16 responses

  1. Newlywed
    August 17, 2011

    I’m a newlywed – we’ve been married just over 2 months – and so far the sex hasn’t happened for us. On our honeymoon, we found that it was quite painful for me for him to even just touch, and it turns out that I was seriously emotionally repressed about it all. We’ve made some progress, but it has been very slow going, and as of yet, we still have not managed to really do it all. Is this in any way normal? I’ve felt so much guilt, because it was primarily my pain and emotions that made things difficult. Is there anything I can do to try to make it easier for both of us?

    Thank you.
    ~Newlywed in the desert

    • Sheila
      August 17, 2011


      I SO hear what you’re saying. You are not alone in the least. I had very similar problems when I was first married, and they really impacted the first few years of my marriage, but I can tell you that we are completely over it now. So it will not always be like this! I wrote a longer post on what you’re talking about here:

      Read that, and I hope it helps! But remember, you are absolutely not alone, and you’re not a freak, and you’re not strange. Thanks for commenting!

    • ProvFive19_20
      August 21, 2011

      If you are experiencing pain, you should see your doctor and see if there is a medical reason for that. It’s good to be working on the emotional side and I have no doubt that has an effect.

      But be sure and get the physical parts checked out as well.

  2. Christine
    August 17, 2011


    My initial experiences with sex (unfortunately before I was a Christian, and before I was married) were very painful and unsatisfying. Many years later I can now benefit from, and truly enjoy, this relationship with my husband. I’m glad Shelia gave you a resource to read and I’m sure you can find other help on this matter. It feels all encompassing right now, I am sure, but you can and will get through it if you both will be open and honest with one another, and show grace for each other’s struggles.

  3. Heather@Raining Silence
    August 17, 2011

    I love this post. Thank you Christine for being willing to write about such an important topic. Love it!

  4. Christin @ Joyful Mothering
    August 17, 2011

    Excellent post Christine. My husband was reading over my shoulder and he agreed with everything your husband said! :)

  5. Theresa
    August 20, 2011

    I have to agree with you, Christine. I made the same choice to be available to my husband about 21 years ago when we were going through a difficult time. We just celebrated our 24th anniversary & my dear husband tells everyone we are still honeymooning. Now that the kids are getting older we are even enjoying it more often than before.

  6. ProvFive19_20
    August 21, 2011

    As another male of the species, I can tell you that my entire emotional outlook turns round when we make love.

    There is nothing like it and yes, it really is that simple for us. (I know it’s not always simple for you.)

  7. Tom
    August 22, 2011

    We’ve been married almost 26 years. The first few years were the typical getting to know each other and trying to figure out what it really meant to live with each other EVERY day. You know, my habits are different then hers etc. On the sex side, it was exciting and new and fun and delightful (we waited until we were married to have sex).

    Then came kids. And new schedules. And responsibilities. And LIFE. All that other stuff that gets in the way between you and your mate. And for us, our marriage took a back seat. And particularly, our sex life. I continued to pursue my wife (I’m the romantic of US) and she frequently was too tired. Worn out. Had too many other “priorities”. The kids always needed her attention (she was a SAHM). I played second (then third and finally fourth fiddle).

    After about 18 years of more often rejection than not (and RARELY any initiative from her), I wrote her a long letter that told her how much she means to me. How I was NEVER going to go outside the marriage. How much I was committed to her. But how totally unsatisified I was with our sex life. In fact so unsatisfied that I was about to give up – really I abdicated. I told her that I always found her attractive, still do and always will. I told her that I would no longer be begging for sex (I just couldn’t take any more rejection). I told her that I would be available for her ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. If she wanted to be intimate, I would be TOTALLY ready, willing and able. I continued to court her – but any physical connection would have to be on her terms, timetable and desires. It was a very long, tear-filled night for both of us when she read the letter. (probably the worst night of my life). But it was a huge wake-up call for both of us.

    Over the last 4-5 years, she has responded with much more creativity and desire to romance me. To pursue me – in and out of the bedroom. To focus on our marriage and spend her attention on our relationship (rather than putting the kids first). This has been a complete turnaround and while it is not perfect, it is pretty terrific! We will soon be approaching our Empty Nest years and while I feared that (due to that period of 18 years) we wouldn’t know or be interested in each other when it arrives in about 1 year – now we are BOTH really looking forward to being “Just US” again. (not to say we don’t think/worry/care about the kids – we do – we’re parents. but now I think we have a better perspective and I know our marriage is stronger!)

