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Withholding Sex, Is It Really That Bad?

28 Aug

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Okay ladies, this post may not be what you were looking to read today, but I feel like I need to address some of these issues.   See, Gerad has been getting a lot of comments over on mission:husband from husbands who aren’t satisfied with their sex lives and feel like their wife couldn’t care less.

Here’s an anonymous email:

Like many marriages, I have a stronger physical desire than my wife. Nothing new there. However, I don’t feel like I put out much pressure toward this. Sure, it is important to me, but I know she needs her space, so many times I let my desires fall by the wayside. Likewise, I am disappointed when I am turned down, which happens most of the time, but I also don’t request it that much (our frequency is around once every 10 days or so). Here’s the problem. My wife recently revealed to me that my desires for her “make me feel like a prostitute” (said with obvious disdain), and that “that is all you need me for”. I love my wife. She is a great person. I do all she asks, provide for what she needs, listen when she needs someone to talk to, and never lay out any requirements for what she needs to do or help me with. However, now I am mostly paralyzed to inaction to the point that I have lost desire for my wife. How can she feel this way? What am I not doing right?

I feel like I can address this because as I was reading this comment my heart broke for the couple, but also, because Gerad could have written that a year or two ago.  I was causing him so much pain and had no idea.  My views on sex in marriage were skewed. I grew up in the “don’t have sex until you get married, at all costs” camp.  Not a bad place to be, but I didn’t have anyone tell me how great it could be in marriage.  I mean I had the normal, “just wait, it’s so great,” comments, but no one really spoke into my life and told me how great it really is, and how important it is, and how much work it is. 

I started our marriage off like every other couple who don’t have sex until they get married, we had a lot of sex. Then life happened and I began to buy the lies.  I didn’t feel like having sex, I didn’t want to tonight and I tried my best to be loving in my rejection.  I didn’t understand why Gerad wanted or needed it all the time.  I bought the lie that says guys are just pigs, they don’t really need sex this often, it’s just their way of fooling us women,” 

I felt like if I was expected to “just give it to him” every 3 days or so because “my body is not my own.”  I didn’t know why didn’t he have to go without when I didn’t feel like having sex then.  I started to get frustrated with certain preachers on the topic of sex because I didn’t want to HAVE to give Gerad sex.  I was tired, I was working full-time, taking care of a 1-year-old at work, keeping a house etc.  You know, life.  Fast forward a year, I was a stay at home mom with 2 kids, under 3 trying to potty train one and clean the house while chasing the other. 

I NEVER wanted to have sex.  I still expected Gerad to meet each and every one of my needs, I certainly made sure he knew if he wasn’t meeting my needs in the way I expected, and it wasn’t usually in the nicest way.  I expected conversation, help around the house and with the kids, and if he even looked at me before that was done, I was irritated that he didn’t care that I wasn’t in the mood and therefore didn’t care about me. 

I started reading some marriage books on sex, hoping they might let me off the hook, they never did.  I started reading Is That All He Thinks About? How to Enjoy Great Sex with Your Husband by Marla Taviano at the recommendation of One Flesh Marriage. This book definitely didn’t let me off the hook, at first it really kinda irritated me.  For some reason I kept reading and it changed everything!

In reference to a man’s heart she says,

It’s give and take.  We women give to a lot of people, but when it comes to our husbands, we often just take. And harp and complain when we think they’re not giving enough. “He’s just using me for sex,” we whine self-righteously.  And what are we using him for? A wedding ring? His sperm? …

OUCH!  I read this and saw myself in her paragraph.  I was the whiner, the complainer, the one who thought all my husband wanted was sex all the time. 

Okay, so you wonder if sex is really a “NEED” for him?  He just wants it to feel connected and for physical release you say? Here’s her reply

Whether or not sex is an actual ‘need’ for a guy is beside the point.  It sure feels like a need to him, and when we willingly meet that need for our husbands, they become very grateful indeed.

Ok, here’s my take on what she says, it may sound harsh but its the reality I’ve come to live with: I AM SELFISH! Utterly and immensely SELFISH!  I wanted to control when we had sex according to how I ‘feel’. 

