How a husband can enjoy sex that is grudgingly given by his wife

“You said we shouldn’t feel guilty to have sex even if it’s grudgingly but how can you? I would probably just cry and try to sleep.” – This was a question I got this week from a young husband who has been married a few years and is now experiencing a lack of sexual desire from his wife. He also needed me to help clarify the differences between sexual refusal, sexual rain-checks and sexual desire.

As I started to respond to his email I thought it would be good if I included this for my readers.

Sexual Refusal

This is when a wife just comes out and says “NO!” or pushes your hands away. As I said in my post on “8 steps to confronting your wife’s sexual refusal” you as a husband should not tolerate refusal.  If your wife says “NO” and slaps your hand away that is a disrespectful and unloving response by your wife to your sexual initiation and there is no sin in you trying to initiate sex with your wife.

Sexual Rain-check

This is when you go to initiate sex with your wife and she responds kindly and gently.  Perhaps she says something like “Honey, I know you really need it, but I am just really sick tonight, can I make it up to you tomorrow?” There are other reasons of course that a woman might legitimately ask for a rain-check of course like after the birth of a child, or surgeries, chronic pain flare-ups, deaths in the family and other reasons like these.

Sexual Desire

This is her actually wanting to have sex with you and obviously this is what every man who loves his wife would prefer from his wife at every sexual encounter. But women are not like men are when it comes to sexual arousal. They just don’t instantly get horny and want to have sex.  In most cases a woman’s desire for sex must be cultivated either by her husband, herself or a combination of the two.

“But I want my wife to desire and enjoy sex with me!”

We as men are programmed by God to want our wives to have pleasure when we are having sex with her. When your wife looks (or sounds) like what you are doing is giving her pleasure that is what makes sex the best! That is what makes it the most fulfilling in not just a physical manner, but also a psychological manner.

But then we have the conundrum, women don’t always feel like having sex. Even women that have a healthy view of sex don’t always feel like having sex as much as their husbands do. Then we have the women who do not have a healthy view of sex and see it as “dirty” or just something you do to have babies.

So how do we solve this conundrum? He wants her to desire and enjoy sex and she may desire sex far less frequently or not at all.

Those who reject the Biblical concept that sex is both a gift and a duty in marriage solve this problem by saying “They should only have sex when they BOTH desire to have sex”. But that is not God’s answer.

“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)

The only time sex should not occur is when both the husband and wife give mutual consent not to for a short period of time.

As a husband you can attempt to cultivate desire for sex in your wife by doing what God has commanded you to do outside the bedroom – and that is to know your wife(I Peter 3:7).  That means talking to her and hearing about her day and her concerns. It might also mean giving her a foot massage or a back massage after a rough day. Every woman is different and as husbands we need to get to know what makes our wife’s tick and not just for sexual purposes but to know her as God would have us to know her.

But a husband is NOT 100% responsible for cultivating all of his wife’s sexual desire.  A woman bears some responsibility for cultivating her own sexual desire.  The Bible says this about women:

“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” – Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)

That phrase “to love their husbands” is based on the Greek word philandros and it is the only time that word is used in the Bible.  Unlike Agape love which is the most common word for love in the New Testament, philandros love speaks of an affectionate love that a wife is to have toward her husband. Some have wrongly tried to suggest that this is exactly the same as the love women are told to have for their children because the roots are the same.  But in Greek usage this word took on the context of a woman being “a lover of her husband” and yes it meant in the sexual context, not just simple affection.

Women are commanded by God to be their husband’s lovers (in every sexual and affectionate sense of that word).

We need only look to the Song of Solomon to see a woman giving us an example of how a wife can be a lover to her husband.

But in the end – your wife has to realize that the greatest impediment to her own enjoyment of sex may be her own mind! A woman’s mind can literally put her body in lock down mode and she may not enjoy any touch from you in that mindset. She must let go and focus on her body and understand how it works before she can truly enjoy sex.

But until your wife truly overcomes her impediments to sex should she fake it? I believe the answer is yes. I think as a husband you can let her know it is ok to “fake it until she makes it”. I have written a companion post to this post for wives entitled “Should Christian wives fake it?” that talks to women about this.

You need to stop pressuring your wife for “the truth”

But if your wife agrees to “fake it till she makes it” then you need to let her do that.

“Was it really good or were you just faking for me” – those words need to be erased from your vocabulary as a husband. If your wife appeared to have a good time leave it there.

I realize you might think you are just trying to figure out what works. Also I am not saying it always wrong to talk about sex with your wife, but few women want to do a post-game analysis.

