I Hate it When My Husband Touches Me THERE

by | Sep 21, 2015 | Sex | 228 comments

When You Hate Your Breasts Being Touched--or something else being touched--and it's hurting your marriage
Merchandise is Here!

“Help! I hate my breasts being touched!”

Every Monday I like to take a Reader Question and take a stab at answering it.
Here’s one that I think we don’t talk about very much: what do you do if there’s one part of your body that you absolutely HATE being touched during sex?

Reader Question: I hate my breasts being touched! What do you do if one part of your body turns you off--but your husband likes to touch it?
One woman writes:

Reader Question

My husband is obsessed with my breasts and I loathe having them touched 49 times out of 50. If, and it’s a big if, I am super super in the mood I can tolerate them being kissed if it’s brief and there are no hands involved. As soon as they get grabbed/brushed/rubbed/whatever, I at the minimum am set way back on the “in the mood” scale and at worst go absolutely cold and want him to get away from me immediately. For 6 years I’ve been telling him to leave my breasts alone and for 6 years almost daily he has been making grabs at them and more recently telling me I’m withholding.

He’s a wonderful husband, but why can’t I have one thing that I am allowed to say “I’m not comfortable with that”? No reasoning or excuse has made any difference to him in what he feels is his God-given right. Most women ARE turned on by it…but I’m not one of them. On the contrary, it’s a huge turn off. He’s not rough or mean or anything. He’s a wonderful man. I just hate being touched there. (Side note: nursing children felt like a huge amount of self sacrifice for the same reason so it’s not an issue with my husband). He wants me to just get over it. How?! Just tolerate something that I despise just to make him happy? Then what? How can I get in the mood when I want to bolt from the room? I have no issues with being touched elsewhere and he’s always considerate in virtually every other area of our marriage. This one “small” issue has become a big hang up for us and I just don’t know what to do anymore.

From,
The wife who flunks at foreplay

You’re Not Alone! Many Women Don’t Like Being Touched in Certain Places

First I want to say, loudly and clearly: You’re not alone. Many women find parts of their bodies are just off-limits sexually. For some it may be breasts; for others it may be just the nipple; for some it may be him inserting his fingers inside the vagina. (True story: every Girl Talk I give I have a Q&A part where I answer anonymous questions. I once had a woman ask, “I know guys like sticking their fingers “up there”, but it creeps me out. Why does my husband have to make it seem like he’s digging for gold or something?” At the time the question was funny, but I certainly felt for her).

I can’t tell this particular woman what to do because I don’t know enough of the story, but I’d like to give 4 big picture questions to think about, and then some tips for where to go from here.

Check Your Past

Sometimes certain body parts (or certain acts, like oral sex, for instance) are really creepy for us because of past abuse, or past things we’ve seen on TV or in movies when we are at certain ages that scarred us. We may also feel deep shame about certain parts of our bodies. When it comes to breasts, for instance, many women with larger breasts were mortified when they were 11 or 12 when the breasts started to grow, and no one else in their class at school had them. So they became a source of ridicule.

And then, as you got older, perhaps guys would fixate on them–even older men. It made you feel dirty. It made you think men were disgusting. It made you feel repulsed.

Today, when your husband that you love touches you there, it throws you back to that time when you were totally repulsed and creeped out.

This is NOT the case for everyone who hates their breasts being touched or who hates another body part being touched, but it can be quite common.

Basically you’ve developed what’s almost a phobia of it. And you CAN get over phobias. More on that in a minute.

Check the Control Issue

Is it that you hate having your breasts touched or that you hate someone else touching your breasts? I’ve had letters from women with both scenarios. One woman, for instance, couldn’t stand it if someone else touched her breasts, but could handle it if she did. Another woman freaked when her husband tried to insert his fingers into her vagina–but she couldn’t do it either.

Find this post helpful? You may also want to check out:

Check the Timing

Often things that we REALLY don’t like suddenly become pleasurable right before orgasm. So you may think you don’t like your breasts touched (and you legitimately don’t), but when you’re really aroused suddenly you do. Similarly, many women find their nipples too sensitive to touch, but just before orgasm they actually want them sucked or pinched. But they may not know that about themselves until they check! So you may want to just check that out–is it a timing thing? Or is it truly all the time?

Check Your Sensitivity

There’s a difference between being completely grossed out and simply not being turned on. Is it that being touched makes you want to run for cover and scream (like this woman here), or is that when he touches your breasts, for instance, it does nothing for you and you start to make a shopping list in your head instead? Is it that it repulses you, or is it that it’s just not sexual for you?

You’re not alone. Many women find parts of their bodies are just off-limits sexually. 

What To Do When You Hate Your Breasts Being Touched (or something else being touched)

Now let’s move on to some solutions and ideas which may help. Not all of these may apply to you; choose the ones you think you can handle.

 

Take Control and Put on a Show

If you can’t stand other people touching you there (wherever it may be), then one possible route may be to do it yourself while he watches. Lather up some cream on your hands and rub it on your breasts slowly for foreplay.

If you need to be in control, then take that control. Even hold his hands while he touches you, so you guide his hands so you’re still in control. And the more you do this, the more the phobia may go away–or the more you may realize that that part of your body can be pleasurable, because when you’re in control you’re able to focus on it at your leisure.  There’s not the pressure of wondering, “what in the world is he going to do next?”

Talk to a Psychologist About a Phobia

If it really is to the level that you can’t stand being touched at all, then I’d suggest talking to a psychologist about it–a psychologist who has treated people for phobias (like phobias of spiders, phobias of dirt, etc.) Don’t just talk to one who wants to analyze you; talk to someone who will take you through exercises to get actually deal with this phobia.

Many people don’t find certain body parts pleasurable that most people find pleasurable–some women find nipples a turn off because they’re too sensitive, or can’t stand being manually stimulated on the clitoris for the same reason. But that’s very different from freaking any time someone touches a breast. So if it’s to the point where it’s really impeding your relationships and your sexuality, don’t settle for that! Deal with it. Christ came to set us free, and something is holding you back from what you were designed for. It doesn’t always have to be like that.

Talk to Your Husband

Finally, talk to your husband really openly about this. In this woman’s case it sounds like her husband is completely disregarding her feelings, and I think that some compromise is definitely warranted. Say something like:

Keep those lines of communication open, and talk to him honestly about what you feel now, what you hope to feel in the future, and your plans to get there. If he knows that you’re trying and that you want this too, then hopefully you can work towards feeling more comfortable together!

 

If you’re having trouble communicating about sex and what you want and what makes you feel comfortable, my book 31 Days to Great Sex can help! It’s a 31-day challenge that you do with your husband. And don’t worry: you do not have to have sex for 31 days straight! Many of the challenges just help you to talk about it, sometimes for the first time. It’s easy, it’s low key, and you’ll learn how to talk together, dream together, address libido differences, be more affectionate, figure out how to make it feel good for HER, spice things up, and keep the momentum going. The big benefit that many women have said to me is that “we finally were able to talk!” So this will help women in this situation, too!

Do you find it hard to talk about SEX?

Want to try new things–but don’t know how to start?

No more wondering how to talk about what feels good or what you’d like to try. This fun challenge will get you talking and trying new things without the awkward.

Have you ever been through this in your marriage? Is something a huge turn-off for you that most people like? Let me know in the comments how you dealt with it! (and you can be anonymous, of course).

 

When You Hate Your Breasts Being Touched--or something else being touched--and it's hurting your marriage

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

Related Posts

How to Reclaim Your Sexual Autonomy in Marriage

If we want sex to be awesome, then we need to be able to feel like sex is for us too. We need to feel like we matter. Sex is supposed to be mutual, intimate, and pleasurable for both, and mutuality and intimacy means that you are both coming to the bedroom willingly,...

The “Myth of the Magic Penis” Podcast

It's the podcast where we redefine sex--and talk about how it's about more than the penis! Today on the podcast I'm introducing the series we've been going through this month on the blog--how to recover when one of you, or both of you, have dug your sex life into a...

What Stops You from Treating Your Body as a Friend?

I was not kind to my body yesterday, and I am feeling it! When people used to complain about food insensitivities, I never really understood until it started happening to me. I've been having some real issues with gluten lately, and I've largely gone off of bread. But...

Comments

We welcome your comments and want this to be a place for healthy discussion. Comments that are rude, profane, or abusive will not be allowed. Comments that are unrelated to the current post may be deleted. Comments above 300 words in length are let through at the moderator’s discretion and may be shortened to the first 300 words or deleted. By commenting you are agreeing to the terms outlined in our comment and privacy policy, which you can read in full here!

