We Haven’t Had Sex In Over a Year!

Kate says:

“What? You haven’t had sex in over a year?” That is exactly what I am thinking every time I read comments like this. Here are some other comments we have seen as well: (these are paraphrased for privacy.)

“My wife and I have sex once a month if I am lucky and I usually have to beg, after being shot down repeatedly ”

“My wife and I have not had sex in almost two months. This has been our ongoing struggle for years. I asked her to go to counseling with me and she wants to know why. She doesn’t see anything wrong with this picture.”

“My wife and I have sex an average of 3-4 times a year.”

“My wife and I have not had sex in months, some would call that sin!”

“My wife and I have not had sex in over 5 years. But I am trying my hardest to remain obedient to God’s word and what he asks of me as a husband.”

“My wife and I haven’t had sex in so long I can’t remember. She doesn’t realize that the ONLY reason I am still in this marriage, is because God called me to remain faithful. I have tried many things, asked so many times to go to counseling or a doctor. She refuses. I am to the point where I don’t even like her or find her attractive anymore. Why can she not see her “no sex” has taken our marriage and thrown it away?”

I have to tell you these kinds of raw comments have been on my heart for quite sometime. Whenever I read them, it always tears at my heart and I feel the pain of these husbands and wives. Yes, both the husbands and wives. I feel deeply for the husbands because they are suffering in great ways. Pent up sexual desire, trying to keep other woman out of their minds, possibly masturbation, etc. I also feel for the wives, because either they truly don’t know what they are missing, or they do and are ok with just lying to themselves, and ignoring the sexual issues in their marriage. Regardless, I believe the wives are hurting too.

Reading these comments also brings me to my knees in remembrance of how I was sexually unavailable to Brad for many years in the beginning of our marriage. As far as the two of us can remember, at our worst, we had sex only 2 or 3 times a month. But there where many years, where that was the norm. I cringe when I think of how I was being disobedient to God’s word and plan for marriage and intimacy.

So why am I sharing this with wives today? I am truly hoping that this may open up some of your eyes, that you would have eyes to see and ears to hear God’s plan for sex in your marriage. That you will see how your lack of being sexually available is hurting your marriage in ways you would never imagine.

I am writing to wives today, to those of you who are reading this and know in your heart that you are one of these wives. While my heart goes out to you, as one who has struggled before you, my heart is also compelled to share with you how wrong this is. Sexual intimacy is so important in a marriage. You CANNOT just deny it and forget about it. You are ripping apart your marriage and the vow that you took standing before God and agreeing to cherish and nurture, forever!

For those of you wives out there, who want to scream at me because YOU want sex and your hubby is the one who is not sexually available. This post was not written for you. I know it is such a struggle for you as well. You may find you feel much of what these husbands above have said, if that is the case, stay, read and just change the genders where needed. Or feel free to stop reading. But I have to be honest, it is the hubby’s comments that God has burned on my heart today.

If you are one of these wives . . .

Own up and get some help!

Admit to yourself that you struggle greatly in this area. Denial will only keep you there longer. Confession is cleansing and healing. Talk to God first, share with him your confession, as Him for help. Sit down and confess to your husband that you struggle in this area. Humble yourself and ask for forgiveness, but don’t stop there, ask him to help you figure out how to get back on track and into God’s will for sexual intimacy. This may mean counseling, seeing a physician or both. Remember that you may need help getting back on track, whether it be physically and/or emotionally. Your husband should be a part of this process. If you have a physical reason that desire is low, or intercourse is painful than your hubby should be there with you in the Gynecologist’s office so he too can hear about possible treatment and side effects.  Sex and intimacy is not about him and her, it is about being One Flesh!  I know you are thinking, “he would never want to go with me”. Ask him, I bet you will be surprised what your hubby is willing to do to ensure that you both enjoy regular, soul connecting sexual intimacy. I think a hubby would do most anything. Don’t sell him short, ask him.

Find female accountability!

Find another female who is willing to encourage you and hold you accountable in your marriage. Especially in sexual intimacy, if it has been a struggle. The woman you ask should have a good One Flesh connected marriage herself. Knowing that every week you are going to have to answer questions, regarding your sexual availability to your husband is a good way to keep you on track. Your accountability partner can also serve as a marriage/intimacy mentor. Make sure whom every you meet with is willing to be open and honest about all aspects of sex and marriage. You will need this kind of openness to grow and move past future roadblocks. One word of caution, be careful not to let this person replace talking to your hubby. Communication with him is more important that any other person.

Keep 1 Corinthians 7: 3-5 close at hand, memorize it!

“The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (NLT)

This scripture leaves little wiggle room. Wives, we are told to fulfill our husband’s sexual needs. We are told to give authority of our bodies over to our husbands. We are told NOT to deprive our husbands of sexual intimacy unless it is agreed upon by BOTH partners, and even then it should only be for a short time, for prayer. We are told that when we are not doing the above things, we are opening up the door for Satan to walk right into our marriages and wreak havoc. We are inviting sexual temptation into our marriage. If you are not following what this scripture says then you are being disobedient to God’s Word.  Keeping in mind that I too disregarded it for years, the reality is that if you are not following God’s Word, you are not doing what He has asked of you. Whether you like it or not, that is the truth.

I think (disobedience, or a sexless marriage) is not what you want for your marriage. Will you choose today to see what you are doing to your marriage? Will you choose to fight for your marriage and your sexual intimacy, no matter what?

  • No matter how many doctor’s visits you may need to go to,
  • No matter how many creams you need to rub here and there,
  • No matter how many counseling visits you have,
  • No matter what!

Whatever is keeping you from healthy, regular sexual intimacy with your husband can be overcome. There is noting too big that God can’t handle it. There is no one so broken that God can’t heal them. There is no marriage so far gone that God can’t hold it up and bless it in abundance. You only have to be willing!

If you are unsure of the next step to take, please contact us, we would love to talk to you one on one. Husband or wife! Brad and I have a desire in our hearts to see all marriages restored to God’s plan for them. We all have sinned and fall short and that includes in our marriages. But it is whether or not we choose to stay stuck in disobedience, that will determine where your marriage heads.

Another great article on this subject was written by my friend, Julie Seibert. Would You Be Fine With Your Husband Having Sex With Someone Else? Be sure to check it out.

Follow-Up:  Many comments and emails asked me to continue the story, to tell how Brad and I changed our sex life.  Since that was just too long to leave in the comments, I added a second post to this series.  To hear our story check out, “Sexual Intimacy: Journey from Broken to Beauty

80 Responses to We Haven’t Had Sex In Over a Year!
  1. Kentucky Colonel
    July 25, 2011 | 4:09 pm

    Kate,

    I'd be interested in hearing what turned you around.  Perhaps there is a post on it already to which you can point me.

    What I'm really interested in knowing was it because Brad started picking up his socks off the floor and putting them in the hamper, or started helping around the house more or something that happened internally with you?

    Thanks!

    • Robin
      March 4, 2013 | 11:30 pm

      So i find this article as i lay on the couch crying because all intimacy is out of my 22 year marriage and i’m not sure of what the next step and it is my fault. I HATE sex i know that is the strong word, but i do, i can’t stand to be touched or even looked at. I hate the way i look, the way i feel. The last time we had sex was,a year ago and i felt like i was suffocating. I have absolutely no desire for sex, but yet i am saddened because i know how much it hurts my husband. I don’t know how to get passed feeling so dirty and getting professional help is not an option financially. I don’t know where to turn. I love my husband, but hate what i am doing to him. I also love God as my Savior, but find i am angry with him because He has made sex is so important in a marriage. I just want to be loved regardless of my breasts or because i am giving sex. Please help me Lord.

      • Scott
        April 10, 2013 | 8:35 pm

        Robin,

        My heart aches to read your post.

        I wish I could offer you a magical solution, but I can’t. It sounds, from reading your words, that you are struggling between what you know to be right in your mind, and what you feel you hate. I think your answer lies in the fact that you DO know what is right – God HAS made marriage, God HAS made sex a part of marriage of key importance. God has made these things good. So the first step, I would suggest, is for you to decide whether you are going to pursue what you know to be right regardless of how you feel about it. If the answer is yes, I don’t mean to belittle your situation by suggesting the road ahead will be easy. But I urge you to (A) pray to God frequently and lay everything in His hands, (B) communicate with your husband and let him know you want to take steps to improve things for both of you, and (C) find another Godly woman you can confide in and ask for advice and encouragement. Also, don’t dismiss the option of professional help without first investigating. My wife and I are currently seeing a licensed marriage counselor, and for those whose insurance won’t cover the counseling he has a sliding scale of $60 to $90 an hour, based on income. So perhaps you and your husband could commit to a fixed number of sessions, say three to five. That might be enough to help get things rolling in the right diretion, and for an investment of only $200-$300.

        I hope my words are helpful and encouraging…

      • x1134x
        February 27, 2014 | 11:40 am

        Your attitude is the problem. You’re not “giving” sex. You’re “having” it. You’re not “giving” anything. There’s no “gift”. its an act. You engage in it. Nothing is lost.

        • Julie
          February 27, 2014 | 11:49 am

          x1134x – I’m not really sure your comment is necessary. I don’t think you’re being helpful. Sometimes frank answers do not help.

    • M.A
      May 24, 2013 | 8:45 am

      Hi;
      I am a man, me and my wife married for 20 years, we have 4 children of this marage. Me and my wife were both vergins when we got maraige. As i can remember, as an avarage, within those 20 years of maraige, we had sex for not mre than 5 times yearly!!!!! We are still young, me 44 her 37. I really lived and still living misery life, but just like the others, i did not had sex ever in my life except with her, so as she, because we are very religious, and this marraige continued for the sake of our childen, and the word that I gove to God to keep this marraige.
      I am very sad for the years, the best years ofmy younghood life that went and will never come back, and she feels nothing, she just hate sex.
      I do not love her, she knows that, and she knows that i will never have divorce because of my faith, but we are still living togetther because we have to. I will ask God why he give me this wife, why he did thid to me as a punishement in my life.
      I do masturbation, yes i do, because i camt go to prostitutes to fullfil my desires, again because of him, God,
      I know my situation have no way to heel.

      But i will never forgive God.

      • Brad
        May 25, 2013 | 9:43 pm

        M.A.
        What a sad story. My heart breaks for you and for your wife. While I respect your faithfulness in following God’s rules about divorce, I wonder if that is because of a faithful heart or the fear of what “others would say”. God doesn’t just say, “stay with your wife” or “don’t divorce”. He does actually call you very specifically to LOVE her with as much love as He has for you!

        If nothing else I challenge you to look to your deep faith and ask a simple question, “God what would you have me do towards my wife?” He knows your pain, he understands the loneliness. He does have an answer. I challenge you to ask the question. Maybe you feel the wounds are too deep, but I promise you that God can heal all wounds.

  2. Paul Byerly
    July 25, 2011 | 6:37 pm

    Kate – when sex was rare, did you know how much this hurt Brad?

    A lot of guys don't let their bride know how much it hurts – you know, be a man, keep it inside. I think that is counter-productive – women are all about feelings, and I think understanding the emotional pain that comes from a lack of sex would hep some women make a change.

    Thanks for the great article!

