Wifey Wednesday: Getting Over Thinking Sex is "All for him"

Getting Over Thinking of Sex as a Gift for Him--and seeing that it benefits me, too!

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for a marriage post and link-up party! I’ll write a post about marriage, and then you all can link up one of your own below! Today I want to ask: When you have sex with your husband, do you feel like you’re doing him a favor? Has sex become something that’s “for him”? Something that you do because you should, to get brownie points, rather than something that you want to do?

Many women feel that way. And not just that; they also feel proud of themselves when they do “give him sex”. He should be grateful!

Thinking that sex is a gift you give to him is an understandable attitude, but also a dangerous one. And we’ve got to fight it!

I’ve seen a number of comments recently on this blog that went something like this:

My husband never really shows me love the way I need it. But he wants sex all the time! But because he doesn’t show me love, I just can’t get into it. So we rarely have sex. And then when we do, he isn’t even grateful.

There’s a problem with that attitude.

Let’s say that what you really want is for your husband to be romantic. You want the flowers. You want him to read you poetry. You want him to bring you home chocolates. And let’s say that one day he does all those things. He hires a baby-sitter so he can take you out to dinner. While there, he whips out a book of love sonnets and reads you from Shakespeare. When you get home, he feeds you chocolate truffles, and then he doesn’t even expect anything in return! How wonderful of him.

But the next day you overhear him talking to a friend and he says, “yes, I did it. I finally did everything she wanted. I had to grit my teeth the entire time and pretend to be happy, but I did it, and now she can’t complain. I figure I’ve probably bought myself two or three months before she gets grumpy again and expects something.”

You’d be pretty ticked, wouldn’t you? It would be like it wasn’t real.

What you wanted was for him to WANT to do those romantic things; if he did them because he felt like he had to, then it’s cheating.

Yet how many of us do the same thing to our husbands? Perhaps you don’t think that’s a fair comparison, because you can’t help the way you feel. Sex isn’t really fun, and you can’t just “force” yourself to get turned on.

Yet so much of sex is attitude for women.

When our heads are in the game (as in thinking positively about sex), our bodies usually follow. When our heads aren’t in the game, it isn’t very much fun. If you’re resentful of your husband, or you’re having sex just “to get him off of my back”, then it’s unlikely to be a fun experience for you. But it’s also not going to be very fun for him, because he’s going to know that you’re not really into it. And he’s going to feel placated, not wanted. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Besides, we are really being hypocritical here. We’re expecting men to do something that we aren’t willing to do. We want men to show us affection and love whether or not we give them sex.

We expect men to be loving and not demanding, and yet we ourselves can’t do the same thing for them.

They simply want us to make love (which in their eyes is showing love) without expecting a whole lot in return. And if we’re treating sex like it’s a reward, then we’re withholding love from them. And that is extremely hurtful.

I believe that the root of many marriage problems later on is a disconnect when it comes to making love. Making love is not something optional that we add to our marriages when things are good. It is something that we should be doing consistently, regularly, throughout our marriages, because it is part of what keeps our marriages good. And it is so very important for our husbands.

If you’re married to a guy who doesn’t want sex, I know that is so humiliating and discouraging. But if he’s the one who wants it more, I want to encourage you to think of sex not as something that you do for him, but as something that you do for both of you. It will bring you closer together. It helps him feel closer to you, but it also helps you feel more positively about him. It helps you to sleep better. It helps you feel more invigorated about life. It keeps you happier.

It may seem difficult to get to the point where you see sex as something beneficial for you, and not just for him. But honestly ask yourself this question, “do I treat sex like I’m doing him a favor?” And if the answer is yes, then examine your heart and start praying that God will help you to see things differently–that this is something that you do for both of you, because it helps you, too!

Still 30% off at Amazon!

And remember–my book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, takes you through so many issues so that by the end you really do see sex as something exciting that you want to embrace, too! If that seems farfetched, I encourage you to read it anyway, because I do think this can give so many people a new lease on their marriages.

Christian Marriage Advice

Now, do you have any advice for us today? Or what do you think about how we can encourage each others’ marriages? Just link up a marriage post in the linky tools below! And be sure to link back here so others can read some great marriage advice, too!

