Happy Husbands Come From Wives Who Put Out


I didn’t just write that in the headline, did I?

Do happy husbands come from wives who put out?

“Whoa, Nellie.” I can feel the glares, especially from some of you wives reading this. But please don’t board the “I’m so offended” train just yet.

I do have a point.  I always have a point when it comes to writing about sex.  That’s my thing, you know.

Do happy husbands come from wives who put out?

It may be a brilliant headline with clever play on words.  But even I will admit that I offer it up tongue in cheek. It may catch your attention (and possibly even the initial agreement of some sex-starved husbands), but make no mistake, such a statement is just packaging to something much more intricate.

Marriage is complex.

If life were a zoo, the marriage “habitat” would be large and bewildering.  It would consume nearly all of the zoo’s resources and have dozens of “zookeepers” milling around, doling out boatloads of advice on how to best run the exhibit.

Those who actually live within it would indeed feel lost at times. Maybe even annoyed and discouraged with the terrain.

I know full well, as do many of you, that what makes for a “happy husband” or a “happy wife”  can’t be reduced to simply having sex.

Anyone who is passionate about helping couples in their intimacy, including me, knows that when it comes right down to it, nurtured intimacy takes effort.

A lot of effort.

Every day I hear from husbands and wives navigating with their own individual sense of what “effort” even means.  And usually when there is discord, we are quick to notice the lack of effort on our spouse’s part.

Do happy husbands come from wives who put out?

I know husbands who are hungry for more sex.  But if asked, nearly all would admit they don’t just want the availability of their wife’s body, but the full attention of her heart and soul at the same time.

Obligatory sex — especially on a regular basis — is not quite the real deal, no matter the lengths to which we go to convince ourselves otherwise.

There is a bit of irony in it all — how a husband can end up feeling diminished after having sex with his wife who communicated (verbally or non-verbally) her disdain for such activity.  She did it.  But she didn’t really show up, if you know what I mean.

Even more ironic in such an encounter is that simultaneously she also may be feeling cheapened. She may assume all he really wants her for is her body, not her heart and mind.

When such a pattern replicates itself on a regular basis in a marriage, we are left with two people who go through the motions of sex, but both end up feeling worse than they did before the clothes were coming off.

To be fair, I also hear from wives who are longing for more sex from a physical standpoint. They want to feel the body of their husband, who unfortunately is reluctant or outright unavailable sexually. (I know… for some of you husbands reading this, you find it unthinkable that there are actually husbands out there who don’t want to have sex, but trust me, there are.)

More often than not, such wives who are longing for the physical touch would be quick to point out that their deeper desire is for the nakedness of their husband’s emotions as well. They don’t just want him for his body.

See what  I mean.  Complex.

Before you assume I’m trying to over-complicate sexual intimacy in marriage, that’s not my heart’s motive at all. It’s just that my radar is quick to discern careless attempts to reduce all sexual struggles down to a frequency issue.

“If we were just having more sex, then sex wouldn’t be such an issue in our marriage.”


Quantity is a poor substitute for quality.  Quantity plays a role, but it is a supporting role, not the leading role.

Do happy husbands come from wives who put out?

In my humble opinion, happy husbands — and happy wives — come from marriage where the hard work of nurtured intimacy (sexual and otherwise) is a foundational tenet. Not because we all want more hard work in our lives, but because hard work leads to profound richness.

When there is a sexual void and/or betrayal within a marriage — when it is a point of contention and heartache, regardless of the circumstances — it becomes a noticeable thorn and fracture within what is supposed to be the most sacred of human relationships.

On the other hand, when there is sexual oneness within a marriage — when a couple is paying close attention to their intimacy  — it becomes a noticeable salve and bonding agent that even the Enemy himself cannot breach.

Some people may try to say that “sex doesn’t matter” or “is no big deal,” but everything within us tells us otherwise — at least if we grasp marriage in the way God designed it.  Sex does matter. There is reward in raw vulnerability that draws us closer, even though such vulnerability carries with it huge emotional risk.

Do happy husbands come from wives who put out?

If any part of that statement is true, I guarantee it’s not simply because of frequency.

Copyright 2011, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

25 thoughts on “Happy Husbands Come From Wives Who Put Out

  1. J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) says:

    I would answer a wholehearted YES to your question, but I might reword it as “Happy husbands come from wives who put (themselves) out (there into the sexual act, fully).” Fine, it’s not as catchy. But putting out is more than the delivery of fleshy goods; it’s about putting yourself into the intimate act of marriage, being not merely available but vulnerable, giving yourself fully to your spouse – including sexually. By the way, plenty of wives would be much happier with a husband who puts out as well – as in, putting himself fully into the act through romance, words, affection, and tenderness in sexuality. Love this post, Julie!

  2. JulieSibert says:

    Thank you Mrs. Hot Holy Humorous and Kate for your comments! I appreciate your willingness to stop by and comment.