    My point is this – looking at those 18 years and lamenting over what was lost or time wasted – I want to encourage all couples – young and old – to remember that we were a couple first before being parents and we’ll be a couple after the kids are grown and leave the nest. Focus on each other first.

  8. Enya
    August 26, 2011

    I’m sorry. Every time I read one of these posts all it makes me do is think of having sex as one more thing on my to do list. When I have sex and I’m not in the mood, but I’m doing it because I’m supposed to…for whatever reason…it feels false to me. It feels pointless to me. And I feel bad because in my heart I’m only doing it because it’s a requirement.

    When men spew the lines about “visually stimulated so you have to be available to keep me from sinning” it makes me ill. And it makes me MORE resistant. Really, guys? I don’t think you realize how much that sounds like an excuse. And a threat. I recently read an article in Relevant Magazine where the dude said it was time to STOP making Christian women responsible for sexual sins committed by men. The more I read things like this, the more I get his point.

    • Sharon
      October 8, 2011

      Certainly, everyone is responsible for his or her own sins, including husbands who stray from wives who weren’t making themselves sexually available. A husband should NEVER use the threat of infidelity to pressure his wife to have sex, and if your husband does that, you have my sympathy. I can understand why this topic makes you nauseated. However, maybe you could try looking at it from this angle: we wives have tremendous power to defend our men from sexual temptation (and I have that on good authority, the Bible). In Proverbs 5:15-20, Solomon encourages his son to be faithful to the wife of his youth. In verse 19 he says, “As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times, and always be enraptured with her love.” After this entreaty, he says, “For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, and be embraced in the arms of a seductress?” To me the implication is clear: if a man is not delighting sexually in his wife, he is likely to turn to a seductress. With the availability of internet porn, today it is even easier to do that than it was in Solomon’s day. But, if he is satisfying his sexual desires with his wife, he won’t need or even want to look elsewhere. (I think the word translated “satisfy” in verse 19 conveys the idea of being so completely filled that you don’t have an appetite for anything else.) I adore my husband and want to do everything I can to defend him from temptation, and I know that sexual sin is the biggest temptation for most men. If that means saying yes to sex even when I’m not in the mood (and even initiating when I’d really rather do something else), then so be it. I love him. He’s worth it. (And usually when I approach it with the mindset of serving him out of love, I end up enjoying myself. Quite a bit.)

      • Sheila
        October 8, 2011

        Thanks, Sharon! That’s a great comment. I think you’ve hit a good balance: if a man is unfaithful, it is absolutely his fault. But we also need to realize that we do have the power to reduce (though not eliminate) that temptation. If God gave you something specific you could do to save your son or daughter from some sort of temptation, we’d do it in a heartbeat. But somehow we think men are pathetic for needing sex. It’s just too bad.

  9. Chris
    September 12, 2011

    Chickee, it is really that simple. Men like curves. They particularly like the curves of the woman they love. And they want to have sex. Lots of it. With their wives. Support him, do not show contempt to him, feed him and nail him and he will worship you.

    Simple. But it involves a choice — with your body you him worship. And unless you both have agreed to fast on sex for a period of prayer, it’s as much part of your role cooking dinner.

    It is on his to do list for you, unless you have managed to drive him away. You need to make time to be together, to talk, laugh, long walks etc… but you need to add this to the list.

  10. Chris
    September 12, 2011

    grammar error “role as cooking dinner”. Sorry.

  11. Bonnie
    September 13, 2011

    Posts like this are a struggle for me. I agree with what Sheila says, but also with what Enya says. It’s hard. My hubby and I started having sex eight months before we got married. He is VERY physical and I couldn’t say no. I still regret that (and have never told anyone that we did that). Even now, I feel like he makes everything “all about sex.” And I’m really not interested. We’ve been married for four years and those have been four rough years (four moves, unemployment, school, two kids) and we’re finally seeking marriage counseling. We’ve both brought baggage into our marriage from our pasts and we’re starting to look at that, but it’s tough. I often feel forced into sex, even raped, and it’s a real struggle for me. I’d love to be able to say “sure honey” but so many things hold me back. I don’t even know how to talk about it with him. Most of the times he remembers we had “great sex” I remember as times that I felt horrible. So thanks for addressing the issues. Thanks for the guys who spoke out. I guess I’ll keep praying and trying and hope something changes.

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