Dealing With Anger Over Sex

January 24, 2013

in Acts of Service, Reader Requested, Seeing Clearly, Sexuality

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.

No 4 days in a row! © Scottsaav | Dreamstime.com

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.

Links may be monetised
Image Credit: © Scottsaav | Dreamstime.com

Shop AmazonShop to give links page
We are donation supported – thanks for your help!

56 comments
kimchin
kimchin

There are people who have problems with their testosterone levels and lose their appetite for sex. This is usually the problem of few couples but there are supplements which you can use to increase your testosterone but ensure that you are using safe and effective products otherwise it might have negative effects.


URL Removed

HMT
HMT

Absolutely, at my age, every single day, just being able to hold her hand are precious. I know there are a lot of younger men reading this, and I get how different stages of life make us read things different. Being together. That's the thing! That's the blessing!

HMT
HMT

As a person who has been so lucky, married 41 years to my high school prom sweetheart, I just think that we all need to read the Bible carefully. I can see where masturbation +could+ be wrong, just like I can see where lots of sexual things could be a sin. However, to say one size fits all--that masturbation is always wrong--in every circumstance,, and when the Bible says nothing about it...It seems like people are being a little like the Pharisees. They were all about the law. And yet, wait...the "law" (Bible) says nothing about this specifically. If you read your Bible and decide that for you, masturbation is always wrong, then so be it. But it just doesn't say it. As for me, when I was a kid, not to put too fine a point on it, but I found great comfort and release in masturbation. Then I met the girl who was to be my wife: we were both virgins when we married, after a three year courtship. Our rule was, no undressing. No mutual masturbation. The wedding day was supposed to be, as I laughingly told my wife one day --SEXUAL BLISS! I just assumed a lot. That our drives would match. I also didn't figure in monthly cycles, and also didn't understand that women's hormones greatly affect their need for IC. I was 20 years old for heaven's sake. We loved each other, and still do love each other, and we made it through. When I knew sex wasn't going to happen, I didn't push, but I also didn't wait, or not always. At one point, it did become a problem, because when she wasn't available and I didn't wait, then it would be +time+ and I wouldn't be ready. I apologized to her just recently for this. She laughed and hugged me. We're good. We're still married, we still love each other. I'm now on testosterone replacement, because it went so low that my internist said it was a miracle I was walking around, much less having a physical relationship with my wife. I now have to take this hormone each day, and viagra makes a cherished part of my life with my wife possible. No, I don't masturbate any more. Wouldn't dare expend the sexual energy that I will need to show my beautiful wife I still love her. But I also don't feel guilty that I didn't turn to her when she had two broken legs in 1986, both tib and fib fractures and was in a full body cast for six months. I changed her bed pan. And I didn't expect to make love. Did I "choose masturbation?" Yes. Did I feel guilty? Yes. Did I ask forgiveness? Yes. Do I feel forgiven? Yes! Am I still married to the same lovely woman? YES! God will judge me, but I feel loved by God, and feel forgiven. When I wake up, I probably sin in the first five minutes. But I feel forgiven. And I would go to the wall for my wife, and she would go to the wall for me. Next goal: See my grandchildren graduate from high school and be married to my wife for 50 years! Sorry this is so long.

Edward
Edward

Yes you are correct Paul, Lou did see the comment before he made his. He is my brother and read my comment from my phone. We both had a childhood where porn and M were acceptable and we, and our families both paid for that upbringing. He felt as strongly as I did and thus, his post. We are sincere in our beliefs and wanted to warn others of the dangers. I wish you all the best as you work to strengthen marriages. I just cannot see how M will do that. God bless your family and your readers!

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

Edward - I do understand this. I choose to speak as I do for two reasons. ► I have a serious problem with people twisting the Scriptures to make it say what they think it should say. I also have a huge problem with people adding to God's laws without giving a very solid reason why they are doing so. While not all who say masturbation is wrong do either of these, most do one or both. If you think it's wrong for you, that's fine and biblical. If you share that personal conviction with others, that is also fine and biblical. If you express it as anything other than a personal conviction, I think you put yourself in the same category as the Pharisees. ► I teach about marriage and sex, and as such I have a responsibility to share the truth, ALL THE TRUTH as I understand it. And yes, I am fully aware of the warnings that Bible has about those who teach - I do not do this lightly, nor do I do it apart from a lot of study and prayer.

