Marriage Missions International

SEX: When A Wife Doesn’t Want to Make Love

“I have already gotten settled in bed, wearing my flannel nightgown and reading my book. Now that you’re in the mood, I’m not sure I want to go to all the trouble…” (A paraphrase of Song of Songs 5:3, 6)

Sometimes the well-worn excuse, “I’ve got a headache, honey,” is actually true. Just the thought of having sex makes your head hurt, and maybe your heart as well. It’s hard to feel amorous when you’re angry or disappointed, and it’s equally difficult to desire your husband sexually if you’re not attracted to him.

Many women in difficult marriages lack a desire for sexual intimacy with their mates —and you don’t have to look far to understand why, at least in part. We’re all aware that women are wired differently than men when it comes to sex. While men often times are aroused by physical and visual stimuli, women usually need to feel affection and trust in order to be responsive to a man’s sexual advances. When a wife receives her husband during intercourse, she is, in a sense, allowing herself to be invaded by him —not just physically, but on emotional and spiritual levels, as well.

Wives who feel loved and secure can welcome this invasion as an opportunity to experience intense intimacy and pleasure with their husbands. But wives who lack sexual desire or who feel animosity toward their husbands often experience sex as a violation rather than as loving communion.

Many women in difficult marriages find sex undesirable. So, if you have problems in this area, know that you’re in good company —and that you can take steps to have a more satisfying and healthy sexual relationship.

You may be surprised to learn that Scripture can shed some insight into why [wives] may be feeling resistant or resentful when it comes to lovemaking. In a well-known but often misrepresented passage about marriage, Paul writes, ‘The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife’ (1 Corinthians 7:3-4).

These verses have been used to browbeat wives into feeling guilty for not wanting to have sex or for avoiding it. But notice that Paul doesn’t say a wife’s body belongs only to her spouse. It says it belongs also to her spouse. As ‘one flesh,’ a wife shares her body with her husband. Bible commentaries also point out that when Paul says we ‘belong’ to one another, he’s not just emphasizing our ownership rights over one another, but he’s also clarifying that our exclusive conjugal rights belong to each other —no outsiders allowed.

This passage does not teach that a wife (or husband, for that matter) should submit to sex whenever, wherever, and however our partner demands it, no matter how we feel. Rather, it teaches that since my husband’s body belongs to me, I should care about it enough to give it pleasure whenever I possibly can, and he likewise with my body. In the same way, since my husband’s body belongs to me, I should also be understanding and generous when it’s not “in the mood,” and he likewise with my body. The emphasis is on mutuality, not selfishness.

At first reading, this passage may also seem to teach that sex is a duty, a required act. But duty is better translated as sacred responsibility. Paul is advising couples to continue to have sex on a regular basis because sex is at the heart of our sacred oneness and helps to protect our fidelity. The intent of this duty isn’t that a wife complies with a husband’s selfish appetite for sex on demand or vice versa, but to fulfill her sacred obligation to meet her husband’s sexual needs, keep the marriage bed pure, and keep each other free of sexual temptation.

Let’s look at another passage. In Ephesians, husbands are told to love their wives “as their own bodies“ (Ephesians 5:28). “After all, no one ever hated his own body,” Paul writes, “but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church“ (v.29). God describes a husband who loves his wife so much that he puts her needs as high on the chart as his own bodily needs! In regard to sex then, if a husband loves his wife this way, there’s no danger that he’ll mistreat her or take sexual advantage of her, because that would be like hating his own body.

In God’s ideal picture of marriage, if a wife wasn’t feeling up to sex, for whatever reason, the husband would honor and respect her feelings as if it were himself who wasn’t in the mood. If a husband doesn’t love his wife this way, he —not she —is sinning when he expects his wife to be available for intercourse on demand and without regard to her feelings.

Okay, so now we see that God didn’t intend for a wife to be a slave to her husband’s sexual needs. However, on the other extreme —saying that a wife has no responsibility or can shirk her obligation to nurture a healthy, ongoing sexual relationship —is equally wrong and unbiblical. A wife who regularly refuses to have sex or is only willing to be intimate with her husband on her terms is also acting selfishly. If you consistently rebuff your husband’s sexual advances and resent intercourse, you need to take active, positive steps toward restoring consistent and mutually satisfying lovemaking to your marriage.

Here are some suggestions to start you on the path to discovery and change. For starters:

Tell your husband that you want to improve your lovemaking and you’re actively pursuing positive changes. Assure him that you understand that you have a part in the sexual problems in your marriage. Be sure he knows that your goal is for both of you to be sexually satisfied.