228 Comments

  1. Davita Ritchie

    I too don’t care for my breasts being touched. A compromise that my husband and I have come to is using lingerie. I wear baby dolls that cover my breasts and my belly and it makes me much more comfortable being touched and seen. I feel sexy and therefore I’m much more enthusiastic.

    Reply
    • Sheila

      Great idea! Love that.

      Reply
      • Ciara

        I dont agree with much of this. some women hate the site of their boobs and or bodies in general so they dont want tonsee themselves naked let alone anyone else. or losing weight or breast feeding causes gorssly sagging breasts. (like me, or body dysmorphia like me) i dont care if he or she likes my body if i dont i refuse to show it or have it touched. as for a his and her night. the partner should respect you if you say no and be happy theyre getting any at all.

        Reply
        • Te

          Exactly..

          Men, need to learn to respect women’s bodies period. If you don’t consent to something (regardless of the reason) you don’t consent. If you love someone why would you consistently do something they find uncomfortable.

          *Generalization*
          … For a sex that says the need respect, they certainly don’t know how to show that respect to women

          Reply
    • Jo

      I’m really heartbroken love my husband very much but he never kisses or touches my breasts. He makes me feel so nasty because all he her wants is oral. I find it disgusting to want it all the time.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        That is too bad, Jo. That’s making sex very impersonal. That really isn’t okay.

        Reply
  2. cj2498

    I am knew at this site but i don’t understand you women out there. If you don’t like your breast touch or anything else. Just till your husband to keep his hands off you and if he does’nt like it to bad. All of you women that just deal with however your husband treats you i hope don’t have any girls. Because thats want you are saying to them to. Its wrong. Women are just as stronge as a guy and have more prower in the sex deparentment then a guy just use it

    Reply
    • Kay

      Hi CJ. Welcome to TLHV. Much of what Sheila does here is about improving our marriages and learning how to be respectful of one another. What you are proposing here sounds disrespectful to me and would highly offend me if my spouse spoke to me in this manner. I think the point of this post then is to address this issue in a way that respects both the husband and the wife. The wife *respectfully* asking her husband to *respect* her desires in this area. Marriage works much better when we use our strength to do good and speak kindly, even when (ESPECIALLY WHEN) it’s hard to do and does not come naturally. Keep poking around the site and I think you will get a better feel for Sheila’s work. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
      • BradA

        A wife can decide her body can only be touched under tightly controlled circumstances? Can I also decide that I only feel like working and providing for the family under tightly controlled circumstances? I want to play games all day and only work from 4 pm to 5 pm since that is the only way I feel like working.

        Would that be acceptable to all involved?

        Maybe someone who doesn’t want to share their body with her spouse should not get married instead of implying access and then removing it in reality.

        Reply
        • Trevor

          Brad, I think you completely missed the point! How can touching your wife’s breasts or anything else be enjoyable to you if it isn’t to her? This has nothing to do with wanting to play or not provide for your family. Your job as a husband is to love your wife and honour her. You are not honouring her or loving her as Christ loved the church if you are only married for what you can get.

          Reply
          • Kay

            Thanks, Trevor! My thoughts exactly.

            I guess that is my question here. Brad, please picture YOUR wife (not a random unknown wife). How would you react if something went all wrong with her hormones today and now suddenly you touching her breasts was no longer pleasurable to her but instead made her skin crawl and flinch at your touch. Would it still give you pleasure to touch her breasts if you knew she were gritting her teeth and just waiting for you to hurry up and get things over with because your touch felt horrible? I guess I would find that disconcerting if you still experienced pleasure from touching her breasts and the opposite of Christian love; in fact, that’s called violating her.

            If this wife follows Sheila’s advice and tried to get to the bottom of this issue and grow in this area, I hope her husband will love her through it just as she loves him enough to work through her distaste for his touch. If love is patient and kind, I hope the wife will be patient and kind and she understands just how much her husband enjoys touching her breast, and I hope he is patient and kind while she seeks to overcome whatever is holding her back. If love does not dishonor others and is not self-seeking, that means it is OTHER-seeking, so I hope the wife will honor her husband and seek his good will by trying to overcome this aversion, and I hope the husband will honor his wife above himself by being patient and refraining from touching her until she is ready. If love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, I hope the husband will protect his wife from further trauma and build trust by not touching her against her will, I hope he hopes that this can be overcome and perseveres in encouraging her to overcome this. I hope the wife will hope that healing does exist and persevere to find it, trusting that her husband will always protect her and not harm her by violating her.

            The only tightly controlled circumstance here is Christian Love: putting the needs (not necessarily desires, but true needs) of your spouse ahead of your own, no matter the self-sacrifice–with Christ as the ultimate example.

          • BradA

            Kay, the overriding meme is that the wife controls access to sex today, even among those who are supposed to be following the Scriptures. I would not be an idiot and shove sex regardless, but having the man’s needs become completely secondary to the wife’s needs is just as bogus as forcing something painful on a woman.

            Many woman find sex painful for a variety or reasons, including associating it with past sin. Does that mean it should cease? A soft, “consider working it out” is far different than the Biblical command to have sex with gusto in a marriage.

            We all do things we don’t like, which is my core point. Yet the excuse is made for the woman.

            Would those of you who don’t like my attitude and want to blame me for ____ really allow for a man who did not want to work? Or is that topic off the table to discuss in the context of meeting marital obligations?

          • Sheila

            Yes, if a woman finds sex painful, she should not have sex! They should figure out something else to do instead while she works on why she hurts. Do you have any idea what it is like to associate pain with sex? Do you have any idea what it is like to be told, God wants you to go through excruitiating pain or else your husband won’t feel loved and will feel denied?

            So, yes, you work on it and work towards finding a solution while, at the time, you also explore other things sexually. The fact that you think a woman should have sex while it is causing her pain scares me. What kind of a man would want that? What kind of man would consider that a loving act? Seriously, would Jesus do that?

          • Joshua Daniel

            Hi Trevor
            I think giving love is as important as receiving it. God made us loving beings and being unable to love the one u are married to the way God intended to is misery. Especially when that love is wanted once in 3 months when the wife wants sex. Then there is absolutely no objections. Why is that? Why can’t we be in a business type relationship just meeting that once in 3 months for sex. Why is it when I just want to touch and play and feel intimate that my wife just wants to do it take shower and close the chapter?

          • Deb

            Brad completely puzzles me. My husband doesn’t work hard all day for me so I put out in exchange. I work, too, so I don’t expect him to work hard and do what he doesn’t want to do in exchange for sexual pleasure. In fact, I encourage him to work a job he likes, that he is proud of regardless of his responsibilities. If he didn’t want to work as hard, we would do without but sex for work is not our contract. Geez, that makes me even more irritated about sex just thinking about that. He works all day and so do I. We work on dinner and the house together and the kids together and when we come upon sexual interest together then we have sex together. I would rather work and pay my own bills than to put out and feel creeped out and irritated about “dealing” with it. Ewww.

        • Joshua Daniel

          I think the same too Brad

          Reply
          • Lalee

            Most, suggestions on who controls sex and how women feels about sex is on the blog is given by women. There is however, a man’s side of the truth. The questions are: Why does the woman determine when it is time to actually have sex? Why does the woman determine how it is done. Does she really know what a faithful man goes through when being denied sex based on the woman’s hormone?
            A man will always oblige a woman’s call for sex but she feels she could always refuse because she is in control. Its a stated fact that a man’s libido is greater than that of a woman and yet they expect the men to zip up until they are in mood. I think that is exposing your husband to all kinds of subjection such as pornography etc.

            My suggestion to women, Its not just about letting your husband know how you feel about not wanting sex at a time but there should be limits to it. Denial him sometimes but also compromise other times. Sex should be enjoyed by both parties but there are times you should only enjoy it because the other party is enjoying it. It is call sacrifice. I do such sacrifice sometimes too and i feel if I dont do it who else will.

            Women should learn how to please their man and not just tell them they don’t want what they don’t want. What if it is the most important thing the man ever crave for in you.

            husbands should make sacrifices and wives also. Even the bible teaches that your body belongs to the other partner not for abuse or pain but for pleasure and if you don’t agree your have no business being married.

