You Would If You Loved Me!

Paul Byerly

What a treat today! One of my favorite marriage bloggers, Paul Byerly of The Generous Husband and The Marriage Bed, is joining us to send his message to us wives from the hubbies.

Most men have figured out that “If you loved me you would” is not a good way to talk their wife into sex, and because of this, they do not say it. However, most men do feel this way. Before you get upset, let me try to explain.

Odds are your husband only wants to have sex with you. I know that is not true for all men, but it is far more common than most women think. He loves you, he chose you to be his wife, and when he did that he understood he was saying yes to you sexually and no to every other woman in the world. He willingly made that choice because you were the woman he most wanted to be with sexually. You were the one pearl of great value for which he gladly gave up all others!

For men sex is a significant expression of love. His having sex with you is saying to you that he loves you and your having sex with him is you saying to him that you love him. Is this really that odd? You are the only person he is sexual with, sex is special, unique, something he shares with you and you alone. Why wouldn’t he see it as a deep expression of love?

Ladies, what speaks love to you? What does he do that makes you feel he loves you? (Or, what does he not do that would speak love to you if he did it?) Now imagine that you knew from experience that if you ask for that thing, you will get it less than half the time — how would you feel?

If this is true of your husband, why does he talk about his needs, and focus on the physical aspects of sex, rather than telling you that sex makes him feel loved? Most men are more aware of their bodies than their “feelings” and far more comfortable talking about their bodies than their feelings. He may not fully understand why being told no makes him feel so bad, and even if he does he may not feel comfortable expressing that, or may not know how to express it. Basically, falling back on the physical is easier and more natural for him.

Sex is intimate and deeply personal and being told “no” hurts in a very personal way. Saying it is not personal does not change that it feels personal.  How you mean it does not change how he hears and feels it.

Am I saying any no hurts? Not unless he is totally selfish. The problem comes when he hears no more often than yes. When no is the most common answer, why you say no eventually stops mattering. Even though some or all of the reasons are very understandable, when they are part of a general pattern he stops hearing much past “no.” I suspect you are much the same — if he repeatedly says no to something, do you really think about the reason(s) he gives? After a while, don’t you assume he just does not care about you enough to say yes to what you want?

If you say no to most of your husband’s requests for sex, you are telling him you do not really love him, or at least that you do not love him enough. That may not be what you want to tell him, but it is probably what he is hearing deep in his heart. Can you imagine what that does to a man? Can you imagine how he will change over time if it goes on? Maybe you can look back and see a gradual shift that is related to this very thing.

If things keep going as they are, will he “get over it”? If by “getting over it” you mean will he accept you are not going to change, then yes, he will. If you mean will he learn to feel  you love him despite saying no to sex most of the time, no, he will not. He will probably learn to change to avoid getting hurt as much, and that might look to you like he has “matured” or “accepted things.” Do not be fooledlearning to live with something that is painful does not mean it no longer hurts.

Have I a put a heavy burden on you here? Have I made you feel horrible? I do not desire to do either of those — my goal is to help you understand that your husband does have feelings, and that you can hurt him deeply. Often saying no to sex will hurt him, and that pain is not because he is selfish or sexually greedy; it hurts because it makes him feel he does not matter to you.

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Paul, and his bride of 28 year Lori, have been writing and teaching about Godly sex and marriage since 1997. They live in Eastern Washington and love SciFi, TexMex and the beach — two of which are not to be found near home.

Websites: The Generous Husband, The Generous Wife, The Marriage Bed, Twitter and Facebook

23 thoughts on “You Would If You Loved Me!

  1. Anonymous

    My husband and I are experiencing this now. We have discussed it and while I would like to start reviving our sex life he has asked for time to heal the wounds I have caused by saying no. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions on how I can help him?

    1. Paul Byerly

      So he needs time without sex to get over your not having sex with him? That sounds odd to me!

