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Posts tagged ‘sex in marriage’

Making Sexual Advances Toward Another is OK…IF…

SOURCE: Taken from an article by  Family Life/Barbara Rainey

The Power of a Woman

I have come out to meet you, to seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you. I have spread my couch with coverings, with colored linens of Egypt.
Proverbs 7:15-16

Few things are more abhorrent to me than seeing women make sexual advances toward married men, either on television or in real life. We should recoil at this kind of behavior. But just because flirtation is often corrupt doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with making sexual advances toward one married man — the one you’re already married to.

I believe we can learn something from the powerful woman described in Proverbs 5–7. Although she is an adulteress and would not typically be seen as a positive role model, perhaps there is a pure use of this power when these tactics are directed toward a woman’s own husband.

For example:

  • Her lips “drip honey” and are “smoother than oil” (Proverbs 5:3). There was a time during the dating season when gentle, soothing speech came easily. But now in marriage, it’s all too easy to gripe and complain. Words are powerful. Use yours well, and you’ll melt him like butter.
  • “She seizes him and kisses him” (Proverbs 7:13). What would be the look on your man’s face if, when you first saw him at the end of a day, you grabbed him around the shoulders and really planted one on him? There’s not a man alive who wouldn’t wonder what you’d had for lunch that day — and who wouldn’t hope you’ll have it again tomorrow.
  • She captures him “with her eyelids” (Proverbs 6:25). We wives can tend to get sloppy with our appearance around the house. That’s understandable. But every once in a while, make sure you look good when he comes home. Really good. Use your eyes to engage him. “Capture” him with your physical attractiveness.

A wife who understands her allure as a woman is protecting her husband from temptation. She’s like a magnet, drawing him home from the seductions of his day.

She’s got power. And she knows how to use it.

Pray that God will never let Satan, who knows how to twist it, steal the joy of sexual attraction and romance from you.

5 Reasons the Scriptures Say Sex Should Occur Only in Marriage

SOURCE:  Adapted from an article by Bob Lepine/Family Life Ministry

Here are five reasons why a sexual relationship should occur within the confines of marriage:

1.  Sex is meant to strengthen the marriage bond.  In marriage we enter into a covenant relationship with one another.  This covenant mirrors God’s covenant.  During the wedding ceremony we vow to remain committed “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer … till death do us part.”  These promises echo the promise God makes to us when He adopts us into His family and unites Himself to us in Christ.  He has said that He will never leave us or forsake us.

God wants the husband and wife to be one. The recurring, ongoing participation in sex is the instrument that God uses so that we can experience a closer, richer, deeper relationship with one another.  When sex happens outside of the safe haven of a committed, loving covenant relationship—what used to be called “the bonds of matrimony” —you may still experience physical pleasure, but there will be an emptiness in your soul. There is something missing. There is a shallowness to the sexuality that we experience apart from a lifelong covenant.

2. God wants to teach us more about the relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Spirit in the Trinity.  There is oneness within the Trinity—there are three persons, but they are one. In marriage, there are two persons, but they become one. In marriage we learn something about the intimacy that God enjoys within the context of the Trinity—the intimacy that the Father has with the Son, and the Son with the Spirit, and the Spirit with the Father and the Son.

3. God also wants to give us a picture of Christ’s relationship with the Church.(Ephesians 5:22-33).  In some mysterious way, the husband and wife relationship—and our sexuality—is tied to that picture.

4. A sexual relationship in marriage teaches us something about the nature of real love—God’s love.  Over a lifetime in marriage, we learn that in order for our sexuality to be expressed in the way that God intends it, the sexuality needs to be unselfish. Both husband and wife must be committed to pleasing each other and meeting each other’s needs.

5. It is best for the offspring of our sexual union to grow up in a home governed by a covenant relationship between a husband and a wife who love one another and are committed to each other.  If a child is growing up in a setting where there is one parent or where two parents are not bound together in covenant love with one another, that child is missing something.

