8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal

How should you as a husband handle it when your wife directly refuses to have sex without a valid reason? Is there anything a Christian husband can do about this?

Christian Husbands – let me be crystal clear here. The situation I am addressing in this post is not your wife occasionally turning you down for sex (even with a bad attitude, as opposed to for health or other legitimate reasons). What I am addressing here is the wife who consistently and routinely denies her husband sexually simply because she does not need sex as much or she thinks she should not have to do it except when she is in the mood or she thinks her husband should have to earn sex with her by “putting her in the mood” by doing various things she expects or likes.

Let me also be clear to all the haters(this includes liberal Christians who reject the Biblical view of male headship in marriage, as well as the Biblical teaching of the right of sex, and responsibility of sex in marriage):

Update 1/25/2018

Biblically speaking the modern concept of “marital rape” is an oxymoron.  It is impossible from a Biblical perspective for a man to rape his wife.  The Bible defines unlawful forced sex or what we would call rape as when a man forces a woman who is not married to him to have sex with him see Deuteronomy 22:23-29 for more on this. God condones forced sex in marriage in Deuteronomy 21:10-14 and he symbolizes himself as a husband who “humbles” his wife Israel in Deuteronomy 8:2-3.  For more on this subject see my article “Why the Bible Allows Forced Sex in Marriage“.   But in the conclusion of the article I just mentioned I make the following warning to men:

“Am I Telling Husbands to Go Home and Force Themselves on Their Wives?

The answer is No. But you might be thinking – Wait you just said spent this entire article telling us it was not a sin for a man to force himself on his wife!

As you catch your breath let me explain a simple principle regarding Biblical rights. Just because we have the right to do something, does not mean it is always wise to do something.”

And then I go on to explain why it is not always wise for us to exercise all our rights.  But never once in this article, that article, or any of my articles do I EVER tell men to go and force themselves upon their wives.

For all of the “Rape Accusers” out there, especially the ones that are hurling applications of domestic violence laws at me – I have written a special post just for you.  It is entitled “The Frustrated Feminist Wife“.

In two previous posts in this series I addressed these key issues:

In “Christian Husbands – You don’t pay for the milk when you own the cow!” we established this Biblical principle:

Neither the husband, nor the wife have to earn sex in marriage.

A wife cannot flatly refuse her husband, she may only ask for a delay (a raincheck) and then she needs to make good on that raincheck as soon as possible.

A husband has the right to confront his wife’s sexual refusal as a sin not only against him, but also against God.

In “Is a husband selfish for having sex with his wife when she is not the mood?” I elaborated further on this subject of sexual refusal in marriage with these principles:

A husband ought not to feel guilty for having sex with his wife when she is not in the mood if she yields, even grudgingly.

A husband needs to use prayerful discernment to discover if her reasons for “not being in the mood” are for legitimate physical or mental health reasons or if the problem is wrong thinking and wrong attitude on the part of his wife. If her reasons are legitimate, then she needs to seek medical or psychological help as soon as possible.

Now in this post we will talk about how to handle the sexual refusal of a wife when it is because she has a wrong attitude and wrong thinking about marriage and sex.

But what about the husband refusing to have sex with his wife?

I have received several comments from people asking why I have not addressed the issue of a husband’s refusal to have sex – yes it is equally clear in these passages that he cannot refuse her.   Since originally post this article I have written a companion piece to this article entitled “4 Steps to Confronting Your Husband’s Sexual Refusal“.  Check out that article for more detail on this from a wife’s perspective.

What about Paul’s “concession” in I Corinthians 7:6?

Some Christians have tried to take the entire power out of this passage in I Corinthians 7 because of verse 6 where Paul writes “I say the following as a concession, not as a command.“ So did Paul just get done telling husbands and wives not to deprive one another sexually, only to say – “Well this is my opinion on how sex should be, but if you want to deny one another – go ahead”?

“Now in response to the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have relations with a woman.”But because sexual immorality is so common, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. A husband should fulfill his marital responsibility to his wife, and likewise a wife to her husband. A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband does not have the right over his own body, but his wife does. Do not deprive one another sexually—except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say the following as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all people were just like me. But each has his own gift from God, one person in this way and another in that way.” – I Corinthians 7:1-7(HCSB)

When we look at Paul’s statement in context, his concession is not about husbands and wives not denying one another sexually.

His concession(or opinion) is about celibacy. He is prefacing the statement he is about to make as his opinion – that he wished everyone could be celibate like he was as there are many advantages to serving God as single person. But he realizes that celibacy is a gift God has only given to a chosen few, while the rest of men and women ought to marry.

What he is stating in this passage is, if you don’t have the gift of celibacy and you do get married, you have a solemn obligation to have sex with your spouse, you cannot deny them unless it is mutually agreed by both of you for a short period of time.

There is another way that people attempt to disarm the thrust of Paul’s words on sex in marriage in I Corinthians chapter seven. Some have tried to say “well if the wife has power over his body too, then she can decide to use that power to say she does not want his body having sex with her”. This is an absolutely ridiculous notion as it goes against the entire context of the passage. The entire point the Apostle Paul was making is that husbands and wives may NOT deprive one another of sex, unless they both mutually agree to a cessation of sex for a limited time.

Know the battle you face, before you get into it

The advice I am about to give you Christian husband will require courage. The advice I am about to give you will require you to show your wife tough love.

Let me be clear on something, even if you do follow the steps below I give, this does not automatically mean you will get a change from your wife, or her repentance for her sexual immorality. And yes my friend it is sexually immoral for a wife (or husband for that matter) to deny their spouse sexually unless they have a legitimate physical or mental health grounds for doing so. Most people think of sexual immorality as only someone having sex outside marriage (pre-marital sex, adultery, incest, homosexual sex). But remember that when something is immoral, that means it is sin, and we know that sexual denial in marriage is sin, therefore it is accurate to call willful sexual denial in marriage an act of sexual immorality.

I had a Christian man email me once asking if he should tolerate an affair his wife was having for the sake of saving his marriage. He had confronted his wife about it, but she told him she could not give up her lover, and she told him she loved both he (her husband) and her lover and she needed time to consider both relationships.

This man was actually counseled by a Christian counselor to continue to tolerate his wife’s affair in order to win her back. The counselor invoked the story of the prophet Hosea whom God told to marry a promiscuous woman and then left him and he had to go and get her back. What this counselor misses is – this was not God’s pattern for marriage that men tolerate sexual immorality, it was simply done to illustrate the idolatry of Israel and that God was trying to bring her back to him. Israel never did come back and later God said he gave her a letter of divorce.

In the same way men are often counseled by Christian counselors, Pastors and marriage books to simply tolerate their wives sexual denial – which is just as immoral as if she were to commit adultery. They told to talk to their wives and pray for their wives – which is good advice. But then if their wife does not repent they are told they must simply learn to cope with their wife’s sexual immorality and there is nothing else they can or should do.

I am here to tell you there is something more you can and should do. You need to call out your wife’s sin for exactly what it is – sexual immorality.

Now that you know what you are fighting against you need to know what this fight might cost you. It may end with her walking out and possibly divorcing you. You must be prepared to do what is right, no matter what the cost.

First understand this – sacrificing yourself for your wife, as Christ sacrificed himself for the church does not mean toleration of this kind of sin on the part of your wife. Many counselors throw out the “husbands you just need to sacrifice yourself for your wife like Christ did the church” but they don’t tell you WHY Christ sacrificed himself for the Church.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word.  He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless.”

Ephesians 5:25-27 (HCSB)

Christ sacrificed himself for the Church, for us, not so we could just live any way we wanted to. He sacrificed himself to make us holy, to conform us to his likeness, and his Word.

As I said in previous posts – God wants sex in your marriage, your desire for sex in your marriage is not a sin, but rather it is a gift from God. My Pastor often says God put a desire in men and a command toward men that they be “intoxicated” or “ravished” by their wife’s body.

“Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” – Proverbs 5:19 (KJV)

Your desire for your wife is not the sin, but instead it is your wife’s sinful sexual refusal that must be confronted.

