Stories of Sexual Denial in Marriage Episode 7

Imagine if your Christian wife did not want to have sex on your wedding night? What if for the next 20 years she only let you have sex with her 8 times a year? This next story of sexual denial in marriage comes to us from a man named Mark. He has been married for 22 years. He sent me several emails detailing different aspects of his story. I am including relevant parts of his emails to show a picture of what was happening and he very much wanted me to share his story to help other men who are facing this situation know they are not alone.

Mark’s Story

“I am so thankful for your advice regarding how a Christian man can biblically handle a situation where his wife is perpetually sinning against God and the husband, by refusing sex to her husband.  I have that situation and am about to file for divorce.  I have lived with it for 22 years and never knew how to handle it.  Once I did finally follow the same advice that you have given, my problem was that when I got to the step of taking my wife to the pastor, the pastor, like our society, was afraid of my wife.  He got on me pretty hard about being a Christian husband, but never held her accountable to being a Christian wife.  In other words, he never said that she needed to have sex with me.  So, I have now gone a year without sex.

I have done everything that I know of to provide a loving peaceful home environment, but she will not repent.  I say this because I believe that there are many pastors, and churches that have embraced feminism.  So, they always see the man as the villain and the wife as basically sinless, and always right.  I am not claiming innocence in some of my marital problems because I am a sinner, but my wife is convinced that she is justified in her behavior and I received absolutely no help from the church.

I ended up going to a different church by myself.  I met with the pastor there and he referred me/us to a trained marriage counselor.  That marriage counselor is, at least, non-biased in evaluating our marital situation.  This feminism problem IN THE CHURCH is something that you might want to make your readers aware of.  It is a sad thing that is destroying homes.  Sadly, it looks like my home is one of the victims….”

In another email Mark supplied some more background and context to his situation:

“My wife has only had sex with me approximately 8 times per year. This is absolutely horrible. I’m getting older (47), but would still like to have sex at least twice per week. It also makes it difficult to want to stay faithful to her when all she does is turn me down.

Whenever I have confronted my wife about this, she clams up. She just won’t talk about it and usually walks away to avoid addressing it. She knows the scriptural command because I’ve shown it to her several times, but doesn’t really seem to care, and she faithfully attends church once or twice per week.

My wife has had a history of being unsubmissive toward me. She was raised in a home from age 5 until adulthood without a dad or brothers. Her dad left her mom when she was 5 (I strongly suspect because her mom did the same thing to her dad as my wife has done to me.). So, she was very independent growing up and never had a model for a Christian home life.

My wife has been a stay-at-home home school mother. By the way, tell any of your readers to not home school if the parents do not have a solid marriage. It is sad to say, but as a friend told me, it seems like many home school mothers have an entitlement attitude. I think that he is right.

I have six kids. Two of those six are daughters. I am most concerned about their future marriages as they have not had a good example in my wife…

The church needs to be the final step in the process of discipline, but if the church is not there to give support, we’re kind of out there on our own. That has been my case. The church that my wife now attends by herself but with my 2 youngest kids seems to be a very doctrinally solid church with plural elders and wise men leading. However, the lead/teaching pastor, the one that counseled us, does not even see that he is blind to the feminism that he has embraced…

Here is an excerpt from an email that I received from my wife’s pastor:

I do not think it right to pursue discipline toward your wife for not having sex with you as you have previously suggested. Sex is the physical expression of intimacy that is to exist in a marriage relationship where the two are one – not just physically. I have never heard of or read of anyone being disciplined by a church for such a reason. And, I am not alone in that position. I have sought counsel from other pastors and elders on it without divulging your identities to those outside our church.”

Mark gives more detail on the sexual denial and its impact on their marriage

“The entire 22 years has been a perpetual rejection sexually on my wife’s part….

I would say that I did try to do whatever it took to make/keep her happy so that she would be willing to have sex. But a majority of the time, it still resulted in rejection. We have only had sex, on average, 8 times per year for the past 10 years. Recently, she has withheld sex from me for a year as I stated in my first email. I moved out of the bedroom 12 months ago. I could not take the continual, perpetual rejection. At least I have not had to see her walking around the bedroom in her underwear knowing that I wasn’t getting any of that.

I would say that she pretty much has always been rejecting of me. She didn’t even want to have sex our wedding night. Not only that, we probably only had sex, maybe 3 times, our entire honeymoon week and I remember being upset about that.

For the most part, sex rejection on her part has always been a problem. I wish I would have had this advice years ago. Some people might wrongly think “Wow, you have 6 kids. Your marriage’s sex life must be great.” Not true. It has been horrible. What is sad is that she was much more affectionate before marriage. I assumed that I was marrying someone that would enjoy sex. That has not been the case.

She wanted all of the kids and was more willing to have sex when she wanted to get pregnant. But, as stated before, it never has been good as far as a willingness on her part – mostly rejection. And that has been another problem where she has elevated the kids way above the marriage. I love my kids, but not more than my wife.

I really want a companion that is a friend and lover and have never had that…

Mark’s experience with marriage counselors

“I put up with it (the perpetual sexual rejection), just praying away and hoping that God would intervene. But after 17 years, I threw in the towel. I was extremely frustrated. I said hurtful things to my wife and began to just do my own thing. I was never unfaithful but did not care about hurting her feelings. After about 2 years of that, realizing that that was not the way to go, I sought marriage counseling for us. The pastor (now her pastor, not mine) stated something like “Well, you can’t expect your wife to want to have sex with you if there is no relationship.”

