5 Costs of Sexually Refusing Your Spouse

Are you sexually refusing your spouse?

I’m not talking about situations where the sexual disrepair is shackled to deep and sometimes painful roadblocks (Lack of repentance about infidelity and pornography use.  Medical diagnoses or injuries that make sex difficult or impossible. Or a handful of other situations).

And I’m not talking about occasional dry spells or slight miscommunications about sexual frequency.

4973036-smallNo, I’m talking about sexual refusal — blatant and ongoing — for no other reason beyond that you don’t like sex or simply don’t think it’s vital to the relationship.

Honestly, you may not consider yourself a “sexual refuser,” but I’m guessing at the minimum you would admit you are “sexually uninterested.”

And that sits fine with you.

But not with your spouse.

Yet, you still do life together (well, sort of together. At least together enough that you doubt the absence of sex is going to cause any real problems).

You navigate the mirage of carpools, kid activities, bedtime routines, trips to the grocery store, family functions, the ever-rising cell bill, that volunteer commitment at church, the “I need 3 dozen cupcakes for school tomorrow,” the overbearing bosses and work demands, sticky kitchen floors, empty milk jugs, piles of laundry, errands to pick up poster board, the obnoxious “low gas” indicator, and the ever present, but never quite complete, to-do list.

“Sex? Who has time or energy or longing for sex amidst all that?!”

And you ease your conscience with an occasional reminder that “this is just what happens in a marriage.”  Sex fades. It’s a non-issue.  (to you, at least).

I get that you likely don’t want to hear me say that there may be some costs to your sexual refusal.

But these costs will blindside you when you least expect it, and I’m trying to spare you that kind of wake-up call.

5 Costs of Sexual Refusal:

1. Your spouse may be present physically, but check out emotionally.

This is a tough one.

And this may be the one that blindsides you the most.  You may think your spouse is “just fine” with the lack of sex because they still have skin in the game, so to speak.

They still participate in paying the bills, carting the kids around, mowing the yard and going to your mom’s for Sunday dinner.

You feel confident they would never bail on the marriage (they are a Christian, after all).  And you may be right.  They may not bail physically, but I know plenty of people who have bailed emotionally.

The pain of sexual refusal is just too much. And instead of having a “come to Jesus” moment with you to address that pain, they instead start closing doors in their heart.

2. You won’t know your spouse someday.

Maybe you already don’t know them. Maybe you already have this lingering suspicion that there is a distance between the two of you.

Well, ongoing sexual refusal is going to widen that chasm.  I guarantee it.

3. You’ll set a sad and unbiblical example for your kids about sex and marriage.

I know.

You think those young people in your house don’t know anything about the sexual relationship you have — or don’t have — with your spouse.  You think they are too little or too naive or too unobservant or too indifferent or too grossed out about sex.

But here’s the deal.

Those little tykes you created are going to grow up (quicker than you realize), and word to the wise on this one — they are likely going to get married. And have sex.

They are already getting a horribly skewed message about sex from society.

And the church isn’t fairing much better with its overgeneralized messages that never venture beyond “DON’T DO IT!  FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, STAY PURE!”

Your home should be the first and most significant place where your kids get the message that God designed sex in marriage to be amazing, passionate, soul-binding, extraordinary and pleasurable.

They are learning about marriage from you.  What are you teaching them?

4. You’ll have regrets about things you can’t undo.

I’m not saying young married couples have the corner on great sex, because there is a lot of passionate sex to be had by married folk well into their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond.

But.  Some effects of time and age simply are unavoidable, at least for many people.  Some conditions become more prevalent as we age, not to mention increased challenges with hormones.

So by the time you wake up to what nurtured sexual intimacy could have been to your marriage, it might be too late to really undo the damage.  You may have already paid a heavy price, without even knowing it.

5. You’ll be hurting the person you claim to love.

Here is the crux of it all.   Do you love this person you married?  (Some of you will answer “no” to that, so suffice to say, I’m speaking to those of you who would answer “yes”).

Do you love this person? This person you chose to become one with — figuratively, literally, spiritually, practically.

Love in marriage is expressed many ways, and God calls us to pay attention to all of those ways, including sex.  He doesn’t offer up “ways to love” as a smorgasbord from which you can choose at your whim, disregarding what doesn’t suit you.

