Marriage Missions International

TO WIVES: Why Is Sex So Important?

What kinds of emotional needs does your sexual interest meet for your man? In written survey comments and in my interviews, I noticed two parallel trends—the great benefits a fulfilling sex life creates in a man’s inner life and, conversely, the wounds created when lovemaking is reluctant or lacking.

Benefit #1: Fulfilling sex makes him feel loved and desired

Not surprisingly, the first thing surfaced from the survey comments was that having a regular, mutually enjoyed sex life was critical to the man’s feeling of being loved and desired. One eloquent plea captured it perfectly:

I wish that my wife understood that making a priority of meeting my intimacy needs is the loudest and clearest way she can say, “You are more important to me than anything else in the world.” It is a form of communication that speaks more forcefully, with less room for misinterpretation, than any other.

The reason why this message is needed is that many men—even those with close friendships— seem to live with a deep sense of loneliness that is quite foreign to us oh-so-relational women. And making love is the purest salve for that loneliness.

One man told me, “I feel like I go out into the ring every day and fight. It’s very lonely. That’s why, when the bell rings, I want my wife to be there for me.”

Another related that sentiment to the power of fulfilling sex. “A man really does feel isolated, even with his wife. But in making love, there is one other person in this world that you can be completely vulnerable with and be totally accepted and non-judged. It is a solace that goes very deep into the heart of a man.

This is one reason why some men may make advances at times that seem the furthest from sexual. One woman relayed a story about her husband wanting to make love after a funeral for a close relative. Making love was a comfort and a way of being wrapped in her love.

Benefit #2: Fulfilling sex gives him confidence

Your desire for him goes beyond making him feel wanted and loved. Your desire is a bedrock form of support that gives him power to face the rest of his daily life with a sense of confidence and well-being.

By now most of us have seen the television commercials for Viagra in which a man’s colleagues for friends repeatedly stop him and ask what’s “different” about him. New haircut? Been working out? Promotion? Nope, the man tells them all, with a little smile.

One man I interviewed brought up those ads. “Every man immediately understands what that commercial is saying —it’s all about guys feeling good about themselves. The ad portrays a truth that all men intuitively recognize. They’re more confident and alive when their sex life is working.”

Once my eyes were opened to this truth, I realized how often I’d heard the “man code” for this fact, but failed to understand it. When men had told me they “felt better” when they got more sex, I had just assumed they meant physically better.

But as one husband told me, “What happens in the bedroom really does affect how I feel the next day at the office.” Another wrote, “Sex is a release of a day-to-day pressures and seems to make everything else better.”

Wound #1: “If she doesn’t want to, I feel incredible rejection.”

As much as men want sex, most of them would rather go out and clip the hedges in the freezing rain than make love with a wife who appears to be responding out of duty. My husband, Jeff, explained: “The guy isn’t going to be rejected by the hedges. And that’s the issue. If she’s just responding because she has to, he’s being rejected by his wife.”

Again, keeping in mind that what he wants most is for you to desire him, try to see what he wants most is for you to desire him, try to see this rejection issue from the man’s point of view. If we agree, but don’t make an effort to get really engaged with the man we love, he hears us saying, “You’re incapable of turning me on even when you try, and I really don’t care about what matters deeply to you.” On the other hand if we don’t agree at all, but throw out the classic “Not tonight, dear,” he hears, “You’re so undesirable that you can’t compete with a pillow… and I really don’t care about what matters deeply to you.”

Although we might just be saying we don’t want sex at that point in time, he hears the much more painful message that we don’t want him.

Here’s what the men themselves said on the survey:

• “She doesn’t understand that I feel loved by sexual caressing, and if she doesn’t want to, I feel incredible rejection.”

• “When she says no, I feel that I am REJECTED, ‘No’ is not no to sex—as she might feel. It is no to me as I am. And I am vulnerable as I ask or initiate. It’s plain and simple rejection.”

• “She doesn’t understand how even her occasional dismissals make me feel less desirable. I can’t resist her. I wish that I, too, were irresistible. She says I am. But her ability to say no so easily makes it hard to believe.”

This feeling of personal rejection, and a sense that his wife doesn’t really desire him, tends to lead a man into darker waters.

Wound #2: your lack of desire can send him into depression.

If your sexual desire gives your husband a sense of well-being and confidence, you can understand why an ongoing perception that you don’t desire him would translate into a nagging lack of confidence, withdrawal, and depression.

The men I talked to scoffed at my tentative suggestion that a string of similar rejections wouldn’t necessarily mean that their wives were rejecting them as men. They warned that any woman sending those signals would undermine the loving environment she wants most because, as one man said, “She is going to have one depressed man on her hands.”

A man can’t just turn off the physical and emotional importance of sex, which is why its lack can be compared to the emotional pain you’d feel if your husband simply stopped talking to you. Consider the painful words of this truly deprived husband—words that other men, upon reading them, call “heartbreaking”:

We’ve been married for a long time. I deeply regret and resent the lack of intimacy of nearly any kind for the duration of our marriage. I feel rejected, ineligible, insignificant, lonely, isolated, and abandoned as a result. Not having the interaction I anticipated prior to marriage is like a treasure lost and irretrievable. It causes deep resentment and hurt within me. This in turn fosters anger and feelings of alienation.

…If you view sex as a purely physical need, it might indeed seem comparable to sleep. But once you realize that your man is actually saying, “This is essential to my feeling of being loved and desired by you, and is critical to counteract my stress, my fears, and my loneliness,” well… that suddenly puts it in a different category. So how might you respond?

First, know that you’re responding to a tender heart hiding behind all that testosterone. If at all possible, respond to his advances with your full emotional involvement, knowing that you’re touching his heart. But if responding physically seems out of the question, let your words be heart words—reassuring, affirming, adoring. Do everything in your power—using words and actions your husband understands—to keep those pangs of personal rejection from striking the man you love. Leave him in no doubt that you love to love him.

And remember, if you do respond physically but do it just to “meet his needs” without getting engaged, you’re not actually meeting his needs. In fact, you might as well send him out to clip the hedges. So enjoy God’s intimate gift, and make the most of it!

…I recognize that some women might very much wish that they could respond more wholeheartedly to their husband’s sexual needs, but feel stopped in their tracks for various personal reasons. I don’t want to add any more frustration. I do, however, want to encourage you to get the personal or professional help you need to move forward. The choice to pursue healing will be worth it, both for you and the man you love.

Make sex a priority

An excerpt from a Today’s Christian Woman article captures this issue—and provides an important challenge to change our thinking. The author starts by admitting that although her husband really wanted to make love more often, it “just wasn’t one of my priorities.” She then describes a subsequent revelation:

I felt what I did all day was meet other people’s needs. Whether it was caring for my children, working in ministry, or washing my husband’s clothes, by the end of the day I wanted to be done need-meeting. I wanted my pillow and a magazine. But God prompted me: “Are the ‘needs’ you meet for your husband the needs he wants met?”

If your daughters weren’t perfectly primped, he didn’t complain. If the kitchen floor needed mopping, he didn’t say a word. And if he didn’t have any socks to wear, he simply threw them in the washer himself.

I soon realized I regularly said “no” to the one thing he asked of me. I sure wasn’t making myself available to my husband by militantly adhering to my plan for the day… Would the world end if I didn’t get my tires rotated? I’d been focused on what I wanted to get done and what my children needed, I’d cut my husband out of the picture.

Are the many things that take our time and energy truly as important as this one? Now would be a good time to reevaluate priorities with the help of our husbands so they know that we are taking this seriously.

… Having heard from so many men on this, I would urge you: Don’t discount it. It’s more important to him—and to your relationship and therefore your own joy in marriage —than you can imagine.

Now that you understand the tender places in your husband’s heart, hopefully you have developed compassion for him and the way he is wired.


This article comes from the terrific book,  For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men -written by Shaunti Feldhahn, published by Multnomah. This is a GREAT book, which helps women learn what motivates men and their thought processes behind their actions (or non-actions). Shaunti had interviewed over 1000 men in researching this book. She reveals the findings of her research brought out so that women can better understand the men in their lives and better interact with them.

There’s also a For Women Only Discussion Guide available, written by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa Rice, published by Multnomah. It’s designed to be used by book clubs, in small groups, or for having a one-on-one dialogue with the man of your life. Many women, after reading the For Women Only book may wonder, “What do I do with the info I’ve been given?” This discussion guide helps answer that question. It contains personal stories, questions, and situational case studies to help equip you to apply the truths you learn.

-ALSO-

There was a Revive Our Hearts radio broadcast series that aired a while ago where Nancy DeMoss interviewed Shaunti Feldhahn and Barbara Rainey on this same subject. We believe you would greatly benefit from reading the transcripts. To do so, click onto the Reviveourhearts.com links provided below to first listen to “What Do Men Need” (and then from there, go on to listen to “Words He Can Hear” and “Understanding His Needs” and then, “Delighting in Marriage”):

WHAT DO MEN NEED?

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Comments

408 Responses to “TO WIVES: Why Is Sex So Important?”
  1. Matthew says:

    (UNITED STATES) Wow. This is exactly how I feel. Your article really hit home with me. The problem is that I act stupidly sometimes, that why would she want to be intimate with me? I’m in counseling for my own issues, but the more rejection I get, the worse and more verbally abusive I become. I am deeply depressed and resentful. Ever since we had children, it seems that sex is somewhat of a chore or obligation to her. When we do make love many times, I can tell it’s just a sense of duty.

    She just told me the other night that she has no desire for me. I can’t blame her. My words are so hurtful. I know I need to change, but how do I get her to realize that more and more sexual rejection is not going to help? She states that until I change, she’s not going to have any passion for me. I understand this completely, but I am good for days, then it becomes too much and I lash out. I need her to come half-way, but that seems to be impossible.

    I have reached out some to my priest, started anti-depressants, see a counselor once a week, see a psychiatrist, and we have a date night every Friday! She’s a stay at home mom, and I provide for a nanny for our kids that aren’t in school 2 days a week. She has two full days of no kids when they are all in school. I hire a housecleaner once a week to relieve some load off her. I work like a madman seeing patients all day (I’m a physician), but it seems like we don’t appreciate each other. I know I’m emotionally drained after seeing 40+ patients all day, and by the time I come home, help feed the kids, get them in bed, I’m devoid of much affection. I am working on this one.

    Thanks for letting me vent. Not sure where I’ll be in the next few months, but we’re talking divorce. Can’t say I’d want to be married to me either….