          • MD

            Me and my husband is having extreme issues because of this problem. As soon as he touches my boobs I start hating sex. I tell him that I don’t like sex but mostly it is the touching and sucking part which I dislike the most. Despite of telling him multiple times he takes it as his insult. The problem went till the extent that I turned away from him completely and got involved with a colleague..that affair got caught and now my husband relates my aversion to sex with that affair..with all of this going on for almost two years my marriage has come on the verge of separation. I try to mend the relationship but the thought of being sexed every night scares me. I know I will not be able to handle it and my husband knows that he can’t live with me without sex. If no intimacy, no marriage. We have taken help of doctors, psychology everything. but no solution. Shall I separate him for this reason..we are having fights after every few days because of it. Please suggedt

        • Christian sexuality

          Brad your right. A woman who has any sexual boundaries ever under any circumstances about anything should be a relationship with a Christian man. In Christianity marriage is based on man exploiting women that’s why sex for a man is like a man contributing to the family. Because Biblically the husband is supposed to make the wife miserable and mooch off her, not support himself or contribute or consider his wife or anything.

          The question is why do you like sexually violating and degrading you wife? When you know she doesn’t like something why would you insist on doing it?

          The answer is because if a wife hates sex because her husband makes it revolting and will forced herself to endure sex anyway, then the man knows he’s in control. This is why so many men deliberately, knowingly, calculatedly on purpose can spell out why they deliberately don’t support the family, help with the house and kids, don’t meet there wife’s emotional needs, and make sex physically painful and revolting for her. It’s the origin of almost all sexless marriages because the man is going for Biblcal submission where he dictates sex unconditionally to the wife.

          Making the wife hate is the goal. She can’t be submissive if she’s having sex because she enjoys it.

          Reply
        • Alexa

          Brad, forcing your wife to go through something that makes her very physically and mentally uncomfortable is completely different than you going to work . Forcing her to have sex without her consent is rape, it does not matter if you are married or not . Marriage is not a contract to get sex whenever you want, it is about love and understanding and forcing yourself onto to your wife is going to make things worse for both of you, as it would lead to a further sexual aversion.how would you like if your daughters future husband forced himself into her when it repulsed her , just because they were married, instead of talking through it ? I feel awful for your wife. 😕. Anyways, I hope you can learn to respect another person’s boundaries .

          Reply
        • S. Goddard

          So, Brad. What I hear you saying is your wife’s sexual output is equal to the amount of provision to your family; that you provide for your family so your wife will “put out.”

          Do you think of your wife as a piece of flesh for sale? You work, therefore, she must fulfill your your every sexual whim? Did you expect you married a prostitute?

          I may suggest you find a job you enjoy and someone to provide for only if you love them enough to enjoy it. And that she find a husband who she can enjoy because he loves and respects her enough to provide her with what she desires emotionally and sexually.

          Reply
        • Loving compromise

          The article was great !! in ways that the comments gave not been. The article had a balanced perspective trying to meet the needs of both partners and moving ahead in a big part of the relationship. Many of the comments have fell into the trap of catastrophizing the other’s concerns. Once you get into that hysteria you can’t solve anything.

          The immaturity here in these is that if men are right women must be wrong and if women are right men must be wrong.

          On the other side of that immaturity is that BOTH perspectives are right. And that at a midlife brain developmental stage you gain the ability of this paradoxical thinking. The relevent scriptures are mature and do not send us into our respective corners.

          Stop beating up and charicaturing the other position: you need that perspective to move forward. It really is a midlife stage of brain development to understand that in some matters the opposite of right is NOT (necessarily) wrong. Some maters are black and white but it takes wisdom to know which principal applies. The good news is that unity is possible. Both sides can have different homework to meet the others needs. And this article showed that whereas many of the (correct but one-sided) comments dud not.

          Reply
      • Kayfabe

        Except that the guy has been disrespecting her feelings so he does not deserve respect from her back then. If my guy insisted on touching me in places I hated I would probably just leave him honestly. Because no one even a spouse has that right and I am sorry but respect be darned

        Reply
      • Brandie Persons

        Definition ning your own boudaties about your own body is not “disrespectful” your husband isn’t your father and it’s your body and that concept barely skirts the edge of rape. It’s not ok for someone to touch you in a way you don’t like full stop and it’s your right to make them STOP no matter who they think they are.

        Reply
  3. Cassie

    I’ve got a new tagline for your site Sheila! “Marriage on women’s terms! Always! Forget Men & Forget God!”

    Seriously, can you not see your teaching is the epitome of why men are leaving the church and marriage and running for the hills to no responsibility and porn? I would if I was a man and the options you give them daily are what you give them. Your deal for men is all risk, no reward. All responsibility but no authority and no rights. I read anymore to watch the decline. Your slop is a great barometer of how far gone the church is. I can tune in every morning and see the temperature of the church by seeing if anybody actually stands up to your false teaching or if they slop it up whole heartedly. You’ve been corrected lovingly in christian love by thousands. It is time christians rebuke you and shun you before you lead more astray.

    Don’t forget men, “rejoice in the breasts of the wife of youth always. Oops, I meant once a month when she really, really gives to you.”

    How do husbands of women reading this not demand your website be banned? Man do we need some men to stand up in this world.

    Reply
    • Ceema

      I can’t help but wonder if “Cassie” is my old Sunday school teacher using a different name. They share similar ideas of what a marriage should look like. And that Sunday school teacher’s warped ideas of Godly love, ironically, were what drove **ME** away from the church, for about a decade.

      Reply
    • Kay

      Hi Cassie, we’ve had some great discussions about your comment below. If you see this, we would love to continue to dialogue with us. Thanks!

      Reply
      • Joe

        Kay, What would be your advice if this wife did not follow Sheila’s advice, did not try to get to the bottom of this issue and did not seek to over come whatever is holding her back or even acknowledge there was something holding her back? In other words, she just didn’t like it. Do you believe there are some norms for sex expectations in marriage (such as the husband touching the breasts) even if the wife didn’t like it and if there are norms, where do you you draw the line?

        Reply
        • Aria

          The norms are mutual submission, belonging to one another, and serving one another and pleasuring one another and that sex is mutual.

          The standard is how the husband and wife treat one another when it comes to sexual decision making, and during sex.
          The standard isn’t a set of sex acts. The standard is an ethical code of behavior.

          Now certainly touching a wife’s breast during intercourse is an normal reasonable expectation. However once the husband knows she doesn’t like it, the standard comes into play.

          Does he give his body to her? Does he submit to her? Does he try to please her?

          Or does he keep his body and his sexuality for himself, make demands and use marriage and sex and love as a weapon to violeate, control, betray and repulse his wife?

          Reply
          • sana

            I have been touched like this way
            How should i respo d
            It has left me resentment and direspectful ness

    • Trevor

      I’m a man and I’m going to stand up. I regularly read Sheila’s blog and articles that she writes. In fact, when she was writing for the Promise Keepers magazine, I always flipped to the back first to see what she had to say.

      Sheila has given some viable options to the woman in question. At no point does a man ever have the right to disrespect his wife at any point. He is to love her as Christ loved the church. He is not to lord anything over her. He has no right to demand anything of her either. A husband is to love and care for his wife. Loving and caring does not stop if he cannot touch her in different places. Or at least it shouldn’t. If it does, it’s the husband’s issue and not the wife’s issue.

      Men can still “rejoice” without touching. The verse you quoted didn’t say “grope and touch the breast always”…it said “rejoice”.

      I think a lot more men need to read this blog. You’d learn a lot! I sure have and it’s blessed my marriage.

      Reply
      • Kay

        Thank you, Trevor. Well said. I appreciate your comment very much!

        Reply
      • Angie

        Thank you Trevor! We need more men like you! My own husband could have written those words. Husbands can be and should be kind, loving, as well as firm in their leadership.

        Reply
      • Joe

        Trevor, I asked a similar question to Kay and would appreciate your thoughts as well. Do you believe there are some norms for sex expectations in marriage even if the wife doesn’t like it and if there are norms, where do you you draw the line? For example, what would be your advice to a husband if his wife told him that she no longer will touch his penis with her hands and he will have to stimulate himself when he wants intercourse. There is absolutely no other reason only that she no longer likes doing that. By the way, this is a true and not a hypothetical example.

