31 responses

  1. Melanie
    February 24, 2012

    I joined in late but I read all the previous entries and now todays. WOW I love what your doing. We have 7 kids so I’m excited to see tomorrows. My husband is a trucker and only home a couple of days a week but I’m excited to start following your advice when he is here. Thank you so much.

  2. Kim. Burgsma
    February 24, 2012

    Get out a deck of cards and initiate with a game of strip poker. After 29 years of marriage my husband loves it and it ends uP being as hilarious as it is sexual.

  3. David
    February 24, 2012

    Hmm, all the talk of “going upstairs”… As someone who lives in a one-story house I feel very discriminated against. ;)

    Seriously, great stuff. I pray that one day my sweet bride will be open to seeking it out and reading it for herself, then applying what you say. And again, thanks for your prayers. For now, I have decided to stop pushing (which would include sending her things to read) and will simply attempt to grow organically while trying to be safe, trustworthy and emotionally connected. I do pray that we’re healthy enough one day to be able to read things like this together without it causing a fight.

    • wifey
      February 24, 2012

      WOW! That is so awesome David. I pray that your wife WILL get there and be able to enjoy your intimacy together. I know that I struggle in this area too, but I am working on it and hopeful that I too can read something like this with my husband (I am VERY shy and get embarrassed easily) one day. He’s so amazing, he deserves to be LOVED.

    • ROI
      March 16, 2012

      10 plus years later for me and my wife and I have not sent her anything to read besides basic information, like “here is a nice place for us to visit while we are on vacation” once or twice a year and she is still not interested in improving herself any more then just maintaining the status quo. She does now initiate, now that I have stopped, but frequency (about once a month) has not increased. I do not really feel that passion has increased that much either. I sometimes get the feeling that she is just doing it to keep some sort of normalcy in our lives.

  4. Jennifer Degler
    February 24, 2012

    So excited about your upcoming book, Sheila! Thanks for providing practical and accurate advice for making sex satisfying. I will promote your book and blog on the CWIVES website. Your readers who want to learn to initiate sex more often with their husbands may want to sign up for the CWIVES Dare of the Month. It’s free and will help them initiate a creative and fun sexual encounter with that wonderful man they married.
    Jennifer Degler
    Jennifer Degler recently posted…Orgasm FAQs Part One: Why Can’t I Have an Orgasm?My Profile

    • Sheila
      February 24, 2012

      Hi Jennifer! Great to see you here. Did I ever tell you that I quoted you in the book? I was recording part of the audio book this morning and actually read your name, so it was funny to come over here and see your comment!

      • Jennifer Degler
        February 27, 2012

        God’s timing, huh? Thanks for mentioning me in your book. I am getting it on my Kindle tomorrow when it comes out. I know you are crazy busy right now launching your new book, but you are always welcome to guest blog on the CWIVES site. Just send me something you’ve already written and I will post it with your bio and photo. I blogged about your book last week and encouraged wives to add it to their sex book collection. We “sex ladies” have to stick together.

        Jennifer Degler recently posted…“When Your Husband Doesn’t Want Sex” Part Five: How to Address His Sexual DysfunctionMy Profile

  5. Anonymous
    February 24, 2012

    This has been a fantastic series, Sheila! We’re in a bit of a different situation, in that I have a chronic debilitating illness which has turned every aspect of our lives upside down. It makes it tricky for my husband to initiate, because more often than not, I’m not physically able to partake. So the solution we have found that works well for us is that I initiate nearly every time, and make sure that I do so as often as I can when I’m feeling well….and he has agreed to always agree if I initiate (that part didn’t take very much arm-twisting!). That way he doesn’t feel rejected when I’m not able to say “yes”, and I don’t feel guilty about having to say “no”. It took us a while to find this groove, though, and I’m sure each couple would have to come to their own compromises )

  6. lmz
    February 24, 2012

    Let me just say, thank you for this! I appreciate your balanced approach in this post. And your email yesterday! :)

  7. Megan
    February 24, 2012

    I’ve been sick so much this past month that it had been a while since my husband and I were intimate; I’m still recovering but reading your series encouraged me to at least talk to my husband to reassure him that I have thought about being with him and even laid out lingerie in the morning with plans to seduce him, only to get too sick later in the day to follow through. He really appreciated knowing this, so thank you for reminding me to be open in my communication with him about sex!