Consider this:  If our sexual relationship is this powerful and this important, is it any wonder that Satan would take delight in trying to undermine, pervert, and destroy our human sexuality?  Is it any wonder that sex is so huge, so pervasive in our culture—and that the temptation to operate independently of God’s plan is so powerful?

Every husband who wants to improve his sex life should learn to spell!

SOURCE:  Sam Black/Covenant Eyes

The Path to True Intimacy and Better Sex

Typically, guys spell intimacy S-E-X, said Dr. Dan Erickson. It’s not entirely our fault. Our sexualized culture has encouraged the misspelling, and it has distorted the definition too. Intimacy in our culture often describes a “what,” Erickson said, whether it is sex, intimate encounters, intimate clothing, or an intimate evening. The list goes on.

But intimacy is not about a “what,” it is about a “who,” he said. Intimacy is better spelled “in-to-me-see.” The point is to look into another person and invite them to look into you. Intimacy can be found in deep platonic relationships, and in marriage intimacy allows a husband and wife to open their hearts and minds to each other. Intimacy is a free gift that you give and receive.

“It’s amazing what that will do for your life,” said Cathy Erickson, Dan’s wife. “Men, if you are intimate, and loving, and caring for your wife, you will get all the sex you need.”

Intimacy Requires Your Time

Intimacy didn’t come easily to the Ericksons’ marriage. They had been married 19 years when Dan was inspired by a sermon to ask Cathy to rate their marriage on a scale of 1 to 10. He approached the question with bubbly enthusiasm while she stood in the kitchen cleaning after Sunday lunch.

“I said, ‘What marriage? You really have to be here to have a marriage,’” Cathy recalled. “That was kind of a shock to him.”

Dan had looked at himself as a driven and accomplished man. He had earned his master’s and doctoral degrees, and was the executive pastor of a Phoenix, Arizona, church that drew 3,500 people on Sunday and which boasted the largest Christian school in the state. He coached his kids’ teams and served in the community. He sought to win the hearts and admiration of everyone…except his wife.

His time had been given elsewhere and he had defined intimacy with his wife as sex.

For years afterward, Dan said he did not preach on how to have a good marriage, because he knew he had to figure it out for himself and develop that deep level of intimacy in his own marriage. Today, Dan and Cathy provide seminars across the nation to share their story and paths to a rich marriage.

Intimacy Isn’t Sex

A common refrain is that men give love to get sex and women gives sex to get love. Any marriage based on that equation will suffer, and both parties will be disappointed.

True intimacy allows open communication, it invites a person to see you as you are, warts and all, and it means that you will be vulnerable to each other. True intimacy comes with trust, time, and confidence in the relationship. It is about giving and sacrificing for your spouse, putting their emotional needs ahead of your own, and seeking ways to show love without expecting something in return. The aim is to make your spouse feel treasured, respected, and loved without hidden motivations.

During a period of physical problems with his heart Dan was unable to have sex and discovered not less but even greater intimacy with his wife. He often asks guys if they could be more intimate with their wives if they were physically unable to have sex.

That concept sounds foreign to many men, because we need to change our view of intimacy, said Dr. Brad Miller of Restoration Counseling Service. “True intimacy can be emotional, spiritual, or physical, but rarely sexual,” he said. “True intimacy seeks to answer: ‘How can I know you better?,’ ‘How can I meet your needs?,’ and ‘What can I do for you?’”

“Intimacy in marriage is the duct tape that steadfastly binds a husband and wife together, even when it feels like things around them are falling apart,” Miller writes. “Additionally, it is this same intimacy that glues an elderly couple together in ways that defy our cultural mindset, even to the point of one spouse selflessly insisting on caring for the other who is handicapped by a debilitating mental or physical disability.”

Building Greater Intimacy

Though there are others, Erickson encourages people to include four ingredients in their recipes for intimacy.