  2. Olivia says:

    (USA) I need advice….my husband of 19 years and I are separated. I live about 5 miles from him with my parents. We have two boys ages 15 and 13 that are living in the house with him. I go over to the house often, almost everyday, to help him with the chores and laundry. I will clean the bathrooms, mop the kitchen, and cook meals.

    The other night he told me that if I did not have sex with him then he would limit me with seeing my children. We would follow the procedures of the divorce papers, which are on hold on the judge’s desk. So he is manipulating me for sex in order to see my boys. I didn’t give in and it turned into a huge fight. Since I’m still legally his wife and helping him with the household chores, am I under obligation to have sex with him??? I feel like my worth and value comes from what is between my legs :(

  3. Tom says:

    (USA) We’ve been married for over 30 years and for the past 20 my wife has been disabled by chronic pain and fatigue. She is also an alcoholic -the result of her trying to find relief. She is the most beautiful and desirable woman I know but she is not able to respond or drum-up the desire to initiate intimacy. It had been a great battle for me and I’ve found that it is also a tool God uses to sharpen my focus on His heart and priorities.

    My advice is that you not waste your forced celibacy by self-centered complaining, anger, resentment, and retaliation -don’t even waste it on trying to “help” your spouse become who you want them to be. Use this fiery ordeal to perfect your heart for and with Christ.

  4. Nick says:

    (UK) Excellent article which pretty much sums up how I feel. One thing I can’t help but notice, in an article about a Mans needs, something most Men myself included, is the struggle to talk about, so many comments from Ladies say “What about my needs?” This is an article about a Man’s needs. On just about every occasion in any of my relationships my partners have never had a problem communicating their needs. So ladies, please let us guys half this platform. I’m now going to put my helmet on and stand by for incoming flak.

  5. Mark says:

    (USA) I am posting this simply for the sake of expressing what I feel. My wife and I have been married for four years, and at most the frequency of our love making was once or twice a month. The situation has turned into once or twice a year. I truly fear where this is heading.

    We dated for ten years before getting married. We were high school sweethearts, and remained abstinent during all that time. Our lives and families are very closely bonded, so divorce is not and will never be an option. We are fiercely loyal and our home life is peaceful. The physical affection is simply absent. My advances, no matter how tender, are always met with unconcerned rejection. I can say with honesty that I carry out all the typical, mundane duties that wives expect from their husbands: I do all the cooking, most of the cleaning, all the bills and daily hassles of modern life, and mitigate those surprise crises that always appear out of the blue. I work 24 hour shifts, and fulfill all these duties in between workdays.

    I am mindful of my wife’s emotional well-being, and will give much of my time to ease her burden (she works a full time job). I feel that much of these things that I’ve listed are basics, and so I also try to give her what she needs in other ways: every day I surprise her by leaving a hand made, hand written card in which I express my feelings to her. I pride myself on my poetry :) I do my best to listen to her and provide the best support that I can give.

    My struggle comes during those times when my heart is empty, I am lonely, and starved of affection. I often find myself trying to give to her whatever I can pull from the depths of my heart, only to find that the well is dry. When thoughts of sexual intimacy cross my mind, they are accompanied by a feeling I liken to having shards of glass in my heart. I have resolved to accept our situation, and work every day to maintain the courage I need to keep my heart open. It is difficult. It is painful. But I must do this for the sake of Unconditional Love. I must rely on God to fill my heart, not my lovely bride. I pray for each and every one of us. God Bless.

  6. Bill says:

    (USA) This article nails it. I’ve been married for 20+ years. We do not have a non-existent sex life, but just not anything near the frequency I desire. I have buried hurt, frustration, anger and resentment; I just did not understand why.

    The good news is we are talking about it. That alone has helped tremendously. I do want and expect more frequency, but when turned down with a loving heart, versus being discounted or de-valued as need, or the preemptive, “I’m so tired” comments before bed.

    I pray daily for my marriage, family and yes love-life. Some of the angry comments from women really disturbed me. This is an article of how many men feel. It just tells it like it is. This is the first article I’ve seen that does twist the blame back on the husband – the thousands of articles about romancing your wife, helping with chores & children, etc.

    Women please understand that we if just wanted live with our best friend, we’d get a roommate. If I was trapped in a relationship with a woman that was unresponsive to my needs and after counseling, it would be over. Please note if there were TRUE medical reasons for a lack of intimacy it is another story.

  7. Dez says:

    (US) I am overwelmed to see that there are other men facing what I am facing. I struggle with this and have been struggling for years. My wife and I had met in the military way back when, and got married. We went to Germany where she only worked for a year. She got pregnant and stopped working and we were struggling to pay bills and to be able to buy pampers, and milk. So I stopped all funds on everything that I could to make sure I could take care of us… this included her tithes. She was upset about this but I was raised to believe that God knows your heart and I wasn’t out partying or drinking. I used every bit of money I had to take care of my family and my responsibilities. I truly regret this now because this was the cornerstone of everything thats wrong with our marriage.

    Well anyway, to get back at me, she decided to take some important things from me… sex, affection and communication. This hurt us dearly and I begged her for years to stop doing this. Eventually after I sent her home from Europe, I fell. I had been overwhelmed by the lack of affection and connection to a woman in my life. Well, eventually she found out and then she used that against me of course. She knew the biggest thing to kill me with was the lack of affection because I used to be a very affectionate person.

    Well we never got back right… we are like roommates… but we are good parents. She does not work nor drive. I do everything. You would think that at the very least I could get the bare minimum of what a good husband is supposed to get. I take care of my family very well. I have been a good father… but inside it feels like I am dying from a lack of love and affection in my life. I have made the mistake of going out there to get what I wasn’t getting at home several times. But that seems to be the only way that I will get any affection in my life. I am tired of getting rejected and begging for what should be natural in a relationship.

    I don’t want to do wrong but every time I attempt to talk to her about anything she shuts communication down. It seems as though she has no desire to make things better. We have 3 children, one of which is autistic. I love her and I love my children and I don’t want to leave… But I hurt almost everyday and it even affects me at work sometimes. What am I supposed to do to get through this and through to her if she never wants to talk???

    Lastly we cant talk about why things are the way they are because she refuses to accept anything other than the fact that I am a man and men are dogs and cheats. I know when I did go out there that I was wrong. I have admitted that. But when I try to explain to her “WHY” it happened, she refuses to hear my plea for intimacy and says I am still making excuses and justifying what I did. She takes no blame in what’s wrong with us; it’s all my fault. When I try to talk to her, which is mostly at night after the kids go to bed because we don’t talk about these things in front of them, she claims tiredness and sleepiness although I am the one that is working out of the house, sometimes even 2 jobs to help us survive. She has fallen asleep on me hundreds and I do mean hundreds of times when I am pouring my heart out to her about how I want to fix things and make things better. I can’t tell you how many nights I have sat up in the bed looking up to GOD, crying while she snored.

    If it wasn’t for my oldest son, I’d move into the basement. That way I can’t desire her if I am not laying next to her. We have a king size bed and she lays all the way to the side about to fall off and I am on the other side wondering what happened to my life. There is a football field bewteen us. I turn 47 years old in 11 days… I don’t want to live like this. I don’t want to die like this. I am lost… please help.

    • Mischelle40 says:

      (USA) I am so sorry you have had to live this way so long. From a strictly female point of view, I have to say that your wife has had issues since the beginning of the marriage. Not paying tithes is not going to make God think of a person as less valuable. There is a saying that God helps those who help themselves, and that is what you were trying to do. No matter how you feel about that, you did what needed to be done at the time.

      I think that withholding all intimacy with you was extreme and vindictive, which are not Christian traits at all. God would not want someone to punish another like that, and for the rest of your life? God says to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Would he want you to be vindictive back? The Bible teaches forgiveness. Besides, the saying “he who is without sin cast the first stone” comes to mind. She punished you for a perceived sin of not tithing by hurting you mentally for all these years and added to it when you looked for any kind of affection elsewhere. This is not just a “venting” or expression of her disapproval of your earlier decisions in the marriage. This is a battleground. Personally, I think she is responsible for the state of your marriage, not because of the lack of sex, but because she deliberately forced you apart when you should be part of the same whole.

      It was not right of you to go outside the marriage because of loneliness, but I can understand why you did it. Your situation is different than some of the posters here, in that it is not that your wife doesn’t want sex anymore, she just has shut you out of her life except as an acquaintance who shares a house. From what you say, she won’t even talk about it with you. It appears that she has no desire to make things better at home. I don’t know that you can change that unless she opens her eyes and sees what she has done. Honestly, after all these years, I am not sure she cares enough to look.

      I wish I could give you an answer about what to do, but I can’t recommend anything except to leave. I know that many view that as unacceptable, but I believe that God sees and forgives many things and he does want us to be happy. Your marriage vows should have meant something to both of you, but it seems this is a very one-sided relationship you have now. You will destroy your own sense of self if you continue to take on all the work, all the responsibility and don’t even have her as a friend and supporter. Let me ask you this. If she actually consented to giving you sex on a regular basis, but still gave you the cold shoulder as she has for the past many years, would you get what you needed? I don’t think this is about physical intimacy with you and your wife.

      I am sure that you love her, but does she love you, in any way, at all? As a friend? A father of her children? A husband? If any of those were true, you might be able to work with that and build on it, but from what you have said, she has no affection for you at all.

      I wish you all the best, because your situation is not a question of whether or not your wife wants sex with you, or whether or not she is enthusiastic enough about it, or whether she no longer enjoys it. Your problem is so much deeper.

  8. Mischelle40 says:

    (USA) I have been married 23 years to a wonderful man. I have 4 children and 1 grandchild. Over the last 8 years or so, I have lost all interest in sex. This is not due to me not loving him. I still absolutely do love him. We hold hands in public and private, go to dinners out, and go dancing at least a couple times a month. He is my best friend in the world, as well. I am, however, in pre-menopause, although the doctors can’t confirm that yet. There are some things I just have to say, because I think that men have said the same things so long they actually believe it. First, men want sex because they have a physical desire, no matter what they say. They don’t have sex to feel close to or attached to someone. If that was they case, no one would have one night stands or pick up a girl at a bar. Men have sex before marriage, and they would have it again after divorce.

