Saturday, September 12, 2009

If marital romance is necessary, why not marital sex?

On marriage forums you always hear wives complain of their husbands lack in the romance department. You hear comments such as:

"I do not feel loved."
"He does not care about me."
"All he thinks about is sex."
"He will not put out any effort to romance me."
"He is selfish."
"He will not take time to come up with creative ideas."
"He says he is not creative enough."
"He says he is too busy, tired, or stressed for romance."
"He is ------- . " (Fill in the blank.)
"He says ------- ." (Fill in the blank.)

Wives instinctively voice their opinions when their husbands fall short with the romance and everyone tells them, "He should be romancing you. Make him do it," (my paraphrase). Why are husbands often told that it is wrong to demand, suggest or even expect a healthy marriage bed? Is there a double standard here? Is it OK for a wife to selfishly withhold sex but if a husband is stingy with romance, then he is an inconsiderate, uncaring, selfish husband?

Before someone brings this up, I will mention it here---

What about in situations where there is emotional sickness from a wife's past? Should that give her a "free ticket" to withhold sex? I have not recently checked the stats but from what I read on marriage forums, it seems that there could easily be some 40-60% of married women suffering from emotional issues stemming from their past. If they were all given free tickets, that would mean that about half of all married women would have "excusable reasons" for withholding sex. NOT!!!

How do you feel about insisting on a wife receiving professional help when there is emotional trauma preventing her from enjoying a healthy marriage bed? Is it good to insist on professional help for physical sickness out of love for that spouse? Would it not be equally as good to insist on professional help for emotional sickness? Why or why not?

And I will add that there is nothing wrong with a husband seeking professional help in the romance department if help is, indeed, needed.

18 comments:

Hiswildcherry46 said...

Hey Gemma,
This is uncanny. I have been in agony since yesterday on this very subject and am still working through the various ramifications of my thought patterns.

Our Friday night date fell through the crapper and I have been totally bummed out about it. Work stress on his part (real deadlines and not excuse stuff). He did warn me early on in the day but I allowed myself to hit bottom in spite of his considerate attempt to communicate his work pressure.

I don't have my emotions ironed out yet. I have to address every occurence of my 'old asexual woman' reactions as they arise. Crucial for my continued growth.

The rock band, Boston, has a song "Don't look back" which speaks to me every time I hear it. I am not going back but the pain I often go through, as I deal with the very questions you presented here, is not to be ignored. Until I get a handle on my brain farts...ciao.

Command0-182 said...

I think there's a general assumption (though untrue) that women are asexual. Thus when a man wants/asks for more sex, he's seen as forcing her. I wonder if such a stereotype may have something to do with it. The whole, "Good girls don't" thing. Just my thoughts...no pennies.

Dani said...

In our marriage, this was sometimes a really bad cycle: We hadn't had sex for awhile for any number of reasons, then my husband would get extra touchy, grabby, and instead of trying to enjoy it, I would get crabby and think that all he ever wants me for is sex. Then I wouldn't want to. He would then "harrass" me more. Sometimes we would look at eachother and say, "Ok, it is time now, or it will get ugly around here". Once I let go and even just stoped the negative narriative in my head, everything would go just fine. I remember even saying to him once, "just remind me how much I like sex, too sometimes, I think I forget!". Talk about changing times!! Now if we went a week with out having sex (for no apparent reason), I would be out of my mind.

I have told some close friends some of that realization, but not all the details (don't think they would believe 7x a week)...I hope it has helped them.

Tamara said...

*coming out of lurkdom*

I think Dani, you hit the nail on the head, because you just described my house. I am working my way from being a refusing wife to an ofering-all-the-time-woohoo-this-is-so-much-fun wife, lol and do think that if I go too long (for me a little less than a week is too long) without sex, i forget. LITERALLY forget what it feels like, what desire feels like, what touch does, what an orgasm feels like, ALL of it. Its quite perplexing. SO, in order to keep the memory, of course, I have to jog it by doing it more often. It is LITERALLY keeping the fire alive, lol.

Thank you for this wonderful blog by the way (my husband thanks you more lol). It has helped me and my marriage in more ways than you can imagine.

