One Year


What would happen to your marriage if you tried it your husband's way for one year?

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?

What would happen to your marriage if you tried it your husband's way for one year?

Image courtesy of kjnnt at

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29 Comments on “One Year”

  1. I am thankful for your work and your authenticity on this important topic. You are making a huge difference in many lives!

    My husband and I have had a fairly consistent sex life for 18 years (in spite of struggles!), BUT . . . I decided that changing things in that area would be a good idea anyway because I wanted to feel closer emotionally and didn’t know how to go about it. Thanks to the Holy Spirit working, I made a good choice and decided last October that our sex default would be “Yes!” This means that daily sex is the plan (though in case of illness, etc., it doesn’t always work out that way). Even if I don’t feel interested initially, I’m working on entering into the experience with eagerness for the closeness and the blessing I can be to my husband.

    The decision has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my marriage! My husband is opening up to me in ways he hasn’t since we were dating, he is more considerate, we have a little sparkle because we have a secret. My husband walks into work feeling like Superman because he could brag about his previous nights’ experiences if he weren’t such a gentleman (whereas his coworkers are either divorced or unhappy in their marriages or dating without much success – and none is very satisfied sexually).

    Your blog is of the sex positive blogs I follow in order to keep my brain in the “sex zone” (so I’m primed!) and I can’t tell you how much I admire you and your husband for sharing your journey with all of us. We all struggle with the same stuff.

    This month (October) marks one year of the change that I made, and I’m thinking of some fun and sexy way to celebrate our “anniversary”! Of course, I would prefer jewelry of some kind, but I’m thinking lingerie might be better. 😉

    THANK YOU AGAIN and keep it up!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing about your journey! I continue to be amazed by the changes in my husband and our marriage.

      I think lingerie with some matching jewelry might be in order. 🙂

    2. This is the most exciting, inspiring comment I’ve read on here!! You and your husband rock, literally! God bless you.

  2. Chris,

    I am not a sexually repressed woman and my husband and I have a full and adventurous sex life.. Your comment
    “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.”
    Really hits home though… Acting slutty is very hard… I have fun when I am able to.. but I feel like slut=promiscuity and that is a sin… I know that its not cause its all in the confines of a loving trusting marriage… but its a hard thing to break in my head. And the whole “dirty talk”… I really struggle with that one!! When I have a few alcoholic drinks I lossen and can talk, but other wise not usually…

    1. One thing that helped me was to drop the word “slutty” and replace it with “sexy.” We seem to think of ultra-sexual behavior as something associated with premarital sex, promiscuity, or porn. What we should be doing is thinking of this behavior as associated with a sexually confident and comfortable wife. The epitome of sexy womanhood *should* be a wife!

  3. Wow, Chris, you’re amazing. You’re saying exactly what I need to hear!! THANK YOU for being so transparent! I’ve never “denied” my husband which means after 34 years of marriage it’s still two to three times a day most of the time. And it usually me (my husband’s preference) that I lead the way. My problem in being totally “in the game” which is what I’ve been working on for the past month, but with my hormone issues, it’s been very hard some days. I am thankful that the LORD has provided through people like you! Keep up the great work!

  4. I am about four weeks into finding out the answer to this. 🙂 So far, so good, though I do get attacked by those same thoughts in my head and have to shut them up. My concern is that I have tried to fix the physical without trying to fix the relationship first, but I am hoping fixing the physical WILL fix the relationship, like it seems to be doing for Mrs Stud.

    In so many of your posts, your “old you” mirrors my “not-so-old me” exactly. I am hoping that in a few short years the new you and the new me will look a lot alike, too. ♥

    1. Working on the physical removed enough of the tension from our marriage that our relationship was able to begin healing. It took a year before I was able to see that healing, but it did happen. Our marriage continues to strengthen even after four years. Hang in there!

  5. I dont understand why he cant try things my way for a year, is it better for me to be miserable than him? I have never seen a blog encouraging husbands to make the sacrifice in these types of situations.

    1. Since my blog is addressed to women, I focus on what we can do to make a difference.

      When I began making the changes I did, it was with the full expectation that I would be miserable–but I did it out of guilt when I realized how deeply I’d hurt my husband. I was shocked to discover that over time, I not only wasn’t miserable, I benefited from my efforts as well. I guess that in a way, my husband did try it my way most of the time–for nearly twenty years. The more I learn about sex in marriage, the more I realize that my way would have pulled us further and further apart. He had already sacrificed a great deal.