Women don’t always want to talk to you about specific technique in most cases, they just want to show you what they want and you need to watch for her nonverbal guidance during sex. If your wife actually expresses a desire to talk about some specifics when it comes to foreplay and the act itself than by all means have that conversation with her.

You need to talk to your wife about helping her with her desire, but I am talking about things outside the act of sex itself. I mean ways you can help her relax BEFORE sex so she will have an easier time mentally preparing herself for sex.

But what you don’t want to do is constantly annoy your wife for “scorecards”.

Things like “So what was my rating for that time babe? Or “Did you like that special thing I did?” or any of these types of things will annoy and bother most wives.

Should your wife complement your sexual performance? Absolutely! But if you have to ask for a compliment then it’s not really a compliment is it?

Your wife knows you love her. She knows you want to please her. If she has accepted the truth that she has to understand her own body and then show you the way she will do it. You just need to do your best to watch for her signals and simply enjoy that your wife is trying to please you and make you feel loved!

Stop prying. Just enjoy. Even if your wife is in touch with her body will there still be times when she fakes it? Sure. But rest assured that for women sex is not considered a complete failure if she does not have an orgasm every time.

“So HOW do I have sex with my wife knowing she is not in the mood?”

But what if you have tried everything you can as husband but your wife refuses to do her part and look inward at things she can change in herself to help herself enjoy sex more and cultivate a desire?

What if she agrees to sex grudgingly and refuses to “fake it” but instead displays her displeasure the entire time?

First of all, your reaction of being upset at the displeasure on your wife’s face during sex that she has grudgingly agreed to is completely normal.

You need to realize that this is a physical need that you have as a man. You also need to realize that whether your wife knows it or not she needs to have sex too. Your marriage needs sex at regular intervals. If you don’t have sex with your wife at regular intervals, even sometimes when she is not in the mood but consents anyway, you will open yourself to temptation. You will find yourself becoming distant from your wife, because this is the primary way that you as man feel closeness with your wife.

But even if you realize and accept this truth that you need sex and it needs to happen even if your wife refuses to “fake it” and bury her wrong attitude then what?

The secret of enjoying grudgingly given sex from your wife

Focus your eyes on her body, not her face. Focus on the visual pleasure you receive from looking at her body and physical pleasure you receive from being inside your wife.

I know you love your wife, most of us as men love our wives. You want to connect with her physically AND emotionally during sex. But your wife is the one refusing to connect with you emotionally, so you have to concentrate 100% on the physical side.

Let me try and explain this in another way. In Greek mythology there was a monster woman named Medusa. She was a cursed and hideous creature and if men looked upon her face they were turned to stone.

I know you love your wife, most men love their wives. But sin is ugly. Your beautiful bride’s face becomes ugly during this sinful time that she is grudgingly giving you sex as she grimaces wanting you to “just hurry up and get it over with”.

So like the men who could not look at Medusa’s face otherwise they would be killed, realize that if you look on your wife’s face when she is displaying a sinful attitude toward sex it will kill your sexual pleasure and may actually make it much more difficult for you to achieve the physical connection and release that you need. Again you know you want that emotional connection too, but your wife is the one who is in sinful rebellion against God’s design for sex in your marriage and is refusing to emotionally connect with you.


It is sad that any husband ever has to do this. This is not what God intended sex to be. But we live in a sin cursed world – we are sinners and so are our wives. Sometimes we have to work around the sinful behavior of our wives and this will be one of those times.

Yes this a way to cope with and deal with your wife’s sin but at the same time keep sex happening in your marriage. But don’t stop trying to work with your wife outside the bedroom, and remember to pray for your wife every day that God will work in her heart and change her wrong attitude toward his wonderful gift of sex.

71 thoughts on “How a husband can enjoy sex that is grudgingly given by his wife

  1. @Elizabeth BGR has said a women not sexually attracted to cultivate true sexual desire for her husband and until she does, in the meantime “fake it until she makes it”. She may get no sexual satifaction out of it all during this, but the point is to ultimately be able to by cultivating her true sexual desire for her husband. Its simply an effort to improve the marriage.As to it being a sin not to “fake it” the point is she fakes it until then in effort to fulfill her husband’s sexual needs any way she can and as best able, which she is required to do. Faking it until she makes it is simply a way to do so. But Song of Solomon shows that both husbands and wives are to give themselves to one another sexually in ALL ways, other than anal sex, whole-heartedly, passionately, and with love to fulfill their sexual needs, and regardless of how you do it, to not do so is a sin against God and your husband or wife, depending on which you are. Of course, mutual sexual satisfaction is ideal for husbands and wives in marriage, but that doesn’t mean its always possible or going to happen, but they should try for it anyway.

