104 responses

  1. Jenny
    April 2, 2013

    Sheila, I needed this, especially the example of a prayer that you gave. I think you know that my husband has had an issue with porn that I only found out about in January or early February (along with some other behaviors), and it has been hard to get over what it has done to me emotionally…but at the same time I’ve had to let go of it in some ways. I can’t emotionally go through putting software on his computer and checking it, although he said of his own volition that I could do that so I’ll ask if he wants me to. I can’t go through looking through his search history all the time and trying to see if he has any deleted history or incognito browsing. I just can’t do any of those things, because I am worn out. Yet I have been struggling thinking, what if I am doing the wrong thing by really not doing anything? What if I should insist on keeping tabs on him? What if he is still doing that and he’s lying about it again? But…I can’t deal with it. So you saying that God will go to bat for us, that He will fight for us, and He will take care of the situation and of the other person…that means a lot to me. I’m going to start praying for it, because He knows I just can’t handle fighting it right now.

    Thank you.
    Jenny recently posted…an evening at the parkMy Profile

    • Elizabeth@Warrior Wives
      April 2, 2013

      I don’t know the situation precisely, but can I suggest something? When my husband and I were struggling early on in our marriage with trust issues, I felt like you are expressing – worn out and burdened with the thought of keeping tabs on him. What finally eased the burden was asking him to find another man to hold him accountable. If I discovered on my own that he was doing something wrong, I told him that either he could call his accountability person, or I would. He always called him. And I felt completely light and free. I felt like now that someone else was laying the pressure on him, I was eased up to focus on the rest of our marriage. Also, asking him to take the responsibility for installing the software or for doing the XXXChurch thing (which emails a list of visited sites to an accountability partner), puts the ball in his court for building trust with you. It shouldn’t be your job to monitor his every move if he’s the one who wronged you. I did check to make sure he did those things, but once I knew he did, I then had to work on trusting God to be the one working on his heart and convicting him of sin. I don’t know that that is always the solution for every marriage or that it works for everyone, but that’s what helped us.
      Elizabeth@Warrior Wives recently posted…Best Medicine For a Man ColdMy Profile

      • Jenny
        April 2, 2013

        That’s a really good idea….I’m trying to get us involved in a church, and he wants to go but so far hasn’t…which is normal for him. Not good, just normal. So basically, because he has never gotten involved in any of the groups or anything that I always encouraged him to do, and he’s not a very social person and kind of just stays to himself, he really doesn’t know anyone who could be an accountability partner. Maybe if he starts going to the church and small groups with me, though, maybe he will…that’s been another frustrating thing to me, that he doesn’t have any Christian male friends that he can talk to, because I have been thinking for a long time that it WOULD lessen my load. He talks about not having any friends, but he never does anything to make friends! Sigh. I’ll talk to him about that and see what he thinks, because you’re right, I need to put the ball in his court and see how serious he is. If he does take steps to make that happen, it would mean a lot. Thanks for bringing this up, I am going to talk to him about it.
        Jenny recently posted…an evening at the parkMy Profile

      • emmy
        April 2, 2013

        my ex had an affair with a woman in our small group while he was mentoring with the pastor, with whom he met weekly. the pastor was also his accountability partner, needless to say my ex never said anything to the pastor. later, my ex had said accountability only works if you’re willing to talk about what’s really going on………. so much for that. it is a good idea, but only if honesty is present.

      • Jill
        May 21, 2013

        Jenny,
        I understand what you are going through. What I would encourage you to do is pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. And be willing to pray more. Be willing to pray for how ever long it takes. Read God’s Word and seek HIM. I tend to nag my husband a lot and try to get him to be what I want him to be, instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to do His job of convicting and changing my husband’s heart. I’m not accusing you of nagging your husband, of course, but wanted to share that just in case you needed that encouragement :)
        No matter what, happens in your marriage, determine within your heart and between you and God that God will be glorified in your marriage…even if you are the only one following Christ. Read Ephesians and Colossians over and over and over. And pray! God will bless you for your faithfulness to Him and to His Word. It is hard…it is so very hard…but my friend, it is WORTH IT!!! :) I will be praying for you :)

  2. Elizabeth@Warrior Wives
    April 2, 2013

    I agree with you…and I love how Ken Sande (in The Peacemaker) talks about the difference between having an “attitude of forgiveness” and “granting forgiveness”. Having an attitude of forgiveness is unconditional, takes place between you and God and means that you don’t dwell on the incident or seek revenge or to hurt the other person. However, granting forgiveness is based on the offender repenting and is a commitment between you and the other person that the situation is resolved.
    Elizabeth@Warrior Wives recently posted…Best Medicine For a Man ColdMy Profile

    • Sheila
      April 2, 2013

      Thanks, Elizabeth. I’ll have to pick up that book.

  3. Buffy
    April 2, 2013

    I think what makes forgiveness such a hard concept for Believers is that it is so counter-culture. We know what God wants us to do and really we want to but then someone who doesn’t believe makes us think we need the offender to pay for their crimes, I know in the States we certainly have a victim mentality culture where the push is for revenge and not always justice.

    Personally for me, I find that it is easier to forgive and trust God when 1) I’m spending daily time with Him and 2) remember that only God is perfect and that everyone at one point in my life will let me down, not that I go around expecting to be betrayed or persecuted but that I have already decided to forgive anyone who would hurt me BEFORE the pain occurs rather than as an afterthought of the suffering.

  4. Alicia
    April 2, 2013

    I have thought long and hard about this also and have come to the same conclusion you wrote about today. To the person in my life I was struggling with forgiveness about (not so much should I forgive but what does that actually look like and how does that play out in real life when they keep messing up – although to a much less degree). I felt like I was going to have to be the Gestapo to actually have peace if they were being good or not. I could not live like that as I felt imprisoned by fears. So I wrote them a letter – a Declaration of Independence – and told them that I was releasing them to God and God alone. Obviously if certain things happened there would be consequences if I ever found out, but that I could not police them. They had God in their lives to do that and ultimately they would stand before Him with their lives. It was SO liberating!!! You are spot on once again!!

  5. Beth
    April 2, 2013

    Sheila, I’m so glad you wrote this. My husband (a pastor) has been reading a lot about forgiveness and has come across this same line of reasoning (like Tiede’s). He and I go ’round and ’round trying to flesh this issue out because he gets hung up on thinking that forgiveness isn’t complete unless the other person repents–just as our forgiveness isn’t complete until we repent.

    But I’m like you and feel that he is talking about “reconciliation” and not “forgiveness.” It truly is a matter of faith in God to protect us and convict the offender. I don’t think God would ever want us to withhold forgiving a person–holding on to the pain or resentment because the other person chooses to continue in the sin. That’s tying my well-being and choices to another’s bad choices. God wants us free and He can heal that hurt even when the other person isn’t willing. Now, will He reconcile our relationship or ask us to reconcile? Only if the other person is willing. We must do our part and leave the rest up to God to work in our offender’s heart.

    Thanks so much for addressing this very important topic, my friend!

    • Amy
      April 2, 2013

      I agree Beth. It’s only in our power to do the forgiving. We can’t demand repentance from someone else. We can hope and pray for it, but nothing more. Wouldn’t it be satisfying to wrench it out of the person? It seems so — but it wouldn’t be that way. The wrong done to us will never disappear completely, so restitution, an eye for an eye … no relief in those.
      Amy recently posted…Dying to Self Gives Life to MarriageMy Profile

  6. Mimi
    April 2, 2013

    I have posted before. No response. Hopefully someone will. My husband told me he has a female side. He has posted on a site for cross dressers looking for gay sex and someone to be submissive too… Dressed as a woman.
    We been married 19 years. He has otherwise been a wonderful husband and father. I am so sick inside. He is not sorry fir who he is and said he thinks about becoming a woman once a month but would have to win the lottery. And then he says he us happy with me. Doesn’t want to lise me.
    I can accept the dressing as long as its fine in private and if he can promise not to meet any more people in a bar who dress like him. He met one person he said at a bar but swore no sex was involved. He said he gives blood and one of the questions is… If you had gay sex since 1979 please don’t give blood.
    He said he diesnt want a disease either and that this just got out of hand. He promised me he would stay within boubnadries.
    Our 15 yr old daughter knows now and she diesnt like it euther and she diesnt trust him and wants me to leave.
    I just want him to not cheat… Keep his word he won’t go that far. I wish he would not di this but he is very convinced this is part if him.
    My husband and daughter are not Christians. I am a weak one at best. I am losing my faith and my sanity.
    Please someone please say something. Help me please.

    • Sheila
      April 2, 2013

      Mimi, I’m so, so sorry that you’re going through this, but honestly, this is a HUGE problem, and I don’t think the issue is primarily one of him not cheating. I think the issue is that he needs some serious healing and intervention in his life, and it doesn’t sound like he is willing to get this.

      I don’t think that there is an easy answer for me to tell you, except for this: you need to surround yourself with someone who can walk through this with you, because you likely will have to put some pretty strong boundaries up in your marriage to encourage him to get help. And you certainly don’t want to risk getting a disease either.

      I would try to find a church that offers some counseling or that has someone who can walk you through this and advise you on what to do who knows both sides of the story and who is involved there to pray with you and walk with you.

      You CANNOT do this alone. Yes, God can carry you, and God can comfort you, but one of the primary ways He does that is through other believers.

      So if you’re not in a church, I would advise finding one. Try to find a large one if you can because they often have people on staff who are trained in how to handle difficult situations like yours. And then commit yourself to getting strong.

      You say that you are weak; that’s okay. Lots of people are. But you are going to need to get strong in the Lord to see yourself through this. Papering over the problems won’t work. You need a big change in your life so that you’re confident and able to stand on your own two feet with God holding you up, no matter what your husband does. And you need to be strong so that you set boundaries that encourage him towards healthy change.

      So your main job right now is to get yourself some help so that you are in a better position to decide how to best handle your husband.

      Again, I wish there were an easy answer. But I think God wants to use this situation to bring you to Himself. So find a church. Throw yourself on God. Ask for help. And then trust God that no matter what happens He will still hold you up.

    • Jenny
      April 2, 2013

      Hi Mimi! I am in a somewhat similar situation, although as far as I know my husband has not met anyone or gone to a gay bar or anything. (I’ve been to one, but I don’t THINK he has!) But, I did find out recently that he was looking at homosexual porn, and that he is attracted to men…that he wants to (or wanted to?) dress like a woman, and…has used a toy and liked it. He actually asked if I could use one on him during our intimate time together but I said absolutely not, and since then he claims it’s a thing of the past. And he has talked to a couple of men online, but never met them. He doesn’t look like a gay man at all in that he doesn’t take excessive care of his appearance, he’s very scruffy and manly looking and he wears old t-shirts and jeans or shorts that are sometimes dirty if he doesn’t have any clean laundry, so I’m not sure that he would fit in the homosexual scene very well. Anyway, he also (as your husband does you) loves me and wants to keep me. He does find me very sexually attractive but says I’m the only woman he’s ever been sexually attracted to. He says that he doesn’t want to be that way so he’s choosing not to be that way. That he’s not homosexual or bisexual, he’s “Jenny-sexual.” But I don’t know if he can do that if he really is gay, and I don’t know if this all has to do with abuse he suffered as a small child or if it’s really who he is. He says it’s all a result of the abuse and that it’s not who he is. It’s complicated and we really need a professional to help us through this. As Sheila suggested to you, we also need to get involved in a church. Anyway, I guess I don’t have much advice to offer, I just wanted to let you know that you’re not alone. I’ll be praying for you and your husband.
      Jenny recently posted…shame-free marriage and miscellaneousMy Profile

    • nat
      April 2, 2013

      Mimi darling…I have no great words of advice, but I really want you to know I’m thinking of you and praying God will bring you comfort and security in these dark times,,,May God bless you abundantly, may He steady your heart, clear your mind and bring you peace and wisdom xox

  7. Mimi
    April 2, 2013

    Thank you both… Very much . I also pray for you too Jenny. I don’t work outside the home and I suffer from anxiety attacks. I have huge trust issues and I had some bad experiences in churches sadly. So fir me… I need to trust god will help me where i am. I also have social anxiety and have met some horrible abusuve coubselirs. So my trust factor is very low. I really just want someone to hear me… To understand and pray fir us. I want my happy family. It’s the only thing that ever been good in my life. I grew up abused. I have no friends or family. I do have one very good long distance friend who helps and listens but she lives out if the country.
    I never knew how far this went. There are gay sites where all these married men and single men meet. Some want relationships with cross dressers … It’s very dark and very very sick. I suggest that any woman whose man has shown gay tendencies to look this up and just see fir yourself. It made me so afraid that I will get HIV testing very very soon.