Sex is part of marriage in such an intricate way that when one person arbitrarily removes it, rare is the relationship that can survive such void (at least survive well, which I am guessing you want, right?  A strong marriage. Not just one that exists).

What costs are you willing to pay by sexually refusing your spouse?  Best decide now.  The price only will go up.

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Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.

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44 thoughts on “5 Costs of Sexually Refusing Your Spouse

  1. HopefullyHelpful says:

    Love it. Definitely am going to add a link to it.

    But my personal experience says refusers don’t consider themselves to be refusers. It is almost a complete blind spot. I am tempted to have some of our friends casually bring up the topic, but I really don’t want to resort to that tactic. Feels like manipulation.

  2. JRDallas says:

    This is so true. I am living proof. I morn the loss of what my marriage could (and should) have been. I feel myself closing the doors to my own heart. This is a complete blind spot to her. She does not see it at all. I am utterly alone.

  3. John Q says:

    To HopefullyHelpful’s point; refusers, gatekeepers or spouses not remotely interested in maintaining (let alone growing ) healthy sexual intimacy with his (or her) spouse aren’t here to read Julie’s post (after all, everything in the relationship is “fine” and they don’t have a problem, so why would they be looking for a solution?).
    For the spouse who is longing for sexual intimacy, there’s not a “safe” way to get the other spouse to come to the site, let alone read and apply the principles…

    Julie, I applaud your efforts, but I don’t know of a way to actually get the low drive spouse to read your post without some serious divine intervention.

  4. Deena says:

    #3 is so on point. I have a baby, so she isn’t aware of this yet, but I hope to be able to be at least ONE healthy, happy marriage for her to see in life. And honestly, the most important ONE of them all!

  5. April says:

    This is so true. I always thought I tried my best to make my self available to my husband and then he confronted me that I refuse him about half the time. I didn’t even realize it. We still have a much healthier sex life comparable to many, but who cares about comparison when one spouse feels neglected?

    I just want to encourage other spouses, as a lower sex drive spouse. It’s really hard to be unselfish and it’s painful sometimes, but worth it when you see the intimacy that results. It’s a hard season for us with a little one (and I’m pregnant). It’s easy to make excuses because I feel uncomfortable. But, I’ve been asking God to help me die to myself and it’s been healing to my marriage and to me spiritually.

    Trust me-I understand how difficult it can be, especially if you feel like you’re pulling most of the weight and deserve to refuse sex because you’re tired (been there and often there with that thought!). But, God has not entitled us to that-He calls us to serve one another. I do encourage you to talk to your spouse about it though and don;t stuff it, like I tend to do-speaking to myself also!

  6. Me says:

    Not to mention you run the risk of destroying your spouse’s self esteem. I’m fairly young, fairly fit, fairly attractive. And yet I (the wife) feel fat, ugly and worthless. I think he finally woke up and realized how much damage his sexual refusal had done – and yet he seems totally shocked at how much I was hurting inside. He didn’t understand how low I felt, especially as a wife, always reading how important sex is to men, and how it makes them feel so loved, and here mine never wanted any. He always told me how pretty I was, how much he loved me, and yet – I never believed a word of it.
    We are trying to make things better, but I refuse to initiate sex ever again. I’ve been turned down way too many times. Now he says he misses when I initiate things, but it’s too late. And deep in my heart, I still long to know what it feels like to be truly desired by my husband. He says he desires me, but I do not believe him and I don’t know if I ever will.
    I wish refusing wives would just wake up and be thankful they are desired by their husbands, it is a precious gift! Trust me, the opposite is far worse.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Again, you are spot on with your insights Julie! I can attest, after 35 years of being sexually-starved, your observations are correct, especially number 4.

  8. Larry B says:

    All 5 points in the article above are valid and very important. From the comments above, it appears that some readers think that refusing spouses would not read and think about these points, and/or that the refusing spouses cannot change. Sadly, that is too often the case. So, we need to think about effective ways to get a refusing spouse to recognize there is a problem. Some times, recognizing and honestly admitting there is a problem is a bigger challenge than taking steps to resolve or lessen the problem. Spouses that refuse sexual intimacy are not honoring their marriage vows.

    @April: You raise a serious concern. When a wife is pregnant, sex can be uncomfortable at times. Yet, sexual love and intimacy can still be engaged in. Perhaps trying various positions to find one that is less uncomfortable for you might help. As well, most husbands enjoy oral sex if intercourse is too difficult.

