Yesterday I wrote, “If you have expectations created by sinful sex, you really need to repent of the sex and see the expectations created by that sex as fruit of the poisoned tree. Expecting your wife to meet those expectations is asking her to pay for your sins.”
Added for clarity: By expectations I am talking about specific sex acts, not frequency.
The sinful sex I was discussing yesterday was any premarital sex, but there is another very common sinful source of sexual expectations – pornography.
I have had women tell me they have a right to say no to fill-in-the-blank because their husband would not want it if he had not seen it in porn. I have had men argue they would want fill-in-the-blank even if they had not seen it in porn. While both want to be convinced they are right, neither can know, much less prove, they are correct.
My opinions on this:
- Some of what men see in porn they would have come to want even if they never saw porn.
- Seeing something in porn makes the desire to do it greater than if the man had never seen it in porn.
- Some things men see in porn they would never have desired had they not seen them in porn, but having seen them in porn, they develop a desire for it.
- No one can prove any particular desire would or would not have happened had the man never seen it in porn.
- Regardless of what he would have wanted had he never looked at porn, viewing porn changes a man’s desires.
The last part of the last point is critical; it means when a man chooses to use porn, he is choosing to change his sexuality. He probably has no idea he is doing this, and he may deny for the rest of his life his sexuality was changed, but numerous studies on how what we see affects us leave no doubt exposure to porn changes a man’s sexuality.
So, who should bear the consequences of sexuality changed by wilful sin? Be it premarital sex, porn, or adultery, your sin changes your sexual desires. If those changes cause a conflict with your spouse, who should bend? It seems wrong and selfish to expect your wife to do anything to accommodate the consequences of your sin. Perhaps this is not controversial, maybe this is why we have a debate about whether or not certain desires come from sinful exposure – he claims they are not so she will “have to” do what he wants, and she claims they are so she feels free to say no.
My take on it is your choice to sin means you gave up the right to expect or claim anything. You created the possibility what you want, or how strongly you want it, is the result of sin, and one of the consequences of that is setting down the desire. Does that bother you because you feel I am giving all the power to your wife? As I see it, you gave her the power when you chose to sin. Sin has consequences, and some consequences are things we must live with the rest of our lives.
In short, if you have sin in your sexual past, I think you need to be willing to accept a “vanilla” sex life. I realise this is a very difficult thing to say, and I realise no man is going to like hearing it. However, it seems to me anything else is asking your wife to bear the consequences of your sin. I find that and deeply wrong, the epitome of selfish, and not at all loving.
Please know I say all this as someone who has been down this road. I saw a lot of porn as a kid. I stopped (completely, 100%) around my 15th birthday, but I know what I had seen had a profound effect on my sexuality. When Lori and I were first together I tried to get her to be the woman of my porn fuelled dreams, and I did a good deal of harm to her. I finally decided I could not stomach what I was doing to her, and piece by piece, I gave up all but the most basic, simple sex acts. I prayed it would change, but I was determined to set those things aside and learn to have a great sex life without them. Those things were off the table for years. Eventually, as Lori got more healing, she started to think and talk about some of those things. Some we tried, both liked, and kept. Some we tried, we did not both like, and we set them back down. I lost interest in a few, and some just did not seem to fit our lives, or I came to realise they were not right or reasonable.
I cannot promise you that if you lay things down you will one day get to pick any of them back up. However, I can promise laying them down is the only way to have a healthy sex life your in which your wife enthusiastically involves herself. I can promise you laying these things down gives your wife her best chance at learning to want and enjoy sex and I know the longer you hold onto these things the less chance there is she will ever get there. I can also tell you a regular “simple” sex life is far more enjoyable than doing more because you push and beg and occasionally guilt her into doing something she really does not want to do.
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
Two Thoughts about Love ◄ I suspect Patty is right – which of these two do you need to work on?
Battle for a Great Marriage
I Started Caring For My Wife and She Got Mad ◄ Yes, this is a fairly common reaction after a prolonged time of not caring.
Black and Married with Kids
Am I The Only Husband Who Missed Sweetest Day…Again! ◄ Raising my hand …
Stop the Madness! 3 Ways that Facebook is Ruining Marriages ◄ Any tool can be used for good of harm!
The Generous Wife
One Small Step ◄ How would you respond to a request like this?
Where is That Charger? ◄ Are you staying charged up?
Living Out Kindness ◄ Following on my recent kindness post very nicely.
Getaway Zone ◄ How can you help this happen?
Tired ◄ Notice what I posted the day before this. Yes, I got a great woman!
Use Your “PAUSE” Button ◄ I could sure use one of these!
Are You Prepared? ◄ A major sanity saver.
Hot, Holy and Humorous
Does Sexy Lingerie Promote a Perverted View of Beauty? ◄ A great read, comments and all. If you’ve not had this talk with your bride, I suggest you do so.
How Often Should You Have Sex? ◄ Join the debate!
Intimacy in Marriage
3 Reasons Sex is GREAT When You are Old(er) ◄ Yes, it can get better and better.
Joe Beam’s Blog
May a Christian masturbate? May a Christian use porn? Questions from a divorcee… ◄ Joe covers this very well.
Journey to Surrender
Marriage Missions International
Weaknesses: A Doorway to Growth ◄ Great way to look at weaknesses, both your weaknesses and her weaknesses.
One Flesh Marriage
Your Secret Sexual Fantasy ◄ Sharing is scary, but it can end very well.
Romantic Act of the Day
When Your Love Tank Runs Dry ◄ It happens to all of us sooner or later …
When Your Love Tank Runs Dry – Part 2 ◄ The wrong way to refill!
When Your Love Tank Runs Dry – part 3 ◄ Don’t let loose lips sink your marriage!
Have You Washed Her Feet Lately? ◄ Learn what servant leadership looks like.
Feeling Pressure to Get Married! ◄ Good discussion on a couple of difficult issues.
…to Love Honor and Vacuum
Shelia did a great, very scriptural and very well balances series on the issue of “refusing”
What Does 1 Corinthians 7:5–Do Not Deprive Each Other–Really Mean?
Do Not Deprive Each Other Part II: What is Regular Sex?
“Do Not Deprive” Roundup