TO WIVES: Why Is Sex So Important?

What kinds of emotional needs does your sexual interest meet for your husband? 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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528 responses to “TO WIVES: Why Is Sex So Important?

  1. (ZIMBABWE) l always find that having great mutual physical contact with my wife gives my emotional state a good boost, resulting in me being able to positively tackle the challenges that life brings. However, when my wife regularly turns down my advances (not only for sex, but even any form of sensuous touching that would not lead to sex), I feel gutted. And more often than not, I end up not having the fighting spirit to tackle issues in life. One can only imagine the stress that is brought about by having sex once or twice (at most thrice) a month for a couple in their early thirties. The thought of a mistress start creeping into one’s mind (although this has been dismissed all the time, because of the fear of God’s wrath).

  2. (ZIMBABWE) It always baffles me that wives do not seem to be aware that their refusal to be loving in a physical way towards their husbands, invariably invites all sorts of evil thoughts into a man’s head. A man starts noticing other women (that he would otherwise not), starts fantasizing about past partners or even any woman. So I think it is important for wives to know that in as much as it is key for husbands to provide emotional stability/support to their wifes, the wives need to equally do the same. This principle is not only good for the marriage but for the Kingdom as well, since it is apparent that the devil attacks marriages. And if any of the spouses engages in actions that do not build up their marriage, then they are handing victory to the enemy.

    1. (USA)  True, but this cannot solely be blamed on the woman –‘Wondering thoughts.’ A man should also listen to his wife and HER needs. More sex will come if HER needs are met, as well. Please, dont blame wondering thoughts on the wife. Just keep yourself out of any tempatation… YOU control your own thoughts. NOT your wife. ‘My wife made me do it,’ ‘the devil made me do it,’ how about looking in the mirror and being the best, most faithful husband? ;)

      1. (USA)  Your broad brush is so wrong. I have been married 20 years. I do all of the cooking, all the outdoor work, half the cleaning (we also have housekeeper), and most of the child raising.

        We have never had sex more than twice a month and those were the good times. I have heard every excuse, reason, etc. I have rubbed her back for an hour until she snores (let a hand slip and game over). I’ve built a new bath for her on the suggestion that it would improve our love life —it didn’t. When she has any time for me at all, 75% of it is talking about her work. She has zip interest in mine. I just feel like a dolt for hanging around.

        I have spoken very frankly with her about “why” I want to be more intimate (related above in story), she doesn’t care.

        For the last 18 months I’ve spoken to her three times about my fear that I am simply losing total interest in her, as I am repulsed and hurt by the idea of a woman that has no desire for me. She rubs salt in the wound by always having been “in the mood” while I was gone doing something else (which is rare). After one of these “just missed me” episodes, I studiously courted her for 2 weeks and was rejected out of hand 18 times.

        I have now arrived at not wanting to have sex with her at all. I don’t even want to touch her. Why would I? There is nothing that she wouldn’t rather do than have sex with me. She has proven it thousands of times. Unfortunately, I still have this empty void in my life. I’m simply done trying to get her to fill it.

        Divorce? I can’t see it, at least until my children are out of the house, and really not even then. All I’m feeling is this huge loss concerning what could have been a very fulfilling marriage. I don’t hate her, but I don’t feel close to her either.

        1. (USA)  Eugene, I have been where you are -strongly contemplating divorce out of hurt and anger due to rejection and want to tell you that it can get better, even if the situation you are dealing with never changes. I have struggled with this as well. We have been married for 8 years and our frequency in the “good” times used to be about once a month and that was when I was pleading every night for it. Afterwards I felt even worse because when she finally agreed to have sex it was extremely grudging and with comments like “make it quick”, or “ok, I’ll do my duty”.

          I would try to talk with her about it and whenever we did there was no acknowledgement of her having any shared responsibility for the state of our intimacy -it was always 100% my fault for various different reasons that I would go off and work on improving, but with no results later on when I changed those attributes. I finally decided that I was tired of “mercy sex” as it left me feeling worthless as a husband and now our frequency is about 3x per year. I don’t share any of the above to denigrate my wife, but to let other men and women know the situation I speak from.

          I prayed fervently about this for a very long time asking God to change her heart and improve the situation. As is so often the case, God answered my prayers, but not in the way I was thinking.

          The more I prayed about this, the more the I became convicted that I needed to worry about the logs in my own eye instead of the splinters in my wife’s eye. When I felt so hurt and rejected by my wife I would go into a funk for a period of time, but the realization I would eventually come to is that marriage is a mirror to Christ’s relationship with his church. The husband is the head of the family just as Christ is the head of the church.

          Here I was feeling hurt, unvalued, misunderstood because my wife doesn’t create the time to do something so important to me -yet I do the same to Christ. How often do I just go straight to bed rather than study his word, how often do I disregard what is important to him in order to pursue what I want. Ultimately I came to realize over and over that the pain I was feeling was a taste of the pain He feels from my selfish and lackluster faith. So what I have come to realize is that I need to continually turn this situation over to him -and let him worry about my wife’s heart, not me; I need to focus on where my heart is in relation to him; and just as he loves me and treats me with a wonderful grace I absolutely do not deserve in spite of the way I continually wound him.

          I am called to do the same for my wife regardless of how she treats me. As a husband I am called to love my wife as Christ loves the church to honor him. If she happens to respond to that love that is an added benefit, but it should not be the reason I continue to love her, nor frankly is it guaranteed that it will ever happen.

          I’ve been taking the journey described in the paragraph above for about a year. Is it easy? No. Do I stumble? Yes, many times. But over the course of the year it has had some wonderful results. The tension in our house has gone down tremendously. I have grown substantially in my faith and God has begun to work in my wife’s heart in that regard as well. We can have meaningful conversations about how we feel. We can enjoy time together and actually look forward to doing so. Has our sex life -or lack thereof -changed? Actually, no, it hasn’t. I hope and continue to pray that someday it will, but that is in the hands of God and my wife.

          Does it still hurt when I am rejected? Yes it does. It hurts a lot. But I have begun to realize that what I feel my wife thinks of me does not determine my worth as a man. What determines my worth is that God created me in his image and Christ loved me so much he died an agonizing death on the cross so that I might be blameless and forgiven in God’s eyes. That gift of unmerited grace has been given to me, and I am called to pass it on -especially to my wife.

          If this strikes a chord with you I would encourage you to work on strengtening your faith, if you don’t regulalary attend church -start. Find a small group of Christian men you can join for regular study sessions where you can encourage one another about your faith and honestly share what is going on in your life. Read books about God’s vision of marriage and ask Him to open your eyes to what he wants to tell you (I found Love & Respect,by Emmerson Eggrich to be a great one) and last but certainly not least -pray about it. Hang in there. Through Christ all things are possible.

        2. (NAMIBIA)  No my brother. Look to Jesus. Pray and he will change your wife’s heart for you!!!! Read proverb 5. God bless you, Eugene.

        3. (USA) The reason we all get married is to have a partner. Making love is a very important part of marriage and any woman who thinks this is not true
          is wanting a “daddy” for a spouse. All woman can do this. No excuses! She just had a baby? Too many women make excuses.

          On THE OTHER HAND.. her husband needs to be gentle, and take his time.

      2. (AUSTRALIA)  If a man can’t get sex from his wife then I believe it’s only fair that he gets it from someone else, married or not. If men knew that marriage meant the end of sex for the rest of their lives, then they would not even suggest getting married and would not even waste their time.

        1. (USA)  Wow…you are the kind of person that should never marry. “For better for worse, through good and bad in sickness and health FORSAKING ALL OTHERS” If you cannot keep your word, don’t make the promise.

          If a man reaches middle age or has health issues and has ED, can his wife go get sex anywhere she wants??

          I had been abused physically and emotionally for 20 years and stayed. He slept on the couch, wouldn’t wear his ring and admittedly looked for the first scum that would and she was after our money and said so. Infected with crabs and an incurable disease and all that goes with that. In his clear state he admits she was a guy missing a part. That is the devil for you.

          After 23 years with him, 3 kids, I wear a size double 0. D cup bra. Long auburn hair and green eyes. Snow white teeth and all natural. I’m immaculate with everything. His co-workers shake their heads and tell him how lovely I am all of the time. Affairs are not about looks but all out sin!!

          He threatened me with it and humiliated me daily. Slandered me to all including our kids and tried to turn them against me. (we’re all fine now and he is the man of my dreams -IN CHRIST) He would make the slightest effort when he wanted it and then back to the couch as I cried myself to sleep. I felt like a toilet. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and said no.

          He failed God and all else. If not getting any or any love or kindness is justification for adultery, I should have done it a thousand times over years ago but I refused to defile myself or God.