Take a “time out” from sex. Paul said not to deny each other except for a time of prayer (1 Corinthians 7:5). The reason for a sexual hiatus isn’t to avoid sex —it’s to pray and take active steps to bring about change. It’s not to stop resentment from building; it’s to bring healing so that resentment is no longer an issue. Talk about this with your husband. Tell him what you’re doing and why. If he knows the goal isn’t less sex, but more and better sex, he’ll likely feel less threatened by a time out and be more willing to see a counselor together, read books together, or otherwise, explore the problem. If he gets angry or refuses to respect your wishes, talk with a counselor in order to gain wisdom and support for what you can do.

Educate yourself. There’s not enough room here to address the myriad of emotional and physical aspects of sexual dysfunction, and there are plenty of good books available. One or both of you may have grown up with ideas or teachings about sex that are inhibiting you now. Some good Christian books include:

• Restoring the Pleasure by Clifford L. Penner and Joyce J. Penner

• Intimate Issues by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus

• Intended for Pleasure by Ed Wheat.

Check your history. Could it be that past sexual relationships are interfering in your present one? Were you involved in sexual activities earlier in life that you left feeling resentful and used? If you have a history of any kind of abuse, chances are great that you need healing from these hurtful experiences before you will begin to have a healthy attitude about lovemaking. Since this is a complex issue, you should seek help form a professional as soon as possible.

Rule out physical problems. Sometimes physical problems, such as hormone imbalances, inhibit a woman’s desire for sex. If your troubles have more to do with a lack of physical responsiveness than with emotional resistance, see a physician who specializes in sexual dysfunction and explore possible cause and solutions. You should also visit your doctor if you don’t experience orgasms, if you lack lubrication, if you find intercourse painful, or if you are on medications that might be interfering with your sexual drive.

Experiment with being the initiator. In most cases where a wife is reluctant to have sex, the husband is the designated initiator, which can lead to an unhelpful pattern in which the problem only gets worse. Authors Clifford and Joyce Penner point out:

Because the wife doesn’t show her interest in being together sexually, the husband begins to believe she has no interest in him sexually. His insecurity is triggered by her apparent lack of interest, so he anxiously begins to initiate sex more often than he would want it if he were feeling sure of himself in relation to her. She feels pressured by his initiation, so she begins to avoid him or pull away sexually. The more he approaches, the more consistent is her avoidance. The more frequent her avoidance, the more anxious is his approach. It becomes a negative spiral.

Talk with your husband about waiting for sex until you approach him. Many men, once assured that sex will take place, aren’t put off at all by waiting for the wives to signal their readiness. If you are the initiator it may remove some of the feelings of pressure and duty you experience. Instead, it becomes something you are giving, versus something he is always approaching you to take.

Spell it out for him! “If she [a wife] feels uncared for, she may believe the only interest her husband has in her is sex,” write the Penners. “He comes home from work, turns on the television, sits quietly at dinner, and watches television after dinner. Then at bedtime he becomes friendly —and her anger sizzles.”

Sound familiar? Tell your husband exactly what it takes to please you in bed and to make you feel happy to be invited there. You’d be amazed how many men just don’t realize that a wife needs to be courted during the day, instead of only five minutes before lovemaking. And chances are, it probably doesn’t take that much: a midday phone call, kisses on the way out the door, a long hug when he gets home. Be specific about what you’d enjoy and list for him several small things he could do to help you be in the mood more often.

Consider sexual therapy. For some couples, the road to a healthy sex life may require outside help. Often sexual therapy involves literally starting all over again with a clean slate. Couples typically follow a program that begin with nonsexual touching; over the course of weeks, homework assignments build back up to intercourse (Restoring the Pleasure contains a step-by-step program). If your husband is unwilling to see a counselor with you, consider seeking help alone. You’d be surprised how much progress you can make this way. A therapist may not only be able to help you deal with your own issues pertaining to sex, but may also help you find non-threatening ways to talk about them with your husband.

Be honest about turnoffs. It’s important to find a way to let your husband know what dampens your mood. For years, Catherine’s husband Jason had no idea that his wife was repelled by the smell of a prescription lotion. When she finally mentioned it one night, he was hurt that she’d never been honest before. Now he never applies his bedtime dose of lotion until he’s sure that they won’t be making love.

If it’s something he can change, let your husband know that while you accept and love him as he is, you’d think he were sexier if he could deal with this particular problem. If it’s not something he can change, the problem then becomes yours. In truth, your sexual responsiveness to your husband, if all else is well, shouldn’t be dampened by baldness, graying, or wrinkled skin. If they trouble you, you need to deal with your own thought patterns and values and try not to let them detract from lovemaking.