1. Affection and caring. Non-sexual touching, hugs, and kisses are important. If your wife anticipates you want sex when you hug or kiss her, you have a problem that needs time and trust to correct. Also, pray for each other. Take time for each other, and show each other love and respect.

2. Vulnerable communication. Marriage should be a place where spouses can share anything, including their childhood, their pain, their crazy dreams, their disappointments, their hopes, and anything else in safety. Safe and vulnerable communication is non-judgmental and one spouse shouldn’t be trying to “fix” the other.

Listen more and listen well. God gave you one mouth and two ears, so use them accordingly.

3. Mutual living. Intimacy includes a desire for spouses to be together and share their experiences and daily life. Certainly, everyone needs time for solitude or personal hobbies, but there should be an intentional pursuit of enjoying time together. Often love and affection are measured in both the quality and the quantity of time you give.

4. Mutual giving. Do you look for ways to please your wife? For instance, Dan took over doing the laundry and washes the dishes and cleans up after meals. Do you seek ways to relieve her stress, to serve her, and make her feel special? Plan special dates with her, and let her know ahead of time so that she can be ready.

Finally, God will make you a better spouse if you are open to his Word and instruction.

“A couple’s marriage is a reflection of their intimate relationship with God,” Erickson said. “The more intimate their relationship with God, the more intimate they become with each other, and the more intimate they are with each other, the more intimate they can be with God.”

A guide to what’s allowed in the bedroom

SOURCE:  Louis and Melissa McBurney

Christian Sex Rules

When it comes to sex, most married Christians just do what works for them. If they have been blessed enough to have discovered something that brings satisfaction, pleasure, closeness, and climax, they most likely will continue that practice.

However, some are plagued with guilt because they wonder if what they’re doing is sinful.

[We] receive many, many questions from Christian couples who want to know what is and what is not okay to do sexually. Unfortunately, churches tend to ignore this issue, small groups usually don’t talk about sex, and most Christian books deal with more “spiritual” ideas.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a list of sexual practices categorized by “sinful” or “okay”? Is there such a list? Would everyone agree with the list? Is there a solution to this dilemma?

We think the answers to those questions are: yes, no, no, and probably not—in that order.

We’d really like to create such a list that could settle once and forever the niggling doubts about sexual practices. But that’s not possible.

Different communities of Christians have different understandings about sexual practices that are based on a few general biblical principles. No list would be accepted by all Christians. Still, we do want to provide some guidelines that we hope will help you enjoy the gift of your sexuality to the fullest. That’s what we’re convinced God wants for each of his children.

We doubt that God’s surprised by the intensity of our sexual desire or of its fulfillment. Seeing us enjoy the passion and pleasure seems to fit with his creative nature. There are some definite boundaries, however, that were identified through his Word. These are established to protect and enhance the maximum enjoyment of the gift. We think it’s like our giving our kids bicycles. We’d teach them the safety rules right away so they could delight in the ride without being run over by a car on a busy street.

First, we’d like to point out the obvious—the Bible is not a manual on sexual technique. We’ve heard some people say that Song of Solomon describes acceptable sexual positions and behavior. We see it as a poetic love song that clearly embraces the joy of sexual play. We don’t think it is an attempt to outline any specific sexual practices.

Second, we want to emphasize again that there are some specific sexual behaviors that are forbidden in scriptures. Adultery, that is having sexual intercourse with another person’s spouse or a partner other than your own spouse, is a sin. Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, deepens the importance of marital faithfulness by extending the prohibition of infidelity to include a lustful thought life as well as the physical act of intercourse. Looking into our minds and hearts is an important principle for safeguarding the delights of intimacy.

Scripture is also clear about the evil of fornication—premarital sexual intercourse—which most of our culture accepts as normal and irresistible. We see many couples suffering from the consequences of their early promiscuity. The “sexual freedom” of our time isn’t free and usually carries some pretty heavy costs.

