Have long-time patterns carved ruts into your marriage bed?

The road to my parents’ cabin is six long miles of gravel, traveled mostly by heavy and speedy logging trucks.

The drive on that road seems to go on forever. Even if the logging trucks aren’t barreling toward us, we have to watch out for tall sharp rocks that can shred a tire. We can get so focused on being on guard against sharp rocks that we end up in the deep ruts in the road. We’ve never gotten stuck, but we have bottomed out the vehicle a few times.

The ruts are carved in by a combination of water flow patterns and the multiple-times-daily travel of logging trucks loaded down with the baggage of freshly harvest trees.

Every few years, a fresh load of gravel is laid down and the ruts are smoothed out, no longer slowing us down or bottoming out.

A fresh road makes a much nicer pathway to get to our destination.


Our marriage was in a rut, and we didn’t even know it.

The rut was a long time in the making, carved out by the flow of perception and belief and the heavy weight of baggage.

For many years, I thought of sex as mostly for men. Popular culture, the church, and my premarital misuse of my sexuality were major factors in how I saw sex.

When I married, the reality of our own sexual intimacy enforced this view. Sex seemed so simple for my husband. He was aroused quickly, and he finished easily. I, on the other hand, found that arousal was unpredictable and not always possible. The finish eluded me for months after we married; even then, it was rather finicky. I didn’t always want an orgasm, nor did I know how to communicate about any of this with my husband.

I was often frustrated by our sex life. Even when I was in the mood, sometimes it seemed like an awful lot of work to go to in hopes of getting to the point of feeling released and relaxed. Why not cuddle on the couch with some chocolate ice cream?

My husband and I developed habits that built on this foundation of frustration. Big Guy’s intention and desire was always to be more and do more for me—but I rejected those efforts and taught him not to bother most of the time.

I was far more sexual than either of us realized, but I didn’t know how to recognize that sexuality or claim it for myself. Instead, we spent years following a pattern that framed sex as for him, with me along for the ride.

Here’s how that pattern looked:

  • I often used just the right moves to get him to finish more quickly.
  • My frequent complaints and lack of involvement made it seem safer for him to not bother with trying to do anything for me. After all, if he made me mad during sex, I might just shut the whole thing down right away.
  • If I had an orgasm, it was a happy accident and was rarely a result of intention on his part or mine.
  • When he finished, we were done having sex.
  • On those rare occasions when I initiated, it was usually in the form of “If you want to have sex tonight, we have to do it now between laundry loads” or “I suppose you want to do something this weekend.”
  • On the even rarer occasions when I wanted to have sex because I was experiencing desire, I still phrased it in terms of my husband’s desire: “Do you want to have sex?” or “If you want to have sex, you can talk me into it.”
  • When I wanted my husband to do something differently during sex, I didn’t know how to tell him without it sounding like a criticism (or without him hearing it that way)—so most of the time I just gave up.

I felt like a second-class citizen in our marriage bed—unimportant, inferior, insignificant, and lesser than my husband.

Honestly, I don’t remember how my husband viewed sex when we married. Although it is possible that he also believed in the “sex is mostly for men” model, the fact is that my words and actions over years eventually inhibited any growth on his part. He could have come into our marriage with the most Godly and mutual view of sex and it wouldn’t have made any difference to me.

My reactions over years laid pathways that eventually became ruts in the road. My views on sex forced us both into patterns of sex being about my husband and not about me.


Fast forward to the marriage we have now. I’ve been on this journey of transformed sexual intimacy for nearly six years now.

My views on sex are not what they once were. I see sex as a mutually beneficial and pleasurable way of connecting with each other. I see it as a way of building intimacy, connecting with each other, and making more love as time goes by.

For the past year, I have intentionally pursued a path of embracing and claiming my own sexuality and desire. Instead of letting sex happen, I began to speak about what I wanted.

“I’m not done yet.”
“I would like you to [action] my [body part].”
“I need for us to do X before we do Y.”

I learned how to move his head or hand. I learned how to stop us mid-action and reorient according to my needs.

My growth in the area of sexual intimacy continues, and our marriage bed (and, therefore, our marriage) is better for it.


The sexual pathway I am on is dramatically different from the one I used to travel.

