What To Do When Your Husband Wants Sex and You Don’t

What To Do When Your Husband Wants Sex and You Don’t

They were sitting across the table from me, both hurting badly. Married over twenty years, they really wanted to make things work. Both were practicing Christians, and felt it would be wrong to even consider divorce.

But things were not going well. Among other things, she was struggling with his desire and need for sex about twice a week. She had several other current challenges in her life, and giving sex to her husband seemed like asking something of her that she didn’t have to give. The disconnect in their sexual needs was leading to a lot of resentment between them. Neither wanted to cause the other pain, but they were hurting each other consistently and didn’t know how to stop.

How many marriages have been harmed by this kind of sexual disconnect? Does any of this sound familiar?

  • You avoid your husband as much as you can, hoping he won’t pursue you for sex
  • You give in to sex and end up resenting it, and him
  • You pick a fight with him, hoping that will keep him at bay for a while
  • You go to bed early or stay up late, trying to avoid being nearby at the most likely times for sex
  • You find every excuse to be sick, and you’ve got fifty variations on “I have a headache” to try
  • You fantasize about being single again: at least you wouldn’t feel guilty about saying No
  • You wonder if there’s something really wrong with you, but you’re too tired to find out

As I tell women regularly in my OB-Gyn practice, a woman’s sexual response is very complicated. She has a much harder time compartmentalizing sex than a man does. If other things in her life or relationships are not going well, it may be hard or even impossible to respond sexually.

I’m going to assume for a moment that you have a genuinely good man for a husband, not perfect, but one who truly wants to be good to you. You recognize that sex together as husband and wife is important to him, and you’d like to handle it better. Here are some things you can do if your husband wants sex and you generally don’t.

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10 Mistakes To Avoid In Looking For A Husband

10 Mistakes To Avoid In Looking For A Husband

Looking for a husband? So was I.

And then I gave up. And it’s probably the best thing I ever did.

There’s plenty of advice out there about choosing a husband. There are many lists of things you should look for, and matching services – even Christian ones – promising to help you meet Mr Right.

I’d like to look at it from the other side. Sadly, if you are looking for Mr Right there are a number of married women who would be glad to give him to you! Learning from mistakes others have made may save you a lot of heartache. (And in a moment, I’ll also share two things you SHOULD do.)

Yes, I do know what it’s like to struggle with being single. I was 48 years old before God brought my husband and me together. I know what it’s like to feel lonely, and to long for someone special to love me, and to love. I know the ache of loneliness, and what it’s like to wonder what could be so terribly wrong with me that God has not brought me a husband.

One Valentine’s Day when I was in medical school all of us single girls got together for a meeting of the Lonely Hearts Club. We tried to make each other feel better about not having a boyfriend or husband. It didn’t work very well! Loneliness can be so difficult.

While I was single I made some of these mistakes listed here, and I’ve seen people close to me make others. Whether you’re never married or newly single, here are some things NOT to do in your search for a husband:

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7 Things Healthy Sexuality Is For Married Couples

7 Things Healthy Sexuality Is For Married Couples

Couple on the BeachIf you were from outer space and had a subscription to Direct TV, you would think the only way to have enough interesting sex would be to stay single and look for someone new to hook up with on a regular basis. But reality may not be that way at all. Several studies indicate that on average married people have sex more often, enjoy more varied sex, and are more satisfied with their sex lives than single people. And those with a single sexual partner in the past year report the most happiness in general.

That is not the whole story, of course. Some married couples do fit the stereotype of flannel pajamas and sleeping on separate sides of the bed routinely. Not long ago I saw a patient whose husband spent every evening holed up in the basement watching pornography. “He hasn’t touched me in years,” she said. The pain in her voice was real.

Sex is certainly not the only factor in a successful marriage. For any marriage to work, both husband and wife must be more focused on meeting each other’s needs than getting their own needs met. It takes a lot of forgiveness, flexibility, and unconditional love to make a marriage last.

Nowhere are these characteristics more important than in a couple’s sexual relationship. Here’s what healthy sexuality looks like for a married couple when it’s working well:

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When Broken Vows Break the Heart

When Broken Vows Break the Heart

InfidelityForsaking all others, keep yourself only for him (or her).” You said that, or something similar, in your marriage vows, didn’t you?  Now perhaps that dream has become a nightmare. If you are facing infidelity in your marriage, you know how devastating that nightmare can be.

Adultery almost never begins with a physical act. It begins in the heart. It begins with a lingering glance, a flirtatious comment, a fantasy of connection. It grows with a search to fulfill something one feels is missing – perhaps adventure, emotional intimacy, or sexual contact. The heart finds a way to rationalize, and you cross that line. Sooner or later the pain, loss, and trauma of broken vows catch up with you – and those you love or loved.

If you are married and NOT facing infidelity right now, let me encourage you to do these things:

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The Impact of Sex Outside the Bedroom

The Impact of Sex Outside the Bedroom

We get into trouble so easily over sex. For many it is the ultimate slippery slope. And the impact of sex outside the bedroom is wide-ranging. 

Let me state my position simply: I believe sex was created by God as a wonderful, beautiful thing to be relished and ravishingly enjoyed between one man and one woman in marriage. That’s it. Any other use of sex is wrong, and gets us into trouble. You may not agree with me, but I believe that is the way God intended things to be.

The misuse of sex is a common denominator in a whole host of problems: pornography, infidelity, same-sex relationships, prostitution, sex outside of marriage (before or during), divorce, abortion, rape, abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, and more. The emotional and relationship impact is also costly: shame, isolation, divorce, guilt, etc. Marriages, careers, families, ministries – and lives – are wounded or destroyed. Of all the factors involved, sex seems the most powerful.

Sex is Not just about the Bedroom

Sex touches something very deep within us. There is probably no other area that so strongly impacts our sense of identity and value as sexuality does. The correlation is strong:

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