The frustrated feminist wife

In two recent posts I wrote – “Is a husband being selfish for having sex with his wife when she is not in the mood” and “8 Steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” I have been routinely accused of advocating for domestic abuse because of my advising Christian husbands that they are not powerless to confront willful and chronic sexual denial by their wives in their marriages. The two posts combined have brought in over 400,000 visitors to my site in just a little over a week.

Despite disclaimers to the contrary that I made on these pages (in multiple places) those who reject sex as a right in marriage claim that any belief in such a thing, and especially acting on such a belief by confronting her behavior based on Scriptural principles (Steps 1 to 3), is essentially rape.

They argue further, that steps 4-7 also amount to rape because for a husband to stop taking his wife on dates or trips, for him to stop doing unneeded house hold upgrades, for him to stop doing the little favors for her around the house, and then to stop giving her spending money is not discipline toward sinful behavior, but instead is manipulative “emotional” and “financial” abuse.

From a Christian and even philosophical standpoint there different positions on this issue.  I received many comments from Christians who agreed on steps 1 to 3 but did not agree with steps 4 to 8.  Some Christians and non-Christians commented that they believe a husband in such a scenario should just jump to step 8.

But then we have a certain crowd of people who I would refer to as “Rape Accusers”.  Most of the time these types of people are radical feminists(whether they be men or women), but often times because they or someone they know was raped, they see rape around every corner.  They often times have a visceral hatred of men(Misandry – even some men hold this position at times and have a sort of “self hatred” toward their own gender).

Let me just say that my mom was raped, and I saw its impact on my mother, and she shared her pain with me when I was was an adult and old enough to understand.  I told my mom today about what has been going on with the explosion of rape accusations on Facebook towards what I have said about marriage,  and her words for the Rape accusers were simple – “their accusations are utterly absurd!”.

Some of these “Rape Accusers” have even gone as far as trying to intimidate me into silence by quoting legal definitions of domestic abuse.  Rather than get into a lengthy and boring debate about the real world applications of these laws – I thought it would be more interesting to put their applications of domestic violence regarding marriage to the test using a fictional scenario to illustrate what my mother would call the “absurdity” of their position.

I am under no allusion that a typical Police Officer of the law is going to hold to my Biblical views of marriage, but instead whether he agrees with me or not, he has to follow the law. So keep this in mind as we see our fictional police officer’s responses to a frustrated feminist wife.

The frustrated feminist wife

A woman comes into a police station and tells the officer at the front desk that she wants to report that her husband is committing domestic violence against her, including committing marital rape against her.

An officer takes her into a room to begin interviewing her.

Officer: “Mam please describe to me incidents of marital rape and other types of domestic abuse that you husband has committed against you.”

Wife: “Well officer it all started 5 years ago after we got married. I turned him down when he asked for sex and he started telling me that because we had a Christian marriage, the he and I both had a right to have sex with one another, and except for short mutually agreed upon times for when were sick or otherwise unable to we ought not to turn down one another.”

Officer: “Did he force himself on you that night?”

Wife: “No – he just walked away, but I felt intimidated by the fact that he believed it was a sin for couples to deny each other, I felt pressure for the next time he wanted to have sex.”

Officer: “Ok – so tell me more.”

Wife: “I decided I needed to set my husband straight about sex. I believe every person’s body is their own and no one has a right to coerce or convince someone to have sex when they are not in the mood, not even in marriage. I shared this truth that all of us as enlightened people should accept now in modern society. I told him it is NEVER selfish for me not to want to have sex for any reason, but it is ALWAYS selfish for him to try and convince me to have sex when I am not in the mood.

I told him that I would no longer feel pressured to have sex with him, and that really sex is just a small part of marriage. I told him I believed sex in marriage was not a “right”, but a privilege and that it should only happen when BOTH he and I were in the mood because of how happy and in love we were with each other. In fact, I even told him that just because I don’t want to have sex that often, that does not mean I don’t love him, I just don’t need it that often. I said we ought to be able to enjoy our marriage with one another, without having to need sex all the time – it should happen on special occasions when we are both in the mood.”

Officer: “So how did he respond to that?”

Wife: “He asked me if he was doing something wrong in the bedroom. He asked me if he could help to put me in the mood more often. I told him it had nothing to do with anything wrong he was doing, it was just the fact that I don’t need sex that often, and he ought to respect that and accept that. He was not happy with my view on sex and said my belief was a sin according to our mutually held belief in the Bible as God’s Word. I thought overtime he would overcome his beliefs, and realize that he could take care of himself if he needed it and just be grateful for the times when I was in the mood and wanted to have sex.”

Officer: “Mam but when he did he commit marital rape against you?”

Wife: “Well there were many times, that I was not in the mood, and I said No.”

Officer: “So are these the times that he forced himself on you?”

Wife: “No he did not force himself on me, but he coerced me into having sex with him.”

Officer: “How did he coerce you?”

Wife: “Well he told me that I was being selfish, and that I was sinning against God and him by denying his sexual needs. He told me if I continued denying him that we would need to go to a Christian counselor – so I gave in many times and let him have sex with me when I was not in the mood”.

Officer: “So you gave consent? Or did her force you?”

Wife: “Well he did not physically force himself, but I felt pressured because he was going to have us go to a counselor, so I just gave in and let him. But that was still rape right?”

Officer: “Uh, no mam that was not rape. Your allowing him to have sex with you when you were not in the mood because you did not want to go to a counselor was not rape. You made a decision, you decided you would rather have sex with him than go to a counselor, you gave consent.”

Wife: “Ok but later he did even more things to coerce me…”

Officer: “What things did he do?”