But those ruts that got worn into the road from the years of resisting and avoiding sex and thinking sex was mostly for my husband? Those ruts are still there. We try to avoid them, but sometimes we are so focused on avoiding other potential snags that we find ourselves in those old patterns without even realizing it.

About six months ago, the existence of these ruts was highlighted.

My husband had been telling me for a while that he wanted me to initiate sex more often. (I wrote about that here and here.) I worked to get comfortable initiating in a way that would look like initiation to him.

I initiated frequently—when I thought he would be interested. If it had been a while since we’d hit the marital hay, I would make a point of being the one to get things going. I thought I was doing great. I didn’t realize it, but I was still acting as though sex was for him.

Earlier this year, as part of my continuing efforts to be aware of my own sexual desire, I recognized that a short while after we enjoyed some afternoon delight, I wanted some more. So I initiated, doing the things my husband had indicated would work: groping, telling him directly what I wanted, and taking his hand to walk him to the bedroom.

It was the first time in our marriage that I initiated because I wanted to have sex, without thinking about whether he would want to. I felt so good about myself for doing that. I wanted to have sex with my husband! Knowing that he may not have the energy for full-blown sex, I’d suggested a couple just-for-me activities. I had initiated with confidence and joy. Yay, me!

And he said . . . no.

When we talked about his response later, he made several comments that made it clear that he was still stuck in the rut I’d forced him into for so long: he was still seeing our sex life as something that was for him. He didn’t think it was only for him, but it was for him.  “You should wait until I’m in the mood before you initiate,” he said. “We did it just a few hours ago and I wouldn’t be ready to really enjoy it yet.”

We had a good conversation that illuminated just how deeply those sexual ruts had been carved. This was the first time in 25 years of marriage that my husband was faced with my sexual expectations, so it is no surprise that it threw him.

In 25 years, I had never reached out for the splendor of the marriage bed except in response to Big Guy’s desire. It was new for both of us

For many years, we both saw my sexuality only as responsive to his, not as something that I claimed for myself.

As startling as it was to get that “no” from my husband, God used that moment to show us both that we still have some ruts to smooth out together.


As ruts are carved into a road, we fall into them easily. They are the path of least resistance, after all. They require little thought on our part—and that is where they can trip us up and bottom us out.

Big Guy and I had little idea how much of our sexual interaction followed a pattern of viewing sex as mostly for him. Now, however, we do know—so it is something we can now work on.

Growing and reaching toward God’s desire for the sexual intimacy in marriage is a good thing. Getting stuck in ruts can be frustrating, whether the journey is new or is getting on in years.

Fortunately, when we recognize a rut, we have a new opportunity to lay down new pathways to replace those long-time patterns of thought.


Do you find yourself stuck in any ruts on your journey toward renewed sexual intimacy in your marriage?

Image credit: Chris Taylor

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32 Thoughts on “How Do Long-Time Patterns Affect Your Marriage Bed?

  1. Even those of us who think that we have a very clear picture of the sexual relationship between a husband and wife can learn a lot from your post. In more than 29 years of marriage I doubt that my wife has ever intiated sex without the belief that I also had a sexual need that required meeting. With that said, i can think of nothing more arousing than my wife telling me how much she needed sex, whether I wanted it or not. 🙂

  2. liefdeskruiden on August 11, 2016 at 3:01 pm said:

    I totaly agree with David. We are married for over 33 years and my wife is stil not getting her own sexuality. We man are arroused to see our wife wanting us because they are interested in sex with us.

  3. sunny-dee on August 11, 2016 at 6:28 pm said:

    Well…. not all men. I had (I thought) a pretty healthy view of sexuality when I got married. But my husband is not aroused or attracted to me sexually, and no matter what I tried, I could never get him to say yes. We’ve been married three years and are trying to conceive, and we just aren’t having sex frequently enough. Three times in a single week is impossible, apparently. It’s happened once, and only after a lot of complaints (on his part). I am seriously making an appointment with a fertility specialist to discuss artificial insemination because I cannot have children without sex.

    I can’t imagine what it would be like to be able to entice a man into sex. I can’t imagine how liberating that would feel. There would be a lot of joy, I think, in mutual sexuality.

    • When sexual intimacy isn’t working, it can bring so much heartache. There is great joy in mutual sexuality–and that may be one of the reasons the enemy attacks us there.