  3. Shon Hyneman
    July 26, 2011 | 4:12 pm

    Funny how I came acroos this on twitter because we will talk about this topic on the next Doctor of Love show. Sometimes women have issues with sex because of molestation or rape and their Husbands never knew UNTIL it became an issues in their marriage. That's why it's important to talk about this stuff in premarital counseling…

  4. GinaParris
    July 26, 2011 | 4:44 pm

    Oh this topic pains me!! I was also the low desire spouse and I knew all the Scriptures. (I was a youth minister, peak performance coach and recognized "expert" in human potential!)
      I just literally, physically could not get aroused, and my husband has always been a loving hunk! And I had zero baggage from my past. Sheesh. Talk about baffling! I prayed, talked to people, got prayer and literally nothing changed until I "stumbled upon" energy psychology which I jokingly say that I stole from the "New Age Crowd." (Now I realize that it's not a new age thing at all.)  Many women can just make a decision to have sex and they can do it. I was not one of those women. God had to send me what I consider a miracle.
    That's the whole reason I finally launched my winningatromance site, and went public with my story.   I seriously don't think we provide a full solution with the admonition to simply pray or use a cognitive approach when the mind/body connection is a complex thing.
    If there IS a trauma in the background, then that is all the greater reason to deal with the memories on a cellular level by bringing our mental assent to the Word into our very flesh.
    Okay, I'm a little passionate about this – and I totally applaud the work you are doing.
    Ultimately, I'm convinced all the answers are in the Word, but many of the people I reach have been so burned by church talk.

  5. Brad & Kate Aldrich
    July 26, 2011 | 7:26 pm

    Hi Gina!  Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!  I hear you and agree with you wholeheartedly that people are burned out from "theological" talk!  Sadly I think there is not enough "church" talk about it.  Good, solid, no holding back, church talk about marriage, sex and intimacy.  It is the unspoken theological church talk and exspectations that I feel are truly burning people out! 
     
    It is funny to see how much our stories run along similar lines.  I too was a Youth Minister and Brad was a family therapist, when we were expereincing our first 5 years of marriage.  Our lowest points in marriage and intimacy were all within those years.  But our church that we worked at, would not have been a place, employee or not that we would have gone to for help.  For us, a great deal of the issues, was me standing up and owning what I new to be true about our sex life.  I knew it was true, but I just kept ignoring it. 

    I think one of the toughest aspects of helping wives in this areas, is simply that there can be SO many reasons why they are struggling.  Getting to the bottom of those possibilities seems daunting and just too much.  And you are right, the mind/body are so intertwined and we cannot exspect people to ever seperate the two.  When dealing with sex and intimacy, both have to be taken into considerations.  Absolutely!  For those of us that have a "healthy" sexual relationship with our spouse, mind/body still has to be nurtured. 

    All of that to say, thanks for sharing and I agree with you very much!  God has placed this on my heart as fo late and I felt called to share.  Thanks for all that you do to help marriages become all that God desires for them!  Blessings, Kate

  6. Kate
    July 26, 2011 | 7:18 pm

    Hi Shon Hyneman!  Thanks for sharing!  What you say is so very true.  If there has been trauma in the past, it has to be brought to light.  Sadly I think many times it is missed in premarital counseling as well!  To be honest sex was hardly even mentioned in our premarital counseling.  There are many reasons why a husband or a wife may be having issues with sex and intimacy.  The gamut is huge, the possibilities are endless and we may not discover them until after marriage.  But the hope is that we will understand how vital intimacy is and be willing to explore how to make it better.  It can be a very long process, and one that at times will be hard and challenging, but so worth it!  Just breaks my heart to see so many husbands and wives confused and discouraged.  So many only married in name when truly they want so much more!  Thanks for your ministry as well.  All of us are vital to this call!  Thanks again for sharing!   Kate

  7. Paul Clifford
    July 27, 2011 | 1:42 am

    I just know that no matter how much I talk to my wife about it, nothing changes.  She promised to listen to some of Gina's stuff for my father's day gift.  We'll see.  Sex twice this year and if we don't do it tonight, we won't until sometime next month at the earliest (she has rules that make us miserable).  

    Oh well, pray for me.  I'm going to beg.

  8. Kate
    July 27, 2011 | 5:38 pm

    Hi Kentucky Colonel!  Thanks for your questions!  There was much more I wanted to add to my post, but it was too long as it was!  You ask really great questions, and after thinking about it and talking with Brad, we are going to do another post talking about my turn around and the two "breaks" as we like to call them in our marriage.  I was thinking it would be a looong responce on here!   So I will talk about this and answer Paul's questions as well in a follow up post. 

    Everyone please go and check out Kentucky Colonel's marriage site.  He has some amazing thoughts and insights.  We are honored to be serving along side him as a fellow marriage blogger!  http://www.agrownupmarriage.com

     Blessings!  Kate

  9. Kate
    July 27, 2011 | 5:52 pm

    Hi Paul!  Thanks for your question, it is a great one!  Once again you got me thinking and we have decided that I will write another follow up post to this one.  There was much more I wanted to share in this one, but it was already long.  So I will talk further about the two “breaks” in our marriage as we like to call them and how we communicated about intimacy in our marriage.  I think you are so right, that many men do keep their hurt inside with lack of sex.  I did not realize how much I was hurting Brad at the time, now I understand that very clearly.  Will share more soon!  Thanks for asking! 
     
    Be sure to check our Paul and Lori’s ministries!  They are simply-amazing!
     
    http://www.themarriagebed.com
    http://www.the-generous-wife.com
    http://www.the-generous-husband.com
     
    Blessings, Kate

  10. Paul Clifford
    July 27, 2011 | 10:30 pm

    Well, begging worked last night, but experience tells me not to even try until the end of August.  I love my wife so much.  This just has to change.

  11. GC
    July 27, 2011 | 10:56 pm

    I suggest that husbands who are really struggling with this consider forcing the issue – not physical force, of course, but absolutely insisting that the issue has to be addressed because, otherwise, the marriage may not survive.  A very close family member just went through a divorce that was caused by this issue.  Although the wife was clearly at fault for refusing sex for many years, the husband was also at fault because he never insisted that the issue be addressed in order to save the marriage.  How much better it would have been if he had said 10 years ago, "This marriage will not last unless we address this" and then INSISTED that they address it.  Even moving out of the house for a period of time, with the intent of demonstrating how serious the problem was, would have been better than divorce 10 years later.

  12. Katie
    July 28, 2011 | 2:12 am

    Just thought I'd mention that this was my struggle as well the first several years of marriage, and I didn't realize until after I stopped taking birth control that it was the BC that killed my sex drive for those years! No one ever tells you about that side effect. Unfortunately, four years later we are still suffering the consequences of those early years as it has damaged our marriage and sex life long term. Despite the lack of desire I wish I would have been more responsive to his needs.

  13. Kate
    July 28, 2011 | 2:33 am

    Hi Katie!  It is really cool that you wrote and shared this.  My follow up post, that will talk more in debth about how our sex evolved and changed, deals with this very subject.  I too did not know that BC was killing my sex drive.  Thanks for sharing and you will have to check out my next post, it will be up later tonight!  Blessings to you and your hubby as you continue to heal and rediscover each other!  Kate

  14. GC
    July 28, 2011 | 1:33 pm

    Like you, I had no idea what bc pills could do to a woman's libido.  When I went off them I was shocked.  If I could re-do the last 10 or so years, I would have had a tubal ligation after we had our last child.  But I just had no idea.  Going off the pill wasn't the entire solution to the problem, but it enabled me to become much more interested in promoting intimacy in our marriage and to take steps to make that happen.

  15. Brad
    July 28, 2011 | 1:48 pm

    Paul,
    I'm so glad that you felt comfortable to comment! It is so important that wives see and understand the struggles that are happening! Thank you!

    I feel for your struggle! It has to be very difficult to maintain emotional intimacy in your home without even the hope of physical intimacy. One of the things that I'm going to be talking about in my reply post (not up yet, this is a preview) is how guys in this position feel the need to beg. (using your words). It happens frequently, but unfortunately doesn't usually result in positive results. Even if sex is forthcoming because of the begging it starts things of in the direction of "I need physical release".
    I would challenge rather then begging for that physical release start begging for help. I have heard from men who say they ask their wives to get help, which results in them having sex 1 time, then thinking the problem is fixed. We know it isn't fixed, but without communicating the need for help OVER the need for physical release, they don't necessarily get that message.

    Lets face it, is physical release important, YES especially if it has been weeks or months, but it is not what is going to fix or even improve your marriage. You need emotional connection, spiritual connection, and more to change.

    Ok, enough post preview.. more to come on this later… For now, I would suggest that you take the time between now and the end of August to research a good Christian counselor who isn't afraid to deal with marital sexual issues, and start asking your wife to come so you can BOTH learn together!

    God Bless,
    Brad

  16. Brad
    July 28, 2011 | 1:50 pm

    GC,
    I think the pill should come with a warning label "May DESTROY your sex drive, Take with caution!" We had no clue until Kate was off the pill!

    Like you it wasn't the solution, but it sure helped!
    God Bless,
    Brad

  17. Strong Man
    July 28, 2011 | 7:04 pm

    GC is right.  Boldness and clarity is necessary.  Fascinating that her advice is coming from a woman!  

    Hoping that a woman will ever understand this is unrealistic.  A woman is not a man–and we're different.   I don't think talking is enough to get the full message across.   

    I've described this in my post:  Intimacy and Childbirth.

    I'm convinced some real action is needed to communicate the importance of this issue.  And men need to admit to themselves that the weak substitutes of masturbation and porn are just that–weak substitutes that make men weaker.

  18. "Frustrated"
    July 29, 2011 | 6:08 am

    So how many times talking seriously about it… spilling your guts out… putting it all out… and basically getting an "oh, well".  NOTHING ever changes.  I am at a loss.  Ever since my wife went to work (very part time), she has NO time or energy left for me… but does for everything or everyone else.  I am ALWAYS initiating, and usually getting shot down.  Then on the off chance she says yes… i feel like crap after we are done.  I can go out and get sex… that is not what I need… and my wife is the only person I can share that with.  Thanks… 'Frustrated'

  19. BD
    July 29, 2011 | 3:12 pm

    What are good alternatives to the pill, other than condoms, that don't also affect sex drive?  Are there any posts on that you can point me to?

  20. Brad & Kate Aldrich
    July 29, 2011 | 3:41 pm

    The best place to go and look through all your options is The Marriage Bed.  Paul and Lori have a whole section on Birth Control, what they are, how they work, their side effects, etc.  It is very informative and can help you to better explore your options!  I will put the link below!  Thanks for asking!  Great question!

    http://site.themarriagebed.com/biology/birth-control

  21. Brad
    July 29, 2011 | 8:32 pm

    Frustrated, 
    Thank you for your comment!  It sounds like this has been a challenge in your marriage for a long time!  I commend you for sticking with the struggle!  One of the keys is focusing exactly on what you said "On the off chance she says yes… i feel like crap after we are done."  I would love for you to expand on this, but my hypothesis is that you feel like crap because while you have achieved physical release it has come only at the expense of further emotional alienation and relational distance.  As difficult as it is, I believe this is why you change your focus.  Rather then focus on getting her to agree to one more time, work on getting her to agree to help.    

    I know that is vague,  please forgive me.  I am writing more on it, and will be posting it soon!   (I'll link it here as soon as it is up!)

    God Bless, 
    Brad

  22. Longing for my husband
    August 21, 2011 | 3:15 pm

    I’m reading all these posts and feeling a little frustrated that only wives are being blamed.  I am also living in a sexless marriage, but it’s my husband that doesn’t want it.  I’ve tried talking about it, crying about it to him and I get nowhere.  However, I did like the comment about the husband that should have insisted that they deal with the problem much earlier.  I’ve decided that I’m going to seek counseling for myself and go from there.  Please pray for e and my husband that we make it through this.  I am a child of divorce and it is not an option for me, but I also don’t see how I continue to live this way.

