Prodigal Wives

The irony does not escape me.

Some would call my changed behavior an awakening, as though I’d been asleep before. I wasn’t asleep. I was angry and hurting. My sex drive was never the problem; my emotional desire for my husband was. By behaving as though I had the emotional desire, the desire grew in actuality. Once that was in place where it belonged, my natural drive burst through gloriously.

My husband, who suffered for two decades from my sexual neglect and begged for me to change, now has the wife he always wanted. But here’s the ironic part—he has high blood pressure and low testosterone, and although he is under treatment for these conditions, ED and his occasional low drive have become part of our lives.

Now I’m the one who sometimes lies awake after he is asleep, sexually frustrated and sometimes  sipping a glass of the same whiskey he used to drink the nights after I refused him for so long, confused and sad. I sometimes think that if I hadn’t gone through all the work and mess and pain, I would be lying in bed pretty content at those times instead of sitting in my dark living room listening to Adele and hurting.

Here I am, in the position I put him in for so long of not having as much physical intimacy as I want. Only now that I’m looking at it from this side of the window, I can see even more clearly how he suffered—and how much of it was due to my own selfishness. I am sad because I yearn for my husband, yet I feel I have no right to this sadness—that it is no more than I deserve for what I did to him. While my mind knows that what we’re going through right now is just for a season, my heart wonders if I have completely lost my chance for the sheer physical exhilaration we could’ve had in our marriage bed. And I grieve for having taken this chance away from my husband, who loves me so much.

Sometimes I feel like I need to keep a reminder on my phone that says, “As a consequence of your two decades of sin and neglect, for which you are very sorry and don’t deserve forgiveness, you have forfeited every right to sexual frustration forever and ever.”

The guilt weighs heavy on my heart at times. I have worked to let it go, especially since my husband told me it is over and done. He knows he holds my whole heart now. When my feelings start to overwhelm, I remember to rely not on my feelings but on the Word.

I look at the story of the prodigal son, who wandered off and sinned against his father. Coming back in humility, with regret and contrition, he was willing to accept crumbs. His father wholly embraced him and welcomed him back with a great feast. He was denied nothing.

For those of us who have undergone a sexual transformation from refusing, gatekeeper, low-drive wives to wives who desire their husbands sexually, we can struggle with our right to feel sexual desire, especially when our husbands have hit a point in life when sexual desire and arousal are not always easy. Like the prodigal son, we are prodigal wives. We have forfeited none of our right to sexual desire and the frustration that can come when it is not fulfilled.

We are children of God, all of us sinners, working toward the life God designed us to have. We are loved no less because we strayed from His design. We did not forfeit love or desire. Even when we struggle to seek the earthly comfort of the husbands who bore the brunt of our sins, we are welcomed back into the arms of our Father who embraces us and welcomes us home.

8 Thoughts on “Prodigal Wives

  1. Just found your blog. I am a wife with a very similar story! ironically after my awakening, I went through menoapuse and lost a lot of feeling in my genital areas which affected my ability to reach an orgasm. My husband also began to have troubles with ED. We found out during this time he has low testosterone. Through the help of bio-identical hormones for both of us, plus going to a sex therapist (who helped my husband understand a lot of the ED was in his head) we both are back on track! If you have not already found this book, ” All Night Long: How to Make Love to a Man Over 50″ by Barbara Keesling, you may want to look into it. We found it extremely helpful, in fact one of the only books that really made a difference. There are some massage techniques that really do help with the blood flow issue. I recommend it to every one I know – and they all have told me it has helped them. (Maybe I should ask the author for a sales commission. lol).

    Anyways – love your blog! You are providing a great service to many!

    • That sounds like an interesting book. I’ll have to take a look. Both my husband and I are on hormone replacement therapy, and the ED and related problems are much less of an issue than they were for a while. Sometimes the timing stinks, but it also provides new opportunities for growth.

  2. corriannaruth on April 21, 2013 at 4:29 pm said:

    Oh my goodness. I could have written these exact words. Several months ago I finally was able to let go of the things that held me back from fully giving my sexuality to my husband. God took my fear and my shame and my insecurity and I now (after 8 years of marriage in August) I fully desire my husband in every way. The kicker is that his desire has completely dropped off except for one day per month when I’m ovulating (crazy how that works). I am so so so hurt by this and I can feel the insecurity creeping back in, but at the same time I wonder how the heck I have a right to be hurt and feel like I am suffering when I did it to him for so long. I think the biggest thing that I have realized is that I had NO idea that for all those years he was craving INTIMACY with me rather than some carnal sexual satisfaction (I’m sure thats part of it though 😉 like I thought and quite honestly, made me want sex even less because it felt dirty. Obviously you can see that I have/had a lot of baggage, lol. But now that I know what it feels like to be denied intimacy by the one person you want to be with, I feel like a horrible person and a horrible wife to the man I love so much. When I think about all the rejection he must have felt it kills me and I wish I could go back and smack newlywed-me in the back of the head. So it seems like this is what I had coming and I have no right or reason to complain. And the feeling like I shouldn’t complain has kind of led me to keep my mouth shut, where I know I actually should be communicating with him. I don’t know.
    Thank you so much for writing this. I have been feeling quite alone and knowing other wives have the same problem helps. Xoxo.

    • Oh, sweetie, you are SO not alone. I could have written your words in your comment, too! Here’s a thought: it is no less wrong of your husband to deny you than it was for you to deny him. Yes, you should talk with him about this. In fact, because he knows what it is like to be sexually deprived, his heart should understand you well.

      Would he be willing to see a doctor to rule out any medical issues? Low testosterone comes to mind, but there are other medical conditions and medications that affect desire as well. It may be that there is something going on with his body that can be addressed and get your desire in sync with each other.

      Hugs to you.

  3. Don’t let ED stop y’all from being sexual. You can pleasure each other outside of intercourse when ED makes that difficult. Erectile Difficulty

    • That article was the first place I looked! We do okay with ED most of the time, although that is happening less now that some other things in life (medical and non-medical) are coming together. The bigger issue has been low desire related to low T, although that is starting to settle now, too. Fortunately, what I’m describing here is a rare occurrence now, unlike a few months ago 🙂

  4. Pingback: One Year | The Forgiven Wife

  5. Bonnie on April 2, 2014 at 6:55 am said:

    Thank you for putting into words a lot of my guilt and pain…may our God restore what the locusts have eaten…
    Bless you, sister

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