Before you take any steps to confront your wife’s sin of sexual refusal

Before you embark on this difficult journey, you need to first address any un-repented sin in your own life. You need to pray very hard and make sure you are doing the right thing. You need to confess any bitterness you have toward your wife over this issue before you can confront it. Perhaps there are some other wrong ways you handled it, things you have said or done that need to be confessed to God, and perhaps even to your wife if it directly affects her.

8 Steps to confronting your wife’s sexual refusal

UPDATE: 1/23/2016 – I have reordered what I believe the Biblical steps are to confront your wife’s sexual refusal based on my understanding of when a man should seek out a marriage counselor and bring the issue to his Pastor.

Biblically speaking the husband is the spiritual authority in his home and he has the Biblical obligation to FIRST attempt to discipline his wife as she is his responsibility.  Only when he has exhausted all forms of discipline and she remains defiant and divorce is looming should he approach a counselor to act as a witness to her sin.

Christ said this about confronting a brother(or sister) that has sinned against you:

“If your brother sins against you, go and rebuke him in private. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he won’t listen, take one or two more with you, so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every fact may be established. If he pays no attention to them, tell the church. But if he doesn’t pay attention even to the church, let him be like an unbeliever and a tax collector to you.” – Matthew 18:15-17 (HCSB)

Matthew 18 gives us the first two steps a Christian husband must take to confront his wife’s sexual refusal.

Step 1 – Rebuke her privately

Rebuke your wife’s sin to her in private. This assumes you have already on several occasions tried to speaking gently to her about this issue. You have tried time and time again to find out if there is anything you can help her with, and anything you can do different. This assumes you have ruled out health problems, and or other mental problems and she simply has a stubborn and willful attitude toward sex in marriage and she does not think she needs to change.

Step 2 – Stop taking her on dates or trips

If the brother or sister in Christ who sins against you is outside the authority of your home then you would go to witnesses next.  But since your wife, like your children, is under your direct authority – you have a Biblical obligation to discipline her first before taking this outside of your home. These next 4 steps use the two types of discipline that a husband has at his disposal.  Time and Money. For some women money means nothing, but almost all women highly value their husband’s time.

Stop taking your wife to her favorite restaurants. Stop taking her out to those movies she wants to see. Don’t take her on those weekend getaways she wants to go on. I am not saying to stop talking to your wife, or ignore your wife, as that is not an option for a Christian husband. But your wife does not have the RIGHT for you to take her on dates or trips – these things are a privilege that you may remove at any time.

Step 3 – No unnecessary household upgrades

Ordinarily, I am all for a husband funding things like new furniture for the house, or new paint for the walls. Wives will come to their husband’s for these and many other household things. What you need to do as a husband is, unless it is a true family need, and not just an upgrade to something – Do not allow it.

Step 4 – Stop doing the little extra things

You know those dinners you cook, or that vacuuming you do, or those things that really she should be doing for herself, but you have simply been trying to be nice and doing for her – STOP doing them. Stop giving her those nice back and shoulder massages she loves so much.

Step 5 – Remove her funding

This step may only work if you wife does not have her own income. Stop giving her pocket money. Change your bank account so her ATM card becomes worthless. Cancel your credit cards. If she does have a job, stop paying for anything in her name and make her pay for any credit that is in her name. The Bible only requires that you provide her with food, clothing and shelter. It does not say that food and clothing has to be the fancy kind she likes to get.

If your wife has not repented and changed her ways after you these first five steps, you are sure to have a very angry and defiant wife. The little bit of sex there was in your marriage is most likely completely gone.

At any one of these points, your wife could have threatened to leave, or has already already left. You may be separated or in divorce proceedings.

But I want you to understand something, it is not your responsibility to keep your wife in the marriage by any means necessary, and certainly not by giving in to her willful, rebellious and sinful behavior. The Apostle Paul writes:

But if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave. A brother or a sister is not bound in such cases.” – I Corinthians 7:15

Remember that in Matthew, Christ told us to regard an unrepentant professed believer as an unbeliever. There is no sin here for you as a Christian husband to simply let her go, you are no longer bound and are free to marry another woman. My pastor told us that he had to deal with some rebellious times with his own wife, and his translation of “let him (or her) leave” was “there is the door” when she would threaten to leave.

But your wife may have stuck around betting that she can “wait you out” and thinking that eventually you will go back to leaving her alone about “all this sex stuff” and things can get back to the normal life she has come to love.

This is where we begin the final phase of confronting your wife’s sexual refusal.

Step 6 – Rebuke her before witnesses

If she is still defiant after you have tried all forms of Biblical discipline with her take her to a Christian marriage counselor so they can serve as a witness to her sinful defiance. But make it clear as you seek a counselor what your beliefs are to that counselor and that this is not about changing your beliefs – it is about having a witness to your wife’s sin.

Step 7 – Bring her before the Church

If bringing her to a counselor does not shake her defiance after you have tried all other forms of discipline then bring her to your Pastor and his wife to have her sin confronted by church authority.  If she is defiant to them then she needs to be expelled from the church.

What if none of these 7 steps work?

If your wife remains willfully defiant, yet she has not left you, it could be for a variety of reasons. She may not want to lose how she lives with you and she knows that after a divorce her lifestyle will be severely affected, and she does not want to deal with the consequences of divorce. Perhaps she may have some genuine care for you left as well as your children but she simply cannot see the error of her ways and will hold out indefinitely with the hope that one day you will fold and give her back the money, the dates, the trips, the house hold upgrades and she will not have been forced to change her ways.

But you have a final step you may take, one that you need to pray long and hard about before you do.

You have the option to divorce her for her sexual immorality.

“But I tell you, everyone who divorces his wife, except in a case of sexual immorality, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” – Matthew 5:32(HCSB)

Why bother with the first 7 steps if divorce is an option for sexual denial?

Many Christians would ask “If I have the right to divorce my wife for willful and chronic sexual denial, why bother with all these other steps?” The answer my friend, is that God wants us to fight for our wives and our marriage the way he fought for his marriage to Israel as a nation. Eventually he had to divorce Israel as nation, but he fought long and hard to bring her back to him, and we owe our wives and our marriages this fight.

But aren’t these steps a form of manipulation?

Those who oppose this type of confrontation will accuse me of advocating that men manipulate their wives into having sex with them more. But what these same people would fail to understand is, there is a big difference between manipulation, and discipline.

Manipulation is when someone who is an equal (like a friend, a coworker, a fellow student…etc.) or someone in a lower position (like a child, or employee, someone of lower rank) tries to make life difficult for their fellow equal or for their authority figure by doing certain actions in order to get them to do something they want. A union strike is a form of manipulation. A child throwing a temper tantrum or giving their parent the “silent treatment” is a form of manipulation. A wife withholding sex when she is angry at her husband, or giving him the “silent treatment” is also a form of manipulation. Sometimes manipulation is just pure retaliation.

Discipline, on the other hand is very different from manipulation. Discipline is performed by one who is in authority over one who is under their authority. It is action taken by an authority to attempt to modify the bad behavior of the subject of that authority so that they will behave correctly in the future. True Biblical discipline should never be done out of a spirit of retaliation or revenge.

And just to be clear – I am NOT advocating for husbands to beat their wives,smack them around, or physically abuse them in any way.  There are forms of discipline that are not physical.

Blatant willful sexual denial by a wife toward her husband is an act of rebellion against God’s authority first, and then the authority he has given her husband second. If a man denies his wife sexually, it is also an act of rebellion against God, because God has commanded him to give his body to his wife as she needs it (and I will address this in a separate post).

But a husband is supposed to love his wife as Christ loves the Church

I have had many responses since originally posting this article, that these 8 steps are not the acts of a loving husband. Previously in this post I mentioned that God had to divorce the nation of Israel, picture as an adulterous and rebellious wife.  If it were true that a loving husband would never discipline his wife, then God was not a loving husband to Israel. When Israel, who is pictured as the wife of God, rebelled against God – he disciplined Israel and as he disciplined her he told her he was doing it out of love for her to bring her back to him.