The Bible also lists other practices that are “abominations” to God (Le v. 18, Rom. 1:21-32, I Thess. 4:1-8, and I Cor. 6:12-20). These include homosexuality, bestiality, and incest.

And last, there is a vast array of possible sexual practices for married couples that are not mentioned at all in Scripture (we can find no reference to Internet pornography, vibrators, or videos). So, since we aren’t likely to find a definitive answer, the best we can do is find the principles God has given us and apply them to the cultural setting we’re living in. As we look for those you may not be surprised to find that we’re not much different in the twenty-first century than how mankind has been since creation. We have the same anatomical equipment, the same physiologic hormones, the same mental capacity for lust and fantasy, and the same relational needs that have always driven men and women to seek sexual pleasure and intimacy. As Ecclesiastes says, “there is nothing new under the sun,” except maybe the vast array of new toys.

Exclusivity

Many studies have confirmed what biblical commandments imply. That is that becoming one flesh with one partner provides the best setting for satisfying sexual intimacy. Sex is neither a spectator sport for group indulgence nor an event to test a person’s ability to score with multiple partners. Casual sex as a way to prove one’s prowess or simply achieve physiologic relief of sexual tension only confirms that his or her ability to copulate is intact. Although providing some pleasure, it fails to meet the deeper need for intimacy that sex was designed to give.

A couple in a long-term committed relationship enters into a more secure and trusting territory with each sexual encounter. In that bed sex can truly become “making love” rather than just having sex. Multiple partners create mistrust, performance anxiety, and comparison evaluations that are barriers to the deepest levels of intimacy.

Mutuality

It is obvious to most couples early on that men and women are significantly different in their sexual interests and drives. Men usually have a desire for more frequent sex and greater variety in forms of sexual play. Women usually want more emotional connectedness through tender touch and conversation and prefer more consistent love-making technique. These differences often lead to tension over positions for intercourse, frequency of sex, and experimentation with different sources of stimulation.

This creates enormous opportunity for a couple to develop mutual submissiveness in their relationship. Each individual will have ways to show respect and give a meaningful gift of love to his or her mate. We feel that giving that respect to each other is a huge way to guide your choices of sexual play in the direction of genuinely mature love.

Doing only what is mutually agreeable sexually means that each partner will make sacrifices for the sake of intimacy. A wife may give herself more frequently or try a variety of sexual experiences that go beyond her comfort zone. A husband may relinquish some sexual fantasy or adjust his demands for intercourse twice a day just to show love to his mate. Those exercises in personal restraint are not easy, but help build the oneness of intimacy.

Specific behaviors that often fit this criteria are oral sex, rear-entry vaginal penetration, initiation of sexual activity, positions for intercourse, and mutual masturbation. We find no scriptural injunction against any of these or of frequency of intercourse. The Old Testament command of not having intercourse during a woman’s menstrual period does seem to have the medical benefit of avoiding some infectious processes. Paul’s admonition in I Corinthians not to withhold sex except by mutual consent seems to fit with this general principle of mutuality. It acknowledges the legitimacy of sexual desire and reinforces the boundary of sex within marriage.

Pleasurability

Sexual play should be enjoyable!

If an activity you’re doing doesn’t bring enjoyment to both partners it will cause resentment and distance between you. That’s not part of the design for “becoming one flesh.” It may be that some forms of your sexual play create pain for one or both of you. That should be evaluated medically. If something is creating discomfort, it is probably treatable (such as vaginitis or painful erections). This can certainly produce barriers to intimacy.

At times couples may want to explore the areas of sado-masochistic sex or bondage fantasies. We feel that these behaviors move sex out of the arena of selfless love into that of power or domination fantasies. In those neighborhoods sex becomes an invasive, controlling behavior in which one person is violated. That is a sexual perversion and is likely to create shame, humiliation, and ultimate devaluation of one (or both) partners. When domination is a necessary ingredient for sexual pleasure there tends to be development of tolerance to the level of excitation. Hence increasing levels of the stimulation are required for the same sense of gratification. This is seen in its extreme in pornography that includes rape and even murder as forms of sexual stimulation.