    • Sorry!! I can’t imagine a husband not wanting to have sex with you. If my wife were willing, I think I could have sex with her 3 times a day.

    • Ugggh I’m so sorry sunny-dee about everything- the TTC, the intimacy; everything 🙁 . Does he want a baby too? i know this won’t fix the marriage globally, but in terms of the baby, if he is on the same page and you are both thinking you are actively TTC (and i assume he is or maybe you should further discuss this first; but if he really does want a baby, then it’s odd how you have to fight him on this), then he has to realize that he has to have sex enough to make it a viable chance of happening. I’m sure you know this, but identify the 5 days or so before ovulation (temps or OPKs) and then tell him, if he wants a baby, to have sex around every other day, even if it’s just that week. I’m sorry about the intimacy too… Have you thought of marriage counseling? it’s really help our marriage and communication.

      • sunny-dee on August 15, 2016 at 10:17 am said:

        He definitely wants a baby. I had a struggle (precisely because of our issues), but I have always wanted kids and I figured not having children would be a much bigger regret for me.

        It’s this weird disconnect, like he thinks babies should just happen. It took me MONTHS for him to believe that if I said we needed to have sex that week that I meant THAT WEEK and doing it the next week meant no baby. I sat him down and laid out the entire biological cycle.

        After that, he would have sex once, maybe twice during that week (instead of randomly throughout the month), but even hitting three times has only happened once, and he complained. He promised me we would have sex every day for that 5 days. Promised and promised again. The first two days he didn’t say anything, day 3 he said he thought he was “spermed out,” day 4 he asked how much longer he had to do this, and day 5 … he just bailed for work early and stayed late.

        I’ve been on Clomid now for 4 months, and I have the schedule from the doctor on when to have sex, and he still won’t follow through. He keeps saying it shouldn’t be this hard, like having sex three times is the hardest thing he can imagine doing. (Honestly, he’s been pushing for artificial insemination for over a year now, so maybe he just really didn’t want to even try sex.)

        When I try to talk with him about anything, he doesn’t really respond. He’ll kind of stare at me while I’m talking, and then either leave the room or go off or do something else. He never responds or follows up. It’s really weird (to me, anyway). And it’s not just sex or babies. It’s how my day went, the fight my mom and aunt had, my stepson’s school schedule, our budget, a church event coming up on the weekend, politics, a funny comic I read — no matter the topic, he stares as I blather for about a minute, waits a couple of beats after I stop, and then leaves. If he wants to tell me about his day, then he’ll talk, but if I ask and he doesn’t feel like talking, he will give me a single word answer — bad, long, good, busy — and then stare at me until I leave the room.

        He has had tons of sexual partners and several serious relationships before me. I have come to believe that he married me because I was a Christian good girl and he wanted a stable home, but that he really isn’t that into me, personally. That’s really all I can figure, because nothing makes sense to me.

        I have looked up the name of a Christian counselor, and I am just trying to decide how to push for counseling. My only hold up is, if he really and truly doesn’t love me (romantically), would counseling even make a difference? The guy also does single counseling, so I may just go for me.

        • Ugggh… I’m so sorry you are going through all of this. 🙁 We have some potential fertility challenges ourselves (no treatment yet, but i have a condition which quite often causes issues, so we have been trying naturally for the past few months and may do some treatments in the winter or so if nothing), so I get how that can be frustrating and emotionally draining in itself, but I’m sure even more so when your husband is causing this by simply not having enough sex (if we had agreed to try for a baby and my husband wouldn’t have sex with me at the right times I’d be so resentful and practically pulling my hair out- I’m glad you explained things to him… if necessary give him it in writing lol) . If you are looking for support in that area, I’d recommend a FB group TTC journeys with FAM. Sounds like you know a lot already, but there is lots of support and other people going through all sorts of stuff. If he was at the appointment with you, and he wants a baby there seems like a disconnect in terms of his desire and what the doctor, and research says you need to do to get one (unless you both are like the epitome of high fertility you probably can’t get pregnant by having sex once a month).

