One of the most interesting things is how many MEN seem to have found this website, and are ordering the book for their wives – a gesture which I hope all wives will interpret as something along the lines of, “Gee honey, I love you so much, and I want to connect with you more deeply!” rather than coming to any negative conclusions that he’s just being a selfish pig.
I’m absolutely delighted to be striking a chord with husbands, but it’s the WIVES I’m hoping will really open themselves to the message of The Sexually Confident Wife, or else the term “Desperate Husbands” will become a more popular term than “Desperate Housewives.”
One husband emailed recently asking for advice about how to talk to his wife about a huge struggle in their marriage. “Trent” says:
“The real problem is that I have a much higher sex drive than she does and while she is happy with making love once or twice a week, I deeply desire to be sexually intimate with her far more than that. Not every day, but four or fives times a week is what I really desire. Whenever I make any loving motioning toward intimacy – such as close hugging or even massaging, she immediately withdraws because she thinks that I just want to fulfill my desires and have sex. It has got to the point where anything romantic, even buying flowers, is viewed as a manipulative maneuver to have sex that night. It has now got to the point where she simply refuses to make love more than twice a week and she says I need to gain control of my desires and should be putting my wife first and respecting her needs. I just don’t know what to do…
Sexual intimacy has become such a problem and it is like she has a castle wall built around her – and the gate only gets opened twice a week. So many nights I just lie in bed wanting to make love so much – and knowing that she simply does not want to. I am denied. I don’t want to masturbate. I want to be intimate with my wife, my lover, that God has given to me. She says there is no need for a husband’s sexual desires to met by the wife as regularly as four to fives times a week. I thought that as husband and wife our bodies belonged to each other and that we should fulfill the intimate desires of our spouse – but her desire is not to make love more that twice a week. It is immensely difficult as a man to know how to deal with this, or how to properly channel my desires.”
If anyone has any advice for “Trent,” that’d be great, but I also want to ask you, Ladies, could YOUR OWN husband have written this email? Would he share the same sentiments if given the opportunity to do so anonymously?
I’m not trying to create any paranoia – just encouraging us all (myself included) to realize how important his sexual needs are, and how vital of a role wives play in fulfilling those desires.
Would love to hear your thoughts! (And I’ll bet “Trent” would too!)
Who Am I says
I am sorry for your pain.
As a man who has a different sex drive than my wife, I can relate to some of what you are saying.
Here are some things I have found helpful.
A.Work on the little things in marriage that mean so much to my wife.
B.Tell her alot how much I do enjoy sex with her, whether that is verbally, by e mail, notes, cards, etc.
C.Pray prayers about sexuality such as ones that are in “Power of a Praying Husband” by Stormie O’Martian.
D. I did read, Shannon’s book, gave it to my wife, and have been initiating some discussions especially from things mentioned in the beginning of the book about not feeling worthy of a man’s love etc.
E.Michelle Weiner Davis has alot of good practical insight in her book “The Sex Starved Marriage”
F. I try to tell my wife calmly about how sexual temptation increases dramatically when we don’t make love regularly.
G.www.themarriagebed has a section under Problems called Desire Problems, and in their discussion forum there is a whole section on Sexual Refusal. As I read of people who are refused for weeks, months, years, I become more thankful that even though our desires are not quite matched, we are having regular lovemaking with variety.
H.www.christiannymphos.org under FAQ has thoughts from several women that might be helpful.
I can not overemphasize enough being thankful for what you do have, although it is not wrong to long for more.
Who Am I says
Imagine you were at a conference, church, airport whereever and a man like Trent comes up to you with his and says something like “I really like what you are saying, but my wife and I just have a huge gap in our sexual desires.” You can tell that the wife is not too thrilled.
What would you say to that couple, to really help her to really become inspired to become a Sexually Confident Wife, and for him to hold onto hope and his morals until she does?
Now could you write that as a blog post so when a man has been reading your stuff and wants to inspire his wife, he could ask her to come read your post? Not all wives will, but I suspect if their husbands asked with kindness many would, even if they are skeptical.
Trent, I am so sorry that you are going through this. You don’t say, but I wonder if your sex drives matched at one point.