    • Brad & Kate Aldrich
      August 21, 2011 | 6:14 pm

      Hi Longing for My Husband!
      Thanks you for writing and sharing your thoughts!  This is Kate.  I hear great hurt and frustration in your words and situation.  You are not alone out there by any
      means.  There are many wives who have
      contacted us with similar stories.  The
      reason this post that I wrote is only talking to the wives, is simply because
      that is the way I intended for it to be. 
      I even said as much in the post. 
      Many people have written the same comment, whether we are talking
      husbands or wives.  But the reality for
      us as marriage blogger’s is this: we cannot write from every perspective,
      addressing everyone-in each post!  It
      would be LONG and overwhelming.  We
      write our posts coming from one perspective or another, but not all.  We just did a 4 post series on wives being
      refused and wanting more sex and intimacy with their hubby’s!  It is very important to us to see all sides
      and talk about all things that hinder marriages.  We have not left wives out, nor have we let hubby’s walk away
      from their part in intimacy in marriage. 
      I hope that is very clear!  Its
      best to check to see if we have other posts that will address the particular
      issues in your own marriage.  Just like
      you don’t want your struggles to go unnoticed, neither do Brad and I want our
      writing to be judged on one or two posts. 
      I hope you will check out our latest series on wives and sexless
      marriages.  I will attach the links to
      the bottom of this comment.
      That being said, I will most definitely pray for you and
      your hubby!  There is great hope and
      healing in God’s plan for marriage, not matter how awful things are.  There is no divide in your marriage so big
      that God can’t cross it.  There were
      times I was not sure what would become of Brad and I.  But God has broken us of our selfish behavior and blessed us in
      ways I never thought imaginable. 
      Counsleing can be a wonderful tool and we are big encouragers of using
      it!  Even if it is just you.  It is a brave step and I admire you for being willing to do so!  I want mostly
      for you to know that you are not alone, and that we care deeply for all of our
      readers.  This is God’s ministry and we
      work very hard to seek Him in all that we do. 
      We do not want to present a one sided blog, ever.  But it takes us some time to cover all
      avenues.  Please know that I am praying
      for you and if you would like to chat further, you can always email me at onefleshmarriage@gmail.com!  Blessings, Kate

      Here are the links I was talking about:

      I Can’t Remember the Last Time My Husband Touched Me!
      http://www.onefleshmarriage.com/2011/08/i-cant-remember-last-time-my-husband.html

      I Can’t Remember the Last Time My Husband Touched Me!  Part 2
      http://www.onefleshmarriage.com/2011/08/i-cant-remember-last-time-my-husband_13.html

      He’s Lost that Loving Feeling!
      http://www.onefleshmarriage.com/2011/08/hes-lost-that-loving-feeling.html

      He’s Lost that Loving Feeling!  Part 2
      http://www.onefleshmarriage.com/2011/08/part-2-hes-lost-loving-feeling.html

  23. Dave
    August 29, 2011 | 5:19 pm

    I am so glad to see this discussion!  I was married for 29 years in a sexless marriage.  When we did have sex, my wife referred to it as “letting me do it to her.”  That was not exactly fulfilling, to say the least, and was only focused on allowing me to have physical release.  I needed physical release, but what I needed much more was physical/emotional/spiritual intimacy with her.  What started off as rejection of sex later felt like rejection of me.  We did see literally dozens of doctors, counselors, and therapists over the 29 years.  But after several visits she woud become uncomfortable with the process and refuse to go any more. 

    Whenever I forced the issue of talking about the problem, she would respond “So, do you want a divorce?”  Eventually that became the only viable option because I had absolutely on hope left that change would ever come.  At the time leading up to our divorce, I was being treated for depression and PTSD (I’m now a military retiree, 100% disabled veteran).  The marital situation was the primary cause of the depression, compounded by my experiences in the military.  I was hopeless and felt helpless.  It felt like no one on earth could understand and no one cared.  I was not suicidal, but I truly didn’t care whether or not I would continue to live.

    Now, 5 years after the divorce, I have an absolutely wonderful, loving, and sexually healthy wife!  I even got 2 great step-sons in the deal.  My wife and I rarely have sex at night, because she is a morning person.  But the mornings are awesome and we have sex more mornings than not.  We both work, but we go to bed early and set the alarm for our special time.  And, no, we are not still on our honeymoon – over 2 years already.  Life is good!

    Marriage is not all about sex, but it is incredibly difficult when one person is deprived of their normal and natural desires being fulfilled.  It is a shame that my first wife and I had to end up divorcing, and I wish it had been different.  But even if it comes to a divorce, it is not the end of the world. 

    To have a healthy marriage, find out what your spouse needs most and do everything possible to fulfill that need.  Put your spouse first in every thing you do, every thought you have, every plan you make.  If both of you will do this, marriage and life is just great.

    • Brad & Kate Aldrich
      August 31, 2011 | 3:08 am

      Dave,
      Thank you for sharing your obviously very challenging story! While it is always our hope to see couples work through these challenges, it is important to recognize that a lack of sex can and often does contribute to divorce. This stuff is important, that is why we keep writing about it! Thanks for sharing!

  24. Guest
    October 26, 2011 | 1:21 pm

    What would you recommend for a couple struggling when the husband is refusing sex?

  25. Jerry
    November 20, 2011 | 12:28 am

    My wife has not had sex with me in 2 years. The year before was 3 times,the year before that was 8 times.It was 11 times the year before that. She doesn’t want to see a counselor because everything is just right in her eyes.We’ve been married 28 years. She doesn’t see anything wrong in our marriage.I have never cheated on her. At one point she said I needed to get a concubine.I asked her 2 nights ago if it ever entered her mind to make love to her husband and she said NO! I see these women whose husbands won’t take care of them & I think, where are they!

  26. [...] post was for the wives! For you husbands out there wanting more sex, check out our recent posts, ‘We Haven’t Had Sex in Over a Year’ and ‘Life In Sexual Drought Begging for Change‘. /* /* Filed in: For [...]

  27. Jennifer
    December 26, 2011 | 6:04 pm

    Oh boy, where do I start? Actually, in my case it was my husband who didn’t want sex. Even from the very beginning of our honeymoon 6.5 years ago, I felt that he was almost annoyed because I wanted sex more than him. Then, over time it became less and less, to the point it was maybe once every six weeks if I begged him several days in advance (who wants to beg their husband to have sex with them, seriously??-It makes me feel absolutely WORTHLESS).

    However, it was ALWAYS a chore to him… He even admitted that! Things finally came to a head one day after it had been months (I blew up at him one day and told him I couldn’t take it anymore & that I was seriously tempted to cheat for the first time), and he said he just wasn’t as sexual as he “thought” he was before we got married (he was a virgin I wasn’t) on top of the fact he realized he used denying me sex all the time as a control measure in our marriage, because he knew I desired it more than him. Yet, he still bluntly said, quote “I know you’ll never degrade yourself like that… I sure think better of you than to do something like that!” Yet, he would never get how serious it was to me and STILL wouldn’t go to counseling at that point to get help (as if it was all my fault)!

    So, I decided to try and stick it out again for another two years and nothing really changed. He wold still give me looks of disgust if I “requested” sex?! Also, he had told me before we got married that he couldn’t wait to try oral sex and french kissing, etc., and well, I’ll just say I found out finally (after he would always close his mouth and completely turn away from me if I asked him to do pretty much anything besides “missionary position”) that he literally HATES body fluids and cannot stand to do pretty much anything like that (It’s so depressing, but why did he feel like he had to lie to me to get me to marry him? Did he really think this wouldn’t be a big deal???!)

    Well, I will admit, I fell… I committed adultery with my ex when I had gone on a business trip this year. I knew it was wrong, but at that moment I didn’t care. That’s really sad, but I was so sick of the manipulation and lies (more-so CONTROL) my husband was seemingly obsessed with and to caught up with to just enjoy one another?! I seriously don’t get it?!

    I also had let myself go and gained weight because he made it a point that “he didn’t care about my appearance, that it was about my “heart!” Previously, I took great pride in my health, weight and appearance… I even tried lingerie and he told me to please take it off as it disgusts him… Now he says he DOES want me to lose weight and dress better because it now seemingly “DOES” matter to him?! The problem now is that I JUST DON’T CARE about him and what “HE” wants with anything!! I feel he has manipulated me through a sexless marriage for almost 7 years and I almost hate him for “tricking” me into marying him KNOWING how he is pretty much asexual!

    Nonetheless, I came clean about the cheating, completely broke it off and now he pretty much totally hates me, yet he says he doesn’t want a divorce and wants to try and work it out. We also have kids, so I know it’s important to try and work on the marriage.

    However, we haven’t had sex since then, we sleep in separate bedrooms and that’s been over 6 months (I know people need time to heal, I get it), but I figure if I stay we’ll never have sex again at this point. I mean why would he if he’s always hated it? Now he has a real reason and I’m sure he’ll use it against me for as long as he can?!

    BTW, to his credit he is a great Dad and he works hard (although he has never been able to really provide financially for us), but I just don’t know what to do? I’m trying to walk by faith, but there are days I am SOOO mad that I almost feel like I was forced into this since if I had a husband who was semi-normal sexually, I would have NEVER looked elsewhere, yet I feel he expected me to just “live with it” and per his words “be happy with what I have!”

    Well, I just never was, and I never will be! All I wanted was a passionate marriage full of intimacy and for that I would have done ANYTHING for him, but because he refused to provide that I’m now bitter to some degree and don’t want to do anything for him… Please pray for me! If things change it will be a miracle of God is all I can say! and I have seen God heal some really broken marriages. I know I need to forgive myself and him, but I don’t know how!

    • Kate
      December 30, 2011 | 4:52 pm

      Hi Jennifer! Thanks for writing and for sharing. Thanks also for being able to see our post and know that it can apply to you as well, if you simply change the genders. We appreciate that! Your story breaks my heart and I cannot completely imagine how alone and hopeless you feel. I am wondering, since your husband was a virgin when you married, if he was aware that he lacked sexual desire, I am thinking he figured marriage would cure or fix that. Only to find out (as many do with sexual issues) that marriage only magnifies the issues, it does not make them all better. So while I agree he should have been more forthcoming with what he already suspected (especially with not liking body fluids and such) he probably did not know the extent of his issues until you were married. The thing is your hubby knows he has a problem, but what man wants to own up to the fact that he cannot perform and keep his wife happy in the bedroom. That is not an excuse for his behavior at all!

      There is great hope in God’s grace and healing. Is there anyone who you know that has a solid marriage that can speak to both you and your husband? Someone who can lead you two on a path of getting help. I know you said he does not want to go to counseling. Many don’t. But if there was someone else who could sit down and encouarge you in your marriage and counseling, that might be beneficial. Have you shared with your husband how you feel hurt and unloved, worthless! Not in anger with simply throwing accusations at him. But sitting down calmly and sharing from your heart, as gut wrenching as it may be. It will be hard to keep the bitterness from creeping in that has taken over your heart, but pray for God’s strength. Sometimes calmly sharing our hearts can touch our spouse in a way that had not in the past.

      I will be praying for you and your hubby! I would also encourage you to reach out to your church family. Find a trusted few and ask them for prayer, counsel and help! The church should be our greatest resource and ally in marriage. Give it a try! Please know that I hear your pain and that you are not alone. There are many wives out there that are in a similar situation to yours. They too are the ones who are starved sexually in their marriage. We have had many contact us. The hurt and rejection is so very real and hurtful. As you are walking this out, know that God has never left you and your husband alone on this journey! He is with you both, always! We will be praying for you. In His Grip, Kate

    • Jennifer
      January 4, 2012 | 12:07 am

      Thanks Kate, I appreciate you prayers and encouragement. We have started to get to the bottom of a few of the issues. He has made it clear that he wants to work it out and that he has “stumblings” of his own as well. I found my husband has an off and on addiction to gay porn and that he was molested by one of his mother’s boyfriend’s when he was in his teens.

      I asked him point blank if he felt he was gay or struggled in this area and he said “No!” However, he says he has struggled off and on for over 17 years with viewing this and wasn’t sure why, but has never had any desire to be with a man. He said to him it’s voyeurism and he just doesn’t feel comfortable with “real intimacy” with anyone regardless.