Making changes in your sex life won’t necessarily come easily. Some changes might not come at all. However, never give up or relegate sex to the old days. A healthy sex life is foundational to every marriage. The Penners put it this way: “How important is sex in marriage? A simple answer is that when sex is compared to an automobile, sex is to the marriage what the oil is to the combustion engine. At least a little oil necessary to keep the engine running —without sex, one’s marriage will eventually break down.”

Dear Lord,
Thank You for the gift of sex! I want to become more and more grateful for this miracle of oneness You created. Help me, I pray; to do everything in my power to make my love life with the husband You gave me all that You would have it be. Restore our passion, revive our affections, and fill us with mercy and grace for one another. Amen.

The above part of this article came from the book, Lovers for Life: Strengthening and Preserving Your Marriage, published by Christian Publications, Inc. This book is a compilation of writings from over 30 different authors on the subject of marriage. Kenneth Musko is the compiler and Janet Dixon is the editor. Some of the contributing authors include: Gary Chapman, Kevin Leman, Cheri Fuller, Willard Harley Jr., Steve and Annie Chapman, and Bob and Yvonne Turnbull.

— IN ADDITION, TO HELP YOU WITH THIS ISSUE —

Paul Byerly, from The-generous-husband.com web site gives additional insightful information you might find helpful as you read:

SEX FOR HER —When She Resists or Limits Sex

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88 Responses to “SEX: When A Wife Doesn’t Want to Make Love”
  1. Tommy says:

    (USA) I don’t have time for sex games. I have a very physical job & yet my sexual desire is still there for my wife but, her desire for me is lacking & getting worse. In 2007 I had this problem so I started going back to the gym to workout & get back in shape, which I did (thank goodness for muscle memory). It didn’t take long before I met a tall beautiful Italian girl (wow!). We swapped numbers & started working out together. She knew I was married but still invited me to her house & I willingly accepted. I didn’t stay long because I had to pick up my son from school. She even told me to come back later if I wanted to but, I opted to say good-bye for the day & end it with a hug & a kiss on the side of the mouth. I knew she liked me & was interested in me as I was in her. When I went home the desire for my wife was gone. I now had a new interest. Shockingly, one of the few times my wife initiated sex I turned her down. I guess she knows what it feels like (turn abouts fair play) but, this other girl (Brandi) was giving me the desire I needed.

    • Pavrone says:

      (USA) How proud you must be….but, God is not mocked. I felt lousy, but I’m feeling better over my choice of husbands. Whatever that may be.

  2. Jupo says:

    (USA) Bottom line is this, there is no way you can operate like you are supposed to in any marriage without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. From some of the comments I have read, it is a mockery of what GOD is. If you want your love life to be fulfilling with the wife of your youth, go under the knife like Paul says. Circumcise your hearts and let GOD cut away and perform surgery on you. This goes for the wives too. My wife and I are not perfect and have our issues, but we do not play around with the thought of stepping out. We have way too much to lose. There is no way we can do this naturally and sustain. If we are fleshly led we continually get fleshly results. Let the Holy Spirit lead instead of your carnal minds.

    • Pavrone says:

      (USA) Bravo Jupo, you said it all there. No love outside of Christ, just the devil’s filthy counterfeit and God makes that clear. Lust may include love, in the beginning but love never includes lust but intimacy! It’s alive, warm and intense.

      Women get the bad wrap of not liking sex but that’s because we are subject to men that walk 10 feet ahead of us gawking at other females. I would never treat my husband in such a way but we saw where his heart really was. Unable to perform (her own words) and what he could accomplish he had to think of me. The devil and his confusion!

      We do not fall in love, that is lust. But we grow in love as that Truth matures. The devil is always waiting for mid-life crisis and boredom to set in. We know what God says of idle hands.

    • Michele says:

      (USA) Thank God for your comment. You may have saved some people time and saved their marriage as well! We need to be led by the Holy Spirit in these matters. Fasting and praying TOGETHER gets the job done as well. Great comment!!!

  3. Kevin says:

    (USA) I totally disagree with the interpretation provided by the author of Paul’s exhortation that the wife and husbands bodies are “not only their own, at least in the practical application provided by the author. The application provided here was that the husband needs to “be understanding” if the wife “isn’t in the mood”, rendering him with no “say so” or authority, yet the wife (if she thinks she is not affectionate enough) simply needs to make “positive” steps to please her husband, at a frequency that is good for HER.

    No doubt this article was written by a female! From the perspective of the author, the woman is in complete control of the frequency of sex in the marriage! That doesn’t sound like “mutual” to me, and that certainly doesn’t sound like “submission”. GASP! The S word was used! Gulp! The best example would be the cold wife who has decided that “positive” steps would be to have sex once per year, leaving the husband with no recourse except to continue to “love” and “understand” this arrangement.

