Wifey Wednesday: Does Everything Really Come Down to Sex?

It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you all can comment or link up your own marriage post below.

Can sex really heal a marriage? Yes--and no.

Today I want to tell you about an email I received from a guy who reads my blog. In summary, he said:

I really am quite simple: when my wife has regular sex with me, I feel like I can take on the world. It’s easier for me to resist temptation. I’m happy. I love being with her. I love being with the kids. But when she doesn’t, everything feels like a chore. It’s not that I don’t love her; it’s just that it’s much harder. I don’t find that you talk about that on your blog anymore. You give all these excuses for women not to have sex, but honestly, I wish women understood that for men, it really is that simple. Make love, and we’re putty in your hands.

31 Days to Great SexI agree with him. In fact, that really was the main focus of this blog until about a year ago, and it certainly is the focus of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex and 31 Days to Great Sex (although I include other challenges couples have as well).

But here’s what started to happen: I have written several posts on what to do when your husband doesn’t want to make love, and these have become some of the most popular posts on this site. Many, many women who come here would LOVE to have husbands who want to make love, but they don’t. Their husbands have rejected them. Or perhaps their husbands watch porn so much that they can’t have a real relationship.

And so for the last few months my posts have been slanting in that direction and trying to minister to these women.

But I have to admit: on the whole, that commenter is right.

God made men and women very differently, and for men, sex is a huge need.

The fact that so many men reject sex in marriage is just a sign that our world is getting more and more messed up. And if you’re in that camp, then please head on over to my Marriage FAQ post and find some answers that will work in your situation.

Today, though, I do want to talk to the rest of the women: the ones married to men who do want sex. And what I want to say to you today is, yes, it really is that simple.

But if he wants sex all the time, that means he’s really shallow! I can feel so many of you thinking that right now.

You see, when we women think about whether or not a relationship is good, we ask whether we’re talking enough. We wonder if we’re affectionate. Have we done anything together lately? Do I feel as if I can share my heart? Do I know what’s going on in his heart? Has he reached out to me lately? Has he asked me for help with something? Has he talked through a problem? Has he helped me around the house or with the kids? Has he shown me love?

We have all these data points that tell us whether or not we’re connecting.

For him, those data points can all be combined into one simple thing: sex.

That doesn’t mean he’s pathetic, or that we’re somehow more sophisticated than he is. It simply means we’re made differently. When he makes love, he feels as if our hearts are connecting. It’s his way of checking in on the relationship.

And I don’t mean when we lie there and say, “you can if you want to”, and then we look like we’re counting ceiling tiles. I mean when we throw ourselves into it, and even initiate sex! The sexiest thing, to a man, is to have a wife who WANTS to make love–not just a wife who placates him.

A man knows that for a woman to enjoy it she has to DECIDE to enjoy it.

She has to want to make love. If she wants to make love and enjoys it, then, she’s told him, “I want to be with you. I want to have fun with you. I have decided to give myself to you.”

If you make love with relative frequency, then, he knows that you truly love him and want him. If he feels truly loved and wanted, he’ll want to be home more. He’ll want to be with you more. He’ll want to be more involved with the family. He’ll find it easy to be more involved with the family! He won’t have to be fighting that feeling that he isn’t really wanted or appreciated; he’ll be able to pitch in and help knowing that he is. It invigorates him; it energizes him; it propels him to action.

But wait–you may say. There are so many other issues in our relationship! We’re in debt and he doesn’t take it seriously. Our children are holy terrors and he won’t discipline them. He won’t listen to me about how mean his mother is to me. And the list can go on and on.

May I suggest that if you get the sex part right, it will then be a lot easier to deal with these other very real issues?

Sex is your way of saying to him, “I’m committed to you, I love you, I want you, I value you.” If he knows that and feels it, it’s so much easier to then bring up the really big issues that are bothering you.

I can’t tell you the number of women who have written to me saying,

“I used to think we had a horrible marriage. He never showed me love, we were fighting all the time, and I didn’t think I could go on. Then I read The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex and just decided to jump in for both our sakes. And my husband is a completely changed man! He loves being with me. We laugh so much more. And those problems I thought we had? They’ve gotten so much easier to manage.”

When we make love, you see, he feels closer and empowered. But we also feel closer to him, and all the things that bug us about him are minimized as well. We’re feeling more intimate and more connected.

Will sex solve all the problems in your relationship? No, probably not. But it will very likely help you with a whole lot of them. And it isn’t that hard! It’s a lot cheaper than a marriage counselor, and it’s a lot easier than hashing everything out until you agree.

And if there really is something so simple that could help you so dramatically with your marriage, why wouldn’t you try it?

Does Everything Really Come Down to Sex for Him?

So why not take this challenge:

For one month, decide “I will make love every night unless there’s a really good reason not to, and I will not go longer than 72 hours without sex. I will decide to enjoy it and throw myself into it.”

(And if it’s difficult for you to enjoy, because it’s never felt very good for you, buy The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex and consider it a fun research project).

Today, write down how you feel about your husband: do you feel close? Do you feel like you can talk? Do you feel loved?

Then do that for a month, and ask yourself the same questions. See if the answers are different.

You just may find that it really is that simple after all!

Christian Marriage Advice

Now, what advice do you have for us today? Link up a URL of your marriage post in the linky below! And you can copy the code for the Wifey Wednesday button from the sidebar on the right and put it on your blog, too, so other people can come back here and find out about all the great marriage posts!

The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

Marriage isn't supposed to be blah!

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


  1. Sheila, it’s often hard to push past that initial mental and physical resistance., when our bodies feel bla and our mind just awful, throwing ourselves in, doing that inner shift, can feel absolutely impossible.

    But we women (hopefully) already understand that sex is a mind thing for us. And we can’t wait to feel like doing it, before we do it. Once we step out, our bodies and minds tend to catch up! Like other areas, use your will and lead yourself, don’t be led by what you think or feel.

    I love what you share – that making love will actually help us feel closer and more intimate and lessen all the angst. So powerful and so true. It’s not for “him”, it’s for us too.
    Great post Sheila!
    Ngina Otiende recently posted…A Great Marriage Taps into Dreams, not just NeedsMy Profile

    • Thanks, Ngina! And I’ve got the linky up now! I know you normally link up, so if you’re reading this, it’s live! I’m sorry it’s often late; the problem is that if I put the code in and then schedule the post, the code disappears. So I have to do it manually on Wednesday morning, and sometimes I sleep in too long. :)

  2. melanie says:

    Wow! That was the best post I have read in a very, very long time! I fell upon your blog over 6 months ago. I was literally in my way out the door. My husband was sneaking around with porno (he thought I didn’t know). It wasn’t until I found your blight that I got the guts to confront him. Now his sex drive is very high. I had a full historectomy so mine isn’t. But also with your blog God has used you to help me and convict my heart. Now I make love to my husband regularly and very willingly. I fill so much more loved! I no longer feel bitter, our marriage is by far not perfect but it has done alot of healing! So what this man says is true! If we neglect our marriage bed it will drive our husbands to sin! I know I witnessed it first hand! But God also helped to heal what I helped to break!

  3. Sex is SO important in a healthy marriage. As you said, more than just being there but counting the ceiling tiles, it is actually wanting to be there. When my attitude is that of loving my husband in this way, wow, life is great! I don’t mean to sound selfish here (because I really don’t think I am) but he is putty in my hands when he knows he’s loved in his department. He helps me around the house (even after working long butt kicking hours at work). He does what I’m interested in (say shopping at the mall) and more. He KNOWS I love him and have his back. So he’s got mine.

    As to the feeling icky, etc, well, what I’ve learned is that I have to take care of myself. It’s part of my gift of love to him. I don’t eat that Cheeto. Nope, I’ve learned to put it down and eat a carrot instead. I exercise regularly (I always tell my kids it’s an investment- I have more energy AND I feel better – oh and FTR, I’m not one of those size two supermodels, nope I’m a regular size 14 girl). I dress nicely and wear makeup often. I had to quit wearing perfume because of sensitivities, but I still treat my husband to the occasional wearing as Im uncomfortable, but know its a sacrifice gift to him. Anyway, when I Do these things *I* feel good and I enjoy sex. WOW! You want to improve your marriage, give it a try. It costs nothing but time. And chances are, if you’re like me, you were wasting WAY more time fighting than you would ever spend with sex.

    • Thanks so much for that, Amanda! Great word. I should just copy your comment and put it up as next week’s Wifey Wednesday! :)

  4. I guess I’m going to be in the minority of women here, but in my marriage it is ME that really wants and needs sexual intimacy. My husband loves me very much and we have a great relationship, we are best of friends and have a great time together, but for him, making love a couple times per week is sufficient. And for me, that is a drought. I’ve talked, well mostly cried, to him about how I just don’t feel as connected to him when days have gone by without us being sexually intimate. I find myself getting irritable and cranky and honestly did not associate those things with the decrease in our sexual intimacy until I started reading blogs like yours. And it wasn’t always like this either, that is probably what makes it so much harder for me now.
    This is both of our second marriage. We have a wonderful relationship, are best of friends and enjoy each other so much. I can finally say I know what a healthy marriage is since my first marriage of twenty years was abusive.

    When my husband and I first married 1 1/2 years ago our sex life was abundant. I finally felt safe with someone after being treated so harshly and unloving in my first marriage. Making love was, and still is, out of this world…it’s just not as frequent now as it was. And no, he is not into porn and honestly loves making love when we do, he just could go a lot longer in between now than before. And he did listen to me and really heard me when I cried out to him that I need more intimacy, but I’m still lucky if it only happens twice a week.
    And when we made love more often there were so many benefits: closer emotional bond, more lighthearted in our relationship, better sleep, feeling better mentally, etc.
    Now I feel so much of that missing, but I do not know what to do to bring it back.

    I have to say, I honestly do not understand women not wanting to have sex with their husbands. I know I’m going to get slammed for that comment, but when I read men comment on posts like these where they wish their wives wanted to make love more I’m sitting here thinking, I crave to make love with my husband but he doesn’t.

    Yes, God made us different, but I think the better way to look at it is that God made man and woman sexual beings. I know personally when I hear someone say, well men were just designed to need more sex, it makes me cringe inside…and do an eye roll. LOL God made both man and woman to need and crave sex with their spouse, so that we would become one flesh. But honestly, when girls are always told that when they marry they won’t have a desire like their husbands and they just need to make sure to satisfy him whether they want to or not, don’t we already set up women to dislike sex? And sure there are components of a marriage that make sex just too tiring such as taking care of children all day and maybe not getting enough help around the house to where there is much energy left over. But that comes down to communicating our needs in those areas instead of pouting over the help we aren’t getting and then feeling like our husbands don’t care how much we work and only want sex.

    Okay, I’ve gone a rant long enough, LOL, but I just had to comment on this post.
    BTW, I love your blog! :)

    • Aimee, I know I’ve said this before, but I want to say it again: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! There really are so many women in your position. I think it’s so great for women who often don’t want sex to hear from women experiencing the other side, like you, because it does give us the other perspective and hopefully pushes us on towards higher things!

      • ButterflyWings says:

        You’re definitely not alone Aimee.

        Any suggestions, Sheila, on how we can encourage men to take on this challenge?

        I sometimes feel, that despite the acceptance that sometimes women want it more than their husbands, that it’s still denied there is a biological need in some women to have sex.

        I really thought, very briefly that my husband and had sorted out our sex issue, when for a week, we were doing it ever 2-3 days. But now it’s back to the once every week or two if I’m lucky and it’s literally breaking me. I physically ache to be touched.

        It’s made worse by the fact he spends 5 hours or more every night watching cartoons – and I don’t mean anime either… I mean actual little kids cartoons. Night after night, I initiate and get rejected over and over. Every time I beg him to come to bed at the end of the episode, he tells me he’ll “probably” come at the end of the next one. Then he starts another and tells me he’ll “probably” come to bed at the end of that one.

