How doing LESS for your wife can make your marriage better

Christian men are told in counseling offices and churches across America that if they would just do more for their wives that their marriages would get better. But the truth is that sometimes doing LESS for your wife can actually improve your marriage.

But before we can address the men who need to do LESS for their wives, we need to address the men who actually need to do MORE for their wives.

Some men might need to do MORE not less for their wives

The Bible does tell men that they need to spend time with their wives and know them:

“When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken.” – Deuteronomy 24:5 (NASB)

“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)

“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.” – Exodus 21:10-11 (KJV)

Gentlemen – we as husbands are required to provide food, clothing and shelter to our wives. We are required to give them regular sexual relations. We are required to spend time with them, talk to them, know their needs and concerns and give them proper honor as our wife. This is the Biblical definition of what it means for a man to unconditionally love his wife.

This is a tall order and each of us as men fail in this duty from time to time. I think as men often times we can be great at providing our wives with food, clothing, shelter and sex but we fail in the areas of honoring her and knowing her. We can become too wrapped up in our jobs and hobbies to the point where we never talk to our wives.

If you are failing to spend time with or talk to your wife then you are not a husband that needs to do less, but instead you need to do MORE.

A little clarification on the phrases “spend time”, “talk” and “honor”

By “spend time” and “talk” I do not mean you have to spend every waking hour, or every amount of free time you have from your job with your wife. There is no sin in a man having hobbies and interests that do not involve his wife. In fact this is actually a healthy thing for a man to do. But what it means is that you on a regular basis – even if it just a half hour or hour a day you check in with your wife to find out how her day went.

Perhaps find a sitcom or some game show you watch together and just talk. I don’t have my kids during the week (because they are with my ex-wife during the week), so my wife and I watch Family Feud each night and that is our talk time before I go do more work, run errands or blog. If you have kids this will probably be something you do at the end of the night when the kids go to bed. You discuss her concerns or maybe just talk about current events or whatever she needs to talk about. Some nights neither one of you will have anything to say and you can just enjoy the silence, other nights things will need to be discussed. This is how you come to “dwell with your wife according to knowledge”, this is how you know her.

By “honor” when it comes to your wife I mean not constantly criticizing her and not running her down in front of others. If you are a highly critical husband that needs to be put in check. Yes as husbands sometimes we are called to confront our wife’s sin, but that does not mean crushing her spirit by constantly making her feel like a failure.

Don’t get me wrong – I do NOT believe that a man needs to give his wife unwarranted compliments. If your wife rarely cooks you don’t have to brag and pretend how she cooks all the time. But when she does cook – then praise her. You don’t have to praise your wife sitting in her sweats with her un-kept hair and tell her how beautiful she is. But when she does clean herself up and make herself beautiful for you – recognize it!

Some men need to do LESS not more for their wives

Now if you can answer to the previous section that you are in fact providing for your wife’s physical needs(food, clothing, shelter and sex) as well as spending time with her, talking to her and honoring her then you may be need to do LESS for your wife in order to have a marriage that honors God.

But this works for our marriage so why do I need to change this with my wife?

Maybe as a Christian husband you feel that you have a great marriage with your wife. You enjoy eachother’s company, you go out on dates, you have regular sex and you just love doing things for your wife like buying her flowers, giving her jewelry doing housework, taking care of the kids so she can get out and a whole host of other things. These are all good things a husband can do for his wife – so why would he want to do them less?

The reason you may need to do less is because you may be spoiling your wife and enabling her sinful behavior.

The title of this post was “How doing LESS for your wife can make your marriage better” and what makes a marriage “better” will be defined differently if you don’t have a Biblical worldview.

The world which rejects all the Bible’s teachings on gender roles will say there are many ways to have a better marriage. Whether the man leads, the woman leads or even if those is no leader (which is never really true) then that is all fine. Whether a woman gives her husband sex because he basically has become her servant that waits on her hand and foot and worships the ground she walks on or a man stays home and is Mr. Mom to their kids – any arrangement is fine as long as the couple agrees on the parameters.

In other words – a good marriage, a better marriage in the world’s view is one where a couple simply gets along and comes up with their own arrangement that works for them.

But this is not considered a “better marriage” in God’s view.

Only a marriage that models the relationship between Christ and his Church and adheres to the Biblical commands regarding the roles the husband and wife play in this symbolism can be considered a “better marriage”.

The spoiled wife scenario

Sometimes as husbands we can make the same mistake with our wives that parents make with their children.

Not many people would argue with the concept that you can do too much for your child. A child needs to learn to clean up after themselves as well as do their chores around the house. A child needs to do their homework and do their very best in school and their other extracurricular activities. A child must show proper respect for their parents and their teachers and other authorities.

Some parents actually run around pickup after their children, they clean their rooms for them they even help them with their homework to the point where they are practically doing it for the child. Some parents simply ignore their children’s disrespect and disobedience.

Then after all these things they do for their child they heap unearned praise and rewards on the child telling the child how wonderful they are when nothing in their behavior warrants this praise and reward. They go and buy their children whatever toys and video games they want.

Most people would agree that such a child is being spoiled and the parents are in fact not doing right by the child.

However if we were to apply this same scenario to the husband/wife relationship all of a sudden we have a very different reaction as if it is impossible for a man to spoil his wife in the same way a parent can spoil a child. But it is actually is very possible for a man to spoil his wife. Many men both Christian and non-Christian alike spoil their wives.

Imagine a husband who buys his wife flowers every week, takes her on dates every week, spends absorbent amounts of money on jewelry and weekend getaways.

He tells his wife every day she is so beautiful despite the fact that she has gained 100 lbs., rarely showers or combs her hair and sits on the couch in her big tee shirt and sweat pants with a bag of Cheetos in her lap.

He tells her how great a cook she is and brags to others how great a cook she is when she cooks 20% of the time and he cooks 80%. He cleans the house while she sits around on a couch talking to her girlfriends on the phone, Facebooking or watching TV. He does most of the laundry. He lives for his wife’s immediate happiness above all other concerns.

Some men in this situation may not do all the house work, but instead they hire a maid so their wife can continue to sit on her throne.

Why is it wrong to spoil your wife?

Maybe this describes you wife exactly, maybe it is close but not the same. Maybe she takes great care of her appearance but neglects her duties to care for the home.   Maybe she is a career woman who works but is still neglectful of her duties to you and your home.

You might say – “wait – this works for me and my wife. I do all this and she gives me all the sex I want. That is all I want.” I have received several emails from men who have this kind of relationship with their wives. I have also seen it first hand with some relatives and coworkers.

I am going to repeat a statement I have said often on this blog:

There is more to marriage than sex, but a marriage without sex is not a marriage.

Many times when we are talking about sexual denial we emphasize the second part of that statement. But in this scenario we need to look at the first part of that statement.

Marriage is not just about doing whatever it takes as a man to get your sexual needs met. It is about modeling the relationship between God and his people, between Christ and his Church.

The example I have just described above is an example of a husband spoiling his wife in the same way parents can spoil a child. It is NOT modeling the example of the relationship between Christ and his Church.

If you as a husband see yourself anywhere in this description I have just mentioned – you need to be doing LESS for your wife, not more.

You spoil your wife when you do things for her that she ought to be doing. When you step into her role as a wife and do for her what she ought to be doing for you – that is spoiling her. When you reward her with unwarranted compliments, unlimited access to your free time, dates, trips, gifts and house hold upgrades when she has not earned them by her behavior you are spoiling your wife.

Is there a place for graciousness with your wife where you give her things she did not earn? Yes. But to do this all the time is to move from being gracious to enabling sinful behavior on the part of your wife.