Some might respond that in the end God had to eventually divorce Israel, and his discipline did not work – so maybe Christian husbands should not discipline their wives.

But God shows by his example that he would not and could not compromise his holiness even for the nation he loved. In the same way God does not want a Christian husband to sacrifice his faith to enable his wife’s sinful behavior, even if it results in divorce.  See this post that I wrote separately on this issue entitled “10 Ways to know if you are sacrificing your faith for your wife“.


Christian husband, you are not powerless to act against your wife’s sexual refusal. Also you need to remember that this about a lot more than sexual refusal. This is about your wife’s rebellion against a central tenet of marriage and her rebellion against the order God has established in marriage. But you must realize that this may be a long and costly battle. Your confrontation of your wife’s willful, sinful behavior may result in your marriage ending.

In our next post “10 Ways to know your wife” We will move out of this sexual arena and into getting to know your wife better.

Some might wonder why I addressed sexuality from a husband’s point of view first before I talk about “knowing your wife” and “honoring your wife” in following posts. The reason is because Biblically speaking “knowing your wife” on an intellectual, spiritual and emotional level was never a prerequisite to marriage in the Bible, it was something that often times came after the consummation (sex) in marriage.

Some have mistakenly compared the “Betrothal period” of the Bible to modern dating. The fact is betrothal and dating have nothing in common. In dating, the man and woman both choose to come together mutually and decide between themselves based on a physical, emotional and intellectual level if they want to get married (and often times they even have sex during this dating period).

Betrothal in Biblical times was nothing like dating today. Men did not convince a woman by romancing her to marry them as is the typical model of relationships and marriage in modern western culture. Either the parents of both the man and the woman would arrange their marriage, or the man would approach a woman’s father and ask for his daughter in marriage, and they would agree on a bride price (like Jacob asking Rachel’s father for her hand and he worked 7 years to buy her).

They were officially considered married at the Betrothal, and it took an actual bill of divorce to break a betrothal. But during the betrothal period the man was primarily concerned with being able to setup a house and be prepared to support his wife in marriage. When he was ready, he would come to claim his wife and they would consummate the marriage with sex. Many couples saw very little of each other if at all during this betrothal period.

A man really did not know his wife emotionally and intellectually until he “knew” her sexually.

That is why we will talk about “10 Ways to know your wife” and then “12 Ways to honor your wife” now that we have concluded our discussion of sexuality as it relates to being a godly husband.

227 thoughts on “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal

  1. Susan,

    I have wrote on the subject of a husband “knowing” his wife and “honoring” his wife.


    So yes it would wrong if a husband in pursuit of other hobbies or interests(including watching TV) ignores his wife(does not talk to her, does try know her needs, wants and concerns). It is wrong if he does not give her the honor that is due her as his help meet.

    But a very basic principle of Scripture is – two wrongs never make a right. One sin does not justify another sin. The Bible does not connect sex with all these things you mention. It places NO preconditions on sex except the covenant of marriage, and then within marriage sex is both a right and a responsibility.

    I have said the same thing to men whose wives are sexually denying them. Just because your wife denies you sexually does not give you the right to stop talking to her. A natural, but still sinful reaction by many men to their wives sexual denial is to cut them off and not talk to them. A natural, but still sinful reaction by many women when their husbands don’t talk to them or mistreat them is to cut off sex. Again both these actions are sin according to God’s Word.

    On the issue of financial decisions – a husband is not required Scripturally to share all financial decisions he makes with his wife. He is her head, she is not his. Some husbands completely run the finances and there is nothing wrong with that. Other husbands delegate the actually paying of bills to their wives but in these cases a husband must still retain leadership in setting financial goals and priorities. In other words there is nothing sinful about a man delegating the book keeping to his wife, but he is not allowed to delegate his financial leadership position to his wife.

    Is a husband technically required to buy his wife gifts? No. Should he? I think so, especially for these special times like Christmas, anniversary and birthday. I can understand though how that would be upsetting to most women. However there is also a danger in some marriages where a man gets trained by his wife that the only way he gets “the good sex” is by by buying his wife jewelry and gifts all the time. This ought not to be the case.

    It is not uncommon for couples to get in a rut with sexual positions. For many couples it is the same position in the same place every time and either the husband or wife might want some variety. In most cases(but not certainly not all) it is the husband wanting the variety. Women tend to find their “safe position” and they are afraid to try anything else, and even if they do try it they are so tense and scared of this new position that often times they cause themselves the discomfort by simply not relaxing. It is a complicated subject and you might need to work with a counselor to figure out what will work for both of you.

  2. I had a talk with him and basically said i will never say yeas to anal. He seemed disappointed. He said it was something he always wanted to try because his friends said it feels really good and he thought maybe i would climax for once. I told him he’s more likely to tear something than anything so he said he wouldn’t bother me about it anymore. I don’t see how anal would help me orgasm during sex for the first time anyway.
    Wouldn’t wanting my own desires met be a little selfish on my part? He gets flustered when I don’t show him what I like but he’s equally flustered when I try to show him what I like saying “I got this” then when I start to feel something he gives up “it’s not going to work anyway”. I’ve been given permission to finish myself off if I want many times. Sex is stressful more times than it is enjoyable.

  3. Victoria,

    The Scriptural requirement for you to give your body to husband to meet his sexual needs does NOT require you submitting to abuse. It is a medical fact that the anus, unlike the mouth or vagina, is a truly an EXIT ONLY orifice. The lining on in the anus is easily torn and bleeds and infections can easily be caused by this.

    Biblically speaking when we desire something that God did not intend us to have that is selfishness, that is covetousness and it is sin. God did not design your anus for your husband to penetrate it, so by definition his desire is selfish.

    However your husband’s desire for vaginal sex is not selfish because God designed him to desire it and God designed your vagina for penetration and for both your pleasure and your husband’s pleasure in addition to it being the way you conceive and deliver children.

    What is selfish on your husband’s part in regard to vaginal sex is the fact that he should give you some time as you are truly working to get to the point where you can have vaginal sex with him.

    So he needs to wait – and you need to work REALLY REALLY hard to get to the bottom of your mental blocks that are causing your vaginismus as fast as possible.

    Again your husband needs to exercise patience with his God given desire to have vaginal sex with you. He needs to practice sacrificial love for you by giving you some time to work on your Vaginismus.

    But here is something you may have to face Victoria. God may call on you, as he has called on numerous women throughout the centuries to practice sacrificial love for your husband by having vaginal sex with him even though it may cause some pain and discomfort. I am praying though that you will be able work through mental blocks and I believe you can, but it may never be pain free for you.

    While optimally it is wonderful when sex can be mutually pleasurable and pain free for both the husband and wife – if everything has been tried and you still experience some pain with vaginal intercourse six months from now at a certain point you will need to allow your husband to have vaginal sex with you.

    I have not experienced this with my first wife(whom I divorced) or my second wife(to whom I am currently now married) and I can only imagine how hard this is on both of you. I would not want to cause my wife pain, but at the same time I know if I faced this situation if we had exhausted all the avenues of trying to fix the problem you can’t cut off vaginal sex. It is an integral part of marriage. God calls you to be “one flesh” in marriage, and while there is a spiritual and relational side to that – you are cannot truly be “one flesh” to fullest extant God intended it without vaginal intercourse.

  4. Victoria, the definition of “selfish” is ALWAYS thinking only of your own wants/needs, it doesnt mean you can NEVER think of your own wants/needs. Our mental and physical health and safety RELY on us being aware of our own needs/wants. God puts that in us for a practical reason and, too often, we buy the lie that to ever think of our own needs is somehow a sin. Its all about balance and motive.