      He said it took him a long time to even feel comfortable with me just touching him (even non-sexually) because he has just always been very fickle about touching/intimacy/closeness.

      I do believe him as he broke down and cried in front of me. I also am aware that his father abandon them pretty young and he definitely has “daddy issues.” I know in my heart he wants to follow God (he is very involved with the church and is very spiritual) and we did talk to the pastor and he laid it all out on the line that we BOTH had to come to the table and start over.

      He said he has seen a ton of marriages end up in affairs or end altogether because of this very issue (sex and intimacy). He showed us where it talks about denying your spouse sex and that it’s wrong.

      We have a LOOOOOONG road ahead of us, but I do believe that if we can overcome, we can be a testimony to others.

      Last thing I’ll say… and this is SOOO true! I actually heard in on the Dr. Phil Show several years ago when I was flipping channels one day…

      He said, “When the sex is good in a marriage it’s only 10% of the marriage, but when the sex is bad (or sexless) in a marriage then it’s 90% of the marriage!”

      That statement is SO true in my life and the lives of others I’ve known that struggle in this area.

      God Bless! Thanks for this site :-)

      • Kate
        January 6, 2012 | 11:04 am

        Hi Again Jennifer! I so appreciate you coming back and sharing more. I feel so much hurt in you and your husband’s story. Yet at the same time I see great room for God’s grace and healing. Learning more, it is not hard to see why your husband has shyed away (sometimes in a mean way to you) It sex, touching and everything involved. It is also not hard to understand why he has struggled with porn. His story like so many others (ours included), is a testament to the poor, wrong choices others make and how greatly affects future generations. Your husbands molester has hurt not only your husband physically, mentally and spiritually, but he has also hurt you as well. It truly breaks my heart.

        Hearing your story brings back many memories about our own story. Having your husband break down and cry in your arms, is a humbling expereince. I too was there and know how you feel. We as the wife have a huge choice and influence in the healing process. Even though we feel as though we are victims as well. Our grace, forgiveness, love, respect and encouragement of our husbands during the healing process (which is only just beginning in many ways) has the power to give our husbands hope or erase the posibility of it all together. Even though it is God who they need to draw their strength, courage and healing from, we are the flesh a blood person God has gifted our husbands with. We are the ones who can be Jesus with skin on for them. After God lead me to serve and love my hubby in this way, Brad shared with me, how much that helped him to heal. They have been unloved and disrespected by others in the past and turned to porn to ease that. Only to find the porn while giving them a high of sorts, left them depressed and stuck in a dark whole. Keep seeking God’s heart for how to love your husband through this. How to show him respect as your hubby and the head of your home. There will be times of great hurt and relearning a great many things, but God wants great things for you, your marriage and your intimacy. Allow God the room he needs to move in your marriage.

        The scriptures in Corinthians about denying each other is a great scripture to pray over in your marriage. Read it often and pray it over your marriage. Also I spent much time in Ephesians 5, asking God to reveal to my heart what he wanted from me as a wife. And even though I was not sure I would do a good job, I asked God to work through me. I wanted to be the wife God wanted me to be! Not the one I had selfishly wanted to be.

        Know that you are not alone, Jennifer. Our stories are very similar and I grealty feel your pain! And my heart breaks for your hubby too! If you would like to talk to me further, I would love that. Please email me anytime at kate@onefleshmarriage.com. Know that I will be praying for you and your husband! I believe wholeheartedly that your one flesh journey will be a testament of how God can turn ashes into something beautiful and sacred! I would love to talk with you further, anytime! Blessings, Kate

  28. Trish
    January 2, 2012 | 10:19 pm

    I stumbled upon your blog after making a resolution to not deny my husband sex in 2012. We already have a very healthy sex life but I figure that I probably deny him more often than I should. I hope that by making a choice not to deny him that our marriage will become stronger. I was researching and am sad to see that this is such a large issue for many couples. I am eager to see the changes in our marriage and our lives as I make the choice to give my husband authority over my body. I am blessed in knowing that he loves me and respects me and that I have no fear or misgivings about this resolution.

    • Kate
      January 6, 2012 | 11:10 am

      Hi Trish! That is a great and very challenging new years resolution. I have heard of others making a similar resolution. I would encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 7: 1-7 and prayer it over your marriage as well as spend some time in Ephesians 5, exploring God’s desire for you as a wife. It was my working through these passages and asking God to lead me that led me to a place where sex and intimacy were of great value and importance. I admire your willingness to step out and prioritize your one flesh connection! Know that we will be praying for you and your husband! Blessingd to you in 2012 :) Kate

  29. Someone
    March 12, 2012 | 6:55 am

    I didn’t finish reading this before I had to comment. Maybe it would have gotten better but even if it did this comment pisses me off ” either they truly don’t know what they are missing, or they do and are ok with just lying to themselves, and ignoring the sexual issues in their marriag” 

    Can those really be the only options? What about the wives that want to and try ti but cant. And tey hate themselves and blame themselves everyday.

    I was molested when i was a kid for years by a youth pastor. But that didn’t make me hate the church or turn away from God. It made me cherish my virginity more than most girls. And when I got married I was excited and sexual and happy with my husband. Only to have my past slap me in the face. I have been struggling with this in my marriage since the start. I didn’t know it would be an issue . If I had I wouldn’t have gotten married when  i did. When we first got married we couldn’t have sex at all. It hurt too much. At first I thought it was the normal first time hurt but after months of trying and it never getting better it seemed something was wrong with me. I went to the doctor and she said everything looked normal. We tried and tried and I would try to endure it and end up screaming in pain. He hated hurting me and I hated how I felt about myself after. I would end up cruing all night because i felt bad and because i didnt know what was wrong with ne. We would do other things to pleasure each other and sometimes he would be able to penetrate a little more but very rarely. And then eventually we just stopped trying. After 4 years of marriage we have only had sex a handful of excruciating times. I finally saw a good gynecologist this week who diagnosed me with dyspareunia . Which is painful sexual intercourse due to medical or psychological causes. In my case due to my abuse. I didn’t know it could have such a horrible impact on my future. I didn’t even know it still effected me when I was married. but I never wanted this for either of us and it sucks that there are people out there who just want to make it all about the wife just being a jerk. 

    • Kate
      March 12, 2012 | 9:40 am

      Hi Someone! Thank you for writing and sharing your thoughts and part of your story! I appreciate your willinness to comment and share. You are right, though-not reading then end of anything we post can lead to misunderstandings. I would encourage you to keep reading. Also please keep in mind that we cannot address all issues in every article. We often get comments of “what about me, what about my situation?” Over time we do address most issues, but we cannot for sake of length, do that in every post. This paticulary post was addressing specifically women who struggle with sex and therefore have thrown up their hands and decided that it will just have to be this way and their husbands will just have to survive! We believe, biblically this is wrong and is selling God short of His plan and healing power. That being said, I see where you are coming from and the pain (physical, emotional and spiritual) you did and are going through. I cannot personally relate or imagine what struggles you have had to overcome! What happened to you was wrong in so many ways! I know someone who had a very similar situation as you did. She could not handle the intensive physical training she needed to do with her body and the intesive counseling, so she gave up and the marriage ended. While I can see where she was coming from, I also say that God is the God of healing, he can do ALL things. He never said it would be easy or that we would not have HUGE mountains to overcome. But He did promise that if we follow Him, He would be with us all the way. And I believe there can be healing. God wants to bless sexual intimacy in each marriage.

      Back to my quote, I said, “or they do and are ok with just lying to themselves and ignoring the sexual issues in their marriage.” Can those be the only options. Well yes and no. It sounds as if you are working hard to find answers and find healing. So you have defied my statement in many ways. But I challenge all women that I talk to with similar situations, is to not give up. Keep going to doctors, keep getting counseling. Will it be hard? YES!!!! But God has commanded us to make sexual intimacy a priority. If there are roadblocks to that, we need to work hard-everyday-to overcome those roadblocks!

      I love what you said about finding other ways to please each other, other then penetration. That is awesome and a great way to keep intimacy a priority while seeking healing and help. It is bold and shows that you are in fact holding intimacy high in your marriage. Sex and intimacy are not just penetration. There is so much more to it!

      These wives that I was addressing, I never called “jerks”! My heart truly breaks for both the wives and husbands in these marriages! I know that each of them are hurting. But when we turn away from that hurt and throw up our hands, saying “oh well.” I do believe that God is saddened by this. Some have suggested it is sinful to deny your spouse sex for this long. Definitly thoughts to ponder!

      I have made mistakes in our marriage where sex and intimacy are concerned and hurt our marriage greatly! Again this article was directed at the women who have denyed their wives for year(s)! Keep seeking God’s hope and healing in your marriage and intimacy! I think it is so great that you finally found a gynecologist that is helping, that is essential. To be honest, I have been going through something physically that could threaten to keep my hubby and I from sharing sex together. I have been at my doctors alot, because I refuse to let embarassment or anything else keep me from that connection with my hubby! I will do whatever it takes.

      Please feel free to dialogue further on my post! I do understand where you are coming from. Know that I am praying for you and your hubby! Blessings, Kate

  30. AMY
    March 30, 2012 | 8:24 pm

    These people are lucky. My husband and I hadn’t had sex in 45 years. That was our wedding night the first, last and only. I can’t even remember what it was like. My husband told me he hated sex, it was not exciting, disgusting and way to much work for so little. We only slept together once, maybe a couple of hours, he sat out on the patio most of the night.Then I was informed he was going to sleep by himself in the basement. Also he was going to start working midnights till they kicked him out so he could retire. He stayed on nights 40 plus years. I’ve been depressed, upset and angry because of how he treated me. I can’t be depressed about no sex because I’m still almost a virgin.

    • Brad
      April 2, 2012 | 8:51 pm

      Amy,
      I am sorry to hear such a painful and obviously tear-filled story! I wish I had an answer for you that could turn things around, unfortunately, I can not imagine anything that could change 45 years of entrenched sexual brokenness, and marital pain. I can only say I hope this comment acts as a wake-up call for other readers. This happens in marriages, and when it does the marriage falls apart!

      I pray that God can bring you the comfort that you so desperately are seeking!

  31. baptiste
    June 16, 2012 | 1:33 pm

    tough question but celibacy has no place in a marriage.

    • Kate
      June 17, 2012 | 10:25 am

      Hi baptiste! You are right it doesn’t! But usually the hurt and emotions are so raw that it is not that easy! Hoping to bring light and God to these situations! Thanks for commenting! Blessings, Kate

  32. JamesC
    August 4, 2012 | 9:51 am

    I think what sometimes happens is either some couples are sexually incompatible and don’t realize it until after they are married or have kids. Or, people suffer from various kinds of psychological problems like childhood abuse which makes intimacy in a relationship stressful and sex unpleasant. My wife and I haven’t had sex since our last child was born 16 years ago. Nobody is to blame we just lost sexual desire for each other. We get along fine despite there being no sex and we have two great kids. Maybe if we didn’t have the kids we might have divorced to be able to seek sexual partners better suited to our sexual needs but we stay together so our kids can grow up in a two parent family. We spent years going to therapy but nothing helped. I think now we have both accepted the situation and use masturbation to fill our sexual needs. We are Atheists so a least we don’t have any religious pressure which probably would have caused us to divorce. Being in a marriage where you are still sexually attracted to your partner after being together for years, or decades is, I think, simply a matter of luck.

