There are many wives out there who have shared their hearts with us, women who are in a marriage where sex is a struggle. Contrary to what society implies, there are many husbands who refuse sex to their wives. The wives in these marriages are struggling just as much as a husband in the same situation and today I want you to hear their story. (these are paraphrased for privacy). These are only some of the comments and emails we have received at OFM:
“I am always initiating with my husband and always being refused. It makes me feel awful.”
“On our honeymoon, I put on a sexy lingerie and my husband gave me a chase kiss and went to take a shower, never once noticing how I was dressed or that I was trying to initiate sex with him. After two years, this is still the dynamic; I am still initiating and trying not to lost hope. Help us please!”
“I cannot remember the last time my husband has touched me. I am always the one doing the touching. Oh, how I crave to just be touched by my husband, and it doesn’t need to lead to sex (though that would be nice). Just to feel his loving, physical touch would be filling a great need in me.”
“What is wrong with me that my husband does not want me? Everyone I know shares that there husbands want sex all the time. My husband doesn’t and I can’t help but think something is wrong with me.”
“My husband and I rarely have sex. I want it and he doesn’t. I feel so unloved and unwanted. I know I need to be the wife, God is calling me to but truly I don’t know how to do that without intimacy. I don’t want our marriage to end, but honestly I cannot foresee a future without sex.”
“While my husband is busy being creative in refusing me, I am busy trying to make myself look physically better. I can’t help but want someone to notice me. I know it is wrong, but I need him!”
“I used to be a confident woman. Every time my husband refuses me I feel like another piece of my confidence is chipped away. I am not naïve to think I am pretty, but I had hoped to be pretty in his eyes.”
WIVES, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
No matter how isolated and alone you feel, you are not! I have many wives contact me about their husbands lack of interest in sex and the hurt runs deep, very deep. That hurt carries into everything they think about themselves and their marriage. Please know that your hurt and pain does not go unrecognized. Every avenue of hurt in marriage is vital to talk about and bring into the light. My heart breaks for all of the wives out there who want a deep one flesh connection but their hubby’s refuse. Here are four tools that wives who are in a sexual drought marriage can do.
1. Have a heart to heart with your hubby!
You might be thinking, “I have tried that, many times and it gets us nowhere!” I think that is the case many times when we try to talk with our spouse about difficult issues. We seem to go round and round in circles with no real change. The key to having this talk with your hubby is, him knowing and feeling you are on the same team. Even though you are lonely and hurt, it is important to express to your hubby how much you love him and want good things for your marriage. Tell him how much you want change for both of you, not just for sex. Focusing solely on sex will most likely lead your hubby to feel inadequate and defensive.
Find a time when your husband is relaxed (not after a long day of work), sit close to him and find some way to physically touch him (i.e. hold hands). Touch is so important. When we are talking, touch communicates a great deal about your goal of unity.The best way to start is to share some of the things that you love about your hubby and how proud you are of him. Thank him for all that he does for you and the family. Be authentic and share from your heart. Then share with your hubby, your desire for the two of you to grow in your one flesh journey. Talk about your feelings. Do not get stuck accusing your hubby and pointing fingers. Regardless of where your hubby needs to change, accusing will only send you round in circles again. Focusing on a spirit of unity in change, not just asking for more sex, will communicate your need and want for God’s design for marriage.
2. Seek Help!
No matter how many doctors tell him he is normal, your respect and love will be what breaks through.
What if medical problems are not the reason?
Brad and I are big encourager’s of third-party help. Someone outside your marriage, who can be objective and helpful. This can be a married mentor couple, a pastor or a professional Christian counselor. Many times having another person to listen and give thoughts is very helpful, because they can see things that the two of you may have a hard time noticing. They can also help couples deal with past issues of sexual abuse, infidelity, addictions and other sexual partners pre-marriage.
Getting to the bottom of WHY your hubby has a low drive is a must. Finding out the why is always hard and takes much time and understanding. Avoiding this (which many times the low drive spouse does) is where many marriage find themselves. You may feel like you are constantly asking and pushing for help, don’t stop! Seeking help is not admitting defeat, it is taking a brave step.
What if my hubby refuses to go see a doctor or get third-party help? This is a tough one and many women have expressed this very problem. I wish there was a magic word that wives could use so that their husbands would feel safe to seek help. I think the best thing you can do if your husband refuses to seek help is: keep asking (without nagging) to seek help, pray for him and keep seeking to be the wife God wants you to be. Which is so hard when it feels so one-sided. God calls us to be the best wife we can be, no matter what our husband is doing or not doing. Looking at God’s word for wives, what can you do be the wife God wants? It’s not about trying to make yourself sexier for your hubby, it’s about being who God wants you to be as the wife to your husband. I believe it is only through God’s love, support, grace and patience that a wife can continue on in a marriage where help is refused. There is always hope in God’s plan for marriage. We have seen husbands and wives do a complete turn around, one their spouses had almost given up hoping for. So keep praying and don’t lose hope.
What about giving him an ultimatums? Ultimatums may seem like a good way to jolt your hubby into working on things, but we believe all else should be tried first. If an ultimatum is your last resort, it is vital to put the ball in his court when making one. Saying things like, “If you don’t want to work on our marriage and intimacy and go to a counselor, then it’s over, I’m done!.” is leaving the action and ball in your court. A better choice would be, “I love you very much and really want our marriage to change. I feel the need to talk to someone, as you know, about our intimacy and other issues. If you choose not to go to counseling (or other third-party help), then you are choosing for our marriage to be over.” This is leaving the choice to the reluctant spouse to make the move one way or the other. You may need to be so bold as to make the counseling appointment and give your husband the date and time. If you leave it too open-ended, time goes by and nothing happens. Again, Brad and I feel ultimatums are the very, very last resort.
This 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‘.