31 Days to Great Sex
31 Days to Great Sex is here (only $4.99!) It's the best $5 you'll ever spend on your marriage!

Learn to talk more, flirt more, and even explore more! You'll work on how to connect emotionally, spiritually, AND physically.

Find out more here.


  1. My husband and I have been having sex every day (and the other day, twice!), and it’s been wonderful. (If you remember, up until a few weeks ago he had withheld sex for three months, so this is a major change.) But twice in the past couple of weeks, I wasn’t “in the mood” immediately, so I had him rub on me a bit and touch me (which he was more than happy to do), and there was more kissing than normal, and I took your advice from this blog and purposefully turned my mind to wanting him. And it was great. I’m so glad that I came across this blog and found out that for a woman, wanting sex is centered a lot in our attitudes and our minds. Because most of the time I’m ready for sex well ahead of time, but occasionally even though I want sex, my body hasn’t quite warmed up yet.
    Jen recently posted…sewing projects – two finished, two pendingMy Profile

  2. Excellent post! I especially love the way you stated this: “Making love is not something optional that we add to our marriages when things are good. It is something that we should be doing consistently, regularly, throughout our marriages, because it is part of what keeps our marriages good.”

    • I recall years ago having a conversation with a good (young) friend who was about to be married. The way I explained what my ‘take’ was on intimacy between hubby and wife was that rather than thinking of sex as ‘the icing on the cake’ – reserved for special occasions, to think of it as ‘the oil in the engine’ – something essential, that keeps things running smoothly. I love the quote…”it is part of what keeps our marriages good”.

  3. We just had our third baby and although getting back into the swing of things hasn’t ever really been difficult after childbirth (I know, we’re unusual), this time, I have had a really difficult time keeping my head in the game. I recently have tried to be thinking more “like a guy” if that makes sense. It’s sort of like, if I don’t think frequently about making love during the day while I’m with the kids around the house, it’s just never going to be desirable when he comes home from work. If I try to force it spontaneously, it’s much harder. Sounds bizarre now that I’ve typed it all out, but hey, it’s working for me!
    Elizabeth@Warrior Wives recently posted…The Beauty in Choosing Not to SeeMy Profile

    • I’m with you Elizabeth, our third child too, and for some reason it seems like they are ALWAYS interrupting and if they aren’t it’s hard to get that extra bit of mommy out of my head :)
      Valerie recently posted…VulnerabilityMy Profile

      • After rereading this I didn’t explain very well … I too, Elizabeth have been trying to thing about sex more often during the day, and am trying to work it into my routine, when I’m folding clothes etc. So what I was trying to say is it’s nice to know I’m not alone! (I need to read more carefully before I hit “post comment” :) )
        Valerie recently posted…VulnerabilityMy Profile

        • Oh good…I feel much less crazy now!
          Elizabeth@Warrior Wives recently posted…The Beauty in Choosing Not to SeeMy Profile

          • That’s actually not crazy at all. I do that too, even though I don’t have kids, though not necessarily just to get in the mood – often it’s because I’m already in the mood, and it just makes my desire even stronger to think about him and making love, and kind of daydream about it. Then when it finally happens – wow! I don’t think it’s necessarily “thinking like a guy.” We as women are created to desire our husbands. It’s a beautiful and perfect thing.

            I’ve been doing that for years, but I think I recall Sheila putting it in one of her blog posts too. So no, you’re not crazy!
            Jen recently posted…sewing projects – two finished, two pendingMy Profile

          • I usually need to think and anticipate having fun with my wonderful husband throughout the day or it takes me quite a bit longer when we finally have an all-kids-asleep house! (There are five so it can be quite late sometimes!) Nothing strange about that at all :)
            Tillie recently posted…The Power of Words: Going on a Date?My Profile

    • Elizabeth, that doesn’t sound weird at all! That sounds like you’re being proactive, and that’s awesome!

  4. Sometimes I find, I need to get over myself and just start, even if I’m not in the mood, because God is so faithful and so gracious, he GIVES me the mood…and soon I am enjoying intimacy and each other as much as hubby is!

  5. Michelle says:

    I dont’ think that it is always so simple when it comes to marriage. This woman feels unloved (and it is probably more than that her husband doesn’t read her poetry). Consider how difficult it would be to make yourself want to have sex with a husband who doesn’t seem to care about you except in the bedroom. She may feel that she is doing her best to satisfy him but there is obviously a whole lot more going on in this situation than her attitude about sex.

