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.
“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?”
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:
- They have a much higher sex drive than their spouse and don’t want to trouble them all the time.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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