Tamara

Gemma said...

Dani said: "(don't think they would believe 7x a week)"

Ladies, Dani's comment is worth repeating. In my marriage since my awakening of Dec 2006, my dh and I have been shooting for a goal of having sex every day. in reality, what this ends up looking like if I'd be keeping written record---

*sex on most days
*sex 2x/day on many days
*no sex for 1-2 days every 2-3 wks when dh's out of town.

I firmly believe that leaving sex "to chance" is like gambling- sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. When you win you feel really, really good. When you lose, you feel like crap.

I wonder if it would be good for all married couples to aim for 7 days per week, to just plan on it. Every time my dh and I hit the bed at night we both assume that either right then or later in the night WE WILL HAVE SEX. It's become a necessary, daily habit just like eating and brushing our teeth. Why shouldn't sex be at that regular frequency?

How do we carry this out? Simple! Each night when we get in bed we ask each other if we want to have sex right away. Then, before we get out of bed we do the same. This way nobody is needing sex while the other is ignoring the need.

We can keep the fires burning if we don't ever allow the 'bad cycle' to begin.

Mark 9:24 said...

Gemma,

What you have posted I have seen way to often on marriage boards. It focus' to much on the wifes "needs" and ignores the husbands "needs".

Both can be valid, but once when I talked to my DW about those posts from women who wouldn't have sex with thier husbands unless the "romantic" conditions were "just right" her reply was that these women needed to get over themselves.

There is to often a double standard. That of the wife being the vunerable helpless one and the husband being some kind of rapist just becuase he wants a healthy sexual relationship with his wife.

If the wife is pshycologically dammaged from past abuse then she needs to seek help and realize that she does need help.

She needs to be open to a loving sexual relationship with her husband, and the husband needs to make allowances for past abuses that may have happened to her.

Mark

Mark 9:24 said...

Dani said...
...Once I let go and even just stoped the negative narriative in my head, everything would go just fine. I remember even saying to him once, "just remind me how much I like sex, too sometimes, I think I forget!".


You have just described what often goes through my wifes head!.

Mark

Mark 9:24 said...

Tamara said...
...i forget. LITERALLY forget what it feels like, what desire feels like, what touch does, what an orgasm feels like, ALL of it.


Are you ladies in my wifes head?

I sometimes wonder if this is why my wive NEVER initiates sex?

Thank you for this wonderful blog by the way (my husband thanks you more lol). It has helped me and my marriage in more ways than you can imagine.

I TOTALLY agree. I know it has help my sex life with my wife! ;-)

Mark

Mark 9:24 said...

Gemma said...
...I firmly believe that leaving sex "to chance" is like gambling- sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. When you win you feel really, really good. When you lose, you feel like crap.


I know from experience that if we left sex to chance in our home there wouldn't be any!

We once went at least 2 years without ANY sex of ANY kind and a "good" year was sex three or four times, a year! UGH!

I wonder if it would be good for all married couples to aim for 7 days per week, to just plan on it. Every time my dh and I hit the bed at night we both assume that either right then or later in the night WE WILL HAVE SEX. It's become a necessary, daily habit just like eating and brushing our teeth. Why shouldn't sex be at that regular frequency?

Sounds like a good rut to be in!!
(we're not there yet)

My wife likes ruts. ;-)

Mark

Anonymous said...

I too am grateful for this blog, really appreciate you sharing your change Gemma. I've been married close to 20 years and do my best to never turn my dh down, but also not had a drive/desire to do it. He has challenged me to read blogs on a daily basis, in fact he bookmarks stuff for me, I can bookmark stuff for him. My sex drive has increased a little, but I do find it exciting now to plan naughty things, like bying expensive chocolate to put on his body and I lick it off as it begins to melt (at this point it will likely stay on areas like his stomach, but it's a step in the right direction). Anyhow, what you read and the people you hang out with is what you become, so with reading this stuff daily, I am truly finding that I'm not dreading sex, and my hubby even mentioned that he is starting to enjoy romance (which has been a struggle on his part). So ladies, I encourage you to keep at it, read the stuff, let others inspire you!!

