Why Your Husband Won’t Meet Your Needs

Why Your Husband Won't Meet Your Needs
This week at To Love, Honor and Vacuum we’re joining three bloggy friends to talk about how to Revive Your Marriage! And our topic for the week is our attitude.

Yesterday I wrote about how we need to let things go that we can’t change.

But today I want to reprint one of my hardest hitting posts, that I think speaks directly to this. I first wrote this two years ago, but many of you new readers haven’t seen it.

WARNING: It may tick you off.

But please read! Here goes:

About a year or so ago my husband and I were just overwhelmed with busy-ness. I was speaking a lot, and he was working a lot, and we weren’t connecting. Two nights in a row we didn’t make love because I was preoccupied. Then I was away speaking. When I came home it was the middle of the night and we didn’t, either. The next night I was still tired, but neither of us slept well because both of us were feeling that something was wrong in our relationship. The next night we did.

And then he bought me flowers.

Sex flowers.

Man flowers

I got mad. I interpreted it like this: “My husband wants sex too much, so he’ll reward me when we make love, and punish me when we don’t. He’ll be distant when we don’t make love deliberately so that I will start putting out.” And I got really frustrated.

And then it hit me: maybe the reason Keith bought me flowers was simply because he felt closer to me and lovey towards me. I thought what was going through his brain was this:

“I need to manipulate my wife into doing what I want.”

What was really going through his head was this:

“I love my wife. I think I’ll buy her flowers.”

You see, my friends, men are really quite simple.

Love and Respect Men need two things: respect and sex.

Just two things. Respect can be more easily defined as both affirmation and appreciation. When we affirm what they do and show them appreciation, they feel ten feet tall. When we make love to them, we affirm their manhood and they feel loved. And when they feel loved, they tend to feel less antsy, more compassionate, and more eager to keep pleasing us because they feel like the relationship is something they do well. (Now, I know some of you are married to men who don’t WANT to make love, and that’s a different problem. If you’re facing that one, I’d recommend reading this series that I wrote here).

Men tend to want to put in effort in areas they feel they are good at.

That’s why if a man feels he’s lousy at marriage he’ll start working more, or playing on the computer more. He retreats to areas of competence. Make your man feel incompetent and irrelevant, and he’ll retreat. It’s as simple as that.

Now, of course, some men are louts, and it doesn’t matter how much we try to please them, they’re going to retreat and be insensitive. Absolutely. But I think the number of honest to goodness natural louts is far fewer than the number of men who currently ACT like louts. I think many men act like louts because that is how they have been treated.

Too many of us have virtually no respect for what a husband really needs, but we have unlimited respect for our own needs. And we’re not only hurting our husbands–we’re hurting ourselves.

Let me talk about another couple that’s been married for 35 years now. I watch them every now and then, and while I know they’re not splitting up, I don’t see a lot of tenderness. She snipes at him and criticizes him every chance she gets, and he bristles and walks out of the room. Every now and then he retaliates, but not often. She isn’t showing him that she appreciates him; she’s showing him that she doesn’t think he’s good enough. He’s always wrong. And it’s no wonder that he doesn’t act tenderly towards her!

If you take that same couple at year one of their marriage instead of year thirty-five, though, and his wife started thanking him for his contribution, and asking about his day, and making love to him with relative frequency, and respecting his opinion, I bet at thirty-five years they’d be a lot more affectionate and a lot more tender.

Men really aren’t complicated.

Do those two things: appreciate him and make love frequently, and you’ll likely find that he starts being nicer to the kids. He helps with the dishes. He phones if he’s going to be late. He feels competent and appreciated, and he wants to keep excelling in the family sphere because it’s something he does well. Make him feel like he’s not doing it well, and he will start to wither.

Why can’t we just give to our men this way? Because we don’t work that way. Remember the book “Sex Begins in the Kitchen” by Kevin Leman? I know it was written by a man, because only a man would think the sexual relationship was that straightforward. He’s thinking the way men do, and then reversing the equation. When a man gets his primary needs met, he tends to reach out and start meeting a woman’s needs. So Leman assumes that women act the same way: when we get our need for affection met, and when he starts helping around the house and caring about us, we’ll start to make love more.

It’s not true.

I’ve known many men who are saints at home and their wives aren’t helping at all, because we tend to question men’s motivations. We think either that they’re trying to manipulate us, or we come up with other things they’re doing wrong. Or, perhaps even more likely, we think to ourselves: “I’m glad he cares about me, because I work really hard. I need to take a break now so he can carry more of the load”, and we don’t think of returning the favour much at all.

We women are far too focused on what is “right” and what is “fair“.

We’re asking ourselves, how much did he care for the kids today? How much housework did he do? Did he let me talk? Did he care? And if the answer is no in any of these areas, we tend to hold it as our right to pull back from him until he improves.

We don’t tend to feel all lovey dovey towards him when he does something right. We don’t feel ten feet tall when he does the dishes or takes care of the kids. We simply think, “that’s what he should have been doing anyway”.

So the adage, “meet your spouse’s needs, and they’ll meet yours” has much more of a chance of working for women than it does for men. If you put yourself out and really show him appreciation and make love, he will, more than likely, become a different person over time. On the other hand, if he does the same thing, there is no guarantee that you will change, because we don’t work the same way. What he needs is the affirmation that he receives through sex, and so many of us are so focused on being exhausted and not having time that we don’t think that maybe, just maybe, we should consider his needs for a second. In our way of thinking, our husbands often impede on our ability to enjoy our life, what with all their demands, and frankly, they’re far too much like animals, anyway.

And then women wonder why, fifteen years into marriage, their husband seems so distant and so insensitive.

Is it women’s fault if men don’t care about our feelings? If they don’t help with the kids? No, it’s not, because men are morally obligated to do these things anyway, whether or not we return the favour. But here’s the thing: just because you can’t be morally blamed for it does not mean that you could not have taken steps to make your marriage better.

We honestly have an easier deal with marriage than men do because men are so relatively simple (and I don’t mean this in a derogatory way; we’re just made differently). Give them appreciation and make love, and they will feel tenderly towards us. We, on the other hand, are far more complex, and we’re not easy to figure out. Men actually have it harder.

I know this isn’t popular to say. I know a lot of you are mad at me right now, and thinking what an idiot your husband is, and how I’m blaming you for not having sex with an idiot. I don’t walk in your shoes, and it could be that your husband really is that horrible. But then, if you don’t mind me asking, why did you marry him?

When you were dating, he probably was nice to you, and that was probably because he did feel ten feet tall. You appreciated him. You affirmed him. You “made out” with him and seemed so hot for him! Then you got married and he didn’t feel like he had to woo you, but you also stopped with your affection, too. The difference is that you justify your behaviour; he often doesn’t notice his. And as the months and years pass, your relationship takes on a different dynamic. Maybe the problem is not your husband, but the dynamic of your relationship.

You saw something nice in your husband once. I believe those attractive qualities can come out again.

So, please, ladies, even if you don’t believe what I’m saying, can I ask you to suspend your disbelief and try an experiment?

Instead of thinking about how your husband wants sex too much, commit for six weeks (it has to be a long enough period of time) to do the following things:

1. Thank your husband once a day for something (try to make it something different each time)
2. Compliment your husband to your mother, your children, your friends, whatever, within earshot of your husband, every chance you get.
3. Do not nag.
4. Do not give the silent treatment.
5. Make love with relative frequency (say at least 2-3 times a week).

Good Girls Have More Fun!

At the end of six weeks, see if you feel differently towards your husband, and if he is acting differently towards you. I bet you will! Just the act of being nice to him will make you start thinking more nicely about him.

And as you make love more frequently, you will feel closer to him and you’ll feel more goodwill, too. Maybe that’s hard for you because you honestly don’t enjoy sex. If that’s the case, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex has great info in a fun way that can help you turn it around! If you don’t like sex, it’s really worth trying to tackle the problem, because it will help your marriage so much!

I know you may not believe me, but so many marriages would be saved if we women would just learn how to love our men.

Will you try?


  1. Thank you for sharing this article, Sheila. I’m here to tell readers, honestly, this works! I don’t know exactly where I figured it out – church, or Shelia, or 5 Love Languages, but once I started realizing that for many men sex IS communication, and that respect, like I had given him in our early days, really helped him – a lot, things changed massively. So I bit my lip when I wanted to criticized, made love when I was tired, gave him encouragement and respect, thanked him for things, and fessed up quick when I started an argument, things really changed. When I think of all he has done and let me do, his support – it’s tremendous, and it all came with me giving precedence to the “two things men want”. Great article.
    Gina B recently posted…Are You Soft or Strong?My Profile

    • For the first several years of my marriage (we’ve been married 24), I did all the things that are recommended for a man to feel respected and loved. We had sex all the time, I ran home from a long days work to pick up the kids and cook a great meal before he got home, I took care of every aspect of the house ,l and let him take the lead in many decisions as well as thank him and tell him how wonderful he is for every effort he made. What happened? He began taking all the things I did for granted. I kept giving to him while he slowly stopped giving to me. I realize now that he thinks he deserves all of the sex and respect he needs just because he brings home a paycheck – period. Worst of all, he began not taking my feelings into consideration with decisions he was making, like taking up drag racing when I had a toddler an a yet undiagnosed medical condition that was causing me great suffering. The bottom line is: I did all the things that a man supposedly needs, and he began thinking he just deserved them because, well, he was the man. My needs as a woman? Not on his radar.

      • Same exact things happen with us. But we married for 11 years and have an infant and a kindergartener. Everything should comfort him, but no nothing for me. Never.

      • Cassandra says:

        I agree with both Terri & Liana wholeheartedly!!! I began having troubles a few years into my marriage. It was a combination of having our first child and then a few months later needing several major surgeries for an injury. It took a year before I was back totally on my feet again. Oddly enough, once I was well my husband turned on me. He became Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde; cycling through nasty phases where he would be abusive and cruel then back to being kind again. I figured initially the problem was me and what I did to put him out when I was ill that year. So I did everything in my power to make it up to him, I read lots of books with premises like this article, and followed the “man rules” to a “t”. Guess what happened when I gave him my all and respected him?! Yeah, he got WORSE!!!! A LOT WORSE!!! I spent two years trying to fix things and do good by him to no avail, so I gave up having a one sided marriage and got ready to divorce. He didn’t want the divorce so we worked on it some more, but as soon as he realized I wasn’t going leave the same cycles of mean/nice ensued again and they are continuing as before.

        I think the problem with these type of approaches is that they are generalized. All men don’t fit into this category. My husband grew up with pretty awful parents, and I think he is trying to recreate an environment that is dysfunctional but comfortable for him since it is what he knows. I have learned that you could dance on your head while juggling sharks, and if the other spouse isn’t interested in changing or creating a happy, meaningful marriage….there is nothing you can do unfortunately.

        • Soo true your last sentence!
          But I read from the Bible, that God wants us to keep on serving and loving and so on-as the christ is loving and forgiving eternally…I can stay together. But I have problems with faiding love…If my need are unmet already for sooooo long, no matter what I do-then my love starts to fade. And I dont want physical inimacy anymore. And when the person who wrote this article asks, why did you marry him then? well, he was not like that as we met…And when you say, he changed, because I changed, then I say to you: my husband has said to me why he changed. He said, that he was that way, because he was chasing me, now when he has me, there is no more point…

      • You have echoed the story of my life. I have the same, exact, situation with my husband. Only, I have been married for 40 years to this man, completely faithful (never been with another man) and no matter how much I hoped it would get better, it didn’t. So now I am putting everything behind me (including him) and moving on with my life for a better life. He wants to be a receiver and not a giver. He says he loves me and doesn’t want to lose me, but the truth is (and I told him this)–I DON’T CARE ANYMORE. I do hope you have better results with your husband. I hope he realizes and acknowledges the Precious Gem he has (in you). My prayers are with you.

        • annabelle says:

          Alice I have also been married 40 years, and reading your post reminds me of my current situation. I am also ready to walk away from it all, and live my life the way I feel I deserve to live. My husband is distant, always wants things his way, and has moved us far away from our children, and grandkids. I am alone, and very depressed. He is fine as long as I cater to his needs, cook, wait on him hand and foot, and we have no intimate time together anymore. I tried doing everything I can to keep it together but it’s a one sided struggle. He only responds if it benefits him, and he is also controlling. I can’t work or anything, and he sits on his computer all day asking me to bring him food, water, and then gets up and goes to sleep when he’s tired. Just leaving me sitting alone unless he has someplace to go, and the he expects me to tag along. I’m so fed up, but afraid to leave him.I’m afraid because we have been together for so long, and everyone says why now? I don’t see things getting better as time goes on. I just don’t want to be the bad one in peoples eyes.

      • Christina Mckinney says:

        Ditto to all of you sisters…25 years for me! How did I make it this far? By believing God…I believed what His word said and just continuing showing love and respect, sex every time he asked, and I mean every, wonderful meals on the table, homeschooled 23 years (yes, that’s twenty-three) for 8 children (quiverfull movement to thank for that) and nothing of my emotional or sexual needs met. After final breakdown/awakening (thanks Brene’Brown) I, too, am torn about staying or going. I did find out 3 years ago that he has High Functioning Aspergers and that I have dealt with “Casandra Syndrome” as a result. There has never been the “feeling of being loved” because these men simply don’t have the inner apparatus to connect with. For the “Neurotypical” our greatest needs are feeling loved and having a sense of belonging. We are hardwired to connect deep within. We want to “integrate” two into one and they can’t. They find a wife, place her in their home to tend it and provide monetarily for the family. When the sexual nature arises, most of them treat it as they do the dinner you fixed. They are really nice men, they just need anything beyond a caregiver. And that is essentially what we are, caregivers. We replaced their mothers. Look up “Casandra and the Aspie” on wordpress and you will find a complete description of your mate.

        • Butterflywings says:

          Not all aspies are like that Christina. It is sadly a stereotype that is damaging to the many aspies who are not like that at all. It’s also damaging to the many female aspies whose greatest need is to feel loved and have a sense of belonging. There are some aspies like you describe, but some neurotypical men are like that too. It is a stereotype to blame that behaviour on aspergers. Please don’t stereotype people with aspergers. It’s causes great damage to both aspies and their partners (aspie and neurotypical alike).

