Why doesn’t my husband love me anymore?

Many women ask this question “Why doesn’t my husband love me anymore?” sometime after they get married. But you will never get the answers you seek until you first understand that you are asking the wrong question.

The question you are really asking is “Why doesn’t my husband show me affection anymore?”

You may be scratching your head now – maybe you are thinking something like “Affection and love are the same thing! – if you love someone you are affectionate towards them!”

But that is not actually true. There are many ways that a person can love someone and many ways that a person can show love toward someone.

The four types of Biblical love

Storge Love is the instinctual family love that a parent has for a child, a child has for a parent and a sibling has for their other siblings. You don’t choose to love your blood – it is hardwired into you by God.  Now that does not mean you are always fond of your blood, but deep down you love them and will do things for them because they are your blood.

Agape Love is a love based in choice.  It is when we choose to love someone not because of instinct or because of feelings that this person by their actions or their attributes generate in us.  We agape love someone because we have made a commitment to perform certain acts of love toward this person.

Phileo Love is a love based in friendship or affection depending on its context.

In the sense that it is commanded toward our brothers and sisters in Christ along with agape love it is a call to be friendly and kind toward our brethren.

But there is a second sense of phileo that is a conditional type of love.  Affection comes from this type of phileo love and it is feelings of affection in response to the actions or attributes of the person who is the object of affection.

Phileo love can actually be joined with family love – philostorgos to indicate a special fondness for a family member in response to the attributes or actions of that family member.

Eros Love is really a specific sexual type of phileo love and in Greek literature outside the Bible phileo love and eros love would be used interchangeably to talk about the feelings between two lovers.  It is a sexual love that is in direct response to sexual attraction.  While eros love is never mentioned in the New Testament, it is fully demonstrated throughout the entire book of the Song of Solomon.

The difference between Agape love and Phileo love demonstrated in God’s love

“For God so loved [agape] the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16 (KJV)

Before the foundation of the world God unconditionally committed to love his future creation in mankind.  He knew that man would fall into sin and need a savior and he planned to send his Son as the sacrifice for the sins of all mankind.  This is a demonstration of God’s agape love – his love based on his choice and in his will, not in his emotion.

But God’s phileo love (his affectionate love)is a love that is in direct response to our love and actions toward him.

“For the Father himself loveth[Phileo] you, because ye have loved[Phileo] me, and have believed that I came out from God.” – John 16:27 (KJV)

So we see here in John 16:27 that God the Father’s affectionate love toward his disciples was in response to their affection for Christ and the actions of belief toward him.

So it is absolutely Biblically correct to say that in one way God loves all mankind (agape) but in another way his love is only in response to our loving acts toward him (phileo).

Another way of stating this Biblical truth about love is that God loves all people but he is not affectionate toward all people because not everyone acts in love toward him.

So as a woman if you want your husband to be more affectionate or are wondering why he is not as affectionate as he once was you must first accept this simple truth:

The affectionate type of love you are seeking from your husband is a feelings based and conditional love that is directly in response to your actions toward him.

So the next question you might ask is “What did I do toward him before when he used to be affectionate toward me?”

Measuring WHY your husband shows affection now against WHY he did in the early relationship phase is a mistake

Often women try to look back at the conditions of their relationship when they were dating, engaged and or perhaps newlyweds.

“I didn’t have to do a thing to get his affection when we were dating.  He said affectionate things to me all the time.  He did affectionate things for me all the time. He loved me just for being me.”  – This or something like it is what you might be thinking.

Yes when you were dating, engaged or perhaps even newlyweds he made all these grand gestures and statements of affection for you.  He may have seemed to worship the very ground you walked on and you did not have to do a thing to get this affection – it seemed like unconditional love.

But this was not agape unconditional love as much as you want to believe it was.  It was phileo love – feelings based love.

Ladies since we know that phileo love in the context of a romantic relationship between a man and woman is a responsive love – what was your husband responding to? What generated his phileo love for you and the corresponding acts of affection that came with it?

For most men the initial spark of his phileo love was probably based in his eros love(a type of phileo love) when he initially saw you and was sexually attracted to you.

So literally you did not have to do a thing for him to fall in phileo love with you at first sight!

Then after he got to know you, liked your personality and he found things in common with you then his phileo love for you grew in anticipation of a future permanent relationship. Again you may have done little to nothing to fuel this love. It was simply your attributes (physical and personality) and the possibility of a future permanent relationship that fueled is his feelings of affection for you.

But these conditions no longer exist.

Whether you have been married 6 months, 6 years or 16 years you may never be able to get your husband to show you the kind of affection he did in your early relationship simply based on your physical attributes and your personality.

Measuring HOW your husband shows affection now against HOW he did in the early relationship phase is also a mistake

Not only do many women falsely measure the conditions for WHY their husband showed them affection in their early relationship but the next big mistake is in comparing HOW he showed affection in the newness phase of their relationship.

How your husband showed you affection in the early days of your relationship cannot be the measure by which you judge his affection after your relationship moved out of that newness phase.  In most relationships that was temporary insanity on the part of the man. Does the phrase “I am crazy for you!” ring any bells?