    Men have needs, and women do, too. However, when do the women’s needs ever get met? I need to have time to have a friend who doesn’t call me mommy or honey. I need to have time to join the community choir because I love to sing. I need to just have time to be me, without worrying about anyone else. While my family (hubby included) want to give me those things, something always comes up that needs my attention. At this stage in life, I often need to NOT have sex. I don’t enjoy it any more. It was never really that important to me, anyway. And before anyone suggests he is a bad lover, he isn’t. He thinks of me first, asks me what I want, and tries to please me before himself. Trouble is, I just don’t want it. Even during my pleasure, I just keep thinking it will be over soon. As one woman said, it feels like I am expected to love it and have sex often, and should be an eager participant. So, I am supposed to lie and act like I want it? He feels rejected and unloved because I don’t want to have sex, and I feel used and unloved because he insists on me doing something I don’t want to do, and I have to convince him it is the first thing on my mind? Does anyone see the irony here? Both parties end up feeling unloved.

    Men, if you need to have sex and your partner is willing to accommodate you, understand that that IS loving you, if she would rather be sleeping or taking a bubble bath. She isn’t rejecting you. She doesn’t have the drive or need for sex you do, but she is willing to still give you the sex you need. She can’t make herself act like a cheerleader about it. The man’s desire for her to be enthusiastic is to boost his ego and make him feel like King Kong. It isn’t because he feels that intimacy equals love. She understands your need to have the physical part of the relationship and tries to meet that need as best she can.

    If men understood us better, they would know we want to share time with them. We don’t care if it is holding hands for a walk, dancing the night away, or laughing at a comedy on TV. We don’t equate this with physical intimacy. Some of us want to spend the rest of our lives with our men, raising our kids and grandkids, watching the sun set, traveling around the world and just being together. We don’t need to have sex to feel loved, and we can’t make ourselves change that for you.

    I will give you an analogy that might help. I see physical intimacy like a roller coaster at your favorite amusement park. You stand in line for 30 minutes, take a short trip to the top of the coaster, then have a few seconds of thrill before it is all over. It is fun to do once in a while, but I would not want to do it all the time.

    I guess, the main point I am making is that women cannot change how they feel about the physical act at any given time. If we try to provide for our men the best we can, how is that different from the postings of the men above that say they try to meet their family’s needs as best they can? And if she is willing to provide for you because she does love you, and you throw it back at her because she isn’t enthusiastic enough about it, then she feels bad about something she cannot change. I hope that both parties can read this and understand what I am trying to get across. Try to understand her as you expect her to understand you.

  9. Rob says:

    (USA) Mischelle40 – you may be a grandmother now with some life experience but apparently that doesn’t translate into someone qualified to provide sage advice. It is posts like these that get the blood boiling of any decent man who is struggling mightily on a daily basis with a failing marriage. Just read the posts right above yours –don’t you see the obvious pain these men are in? Who are you, as a woman, to make the following statement as if it’s a fact, when you have not lived one day on this earth as a man:

    “Men want sex because they have a physical desire, no matter what they say. They don’t have sex to feel close to or attached to someone. If that was the case, no one would have one night stands or pick up a girl at a bar. Men have sex before marriage, and they would have it again after divorce.”

    Not only is the first statement patently false, and you outwardly dismiss any suggestion that it’s true despite empirical evidence to the contrary, the reasoning you provide makes absolutely no sense relative to sex in a long term committed relationship. Do I even need to explain that last point to you?

    I think your choice of the word desire over need is telling all in itself. Make no mistake, it is a need. You’ve heard the argument, “it’s not a need, if you don’t get it, you won’t die from it”. What a ridiculous argument to equate life or death with trying to have a successful marriage, both physically and emotionally. Doesn’t the same apply to anything that you consider crucial to being emotionally fulfilled by your husband? Do you consider dancing together, holding hands in public, and talking to and listening to you crucial to your feelings for him? Aren’t they your needs to still feel close to him and make you love him? WELL THAT’S WHAT SEX IS FOR HIM TO TRULY FEEL CLOSE TO YOU. Read that again, and then after that, read it again.

    The next most telling statement in your whining about how everyone wants and needs a piece of you and you need your own time – “It was never really that important to me, anyway”. Well then, we can stop right there. If it was never important to you at any stage of your marriage, then how can any of us readers expect you to understand how important it is to your husband? You can’t, and you don’t, because I’m sorry to say this, you don’t seem perceptive enough to understand how this affects your husband given the faulty reasoning and dismissiveness of an opinion contrary to your own.

    So he’s not a selfish lover, and even when you’re feeling pleasure you want it to be over, and it’s just a sacrifice you’re making for him. Wonderful. Perhaps he should start expressing that all the things that you do together, yes they’re kind of pleasurable, but I’d rather be doing something else but I do them just for you. What would you say? You’d be offended and say don’t do them with me if you feel that way.

    You then go on to make a valid point about not being able to manufacture desire when it’s not there, but follow it up with “She understands your need to have the physical part of the relationship and tries to meet that need as best she can”. Now it’s a need, not just a physical release to get from anyone else at any time? Get your story straight, which is it to a man? You then go on to dismiss the notion that intimacy equals love. Let me tell you how this man views it: intimacy is the expression of love to a man, and without it, the love withers barring exceptional circumstances like serious health issues.

    Regarding your last points, men DO understand you want to spend time with us. Do all the things that YOU consider important, but what you’re saying is to NOT do the things that he considers important. Let me give you some advice –do not try to manufacture enthusiasm for it, and lose the dismissive attitude about what this all means to him because I’ll tell you, he knows and feels that. Do this, look your husband in the eye and tell him that you truly understand how important this is to him, and that you love him, and will do things with him not because you have to but because you want to because you love him. It doesn’t always have to be penetrative sex, but other things that I don’t need to spell out that will make him feel that you truly care to still meet his needs.

    • Bridg says:

      (CANADA) Rob, Very well put. I highly respect your response.

      Everyone else, sex is very very tricky for many women. It’s so difficult to continually accept the fine line between the emotional element and the physical one. Giving up yourself (myself, I will speak for myself) completely and fully, physically, to a man, requires initially, not much, but as time goes on, and the reality of the physicality of sex for men grows, and we grow to resent that. We resent that you can get turned on by images of other women. Just as you have a need for physical intimacy, we have a searing, but a searing need to feel that we are the only one. Both are realities and both fuel the fire of resentment when left unchecked. How to keep them in check, I am still learning.

      • Rob says:

        (USA) Thanks Bridg, I appreciate that. Your comment is interesting. If I’m understanding you correctly, you’re saying despite understanding what it means to him, the fact that he can react to other women visually makes you doubt the emotional component and sometimes think like the post I initially responded to – “men are pigs, they just want to get off”?

        Hmmm. I can understand the vulnerability of that and can’t object to how you feel about it -because that’s just how you feel about it. I do have something to add though: From my perspective, I tend to not respond or react much less to other women, or even the thought of other women, if I’m in a good relationship and am sexually and emotionally satisfied.

        See, to me, it’s another example of that vicious circle of bad behavior that kills a relationship. Woman pulls back sexually, man gets hurt and withdraws emotionally or lashes out, causes woman to pull back more… and it doesn’t matter who started it, it could just as likely start with the guy.

        If you’re keeping your man happy and he still ogles and makes comments about other women, then he’s not a very good guy because he’s insensitive and doesn’t appreciate what he’s got. But if this has the chance of being misplaced doubt that you put in your head, coupled with condemning men for being more easily visually stimulated, then you’re unwittingly feeding the behavior that you despise.

        • Bridg says:

          (CANADA) The answer to your first question is ABSOLUTELY. My man is pretty average. He is easily aroused at the thought or site of certain types of women. Don’t get me wrong, he hates it, but it’s a biological thing and I don’t think it’s easy for men to turn off. It just IS. I am also pretty average. I love my man. I love my man absolutely. I never lust after other men. I never get aroused at the thought of other men. I don’t think men can really get that. (Maybe you can, but I’ve discussed it with several men and they don’t get it) I keep my man happy, he keeps me happy…other than being very easily excited by other attractive women, and unfortunately being mildly autistic and not able to contain it. He’s a good guy, he’s just an average man. I contemplated deleting that, but I won’t, because I don’t have any intellectual problem with men finding women attractive. But, as an average woman, it eats away at our self esteem.

          • Charlie from United States says:

            Hi Bridge, I think that I am a normal kind of guy with a very healthy sex drive, and just as site oriented as any; but I don’t typically get aroused by looking at attractive women. That would take quite a bit of mental work for me. Not to mention the energy that I would have to invest in losing my focus, looking past images of my wife and overriding my conscience. That’s a scenario (in my opinion) that excludes a lot of us and probably involves those of us (men) that are sexually deprived or (to the opposite extreme) love “the lust of the eyes”. .

  10. Noaffence says:

    (SRILANKA) Well I read too few comments, so my comment may not be carrying many references above.

    I have been married since 7 yrs now and I am honest with every means with my wife. I do love her. She too loves me but her love is so-called “divine” and she thinks that for me love means sex. But many small things that I do are overlooked. Helping her with household chores, bearing with her laziness, childish excuses and indirect “NO to sex” are a part of my expression of love. I also express my love by hugging her and a light kiss. This is unintentional and spontaneous expression of love from me. But I do feel rejected when I try to sleep with my sex desire rising upwards and she watches TV till late night. I tried convincing her about the fact that the sex libido is a feeling that can be developed by thinking in the right direction, but you need to have a desire to fulfill your partner’s needs for that.

    The issue here with most of the wives is that the honest husbands are taken as granted. Can anybody among you tell me exactly when your husband went distant from you? Just do recollect and many of you will find that it was when his importance in your life diminished and the your relationship got limited to quarrels, discussions about children, spending and “other” relatives. Where is the divine love in these all. It is a fact that a man feeling rejected cannot think about ways to make heart-to-heart connection with you, forget the “divine” love. I am curious about how these wives express their love to their husbands.

    Sex is a part of most important needs GOD has created for men apart from sleep, food and social pride. Just like men can adjust with improper sleep and food, they can live with improper sex too…but nobody withstands living without food and sleep more than 3 days. Same applies to sex. Imagine it happening once in a month or once in two months and taking a toll on a man’s mental health.

    With regards to one of the comments from a woman from Uganda, I will urge her not to put all the men into one basket.

  11. Maurice says:

    (UNITED STATES) In reading this article and the comments from so many people leave, it is easy to see the pain this topic can cause. Me and my wife have this issue and it really bothers me, as we’ll. at first I said I would just deal with it but then I asked myself why should I? She doesn’t just deal with the things she does not agree with. She voices her opinion and wants me to make changes to appeal to her needs. Why can’t my needs be met?