    • Sheila
      February 24, 2012

      Oh, that’s brutal, Megan! I’m sure your husband at least appreciates knowing your heart is in the right place, even if your stomach isn’t. Take care!

      • ROI
        March 16, 2012


        I am not in any way referring to the previous poster when I mention this, but her post made me remember what seems to be a recurring situation with my wife.

        My wife will sometimes seem to initiate things with me, flirt, etc at a time where we can absolutely not have sex. Like one of us walking out the door to work and we have a mtg so we can not stick around. She may even say something along the lines of us spending some adult time together later on or that she will take care of me later tonight. So I spend the day anticipating and fantasizing about being with my wife. Then evening comes, bed time and she is too tired or does not feel well or one of a variety of other issues. Not only do I feel rejected but I just spent a whole day getting my self worked up, literally, and then nothing.

        This had started to happen so frequently I finally told her to please stop making suggestions / offers to me if she was not going to actually follow through as it was all just hurtful, even more so then her just never saying anything in the first place. Which is sad but I feel that I needed to protect myself from basically being teased, at best, to being lied to, at worst.

  8. Jan
    February 24, 2012

    I have to say I have been the only one intiating sex. When we both get going we both really enjoy it but if I don’t initiate it doesn’t happen. I an confused by this because i thought guys always wanted it more?

    • Sheila
      February 24, 2012

      Usually guys do, but diabetes is definitely a big libido killer! Has your husband ever talked to his doctor about it, because my impression was that even people on insulin could potentially be helped by testosterone, but that’s really a question for his doctor.

  9. OffTheCuff
    February 26, 2012

    You did a pretty good job expaining how men view sex. Not that I’ve experienced it, personally… but duty sex is probably the most corrosive force that can be exerted on a marriage. A straight up “no” is much better.

    By duty sex, I mean this attitude: “Oh, FINE! We can do it, but I’m not going to like it” and to mentally shut down. Duty sex is not reactive desire, which means you still want to please your spouse and are *open* to having your mind changed.

    Remember, a marriage is made for sex. It’s the one emotional need that cannot be sought out elsewhere. It’s one thing to deny your spouse dinner, because they can still go out to eat. Deny your spouse sex, and they are stuck. Without sex, you are just roommates.

    • Sheila
      February 26, 2012

      Yes, libido really is a use it or lose it phenomenon, especially for women (though for men as well). And you’re right that women can mentally shut down. So much of our sex drive is in our head, and women need to be able to find a way to “switch it on”. That’s hard if you’ve been abused in the past, but as someone on another thread said, “why punish yourself and your husband for something someone else did to you?”

    • ROI
      March 16, 2012

      Wow OfftheCuff, that is very well put, thank you for sharing that thought.

      “Remember, a marriage is made for sex. It’s the one emotional need that cannot be sought out elsewhere. It’s one thing to deny your spouse dinner, because they can still go out to eat. Deny your spouse sex, and they are stuck. Without sex, you are just roommates.”

      Sheila, do you consider it abuse when a woman was promiscuous before she was married. Where she made the choice to have sex with multiple guys? But then later claims that she feels guilty and feels bad for what she did? I just want to be sure I understand you, because sometimes I read some of your writing and I get that feeling that you consider that she was abused when it was really her own poor choices that led to the feelings of guilt and remorse.

      • Sheila
        March 17, 2012

        ROI, I think those are two different issues. There’s guilt and shame over being abused (which is absolutely natural), and then there’s guilt and shame over what you did (which is still natural, but which has a different cause). The solution to both, though, is the same, which is to go to God for forgiveness and then ask Him to give you His mind on intimacy and sex in marriage and to teach you how to see it as a beautiful thing. And that can be a difficult process, it’s certainly not impossible (and, in fact, if you really trust God, it’s very possible).

        I understand that you’re in a really tough position with your wife, and it looks like it stems back to what you both did before marriage. You both had sex first, and now she feels guilty and she associates sex with something shameful and just physical, because that’s what it was. It sounds like you both need to learn how to experience real intimacy in sex. And that probably takes both of you apologizing to each other for taking sex out of the marriage context, and then both of you committing to work on intimacy.