Many women live their whole lives in the past – longing for the days when their husbands first met them and adored them and lavished all kinds of affection on them. Basically they are living and longing for something that was temporary. Women also do this even with their bodies living in the past of what their body used to look like and never coming to an acceptance of the natural aging process.

As a woman you will never find happiness and contentment in your marriage until you accept that as relationships mature and as your body matures things change.

In fact is its because of this longing for the past that some women get drastic cosmetic surgeries as they age and they divorce their husbands longing for the thrills of adoration and affection they experienced during their early relationship with their husband.

But you know what they find? Not long after they are married again to a new man the affection and feelings of the relationship when it was brand new go away. This is one of the main reasons that almost 70 percent of divorces today are filed by women.  They continually seeking a type of affection that is temporary and does not last.

Your husband may still have phileo love for you but you don’t recognize it

The truth is that most men when they move out of the newness phase of a relationship and regain their sanity go back to normal male operations. Men are not as naturally affectionate as women are. Even the way that men show affection is often very different than women.

While many men verbally communicate their feelings of affection during the newness phase of a relationship this is NOT the norm of how men operate.

While women primarily communicate their feelings with words, men on the other hand primarily communicate their feelings with actions. This is something that for most women does not compute – but it is a fact.  The rare women who come to accept this fact in many cases end up having happier marriages and they typically don’t have the unmet expectations that other women do.

Let me just stop here and say I am not saying it is right for a man to never tell his wife that he loves her.  Men need to do that. Men need to tell their wives and children that they love them on a regular basis.  It takes intentionality and it takes men coming out of their comfort zone, but it needs to happen.

Ok back to you ladies. So perhaps your husband was showing you affection through his actions and you did not notice it.  Maybe it was those times he saw you were overwhelmed and went and did a couple loads of laundry.  Maybe it was when he stepped in the kitchen and did the dishes.  Maybe it was that night he came home from work and saw that you were overwhelmed and took you and the kids out to dinner.  There are so many things like this that men do each and every day that in their minds are acts of affection toward their wives but these things go unnoticed by many women.

He only touches me when he wants sex!

Most men are typically not physically affectionate unless they want sex.  It is hardwired into men. Are there exceptions where men are more emotional and/or touchy without it turning into sex? Yes.  But these men are rare.

For most men the equation goes like this:

Physical affection = Time to have sex

I realize as a woman you might hate this.  Many women complain about this. Some wives eventually figure out this equation and stop giving their husband physical affection because they know where it will lead (and this is very wrong by the way).

“Why can’t he touch me or I touch him without it every time having to turn into us having to have sex? I feel so used.” – This is a thought that may have crossed your mind as it has the minds of millions of women before you.

Let me try and convey this truth in a way that will make sense to you as a woman.

For you verbal communication, emotional connection and words of affection may or may NOT lead to you having a desire to have sex with your husband.  Sometimes it will, sometimes it won’t.  Sometimes you just want to talk, cuddle up and then go to sleep together – no sex is needed.

But imagine on one of those occasions where your husband was talking with you and you were emotionally connecting with him and then that caused you to have a strong a desire to have sex with him. He massages your neck and shoulders which just turns you on more.  Then he just stops and moves on to something else or if you are in bed he kisses you goodnight and rolls over and goes to sleep.  How frustrated would you be at that point with your desire burning red hot?

Now take that feeling of frustration and realize that for a lot of men EVERY time there is any kind of physical affection (hugs, cuddling, kissing, you sit on his lap…etc.) he is instantly turned on and ready to go. What happens for you on occasion and takes time to build happens to him in EVERY intimate touch between the two of you.

In fact you may have done nothing at all and not even touched him but just from him having a sexual thought he might be hot for you so he comes over and starts touching you.

In either case, whether you initiated the physical affection or he did asking men to separate physical affection with their wife from sex is a very difficult thing for a man to do- it feels unnatural to a man to separate these two things when it comes to his wife.

I am not saying it is impossible for a man not to have sex with his wife every time they have an intimate touch or embrace.  Many men practice restraint in this way all the time. I am not even saying that men should not practice a little restraint in this area. But the key phrase is “a little”. A married man most of the time should be able to act on his desires to have sex with his wife.  If that is every day, or every other day then so be it.

And on those occasions when your husband does show you affection without going for sex as women you need to realize how much your husband is sacrificing when he does this. He is literally resisting every fiber of his being telling him to have sex. And no it is NOT selfishness on his part – it is by the design of God.

“Well just because it is hard for men to do, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t do it!”

There are a great deal of people (even men who beat themselves up for the approval of women) that think men just need to be “civilized” and “reprogrammed”. Men need to be “more verbal and vulnerable with their emotions like women and they need to tone down the physical side of their sexual natures and embrace a more emotional sexual nature like that of a woman”. In short – men just need to be more like women and we would have better marriages.

There are a lot of marriage books, even Christian marriage books that are teaching this today.  Very few will come right out and say men need to be more like women in their approach to relationships, but most of them simply reword this and do it in a more subtle way.  But make no mistake this false teaching is being heavily propagated in marriage counseling books and sessions across America.

To that every man in this world should say “BOLGANA”! Especially Christian men who know that God created men and women with distinct and very different natures for his purposes and his design.