    Women do a lot in a marriage but they expect a lot, as well. Taking time for your husband should not be looked at as a duty, it’s a blessing and a gift to show that man who dedicated his life to you and would do anything for you that you appreciate him among other things. To call it a duty is disrepectful. Is it a duty for a husband to tend to his wife and kids to love and protect them and uphold them? No, I don’t think so. Making love to a man that would die for you before seeing harm done to you should be a highlight. I love my wife and would do anything for her and she knows this so when she turns me away it bothers me. But in the end I still love her, regardless.

  12. Marie says:

    (USA) I think the confusion for women is that the actions don’t support the words. This question has been asked many times in this thread but to my knowledge, not one man has answered it.

    All of the words cannot overcome the actions of most men -that sex is a meaningless physical act that they can have with anyone, whenever the opportunity presents. This is not an insult or a refusal to believe. This is what I observe. It’s like the elephant in the room; you see it but you dare not mention it.

    Before men or women get enraged, consider the following and explain what any human being would think. What emotional need is filled for men who go to prostitutes? Are there emotional feelings for strippers that many men like to watch?

    The overwhelming majority of men watch porn. What emotional need does that fill? The overwhelming majority of men will stare at an attractive woman, even when they are sexually satisfied by the wife walking right by their side. What emotional need are these random women providing that their loving wives do not? The actions of women are consistent with a deep emotional connection with sex yet women are castigeted for not seeing the same in men.

    We as women know how we feel so it is difficult to believe men feel the same way when much of the evidence says that they don’t. Don’t you think men must take the responsibility for the casual way they treat sex and the damage it does to their marital relationship?

    I believe that sex can have an emotional element for some men just as it does for many women. However, this is not common from what I observe. Please don’t get angry. Try to articulate an explanation so that women can understand why so many actions don’t match the words. That would help. Please don’t answer that you don’t feel that way. You may not but, you have observed what I have, so what gives?

    • Tony says:

      (USA) Marie, A few points. First, this is not unique to men. Women take the same vows, and yet, just like men, their actions do not conform to their words.

      My second point is you have to judge the act, not based on how sinful man treats it, but what was God’s design? God designed sex to be between husband and wife, only, and in abundance as far as I can tell. So to use the sin of man to justify going against God is simply answering sin with sin, isn’t it?

      I think I have answered your points (or similar points) on this or another thread, but in case you’ve not seen it, let me once again craft a counter point, using your very logic and contstruction:

      ————————————
      All of the words cannot overcome the actions of most men -that conversation is a meaningless physical act that they can have with anyone, whenever the opportunity presents. This is not an insult or a refusal to believe. This is what I observe. It’s like the elephant in the room; you see it but you dare not mention it.

      Before men or women get enraged, consider the following and explain what any human being would think. What emotional need is filled for men who talk with their friends, their parents, or their co-workers? Are there emotional feelings for characters in that romantic comedy that many women like to watch?

      The overwhelming majority of women read romance novels or similar. What emotional need does that fill? The overwhelming majority of women will fantasize about some Don Juan character, or most recently the man in Fifty shades of Grey, even when they are emotionally satisfied by the husband walking right by their side. What emotional need are these random men providing that their loving husbands do not? The actions of men are consistent with a deep emotional connection with sex yet men are castigeted for not seeing the same in women.

      We as men know how we feel so it is difficult to believe women feel the same way when much of the evidence says that they don’t. Don’t you think women must take the responsibility for the casual way they treat sex and the damage it does to their marital relationship?

      I believe that sex can have an emotional element for some women just as it does for many men. However, this is not common from what I observe. Please don’t get angry. Try to articulate an explanation so that men can understand why so many actions don’t match the words. That would help. Please don’t answer that you don’t feel that way. You may not but, you have observed what I have, so what gives?

      ————————————

      According to God’s plan, sex is the only emotional need that is designed by him to be met ONLY in marriage. All other needs, such as conversation, domestic support, recreational companionship, financial support, and any others I’ve not mentioned including romance, can be legitimately met outside of marriage and not violate God’s design.

      A husband or wife can only experience sex as God designed it, with his or her spouse. I agree that we’ve adulterated that design. It would include the things you mention, but what you left off your list was the withholding of sex. That ranks up there with the same level of sinful gravity as the other complaints you mention. To withhold sex or to judge it as a lesser need is to deny the Godly nature of sex as God designed it.

    • Rob says:

      (USA) Marie, I think you’re projecting your experience with committed relationships/marriage to all men, and it’s really insulting. MOST men don’t act like you say or go to hookers and hang out at strip clubs, some do. You imply that women have the moral high ground since they are biologically built to needing emotional attachment prior to responding sexually. That doesn’t make you better, just different.

      A guy that ogles women on the street while his wife is next to him? I’d call him a disrespectful, immature jerk. And how would you know he’s sexually satisfied? It must be your husband, and I’m sorry he does that to you. Again, you’re projecting that all guys do this to their wives.

      Regarding porn, not all men watch it. What I would say is that MOST men would not watch it if their sexual needs were being met by their wife. Does it compare to having sex? For normal men, no, not even close. But it becomes his only outlet when his wife refuses and he doesn’t want to leave the family, or stay and cheat. A wife who refuses her husband has no right to resent him for watching porn. He’s starving and you don’t want him to eat.

      I do agree that men must take responsibility for as you put it, a casual approach to sex, provided however, that you are taking care of him. If you have a resentful, self-righteous attitude about sex, and meter it out carefully because you inherently distrust him and men in general, then you are reaping what you sow. If your husband still acts like that despite you taking care of him, then you need a new man.

      Here’s my experience, which may be equally jaded. My wife was an enthusiastic, active participant in our relationship when she wanted to land a good husband that would be suitable to father her children. The kids come, and it is game over. Totally immersed in child-rearing and fretting about every stage of it, and no sex drive anymore so it doesn’t matter to her. I still have mine? Sorry, you’re out of luck. She doesn’t understand why I’m such an angry guy and why I don’t want to participate in ANYTHING with her anymore. The kids will leave the house one day, but there will be nothing left here to salvage. We will most likely not make it through the “golden years”.

      The point is that if you want your man to open up to you emotionally, don’t shut him down. If you have a good man, he will spend all his time trying to please you if he knows you really care for him. He will feel it and act on it.

      • Christine says:

        (UK) Interesting. I would never choose to get married or be in a relationship because I don’t like sex at all. And I also don’t like the way men want it so much. I find it difficult to describe my dislike of that, pushing for sex when it’s clear the other person involved is reluctant. But at the same time if one is aware of a low sex drive, it’s only fair to make that clear from the start! As with other issues that vitally affect someone else.

        The people I feel most sorry for are those whose desire has dropped unexpectedly… that must be hard… to be forced into having sex when you don’t want it. Ugh. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, every way just awful. In that case I can’t make the distinction between that person and a prostitute…

        • Pavrone says:

          (USA) Sex is solely intended to express love between a husband and wife and nothing else.

          I have been in relationships outside of marriage and it was sin. Within marriage and the man that God bound you too -it is a beautiful thing. If each of you care about each other’s needs and fulfills them, it is amazing.

          There have been times that we were both in tears, the sex part stopped and we could only tell each other how much we loved each other. Trying to get pregnant with our daughter, knowing it would be our last (in 2001) was like that. Twice a day and God blessed us again with the sweetest baby.

          The devil wants to come between you and he will do all he can including adultery. Resist him and he will flee, promises God. You are missing perhaps the most beautiful aspect of being a human and it won’t be in Heaven. Please seek God on this. It can be wonderful! >

    • Manly Man from Japan says:

      Marie, It’s just that you don’t understand. Maybe even if I explained you wouldn’t. But I’ll try. A man DOES have emotional needs that are met with sex. The stripper? That’s some kind of emotional need. Any man would love for his wife to do what the stripper does. The stripper is acting of course. But she acts as if she wants to please the man with her body. Porn? Have you ever looked at it? Of course it’s not just physical. Otherwise why would the man look at it? Why is porn so tempting and appealing to men? Easy. Because women in porn desire the men and willingly do anything sexually for them. Yes, they are acting – but look at how they act. That’s what a husband wants from a wife.

      And here’s the reality. Ready? Most men have had sex before marriage. What is their experience? They know that when a woman loves a guy, she wants sex. Pick up a magazine, and single women are reading about how to turn on and give great sex to the men they love. Men know that sports stars and rock stars have had hundreds of women gladly do anything for them (not because the man mowed the lawn, or he rubbed her back, did chores for her mother -but because she thought he was the greatest).

      So, the faithful man marries a woman (who he often had to fight off before he was married), and now the woman doesn’t want sex. She insists that she will only want to have sex of course if he is kind, considerate, helps with kids, agrees with her ideas, puts up with her parents etc etc etc etc). And even then, she might be too tired or not feel like it because of the 563 reasons why she isn’t in the mood).

      But the faithful husband probably realises that she never had libido problems in college when she was crazy about Tom, and then John and then… etc etc. If you can think back to the time in your life when you really wanted to have sex. Maybe it was a two week period. Or maybe a few months. Or two days. Many men are like that all the time. Get some testosterone shots and cope with 10 to 20 times the testosterone and see how you cope.

      Anyway, the issue is not whether you understand it or not, It’s the reality, and if you listen there are thousands of good decent men who are totally depressed and almost suicidal over this. Then they pick up the newspaper and read about the latest guy who slept with 1000 women. Men give up everything when they marry.

      If sex wasn’t important I’d stay single. I could chat and talk and be a super great friend to any number of women, and be kind to their parents too. The difference between marriage and every other relationship (including the deepest intimate relationships i.e. father-son, brother-sister), is sex. Simple. That for the man is the most important thing. Call men pigs, but it’s the truth. Ironically when women fall in love and want a man to love them, they instinctively know this. That’s why women who have affairs with men have great sex.

      The problem is when the man is dumb enough to marry and promise to give everything to her and be faithful to her alone. Then, when the man ceases to be a user, and honours the woman the best way he can, take a few years and she thinks he’s bad, strange, evil, for wanting sex.

      I pity the husbands of many of the silly selfish women commenting here. I know too many severely depressed men (including really good men who condemn themselves for even noticing a pretty woman). Women have no idea.

  13. Christine says:

    (UK) Well, I don’t believe in divorce and how coud I ever consider getting married when I don’t like sex …look at this article. It clearly delineates how cruel it is to deny one half sex (and I would equally add to force it on the other half) it simply causes utter misery all round. No thanks.