      If nothing else, he is now doing to you what you complained about you doing to him. At best that is unloving, at worst it’s intentionally trying to get back at you. (Give him the benefit of the doubt and assume the first.)

      The bottom line is time is not in his favour – the longer the marriage is sexless the worse it will be and the more time and work it will take to fix it. I’d ask him what he wants, and then ask him how is current actions are working for or against that. Some third party help would be an excellent choice, if he is willing.

    2. Anonymous

      Thank you for takibg the time to think about my situation. I had asked him what he wants and he wasnt sure and wanted this time to think about it. I am currently seeing a therapist and hope that he will eventually go as well. thanks again.

  2. workinprogress

    Thanks for putting into words what most men can’t. It really gives a great perspective.
    I’ve noticed, since I have become much more mindful of initiating sex, is that my husband has become much more self-confident, and much less irritable. He is a better dad. We laugh SO much more together. What wife wouldn’t want that? I see now that it isn’t about him just feeling better physically, it’s that he feels loved and valued and that is showing in his actions.

  3. Mary Rose

    Thank you….married 25 years and counting. Our first 10 years, even with babies…we had bedroom time. I loved dressing for him in the bedroom and Loved, loved and loved making love with him. Next 10 years, we moved, I hated it and our lovemaking dwindled. He became sadder, I became even sadder, communication stopped and we almost divorced. God led me to your blog & the alabaster jar and also non christian sites. I wanted to learn more to save my marriage. Let me put it this way, I love my husband and can’t wait to spend time with him, especially in the bed. I had forgotten how much better I feel and him. We want to do things for each other; like we did in the first 10 years of the marriage. I feel better then a newlywed. Go make love with your man; this article is right on!!!!!!

  4. Sara with an H

    This puts a lot of things in perspective. When our daughter was born, after the initial 6 week break, I had a hard time turning off mommy-mode, and our sex life dwindled to *maybe* once a month. Honestly, I really didn’t care if we never had sex again. I blamed hormones. I blamed being tired from being up with the baby. I blamed pretty much everything I could. Then one day, Lori from “The Generous Wife” posted a tip about a book called “Sheet Music” and this blog. I decided to read the book and started reading this blog and I realized that while those excuses made sense earlier on, they were becoming just excuses and that I needed to make more of an effort. I had never realized how much sex meant to my husband, and not just in the physical way. I started making more of an effort, and the spark has come back, and our marriage is a million times better. He’s happier, a lot more laid back, more willing to help me around the house, and a fantastic father – and all these things make me happier. Now that I’m pregnant with our second child, I have already expressed concern for it happening all over again, and have asked him to help keep me accountable. He understands that we’ll have to ease back into it as my body recovers from childbirth, but I most definitely don’t want a repeat of what happened last time.

  5. Christy

    Hey. Great post. I swear this is soooo good right now for me to read. It just confirmed what God had already laid on my heart about a month ago. God reminded me that I need to stop saying no or maybe and start pursuing my husband in the bedroom. And often.

  6. Christy

    It cut me off. 🙁 I like Sarah with an H read sheet music and it really spoke to me. We are about to celebrate 16 years and lets just say my husband is now chasing me off. Ha! Ha!! 🙂

  7. coffeemom

    So, I loved this post. So great. But in our house I have never said “no” to him and I usually initiate. It breaks my heart that you talk about me being the one he has chosen above others and me being his pearl of great price because he doesn’t seem to want me? I don’t really know what to do.

  8. Anonymous

    Sometimes it is hard, I wish I had known my husband wasn’t going to be the normal guy. For years as a good Christian girl I had been taught and heard SO much about not denying my future husband, and how important sex would be to him, to be ready no matter what because that was my most important ministry to him. Then, after the first year I found myself in the opposite situation. I was being denied, not pursued, ignored. I was excited about sex, can’t get enough of my husband, but so many times he doesn’t want me. He doesn’t understand that “being willing”, and “wanting” are so different to me and yet I get that he can’t make himself want me more that he does.

