39 responses

  1. Audra Marie
    March 7, 2012

    Intimacy in all forms is such a precious gift. I hope your emails can help many couples find that in their marriage.
    Audra Marie recently posted…Scripture Photo – Luke 9:23-24My Profile

  2. Megan Elzey
    March 7, 2012

    Thank you for doing a series on this. I know there are women who are dealing with this, and have probably felt alone. Thank you for giving them ideas of what they can do to help the overall feel of their marriages.
    Megan Elzey recently posted…To move a mountainMy Profile

  3. Anonymous
    March 7, 2012

    I’m posting as Anonymous today because I don’t want these details to be connected with my husband.

    I hope to encourage some of you out there today. Although my husband didn’t have a complete lack of desire for sex the first many years of our marriage, he did have a lower sex drive than I and this was a huge battle for me. For many of those years he was on a cocktail mix of medicines for anxiety, depression and ADD. The latter of which I shoved him out the door to confirm his symptoms.

    During that time I cried, fought, prayed, begged the Lord . . . and as many of you have probably discovered, this only pushed my husband away further. Nothing seemed to work. Eventually I came to the end of myself and realized I’d better surrender this to the Lord or it would swallow me up. The Lord spoke to me various ways. I remember a series from Focus on the Family then playing on the radio. I took in what I heard. I remember a discussion during this series on groveling. What the Lord showed me was that when I went to my husband, often times I would end up groveling. At times I was angry. But as many of you may relate, a woman will sometimes resort to crying and pleading and asking what she is doing wrong. Groveling. The definition of grovel was given over the radio. I encourage you to look it up. We, as humans, cannot respect anyone that grovels. It goes against the nature God put within us.

    So what was I to do? I prayed and prayed some more and definitely pulled back on not just groveling but also discussion on the topic for a while. I wanted to hear what the Lord had to say. The lack of grovelling in itself helped but I knew there were still some issues.

    LADIES, even if it seems there is no apparent reason–medication, porn addiction, etc–I can assure you that sometimes something underlying is likely going on. God did NOT create man to willingly withdraw from sex for no reason. Low testosterone is something I am sure is a huge problem often. GOD CAN STILL HEAL THIS!!! But first, seek Him. Ask Him to open YOUR eyes. Is not this the way He works with any other issue? He wants us to pour our needs, hurts and even anger to Him. HE can handle it. However, His principles and laws in His Word will always have us reflecting inwardly.

    Let me fast forward my story a bit . . .

    Eventually my husband decided to come off of most of the meds he was on and this was a tremendous answer to prayer. Some time later {maybe a few years} we had a blow up that ended up with an eye opening revelation for me. I had been disrespectful in so many ways. He had had enough. His actual all out SCREAM of this information hit me to the core of my being. I KNEW it was true. I excused it most of the time. Many times I would be “venting” to him and felt he took it personally but I also knew, KNEW that I had been consistently disrespectful in many ways with MY MOUTH.

    It was an ugly truth that I needed to see. It took prayer and repentance and surrendering to the Lord but I knew I had to change this. We are to respect our men. SIMPLY PUT! I had done the complete opposite in many ways. Later, I would find that this affected him and his desire for sex. UNDERSTANDABLY. This truth came out after another eye opening realization coming in a second. And when it did, I could look back and see the truth of what he said. I could see how since that blow up and my desire to change, sex had gotten much better. Even in the early years when we had it, it was good most of the times but things were definitely better. Still, at times they were off.

    Within the past year I have been made aware an addiction to porn that my husband had since basically {sadly} childhood. It’s amazing what praying for freedom can do! This has been tremendously difficult! At the same time, very freeing especially for him! It is a problem that is so rampant, the least likely of people have it. He had always prided himself on not ever walking through the doors of Hooters. He would not go places friends would go. I NEVER would’ve imagined he had this problem. While he was not among the men who will readily admit their desire and indulgence in this sin, he would willingly go behind closed doors. Smart phones feed this much!!!

    And what is a crazy realization to this problem, is that they will want sex LESS. It can seem a little crazy in that you’d think it would feed them to want it more from their wives. However, they are getting their needs met via the addiction.

    Since the discovery, his repentance and newfound freedom, things have changed dramatically. It has been a battle, of course. But it is nothing short of amazing the beauty God can and DOES bring through deliverance and restoration. And that includes your sex life.