          It sounds in general tho like things are pretty sad and disconnected in your home ☹ Marriage and communication issues suck. Believe me, I know. Thankfully in my case, my husband asked to do counseling. I think that it might help either way, because it might open the floor for some honest discussions about these issues you are experiencing. I’d recommend perhaps focusing on that above the baby right now, or at least as much. I think that an IUI could be great in situations of male sperm issues, but in this case it seems like your husband is completely uncomfortable with and avoiding sex and it might be good to really focus on that serious issue. Praying for you guys and for peace and healing in your home and a precious baby in in God’s time. <3 I would recommend individual counseling if your hubby doesn’t want to go with you. It might help you to work through some of this stuff. Lots is on your plate right now.

        • Sunny-dee, I am so glad you are seeking counseling. Even if your husband won’t go, go for yourself. Make an appointment. Tell your husband you’ve made an appointment for marriage counseling and that you would like him to join you–but be clear that you are going with or without him. There could be any number of things going on with him. A counselor can help you work through strategies for dealing with his lack of desire for intimacy (not just sexual intimacy) in ways that are healthy for you and that provide some hope. My prayers are with you.

  4. IntimacySeeker on August 12, 2016 at 8:09 am said:

    David (above) says: “I can think of nothing more arousing than my wife telling me how much she needed sex, whether I wanted it or not.”

    If I made this statement about my husband, I don’t know that I would use the term “arousing.” I’m not criticizing, just pointing out that my views about sex have been influenced differently.

    Perhaps what David would hear in that sentence is similar to what I would hear if my husband told me how much he needs ME and there is nothing I can do to make him unlove me.

    What is meant and what is heard can be worlds apart.

  5. Intimacy seeker – I understand your confusion with my statement, but you need to appreciate the context. Many husbands, including me, have become conditioned to the notion that our wives participate in sex pretty much because the husband wants it. They can take it or leave it most days. On this point, there is a world of difference between desire and accommodation. Think about the time of courtship, however, and was this the relationship at that time? I am pretty sure that it was not. The change in this dynamic settles in and then takes over. I suspect that is why, after a time, so many men are easy prey to the seductive advances of a woman if it should happen. I am not excusing this conduct or blaming any wife for a husband’s weakness, but simply explaining the emotional place that it comes from. I am sure this is a two way street regarding wives whose husbands disconnect from them. I have been faithfully married for almost 30 years and have not strayed, but there have been many times when I have prayed for my wife to have her sexual fire of desire rekindled. I guess what I am saying is that to a man, a woman saying that SHE needs sex for sex’s sake is just as arousing as her telling him that she needs him. To put it bluntly in the words of a recent song lyric, most men want their wives to be “a lady on the street but a freak in the bed.” if a woman is worried about making sexual demands upon her husband, I would encourage her not to be. Break the mold. I won’t pretend to speak for other husbands, just myself.

    • IntimacySeeker on August 12, 2016 at 3:01 pm said:

      “I guess what I am saying is that to a man, a woman saying that SHE needs sex for sex’s sake is just as arousing as her telling him that she needs him.”

      I hear two separate statements:
      Her need for sex is arousing.
      Her need for him is arousing.

      Does he equate her need for sex with her need for him? Are they synonymous?

      • Theodore Cox on August 13, 2016 at 9:36 am said:

        I think W has it right on this. I’ve discussed this before, and I believe it’s a very real thing, that my wife’s sexual desire FOR ME, speaks volumes to me about her level of respect and admiration. Partly it may be ted up in cultural bias, since the world view teaches that a REAL man has every woman panting after them like dogs in heat. Yet every lie from the enemy has a little bit of truth to it, since he poses as an angel of light.
        This has been something my wife and I deal with, in that over the years she would tell me her lack of desire wasn’t personal on the grounds that she wasn’t interested in sex with anyone else either. The thing is, for most guys, it doesn’t matter that she says she doesn’t desire other men, if she doesn’t desire him. Sexual desire is the one thing that makes me fell most loved and appreciated by my wife. I think a wife with a ravenous sexual appetite, that makes it clear that only her husband will satisfy her, is a thing most men desperately want, but will never admit to.

    • Anonymous 2 on August 15, 2016 at 1:56 pm said:

      @ David

      Isn’t it well known that hormones and endorphins are running high at the beginning of a relationship and that physically the body cannot continue that level of release and eventually returns to it’s pre infatuation state?

