5 Ways to Initiate With Your Husband

Kate says . . .

When I say the word “initiate” what do you think ?

When wives hear the word initiate,  sex is one of the top things that comes to mind, understandably so. And yet, there are so many other ways that we can initiate in our marriage. I believe stepping up and being the initiator in your marriage will not only change your marriage for the good, but it will also bless your hubby like crazy.

Ask and Listen

When your hubby gets home from work, initiate asking him about his day. Regardless of what your hubby does for a living, much of his identity is wrapped up in work and providing for the family. It is a God thing, and even though we may struggle to relate, because God wired us very differently, we can choose to believe God designed our husband that way, for His good purposes. So when your hubby comes home, give him a hug and a kiss and ask him what happened in his day. Make sure you are being an active listener and ask more questions when you can. It is also nice to thank your hubby for all that he does for the family, these conversations give great opportunities to do just that.Young couple, toasting with champagne

Take 15 minutes

I know I can see it on Brad’s face when he could use a few minutes to himself. Perhaps it is to recharge, to calm down, to take a power nap or just to relax for a bit. Be the initiator in inviting your hubby to take that time when you see that he needs it. And sometimes initiate him taking that time just because it would bless him. I know that I used to always think about how I needed 15 minutes to myself and how hard I worked and how tired I was. That selfishness used to stew in me to the point where it would want to boil over. Through God’s refining, I started to look at what Brad needed and see how I could be attentive to that, instead of being stuck in my own selfishness. You know what happened when I initiated and encouraged Brad to take 15 minutes for himself? He started looking for opportunities to do the same for me! Amazing how that God given principle works,that when we put the other before us, they will reciprocate.

Never-ever underestimate the power of touch

Studies have shown in babies and children, that if we omit touch, there are many ramifications emotionally and relationally. Even if touch is not high on either of your  love language scales, be an initiator of touch. You know all the stuff you NEVER wanted to stop doing while dating/engaged. Be intentional about touching your hubby. During meals, while taking a walk with your family (that’s right, hold your hubby’s hand first, then your kids), driving in the car, in bed, sitting in church and on dates! I am always amazed at how many spouses are out and about together and don’t touch-at all! Be the initiator of touch in your marriage.

Initiate making love together

As always it made the list! It is pretty simple . . . if both spouses took initiative in initiating sex, we would still have hurdles, but it would be very different. Even aside from that, if we as wives step up and initiate and are intentional about making sex a priority in our marriage, we are acknowledging God’s design for sex in marriage. Not only should we initiate sex, we should be initiating communicating with our hubby where sex is concerned. I know these are often hard things, but often times hard things are worth it-as is the case with marriage and intimacy. You are the wife and you can only do your part, don’t concern yourself with his part-that is not yours to worry about!


How many times in our marriages will we ask for forgiveness? Many I am sure. But the more important question is, how many times should we have humbled ourselves in front of our husband and asked for forgiveness but held back? Often it is pride keeping us from doing so! Be the initiator of admitting your part and asking forgiveness-whether it was intentional or not. In the same way, be the initiator in extending grace and forgiveness to your husband. It WILL make a difference!

It is so stinkin easy to sit and wait for our hubby to be the initiator. Then it can be a stubborn thing. Cast those things aside and be the initiator in your marriage. Do it with humility and the intent to love your husband above yourself and your own needs. It is radical and goes against all that our sinful nature seeks, but it is the way Jesus loved. He was an initiator!

How have you seen the principle of initiating in your marriage change and grow your relationship? What would you add to my list?

Photo courtesy of Ned White and © photoxpress

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15 Responses to 5 Ways to Initiate With Your Husband

  1. Another great post Kate, I know when my dear hubby uncovered or at least exposed to me what he already knew about my online porn addiction, I had to be just about the most humble person on the face of the earth at that time … I needed/had to have his forgiveness … and he gave it willingly and we are so much more closer for it … hard way to get closer but it helped me to expose some stuff that was “driving/causing” me to seek out the online porn and male attention instead of going to him 100% of the time …

  2. Outstanding advice for wives. Here is another piece advice. Make it safe for your husband to tell you the truth, especially if it entails a critique of you. Most men complain to me that it is never okay for him to critique his wife. Women invariable respond defensively with yelling, crying, name calling, the “silent treatment” withdrawal of sex, with the intent to teach that “no good man” to NEVER EVER critique her again. Men learn the lesson all too well and learn to seethe in silence. If you do this you have effectively killed intimacy in your marriage.

  3. And if a wife does initiate and really wants to make love with her husband, then the husband needs to respond and not hem and haw about it. Nothing kills the wife’s desire faster than having her husband not be interested.
    Not every wife has to force herself to initiate sex with her husband — some, believe it or not, crave intimacy quite frequently but are saddened when their husbands don’t.