    Know that while I do not want to imply that your husbands are likely into porn in spite of the fact that it seems impossible to be true, I do pray that you will sincerely seek the Lord for Him to open, FIRST, your eyes.

    How we treat our men matters!!! We are not given an out because of our own hurts. We are accountable for our responses and our own actions. My heart hurts for women who struggle in this area. I know what it’s like to feel unwanted, rejected, in despair. BUT, HE alone is the lifter of our heads. Find your strength, your peace, WHO you are in Him. Lift up your heads and don’t grovel. EVER. It is NOT effective. Ask God to bring freedom to your husbands in ALL areas. And trust Him to bring clarity. He is faithful.

    If it’s nothing else but low testosterone, let’s pray together for God to heal this. He not only can but I believe He will!!!

    • Megan Elzey
      March 7, 2012

      Beautiful of you to share this. I am sure it will help many women!
      Megan Elzey recently posted…To move a mountainMy Profile

    • Sheila
      March 7, 2012

      Wonderful comment, and I think what you shared is that quite often there is a whole lot of factors. It isn’t just one. Your husband had low testosterone, an addiction to porn, and a wife who often put him down. I think that’s quite common, where it’s multifaceted. I’m so glad you listened when God spoke to you, and isn’t that wonderful that God also spoke to your husband and that you’re able to rebuild now!

  4. The Alabaster Jar
    March 7, 2012

    Sheila,
    Thanks for tackling a difficult topic! All too often it is taboo to discuss such intimate issues/struggles that Christian men/women are having within their marriage. You are making an impact for the Lord as a result. Keep up the good work!
    Blessings,
    ~jolene engle
    The Alabaster Jar recently posted…The Good Samaritan Wife and a Marital Oneness Monday Link UpMy Profile

  5. Paul Byerly
    March 7, 2012

    Sheila,

    I agree completely with you about focusing first and foremost on intimacy. What’s more, I have never known any spouse to get more sex by dragging out 1 Cor 7.

    That said (and I know you know this) some men and women are fine with any and all intimacy as long as there is no sex. When that happens, one is forced to deal with sex directly.

    Waiting for your next post! ;-)
    Paul Byerly recently posted…Romance: I prefer youMy Profile

    • Sheila
      March 7, 2012

      So true, Paul! So when you talk about intimacy, you must say that God’s design for intimacy is that it is also expressed in sex. Excellent point.

  6. Jenny
    March 8, 2012

    But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
    Matt 6:33

    Shelia, I’m loving the post especially as a woman who wants it more. At least right now… In our marriage it has gone back and forth at times.. But, I may be jumping the gun on you but I think you are missing one point. We need to seek God above all else! Including intamcy with our husbands. If your husband will seek God with you all the better. But some of us have husbands that have fallen away from the Lord, in that situation you have to seek God on your own… The amazing thing is God does answer prayer. When you take the focus off how hurt you are by the rejection and truly give it to God and seek him first and foremost, things happen in other areas of your life. Your relationship with God is a barometer for all other relationships you have. Especially, your spouse. If your relationship with your spouse isn’t going good and isn’t getting better you need to look to God and see how that relationship is. Truly seek God with all your heart. God will as the other lady said open your eyes to the truth! Only God can bring about change in your spouse you can do nothing but pray for them and control how you behave. Seeking God wil give you peace beyond understanding (phil 4:7) that will enable you to serve your spouse despite the hurt.

    • Sheila
      March 8, 2012

      Jenny, I do totally agree with you. Sometimes, actually, this is one of the beautiful things that come out of a lonely marriage–you learn how to rely on God. And you CAN’T change a spouse.

      Nevertheless, I do think that if there is a legitimate issue in a marriage you need to be able to talk about it. Yes, we should take it to God, and yes, we should find our peace in God. But I also think it’s good to try to build a fabulous relationship, the kind that God wants. And that often includes confronting your spouse on something that is wrong in the relationship.

      So thank you for adding that perspective! But I also just do want to say that if you are walking through this with your spouse, it is perfectly okay to talk about it with your spouse!