Wife: “He eventually got me to go to a Christian counselor, and I felt really pressured by that counselor that I had to have sex with my husband more, and that I needed to let him try to put me in the mood even when I was not – I could not believe it –who did this counselor think he was? I told that counselor he was full of garbage.”

Officer: “Then what happened?”

Wife: “Then my husband asked me after the counseling appointment if I really loved him and cared about our marriage – and I told him “Of course I do! I love our life together – we just disagree about sex”. I told him if he could just accept my views of sex our marriage would be perfect, he was a good man and I enjoyed going places with him and doing things with him. This was now two years into our marriage and we had an infant son, and my husband was such great father to our son. For some reason that was not good enough for him, he thought we needed more sex in our marriage.”

Officer: “Ok did he come to accept your view of sex?”

Wife: “No – he actually setup an appointment with the Pastor of our church and his wife! I went even though I did not want to, and our Pastor actually told me I was sinning against my husband by denying him! The nerve! It’s my body, and no one, not my Pastor, not my husband is going to tell me otherwise.”

Officer: “Mam but how did your husband commit domestic violence against you? Or when did he rape you?”

Wife: “Well after the appointment with the Pastor all of a sudden he canceled with the babysitter and stopped taking me on our weekly dates. I asked him why and he said it was because I was “sinning against him and our marriage by my willful sexual denial” wasn’t that domestic abuse? After all he was using our date night to get me to admit I was wrong about sex in our marriage.”

Officer: “Um mam – he is not required by law to take you on dates.”

Wife: “But wait – there is more. We had a new kitchen remodel that we were ready to sign papers on and he called and canceled the meeting to sign the papers to get the work started. He said the kitchen we had while outdated, was still functional and he was not comfortable with spending the money to do it. We were only cleared to get the work done based on his income, and I don’t make enough to do it on my income alone.”

Officer: “Um mam – he is not required by law to get your kitchen updated.”

Wife: “But wait you need to hear this. He used to go clean out my car every weekend. I would pick a room each weekend for him to dust and clean, and now he stopped doing that. He used to give me back rubs at least once or twice a week.  Now he stopped doing that too – he can’t do that right? This is emotional abuse! This is manipulation right? He says it is “discipline” to bring me to understand God’s view of sex in marriage.

Officer: “Well mam maybe he is manipulating you or maybe he just does not want to do these things for you anymore. Either way, none of this so far that you have told me is illegal, you might not like it, I might not like it, but it is not illegal.”

Wife: “What do you mean not illegal? The law says he can’t make me do anything I don’t want to do?”

Officer: “Mam, from everything you have told me, you have done whatever you did by your own choice. You might have done it because you wanted to avoid stress, or going to a counselor, or you just did not feel like arguing.”

Wife: “But there is still one more horrible thing I have not told you – my husband changed his auto deposit of his paycheck so it no longer goes in our joint checking account, he has his own account now. He goes grocery shopping for us each week now. I used to do the grocery shopping. He gave me the credit cards that were in my name for me to pay out of my own paychecks. I work too, but I don’t make nearly as much money as my husband. I used to be able to go anywhere I wanted and spend what I wanted, but now I have no spending money. That is financial abuse right? He can’t do that right?”

Officer: “Mam is he providing food, shelter and clothing for you and your child? Is he holding you in your home against your will?”

Wife: “Well yes he is providing those things for me and my son, and no he is not holding me against my will. He makes sure my car is fully fuelled every week. He gives me some cash for if I need some things during the day when he is at work. But I used to have full access to all our money in our joint bank account and I was able to do what I wanted with our money, and now he took that from me – he can’t do that”.

Officer: “Mam – why are you still with this man? You clearly don’t see marriage the same way he does and it sounds like he is either trying to teach you something or he is getting ready to divorce you by separating his money into another account. He may have even had an attorney advise him to do that with his paychecks. If you get with a divorce attorney, your attorney can get a “status quo” order, which then requires your husband not to spend any sums of money without clearing it with the court and your attorney. The court can order that he has to provide you with a certain dollar amount each week that you can put in your own account and spend as you want as you go through the divorce process and they can order him to continue paying all the household expenses.”

Wife: “Divorce process! I just want him to stop what he is doing and let us go back to our old life. I love him and the life we have. I don’t want to have joint custody of our son, I don’t want to see my son every other week, I want to see him every day! We would have to sell our home, and even if I could keep it in the divorce I would have no way to make the payments even with child support and alimony from him. I don’t want half my life, I want all my life – the way it was! Can’t you or another police officer tell my husband to stop doing these things and we can still stay married? Can we have a judge order him to take me on dates, upgrade the kitchen, put his money back in our joint account and stop asking me for sex? My girlfriends at work told me what he is doing is domestic abuse and is illegal – that means you can stop him right and force him to stop doing all this right?”

Officer: “Um- no sorry no one can do that for you. I don’t mean to get in your personal affairs mam, but it sounds like you have quite the dilemma, there is an old saying “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”. You have to make a choice, either work out the sexual issues with your husband and make your marriage work, or divorce him and try and find a man who believes as you do, that whoever wants sex the least determines how often a married couple has sex.”