    @Me: I feel for you in your marriage. But, you may want to reconsider the position that you will never try to initiate sexual intimacy again. Hopefully, you and your husband can work out a win-win situation and not end up with a lose-lose one. (And, marriage requires forgiveness at times.)

  9. Undesired says:

    My husband has told me he does not desire me verbally, in writing, and through his actions (preferring to look at pictures of other women rather than connect with me). So how/why would I feel like being intimate with him? It’s emotionally painful and exhausting and I’m lonely. Any time I initiate sex he is a willing participant, but nothing changes as far as personal connection. So what’s the point for me to keep giving to him and get nothing in return?

  10. David says:

    My wife considers sex as a matter of convenience (hers) and when we do it is on her terms. Not sure how many more times I need to confront her, but item 1 is definitely in the works for me.

    My response is that I will speak her love language when it is convenient for me and on my terms. It’s childish for sure, but after many attempts I’m out of ideas.

    It’s kind of funny though. I’ve immersed myself into other things and I’ve come to realize the hassle that is our sexual relationship nowadays isn’t something I am consumed with. And, I actually think this may be what she does without realizing it. Maybe when she begins to see she comes second to my own list of to-do’s she will see the light. Doubtful.

  11. HopefullyHelpful says:

    @April: First off. You’re beautiful. Never doubt. The life growing within you is you proof and vindication.
    Next: Do not take any chances. Ask your OBGYN to give you a complete exam and ask what sexual activities you’re cleared for. Some can be restricted to certain positions or maybe no orgasm. This will vary as the pregnancy advances. Once you know what you can do, start doing it. Your husband will probably be understanding. Make it easy on your self; make sure he knows he has to do the clean up! Better yet, let him give you sponge baths in bed. Takes practice at first. Give yourselves lots of practice. This is a very intimate activity and shows trust and desire for your husband’s touch. If your husband is a breast man he should be having a swell time by now as well. TIP: Make sure you wear a maternity bra every day. Recent studies have shown not wearing a bra through pregnancy and breastfeeding is the largest contributing factor to “droop”. And no matter how little it might matter to husbands it matters very much to wives.

  12. Anonymous says:

    My husband loses his temper quite often, and puts me down. He had a rough childhood, and is depressed, questioning most everything in his life, with major regrets. I feel like the kids and I are just in his way now to him living the life he wants. My point to all this, is that after he’s had an angry outburst, I have the hardest time having sex. I often hold out for days, and then afterward I feel used. I don’t want to be a refuser, and yet having sex makes me feel like I am saying it’s ok that he said hurtful things to me.
    When he’s not struggling with depression(which he won’t admit too or get help for) he’s a great husband. He is a great lover, he loves to please me sexually.
    All this makes me feel like I’m going crazy. And I end up refusing sex because it makes me feel used. Eventually I give in though and it’s just a crazy continuos cycle. I need to protect myself, even it makes me selfish.

  13. HopefullyHelpful says:

    Those are all good reasons, but not one of them is an excuse. Are you or your husband Christian? I would be especially careful that the temper doesn’t lead anywhere else, but you know him best.
    There are many ways to look at this, many things to think about, but the first one is this: Do you love him enough to deal with his problems?
    You say you feel used, but could you instead take joy and pride in the fact he is using you instead of someone else? If verbal abuse is as far as it goes, you still have much to hope for. It is hard, but you can tune it out.
    Pray, dear lady, for insight into what’s bothering your husband and for God’s peace to bring you strength,

    My prayers go with you.

  14. David Justin Bibby says:

    @Anonymous, as a man I have to agree with you. Having intimacy with him IS telling him it’s okay to treat you the way he does. To a man… sex represents re-connecting and reunion. The downside though, is that once he has had his needs met… he feels like everything is back to “normal” and thus.. he’ll behave like nothing is wrong. Meanwhile… you fell used.. you feel like an object.. and you don’t know what to do about it.

    I know that Julie wasn’t speaking directly to you in this article… she was speaking to women who have no good reason to withhold intimacy from their good and deserving husband.

    In your case Anonymous… your husband doesn’t sound so deserving. You can handle this one of two ways. 1) You can forgive him, and practice forgiveness daily, and TELL him you forgive him when he’s hurt you. But REALLY forgive him as many times are you need to… so that he’ll get tired of doing things that require forgiveness. The other approach 2) is to fully disengage and stick to your guns and escalate if he doesn’t come around. Nothing is a strong enough impetus for change for a man EXCEPT for the real possibility of his wife leaving him.

