I was never attracted to my husband does God want me to fake it?

I received a letter today from a woman who married a man she was never attracted to when both he and she were not believers. She said she married him for wrong reasons.   Now she has become a believer and he is still an unbeliever.

She has embraced the Bible’s teachings on the submission of wives to their husbands and wants to serve her husband and see him come to Christ if it is God’s will. But she greatly struggles with her lack of physical attraction to him. In fact she is so un-attracted to him that it makes having sex with him very difficult.

When she was an unbeliever she did not try to meet his sexual needs but now she has changed her behavior and given herself freely to her husband – a man she has absolutely no physical attraction to. She does her best to fake it, sometimes even holding back tears.

He has no idea that she has absolutely no physical attraction to him. In fact he is excited by her renewed interest in having sex with him and is very excited about how their relationship has changed and asking if it was good for her and what he can do better.

But if there is no physical attraction what can she do? Should she continue to fake it as she has been? Should she hide her lack of physical attraction to her husband? Is she being disingenuous to him and herself by carrying on like this? Should she tell him the truth that she has never been attracted to him and she just fakes enjoyment when having sex with him?

She also made it clear she knows God wants her to stay with him for life and she has no intention of leaving him as she once did when she was an unbeliever. But what should she do? This was her question to me. We will just call her “Amanda” even though that is not her real name.

This was the email I sent back to Amanda

Amanda – let me say first and foremost that I am so happy you came to Christ and accepted him as your savior.

I am also so happy that you accepted God’s will and plan for your life that marriage is for life and that God means for you to honor, obey and love your husband despite your lack of attraction to him.

Now I will answer your questions with a story.

There was a young man from Kentucky who heard from a missionary to Japan speaking in his church one Sunday.  The missionary spoke of the need for Christian missionaries in the country of Japan. The young country boy immediately felt the calling of God on his life to be a missionary to Japan.  He graduated high school went to Bible college and learned the skills he needed to be a missionary. He learned the language. But one thing that he was always scared of was the food!

He was a fried chicken and steak man.  Japan is seafood country and he hated seafood with a passion! The smell of it disgusted him.  The texture of it disgusted him.  The taste of it disgusted him. He told himself that God would work it out – after all they still have hamburgers in Japan right?

Well the years went by and that man married a wonderful woman and had his first child and was on his way to Japan as a missionary. Once he was there in Japan the first thing he looked for were restaurants that would sell beef and chicken!   He was so happy to find them.  But as he began his ministry to the people of Japan he found himself constantly being offered various seafood dishes by people who came to his ministries and he would politely turn him down.  A fellow missionary took him aside and told him that his constant turning down of the Japanese food was hindering his ministry and was offensive to many people.

He prayed and ask God to help him to do two things.

“Lord the first thing I am asking you for is to help me cultivate a desire for seafood even though I am disgusted by it so that I can serve your people here in Japan better.   The second thing I am asking for is for you to help me fake that I like it until I actually do.”

Amanda – this applies to you.  The most important mission God has given you is serving your husband.  You may actually be able to help bring him to Christ by continuing to submit to him as you have been doing.  You need to pray that same prayer that missionary to Japan did.  Your lack of attraction and your repulsion to your husband is hindering your ministry to him.  I would suggest you pray this prayer and pray it often:

“Lord the first thing I am asking you for is to help me cultivate a desire and attraction to my husband even though I have no attraction to him so that I can serve this man you have given me to serve and perhaps he will come to you because of my respectful behavior toward him.   The second thing I am asking for is for you to help me fake that I like it until I actually do.”

Amanda – I believe these two passages of Scripture speak to what you need to do with your husband:

“1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” – I Peter 3:1-6 (KJV)

“And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him…

For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?” – I Corinthians 7:13 & 16 (KJV)


I believe many Christian men and women can learn from Amanda’s story and her courage to do what is right despite their feelings.  Some may have married a spouse who they were never attracted to.  Maybe they were attracted at one point and lost their physical attraction over many years.

But I think that we need to do our best to cultivate an attraction toward our spouse – the person we have made a life long commitment to before God. We need to ask God for help in this area.  Maybe we will never be fully attracted to them but God can help us fake it when we need to.

As I have said many times on this site “faking it” whether it be in things our spouses likes to do, attraction to our spouse or even in the bedroom is all part of being an adult. It is part of what it means to be a Christian.  We need to put a smile on and do what God has called us to do even when we don’t feel like it.

Now does this let spouses off the hook who totally let themselves go and don’t have good hygiene? No.  We have an obligation to keep ourselves as clean an attractive as we reasonably can for our spouses.  There are times where we may need to delicately speak about things like excessive weight gain and lack of basic hygiene. But I don’t think God wants us to just tell our spouse there is no physical attraction and there never will be.  There is no way that this would build a relationship and make it better.

If a Kentucky man who loves chicken and hamburgers can learn to enjoy eating octopus in Japan a woman can over time learn to enjoy sex with her husband to whom she currently has no physical attraction.

38 thoughts on “I was never attracted to my husband does God want me to fake it?

  1. In August my wife told me that she never loved me with romantic love, that she married me because people pressured her to do so and she was too weak to say no. She told me that this is one of the reasons that she does not want to have sex with me. Needless to say, I was really devastated when I heard that! I sat frozen on the couch for about an hour.

    My wife is now in Colombia and wants to get the rest of her things from here. She wants to live close to her youngest son. This son has been off and on drugs for years. He is now 34 years old and lives with his girl friend. They have a little girl together. Apparently they have no plans to get married.