      What is it about sex that makes you miserable? in my case, it was the lack of emotional connection and the feeling of being valued only for sex. Now that my husband feels loved and emotionally safe himself, I am able to see these things that I once craved. Do you know what your needs are that aren’t being met currently?

      I am sorry you are hurting and frustrated.

      1. I just dont like sex. Its not enjoyable for me and I do it solely to make my husband happy. We have sex at least 3 to 4 times a week and of course he still wants more. Everytime we have sex it is a huge sacrifice for me, because im so uncomfortable during the entire act. I just feel like, I’ve been doing all the sacrificing in my marriage and its not fair.

        The quantity of sex that we have has increased monumentally because I decided to make a change and make him happy. But he still is not meeting my emotional needs, like so many bloggers said that he would. I have nit benefited from this change at all. I don’t feel this emotional connection that everyone talks about and sex doesn’t make me feel closer to my husband. Non sexual affection makes me feel loved and connected to him but he doesn’t give me that.

        Is it too much to ask that he put in the same amount of effort as me?

      1. I think so too. I follow a lot of marriage blogs (I just found yours today) and they all keep telling me to meet his needs and in turn mine will be met as well but thats just not happening. I feel like I have all the responsibility on my shoulders, and im being shamed and guilted into doing it all.

        1. i share my own experience, and what I say doesn’t apply in all situations.

          For some of us, our husbands do change. In my husband’s case, that change grew out of his own healing from pain I had caused. Even so, it was over a year before I began to see even a glimmer of change.

          We each have a responsibility on our shoulders to be the best husband or wife God calls us to be–without expectation of any response from the other. That doesn’t mean that the responsibility for the whole marriage is on either spouse’s shoulders. And there should be no shame or guilt in the struggle.

          It sounds to me like your husband needs to step up to the plate. You can’t make him do this. However, you can see a counselor or a pastor. Invite your husband, or go alone. Get some support for dealing with this. Many people would recommend that you read Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. (I haven’t read the entire book yet, but based on what I’ve seen, I think it would be helpful.)

    1. I would tell him that *I* am not a “sex” person, so I know how he feels not wanting to be something he’s not….would he like ME to act the way HE is about it?? Or can HE step out of his comfort zone for ME, like I am for HIM….??? I would ask if he wants us to have a SELFish marriage or a GIVING marriage — let me know so I can follow HIS lead….

      1. I’m a guy who takes a hard-line on the topic of refusal, as Chris can attest. However, I’m am just as hard on men who refuse to be lovers. I second Lisa’s approach – ask your hubs how he would like it if you reacted to sex the way he reacts to affection. As in,

        “Sorry, I’m just not a sexual person, and I can’t be something I’m not.”

        What he is doing is giving himself permission to be non-expressive. If he is truly “romantically-challenged”, there an app for that. But he has to want to. It all boils down to this – we do what is important to us. And if we realize that we don’t know something, we seek knowledge.

        You can tell you hubs that The Librarian™ said he needs to man up and learn to be a lover. (Ask Chris how I feel about ‘hand-holding’ someone.)

    2. Dear Romie,

      He can be an affectionate person if he wants to be.
      Marriage is about the two becoming one in a physical, emotional and spiritual way.

      If he realizes that he has found a good wife and that God says he has find a good thing (Proverbs 18:22).

      If he realizes he has to live joyfully with his wife all the days of his life (Ecclesiastes 9:9).

      If he realizes that he has to give his wife all she needs, craves and wants (1 Corinthians 7:3-5).

      All of this has to be communicated over and over agian, but communication is the key to a Godly marriage. I have written a book all about becoming one in marriage, check it out at

  6. Wow! My first lady JUST assigned us to read this book, for iur women’s book club. Guess its a sign from God. Thank you very much for replying and for all your advice.

  7. Hey there, I find this to be very interesting and can’t help but feel that my significant other has fallen into the negative beliefs trap in thinking I don’t want sex with him. It’s exactly the opposite! Seriously! In all honesty, my problem is I want it more than he does, I just hold back so he doesn’t think I’m slutty and respects me. So when you say once a month, to me, that’s not enough. To me, there needs to be more than that, WAY more than once a month!! Am I wrong for thinking he needs to make himself available more than once a month if he wants more than once a month?? 🙂

  8. “OCTOBER 14, 2014 AT 8:39 PM
    He says he’s just not an affectionate person. And that he cant be something he’s not.”

    Yes he can. Just as you are providing for him, He can provide for you.


  9. This is EXACTLY what I want for my birthday. And with my birthday being in the last week of the year, the timing is perfect to start off the new year right! 🙂

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