    The divorce rate is 50% in the church as well as in the world. It’s no higher in the church b/c we allow these secular ideas to infiltrate what scripture is plainly teaching, thus polluting God’s Word with half truths such as this article. If husbands are to live their wives as Christ loved the church, (willing to literally DIE for her), then it is not unreasonable for a wife to provide sex to her husband even if, Lord forbid she gave a “headache”. In short, this article portrays a husband as this drone who must show an infinite amount of “love” and understanding, which gives the wife a blank check to offer her love and respect in times and amounts that SHE deems necessary. Isogesis at its best folks.

  4. Scott says:

    (USA) My wife of 18 years ask for divorce. We never fight. She has been unfaithful twice over the years. The last time was 9 years ago. Since that happened our sex life has declined to about once a year. Now her reason for divorce is that she has hasn’t felt love for me in years. After 1 session of therapy she stated over the last 8 years we had sex twice when she felt violated and cried and I continued. I don’t remember this. And now she no longer wants to be with me. Now what?

    • Tony says:

      (USA) Scott, you are saying she has betrayed you in two ways. First, she has had affairs. Second she is not engaging in enthusiastic sex with you now. My question now is why do you want someone who obviously is unwilling or unable to honor her vows to remain your wife?

      She is acting as an unbeliever, and scripture is clear that if the unbeliever wants to go, let her go. The believer is not bound when the unbeliever (and I interpret that to mean even someone who is behaving as an unbeliever) wants to go. 1 Corinthians 7:12-16. Verse 15 supports my stance. If someone wants to go, if they are behaving as an unbeliever they are to be allowed to go.

      Matthew 18 contains instruction about church discipline and if someone who is a member of the body of Christ refuses to end their sin, the church is to treat them as an unbeliever. Therefore, there is precedent in scripture to treat folks as unbelievers, even if they claim they are believers. Their actions are ultimately what determine how we treat them, not the testimony from their lips.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Scott, This is a situation where it’s difficult to give advice. I see where Tony says that you should let her go, if she desires. And scripturally, I can see where he’s coming from and why he gives that advice. I agree that you can’t hold someone against their will. And yes, the scriptures do tell us that the believing spouse is not “bound” when the circumstances are that the unbelieving spouse wants to leave. But just because you CAN do something, it doesn’t mean that you HAVE to do it, or SHOULD. You need to pray and ask God what to do about this because you never know all that is going on behind the scenes that could make it possible to turn this situation around. 1 Corinthians 7:16 asks, “how do you know husband, whether you will save your wife?”

      Scott, honestly, I would take a season to pray about this. Now that season can be a day or a week or longer… that’s something you need to determine. And if you feel that God is leading you to do so, you can approach your wife at a time when things aren’t stirred up in some way (in other words, be aware of the timing). Tell her that you would like to work on the marriage, but that it needs to be done together. Ask her if she is willing to do this with you, or if she would rather leave. I wouldn’t bring up divorce, if it can be avoided… just that she is allowed to leave if she desires to do so. Let all of that unfold in its own way.

      If you love her, tell her so. But also tell her that you don’t want to contribute to her being miserable, if it’s true that she no longer wants to be with you. Tell her that you don’t want to hold her to a roommate type of marriage, but one in which you both work together to pro-actively build your relationship in a way so love is able to grow and deepen as it should. Just because love isn’t being felt now, it doesn’t mean that it can’t grow again in new ways. I’ve seen it happen time and again and have experienced it in my own marriage where, when love is given a chance, God, whose very name means LOVE, can help us to grow it. Love CAN take root again, if we participate with God in helping us to do so.

      Pray and seek God as to whether you should take this approach or not. Just because something is dead, it doesn’t mean that God is not able to resurrect it again –breathing new life into it. But your wife (and of course, you) will need to participate in that type of miracle. If she won’t you aren’t bound. But if she might, then the possibilities are endless. I pray wisdom and discernment and clarity for you. I pray for your wife that God will talk to her heart and I hope that she will listen. No matter what, may you experience God’s leading and help in this very difficult situation. You haven’t mentioned children. If you have any, may they be considered utmost in all and may they somehow find and experience God’s peace beyond comprehension.

  5. Calvin says:

    (USA) I love my wife; she’s an awesome lady. We’ve been married 8 years, but she never has cared much for making love. I have always been the initiator, and it’s been ok until the last year she now has absolute no interest at all since our last child who is 6 months. I’m still being very understanding, do you guys have any suggestions? She works full time and is a full time mom and just is always too tired and says it doesn’t interest her at all, she doesn’t even want to cuddle; we get along just fine, we just have a working relationship…no intimacy. I have tried to initiate dates, etc…nothing works, any suggestions? Thanks

    • Marvin says:

      (UNITED STATES) I am a pastor. My wife separated from me two and a half years ago. I have tried to reconcile with her numerous times but to no avail. Her reasons for leaving were the typical culprits, you love the church more than me, you don’t try to understand me, the children are upset and distant from you (even though my daughter chose me in college as the most admirable person in her life). Even though I attempted to address all these issues she stated, her response was you’re not really sincere in your heart.