        I’m not getting enough sleep because I just so desperately want to have the sex he keeps implying we’ll have if I wait up “just another half hour” and next thing I know it’s past 4am and then when he finally comes to bed, he’s too tired.

        I don’t disagree with much of what you write, but I don’t believe men and women were “created” differently. I think women were created to need sex just as much as men, but over the centuries this has been socialised out of them by the biased, hypocritical attitude society has towards women and sex, and how it’s considered “normal” for a man to like sex, but a woman is considered a “freak” if she enjoys it. I don’t believe we were created differently at all.

        I NEED sex.

        And the reality is, going to see a christian counsellor pretty much made things worse, with her (incorrectly) telling my husband that married couples only average sex once a week. Which is incorrect on it’s own, and it’s even more incorrect for couples in their first year of marriage, especially young couples like we are. And basically said I should put up with so little sex and that it’s completely normal and healthy for a man to only want sex once a month, and for newlyweds to only be having it once a week at best and only because the man forces himself to.

        It breaks my heart that even after the once a week (at best) sex, I try to encourage my husband by telling him how great it was, and how great he is, and all he can reply with stuff like “I guess it’s ok, I didn’t really feel like it but it was a sort of fun way to pass a little time”. Sure it’s a break from being told it’s a chore to him (he’s thankfully realised how hurtful that is and no longer says it), but he goes out of his say how uninteresting it is to him and no more interesting than say, reading an interesting blog post. In fact, he often turns down sex to read blogs… even ones he only finds of average interest to him.

        After our disaster with the counsellor, how do I make him understand that it’s not healthy for young newly married couples to only have sex once a week if we’re lucky? After seeing the counsellor, if I took that challenge to him (to try for it every night, and to go no longer than 72 hours for a month) his response would be basically that I’m a perv for wanting it so much. I said that’s what I wanted on our honeymoon (where he had no distractions and no plans), and even after counselling, (especially after counselling!) he was even more convinced I was a sexual deviant for wanting it every night and not being happy with less than every 72 hours even on our honeymoon!

        How do I deal with this? When no matter what articles or books I show him about how it’s important for a healthy marriage to have regular sex (ie every few days minimum, and preferably every night) when he believes “regular” is once every week or two.

        Counselling made things work, and turning to a family member on each side of our family he respects didn’t work either – with the one in his family just saying he’s “different” from most guys and be glad he does it at all, and the one in my family saying sex is gross and I’m a freak for enjoying it at all.

        When I say I “need” it, there is no danger of cheating or even looking at other guys. I’ve never understood people who do that. But it’s literally effecting my health. I can’t sleep – I just lie awake most of the night. I feel hungry all the time from stress. My nerves are constantly frazzled and I can’t focus on anything. Not to mention feeling depressed at the constant rejection day after day. Even on the rare occasions we have sex, it’s so obvious he doesn’t want to be there.

        If he won’t follow the advice of anyone other than the one professional who agreed with his view that rare sex is normal and healthy, what else can I do?

        • Ok, have you thought about possible medical conditions? Is he on any medication that could interfere with his libido? Is he depressed? Is he unable to focus? Does he have anxiety? Does he drink? Are there childhood issues that could be interfering? Something that people have been talking about on a forum I visit is low testosterone levels. A man with low T levels can literally have no desire for sex. If you/he decide to check his hormone levels just be aware that “normal range” covers men from their sexual prime to levels appropriate for an 80 year old man. Make sure his levels are good (not just normal) for a man who should be in his sexual prime.

          Also, just to reaffirm that you are NOT a deviant in any way, shape, or form. For someone in your situation I would say that y’all should be having sex a minimum of three times a week on average. I’d also encourage you to take this time and work on yourself. Get counseling. Go to a gym. You need to be sane, and that will be hard without support.

          (Oh, and I’m assuming that your husband found you attractive, or at least said he did, and that after y’all got married nothing happened to change this – you didn’t start collecting pet roaches or calling him “Mr. Stinky Pants” in public or eating drying lint or basically just start acting repulsive? Because this is the internet, and if I don’t throw that caveat out there someone is going to call me on it.)
          Natalie recently posted…Still tired – still hanging aroundMy Profile

          • ButterflyWings says:

            Yes I have thought about medical conditions – I work in the healthcare industry and I’m 100% sure he has very low testosterone but he won’t listen to me personally or professionally.

            He has mild depression and anxiety but he always has – we didn’t have sex before marriage but we were always a very hands on couple – holding hands, kissing etc. All that changed after we got married. He doesn’t smoke or use drugs and his drinking is half a glass of wine with dinner a few times a week max. And he isn’t on medication but does take vitamin B for stress. I think he does need to go see a doctor but he doesn’t listen.

            While my husband has never said I’m good looking (because realistically I’m not), he has always said I’m very sexy and that it’s about what I do rather than what I look like which he said was what he liked and wanted. I do think the stress of moving in and having an instant family is a little stressful for him but he said it’s only very mild stress and he prefers having us living here than not living here.

            As for me, I see a counsellor, go to the gym twice a week by myself, we do a sport together twice a week and am taking antidepressants which make it a little easier to cope with but it doesn’t take away the pain of constant rejection, it just makes it slightly easier to cope with.

  5. Anonymous says:

    As a husband, I unequivocally affirm this is the absolute truth. It should be a subject of premarital classes. Thank you for posting this. It’s a very important message and can’t be said often enough.

  6. Hi Sheila,
    I wanted to comment on your suggestion to go for a month and have sex every day. I am a newlywed wife and am trying to have the best attitude I can with sex, start things off on the right foot, etc. I have seen this advice on a couple blogs now and I have to admit that it really stresses me out. When I first read this idea, I suggested to my husband that we try a ten day challenge. He was really enthusiastic about it, but by day five, I was strongly disliking it. (Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy sex, but the everyday thing, I did not enjoy.) I threw myself into this challenge. I spent time thinking about sex periodically throughout the day to get myself ready, spent time at the end of the day relaxing, I sent my husband text messages, etc. I mean I really tried. Then at night, I did decide to enjoy it and threw myself into it. And what I noticed after doing that was that the more we had sex, the less I liked it. First, I ended up getting more and more tired as the days went on because I got less sleep, second I actually enjoyed sex less and less, and third, I ended up being rather sore. And then I started to feel pressured to have sex (through no fault of my husbands – this is all in my head) and it became an obligation and I started resenting it. So now I read things like this and decide they are just not for me. My husband and I do schedule sex when our schedules are busy and we are on average active 2-3 times per week and that works for us. But I admit that I feel bad when I see these challenges of trying to have sex everyday for a certain amount of time because it just doesn’t work for me. And as a newlywed, I am trying so hard to make sure that this critical part of my marriage is healthy that when I see these things, I truly start to feel like I’m not doing my part. And I know in my head that the only person’s opinion that really matters is my husband’s and he says he’s happy, so I shouldn’t let this bother me. But I am a woman and I over think everything and so many people say sex everyday should be an option that this idea really just makes me feel bad. And after saying all that, I don’t know what I really expect you to respond, but I just wanted to put my thoughts out there because I can’t be the only person that feels this way.

    • Hey Marie. As I read your post, it’s almost as if I could feel your stress bouncing off the screen! Please don’t put so much pressure on yourself! I believe that Sheila’s challenges and advice are more geared towards marriages that struggle in these areas. If you and/or your husband do not have the need/desire to have sex everyday, then I don’t see anything wrong with that. As long as there is open communication about it and both parties are satisfied with each other. The last thing you should do is cause resentment or stress in your sex life, because that’s when the problem comes in. As far as doing it so much that you are sore…well, I’m not sure how long you’ve been married, but I was a virgin when I married my husband. It seemed I stayed sore for quite a while, but I was very blessed to marry a man who cared, and if he knew I was sore, he would put his need/desire for sex on hold until I felt better. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt me. And everyday sex is just unobtainable for some….My husband and I have been married for nearly 11 years now. He works 2nd shift and I work during the day. So, we generally don’t see each other until his off days (which are never the same and generally are not on the weekend)….so we try to make the time we have together ‘our’ time once the kids go to bed….but it works for us…and if I feel that he is becoming sexually frustrated, then I try to make it a point to stay up late and meet him when he gets home….But that’s just not always feasible…so we do the best we can….and think that’s the real point….Is to make sure you are meeting your’s and your husband’s sexual needs…and everyone is different. Calm down. Breathe. It will be ok :) Enjoy your newlywed time together. I treasure those memories of the first few years with my husband before kids!

    • Trust me, you aren’t alone! I feel exactly the same way. I want to want to have sex every day, but I just don’t want to, and so when I try to make myself want to have sex daily, I end up resenting it and dreading it. That’s obviously not the proper attitude — I want to want to have sex, and my husband wants me to want to have sex, and it just doesn’t cut it when I make myself. It’s a little bit of a conundrum for me because I know that he wants to have sex more, but he doesn’t want to have sex if I’m not in the proper frame of mind, and forcing that frame of mind completely defeats the purpose (he wants me to SPONTANEOUSLY feel like it), sooo… no matter what I do, it isn’t right! Sigh.

    • Rachel N. says:

      Hey Marie, like the other girls have said do not stress. Also, remember intercourse is not the only way to have sex. A really good resource is http://site.themarriagebed.com/front-page. They have amazing discussion boards about all the different ways to be intimate without actual intercourse.

  7. All of this is so true Satan will use anythg he can to destroy our marriages and sex is the number one thg on his list because god created sex just for marriage bible talks abt doing often and only being apart for a lil while know of course all that is dif from one marriage to the next there is no magic number what’s work for one marriage won’t for the next some r ok w 2 times wk other more often I wil say u should defiantly connect each wk how much is Somethg each couple has to agree on . I say all that but I personal know it’s easier said than dn my marriage is struggling as we speak there no communication Cuz it always leads to fight and thing get very ugly he gets verbal abusive nothing gets worked I feel so distance from him we hardly connect anymore and when we do I don’t feel he is happy w me bc I won’t do certain things he had expreince in past relationship or seen porn there so many issues in our marriage I don’t know where to start I could write a book . Yet I know god has big things for our future out churches prophet gave an amazing word the last time he was here I was hoping that would turn thg around but it worst I know it just the devil trying to destroy what god is birthing in us but husband don’t just pray for us Satan don’t marriage cuz two ppl together out more powerful to the kingdom of god than one we need to stand up and kick Satan between his legs and take our marriages and families bk!!!!! Who is with me ???? Let’s be in prayer for each other !!! Great post shelia ur blog along w a couple others I stumbled across plus my church family have been my saving grace when I rdy to give up thanks a million.

  8. I don’t think I will ever understand why God created men and women with such a huge disparity in both drive and perspective when it comes to sex (let alone why, for men, it is far higher and starts much earlier than it needs to).

    • (And by that I mean “in general”–I feel badly for those wives who crave intimacy in their marriage, but are flatly denied). But as an example of medical fact: testosterone level differences (which directly affects sex drive) of 15 times. Normal testosterone levels for women are 20-70 units; for men? 300-1100 units.

    • I guess I disagree that there is a huge disparity between men and women in sexual drives. All that God created is good, it’s the fallen world we live in that skews things. I believe that man and woman, before the fall, came together with mutual desire and pleasure. I do not see anywhere in the bible where it says the man will desire it sex much, much more than his wife and the wife will have very little desire, but needs to do it anyway. Song of Song’s sure sounds like two lovers that desire each other and want to mutually please each.

      Men and women definitely think differently, that I don’t deny. Women can tend to be more emotional, whereas men more straightforward in their thinking. A woman usually has to think about something over and over, while a man may just more impulsively go with his first thought on something. I.e. sex…the man is in the mood and wants to make love, while possibly for his wife she has to think about it some to get herself to that place where she is ready.

