Do husbands only ever think about sex?
Today for Wifey Wednesday I thought I’d get back to basics and tackle a question I get a lot–is sex the only thing that’s important to husbands?
Now, I know that for many women, husbands’ low libido is a huge problem. And if that’s your marriage, this series on why your husband doesn’t want to have sex is likely a better one for you.
But for every woman who has ever asked, “is that all he ever thinks about?”, I thought we’d tackle this today!
One woman wrote to me:
After several years of marriage, it just occurred to me that I wasn’t interested in sex anymore because it never seemed to be about love, but only him having an orgasm. It is very sad that the only thing that matters about me is him being able to have sex with me. If I don’t have sex, then he doesn’t love me. I am convinced that sex is the only thing that matters to a man. Therefore, I am worth nothing more than my ability to sexually satisfy a man. That’s a horrible truth that has been too hard for me to bear and I decided to just stop being intimate. Being a woman is like winning some kind of anti-lottery. You’re worth absolutely nothing.
Can you feel how much pain she’s in? I sure can. And I totally feel for her, so today I really want to talk to women like her.
First, let me say that sixteen years ago I could have written that paragraph myself. I was so disenchanted with sex, and it seemed like it was wrecking my marriage because Keith wanted it and I didn’t, and all we seemed to do was fight over it. It was terrible. And I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. It really seemed like God made sex just for men, and then He told us women that we had to do it if we’re married, almost like it’s legal prostitution.
I know that sounds harsh, but I’m saying it just to give any women out there in a similar boat encouragement. I truly do understand.
When I was going through this I read a few Christian books about sex that told me how I had to for my husband, and how it was this beautiful thing, and I thought the authors were off their rockers. I was so angry when I read them, and since I happened to be in the bath at the time (that’s where I read most of my books), I ended up drowning them, good and dead.
But I don’t feel like that now, and so I want to focus this post on how I overcame that.
First, though, I do want to acknowledge that some women are in relationships with men who truly ARE only interested in women to use them. They treat their wives like sex objects. That is unacceptable. Sometimes the way that we talk about men’s sexual needs, though, makes it sound like God does want women to be sex objects, which is why I wrote a series in June asking us to talk about men’s sexuality in a different way.
So if your husband truly is using you, and honestly doesn’t care anything for you EXCEPT what you give him in bed, then please go back and read my series from June on healthy sexuality.
However, many of us truly feel that husbands only think about one thing–when we also know deep down that husbands do love us.
It’s just that sex seems to be the catalyst for so many problems in marriage. The tension is pulling us apart. I know what happened in my marriage is that I totally misunderstood what was going on in Keith’s head, and a lot of it was fuelled by what I believed the church was telling me about sex. Keith definitely wanted sex a lot, and so I would “let” him (though I just couldn’t get into it). This created a cycle where Keith wanted sex even more, because what he really needed wasn’t release; it was intimacy. He needed to feel like we were experiencing something together, and I didn’t like it.He wants sex & you don't. You resent it. He gets scared and wants it more! Break that cycle.Click To Tweet
So he was desperate to feel loved, and at the same time I saw sex as something more and more negative. I’d hear how men need sex, and I had to “do it”, but that made me so angry. And then Keith would pull away because I didn’t seem to be trying to connect. It was just a big, huge mess. It wasn’t that Keith didn’t care about me feeling good at all; it was that I believed he didn’t care because I was so angry and hurt that I couldn’t see beyond it.
Are you at a mess when it comes to your sex life, too?
Let’s take a step back, then. Let’s stop looking at sex as an obligation for a minute and get out of this anger cycle, and let’s go back to first principles.
Let’s say you’ve been told your whole life that something is good. That something is amazing. That something is earth shattering. And then you experience it, and it seems not that good. It’s boring, it’s a lot of work, and it’s a little degrading. What do you do?
At this point you have two choices. You can decide to forget about it, and just believe the rest of the world is totally deluded, or you can take a deep breath and say, “I must be missing something. Why don’t I put some effort into this so I can figure out what it is I’m missing, because I’d really like to be deliriously happy like everyone else seems to be, too.”
The second approach is better, but it’s hard to get to because it requires seeing past your own feelings. Sometimes, though, that’s the only way forward.