    Beyond that… you can straight up tell him… “I do not like you when you are angry… you hurt me.. you scare me… and these feelings don’t go away in an instant. If you don’t get help for your anger issues then there is not much hope for us as a couple.”

    @David,
    Playing tit-4-tat is never a good strategy. All it really does is build more resentment IN you AND her. The more you go back and forth.. it builds pressure and doesn’t foster good will from either of you.

    Instead… cheerfully meet your wife’s needs (and actually mean it) and stand up for your values when your needs go unmet for too long. This doesn’t mean yell and scream or anything… just a very simple. “Honey… when you need something from me… I provide it… I do it.. cheerfully. I do this because I love you and what is important to you is important to me. Right now I’m feeling a little unloved and unconnected, because you have not returned the same things that I need… like affection, admiration, respect, and intimacy. To feel loved and connected… I would like for us both to share intimacy at least 2 times a week.”

  15. Bonny @oysterbed7 says:

    anonymous, I could have written your comment 15 years ago. I found out my depressed hubby was just as miserable as me. Deep down neither of us wanted a life without the other, we just didn’t want to be miserable anymore. We finally had a serious sit down. We were miserable but committed. We both needed to make changes. God sent the right resources. We found help. I know you said he won’t get help, but have you had a serious sit down discussion with him in a calm manner? I suggest you both read His Needs/Her Needs.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Thank you to those who replied to my comment. I am praying desperately for my husband. I pray his depression will be lifted. He doesn’t really listen when I try to help with my words, so sometimes I think I have to show love in action, which for him is sex. But I also need boundries because I’m tired of feeling used! I will check out that book, thank you!

  17. Amy says:

    Anonymous,
    What you are living with is NOT okay! Verbal and emotional abuse are NOT okay and not just something you can tune out.
    What your husband is doing is wrong and you say several times how you feel crazy through it all and it becomes a cycle. That is exactly what verbal abuse does — it creates a crazy-making cycle that will not stop unless the victim of abuse takes a stand against it.

    You need to have a serious talk with your husband and if you do not feel safe in doing so by yourself, then you may need to sit with a pastor who is trained in abuse or a counselor.

    Reading books and continuing to submit to abuse will not make it go away or change the outcome.

    Please get help for both your sake and your children’s.

    Blessings!

  18. e2 says:

    @April wrote: “I always thought I tried my best to make my self available to my husband and then he confronted me that I refuse him about half the time. I didn’t even realize it.”

    This got me to thinking if I often feel refused when my wife doesn’t intend it. While she doesn’t outright say “no,” everything has to be just right before we can make love; never in the morning; never when others are in the house; always in the bedroom; never oral (either way); never until all other tasks are completed. If I make a move outside these conditions, she’ll say, “we can’t” as if to say, “I’d like to, but there’s some external force preventing us.” To her, these obstacles are legitimate barriers; to me, it feels like refusal, as if the only real obstacle is diminished desire.

  19. Reba says:

    @E2 I wish I could tell your wife that she is missing out. You sound like such a sensitive, caring guy. I understand that some of her requirements feel like refusal (and dare say some are just that), but wonder if to some extent this is her way of making sure she can be free from distractions and fully present with you. I know I might feel guarded if having sex while others are in the house, and might also feel guarded if I were to be late for work in the morning. (Not so much now, but in days gone by.) I’m sensing you are right about her FEELING there are external forces. It seems she takes her responsibilities very seriously–perhaps she is applying that same priority to sex. That’s not to say it’s working out–I’m just seeing my old self in your description of your wife and trying to offer some possible insight.

