The Lamest Excuse for Your Sexual Problems

Blog post title + illustration of rubber stamp that says "NO EXCUSES"

I love the movie “Say Anything.” It came out when I was in college, and I remember being so struck by its story and characters. Looking back, I think what I liked most about this film was how the main character, Lloyd Dobbler, was what we often call an alpha guy — that is, he was 100% masculine — but he changed how he did things and upped his game in the sensitivity and caring department to woo and win the girl he loved.

But as he’s contemplating his own struggles to be the kind of guy who can get the girl he longs for, he has this a conversation with his angsty fabulous best friend, Corey Flood, and this exchange between Lloyd and his friend Corey has stuck with me for nearly 30 years:

D.C.: Lloyd, why do you have to be like this?
Lloyd Dobler: ‘Cause I’m a guy. I have pride.
Corey Flood: You’re not a guy.
Lloyd Dobler: I am.
Corey Flood: No. The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don’t be a guy.

Corey Flood & friend talking to Lloyd Dobler

The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don’t be a guy.

I think of that every time I hear someone say, “That’s just the way I am.”

Especially since I believe it’s the lamest excuse for not improving your marriage and sexual intimacy. Although it’s one I hear all the time.

  • “I just don’t need sex, so I’m done having it.”
  • “I need sex almost every day. It’s how I’m made.”
  • “He wants me to talk during sex, but I’m just not like that.”
  • “I’m inherently visual, so if she doesn’t show me her body, I can’t help but look elsewhere.”
  • “I can’t do without sex. So if intercourse can’t happen for a season, my spouse still owes me sexual release.”
  • “I can’t just flip a switch, and if I’m not in the mood, it’s not happening.”

Maybe you see yourself in one of those, maybe you don’t. But I think a lot of spouses, even ones with minor issues in the marriage bed, fall back on the excuse of “That’s just the way I am.”

Well, Corey Flood and I have some advice for you. Yes, you may be that. But if it’s not working for your life, you can make a different choice. You can choose to be something better.

You don’t have to surrender to your natural tendency. Good gravy, the Gospel is all about us not surrendering to our natural tendencies and instead pursuing a better, more fulfilling life in Christ Jesus.

The Gospel is all about us not surrendering to our natural tendencies and instead pursuing a better, more fulfilling life in Christ Jesus. #marriage Click To Tweet

For Lloyd Dobbler, it was Don’t be a guy. Be a man. But for spouses with marriage bed struggles, it’s about not being the person who’s causing or contributing to your spouse feeling terrible about sex in your marriage or to your marriage itself becoming a place of conflict or despair.

Is it really so important to hold on to some aspect of yourself that you believe to be inborn if it costs you your marriage?

Honestly, all of my examples hit on real issues that would need to be dealt with if they are in your marriage. I’m not saying that you just sweep that problem under the carpet and pretend it doesn’t exist. What I’m saying is that it’s a lame excuse for keeping the status quo to say, “That’s just the way I am.”

What if you could be something else? What if you could view sex in its right perspective for your marriage? Neither the be-all-end-all, nor an optional experience in your relationship. What if sex in your marriage could be mutually pleasurable? Intimacy-building? Emotionally and spiritually satisfying?

Let’s figure out how to be that, starting simply with the first step toward growth.

22 thoughts on “The Lamest Excuse for Your Sexual Problems

  1. mepharisee

    Amen! Getting the plank out of our own eye is so difficult. Sin has duped us into this whole context of, i only want what is right. Sex in marriage, male leader of the household, I need my alone time, etc. we want what we want & often times we want what is correct, but we have zero knowledge at how to get it or where it belongs. I wanted to please me as I did before I was married. Thank You God, I married a strong patient wife that didn’t quit. When conflict came into my marriage I fell back on who I was as a single man to fix my marriage. I wanted what was right but did not know how wrong I was.

    Learning that her time & space was as important as mine was hard. Learning to give myself up for her was even harder. But God promises to reward faith. & He has & still is.

    Doing to my wife as I would have done to me was truly my biggest struggle. To do that I had to learn to change. Change to give to her as much as I wanted to treat myself & change to be the man in her life that was Christ like. Willing to validate her as much as I felt I wanted valued. This just wasn’t a sex thing either it was an all me everything thing.

    No my wife isn’t perfect. She has her problems too. But, as I changed she no longer had an enemy to push away. She was able to change too because of this. She had opportunity to look at herself since I wasn’t there being the reason to argue. She gained a better out look. We slowly became people that could talk about hard things as equals. As married. Teammmates. Conflict is being handled now out of resurrection & accomplishment. Out of look what we have already accomplished instead of defeat.