        Now, I know that sounds pretty much impossible because from your story it doesn’t sound like she’s very interested in it (and I’ve had so many emails from men in exactly your situation, and next week I’ll be putting up one of those emails as a question of the week, so stay tuned!). But I did write a post a while back especially for men to share with their wives, that introduces the whole 29 Days to Great Sex concept. I don’t know if it would help, but perhaps if you shared it with her you could start trying to rebuild.

        I am sorry you’re going through this, and I wish there were an easy answer, but there’s not. I’d just encourage you to keep loving her, and to not give up, because I’ve heard of amazing changes in marriage even after 20 years. But also know that God doesn’t ask you to do something that He doesn’t also give you the strength to do. So love your wife, show her the post, ask for forgiveness for your part in the past, and then commit to her to try to rebuild intimacy, and see if she can agree with you!

  10. Beth
    March 16, 2012

    I very rarely initiate, because I find that #1 totally isn’t true for hubby and I. If I initiate anything he expects me to be ready for intercourse right away. He doesn’t get me initiating anything without already being completely ready.

    • Sheila
      March 16, 2012

      Beth, I think that’s a common thing, because some guys just don’t understand how important foreplay is. Have you read the posts on foreplay? Maybe encourage him to read them with you!

  11. eve
    July 22, 2013

    im glad i found your blog. i now know im a very normal highly sexed wife. great blog.

    August 15, 2013

    Its very good work your doing to make marriage a better place to live and enjoy. I am not married and I also don’t have any girlfriend but I enjoy your articles and I hope they might save my marriage one time in the future thanks so much.

  13. alana
    January 7, 2014

    the thing about being abused and having sex before marriage and feeling guilty now you are married you said the answer to both is to ask God for forgiveness I don’t think you meant the person that was abused has to ask for forgiveness because they didn’t do anything wrong just felt I needed to say something incase an abused person was reading this.

  14. The Wife
    March 12, 2014

    When I initiate, none of those things you listed happen. Usually it would have been a while since we last had sex (about a week or so), so I say, “(Husband), it has been a while since we had sex, so we should probably do it.” Then I take off my clothes, lay on the bed and wait for it to be over. He acts like it’s not good enough, but whatever, at least I initiated it. And I point this out to him. I don’t understand how me saying, “we should have sex” and doing this “duty sex” is not good enough. At least he can’t complain that it has been “months” or “years” since he last got any. I try to make sure we do it at least once a week. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who initiates sex any more, and I only do it for him. He’s the one who needs sex, and really, needs it more than once a week, but I’m not going to do all the initiation (ugh, I guess I should though), and since I know he needs it more than once a week (he told me), I don’t understand why he doesn’t initiate more often. I’ve made a point to never say no (except that time of month or when I’m truly sick, which only happens one day a year), so I’m actually surprised we’re not doing it every night (I’m thankful for the sleep, but then I feel bad that he’s not taking advantage of the fact that I don’t say no). So, in my experience, initiating doesn’t help me get in the mood or feel the need to be in control.

    Oh, side note, I’ve read every day’s challenge in your series today, and while you give some great advice and ideas, I’m feeling even more discouraged. I wish there was a magic pill that made me actually want sex :-(

    • Jan
      May 5, 2014

      I know how you feel! I am trying so so hard but it’s just not working. I feel like I have been lied to. Its hard not to give up.

  15. Mariah
    August 5, 2014

    Maybe you’ve covered this topic before, but I have an issue. My husband and I both initiate equally. The problem is the time of day. For example, every morning my husband wakes up EARLY, with vigor, and wants to have sex. That’s great, but I am a night owl, a very light sleeper, and am super, super tired at 5:30 am (we have 3 kids that I wake up with if they wake at night). I feel like punching him in the face and putting a pillow over my head. It sounds childish, but I only get a good deep sleep between 6 and 7 am. I’m awake by 7 and starting my day. He can’t wait though, he is already at work by then. At night time, when he gets home (he works long hours, home between 6-10pm), thats when I initiate and when I’m at my most alert and excited. He is dead tired and drags his feet to bed and falls asleep instantly. But, since we totally love each other, we’ve made this craziness work. We aren’t upset over it, but rather realize things need to change. Any suggestions?

  16. Lori
    September 4, 2014

    I just came across this. I had a back injury, which really made my husband and I sex life poor. Any advice for having intimacy with an injury?

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