      A little off subject, but I once read on another blog about the difference between men and women’s abilities to climax and why God would make it so easy for a man, but a little more difficult for a woman. The author stated that perhaps it is so both partners spend more time together sexually, and not just necessarily in the bedroom, creating that close bond and learning how to mutually and completely satisfy one another which can help to bring that couple even closer together. If both partners were able to climax immediately sex would be just about the physical pleasure.

      Just my rambling thoughts… :)

      • Aimee, about the differences regarding climax: I think I said that! :) Or at least I know I did say it, but perhaps you read it somewhere else, too! I think that’s really it: in order to reach climax we have to be able to be vulnerable and truly share ourselves and open up. It creates more intimacy.

        As for drives, I think you’re right in that we were both created to enjoy sex. I do think that a man will tend to feel the urge for sex more than a woman will IN GENERAL. It’s just simply the fact that he has higher testosterone, which is what is largely responsible for libido. But at the same time, we were both made to enjoy it and want it, even if it is in different ways (women tend to get turned on when we feel close, for instance).

        Thanks for your thoughts!

      • CoffeeCrazed says:

        Aimee said – “I do not see anywhere in the bible where it says the man will desire it sex much, much more than his wife and the wife will have very little desire, but needs to do it anyway.”

        I’d argue in fact that the bible does address this, but that it was women who were more over the edge than men. As an aside, I’d say that women have been culturally conditioned to suppress their sex drives. As far as the bible goes, here are my arguments for the hypothesis that women’s sex drives are higher than men’s.

        1) In the old testament law, there is nothing about meeting each other’s needs, except one verse that tells the man to ensure his old wife is satisfied if he takes a new wife. Interesting too that the Jewish Onah, marriage contract, only addresses men’s responsibilities to their wives.
        2) You rightly point out the passion of SoS, but again, I’d argue that it is a much more graphic picture of the shulamite’s passion than her lover, as far as the depiction of sexual energy goes.
        3) New testament: I am not speaking definitively here. I have heard it taught that 1Cor7 was written to a culture that considered women a much lesser being and that sex with them was abhorrent. If this is the case, then the directive to not defraud each other would seem to be more directed at the men than the women.

        I have my opinions as to what happened, but am fairly satisfied that something changed for women over the years.

  9. Wow butterfly wings that was no real Christian consular her advise was not biblical at all have u thought abt showing ur husband scriptures concerning being together . I think it’s 1 corth 7 talks abt marriage .if y’all don’t have any kids u could get drastic men are visual walk around nake or in Somethg very sexy to get his attention he may also need to have some blood work done to make sure his hormones r ok . I can relate to ur story in the beginning we did it all time he wanted Almst everyday sometimes twice and did it to keep him happy disnt really enjoy. It or care it was uncfortable to me he is my only and bu I’m not is his only anyway know we average once wk he always caims he tried and goes sleep b4 our 3yr old so we never get time alone buy we r suppose b trying for a second and know I how important sex is to a healthy marriage a it’s so frustrating Lol

    • ButterflyWings says:

      We do have a child (from my first marriage) but she has a life of her own, and a bedtime so it does interfere with our sex life.

      I have tried walking around naked – he finds that a deterrent and puts him off. I also have enough lingerie for a dozen women and it doesn’t interest him either. Everything from very racy to cute to plain – nothing interests him. He is not a visual person at all. He won’t take his clothes off unless I beg him too even though he knows I like to look at him and he doesn’t like me taking mine off.

      I have shown him all the scriptures that are relevant – he thinks having sex once every week or two is plenty for what the bible says about having sex regularly. He knows his bible well – he just interprets it differently on this issue.

      • ButterflyWings says:

        ooops that should read my daughter’s existance does NOT interfere with our sex life

      • I really think there is something else going on in most instances when a man isn’t interested visually, or tries to do the minimum. Usually, I hate to say it, that something is porn. Even if he’s not using now, sometimes the porn becomes so much a part of his sexuality that he can’t get aroused by a real woman and needs to recall the images.

        In other cases it honestly could just be low testosterone, or stress. But I would say for 90% of the women on this blog whose husbands have very little or no interest, and don’t respond to initiation, it’s often porn.

        I’m not talking about “he’d like it once or twice a week and I’d like it four times a week, but he’s happy to oblige” type of husbands. I mean the type of husbands who honestly try everything possible to get out of sex.

        It’s not always porn, but it quite often is. And that’s just so very, very sad.

        • ButterflyWings says:

          That is my worry but I have yet to come up with a way to bring up the topic without it sounding like an accusation. Even telling him that gently that I think he needs to get testosterone levels check led him to accusing me of basically insulting his manliness etc and I know I was extremely gentle and loving in how I said it. I’m pretty sure he’d tell me if he was currently doing it, but not totally sure – not sure enough to not worry.

          But I seriously doubt it’s a current issue – he is rarely on the computer without me or our daughter on the other computer next to him.

  10. We women need to get ourselves over ourselves, mainly. We know our brains have to be in gear to make love — and our brains are the first to get in the way. Our daily chores jump in line, the kids cut in front … we’re endlessly thinking and managing.

    I do know that when things in the relationship are tenuous, making love slides down the list faster than lightning. Knowing what I know now, I think I could overcome that, but when you’re in the trenches, reminding doesn’t help. God does, but we often leave him out of the decision while we busily pray for our spouse to do the changing.

    Women! :)
    Amy recently posted…Marriage Annoyances: To Fix or Not to Fix?My Profile

  11. When you are surrounded by men who are sexually frustrated, and you are not the same, it makes you so very aware of how special and awesome your wife is. When you are REALLY stratified, you feel such gratitude, and you feel very, very loved.

    Keep giving him sex till he can’t take any more, and unless he is a total selfish jerk his attitude towards you will change. It’s all well and good (and right) to say he should be that way with or without adequate sex, but if adequate sex leads to both of you having what you want, then you have the power to make it happen.
    Paul H. Byerly recently posted…Being Offended Does Not Make You Right – or Her Wrong.My Profile

  12. Marie, I think if you look at “sex” as more than just The Act, you’ll find the everyday challenge not as daunting. There’s way more to it than that.

  13. Something is block ur husband from wanting sex continue to pray for ur husband and get him to dr to makes sure his hormones r in order . I feel ur frustration just don’t let Satan when this battle and destroy ur marriage

  14. Jessica says:

    Hi. I’m new to this site and very glad I came upon it when I did. I’ll try to be as brief as possible, but I have lots to say. First off, I’m 6 1/2 months pregnant. I feel so fat… YES, I understand that is part of being pregnant, but at the same time, when you feel fat, your mind does not easily gear into “Sexy!” It’s also very hard to shave something you can’t see…. so, well…. unshaved also makes me feel unsexy.
    Next, is the most humiliating thing for me to post. My husband and I have been married for 13 months. We were sexually active months before marriage. I knew when I married him that he had a past (who doesn’t of some kind?!?!)!! I love him and that’s all that matters. He is faithful to me and loves me.
    However…. due to his past, he unknowingly gave me genital warts. I didn’t know I had them until I became pregnant. My OBGYN is treating them every few weeks and they keep coming back. My Dr says that they are most aggressive when you are pregnant, and hopefully they will slack up after pregnancy. I can’t explain to you how disgusting I feel! My husband feels terrible and guilty. He says they do not bother him. But I can’t describe how gross, nasty, and horrible they make me feel.
    Between being fat and pregnant, and battling genital warts, the last thing on my mind is sex. The last time I MADE myself have sex was Jan. 27. We haven’t since and as the days go on, the nastier and fatter I feel.
    Well, this morning I caught my husband masturbating. My heart was crushed. I’m not meeting his needs and I know this, yet I can’t make myself give into sex. Please give me advice on this very difficult time for me.

    • Oh, Jessica, I’m so sorry that you’re going through this! I totally understand about feeling disgusting with the warts. How difficult. It’s good that you’re seeing a doctor, and hopefully they’ll get taken care of soon.

      I think here’s what it comes down to: your husband made a big mistake in his past–a mistake that has really affected you today, and which you will likely deal with, on and off, for a very long time.

      And now it’s up to you to decide: I’m already dealing with the genital warts. Do I want to add to it a distant marriage, or do I want to create as good a marriage as I can today, because we can’t change the past.

      And only you can really answer that. But it’s like a choice is before you: you can continue to be angry–and most people would agree you’re very justified in being hurt and upset and disgusted–or you can try to forgive and move forward.

      Forgiving is really, really hard. I don’t mean to minimize it. But I will say that living in an increasingly distant marriage, when you’re mad at yourself because you know you’re contributing to the problem, and mad at him for causing it, is worse. And soon you’re going to have a baby who needs both of you!

      I’ve written before about sex when you’re pregnant and getting over his sexual past, and I hope those posts help you. I know you have a really rough road, but it sounds like your husband wants to walk on that road WITH you. I pray that you can go to God and ask God to help you let your husband be your support and help, and help you to forgive him.

      Blessings, and best wishes for your pregnancy.

    • Jessica,

      I just want you to know that my heart goes out to you. I have not ever been in exactly your situation, but I can relate to many of your feelings. (I AM *fat* – not just from pregnancies … but just from life! – but I’m working on that!) My husband is the most encouraging kind man I know who tells me I’m beautiful _at least_ once a day in a variety of sincere ways… but so often his words don’t push past the other thoughts and feelings taking up residence in my mind and it is SO hard to feel sexy at all.

      I prayed for you for peace and miraculous healing and that you find forgiveness an easier path than most! I urge you to follow Sheila’s advice… let forgiveness set you free and dig in for the long haul!

      Something my pastor said once that he wished every married couple would remember… the challenges in your marriage will cause you to fight – link arms and stand back-to-back and fight – know that you are fighting a common adversary…. FIGHT FOR YOUR MARRIAGE, not against your spouse.

      and my common advice to all married couples who arent perfect :) don’t expect it to be easy – just worth it!

  15. I’m having a hard time articulating what I’m thinking.

    I agree with you, Sheila, and I think this is a great post. Sex really, truly is important, and a marriage really will start thriving (in most cases) when both parties realize that. Wasn’t it you who posted about why it’s so dangerous for us to decide that sex isn’t very important? Or was that another blog? One of the reasons was, if we decide that sex isn’t important, we’re telling God that he doesn’t know what He’s talking about. That is true, and a pretty dangerous path to go down.
    Megan G. recently posted…back yardMy Profile

    • PS – I was only responding to Sheila’s post, not to any of the commenters above me. :)
      Megan G. recently posted…back yardMy Profile

    • Megan, I have said stuff like that in the past, though perhaps another blog did too! I love what you said about how ultimately it’s telling God He’s wrong.That’s so true.

      • Can you provide the link to the article where you explained that God thinks sex is important? When I got pregnant, my husband found it harder to have sex with me. The past 2 yrs we’ve only had sex 3 times each year. As I’m writing this, it’s been over 6 months since the last time. I think reading that article would help me and possibly him. Thank you!

        • Oh, that’s so rough! How about this: I did a series on what Do Not Deprive means, from 1 Corinthians 7, and you may find that helpful. It’s a three part series, but you can see the first here, and then follow the links to the others.

  16. my only fear with this type of article is all those men who are like SEE now do it! Cause they are there … and ignoring the other issues in your marriage won’t make them go away. It’s very hard to have sex with someone you don’t even like at the moment! …To often this is the only side of the coin people see… which is why I love your blog because I do think it’s very rounded/balanced! :)

    • Very true, Holly. The health of the marriage depends on BOTH people loving each other unconditionally and doing the right thing. We BOTH have an obligation to do that. I think for wives who are hurting, all I’d say is that if you take the first step, that often starts to heal other areas of your relationship. But I’d say to men reading this, WOO YOUR WIVES! That’s what they want. They want to hear your heart and trust you with theirs.