      I believe the last straw was when one month ago she told me she wanted us to go to counseling. I agreed and the very next week she visited me and told me she was not there (whatever that means), and that she had a confession. She had met someone else, and one thing had led to another, and she had broken it off. I was stunned as she walked away. Now I could deal with her apparent selfishness, and one act of infidelity but her unstability and wavering and lack of remorse was just too much to bear.

      Now mind you, I have prayed for the restoration of our relationship. But I have also watched. Could it be God is releasing me to move on down the line? I have casually met someone else while my wife ponders finalizing her initiated divorce proceedings and with mixed emotions I move forward. But I desire to love again. I am not the lone wolf style. I pray I make the right choice. God help me. Any other pastors who have been here before, please respond. I yet care for my wife but it’s beginnining to take a toll on me spiritually, as well as mental and emotionally!!!

  6. Melissa says:

    (USA) *raises hand* ooo oooo ooo i can answer!!!!! I am 48 and your letter is one my husband could have written, sans the baby part. I am healthy, absolutely in love with my husband but sex, making love, fooling around just are not on my list. I would not trade my husband for anything. He is loved and he knows it. He gets frusterated because I just do not have a sex drive. He on the other hand (age 56) is a wild child. Lordy, lordy he is always frisky. I get angry because I love to lay in bed and relax together. I love just holding his hand, cuddling,snuggling, falling asleep in his arms. That is love making to me. We do fool around once a week sometimes more but it is for him. I know he doesn’t deserve to be totally left out so I make sure I am there for that.

    I work for a vet and am full speed ahead 10 hours a day, come home cook dinner, clean and am just exhausted. My morning before work is slam full as well and it is just the two of us. I raised four daughters and numerous step children and foster kids. So even then I was worn out and sex just wasn’t on my to do list. After childbirth hormones are quirky. As we age the quirkyness is still there.
    I would talk to your wife and ask. And better than asking…write her a letter and ask how she feels and why. She may not even know why she feels that way. Ask her what YOU can do. Ask if there is anything you may be doing that is sending her in the other direction. (Not blaming but maybe her emotions have her feeling like you dont do enough around house etc.)

    Don’t say things that are hurtful (my husband does and words are like a knife to the spirit and heart). Do NOT accuse her of getting “it” somewhere else; don’t attack….something is amiss and she may not understand or know and may be unsure of what to do to be in “the mood.”

    I am one who personally feels lovemaking comes in different forms. And this stems from the main difference between men and women…women are from heart and men are mind driven. Y’all can make love just by thinking about it…we need to have our souls fed and our hearts cuddled. Please do not be angry with her. Help her, and just a last bit of input…we don’t like to think we are broken. We get scared because we are supposed to be superwomen, perfect and be at a level to compete with the likes of Angelina Jolie etc. To have to admit we can’t be any of those is sheer death to our souls. I will pray for y’all. I have been praying for my husband and I on this same matter and it is making a difference.

    • Melissa says:

      (USA) I also want to add that if you make comments that can have ANY negative connotations about her like her sleeping a lot, not doing housework, her looks sliding etc, they can make her go the other way sexually. And if you ALWAYS harp on her about not doing it not being in the mood, not being sexual etc again she will be really turned off more than before.

      My husband would say, you aren’t making love to me because you’re probably getting it somewhere else (omg I never even have that thought let alone action). He didn’t believe I was but they were words to justify why I would want to make love to him. He wanted me to hurt because I was in his eyes hurting him. He felt I was not finding him attractive or sexy …and my goodness I find him to be the most sexy man alive. But as a male he needed the love making to validate his marriage parking ticket. Again, just an insight.

  7. James says:

    (USA) First, I’d like to state that the article is very well written, and as a believer who studies God’s Word, I absolutely agree with everything said. Here’s my dilemma: our relationship has deteriorated to the point that my wife absolutely refuses to allow me to touch her. She even says that she doesn’t care if I sleep with someone else. We’ve been separated several times, and discussed divorce on many occasions.

    The only reason we’re together now is because it’s more convenient economically and less stressful on the kids. We sleep in separate rooms, and we don’t do anything together. She keeps claiming that when the kids grow up, she’s leaving. What, as a Christian, do you all advise, keeping in mind that I’m fully aware of scriptural principles concerning marriage, should I do?

