Being Selfless in Marriage Doesn’t Make You a Doormat!

Be Nice to Your Husband: It doesn't make you a doormat. It gives you a great marriage! (This post caused a LOT of controversy...)

Being nice to your husband does not make you a doormat.

And, along the same lines, let me say something which really shouldn’t be controversial: Making love with your husband, when you don’t particularly want to initially, is not the same as rape. 

I can’t believe that some people think it is, but I’ve had a ton of people react just that way to my post about “just say yes“. This is so abhorringly cruel to real rape victims I don’t even know where to start. To make love and decide to jump in, even when you’re tired, is not the same as being forced to have sex. Are people really that stupid? Any rape survivor can tell you that the two are not even close. And equating them is diminishing the very real terror and pain that rape victims experience.

Yet as I mentioned yesterday, I’ve had a ton of visitors from sites lately that have been mocking the Christian view of marriage, and that’s one of the primary lines of attack: I’m telling women it’s okay if their husbands rape them. Give. Me. A. Break. Now, I know where they’re coming from, since I’ve done a Masters in Sociology with an emphasis on Women’s Studies, too. I’ve read all that feminist literature that calls all sex rape, and while it totally messed up my sex life in the early part of my marriage, I’ve thankfully been able to leave it behind and realize how great sex in marriage is.

So let’s take a look at this more closely, and see what it actually means to say, “I’m only ever going to make love to my husband if I myself am completely and totally in the mood at that time“. If you’ve decided that your feelings matter more than being nice to your husband, then you are:

1. Opting for Parallel, Separate Lives instead of Intimate Lives

Here’s what you’re saying:

I don’t care if my husband wants sex. I don’t, so he will have to suffer.

In other words, your feelings trump his. Your needs trump his. He has no right to expect anything from you, and no hold on you. You are completely your own.

Is that really what you want? Because if you’re saying that he has no right to expect anything of you, then you also have no right to expect anything of him. What if he doesn’t particularly want to talk? What if he doesn’t want to help with the kids? What if he doesn’t want to combine incomes or share with the expenses?

It is not empowering to say, “we each have to do what is best for us” when you are in a relationship. The beauty about marriage is that you have each promised to care for each other. You have promised to love each other. You have promised to walk through life together, where you are totally joined.

You can’t do that if you are simultaneously saying, “what he wants doesn’t matter to me.” What you’re also saying, then, is that if there are problems in the marriage, it is his fault, because I don’t have to change or do anything he wants me to do, because if I were to do so I wouldn’t be being true to myself. So you want him to change, but you shouldn’t have to change. What kind of a marriage is that?

'knock out!' photo (c) 2010, andi.vs.zf - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

2. Misunderstanding our Different Sex Drives

When I say that we should make love as often as possible, even if we don’t particularly feel like it, I’m not saying that this means that women will always have awful sex. Quite the opposite.

I think many women misunderstand our own sex drives. They’re really quite different from a man’s. A man desires sex first, and feels the urgency for it, and then he’s ready to go. And once he’s ready, he really can’t be distracted from it.

A woman, on the other hand, rarely feels a “build up” or a need for sex. We don’t work the same way. And we are very easily distracted, because for us, our sex drives are primarily in our heads. When we put our minds to it, we can get turned on. When we’re not into it, we can’t.

So that means that if we decide to jump in, and if we put our minds to it, we can certainly get turned on, even if we weren’t initially. And, in fact, that’s what Rosemary Basson from the University of British Columbia found when she looked at female sexual response. We usually aren’t aroused until we start making love.

If you’re waiting to be aroused before you jump in with your husband, thinking that this is somehow “being true to yourself”, then, you’re really not understanding your body, and you’re denying yourself a lot of chances to have great sex–and denying your husband that, too.

3. Letting Feelings Rule Your Life

Sometimes I cook dinner when I don’t feel like it. I’d rather read blogs, but I do it anyway. When my girls were little, I read to them every single night before they went to bed, even if I was tired, because it was important to me. I didn’t always want to, but I did it. I rarely want to exercise, but I do it. I want to eat chocolate, but I don’t eat it all the time, because I know it’s not good for me.

That’s because I am not ruled by my feelings. Instead, I try to live my life based on what I know is best for me and for those around me in the long run, not what I feel like doing now. If I only ever did what I felt like doing, I would never get anything done, because I’m essentially a lazy person.

Why do we think that it is somehow morally superior to live our lives according to our feelings? All you’re doing is concentrating on being selfish, rather than doing what is right. Quite often following what we feel will lead us down the wrong path.

Besides, feelings often follow actions. When you choose to do something, to commit to something, to embrace something, your feelings follow. Feelings should not be the engine that moves the train; they should be the cars that come along after the decision is made.

Thinking to yourself, “I don’t feel like making love very often, so I shouldn’t have to” will not get you a better marriage. It will not make you happier. It will not make you a better person. It will simply make you a lonelier person. Who wants that?

4. Condemning Yourself to Stilted Personal Growth

But I do want to focus on one aspect of this whole argument where I think the feminists do have some merit. For many women, especially those who have been sexually abused in the past, to think that someone else has a claim on your body is very threatening. What do you mean I should make love just because he wants to? That’s like saying that my body isn’t mine, and that leaves me very vulnerable.

Yes, it does. And I truly understand that fear. I’ve felt it. And I absolutely do not think that people should jump in indiscriminantly and all the time when they’re feeling that kind of fear, because that can actually make someone more emotionally scarred. The pain needs to be dealt with. I also absolutely do not feel that women should do anything their husbands want, or should do anything that cheapens them, or should have to consent to sex a lot if it really hurts them. I am not saying that.

But here’s the issue: You may have genuine emotional scars when it comes to the idea that your husband’s need and desire for sex should have an impact on you. Yet those scars do not have to rule your life. Many of us have scars that hold us back in all kinds of areas of our lives. Maybe you’re so timid you’ve never been able to stand up to your mom. Maybe you’re so scared of people that you verge on agoraphobic, and huddle in your house. These are genuine fears. But do you want to get over them and live a big life, or do you want those fears to rule your life?

If you say that “I must have full control over my body, and my husband must never demand or want anything I can’t give or else I’ll feel intimidated”, then your marriage is going to be stuck. You won’t be able to achieve that real intimacy that would be so healing for both of you.

That doesn’t mean that healing scars is a simple process. But the beauty of marriage is that you have that commitment so that you can be free to invest some time in talking to a pastor or a counselor and praying through these issues. So share with your husband your desire to have a great sex life, and then get some healing. You don’t have to live a stilted life.

Being responsive to your husband’s desire for sex is not the same as letting him rape you. That’s just so ridiculous. And the people who equate the two have no clue what a truly intimate marriage is, where we both give to each other and love each other and care about each other. I hope that’s clear. And for the rest of us who do want intimate marriages, I’d just point you back to my original point: if you don’t have a good reason for saying no tonight, why not say yes? You’ll sleep better, your relationship will improve, and you’ll be happier. So jump in!

Now, what advice do you have for us today? Write your own Wifey Wednesday post that links back to here, and then leave the link of THAT POST in the Mcklinky below.

The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

Marriage isn't supposed to be blah!


Sex is supposed to be stupendous--physically, emotionally, AND spiritually. If it's not, get The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex--and find out what you've been missing.

Comments

  1. Great post Sheila!

    I particularly liked this: “Why do we think that it is somehow morally superior to live our lives according to our feelings? All you’re doing is concentrating on being selfish, rather than doing what is right. Quite often following what we feel will lead us down the wrong path.”

    People always “follow their heart” but I would rather lead mine in the direction it should go.

    I love my husband, which I feel, but my marriage isn’t based on that feeling (which sometime isn’t there) but on a commitment to be with him until death parts us. Being married is hard, and you can’t be selfish and have a good, happy marriage.
    Kathy recently posted…Christmas has LandedMy Profile

  2. I think I have it figured out:

    Doing the dishes when I don’t feel like it is loving.
    Taking out the trash when I don’t feel like it is loving.
    Changing the babies diaper when I don’t feel like it is loving.
    Having sex when I don’t feel like it is a horrible thing no one should ever do.

    As long as we are consistent, it’s all good!
    Paul Byerly recently posted…Two husbands I respect deeply.My Profile

  3. I’m glad you’re getting the extra hits to the website, and sorry that they’re not all good. I found your blog from artoftrolling.com, where the editors put your viewpoints into small, 1 sentence blurbs…and they made you look really stupid. Thankfully, that’s not the case, and I’ve found your advice to be useful for men as well. You give a lot of great insight in men, and it can really be a big help even to us, in better understanding who we are.

    I pray that you continue to be blessed, as I know I’ve been blessed by being able to stumble across this website.

  4. I’ve been reading for a while now, and I just want to tell you how much I appreciate your blog! It is so encouraging, and I’m thankful that you blog based on what the Bible says since it is where the truth is found and where we should seek it anyways.
    Shawna recently posted…Santa Try-outsMy Profile

    • Thanks, Shawna!

    • Ah, yes Shawna, the truth.
      “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” (I Corinthians 14:34-35)

      • Actually, Dave, the Greek word for “speak” there is not “speak”. It’s more analogous to “babble”. The problem was that women were disrupting the service. How do we know this? Because this passage follows three chapters after Paul is giving instructions on how women are to speak in church. So it is not a verse saying women can’t speak in church, because he just finished telling them how they should do so!

        • Thank you for replying to him with the truth Sheila! I didn’t see this until today. You are a brave person…if I did this, I would probably cry every day! I’ll just continue to keep things light on my blog:) Thank you, again, for speaking the truth!
          Shawna recently posted…Look at this!My Profile

        • David Collard says:

          That doesn’t explain away the part about being under obedience.

