“She just doesn’t get it!” – and other things we husbands exclaim about sex.

sex

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. 

    • Anonymous
    • February 17th, 2013

    How come we have to do all the WORK of jumping through all their hoops and flipping all their switches in the correct order every day, but they only “have to” lie back and ENJOY sex only every 48 hours? Oh, wait, they don’t even “have to” do that. We’re expected to back off and silently live like Christian martyrs if they don’t. OK, I exaggerate, but I don’t exaggerate when I say that’s what it feels like. I grew up expecting that sex WAS going to be an “amazing and incredibly rewarding thing to share” once I got married. I feel that I got DUPED. It is not “amazing and incredibly rewarding.” It’s something that requires far more work than the few times of pleasure I get out of it. My sex life with no one but myself in high school (and not even any porn!) was actually far more “amazing and rewarding” than what I (most of the time don’t) have now.

    • Anonymous, I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. As a wife who has had to do alot of emotional work after being sexually abused as a child in order to enjoy the marriage bed, I feel like what you’re voicing is what my husband must have felt at one time. I will pray for you, your wife, and your marriage that God will give the two of you the healing that you need to move forward in this aspect of your relationship. Blessings, Annie

        • Anonymous
        • February 18th, 2013

        Thank you for your reply and your prayers. 🙂

      • Anonymous Wife
      • February 17th, 2013

      Anonymous, I feel your hurt and frustration through your typed words. I understand because I was once a refused wife. That’s right. My husband refused me. And yes, I felt as you do. That it was totally unfair. But what Mission Husband writes is true! Now, this is my testimony and not a formula to make things right in your marriage, but when I went to God with my hurt, sadness, anger, frustration, bitterness and resentment, do you know what He told me to do? He told me to give it all up to Him. He told me to stop worrying about it and to stop trying to have sex with my husband. It totally didn’t make sense. Why would a God who created sex between a husband and wife and a God who EXPECTS it between a husband and wife tell me to stop having and expecting sex?! Because, in all those negative emotions I made it an idol in my life. It is a gift from God, not something I can take. Sex is a gift from my spouse, not something I can just take (even though they’re supposed to give it.) It was a week of abstinence and then breakthrough. It’s been 6 months of slow improvement with many setbacks. But it is there.

      I encourage you to join the message boards at The Marriage Bed. There is a section for refused spouses that can help you.

        • Anonymous
        • February 18th, 2013

        Thank you also for your reply. I am familiar with the Marriage Bed message boards and was even on there for a short time a couple of years ago. Ultimately I think though that while it was helpful for venting, my participation there wasn’t really doing anything to address or solve my issue. Probably the same is true here. I guess I haven’t completely “given up” after all – I do continue to subscribe to and read blogs like this. Problem is after you’ve done all the things you’re supposed to do for years and years and lost all hope of it ever leading to improvement….well, like you said, all you can do is “stop worrying about it and give it all up.” I can’t honestly say I’ve quite done that but I’m getting there. And I actually wouldn’t classify myself as “refused.” It’s more like…she wouldn’t refuse me but she’s obviously not interested enough to place a priority on fixing it and so I’m in turn no longer motivated to put the effort into fixing it either. As stated in another respondent’s comment on this page, we’re “friendly roommates.” Biblically, sex is more than just a gift – it is something we have a right to – “our bodies are not our own, but belong to our spouses.” Interesting that that line gets quoted a lot by anti-masturbationists in making their arguments, but not so much as an argument against refusers. No matter. I’d never use that verse as an argument against my wife any more than I’d ever actually physically force myself on her. Either would be equally distasteful to me, because, truly, as a purely physical sensation, as far as I’m concerned sex isn’t even as good as masturbation! What makes sex better and worth pursuing is the joy of being wanted and enjoyed by one’s spouse…and if that’s lacking…well who needs it?

        • Andrew
        • February 21st, 2013

        Anonymous, I am in that very same situation. I have been reading marriage boards and marriage websites for years now, and trying every suggestion that I read, yet we seem to just stay stuck in the once-a-month category. That’s just enough to say my marriage is not sexless, but hardly enough to thrive on. (Kind of like giving a hungry person a single saltine every few weeks so you can claim you are not starving them) I have come to realize the bottom line is not that she doesn’t “get it” … its that she doesn’t WANT it. Every time the subject of frequency comes up, she keeps insisting to me that she actually does like sex, but I can no longer believe that she does. But she does nothing to show that she likes sex. People tend to talk about and seek out things they like … she does neither. Whenever the subject comes up, we go round and round over this … she claims she likes sex and wants more, but she never seems to be sexually available, and never makes any effort to make herself more available. We were married in 2005 like Gerard, and after 7 years of her making claims that she like sex which she does not back up, I can make no other conclusion that she does not WANT sex. Like you, I feel I was duped. I am pretty much at the point where I just want to give up any hope that I will ever have a sexually satisfying marriage. Giving up hope is sad, yes, but its less painful than hoping eternally for something that never comes.