    Thanks for the post Mrs P. Amen again.

    Reply
  2. Gloria Vallieres

    God’s word says that prayer is the only excuse for not having sex 1Cor. 7:5.
    J. Parker, I like what you said,
    “You don’t have to surrender to your natural tendency. Good Gravy, the gospel is all about us not surrendering to our natural tendencies and instead pursuing a better more fulfilling life in Christ Jesus.”
    Lasting changes have happened in my life through what you describe-God’s transforming power Ez.36:26
    “And I will give you a new heart,
    and a new spirit. I will put within you.
    And I will remove the heart of stone from your
    flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
    My heart received change through 3 steps:
    1. Recognition if something being wrong in me.
    2. Desire to change
    3. Repenting in an attitude of humility and asking
    Jesus to change my heart and actions.
    As a senior citizen, it has been a life long process of changes. All permanent change came by way of Jesus. My own attempts were feeble counterfeits of the truth. We have hope for change in all aspects of our life through Christ.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      God’s Word says you shouldn’t DEPRIVE each other of sex; that is, keep sex off the table for a period of time. 1 Corinthians 7:5 doesn’t mean you can’t say, “Not now. How about later?” That’s not depriving your spouse of regular sexual intimacy. Yes, prayer is the one reason given to stop for a while, but even that shouldn’t last long, according to Scripture.

      And I love that verse you quoted! God is definitely the Mover & Shaker when it comes to giving us a new attitude toward our marriage and loving one another in the marriage bed. A new heart & spirit indeed!

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      I think there are many reasons (or excuses) for not having sex, not just prayer. Physical health barriers, physical abuse, dealing with adultery and so on. You also have to consider the context of I Cor. 7…Paul was countering the Gnostic heresy that the flesh was evil and sex should be avoided to be spiritual. These verse are used too often to “beat up” the low drive spouse and make them feel guilty about not having sex with their spouse.

      Reply
  3. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Well, you’ve put ‘Say Anything’ on my ‘to-watch’ list.

    When I was shut out of physical intimacy because of my previous work as a mercenary – a trained killer – I had to make a choice, to let that rejection define me, or to place the most unselfish love I could on a higher plane.

    I chose the latter, and I’m glad I did. I have a wife who loves me, even though she doesn’t want me in her bed, and I have learned that there are some sacrifices worth making.

    You see a roomful of hostages, after you kick down the door and grease the terrs, and they realize that the good guys are here, and that they’ll die to make things right…that is worth everything.

    I wouldn’t change a thing.

    Reply
  4. Btebbs

    Wow, wow…so true…so true, amen. Thank you as always for sharing the truth with all of us, it’s so true

    Reply
  5. B

    This is one of those posts I had to read several times. And I’m still not sure. I’m not saying I’m not sure about what you’re saying, I’m just not sure how to process it.

    If I were to back off completely – and deny my sex drive – we wouldn’t have very much sex at all. I’m not sure that’s a good thing. My husband and I are backwards. My sex drive seems to be spontaneous while his is responsive (it stinks). During the time I had “discovered” that me initiating sex was wrong, and I felt like he did not desire me at all, I backed off and our sex like really took a nose dive.

    I tried “getting over it” and accepting the fact that I’m just not as desireable to him as most women are to their husbands. I’ve been learning to try to accept his love for me, even if he shows it differently. In his defense, he’s been trying to say he finds me attractive and desirable, even if he doesn’t show it in a way I can believe. Anyway, I’ve tried getting over it and I’ve gone back to being the initiator, and things have improved. Things will never be where I want them to be, but now I think it’s more about simple acceptance rather than ever having my dream of being actually desired by my husband realized.

    So I see all of that as progress.

    But based on what I’m reading, I’m still doing it wrong. “the Gospel is all about us not surrendering to our natural tendencies and instead pursuing a better, more fulfilling life in Christ Jesus.” This is very true. So I’m thinking this means I should give up my hopes and dreams of being a “normal wife” and being pursued by my husband. I need to focus WAY more on a more fulfilling life in Jesus Christ. But does this mean I give up my sexuality? Or at least try to squash my sexuality to be on a level lower than my husbands?

