Does your husband ever browbeat you into feeling guilty for not wanting to have sex?
Some husbands have even used Bible verses to browbeat their wives into feeling guilty for not wanting to have sex or for avoiding it.
1 Corinthians 7:3-5 “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but ALSO to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone, but ALSO to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
But notice that Paul doesn’t say a wife’s body belongs only to her spouse. It says it belongs ALSO to her husband. As “one flesh,” a wife shares her body with her husband.
At first reading, this passage may also appear to teach that sex is a duty, a required act. But duty is better translated as sacred responsibility. Paul is advising couples to continue to have sex on a regular basis because sex is at the heart of our sacred oneness and helps to protect our fidelity.
This passage does NOT teach that a wife (or husband, for that matter) should submit to sex whenever, wherever, and however our partner demands it, no matter how we feel. Rather, it teaches that since my spouses body belongs to me, I should care about it enough to give it pleasure whenever I possibly can, and they likewise with my body. In the same way, since my spouses body belongs to herthem, I should also be understanding and generous when they are not “in the mood.” The emphasis is on mutuality, not selfishness.
In God’s ideal picture of marriage, if a wife wasn’t feeling up to sex, for whatever reason, the husband can honor and respect her feelings as if it were himself who wasn’t in the mood. If a husband doesn’t love his wife this way, he—not she—is sinning when he expects his wife to be available for intercourse on demand and without regard to her feelings.
Okay, so now we see that God didn’t intend for a wife to be a slave to her husband’s sexual needs...
Next, Lets look below at 2 different comments from women who have tried to be submissive to their husbands only to find out that they were married to UN-LOVING, SELFISHLY SELF-ABSORBED, and SELF-CENTERED men.
I have been married for 22 years. My husband and I are both believers. We have had the same issue for the last 15 years or so. He demands sex whenever he wants it. I have been forced to perform a sex act while driving in the car on the highway, in the laundry room while dinner guests are a room away, have been made late to many an occasion because he demands it. He uses scripture to justify this (the same scriptures you cited). He needs his physical release to deal with the world (he says). This is my responsibility has his wife to fulfill this need for him, and as a Christian wife I cannot deny him. He also does not want to wonder if I will be in the mood or not – so we have to have sex on his schedule: every 48 hours, between the hours of 6:30 and 10 pm.
I have been in scripture and prayer, and decided to just “give” and go along with this – even with a good attitude. But after months (and years) I just feel used and like trash. He is NOT more attentive to my needs in any way, shape or form. He just thinks I enjoy his “routine” and feels like he can then demand more. If I am not in the mood, I just give him a hand job -he actually prefers this, because he doesn't have to bother with me. He asks for this. He has made me feel that something is wrong with me -but I have read 5 Christian-based sex books and have found that it is not me!
So, The “promise” that being more receptive sexually to your man will solve your marriage issues is certainly NOT TRUE.
I too have tried to be submissive and give whenever he wants it. My husband did not become more attentive to my needs at all. He would still be hateful, moody and selfish. My husband expects it every other day at least and if it doesn’t happen, then he becomes unbearable to be around. He withdraws from me and the children and is hateful when spoken to. He can completely ignore all of us. His behavior disgusts me and being in the same room with him is difficult. The thought of having sex with him makes me feel nauseated. I have actually cried during sex because of his behavior. I feel used, like I have to feelings. We’ve been married 14 years, if he doesn’t agree to counseling, our marriage won’t last much longer.
So there you have it... Men, lets make sure that we are not one of those SELF-ABSORBED, and SELF-CENTERED husbands as shown in the 2 Examples above!
Love your wives...
Finally, on another extreme — and understanding how 1st Corinthians 7:3-5 is often misunderstood and misused... It is important to note that a wife also has the responsibility to continually nurture a healthy, ongoing sexual relationship with her husband — and not doing so is equally wrong and unbiblical.
For example if wife has been regularly refusing to have sex or has only been willing to be intimate with her husband on her terms she might examine her reasons inorder to make sure she is not acting selfishly. Or if she repeatedly has rebuffed her husband’s sexual advances and has acted resentful toward intercourse, she might consider trying to communicate patiently with her husband in order to restore a more mutually satisfying lovelife to her marriage.
Here are some suggestions to start on the path to discovery and productive change. For starters:
Tell your husband that you want to improve your lovemaking and you’re actively pursuing positive changes. Assure him that you understand that you have had a part in the sexual problems in your marriage. Be sure he knows that your goal is for both of you to be sexually satisfied.