    • Judy
      April 2, 2013

      Have you contacted Focus on the Family? They have trained counsellors and can refer you to someone in your area. This might be a preferred route to trying to get help through your local church, where leaders are likely not trained to deal with such issues. There is help, and you aren’t alone.

      • Amy
        April 2, 2013

        Another place that might be helpful is http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com

      • Jenny
        April 2, 2013

        The previews of those courses (I looked at several) give me the impression that they’re not very legitimate. For example, he claims that mental illnesses are actually a result of sin in your life and that, basically, if you repent and pray you will no longer have those mental illnesses. Which horribly offends me, because it simply is NOT true. Mental illnesses are chemical imbalances in one’s brain. They are not depraved spiritual conditions, they are potentially fatal physiological illnesses and require medication. All of the previews I looked at appeared ignorant and offensive and at times dangerous.
        Jenny recently posted…shame-free marriage and miscellaneousMy Profile

      • Amy
        April 2, 2013

        Really Jenny? Are you talking about Setting Captives Free? They are a highly reputable ministry. I’m not sure exactly what you read. I’m sorry you were so offended, but I have a hard time believing that they would say ALL mental illness is sin. Honestly, I’ve been through their food study “The Lord’s Table” & I can testify that it is anything but ignorant. I haven’t looked at their study on sexual issues, but believe from the testimonials God has used them to set people free.

  8. Mimi
    April 2, 2013

    Thank you Judy. I will keep that in mind. I just can’t wrap my brain around how many crossdress and love those who do. It’s not just dressing up. Sex is part of that. I strongly believe sexual abuse is the culprit here too.
    If it was just wearing my clothes… Now and then while I went grocery shopping. That would be ok. I was told at one point that was all it was. It was a lie. To get me to accept this. Some if these men will slowly try to get their wives and gf to be ok with it and then spring on more.
    The trust is so broken. All I have is pain and worry about him one day falling in love with another man.
    I am almost 50. I have no skills and a an very old college degree. I have anxiety and panic that at times I can’t even drive my car. I have alot of issues I tried to forget and bury. I cry easily from childhood abuse.
    And to let you know. I am married to a very intelligent respected man who makes very good money and we live in a beautiful part of town.
    You would never know that we deal with this.
    I think alot of people think this happens in only bad parts of town or with men who are sketchy.
    Trust me… The men I seen on the sites my husband us in aren’t all drug users and in and out of prison.
    There are so many men who meet men for sex and they brag about it. In fact they prefer married men for sex.
    Honestly, I could never ever trust another man again.

    • Jenny
      April 2, 2013

      I know what you mean, about feeling like you can never trust a man ever again. I have said that same thing many times recently. :( I have to believe that God is working in my husband’s heart, because I don’t want to start over with someone else only to find out later the secrets that they were hiding. Maybe not the same secrets, but secrets nonetheless, and most likely about sexual things! It’s heartbreaking to feel that you can’t trust anyone. Of course, if something did happen and my husband died or left me or we got a divorce, I wouldn’t start over again anyway. I have a disability and can’t work full-time so I can’t support myself – I really can’t work semi-part-time either but for some reason the place I’m at now hasn’t fired me through all of my stuff. Maybe the ADA, because they know about my problems and the other places didn’t because I didn’t know that I had protection? Anyway, so I don’t know what I would do without him financially taking care of me, but if that does happen I have to believe that it will work out. Somehow.

      I’m trying not to be afraid of the things you mentioned.
      Jenny recently posted…shame-free marriage and miscellaneousMy Profile

  9. Mimi
    April 2, 2013

    Thanks the link. My problem is that my husband is not a Christian and wants to know his feminine side. My dilemma is… How much will not be enough for him? He could decide next year he is not happy just dressing up when I go shopping.
    He has even mentioned that he felt I was not accepting of the whole him and that may be why he strayed emotionally.

    • Jenny
      April 2, 2013

      That is what I am basing my hope on with my husband – he is a Christian and wants to do the right thing, he says he has just been confused because of the abuse when he was a child. Which of course happens to I think all men that were abused as children.
      Jenny recently posted…shame-free marriage and miscellaneousMy Profile

    • Jaime
      August 3, 2014

      All I know to tell you is to pray for him, and to pray for God to break him of any strongholds. Ask God to put Godly prayer warriors around him that will pray for him.

      Also ask God to show you how you can embrace things in him that are ok to, and to show him that those are just sensitive manly traits, and that Christ Jesus had them too… Luke 13:34, Mathew 23:37.

      There’s nothing wrong with a guy being sensitive or loving to take after his mom in a way that she was sensitive and compassionate… Maybe he was given the example that it wasn’t manly to have those kind of traits so he took on the stronghold of cross-dressing. Keep him in prayer as much as possible for the Lord to break the stronghold and to save him unto salvation. Plead the blood of Christ Jesus over him and over yourself and over your marriage. That’s not just a behavioral thing, that’s a demonic stronghold. I just saw that your post was old. I am hoping for the best for you, and prayed tonight for both of you.

      May Abba Father God Bless you in the Lord Christ Jesus Name according to His Good Will for both of your lives and marriages that it be done on Earth as it is in Heaven, and that by the blood of Christ Jesus only which was shed on the Cross for our Sins. Amen.

  10. Mimi
    April 2, 2013

    I know of women who live in poverty who love god. Who suffer from the effects of such. God can’t prevent that. I could never work full either due to my abuse related health issues. I would try part time to keep my sanity. My husband and I have talked. We thought of if things got bad we could stay married to keep the health care and benefits but live seperately. I have alot of health related issues that demand medical care and even now paying that 50 deductible can be difficult as these are bad economic times for everyone. He said he didn’t want to split up and that he loves me.
    But he then talks about how he thinks if becoming a woman? I feel as if I am mentally abused all over again. I know he is not intentionally doing that. But I feel as if a train wreck is coming and I am stuck on the track.
    He has never asked me to perform sex with toys as I think he knows I would be sick by that. But I fear that.

    • Jenny
      April 2, 2013

      I know that people who love God are sometimes poor…my husband and I have been homeless and jobless and penniless before. But, if I did wind up on my own, I would have to believe that God would take care of me. Just for my sanity’s sake. :)
      Jenny recently posted…shame-free marriage and miscellaneousMy Profile

  11. Mimi
    April 2, 2013

    It is good that he acknowledges the abuse and wants to change. He may be able to do that. My husband doesn’t see this as a sin but a part of who he is. He knows I can only accept so much. My issue is that he took it further cause he wasn’t happy with just dressing. He now has all kinds if friends… Some nearby and others far off as Canada. These men are mostly married and hide it from their wives. They have meet ups. Done claim to be Christians too.
    They have children sometimes and they don’t think what they do is wrong. They blame society for not accepting them as who they were and are.
    They usually have chips in their shoulders and many seem to actually dislike women… As if they are jealous if them.
    Not all… But I have studied many sites and even joined a few. I learned alot. I believe most wont stop this. Most feel trapped since children.
    I don’t believe god would confuse us this way. I fully believe this us from sexual abusers.
    It’s common for the victims to be firced to dress as a girl. Usually by a trusted person very close to them.
    It happened to my brother in our church. Our pastor dressed as a woman and hung out in bars and later was found to be Abusing later on. The church covered it up and he lived off the church till the day he died.
    The church knew and was ok with that.

  12. Julie
    April 2, 2013

    Sheila,

    I haven’t read all the comments, so forgive me if I’m repeating.

    First, AMEN! Forgiveness is contingent on repentance. Then restoration can come. (Yes, there are times when “love covers over a multitude of sins” and we just overlook something and let it got.)

    I think one reason Christians get the mindset that we need to “just forgive” is that God calls US (the offended party) not to be bitter! There are times when someone is sinning against us – as in the case of the husband using pornography – when we are waiting for him to repent. And we need to be right at the threshold and ready to forgive when he does. But sweeping things like that under the carpet under the guise of “forgiveness” when they’re not being dealt with just isn’t going to work!

    So let’s have the forgiving attitude. Let’s be right at the threshold, ready to forgive. Let’s deal with anger and bitterness in our own hearts, as the sins that they are, so we can work toward restoration.

    But you’re right – cheap forgiveness isn’t the answer.

    Julie
    Julie recently posted…Spring Break Mother Load – Part TwoMy Profile

    • ButterflyWings
      April 4, 2013

      Great post Julie :)

  13. Melissa
    April 2, 2013

    I’ve learned that forgiveness is part of a process, not a one-and-done type deal. Forgiving someone doesn’t fix everything, but it is a very important part of the journey of healing.
    Melissa recently posted…Random Stuff Lately…My Profile

  14. Mimi
    April 2, 2013

    My husband is also very quiet and his only friends are those online men who admire CDs or want to dress up as one.
    We both are not very social people. It’s just how we are. Some people aren’t social and some are.
    I find most people to be not worth their salt. A few times I met kind genuine people but not often.
    So it’s un natural for me to go talk to people who I can’t even trust with little things. How in the world could I trust someone with this?
    I pray and have for years. All I have left is god now. So I will just keep praying.

  15. Mimi
    April 2, 2013

    Thank you Nat… That was a very kind and non judgemrnt response. I appreciate the kindness and prayers and extend the same back to you;)

  16. Steph
    April 2, 2013

    I am feeling at a loss too. My husband and I have been married 15 years- all of which had normal up and downs but mostly ups. I felt like I was open and vulnerable and thought he was too. In February, he told me that he’s had a pornography addiction and then a couple weeks ago mentioned that he also some sort of same-sex attraction. He found himself looking at men in the sense that he was attracted to how they looked (and how thin and weak he is) and would imagine himeself as one of these buff men having sex with these women in the porn on youtube.
    I was floored, shocked, angry, hurt, etc etc. I feel like my emotions are on a roller coaster. He’s my best friend and a wonderful father to our 3 kids. He loves God but has been hiding this from me for so long. He has been in accountability groups which apparently helped for a moment- a slap on the wrist. He felt like as long as he kept repenting every time he slipped up, he was okay. And I guess that’s what God’s grace if for. But what about me? I am left struggling to get past this. I know he is sorry and it was him who confessed to me. I am not tech savvy enough to have discovered this on my own- nor did I have any inkling that there was even a problem! He has started going to Celebrate Recovery 12-step program, which is free. We tried going to a counselor but money is an issue and the counselor told us to try to find help through a church. We are trying to talk more about this and be open but it’s hard for me. I am overweight and very insecure about my body and this cuts me to the core. He says he loves me and has enjoyed sex with me and told me he doesn’t imagine anyone else when we are having sex. But he has visualized “faceless women” when he masturbates several times a week. I’m so upset because I didn’t know… he didn’t share with me. We could have had more sex if that was the problem. We could have sought help sooner. Now last night, he said he would like us to have sex again. But I am not sure. Do I forgive him and resume normal sex? I know he is sorry… but I can’t get past the fact that I am inadequate in my looks and that he will really be thinking of someone else when we are having sex.
    I am feeling so helpless. If it were easy to lose weight and feel sexy, I would have already done it. Now I just feel like it’s a mountain I will never be able to climb- to work to lose weight so that I feel attractive to him and compete with the women on the porn videos. What do I do? I am conflicted… shower grace on him as God has shown me for my sin and offer sex when I am unsure of my feelings and his? Or continue to withhold until I feel like he has shown me that I am desireable to him and enough for him?
    I feel for Mimi who commented above. This is so much more common among men that I even realized!

    • Anonymous
      April 2, 2013

      Steph,
      I’m sorry for how hurt you are. I’m going to tell you as someone who knows quite a bit about what you are saying…I hope it comes across correctly.

      First, your husbands sin is his sin and he needs to stop. He was wrong and I know he has hurt you. Second, you are way ahead of the game because he’s admitting/confessing this to you. He wants to change. You don’t know how big of step that is. In fact that’s more than half way home.