      • Amen to that! Been marries for 10 year, did everything you mentioned, yet he became colder and more distant. Less sex from him, even “forgets” to kiss me weeks at a time. Finally i had enough and started treating him the same. Trust me, i know it wasn’t the wisest decision, and it definitely made things wors, but i can’t keep giving and getting nothing in return. I enjoy nagging as much as he enjoys listening to it, but i feel helpless at this point.

      • Agree gals. I’ve given and done and given and done and cared for all the while asking for nothing. and he grows more ignorant not more loving. Agree with the less sex too. it was everyday now its every 4-5 days and it feels like motions not actually love making. My fiancé hasn’t kissed me with his mouth open in months and month. Its a cheek thing like he’s my father, or brother or best friend. I find it offensive. I feel helpless too. I ask if we are okay and get I’m fine. Ugh. But I am not fine anymore. Let alone I do not want to be just “fine” so those two things don’t work. Im not god but I am as perfect as a partner one could dream of having. I think I spoiled him to much, idk

    • I do the things on this list all the time, but I don’t feel that my needs are being met by my husband. In fact, I feel more distant and more resentful as time goes by. He keeps trying to meet my needs in a way that he thinks is good, but refuses to listen to how my needs really should be met. This makes me feel like an object that doesn’t matter.

      • Mia, I was in the same situation. My husband trying to meet my needs, but not how I wanted them to be met. My husband is not a romantic man. He does not bring me flowers or cards. Getting a date from him is sometimes like pulling teeth. I was so resentful because he was not meeting my needs for intimacy the way I thought he should since he did not lavish those things on me. Then I took a look at what he did do. He always has the cars up to date on their oil changes and tire rotations, he does our laundry, and he always plays with the kids while I cook dinner so they are not under foot in the kitchen. Not really romantic, right? Not in the conventional sense, but in the sense that I know he does this because he loves me and wants to help out, yes, it is very romantic.

        Maybe you need to stop focusing on the fact that he is not meeting your need the way YOU think he should and focus on the fact that he is trying to meet your needs. Try focusing on what he is doing for you and not how he could be doing it better.

        • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with expressing how you want your needs met and expecting the partner to at least attempt at trying to do it that way.

    • Corrie Fochler says:

      I have to disagree. I am married to a man that would be just as happy if I left him alone. He will never initiate sex, ever. But I have to so that he gets to have sex. I should be quiet and leave him alone. He fulfills no emotional need, and if I simply say that I have 2 needs…2. Talk to me about your day and let me know you still love me. We are good. I have done nothing assuming everything I ever did was good enough, and bam…Its wasn’t. He let me know then. So this is not accurate. Its person based. Generally speaking maybe many men would be ok if their wife doted over them and made them the king. But really, he is just a vending machine then. You have to love him and meet his needs and put yours last hoping he will be smart enough to meet yours…or better yet, make your needs what ever he is willing to give, which in my case is nothing.

    • When I read this, and then read the other replies. I have to agree with the other ladies replies… merely because I have always tried and he plays the jeckle and Hyde as well. Only happy when he is getting sex everyday! Not 2-3 times. If I had sex 2-3 times a week I would be horrible to him and I am not doing what he needs then he looks for reasons to pick a bone. It is a vicious cycle. My daughters now are older and tell him all the time he is not grateful. Saying Dad you think in old ways that women attend to all your needs but Mom works full time and comes home and does more. Why do you pout? So I am sorry but the issue at hand is men are selfish and most men are Narcissistic. .. only God can help that and mine has a problem committing to the Lord.

  2. I can totally see why some women would be mad at this, but personally, I thought it was awesome.
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  3. Great article Sheila. You hit the nail right on the head about men. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to sum up a woman. Oh well, keeps life interesting. :-) Your viewpoint on “meet your spouse’s needs and they’ll meet yours is different than any I’ve heard before. I’ve always taken the viewpoint that women were followers, and have used that line with men. I guess I’ll have to change my tactics a bit. Keep on posting. You’ve got a lot of insight and wisdom about both men and women.
    Rich Murphy recently posted…Make Yourself Available to TalkMy Profile

  4. What if you married because you loved to talk and spend time with your husband but had no sexual chemistry from the get-go. It was drilled into me as a teen that one should marry for love (someone you can grow old with) and not for lust (one who makes your heartbeat speed up and wet your panties). I did that (married for love & not lust) and now I simply do not have the sexual urges nor desire to sustain my husband’s sexual needs. Everything in our marriage is great except our romantic/sex life. I had NO IDEA sex was so important in a marriage….nobody ever told me! Seriously!! As stupid as I know that sounds, I simply never knew it til I was married ~ and now I’m probably making my poor husband miserable. I have never had the sexual desires that other women seem to possess, either (have had tests to see why I have a low libido with no results). So, do I just need to act like I’m enjoying it for the rest of my life and put his needs first regardless of my own feelings?

    • That’s a tough one, but I honestly think many women go through this. I get so many emails from women who aren’t attracted to their husbands–maybe their husbands have gained weight, or they just aren’t that fit, or whatever it may be. There isn’t a lot of “chemistry”.

      I talk about this a lot in The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, but honestly, I think the best thing is to focus on friendship and real spiritual intimacy. When you feel close to him, you’re more likely to enjoy making love. And then really learn how to feel great while you make love! You may not be that attracted to him, but that doesn’t mean that the two of you, together, can’t learn how to make it feel amazing for you. Again, I have more in the book, but you may want to start with this post and this post. You have a guy who loves you and with whom you have a great friendship. So you can communicate. So why not concentrate on how to communicate what you like about sex? Even if you’re not sure what you like, make it into a research project you do together where you teach him what feels nice. We don’t have to be married to a guy who makes us melt just by looking at us to feel great in bed. We can learn how to touch each other, and how to feel close to each other. And so I’d start there, and I hope that helps!

      • Dear Sheila… what about if I am married to a wonderful man, who helps me and is a perfect father and a provider, but who stopped interacting with me right when we moved together…He also is not interested in dating/going out with me. He really loves me, but he just does no like talking, listening or doing something fun–(and yess, I have asked him, what he would like to do). When I asked, why is it different than in the beginning he said: I had to pursue you and wow you then, now we are married….so no need. And now I feel deprived of closeness, of friendship with my husband and also guilty at the same time, cause every other thing is good with him….until now I still had very strong feelings for him, but lately they start to fade(5 years of this crap already). And I feel like a prostitute when he wants sex but does not talk to me or go out with me…so I dont get aroused anymore almost at all…not in my head especially..no desire…what to do????

    • I hope this doesn’t seem silly – I have no advice in general, but have you had your thyroid thoroughly checked? Hypothyroidsim/Hashimoto’s can cause women to have low libido and after dealing with a thyroid disorder, I think SO many women deal with this from a young age.

    • van Rooinek says:

      It was drilled into me as a teen that one should marry for love (someone you can grow old with) and not for lust (one who makes your heartbeat speed up and wet your panties)

      My question (which perhaps you will NOT want to answer here), is: Did ANY of the men you knew or dated, “makes your heartbeat speed up etc etc….?” Because the fact that you phrase it that way, suggests to me that you had that sort of erotic rush for SOMEOBODY, somewhere — just not for him.

      In that case… send your husband to the Married Man’s Sex Life (Athol Kay) website. Because you’re describing your husband as a classic “beta provider”, and in order to get you horny, he needs a little more “Alpha” behavior traits. O suggest that you do NOT go to Married Man’s Sex Life yourself. Athol’s techniques will work better on you if you DON’T know what your husband is doing. Just get HIM to go there.

      On the other hand, if you’ve NEVER had that erotic rush, for ANYONE….the issue may be medical. Low thyroid is one of many possibilities. Ask your doctor if you should avoid all soy, if your hormones are off.

      • You are correct in your assumption about my having a prior sweetheart (we’ll call him “Romeo”) who “cranked my engine”. Unfortunately, “Romeo” was lacking in a lot of areas (ie couldn’t hold a job, not trust-worthy, immature, etc). Everything about HIM was wrong EXCEPT how he made me feel about myself and as a woman. I felt desired with him. After letting “Romeo” go, I met “Beta Provider” and had a totally different relationship (one built on wonderful conversation, trust, friendship, and respect) and married him after a year and a half courtship ~ deciding that lust is not important…he had the qualities I need for a good marriage (or so I thought). Unfortunately, my husband is EVERYTHING “Romeo” wasn’t EXCEPT having the ability to make me feel desired and sexy. Go figure. I married an awesome man and thank God everyday for him and to help me make him as happy as he/we can be. I will ask my hubby to check into the Married Man’s Sex Life website…thank you for your help!!

        • van Rooinek says:

          You are correct in your assumption about my having a prior sweetheart (we’ll call him “Romeo”) who “cranked my engine”. Unfortunately, “Romeo” was lacking in a lot of areas (ie couldn’t hold a job, not trust-worthy, immature, etc).

          Of course. Romeo was a rare “natural Alpha”, who had just the rlght looks, pheromones, attitude, or whatever, that he could get all the female attention he wanted WITHOUT holding a job, being trustworthy, maturing, etc. Natural Alphas seldom achieve much in life, because they don’t need to. A little more on Alphas… see my post on this thread:

          BTW… clear your history, clear your caches, and learn how to delete index.dat files — make sure your husband NEVER NEVER NEVER sees THIS thread. He cannot know that you have no desire for him. Let him learn to “Alpha up” at Athol Kay’s site, then most likely you’ll find yourself drawn to him in a way that you never were before, and problem solved. But if he sees your post and recognizes himself, before he’s had a chance to make the transformation, it will DESTROY him… and make him hate you with all his heart. (Especially if you actually had sex with your old “Romeo”.) Hence you need to hide your cybertracks.

          • Excuse me for sounding old fashioned, but I think that ‘hiding your cybertracks’ is an awful idea. Being married is about being open and honest, not lies and deceit.

      • Tinkybell says:

        Sorry, but you are flat out wrong in your assumption that all men are the same. Believe it or not, NOT all men have high sex drives. I am incredibly sexual and my husband is not, and never has been. He has a very low sex drive and has already been to the doctor about it and was told it’s a lot more common than our society lies to us to make us think, and that there is nothing wrong with him. Needless to say i cry myself to sleep almost every night and we have sex less than 5 times a year. I’m young, attractive, i dont nag him, and I’ve never had issues with anyone in any previous relationship like this. So please don’t write articles that spread lies like all men are simple and just want sex. You are wrong.

    • The comments about your husband needing to increase his “alpha” level are good. Another factor is that some women do not usually have desire for sex until after they are aroused. A man usually desires sex and gets aroused and initiates sex. But many women do not feel sexual desire until foreplay is well underway and they become aroused through foreplay. My wife only feels spontaneous desire (where she desires sex before either of us initiates anything) about once a year. The rest of the time she gets turned on only after seeing me turned on and wanting her.

  5. This all hits the nail on the head for me. It does not make me mad AT ALL, I fully agree and believe it myself. It is just what I need to do, but keep failing (because it is so hard – and I know that is not a good excuse). I will give it a go for a couple/few days (the committing to do those things above in pink part), but then when my husband does something totally clueless, inconsiderate, and idiotic I get furious and give up, and get to thinking there’s no hope. Now please know that I would not say those things about him to anyone normally, I’m just being honest here, but he really just doesn’t think/ doesn’t remember/ doesn’t notice people or things – he is VERY absent minded. Otherwise, he is a great husband and father in pretty much every way. I am so blessed for that. So I’m wondering, about those things that drive me absolutely crazy (and yes, make me think he’s an idiot, which means I lose respect and think he’s dumb, therefore I can’t seem to act the above proper way) are the things like in your recent post that I need to get over to be happy, because I cannot change them. I recognize all of this, (I learned these exact basics about what a man needs long ago from Dr. Laura and her book The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands) but when it comes down to it, I cannot make myself ACT like I want to be with him/ think he’s great/ admire him, etc. So it goes on and on.

    • Shauna, that is difficult. I hear what you’re saying. I guess what I’d say is that in general, make yourself focus on what you love about your husband, not what bugs you. I know that can be hard, and I don’t mean to diminish it. But you loved him enough to marry him, so I know that you do really enjoy some of his qualities. Try to focus on those as much as you can, and perhaps the others won’t hurt you so much!

      • Thank you so much for replying to me, Sheila! Reading over what I wrote and your answer I felt a little bad I even said those things about my husband out loud (OK typed them). Now I feel like gushing all the wonderful things about him, as there is so many, he truly is awesome – everyone has their flaws, I sure do have lots. This helped me to put it all down and then actually see it. I think my issue has been put into perspective a bit, as the rest of our marriage is good. Other people would say that we are great together and have a lovely and happy family. I suppose I feel bad about how strongly I feel those things I wrote up above at the moment its happening. I feel it all too strongly. That is likely much of the problem. You are right that I need to focus on those things I do love so much. Then perspective will be more accurate, and hopefully I’ll learn to just calm down and not get so worked up about what on the whole is not a large slice of the pie. Thanks so much for all you do here, you provide so much encouragement and inspiration for wives! I love checking in here, and my husband likes that I read something called ‘Wifey Wednesday’, and reminds me it is so on that day, even though he doesn’t know what it is! You are appreciated.

  6. Okay I will do it, Six weeks today lands us right on our wedding anniversary.
    My prayer is my husband will stop describing sex like a sleeping pill, i.e. “it won’t take long & your will sleep better”

  7. I needed that today. I have been getting my life right with God for a while now and am always looking for ways to win my husband back. Wish I could afford your book for me and for a friend who is getting married in February. Saving up for now.

  8. I want to, I do do, and I enjoy doing all this, but, well, it doesn’t pan out for me quite like it seems it should in this article. 2-3 times a week?! Yes, please! But it takes 2 to tango and he’s not much on dancing. However, in this different boat, the same thing applies…..am I meeting his needs? Of course I compliment him, massage him, love him, kiss him, need him, appreciate him, praise him, serve him, submit to him, etc, but is there a need I am not meeting? Something unspoken and hidden? Let us add to the challenge beyond the obvious and pray that the Lord reveals to us the hidden needs of our husbands that need to be met.
    living in blurred lines recently posted…They That Wait Upon the Lord….My Profile

    • I know many women are in your position. About 30% of guys don’t want sex very often, and it can be so difficult for their wives. I’m sorry you’re going through this, and if it’s any consolation, in most cases it’s an issue he has more than it is with you.