  2. Tyler, if you’re going to use Songs of Solomon to justify as sin when wives don’t wholeheartedly, passionately and with love, fulfill their husband’s sexual needs, then it should also be a sin for a man to not try to emotionally connect and have that romantic type love with his wife. Songs of Solomon does not only talk about how lovers (husband and wife) should approach their lovemaking with passion, it also talks about the love between them, and it is pretty obvious that this is the type of passionate, emotional love that a lot of woman crave. This means that not having an emotional connection and the type of love described in Songs of Solomon, or at least not trying to have it, should be a sin in a marriage. Yet, the opposite is the overarching message in this blog. Duty and obligation is the goal, as it should be, but emotional connection is just a ‘nice to have’, never a necessity and a lack of it, is not a sin. If that’s the case, then faking it should be in the same category.

    Also, you mention that the wife should do everything she can to fulfill his sexual needs, but this has been said before, and I also agree, a man does not need emotional connection to have sex with his wife. And this emotional connection is what having a woman fake it, provides for him. By not faking it during sex, she may not have fulfilled his emotional needs, but she fulfilled his sexual needs, which is what she’s required to do. It’s actually usually women that want emotional connection in order to have true sexual desire and sexual pleasure. I love the sexual desire I have for my husband but the few times that I faked it with him, I didn’t feel emotionally connected to him. Just like the man that has to fake it at his job, it still felt like I was fulfilling a duty. He may have gotten the emotional connection, but I didn’t and I just did something that I felt like, in that moment, needed to be done.

    In simple terms, women want emotional connection, and men want sex. It’s a sin if we don’t give men the sex that they want/need, but its not a sin if women don’t get their emotional connection. But in those instances, when men also want emotional connection, it magically becomes a sin when the wife does not provide it by faking it. Do you see where I’m going with this?

    And that really is my point. The hypocrisy and one-sidedness. Whether or not marriage is man-centric, there are still 2 people involved. I can understand how from your perspective, asking wives to fake it would help to ‘improve the marriage’ as you say. But improve the marriage for who, exactly? Is it for the wife that feels obligated to lie and fake sexual pleasure while the husband gets his and can ignore her own because he has been led to believe that women don’t need to orgasm every time they have sex? If a man actually opened his mouth to ask his wife to fake it whenever she wasn’t feeling it during sex with him, I would be very suspicious of his motives and his character.

  3. @Elizabeth Well, a husband is surely to dwell with his wife according to knowledge and if he ignores and refuses to talk with her(which is how often times they establish an emotional connection and intimacy) then yes hes sinning against God. I didn’t say that emotional connection shouldn’t be had. Neither really did BGR. If he doesn’t give himself wholeheartedly to his wife in sexual relations and intimacy, in all ways, and make an effort to fulfill her sexual needs as best able, then just like her to him, hes sinning against God and his wife. But everything I said in my last comment still goes.

  4. Elizabeth,

    Here is my attempt to bridge the gap between what you are saying and what I and Tyler are saying.

    A woman has a Biblical duty to have sex with her husband whether she is in the mood for sex or not. A man has a Biblical duty to know his wife, to talk with her.

    Will there be times when a man simply has no interest in talking to his wife for various reasons? Of course there will be. But when he sacrifices his time for her to listen and talk with her he should do so with a smile and a good attitude. In essence he will have to “fake it” sometimes with his wife too in this area.

    Would any woman enjoy talking with a husband who has a nasty look like “let’s just get this over with” while she is trying to share her feelings on various subjects with him?

    Of course not. It is exactly the same with men when they are having sex with their wife and she displays a similar bad attitude.

    Part of being an adult is that sometimes we have to fake it. Whether it is things at our job or things in our marriage.

  5. @Elizabeth,

    BGR has talked a lot about this topic here and on other posts. He’s not saying that a woman should fake enjoyment to enable sexual selfishness or to the point where she doesn’t give her husband any guidance or ask for the things that she wants. He’s also talked before about how many women have trouble climaxing from vaginal sex alone and that it’s fine if they ask their husbands to stimulate them in other ways to help them achieve orgasm. Here, I think that he’s saying that sometimes a wife might just not be in the mood for sex and might not be feeling an orgasm, but she still has sex because she wants to submit to and please her husband. In cases like that, she’s faking it because she wants sex to be enjoyable for her husband, and she doesn’t want to force herself to orgasm. He’s NOT saying that a woman can’t help her husband learn to satisfy her better or ask him to finger her or go down on her if she has trouble orgasming from vaginal sex alone. And I’d guess that he’d give similar advice to husbands who are married to wives with higher libidos. (Bearing in mind that even lower libido men can usually orgasm more easily when they’re not in the mood than women can when they’re not in the mood.)