        Reply
      • Bill

        This whole situation is crazy. After my wife started nursing, the boobs were for the baby, not me. I am not allowed to touch them anymore. I am not allowed to look at them either. Our youngest just turned 2 and is not nursing anymore. I am still not allowed to look or touch. In fact, that was a bridge to not having sex at all. She was unhappy that I was “addicted” to masturbation because we hadn’t had sex in over 6 months. Now she says that we aren’t ready to have sex because our relationship isn’t good enough. I can still work and provide, but she wants me to be her dream guy before she will consider it. It has now been 9 months and I haven’t masturbated for about 60 days now. She just told me if I go 90 days she will consider having sex again. This seems completely wrong to me. When we were having good sex, I was in control. She seemed to love it. Now she wants that control. I am seriously considering divorce, if this sexual power struggle continues. Women will never admit it, but they need a man to dominate them in the bedroom. This new sexual thinking is causing a lot of dissatisfied women and men because we are trying to fight against the way we are wired. This situation sounds a lot like past trauma. I would be very surprised if there weren’t some issues around her boobs…

        Reply
        • Aria

          Our sex life is was fine I was in control. It was all take and no give. You took, she gave, she focused on your desire, you focused on your pleasure. On these terms the sex worked.

          Your wife submitted to you, and served you sexually and gave you your body and sexuality and gave you pleasure.

          You didn’t submit to her. You took her body and served yourself. You took her sexuality and ignored her desire and drove it into the ground and broke it.

          She probably did like it at one point but the all give no take, being under someone else’s control without getting consideration back will burn out anyone eventually.

          She may not have been speaking up and setting boundaries either. The good is she’s speaking up now.

          However, now that you sexually broke her by using her submission as a weapon to get onesided sex, And she finally set some boundaries to protect herself and started healing, you’re considering divorce.

          Now that it’s your turn to submit sexually you can’t take it.

          If you can balance out the powers, and respect her autonomy, and consider her feelings and care about her well being you might be able to fix this and balance it out with mutual pleasure and mutual submission.

          But you’re going to have to keep submitting to her and earn her trust back.

          She’s asking you to make her desire you. And you find this offensive because you don’t thing you should have to deal with her desire to begin with.

          Being provider only impacts sex if you see her as a prostitue.
          This is bad on a number of levels.

          It means sex is onesided. Like you said you dominate her. Rather than being about mutual submission, serving one another and an expression of love, marriage and her sexuality and desire and submission are an opportunity for you to control her with selfish demands and rule over her like a tyrant. So now you’ve weaponized sex and made it a one sided thing. She’s attempting to correct this, but you don’t want to submit or love or serve her sexually. This is only going to be solved if you will sexually put her before yourself which is what you should have been doing in the first place and she already was doing.

          Saying providing is the trade for sex also means that you are not committed to your children or your wife.

          You’re children’s needs and her needs are not your responsibility in any way shape or form. This is why her work as home maker means nothing. The children aren’t your responsibility to begin with and neither is she.

          This is your money, not “our money” or the family money. It’s yours and since she and kids are her job, not your job, she has to take care of the kids on her own, and earn money from you somehow and the only thing she has to offer, because love and parenting and homemaking mean nothing is sex.

          You’ve already weaponized sex and made it one sided. Now your going to make a weapon of the kids and her desire to be home with them when little as a weapon to control and dominate her.

          All you wife is going to see when you say you owe me sex for money, is that you take her for granted, aren’t a father to your children, and don’t care if you harm her sexually or care about her sexual pleasure. This is why you have no sex.

          Reply
          • Matilda

            Wow Aria, that is amazing, and so well said! Do these men have no understanding of intimacy? Of the reason God made sex?

        • Tandy

          I have browsed through some of the comments on this topic and frankly, it is extremely frustrating to observe how deep the roots of the psychoanalytic era (which never really ended) in our culture. We have all been trained to concoct psychological root causes for conditions that are more than likely neurological. We are all armchair psychologists. I read comments about psychological hang-ups, trauma, relationship issues, etc. All of that is nonsense. Firstly, we need to pay attention to the specific words a woman uses to describe certain sensations. If the word is sensitivity, then that more than likely means some kind of feeling other than pain. Pain is different than sensitivity – unless you mean sensitivity to pain invoking stimuli, specifically. Sensitivity of nipples can be hyperesthesia, a nerve issue, not a psychological issue, in which there is an abnormal unpleasant feeling when something grazes the nipple surface tissues. When the brain is processing that kind of sensation, then there will, of course, be psychological effects…esp. in tissue that are hot-wired to areas of the brain that are involved in orgasmic responses. Moreover, any kind of chronic pain, paresthesias, or abnormal sensation will have adverse psychological effects. However, the negative feelings and emotions are not fundamentally psychological.

          Reply
          • Jenni

            Thank you for this. I was reading these comments and thinking “I LOVE my husband, and we have great sex, but it’s just the sensation of something touching my nipples that gives me the willies since I breastfed my kids many years ago.” Now I know it’s not because I have some deep-seated resentment toward my husband or because of some past trauma… it’s a sensory issue. It’s a really bad feeling, and I wish I knew how to fix it! I think for whatever reason my brain still makes the connection between nipple stimulation and suckling babies, so when it’s done in a sexual situation, my brain tells my arousal to screech to an instant halt.

          • Rose

            Yes! This! I thought it was weird no one was pointing out that it might just literally be a problem with hypersensitive nerve endings, because I’m pretty sure that’s what happened with my nipples after having my kids. I don’t remember it being as much of a problem before the first time I got pregnant, but now after three kids it absolutely shatters my libido and makes me reflexively hard-flinch if he pinches, bites, or sucks at my nipples. I just… I can’t! Then we’re in the middle of it and I’m starting from ground zero with absolutely no arousal. It sucks and can make the rest of the experience horrible when we started out having a good time!

            I don’t have any ideological hangups or history that would specifically have effected this, so my thought is it’s GOT to be something to do with hormones or nerve damage or something??? Maybe I should bring it up with my doctor next time I see her and get a medical opinion.

    • Christian Andrews

      Cassie,
      I am with Trevor. I am a man. I was married just short of 27 year when my first wife died. I have been blessed to have a new life partner for seven years now. Just to say that I have 34 years of experience.
      You have obviously missed the point of Sheila’s blog (or one of the primary purposes). The title of her blog is “to love, honor, and vacuum.” If anything, she is encouraging wives to love and honor their husbands by encouraging them to engage in and enjoy physical intimacy with them.
      I would suggest you rethink what it means for a husband to love (agape) his wife the way Christ loves the Church, that it is not only being willing to die for her but it is also about being willing to live for her and want what is best for her. When a Christian man loves his wife as he should, he will never ask her to do something she does not willingly and gladly agree to, he will never ask her to do something that is hurtful or harmful to her physically or emotionally, and he will never ask her do to anything that is illegal or immoral. Beyond that he will partner with her to enjoy sex together.
      I would also suggest you look around this blog, maybe especially the Marriage FAQ section where you will see how Sheila’s desire is that wives enjoy their husbands.
      I don’t agree with everything Sheila has to say. She is after all human and interprets Scripture and expresses opinions from her humanity. I think, though, that her overall goal and desire is right and is helping strengthen marriages in our broken culture.

      Reply
    • Natalie

      I have recently been reading these articles and found not only applicable advice, but solice knowing that other women of God struggle with similar marital issues.
      Cassie,
      Are you married? If the answer is yes, you should consider yourself blessed to have no idea what it feels like to go through issues as such. Clearly you don’t have any image issues nor any intimacy problems with your husband. That’s wonderful. You don’t have to feel insecure or question why you don’t enjoy sex or being touched in certain areas. Be happy that you don’t.
      My confusion lies in why you were compelled to read this in the first place since you don’t have any similar problems. I don’t suffer from say, gambling addiction. So it would be ignorant of me to post comments of negativity about a topic that I don’t understand.
      No where in this message does it imply that the woman should ignore the man’s needs. It is addressing a topic for women who want to please their husbands, so much so that they are trying to deal with their own issues.

      Reply
      • Sheila

        Thank you, Natalie!

        Reply
    • Joshua Daniel

      Love ur considerate straight talk Cassie.God bless you. Sometimes life seems worthless when u cannot love the one ur supposed to to any extent. We can get almost anything in life from friends but intimate moments only ur spouse is supposed to receive. So it’s not right if he cannot give her and what solution does he have?

      Reply
    • Adrian

      It’s true scripture tells us that when a man and women get married they become one flesh and the wife has given her body to her husband and the husband to his wife. Scripture tells us do not Deprive one another unless it’s for a time in prayer but after get back together so that Satan doesn’t cause temptation. The husband has no right to deprive his wife of sex and the wife has no right to. Deprive her husband of sex ether unless they both agree not to have sex for a time but not to long or Satan will cause temptation for adultery. Any real Christian knows this about marriage it’s no longer to separate people but they have become one now one flesh. Unless there is a medical condition then there is no good reason to deprive your husband or wife from sex. If there is a pain or if it’s a mental problem then you should get if fixed. Sex was created by God for married people to deny intimacy without a good reason is a sin in Gods eyes and that person becomes a liar of your marriage vows. Don’t just do what the scripture says but apply it in your daily lives seek in everything you do to glorify God even in your marriage and God will bless your marriage. Remember love isn’t just a feeling for someone but it’s also a choice. For those who marriage doesn’t seek God then they are missing out on how wounderful a marriage is suppose to be. You can love some one truely if u don’t have Christ only through Christ can a husband and wife truly love eachother with a powerful bond nothing can break.