    I understand myself well enough and I don’t really like men. I find them either pushy or needy, so I think it is not meant to be for me.

    That said, I am delighted you are happy. Because everyone should be happy as I see it.

  14. Topher says:

    (USA) Rob, If you’re still reading I appreciate your posts. I’m widowed after over 20 years of marriage to the ONE woman I loved. This site claims to be Christian, I’ll quote Jesus:

    Matthew 19:4-6 “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? WHEREFORE THEY ARE NO MORE TWAIN, BUT ONE FLESH. WHAT THEREFORE GOD HATH JOINED TOGETHER, LET NOT MAN PUT ASUNDER.” (Emphasis added).

    I’ve had well over a year to meditate over my wife’s death, in addition to what could have been better in our marriage. Again, I loved her like no other.

    As a believer, it was and still is my understanding that emphasis on individuality is what kills marriages and/or wounds them deeply. This especially includes intimacy. 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”

    I married for companionship and “avoid fornication”. I let my wife know these as my reasons BEFORE marrying her.

    Now watch this: Proverbs 5:15-20 “Drink water from your own cistern, And running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; AND ALWAYS BE ENRAPTURED WITH HER LOVE. FOR WHY SHOULD YOU, MY SON, BE ENRAPTURED BY AN IMMORAL WOMAN, AND BE EMBRACED IN THE ARMS OF A SEDUCTRESS?” (NKJV Emphasis added)

    I could provide more scriptures. As a husband I was fervent and always worked hard to provide for my wife and family. I helped out around the house too, despite the fact she was a stay-at-home mother. I also did much of the shopping, and so on. I told her thousands of times how beautiful she was to me, and on her death bed I asked her if she ever once saw me looking at another woman. No, she did not, because I was 100% dedicated and devoted to her alone.

    She would watch “chick flicks” and I would join her just to be with her, not out of sense of duty, but out of love for her and oh by the way I liked her too. In most ways she was the coolest lady I’ve ever known. Intelligent, witty, charming, graceful, classy, and on and on. Even with all of the above being true… I can hurt with many men on this forum. Alas, not too long after the “honeymoon period”, her attitude changed drastically in the bedroom.

    Proverbs also says, “The heart of her husband does safely trust in her…” I was happy to cook for her, and help her around the home for the duration of our marriage of over 20 years. There were also times she was down for temporary health reasons and I cared for her in addition to keeping the home going. I was also her full time nurse up until her passing.

    What did I hope for in return? Companionship and intimacy. Nothing ever changed from my point of view. Lets just say that there remained a disconnect on her part. Still, I love her so and miss her more than words can say. At the same time, the pain and humiliation resulting from the disconnect can not be adequately described. It hurt so much I seriously doubt ever marrying another.

    So… For those women on here trying the old blame game, I need to respectfully disagree. Are some men pigs? Worse than you’ll ever know to be sure. I see many men here showing sincerity, love and devotion for their wives. Bottom line to all reading: “They are no long two, but ONE flesh…” When one or both spouses lose sight of this the marriage will invariably suffer.

    The one refusing love to the other is guilty of infidelity, and they have become unfaithful to their other half -period. While adultery is the worst form of infidelity, denying one’s self to one’s other half is the absolute worst betrayal in my view. I can say that with love in my heart for my departed and still lament the losses in our marriage due to the betrayal.

    • Rob says:

      (USA) Topher, Thanks for the feedback. I check back now and then on this site and jump in when I feel compelled to. Very sorry to hear about the loss of your wife, what a terrible hand to be dealt in life. See, I think it is tragic that someone who clearly loved their spouse as much as you is left with such regret over what the relationship really could have been.

      I’m sure your wife was a good person, and she couldn’t possibly have meant to cause you this much hurt. But intentioned or not, the pain is still there. I jump in on several boards, and meet the same opposition time and time again from women that you can’t be convinced that men and their sexual attitudes are not evil.

      Ladies, if you can read his post and not feel the pain of his words, then I am at a loss and will not waste my time having arguments that cannot be won. This issue is just exhausting and will consume almost all of a man’s thoughts unless you break yourself from it. To do that, I choose to focus on the children and other activities that bring me happiness – and they don’t involve my wife because sadly she is the ever present reminder of what I don’t have in this life. And you know what, I find this ironic because one of the larger issues we have is her 100% immersion in the children’s lives at the expense of our relationship!

      • Topher says:

        (USA) Thank you Rob. Mine was seemingly a tale of two wives. Proverbs 31:30 says: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”

        My wife had charm and beauty to be sure. She also professed to believe the scriptures. To her credit she had a better head knowledge of scripture than any woman I’ve known. In my last post I referenced scripture that speaks of physical love within marriage, and also the reasons given by scripture (though not romantic per se, very practical teaching).

        Song of Solomon does go into the romantic side of marriage, and also describes my feelings for my departed. In the end I think it really comes down to belief. Do I REALLY believe God’s teaching through His Word regarding this and all relationships?

        I could have chosen a life of fornication. I did not, by God’s grace. My vow to her included “forsaking all others”. It also included loving her and “to have and to hold”. I worked hard to keep my vows. The heart of this husband could not “safely trust her” when it came to intimacy. Even toward the end before she got sick it could be wonderful at times, but far too many times came the rejection we’ve read so much about in this forum.

        If only ONE couple can be mended by our story, then my time to write will have been time well spent. I hope and pray I can help others.

        • Bridg says:

          (CANADA) Beautifully put Topher, thank you for your/that perspective. Only two thoughts: I think most people will wonder where is the list for men? (since we now live in 2013) and, what’s up with no wine?

        • Bridg says:

          (CANADA) Topher, I had not seen your first post, sorry. I am truly sorry you lost your wife. I guess I’m not sure that helping around the house is enough to turn most women on. Remember in the beginning when she was crazy about you, you weren’t washing floors then, you were whispering sweet nothings, bringing her flowers when she didn’t expect it, and sharing with her the most important thing a woman needs you to, the deepest, most darkest secrets in your heart.

  15. Christine says:

    (UK) I read all the comments! I still think the subject is complicated. If someone’s desire is not there… how can they manufacture it? The same must be true for a man, no? If he doesn’t desire someone, he would not find it easy to “manufacture” the desire -no matter how kind or good or helpful the person was.

    • Rob says:

      (USA) Christine, I can’t speak for all the men here but I don’t want my spouse to “manufacture” desire for me. If she’s not attracted to me anymore, she has to say so and either express a willingness to tell me what needs to be worked on, and just as importantly, that her desire for sex in general is there and that I just need to bring it out.

      By saying nothing, we’re being told that they’re OK with the status quo, expect us to meet all the obligations of a husband and father, and just accept that this is how I am now after (insert excuse here, having kids, etc…). If it’s the latter, just acknowledge my needs and try to accommodate them (without resentment because you get it), or tell me the truth that you can’t and let me go. To do otherwise is just plain selfish and downright cruel to the person who is supposed to be the most important person in your life. And yes, that goes both ways if it’s a guy withholding because he’s not attracted to his wife anymore.

      • Christine says:

        (UK) Yes, I think it would be the case that she does not desire her spouse anymore but loves him (at the same time) and is equally scared of losing him. That fear makes her selfish and unable to be truly honest with him and say outright she does not desire him.

        Rather she thinks if I can go through the motions long enough -maybe he can/will stay and the status quo won’t change and the children will still have a father and I will still be married and not a divorcee with all he difficulty that entails… so she doesn’t say what she truly feels. She is scared of the ramifications. I am sorta assuming as I am not married. Who knows?

        I do think the men ought to take a look at themselves too and really question whether perhaps part of their attraction is not wrapped up somehow in the unavailability. I really think there may be something in that too… very complicated though.

      • Bridg says:

        (CANADA) Rob, I guess there is a huge difference between being ‘attracted’ to a man, and being ‘aroused’… unfortunately :-( I think after years, many women have a hard time feeling ‘aroused’ towards their men and I know that for me, it was because eventually sex becamse something that was expected. I don’t think that works for many women. Unfortunately, you need to continue ‘manufacturing’ her desire, because instinct tells her that she has given birth already and her genome has been passed on. Don’t get me wrong, I now completely understand this concept of ‘expectation’ and how important it is, and that it’s my role to let him know if the current plan ain’t working no more. But the first time around, I think this is a very, very difficult concept for most young mothers.

        • Topher says:

          (USA) Bridg, This site professes to be “Christ-centered” so my comments will be along those lines. The “whispering sweet nothings and flowers” were there for the duration of our marriage. This in addition to KNOWING what was important to my wife and doing those things.

          I’ve noticed one common thread in marriages where this topic is an issue: Blame the husband. Somehow it’s believed that if the husband does A, B and C then his wife will respond in the bedroom. I fervently disagree. My wife had every evidence that she was the ONLY ONE for me, and in case you missed it earlier I told her thousands of times how beautiful (and sexy) she was to me. I did 100 times more than most men to show my wife I cared.

          I still maintain that it’s a severe misunderstanding and even ignorance of what marriage SHOULD be between a man and a woman by both men and women.

          Every try to start a fire with wet wood? How about trying to warm up an ice cube? There are more analogies, but please let me assure you that if the wood is wet no amount of “spark” will kindle the fire. I prayed to God about this fervently over the years. I searched the scriptures and could find no justification in scripture as to why a man or woman should ever injure their spouse in this or any other way.

          The article talks about most husbands not really caring so much about the housework being done so long as his wife is there for him in the bedroom. I fully agree. “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.”

          My wife APPEARED virtuous in so many ways, but it grieves me to confess she also caused shame hundreds of times over in this regard, and I still bear health problems as a result which is “as rottenness in [my] bones”. 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 breaks it all down and only allows MUTUAL agreement for abstinence for “fasting and prayer”, but if my wife truly believed this then I would not know the pain of years of rejection.

          Of course, many no longer believe scripture, including many who profess to know Christ. If “Christian” couples truly did believe then they wouldn’t have any of these problems in their marriages. I just observed this as another possible evidence of not being “equally yoked”. “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” My heart is both sick and broken over this, and has been for years. My wife died before we could ever fix the “breakage.” I believe it’s a pain very few will ever truly know.

        • Bridg says:

          (CANADA) Topher, Firstly I want to say that I believe everything you write.

