I Caught My Husband Masturbating

How should a Christian wife handle it when she catches her husband masturbating? Today I received this comment from a regular reader and commenter on this blog who calls herself livinginblurredlines.  I think her story and how to properly deal with such a situation could help many Christian wives to better understand their husband’s sexuality.

Livinginblurredlines Story

“I am always ready and willing to have sex with my husband. He has no fear of rejection. We have sex an average of 3 times per week and I check in from time to time to make sure he is happy with the frequency and variety.

The problem is I have been catching him masturbating. Just now I caught him and offered myself, but he refused. On top of that there was no pursuit, no asking. He just slipped off to bed while I tackled dinner clean up and the kids’ homework.

I’m a bit upset at this because 1. He never let me know he was horny. 2. I would have happily had sex with him. 3. I feel a bit cheated. 4. He never says he is unhappy with our sex life, quite the contrary!

The only thing I can figure is that every so often a guy just wants to masturbate, even if he has a wife at his beck and call. Just a quick jack off to relax.

I just feel like I failed him in some way. I missed the boat. I’m not desirable enough or worth the pursuit or the wait until I get the kids tucked in….

What say you, BGR?”

My Response

Livinginblurredlines, I know from your previous comments over the years that you are a very submissive wife whose submission does not stop at the bedroom door as it does for many Christian wives.  You are just as submissive inside the bedroom as you are outside the bedroom as that is to be commended as it is so rare today for Christian women or women in general.

I have previously written on the topic of masturbation and I showed from the Scriptures that contrary to the views of our Catholic Christian brothers and even some non-Catholic Christian brothers’ masturbation is never condemned in the Bible.  I have shown that it is a natural release valve that God has given for many reasons, one of which is to keep us from sexual temptation before marriage.

But the question is does masturbation have a place in marriage? Some of my Christian friends will agree with me that masturbation before marriage is not wrong especially when it is used as a way to avoid sexual temptation. But they think it is strictly forbidden in marriage.  All sexual releases must come with the spouse in marriage in their view and again I have to disagree with my some of my Christian brethren on this.

8 Reasons A Person May Still Masturbate After Marriage

Below are several reasons a married person may still want to or need to masturbate:

  1. They have a much higher sex drive than their spouse and don’t want to trouble them all the time.
  2. The spouse may have a temporary medical reason for not being able to have sex. Examples would include after surgery, or sickness or when a woman is pregnant or right after giving birth.
  3. The spouse may have experienced a traumatic life event like the death of a parent, child or other loved one and they need a little time.
  4. Perhaps they would always go to their spouse for sex, but the spouse restricts how often they may have sex. So in between allowable times they masturbate.
  5. Their spouse rejects them sexually for long lengths of time (many weeks or months) or they completely deny them sexually altogether so the masturbate as a coping mechanism.
  6. Their spouse does not deny them, but constantly delays them. They ask for sex and the spouse’s go-to-answer is always “maybe tomorrow”.  Some people get tired of the delay tactics and just take care of their need through masturbation.
  7. Sometimes a spouse does not please their spouse sexually. They might be not be able to climax for a variety of reasons.  Or it could be that even in climax it is not as good because there is little excitement in the act of sex.
  8. Sometimes there is nothing wrong the other spouse. They completely and utterly attempt to please their spouse and be available sexually at all times.  Yet the person still chooses to masturbate either because it is far less work than the actual act and they are very tired or because they just want some alone time with their fantasies and thoughts.

Before we discuss these eight reasons that people still might masturbate after marriage we first need to make clear some Biblical principles regarding sex in marriage.

Sex is a Need in Marriage

I will say this over and over again because it needs to be said.  Far too may Christians, more often women than men, will say that sex is not a need, but a want.  The Bible contradicts this false teaching.

In the book of Exodus, the Bible states:

“10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. 11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.”

Exodus 21:10-11 (KJV)

We can see from this passage in Exodus that God considered a woman’s desire for sex in marriage to be a NEED and not simply a want.