I didn’t change overnight, it took time.  It wasn’t easy, I had to sacrifice, to choose to put Gerad above me.  I had to learn how God created him different from me, not poorly or needy, just different.  I began to look at Gerad the way God created him and to praise and appreciate the masculinity in him instead of trying to take it away and make him my girlfriend.  (You know, cuddle on the couch, listen to my day and then watch a girly movie with me, maybe have some ice cream and then go to bed type of girlfriend.  Sounds like a teenage girl sleepover to me.  Definitely not the way God wants me to see my husband.) I need to see him as the masculine figure God wants created him to be.  In turn, he treats and pursues me the way God desires for him to.

I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me.
Song of Solomon 7:10

May her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
Proverbs 5:19

I’m pretty sure my husband can’t be intoxicated with my love if we have sex once a week, or month … I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be satisfied if we only had sex when I feel like it.  I have had to learn it’s not all about me.  Sometimes I wish it was, but it’s not.  And the beauty of God’s creation of sex in marriage is, he knew that once a wife has given herself to her husband that way, life seems to get in the way less.  I’m happier, I have more grace, more patience.  I speak kindly to my children when they annoy me.  Not because of the physical act of sex, but because I am honoring God in my relationship with my husband.

How can you do this? 

  • Pray
  • Pray
  • Learn what God says about sex, not the world.
  • Pray again

I can’t say it enough, pray!  Prayer is such an important tool in changing your attitude about sex.  I know it seems weird to pray about sex, at least it did to me first.  Then I realized it was something God created for our marriage.  When I was willing to be open and honest (not that God didn’t know anyway), the walls in my heart that were holding up the lies came crashing down.  I learned I was being selfish in so many areas, but if you would have asked me I would have never thought I was a selfish person.  I just bought the lies our society has pushed upon us about how guys are pigs…God changed my heart, there is no other explanation.  I dug deep and saw the selfishness, desire to control and have my way in other areas of our marriage and started working on it.  I’m a work in progress, I still have days where I struggle to want sex, or I complain that he’s asking again, it was just yesterday.  But I know this, you can do it!  God can change your attitude about sex, it won’t be easy, but it’ll be life changing!

That’s all I have for now, I’m going to address why sex is so important to our hubby’s in an upcoming post. 

If this is something you’re working on, or worked through I’d love to hear your story.

Linking with To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Ten Things Every Husband Wishes His Wife Knew About Sex, But Doesn’t Know Quite How To Tell Her

5 Aug

I am so excited to share a guest post with you all today.  It’s written by my hubby who blogs over at mission:husband  (If you ever read his blog, which is a great resource for us wives, it’s like free access into our guys’ minds, you’ll know his posts are longer than mine, but worth it!). Gerad and I were having a discussion along the lines of this post and I said, “Hey, wanna write a guest post?”  He gladly agreed, so, without further ado, here’s Gerad.

I get a lot of emails from Wives wanting to “get inside the heads” of their husbands when it comes to how he acts, and reacts about sex. I realize all husbands are different, and some prefer some things over others, but overall, I feel that there are a lot of wives out there who REALLY WANT to make their sex life with their husband what God intended it to be, but sometimes get frustrated by not understanding why he’s always asking for sex, even when they just had it, or what he means when he says things like “I just want you to want me”.

So it’s for this reason, I decided to write this post. It’s not to make wives feel inadequate, or bad about what they’re not doing right, but rather to let you inside a guys head for a little bit, and help you understand where your husband is coming from when he is think about all things sexual. I think a lot of the problems that arise in a couple’s sex life, start with a lack of communication/understanding on both sides, on how a man and woman view sex in totally different ways. Finding and understanding those differences are the first step to having and maintaining healthy, passionate, and incredibly fulfilling sex life. Make sense so far?

