Welcome to Monday’s Q&A with J! Today I’m addressing a wife whose husband clearly doesn’t understand how to get his wife interested in sex.
How can I enjoy sex when… my husband gets upset with me nearly everyday. Doesn’t lovingly, touch me, besides the obligatory good morning and off to work hug and kiss. The only physical touch I receive is groping and sex. Then he wonders why I don’t feel anything when we’re having sex. The only thing I feel is wanting to cry because I don’t feel. I believe it was you that said to concentrate on what feels good and what could make it feel better. Well for sometime now I haven’t felt anything… and well, frankly, size is not a problem. Help!!!
As often happens, the spouse I really want to chat with isn’t here. If I could spend a few minutes talking to hubby, maybe I could get him to understand why his approach is not only ineffective, but damaging for his marriage.
But I’m answering the wife’s question on what she can do to help the situation.
First off, I’m wondering if you’ve talked to him, honestly and lovingly, about your needs and desires. I would assume that he touched you affectionately while dating, but you need to make it clear that non-sexual touch must continue. It makes you feel valued for more than a physical need you can meet for him.
Sit down together outside the bedroom and explain what’s lacking, why you want it, and how it will help your marriage. You can also let him know that it’s the best way to get what he wants. Sometimes a husband can be convinced to go slow and spend more time with romance because he can see the payoff of more sex for him. But, once he experiences the affection regularly, he understands the benefit of touch simply for the sake of emotional intimacy. Touch apart from sex matters.
You also need to set some guidelines for your sexual intimacy. It’s not a problem to say that you’ll be available sexually, but you require time to prepare and relational interaction before engaging. It isn’t depriving your husband of sex to let him know what will make it go well for you. God desires you to have a mutually satisfying sex life.
Lay out some must haves — making sure, of course, that your must haves are reasonable. Reasonable expectations include:
- Time to shift gears from all the issues of the day to focusing on intimacy.
- Touch and foreplay that helps your body ease into lovemaking and experience arousal.
- Assurances that he will listen to you when you speak up during sex about what feels good and what doesn’t, and then to adjust.
- Focus on your sexual pleasure and climax as well.
If he refuses to consider how you feel — and even ignores when it feels bad — you can set some boundaries. It’s okay to say something like, “Hold on. I want this to feel good for both of us. Can we take a break and adjust what we’re doing so I can enjoy being with you the way I want?”
He may not like this at first, if he’s used to getting his way. But setting reasonable boundaries is good for him too — in the long run. Having a more responsive, and participating, wife would surely feel even better to your guy. Right? It will increase his pleasure as well, and bring you both deeper intimacy.
I suspect that your husband’s view of sex has been tainted by something from his past. It could be pornography he was exposed to that gave him the idea that women like sex to be rough and insistent. It could be church teaching that made him think wives don’t like it all that much anyway so he struggles to consider your feelings. Or it could be anywhere in between — like how almost all TV and movie sex scenes display women raring to go and nearly climaxing at the drop of a zipper.
The point is that your husband’s perspective of sex is not according to God’s design. Maybe you two need to read a little Song of Songs, to see how much both husband and wife were excited about their romance and their sexual encounters. Maybe you could point out your clitoris and tell your hubby that God gave woman that little knobby wondertoy with the sole purpose of her pleasure. Surely, He wants you to use it! Maybe you could read or listen to a marital intimacy book (like Pursuit of Passion, Lovemaking, or Sheet Music) together and talk about what sex in marriage should look like.
Show him that you prioritize sexual intimacy in your marriage, but you’re not willing to settle. You want the best your gracious God has to offer! And you want that for your husband as well.
As for you feeling more aroused during sex, that’s a tall order until you work out some of these other issues. Who wants to be dragged to bed to be used for sexual pleasure? I doubt your husband even understands that’s how it feels to you. But you deserve greater respect and attention.
For specific ideas on awakening your love, you might check out Unlock Your Libido by Bonny of Oyster Bed 7. These other Q&A posts might help as well: “I Can’t Remember What It Feels Like to Be Aroused” and “How Do I Get My Turn?” And my book Sex Savvy: A Lovemaking Guide for Christian Wives has many ideas for pleasurable activities to try.
One way or another, you need to get across to your husband that you want a fabulous, fulfilling sex life with him — which requires some changes in how things are done in your marriage. And you won’t consent to continuing this current bad pattern.
Make sure he understands that you want him to have sexual pleasure; you just want to have it too. Then take intentional steps to pursue what’s best for you both. What God Himself designed for you to have.