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39 thoughts on “The frustrated feminist wife

  1. I want to say thank you for standing up and writing on this issue. As a Christian woman who has been in a bad marriage once before and is now in a solid, Christian one, I know the importance of our gender roles. I actually came across your lessons through a friend who was outraged by your views and I quickly went to bat to stand up for all Christian women who believe the Truth! There have been times in my now almost 4 year marriage that I was not 100% about sleeping with my hubsand, and that is not because I don’t love my husband, but I am a young mother and sometimes I just want to sleep. But, I have said yes on all of those occasions, because I knew it was the right thing to do and I have never regretted it! I know that women are set up differently than men and sometimes though I may not physically feel the same as he does, my heart and soul do! My husband and I have a wonderful, healthy, and dare I say “submissive” relationship. I am not perfect ND neither is he, but we both came from broken homes and we understand the importance of having two parents who love each other first and work hard at that to keep the whole family happy. So again I say “thank you!” It is refreshing to see a man willing to stand up and teach the truth amidst all the controversy. God Bless!

  2. This is awesome, lol I’ve never seen anything like this!

    The only sad part is that a counselor and a pastor usually would take the side of the woman, and try to get the man to accept a life of very little, to no sex at all – a sexless Christian marriage (an oxymoron). Male and female counselors tend to view the male need for sex in marriage as selfish, no matter if they’re Christian or not. They don’t take it seriously, and they would never condone steps 4-8, even though I agree those would be acceptable consequences for a wife deciding to destroy their marriage by not generously meeting his sexual needs.

    Great job!

  3. So fyi, Spousal rape is illegal despite your little fictitious officer bit you have going on. Coercion is also a form of rape, when you coerce someone into having sex with you that’s rape. From there coercion via removal of monetary funds is a form of rape. If my boss did that in order for me to have sex with him it’d be rape.

    From there, my husband is an officer of the law (A real one not your fact conversation one) and when we read your blog post he said “That guy is advocating spousal rape, and I’d tell any woman who’s spouse does that to press charges”

    So, just thought you should know.

  4. You are right that many Christian counselors and Pastors that would take the side of the woman, and try to give her as many excuses as possible for not having sex with her husband. They should publish a book to make it easier “1001 excuses to not have sex with your husband” and the counselor could slip it under the table to the wife to use – LOL. But thankfully there are Pastors(and I know plenty of them) in conservative Bible preaching churches that will have no part of this nonsense – it is very common for these preachers to say in counseling sessions “woman – you need to go and sleep with your husband!” and for those Pastors I am grateful.

    Obviously these same Pastors will try to explore if there are issues with the husband and things he could do differently to help his wife enjoy sex more, and to help her be in the mood more often – but they will not tolerate the “just because” excuse for sex, or “I just have a lower sex drive them him, and you all ought to respect that.”

  5. Modanya,

    Until 1975, there was a “marital exemption” clause in all state rape laws that was based in English common – this was based upon the concept that in marriage, a woman implicitly consents to give her body to her husband. But even as states have since removed that “marital exemption” from rape laws, the only prosecuted cases of marital rape have been for “forced rape”, there is not one recorded prosecution of marital rape based on “Coercion” alone.

    In fact unless there is actual physical evidence(like if a woman went to an ER after her husband forcibly raped her)- Prosecutors are always hesitant to take on these cases, because jury conviction rates are extremely low.

    There are two reasons for this, first of all, in our system of justice a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and marital rape is one of the hardest crimes to prove.

    The other issue is, if you were to put a cross section of Americans on a jury(as opposed to filling it with feminists) you could never get a jury to convict a man for marital rape based on the scenario I just described to you. On top of that, no prosecutor would even waste his time with such as case – even if he did not agree with the actions of the husband.

    As to the comparison of your boss doing the same things, you boss is not married to you. Your boss has no right to try any attempt to have sex with you, he has no right to even ask – it is a ridiculous comparison.

    The removal of the “marital exemption” for rape in US state laws, did not remove the cultural expectation of sex in marriage, and no court would convict a husband for simply trying to convince his wife to have sex with him by removing dates, removing household upgrades, taking away spending money but still providing her basic needs. There is no law which states husbands and wives must equally share their money in marriage, only in divorce are the assets divided equally, and support awarded based on who makes more money.

  6. Keep going, you’re going about it the right way completely…. It’s funny to read the rape accusations from women on here, very ridiculous and just more proof that feminism is insane… comparing the situation to a boss withholding her paycheck? Insane. The husband would still be ensuring that all the wife’s needs were met, but she shouldn’t have access to his money if she isn’t willing to actually BE his wife. She is in the age of women’s empowerment… meaning nothing is holding her back from getting her own money here, she can go out and get an education (on her own), go out and get a job even without an education (on her own). She doesn’t ‘NEED” him for anything, so him keeping his money to himself (like she’s keeping her body to herself) makes sense, she’s getting the real consequences of showing him how little she values showing him that she loves and cares about him.

  7. I totally agree sir. The fact is that if a woman chooses to be a true feminist and deny her husband what was essentially agreed upon when she vowed to love, honor, and obey him on the day she said “I Do”, then I suggest that she goes all the way and simply does not marry and totally supports herself and “takes care of herself” as she suggest that her husband is perfectly capable of doing. It’s wrong to pick and choose which parts of the Bible we want to live by, I’m not sure how that’s done…if you just skip that part or just tear the pages out that you don’t really want to live by…

  8. Dragonfly,

    While I a maintain from my understanding of the Biblical roles of husband and wife, that a husband can take these actions as form of discipline(and obviously only after he has exhausted all other options), if you looked at this even from a secular non-Christian view point these feminist assertions are utterly absurd.

    From secular a view point(as well as legal view point) – you are absolutely correct that these same “rape accusers” know that women have the right to go get a job, get an education and leave their husbands. They are also right as they love to shout to me so much, that under American law, no woman is required to have sex with her husband – that is absolutely a true and factual statement.