      Third, honestly very little of what makes a woman attractive is her looks, size…it’s her attitude towards her man and her attitude towards her man in bed. Honestly. I spent severals years in porn. It had very little to do with the way the women looked (5%…if you make me put a rational number to it).

      Fourth, and this is where I know Sheila will disagree and I hope I don’t hurt your feelings because I’m not saying it was your fault at all. none. zip. zero. And maybe not all men aren’t like this, but a great many of the ones I know are and I know I am. I won’t list you off my christian credentials so you’ll believe me…but if I listed them they would be many lets say. For me as a man my sexuality is like river and a dam. If you’ve ever lived close to a hydro electric dam you know that they send a certain amount of water thru per day…if they don’t the lake behind the dam will back up and eventually it will at best overflow the dam and at worst the dam will bust and wreck havoc downstream. In other words I have a certain minimum thershold of sex/intimacy/water that must be expended every week or I will very quickly see sexual sin in my life. Sheila will say a man can control it if that is not being met. I would love to agree with her, but no amount of prayer, bible study, accountablity,…you name whatever you want to this list changed that for me. I had long stopped asking for sex, fighting for sex, begging for sex, etc and had settled for once or twice a week for my wife who thought she was moving mountains to provide that level of frequency and let me know it. I won’t go into specifics but I will tell you the day my wife kicked that up to 3/12 times (every other day) my sexual sin dropped to zero (that number will be different for different men and it will almost certainly take more in the beginning). That may not sound fair, loving, right…you name it. But it was a fact for me & our marriage. Would I love more, yes, but to be honest at this level I feel loved. I don’t feel anxious, depressed, sad, irritable…..
      We are just built differently as men and women. I could probably never understand the other side and you may never be able to understand this side of it. I found my sexual energy is much like idle hands…

      Lastly, thankfully I am out of that world now but still mentor/accountability partner to men who are not. They gay stuff is what they are pushing now. You can click on the filth you are looking for, but the “ads” all around it are that stuff. I think it’s just a sign of the times and how close we are to the Lord coming back…we are that far gone. Unless he’s out there actively seeking the junk out, be concerned but I wouldn’t be losing my mind over it.

      I hope that helps. You’ll be in my prayers-

      • Steph
        April 2, 2013

        Thanks for your thoughts and your prayers. I appreciate it!

      • ButterflyWings
        April 3, 2013

        Anonymous I can understand some of how you feel but I cannot agree. No man “needs” sex. What would you if you lost your wife? Would you start sexually sinning because she wasn’t there to do it with at all? I don’t know if your answer is yes or no, but if the answer is no, then it proves you don’t need sex, and if the answer is yes… well I feel sorry for you – the problem is not your wife’s unwillingness to provide but your inability to control yourself.

        Many men don’t get married until later in life, and others lose their wife young – all men at some point in their lives do not have a readily available wife and yet the majority of christian man control their sexual urges and do not resort to sin.

        I’m not trying to diminish how you feel. I know what it feels it like all too well. It’s not just something that men solely feel. Having been rejected time and time again by my husband, the longer I go between “encounters” the more it becomes a physical ache, a massive hunger. You wrote “I had long stopped asking for sex, fighting for sex, begging for sex, etc and had settled for once or twice a week for my wife who thought she was moving mountains to provide that level of frequency and let me know it.”… I have been through this too. the begging, the trying to initiate and have spent many nights crying myself to sleep feeling unloved and unwanted. With men generally having the higher sex drive, imagine how even more rejected a woman feels when her husband doesn’t want it!

        I’d give nearly anything for it to be every other day, but all I get is once or twice a week at best – maybe twice a week around ovulation when I beg and grovel so that we have any chance at all of having children, and then once a week or fortnight around that. And since you know the hurt of a woman acting like she is moving mountains to provide that, imagine the hurt of a man acting like he is moving mountains to provide sex 1-2 times a week at best.

        And his refusal to do anything about it. There is no trauma in his past to cause it. I believe (am sure) it’s biological but he refuses to go get his lack of libido checked out – and I’m a health professional and can see the other symptoms of it being a physical issue. But I don’t matter enough to him to get it looked into. He’s getting more than enough sex so my needs don’t come into it.

        But as an excuse for sexual sin??? No.

      • Robert
        April 3, 2013

        Butterflywings,
        I won’t argue or debate with you as I know you mean well. I’ve heard what you are saying from countless women. I will stick by what I said and my now healthy wife will back me if having a female say so would help you come to grips with it. If it helps I’ve spent thousands of hours in this battle, studying, praying, fasting….you name it.

        Sheila and you will probably disagree with me, but I believe the Bible says as much to back me up. Paul clearly teaches if you can’t avoid sexual temptation then marry and if you marry to do not deprive each other. I think you can find an out there if you want to, or a loophole…but any human will find a loophole anywhere even if we have to create one.

        What will I do if my wife dies…honestly lean on the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ for I know I will fall short.

        Thanks for your reply. I wish the best- Robert

      • Sheila
        April 3, 2013

        Robert, I really do appreciate what you’re saying, and I totally agree that women should not deprive their husbands.

        The problem I have is that you seem to be saying that if a wife does deprive–however we want to define that–she has therefore caused her husband to sin. I’ve written about this before, but let me add this:

        No temptation has taken you except what is common to man; but God is faithful, He will not let you be tempted more than you are able, and will with the temptation also provide a way of escape, so that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13).

        I just want to make it clear that there is NEVER an excuse for a man to sin sexually, no matter what his wife is doing. I still don’t think it’s okay for a wife to ignore her husband’s needs, but that is still no excuse for using porn or for sinning. I think that’s what ButterflyWings was saying, and I do agree.

      • Robert
        April 3, 2013

        Sheila,
        I get what you and Butterflywings are saying…and I can agree in theology. But as a man who spent 13 years battling it when my wife was not doing her part I will have to agree only in theory. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s not sin. What I am saying is nothing I did had but limited, short lived success. Trust me, nobody tries harder than me at anything…really. There is nothing I have ever set my heart or mind to that I have not accomplished. Not in school, not in work, not personally…except this. I can give you thousands of people who will attest to this…I’m a living legend in this regard, seriously…not making this up. And I tried loving my wife everyway, deeply as possible…everything that has ever been suggested I did x2. It came down to me looking at chemical castration, instead of leaving my wife. In that week I stepped in front of a loaded gun for my wife…and that’s what opened her eyes. If a man is willing to lose his manhood for me and die for me…she realized how selfish she had been. It took that for her to change. I honestly wouldn’t have not made it another six months…so please preach to me all you want. It’s nothing I have not heard. I have wept and sweated blood over this.

        I know other men who I would trust my life with. Don’t get me wrong, they are still sinners but they are as trustworthy men as they come. They have shared the same with me.

        I shared in a post sometime in the last few days, if I list my christian credentials there as long as anybody reading this blog…and they are sincere…they aren’t religion but acts of faith. So please, no problem with you calling it sin. I have no problem with the scripture you quoted. I also know scripture that teaches us God will protect us…that is not always the case. Not that I don’t believe in God more than most but some earthly things we truly lean on the blood of Jesus Christ.

        Almost everyday a woman or man quotes from Matthew and Jesus sermon, “those who look upon a woman lustfully have already committed adultery with her in his heart.” But nobody quotes what comes directly after, “anyone who is angry is guilty of murder.” The point being…we are all wretched sinners. Now that being said, don’t go out and sin freely but give it everything you’ve got to the point where you feel you could die…but I literally lived there for thirteen long, lonely, desperate, exhausting, you name it years.

        I’m so sorry gals, I’ll never know that side of it…but please understand you will never know this side of it.

      • Robert
        April 3, 2013

        Sheila,
        I want to add, I love what you are doing…but this is the reason I hang around here giving you a hard time. Your last paragraph, you use words like “sin” & “NEVER” for a man’s sin, you use the words “not okay” for the wife’s sin. I know this is one paragraph…but that is what I see over and over again and why I keep harassing you! I know you understand the damage the man’s sin does, and I can see your trust issues with men in your writing (remember I still LOVE what you are trying to do here)…please understand the wife’s sin is just as damaging. Just as hurtful and we have just as many reasons to mistrust…
        I think that’s why I struggle with you sometimes and I send you those emails…you seem to get the woman’s bias and give them the benefit of the doubt and not so much to the men even though I know you are trying to bless us men.

        Again, not trying to say I don’t love what you are doing just to be clear- Love you Sheila! God bless!

      • Sheila
        April 3, 2013

        I guess I’d say that’s because while a man using porn is black and white wrong, a woman refusing sex is not always wrong. Sometimes she has to. If he’s having an affair, for instance, she needs to set up clear boundaries to save the marriage. Ditto if he’s addicted to porn and won’t stop, or wants her to do something she clearly feels is sinful. So there is some grey area when it comes to women. I know you don’t agree, but that’s where I stand!

      • Robert
        April 3, 2013

        Sheila,
        Other than abuse or an affair then when is she allowed to refuse sex (allowing for six weeks after birth and major illness (verifable, real illnesses)?

        There might be grey area, but it’s 1-5%. It’s the end of the story and not the start.

      • Sheila
        April 3, 2013

        Robert, for those reading this blog, it’s far higher than 5%. And I think I’ve stated where I stand over and over again. That’s what the point of Wednesday’s post is!

      • Robert
        April 3, 2013

        So then what other things are there (abuse, affair, surgery, illness)…what’s the percentage?
        I’ll add porn if she’s doing her end of the deal…is this the one you and I are on different pages on? I’ve gone back to your and my back & forth on “can you cause someone else to sin” and you’ve yet to answer me. If they both repent and she’s the one that started the cycle then I do believe it’s time for sex… where do you stand?

      • Sheila
        April 3, 2013

        Oh, absolutely. If they’ve both repented. That’s what I said in the Can You Cause Someone to Sin post. But he has to repent as well, that’s all I was saying.

      • Robert
        April 3, 2013

        Sheila,
        One last question also…if a wife is not doing her part what exactly do we get to withhold? I know that sounds like a joke but in a way I’m serious. Sounds like a woman has nothing to lose and the man has all the downside?

      • Robert
        April 3, 2013

        Sheila,
        Sorry, my son was sitting here next to me and your new lingerie adds…well I typed super fast just to get the message sent but I should not have used the word downside. I should have used the word leverage…
        And I’m serious. It sounds like the only thing I can withhold is love…what’s that get me but more misery…
        So you see my problem?
        Again, I’m not trying to egg you on…but really searching for answers. My wife has come out of this…I’m the go to guy here for questions and to be honest I don’t have any answers for these guys.
        Where’s our leverage? It’s pretty one sided…anything we do we are considered deadbeats, losers, sinners or worse. She can sin away and nobody is going to call her on it. She gets high fives from the gals. My wife’s friends literally laugh at the situation they put their husbands in. What do we do? Not everyone has a chance to step in front of a loaded gun to prove their love? Do we just leave? What good does that get us except child support, alimony and she gets the kids (probably 3/4’s of why she married to begin with)?

        Again, I agree 80-90% with what you are saying about withholding…but you’ve got to understand how it feels in a man’s shoes. We are literally in a no win situation. It’s up to her almost 100%.

      • Robert
        April 3, 2013

        Sheila,
        One more clarification because I’ve gone back and re-read that post & in it’s comments and unless I’m missing what you said you said you are good with a time of reconcilation when she’s been withholding and he turned to porn before sexual relations took place even though they both repented…so set me straight here. Which way do you believe and why?

        Sorry I know I’m a pest, but you are answering me tonight and I’m going to take advantage of it. Think of it as five minutes tonight saving you countless minutes down the road of me pestering you…and thank you and bless you.

      • ButterflyWings
        April 4, 2013

        “One last question also…if a wife is not doing her part what exactly do we get to withhold? I know that sounds like a joke but in a way I’m serious. Sounds like a woman has nothing to lose and the man has all the downside?”

        When it is a man not doing his part, what do women do? The man has nothing to lose and the woman has all the downside.

        That’s the problem when one person is denying the other – the one doing the withholding has all the power to hurt and there is nothing (really) that the other can do other than work on ways to control their hunger.