  20. MarriedbutHaveGivenUp says:

    We have been married for nearly 30 yrs and sex has gotten less and less as the years have gone by.. Yes I realize it not supposed to be like it was in our 20’s.. but she refuses oral sex or anything to do with sex unless its the same ole same.. I have taken her on “just us” getaways to the beach, mountains, etc and even “just us” vacations to places like Hawaii, Scotland, etc and STILL nothing motivates her. She is beautiful and sexy as can be and I tell her I love her and how she turns me on every day.. But STILL no passion.. And when sex does happen (maybe ever 4 to 8 weeks) its pretty much “done and over”… No foreplay, no long kisses (only pecks for last 20 yrs), etc.
    When our now son-in-law came to us a couple years ago to ask us for our daughters hand in marriage (yes he is an old fashion, Christian, southern gentleman) my wife told him “remember.. sex and all that in marriage isnt meant to last.. you and her need to know that once the honeymoon months are over its not something you really need”… I just sat there with my mouth hanging open…
    And just so you know.. She is a well educated college graduate, a 30 yr Registered Nurse (in a major hospital), a devout Christian (very active in our church) and there are no health related issues. And yes we tried to see a Christian therapist but she wouldnt go back saying the woman was a “prevert” because she asked about our sex life (or lack of)..
    So HELP because she is one of the kind of spouses that sees NOTHING wrong about her view on this issue. Nothing at all!

  21. Jeff says:

    I am going to stop coming here because I have become aware at how damaged our marriage is. Blogs are great, IF the information and opinions get to the person that needs it. Unfortunately my wife is on Facebook blubbering about a strangers kid who is lost/on drugs/sick/blind/dead/etc. I am at fault since I have been unemployed 5 years! My marriage has gone to the devil and he will have it! Look, In prayed, I asked for respect, I asked for a better sexual relationship and what I got was a list of things I need to do to get it. She will not come to this blog. Facebook and other things in other peoples lives are more important than our marriage. Her verbalization of the importance of our marriage is a lot of talk and hopefulness that things won’t be revealed to others. So I go. Those who are doing well, keep going. Those who suffer; well, your spouse is like mine in which they will not stop the indifference and will never come to a Christian blog like this one.

  22. e2 says:

    Thanks, @Reba, for the insights and the affirmation. I assure you, I’m just as self-centered and egotistical as the next guy. My wife has been most patient with me as I learn this marriage thing. I’m trying to be just as patient as we deal with very different sex drives. I want to guard against feeling as if she is cheating me out of what is rightfully mine when she may have very legitimate reasons for desiring sex less than I.

    @Helpful, I am learning to try to avoid one-word labels for very complex feelings and behavior. They only tend to generate feelings I’d rather avoid.

  23. sunny-dee says:

    @e2, that could totally be my husband. There is such a list of conditions that have to be met. In 20 months of marriage, we have never — not once — had sex when I asked or attempted to initiate. For a long time, it was a fairly strict 10-day cycle, but because of some work and health things the past five months, that’s dropped to once, maybe twice, a month. We can’t have sex on a day that he works, on a day that he drinks, if we have my stepson over, if he has plans with friends, if it’s *not* in the morning or if we wait too long after waking up, if there are chores….

    And, @Me, I feel you. I would love to be desired by my husband, but I don’t and I don’t believe it when he says he loves me or says he’s attracted to me (hahahaha). I finally came to believe that he cares for me — for a long time, I didn’t even believe that. But now? I have to resign myself to the fact that I will never ever feel loved, that I will never be sexual or get to enjoy sex, and that I will never have children of my own.

    I’m getting there.

    It’s too heartbreaking to try to buy lingerie. I stopped after I went to Victoria’s Secret after we’d been married about 6 months and broke down sobbing. I can’t keep asking and just seeing that weariness on his face or try to kiss him or tease him and have him push me away. I cried EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I saw myself in a mirror for the first year of my marriage. I started not shaving my legs for a couple of days so I’d have an “excuse” for why we weren’t having sex. I get it, @Me. I feel repulsive, down to my bones.

    I was at a software conference for work, about 6000 attendees and (no exaggeration) 95% were male. Out of the clear blue, my husband asked if anyone had hit on me, since I was one of the few women. Absolutely stunned me. I can’t imagine anyone hitting on me, and I can’t imagine that my husband would even think that. If he can’t force himself to sleep with me (his words), why would anyone else?

    Sorry for the rambling. It’s nice to get it off my chest.

  24. HopefullyHelpful says:

    @sunny-dee: What did you answer when your husband asked if you’d been hit on?
    Knee-deep in my bride’s refusal (four-month intervals) she complained that one of the single women in our congregation was spending too much time talking with me (we had a common Bible student). Not gracious at all, I answered “Why do you care? It’s not as if you and I sleep together.” She didn’t take kindly to it, but the intervals went from 4 months to 2.
    By the way, are you both Christian?