When you’re in a car accident, you have to go through physical therapy to learn to walk again. It seems hopeless. It seems like you may never make progress. But you do it because you know it’s worth it.
In this case, you may not know it’s worth it because you’ve never experienced how great sex can be. Instead it seems to cause tension between you and your husband. But trust me, if you put the work in, you can come out on the other side. Don’t settle for a lousy sex life, or no sex life at all. It can be better. It really can! Rather than growing resentful and angry and starting this negative cycle, see beyond it.Sometimes we settle for a lousy sex life because we honestly can't see how it can be good.Click To Tweet
If that’s all he thinks about, then doesn’t that make him an animal?
There’s another problem with the way this woman is thinking, though (again, assuming that abuse is not a factor in her letter). It’s not just that she finds it impossible to believe that sex can be good. It’s that she seems her husband as somehow animalistic.
This woman seems very angry at her husband because he wants it so much. He basically seems like a beast in her eyes, because all he wants is physical release. And if that’s how he actually experiences love, then that’s pathetic.
Again, these are extremely common feelings for women, and it’s exactly what I felt. When sex isn’t that great for you, and he’s so focused on it, then there does seem something rather infantile about our him. Our husbands have no self-control. They’re so immature. They haven’t risen above their physical needs the way we have.
But here’s where you really have to step outside of yourself for a minute. Assuming that your husband is not a controlling, narcissistic man, then your husband honestly does need sex in a way that you don’t, and THIS ISN’T WRONG. I know it feels wrong to you, but it truly isn’t. In the middle of all that tension in our marriage, I truly didn’t understand that Keith’s biggest need was not for sexual release; it was for connection. And when he wasn’t getting it, it just made him want sex even more to try to reassure him that I did love him. And that pushed me away even more. And it got worse and worse.
Part of the problem, I think, is that I also didn’t understand what sexual passion looked like.
I think we women need to let go a little bit. We like being in control and sex, when it’s good, makes us very vulnerable and very open. I think that’s part of what can repel some women, because it doesn’t seem quite proper. But we’re not supposed to be proper all the time. And God created sex as a passionate expression of how He feels about us. If you’re never experienced that when you’re making love, you need to.
So here’s what I would say: with women, our feelings usually follow our minds.
If you’re telling yourself that sex is silly at best and degrading at worst, that it is all for him, and that he is an animal for wanting it that much, you will never be in the mood.
If, on the other hand, you tell yourself:
Sex is great, and one day I will experience it the way it’s supposed to,
then you may start to get in the mood!
Start believing that sex can be wonderful. Start believing that one day you will get there. Start believing that God actually made it for you, too.
And then talk to your husband about it. Tell him that you do want it to be good, you just can’t see how right now. But that’s where you’re aiming for.
Then, if you want to move forward and get past this tension, I have two resources for you. The first is my Boost Your Libido course, a 10-module video based course that helps you understand female libido–and start to actually increase it! It’s written so that you can start to see immediate results, even after the first video, and everything else just builds on there. What many women have said after video 1 is that they’ve had a huge breakthrough and they get it now. They just didn’t see what libido really looked like for women!
It’s a super fun course, and I wrote it for women who want so much more out of their sex lives, and don’t want to settle for less. Check it out here!
Then there’s my 31 Days to Great Sex challenge. These really go great together–start Boost Your Libido, and then a few weeks later start 31 Days with your husband! But it’s a series of exercises you do together that help you move towards great sex. Sure, some of the exercises are super spicy! But many of them help you talk about sex for real for the first time; help you to understand how each other sees sex and what you need; help you to learn to be more affectionate, to flirt more, even to figure out what feels good! And I’ve kept the ebook price super inexpensive so that it can help so many couples.
I let myself believe a lot of wrong things about sex for so long, and it put a real wedge in our relationship. It fuelled a lot of anger and disenchantment, and made me see Keith in the totally wrong way. One of my big goals for this blog is that I can help couples avoid that. And it starts by changing how we’re thinking. Stop focusing on your feelings, and focus on what you know is true. That’s the key!
Now let me know in the comments: Do you understand this woman’s perspective? Do you ever feel like sex is only about his release? What can we do about that?