In the book of Proverbs, the Bible states:

“15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well…18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 19 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 5:15 & 18-19 (KJV)

The Bible compares a man’s wife’s body to a well from which he drinks water.  God is literally comparing a man’s sexual desire for his wife to his desire for water.  In other words, God is calling a man’s sex drive a NEED and not a want.

This principle of meeting the sexual needs of one spouse is further expounded upon in the New Testament:

“3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 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. 5 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)

Liberal Christians today have totally twisted this passage to protect sexual defrauders in marriage which in more cases than not are women.  They take the “consent” clause of verse 5 to say that sexual encounters between a husband and wife must be only by “mutual consent”.  Such a reading betrays the clear and unambiguous language of this passage.

The only “mutual consent” that is required for sexual relations in marriage is the “mutual consent” NOT to have sex for a short time.  The entire thrust of this passage is that husbands and wives have both a RIGHT and DUTY to have sex in marriage.  Put simply if one wants it, the other one is to yield their body to the spouse that needs sex.

The Right to Sex Does Not Trump Other Commands Regarding Marriage

We must not forget though that the right to sex in marriage does not trump other commands regarding marriage.  The Bible tells husbands:

“28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church”

Ephesians 5:28-29 (KJV)

So, while the Bible gives men the right to have sex with their wives it also tells men they must care for the needs of their wife’s body as they would their own.  Therefore, if a man tries to have sex with his wife without regard to her medical or other physical needs he is in violation of this principle.   For example, I had a young relative who tried too soon to have sex with his wife after she had a baby.  He ended up tearing her stiches and caused a lot of medical complications for her as a result.  When he did this, he violated the Ephesians 5:28-29 principle we have just discussed.

In the same way a woman’s right to sex with her husband does not trump his authority over her:

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 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. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV)

Practically speaking this means a woman while having a general right to sex from her husband cannot dictate to him the moment he must perform this duty.  But a husband, because he is his wife’s highest human authority, can dictate to his wife when she will have sex with him.

For example, if a man is working on his car in the garage and his wife comes in she may request he stop and go have sex with her but she cannot command it.  She has a right to request sex from her husband, but not a right to demand that he stop what he is doing and give it to her right then.

However, let’s say a man has been thinking about his wife all day at work and wants to have sex when he comes home.  So, he comes in the door and finds his wife washing the dishes in the kitchen. He goes to her and grabs her from behind and starts kissing her neck and says he wants to go to bedroom.  If she were to push him away and tell him “no”, “later” or “not now” this would be sinful on her part.  He is her spiritual authority.  Not only does he have a right to request sex from her as she does from him, but he has the authority to command it. Now she may respectfully and kindly ask for a delay but she cannot outright refuse him.

This is a concept that is completely foreign to our modern post-feminist and egalitarian society which teaches against the Scriptural principle of male headship.

Digging Deeper into The Reasons for Masturbation in Marriage

Now that we have given the Biblical principles for sex in marriage we can discuss in more detail the 8 reasons I gave above that one might still masturbate after being married.  First please take note of the fact that I used “spouse” instead of specific husband and wife language.  This is because these reasons I listed for why people sometimes still masturbate after marriage apply to both men and women.  That is not to say that some reasons are not more slanted toward men and others are not more slanted toward women.

Reasons 1 to 3 are just one spouse giving up their sexual needs at times for the true needs of the other spouse.  There may be some times where no medical or other reasons are involved and no great event has happened, but you just see your spouse having a hard time and you forgo your need and do not initiate sex and you go take care of yourself(masturbate).

Reasons 4 to 6 have to do with chronic restrictions on frequency or delay tactics when it comes to sex in marriage.  In most marriages the person issuing these restrictions on sexual frequency or the person engaging in constant delay tactics is the wife.  That is not to say there are not some husbands that do this but ask any marriage counselor and they will tell you that men rarely engage in this kind of behavior.  It is this sexually dysfunctional behavior by many wives in marriage that gives husbands no recourse but to masturbate.

