weeping willow

When my journey of sexual transformation was new, every step I took was hard. I felt like I was taking a risk and being vulnerable every time I said “yes”—or maybe it is more truthful to say that I felt this way every time I didn’t say “no.”

It took my husband a long time to see that things were changing. It took a year for him to believe that the changes were real. My journey meant that I was changing behavior that had become deeply ingrained in me—while my husband continued in the patterns that had developed in response to my refusal and gate-keeping.


Slowly, I dragged myself on the journey while walking next to a husband who was still trying to walk the path I was trying to escape. I longed for emotional intimacy with my husband but chose to set that aside for a while so I could truly work on myself.

I wanted to quit trying. And every time I was close to giving up, God would show me the words of a sexually refused husband. I am a woman who experiences life with her heart. Emotion and empathy are the best routes to reach me and teach me. So God would show me hearts.

On discussion forums, in blog posts, in comments on blog posts, and even in conversations I overheard, I heard the voices and pain of refused husbands. I wish I weren’t Christian so I could walk away. I am so alone. Am I really that ugly that she can’t bear to look at me? If I weren’t frozen out in the bedroom, I probably wouldn’t have the energy to be so good at golf. I must be so unlovable if my wife can’t bear to have sex with me. I pray for my sex drive to be taken away so I can stop hurting so much.

These words would tear at my heart. And I would know that while I didn’t have the emotional intimacy I craved, what my husband wanted was bigger than just sex. So I would plow through.


As our intimacy has deepened, I have become more emotionally fulfilled—although I’ve also become more emotionally vulnerable. As I’ve torn down the walls around my heart, I’ve found that I hurt more easily than I had in a long time. I know my husband loves me very much. Many of my emotional needs are met as a by-product of our increased physical intimacy—but not all of them. And most of the time, I cope with this pretty well.

But not today.

Our week has been bookended by shakiness. We began the week with an argument and old habits trying to resurface.

The rest of the week was okay—until I woke up this morning feeling grouchy in a way I haven’t felt in years. My mood put my husband on edge, so he responded with frustration and a bite to his voice. And I responded to just about everything with tears and anxiety. I felt my heart shrivel in hurt.

Several interactions into the day, I found myself on my knees in the bedroom—praying, alone with God. I sobbed. I am so alone. Am I really that unlovable that he can’t want to see my heart? Have I been that bad a wife that I have made him unable to accept who I am inside? Why am I feeling this way again after so long? Why do I have to be so emotional anyway? God, please take away my emotions so I can stop hurting.

My prayer echoed the words that had moved me  three years ago.

This startled me so much that I immediately stopped crying as I realized that I was feeling more unstable in my marriage than I had felt in quite a while.


I know women who are doing their own small parts in ministering to women working toward healthier marriages, even as they continue to work on their own marriages. During the past week and a half, several of these women have encountered uncharacteristic challenges in their marriages—from unlikely assumptions to mistrust to insecurity to the resurfacing of old behaviors.

I thought about today’s post on Pearl’s OysterBed. Bonny says that marriage is under spiritual attack. She’s right.

My prayer changed. Please help me remember that my husband is with me, not against me. Give me tools, knowledge, and wisdom to resume the journey. God, thank you for the emotions that allow me to feel all that you’ve given my heart. Get Satan out of my marriage.

I walked back downstairs to find my husband cooking dinner, joking around with our daughter who is home for a visit. I still felt fragile and tentative. Even as he fiddled with the stove with one hand, he reached his arm around me and pulled me close. I laid my head on his shoulder while he cooked. I felt his heart beating in time with mine.

Tears of thanks for an answered prayer rolled down my cheeks.


Whether you are on the first step of your journey of change or on your 19,624th step, there will be times when it is hard to keep yourself moving. You may have stretches where you feel like you are the only one doing the walking. You may wonder how you can take one more step.

In her post, Bonny encourages her readers to “put out a call to your prayer warriors.”

Please pray for the women who have posted requests in the comments on this post. Let us know how we can pray for you.

6 Thoughts on “Hearts, Echos, Answers, Prayers

  1. janna94 on October 5, 2013 at 7:43 pm said:

    I’m definitely one of those women who was being attacked in her efforts. Thanks for sharing. It’s good to see that God met you on your knees. He does me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Although I’m on my knees more in spirit then physically, but it’s about being humbled before Him. One of the pieces of advice I give so often, and that I practice, is “Go to the feet of Christ. Go the foot of the cross.” So when I’m on my “knees”, my tears are falling on the feet of Jesus. That’s where everything can come back into focus, my purpose, my call, by identity in Him. I am reminded of the life Christ lived and gave because of me. It’s a safe place to remember who I was, and who I am now. It’s so easy to lose focus in this world in the midst of self, sin and pain, but “seeing” those sweet, nail scarred feet through my tears, “feeling” his nail scarred hands surround me and hearing His gentle whisper, it’s a balm to my battered soul, spirit, heart and mind and it strengthens this girl to continue on in my spiritual fight.