          This is a Christian site. You don;t seem to know Christ or His Laws.

          What an offensive statement. Women need and enjoy sex too but people like you only care of themselves and that’s why the sin of pride/selfishness exists and why Jesus had to die for our sin :(

        2. (USA) I am tired of hearing men make those threats and desire to cheat on their wives. If it is that easy for a man to look elsewhere, then women come out better leaving these marriages. A happy marriage is not about a man’s genitals.

        3. (USA) Jean, if that is the case then why are so many couples able to attribute the success of their marriage to meeting each others needs (both partners) and conversely, so many couples attribute the failure of their marriage to not meeting each others needs? Physical for men and emotional for women (as a generalization). It is absolutely important. It is as heartbreaking for a man as it is for the woman who hears her husband say “I told her I loved her the day we got married, I’ll let her know if anything changes.” Cold and truthfully disgusting and incredibly damaging to the marriage…on both accounts, no?

        4. (USA) I so agree with you, David! We all owe it to ourselves to love and respect ourselves. If we can’t protect and take a stand for our needs, then it’s unreasonable to expect other people respect us. I am a woman, and I can tell you, if the very lady who’s been lucky to have you by her side is dismissing your needs and desires consistently and continuously, then she does not deserve this precious gift -YOU- to be by her side. We only live once -ONCE!! 20 years of no or almost no sex?? Are you serious???

          So those women with no sex drive feel entitled to get from their men everything he is wholeheartedly giving to them, but they don’t feel loving and sexual toward them? Then they don’t love them, period! Maybe she does not need a man, then she can live alone all she wants! God Bless!!

  3. (USA)  Interesting that the comments here are from men only. I wonder if any wives have ever read this? I wonder what they think about it?

    All very true by the way. My wife says I am trying to use her to satisfy my physical needs, even though I have explained many times that sex is how I experience love. It is how I know in my heart that she really loves me. I don’t think it matters what I say or what she logically believes. If she doesn’t feel like having sex, then I don’t want her to "just do it".

    On the other hand, I do the things my wife and children need and want, no matter how I feel about it.

    1. (USA)  I am a woman and I have the same problem you do in that I do not get sex from my husband or any type of intimacy. I feel so alone and disconnected and miserable. I do not have proof of infidelity on his part, which he says he had never cheated on me, but I have to wonder. I have been married 30 years to the same man and I have never turned him down in the bedroom. I too am a Christian woman and that is the only reason I have not left him as of yet.

      I have told him how I feel many times but we have not had intercourse in the last nine years. We do not cuddle together or kiss or anything. I feel trapped hurt and very confused. I want to do the right thing but I want a relationship that fulfills me. We used to make love all the time and had a wonderful sexual relationship. I need to be fulfilled that way as much as most of you men say you do. I love sex and for most women I know, they have the same feelings as I do that they feel loved and needed when their husband has sex with them too.

      I do not think that is an only men related thought. Doesn’t sex bring men and women closer together in a marriage and make them connect on a deep intimate level? Well, this woman needs that too and I feel like I am dead inside without it. I loved being with my husband and I never refused him sexually ever. I’ve always tried to support him in his work and show him I cared in everything he did. I’ve always bragged about him and told him how proud I was he went to work every day especially when he was having a hard day. I’ve always tried to make him feel important to me. I’ve even left him notes in the bathroom when we were both on different schedules and in his wallet and car to show him how much I loved him always and how proud I was of him.

      One note that I might put in his wallet would maybe say, “Thanks for all the work you do to provide for our family even on the days you do not feel like it. I appreciate all you do for us. I love you” and I would sign my name. I like caring for him and taking care of him. I always put him first and have made time for him even when the kids were small. I wasn’t a neglecting wife and I did things for him even when I was very sick and not able to. I never have been selfish with myself or time toward him. He was always my first priority. I feel so cheated. What do I do and how do I connect with a husband who is depressed and hates sex or any physical connections with me? Tell me what you think please? Lori

      1. (USA)  Lori, As a man, I see what you mean. It’s rare that he is the one denying. He is either getting fulfilled some where else by images or a woman(en). Or maybe he has some issue physically that he just has no drive (doubtful).

        He probably could care less about gifts as a love language i.e “the notes”. Incredibly sweet, but he may not give a hoot. I don’t like gifts. I like nice affirming words, not just from my wife. Maybe that helps give you some insight.

        1. (INDIA)  Dear Lori, As a girl I do really understand what you really feel like being trapped. I am a recently married woman too. I understand your pain. Why don’t you talk to your husband and sort out the ways. There is no point in living so hard all your life, just for a person who doesn’t deserve so much, right?

          I am not suggesting for you to go out and quarrel but I am saying, just see if he is worth it, ok? Just because he is your husband and feeds your family doesn’t really make you stay with him. Does he speak to you often and properly? Is the verbal conversation between you and him, also like the sexual one? Well, if the verbal conversation is poor too, this issue is seriously in need of thought. Act wisely before you lose your life. This is all I can say. Good Luck!

      2. (CANADA)  If a man has not had sex with his wife for 9 yrs, he may (1) have a physical reason for zilch libido, or (2) he has a mistress (which is less likely because men with mistresses will still sleep with their wives), or (3) he may have discovered he is homosexual.

        Men can get married and have kids, and then “after all that,” discover they are homosexual.

        1. (CANADA)  Your comment is interesting but not exhaustive… alcohol or drug abuse can also be the cause of lack of desire (men or women).

          To the original story (TO WIVES), I thank you for so beautifully explaining what I am currently experiencing. It was a long long road to get here, (I am in my late 40s), but I have recently learned the true value of sex as a communication tool for the soul, and as the unique thing that binds two people in love. I don’t know if I could have understood this, 20 years ago, I know that I did not believe what he told me, that he ‘needed’ sex. However, now I absolutely understand it, because I too, have learned that I need that connection to another person. It really is the most important connection (when it’s right) we make. In love, bridget.

      3. (USA)  Lori, I feel your pain and I believe you deserve a better treatment. From all you said you do for him, you should be pampered. And if that is not happening, that proves your husband needs serious professional attention. I don’t believe it is because he is cheating. But you will have to have a talk with him about the situation and convince him to seeck medical attention, or visit and consellor/therapist.

        Let him be open and honest with you. It could also be that he discovered something about your past that you did not disclose to him… The possibilities are numerous and only by talking about the situation you will be able to find a solution. May GOD help you go through this. Be strong!!!

    2. (USA)  Go to a marriage counselor, let them propose a sex rate in between what you are getting today and what you want. No self respecting marriage counselor would force the sex-rate to be at the one with the low sex drive.

    3. (USA)  It honestly baffles women that sex is a way to experience love and not just a physical need – I don’t understand this at all. I was taught that love is expressed and felt through how we treat each other, how we act and speak towards each other, how we work together, how we experience pain and happiness together by BOTH of my parents.

      As the article points out, women (especially working ones) spend their entire day fulfilling everyone else’s needs. Why is it so terrible to not want sex at the end of the day, and want to have 30 minutes relaxing with a book, a tv show, a bath, and NOT have sex? Why are women at fault for ruining a marriage because we are too exhausted? Why do women have adjust their attitude about sex, and men don’t?

      Women keep more lists in their heads – schedules, eating habits, backpacks, clothes, who is responsible for what, bills, banks, homework, birthday parties, cleaning, laundry, shopping, doctors, running the household and making sure everyone is happy and healthy -in addition to clients, bosses, work politics, and everything men claim stresses them out about work.

      What about me and my needs, really? I need time with no one wanting anything from me. I need time to work out. I need time to sleep. I need time to eat more healthy food -I don’t get any of it and the minute I think about it something else gets put on my plate for me. So why should everyone else come first, including my husband?

      1. (CANADA)  Katie, I agree with you 110%. I often feel so exhausted and used up by the end of the day that the last thing I want to do is have sex. I need my time to myself to unwind and regroup. I don’t think it’s fair that I should have to try and change my basic needs for not having overwhelming stress in my life. Sex is just very different for women and it would do some husbands good to try and understand the women’s point of view.

      2. (US)  First, I’m sorry you don’t understand that for most men, sex is not just a physical need, but a physical experience/expression of the love they feel for their spouses.

        Many times I’ve heard women say that their husbands don’t or rarely ever give them verbal affirmations of their love- and the men are dumbfounded, saying “But I thought all the things I do for her and our family show her how much I love her more than words ever could?” And the women say, but would it kill you to just say it every so often? Same for most men/husbands about sex (though you act like we expect sex every night you come home!)