Ancient Mariner said...

If fully 50% of women are having emotional disconnects from their husbands, perhaps they are not “suffering” but are normal. Women are more emotionally attuned than men, so I believe they require more attention that way than men. If we men are too boorish to notice and respond (and I speak for myself--I know I am, sometimes!) then feelings can be hurt, and sex withholding may occur. Another area of tension may be how women and men approach sex. Women may have sex as a result of feeling loved, and men (again I speak for myself) have sex to show they love their wives. So the more he wants to show her how much he loves her (by wanting to make love several times a day!) the more she feels she is being used like a piece of meat., until they reach an understanding of their different approaches and start the virtuous cycle: the more they have sex, the more they love each other. And the more they feel love, the more they have sex. So I ask the women here: am I even partially correct? Or am I completely off base?

Hiswildcherry46 said...

To reply to your questions, Gemma :

"I do not feel loved."
He calls me "HIS wild woman"; provides for me before, during and after birthing/nurturing his precious children; and protects me from all that would harm me (including myself).

"He does not care about me."
He listens to my gabble although he is exhausted and ESPECIALLY after we make love '-)

"All he thinks about is sex."
It was the very thing which attracted me to him. He oozed sexuality. I've quit lying to myself. I love his sex.

"He will not put out any effort to romance me."
I have the time to fantasize about what we can get up to and he gives me full permission to be as wild as I want to be. He laps it up...TMI.

"He is selfish."
NOT. This man of mine would be on some wild coastline writing his beloved poetry and eating broiled seaweed. Instead he hurts his eyes on his computer making a life for us. I am eternally grateful to him.

"He will not take time to come up with creative ideas."
I DO. He admits he is not into fantasy.I happen to love mystery and fantasy and titillating all of our senses. I make stuff happen for us.

"He says he is not creative enough." He is magnificently creative but in his master art...SEX. I simply get into his excellence and he rocks my world.

"He says he is too busy, tired, or stressed for romance."
Always, nowadays, due to job stress but I have been picking up the slack and I romance him instead.

Why are husbands often told that it is wrong to demand, suggest or even expect a healthy marriage bed?
I have repented of my female pride.
I am humbled with every passionate kiss, every fondle, every suckle, every thrust. I thank him every time he brings me to ecstasy. He could be doing all of this with someone else. I thank God that he is doing it all with me.

Is there a double standard here?
Unless a woman admits that she is proud and conceited, she will not hear the truth : her rejection of the masculinity of her mate.

What about in situations where there is emotional sickness from a wife's past? Should that give her a "free ticket" to withhold sex?
No, but we do as we just lie there. How insulting!
I was sexually damaged from promiscuous relationships but through patient love and never forcing me to go where I did not want to go, my husband now has a ravenous she-wolf in bed, who will do anything to pleasure him.

How do you feel about insisting on a wife receiving professional help when there is emotional trauma preventing her from enjoying a healthy marriage bed?
I would not have gone. I don't trust easily and would not have talked behind my husband's back. I value his self esteem too highly. I suffered as against making him out to be insufficient.
Once I became aware that I was hurting myself and him, I sought God and my life turned 180 degrees around. HWC done.

Anonymous said...

Gemma,

I appreciate this post and am thankful that you have invested the time to share your thoughts and convictions on this subject over the past few years. If you or others have some insight or wisdom to offer, I’d be grateful.

DW and I have a deep love for one another and seek to meet each other’s needs and to encourage and edify the other. My wife has slowly come to the realization that she is to meet the sexual needs of her husband and an understanding of the significance of that need. However, the greater her understanding of this, the greater her sense of being overwhelmed by it. For example, she often has the following line of thinking:

“It’s not fair. Sex is a one sided thing. How could it be that God created the marriage bed and sexual oneness to be enjoyed by the wife as much as by her husband if the wife spends a week of the month (25% of the time) on her period and much of the remainder of the time suffering from common setbacks such as yeast infections, UTI’s, etc…”

This line of thinking does not come from a place of contempt for me, or resentment, or being the victim, but rather just a genuine expression of the desperate position in which she finds herself. She does want to give to me, and follows through within her capacity to do so, but it is something that grieves, depresses, and overwhelms her, rather than blesses her. When it comes to this part of our relationship, she gives much, but receives nothing.