I now realize how bad this advice was/is. This was just what my wife wanted to hear. This really angered me, because my wife has never wanted a relationship. She is just so different from probably most women. I actually have been the one that has wanted a relationship (even outside of sex). Over the past 5 years we have been through 5 different marriage counselors. We are about to have another session tonight with our 5th counselor. However, at our last session with the marriage counselor (who has been good at seeing both sides, not just the woman’s) I stated that this is it. I am drawing a line in the sand. If my wife (with her present to hear me) wasn’t willing to make any effort at reconciliation, that I was through and would be looking for a lawyer. I finally manned up…

By the way, we were sent to an expensive 3 day weekend ($1500) “Counseling Ministry” in Brown County, Indiana called Twelve Stones. It was absolutely terrible. Again, I tried to explain that my reaction to my frustrations of not getting any sex with my wife had caused my bad behavior toward my wife. I explained to them that the root problem was my wife’s perpetual rejection of sex. Well, they basically swept it under the rug and wanted to almost exclusively focus on me and my sinful reactions, etc. Upon my return home, I talked with 3 other men that had been to Twelve Stones and they all stated basically the same thing of how the focus was on the man, and very little on the woman. Tell your readers to avoid that place if their church, pastor, or elders recommends it…

My wife has stated that she clams up and does not want a relationship (of any kind) because she thinks that I am overly controlling (this was true some times in the past). I have repented of that. She also stated that is “isn’t safe” to talk to me about anything. She does see me as a male chauvinist, even though my view of husband leadership is based upon the scriptures, which she should certainly know because we have been in bible teaching churches our entire married life.

However, she does not like me to be a strong leader. I have really become a subdued wimp over the past couple of years in order to appease her. My oldest son, who does not live at home any longer and is well aware of the marital problems stated that he could not believe how subdued and wimpy I am these days. He said that one of the things that made him proud of me is how I was a good leader and strong in my convictions and how I taught him how to be a man’s man…

Mark recently sent me this update to what was previously stated:

“Last night’s counseling session was our last. Even the counselor sees the futility in continuing when my wife wants nothing to do with reconciliation or repentance. It is really hurtful to me that she does not see any need on her part to repent of such deep seated bitterness and also disobedience regarding the sexual rejection – in particular. I have gone to every possible effort to demonstrate my repentance and desire to save our marriage. It is really sad…

I believe that most, if not all, of this has happened because of feminism which has infected my wife’s thinking. She struggled for years with submission, but then the wrongful counseling is what cemented the wrong thinking. It is sad…

Thank you very much. I just don’t think most people, even Christians, realize what good you are doing. You will have the feminists after you for sure…

I do want my story out there though. Maybe it can help someone else and save their marriage or prevent some marriages for men that are planning to marry the wrong woman.”

My response to Mark and other men who face similar situations

Mark sent me this in as a response to my post “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” which I am thankful to say is making an impact for Christ against the scourge of feminism that has infected our culture over the last century.

While I have seen many emails and stories from men about long term sexual denial from their wives I think Mark’s story highlights the problem of feminism in the church.

Thankfully the Pastor of the church I attend would not have such a cavalier attitude toward sexual denial and there are still Bible practicing churches that will call women to account for this. But Mark raises a great point which leads us to this question – “What if your Church is infected with feminism and false modern views of marriage as opposed the Biblical model of marriage?”

As I pointed out in a previous post, our Church leaders do not always follow the Scriptures and often times they will bow to cultural pressures and not preach and teach the entire counsel of God. This is why we need to be as the Bereans were when they received the Word of God from the Apostle Paul and they compared it to the Old Testament Scriptures to verify it was true before they accepted it.

“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” – Acts 17:10-11 (KJV)

Mark did the right thing and searched the Scriptures and found in fact that what his Pastor was saying and how his Pastor was advising his wife was in fact “not so” from a Biblical perspective. His Pastor was flat wrong on this issue and was blinded to his own feminist view of marriage.

The husband is always the villain in modern marriage counseling

This is one of the biggest problems with marital counseling in modern times. It all about feelings and nothing about sacred duties to one another. The man is not making his wife “feel such and such” therefore she cannot be blamed for her actions.

You can see the complete and utter deafness to his concerns in his first Pastor’s response to their marital issues. Mark explains that after 17 years of denial, he threw in the towel and said some things toward his wife that were not right. Then after 2 years of just being angry and speaking wrongly to her he realized they needed counseling. So he goes to their Pastor and after explaining that his wife had been sexually denying him for 17 years before he threw in the towel for the last 2 years this is what his Pastor came away with:

“Well, you can’t expect your wife to want to have sex with you if there is no relationship.”

If I were Mark – my head would have exploded. He admits he was wrong for his behavior for the past two years, but the Pastor completely failed to see how he had put in all the effort of praying for his wife and trying to please her for the previous 17 years while she continued to deny him sexually!

“The Quiet Man” (1952) has always been one of my favorite movies since I was a child. In that movie a newlywed wife (played by Maureen O’Hara) goes to talk to her local town priest about her marriage troubles to her new husband (played by John Wayne). The priest’s reaction is the complete opposite of what most Christian Pastors and counselors would have toward sexual denial. She whispers in his ear that she has been denying her husband because she was upset at him for some things he was not doing and the priest went NUTS! He was yelling and screaming at this young wife.

The point is there was a time in our culture before the last 70 years or so that if a man and woman came into a priest or pastor and he heard sexual denial was going on he would hear nothing more and tell that woman to go home and do her duty with her husband.

Today unfortunately we have a lot of Pastors who may be brave in speaking out against many social wrongs but are cowards when it comes to preaching on the duties of husbands and wives toward each other in the bedroom and also confronting women in counseling for lack of submission in the bedroom.

The roots of Mark’s wife’s problems

Mark has admitted here as well as in other emails to me that he was not the perfect husband nor would he claim to be. I always ask men who email me when their wife’s sexual issues began and if it was from the very beginning of their marriage. I often ask “how was sex on your honeymoon?” as this can indicate where issues began.

In some marriages the sex is great in the beginning, including the honeymoon and into the first few years of marriage. Then after those first few years is when issues sometimes arise. Now sometimes the man does have some blame in the sense that he becomes neglectful of his wife and never wants to talk with her (know her) and spend time with her outside the bedroom.

Now this is not to say that a wife is justified in withholding sex from her husband, even under those conditions. Two wrongs never make a right. A husband must know his wife (talk to her) and a wife must have sex with her husband. Neither are prerequisites for the other – they stand independently from each other.

But in our sinful natures as men we will often clam up and not talk to our wives when they deny us sexually. And in the same way wives in their sinful natures will often deny their husband’s sexually when their husbands don’t make an effort to talk with them or spend time with them outside the bedroom.

