What Do I Do When I Don’t Want To Do It?

Sexual problems Don't Want to do it - AdobeStock_87682152.jpegIn The Message, verse 4 (of 1 Corinthians 7) is paraphrased: Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. The Sexual relationship between a husband and wife is God-ordained. Failure of either to take this seriously to serve each other in this intimate way, brings dishonor to God because it dishonors marriage. But, what do I do when I don’t want to do it?

Some of you may be thinking, is Scripture saying I can never say “not tonight?” No, but we caution you to be very careful about how often you say it. Men are very vulnerable in the sexual area. You may think women are sensitive in this area, but men are even more sensitive. Remember, their feelings about their masculinity are wrapped up in their prowess as a lover. Your husband feels emotionally rejected when you turn down his sexual advances. It is important that wives understand the vulnerability a man has in offering himself to her.

When He Wants to But You Don’t Want to

Yes, there are ways to lovingly say, “Later” or “for now, let me satisfy you.” But we must remember that God says we are to give our bodies as a gift. Perhaps you think that since we are writing a book on sex, both of us are always ready and eager to make love. Not so. Like you, we get tired. We have wacko hormones. We often have “more important” things on our minds. Sometimes we find ourselves irritated with our husbands and don’t want to be in the same room with them, let alone the same bed. But we’ve made a commitment to honor God and be exciting lovers to our husbands. That decision helps our attitudes when sex is the last thing on our minds.

Our friend Brooke told us that she recently struggled with her attitude, yet made the choice to honor her commitment to her husband. She shares the following story from her journal.

She writes:

Driving home on the snowy roads, my heart was singing. Tonight I would be alone. Jake had a basketball game with the church league and the children were each invited to a sleepover. An empty house. What joy! Visions of slipping into a bubble bath with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate danced in my mind.

When the garage door opened, I saw our blue car. Jake was still home. I was totally unprepared for him and his plan for the evening. With a grin, he informed me that a night of lovemaking awaited me in front of the fire. My heart sunk to my feet. I was anticipating aloneness —not togetherness.

I felt sad that my evening alone had vanished. Sex was the last thing on my mind. Perhaps I could get up for hors d’oeuvre sex, but it was obvious Jake wanted Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings! I just wasn’t in the mood. What was I to do?

My thoughts went to a conversation I’d had with a friend. She told me my husband never wanted her. I should be grateful that after 17 years of marriage, Jake still yearned for me, that he preferred a romantic evening with me over a basketball game. But I wasn’t. Not tonight. Help, God, I prayed. I love this man. Help me want to love him. One decision followed another. I prayed that Jake would not see how hard this was for me.

I told Jake how much I loved him, told him how I was going to give him pleasure, but my mind and heart were in the bath with my book. I continued to pray and love my husband. I choose to love him, Lord. Give me desire for him.

Lesson Learned

As I write, it’s hours later. My Jake is asleep. I can’t sleep because I’m still thinking about what happened tonight. It was a beautiful time of lovemaking —exquisite. Afterward we felt so close and intimate.

What a lesson for me. Yes, my plan was shattered, but how grateful I am that I made a choice and went with the new plan. I made one husband very happy, and I’m at peace that I chose to love. And someday, God will even have an evening alone for me.

Brooke had to make some hard choices to change her attitude but what a difference it made. She chose to give unselfishly and to allow God to work.

Attitudes Matter

We don’t know the number of sexual relationships sabotaged by a wife’s poor attitude, but we know it is high. When it comes to sex, we must each answer the question: Will I selfishly demand to have my own way, or will I minister to my husband and trust that God will bless my obedience?

Making the right decision is never easy. But there are benefits to adopting the right attitude. When we choose to love selflessly, we honor God. We make our husbands happy, and we find more pleasure in our lovemaking.

Dying to self is difficult. But it is necessary if you want to grow in godliness. Being godly means having a godly attitude. Godly attitudes result in godly actions, such as giving your body to your husband. This is easier if you surrender to God and allow His Spirit to work within you. “Nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37).

When I Don’t Want to… God Can Give Desire

He is able to give you desire where none existed before. He can help you exchange wrong thinking with godly thinking. He can cause you to enjoy deeper intimacy than you ever thought possible.