    But what they refuse to acknowledge, and shake their fists at, is the fact that there is no law that says while a couple is married the husband must take his wife on dates, take her on trips, buy her jewelry, and give her equal access to the money he makes. They live in fairy tale land – basically like a little kid who says “you can take away my toys”. Sorry feminists and rape accusers – No husband, Christian or non Christian, is legally obligated to give his wife full access to his time or money. Before the rise of feminism in this century, women have understood that fact for thousands of years.

  9. lol I’m so glad we’re not feminist in our marriage! It must hurt to have to think so hard about things that don’t add up!!! haha

    Great job though, seriously. I’m loving your articles, my husband loves that first one (he hasn’t read the others yet). We totally agree with you though. Very brave.

  10. So what happens when the roles are switched? What if a woman was saying these things to you? How would you feel?

  11. Just because something isn’t prosecuted doesn’t make it not rape. It means a DA would like to keep a successful record. Frankly a DA makes a decision whether or not something goes to court for any number of reasons, from lack of evidence to an unwillingness to take on the muck of a case. That is ultimately their call.

    So using that as a litmus isn’t exactly going to work out for you.

    Rape is rape is rape. The Bible promoted rape of women, (A rapist had to marry the woman he raped and pay her father shickles of silver) but, just because the Bible did it that way doesn’t mean modern society should do it that way.

    Also, I think you need to actually talk to some theologians about your ideas of marriage. I am very close friends with a pastor and she is very much has said that there is no biblical reason that anyone owes anyone else sex unless you are twisting the Bible to suit your needs or taking stories out of context.

  12. Well said. You are brave, indeed. I imagine you have received some major complaints.

    If it helps at all, long ago I was actually the assistant director for our local domestic violence/sexual assault program. Nothing you have suggested is any where close to rape, and I bet the vast majority of rape victims would find those false allegations offensive.

    As to domestic violence, on the violence continuums, designed primarily with women in mind, when men deny wives affection or sex, it is a form of psychological and emotional abuse. The feminist mindset does not see the irony there, but to do the precise same thing to a man, is also abuse. So, if you are with holding affection and sex, you are actually controlling and psychologically abusing your husband.

    For men who may still feel uncertain about standing up for their right to have sex, it’s actually a form of neglect not to. Women need to have sex as badly as men do, but all this feminist/cultural programing can make her unaware of that fact.

  13. modanya
    JUNE 2, 2015 AT 2:43 AM

    I am very close friends with a pastor and she is very much has said that there is no biblical reason that anyone owes anyone else sex unless you are twisting the Bible to suit your needs or taking stories out of context.

    The Apostle Paul said it like this:
    1Cor. 7:4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment.

    The example given in the original post was addressed to Christians. If you identify yourself as a christian then please be aware that this topic is directly addressed by Paul [above]. The shifting sands of secular laws often contradict christian beliefs, that then becomes a cross we christians must bear no matter the cost. Many christians have been put in jail or killed for holding to their beliefs, even stating them enrages some folks.

  14. Your husband is an officer of the law… I’m an officer of the court (a real one)… The described event is not rape in any US jurisdiction… extortion MAYBE… but not rape. Your husband could encourage all he liked… The prosecutor would likely laugh.

    As for your boss… that’s not rape… extortion again… or maybe a form of robbery… but not rape.

  15. insanitybytes,

    I agree that these “rape accusers” do real rape victims and those who have actually been abused a great disservice. I routinely get attacked from both sides. On one side I have conservative Christians who would call me liberal for saying I believe a woman has the right to divorce her husband over actual physical abuse(based on the premise that God ordered slaves be freed if their masters caused great bodily harm to them and that a wife has more rights than a slave). Then on the other side you have these people calling me a rape advocate for saying a wife’s body belongs to her husband – something the Scriptural text is very clear about, and she does not have the right to say no “just because” or use it as a way to manipulate her husband.

    You are absolutely right – that they do not see the irony in all this that it is actually abusive for a woman to consistently deny sex to her husband and it is emotional abuse to the man to do so.

    Basically their logic is this – if a man stops talking to his wife, or stops giving her money, or stops taking her on dates that is emotional abuse on his part. But if the woman refuses to have sex with him, or she just arbitrarily states “we will have sex, but only when BOTH you and I are in the mood, so whoever wants it less determines the frequency” – that is not abuse, that is just her exercising her rights. It is utterly absurd.

  16. I would not like being confronted about ignoring my wife’s sexual needs – but guess what – I would need to hear this. There are many women who have written to me about their husbands not wanting sex and I always advice them to confront their husbands – respectfully of course but they can do this as well. In fact the first three steps would apply equally to a husband and wife, a wife has the right to ask for counseling in these issues, or approach her Pastor for help if her husband will not hear her private confronting of his sinful neglect.

    More often that not with women, it is the issue of talking – husbands don’t talk to their wives, and God requires that as well. My wife from time to time has to pull me aside and say “hey babe – you have really been ignoring me lately and not talking to me, you have been working so much and I feel alone”. Is it pleasant for me to hear that from my wife? No. But I need to hear it, and act on it and carve out time for my wife and be intentional about trying to meet her needs.

  17. Thank you for writing this. It really put things in a better perspective. With holding sex is emotional abuse. There is nothing wrong with trying to get your wife in the mood. I completely understand where you’re coming from. By the way I’m a woman. So you do have women on your side. We know what you’re saying and we know you’re not advocating violence, abuse, or rape.

  18. Although I don’t agree with everything you advise, I understand nearly everything you’ve said, except one part. If it’s a sin to deny your spouse something you have equal right through marriage, sex, why isn’t it sinful to deny your spouse “your half” of your income? Do both spouses not have equal right to all of the money they both make, because they are married?
    What if the wife stopped putting her paychecks in their shared account to “punish” her husband for not changing the baby’s diaper every single time she asked him to? I don’t think denying her a large part of THEIR income is a mature or reasonable way to handle the situation, and I don’t understand how it isn’t just as sinful as what the wife is doing.