        Let me say again thank you for your eloquent post … you wrote EXACTLY how I have been feeling.

      • shelly
      • February 17th, 2013

      Wow! Your reply hit me like a tone of bricks. Believe it or not, I am a wife, yes, a female who follows this blog, because I want to better my marriage of 23 years, and have an amazing relationship with my husband.
      I absolutely agree with you about having to jump through hoops. It is so true, we women make it very difficult sometimes to have an amazing, simple, sex life that some people talk about.
      If women were created to be more physical, more stimulated by just sight or touch, I think that it WOULD be fairly simple, less hoops and rings. But being a woman, I know that we were created to be more emotional. When our soul is touched in a loving way, we are stimulated to react in a loving way.
      I know how this can become a vicious cycle; males do not feel loved because they do not receive that passionate physical connection they were created to know love. Then males get angry or close up, not giving love to their spouse, who needs the emotional connection/stimulation to give love in return. It is a horrible cycle, that unfortunately all to many women have already figured out and SOMETIMES (knowingly or unknowingly) use to try to get their man to be more romantic or fulfill their emotional needs. Augh…right?
      It wotks yhe other way atound with the man as well. “If I don’t get sex and feel like you care about me at all, then I’m just gonna quit.”
      Quitting can mean several things in a marriage, becoming just friendly room mates, having an affair or going outside of the marriage relationship to fulfill your needs (books, videos, etc)
      God in his great wisdom made us male and female…he made them.Genesis. He said we were to come together to become one. Different, each in our own .special ways, but NOT WRONG!
      Males are not wrong for wanting amazing sex that makes them feel one with their wives, and women are not wrong for wanting an amazing, emotional connection with their husband to feel loved and one with their husband.
      When that GOOD cycle is broken, it needs mending. Someone needs to start.
      If God is speaking to YOU about your relationship, then perhaps it is YOU that he is wanting to start working with. Each individual heart needs changing, but there is always a starting point.
      My husband and I had infidelity, anger, selfishness, and many other issues that we have had to deal wih that have negatively effected our sex life. It’s not perfect NOW! Ha ha. We try to look past the obstacles, seek God, obey God individually and as a couple, and realize becoming ONE is a hard, ongoing process. We enjoy things when they are good, and love each other through the times when it can be horribly bad.
      Good news is…after 23 years, 5 kids, 1 grandkid later, we are still becoming one; learning to love our mate the way God created THEM to receive love, not the way we were created to receive love.
      Good luck, and prayers from over the fence! *smile*

        • Anonymous
        • February 18th, 2013

        Thank you for taking the time for that very thoughtful reply! Yes, you understand – thank you! Almost nothing has pushed my buttons as much lately as people who, UNlike you, have a lopsided view of this situation that effectively damns the man no matter what he does or doesn’t do (if he pursues sex he’s an animal, if he doesn’t he’s responsible for his own problem by not taking action, whereas if the wife doesn’t want sex and/or refuses, well that’s just her right and he has no right to do anything but pray about it). I exaggerate, of course, but that’s the general trend in the preponderance of opinions presented on many of the “Christian” sites I’ve visited. And yes, as a Christian myself, I understand the extent to which the Bible leads to some of those conclusions….but at the same time….it’s frustrating and it’s unfair and yes it sometimes makes me want to rail against the heavens – “I did the right thing and saved my virginity for over three decades under what I assumed (apparently incorrectly) was God’s “promise” of the reward of a fulfilling marital sex life” – and boy was I wrong! And was I duped! And was I gypped!

        That said, much as it may sound hard to believe given my soapbox ranting, I DO very much love my spouse. Men are lucky that way – we can compartmentalize and lop off one section of our lives and still appreciate everything in the other compartments – and yes we are friendly roommates – very friendly roommates – and this roommate for one would never ever even consider leaving his roommate even if there were no hope of sexual improvement in the future, ever (and unfortunately sometimes I think it’s looking that way!)

        But still…..but still….yeah, based on what I was led to believe….I definitely feel gyped. If I had known then what I know now about how marital sex or the lack thereof would turn out I never ever would have considered getting married. And it’s a good thing that I didn’t have that knowledge, because to not have married would have been an even greater loss.

      • Rebekah
      • February 18th, 2013

      As a wife, I often feel like I’m the one jumping through the hoops so I can satisfy my husbands( completely normal) sex drive. Thw why do I have to do all the changing argument. But what God has shown me is that this kind of thinking is garbage, for a husband or wife. It is the wrong perapective. We are meant to be servants to each other and the excuse can easily go both ways if that is the nasty, whining victim like mentality we want to choose. I know it is easy to feel this way, and I often have to remind myself to reject negative thinking and choose to show love to my spouse, as God loves.me. How often do we return love to God as he hopes for? We can only take responsibility for ourselves.