          Secondly, I’m not sure if your prefacing your missive with “This site professes to be “Christ-centered” so my comments will be along those lines” means that if it wasn’t, your reply would be different? Or if because you are typing into the computer your true and honest beliefs? It sort of matters, because I wouldn’t want to think that you are somehow insinuating that other people’s comments (ehem, mostly mine) are not along the same lines. Just because you quote scripture does not make your comments perfect. The goal of this website is to help to save marriages from divorce. I am trying to learn from my mistakes and help others….

          So, that said, you say that the common thread is to blame the husband. That is simply not true. Yet, in order to see the err of one’s ways, it is important to see what failed. When a marriage fails, both are to blame, but of course it is easier to blame the other, since we believe what we did was the best thing. Whether we quote scripture or not. However, the husband is partially to blame, as is the wife. It takes two no?

          When you talk about wood, I will be honest and not sure if I follow. People, men, women, are not wood, we are not wet, we are not dry. We are complex humans with complex fears, needs and desires. And, we spend our days trying to get through life while balancing these complex emotions. No matter how many times you quote srcipture, you cannot change this.

          When you say that no amount of spark will rekindle the fire, do you mean your wife never loved you? Did she ever make love to you? Were you reading the same book? Are you sure? Of course, you will always have the last word, if you only quote scripture. The choice is yours and yours alone to accept that we are all human.

        • Topher says:

          (USA) Bridg wrote: “When a marriage fails, both are to blame, but of course it is easier to blame the other, since we believe what we did was the best thing. Whether we quote scripture or not. However, the husband is partially to blame, as is the wife. It takes two no?”

          Many times this can be true. Many times not. There’s an expression that says, “It takes two to make it and two to break it”.
          I couldn’t disagree more. It only takes one to break a vow. What about the man who cheats on his faithful and loving wife? Now there’s a scenario that’s been repeated over and over. How was the woman “partially to blame”? So I respectfully disagree. Oftentimes it is one mate that is unfaithful to the other, whether it be through adultery, or (in keeping with the topic) by withholding one’s self from one’s spouse.

          As for this believer, I know God has a higher standard for His own, and I know that a husband can love his wife as the scripture commands him to and still have his heart broken by his wife.

          Historically, I’ve observed men to usually be the ones who break their wives hearts though adultery, drunkenness, gambling, etc. More times than not MEN were 100% to blame for their own actions (or lack thereof). When I read the broken hearts on this forum I can see women are catching up.

          I would respectfully request that you not try to paint all men with the same brush, as I would certainly not do so with all women.

          Regarding obeying scripture and its application in marriage for the Christian, are husbands NOT to love and cherish their wives as commanded? Not to understand their wives as commanded? Not to protect and provide fore their wives as commanded?

          I lived scripture with my wife. My love for her was severe to the point of being her sole nurse as she lay dying from cancer, and the only one who prepared her body for burial so that no other stranger would ever touch her …all at her request. Those who know me also know how deeply I loved her.

          My new mission nowadays: Tell young people that if they’re not willing to “become one” with their intended, they should not marry. Also please remember that it doesn’t “take two” to break a vow.

        • Tony says:

          (UNITED STATES) Topher, I agree with some of what you say, and disagree with other parts. I do agree, that only one can destroy a marriage. My view is it takes two (three if you count God) to build a marriage, but the actions of a single person can destroy it. As you suggested, all it takes is for one spouse to decide she doesn’t want to be married any more, and the marriage is done.

          I say she, because everything I’ve read indicates that this happens 3 to 4 times more frequently than him saying the same thing. In relatively few of those cases is she a victim of abuse or adultery.

          So I’m also inclined to disagree about men being more unfaithful than women. Unless you are suggesting that men are having affairs with men, men and women, statistically speaking, are equally represented in affairs. According to God’s standard, it’s not the martial status of the affair partners that matters, but their adherence to God’s law. Since both affair partners know the other person is not THEIR spouse, they are co-conspirators in the sinful act.

          So sorry, I disagree that men have more affairs than women. It’s a pretty even split when examined using God’s standard. Sin is not a gender trait, it’s a character trait that has infected all of humanity. No gender is more or less infected than the other.

        • Topher says:

          (USA) Tony, I think I stand corrected in one sense, although I have known of more men than women overall who have kept their wives/families secret during an affair only to later receive a slap in the face when the mistress learns she is just that. I agree that sin is not exclusive to any one gender.

          Regarding infidelity, the most obvious in marriage is when one spouse strays in adultery. Reflecting on this subject as also led me to conclude that a spouse is unfaithful if/when they deny their spouse “due benevolence” (1 Cor 7), unless both mutually agree to do so. “Defraud (deprive) ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”

          How many guys on here have claimed the dryness of their marriage bed as a precursor to later being tempted to stray? Look at the above and see scripture warns believers of the possible temptation. Compare to Proverbs 5: “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts SATISFY THEE AT ALL TIMES; AND BE THOU RAVISHED ALWAYS WITH HER LOVE. And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?”

          These two references alone seem to demonstrate that a healthy love life between husband and wife are sound protection against extra-marital relations. Would you agree?

          I shared these with my beloved while she lived. I asked her what “at all times” and “always” meant to her. I’m not a “maniac”. If my wife was sick or injured I knew it was unloving to expect “due benevolence”. Countless times in fact I stepped in for my wife when she was unable to perform her homemaking to-do, despite working an intense and very high-profile job for many hours per week.

          My wife’s father (most godly man I’ve known) counseled me a little before marriage. One thing I remember him saying as if it were only yesterday: “It’s not 50/50… there are times where it may be 90/10…” and so on. I received it then, and I lived it in my marriage for over 20 years faithfully …and consistently (by God’s grace of course).

          In the very beginning when our love was mutual, I felt like I had superhuman strength and could do anything. When she became untrustworthy in this regard, I weakened physically and spiritually, despite praying through tears and anguish. “She that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.” Add to this certain things she confessed on her deathbed (not with any regret might I add), and it only served to add to my grieving. Even though all this I still love and miss her dearly, and I lament that we didn’t have time to make it right before she died.

        • Tony says:

          (USA) Topher, My point was that both parties know that they are not married to one another. It really doesn’t matter if they know if the other is married or not. Ultimately, they betray God when they choose to have sex with someone who is not their spouse. This is true if they are single or if they are married.

          In 100% of affairs, the participants know their affair partner is NOT their spouse. They know this if they are married as well as if they are single. Look at David when he cries out to God in Psalms 51. His betrayal is not against his spouse, or Uriah, but against God. Therefore, since all sin is betrayal against God, one cannot claim that men are more unfaithful than women when it comes to affairs, or any other sin for that matter.

          A single woman having an affair with a married man is still having an affair. She knows he is not her husband, even if she is unaware of his marital status, and therefore has still betrayed God. Ditto for an unmarried man and a married woman. The marital status of the affair partners is not what makes it betrayal. What makes it betrayal is going against God’s law.

        • Topher says:

          (USA) Tony, 100% agree and I stand corrected. Thank you.

  16. Topher says:

    (USA) Rob and others, What if it’s true that “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones”? No better way to shame a man than to reject him physically and deny him intimacy.

    “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her…” That’s all this man ever wanted: To trust his wife.

    A “virtuous” woman as described in Proverbs “looks well to her household.” “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” Here’s a woman who has fully embraced her God-given role as wife and mother. She was a WIFE before she became a mother, and becoming a mother does not negate the role of being a wife.

    All the answers are in the scriptures, and again this is a “Christ-centered” site. While “feelings” do have something to do with it, I will challenge the men (and women) here who profess Christ: “What do the scriptures say”?

    My wife once upon a time (in the beginning) would quote, “She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life” leading me to believe that she would make it a point to follow that scripture. In fact, if she truly believed and followed this one scripture, I would have been truly happy and content.

    So many times she “[did me good]”. Far too many times (if we believe the scripture) she did the opposite through her rejection. I remember comparing my need for intimacy to her doing the laundry. She always showed great care and was very exacting as she folded the laundry. Was laundry fun or enjoyable? No, and yet she devoted so much care to folding it very carefully. Had she treated me at least as well as she treated our laundry THAT would have kept me very well indeed. I know it sounds ridiculous. Or does it?

    Rob, you mentioned your wife’s attention to the children. Mine was a very attentive mother also, and it would seem our wives were so fixated on their roles as mothers that they allowed their affections to be crowded out so that little to nothing would be left for their husbands. Such heart-break that should NOT be in God-believing marriages.

    Question: What are the ramifications of Titus 2:3-5?

    • Topher says:

      (USA) Question: What are the ramifications of Titus 2:3-5? Titus 2:1-5, “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, THAT THE WORD OF GOD BE NOT BLASPHEMED.” (Emphasis added)

      The above applies to men and women, which is why I started at v.1. What are the ramifications of men not being “sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience?” What are the ramifications of women to not “be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands?” The answer is in whether or not Christians truly still believe God’s Word.

      • Bridg says:

        (CANADA) Topher, I am in complete agreement with your last comment – my goal, having failed, is to profess what I have learned and help young people understand their committments.

        • Topher says:

          (USA) Bridg, Bless you for your honesty and taking responsibility to help others “to see” as a result. I hope to share in a way likewise that will help others, as I know my story can help others BEFORE they falter. Thank you.

    • Rob says:

      (USA) Topher, In responding to your posts, I must admit to not being a very religious person so I find it difficult to address the referenced scripture. That said, you definitely nailed it when it comes to your analogy with the folding of laundry, and it is not ridiculous at all. To me, it is just another great example of how low down in her priorities your physical relationship was. EVERYTHING else is more important, and it makes you feel insignificant, and used for everything else you bring to the relationship and family.

      The fixation on mothering is a huge problem in relationships. Go google “mothers putting their kids before their husband” and read the vitriol in the comments to those articles. Men are needy, selfish, lazy, etc… It’s sickening.

      I don’t ask to be first priority, as I feel strongly that you need to do your best to raise happy, healthy, disciplined kids. But when you cannot have an evening where all you talk about is the kids, and even your free time is spent obsessing over things that haven’t happened yet or may happen, and you are dead last, then it is a HUGE problem.

      • Topher says:

        (USA) Rob, I’m not religious either, but my wife and I professed to believe scripture. We stopped attending churches years before she died. Back to the importance of laundry, and on a practical level… I realized that the “honeymoon period” wouldn’t stay the same throughout life. I was a realist and I still am. Add just one child to the marriage and everything changes. Not just that.