Educate yourself. There’s not enough room here to address the myriad of emotional and physical aspects of sexual dysfunction, and there are plenty of good books available. One or both of you may have grown up with ideas or teachings about sex that are inhibiting you now. Some good Christian books include:
• Restoring the Pleasure by Clifford L. Penner and Joyce J. Penner
• Intimate Issues by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus
• Intended for Pleasure by Ed Wheat.
Check your history. Could it be that past sexual relationships are interfering in your present one? Were you involved in sexual activities earlier in life that you left feeling resentful and used? If you have a history of any kind of abuse, chances are great that you need healing from these hurtful experiences before you will begin to have a healthy attitude about lovemaking. Since this is a complex issue, you should seek help form a professional as soon as possible.
Rule out physical problems. Sometimes physical problems, such as hormone imbalances, inhibit a woman’s desire for sex. If your troubles have more to do with a lack of physical responsiveness than with emotional resistance, see a physician who specializes in sexual dysfunction and explore possible cause and solutions.
You should also visit your doctor if you don’t experience orgasms, if you lack lubrication, if you find intercourse painful, or if you are on medications that might be interfering with your sexual drive.
Experiment with being the initiator. In most cases where a wife is reluctant to have sex, the husband is the designated initiator, which can lead to an unhelpful pattern in which the problem only gets worse.
Authors Clifford and Joyce Penner point out: Because the wife doesn’t show her interest in being together sexually, the husband begins to believe she has no interest in him sexually. His insecurity is triggered by her apparent lack of interest, so he anxiously beings to initiate sex more often than he would want it if he were feeling sure of himself in relation to her. She feels pressured by his initiation, so she begins to avoid him or pull away sexually. The more he approaches, the more consistent is her avoidance. The more frequent her avoidance, the more anxious is his approach. It becomes a negative spiral.
Talk with your husband about waiting for sex until you approach him. Many men, once assured that sex will take place, aren’t put off at all by waiting for the wives to signal their readiness. If you are the initiator it may remove some of the feelings of pressure and duty you experience. Instead, it becomes something you are giving, versus something he is always approaching you to take.
Spell it out for him! “If she [a wife] feels uncared for, she may believe the only interest her husband has in her is sex.” “He comes home from work, turns on the television, sits quietly at dinner, and watches television after dinner. Then at bedtime he becomes friendly—and her anger sizzles.”
Take time to talk to your husband about his unloving ways toward you, and how it makes you feel. Try to keep it short and sweet, don't lecture and scold, or he is sure to become defensive. Say things in a kind and loving way.
Tell your husband exactly what it takes to please you in bed and to make you feel happy to be invited there. You’d be amazed how many men just don’t realize that a wife needs to be courted during the day, instead of only five minutes before lovemaking. And chances are, it probably doesn’t take that much: a midday phone call, kisses on the way out the door, a long hug when he gets home. Be specific about what you’d enjoy and list for him several small things he could do to help you be in the mood more often.
Consider sexual therapy. For some couples, the road to a healthy sex life may require outside help. Often sexual therapy involves literally starting all over again with a clean slate. Couples typically follow a program that begin with nonsexual touching; over the course of weeks, homework assignments build back up to intercourse (Restoring the Pleasure contains a step-by-step program). If your husband is unwilling to see a counselor with you, consider seeking help alone. You’d be surprised how much progress you can make this way. A therapist may not only be able to help you deal with your own issues pertaining to sex, but may also help you find non-threatening ways to talk about them with your husband.
Be honest about turnoffs. It’s important to find a way to let your husband know what dampens your mood.
If it’s something he can change, let your husband know that while you accept and love him as he is, you’d think he were sexier if he could deal with this particular problem. If it’s not something he can change, the problem then becomes yours. In truth, your sexual responsiveness to your husband, if all else is well, shouldn’t be dampened by baldness, graying, or wrinkled skin. If they trouble you, you need to deal with your own thought patterns and values and try not to let them detract from lovemaking.
Making changes in your sex life won’t necessarily come easily. Some changes might not come at all. However, never give up or relegate sex to the old days. A healthy sex life is foundational to every marriage. The Penners put it this way: “How important is sex in marriage? A simple answer is that when sex is compared to an automobile, sex is to the marriage what the oil is to the combustion engine. At least a little oil necessary to keep the engine running—without sex, one’s marriage will eventually break down.”
Last edited by Gaylord; 11-07-2011 at 01:08 PM.