    On the other note, communicating about the specifics of sex with your spouse can be awkward at times, but there should be an air of openness and acceptance of each others’ opinions. YOU are the only one in this situation who can decide whether you are giving this area your best. YOU are the only one in the bedroom with your spouse. Nobody on this site is actually there, knows all the interactions/attitudes that each of you have with one another. From your comments, you seem to be going out of your way to be pleasing and yet, I do not see that same concern/commitment on his end. He is putting his desire to feel good in his body above your need to feel comfortable in your heart and spirit. Doesn’t THAT sound seflish? THere are some parameters that just feel wrong. Even if your spouse or anyone else disagrees, that doesnt mean you are obligated to do that particular act. Again, you are the only one who can determine that. Also, his response to your pain, your confusion, etc. is important to the overall health of your relationship. You use the term “flustered.” What does that look like or sound like? How does he deal with being “flustered?” Is he continually blaming/shaming/guilting you when things don’t go his way? Does he get angry? This is abuse. Is he patient, communicative, accepting? Only you can determine these things. You are a real person, as valuable to God in every way and at every level as your husband. God sees your heart. You do not have to have the approval or acceptance of other people to know if you are doing your best. You will know it in your spirit. And if you ARE doing your best, then your husband’s response should come from the spirit as well. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

  5. Hi Victoria,

    I basically agree with Debbie, but I also agree with the advice given by the author of this web site. Do you have a good relationship with your father-in-law and your mother-in-law? If so, that might be the best place to receive counseling. From what your post says, you are doing your best to satisfy your husband without putting your health in a lot of danger. I wish my wife would go as far as you are willing to go in this area!

    My wife doesn’t want to have sex with me at all. The last time we had sex, which was April of last year, there was no intercourse. However, I did use my hand to satisfy her. I told her that I would be satisfied with this until intercourse for her is not too painful. However, she does not even agree with that. She wants us to live as brother and sister, with the brother paying all of the household expenses, food, automobile expenses, taking her out to eat once a week, going to the movies, and buying her jewelry and furniture. I am not willing to live this way and I told her that she has until December, when she is planning to visit her family in Colombia, to repent of sexual denial to her husband. Until then, I told her that I would not buy anything for the house that I would not use while she is in Colombia.

    Personally, I would much rather have a wife like you, who is at least making a sincere attempt to satisfy your husband’s needs in this area than a wife who absolutely refuses to have sex with me.

    In reading an artricle written by a doctor about the health hazards of the homosexual lifestyle, he said that anal sex is very dangerous to one’s health. So, you have not only a right but a responsibility to your body to refuse anal sex. Here is a link to this artricle: http://www.dcclothesline.com/2013/07/04/medical-consequences-homosexual-sexual-behaviors/

  6. Debby,

    I agree wholeheartedly with your statement about what selfishness is and I have made similar statements myself many times:

    “Victoria, the definition of “selfish” is ALWAYS thinking only of your own wants/needs, it doesnt mean you can NEVER think of your own wants/needs. Our mental and physical health and safety RELY on us being aware of our own needs/wants. God puts that in us for a practical reason and, too often, we buy the lie that to ever think of our own needs is somehow a sin. Its all about balance and motive.”

    I also agree there needs to openness between couples to discuss sexual preferences and what feels good and what does not.

    He needs to exercise patience and sacrificial love right now to let her figure out what is going on with her mind and body in regards to vaginal sex. But at a certain point vaginal sex must occur even if there is still some residual discomfort. This is the sacrificial side of sex that God calls us to and he may call Victoria to in the future.

  7. Is it wrong for me to ask him to stop when it feels like there’s a wall. It felt like shards of glass being forced into my vagina. Can I ask for it all to stop or do I stay silent and grit my teeth? Was I wrong to ask him to stop? Did I have to be held down and forced to have sex when it hurt that bad? He wants me to initiate, to get into the moment, to have an active role in it all. Every move i make feels like sand paper, I’ve even been accused of being a “dead F***” (his words, not mine). How do I pretend to be excited when inside im in agony? How do I hide the pain when it brings me to tears? How could I have known this would happen, if I had known i would’ve stayed single and he could have found someone better than me. I’ve been told by a few people its my fault for being a virgin on my wedding night, I wish I had known this would happen.

  8. Victoria,

    On the anal sex issue – as I said in a previous comment this has nothing to with your having “selfish desires”, he is the one acting selfishly by desiring something God did not intend for him to have(anal sex).

    On the issue of sex being stressful, as I said in a previous comment as well, sex can be stressful when a woman is not in tune with her own body. I am not saying this is the case with you. This is something I have heard about a lot from Christian men and women.

    It happens on both sides. Sometimes it is the woman saying to the husband “its not going to work anyway”. You know how many women have tried to help their husband get an erection to no avail? Talk about hand cramps!

    But while “frustrating and stressful sex” happens from both the perspective of both genders, the causes are usually very different.

    Most of the time with men ED is caused from physical issues(blood flow issues and testosterone issues) while sometimes it may be caused by psychological issues(thought process issues).

    But the fact is with women, it is usually the reverse. In most cases where women have sexual issues the major causes are often psychological and the minority of cases are actually caused from physical problems.

    So getting back to your husband – if he is saying “It’s not going to work anyway” that is an indicator that he feels based on his past experience you have a hard time climaxing. Now maybe he is wrong and he was just not “doing it” right.

    Let me ask you this and really think about your answer. How long in minutes would it take for him to do whatever it is that you think “rings your bell”? And then do you think it is consistent with you or does it sometimes take far longer than others?

    Again please don’t read into this that I am trying to attack you, because I am not – I want to help you. God wants you and your husband to have a great sex life.

    But realize that for a man – we don’t have to think about what feels good – it just does. We really don’t have know our bodies the way you women do, most of us guys when it comes to climaxing it pretty much works the same way for the 95% of us, except for those few guys that actually are really emotional and over think sex.

    But for you as a woman sex is much more of a mind game. Most women can’t do like guys and “these three steps 1, 2, 3 work every time and in the same amount of time”. You as a woman have to mentally prepare yourself and know your own body – it can be him doing all the work. You have to help yourself climax as well. I know that might not make sense – and maybe one of my female blogger friends can step in here and help explain it better.

  9. Victoria,

    Let me first say there is NOTHING wrong with the fact that you were a virgin on your wedding night. That is to be commended and that is exactly what God wanted you to do. Never let anyone make you feel guilty about that.

    It is wrong for him to hold you down and force you to have sex – that is abuse.

    While I completely believe in the right for a man to have sex with his wife, this right must always be tempered by his love and concern for your well being as well. Your husband sounds like a very narcissistic man if he is willing to hold you down and force himself upon you.

    There is a very big difference between a man having sex with his wife when she is not in the mood, but she willingly yields(even with a bad attitude) and him forcing himself upon his wife.

    You do not have to submit this kind of abuse. In fact if everything you are telling me is true – I would recommend you get with your Pastor(his father) or another counselor and give him an ultimatum – either the forced sex stops or you are gone. God does not expect you to stay in such an abusive situation.

    In fact I would argue that forced sex would definitely make your vaginismus worse from a psychological perspective.

  10. Victoria,

    Another thing I want to clarify after my last comment recommending you put a halt to your husband’s abusive forced sex.

    I talked about the possibility that after you seek help you may still have to endure some pain and discomfort during vaginal sex. But what I meant is you voluntarily and willingly accepting that discomfort because you want to help and please your husband. I did not in any way intend those remarks to mean you have to allow your husband to force himself on you the way you describe. That is wickedness on his part – pure and simple.

  11. I missed a post about how long it would take to climax. He’s done it before and if he’s willing to listen to instruction it only takes 3-8 minutes. I have to admit I still feel tense after 3 mins unless we did foreplay before hand. He like to dive right on into the sensative bits and be fast and rough. I’ve explained that I need softer touches then he can ramp up the speed if he wants (and this tends to be the point where he gets up and says i can do it myself). I haven’t ever climaxed during intercourse, in the beginning I felt like a failure and it seemed like I had a lot if pressure to preform. The whole time I’d have to pay attention to the sensations and keep a rating 1-10 so I could give one at the end when he asked. I eventually just said i didn’t like having to rate everything and it stressed me out so we stopped, by then intercoarse had become uncomfortable and what little foreplay we did do was dropped all together. Two years of “quickies”, I don’t know what I want anymore. I feel like its just easier to do it his way than to get into an argument over how I shouldn’t need all that “lovey dovey stuff” to have sex, that takes too long, im tiered and don’t feel like it, im ADHD and can’t focus on it, ext. ext. At least when he initiates i can ask for foreplay, when its me i can kiss all my favorite parts good bye so I hate being the one to initiate. I guess im broken or something, it either hurts or doesn’t feel like anything during intercourse.