But from what we can see in Mark’s account – his wife had problems in the sexual arena on day one of their marriage. She didn’t want to have sex on their wedding night! Now I know I will hear from some people and I have in the past heard of couples who did not have sex on their wedding night because she was too stressed out and tired from the wedding. But the next day and the following days she made it up to her groom.

I am not saying your marriage is cursed if your wife says no on your wedding night, but that is certainly never a good start to a marriage. There are going to be a lot more tiring and stressful days throughout the rest of your marriage and if she starts the trend on your wedding night – watch out! You might be in for some trouble.

And from a Biblical perspective, the marriage is not consummated until the husband and wife have sex. So technically speaking you were not husband and wife on your wedding night – vows don’t mean squat without the act of marriage sealing the deal.

It seems from Mark’s account the only time his wife wanted to have sex was when she wanted to get pregnant. How many men have heard this tune before? And she wanted all six kids!

It appears unfortunately for Mark, that like so many men (Christian and non-Christian alike) he was simply an accessory she needed to complete her life’s dream of having a big family and home schooling them.

Mark’s wife needed the man to bring home a paycheck for her and make sure she had everything she needed for her home. He was the sperm donor to supply her with the raw material for having the six kids she wanted. He was the father to pose for family pictures, help take care of the kids and fix things around the house and supply whatever the family needed.

In return for his services to her causes, she determined that she would gracious supply him with her body 8 times a year for sexual relief that had nothing to do with producing children.

But what she did not need was a husband. What she did not need was lover. She did not need someone trying to lead her or tell her what to do. Oh no, she would have none of that. And if Mark did not appease his wife and do what she said, he would get sex even less than the eight times a year!

The common thread in this story with every other story I have received from men facing sexual denial is a lack of submission on the wife’s part. It started on day one of their marriage. Yes Mark did act sinfully at some points down the road by his own admission, and he repented of it and tried to restore the marriage.

If a wife is truly submitted to God’s design for marriage then she will submit to her husband “as unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22). The first act of submission a wife makes to her husband in accordance with her submission to God is to submit her body in the act of marriage (sex). This forms the foundation for all other types of submission in marriage.

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

I pray that if you are husband reading this you will have the courage to do as Mark did and search the Scriptures on this issue. I pray that you will see that this is about so much more than sexual denial, but rather it is about confronting sin and rebellion against God’s design and model in marriage. Do not be lead astray even to capitulate to this sinful behavior even by well-meaning Pastors, counselors and even relatives.

Counseling can be good, but only if it is Biblically based. When you see out counseling go and vet the counselor first to see they believe in the Biblical model of marriage. If you do not, then a counselor who rejects the Biblical models of love and marriage could actually do more harm than good.

If you are a wife reading this and you recognize any part of yourself here in denying your husband sexually you need to repent and ask God and then your husband to forgive you. You need to humble yourself before God, and then accept that God has placed husband over you as your head just as Christ is the head of the Church. God wants you to submit to your husband in “every thing”.

“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 5:23-34(KJV)

One you have repented and humbled yourself before God as well as your husband make every effort to be as the wife of Proverbs 5:18-19 and ravish your husband with your body. This will transform your marriage and give it a new life like you have never experienced.

“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 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 5:18-19 (KJV)

38 thoughts on “Stories of Sexual Denial in Marriage Episode 7

  1. I think you could have made some allowance for couples (such as me and my husband) who aren’t able to have sex on their wedding night for physical reasons Obviously those are the exceptions, but there will still be lingering hurt from a sexless honeymoon that being told that you weren’t technically married yet isn’t going to help at all. Just a thought, especially if you have more readers like myself.

    On a more important note, I think Mark’s last sentence was key here. “or prevent some marriages for men that are planning to marry the wrong woman.” I read stories like this and I shake my head and wonder what in the world happened. I’m definitely NOT blaming Mark (or any of the numerous men/women in similar situations), but I wonder if prevention is key here. Many women (myself included) are very receptive to non-sexual touch. So they will love to cuddle or hug prior to marriage but this does not automatically transfer over into being sexually receptive post-marriage. I know that my husband and I had numerous conversations about sexual denial and the need for a frequent sexual relationship and they were all initiated by me! And it wasn’t because I was worried that he would deny me; I wanted to reassure him. He always appreciated it but told me that hadn’t really crossed his mind. In my case, he had nothing to worry about, but I wonder if men (and women?) in general need to be taking this more seriously prior to marriage. I get that some people can run a serious con prior to marriage and then evolve into an entirely different person, but I can’t imagine that happens anywhere near the frequency that stories like this (told or untold) occur.

    I also think that the church needs to do a better job at encouraging and promoting Titus 2 women. Me and my husband had great pre-marital counselors and a great sex therapist but they were all male. They were very open and honest but I could tell that they were sensitive to me and were taking care to not offend me. With these particular men, I don’t think it was so much a problem with feminism as it was that they just weren’t as experienced with dealing with the female psyche as other women are. I think all Christian marital counselors should include a man and a woman. Ideally working together as a team, but even if they are seen separately, that would probably help. I remember watching my mom (in all her timidity and modesty) share her testimony at her church’s women’s retreat earlier this year, and after her 5-minute story, she added on as a seemingly random tangent that it was so important that women respect their husbands and that that had been a vital part of her marriage. She stuttered her way through it and lost her place at one point, but still how lovely it was to see a women of God sharing His truths without reservation! Afterwards, multiple complete strangers came up to me and told me how wonderful my mother was and how her words had touched them. I doubt even the most suave of men would have had the same affect in that audience.

  2. Sad story for Mark. I would love to hear if their marriage came to be restored! But feminism is disgusting in this age. It’s a beautiful thing to do as the Lord instructed as a wife to submit as we would into the Lord. If you go to church or teach this to other women, but don’t believe it. You are a hypocrite! This post is sad ,but surely an eye opener for many. Thank you!

  3. I’m sorry for Mark’s pain. Going without sex for men is like women going without intimacy. That is painful stuff, it is constant rejection, it is like dying inside.