    I believe that my wife one day will come to realize that she was much better off living with me in Mexico than close to her son in Colombia. Unfortunately, even though my wife preaches and teaches the Bible, she does not have anywhere near the spiritual maturity that Amanda has as a new believer. My wife listens to the prosperity (materialistic) preachers a lot on TV. She does not understand that the abundant life Jesus talked about comes through obedience to God’s Word, whether we feel like it or not!

  2. Missionary,

    I am sorry that your wife did not repent and turn to God and then turn back to you as her husband. But as you have said many times, it is better to live celibate and alone then to try and live in a celibate marriage with a rebellious wife.

    May God be with you my friend.

  3. Fortunately, Larry, God is with me! I have never felt so much love from the brethren as I have felt now. The church I am attending now has really shown me a lot of love. I also really appreciate the advice and comfort that you have given me in this very difficult situation.

    However, I believe that God is telling me that our marriage is not over with yet. God wants me to leave self pity and engage in spiritual warfare for my wife. Since the pastor of the church that I am attending now knows more about deliverance than all of the pastors here put together (the population in this city is now close to a million), I believe that he can teach me many things about how to keep the demonic forces from completely blocking my wife’s mind so that God can deal with her better. I believe that one day she will realize that her place is with her husband rather than with her grown son (they are addicted to one another).

    This situation is also helping me to relate even better with the prisoners and those in the drug and alcohol rehab centers, since many of them have wives (or live in girl friends) who now want nothing to do with them. Many of them go back to drugs and alcohol when their wives or girl friends leave them, some even trying to commit suicide. I am showing them what to do by example when the wife leaves. In other words, I am showing them that seaking the Lord intensely and looking to God’s people (who are non-judgemental) for help works a lot better than getting drunk or high on drugs!

    Again, thanks for all of your help and encouragement!

  4. I am lucky enough to be very attracted to my husband physically but if I ever found that I wasn’t this is exactly the advice I would follow. As a wife, although my husband cares about my sexual desires and satisfaction, it is not the primary goal of our marital union. My pleasure and satisfaction come through providing pleasure and satisfaction to my husband. God has given my husband authority over me and in being his wife one of my most important duties is to provide sexual satisfaction to my husband whenever he desires it. Quite frankly, his satisfaction is more important than mine and always will be. So, if I am not attracted to my husband, it is still up to me to remain attractive to him, and willingly, but also joyfully, provide him with the sexual satisfaction he requires simply because he is my husband.

    We all have different roles to fulfill in this life and mine as a wife requires me always putting my husband’s needs before mine. In doing so, he is always considerate of and responsive to my needs and desires as well but even if he weren’t I am more than content in simply knowing that I provide him the pleasure he needs.

  5. Congratulations, Leigh! I sure wish there were a lot more women like you!

    With the Jezebel spirit that has been invading the Evangelical churches throughout the western hemisphere, we need a lot more women like you teaching wives what their true role is according to the Bible!

    My wife is just the opposite of you. She has wanted me to pray that God would give me the gift of celebacy in marriage so I would no longer desire to have sex with her. This is one of the main reasons that we are now separated, with her going back to Colombia in December and me staying here in Mexico where God has placed me as a missionary.

    Before she left, I told my wife that she needs to start thinking in terms of us as a couple, rather than just thinking of herself. She won’t admit that she has this problem. I told her that she can come back here anytime she wants to when she wants to do God’s will for our marriage. However, right now she only wants to come back here to get the rest of her things and go back to Colombia with them.

    As Larry has explained, marriages are a lot better when we follow God’s design for our marriages rather than what is popular in the west and has resulted in many divorces.

  6. @Missionary to Mexico,

    Glad to hear you are working on deliverance for your wife. Their are demons of rebellion at work in this world, your wife has most likely been attacked/influenced, or worse, by them.

    “…that she married me because people pressured her to do so and she was too weak to say no.” Good grief, your wife was a middle aged, mature adult with a grown child from a previous marriage when she married you. She knew what she was getting into and made an adult choice. It is sad to see her making these kind of excuses.

    Keep on being strong and full of faith and hope, as you have been.

  7. Thanks, Bee!

    Actually, my wife was 62 years old when we got married. In Mexico, those who are over 60 years old are considered to be senior citizens.

    This, I believe, is the real reason why she married me even though she had no romantic love for me. This is also a warning to everyone never to begin a romantic relationship on line! I blame myself for that. They say that there is no fool like an old fool! We became romantic with each other before we even met each other in person. My wife was active in ministry, which is one of the main things that attracted me to her. I asked her if she wanted to be my girl friend before even meeting her in person, which was a great mistake! After seeing her in person, I did not change my mind, but she changed her mind! She was very cold towards me when she met me at the airport in Colombia. I even brought an engagement ring with me. I asked her if she was still interested in marrying me and she said yes. I gave her the engagement ring.

    I told almost everyone in the church that I was attending that I found the wife that God had for me before even meeting my future wife in person, She did the same thing with her church. So, I believe the main reason that she married me even though she was not physically attracted to me was to save face rather than look like a fool to her fellow church members and other believer friends. She was the associate pastor of the church she was attending, so many women looked up to her. She could not possibly admit to them that she was mistaken about hearing from God about her prospective husband. I’ve heard it said that spiritual pride is the worst kind of pride that there is, and I believe it!