God, I confess that I have not always appreciated your gift of sex —or even wanted it. I have shunned You and withheld my body from my husband. Forgive me. I want to be a willing and creative lover —but it’s hard. Please stir up in me passion and desire for my husband. Help me get my mind off myself and focus instead on him. I surrender myself to You and humbly ask that You begin now to work in me.

The article featured above comes from a book entitled, Intimate Issues, written by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus. It is published by WaterBrook Press. This book features 21 questions Christian Women Ask About Sex. We can’t even begin to tell you how much we recommend that every Christian woman obtain this book. It is so practical, informative, biblical, and solid in its teaching! As once commentator said, “This is more than an excellent and well-written book, it is an important book.” And we agree!

— ALSO —

The following are a few more perspectives to prayerfully consider. The first comes from a web site, which isn’t Christian. But Michelle Weiner-Davis gives some very good advice and it sure doesn’t go against scripture. It’s great advice. We recommend that you read the article and then watch the video:

SEX DRIVES: His and Hers

Also, from the Intimacyinmarriage.com web site, the following testimony (and the comments below) can be helpful and inspiring to read:

SEXUAL REDEMPTION: Could Her Story Be Yours?

And someone who calls herself a “Forgiven Wife” writes:

“After 20 years of being a sexual gatekeeper and refuser, I am now learning to dance with desire and enjoy the full intimacy that comes with passionate and joyful sex with the husband God provided for me.”

The “forgiven wife” has “been there and has done that.” She “didn’t want to do it” but now she is finding pleasure in making love to her husband. As you read the following article, you may find others on her web site, which you could find to be inspirational, as well:

SACRED COWS

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Comments

21 responses to “What Do I Do When I Don’t Want To Do It?

  1. (USA)  I’m a husband. I have never once in 18 years of marriage came home to my wife waiting to make love. Not even once. Very, very seldom she has initiated in the morning when I literally had only five or ten minutes before I HAD to leave for work. And yes, we DO have time in the evening – but for her this is wasted on sex apparently.

    So anyway, what a blessing for this wife that she didn’t recognize. She knows what it is to be desired. I’ve been married almost 2 decades. The last time I actually felt desired by my wife was on my Wedding night. The rest of the Honeymoon… not really and not since… I don’t know… I guess I can think of a time or two, but they are so overshadowed by weeks and/or months of rejection. She wouldn’t rather be alone, but when it comes to sex, there’s ALWAYS something she’d rather do. Because of this, after 18.5 years, often I’d rather be alone too.

  2. (USA)  Seeing your comment makes me want to cry. Unfortunately, I have been one of those wives that has not been loving and respectful to my husband like I should be. This website has been very convicting, which is good! I am trying to change and be the wife for my husband I should be. I never knew how rejected he has felt in the past when I have turned him down– thank you for opening my eyes. By God’s grace, we will have the loving marriage God intends.

  3. (USA)  This article and others were helpful, but I’m wondering if anyone else is feeling what I am feeling. I have been married to my husband for about 2 years. I had a very high sex drive and was extremely physically and sexually attracted to him in the first few months. He is very loving and attentive and we get along really well otherwise. I just don’t have the desire to have sex anymore. I want to have my original sex drive back so badly, because my husband is still very attractive to me, I just have no physical desire to have sex. I know this is wrong but I have even tried to fantasize about others who I used to find sexually attractive to see if that would arouse me but it doesn’t. What is wrong with me?

    I am a Christian and articles like these do help, but it’s so hard to accept that the great sex drive I used to have is just gone. Also, I’m not even 30 yet, and we don’t have children, so I don’t think it has to do with age/hormones but I’m not sure.

  4. (USA)  My beloved husband, of almost 30 years, is an alcoholic. He drinks more often now than in the past. This dampens any desire I have for him, although I do desire him. When he reads articles like this (which he sent to me, btw) he then attempts to implement the ideas. So I recently had a moment like ‘Brooke’.

    Yes. He was sober at the time. However I made the choice to NOT “change my attitude”. First I prayed for guidance. I prayed for forgiveness. I prayed to desire him. My answer was simply to take mental care of myself at the moment, and that mental care was to gently turn him down.

    Which I did. Of course he decided to drink.

    Fortunately I have learned over the years to not take his drinking personally and to not feel that it is my fault that he drinks. More than likely had we made love that evening, he would have had something to drink afterward anyway.

