About a year ago, Chris and I sat stoic with bleary, red eyes, completely speechless in the parking lot of a divorce attorney’s office. Seriously. We had spent months completely at each other’s throats, years of the same arguments again and again had turned our hearts cold, and the idea of staying together was seemingly impossible. We sat and stared at each other completely in awe of what we were about to do. And then we had an idea.

A couple weeks prior to us landing in the parking lot of the attorney’s office, we confided in a close friend about our challenges. Between working together, raising children together, and watching our dreams grow and then plummet then begin to grow again, Chris and I had almost ZERO feelings of love and romance for each other left. Sure we loved each other, but is that the same as being in love? No, it’s not.

And truth be told, we BOTH needed to feel loved again, and the idea that it could ever come from each other again was unfathomable. Our friend shared a challenge he and his wife took on during a similar rut in their romance, and he raved about how it healed years old wounds, rekindled a fire they thought had long died out, and turned them from near enemies to best friends.

So what’s the magic challenge? It’s simple: Have sex every. single. day. for 30 days.

I know what you’re thinking, because trust me, I thought alllll the same things. Seriously? How could sex save my marriage? What if I’m too tired? Or sick? Sex is great, but THIRTY days straight? I don’t think we can do that. But then we tried it.

Prior to the challenge, I had very little hope that anything, let alone what goes on between the sheets, could keep Chris and me together, but I am here to say it transformed our marriage. The first few days were business as usual? we hadn’t fought much those days so sex didn’t seem like a terrible idea.

By day 6, though, Chris and I were in the midst of one our infamous knock out, drag down fights. I didn’t even want to LOOK at him, let alone be intimate with him. I walked into our bedroom and declared, “The challenge is over, there’s no point.” And Chris, being a man truer to his integrity than anyone else on earth, said, “No, we made a commitment, and we’re sticking to it.” And so we did. Guys, without divulging too many details (because, ahem, awkward), we went from hating each other’s guts to laughing hysterically, cuddling, and feeling those same warm feelings that we felt many moons ago when we were first dating.

The challenge continued another 24 days with plenty of arguments, hurt feelings, and negative thoughts along the way. However, the next 24 days were also filled with more flirting, quick kisses, silly teases, and friendly moments than we had shared in months…maybe even years. Somewhere along the way, our marriage shifted from business partner-based to best friends who were lucky enough to have sleepovers every single night.

And was it the sex that did it? Maybe partially. But what I believe really changed us was our dedication to spending even 20 minutes every single day completely focused on each other. Despite the good, the bad, and the ugly of the day, despite busy schedules and hurt feelings, we knew that nightly we were going to have the opportunity to put everything aside and just be in love?something Chris and I had never prioritized quite like that before. It gave us silly moments and ones filled with passion, and it allowed us to open up and spend time cuddled up and chatting, an almost extinct act between us previously. The 30 day challenge may have been based on sex, but what we gained from it had nothing to do with sex at all. The 30 day challenge gave us our love back, and in turn, our marriage.

Now, it’s your turn. Whether you’re a newlywed or nearing divorce, I have no doubt in my mind that committing to and completing the 30 day sex challenge can and will improve your feelings of sincere love for your spouse. Now, is it a guaranteed fix for every marital woe? Of course not! But I truly believe in the healing power of this commitment to your loved one. So give it a try and report back. Of course, spare the gory details, 😉 but I want to know if it works for you! Did the 30 Day Sex Challenge save your marriage too? Help it? Hurt it? Let me know!

xo,

Heidi

Related reading:

6 Ways to Spend Valentine?s With Your (My) Swolemate
5 Years of (Mostly) Wedded Bliss + How We Met Vid!
Feel the Love?and the Burn! || Ultimate Couple?s Workout
Giving Love to Others
40 for my 40 year old || Why Chris Powell is the Greatest Man on Earth

154 Responses

  1. Wow. Just wow. This is eye opening. I’ve lost 100lbs and my libido has tanked. We found I have a chronic condition that affects ot along with being fatigued constantly. I have a wonderful but demanding career that has be traveling several times a year on top of that. I’ve worked hard for it. My marriage has suffered from these greatly. My husband says he feels unwanted. And to him sex = love. We have been struggling for over a year now. My personal victories has turned my marriage into a bad place instead of a sanctuary. I think I’ll try this, whether I feel like having sex or not. Doing what we’ve been doing isn’t working. It’s time to step out of the comfort zone and push to make it better. Thank you for sharing and inspiring. Love both you and Chris!

  2. I?ve been married fifteen years and the last two have been without physical intimacy. I tell him it?s because I had bilateral Adhesive Capsulitis for three years and a hysterectomy prior to that, but truly, I?m just not interested. We sleep in separately because he has a sleep disorder that causes him to act out in his sleep (which means I don?t get much rest if we sleep together), and if we are intimate, I feel like I am there just to satisfy him. No cuddling, no caressing, etc. We live like roommates and it?s slowly killing my spirit.
    I?m too young (early 50?s) to feel so dead inside. I honestly don?t think that having sex in a twin size bed for 30 days is going to save my marriage!