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  4. Bob says:

    A powerful lesson I’ve learned recently is that sexual intimacy is only one facet of the larger area of marital intimacy. It can be really easy for husbands to get caught up in thinking that physical sexual intimacy is all that’s needed from a marital intimacy standpoint because, for us, sex plays a MAJOR role in how intimate we feel about our marriage and toward our spouse. I know I fell into the trap of thinking that if we were having sex things must be peachy on my wife’s side of the marriage too. Over the course of many years the Lord was finally able to penetrate my thick skull and show me how much larger (and mutually satisfying) marital intimacy is. Sexual intimacy inside of great marital intimacy is simply the best sex ever.

    Husbands must stop and make sure their wives are getting what they need from us. It’s not the same thing we need from them and it doesn’t come naturally for us to think about those things. People tend to do for others what they want done for them. It takes effort to discover how someone wants to be treated, loved, approached, and generally learn how that other person wants to receive things and WHAT they want to receive.

    I and my wife are standing at the door of a “take-two” moment in our marriage and have only taken a step or two through it so far. Lots of discussions and mostly me learning what I’ve been leaving out of the intimacy equation all these years, but, with God’s help I know we are on the same page and ready to flip through the pages together…each making sure we are giving what the other wants and needs as we go…before flipping to the next page.

    No spouse left behind! 🙂

  5. Amber says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with both sides of your points! Our intimate life had years of desert images, going months without. We were both contributing to a horrible problem of miscommunication. On one hand, we would have sex, but it was, for 17 years, on the level of “quickie”, dh not knowing where to put his hands and body, and feeling like he just needed to “get going” (I believe that he thought the act of intercourse was all it took for me, we’re sifting through this right now to ensure proper information!). On my end, I wasn’t in any mood for it, didn’t get much emotional intimacy during the day (my dh just did realize what I needed, and I did not inform him until recently!), so I was ready for it to be quick so I could just go to (or back to!) sleep.

    Communication of skills is key! I like the zoo analogy. It’s confusing, and here, my dh did not know what to do and had no road map! And I, assuming that “all guys know what to do automatically, thought he just didn’t care if I was satisfied or not! What a sad way to go through 17 years of marriage!

    We are on track now, I wish we had those years back, but all we can do not is make up for lost time!

    Thank you for your efforts and dedication on these subjects!

  6. JulieSibert says:

    Thank you so much Bob and Amber… I really appreciate both of your comments. Such encouragement to hear from readers like you!!

  7. arguy says:

    Being a husband of 25 years, I know I am the happiest when the wife and I are doing great sexually. I am sure it is a little of both mental and physcial needs being met. But when she is just not in the mood etc. for days on end, I get pretty unhappy. “Obligatory sex — especially on a regular basis — is not quite the real deal”, we had that kind of sex for several years actually and I was getting pretty tired of it. Things are better now though.

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  10. Evan says:

    That is absolutely the truth. And your explanation, that it takes more than physically being there, is absolutely true, too! But don’t let that diminish the title, because if a wife is not putting out at all, there certainly can’t be any quality. There has to be SOMETHING, in order for there to be quality.

  11. Simone says:

    I have read a few of your posts and they line up with exactly what my husband has told me about so many sexual issues. Thank you for these posts, they seem to be right on spot for the majority of men.

  12. Cape Cod Paulie says:

    Absolute rubbish. Look, the #1 need husbands require from their wives is regular sex and intimacy. This need is consistent throughout marraige until the very late stages of life … where the husband’s #1 need shifts to his wife being his care-taker till his death.

    Wives #1 needs change over the course of marraige. From sex/intamcy (pre-children) to provider (during family life) to whatever….

    The point is wives get complacent. They get lazy. They become selfish. They want thier husbands to do a bunch of things for them and use sex as a weapon or negotiating tool.

    Foreign women see this and are amazed that American women portray themselves as victims of marraige. Incredible.

    And, women wonder why men go outside the marraige for sex. Dah!

    When a man is being cheated out of the very basic tenant of marraige (sex), who is cheating whomn?

  13. D says:

    As a husband of nearly 40 years may I say that if my wife does not have an orgasm then I have one merely because my wife asks me to. I get nothing more than physical release from it. Too often we talk about “having sex”. It only works when couples actually “make love” which is far more. This involves both being intent on meeting the other’s need. The husband must arouse his wife to orgasm, he can then enjoy his own orgasm in the full knowledge that his wife has been satisfied. Recently we made love and she had the most intense orgasm of her life, my response was equally intense. I was walking on air all the next day. God intends for the sexual union of husband and wife to be the most intimate and rewarding experience for both people. There is no feeling to compare with it.

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  16. Lloyd says:

    Sex is connection, Connecting has many parts. Sex is one of them. If your spouse is neglecting all the different points of connection then there will be a growing level of resentment. It’s like a light bulb. If you have a bulb with a strong filliiment, the light will be bright and strong. If the filliiment is weak, it will flicker and then eventually burn out.