          • I’m not entirely sure what you mean or what this has to do with the post. Sorry!

          • David Collard says:

            I was responding to your argument about the text.

          • But what does any of that text have to do with anything we’re discussing? It just seems like you’re trying to throw a red herring in to get people riled up! :)

          • We all are commanded to be under obedience. Women are not unique (though this passage is speaking to women, so I could see the misunderstanding.) I don’t know what about this command needs to be “explained away.” We are saved by Christ through grace; we owe him our obedience. All of us, regardless of gender.

          • Yes, I would agree, but I still don’t see what this has to do with the original post.

          • Honestly, I don’t either. But it seems David C. was trying to cherry pick verses that would bolster a (specious) case that the Bible teaches the oppression and domination of women. You debunked the main point quite well; I figured I’d tackle the other, even if it wasn’t strictly relevant.

          • Got it. :)

  5. As usual, you are right on target here! I especially agree with your comments that true rape victims are minimalized and insulted by such wrong comparisons. We need to stop throwing such words around like they have no meaning. For those who have really suffered at the hands of another, the word “rape” has a very poignant meaning.

    As to sex in marriage, I’ve thought about my willingness to engage like waking up in the middle of the night to feed my infant. I did not want to get up at 3 a.m. to nurse, but when I did, I experienced some of the most precious moments of motherhood – gazing at my precious one as I held my child and savored the closeness. If you treat sex throughout as a duty, no, you won’t enjoy it. But if you make the mental shift to participate fully, you may find pleasure and intimacy that you wouldn’t otherwise experience. Absolutely worth it.
    J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) recently posted…10 Intimate Things to Enjoy for ChristmasMy Profile

    • Very true, J! I like that comparison to getting up to feed a baby. I’ll remember that.

      • Commentluv says:

        We can’t compare sex without emotional connection to rape, but we can compare having sex with a man to nursing a baby? Give me a break.

        I’m sure men love being compared to babies.

        • I think you’re being rather critical in the comments. The man is not being compared to a baby; the situation is analogous, in that when you begin nursing, you don’t want to because you’re tired, but then the love takes over. It’s often the same with sex; we don’t want to right away, but then the intimacy starts. Incidentally, it actually is a very good comparison, because physiologically it’s a similar phenomenon; the female body releases oxytocin during nursing and during sex, which is the bonding hormone, which makes us feel very loving, intimate feelings.

        • I am most definitely not comparing men to babies. I was using an analogy that some wives can relate to. In ANY quality relationship, however, we engage in activities that will enhance our connection. In motherhood, it can include meeting our children’s physical needs and having emotionally bonding times (in nursing, these two are connected physiologically, as Sheila pointed out). In a friendship, we go out of our way to be there and care for someone – even if our friend calls us at 3 a.m. – and the friendship deepens. In marriage, we engage in communication, quality time, and yes, sex to foster intimacy with our spouse.

          I do turn my husband down at times when another time for sex would be better (though I give him a later possible time). But far more often, I can get in the mood if I make our physical togetherness a priority. In a godly marriage, a husband will not demand, and in fact will take the time to make the experience pleasurable for his wife. In turn, the wife chooses to engage, even if she initially was not interested, to bring her husband (and frankly herself) pleasure. That sounds like a much better arrangement to me than vigilantly making sure you never, ever have any expectations made of you.

          Marriage comes with some expectations. I expect him to remain faithful, to spend time with me, to support me, and satisfy my sexual needs. It is quite okay for him to have the same expectations. After all, why else did we say those vows?
          J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) recently posted…Where Should I Look during Sex?My Profile

          • Thank you J (Hot, and Humorous) You really said it right! your last paragraph was awesome!!
            I am new here today. Hello all. Thanks for letting me come abooard. Do any of you think it’s okay for the husband to give conversation and romance when he doesn’t feel like it just as you all tell wives they should give sex even when they are tired and worn out?

  6. First of all, this is a very well the written article. It seems that people have different opinions on what is love. True love is unconditional. Unconditional love is a term that means to love someone regardless of one’s actions or beliefs. It is about not only understanding your partner but yourself also. Its not about doing something because you don’t feel like it.. You have to drop the “I don’t feel like it” part. Sorry Paul, i’m not picking on you but taking out the trash when you don’t feel like is not love. To love another unconditionally is understanding, caring and committing yourself to your other half. Lets look at this from another prospective. You as an Individual has two parts the conscious and subconscious. Even though they have two Identifiable parts they work together as one. To bring understanding, harmony, peace and oneness together. They don’t always agree or disagree but they complement each other without prejudice or thought. When we connect in this way, you hear then say I’m lost without him or her. A part of me is missing, or it feels like someone just cut off my arm. True love is, unconditional love, is to be one in spirit but separate in body. So learn to connect like you connect with yourself.
    kim recently posted…self help really worksMy Profile

    • Kim, I agree with you on unconditional love, but I think you may have missed Paul’s point! He was saying that we may agree that we should do OTHER things when we don’t particularly feel like it, but somehow some people think sex falls into a different category, where you should NEVER do it if you don’t feel like it. He was just contrasting.

      I think, though, that in every relationship there are going to be things that we don’t feel like doing. Unconditional love isn’t saying that “I will always feel like making you happy”, because that’s not realistic. I’m not sure if that’s what you’re saying, though!

    • I’d also like to add that taking out the trash can be an act of love. When my husband takes out the trash it eases the burden off me and allows me to relax and focus more on other things. He does it because he knows it matters to me. That’s love. Love can be shown in many ways. Taking out the trash (and I can tell you that my husband does NOT always enjoy doing this chore) is one way to show your spouse you love them and having sex is another.

  7. Girl, I LOVE how you tell it like it is!! You are so on target with all of this! You know, along with point #2 — not only do we not build up the need for sex, but the more often we have it, the more we enjoy and want it. So, we are increasing our own sex drive by having sex. Love what you have to say about all of it. Thanks for calling us to God-centered, not self-centered, marriages!
    Sarah S. recently posted…Celebrating Christmas, Poppa Max StyleMy Profile

    • Sarah, that’s a great point, too. I’ve written about it before, but I’m glad you mentioned it here. I really think that most women don’t understand how we work, because according to “the media”, our sex drives are just like men’s are. But that’s not true. And I think that’s one reason why most women think they’re just not interested in sex–because they compare themselves to the women on the screen, which are really the only other women we see in those situations, and then think that because we’re not like that we obviously don’t want to make love. But it’s not true!

      • I appreciated your whole article, but I really appreciate this comment. When I watch movies or tv, I often wonder if the women they portray are “real” and if there is something wrong with me. Why don’t I want sex as much as those women do? Thanks for reminding me that they are not real.

        In your opinion, why does the media portray women that way? It is so frustrating.

        Thanks for your blog. I enjoy reading it often.

  8. I can not say enough or often enough how much I respect your understanding of marriage. Marital love is about serving the other selflessly. Christian marriage is about serving God through serving our spouse. Amen, amen! Our feelings are weak and impulsive. Our will is free and therefore ours to use in service!
    Christie Martin @ Garden of Holiness recently posted…Wifey Wednesday–Why Sex Is ComplicatedMy Profile

  9. Danai Morningstar says:

    Hi Sheila,
    I am one of those visitors from where your blog was posted, and I just wanted to say that I LOVE your blog! While neither my husband nor I are Christian, we do have what people consider a very “traditional” mindset, marriage, and family. It’s refreshing to see someone so eloquently put into words what I have been thinking about sex and marriage for years. I have bookmarked your site, and will be checking out your books as soon as I get the chance.
    Thank you again, and Happy Holidays.

    • Awwww, Danai, that’s sweet! You wouldn’t believe how much I appreciate your comment today, after some of the utterly rude ones I’ve deleted. It was getting quite discouraging! So it’s great to hear from someone who found my link and it turned out well anyway.

      I really think that most of what I say is just common sense, anyway. I root it in the Bible, but then, I believe that the Bible is common sense! So I think we have lots of areas of agreement, and I hope I can keep writing stuff that challenges you and encourages you. Take care!

  10. Kudos to you. Excellent post and, I think, quite right.

  11. Hi Sheila! Found your “replying to your critics” link while scrolling through my Facebook news feed. Sure glad I clicked. Plainly put, your thoughts on the topic…AWESOME. I haven’t read the initial blog but by your response to “your critics” and reading some of the responses I’ve read thus far, well let’s just say, I on it!
    I may not always “feel” like making love, but I have found that the times I don’t “feel like it” or “not in the mood”, when I jump right in because (1) I love him and know that it will be a “blessing” to him, it works out rather, (ahem), exceptionally well worth it for both of us, and (2) He loves me and is desiring me at that moment. Why wouldn’t I want to reciprocate that love in return to the man who loves me, wants me, desires me, is committed to me, and wants to physically express it?
    To equate “just say yes” to “rape” is incongruous and I think some have missed the point. I can’t say that I have said yes every time but that’s when MATURITY = mutual respect, understanding, and love kicks in (or at least it should).

    I think there are several things to ponder here:
    1) Selfishness and immaturity are usually the driving force for the misunderstandings that contributes to failing relationships.
    2) Selfishness and immaturity will NEVER understand the heart of loving without strings. It is more of a MIRAGE, my personal definition of MY-Rage of self that focuses more on my needs and what I want in the relationship rather than MARRIAGE – two lives becoming one flesh.
    3) Maybe the husbands give off an ignorant “TURN-OFF” to the “wifey” that is really “not in the mood” for whatever reason – she could be really tired, fatigued, sick, just reeeeeally wants to sleep, or, to keep on topic, “not in the mood”, which all the above are valid reasons. But this type of response from “hubby” is more common and a sure and fast way to anger or set her off, which will result in arguments, misunderstandings, or responses of “You’ll get it when I’m ready!”