Now we come to Reason 7.  This probably affects wives 70 percent of the time and husbands only 30 percent of the time.  This really could be broken down into several sub reasons.  Sometimes men are ignorant of how to please their wives sexually.  Sometimes men are just selfish and don’t even try to understand how their wife’s body works.  Other times women are ignorant of their own bodies and how they work.   Sometimes though women can make sex so boring or just plain horrible for their husbands (think star fish sex) that husbands sometimes have a hard time climaxing.

And finally, we come to reason 8.  Livinginblurredlines, I believe this is the reason for your husband masturbating. He may just want some alone time.  Some men do actually like to masturbate by themselves from time to time even when married to a perfectly willing wife and this is no indictment of how the wife is pleasing him in the bedroom.

Now for those of us who are not married yet or those of us who are married but have wives that engage in chronic restrictions or delay tactics regarding sex we might think this is crazy.  We will take it any time we can get it and can’t ever imagine wanting to masturbate if our wife had a “Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week” policy on sex.  But the truth is when a man is well fed sexually this could be normal behavior to masturbate from time to time.

Sometimes Masturbation Is Unhealthy

The only way this behavior becomes wrong is if your sex life starts to take a nose dive.  If he continues having sex with you three times a week still then don’t worry about it if he masturbates sometimes in between. Now if his interest in sex with you drops to say once a week and he would rather masturbate most of the time then that becomes a problem and you need to talk about it.

I once read somewhere that Hugh Hefner, the founder of playboy magazine, had a major masturbation problem.  He could not climax without taking care of himself – masturbating at the end and often he did it to porn.  There are many stories told by women that he would have sex with 3 or 4 women in one setting but none of them could give make him climax and in the end he sat a couch and masturbated to porn.

So yes, sometimes masturbation can be part of a larger sexual dysfunction and if a person were like Hugh Hefner in that way they should seek professional help. But I don’t think this is the case with your husband.

Conclusion

You should try and talk to him about now just to make sure everything is ok.  Renew your commitment to him that you are there for him any time he needs it.  Renew your commitment to the fact that you are willing “to do all the work” sometimes when he is tired by getting on top or orally pleasuring him.

But after you say all that make you sure you let him know he has nothing to be ashamed of. You are not judging him.  As I said as long it does not affect your average frequency then let him have his “alone time” in between those times.

In conclusion Livinginblurredlines – I think you have answered your own question when you stated:

“The only thing I can figure is that every so often a guy just wants to masturbate, even if he has a wife at his beck and call. Just a quick jack off to relax.”

And please don’t let this these thoughts occupy your mind:

“I just feel like I failed him in some way. I missed the boat. I’m not desirable enough or worth the pursuit or the wait until I get the kids tucked in….”

Know that your husband still loves you and still finds you desirable.

For more on these topics see the articles below:

Is Masturbation a Sin?

The 7 Reasons God Made Sex

12 Reasons your husband may NOT want to have sex with you

Why God Wants You to Seduce Your Husband

A Biblical Guide to Seducing Your Husband

The 10 actions of the sexually intelligent wife

11 thoughts on “I Caught My Husband Masturbating

  1. Thank you for tackling this. I am always on top (his choice) and he hates oral sex. I was horny, too, but he says he is “too tired.” I accept that. I’ve gone months without sex, what’s a few more days.

    It is nice to know it isn’t about me and he just needs some alone time. It was just a way to relax.

    I offered him a good massage this weekend, too. Work has been very physically laborious this week for him.

    I’ll also examine if I have been off-putting or preoccupied. Maybe I am giving off a “leave me alone” vibe unintentionally.

  2. livinginblurredlines,

    You said “I’ve gone months without sex, what’s a few more days.” I thought you said you were having sex 3 times a week. Why have you gone months without having sex?

  3. livinginblurredlines,

    “I am always on top (his choice) and he hates oral sex.”