Relationality

Duh! You might think. Well, of course, sexual intimacy includes a strong relational component.

Unfortunately, that ain’t necessarily so.

One of the most destructive forces we’re seeing these days is the increasing frequency of sexual addictive disorders. When having sexual release becomes an addiction driven to levels of compulsive behavior, the relationship with a marriage partner may be replaced with various stimuli that are essentially fantasy based. We have seen men deeply hooked on Internet pornography (or other forms). They are compulsively driven to increasing exposure to pornographic stimulation and masturbatory release of sexual tension. We have seen women equally hooked on romance novels or chat-room sex talk for sexual release. These disorders displace the relational dimension of sexuality.

Marital sex, if maintained at all, takes place mechanically with mental fantasies from the artificial relationships providing the only sexual stimulation. That robs marriage of the most crucial part of intimacy—the blend of relational and sexual connectedness.

The use of pornographic films from whatever source introduces this possible danger into your sexuality. Explicit sexual materials can provide sexual excitement and arousal, but that form of stimulation may erode your enjoyment of each other. Those images may also create a basic sense of dissatisfaction with yourselves since most couples don’t maintain or ever achieve the sensual appearance of porn actors and models. The whole industry is based on illusions and those lies can lead to death of your relationship as well as your sexual satisfaction.

Perpetuating Genital Union

We delight in sexual playfulness and creative ways to pleasure one another, but unless it is not physically possible for a couple, we think nothing you do should completely replace genital union. The symbolism of having the embrace of vagina to penis and total giving of the erect penis to the welcoming vaginal canal is a recurring reminder that we were created for each other. The intimacy of that connectedness should awaken our most primitive desire for oneness. To enjoy sexual release in that most passionate form of embrace welds us into oneness like few other experiences.

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Melissa and Louis McBurney, M.D., Real Sex columnists for Marriage Partnership, are marriage therapists and co-founders of Marble Retreat in Marble, Colorado, where they counsel clergy couples.

Not in the Mood? Ask Yourself, “Why Not?”

SOURCE:  Arlene Pellicane/Family Life Ministry

Overcome romance barriers in a respectful way that doesn’t offend either partner.

When you’re pregnant with your third child, sex isn’t usually high on the priority list. Sleep and chocolate are.

But one strange day when I was about 13 weeks pregnant, I was actually looking forward to some romance on a Friday night. Earlier in the day, my highlight had been devouring pita chips and garlic hummus.

I changed my clothes and got ready for my evening of romance. My husband, James, walked in, and as he drew close, he stopped dead in his tracks.

“What is that smell?”

It took two seconds to figure out it was my beloved garlic hummus.

“I can smell you and that garlic in every room,” he moaned.

I apologized and winked.

He hesitated and replied, “I don’t know if I can handle your breath.”

You probably know what happened next. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. My breath was the deal killer. After he talked himself into plugging his nose and taking the plunge, I was no longer in the mood. Romance dies quickly after any kind of confrontation involving Listerine.

Whether it’s bad breath, a headache, that time of the month, or hot flashes, something often gets in the way of romance. Sometimes it’s your spouse; sometimes it’s you. How can a couple overcome these roadblocks to intimacy in a respectful way that doesn’t offend either partner?

I don’t really have a headache

It’s the classic bedroom scene of the couple that’s been married for a few years. The husband inches toward his wife in bed and gives her the look. She sighs and says, “I’m sorry, dear. I have a headache and just don’t feel like myself.”

From a wife’s perspective, she’s thinking, Please leave me alone. I just want to go to bed. It isn’t meant to be an insult to her husband.

From what I’ve heard, many men are thinking, You’ve been having a lot of headaches lately. I don’t think you care about me anymore.