        Second, your husband doesn’t come first. Your stated priority list goes like this:
        1. EVERYONE/EVERYTHING ELSE
        2. You
        3. Your Husband

        Finally, if your reason for not wanting to have sex with your hubby at the end of the day is because you “spend your entire day fulfilling everyone else’s needs,” why is it so terrible to not want sex at the end of the day, and want to have 30 minutes relaxing with a book, a tv show, a bath, and NOT have sex?”, then I have a simple solution for you, one you could have come up with yourself, if you were really looking for a solution instead of protecting your reasons not to have sex: **Have sex in the morning**

        1. (USA) @TY, sorry but you either did not understand what the woman was saying, or you decided to ignore her. And for one thing she cannot always put her husband’s need for sex ahead of everything else. If their child is sick, then selfish, spoiled, husband has got to wait for a few minutes.

          What you could have said to her was, tell your husband that you have an overwhelming amount of responsibilities and if our sex life is going to be good, then both partners need to keep the kids and house going. If the woman works outside of the home, don’t expect for her to cook and do everything. You are a grown man. Get up and be a grownup and do as much as she does. She “ain’t” a robot!

          And it seems as if many men in this blog/forum, always want a wife to give, give, give, to him, but he is not willing to give to her. A woman has needs that are different from a man’s needs. Stop scolding women for being different. Maybe it’s a test to see if a man will commit adultery. So, you guys had better think first before you hop into another woman’s bed.

      3. (USA)  Think of it this way: by marrying him, you have essentially told him his body belongs to you. ‘Forsaking all others’ means YOU are responsible for his sexual needs. That means that yes, you have to do that for him.

        I am saying this as a woman. Maybe you should shorten your list of ‘to dos’ so that you have time for yourself. But the long and short of it is this: Stop sulking because your husband expects you, his wife, to fufil his sexual needs. You’re his wife; if you’re asking him not to turn to other women, then be prepared and willing as his woman to give him that thing he needs from you, the number one woman in his life. You’d be amazed at how much a man will do for a woman who is willing to give him thirty minutes for sex. It isn’t ‘only’ a physical need. Much as you need your husband to talk to you and cuddle you, he needs you to let him get in you. He needs you to make him feel more important than the laundry, or the kitchen floor… seriously.

        Your marriage depends on a shift in attitude. If you do not want to give your husband more attention than you give the household chores, why did you get married? SERIOUSLY.

        1. (USA) I think people have missed the point of what Katie is trying to say. Men forget that there’s a big pressure on women to “do it all” and it drains us at the end of the day. And it’s looked down upon if we say “no” to something because we’re not being “nice”. Sex for us, while possibly very physically, emotionally, and spiritually gratifying, doesn’t always end up that way during the act. That’s why there are so many instances of “counting to 10” and “faking it” just to keep him happy. Sometimes the wife is truly sooo tired that she isn’t able to get aroused enough for her husband. And if that’s the case then it’s physically PAINFUL when she does. Her libido is literally suppressed when she’s that tired. While we definitely understand that men are also facing the same battles at work and outside the home, women are too and then some.

          Personally I think there’s always too much emphasis on what the woman needs to do to “keep her man” in articles and not enough on what men need to do to keep his wife. I also have to be honest too. I find it amazing that if a man’s wife is CLEARLY doing all of these things such as working, shuttling the kids where ever they need to go, cooking and cleaning their home (which also usually means cleaning up after him too), and trying to prioritize for the next day and all of that gets wiped out because she said “no” to sex? That truly makes me wonder about the husband. If that’s his only way of feeling connected, I think that’s an issue.

          Sometimes the sexiest thing to do is let her have some “me time” and approach her later. Remember that she’s doing all of those things so that her husband doesn’t have to. Husbands, if you see your wife running ragged then step in and take the burden off of her (and she’ll truly appreciate it if she’s not a control freak). While flowers are great, taking out the trash, picking up the kids, and starting dinner is even better at least a couple days a week. If husbands if you do this consistently (and that is the key), more often than not she will be WAY more open to your advances. And try to have emotional connections with other people or at least other ways of relieving stress to also take some of the pressure off your wife. Because men are taught to not form various emotional connections like women are they look to their wife to fulfill all of their emotional needs. That’s dangerous for a marriage because that puts a lot of pressure on his wife.

          I say all of this to implore that marriage is an ebb and flow just like life. Both of you do the best you can for each other and learn from each other and please have empathy for one another. Just like she needs to take of her husbands needs as her own (sexual, emotional, spiritual) he has to do the same for his wife. And for his wife that usually means lessening her to do list (especially when kids are involved). And while it’s not fair of her to reject you for months at a time, please think of her doing all these things because she loves you and is essentially taking care of your needs. And keep in mind too that women can smell from a mile away when a man does something to get sex. That only makes her more resentful because she doesn’t feel that it’s coming from your heart.

          I don’t say all these things to downgrade men’s needs because I think too that when you all do express your desires people are quick to dismiss them. However, like I said before look at any woman’s magazine, TV talk shows about marriage, articles such as this or just even conversations women have about marriage with each other, they are always about what a woman needs to do. Men’s magazines, friends, and honestly, society in general doesn’t put as much emphasis on the husband having and showing more empathy towards his wife. Empathy goes a long way.

        2. (USA) Yes Leslie, thank you. Yes, your husband is VERY lucky. You definitely couldn’t have said it better. I’m at the end of my rope, that’s why I’m looking at threads such as these to try to find some answers. My two year old son who means the world to me. He simply can’t be the only reason for me to stay here, but it feels like he is.

        3. (USA) Just ran into this article and it explained everything I feel to a T. Its been 13 years without intimacy. Leslie gets it. And no I have not gone off the path, but I sure have been tempted. However, after a heart attack, then going into cardiac arrest and depression nearly costing me my life… is it really worth it? It is a two way street, but it hurts when everytime you come to an intersection you seem to encounter a stop sign. My problem is I want to be an example to my children, who I am about to complete putting through college. It’s just to bad that I am damaged goods!!!

        4. (UNITED STATES) I so agree with you! We all owe it to ourselves to love and respect ourselves. If we can’t protect and take a stand for our needs, then it’s unreasonable to expect other people respect us. I am a woman, and I can tell you, if the very lady whose been lucky to have you by her side is dismissing your needs and desires consistently and continuously, then she does not deserve this precious gift -YOU- to be by her side. We only live once -ONCE!! 20 years of no or almost no sex?? Are you serious???

          So those women with no sex drive feel entitled to get from their men everything he is wholeheartedly giving to them, but they don’t feel loving and sexual toward them? Then they don’t love them, period! Or maybe she does not need no man, then she can live alone all she wants! God Bless!!

      4. (USA)  Dear Katie, You begin your comment by saying: “It honestly baffles women that sex is a way to experience love…” Please don’t speak for ALL women…it baffles YOU. You end by saying “What about me…..why should everyone else come first, including my husband?” Your marriage is in trouble, and I pity your husband.

        You (and Phoebe) are exactly the wives for whom this article was written. You said you read it, but did you really? Did you actually take time to absorb what was said, or did you read it with a chip on your shoulder(s), and nothing was going to change your viewpoint? I’m sure your attitude is “that’s all he thinks about, and it’s all he thinks I’m good for.” Obviously, your husbands are not unique, and your completely selfish stance will lead to no good. At best, you’ll stay together in a loveless, passionless marriage. At worst…well, do the math. You’ll have no one to blame but yourself…but, of course, you won’t.

        I have to say that this is the first article that truly articulates the way I have felt for SO very long. I get that my wife is often tired (so am I) but, like you, she brings it on herself, unnecessarily. But it’s the way she so cavalierly rejects me that hurts so much. The funny thing is that when we are intimate, she almost always, um, enjoys it, and makes a point of saying so.

        Leslie’s response to you is dead on: You’ve essentially told your husband that you don’t really care about him, his needs or his self-esteem. Do you take so much? And don’t say “Well, HE won’t help me.” A) He works, too, and B) have you ASKED? If he’s like me, he’s more than happy to help out, but needs a kick in the pants.

        Would it really be so awful to take 30 minutes a week out of your very busy life to try to heal your wounded marriage? Maybe you can pencil it in to yout “to-do” list. I guarantee your husband is dying to worship and please you and share some special time with you. It would mean more to him than you can imagine…you might even enjoy it, too…if you let yourself.

