Do You “Accommodate” Your Husband’s Desire for Sex, But Never Really…

Do you “accommodate” your husband’s desire for sex, but never really show up?

Do you make your body available, but never your heart and soul?

While “lack of sex” is a common storyline that sadly shows up in many marriages, equally discouraging is accommodation sex — whereby one spouse merely goes through the motions, but never really shows up.

We can try to argue it otherwise (and trust me, many people have), but God truly designed sex to be a profound encounter between a husband and wife.

A oneness.

A reaffirmation of what is good and holy and right in the covenant of marriage.

A physical playing out of marriage vows.

It’s no wonder that we intuitively and quickly recognize when such experience is reduced to nothing more than duty or “going through the motions.”

We know when our spouse is begrudgingly doing something, rather than vulnerably offering their whole self.

I’ve heard from some people (mostly husbands, but some wives as well) who say they can’t decide which would be worse — no sex at all or sex that is done only out of obligation.

Ask yourself these questions:

Has accommodation sex become the standard in my marriage?

Is it the pattern from which we never deviate?

Does it define all (or nearly all) of the sexual encounters between me and my spouse?

Why is accommodation sex so devastating? If you are the one going through the motions, you may actually be asking this question with contempt, rather than contemplation.

Many wives have argued, “He is getting what he wants — sex. What does it matter if I’m really into it or not?  Why is he disappointed? He got what he wanted! He got his release.”

Well, that’s not what he truly wanted.

He wanted the woman he married to desire him sexually.

He wanted the woman he loves and does life with to value sex not simply for the physical release, but for the indescribable connection it creates.

He wanted his wife to crave his touch and his mouth and his body.

He wanted her to show up.  Really show up.

The good news is that if accommodation sex is all that you have ever offered, you don’t have to stay stuck in that pattern.

Change is hard and awkward and sometimes overwhelming. I get that.  But it is possible.

And if it is the kind of change that can strengthen your marriage, why wouldn’t you walk in the direction of change?

Not sure where to start?  How about getting real with your spouse about wanting sex to look different in your marriage.   How about a humble, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’ve treated sex as duty rather than a gift.”

Maybe the hardest part will be digging into why you feel the way you do about sex.  As bewildering and overwhelming as that can be, it is so worth the heart work.  You’re worth it.  Your marriage is worth it.

Sure, you could just sit back and hope things will improve on their own.  But why gamble with something as precious as the relationship with the person you fell in love with and married?

For more reading along these lines, check out Why the Excuse “Sex Isn’t a Need” Doesn’t Hold Water.

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

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48 thoughts on “Do You “Accommodate” Your Husband’s Desire for Sex, But Never Really…

  1. Reba says:

    “Maybe the hardest part will be digging into why you feel the way you do about sex. As bewildering and overwhelming as that can be, it is so worth the heart work. You’re worth it. Your marriage is worth it.” I can personally attest to these statements; they are true in my case.

    Bringing our hearts and souls, our whole selves, does not necessarily guarantee a pleasant experience at the start. When I first returned to our bedroom after several years of a sexless marriage, I could not bear to bring more than my body. Doing so was too painful emotionally.

    The next step was trusting that my husband would be with me through those painful emotions. There were times I wept throughout our sexual activity and sobbed afterward. Gradually I became less fearful and felt more safe, and lately there have been some times when I felt loved and at peace.

    So it wasn’t a case of EITHER begrudgingly performing a duty OR bringing my whole self to a joyful experience, with no road to travel in between. It has been, and continues to be, a journey.

    Thank you, Julie, for continuing to nudge us forward.

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  3. Jay says:

    For the past few years my wife has been in this frame of mind. Physically there but mentally and emotionally checked out. For lack of better terms, it’s sort of like having sex with a blow up doll. My wife’s lack of concern of how things have devolved in our marriage bed has me very discouraged.

  4. Reba says:

    I wonder if we are on the same page when we use the term “physically there.” To me, “physically there” means responding physically, but checked out mentally and emotionally. I’m not lying there like an inanimate blow up doll, I’m responding and enjoying. But my emotions don’t match up, because inside I’m in turmoil. I’m keeping a lid on those emotions so as not to spoil the experience for my husband.

    To lie there unresponsively is less than “physically there.”

  5. Jen says:

    I know that you briefly mentioned that this can go both ways and I’m sure that I am the minority here, but it’s not always the wife who just goes through the motions. You seem to focus so much on women who don’t want sex and intimacy, but there are plenty of husbands who don’t want it.

  6. JulieSibert says:

    @Jen… Thank you for the comment. My site does tend to focus on wives who are not interested in sex, but I agree with you totally that there are some wives who are the ones who want more sexual intimacy.

    I have a page on my site with posts specifically from that angle. Some of the posts I wrote and some were written by other bloggers…

    https://intimacyinmarriage.com/resources/wives-who-want-more-sex-and-arent-getting-it/

    Thanks again for your comment. I really do appreciate it!

  7. Reba says:

    @Marie The first step was realizing that I needed help working through some issues. I worked with a competent therapist for several months. Once we connected the dots and identified some triggers, I chose to act on what I know versus what I feel. I trusted that my emotions would eventually follow my actions. I have made significant progress and am still moving in a positive direction. That’s not to say there have been no setbacks or that it has been easy.

    I think for husbands who have all kinds of wonderful, positive emotions whenever they have sex, this is difficult to understand. They can’t imagine experiencing physical pleasure and simultaneously feeling traumatized emotionally. When they long for us to bring our hearts and souls, pain and trauma are not exactly what they have in mind.

    But if he is to know you, he needs to know all of you, including your pain. Sharing that pain can be an important step in your healing process.

    Best wishes!

  8. Keelie Reason says:

    I don’t know why it is so hard for women to show up sexually. I really have to believe it is because they either have past hurts, or they are not understanding how sex is for a couple not just for one person in the marriage.

  9. JustWant2BOne says:

    I’m learning that certain medications can affect libido and desire in both men and women. I’ve never, ever had this problem before and have always felt like the higher desire spouse, until recently. I was given something to help with anxiety and depression issues and while I feel it “calms me down” anxiety wise, it seems to be messing with my libido and I don’t feel as interested as I once used to be, but am also nearing 40, perimenopause I’m sure. I’m not even taking a full dose of the medication, but half a tablet because a full tablet caused extreme fatigue where I didn’t want to even get up or felt like I’d been knocked down for the count. I’d hate to see what a full tablet would do to the libido on only half a dose. The medication is working so well for the anxiety and severe PMS issues that used to cause a lot of tearfulness (which my husband just could not handle the tearfulness and being so emotional all the time), that I hate to try something else since it’s working so well for me and I tried other things in the past that actually made me worse and changed my true personality. My husband and I were both very leary about me even trying another anti-depressant after I was off one for many, many years after a terrible experience with one where I felt suicidal and never experienced that with any previous meds. So far this one is helping with the issues, but I was surprised the effect it’s had on my libido after never experiencing a lack of desire ever before. My husband has always been the low libido spouse the past several years so I guess in a way I’m not as disappointed as I used to be when I felt he was refusing or felt rejected in the past when my advances would be flat out turned down. I’m not sure I want to continue on this medication due to feeling it is suppressing my drive, however it’s controlling the past issues I have had over the years better than anything I ever tried before and our overall marriage relationship seems better, except for the intimacy issues that I sometimes feel will never get fixed or resolved, but there has been a little slight improvement which I am grateful for. Thanks again, Julie for your thought provoking and encouraging posts!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Sadly, I used to think making love with someone who has checked out is better than nothing, but reading this helps me realize there is really no point in trying anymore. It is so hopeless — any attempt to discuss her abhorrence to anything but “going through with it” has caused me to never try discussing sex with her at all. Counseling? If she won’t discuss sex with me she won’t discuss it with a counselor.

  11. marriedheat says:

    My wife checked out many years ago. We’ve been married over 30 years and she had faked orgasms for at least 15. She became numb. It’s been a hard road for her to feel anything but she’s getting there.

    It’s been a hard road for me as well. Finding out she was faking took a toll on a few different areas of my psyche. First, I thought I was a good lover and I always put her orgasms above mine. Second, and more importantly, I lost trust in her, in her desire for me, in her reactions during sex, in our very relationship.

    It’s been over a year since she admitted to faking and, while things are better, it’s still a struggle.

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  13. Six4One says:

    1 Corinthians 7:5 HCSB “Do not deprive one another sexually-except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again; otherwise Satan may tempt you (or your partner) because of your lack of self-control.”

    What is really bad is when your spouse has no interest in sex with you, but will flirt, do sexting, and even masturbate with someone else…then claims they don’t have any sex drive…Then claims they love you…Yeah, right.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Married Heat
    I suspect this fakery of my wife also. She’s definitely an accommodater– She couldn’t really care less as long as bills get paid, cars are full and clean, yard is cared for. And I cook most times. Why stay? Money. Habit. Family. (Grandchildren and grown kids.) I told her once that I think she married me just to have children, and she just looked at me like, “And you’re just now figuring this out?” But in front of others, it’s all sweetness and light.

    What I do is find other places to be and other things to do. Turn your mind and body away from sexual thoughts.

  15. John R says:

    My closest male Johnny was talking about this fact today. Says his has cut sexual contact to once every month and then “she is not really there.” We have the same problem—lovers who express and feel no love. It is A JOB to stop the husband from running around with uncontrollable hormones and finally taking up the women who know
    (Other women ALWAYS KNOW when a guy’s sex life sucks) on their offers.Johnny’s comment today was women in general don’t like sex. They think it is dirty. But they can just live through long enough to,capture their men with SEX. I believe in this after two long running marriages—there was THE CHASE AND THE CAPTURE and then the END soon thereafter. THIS is where most all of out friends are also. The next interest in sex is a heat chart and a baby. They ACT like they really WANT YOU again but all they need is a sperm deposit to birth your child and they will disappear again. IF they finally succumb to sex one a month or so it will be seen as a job to keep the husband from having sex with someone else. So you wait n wait like a good puppy dog until the GREAT GIFT OF THEIR BODY IS BESTOWED UPON YOU and they wonder why you are not happy with this? Want to cause your husband ED—just let him know you are performing an obligation. If he is a really good husband you don’t deserve him because you misled him during the chase. You are rolling out the red carpet for your husband’s affair. Someone thinks he is cute and they also know he is disrespected at home and his hormones are raging. So roll out the red carpet but don’t whine when he leaves you. You brought it all about.

  16. Brad says:

    John that is exactly correct.

    And thank you Julie for this. it really needs to be spread across the globe for both men and women. The need to be wanted by your spouse goes beyond anything for me. It is first thing on my list everyday. If men and women could really understand it’s importance then divorces would be a thing of the past.

  17. Anonymous says:

    JohnR–
    Another thing that happens is getting older. Early in marriage it’s one of many phases of the monthly cycle: pre, then during, then after–no and no and no again. The woman is the gatekeeper, the one with the power. (Although I keep reading about these women with higher drives than their husband) I always found there was a one week window where IT was granted. Now, it’s that we’re too old. Too late for us. Good luck to you.

    One more thing: isn’t it ironic that you’re not supposed to have sex before marriage. So you are doomed or blessed by chance. You have to wait, but if your spouse is not in the least interested in sex, do you think they’ll tell you? Would anyone buy a car without driving it? And you sure don’t keep a car for more than 40 years. In a way I’m a real sucker, and I think lots of us are out there.

  18. Reba says:

    @Anonymous You speak the truth in that there are many challenges to sexual intimacy over the course of a long marriage. But you seem to write from the position of believing most wives seek those challenges out and use them as lame excuses.

    When I married at age 22, I had no clue that I would have trouble enjoying sex or feeling loved and treasured by my husband. And I would give other women the same grace–they don’t go into marriage planning to deny their husbands the very thing they need most.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that many women would choose to remain single if they had a do-over. They never wanted to be the cause of pain, nor did they anticipate feeling so much heartache and confusion.

  19. Christian Husband of 38 yrs says:

    Anonymous: No, a “test drive” before marriage is most certainly not the answer. The answer is the very hard work of deep and honest communication, starting before the marriage and then continuing until one of you passes away. A “test drive” doesn’t simulate anything of the daily, lifelong effort that has to go into good communication. Good communication might not completely solve all of of your problems, but I can pretty safely predict that bad communication has at least a part to play in just about 100% of those problems.

    Unless there is a physical problem that renders one of the partners deaf, blind, and mute, I don’t believe that there is a physical problem that precludes good communication, or that constitutes a good excuse for a failure to at least work hard at communication.

  20. John2 says:

    @CH38, man I hear you. In my heart I know premarital sex is wrong, but I can’t help think that I could have avoided years of unsatisfactory sex and marriage if I had taken my wife for “test drive”. (that does sound bad when you put it bluntly like that, lol). We waited till after marriage. We had a big conversation before marriage where we discussed what we wanted and expected from marriage. Talked about kids, family life, work, money, and specifically sex. She agreed with me on everything. There are many things in our marriage has she never followed through on, including a lot of sex related issues. So, I kinda feel like anonymous does. It seems like a crap shoot as to whether you get good sex or not.

  21. Daniel says:

    @John2

    Trust me when I say that premarital sex with your now wife would not have changed a thing. My wife and I chose not to engage in sex before marriage. Once we were married we had a very satisfying sexual relationship for several years. However, just the same, it tapered off and now is once a moon, maybe once in a blue moon.

    The fact, whether people want to be honest about it or not, is that the wife typically changes and becomes disinterested in sex. They go from super hot sexy woman who knows all the moves, one you can’t resist and who you would walk across burning coals for, to icy cold room mate. It may take some years, but the stories and the transitions are pretty much the same. Sometimes you stop and ask yourself, “Is this really the same woman I married?” Actually, it isn’t, even though she has the same name and DNA.

    This is different from men who are disinterested in sex. (And those cases are few – let’s just be honest about it). In those cases, the men were never interested in sex and never will be. The wife in that equation was not buying goods under false pretenses.

    But we, as normal men who desire to have intimacy with our wives, have found years later that we got something we did not bargain for. But it’s too late now. The deal is done, and even if we had “negotiated” before marriage do we think that she would honor that commitment now, when she suffers utterly no consequences for not honoring it?

    Counselors and wise ones suggest discussing all this before marriage. Sure, fine, do that. However she will change. It happens every day and is happening in a huge number of marriages as we speak.

    She has permission to change. You, on the other hand, are criticized for not changing the way she has. She is no longer interested in sex, therefore you are a sex crazed maniac, who only thinks about “one thing.” “It’s your problem that you are interested in sex.” “You need to work on that.”

    Is this unfair? Absolutely. Diabolically unfair. Dare I say “evil.” Can it be solved? Uh, no. It’s the way things are. Each of us has to come to that conclusion on our own.

    As a man who has been refused constantly to the point of almost never asking, my answer has been to go and get my own life. I work out and have gotten in shape, I’ve committed to several good hobbies, I do charity work and volunteer, I make my own schedule, I spend a lot of time alone, and I have become very independent. That’s what I was before we were married, and that’s what I am now.

    I didn’t choose this life, she chose it for me. She holds all the cards. She gets to decide. Is threatening to leave going to cause her to suddenly become sexually interested in me? No. And biblically speaking this is not grounds to leave a marriage anyway. So as I look (and have looked) at all the options, I realize I have none.

    Women stopped submitting to their husbands long ago. Do we really think we, by our own hand, are going to reverse this trend? That train has left the station.

    I’m a believer, but I’m also a realist.

    Daniel

  22. southern gent says:

    Daniel,

    GENERALLY, women do follow a path similar to what you described. Part of that is that for most, the physical side of the “want to” is tied to ovulation. When the cycle becomes less intense, that starts to wane. Then, at menopause, it is down a bunch.

    A lot of Julie’s mission on this site is to help women address this. They ARE sinful when they are not willing to give of themselves for sex with their husbands.

    BUT, take a hard look at yourself and your actions. It typically makes no sense to us, but women want to be “courted” just like they were originally. They want to be told they are desirable and wonderful. They want a different style of communication than men.

    Also, try to see if you can find a sex positive church and get your wife to go. If she is exposed to that, maybe she will get the hint.

    You should expect more and you should get more.

  23. Jen says:

    Keelie,
    Some reasons why women may have a hard time showing up for sex:
    -it is not enjoyable for her
    -no/not enough foreplay
    -he insists on sexual acts she doesn’t want to partake in
    -she is exhausted
    Glad you are enjoying your sex time, but not all of us are there yet.

  24. John R says:

    An interesting thought I had on this “very little sex” issue and the “accommodation sex” issue is this: I was not always a full bore Christian. I believed in God but hypocrisy kept me from the organized church. However I was raised in the church up until age 16. I heard sex was bad and dirty and only those of us who were bad boys would have premarital sex with bad girls. This was not true. We were not bad. The girls were and still are, good people. My mother was a refuser and a gatekeeper. Yes, your children are a whole lot more intelligent than most people think. So, I never seriously pursued marriage until age 30. I did not see many good marriages. The older men always complained that when you marry your sex life ends. THAT is my thought for tonight—-I dated a few women for long periods of time. Girlfriends, not a wife. The sex was terrific and very frequent. Three to four times a week for years, sometimes more. So, I fell into the very naive belief that real love and marriage and a relationship with God would be wonderful. I honestly think the women that wanted to marry me would have had sex on top of the refrigerator if they thought I wanted to. Or anywhere else, at most any time. All you have to do is be kind and loving and adoring. Surprise them with little and big things! Be BEST FRIENDS. Talk all the time. Do everything together. It is wonderful. I told myself “best friends make the best lovers.” I was wrong. You marry and your sex life begins its decline. Except of course when children are wanted—then you are pursued again. I was not real impressed that my sex life returned to normal for purposes of procreation. I felt USED. My present wife actually thinks men are funny to pursue sex like they do. I bet if I have an affair that it won’t BE FUNNY. I spent all my single/girlfriend years having normal sex with love, intimacy and passion. I have spent two married lifetimes with very little sex or romance. I am now convinced that women do not REALLY like romance. Not very sexy, huh? Not very romantic is it? Well, that is life. No amount of praying, talking or counseling has changed a thing. So, play football with your grandson, ride your motorcycle, go to football games, go out with your male friends and shock YOUR BEST FRIEND by not being so loving and accommodating. Or I guess you can have an affair with an unmarried female—-SHE will want sex. Guaranteed. Isn’t all this very sad??? Not what God intended. And YES, some women are treated this way by men. John R

  25. John2 says:

    @ Daniel

    I understand how you feel. It feels hopeless most of the time. In another post somewhere on this site, someone commented a similar feeling; that the man has no real options, except to leave, and that a woman with a really good christian man has even less reason to change because she knows her husband will most likely not leave. I can’t say that I will not leave eventually. If things do not change, I will definitely move out and separate. We may stay married, but at least if I am by myself I will not be expecting anything from her. In counseling, my wife once mentioned that she has no sex drive anymore. I could probably get more sex if I pressed her for it more, but it makes me not desire sex with her when I know she does not desire me. It just leaves a hollow feeling inside.

  26. MJ1 says:

    Unfortunately my wife is not into having sex as much as I am. And with 3 small children sex is down to about 4 times a month and I have to beg to get any oral pleasure. I give her everything sexually and mentally, cook, clean and I do whatever to make her happy but unfortunately when I’m horny it’s easier to have a date with my hand then ask her? Want advice never get married and have kids if you like sex and get use to masturbating as a working husband?

  27. John R says:

    Today is great example of accommodation sex. WHEN AND IF we have sex it will happen on a Sunday evening or afternoon. Today I was really excited about the prospect and asked if she wanted to make love? “Well, I guess WE COULD BUT, I have to think about supper TOMORROW night for Todd ( my son in law).” Very exciting! Really “turned me on.” Right! My erection disappeared. I hope that is not too graphic but it is the truth of a majority of married sex. Never had a girlfriend say ” Well, I guess we could….BUT..” Not once. There is nothing worse than accommodation sex except no sex and it borders on no sex. She ABSOLUTELY KNOWS I will never leave her or cheat on her. This is pretty demeaning and humiliating. I WONDER how a wife would feel if husbands responded that way when they walk into the room wearing Victoria Secret and asking “Do you want to make love with me”? I suggest they would be very insulted and angry.

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  31. Amanda says:

    My husband has always said “you owe me”, “it’s your job”, “it’s your responsibility to service me”, “he needs to release tension” + a multitude of other degrading remarks. I’ve had 14 + spinal surgeries & I’m in constant daily pain which I’ve explained to him. So I’m just not interested or up to this physical action-sex….. his answer to this : oh come on just meet me half way, you don’t need to do anything babe just lay there that’s ok. As far as I can see obligatory duty sex is NOT a problem for my husband. He’s getting his 3-4min (literally) physical action needs met.

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  33. D Sneed says:

    Sorry, I was channelling Montgomery Scott just then…but it seems that marriage does come with a technical manual (The Holy Bible)…the pity is that we dinna read it as thoroughly as we ought before engaging in it.

  34. D Sneed says:

    To clarify a previous comment. Accommodation sex sounds like you’re trying to do it with someone who doesn’t want to respond back, someone who isn’t into you. I’ve gotten to a point where I don’t want to go where I’m not wanted. I fear the possibility that some may take their spouse to that point. If I didn’t want that level of commitment with someone, then I would have opted for the doll instead of feeling like I was hurting another person. And as a man I like to feel like my wife enjoys me, otherwise her responding is feedback to me, anything less is a waste.

  35. Sandy says:

    Darned if you do, darned if you don’t. We’re shamed for not wanting to have sex and then when we do it anyway out of love and selflessness we’re shamed again. Do you understand how mentally and emotionally draining having sex when you don’t want to just to please another person is? If you did, you’d realize how much of a giant sacrifice it is. Some people just aren’t that into sex, period. But understanding the sexual needs of your spouse and doing your very best to meet them should be appreciated and not condemned.

  36. Al says:

    Sandy:
    Totally agree. I’m a low drive guy and struggle with this too. Some people just are not into sex. I’m one of them. After nearly 25 years of marriage I’m wondering when can I finally say no and not have to feel guilty. Some people just do not enjoy it.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Al and Sandy,

    Since sex is a major part of marriage, did you tell your potential mate that you were not into sex before marrying him or her? I am guessing that you did not…this is unfair to your spouse. Without regular sex, you are really only roommates, not a married couple (even though you have a document that says you are married).

    I truly hope that you seek help for your marriages.

  38. sandy says:

    I can only speak for myself, but I was a virgin until I got married so I had no idea that I didn’t like sex. There are tons of married couples who CAN’T have sex for various reasons. Are they any less married? Of course not.

  39. Al says:

    I’ve lays been low drive. When first married once a week was max and never could do multiple times per day. My wife and I did not have sex before marriage. About 5 years ago I got to the point where once a month was more than I wanted. I’m approaching 50, have clinically diagnosed low T and have tried multiple type of T replacement and HRT and nothing is bringing the levels up and some of them really make me sick. Dr thinks I’ve always been low T, entire life.

    I seriously don’t get it. Don’t find uncontrolled shaking and convulsions of the femal orgasm appealing and all the work to get few seconds of the male orgasm is very little return on all that work.

    The vows of marriage were love, honor, care for. Check, check, check.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Yes, sex is a major part of marriage.

    Most of us go into marriage very much expecting sex to be easy and wonderful, until it’s not.

    One of the problems that arises is that men are driven to seek sex because they are loaded with testosterone.
    Take that testosterone away, and men will end up much like Al above, with very little need for sex.