    1. Your Friend – I really hope you try (because you won?t know unless you try, right?). Sometimes it takes something out of our comfort zone to bring people together and remember why you fell in love in the first place 🙂

    2. Hey dear.
      I wish Heidi can answer you.. meanwhile your comment touched me deeply.
      As i understood from heidi’s article… This challenge is more than THAT it’s about the intimacy, the commitment and the “We time”… So why you don’t give it a try.
      I’m only 29… And believe me I had moments like that… And it has nothing doing about my hubby… It’s just that i felt always tired… And this moment felt like another chore for me.. (that certainly wasn?t)…
      We, women, think a lot… About everything.. And this doesnt help.
      My husband told me many times to just stop thinking… Live the moment… I tried… But that not easy stuff..
      Maybe you should give this challenge a try whithout thinking… And besides it… (which is more important in my eyes… And heidi told about laughing and everything… I guess because they were having some talks…) for me communication is everything…

      Good luck

    3. I?m willing to give the challenge a shot, but feeling loved and cherished when you?re left alone within ten minutes of having sex isn?t satisfying to me. It makes me feel used and cheap. I realize that?s my problem and I need to deal with it; perhaps I can make that part of the challenge. ?
      FWIW, my hubby is a man of few words and isn?t one to say what?s on his mind freely. I have to drag things about work, for instance, out of him.

    4. Read him Heidi?s story and then read him yours. Let him read all of the comments. He probably thinks that you two are the only ones going through this! He?ll know and you are not alone!

  3. I?m pregnant with our second child, and my husband and I are constantly fighting. His biggest issue? He?s upset that when we first started dating we had sex almost every day (multiple times a day,) now we are lucky to have sex twice a month. When I found out baby number two is on the way, I?ve lost all desire to be intimate. I?d love to do this challenge but …, (always seems to be my answer) my issues with him are deeper.. financial and basic trust. I recommended that we go to a counselor…
    Thanks for sharing your story, because I did think you had the perfect relationship. This gives me hope!

    1. Jane, I understand completely. I have the same issues with my husband, basic trusts and finance. We have sex maybe once a month and I literally have no desire to be intimate. I don?t need to cuddle and like space truthfully. When we are intimate though we are a lot closer and seem to argue less. We have the relationship where, outside looking in, we should have no issues but we have talked divorce and agree we are not happy with how things have been. I would love to try this challenge but I can see myself getting tired and just not in the mood. Maybe I am the problem then? But it is worth the try for my relationship, so…

  4. My husband and I are three months in to our marriage with a 9 month old child. (We have been together for 5 years total however.) Things have been very rough between us and I think this could be an absolute game changer. I shall update my comment after we?ve tried out this idea. Probably need to bring up the idea to my husband first of course. Lol.

  5. Thank you for sharing ?
    Every year my husband travels for 1 month ( a work obligation). Over the years you would think it would get easier… but it doesn?t.
    I find I become angry and resentful…. vs understanding ( He doesn?t want to leave us at all !)
    So, with building stress, lots of emotions and trips to the marriage counselor ( something that should be REQUIRED once you get married – it?s so amazing !)
    We get back on track about 3-4 weeks after he comes home.
    Now, your challenge just might be what we need when he gets back !
    After 20 years…. some things DO become easier while others… more difficult.
    Challenge accepted!?

  6. I love your honesty. It’s part of the reason why I feel like I can relate to everything you say. People tend to portray their lifes as perfect on social media, because god forbid, we could ever have a bad day.

    I truly believe that sex is an essential part of a loving relationship: because otherwise, you eventually turn into roommates who like living together. However, nobody talks about it, just like you said. But I am so glad you did!

  7. This is crazy, yesterday my husband and I were sitting in our car talking about divorce i even called to make an appointment with a lawyer. We do love each other but theres been broken trust not of the cheating kind but nevertheless ,trust has been broken . I opened up my Instagram and I saw this beautiful picture of you guys and im willing to give this a try . Hopefully it works

  8. I completely agree with this. We?ve been married for 13 years and I do believe being open about sex and taking that time regularly to focus simply on one another is vital. People don?t like to discuss the subject but without sex you bevome great friends and roomates rather than intimate lovers. Love the article xxx

  9. You guys are an inspiration. Heidi I respect and amire you so much for winning in many fights I have been having for many years. My anorexia and PTSD have ruined, and continue to ruin my life and my marriage. My husband has watched me almost die in hospital and live without me for nearly a year while I regained the weight. I often read your articles and think it is possible! I too run my own business and know the stress but also freedom that brings. Although it will be difficult I am going to try your challenge I hope it works we have been through so much and I am at the top of my weight tolerance I don’t think we could survive that cycle again (I just need to hit the gym) I miss my best friend
    Thank you for putting yourself out there

    1. The thought of this terrifies me. For the past 17 years together with my husband, I have slowly shut down and closed myself off emotionally and physically. I have told myself that I am protecting myself and my heart because I have been, and continue to be, hurt so deeply by him. We have sex, but for me it’s strictly done out of necessity, not love and connectivity (he knows this) I have told him over and over that when he is being critical and mean, SEX or any intimacy is the LAST thing I want. BUT for him, sex and deeper intimacy with me is what he needs and desires and he gets more and more critical and mean when he feels “shut out” and neglected…..It’s a vicious circle and dance we go round and round…over and over……for years and years! It actually happened again last night…(even on Valentines day) I’m writing this because I need some accountability! I have begged God to help me love my husband the way he needs to be loved and to be the wife and mother that He created me to be! I KNOW for a fact that the Lord had me restless tonight for a reason….I stumbled on this in the middle of the night for a reason! Thank you! Thank you for posting something so dear to your heart in order to encourage others! God bless your family and your marriage ?

    2. Brenda, I am so sorry that your husband has been critical and mean. I don’t think men fully realize the impact that their careless words can have on our hearts. I completely agree with you that sex or any intimacy is the LAST thing on my mind when he’s been awful. I really hope things improve for you.

  10. You guys are an inspiration and I love how honest you are. I?m not married or even in a relationship but gives me hope that there are people out there that are happy.

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