    I made it very clear to her that God called me to be a missionary to Mexico, and whoever wanted to be my wife had to live where I am living as a missionary. Some believe that a woman has the right to change her mind, but the Bible says that we have to honor our comittments that we make before Him. The agape kind of love is a committed love, not one that is based on feelings. Even though my wife has been a Charismatic/Pentecostal Christian for over 30 years, she does not understand that.

    I believe that once God breaks her of her pride and she humbles herself and repents and decides to be the wife for me that God wants her to be, she will be able to love me. I still love my wife, even though that love is not mutual right now. Please keep praying for us!

  8. There are many blessings that I have with my wife, but sex is not a blessing. After reading this blog and other commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 in October, I pressured my wife to allow me to have relief with her (it is hard to call what we had sex). At the end of January, it all came to a stop. Now I am trying to start it up again and she has dug her heels in and is showing me anger and disobedience. There is no sex now. I am busy with work and do not want to upset things too much until my work is done, in about a month. I expect some battles to take place.

    Also it bothers me that she has no regard for how she dresses for me. She usually wears old sweatshirts and sweatpants. I do not mind her being comfortable most of the time. There are times when I would love to see her dress like a woman for me. She NEVER wears a dress or skirt. I think she is afraid that it will arouse me and that is not what she wants,. She would throw me in a cold shower if she could.

    True to Scripture, my temptations to sin are strong. My desire is for my wife. My total deprivation makes me weak to temptation. I try to be distracted from temptations by my work.

    Usually my prayers get answered quickly. For weeks, I have been praying and praying for a union with my wife and have not had success. I think eventually she will give in. I must be patient. Will keep trying and praying. Will also thank God for all the blessing that He has given me.

  9. Hi Steven,

    I believe that this is a manifestation of a Jezebel spirit, which has entered many Evangelical churches today. My wife has this problem and we are now separated. I am binding this evil spirit in the name of Jesus so that she can hear from the Lord better about her rebellious behavior.

    Many women in Evangelical, especially Pentecostal/Charismatic, circles view Jesus as their boy friend, not as their master. A boy friend brings flowers, candy, takes them out to eat and never tells them what to do. So, essentially, these women have another Jesus, not the one in the Bible.

    However, before considering separation from your wife, I would strongly advise you to take the steps BGR has written on how to handle sexual denial.

  10. “Also it bothers me that she has no regard for how she dresses for me. She usually wears old sweatshirts and sweatpants. I do not mind her being comfortable most of the time. There are times when I would love to see her dress like a woman for me. She NEVER wears a dress or skirt.”

    I don’t think that this will help in your situation given your theory that your wife dresses this way in an effort to turn you off, but there are plenty of skirts and dresses available that are extremely comfortable–I’d say even more so than sweatpants and sweatshirts–and still look good and are figure-flattering. Not all nice dresses and skirts are super-strucutred in fit. I even have a few sundresses and warmer dresses that are so comfortable I sometimes use them as nightgowns after I’ve worn them during the day. I guess that that’s why I don’t really understand why some women say that they find dresses and skirts so uncomfortable. A friend of mine and I actually joke when people ask us why we got so dressed up that day that we were just too lazy for pants and wanted to be comfortable.

  11. “Quite frankly, his satisfaction is more important than mine and always will be.”

    Leigh, I just noticed your comment, and I don’t think that that part of your statement is a correct reading of 1 Corinthians 7:4-5.

    “4The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

    That passage is very clear on two things. The first is that husbands and wives have equal sexual rights in marriage. Neither is permitted to sexually deny the other. The second is the reason for the first statement: husbands and wives are not permitted to deny each other sexually because it could lead to sexual temptation. Because of that, I believe that husbands and wives are also equally obligated to make an effort to sexually satisfy one another because consistently unsatisfying sex is just as likely to lead to sexual temptation as no sex at all is. (The key word there is “effort.” I don’t believe that either spouse is doing anything wrong if he or she occasionally tries but fails to make the sex satisfying for the other, nor do I believe that there is any wrongdoing if it takes time for each spouse to learn to satisfy the other. Honestly, bad sex that’s bad even though both people put in the effort is inevitable.) Now, sexual satisfaction might not always mean having an orgasm, and some people do derive enough satisfaction from pleasing their spouse. Nevertheless, the point still stands. Your sexual satisfaction, whatever that means for you, is equally as important as your husband’s is because you are both responsible for helping the other avoid temptation, and biblically speaking, you have authority over his body in the sexual sense just as he has authority over yours.

    Note: I’m not saying that one of you can start denying the other sexual satisfaction or sex at all in retaliation for the other’s sexual failures because two wrongs don’t make a right.

  12. Alex,

    I agree with you that I Corinthians 7:4-5 clearly shows that husbands and wives are to have equal sexual access to one each others body to avoid sexual temptation. I also believe men should do their best to understand what pleases their wife sexually and do those things.

    Here is what men and women both have in common in when it comes to sex. We both desire it and we both want to receive even more sexual pleasure from feeling that we are pleasing our partner. This is the hallmark of any normal and healthy sexual relationship between a man and a woman.

    But our common desire for sex and our common desire to feel we are pleasing our partner during sex is where the similarities between men and women end and the differences begin. The fact is that men primarily desire sex from a physical perspective and only secondarily from an emotional perspective. Women on the other hand desire sex primarily from an emotional perspective and only secondarily from a physical perspective.

    Put another way – if a man does not have an orgasm and feel that he has sexually pleased his wife he feels that the sex they have had has been a failure.
    Most women do not consider sex a failure if they do not have an orgasm every time. Yes women want orgasms too, but it is not a critical requirement of EVERY sexual encounter as it is for a man. It is simply a difference in our programming from God.