    I don’t quite agree that feminism within the church is the whole problem. The church tends to have this attitude that all sex is bad and shameful or at least not something they want to talk about. I and many other wives would love to talk to young women about marriage, about the need husbands have for sex, about submission, but the church is not supportive of that, either.

    Michelle Duggar just made a simple statement that wives need to have sex with their husbands, that we are what gives men their sense of intimacy and connection, and predictably she was lambasted for it, not just by the secular community, but by Christians, too. The Duggars of course have recently been rocked by scandal. The thing is, we’ll talk ad nauseum about scandal, about lust, abuse…..and forbid all discussion of healthy sexuality. That causes people to believe that all sex is bad.

    Feminists rarely say sex is bad, in fact they are all about empowering yourself sexually, they just do it outside the context of marriage.

  4. You make some fabulous points, Insanity. I would have loved to have some conversations with you about sexuality prior to my own marriage (I had multiple pent up fears that were never quite discussed and kinda allowed to just happen). I do wish that pastors would do more to empower TItus 2 women, such as yourself, in churches. What a key part of ministry that Jesus simply did not equip them to handle!

    I think the reason Michelle Duggar got so much flack is that people think (accurately or not) that she is subtly blaming Anna Duggar for Josh’s straying. It’s unfortunate that there are not more vocal Christian women making the same statements so that less reputable sources wouldn’t be the norm.

    On an entirely unrelated note, i noticed what you said at the beginning about sex being for men what intimacy was for women. I wonder if sex is not a key part of intimacy for women and that denying their marriage sex cuts them off from intimacy as well. I know I feel quite connected to my husband when we’re having sex (boy this turned into TMI quite quickly!)

  5. I’m sure BGR wasn’t trying to offend you AnnaS. Your situation is exactly the situation my mother had, and yes, it is awful, but at least it has all been fixed right?

    I actually think he’s right in this couple’s case where the wife willingly does not want to have sex on the wedding night as meaning she didn’t want to even consummate the marriage. You DID want to but physically couldn’t. So don’t be offended here, I’m sure he’s talking more about the attitude difference.

  6. AnnaMS,

    Yes, you know based on what I have said to you earlier about your situation where you physically could not complete penetration that is a different story. Your intentions were honorable and you made a good faith attempt to consummate your marriage on your wedding night.

    And not to be gross or TMI, but I believe you and your husband’s attempt at penetration would quality as consummation. Sex does not always have to end with penetration, and think just the attempt itself was enough. You also helped him in other ways.

  7. Dragonfly,

    You are right. I meant no offense to her situation and that was a completely different scenario. She also helped her husband in other ways that night. We are talking about the purposefully reject of sex on the wedding night for reasons other than physical issues which would prevent it.

    By the way – I would absolutely love to hear your take on my post as well as some of my comments clarifying why I compared women to steaks.

  8. Wow BGR! Yes, I agree with you on the women and steaks comparison, all the way to the brain differences of how men and women view each other’s bodies. It’s all been documented with MRIs and such – seen the research. There was a study recently that showed that when men viewed a beautiful woman (clothed), the part of their brain that is utilized when they’re using tools lights up. My husband is interested in commenting later to support you too! Emily sounds really young and doesn’t seem to understand male sexuality, which is fine… don’t want to make her feel bad, but there are several issues that concerned me when reading what she wrote about controlling her intended’s sexuality, or going over to his house just “to monitor him.” I’ll comment later after my husband comments 🙂

  9. Hello dragonfly, I just noticed your post..
    I’m 19, so I do know about male sexuality. But that simply isn’t consistent with my opinion about sex.

    Just so you don’t get the wrong idea, I do not want to be an assertive partner. I believe in gender roles and a supporting, not authoritative, role for wives. However, my boyfriend only recently became religious so he needs some guidance.

  10. You are correct in pointing out the very real danger for a husband in this situation in seeking out pastoral or marriage counseling (Christian or otherwise). The likelihood that the third party validates the wife’s denial is high, and will no doubt begin to dredge up past “failings” of the husband of justify the wife’s behavior. And you are absolutely right that clergy 70 years ago would have responded just like the Irish priest in the Quiet Man did. They would have called out the sin for what it was. Whether clergy of today have embraced feminism, become feminized or are afraid of angering their wives and women in the congregation I do not know, however I suspect it is a toxic soup of all three. Let me leave you with the very direct teaching of a very wise pastor and theologian of some historical importance. Here is Martin Luther on this very issue:

    “…The third case for divorce is that in which one of the parties deprives and avoids the other, refusing to fulfill the conjugal duty or to live with the other person. For example, one finds many a stubborn wife like that who will not give in, and who cares not a whit whether her husband falls into the sin of unchastity ten times over. Here it is time for the husband to say, “If you will not, another will; the maid will come if the wife will not.” Only first the husband should admonish and warn his wife two or three times, and let the situation be known to others so that her stubbornness becomes a matter of common knowledge and is rebuked before the congregation…
    Here you should be guided by the words of St. Paul, I Corinthians 7 [:4-5], “The husband does not rule over his own body, but the wife does; likewise the wife does not rule over her own body, but the husband does. Do not deprive each other, except by agreement,” etc. Notice that St. Paul forbids either party to deprive the other, for by the marriage vow each submits his body to the other in conjugal duty. When one resists the other and refuses the conjugal duty she is robbing the other of the body she had bestowed upon him. This is really contrary to marriage, and dissolves the marriage”

    The stubborn wife is to be rebuked before the whole congregation. Because she is in sin. And by her behavior she is effectively dissolving the marriage. She is not to be “counseled” or otherwise encouraged to continue on in her sinful ways. Luther nails it in a way that our modern clergy cannot even comprehend.
    But whose teaching is more biblical? And whose teaching is more like Oprah’s?

  11. Oh dear, that really wasn’t supposed to be the main focus of my comment (I really am far more interested in preventing situations like this and promoting Titus 2 women). I appreciate your kind words though.

  12. Single guys: vet hard for submission.

    Just because a women attends your church and reads the Bible does not mean she believes in being submissive to her future husband.