        • Anonymous
        • February 18th, 2013

        Welcome to that great club to which we all belong – “humans!” Isn’t it the truth – we all want the others to do the changes and when it comes to our own changing “why do I have to do it?” I know, I’m just as guilty of that as anyone. On the other hand, when one has been making changes and playing the role of servant for a decade and a half with no results….it gets discouraging to say the least.

    • Will
    • February 17th, 2013

    Thanks for all of this. Just a single guy who is interested in such topics and how to handle such things if/when I get married.

    • Roop
    • February 18th, 2013

    Dear Anonymous, I’m sorry you feel rejected and are put out that you have to “work” at having a good sex life with your wife. Your sex life with yourself, before you were married, was amazing because it didn’t require any work at all and was ALL about YOU. Perhaps you are relationally lazy, or rebellious in learning how to truly love your wife? Real life, real marriage, real relationships and a real, godly sex life takes WORK. A LOT of work. Just as husbands can say “she just doesn’t get it!,” wives can and do say the same thing about their husbands in regard to his understanding HOW MUCH she needs a real relationship with him, with real intimacy in order to enjoy or desire sex. Yeah, she can just “lie back” as you put it, and maybe her body will even respond but, she won’t “love it” without an intimate relationship with you, just like you can do her but not “love it” if you know she’s just going through the motions or appeasing you. Pray for your wife and for yourself, that you can both truly lay aside selfishness and love each other in ways the other person needs. It’s taken a very long time but, my husband recently told me he wished he had realized sooner how pleasurable it is for him to give me sexual pleasure instead of just getting what he ‘needed.’ And, God recently told me I didn’t have to understand or “get it,” but just believe my husband feels as he says he feels and, if I love him to forward from there. Take your anger, frustrations and resentments to God with an ear open to hearing what He wants you to hear. Being willing to learn from the One who has the answers will be your best step forward. God bless!

    • Anonymous
    • February 18th, 2013

    Thank you also for taking the time to write a very helpful and thoughtful reply. I’m continuing to be willing to be open to hearing. Even Abraham and Sarah got an answer to their problem eventually. I hope I don’t have to wait that long…but the way it’s going I suspect I will….

    • Anonymous
    • February 22nd, 2013

    Andrew :
    Anonymous, I am in that very same situation………….Every time the subject of frequency comes up, she keeps insisting to me that she actually does like sex, but I can no longer believe that she does. ….
    Let me say again thank you for your eloquent post … you wrote EXACTLY how I have been feeling.

    Thanks Andrew for the kind words. If nothing else it’s always comforting to know we’re not alone, isn’t it?!

    I wonder though if in your case you might still have more hope than you think. First off, I reached the point of “giving up” after 15 years, not 7…but even that’s not the main point I see. You said “she keeps insisting to you that she actually does like sex.” I don’t think a woman would lie about that. And you’re having it once a month…I’m zero for 3 and a half years…but only because 3 and a half years ago I quit pursuing. I have every reason to believe I could get once a month or better…but the level of interest on her part, and the quality when it happens….and the degree of effort required in pursuing…makes the effort not worth the results, which is why I quit. An increase in quality or quantity could be enough to re-motivate me.

    But I digress again as I am wont to do. What I really jumped back in her to tell you is…if she insists to you that she likes it, then I think there is more hope for you than you may give yourself credit for….IF….you can convince her to up the frequency…maybe even slightly at first. If she really likes it….are there things you can do to remove distractions, help carve out some time so she has no excuse for not having it….and then do whatever you had the most success with in the early days when presumably sex was better and more frequent. I’m saying that if you could get her up to twice a month…and gradually once a week….or maybe even get her to try a “two days in a row challenge” (hey, start with lower expectations, don’t go for 31 and you won’t be disappointed!)…but yeah, a two days in a row challenge….the point is that the sex drive can be affected by how much sex one is having. It’s certainly been true for me as a guy….during times when my wife and I were more frequent, the more frequent it was the more we seemed to want it…and the less frequent….well it’s a cycle in either direction. Since you’re at least getting once a month you’re nowhere near as far gone as I am. You know your own situation of course…and things are much easier said than done….but I wonder if with a few continuing nudges – and not letting yourself get too discouraged if at first you don’t succeed….you might just turn things back to an “up” cycle. Nothing to say it’s guaranteed to last permanently, but if you can get to an “up” cycle…well……? It’s a matter of balancing the estimated effort against the likelihood of payoff. Yes, I think like an accountant, and for me I’ve decided that the cost-benefit doesn’t compute, but I took 15 years to arrive at that conclusion. I’m not sure that your chances are as low or your degree of effort would be as high…in other words I think your cost-benefit analysis might prove more favorable than you think….something to consider anyway.

    • The Ret
    • January 12th, 2017

    Once you mention the devil or Satan…. we have to stop reading. lol

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