    A mature man and woman will accept this is the case. The mature husband while trying to make sure his wife is satisfied and will not pester her and ask for a score card every time they have sex. The mature wife will realize that a huge part of her husbands sexual joy is her looking into his eyes and giving him the impression that she is having as great a time as him from a physical level. She will “fake it” as often as necessary as long as she believes her husband is making a good faith effort to please her.

    Alex – I can see where you were coming from in making sure that women understand that God wants their husbands to make a good effort in sexually pleasing them and sex is not all about their husband’s needs but God gives them needs in this area as well.

    But I actually had a different thought about Leigh’s comment:

    “As a wife, although my husband cares about my sexual desires and satisfaction, it is not the primary goal of our marital union. My pleasure and satisfaction come through providing pleasure and satisfaction to my husband. God has given my husband authority over me and in being his wife one of my most important duties is to provide sexual satisfaction to my husband whenever he desires it. Quite frankly, his satisfaction is more important than mine and always will be.”

    This is the very important overarching Biblical truth that I believe Leigh was expressing:

    “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” – I Corinthians 11:9 (KJV)

    This truth must under gird everything a woman does. God did not make her husband to serve her, he made her to serve her husband.
    Now don’t get me wrong God does call on husbands to serve their wives in leading them, providing for them, protecting and yes in giving them sex.

    Let me replace a few of Leigh’s words in her statement to show what I think is the overall important Biblical truth not just in the sexual arena but in all areas of marriage:

    “As a wife, although my husband cares about MY DESIRES(both physically and emotionally), him meeting my physical and emotional desires it is not the primary goal of our marital union. I was made for my husband and not him for me. Therefore the primary goal of our marital union is that I serve him and meet his physical and emotional desires as he goes into the world and fulfills the mission God has given him.”

    That should be the goal of every Christian wife.

  13. @BGR,

    I definitely see where you’re coming from and, I think, where Leigh’s coming from as well. If it’s not a problem, I’d like to elaborate more on where I’m coming from. It seems that Leigh’s perspective on how she feels about sex works very well for her, and I think that it works very well for other women. They really do get a lot of pleasure out of pleasing their husbands, and I would bet that most of them as lucky enough to have husbands who make good efforts to please them and connect emotionally with them during sex. (Really, saying this from a woman’s perspectives, those efforts mean a lot and really add a lot to sex even if they don’t always pay off.)

    However, it seems, based on what I’ve read on your site and on some other sites, that this mindset doesn’t work for some women. It’s not necessarily that they don’t give their husbands sex; it’s that they see sex as purely a duty for women, not something that bring a woman a lot of physical and emotional pleasure, and as only being for men. This is where you get women who end up viewing sex as only a chore and who don’t really feel or act enthusiastic about it. They also may be less likely to initiate. Finally, because they don’t ever try to enjoy sex for themselves or do anything to help their husbands make sex enjoyable for them, they start resenting the act and may make excuses to not perform. Alternatively, they might see giving sex as something that’s deserving of a reward because they don’t personally get anything out of it. And even if they never stop giving their husbands sex, they’re really mentally depriving themselves of a part of their marriage that can really help them create a great emotional bond with their husbands and can quite frankly be a lot of fun too!

    Basically, I do think that women can help themselves and their husbands by viewing sex as something that’s meant to be enjoyable for them as women as well as for their husbands as men. It’s the sort of mindset that will encourage to be more enthusiastic because they’ll be looking for things that they enjoy about sex, whether it’s the emotional bond or the physical release or their husband’s pleasure or some combination of the three. I know that this is a mindset that’s worked out very well for me. I don’t deny sexually because why would I deny both of us something that’s so mutually enjoyable both physically and emotionally; I’m giving and eager to please because I enjoy watching the results; I’m enthusiastic and…um…VERY rarely ever have to fake it because I’ve learned what mindset helps me orgasm (often multiple times, unless it’s a quickie) and what things that I can do during sex that help me orgasm (ladies, keggles are not at all overrated, and you can adjust yourself to get a, um, more pleasurable angle) and because he’s been very giving since the first night of our union and pays really good attention to my signals (verbal and non-verbal) and what I’ve outright told him that I like (both by expressing enjoyment during sex and by talking outside of the bedroom). Also, because of this, I’ve come to see giving sex as the least that I can do, so I look for other ways to please my man and be good to him outside of the bedroom as well as in it.

    I hope that that conveys my side better.

  14. Alex,

    Yes I understand your perspective. If I could simplify it down to a single statement it would be this:

    “The best way for a woman to not sexually deny her husband is for her to find physical joy in sex with her husband as well.”

    I think that is a noble thing to teach women and God definitely gave women the capability to enjoy sex as well. I think the key is what you said having the right “mindset”. Women have this ability to block their own sexual pleasure by having a bad mindset about it. As men this is completely foreign to us because there is no “off switch” for us to turn off the physical pleasure we get from sex.

    So where I think your position, my position and Leigh’s meet is here.
    If you as a woman are not frustrated by not having an orgasm every time and you are not feeling sexually tempted or deprived but genuinely feel pleasure in giving your husband pleasure then no you don’t need to force yourself to have an orgasm every time.
    But if you as a woman are feeling sexually frustrated or feeling like you get nothing out of sex then you need to address that with your husband because if you are not careful it will lead you to starting sexually denying him or having sex with a bad attitude.