      Reply
    • LaurA

      You are a disgrace to women eveywhere.

      Reply
    • Aria

      You find it that shocking that men would be offended by sex requiring consent and respect and concern for both people? That female and male sexuality interacting is sexual intercouese? That both the husband and the wife have to have desire for sex? That if the man cannot control himself and his wife for his own purposes with no obligation to care for her he’s going to leave Christianity? This is why so many people aren’t Christian. Been there done that. I’m an atheist but I can read. I can study, and I can learn. The Bible simply doesn’t say what you seem to think it said.
      My husband thought like you though, and he was Catholic.

      Christian by your love you shall be know.
      I’ve had it go both ways very profoundly in my life, but I would consider myself a failure as a mother if I raised such a son. If you are the light of the world and my bad is higher than yours you’re missing the point.

      Reply
    • Spalt

      Okay..boy I don’t even know where to start. I don’t particularly have any body parts that cause repulsion when touched by my husband. However, I had asked him not to put his mouth on my nipple during my 2nd trimester because it was extremely sensitive and almost painfully so. He respected that and was concerned with how that made me feel. My husband *hates his nipples and testes touched. Always. I can totally respect that. Honestly, he had been denying me quite a bit, or more or less ignoring my advances lately. When we talked it out, it was not due to him being unfaithful, angry at me, or repulsed by my appearance, but actually stemmed from his fear that if he had sex with me more, he’d be tempted to objectify my body as he had done this in his past relationships. We, together, confronted and identified and reasoned and were strengthened in the end. He dethroned that fear in his heart as absurd and that he loves me as his wife, companion, helper, friend, and lover. You men/women saying sex is a right for either spouse, obviously think you deserved salvation too. You are given it as a gift in marriage and it is always a gift. If your husband’s penis stopped working or if your wife had bleeding issues ect, you would demand from them your gift that your “entitled” to?? God knows, right? If it’s something the spouse can’t help? Pray. If it’s something the spouse CAN help? Pray. Stop stomping your feet and take it to God, cause chances are if you are just badgering your spouse, you are just creating bitterness in yourself. God’s a fair judge, correct? Then maybe you need to reassess your part in the sexual issue. When you treat your spouse with contempt in this area, you’re really just blaming God for you not getting your way.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Very well put!

        Reply
  4. Kay

    I’m terribly confused by the haters ^^ above, Sheila. I appreciated this post tremendously. I normally am a boob girl but depending on the time of month of where I am after childbirth, having my husband touch my breasts is a huge turn off. If my husband said, “Tough, the bible tells me to rejoice in your breasts, so suck it up,” I would probably slap him. I think disrespect is probably a HUGE factor here! This wife has expressed her distaste for this activity and yet he keeps doing it. She feels dismissed and undervalued. I am guessing that a conversation like you wrote above would be extremely helpful, because her husband sounds like a kind man and his dismissal of her wishes sounds like it isn’t consistent with his good character, which says to me that he genuinely doesn’t understand how uncomfortable it is for her to be touched there. Especially if she is working to get to the root of why, I would hope that a kind and loving husband would respect that and do what he can to help her feel more comfortable in the bedroom, and by refraining from touching them even though he likes too in the meantime. I don’t think that is unfair to ask! Now I suppose it helps because my husband knows it is temporary, but when I ask him not to touch my breasts because it hurts, is uncomfortable, is overstimulating, I’m touched out, etc, he respects that! I don’t understand why any good-willed man would insist on ANY sexual behavior that made his wife uncomfortable.

    Reply
    • BradA

      Kay,

      Would you be as compassionate for him if he decided the principle to provide for his family didn’t apply to him?

      Reply
      • Christine C

        I don’t see how those two things are comparable. Most people simply have to work to get by. If I decided that I didn’t want to work, I’d be homeless in a couple months. If a grown adult with dependents decides that they don’t want to work, then the whole family would be plunged into poverty.

        In contrast, if a person says that they don’t like a part of their body touched, their partner will probably be sad, but the consequences aren’t as dire.

        Reply
      • Heather

        I don’t really see how those two are related, honestly. My husband and I both have worked jobs we didn’t enjoy to make ends meet. Him having respect for me and my body is completely different.

        Reply
      • Kay

        Hi Brad, can you clarify? What principle am I proposing this wife reject, seeing as I am in agreement with Sheila that she needs to work on this issue out of love for her husband? also am failing to see the parallel.

        Reply
        • BradA

          Kay,

          Men give provision to get sex out of marriage. Women generally give sex to get provision. The principle here is that a woman can stop doing the sex part, but the man cannot stop the provision part.

          I am not sure how many here have watch the old Dobbie Gillis show (reruns of course). Maynard G Krebs (sp?) on the show had an allergic reaction to work. Would he be justified not working and only being told to start pondering his problem? Possibly, though I doubt it. Most will say the woman should control sex, but that men have to supply the provision no matter what.

          This does require thinking about implications rather than just the immediate story however, so is not likely to happen from many.

          Reply
          • Sheila

            Men give provision to get sex, and women get sex to get provision? Seriously?

            How about people get married to experience a deeply intimate, companionship relationship? And in that relationship, both try to show love to each other? In a world where women work as much as men do frequently, and often make as much money, you’re seriously off. But people do not get married to get provision today. They get married to have a life partner. If you think of it in these stark terms, you miss the beauty that God made marriage for.

          • Amy

            I know right?! i am not a hooker! I’m a wife and mother and I do not get sex as a reward for being a good wife and mother either! Man his comment made me ragey

          • blue girl

            You see wives as glorified hookers. Nice.

          • Tee

            So basically wives do not exist all women are sex workers who give sex to get money. Basically we are all mistresses. Uh huh. Got it. Good to clear it up. Also glad I’m not married to someone who thinks this way. My husband treats me as more than a sex toy or a mistress.

          • Jen

            What planet are you from? I didn’t marry my husband for his provision. I married him because I loved him and didn’t want to be without him. Your comments make no sense at all.

          • Will

            Brad, are you married? Sometimes things look different on the outside than they actually are on the inside. I can understand why you might see marriage the way you do. I’m a nevermarried but I really think there is a whole lot more involved in marriage than an exchange of wants. Just the brief glimpse into marriage from my dating relationships makes me think it’s a whole lot better than bartering to get what we want.

            As for the phobias. I have PTSD. I know what it’s like to be repulsed by things that other’s are not repulsed by at all. It’s difficult to get over. From what little I know on the subject of this blog post, I think Sheila did a great job.

          • Will

            I feel I need to add that although I understand Brad’s assertion above it’s not what I see in reality. The women I dated, who also wanted marriage out of me, made more money than I did. Women, or most of them, like many other things about being married to a guy than just our money.

            And I know there’s a lot more to love about being close to a woman than sex. Sex is awesome but you don’t spend most of the time having sex with your spouse. If sex were the only reason a guy wanted marriage with a woman then he would be miserable the rest of the time. As a guy gets to know a woman, and starts to want to marry her, he definitely just wants to be around her. And he definitely finds there are other things about her to love/appreciate than just her looks. Or so this single guy has seen from the outside of marriage and the inside of the dating scene.

          • Matilda

            Brad, do you have any idea how bad the belief that men only marry to have sex makes women feel? It makes them
            feel worthless, like a Prostitute, , nothing. It’s a form of humiliation. Is that how you want your wife to feel?

        • BradA

          Kay, I was more responding to the replies here which followed the idea that the husband should just suck it up and go without. That is also a common church theme today. I have yet to hear the sermons that do the reverse, though I hear lots of complaints about such supposed teachings.

          How can sex twice a month (or maybe three times if I read the post correctly) be considered to fit with most marriages, especially when younger? 3 times a month is very infrequent. That was the aimpoint noted in the OP.

          The point is that most of the women here reserve scorn for men who oppose the narrative, yet are surprised that some men might not find the solution to be good.

          God made sex a glue to hold a marriage together, not something for the wife to ration out as she sees fit. Aiming at that for any reason is something that should bring up just as much concern as if the husband was subscribing to a porn magazine in the home. Both would be indications of some serious problems, not just something to relegate to a rare time and then to be tolerated.