  6. A: What if it is the wife who is being refused more and more? Even if she does everything he likes and more?
    B: if your wife doesn’t desire you, it is because you arent pleasuring her enough, or otherwise not being good enough for her to desire intimacy with you . You need to make sure she desires you by doing things that feel great for her too, not rushing her, oral, etc. If you are only out for YOUR pleasure, then sex becomes unpleasing for her. Sex is only a chore for her of she isn’t enjoying it.
    C: HOW about asking your wife WHY she doesn’t feel like it anymore? How do you know whether it’s not a deeper issue: self-esteem issues, not feeling good about herself (which is where you come in hubby!), or if for some reason she feels pain during sex (many women develop pain during certain times of the month or menopause etc)…hy don’t you TALK TO HER LOVINGLY, it will only improve things!

  7. BGR after reading your comment about your story, I am very sorry for you. You don’t deserve to be blindsided after you married that she just doesn’t like sex…. sexual intimacy is a fundamental part of marriage and that is something she should have told you going in.
    My comment I guess was toward men who just wanna force bland and greedy sex onto their wife instead of caring if she enjoys it or not.
    Again, so sorry of your plight. My husband of 15 years still gets my motor running sometimes just by looking at me.

  8. Monalisa,

    Your Statement:

    “A: What if it is the wife who is being refused more and more? Even if she does everything he likes and more?”

    Monalisa – I fully acknowledge that sometimes the situation is the reverse and it is the woman who is being refused sex by her husband. Sometimes it may have to do with her behavior and other times it has absolutely nothing to do with her behavior and everything to do with his wrong behavior.

    I wrote two articles on this subject:

    Your Statement:

    “B: if your wife doesn’t desire you, it is because you arent pleasuring her enough, or otherwise not being good enough for her to desire intimacy with you . You need to make sure she desires you by doing things that feel great for her too, not rushing her, oral, etc. If you are only out for YOUR pleasure, then sex becomes unpleasing for her. Sex is only a chore for her of she isn’t enjoying it.”

    I don’t deny the existence of husbands who are selfish lovers who don’t attempt to make sex a pleasurable experience for their wives. But a man has to have a willing person in his wife in order to please her. If he asks her for guidance and she gives his none then the fault lies with her. From my experience talking to men and women in most cases husbands truly want to know what would please their wives and they want to do whatever that is. But it is women who are often not in touch with their own bodies or they have issues thinking sex is dirty or that they are not supposed to enjoy sex. I honestly believe it is a mistake to assume that most cases of women not wanting to have sex as often enjoying sex is because of a lack of a husband trying to find out these things. In more cases than not the problem lies with the woman not clearly communicating with her husband what she desires.

    Your Statement:

    “C: HOW about asking your wife WHY she doesn’t feel like it anymore? How do you know whether it’s not a deeper issue: self-esteem issues, not feeling good about herself (which is where you come in hubby!), or if for some reason she feels pain during sex (many women develop pain during certain times of the month or menopause etc)…hy don’t you TALK TO HER LOVINGLY, it will only improve things!”

    I have said many times and in many articles on this site that a husband should talk gently to his wife first before taking any other measures. He should exercise great patience with her and try and see how he can help her. I have talked about helping wives with painful sex and other issues. However your comment displays a common misconception in our modern culture. Our culture does not accept that fact that there are women – many women – who care little for sex. Sure they may want sex once a month or so when all their feelings and hormones are in the right balance. But for the most part they are perfectly content to simply enjoy the benefits of their husbands companionship without meeting his need for regular sexual relations.

    You may not be one of those women and you may actually crave sex with your husband on a regular basis so for you it is hard to understand that there a LOT of women that are not like you. This is very real situation that a lot of men have to deal with and this is primarily the type of sexual refusal I am dealing with on this site.

  9. Monalisa,

    You have to realize that your behavior toward your husband where he can get your motor running very easily is a rare beyond the newlywed stage. Most women after a few years of marriage don’t have the same desire to have sex as often as their husbands.

    Again like I said on my last comment – I don’t deny their are husbands who are selfish lovers but I would ask you to consider on the flip-side that there are women who are simply content with having sex a small fraction of the time that their husbands desire it and they see no need to have sex more often then they desire to meet his needs. In these cases it truly is an issue of selfishness on her part – she gets all the benefits of the committed relationship with her husband while denying him one of his most important needs.