  25. sunny-dee says:

    @HopefullyHelpful, when he asked, I kind of snickered and said, “Hit on me? Um, no.” (Which was true.) My thoughts were exactly yours, though — why would he think that and, if it were true, why would he care?

    We are both Christian, but I was saved very young, raised in the faith, and was a virgin when we married. He was not raised Christian at all, didn’t convert until his 30s, and was sexually active both before and after.

  26. John says:

    My experience is that women “just say no” and never worry about the potential consequences if they have an especially good husband. Actually, the better the husband is the more comfortable they are with refusing sex. They are certain they are safe in their marriages. And, generally speaking, that is true. Worst of all it is an impossible subject to discuss because refuses do not believe that they are refusers. I think someone else said that in this blog. It is true. As a husband– you are stuck. You can cheat or live with it for years. I just live with it unfortunately.

  27. Reba says:

    “Refusers do no believe they are refusers” I think this statement applies to those who have been confronted about their lack of interest and choose to deny their part in the problem.

    For others, ignorance might be at the root of the issue. I truly did not understand how important sex was to my husband’s emotional wellbeing. In fact, I figured he preferred other means of release.

    The reason I was comfortable refusing was that I didn’t know I was hurting him. I didn’t know because he did not tell me.

  28. HopefullyHelpful says:

    @john: Look at sunny-dee. Men do not have exclusive membership to this hateful club.
    I always thought it was funny they have so many reality shows about cheating spouses, yet nobody tackles the refusal issue. Maybe we need a catchier name we can send to some TV producer. I guess it’s just a Christian problem. Worldly people just leave or cheat since they don’t have Jehovah to answer to.

    At least, they hope not.

  29. John says:

    Following up quickly on my post last night I want to thank all the women who take responsibility for withholding sex from their husbands, some of whom seem to have very good husbands and no really good reason for refusing. THAT takes some courage to admit. I have found most Christian counselors useless because they will not confront a refuser. My wife would never go to any counselor but I have some friends who have been. Even sadder is they ended up divorced. I find it very surprising that the ONLY place I have heard a wife say that they withheld sex with no good reason was on a Christian Blog? Most just support their refusal and argue to justify it. I can truly say that the last place I expected to find REALITY honestly discussed was on a women’s Christian Website. I am impressed. The first site I found was Christian Nymphos. The name kind of took me aback but I decided to look and was just amazed at the truths presented there. There was another entitled something like ” the intimate marriage bed” (?) also containing truths about sex and withholding. Then I found Julie’s. Finally, some people who understand, both male and female. I was so surprised and excited to read THE TRUTH that I think I forgot how to type and made a couple of grammatical errors. Thanks ladies for telling it like it is and accepting responsibility. This blog is a blessing.

  30. Christina Rhoads says:

    I too hear from a lot of women who withhold sex from their husbands. One of my first comments to them is, go have more sex with your husband! I usually get giggles and comments like “Oh, he would love that…” all the while knowing they would not actually do that. Or I get comments from bitter, angry women fed up with the advice of “have more sex with your husband”. I get these answers because women can have a very skewed perspective on intimacy. They feel it is all about sex and all about the guy getting off. When in fact it is so much more than that. I set up a gameplan with my husband over a year ago, to have sex every day for a year. We surpassed that and are now at 552 days of sex in a row. And while sex if obviously involved it is not the point…sex is a vehicle. The destination is more and deeper intimacy and marrital connection with the man I chose to marry. I am finding a new path in my life to widen the closed viewpoints of married, Godly women. I hope and pray women perk up their ears.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I have a question I’m hoping men can help me with. My husband recently admitted he’s used porn our whole marriage(14 years). He’s started rethinking everything he was taught about God. Lately he’s brought up a lot of new stuff sexually. He thinks it’d be great to have group sex, to watch porn together, to watch me have sex with another man, to go to sexy massage parlor and watch each other get a going over by someone else, he wants to go skinny dipping as a group with others. He’s brought up each thing at least twice in the last few weeks. He cannot understand at all why this hurts me. I’ve cried myself to sleep so much and sometimes go sleep in another room. Of course he’s sorry later and after a few days I’m starting to believe him and we have sex. Now when I get hurt again, he’ll say things like “well you didn’t seem to hurt last night when we had sex”. He tells me he loves me and is not just using me as a sexual outlet. He often talks about regretting being brought up in the church and wished he’d had wilder teen years but he was to scared of going to hell if he did. Why does he bring up this stuff? It makes me feel so used, like I am not good enough for him, that he want to see more women and wants to share me. It really hurts.