No my friends – what is called for is not for men to become more like women, but rather what God calls for is for us to UNDERSTAND and ACCEPT the differences in our male and female natures.

So if you realize that your husband does in fact show you signs of affection you were not seeing as signs of affection then this is what you must do. You must learn to accept the way he now shows you affection rather than longing for the days when your relationship was new and he was in crazy mode. People who are stuck in the past can never move forward.

But what if there are truly are no signs of affection that you can see? How do you go about creating the conditions that might lead to rekindling his affection for you?

5 Changes you can make that might rekindle your husband’s phileo love for you

You used to be able to win your husband’s affection based on your good looks and personality alone.  Basically you had do next nothing to get his affection but breathe and be his girlfriend.  But once a relationship moves past the new phase your actions toward him now become the basis for his phileo love for you rather than your physical attributes and personality alone.

Respect your husband

Do you find yourself constantly questioning and fighting with your husband? Do you speak disrespectfully to him especially in front of others? Do you find yourself criticizing him and telling him where you think he fails or could do better on a regular basis?  All of these behaviors can make a man feel disrespected and will definitely kill his phileo love and affection toward you.

If you have body acceptance issues – deal with them

Many women whether it is just a year or so, or several years after marriage begin to have body acceptance issues.  They may gain some weight before or after having children.  They may develop lose skin or cellulite.  They long for the days when they had smooth skin over 100 percent of their body and no rolls and no defects.

But let me tell you a secret ladies – most men do NOT care about these imperfections in their wife’s bodies.  That is why a famous song says that a man loves his woman’s “perfect imperfections”.  If you have body acceptance issues this will greatly affect every area of your marriage.  It will affect the next three things we will address regarding how you dress, how you undress and how you give your body to your husband.

Those next areas we will discuss are absolutely critical to instilling genuine affection in your husband toward you.

How you dress matters

As I said many times previously your physical attributes will not win his affection on their own.  However that does not mean they are not still a vital part of generating phileo love in your husband. Are you wearing sweats and big tee shirts all the time? Get clothes that flatter your figure. Get your hair done and if you need makeup then put it on. Dress to impress your husband!

How you undress matters

Has your lingerie been collecting dust for months or even years? Get it out, wash it and put it on for your man. Women don’t realize how important lingerie is to most men – when you present your body to your husband in lingerie it is like holding up a sign that says “I am yours”.

How you give your husband your body matters

Even if you don’t sexually deny your husband – are you enthusiastic about sex with him? Do you find yourself swatting his hands away on a regular basis? Do you have all kinds of restricted areas on your body? Like “you can touch here, but not there”. Do you make your husband have sex in the dark?

Putting all kinds of restrictions on how, where and when your husband can touch and see your body is a sure fire way to kill your husband’s phileo love and affection for you.

Ladies let me say one last thing here on freely and willingly giving your body to your husband which is a requirement by God (I Corinthians 7:4) of both men and women in a marriage. This is going to be a blunt statement but it must be said.

Just spreading your legs does not fulfill the requirement to give your husband your body.

Your entire body, from head to toe belongs to your husband.  That means if your husband wants to touch your butt he can touch your butt. If he wants to come up behind you in the kitchen and cup your breasts in his hands that is his right given to him by God. It is not right for you to limit sexual activity with your husband to his penis and your vagina.  I warned you that I was going to be blunt – and I was!

Now should men exercise sensitivity in this area toward their wives? Absolutely! Men should be sensitive to things like time and place.  A man cupping his wife’s breasts in the kitchen may be ok when no one is around but he should not be grabbing her breasts when they have company.  Also men should take into account that there are certain times of the month where areas of a woman’s body may be more sensitive. When trying out new sexual things in the bedroom this should also be approached with sensitivity and gentleness.

If you as a wife need to move your husbands hands away for legitimate reasons – this should always be done in gentleness and with kind words to him that let him know your body still belongs to him, but this is just not the time and place.

Conclusion

Maybe your husband loves you dearly but he is simply not showing it in ways he did when you were first dating.  If he never tells you he loves you then maybe gently and respectfully approach this with him.  Don’t condemn him, and acknowledge that you know how hard it is for him as a man to verbally express his feelings – but you need to hear those magic words “I love you” and so will your kids.  Maybe he never compliments you what you cook or what you wear and you need to hear that.  Just gently let him know that little compliments will go a long way in making you feel loved.

But if your husband does tell you that he loves and does give you compliments but you want grander acts and words of affection because you are living in the past when you were first dated then it might be you that needs to make a change and accept how you husband shows you affection now verses how he showed you affection then.

Perhaps you realize that yes you are getting zero signs of affection from him and you are not doing those 5 things I mentioned earlier to generate affectionate love in your husband. If you are not then you need to get on it.

It’s may take some hard mental changes for you to do those 5 things.  But in the end it will be worth it when reap the affection that you have sown in your husband’s heart by doing these things.

“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” – II Corinthians 9:6 (KJV)

You were made for Him

Joy and freedom

“…all things were created by him, and for him Colossians 1:16(KJV). All of us, both men and women were made for the glory of God. As a woman, you were also made for another “him”, for your current or future husband, unless you are one of the few women God has called to life of celibacy in his service.