I want to bless her, not be a burden to her. I want to love her “as Christ loves the Church”, “live with her in an understanding way”, and pursue her sexually (my idea of romance). I’m 100% convinced that all 3 of these things are Biblical, I’m called by God to do them, and they bring glory and honor to God, not to mention a tremendous blessing to my wife and I. How can I bless her without giving up my sexual pursuit of her?

Any thought? Have there been times when you or someone you know has had a similar type struggle?

Gemma said...

Anon,

I don't quite understand. What exactly does your wife mean when she says "It's not fair"? What's not fair? And does she really spend most of the other 75% of her time with yeast infections and UTI's? That's a lot if she's sick during most of that time each month. Perhaps some dietary changes could make a difference.

Anonymous said...

“It’s not fair”… meaning that:

1.) She doesn’t have this same seemingly endless, passionate, desire for sex with me that I have for her. In fact, it probably wouldn’t even be on her radar screen if I wasn’t pursuing it. Not that she thinks it’s bad (though subconsciously, or in her heart, she may still think that); it’s just that she could easily live without it. In other words, it doesn’t do anything for her other than give her the comfort that she has “met her dh’s needs”.
2.) Now that she’s trying to “meet my needs”, not only does it not do anything for her (even though she climaxes most of the time), she is also running up against roadblocks that she didn’t have before… these infections. She believes that they are a result of sex. If this is correct, then how could it be that this was designed for a woman? She didn’t have these problems before when sex was very infrequent.

Regarding being sick and her diet, she has a very healthy diet, and making changes to her diet is always the first action she takes in order to find a cure. She is getting a bit of positive results, but this is unknown territory for her. She is not really sick most of the other 75% of time, but the fact that she has gotten sick regularly, and that she sees it as being a direct result of sex, there is a real fear on her part of engaging in something that will make her sick. What should be a pleasurable experience of oneness quickly becomes one that causes fear and anxiety.
By the way, I have never, and never will, demand anything of her that she doesn’t want to do.

Does this make sense?

Hiswildcherry46 said...

Hi Anonymous,

I sympathize with your frustation. We females can be so complicated physically that we can't even figure ourselves out ;-)

Regarding vaginal discomfort, once we began using condoms, they were irritating me so we use gobs of KY jelly. When not using condoms; we use coconut oil. Less friction=less irritation.

Had a few bladder infections which may have been from anal bacteria being introduced from more vigorous love making. Became super clean; problem went away.

www. about the orgasm diet and you will find info. on health supplementation geared towards female sexuality. Omega 3,6,9 fats really work.

Water, water, water all day and night has made my life totally different. No more dryness anywhere!!

Hope this helps a tiny bit.

bunnyhunch said...

I can relate to the feelings of not being loved, or wanted only for sex... but they were unwarranted feelings I clung to, not reality. I truly did not understand my husband's NEED for sex, that it is the most vital way he expresses his love to me. Could it be that many women believe as I did, that it our husbands simply want sex as often as they can get it, not that they need it or show love through it?

Funny, but since I've started saying "yes" to him & initiating sex even when he doesn't ask for it, I've never felt so loved.

J said...

To men and women in general:

Simply put, husbands MUST give their wives quality time and attention outside the bedroom. Clothed. Talking. Showing non-sexual displays of affection. The stuff that men in general loathe. Suck it up and put on your big boy pants, buddy. It ain't all about you getting some. Wives MUST have sex with their husbands. Once again, suck it up. Marriage isn't all about romance and candlelit dinners and flowers. I totally understand that, at times, you would rather walk the family dog than have sex, but if you don't want to give your husband any lame excuses to cheat on you at the first opportunity, you have to have sex with him.

Having a fight? Again, suck it up and talk it out. Leave it outside the bedroom.

In my life, this works. I am well aware that this doesn't totally follow the theme of this blog, but ya gotta do what works.