        1. (USA) I think this is where the conflict comes it. Dan, when a woman is taking care of everyone else that everyone else is usually her job (to provide income for the household), her house (to keep it sanitary), both of your children (to keep them healthy). She’s already trying to fulfill her husbands needs so that he doesn’t have to do it. If she’s already doing all these things I don’t think she’s “bad” if she says “no” to sex every once and a while. Sex is just different for us. While her marriage should and has to be a priority, it would help if her husband tries to find other ways to fulfill her needs by lessening her to do list and doing it consistently. And, yes, while we women must understand how our husbands think, so does the husband.

          Husbands, if your wife says “no”, it’s not that she doesn’t love you. Please try to accept that. As we try to accept you and your weaknesses. And if you’re basing your love on whether or not you have sex, please look at things from her eyes and if you see that she is taking care of all your other needs and “wifely” duties, cut her some slack. If she loves you and adores you and she’s that in areas outside the bedroom, believe me, trust your wife enough that she does love you and will make love to you. Also teach her that she doesn’t have to be superwoman either by taking some of the burden off of her and talk to her about how she’s feeling within the marriage. There’s usually a deeper reason she’s not open to making love.

        2. (USA) LaToya, In everything that you have written you have made one huge assumption. That we as men are standing by as our wives do everything. Do you think we sit on the couch and click the remote control as she mops the kitchen floor, helps the kids with homework, and pays the bills? Heck no! We men are there for our women. Many of us endeavor to lighten their burden whenever we can because we know our wives have a lot on their plates. We are good, caring, loving men that are in this situation not some one-way self centered lump that expects to be served and serviced.

          I myself do dishes, homework with the kids, all the yard work, almost all the cooking, at least half the cleaning, and more. You need to come up with another excuse for us LaToya, because we are here for our wives. And as our needs for intimacy go unmet it nags at our hearts and causes us to feel rejected, resentful, and depressed.

        3. (CANADA) This is for Tom, who commented yesterday. You sound like a wonderful husband. Mine, watched me work for 9 years. Yes, he watched me work while he clicked the remote. He watched me do the groceries, watched me prepare the food, watched me to go work to earn the money to do the groceries, watched me pay the bills, watched me do the dishes, watched me take care of the children, watched me organize the activities, the schooling, watched me do the clothing shopping, the Christmas present shopping, the hair dressing. I asked him about a thousand times to help. He did not. I gave up.

          I found a man who helps when I ask. I found a man who wants to help me. When I tell him I have misplaced something, he looks for it until he finds it. He cooks dinner, he washes the floor, he does not make me feel guilty if I sit down. But the father of my children thought it was all my job.

      5. (USA) One of the great conflicts in modern life is the roles of men and woman, husbands and wives, with respect toward needs and wants. God did not create Adam and Eve to both bring home the bacon nor did he intend that we should want all that modern life can give. Greed and concern for keeping up with unreal expectations in modern society challenge everyone of us to remember God’s design. God comes first, spouses next, then children, extended family, community, society, country, and so on.

        If our focus is on caring for others according to their needs commensurate with their position in the hierarchy of God’s plan then we are likely to protect the time we give others more judiciously so that we are able to meet the needs of those whose priority in our life is greatest. Wants tend to be counter productive to achieving met needs. When we want what we don’t need more than we want to meet the needs those in the hierarchy according to their place in it, we are creating the circumstances that lead to failed relationships. A wife that does not understand the intimacy needs of a husband and makes sexual favors a reward for his capitulation to her wants is as sinful as the man seeking sexual intimacy from someone other than his wife. Men are not devoid of responsibility to be judicious in their requests. After all to cherish means to take her needs into account when approaching the thought of intimacy while to honor means the wife ought to keep in mind that her husbands physical needs are his second strongest drive and that nurturing it is so important to his success in other aspects of life.

        If you don’t have time and energy for your spouse, have wants gotten in the way? Have the needs of others with a lower priority usurped the more legitimate needs of you spouse? Align your needs with the right priority and keep your wants in line with your needs and amazingly you may find that you have more time and energy for the more important people in your life.

    4. (UGANDA) I fail to understand the fact that men feel loved through sex. If this is the case:

      1. Why then do men sexually abuse children including even infants??? Do men feel loved by infants through having sex with them???

      2. Then again a man can have sex with as many as three women in a day. And he again could have sexual encounters with as many women as he could possibly spot upon in a month. Does he, therefore, receive love from all those women??

      3. O sweet Lord, if that is the case, then we have a big problem here. Men must be feeling rejection 24/7.

      Please somebody explain to me the above!

  4. (USA) I’m a Christian husband of 29 years. My wife has deprived me all, but maybe 3x a year. I think I’m losing the struggle. I have no self-esteem, I don’t go out except to the drug store/doctor & back home. I’m 48 & retired. I’m no longer a man. I’m retired from law enforcement. She wonders why I wear a frown & I get criticized for it. Everything else is more important than me. My heart is broke in half. I used to be in ministry also. Please pray. She says she still loves me, but I feel more like a roommate.

    1. (USA)  Bryan, So sorry to read about your situation. You might want to make your wife read this article. That might help. Or seek some professional help… Good luck and GOD bless!

      1. (USA)  Bryan-I think your situation has more to do with your loss of identity. Retiring is difficult and your struggles seem to have less to do with your wife and more to do with you not knowing who you are anymore. You might want to seek some counseling about this and once you regain your sense of self; a sense of who you are other than your job, you might see your relationship in a different light. Trust me, sex with your wife will not fill the void you are feeling for any more than 3 minutes. Good luck to you.

        1. (USA)  Tarah, you are so wrong and you don’t even know it. Yes, sex is important to a man’s self-esteem. It is a very, very important part.

          Imagine a wife who’s husband refuses to hold her, kiss her, smile at her, or hold her hand, even when she does everything she can think of to get him to. Is that hurtful? Does that effect her happiness and self-esteem?

          Are you ladies even reading this article? This is exactly how systematic sexual refusal is felt by a man.

  5. (USA) This article actually explains to me some things that I didn’t understand. I’m another man married to a woman just not interested in sex. If I ask she’ll put me down on her ‘list’ which I think means she just needs a day to mentally prepare herself I guess. For years I had been involved in pornography and self-gratification and I guess in a way that kept my desire for her down, but I’m sure it also perpetuated the problem since I didn’t have that desire for her as I should have.

    I’ve been free of porn for a couple of months now and my desire for my wife is through the roof now. I like that very much, and she knows what I’m going through. Unfortunately, I think she believes that my need for her is just physical and I don’t know how to explain what’s going on with me. This article does a great job of explaining that. Like I said, I didn’t understand my need for her as well as I do now.

    A warning to everyone– pornography cannot offer you fulfillment, and the satisfaction you do get is temporary at best. I’m thrilled to be free of it thanks to God. It isn’t easy, but it is wonderful to have this desire for my wife again. The next step is to restore my physical relationship with her and have the relationship God intended us to have.

  6. (USA) I do understand that my husband’s need for sex is emotionally connected for him. So, at least once a week, though I don’t always want to, I do spend an evening with him. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, it’s great on a physical level, & he seems fulfilled. I do it for him; I know he needs it. He is happy for a few days, then he starts moping around the house, becoming more and more distant. I assume that this is because he needs more sexual intimacy, so the cycle repeats itself. If it’s been longer than a week, he gets extremely depressed or angry. When this happens, I begin to feel manipulated or coerced, and much more unattracted to him because of his inhuman behavior. But, eventually, I bite the bullet and give him what he needs in order to keep the peace, though I hate myself more for it every time.

    I’m a great actress, so he is fulfilled even when I fake it. The problem is that I never get my emotional needs satisfied, and I am coming to resent the sex. I feel cheap…like a woman giving away sex without getting any sort of affection in return. It’s really starting to wear on me. And he just doesn’t want to talk about it.

    We’ve been married for 12 years. It wasn’t always like this. He began to pull away from me emotionally 9 years ago when he became involved in pornography. He has truly repented and changed, but he spent so many years being emotionally detached from our relationship.

    We recently talked about our emotional needs (a rare occasion) & he said he is not willing to spend the minisquel amount of quality time with me for me to feel more loved, but he wants me to provide him with more sex. Any advice? If he’s not going to change, is there anything I can do to keep myself sane? Can I get my emotional fulfillment somewhere else & still not feel so abandoned in our marriage?

    1. (USA)  Well do you want to really be in your marriage? It sounds like the old argument of what came first the chicken or the egg? You don’t enjoy sex because he is emotionally detached and he gets further detached because you don’t enjoy sex with him, which he sees as you not loving him.

      My wife and I are separated but we continue to be committed because of our devotion to God. We have made great strides in our relationship and it is getting better each day. I was the one who found God, she was always a believer, and found out my responsibilities to her.

