What can you do when your needs are not being met?

In Lost in Translation, I wrote about a typical husband’s desire for his wife to be more passionate. I encouraged you to understand what your husband means and try to fulfill that. I suggested that you help your husband better see what you already are doing toward that end.

The other side to this is equally important—getting our needs met. Although I often write about a husband’s desires and perspective, in no way does that diminish you, your perspective, or your needs. Both spouses matter in marriage.

What can you do when you’re the one with a need that isn’t being met? Read More →

Are you and your husband speaking the same language when it comes to your sex life?

Sometimes Big Guy would say, “I want you to be more passionate. I want you to desire me.”

Huh? I can’t be something I’m not or make myself feel something I don’t.

I imagined how“passionate” would look; several images popped into my head. I pictured a woman who wanted sex all the time, just like my husband seemed to—and not only did she want it, she was aroused and ready to go at the very thought of sex. And she completely enjoyed sex, too. Unlike me, she had no stray thoughts pop into her head.

She was a tigress.

She most definitely was not me. Read More →

Knowing your story may be the first step in changing it.

I hear from many women about how they came to decide to work on sexual intimacy in their marriages. Not a single one has ever said that she woke up one morning and just decided to do it out of the blue. Nor has anyone told me that it was easy.

If you are a wife who has made the decision to change, you may be asking yourself, Now what? This post is for you. Actually, so are the next two posts. I had so much to say that I decided it would be easier for you to read one bit at a time.

Today I would like to encourage you to think about what brought you to your decision to change.  Read More →

What does emotional disconnection look like to you?

I spend a lot of time here writing about our husbands.

That grows out of my own experience. I’ve written about the difficult moment when I realized how deeply my husband had been hurt by my sexual rejection of him. Many women have shared that they, too, just didn’t understand.

It was only when we were able to understand on an emotional level what sex means to our husbands—and how the lack of sex hurt them emotionally—that we were able to take that first step toward improving the sexual intimacy–and the overall intimacy–in our marriages.

Understanding our husbands and having compassion for them does not require us to set aside our own feelings. It doesn’t mean that our husbands are more important than we are. Read More →

What do you want your husband to understand about your emotional and sexual needs?

The bible tells our husbands to live with us in an understanding way:

You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7

As much as I think my husband should automatically understand me and know what my needs are, I’ve had to learn to communicate with him and accept that he is not a mind-reader. Read More →

Over the past few days, I’ve been blessed and honored by messages from people who have stopped by this blog. They have opened their hearts, sharing the pain of sexual refusal from both sides, affairs, libido challenges, and the fear of sliding into bad sexual habits. I’ve heard from husbands and wives, those who still cling to hope for their marriages and those who have pretty much given up.

In all these messages, several things have stood out:

The need for hope. We all have times when things seem dark. We know we are sad, or hurt, or worried. It’s clear that if things keep going the way they are, nothing will ever get better. We need just a glimmer of hope, something that lets us know that even though life is dark, change is actually possible. We know there is hope in Jesus, but in the dark of the night when we crave connection and want to be known intimately by another human, we wonder why that isn’t enough for the aching to go away.

The longing to be understood. Many women have said how relieved they are that they aren’t alone in their feelings and struggles. Acceptance that something needs to change does not infuse us with the knowledge of how to do so. When we know that we aren’t alone in a struggle, it can be easier to keep trying. It is powerful to read someone else’s story and have it resonate with us, striking a chord of connection and a chorus of “me, too.” Someone really gets it. Someone gets me. And if she can do it, maybe I can at least try.

The deep hurt from feelings of sexual or emotional rejection. When I read online postings from men about their wives’ refusing, I ache for them. My husband used to feel emasculated, unloved, and unworthy when I refused him, and I see these same things in other men’s words. Their wives are often just as miserable, with hearts that hurt just as deeply. In some cases (such as mine), this hurt was what precipitated the cycle of refusal. In other cases, the hurt is a result from a husband’s emotional withdrawal from a wife whose refusal causes him to feel unloved. When there is tension in the marriage bed, no one is happy. When I would cave and have sex with my husband, I would think, “Well, that should make him happy.” It didn’t. A physical release didn’t meet the emotional need that mutual sex addresses. When I would refuse him, he would think, “Well, at least she can be happy.” I wasn’t. I was tense, feeling guilty and wondering why my own husband didn’t love me more.

God made us to be in community with each other, yet so many of us struggle alone, not knowing who will understand us or whether hope is even possible. So we keep the struggle to ourselves instead of sharing the very real human journey of feeling broken and trying to do better and be better. And with sexual gatekeeping and refusing, the one person we should be able to rely on most in dealing with our problems (a spouse) is the person we are least likely to trust with our pain.

The internet has made it easy for us to share our struggles. It’s a lot easier to admit a sin or pain when we don’t have to look someone in the eyes. But sometimes, that is exactly what we need—a real human, sitting next to us, asking us probing questions when needed, holding us as we cry, handing us tissue as we try to pull ourselves together, and listening, understanding, giving us hope that there can be a change, that there can be a light, that we can reach that light, that we don’t have to struggle alone.