Just as mankind was made for the glory of God, so to you as a woman were made for the glory of man.

“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.”

I Corinthians 11:7(KJV)

“Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

I Corinthians 11:9(KJV)

The fact that you were made for you husband answers all these “why” questions:

Why do I have to submit to him? Because you were made for him.

“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Ephesians 5:22(KJV)

Why do I need to follow him if his job moves him to a new city? Because you were made for him.

Why do I have to follow his rules for discipline with our kids, whether they are stricter or more lenient than I would like them to be? Because you were made for him.

Why do I not get an equal say in all decisions of the family? Because you were made for him.

Why do I have to have sex with him even when I don’t feel in the mood? Because you were made for him.

Why do I have to wear the clothes he likes me to wear, or keep my hair the way he likes it? Because you were made for him.

Why do I have to stay home and care for our children? Because you were made for him.

Why do I have to obey him? Because you were made for him.

Why do I have to respect him? Because you were made for him.

Conclusion

Whether you are engaged, a newly wed, or have been married for many years, this principle, that you were made for your husband can and will change the way you approach your marriage. You won’t find yourself fighting for control, or your fair share in the decision making processes of your home, you will instead find peace.

Please don’t misunderstand me, this is not to say a wife should never tell her husband what she thinks, because she should.  Proverbs 31:26 tells us the virtuous wife openeth her mouth with wisdom, and a husband should be able to listen to his wife’s wisdom.  But on the other hand, we all know that there are many instances in the Bible where husband should NOT have listened to his wife.  A Godly man will judge his wife’s advice by God’s Word, and by his own judgement and exercise proper leadership.

Happiness is found when we live the way God designed us to. If you go throughout your marriage and you follow the principle that you were made for the glory of God, and God made specifically made you for your husband, I can promise you that you will have a wonderful marriage. This comes straight from our owner’s manual – the Bible.

The 10 actions of the sexually intelligent wife

EmotionallyIntelligentWife2

Photo by thephotographymuse at Flickr.com

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To all you engaged women, newlywed wives or women that have been married for many years. If you will just follow some simple principles, and accept some simple truths about men, I promise that in 99% of cases the passion in your marriage will never die.

I believe as Christians we must speak bluntly about sexuality and I hope you will bear with me as some of the statements I make here might be offensive to some Christian readers, although that is not my intention. I don’t mean to be crude either, but there are some things that must be said.

If sex is so important to having a passionate relationship in marriage then how do Christian couples have passion before they are married?

Many Christian women ask this question, since as Christians we believe sex is reserved for marriage. The answer is that a Christian man’s passion for his girlfriend and then his fiancé is still fueled by his sexuality even before marriage. I do not mean to say a man marries his wife only for sex. Hopefully he is marrying her for what they share in common, that he believes she will make a good wife and a good mother to his children. But make no mistake, his passion for his wife to be is no less fueled by his sexual feelings toward her before marriage, then it will be after marriage.

The three attitudes of Wives toward to their husband’s sexuality

The first wife, is a religious woman who sees sexuality as “base” and a necessary biological function of marriage and reproduction. She will do her “duty”, and give her husband what he needs, what the Bible requires of her, no more, no less. Another name for this type of woman is a “prude”.

The second type of wife is a feminist, who believes that the way a woman gives and receives love, through emotional and verbal connection is a superior form of love. She looks down on her husband’s need for sexual variety, or the fact that he may want to have sex the moment he comes in the door without saying a word. This to her is the very definition of shallowness.

The third type of wife, may be religious or not. But she knows something about men that many women have known since the beginning of creation.

She understands the way to a man’s heart is through his penis.

This third type of wife also knows this truth about men, can be abused. Women have manipulated and controlled men through this powerful knowledge. Women have turned empires against one another through the power of sex. So when it comes to men this power can be used for good, or for evil.

I see some books say men need to be more “emotionally intelligent” toward their wives. But I would argue that women need to be more “sexually intelligent” toward their husbands.

It is easier to be “sexually intelligent” than “emotionally intelligent”

Sexual intelligence requires a certain attitude, and certain actions that follow that attitude. It does not require feelings. This is a foreign concept to most women, because women are typically much more emotional than men. God designed women with a more emotional nature, but he did not intend for every action a woman takes to governed by her feelings.

God wants women to do the right thing in spite of their feelings. God wants a woman to channel the beautiful gift of empathy he has given her into caring for her children, her husband and those around her in need. He wants her to weep with those weep, mourn with those who mourn and laugh with those who laugh. But God does not want a woman saying – “Since I don’t feel like doing this or that for my husband, whether it is in the sexual arena or otherwise, then I should not have to do it.”

Women do things all the time they don’t feel like doing. It is part of being an adult. Women go to work when they don’t feel like it. Women cook dinner for their husbands and families when they don’t feel like it. Women get up in the middle of the night to rock a crying baby to sleep when they don’t feel like it. The point is, women are capable of doing things when their feelings are not in it, because they know it is the right thing to do.

So what does it mean for a wife to be “sexually intelligent” toward her husband?