Ok, if you’re ready, here are 10 things (in no particular order) that husbands wish their wives knew about sex:

  1. Sex is not optional in his mind – To a husband, sex is about right up there on the list with eating and breathing. Can he survive without it? Yes, but it’s not fun at all. Sex is to the man, what talking/communication is to the woman. If you would ask several wives if it would be ok if their husband didn’t listen or communicate with them for weeks at a time – well, you get the idea. Frequent sex = happy, attentive, listening, cuddling, caring, talking husband.
  2. Husbands use sex to reconnect – Think of it this way: Let’s use the example of a cordless phone (bear with me here). Let’s say the husband is the cordless handset, and the wife is the base. The handset may hold a charge for a while off the base, maybe even for a couple of days. But sooner or later, the handset is going to have to be recharged/reconnected to the base to keep the battery charged, the programming updated, and the phone usable. When your husband comes home from a long day at work, and the first thing on his mind is sex, it’s not that he’s some sort of sex addict, it’s just him longing to “return to his base” and reconnect with his wife in a “I’ve had a long day, and I need assurance that no matter how hard life gets, you and I are ok” way.
  3. He doesn’t always want to be the one asking Most husbands are fine with being the “sexual aggressor” most of the time, but if he is ALWAYS the one that is trying to start something, he starts to feel like you just “put up with him”, and don’t really care about sex. Every husband’s fantasy is to be sitting there on the couch, watching TV or whatever, and have his wife come over out of nowhere (obviously the kids aren’t around), straddle him, and start going at it. He wants to know that his wife DESIRES him sexually, not just PUTS UP WITH HIM sexually. This is a huge boost to his self-esteem and overall confidence.
  4. He thinks you’re GORGEOUS, and you can’t change that – It doesn’t matter how you feel about that left over baby fat, or how you cringe when you look in the mirror and see those stretch marks – your husband couldn’t care less! He thinks you’re the most beautiful woman on the face of the earth, and even when he tells you this, you dismiss it, and say stuff like “thanks hon, but I don’t think so”, or “well, you may feel that way, but nobody else does”. Please don’t do this! Your husband isn’t trying to “put you on” by telling your he thinks your body is amazing – he truly thinks it is! You have to learn to accept the compliment as him being honest, and say thank you, instead of trying to play it off. And that leads me to my next point…
  5. Sometimes he just wants to look at you NAKEDI can already see you rolling your eyes, but hear me out. If you husband is working hard to avert his eyes from every other sexual source besides his wife, not viewing any porn, not checking out the girl on the billboard, etc – he has a God-given need/desire/appetite to admire his wife’s naked body. I know this may seem strange to you, but it’s true. So, when you’re getting dressed in the morning, or ready for bed at night, don’t try to position yourself so he can’t see those parts of you. It’s ok! He’s not going to attack you and want to have sex (as long as you have a regular sex life), he just wants to appreciate your beauty for a little bit! Remember, you are his only sexual source! Wouldn’t you rather have him looking at you, then some billboard model? I’ve heard a lot of wives say that they are scared if they allow their husbands to see them nude, they will want to have sex right that minute. If it’s been a week since you’ve made love, this may be true, but if you have sex regularly, sometimes it’s nice for him to just be able to admire what he thinks is the most amazing body he has ever seen. So linger a little while when you bend over to pick up your socks off the floor, or let your robe “accidentally” fall open a little when he walks by. Not only will he love it, but you just might find yourself thinking about sex a little more during the day, leading to a greater chance of you desiring intimacy later that night.
  6. He loves it when you surprise him By this I mean do something totally out of the ordinary, just for his benefit, and to see the look on his face. A few examples would be: Going out to dinner, and while you’re waiting for the waitress to seat you, lean over and whisper in his ear “You won’t have to take my panties off later when we get home, because I’m not wearing any”. Or after the kids go to bed and you’re going to curl up and watch a movie together, go into your room to “get your PJ’s on” and come back out with no top on, telling him you’re going to need his help keeping warm, because somebody told you it was “topless movie night”. Once you pick his jaw up off the floor, you might just find he isn’t paying much attention to the movie anymore. Another one would be to surprise him when he is taking a shower by jumping in the shower with him that “you’re having a hard time using your hands this morning, so he is going to have to help soap you up today.” I’ve heard several wives say that they love to see the look on their husband’s face when they surprise him like that. You’ll have your husband wondering what’s gotten into you!
  7. If you have to say “no” to sex, watch how you say it I know it seems silly, but you have no idea how hard it is sometimes, for a man to get up the nerve to ask his wife if she wants to have sex. Usually he will try to “test the waters” first, by hinting at it, or maybe a little grab here and there, to see how you’ll respond. All this time there is a little argument going on in his head sounding something like this – “Just ask her! No, last time I asked her flat-out, she rolled her eyes and said something about that’s all I think about. Yeah, but this time it might work. Come on, I really want to make love. Can’t she see that? Maybe I’ll ask her later after dinner. Yeah, I’ll help with the kids and the dishes, and then ask later. (fast forward to 7pm) Ok, see, I got the dishes done, maybe I should hint at it now. Nah, I’ll wait until the kids go to bed. As soon as the kids go to bed, she’ll be able to think about me. She has to know it’s been a couple of days, I’m sure she’ll be ok with it. Right? (The kids go to bed) Ok, I think I’ll ask now! Wait, she looks like she’s got something going there on the computer, I’ll give her some time to get that done. I’ll just ask her when we go to bed, it will be more of a sure bet then anyway. (10pm rolls around, and they’re crawling into bed) Ok, I’m going to ask! “hey hon, do you want to make love?” This is how it goes in a guy’s head when he’s thinking about asking for sex. Why? Because guys have this strange tendency to make sexual rejection (even with a good reason), a personal rejection. Since the need for regular sex with his wife is so much a part of who he is, any rejection of