The undated wife

Recently I received an anonymous comment from a Christian wife. For the sake of this post we will just refer to her as “the undated wife”.

The undated wife writes:

“I have read many of the posts on your site and I agree with some things you say. I agree that women should not deny sex to their husbands and I do not deny sex to my husband, although there are many times I don’t feel like having sex with him.

But I think you miss the fact that women have an equal right to be dated by their husbands. Why do men think that dating is just before marriage? Why do men stop dating their wives after they get married?

Let me give you a little bit of background to my situation. I married my husband about 8 years ago, we were both divorced. I had no children from my previous marriage (I am unable to have children). He had three kids from a previous marriage that he has joint custody of. Now they are all teenagers. I love his kids and they love me.

I am a stay at home wife.

My husband says he loves me. He is a good provider. He is a good father to our children. But he works all the time. Even when he comes home from the office, he takes his laptop out many times and continues to read and answer emails all evening long. The only time he seems to carve out anytime is when his kids come to our house. Then he spends time with them. In fact sometimes I feel like the minute his kids arrive I am not even there.

There are times when he realizes he has not been paying enough attention to me and purposefully does not take out his laptop. We just sit and talk or watch some TV together. But I have told him I feel he needs to make more of an effort to date me. He needs to take me out to dinner more, he needs to take me to the movies. He should be taking me on weekend getaways several times a year like he did many years ago. He has turned into a “homebody” – he is fine with just being home with me and the kids.

I said he is a good provider and good father. I don’t feel he is a good husband to me. I always feel like his kids and his job come first, and I am always last on his “to do list”. Sure when I say something to him about feeling neglected – he will try for a while to talk with me more, and he might even take me out once in a great while. But I want more! Don’t I deserve to be his number priority? Why do I always have to feel like I am second to his job or the kids?

I got him to go to counseling with our Pastor whom he respects. Our pastor told him he needed to date me, he needed to take me out once a week. He need to take me on a weekend getaway at least twice a year. My husband MAYBE might take me out once a month on date. He has not taken me on a weekend getaway in a year and half. He says we don’t have enough money for trips right now and I just have to be patient (we had to cancel our family vacation this summer because of finances). He tells me things will get better financially in a couple years after we pay off the debt. A couple years!!!!! If something is important to you – you make it happen. But again I am not as important to him as his job or his kids. God says a wife is to be her husband’s number one priority right? That means I come before everything – his kids, his job.

I read your post on how a man is to know his wife – I almost cried when I read it because I want that from my husband. I want to feel like his number one priority.

I just feel like all I am here for is to do his and his kids laundry, cook for them and drive them places, and of course have sex with him.

I feel more like a maid and a sex slave than his wife!

Can you maybe write a post about husbands loving their wives before everything else? Can you write about how God wants men to date their wives? Isn’t that what loving your wife is? To date her, to make her feel like she is your number one priority?”

Now normally this is the part where I start offering what I believe to be Biblical advice to this wife.  But I am going to do something different this time.  I have a lot of Christian women that read and comment on my blog and I would like to hear back from you on this.  Of course if you start getting nasty toward me on other positions I take then your comment won’t make it through.  But if you stick to this post, and what this women says in a respectful way your comment just might make it through.

I look forward to the discussion.  I will post my own thoughts on this later.

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15 thoughts on “The undated wife

  1. Hmm. I think I would suggest reading over at http://peacefulwife.com/
    She really has some good and practical articles for wives dealing with these issues.

    I empathize with this here. I think many wives have felt like this at times, “I just feel like all I am here for is to do his and his kids laundry, cook for them and drive them places, and of course have sex with him.”

    That is one way to perceive what is happening. Another way of looking at things is that he is dedicated to his children, dedicated to his role as provider, seeking to bless you with some future security and financial safety. What he is doing for his kids, for his job, may not feel as if they are acts of love towards you, but it sounds as if they may be. He also listens to you when you ask to go somewhere, to have a date, to go to counseling with a Pastor, these are all signs of husband who genuinely cares, he’s just uncertain about how to express it in a language you will understand.

    Ultimately however, I think wives have to realize that they are in charge of how they feel. When we say “we should be his number one,” there’s this hidden implication that it is his job to guess how we are feeling and to magically know how to fulfill those unmet needs we have, needs we may not even have fully identified ourselves.