    These articles are GREAT and no doubt helpful for those living in a *normal* marriage. Unfortunately being in a marriage with an addict means that when everyone else can ZIG with confidence, we have to ZAG and duck.

    I love my husband and I’m committed to my marriage. I just wish he would commit to sobriety, so we could give some of this advice a real shot.

    1. I agree. My husband just relapsed after 7 years of sobriety and I have lost all trust in him. I am so mad at lying to me multiple times about his drug use. I am healing and trying to work on the marriage, yet he berates me because I don’t feel secure and safe enough to be intimate with him right now. I wish there more articles about difficult scenarios.

  5. (USA)  I have been married for only 7 months but have been with my husband for 5 yrs. We have a 2 1/2 yr old son. The day I found out I was pregnant he quit his job. Now he works from home. I resent that since I have an outside job. I believe this and the fact that he’s home and drinking all day has put a damper on my sex drive. I need help. Our marriage is in jeporady and I don’t know what to do.

    I love my husband but have no desire to be intimate with him and now he’s not even talking to me.

  6. (USA)  I cannot bear to think about having sex with my husband because of his total lack of hygiene. I am surprised that I have never seen this topic before.

    First, he only takes a shower when he is going to the doctor, but what the real killer is, is that he never brushes his teeth. Please just imagine how disgustng that is. He has heart and lung problems, which may have been caused by the teeth issue. I don’t know if his doctors have mentioned how important it is to keep your teeth clean, but it doesn’t seem like it.

    In the summer, he will be sweating all day for days at a time and maybe take a shower once a month. He never washes his sheets. So now that he feels so rejected, he has developed this passive/aggressive attitude towards to me. Can anyone give me some helpful advice?

  7. (UNITED STATES)  There is NO WAY a wife should ever feel it her “duty” to have sex with a husband. Sex is not a job. Sex is not a sport. Sex is not love. Sex is a small but important part of love. Sex is a gift from God. Love is caring, sharing, honesty, faithfulness, supporting, acceptance, and wanting the very best for the OTHER person. Love is NOT selfish. Love is never about self. Sex is the most intimate way of sharing love. If the wife does not feel loved, she will not want to have share this gift with her husband.

    No woman wants to feel used like a spittoon. I would NEVER want my wife to feel that way. I only want her to feel loved. When she says no to sex, I need to look at myself first. What have I done to make her feel unloved. What do I need to do to get right with God first and then her. When she feels loved, she also feels desire for me. I have been married 32 years and we share the gift of sex more than most 20 year olds! Your prayers will not be hindered if your heart is in the right place.

    1. THANK YOU THANK YOU for pointing out that sex is not a duty! Sex can be a way of expressing love but it isn’t the only way, and no one should be made to feel obligated to perform sexually when not in the mood. That is just one step away from rape, in my opinion.

      1. I felt sad reading this article: even when I do not wish or desire intimacy with my husband I should just “do it” or shall not be blessed by God. It’s almost as if what I feel and how I feel doesn’t matter as long as my husband’s desires are satisfied. It’s demanding servitude not inspiring dialogue. I agree with the comment that sex is not a duty but this article makes it sound as an obligation to which I must comply. Forcing yourself to lie and fake desire, isn’t that what happens when you are paid for sex? I was hoping for some advice on how to talk to my husband about this issue but instead was left feeling very small and wrong for daring to say no.

    2. Thank you Ron. I wish you would write a BOOK, record VIDEOS, sell CDs, and post podcasts on this topic. Your perspective is SPOT ON and I wish more men shared your view. TRUST and believe if a wife feels loved, she will be more than happy to share the gift of sex with her husband.

    3. I’m so glad to see this comment! Reading this article made me feel icky, and its message that it’s my duty to put out for my husband feels fundamentally wrong. I got here, because I was feeling broken that my desire was gone (not just for him, but period) and frustrated that he was feeling like I maybe didn’t love him, and that he was undesirable and unworthy. His responses to me left me feeling guilty and flawed too, and left me even less interested in even trying.

      He opened up to me the other day, and told me that he’d joined a support group for pornography at our church. I was kind of surprised, because for years, he’s said he’s not interested in “spectating” like that, and he only has eyes for me.

