I refused my husband for several years. The frequency was far below what he wanted, I rarely participated, and I looked at sex as just one more thing on my to-do list. And I also rejected any physical signs of affection. I didn’t want him to get the idea that I was sexually available, after all. 🙁

Just about every Christian marriage blog I’ve seen has addressed the effects of sexual refusal on the refused spouse. Maybe you’ve read some of those blog posts. Maybe you’ve started to wonder if you really are the one who needs to make some changes.

When I first ran across some of those posts, I was in tears reading through all the pain from men and women whose spouses were, well, like me. I had no idea how much I was hurting my husband. If you are starting to wonder how to make change, that is a good first step. Your heart is where it needs to be.

But now what? I would think that a two-pronged approach would help:

1) Try to understand why you are refusing your husband. When you do have sex, are you able to experience orgasm? Is sex painful? Is your husband asking you to try sexual activity that you aren’t comfortable with? Then, as you start to figure out different pieces of what is going on, make a way to address them. Maybe it means that you ask your parents to take care of your kids for two hours on Saturday mornings so you and your husband can be alone together. Or you commit to have sex three times a week and then have one more time during the week when it is just naked cuddle time with no sexpectations so you can feel your husband as a source of relaxation and a sanctuary for you from your busy life.

2) Even more important, even while you try to understand why, try to change your actions–and let your husband know that’s what you are doing. In my case, I began first by being more engaged when we were having sex (instead of just lying there and waiting until he was done). My next step was to stop refusing. Did you know that it is normal for a woman to not want to have sex until she’s already having it? My husband’s go-to pickup line was something like, “you wanna get lucky?” My answer was always no. I didn’t feel arousal and sex wasn’t on my mind–but I began adding, “but I’ll let you convince me.” And as my husband got more confident that he wasn’t making himself vulnerable every time he tried to initiate something, he was able to be more comfortable approaching me in ways that were more pleasing to me.

Whatever it takes for you to change your heart and help you and your husband enjoy your marriage bed is completely worth the effort. It truly is. As I have become the wife my husband always needed in the bedroom, our emotional intimacy has grown. I never understood what was meant by the idea of a husband and wife becoming one flesh. I get it now. We are part of each other in ways I never could’ve imagined. I feel closer to my husband–and to God– than I ever have before. Whatever it takes, do it, and you will be blessed for it.

It isn’t an easy journey to move from where you are to where you could be, but the destination is worth every step.

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7 Thoughts on “What If It Really Is Me?

  1. belovedalways on April 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm said:

    I meant to ask you about your blog. Glad I found it, you write very well and this will probably be a perfect niche for you to minister from. I appreciate your wise words. May you be blessed as you use this talent you have to rescue marriages!

  2. Several people suggested I give it a shot. It took me a while to figure out a name, but here I am! I’m glad you found it. 🙂

  3. “Did you know that it is normal for a woman to not want to have sex until she’s already having it?”
    I have never heard that lol, but I suppose for some women that’s true. It certainly isn’t for me, and living in a sexless marriage has made that painfully obvious.
    I’m glad that you are making positive steps towards reuniting with your husband in this way. Believe it, it kills a marriage and eventually kills the love that was once there.

    • I’m sorry you are in a sexless marriage. Once we began to turn things around, our love grew bigger than it was in the beginning. I hope you can find a way to turn things around for you.

  4. FW,

    I really appreciate your line about ““Did you know that it is normal for a woman to not want to have sex until she’s already having it?””

    I feel like ‘responsive desire’ is one of the more overlooked topics in marriage blogs. I glad you took the step of starting off with ‘it is normal’. This has been one of the more hugely counter intuitive concepts that I have encountered as I try and grow as a biblical husband.

  5. Pingback: Journey of Change: In the Beginning | The Forgiven Wife

  6. I just finished reading a great brand new book I hope all are blessed by as I have been called “The Wholehearted Wife: 10 Keys to a More Loving Relationship,” by Erin, Greg and Gary Smalley. It is centered on changing ME and aligning myself with God and what he wants from me as a wife. Biblical, inspirational, affirming. One of the 10 Keys, of course, is connecting sexually, but also all the other things that lead to it, like Honoring, spiritual connection, Communication, etc. One of my favorite quotes is, “When we turn to God for help, he fills us with his love and enables us to see ourselves and our husbands through his eyes. Keep in mind that a wholehearted wife focuses first on her own heart!” As married Christians, we are unique in having the greatest advantage of all – God. I highly recommend this book!

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