  2. So the husband is a good provider and father which is great. Now i think maybe when he comes home maybe dont spend some much time on the computer, if its work yeah get that done but if its not pertaining to work then come home and relax with your wife.

    Now as for the wife and this is coming from a nonbeliever single woman. She doesnt actually need all of that the weekend getaway and all that jazz to me that is just a bit much. Maybe if they went on a family vacation would be nice. Something that would keep the teens busy while mom and dad enjoyed some alone time but a what she is asking is just not possible. Also does she have a hobby cause that would help as well to keep her mind busy since she is a stay at home wife, like join a book club or learn a new language or crochet.

    A wife and husband is not going to be a ‘Bella & Edward’ 24/7 there are gonna be times when you both needs some space. I am not sure this will help given i lack martial experience but I do hope everything works out.

  3. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Love this post. My husband and I had to have a LONG heart to heart about this about a year into our marriage. He didn’t understand how I could feel neglected when we were together every day. He didn’t realize after we got married, he stopped trying. It takes a lot out of you!

  4. Insanity,

    I agree with what you said here – it really is all about perception. Seeing the glass as “half full” or “half empty”. I received an email from a man the other day complaining that his wife while never denying him, just sort of “phones it in” in the bedroom. He wants her to be more “sexy” and “wear lingerie” and do more things in that department. But I told him he needed to look at what God had blessed him with, a woman that takes care of his children, his home and never denies him sex. Some men would die just to have that.

    While we as men might wish our wives would be “sexier” in the bedroom, and wives must wish their husbands were more romantic or took them on more dates, we must learn to appreciate and be grateful for the things we do have, while still always striving to do those extra things that make marriage more enjoyable and fun.(like husbands doing romantic things, and wives being sexier in the bedroom).

  5. Pingback: The Un-dated Wife |

  6. Biblical, something I didn’t mention earlier, that feeling, “I should be your number one, you’re spending more time with the kids than me,” is going to pop up in nearly all families. In step families it can be more challenging, but even in my own marriage where our kids live with us, that’s been an issue. When the kids were small, I’d spend all my time with them and neglect hubby. He was always good at reminding me that he has to come first because the kids will move out someday. As they got older however, he has sided much more with the kids than with me, which has undermined what little authority I may have had, especially when they were teens. They figured out very quickly when mom says no, ask dad. That’s an issue we still deal with today. One thing I’ve really had to do is let go and realize they’re his kids, too. Also, even though it sometimes feels as if he’s placing them before me, he’s probably not planning to trade me in 😉

  7. I think that the first thing you should consider is that your husband works as hard as he does so that he can provide for his family, which is an act of love in itself. Men and women express and receive love in very different ways and it is important to realize this before saying that he doesn’t prioritize you. I’m sure your husband doesn’t love working. He doesn’t love getting answering emails, taking phone calls, and sitting at a desk for hours when he could be relaxing at home with you. He does these things so that his wife can be healthy and happy.

    Secondly, I think it’s a tad unfair to expect your husband to be taking you out often when you’ve expressed that you’re having financial issues. Those things don’t change overnight and you have to be patient and supportive during this time, and not make him feel like less of a provider. Instead, maybe suggests dates that the two of you can do at home. For example, decorate the house with candles and make sure that the kids are out for the night. Cook a nice meal together. Date nights don’t have to be expensive to be meaningful. The important part is that the both of you are connecting by yourselves with no distractions.

  8. Insanity,

    First off all – thanks for revealing these “touching issues” in your marriage. If you look over on Dragonfly’s blog where she wrote her own post replying to this undated wife – I revealed that this really hit a nerve for me too from the perspective of the husband. I think in the case of this wife this is definitely one of those things we can see from both sides(the husband and the wife).

    We are in step kid situation too – my wife is a step mom to my kids and they are teens so it can be interesting sometimes. Thankfully she has a great relationship with them(even better than my ex does(their biological mom)). But she does feel many times like I take their side when I am not trying to, I just feel differently on some situations. However I do not put up with when they ask her something and she said no, and then they come to me to say yes. If they do that I say to them “If you would have said I asked step-mom and she said no, can you talk to her to find out why”, then I might consider that – “but since you did not tell me and went around her the answer is automatically no.”

