Believe and expect the best of your husband. Lust is not inevitable.

Could I just encourage you all to go read Sheila’s posts on men and lust this week on To Love, Honor, and Vacuum?

She takes an in-depth look at the idea that men are visually stimulated, that this visual stimulation leads to lust, and that all men continue to struggle with this. She also looks at how the modesty message in some churches relates to the messages about lust. Read More →

What drives his sex drive?

I used to think that for my husband, sex was physical. All he really wanted from it was an orgasm—and all he wanted me for was sex. Because I thought his sex drive was all orgasm-focused, I didn’t understand why he made such a big deal out of it if I didn’t want to have sex. I figured he could just go take care of it himself.

What I wanted most was for him to value me for me, not just for sex. Read More →

Are you a multiple-browser-tab woman married to a man with a one-track mind?

Like many men, my husband has a one-track mind.

That isn’t to say that he only thinks about one thing ever. It’s more that he only ever thinks of one thing at a time.

When he is thinking about what he wants to eat, that is what he is thinking about. When he sees an interesting article on his Facebook feed, he reads it right away and then is done. If he is thinking about sex, that is all he is thinking about (and trust me, that definitely has its benefits for me!). When he is on the computer, he has only one browser window open at a time, with only one tab. The same can be said for his mind.
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What can happen when you help heal your husband’s heart?

In Lessons from a Wife’s Heart, I said I wanted to share three lessons for wives that arose from a series of posts addressed to men at The Curmudgeonly Librarian:

  • Conquer your complacency.
  • Deal with your feelings.
  • Care for your husband’s heart.

These were hard lessons for me to learn in my own journey to restored sexual intimacy—maybe because they are the three most important things I did.

Every one of these things was necessary in healing my own heart as well as my marriage. I’ve written about the first two lessons here and here.

I’ve put off writing about the last one, but a message sent to me today reminded me how critical this is.

Read More →

It is normal for a woman’s sexual response to look different from her husband’s.

Big Guy and I had a lot to learn about my sexual response. Part of the problem was that neither of us understood female sexual response in general.

Even before our marriage began its long season of disconnection, I thought something was wrong with me sexually. Had I understood that my sexual response was perfectly normal, I could have prevented a lot of difficulties in our marriage. Read More →

Acknowledging your husband’s feelings does not cancel out your feelings, nor does it cancel your right to have those feelings.

When I was in fifth grade, I was part of the playground safety patrol at school. Before school and during recess, I got to wear a white safety patrol belt and stand at the northwest corner of the school and go run to get a teacher if there were any fights or boo-boo’s. I stood at the intersection of the racing lanes, hopscotch, and the monkey bars.

Early in the school year, I was out during kindergarten recess. A little girl was standing, staring at the monkey bars while she decided if she was brave enough to join all the other girls she didn’t know. She was so focused on the monkey bars that she saw and heard nothing else.

Meanwhile, a little boy was running down the racing lane. As he crossed the finish line, he turned around to taunt his friend about having won their race. Read More →

What does it mean when your husband wants you to initiate sex?

A reader recently sent me the link to A Letter from a Husband to his Wife on Sexual Refusal and Reluctance and asked me what I thought.

The article provides a sexually neglected husband’s point of view and discusses his frustration, the humiliation he feels, the temptation and jealousy he faces, his yearning to be desired, and his desire for his wife to allow him to be captivated by her body. Read More →

This blog exists for the support of Christian wives who have restricted the sexual activity in their marriages and want to change that. I write to help these women seek fulfilling intimacy in their marriages–for their own sake as much as for the sake of their husbands.

Non-Christian women, unmarried women, and Christian wives married to men in unrepentant sin against them may find some useful information on this blog and in this post–but most of what I say is not going to apply in their situations. Moreover, some of what I say may be very difficult to read as people process my words through the filter of their own hurt.

While I understand that this post has triggered strong reactions, it was never intended as an invitation to a debate. This blog exists for support and encouragement, not for confrontation.

I have allowed far too many comments here that I would not approve on any other post. I appreciate the strong feelings, and I know that while some women have come away from this feeling angry or oppressed, others have come away with new compassion.

If this is your first time seeing this post, I urge you to read the clarifications in blue, most of which were added to help new readers understand the context of a blog they may not have visited before. This is not, after all, a stand-alone post. It is part of a body of work that sometimes asks readers to consider their husbands’ views and quite often encourages them to grow in their own sexuality.

Every time the post is picked up and shared by a new site, it brings a new wave of comments, both positive and negative. I don’t mind people disagreeing with me, but I’ve seen far too many personal attacks on me and on those who have different views.

I want to make a flippant “my blog, my rules” reminder and be done with it, but that doesn’t sit well with me.

I believe that the lack of sexual intimacy hurts marriages. It is important that people have conversations about sex, consent, rights, and promises in marriage. Despite my frustrations with the comment section on this post (and on other blogs that have written about this post), I have seen such conversations happen.

I know that this post has helped spur conversations in real marriages. It has given husbands words to use in describing their emotional pain. It has given wives an understanding of why masturbation just doesn’t cut it for their husbands. Marriages have begun to heal, and for that I am grateful.

Frankly, though, managing the moderation on this post has made me weary. Waking up this morning to a comment that begins by calling me an idiot was the last straw.

Therefore, I have decided to close the comments.

If you need to share with me how this post has affected you, you are welcome to email me. If you want to engage in genuine dialogue, I will likely respond to your email. If all you want to do is attack me, I likely won’t.

~Chris
June 3, 2015

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6_things

Due to the comments on this post, I have attempted to clarify a few things. I have done so in blue font in order to be transparent about what I have added to the post. If you have not been to this blog before, you may not be aware of what this blog is about. The mission statement is available on the left side of the home page. For the convenience of anyone reading on a mobile device, here it is:

The mission of The Forgiven Wife is to encourage Christian wives as they break away from sexual refusing and gate-keeping. After 20 years of being a sexual gatekeeper and refuser, I have learned to dance with desire and enjoy the full intimacy that comes with passionate and joyful sex with my husband.

Please be kind in your comments. We can all respect the depth of feeling surrounding some of the issues discussed here. However, comments which are accusatory and disrespectful will not be approved. It is mean to heap hurt onto an already hurting person.

(There has been a question about when the clarifications in blue were added. This was done on September 11, 2014, to address issues raised in the comments. This note in red is being added on November 18, 2014, in response to an erroneous assumption about when and why the clarification was added.)

My refusing and gate-keeping developed over a period of years—but at no point during that time did I truly understand it was wrong.

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In A Moment of Hard Truth, I shared with you the moment when I realized what my sexual refusing and gate-keeping had done to my husband:

My husband’s anguish began to take shape in front of me. So many men wrote about how unloved they felt by the one person who they thought would love them the most. As I finally allowed myself to imagine how that would feel, I felt like my gut had been punched in. It was a moment of very hard truth.

This moment came when I had landed on the discussion forum at The Marriage Bed and began reading the collective voice of refused husbands. A reader recently suggested that I share specific posts from that site that influenced me, thinking that if they were so powerful that they affected me, they might also make a difference for other women. Read More →