But when you give up your leadership and authority position to your wife in order to get sex you have reversed the God given roles of husband and wife and you are now acting as the wife and your wife is now acting as the husband.

But aren’t husbands and wives to supposed to serve one another?

Yes – but husbands and wives are to serve each other in different ways. A man primarily serves his wife by leading her, providing for her, protecting her and meeting her sexual needs. A wife primarily serves her husband by following his leadership, caring for the domestic needs of his home, bearing his children, caring for his children and meeting his sexual needs.

Stop enabling your wife and start sacrificing for her holiness

Men are called to sacrifice themselves for their wife’s holiness, not to enable their sin.

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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.” – Ephesians 5:25-27 (KJV)

No parent who loves their child wants to see them unhappy, any more than a man who loves his wife wants to see her unhappy. But God places our call to holiness, over our happiness. When you as a husband take a stand and start doing less for this wife you have spoiled she is going to be angry. She may start to sexually deny you in order to get you to start doing these things again. This is the sacrifice you will have to make. You must be willing to sacrifice your own sexual needs in order to try and get your wife to conform to God’s design for her as a wife. You cannot sacrifice your faith, God’s word or the headship position God has given you just so you can get sex from your wife.

Maybe you are doing all these things but still being denied sexually

Now many men do all the things I described above in a vain effort to get their wives to stop denying them sexually. They tell themselves “maybe if I do this more, or that more then she will give me sex”.

If you find yourself in this position – know that this will NOT work.

Some wives routinely dangle the possibility in front of their husbands that if you just do “this or that more, then I might do that more”.

Don’t buy it, don’t fall it.

The same thing applies to the husband who is actually getting sex by doing all the things you are doing in vain. I know if you are living in a sexless marriage you want so desperately to believe if you just do a little more or something different it will change.  But this is a false hope.  You must realize that.

STOP DOING THEM.

Do less, not more for your wife if you are going to have any hope of repairing your marriage and bringing your bringing into conformity with God’s design .

10 Ways to “un-spoil” your wife

Now that we have established why you cannot spoil your wife even if you are getting regular sex or you are spoiling her in a vain attempt to get more sex here are 10 ways you can “un-spoil” your wife.

Start leading spiritually

Spend time in prayer with the Lord and ask for guidance as you take over the leadership of your home in accordance with his will. Are you going to a church because your wife picked it but you don’t agree that this is the best church for your family? Then lead your family to the church you believe God would have you attend. Has your wife been teaching your children doctrines and beliefs that you believe are unbiblical? Then you need to let her know this and correct these errors with your children.

Start leading financially

Have you gotten into debt in order to appease her? Take the credit cards away and put a budget together. Perhaps you have not been giving to your Church as you should, go to the Lord in prayer and seek his guidance in how to reorder your finances.

Start leading in sex

Make it clear to your wife that regular sexual relations are a duty and responsibility in marriage that you expect of her and she can expect from you. The only precondition to your sexual relations was met on the day you were married and made your vows before God. No preconditions remain.

Start leading by disciplining your wife

If your wife has been speaking to you in disrespectful ways especially in front the children or in other public venues then you need to rebuke her for that. If your wife has been sexually denying you, or starts to sexually deny you as a result of “un-spoiling” her you may have to take additional disciplinary steps.

See my article “7 ways to discipline your wife” for more on the subject of discipline.

Start leading in disciplining the children

Has your wife been being too lenient with the kids in your view? Has she been too hard on the kids in your view? As the father you are to set the tone of the discipline in your home. Go to the Lord in prayer and ask for his guidance in how to discipline your children.

Stop giving her unwarranted compliments

Even if she fixes herself up do not compliment her every time, instead give your comments in measured amounts.

Stop doing the household chores

It is one thing to do these kinds of things when your wife is sick or medically unable to do them. But simply to do them all the time is you doing what she should be doing in her role as your wife.

Stop taking her out wherever and whenever she wants to go

It’s ok to say no. This is not a right, this is not a requirement of a husband. Do this only in measured amounts and this should correlate to her doing her duties as a wife.

Stop buying her things that she does not need

Whether it be flowers, jewelry or any other “want” type items. Do this only in measured amounts and this should correlate to her doing her duties as a wife.

Stop giving her unlimited access to your free time

Find some hobbies you can do on your own or with your guy friends. If you have children and have been neglecting them in order to spoil her – then give them some of your free time. Give her some of your free time in measured amounts and this should also correlate to her doing her duties as a wife.

But if I do this my wife will divorce me!

After you have sought the Lord’s will in prayer in all these areas and have formulated a plan you need to have a discussion with your wife.

The first thing that you should do is apologizing for not leading your home as you should have. Now that you are taking on the leadership responsibility of your home there are going to be some changes. Go through those changes with her and be clear what you believe your Biblical duties are as a husband and father and what her Biblical duties are as a wife and mother.

Your wife will have one of four reactions to this meeting:

She will eventually repent and change and become the wife that God wants her to be.

She will cry and make you feel as though you are being mean and unloving in attempt to emotionally manipulate you into backing down.

She will give you the silent treatment and cut you off from sex hoping you will eventually back down.

She will threaten to leave or divorce you if you do not back down.

Obviously you as her husband are hoping for the first reaction. But don’t be surprised if at first she has one of the other negative reactions but eventually repents and changes her ways.

But if your wife does have one of the negative reactions (which is highly likely) – you cannot give in to any of these forms of manipulation. Your wife may actually leave and threaten divorce. She may stay and give you the cold shoulder for weeks, months or even years in an attempt to get you to break – in this case you may actually have to divorce her for sexual denial.

But in the end, sometimes it is Biblically right to do LESS, not more for your wife.

Stories of Sexual Denial in Marriage Episode 9

“Being a newlywed I thought marriage was going to be all rainbows, I had quite a rude reality check very early on, and it’s embarrassing to talk about your new husband not desiring you anymore… I am always the one who has to initiate sex, and EVERY time I’m shot down, my normal response is to clam up and avoid him, which often leads to a fight. It’s gotten to a point where he will even refuse to hold my hand or hug me.” This is an excerpt from an email I received from Hannah, a young Christian newlywed wife.

While sexual denial most often occurs with the wife denying her husband, there have been many women throughout history who have been sexually denied by their husbands. Over 3000 years ago men were sexually denying their wives prompting God to give this command through his Prophet Moses:

“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.” – Exodus 21:10-11 (KJV)

God made it clear, whether a man had one wife or many – he was not allowed to sexually deny any of his wives. Here is Hannah’s full story.

Hannah’s Story

“I just wanted to thank you for your blog, I have searched all over the internet for a CHRISTIAN based blog on sexual relations between a husband and wife, and none would address the issues that you do here. It has helped my perspective so much, especially with the sexual denial posting. I have been experiencing this from my husband in my own marriage. I have tried everything and nothing has helped. We haven’t been sexually active in 10 months and we’ve only been married for 11 months.

I prayed for my husband for eight years, we met when I was 14 and it was love at first sight. After eight years of an off again, on again relationship, God answered my prayer and brought us together. I never truly dated anyone else but him, I knew in my spirit he was created to be my husband.

Being a newlywed I thought marriage was going to be all rainbows, I had quite a rude reality check very early on, and it’s embarrassing to talk about your new husband not desiring you anymore.

Right after we were married, I got pregnant and lost the baby when I was six weeks along, since then all affection and intimacy has stopped. I’ve talked to him, reasoned with him, even pleaded with him to change or tell me what I should do differently. I have felt like something is so incredibly wrong with me. It’s been a heartbreaking experience and I’m so glad to learn and see in scripture that I’m not alone or a “lustful” woman for desiring my husband.