    • Brad
      August 7, 2012 | 11:35 am

      JamesC,
      Thank you for your comment! I appreciate you chiming in. It sounds as if it has been a challenging 16 years. We are approaching the problem for a bit of a different perspective, since we acknowledge God’s design in men, women and sex. Even so, I would encourage you to at minimum understand the reasons for the change in sexual desire. You indicated past childhood abuse might be at the root. If this is the case, the trauma is very likely being triggered when you were attempting to find sexual intimacy together. Unfortunately, the problems don’t just stop in the bedroom. When couples have unresolved sexual issues it easily creates barriers between you. These walls grow and invade your marriage. Keeping conversations off limits, heaping resentment of unmet needs on each other, and driving each of you to look outside the marriage to meet needs. I’m not saying the resolution is easy! It is not!

      I do challenge that I disagree that “compatibility” is a matter of luck! I think it is Much Much harder then that. I believe that no couple is going to be completely compatible. Sex is pleasurable. Sex feels good. It is very easy to fall into sexual self focus, “this is what I want”. However, sex is also in relationship. It is the working out of differences to make it work for mutual pleasure, mutual satisfaction. This is something that we humans are not very good at. Simply figuring out how can I make it the best for me, while working out how to make it the best for another is a completely different mindset for us. I would challenge that this dichotomy is one of the things that makes us human.

      In my view this dichotomy also points to a creator who desires us to learn something about a unique relationship in the midst of this awesome creation. But that is for another conversation.

      I appreciate your comment and welcome you joining the discussion any time!
      Blessings,
      Brad

  33. JamesC
    August 7, 2012 | 2:44 pm

    Oh yes you are right about the childhood abuse. As a matter of fact I was unable to function sexually in any close relationship since I started dating in my teens. A couple of sexual encounters at the beginning of a relationship and I’d be fine. But anytime a relationship began to get serious I would start to suffer from a lack of desire which in turn would cause me to suffer from serious sexual dysfunctions. I promised my wife to be I would seek help for these problems when we got engaged and indeed, I did after the wedding. But years of therapy with various kinds of therapists could not help. The problem became very serious when we decided we wanted children but we sought help from a fertility clinic and as I mentioned in my other email we had two great kids. But it wasn’t easy and sex with my wife was always unpleasant and stressful for me. One therapist called it ” Severe Intimacy Anxiety due to childhood trauma and a resulting Adult Attachment Disorder” A big mouthful which, as I said, proved to be impossible to fix and which has caused my marriage to be sexless for many years.

    • Brad
      August 7, 2012 | 4:35 pm

      James,
      Thank you for your comment! I can’t even imagine the devastation the things you experienced in your past has caused your marriage and your life today. Childhood sexual abuse creates wounds that even in healing can leave significant scars. I recently attended a conference by Diane Langberg, a leading sexual abuse therapist. She talked about the enormity of the wounds that are left in the wake of abuse. Her book On the Threshold of Hope – Diane Langberg talks alot about walking in the pain, and hopefully discovering glimmers of hope along the way. She also recommended a book (I have not read yet) for the spouses of abuse survivors, to help them better understand the journey. Haunted Marriage: Overcoming the Ghosts of Your Spouse’s Childhood Abuse

      I’m one who doesn’t like to toss in the towel easily. I hope that you continue your journey toward recovery. You may have been given a mouthful of a diagnosis, but there is always hope of restoration!
      Blessings James!
      -Brad

  34. Stephanie
    August 13, 2012 | 4:54 pm

    I am not married myself YET, and seing all this knowing how I feel about sex, makes me NOT want to get married. Because for some woman, and I know a lot of these guys wife’s probably feel the same way, but sex is absolutely painful to me, im discusted by it, I feel like something was taken from me, and I just hate it!!!! I have never enjoyed sex and that might be the the case for a lot of these woman especially of their husbands are not making enough effort out of the bedroom, they want sex but what about what she wants? It’s a two way street, I’m almost willing to bet money on it half of these men’s wives have just gave in and said “ok, fine whatever I’ll do it to make you happy” and then lay on their back (NOT ENJOYING ONES SECOND OF IT) and just letting their husband go at it while they lay there wanting to cry, hurt and upset!!!!!!!! Have you ever thought about that? That’s not right either! This is the soul purpose I never want to get married!

    • Kate
      August 14, 2012 | 10:12 am

      Hi Stephanie! Thank you for writing and sharing! I hear a great deal of pain in what you are saying, and not just physically. You are not alone in your thoughts I am sure. THere are many wives out there who struggle with desire for sex. There are also wives who struggle with sex hurting physically. We have chatted with many wives out there who struggle one way or another. I think for me the difference is in understanding the struggles, acknowledging them, and then talking about them open and honestly. You are absolutely right that it is a two way street! You will never hear us saying otherwise, yet we challenge both sides (husband and wife) to not only show up physically, but emotionally as well. God plan for sex is a good one, one that is to not only bring about children, but also to bring mutual joy and bonding to the husband and wife. I would encourage you to talk with someone about why sex hurts for you! You need to get to the bottom of the issues you may have physically. Also I would say that GOd can bring an amazing man into your life who will cherish you and love you sweetly! It is not too much for you to want a husband who meets and is sensative to your sexual likes and dislikes. Yet it takes great communication and both sides showing up physically and emotionally! Not all men use their wives as you have described. I pray that you will seek out healing and search God’s heart for you in marriage! We are always here if you want to talk further, you can email me at kate@onefleshmarriage.com Blessings to you, Kate

  35. Julie
    September 18, 2012 | 4:18 pm

    Where to even begin with my reply? Well I guess I will just tell you my story. My husband and I got married young, we were virgins, but had made some…what we would call…sexual mistakes prior to marriage. We both went farther sexually with each other than we wanted.(well clearly we wanted it, but at the same time did not). Both of us were also addicted to pornography and masturbation for many years. (I’d say about 8 years for each of us). Prior to marriage, I felt emotionally distant from my husband (then boyfriend or fiance). I didn’t think we talked enough and so I would always resort to being physical with him to make up for it. I could easily get turned on and I desired sex so much. When we finally got married, I was excited that I could finally be with him fully. Well I did not enjoy sex and in fact have rarely enjoyed it the past 5 years. I stopped looking at pornography and stopped masturbating when I got married. I think I masturbated once since being married and regretted it and told my husband immediately. He told me he stopped looking at pornography and then 6 months into our marriage admitted he looked at it a few times while married. I was very hurt. After that I was naive to think he was over it. Whenever we talked about it, he told me he stopped looking. I believed him. Three years later, God worked a miracle in his life and ripped away the desire to look. He now has no desire to look and has been very faithful to me. My husband ended up telling me he had been looking for the past 3 years and didn’t tell me out of fear of hurting me. I am not sure what hurt worse…that he looked or that he lied all those years. It is much different now. I can tell he is different. God is amazing in that way. Now that being said, my sex drive is low low low. There are so many problems that I don’t even know where to begin. I do withhold from my husband, not to be mean and not because I don’t want to please him but because I fear I will hate it. Often I don’t enjoy sex and it just leaves me feeling worse and my husband not feeling satisfied. Here are some of the problems:
    1) I fear it will hurt physically (and often it does)
    2) I don’t understand how sex is lovely and beautiful
    3) I don’t see how sex is pure and spiritual — it just seems physical to me
    4) I don’t see how sex brings two people closer together
    5) I don’t see how sex is not self-serving
    6) I fear true intimacy with my husband and therefore push him away…I don’t want to get hurt emotionally
    7) We’ve been to counselling before (2 or 3 years ago) and it helped a bit but not a whole lot – I fear going again and it not helping
    8) I know God is in control but it feels like He is so distant on this topic –where is He??
    9) I feel so guilty for not engaging in sex with my husband often, but don’t want to engage in it for the sake of “just doing it” and feeling worse.
    10)What happened to my sex drive? Was it purely lust prior to marriage?

    Well anyway, I don’t have a history of abuse…I think my problem is that sex seems so worldly to me. Since I basically learned about sex through porn, with the occasional Christian telling me that sex is a wonderful gift from God in marriage…it basically just seems worldly to me. I am okay with my husband going down on me…but the thought of going down on him seems too much like pornography to me. (I realize how selfish this seems on my end). My poor husband can barely even last past a minute of sex because we rarely engage in it and he does not get release often. I know this is frustrating for him because he’d like to last longer. We have a whole slew of problems and not many solutions. I DO desire to please my husband and I want to want sex…but I just don’t. I contacted a counsellor and am willing to go see one again…here’s to hoping we have the money!

    Sorry this is so long…any thoughts? I’m desperate.

    • Kate
      September 27, 2012 | 10:07 pm

      Hi Julie! Thanks so much for writing and sharing part of your story. I am sure it was hard for you to share as I hear great pain in what you have shared. Please know that you are not alone. There was a time when all I wanted to do was cry because I loved my hubby so much but did not desire sex and could not understand what was wrong with me. It was very sad and frustrating. In this post, I was trying to share from my own mistakes. I had no idea that I was hurting Brad so very much with not making sex a priority. I understood that I was making things hard for him physically, and yet I never completely contemplated how I was hurting him emotinally. Sex is a mans way to feel emotionally connected to their wife. Why, you may ask? God deisgned us with different needs so we would compromise and work together to fulfill each others needs. It is not easy, but it is beautiful when you are able to do it.

      I will just go through some of your list here and share my thoughts. What God is placing on my heart as I read your comment!

      1. Why do you fear it will hurt. You have said that it does. Has it always? Do you use lubricants? I appologize for being blunt, but many women struggle with having enough lubrication during sex. That can be very painful. My hubby and I love coconut oil! It is all natural and you can use it without all the sticky residue afterwards. I would encourage you to make sure you keep some sort of lubricant handy. If that is not the issue, I would seek medical advice on why sex is hurting. Talk to your doctor. I realize that is not everyones favorite thing, but you need answers.

      2. and 3. Sex is pure and spiritual because it is bonding two people together. Sex is the one thing that husbands and wives get to do together that they can do with no one else. It is the VIP pass, something God designed for just them. It is spiritual because God planned it out physically and emotionally for his people. We are not just animals that mate for the sole purpose of recreating. If that were so, we would only be able to have sex, when we are furtile. God desired for us to have a special bond, joining both physically and emotionally. It is a physical connection, but it bonds so much more. Studies on the brain have shown this very fact. It is not simply sex, even if we tell ourselves it is. I do think that what you have seen and expereinced while watching porn has affected how you view sex. Porn is selling a lie. All of it is fake and not how people truly share sex together. Porn focuses on erotic and not on the true life long connection that we have with our spouse. You are not alone in this, many people struggle with the lies that porn is selling them and how that affects their marriage. If God desired for sex to be only physical, we would be able to get pregnant all the time or we would not desire sex except when we are fertile. There would be no need for us to have sex other times. Yet we are created to desire it other times as well.

      4. and 5. Sex has the great potential to bring a husband and a wife closer together, as God designed it. However, because sexual intimacy is so special and a couple has to work at it-it has the great potential to rip apart marriages as well. That doesn’t mean that God’s design for it has changed in any way, it simply means we get confused and because men and women are different-we are misunderstood and miscommunicate. Again, sexual intimacy is the one thing you can do with your husband that you cannot do with anyone else. That in and of itself, shows me that it is designed to bring a marriage closer together. You have to be open, vulnerable and giving.

      Sex can be very self serving, but that is not how God wants us to share sex. He wants us to put the others needs and desires above our own. If we are BOTH doing this then sex does not become self serving. I have learned alot and grown so much in our sexual intimacy through focusing on what pleases my hubby and what he likes. He in return does the same and it is a beautiful give and take. It is only self serving if we are stuck in selfishness-and there was a time we were both very much stuck there!

      6. I believe you have hit on something very important here . . . you fear true intimacy. You need to unpack that suitcase and see why you fear it. You don’t have to have been abused to fear true intimacy. It is not easy to put yourself out there and be completely vulnerable! Hence why sex is a stumbling block for many couples. I would encourage you to seek counseling on why you feel this way. Knowing you feel this way is good, but you need to move past it!