        But to add to your comment of exceptions, you missed on major one – periods. Many women are not ok with having sex during periods – and even in the bible this was respected – with women being ceremonially unclean during her period and many things she was freed from during that time (including things like sex and housework). It is not an “illness” per se, but many women suffer horrible symptoms durng periods – and even those who don’t… it’s a messy thing that most women are not comfortable with.

        There is also pregnancy… I’m not saying it’s ok to reject a guy purely due to pregnancy, but particularly towards the end, many women are far too uncomfortable (some to the point of pain) and are simply not able to. And some women suffer from pregnancy complications (a minority but still a large minority) and are unable to provide.

        After birth… 6 weeks is an estimate, but if a woman has complications it can take several months. I mentioned in another post further down how the only time I rejected my exhusband was after major surgery… well there were massive complications during my daughter’s birth, there was major surgery involved in that, 11 years on, I still suffer from agonising pain and having difficulty conceiving – my (now-ex) husband wanted to return to sex two weeks after even though the doctor had said wait 3 months and the pain was unimaginable for nearly 4 months. Not all women recover at the same rate if there are complications.

        Also, if you scroll down you can read about what happened with my ex-husband after I was sexually assaulted by someone else. There was no physical damage because it was “only” being molested, but the emotional scars took years to heal. And they’d have probably only taken a few months to heal if he had been patient and left me time to heal. When a woman is sexually assaulted in any way, she needs some time to heal emotionally before resuming sexual relations with her husband. It’s not an excuse to withdraw for years, and if she isn’t seeking help for the trauma, she is withholding from her husband, but she’s not withholding if asking for a few months to recover emotionally while getting professional help for the trauma. A loving husband will work with a woman who has been assaulted to ease her back into their physical relationship.

        BTW, I can’t speak for Sheila but I don’t think you’re a pest – I think it’s highly important to have gentle debates and discussion.

      • Robert
        April 4, 2013

        Sheila and Butterflywings,
        First, BW I’m not talking about guys like your first (and maybe even you second husband). Your first husband, if I was your dad or brother they would of never of found his body. Seriously. I’m talking about guys that get up. Hug their kids, get what they need done around the house, go put in their 40-60 hours at work, come home, help around the house, are in general nice, tender go to meeting on Sunday men. No drugs, no alcoholics, no wife beaters…honestly I thought I was most scared for when my little girl grew up and finding her a husband. I honestly am to the point where I am more scared for my boy. The other day we had to talk our will and my wife and I talked about what would happen if the other died. She honestly could think of only one wife in two different churches that is loving her husband. 25-45 crowd. This is my wife who grew up bible quizzing, church every sunday, devotions every night, homeschools our kids…she honestly looked at me and said “If I die don’t be afraid to hire a pro”. Yes, a hooker. That’s the state of her now awakened eyes as she looks around modern Christian women. Sheila had an article on here awhile back about how insensitive christian men are in regards to sex and how we “demand it” because the Bible says so. I see some of that, but to be honest I think it’s a knee jerk reaction to what I see from christian women. You and Sheila just gave me what 8 or 9 different reasons for withholding sex. What if men applied this logic. Do you know how many times just a day my body hurts or I do something uncomfortable so that I can provide for my family? Or help my wife at home? Do you know how many days I work sick? Love and care for her when sick? I must do 20 things a day I don’t feel like doing just to bless and love my wife and family. The modern western christian woman looks for not the exception, the 1-5% of actual real life time (and I’ll stick to those numbers for the men above I mentioned)…those are becoming the rules. Again, I’m not talking about non-christian men or marginal christian men (those who you have serious questions about their faith)…but I am talking about christian women.

        You’ll forgive me when my little raised in the church, can’t watch an R rated movie, darn is a cuss word christian wife surveys the modern christian women and says…I’ll understand if you need to hire a hooker if the Lord takes me home. And you’ll forgive me if I don’t reign down fire and damnation on men who have tried everything and everyway to love their wives for years and even decades who eventually turn to porn.

        The view is far different over on this side when you where boxers.

      • Robert
        April 4, 2013

        And just to be fair, don’t going pulling out Old Testament sex rules…or otherwise please don’t pick the ones that are convenient for you as women. Period sex for example. There was also provisions in there for having two wives but you don’t see me advocating for that do you? I won’t plan on trading two donkeys for a concubine…so please don’t pull the period sex out. If you feel bad, help a fella out in another way….it’s called love just as the reverse is true before you get on me to bad.

      • ButterflyWings
        April 4, 2013

        Robert I wish I had a dad or brother like you. My dad didn’t care and my mother actively encouraged my exhusband’s abuse. They didn’t know about the cross dressing until after we divorced, but their attitude was “as long as he doesn’t make you involved in it and isn’t having sex with other people, just turn the other cheek”. He was having sex with other people, and when they knew that, their attitude was throw him out but who cares if he continues abusing me. I do have a good brother actually but when I first got married he was just a kid, and towards the end of my marriage (when things got really bad), he was out of the country. And after I was divorced, when I was being stalked, he was living three hours away.

        My second husband is a great guy, we just have intimacy problems because he’s never interested in sex and makes it very clear he thinks it’s a chore to have sex even once a week. I love sex and want it every day or twice a day, and we want to have kids and due to my health, it would be hard enough to conceive even if we were doing it every day. There are whole months where we don’t have sex during my fertile time (which is about 6-7 days if you don’t know conception biology – most people don’t so I apologise if you do).

        I think you misunderstand the exceptions for not having sex. It’s not a matter of uncomfortable or even a little pain. I spent six years as a single parent, three of it with no child support at all, and three of it with literally a few dollars a week. I suffer from multiple chronic health problems. I’ve had four operations on one knee and still can’t walk properly – but my daughter needed feeding, I needed to buy us both medications, I needed to pay for doctors (here in australia, health insurance doesn’t cover doctors visits – the government pays a subsidy, but the “gap” is up to patients to pay, and if you live in a bad city, the gaps are huge, and if you have to see doctors and specialists every couple of days, it adds up fast). So I went to work as a nurse, on my busted leg constantly for 7-8 hours a day, 2-4 days a week – as long as I could crawl out of bed and guzzle painkillers, I would go to work.

        But I also know there is limits to what the human body can do. There were times I had to call in and tell my bosses that I genuinely couldn’t walk – I couldn’t even stand. There were days it was so bad I couldn’t even crawl. I had to call my abusive parents and beg them to drive my daughter to school because I couldn’t get out of bed I was in so much pain despite high doses of extremely strong painkillers.

        Why do I bring this up? Because having sex after being sexually assaulted is more painful than the above.

        And having sex too soon after birth can leave a woman so physically damaged that having sex is agony for life. It’s like having major surgery and then getting up and running a marathon the next day.

        I know you love your family and you go to work and be uncomfortable, sometimes it may even be a little painful, but would you go to your every day and crawl over broken glass for 12 hours so you could have lots of money for your family so they could live the high life? or would you go to a job that is only slightly uncomfortable and earn just enough to get by week to week, not going without, but not having many luxuries? That’s the difference between a woman having sex when she is injured/ill/in the early stages of recovering from a sexual assault, and giving a woman a little time to recover from them.

        It’s about couples meeting halfway.

        Sadly that’s the one thing I struggle with my second husband – he won’t meet me halfway. He thinks sex is boring and that he gets more than he wants, so it doesn’t matter how much I feel deprived, how much I crave it, and the longer he deprives, the more painful it gets, the more depressed I get (to the point of clinical depression and needing to increase the medication I take for PTSD to cope with it) and that it leaves me feeling totally rejected.

        I would never withhold anything from him in return, even if I could, but I think half the reason he sees no need to change is because there is nothing I could withhold. I’m temporarily out of work after moving recently. And when it comes to non-sexual affection, I wouldn’t withhold it – and couldn’t, because it’s part of who I am to give it. And to withhold it would be chopping out part of my own heart and mind.

        Women have urges too and it’s hard when they are not met.

        Are you sure there is nothing else you can try when you are not getting enough? If you talk to enough people, surely someone has ideas? Personally, what gets my mind of lack of sex is to do something extemely physical. I took up taekwondo and weight lifting as a distraction before I got married to control the desire of wanting to have sex, and more recently have also added boxing to the mix. They’re all very “manly” sports and figured they might help you to burn off some of that desire. It doesn’t work perfectly – there have been times when I’m so sore I can barely move literally, have torn ligaments, dislocated bones, even broken bones, and the desire is still there but it does help channel that desire away from thinking about sex constantly.

        Maybe it’s something you’ve already tried? I don’t know. Maybe you haven’t and it may be useful.

        Don’t give up hope for your son. Maybe you’re just in a bad area. Here where I live, it’s the total opposite. In the 18-40 aged group in the city I lived in my whole life til 3 months ago, when it comes to christians (genuine bible believing, church attending ones), there is 10-20 women for every man. The guys have an abundance of wonderful christian women to choose from. I got extremely lucky with my second husband. By the time you get to 30, all the good christian guys here are married or engaged/long term relationship. Guys who are single generally only stay that way for days or weeks before being snapped up again – guys who stay single longer generally are single for a reason (and not a positive one).

        I was extremely lucky because my husband is extremely shy (his not so positive reason for being single) and had only just started to come out of his shell – and we had a wondeful friend who was able to help us organise dates when he was too shy and as a woman, I didn’t want to be the one doing the chasing. I dont’ see his extreme shyness as a “negative” per se, but it takes something serious like that for a decent guy to pass 25 and not be taken already.

        Maybe your son could do what I’ve seen so many others do – look online. One of my closest friends met a wonderful christian guy online because there simply weren’t any near us to find – and many others in my extended circle of friends have met their (christian) spouses that way.

        If there is a woman drought near you, I can reassure you there are man droughts in lots of other places. If your son is willing to move, it can open up his possibilities.

        Don’t give up hope for your kids. There are both good christian men and women out there – it just sometimes hard work to find them.

      • ButterflyWings
        April 4, 2013

        PS I don’t disagree with you about “helping a fella out in other ways”. I’d gladly do that if my husband was interested. I just choose to give him a break from me begging (and me a break from being rejected over and over). Just keep in mind some women end up very ill during that time, so for those, that goes into the illness category. But for those who don’t get ill, I’m all for doing other activities.

      • Robert
        April 4, 2013

        BW,
        I’m not talking about after a sexual assualt or pregnancy (but on the later, help a fella out would you?). Sexual assault, abuse, affairs, porn (if you are doing your job as a wife)…hey I’m a reasonable guy. On most of those, like I said if I was a dad, brother, etc…you no where I stand, they better hope the cops find them before I do. I’m not lenient on the guys. I think we are suppose to be harder on the men, as we are to be the leaders. What I am discouraged with is the general attitude of sex from Christian women.

        And I’m not talking about the number of Christian women, yes the outnumber the men. I am talking about the number who are lovingly having sex with their husbands 3-4 times a week. That’s where the stastic looks ugly.

        And no, I don’t think it’s suppose to be meet in the middle. Is that how it works often, yes, but that’s not our goal. Marriage is not 50/50. It’s I’m 100 for you and your 100% for me. For men, sex is the primary reason they get married. I believe it’s a wife’s job to keep up with her husband. For women, they have different primary reasons and I believe it’s a husband’s job to keep up with them. My wife’s is security. I went from a an 18 year old pastor giving the shirt of my back and living paycheck to paycheck to having basically an armed (all legal for any government agents reading this)compound that can survive the great depression, collapse of government…you name it. If I die, my wife’s loaded. If I’m hurt and can’t work, we are taken care of. I can’t cure cancer and I can’t stop a drunk driver from hitting us but everything I can do, I do. I’m 100% for her. That goes for her other needs/primary reasons also…

        As far as period sex. My wife has PMDD. PMS x 100. I imagine she has it worst than most. I get “helped out” on the heavy days but on the lighter days…fair game. Because she’s 100% in for me.

        BW, my wife was selfish for over a decade but if you read my posts she is not any longer. This is more of a calling now….however much less official than Sheila’s I guess.

        I want the women to bring the same level of intensity, scrutiny, love and effort to sex as they want from their men in other areas…that’s all I’m asking. And I think that is fair.