    • Yes, Michelle, there likely is a lot more going on, and it is a difficult problem. But here’s something else to consider: often the only way to get over a “hump” of something quite serious in a marriage is to take the first step to make it better. And we women are hurt when men aren’t affectionate; and yet we expect them not to be hurt when we don’t make love. I think there’s a bit of a double standard going on. I’m not saying you should deal with big issues, like porn addictions, or verbal abuse, or any of those things. But at some point I think women need to stop thinking of sex as something that it’s okay to withhold when you’re mad. Actually making love can go a long way to rebuilding that intimacy and build a bridge again so that you can start working on your problems. And I’ve just heard so many men talk about how their wives gave up on sex long ago–and then those same wives complain that their husbands are distant.

      At some point, we women need to take responsibility for our role in what’s going on. I’m not saying husbands are perfect; not by a long shot. But we’re not told to be loving when he is loving; we’re told to love period. And I think reaching out and rethinking how we feel about sex is a big part of that. But more on that tomorrow!

  6. Allison says:

    HOW do you KNOW ME!?!? Did you read my mind!? I have been dealing with these very issues in my attitude toward love making. Thank you for writing about this. It’s really helpful.

  7. I am hesitant to make a comment since I don’t know if any of my friends or family read your blog :-) But I have recently discovered the importance of sex in my relationship. We have been married for 20 years and it has just been in the last year that I have begun to understand what sex can do for a relationship. Sex is the key to making a marriage the very best it can be. I grew up with a very negative view of sex. I was told many times from my mother that sex was for the man, and it would be my job to just endure it and do it for him. So of course that brought lots of issues into our relationship. But one night we were talking and we discovered that we were both anxious about initiating sex because of the possibility of rejection. No one wants to feel rejected. So we came up with a solution that has drastically changed our relationship. We have sex every Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday, (more if we are feeling it :-) We no longer worry about, “will he want to, does she want it”? We are closer than ever. I still get nervous each and every time, but I have never felt more loved and accepted than I do right now.

    Also, I recently started to wonder why we ever thought sex was for the guy? I get so much more physical attention during the act of making love than he does. I have more body parts that are sexual in nature!! I also truly believe that a woman’s orgasm is much more intense than a man’s will ever be. I love to make love with my husband! It is often and it is incredible. So if you need to, set up a schedule and just do it!!

    • Great suggestion, CJ! I have a post about that very thing in the queue. I do think for many couples it’s an excellent idea because it gets us over that fear of rejection or just the inertia that we often feel!

  8. I don’t know how to get yourhead in the game when even the thought of having sex with such an ungrateful husband make me frown with disgust.

    • That really is a tough one, and one that a lot of women go through! My quick thoughts: really work on your friendship. Try to DO things together everyday, even if it’s just taking a walk. Take up a hobby. Go shopping together. Work on the house. It doesn’t matter what it is, but doing something together helps you just talk with a lot less pressure and often builds goodwill. Second thing: if you’re stuck in a rut where he is ungrateful and you’re bitter, then you have a choice. You can stay in that rut, or you can try to reach out and love him first. When you take that step, it often clears the air and helps him feel more positively towards you, too, and then helps him become more affectionate. It’s part of a circle of goodwill. So I know it’s hard, but trying to love him and be his friend is often more helpful than demanding that he change or stop being ungrateful. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, though. That’s why we need God’s help!

  9. A few years ago my husband and I began seeing a female, Christian marriage counselor, primarily because my libido had become non-existent, and we would often go several months without making love. Not only was my sex drive extremely low, I actually felt disgusted by the idea of being touched intimately. Needless to say, my husband was quite upset about this situation. Her advice to me was basically “just do it” at least once a week. She justified this by telling me that having sex more frequently would help me get my libido back, and that I was still his wife and needed to help him meet his needs.
    Because I do really miss my libido, and would love to have it back I took her advice. I began having “scheduled” sex with my husband every Sunday night. I still cannot escape the feeling that I am “forcing” myself to go through with this every week. In fact I spend most of my weekend dreading Sunday night!
    I have frequently asked him to help me “get into the mood”. I’m not asking him to shower me with chocolates, flowers, and romance. I would simply like for him to occasionally touch me in a loving way outside the bedroom, and once in a while maybe throw a compliment my way! It seems like an impossible task for me when I spend an entire week without being kissed at all, and then he wants me to respond to him with open-mouthed kissing in the bedroom. And I’m sorry, but making love does not make me sleep better, it doesn’t invigorate me, it doesn’t make me happier, and it certainly does NOT make me feel more positively towards him!
    I love my husband, and dearly want our marriage to work. If I wasn’t committed to this I would have given up long ago. This is not simply a matter of flipping a switch in my head to change my “attitude” about sex. How can I help but think of this as something that’s “for him”? He’s the one getting enjoyment from the physical act while I am the one feeling used.