      7. Counseling is usually a bit scary. Yet we are usually scared because we fear that we will truly have to look at ourselves and deal with what we see! It is much easier to avoid all of that. I hear you and I don’t think there is a person alive who has not felt that same way at some point in their life. I also know that you will never move forward on your one flesh journey if you do not face these things. Make sure you find a good Christian counselor who is pro marriage, pro sex and will help you through this! I know you are scared, but your marriage is at stake!

      8. God being distant-I feel this is another huge key! We have all felt God is distant at times in our lives, but if you feel this is a theme, you need to again unpack that. Is there something in the past that makes you feel that way. Was your earthly father distant? There can be many reasons, but you need to understand them to move on!

      9. You are right that simply engaging on sex physically is sometimes just as bad as not at all. You will give him the physical release, but he will be missing the emotional connection that he so desires. Doesn’t this prove to you, that it is not purely physical for either of you. There are emotions involved all around! I would challenge you to make sexual intimacy a priority several times a week. Make it a priority to not just show up, to take pleasure in giving him pleasure. Focus on relaxing and enjoying what God has given to you. It truly is an act of worship when we enjoy sexual intimacy with our hubby! Pray that God will help you! He will if you ask and are willing to do as he guides!

      10. Ahh what happened to your sex drive? There are so many possible answers to this, it is hard to give you the answer you desire. I would say that it was not lust to desire your hubby before you were married. Yet you were both in a world of porn, that does focus on lust and is nothing but lust. Marriage and intimacy is nothing like porn. Trying to figure sex after porn and masturbation is a challenge, but it can be done. Many couples have to navigate through those waters. YOu are not alone. There could also be hormonal reasons. Have you had children? Those wonderful kiddos can really change things for us sexually, which is normal, yet if we let things stay there, we are losing out! Seek a doctors medical advice first, if that does not answer anything, then seek a counselor! I had issues as I have shared and still struggle at times, but life with my hubby and sexual intimacy is something I now greatly desire, even if I am not aroused. That is because I know the closeness it brings, it is truly a blessing and a form of glue in our marriage!

      Please know that you are not alone and that we are lifting you up! There is great hope and healing in God’s design for marriage and intimacy! Don’t give up and don’t lose hope! Blessings, Kate

  36. Jen
    October 30, 2012 | 9:43 am

    I have been married for 1 year & 4 months we had sex only twice.. No sex in our wedding,honeymoon & anniversary..

    • Kate
      October 30, 2012 | 12:02 pm

      Hi Jen, thanks for writing and sharing. I don’t know much about your story from you comment, but I can imagine that there is much pain! A few thoughts . . .
      My heart breaks for you and your husband. Remember, YOU can be the change you want to see in your marriage. It might not be easy, it might not be the things you want to do, but you can do it and impact your marriage for the good. It will take alot of humility, grace and serving. Yet it will be more rewarding then walking away and experiencing the “greener grass” on the other side. Step up and be the wife God is asking you to be regardless of where your husband is at. God wants your obedience! Your obedience is not and should not be dependant upon your husbands being the husband God wants! Please know that we are praying for you! You can do it! Don’t give up and hold tight to the hope of God’s plan in marriage! Blessings, Kate

  37. Josh
    January 7, 2013 | 4:26 pm

    Here’s my situation:
    I’ve been married for 13 1/2 years which 7 has been sexless. My wife and I got married at 18, 4 months later got pregnant and I was an idiot! I didn’t understand not having sex for 18 years then an awesome 4 months of sex every 3-5 days then the spicket was shut off. I admit I was a horrible partner and fights were very prevalent, almost daily I believe. Then after almost 3 yrs without sex and 7 or 8 months of throwing around the “D” word, I had a 1 night stand. I’m not proud of it but I’ve always felt that it got our attention and jolted us back together. She has thrown it up in my face many many times over the years but now just mentions that I’ve never had to worry about trust with her. She has caught me….flying solo (trying to be as modest at possible) a few times and recently found pics I downloaded on my phone. She says that really hurt her, which I believe that to be true but I’m only human. After the 3 yrs without it happened once a month or 2( hey I was happy with that) until she got pregnant with our 2nd child. Once a gain almost 2 yrs without sex. Then 3rd child. Once again 22 months. In the last 5 years we’ve had sex 4 times and we’re knocking on another 2 yr anniversary without it. I’ve tried counseling after the affair, solo and a few months ago tried to go see a marriage counselor and she won’t go. I’m at my wits end and not only is my family suffering, my business is too. I told her if we fixed that part of our relationship I would make sales and she said that makes her feel like a prostitute. I love my kids more than life it self and it pains me to even think about not living under the same roof as them and not to see my babies when they first wake up. And God has placed a special love for my wife in me to where all she has to do is bat her eyes at me and I’m a kid in love again. I’m dying inside and I can’t catch my breath. I have learned to cope as if I was in an accident and a part of me is paralyzed but the bitterness and resentment is starting to build beyond my control at times. Let me end by saying I’ve never said it has all been her. I was a childish immature brat before and the first few years but now I just miss being happy.
    Thanks for reading my 2 cents

    • Brad
      January 10, 2013 | 10:06 pm

      Josh,
      thanks for writing and sharing your story. Unfortunately I’m guessing that many people can relate. The strain of going outside your marriage, both with an affair and pornography has only amplified what was a big problem into a huge issue. No longer is this only about a lack of sexual intimacy. It is now complicated with breach of trust and the pain all of that caused. This now must be a major component of any healing that must occur. You can not say that the lack of sex caused the affair. You can’t say a lack of sex forced you to pornography. These things are your decisions.

      I know that isn’t what you want to hear. I’m sure it would be easier for you to read my quoting about how a wife’s body is not her own but her husbands as well. And telling all wives how important sex is in marriage. These things are all true, but they will not heal this issue. All those words will do is dig your hole deeper.

      If you truly desire change you need to change. You need to look at what is missing in her life? How is marriage not meeting her expectations? Don’t take those questions to lightly. If you can figure out how to even begin to change in these directions it will at least inspire her to think about the possibility of going to talk to someone about more changes in the future. Yes I did mean all of those qualifiers. This is going to be a long road! There is NO quick fix! Keep praying, keep looking at what you can change, and be patient!

      Thanks for your comment Josh!

      • Josh
        January 11, 2013 | 5:39 pm

        Brad, thanks for your response. when I read it i had that “LightBulb” moment. When you said
        “You need to look at what is missing in her life? How is marriage not meeting her expectations?” I remember a person saying “give what you want from the other person”. I realize that doesn’t mean I’ll give her sex, because thats on my short list of wants, it means find whats missing in her life and find out what expectations are not being fulfilled and work towards them. We both have said if it wasn’t for our 3 beautiful kids we’d left years ago but I no see that not only are they a blessing they also were the glue that held us together long enough to find the problem and start the road to recovery.

        Once again I thank God for you all and look forward to writing about how through the revelation that I’m not the only one out here struggling and there are people who have went through this and have gotten there relationship off of life support I can do the same….no I will do the same

  38. Strong Man
    January 11, 2013 | 4:44 pm

    Josh–you’re not alone–this seems to be a very common problem. My post, Masturbation in a sexless Marriage,, is one of my most popular.

    I agree with Brad that there is no quick fix, but after you’ve eliminated possible medical issues, then it seems for some reason she’s not attracted to you.

    I recommend you first make sure you’re relatively attractive as a man–be physically fit, make good money, and demonstrate self-control and real progress toward your personal goals at home. If she’s a highly attractive woman, and you’re not as a man, you may have some serious work to do that might take a year or two.

    At some point (but definitely not when she’s hot and you’re fat and lazy), you have to stand up for yourself as a person and a man and be clear at your expectations for the relationship.

    I agree with Brad that your behavior is your decision and your responsibility, related to porn and an affair. The affair was especially a bad idea with real consequences.

    At some point, you both also have to realize you make a daily decision to stay in the relationship or not, and that decision and its’ consequences are also yours.

    • Josh
      January 11, 2013 | 5:27 pm

      Thank you for your response. She has said may times that with her heart and her emotions she doesn’t trust me. I believe in my heart of hearts that she does love me and is attracted when I shave and look nice but there has been years of resentment, distrust and bitterness that has been packed away and not delt with that is causing this ever winding roller coaster ride to continue. I really think that me reaching out last with in the past couple of weeks has opened my eyes to where I have made a conscious effort to help more around the house, and change my relationship with my kids and how i deal with things with them and also I have tried to create a possitive enviroment where she can see im trying to change. Just within the last few days she made a comment to my 12 yr old when she said (my kid)” Dad you always did that” my wife said “Isnt it good that he”s trying to change” so she sees it. I’m just thankful to God that I found this site and believe this has helped set things in motion for restoration and healing in both of us

  39. David
    May 12, 2013 | 12:32 pm

    Hi its great to have a forum to discuss. Thank you lord for this and thank you Kate and brad. I guess as I write this that I feel exhausted with the situation. My wife and I have not had sex for about 4 years ( before that it was about 4 times a year and this situation has been going on for some 20 years) and she has been to years of therapy and we had about 16 sessions together before she found it too painful to continue. I have continued with the theapist on my own which is really helpful as she has seen both of us first. My counsellors view is that the situation won’t change as my wife won’t truely engage. Background? She was raped as a child by father and brother then suffered later post traumatic sex from another, non sexual, incident which seemed to trigger the first rape related problems. I have 2 great children ,11 and 9, and will not desert my family. I guess my question is, given that I truely believe a miracle is needed now (my wife is not a christian by the way) and that years of praying have not helped how can I live in the situation. My counsellor is encouraging me to get an outside life however I am frightened about meeting someone, my counsellor says am very vulnerable and a woman would easily trick me. I do have a female friend on second life a computer simualation and we have virtual sex which helps however I feel guilty about it and it is the intimacy I really miss not the sex. Any thoughts would help. Dave

    • Brad
      May 25, 2013 | 10:31 pm

      David,
      Wow, what an overwhelming and tragic story. I feel that I need to “tell it like it is” and I recognize that you might not like my answer, however I hope that it might give you some perspective and keep you from making what appears to be some really bad decisions. First off I need to say as a Licensed counselor you NEED to find a different counselor. I obviously don’t know the whole story, but there is NO reason that a counselor should EVER tell you to go out and get an outside life. Absolutely not. That isn’t healthy for you, for your wife, or for your children. Divorce is not a good option but it is much much better then you “getting an outside life”. If this is the kind of advice you are getting from your counselor then you need not to just leave you need to flee!

      Secondly, It sounds as if you have a good idea of the issues that are going on with your wife. These deep issues will not only lead to problems in your sex life. Having PTSD especially because of incestual rape is a HUGE deal. These are not easy issues to get over. I would recommend you read Haunted Marriage: Overcoming the Ghosts of Your Spouse’s Childhood Abuse
      to get a good idea what your wife is going through and see if you are hearing other ideas that might help you know where to start to restore your relationship.

      Last but not least I feel I need to address Second Life. This is nothing more then an emotional affair. It is not healthy for anyone involved, you, your wife, your kids, or this other person. It is dangerous and overall stupid. It isn’t a “clean” way of having a relationship and dealing with your sexual urges. It is a only a way of turning your heart away from your wife. There is nothing healthy for you here. Even the name is a good clue. God does not call you to live a second life, he calls you to live this one!

      I hope that helps, I know it is hard, but I don’t want to see you take a path that will only lead to more heartache and destruction.
      God Bless, Brad

  40. Alice Peterson
    July 19, 2013 | 5:43 pm

    Wow that was over whelming I’ll admit also. Enjoyed reading all the comments and article though. I have sex normally about every other day. I couldn’t imagine going a year, that is just crazy.