      • How is demanding to be wooed any different from deciding to withhold sex/yourself unless your husband performs your checklist? Sounds like an attitude that lacks commitment to the husband/marriage. It sounds a lot like saying to the husband, “You’re not good enough for me by yourself. You need to add something else to the mix for me to be interested.” Definitely not the unconditional love that so many women claim to want for themselves.

        • I never said a woman should demand to be wooed. I said, “Husbands–Woo your wives!!!!” I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear.

          • How is that any different?

          • Because I was talking to MEN! It’s fine to say to women “you need to love your husband unconditionally”, even if he does not meet your emotional needs, etc. But let’s not forget that Paul also told men to love their wives as Christ loved the church. I was telling men to woo their wives. Men SHOULD woo their wives. They SHOULD romance their wives. If they don’t, that’s not a reason for a wife to shut down. But men do have responsibilities in a marriage, too.

          • I’d like to see bible chapter and verse on that requirement.

          • Really? Paul said, Ephesians 5:25-33:

            25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

            Husbands are to love their wives; wives are to respect their husbands. On this blog I mostly talk about encouraging women to respect their husbands and live out their marriage vows to have an abundant marriage, but that doesn’t mean that I can never also say the same thing to husbands!

          • Anonymous says:

            I could be totally wrong here, but as a man when I hear the word “woo”, to many a man I believe that means we have to buy flowers, light the candles and basically go through the whole NASA launch sequence before lift off. And while that needs to be done regularly (monthly, quarterly,…maybe depending on the wife???). I think Sheila is saying make sure your wife feels loved everyday. You are listening to her and meeting her needs and in general loving her before yourself.

            And Sheila, again I could be totally wrong but it is quite possible Jsr’s wife has a long launch sequence…maybe on that can very rarely be met in the exact sequence and order and he’s afraid you are confirming that that is okay. And that might be why the hackles are up?

          • All too true Sheila! Too often we tend to look at our marriages in a selfish context, both as men and women, and forget that God gave each of us responsibilities in it.Just because my wife isn’t taking care of a husband’s needs is no excuse for him to be loving towards her. If we were to focus more on what Christ has put up with from us and continues to love and care for us, it would make it much easier to meet each others needs. On the subject in general, I would like to say, I think even more than sex , men need respect[which is what is commanded of wives]. In a very real sense,sexual desire from a wife communicates respect to her husband if she is respectful in other ways. At the same time, if she is not respectful in other ways, sex will not make him feel respected.FTR, I have been married to my wife for 36 years, and this has always been a struggle in our marriage, so I have some experience to speak from.When I struggle with being loving I like to read 1 Cor. 13- it reminds me that love is more than a feeling, it’s a way of living.`

  17. “When he makes love, he feels as if our hearts are connecting. It’s his way of checking in on the relationship.” How does this reconcile with lust? My husband has never cheated but I assume he struggles with lust like most men. If he wants to have sex with other women then what is that kind of sex? He isn’t checking in with their relationship. I’m a little jaded lately with hearing about failed marriages and because my husband can’t look at a pretty woman without commenting on her. I’ve had 4 kids in 5 years so I don’t look like those women anymore.

  18. Nunia bizness (jk) says:

    I don’t understand how “porn” can directly cause a man not to want the physical sex in front of him. I’m sure it seems logical but I can tell you that is just not the case. If a man isn’t having sex and the suspicion is a result of too much porn or a specific weird porn it has NOTHING to do with seeing a few naked pics of boobs and such. It has everything to do with his state of mind and more than likely there is something psychological going on that is DIRECTLY preventing him from engaging in sex. Why some guys want less is very weird to me and I personally think it abnormal but I’m sure it is normal for SOME guys to want less. May I be slightly candid here but if we’re talking ONLY missionary sex then maybe that’s the problem. If that is all I am “permitted” (sarcasm) to do then it’s going to be a long, lonely life. I despise using the term permitted but it sure does summarize the inequality in marriage: master- servant, Mother – child, etc.
    I thought marriage was two EQUAL people joining themselves together. Silly man I must be for having assumed that!!

    • Usually when a guy is into porn he is also into masturbation. Porn is the #1 reason for man’s lower libido. They’ve even coined a term for it–sexual attention deficit disorder–where a guy cannot perform “in real life”. It has nothing to do with what’s before him; it has everything to do with what he’s been filling in mind with.

  19. Yes! Sex is so important which can be very hard for a damaged woman to hear but I know it’s true. And I have to replace that truth with the lies I learned as a young girl. And that is hard but worth it. We were just talking about this Monday. So many sins boil down to sex and it’s because it is such an important thing in a man’s life. When we have sex more regularly, my husband’s attitude towards everything seems to change. And when his needs are met, he completely meets any I have. It’s a two way street but the pay off is worth it. I have to really watch my thoughts because I have too often found myself listening to the lies that sex is dirty and bad and then I start feeling used etc. It is really not easy. But I pray a lot about it and where I focus my thoughts, really does impact our sex life and my marriage.

  20. I like this article and comments. I think wives forget than sometimes that sometimes there husband need make love to feel loved. The stress of marriage with the kids, jobs, house hold cleaning and other comments can take the energy out of the need to reconnect physically. But if you cannot connect that way it starts to take away from your marriage. Me and wife had have issue with this. I am high drive she is low drive. When hear story of it the other way around hard for me to rap my head around but do know it is a problem have a friend that they are in that relationship. But back to my story. We have now scheduled two times a week to make love. If you are a low drive wife or husband try this. Just be present during the love making , the lets give over with and hurry up cheapens the time together. Just remember if your husband or wife is asking you for sex that is a good problem when they stop. Something bad is happening or going to happen affair, divorce, etc. Making love to your husband should not be hard you love him. He has seen you at your best and worst. And he is still there, so one night soon tap him on the shoulder and tell him I need to make love to you because I love you, now get naked.

    • Hey Jason,

      May I suggest that you take the other days a week and use them to get her motor running? Kiss her neck, flirt, grab her backside, give her long kisses before you head for work, tickle/wrestle with her, cuddle up on the couch and stroke her while you watch a movie. You might have to explain that this is just because she’s such an attractive wifey and NOT because you’re trying to manipulate/pressure/guilt her into sex right then so that she’ll relax. The goal is just to help her keep the sexual energy going so that it’s not a cold start on Friday (or whenever).
      Natalie recently posted…Still tired – still hanging aroundMy Profile

  21. I think this is such an immutable truth about men. I know it’s true for my man. Thanks for being so forthright about this need in a man’s life. We need that wake up call. I need that wake up call! Great post as always, Sheila!

  22. happy wife says:

    I was 17 years into my marriage before I finally got on board with my husband’s need for sex. We went to a love and respect marriage conference where the wife of Emerson Eggerichs told us her mother’s advice about t sex. “Why wouldn’t you do something that takes so little time and yet makes him so happy?” Through our years together I’d never really accepted my husband’s need but I did see his frustration when he wasn’t having much sex. He would take it out on our family and I thought it wasn’t fair. I made a real effort to have more sex which has lead to a lot more.
    Now my husband feels like he’s a king, our relationship is great and we are both so secure with each other. I even find myself frustrated when it has been a few days.
    I understand that it would be harder to be there for your husband in this way while your children are small, but I would love to help other wives realize the benefits of more frequent sex earlier than I did.

    • I love that quotation: “why wouldn’t you do something that takes so little time and yet makes him so happy?” Exactly! And when we go in with the right attitude–“I am going to have FUN tonight!” it will make US happy, too.

      • happy wife says:

        I should add that it has been more than three years of increased frequency. Sure, there are plenty of times when I do it just for him, but I would not go back. It is wonderful to be a wife in my forties, being desired and having desire. Both of our needs are being met, and life together is wonderful.

  23. I’d like more sex too but in my case, hubby & I work opposite shifts. I didn’t even get to see him today & it’s been over 24 hrs since I saw him last. Probably wont get to see him tomorrow or Friday either! So we connect on weekends & make love once a week as that’s all our schedule will allow at this point. There’s just no working around that right now

  24. My husband and I have been fighting about sex for about 2 days now (well, mainly 10 years, but we’ve gotten back to it today.) Basically, he wants it all of the time. He takes testerone shots and would do ‘it’ 2-3 times a day if he could. I don’t. I have maybe a week of the month when I like it and then the rest of the time it’s blah. It’s not him– I just don’t want it. Add to that the fact that I have 9 day periods and I don’t know what to do.

    He gets upset if I roll him away from me in the bed because it’s obvious he wants it…
    He gets upset if I just flat out tell him no (in my head I’m saving him the heartache of getting wound up for nothing)…
    It’s just getting to the point where neither of us likes it any more and it’s really hurting us. We spent a good 30 minutes fighting about it in the kitchen tonight.

    I don’t know what to do. I would love for him to just accept that there are times (and okay there are a lot of them) where I just don’t want to do it– or that I feel like a ‘container’ (ewww I know). And I know he’d love for me to just go with the flow and enjoy it.

    Sigh… I don’t know. I know I don’t want to fight over it any more. I just don’t know how to get us on the same page… or even in the same library.

    • ButterflyWings says:

      May I ask what he takes the shots for? Are they necessary? Can he cut back the dose?

      It sounds like he’s taking too much. If his doctor can back the amount and see if that helps?

      I don’t think there is anything abnormal about 2-3 times a day as to what most men would happily have, but they are men whose desire comes from their natural levels. but I think if he’s getting upset a lot at you saying no and he’s on testosterone shots, then perhaps it’s time to see the doctor about reducing his dose.

    • Hey Kelly….First I agree with Butterfly Wings that he needs to make sure his levels aren’t too high or that maybe he should be on a different kind of testosterone. I also agree with the other posters about possible PMDD.

      But, my husband is on testosterone. He gets his levels checked frequently and he is taking the kind that you rub on your armpit. For him, this works great. But he wants it much more now that he is on testosterone. But, of course that is natural! And I’m glad, because when he pursues me it makes me feel wanted, desired….and I love that! :) (but I didn’t always, keep reading ;))

      Those 2 things being said….maybe I misread your post, but it seems to me you think he should just be fine with the rejection and shouldn’t be getting upset with you, that he should just ‘understand’ you don’t want it. That you’re actually doing him a favor….But playing devil’s advocate here, what would happen if you decided to just ‘understand’ that he not only wants it but needs it? And instead of rejecting him, inviting him in? It just kind of sounds like you expect him to understand your side, but you’re not quite willing to do the same for him. I think this definitely calls for some compromise on both parts, but it’s not fair to him that he is constantly rejected.

      I say this from experience….For a long time, I did the same. I thought, why can’t he just understand I don’t want to have sex? And I was being completely selfish. I was not even taking into consideration his needs…only my own wants. And once I came to my senses, he and I had a very deep and open conversation about what that does/did to him. After constant rejection over and over, he loses his self worth and esteem. It is crushing…not only to their ego that we so often try to bash, but to their sense of being loved and desired by their woman! It makes them feel like they don’t matter to their wife. When I engagingly and enthusiastically have sex with my husband, it makes him feel like he can conquer the world! He feels more confident, secure, and yes, dare I say it….manly! And those things are important!

      There was a season in our marriage that I would constantly reject him…he would pursue me and I would push him away or roll over, or not do anything at all. And it became so much so that he finally quit pursuing me….and at that point the rest of our marriage went downhill too. Neither of us were happy. My constant blows to his ‘ego’ created an insecure and angry husband. Distrust filled our marriage, on both sides. His spirit had ultimately been crushed…..and it fundamentally was because of my selfishness and constant rejection. I believe this is why Sheila reiterates how important sex is to a marriage. It’s truly not just for the man….the woman needs it too….she just may not realize why.