      • ButterflyWings
        April 5, 2013

        Robert do you have any suggestions on how to encourage a man to provide the same level of sex? I mean there are literally bucketloads of resources out there telling women to give more sex to their men, but I cannot find a thing telling men who aren’t to try it more for their wives.

        I don’t understand my husband… when we do it more often not only do I feel better physically and emotionally but so does he! He is less depressed, less stressed out, more happy and relaxed. He also acts more loving to me in other ways when we have sex more often. So I can’t understand why he constantly rejects me asking? I am constantly building him up emotionally, telling him he’s a great father, a great husband, a great provider, good looking, smart, funny etc, despite never getting compliments from him. So I can’t understand at all why he doesn’t want it.

      • ButterflyWings
        April 5, 2013

        Also Robert I meant to add… again, of those that are married that I know, they never say no to their husbands when they are at all physically capable and average 3-4 times a week or more (usually the only reason that prevents some of them from doing it more is simply that their husbands work crazy hours and aren’t around more, or that’s all their husbands want). As for the single ones… well until they get married, no one knows what they will or won’t do.

        I’m also not excusing any woman who does it, but I honestly think our children’s generation will be much better with dealing with this issue than our generation. People our age in most churches were raised to believe all sex is evil and all sexual thoughts, even about one’s spouse is sin. Women far more so than men. To the point that it’s nearly at brainwashing level.

        It’s really incredibly sad. I have friends who have multiple kids and been married a decade, and still cannot say the word “sex” because of how they were raised. They “provide” for their husband thoroughly, but they still have issues. Others who have been raised this way, who also “provide” for their husbands very frequently simply do not ever enjoy sex – and again, it comes back to the brainwashing they received as children, teenagers and young women that somehow all sex is sinful. I see this damage in people like my younger sister who is 26, only had one boyfriend, and doesn’t want to get married because that would mean having to have sex. And my cheating, abusive, crossdressing exhusband who had multiple affairs with women and men and both, has only damaged the progress she was making towards realising sex is a wonderful gift from God, not the evil chore that she was raised to believe.

        I definitely think our children’s generation is very different though. All the churches I’ve been to have celebrated sex within marriage and encouraged children and youth that it’s not a sin to have desires – just that it’s something that needs to be waited for until marriage and kept only within marriage. I think there are a LOT of christian women our age out there with damaged ideas of sex, but our children’s generation is growing up in a different world both in the secular world, and in the christian world. Today’s churches are far more open to talk about and preach about sexuality and that it’s a good and wonderful thing when done at the right time and right person.

        I think too, the next generation of men will find it easier too. I honestly believe what contributes to what a lot of christian men struggle with is the fact that when they were younger, they too were taught that sex is all about suppressing desires, that their desires were “all” bad, instead of encouraging them that their desire is good, just that it has to be used in a good way.

        Christians of our generation, male and female, have a lot of damaged ideas about sex, that even though we have since learnt sex and sexual desires are good things, it can be very hard to overcome that conditioning. I honestly don’t think our children’s generation will have that same struggle – at least nowhere near as commonly.

      • Robert
        April 5, 2013

        BW,
        First to answer your question…95% of men feel the way I do towards sex. Maybe he’s the 5%.
        But maybe he’s part of the 30% within the 95% that either has low T or (sorry) uses porn pretty regularly. Either one…find out. If you are as loving and as respectful as you say you are, then it doesn’t hurt once to be disrecpectful once if doing it respectful won’t work and grab him by the ear and drag him to the doctor. Men understand action. Even if we don’t like it, we can respect it (as long as a disrespectful attitude is not a regular thing). If you wait around waiting for him to tell you his feelings before you get to the bottom of it…you will be having this same conversation years later.

        As to the porn, I’m with Sheila on todays post. Married folks don’t have secrets. Passwords are shared. Accounts are shared. Find out. Trust goes both ways. He can’t say you don’t trust me if you have to have my passwords anymore than you can say well you don’t trust me unless you let me have them. Marriage=no secrets (at least from the time you say I do forward).

        As to this generation I’m afraid I will disagree in the strongest fashion. We are getting more messed up sexually not less. And I will also disagree with you on christian women our age…sorry that’s why there is Sheila’s blog, and HHH, and intimacy in marriage and the list goes on. Honestly, I have a tough time coming here because it just saddens me the attitudes the ladies have. I honestly have to work at not superimposing these ladies feelings on my wife. Yesterday’s post about what helps you say yes to sex…sounds like they were trying to talk themselves into parachuting. You’ll forgive me, I wish you were right with all my heart but sadly I do not see one bit of evidence.

        Thanks for your back and forth. God bless you-

      • Robert
        April 5, 2013

        Sheila,
        I’m going to ask one more time since I did not hear from you? Then men who have truly loved their wives as Christ loved the church for years and it hasn’t made a bit of difference…what do they withhold? While I agree with you 90% of what you are saying when it comes to women withholding…what’s the reverse Sheila? And do you hold the same disgust for that selfish act (women who truly have been loved and served for years and yet withhold) as you do for porn?

        I share your disgust for porn, especially, especially, especially when the wife is there doing her part and he is tearing her heart apart with it. I’m the first in line to rebuke him. I don’t think you understand the problem I’m getting it at though in regards to the other. Again, I’m not saying it’s okay or not sinful. But there is such a thing as survival and if you read my post and you see the lengths I went to and I know other men are going to, again not saying it okay or not sinful…my problem is you seem to lump these two together. I’m way harder on the guy who breaks into people’s home to steal because he’s too lazy to get a job than the guy who starving and breaks in to find bread to eat. That’s all I’m getting at. And for what it’s worth, I know that analogy sucks but for what it’s worth my drive for sex with my wife is stronger than my drive for food (I know that’s hard to understand from a woman’s perspective and that is why I point this out), and I’m 6’2″ 280 and put away about 4000 calories a day due to my level of physical activity…so you can see how strong the drive for food is!

        And again, my wife is now wonderful, loving…but wasn’t for over a decade. And now I have men, lot’s of men, asking me how to get by, change her heart, continue to love her when he’s been running on E for years now…so please Sheila if you have time would you answer. Thank you again very much. Robert

      • Jenny
        April 5, 2013

        Hey Butterfly Wings, having had some experience in the area of my husband not wanting sex as much as I do, here are a couple of thoughts…

        You say he is less depressed when you have sex regularly. The first thing that comes to my mind is, maybe he is not less depressed because he is having sex with you regularly, but he is having sex with you regularly because he is less depressed. Depression can cause a great drop in sex drive. That usually happened with my husband, too – when he was feeling better we had sex more, when he was depressed we had sex less or even not at all. And when he was feeling depressed, he didn’t act very loving to me because he was unable to, he didn’t speak my love language, etc; when he was feeling better he would do all kinds of things to make me feel loved.

        If depression is not the culprit (or not the only culprit), then there are other things that may be (although I’m not saying that they necessarily are). Perhaps he was sexually abused as a child. I would consider this especially if he is sometimes angry when you initiate. Is he taking any medication that can cause low sex drive, or does he drink alcohol regularly? Is he out of shape, have health problems, and/or does he eat a lot of unhealthy food? Those are just a few things that have a negative effect on sex drive.
        Jenny recently posted…shame-free marriage and miscellaneousMy Profile

      • Robert
        April 5, 2013

        Jenny,
        Those are great thoughts! I’ve seen those effect men also. Especially the weight and depression, also stress…but the stress usually isn’t lasting…so it isn’t that usually if it’s going on for more than a couple years at least in my experience.

      • Robert
        April 5, 2013

        Jenny,
        Those are great thoughts! I’ve seen those effect men also. Especially the weight and depression, also stress…but the stress usually isn’t lasting…so it isn’t that usually if it’s going on for more than a couple years at least in my experience.

      • ButterflyWings
        April 6, 2013

        thanks for the reply Jenny. It is possible that you’re right that it’s the reverse- when he’s less depressed, he has sex more. But still one frustrating thing… “more” is only twice a week instead of once a week or fortnight.

        No he doesn’t drink much – one beer with dinner maybe once or twice a week. He doesn’t take meds for anything – he takes vitamins and herbal stuff, but nothing that interferes with sex drive. No sexual abuse (or abuse of any kind). We discussed the issue of abuse and I don’t think he’s lied to me. He sometimes doesn’t think to tell me things, but he doesn’t deliberately hide things from me. No health problems. Reasonably fit – we do sport together a few times a week. He’s a lot fitter than I am anyway. And he eats ok. We both could do with eating a bit better but not really into junkfood.

        He finally spoke to a doctor about his depression and the doctor said just keep an eye on it. Even though I’m glad he finally saw a doctor, I was disappointed he went without me because he’s never going to raise the issue of possibly low testosterone levels. He’s got multiple symptoms of it and he won’t even consider it. He can’t see it’s not an insult to his manhood – it’s his health that’s at risk. And we’re trying for kids and failing and if he’s got low testosterone levels, that’s going to play major havoc with that on his end.

        We have a counselling session booked for this week – I won’t hold my breath because the last time we saw this counsellor she pretty much ignored our serious issues – outright dismissed the sex issue as being an issue at all. Just said his lack of interest was normal. Very frustrating when she’s giving him healthcare advice when I’m the trained professional and she’s just a counsellor with no healthcare background at all. But we’re trying again. Hopefully it goes better this time.

    • 5sonz
      April 2, 2013

      Steph,
      My heart breaks as I read your pain. I was in your place a few years back, and it is a long story of healing that I will save for later.
      His porn addiction is not about you at all. It is his sin,, but also his issues that have brought porn use to become an addiction. Men discover porn as young boys and the feelings are too hard to resist. They begin to use it to feel better about themselves, and also to relieve stress, loneliness, etc. It is a drug, and chances are he has wanted to be free of it for a long time, But probably didn’t know how to do it. He has been living with shame and guilt over this, too. His shame has kept him from telling you. He knew it would hurt you. Many women don’t know, because the porn user wants to keep it hidden. Remember, sin grows in the dark. The best step he has taken is to be honest with you.
      He has self esteem issues and that is why he looks at the “buff men” and wants to be them.
      You will be on a roller coaster of emotions, and they are ok. But don’t let those emotions consume you. You need to find someone to talk to about this. It will take a while for healing.
      But as hard as it will be, you will need to resume intimacy with him. If you wait until you feel ready, it may take a longer time. It may be difficult a first. There are times when I still feel ugly and old, and I cry during our intimate moments. But that is now my issues that I have to deal with. My husband has done everything he can to make me feel loved, it is no longer about his porn use, but it is now about my own insecurity. And I have to pray for peace.
      You don’t have to compete with those images…you are the mother to his children..those images are not…you are his best friend… I bet he doesn’t know the names of the images…You are who he has been with for 15 years…
      Like I said, it will take time, and sometimes you will think you can’t go through the pain anymore…But please fight hard. IT will be the best and hardest fight you will have. I believe it can result in a more open and honest friendship and marriage.

      • Steph
        April 2, 2013

        Thank you for this. You are right about him feeling guilt and shame. I just wish he had told me sooner. I’m not that insensitive that, even though I obviously would be hurt, I am not heartless. It kills me when I see the turmoil he is in and when he finally broke down in tears, my heart melted and it was easier to feel grace towards him. He is not gay and the thought of gay sex sickens him. I know it’s just confusion and self-image issues of his own. I didn’t realize the extent of his issues but fully communitcated mine to him. I’m miserable in my body. I suppose in a way that is unattractive to him. I appreciate you speaking to my heart and reminding me that he chose me to spend his life with. And I know this will only make us stronger. Just wish it wouldn’t hurt so bad…

  17. Anonymous
    April 2, 2013

    I agree with Melissa that forgiveness is a process, not just a one-time-and-it’s-done kind of thing. I think it might also be a bit different if you’re in constant communication or relationship with the person who wronged you, or if it’s a bit farther removed. I was abused as a child, and there has been no attempt at an apology. But since it involved a family member who lives far away, I have never been forced to reconcile face to face on an ongoing basis. The process of forgiveness has been a long one, but I agree 100% that I was “lighter” once I turned it over to God (and each time I need to hand it over again when something from the past comes to mind). It freed me from the power that the other person had over me, and I knew that I was being obedient to what the Lord was calling me to do – and that’s all I can do. For those of you that are struggling in your marriages with huge issues, my heart goes out to you. I pray that you will keep seeking the Lord and the He would bring you and your husband to a place of reconciliation, freedom and Christ-centred love.