  12. Victoria,

    I am so sorry to hear how frustrating your sex life is. What you are asking for is normal – most women want to start very soft and slow and then move to faster motions. And you are not a failure for not being able to climax through intercourse. Most women do not regularly climax through intercourse and many women have never climaxed through intercourse. So again you are completely normal in this regard.

    I can totally see how rating things would be very frustrating.

    But I think it sometimes helps us to look at things from the other persons perspective. By some things you have stated your husband is equally frustrated with your sex life. He is also frustrated with your Vaginismus. It appears based on his comments that he feels like it takes you a very long time to climax and that often times your don’t. I realize that my not be the case, but for many people perception becomes their reality. Without counseling he may never overcome that feeling.

    Another key thing for you to consider. You may feel like you are just trying to show your husband what makes you climax, but he may feel like his wife is “schooling him”. He may feel like “I can never do anything right for this woman, I spend too much money, I don’t make enough money and in the bedroom I am complete failure with her”. When men have these kinds of feelings they many times act out in selfish and irresponsible ways.

    Even if he won’t go to Christian counseling – I suggest you get in a really intense Christian counseling program to help you understand your own body and to be able to cope with your situation.

  13. Insanity – I received some new comments from a woman named Victoria about physical problems(Vaginismus) she has had and some selfish behavior by her husband. I would very much like to hear your take if you can respond to her concerns. Thanks.

  14. Dragonfly,

    I recently got some comments from a woman Victoria, who is suffering from physical problems(Vaginismus) she has had and some selfish behavior by her husband. I would very much like to hear your take if you can respond to her concerns. Thanks.

  15. Biblical, I really appreciated all the information you’ve given to Victoria, as well as a link to other thread.

    Something some men may not be aware of, sex done improperly can be very uncomfortable for women, painful even. It is not quite the same for men. I think for men, many probably feel as if bad sex is better than no sex at all. So some may be unaware that for women it isn’t like that all, bad sex is a really unpleasant experience, one we certainly don’t want to repeat.

    To make matters worse, many women are raised in shame based homes where any understanding of their own bodies is discouraged, so we really don’t know how to make sex good or what we even need.

    This is where love becomes very important, love compels us to be gentle with each other, patient, to try and empathize with one another and learn together. That really is half the fun, but you have to have a teachable heart and be willing to work together.

    Prayer is also something that I think women who are struggling sexually can really use. Talk to God, ask him to help you heal sexually. We have not because we ask not. God invented sex, he knows women better than we know ourselves, and He loves us dearly. God already knows, He already sees, so it is okay to pray about it. Sex is to be a blessing for women.

  16. Sex was a bit of a taboo subject at home, most of my questions about sex were answered in the form of a book. I didnt know half the words for my anatomy growing up. My first “sex talk” was a book two weeks before my wedding day. I don’t like touching myself. I tried to sit down and figure out what I liked but the whole time i felt sick and discusted. Then my husband walked in and was confused about why I was doing it.

  17. I’m sorry that sex was such a taboo subject, Victoria. That shame based teaching of sexuality that happens both in our homes and some of our churches has done a lot of harm to people, especially to women.

    If one feels sick and disgusted or shameful about sex, than our bodies won’t respond right either. Healing our sexuality can be a complex thing, but so worth it. It probably sounds a bit funny, but God invented sex, so praying about it and asking Him for guidance towards healing can be helpful. Shame is sometimes a huge stumbling block for many women and it makes me a bit angry because God did not give us a spirit of shame. We are wonderfully and fearfully made. I do know that for women, where our mind goes, our bodies follow. In order to feel desire and attraction, we have to capture our thoughts and develop some awareness of what is going on within our own minds. We are not quite as physical as men, we need our thoughts and emotions to be aligned too, or our bodies won’t respond properly.

  18. Of all the passages pertaining to sexual immortality in the Bible, I don’t see anywhere that even alludes to refusing to give someone sex as being immoral sexually.

    Divorce is a big deal in Gods eyes. I’m not certain I would so flippantly advocate it on what appears to be at worst an incorrect interpretation of scripture and at best a flimsy excuse based on questionable interpretation of the scriptures.

    Would you please elaborate on why you perceive denial of sex as being sexual immortality?

  19. First I have to say thank you so much for posting this article.
    I feel like I have a new way to approach an old problem.
    As a forty one year old man I sit hear shaking after reading this. All this time I have felt like I was the problem, dirty, perverted, the sinner. Although these feelings never made sence to me. I would wonder why God would give me such a desire to be with her (physically and emotionally)?
    My story is like many others so I will not get into it. However, I just want to add that for me there was/is emotional abandonment that plays a major part of this sexual void. Sex with my wife every other month (after I can’t take it anymore and beg for it) is the physical part that hurts and is missing. The part that keeps me up at night, makes me feel alone, sick, unworthy, unwanted, just plain miserable is that she often behaves as if I’m not there. This emotional separation is crushing. This I believe is the cause of the feeble sex life.
    Yes it’s about the sex… But it’s so much more than that.

  20. Justin,

    I am so glad God had bless you through this article. I hope that he will lead you in the upcoming days in exactly what to say and what to do. Just remember that while your hurt is very real, this is about far more than your wife sexually denying you. This is about way more than the loneliness you feel.

    This is about your wife sinning against the core of your marriage, against the vows she took on your wedding day. So many Christians think the marital faithfulness is only speaking to not having sex OUTSIDE of marriage. But they are so wrong. Marital faithfulness also requires giving yourself sexually to your spouse WITHIN marriage.

    Also I have yet to speak to a man whose wife is willfully and chronically denying him sexually and find out that she is submissive in every other way. Sexual denial in the vast majority of cases is only the tip of the iceberg of a rebellious wife.

    Get with the Lord and pray, confess your sins and make your heart right with God. Confess any bitterness you have, even toward your wife – so that God can guide you clearly as to your next steps.

    May God be with you brother.

  21. Justin,

    One other piece of advice I would like to give you – feel free to shake up the order of the steps(obviously except for step 8). First sit down with your wife and confess any sins you have committed against her. Then let her know that things are going to change and that you will no longer accept her chronic sexual denial. Try to get her to go to a Christian counselor – but one who embraces the Biblical view of marriage and sex. If you get with a liberal Christian who rejects gender roles and embraces a marriage based on emotion and feelings(rather than duty and commitment to God) they can actually make things WORSE. Believe me I have heard of many stories like that.

    So the counselor you pick is important and you ought to talk to them alone first to make sure you are on the same page.

    But perhaps after the counselor if she fails to listen and change her ways, you could try the financial and other steps 4-7 before finally bringing her to your Pastor and his wife.

  22. Jeff,

    What is immorality? It is any behavior which violates God’s law or design, it is sin which is “to miss the mark” which God has set. Many Christians wrongly believe that sin is only doing bad things that God forbids. But what they don’t realize is, sin is equally NOT doing things that God has commanded us to do.

    “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” – James 4:17 (KJV)

    For instance if a man does not provide for his family what does God say?

    “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” – I Timothy 5:8 (KJV)

    So this is not the sin of doing something God says you cannot do, but it is the sin of not doing something God has commanded you TO do.

    In the same way along with men being commanded to provide food and clothing to their wives – God also commands the sex must be given:

    “10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.
    11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.” – Exodus 27:10-11

    The Apostle Paul elaborates further on this right of sex in marriage and the sin of sexual denial in marriage:

    “3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

    4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

    5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” – I Corinthians 7:3-5(KJV)

    So it is indeed sexually immoral behavior for a husband or wife to deny their spouse sex in marriage. In the same way that God commands that sex not happen outside of marriage, he commands that sex MUST happen within marriage.