  19. Jessica,

    You raise an interesting question and one I am happy to answer. While a wife is Biblically entitled to be fed and clothed by her husband(Exodus 21:10) she is not entitled to half of his income. Even in the modern marriage, no law requires a husband to give his wife power over half his income only in divorce is wife entitled to half a man’s assets(provided they did not have a prenuptial agreement).

    In fact the only “equality” the Bible places in marriage is on this issue of sex, that both the husband and wife have an equal right to have sex with the other. In the Biblical model of marriage, marriage is not an equal partnership, but rather a patriarchy(male lead hierarchical relationship) that is symbolic of the relationship of God to his people.

    “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
    Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” Ephesians 5:23-24

    Some egalitarians and Christian feminists attempt to point to Ephesians 5:21 where it says “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” in order to cancel out the specific submission that is commanded to women toward their husbands teaching a false “mutual” submission and partnership style of marriage. But this does not match the context and makes no sense. If man and woman were equal partners in marriage(with no hierarchy) – this in fact breaks the model of Christ and the Church where he is the head, and the church is to submit to Christ in everything.

    No where in ALL of the Scripture is marriage EVER portrayed as equal partnership.

    So no both spouses do not have an equal right to what the others make, and Biblically speaking the husband is the authority of all income that comes into the home, whether through his wife or himself. The wife cannot discipline her husband because she is not his authority. If he is doing something wrong, like not providing for(in the case of lazy husband her sits home all day and makes his wife work), or he is denying her sex, then she can go to his authority in the Church(the Pastor) and have the Pastor deal with her husband’s sin.

    A husband can deny access to his income as long as he is providing the necessities of food, clothing and shelter to his wife. He may do this because his wife spends too much money, or he may use it as form of discipline for other sinful behavior. I don’t think a husband should take this action lightly or for trivial reasons but there may be times when husband feels lead to take action in the financial arena with his wife for a variety of reasons(and not just as discipline for chronic sexual denial).

  20. There is no need to tell your wife “it is written in the Bible, you owe me”. If you are reduced to reffering to Holy texts, your couple is in great communication trouble. I am married under God’s law and I never and will never consider that my wife owes me sex whenever I feel like it. Like many couples, we faced some challenges on the matter. Let me share two of them.

    Three years ago, she had experienced lot ot stress (deaths of relatives, job difficulties, etc.) which made her so tired and so sad that I could not even touch her. I was getting very frustrated. So I told her. I did NOT demand. I just explained that this situation was not ok for me, that I loved her and consequently I desired her. And that she could not expect me to say nothing after a whole month of frustration. So we talked about it. No bargain, no manipulation, no coercion. We just talked and we were equals in this discussion, both our needs were equals. She told me that she understood my feelings, that she wished she could do something about it, but that her body and her mind were dealing with pain and sorrow, so she could not give me what I wanted. So we discussed about what WE could do to make her feel better. What worked was not to offer her things and plea her. What worked was to accept she was not me, to listen and to assist her in this difficult period of time. Eventually, she recoverd from this. It took 3 months during which we had sex 2 or 3 times. Very very frustrating for me. But we came out of this stronger: I proved that I was far more stronger than my flesh and that I valued her more than my personnal needs. And she valued my efforts very deeply, she told me that she was thankful for what I did for her and that she felt even more in love with me (all this with big hearts in her eyes… I just melt !)

    From a general perspective, my wife is not very fond of intercourses. She is completely fine with 3 or 4 times a month, I am completely NOT fine with this. 3 or 4 times a week, yes. A month, no.Don’t misunderstand me (or her): she likes it. But, as she explained to me, if she were the only one to start the game, she would come to me only 3 or 4 times a month. At the beginning of our marriage, I would get angry, even sometimes yell at her. She would get mad, and reply: “Am I supposed to force myself ? Am I supposed to pretend ? Because I can, but then, each time we will make love, you will never know if it was a true shared love or a fake love to contempt your own selfishness”. As we both consider that sex is a way to be one flesh [“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh”. (Genesis 2:21-24)], I hated the idea that we could not be together in this. Even worst: I hated the idea that she could pretend to have great time with me when she was not. So I refused this option. But I was very very angry and frustrated: I wanted her to be like me, to want sex as much as I did. I realized she was right about being selfish. She was only telling me the truth, I was resenting her for this. She realized that she could not shut me out like this, that I was right to be frustrated. So we talked. A lot. We discussed about what was really important for each one of us, what would be fine, what would be great, what would be not acceptable, etc. I asked her to never force herself, so that it would always be true love between us. Though, I asked her what she would be willing to do to lower my frustration. She asked me to accept she did not want as much as me and not get mad about this. Though, she asked me if I would be willing to keep asking her, even if “no” was a probable answer (getting a “no” is hard ! So keep asking ? Harsh! ) We tried several “receipe” and finally found out a suitable compromise for both of us. The key ? Always let room for a “no”. Always let our beloved onefeel secure. And never blame her (him) for being honest. This is, from my humble point of view, what a genuine marriage relation should be.

    I don’t understand the title of your article “the frustrated feminist wife”. You are dealing with wives refusing to have sex with their husband. When these wives tell you that there is no way they will force themselves into sex interaction, you call them “frustrated feminist”. I really don’t get it but this is a commom place I often read from males (sorry, I really cannot say “husbands” here) that are the ones frustrated. I do agree though with the term “feminist” : feminist are people (and not only women…) that consider that men and women are equal in rights (i insist: “in rights”, not physically, strength, etc.). I am a man, I believe in God and I believe men and women are equal in rights. If you are teaching men that their wives owed them sex and their body because they are married, then I don’t think we understand God’s message the same way.