    It really hurts to wrap my head around being outside the norm. I know he tries, he listens to me and has made an effort, but I don’t think he will just wake up one day and be “normal” and that is hard to swallow.

    1. Danielle

      Ok I’ve left this comment 3 times now – but I really want to help point ladies in the right direction to understand that they are 25% of the normal marriage – a marriage with a low-drive husband/higher drive wife. It’s a confusing place to be – and i’ve walked this road 8 years. Recently found a blog addressing this issue – check it out… (: it’s helping me! http://spiceandlove.wordpress.com/

    2. J

      Danielle, thanks! Yes, I think Spice and Love is an excellent newer blog for wives who have a higher sex drive than their husbands. I recommend it as well.

      (And by the way, all comments on my blog must be approved before they go live. You simply wouldn’t believe the amount of spam I delete.)

  9. Anonymous

    it’s also funy to me (in a not so funny way) i always thought that my husband would be the one who wanted it more but really it’s not that way at all.. whenever i try to initiate i am turned down and/or (gently) pushed away or told not right now or get off me the shows back on. he says it’s bc when i was pregnant i turned him down but i never did i never have! there’s things that i can’t do and a few things that i won’t do but other than those few things i’ve given him whatever he wants and he just ignores me. it hurts more than i can even say it’s put me in depression time and again and i hate it. i can totally relate to the husbands afflictions in articles like these. i reach out to you who do put off your husband or wife think about how it would make you feel if something you desperately need were being denied you?

  10. Workingonit

    I also am a higher-drive wife and for years I was sad and baffled because I just didn’t expect it to be that way. We went a long time with no sex at all. I was resigned to the idea that he just wasn’t interested and I would have to accept that he loved me in other ways. But since we have decided to work on our marriage and went to counseling it has gotten much better. Now that he understands how I feel he is more aware and more eager to please me, and more likely to initiate. Having sex more often has increased his interest, so now sometimes he’s in the mood even when I am not. (I don’t turn him down!)

  11. Fawn Weaver

    So often we detach a man’s needs from his emotions. You hit on a great point, Paul. That rejection is something that stays with them and is difficult to reverse if they’ve been rejected for too long. Great lesson! And no, I wasn’t offended in the least :).

  12. Anonymous

    As a husband I really AM feeling this–but I doubt that many wives reading this are the ones saying No more frequently than Yes. I TRY communicating what Paul wrote, but it always seems to come back to me–“It’s your issue that you’re feeling hurt–I’m not hurting you”, “That’s just your perception”, etc. (The kicker–last time we talked about this she said that it’s a lack of confidence, and lack of self esteem that makes me unattractive. But would she see it as her place to encourage confidence and positive self esteem by responding to my overtures?)

    I’m kind of tired of asking, and am close to the point of resignation that it’s never going to change, and I have to just get used to being unsatisfied for the rest of my life, since I don’t want to show myself unfaithful to the vows I took 20-some years ago.

    And really–I KNOW I’m supposed to be satisfied in Christ, and I KNOW my self esteem isn’t supposed to be based in how one person responds to me–but doesn’t it make sense that the lack of answered prayer in this, the lack of change, and the indifference I feel from her would make it really hard on a guy spiritually and emotionally?

  13. Anonymous

    I felt for Lent to initiate a daily 5 minute prayer time with my husband, we were to hold hands and thank God for specific things we found in each other and then to pray for the other’s needs. This was not pray for other people time but for each other only. I really didn’t believe my husband loved me but that we were just friends living together so I rejected him a lot because of my rejected feelings. But when I heard him thank God for things in me my heart began to heal. I am sure his is healing too because we are having the deeper conversations about us. There is a warmth in the house that is comforting and a sense of togetherness that was not there before. I know this is a key to breaking down the rejection cycle we both do in the bedroom too and am excited in what God is doing. I see my husband getting stronger and more confident and I am getting softer and more able to lean on him.

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