I was sure my husband valued me only for sex. I knew I should be okay that he wanted me sexually—but for years, that was the only time he seemed to want me.

I’ve been trying to unpack this belief of mine, and I’m pretty sure it hinges on how I feel valued by anyone, ever.

Acknowledge Me, Please

A person’s close attention to me (comments or actions showing awareness of what I am doing and what has been on my mind) is how I best experience care and love. I have some friends I consider close because they note when I am tired, happy, or preoccupied. They pay attention and comment on their observations about me. When you bother to pay attention to me and make an effort to encourage or support me in what you observe, I feel loved and valued.

My belief that my husband wanted me only for sex grew out of the fact that it is only when he is planning to make a sexual advance that my husband pays close attention to me in a way that matters to me. He will mention my mood, what I’ve been doing, things I’ve discussed with him, etc. when he is wanting to be sexual with me–but not at other times.

I’m pretty sure he is aware of me a whole lot more than that, but the only times he initiates conversations about my condition or interests is before he asks for sex.

Appreciate Me

One thing that helps me feel acknowledged is when someone recognizes the time and effort I have put into something—especially when it has gone above and beyond my usual efforts.

My husband isn’t one to express appreciation or thanks for a whole lot. I have always made an effort to thank people for doing their jobs. This confuses my husband. “Why are you thanking them for doing what they’re supposed to do?” he’ll ask.

He occasionally thanks me for cooking food he likes or for doing his laundry—but he never expresses his appreciation for these things or acknowledges the time and effort I put into doing things for him. In fact, the only thing I remember him expressing appreciation for is that I have changed how I approach sex.

So . . . here I am, a woman who feels valued and loved the most when her efforts and feelings are acknowledged . . . and sex is the only thing for which my husband has ever done that.

Is it any surprise that I thought my husband valued me only for sex?

Fighting the Feelings

This belief that my husband values me only for sex is one I still have to fight against on occasion—and sometimes I lose that battle.

I have to make a decision to act according to what I know to be true rather than according to what I feel.

How do I do this?

  1. I remind myself that how I best feel loved and valued isn’t the only way that other people express their love and appreciation. (Some people find it helpful to look at this in terms of love languages.) My feelings are not truth.
  2. I make a point of looking at what my husband does and says on his terms, not mine. Even things that don’t necessarily help me feel loved and valued are often his way of expressing those feelings.
  3. I have to tell myself the truth that I know my husband wants me for more than sex because I don’t feel the truth.
  4. I remind myself that my husband’s sexual desire for me is God’s design. It is the way he is wired to experience deep emotional connection with me. Sure, he wants an orgasm—but even more than that, he wants to feel intimately connected with me—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is how he feels whole.

What about you?

If you are a wife who thinks your husband wants you only for sex, I would like to encourage you to consider a change to your approach:

  • Let go of your mental list of things your husband doesn’t do that you are pretty sure would help you feel loved and appreciated.
  • Look for the ways your husband acknowledges and expresses his feelings for you. If someone asked him how he shows his wife he loves her, what would he say? Does he provide for you? Does he carry the dirty laundry so you don’t have to? Does he keep the oil changed in your car? Does he buy your favorite sparkling water for you at the grocery store? Would he do these things if he didn’t love and appreciate you?
  • Remember that your husband’s sexual desire for you is a good thing. Being with you sexually makes him feel whole in a way that absolutely nothing else can.

He Only Wants . . . Me

My husband is a good man. He appreciates me deeply. His life and heart are intimately intertwined with mine. I am part of him in a way that no one else is. It is easy to let the Things He Doesn’t Do list take over my heart. It’s one of the things that I allowed to nurture my sexual refusal of him.

By seeing only the list of what he does not do, I blinded myself to all that he does do to express his feelings to me. I was allowing myself to receive his love only in the shape I wanted, thereby rejecting most of what he was offering me.

The fact that my husband makes an effort to acknowledge and appreciate me when he wants to have sex is actually a good thing. It means that he wants to be part of me so much that he is already stepping outside his comfort zone to think about what I need from him. It is part of his own mental preparation for sex because his heart is already craving that connection.

I am the one my husband wants to have sex with. I am the one he wants to feel connected with. I am the one who makes him feel whole. I am the one who holds his heart.

I’ve realized that he doesn’t want me only for sex.

Yes, he wants me for sex . . . because he wants only me.

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19 Thoughts on “He Only Wants Me for Sex

  1. Just brilliant!

    • Well said. It made me view feeling used for sex differently. What really hit home for me was the question what would my husband say if someone asked him what he does to show his wife that he loves her. I drew a blank. I absolutely cannot think of one thing. His is selfish and doesn’t do anything for me. He pays half the bills, but so do I. That is more of a survival need. You have to pay bills even if you are single. I honestly cannot think of anything. He plans last minute vacations alone to party spots like a single man or to romantic places like Hawaii. Who goes to Hawaii and leaves their wife behind and tells them thanks for the ride to the airport???

      • I’ve found that in most marriages, both the husband and the wife need to work on showing love to each other. Selfishness is not the pathway to a healthy and happy marriage.