  9. Still Tryin' says:

    Like others, I’ve always read that a guy needs to help out around the house, do dishes and such if he wants his wife to express love back. That is the way a guy thinks. However, I’ve been doing that for years and all it does is make my wonderful wife feel guilty.
    As a guy, I think you are right. Guys are that simple (but 2-3 times a week might be a little . . . uhhh . . . weak. 3-5 sounds better – daily even better) :) Perhaps even more important than “daily” is for her to really be there with you – vulnerable, open, not just willing, but interested and desirous. But that’s probably asking a bit much. (but I can still hope and work and pray and do my part for it, right?).

    • If you aren’t getting much quality sex right now, you might actually need a lot less than you think. When you are starving, you wish you could eat 24-7, but when you have plenty of food available, you do not feel constantly hungry for more. It is the same with sex, when you get enough sex and it is of good quality (“vulnerable, open, not just willing, but interested and desirous”), you will reach a point where you will stop worrying about where your next ‘meal’ is going to come from.

      • SO TRUE! My hubby recently complained that I want it all the time and it is too overwhelming for him. But the fact is, it was so one sided for nearly 3 years that I was STARVING, so I looked for every opportunity to do it in hopes that THIS time he’d take the time to make sure I was pleasured. All he had to do was take the time and he finally did. Now, I would still like it every day, but because he takes the time, I don’t feel like I desperately NEED it all the time.

  10. Sheila This is such a great post! with great and wise WORDS!! MY HUNK OF BURNING LOVE love!! thats what i call my husband and I have been married for 29 happy years his nickname for me is BEYOND BEAUTIFUL great article Sheila!!

  11. Ten years ago, this would have completely ticked me off. Even five years ago.

    Today, my husband and I celebrate our 24th anniversary. And I can say that you are SPOT ON. If I’d figured this out a couple of decades ago, not only would WE have been happier, but our children would have grown up in a home full of love and respect instead of contempt and bitterness.

    God is good, and He is renewing what I thought was lost. But oh, how I would give anything to go back and create a happier home for my little ones during those years when they were emotional sponges.
    Cheri Gregory recently posted…I Follow Rules StupidMy Profile

  12. I really really want to believe this is true. But too many times in my marriage I would give my husband sex only to have him turn around and go get drunk or high ( he has drug and alcohol issues) or do something he knows would make me upset a couple days after. I’d give myself to him only to have my heart ripped out again and again. So I have a hard time believing ‘just give him lots of sex’ will keep a man happy.

    • Lynette, it sounds like your marriage does have much bigger issues. When your husband is abusing substances, then the problem is not with you. I’d really recommend getting some help, and maybe talking to an Al-anon group in your area that can support you, or talking to a pastor or mentor. If your husband is abusing alcohol, that’s a problem that, you’re right, simply having sex is certainly not going to fix.

  13. Renee Quiett says:

    This is spot on!!! And it’s so simple. Respecting your husband WILL give you the love you need. Thank you for posting!

  14. This is so true! Sheila thank yo so much for this post I don’t feel so weird and confused. My bride and I have been focusing on this topic for the past year (but mainly the last 6 months). I will attest first hand that when our sex life is going great we are truly one. I’m much more into our crazy family (3 wonderful kids (10,3,2) and I want to be home, I want to help out (I know clean up the kitchen with my son 3-4 times a week), I want to do special things for my bride. The flip side is when life gets crazy and our sex life suffers I’m testy, we sleep further away in bed and when I’m home I’m usually on my computer and very disconnected.

    When you have a happily sexed husband the whole house benefits!

    • I bet women would suffer a lot less (depression, anger, body image issues, discontent, insomnia, and even feminine complaints) if they realized how frequent, great romps in bed with hubby and screaming O’s can really change your life! In my case, my hubby has never been the one to want much sex, though he may claim he does. I’m the eager beaver, oft refused one. After nearly 3 years of one sided, infrequent wham bams, we finally.came together beautifully and mutually and it was like a light switch. Even people at church noticed a difference! Come in, ladies, quit short changing yourself, your hubbies, your marriage, and even your families.
      living in blurred lines recently posted…When the Hurt ReturnsMy Profile

      • So true! And that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to say: when you don’t commit yourself to having a great sex life, you don’t just short change your hubby. You short change yourself as well! God created you for so much more; why settle for less?

  15. I know a lot of men who wish it was this easy to make their wife happy! They would do any one or two things as often as needed if that just made a difference. Sadly I’ve not found such things for women.

    So ladies, you have it easy. You might not like the simple answer, but at least there is one, for most wives. Follow Sheila’s five points above, and odds are very high that your husband will be content and far more loving.

    And if anyone can give me as clear and simple a list that would result in most wives being content and far more loving, PLEASE do so!
    Paul H. Byerly recently posted…“If I can’t be in control, ain’t nobody gonna be in control!”My Profile

    • Enlightened says:

      Here’s what I wish MY husband would do:

      1. Flirt with me (wink, call me beautiful, play with my hair, etc)
      2. Verbalize appreciation (for the clean house, dinner, taking care of kids, handling a situation, taking care of all the shopping, keeping up with the calendar….etc)

      THEN, I think I could move on to wanting more sex….I would feel like he actually wants me (ie flirting) and understands how hard I work (verbal appreciation). For that, we would both deserve & enjoy SEX!!

      • Did you even read the article? Basically you are saying “he must FIRST do X, THEN I’ll do Y”. If that is “ok”, then why can’t he do the same? “If only she would have sex more often (or at all), maybe I would flirt with her and appreciate her”. The answer is you are both wrong – you both have to do what the other needs, without expecting it in return.

    • Ha, Paul! That’s the whole problem. There aren’t five steps for us women. Sigh.

  16. What if it’s the other way around for me and my husband? I am constantly trying to please him. we have sex almost daily, but he is frequently criticizing me, and getting upset with me, and I feel like he belittles me. How do I deal with that? He doesnt help with the kids, or with household chores. I feel like he’s meeting his needs, but he isn’t meeting mine. Do you have any suggestions for me?

    • Laura, that’s a really tough situation. Nobody should EVER belittle anyone else. If you feel like you always try to please him, and never succeed, that sounds like a very dangerous relationship dynamic to me. I really think you need to get a mentor involved in your situation who knows you both in real life and who can help you work through some of these issues. I’m sorry I can’t help more than that, but it really sounds like you need someone to come alongside you and help you deal with this!

  17. This sounds very similar to the book written called……

    Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs is a self-help book that was written in 2004 by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs that suggest a direct connection between the emotional needs of men and women and a verse of scripture found in the Bible, that when adhered to, can strengthen and transform relationships.

    EXCELLENT book BTW, highly recommend it :) My husband BOTh read it and benefitted from it :)

  18. I love you Sheila!!! Thank you for that article.

  19. I love this post. I wrote about that being an issue for a small period of time in my own marriage on this blog post http://www.tidbitsofexperience.com/2012/07/getting-through-over-drought-of-marriage.html. In my marriage, both of us stress over our sex life. I stress over it a lot because of my sexual abuse past, and it definitely affects my attitude towards sex!!

  20. It’s interesting to be in the minority in our marriage. I am motivated by sex, but constantly rejected, and so I feel less motivated to meet my husbands needs for love in other areas.

  21. I’ve never been married, so I don’t have any experience. On the other hand, I’ve never made a marital mistake.

    I can see some of your point, here. People receive respect differently and have different needs. Focusing on WHAT the other person wants and HOW they want it or receive it increases the likelihood of giving them what they want and need. Giving that increases the likelihood of their happiness, which increases the likelihood of my happiness.

    But, to me, this post suffers from a fatal, philosphical flaw ~~ no one can “make” anyone else feel anything. I don’t control others’ emotions. To me, this is the emotional equivalent of the old adage about bringing a horse water ~~ I can act with all the best intentions, plans, goals, and desires; but, ultimately, I can’t make a horse drink by simply making water available; and, I can’t make a person feel loved or respected by simply making those things available.

    • But at the same time, if you won’t give your horse any water, he won’t ever even have a chance to drink.

      Act with the best intentions, plans, and desires, and let your husband and God do the rest. The intention isn’t to change someone else, it’s to change yourself in a way that makes it easier for a loving relationship to be present.

  22. Hi Sheila, having read the article and looking at my experiences in my almost 5 years of marriage, I think my story is the exact opposite. Opposite in the sense that at the time I thought my hubby and I were having the best marriage, I discovered he was having affairs with three different women. During this time we had great sex at least four times a week. When I asked him about us he would say we were going great and he loved it. From this time on I think some elements in me have been disabled when it come to him and I look at hubby differently. Inside me I question what a man really wants? You love him, adore him have frequent and great sex together and he still goes behind your back and cheats with not one but three different women? Its disgusting.

  23. I enjoyed the article – however I must say I hate the thought of being intimate with my husband it’s nothing on his part – and he’s asked me and I’m honest and told him that I could go the rest of my life without it. I don’t know if it’s related to my past, the fact that I don’t feel desirable (my husband thinks that groping me as I cook dinner should make me know that he finds me sexy), the fact that we don’t have a bedroom (son in one bedroom our daughters in the other, he sleeps on one couch and I sleep on the other – we have no privacy), or a combo of all three. He’s patient thankfully and he would never go out on me – I know, I heard it that he will one day, no, he won’t – he’s an honorable man.
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    • I was hoping maybe someone could give me some ideas – I see others commenting and I guess I was hoping or praying for someone to come to mine and speak some words to me. What happens when I (the wife) don’t want sex? When I hate it? What does one do when there is no privacy?
      Sarah recently posted…TOS Crew: Math 911My Profile

      • Sarah, I have a ton of posts on when you don’t like sex. I’d say start with the 29 Days to Great Sex, and scroll through all the days, because there are quite a few for people who really don’t get what the big deal is. Then I have another post on Why Sex Isn’t Just for Him. As for your problem with privacy, I’d seriously look at how to move your kids into their own bedrooms (or have them share a room) so that you and your husband can have a bedroom to yourself. I know that not everyone agrees with me on this, but I think it is absolutely vital that you have some privacy at night, and kids also fare fine when they learn how to put themselves to sleep. I hope that helps!

        • I’ll take a look. We used to have our own room but since our oldest is 10 1/2 she is really too old to share a room with her 6 year old brother – the two girls share (other DD will be 8). Our house is 624 sq. ft. and the bedrooms are tiny, so there is no way to split the rooms in half, not to mention the added cost of having to go buy a bed. I’d love to have our room but unless the Lord provides the extra money for an addition or provides a buyer for our house, right now we are where He wants us. My children do put themselves to sleep – we tuck them in but they go to bed on their own and fall asleep on their own – so that isn’t an issue either. As I said I don’t see us having our bedroom short of adding on which we cannot afford or moving and we’ve had our house on the market several different times with no interest :(
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          • Sarah, dear, my husband and I may very well be in this same boat some day. We live in an 880 square foot house with only 2 bedrooms. Already, we moved from the master bedroom into the 7’x9′ bedroom. Our 4 children share the other bedroom. We have 3 boys and 1 girl. So far, they are all young enough to share a room, but unless something gives in our income (hubby makes good money, but everything seems to mysteriously break and cost us an arm and a leg to fix!).

            If hubby and I have to give the smaller bedroom to our daughter in the future and move into the living room, I plan on either placing heavy drapes in the doorway for privacy and getting a sofa bed, or getting a 4 poster bed…the kind with heavy drapes you can hang all around it like in the 18th century.

            Watch the movie “The Girl With the Pearl Earring.” They entertain in the same room as their master bed. It sits in one corner of the room with the heavy drapes for privacy. Perhaps that could be an option for you! It may seem weird to have a bed in a living room, but hey, you have a unique situation and marital bliss and privacy require it. What people think can pound salt!

            Let your creative juices flow! And please do what you can to reclaim your sex life! You and your husband so deserve to be richly blessed in that area!

          • Thank you Kate for your kind words.

            We do have a fold out couch/futon that I use but my husband and I are overweight and it won’t hold both of us. I’d have no idea where we’d put a bed in our living room with my bookshelves for school as well as using it as our dining room, etc. It’s a good idea – if only our living room was larger. We rarely have anyone over as most family and even friends feel our house is too small.

            So for now, I guess we wait until the children all go to a sleepover for the time being but I still am at a loss for how to handle the fact that I just hate sex :(
            Sarah recently posted…What homeschoolers do when everyone else is in school….My Profile

          • To me, it seems like this isn’t just about the amount of space. That is just an excuse. People do what is important to them and make sacrifices if they care enough about something. The deeper issue is that you “just hate sex.” So the question is why? And what would it take to change that? Your hubby being a better lover that is more attentive to your needs? Finding out what you need to do to experience orgasm? Feeling better about your body? Learning to see yourself as a sexual person? Feeling more positively about sex in general? Find out what is holding you back and figure out ways to overcome that. Know that this is a couple issue, and involve your hubby in the solution, even if it is something you are working on yourself. Even if he would never cheat, your hubby’s heart is probably dying, and you are really missing out, too. You owe it to yourselves to overcome this problem.

            Gina Paris’s blog post here may help too: http://ginaparris.com/winningatromance/overcome-sexual-aversion-better-married-se/

          • This is so true, NJ. And Sarah, I’d really recommend that you look up those articles that I mentioned before, including the 29 Days to Great Sex series, and The Pleasure Center specifically on how to make sex feel great!

          • It may sound like an excuse to some but unless you’ve lived in my house you can’t know that it’s not. That is true – I’ve sacrificed a bigger house because I chose to stay home and educate my children. Our living room is a school room, dining room and pseudo bedroom all rolled into one because our house is too small (my husband bought it before he met me and he didn’t think he’d be married with 3 children!) Trust me I know what sacrificing is – however you state if something is important to you – well honestly, sex isn’t important to me – it is to my husband but not to me. The lack of having a room of our own where I can close the door and relax without waiting for a child to come in the living room isn’t conducive to much at all. What it would take to change my feelings on sex is to go back and re-do my past – but that isn’t an option. My husband is attentive to me – granted when we do have intimacy it’s a quick 5 minute thing but he does his best and since I just don’t care I tell him not to worry about pleasuring me. I don’t want to be seen as sexual and I really don’t have an issue with my body image – I’m overweight but know that I am who I am and I’m okay with that. I don’t see this as a couple issue – he wants sex and I don’t – it’s on my end. He knows how I feel as I’m open about it. He is understanding to a point.
            Sarah recently posted…TOS Crew: Speekee TVMy Profile

          • I totally agree! And I’d also say that it’s okay for YOU to take a bedroom and to give the kids the living room. The whole family depends on the marriage being strong. Don’t try to give the kids the best, and then shortchange the marriage relationship!

