Intimacy in Marriage

Encouraging Christian Women toward Healthy Sexual Intimacy

Husbands Who Deny Sex and the Wives Who Suffer

sexually denied wives

Occasionally, people think I land too much on the side of husbands when it comes to denial of sex.

Many of my posts do indeed encourage wives to be more sexually available and interested.

I do have a page on my site, though, devoted to Wives Who Want More Sex and Aren't Getting It.

Maybe a page isn't enough, and I should write more often on this topic on the blog. I am sensitive to the pain many women are suffering when their husbands reject them sexually.

Today I want to hopefully give some insights to men on what happens when a wife wants more sex and her husband is either carelessly indifferent or blatantly antagonistic about such desires.

If you are a husband who denies your wife sex, have you considered the toll this is taking on your wife and your marriage?

The pain is compounded by the fact that a wife in this scenario feels incredibly isolated and alone among her peers.  After all, every time she is in a gathering of women and the topic of sex comes up, the majority of the gals in the room are likely commiserating (eye rolls included) that they can't keep their husbands off them.  Their husbands want sex a lot.

A husband who wants sex a lot?  That's foreign territory to her. So she offers up a half-hearted laugh to give the impression she can relate.

But she can't relate.

Her closest friends likely have no clue and she is hesitant to let them in on her struggle, because she doubts they would have any consolation to offer.  Plus, she's possibly embarrassed and riddled with self doubt.

While I know that husbands also experience self-doubt when rejected, for a sexually rejected wife the circumstances are tainted by the huge emphasis our society puts on women's physical beauty.

Even with a boatload of common sense rationale, we women can easily slip into a mode of comparing ourselves against some completely unrealistic standard.

Weight, physique, hair color, hair style, clothing, breast size, muscle tone, complexion, make-up, eye color, and so forth... advertisers and entertainment seem to have an eagle's eye on how to capitalize on a women's insecurities when it comes to her degree of "sexiness."

But nothing stings more than to have the very man she married not desire her sexually.

A husband may think that sex "is no big deal" to a wife, especially if he has believed wholeheartedly everything his friends and evening sitcoms have told him.   He may even think he is doing his wife a favor by not expressing interest in her sexually.

For the wife who does want sexual connection with her husband, his indifference or unwillingness to address the topic is particularly baffling and exasperating.

She wants you.  And she wants you to want her.

If you as a husband are struggling with issues that make sex difficult, please invest in your marriage and address these issues.

Is there a physical issue that could be contributing to your low desire?

Physical issues can range from low hormonal levels to the effects of aging to the use of various medications.  Are you concerned about your ability to get and maintain an erection?  Do you think avoiding sex all together will make this matter less taxing on your relationship? It won't.

If there is a physical cause (or if you don't know), visit your health care professional.  Don't be embarrassed. Be honest.  Doctors are trained and are more well-versed than many of us realize on what could be going on inside the human body.

If your doctor does not seem to understand the depth of your concern and is offering no valuable insights, get another opinion.  With regard to medications, certainly do not begin or stop any medications, prescription or otherwise, without consulting a doctor.

Are there emotional scars causing your lack of sexual interest in your wife?

If you were ever sexually abused and have never sought counsel and healing for this tragedy committed against you, I implore you to find healing.  Many, many men have been sexually abused, yet some still feel hesitant to talk about this pain.  But for the health of your marriage, you owe it to yourself and your wife to gain a right perspective on sexual intimacy and to heal from any past pain.

Are you struggling with pornography or sexual indiscretion?

Again, these are not insurmountable obstacles on the road toward healthy sexual intimacy with your wife -- but, you have to be willing to walk in the direction of repentance and health.

Are you depressed? Overwhelmed? Stressed out about work?

Whatever is causing your sexual dis-interest, stop ignoring it.  Start dealing with it.

To sexually-refused wives, I'm saddened by your pain.  If you haven't already, I encourage you to express to your husband (either verbally or through a letter or both) that you love him and are committed to the two of you working on strengthening all aspects of intimacy in the marriage.

Tell him it's not just about the sex, but about feeling deeply connected with him.

If he is resistant to addressing the matter, go to counseling, even if you have to go on your own.  It will likely give you some unbiased insights and will at the same time demonstrate to your husband that you are doing all you can to bring healing to the marriage.

Pray for your marriage, including sex, and find at least 2 other mature Christian women who will pray with you.  These should be women who will not bash your husband and will keep all conversations in confidence.

The longer I speak and write about sexual intimacy in marriage, the more aware I am of what a sensitive area of marriage sex is.  It can be the source of profound connection and understanding and safety -- and a place of deep chasm and discord and miscommunication.

Whether you are a husband or a wife, if sex in your marriage is not a mutually-vauled and nurtured aspect of your marriage, consider what would happen if it was.  I know that some of you reading this may think I place too much value on what sex means to a marriage.

I would argue that too many marriages place too little value on it.

Copyright 2013, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

July 24th, 2013 by