Today and Saturday I am going to do a couple of posts inspired by comments on recent sex posts. Tomorrow “Being loving when sex is lacking”. Today “Love me, Love my Sexuality”.
First let me say that it’s not just men who want their spouse to know that “I love you, I don’t care about your sexuality” makes no logical sense. A growing number of women are feeling sexually deprived. If your bride wants more, PLEASE read this and take it to heart.
I don’t see how anyone could 1) understand the importance of sex to their spouse, 2) regularly fail to provide sex, and 3) honestly claim they love their spouse. Yes, that it hard, but I think it’s absolutely true. How could a loving spouse routinely neglect a need (see below) that only they can meet? How can someone who is that uncaring be said to love?
The “escape clause” in that is #1 – understanding the importance. If a man or woman does not understand the importance, then their failure is not necessarily a sign of deep selfishness or a lack of love. That said, I think a lot of refusing men and women go out of their way to not understand the validity of their spouses sexual needs. This allows them to feel they are sufficiently loving and giving, while continuing to deeply hurt their spouse by refusing sex. At best this makes them loving on a technicality, and it does nothing to sooth the deep emotional pain they are causing their spouse.
Need: Every time someone calls sex a need, someone else says it’s not a need – “all we need is air, food, water…” Thing is, those same folks don’t say the same thing when other things “not essential to survival” are called needs. I’ve made seven posts to my “Her Needs” category since it was set up in late April, and there has not been a single protest that these things are “not needs”. The reality is we all call necessary many things that are not. The world is full of folks who eat little more than beans and rice, who don’t have clean water, who have never bathed in hot water, who will never see a bed we would find barely acceptable, who own one pair of shoes (maybe), and a couple of changes (or less) of clothes. And you know what? Most of those folks want and have sex, and many of them would say they need sex.
What do we need to feel emotionally healthy? For the majority, sex is part of that. It’s also being found in more and more ways that sex results in greater physical health – kind of makes it a need in my mind. Beyond that, what do we need to feel connected and loved in marriage? Most people, male and female would say sex is necessary to feel connected and loved.
Sex is not an extra, a favour we do for our spouse when we are feeling magnanimous. Sex is called “the act of marriage” for a reason, and the vast majority of folks see marriage as a promise of regular sex. Both men and women who are regularly told “no” will tell you that it hurts, it makes them feel unimportant and unloved, and that it slowly killing their love for their spouse. Those who want and enjoy sex almost universally see sexual refusal as unloving. If you love me, you will love my sexuality – or at least work in the direction of caring about and for it. If you don’t care about my sexual needs, you don’t care about or love me.
The abuse clause: Sadly many women, and no small number of men, have sexual abuse in their past. This makes it difficult to be sexually healthy, and possibly impossible to function sexually. However, that does not excuse ignoring your spouse’s sexual needs. Not being able is one thing, not working to be able is another. No matter how much he or she understands why you can’t or won’t, his or her needs are still there, and the neglect still hurts. At first the understanding of the situation can greatly offset the pain, but over time that stops being the case. Don’t mistake early grace as an indication that sex is unimportant, or that a lack of sex will continue to be accepted.
Should I show this to my refusing spouse?: It’s your call. Odds are it won’t change anything for the good, but for a few it will help. Those who care about truth, and who love their spouses, have a chance of being moved. Those who are just selfish won’t care, and may retaliate. Those who are treading water may just give up and sink.