      Isn’t it also well known that physical sexual desire is primarily driven by testosterone and men have bucket loads compared to females teaspoons of the hormone? It only makes sense that many men want sex more often than women do. That’s where accommodation sex comes in.

      I can only remember a few times in my 50 some odd years of being a female that I ever remotely desired sex for sex’s sake. Orgasms are nice but I can’t say I’ve ever craved one.

      That’s why I’m here, to gain encouragement to continue to grow my sexual intimacy with my husband and to gain insights on how to fully come to enjoy my sexuality. I doubt I’ll ever become a “freak in the bed” though.

      • IntimacySeeker on August 16, 2016 at 10:11 am said:

        I have also heard that orgasm is the primary way men release oxytocin whereas women tend to release it with other forms of affection as well, including and/or especially foreplay. This combined with the difference in testosterone levels might account for much of the difference in desire.

        • Anonymous 2 on August 17, 2016 at 11:03 am said:

          @ IntimacySeeker
          I appreciate your insight into the desire differences.
          And I truly appreciate the article regarding ruts in the road…I have several ruts I’m trying to smooth out.

          I am working on building my sexual confidence and finding ways of enjoying sexual intimacy with my husband but I’m having trouble with some of the responses from the men on this blog.

          I get the impression that what men really want is a wife with a “ravenous sexual appetite” that needs her husband to satisfy her every sexual need. And, that if I respect and admire my husband it should lead to my being horny for him….much like “panting after him like a dog in heat” because I see him as a REAL man.

          To me, that sounds like a man wanting his wife to respond to him like a man would. I understand how it can make a man feel like a REAL man. I also understand that a man’s sense of self worth and masculinity is tied up in his sexuality, but correct me if I’m wrong, doesn’t that sound somewhat like a fantasy? I mean, aren’t blogs like this encouraging women to stretch their comfort zone and change old thought patterns BECAUSE many (not all) women typically don’t naturally/routinely feel hot, horny, and ravenous for sex?

          I know, in my heart of hearts, that I can learn to appreciate sexual intimacy with my husband more than I have in the past. I know, with practice, I can stretch my sexual repertoire. I know I can overcome many of the ruts I have created in my sexual road. But, I’ve been a female for decades now, and I’m not sure I will ever be able to create a “ravenous sexual need” that I’ve never experienced before.

        • I think that men do often want their wives to express sexuality in the way that they themselves would–just as women often want their husbands to do the reverse. Both husbands and wives should strive to better understand their spouses. I will never be the woman who is constantly hot, horny, and ravenous for sex–but I do apparently have occasional moments when that comes through.

          Many of my readers are husbands, and I am grateful when their comments give a glimpse into the male mind. However, I am reminded that I need to continue to decrease how many of those comments get approved. My hope for those men is that they use this blog to better understand their wives and stretch themselves in an attempt to be the husbands their wives need. This isn’t the place for them to vent and share their desires. I appreciate the reminder to be more vigilant about how their comments come through to women who are on this journey. Thank you for that.

  6. I think combining the two could be more on point: “Her need for sex WITH HIM is arousing.” Most overt sexual initiations with my husband have usually been met with suspicion and worry on his part that I’m a sexual animal and will be out there prowling for men or something. 0.0 So instead of being all “I want sex now!” I try to show him in other ways that I’m totally available for him, seducing him maybe, instead of jumping his bones.

  7. Sorry I meant to add to my previous comment that this seduction strategy goes right along with being “a lady on the street and a freak in the bedroom.” Ladies don’t come on strong with what they want, they don’t demand what they want. Only slutty women act like that. They get what they want with more subtle measures. I’m not saying this ideology is correct or helpful, only that it is ingrained in some of us wives.

  8. Chris: great truth you admit to in your past and truth of discovery now. Sex is so foundational that the author of Genesis twice brought up “ashamed” with
    nakedness. There was no other reason to do this but to say it was key to man and woman living in harmony. Thanks for pressing on with your message. I agree with David: it is so important that a woman wants her own sex, and I explain that as wanting to show her husband how her body works (and remember Paul says it is actually his). I believe this is no greater worship of God than a husband and wife having sexual relations, yes, even more than making appearance at church or having or raising kids or feeding the poor. We need to worship God more. He makes provision for all else.