    But I think we understand each other.

  15. @BGR,

    I completely agree with that last statement. I would definitely concur that a woman can also get emotional and mental satisfaction from sex, especially if she relaxes enough and recognizes her husband’s attempts to connect emotionally as well as physically during sex. Plus, I think that women need to remember that there are things that they can do to help themselves get what physical satisfaction that they want from sex. It’s not just the man’s job.

  16. Ooh! Sorry for double posting. I always seem to have more thoughts after I hit “post.”

    For Amanda, I don’t know if this will help you personally, but I hope that it does help you and any other woman in your situation. In addition to praying, try to focus on things that you like about your husband. You are not physically attracted to him as a whole, but are there specific physical traits that you like about him? His eyes? His smile? Certain body parts, like arms or legs or chest? Do you like his smell or the sound of his voice? Do you like the way that he feels when you close your eyes and touch him? How about positive personality traits? If there are things that are good and pleasing to you, focus on them as much as you can. It might very well be a good start.

  17. Thanks for your comments, Alex! It really encourages me to know that there are wives like you out there in the western hemisphere!

    Are you teaching the women in your church and other women you have influence with these things? If not, please do so!

  18. @Missionary,

    Thank you! I definitely discuss these things with my female friends, and I give this sort of advice when asked, whether it’s to a friend or to a woman who’s discussing her problems or her struggles in marriage or with a relationship.

    I think that we all could be a lot happier by focusing on the good rather than the bad. If you’re married to a basically good man (i.e. one who’s not lazy, isn’t fiscally irresponsible to the point of putting the family into debt, doesn’t have substance abuse issues, isn’t physically abusive or intensely controlling or critical, isn’t deliberately cruel, and/or doesn’t deny you sexually), then there’s definitely a lot of good that you can find in him, and it’s easy to realize that he’s not deliberately trying to hurt you or make you feel bad. Now, I’m not saying that women should completely ignore any problems that arise or suppress all of their negative feelings. What I’m saying is that they shouldn’t catastrophize small things. They shouldn’t waste their time and mental energy rehashing old problems or nitpicking their husbands. Of course your husband isn’t perfect! No one is.

    If there is something that’s bothering you, approach him with it calmly, respectfully, and without looking to lay blame. It’s most helpful if you’ve already figured out ahead of time what bothers you about it, how exactly it makes you feel, and why it makes you feel that way. If you want to talk over the problem and figure out exactly why it bothers you, say that upfront. Try not to approach it as an argument but rather as a discussion where you’re looking for a solution to your problem. It’s not about winning an argument or trying to prove that it’s the other person’s fault. It’s about trying to make your marriage stronger. It’s about conveying your emotional needs to your husband because he’s not a mind-reader, and it’s about talking to him to find out if there are things that you need to improve on so that you can better meet his emotional needs. Maybe he needs you to pay more attention when he’s trying to talk to you about an idea that he had (it doesn’t matter if he’s actually going to implement it or not; it might just be something that he wants to talk about). Maybe he wants you to offer more input when he talks to you about a problem because he’s asking for advice and trusts that you might be able to help him with this, or maybe he just wants you to listen and ask questions when he’s telling you about a problem so that he can use that conversation to formulate a solution. Maybe he doesn’t feel comfortable talking to you when he’s upset about something or stressed about something because you respond too critically and make him feel as though you think that he’s less manly for having those feelings. Maybe he just needs you to tell him that you still have confidence in him and think that he’s doing great. Men definitely tend to deal with their emotions differently than women, but we still need to be empathetic, supportive, and willing to listen when they do want to share their thoughts and feelings.

  19. Just a quick clarification: I don’t think that substance abuse is a sign that the person is bad. Oftentimes, it brings out their worst traits, but it is a disease that they need help for. I meant more that while you can certainly still see the good in a husband who has such a problem, it’s also one that shouldn’t just be overlooked and that you should strongly encourage him to get help before he irrevocably hurts himself, your family, or someone else.

  20. SapphireYagami,

    “so your advice is to lie?”

    Yes that is correct. Contrary to popular Christian teachings, lying is not always sin. God praised the Hebrew midwives for lying and protecting the Israelite babies and he praised Rahab for lying to protect the Israelite spies. Lying is wrong when we are covering sin. But lying is not always wrong in every situation, especially when it comes protecting life and protecting feelings in some cases.

  21. If a wife is a Christian and loves her husband with the love of Jesus, she will be having sex with him out of love (God’s love) even when she does not feel like it. So, if she has a godly motive for having sex with her husband, as she is supposed to do, she really will not be “faking it”. Women who are led by their feelings instead of doing what is right before the Lord really do not love the Lord.

  22. I feel I can relate to Amanda and unfortunately, Missionary’s wife. I’ve carried a burden for so long. I came back to the Lord in 2011 and told God that I didn’t want to stay in the box of dating a certain preference I had in men. In 2012 I met my husband, I was not attracted romantically to him but bc of his sweetness and love for me, I could not let him down and I dated him out of the pressure of others. I struggled with wanting to do Gods will as I am very hard on myself and over analyze things. My husband was saved when he was a teenager but was not living for God. I struggled with my feelings, with asking if it was Gods will or not, with the pressure of others bc he is such a good man, with not hurting him. I ended up marrying him. I love him so much, he is an amazing husband. But again, I have carried this burden and sometimes it will feel so heavy that I almost wanna burst and tell my husband everything just to get rid of the guilt. A couple of days ago I laid it all down and gave God my worry, I felt peace and felt free to live in happiness with my husband. and the next day my devotional a were about being refined by trials. And I was like does this mean He wants me to tell my husband all of this so we can be refined by the fire of what’s surely to become a trial bc of it? And I’m back to square one and tired and confused. I just wanna be free.