    • I totally understand. The thought of a husband enjoying something that makes you feel like dirt makes me sad and angry.
      Of course they want to have sex, they want to orgasm! If they didnt or couldnt, I bet everything I own that they wouldnt be so eager to do it all the time! I dont think a wife has to let herself be abused in order to “please” her husband, and putting out even though its killing you inside to do him a favour is abuse!

      • Dottie and Amanda ,totally hear you! I thought I was the only one who didn’t understand why the sparks don’t fly ! Just can’t seem to get my body to learn how to make the hormones to like this thing called sex. ” no making love ” here. Lol . I think it represents or reminds Women of what’s missing in the relationship . It has never brought me closer or filled in any of the blanks for me. If anything at makes me resent him for making use of my body for himself .

  10. Hi, so in the last 3years I have been breaking down different pieces of our broken marriage in attempt to save it or determine if still possible … Sex seems to be a big problem, at least that’s the one he’s willing to talk about the most. It has becoming huge issue for me over the years, for a number of reasons, physical pain ,chronic yeast infections ,auto accident and now it seems to have an emotional trigger for me . The mirror size of my husband is also becoming a problem. He has put on 130 pounds since we’ve been married. My husband seems to forget that there’s all these other elements that are supposed to take place in a relationship . There’s no depth to the relationship anymore everything is very surfacy. He thinks that sex represents a relationship with the person ,”it’s part of the deal” .a Lot of counselors bring up the idea of discussion before hand of expectations on a person. When we are were engaged we talked a lot about how sex wasn’t really that much of a big deal , he didn’t require a lot of it. I don’t know if things of changed over the years with him or if he was not telling the truth. I have started doing research with the idea of hormones that take place during sex. Some of the research I have found said that the oxytocin that in most times is consider the bonding hormone, can also create a negative marker in the mind if the sex is a bad experience. Have you heard about any of this ?

    I’d be interested to hear what you have to say on man that struggle with depression ,anxiety ,and mental illness. Quite frankly I’m feeling very hopeless! The specialist that I have to take my kids to for their special needs, as well as the depression anxiety that they struggle with as well. Have all told me point blank there is no hope unless he is going to seek help. Then I will never have a normal marriage or functional relationship. They have advised me to remove the children from our home. The marriage counselor who was also a believer , told me that she didn’t see how this was going to have a happy ending.

  11. I don’t know if I am one of the few but I do not understand women who do not want sex. It’s fun, it’s healthy, it feels good and you are close to the one you love. The ultimate pleasure should be that you are giving pleasure to your partner. God gave us bodies to express our love, it is abuse to use it as a weapon…to use it as punishment or reward sounds very sick to me. Thanks for making it real and talking about this.

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.


  1. […] I was talking about how sometimes we get into this dangerous pattern of thinking of sex as something we give him “as a favor” or “as a reward”. We think that having sex means we’re being selfless. But if you dissect this, what […]

  2. […] we get into this dangerous pattern of thinking of sex as something we give him “as a favor” or “as a reward”. We think that having sex means we’re being selfless. But if you dissect this, what you’re […]

  3. […] you’re struggling with sex because of this, it’s easy to start to believe that “sex just isn’t for me“, and then give up. Please don’t. Your marriage needs you to try. Your husband needs […]

  4. […] for Sex Throughout the Day How to Get Your Head in the Game What Does 1 Corinthians 7:5 Mean? Getting Over thinking Sex is “for him” Why Sex Isn’t Just for Him Why You Should Reconsider if You’re Not “In the […]

  5. […] However, false messages around us can destroy marital intimacy. False messages like porn is okay, sex is only for men, sexual intimacy dies after the honeymoon, and […]

Leave a Comment


CommentLuv badge