    Have you ever had a gentle conversation with him about this? It is way outside the norm for a man not to ever want to take the lead in sex – which would require him to be on top. Does he have health issues that make this difficult(is he highly overweight)? The dislike of oral sex is also outside the norm but there are some men that feel this way about it.

  4. lbl – first I want to just say right off the bat that your mindfulness to your husband is fantastic – he is truly a blessed man for the good that you are doing. Be careful not to lose sight of this in the little things.

    >We have sex an average of 3 times per week

    This sounds good. It also may be enough for him depending on his age/health. I am a big proponent of allowing a husbands drive to sex drive the relationship primarily and often wonder if a wife’s drive will adjust, but I know this type of idea might make some women angry. That isn’t my intent so much as I just think that is the way things are designed. Nothing stops a husband who is tired sexually from pleasing his wife sexually using other ways however and I think it is loving for him to do so. I guess what I am saying here is that 3 times per week may be “perfect” for his needs with wife.

    >pursuit

    You mentioned this twice, what does pursuit involve? Again, not questioning you because you sound like you strive hard to be a daughter of Sarah as the bible puts it, but if pursuit involves a lot of effort and he is tired…

    >He just slipped off to bed while I tackled dinner clean up and the kids’ homework.

    This I think is your biggest key (although asking him honestly would be better to know for sure). He was tired. You might be thinking, if he was tired, why didn’t he just go to sleep? Well, as it happens for men, very often their level of needing release correlates directly with how well they sleep. Many men even masturbate right before sleep for this reason. I’m not saying that is a good habit as one might come to rely on it more than one should, but if a man is needing release and does not get it handled one way or another, he may sleep very terribly. The scenario here could be: he was tired, didn’t have time to wait up for you and the kids to be in bed, and needed to get some good sleep.

    >He never says he is unhappy with our sex life, quite the contrary!

    Superb. I would take him as his word.

    >The only thing I can figure is that every so often a guy just wants to masturbate

    I think this is true.

    >I just feel like I failed him in some way.

    You need to be careful with this. I say you need to be careful because this is the enemy whispering in your ear that you are not good enough. My advice is, if he says he is happy and seems genuine in saying it, take him at his word!

    My wife also struggles with feeling like she has let me down about something, when honestly she couldn’t be more pleasing and be doing all I desire her to. When I find out or see that she has been worrying about failing me in some way, I first tell her the truth and then I want her to take faith in me and move on in confidence. I want to see my wife happy and not chained down with self doubt or enemy lies. If she had been doing something I didn’t want, I tell her I would have politely addressed it with her, if I don’t, assume we are good and she is doing good.

  5. BGR, for most of our marriage my husband was the refuser, but will still typically averaged sex once a week. Sometimes, he would refuse for weeks. He also refused for months after his vasectomy, and went through a time of serious illness where he couldn’t have sex. That’s what I meant. Currently, we have sex an average of 3x per week.

    His main reason for refusing me in the past was he didn’t like doing all the work to get me to climax and then climbing on top to get his climax. It would take me 10-20 minutes of oral or manual for me to climax and he hated it. He was bored. He sort of feels that oral and manual are for dating and intercourse is for marriage. He LOVES intercourse.

  6. Anm, you asked about pursuit.

    He rarely pursues me, in what I mean is, he doesn’t let me know he wants sex on one of our days we don’t normally have sex. I have told him all he has to do is speak up. The kids are old enough for me to pop in some cartoons and get myself to bed, but he doesn’t indicate that he wants to have sex.

    I do not require (although I would like) romance or foreplay. He has it pretty easy! Lol!

    I like what you say, though, and I will take him at his word and move forward confidently.

  7. Livinginblurredlines,

    This statement from you really cleared things up for me regarding your husband’s view of sex:

    “His main reason for refusing me in the past was he didn’t like doing all the work to get me to climax and then climbing on top to get his climax. It would take me 10-20 minutes of oral or manual for me to climax and he hated it. He was bored. He sort of feels that oral and manual are for dating and intercourse is for marriage. He LOVES intercourse.”