    But there are sometimes when I have a different issue with my wife. She and I will talk about a decision we need to make(in private in our room) regarding the kids. They have no idea we discussed it. Sometimes we strongly disagree, and I have to tell her something like “Honey, ok we have hashed this out, I have heard you. I just don’t agree. So I am going to do [such and such] with the kids and I need you to accept my decision.” Sometimes my wife will accept and not saying anything to the kids, but many times if she feels strongly my decision is wrong she will tell them “I don’t agree with your father on this”. That burns me up. I try never to confront my wife in front of the kids, I try to do it in private out respect for her position.

    However I feel if she publicly disrespects my decision in front of the kids – I have to call her out on that disrespect and I do.

    I agree that the husband needs to make spending time with his wife a priority, and the wife needs make spending time with her husband a priority. What happens often is that men get so caught up(I am one of them) in our jobs and kids that which are good things – that we can forget to spend time with our wives. Women can sometimes get so caught in being moms, that they forget to be their husband’s lover.

    I think you and I would agree though – that we can’t look at this as a “either or” proposition. It is an “all of the above” proposition. That means we need to work, we need to spend time with our kids, we need serve in our churches or do other ministries(like Christian blogging) and we definitely need to spend time with out spouses.

    Now can we be too busy? Absolutely – I have had plenty of emails from men or women saying how their spouses spend all their time outside the home in various activities(even church activities) and there is no family time and no couple time – and that should never be the case.

    So it all comes down to one word – balance. And in life we will constantly be having to re-balancing things and that is why we need to be flexible with each other in our families and marriages.

  9. I have some thoughts, but I want to preface my comment (this is my first) by saying that I am a secular woman who tends to believe in what I think of as “traditional” masculine and feminine roles, and I find many of this author’s posts interesting and thought-provoking. That said, I’m aware that this site is centered around Biblical teachings and Scripture, since the advice requested was in that context, I want to make it clear that I’m not offering advice from a Biblical perspective, nor am I qualified to do so. This is simply my opinion based on my own life experiences.

    You want to feel special, wanted, like a priority in your husband’s life. All fairly reasonable and normal desires. I think a lot of people–women in particular–are quick to feel “wronged” (sometimes justifiably) but not so quick to actively work to make the situation better, instead waiting on their partners to swoop in with some grand gesture to fix it. You mention your husband coming home and getting on his laptop, responding to email, etc. You want him to pay attention to you. What are you doing in this moment? Sitting there pouting, hoping he’ll take the hint? I know you mentioned telling him you feel neglected…for most men this is a wildly abstract choices of words, men tend to view things much more linearly and look for clear and concise solutions. “Neglected” to a man does not mean one specific thing the way it does to you (needing romance and to feel like a priority). Even telling a man something like “I need more romance” is fairly vague, for them “romance” could be oral and sex and a beer (lol) so it’s best to be specific, yet not obnoxious about it. “I love when you surprise me with flowers”, “I miss when we used to spend Saturday mornings just lying in bed, cuddling and talking…can we do it again soon?” “It was so much fun when you took me to _________ for dinner, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world”…all recollections of specific events that he likely has positive mental associations with as well.

    From what I can tell, the criteria that you’ve given him is limited to “going out” and “going on weekend getaways” which I agree can be amazing, but he seems to be clearly telling you that your family is not in a financial position to do these things frequently right now, and since you mentioned cancelling a previous trip because of finances, him stating this doesn’t seem to be inconsistent or simply due to a lack of wanting to spend money on *you*. It is loving and masculine for a man to be responsible with money and plan for the future. This is a good quality. He’s expressed that frequent getaways aren’t feasible right now, so the onus is on you figure out other alternatives that would meet your needs. Try breaking it down and going from there…what is it you like about travel? The change of scenery? Learning about new cultures? Trying new foods? The bonding that comes from going on new adventures together? Whatever it is, there is likely a number of ways to experience it that aren’t as costly, and it’s up to you to be creative and figure it out because HE’S NOT GOING TO. He will probably be happy to oblige, but he’s not likely to randomly show up one day with a white horse and a picnic basket filled with all your favorite foods to take you for a sunset ride on the beach.