  7. Tina H.
    March 8, 2012

    The woman you quoted at the beginning said she wished her husband needed sex in the same way she does. Well, I have to say, as a spouse who simply doesn’t need sex in the same way my husband does – I have, in fact, often said that I’d have made a good nun if I were Catholic! – that the wish is normal, as long as that does not become a demand. Whether it’s a husband or wife, if the personal need is not there, it’s just not there – and there may be nothing wrong (physically or emotionally) with that person at all. It could just be how that person is wired, and it would be extremely unfair and unloving (not to mention completely unrealistic) to demand the spouse try to change his/her needs. Which doesn’t mean they shouldn’t also work to meet the needs of the spouse who wants/needs more sex – though there is a balance, as you have said several times over the past month. In fact, if a person’s personal need for sex is not very high but they do their best to meet their spouse’s needs despite that, the efforts should be appreciated, not diminished. I would even go so far as to say that a person who doesn’t have much need for sex but who does their best – even if it’s not “perfect” according to the more “needy” spouse – is very loving indeed because we’re really going out of our own comfort zone on a regular basis for our spouse. It’s really tiresome to continuously hear that those of us who are simply wired differently are somehow wrong or sick…and that we need to try to force ourselves to be what we are not. If we still – out of love – do our best by our spouse’s even when it’s not about ourselves, that should be applauded, not demeaned.
    Tina H. recently posted…Living Well Blog Hop: Week 31My Profile

    • Sheila
      March 8, 2012

      I would agree, Tina. I think what the woman was expressing was that she wished that her spouse experienced real intimacy during sex, and that’s what I’m hoping to stir up here and in the 29 day series. I know some people will never have the same physical drive, and it’s a rare couple indeed who are totally compatible on that level. But I do think that God made us to experience love and intimacy during sex, and that’s what I think many spouses really yearn for. I’ve had people say to me, “I could live without the freqency, but I just want to have it be something that brings us closer together.” I think if you really love your spouse, and you’re doing your best to “step out of your comfort zone” and make love, that’s wonderful, and that’s part of expressing love for someone. My prayer would be that one day those spouses who do have the lower sex drive would also be able to EXPERIENCE sex as love, and not just express it as love, if that makes any sense, because that’s such a tremendous thing. And that’s really the best gift that God gave us.

      But I absolutely agree that if you are doing your best to show love to your spouse, that is a good thing. And I absolutely commend you for it. Your heart is definitely in the right place!

  8. Amy
    March 10, 2012

    My husband never had any interest in me or sex. I’ve been such a fool living with this horrible person for 45 years. But I do believe in death do us part of our wedding vows. We only had sex,intimacy, togetherness once in all these years. He decided that sex and intimacy were meaningless, he disliked it thought it really a waste of time, was disgusting and totally messy. So he said there will be no sex, love, sleeping together wasn’t in the cards. He move to the basement and built a kitchen, bedroom thing down there away from me. I was told never to bother him except when something is broke or needs replacing. Leave a POST IT on the wall. He lives like a hermit, no phone,TV, radio, dresses like a slob, no haircut just plain unkept. I thought he might be gay but no he goes only where its necessary for him to go. Plus I’ve hired people to follow him and nothing has been found. Its been my own fault for staying with him, the heart ache and depression, lonelyness is terrible. I wish I could find some one with a willing shoulder I could cry on. I have accepted my life for what it is.

    • Sheila
      March 10, 2012

      Amy, I’m so sorry for your situation. It sounds like your husband has completely checked out of the relationship, and based on other comments, did so on his wedding night. I hope that you can find a good church where you can tell people what you’re going through and get their support, because God never meant for you to live alone like this. I pray that you can find some peace in God, and some good friends and some help after all these years.

    • Sheila
      March 10, 2012

      I should also say that it sounds like your husband has already separated from you, and did so long ago. He chose to live completely separately, and to not communicate. I understand that you believe in til death do us part, but I think your husband has already left. It would be good for you to find a mentor couple who knows you in real life to talk to about this and to discuss what the proper options and actions are now.

    • JulieAnne McKinney
      November 20, 2012

      Have you considered developmental disorders. Aspergers? This sounds so out of the range of normal. I am married to someone who has this and some behaviors have left me standing in a state of shock. This is a form of Autisum. Just a suggestion to think outside normal. Although this happens in marriages this sounds extreme and that alerts me to something outside of normal. It has taken us 10 years to peel back symptoms to find a diagnosis that explains the journey we hav e been on.