  2. I second Sandi’s comment. Brilliant !

  3. tiffanie2014 on August 6, 2014 at 1:30 pm said:

    What do you do if you feel like you are only wanted for Money and for the house chores you do that he doesn’t EVER help with? I work full time, he does not. This was fine when the kids were little as he was a GREAT stay at home dad. The kids are older now, and don’t require as much time and constant attention, teens want to do their own thing. I feel like he should step up more and not go out fishing every day spending money… He has been saying for 3 years that he is going to get his Coast Gaurd Captain’s license and become a fishing guide again.. That would be great if he would actually do it! Instead, he has not, and now I am stuck paying for a boat that my father co-signed for with the thought that my husband was going to use it to make money, not cost me more..

    • I was the primary breadwinner for the majority of our marriage, Even when my husband wasn’t working, most of the housework was on my shoulders. I struggled with this for many years.

      When our kids were little, my husband spent a year as a stay-at-home dad. Both then and later (when he lost his job and was unemployed for a while), my husband struggled. Many men say they are designed to be providers and protectors of their families. When they are not working outside the home, their sense of masculinity can take a hit. I certainly noticed this in my husband, who began to develop mild depression.

      Is it possible that part of your husband’s lack of pursuing his license is due to depression or feeling like less of a man? If so, are there ways you can encourage him and build him up? Does he have men in his life he can do things with, who can help encourage him toward action?

      • tiffanie2014 on August 6, 2014 at 2:09 pm said:

        Yes there are. Most of the Men in his life are not Godly men and I have some issue with that. My husband was raised Catholic and went to catholic school so he knows about God. I live in a small town and my private counselor knows most of these men. He tells me they are not supportive of women or long term loving manogomous relationships.. BUT all of them lift him emotionally when it comes to fishing. Some have said they will be angry with him if he doesn’t go get this liscense! He seems motivated this time, but time will tell. Right now he is not driving due to a DUI. The end of September he will get his drivers license back and this is when he says he will begin the process of getting the captain’s license.
        I know these men, most like me and understand what I am dealing with, but then on the “guy code” end of things, they never say anything to him… One has, and the results and change in my husband were fantastic! I just wish more of them would step up and give him the real truth of what they think. Men talk and show respect to eachother differently than women though..
        I know that my husband was depressed. He did tell me so. I think he is coming out of it… Just praying it is God’s will that he get this license and that he will begin to make a living again.. He has shared with me that he feels dependant on me and he doesn’t like it.. For many years I was VERY disrespectful and treated him like one of the kids… Through Nina’s book and blog I was able to realize how wrong I was… I have changed many things, but still a work in progress! I believe my change has helped him to feel a bit better as I show him I value him as a man for other things besides money..
        Sometimes though, I still feel like he would rather just ride my coat-tail then step up and get something done.

        • I’m so glad you found Nina’s blog and that you have begun working on yourself. It has been easier for my husband to feel safe in stepping up to the man plate now that I’ve stepped back to give him space to do so. It may take your husband some time (especially as he’s coming out of depression), but he can get there. Your husband may find it easier to ride your coat-tails, but perhaps he wants to do better than that but hasn’t figure out how yet. Patience is a hard thing to exercise, isn’t it?

          Hang in there. It sounds like some good things are in place.

        • tiffanie2014 on August 6, 2014 at 3:35 pm said:

          I love Nina’s blog!! I also follow Jimcat and Ruby Merten.. both found through Nina as were you! I love getting the emails that you all have posted something new. I read and re-read the blogs and the posts I have made.. It helps me remember how far I have already come!

          Patience is NOT one of my great virtues! I work at it.. pray for it! And yes, things are beginning to fall into place.. Now my prayers are more that I have God’s peace around my heart so I don’t stumble, and that my Husband will find his way back to God.

  4. Is there a link to Nina’s blog-quite interested to check it out…
    Thank you for another excellent post.

  5. A wise man could get a major clue from this post. Thanks!

    • Fortunately, some of my readers are wise men. Perhaps their wives will benefit.

      • Bob Dierdorf on August 12, 2016 at 10:26 am said:

        This has been our experience. We were in a sexless marriage for a long time, for many reasons, good and bad. My wife thought I was after sex only for physical release, and to some extent, I nought the same. It finally dawned on me that what I craved was her, all of her, not just her body. Since we have reinstated regular sexual relations, it has been nothing short of a miracle what God has done for us. We couldn’t change each ther, but through patience, prayer, and surrender, God has brought us to a new height of intimacy in every area of our life. The 5 love languages helped us a lot. If you are in such a situation, don’t try to change your spouse. Pray for him or her, and surrender yourself obediently to God and let Him make the changes. I would also suggest a great book titled Sacred Marriage, don’t remember the author’s name.

  6. For most of us (both men and women who love the Lord) …
    to say that “all a man wants is sex from his wife” would be like saying “all a woman wants is to feel emotionally secure from her husband.” It’s quite offensive and altogether untrue.

    To those wise wives and husbands that have an understand of this, the relationship has no bounds.

  7. tiffanie2014 on July 13, 2016 at 1:30 pm said:

    Update!! Dan has finally pursued his license. It is in the hands of the Coast gaurd right now awaiting their approval.. hoping that in the next week it will be approved!

    Looking back, I know he was depressed. He still lacks initiative most of the time tot help around the house, but if I ask him to do just a single chore at a time, (just one per day) he always get it done.. Today I asked him to please wash the bath towels.. As we were on the phone he was doing it! Patience and A LOT of prayer.. and learning to be a Respectful wife all played a part.

    Thanks for the support Chris!

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