  18. Mimi
    April 2, 2013

    Steph…
    Please get tech savvy. If he has a I retest in men. You have a right to know. Men to men sex has very high rates if HIV and most men will never admit they had gay sex. And they hide it very well. HIV is very real and it’s not uncommon fir wives to get it from their men on the down low.
    If you are not sure about having sex. Then maybe there is a reason and you need to be sure here you are ready? Please be sure you are.

  19. anon
    April 2, 2013

    This couldn’t have come at a better time. My hisband has an addiction to porn. 7 1/2 months ago he hit me with the fact he had been looking for months and it led to him cheating on me. He has been trying to overcome. This last month he started to withdraw again. Last night I felt like I needed to check up on his online history. He had tried hiding it but I found some evidence he has been back at it. I forgave quickly the last time cheating included, I kicked him ouf this morning. I want to save our marriage, but something has to wake him up. Not to mention I dont need any of my 3 children being exposed to that filth! I am lost as to where to go from here. But I do know that with God’s help I can make it. And if my hisband wants us enough great, if not I still have God.

  20. Mimi
    April 2, 2013

    I am so sorry. You forgave and he did it again. I have heard over and over that cheaters always cheat and yet when it happened to me. I looked to giving a second chance. I am with you here however. He broke your trust again. I would think god would also not want us to be doormats or lied to over and over again. That is not love but abuse.
    I think every woman who suspects a man who is cheating… ESP gay men have to check up and be sure things are ok cause HIV is very real and it kills people.
    Anytime a man hides his passwords and credit card statements and doesn’t want sex. Do yourself a favor and snoop… It may save your life. Cheating men rarely come out and confess.
    If you suspect something is off… Then there probably is something wrong.
    I was in denial. The day my husband left to go on his business trip… Valentines day… I had a panic attack. I thought my heart was going to jump out if me.
    I went to the dr who ordered me to the er who admitted me and kept me over night for tests. Panic disorder was the culpit. I felt my heart breaking. I was on Xanax and I had some weird affects from that.
    Deep down I Knew something was wrong. Just wasn’t sure. I couldn’t drive or sleep.

    • ButterflyWings
      April 4, 2013

      Sadly you’re right about them rarely confessing – even when I had in my hand copies of my (now ex) husband’s emails between him and his mistress talking about their intimate moments, he still denied he had done – and I had the ones he had written!

      I don’t know how they can deny it, but even when caught red handed they do.

  21. Mimi
    April 2, 2013

    Yes it is abusive and morally wrong to tell someone their mental illness is a result of sin. I have a very huge issue with people like that myself. These are the same people who would blame a child for being abused. It’s sick and it needs to end.
    I have many issues that resulted from me being abused as a child. I was the victim! I have anxiety and depression and fibro and at times PTSD. It was never my fault but those who hurt me.
    Yet I have to find a way to heal myself and I been to theraphy only to be hurt over again.
    I tried meds but they didn’t help long term. Shirt term yes. I find that praying to god and eating right and walking ever day helps some.
    Should I be on meds and in theraphy? Probably but my experiences were not good ones.
    However I know many who were helped that way over the years and I am happy fir them.
    But to hear that I have mental problems due to sin? Is sick… It’s evil and it’s damaging.

    • Jenny
      April 2, 2013

      It is so incredibly damaging! I have very severe bipolar disorder and anxiety. While I am taking the right medicine at the right dose in exactly the right way, then my symptoms are more manageable, but they never completely go away and stress (like work or relationship issues) can set off an episode. I have always had difficulty finding a therapist that I connect with, as well, but when I like the person and we connect then therapy is very helpful to me. If, however, the medicine isn’t right (stops working because my body builds up an immunity to it, or etc), or if the dosage is too low, or if I don’t take them at the same time every day, or I miss a dose, my symptoms flare up to the point as if I wasn’t even on medication until it is sorted out again. If you have an illness, you know on a very deep level that it is a physiological illness. And you know on a very deep level how fatal mental illnesses can be.

      I’m so sorry about your illnesses. My husband has depression, anxiety, and PTSD as well. Much less so now that he’s on medication but it still flares up sometimes. Relaxing exercise such as pilates or yoga really helps with my anxiety in a big way. Maybe partly because of the breathing? Sometimes if I’m already too close to a panic attack then it won’t help but if I do it at the first sign of being anxious then it helps to avoid that. Maybe you could try something like that in addition to the walking. I use DVDs.
      Jenny recently posted…shame-free marriage and miscellaneousMy Profile

      • ButterflyWings
        May 4, 2013

        I have tried the relaxation stuff but to be honest find it makes me more anxious. What I do find helps is weights training, boxing and taekwondo. Because of my health problems, doctors keep warning me not to do the last two – but it’s great for burning off frustration and stress which would otherwise leads to anger and anxiety.

    • ButterflyWings
      April 3, 2013

      Mimi reading your posts, I felt I had to reach out. You are not alone. There are sadly others who have been through what you are going through. I too suffer from anxiety and depression and PTSD. From a combination of being abused by my parents as a child, bullied all through school, my first husband was violent and abusive and the first counsellor I went to was an abusive monster. I also have fibromyalgia (and a bunch of other chronic health problems).

      But what really jumped out at me was the sharing of your crossdressing husband. I discovered after our daughter was born that my husband was into cross dressing. Even though it made me uncomfortable (very), I had promised to love him no matter. If it had stopped at just cross dressing, I could have coped with it. It hurt, but I realised his cross dressing was about him and it was his messed up way of living, not a personal insult to me. But the first problem was that he wasn’t honest with me. It’s like someone who is married to a guy with a porn addiction who is hiding it (my exhusband had a porn addiction but he tended to rub that in my face, not hide it)… it’s the lies and sneaking around that hurt worse than non-physical sexual sin. (because ultimately, getting their satisfaction from dressing up and/or porn is sexual sin, just of the non physical with other people kind).

      The first few times I found my clothes out in his cabin in the backyard, it was where our washing machine was housed, so he conned me with “I’m sorry honey, I spilt stuff on your clothes so I brought them out here to wash and just forgot to”. (Washing clothes was the one piece of housework he did, even when I was working more than he was, because he used to smoke drugs out in the cabin, something I abhorred but couldn’t get him to stop so I rarely went out there). Then I found a stash of underwear hidden away in our house at the top of a cupboard. First time it was just my underwear, and he convinced me that the guys who broke into our house (we’d had a series of burglaries a few weeks earlier) must have taken my underwear and played with it and put it there when finished – making my PTSD from the break ins even worse because I felt even more violated. The second time it happened, he could no longer pretend it was someone else because no one else had been in our house – and there was womens underwear that wasn’t mine.

      I don’t know why, but I immediately knew it was his and that it wasn’t from an affair (at that stage). He came clean then. But still snuck around. What made me so angry is we were so very broke at the time – I was going without food at times because he was blowing all of our money on drugs – and he would take the few clothes I owned to cross dress in – that isn’t what made me angry. What made me angry is because he was so lazy, he would just dump my clothes out in the cabin on the ground (where it filled with water every time it rained or would spill drinks on my clothes or other things) and rather than wash and return my clothes, he would leave them get mouldy for weeks or months til I noticed a particular item was missing. He particularly had a thing for the few nice dresses I owned – a few of them beautiful formal dresses I had owned for years since before we were married that were special and sentimental to me and I couldn’t afford to replace ever.

      And all he had to do was just wash them and put them away when he was finished dressing up in them. Instead he destroyed the few nice things I had. There was also a beautiful pair of antique pearl earrings my grandmother had given me for my 13th birthday (a family tradition that each child on their 13th birthday inherited an item that belonged to my grandmother’s parents) which he “borrowed” and lost. At the time, he convinced me my daughter had got into my jewellery box. I looked for years before realising they hadn’t been lost in my bedroom – that the missing earring had in fact been lost outside when he was crossdressing in his cabin – by the time I knew the truth, we’d moved out and the house had been knocked down and no chance of it ever being found because the cabin was no longer there.

      But that was my exhusband all over – happy to destroy the few precious things I had including a nearly century old heirloom that is one of the few things I have from my grandmother, all for his physical gratification.

      I warn all women whose husbands are into cross dressing – it doesn’t stop there. Like you’ve mentioned, it leads to more.

      I found out first my husband was looking at dating (“hook up”) sites online. The first time, he tried to tell me he saw an old friend on a web ad and had just joined the site to make contact. The second time, he admitted it was to talk to other women but promised it wasn’t to cheat, that he just wanted to see if he was still attractive to women in general. The third time and onwards he admitted he was flirting with other women because he was depressed and “needed cheering up”, but swore black and blue he would never meet any.

      I should add here… he was never lacking in sex at home. We did it at least every second, usually we did it every day, sometimes twice a day. The only reason we didn’t do it every single day without fail is because he’d leave for work at 6am, come home briefly to pick our daughter up from after school care at around 5-6pm and demand dinner (and beat me if it wasn’t hot and ready the instant he walked through the door) and then head out all night (always in my car so I couldn’t go anywhere) to hang out with either his drug dealer or druggie mates til anywhere between 10pm and 3am (sometimes even later towards the end). When he wasn’t too tired, we always had sex. Only time I ever rejected him was 3 days after I had major surgery and had just gone home from hospitals hours earlier and he raped me. Even after that, I never said no. Even after I was sexually assaulted by a stranger several years later, I never said no to him, even when the trauma of it left me vomitting for hours after. But even that wasn’t good enough for him. I have never forgotten the times he abused me because he kept on insisting on doing specific things the man who attacked me did -I didn’t tell him not to do it, but I just couldn’t stop myself from flinching ever so slightly and he took that as an insult to his manhood that I couldn’t pretend to absolutely love 100% of what he did.

      Ultimately even the crossdressing and talking to women online wasn’t enough for him. Six years ago after he viciously assaulted our daughter, I told him to go stay with his sister until he could get into rehab and get help for drug use and his unmedicated mental illness (he suffers from borderline personality disorder and severe psychotic depression – he responds brilliantly to medications but won’t take them because they don’t make him high like illicit drugs do). I found out less than a week later that instead of staying with his sister, instead he’d moved in with a married woman that he’d been having an affair with for a year – I had no idea he was having an affair. When confronting her, her excuse for it was 1. her husband was cheating on her and she “needed” a man to “love” her and 2. that he’d been having a long term affair with another woman long before her and multiple casual affairs, therefore according to her, that meant she was doing nothing wrong.

      Over the following year, more and more came out. When he ended his affair with her, he came crawling back, professing his undying love, saying he wanted more children together, etc – I loved him but I wasn’t stupid. I said we’d work on a reconciliation, but I couldn’t have him back in the house until his drug use and mental illness (and the violent psychotic outbursts he suffered as a result) had been dealt with, and that I couldn’t start a sexual relationship with him until he’d been abstinent from other women for 3 months (the time it takes to be cleared of all STIs – particularly AIDS is the one that takes 3 months for a blood test to prove someone doesn’t have it, and condoms don’t always work) but most i mportantly I tried to get through to him – I didn’t have a choice, even if I was gullible with my own personal safety (physically and sexually), child welfare had got involved after his assault on our daughter and they had made it very clear he could not be around our daughter unless it was ordered by the family court (we were going through family court at the time because he had been planning his wedding with the mistress he moved in with and had said he was going to get a divorce as soon as he could legally apply for one – and with his mistress making death threats against my daughter, I wanted to make sure my daughter was legally protected – even violent fathers get shared custody here, but at least I could put limits on who he could expose her to, and had it listed he couldn’t take our daughter places like to his drug dealer etc).

      I made it clear to him that he couldn’t move back in straight away because child welfare had made it clear they would take our daughter and put her in foster care if I allowed him to see her outside of court ordered visits (something that really annoyed me actually – if they considered him too dangerous for me to allow him to see her under my supervision for an hour, then why would they do nothing when the court was ordering she be sent to where he was living for whole weekends??? but hey, that’s the ridiculous nature of the australian family court and child protection systems here – kids are taken from loving parents doing nothing wrong, but aren’t even checked up on when with violent fathers if the family court has ordered shared custody).