    If you want him to pay attention to you when he gets off work, initiate intimate contact with him. While he’s checking his email, stand behind him, rub his shoulders and ask about his day. He may want to talk about it, he may not, he will probably ask you about your day….setting the tone for affectionate, free-flowing conversation is a lot more effective than simply telling him you want him to talk to you more. He sounds like a decent guy and nothing that you described seems insurmountable or indicative of poor character on his part. As for his kids, they aren’t there all the time and he should spend time with them as much as possible when they are. If you feel left out you could try…I don’t know…joining them? Spending time together as a *family* with children, which is exactly what you are. Being jealous and standoffish because he’s spending time with his kids honestly sounds really bratty and would really annoy me if I were him.

    You sound like you have a great life with a good man, be an adult, take responsibility for getting your needs met, and don’t attempt to make things into bigger problems than they need to be.

  10. Levo,

    For a “secular woman” you really gave some “Biblical advice”. I wish more wives had the common sense thinking about their husbands that you have stated in your opinion here. Men can be guilty of this too(just expecting their wives to do certain things without asking). For I have had many men email with frustrations about “why has my wife not worn lingerie in forever, or why has she not done this or that in bed in forever”. My response is always “Have you asked in a nice way? Have you told how great it was the last time she did such and such and you really love that? Have you made any romantic gestures toward her lately? Perhaps some flowers?”

    But having said that – from my experience and listening to all the emails and comments I receive it is more often women than men are expecting their husband do as you say and come in on the white horse to take them on away on some magical adventure. Many Women are constantly testing their husbands(whether they consciously realize it or not) and often times the husband is failing tests he never knew he was taking. I love it when my wife just suggests things she wants to do – most of the time I will make it happen(if we can financially afford it). My first wife expected me to read her mind and it drove me nuts.

    It is interesting that you brought up the issue of being jealous and have you ever thought of “joining them”? I live in similar situation where my wife is a step mom with no kids of her own(that is why this story really touch a nerve with me) and she does not like doing some of the things my teen boys and my daughter like to do. If we watch a movie(like a scary or war movie) she is off to our bedroom to watch her shows. She is not really a board game person, so if we are playing a board game she does not join in. Now she does like sports like baseball, so if there is a game on and we are watching that she will stick around. But I have told her that if she really wants to feel included then she would have to acquire a taste for doing some of the things my kids and I like to do – like watching scary movies, watching sci fi and war movies, playing PS4.

    Ladies – as Levo says here – be clear with your husbands(not demanding), but clear on things your would like him to do with you. Also be realistic – if you are broke don’t ask for a trip to Hawaii. It may just have to be a romantic evening at home with the kids staying at the grandparents. Great advice Levo.

  11. This situation is sad because the wife’s attitude is also akin to that of an attention-starved child’s: she wants to know she is more than just “there,” and wants to be acknowledged that she has a significant place in her husband’s life. It’s validation, something all wives want from time to time.

    I don’t think the wife is going to be satisfied with a getaway or a vacation. She wants to be engaged with her husband and the lack of engagement (from what we know) is the root of the problem. I mean, it’s not realistic to expect a vacation will fix the lack of connection when the weekend is over and they go back to real life.

    I hope this wife looks at the advice here and takes it seriously because much of it was good and well-reasoned.

  12. I haven’t had the chance to go through all of your posts yet. Have you done the actual Biblical response to this yet? I find it interesting that the one post where women are asking for love, romance, and respect, you have nothing to say? I was looking forward to the scriptures you would list to back up the reasons why the husband should or should not date his wife after marriage and continue to make her feel like a desirable,

  13. Sorry, my comment sent before I was finished because my puppy jumped on my face.

    …desirable, beautiful, priority. Should the husband’s priority be God, his wife, his children etc.? I ask because I young, single, never married and 5 years ago I dated an abusive non Christian for 2 years. I’m only just now ready to think about finding my Christian husband. This is all very interesting. I never want to end up in a relationship where I am unappreciated and overlooked and abused again. Another question is, how do I look for signs of these things in men before I get married? Neglectful, abusive, controlling, etc..

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