          • Yes, the boys can have the living room. Boys don’t seem to mind as much as girls. It can work. I read a story about a family who had more than enough bedroom space, but their boys insisted on sleeping in the family room because it had the big TV and the dog could sleep with them. I say give the boys the living room and reclaim the bedroom and make it a haven for you and hubby.

            As for saying that you “hate sex,” honey that is a sad, frightening thing to say. God did not design you to “hate sex.” Please don’t feel guilty. There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. There is HOPE. You need to go before our Loving Savior and place this problem at his feet. You can to change, right? Well, He can help you change if you give it all to him. I also suggest a Dr.’s visit and possible counseling.

            Too often we just wallow in despair when we really need to ask God for the strength to get up and make the changes. It may take you some time in prayer first, but please PLEASE make the effort. I recently had to do this about some other issues in my life and it is a daily struggle, but my goodness I can’t believe I wallowed for so long! There is a better, happier life out there if only we’d put in the effort for you. Sarah, honey, please do this.

          • I would not let my son sleep in the living room – he’s only 6 and he doesn’t have a lot of self control that if he were to wake in the middle of the night he would watch whatever was on T.V. or get in the internet or even go outside. The girls maybe but then that leads me to what do we do with their things? Do we sell their stuff because I don’t want a bunch of toys in my room? There isn’t enough room in the other bedroom to combine stuff. I’m trying to think how this would work and get hubby to agree (because he’d have to agree). My children definitely do not have the best! And for the most part our marriage is good – I don’t know why so many think that if you’re not having sex you’re marriage can’t thrive? I’d like to be more available to my husband but sex isn’t the end all and be all of our marriage.

            I have talked to my dr and he suggested medication – which I won’t take. I won’t go to counseling – I’ve been there done that and it never did anything than make things worse.

            I am happy, trust me I don’t think about it all the time or about what I’m missing out on – because to me, I’m not missing out on anything. I know my husband wants it more than once every couple months (he’d love it every other day if that was an option!). I’m younger than him and he read somewhere that women my age are supposed to be in their prime and I tell him well they haven’t met me.
            Sarah recently posted…TOS Crew: Speekee TVMy Profile

          • I Corinthians 7:3-5
            The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs.
            The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.
            Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you…

            You may be happy, but I can guarantee that your husband isn’t. Actually, he’s probably very unhappy. Like it or not, love means putting your spouse’s needs before your own. Withholding sex from your husband is not only incredibly selfish, it’s also a grievous sin. Yes, you CAN enjoy sex, because God created you to enjoy sex with your husband, and you really, REALLY need to read Sheila’s 29 Days to Great Sex. Marriage isn’t complete without love-making.

          • Sarah, Jenny has a point. I totally understand about you feeling that you could live without it. I understand that you’ve been honest with your husband, and that he is in turn being kind to you. But what you’ve set up is a situation where your husband really is being deprived (and you are, too, you just don’t know what you’re missing!). That isn’t fair in marriage.

            I’m not saying you should do something you find distasteful; I’m saying that, for both of your sakes, you should throw yourself into figuring out how to make this something good for both of you. And if privacy is an issue, you can buy one of those screen things at Walmart or something, and use it to block the kids’ view when they come in the living room.

            But telling your husband, “sex every few months is enough for me, so it will have to be for you” isn’t healthy in a relationship, and isn’t fair or right. You were created for more than that, and your husband deserves more than that.

            I know life is really busy for you right now with the three kids, and trying to keep a small house neat and tidy is so much more difficult than trying to keep a large house tidy. But what your kids need, first and foremost, is to feel secure. And security comes from knowing their parents have a rock solid marriage. So that needs to be your first priority. Really. I hope you understand that I truly just want the best for you and your husband, and I’m not trying to add another layer of guilt! But you’re going down a road that doesn’t have a good ending for anyone, and I really don’t think you want to be there.

          • So, at the risk of sounding snarky, Jenny in your opinion I should just go ahead and do it – literally. Regardless of the fact that I want to physically become sick when we have sex – that wouldn’t make for a very romantic night. Not to mention he wants to partake in some things that aren’t comfortable for me nor are they something God would condone in the marriage bed. He reminds me of things I’ve done in my past that were sexual and believes I should be doing those with him now – the big difference is I wasn’t a Christian then and I am now. Even if we did start having sex every day I don’t care if I get anything out of it, unless of course it’s another pregnancy, I don’t care about orgasms or whatever – so is it more selfish of me to just lay there and fake everything or is it more selfish to be honest and say I hate it? There was a time before three children when we were younger and lighter that we would stay in bed all day long that isn’t an option now.
            Sarah recently posted…TOS Crew: Speekee TVMy Profile

          • Sarah, if he’s asking you to do things that you’re uncomfortable with, then I really think you need to have a good, long talk with him. I’d apologize for putting sex on the back burner, and say that you want to make your marriage strong and fresh and vibrant. But at the same time, you can ask him to honour your own wishes and just look at how to make making love fun, without “extras” you’re uncomfortable with. Again, in the 29 Days to Great Sex I actually deal with this: how do you come to agreement on what’s okay to do, and what’s okay to say no to.

            If sex is making you physically ill, then you really need to deal with this. You can’t just live like that. It’s not fair to your husband, it’s not fair to your kids (who will suffer if your marriage suffers), and it’s not fair to you (because you’re missing out on real intimacy, even if you don’t feel like it). Lots of people have problems with sex; I know I did. It hurt when I first married, and I couldn’t figure out why God would make it that way. Lots of people have abuse in their background, or promiscuity, or tons of problems. You really truly aren’t alone.

            But to just put up with it–to say, this is way I am, and I’m honest about it, so he can’t ask for anything more–isn’t right. Sex is an important part of marriage, and it sounds like your husband would like more. So, no, don’t just “lay there and fake it”. But instead work WITH your husband to try to figure out how to make it great. Believe that it can happen (because it can). Try to get on the same team, so that you’re seeing this as a project you can do together to strengthen your marriage, even if it takes a while. But just letting it go and not paying attention to it is only going to hurt your husband and drive him further emotionally away. And that’s not good for either of you.

  24. I read aloud your statement that men only need two things: respect and sex. I then asked my hubby if he thought that was true. He said, “We need a third thing.” I asked, “What?” — wondering what brilliance he had to add to your own. He answered, “Food.” LOL. So that’s it! Food + respect + sex = happy hubby.

    I am personally a proponent of husbands helping out around the house, but not because it’s a tit-for-tat thing. I’ve figured out that it’s because the wife’s to-do’s are often so long that she doesn’t get around to having enough sleep or time to prepare for sexual encounters. A better approach might be for hubby to say, “Let me vacuum this room while you go prep yourself for tonight with a hot bubble bath.” Honestly, whatever my husband can do to help me clear my schedule and my head can help me to relax and enjoy sex with him. But wives have to know that going in and prioritize that experience.

    Great article!
    J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) recently posted…Purity B4 Marriage, Sexual Intimacy After: Teen’s QMy Profile

  25. Def. Needed this… spoke to right where we are and how I have been acting toward him… even when you know how you are acting sometimes God needs to just show you again and again until you changve… that’s what he is doing now. *great resource is Love and Respect… talks exactly about what you were saying!

    I think I will look for that book on sex… maybe it will help too.

  26. Sheila~ I sure needed this today. It didn’t make me mad in the least…it made me sad and angry with myself because this is about me and why my marriage is just there right now. Its me – I need to change and show my husband more intimacy and respect. I never knew just how to show my husband the proper respect he does deserve and you put it so plainly. Thank you. I wear my feelings on my sleeve and my husband can be very abrasive and I just retreat into my shell and it makes him even more angry. My kids see this and I hate that because they see it as my husband being angry and me in a shell….its wrong. By nature, my husband is the outspoken leader and sometimes has little tact in the things he says. I am just the complete polar opposite! For the health and well being of my marriage….I need to step up to the plate and do this….no matter how I feel. I do believe it will pay off in the long run. Again ~ thank you Sheila. God bless you and your awesome ministry.

    • You’re so welcome, Crystal! And you’re right: we need to watch the model we set for our kids. That’s a tall order that God has given us!

  27. Enlightening. I’ve been in the “you won’t get what you want/need/desire by withholding what your spouse wants/needs/desires” camp for sometime. While there is still some truth to it, you won’t get by withholding, it doesn’t mean that you will get by providing either. Interesting stuff.

    As a guy I’m not fond of people that think I’m an idiot. They aren’t my favorite people to be around. If a wife really feels that way about her husband, the man she promised to love and cherish, what is he going to feel for her? Yes, some men are stubborn, immature, selfish jerks, but it seems you are saying that many may just be labeled that by a wife who has crushed her husband’s desire for her. That’s powerful and gives a wife a lot of power and responsibility.

    I’d be interested in a follow up article on what men can do to prevent this type of thing from happening (if that’s possible). We all make mistakes when we are young and don’t know any better that we have to deal with as we grow. Hopefully we are married to a spouse that recognizes growth and maturity.
    Kentucky Colonel recently posted…Sex and the Good SamaritanMy Profile

  28. This one definitely hits home right now but is so hard to accept. We have a two year old and a four week old at home right now and I’m just plum exhausted and overwhelmed with the household responsibilities. The hubby is feeling it and has started distancing himself. Unfortunately sex is the last thing I want right now.

    • Briana, I think when you have a four week old and a toddler, you will always feel like you’re failing at everything! Just give yourself some grace and some permission not to be perfect, and then try as best you can to still spend some time with your hubby, even if you feel like you’re neglecting the kids a bit. But you will never get everything done when the kids are that little; you just won’t. But believe me–it gets so much easier!

    • As the mom of a 6, 4, 2 and 3 month old, let me just say that while sex may be the last thing on your mind, it’s one of the first things you need! I promise you, if you approach hubby with exactly what you need sex-wise and he delivers, it can really revitalize you and help you feel great about yourself, too.

      For example: Husband, I’m feeling really tired, stressed out and overwhelmed with taking care of everything. I’m mom so much, I just want to feel like a wife again. Could you give me a massage and do _____________ to bring me to a screamin’ O? Then, you can treat me like the wife I want to feel like.

      Believe me, you’ll BOTH feel so much better!

  29. Well I did step one and commented on something he “did” this morning with the kids and immediately got criticized for what I didn’t do. But I am determined to give it a go as I believe this is a God ordained mandate. I do notice that after we have sex, he is less cranky. Ha! Thanks for being real.

  30. Iris Lancaster says:

    Thank you

  31. I love this post. I realized i have not been as grateful toward my husband as I should be. However, I do have this problem: EVERY time we make love, and it is often, he seems to get cranky and lazier. I don’t understand because we both enjoy being together. We both are satisfied sexually,or so he says. any advice?

    • Anna, I’m not sure what to tell you, but perhaps what you need to work on isn’t so much sex as it is friendship. If we connect outside the bedroom, it’s often easier to talk about the things that could use some growth in the marriage. So I guess I’d say do what you can to laugh together, as often as possible. Keep the lines of communication open. And be grateful for the things you do admire. Men do thrive on gratitude, in general!

      • I agree with Sheila. Something was amiss between hubby and I recently and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Of course, the usual advice one hears is give him more in the bedroom. Instead, he shut down in the bedroom and refused for nearly a whole month and he was sarcastic, withdrawn and distant outside the bedroom. I was beside myself and totally freaked out inwardly until I exploded within myself and hubby couldn’t ignore that I was a wreck. Of course he loves me, and he confronted me and we had a good talk, but he still refused in the bedroom. I prayed like crazy and God told me to leave him alone in the bedroom and work on our marriage outside of the bedroom.

        Work on making that great cake together, but let God put on the icing. I’m not saying deny him in the bedroom if he wants it, but make sure your focus is on the cake and not the icing. And PRAY!!

      • Thanks so much. I tried thanking him again today for something else. And this time the response was “Why are you thanking me for that. That is what I am suppose to do.” His love language is clearly service and I’ve known that for years. He’s not a person who is about words of affirmation, which I am and thrive in expressing. We (can’t change him, but can change me) have a lot to work on. I am continuing this challenge prayerfully. Thanks for responding. I do appreciate it.

      • Well I know his love language is service. So I try to cook a meal. It’s too salty. I try to keep the house clean. It’s not clean enough. I’ve gotten to the point where I have just not cared to do anything because it is not good enough. This morning when I told our little one that “Your Daddy is so nice.” within earshot like you suggested, he asked “Why?” and to be hones I could not right there think of anything. I just kept saying “Your Daddy is so nice and kind to you baby.” And that was true. God is going to fix my heart and I am believing for these next six weeks. Thanks for your response. I’ve subscribed to your blog. This is the most real marriage blog I’ve encountered. My husband is not one for flattering words, but I will continue..

  32. I find this to be true even though my husband doesn’t want sex as often as I do. (He generally wants sex every other day, while I want it every day – not a huge difference!) He feels like such a stud because I want him and I let him know how amazing he is in bed. And he is SO MUCH more intimate with me, and shares more with me, and is happier and relates more with me when I listen intently, respond pleasantly, praise him often, and giggle and kiss a lot. He tells me that it makes him feel really good knowing that he can have sex any time he wants to, any time of day or night; and he has always, always told me that he desperately needs one thing from me – for me to support him and be proud of him. And he really does take care of me. He makes me feel so beautiful and sexy and desired and loved. He never says anything bad about the way I look, he only says wonderful things. He even watches me shower because he can’t take his eyes off of me when I’m naked! The other day I got out of the shower and he was eating snacks while watching me. lol. I don’t have a perfect body, so that makes me feel very loved. He also does things for me – he cooks breakfast, lunch, and dinner for me when he can, he gets me coffee, he cuddles me because he knows I need it. So yes…..it’s true!