When I say the way to a man’s heart is through his penis I don’t literally mean a wife just needs to have her hands on her husband’s penis whenever she is not otherwise occupied. In fact I agree with what some have said that the brain is the most important sex organ, as opposed to the penis. However, a man’s penis is the symbol of his sexuality. So another way to phrase this truth is “the way to a man’s heart is through his sexuality”.

Here are a list of actions (and attitudes) a wife should have toward her husband’s sexuality (OK it turned out to be 20 and not 10 because of formatting issues):

  1. Don’t make your husband feel shallow because of his sexual nature.  As a wife you need to erase this type of thinking from your mind.  His sexuality is a gift from God, and you should treat it as such.
  2. Recognize your husband’s need to be visually aroused. Men are visual creatures, it is how God designed us. This does not mean you have to dress like a whore or a prostitute. But you can dress in a more sexy way that extenuates the body that God gave you that was part of what drew your husband to you in the first place. Here are some practical ways you can meet this need of your husband to be visually aroused:
  3. Wear shirts that show some cleavage. This does not mean you have your breasts hanging completely out. It just means not wearing shirts all the time that go all the way up to your neckline.
  4. Baggy clothes are a big no-no. You don’t have to wear skin tight jeans and daisy duke shorts, but you should wear clothes that show your figure and your beauty. Obviously there is also age appropriate clothing. I am not saying a 40 year old woman needs to dress like a 20 year old woman, but a 40 year old woman can still dress in a sexy, yet age appropriate way for her husband.
  5. Show some leg. Women may disagree on where the line is, but most men like to see some leg on their wife. Wear dresses and shorts that show your legs.
  6. If the barn needs painting, then paint it. This is an old expression a pastor of my church from many years ago used to say. Not all women need makeup, but some do. If makeup enhances your beauty, then use it.
  7. Listen to your husband’s opinion about your appearance. Especially when it comes to how you keep your hair and how you dress. Maybe he like’s your hair shorter, maybe he likes it longer, or maybe he likes it a different color. Maybe he likes a certain dress on you, or certain shirts. Unless what he is asking you to do something with your appearance that feels blatantly immoral, then you should do it. Learn to break out of your comfort zone.
  8. Use what your God gave you! Once you are wearing more attractive clothing for your husband, come over by him sometimes and give him a good angle on that cleavage. If you look good in those jeans, bend over nice and slow to pick up that pen you dropped in front him. Tease him with your beauty.
  9. Lingerie. One of the nicest ways to please your husband is with lingerie and it is a great surprise to him when he comes into the room thinking you are just going to sleep and he sees you there in some sexy lingerie, this is a huge thing to most men.
  10. Nudity is good too! Make sure to let your husband see you getting undressed for bed or changing to go someplace for dinner. Invite your husband to take a shower with you from time to time. I remember years back reading a book on romance from Dennis and Barbara Rainy (don’t remember the title). In it they mention the story of a young Pastor’s wife who asked her husband what she could do to help him be a more a spiritual man. He said “surprise me some time by meeting me at the door naked when I come home”. What he was saying is –if you meet my sexual needs to be visually aroused by your body, I will be less likely to be tempted by other women and it will help make me a more spiritual man. Women need to understand this vital truth!
  11. Don’t get mad at your husband when he looks at other women. As long as your husband is not gawking or acting perverted about it, when your husband sees a nice woman walking by don’t shame him. God has made men as creatures of variety, and by “variety” I mean that men are naturally wired to appreciate a variety of different women. Realize that just because he looks at other women this does not mean he does not think you are beautiful too, it is just his wiring. If you really want to be courageous and show your security with your husband’s visual wiring, ask him from time to time if he thinks a certain woman is pretty, or who his favorite actresses are. I wrote a whole series on this important topic – click here to read it.
  12. Moans and Groans. Yep as husbands we like to hear that we are pleasing our wives. Obviously anything can be overdone, but most women don’t error on the side of overdoing this.
  13. Initiate sex. I completely recognize the fact that most women like to be pursued when it comes to sex and this normal. I agree that 80 percent of the time men need to be doing the initiating and the pursing (this actually is part of the process that turns women on). But if you as a wife rarely initiate sex, you need to change that.
  14. Rain checks. A rain check when it comes to sex is when you as a wife have to gently turn your husband down when he tries to initiate foreplay. Perhaps you are sick to your stomach, or maybe your period is extra heavy at that particular time. While he needs to show patience and understanding during these times, you also need to make good on your sexual “rain check”. That means it now becomes your responsibility to initiate the next sexual encounter with your husband, to let him know you are re-opened for “business”.
  15. Oral sex. Yep I said it. It’s the truth. Learn it, do it. There are few sexual acts that make a man feel more loved by his wife, or evoke more passion in a man toward his wife than when she performs oral sex on him.
  16. Groping is usually OK for most men. This is one where a few rare men would disagree. But unlike most women, most guys do not mind at all having being groped by their wives. This can be a great type of foreplay when a couple is out on a romantic date, or when they are driving home from some place, letting him know what is soon to follow.
  17. Legs spread. A lot of women think this kind of thing is un-lady like. In marriage nothing could be further from the truth. There are few things sexier to a man than when his wife pulls up her skirt to reveal no underwear and invites her husband into his favorite garden to enjoy his choice fruits (there is a reference to this in the Song of Solomon).
  18. Variety of positions and places. Try to make sure you have variety in your sexual positions, don’t get dogged down in one position, many couples get stuck on the missionary style. Try having sex in different rooms of your house.
  19. Recognize when sex is not happening. If your husband has not initiated sex in some time, or you seem to have to be initiating all the time, talk to him about it. Ask him if there any problems. Sometimes men take work stress or other stresses home with them when they should not. Gently and respectfully talk to him.
  20. Fake it till you make it! This old saying (not original to me) applies to many areas of life and it certainly applies to being a sexually intelligent wife. Realize that sometimes your feelings will match your sexual actions towards your husband, and sometimes they will not. But what many women come to realize is, once they break out of their sexual comfort zone and start doing these things with their husbands, they soon come to like it! They love the passion it creates in their husband toward them outside of the bedroom and clearly see the rewards of adding these actions and attitudes to their marriage.