that need, feels like a rejection of HIM to your husband. I know this is hard to understand, and wives don’t mean it that way, but this goes for almost every husband I have ever talked to. Now obviously there are times when you are going to have to say “not tonight hon”, but the key is HOW YOU SAY IT. Don’t do it in a nonchalant or dismissing way. Remember, he has been working up the nerve to ask you for the past several hours most times. When you deny him, say something like this – “Hon, I love to have sex with you, but I just can’t do it tonight because (fill in the blank)” Then if he’s really pent-up, you could offer to help him out in another way besides intercourse, or give him a realistic date to “get a rain check”, like tomorrow morning, or the next evening. That way he feels like you understand he has a legitimate need, he feels like you care, and he feels like you want to help him as soon as possible. You’re still saying “not tonight”, but he doesn’t feel like you don’t care, you’re just blowing him off, or that you think sex is not important. One other thing – sometimes if your husband has been thinking about you all day, and then for whatever reason, you have to turn him down that night, he may feel like he “can’t wait” until tomorrow (no fault of yours , sometimes it’s just hard to turn it off, after it’s on). If you roll over and offer him your help to get a quick release before you go to sleep, he will sleep much better, and you’ll be a hero in your husband’s eyes. You just showed him that you care, even if you can’t offer him sex right now. I can’t understate how much this will mean to him.
  8. He LOVES to see you turned onThere is nothing quite as sexy to a husband, as seeing his wife thoroughly turned on, and enjoying sex. In the same way, there’s nothing quite as discouraging to a husband, as you laying there with an almost bored look on your face, and with the attitude of “would you just get it over with please, so I can go to sleep”. To your husband, his ability to arouse, stimulate, tease, drive you crazy with desire, and help you climax, is a huge part of what he feels his “worth” is as a husband. If he feels like he is failing in bed, he is going to be discouraged in other areas of life too. In contrast, if he feels his wife thinks he’s amazing in the bedroom, he is going to be much more confident and have a “I can conquer the world” attitude. You can help this by showing and telling him (not in a faking it way) how much he turns you on, or makes you feel good, as you’re making love. Obviously he’s not going to do everything right, but make sure you let him know when he DOES hit the right spot, or do something you find particularly hot. Now I’ve heard wives ask the question “but what about the times that I’m not really into it, but am doing it because I love my husband, and know he needs it tonight?” Husbands understand you’re not going to have the same drive for sex that he has every time. He gets that. All he’s hoping for when this is the case, and you’re just giving him a “quickie” for release, is to not make him feel like he’s annoying for wanting it, or that he interrupting your day and you have so many other things you could be doing. He needs feel accepted by you, even when you’re not particularly into it this time. Smile and give him that “come here baby, I know you need it and I’m here for you” attitude. Whispering a little encouragement in his ear in the process is a huge bonus too. ;)
  9. He wants sex to be adventurous sometimes I’ve gotten the question from husbands “how do I get my wife to be a little more adventurous with sex? (different locations, positions, etc)” Here’s the deal – there are 3 basic “kinds” of sex for a guy. There’s what we like to call the “normal” or “go to” sex (mostly in the bedroom, consisting of what we know always works, and satisfies both parties), there’s “Quickie sex” (a quick but passionate encounter that provides release when a longer session isn’t realistic at the time), and there’s “out of the ordinary” or “adventurous” sex (sex in a not normal location (outside, back of the mini van, etc), or learning a different technique or position that may be out of the “normal sexual menu” for the couple). This is usually a tough one for wives to understand, because I think for the most part I think a woman approaches sex with a “I like to stick to what works, and what is comfortable” , where a guy’s attitude may be more “I like normal most of the time, but sometimes I want to make it exciting and try new places”. While I’m not suggesting you go make love in the city park and get arrested, what I am saying is to try to understand where your husband is coming from. He sometimes sees sex as an adventure that you both are going on together. He wants you to be excited/thrilled to be on this adventure with him. For example, say you are taking a hike through the woods together somewhere, and when you stop for a break, he makes a move toward turning it sexual. Try and resist the urge to slap his hand away and say “honey! not here!” Even if you’re not comfortable with right here, right now, see if you can find another location down the trail where you would be. Remember, adventure! :) Even if it’s not exactly what you would have fantasized, you will have just made your husband’s day, and maybe even year. He’ll be talking to you about “that day we went hiking” for years to come!
  10. Be a student of your husband I addressed this a little for the guys in my post “Sex: It’s not all about you”, but the same goes for the wives. Learn and observe what you husband likes in the bedroom (or out…lol). What color of panties/bra does he like best on you? What parts of your body drives him most wild? What turns him on the most? What turns him off? Does like it when you’re express yourself loudly when you have sex? What is his favorite position/location? A wife who is willing to learn the ins and outs of what her husband likes most when it comes to sex, will have one of the happiest husbands on earth.
  11. (I know I said 10, but I guess I can’t count) He loves it when you sexually flirt with him Whether it’s the “for his eyes only” text you send him during the workday, suggesting what you’re going to do later, or the surprise little “grab” you give him when he’s helping you dry the dishes after dinner, flirting with your husband this way let’s him know you desire him, and are thinking about the next time you are going to be together. Little things like wearing cute panties, or a skirt (there’s something about a skirt that drives most husbands wild) with some sexy underwear underneath, go a long way in letting your husband know that you love being his only source of sexual attention, and get a kick out of keeping him guessing with what you’re going to come up with next. I know it’s easy to go into “mommy mode” and just wear what’s comfortable/practical, but when you remember, it drives your husband wild if you give him a little “eye candy” when possible.