    • And Shelia, you are right about the friendship part. We barely see one another. He works nights. Has worked nights for 8 years. And also in school. So weekends are tied to studying. Trying to carve out us time is a real challenge. Sorry for all of the replies, but that’s just a glimpse of where I am. Do appreciate it. And your response also katd.

  33. This is great! I think everyone who is married should read it!

  34. The best part of this article for me I feel needs to be highlighted: the connection between what a man does in the relationship to please his wife, and sex. Without a doubt, wives, if you go down this road, and it works out for you (as for many it will), you will be tempted DAILY to question the motives of the things he does and attach them to him just wanting sex. In a way, it is true. But it is a “chicken and the egg” sort of thing. So why, then, does the burden of “keeping it rolling” land on you? Because in my experience, it is the tendency for a wife to withdrawal first, because of her complexity, her thoughts of how she thinks her husband is thinking. The man withdrawals second. Which just reinforces in the wife’s mind that he is “a pig only looking for sex.”. And in the husbands mind “why does she keep testing me by withdrawing sex?”

    In my situation, I am aware of all this. So I TRY to push through the dry spells each month and try my hardest to not to get upset or withdrawal when a week goes by without sex. The thing is we do have sex 4 times a month, so i dont have “room to complain”, but it is frustrating. (I don’t know how else to say it). To use the food analogy, its like going to a fancy Restaraunt for dinner every day but not ever eating any other meals or snacks. Yes, the sex is good, and yes it is somewhat frequent at 4 times a month. So why am I always so hungry?

    • Why are you so hungry? Because 4x a WEEK is frequent, not 4x a month! Plus, it doesn’t sound like she is connecting emotionally with you. I say as Sheila often rightly says, work on your friendship in your marriage first. Pray for her, pray with her, and the next few “bedroom sessions” make it about her and her pleasure. Let her know sex is about the both of you, not just Mark. You may feel you are doing enough to make it mutual, but she may need a little more assurance and focus on her. Women love when men are really sacrificial for them. I am all over my man like a crazy sex tigress when he sacrifices his needs for mine – which ultimately means his get fulfilled anyway! Jesus sacrificed Himself for his bride so we could have eternal life, but He gets eternal life, too. he didn’t stay dead.
      living in blurred lines recently posted…Thursdays are Hard for MeMy Profile

  35. Our bedroom sessions are all about her. I foreplay for as long as she needs, but she can’t get it out of her head that she is just doig her marital duty. I don’t feel desired. I know I’m attractive and a good man. Women at work tell me how lucky my wife is. That’s a hard thing, to be tested with temptation and then go home to infrequent sex, all the while giving every moment I have to either connecting with her, work, home work, sleep, parenting. I don’t go out with the guys these days. I’m a family man. We actually do connect all the time. I’m attentive to her wants and needs (non-sexually) all the time. Then in the bedroom, its all about getter HER in the mood. She says that I’m easy. So when she wants to, she just touches my leg and I’m ready to go. I have to be, or else I miss the “opportunity”. I’m not trying to slam her on these posts. I just sometimes feel like giving up. If I tell her to read the Good Girls Guide she would be upset that I went looking for information on the Internet. But she isn’t looking for any self help. Heck, for her life is great. The only downside for her is when I start to withdraw from her due to lack of sex. And at that point, she just frames it from her Pov that I am not patient enough.

    • livinginblurredlines says:

      Mark, I totally get it. It was the same way here, but I’m the wife in your shoes and my hubby was like your wife! The only difference is that hubby would still get his O, like you probably still get to climax…it’s just empty because you feel like she doesn’t desire you. I, on the other hand would feel the emptiness along with not having the time taken to climax. It was killer. I was miserable for a VERY long time, and yes, it did draw me away from my husband. At my lowest, I considered grabbing the children and literally just disappearing for a while.

      So, I cried out the God. I saw no way out of this unless hubby changed, but the Lord changed a lot in me! When we are at the end of ourselves, even in something like our married sex life, THAT’S when the Lord can begin. It killed me to do what the Lord asked of me. He may ask something different of you, so don’t take this part in parathesis as a formula for success. (God told me to forget about sex. I wasn’t going to get any, so just give up the fight and just love my husband instead. I was floored. I couldn’t believe it! I argued with God, but we’re supposed to in marriage! It’s a sin to deny…etc, etc, blah blah blah. I obeyed, but still prayed for it and cried out to God when the going got tough. 6 days later, hubby surprised me. Woot woot!!! We haven’t since because he’s not able to be home due to his career.) All I’m going to say is pray pray pray, trust in the Lord, wait upon the Lord, do His will. Listen to what He has to tell you. Put your wife and your sex life in His hands. Obey what He tells you to do. Pray for your wife’s healing. She needs healing in this area. She’s selfish and broken.

      I actually asked a couple of husband bloggers to e-mail my husband, and they agreed to, but I decided against it as hubby only reads emails from work. Perhaps someone else could “spam” your wife with this blog or others like Mission: Wife, Hot, Holy, and Humorous, The Generous Wife, etc. Pray about that.

  36. Loved this article Sheila. I am guilty of it. I’m going to try your 6 steps for 6 weeks. Thanks

  37. Thanks for the advice. I’ll think it over. It is very tough to let go of what you want with the hopes of getting it. Pee Wee Herman had a speech about that, about how he wasn’t expecting anything in return and then, well, he didn’t get anything in return! LoL!

  38. I really never under stood my needs, because in the last 45 years of marriage I’ve only had sex, love, intimacy once. It was my first time for sex, also my last and only. The day after our wedding things changed, First he said sex was terrible, no pleasure, excitement no nothing, also it was disgusting, messy, to much work for so little, and meant nothing. I was told he made a mistake and that it would never happen again . He then decide he was going to work midnights so he wouldn’t be home in the evening and that he was never going to sleep with me. Also he moved to the basement and built a small apartment thing when he now lives. Our lives are completely separate. He has no phone,tv,computer,radio he has distanced himself from the world and could care less about me or himself. There are no friends in his life, only himself , his shop, and a garage he built out back of our property.

  39. This is very interesting, I’ve read a LOT of marriage advice lately and never yet heard it put this way. I think you’re onto something! Thank you!

    but 2-3 times a week for sex…. wow, we always fail to step it up in that area and I’m pretty sure it’s not just me. I thought once a week was pretty average? I’d be willing, but I guess I need to read your book. I used to get mad when my husband was always “too tired,” but now after 10 years I don’t care anymore because sex is always super-short and boring for me (it’s all about him), so I don’t want to put myself out there and be hurt again. Talking about this gets us nowhere. Life’s too busy with little kids around!

    But again, I’ve never read anything like this post, so maybe I have a better starting point now?

    • hi. I just want to be able to speak about this. I married a great guy nearly 25 years ago. I know I’m overweight now but even in the beginning he never had much sex drive, he has always had hangups, would not make love if we had guests staying or were away on holiday with friends (in separate rooms of course! ) etc. One of our kids has some issues and I became very anxious and depressed and since then (despite medication and therapy and now I am 100% myself again) he says sex is no longer necessary, we have two kids, and my body is unattractive to him. You can imagine that this doesn’t make me happy and yet he has NO IDEA how much it hurts to be told this. YES i may be fat now but am at weight watchers and I am kind, good, hopefully attractive (but he HAS NEVER COMPLIMENTED ME – and yes, I DO compliment him and thank him for help round the house etc) Others tell me that I’m beautiful etc but my own spouse has never ever said that word. we are Christians but I know he won’t go for counselling because even when our child was creating huge issues for us he refused to, even when a therapist I saw told us we must go for counselling. I am reaching the point right now where I no longer want to be married to him. it hurts so much that he decided on his own that sex was unnecessary and didn’t even talk to me about it until i forced the issue. and he is so smug he thinks I won’t ever be unfaithful or anything – he just thinks I am a fat lump with no feelings I guess.

      • Laurie, I am sorry your husband had been so mean to you. It sounds like he has really wounded you deeply. Have you considered going to counseling without him? Just because he doesn’t want to go doesn’t mean that you can’t. It would be better if he wanted to go too, but you could still benefit significantly from going alone.

        • Laurie, I agree with Noah. It sounds like you really, really need some support.

          If there’s anything you can do to keep building a friendship so that you have some sort of a foundation for your relationship other than your kids, that can help, too. But it sounds as if you have a lot of real hurts that need to be talked through and dealt with. I’m so, so sorry that you’re walking through this, and I’ve said a prayer for you.

  40. Sheila, as a man (and now an ex-husband), I can tell you this is so good and so correct. Sex and respect will turn his world right side up. And, unless he’s one of those louts you mentioned, that will come back to bless the wife. I’ve known that for years. But what you opened my eyes to was that it doesn’t work the other way around. I knew that was true of my wife — I tried and tried and tried, but it never made a difference. And I never could figure out why the advice of Leman and Smalley et al. didn’t seem to work with my wife, even in combination with nearly continuous marriage counseling. Your admission/insight that women don’t work that way solves the riddle. Unfortunately, I never did find what WOULD work. After 29 years, the last 15-18 filled with disrespect and sexual refusal, she divorced me without a biblical basis and contrary to pastoral and counselor advice. Less than a year later, she’s engaged to a man she met online who has been divorced twice before, but somehow he has persuaded her (or she has persuaded herself) that he has more to respect than I did. Oh, how I wish she had read this post and your other material. But then she had read Dr. Laura’s book and Shaunti Feldhahn’s book. The first made a difference for about a day; the second just made her mad. There are some women, apparently, who just will not listen, even when it’s not their disrespected husband who is trying to tell them the truth.

  41. ExpectingWife says:

    Any advice for pregnant moms? My husband and I are still newly married and I have a big belly and feel unattractive. He says I put him in the friend zone for now and I’m focused on our unborn baby. It feels weird to have a baby moving around inside of you and trying to reach the big O.

    • ExpectingWife, yes, I know what you mean. I think many women have that problem! I wrote about pregnancy & sex and hormones & sex before, too. I hope you find those helpful! In a nutshell, and not to be too graphic, I’d say initiate more and take the lead more and be active during making love (like going on top can work). When you’re the one moving, you’re not concentrating so much on feeling the baby; you’re more concentrating on what you’re doing. And that can help!

  42. Wow… I do agree that regardless of what my husband does or does not do for me I am obligated to fulfill my duties as a Godly wife (no ifs, buts or maybes about it, I have to) and SOMETIMES that may be enough to get my husband’s attention and maybe he’ll correct whatever behavior I find undesirable at that time BUT that is not always the case and who wants to feel like their husband will only be a husband if I never mess up & I’m never too tired? Marriage is a constant joint effort and a woman can not hold it together by herself through sex and nice words! My husband should fulfill his marital duties even in times where I may slip and not do my part because we made vows not only to each other but to the Lord! So to harp on the simplicity of men & to suggest that the health of a marriage lies mostly on the woman “cuz we can change it all by being nice & sleeping with our men regularly” is incredibly ridiculous to me. Yes, women are more complex than men but I didn’t marry a Neanderthal. He’s capable of deciding to put in extra work the way I’m expected to if there’s a problem in our marriage. I’m highly offended by this article not because it focuses on fulfilling my duties as a wife but because my husband is my equal and the head of my household, he doesn’t need to be coddled and if I get a little snippy around that time of the month he doesn’t retreat (whether he feels the need to or not) because that’s not the Godly thing for him to do. He prays for me and for the strength to deal with me while continuing to meet my needs. He’s a MAN! Go the extra mile for your husbands and your relationships but don’t fool yourself into believing that your husband isn’t equally accountable for the health of your marriage. Most of us married completely competent men. Remember when u were dating him he didn’t seem so simple did he? He made sure you were happy even if you were saving yourself for marriage so why’s his simplicity his handicap now that you’re married? Sorry not buying this one… if you were to focus on the idea of women being the wives that God intended and meeting their men’s needs regardless of what their husbands do or dont do in return I would agree with you 100% but the idea that men are somehow too simple to be the husbands God intended, who retreat when they don’t feel like they’re good at marriage instead of praying for breakthrough revelavtion and continuing to try meeting their wives needs is unfathomable to me.

  43. Thank you for posting this. I am going to write down those 5 tips and carry them around with me so I can be reminded to work on them!
    Kathryn recently posted…He’s SpecialMy Profile

  44. It doesn’t appear that many people, to include the blogs author, have actually taken a second to research much less read the book in question. If Mrs. Gregoire has, then she’s misrepresenting the Lemans work. While I do believe Leman stands firmly on a side & doesn’t often elucidate on how other principles support his, in this case the book, Sex Begins in the Kitchen, is about developing intimacy outside the bedroom. It’s not about doing more chores it’s about knowing (you know the biblical descriptor of Sex) your spouse. Specifically a man studying his wife. While he does state that helping around the house is part of that, more specifically he’s admonishing husbands to think about your wife’s needs & address them rather than just our particular distractions.

    From the book:
    Too many people -especially those of us who are fortune enough to be males- seem to believe that sex begins and ends in the bedroom, period. Some men grunt their way through the evening without showing their wives the least bit of attention. When a man’s wife asks him if he thought the dinner she fixed was good, he grunts in response. She tells him about something important that happened to her during the day, and she gets another grunt out of him. She tries to talk to him about something cute that one of the kids did or said and hears the third grunt of the evening. After that, she just gives up trying to talk.
    But when bedtime comes, he’s grabbing for her and wondering why she’s so “cold” to him. That’s just not how “good sex” happens. Sexual intimacy between a man and a woman should be the culmination and expression of the intimacy they share in all areas of their life together. For sex to be what it is capable of being, it must be an act of loving and sharing, of giving to each other.
    It is most definitely not a game of “I’m Tarzan, you Jane–gimme.”

    Quick look into the first 14ish pages courtesy of Amazon.
    http://www.amazon.com/Sex-Begins-Kitche … 0800731174

    • Jeff, I think you totally misunderstood my point. My point was that EVEN IF HE DIDN’T GRUNT in the kitchen, and EVEN IF HE DID CLEAN UP, he still may very well not get her in a romantic frame of mind because women don’t work that way. A man can do everything right, and she will not necessarily respond. We are far more complex than men are.

      So he can get to know us, he can cater to us, he can do all of those things–and quite often we won’t respond. Because it’s not always about what a man does; it’s about her interpretation. And many, many women shut out perfectly good men. That’s what I’m saying.