  9. Valerie
    March 31, 2012

    I too am in a similar situation. My husband is a diabetic and has been since 2002. His health has gradually gotten worse because he doesn’t take care of himself. He takes his medicine but doesn’t watch what he eats. Things also got even worse when they put him on Metformin. I feel like he went through a bad bit of depression, but wouldn’t admit it. We had a rough summer of me doing “stupid” things that aggrevated him and since then he has “checked out” emotionally, spiritually and physically. I’ve been crying out to the Lord, hard since October of last year. He has fallen away from the Lord and says that he is closer to Him than ever. He was always an affectionate man. He would hold my hand, look at me lovingly, play with my hair, touch my body to let me know that he wanted me. That has now ALL stopped. Back in the fall I started gently asking him questions and his answer was “I don’t know”. He is distant, non affectionate and seems to not care what happens to me. The Lord has shown me little glimpses of hope, but this hurts so bad and I’m so lonely that I have thoughts of finding someone to just hold me. I’m trying to be strong and not come across as needy and pothetic, but it is so hard. I’ve started counseling and am thinking about antidepressants because I feel like I’m in mourning over our relationship. I was always taught that if a husband and wife are close to the Lord…then they will grow closer together., but he has no interest in doing that. He did a study with me in Aug and Sept. and said he was disappointed because I seemed to get nothing out of it. I tried to help him understand that I have ADD issues and some parts of it didn’t sink in, but that seemed to make him more disgusted. He told me “I give up”, “I’m done”. Our marriage was never perfect, but I know we loved each other and we use to have a great physical and affectionate marriage and now that is all gone. He has had problems with porn in the past and made a covenant with me and God years ago to stay away from that, but I fear that it’s back. I don’t know what to do but WAIT…my Psalm that I’m living by right now is Psalm 40…waiting for the Lord to bring me out of the ‘horrible pit”, out of the “miry clay” and “set my feet upon a rock”. But it is so hard to wait and I want my marriage partner back.

  10. Susann
    June 30, 2012

    When I was “working in the church” it was sad how many who came to me with these struggles. Even now I still know couples who struggle! I even know couples at least married 6-13 years no sex at all! Your post was very well written! I loved it. I have it marked and will reference it next time approach. Most know I’m am not shy talking about sex-so many come to me. (you do better though!:)) God’s gave us this gift-the world is tearing it apart! Someone has got to talk about it the way it was intended for!:).

  11. Lily
    September 10, 2012

    some very wise advice, especially about opening our own eyes as women. interestingly some women in the world are more savvy when it comes to things like this, many of them see how hardness in their character and personalities can turn a man off sexually. totally. So the message is, in a word: soften. Women need to be, well yes, penetrable, and if we have a hard shell and hard core which comes our mouths it is like throwing a bucket of iced water over him, no wonder then men might find it hard to get turned on sexually when their spouse is hardened toward them.

  12. ButterflyWings
    December 1, 2012

    ” If you talk about your sexual needs, chances are this is what your spouse will hear:

    “I have sexual needs because I have never really developed self-control the way you have. I am a slave to my body, unlike you, who is able to focus on the important things in life. And now, because of my desire and lack of self-control, I want you, who are already busy, to get energetic and to pretend that you actually want sex so that I can get some release.” ”

    While that may be the case for SOME couples, to say it is the case for all couples in this situation is short sighted.

    It assumes that the spouse wanting sex is only saying they have sexual needs for physical needs – it ignores the couple where they know that the spouse saying it because of a need for their relationship to deepen and this can’t be done when one person constantly rejects the other.

    And more importantly, it bizarrely assumes that the spouse rejecting sex considers themselves to be focussed on important things (or is busy). I know several lovely, heartbroken women who are facing this situation.

    It has nothing to do with physical release on their side of things – they just want to bond with their husbands. Their husbands KNOW they are not busy and especially know they are NOT focussed on important things.

    For example, two of them have husbands who are addicted to World of Warcraft and another has a husband who is addicted to going to the gym. It is their husbands who have no self control (and two out of three acknowledge this), it is their husbands who are not focussed on the important things in life, and is their husbands who have no legitimate “busyness” – other than part time work and their addiction, they have no life, while their poor wives are working, taking care of the household, two of the three have kids (it only takes once to get pregnant) and are doing 100% of the childrearing.