    First let’s look at this from your husband’s perspective as a man and then we will tackle it from your perspective.

    For many men, myself included, orally or manually pleasuring our wives is a great turn on. In fact, in my case I actually like it more than my wife where she would prefer to get to intercourse.
    But there are some husbands who find themselves in this situation where they are extremely frustrated about not being able to give their wives an orgasm through normal vaginal intercourse. And they just get bored and frustrated rotating through certain motions whether it be manual or oral. I have had many men write me on this subject over the years. Some will even avoid sex because their wives are so demanding that they pleasure them in this way.

    Let’s now look at this situation from your perspective as a woman.

    It is actually completely normal for you as a woman to not be able to climax through vaginal intercourse with your husband on top of you or from behind. The vast majority of women can only climax through manual stimulation, oral stimulation or being on top to control movements.

    So, the question is how do you react to this situation?

    You could take the “glass half empty” approach to what your husband is doing. You could dwell on thoughts like this one:

    “He is so selfish for giving up on oral and manual stimulation with me. What is 10-20 minutes of his time? And he is so selfish for not pursuing me and romancing me. I deserve better!”

    Do you know how many women across America would entertain and dwell on these kinds of thoughts if they were in your position? And we wonder why women are the ones who file for divorce in 70 percent of cases.

    But instead of looking at your sex life with your husband with the “glass half empty” attitude you could look at it with the “glass half full” attitude:

    “He loves me so much that when we have sex he wants me to get in a position (on top) where he knows I can control my own pleasure and I can get the climax I need.”

    I believe based on your previous comments that you are indeed taking this “glass half-full” approach to viewing your husband and your sex-life. And for that you are to be commended.

    I do have a couple follow-up questions if you don’t mind. Some of them I think I know the answer to based on your previous comments but just want to make sure you are doing all you can.
    I think we would all agree that women like it when men take the initiative in bed and “drive the bus” so to speak. So, does your husband ever get on top or from behind? Or is her worried he might not last so he always has you on top first? Many men could go on top or from behind for a while then allow the woman to finish on top before they finish in what way they want. Is this an issue for him? Or is this simply just a “he does not want to do any of work thing”

  8. @livinginblurredlines, This sounds just as I suspected. If you want to send me private emails I could give you some detailed pointers. Let me know and I’ll give you my email address. Women generally take longer to get to a climax, that’s pretty normal. It sounds like your husband needs to get familiar with “G spot.” Maybe he doesn’t realize there are specific spots to stimulate that will almost immediately cause a climax in women. These spots are so sensitive it would cause any woman to climax even if she didn’t want to. What if you try getting yourself very close to climax while he watches, then he can finish it off? There are times where my husband isn’t concerned and just wants to get off. He will somewhat selfishly just concentrate on himself during sex and I may or may not climax. Those times are more rare. If you’re okay with a situation similar to that then let your husband know that it’s okay if you DON’T climax 100% of the time. This should alleviate some of his concern/pressure thus causing him to engage with you instead of himself alone. It’s easier for a man to get off. Learning how and where to touch a woman is actually a skill, not everyone realizes that. If G spot doesn’t work (which it will) then try researching “U Spot” or sometimes called “A spot” apply some pressure with your finger. Best of luck!

  9. BGR and Sunny, hubby and I have settled into a sex routine that we both are content with. I have been all over the Christian blogosphere discussing this, so I won’t rehash it all here. We’ve been married nearly 20 years now, and I doubt hubby is going to change. What we have isn’t ideal, but it isn’t bad, either. I was concerned about the masturbating, and my concern has been covered. I thank you.

  10. @Livinginblurredlines I’m glad you got things worked out. I was lending advice because I made the assumption that you were not content, my bad. If you’re both okay with it then there’s no reason to remedy the situation, that’s a good thing.

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