      And I think women need to be called out on that.

      • Sheila, I appreciate & agree with the bulk of your post. I don’t agree with your characterization of Leman’s book. The book describes building intimacy outside the bedroom & that in itself is a fairly large task list, yes? Part of that is being aware that our wives don’t appreciate when we allow our distractions to take priority over their concerns & the reality is that an orderly house is a concern for many wives. Like scripture, Leman’s book ought to be taken in context or in it’s entirety. I completely missed any reference to chores in the piece that I quoted from Leman. What I did pick up was,”Sexual intimacy between a man and a woman should be the culmination and expression of the intimacy they share in all areas of their life together.” That would also include calling out a wife that needs to be called out, yes?

        While I agree that often spouses don’t respond to our good intentions, servants heart or specifically to a husbands servant leadership it doesn’t mean Leman is saying that to get more sex- clean more dishes. I understand that many will take him to be asserting such, they have a right to their opinion & to be wrong. I get your point & believe it to be an important one. I believe you either didn’t get Lemans point or mischaracterized his work; that’s my point.

        I also don’t agree that women are any more complex than men are, I believe that line of teaching just further complicates the issue. I think it feeds into the cultural stereotype that men are either John Wayne’s or Ray Romano’s -emotionally devoid or clueless – neither is true. Both sexes are made in God’s image. I don’t read where He blessed women with the complicated image of God while He blessed men with the simple or less complex image of God. I read that we are different & process differently while we are equally wonderfully complex.

        Again I agree that women need to meet & engage their husbands wherever they may be. I believe women need to be called out on withholding intimacy & that a good portion of that calling out ought to be modeled by other women. My point was that I don’t agree with your characterization of Lemans talking points & then the complexity assertion.

        Thank you for your heart & desire to strengthen marriages, I & others appreciate your voice.
        Be blessed, jeff

      • My Name Is Not Relevant says:

        Thanks. Now, how does One do that without seeming like One is being disrespectful to the Wife? Raise the point in private? Such a Wife as You describe is liable to not respond constructively. Raise the point in front of Others or in public? Well, now the domestic issues have been brought out in front of Others in a humiliating fashion; also not producing constructive results. Wait for Others to say something? Then We have the issue of what to do if Everyone around thinks, “Hey it’s none of MY business.” Any insights You have might be helpful.

  45. Jennifer B says:

    I am sorry that I have a hard time agreeing with you statement that “many marriages would be saved if…” My husband could care less if our marriage is saved… he’s tried to divorce me twice. I’ve stood and prayed for it to continue. God’s will prevailed both times. Because of the countless adulterous acts {physical and emotional} and by his own words of admission… he is only out to please himself {he says he’s a selfish man… making little excuse}. And at this point he doesn’t see any reason to stop his “friendships” with other women. Why would I want to have sex with him anymore?

    To top it off, I do have a medical condition, worsened by stress {which my marriage is and has been full of}, that was diagnosed just before the second time he up and left me and the kids for another woman. It’s more work to have sex with him but he doesn’t see the need to help out around the house for any reason, surely not to lesson my load! His mother could do it all! He’s the guy that Jeff, mentioned above. He comes home, grunts for his dinner, grunts at the kids if they bother him while he’s watching TV, and grunts until everyone is in bed… while I do it all… sometimes he even takes a nap in front of the TV. And then like a light switch… all of a sudden he’s nice, sweet, telling me “I think you’re hot.” And all I can think about is… how many women have you told this to?” I am sick of his pick up lines!

    I’ve stayed and stood for my marriage for 12, almost 13 years. He’s never committed to this marriage. He’s never kept his vows. I’ve given sex… LOTS of times when I really didn’t want to. Several times a week even, to save my marriage… for him to say “that is not enough!” He will never be content with just me. And honestly, I’m at the point that I could care less anymore. Why should I? I’ve done all of this! It still is not good enough!

    I’ve looked on your website for success stories of why I should stay… and I am just getting more discouraged that my efforts were all in vain these last 12 years. Why did I keep taking him back? Why did I do this to myself?

    • Jennifer, I’m so sorry that you’re going through this in your marriage. Honestly, the best resource that I can recommend to women who are in relationships where their husbands keep cheating is Love Must be Tough by James Dobson. It’s a great book about when you’re the only one who wants to save a marriage–and it teaches you how to be firm and how not to be a doormat.

      Sometimes we can do the right thing and our spouse still chooses the wrong thing. It’s heartbreaking, but it’s true.

      I’ll pray that you find some peace and some clarity, and that you find someone who can stand alongside you and guide you through this difficult time.

    • I would advise against having sex with your husband, if he has relations with other women….STDs happen even to innocent people. And in many cases they don’t show up right away – someone with HIV can test negative for an entire year after getting it. I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through.
      Jenny recently posted…Preparing for intimacy: putting ourselves in the right frame of mind.My Profile

      • livinginblurredlines says:

        I agree. I told my hubby that even though I am 99.999999% sure he will never cheat on me, that if he did, would he please have the courtesy NOT to have sex with me until he repented and was cleared of StD’s by the doctor.

  46. ButterflyWings says:

    I’m not mad, I’m just sad – for the women who this advice doesn’t help.

    there are women out there who constantly thank their husbands, constantly compliment their husbands, don’t nag, don’t give the silent treatment and who actively want sex once a day or more.

    This is despite their husbands never thanking or complimenting them, their husbands constantly nagging in between giving them long periods of silent treatment, and their husbands barely having sex once a month and making it clear they are only doing it to “shut the wife up”.

    There are some men nothing is good enough for.

    • @ButterflyWings: For what it’s worth, the husbands you describe are idiots. But they’re also very rare; I’ve never met one. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help the wives who are unfortunate enough to be married to those husbands. If those husbands are in a church, I’d (a) ask the husband to go to marriage counseling with a good Christian counselor; (b) if he won’t, tell him that the relationship with him is so important that if he won’t go with you to marriage counseling, you’re going to talk with your pastor or an elder, and invite him to go with you; (c) whether he goes with you or not, talk to a pastor or elder and ask them to talk with your husband and urge him to get into marriage counseling; (d) if the husband still won’t respond, ask the church to follow through with the church discipline process of Matt. 18 (a follow-up meeting with additional witnesses and, if he still will not respond, telling it to the church and removal from membership, all in an effort to get him to live up to his marriage vows). Church discipline should be used more often for husbands and wives who won’t fulfill their responsibilities even after church leaders get involved.

      • Absolutely agree! Great comment.

      • ButterflyWings says:

        These are men who have turned their backs on the church and God as well as their wives. Stay or go, nothing changes. If you leave men like that, they just take it as an opportunity to hook up with other women.

        Sadly I’ve know quite a few men over the years who appeared to be loving christian men until after they were married – sometimes it became obvious as soon as they were married that they weren’t the person they pretended to be, others it didn’t become apparent until months or years later.

        But either way, they conned their wives (and the whole community really) into believing they were loving, good christian men and then after marriage, they changed – too late for their poor wives to do much.

  47. I thing a girl could die for lack of a little romance … LOL …. I agree with your post but I do have to point out that guys went out on a limb when dating to “catch” us and tend to forget that afterwards and stop and then they wonder why we are frustrated! Maybe you have another article addressing that …

  48. There are some women who are willing to have sex and would like it more often then their husband does. Often husbands are too tired to meet the needs of his wife. It goes both ways

  49. I do agree with you mostly on this article. I understand all of that and wish I could bring myself to be that wife. But this stuff really makes me feel like a doormat, just there to take care of him and make sure he is happy. A receptacle for him to dump in. I used to enjoy having sex. I want to have enjoyable sex, not I’m doing this for him so he feels good. What about me feeling good during sex. He shouldn’t be the only one in the relationship happy during sex. I want that connection to be more than just sex and that makes it enjoyable to me. Doing this for our husbands is giving them what want, just some sex. Sorry if this offends people but thats how it makes me feel.

  50. I have been married 10 years, together 13 with 6 and 7 year old girls + one more girl on the way. I am not Christian, but do value the insight of how to treat one another, ect. I really have tried to be a good wife, and have actually followed these ideas in the past. Very affectionate most of the time, making it a point to give him sex regularly even if he doesnt seem to be the first to initiate…(although I can say there was a time there when the girls were small that the idea of someone pawing at my breasts sexually just didn’t work… sex o.k. stay away from the nipples…. thats what happens when you breastfeed 2 in a row! haha) I didn’t expect much out of him around the house since it was my ‘job’ I felt…. even though he didn’t always have a regular ‘job’ all the time. Anyways….. about 2 years ago I found out he had been cheating on me with someone. Someone he cheated with before we moved to another state, but then kept a phone/online/visiting thing with her. I have not felt the same towards him ever since. He made all these excuses about it, about ever since the kids he didn’t feel like he got enough attention (as in wasnt the center of it) I came to realize then, and since then how self centered he is.. plus he had too much ‘free time’ and not realizing what things you need to do daily ect to make life run smoothly. But I want to make it work for the kids, so I stayed w/ him. I could go on and on about it.. Now I do not feel like this technique is enough for me. At the moment he is a full time student, but on summer break. As in not working either… We just spent the day together w the kids, I am 7 months pregnant…. I tried talking to him about where our evening was headed, to get a game plan…. he said just for me to do whatever, he wanted to put his feet up. I told him, yeah I can relate! (7 month prego) I made dinner….. we ate, he washed HIS plate…. I cleared the table and did the dishes from making/eating and put away the food…. he went to bed. Sorry, not going to throw myself at him. A man that doesnt recognize and put in the effort it takes to run a house, is NOT just being a man… he needs to realize the work it takes TO LIVE and step up to the plate. Your wife is not going to be a sex goddess and want to go at it every day, or every other day if she is so freakin tired from doing all of your dishes/laundry/shopping/planning, ect, ect And I don’t want to set a precedence that it is. Although I guess I could add it to my chore list…. cause I will say it has become a chore to me ever since the affair. I even became pregnant after sex I gave because I felt thats what a woman need to give their husband. I feel bad for bringing a child into a marriage I am not sure I want to be in. I am very bitter about the constant giving, only for him to notice HIM and his needs. He says he loves me, but he has always said that even when lying, cheating…. so it doesnt mean much really. I cannot keep giving without receiving. Sorry it is HIS turn to go first. Women, don’t feel like you must not be trying hard enough….. when you are!! Men need to grow up… our society lets them be boys forever it seems!!

  51. I agree with what you said. But it made me want to rant as well. This is another example of how as a “high libido” woman, I get left out of these conversations. I feel connected and loved through sex, my husband just started understanding this, and we’ve been married for almost 14 years! Some men (like my husband) don’t want to have sex all the time, and they aren’t as simple as you describe them to be. My husband is exhausted and “not interested” far more often than I am. If he feels ignored or unappreciated or disrespected, he shuts down physically, so I have to bring my A game to get sex, nevermind to get all of my other needs met. He’s a faithful husband, a good father, a wonderful Christian man… but it truly makes me crazy to read articles like this which led me to believe that there was something wrong with him or me for years… when in reality, it’s just the way God made each of us… we just don’t fit the “common” mold… which makes me wonder how common it is that women enjoy sex as much or more than their husbands… just a thought.
    AJ Collins recently posted…In one flying leap…My Profile

    • I am with you 100%…it’s my only frustration with the various sites for Christian wives. My husband is perfectly normal, is not a p–n addict, and is not a cheater. He’s just middle-aged, overworked, stressed, and tired! He loves me and I love him, but I am definitely the one with the higher drive. To make life with my husband happy and harmonious, chasing him around trying to “give him sex” is not the answer…sex happens quite naturally and wonderfully when the things that fill HIS love tank are happening.

  52. Kimberly says:

    It seems the only relationship my husband and I have is in the bedroom. He wants to make love every night. I don’t know what to do. If he goes without 1 or 2 nights without it he seems to clam up. I understand I need to meet his needs but, the thing is he is not filling my love tank.

    • Hi Kimberly,

      A few quick thoughts. Work on your friendship outside the bedroom as much as you can. Eat dinner together. Do stuff together, like taking a walk after dinner. Take up hobbies together. Then really tell him how you feel. Spell out exactly what you need–men often understand it better if it’s measurable (I need you to hug me when you come home from work, and spend 20 minutes walking and talking with me everyday). I hope that helps!

  53. Not what many women want to hear, but I say amen to that. So true! Maturity brings understanding, for some anyway, that love puts others first and a marriage it’s a team effort…there is no “I” in team.
    Dawn recently posted…Kale Ranch Dip (aka The Best Dip Ever)My Profile

  54. I wish life with my husband were this simple. He enjoys sex like any other man, but it just isn’t that important to him. If I started trying to get him to have sex every day or even 3 times a week, he would retreat and become exasperated with me pretty darn quickly! How kind I am, how responsive I am when he asks for my help in something, how much interest I show in him and his goings-on…those are the things that make him purr. Not all men are dying for sex all the time…and not all of the men who aren’t have deep-seated issues. Some guys just don’t need it as much as others. I happily respond anytime he approaches me sexually, and I approach him in return so that he knows he is wanted too, but the frequency is probably far below what might be considered “acceptable” or “normal” here.

  55. This is a so good article / post. This make me think in so many things im doing so wrong. Thanks

  56. I have been married for three years and I bend over backwards to please my husband, but I have to ask what you do when this doesn’t work? I am a good wife, I stopped nagging him several months ago and we have a great sex life but he will not give me anything back that I need. We don’t go out we don’t do anything but go visit his family and when I ask him to go with me anywhere or do anything that is interesting to me the answer is always “next time” but I never happens. I have no friends or family ( but my grown kids and my grandson that I have legal custody of). My family is a 5 hour drive and I always get the excuse that its too far. I keep praying and trying to acting like God wants me too but I am seeing very little change if any. I am at my wits end. I have explained all of this to him and how much it hurts and he says he understands but will not make a changei feel like a door mat at times and feel like I desever to be heard and not have my needs constantly brushed aside like I’m nothing..