      So I put aside all the feelings of hurt and abandonment and gave her what she needed emotionally. I prop her up daily, tell her how much I love and desire her, spoil her when I can. She now knows that everything I have physically and emotionally is hers. With that she has become more and more attracted to me. She lets me know that she desires me, which in turn makes me feel like a complete man. With that I feel even more drawn to her and find new ways to feed her ego and let her know that she is the most important person in my life.

      I could have put conditions on her and I working out, she needed to do this etc. But I just let go, put it in God’s hands and treated her as God wanted her to be treated. When I talked to her, I let God speak for me and let her know that His unconditional love was coming through me.

      One person has to say”enough”, one person needs to start the healing. I could have waited for her but I didn’t. I took the lead and my marriage is turning into everything I have always wanted. I stopped thinking about her having to change this or that, and started focusing on my changing so she wanted to be with me.

      What I am saying is, do you want to let go or do you want to hold on and make the first step? You can sit back and do nothing or you can take the first step and try to lead him to being a Godly husband who satisfies your emotional needs.

      I made the first step because I needed to break my self destructive behavior and I did not want to die. With that I finally understood what my wife needed and started to give it to her. Through wanting to fix something else I ended up fixing my marriage. Are you willing to let your husband get to where I am? Are you willing to let him make the first move as a show of faith on his part? Or are you going to put on God’s armor, which no rejection or attack can penetrate, and take your marriage back?

      45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

      God will be there for us to stand with us in all our challenges and battles. The only time we will fail is when we stray away from Him and try to work it out on our own.

      1. (USA)  Sean- Great post but, you didn’t give any concrete suggestions as to specifically what Barbara, or any of us like her, are supposed to do. It’s great that you saw what was happening, and you made changes, I am so happy for you and your wife but, what do I do as a woman? I understand my husband needs sex, physically and emotionally but, he doesn’t understand that I need a little affection, some hand holding, some kissing, something other than grabbing my behind or saying “do you want to go do it?”

        Sex for most women starts before the actual act. I have had numerous conversations with my husband, no blaming, just talking about needs, and it changes for about a month or so, and then he goes right back to his old ways. I have also tried just initiating it, not overthinking and it never leads to a give and take, it ends up being that unless I initiate it, we can go months without sex. What do I do? Just stop sex altogether hoping he will “find God?” Because this whole “treat them how you want to be treated” stuff doesn’t work!

    2. (USA)  Hi Barbara, Having been on both sides of your story, in some ways, I hope I can share some helpful thoughts with you.

      1. It sounds like your husband has some problems being honest. It may be that he is a “nice guy” (see Paul Coughlin’s book, No More Christian Nice Guy). So, instead of talking openly with you about sex and his sexual desires, he uses his “hints” -some negative (moping, bad moods, etc.) and probably some positive (for example, are there times, about once a week, where he is extra-sweet to you or more “touchy” toward you?). “Nice” guys (take it from a recovering nice guy) are not so “nice” at all, even though they may not be blunt, because they aren’t honest. They expect others to respond to them through things like manipulation or, when people don’t take their hints, through anger. Of course, it may be that he just is so bitter that he feels he shouldn’t have to ask you or tell you what he wants. :( You know him better than I.

      2. It sounds like you give him sex to placate him, like giving a lion a steak so that he won’t eat you or a three-year-old little boy the toy he wants so that he’ll stop screaming and leave you alone. In other words, you are pandering to his attitudes rather than giving to him in love. Don’t misunderstand… I’m being simplistic. I know that there are mixed motives, including love (probably). But because there is no connection with him, no honesty about your lack of overall intimacy with him (this isn’t primarily a problem with sex, I bet), you resent him because you feel like you are giving to that bratty little child just to shut him up even though he doesn’t care a rip about giving back to you. But, despite how great an actor you might be, I bet your husband senses your distance. There is no connection, and he knows it. Plus,

      I’m not a sex therapist, but I will tell you from my own experience that it sounds like there is an overall lack of intimacy between the both of you. A counselor once told me that intimacy is being fully known and fully loved (accepted) without fear of rejection. I’m not saying that he won’t open up because of you -it is probably partly due to the interaction between you both and partly due to his own sin issues- but people do lots of things to “keep peace”: placate the other person, keep quiet, don’t tell them what is really bugging them, enable sinful behavior, etc. But there is often a huge price to pay down the line. It leads to resentment because nothing is dealt with and those little internal messages we have about what we want, don’t want, like, and don’t like, get stuffed down further and further inside. They spoil and turn sour in our hearts, and we shut down more toward the other person. Eventually, we are two strangers living in the same house, and then we wonder why there is no affection or emotional connection.

      Since you can’t directly change him (or anybody for that matter) but only be an instrument of change in the Lord’s hands, my imperfect and humble opinion is that the following things might be helpful.

      1. Prayer. I’m sure you’ve been praying like crazy about this, so I’m just listing it for completeness. Pray for yourself, that the Lord would reveal the things in your own heart that you need to deal with. Pray for your husband, too. Don’t just pray that he will change so that life will be easier. Pray that the Lord would help him get in touch with his own bitterness and fear, which are keeping him locked away.

      2. Forgive. Forgive your husband. I’m nobody to tell you that this is easy, but I think you need to come to some peace with God about this situation and realize, truly in your heart, that your husband is just a sinful, flawed person just like you and everybody, who needs Jesus. I know you know that, but to “know” it in our hearts and be able to let go of the debts we are holding against them is a different story. If you don’t do this, then whenever you try to talk to him (see my next step) you will inevitably turn it around on him -you’ll start talking about him and his problems and how angry you are at him, and you’ll get nowhere because nobody wants to be punished. He won’t be open to listen at all. Men, especially, don’t respond to anything that feels like nagging or punishment.

      3. Confession and honesty. As you see things about yourself, like about how you grow resentful, about how you placate him, and whatever else the Lord shows you about your heart, confess it to your husband. Keep it about you and your sins and problems, not his. What is the difference? Well, for example, his problem is that he is manipulative about his sexual needs and doesn’t seem to put any effort into connecting with you or making you feel like a woman. Your problem is that you don’t like his moping and distance, and it brings you to give him sex but just resent him. As you start to open up to him and also confess to him where you have resented him, it will cut through the tension like a knife and, Lord willing, will pave the way toward him opening up, too. So, in short, find out your problems, your responsibilities, and be honest and open about where you have sinned and failed.

      4. Continue to build safety and intimacy by conveying love, acceptance, and commitment toward him even when you disagree with him or think he’s an ass. There has to be that honesty and safety. That is the “formula,” if you will, for connection in relationships. Does your husband know that you are safe? I don’t mean “safe” in the sense that you won’t leave him. I mean safe in the sense that he knows he can be completely himself without being punished, condemned, rejected, abandoned, or belittled. Do you feel that way with him?

      If all of this does nothing, then it may be that your husband refuses to cooperate, which you’ve alluded to. In that case, he is on a course of self-destruction with no desire whatsoever to change. That is where setting firm boundaries may come in essential, along with the honest communication (don’t be tempted to run under ground, withdraw, and start punishing him). The book Boundaries or even Boundaries in Marriage (by Cloud and Townsend) might be helpful, if you haven’t already read them. Keep in mind also that you don’t want to go through these steps simply to make him behave differently. They are good for you to go through simply because it will help you heal and deal with your own issues before the Lord. This is a stab in the dark. I hope things get better with you guys. :( I know they can.

      1. (USA)  Mathetes – Absolutely brilliant. What you wrote is amazing and makes so much sense. I literally had an “Aha” moment. I can see now that I am dealing with a man who is selfish and unable to admit where he is wrong or is falling short but, has no problem chiming in when I am talking about my own failings. It’s clear that either he won’t change, or he can’t. I have tried everything you have suggested; and I mean everything and what happens is we talk about what’s wrong with “me” and yet never get to the part where he honestly examines himself, even if it is on his own.

        I mean, I don’t need him to verbalize it to me; I don’t have to be “right.” But, the problems always remain because of me, at least to him, and by me admitting to them, in his mind, it’s all about me needing to change.

    3. (USA)  Barbara-Reading your post was like reading my own story. For a moment I thought maybe I had posted this and just didn’t remember! I thought I was the only woman out there who felt this way and did these things.

    4. (ENGLAND)  Barbara, I never post comments on forums but your unhappy story has made it impossible for me to not at least try to offer a suggestion. I noted that in your post you said “I assume that this is because he needs more sexual intimacy.” The one word that struck me was your choice of ‘assume’ rather than maybe, ‘after asking him why he was upset he told me he wants more intimacy.’ My question is have you actually talked about why he is so clearly upset?