      At first, I felt relieved by this news. Finally, he had an outlet and the pressure was off of me. But, at the same time, I knew it wasn’t ultimately healthy for him or us. So, I started googling. I found this article, and it did not help at all. The feelings of resentment that it’s my “duty” to basically prostitute myself to my husband, the feelings of worthlessness around that. It made me angry, and I went back to Google.

      I just want to pause and say something here: it’s no one’s job or duty to help someone else with their needs or desires. Our own needs and desires matter too, and are equally as important. When our needs and desires do not match up with our spouse’s, it doesn’t mean we should bury them (that’s called codependency). We are each fundamentally responsible for ourselves first. If my husband had a candy bar locked in a suitcase while I’m PMSing and him giving me the key violates his own needs (his bodily autonomy, his need to feel loved, his need for rest or recovery), then it is not his duty to give me that key, and it’s not something I should hold against him, nor take personally, if he doesn’t. It’s an opportunity for discussion, connection, and coming together to see how we can support each other while also supporting ourselves. Maybe with more understanding, more solutions will come forward.

      There’s a lot of really bad advice online for women struggling with sex drive, but finally I started to find some good articles, from sex therapists and other experts. But there was one great one that finally gave me some kind of an ah-hah moment.

      You see, I didn’t understand WHY my husband “needed” a sexual connection with me. So much you read says that sex is really important in marriage, but it never really says why, and if I didn’t have sex for a few years, I’d be perfectly fine. I don’t have the same need, so I just didn’t get it. I felt like he was just having hormones and wanted release and I was a tool for that purpose. And in my own past, before him, I allowed myself to be just that for many men, as a way for myself to feel some sort of worth. It was ironic that now, with someone who truly loves me, I was feeling like his desire was just some sort of objectification of me.

      But finally, one of these articles explained it just right for me, and I saw that it’s not just hormones and biology for him, it’s actually wrapped up in his expression of love and connection. I realized, men feel connection through sex, but women feel sexual desire once they feel connection. I realized, he was wanting to express his affection for me and to feel that connection. When I turn him down several times in a row, he begins to feel like there’s no connection. I can tell him I love him, but he doesn’t feel it. It’s one of the many paradoxes of men and women.

      He would never really explain this to me. It never occurred to me to sit down and ask him, “WHY is this so important to you?” Then I started thinking about myself. What was the disconnect? What are MY needs here? That’s right ladies, OUR needs. And so, I told him. “You don’t ask until midnight, when I’m literally about to pass out. It’s hard with working and caring for the family, and I don’t have a lot of resources. That zaps my drive, honestly. But if you ask earlier, right after the kids are asleep and before we watch an hour of TV, then maybe I’ll say yes. I can’t do it all though. I can’t hang out with you for a few hours at night AND make love. We have to prioritize and maybe alternate things.

      “I have come to understand why this matters so much for you. I’ve not put in the effort here, because I’m low on resources. But if you ask earlier, maybe I’ll still have some energy left to do that. Also, ASK! It’s simply how it is that you have more desire than me, and that’s not bad, on either side. I simply don’t even think about it most of the time; it’s just how I am. I’m perfectly happy going on without sex. I don’t feel like anything’s missing. I’m not disinterested in you. I LOVE you. I DO think you’re sexy, even though I don’t act on it. I know that probably doesn’t make sense to you, but anyway, ask when you want it and know that it isn’t shameful to ask.”

      Later, as time went on, I was thinking more about this. I started to realize more of my needs here. I need to feel connected and respected first. I need to have energy for it. It sure helps to feel sexy too. I suggested that he TELL me the ways in which he finds me sexy (Honestly, him doing more to speak my love language will probably help too.) And I realize, this probably falls under the umbrella of pre-foreplay that you read about being important for women. But also, I need it to be ok to say no sometimes, to be ok to have my own needs too.

      We both need our needs met if we’re going to connect in the bedroom. But, of course, the first step was talking to each other about all of this, and doing it focused on giving to and helping each other, not focused on just getting what we want and being resentful if we don’t get it.

      Just talking about all of this began to rekindle our connection. I felt my heart opening up (I imagine his was too), and my sexual interest began to return. It returned quick. And that first time together after this discussion was very emotionally intense. I felt more connected to him going in, and even more connected coming out. I could tell he felt it too. We’ve been cuddling more. He’s being more vulnerable with me. I’m being more vulnerable with him.