  17. IntimacySeeker says:

    Do I hear consensus among husbands that when wives are aroused sexually and have orgasms that means they are bringing their hearts and souls to the encounter and there is emotional vulnerability, intimacy and connection?

  18. IntimacySeeker says:

    Thanks, e2. WHY do you believe sexual arousal and orgasms mean wives are bringing their hearts and souls to the encounter and there is emotional vulnerability, intimacy and connection?

  19. e2 says:


    To me vulnerability means placing yourself totally in the hands of another who has the ability to hurt you and trusting them to love you instead. It expresses absolute faith and trust. Intimacy and connection are completely knowing each other. To me, orgasmic sex is the essence of these things. Nothing is more vulnerable or intimate than being totally naked (body and soul) and abandoning yourself to your spouse and trusting them to give you pleasure. Especially at the point of orgasm, when you are squirming and writhing in complete absence of self control, perhaps saying things you would never say when in your right mind, perhaps experiencing female ejaculation. At that moment, you are completely vulnerable to your husband who is giving you this delight. As a husband, it’s my highest pleasure. However, I fear that if my wife ever watched a video of herself having an orgasm, she’d never want another one; she’d find it waaayyy too embarrassing.

    As to arousal, let me modify my earlier answer. It’s not the *fact* of arousal and orgasm that matters (many women struggle here and I would hate to add to their angst), but the sincere desire for arousal and orgasm.

    As a man I have been taught that a woman’s love is responsive to mine. When she desires my orgasmic lovemaking, she is telling me she is responding to my love for her. When she has little to no interest, she’s telling me that she’s not feeling my love, and that hurts.

    This is where my wife and I are disconnecting. When she is aroused, she has little difficulty achieving a mind-blowing orgasm. But, until she gets aroused, she has little interest in becoming aroused and actively resists my attempts at love making (and yes, I try tons of foreplay without diving in to the main event). I don’t understand this because she has truly intense orgasms when we make love. She just seems to have no orgasmic memory, no interest in repeating what we’ve both just enjoyed so much.

    She has told me that she could go the rest of her life without another orgasm and not miss it (ouch). She hates being naked even though I have told her repeatedly, even publicly, that I think she’s hot; she just doesn’t believe my words (double ouch). There are several activities she is committed to doing every day, bringing her heart and soul to them. Letting me make love to her and give her orgasmic pleasure is not one of them (triple ouch).

    When it comes to sex, my wife’s orgasmic pleasure is FAR more important to me than my own. Giving her pleasure is my biggest delight and when she sincerely wants it and deliberately pursues it, then I feel validated. I feel close and intimate with her. I feel as if she is totally giving herself to me in complete vulnerability.

    But when she protects herself by refusing to get naked with me, I feel as if she’s holding me at bay, afraid to abandon herself to my love. She’s guarded, more interested in isolated self-protection than in vulnerable intimacy and closeness.

    Hope this helps.

  20. NGal says:


    Very sorry that you feel rejected by your wife in that area. Perhaps you don’t like to know this, but… since you wonder why her reluctance to repeat a good experience – it might be that climaxing physically is just that, a physical reaction.
    (I don’t minimize the depth and sincerity of your love towards her; it just may be that for her, it’s not the major way for truly intimate connection..)
    For you, it means an amazing sense of closeness, but obviously, it’s not the same for her. So please, try to find out what really makes her tick. What would be a comparable mind-blowing intimate moment for her? It may be something totally mundane for you, or something that you would happily live without..
    But since you seem to want to know, try to make the effort to find what *really* matter to her.

  21. NGal says:

    To put it bluntly: a physical climax is not the goal in itself for many, and if the body craves it, can even achieved in many ways – in a dream, and, alone without any spouse (not what I condone or recommend, but it happens)
    While sexual intimicacy *should* draw the couple together, and for many women it does, there are plenty of women, who find meaning in other things.
    Again, try to share those things with her, and do not judge her for ticking differently than yourself. Find what she loves and craves, and seek to give it to her.

  22. IntimacySeeker says:

    Thanks, e2. I think for some couples, there is a disconnect that stems from assuming our spouse’s experience mirrors our own.

    “But when she protects herself …” There seems to be a basic [mis]assumption that a wife’s orgasm brings her joy. If this were true, would she feel the need to protect herself? What if her orgasm causes her to feel frightened, endangered, embarrassed, and ashamed? What if it causes uncontrolled sobbing? What if she turns away, curls into the fetal position as tightly as possible, and wishes she could shrink until she disappears? What if her visceral response is to flee? Imagine her dismay in knowing this experience that brings her such grief and pain is the very thing that makes her husband feel validated.

  23. e2 says:

    Thank you NGal and IntimacySeeker for your insights. I’ll take them to heart and think about them deeper. One thing I’ve learned as I’ve been reading these blogs is that a sexual relationship is a very complex thing and every relationship is different.

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