I have tried getting him to go to counseling but he continually brushes it off. We currently don’t have a home church of our own. My former pastor that I served under in ministry for several years has announced he is homosexual and left the church. This was a shock to all of us and left us very hurt, so getting him to find a new pastor to council with is very difficult. After we lost the baby it has been a downhill spiral. I am fighting feelings of bitterness towards him which I know is wrong. It’s just so hard to deal with the rejection. There have been moments of weakness where I wanted to leave or pursue someone else, but my Spirit (thankfully) overrided my flesh.

Do you have any practical advice as to how I should react to his sexual rejection?

I am always the one who has to initiate sex, and EVERY time I’m shot down, my normal response is to clam up and avoid him, which often leads to a fight. It’s gotten to a point where he will even refuse to hold my hand or hug me. It annoys him when I try to show affection, not just in public but even if we’re alone. Now if in want a kiss or to hold his hand I have to ask permission. He says it’s because he’s not ready after the miscarriage but it’s been several months since we lost the baby.

I have respectfully poured my heart out to him several times about the issue, he listens, and then nothing is ever fixed. There is always an excuse why he doesn’t want sex and they change each time. I really don’t know what to do. I was raised in a strict Christian home that does not condone divorce between Christians. After reading your post I am viewing my right as a Christian woman in a completely different light. I am so glad to know I have a biblical right to divorce if this doesn’t change and that God has given me this right. I love my husband and I am willing to stick this out, but it is very hard.

Please if you have any advice, I would love to hear from you. Thank you again for your blog, it’s been such a blessing.”

My Response to Hannah

Hannah I just want to say how sorry I am for the loss of your first child. My first wife and I lost our first child to a miscarriage as well – it was a tubal pregnancy. My niece lost her first child two days after she was born without any indication there was problem last year. The loss of a child can have a traumatic effect on a marriage and sometimes takes years to recover from.

For some couples the loss of a child bring them closer together, while for others it may tear them apart. Some couples have even divorced over the loss of a child when one or both of them cannot move past it. The reason for this is that sometimes a person allows their spouse to be a constant reminder of the loss and only by leaving them do they feel they can truly leave the death behind.

It sounds like based on your story that you husband had to great disappointments one with the loss of a child and another with loss of your Pastor in such a terrible way.

Your husband is a broken a man. He is bitter at God for all these disappointments in his life.

Your husband pushing you away shows that he is directly associating the death of your child with you. Your face might be a constant reminder to him of the loss of your child. Only through intense counseling will your husband be able to disassociate you from the death of your child.

But let me assure you that your feelings of wanting to be close and intimate with your husband are completely normal. Many people deal with the loss of a child very differently and you wanted to comforted in your husband’s arms – but instead have been pushed away. That must be heartbreaking for you.

How you should handle your husband’s sexual denial

First and foremost if your husband won’t go to church you at least should get yourself in a good Bible preaching church. Seek out a counselor on your own even if your husband won’t go so you can talk about how you are feeling. Make sure it is a Christian that holds to your same world view and faith.

If you don’t have some good Christian girlfriends, make some friends. Spend time with family and friends and draw strength from them for the battle you have ahead.

I realize it is a horrible feeling to be rejected for physical intimacy by the man you love but continue to make occasional attempts to be intimate with him realizing he may continue to reject you.

At the same time you need to have a serious talk with your husband. Let him know that you love him and you want to repair your marriage and move past the loss of your first child. Continue to offer to go to counseling with him, or even if he wants to go by himself to see a counselor that will be fine to.

Be sure to pray for your husband daily.

But you also need to let your husband know that your marriage is broken. The covenant of your marriage is broken while there is no physical intimacy between the two of you. You are no longer one flesh and this is not pleasing to God. Tell him you will only allow this grave sin to go on for so long until you will exercise your right to divorce him for this breach of your marriage.

I would recommend giving him at least a year or so with occasional respectful requests to him to get help he needs.

If over the next year you see no forward progress and he still refuses counseling or any to talk to the Pastor of the new church you will find then you probably need to file for divorce.

But filing for divorce does not necessarily mean the end of your marriage. For some filing for divorce shakes them out of their sinful stubbornness and bitterness and helps them to see what they are about to lose. For others they will only sink deeper into the abyss of their bitterness.

The two possible outcomes of your attempts to confront your husband’s sin

The best outcome, and the one you are praying for is that you husband will allow God to free his heart of the bitterness that has poisoned him.

But if your husband refuses to repent and give his heart back to God – you are free to go because he has chosen to remain in his sin and refuses to be one flesh with you as his wife.

Realize though that many conservative Churches that would condemn your husband for sexually denying you would also condemn you for divorcing him over sexual denial. They will try and teach you a false doctrine that God wants you to just live in a celibate marriage potentially for the rest of your life if he never changes.

 “Celibate Marriage” is a huge oxymoron.

While there is more to marriage than sex, a marriage with no sex is not a marriage. There is a reason why marriage is called a “one flesh” relationship as opposed to a “one mind” or “one soul” relationship.

You must be convinced of this right you have before God knowing that your Pastor may not agree.

I pray the Lord will give you the strength you need for the battle ahead.

Here is another post on this subject:

4 Steps to Confronting your husband’s sexual refusal

Stories of Sexual Denial in Marriage Episode 8

“I have read your article entitled, “8 Steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” and you are not a 100% right – but 150% right if that is possible.  I can say this with confidence because I am an actual text book case — this happened to me.  No theory here.” – This is part of an email I received today from a man who calls himself Andrew J(not his real name).

Feminists and other Christians who just want this issue of sexual denial to be swept under the rug want this to go away. They want my site to go away – but it continues to grow because this is a real problem and part of the larger problem of feminism and emotionalism invading and destroying our marriages.

Good men, men who love their wives and children and provide for them both physically, spiritually and emotionally  are being defrauded in their marriages.

I love Andrew J’s writing style and he was very adamant about sharing his story and making sure other men don’t suffer alone and think there is nothing they can do to combat this evil.   So with all that being said here is his story.

Andrew J’s Story

I have read your article entitled, “8 Steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” and you are not a 100% right – but 150% right if that is possible.  I can say this with confidence because I am an actual text book case — this happened to me.  No theory here.

I was married 22 years before getting divorced in 2013.  During my marriage, I never cheated on my wife, I brought home a very large income and let my wife get anything she needed.  We had started out with nothing together and by the time we were married 17 years, I had brought home enough that she didn’t have to work, even with 5 children and could afford a big house.

I always made sure that I was kind and a real marriage partner to my wife and a good father by being a Godly role model, reading the bible to my children, etc. as I am to this day.  I only required sex one day a week.  I never hit or raised a hand to her.  My parents set a great example to me as marriage partners and parents.  (They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last year).  I do not gamble, have a drinking problem, nor do I spend much.  I am quite thrifty.  My parents had nothing and taught my sister and I to work hard and save, be loyal and not get divorced but work things out.  I have been working since the 7th grade.  What I am trying to say, is that there was no legitimate reason why what was about to happen to me should have ever occurred based on my behavior.

In May of 2009, my wife at the time informed me that if I really “loved her” that I would not ask for sex.  She asked for a “break from sex”.  Her reasoning was that I wanted sex all the time and that she had been unhappy during the entirety of our past 17 years of marriage.  She made me feel like a sex maniac.  At the time, we just moved into a new big house and we had everything in life you could want – great kids, the best house in the town, etc.  She also refused to sleep in our bed and instead slept on the couch.  She also stopped going to church.