  41. suzanne
    August 1, 2013 | 1:36 pm

    what do you do when your husband isn’t a christian and part of your loss of attraction to him is his worldliness and not being a Christian. i know i am sinning and it is hard, but my husband doesn’t follow the path of a christian husband and I find myself wishing i had waited for God to bring me the perfect Godly man. now i am stuck in a marriage with a man I don’t really love. I pray and pray and I don’t see God working. I’m starting to wonder if God really doesn’t want me to be married to this man.

    • Kate
      August 9, 2013 | 5:27 pm

      Hi Suzanne,

      Thanks for writing and sharing. I think the key here is the true hope that you hold onto in your life. You are the person your husband is going to see as Jesus. You have an awesome opportunity to show Jesus to him. It is a tall order, but God can change anyone’s heart.

      What I have to say may be hard to hear, but it is what I feel God leading my to share.

      You are called to love your husband as Jesus asks, whether or not he is doing the same. You are called to respect him, to love him, to lift him up as the leader of your family and to serve him, putting his needs above your own. That is a tall order for anyone, but especially when your hubby is not a Christian. Yet that verse still applies to you. Ask God how he wants you to be as a wife to your husband. What he asks of you may be very hard, but He will be your strength through it all!

      Back to the hope. We all pray and hope that God will change our circumstances. I am not saying that is bad, we have all done that at one time or another in our lives. Yet true hope is not whether or not God will change our circumstances, but rather that God has a plan for our lives and he will use us, regardless of whether or not our circumstances ever change.

      God never said that life would be easy, in fact he said that we WOULD meet trouble. But he also promised that he would be with us all the way and would never leave us! Hold on to THAT hope!

      Keep leaning on God! Blessings, Kate

  42. MAC
    August 30, 2013 | 6:07 am

    I’ve been married for 10 months, and so far it is one of the worst experiences of my Christian life. I feel like I’ve been cheated. My wife and I are Christians (were non-denominational buts she’s definitely Pentecostal).
    Here is my list of complaints! Since our marriage she has;
    - done the dishes less then 10 times.
    - done the laundry around 5 times.
    - tidied (not cleaned) the house 3 times.
    - cleaned our puppy 3-4 times.
    - cooked for us twice, and a handful of other times made noodles or toast.

    And that’s it. I have to do everything! Cook, clean, provide. She literally just lays around and complains! And then she treats me like I’m some sort of heathen because I’m not as religious as her! Even though I actually read the bible and try to actually obey it, instead of just ranting and claiming ‘God said’ everytime someone points out her obvious laziness and hypocrisy! This is seriously like slavery to a Pharoah. I would divorce her in a second if I thought it was biblical.

    Oh and btw, for the first 2-3 months we would have sex like 2-4 times a month (I’d prefer like 4-5 times weekly). Then the next few months it was 1-3 times. And now the last 6 months it’s like one a month if I’m lucky.

    I’ve made it clear tha sex is important and that I am struggling endlessly with this enforced chastity. She told me to get over it and stop being lust driven and selfish. Clearly I’m expected to become more spiritual like her. #veryfrustrated

    • Brad
      September 1, 2013 | 4:45 pm

      Mac,
      thanks for writing. I’m sorry to hear about your story. I’m curious did you talk about any of these expectations before getting married? Did any of these frustrations come up when you were engaged, or are you saying that things changed after you were married? Regardless, you are married now and God is for your marriage. So you have a choice, to live on in this way or figure out what you can change to make it better. Now notice I didn’t say figure out how to change things, I said “what you can change”. You need to get at the root of your relationship, what would your wife say about your new marriage? Would she honestly say that you are connected, that you are becoming One Flesh? If not, you have somewhere to start. If so you need to get at the root of your expectations for marriage. You gave a list of things that she is not doing, but did she know that those are expectations? I would recommend that the two of you have some communication to do!

      Keep talking!
      Brad

      • MAC
        September 1, 2013 | 10:14 pm

        Hi Brad,

        We did talk about expectations, and we did have some pre-marraige counselling (about 1-2hr 5 sessions). We were married with a complementarian view of marraige. However we didnt live together, so most of the discussion was hypothetical. I think there has been some change post-marraige, but most of it has been issues that simply weren’t apparent prior to marriage.

        We both agree that things aren’t functioning well atm, and that we as are team aren’t functioning well. We both agree that she isn’t functioning atm. There are issues in her thinking, motivation, direction, stability.. As an individual I am mostly functioning well, and am generally able to achieve what I set my mind to. She admits to needing help but she has been unwilling to let people in to receive it.

        Having said that we have had a good last few days. I have made more of an effort to specifically confront some of the false teaching she talks about (on those rare occasions we talk). I have made it clear to her that God is not telling her to leave her marraige, hide away from the world and a church community, and avoid daily duties to be more ‘prayerful’ (though obviously prayer is good, just not as an excuse). I have also made an effort to affirm our marraige, to affirm my responsibility as a husband to help her understand the word, and to affirm her need as a wife to listen to me as an act of loving God. She has challenged it often, but has engaged, and has listened. This is probably the closest thing we’ve had to communication in awhile, as normally she just ignores me and doesn’t talk to me.

        I also think God is certainly at work through this. Because this morning I had a dream that my wife came in to my bed (we’ve been sleeping in different beds every single night for the last few months) in the morning, and that she asked me a question about ‘what she should do’, and that she then stayed with me in the bed. I told her to read about the proverbs women.

        Then just after that dream I woke up, because my wife had just came into my bed. When she seen me awake she said hey, i said hey whats up? and she said to me ‘what should I do?’ and layed down in the bed with me. Naturally I told her to read about the proverbs woman, because I rarely remember my dreams, and she rarely comes into my bed. She then stayed in my bed for the morning, and committed herself to becoming more like the proverbs women.

        So yes, I do think we’ll get there.

        • Kate
          September 20, 2013 | 3:23 pm

          Hi MAC! This is Kate this time. Your story breaks my heart in so many ways and yet it is in those times when we cannot do anything but rely on God that, he can truly work within us. My heart breaks for both you and your wife. Because I would imagine your wife does not like herself very much!

          We gets lots of emails and comments from a spouse who is in a similar situation like yours. It is so hard to live out being a husband or a wife, when our spouse is not! And yet that is exactly what we are called to do. To love, respect and serve no matter what, even when they don’t deserve it! I know both Brad and I failed at this miserably for years. Now that we do seek to live our marriage out this way, what a difference. But you know what it took for that to happen? It took one of us (not both) stepping up to the plate and loving and serving and respecting-no matter if it was being returned or not. Then the other started to desire to love and change happened in both of our lives.

          I am so encouraged by the story you shared at the end. God is so awesome like that. While we hear many sad stories, we also get to hear those amazing stories and it never ceases to amaze me how God works and is faithful to us.

          Keep seeking Him, first-always! Then seek to love your wife and serve her, even when she is not deserving. It will speak volumes to her about who Jesus is in her life.

          The Proverbs 31 wife is my hero! I so aspire to be molded into who God wants for me to be as a wife. Keep in mind that that desire for change has come, when I started to really believe how much Jesus loves me. That it is not conditional and that it never ends and never gives up. I would imagine your wife struggles deeply with taking in Jesus’ love and understanding the depths of his love.

          God loves you both so much and deeply desires to see your marriage flourish and be the blessing you both desire it to be! Thanks again for commenting and for coming back and sharing further! Blessings, Kate

  43. Scott
    September 27, 2013 | 8:14 am

    Hi Kate-

    Well, this is going to be a long one. I am at wits end, my wife and I have been married for just over 20 years and the sex in our marriage has been, well, pretty much non existent. When we were dating she was very affectionate and the appearance of being sexually attracted to me. I have to insert here that I am a very affectionate type person and love to have closeness and affection in my relationship so to live without this is very difficult. So on our wedding night it started, we got to the hotel and she wanted a bath and bed since she was exhausted. This broke my heart but I understood and moved on. On our honeymoon we had sex 1 time, she was not interested. The next few years that followed were with maybe sex 1 / month or 1 every other month. Everything else in our relationship was great except the sex. Believe me I communicated my thoughts to her many different ways which usually ended in a fight. I hate to fight so usually I would let it go and go and go until I had to same something again. We had our first child (love him dearly), he is almost 18 now. After he was born there was NO sex for over a year, at which point I was completely broken. We discussed divorce and she didn’t want it at all. We went through counseling and committed to work on our marriage. During our work, we had sex 1 time, and yep guess what, she go pregnant again!! Now our 2nd son is 15. Both boys are wonderful kids, I love them dearly. Reality is they are the reasons I have kept to my vows and stayed in this marriage, as my faith has been tested over and over again. After our second child was born again we went through the no sex period. The next 11 years or so were filled with discussions, books, couseling…etc to help with the problem. About 3 1/2 years ago I told here we were done I could not take it anymore, no sex, no affection, basically living with a business partner and roommate. She was devastated and begged me to stay and we would work on it. The two of us took a trip for a long weekend shortly after that and she “surprised” me with sex one night on the trip. It was the first sex we had had in over 2 years at that point. I thought, ok, maybe this time we can make progress. Fast forward to today…….it has been almost 3 years now and we have not had sex since. UGH! She went through a few medical issues, of which I fully supported her and made sure she was taken care of fully. About 1 year ago she was offered a new job with a significant promotional level which was a great move for her career, but it was a move to require us to move to Europe for 2 years. I negotiated a leave of absence from my employer so we could share this experience as a family. I thought that me being home to take care of the day to day items, the kids, cleaning, laundry…etc would maybe take some stress from her and allow her to gain some ability to be affectionate with me. I hope it showed my commitment to her. Now, 2 weeks ago I brought up the situation again and which point she was in tears and told me I was the love of her life and promised to work….again. In the two weeks since, the day or two directly after were filled with some affection, still very little kissing but at least cuddling, now the past week + we are back to zero affection and sleeping on our half of the bed. She may move close if she is cold but only for a few minutes. I am now in the resentment stage, so angry that it is at this point, I feel stupid to be in the for this long and all the disappointments. I have prayed for days/months/years for help and guidance. My faith has held me on for this long but it is now fading rather quickly. My wife is a very confident type person and always succeeds in what she aims to accomplish. She is very successful in her career and has put a lot of work in to get to this point. I think she feels our getting a divorce is a failure to her and doesn’t want to experience that. She is from divorced parents, I am not. I have a certain amount of resentment that she puts in the work on her career but doesn’t find the time or effort to put in on our issue. I am 46 and hope to have a long life ahead of me, I can not imagine it in a marriage with no affection and sex. A lot of this was therapy for me to write, but I am hoping someone can help. At what point it the damage non-repairable? I am thinking we are there……or past.

  44. Alan
    October 10, 2013 | 2:09 am

    8 years, 8 long years. I hear and feel the pain other have written here and My thoughts and prayer are with you, its all I have.
    If it were not for prayer and my love for my wife I would have cheated or jumped off a cliff. When we dated, we were like rabbits, ah those were the days. Before we got married we made promises to each other, not to go to bed mad, to talk things out, and never use sex as tool.
    At her 2 month mark in pregnancy, she said no more sex till after baby, as man I thought that was little to ask of me to be patience for her good state of mind. After the baby was born she made many delaying actions excuses which I went along with, after 2 years I started to get frustrated and asked her to read, council, and talk about it. My getting angry did not help things at all, we had a snowball effect going now.
    She said a few very mean things which I have forgiven and now leave the topic alone and pray to god to help me with. She claims she never enjoyed sex, that she had been acting, that she hated giving and receiving oral sex and that she wishes she has never made the promises so she could get rid of the guilt; they were only to get what she wanted at the time. She admitted reading did warn her of the dangerous game she was playing and said she did feel bad for me but she had made up her mind.
    To stop the snowball, I knew was going to be hard work, I apologized for being angry and for being so pushy and said I wished I could take it all back and told her I would not, beg, cry, demand or make an issue of sex and would wait. That was 6 years ago, I’m still waiting, every Sunday I get my renewed prayer infusion of patience and thru out the week. I still show interest toward her, a gentle pat of the bottom as I walk by, grinning when she show cleavage at the table or walks around the house in underwear. Always tell her how beautiful she is and that I love her. She would respond back that I was ugly looking today or I was getting fat. So I work out, do all the house cleaning, help with shopping, dishes and cooking to share the load and address the “I’m too tired” remarks.
    But in my private reality, I’m so very sad and in such anguish, I sleep on the living floor like a dog, and weep most nights, I never let her see this, I end up telling myself to suck it up like a man and asking for forgiveness for my weakness and ask for Gods help to give me strength. If it were not for my little girl, I wonder what I would have done. Don’t know what to do, other that keep waiting and praying.