      Marriage is a partnership. It’s a union where two individuals can grow side by side, with the support of each other. It’s not an agreement to give each other things, it’s a commitment to support each other, and sometimes one carries the other for a while, and later the other carries the first. Sex in marriage is not a duty, and it’s not a right. It’s a gift, it’s an expression of love; it’s another level of connection that we give from ourselves and to the other.

      I’m going to leave this site now. One pit so many Christian sites seem to fall into is the one where it’s a woman’s duty to service her husband. But love, including God’s love, is not about putting the needs of others about our own. Love is also about loving ourselves and honoring our own needs. Love is about the equality of the needs of all beings, and about doing what we can to meet both the needs of others AND of ourselves. God made woman to be a companion to man, an equal. God made us to be partners, to share and give and respect. To care for each other AND ourselves.

  8. I am 40 and my husband is 55. We have been married for 12 years. I was a single parent. We have no children together. We tried but was not meant to be. We raise our two grandchildren. I’m sorry but I disagree with most regarding sex. Sex is for making babies… I find it nothing more than a chore. If I have to I will… only because I must perform my duties as a wife. I find it literally dirty… first you shower to get clean for it then you have to shower after to get clean from it. Yes, I love my husband… but there are other ways to show it.

  9. What do you do when you’re newly married and saved sex for marriage but your husband has no desire for you or sex at all? I had children coming into the marriage and I understand it’s hard to get alone time but he literally doesn’t want sex ever. I have a way higher drive than he does. I’m hurt by his rejection.

    1. Hi Amanda, It’s difficult to know why your husband is rejecting you. It could be that he’s having a testosterone issue, or a porn issue (that rewires his desires) or some other problem. But it’s unusual for this to happen. He has something going on that is blocking his sexual desire. Most likely it isn’t about you, but about him. I recommend that you go into the Sexual Issues topic at: https://marriagemissions.com/category/sexual-issues/ to look at additional titles of articles you can go into to read.

      And if you don’t find something there that is close to what you think might be happening, go into the topics feature to see other topics (such as “Communication and Conflict” or “Romantic Ideas” …etc.) that may give you other possibilities to read. Keep looking. And make sure that you read other articles that we link to within the articles because they could give you further insight.

    2. Tough one for a guy to answer, Usually this topic is the other way around… but… guys need to satisfy their wives. We don’t necessarily have ‘desire’ to cut the grass or pressure wash but we do it anyway. Sometimes guys (and gals) have to do it anyway to please their spouses. Honestly, I would much rather have sex with my wife than cut grass even if I was not in the mood.

  10. My husband has an issue with being clean. He doesn’t like brushing his teeth regularly, if at all, and showers only when he can smell himself…or, when he wants sex. I want cuddles, hugs, kisses at noon… but all of this I turn away from because it’s a HUGE turnoff.

    We’ve been married for almost 25 years in Feb. I have had COUNTLESS talks with him. He doesn’t feel the need to change, which he has never said, but his actions speak loud enough. I’ve struggled with our intimacy and sex life for this long. I married him shortly after I met him, which was shortly after I met Christ, which I know w/o a shadow of a doubt God told me to marry this man. But… there is so much more than this, but this is the main thing.

    He gets mad at me when I bring it up…he says I sabotage our sex life and ruin countless times of love making. This is just one of the areas I really feel devalued in. There’s nothing I can say, no matter how nice or frustrated I may get about anything without him becoming so irritated with me and storming off. There’s never any resolution. I feel like such a failure and wonder why he even stays with me. His relationship with God isn’t the best and over the past 6 years I’m finally slowly letting go and fading and I don’t like who I have become but I’m so sad.

    I don’t have much of a support system and he doesn’t like any churches in the city we live. I want our intimacy to be there. I just don’t know what to do any more and he won’t do counseling. We’ve been to many marriage retreats and he scoffs at the advice given. I’m not sure what I expect from writing here about it, but I’m alone and scared and have no where to turn.

    Also, my husband struggles with childhood PTSD and combat PTSD… so should all this I’m living with be expected? He doesn’t choose to get help with either one… :(