    Would we say that someone is being faithful to God if they simply don’t worship any other Gods, but they refuse to serve God? Of course not. Faithfulness to God means not only NOT worshiping or following after other things, but it also means serving and worshiping God.

    In the same way marital faithfulness is a two sided coin – on the one side we cannot go outside our marriage for sex. But on the other side we MUST have sex within our marriage and we may not deny our spouse.

  23. My wife will only let me do anal or oral sex because she does not want to get pregnant.scripture all.so says that it’s better in the belly of a whore than the ground. We do it missionary anal…does that satisfy god?

  24. David,

    No Scripture says “it’s better in the bellow of a whore than the ground” – that is a legend with no Biblical backing. I don’t want to get into a big discussion about anal sex – but I will say this – medically speaking it was not designed for penetration. The anus is truly an “exit only” orifice. God did not make it as an alternative to the vagina.

    Your wife is sexually denying you – you can use condoms or birth control pills if she is worried about getting pregnant. She cannot deny you vaginal sex just because she is afraid of getting pregnant.

    I suggest you take her to Christian marriage counselor so they can help confront her fear of pregnancy and help her with alternative means of birth control.

  25. “Sexual denial in the vast majority of cases is only the tip of the iceberg of a rebellious wife.” That is certainly true with my wife!

    My wife just told me that she needs for me to loan her what amounts to about $150 on my credit card so I can transfer it to her bank account in Colombia. I told her that I could not do it. She asked me if I had enough credit left to do it. I had to tell her that I didn’t want to do it and that I don’t have that much credit left on my credit card.

    This week she wanted me to see a sales presentation for a water filter. I had to tell her that I didn’t want to buy anything that I really did not have a need for in her absence. I pointed out that when she goes back to Colombia to visit I did not know if she would be coming back here to Mexico or not. She has told me many times that she wants to move back to Colombia to be close to her family there.

    This may sound like a step backward, but it is really a step forward for me since I have a wife who really wants to be the boss of the family. In the past, I had loaned her a lot of money putting it on my credit card in order to transfer it to her bank account in Colombia. I wanted to make her happy! However, I have decided to have some back bone and take a chance on her being very angry with me.

    My wife receives two pensions. However, she uses a lot of it to send money to her grown sons. I told her that she is not really helping them by doing this, but she will not listen to me. My wife has pretty much done what she wanted in our marriage, whether I liked it or not. So, as the author of this web site has pointed out, sexual denial is only the tip of the iceberg or her rebellion. (She was a widow when I married her a little over five years ago and was the head of her home then, with her 29 year old son living with her. She has never really made the adjustment to recognizing me as the head of the home now.)

  26. Missionary,

    I am sorry to hear that your wife as not softened her heart to God’s calling on her life. I hope you are beginning to see that the foundation of marriage is not the happiness of one’s spouse and its not even romance – it is about holiness and faithfulness to God’s design and will for our lives. That means often times we as men, as the heads of our homes will have to make decisions that make our wives unhappy, or even angry with us. If we have kids, we have may make decisions that make them unhappy or angry. But if our decisions are based upon what we believe the Lord’s will is for our family, then we must do this.

    One of the most difficult tasks in leading our homes is confronting sinful behavior, not only in the lives of our children, but also in the lives of our wives. Discipline is a part of a our duty as the head of our home.

    Really there has been a lot of enabling of sin in your family. You have enabled your wife’s sinful rebellion against you, not only in the sexual arena but in many other areas including financial areas. Once she married you, you were over her AND her finances. Your wife has been enabling her adult children’s sin of laziness by giving them money and not forcing them to support themselves as adults. You enabled your wife’s enabling of their sinful behavior by not putting a stop to that. I do not say any of this to cast judgement on you – and you know we have discussed this before privately many times.

    You need to pray for strength to confront her sinful rebellion in all areas – not just in the area of sex which we both agree is “just the tip of the iceberg” as it is in many marriages where the wife sexually denies her husband.

    Do not loan her any more money, and pull back on any non-essential spending. You must confront this sin of rebellion in your marriage – even if it ends your marriage.

  27. At what point am I wrong? I mean, I keep an obsessive watch on the finances because we barely make ends meet as it is and now we are in the red from overspending and can’t afford to get food. I maybe eat once a day :-/, its miserable but it is what it is and even what I have is more than what most get in the world so i should be thankful. I don’t get spending money because “you don’t go out and do things as much as I do”, but I’d probably only spend it on food. I have no energy, I should be cleaning right now but just putting the baby down for a nap made me feel like I ran I mile. Maybe im out of shape? I used to run a mile in under 7 minutes and I wouldn’t feel like this after. I tried to stay up and wait for him to come home but I fell asleep, I don’t think he came back until around 6am or a little after. The weird thing about it was he didn’t smell like beer or cigarets this time.
    I want him to be home with me, I want to have money for food, sometimes I’d like to get out and hang out with a friend for an hour and not have to worry about the baby, I want a little help with the chores. Am I selfish want and to ask for these things?

  28. “I hope you are beginning to see that the foundation of marriage is not the happiness of one’s spouse and its not even romance – it is about holiness and faithfulness to God’s design and will for our lives.”
    Here is an excellent article about whether God exists to make us happy or not (It is so good that I translated it into Spanish): http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/45302-does-god-exist-to-make-you-happy.

    Unfortunately, my wife listens to TV preachers who teach that God exists to make us happy and prosperous (primarily in the area of finances and health). Although the Apostle Paul teaches that we should be content with what we have, these TV preachers say that we should use our faith for more material goods. My wife believes that there is nothing wrong with these preachers being multi-millionares, since Abraham and Joseph were rich. She says we need to use our faith to believe God for a bigger house, a new car, new furniture, etc. I am beginning to believe that I am in an unequally yoked situation, since these things are not a very high priority in my life.

    “Really there has been a lot of enabling of sin in your family. You have enabled your wife’s sinful rebellion against you, not only in the sexual arena but in many other areas including financial areas.” These are hard statements, but they are true! I have basically been a wimp in my marriage, wanting to make my wife happy and being afraid of making her angry (mainly because her being angry with me could provoke me to lose my temper, because I am more afraid of my own anger than anybody else’s). Unfortunately, my mother raised me to believe that everyone should like me, and if someone was angry with me it was probably my fault. It took me many years to get over that with other people. I just need to get over that with my wife!

    So, when my wife goes back go Colombia to visit, if we haven’t solved our marital problems before then, I will remind her again that we will have to solve them before she can come back to Mexico to live with me. I did read her the scriptures not only from 1st Corinthians chapter 7, but also from Ephesians chapter 4, telling her that this is God’s plan for our marriage. I will have to emphasize even more that if she does not want to submit to me as her husband in the Lord, that we will have to separate until she decides to obey God in our marriage.

    As the author of this web site has indicated, it is better to live separated from a rebellious wife than continue to be a wimp of a husband in a marriage. Some may think that a husband being a wimp in his marriage is the loving thing to do, but as the author of this web site has pointed out, when we as husbands allow disrespectful behavior from our wives, we are doing them more harm than good.

    My wife has been having constant problems with her health, mainly because of her thyroids and low blood pressure, she says. She believes that her family in Colombia can take better care of her than I can here. I wonder how much of her sickness is due to her disobedience to God concerning our marriage?

  29. Victoria,

    I am not sure what comment of mine your are replying to since you reply was not directly connected to it.
    That is completely wrong on your husband’s part if he is not providing for you to have 3 meals a day for both you and your child.
    It’s not wrong to want to get out with your friends from time to time and you husband should help watch the baby so you can do that.
    Its not selfish to desire these things – you just need to talk to him about it and pray for God to work in his life.

  30. This helped me, though I’ve been divorced for over 3 years. The last year we were together, we never had sex at all. To cope with this, I’d occasionally masturbate, and once my pastor told me that maybe my masturbation was the problem! But somehow my wife’s refusal to have sex was OK, or at least not addressed to my knowledge. But I never thought of her refusal as being sexually immoral. So that at least helps me not to feel guilty.