          Reply
          • Sheila

            I never said sex twice or three times a month. I said that you do it once or twice totally for him, and once or twice totally for her, and the other times are just normal.

            And of course God made sex to hold a marriage together. We’re not talking about withholding sex. This woman isn’t talking about withholding sex. We’re talking about ONE THING that a woman doesn’t want to do sexually, that’s all. And we’re saying, “let’s get to the root of the problem.” Anyone who would want her to go through the motions when she is seriously grossed out doesn’t really love her.

            Again, we’re not talking about denying sex. This woman isn’t talking about denying sex. We’re just saying that women DO have a say over what they do in bed, which is clearly said in 1 Corinthians 7.

          • Jessica

            Brad you are obviously not reading what Sheila is saying. And I’m not sure what type of church you attend but I grew up independent baptist and heard more than enough sermons on “just do it whenever and do whatever he wants.” So let me ask you the same question I’ve asked below. My husband wants anal even though it seriously hurts me. Am I supposed to suck it up? Here’s more background: we have sex 3-4 times a week and gets oral as starting every time. he is not deprived.

          • Sarah

            If you frequent Sheila’s blog, you’ll know that she recommends sex at least two to three times a week… not per month.

            I can understand where you’re coming from, Brad, but you’re totally taking this post out of context and I’m not even sure that you read the whole thing based on your comments.

            I am so saddened by your view of marriage and sex. You make it sound like only men enjoy sex. Of course it’s not meant to be a ration. There are many times when I satisfy my husbands needs when I don’t really feel like it! I do it not out of duty, obligation, or to get something from him, but out of love. There are also plenty of times when I am more than ready to enjoy his company.

            You should never have a marriage without sex, that’s not at all what Sheila is suggesting. In this case, a woman is in incredible amounts of pain during sex, either physically or emotionally. I don’t think you’re giving credit to that! In this case the wife is not unwilling to have sex… it’s just hard for her. Sheila talks about how to overcome this in her article, and helps women to work towards being willing to have sex.

            One of Sheila’s biggest topics is about how women can really enjoy sex to the fullest! How can you miss that? She’s not suggesting that it should be dolled out whenever the woman wants, but that she’s an equal partner in the relationship and deserves to enjoy it.

            The man should never force sex, but we as women should not deny it if at all possible. In the case of physical pain sometimes it is necessary until you figure out what is wrong. That doesn’t mean you can’t still be intimate and enjoy one another.

            I do wish you would read some more of her articles and try to get a better understanding of what Sheila stands for. You can’t possibly have read the entire article.

          • Sheila

            Thank you, Sarah!

          • Kara

            Brad,

            You seem to overlook the fact that God designed the female body in this way…he did not “get it right” with the man’s libido and “get it wrong” with the woman’s libido. He specifically designed two different genders with two different desires for sex (obviously this is a generalization, not a hard and fast rule for genders). This was deliberate, not an accident. I can’t really speak for God as to why he would do this, but a general guess would be that this could be a practical area to teach both men and women to love and sacrifice for their spouse. A woman choosing to have sex with her husband when she does not need or desire it, is choosing to love and serve her husband. A husband who chooses to respect his wife by not demanding sex whenever he desires it, is also choosing to serve and love his wife. Love is all about sacrifice, Jesus probably didn’t “feel” like hanging on a cross and dying for us. Yet he chose to do it. The term “Biblical manhood” gets tossed around a lot and I haven’t actually found a church that models manhood after the example of Jesus. The question we should all ask ourselves is whether we could see Jesus saying the words that we say, acting in the way we act, and demanding what we demand. Just keep in mind, that Jesus reserves his harshest rebukes for those (the Pharisees) who used a literal translation of His word to oppress others.

          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            Very well said, Kara!

      • Jessica

        Sex is mutual not just the wife’s task to preform for her husband. Your analogy would go with her not keeping the home. This attitude is why so many christian women hate sex and feel like a piece of meat

        Reply
        • Matilda

          Jessica, a man would only want anal if he’s been watching porn. God did not make the anus for sex. It’s not ok and you never have to do it. Humans are not animals and in my opinion anal is a hate act, not a love one.

          Reply
      • Ann

        Brad, you just don’t seem able to get what this wife is feeling, but how could you, being a man? Get over trying to compare her discomfort and her husbands disrespect he shows by not “hearing” her. He’s treating her body like a play thing, a toy with no regard for her feelings. There is no comparison between his disrespect and you deciding not to work. He doesn’t own her body; she does and she has every right to be respected for how she feels. You can bet that if her husband didn’t want his testicles touched, she would respect his wishes.

        Reply
        • Matilda

          I think a good question for any man to ask himself is: How would I feel if sex meant pain? That every time I touched my wife and had or tried to have sex with her it really hurt. I also rarely if ever orgasm. What would I do? How would I view sex? What would I want my wife to do to help make it better for me?

          Reply
      • Christin

        Brad, your comments are truly baffling to me. Your correlation between providing for your family and “getting” sex (because you’re certainly not giving it) implies that you work for sex. Did you make this deal with your wife when you married her, or did you just assume that if you fed your wife and children you would be “payed” with sex? Just so you know, that kind of an arrangement is called “prostitution”, not “marriage”.

        Reply
        • Sheila Gregoire

          Absolutely agree!

          Reply
      • Julie

        Brad, not touching in certain areas sometimes doesnt mean no sex at all. We have good sexual life in our marriage, both enjoy it, but there are times when the same touch causes different feeling, and as loving couple we adjust to the situation. Sometimes i ask him not to do something if its painful and there are times when its just not turning me on or is slightly uncomfortable but i see that he really enjoys it, i surely dont take it away. I enjoy seeing that he is enjoying me, i like being desired, but he never hurts me. It’s a love issue. I wouldnt put providing on the scale.

        Reply
  5. Kay

    Hi Cassie, can you clarify what part of this post you find offensive instead of personally attacking Sheila? I am confused.

    Also, you are taking that verse out of context. Solomon is telling his son to seek sexual fulfillment and delight in his wife (his own cistern) versus the adulteress. It is not a literal commandment for men to touch their wives’ breasts! My husband would not take ANY delight in touching my breasts if it bothered me, which happens from time to time because of the stage of life I am in right now (breastfeeding a toddler). My husband is respectful of that and we find plenty of other ways to delight in one another in the bedroom. If he tried to club me over the head with that verse when I prefer he did not touch my breasts, how is that loving? Paul says everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial (since we are cherry-picking our verses here); if this wife is offended and turned off by this activity, then it is not beneficial to the marriage bed or marriage to continue that activity. Why would a good-willed husband insist on touching his wife in a way that offends her? To truly delight in his wife, wouldn’t it be more pleasurable to focus on the kind of touches that they BOTH enjoy, so that she can be an enthusiastic participant, instead of dreading all sexual contact because he husband is unwilling to respect her? It is in the best interest of any marriage to find mutually enjoyable activities in the marriage bed and never to force one another to do something they don’t want to do in bed. That’s called rape. Even if you are married. Maybe that is an extreme thing to say, but it sounds to me like this wife is having that strong of a reaction to being touched there. Until she gets down to the root issue here–whether psychological or physical–I hope her husband will respect her body enough to not touch her in a way she finds repulsive.

    Reply
    • Kay

      Oh good! I hope you deleted Cassie’s comment. THANK YOU. 😀

      Reply
      • Sheila

        I actually put it back because I liked your comments so much! I think it’s important on the one hand that the rest of us see what sorts of advice there is out there in the Christian community–the types of advice that say that women’s well-being doesn’t matter whatsoever to Jesus. Sometimes people don’t believe me when I tell them the types of comments I have to delete (largely because I do delete most of them!) so leaving some, when other people chime in in a healthy manner to show the error, is important, I think.

        At the same time, I don’t want to leave too many because it puts Christ in SUCH a bad light. I don’t want people who are seeking to be turned off of God because of what someone says. Yet I think thoughtful comments like yours restore the truth, and so it’s okay for others to see what we really are dealing with.

        Reply
    • Sheila

      Okay, I did delete the comment originally but then put it back when I saw your reply! I thought it was great. I just didn’t want to leave the comment hanging because it gives SUCH a bad example of what Christ is about.

      I love this quote from John & Stasi Eldredge on the subject (a quotation that I made into a graphic that will go up on Facebook later today): “So you can’t demand the broken to live as if they were whole. Discipline is not the issue; apply discipline and you’ll make it worse. What is needed is healing.”.