    I could come up with more reasons, but I’ll stop here and leave off on a more positive and encouraging note. I believe that if one is operating through the law of God’s love like kindness and gentleness, which stem from the fruit of the Spirit, you’ll avoid a lot of the “chaos” that result from selfish ambitions and motives, and instead of “getting a little piece” in the bedroom, you’ll experience “a lot of PEACE” in your marriage.

    One last thought: A seasoned and mature “hubby” understands what drives his wife. He understands the “road code” of his “wifey” in the bedroom and obeys the rules of the road, thereby, making “love making” an enjoyable journey instead of a chore or an obligation for her. She’ll definitely have something to look forward to and will willingly and lovingly want to get in gear because the oil that burns will woo and propel her to respond even when she wasn’t “in the mood” to begin with.

    God is never the author of confusion, division, and disorder (1 Corinthians 14:33). If you are experiencing division in your bedroom, then there is definitely room for growth on both parts. Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore, with all your getting, get some understanding (Proverbs 4:7).

    • Hi Narda! Great to see you here as well as on Facebook (and if you’re not a fan on Facebook yet, the rest of you, you can find me at http://facebook.com/sheila.gregoire.books! Anyway, great thoughts. Thanks for the comment, and you’re absolutely right. I think we all have room for growth in the bedroom, and if we’re both committed to God, and we’re trying to get rid of selfishness, then the bedroom is going to be very fun!

  12. Absolutely! I totally agree with your post, Sheila. I’ve read through the comments, and there are so many insightful readers as well! I’m not sure what I can contribute, but here goes…I guess I would add that the reverse can be true. My husband struggles with mental illness and often does not feel like being intimate. I think this is another case that we have to realize that “it’s not about me.” During those times, we’ll often snuggle and talk, and that’s enough for then. Being patient and understanding of our spouse’s limitations can bring you even closer, even when sex has to wait for another time.
    Krista recently posted…Great Gift IdeaMy Profile

    • Absolutely, Krista! I should have mentioned that, too–sometimes HE’S the one who doesn’t want sex. It’s not always the man with the higher libido! In fact, I’ve written a number of posts about that, the most recent one here: http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2011/09/posts-3/, although it may not relate to you since your problem is that he has a mental illness. But you’re right; sometimes the generosity goes the other way–in letting him say no.

  13. I really need to figure out how to post a comment policy, but just to let anyone know: I’m deleting any comments with profanity. I don’t mind debate, but please don’t swear. Thank you!

    • One of the best comment policies I saw was from a long term blogger named Dawn Eden.

      I just tried to quickly find her policy, but I couldn’t. She basically said- Be respectful to my readers and be respectful to me or I will delete your comment. A person didn’t have to agree, but just be respectful.

      She had over the years experimented with a longer policy, but she eventually came down to a very short one.

      Sadly, in this culture, I really wonder if people have a clue on to how to respectfully disagree.

      • Brilliant, Rich! Now I just need to figure out where to post the comment policy…I’ll have to talk to my tech person.

  14. I just want to paraphrase this, if I may be so bold. IF YOU ARE FEELING A LITTLE “MEH” ABOUT SEX TONIGHT, HAVE IT ANYWAY. IF YOU ARE FEELING LIKE “ABSOLUTLEY NO WAY, UH-UH, I HAVE THE FLU AND I’M GOING TO PUKE IF I HAVE TO DO THIS OR I’M GOING TO BE SICK”(the flu is just an example, there are other reasons), DON’T HAVE SEX TONIGHT..UNLESS YOU WANT TO TRY FLU SEX.” :P

    Sheila, I agree with you on this one, but there was a time when I would have had the same knee jerk reaction maybe those other people are having. That reaction comes from stereotyping and ignorance. They probably paint all Christians or at least married people with the same brush. There was a time when I thought that when people said wives(or husbands because that happens, too) should have sex when their spouse wanted to, what those people meant was EVERY TIME ALL THE TIME EVEN WHEN IT WOULD BE REALLY REALLY AWFUL. I had this image of a selfish husband demanding his wife have sex with him even though she had just had a baby and was sore or in the middle of trying to care for their newborn. That’s pretty extreme and now that I have a little more life experience, I know what you mean.

    One thing I don’t agree with you on is YOUR generalization of “feminists”. I am a feminist, meaning I believe I have equal rights to a man, I should have equal pay for equal work, I should have a choice about whether I want to have children or what religion I practice, I should be allowed to vote, I should be allowed to choose whether or not to work and in what field. That doesn’t mean I hate all men, think women’s “rights” trump men’s rights and it most certainly does not mean I think all sex is rape. I think I should have a choice about whether or not to have sex, just like my husband does. I admit that his libido is usually stronger than mine, but even he has said “no” every now and then…and I had to accept that, too. I couldn’t pout or accuse him of an affair(that’s reverse sexism, a form of rape if the man gives in after emotional black mail and it’s just down right childish). I expect that if I say no, it means no and vice versa. That to me is equality.

    And taking equality into consideration, I can CHOOSE to have sex even if I’m think “hmmmm…..15 more minutes “snooze” button time would be nice”. My snooze button never made me wake up in THAT great of a mood. haha.

    • Absolutely, Rachel! Thanks for making that point for me. I know I made it in the original post, but I don’t think I made it firmly enough here, so thanks for bringing that emphasis back. Yes, what I was trying to say was, if you don’t have a good reason to say no, say yes! Puking is definitely a good reason. So is just feeling really, really depressed (although sex can often help with that :) .

      As for the feminist critique, I see your point. I have stopped calling myself a feminist, although I do believe in equality, because the term has become so tainted politically. I believe women should have opportunities and choices, but I do not believe that we are superior. And I was so poisoned in my postgraduate work that I have come to really hate the term. But perhaps I should have qualified that better.

      Anyway, thanks for your thoughtful comment!

      • Yeah, I liked your original post a lot, actually. A bunch of friends and I just had a giant Facebook discussion on the perception of the word feminist. One woman called herself an equalist for the same reason you stopped using the term. Different topic for a different day, maybe? :D

        • You know, I’ve been thinking of writing a column on it for a while. Maybe I should in the new year! I’m always so desperate to come up with column topics anyway, so this is a good reminder!

  15. As always, wonderful words! Don’t let the hateful people get you down- you are doing something vital and important for marriages. I can easily recall being 19-20 and believing all sorts of selfish things about my relationship…4 years and a wedding later, I see how wrong I was, and your blog helps remind me to stay on track with loving my husband.

  16. When im not in the mood, it hurts. So should i still say yes anyway? This is absolutely ridiculous. If my husband wanted something and I said no, wouldnt his needs be trumping mine? Why should only my needs be trumps in terms of sex?

    Iam autonomous, and have every right to my body. I do not owe anyone one for sex just because im married to them.

    • Ashley, I’m sorry that it hurts. I have other posts directly on that, because you don’t have to put up with that. I know, I’ve been there. And you can find some relief for it. You can read that here: http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2011/11/help-when-youre-too-loose-to-make-love-or-too-tight/ and here: http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2011/05/wifey-wednesday-when-sex-hurts/. In fact, I said that right in the post, acknowledging that for some women, it does hurt. So please don’t make assumptions about my motivations if you haven’t really read what I said! :)

      That being said, here’s the thing. If you’re going to start having a fight over whose needs trump whose, you’re going to get in a bad situation in your marriage. You can’t win that. This is one of those areas where you can win the fight but lose the war; or, in other words, you may be right, but all you get for being right is a rotten marriage.

      The truth is that if you push for complete autonomy, you will never have a truly intimate marriage. A truly intimate marriage is when we care for the other person, and put their needs ahead of our own. That doesn’t mean that we allow ourselves to be abused, of course, but if you’re always waiting for the other person to make things right, or for them to give first, then you both will be waiting a long time. Marriage requires selflessness. Focusing on your own needs first means that you will always be judging him and always see where he’s failing, and you won’t recognize where you’re failing.

      Marriage is not about independence. It’s about interdependence, where you both need each other and lean on each other. Autonomy is independence, and it isn’t a true joining of lives. Of course you have the right to refuse him. Absolutely. But if you do that consistently enough, you may still be right; but you will also have a miserable marriage. It’s not a question of who is right and who is wrong; it’s a question of what you should do to make your marriage work. And that’s what it comes down to: Do you want to experience true intimacy, where you both feel completely connected, or do you want to hold on to your autonomy and your right to have your needs met? You never will get all your needs met, anyway; no man can do that for you. And when you hold on to that need to have him meet all your needs, it is doubtful that you can really develop an intimate marriage. Intimacy means giving and sharing, not withholding and testing. And that’s just the way it is.

      • A healthy relationship is both independent and interdependent. I can be my own person without giving myself 100%. Seems to me if stuff in the bedroom isnt working out, its an over all marriage problem, not a sex problem.

        “That being said, here’s the thing. If you’re going to start having a fight over whose needs trump whose, you’re going to get in a bad situation in your marriage.”

        oh really? So as a wife I should let my feeling be trumped by him as to keep our marriage alive? How is this fair? Compromise is key if a women doesnt feel like it. Thats O.K, if a man doesnt feel like it, this too is O.K.

        I do not owe anyone sex. Ever. Period.

        • Ashley, I am not saying you “owe” somebody sex. It isn’t a question of owe. It is a question of how to make your marriage healthy. I would agree that most problems in the bedroom are caused by other things, but the truth also is that most men would like to make love a lot more frequently than their wives do. And most men are far happier in their marriages when they make love more. So if it’s not a big deal, why not do it? Chances are your body will follow, you’ll sleep better, he’ll sleep better, and you’ll both be far happier!