      That decision to not jump back into bed with him the day he crawled back and begged probably saved my life – within 24 hours he had unprotected sex with at least two other women – he went back to the mistressed he had been living with, told her he still wanted to marry her and have kids with her and demanded unprotected sex, and then went to another long term mistress (that neither she nor I knew about) and told this other mistress he wanted to marry her and have kids and demanded unprotected sex – even though this other mistress knew that he’d had unprotected sex hours earlier with the other mistress (who she knew was also sleeping with other guys) AND this other mistress knew he’d tried to get back with me the night before – because sadly this second mistress (well second mistress at that time, he had had dozens by then) was someone who I thought was one of my best friends.

      All the years she’d been telling me to leave him for his violence, she’d been chasing him, had been having a physical affair with him for at least a year, telling him to bash me and our daughter, telling him I was “evil” and a bad wife for eventually going to the police about the violence – all the while pretending to be one of my closest friends. And the fibro comes into it – she watched my struggle with fibro for years, learnt the symptoms and now fakes it for attention and government benefits because there isn’t a conclusive test and she’s a diagnosed sociopath who is quite brilliant at faking things.

      So over that year after we first separated, I found out about more and more mistresses – I know of at least four long term ones and dozens (perhaps hundreds) of one night stands. It also came out that he’d been talking to other cross dressers online – I actually found his profile on one disgusting site he’d left the details of in our computer. And apparently he’d been meeting up with a number of men who dress up as women. He still claims he never had sex with any of these men – but he also claims he never went to crossdressing websites and yet when trying to get evidence for family court to try and protect my daughter, we found his profile on nearly a dozen crossdressing websites, asking for all sorts of vile things. As well as all the plain “dating” sites with profiles created years before we seperated where he described himself as a single dad with an abusive ex wife (keep in mind this is long before we seperated, while telling most people included his extended family and most of his friends how much he loved me because I was so gentle and loving and kind and caring to him). Some other hook up sites he claimed he was never married, others that he had no child at all etc.

      So when he says in one breath that he never has been to crossdressing sites, and then when I link him to his disgusting profile, he still tries to claim he never hooked up with any men… I simply don’t believe it.

      I am lucky to be alive. In our last few months together, we did actually use condoms mostly – not for STIs or pregnancy but purely because I was allergic to “him” and was having a really rough time with the allergy. That probably saved my life since he is one massive disease factory now. As it was, he gave me HPV and I have precancerous cells that may turn into cervical cancer and could kill me.

      Even after it was discovered 7 years ago, he tried to claim he’d always been faithful. And despite the fact that I’m a nurse, he convinced me that there were other ways to get cervical cancer other than from HPV and stupid me didn’t even check – just blindly believed it until all the big deal about the cervical cancer vaccine being released a year later for aussie women and I realised I’d been conned. He put my life at risk and his cheating may kill me yet. I’ve already had one round of surgery last year to remove as much as the precancerous cells without taking away my ability to have kids with my new husband, and I have to have invasive procedures every 6 months for life now to monitor it. I could have everything removed but my second husband and I really badly want to have kids. Plus I don’t want to go through menopause at 33.

      Crossdressing isn’t harmless – it’s a gateway sexual drug – just like things like marijuana nearly always lead to harder drugs, crossdressing nearly always leads to worse – whether the guy demands to become a woman (if he’s doing it because he has gender identity disorder) or whether he cheats (if he’s doing it for sexual pleasure). It rarely ends well.

      I’m lucky that my exhusband demanded a divorce to marry the other mistress – I never would have sought a divorce, but in him doing so despite the abuse and cheating, I was freed from him, knowing I did everything in my power to save my marriage. I still feel deeply sorry for him though because he is a deeply messed up man.

      MIMI – I hope and pray there is a better resolution to your situation than how my first marriage ended up. Please talk about how you feel with a christian counsellor (pastors are good, but I think you specifically need a counselling professional for this issue – and it needs to be a christian because non christians just don’t get it) and please try to get your husband into marriage counselling if you can possibly at all. My heart breaks for you. I wish I could say something to make you feel better. You are not alone *hugs*

  22. Jenny
    April 2, 2013

    We are going on two years of marriage and our first child is on the way. I am partly thankful that we dealt with big issues right away in our relationship before we were ever married. In fact I had to choose whether I would marry him or not. He hadn’t cheated but he did have issues with viewing porn, because his own Dad would send it to him! However, I would have never known that about him if we hadn’t on insisted that we were always completely honest with eachother even if we knew it would hurt the other person. He went on a work trip while we were engaged and he confessed after the trip that he had gone out with co workers, got really drunk and kissed another woman who was flirting with him. I didn’t tell him a forgave him right away, however, I explained to him that I would if I knew that he would change and show me he was changing, I also told him that I may be able to forgive but I not forget. That it would take much longer for that to happen, even though I wanted to forget. I found that this has made him want to work hard to make sure I forget that it ever happened and in the process we have both found that focusing on changing our behaviors that are negative in our relationship and realizing that neither of us will ever be perfect, so that the other can forget then real forgiveness come along with that. :) Oh there have been many fights and crying involved in the process but good things always come with hard work, and it is so worth it. The truth is that not one of us human beings is perfect (we are not Jesus!) and any spouse one has will have imperfections that will ask you to work hard for your marriage. While things like abuse and adultery are absolute cause for divorce, there are couples that do work even those things out and move on to have beautiful marriages, they both have to be willing and committed to the hard work.

    • ButterflyWings
      April 4, 2013

      Jenny my second husband was the same – confessed as soon as our relationship became serious (had been dating for a year and were considering engagement) that he once struggled with porn. I admired his honesty and it set the guidelines for our relationship that he will always be honest, even with the big stuff that might scare me away. I do sometimes wonder if it’s related to his lack of interest in sex, but only time and counselling will tell

  23. Mimi
    April 2, 2013

    Thanks. I like the DVD idea. I just have too many issues now to be around people in any setting. If someone talks nice to me… Caring or is intuitive. I start crying. I did that once while in my neighborhood hardware store. I walked over and mentioned I used the wrong wood floor cleaner on my floors and it was all white and I couldn’t remove it. As bad as that was… It’s not something I would normally cry over. The guy was so nice and helpful and showed me how to fix it. I started crying while I thanked him.
    This was the same week I found out about my husband. I think this guy knew something else was wrong. He just didnt react and kept talking how it could be fixed and not to worry.
    My point is… I am way too jaded and hurt and very very raw inside that being around people even ESP now… Is too hard.
    And I have found that done have it on their radar to see an wounded person and dig their nails into me. I just don’t need that right now.
    So thanks. Love the DVD idea;)

  24. Andrea
    April 2, 2013

    Sheila thanks for the post. I have heard and read about not forgiving too quickly but I didn’t quite agree with that. To me the scripture is very clear about forgiveness and our lack of it gets in the way of our relationship with Christ. God has been teaching me and working in my heart about this subject. … It’s been almost two years since I found out my husband was having an affair and it has been a continual process for me because unfornutely I fail in keeping it in the past. In any case God is good and has brought healing to my marriage and I’m glad to read posts that are encouraging :-)

    • nat
      April 2, 2013

      Wow Andrea…when I read your words…
      ‘our lack of it gets in the way of our relationship with Christ” I got goosebumps..I so badly needed to hear that. I’d never ever thought of it like this. Thank you so much and praise God for directing me to read the recent comments. Amazing xox

  25. Mimi
    April 2, 2013

    Actually it’s not a sin not to forgive a cheating spouse. This is one of two conditions that the bible backs up a divorce. I am giving a second chance but I can’t fault anyone else who chooses that. ESP if god himself says it’s ok.

  26. Andrea
    April 2, 2013

    God allows us to divorce in case of infidelity but due to our hardness of heart not because He is ok with it …. And it not a sin to divorce in this case but you should be able to forgive even if you cannot reconcile

    • ButterflyWings
      April 4, 2013

      i’m pretty sure Jesus was talking about divorce for reasons other than adultery. The people were asking him why did God say to give women a certificate of divorce if the man wanted to end things with her. He made it clear that adultery was the only legitimate reason to divorce – that divorce for adultery wasn’t due to hardness of hearts.

  27. Mimi
    April 2, 2013

    I don’t believe god would say oh this is ok cause your heart is too hard so it’s ok but not in any other case. I think god has more compassion than that.

    • Jenny
      April 2, 2013

      If I may interject something about this. :) Having experienced both adultery and abuse in my marriage. Before you jump to conclusions – I was the one who committed adultery (as a result of a manic episode of my bipolar disorder), while my husband has been abusive in the past (as a result of his childhood/depression/ptsd). And then, of course, the whole thing that surfaced recently about porn use while he was drunk. Here’s the thing. Yes, God is a merciful, compassionate God, and He readily forgives those who repent. So while in the case of persistent adultery or abuse, boundaries need to be set; at the same time in the case of a repentant spouse, forgiveness needs to be given. We are called to love one another as Christ loves us. It’s difficult for us to leave the past in the past. It’s difficult to give God our hurt, to let go of our pain. It’s difficult to see someone who has so horribly wronged us through the eyes of Christ. I know, it is exceedingly difficult. But, that is what we are called to do, and it is SO WORTH IT to do that.

      Remember the story of Hosea? God told him to marry a woman that he knew would be unfaithful to him. And she was. She consistently committed adultery. If I remember correctly, none of her children were his? She got so low that she sold herself at the auction block, and GOD TOLD HOSEA to purchase her and take her home as his beloved wife. The message was this – we have all committed adultery against God. We have pursued idols. We have turned our backs on Him. We have wronged Him, hurt Him terribly. Our adultery caused Him to give His own life in a horrific way so that we could be redeemed. And yet – He loves us still! He forgives us without reservation! He frees us from our sin, and gives us strength and understanding as we work to overcome our struggles.

      This is how we are to love our spouse. I know I have failed at this miserably, as has my husband. BUT it is a lesson we have recently learned, and it has caused us to build a marriage that is without shame, that has the foundation of unconditional love. We are both repentant of the hurt we have caused, and are working to overcome our struggles. In turn, we give one another understanding, and through that understanding we give one another strength.
      Jenny recently posted…shame-free marriage and miscellaneousMy Profile

  28. Andrea
    April 2, 2013

    Jenny The Lord also lead me to Hosea to prepare my heart in how to handle our situation. It is amazing to me how much we “cheat” on Christ yet he takes us back each time… I was brought to tears to think that I’m too good to be unwilling to take back and forgive even infidelity (then to find out i was gonna have a chance to live out what I learned) i know i have also made many mistakes and God has used this situation to do many thingsI love how much truth and life is in the Bible that makes amazing things happen and it really is to the glory of God. Thank you for sharing and being a testimony to the Power of the God we serve

  29. Andrea
    April 2, 2013

    Nat, Im humbled that God used my words to reach you..Thank you :-) May we all continue to build each other and love as Christ loves us.

  30. Debi – The Romantic Vineyard
    April 3, 2013

    Sheila,
    I’ve heard it said that when someone has sinned against you, but hasn’t yet repented in a way that seems sincere, our responsibility is to work on our heart to be READY to forgive them should they ask. And then leave the timing in God’s hands. I agree completely that forgiveness really is about trusting God to be our defender and judge. We must trust Him. Otherwise we allow bitterness and unforgiveness to hold us hostage.
    Debi – The Romantic Vineyard recently posted…Row, Row, Row Your BoatMy Profile

  31. J (Hot, Holy & Humorous)
    April 3, 2013

    I think your theology is sound here, Sheila. I believe Dietrich Bonhoeffer also talked about “cheap grace.” Oftentimes, I’ve heard Jesus’ “Forgive them for they know not what they do” line used as reasoning that we should forgive anyone and everyone around us for anything they’ve done. I strongly disagree.