  31. Mike,

    You are absolutely right. In so many of our churches and Christian based counseling programs they condemn what the Bible does not – masturbation and they do not condemn what the Bible does – sexual denial in marriage.

  32. Missionary,

    I hope you did not think by my “hard statements” that was I was trying to pass judgement on you. This something all of us a Christian men struggle with whether it be with our children and especially with our wives. You are not alone. It is especially true for those of us that are easy going guys – we don’t take stands when we ought to.

  33. “I hope you did not think by my “hard statements” that was I was trying to pass judgement on you.” Absolutely not! However, when Jesus told us to not judge, the word in the original Greek in this scripture means condemn. There are times when we are called on as Christians to judge the behavior of another person.to see if it is in line with the Word of God or not. If it is not, then we have the responsibility to pray for the person and, if we can contact the person, tell them for their own good that they must repent or there are consequences that they will suffer for disobedience. So, what you did was exhort me to be a real leader in my home and not be a wimp, which was the correct thing to do.

    When I talk against preachers being multi-millionares from the tithes, offerings, and proceeds from the sale of their material that they receive from God’s people I am accused of being judgmental as well. So, when a person who is serving the Lord confronts another person who is leading a sinful lifestyle and rebukes them, the person who is doing the rebuking is accused of being judgmental these days.

  34. Weve got differing points of view. I’ll no longer visit your site. My wife is an adult and discipline is what a parent administers to a child. Not a husband to a wife. What your are describing to do is financial abuse and most definitely is manipulation. I love my wife too much to do any of the things listed here.
    Good day

  35. Since we live in a selfish, sinful culture, giving any consideration to what is “normal” is foolish. If either husband or wife wants it, barring a Scriptural problem such as her period (Lev 15), they are to have sex. So what if your sinful friend only gives her husband sex once a week. How is that justification for your sin?
    Yes, a small delay may be acceptable, and a way to show undeserved grace; but then sex is to be fulfilled. If a woman thinks “small delay” is measured in days, it seems clear to me she is rebellious.
    I regret not having married. I worked, and prayed, to become the husband God wants me to be from an early age. But given the women available, and the rebelliousness of our church leaders on marriage/feminism issues, I am, unfortunately, thankful that I did not marry. Now, if I had found a worthy woman, I of course would have been joyful to take her to wife. And yes, I do remember a few worthy women; it takes willingness and availability on both sides however.

  36. >and if one was then to be consistent, all men who look at porn would
    then be fair game for divorce by their wives.

    False. In Matt 5, Christ is showing that mere outward submission to God’s requirements is not enough. I am not even to tolerate hatred toward my brother (21-26) or fantasizing about committing adultery with another man’s wife (27-28).
    That said however, the man who has hatred is not guilty of actual/physical murder (21-26). Nowhere I am aware of do we God command the death penalty for being angry; only for murder. Trying to demand these two be punished the same way is foolish. Yes, Christ says to go beyond the outward action, but they do not have the same penalty. The same applies to demanding that adultery and lust be treated the same.

    Furthermore, as the original post points out, refusing sex in marriage is disobedience to Biblical command (1 Cor 7:1-5). And this sin is sexual in nature. Thus, referring to it as sexual immorality is logically reasonable. God of course has the final and only say on what is sin. And God has already done so on this question, in 1 Cor 7. Whether God’s definition of sexual immorality, for the purposes of Matt 5:31-32, include sexual refusal, is for God to say not me. But it seems reasonable to me… and I “have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:14-16).

  37. Hi Jenn. You said:
    >Sometimes, refusing sex becomes necessary as an effort to PRESERVE THE MARRIAGE when the husband repeatedly shrugs off spiritual leadership in the home


    >Continuing to engage in intercourse under those circumstances is submitting to sexual abuse

    You are arguing in the first statement that his sin makes your sin into something that is holy. Do you realize you are “righteously” choosing to sin?
    No sin on your part “justifies” my choice to also sin by rebelling against God. I think it is sad that this needs to be said.

    As for the second statement, I would have to ask what you mean by the term, “sexual abuse”. If you mean it is sinful, and something that God condemns, then I will ask for a Scripture reference. Because nowhere that I am aware of does God describe sex between a man and his wife in terms that could be confused with sin, except for:
    – during her period (Lev 15)
    – the case in Genesis where a man would not impregnate her due to not wanting a child; and in this case, I see no the condemnation for the sex, but rather for his selfish decision to not fulfill the levirate obligation.
    So from a Biblical perspective, called marriage sex “sexual abuse” is contrary to Scripture. This makes the claim in agreement with Satan instead in agreement with God.

    If however, you use the term “sexual abuse” to mean whatever you or any other person wants it to mean, then I obviously cannot argue. If I want to call the colour “white” by the name “black”, you cannot stop me. In the same way, you can label married sex that does not met your requirements “sexual abuse” if you wish. Your labelling however carries no authority, because the only person who has authority over sex is the Creator of sex, and that person is neither me nor you.

    You asked “should she stand her ground that she needs to be valued and cherished?” Sure, she can ask for him to fulfill God’s commands in Eph 5 and Col 3. But that does not remove her needs to fulfill God’s commands in Eph 5 and Col 3. Both are to obey.

  38. This is a well considered and well written post. Most importantly, I see your desire to base every part on Scripture, whether popular or not.
    Thank you.

  39. I want to thank the author of this web site for being such a great help to me.

    However, in my opinion, there should be ten steps rather than eight. The first step should be that we husbands are doing all that we can to be good husbands. That we are indeed loving our wives as Christ loves the church. The author of this web site has mentioned this, but I think it would be a good idea to put that as the first step.

    Steps one to seven would move to being steps two through eight. Step nine would be to separate, unless the wife insists on filing for a divorce, The author of this web site has recommended that we should not get a divorce until we have been separated for at least a year. Step ten would be the divorce itself, which would be the absolute last resort.

    Fortunately, neither my wife nor I want a divorce, but it looks like a separation is necessary, since she wants to be with her family (especially with her youngest son, who is 34 years old) in Colombia more than with me here in Mexico. (She wants us to continue to have a celebate marriage, but in Colombia.) She wants me to go with her, but if I don’t, she wants to move back to Colombia anyway. At our age, we are not interested in finding another mate.

    I am much happier living alone than in a bad marriage!

  40. Missionary,

    I am sorry to hear that your wife has not softened her heart to the Lord. But you are right – it is better for your stay in Mexico on the mission God has given you. Your wife in her rebellion against you is acting as unbeliever. The Bible say if they want to depart – let them depart.

  41. Yep, i have a denying wife. Used to give excuses like “I’m tired”, “not right now”.
    Then she just failed to even acknowledge my advances by absorbing herself on the facebook app or sudoku, until she was too tired.
    Now when I make any hint or request, she says outright “I don’t want sex”. No reason given.

    Yes, so she is disobeying the text in 1 Corinthians 7. Most of her family and friends are on her side, and behaves as though she is a victim. I am treated as the one with the problem. I ask for it about once per week, and actually want it 2-3 times per week. We have had sex twice in the last 12 months. Birthday, valentines day, 10th wedding anniversary, all ignored. No sex.

    The odd conundrum is that she is physically worn out, chronically. not just a bit tired. This is the kind of person that can sleep all night, then have a lie in until 3pm the next day and even then she’s not had enough sleep. The children wear her out, but it seems to be her choosing. She runs round wild with them, stays up with them, panders to their every random request, attempts to tidy up everything after them. She has a terrible diet, doesn’t exercise, watches TV in the night, and all kind of other things that I expect make things worse. I repeatedly make huge attempts to try to keep the kids away from her for long parts of the day at weekends – take them out, do the shopping with them, play in the garden, tidy the house, just so that she can get some rest. But then she will get up and run round hyperactive with them until she crashes again. So I would say she has a medical reason (chronic tiredness) but it’s 90% her own choosing.

    Should my wife make efforts not to be tired?

    Sex is the most noticable thing that’s missing, but I’m also finding that the number of minutes per day that my wife has enough energy to even have a conversation with me is severely limited and that in itself puts a strain on our relationship.