  21. Along with what the author wrote below, I’ll tell you this- You and your husband are COMPLETELY WRONG! Coercion is not what the husband is doing in this fictional story. Its indeed discipline. Biblically correct disciplinary behavior.

  22. Good reply to Modanya, however, you made from error; In the Scripture you cited that last verse, “But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment.”, doesn’t belong as it has nothing to do with the verses that came before it in the other verses. Rather, that verse is the lead-in verse to the ones that came after it about celibacy. Otherwise, great reply.

  23. So, the fact that it IS rape, and IS illegal, is irrelevant to you because you don’t think you’d be arrested or convicted?? You just admitted that IT IS ILLEGAL and has been so since 1975. That should have been the end of the conversation right there, but no, you spent the rest of your ridiculously long comment performing some amazing feats of logical fallacies and mental acrobatics in order to literally advise your male readers to break the law in the name of their religion and their libido. Not all rape is forced. In fact, most rape isn’t physically forced and isn’t committed by a stranger. Say you have a daughter, and she goes to college (let’s just assume you’re at least progressive enough to not deny her an education simply because she has a vagina), and while away at school she goes to a social gathering with a boy she fancies (it doesn’t even have to be a party). They have a good time, he brings her back to her dorm, and attempts to initiate a sex. She denies him for any of a million reasons (that part is unimportant). He tells her how much he loves her, that they’re going to get married, but he can’t wait for her forever, blah, blah, blah. Eventually he wears down her resolve, says the right thing, threatens to leave her, convinced her she should sleep with him even though she does not want to. Are you going to tell me your little girl wasn’t raped? Are you going to tell me that you would advise your own daughter to have sex with a man when she doesn’t want to, just because they have a marriage certificate between them?

  24. Eris,

    First of all I never admitted at any point that a husband doing things like removing dates, or other financial niceties in response to his wife’s sexual refusal was rape. What I was saying is the removal of dates, trips, household upgrades, and other other financial niceties in response to a wife’s sexual denial would not be considered even illegal or punishable in any court of law. This has been verified by people who actually work in family courts.

    ONLY in divorce are the assets of the husband and wife divided equally. But in the normal course of a marriage a husband is not legally required to take his wife on dates, trips, or give her other financial things beyond providing for her basic needs of food, clothing and shelter.

    Biblically speaking rape is ONLY when a man forces himself upon a woman with whom he does not have the right to have sex.

    But if a man forces himself upon his wife that is abuse, but not rape – because he does have a right to her body, he has just gone about it in a hurtful and wrong way.

    And no I do not deny my daughter an education because she is a woman. She actually excels in school and I would not discourage her from college although I have discouraged her from a career that would take her away from her primary role as a wife and mother. I have taught my daughter that unless there is an economic emergency(like her husband becomes disabled or looses his job) God wants her to stay home and care for her children until they are in school full time.

    It is her duty to wean her children and be there for them. She understands it is impossible for a mother to be at the office and at home caring for her infant child, you are either one place or another. You will either give your mother duties to others,or you will fulfill them. If at some other point after all her children are in school full time she can find work based on her education and as long as it does not interfere with her duties to her husband, her children and her home then I am not opposed to that.

    In your analogy of the college boyfriend, him putting emotional pressure on her to have sex is NOT rape. Not from a Biblical world view, and not even from a legal viewpoint.

    If my daughter were to go to a campus security officer and say “My ex boyfriend said he would break up with me if I did not have sex with him so I consented to have sex with him under that pressure, then he eventually broke up with me anyway – wasn’t that rape because he used emotional pressure to get me to have sex” – do you know what every police officer would say to that? “Mam I guess you should have let him break up with you then. You consented. You did not want him to break up with you so you had sex with him”.

    Now from a Biblical perspective while what he did was not rape, it was certainly still sinful because he convinced her to do something sinful(have sex with him outside of marriage).

    So yes – I will tell you in that situation if that were my little girl, it would be wrong of him and I would be very angry with him for convincing my daughter to sin, but I would not consider it rape. I would also be upset with my daughter for not standing up for what I taught her and telling him to take a hike. I have talked a lot with my daughter about staying away from sex before marriage as that is God’s will.

    My daughter learned about sex when she was 11(she had her first period then). Her mother spoke to her about it and then I spoke to her about it. We have very open lines of communication for my teens(she has two older teen brothers) to ask any questions they want. In the last year though(she is now 13) we have moved the discussion from the basic mechanics of sex to Biblical purposes and the moral issues surrounding sex.

    As part of that discussion I shown my daughter from the Scriptures two very important truths about sex. Sex relations are not to occur between her and a man before she is married. But once she is married they are to occur frequently and she is to have sex with him whether she feels like it or not. It is the duty of a husband and a wife to have sex with each other. If either of them need it, the other is to yield their body – and not grudgingly, but happily.

    I have told my daughter that while sex may be more physically pleasurable sometimes, and less pleasurable physical other times she can and should always emotionally connect with her husband during sex and give him that special love he needs. Now I told her at the same time her husband if he is acting in love toward her will not ask her to have sex if he knows she is sick not able to for a variety of legitimate reasons. But “I am tired” and “I just don’t feel like it” doesn’t qualify as a legitimate reason to turn down your spouse for sex.

    Part of being an adult is doing things you don’t always feeling like doing. Whether it is getting up with a sick child, getting early every day for work and a whole host of things we do every day that we don’t feel like doing.