  32. JulieSibert says:

    @Anonymous… I am sorry for your pain. You are completely justified in not wanting to compromise the exclusivity of your sexual intimacy. God intended for sex to be between a husband and a wife, with no third parties involved (no porn, no other people involved, nobody watching you have sex, no group sex, etc.)

    It saddens me greatly that he would suggest such things. But I encourage you to draw a healthy boundary on not allowing such things into your bed.

    I also encourage you to go to counseling (if he won’t go with you, then go on your own to seek the insights of a professional and to demonstrate to your husband that you are committed to doing what you can to strengthen the marriage). If it seems too overwhelming to go to counseling, then try to at least find 1-2 other mature Christian women who you can confide in, who will pray for you and and your marriage, who will not bash your husband, and who will continue to encourage you with God’s Word and truth.

  33. John says:

    Well, Christina comments are a revelation to hear. What a game plan!
    And Christina your insight into the very true fact that sexual intimacy is critical to a marriage is right on point. Before I continue on–Anonymous you DO have a complete right to be upset. You need to assist your husband in understanding the conduct he proposes “flys in the face” of human nature, much less the word of God. It leads to jealousy, anger, confusion and is very destructive I would think to ANY marriage. I certainly do not want my wife with another person, ever.
    Now, back to WHY sex is important to MEN and is ( generally speaking) not an animalistic urge being forced upon a person we love. Sex, at least to me as a man, is the “ultimate expression of love” to your wife. WHAT is more giving to one another, more intensely intimate, than making love? I cannot think of anything else where we give ourselves COMPLETELY to the one we love. I am so tired of hearing and reading that men are some kind of beasts who need NOTHING BUT sexual gratification! You know, just give the guy an orgasm and get it over! That is such a common misconception that ruins Christian love. Men, whether they admit it or not, want to kissed and held and loved because of the wonderful security they so need in their lives. Take away sexual intimacy, when there is no genuine physical reason to do so, and a wedge is driven between the parties. The men who do not cheat should be applauded after years of refusal. I am into 10 years and I tire of it. My sex intimacy is not really intimate and frequency averages about twice a month and usually less. I feel insecure and loved like a roommate, not a spouse. It is unacceptable but I accept it. Our discussions are there is nothing wrong. She just does not like to do it. If she did not have the usual orgasms maybe I could understand. But I don’t understand? Thanks.

  34. will says:

    Anonymous, you are absolutely right in demanding an exclusive relationship. Pray over this, and go to counseling right away. This continual emotional hurt is not good for either of you. But be strong and strengthen yourself and your marriage. A strong self and marriage is much better than any dangerous adultery.
    Make sure you spend time improving yourself. Get fit, become more educated. Above all else seek God first.
    It sounds like your husband doesn’t know himself and is just letting himself get pulled in any direction, in this case evil porn. Seek God and his word. Intimately. Read the bible together. And don’t deny him love affection, and sex.

  35. Christina Rhoads says:

    John, thank you for your comment back. I have had to look deeply inside myself to get to the bottom of why I view sex the way I do and how I have mixed up sex with intimacy in years past.
    I am sorry to hear of the current state of your relationship, makes me wonder what is really underneath her lack of desire….how she was raised to view sex….I have found it amazing to see that sex/intimacy is like connective tissue for our relationships…binds all toghether.

  36. Tania says:

    My husband and I did not start our marriage healthfully. He cheated on me and lied to me for the first couple of years and it took a huge toll on me and our future. We are still together but there have been some lingering affects that are still a problem. He wants me to regularly wear lingerie and provide oral sex for him. He is fifty pounds over weight even though before we married I was very clear about what a big issue being active and healthy is for me. I was a personal trainer and I’m still very consistent about taking care of myself. I see this as a huge double standard that I keep choking on and struggle to find my way to just giving him what he desires knowing he is not going to do his part which I consider integral to us having a balanced, loving and respectful relationship instead of me feeling objectified by him. This is causing huge problems for us and I’m starting to feel desperate to escape how miserable it is making both of us. I appreciate anything you have to offer.