    I guess what I’m wondering is, if I stay me – am I too prideful and not focusing on finding my fulfillment in Jesus? And if I change, will our sex life decrease again? And will that be a good thing? It’s a LOT to mull over.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      B, since I know you, I’ll cut to the chase: You’re taking this to a conclusion I didn’t intend. “If I were to back off completely – and deny my sex drive – we wouldn’t have very much sex at all.” True. Don’t back off completely, because what you’re pursuing is what God wants you to have. So if your desires are aligned with God’s, then keep going. And “So I’m thinking this means I should give up my hopes and dreams of being a ‘normal wife’ and being pursued by my husband.” Well, if you think that there’s only way to have a wonderful, godly sex life and that’s to have your husband be someone he’s not and you be someone you’re not, then you should give that up. But that doesn’t mean that you give up sexual intimacy and fulfillment. You just get rid of the mythic expectations and embrace God’s true design for sex, which is either, and hopefully both, husband or wife initiating sexual intimacy regularly in marriage. If that means you’re the initiator right now, go for it. I don’t want to speak for God (He can speak just fine for Himself), but I genuinely believe He’s good with you embracing (and certainly NOT “squashing”) your sexuality.

      Reply
      1. B

        J!!! I think you may have hit the nail on the head this time.

        I wasn’t going to comment before, but I am so glad I did. I was honestly feeling conflicted, and this part of your reply jumped out at me:

        “ Well, if you think that there’s only way to have a wonderful, godly sex life and that’s to have your husband be someone he’s not and you be someone you’re not, then you should give that up.”

        That’s exactly the problem! Well, a big part of it. I’m trying to make us what we are not. I’m desperately wanting him to have a higher sex drive and for mine to be lower. For him to be the pursuer and me to be the pursuer. – Or at least I’m wishing we were different instead of being satisfied with who we are. Maybe God did make us this way. Maybe this is how He wants us to be. Maybe we don’t have to be the “typical” way the world says we do. Maybe he can love me even if his sex drive is lower than mine. Im still not sure how he can call me beautiful or say he’s attracted to me if I don’t cause him to have a stronger sex drive – but – baby steps. I’ll worry about that later.

        Maybe God wants my husband to have a fulfilling sex life inside of marriage, and He knew my husband might not have that if he married a lower drive wife. So maybe God put us together on purpose.

        And maybe, my craving to be desired by my husband is something I need to learn to give up. I’m not being snarky, I’m being serious. Maybe that’s my sin. Or my idol. And maybe I need to learn to let it go. It causes me all kinds of bad feelings – discontent, envy, bitterness. Maybe it’s time to stop wanting so badly to be desired.

        This is all good stuff. Thank you for your reply and especially that part that jumped out at me. I think I might be happier just being who I am, and accepting my husband for who he is, regardless of what the world says or how I wish things were. Thank you so much!

        Reply
        1. E

          I am almost smiling-crying reading that comment, B! It’s like, a breakthrough! Please take a screenshot of what you just wrote and read it go yourself whenever the lies start creeping in! Even though I only know you online though your comments on J’s website, I am totally celebrating this moment with/for you! Big hugs, sister!

          Reply
          1. B

            Thank you, E, and you too, J, of course! Funny, J, how out of all the things you’ve ever said to me, this is the one that clicked:
            “ Well, if you think that there’s only way to have a wonderful, godly sex life and that’s to have your husband be someone he’s not and you be someone you’re not, then you should give that up.”
            Yes, that was a HUGE part of my problem. I thought there was only one way to have a wonderful, godly sex life! Well, only one “correct” way. I think I needed to realize that just because our way isn’t “typical” doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. (And bonus, I kind of ran with that idea yesterday and we had a great afternoon 😉). Much better than pouting!

            Knowing myself, I will slip, and the lies will creep back in. I LOVE your idea of taking a screen shot as a reminder. Thank you so much, E, for sharing your thoughts. It helps tremendously to know I’m not alone and someone cares, even if we may never meet this side of Heaven. Thank you.

        2. erose

          I have read many of your comments, so I feel silly responding to just one small part of your comments, but just wanted to say I feel my husband has a fairly healthy sex drive, tho like yours, he expends most of his energy on his work, leaving little left for intimacy. all that to say, I have struggled with wondering if my desirability/appearance was the problem, similar to your thought processes. however, after 8 years of marriage, I am fairly secure in his love and desire for me, I’m fairly secure with my physical appearance. BUT honestly, I don’t think my physical appearance has a whole lot to do with his desire/ drive. whether fit or fluffy,our love life is driven by his work schedule more than anything else(oh,and the 4 small children). I feel like I’m rambling, but yes, to embracing who you are, regardless of anyone else’s marriage or body!