I tried everything I could to get her to have sex with me.  I asked for forgiveness for anything that could have made her mad at me.  I asked her what I could to make the situation better. What I didn’t realize is that this only made the situation worse.  Once she figured that she had me over a barrel, she began to disrespect me, take advantage of the situation and made me feel terrible about myself.  She also began ignoring me (would not go on dates with me) and wanted to go out with friends.  What happened was this:  now that she could get away with this, she figured she could get away with a lot of other stuff.

I was heartbroken.  In July, we met with the Pastor’s right hand man at our church, which had no effect on her.  He was not firm enough with her.  In September of 2009, we went to her father’s recommended Christian counselor, she also was not firm enough.  I went to this counselor from September 2009 to December 2010.  My ex-wife came a few times but hardly said anything.

When she did speak, she kept saying how I always wanted sex.  She also said that when I demanded more sexual positions beside the missionary position and oral sex, that I made it worse.  (We had done the missionary position for 7 years straight when I asked for this.)  The counseling did nothing to change her mind about sex.  The counselor never said she was wrong or called it sexual immorality like you so correctly noted.  My ex-wife’s father, who is a very religious man and divorced twice, kept putting the onus on me to change.  He told me (at the time he was divorced a second time) that he hadn’t had sex for months so I shouldn’t feel so bad (I was married at the time.)  (This is a man who claims he knows the bible inside-out and goes to a large size church.) In summary, everyone made me feel like the bad guy on her side, except her uncle who told me he suspected an affair going on by her, because this is sex we are talking about, not a need, like food or water – except when my parents when they found out.

My parents opened my eyes to the truth about sex as you so pointed out in your article.  My sister, who is happily married, also did.  I realized that wanting sex is not a sin.  My desire was not wrong.  I also read the book, “His Needs, Her Needs,” which says that a man’s number one need is sex in marriage.

In summary, I essentially did steps 1 to 3 in your article during this period.  Intuitively, I realized later after my divorce that I should have done essentially what you said in steps 4-7.  When I read your article yesterday, it only confirmed what I believe should have been my right course of action — I should have done steps 5 to 7.  It sounds wrong but you are totally right.  As you can see by what I did, by not doing steps 4 to 7, I only made things worse because I was trying to be the “nice guy.”

To finish my story, she did not want to divorce me because financially she was “living it up.”  A divorce would only lead to a monetary loss for her.  My life consisted of getting up at 530 am for an hour and half commute to Manhattan, working all day and into the evening and then getting home at 7 or 8 pm.  After a while, she wasn’t even making me dinner – as I mentioned she began to see that she could get away with this too.  Then I would go upstairs to sleep alone.  During this time when I still was living in the house and she would not have sex with me (September 2009 to December 2010), I did not cheat on her or go to any topless bars.  I only masturbated to get through this.  (I am giving you the dates of when things happened so you can see I really tried to work things out and just didn’t give up right away.)

In October 2010, I informed her that I would have to do the unthinkable – divorce her if she did not stop denying me.  This phased her for about one day.  In December 2010, she asked that I leave the house for the “children’s sake.”  She did this so she could go sleep in what was supposed to be our bedroom and have free reign of the household.  My oldest daughter also told me that she had an affair with the mechanic who was a neighbor at our old house.  I thought that such was occurring and confronted this man twice about staying away from our house, when I lived there.  This is the man that her uncle warned me about.  She berated me for this action telling me he was just trying to help us with house repairs.  I clearly see now that all of this was deception using religion, “love” and other reasons to show me that I was wrong (and sex was wrong to demand) and she was right.

But as you pointed out, she was sexually immoral and I was right. I don’t believe in divorce.  It was the most difficult thing for me to do.  After I moved out, I lived with my parents from January 2011 to June 2013.  I finally filed for divorce in August 2011 with my sister coming with me to do it.  I asked God for forgiveness.

I realize by your article that I actually divorced based on sexual immorality and you set me free from that condemnation.  I filed because things only got worse and she enjoyed the lifestyle and didn’t care that I was around.  The last straw occurred when I was informed that I was going to lose my job in July 2011 and she didn’t really care about me.  Just the job and the money.  I realized the marriage was over.

I am taking the time to write all this because I want other men to know that a wife needs to have sex with her husband.  Yes, husbands, need to be Godly men but sex is not a favor you get for being a “good boy.”

I want men to know that tough love is required.  Anything else doesn’t work for when she denies you sex.  That sex is not a bad thing that religion and love have nothing to do with showing that sex is wrong.  Sex is a great thing created by God for man and his wife.  That getting divorced for sexual immorality is the only choice you have if she won’t change!

For me, I had to get divorced — it was because I was devastated emotionally and physically.  I was falling apart.  It was good that I left the house because she was literally toxic to my health and well-being.  I lost weight, I could not concentrate, I felt awful and cried constantly.  During this time, I went to church and never blamed God for any of this.  He got me through the divorce and the aftermath today.  My parents, friends and the Lord built me up to where I am today.  I have no problem letting married people know that should have sex and that no sex in a marriage means “no marriage” as my sister put it.

I thank God for you to have the courage to speak the truth about this matter.  I have no problem with you publishing this article.”

My Response to Andrew J

First of all Andrew I want to thank you so much for sharing your story. So many men suffer in silence with this and think they are the only ones who do, or that even if other men suffer with this there is nothing they can do about it.

As you pointed out often times counselors either give bad advice about this or they are not hard enough on the woman and usually tend to make an unending list of excuses for her sexual denial.

This is why we must be as the Bereans who “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so”(Acts 17:11).

There are still Churches(especially among the Baptist denomination that I am a part of) that will take a hard stand on this in marital counseling.  But even in those churches there are few who would condone a man divorcing his wife over the sin of sexual refusal.   This is because most Churches see only two Biblical reasons for divorce – adultery and abandonment.

What they fail to recognize,and I am glad that you did, is the fact that  Biblical marital faithfulness is truly a two sided coin.   On one side of it you cannot have sex with someone other than your spouse. But on the other side you MUST have sex with your spouse.

I am glad that you realize that your wife was sexually immoral both before she had that affair near the end and even before that when she was sexually denying you.

The acts of sexual defrauding AND adultery are acts of sexual immorality.

Often times if a woman is capable of one of these, she is capable of the other.  Many women because they are completely lead by their emotions and passions instead of their duty to their husbands will begin with defrauding their husbands first.

They do this because they feel he has not earned the “emotional right” to have sex with them. This only serves to further alienate their husbands.  Then after this denial goes on for sometime they seek to have their passions fed by other men who will worship them and tell them whatever they want to hear at which point they then give their bodies to those men in the act of adultery.

Your ex-wife is a textbook case of this scenario which is occurring in marriages across America and the Western world each and every day.

I am glad your family and especially your sister were there to comfort you and help you to see the evil that was being committed against your marriage by your wife.

I am sure you would admit that you were not the perfect husband.  But God does require men to be the perfect husbands for wives to fulfill a core and foundational requirement of marriage  which is to give their bodies to their husbands for their sexual needs.

You have also demonstrated what I have stated on this blog that the “Mr. Nice Guy” approach does not work.  

As Christian husbands we should never appease sinful behavior, rather we must confront it head on.

You sound like a man of good Christian character, one who loved his wife and tried everything he could to repair the marriage and confront the mockery that his wife was making of his marriage.

I don’t know if you are dating or remarried, but If you are not I pray that God will give you the courage to seek out another wife.  You have every right to, and can hold your head high knowing you did what was right before the Lord.

But remember the lessons you have learned from your first marriage and apply them to your next marriage.  Yes as a husband you should love your wife by leading her, providing for her, protecting her, knowing her and honoring her.  But on the flip side of that you must also discipline your wife and use correlation to show her that sinful behavior whether it is blatant disrespect or disobedience or sexual denial will not be tolerated.