      I was heartbroken when I realized that I had crushed my husband’s spirit, just by being selfish. (It’s really the same thing as if my husband would say something to hurt my feelings and to make me feel unloved over and over and over…eventually it would crush my spririt, so too does sexual rejection do to a man)I love my husband so very much and now (years apart from that time) we have sex regularly, and his confidence has came roaring back! I love seeing him happy and secure in himself, and secure in our marriage. He feels more ‘like a man’ and actually that is very sexy to me! I love being happy in our marriage! I just wish it hadn’t taken me so long.

      So, I hope that aside from any medical issues, that you can look past yourself and see the destruction that this produces, not only in your husband, but your entire marriage and home. I pray that God will give you wisdom and the ability to compromise.

      • Anonymous says:

        Although Mrs. Anonymous will handle all posting and thoughts from this point forward (the brains and beauty of this operation for sure!), but since that was probably the single best post I have read in six months of being here I had to say thank you. You said it perfectly.

      • ButterflyWings says:

        I wish I could explain to my husband how spirit crushing it is. The difference is, I think it’s quite a common thing and a socially accepted thing (within christian circles) to tell women that rejecting their husbands is selfish and crushes their husband’s spirit and even that it’s selfish and unbiblical. Particularly because the man is supposed to be the head and leader of the household, saying no is seen as a particularly bad thing.

        But when the shoe is on the other foot? It seems most christians I’ve deal with take the attitude that a woman should just submit to a husband’s constant rejection of sex. While Sheila’s blog isn’t one that says this, many others do – many churches push it and many christian women heavily push it.

        That whether it’s saying yes to whenever asked for sex, or saying nothing when there is constant rejection when they are asked, it seems most christians push the attitude that the woman should always submit. I mean, there are those willing to speak up for women for the first problem – saying that their are valid reasons why women can (and even should) say no, such as when genuinely ill, or soon after childbirth, or where the request is abusive. But no one ever seems to speak out about women who are deprived of sex – even when it’s breaking them to pieces emotionally, mentally and spiritually by the rejection.

        The constant rejection can lead to women having their spirits so crushed that they consider suicide they are so depressed by it. But where men can turn to others for support when their wife has a sexual dysfunctional, women on the other hand have their friends just tell them they should be thankful and their churches just tell them they just need to submit to their husband’s wishes. Which in turn leads them to feeling like there is nothing they can do other than suffer greatly in silence, alone.

        • I understand your pain.
          Your husband is sinning if he turns you down for sex. If he believes the bible you can show him 1 Corinthians 7. His body belongs to you, as does yours to him. That doesn’t mean you have the right to shut your spouse’s body down, but rather that each has a claim to the other for marital sex. I wouldn’t beat him over the head with his sin though. If he agrees he’s in sin, he might require patience and understanding to work through whatever psychological/emotional/physical issues are blocking him. If he dismisses his sin, follow Matthew 18:15-22, 2 Timothy 2:24-25 and Galatians 6:1. I know I have struggled with the gentleness and forgiveness parts myself, but God’s instructions for the victim are there as well.

          • ButterflyWings says:

            That’s why we went to a christian counsellor – I was hoping she’d say something about his constant refusal being unbiblical. Instead she said it was completely normal and healthy to want sex that little.

            He doesn’t see it as sin to constantly refuse, and he doesn’t see it as biologically abnormal (and something he should get checked out for underlying causes) either.

            I don’t know any christian guys who I can turn to, and the christians (female) who I’ve turned to for help have just said it’s fantastic he wants sex so little and wish their husbands felt the same way.

            He doesn’t want me talking to the pastor at his church (or any of the elders) so I’ve run out of options – the only christian men who he’d listen to, I’d have to defy his wishes (or I should say “orders”) if I went to speak to them about our sex problem. And quite simply, it’s a very personal issue. I don’t feel comfortable or safe going to a near stranger (even if he is a pastor) and talking about our sex problems.

            I would have endless patience if he admitted there was a problem and he tried to fix it, but all he has done for months is insist his lack of interest is completely normal, and his constant rejection of me is perfectly acceptable.

            I’m out of ideas.

            He has said he’ll go see a general practitioner about his depression, but he was rejecting me constantly long before he got depressed. And even if his depression explains his lack of interest, it doesn’t explain his attitude of why he thinks his lack of interest is normal and healthy or why he sees no problem constantly rejecting me.

            I should add… despite his lack of interest, he has no problem “functioning” on the few occasions he doesn’t say no. Which is why I think his lack of interest is an underlying physical problem like low testosterone not his depression. I’m a nurse and my experience with depressed men is they also have huge problems with function if they have a lack of interest.

          • Your christian counselor may not have been a christian. She was definitely not following the bible. Jesus told us what to do when someone sins against us. The apostles said it is better to obey God than men. The bible says to submit to your husband, BUT if that submission results in committing sin, obey God. Jesus told us what to do about being sinned against. You should obey Him, not just for yourself, but also for your husband. That bible passage comes right after Jesus mentions rejoicing for the one found sheep over the 99 that stayed and that God doesn’t wish any to perish. The only additional cautions I would give are that your husband may be hiding something from you, and bringing other bible followers into the situation could force it to the surface. Forcing the situation, like Jesus told us to, could result in destabilizing your marriage due to your husband’s disobedience. You should mentally/emotionally prepare for that scenario when you take the next step.

  25. Mrs Annonymous says:

    Mrs Annonymous
    (moderation preview) 34 mins ago
    I’m certainly no theologian, all I can speak definitively is what I’ve experienced. Thirteen years into my marriage, we were on the brink of divorce. I was ready to leave. Actually, I had left. I thought my husband was *THE* biggest jerk in the world. Life fell apart on us on my last birthday. I ended up in counseling (both of us, really) and at the doctor. After years of health problems, I went to a naturopath who did extensive testing and found many things wrong, one of them being that I had virtually no testerone in my system.

    After a few months of testerone therapy, counseling and other lifestyle changes, we have gone from the worst marriage (seriously so bad I won’t talk about it on the Internet) to the best marriage in the church. In just seven months life changed dramatically. YES, dramatically. Both my husband and I would say we are the happiest we’ve ever been.

    What changed? Well, lots. Mostly in me. Yes, there was a lot of physical stuff that with the help of a skilled naturopath I was able to heal from, but just as importantly, my attitude. I realized that my husband has stuck with me and he really must love me. Time to get my head and heart straight and do this!!!

    The biggest difference? While he had already rarely gone more than 72 w/o sex, I put my mind and heart in it. I *wanted* to be there because I knew it made him happy. NOW, unless there is vomit, we never go more than 48 hours, sometimes (to his delight) 36. It makes him happy, which makes me happy. He would bend over backwards for me, especially now that he knows that I love him, want him and respect him as a man.

    I would say that I still have a low drive. The testerone helped immensely. But I’m still not a touchy person. But you know, it’s more than just me. I love my husband and I WANT him to be happy.

    Together, we could conquer anything. Because I show him love and respect through sex I believe he could conquer the world. The things that frustrate us about each other, yeah, we can usually blow them off now. 8 months ago, it would have been an ugly fight. (I’m a SAHM, he works from home – we are together 24/7 and wouldn’t have it any other way – at least not now).

    Yes, good sex does change things. Did it mean I had to look past my own nose and consider him, how he felt, what he wanted and needed. Yup. Was it worth it? You BETCHA!!

    I only wish I had gotten past my selfish and immature attitude and applied earlier what I had known for years.

  26. This is essentially my story, in that our marriage was in huge trouble years ago and I honestly believe that having a good sex life kept us in the game long enough to work through our issues. Had we not enjoyed that physical intimacy, I don’t know if we would have stayed long enough to build intimacy in the other areas.
    J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) recently posted…Spock Speaks: An Interview with My HusbandMy Profile

  27. We have a happy sex life. I totally find the more frequently we have sex, the easier it is to get things done around the house. But it goes beyond that. When we have frequent sex, we connect intimately – we’re more in tune with one another, we argue less, we’re more honest and open in our communication, I respect him more and he loves me more – proven experience! Great encouragement, Sheila!
    Hannah recently posted…When’s the Last Time You Wrote a Love Letter?My Profile

  28. Kelly I would go to the doctor like Mrs Annonymous and have your self checked out. If you are on the pill it can kill your sex drive. I would tell you your husband to be patience but you two have to talk about the problem with your sex life it seems weird but make love then talk about it. Takes the edge off the issue. Also are there any other problems in the marriage. Those will effect the bedroom and outside the bedroom. Good luck pray for help and direction.

    • Thanks for your prayers. We’ve actually talked about me going to the doctor. I think I have PMDD (a more severe form of PMS). I’ve been putting off going to the doctor, but it’s getting to the point where I’m just going to have to do it. It’s not just my husband. I don’t even look at a cute guy and think, ‘Oh, I’d like to do him’. Nope. It’s just not there. Our ‘talks’ usually turn into fights where sex is concerned.

      I’m still VERY attracted to him (he’s a cutie). I just don’t like the sex (maybe bc we have 3 small kids and it always has to be rushed, timed, planned, or right when one of the kids wakes up… never fails that one of the kids will wake up during the ‘deed’ lol)

      • ButterflyWings says:

        I found part of your comment interesting…” I don’t even look at a cute guy and think, ‘Oh, I’d like to do him’.”

        I personally want sex at least 1-2 times a day and yet even for the three years between losing my first husband and meeting my second husband I never had that thought.

        I think that thought comes from a very different perspective. Wanting to “do” your husband should come from love – wanting to “do” a hot stranger comes from lust.

        I adore my husband and would be quite happy with multiple times a day but never have once see a hot stranger that even remotely interests me in that way.

        Don’t feel you’re missing something if you have no attraction for hot guys – it just means you’re blessed to not have the temptation of lust.

  29. It’s getting to the point where I feel like its painful to read your blog. I am the one who wants to have sex, we haven’t had sex in six months, and he doesn’t seem too motivated to seek out a doctor to look into why things just aren’t working right. Because he is resistant, I’ve just learned to turn my sexual feelings off. Why bother getting worked up just to know I will be rejected again? I still ask/initiate once in a while, and suffer the crushing blow of rejection. I guess I can see the point of women who don’t like to have sex. It’s easier this way, in a way. Neater. I have time to read before bed. I guess that will have to satisfy.

  30. Mrs Annonymous says:

    Kelly, PLEASE go to the doctor regarding PMDD. I have suffered from it for many years. Honestly, I almost lost my life. I saw the doctors for more than 8 years with no answers other than PMDD. If it is, it can get worse. Actually, I’d HIGHLY recommend seeing a naturopath. Mine gave me more info in two visits than 8 years of medical doctors. She checked out so many things in my body that the doctor didn’t want to even think about. She has found what my body needed and my body and brain are functioning again. Praise God!!! My insurance covered naturopathy (and I don’t have the best coverage to begin with). Please do no delay. From the research I’ve done, I firmly believe that a lot of it can be nutrition related.

    I’m happy to share my story and what I’ve learned with anyone who has PMDD. Please feel free to email me at lovejoypaper (at) hughes (dot) net.

    I will be praying for you – I know how hard it is.

    • Thank you for this! :) I’ll have to look into that. I have to go for a full physical before April anyway (work related). I’ll definitely bring it up.

      • Mrs Annonymous says:

        Yes, please do Kelly. The medical doctors put me on various anti-depressants for years and I didn’t find it to help much. They wanted to put me on Yaz or other birth control, but knowing what I’d been through with my body, I firmly said NO. My body couldn’t handle it.