  37. Lourdes says:

    If he’s been good to you, given you no reason to bveiele he would ever do it again, has tried his best to make it up to you, you have to let it go. I know you’ll never forget, obviously, but you’ve got to let go of it once for all. You know you’re the one who is only hurting yourself by letting this thing actually control you. It’s like you’re obsessed about it you’re allowing it to do so. It’s over, done with he’s even no doubt forgotten it, unless you keep bringing it up to him. You’ve got to let go of this control it has over you. I can say this because it has happened to me, so I’m not talking about something I know nothing about. I about drove myself crazy over it too. But came a day where I KNEW I could not change it, I accepted the fact, but I did something about it for MY sake let go of it. Is letting go of a 26 yr. old marriage worth it because of it? Have you considered counceling for yourself an option? You know he loves you, since you’re still w/him you no doubt still love him or you’d left awhile ago. Please for your own sake put it in the past, take away the control it’s doing to you your mind, go forward. The past is gone can’t be changed, but you do have a chance of a new beginning/a new future if you’ll just LET GO of it. Is this person really worth taking control over you you allowing it to? No, she isn’t, but your marriage is truly worth it. Don’t sell yourself short, it had nothing against you if that’s what’s in your mind. Please for your sake let go of it, let go of the control you’re allowing to hold on to it for so long. Once you finally decide to let go of it, you’ll feel like you’ve lost a ton of weight off your shoulders. Write it down on a piece of paper, simply saying I let go of this I refuse to let this control me any longer , take it out in the yard, dig a hole bury it. From then on, free yourself from this be happy again. He’s not holding on to it, you are. Please do yourslf a big favor think about it. Think about how great it w/be to finally set yourself free. I know how I felt. But I also knew I was the only person who could do it for myself I knew I HAD TO. I don’t know what more I can say, but take away the control you’re allowing someone else to control our mind. I can promise you you’llfeel so much better after ou just let it go. I DO wish you all the best, trust you’ll make the rite decision for YOU. You deserve peace happinesslet yourself have it 🙂

  38. Pingback: 5 Tips for Surviving Occasional Sexual Loneliness in Marriage – Intimacy in Marriage

  39. Debbie says:

    Husband stated that I should jointed with what I have and the no sex was no big deal – he has admitted to having ED his testerone was very low normal and he continues to refuse any treatment for either so 2 plus years no sex IAM beyond sad

  40. Trusting says:

    First, I am so sorry for all of you that are here. Its living a nightmare. 13 years sexless. Refusals, I withdrew some. Continuing refusals, I started drinking (not proud of this). I slipped into depression. Kinda lost it for a couple years. I gave up. I wasn’t human. I felt and still feel sub human, worthless. Used only for a paycheck. I became an alcoholic. I begged and begged for intimacy but I as denied, and ever so deep I slipped away. I begged and begged God to help. Nothing. I begged and begged for God to take me on to heaven. Still nothing. I wanted to die. I wanted out, out of life. I asked God why I waited all these years and saved myself for my wife only to be denied? Lowest point of my life. I haven’t cheated, though I have been tempted. I got back my faith. I quit drinking. Lost a bunch of weight. Then she tells me she isn’t happy, doesn’t love me and she wants out. I am keeping my faith, and Trusting God. I laid my heart, my marriage, my life before Gods feet and said here is this mess. I’m following you God. We’re going to counciling now. I don’t know but it’s in God’s hands now.

  41. SeriousCat says:

    Here I am 10 years with a gf. This is our relationship to a tee:

    * She needs to be touched before sex can happen
    * Failure to touch her means zero sex
    * I’ve done 90% of all sexual initiation
    * She never finishes me off, but I have endless times
    * She makes strange noises when handling ‘me’.
    * She takes zero initiate to touch me, and I feel unwanted
    * If I could touch her first, she could touch me first. She chooses not to.
    * Claims it’s cause she’s not in the mood. IT’S A CHOICE TO TOUCH SOMEONE!
    * It’s only about her sexual needs. Not mine.
    * Brought this up year after year. Only reset-set happens
    * I almost left on year 9
    * Average year we have sex 3 times because I initiated
    * She agreed to counseling, and I would stop smoking
    * She went to one session. I’m smoking again.
    * Been three months since we had sex
    * I’m now in love with another woman who is in a similar situation, and we both agreed when the time is right we will be together.

    I feel abused 🙁
    * I no longer want to have sex with her. I shut down.

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