          • “but the truth also is that most men would like to make love a lot more frequently than their wives do.”

            The truth? How do you know this? Do you have a study to back this up? Its a pretty broad generalization to put on half the population.

          • Sure. First, I did my own survey of 2000 women, and in that survey, 24% reported having higher libidos than their husbands, meaning that in 76% of marriages the men had the higher libidos. You can read those survey results in my upcoming book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex. The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology puts the figure around 27%-30%, where the women have the higher libido. So, in general, men want sex more than women. That is not true in every marriage, but in most cases, that’s the way it goes.

          • Fair enough, I guess what it all comes down to is, id rather have awesome sex when we are both in the mood than crappy sex when one of us doesnt feel like it.

            What kind of person would enjoy sex knowing there partner is not? Probably someone I wouldnt want to be with.

          • I understand your feeling, but don’t you think sex comes in different forms? I mean, there’s the quickie–when you do it just to give him (or you) some release, but it’s not supposed to be a marathon, and it’s just supposed to make you giggle afterwards. Then there’s the marathon, which you may only do once a month or whatever, that is a long, lovely, drawn out, protracted affair. Then there’s the normal, everyday fun ones, where you both enjoy. And then there’s the ones where you may not be that into it yourself, but you want to give him a gift, so you initiate and make his toes curl. It likely doesn’t take very long, and it’s fine.

            I guess my point is that every relationship needs a combination. If we, as women, decide that we’re only going to have sex when the earth will move for us, then we may be saying no on a lot of occasions where sex may actually be fine–just not earth shattering. And if “fine” is also “pretty darn good” for your husband, then why not? Sure, he may know that you’re not totally into it yourself, but if you can make yourself enthusiastic and do something nice for him, he’ll feel ten feet tall.

        • In response to this post: It is not always an overall marriage problem. My husband and I have always been best friends and had a great friendship and have been spiritually connected. We had/have physical problems and have allowed our “bedroom problems” to help us grow closer in other areas. And yes, I said yes even when it hurt (a lot). Not often, but I did. And I’m glad I did because we never would have worked through it otherwise. And it’s actually getting to be fun now!

          • Thanks, Tessa! And I appreciate your openness with this, as you’ve been open in other posts, too.

  17. I assume that you expect the same from men then, if perhaps a woman wants to have sex but her husband is too tired, or doesn’t “feel like it”? It’s only fair.

    • Absolutely, I’d expect the same from men. But here’s the thing: I’m writing to women, not men. And even if men SHOULD do it, that doesn’t give you the right to withhold in some other way if he doesn’t. That danger that we often get into in marriage is that we say that if he doesn’t meet my needs, I won’t meet his. But that’s a recipe for disaster. Marriage doesn’t work when you say that “I will only give to him if he gives to me first”, because then you both are constantly testing each other. Marriage works when you decide to be selfless. That then changes the dynamic in your marriage, and it’s more likely to grow. So if your husband is doing something wrong or selfish in the marriage, you should definitely talk to him about it. But it isn’t an excuse to hold back yourself, because even if you’re right, all you’ve done is created more distance in the marriage.

  18. Absolutely wonderful Sheila! I don’t know what I could add to this if I was inclined to. Just…great job.
    terry@breathinggrace recently posted…It Was Crude, But I Understand the SentimentMy Profile

  19. I totally agree…. we have been thru a really rocky year to say the least, but when we put each other first, things are always better. Almost every night I look forward to being with myhusband. Sometimes I may not be “in the mood” but I quickly get there as we are getting ready for bed and look forward to it. I miss it when it doesn’t happen. We text each other every day saying “thanks for last night”, “looking forward to tonight,” etc… and you do get much better sleep! :)
    Sorry about the rude posters, I check in daily because I love what you have to say and I need to hear it from a biblical perspective! I love J too!

    • Hey, Kristin, thanks for commenting! Nice to hear from another frequent reader who hasn’t commented before! And I think texting is a wonderful way to keep your marriage fresh–and fun!

  20. I have written about my chronic illness and how it affects our sex life for Wifey Wednesday before. I could care less what others think, I just want my marriage to be healthy, I want it to last and I want to be the type of wife that God designed me to be. If that means saying “yes” when I really want to say “no” so be it. Thank you for acknowledging that is ok!
    Melissa recently posted…Controlling Holiday ClutterMy Profile

    • Hi Melissa! I was visiting your blog today, too, again, so it’s great to see you here! Sex is really difficult with chronic illness, and I really appreciate your perspective. Thanks for stopping by.

  21. There is a little irony going on in the comments section.

    If this same post were made to MEN about something that is valuable to and demonstrates love to women (like CONVERSATION or emotional connection!), the comments section would be a flurry of women shouting “amen!”
    But take something that is intrinsically linked to love and intimacy for men, and is exponentially valuable to your husband and say that women *should* make *some* sort of effort to do it? Well that’s ridiculous, of course! I really am missing something, because I don’t get the disconnect between the generic “his needs and her needs”… we expects him to work hard, make money, be a good father, fix things around the house, give us flowers, buy us gifts, wine us, dine us, romance us, treat us with respect… And yet somehow sex is optional?! One of the comments even said that “compromise is key” but yet, isn’t it only HE who has to compromise if you refuse to have sex? I fail to see how that is any more “fair” to him.

    Marriage is not about compromise, fairness, equality, and negotiation. Because each one of those things is “in the eye of the beholder” so-to-speak!
    I would rather my marriage was about selfless love, self sacrifice, mutual respect and service. Doesn’t TRUE “fairness” and “equality” come out of those motivations?

    My husband serves me and makes sacrifices for me every. single. day. I am the uncontested glory and joy of my husband, I hold all of his sexual attention and am the only appropriate outlet for his sexuality. I am in control of all of that. I hold the key. It is an abuse of power to not freely and generously give of myself.

    And hey, like Sheila said… sometimes I don’t want to make dinner! Sometimes I don’t want to do laundry! Sometimes I don’t want to pick up my husband’s socks off the floor either, but I usually feel better when I do, and someone has to do it. ;) It is my sphere of influence and I have all the control.

    • You go, girl!

    • Great comment!

      “I hold all of his sexual attention and am the only appropriate outlet for his sexuality. I am in control of all of that. I hold the key. It is an abuse of power to not freely and generously give of myself.”

      and

      “It is my sphere of influence and I have all the control.”

      This!

      Excellent post, Sheila. You know I agree!

    • I have to say I agree with this…alot! Hmm, how do I say this delicately? I’m in the percentage of women who don’t get the big ‘O’. Yet I totally enjoy sex with my husband and I’ve spent years convincing him that, even though it seems that I don’t get the same satisfaction out of it that he does, that’ s OKAY! I don’t feel like a sacrificial lamb and most times I’m the one who wants to initiate it. There’s a lot to gain by giving unconditionally and without reservation…its like the bible says and the song goes ‘give and it will come back to you…pressed down, shaken together and running over”. I may not feel the earth shake or whatever but my ‘afterglow’ is just as wonderful ;-)
      Lisa Maria recently posted…Five Minute Friday – ColourMy Profile

    • Amen

    • Amanda, I mean no disrespect, I am passionate about selflessness from wife and husband, but why are you scolding the women for expressing how they feel? Why are you defending the husbands so strongly? They need no defense. They get tremendously, much, much, much, much, much, much, more pleasure from sex. That’s how they were made. We hardly get any. We can enjoy it, but the feeling is not a big deal for us. Please be understanding of what women go through.

      We as women tend to come down so hard on each other and men do not do that to other men.
      Let us try and be supportive and try to understand where the female is coming from, even if you disagree with her.

      You made the comment about men working hard, making money, being a good father, fixing things, being romantic, etc. Well guess what Amanda, women do those sames things and more. And for your information, women COMPROMISE all the day long, everyday. It’s sad that when we do soooooo much and then say we are not interseted in sex, that the whole world jumps on us. How is this being fair to women? I expect for a man to make those harsh statements, but a woman? 12-30-2011

      • Suwanlake – I am VERY sorry for your situation. Please know it does not have to be this way. The relationship you describe with your husband is not what God intended, and that no doubt makes it difficult for you to want or enjoy sex. I pray for changes in your relationship.

        As for sex, when it’s as it should be a woman enjoys it far more than any man ever could. Yes, it takes women longer to reach climax, but their climaxes are several times longer and can be significantly longer. Unfortunately that kind of sexual pleasure is all but impossible when a woman is not in a loving, giving relationship.

        Hang around her – Sheila gives great suggestions that can change your relationship. Even if you think your husband can’t change, he can, and what you do can nudge him towards change. You can change how you act and think, and that will bring about changes in him. (It’s what I tell men all the time, with the genders reversed).
        Paul Byerly recently posted…Ready to clean up and pack up?My Profile

  22. It really seems like people forget that when you are married you become one. His needs ARE your needs!

    Hypothetical situation: He asks you every night for 10 days and you say “no” 9 out of 10 times and then on the 10th night you say “yes” even though you still don’t want to. So you got your way 9 out of 10 times. You have now refused to meet your husbands needs 9 times out of 10. Where’s the fairness in that? If you really want to start talk about being “fair” (which, by the way, my parents always told me that life isn’t fair) then you should technically say yes every other time he asks. Seems kind of silly doesn’t it?

    So now let’s forget about being “fair” and start being loving! Sex is a gift that I can give to my husband even if I don’t really want to. And yes, even if it hurts I can give it to him sometimes (that’s a whole other story of balancing though). I love knowing that sex is the one gift that I can give my husband that no one else can. And he appreciates it no matter what. Even if it’s just a “quickie.” Honostly, I very rarely feel like it. It wouldn’t be fair for me to withhold from him. Not to mention the fact that he will still need that sexual release whether I give it to him or not. I certainly don’t want him searching elsewhere for that!