Whew! You made it through! I know, I know, us guys are a little weird. :) We prefer to call it “different”, but hopefully you come away from reading this post with a new understanding of how your husband thinks about sex. Most of all, your husband is longing to be accepted by you in this area. He wants to know that even though you may not understand his seemingly constant desire for you, you accept it as part of who he is, and are not only willing, but love helping him in the way that only his amazing, beautiful wife can.

If you as a wife can make it a priority to do some of this stuff on even a semi-regular basis, your husband will be willing to conquer the world for you, and will be more than willing to be there for you emotionally, be strangely communicative, and you will feel closer to him than you would ever believe.

Sharing with Marital Oneness Mondays, Titus 2esdays, The Better Mom, Wifey Wednesday, and Women Living Well

Saturday Round Up

9 Jun

It’s been a crazy week here :)  One of those weeks where I started it knowing I was walking just where God wanted me to.  Then I thought maybe He wanted a few things to change and became accustomed to the idea, and then I ended up right back where I started.  Sometimes I think too much and should listen to His words a lot more.  I’m just blessed that this blog is a part of God’s plan.  I’m so thankful for all of you.

Here’s your links for the week

Warrior Wives:
I linked up to a series Elizabeth did on slander.  This is a good one, something I know I’ve struggled with; she discusses how to talk about our husbands and how to deal with friends talking about their husbands.

The Romantic Vineyard:
Again, I liked up to a series.  Tom and Debi are on vacation so they had a bunch of guest posts from the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association about Sexual Intimacy.  The first 5 posts are from this week and they are great (I couldn’t choose just one!)

One Flesh Marriage:
Kate wrote a great post on nagging and how to not “nag.”

mission:husband:
Gerad and I had talked about writing a post about erotica and the new books out, he beat me to it, and it’s good!

Have a great weekend!

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