      Exactly!

      Reply
      • Kay

        I love John and Staci! I refer to quotes from their marriage book Love & War often. That’s another great one!

        I’m genuinely curious to hear Cassie expand on her thoughts. I can’t relate to where she is coming from and would love to understand better.

        Reply
  6. Keelie Reason

    You know, this reader came to Sheila and asked her opinion. No one that read this article as to agree. I hope that someone will feel comforted by what she wrote and able to deal with some of their own issues.
    I agree with Sheila though, if you don’t like being touched somewhere, you really should figure out why. If it is because of past abuse, I really encourage anyone to address that issue in your life. If it is simply annoying, I get that too. I can’t stand for anything to rest on my neck, including my husband’s hand. That’s just a sensory thing that I can’t do anything about. It is a great idea to challenge yourself to move beyond your comfort zone, including in the area of your body.

    When I first was married, I dealt with a lot of feelings from past abuses when my husband would touch me certain ways. I’m thankful that over the years, we have worked together, and I no longer have those feelings. It took a lot of years and a lot of intentional touch and communication for me to feel more comfortable. I’m just thankful I can feel more free in my sex life because I addressed my issues.

    If you aren’t willing to compromise in marriage, I am not sure where that leaves you. As long as you aren’t talking about finding a way to accept abuse or sin, then you should do what it takes to come to a resolution to your problems.

    Reply
    • Kay

      I think your husband set a great example here, Keelie! It took you years and some intentional healing –together!–and at no point did your husband disregard your needs to go slow during those years. That’s the thing that bothers me most about this husband’s actions; she asked him not to and he is not respecting that. But yes, I hope this wife seeks the intentional healing and growth that you have, and that her husband respects her and builds her up along the way just like yours!

      Reply
      • Jim

        The problem with most of the “detractors” to Sheila’s comments are that they appear to be dealing with situations where one (or both) are firmly entrenched and not willing (or able) to work on themselves.

        Life gets really hard when it’s one-sided. Though I have no agreement with Brad or Cassie in their content, it does present a conundrum for those who are not “equally yoked” in the process of self improvement, but are only focused on how the pie is split.

        We are all damaged goods, just in different ways. The comment about expecting “the broken to live as if they were whole” applies to us all.

        Working through it together is the goal and wonderful. When one (either the husband or the wife) is unwilling to work, it makes the walk very hard. One can work through it alone for a while, but it’s asking a lot to work through it alone forever.

        Certainly, when one works on their own issues, humbly and honestly, the other is more likely to come around, but there are no guarantees. Eventually, I can see even the most patient of spouses giving up after decades of solo effort. And if neither are willing to humbly and honestly work their own issues, then there really isn’t much hope for what Sheila promotes here. It sounds like that is where Brad is – neither willing to work on their own stuff. Tough place!

        I’m very thankful to have a wife that is working together with me and is committed to us and our future together. I’m also thankful that she has given me the opportunity to see areas that I can work and focus to improve me and us.

        Sheila, thanks so much for providing a forum for these discussions and dealing with the adversity that comes with it. You’re voice is badly needed in this world. You’ve been a great help in my life and my relationship.

        Reply
  7. Melissa

    I’m in agreement with Cassie.

    Reply
  8. Melissa

    I think the person who left that insanely critical comment completely missed the part about the couple talking about it and working through it together. Nobody can just wave The Magic Scripture Wand and make themselves and their marriage perfect.

    I have my own example of not liking to be touched somewhere, except it is my face. I’ve had people tell me it’s “ridiculous” that I don’t want my husband to touch my face romantically. Okay, that’s hurtful. The backstory is I dealt with severe cystic acne for many years. Any little thing would cause a flare up or a new blemish, including touching my face. I became borderline OCD about it. I constantly had thoughts running through my mind about what I had touched and if it was still on my fingers and had I touched my face with germs or dirt or oil on my fingers, and then I would become extremely anxious and have to go scrub my hands and possibly wash my face as well. It was a miserable way to live. Now that was MY issue and I had to work through that, BUT, while I was working through it, I had to ask my husband to please not touch my face because it could trigger all of those feelings. And that was a major mood killer. I asked in a gracious, respectful way, and my husband easily agreed. With time I’ve gotten less anxious about my face and when we’re being romantic I don’t mind if he puts his hand on my cheek. But it took time and communication and willingness to work on it from both of our sides. And THAT is what Sheila is talking about.

    Reply
  9. Meredith

    I don’t think the husband is being kind or understanding if he is saying she is “withholding”. Lots of people have touch they don’t enjoy or find too, too much.

    I have had problems with this in the past and a frank discussion was helpful. I told him that I did not want to do one thing he kept pushing for (not a moral issue, just an “ick” for me). Whenever he seemed to be leading me in that direction, I was immediately turned off. It was a non-negotiable area for me, but I would be willing to do some things that he found arousing even though I wasn’t particularly into them. We both win because I can relax and not worry about being pushed and he gets something he finds pleasurable, and the knowledge that I am happy to do some things just to enhance his pleasure. I think it also made him realize that in this one instance he hadn’t been focused on my actual pleasure at all, instead it was a sort of controlling “I want this so you should like this!” attitude. Sorry about the vague language, but I don’t want to be explicit ant this way everyone can fill the details in to fit their own situation.

    I had stumbled on the idea of a Want, Will, Won’t list. You both make lists of what you want, what you are willing to do/try, and what you absolutely will not do (so don’t ask). I would love to do this more thoroughly, but don’t know if my husband would do it. If you want a complete explanation, the Youtube Sexplanations channel with Lindsay Doe is very good. The video is titled “How to Get the Sex You Want.” Warning: she is very graphic (very, very graphic) and her worldview is not Christian. She will, however explain anything (and I mean anything) you may have ever wondered about.

    Reply
    • Kay

      I was struck by that too and wondered what he meant. Did he mean she was withholding her breasts from him? Or was she now withholding sex? I’m not saying it’s right, but I would completely understand if she did start withholding sex if he insisted on touching her breasts every time! Creating negative associations with sex is a sure fire way to kill whatever desire was there. But if she is withholding, I hope she would have a conversation like Sheila suggests. It sounds to me like this husband doesn’t realize just how deeply his refusal to respect her desires is short-circuiting their sex life. I would imagine he would be more respectful if he understood that.

      I’d he thinks that she is withholding just because she won’t let him touch her breasts, I hope he realizes that that does not qualify as withholding at all from a biblical standpoint!

      Reply
  10. Chara

    True story:
    I was discussing phobias with my Oral Comm class last week and a student confessed to me (after class) that she has a phobia of belly buttons. Seriously. Apparently she super-glued hers shut as a small child and her mother had to manually reopen it, which she had forgotten about until a year or so ago when her mother reminded her about it. She’d been seriously afraid of belly buttons (hers and others) but hadn’t remembered why.
    Fears aren’t always reasonable, but they don’t have to be.

    Reply
  11. Robyn

    I’m new here so take it easy on me. I see this a little differently than most of the commentators. I don’t see her being good intentioned towards her husband. I mean when you get married you know your husband is going to want to touch your breasts- a lot! If you don’t want it, don’t get married. Why would you marry a man you didn’t want touching your boobs?

    I am surprised that so many husbands would be willing to go along with the advice. Mine would not. Mine would most certainly say, “those are mine!” Honestly, I like it that way. He purchased those boobs with a lifetime of faithfulness, sacrifice, hardwork, provision, protection and love towards me. They are his and he’d be right to say exactly that.

    I don’t understand Christian teaching anymore, so I guess I’m with the above commentator who is taking so much flack. I’m sorry but wives have responsibilities and duties to husbands also. Not just the other way around. It’s rarely recognized anymore and even more so rarely taught.

    My husband would just not be on board with this one bit.

    Reply
    • Melissa

      I think I can understand where you’re coming from. Sometimes when we haven’t dealt with a particular issue ourselves, it can be difficult to understand. I’ve been there. Dealing with my own issues that have popped up in the last couple of years, though, has broadened my understanding. I may not relate to what someone is dealing with, but that does not make it any less real or valid. The e-mailer may have long-suppressed negative memories and feelings associated with having her breasts touched, and instead of suppressing it more, she’s reaching out for advice on how to deal with it. Working through something like this is extra difficult when a spouse does not give you space while you’re working through it. It takes mutual understanding and compassion. That goes for the husband too, not just the wife. If she’s communicating that she really does not like having her breasts touched and his response is to grab for them even more, even outside the bedroom, that is not showing compassion on his part. It’s a two way street. She wants to work on her issue but if he keeps pushing her buttons like that it’s only going to hinder the process. Does that make sense?