    So in a nutshell: I will continue to say “yes” to my husband even if I don’t feel like it. Because I love him and his needs matter to me. I know how much sex matters to him and how much he needs it. And guess what? We’re going to be married for a long time (Lord willing) because we are willing to give even when we don’t feel like it.

  23. Wow what a great post! I wish every woman would read this. Is it a coincidence that during the last century, divorce has been increasing at the same time as all these feminists movements? Now, don’t get me wrong, I totally agree that men and women are equal, but we are DIFFERENT. I wish they (feminists) would stop trying to turn women into men, and men into women. I wish they’d stop shoving nonsense into women’s heads, like trying to compare rape to having sex with your husband when you’re not in the mood. Men should not have to talk about their feelings the way women do; it’s just not natural to us. Women should be real women, and men should be real men. We have different roles to fill in a marriage, and we have different needs. (Sorry, had to rant.)
    Now, staying on the topic of this post, I’d like to share a bit of my perspective and experience, as a man, if you don’t mind.
    My wife and I have been married only a few short years. Ever since we got married, right at the beginning of our marriage, our love life has, how to put it in a nice way…. sucked. We only had sex like twice a month. She’s constantly turning me down and rejecting me. Yeah, I get that she works and she’s tired blah blah blah, but she rejects me almost every day. At least it started out that way. After awhile, I started resenting her for it and started giving up. I didn’t exercise as much and ate more junk food and gained weight and resented her for that too. I started to wonder about other women. “What would it be like to be with her?” “I bet she doesn’t reject her man.” Then, when she would finally want to have sex, I found myself turning HER down. Before I knew it, I was looking at women on bad websites. As a Christian, I know I shouldn’t be doing that, and it makes me resent her even more. I don’t see her the same way as I used to anymore, with desire. What’s the point? Just to be shot down again? No thanks.
    Sex is very important to men. Without it, we really aren’t real men anymore. Speaking of which, I have to stop writing this now because I am tearing up thinking about how our marriage is, and how it could have been.
    Congratulations, feminists, you are now equal. You don’t have to have sex if you’re not in the mood. You have the “power”. You have everything you’ve ever dreamt of.
    Enjoy.

    • Thanks for commenting, Tony. I really appreciate the male perspective, and I’m glad you think that the post hit the mark!

    • Commentluv says:

      Hi Tony,

      Men liberated themselves from marriage and the home historically much earlier than women liberated themselves. Industrial Revolution is when men were liberated from their farm lives and being very present in their families’ lives. Mens Clubs grew out of this, and voila, you get pornography clubs and mags, etc. blooming in the 50s, ripeness for women to get fed up with the farce that was male leadership. It was all so hypocritical.

      Tony, as a Christian woman (and a very conservative one at that too) who has always had a healthy and very good view of marital sex, I do not make fun of men’s need for sex. I believe God did make men and women different. What I don’t appreciate is the jokes made at women’s expense concerning the things God endowed them with. . . Like the ideas of needing emotional fulfillment and affection. And so often, Christian counseling advice, well-meaning as it might be, advises the wife to sacrifice herself FIRST for the husband’s sexual “needs”. And then they lead her to believe that she will get what she wants, “the emotional fulfillment and affection”, because of her willingness to give it up to her husband who has ignored her needs.

      If anything, the Christian counselors who advise women to sacrifice themselves first are not Biblically correct. Did the Church die for Christ? I do believe in scripture, just as loud and clear as the Bible tells women to submit, the Bible also tells men to love their wives as Christ loved His Bride (the church). What does that mean? It means dying to self. And if we’re all honest with one another, women have a much easier time dying to self than men do. There’s a reason the “submit” part is in their to women just as much as there is a very logical reason the “die to self” part is in there to men. . . God knows the nature of men and women quite intimately. And the words of the Bible are chosen very carefully, are they not?

      You can’t blame your wife for your choice to look at porn or to quit exercising, overeat and gain weight. . . Those were your choices. This lack of accountability is what Christian counselors continue to facilitate in men, rendering them even weaker as leaders. You’ve bought into the lie and are using the excuses to justify your own sin. Is it your fault that you looked at porn? Or is it your wife’s? It’s your’s. God’s not going to hold her accountable for that. You can only do what is right even in the face of adversity and not getting what you want.

      Let’s think about it. In Sheila’s post, she basically is telling women to have sex with their husbands (do the right thing, ladies) even if they are not in the mood or have a legitimate reason (like, my husband has not been kind and caring to me these past 24 hours). Women are told, “Do the right thing, regardless.” How do men get off not doing the right thing and even believe it’s okay to blame their wives for their sin?

      Men and women should both do the right thing.

      The Bible tells us:

      Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look. . . to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

      I mean, that makes it pretty clear. Maybe you are miserable because you are putting yourself before your wife? Maybe you are miserable because of your wife’s selfishness? Maybe you are miserable and discontented because you don’t want to accept that God has placed you in a particular situation, and you can only think of what you want? Isn’t that chiefly our reason for being miserable? Either somebody is making us miserable, not giving us what we want, OR we don’t like God’s plan for us?

      Do you believe God gave you your wife for a reason? Do you believe He specially chose her for you? If not, why did you marry her? Maybe she has an issue that she really needs you to help her through and to actually demonstrate patience with her. We are called to have forebearance with one another. We can’t just decide to sin and then make ourselves feel better by blaming one another for our sins.

      Your wife obviously has some issues that she may need help with. Perhaps you would’ve been wiser to show forebearance, patience, compassion, and relied on God to get you through instead of further destroying what might have been with your pursuance of porn. Let this be a lesson to men who read this before it’s too late. Tony, you increased your troubles all by yourself. Just imagine the love you would’ve conveyed to your wife by exercising self-control.

      Women are not to blame for men’s choice to sin. I wish Sheila could be wise enough to make that clearer because their are an awful lot of Christian men being led astray believing it is their wives’ faults for their personal choice to sin. No wonder women don’t want to have sex with some men. No mature woman wants to have sex with a man-baby.

      • I would agree here; you cannot blame a woman for a man’s sin. If he chooses to use porn, that is not her fault.

        At the same time, often in these dynamics, the woman has contributed to the situation. That doesn’t mean that she caused the sin; only that there is a harmful dynamic that does need to be dealt with, which has led to bad decisions on both parts. I think that is what I was trying to say. But I absolutely agree that someone cannot and should not be blamed for another person’s sin.

        At the same time, I don’t believe that counsellors (or me) are saying that women should have sex SO THAT their husbands will then come through for them. If you’re doing that, then you’re basically manipulating the guy. I’m saying that we should do it simply out of love.

      • Thank you Commentluv.
        Your comment was much needed. Even after all you said, there are some people who still can’t see clearly. I believe that Satan blocks women from opening their eyes and seeing the truth. I believe he leads women to put other women down and not be supportive. I believe he tells women to scold each other and not be compassionate. We women are our own worst enemies. Men laugh at us, because we so foolishly lose control and are so willing to be catty and argumentative with each other. You know what everybody, I am going to use compassion and understanding when I talk to other females. You never know who is reading these blogs and who may be looking for guidance. Please women, stop blaming women for men’s sins.

        If a Chistian man is not getting his sexual needs met, maybe he should pray and ask for guidance. He may realize that he is contributing to the problem to. He may see that his wife yearns for emotional and romantic staisfaction just as much as he is yearns for sex. They both need to compromise. It is outlandish for any of you people on this blog to suggest that the wife does all the relationship work. It is not about the woman giving and the man taking. It is about the man giving and the woman giving.

        • Yes, but what you’re really saying, then, is that if the man doesn’t give, the woman shouldn’t have to. And implicit in your comments on this post, and in others, is still the idea that the woman does more work than the man in the relationship. That isn’t always true, and it depends what type of work you’re talking about. I think women give far more credence to the things that matter to us, and far less to the things that matter to men.

          No, women shouldn’t be putting each other down, but I do think we should challenge each other to be the best that we can be. And waiting for a man to change and waiting for men to smarten up before we do the right thing is not biblical.

    • This sounds like my husband could have written this! Keep at it Tony and keep praying and working together at it. The beauty of being a Christian in this situation is that you’re not alone! It does and will get better if you keep working at it. God is good, soooo good and He really does answer prayer :)

  24. Commentluv says:

    If a woman doesn’t want to have sex with her husband, her husband needs to take a step back and start examining the reasons (including involving himself) why she doesn’t want to get it on with him. It is insensitive and not caring to consider her feelings.

    When a woman doesn’t want to have sex with her husband, she needs to take a step back and start examining the reasons (including selfish reasons) why she doesn’t want to get it on with him. It is downright wrong to hold back for selfish reasons, but it’s legit if he’s the kind of guy who uses Christian counseling advice such as you offer to get what he wants without ever feeling poorly about ignoring her needs or feelings. God doesn’t want His precious lambs facilitating sinfulness. . . even sin of our husbands.

    • Commentluv says:

      should read
      “It is insensitive and uncaring to NOT consider her feelings.”

    • And can we Christian women do something? Can those of us who believe we have perfect marriages and are following God as we should by being the sexual servants we think He wants us to be to our husbands just stop talking down to other women who may for some reason unknown to us having trouble sexually?

      I read some of the other high and might comments here, and I can see why many women, Christian and unbelieving, are totally turned off by us. We’re uppity and come across lacking in compassion. We’re not married to the same men. We’re not the same women. We don’t all have the same relationship to the Father. We’re not in the same situations day to day.