  10. My wife desires ME. Just not sex. She could go without it for the rest of her life and has said that. But not a single day goes by that she doesnt satisfy my needs. Worst case, she “catches it”, a bj/oral substitute where I get myself ready and then she will open her mouth to catch the semen. But usually it is regular intercourse every night. She doesnt give the headache excuse or the “not tonight honey”, not once in12 years of marriage. We have found what works best for us is daily sex. I am not the gentle type at all and she has a very low pain threshold, so very often she will be crying the entire time I am having sex with her. She never asks to stop until I am finished. I do not make her pretend to like it, or pressure her to fake orgasms. That benefits nobody but a weak husbands ego. You are doing something that she doesnt want to do, something that hurts her and tastes bad. Making her pretend to like it is, in my opinion, degrading. Its too much to ask. Admit that she doesnt like it and decide from there. I choose to focus on the fact that she is doing something just for me and that she trusts and loves me enough to submit to me sexually. We are both happy with our sexlife and appreciate the concessions of the other.

  11. @JDMartin,

    It sounds like you are actually being pretty sexually selfish with your wife. You say that you recognize that you’re causing her pain during sex because you refuse to be gentle. I’m aware that there are men and women out there who experience pain during intercourse for reasons that are beyond their spouses’ control. In this case, pain during intercourse may be inevitable, but even then, I believe that the one spouse should do whatever they can to minimize the pain. However, it sounds like you could easily make sex less painful for your wife.

    Ephesians 5:28-30 tell us: “28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.”

    It does not sound as though you are doing that.

  12. @JDmartin, I am mystified by your approach. You say your wife will “very often be crying” the entire time you have sex with her and you seem proud of yourself that you do not require that she fake orgasms. How are you finding pleasure in something that makes your wife cry “very often”? Ephesians 5:28-30 is very clear that you should care for your wife the way you care for yourself. Would you continue an activity that made you cry in pain? Situations like the one you describe are why I do not wish my daughters to marry a Godly Christian man. If my son were to behave as you do, (and we knew about it) I know that my husband would rebuke him very strongly.

  13. @BGR,

    I could be misunderstanding JDMartin, but he does say this about his wife’s pain during sex: ” I am not the gentle type at all and she has a very low pain threshold, so very often she will be crying the entire time I am having sex with her. ”

    It doesn’t sound as though she has a medical condition. It sounds as though he’s just being too rough.

  14. This comment may be struck, but it bears thinking on. In the US, we routinely circumcise male infants. This is not medically necessary and European doctors laugh at their American counterparts for promoting this needless practice. What circumcision does is to make the head of the penis much less sensitive to pleasure (as the glans dries out and the thousands of nerve endings in the foreskin are lost). This is why American men who have been circumcised thrust so hard and are “rough” in sex. They need this extra hard thrusting to achieve appropriate stimulation and enjoyment. Oh, how much better it would be for both American wives and for their husbands, if we did not circumcise, But, try getting this topic up for rational discussion! Good luck.

  15. Alex and everyone else – I have a feeling JDMartin may be a Troll. He sent some other comments in that I blocked. I have blocked him now but will let the first comments remain so our discussion thread afterwards can remain.

  16. @BGR, thank you. I understand that sex can be sometimes painful for women and that we should submit in any case, but these comments were frightening and I was beginning to think there was a BDSM aspect to them. I had surgery to reconstruct my shoulder two weeks ago. It is out-patient surgery followed by six weeks in a sling and two months of physical therapy. That night, I was able to please my husband sexually. BUT, he asked me many times if he were hurting me and if I wanted him to stop. I did not want him to stop, I consider pleasing him an honor and a privilege, but if I had been in a lot of pain, he would have refused to continue, although it is his right.

    @larryzb, my husband is not circumcised and neither are our sons. As Catholics it is not required and my husband was vehemently against it.

  17. He shouldn’t even know. If my husband has had a rotten week, he’lll spend all week-end snapping at me: “Why are you vacuuming? Look at all the dust!” Ok, maybe I should dust instead. “Why are you dusting now, you’ll just have to vacuum again!?” etc. etc. Finally, bedtime! Blessed releif from his snapping. I crawl into bed and shiver “darn, it’s cold!” He says “I bet I can warm you up!” Me thinking “Oh Lord, why? I thought I was done for today!” What do I say? playfully “I bet you can’t!” We giggle, tussle gently and one things leads to another. He thinks he’s bringing me to the heights of ectsasy, I’m thinking about the laundry for tomorrow. Trust me, he has no idea. Am I faking? Definitely. And I think it’s the right thing to do. Why would my husband think I’m reluctant unless I am visibly ill? How is that the proper behavior of a Christian wife?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.