Lou
Lou

[Note from Paul - This comment was held for approval, as all first time comments are. It references the comment above from Edward, which was also held for approval. So how does "Lou" comment on something that was not yet showing on the blog? The answer is in the fact that "Lou" and Edward posted from the same IP number, and used emails that differed only by the number after the name. In other words, this fellow, posted a sockpuppet follow-up to support his original comment. I suppose he feels this deception is okay in an ends justify the means kind of way. I am approving this without any further comments, as I have no idea what is and is not true.] I agree with Edward and others who see M as a sin against your wife and God. I did it for 25 years of my marriage and it brought nothing but pain, disrespect of my wife and separation from her, selfishness, and destruction of our relationship and intimacy. It opened up doors for many other sins against my family, and marriage. It took the beauty of being one with the wife God blessed me with and turned it into a torrent of pain and heart break. It made me drift further and further away from wife, family, and God. It became one of the important things in my life and it got to the place where I used it like a drug. It consumed my life and brought despair. It will never bring any couple closer together. It is a selfish sin that will never bring you the happiness that you are looking for in your marriage or your own life.

Edward
Edward

Thank you and your wife for your wonderful daily marriage strengthening posts! Please remember your audience and the fact that some of your subscribers may belong to a faith community where "M" is considered sinful whether you can find the actual word in the bible or not. There were wonderful comments about the isolating selfishness of the act itself and the dangers inherent in justifying it. Respectfully, I am of the opinion it is not helpful to suggest it as an option for any couple attempting to live the sacrificial love of Christ out in their marriage.

HMT
HMT

I apologize. I overreacted. No one should be called sick for their beliefs. I guess my point about it being a marathon is that if you stick it out, and I did, for 41 years, and know that now, the greatest knife stab in the heart is to lose my wife. I just noted such judgment in some of these posts, (Not just Andrew's) about how people get through their lives. To say, no fornication, yes--that's Bible based, to say no adultery or relations with the same sex, or relations with animals--all expressly prohibited. But to understand the totality of the commitment of one man to one woman, and to know that this includes illness, car wrecks, debilitating illness, including ED, hormone deficiency... and then to say "No masturbation". It just seems judgmental to me. But to say sick was wrong. I just mean you might need to seek the help of a kind counselor. But then that's judging too. I'm sorry for the comment. I didn't mean it the cruel way it sounded, and you are welcome to your beliefs.

Joshua Belyeu
Joshua Belyeu

I sometimes wonder if the old adage is true, about women not understanding the male sex drive because they're not one of us. I think, in some ways, the reverse is probably true about us with women's issues, like menstrual cycles or temperature flashes. I'm not married, but I think that if I were, the longest I could go without some kind of release would be 3 or 4 days. I know there's so much more to marriage than sex, but it bugs me when I hear from Christian men and women that it shouldn't be such a big deal. I sometimes think they've just given up.

Jay Dee - SexWithinMarriage.com
Jay Dee - SexWithinMarriage.com

Well, I agree with most of Andrews points, so congratulations are in order! First time being called sick for my beliefs, must be finally doing something right. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted 2 Tim 3:12

HMT
HMT

I would add to all of this: Marriage is a marathon. To those who have run the race for 40+ years, and been through near fatal car wrecks on the wife's part, hysterectomies, child birth, that time of the month, and double knee replacements, to say that neither of us has ever taken matters into our own hands, because of the other's unavailability, and that THAT was a sexual sin--I can't believe that the God I believe in will mind. Because I was never unfaithful to her, and never demanded things she couldn't give. There are some really sick people in this comments section, [...] who need to re-read the Bible carefully. My wife, by giving me permission to help with my own need, but being too shy to help me with it, blessed me. [Mod removed personal comment here]

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

Great comments! I am loving all the comments the last few days. I apologise that many get held for moderation. This blog receives 3000 - 4000 spam comments a week, and the automated system catches only about 95% of these. The rules that are causing a lot of valid comments to be held are what keep the remaining 150 to 200 weekly spam from making it to the list. I hope to find a system that will allow repeat commenters to be white-listed.

Dan
Dan

I have enjoyed the blog for some time - but i gotta be honest, it is getting 86'd from my bookmarks. The last three days have been bizarre in my eyes - have more women friends, and masturbate more. Maybe those things aren't sin, but having more women friends and masturbating more certainly won't improve my marriage. I wish you the best of luck, and hope you get back to the point soon... How to be a generous husband. Thats what i read it for.

J (Hot, Holy & Humorous)
J (Hot, Holy & Humorous)

Reading your article and the comments here, Paul, make me think about all of the verses in the Bible in which we are commanded to WAIT. "Wait upon the Lord" is a very common statement. I tend to look to Biblical principles when specific commands are not given. And what I often see in sexless, or near sexless, marriages is that we don't want to wait. We are hurt, frustrated, pent up, angry, ready to take care of ourselves, or ready to leave RIGHT NOW. But thankfully, I also hear about marriages in which one spouse was denying physical intimacy to the other, and patience and the pursuit of a better relationship brought about long-term change. Anger doesn't get you there, but waiting upon the Lord and reaching out to your spouse might.