      I will assume that you have talked and you know it is lack of intimacy that is troubling him. I am sorry that this post may seem a little bit ‘naughty’ as many people have offered the suggestion of prayer, while I know prayer for strength is important in your situation I have another idea to go with your prayers.

      When you said it makes you feel ‘cheap’ it broke my heart for you, no person should ever feel this way. No person should ever have to describe intimate situations as ‘biting the bullet’ either. However, I once watched a documentary about a similar problem. The particular couple in question had trouble with intimacy because sadly the woman had been sexually abused as a child. She felt that sex was for the benefit of the other person and in her struggle with this she had decided to take control of something that she had not been able to as a child and would not be intimate with her husband.

      Now I appreciate that this is your not your situation but the basic mechanics are the same. You have found yourself in a position where increasingly you have it on your mind that sex is solely for your partner and not you. In doing so each time you begin this process you are feeling used and cheap. So my point is this, during therapy the suggestion was made for the couple to spend some time everyday (however much time you have spare) engaging in a form of intimacy (passionately kissing, while fully clothed, a massage -with the knowledge it is only a massage and not a prelude to intercourse, stroking of hair, back, neck etc. Each act was to establish a sensual physical connection but it was firmly agreed between the couple that no matter how excited they became or however heated the situation got they were not allowed to engage in intercourse, eventually leading for the woman to feel in control of the situation and to realise the sexual excitement was not just her husband’s but hers as well.

      That may seem too easy and you’re probably wondering what your husband will get from it. I will be blunt, nothing if all he wants is sex, but this suggestion is not for him it’s for you. You need a chance to heal yourself from the feelings of being used for his benefit. I feel you need to remind yourself of how much you enjoy being intimate with him. I appreciate you saying you are a good actress and make every effort to make him feel good about sex when it happens. But it will not have escaped his attention that you do not initiate sex or even appear to want it outside of him being moody to get it.

      This leads me to two final points. Firstly it appears you have allowed your husband to develop a childish, stamping of his foot approach to getting sex. If he was to ask you nicely for intimacy would you respond with “yes please I would love to” I don’t believe you would and I guess he doesn’t either. He has learnt that to get what he wants all he has to do is be unhappy and sulk and in return he gets sex for it. Remember he isn’t a child and a grown man should learn better behaviours to encourage you to feel sexually attracted to him. It may serve you well to tell him that as well. He wouldn’t expect his employer to pay him without going to work to earn it, why do you feel he deserves to get intimacy without putting in any effort to achieve it?

      Secondly, the purpose of the counsellor’s suggestion is that when the woman was ready for intercourse she would tell her partner in the morning that ‘tonight was the night’ and he had the whole day to look forward to it, adding to the excitement. Each day he knew that the actions he was taking was leading him to what he was hoping for so every day was an exciting chance for him to show her care and love and he knew his hard work was going to lead them both to a happy place.

      Barbara, I hope I have at least offered you another option. Seeking emotional happiness elsewhere will not alleviate the unhappiness you feel within your marriage. I think it will only make the distance between you and your partner wider. Be brave and show him you hear his needs and you want the same thing but make sure he knows intimacy is a two person activity. Good luck x

  7. (USA) Many wives lose their libido from chronic health problems, hysterectomy/ovary removal, change of life, weight gain/self image, fatigue, etc. As much as she might know his need, sex is no longer on her radar, and when it does infrequently occur, there’s so much pent up emotion between them it’s like a match to gasoline: best avoided. I suspect many Christian husbands just bear it the best they can, with most becoming irritable, distant, depressed or overly busy outside the home. Pornography often fills the void, to the detriment of all. When the only woman in the world that can fulfill his sexual need (without the threat of hell) just doesn’t feel like it anymore for the above causes, and the wife won’t counsel, what’s a Christian husband to do?

    1. (USA)  Well, I pay plenty of attention to my wife and she will agree with me any day. She says to me she has sex with me just to please me. I want to be desired but somehow she can’t seem to do that. I love our intimacy and desire it so much. I have loads of testosterone running through my veins. When she comes home she seems to get the jump on me and says I’m tired before I can even ask. It’s like she knows what I’m thinking and shuts me down before I can say.

      I don’t know what to do. I do look at porn just to get by. But I would take her over porn any day. So porn has its place for me even though I know it’s wrong. I’m not like other guys. I think I do everything for this woman. Yes, you name it, I do it, so I can’t understand what the problem is.

      She says I should be happy I get what I get. But I’m not. I get mad every month or so and she says she will try more but it just keeps returning back. She always says to other people we have such a great marriage but I just shake my head inside. And she gives advice to many people also. Weird.

      1. (USA)  I’m sorry John. Just letting you know I hear you. I understand what it’s like not to feel desired by your wife. It’s almost funny when you mentioned your wife giving advice. My wife actually mentioned once that she thought we should become marriage mentors at our church because we had such a good marriage. I said something like “Uh, I don’t think so…”

        I’ll be praying for you. Are you a Christian John? There is another Christian website with a lot of good folks on it that may be able to give you better advice than I. Themarriagebed.com if you sign up (free) they have a Sexual Refusal section and a Lack of Desire section that you might want to look at. At the very least, you can find a lot of Christian support there.

        Anyway, take care bro. I believe it CAN get better, though I haven’t really seen it in my marriage. But I know it has for some other folks I know. I’m sorry it’s so frustrating. LS

      2. (USA)  Firstly, it takes a lot for a relationship. There are lots of things that you would need to do to go back to an intimate relationship. Mostly from my point of view… men don’t understand what women want and men don’t express themselves as to what they want, in the right way. Most men are straightforward and demand things, are very inconsiderate and pressure women for what they want.

        Some men will make the effort and do what the woman wants just because she wants… and not because he feels the love for her. What he is doing is beneficial to both of them. If a man truly loves a woman, he will provide that attention she needs, and not prefer electronics, or hobbies and in particular PORN and the special bars. At the end of the day, the woman puts out a lot. And if a woman does not… she is protecting herself from hurt and regret. I do not give any woman wrong for not providing the specific kind of sex you want as a man and just do it because you want it. You are not providing the specific kind of love and attention that she wants and getting this in return.

        Also, she may not know what she wants. And yes, you can use that against her. But also, you would expect and state and drill that what you are doing is better than most men and is all a woman wants. Reality check men, when you get your gears straight then make requests. The Ego thing really screws up a relationship.

      3. I find these commentaries interesting and coming from the Christian viewpoint, I find that many of the folks here are trying to comprehend “what would Jesus do”? Now most of us were brought up in the kind of secular religion so out of context with what inevitably must be a entirely different picture in their time, that we miss the target entirely.

        First a few biological facts and imperatives. I read one wife mentioning ED, and other complications, with advancing age with men. Most non scientific folk (I’m trying to be gentle here because it’s not broadly known nor agreed upon, but remains a fact of the physical body) don’t realize that when a woman goes through those cold spots in their intimacy with their husband, it’s true a man feels rejected, and if he’s a good communicator, it doesn’t change the fact that her intimacy switch is turned off.

        If a man pleads for sexual intimacy, then it’s unfulfilling for both not naturally occurring event. We understand the endocrinology of women. We also understand that a male’s function for procreative activity, rests upon remaining sexually active. If enough years go by the ability to deal with the physical complication becomes more and more difficult with time. The prostate gland, like the thyroid, or adrenals, or other endocrine related glands has a feedback mechanism of releasing factors, and blood endocrine levels, such that if it ceases to be used, then it’s nature is to increase in size, slowly over time. This increased size impinges on the ureter, causing decreased urinary flow, and complications of infections, the potential for prostate cancer and the like.

        Women have a similar complication but not caused from sexual abstinence necessarily in all cases, and that is as they age without getting regular exposure to the exercise of intimacy, the pelvic floor and muscles that support the curvature of her urethra, slowly begins to collapse, causing incontinence (the inability to stop urination).

        In Jesus time, it’s purported that he was once asked a question concerning plural marriages, as to the fate of the first born son of the first wife. If one reads it with the openness suggested, Jesus makes no commentary concerning it being immoral, to have more than one wife, and in fact plural marriages still exist in some countries, in some religious traditions and was present up till the 1860’s here in the US. His commentary then is if a man shall fall out of favor with the first wife (be it sexual withdrawal, indifferences and so on assuming he is staying married to her- because it was difficult to get divorced and infidelity by a married woman usually meant she was stoned to death), that the son of his first wife – her first born son (we also assume fist born daughter secondary to having no son) shall receive the birthright.

        Again we argue Jacob and Esau philosophy, which is a common thread from Cain and Able Spiritual Man and Carnal Man (the birthright is not the possessions, but the blessing of the father, the spiritual endowment to obtain to wisdom and wealth), so this first wife’s offspring is the heir to that blessing (surely it includes possessions, in a practical sense but Jesus is sticking with the law and the prophets on this one.