    • Amy, I’m going through the same thing. My husband used to desire me. He used to want to hear anything I had to say, and saw value in it. The day I found out I had clinical depression, he disconnected. Now he only talks to me when he feels that he needs to. “Our son needs school supplies”, “We have this bill to pay”, “Did you wash the dishes?” Never, “Hey girl, how awesome was your day?” Or, “What is it that you have going on?” And when he does want to know, he turns off his hearing while I’m talking to him. Listening is a chore.
      So, heartbroken and all, I got some advice that I thought made sense, “Leave him alone”. Dont divorce him. But make him lonely. He doesn’t see a need to change. He’s fine, and he’s not lonely, so why should he change? So you should shake things up. Go out every now and again, and leave him behind. Do your thing, and become mysterious. Stay away from temptation, and let him see that loneliness is a real thing in marriage.
      Not sure if it will work, but I’m desperate not to be so lonely. I’ll pray for you. Hope things go well for both of us.

      • My Name Is Not Relevant says:

        I am so sorry for Your heartbreak. Obviously, being the internet, I cannot fully understand You and/or Your situation. At the same time, is it possible Your Husband has “disconnected” because He doesn’t know how to respond to Your depression? Might He think He some how causes Your depression and is being excessively cautious?

  57. Sex does nothing for my husband. He was abused when he was young (psychologically by “nudist” parents) and is turned off completely by it. I have struggled over 20 years feeling like I’m not really married. When I bring it up he changes the subject or says he sick of hearing about it or sometimes he says he understands and still does nothing about it. All the counselors we’ve seen have helped NADA!

  58. That’s all great and everything but what if you’re husband has emotionally abandoned you and simply doesn’t care to have sex with you. You compliment him and build him up and try to do things for him and you stay positive, you are youthful and attractive…. and you’re still an invisible last priority. I would love to have this “problem” of a husband who actually wants me. I’m going to go read an article that addresses real problems.

  59. My Name Is Not Relevant says:

    Yeah, no. This works for the couple only if the “Husband” in question is a stereotypical Man. However, as is often the case, the stereotypical is NOT typical, otherwise it would be called “typical” without the “stereo”. Case in point, My Wife tried this once , I responded positively and She got furious because She did not see Me as responding positively before She tried this. In Her Mind, to this day, I am not seen as motivated enough to do what She wants Me to do for the same reasons as Her and, to Her, that is a BIG problem. Shortly after She got furious, She decided to go on a sex strike, general affection strike, and respect strike, all of which continue to this day. Right now, You might ask Yourself, “Well, how long is She going to be able to keep this going? She has to give in some time, right?” Well, this all started back in 2003 and, as I noted, it continues to this day. On a whim, I gave Her flowers yesterday, fresh cut roses, one dozen. Her response: post a picture of it on Facebook with the caption, “Oh, Christ. He’s messed something up again. Can’t wait to find out what it is.” Did I get a “Thanks”, “How nice”, or even “Aww”? No. Nothing. Nada. Nyet. Zero. Zilch. Zip. Bupkis. Diddly.

    I have tried going out of My way to help on a regular basis. I have tried making sure I do as much of the parenting, housework, yard work, errands, etc., etc., etc., as I can for ages. I have tried being romantic; surprise gifts, planning surprise parties in Her honor, talking Her up to Others, complimenting Her everyday, and so on and so on. What have I gotten in return? “What do You want?” “What did You do?” “Your opinion is biased.” “Why didn’t You come home from work on Your lunch break and load up the dishwasher?” (I work 30 minutes away and only get 30 minutes for lunch.) “You should get a second job so I can continue to be a stay at home Mom.” “You’re not home enough to help take care of the Kids.” [Yes, You read those last two right. I have been asked to do two mutually exclusive things multiple times.] “You’re too fat.” “I wish You were taller.” “You should work out more.” “Oh, You’ve been working out? It’s probably won’t work.” “Oh, You were talking? I didn’t hear You. I was playing .” “Where are the Kids? Why are You asking Me? I don’t know. I shouldn’t have to keep track of Them. ” “Fine, I guess I have to get a job if You can’t work more hours.” “I’m working 2nd shift.” “How come the house isn’t clean? Why can’t You keep up with the housework after work while I am at work and You are busy making sure the Kids get homework done and chores done?” “Oh, by the way, I signed the Kids up for this sport, that sport, these activities, and those groups, and You have to take Them to all the places They have to be for all the activities and they are all at the same time and in completely different parts of town. … Now, don’t call Your Parents to help. Why can’t You do this on Your own? I never have trouble getting the Kids to Their events during the day (i.e., while the Kids are in school and have no events to go to anyway). Why can’t You do it?” “Ugh, You got Me flowers … again??? No, don’t touch Me. I don’t want a hug. I don’t care if it’s Our anniversary. I’m mad at You. … No, I won’t tell You. You should know. If You can’t figure it out, You won’t understand if I tell You anyway.” “I want to go to grad school. So, We’re going to have to live off Your income alone. I know Your Boss randomly fires People for no stated reason. [We reside in an ‘at will’ employment state and I have no contract.] I know We’ve been living from paycheck to paycheck. But I’m going to do it anyway.” “Oh, You got a raise this year? Great, I’m going to go buy this and that and these and those [consuming the entire raise, typically a cost of living adjustment, on things We really didn’t need before I even get the first paycheck with the new pay rate].” “You should go to therapy for Your anger management. No, You can’t tell the Therapist anything about Me. This isn’t about Me. This is about You and the fact You can’t handle stress and are lazy and a bad Father and a terrible Husband and an all around low down dirty piece of scum Person etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.”

    I might even go so far as to wager dollars to donuts, for every Person posting here saying, “This is great!” and/or “It worked for Me!”, 20 other People either didn’t finish reading the article due to frustration or said, “Yep, not happening” and another 1000 People haven’t even read this article while in similar situations to Mine. Now, if You will excuse Me, I must go sleep on the couch because the Dog “needs” to sleep in My spot in the bed.

  60. I know this is an old thread but I need some advice. I understand the challenge however I feel like in the past when I tried this, my husbands gets “complacent”… His attitude is oh she’s happy, well I’m happy and I can relax. Only when I get upset or tell is whe. He wants to try and fix things. I’m very very attractive to him, very sexy but I don’t desire sex at all from him. I feel like it’s a chore when it comes to sex with him. We are also having classic marital problems … Me doing eveything around the house, kids, 2 jobs. He works as well but he’s works 10 minutes away, meanwhile I play in traffic 2 hours one way… Picking up and dropping off our son, I take care if budget, bills, mist cleaning, grocery… Everything!! He does cook more than I do, but he doesn’t clean much… Lately all we do us argue and we just started sleeping separately. As much I want to try this your way… Part of me feels like ” why do I always have to come with ideas to make our marriage work? He’s just a nice guy who is lazy and will just go along with anything I suggest”. Pleas give advice

    • Amy Borton-Almaqdady says:

      I went through the same issues as you have. I have found that learning how a man’s mind works has helped me out immensely! Their minds are different than ours. May I suggest reading a book called, “He said, She said” by Jay & Laura Laffoon. They are a Christian couple and have learned how to communicate with each other by learning how men and women are wired differently! I am telling you, it has been a godsend for me! This book has taught me more things about men than I have learned my whole life! My marriage (by no means perfect) has changed so much! Once I put these things into practice, by husband started to change as well.

      There is also an amazing speaker and his wife. Let me tell you, this couple really has gone through some very hard times, but have learned how to change themselves which, in turn changed their marriage. Their names are Jimmy and Karen Evans. They are also Christian and give you great resources that are biblically based. Here is a link to their website…


      When you listen to him speak, it is like he is speaking to you. He is so loving and caring and brings some humor to the subject. You can watch him on…


      I am not a spokes person for either of these resources, I have used them and they do work!

      Don’t give up, I will pray for you! May God use these resources to strengthen you and give you peace and a fulfilling marriage!

  61. I wanted to say: let me go tell my wife this info! But then i realized she does your recommendations but then stops when i “screw up:” either from doing or behaving in a way she doesn’t like: not giving her a lot of attention each night, or forgetting to make plans for going out every Saturday, or not “spending each Sunday with her” or not giving her “her salary each week” or forgetting sometimes to get her flowers each Friday, or not “going to bed at the same tine as her,” or for asking her to help me with a bill (she makes her own money doing her passion, and its much more than i make and doesn’t like if i ask for any if it- which i very rarely do.) And most recently i was unable to buy her something for Valentines Day because my employer was late with depositing 2 weeks of my checks and i came home with nothing but vowed to make it up the following day when the checks cleared- although i begged her for forgiveness and genuinely felt bad but instead she destroyed some of my belongings in a rage which she justified). Or if i spoke to my mother (who she detest and wishes to never see or hear from again) so each time their is an event or mistake which i cant always control she holds back. She says your supposed to treat me well because “im a good person,” and do things for me because you never did any of the big things (buy a house, travel twice a year, pay all her bills so she “doesn’t have to work”)
    Any advice Sheila?
    (Wow i never post things online but this article really hit home!)

  62. Husband says:

    This article is so true. When we go a week without making love I feel unloved. And I can’t help but feel angry. When we make love I love her more. When we have sex 2-3 times a week I love her so much and would do anything for her out of that love. I think men like me love their wives so much but when we don’t receive that love it hurts.and the comment someone left about satan tempting you works. Because I love romance. And I miss it a lot. Funny thing is I couldnt show this article to my wife she’d get annoyed. I feel so sorry for women in general because 90% of men I know are &@^#*’s. Thats why I don’t have many friends because men are generally thick and talk about unintelligent rubbish. Oh well. The only thing I can say is court for a good long while before committing and getting married. Good men are very hard to find.

  63. I have to agree with most everything you said. Men are simple to please. I’ve tried religiously doing this once I admitted it to myself. We are animals right? The issue is my brain… I guess my relationship isn’t as great and I don’t enjoy sex thinking about how I’ve been offended, ignored and belittled and then if he notices I’m not enjoying it as much as he is I feel it destroys his self esteem even more than if we wouldn’t have had sex. My relationship seriously needs more work or we probably need to call it quits. Either way sex is always a must but sex doesn’t always guarantee a great marriage when there are other underlying issues. It’s a great place to start.

  64. I’ve been searching your website for months. Hoping to find hope, but I never find any. What about when your husband does nothing but take in the bedroom? no matter how many times I talk to him about it, in frustration OR in love, nothing ever changes. I’m so broken. He doesn’t care that I never have an orgasm, but he takes and takes and I keep giving like I feel I should. How do I not be a doormat? How do I anything? My love language is physical touch and after 10 years of marriage, the bedroom is awful and I can count on the number of fingers how many times I’ve had pleasure with him. And that has stopped even a couple times years ago because he told me he didn’t like how I felt when I was on top. Orgasming felt weird for him. I’m only 130 lbs. I FEEL SO HOPELESS. He simply doesn’t care, no matter what I say, how I show him I feel. I try not to be negative, because that isn’t productive, but I feel used. By my own husband.

    • Jennifer, I am so sorry you are in this situation. Your problem can’t be adequately advised in a comments thread, so I suggest you join The Marriage Bed Message Boards.It should come up in a google searcho
      r link in from http://www.themarriagebed.com. There is a lot of great advice, help and support there. Tough love, but people who’ve walked in your shoes.

  65. Amanda Rocks says:

    I’m sorry but this is too general….you are lucky if your husband wants too much sex. I can’t get mine to do anything and he only wants it when he feels like it. He doesn’t touch me or do any forplay but expects it from me when he is in the mood. Today I said no for the first time even though i really wanted to because i haven’t for so long. I have given up…fed up of always being the one who makes the effort for nothing in return.

  66. my husband don’t wants me every time, and he dont understand my feelings,and i cant understand what is running in his mind, what can i do

  67. There seem to be lots of books and advice for how women should treat their husbands. I feel like there is nobody to talk to about marriage issues and sex. I respect my husband of 23 years but he thinks I don’t because he has low self-esteem. I can’t even bring up my needs because then he projects his faults on me, ‘that’s what you do to me!’ It’s not worth having an argument. My love language is gifts, very far above the others because I have been starved in this area for so long. He doesn’t like to go to bed and breakfasts, vacations (maybe every 5 years I make us go on vacation). To prove he does gifts, he took me to the jewelry store and had me pick out an expensive piece. It’s probably the only gift I will get till next Christmas because he doesn’t put thought into my birthday ever and is annoyed if I do anything for his. No flowers for at least 10 years now, never celebrates Valentine’s (whines about it being too commercial and that he would rather do stuff for me spontaneously). Well, I can’t expect him to even surprise me with my favorite coffee – absolutely no thoughtful surprises. He’s not horrible, but just becoming more hermit-like. I seem to cope by having retail therapy. He puts me down and hurts my feelings every day, but would tell you it’s me because I find myself pleading with him not to yell at the pets and cause drama within earshot of the kids. My adult daughter was rude to me and he told me ‘she’s just like you.’ He told other people that I ‘yell a lot’ when it’s him. I am not perfect by any means, but I am discouraged. I love holding hands, but now I just get groped and he only always wants to talk dirty during sex. He crosses lines in sex that I thought we had settled ‘I know you want it’ killing the mood. He meets my needs physically, but emotionally I am not doing very well. He wants sex half as much as I do. I have stopped talking to him as much about hopes and dreams and I don’t think he’s even noticed. Trying to ‘give’ him more sex will result in him thinking I am too demanding.

  68. I know every relationship is different, but you gotta give respect to get respect.
    Also, if your significant other doesn’t put in effort, why should you be the only one pulling all the weight?

    I also disagree with this statement:
    “Too many of us have virtually no respect for what a husband really needs, but we have unlimited respect for our own needs. And we’re not only hurting our husbands–we’re hurting ourselves.”

    For me, if you want me to respect you – you need respect me. IE: Treat me like I’m a human being. Talk to me like an adult, and not be so condescending. I don’t understand articles like this that basically say you have to give up your standards to make someone happy. I believe there is common ground, but that’s hard to do if the other person isn’t willing to try.
    I get really frustrated that so many think that for some reason it’s only women who need to “fix” a relationship. It bugs me.
    “Ohhh, you need to have more sex with him” – But what if sex isn’t enjoyable??
    “Ohhhh, then you need to learn how to have better sex” – What? What if he is the boring one in bed?! Some women actually really enjoy sex, believe it or not.
    “Ohhhh you need to do all of these things and he doesn’t have to reciprocate”.