Gary
Gary

@Andrew-I am again compelled to disagree with you on several points in your response. First, considering that God did go into extensive detail about the various kinds of sexual immorality, explicating them on an individual basis (even the ones that seem intuitively true and needless of mentioning), I think Paul is very reasonable in this regard to expect a reason why God would have excluded masturbation (espescially since it would undoubtedly have been common practice even in those times). Also, it seemed to escape your notice that this post was about wives who say no to sex and are rejecting the pleasure of it themselves. So there is nothing for the husband to rob his wife of in this circumstance. It would in fact be the husband being robbed of the much greater desire and pleasure of intimacy with his wife, which masturbation would allow him to endure with reduced emotional/physical tension to some small extent at least. Lastly, not as many things concerning God and His will are as mysterious as they're often exagerated to be, at least in a general sense in a majority of cases. God created us with the capacity to reason, learn and generally develop intellectually. Simply because you or someone else does not personally know the answer to a question does not mean you should make an argument from ignorance and hastily conclude it is beyond our understanding. And yes, I can tell you why God created us foreknowing the occurence of the fall. When God created the universe, He had an infinite number of options in how it would be created down to the most meticulous detail. From these infinite options, God's goal in creating the universe would be to create the one which would produce the greatest potential good. This conclusion can be simply inferred from what we know about God's nature: that He is omnibenevolent, omniscient and omnipotent. Because He is omnibenevolent, He would desire to create the universe which would produce the greatest potential good. Because He is omniscient, He would know which universe would produce the greatest potential good. Because He is omnipotent, He would be able to create the universe which would produce the greatest potential good. Therefore the universe in which we exist, despite the appearance of the contrary, is that which would produce the greatest potential good. I could elaborate on this further but it would go way off-topic. Point being, not everything is as mysterious as it may initially seem (some things not even remotely so).

workinprogress
workinprogress

What if a husband (or wife) who is being refused sex were to view that as no different that being cheated on? Cuz, really, isn't sexual refusal a type of unfaithfulness? A person who finds out that his/her spouse is having an affair, would (hopefully) confront and hopefully insist on marriage counselling. Unrepented affairs are seen as grounds for divorce. Why is sexual refusal not seen the same? I'm not talking he wants sex every day vs. she is good with once a week. But really... lets call it what it is.... unfaithfulness, and proceed accordingly. Get yourselves to a counselor, be willing to listen to her, and do whatever is in your power to bring healing to your marriage. How is accepting a sexless marriage much different that accepting a continually cheating spouse?

Andrew Gilbertson
Andrew Gilbertson

Really? You're going here, now? Masturbation isn't a sin- and the only countering that you will accept is for someone to tell you why God did something? That's not intellectually honest- can you tell me why God created mankind foreknowing the fall would happen? No? God's motivations and reasons are beyond us; assuming that we can fathom much less requiring them as a standard of others is not entirely fair. Gads... I'm probably coming off as your personal troll. I really do enjoy and appreciate this blog 363 days out of the year- this is just two questionable teachings that happen to be in a row for me. I think that, firstly, there are many 'sexual immoralities' that the Bible does not define in the blanket command to avoid them- rather, God tells us what his standard of sexuality *is*, and everything else is excluded. I think that there are many things that the Bible does not specifically address- either because they are simply assumed to be so obvious that no one would ever question them, or because the principles God has given us enable us to deduce the rightness or wrongness of the act. I certainly believe that this is one of them. Secondly, I see masturbation as profoundly disrespectful to one's bride, fantasy regardless. You are, in essence, stealing pleasure for yourself and usurping the role that has been given to her within your covenant. It is a wholly selfish act- and one all-but-impossible to divorce from fantasy or thought. Even if it is, it is an act that only serves to isolate one from his bride, to make himself separate from her, and to steal from the intimacy that both are supposed to have together.

John Delcamp
John Delcamp

Hurts are the tool that the enemy of our soul uses to open the door of our lives to allow him to build strongholds, especially in our thinking. What we do with those hurts is the difference between victory and allowing those strongholds to be built. If we refuse to continually think about the hurt, and we forgive the person that hurt us, then we see victory. But if we continually think about the hurt, then the enemy stirs ups all kinds of emotions which will ultimately control us. It is not easy, but it is necessary to learn to shut the door on hurts, truly forgive and refuse to think about them again. Unforgiveness regardless of how many times or how much we have been hurt, will definitely hinder our communication with God. - Jesus said that.

Previous post:

Next post: