Is there a sexual struggle in your marriage because you assume sex is only a physical release for your husband?
Maybe you feel offended, thinking you are nothing more than a means to an end — his sexual needs fulfilled.
I know I am generalizing some, because this scenario could be gender flipped and it could be the husband feeling he’s being used only for his wife’s sexual release. But by a long shot, that would be the exception when this topic comes up.
As prevalent as the narrative is that husbands just want a physical release via sex, there is not much truth to back it up. Nearly all the husbands I hear from do NOT view sex as that one-dimensional.
They are quick to point out that If it was just about ejaculating, they would only masturbate or let their body relieve sexual tension through wet dreams.
The men I hear from tell me they want to have sex with their wife because she is the one they love. Yes, it feels good to have an orgasm. And yes this does relieve sexual tension that builds. But husbands tell me all the time they deeply desire that experience with their wife. Even more so, they find phenomenal pleasure in seeing her enjoying sex as well.
Many Christian husbands are not selfish about their sexual desires. They are biblical about their sexual desires.
They are serious about wanting to experience sex on a somewhat regular basis ONLY with the woman with whom they fell in love and made a covenant vow.
If you are a wife who is solidly in the camp that your husband wants sex with you as nothing more than a physical release, I encourage you to humble yourself. Give him the benefit of the doubt.
Consider his perspective and ask yourself these questions:
1. Am I giving him my body, but not my whole self?
As tempting as it would be to shift all the accountability on to him, take a look at where you need to own up to a few things. Do you always (or nearly always) just go through the motions when it comes to sex? Are you eager for him to “finish” so you can get back to what’s more important to you?
That sounds super harsh. I know. But hear my heart on this as someone who has spent a lot of years listening to married people about sex. No one, especially your husband, wants to feel like you are just going through the motions on things that really matter. It cheapens sex and reduces it to nothing more than a physical release. An emotionless transaction, you could even say.
So that’s a bit of the irony. You don’t want him to view it as just a physical release, but have you done anything that has made it just a physical release?
Sex was intended for so much more than that. God built it into the marriage relationship as an authentic expression of love. He thought so highly of marriage that it is the only relationship where he wants a couple having the physical, emotional and spiritual expression of oneness that comes form sex. It is an exclusive place for a unique kind of vulnerability, fun and bonding.
So if you give him access to your body, but never your heart and mind and soul, have you grasped why God designed sex in the first place? It is something worth pondering as you seek God and look inward to your own motives and actions.
2. Do I pursue him sexually?
I know that sometimes couples fall into patterns where only one spouse initiates. Usually when this is happening in a marriage, it is the husband shouldering all the initiation of sex. Not surprisingly, this can set up a discouraging dynamic, because it subtly (or not-so-subtly) suggests that the wife holds all the keys as to whether they are going to have sex.
She is always the one in the position to say yes. Or to say no.
But do you know what I hear from husbands? They are not too fond of this pattern. Not one bit. They would prefer a healthier dynamic where both the husband and the wife initiate sex, so that sexual intimacy becomes a shared responsibility and a shared privilege.
If your husband is like most, he wants you to desire him. He wants you to pursue him sexually. You are the only one with whom he morally can be intimately affectionate and have sex. So if you don’t pursue him sexually, where does that leave him? Feeling like crap. That’s where. Maybe even angry. Disappointed. Confused.
So stand back and ask yourself if you pursue him sexually. If you don’t, dig into not only the why behind that, but also what the two of you together can do to right the ship.
3. Am I climaxing and enjoying sex?
I think it’s incredibly easy to fall into a pattern of seeing sex as simply his release if you yourself don’t enjoy sex and experience orgasmic pleasure when the two of you make love.
And mind you, I’m not talking about climaxing only from actual intercourse, because for some women, that’s difficult. That’s why it is so important for the two of you to learn what it will take for you to experience an orgasm, whether it be from the way foreplay increases your arousal or the way one or both of you use your hands during sex, or by trying various positions or sexual techniques.
If you have been faking orgasm, I encourage you to come clean about this. Sure, this is hard, but faking pleasure instead of actually experiencing it is not sustainable if you want healthy sexual connection in your marriage. For a good read on this, check out 5 Reasons Faking It is Hurting Your Relationship. I also wrote Wives Who Fake Orgasm, But Really Want to Come, as well as I’d Rather HAVE an Orgasm than FAKE One.
When both of you enjoy sex, this idea that it’s just a physical release begins to diminish. You realize that sex is so much more than that. If you struggle having an orgasm, check out this entire page I have on orgasm.
4. Am I paying attention to how sex benefits our life together?
This may feel more abstract, but I often sum it up this way — I like my husband better after we make love. We are better equipped to extend grace. We are softer and more easy going with each other. We communicate better and enjoy each other’s company more.
Your husband likely has noticed this as well in the life the two of your share, which just further confirms that sex is so much more than a mere physical release for him. He wants the two of you less stressed and more on the same page.
Sex has the potential to be glue in a marriage. When nurtured and mutually-savored, it helps the two of you better function in your overall life together.
And let’s face it. There are a lot of aspects of life that a married couple has to navigate together, whether it be bills, parenting, work decisions, time management, carpool schedules, soccer practices, birthday parties, in-laws, dogs puking, buying/selling/renting homes, planning for the future, and dealing with a host of curveballs that you never could have seen coming as you stood at the altar.
Like I said. A lot! If having healthy sexual intimacy could help keep you more connected on this crazy trip of marriage, isn’t that a huge benefit worth exploring? A little peace of mind and stress relief go a long way, and sex can bring you both.
All things considered (if you have hung in there with me this far into the post), do you see that it’s highly unlikely sex is just a physical release for your husband?
If the two of you have sexual struggles or unresolved issues or whatever it may be that has sabotaged healthy intimacy, then let this be your wake up call to build a healthier path. As long as you are still married and still committed to the marriage, there is hope. Your tomorrows do not have to look like your yesterdays.
Sex is about so much more than a physical release.
And I have a 5 video series available on building better sex in your marriage. Great way to invest in your marriage! You can find out all about it at this link: Better Sex in Your Christian Marriage.
Copyright 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.