You’re happy in your marriage—at least as happy as you think you’re supposed to be. You and your husband are doing what it is that Christian grown-ups do, whether that is parenting, caring for elderly relatives, volunteering at Vacation Bible School, coordinating a program or two at church, serving on church boards, greeting at the south entrance four Sundays a year, leading Bible study or Sunday School (or both), or singing in the choir. You take meals to families with new babies and to new widows. Your husband helps hang drywall in the building expansion. You both sit with the elderly women during coffee hour after church. You’re a good Christian woman.
Sometimes, you think it might be nice if your husband would express thanks and admiration for how spiritual you are. You work hard at it, and it would be nice to be recognized. God’s work is important, and it would be nice if my husband valued that part of me more, you think. But I suppose it’s wrong for me to want that. I should learn to be content with what I have.
Instead, your husband complains about sex. He always seems to want something new, something different. Or he wants sex more often. Or he wants you to act more, well, slutty. He wants more, more, more, and every time he asks for more, you feel like somehow, you just aren’t enough.
I’m just not one of those women, you think. I’m not as sexual as he thinks I should be. I’d be perfectly happy in my marriage if he would just stop complaining about sex. There’s nothing wrong with our marriage or our sex life. The problem is him. He has these ridiculous ideas he got from watching porn all those years ago. If he would just work on being more spiritual and less sex-obsessed, he would be happy, too. He should work on being more content with what he has instead of wanting something I don’t have to give. Why does he insist that there’s something wrong with our marriage when there isn’t?
The guys you dated in college were always trying to get some sex, so you know that sex is too much of an obsession for guys anyway. You can’t even bend down to pull a pie out of the oven without feeling your husband’s eyes on your rear end. What is wrong with that man? you think. Is that all he ever thinks about? You’ve had to start changing clothes in the bathroom just to avoid encouraging him to think you might be interested in sex.
You know that there is no problem with the sexual intimacy in your marriage. You don’t carry any premarital sexual sin or childhood sexual abuse baggage with you. Your parents were never that affectionate in front of you—but then again, why would they have been? There is no “bad teaching” about sex in your upbringing. You learned that sex outside of marriage is bad and that sex inside of marriage is good. And you agree that sex is good. You enjoy it well enough when it happens, but your husband doesn’t even seem satisfied with that. Why can’t he just be happy with what he has? It’s more than lots of husbands have, after all.
Although you know there isn’t a problem, your husband keeps asking you to read books or blogs. He sends you articles written by women. They are all trying to convince you that you need to work on your sex life. I’m not one of “those” kinds of women. Their pictures may look like they’re normal people, but no woman is really that overjoyed about sex. At least he knows better than to ask you to read something written by a man. They’re all after the same thing. Of course they’re going to tell me to have sex more or to do things that regular women just don’t do. Seriously, can’t he just let it alone? He wants you to do a Bible study of Song of Solomon. And now he’s even sending you links to other websites about marriage. They don’t seem to be about sex, but you’re sure that somehow, it’s still about sex.
You know your husband is wrong and that there is no problem with sexual intimacy in your marriage.
Yet . . . he keeps complaining. That is a problem. In fact, as far as you’re concerned, his complaining is the only problem in your marriage. How can I get him to stop complaining? you wonder.
What If . . . ?
What if you were to humor your husband?
What if you were to say to him, “Husband, you keep complaining about our sex life. I really don’t think there is a problem, but say you’re miserable and honestly, your complaining is starting to make me miserable. I think you need to change your expectations. However, because I am your wife and I love you, I am willing to try it your way for one whole year. “
“I will try to think what you keep calling “sex positive” positive thoughts, even though I don’t agree with them and I think it’s silly. I will try to act slutty in bed sometimes. I will read some of those books and blogs you’ve sent me. I will even go through that Song of Solomon Bible study you keep begging me to do. I will work on trying to genuinely understand what all those women sex writers are saying, and I’ll try to do it with an open mind and no judgment of them. I’ll try to think differently for the year, and I’ll work on doing what you want in bed. I’ll even initiate once a month if you want.”
“I will even pray about our sex life without asking God to make you content the way things are. For one year, I’ll try it your way.”
What do you think would happen? How would your husband be different after that year? How would you be different? How would your marriage be different?
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