When I read the voices of men who have been sexually deprived because their wives control their sex lives, I ache. I hurt for the husbands whose anguish comes through their written words. I hurt for their wives. Quite often, I see a past version of myself in the men’s descriptions of their wives. Sometimes, I see women in pain, emotionally damaged by something in their past, in their marriage, in their expectations of themselves. On occasion, I see a woman who simply sounds mean.

I frequently find myself saying, “Oh, I wish I could sit down with that woman and talk with her….” And say what? What would it have taken to get through to me all those years?

My husband and I had many fights that went something like this:

Him: I shouldn’t have to beg to get lucky with my wife.

Me: Then just stop.

Him: Can’t you see there’s a problem? Why won’t you do anything to work on it?

Me: Because I’m not the one who has a problem with our sex life. You are. If you’re so unhappy with it, then you’re the one who needs to work on your unhappiness. I’m perfectly fine.

And round and round and round we’d go. I truly couldn’t comprehend why I was being expected to work on anything when he was the one who was so unhappy.

Now, of course, I look back and shake my head at how much I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand that it isn’t just about a man or a woman needing sex; it was about a marriage relationship needing sex. I didn’t understand that for men, sex is how they emotionally bond with us. (Pearl’s Oyster Bed has a terrific explanation of this in “Why Sex?”) I didn’t understand that I needed the emotional connection that came with sex. Most of all, I didn’t understand that even when a husband and wife don’t individually need sex, the marriage needs sex. Sex is a central characteristic of marriage.  I just didn’t get it. And as long as I didn’t get it, neither did my husband, so to speak.

What finally got through to me was reading the stories of wives who are sexually refused. It had honestly never occurred to me that a woman would want sex more than her husband. I was under the assumption that all men were horny all the time. The heart pain of wives deprived of their husband’s affection, expressed in women’s language and addressing the same emotions I could personally relate to, became my heart pain. I was already seeing my husband start to draw away from me, and I knew that I could lose what affection he had left for me.

And that was when I knew. It really was my problem, too.

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3 Thoughts on “Not My Problem

  1. Nunia bizness (jk) on April 28, 2013 at 4:29 pm said:

    Good for you!
    At least someone is “trying and putting forth effort” – that’s really all it takes.
    Doing nothing yet expecting something to simply happen is strange; That’s like creating a garden yet never planting a seed nor caring for what has already been planted. Why would a person plant a garden yet never tend to it? The ONLY person to blame for a failing garden is the person who does nothing to produce growth!
    Doing nothing is NEVER an option especially if expecting growth and maturity.
    Speaking plainly, it’s not just about sex for men any how: It’s about a deep meaningful relationship. It’s about doing things for one another. It’s about being silly or lazy together. To me – mostly it’s about creating ADORATION for one another. If you adore someone you will do just about anything for them and I do mean anything.
    Oh, dare I fantasize to be one who gets to receive adoration! How cool would that be!

    • In my case, it wasn’t even about trying to grow and nurture a garden as much as it was about pulling out some invasive weeds. I like the idea of creating adoration for each other–because that makes us want to please each other, which then builds even more intimacy. Sadly, the situation is often that one person wants to create a garden and the other doesn’t understand why there is even the need for a garden.

  2. Pingback: “I Promise I’ll Do Better” | The Forgiven Wife

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