This post is a follow up to yesterday’s post Sexual temptation and female friends, and is also a response to comments on both the blog and facebook that came from me tweeting and facebooking Angry about sex?, a two year old post. I have tacked the old post onto the bottom of this, and you may want to skim it first.
What if you’ve tried talking, and nothing changes? Sex is far, far less often that you want and need, and she refuses to do anything about it. Alternatively, she says she will do better, but she never does or only does better for a short time then falls back into her old habits. She knows you want more, and if she is listening to you, she understands the situation is hurting you and making you feel unloved. And still, she says no more often than yes.
Does this hurt? Absolutely. Can you do anything to stop the pain? I think you can manage it, but I doubt you can stop it. However, I think you do have the choice about being angry. It is not easy, but you can do it. Being hurt is not a choice, but responding in anger is a choice.
First, you must decide if you are going to fight or accept. Are you going to push for change, and be ready to get counselling and do whatever it takes to bring about change? Are you willing to beg her to get help with you, and keep asking even when she reacts badly to your suggestion?
– OR –
Are you going to accept she is not going to change, or accept that you are unwilling to apply the pressure it would take to bring about change?
As far as I can tell, these are your only two options. If you do neither you are de facto accepting the situation, while robbing yourself of the peace real acceptance can bring. The only third option I see is to plan when to make a push for change – temporary acceptance while you wait for the best circumstances to work for healing.
I think the worst anger of sexual refusal comes for those who neither confront nor accept. Maybe they have never really confronted (meaning a good discussion, not being upset), or maybe they have in the past and but stopped. Either way, they are not fighting, and they have not accepted. This is a place of powerlessness, and feeling powerless makes us scared, and vulnerable, and ANGRY! The only solution I know to this anger is to move out of the powerless place by confronting or accepting.
Accepting is a process; it takes time and practice.
First I think you need to decide what you can and cannot accept, and make this clear to your wife. If you flat-out will not accept sex once a year (or whatever), then she needs to know that, and she needs to know what will happen if she goes there. If you are going to accept she will never give you the sex you want (and need, and probably deserve) then figure out the least you can accept, and hold to it.
To me, acceptance means you stop nagging her about it. I’m not saying you stop asking for sex, but you stop fighting about it. You know she will say yes one time in six, and you accept it. You accept it not because it is “okay” but because you love her enough to accept her failings and sin. Or, you accept it because you feel God would have you accept it. You must find a reason for accepting the situation that acknowledges the the situation is wrong. Maybe you say that to her, maybe you do not, but you must know it in your heart and mind. You are choosing to live with her and love her despite her unwillingness or inability to be the wife she should be sexually.
What about the sexual frustration? Sexual frustration is physical, emotional, mental, emotional, and I think spiritual as well. You have to find a way to deal with all of those things. Prayer is certainly a good starting place. Finding other outlets with creativity or physical activity may help. If you can find ways to be intimate with your wife that do not add to your sexual frustration, go for it. Work to build the best marriage possible within the limitations your wife has given you.
What about “the M word”? I find nothing in the Bible about masturbation, and I cannot imagine God failing to identify something so common as sin if it were, in fact sin. (If you disagree, please try to explain to me why God would fail to tell us it was wrong as clearly as He told us to avoid sex with animals, relatives, and those with the same genitals we have.) The issue is not what you do with your body, but what happens in your mind. Sexual thoughts about anyone other than your wife are sin regardless of what you are doing when you have those thoughts. If you cannot masturbate without sinful thoughts, then you should not masturbate.
The other issue is how masturbation makes you feel about your wife and her failure to take care of your sexual needs. If masturbating makes you angry with her, that’s a problem. If it helps curb your anger, that’s a good thing. If it sometimes results in anger, and other times does not, figure out why so you can only do it when it will not make you angry. For most men masturbating after being told “no” is a bad idea. Doing it a day or two after sex, when you know there is no way she is going to be ready again might be a good idea. Alternatively, make it a part of your morning shower, doing it when you feel the need is reaching critical.
The bottom line is there are no good answers here. God’s plan A is for you and your spouse to have a good, healthy, regular, and mutually enjoyed sex life. If that’s not happening, everything else is a far cry from what God intended.
Angry about sex?
(Originally posted JANUARY 22, 2011)
Are you angry about sex? The frequent “no’s”, the avoiding, the “mercy sex”, the begging – it hurts, and you feel betrayed. If she loved you as she said she does, why would she cause you so much pain? How can she keep hurting you and say, “it’s not personal?” I get it, I’ve been there, and I’ve screamed to the heavens, begging God to change or fix my bride.
Anger is perfectly understandable, and probably normal – but it’s not helping. Anger can only get what it wants by scaring people to do things, and what you want sexually is not something that can be had by fear. Your anger is making it worse, or at the very least getting in the way of improvements. So, what to do?
First, decide if your perceptions are right. Your anguish is real – I am not suggesting it is not. However, your thoughts about why your bride does what she does may be less than accurate – in fact, odds are high you do not understand what is going on in her head.
Is she the kind of woman who would hurt someone for no reason? I know it sometimes seems she could not hurt you more if she were trying, but is she really that kind of a woman? If she is, you have problems beyond anything I (and probably anyone else) can say. If she is NOT the kind of person who would intentionally hurt someone she loves, then something else going on.
If you think she does not understand you, and you can believe you do not understand her, then clearly some communication is needed. Admit to her you do not understand what she is thinking and feeling, but you would like to. Let her know you do not think she understands you, and you would like to discuss that as well, but you want to hear from her first. Then listen to her – not just to her words, but also to the feelings behind the words. Is she worried, afraid, ashamed, scared, or hopeless? Don’t argue with her, but do ask questions to help you understand what she really feels. Don’t try to get her to agree with what you hear in what she says; rather work to hear what she really means. Then thank her and tell her you want to take some time to think and pray on what she has said.
If you can understand what she thinks and feels, you can understand why she does what she does. If you can do things to change how she thinks and feels, then what she does might change.