    As you suggest, there are levels of this. I can let go of an offense and let God handle the justice, but that doesn’t mean I am required to forget the sin and put myself at further risk. Joseph is a great biblical example of this. He forgives his brothers, but he doesn’t let them back into his life until he sees how they treat the other son of his mother, Benjamin. Once he knows they have changed, reconciliation can happen.
    J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) recently posted…Just Because He Stopped Asking Doesn’t Mean He Stopped WantingMy Profile

  32. Mimi
    April 3, 2013

    Butterfly wings…I so very very sorry. Wow… Hugs right back to you! I wish I had something good to say but I think he did you the best favor/gift ever by leaving you.
    Your poor child too. I hope you two are happier today? Drugs and abuse makes this so much worse than it already is…I hope your far away from him!
    My husband is very calm… Very quiet. And is not a talker. At least to us. He seems to talk alot on that site however. He never did drugs and doesnt drink. He never misses work and gets promotions and raises. He provides a very good life for us.
    The problem here is that I suspect dressing is not enough anymore. He told me that once a month that he thinks about seeing a counselor to be one a woman but knowing how expensive it is… It would crush him to be a good candidate fir the change and not be able to afford it. He said he would have to basically win the lottery.
    His profile is still up on the dating site and he states he is looking for gay sex and wants to be dominated.
    He has alot if added friends in there. Most are divorced and don’t seem to care if someone is married or not. They are very sick men who look foolish trying to be sineone they are not. And the way they talk.. Is sick too.
    My daughter said aside from this she me er felt connected to him and won’t be lising much. He props himself down in front if the tv after his workout or jog and shower. And if the tv isn’t in… Well he falls asleep or looks bored.
    My daughter wants me… Begs me to leave him. She told me she has no respect fir me cause I am a doormat and a fool. I can’t get mad at her. This is her opinion and I know deep down I been a bad role model.
    I don’t want to start a career at 48 years old. I should have to go out and work for change. And I am not. He makes great money.
    I also have health issues and by 6 pm I am dead tired. My bones ache so bad sometimes I cry and go to bed At 8 pm. He never cares or cones up to see me.
    He will just watch tv. He says he tired after working all day and the long hour commute home. My daughter feels ignored and tries to get him to take her out to the store… And he will but soon as they come home. He turns the dam tv back on.
    Last night… I said something. So the tv will be on all night again till you go to bed? Again?
    He actually showed emotion towards me and got upset but then quickly said… Ok.
    I start most conversations and I keep them going. I guess I am just at loss what else to do.
    Sometimes he does open up and will talk. He spends all weekend with us. Whether we go out to eat or a long drive… He will do that.
    He also does the laundry cause I don’t do it correctly. I will not complain. Let him do it. It helps me with my knees and all the stair climbing.
    My best friend keeps telling me to seperatwd cause it’s going to get worse.
    I want to believe him. That maybe he sees now I won’t stand fir it. And he will have to pick me over all these creepy evil men who Act like whores.
    I am praying for that.
    And butterfly thank you fir sharing your story. I know this is very hard to do. Bringing it all up again. Please feel free to talk whenever. I feel a lighter burden talking to you… As if there is a light now in the corner here… Giving more understanding. Hugs and love to you. Mimi

  33. Mimi
    April 3, 2013

    I just re/ read where you mention you are in Austrialia. The courts sound like American courts over here. I am so sorry! I will pray fir your daughters protection tonight in my prayers. I am afraid it will get worse too. Christians seem to have less rights anymore than anyone else these days.
    I married my husband quickly cause fir two reasons. I sincerely loved him and I felt a connection that was peaceful and surreal. He is very calm and reasonable.
    I wash living at my parents home. My mom was wavering around a gun and threatened to kill my sister with it. Pointed it at her. Told me to go to the other room and stay there.
    I thought she was going to shoot her… Then me and then herself. My sister toldy dad who did nothing. As usual we all just acted as if all was ok. It wasn’t.
    My mom used to scream and throw things and maker cry all the time. My husband was the complete opposite.
    So moving in and marrying him. Was a no brainer. I no longer was facing abuse anymore.
    I had a best friend who loved me. Took care of me and talked decent to me.
    Things very very new to me,

    • ButterflyWings
      April 4, 2013

      Thanks Mimi. Yes things are much better now. I have a genuine christian second husband (my first husband claimed to be a christian but he stopped going to church after we got married and made it very clear he believed God the Father and Jesus exist, but that he hates them for all the bad things that happened in his life – and couldn’t see that losing one’s parents is natural and allt he rest of the bad things were from his bad choices).

      Our family court system here is atrocious – even child abusers and paedophiles are granted shared custody based on foolish laws introduced in 2006 that said that it was a “right” for a child to have “a meaningful relationships with both parents”. Most judges misinterpreted this as that both parents had a right to equal shared custody (with equal being between 30% and 70% custody). Some abusive parents fight for shared (or sole) custody to further abuse their expartner, but many also do it because it releases them from paying any child support (even if they are incredibly rich and their expartner is living in poverty) if they have the child more than approx 28% nights. If a man has his kids from friday night to monday morning every second week and half the school holidays, this can be the exact percentage of nights necessary for it to be considered equal custody and not pay any child support even if it means the poor woman has all the school costs, all the healthcare costs, and all the regular expenses – and there is nothing women in this situation can do, because parents are expected to pay all the costs of the child while the child is in their care – child support is paid when it’s considered not equal shared care, but the child support agency’s view of what is equal care is completely bizarre.

      There is a huge legal movement to roll back the 2006 laws (or at least to clarify that the laws don’t mean that shared care is necessary, that “a right to a meaningful relationship” doesn’t necessary mean that the child’s time is equally divided between parents, and in cases where there is abuse, it doesn’t mean unsupervised access – and in severe abuse, contact needs to be excepted to protect the child).

      Unfortunately I separated from my ex husband in 2007, right at the peak of the family court system giving shared care to abusers. I got lucky though – after a three year battle in family court, within 3 months of the court granting him shared custody, the mistress he married got jealous of him spending any time with our daughter (and seriously was jealous of him stalking me because according to her, that was giving me attention that she wanted) so she insisted she choose between her and my daughter, and he chose the mistress thankfully.

      Our daughter was very traumatised from the abuse from her father, and being dragged around being introduced to new lovers and all his druggie mates, she was also molested while in his “care”, the mistress he married had been emotionally abusing my daughter and making threats to me that she was going have people bash and kill my daughter (and me) – none of this mattered in family court, and here the police don’t take domestic violence seriously, and when a new “girlfriend” threatens an exwife (especially if the “new girlfriend” was a mistress before the marriage ended) they side with the “girlfriend” and verbally abuse the wife for making a complaint, telling them they’re bitter and just get over it and move on – bit hard when your house is being egged, your car windscreen smashed, people doing burnouts outside your house at 3am most nights, electricity being turned off from the outside switch line while you’re inside (my ex and his mistress used to love doing this while I was in the shower, hoping I’d fall and get seriously injured especially since I already have serious injuries and my shower was inside a bathtub and getting in and out was hard enough even with light).

      I met my second husband just as my ex cut my daughter and I out of his life altogether. So it was good timing. My second husband is a good man. He’s not perfect, but he is a christian and committed to making our marriage the best it can be, and he’s a fantastic dad to my daughter – the best dad imaginable. So we’re as happy as life allows with its ups and down.

  34. regina
    April 4, 2013

    My dad walked out a lot on me as a child and eventually never returned. That was hard on me on me and I bated him but one day I just asked God to take that pain and though I never got an apology I got healing. Thanks for this uplifting post.
    regina recently posted…Our Marriage is Our GardenMy Profile

  35. Ph
    April 4, 2013

    My husband and I live apart because of alot of the things you talked about. He says he likes what he does. I try to be his friend even if it hurts. I don’t believe in my heart he wants me anymore. I do leave it to God. I asked God for certain things for a sign if he wants me to stay married. If he is not walking away from different things am I wrong to help him when he calls? There are 2 of the grand kids that he doesn’t get to see unless I have them. He is the girls stepdad and they don’t like the mess.

  36. Sarah
    April 4, 2013

    Yes!! Very well put. I so appreciate the two sides you present – I agree wholeheartedly and am grateful to have found it put so well. I will be sharing this on FB for sure.

  37. Mimi
    April 4, 2013

    Thank you butterfly wings. I had a tough moment there with god. I couldn’t believe he seen us do horribly that way. That we were so un compassionate and hard hearted that way.
    In fact I know more non Christian people who are more compassionate sadly… And I just refuse to believe god would think something so untrue about humans.
    I will agree most people aren’t worth their salt. In my opinion there are few people on this earth that I met that I felt were self serving or his behind the church or whatever it was.
    But I do believe real genuine good hearted people do exist. And I would think god would have a better opinion of us… Since he did create us. Can something imperfect come from a perfect being? Looks that wAy.

    • ButterflyWings
      May 4, 2013

      Mimi I’m sorry you’ve known so many christians who weren’t compassionate. The church I grew up in sadly had it’s fair share, but I do know that not all christians are like that, and if you’re hurting and struggling, you need to find good christian fellowship – people who will be there for you and support you. I stuck it out in my old church for 30 years because I wanted to be the person there for others who were hurting from lack of compassion from others. But through random circumstances, I ended up moving on and finding a really great loving christian family. I have had to move on again due to moving, but (while only very new) am finding my husband’s church very friendly welcoming. It’s ok to leave a church if you don’t have the support you need – just try not to give up on other christians altogether. We’re all human but there are definitely people who will love you and care about you.

  38. Mimi
    April 4, 2013

    (((Butterfly wings!))) I am so sorry. I know about the effects if abuse. ESP sexual. I am glad your daughter Has YOU.. You come across as a very wise compassionate person to me from reading your posts.
    I often never see that or mention it. But I believe your daughter is lucky to have a mom like you and I am so glad he did choose his mistress cause now you guys can live in peace;)
    When I came out about my abuse. My parents and sister pretty much ended our relationship… If you can call it one. It wasn’t. Just me magically thinking they grow an conscience. Another story.
    But anyhow…I am soooo happy she is now away from him. I believe that narcissism is a huge part of this what ever you call it. At least make to female fetish.
    These men spend all day talking about clothes and make up like they were 16 or something. Lewdness abounds as well.
    I really hoped husband has quit this and cares more about us than this sickness. He has one more chance here.
    I been gracious and kind… And I am trying hard to forgive. I look at him and I feel so much love and I sit next to him and hold his hand. I tell him that I love him. We smile and he says love you back.
    Then when he is at work. I worry.

  39. Mimi
    April 4, 2013

    I live without the sex life I wanted and crave. My husband is very limited in that dept and him wanting to be a female is probably why.
    I know I will never have the sex I want. The fantasy all women want fir the most part. The romance and the while package deal.
    But I love my husband more than Iove sex. That is true love I think. If he were in a accident and could have sex… It never would if mattered to me. I love him not hus sex organs. Marriage is so much more than sex.
    Yet… He seems to have this need to want men to want him dressed as a woman. So much he even dressed up and went to a bar to meet others. Thankfully he says he didn’t have sex.
    Saud he didn’t want a disease.
    Am I a fool? Maybe. I been married 18 years and soon to be 19. We have a home and a child. A life here. One I hope he values more than sex.

  40. Laura
    August 6, 2013

    I really enjoyed reading this posting about forgiveness . My husband recently admitted to talking to other women online. I was ready to leave him but he begged me to forgive him. I did not forgive him yet, but I will. I was inspired. I need to place this in The Lord’s hands as you mentioned. I need to let go. I use to want revenge before, I wanted to make him suffer as he made me feel but it is not the right thing to do. I need to live forward not just for me but for my two little one’s. I cannot carry this burden,I place it in god’s hands. I am so grateful I found your advice Sheila . I feel so free now, thank you

  41. little lady
    July 16, 2014

    I have read all of your comments and completely agree that forgiveness is liberating. I have found out (on 2 different occasions) that my husband was viewing pornography. Because I had proof, he admitted it. In the past, I have seen that he absolutely will not be honest unless given no choice. Recently, I have begun to suspect that it is happening again, although he says that he has never looked at it again. Ironically, I am not tech savvy at all to say the least. Most of what I have found out has been purely by accident. I have been trying to check behind him again, but have become worn out with trying to interpret computer lingo that I don’t understand. One thing that I have found out is that if a man wants to look at porn, the avenues for looking at it and hiding it are “endless.” I want our marriage to last and I want to forgive, but how can I forgive if I don’t know what I’m forgiving. The “not knowing” is much harder than finding out the truth. The process of trying to find out is consuming all of my time and energy that is much needed in other areas of my life. I am hoping that Robert, who posted earlier , can give me some insight from a male’s perspective.

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