Ever been there? You’re trying your hardest to explain to your wife that you “need sex more often as a way to connect and feel close to her”, and all she’s hearing is “she’s not good enough” and “no matter how hard I she tries, she’s not enough”. You keep arguing for a while, but after a while, you either decide it’s not worth it to argue about anymore, or you just give up and walk away feeling hurt and like you somehow “don’t matter to her” because obviously if you did, she would see how much sex means to you, and be more willing oblige you.
Ok, I think we’ve all been there at least one time in our marriage. So what do you do about it? What can you do? After all, if she doesn’t want to have sex, it’s pretty hard to “make her” want you.
Well, first let’s start with what you DON’T want to do:
Shut Down – Don’t pull the “well fine, I’m going to give you the silent treatment” thing on her. I know it’s hard, but be the bigger person, keep your commitment to love her no matter what, and do your best to stay emotionally open to her.
Pout – Kind of like the “shut down” thing, but a little more childish. I don’t even need to explain it – you know what I’m talking about, and it’s not attractive.
Ask, and ask, and ask, and ask – You know how annoying it is when your child keeps asking to play Nintendo, or buy something, and no matter how many times you say “no”, they just keep going? Does it make you want to give them what they want any more? No. Ok, so why would it work on your wife? She knows you want/need it. She hasn’t forgotten. So quit begging.
Watch porn instead – “Well, it’s pretty obvious she doesn’t care about my needs, so it’s “ok” if I satisfy my physical need with a little porn. It’s not like I’m hurting anything”. WARNING: That is a LIE straight from hell. Satan would like NOTHING MORE than to see the intimacy in your marriage torn apart, and the fastest way he can do this, is wedge porn in between you and your wife. It DOES hurt someone, it hurts YOU! It might not feel like it at the time, but PLEASE UNDERSTAND it brings nothing but PAIN and DYSFUNCTION to your marriage. Oh, and by the way, it might give you something to satisfy the physical urge with, but it will do NOTHING to satisfy the need you still have to have sex with your wife. Just the OPPOSITE – now, you will be struggling to get the images of other women out of your mind, as you make love to your wife. It’s NOT WORTH IT. Run from it.
Ok, so those are some things to AVOID, now let’s look at things that might HELP the situation:
Pray for her – There’s nothing more powerful than praying for your spouse. And when I say “pray for her”, I don’t mean “complain about her” in prayer. Don’t start with “Lord, what the heck is wrong with the woman you gave me?” Instead, pour your heart out to God. Ask him to bless your marriage, in EVERY aspect, and show you ways you can be a better husband, even if she isn’t totally meeting your needs right now. Ask Him to soften her heart towards you, and let her see what you’re really trying to get across to her.
Don’t ask more than every 48 hours – Don’t ask me how I know this, but for some reason, if you ask MORE than that, you’ll hear a lot of “that’s all you ever want!” from your wife. Most times it’s better to wait 3 days to ask again, but if you “can’t wait” that long, at least 48 hours is usually good enough to avoid the “you just asked yesterday!” exclamation.
Don’t panic – Since the sex need is most times much more “driven” in men than women, if we feel like she’s rejecting us, and it’s been a few days/weeks since we last had sex, there’s a tendency to panic, and go right to the “she’s never going to want to have sex with me again” phase. Don’t do this! Instead, calmly try to look at the situation, and ask yourself a few questions. What time of the month is it? Is she pregnant? Is she sick? Has she been really stressed at work/home lately? Try and access what may be working against you, besides the “she just hates me” theory. Where she is in her cycle plays a HUGE part in how active her sex drive is. If you’re asking a few days before her period starts, you’d probably have a better chance of being an Olympic gold medalist in basket weaving. On the other hand, the days she’s ovulating, she may be the one asking YOU for sex. And then there’s all the other days between. Do yourself a favor, and learn you wife’s cycle. There are even APPS that help with this. You will save yourself a LOT of pain. The Generous Husband has a great post on this and you can read it HERE.
Watch HOW you ask – If you haven’t figured this out by now a “Hey, I’m horny, wanna have sex?” May have worked on your honeymoon (maybe), but after a few years, it will most likely get you nothing but a rather large “eye roll” from your wife. Asking like that makes her feel like a piece of meat. When you ask, try something more along the lines of “Hey hon, I’ve really been missing you lately, would you be interested in making love later?”. Asking like that gives you a little better odds at a “yes”.
Make sure you’ve got “your end” together – in other words, if the most meaningful conversation you’ve had with your wife in the last week is whether she wants ranch or BBQ for her chicken nuggets, she’s probably not feeling very emotionally connected to you, and in turn, not feeling very interested in having sex with a “stranger” that hasn’t talked to her about anything in over a week. Make it a PRIORITY to SIT DOWN, turn OFF the TV, and actually LISTEN to her talk about her day, what she’s concerned about, etc, on a DAILY basis. And for gosh sakes, turn off Sports Center while you do this. Remember, this makes her feel connected to us, just like sex makes us feel connected to her.
Quit comparing her to others – “Why can’t we just have a sex life-like (insert married couple you look up to, or one you think has a great sex life)?” Let me let you in on a little secret: You’re not them. And even if you were, I’d lay good odds that they’re not quite as “problem free” as you may think they are. Funny how that works. Kind of back to the whole “grass is greener” myth. So stop comparing/wishing you were like somebody else, and make the best of what you DO have. Otherwise you’re just going to continue to be disappointed when you continue to not “live up” to the imaginary standard you’ve set.
How serious is it? – Have you ever seen the “pain scale” that hospitals use in patient rooms? If not, it’s basically a little sign with a series of smiley faces. The one all the way to the left is “unbearable pain”, and the one all the way to the right is “no pain at all”. You can use the same idea to rate how serious an issue the “no sex” issue really is in your marriage. For example, has it been 4 months since you had sex last, and it’s been constant rejection for as long as you remember? Or is this something fairly recent that has developed? Is she just going through a “funk” right now due to health issues, pregnancy, etc.? Or is bad enough that it doesn’t matter if she feels good or not, it’s still constant rejection? If your answer if the former, just wait it out for a while, odds are it’s going to get better, and you’ll be right back on track. If it’s the latter, you need to get some help. Start with a non-accusing “pour your heart out” talk with your bride. Explain how much she means to you, and how much you need to feel connected to her in this way. If that doesn’t work, find a good Christian counselor that can work with you guys, and find out what’s at the bottom of the issue. Odds are there’s something buried or something that’s not obvious to both of you, that may be the very thing that is blocking you from having the sexual relationship God designed you to have. Don’t give up and “just live with it”. Sex is an amazing, and incredibly rewarding thing the He created for husband and wife to share. Take action, swallow a little pride, roll your sleeves up, and get some help with it. Do whatever you have to do to start moving in the right direction. You won’t be sorry you put in the effort.