  13. Emily, I have strep throat right now lol, so it’s hard to really respond well… but biblically speaking, you can’t “guide him” along – the Bible talks about that, you’re supposed to “win him over without a word.”

    Wow! I can’t believe you’re only 19! I thought you’d at least be 22, 23 or a bit older. You are doing great for being so young!!!

    But yes, you can’t berate him by telling him what to do. In order to be a wife submitting to her husband (intended), you can’t take on that role of spiritually leading him – it goes against everything Paul was talking about (and Peter). I get it, I tried to do it a little too, but my husband only started leading when I stopped pushing him to. When I stepped back and genuinely looked at him as being capable of doing it spiritually.

    There’s more I want to say, but I’m so out of it, I don’t want to come across nasty or something to you. I’m so glad that you’re only 19 and reading this stuff, but don’t be discouraged, some of it is offensive to women just understanding real biblical gender roles, male sexuality, etc. Especially with the Catholic church teachings, I think it’s easier to read some of this, and misunderstand some points like the whole masturbation argument, etc. But you’re doing great! Just let him lead… you can’t force him to become more spiritual or “work with him” … the Bible says all you should do is set a godly example yourself, win him over without a word (that means not trying to control him by making him feel guilty for masturbating), etc.

    So proud of you though… seriously soooo proud. I met my hubby when I was 18, started dating when 19, and married at 20. Now I’m 29 and it’s just been so beautiful, Emily. I hope you have the same experience!!!!

  14. DragonFly,

    This is excellent advice you have given Emily. I Peter 3(which you alluded to) is such a powerful passage of Scripture in regard to how women can help their husbands come to Christ, or if they are already Christians help them to be godlier men.

    “1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. 3 Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” – I Peter 3:1-4 (NASB)

    Women are talkers by nature. In fact some studies have suggested that the average woman speaks 20,000 words per day, compared to 7000 words per day by the average man. Now some men are an exception that rule(myself being included) – LOL. Women often use their words to exhort and correct their children and comfort others when they are in distress, they use their words to emotionally connect with their friends and family. These are all positive uses of a woman’s more verbal nature.

    But then there is the negative uses of a woman’s verbal nature. Where she thinks she can change her husband by her words. There are few women today that realize how powerful “a gentle and quiet spirit” can be in relation to their husbands.

    “A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.” – Proverbs 27:15 (KJV)

    Men don’t work that way. We are creatures of action, more than creatures of word. This is why the Bible says that women can win their husbands by their behavior(actions), not by their words.

    Again DragonFly – great advice for Emily and every other young women.

  15. So just to give you some more advice form what I’ve learned over the years about male sexuality is that… as a wife (or fiance/girlfriend), you can’t be the one to control his sexuality, even with religious guilt (which is control at the base of it, even if you have good intentions towards him). God never allows a scenario where the wife/girlfriend has that ability to control her husband, even when is actually IS sinning (to you that would mean masturbating or even looking at porn) – she’s still supposed to submit to HIS will, not try to make him feel guilty, not try to make him submit to *her* and *her* will for him to be chaste or to stop masturbating, and instead she is biblically commanded to win him over by her good godly example and without words (without using speech to persuade him to behave or not sin, or teach him to be more spiritual, etc.).

    Since you aren’t married yet, you should try in your mind to decide if you’d be ok marrying him right now, at his level of spirituality, without him possibly changing. If you wouldn’t be, then you may need to move on as hard as that is :/ maybe not though, if you feel like you can follow through on not controlling him, not controlling his sexuality by telling him not to masturbate, submitting to him even when he sins, and committing to winning him over without a word but only by your godly example. Otherwise, why not find someone to marry that is already at the spiritual level that you’re seeking? It is wrong (biblically and relationally) to try to change him in this way. It’s usurping his male authority over you and his position as a future spiritual leader. It’s actually emasculating him in many ways 😦 which is tearing him down instead of building him up to be your spiritual leader and head of your family. There’s an old saying about “accepting a man at face value,” if you can’t accept him as he is, today, right now, then you don’t really have any business dating him for marriage.

    You’re actually setting yourself up for a lifetime of hardship and heartache because you’re setting the foundation of the marriage with YOU as the spiritual leader, the one who leads him into a better spiritual walk, etc. It needs to be him who eventually can do this for you – it can happen, it did with my husband (I was much more religious and spiritual than he was when we started dating, but by letting him lead, letting him pick the church and grow on his own time, praying for him etc. he has become the best spiritual leader I could ever have imagined)! He even prays over our boys EVERY night, blessings over them – it is so sweet. But I don’t think we would have gotten to this point if I had demanded my own way, demanded he grow at the church I wanted us to attend (I really did prefer a different church, but I submitted to his lead, and that was much better because he felt more comfortable at the one he picked for us, which then led him to grow faster). He actually felt uncomfortable at the church I was more drawn to, so I really had to submit to his decision in that and in many more things. I had to let him lead me, because I wanted him to grow and become confidant as our leader.

    Also, about male sexuality… it really probably is affecting his performance as an athlete – sexual frustration does that to men, even in marriage if the wife is withholding sex, they will perform much worse at their job, feel worse, and even feel emotionally very negative. It’s a real thing :/

  16. True story;

    Two young people grew up in the same church, dated, got engaged. The day before the wedding the woman informed her fiance that she wanted to have three children, that she would have sex three times and that would be it for the marriage. The young man wisely broke the engagement immediately and escaped a miserable marriage.

    Notice how the young woman had made her own plans about the marriage, family size, and sex frequency without bothering to seek or consider the man’s input.

  17. Dragonfly,

    Thank you for your advice and kind words..

    Doing great for being so young? Hah, I guess.. I had a really up and down adolescence and that sort of led me close to the church. and that’s funny, cause I started dating my bf this year, and plan to get married next year too! I’m glad to hear it’s gone so well for you 🙂 Many people try to scare me by giving statistics and the like that younger couples have a high chance of divorce.