    I have told my daughter “how would you feel if you husband came home from work and you really needed to talk about your day and needed to just really tell him some things and how you felt about it and he stopped you and said ‘I am too tired tonight, I don’t feel like talking to you, hold that thought and maybe I will feel like talking to you tomorrow’?”

    Her response was “I would not like that at all!” I said “that is exactly the way you husband will feel when you turn him down for sex and say ‘I don’t feel like it'”.

  25. I have stumbled upon your blog after reading an article on Facebook and I have a couple of questions for you.

    I was previously married to a “Christian” man. We did have premarital sex. The reason I believe we did was because we both knew entering into the relationship that I was not a virgin but he was. He had said he didn’t want to have sex before marriage and I was willing to abstain even though I had previously been sexually active. However, our relationship quickly became serious and he had obvious issues with the fact that I had been more intimate with others than with him and was mentally comparing himself to my former lovers and demanding to know in detail exactly what each previous sexual encounter I’d had entailed. This paved the groundwork for us eventually having sex. It was in no way forced or coerced, but he just couldn’t accept that others had done what he hadn’t with HIS girlfriend. Which I completely understand, but it was never my requirement to abstain in the first place.

    Moving on, when we had been together two years, he proposed. About a year after we had sex the first. About 8 months after we had already been engaged I fell pregnant. The wedding was still over a year away and he was only concerned with how his reputation as a Christian would be affected by my pregnancy out of wedlock and he forcibly coerced me to have an abortion. After that our sex life went downhill fast. We still got married. It did not improve with the changed last name. He began to get to the point of this article, not understanding why we never had sex, why I was never in the mood, etc etc. I know now that I should have left him (when I was pregnant) , but he changed quickly upon my pregnancy into a very controlling, manipulative man. I finally got him to listen to me about the abortion changing things. How it never felt the same after that. How I couldn’t force myself to want it after that. We separated, but went to counseling for months before I eventually divorced him because I could not mentally move past it. I didn’t want to be in a sexless marriage. But I also didn’t want to have sex with him because of what he’d done to me.

    Now my question for you is this. As a victim of domestic abuse, should I have just submitted to him anyway? Or was I right to leave the marriage? (even though it took me awhile to realize that what I had in fact been through WAS abuse)

  26. Celeste,

    I am so sorry that your husband forced you to have an abortion before you were married to protect his reputation. This is not the first time I have heard of a professed believing man doing this to a woman. I know that must have left a huge and painful scar inside of you and it fueled bitterness toward him because of his sin.

    Please read this post I wrote last year on controlling husbands.

    After you read it, can you reply back here on this post as to how you feel you were a victim of domestic abuse? Can you be specific?

    I believe the Bible allows for women to divorce their husbands for being physically abusive, but not for being controlling. But how I would define a controlling husband based on the Scriptural principles of male headship, and how others might define it outside a Biblical framework is a very different thing.

    If there was no physical abuse on his part, then from a Biblical perspective God wanted you to forgive your husband for this terrible sin he committed against you. By forgiving him, you would have given that burden to God, but instead you carried it with you for years and the subsequent bitterness. Being bitter at someone is like taking poison expecting the other person to die. I am glad he finally talked to you about it. Did he apologize? Even if he did not God wanted to you to forgive him. Forgiveness is more for us than the person we are forgiving, it allows us to move on an look forward instead of always looking back.

    God wants a woman to submit to her sinful and failed husband in the same way God wants a man to love his sinful and failed wife. Now when he asked you to abort your child you should have dumped him on his ear. First of all you were not even married yet, second even if you were married if your husband asks do something immoral(like have an abortion) you have every right to disobey any immoral thing he asks you to do.

    But if what he asked was not sinful(like you having sex with him as his wife), then yes you should have submitted even though by your description he had many faults.

  27. I really want to thank you! As a Christian woman with a deep, troubled past of physical, mental and sexual abuse I approve of this message 🙂 It’s hard for me to read comments on how this is rape when it is not. It’s annoying to read comments by people that have clearly not read all the articles before commenting, or because of their ignorance they add bits and pieces of each article/comment to make up their own idea of “what you said”.

    To be clear to those out there that seem to think “this” example, or any of the articles for the matter, are coercion or rape really need to get their britches out of a bunch, pull them up, take a seat, and use their God-given brain to understand the Bible and what has been expressed in your articles. Coercion is for example: When Johnny tells Jane that if she doesn’t have sex with him, he will murder her. or… when a younger person in a family threatens to tell a dirty secret of an older relative if they do not name them executive of their will (yes, also known as blackmail). Or when your boss coerces you to have sex with him or he will divulge another affair he knows you’re involved in. Coercion is NOT, I repeat, is NOT when a husband talks to his wife about their sexual relationship and she “agrees” to have sex even though she really doesn’t feel like it. It also is NOT her “choosing” to have sex with her husband because things are as fun for her anymore (dates etc). Again, it is also NOT when the house doesn’t get the latest update but is in working order. If she doesn’t like not having money control, she can get a job.

    From creation we were given the intellect to understand God’s Word, but the sin within us wants to twist it to please our own selfish needs. Unfortunately, so many in the church want to please and not lose numbers in their congregation that they preach what is acceptable instead of what is Doctrine. In a Christian marriage, you ARE to give yourselves to each other. And I’m agreeing to this, KNOWING that I have severe issues with this due to my past. Even though progress is being made, it’s a slow process. My poor husband knows that I suffer in the same pain he does, but I do give myself to him, even when I’m not in the mood! Maybe not always (and I know I’m in sin), but deep down I want to but during those times I don’t is because I cannot accept the touch from a man, even though he’s my husband. He works with me, we talk… Why? BECAUSE I HAVE SOME MENTAL ISSUES (that I’m getting help for)! Like was stated in the author’s articles! And it’s not like I’m being a brat of a wife and saying, “No, it’s my body and I don’t want to give it to you, so no.” I want to give it, just can’t do it at those times.