  23. HeavyLaden,

    The first thing you must realize as a Christian woman is that being romantically attracted to your husband was never a Biblical requirement of you marrying him. You really need to let that truth settle in your mind. The whole idea of falling love with a man and then he asks you to marry him is a modern phenomenon. For most of human history most marriages were arranged. It was rare when a woman got to pick her husband and even rarer when she did so purely for romantic feelings. Marriages were often more about matching the right social and economic classes of people than romantic love.

    Now the great thing is that many times over many years women would eventually cultivate and find a love toward their husband often in romantic terms. But these romantic feelings often came long after the marriage and rarely were they before it.

    So you need to realize that the entire paradigm you are believing in about marriage is wrong. You have absolutely NOTHING to be ashamed of about not being romantically attracted to your husband before your were married or even now. What God wants from you is a commitment to love your husband in the best way you can and serve him in the best way you can. Submit to him in his decisions as he leads your family, submit to him sexually and look for ways to please him. This is what God requires from you.

    God does not require that you think your husband is most attractive and funny man in the world if he is not. But he does want you to love him and submit to him. And yes continue to do what I mentioned in the post and pray that God will cultivate a romantic desire for your husband, but make no mistake that this can never be seen as the foundation for your marriage.

  24. Thank you for your new perspective on this issue. He makes me happy. I just feel so bad bc I let the wrong reasons drive me into the relationship with him and I’m not sure I would have pursued it otherwise. I feel lucky to have him but would rather feel like God ordained it. I still wonder if it was okay with God to marry him bc I did not feel at peace throughout our time dating. I feel I disobeyed God and I feel guilty for that. It’s so hard for me to keep anything from my husband bc of my tremendous feeling of guilt for ways that I betray him no matter how insignificant. I don’t want to hurt him by telling him all this bc I think it would be cruel. I just feel like I’m keeping a secret from him or something.

  25. @HeavyLaden,

    It doesn’t sound like you married him for the wrong reasons. You thought that he was a good man and had the qualities of a good husband. That really should be the primary reason that women choose to marry their husbands (and men should definitely choose their wives primarily based on character as well because character is what lasts). That doesn’t mean that romantic love and sexual attraction are wrong or that you shouldn’t be happy if you have those as well. I’m saying that if you have romantic love and sexual attraction but you don’t feel like you’re marrying a person of good character who has the qualities of a good spouse, then you need to let that relationship go.

    You also say that you love your husband now and really appreciate all that he does for you. Unless you feel like you don’t want to be a good wife to him in return, then I don’t think that you need to feel guilty for feelings that you had before you married him. It sounds like you’re already on your way towards cultivating romantic love towards him as well, and I think that your feelings of guilt may be one sign of it. It sounds like you really care about his feelings and about being deserving of his goodness. But if you’re being good to him in return, then you are at a good place to grow even more.

    I don’t know if this is something that you should tell your husband. It does sound like you have a lot of confused feelings and thoughts right now. Perhaps writing your feelings out and trying to organize them better would help you figure out what you would want to say–or even if you need to say anything.

  26. HeavyLaden,

    I want to go back to original comment and then tie that in with your latest comment.

    “In 2012 I met my husband, I was not attracted romantically to him but bc of his sweetness and love for me, I could not let him down and I dated him out of the pressure of others.”

    First let me tell you that being pressured into something is not always a bad thing. There is such a thing as good peer pressure and bad peer pressure. If you friends and family are pressuring you to do something that is right and noble there is no sin in conceding to that pressure.

    Now lets bring this into your latest comment:

    “I feel lucky to have him but would rather feel like God ordained it. I still wonder if it was okay with God to marry him bc I did not feel at peace throughout our time dating.”

    HeavyLaden – there are many times in life when we make decisions and take a certain path in life whether it be entering into marriage or entering into a new job where we do not have complete peace. Many things in life are a risk that we take. I am going to venture and take a guess that most of your lack of peace about marrying him was because you were not romantically attracted to him. You felt you should be madly in love with him perhaps in the way that he was with you and you feel guilty for not having the same attraction to him that he has to you. But there is no shame in that and nothing wrong with that.

    Heavy Laden – please get your Bible out and look up where God says a woman must be romantically and physically attracted to a man marry him? I can tell you now you will find that nowhere in the Scriptures. You did not disobey God by marrying a man you were not romantically attracted to – in fact you followed in a long tradition of women over thousands of years who married men because their parents told them to and because he was good and good provider. There is no shame in this at all.

    You need to give this to God and truly realize you are beating yourself up about something that God does not want you to. God says love your husband in the best way you can. Submit to him. Try over time to cultivate more a desire toward him. But stop beating yourself up – it will only hurt you and your marriage.

    That is why I absolutely think you should NEVER EVER tell your husband that you are not physically attracted to him. What good would that do? Would that build your marriage or just unload guilt on your part for something you should not even feel guilty about.

    Contrary to popular cultural beliefs we have in modern times – a husband and wife do not have to share every thought and feeling they have with one another. I just got done explaining that to female relatives I had over for my son’s birthday party. One relative of mine was prying trying to get something out of her husband and he would not tell her. I told her that her husbands thoughts were his own just as her thoughts were own and husbands and wife should not share every thought they have, nor are they required too.

