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If ever there was a post that I had to start with a bunch of disclaimers, it's this one.
I know that each marriage has its unique idiosyncrasies, history, struggles, triumphs, joys, heartaches, proficiencies and deficiencies.
I get that what I want to share today may be spot on for some marriages... and far from the truth for others.
Also, I know that sometimes it is the wife who is in the sexual desert, and the husband is the one withholding sex. I am sensitive to this and have a whole page dedicated to wives who want more sex and aren't getting it.
All that being said, I hear primarily from husbands. Yes, husbands.
I started my blog with the hope to primarily reach wives, and while I do think I reach quite a few, I hear more from husbands, particularly husbands who are devastated by their wife's lack of interest in sex. I'm talking about marriages where there is no reasonable explanation for the lack of sex, like illness, injury, or long-term work or military deployment.
My heart is never to belittle anyone, but rather my heart is to offer hopeful wake-up calls. Maybe this is a wake-up call for you that will spur you toward a better sexual landscape for you and your marriage.
Some wives think that if they simply give their husband sex each time he initiates, then he must be in a sexual paradise, not a desert.
Yes, some sex is better than no sex, but do you know what most husbands tell me?
They want a wife who wants to be there. It is not incredibly arousing to know their wife is just going through the motions. And if you as a wife rarely or never initiate, he doesn't feel that you desire him.
And he longs to be desired by you! Craves it. The cry of his heart is, "I want you to want me."
If all you do is make your body available when he asks, then sure, he will likely take you up on that and experience sexual release.
But if you sexually pursue him with your heart and body? Well, watch him come alive, because he is going to experience way more than sexual release. He's going to experience love. No, sex isn't the only way you love him, but trust me on this -- many, many husbands equate love with sex.
When a wife values the sexual intimacy they share and they both enjoy initiating, then he feels more loved than he does if this is not happening.
This point piggy backs on the last one. A wife who is not interested in sex in her marriage may be relieved when her husband stops initiating all together.
But rather than this generating a sigh of relief in her mind, it should be raising a bunch of red flags in her heart that her husband is in a sexual desert.
A marriage where a husband and wife could regularly be having sex yet aren't is a cautionary tale of a couple missing out on all that God intended for their marriage.
God never intended for a husband and wife to simply be roommates; to handle the logistics of life while never enjoying the spiritual, physical and emotional benefits of one flesh. Nowhere in the Bible do we see healthy marriage being synonymous with no sex.
If anything, the Bible is clear that sex is indeed one characteristic that differentiates marriage from all other relationships. Marriage is synonymous with enjoying sex, not with abstaining from it. No one stands at the altar on their wedding day and thinks, "Fabulous! Now I get to never have sex!"
If your husband has stopped initiating sex altogether and you suspect it's likely because of your lack of interest in sex, I encourage you to humble yourself and seek healthy healing in your sexual intimacy. You deserve that healing. He does too.
Sometimes a husband will tell me that it is simply too painful to be next to his wife who shows little or no sexual interest in him.
One husband even vividly described it as being chained in a bakery but never being able to have a morsel of bread. He could see, smell, and be close to all that was delectable and wonderful about his wife, but he could never thoroughly enjoy her body close to his and never touch her sensually.
Your husband may be in a sexual desert if the two of you are rarely or never in the same bed at the same time awake.
No, I'm never going to make an excuse for a husband's sin. Never.
But I'm pragmatic too, and I think when we marry, we have a responsibility to help our spouse guard against temptation. We are not responsible for their choices, but we definitely are responsible for our own.
If you as a wife have been maliciously, carelessly or selfishly withholding sex from your husband, you are sinning. That's on you.
Good news, though! Jesus died for that sin. All He asks is that you confess it and repent of it. Repent means walk a new direction. So when we recognize our sin and we confess it, we are indeed forgiven. Then God asks that we choose a healthier direction.
To stop sinning we need to do something differently than we have been doing, so if you have been withholding sex from your husband or even taking your sexual intimacy lightly, what are you now going to do differently?
I would say the exact same thing to anyone using pornography or committing adultery.
A husband and wife have a tremendous privilege to nurture their sexual intimacy, not only because sex is profound and fun, but also because it helps protect their marriage and keep it sacred.
Maybe he hasn't used the word "desert," but he has made it abundantly clear that the lack of sexual intimacy between the two of you is hurting him and the marriage.
Possibly he has verbally told you this outright, written it in a letter to you, or asked you to go to counseling because of it.
Maybe he has suggested the two of you read a book that would help you both enjoy sex more and heal what is causing the disconnect. Or possibly he has shared with you a blog post or article on the vital role sexual intimacy plays in the strength of a marriage.
At any rate, you certainly can't say you don't know that he is sexually frustrated. If he has said he is in a sexual desert, I would heed you to listen to his heart.
Does this post feel heavy or brimming with hope? If you are reading this and you know it is shining light on your marriage, be hopeful that you and your husband can do something about the sexual desert.
For more reading, check out this post.
Copyright 2018, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.