Before you get engaged to a woman – your understanding  of the Biblical duties of a husband and wife should be made clear to her.

A good Christian woman will respect all these attributes in Christian husband.

May God be with you and bless you.  Thank you again for sharing your story.

Is wanting sex with your wife when she is not in the mood childish?

“Yes, God has given us the sex drive, but that doesn’t mean we must gratify it. We are not children any more…I can accept the sex drive to be almost impossible to resist when one is a teenager and the hormones are wild, but I cannot accept an adult man trying to excuse his adultery – or coerce his wife to have sex with him – by “I have a sex drive and my wife doesn’t!”.

This is an excerpt from a comment I received today from a Christian wife who calls herself ‘ketutar’. She was commenting on my post “Is a husband selfish for having sex with his wife when she is not in the mood?”.

This comment  is just another textbook example of the problem with the poisonous feminization of marriage that we see today throughout America and the Western world.

Here is her full comment.

Ketutar’s philosophy of sex in Marriage

“I’m OK with this, except for two things.

1) Your marriage doesn’t need sex. If it does, you’re doing it wrong. Due to my health, we have not had sex for several years now. Our marriage is not suffering in any way. We are very intimate, kissing, hugging, holding each other, petting each other – we give each other compliments and express our love in all kinds of manners, like doing small favors to each other, giving each other tokens of love, thinking about the other, sending each other messages and kisses and hugs. Marriage needs intimacy, not sex.

2) Yes, God has given us the sex drive, but that doesn’t mean we must gratify it. We are not children any more. We don’t use diapers, we wait until we can use the toilet. We don’t need snacks, we wait until the meal is served and eat by the table with the family at decided times. We don’t need a bedtime story, teddy and a glass of water before we can sleep. We get up in the morning even when it would be so nice to stay in bed. We don’t have a 2 mile present wish list, nor do we go and buy whatever we might want just because we could – no, we are adults, so we see if the thing fits our economy, home, family and plan. If it doesn’t, we forget the whim, not the family and plan. I can accept the sex drive to be almost impossible to resist when one is a teenager and the hormones are wild, but I cannot accept an adult man trying to excuse his adultery – or coerce his wife to have sex with him – by “I have a sex drive and my wife doesn’t!”.

Also, God gave your wife her sex drive, too… if she got less than you do, should she go against God’s will to adjust to yours? Or should you perhaps exercise not giving in to your animal instincts, bodily whims and yetzer hara?”

My response to Ketutar and other Christian wives who may think like this

You said – “Your marriage doesn’t need sex. If it does, you’re doing it wrong.”

No I am sorry Ketutar, but if your marriage does not need sex – you are in fact doing something wrong. The Bible shows sex as a need in marriage.

“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.”  – Exodus 21:10-11 (KJV)

God compares sex with food and clothing which are both needs as well. In a marriage – sex is a need.  While it is true that no person has ever died from not having sex, it is equally true that plenty of marriages have died from lack of sex.

Your husband is commanded by God to seek sexual pleasure in your body, and for you to give it to him.

“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 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 5:18-19 (KJV)

A man wanting sex when his wife is not in the mood is NOT childish.

In fact I would argue that women are often the ones who are acting childish for the reasons they often turn down their husbands for sex.

A big part of what it means to be an adult and growing up is doing things when you don’t feel like it. It is getting up for work when you don’t feel like it.  It is talking to your spouse when you don’t feel like it.  And yes it is having sex with your spouse when you don’t feel like it.

That is what it means to be a Christian spouse and an adult in God’s eyes.

Sex is what separates marriage from friendship

It is one thing for a married couple to not be able to have sex for brief periods of time due to health issues, surgeries or being physically separated(like because of job situations). But if a couple simply chooses not to have sex anymore that is no longer marriage as God intended it.

Even if it is due to health reasons.  I am going to be frank here.  Unless it becomes a physical impossibly for a man to achieve an erection or for a woman to have vaginal penetration a couple ought to be having sex.  This goes to the core of marriage.  Even with ED issues or women having issues with vaginal penetration there are other ways for a couple to have physical sexual intimacy.

Ketutar – you and your husband have allowed the “one flesh” aspect of marriage to be neglected or basically removed.  You no longer have a fully functioning marriage as God designed it to be – instead you have at best a close friendship.

In fact I would take a guess and say that you have successfully converted your husband into your girlfriend.

The only way your husband is not suffering is because of one of these possibilities:

  1. He was and has always has been an asexual man. So when your health problems came along he was like “Yeah – I don’t have to have sex anymore”.
  2. He has homosexual tendencies. So when you were first married he had sex with you but he really did not like it – he just did it to please you. Then when your health problems came that burden was lifted off his shoulders. Now he just has to suppress his desires toward other men.
  3. He is simply doing a very good job of hiding his displeasure and frustration about not having sex with you. If this is the case he is probably relieving his sexual tension by looking at porn and masturbating. But this in no way can completely replace that physical sexual connection that he needs with you. He may also be hiding affairs or seeing prostitutes.

Adults don’t need snacks?

You said “We don’t need snacks, we wait until the meal is served and eat by the table with the family at decided times.”

Well I don’t know about you – but as an adult I still need a granola bar or other snacks in between meals.  In fact many studies have shown that eating 4 or 5 small meals a day is better than eating three big meals a day the way many of us do.

And yes as adults we need “sexual snacks” as well as “sexual meals”.

Sexual snacks are quickies. That is when you don’t have a lot of time and maybe only one of you is in the mood but the other needs it so you go have a quickie.  Every healthy marriage should have quickies as part of its sexual diet.

Sexual meals are the full treatment.  This is when both people are in the mood (or get themselves in the mood if one is not) and they take their time with foreplay and just enjoying one another’s bodies until they get to the actual act of intercourse. This is the kind of sex where you hold each other afterwards and just cuddle.

A Christian marriage needs both sexual snacks and sexual meals. Without sexual snacks and meals the marriage will starve to death and at best become a close friendship and nothing more – as your marriage has apparently become. At worst it will lead to sexual immorality and the marriage may end.

Is a woman going against God’s will if she has sex with her husband when she is not in the mood?

You said “Also, God gave your wife her sex drive, too… if she got less than you do, should she go against God’s will to adjust to yours? Or should you perhaps exercise not giving in to your animal instincts, bodily whims and yetzer hara?”

Ketutar – do you honestly tell yourself that you are going against God’s will if you have sex with your husband when you are not in the mood?

It is ABSOLUTELY God’s will that you give your body to your husband whenever he needs it!

“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” – I Corinthians 7:3-5 (KJV)

I realize you may have some health problems.  But health problems are not an excuse to end sex in a marriage. They may be cause for brief delays and rainchecks, but they should never eradicate sex from the marriage.

Ketutar – you have defrauded your husband (I Corinthians 7:5) and he has sinned by not finding sexual satisfaction in your body (Proverbs 5:19).  It appears he has abandoned his leadership position at least in this sexual arena, if not others.  He has enabled your sin now for “years”.

I pray that you will both repent of this mockery you have made of marriage and that you will indeed become “one flesh” as God designed you to be.

Sometimes “Sexual Interventions” are needed in a Christian marriage

“Been married two years and we are both Christian. Our marriage is good, outside the bedroom. We have no children. My wife consented to sex once in the last year and that was six months ago. She refuses any kind of counseling. We abstained prior to marriage and from the first day of our marriage, she has always avoided sex and never enjoyed it.”  – this came in as a comment from a Christian husband on my post “How a husband can enjoy sex that is grudgingly given by his wife”.