  9. That had to have been a shock to have him refuse you after he’d specifically been asking you to initiate more often. His refusal easily could have dug you more deeply into your rut. It’s a good thing you were so wise and thoughtful in your response to it. A less self-aware wife would likely not try again for a long time, if ever.

  10. Such a fabulous and thought-provoking post! We are creatures of habit aren’t we? Even as a long-time married with a good sex life, I know I can be still be subject to living with wrong assumptions and unhelpful patterns that keep us from the fullness of sexual that God intends. This is so good!

    • It is a sign of how healthy our marriage has become that I was able to look at this as a symptom of unexamined assumptions rather than take it as a personal rejection. I doubt that we will ever get rid of all our negative habits and assumptions, but each time we tackle something, we grow closer to God’s intention for our sexual intimacy.

  11. Sunny D.

    There are several possible reasons for your hubby to disconnect, especially with sex.

    Number 1 on the list is low Testosterone levels. Has he had his levels checked and are they reasonable FOR HIS AGE?

    Another possibility is that he is intimidated by your sexual drive. He may have never seen or experienced that before and it makes him feel less of a Man.

    Another is porn addiction. I’m afraid all too common in today’s society.

    A final one that comes to mind is the possibility of childhood sex abuse. The things that stuck out at me was his comment about how sex 3 times a week was the hardest thing he can imagine. Also his disengagement apparently from sex and his “staring off” sounds very much like dissociation. Promiscuity and sex with strangers isn’t often easier for sex abuse survivors. Having sex with an intimate person or their spouse can prove almost impossible. Intimacy scares a survivor, whether sexual intimacy or even talking or Sharing feelings. This is such a sensitive and dangerous subject to bring up. But it is something that could possibly explain his behavior.

    • sunny-dee on August 16, 2016 at 11:01 am said:

      Tad, I have wondered about this. He had 100 or so partners before me (which I didn’t know until a couple of months ago), which is a ginormous red flag for something being wrong. He had long term relationships, but they were all pockmarked by frequent infidelity. And he was using porn a couple of times a week (something else I didn’t know), but he stopped in December (and I’ve installed monitoring software and done spotchecks of his phone, so I know he’s really stopped). Also, his cousin is gay, and while that’s not hugely meaningful in itself, about 75% of gay men were sexually or physically abused as children. Two boys in the same family with sexual health issues, and it feels like abuse could be a possibility.

      Not exactly an easy question to ask, though.

      • ^^ I agree with what Tad said… i was wondering if you husband has an emotional or physical issue (or probably both) that is making him avoid sex. I really hope he agrees to go to counseling with you. I’m sorry you are dealing with all of this… I haven’t been through anything as extreme, but i found this site helpful https://hopefulwifetoday.wordpress.com, and am a part of the confidential Facebook group of about 30 women who are wives of husbands who are doing porn or being unfaithful. Many godly women on there and you can vent your heart and they will pray for you. i think counseling will be helpful on showing you where to go from here.

  12. Love My Wife on August 17, 2016 at 4:51 pm said:

    Chris – Thank you for such a thought provoking, honest post. You said…
    “For many years, I thought of sex as mostly for men. Popular culture, the church, and my premarital misuse of my sexuality were major factors in how I saw sex.
    When I married, the reality of our own sexual intimacy enforced this view. Sex seemed so simple for my husband. He was aroused quickly, and he finished easily. I, on the other hand, found that arousal was unpredictable and not always possible. The finish eluded me for months after we married; even then, it was rather finicky. I didn’t always want an orgasm, nor did I know how to communicate about any of this with my husband.”