        Jesus being practical corrects the law on other occasions, because he was super conscious, knowing how it all works, so most people even today scarcely can follow the inherent design of humanity. He of course does, just as the natural kingdom of vertebrates all function on similar themes here, marriage is a spiritual sacrament, not to be taken lightly, but things happen, man procreates for life, women on the other hand are not specifically designed for this, and in fact have a limited number of years where sex for procreation is advisable (cancer rates for cervical and breast cancer are lowest for women bearing their first child under the age of thirty).

        Is sex meant only for procreation? I think it’s clear the answer is no, unless you’re raised Catholic (as I was) however as we grow in understanding, we also raise our frequency to observe what the true teaching of Jesus must be because most certainly the apostles modified it to fit their own needs, and a first hand encounter with Jesus if you’re a spiritually minded person. Jesus criticized the use of religious practices for the sake of power of the church and its representatives making absurd projections for instance with the Sabbath day that one could heal, nor eat if they needed to, he broke tradition with these lawyers of laws that were not handed to man by the living spirit, 10 basic premises of which if you understood just two, the others would naturally follow.

        Turn to your source your God if you will, the creator and give all your attention devotion to it an strengthen your ability to discern what seems mystery, by going inside your own consciousness, for this is the temple where the God he speaks of resides. Is it ok to have just one wife, that’s a definite yes. Should a man consider a sexual relationship if he falls out of favor? They didn’t understand physiology, anatomy, endocrinology, neurology and these topics, but they understood the basics surrounding them and that men and women were different. This site exfoliates very nicely these ideas about men. Men consider love as respect, or feel loved when they have earned and can wield respect from spouse and offspring, it gives a man purpose, a sense of well being and that somewhere in all this he is needed for what he in particular has been provided which is the ability to guide, love, give, and nurture the kingdom.

        Men consider intimacy differently from women I think. In courtship, a man’s prowess, much like the lion which champions the pride, had to fight for the right to be a suitable mate for the woman of his most earnest desire to love and to cherish, to care for and for her to be the custodian for the proliferation of the kingdom, over time. No plural marriages were done at once it was successive marriages within the continuation of the context of the first marriage without abandonment. In the growth of the family, priorities shift, and sexual encounters naturally are one where the woman in that setting feeling her sexual interaction in those days was primarily for procreation, and all the way to the Victorian era, women were though of as not enjoying the procreative act which today we know is another absurd assumption, as intimacy can and often is enjoyable.

        I find it difficult when the 2000 year old traditions aren’t handled today just as Jesus would have. 1800 years before his time Moses was given 10 basic rules, which turned into 770 laws of Torah however there are two torahs (Ta Amei Torah –the natural world and Sitrei Torah, the metaphysical world) –the bridge is the word no man or woman enters the majesty of the Sitrei Torah with out first perfecting their word by the two baptisms of water or emotions and fire the trials of life be then conquered in perfect word of power)

        A scribe in a gesture to trick Jesus (a scribe that would be an attorney today), thus attempts to lure Jesus into an argument, which the scribe knows in advance cannot be one and the emotion is to discredit him in public. Good master please tell me the order of the commandments. In today’s vernacular Jesus might have replied “Dude”, what are you trying to sell me there is no good save for goodness itself, the lord of Light and creation, why are you jiving with me calling me good.

        But then the enlightened Jesus goes one step further by not answer the question posited. He says look dude, here is how it lays, if you love your source give yourself to the life source has for you it’s all good the source cant do you no wrong, sure you might be confused at times where God’s taking you but relax, and oh by the way, everyone else is trying to groove with the source with God and so likewise treat them the same and in the same position as you and it should all work out for you in the end.

        Yet we keep trying to interpret Jesus as what he wasn’t then and wouldn’t be now, alpha & omega, dude that is outside of time and space already done, so kind of hard to play ego trip with that isn’t it. Jesus is made out to be pious, but I tell you Jesus was a pleasure to hang out with he was someone practically any one could learn something from but mysteries and secrets, its like what I’m saying here I can already hear the objections point by point but I tell you these words I say are spirit and are life and dude they don’t return to me void, even if I AM standing alone.

        It’s a shame the teachings of Jesus are used to control and not to expand, and the interpretation all resting on a world that must end, a nihilistic philosophy that Jesus, nor the Gnostic Christians did not declare was our only possible fate, quite the contrary. He did indicate that taking his spirit filled teachings simplified for a child’s understanding comparatively to now, down the same trough the commandments given to Moses, that come another 1800 to 2000 years we would be in another fix, with a religio-political- nation state, to many flags on the field, and the deciders tell you want to think, and do so that you don’t have to. Jesus liberated minds not enslaved them.

        So bottom line, a man shouldn’t have to endure prostate cancer, and the other complications because we weren’t designed that way it has less to do with being higher that other vertebrate animals, and more to do with our being designed with there similarities. A woman should be entitled to have her sexual drive ramp down, or ramp up because this is governed primarily by endocrine function and how woman was designed (ever seen a female cat in heat).

        Men shouldn’t veer from marriage where sex is missing or absent for a number of years but should maturely consider what options there are and this includes a partner entering the marriage, for in such case she would be married to the other woman as a wife subordinate to her (yes I know it is not legal but then mistresses apparently are lol) and all this involves respect (the Pagans who canonized the old and new testament wanted to create a state where taxation – churches were the banks then, would be most productive for the growth of the church (not the Kingdom).

        These same church fathers at the council of Nicaea in Constantinople in 315 AD, rejected 44 of the “books” that were part of old and new testament because primarily they didn’t understand them and secondarily was rife with the possibility that such notions given to the church would make it impossible to control doctrine hence people. People step in line if they know they are playing a game to be immortal, but that’s not what the torah teaches, the spirit immortal infinite, the body temporal.

        Pagans understood stories of a dying and rising God man, and had successfully built religions and empires from such. I don’t think having a GF if intimacy with my wife vanished without an apparent return in site would be my first choice if I were to think like Jesus and that were my case. However I realize right now your head is spinning with what I’m saying, because you can’t fathom this insanity it isn’t what you were taught (that’s what we crazy people call the seed that fell on shallow soil –no insult here intended were all there at one time or another as a stage of development).

        Jesus was not a conformist, but he did have rules and guiding premises. Jesus was so good, that if somebody really, really wanted to heal their infirmity, they did not even have to ask, just touch his seamless garment (a logic that circumscribed all potential knowledge and wisdom from beginning to end) then turned into milk for a baby to eat in the hopes that the strong meat to follow, which would most certainly disturb their prior state, as it would be counter to what propositions and assumptions from that were previously held from the teachings. It was in fact prohibited to offer great mysteries to the “babes” in Christ for such knowledge of their infinite freedom to discern would in the state of a new born, ruin them.

        Is it not true however from Ground level as we tread a path up a majestic mountain, through many winding paths and surprises, rivers, pastures, and forests, but as we advance and gain altitude, we can see clearly that which is ahead, and below us so that descending to the other side as surely we must join the others there soon enough, we can navigate a path that makes the most sense? We understand what is ahead because we can see. It’s difficult to be abandoned in a marriage where intimacy is concerned or to be subject to infidelity by our mate, especially if it happens many times, but after over 30 years of this I love my wife, every hardship endured, every lesson I’ve learned, every opportunity to forgive that came quickly once the knife was removed from my side, every desert I had to tread alone without my mate understanding me, and every conversation I have had to address what seems plain and simple to me because I went to the top of the mountain (perhaps dragging her and children with me, hopefully to their benefit), I realize one thing, life is wonderful, short, and worth living even at its worst.

        Every bag of nonsense we release, lets us move one step closer to Jesus, a great spiritual genius, who first said “I and the father” are one, and you too shall follow, yet in all my years since I was brave enough to say I am the Christ, because that was not what I was taught. Not a Christian in the world has ever said that in my presence to them Christ is the man, not the ancient of days, the cosmic Christ of Creation. Jesus the Man, Christ, the knowledge of God without compromise, God with us, Emanuel.

        I can tell you it’s hardly fun nor inspiring, for me being part of a religion if there will never be a possibility to come to the throne of consciousness, humble and contrite and be welcomed into the Kingdom. Now I know running with the heard, is not the way, as hard as it is to believe, just look at the example of Jesus, he was different.’I understand just how Jesus shocked people, turned their world inside out, and here we are just where he found us, until we own what was given a clear mind and a devoted heart to bring the kingdom of God into being, not a war rife planet not a religio politico state not a military industrial complex aligned with a pharmaceutical industry to tell us here take a pill for that you might have some unnatural side effects but your symptom will be gone but the problem, will always remain.