The man identifies himself as “M’s Husband”. This story actually is not technically a story of physical sexual denial, but one of emotional sexual denial. As I have said in some other posts – there are really two sins when it comes to sexual denial. The first sin is to physically deny your spouse sex. The second sin is when you give sex, but you give it grudgingly (with a bad attitude).

M’s Husband’s Story

“Been married two years and we are both Christian. Our marriage is good, outside the bedroom. We have no children. My wife consented to sex once in the last year and that was six months ago. She refuses any kind of counseling. We abstained prior to marriage and from the first day of our marriage, she has always avoided sex and never enjoyed it.

I came to the “end of my rope” this morning and after trying to be affectionate, asked her how long I need to wait. Her reply was that she never wants to have sex, ever. I told her, that was not an acceptable answer and something would have to be done. She then removed her clothes and lay on the bed, stiff as a board. She told me that it was her duty to submit and that I should make it quick and get it over fast. I backed off but after she got dressed, she kept telling me how I had my chance and I should not complain. She then gave me another chance and I took the offer. She was in a rage for the next two hours but the release felt good to me and it was something that I needed. I expect this to emerge as a pattern in our future.

I will always look to please her in and out of the bedroom, but if she refuses pleasure, I see no alternative. I will not engage in porn, adultery or anything sinful. I will not divorce her. Our marriage is good, outside the bedroom. I expect this to persist until, Lord willing, someday she may soften and accept the sexual pleasure and fulfillment that I will always offer.”

My Response to M’s Husband

I am so sorry to hear about the sexual dysfunction in your marriage.

You say that your “marriage is good, outside the bedroom”. But is it really?

When you have sexual frustration building up in the back of your mind how is that not going to bleed into your relationship “outside the bedroom”?

Sir – with all due respect you are only lying to yourself if you think your marriage is good outside the bedroom. At best you are simply suppressing your sexual needs to keep the peace and the illusion of a good relationship outside the bedroom.

A good marriage should be good inside the bedroom as well as outside the bedroom.

If a couple has great sex but has no relationship outside the bedroom that is not marriage as God intended it. But in the same way if a couple talks and seems to have a good relationship outside the bedroom but what happens inside the bedroom is ugly or dysfunctional then it cannot be said that this is a “good marriage” as God intended it to be.

When I wrote that post about “How a husband can enjoy sex that is grudgingly given by his wife” I made it very clear that this is not how God intends marriage to be. But because of sin this situation occurs where a husband has to sometimes accept grudgingly given sex by this wife.

I made the point there that we as husbands need to be making sure we are doing our part outside the bedroom to help cultivate that desire in our wives so things can be good inside the bedroom. But we cannot do our wives part. She must also do her part in cultivating her own desire toward you, you can’t do it all for her. She must be willing to go to counseling and explore why she has such a negative view of sex.

However some women have deep psychological and sin issues that have hardened their hearts where they do not have a healthy and right view of sex as God intended it.

Some Pastors and other Christian’s will tell you if you tried to get her to counseling and she refuses, then perhaps you will just have to accept a celibate life. They will tell you this is sacrificing yourself for your wife as Christ did his Church. This is “your cross to bear”.

Perhaps a few will even tell you that you need to just accept this grudgingly given sex by your wife as miserable as she is making it in order to avoid temptation, but beyond that there is nothing else you can do.

Many will tell you that “All you can do is pray for your wife that God will change her heart.”

By all means pray for your wife every day! Pray without ceasing! Pray for her and pray for yourself that God will protect you from temptation and from your heart becoming bitter toward your wife.

You said “I see no alternative”. Let me tell you my brother, there is an alternative. There is more that you can do.

A Sexual intervention is needed

You did the right thing, you suggested counseling to your wife but she has refused. When someone has a problem like this and they refuse counseling, that is when a sexual intervention is called for.

You need to have a sexual intervention for you wife with your Pastor and his wife. Go to your Pastor and explain the situation. If he is willing (and he should be), have him and his wife come out to your home one night. Do not tell your wife they are coming (that defeats the point of an intervention).

Explain to your Pastor and his wife in front of your wife the issues you are having with your wife’s attitude toward sex. Maybe your Pastor will ask you to leave your wife alone with him and his wife so they can speak privately with her and give her a chance to open up without you there.   Maybe your Pastor’s wife may need to take your wife alone to another room so they can talk woman to woman. Women sometimes respond to women much better than to men on these issues. This may simply be a wrong attitude toward sex, but it may be a result of some much deeper issues. Perhaps she was sexually abused as a child. Maybe her parents or her church made her feel that sex was dirty and evil.

Now if your Pastor and his wife are not able to break through to your wife and she stubbornly resists this intervention you need to take additional steps.

For the time being while your wife is still resisting any help you will have to accept the grudgingly given (but still consensual) sex that she gives you. Look away from her face as she displays her sinful attitude.

Do not let her sin cause you to sin. You may think you are strong, but if you allow yourself to go too long without at least physically connecting with your wife (even though she is emotionally still rejecting you) you will leave yourself open to dangerous temptation.

The Bible tells us one of the reasons we are to marry is to avoid sexual temptation:

“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” – I Corinthians 7:2 (KJV)

But you also need to look at what you are doing outside the bedroom. You said your marriage is good outside the bedroom. Do you spend a lot of time with your wife doing things together? Do you talk a lot? Does your wife work? Does your wife have expensive habits?

If you are meeting all your wife’s wants outside the bedroom, as opposed to her needs you may well be enabling your wife’s sinful attitude and behavior toward sex in your marriage.

As the leader of your home, and as a Christian husband God does not call you to sacrifice yourself to enable your wife’s sinful behavior, but rather he calls on you to sacrifice yourself for her holiness.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” – Ephesians 5:25-27(NASB)

As a husband God wants you to unconditionally love your wife by providing for her needs, but he does not require you to unconditionally provide for her wants.

So if after an intervention attempt you see no change and no progress but a continued willful and defiant rebellion from your wife you have to stop meeting some of her wants (as opposed to her needs). Some will tell you this is you acting “petty” or “vindictive” toward your wife.

But it is not being petty or vindictive. It is called discipline. Your wife is not responsible for your behavior before God, but to a certain extent you are responsible to help shape and mold your wife’s behavior to the best of your ability.

Ultimately all you can do is start to remove some of her wants and see if she will make the right choice. Will she go and explore what has hardened her heart with a counselor or your Pastor’s wife? Or will she continue in rebellion in this area of sexuality in marriage? You cannot force her, she has to make the choice. All you can do is bring discipline into her life to attempt to persuade her to change course.

Once you have done all you can, then it is in God’s hands. But God wants you to do your part as the leader in your marriage.

I pray that God will give you the courage to “rock the boat” and confront this sin in your marriage. Do you realize that if your wife figures out what her road blocks are to sex it will benefit not just you but her as well? God designed sex to be a core part of marriage and a pleasurable part of marriage that should draw a couple closer. This is what you are fighting for.

When your wife finally does open up in counseling once she stops fighting it, there may be some issues revealed in that counseling that you as her husband need to work on. But you will never know until she finally breaks down the wall and opens her heart to God and to you.

May God be with you as you seek his will in this situation.

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

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

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

Sexual Refusal

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

Sexual Rain-check

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

Sexual Desire

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” – I Corinthians 7:3-5 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The secret of enjoying grudgingly given sex from your wife

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

Stories of Sexual Denial in Marriage Episode 7

Imagine if your Christian wife did not want to have sex on your wedding night? What if for the next 20 years she only let you have sex with her 8 times a year? This next story of sexual denial in marriage comes to us from a man named Mark. He has been married for 22 years. He sent me several emails detailing different aspects of his story. I am including relevant parts of his emails to show a picture of what was happening and he very much wanted me to share his story to help other men who are facing this situation know they are not alone.