    • Julius says:

      (USA) I do not have much experience with the issue such as yours. I have been married going on 7 years this year. I know when my pastor preaches, he always says to do right by your spouse although they are not doing right. As the man, GOD has called us to love our wives as Christ the church. The so called church helped crucify HIM. I would say continue to pray for yourself and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal all of the inquities in you, then ask HIM to then show you HIS righteousness. Yes you can continue to pray for your wife, but ask that your heart remains clean towards her. Of course it is not easy, but it can be done. Go to your pastor or an elder to help counsel you during this TEST….I have faith in GOD and your abilities that were given to you by GOD. I pray with you!!

  8. Bob says:

    (USA) Do you realize that the NIV added the word “alone” in 1 Co 7:4? It isn’t based on the original text, because Paul didn’t say it. The NAS says “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” The ESV says “For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” Paul was making a point and to have said “alone” wouldn’t have made that point. Neither spouse has the right to refuse sex to other. You need to figure out what God’s Word actually said before you start trying to advise people on how to apply it.

  9. Esmond says:

    (GHANA) Thank you for your elaboration on this subject of lack of sex in marriage. God bless you. To be honest during courtship I noticed these signs in her since we courted for 3 years. During one of the occasions she caught me with another woman almost about to make love. I explained to her the problem of lack of sex in the relatioship has driven me to that angle. Even though we were not married and also not born again Christians at the time. She acknowledged it and agreed to change. I went ahead to marry her 1.5 years later. Even on the wedding night it took us time to make love since she seems not interested.It continued in marriage and sometimes we made love once in two months, finally she became pregnant. During the pregnancy we could not make love up to four times with one excuse and the other. It continued after birth and is worse even now.I am realy pushed to the wall. I know all things are possible unto God. I am born again, I will pray and dwell on the Word for changes in my marriage.

  10. Sarah says:

    (CANADA) I’m a wife and mother of 4. My husband and I have been married for 19 yrs. We keep going around and around the sex mountain, but keep coming back to the same point. I don’t enjoy sex. I believe sex to be a natural progression from a very intimate emotional connection. I think that’s the way God created it. The issue with us has always been that emotional closeness is missing, so sex is strained. I feel used, when in fact, God created sex to deepen the connection. So, as a follower of Christ, I never refuse sex, but my husband knows that it is out of duty. There’s SEX, then there’s LOVEMAKING. What we are doing is emotionaless sex. (at least my side of things -I can’t even fake being into it, it’s like “do what you have to and get out”)

    I really have no idea how to “fix” it…so I’ve given it to God (for years now, I’ve given it to God) but it’s still a major source of conflict in our lives…especially when my husband is not satisfied with mechanical/emotionless sex and will not do it on those terms, so for the last few months, there has been nothing – which is making him resentful and he will go for periods of time without talking to me.

    He works hard around the house, does lots of little things for me, he is a good provider, but what I need from him is taking time to be with me (not for the purpose of GETTING sex) but just ’cause he wants to spend time with me (regardless of the outcome). To pursue me, to make me feel secure, to TALK to me more than just about who’s driving which kid where, to make me a priority and to value my input.

    He’s unable to be emotionally intimate with me – SO WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THIS?!!! I don’t know. I have no answers. We are both committed to our marriage and to God, and will not leave, ever. But must we live a life of disconnectedness?

    All I hear from Christians is that I have to fulfill my duties as a wife, ’cause my body is not my own.’ Well, what about his responsibility towards me. His body is not his own either, so his emotions and thoughts need to be let out and connect with mine. Which comes first? He insists he would open up more if I wanted sex…argh!…the cycle continues… Lord, help us…

    • Tony says:

      (USA) So what you are saying is you are unwilling to perform your duties because you say he’s not performing his.

      And he’s probably saying the same thing. “I’d be willing to talk with her, but since we don’t have regular and enthusiastic sex, I.E. sex because she wants to have sex and not just because she wants me to talk to her, I’m not willing to meet her needs until she is enthusiastic about meeting mine.

      Since you are the one here, you are the one who gets the advice to meet his needs, be the more mature, more grace-giving person.

      You complain about the cycle. So what can you do to end your part of that cycle?

      • Sarah says:

        (CANADA) Actually Tony, I’m really not saying that I have the answer to any of it. I DON’T know. I do believe, and it’s based on biblical principles, that the health of the marriage is primarily the responsibility of the husband. That doesn’t negate my sinfulness. I WILL be accountable before my almighty Father for my sinful thoughts and interactions… I take that extremely seriously, because I live to glorify the Lord. I know that marriage is to be a reflection of Christ’s relationship with his bride, the church.