    I don’t have feelings for anyone else, just her.

  42. My husband doesn’t have sex with me cause he’s guarding his heart. I talke to his pastor friend and he recommended that I practice 1 Corinthians 13 (love keeps no record of wrongs). Could I be putting too much emphasis on my sexual desires?

  43. Junie136,

    I Corinthians 13:5 “it keeps no record of wrongs” refers to sins that have been forgiven. Many have false used this verse to excuse all manner of wrong behavior by spouses and that is not the intent. Remember this passage is not even specifically speaking to marriage – it is speaking to the Christian life in general while it would also apply to marriage. But if truly meant that even if someone is committing sins against their spouse with no remorse and no repentance then you must bring it their authority.

    “15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
    16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
    17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”
    Matthew 18:15-17 (KJV)

    Junie – if love keeps no record wrongs means you don’t confront sinful behavior against you by your spouse, then there would be no need for Matthew 18. Yes there many sins of spouses that we must just cope with, but things like physical abuse, adultery and sexual denial must be confronted.

    Why would he say he is “guarding his heart”, what is he guarding against? In the Scriptures we guard our hearts against sin and there is no sin in him having sex with you. In fact it is quite the opposite, it is a sin for him to refuse to have sex with you.

    If he continues to refuse to have sex with you then you should bring him to a counselor. If he will not go to counseling or listen to the counselor go to your Pastor and have him talk to him. If he won’t listen to anyone then you may have separate from him and eventually divorce him for his sin against your marriage.

  44. Mr Write,

    I am so sorry to hear of your situation. In order for to try and give you some advice I need some clarification on a few things.

    1. How long have you been married?
    2. How many kids do you have and how old are they?
    3. Was there a time when sex was normal like in the beginning of your marriage? How was sex on your honeymoon?
    4. If you did have normal sex in the beginning when did it change? Was it after you had kids?
    5. Does you wife work outside the home?
    6. You say she sleeps a lot and is always tired – do you think she might be struggling with depression?
    7. You said she has not watched her diet – do you think she may have gained weight and that is causing her body image issues which might make her not want to have sex?
    8. You said “Most of her family and friends are on her side, and behaves as though she is a victim. I am treated as the one with the problem.” Can you explain where they think the problem is with you? Why is she a victim? A victim of what?
    9. Do you regularly attend church together?

    If you could answer these questions it would be very helpful.


  45. I wonder if anyone can share an experience of discussing with their fiancee their sexual expectations BEFORE they got married, and whether that had good results in the marriage?

    American culture and law seem to say that a wife has a right to refuse sex whenever she wants, for any reason or no reason. Therefore, it seems to me that if anyone has an expectation that his wife have sex whenever he requests it, this should be discussed before marriage, or else the wife may assume that the American cultural and legal norm will apply. I.e., she will expect that her husband won’t mind (or won’t object) if she denies him sex whenever she’s not in the mood.

    In my experience, a woman will always act at the outset of a sexual relationship as though she has a strong sex drive and is very attracted to their partner. That doesn’t continue, though, or at any rate it isn’t consistent. She may fall into a depression, or maybe the novelty of the relationship will wear off. For whatever reason, she’ll start denying sex, and deem it objectionable if you complain about it.

    Many pastors will even take the wife’s side if she complains that her husband wants sex too frequently (“too frequently” meaning, e.g., every night). He’ll say, “You should pray for God to diminish your sex drive, so that you don’t wear your wife out.” He’ll tell the wife to pray, “Lord, slow this man down!”

    Since this had been such a problem in the past, I made sure, at the outset of my relationship with my current fiancee, that she was willing to promise to have sex with me whenever I want, after we get married. In past relationships, I’ve noticed, though, that women will sometimes say what their guy wants to hear, in order to get him to agree to marriage, figuring that they can go back on their word later and he’ll have to back down. They’ll figure they can change him.

    Divorce is an option when a wife denies sex, but it’s not a perfect solution. She can find some way to blame the divorce on you, and drag your name through the mud. All she has to do is say that you didn’t respect her wishes when she didn’t want to have sex. In telling her story, she can conveniently leave out the fact that she promised, before you ever got married, to have sex upon request. Or, even if she mentions it, she can rely on the cultural and legal standard that it’s always a woman’s prerogative to change her mind about whether she wants to have sex with a man (even if they’re married).

    Even if you had a prenuptial agreement that said in writing that your wife was not to deny you sex, she could still potentially get custody of your kids and force you to pay for their support. Her friends and family will view you as the bad guy, rather than her. Because of this, there’s no social stigma attached to a divorce that happened for such reasons, that would make it serve as an effective deterrent.

    Also, whether you’re in the right or the wrong, you start to lose face as you accumulate divorces in your past. It starts to look like you don’t know how to pick good women, or as though you may be the common denominator who is causing all these relationships to fail.

  46. Hi Nathan,

    I did tell my wife that sex was an important part of marriage before we got married. That it is not the only thing important in a marriage, but it is very important. I also told her that God called me to Mexico as a missionary. On the match making website where we met I posted that any woman who wanted to marry me had to agree to live with me in Mexico. She told me that whatever God’s will was. I was concerned about how homesick she would get for Colombia before we got married and expressed this concern to her. She said that she was prepared to be a missionary in Mexico.

    The first night of our honeymoon, even though we slept in the same bed, we had no sex because she was sick. Since I hadn’t had sex in more than 27 years, I was very desperate that night! However, after that night we had great sex during our honeymoon.

    But, our sex life now is like the first night of our honeymoon. ¡Nada! (Nothing!) She says it is because her estrogen is almost non-existant. She said it is also because she has never loved me in a romantic way and that I have a pot gut. So, my trying to talk to her about sex before we got married didn’t really do any good.

    She also has expressed a strong desire many times to move back to Colombia, saying that she does not have any family here. If she does not consider me family, then who am I to her? She also told me on two different occasions that she is bored and lonely here (even though the people here have treated her very well and she has had plenty of opportunities to minister here). After my wife expressed this to me the second time, after we had not had sex since April of last year, I told her that I wanted her to go back to Colombia.

    When I visited her for the first time in Colombia, her pastor asked me to preach one Sunday at his church. She was the associate pastor then and her pastor highly recommended her, saying that she was a jewel. I took his recommendation of her serious enough to marry her.

    But, as you say, many women think they have the right to change their minds. They ignore the Biblical injunction that we must keep our word, even many times to our own hurt. These women do not understand the meaning of the word committment.

    So, I translated Larry’s post, “The Ten Commandments of Christian Marriage” to Spanish and gave a copy of this translation to my wife. It seems to have disappeared. A few days ago I also e-mailed it to her with an attachment of this teaching, explaining in my e-mail that we would have a good marriage if we would both follow these commandments. I told her that if she didn’t want to follow them, that she should stay in Colombia until she does. She is leaving here on December the 5th and the return airline tickets are for March the 10th. She has yet to discuss this e-mail with me. I will bring it up to her next week before she leaves for Colombia, emphasizing that I do not want her to come back here until she is willing to obey God in our marriage.

    If you and your wife separate, like my wife and I are about to do, if anybody really wants to criticize you for the separation (people usually blame the husband), show them 1st Cor. chapter 7, which explains why a man cannot continue to live in a sexless marriage. Yes, it occured to me that if my wife and I separate, it might ruin my reputation as a missionary. However, unfortunately, I have been divorced before and God really used me after I was divorced. Fortunately, neither my present wife nor I want a divorce, But, I believe that in our case a separation is necessary so that God can show my wife what she is missing by being separated from me and that she will repent and come back here with a changed heart. This is what I am praying for!

    I realize that I am not a perfect husband. But I am committed to following the Scriptures that Larry mentioned in this teaching (and right now she is not). I love my wife very much, even though she apparently does not love me. However, God can change her heart.

  47. Yes, 1 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 7!!! I am thankful that Paul wrote that. Whew! In my opinion you are doing the right thing MtM. You have gone long enough being defrauded!

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