        After micro-nutrient testing with my naturopath, I found I was severely depleted in many key nutrients and amino acids. I have been taking supplements and have drastically changed my diet. I seriously cannot even begin to tell you the difference!!!!! I had PMDD, but I also think as it progressed I worked into adrenal gland fatigue as well. Or vice versa, I’m not really sure. All I know is when I changed my diet and we identified what I was missing, my body is now working as it should. I had gotten to the point where I had to start taking lorazepram (however you spell it) the week before my period. Six months later, I’m at the moment in what should be my worst part of the month and I feel like it’s just another day. I feel fine, none of my previous symptoms. I *truly* believe it’s because my body is now working as God intended it to and it is balancing itself and the hormones.

        I was a skeptic. I was all in on the modern medicine front. But then, after years of them not being able to help me, I thought “what else do I have to lose….a little bit of money, but it’s worth it as nothing else has helped, in fact it’s only made me worse.” Ironically, we have now switched all our health care to the naturopath (which really is very nil as we are outside of my PMDD a very healthy family) because of the way that my body has been able to heal itself with the insight she gave us. Good food as God intended it, the missing supplements to boost me until I could rebuild from food and my body is again working. God is good.

        • Mrs Annonymous says:

          Kelly, also, the more information you have when you go into your doctor, the better. I used a chart to track my symptoms. The doctor greatly appreciated it. I can’t find the one I used (as it was 6+ years ago), but here is the best one I can find (good, not great like the one I used but definitely sufficient). http://www.stjoes.ca/media/WHCC/PMDD-Charts.pdf I will keep looking and if I can find the one I used I’ll link it too.

          As with all medical care, I’ve found the better documented you are, the better care you’ll get (perhaps its just that I’m not very pushy).

  31. I giggled when I read that quote “Make love, and we’re putty in your hands.” I always teased my husband when we’d discuss having more kids, and say, “You know that ultimately you’re putty in my hands.” It’s really true that you stay more connected on all levels when sex is more frequent. If I take the challenge, my husband may send you flowers. 😉
    Dawn @ My Home Sweet Home recently posted…Before & After Shots: Here Comes the SunMy Profile

  32. #challengeaccepted

    However, does the sex challenge include oral because my menstrual lasts longer than 72 hours. We’re not in the business of having intercourse during those days or when I’m ovulating (we practice the Creighton Model of Natural Family Planning).

    • Hi Rae, My personal feeling is that it’s up to every woman whether you take off your period or not. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to say “no sexual activity at all for five days” IF the rest of the month is active. It really depends on the woman. Some women feel so awful during that time that anything sexual is the farthest thing from their minds. I wrote about it here: Why Sex Should Be Mutual. Other women have no problem at all during that time, so it just depends on you!

  33. Does Everything Really Come Down to Sex?


    Any other questions? :)

  34. This is such a difficult topic for me, because for years I experienced pain AFTER sex. Doctor after doctor, misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis, and finally was diagnosed with vulvodynia, which has no good cure. I suffered with this for years with my husband. Needless to say, it did a real job on my mental state. When you experience pain with sex, not only do you not want to do it anymore, you feel incredibly inadequate, especially when you read posts like these. It was frustrating, and given we had other problems as well, made everything between my husband and me a mess.

    Things are better between us, but we still don’t have sex often at all because I fear the pain that may happen after sex (severe irritation for 2-3 days, then it disappears). I want to be able to follow this type of advice, but my fear gets in the way. My drive is low (I’m seeing a doctor in a couple of weeks so I will be requesting a testosterone test), and my mind is not in it, as much as I want it to be.

    It’s very frustrating.

    • Mrs Annonymous says:

      I’m so sorry Wiz. That would be very difficult. I hate pain (actually, I fear pain – I can’t remember what the name for that is, but if I know something is going to be painful, I fear it).

      When you request a testosterone test, there are different ways to do it. I actually had two done. First was saliva based (as part of a month long hormone panel in which I took I believe 15 saliva samples). The second was a blood test. The saliva test came back on the low side of normal. The blood work came back at near zero. After discussing my low drive and other symptoms with my naturopath we decided that the test reflecting near zero was probably the more accurate assessment. She then prescribed testosterone.

      I’m just mentioning this so that if it comes back “normal” but you don’t feel it is correct, there are different tests and type may be more accurate than another.

      I would mention that there are possibly other ways you can meet your husbands needs without it always being vaginal intercourse. I’m new to this blog, so I don’t know what info Sheila has, but I’m sure she can chime in with other tips 😉

      • Thank you, Mrs. Anonymous. I appreciate your encouragement. I’m new to the blog as well, and I have found lots of great tips already!

  35. Jeannette says:

    To me it’s simple. Sex releases oxytocin in my husband. Oxytocin makes him feel loved and able to better feel love toward me.

  36. This is a concept that gets so skewed, particularly in Christian environments. It really comes down to remembering this. We should do what we do for GOD. Not for people, or even ourselves. God is the Master Planner. He created us to work a certain way. When we do things correctly (like honoring and respecting our husbands and providing for their needs/sexually and otherwise or living and cherishing our wives …wooing them) we are following God’s plan and there are natural blessings for doing that…just as there are natural consequences for Not. But even if our partner has decided they don’t need to follow God’s plan, that doesn’t release us from our obligations…And our rewards may come later, but we will be rewarded for our obedience….the problem is that being That self-sacrificing is often too difficult for most.

  37. Sheila Dickerson says:

    I am a 45 year old woman newly married to the man I believe God created me for. He is perfect for me in every way and in no way pushes me for sex. We met 14 months ago and in this short time we have had so many things going on from planning a large wedding and honeymoon, some traveling, buying a house and still dealing with all of the everyday stressers we had PRIOR to “US”. I had a verbally/emotionally abusive previous marriage and came in to this not feeling very sexy. Although my husband does and says all the right things and I feel his heart talking to me I still am not on the same sexual schedule he is. Because of my past I feel like everything has to be perfect in order for me to “perform” well ….I have to have just showered, shaved my legs, do all the girly things it takes for me to begin to feel sexy. because of that and the fact that my husband gets up at 4:30 AM and works in the heat 10-12 hours a day and by the time he is tired and wants to go to bed…I am usually not. We make love usually 3-4 timeas a week and just like him it is perfect!!! BUT I also know as a man he really needs my attention everynight so….this is what I do. He will go to bed and sleep a couple of hours and when I am ready for bed I wake him up. Sometimes it does turn in to all of the “normal” lovemaking but many times its 10 minutes of pure pleasure for him. In the morning he feels energized, loved and really wanted since I took the time to wake him up. Just a suggestion for those of you who want to please your man but don’t always want to spend an hour or more doing so.

    • Wow, Sheila, we sound very much alike! I could have written most of your reply. 😉

      I remarried 1 1/2 years ago at the age of 46 to a man I believe God brought into my life after a twenty year emotionally/verbally abusive first marriage.

      I too went into my new marriage with a little bit of a skewed idea of what sex should be in marriage since it was horrible with my ex.
      My present husband is so loving, caring and gentle (well, when I want him to be ;)) and our lovemaking is amazing. At first I had a hard time letting go and allowing myself to enjoy him pleasing me since my ex never ever tried to please me. And I’ve come to enjoy OS, both giving and receiving.

      My husband drives a logging truck and he is up at 2:30am and works 12 hours daily, except the weekends. And since I’m the higher drive spouse in our marriage it has gotten very frustrating for me because we pretty much only have the weekends for lovemaking and usually it only happens once because he has told me he needs a few days in between.
      I’ve shared my frustration with him about not feeling as connected when days and almost a week goes by without sex and bless his heart he has tried, but still the early morning hours and long work days make him extremely tired during the week. One time though, my husband went to bed a little earlier than usual to get a couple hours sleep before I came in to bed so he could wake up to make love. It was great, except I was feeling guilty the whole time because I take so long to climax and I knew he needed to be up so early. He said it didn’t matter because he would rather be making love to me than sleeping.

      I like your idea of waking him up just to please him, but I admit that is hard for me because it is so long in between having long, slow lovemaking sessions which allow me to orgasm. So, I guess that sounds pretty selfish, huh? I love my husband more than anything, but I admit I get resentful of the fact that he climaxes every time, while he takes me a long time and I’m the one that really wants sex more than him. So, this is something I’m working on and maybe I just need to pray harder about being able to selflessly please my husband and not think of myself.

  38. I hate to ask this very difficult question, but for women whose husbands are simply not interested in sex, at what point do you ask if they are interested in women at all? I have known two women over the past 25 years whose husbands were not interested at all, and it turned out that they were gay. One of the women told me that in many ways it was a relief to find that out (although still devastating), because for so many years she thought that something was wrong with her. I’m not saying that this is common, but at what point does a woman have to consider that possibility? And how can she address it?

    For women who are dealing with a low-interest husband, the Spice and Love blog is very helpful.

    • I’d definitely ask once it became an issue that was clearly out of the normal range. That being said, many men with homosexual tendencies have had and maintained good marriages. Through prayer they’ve been able to be sexual with their wives, even if they weren’t normally attracted to women. So it doesn’t mean the marriage is over necessarily. But with all difficult issues, I think the key is keeping a good friendship so that you can discuss things, and keeping some close relationships with mentors so that you have a support system around you.

  39. I didn’t read everyones post so maybe i’m a repeat but i’d sure like to add that not every man is the same. I’d give anything to have a husband who WANTED sex more and who loved that his wife was willing to give it. I am the higher drive wife and I struggle all the time with this lack of intimacy, sex and affection from my husband. He just isn’t very affectionate and I could give him sex every day and it wouldn’t change him. He certainly wouldn’t be putty in my hands. My husband doesn’t help much around the house or with the kids BUT i am not complaining about that because he does work very long hard hours and is a great provider. My only issue is I want to be cherished like the Bible says a husband ought to cherish his wife. I know my husband loves me and when we do make love it is great but once its over its over. There is no lingering closeness and my husband has never felt inclined to do more for me because I have never said no. There is also no extra affection afterwards. If I wan a hug or kiss from him I have to go get. After almost 9 years of marriage i’m about tired of always being the one who makes all affection and most of the time sex happen.

    • Mandy, I’m so sorry that you’re going through this, and let me reassure you that you are not alone! I’ve written quite a few posts for women in your situation, and you can see the start of one series here. I hope that helps!

  40. This is great advice and yields boat loads of results, thanks! Years ago I started practicing this mentality: instead of being defensive where sex was concerned (just doing it whenever I had to) I chose to be on the offensive (actively pursuing my husband – WHENEVER I could). I saw my marriage morph into something so beautiful and powerful that I can barely find the right words to describe it. It not only changed the face of our marriage and my man – but it changed ME. I learned a true saying that is just not true anymore, (or perhaps it never really was): The way to man’s heart is not through his stomach, it’s through his fly.
    Robyn Gibson recently posted…Intentions Don’t Count ’til “GO”My Profile

  41. Wondering... says:

    Hello, my husband and I desperately want to have intercourse. We’ve been married a year and haven’t been able to largely in part due to his penis not being able to fit into my vagina. I’ve been trying to “stretch” it out by putting fingers up there and wigging them around. My vagina just feels very tight. Any advice? We are committed to making sex work!

    • Oh, I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this! I assure you that as big as the penis is, the vagina is a VERY stretchy muscle, and if we learn to relax and control those muscles, it really can be done.

      That being said, there are a certain number of women who suffer from a lot of pain during intercourse because the muscles tense up–a condition called vaginismus. I have a post on it here, and here’s a resource that many women have found very useful. It explains what’s going on, teaches you how to control the muscles, and gives you dilators of various sizes to help you feel more comfortable.

      For some women it is a mental issue stemming from trauma in their past, but for many there’s no real cause found for being tight. If you’re comfortable, talking to your doctor may help to reassure you. But go look at that article and at the vaginismus kit and see if those help! I’ll say a prayer for you.