    Women, typically, are not physiologically driven to seek out sex. We have very little testosterone to fuel a true physical need for sex. (there are exceptions to every rule)

    “Regular” sex is extremely subjective and is usually defined by the high drive’s needs.

    This is what happened in my marriage.
    Sex was great in the beginning, probably driven by the ‘newness’ endorphins.
    Over time, my energy and drive for sex started subsiding. My husband ‘needed’ sex 2-3 times a week. He had the physical need, I didn’t.

    I was willing to have sex with him 2-3 times a week because I loved him and wanted to keep him happy. But, that wasn’t enough for him. He wanted me to want sex with him just like he wanted to have sex with me.
    He wanted me to crave his body.

    I always thought that was kind of an ego issue but could understand how my willingness without total enthusiasm might make him feel like he was using me.
    In fact, having sex when I wasn’t truly into it made me feel used too. But, I was not to deny.

    I can’t fake enthusiasm. I love my husband and also need the connection physical intimacy provides but I don’t have the energy, drive, or need 2-3 times a week.

    I decided that in order to engage enthusiastically, I had to figure out how often I could have sex and truly show up for the occasion.

    Turns out, once a week I can truly engage with enthusiasm and energy. And physically enjoy sex. If he needs sex more often, he can expect me to be willing but I probably won’t have the energy to fake being totally turned on.

    I would have never known this before marriage. Thankfully I found this out about myself before his need caused me to shut down completely.` He has come to understand that my body doesn’t work like his. I need sex for an entirely different reason and not nearly as often.

    I sometimes wonder if the “do not deny” rule ends up causing ‘accommodation’ sex.

  41. Michael says:

    Anonymous,

    Your words resonated with me and described our marriage well, especially when you wrote “my willingness without total enthusiasm might make him feel like he was using me”. I have struggled with that feeling a lot, because many times my wife’s body language is telling me that she isn’t much into having sex. I crave being with her MUCH more that she desires to be with me sexually. So when she is just trying to accommodate me… I end up feeling terribly selfish over using her.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts…

  42. AfricanLady says:

    I just landed on this site by chance.
    As a single person who was looking forward to marriage, after reading comments here, am now wondering if marriage is all that. I mean i know change is a fact of life, but i’d like to believe the core of a person remains.

    I do believe that marriage IS God’s idea, but now am wondering are there truly happy(fulfilled) marrieds out there?

  43. Anonymous says:

    If God truly intended for sex to be enjoyed by both husband and wife, why in most cases is it so much harder to women to find fulfillment in it?

  44. A wife says:

    Sigh because he’s a verbally abusive manipulative back stabbing bully, and I’d sooner gouge my eyes out with a fork than bear my heart and souls (and body at this point) to him again. Make sense? Yeah I though so too. He thinks it’s all me. I forced myself to fake it for a few years and I can still be very bitter and cynical about male sexuality because of it. Moral of the story is if a wife doesn’t desire sex, doesn’t feel like, or isn’t in the mood, trying to make her do it anyway (with mindgames, not physically) or trying to guilt her into forcing herself to fake it create a great deal of emotional harm, turmoil, and complete lack of faith in whoever is providing the pressure (husband, clergy, men in general, her mother, the therapist, who ever it is.) I’m all for fixing decent non abusive sex less marriage where both people love and respect one another by rekindling to woman’s desire (or the man’s) but pandering to a bully and demanding sexual availability from a man seeking to harm the woman or demanding that a woman make herself sexually available and risk pregnancy in an uncommitted loveless relationship who someone actively trying to mentally and emotionally harm her completely defeats the purpose of being married.

  45. Julie Sibert says:

    @A wife… My heart goes out to you. Certainly anything I write on this site is within the context of marriage as God designed, which does not include abuse.

    I think it is horrifically sinful and grievous what your husband has done to you.

    I know abusive marriages are deeply complex and not easy to leave due to a variety of circumstances, but I encourage you to confide in someone who could help you strategize in how to get out. Some communities have women’s centers with advocates trained to navigate such tragic situations. If you have something like this in your community, please try to talk to someone. If not, maybe a safe confidante at a church or legal authorities? I am so sorry for your pain.

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