As I’ve written here before, I am called to use this space to encourage wives. Since I started this blog, though, I’ve received many comments and emails from husbands who are refused. My blog posts over the past few days seem to have triggered something in men, because I’ve gotten several sad emails—the kinds where the heartache just oozes through the screen.
I’ve thought about writing occasional posts addressed to husbands, but that just doesn’t feel right yet. Still, I wondered what it would be like to include a male voice here—someone who truly understands what it was like to be in my husband’s position. Who better than my husband, aka, Big Guy?
My husband has better things to do with his time, so you may be wondering why he agreed to answer these questions for me. There are two really good reasons. First, he loves me a lot and supports my ministry here. Second, I promised him oral sex as a thank-you gift.
So, I emailed him some questions, and he answered. (I have a few extra comments in italics.)
FW: What were some of the most difficult aspects of being sexually refused? (Yes, I’m asking you how it made you feel. You know me and feelings, after all.)
BG: I guess the first thing is, I didn’t feel “sexually refused” as in I didn’t feel you were purposefully refusing sex. I felt that we had two different sex drives and I was frustrated but I was hoping that you would eventually agree to a regular schedule as a compromise.
I wasn’t purposefully refusing sex, but my drive was higher than I let either of us believe. I just couldn’t get past some relationship issues.
FW: Describe one of the refusal episodes that stands out as particularly painful. (Don’t spare me my feelings. We can make it up to each other later.)
BG: No single episode particularly stands out. However, I can remember often feeling like I had to “get lucky” with my wife. I also remember feeling frustrated that often you had to have a fight with me to feel emotionally connected enough to have sex with me and that frustrated me.
You said this a lot—”get lucky.” I didn’t get why that was an issue then. I do now. I was also frustrated that a fight was what it took to make an emotional connection. It would have been so much easier on both of us to figure out a way to make that connection without the anger and frustration, yelling and tears. We have it figured out now, though. J
FW: How did you cope with your sexual desire? For instance, some men turn to masturbation, exercise, or more Bible study.
BG: I didn’t masturbate and my exercise has never really been for tension release of any kind. It wasn’t Bible study, but there were times that I would pray that our sex desire would sync up.
FW: Uh, Big Guy, you’ve told me that you did masturbate sometimes. So which is it?
BG: Sometimes, but not regularly and it wasn’t necessarily in response to you. I guess it was sometimes while I was unemployed and bored and horny. That is an important combination to consider. I had time on my hands, the house to myself and the reason to justify giving into temptation.
FW: How did your wife’s refusal affect your relationship with God?
BG: Again, I never saw you as “refusing” me. Refusing assumes you were consciously making a decision to deny me and I never felt you were purposefully denying me as much as just not as interested as I was.
I look back and see other issues in our marriage and how the sexual relationship reflected some of those other things. Our sexual relationship affected my relationship with God.
FW: When did you first suspect things might be starting to change?
BG: When you began to be more frisky and initiate sex more often on your own.
“Frisky”? Isn’t that what Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham used to call it on Happy Days? Cute, honey.
FW: At what point did you realize that your sexual relationship was truly different than it had been?
BG: When you began to want sex more often and agree to it.
FW: How were you able to truly forgive your wife for restricting your sexual life for so long?
BG: I never had any reason to forgive you for anything since the only problem I saw was a differing of sex drives.
I don’t remember you seeing it this way. But one of the things I love about you is that the past is the past. You don’t let it drag you down like I do.
FW: What would you like to say to wives who sexually refuse their husbands?
BG: If they are truly refusing their husbands, then I would tell them to speak with their pastor or religious counselor and do Bible study as well as join a group like The Marriage Bed to learn more about a Christ centered marriage. Both from the wife’s and the husband’s responsibility. As an interesting side note, conjugal relations were a requirement of Jewish men in marriage and one of the few reasons a Jewish woman could divorce her husband was she was not sexually satisfied. Meaning, Jewish law assumed that women would participate in and enjoy sexual relations with their husbands.
I kind of glossed over that for years.
FW: Can you share any words of encouragement with husbands who are sexually refused?
BG: If they are in a Christian relationship, I would encourage them to ask their wives to participate in a Christian couples retreat like I wanted to go on with you several times. I would also encourage them to continue to love their wives and remember what drew them together in the first place. If their relationship is purely physical, then they need to reevaluate the purpose of their marriage.
You did a good job of continuing to love me, even when I was hard to love. I’d like to go to a Christian couples retreat with you now. We could spend lots of time in our room doing our “homework.”
FW: What else would you like to say about sexual refusal?
BG: Remember that a different place in your sexual needs may not necessarily mean your wife or husband is refusing you sex. Do not allow your frustration to replace your love. At one point you swore before God, family and friends that you would spend the rest of your lives together. There was a reason you did that. Hopefully it was more than a premarital physical relation that took you to the altar.
Sweetie, my sexual needs were so intertwined with my emotional needs that I’m not sure either one of us had an accurate picture of what my sexual needs were. But that is a good point—don’t assume it is intentional refusal just because you aren’t in sync. Understanding what I do now, though, I would say that even if it really had been a lower drive on my part, the right thing to do would have been to do as you suggested many times, using my hands or mouth on you. Or just enjoying being with you even if I wasn’t feeling particularly sexual.
FW: What are you doing later tonight?
BG: Getting a blowjob to completion by the best wife in the whole wide world?
Why yes, yes you are!
And Big Guy ended his email to me with this:
I deeply, passionately and ardently love you. You are a completely beautiful woman whom I have always been lucky to have as my girlfriend, fiance and wife.
So, folks, I have a promise to go keep. Don’t wait up for me. 😉