  42. I didn’t read the long lists of posts yet either ,although I seriously dought this is a repeat .What advise would you give to woman who are married to men that refuse to get help with depression and anger management? Our family has experienced much more than our fair share of loss. My problem stems from my husband never moving on from his/our loss. He is unstable with his moods and acting out ,regularly lashing out in anger , usually about situations he has caused and never can see his part in it.We have three special needs kids which he doe not have a healthy relationship with .There is no intimacy left between us . Sex is one more thing that gets added to my to do list ,because I’m a Christian and I have to right?. It has always been painful phically ,and now emotionally. The Dr.’s just say oh it will get better your young ,you will loosen up as you get older .Well it has been almost 15 years now and it is still very uncomfortable for days afterwards ,just to have to en dour allover again. I’m a strong believer in family and healthily marriages I don’t know if that is even possible anymore or should even be considered . I’m already a Married Single Mom is there any hope for woman who are married to men with mental illness ? I feel so trapped and alone !

    • Nichole, that’s such a difficult road you’ve got! I’m so sorry. It sounds like you are really trying to love everyone in your family, and it’s just so difficult for you.

      A few very quick thoughts: as for pain, I totally understand that (I had it too), and I do have a post on it here, with some recommendations for treatment. I know doctors aren’t always sympathetic and don’t always understand.

      As for the mental illness, that’s really a tough one. Some mental illness is spiritually based, I do believe, but much is physiological/biological. And when people start not understanding how they contributed to problems, and lashing out, sometimes it’s because they honestly can’t see any differently. I’d say in that situation you really need to get help and get a support system around you that understands. Is there a mental health support group that you can join in your area? Is he getting treatment for it? I think you need to ask for help–both from your doctor/psychiatrist and from those who know you at church. You do have a lot on your plate.

      The other thing I would say is that yes, God loves the family, but what He is looking for most is wholeness. Keeping a marriage status quo with a husband who is becoming abusive or angry towards you or the kids is not His will. He wants your husband to come to a close relationship with Him. Just because you’re married to the man does not mean that you can’t go and get help. Yes, you want to save the marriage, but you also want to be a spouse, not an enabler. It may be that you need to seek others in real life who can see what is going on, who can understand both sides, and who can support you as you work towards wholeness for everyone.

      Again, I’m so sorry. But you are not mean to be alone, and the only way forward may be to call the body of Christ to you and say, “I have a problem, and you are the ones that God has put in place to help me. So please, help us get some support and find different ways of dealing with our day to day stresses.”

      I hope that helps!

  43. An excellent post! Thank you, Sheila!

  44. HemingwayCat says:

    I have a 19-year-old developmentally retarded nephew, who is starting to act out and demonstrate his interested in women and sex. I know the Bible recommends marriage for those who lack the gift of singleness, but he can’t really understand the Biblical responsibilities of being a husband. I don’t know what to do with him, and other family members fear that if he doesn’t get some sexual outlet – say a prostitute or girlfriend – he will end up raping a woman. I know most men that age have very high libidos. What is the answer?

  45. CoffeeRun says:

    As a husband, married to the same woman 26 years. I would have to agree with just about everything you have to say in this article. I know that when we have droughts in our sex life, I feel unloved, I feel unimportant, and I have less interest in the things that she is worried about. (I know I should not do that last one, but I am being honest.)

    I am debating sending this article to my wife, but not sure if it will make things better or worse.

  46. “God made men and women very differently, and for men, sex is a huge need. The fact that so many men reject sex in marriage is just a sign that our world is getting more and more messed up.”

    I don’t think there’s that much difference. Men have a greater need for physical release due to anatomy, but sex is not just a guy thing.

    God made sex enjoyable for men AND women. Sex is a huge need for both husband AND wives. The fact that so many women aren’t interested in sex in marriage is just a sign that our world is getting more and more messed up.

    • Yes, I’d agree with you that we both HAVE a need for sex, and that it was created for both.

      I think the difference is that while most men recognize their need, many women don’t. So many women who answered the surveys I did for The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, for instance, see sex more as a hassle than anything else. So while we may have the need, I don’t believe that women see it as a need in the same way that men do. Hope that makes sense!

  47. I know this is true, and I wold love to oblige my husband’s desires, but between my size and our past, I have a real emotional/mental issue getting there…. I was very attractive when my husband and I started dating and married… I got pregnant right away (honeymoon baby) and as soon as my husband found out I was pregnant, he stopped having sex with me. I nursed my son for almost 2 years and my husband didn’t like the way I smelled, so from the time I got pregnant to the time we started trying to get pregnant a 2nd time, we may have had sex 1/2 dozen times. I put on a lot of weight with my pregnancy, and he had no qualms about out telling me that he wanted me to lose the weight so he could find me attractive again, he wasn’t mean about it, but I’m sure you know how deeply those types of comments go. We have gone over 1 year 2x in our marriage! At one point, I lost close to 100 lbs, and I couldn’t keep his hands off of me – which at first was wonderful, but I started feeling very resentful that he only wanted me because I was ‘hot’ again. I have put most of the weight back on. So, I am FAT and I can’t get past that because of our past. He tells me that it doesn’t bother him anymore because he is older?? He says the right things, that he loves me and I am his and all that… But those hurts from the past won’t allow me to believe him. Last time we made love (months ago) I had a hard time getting involved because I was spending all my time trying to prevent him from seeing my body, or touching a ‘roll’ of flesh…. I miss him, I miss having a healthy sexual relationship and it saddens me that I can’t get past my hang ups to give him what he wants and needs…. Help? (And yes, he has dabbled in porn in the earlier years, I do not believe he does anymore- but that is there as well, that feeling of never being able to live up to his expectations of a perfect or glamorous woman)

  48. What about those husbands who cannot physically have sex, due to health, medications, etc.? I have some older and younger women who have come to me about this. I know how important sex is to intimacy, so is marital intimacy possible without it? Thanks in advance!

  49. I try to understand where Sheila is coming from. Certainly sex is important in marriage! However, I struggle with the emotions. The last thing I want to do is have sex, especially when life is so challenging! We are going through so much financial stress that I can’t really bring myself to be intimate with my husband. I am trying to deal with thoughts of leaving him, and not being employed makes this quite difficult. Right now life is just throwing me such kinks that all I want to do is run away! Sharing my feelings and thoughts with him in regards to this is quite difficult, as I try not to say things that I will regret and will come back to haunt me, as is so often the case.
    so, at this time I cannot be bothered to think about pleasing him with sex. I have so much worries on my plate as it is and adding sex to the mix is just not on my priority list. We are about to lose our home, even though I am a Nurse, I can’t find a job in my area. I can’t just pick up and move because of his job, so in essence I am stuck!!!!!
    It’s not to say that I disagree with the whole sex on a regular, but how in the world can I be intimate with a person who at this time is just not really on the same level as me. The sex is to satisfy him, while beneath it all I am fighting to keep it all together. It’s just not right. No, it’s just NOT!!

  50. I am not sure why but this post makes me feel a little angry inside. I guess like women should sex their husbands regularly so that their husbands will be productive members of the household, to quote you “want to be home more. He’ll want to be with you more. He’ll want to be more involved with the family. He’ll find it easy to be more involved with the family! He won’t have to be fighting that feeling that he isn’t really wanted or appreciated; he’ll be able to pitch in and help knowing that he is. It invigorates him; it energizes him; it propels him to action.” It just seems so ridiculous to me. I wake up at 5, feed the baby, make the kids lunches, take the kids to school and daycare, go to work, come home, make dinner, clean up dinner and prepare for the next day. I literally don’t stop until I get into bed (usually around midnight.) I do all of these things because it is what I have to do. If I don’t my husband won’t. How am I supposed to make sure he is pleased when he doesn’t do anything to help or please me. Do I like sex? Yes, but when am I ever energetic enough to do it? Hardly ever. “Sex is your way of saying to him, “I’m committed to you, I love you, I want you, I value you.” If he knows that and feels it, it’s so much easier to then bring up the really big issues that are bothering you.” Wait, so me taking care of our children, feeding our family, keeping our home, none of these things say that I love and value him? I bristle against the notion that in order for our husbands to want to please, help, show us love that we first have to somehow convenience them with sex. I can certainly
    say that I would feel a whole lot more receptive to sex (and would have more energy instead of falling into bed at night) if he ever washed bottles, or did the dishes after dinner, or washed the laundry every now and then. I get it, somebody has to give first, but WHY DOES IT ALWAYS HAVE TO BE ME?

  51. Stephanie says:

    I’m 26 years old and I’ve been married for about 7 years now. I’m glad you posted something like this. Before I read the book “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands” by Dr. Laura Schlessinger about 5 years ago, I didn’t understand this and although I have never refused my husband. If I ever did, I always felt guilty afterwards because it was an emotional thing for me as much as for him.
    Men are so simple when it is put into perspective and our relationship blossomed because that book changed my whole attitude and I became a much better wife to him. Plus, once I changed and was more excited for him in every aspect, he responded and filled in the needs I had!

    I think that if we are all Christian women here, God expects us to respect and love our husbands. Our nature is to serve as Christ did and not expect anything in return, right? It doesn’t always and won’t always have to be you to start. But if you want a change, lead the way. We are our husbands’ moral and emotional supporters in every aspect and if that means more sex is what gives them confident. Than that is what they need without us being condescending for the way God made them, right? I think there is nothing shallow about a man wanting his woman as long as he doesn’t expect her to look like a model all the time too.

  52. Honestly, I’m one of those ladies that could go quite a long while between sexual moments with my husband. Usually, I’m simply having sex because he needs it, and I love him and want to meet that need. That being said, however, I would feel just fine without it. I do love my husband, and find him attractive. He’s really considerate during sex, too, so it’s not an issue of inconsiderate sex…however I just don’t physically really “get off” on sex.

    Some background that may be affecting it for me:

    I’ve never had as high a drive as he has, nor do I believe I’ve ever taken away from sex the amount of pleasure he does; I’ve never climaxed, and I’m just totally grossed out by the 24 hour oozing of sticky and not-so-pleasant smelling sexual fluids afterwards, despite deep washing.

    I also suffered abuse and sexual uncomfortableness I suffered from my grandfather and father when I was a toddler and teenager, respectfully.

    We also have two children (3 1/2 years and 20 months) who always seem to be needing one or the other of us (usually me), and whom I always seem to be nursing until the next pregnancy, so I also get a bit touched-out. I’m currently pregnant with our third, and bless my husband, he’s been so patient with the fact that I spent the first three months feeling physically ill at even the thought of sex (how sad is that?), and about another month feeling scratch-my-skin-off itchy from some sort of allergic rash induced by my pregnancy hormones that made it impossible for me to even be caressed.

    And, of course, there’s the added fact that all three of our children have been conceived at a time when we as a couple where not in a good place in our marriage (1st one only, thank The Lord that’s been dealt with) or I just haven’t been ready to have another one. I love all three of our kids dearly, but I had long, traumatic births with my first two (we almost lost both of them and me (1st delivery)), and I have to admit that there’s some anxiety with the upcoming birth, but we’re putting our faith in God for this next delivery, just as with the previous ones. The thing for me is that my husband wants minimum of 6, maximum of 20 children…I kid you not. That totally freaks me out with my history of difficult labors, but my husband really believes in the enjoy and pray that God’s will be done, with a little regard to whether or not I’m ready, but he’s always ready long before I am and starts saying things like “I hope that’s a baby” which upsets me to the point of tears sometimes because I’m again, usually still nursing, waking up multiple times at night (for our second child), and not looking forward to another long, difficult labor/delivery. I don’t believe he does it to upset me, he just has a strong desire for lots of children. I love children, but need more time between the deliveries.

    There are a couple other things that cause added complications, but they are not something that I’ll write here as the 1st issue has been addressed in another post by others, and the 2nd one is not something I would feel comfortable discussing on a public forum out of respect for my husband.