Mark’s Story

“I am so thankful for your advice regarding how a Christian man can biblically handle a situation where his wife is perpetually sinning against God and the husband, by refusing sex to her husband.  I have that situation and am about to file for divorce.  I have lived with it for 22 years and never knew how to handle it.  Once I did finally follow the same advice that you have given, my problem was that when I got to the step of taking my wife to the pastor, the pastor, like our society, was afraid of my wife.  He got on me pretty hard about being a Christian husband, but never held her accountable to being a Christian wife.  In other words, he never said that she needed to have sex with me.  So, I have now gone a year without sex.

I have done everything that I know of to provide a loving peaceful home environment, but she will not repent.  I say this because I believe that there are many pastors, and churches that have embraced feminism.  So, they always see the man as the villain and the wife as basically sinless, and always right.  I am not claiming innocence in some of my marital problems because I am a sinner, but my wife is convinced that she is justified in her behavior and I received absolutely no help from the church.

I ended up going to a different church by myself.  I met with the pastor there and he referred me/us to a trained marriage counselor.  That marriage counselor is, at least, non-biased in evaluating our marital situation.  This feminism problem IN THE CHURCH is something that you might want to make your readers aware of.  It is a sad thing that is destroying homes.  Sadly, it looks like my home is one of the victims….”

In another email Mark supplied some more background and context to his situation:

“My wife has only had sex with me approximately 8 times per year. This is absolutely horrible. I’m getting older (47), but would still like to have sex at least twice per week. It also makes it difficult to want to stay faithful to her when all she does is turn me down.

Whenever I have confronted my wife about this, she clams up. She just won’t talk about it and usually walks away to avoid addressing it. She knows the scriptural command because I’ve shown it to her several times, but doesn’t really seem to care, and she faithfully attends church once or twice per week.

My wife has had a history of being unsubmissive toward me. She was raised in a home from age 5 until adulthood without a dad or brothers. Her dad left her mom when she was 5 (I strongly suspect because her mom did the same thing to her dad as my wife has done to me.). So, she was very independent growing up and never had a model for a Christian home life.

My wife has been a stay-at-home home school mother. By the way, tell any of your readers to not home school if the parents do not have a solid marriage. It is sad to say, but as a friend told me, it seems like many home school mothers have an entitlement attitude. I think that he is right.

I have six kids. Two of those six are daughters. I am most concerned about their future marriages as they have not had a good example in my wife…

The church needs to be the final step in the process of discipline, but if the church is not there to give support, we’re kind of out there on our own. That has been my case. The church that my wife now attends by herself but with my 2 youngest kids seems to be a very doctrinally solid church with plural elders and wise men leading. However, the lead/teaching pastor, the one that counseled us, does not even see that he is blind to the feminism that he has embraced…

Here is an excerpt from an email that I received from my wife’s pastor:

I do not think it right to pursue discipline toward your wife for not having sex with you as you have previously suggested. Sex is the physical expression of intimacy that is to exist in a marriage relationship where the two are one – not just physically. I have never heard of or read of anyone being disciplined by a church for such a reason. And, I am not alone in that position. I have sought counsel from other pastors and elders on it without divulging your identities to those outside our church.”

Mark gives more detail on the sexual denial and its impact on their marriage

“The entire 22 years has been a perpetual rejection sexually on my wife’s part….

I would say that I did try to do whatever it took to make/keep her happy so that she would be willing to have sex. But a majority of the time, it still resulted in rejection. We have only had sex, on average, 8 times per year for the past 10 years. Recently, she has withheld sex from me for a year as I stated in my first email. I moved out of the bedroom 12 months ago. I could not take the continual, perpetual rejection. At least I have not had to see her walking around the bedroom in her underwear knowing that I wasn’t getting any of that.

I would say that she pretty much has always been rejecting of me. She didn’t even want to have sex our wedding night. Not only that, we probably only had sex, maybe 3 times, our entire honeymoon week and I remember being upset about that.

For the most part, sex rejection on her part has always been a problem. I wish I would have had this advice years ago. Some people might wrongly think “Wow, you have 6 kids. Your marriage’s sex life must be great.” Not true. It has been horrible. What is sad is that she was much more affectionate before marriage. I assumed that I was marrying someone that would enjoy sex. That has not been the case.

She wanted all of the kids and was more willing to have sex when she wanted to get pregnant. But, as stated before, it never has been good as far as a willingness on her part – mostly rejection. And that has been another problem where she has elevated the kids way above the marriage. I love my kids, but not more than my wife.

I really want a companion that is a friend and lover and have never had that…

Mark’s experience with marriage counselors

“I put up with it (the perpetual sexual rejection), just praying away and hoping that God would intervene. But after 17 years, I threw in the towel. I was extremely frustrated. I said hurtful things to my wife and began to just do my own thing. I was never unfaithful but did not care about hurting her feelings. After about 2 years of that, realizing that that was not the way to go, I sought marriage counseling for us. The pastor (now her pastor, not mine) stated something like “Well, you can’t expect your wife to want to have sex with you if there is no relationship.”

I now realize how bad this advice was/is. This was just what my wife wanted to hear. This really angered me, because my wife has never wanted a relationship. She is just so different from probably most women. I actually have been the one that has wanted a relationship (even outside of sex). Over the past 5 years we have been through 5 different marriage counselors. We are about to have another session tonight with our 5th counselor. However, at our last session with the marriage counselor (who has been good at seeing both sides, not just the woman’s) I stated that this is it. I am drawing a line in the sand. If my wife (with her present to hear me) wasn’t willing to make any effort at reconciliation, that I was through and would be looking for a lawyer. I finally manned up…

By the way, we were sent to an expensive 3 day weekend ($1500) “Counseling Ministry” in Brown County, Indiana called Twelve Stones. It was absolutely terrible. Again, I tried to explain that my reaction to my frustrations of not getting any sex with my wife had caused my bad behavior toward my wife. I explained to them that the root problem was my wife’s perpetual rejection of sex. Well, they basically swept it under the rug and wanted to almost exclusively focus on me and my sinful reactions, etc. Upon my return home, I talked with 3 other men that had been to Twelve Stones and they all stated basically the same thing of how the focus was on the man, and very little on the woman. Tell your readers to avoid that place if their church, pastor, or elders recommends it…

My wife has stated that she clams up and does not want a relationship (of any kind) because she thinks that I am overly controlling (this was true some times in the past). I have repented of that. She also stated that is “isn’t safe” to talk to me about anything. She does see me as a male chauvinist, even though my view of husband leadership is based upon the scriptures, which she should certainly know because we have been in bible teaching churches our entire married life.

However, she does not like me to be a strong leader. I have really become a subdued wimp over the past couple of years in order to appease her. My oldest son, who does not live at home any longer and is well aware of the marital problems stated that he could not believe how subdued and wimpy I am these days. He said that one of the things that made him proud of me is how I was a good leader and strong in my convictions and how I taught him how to be a man’s man…

Mark recently sent me this update to what was previously stated:

“Last night’s counseling session was our last. Even the counselor sees the futility in continuing when my wife wants nothing to do with reconciliation or repentance. It is really hurtful to me that she does not see any need on her part to repent of such deep seated bitterness and also disobedience regarding the sexual rejection – in particular. I have gone to every possible effort to demonstrate my repentance and desire to save our marriage. It is really sad…

I believe that most, if not all, of this has happened because of feminism which has infected my wife’s thinking. She struggled for years with submission, but then the wrongful counseling is what cemented the wrong thinking. It is sad…

Thank you very much. I just don’t think most people, even Christians, realize what good you are doing. You will have the feminists after you for sure…

I do want my story out there though. Maybe it can help someone else and save their marriage or prevent some marriages for men that are planning to marry the wrong woman.”