If they did, then there is certainly hope.
If they never did, there is hope, but it is much slimmer, as you may have picked a woman who simply does not have the drive (as opposed to marrying a woman who then lost her drive due to the detrius of everyday life).
I’ll say, though, flowers are not the way to a woman’s heart. Theya re wonderful, icing on the cake, but the cake itself is simpler things like:
Kissing her softly as soon as you get home.
Taking out the trash when it gets full AND replacing the bag on a REGULAR basis.
Helping with the children (if you have them). A Mom’s night alone every week where you take the kids to a movie and she can do a bubble bath and Grey’s Anatomy (or a steamy novel, or whatever) is a good thing.
Fixing something that has broken.
Doing one or several of her chores “just because.”
Filling up her car with gas.
Putting away the groceries for her when she brings them home.
Again, flowers are wonderful, don’t give up on them, but they are like a plaster patch over a crumbling wall, rather than the sheet rock of a relationship.
Wow, Trent. That summarizes the current status of my 14-year marriage. Her behavior is only a signal of the actual problem going on in her mind and heart. You can’t try to change the behavior, but rather address the problem. It is important to hear clearly what the issues are to deal with. In my case, my occasional pushiness and occasional anger are partly a reason for my wife’s walls going up. Emotional wounds from male figures in her life have also contributed. As well, I think my wife’s upbringing with no affection from mom/dad is a contributing reason. There could also be unrepented bitterness and unforgiveness from the past. Your wife may have experienced (or been around) some type of abuse as a child (sexual, male authority figure, religous, etc.) Lastly, a lack of sex hormones and/or general tiredness could also dampen frequency. Over 14 years, I’ve taken up many household duties my wife recommended to get her more excited about lovemaking. Every recommendation I take up with joy and sincerity to bless her doesn’t phase the sexual frequency a bit. In fact, her overall desire to “enjoy” lovemaking has decreased over the years. I strongly recommend you “target pray” for 30 days and believe God to “awaken” your bride and begin the process. Also pray that you will continue to respond as Christ does whenever she throws up the walls. Definitely don’t argue with her about frequency, don’t get angry and don’t get depressed if you don’t get what you want, because the enemy will use that against you in the relationship. I’m convinced in my situation that the walls will only come down with Prevailing Prayer and continual Chrislike responses on my part. God will do the rest because he wants both of you blessed, and fulfilled in your marriage relationship.
Shannon Ethridge says
Thanks for sending “Trent” those encouraging words (along with every other husband reading this and sympathizing!). I applaud your patience and sensitivity with your wife, and pray that she would also be “awakened” to the passion that God intends for both of you to enjoy in your marriage relationship!
Well, I’ve been thinking recently that I so wish I’d better understood my husband’s sexual needs earlier in our marriage; and that ALL women would commit to NO SEXUAL DEPRIVATION AS AN EMOTIONAL ISSUE. It’s sad how far from understanding each other sexually so many couples are – I applaud your work in this area. I read a book that challenged me to not refuse my husband’s romantic/sexual advances – ever – and it really brought MANY changes between us. I just do NOT say “not now” anymore and it’s been AMAZING to experience the benefits of just that one change! I’m praying for Trent’s wife.
Susan Poythress says
After 24 years of marriage with a sexual frequency of once or twice a week, which I am sure my husband might have wished for more but never pressured me for, I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. Just when we were about to have an empty nest and start our second honeymoon, everything has changed. The surgery for my cancer cured the disease but put me straight into menopause, zapping my hormones and leaving in it’s wake a full blown case of vulvodynia. I have probably had a subclinical case of vulvodynia all my married life but it was manageable and undiagnosed. The condition manifests itself differently in different women, it is a pain condition. Sex hurts (is impossible), it is a condition that all women should know about. A high percentage of women may suffer from it and it is misdiagnosed often. Regular Doctors don’t treat it, and getting into see a doctor that does has taken me 2 years in Texas. It has been more then 2 years since my husband and I shared lovemaking the way we used to. I loved making love to my husband and miss doing so more than I can say. Cherish the normal relationship that God has given you. There are no promises for tomorrow. Susan
My husband and I have only been married close to 5 years and my sex drive for him is mostly nonexistent. It seems to me that he is not soft, and caring the way that would ignite sexual desires for me. We went through him being unfaithful with over 10 women, but I know that through God’s grace I have forgiven him. but something in me keeps me from initiating or responding before maybe a month has passed. Usually, once or twice a month is all it ends up being, and then I look back at the month and feel so guilty. But it happens again the next month… He really is trying to show his love, by helping me get out of the house in the morning, starting the car, making coffee, but none of that seems to matter by the time I get home again. I feel like my emotions are locked up and I have no idea where they are or what key to use to free them.