        I have quietly, but consistantly, wrestled with God on this issue for the greater part of my marriage -not to mention the often unspoken tension within our marital union. The idea being, that sometimes you can do your part in the marriage, which for me has been cyclical -yes admittedly, there are times when I feel empowered by Holy Spirit to show gracious and simple love, the unconditional kind, and then, there are times, after months of giving that nothing changes and I feel drained and powerless -and again, fall back into licking my wounds. I’m not saying it’s okay or good to think selfishly, but it’s the reality of living in the flesh, (for which, by the way, I continually come back to the foot of the cross and lay down my sin and repent.). It’s also the reality of living in a marriage where both partners are not committed to living out completely what scripture describes as sacrificial love.

        It’s ideal when a partner takes the initiative to love sacrificially, without any expectations of returned sacrifice, but the reality is that the marriage will not be what God intended if only one person is giving… so on that note, I ask, who has the most power to make the most changes in the marriage? the husband or the wife. The truth lies in scripture. The husband. Whether men want to accept the responsibility or not -they get to decide the health of the marriage.

        Let’s be clear that I don’t believe that women have no responsibility in this. I have known many “Christian” (and non-believing alike) women to consciously and deliberately derail their marriages. And for that they will be accountable to God. But scripture clearly lays out that the husband is to love the wife, as Christ has loved the church and gave his life for her, to present her (the church/the wife) TO HIMSELF Holy and blameless, cleansed by the washing of the word.

        Again, I want to say that I understand my “responsibility” as a Christian wife. I will continue to “put on love” to pursue God and to honor and respect my husband -but the kind of sexual intimacy described in Song of Solomon is NOT achieved by simply one partner committing to doing what they are supposed to… And the whole idea that “if I do what scripture says and then my husband will respond and then love me the way he is supposed to” is sweet, but sometimes, not the reality. Sometimes the partner will keep taking and taking, and yes it has the potential to drain the other person…and so a renewed commitment to honor God and my husband are inevitable in the pursuit of living for Christ -and so I press on… but it certainly doesn’t mean that it’s not HARD.

        Sometimes, as Christian women, placed under the authority of our husbands, we feel powerless because we know that ultimately, God has placed the HUSBAND as the head of the household. That being said, I will continue to do my part (ie respect, love, honor, giving up of my body) as unto God, and I’m glad the responsiblity is not on me… Now as for SONG OG SOLOMON kind of desire that my husband wants from me? Well, that can only come when both are engaged in emotional intimacy.

        • Why wrestle with God? His word is pretty clear, have sex unless the two of you mutually agree to abstain for a time.

          God has already spoken on this. Perhaps what you are wrestling with is accepting what God has already said in His Word.

    • Bridg says:

      (CANADA) Sarah, God bless you. You have just put together the missing piece in my relentless search for the ‘missing piece’. Why women get turned off. You have just said it, something no one on this board has said yet… And that is, that it STARTS with the emotional connection. I wish I could go back and reply to all the men whom I have answered over the past year.

      Thank you Sarah, thank you, you may have saved me and many like me. Men are out there washing floors and rubbing feet, when it’s the emotional connection that is missing… Men provide this at the beginning of the relationship and then let it fall to the wayside.

      Was your husband EVER emotionally intimate? – Only you know the answer. If he never was, then you have a real problem. However, if he was at the beginning, then there may be hope.

      Sarah, thank you again, and again and again. I am going home now to save the rest of my second marriage. God bless you.

      • Sarah says:

        (CANADA) Bless you, and thank you for your encouragement… To answer your question, no. I’m not sure we ever had an emotional connection. I was in a very different place spiritually than I am now and was battling many insecurities. I confess I gave more than I should have, physically, before marriage. There were issues with him having feelings for another girl and at the time, it seemed like the right thing to do. The Lord’s grace and mercy on me are overwhelming, and his forgiveness is real. But we set this thing up for disaster, didn’t we?

        In faith, I believe that God will restore the years the locusts have stolen… until then, I remain hopeful that God can redeem this thing and make something beautiful for HIS Glory! May God bless your marriage Bridget; I promise to pray for you.

      • Steve says:

        (USA) Why is it that you feel that it’s up to men to initiate/provide the emotional connection? My wife uses the same lame excuse… “I don’t feel close to you.” Never mind the fact that she doesn’t look up from Facebook when I come home at night. Never mind that she’s insisted on separate bedrooms for 15 years because she just prefers sleeping alone. Never mind that she hasn’t touched me affectionately in 10 years. Never mind that she, a professing Christian, has admitted to using sex as a weapon against me. Nope, it’s just sit around and complain about the lack of connection, while doing nothing to change the situation.