    This is very similar (except for premarital sex) to what my wife and I experienced in our first few years of marriage (married now 21 years). The “sex is only for husbands” lie was also directly enforced by a woman in our church that mentored my wife. With painful reluctance, I accepted it as truth. After all, I wanted to live in reality, not in dreamland, and if that was the truth, then I needed to somehow learn to live with it because I loved my wife deeply. Additionally, husbands are to live with their wives in an understanding way, right? (1 Peter 3:7)

    Before coming to grips with the truth of the Bible’s clear teaching on the mutuality of the sexual relationship within marriage (see all of Song of Songs and I Cor. 7:2-5 for starters) I was faced with the depressing implications of the lie of sex being only for the husband. For example, although I would not have been able to fully articulate it at the time, the following thinking was the logical conclusion – If sex is only for the husband, then there is never an opportunity for a husband to serve his wife sexually, but only and always about her serving him (what an awful feeling!). Husbands are called to live sacrificially for their wives (Ephesians 5:25), not selfishly. Therefore, one of the best ways to serve her was to not initiate sex with her. By extension, the less I desired sex with my wife (selfish by definition) the greater my growth as a Christian. To seek sexual connection was to take. Not seeking sexual connection was to give, and I wanted to be a giver, not a taker. This is obviously, clearly unbiblical and absurd to those with a biblical theology of sex. But, that was my painfully depressing existence, not to mention a very dangerous one for our marriage.

    Although we’ve now intellectually rejected this lie and slowly, steadily grown in our sexual intimacy over the last 10 years, on a functional level in many ways it’s still as if sex is simply for the husband only; the desire for sex is rarely mutual although she has learned to enjoy it to a degree once we’re into it. Even though my wife and I have rejected the lies described above and would never knowingly teach them to others, to a large degree it is the rut that my wife and I still work hard to navigate around today. My daily challenge is for me to actively avoid the “rut” by remembering that I don’t have to be ashamed of my sexual desires for my wife and that these desires are God honoring, for the good of our marriage, AND FOR THE GOOD OF MY WIFE even though she’s having to accept it on faith and not feelings.
    I can honestly say that I’ve never really desired that my wife would respond to me “as a man would”, but rather that I have access to her sexuality, that she is willingly sharing herself with me sexually. There’s a big difference in my mind and women could be encouraged by this, as I confident that many men feel this way. Not only do I acknowledge, but I celebrate the fact that her sexuality is different than mine. Praise God for that! That’s what I find so attractive. My wish is not that she become more like me, but that she invites me into the incredible beauty of the sexual being that I love to my core. The complexity of a wife’s sexuality can be a beautiful thing to a husband as long as she invites him experience it with her, rather than resenting his failure to be like her.

    Thank you Chris for digging deep on these subjects. Keep up the great work!

    • My wish is not that she become more like me, but that she invites me into the incredible beauty of the sexual being that I love to my core. The complexity of a wife’s sexuality can be a beautiful thing to a husband as long as she invites him experience it with her, rather than resenting his failure to be like her.

      I love this ^^^.

  13. Chris, in response to your post apologizing for publishing posts from men saying that they want their wives to be ravenous, I want to tell you that I have learned a lot from this thread only because you published both sides of the story. I am a man who has been dreaming of my wife being as crazy over me as I am over her. From the dialogue in this thread, I am beginning to see that this may be, in reality, only a dream. I thank you for allowing both sides in your blog, and adding your own wise twist to it all. It has been helpful to me.
    I would like to add my perspective to the conversation. Over the years I have learned that sex is so much more than sex. It is a way to fuse my soul with the soul of my wife. It is more than physical intimacy; it is intimacy of the emotion and the spirit. When my wife desires me it sends me a message that she respects me, wants to be close with me and holds me as a priority in her life. When she has sex with me out of duty, the message is not the same. Should this scare a woman who is beginning her journey toward more meaningful sex? I hope not. If she is going on a journey, she should know where she is going and with whom she travels. It does not mean that a woman should feel pressured to be a lioness in the bedroom. Rather, she should understand her role in the marriage and the husband should understand that she may never be a lioness. And all this is okay because each is enjoying the intimacy of a sharing supportive partner..

  14. IntimacySeeker on August 18, 2016 at 8:51 am said:

    I find as I learn and grow in the area of sexual intimacy, I run the risk of creating new ruts. This happens when I label a general tendency as an absolute. Something may be true for some people some of the time or for most people most of the time. That doesn’t mean it’s true for all people all of the time. And something that is true for me today may not be true for me tomorrow or next week or next year.

    Example: My husband has a much higher testosterone level than I, and I release oxytocin more easily and frequently than he, and he experiences desire before arousal whereas I experience arousal before desire. This may mean I am unlikely to desire sex with him the way he longs for me to do. Unlikely is not the same as impossible.

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