    I don’t find most of what Larry says here to be offensive I just disagree when it’s contrary to Catholic teachings. For example, with what you said about male sexuality… Church teaches that relationships are for unitive and procreative purposes, so to say that men are able to separate emotions and sex… Well that goes against my church teachings. So I don’t buy that men are made like that from God, sounds like an excuse tbh. I also don’t want sex to be reduced to something merely earthly. Maybe I’m too much of a romantic…

    You are correct though about submission though. I am glad to hear that it worked out for your husband eventually and you have inspired me to follow your example.. I guess I was so focused on preventing him from sinning that I forgot to follow my role as his gf/future wife.

    The problem with finding someone else is that among my generation it isn’t easy finding a man who wants to commit, and even harder to find a spiritual man. At my church there are hardly any guys my age. And I went to an all-girls private school so I don’t know too many guys either.

    The good thing is that my boyfriend IS improving due to regular meetings with my priest. And to answer your question.. I would probably marry him right now. My main issue with him is his lust and masturbation problems, but I am discussing that with Larry and he may just have convinced me.

    Thank you, God bless 🙂

  18. Very few women are like that. Some are like that because they have fearful and incorrect opinions about sex. Meanwhile many men don’t want to commit at all. There is sin everywhere, why focus on women?

  19. Wow – Glad she was honest with him. But I guess she had no choice but to be honest. Because after the first time she had sex on their wedding night her secret would have been out when he asked for “round two” and she would of said “No – let’s see if I am pregnant first and then if not next month you can try again.”

    Seriously thought – it is utterly amazing to me how many Christians do not talk about sex BEFORE marriage, especially about their philosophy of frequency and the subject of “do we both need to be in the mood to have sex” – that is critical.

  20. One other thought – I hope that woman continues to be honest and realizes with that attitude she won’t get her three kids, she won’t get any kids!

    In defense of women thought(and yes I do defend women frequently despite what my detractors say) I think that most women are not like that when it comes to sex. I sounds like she grew up in a home or church that taught sex was dirty and only a necessary evil for having children.

    The issue with most women is not wanting to have sex, because most healthy women do. The issue is the disparity in libido between a normal man and normal woman. Many women would be happy to have sex 2 or 3 times a month where most men want sex 2 or 3 times a week and that is where the conflict comes in most of the time.

  21. Emily,

    I agree that male commitment is in short demand today. But there are three primary reasons for that.

    1. First and foremost our culture has encouraged women to have sex outside of marriage. So as John Bunyan said in the 1600s “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free.” (that quote by Bunyan inspired my now infamous post “Christian Husbands – You don’t buy the milk when you own the cow”

    But in all seriousness the sexual revolution and women just “giving it out” without it being in marriage has taken away a major motivator for men in getting married.

    2. Another reason apart from “free sex without marriage” that men now get is the fear factor of divorce. Many men want a real relationship with a woman and not just for sex(even though that is a big factor for all of us guys). But men want companions to. Someone one to talk with and share their life with, someone to have kids with. But many men fear the lack of security in marriage.

    What I mean is we have built a system whereby a woman can leave her husband at anytime, take his kids, take his house and take half of everything he has for no reason other than she just fell out of love with him. Or maybe he tried to actually lead his home and “she was not having any of that”.

    I know of many men(I met them in my divorce support group) who were left financially destitute for a decade or more because of their divorce.

    You would see a lot more men lining up to get married if these changes occurred in our culture:

    1. Women stopped having sex with men before marriage. And yes men should attempt to restrain themselves as well, but the truth is women are to be the “gate keepers” before marriage, and then after marriage that gate is to be destroyed. (I actually believe the female hymen is symbol of a woman’s gate). In the Scriptures, God puts the greatest responsibility on women to protect their virginity and say no to men before marriage.

    2. The government needs to scrap “no fault” divorce. Unless a legitimate cause can be proved like abuse, abandonment, failure to provide, sexual denial or infidelity divorce should not be allowed. We need to bring back security to the institution of marriage.

    There are some other things I can think of – but those are for an upcoming article and I know one of them will be highly controversial. But we need to find ways to make men feel more secure about marriage. Then Emily – you will see a lot more eligible men wanting to get married.

  22. Emily,

    I forgot to add my 3rd point.

    3. Men are not taught to be men by their fathers, or no father is present(single mothers). So they lack the maturity and resolve to go out and take on the responsibility of a family. But this goes back to points 1 and 2(this is where single mothers come from – easy sex and easy divorce). Men are allowed to remain immature boys.

  23. Yep, we’ve gone over this before. I do agree with point number 1, sort of. Yes, women giving sex away freely has led to less commitment. On the other hand, was it really that hard to get casual sex back in the, say, 60s? Is it hard for Jewish and muslim men to get sex in america? not really, yet my muslim and jewish friends are getting married to Jewish and Muslim guys now, but my Christian friends find it hard to get a man to commit. So I would say it’s also partly the man’s fault, though you did admit that.

    You won’t hear me complain about the second point. Obviously.. as a Catholic. Divorce should be illegal, unless in the case of adultery or heavy abuse. On the other hand… Do you really think there are that many women who leave their man for a bad reason? We tend to get emotionally involved with our husbands, divorce is harder for us. For my mom, it was adultery. I think that or domestic violence is usually the case, isn’t it?

    3rd point, definitely. Most of the guys I know behave more like my brother when he was 15 then a man in his 20s.

    The problem I had with bee’s post was that she just randomly mentioned this story, seemingly to suggest that women in general hold negative views about sex. There should be some balance, thats all I’m saying. I’ve been reading this blog more nowadays, but it’s rare I come across criticism of modern men chasing casual relationships.

  24. Because it is a true story. The man did commit, he proposed and gave her an engagement ring.

    It is not a random story, it is similar to Kevin’s story which prompted this post. Kevin’s wife only wanted sex with him in order to get six kids and a provider. There is a logical similarity in these two men’s experience.

    “On the other hand… Do you really think there are that many women who leave their man for a bad reason?”

    The facts say women leave their man for a bad reason, “70 to 80% of all divorces are initiated by the wife.

    I am a man and a husband, I have been happily married for 22 years.

  25. Don’t worry, with your future husband, sex definitely won’t be reduced to merely a earthly/fleshly aspect… that bond is extremely great when you’re married, and men connect on a deeply emotional and spiritual level with their wives – it’s beautiful!