My response to Mark and other men who face similar situations

Mark sent me this in as a response to my post “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” which I am thankful to say is making an impact for Christ against the scourge of feminism that has infected our culture over the last century.

While I have seen many emails and stories from men about long term sexual denial from their wives I think Mark’s story highlights the problem of feminism in the church.

Thankfully the Pastor of the church I attend would not have such a cavalier attitude toward sexual denial and there are still Bible practicing churches that will call women to account for this. But Mark raises a great point which leads us to this question – “What if your Church is infected with feminism and false modern views of marriage as opposed the Biblical model of marriage?”

As I pointed out in a previous post, our Church leaders do not always follow the Scriptures and often times they will bow to cultural pressures and not preach and teach the entire counsel of God. This is why we need to be as the Bereans were when they received the Word of God from the Apostle Paul and they compared it to the Old Testament Scriptures to verify it was true before they accepted it.

“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” – Acts 17:10-11 (KJV)

Mark did the right thing and searched the Scriptures and found in fact that what his Pastor was saying and how his Pastor was advising his wife was in fact “not so” from a Biblical perspective. His Pastor was flat wrong on this issue and was blinded to his own feminist view of marriage.

The husband is always the villain in modern marriage counseling

This is one of the biggest problems with marital counseling in modern times. It all about feelings and nothing about sacred duties to one another. The man is not making his wife “feel such and such” therefore she cannot be blamed for her actions.

You can see the complete and utter deafness to his concerns in his first Pastor’s response to their marital issues. Mark explains that after 17 years of denial, he threw in the towel and said some things toward his wife that were not right. Then after 2 years of just being angry and speaking wrongly to her he realized they needed counseling. So he goes to their Pastor and after explaining that his wife had been sexually denying him for 17 years before he threw in the towel for the last 2 years this is what his Pastor came away with:

“Well, you can’t expect your wife to want to have sex with you if there is no relationship.”

If I were Mark – my head would have exploded. He admits he was wrong for his behavior for the past two years, but the Pastor completely failed to see how he had put in all the effort of praying for his wife and trying to please her for the previous 17 years while she continued to deny him sexually!

“The Quiet Man” (1952) has always been one of my favorite movies since I was a child. In that movie a newlywed wife (played by Maureen O’Hara) goes to talk to her local town priest about her marriage troubles to her new husband (played by John Wayne). The priest’s reaction is the complete opposite of what most Christian Pastors and counselors would have toward sexual denial. She whispers in his ear that she has been denying her husband because she was upset at him for some things he was not doing and the priest went NUTS! He was yelling and screaming at this young wife.

The point is there was a time in our culture before the last 70 years or so that if a man and woman came into a priest or pastor and he heard sexual denial was going on he would hear nothing more and tell that woman to go home and do her duty with her husband.

Today unfortunately we have a lot of Pastors who may be brave in speaking out against many social wrongs but are cowards when it comes to preaching on the duties of husbands and wives toward each other in the bedroom and also confronting women in counseling for lack of submission in the bedroom.

The roots of Mark’s wife’s problems

Mark has admitted here as well as in other emails to me that he was not the perfect husband nor would he claim to be. I always ask men who email me when their wife’s sexual issues began and if it was from the very beginning of their marriage. I often ask “how was sex on your honeymoon?” as this can indicate where issues began.

In some marriages the sex is great in the beginning, including the honeymoon and into the first few years of marriage. Then after those first few years is when issues sometimes arise. Now sometimes the man does have some blame in the sense that he becomes neglectful of his wife and never wants to talk with her (know her) and spend time with her outside the bedroom.

Now this is not to say that a wife is justified in withholding sex from her husband, even under those conditions. Two wrongs never make a right. A husband must know his wife (talk to her) and a wife must have sex with her husband. Neither are prerequisites for the other – they stand independently from each other.

But in our sinful natures as men we will often clam up and not talk to our wives when they deny us sexually. And in the same way wives in their sinful natures will often deny their husband’s sexually when their husbands don’t make an effort to talk with them or spend time with them outside the bedroom.

But from what we can see in Mark’s account – his wife had problems in the sexual arena on day one of their marriage. She didn’t want to have sex on their wedding night! Now I know I will hear from some people and I have in the past heard of couples who did not have sex on their wedding night because she was too stressed out and tired from the wedding. But the next day and the following days she made it up to her groom.

I am not saying your marriage is cursed if your wife says no on your wedding night, but that is certainly never a good start to a marriage. There are going to be a lot more tiring and stressful days throughout the rest of your marriage and if she starts the trend on your wedding night – watch out! You might be in for some trouble.

And from a Biblical perspective, the marriage is not consummated until the husband and wife have sex. So technically speaking you were not husband and wife on your wedding night – vows don’t mean squat without the act of marriage sealing the deal.

It seems from Mark’s account the only time his wife wanted to have sex was when she wanted to get pregnant. How many men have heard this tune before? And she wanted all six kids!

It appears unfortunately for Mark, that like so many men (Christian and non-Christian alike) he was simply an accessory she needed to complete her life’s dream of having a big family and home schooling them.

Mark’s wife needed the man to bring home a paycheck for her and make sure she had everything she needed for her home. He was the sperm donor to supply her with the raw material for having the six kids she wanted. He was the father to pose for family pictures, help take care of the kids and fix things around the house and supply whatever the family needed.

In return for his services to her causes, she determined that she would gracious supply him with her body 8 times a year for sexual relief that had nothing to do with producing children.

But what she did not need was a husband. What she did not need was lover. She did not need someone trying to lead her or tell her what to do. Oh no, she would have none of that. And if Mark did not appease his wife and do what she said, he would get sex even less than the eight times a year!

The common thread in this story with every other story I have received from men facing sexual denial is a lack of submission on the wife’s part. It started on day one of their marriage. Yes Mark did act sinfully at some points down the road by his own admission, and he repented of it and tried to restore the marriage.

If a wife is truly submitted to God’s design for marriage then she will submit to her husband “as unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22). The first act of submission a wife makes to her husband in accordance with her submission to God is to submit her body in the act of marriage (sex). This forms the foundation for all other types of submission in marriage.

“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” – I Corinthians 7:3-5 (KJV)

I pray that if you are husband reading this you will have the courage to do as Mark did and search the Scriptures on this issue. I pray that you will see that this is about so much more than sexual denial, but rather it is about confronting sin and rebellion against God’s design and model in marriage. Do not be lead astray even to capitulate to this sinful behavior even by well-meaning Pastors, counselors and even relatives.

Counseling can be good, but only if it is Biblically based. When you see out counseling go and vet the counselor first to see they believe in the Biblical model of marriage. If you do not, then a counselor who rejects the Biblical models of love and marriage could actually do more harm than good.

If you are a wife reading this and you recognize any part of yourself here in denying your husband sexually you need to repent and ask God and then your husband to forgive you. You need to humble yourself before God, and then accept that God has placed husband over you as your head just as Christ is the head of the Church. God wants you to submit to your husband in “every thing”.

“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. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” – Ephesians 5:23-34(KJV)

One you have repented and humbled yourself before God as well as your husband make every effort to be as the wife of Proverbs 5:18-19 and ravish your husband with your body. This will transform your marriage and give it a new life like you have never experienced.

“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 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 5:18-19 (KJV)