    • Hi Amy,
      Thanks for writing and sharing. I just wanted to say that I hear you and understand where you are coming from. But this post wasn’t trying to say that wives don’t want sex, not that wives have to force themselves to initiate! In fact one of my first sentences is: “if both spouses took initiative in initiating sex, we would still have hurdles, but it would be very different.” Both spouses need to do their part. But I write to the wives, so I am writing and challenging the wives. That was my whole point in this post, to challenge wives in ALL areas. Some you may be great at, others you struggle with. If you are great at initiating, great-where an you improve in your marriage. There is always room for improvement with being the initiator in marriage! That was my point. Just imagine a marriage where both spouses took it upon themselves to always initiate! Hope that makes sense! Blessings, Kate

    • I know what you mean, Amy. Due to a serious illness, it took years for my husband and I to become intimate and have sex again. It was very hard, and it took its toll on the marriage. However, since we were having problems before my husband was diagnosed with cancer, it certainly put things into perspective. It also took a long time for my husband to regain his confidence, and with prayer, counseling and encouragement from me, we were finally able to get back to where we should be.

  4. I agree with Amy’s comment as well.
    I am one of those wives who also craves intimacy with her husband and I have felt the pain of several years of rejection and felt so unwanted and undesired by my husband even though I do not think that was his intent. I don’t even know if he realizes how deep the pain of his rejection and “no’s” and pushing my hand away when I tried to touch his body. You hear a lot about how men feel unwanted and undesired by their wives or rejected sexually, but there are cases where it is the other way around or flip side. Thankfully things are starting to look up but I had to basically stop initiating and let things be on his terms and there are times I would like to initiate, but because of all the deep hurt from the past….I just won’t take the risk anymore because of the years I tried so hard to start a small spark only to be left disappointed by my efforts. I even went so far as to be cooking dinner in lingerie one evening when he came home from work a few years ago only to end up changing back into regular clothes rather quickly soon after he got home and the night turned into tears for me. It is hard when your husband does not understand your God given sexuality and has called you a “pervert” in the past.

    • I sympathize with Amy and Lisa. This is what it feels like to men all the time, so wives out there be careful with your man’s feelings. For those women with a high libido read The Sex Starved Wife for some help.

    • Hi JustWant2BOne,

      Thanks so much for sharing where you are. There is a time and place to step back from initiating in certain areas of marriage. I am sorry that you have had so much hurt in the areas of sex in your marriage. And no you are not alone being the wife who desires sex and the husband who doesn’t. We have talked many times in OFM about low drive husbands. But when I write to wives, I am challenging them in their marriage. Sex is part of that, whether you are a high drive wife, low drive or somewhere in between.

      Have you and your husband ever reached out and talked with another couple about the struggles you are having? I will be honest, even though your husband puts up a good front and even lashes out at you with unkind/uncalled for comments-he is most likely ashamed and hurting deeply. Our culture tells him he is broken and that he is not a man if he doesn’t want sex 24/7. I know you are hurting deeply too, but I think your husband is as well. I would encourage you guys to seek help! Find another couple in your church you can talk to, a pastor or a Christian counselor.

      Please know that you are not alone, and that I hear the great pain you have. Please know that I am lifting you up right now. Blessings, Kate

  5. Well done to expand on initiation beyond initiation for sex. Your point on initiating a 15 minute break hits home. My husband comes home tired. I will be more aware of whether I am offering our home as a haven or as a continuation of the pressures of the day.

    • Thanks Sharon! I have to say that giving my hubby that time-has been a huge change of attitude for both of us in our marriage. I like your comparison of a haven vs a continuation of the stresses of the day! Great point! Thanks for sharing. Blessings, Kate

  6. Kate, Thank you so much for your response and comments. Thank you so much for lifting me up. Yes, he was hurting very deeply. I think I finally figured out some whys and have a better understanding of what was bothering him. Me stepping back and stop initiating has worked wonders. I guess he felt a lot of pressures. I would very much like to try this 15 minute of giving him space when he gets home. I think it would work wonders for our marriage. Thank you so much to you and Brad for your ministry and this blog. God bless you both and your marriage!

    • There are lots of reasons. The first and most important is that many people believe that marriage is not designed to make us happy. Of course it often does, but that is not its primary goal. I believe that marriage is designed as an opportunity for us to grow, to see ourselves in a light that happens in no other relationships. Marriage often is a key to making us holy much more then it is making us happy. So if there is a struggle to find that intimacy in marriage right now, it is much more beneficial to work through it, learn from it, see how you can change and grow to find that intimacy. If your question is “why be someone who you struggle to be sexually intimate with?” That is even more the truth, and we’ve written lots of posts on that.

  7. […] gone, or at least he’s not telling you if they are still floating around in his head. How about spending some time initiating with your husband to reconnect and let him know that you want to hear what he is dreaming […]