Dear GRW –
Thanks for your post, and I don’t mean to alarm you, but please be aware of how serious this situation could turn out to be for the long-term health of your marriage. Any woman’s inability to connect intimately with her husband will create all kinds of doubts, insecurities, and temptations in his life. I strongly encourage you to go to https://www.shannonethridge.com and click on the “counseling” link, where there are several options for you to consider, but getting some counseling in these matters to help YOU overcome and your marriage THRIVE is something I can’t recommend highly enough.
Lifting you in prayer,
That Girl says
From a woman’s point of view, it’s easy for me to say that there are literally thousands of things that could be affecting your wife’s sex drive.
Throughout my life, I’ve had ups and downs with my sex drive. In the years leading up to my marriage, I assumed that I would be as active as a rabbit when I was finally married. I couldn’t imagine NOT wanting to have sex anytime and anywhere, just so long as I was having it with my husband.
Once I was married, that changed, and it made me really sad. I realized I lacked the desire to be intimate with my husband. I continued to make love with my husband, but only because I wanted to please him. It just didn’t feel that good to me.
I finally realized there were a few factors influencing my sex drive.
1) I was away from all of my friends and family for the first time ever, so I was stressed.
2) I suffer from hypothyroidism (low thyroid), and I learned that can decrease sex drive.
3) I realized that the birth control I was on could also be affecting my sex drive.
So I went home for a quick weekend visit, began medication to correct my thyroid, and also QUIT my birth control.
Ever since then, my desires have definitely increased.
There are still times here or there, when I don’t “feel” like it. Usually that is either because I’m tired, stressed, hormonal, or because I’m upset with my husband. One thing I’ve been trying to explain to my husband, is: if there is an unspoken disagreement between us, if he has done something to upset me, or if my emotional needs are not being met, I just can’t bring myself to want to have sex with him.
I actually tried to go ahead and have sex with him once in the midst of an unsolved argument, and I ended up stopping everything half-way through. I felt so miserable. I couldn’t open up in that way when my heart wasn’t in it and I was still hurting.
Have you or your wife read The Five Love Languages? If not, I highly recommend it.
It might be that your wife’s emotional needs aren’t being met. Not that you aren’t trying of course, but it might be that you’re simply not speaking her “language.”
Do you have children? Maybe she’d love it if you offered to watch the kids one night so she can have a girls night out.
Maybe she needs a good massage, or a pedicure.
Maybe a romantic date, where she gets to dress up.
I think she does need to understand that maybe you DO need to make love four to five times a week. She is there to show you love and support and to meet your needs, just like you are there to meet hers. Wouldn’t she want you to do something she felt was important for her, even if you just didn’t want to? How would she feel if the tables were turned?
I see it’s been a long time since this post was first submitted by Shannon. It would be great to get an update on how things are going. I truly hope that your situation has gotten better.
What is all this talk about “she wants it twice a week” and “he wants it four to five times a week.” Excuse me for lacking sympathy, but I would love it if we had ever gotten close to ONCE a week our entire 20 year marriage. The only thing my wife can say is that “my husband wants sex to exist in our marriage and I don’t. Once a year is fine for me.”
But then I guess some wives actually WANT to have sex with their husbands. I cannot even imagine what my marriage would be like if that were true. Day after day of feeling like I am not even worthy of having sex with my wife wondering what it would be like to ever be wanted by a woman. I thought these insecurities were done once I got married. 20 years later, it’s even worse that being 25 years old and never having had a girlfriend.
Twice a week would be like I died and went to heaven.