        Several years after marrying, she admitted to having hidden resentment toward me for the fist few years for having been so open about my past relationships. On one hand she said early on she appreciated my openness, only to later punish me for it. Scripture also addresses this and says “not to let the sun go down on your anger”. I suppose without going into further detail, it was all about blame-shifting and excuses. It breaks my heart because she put on airs when we were out and about. Holding hands, her taking her man by the arm, etc. I only wanted that to continue.

        Countless times I had to ask her to join my son and me toward the end of the day, but many times she was too busy with tasks she should have done much earlier. I feel a bit sick when I think of all the times it was just my son and me hanging out on the sofa when it SHOULD have been the three of us.

        This is the “glue” that bonds. I was not one of those “Wham bam, thank you ma-am” kind of guys. I took a serious interest in my wife before and after “bed time”, and ALWAYS thanked her for being there when she was there (which was many, many times). It was the gnawing and ongoing sense of being afraid to ask her due to the equal number of times of having been rejected by her which I still mourn over as part of my losing her.

        Side note: I just recollected recently that she also dragged her heels in other areas like following me to the shop to leave one of our cars for inspection, and not liking being asked to write a check for the car being serviced, so the issue apparently went beyond the bedroom. Neither of these “team efforts” above required much from her, so it baffles me as I remember. Again, I truly loved her and hoped to grow old with her despite all of the above, so I don’t mean any disrespect toward her. I’m simply too shamed to confess this to those close to me.

        • Bridg says:

          (CANADA) Topher, Your honesty is touching and, I cannot imagine what it must be like to live with these questions now that your wife is gone. I am sorry for you. I can try to console you, however, by saying that many marriages have the kinds of unresolved points of contention you cite above. Some people live with them for their entire lives, and for others, they cause real problems.

          What I can tell you that I have learnt only very recently, is that, if one holds onto these things for too long without resolving them -and I mean really resolving by accepting them as faults or coming to terms with them, then they grow, they fester, and other bad things follow. I guess no union between two human beings is perfect, but, if we let whatever it is we call ‘God’ to join us, then we must allow imperfections to flow past one another and see only ‘God’ in the other person. People have their reasons for things to bother them… some justified, some not. It might not be about effort…

          Oh, and one more thing, it’s interesting that you say you adhere to scripture but are not religious. That is the most fascinating thing I’ve read on this board, by far!

        • Topher says:

          (USA) Thank you Bridg, I try to keep it real, but without slamming my beloved. It is a lot to wrap one’s head around to be sure, especially since there were unresolved hurts at my wife’s passing.

          As for “holding on”, I’m actually sharing in the hopes of “release” as part of my mourning. I fully intend to let go by God’s grace. At the same time I can say with 100% assurance that while she lived I always asked her if there was even a hint that something was bothering her. Her choice to hide her feelings was her’s alone.

          As for “[adhering] to scripture”, I do my best with God’s grace, but no, I am not religious. If you’d like me to elaborate I can do so in another post.

          • Dawa from United States says:

            Topher you say ” I am not religious. If you’d like me to elaborate.” I’m curious, would you elaborate? I enjoy what you have written about your marrage. I will show my wife your words so she might understand what I want in a marrage. I believed your words will help many marriages. I’m sorry for the pain you have experienced and wish God’s blessings on you in the future. One good thing came out of it, you came out of it wiser and you are tougher having survived the trial.

  17. Wayne says:

    (USA) This article was wonderful and describes my 29 year marriage exactly. And before I begin and to the women… yes, I do all the laundry from beginning to end, everything done outdoors, the entire large house cleaning, et. The list goes on. I love my wife. She says she is interested in sex but words are all I get. I have done so many things to help enhance the relationship. She will not move from her recliner to do much except go to bed and possibly go out to get food. Cooking does not happen anymore. Anyone need a stove?

    We are devout Christians, go to church and truly worship regularly… divorce is not an answer. I do want to be happy in the relationship. When there was sex, my self esteem was awesome. There wasn’t anything I couldn’t do (or at least I felt that way). The lack of her interest does cause my depression. We have talked and talked about it so much until it has done nothing to help. We have just finished a study on the book of Solomon at church. I thought that might stir something… no. I will stay in this marriage until death parts us. Men should not have to live like this in a marriage. And yes, I take care of my appearance and body. I compete in bb competitions so I want to stay in great shape. I just wish a fellow Christian brother would pray and agree with me that this will improve greatly. Oh, and neither of us have ever cheated, etc. Not an option.

    • Topher says:

      (USA) Wayne, I already prayed for you two. You wrote, “We are devout Christians…”

      I’ve written this before (all emphasis added): Jesus said, “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, FOR THIS CAUSE SHALL A MAN LEAVE FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE: AND THEY TWAIN SHALL BE ONE FLESH? WHEREFORE THEY ARE NO MORE TWAIN, BUT ONE FLESH. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

      Many more places in God’s Word it is clear about His will for husbands and wives. “A virtuous wife is a crown to her husband. She who causes shame is as rottenness in [her husbands] bones.” It pains me to say a wife cannot be truly virtuous if she causes her husband shame on a regular basis. Would not devout Christians believe their roles within marriage as laid out by God Himself?

      Song of Solomon also lifts up the marriage bed as God intended it. The only time for abstinence within marriage is listed in 1 Cor 7, and even then with MUTUAL consent.Ask your wife if she truly believes God’s Word. “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” When one spouse denies oneness, they in effect are putting their putting “asunder” what God has joined in holy matrimony.

  18. Bill says:

    (USA) Wow! I can relate. Article almost brought me to tears.

  19. Sean says:

    (USA) This article has put words to what I feel. I have been married for over 10 yrs. We were living together before we were married. Our sex life nose dived right after I proposed, though she claims there is no connection. I had to beg her to make love on our honeymoon. She did once, but layed there pretty lifeless. We usually have sex 4-8 times a year, but there was a two year period we had sex twice (once/yr). Physical intimacy is something she doesn’t voluntarily give. I have to ask or beg for it.

    So over the years, the pattern is a week after the last time we had sex, I would initiate again, and be rejected. This will continue with varies excuses or even plain old no. She will say, “maybe tonight”. FYI, in 10 years, maybe turned to yes once. It turned to no hundreds of times. She will say, “tomorrow” and then say no the next night.

    So here is the point of my post. TRUST. I don’t trust ANYTHING she says regarding this subject. NOTHING. Years ago, I would say “OK, tomorrow”. Now I roll my eyes and say “Yeah, right!” She now lives with an angry husband. After the 2-3 months goes by, and she agrees to do her chore, I foolishly get optimistic. I begin to think, this is the begining of the change. But as it becomes clear what a pathetic fool I am, I get angry.

    She asks me why I yell so loud when my son does something wrong. I’m not sure she even notices the pattern between my inability to keep a calm voice and how long its been since we last had sex.

    • Bridg says:

      (CANADA) I believe you, Sean. I honestly and wholeheartedly believe you. Learning this lesson however, was very costly. I honestly wish I could help. Really, I do. I’ve been there, done that, and no one should be in a marriage that way. I am sorry.

    • Floyd says:

      (USA) Sean, Based on my readings I would suspect that she was sexually abused as a child. I’m not sure if she would be honest if you asked the question but it could very well be the root of the problem. Regardless, you need to know the problem otherwise it can never be fixed. Wish you luck.

  20. John says:

    (KENYA) Guys, without good sex there is no family. For men sex makes family complete; he will work, come home early, respect his wife, etc. Wives, accept your husband’s sexual desires.

  21. Sarah says:

    (USA) I cannot wrap my brain around ‘your husband feels love by sex.’ What if he wants to do it every night of the week and I don’t? To be frank with you I don’t like sex that much anymore. He is not meeting my emotional needs or my communication needs but he wants me to put out every night. Then instead of talking he pouts and throws a fit like a child. So am I supposed to be the bigger person here? I think if a man’s life revolves around sex that much as you do put it in your paper that maybe he should seek counseling.

    • Tony says:

      (USA) No argument with your point about he should be meeting your emotional needs. But I do take exception to the notion that if he wants sex more than you do, then there is something wrong with him. If you subscribe to that approach, then perhaps he is just as justified in saying that you simply want too much with respect to your emotional needs.

      The goal is not to judge your spouses desire and find fault with it. The goal is to negotiate for BOTH you and him to have your needs met in a fashion that is mutually and enthusiastically agreed upon. You have to be the bigger person in terms of dropping the idea that he wants too much. Especially if you wish to have credibility when it comes to suggesting that you want more than what you are currently getting.

      The pattern you set up here by saying he doesn’t do enough to meet your needs AND he needs too much is you express with your actions that if one party judges the others needs to be too great, they can just sit in judgment instead of working on a solution that you both enjoy.

      Maybe he has a problem. Maybe you both have a problem. It depends on perspective. Do you really want him to think you are defective in the same pattern as you suggest here that he is defective and needs to go out and get fixed?

      I understand you are frustrated. By your description, he is too. How is lashing out at one another going to address that? It won’t. Agreeing to meet one anothers needs and validating that they are legitimate needs and meeting them generously is a win-win solution as long as you both seek to make the other a winner.

      • Topher from United States says:

        I remember when she remarked I wasn’t as attentive as I had been in the beginning.

        Let’s see: I was the one who at the end of the day asked her repeatedly to join my son and me in the living room. How many times did I pat the spot next to me on the sofa motioning for her to merely sit next to me? MANY.

        I fully understand that sex begins outside of the bedroom.

        Problem was that she described herself as a night owl on several occasions.

        Hmm…
        If the husband is an early riser by necessity (as many of us are), then how does the wife CHOOSING to be a night own help the two stay synchronized? It doesn’t. Yes, we had that talk ad nauseam unfortunately , and to no avail.

        When sonny and I are trying to relax at the end of the day and a stay-at-home mom is still being busy at 8pm, there’s clearly something wrong with this picture.

        Another way of being “attentive” was in the bedroom (in keeping with the subject of this article/comments). A guy can only take rejection so many scores of times before HE will begin to slow down (I never stopped….just slowed). Why go out of one’s way to give attention if it’s not appreciated?

        Proverbs 31 says “charm is deceptive”. I loved my wife while she lived, and loved her more than any other woman on the planet until the cancer took her. Now, as I reach for joyful memories to help easy my grieving, they are oftentimes overshadowed by the unrequited love in this regard.

        Her charmed drew me in and she kept up with me romantically and perfectly in the very beginning. Then it was SHE who chose not to accept my attention (sexually or otherwise as per the above). Any wonder I felt hoodwinked?