      It’s obvious that men are coming here and reading this and thinking, “Why can’t my wife be like that?” and further causing discord in Christian marriages. This isn’t what we want, is it?

      Men don’t want to be browbeaten, so what makes it okay in the Christian community to browbeat women. We walk on eggshells around men, but we thunder like mad when it comes to be critical of women. I’m not saying don’t share the Truth, the PIERCING TRUTH, but take care with forebearance, compassion, encouragement, and great love here when doing it.

      I have five sisters. All adults. I love my sisters but have found women in general to be really cruel to and competitive with one another. And I have four young sons. . . I believe God has made them differently, and I respect those differences. But I also believe both genders have inherent weaknesses that make them human. . . and that both genders have to endeavor to follow God to overcome these weaknesses. I see how females have been treated in our culture. And I certainly see how males have been treated in our culture. And it bothers me a great deal that even our churches and Christian brothers and sisters are not being scrupulous in keeping cultural ideas and stereotypes from seeping into Christian life. As Christians, we should be seeing one another through God’s eyes instead of still using our cultural lenses.

      Sometimes, a woman does have a good reason for rejecting her husband’s sexual advances. God may have actually spoken to her about it. Do you believe that?

      • I am sorry that you feel that this was browbeating, but I was writing it in response to some rather negative comments I got on another post, which was definitely NOT browbeating. And I think if you were to read the other Wifey Wednesdays, you’d see things differently. I think you are assuming things about me from reading one post, which, after all, is a continuation of a series of posts.

        I also think that the purpose of a Christian woman’s blog is to give real advice. I don’t think that’s browbeating. It’s the same as a book, that people buy for specific advice on a specific topic. Obviously when I’m talking in a conversation to women it’s different, because we’re having a conversation. They’re not coming to talk to me to hear what I think and to get my advice, unless they specifically ask for it. But the nature of this kind of blog is that we do explain what our reasons are for thinking along certain lines, and we give advice. So I’m not sure what other thing you’d suggest!

    • I agree–although I’m still very unsure as to what you’re so critical about. It sounds like we agree. What counselling advice is wrong? I’m really at a loss here.

    • It isn’t legit to withhold sex because your husband isn’t meeting your requirements as a husband. Withholding sex is tearing down your house with your own hands. If God wants your husband to change He can tell him to change; it’s not your job to use sex as a power tool to make him conform to your expectations. You get your needs met by God and you meet your husband’s needs out of that. Male sexual needs are legitimate and God given and Christian woman who make their husbands feel gross because they want sex with their own wives need to repent. That man is your head, your protector, your provider – treat him that way and make him happy he has a home with you in it. Enthusiastic, frequent sex is your duty and your husband’s right; your feelings have nothing to do with it. And while I agree that our choices are our own, we’re human and sometimes we get pushed past what we can reasonably bear. I suspect many Christian husbands are in this place. Shame on any woman who abandons her husband to that place.

      • Wow Joycalyn, such scornful talk to women! You sound angry at women? Are you ? Do you hate women?
        Why would you tell women that their husbands have a home with them in it? These days women work and contibute to everything just as much as their husbands. We give just as much and just as freely as our husbands. 12-20-31

        • What she said was, ” treat him that way and make him happy he has a home with you in it”, meaning make him glad you are there. You misunderstood.

  25. Sheila, thank you for the things you say! I appreciate your boldness. I agree with what you write and encourage you to continue to write what the Lord tells you to. Thank you!

  26. You bring up interesting points, but I feel you need to delineate more between women who choose to have sex with their husbands as opposed to women who are coerced to do so. Rape certainly can happen in marriage, and it comes off as if you are discounting that it is a reality. It seems what you are proposing is that it is important to meet your partner halfway, which I agree with. For example, to be crude, I may not enjoy giving blowjobs to my husband, but I do it because I know he enjoys it immensely. That it not coercion because I am making an active choice out of love and I am happy with that choice. However, not all women would have made that move, and if they later were pressured and coerced into performing oral sex, which left them feeling exploited and violated, not only does that show a lack a good communication between partners, but could in many ways be interpreted as a violation. You can’t assume you’re aware of what happens behind closed doors. Many wives are sexually violated by their husbands, and you shouldn’t discount that.
    Also, as a rape survivor (not by my partner; he’s lovely) I resent you assuming that wives stating they have been sexually assaulted personally offends us (as a group). “‘ANY’ rape survivor than tell you”? Really? First, each survivor is an individual and to talk about survivors as a singular entity is kind of offensive. Furthermore, you have no right to assume how any survivor would feel. Just something to keep in mind.

    • Absolutely, Christi, I agree. Thank you for emphasizing that. And in the post, I also clearly said that you do not have to do everything your husband wants to do, and I linked back to a post where I specifically talked about that. I’m sorry if that wasn’t clearer!

  27. The moderation policy here is just plain sad. If you want to compare, discuss, critique, or even cite alternate view points, why silence the alternate view points? That in itself detracts from what you’re trying to say.

    • Amie, I think I deleted all of one comment because it had a swear word in it. That’s it.

    • A lot of people who read my site have parental controls set so that they won’t let them on a page with any swearing. Therefore, I don’t let comments through with swearing because I don’t want my site to be blacklisted from theirs. I will, however, also remove hateful comments, but I haven’t really seen any of those.

  28. Sheila;

    I came across your site through “Your Marriage Restored”. I have been working hard through acts of kindness, prayer, and our councilor to rebuild my marriage of 18 years. My wife wants to “Opt for the parallel & separate lives”. She says she loves me, but isn’t interested in anything that doesn’t relate to the support of the house or our 15 year old son. I’m not perfect, but I try to demonstrate my commitment to her, our marriage, and our family every day. I love her desperately but can’t live this way. Your words spoke volumes to me. Do you have any suggestions to for me, and is there a way I can introduce my wife to your blog without REALLY ending up in the “dog house”?
    Thanks!

    • Mark, that’s really a tough one. It’s great that you’re seeing a counsellor together, but I find that sometimes counselling isn’t that helpful if it’s just talking over problems. The counsellor needs to give specific tasks that you should do to rebuild the relationship.

      The only things I can really recommend are lots of prayer, lots of patience, and then working on your friendship. So many problems can be overcome if people can learn to laugh together again. Just doing fun things together and having fun together can stop some of that “separateness” and forge some intimacy again so that you can work on other parts of your relationship.

      But the truth is that you can’t make someone change, and that’s really hard to accept. All you can do is continue to love and do the right thing, and find your peace in God. I’m really sorry that your wife isn’t committed to the marriage. I will say that I think the FamilyLife marriage conferences we speak at can be helpful because they give specific projects for people to do, and get to the heart of the matter. If she would go, that might be a place to start. But it’s very difficult if the other person doesn’t want to take any responsibility for building intimacy, or sees no need for it. So pray, and work on the friendship, and I’ll pray for you, too!

    • Mark,
      I have no suggestions for you, just heartfelt empathy. My in-laws had a very dysfunctional marriage. My husband is the youngest of five kids – the eldest is 11 yrs his senior. When he was only five, he overheard his mom tell his dad that she’d leave him if it weren’t for the kids. When his grandma died (his mom’s mom), she moved into the bedroom downstairs, and other than the argument he overheard, he has no recollection of them ever sharing a room. My MIL spoke disrespectfully of my FIL to their kids over the years, and as a result my hubby had little respect for his dad. When DH and I got married, I had a great deal of respect for his dad, who remained in the marriage, who was respectful and honored his wife and who went the extra mile to make things easier for her on an ongoing basis. On the other hand, I really had to swallow hard in explaining why his dad deserved our respect without at the same time being disrespectful of his mom. Dad stayed with Mom and took care of her until the end – fortunately a stroke took her before her Alzheimer’s became severe enough to force them from their home. The last 40 years of their marriage was very, very difficult…but the blessings from Dad being faithful to the promise he made were that the kids and grandkids came home for Christmas and spent time together as a family… not fractured between homes (and loyalties). The down-side is the damage it caused to the kids’ perceptions of marriage. Two of the five have completely abandoned the faith they were raised in, and have led lives that reflect that. Three of the five remain with the people they first married – but I know in my husband’s case, he was absolutely sure he was never going to marry, if that was the kind of life it led to. Fortunately for both of us, God had other ideas, and He placed individuals in DH’s life who modeled marriage the way it was meant to be.
      I do believe blessings can and will come from being faithful thru whatever life sends us…but man that is a tough road.

    • OffTheCuff says:

      Mark: Start reading marriedmansexlife.com, from the beginning, or order the book. “Demonstrating your commitment” probably isn’t what you need to do more of. Almost certainly, you need to be more attractive – this primarily means exhibiting leadership. Being afraid of the “doghouse” is a red-flag that you are afraid of your wife, and she can’t be attracted to someone she doesn’t respect.

  29. Sometimes, a woman does have a good reason for rejecting her husband’s sexual advances. God may have actually spoken to her about it. Do you believe that?

    I don’t. This is precisely how Satan tempted Eve.
    CL recently posted…Her Emotions Should Not Be at the Centre of Your MarriageMy Profile

    • I’m not quite sure where the Genesis story comes in to it. Satan tempted Eve to be like God and to know good and evil. He didn’t mention anything about Adam. So I think that’s a bit of a stretch, unless you’re saying that claiming that you hear from God is the same thing as Eve’s sin, which is still, I think a stretch.

      I do believe that a woman can have good reasons, which I’ve linked to in my post–if a man is heavily involved in porn, or is asking her to act out some fantasy from porn which she believes is wrong. A woman can definitely reject any sexual advances which are leading her towards something wrong.