Are you saying wives don’t care about sex?

I am sure there are some women reading this that are taking away from this that I believe all women care nothing for sex. That could not be further from the truth. Most women want sex too. They may not want it as often or in the same ways, but they definitely want it.  In some rare instances, some wives want sex more than their husbands do.

But for the vast majority of women, even those with higher libidos, their passion comes from being emotionally and verbally connected with first, and from tender touch. For men their passion starts from and is fueled by their sexuality, and then their emotional connection can come as a result of that passion.

Conclusion

So as a wife you have a choice. Do you want a more passionate marriage? Perhaps if you are a newlywed wife you are wondering how you can keep the passion you are currently experiencing. Then follow these 10 actions (attitudes) and principles, regardless of how you feel at different times and I promise that in 99% of cases the passion in your marriage will never die.

If however you as a wife come to reject most of what I have said here, be sure that sooner or later the passion in your marriage will die. If you say as I have seen some Christian women in Christian forums say, “this makes a Christian wife no more than a glorified prostitute” then you have completely missed what I have said, and again, eventually the passion in your marriage will fade.

Yes if you are married to a Christian man, he may remain faithful to you (as he should), but don’t be surprised when the romantic things he used to do towards you dry up and go away. Don’t be surprised when he gets more involved in his hobbies and his job and does not seem to want to spend as much time with you as he once did. Be prepared for little to no emotional attachment on his part toward you.

Wives – the choice is yours.

The 12 required attributes of marital love

OneFlesh

Before I get into the 12 required attributes of marital love, I want to talk about the two types of love which can exist within marriage. Both types of love are good to have in a marriage, but only one can form the lasting foundation for marriage, while the other may come and go.

The Bible speaks of three types of love:

Family, or instinctual love(Storge) – Most human beings have an instinctual love toward their parents and their children. There are some exceptions as in the case where a parent abuses a child and that child may have no love left for their parent, but in most cases love happens instinctually between parents and children.

Emotional, or Friendship love(Philia) – This is love based on either romantic feelings between a man and woman, feelings of infatuation, or love that is based on common interests. This kind of love is almost 100% based on how much each person puts into the relationship, whether it is a same sex friendship, a dating relationship, or a marriage.

Unconditional love(Agape) – This is a love that is based on a choice, a commitment to love someone no matter what they do. This is the kind of love we are told that God has toward his children (those who trust in his Son). This is highest form of love, because it not based on feelings, or anything that the recipient of this love has done.

In the context of marriage, when you made your wedding vows and vowed to love your spouse in good times and in bad, in sickness and health, till death do you part – you were vowing to love them with Agape love(unconditional love, apart from feelings). You probably were motivated to vow Agape love to them out of the Philia love you had which is based on feelings of friendship and romance.

Philia love is not bad, but it can become bad if that is the only foundation for a marriage, for it will not always be there. It comes and goes. But Agape is always there, because it is not based on feelings, but a commitment made to God.

The foundation of marital love is not Philia (friendship or romantic) love

I say all this as to say that the 12 attributes of marital love I am going to talk about are based in Agape love(unconditional love), and not feelings. We do things whether our spouse makes us feel loved or not. We do these things whether we are fond of our spouse at a given moment or not.

Biblically speaking marriage is defined as the union of a man and woman who make a covenant before God to fulfill their God given duties to one another in marriage. One of the duties God calls them to is to have marital love toward one another. In many ways marital love is not much different than any other love we should have for our friends, family or for the general population of the world around us. After sharing this list though, I will point out some of the features that distinguish marital love from all other types of love.