    You will be able to provide this amazing gift to him through giving him your sexuality and having a passionate, joyful sex life. It won’t only meet his basic physical need, it will meet emotional needs in him, and his spiritual needs with a deep solidifying connection to you. Be romantic!!! It really IS very romantic!

    But on the other hand, that doesn’t take away from the fact that sex is still very physical, and that for some women who aren’t already sensual (and even virgins can actually be sensual), they sometimes have a harder time enjoying the pure physicalness of sex. I don’t know if you’re a virgin or not, or if you are sensual (will enjoy the physicalness of sex), but that is something that premarital counseling seems to fail in teaching women before they’re married. Part of giving your husband this gift of your sexuality, part of deeply bonding with him emotionally and spiritually, is going to be YOU yourself enjoying **everything** about sex with him. Some women for some reason have major to minor problems enjoying sex at first (I really don’t know why… it might be a bad experience in their past or even just a bad sex-ed upbringing). But they have sex for the first time with their husband or over their honeymoon, and suddenly decide that something about it is gross.. they don’t like how it’s awkward sometimes, they don’t like the messiness, they don’t like sweating, or the sounds, they hate his cum… I’ve actually heard all these complaints and it always makes me so sad! Not liking any part of sex is going to crush your husband, and cause him to NOT be able to bond to you emotionally and spiritually through the sex. So just a warning there, if you don’t need it, then don’t take it 🙂

    Also, if you aren’t familiar with your body, understanding how you orgasm or regularly masturbating because of your Church’s teachings, you need to understand that this will probably affect your ability to orgasm with your husband when ya’ll finally do have sex. Most women don’t orgasm very frequently – some don’t at all – ever – from just normal sex. So many get frustrated or upset by that, but once you’re married, you’ll be able to figure out how to make yourself orgasm and then will probably have to help your husband understand how to as well (he won’t have a clue, especially if you don’t even know). I know that sound sad, I just don’t want you to get to being married and then be disappointed after figuring out that you have no idea how your own body works.

    So… I didn’t grow up Catholic, but my mom did and my husband did, so I’m very familiar with all their teachings. I don’t agree with a lot of their teachings, BUT we have friends that DO! There is a couple our age that got married after us that are devout Catholics (and such SUCH good people) that we were friends with together in college. They run a blog now and ministry help ing Catholics (and anyone really) with sexuality and staying pure, you might want to get to know them online. Dee, the wife, is SOOOO sweet, she was at our wedding, and we were at hers. Please, go to her with any of your questions, she shares your same fiath and believes in it’s teachings and has the BEST marriage ever. Her husband was like mine… frat boy, porn addiction, etc. but she helped him grow into a ministry leader now through her pureness and example. Here’s their website, you can ask Dee anything, she will be MORE than happy to answer all your questions or help you with your intended:

  26. DragonFly,

    Again such good advice for Emily!

    Some points you raise I just wanted to say a few more things on from a Christian husbands perspective.

    DragonFly is absolutely right that most men truly love their wives for more than just their bodies or sex. We do want more than sex. We want to do as she says and bond emotionally and spiritually with our wives, not just physically.

    But for us when our wives reject us physically, or any part of our sexuality as she alluded to – it makes it very difficult for us to bond with our wives emotionally and spiritually as a result.

    Also it is possible that a woman could be great in the sexual department – she could love sex and be just as physical as her husband yet they still have trouble bonding spiritually and emotionally. The reason often in those cases even where the sex is good, but the bonding is still not what it should be is often due to a wife having a contentious spirit. The Bible warns about this.

    “It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.” – Proverbs 21:9 (KJV)
    “As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.” – Proverbs 11:22 (KJV)

    So you can be a beautiful woman, and even be great in the sack but still lack a bond with your husband if you are nagging and contentious(argumentative) and critical of your husband outside the bedroom. Women need to learn that meekness and quietness is a way to draw a man in.

    Women certainly can and should speak their opinions to their husbands, but it needs to be done in a kind, gentle and quite manner and it should be done with discretion. Most men will truly desire to bond emotionally and spiritually, in addition to physically with such a wife.

    But if your husband feels that any conversation you have about anything of any depth is going to turn into arguments or criticism, he will simply avoid deep discussions with you and without deep discussions there will be no emotional or spiritual depth to your marriage.

    Just some things to ponder.

  27. Oh, of course you are a male, from your post it’s quite obvious. I accidentally used the wrong pronoun.

    Okay, and I agree. I definitely think that Kevin’s wife committed great sin. Though it also seems like his attitude led to the situation since he didn’t assert his authority as a husband to discipline her.

    Anyway all I’m saying is I’m getting kind of tired of the one sided narrative of blaming women for sexual problems within and outside marriage.

    Now, I know most divorces are initiated by women, but how do you know its all bad reasons? adultery rate among men is 50% right now. (for women its also unacceptably high.) Even if half those women found out, thats 25% divorces as a result of adultery. A further few because of domestic abuse. Yes, feminism seems to be encouraging women to divorce for the smallest reasons but I would argue most women are not like that.

  28. Dragonfly,

    I’m not a virgin unfortunately, I became sexually active quite early. However, I don’t think I’m ‘sensual’ either. Growing up I was generally kept away from boys, so I found it hard to emotionally connect with them, and to a certain extent I was frightened of them, even when I was sleeping with them. That’s changed somewhat since then, but I don’t know, I still think I don’t enjoy sex as much as other girls. Many girls nowadays have casual sex, and seem to enjoy it. I didn’t, really. But I’m hoping that the spiritual and emotional aspect of it will help me with the physical side of it. And yes, I’ll be fully dedicated into giving my husband a fulfilling sex life.

    That is a nice website, though I dont see where I can ask them questions?
    I ask my priest questions regularly (so regularly he probably hates me now lol) but he is very conservative. He told me not to kiss or even touch my boyfriend before marriage, and that contraception is a mortal sin etc. Basically its hard to follow what he tells me in the modern world.