    Yet despite the fact that it’s the woman who is totally exhausted from true busyness – financially supporting the family, doing all the housework, raising the kids etc – they still want to spend a little bit of time occasionally being intimate with their husbands because they know it will improve the bond between them – for their husband’s sake more than their own.

    It is their husband’s who have no self control – they are out pleasuring themself constantly with computer games and working out and give no thought at all to having any self control over their pleasure seeking activities. It is their husbands who are not the slightest bit busy apart from their self pleasuring activities.

    These are men who don’t want sex because they are getting their pleasure elsewhere. It may not be sexual pleasure, but it is self pleasure none the less.

    So how on earth do you deal with men like that? Telling them “I desire you. I find you so attractive. You excite me. I want us to experience this together. I want to feel loved.” means nothing to them. You can tell it to them a thousand times. It doesn’t get them off their computer games.

    • Sheila
      December 1, 2012

      Butterfly Wings, you’re right, increasingly this is a huge problem in marriage. I’m actually starting a series in January when I’m going to talk about all of these issues: video games, television, a lack of discipline, a lack of regular sleep, a lack of “adult” behaviour. And how can we reclaim that? How can we reclaim family time and couple time when we have video games issues or we stay up until 3:00 on the computer?

      So I don’t have a quick answer, but I will be expanding on all of these issues soon.

  13. CL
    March 4, 2013

    I’m going to book mark this. And read it un till i get it right. I need intimacy not sex. You opened my eyes.

  14. Nathan Stice
    September 10, 2013

    I am a guy and I need to make a comment here. First of all NEVER tell some one or pressure someone to go off their ADD or othe meds…it’s not your choice or life it’s his. The commen made earlier abou how anonymous made her hub go off all his meds..wow…selfish! Secondly, maybe the fact is that a man likes to feel sexually powerful and in control but he also wants to be respected. When my wife is rude or disrespecfiul to me I def don’t feel sexually attracts to her. There is all on here about how to approach your man and “change him” classic female mistake but maybe you need to look at yourselves first, the only person you can change is yourself ladies.

    • ButterflyWings
      September 16, 2013

      Totally agree it’s dangerous, reckless and selfish to demand any person go off psychotropic medication. This is a decision to be made with a doctor and should be done only under a doctor’s care. Taking some off psych meds , including ADHD meds,without monitoring by a doctor can lead to horrific consequences.

  15. Name Withheld
    May 20, 2014

    Awesome series of posts!!! I’ve been looking for answers regarding my husbands decreased sexual drive. My search yielded results for how to dress sexier, tricks to try in bed or worst of all, concluded that he was cheating. I was so thankful when I found this site. My husband is a good man and father. I know he’s been under more stress recently and I can now see how I may have compounded the issue. I look forward to putting into practice some of the suggestions and hopefully getting a positive response.

    • Sheila
      May 20, 2014

      That’s wonderful! So glad you found it helpful.

  16. Liv
    June 28, 2014

    I stumbled across this post and I have to say I am so in the same boat. My husband and I have been married almost 14 yrs and the last few have gotten worse. We started out making love every day. Then it diminished after maybe the 5th year. After that it was in spurts. But that was because we had financial difficulties and he was stressed…..which is what I thought. We have a great relationship over all else. We have 2 children and our lives are surrounded by our family time, but when the kids go to sleep, how I long and wish for intimacy. I’ve had several talks with him about this. He’d give me an excuse why. He’s either stressed or tired or he doesn’t want to wake me because I’m tired….etc. I am in tears and have fell at a weak moment a couple years ago. I have since repented but never told anyone but the Lord. But again…I ask my husband what’s wrong…he says.. nothing is wrong. I want him but I can’t lie, lately I kind of don’t because I know if we do it, it’s because he’s doing it out of his “duty”. I had a hysterectomy in April, have been cleared by my Dr. For 2 weeks still nothing… we haven’t made love since February or March sometime. I touch him but he doesn’t “bite it” so to speak. He’s talked to the Dr and urologist, nothing. Not only am I hurt to my guts sometimes but yes I totally feel intimately lonely and starved. I even think sometimes something is wrong with ME mentally. But I feel robbed of all my 20s and almost my 30s!!!

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