        My Father in heaven….I still am trying to sort this all out after her being buried for over 20 months now. I’ve searched the scriptures and it’s unsettling what I have found pertaining to her betrayals in this regard and even regarding her premature death. That’s enough said for this post.

        Ladies, Want to really break your husband’s heart? Keep breaking the bonds as commanded by God within marriage. “To have and to hold” was one such vow that was broken, not by me, but by my wife. Terribly sad…

  22. Emily from United States says:

    Our opinions are nice to hear, but what does God say? 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 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. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

    Seems pretty clear that we each are to submit to each other’s needs -particularly because we lack self-control. God knows this about us, which is why He instructed us. We should never withhold sex from our spouse, unless its absolutely necessary – “except by agreement”, is what God says. “I’m tired, I don’t feel like it, I’ve been giving, giving, giving all day, but my needs aren’t being met, etc.” is no excuse. Praise the Lord your husband is coming to you asking you to fulfill your duty of serving him! Do so with joy! Is it always easy? No! But that’s what God requires from us! Have a good attitude about it or you are in sin! It’s plain and simple. If you disagree, you aren’t disagreeing with me, but with God Himself.

  23. Andrew from Switzerland says:

    Married for 33 years, no children (very, very hard for me, and now no grandchildren), in May my wife ‘came out’ to herself and to me as a lesbian. When we married, for her, life with another woman was simply unthinkable. Family, faith, the times, all ruled that literally unimaginable. So for all these years, she’s struggled with same-sex attractions, praying for change, for release. The unanswered prayers and the struggle have destroyed her faith. Now this shock is in the process of destroying mine. It’s not a relationship gone wrong, it’s a sense of God’s leading and calling that have gone wrong.

    We are friends, we share so much, we’ve put so much into this relationship, but a sex-starved marriage has become a sexless marriage, and now at last I understand why. In fact we were both living in denial. I hoped and prayed that this unnamed problem would go away. But it didn’t. We’re in therapy, separately and together. We want to see if we can find some way forward together. But it’s hard and incredibly painful. The pain of not being desired; the sense of rejection, of being unlovable. For me, for most of us men, these things go very, very deep.

    We’re both involved in a faith-based organization, and now also struggle with feelings of hypocrisy, since we’re respected elders, senior figures, who are struggling now with this massive shock/change/realization. We may have some choice about our life-style, but none about our basic orientations. No one in their right minds would choose to go through what we’re going through!

  24. Joe from United States says:

    It is not the lack of sex that kills us men in bad marriages, it the complete neglect lack of any affection from our wives. Many wives that have lost their libidos they also lose their ability to be affectionate and loving. We men, in these situations, feel completely neglected and abandoned, kept captive and abused. These are the same women that would hurry to a divorce lawyer if they found their husband had been watching porn, crying they felt cheeted.

    Frankly, I would not recommend my boys get married ever. It is not a good and natural situation for a man to live. It seems a good deal for a woman, but surely nothing good comes with marriage for a man, from each and every point of view.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      How sad Joe, not only for you but for what you told your sons. I truly am sad for you. But please know that there are many, many of us wives out there that absolutely love our husbands, desire them and are great partners to them (and they are to us). Together, it’s amazing what we can do. And individually, it’s amazing what we can do because we have a spouse who is supportive, praying for us and wanting the best for us. We’ve weathered some tough storms to make our marriage a good one (and will probably weather more together because life supplies plenty of “opportunities” to have to fight through them). But I can tell you that I wouldn’t trade places with any single man or woman alive.

      If I were talking to your boys I wouldn’t tell them not to get married, but not to lower the high standards they should have, when it comes to considering whether or not to marry someone who appears to be a good marriage partner. And I would tell them to put their all into preparing for marriage and then growing the marriage afterward. The commitment needs to be for both the guy and gal to put the work into it… If it’s not that way, don’t marry. Sure, sometimes people can THINK they’re marrying the right one and that person can turn a selfish corner, and the relationship can go sour (sometimes for a time and sometimes beyond that). Life happens and sin is insidious in grabbing onto those who are weaker who shouldn’t give in. But when you have found a good person and you work together to make your marriage a good one, it’s an amazing experience, whether it’s “natural” from your view, or not.

      I just wanted to give another perspective here. I’m sorry Joe, for your experience –that you are now so soured. I truly do sympathize with you. But please don’t rule out the fact that there are many, many great marriages (I know quite a few). I can confidently say that if my husband were writing to you, he would not agree with you that “nothing good comes with marriage for a man” because we are both DEEPLY in love (have been married close to 42 years) and for him (as it is for me), marriage is very, very, VERY good.

  25. Persephone from United States says:

    I feel for the men who are hurting here… and at the same time, their stories just make me feel worse about my own circumstances. Because believe it or not, there are women out here who are feeling the exact same rejection, loneliness, and frustration as you.

    From the time we are little girls, we are programmed to understand that men want sex… men NEED sex… men will constantly be chasing us for it. And that proves to be true, through our youth and into early adulthood. We see very mediocre-looking women who complain that their husbands are after them constantly. And then we look in the mirror and sigh, trying to figure out what it is that’s wrong with us. It’s DEVASTATING to a woman’s self esteem, no matter how beautiful she may be, no matter how many other men may look at her or flirt with her, to be unwanted by the man she loves.

    I have been dealing with my husband’s sudden and dramatic “change” since halfway through our nearly 20-year marriage. We went from a healthy, vibrant, satisfying sex life to complete dysfunction literally overnight. For years I could not get him to articulate why. Finally, about a year ago, we learned that his testosterone levels were nearly nonexistent. He has had hormone therapy on and off with mixed results. Honestly, he doesn’t seem interested enough in keeping up with it to reap any consistent benefit. At this point, I’ve been transformed from an extremely sexual woman who used to eagerly initiate intimacy into an almost entirely sexless neuter. I think that as a defense mechanism, my body has just shut down. And yet, my mind and my heart still yearn for that closeness, that affirmation. My self esteem is in the toilet.

    I wish I could shake some sense into these women and let them know how fortunate they are to have loving husbands who desire and need them.

    • Doug from United States says:

      Persephone, I wish you could also. In our 25th year of marriage my wife filed for divorce on Dec. 3rd. We are all in the same house and our teenage daughters are the biggest losers. She will take half my military retainer pay for the rest of her life and walk away with a sizeable sum that I was criticized for saving through our marriage. I pray that God will change her heart but currently I am searching for a place to live alone again. I hope this 50 year old woman finds what she is looking for. Nothing but forgiveness and compassion. Please pray for her and our children. The children have seen her shun me for years. I pray they will not repeat that in their lives. In Jesus name.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Persephone, I’ve sure wanted to shake quite a few women too, trying to shake some sense into them. I’ve been on the other side of not wanting to be pursued by my husband because of past sexual abuse and my own stuff. But eventually God woke me up, showed me I needed to and then helped me to work on my issues. And now, on the other side of it, as I look back, I realize how short-sighted I was. I made my husband another victim of the men who had abused me. That wasn’t fair to him either. But thank God I get it now. And life together is good on this side of our sexual struggles.

      I’ve taught several sex classes to married women and it’s so wonderful to see many of these women “get it” and eventually respond to their husbands. Sometimes there has needed to be an emptying out of selfishness on the wife’s part, and/or the husband’s part. Sometimes there are abuse issues that need to be worked on, and sometimes it’s just a matter or making these gals aware of both sides so they could work with their husbands to grow in their intimacy with each other in less selfish and/or wiser ways.

      Some wives will never “get it” just as some husbands won’t and the dysfunction continues. But my heart goes out to you to want more and yet so far it’s not happening. All I can say is please don’t give up hope that eventually things will take a better turn. Now is not forever. Please guard your heart because you could get into a vulnerable place some day. I encourage you to continually ask God to help you to best deal with this and whenever you can, try to encourage other women (as you have here) to appreciate what they have. I know of several widows (and a few whose husbands have divorced them) who sure would like to go back and have their husbands chasing them sexually. They didn’t appreciate what they had until their spouse was gone.

      I pray the Lord helps you, guides you, comforts you, speaks to you, and works in and through you in this situation. I also pray God infuses hope into your heart that you will eventually experience better days –ones that will bring a smile to your heart.

  26. Nk from United Kingdom says:

    Persephone, I relate fully with what you are talking about. I’m a beautiful woman with a great shape. I hear that all the time and get advances from men but my husband doesn’t desire me. I’m dying slowly and my marriage is just 3 yrs. Terribly sad and angry most of the time.

  27. Mike from United States says:

    This article just turned on the light. I have for years felt there was something wrong with me. My first marriage split up because I was, in my opinion, not getting the attention or affection that I needed, which was only really achieved through sex. I left this marriage feeling extremely guilty but couldn’t stay there any longer with numerous arguments in front of the kids and a nervous breakdown, all because of the lack of a physical relationship.

    I then met a fantastic woman who I have now been with for 18 years. She is everything to me. But over the last five years our sex life has gone seriously downhill resulting in all the old feelings of hurt, rejection, and mistrust returning. Over the last month this has been a serious situation with me, again getting closer to the edge and although I know she still has strong feelings and love for me, the continual battle over having sex has caused serious problems between us.

    I read this article and it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. All of a sudden I was allowed to feel the way I did if she said, NO. I wasn’t weird; it was just human nature and the way us men are made. I emailed the article to my wife and waited for the reaction, not knowing what to expect. What I got was “oh my God I didn’t realize.” We talked, yes talked, not argued for the first time about sex in a long time and all the pressure that existed on both of us was lifted. I don’t expect that there will be a dramatic improvement, however, there doesn’t need to be. I totally accept that she isn’t going to be in the mood all the time but she now understands what sex means to me and how important it is and knows that because of this we will both work together to make it right. Thank you. I believe your article saved a marriage.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      THANK YOU Mike, for sharing this with us. It means so much to us to be able to rejoice with you and your wife over this. Sometimes we get so tired and even disheartened because this is such a tough ministry. Every year there are SO many heart-breaking stories that we hear! It’s nice to hear that sometimes the work that is put forth makes a positive difference. You have blessed us by sharing with us what you did.

      My husband Steve and I struggled for years sexually, as well, until we learned what you did –that we’re both different and different is okay. It just means that we need to be aware of our differences, honor them, and work to continually bridge them as marital partners. And now… I can’t even start to tell you how much closer we are and how we are so intimately attracted to one another, even after almost 42 years of marriage. Thanks again Mike. I pray that this is only the start of something very, very good for you and your wife. Be blessed!

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