    So many of these “what if’s” that are being mentioned are covered, but the rape activists and domestic abuse activists are out here screaming and don’t even have the full story. I’m studying psychology and abuse in women. Why? Because I plan to help others that have gone through it and it helps me as well, to understand and overcome my traumas. It’s discipline I tell you! If she doesn’t like it, she can leave and get a job. And if any body that does not have a job wants to complain about not receiving money and extras, while they’re being fed, clothed, and housed… well shame on you.

    If you want to know abuse I’ll be more than happy to inform you and give great details of being captive in your ‘home’. Being beat bloody. Fighting for your life. Afraid to leave. Being fired from jobs because of not being allowed to leave the house to go to work. etc…. the list goes on. In extreme tears and gagging during sex… yeah… then it’s domestic abuse.

    Preach it Sir. I actually came here because of reading a bashing article on another “Christian” site, so I figured I’d check it out to see what the hype was all about. I figured it had to be something horrible from what I read. But of course that was cut and paste of certain phrases, pushed together, which out of context can sound bad on their own.

    Have a blessed day!

  28. bgr, Oct. 28:
    “I believe the Bible allows for women to divorce their husbands for being physically abusive…”
    Would you please provide the passage(s) of scripture that authorizes a wife to divorce her husband, or your scripturally-based reasoning that you believe the scripture authorizes a wife to divorce her husband for abuse, or for any other reason?
    Jesus acknowledged that wives do divorce their husbands, but He didn’t mention or allude to any ordinance of God that authorized them to do so.
    Paul commanded wives not to leave their husbands, to divorce them, and that if they did so anyway, to remain as unmarried for so long as their husbands lived. If they did not reconcile with their husbands, or lacking that, remain as single, they were adulteresses.

  29. now, I consider myself a feminist and independent and all that, and don’t see the fictional story as one of rape. Although it’s very simplistic, it makes the point well, that this sort of coercion is not rape, as such. But because it is quite simplistic (with a really materialistic, selfish, whiny wife) I am curious to find out the rest of the story. Hoping that I won’t have to spell it all out, how did the “escalation of hostilities” play out, and help/hurt their marriage? Does the husband enjoy an unwilling bedmate? Was their intimacy at all intimate? And I would imagine that the wife would complain endlessly about the run down kitchen, and possibly stop cooking. And in tandem with the “diciplinary/coercive” actions of the husband, stop giving him backrubs, iron his shirts, send him cute notes with his packed lunch (which would also deteriorate), stop putting up with football on the TV, start working overtime, to afford her niceties, and/or stop going to the gym and hairdressers etc. due to money troubles.

  30. rek,

    Well if this were a real world story it could play out in two ways.

    1. The wife realizing how she has wrong her husband by denying him sex but expecting all these other niceties(as opposed to necessities) can do some self reflection and seek to give her body fully to her husband as God requires of her and then her husband will reward her submission by giving her back some of these niceties.

    2. The wife could do as you suggest and act as a rebellious child. A wife could act in the same way a teenager might and rebel by refusing to eat dinner with the family and staying in their room away from their parents in defiance of the parents taking away privileges as a form of discipline.

    Again we have a principle here that an authority can remove privileges(such as the privilege of the husband’s time and money) in order to evoke change in the one under their authority(whether it be their wife or their child).

    If the one under authority(such as a wife or child) starts to take actions in order to make the authority stop their discipline this is by definition an act of rebellion and is condemned in the Bible.

  31. You describe nearly exactly what I am going through with my marriage. My wife denied intimacy for almost ten years now. She also denied me for four years 2002-2006. At that that time I told her we had been married for eight year and did not have any children. I told her that if she did not want to have children I would have to leave her. I am getting counseling on my own and my wife does not want to go to counseling with me. I am planning to separate and file for divorce if she does not want to get any help. You wouldn’t believe the range of health issues I got from the stress, anxiety, abuse, neglect, constantly fighting which led to depression, sadness, loneliness, and medical problems. Even my counselor told me my marriage was toxic, and that my wife will kill me because of the harm she is causing me.

  32. I don’t think such a woman really loves her husband. And I can see why more and more younger men are considering celibacy in the body of Christ, especially if women are more and more like that. I waited 3 years to find my wife after being saved and being in an abusive and controlling relationship with a girl I thought was a Christian. God gifted me with a wonderful woman, we never hold out on each other. In fact, it is probably good that I have a job and a kid, we would probably never leave the house otherwise. Lol!

    Hey women, a little clue. You know how they say a man thinks about sex several times a minute? Did you know that frequent sexual intercourse can help protect against prostate cancer? Did you know that you actually can lead your husband into temptation by not sharing this with him? Do you know what your holding out really does to us? It is basically torture of the cruelest sort. Sex goes beyond psychology, it is written in our very DNA, it is a biological imperative that God gives us to procreate. The cruelest joke of all is a sexless marriage.

    The marriage covenant is serious business. It was so serious God established it in Genesis between the first man and woman. This is why I maintain you cannot be a feminist and a Christian. The two are mutually exclusive. A feminist fears, but God tells us fear is the opposite of faith. God also says he will take care of us, that is why he gave us Holy Spirit, to be our helper in all things. Have faith in God, he is bigger than your political ideologies and arm chair philosophers.

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