    This goes both ways though. I don’t think it’s fair for one person to have to pull ALL of the weight, and then give even more of themselves because the other side doesn’t want to put in the effort.

    My husband wanted me to quit my job, and be a stay at home mom. I’ve always been a career woman.
    He has outright called me worthless, and tells me he wants to sleep with other women since I wont be a SAHM. So I should do everything in this article and he will stay? Lol, no.

    When will someone write an article about men respecting their wives and meeting their wives needs?

    Let’s try to get to the real issue: Finding common ground in a marriage without compromising every bit of who you are as a person. You CAN have a loving marriage, respect one another, build a life, have great sex and be happy WITHOUT changing every aspect of yourself to please someone else.

    “1. Thank your husband once a day for something (try to make it something different each time)
    2. Compliment your husband to your mother, your children, your friends, whatever, within earshot of your husband, every chance you get.
    3. Do not nag.
    4. Do not give the silent treatment.
    5. Make love with relative frequency (say at least 2-3 times a week).”

    Been there, done that. Doesn’t work.
    You can only give so much of yourself before you are completely exhausted. Again, when will someone write an article about men respecting their wives instead of the wives having to pull all the weight to fix their marriages – cause that is whack.

    • Eliza, I’m sorry if it sounded as if I was saying you needed to give up your standards and morals. I definitely was not talking about that. I was saying that when we have normal disagreements, we shouldn’t expect that he should be the one to change first. Sometimes we need to step up to the plate and do that.

      But I really was talking about NORMAL disagreements. If your husband is threatening to have an affair, that is not normal, and that is not something that can be tolerated. I’m sorry that your husband has done this, and I hope that you can draw the line and tell him, “no ifs, ands or buts. We don’t talk about it or threaten it, and if you do, then you may as well have already done it.”

      So sorry you’re going through this!

      • Sheila It’s the man’s job to lead the wife. Biblically he is too “dwell with her with understanding” There is a lot of responsibility on the husband’s shoulders in the treatment of his wife. When a husband applies the biblical standard for marriage a woman won’t be able to resist his tender attentive intelligent protective ways. Please stop telling woman they need to carry the burden of their marriages. Many woman have done all you said and if the man is not obedient to God nothing will change.

  69. Andriana says:

    “Make love more”.. Newsflash.. sometimes the lack of sex in a marriage because of a physical medical condition that prevents said actions. Believe it or not there are men whom know ahead of time and still want to marry..Do marry and stay married for 10 years and more without anger or resentment at the woman. That husband helps out and is an equal partner. Sorry but being one of these ladies.. Disagree immensely.

    • Andriana, I totally understand, and I write about that here and here.

    • I agree. For me the D word is not an option. Right now in my marriage i’m the “care taker”, there is no equal partner. My wife has medical problems but she has no problem going driving here and there, go on trips and go shopping. But she can’t make love to her husband maybe once a month or ever other month. Years ago after she had her hysterectomy we didn’t make love for whatever time the doctor said to wait. Last year in October she was in a car accident, got some scrapes and bruises but also it affected her back a bit and some nerves (she had bad discs in her back and neuropothy from diabetes for previous). So after that didn’t make love for 6-8 months. Her doctor told her to not do any housework and her lawyer who took care of the accident basically relived her of her wifely duties. So for months now I have been doing all housework along with working 7-5 Monday through Thursday and half day Friday. Im not saying she doesn’t do anything all day long, she does machine embroidery stuff for people. But what irks me is that she can’t make love to me but she can go on the road and go shopping. I don’t think my needs matter to her. If I bring it up she start crying and tell me to get used to it cause its not going to change. Like i said, D is not an option because I love her. I just want my needs to be met. But I have to give up my life of being a husband. And for all you women who cry about sex not being enjoyable, do you expect your husband to just grin it and bear it and accept it. What about him and his needs?

      • Your wife may have no hormones from her surgery and therefore no sex drive. She may feel unloving and inadequate now. What have you done to try and understand her? Counseling ect…Remember the marriage vows good times and bad.

  70. I understand that this works for some men, but not all. I attempted this with my own husband and instead of bringing us closer, it nearly tore us apart. My husband became obsessed with sex to the point that he almost lost his job because he would write erotica at work and send it through their email. He became angry when I wouldn’t do everything he wanted regardless of how painful it was (or degrading). After our first daughter was born, he refused to wait the 8 weeks for my c-section to healed. Needless to say, I had to have my incision burned 3 times in order to try to get it to heal. After several more years, he admitted that he doesn’t like how I “have sex”. He doesn’t like the emotional part of sex, only the act itself. So I cannot make any noise or communicate while we are having sex. I have to follow what he wants me to do in the bedroom so that I am not “selfish” If I am going to have an orgasm, I also have to do it in under 10 minutes (start to finish. he doesn’t believe in foreplay). I have always tried to have conversations with him that honor both of us, but he finally told m he isn’t interested in communicating or even a friendship with me. He simply wants me to take care of house and kids and give him sex. Other than work, he plays video games. Every day and all weekend. He is not involved in our lives in any way. I have had numerous sessions talking with him to try to find out where he is coming from, but he refuses to engage in any conversation related to our marriage. He told me he has nothing to say to me other than the facts from that day. So even though a wife shoulders most of the family responsibilities and does what she can to make her husband feel special and meet his sexual needs, it does not mean that he will in turn want to do anything to please his wife. Sometimes, it just means he is getting what he wants. The Love Dare book was the final kick in the pants for us. Once he realized that I had to meet his needs and expect nothing in return, he realized that he could bow out and not have to do anything. So here I am. No, I am not going to divorce him. Yes, I pray all the time for the healing of our marriage. Yes, I believe that God can redeem anything. But He doesn’t heal every person or redeem every situation. He only promises to help us through it. On a side note, why is it that when a man has a low libido and a woman has a higher one, she is told she has to deal with it, but if it is reversed, a woman is made out to be at “fault” for the problem in the marriage. Looking at eternity, growing God’s kingdom is so much more important than the act of sex. Yes, it is a benefit of marriage, but God fulfills us through His purpose here on earth more than any physical relationshi

  71. This just makes me angry because I love having sex with my husband and want it a lot more than he does. I make am effort to thank him for at least one thing a day. I make sure he always has good meals. I rub his back when he’s feeling sore after work. I surprise him with gifts. I asked him last night if we could have one night a week where we spend time together and have sex. Every night he is on his phone reading the news until the second the lights are turned off. He got extremely angry with me. Wouldn’t lay close to me and started calling me names. I had been hinting about it for awhile but that wasn’t working so I just flat out told him what I needed and that’s what I got. So what does a woman in my situation do? I feel like I am going crazy. I just need some good make out kind of sex with him and talk a little. I feel alone and seriously starting to think he doesn’t love me. Am I the only wife who never gets flowers or sex when I am in the mood or even just a 5 minute conversation? Im lame.

    • Hi Ali, no, you’re definitely not alone! I wrote a series of posts for women more in your position here. Maybe start reading there and then following the links? I think that’s more what you’re looking for.

  72. He doesnt watch porn and he has a good paying job. He drinks more often than he should so that may be affecting his libido. It all boils down to me just feeling very unattractive and unloved.

  73. I am a devoted husband. (Married over 23 years)

    I was very strong and had a very good career in the first half of our marriage, We have two boys and I have been very supportive. (I even split taking time off in first several years to give them more time at home.)

    She wanted more and I supported that. She rose up the ranks and became a manager and director. She also started a PHD and finished coursework. (Still working on dissertation)

    So many times I have to hear how tired she is and how stressed she is from marriage and work.

    I started my own company so I could work at home and be here for the kids while she had opportunities.

    Now (5+ years later) she is still stressed from work and tired from PHD. Sex is most times an afterthought.

    I recently started consulting and need to be at client site most of the day (still local) and I make very good money now (more than her) but still deal with sickness, stress from work and stress from PHD..

    Suggestions for the man here?

  74. Thank you for this article. It doesn’t upset me but it hurts and stings a little. I will be the first to admit that I NEED to improve my respect for my husband. This has been so difficult for me because in certain ways I don’t respect him. Now I’m feeling like my unmet needs are my fault. This is frustrating. It’s already a big reason why I’m unhappy in my marriage. I feel taken for granted and unsafe emotionally.

    I’m a SAHM to a 3 yr old and 2 month old. My husband will regularly say things that hurt me when the house/kids/dinner are not meeting his expectations. When we make love, even before the baby, he doesn’t show much concern for my satisfaction. Anyway, he’s a great guy overall. He makes sure to point out how he’s better than some guys since his co-workers go out drinking and don’t do as much around the house as he does. I’m looking to a therapist again because I can take this advice but I think it’s getting my hopes up to think it’ll solve things in our marriage.

    Women can’t be generalized and simplified for sure. For me, though, I think there are key things that would make a world of difference:

    — See me and love ME for who I am (understand, appreciate, cherish)
    — Spend quality one on one time
    — Make a effort to do things that are meaningful to me

  75. Sometimes I don’t wonder if the feminist movement has something to do with the way women operate in relationships. I am not trying to start anything, just thinking out loud. I have several friends in relationships that are 50/50 straight down the middle, and, from the outside, it works. However, some women have been told and demand an exactly 50/50 relationship, but have married a man for whom that does not work. My parents relationship is 50/50 straight down the middle on everything, finances, house work, etc. For the most part, for them, it worked. I ended up married to a man that was far more traditional. This is not to say that he does not pull his weight (I mean the man, just yesterday, emptied the dishwasher of clean dishes “just cuz”). He works hard, helps with the children, he keeps my car in tune and our driveway clear of snow. He is fantastic. When we had kids, the feminist in me, or at least the way I was taught, reared its head and I demanded a 50/50 relationship. My weapon to get what I want? Sex. In fact, most of the contemporary marriage advice you can find from women claiming to be feminists subscribe to using sex to get what you want. Reading Sheila’s site opened my eyes. For my marriage, the feminist model I had some how picked up was so wrong and so skewed. So, I changed and it is night and day.

    I do have to disagree with Sheila on one point though, this method still uses sex as a weapon. The sex him into blissful oblivion weapon. Instead of withholding sex to the detriment of both parties you apply it liberally. I will admit it was through gritted teeth I initiated sex with my hubby the first few times (I am tired, I do the bulk of nighttime child care, I work, etc.); but once that ball started it became a freight train. He became more relaxed and I became more interested in sex. The more sex we had the more he became affectionate. It then lead to other things: he likes to relax after dinner so I do the dishes despite him volunteering, and finally he just did them himself. That one week of gritting my teeth led to a great wealth of affectionate, emotional, marital and sexual fulfillment. We still have work to do, but we are relaxed and affectionate all the time now it makes talking so easy. THANK YOU, SHEILA!!

  76. I have tried this for 4.5 years. I have given him compliments, sex ( I enjoy it just as much as him), told him how great he is in many ways and often. been positive, how was your day, kept my own hobbies, giving him lots of space when he wants down time alone and much much more. I get not much back at all. I get the sex from him that is good, and about 5% of my needs met, barley any affeciton, no compliments, barley any i love you, etc. He doesn’t meet my needs even thought I have given and given and given for years to do exactly just this. Nothing back. My emotions, self- worth are all drained and I feel completely unwanted and unneeded unless its to make dinner and have sex.

  77. Yes I did all these things too, tried so hard at my marriage (not perfectly of course but I worked hard) was always open & honest, and he just stopped caring about my needs. It became where I would state my needs try to talk About it & he would just shrug it off as I’m just not that kind of guy you expect too much from me. I was saying for years we needed to connect more more passion romance back etc. After 16 years and 2 kids. He ignored me, neglected me, was just fine with the way things we’re. You know what I got for all my work and honesty? He began
    An affair! With some skank a decade older then me! Where apparently he was the kind
    Of guy to do all the things I had been asking for! And had the nerve to tell me we we’re together too long and it got boring! Yeah it does when you don’t put ANY work into your marriage! I was devasted for months and I’m finally realizing how unhappy I was and how I don’t miss him. I miss having a partner yes but the truth was he brought nothing to the marriage and just took
    And took and gave me nothing in return. One day I hope to marry again but I’ve learned some men are just that selfish and when they show you their true colors-BELIEVE THEM!

  78. I got married 7 months ago, the year before we got married he show me he was this wonderful man, he is still a great man don’t get me wrong but I don’t feel connected with him anymore.I appreciate everything he does , he works hard n also have online classes so I understand his schedule is very busy, I keep my mouth shut because I don’t like to argue or nag but hes on top of me asking “what’s wrong”I say nothing but he won’t stop and I feel bad telling him I miss spending time with him and his attention, we also have two kids in the house,one from our previous marriage and his exwife dont pickup her son at all so im with him all week n my son goes with his dad on the weekends but we still have his 2yr old son, im tired .I love the role of taking care of my family, food is ready when my husband gets home, I try doing as much as I can with my health condition I get very tired but I gotta continue.I dont think my husband care about me at all well at he dont show me affection or give me no attention.when I talk to him about whats bothering me its like he dont understand or I see it as hes acting like he dont get it because hes a smart man and I keep telling him the same problem every time so I see it like he isn’t interested or just dont care.I keep looking to see that the problem is me so I can fix it.

  79. The reason I feel bad telling him is because I dont want to make him feel less of a man or he isn’t doing his part as the husband

  80. Liz Adianti says:

    It’s my big mistake not realizing these for years…

  81. Some of us have addicts for husbands who take their special needs medically challenged children for granted. Some of us are married to a man who has broken every promise and take their wives for granted. Men who disrespect us despite sex. Taking what they want and STILL sending us to bed alone…only to wake us up when they’re done gaming. Then what!!! What!? Spending money on himself and neglecting his family. Then what!?

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  1. […] Wray Gregoire recently posted something on this point that both husbands and wives should read, Why Your Husband Won’t Meet Your Needs. Wives Sheila suggests that you are more likely to get what you need/want/desire by providing your […]

  2. […] Why Your Husband Won’t Meet Your Needs | To Love, Honor and Vacuum. […]

  3. […] Thinking that he should make the first move and show us affection regardless of whether or not we have sex (because then we’re setting up an unfair double standard). […]

  4. […] keep your husband happy, he’ll feel like a million bucks, but you’ll also feel closer to him. You’ll be […]

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