          Reply
  6. sheep

    Very good. How often do we hear the excuse “well that’s just the way God made me!”? Really? Stop and think about that one for a minute. All that is really saying is that you are blaming God for your sin.

    Reply
  7. John

    An excuse is merely a reason laced up with a lie.
    It’s death to wholehearted living with abandonment which often
    leaks over to many other aspects of life.
    The Palms is littered with encouragement to living with all of our hearts
    in all that we do. Our lives would be much richer if we would take heed
    of that advice

    Reply
  8. Mark

    Actually the worse excuse I heard was a man blamed his wife for every ED issue he had. In reality, he covertly was addicted to porn enough to where he wasn’t attracted to his wife enough to maintain an erection because he over-stimulated his mind.

    A physician’s assistant once proclaimed to me, that the most important sex organ in our body is the brain, so I can see how porn addiction can over-stimulate the mind. Truthfully I think the intimate mind has a chance of healing if they stop looking at porn.

    Also his mind was in other places, he drank a 1/2 bottle of wine nearly every night and had ED.

    His wife who went to the gym everyday, looked 20 years younger than her age in her quest to compete with his addictions that partly stimulated his ED.

    They weren’t emotionally connected.

    The important motto I learned is never blame the spouse as an excuse, if the equipment gets, lets say “too temperamental” and somehow doesn’t make it up for any reason don’t lay a guilt trip on the wowan.

    Reply
  9. mepharisee

    Faith to obey where we are is the whole point to this relationship with God. God gives the talents & it is up to us to put that resource to use. His pleasure in what we do with our situation is what we have to seek. Nothing more nothing less. An old saying of. Don’t cry over spilled milk fits with this parable. Every human is challenged with their circumstances to bury their head in the sand or make some lemonade. Abraham waited countless years to have a promised son, David didn’t get to build God’s temple, & Samson had his eyes gouged out. For some of us we can’t have sex as much as we’d like. Others have terrible parents. Still, others have never been trained to do anything let alone parenting, sex, or finances. Yet, our circumstance is where God shows up & says be faithful with what I have given you. He doesn’t mess around with our woe is me, or our what about them attitude. Ah, but faith says HE HAS MY BACK! When I step out (to obey) on faith for His pleasure He promises to hold me up like the planets in space.

    My wife & I split up. That is what, that’s just the way I am got us. I tried & tried to save the marriage. Yet, God just told me to be faithful with what He gives me. I wanted sex but His word never changed to bow to me. I had to get my head out of my rearend & check what exactly does God want from me. Marriage & sex was way back in the trunk at this point. He couldn’t bring my wife back to an idiot like me. I drove us into the ditch & I thought shining the bumper would fix it. The driver is the problem. Me. We all drive our own vehicles. There’s really no, Jesus take the wheel. Our responsibility is to LISTEN/HEED His word then drive as He directs.

    Marriage & sex can get better. But, what if you’re like Samson? He could’ve said that God made him to have eyes. He could’ve been mad at the world for his eyes being taken from him. Something God intended him to have. What if your spouse, marriage, or sex has been gouged out? Samson overcame/learned to please God in his circumstance. How do we overcome to please God in our gouged out marriage?

    Learn to be Jesus. Your marriage & sex have great potential to be nothing more than that. But learning to be a servant to all (FOR THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE, JESUS) promises to be rewarded from faith to faith. Do we love Jesus more than sex? The love of Jesus’ life told Him to go to a cross. Jesus chose to see the reward of resurrection & went, with love in His heart. Going without sex is the circumstance, living this season with Jesus love in your heart, is the work of faith God will reward.

    I believe God wants us to learn lessons in our struggles. Lessons we don’t want to learn. Lessons we will not learn otherwise. That’s just the way I am, now that I’m out of the ditch. Thanks to God 😉

    Reply
  10. Tyler

    This post has such a different sound and feel to almost anything else I have read on yours and other similar blogs. Going to have to read andcre-read. Having a hard time getting my mind around it and what the underlying takeaway is. Thanks for writing.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      I’d say my takeaway is this sentence: “What I’m saying is that it’s a lame excuse for keeping the status quo to say, ‘That’s just the way I am.’ ” If some aspect of yourself that you’ve seen as natural to who you are is negatively impacting your relationships — whether that’s a quick temper, a sullen demeanor, a poor attitude toward sex, etc. — then you need to push against that natural tendency and put forth effort to become more as God would have you be. Thanks for reading, Tyler!

      Reply

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