BIBLICAL MARITAL AGAPE LOVE IS…

  1. GIVING my body to my spouse to meet their sexual needs.
  2. PATIENCE toward my spouse in regard to their faults.
  3. KINDNESS toward my spouse in words and actions. It is kindness in caring for the physical needs of my spouse whether in taking care of them when they are sick, making sure they are feed, or meeting their sexual needs.
  4. SACRIFICING my own well-being for the sake of my spouse’s well-being.
  5. HONORING my spouse’s God given gender role in our marriage.
  6. FORGIVING my spouse for the offenses they commit against me.
  7. TRUTHFUL with my spouse. This does not mean brutal honesty – you know the old line “do I look fat in this dress?”. It does not mean we have to say every thought that comes into our mind, or how we feel about every given situation.  But what it does mean is not telling lies to hide our sin from our spouse. It also means that sometimes we have to do as the Bible says and “speak the truth in love” to our spouse when we believe they are acting sinfully, as love does not rejoice in evil.
  8. PROTECTING my spouse’s person and reputation.
  9. TRUSTING that my spouse has my best interests at heart and in the absence of evidence to the contrary believing what my spouse tells me about events that may have occurred.
  10. HOPING in my spouse’s abilities, even when they seem to lack in a certain area. It always keeps hope that they will succeed or that they will improve. This is an encouraging type of hope that encourages our spouse in whatever they set out to do.
  11. ENDURING through arguments or disagreements, health problems and physical changes to mine or my spouse’s body. It endures through job loss, economic status changes or changes in housing.
  12. CONSTANT, because it is based on a conscious life choice, and not upon my feelings towards my spouse at any given moment.

The twelve actions of marital love I have just stated are all clearly supported in the Scriptures I will show below.

Today we have all kinds of marriage books, both Christian and non-Christian alike trying to define what Biblical love is, especially as it relates to marriage. While some of them point to these very same passages I will reference, often times they either leave out parts of the Biblical definition of marital love, or more often than not they add a lot of things the Bible does not.

I think that any of us reading this list, if we are honest with ourselves will see it as very convicting. We will be convicted even more so when we read it from the very Word of God. I can see my own failures to live up to this high standard God has for marital love.

But God understands we are sinful beings and that we are but dust. What he asks of me and you is that we aspire to these principles, to grow and better ourselves according to standard he has set, not the standards of our ungodly world. When we fail to meet these standards, he asks us to humble ourselves, and ask his forgiveness, as well as our spouse if we have failed them in any of these principles.

One other thing I want to mention, I am not saying the above list is an exhaustive list of all the Biblical duties involved in marriage, because it is not. This is the Biblical definition of the love we are required to have, love as a set of attitudes and actions that should flow through all the other duties of marriage that I have not mentioned here.

Biblical references that form the foundation for the twelve actions of marital love

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails…

I Corinthians 13:4-8(NIV)

 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time…

I Corinthians 7:3-5(NIV)

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

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: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Ephesians 5:25-33(KJV)

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

I Peter 3:7(KJV)

So what distinguishes marital love from other types of love?

If you were to look at many of the attributes of love I gave – especially the ones based on I Corinthians 13:4-8 you could easily see that many of these attributes apply to other relationships besides marriage.  They could apply to friendships or even the parent-child relationship.  But here I am trying to apply I Corinthians 13:4-8, a passage not specifically about marital love, to marriage because God calls for agape love in marriage.

“34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:37-39(NIV)

The reason I bring up Matthew 22, is because the concept of a man loving his wife as he loves himself is not new, or even exclusive to marital love. As Christians, we are to love all people around us, as we love ourselves.

The key in understanding the distinctiveness of marital love is found in Ephesians chapter 5.

“29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church”

There are two key words in verse 29 that help us begin to distinguish the love God want’s between a husband and wife, and all other types of love. The Greek word Ektrepho here translated in English as “nourish” here has to do with “feeding to bring to maturity”.   The second Greek word Thalpo translated as “cherisheth” originally referred to a mother bird “keeping warm” her eggs as she sat on them. This Greek word later came to mean “foster with tender care”, but it has the same idea.

So in its most literal sense Ephesians 5:29 is saying that just as mother bird warms her eggs and then feeds her babies and brings them to maturity this is like what Christ does for his church in caring for her physical and spiritual needs and bringing her to maturity.

When taken in the complete context of Ephesians 5, just as Christ brings the church to spiritual maturity and tenderly cares for her spiritual and physical needs, so too husbands are to care for the physical and spiritual needs of their wives and bring them to spiritual maturity.

But this is only the first part of the distinctiveness of marital love found in Ephesians 5, the most profound distinctive characteristic of marital love is found in verse 31:

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”

The physical union of a man to his wife, the sexual union, is the most distinguishing characteristic of marital love. This is why often times, sex is referred to as the “the act of marriage”.

Think about it – go through all twelve points I list above and you could have all but one of those with a friend who is the same sex. Even the honoring portion, while it would apply differently in marriage, than in friendship, can also apply to friendship.

The one point that exists only within marital love is the giving of the body that takes place between a husband and a wife within marriage.

But just as with loving our neighbor as our self, so too the “one flesh” proposition can occur outside of marriage:

“What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. “

I Corinthians 6:16(KJV)

Right now I realize some of you are scratching your heads. How can “one flesh” occur in marriage and also outside of marriage between a man and a prostitute?

The answer is simple – “one flesh” in it’s most literal sense refers to one thing that both a man and his wife can do, and a man a prostitute can do, and that is have sexual intercourse.  Now does the Bible’s “one flesh” principle extend beyond the physical act of sexual relations? I believe the answer is yes according to the words of Christ.

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

Matthew 19:4-6 (KJV)

The key phrase in Christ’s statement on marriage is “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh”.  Once a man and woman marry – God looks at them as single unit that should never be separated by man aside for a few exceptions that God gives.

In marriage a man and woman should be united on all three levels – spiritually, emotionally and physically. 