        I hope every heart here in this forum receives healing, every body turns to the spirit of life for answers and don’t believe me because your divine truth is right in front of you and I know all of you are. Blessed be, Chris T.

  8. (SOUTH AFRICA)  I guess many of us women want to be fed emotionally as much as men want be fed physically. I have experienced that the reason I do not have interest in sex is because I am not getting the quality time that I need from husband. Men are either busy with their work or sit in front of the TV.

    The solution to getting your wife back to be interested in you as the husband, is planting a seed of love and taking care of the seed planted. Water the seed and eventually the wife will know that your interest as a husband is not just physical but to her as well. God created us women to be emotional beings and we need to be given the attention emotionally, so that it will be easy for us as women to give back physically.

    1. (UNITED KINGDOM)  Sophie, I have just read your article. Please be specific. Give examples of emotional support that we men can learn from and start doing… waiting for your input Sophie, and many other women… what emotional support do you require for you to give us what we need physically?

  9. (USA)  I wonder about the husbands who do not respond to their wives sexual advances. The need should be fulfilled both ways right?

  10. (USA)  Wow… this is almost sad. Men honestly can’t believe that their form of love comes from sex. Women are just not pleased enough in that arena for that to be the form of expression.

    Sex is a way to produce children and to spend time with one another. Men have no problem taking control of the situation by finishing first, and women are left wanting more… Where is the love in that? When two people in a relationship are not being satisfied physically and emotionally, then what is the point?

    Men, if your wife got the job done every time you two had sex, and you didn’t, would you really feel loved? Would you start to hate sex, and wish that your wife paid a little more attention to you? Sex is a sad story no matter who is getting pleased unless both spouses are getting the attention they deserve/need.

    1. (NIGERIA)  I think that the reason why men marry is to have safe sex and when the wife denies them, they are sick of the marriage. In the 1600’s to 1900’s, the wives were at home to meet the sexual desires of their husband, which reduced break ups and increased love and affection.

      1. (USA) You are kidding me right? You really think those men were faithful? Let’s remember that at least in American there was slavery and stubborn southeners who refused to see African Americans as people and in turn, the slave master would sexually abuse his slaves. Also women were considered to be nothing more than cattle for breeding and cleaning the house and used for any land that her family may have owned. Things were not “pollyanna” in those days.

        1. (USA) Relatively few were slave holders. Maybe one in a hundred. So what you write may be true of a few, the vast majority in both the South and the North did not own slaves. So while things were not pollyanna as you say, there were probably not as bad as you portrait them to be.

          Finally, I never hear criticism of the African tribes who captured the slaves, folks from their rival tribes and sold them to the slave traders. Africans were as complicit in the slave trading business as were the Europeans who transported and sold them. If we are going to cast stones, lets make sure we don’t leave out the source of many/most slaves, African tribesmen and slave traders who captured other Africans and sold them into slavery.

          The blame for slavery is not a racial thing. It’s clear that folks of both African and European decent participated in enslaving others. This is not just a blame European male issue. It’s a character issue, not a racial issue, and bad character was represented by both Africans and Europeans.

          Finally, I don’t believe anyone alive today owns or trades slaves, so what is the point of blaming them for the sins of past generations? I don’t hold Africans today responsible for those who captured their peers and benefited from their sale.

  11. (USA) I am 31 years old and my wife is 34. I don’t understand her lack of desire at times. I am very frustrated and it seems like she always has another priority in mind. I remind her constantly about the desire that I start to feel about every 3 days. This article is so true and I do want to be loved accepted and desired. But it seems like there is always something else more important. It’s becoming harder and harder to not look at other women and pornography at times. Weeks will go by without physical intimacy and it will leave me feeling hurt and rejected.

  12. (USA)  Why isn’t this being taught and educated to people, all over the world, in marriage and to churches worldwide? This serious marriage problem is being kept silent till people marry, then they find out the hard way, after they are trapped in marriage. That’s wrong!

    Both men and woman, in the institution of marriage need to know what to expect before they marry, after marriage and during marriage and what to expect and find ways and have tools to deal with this marriage problem. Ignorance is not bliss, it’s costly and hurts everyone and all of society. Isn’t this one major reason why divorce is an enormous problem?

  13. (UK) Some real home truths in this article. It’s nice to see the men’s side of it instead of women’s. You can’t blame men for giving up sometimes. I think it is a no-brainer for both parties –men are from Mars & women are from Venus. It’s a nasty circle. The woman doesn’t give the man what he needs emotionally & physically so the man feels rejected, sick of initiating, embarrassed etc & creeps off back under a rock with rejection, lacking confidence & not sure what to do next. He’s made to feel like a sex mad monster.

    The man then detaches from his partner so she does not get what she wants such as chats, cuddles, a man friend – so she feels unloved & bitter, so does not respond/initiate sex any more, keeps him out of the loop, and goes out more. This goes on & on until she gets into an affair – where the woman will find a man who will talk to her & make her feel close.

    She wants sex because really she HAS missed it, BUT has sex with a man who is some other woman’s rejection that wants to feel good again by being with a woman that wants sex. But the difference here is the man knows he has to put the charm on as it won’t be wasted as the woman wants him as well. He’s wooed her and made her feel special because he has one thing on his mind.

    What happens though when your wife doesn’t let you massage her, get in the bath with her, when she’s too busy to talk/settle down/relax for the evening with a glass of wine with you? You’re too busy and work long hrs to give her & your kids the best life. She doesn’t want to go away for the weekend, doesn’t want to go out, is too tired, feels ill, goes to bed before you to escape, gets up before you to escape, won’t listen to your needs, and won’t dress up. In fact she won’t do any thing & will avoid being backed into a corner to avoid sex!!! What is a so called Husband if you have the confidence left to call yourself a MAN, do then??

    All these sex articles – you can tell women wrote them because they are always about how the women feels & how to make her happy & what men need to do & the man needs to wine & dine & woo her —- oh what ever.

    Well what about what women need to do for their men? It’s 50/50 isn’t it – two to tango & all that? Again, what if the woman isn’t interested in all that, what do us men do? How can we make them feel loved & woo them if they wont accept it? I would love to know. It is mankind, human nature – this is what made cavemen and women move on. We are designed to get bored & move on – to generate/reproduce.

  14. (USA)  I only see a couple female comments here. They have the same problem as we men, but on the other side of the fence. However, I would wager that the men who have found this article have been living in misery for years and have tried everything possible to turn the situation around.

    For my part, I have been the poster-child for the attentive, helpful, romantic, supportive husband. For a while, I even bought into the lie that "sex starts in the kitchen.&quot Over the years, I have consistently tried arranging special outings, sending flowers, leaving notes, complimenting her in front of friends — all the stuff women claim as lacking when they lose interest and think they are just being used. And, I’ve done so w/o sacrificing my self respect or becoming the pushover husband that undermines his wife’s respect for him.

    For 15 years I’ve been struggling with this issue. Frankly, I’m cooked. I’ve been on the brink 3 times now of succumbing to the temptation to enter into an affair. Each time it gets harder. I no longer buy the "I’m too exhausted from juggling the demands of work/kids/spouse/household." When did women secure exclusivity to suffering these afflictions? I work just as hard and long, am responsible for just as much with the kids, and put just as much time into the household.

    Yet, I still desire my wife. I still want to arrange special outings, dinner, a weekend getaway. But I’m on the brink of giving up. How long are we supposed to sustain relational abandonment. If we complain, we’re whiners and become even less attractive. So we have to just suck it up and pretend everything is OK. How long do we have to do this? Why? Why is all the attention she craves (that many of us give and more) legitimate, but the type of attention we desire is not?

    Do I sound bitter? Angry? I’m sending her the link to this article. I wonder if she’ll recognize this posting as mine. I wonder if she’ll care.

  15. (USA)  My husband and I have been married for almost 11 years. In the last 5 years we’ve had sex 4 times. My husband blames it all on me. Here is the real story: He’s borderline diabetic and has erectile dysfunction, refuses to go to a Dr. and won’t give into the fact that this is the main problem. But, if you can’t get it up and make it stay up you can’t do much. So, for me this problem is a blessing to me…read on…

    Years past when we have had sex, he gets through it quickly. We’ve had little or no foreplay. I’m left unfulfilled and depressed. I’ve told him this. He says I need to respond to him quicker.

    We have both been married before. I find him not as good a lover as my ex-husband. Being a Christian woman, I didn’t "try" him out first before marriage.
    I’m not sure what to do.