    You should ask yourself before you ever allow a thought to come through your mouth – “Will this edify and build up my relationship or will it tear down and cause hurt in my relationship?” Now sometimes we must say difficult things knowing it will make a relationship stronger in the end. But I do not believe this will make your marriage stronger. You need to give this to God and stop beating yourself about it.

  27. Thank you both for the words of wisdom and encouragement here that I will be contemplating; I’m glad I found this article. Please continue to pray for our marriage and for me and the constant battle in my mind; for the guilt and shame that has been with me all my life. Please pray for the discipline to meet with God daily and to go to church. Bless you both.

  28. Unfortunately, my wife did tell me that she was never romantically attracted to me, which was one of the reasons that she said that she no longer wanted to have sex with me. She said that she married me because people (such as her daughter, her pastor, and me) pressured her to do so. (Perhaps the people who pressured her saw that she would have a Christian husband who would really love her?) So, her telling me this devastated me! (I sat practically frozen on the couch for about an hour after she told me this!)

    We have been separated since December the 6th. She went back to Colombia then. She told me that she has no family here in Mexico and that she really missed her family in Colombia. I still love my wife very much, even though apparently this love is not mutual. I really believe that once she loves the Lord enough to obey Him, she will love me (not necessarily romantically) and come back here to be the wife that the Lord wants her to be.

    I believe one of the root causes of these types of problems is that most pastors these days preach that men should love their wives (which they definitely should) without preaching that women should submit to their husbands. After all, in most churches there are more women in attendance than men, so the sermons are more designed to appeal to the women. who are usually more active in the church than the men.

    Fortunately, my wife and I still stay in touch. Neither one of us wants to file for a divorce.

  29. hi, thanks for such a great article, I notice that this was written three years ago. I am curious to know how Amanda is doing now. Did she follow your advice and how is she now faring? would love to know.

  30. At what cost is this to her mental health having sex with someone your repulsed by. I don’t think attraction is a choice either have for someone or don’t I feel this Almost borderline non concentual sex . while he’s in heaven she lives in her own personal hell.

  31. God seems to think that mature Christians should choose what things they like.
    Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
    In setting your affection on things above you are going a step beyond by having the faith to desire unseen and intangible things. If you can decide to have affection even for unseen things, how much more so could you chose to develop attraction to your own property. I can chose to be attracted to my spouse. And I do. Objectively she has gotten less attractive as she has gotten older, but, instead of trading her in for someone younger and more attractive, I just choose to be attracted to what she looks like now. Is that sort of mental maturity a mind-superpower that only I have? I also choose to prefer my sons over other children, even though they’re objectively pretty average kids. I don’t go out looking for superior kids to fawn over. If your spouse, your sex partner, needs sex, be a sex partner to them, instead of defrauding them. And why not choose to enjoy the sex as much as possible by choosing to find your partner attractive and make the sex as great as you can, out of love for them? I think those who claim that they can’t be attracted to their mate, are just devaluing their mate by choice, when they could choose to value, respect, admire, and find their mate attractive, if they had a will to. What they lack is the sacrificial longsuffering love of God, who loved us even when we were sinners and opposed to Him. I knew a lady who was a model who married a man who was a burn victim, I’m sure she chose to find him attractive. The previously vowed sex in marriage only becomes “nonconsensual” via one party choosing hard heartedly to abandon fidelity to their marriage vow and defraud their mate. If “she lives in her own personal hell”, it is because she now refuses to choose to be attracted to the mate that she chose, and she is thereby choosing to make his life much worse too.

    Ezekiel 16:32 You unfaithful wife! You desire strangers instead of your husband.

    God holds that not desiring your own husband is unfaithfulness. I’m with God on that.

  32. Sharkly, you nailed it, man!

    Scott, We can chose to love who and what we have or we can chose to whine, complain, and be ungrateful. Contrary to popular opinion, we can choose to be attracted to someone or something. We can think differently. That is what repentance is- a change in thinking that results in a change in action.

    We have all had something we weren’t attracted to that we grew to love and enjoy. Think of your first car that was either a gift or the only thing you could afford. It probably wasn’t your dream car. In fact, you might have even been embarrassed to be seen in it. It might have been ugly and undesirable, but you grew to appreciate it and probably made a lot of great memories in it. You had to learn it’s idiosyncrasies, like how to start it, how to put it in gear, how to stop a rattle, or how to keep it from stalling. Over time, it became an extension of you. You knew everything about it, every feature, every quirk, every scratch. Ultimately, you loved it.

    Our spouses are like that, only more so. For whatever reason we married them. Maybe we settled, maybe they were our only option. Maybe not. Regardless, we should spend our time getting to know them intimately. We should learn their uniquenesses. We should appreciate them for who they are and who they are not. We should grow to love them more and more. And yes that should affect our marriage bed.

    Sex is way more than physical and goes so far beyond physical attraction. Sex is giving of ourselves to our spouse with no reservation. There’s something about it that we get more pleasure from it the more we put in.

  33. The horrible thing is that maybe up to 80% of wives are not attracted to their husbands according to studies! That means 80% of men should not get married unless they are okay with dead bedrooms. Porn sounds a lot better than such an arrangement and a faking wife! If this is genetic then it is really over for the institution of marriage, unless we have prostitutes teach women how to fake, if not then what do you think society and a biblical government should do to condition girls from birth to be attracted to men in a more reasonable range?