  29. Don’t worry Emily, I believe there is a world of difference between casual sex and sex as a married, committed couple. When women have casual sex outside of marriage, they are being used… even if they believe they’re in love, and that can have all kinds of emotions (being scared could be one I’m sure). I honestly think that’s part of why God doesn’t want us to allow ourselves to be used that way, having sex outside of a marriage – it’s Him protecting us from all kinds of outcomes, including emotional outcomes taht makes us believe we won’t like the physical side of sex. I’ve even heard of premarital sex creating bonds to other people, bonds that you have to intentionally break through prayer so that they don’t have ANY kind of emotional or physical affect on you anymore. So you’ll know if you still have issues with the physical side of it, and you’re married but still struggling, probably working through things with a sex counselor (through church if possible) would help. It’s ok… I’m sure especially with you reading here, you are well on the right path ❤ You're doing the right thing now, and that matters so much!

    I'll have to take a look at their website again, I thought there was probably a way to contact them. If you want to email me anything or ask me questions my email is

  30. I’m praying for that. Definitely my abstinence (7 months now) has restored the value of sex to me, which was sort of lost while I was following the trend of our generation.

    I do like reading this blog (its the only blog I know of actually lol) for planning my role in my future marriage. Some stuff I read on here does make me depressed though, like your comment about male sexuality, or like.. Larry’s recent post where he talked about how women need to know our bodies through masturbation before marriage so we can properly please our husbands and ourselves. But I can’t do that, so I’m worried I wont enjoy it, and in turn my bf wont enjoy it which Larry says is a sin…
    Idk I”m a very confused person lol

    Thanks soo much Dragonfly, it really was a blessing just talking to you 🙂

  31. @Emily,

    I apologize to you for being too sharp in my reaction to you accidentally using the wrong pronoun. I am sorry. There is no way for you to know from my commenting name what my gender is.

    I see and read the majority of blogs and news sites on the web encouraging women to rebel against authority and bashing men. This blog is a refreshing alternative; but it is definitely in the minority. There are lots of examples of secular and church experts that say that women are spiritually superior to men. Skip Moen is one of many. BGR has done two posts detailing Skip Moen’s errors.

    I incorrectly used the name “Kevin” in my earlier comment about the man that inspired this post, the name should have been “Mark”.

  32. Emily,

    I realize the conundrum you are in, your church teaches against masturbation yet this is probably the only way you will completely understand how you body works. However I believe the way some Catholics work within their churches teachings is mutual masturbation with their spouses in the context of sexual intercourse. As long as the sex is kept procreative(ends in vaginal intercourse) I do not think the Catholic church forbids you too manually stimulating one another as part of foreplay? Am I wrong on that? (Never been Catholic and could look it up – but I figured I have enough Catholics reading here that you could tell me).

    So basically this will take great patience and gentleness on your part and on your future husband’s part. Since you feel you cannot touch yourself sexually in anyway you will have to find a way to guide his hands – again the key words here are patience and gentleness, otherwise it can quickly lead to frustration on both your parts.

    But also realize like I said in the post on women faking it – enjoying sex with your husband does not mean it will always be pain free and discomfort free, or that you will have an orgasm every time. That is not what I mean by the fact that God wants a woman to enjoy sex with her husband. Sometimes you can enjoy sex with your husband simply for the fact that you are giving him pleasure even if you receive none and God honors that. Now that is not to say I am saying it is ok for men to be selfish lovers because that is not what I mean. But there are going to be times in marriage where the entire joy you get out of sex with your husband is his pleasure, and it may not be physically pleasurable for you every time and that is ok.

    But the “faking it” article is about you making your husband feel each and every time you have sex(except for the two exceptions I gave) like you did get physical pleasure – even if the only pleasure you got was emotional pleasure by giving him physical pleasure.

    Another way of putting this is – the best sex as God intended it was for a man and woman to connect emotionally and physically each time the come together in this sacred act. However, the physical side may not always be there for you as a woman. But you still need to connect emotionally each time with you husband and part of that emotional connection is making him feel as if you are getting physical pleasure, even if you are not(again see my two exceptions to this my post on the subject).

    Let me know if that makes sense.

  33. I wouldn’t worry so much. Personal convictions fall under Romans 14, and I’ve been convinced that some differences with Catholics regarding birth control and sex are just meant to be left alone. In other words, if you feel convicted not to masturbate before marriage, then i think that is right for you. Under Romans 14, anyone who tries to persuade you otherwise might actually be leading you to sin. So, I just wouldn’t worry about it, God will lead you, you have people to go to like your priest and your future husband, and you are already someone who is seeking out knowledge for herself… all this means you’re well ahead of most women your age.

    I’m glad I talked with you too! 🙂

  34. Dragonfly,

    I interpret Romans 14 slightly differently. I think as believers we should be trying to teach our fellow brethren about the freedom they have in Christ. Paul was constantly doing that – telling people they could eat meat offered to idols and they did not need to keep the holy days and festivals anymore. But if they remained unconvinced that they could do not these things with a clear conscience, then he said they should not do them unless they truly believed and had faith. “for whatsoever is not of faith is sin” – Romans 14:23. Maybe you meant that too.:)

    So I would not say it’s not wrong to try and persuade you fellow brother of freedoms we have as believers, but the trick is not to look down on them if they remain unconvinced and then respect that deeply held difference.

    “Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.” – Romans 14:3 (KJV)

  35. Thanks again dragonfly. I have a tendency for pessimism but I think you have made me kind of optimistic about this.

    Larry, thanks for clearing that up. I didn’t really properly understand your message in your latest post. I do agree, there isn’t really anyway I can force myself to have pleasure from sex and I can imagine myself, at times, not wanting to have sex, I though you were saying that would be a sin. But I get your message now and I agree – it definitely would be a sin to not care for your husband’s pleasure and not take joy in him taking pleasure from sex.

    Mutual masturbation… it might be fine if it ends in sex. Pretty sure its against our teachings though.

  36. It’s a refreshing alternative cause it offers good marriage advice. On the other hand I do think there is some little bit sexism here, no offense to Larry.
    But for all the feminist websites out there you also have those ‘meninists/red pill’ websites that are absolutely disgusting and insult women constantly.

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