      That being said, I think these times are few and far between. God does not ask women to use sex as a weapon; I’ll withhold until you smarten up. That’s definitely unbiblical, and that, I think, is the tone of what the original commenter said. In that case, I would agree that God does not work that way.

      • What I mean is, that people will often say “God spoke to me” but in reality, God would not ask you to refuse your husband. You are supposed to submit to your husband even though he is imperfect (as Joseph was less perfect that Mary or Jesus but both accepted his leadership). This would not be God speaking to you, but Satan. Satan gets a good laugh out of marital strife and dissolving. Satan temps us in ways besides making us desire to be as God and he knows all our weak areas well.

        How is refusing a husband sex because he’s using porn going to help?

        Most men, if properly sexed, will not find porn much of a draw. The two are not really related anyway – and this IS using sex as a weapon. It’s like telling a kid “no cookies unless you clean your room” – unrelated rewards. It’s also treating your husband as if he were a child, which is disrespectful – and if there’s one thing wives are commanded by God to do it’s to respect the authority of their husbands. Men need respect like women need love and respect is not contingent on “you have to love me first”. Respect is no more earned than Love is earned. Both MUST be gifts.

        As for the fantasy bit, unless he’s asking to sodomise you, what is the problem there? People have sexual fantasies and desires with or without porn and being rejected for that can cut to the core of a person, at which point they will seek to protect themselves by withdrawing or finding solace elsewhere. Withholding sex is highly foolish in a marriage.

        So if a woman is justified in withholding sex does she also think it is OK for a man to withhold the money he earns if he doesn’t feel like giving in the moment? If so, should he them make up for past withholding by being more generous to make up for the deficit?

        It seems that the modern woman thinks she need not be subject to the hierarchy even though God placed Himself in the person of Jesus under the authority of a mere man.
        CL recently posted…Another Pedestalising Trad. CatholicMy Profile

        • I am not sure where you are getting your information that pornography use and sex in marriage is not related. Quite often men will ask women to act out what they see, and this is the exact opposite of the spiritual and emotional intimacy that God intended.

          In my posts on porn, I have not said that women should refuse sex, either, unless it is cementing an addiction. What I’ve said is that women need to deal with the porn addiction and get him to get help. We don’t enable an alcoholic; we should not enable someone who is addicted to porn, either. And porn can be an addiction. I know you don’t agree, but it can be, and psychiatrists are now treating it as such. Not all porn use falls into this category, obviously, but it does.

          As for acting out fantasies, I really don’t have a problem with that (as I say in my book) on the whole. But it can cross a line (like asking you to imagine a threesome or something) and that can be wrong. So I’m saying that if he is asking you to do something that you feel is sinful, you can certainly say no. But what I would then suggest is finding something you can do together which you can agree with (which is also what I said in my recent post regarding what to do if your husband wants more variety).

          Incidentally, men do not turn to porn ONLY if their wives don’t put out. Many men use porn coming into marriages. While there is correlation, what I found in the surveys I did is that it isn’t that strong. Men can use porn even if their sex lives are good, although the porn use will deteriorate the emotional intimacy of sex in the marriage, and will likely eventually cause impotence.

          • Look, I agree that this is a very difficult issue. I don’t think, in general, that women should withhold sex. But I do think that you discount the very real harm done by pornography. Pornography is cheating, and women who are married to a man who is using porn regularly have a real problem that they need to deal with. That is not “babying” them, because they are breaking their marriage vows. It is a tough one, because in the vast majority of these cases the marriage can be saved, and I don’t believe that women should divorce over it. The problem that you and I have is that you do not believe that porn is really bad, I take it, from some of your other statements. If we don’t agree on that, we really don’t have anything to talk about. If you have other ideas, though, about how to get a man to stop using porn, then that is another story.

          • It’s not that I don’t think porn is bad, just that it’s not necessarily as bad as some think and that women tend to overreact to it. Obviously we disagree here, but I must add that we are not meant to “get” our husbands to do or not do something, but to be patient and loving. Easier said than done, of course, but a lot of these issues seem to stem from a lack of trust at the core of the relationship.

            I also don’t think porn use is cheating – particularly if it has become a compulsive habit – any more than alcoholism is cheating (although I suppose one can effectively “lose” a spouse to any addiction). This assertion is too easily abused as a rationalisation for frivolous divorce and so must be tempered.

            I fail to see how having sex with a husband who uses porn is enabling that habit – that doesn’t really make sense. Furthermore, that you “feel” something is a sin doesn’t make it a sin – our feelings are not trustworthy guides in these matters since we are all faulty and all sinful.

            To help men who want to stop using porn they need to learn to see rightly – to see the ugliness of porn when compared to true beauty, which includes natural nudity. It may sound counter-intuitive to have a porn user look at nude pictures of women, but if he (or she, for that matter) is able to see the naked human form as it was created and not in a twisted way, he will soon see the real ugliness of porn. A wife should expect lapses and not berate him over those but love him more. If he is making a sincere effort, he should not be punished for being human.

            Making the wife an “accountability partner” in the usual sense of basically being a surveillance officer also doesn’t work, as it puts the wife in charge of the husband and subverts the God-given natural roles of men and women. A woman doesn’t really want this and neither does a man.

            Of course this is a complicated topic and kind of a derailment from the original post, so I suppose I will leave it at that for now. I can’t possibly expand all this here but I hope this is at least some food for thought on the topic – which at least we can agree is important and needs to be talked about frankly and honestly, with love and compassion for all concerned, which doesn’t always entail being “nice” and sparing feelings.
            CL recently posted…Another Pedestalising Trad. CatholicMy Profile

          • I would agree with you that a wife shouldn’t punish him if he lapses, which is why I’m drawing the distinction between a compulsive porn user and someone who looked at it occasionally and then felt badly about it.

            I do believe that it is cheating, though, because it is arousing lustful feelings outside of marriage deliberately, and that falls into the category of what Jesus was saying with “whoever looks at another woman with lust in his eyes has already committed adultery”. I think that’s where we disagree.

            I do agree that a wife shouldn’t be an accountability partner; that’s why I think more churches need to find male accountability partners for guys, and use internet programs that send out alerts if people use the wrong sites to someone other than your wife. But if a guy is a compulsive porn user, and he doesn’t feel it’s wrong, then the marriage has a real problem, both spiritual and sexual.

        • CL and all you other people who continue to make the statement about men making the money. Please refrain from that untruth. Listen, men are not the only ones to make money in a relationship. Wives make the money too, so please don’t be so quick to holler “the money he makes”. Now, women should not withhold sex and likewise husbands should not withhold out of the bedroom affection and stop with all the talk about women withholding and admit that you men withhold too. Both men and women can be selfish. God wants both husband and wives to submit to one another in our needs. And what loving Christian man would ask his wife for oral sex if it is awkward for her, when she gives him so much other sexual satisfaction. That’s like a woman asking her husband to give her foreplay in some places that may be uncomfortable for him or wanting forplay to last for an hour and cause his manhood to stop working.

  30. Sheila,
    I really enjoy your insight and wisdom, and I’m impressed that you have taken the time to respond to your commenters. I have a question for you, which you don’t need to answer, but if you have any insight I would appreciate it. For the most part, my husband and I have a healthy sex life and I have taken your advice to try to give him what he needs even if I don’t feel like it. Here’s my question. Sometimes my husband touches me sexually when we’re not having sex, and it makes me feel, well, sort of objectified. For example, I’m making dinner, and he will come in and tell me how hot I am and then grab at something. Should I take these as signs that he is trying to initiate? Is it okay for me to feel that that type of touching is weird outside of actually having sex? I don’t know if I am explaining this very well, but I feel bad that I feel this way when he touches me. I know this isn’t exactly the same thing as what your original post is about, but it reminded me of my circumstances a little bit.

    Thanks for your posts. I think you are brave to blog and write about a topic like this, and I know that you are reaching a lot of women who wouldn’t otherwise have a Christian perspective on this issue.

    • Karen, I don’t think this is your husband initiating necessarily. My husband will do that, too! I think he enjoys it–it’s like I’m the only woman he’s allowed to touch that way, and it’s fun for him. It’s like a little shared secret we have between us.

      I can understand getting a little annoyed if he comes and grabs at you when you’re trying to chop carrots or something, so I’m not sure what to tell you exactly, except that I think it’s natural, and it’s just him playing. If it’s that he wants you to stop what you’re doing and do something with him, then it may be an issue, because there may be times when you just have to get dinner made. But if you can see it as fun and just laugh at it, that may be best. But I don’t know what the dynamics are in your relationship, so I can’t give you a definite answer! I just do know that for most men, it’s part of fun banter, and that’s probably all he means by it.

      • Hard to generalize, but I’d agree with that assessment. If I do things like that, I’m usually not initiating. (Not that I wouldn’t be up for it later on, but I’m not saying “drop everything now.”) It’s just a bit of exuberance around the person I like the best. And it’s probably also a bit of “territory marking,” saying “I love you, you’re mine, and don’t you forget it!”

    • My hubby will do the same thing. As we have talked about it, it comes down to a few things. (1) he is enjoying my body (which a hubby should do), (2) my body is his to enjoy, (3) physical touch is important to him for expressing love and experiencing love — including all sorts of touching, not just the grabby kinds.
      Rachael recently posted…Sewing without a pattern, and a tutorialMy Profile

    • And look at your own words – he “grabs at something”. You’re objectifying yourself. He’s grabbing at his wife, the women he loves and desires, not some piece of you.

      • I should have also pointed out “grabbing at” is your way of saying it too. This is how you see it, not what he is doing.

        Sorry for the multiple comments, but no doubt they won’t be published anyway, because I’m not being “nice”.