Radio talk show host Dennis Prager, in an article titled “When a Woman Isn’t in the Mood: Part 1,” encourages the wife to rethink the axiom that if she’s not in the mood, she doesn’t have to make love to her husband.

Women need to recognize how a man understands a wife’s refusal to have sex with him: A husband knows that his wife loves him first and foremost by her willingness to give her body to him. This is rarely the case for women. A man whose wife frequently denies him sex will first be hurt, then sad, then angry, then quiet. And most men will never tell their wives why they have become quiet and distant. They are afraid to tell their wives.

If your husband became quiet and distant, wouldn’t you want to know what was going on? And if he told you he was upset about the lack of sex in your marriage, how would you respond?

Too often women blame their mood when it comes to making love. If you wait until you are in the mood to go to work, head to the gym, or change your baby’s diaper, you might be sitting on the couch for quite some time. Every day, you decide to behave in ways that go against your mood. Yet somehow when it comes to sex, mood trumps everything else.

Sex in boots

I sprained my ankle badly last year and wore a big black boot up to my knee. I wasn’t bathing every day, and on one particular day I had greasy hair because I was planning to get a haircut later that day. My kids had gone over to my parents to give me time to write. Three words described my state: gimpy, greasy, gross.

In walked Casanova with a dozen white roses. It was such a sweet gesture. A little bit later, James walked up to my desk and asked if, you know, we had time for “wink wink.” I could have said I felt too gross. I could have reminded him that this was the first time I had been able to write in days. But instead I said, “How about in a half hour?”

Did I feel sensuous wearing my clunky black ankle boot? Did I feel attractive with my greasy hair? Did I want to have sex instead of getting some work done? Not really. Did it make sense to make time for sex? Definitely. It had been a long time since we were alone in the house without the kids. I found out that if you do the right thing, your mood will follow your behavior. Besides, don’t people say black boots are sexy?

It’s not the boot, it’s …

What’s killing your love life lately? Since it’s probably not garlic or a big black boot, maybe you’re struggling with one of the following.

I am hurt by something my husband said. While it’s true our husbands can say things that require a grand apology, many times they unwittingly hit a hot button or say something small that gets blown out of proportion. When James asks, “What have you been doing all day?” that makes my blood boil. I have to learn how to snap out of the defensive mode and answer the question calmly. (By the way, I have instructed him not to use this question anymore.)

I am exhausted, really. You have pressures with your work, caring for family members, and keeping your household running. Those nights when you can barely brush your teeth, let alone make love to your husband, will come. Do your best to carve out time each week for lovemaking when you’re not so tired.

I am preoccupied with all I have to do. When your head hits the pillow, you’re not thinking what would feel best sexually. You’re thinking of how you’re going to deal with that difficult person at work, what you’re going to wear to the party, and how you’re going to get to the grocery store tomorrow since the schedule’s so tight. A place to jot your thoughts down before bed may help silence that nagging to-do list.

From duty to decision

Should a wife have sex with her husband out of duty or obligation? In a personal interview I conducted of Joyce Penner, sexual therapist and co-author of The Gift of Sex, she offered a helpful answer to this question.

We like sex best when we have the desire for it. But there are stages in life when we won’t have the desire for it, like when the kids are young and we’re exhausted. Duty sex and demand sex never work. When you do it out of obligation, it may work for tonight but not long term. But sex by decision can work, and there’s a big difference.

Duty says, “I know he needs it. He’s a man. It’s been seven days. But I’m tired and I don’t feel like it.” That’s duty sex, and it’s not going to work. Sex by decision says, “You know what, it’s been seven days. I know I need it, and I know we need it. Let’s make a plan for how we can make it the best for both of us.” It’s got to be as good for her as it is for him if it’s going to work for a lifetime.

Wives need to design life so we can get with the program sexually rather than saying I need to put out even when I’m exhausted because he needs it. That will never work.