  45. Brian
    January 9, 2014 | 2:27 pm

    I cried while reading this. I love my wife desperately, but we haven’t had sex in about 9 months. Before that, it was two or three months in between, and before that… it’s slowly just died off. I know my wife feels bad about it, deep down, but she says she just doesn’t feel any sexual or emotional connection with me and feels like a hypocrite to “do the deed” without feeling anything inside. Lately she’s said she even hates to be touched at all, and for someone like me whose primary love language is touch, it’s unbearably painful.

    We are both deeply religious people. I’ve read the posts about how withholding sex is a sin… but I can’t just open the Bible and say, “Look, God says you’re sinning by not having sex with me!” That would blow up in my face. And anyway, I don’t want sex out of obligation, or pity. I don’t even ask anymore, because getting rejected hurts too much, and we’re both tired of the same conversation that leads nowhere.

    My wife is a beautiful and amazing person, but she struggles with mild depression, and is highly affected by her monthly hormone cycle. But I don’t know whether those factors are mostly to blame or whether it is due to emotional issues.

    To be honest, our sex life was always pretty crappy… especially for her. I blame myself for this. I never spent the time and energy I should have to make sure things got better for her. I think she resents me for this, and who can blame her? I resent myself.

    I want a fresh start. I want someone to show me how we can begin again. I don’t just want sex for “release,” I want the kind of emotional/spiritual/physical connection God always intended for us to have. I want my wife to be happy and fulfilled, and I want to be the person who can make that happen for her. I just don’t know where, or how, to start… to convince her that all is not lost for us, sexually. She already feels like we’re “past our prime so what’s the point – we’ve lost the best years or our lives.” What bull****. We’re both still in our thirties!

    I’ve been reading books, following blogs, reading scriptures… and doing a lot of praying. I just need God, or someone, to help me chart a course.

    Any replies appreciated.

    • Julie
      January 12, 2014 | 2:13 pm

      HI Brian,

      I have rarely ever replied to anybody on this site but I feel compelled to respond to your story. I think it is because I sympathize with you not because I am going through what you are going through but because I am very similar to your wife.

      A quick snapshot of my marriage is: prior to marriage both my husband and I fell into pornography addiction and masturbation. We also went too far physically (not sex) and felt shame shame shame…regret regret regret. When we got married I hated sex. It didn’t feel good. I assumed this was normal and it would get better as my body got used to it. It didn’t. After 3 years of marriage we went to see a counsellor who helped slightly but I still left confused as to why I hated it. Again a few years later we saw another therapist (more experienced) and I still left frustrated. I read many books, prayed a lot and couldn’t seem to enjoy sex. I felt terrible because I constantly said “no” to my husband. We haven’t ever gone as long as you and your wife in terms of sex…but I basically said yes in order to not feel guilty.

      Honestly I feel for you. Mainly because what you’re going through is wrong and NOT God’s design for us, BUT I also feel for your wife. The Devil has some sort of hold on her that she needs to be released of. Somewhere along the line either she believed sex was wrong or has felt negative thoughts toward it and they now have power over her. The tricky part is that you can’t force her to go to counselling, or to pray about the situation or to change anything. You only have control over yourself. And yourself is called to pray and love your wife. Unfortunately for us as humans, that is difficult sometimes! I can’t give you some formula where you do X Y and Z and you and your wife will have great sex. The truth is you might never have good sex….or even ANY sex at all. BUT I can tell you that you are called to love your wife as Jesus loves the Church and he died for her. So all you can do through this situation is love your wife, give yourself up daily to God and ask God to help you die to yourself. Hopefully the more you fall in love with God the more you will be changed and hopefully the more you are changed the more your wife will desire to change too. Keep praying for her. Keep seeking God and remember that you are only called to do what you can for yourself. Keep loving your wife. Keep romancing her. DO things for her around the house. Of course it would be nice if things are reciprocated but they might not be. When you said “I Do” you said “You come first” which is VERY difficult to do. My marriage isn’t amazing yet. I’ve had to learn to die to myself and still struggle to enjoy sex. But as I give myself more to God the more determined I am to enjoy sex. Slowly…VERY slowly I am coming around to it. Don’t give up on your wife. There is much more to this than you think. It could hurt her physically. It could be a spiritual hold. It could be soul ties to past partners (sexually or not). There is much going on here. Ask God for help to love your wife. Ask God to work on your wife too. But remember to love her as 1 Corinthians 13 calls you too. I hope this helps! Remember that God is in the business of restoring people. He can restore your marriage. I hold onto that hope for my own marriage and hope that for yours too. In Jesus’ name I ask that our marriages would be better than ever. That God would work in them and that he would not only restore the marriage to before problems but to be as he designed it to be. Amen.

  46. Brian
    January 13, 2014 | 2:21 pm

    Julie,

    Thank you for replying. Just to be able to write down my feelings and have another human being respond and sympathize is comforting. It’s not something I can share with friends or family, and I haven’t decided yet if counseling is something I should seek alone or as a couple.

    I’m pretty sure sex doesn’t hurt her, except that because she can’t orgasm she complains of having cramps afterwards. I don’t know if that’s normal or not. Has it happened to you or other women you know? I also know she hasn’t had any masturbation or porn issues. She did have sex with another man before we met and married, but she seems to have put that behind her, although I guess it’s possible that subconsciously she feels some guilt there or something. But I don’t think so. I have a hunch the real problem is she resents me for allowing years to pass with me being the only one to orgasm, and not doing everything I could to make sure she was having more arousal and pleasure. What a selfish, creep I was for that. Not that I didn’t care, I cared. I was just clueless. I think it’s that resentment which has become an emotional wall for her, sexually.

    In a lot of other ways, we are doing good as a couple. Not perfect. But we don’t fight much and I try hard to show my love in ways she can accept – like taking her out, helping with house chores, helping with our kids, lots of things. She appreciates those things, I think it’s just the touching part that is hard for her right now. And that makes it hard for me because I REALLY want to touch her, and not just in a sexual way either.

    I know God is in the business of transforming people, like you said. I do believe in Jesus and his power to help people. I am trying to be patient and just love my wife. It’s just that I want all of her, you know? I don’t feel whole with just half of our relationship and not having that closeness we should. Maybe God is teaching me right now what my wife went through in our early marriage.Sex was never complete for her because she couldn’t “finish” so now I get to live the pain and frustration. It’s not that I think God is taking revenge on me, I know he is not like that. But maybe he is trying to teach me empathy???

    Anyway, thanks for talking about how you are coming around to sex in your marriage. It does give me some hope. I will keep trying, and keep asking God for his help. God bless you too.

    • Julie
      January 19, 2014 | 2:01 pm

      Hi Brian,

      Sorry for the late reply. I understand your struggle in not sharing with friends and family. That being said…as Christians we often hide our struggles and do life alone when Christ called us to live in community. Of course you need to respect your wife if she doesn’t want you sharing this information with people BUT it is nice to have 1 or 2 close friends or family to share struggles with who can “do life” with each other, pray for each other and hold each other accountable too. I don’t know if you have anybody that close or if your wife would even be okay with you sharing but I know far too many Christians hide struggles and keep the “we’re totally fine” face on and then end up in divorce because they were too afraid to share with people their struggles. It would amaze you how many couples struggle more then just the day to day problems and nobody ever knows.

      I don’t know if it is normal or not to have cramps after sex without orgasm. I’ve never had an orgasm during sex (only other ways) so I don’t know? I’ve never had cramps. I know I’ve had pain during but that needed surgery to fix. Which did help. It is not abnormal for a woman to NOT orgasm during sex. I think the statistic is something like only 25% of women can during sex.

      You may very well be right on your hunch but don’t assume…unless of course you guys have talked about it. It’s tricky because I don’t know how much you guys talk about this?? But resentment could definitely be a barrier.

      There is a possibility that your wife still has a soul tie to her previous partner but maybe not. IF she feel no guilt over her past then likely not. Thankfully Jesus washes away our sins and we don’t have to look back.

      You guys sound pretty similar to us. Overall we have a good marriage but have issues in the sex department. I’m glad you are showing your wife love in other ways around the house and with the kids and of course taking her out :)

      You sound a lot like my husband. Desiring touch and not necessarily sexual. I hear your pain because I heard it in my husband. I struggled because I didn’t even know what was wrong with me. But it was a downward spiral.

      The reality is that God wants to work in both you and your wife to transform you in the likeness of Jesus AND we know he is transforming you because of what Philippians 1:6 says “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

      I get you want all of your wife. That’s what we are called and long for in marriage.

      I can’t say what God is for sure trying to teach you through this. It might be empathy, it might be to trust Him, it might be to let go of control, it might be unconditional love. Maybe all? All I know is that you’re called to love your wife unconditionally even in the midst of only receiving half of her.

      Anyway, like always, keep praying, keep allowing God to transform you and fight for your marriage with God’s help.

  47. Brian
    January 22, 2014 | 12:05 am

    Julie, thanks again for the thoughtful reply and reassuring words. Since you are like my wife in some ways, I have to ask, is sex getting any easier for you? What made you want to start trying? Did your husband force the issue verbally? Was it coming across this blog? I am trying to decide if I should “confront” my wife on this topic, not in a combative way but seriously and sincerely. Sometimes I feel like insisting we get counseling together and other times I feel like waiting longer first. See it was only a couple of months ago that I decided I needed to stop just being emotionally lazy and start really putting everything I had into our marriage and loving her no matter what. It hasn’t been easy but it HAS been getting, slowly, better. She now tells me she loves me sometimes and she sometimes let’s me hug her or hold her hand. Once in a whole she will even be the one to touch me first– never sexually though. So I’m torn between keeping up this course of action a few months more or sitting her down to face the music. I read a story about a woman whose husband was terrible to her but she followed Christ’s teaching to love those who hate, use or abuse you (or neglect you) and within 6 months she had a whole new marriage even though it was the same husband. He just started responding to her Christlike love. I guess that is the plan I will follow for now…give it a few more months and then if still no sex I will take steps to pursue counseling. Thanks again for listening.

  48. Chris
    January 29, 2014 | 9:51 pm

    Although we never went as long as a year, we did come pretty close to a sexless marriage at one point.

    It was interesting to see you link to this post on your Facebook page today. Just this week, I wrote about some of my struggles in ending the sexlessness in our marriage–and what finally made me able to take some of those first steps–in this post: http://forgivenwife.com/2014/01/27/leaving-a-sexless-marriage/

    The journey toward a healed marriage has been worth every single step I’ve taken.

  49. gary
    March 28, 2014 | 9:57 am

    me and my wife had not had sex in two year and it my faith in god that keeping me, my wife weak in faith but what really hurt me to see other men hug her in church and I can not hug her because my hug she say mean I want sex it to the point that I wish she would leave me because I told her she would have to leave on her own

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