    Chris, this reminds me of “The Warrior is a Child” by Twila Paris- go listen to it on youtube. This song has always touched me, because so many don’t see the child within that’s hurt, that’s crying, they wants to be held by her Abba, Father.

    Lately, I’ve been winning battles left and right
    But even winners can get wounded in the fight
    People say that I’m amazing strong beyond my years
    But they don’t see inside of me, I’m hiding all the tears

    They don’t know that I go running home when I fall down
    They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around
    I drop my sword and cry for just a while
    ‘Cause deep inside this armor the warrior is a child

    Unafraid because His armor is the best
    But even soldiers need a quiet place to rest
    People say that I’m amazing never face retreat
    But they don’t see the enemies that lay me at His feet

    They don’t know that I go running home when I fall down
    They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around
    I drop my sword and and cry for just a while
    ‘Cause deep inside this armor the warrior is a child

    They don’t know that I go running home when I fall down
    They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around
    I drop my sword and look up for a smile
    ‘Cause deep inside this armor, deep inside this armor
    Deep inside this armor the warrior is a child

    Warrior is a child


  2. justme on October 5, 2013 at 8:37 pm said:

    Oh Chris, this is so “us” this week also. Bonnie’s post earlier brought me to tears and now yours. Thank you for being so open and honest.

  3. I just want to feel wanted by my husband. I feel so selfish for feeling this way because this is a man who is up at 1:30am every day throughout the week to provide for us and is hunting on Saturdays to put meat in our freezer, but I want so much more than just a quickie on Sunday mornings. I.Want.My.Husband. I’m in tears tonight as he has already gone to bed and that is it, that is the end of our weekend. I’m sure he will reach out to me in the morning, and yes, he will get lucky, but knowing it will not happen again until next Sunday breaks my heart. Just prayers I guess that I can somehow stop being so selfish and focus just on him knowing how hard he works and the long hours he keeps. but honestly, it’s hard…I would do anything to feel his arms around me right now. :'(

  4. I feel like you said… I’m in a place where i’m trying to increase my libido, fix my sexual desire, have more sex after years of my hubby’s porn addiction and my dealing with sexually abusive past… I feel like I want it now but every time I try and take the lead, step out of my comfort zone, be the sexual wife he has been craving he squishes my desires by saying he can’t believe that I really want this, that I am really changing… He is like your husband, so unsure that this is for real that he won’t let down the barriers he has built… How do you keep going? How do you not give up? I try and take a step forward and I feel like he keeps pushing me 2 steps back… I keep telling him I don’t want to give up… is it wrong for me to want him to talk to somebody to deal with his issues from the past? He can’t seem to let go or forgive me for the way I handled the past.

    Sorry, I don’t feel like I’m saying this very clearly… too many words in my head that they don’t seem to come out in the right order…

    • Laura, thank you for sharing this here. Although we didn’t deal with the same set of issues that you describe, we both had a lot of healing to do. Even understanding that it will take time for your husband to fully believe, and extending him some grace for this, it is hard to keep walking. There were some days when it felt like all I was doing was standing still, trying to catch my breath, relieved that I wasn’t moving backward. And that’s how you keep going. You know that it’s okay to stand still, let God hold you up, and catch your breath.

      At some point, I began to look inward to measure my progress rather than at my husband. Whether or not my husband responded as I hoped/expected him to, I was happier with my own sexual behavior. I felt like I was being a better wife, regardless of whether my husband was doing what he should have been doing. When my husband pushed back, I tried to reach out to love him anyway. (I was not 100% successful.)

      This journey has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done–and I’m so glad I made the decision to keep going. I felt so transformed inside simply because I was finally trying. It hurt me that my husband couldn’t see this inner transformation while it was happening.

      Keep telling your husband you don’t want to give up. Keep doing what you need to do. When he expresses his fear or disbelief, close your eyes, pray for courage, pray for your husband to find peace, and try again. Come here and post that you need some prayers when you’re in a rough patch. And know that you will be prayed for (like I did for you just now).

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