    Anyway, all of the above combined, makes it difficult to fully enjoy sex, no matter how much I love him and do really enjoy being with him. I would love to be able to have sex that is fully enjoyable for both of us, but I’m just not at that point. Right now, as I said before, I try to give of myself to my husband (enthusiastically), but I do wish that I had the initial desire to go with it so that it wasn’t something that I didn’t really enjoy. I hope and pray that as time goes by that God will change me to make sex not just enjoyable for him, but for me as well.

  53. the husband says:

    I am at the end of my rope. I’ve tried everything to explain to my wife my need for sex.

    I even send her these articles, which she completely rejects. We have sex on average once a week. But, even then, I still don’t feel like she really wants it and is interested in me. She promised to make love to me recently, but just fell asleep. In the morning, she blamed ME for nothing happening.

    I initiate often…her almost never. I hate to initiate for fear of being rejected. Today, we argued. She said I simply act like a victim and said, “There’s no way I’m going to have sex with you when after this last time you acted all hurt” [referring to when she had promised and not delivered].

    It basically all ended with her telling me that she doesn’t like sex and said that I don’t love her. I asked, “how do you want me to love you?” She said, “By not having sex. Since it’s something I don’t want, you should sacrifice that for me”.

    I AM AT A LOSS! Confused, heartbroken, and ready to give up.

  54. Well some couples have to try to build an intimate relationship without sex because of mental illness. I suffer from depression and self hatred (had eating disorders all of my life and hate my body). Before I became a christian I slept with a lot of men because I felt so worthless and that was the only way (I thought) to get any attention/love at all…I met my husband that way too. For two years I just put on a show for him (acting out what I saw in porn), hoping that he wouldnt leave me if I’m “good in bed”…well and then we became Christians and stopped having sex. And even after getting married we have only had sex three times. And I hate it. It makes me feel sick. It makes me want to curl up and die or run away and never come back. I hate being touched that way and I hate his arousal, it makes me sick to my stomach. It makes me feel sick and used and dirty. And i cant change it, believe me I have tried. I have prayed and prayed and prayed. I’m starting therapy now but I know its going to be a long and painful process. And my husband loves me and he would never leave me, I know that. Posts like this make me feel so guilty, I feel like the worst wife ever! But I cant help it, I dont know what to do anymore…

  55. I have to say, I feel the opposite of this, it seems like a lot of Christian blogs address men’s need for sex and that we as good Christian wives should give them more, it feels to me like this has been repeated way more times than anything else.
    As a woman with a pain disorder associated with intimacy, this is a hard pill to swallow, and i rarely see that addressed too. It feels like being told, oh, it hurts bad to be intimate? Well, just know that your husband may stray and be unhappy with you.

    Plus, men, your woman needs to feel exclusive to you too. Your wives need to feel you have eyes only for them. It hurts so deeply to see your wandering eyes. Women feel like we are completely vulnerable to men in intimacy. Like we give ourselves completely to our man in those moments. It feels like more of an emotional bonding to us that just a physical act. So if we see men’s eyes wander, it’s extremely painful and extremely difficult to give our man our all without feeling used, or that his needs matter, but hers don’t. Especially if that happens earlier in the day, then later in the day, he’s hinting that he needs sex. It also makes us feel like you might be imagining being with someone else while we give ourselves. Which will make a woman not want to have sex at all. That and the way women connect and women’s needs in general, don’t seem to be talked about often enough to me, because a lot of men don’t seem to understand what it means to a woman, and that it generally takes more to get us going and takes more emotionally out of us.

    Also, can I ask an honest question to the women? I always see these challenges to have sex for so many days in a row, and this may be a silly question, but what about period days??

    • Hi Brit–

      Great questions! I actually have quite a few posts on pain and intimacy–you can see one here. And I have quite a few posts on what to do if your husband looks at other women, and how to make sex feel like it’s for you, too. I hope those help!

      As for the sex challenges–you just take off your period days! :)

  56. Annonymous says:

    What does a woman do when her husband is a depressed angry man and often yells at his wife and says hurtful things, and then wants sex, sometimes as soon as an hour later, and gets mad when the wife won’t have sex.

    He’s dealing with a ton of hurts from his past but won’t see a doctor or therapist. Hes angry and bitter. He’s trying to change his behaviour but I’ve shut down years ago, and it’s really hard to open back up and be vulnerable when he relapses into anger quite often still. On the flip side he can be super nice and thoughtful, I know his true self is not the angry one. I’m sure he’s dealing with depression but again he refuses to see a doctor. Having sex makes me feel used. I try and make sure we do it often, but I don’t connect emotionally, it’s like I’m just trying to keep him happy, hoping if we have sex often that it will help him with his anger. I know I love him, but I don’t feel close anymore, and often contemplate if it’d be easier to leave. It’s just too hard to keep trying.

  57. I hope that’s okay that I, as a guy, ask advice on this column. When I hear people talk about marriage being a place where someone can find sexual satisfaction… I honestly find that hard to believe. If this comes across as offensive or shows a bad attitude toward women I apologize. I don’t mean to cast blame or offend and I hope that if I am doing that I’ll accept correction. I work closely with women and feel that most of those women are more capable than I am. I look up to many of them as wonderful people who I highly respect and would trust them with a whole lot more than I would trust myself. However, when it comes to a guy’s sex drive, I fear that I would not want to trust many women. Not that they are bad people. Years ago, before I decided to only have sex in marriage, I was in a serious relationship with a woman and we were intimate physically. She once complained that I “want it every day”. I really don’t think I told her this or even overtly tried to pursue sex everyday. She somehow figured it out. I don’t know how but she did. And she seemed really annoyed by it. So here is something I love. I love sex. I’d just love to have it everyday. I have dreamed about such a thing since junior high. And this desire is being talked about like it’s just some irritating thing. I recall a Christian woman on a top rated news program voicing the same thing with the same level of disgust. Maybe I am too sensitive but I don’t know if I want to be open and intimate with someone who feels that way about my longings. In my search for a relationship that leads to marriage, is there a way to know that a women will not have this attitude? Like how would I know if she were the type of person who would at least give Sheila’s advice a good try. The girl I dated years ago once complained that I didn’t send her notes anymore like I had done early in our relationship, so I began sending her notes like I did at the beginning. In the same way, as our relationship went on she went from initiating sex quite a bit to not even wanting it at all. I asked her about it and she brushed it off as her just not wanting to have sex. I don’t want to marry someone who seems to promise so much sexually in the beginning but then decides later she doesn’t want a vibrant sex life, and she feels that’s okay. Maybe I just have had too many run -ins with women who were not that… nice. I do know there are many out there who are very kind-hearted. Maybe I just need more exposure to them.

    • Butterflywings says:

      Will, can I suggest if you are looking for a woman who will have the biblical view of sex in marriage (ie that regular sexual intimacy is important) that you look for a woman who shows a biblical of sex and marriage and won’t have sex before marriage?

      • Butterflywings, I think you make a good point. I think you probably also agree there is more to it than what you mentioned but I feel the need to go further and say that the person I am looking for needs to be more than just loyal to one rule. There are probably many women who are more than happy to follow the rule of saving sex for marriage because they don’t feel that temptation as much and stand to loose a lot if they break the rule. But once they get into marriage they ignore many of the others biblical principles related to sex. I have met women who are big supporters of saving sex for marriage but can’t control themselves when it comes to going really, really fast emotionally at the very beginning of a dating relationship. We all can be this way – focusing on the wise counsel and parts of the Bible we like the best and come the easiest, while ignoring the rest of it.

        I don’t think I need to find someone who is just loyal to a rule but who is loyal to a Person. That type of woman will be much more likely to go after a vibrant sex life.

        • Butterflywings says:

          Of course you are right Will. Looking for someone who is against sex before marriage is just one starting point. Just as looking for someone who is a Christian is another. My own pre requisite for a husband was simply that he have a genuine Christian viewpoint on life. Since I was specific looking for a husband (and not a friend, or a study partner, or a bible study leader etc), I started with men’s views on sex and marriage as it was very easy to weed out those with a non-christian viewpoint.

          Luckily for my husband, even though I knew I wanted to marry him the first time we met, I was okay with going slow emotionally – because, when it comes to emotions, he is more the “Spock” (Star Trek) type of person and values logic and not emotions. And while I fall half way in between logical and emotional, I realise that both are important so taking things slow to make sure that the initial emotions are also based on logic makes sense to me. Unluckily for me, I discovered, that he is like the women you describe – not really tempted by sex before marriage because he isn’t interested in sex after marriage either. Which was an awful shock on our honeymoon and one that is still affecting our marriage nearly 3 years later.

          Anyway, I guess my point is, when searching for a marriage partner, you need to know in advance what you are looking for and rule out any people (women in your case) who aren’t what you are looking for as you find out they don’t meet your criteria. Be open with on first dates – say you’re looking for someone who values not having sex before marriage but who values having sex after marriage, say you’re not wanting to rush things emotionally and that you need to get to know a woman and her overall values before you can make that emotional commitment. the truth is, finding a good Christian spouse in this day and age is hard. Especially if you’re 25+.

          There is definitely some truth that in Christian circles, by the time you’re older than 25, all the single people genuinely have something “wrong” with them. Not necessarily “wrong” in a bad way, but something that means they haven’t been snapped up already. In my husband’s case it was simply that he was painfully shy and preferred being on his computer than taking the risk of talking to girls. And while I love him and he loves me, it certainly does cause issues for us. And what was “wrong” with me, is that I had escaped an abusive first marriage, I was divorced, had a child, debts and a fear of being hurt again by cheating and abuse, oh and also I have health problems, and all of those things have caused issues for us. None of these issues are insurmountable, but there are a lot of people (for both of us) who simply chose to not to try to get involved with someone who had some or all of these issues. I think once you’re 25+, it’s a matter of accepting that by that age, everyone has baggage and people need to be looking at a person’s values and lifestyles rather than their looks and their past.

          Anyway, hope that helps you Will.

  58. This was a really great article. I can only wish that it were applicable to me, though. We have recently figured out that my husband has undiagnosed high-functioning Aspergers. We’ve had sex 4 times in the past 12 months and he likes it that way. It’s been like that most of our marriage, with me doing most of the initiating and him doing the majority of the rejecting. It’s heartbreaking honestly.

    • Butterflywings says:

      *hugs* Dana. I understand. It’s the same here except my husband is diagnosed. We’re doing it about once every two months, but the rejection over and over really crushes the soul. But please don’t blame the aspergers… yes asperger men can be very stubborn and convincing that there is a serious issue with not being interested in sex is because of their aspergers, but the lack of interest in sex is probably an underlying issue. I refused to accept that my husband’s lack of interest in sex was purely due to his aspergers. A few people tried to say it was just his aspergers and leave it alone, but I have aspergers and I’m in a number of groups for people with aspergers, and lack of interest is definitely not a majority thing for people with aspergers. However, lots of people with aspergers either get sidetracked by their obsessions to the point where they become addictions and they lose interest in anything else (including sex) and a lot of people with aspergers also have other health issues (mental and physical) and that includes hormone issues.

      After two years of sharing my concerns with hubby, he eventually agreed to go get a testosterone test because our marriage counsellor pointed out if his levels are normal, then he won’t have to worry about me ever raising the issue again. And after a further six months, he finally agreed to see a specialist about his ridiculously low levels, again because our marriage counsellor said it may help him with his depression (I’d been saying this for years). He now has to get some further tests before treatment but it looks like the issue is finally being dealt with.

      I would strongly suggest to get your husband tested for underlying medical issues, particularly testosterone levels as bad levels (too low in men and too high in women) seem to a common comorbid condition for aspergers unfortunately. And if he’s anything like my husband, have a professional suggest it to him – my husband won’t listen to me, even in things related to my area of expertise, but he’ll happily follow the advice of “professionals” even when I’m qualified than that person. It’s frustrating to have to rely on others for him to listen to advice, but at least he listens.

      Anyway, hope that helps a little.

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