Now all Christians and even many non-Christians would agree with the statement I just said above about the need for a husband and wife to be united on all these levels in marriage.  But the disagreement comes in HOW a man and woman are to be united in these three ways.

How can a man and woman truly be one in marriage?

We see it all the time with engaged couples or newly weds.  They seem to be so united and so in sync with one another. They often finish each others sentences and they rarely if ever fight. But for anyone who has been married for long length of time we can all tell you that the unity of marriage when the relationship is new is based on one thing and one thing alone folks – good old fashion hormones.

It is kind of humorous to see this with newlyweds.  Often times newlyweds are insistent that their unity will never change – and that it will be exactly as it is when their marriage is new for the rest of the marriage. I have to hold back the chuckles every time I hear a newlywed couple say this with such sincerity in their hearts.  I said this before and I will say it again – new love between a man and a woman is an emotionally and hormonally driven love which produces a type of temporary insanity especially in men.

After a time whether it be six months or a year this hormonally based love eventually comes to an end and the real mature and lasting love in marriage can begin to be built.

The world and even many Christian teachers today will tell you that unity and oneness in marriage comes down to one word and that word is compromise.  They say a husband and wife must talk out each life issue whether it be about what church the couple will attend, their career ambitions, how they will raise their children, finances or other important areas of life and compromise on their differences and come to a consensus.  There is no leader and no follower in this type of union, but it is instead a partnership of equals.

The Bible however presents a very different way in which a husband and a wife are to become one in marriage.

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 5:23-24 (KJV)

In Biblical marriage the way a man and wife become one is the same way the church becomes one with Christ.  He leads and she follows. As Church is mold itself around the wishes and leadership of Christ so too a wife is to mold herself to the wishes and leading of her husband.

So while the world and many Christian teachers today teach that compromise is the key to unity and oneness in marriage – the Bible teaches that conformity rather than compromise is the key to oneness in marriage.  In Christian marriage – the man conforms his will to God’s will and the wife conforms her will to her husband’s will.

Sadly many Christian marriages today are built on compromise rather than conformity and the truth is that men and women are equally to blame for this sad state of affairs. Women are to blame because they emotionally badger their husbands into compromising with them on important affairs of the home even when he believes God would have their family do things differently.  Men on the other hand are to blame for not standing up as men of God and choosing to conform to the will of God rather than compromise what they know to be right for the sake of peace with their wives.

I am not saying that a husband cannot hear advice from his wife and take it.  Or that marriage erases a woman’s unique identity because it does not.  God made all of us as individuals unique and he even made each one of his local churches unique.  No two people or two churches are exactly alike. But when it comes to the important matters of life especially in the areas of faith, child rearing and teaching and finances a wife is to mold herself to the pattern of her husband.  I will talk more about the Biblical concept of marital unity in another post.

Summary of what Biblical Marital Love is

Just like other types of Biblical love, the truest form of love is one that is based on choice and actions, not on feelings and instincts.

I don’t just have to be kind to my wife when I feel like it, I should be kind to my wife even when I don’t feel like it.  My wife needs to be patient with me and trust me even when she does not feel like being patient with me and trusting me.

The Biblical marital love that husbands and wives are supposed to have, and the love we are to have toward friends, family and even strangers have many common attributes.

But Biblical marital love is distinct from all other loves in that it calls on a husband and wife to model their love for one another after the love between Christ and his church. The wife places her dependence upon her husband for her nourishment and protection in the same way that the Church places her dependence on Christ for her nourishment and protection.

The husband should care for the spiritual and physical needs of his wife, and tenderly care for and protect her the way Christ does the Church.

The husband and wife should have sex regularly and often, not only to meet one another’s physical needs and avoid temptation, but they must also realize that their physical union in sex is the most distinctive and most defining act of marital love.

One last note I want to add here about sexuality in marriage. Just like all of the other points of marital love, sexual relations in marriage should never be dependent on feelings at any given time. The Bible is crystal clear that they are to be regular and often, except for a short time by mutual consent.

While it is nice to do things for our spouse (whether it is husbands for wives, or wives for husbands), sex in marriage should never EVER have to be earned. The moment a husband and wife say “I do” it becomes mandatory.

This is not always a husband wanting from a wife thing either. I know of a newly wed married couple, a young couple, where the husband would rather play video games or do things with his friends than have sex with his wife and this should never be the case. The Bible sees sex as the distinctive symbol of the marriage relationship, and it is to happen regularly and often, whether the husband or wife feels like it.

Some might say this feels like a very dry and unemotional type of love the Bible calls us to, but the reality is God knows something we often forget. When you do the right thing, even when you don’t feel like it, often times the feelings will follow sooner or later. But on the flip side, if you only practice these actions required for marital love when feel like it, the love in your marriage will soon die.  Feelings don’t last, commitments and choices can and do last.

And finally while the sexual part of the one flesh relationship is an indispensable part of marriage a husband and wife should be united not only in physical relations but also spiritually and emotionally and we previously mentioned. This unity in marriage is accomplished not by compromise between a husband and wife, but rather by conformity of the husband to the will of God and the conformity of the wife to the will of her husband.

This post was edited and updated with new content(the sections about unity and oneness in marriage) on 8/2/2016.