  34. Erik i agree , and for the record I’ve never done something I Didn’t like that i learned to love your kidding yourself and having sex with someone you have no attraction to is a lot different then someone that going to job they hate you can always quit ( Im a prime example i did a job for 30 years i hated but i did it but i tell you i never learned/ pretended to like it .
    And isn’t being a fraud a sin? that’s what this women doing and who would want to have sex with someone whos faking it? so she’s just having sex to give him somewhere he can get his penis wet and get himself off he’s really marginalized his wife and degrading her to a piece of meat using her just to get a piece A$% like a live in prostitute . a women wants to wanted by her husband /boyfriend and so does a man I wouldn’t want live with someone who couldn’t stand the sight of me . This is not a marriage

  35. winsot ,
    you can’t force attraction and if shes getting physically sick having sex with him, this is liking to trauma of a rape victim but it’s happening over and over this women going to end up in psych ward or worse , and the burn victim that married the model { by the way I find far fetched but whatever} how do you know there having a great sexlife or even sex at all ?l they might be married but that doesn’t mean there having sex ,that’s assumption on your part.
    And the first car I had was a piece sh$# and when it died/sick of it and i was making good money guess what ? I bought a new one that I liked with all the bells a whistles. so your analogy comparison to marriage makes no sense I’m not going to buy my first car ever and drive it the rest of my life! or anything I buy for that matter.

  36. @SCOTT
    Since you agree with me, what would you say then about the studies I mentioned? The fact is that women are only attracted to the top 20% of men. Does that mean only 20% of men should be allowed to marry all women in your opinion to maximize the happiness of women in society? That means we could build a society to accomodate the happiness of women to be in fulfilling marriages to share a man with other women, but be really turned on by him rather than be traumatized by ugly plain men as you say. We would have to find a way to euthanize or castrate 80% of men once they are grown and we know they are unfortunately not in the 20% of top attractiveness that women only desire. We could figure this out by polling women whether they find these men attractive or not and have an automatic cut off in height of any man below 5’9 automatically getting euthanized because they are too short for women. Or atleast we could let 80% of men be cut off from society and they can maximize their happiness alone without paying taxes or contributing to the society that doesn’t want them. Maybe women and their attractive husbands could pay a tax to help these men be fulfilled with porn and hobbies with a sort of universal basic income, as long as they stay away from trying advances with women who don’t desire them anyway.

  37. Scott,
    Either follow God’s word or pick another religion you can follow.
    “And isn’t being a fraud a sin?”
    LOL Like claiming to believe God, when you make a liar of Him by teaching your theories of evolutionary psychology instead of basing your views on God’s own creation account. Is God the Fraud?
    Or like teaching that fornication is a steppingstone to psychological maturation, when despite your fornications you are, both by your own admission and by my observation, still deeply troubled by insecurities. While I have lived a sexually upright life and am not troubled by doubts concerning how my Creator made me, or how He has put me in trying circumstances.

    You may be right that “you can’t force attraction” on somebody else, but you can certainly choose what you set your own affections on. If you’ve had trouble with that, in the sexual arena, maybe you need to have a hormone panel run?

    Sex is the natural use of a wife. If you believed in Creation, you’d also believe that God created woman secondly, for man, to be a mate, a helper, and a companion to keep him from being alone. A man having sex with his wife who vowed to be his, “to have and to hold”, is not “degrading her to a piece of meat”. Do I detect a strong note of latent Feminism in your rant?

    “I’ve never done something I didn’t like that I learned to love …”
    I wonder whether you’re really stubborn enough to never change your mind about anything, or whether you’re just being stubborn about receiving Wiscot’s correction?

    “so your analogy comparison to marriage makes no sense I’m not going to buy my first car ever and drive it the rest of my life! or anything I buy for that matter.”
    Now you’re just being obtuse. Choosing a car and choosing a wife, is a pretty common analogy. For analogies to work you have to try to find the point the person is analogizing and ignore the fact that the two situations are obviously not going to be identical in every aspect.

    “… who would want to have sex with someone whos faking it? so she’s just having sex to give him somewhere he can get his penis wet …”
    Scott, I think part of your silly argumentativeness is stemming from a foolish inability to promptly accept correction. But, I think part of it may also be based upon your own personal perspective, due to your sexual insecurities. For a man who is sexually confident, even though he might enjoy the validation of an eager partner, sex for him is not primarily about getting validation to quench his insecurity. My wife would usually actively try to deny me validation before, during, and after sex, but I still desired sex, because as a man I have a multifaceted sex drive. I can compartmentalize, and enjoy the physical act, even without getting validation or an ego boost. I don’t need my wife to fake anything, nor was she so inclined. Yeah, validation was great when I got it, but some of us (unseared ones) can still really enjoy sex for what it is, and aren’t crushed if it often doesn’t come with the validation that it should. I’m certainly not excusing women for not honoring their mate, just saying that my enjoyment of sex isn’t entirely tied to my mate’s validation of my innate value. You can describe begrudging sex in unflattering terms, but nonetheless I, for my part, kept my marriage bed undefiled and enjoyed honoring the “marriage bed” on my part. 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 teaches that if the wife doesn’t “give him somewhere he can get his penis wet” that then invites Satan to tempt them both because of their (normal human) lack of self-control. Starfish sex is far better than adultery, despite everybody preferring their sex to be enthusiastic and flattering. In life we are called to endure many circumstances that are sub-optimal, because we love God, love our mate, and love our children. If your past fornications emotionally matured you, then I’m sure you’ll be able to relate. 😉

    Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers.

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