        This is the same crap I’ve been seeing in churches for years. If the marriage is on the rocks, it’s the man’s fault. Women are blameless. You women are the problem. You think you’re perfect and have no responsibility in the relationship. Just blame the hubby. Where does the Bible say that the health of the marriage is primarily the man’s responsibility? Women can do more to destroy a marriage in less time than you can imagine.

    • CSmith from United States says:

      You need to stop looking at the things you see as bad. You have said he helps around the house, helps with the kids, and he is a good provider. The Bible states you are a free moral person, which means you have the right to think whatever you want and see things however you want. You can pray all you want, but it is up to you to change how you see your husband and how he helps with the family. When he helps around the house, not only is he doing it for him and the children but also because he loves you. It is done so you have less to do.

      I hate to put it this way but the truth is he has spoiled you. I have a friend that refuses to help his wife except to have more children. He told me his job was to work and pay bills nothing else. His wife would pass out from disbelief if he did anything to help. He does not work but about half the time so they do not have much. My wife takes his wife out to lunch sometimes so that his wife can get out of the house.

      My advice to you would be to find and volunteer in a shelter for abused woman and children. And you will look at your husband in a new light. All of those woman would love to have a husband, and have all the sex he could ever want, to have what you have. Sorry to speak so straight but I have been to the shelter and helped out. I think it was also good for my wife to see. She told me she now knows what she has in me. And yes, it gave me a good feeling that she thought that. Have you ever seduced him? My wife does that to me sometimes and she loves doing that. She undresses me at the door, puts a blind fold on me, takes me to the shower, closes the bathroom door, takes off the blind fold. As she left the bathroom she told me not to come out of the bathroom; just to dry off and call her. She came and got me, put the blind fold back on me, and the rest of the night is for my memory. lol

  11. Tom says:

    (USA) When a husband has done all he knows to do from scripture, to love as Christ loved the church and his wife still neglects his needs, and not just sexual desires, he is forced to remember that she is a weaker vessel who, like the church, is selfish and needs to be lived with in an understanding way. This is the deepest pressure and hottest fire God puts his man through, to temper him like steel for greater love for Him and more demanding service in His kingdom. I’ve lived with my wife for 31 years, 20 of them she has been disabled and has chosen to self medicate secretly with alcohol. She has also lost the ability and desire to be intimate. She is still my bride and I still choose HER each day. God has caused much growth as a result. Men, you MUST decide that being His man is more important than sex. When you lose that part of your life for His sake, you will find it.

  12. Husband from United States says:

    It’s actually easy and I can spell it out in little words:

    God made woman for man’s accompaniment.
    Populate the earth.
    Man and woman should marry if they are having sexual desires.
    Once married you are of one flesh.
    Do not deny sex to your partner. It may cause infidelity.

    Don’t make finite grey areas to support whether or not you should have sex with your spouse. The answer is yes, you should. And only stop when you both agree and it’s time for prayer. Convoluting Bible passages for others to interpret as scripture is just as bad as forging new words. Pretty sure no one here has been touched by God to write extra versus of the Bible. Just take it at its glorified value it was written in, and stop presenting such a skew on this.

    Lots of things in life can be seen as controversial. Is the sky blue? Answer: Yes, the sky is blue. Unless you are being argumentative and want to explain how the sky has no true color and it’s just the degree at which light is bent at specific angles throughout the atmosphere and sometimes displays alternate colors.

    Some Bible passages are written in parables so it is easy to understand the concept (or spirit) of the word. Others are written with distinction. I’m pretty sure God chose his authors wisely and not carefree.

    Final thought: Words have meaning; he meant what he said. He used precise words PRECISELY.

  13. Anne from United States says:

    Everyone, just remember: God created men to have much more sexual pleasure than a woman. Everyone has always known that, and it is proven scientifically and on and on. Women on the other hand, have more intimacy, love, bond, closeness, and warmth then men. Men need their wives to satisfy them sexually, while the wife needs the husband to give her intimacy and love. What the world has done is switched the truth. Do not do that, if you argue with this truth then you are arguing with God. It perfectly balances out one another, just like God intended it to be.

  14. Randolph from Malaysia says:

    Can anybody give some advice please? I have been married for the past 12 years. When we first got married our sex relationship was active but my wife does not like having kids. After we had our first child, she said she did not want any more children but we accidentally had our 2nd child. She was so upset that now she does not want to make love anymore and if she does it is only out of obligation without any feelings. That hurt me a lot. Even when I ask to make love she would push me away. At times I just feel like looking for it outside but I have the fear of God and at the same time I need it so badly that it makes my anger arise. Please advise me what to do, and please don’t tell me to talk with her. She never wants to know or listen.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Why doesn’t she get fixed –have her tubes tied? Since she doesn’t want to have kids, why not? It’s not that bad of a procedure. And then she doesn’t have to worry, now or in the future.

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