When you make the decision to honor your marriage bed, both you and your husband will benefit sexually. So the next time garlic, stress, mood, or anything else threatens your love life, make the switch from duty to decision and go for it.

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Taken from 31 Days to a Happy Husband Copyright © 2012 by Arlene Pellicane. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR.

Q & A: Do I have to have sex with my husband?

SOURCE:  Taken from an article by Leslie Vernik

Q. I’ve been married for 25 years to an emotionally and verbally abusive man. I feel angry and bitter toward him for the way he treats me, yet he still expects me to be loving and affectionate with him, especially in bed. I can’t do it. What does God expect me to do? Can I withhold sex as a consequence for his abusive behavior?

A. This is an extremely important question that many women face. In last weeks’ answer I spoke about being treated as an object instead of a human being. An emotionally destructive marriage is where the personhood, dignity and personal choice of the spouse is regularly diminished, degraded, disregarded or crushed.

No one likes feeling like an object, especially if you are in a committed relationship with the person who treats you as such. Husbands sometimes complain to me that they feel that their wives treat them like a paycheck. Wives complain that they don’t feel like a loved person but merely a sexual object or a slave. Marriage is the most sacred and intimate relationship we have apart from our relationship with God. When one person (or both people) continually disrespects, mistreats, or lies to the other, intimacy is broken. It can be rebuilt but not without genuine repentance and a lot of hard work.

From what you say, it sounds as if your husband believes he’s entitled to the benefits of married life, (sexual intimacy, your affection and love, not to mention normal care), without having to do his part. He doesn’t seem to understand that having a good and loving relationship requires two people who interact with one another with kindness and respect. His emotionally abusive behavior is driving you further away from him. Does he just want sex from you? Or true intimacy?

The Bible calls us to love, not hate. That command includes our enemies. But what does Biblical love look like towards your husband in this instance? Biblical love isn’t necessarily feelings of affection or warmth, but actions that are directed toward another person’s long term best interests.

So ask yourself the question, Is it in my husband’s long term best interests to be sexually available to him so that his sexual needs are met? If you answer “yes”, understand that meeting his sexual needs is not a solution to your relationship problem it is just a solution to his sexual frustration.

Another way to look at this situation is that it is in your husband’s best interests to let him experience the felt consequences of broken intimacy and tell him that when he treats you disrespectfully, you’re too angry to feel warmth and affection towards him. When he’s not sorry he treats you that way, it makes it impossible for you to feel affectionate toward him. You need to have a calm conversation with him regarding your feelings. Here’s a sample of something you might say.

I know you get very frustrated when I’m not responsive to your sexual needs. You want me to be sexual with you and enjoy our physical relationship, but the way you treat me much of the time makes me feel angry and hurt. When you call me names or degrade me in front of the children, the last thing I feel like doing is being warm and affectionate towards you. If you want genuine intimacy and affection, you will need to work on changing the way you treat me. Wouldn’t you rather have someone who wants to get close and affectionate with you rather than someone who is just doing her duty?

Most men I talk with want closeness with their wives. Try expressing your feeling about being just an object versus a person. This may help him see the impact of his behavior, not only on you, but on him. But if your husband won’t hear you and doesn’t care about what your feelings are, then what?

Hear me. I don’t believe in using sex as a weapon anymore than someone should use the silent treatment as a weapon. It isn’t good for the marriage. It is controlling and manipulative.

However, I do think sometimes we have to say, “I can’t talk right now because I’m too angry to do it constructively” or “I can’t talk with you because you won’t hear me or listen to me”. That’s not using talking as a weapon, but stating a problem either with you or in the relationship.

In the same way, if someone says, “I can’t have sexual closeness with you right now because I’m too angry to do it lovingly.” I think that is stating a truth. Or “having sex with you feels like I’m just being used as an object but you don’t really care for me when you treat me so disrespectfully other times” helps the one who is doing the hurting to know what needs to change in order to repair the relationship.

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