      • I think that she meant “he grabs at something” not in an object way but he will grab and different body parts. She could have specified all the miscellaneous body parts that he would grab at but that would be kind of silly. I think that we all understand what she’s referring too.

  31. Hi Sheila,

    Thank you for the post. I don’t have anything intelligent to say but I really liked your post. I think you speak a truth. I’ve struggled with the saying no to my hubby aspect especially with being pregnant. But I am mindful that husband still has needs. Your series was a welcome reminder of how I can serve my husband. And I believe that if I serve him my actions can and will influence him. Thank you for speaking out. Blessings.
    Deborah Jones recently posted…A rare fotdMy Profile

  32. Before we got married, we did some pre-marital counseling with our small group leader. His wife had died many years before, but they had been happily married for many, many years before. He encouraged us (both of us) to never say no to the other one when it came to sex and the first year of marriage. We’ve been married about 5 1/2 years now, and I’ve aimed to say “no” as little as possible. I can only control what I do, and I love him and want to do good by him. And saying yes to sex is doing good by him. Sure, I get some great feelings, etc out of it, but it starts with me doing good by him.

    Ah, there is so much that could be said to all these commenters. Sheila, I love that you write about things that hit so deep, and we know it hits deep as so many have reacted so strongly. Keep it up.
    Rachael recently posted…Sewing without a pattern, and a tutorialMy Profile

    • Hi Rachel. I totally agree to your point of not saying no to sex when the other one wants to have it. And I also strongly feel that its should be the same from both end. In many cases its like the husband is dominating and wife suffers. So mutual understanding on sex is also equally important.

  33. Tony, do you realize what you just wrote? Are you serious? You are contradicting yourself, big time. You made a comment that explained that men should not be made to talk about their feelings, because it is not natural. When did talking to your wife become unnatural? You see, men want their sexual needs met, but tell us that what we as women want, is unnatural. Well, if a wife has a desire for her husband to talk about his feelings, shouldn’t a man want to satisfy his wife’s need for talking? Tony this is a strong need for a woman almost as strong as the man’s need for sex. Don’t you men get it? Please respect a woman’s need for talking and don’t put that need down. Why would a man hate to express his feelings so much, unless,maybe, he is afraid she may find out about his little secrets, those that could ruin their marriage.

    • I realize this is a VERY OLD comment, but I wanted to respond anyway regarding “expressing feelings” in case it is helpful to someone. What follows contains some obvious generalizations, but I think most of us will be able to agree they are “generally” accurate. ;)

      Basically, I think some women simply don’t realize that men just don’t HAVE that many feelings to begin with. Many women tend to think men have feelings but don’t want to share, or have feelings but can’t be bothered to think about them, or have feelings but won’t share because it would “expose their secret,” or whatever. But the honest-to-goodness truth is, for many men, the feelings just aren’t there. Being asked how we feel is like being asked to reach into a bag and pull out what we find, only to find out it’s a bag full of air.

      Have you ever looked out across an ocean or large lake during a hazy sunset and couldn’t tell where the horizon was? That’s what it’s like for men to try to identify a feeling. There may be one there, somewhere, but it’s so small and indistinct that it’s very difficult to find, and you’re never sure if you actually pinpointed it or not. It doesn’t make any clear impression on one’s outlook, and would be entirely unnoticed were it not for being made to search for it.

      For my own life, I go by the maxim that a feeling is its own reality, and therefore has little or no relevance to real life. It’s different for my wife. to whom feelings have a definite relevance — she even accepts them as valid considerations in decision-making. Not only that, but whatever emotion she’s feeling at any given time tends to color everything else that comes up, whether for good or for bad. When I ask how she feels, she ALWAYS has an immediate, detailed answer. Essentially, she’s *always* in a state of “feeling.”

      This causes her to think I must also have a feeling about everything, when frankly, most of the time, my “feeling” bag is either nothing but air, or (less often) mostly air with a few scattered grains of sand somewhere in the edges. If she asks how I feel about something, my first instinct is to reply with what I *think* about it. Once I finally realized that she really wants to know how I FEEL, I realized I was at a loss as to how to respond, because the question presupposes the existence of something that simply isn’t there. (By the way, that absence of feeling normally equates to “happy” for a guy.)

      Coming full circle, I think what many women fail to understand is that when their husbands say they feel “nothing,” they really mean they feel “nothing.” Comments like “You MUST feel SOMETHING” aggravate many men because it invalidates what was their true answer and forces them to conjure up some sort of feeling to satisfy their wives that they care.

      Interestingly, I read recently that the bodily chemical (can’t remember the name) that causes emotions is something like eight times stronger in women than in men. The only time men get more of it is for about half an hour after orgasm, at which point it is still less than half of what women experience as a baseline. This is why sex is so important to the average married man — it’s what boosts his ability to love and connect with his wife far beyond his normal ability to do so, and he likes having that intensity of feeling for her. And remember, that’s still less than half of what women live with all the time.

      As I said, I’m only posting this because I thought it might help some couples understand each other better. (Also, I should add that I do understand the relevance that feelings have to my wife, and she compliments me often on being “in tune” with what she’s feeling at any given time.)

  34. This resonates with me. I particularly am struck by the “Putting your needs ahead of his” statement. I agree with it. If you’re partners, no one is superior, no one’s needs come first. I put him first, he puts me first and that’s how we stay balanced.
    Lisa recently posted…Sony Cybershot Product ReviewMy Profile

  35. “I don’t care if my husband wants sex. I don’t, so he will have to suffer.”

    So literally this woman is aknowledging that her husband is married to her to suffer and be punished, I wonder if the husband starts cheating on her and searching for a more comprensive woman who heeds his needs she would then chastise him as a cheater?

    I honestly believe this is a problem with women in the Western World, Christian or not (I know many Japanese girls that have this attitude and Japan is the most westernised Asian country in the world) they tend to give nothng on relationships but intend the husbands to become slaves to their desires, this attitude is making many youngsters around the world giving up on the opposite sex.

    “Is just too hard to get into a relationship and at the end of the day isn’t worth the fuss, the only thing she will give to you is sex and even that not that often, so your money will be better spent in whoring as you will get the same only good thing women are going to give you, without the psychological torture and in the long term is much more cheaper” this is the message these ladies are sending to their male public.

    It is fine to many males because that’s all they want, but the rest majority of us that want a relationship for the bonding are going to have it way harder it seems, as there is not services that could give you that in society…and most females around the world just don’t try to bond with their mates, you might think they would being physically predisposed to that, well not quite, they bond with their friendsm you are nothing but a paycheck dispenser it seems, and this after years of hard work to get yourself into this…

    It is one of the many ills of our society…

    PS: I imagine that many women could reverse gender this as well, but talking about insensitive men is just too mainstream and actually as far as I know untrue.

  36. Thanks for all you do, Sheila! I just want to say that some of the best love making with my hubby has been when I don’t “feel” like it. But when we do it and I’m not really in the mood, I HAVE to change my mindset to get in the mood. I actively DECIDE to participate and enjoy the moment. It took some work on my part to get to this point, I didn’t always choose to get “in the mood”, and that made for an unpleasant, awkward situation, both for my hubby and for myself. I’m so thankful to God for my husband, who has been very patient with me all these years we’ve been married (15). Even though we both come from families that don’t mention or talk about sex AT ALL, we have very open communication about our sexual relationship. Talking about sex (our likes, dislikes, needs, etc.) with each other without feeling embarrassed or judged is very important. Our marriage is far from perfect, but we strive each day to get closer.

  37. I don’t know about all men but my husband isn’t interested in sex unless we are BOTH into it. No matter how hard you try the other person can always tell when you are just going thru the motions for their benefit. No matter what! He is a selfless man that wants the best for both of us and thinks it’s pretty disrespectful to want me to do this just for him. It takes two to do it and both should be wanting it. There are ways to get the other person in the mood and if you are both willing to do these things then maybe it works and maybe it doesn’t. When it doesn’t my husband is mature and respectful enough to be ok with that. There are actually times he’s not into it and i’m ok with that also.

  38. Wow, I can’t believe (well yes I can) that people are reacting this way. I have had issues with sex because of being molested as a child and sometimes I still do. It’s one of those things that you just never know when those feelings are going to show up. But when I first started to really focus on healing, sex was awful and I had a hard time with it afterwards. I felt used, even if I had wanted to do it. But to equate having sex with my husband to rape? That’s not okay. There are times i have to pray before sex. And I have learned that when I pray, God meets me where I am. Sex can be complicated for some of us but there are healthy ways to work through it. I’ve heard women say some awful things about their husbands and I always wonder, if you hate him so much, why did you marry him? If you’re feeling cruel feelings towards your husband, that is YOUR heart issue, not his. That doesn’t make him a bad person for wanting sex with the one person who is supposed to love him. Take responsibility for yourself and find a way to love him again. Otherwise, don’t expect a good marriage.

Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. Any comment that espouses an anti-marriage philosophy (eg. porn, adultery, abuse and the like) will be deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are replying to another commenter, please be polite and don't assume you know everything about his or her situation. If you are constantly negative or a general troll, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Sheila Wray Gregoire owns the copyright to all comments and may publish them in whatever form she sees fit. She agrees to keep any publication of comments anonymous, even if you are not anonymous on this board.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Being Selfless in Marriage is not the Same as Losing Yourself | To Love, Honor and Vacuum It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you follow up either by commenting or by writing your own po… Tolovehonorandvacuum [...]

  2. [...] me a ton of new readers, so thank you for the traffic, even if it wasn’t kindly intended. 2. Wifey Wednesday: It’s Not All About You. This post brought in 18,000 views from Reddit in just a few hours. Is having sex with your husband [...]

Leave a Comment

*

CommentLuv badge