      Reply
    • Kay

      it is possible that this woman and her husband were not intimately involved before marriage, in which case she did not know she did not like her breasts touched. Or it is possible that the birth of her first child changed that. It definitely changed EVERYTHING about my body. I couldn’t have my husband touch my breasts during early pregnancy or early nursing days because it hurt and felt absolutely awful! That would be horrible if my husband said, “Tough, you married me and they are mine now.” For about the first 6 months after each kiddo was born, I absolutely HAD to wear a bra during sex because my milk would SPRAY everywhere and soak the bed. (Huge turnoff and distraction for me, even if he wasn’t bothered by it.) I am so thankful my husband is understanding and refrained from grabbing my breasts against my wishes during that time.

      That said, Sheila isn’t saying this is okay. She is asking this woman to get to the root issue here, but encouraging her to ask her husband to support her in that instead of undermining her efforts to heal by disrespecting her request. He is causing her to have negative associations with sex, and that never ends well. 1 Cor 13 tells us that love does not insist on its own way, which means a loving husband should respect his wife’s desire but a loving wife would also respect her husband’s desires by trying to grow in this area. This wife sounds as if she has been traumatized or has some sensory issues that need to be deat with. Him insisting on his own way here would be very toxic to a loving and intimate relationship. Marriage (especially the marriage bed) should be a safe place to heal, not a place to insist that you want what you want when you want it and damned be the person who tells you you can’t have it.

      I can relate to this poster because I have my own sensory issues with certain sounds or sensations. Hearing someone chew and snap gum will make me nauseous to the point of vomiting. (True story.) Out of love for me, my husband no longer chews gum at home even though he likes it. For the same reason, my husband sucking on or kissing near my ear makes me feel ill. I did not know that until I was married. But again, my husband would never insist on doing something that he knew turned me off. He wants me to enjoy sex as much as he does, so we stick to mutually enjoyable activities. I try to grow in these areas, but I doubt the ear thing will change. I would absolutely hate sex of my husband insisted on sucking on my neck or ear every time. Why would a husband want to do something to his wife that feels awful? I hope she tries to get to the root issue here so that maybe she can overcome this, but she will never overcome this if her husband insists on molesting her because it is his ” right” as her husband.

      Reply
    • Meredith

      Amen, Nicole. Thank you for being the voice of reason. The idea that my husband “owns” my body in a way that he can do what he pleases (see Robyn, among others, above) is so twisted. It is supposed to be a mutual giving “I am my beloved’s and he is mine” not a demand or force. I would like each of those women who think this is his right to imagine their husband doing something sexually that gives them an overwhelming reflexive “ick” response. Now imagine him doing it over and over, without warning. Is that being loving? Remember Jesus’ example of doing unto others is our guide for relating with one another.

      The woman who asked the question may or may not have some psychological reason for her behavior. We don’t know and I am uncomfortable with this rush for a bunch of non-professionals to diagnose trauma. It could be that she is just super sensitive and he is overwhelming her which is painful–and TRAUMATIC if he keeps ignoring her statements that this feels BAD. I have seen something similar with people who think it is amusing to tickle someone who is hyper-sensitive. It is cruel and makes the victim tense and anxious whenever the person who tickles is around. I think any couple who has a dynamic like this should find a therapist as soon as possible.

      Reply
      • Meredith

        Oops, I meant to put this under Nicole’s comment way below this. Sorry for the confusion.

        Reply
      • Sheila

        Yep. And I agree–it may not be trauma at all. I’ve been pushing the trauma angle because I’m trying to see it to the extreme–if someone really has trauma, would you STILL give this advice? And the answer seems to be yes, which is bizarre.

        And by the way, even if trauma WASN’T the root cause, if you keep subjugating the woman to it, it will BECOME trauma. And that’s sad.

        Reply
    • TP

      Hi Robyn!

      I see what you are saying. That is so awesome that you don’t feel that way and you have such a healthy experience with sex. I don’t totally disagree with what you are saying, but you may not be able to relate with someone who has not had your experience. There are women who have been sexually abused or molested that would make certain things harder for them. As Sheila said, they should work through and find victory over their inhibitions or turn-offs. But if you have not experienced trauma in this area, you may not be able to fully relate. I can say for myself that because of past trauma, I have struggled in certain areas with my husband, but God is at work to free me. Maybe try to be more understanding of those who may have troubled sexual pasts.

      Reply
    • LAURA

      I agree, Robyn!

      Reply
    • Faith

      I’m late to this but has anyone ever heard of sensory issues? Some people are mildly on the spectrum and may not be diagnosed, but being the spectrum cause the people with a severe hate of certain types of touch. It could be a sound , touch, or even a texture. People with sensory problems are very sensitive and find certain things excruciating.

      Reply
  12. Heather

    This article makes perfect sense to me. I hate anyone touching anywhere near my ears. Totally gives me the heebie jeebies. My husband always wants to kiss me there or give me a gentle caress, when I really just don’t like it. It doesn’t hurt or anything; I’ve just never enjoyed it when he was really trying to be loving and sweet. My mother reminded me that I battled nonstop ear infections growing up. It clicked for me!

    We have found a balance. He understands my issues and shows restraint and respect. I am learning to open up and let him touch/kiss me in that area when we’re intimate, and hey, I like it then!! Some open and honest talks about my issues have really helped us both and we’re making progress, thank you Lord. <3

    Reply
  13. Raven

    One week a month my boobs hurt. Just walking around they hurt. When I am pregnant, intense boob pain is my first clue, before nausea or the test shows positive. When my boobs are that sensitive, it’s not sexy AT ALL to have them handled, even though I like it at other times. I tell my husband this. We do other stuff for that week. I have a really, really kind and considerate husband who always wants me to have a good time in bed, so he is okay with that and I thank God for him.

    I encourage the woman who wrote in to consider trying the desensitization exercises Shelia outlined, but also I want her husband to consider–would he rather ease off on the boob play, or not have as much sex at all? Or would he like knowing his wife is just laying there gritting her teeth, not enjoying him one bit because her boobs are so painful/ticklish/miserable? Can he picture what it would be like to have someone tickling his armpit the whole time he’s trying to make love? Or having to have someone’s hand on his throat or messing with his toes, or whatever physical sensation skeeves him out? A little empathy would go a long way, even if he remains a “boob man”. And she might be more comfortable working through hypersensitivity if she knows he understands and will be gentle.

    Reply
    • BradA

      This is a much different response than the “tough, I don’t like it” that I see in many of the other replies.

      I really would rather play games all day than work, but I don’t get to make that choice, no matter how painful it is to push through and work each work day. Why does a wife get a presumed pass when a husband does not?

      Focus more on dealing with why the hesitation, fear or pain is there rather than just saying, “he must respect her wishes.” I cannot see any of you supporting a layabout husband in the same manner. Just saying “make the wife happy” is a fruitless target as the only one who can ultimately make a wife happy is the wife herself. That is true for all of us.

      Read some of the Scriptures that talk about contentment for some depth here. And don’t marry if you don’t want all the parts of marriage.

      Reply
      • Raven

        Respectfully–and a little reluctantly because I think you were trying to agree with me– I don’t think they’re the same thing. A spouse who says “I’m going to decide not to feel like having sex” is like a spouse saying “I’m going to decide not to look for work”. A spouse who is having pain and/or hypersensitivity issues–that they want to overcome, but don’t know how to begin working on it– is much more like a spouse who is looking for work, but can’t find it.

        As a man i’m sure you can picture the pain of being unemployed and, as the months tick by, still not getting any callbacks on jobs. To have someone remind you that a man who doesn’t provide for his family is worse than an infidel, or asking if you’ve thought enough about contentment, or admonishing you that you really should have thought of this before being married–and have you read your Bible lately?–would that help you work through the legit fear and pain of being unemployed while you wait for God’s provision? Would it draw you to Christ or just rub salt in the wounds? Now, what if instead of a random stranger on the internet or in church saying this stuff to you, it was your wife–who’s supposed to trust you, and understand you, and believe in you? I know if I spoke so harshly to my husband it would damage our relationship. I hope that Christian spouses can find ways to communicate lovingly and Biblically without harshness.

        That said, I also find the comparison between sex and a paycheck a little troubling–I know what you mean, but it does seem much more to reference a worldly “I get my will as long as I pay the bills” mindset or even the radical Marxist “marriage is legal prostitution” than a Christian marriage. I did not marry my husband because I wanted his money–I had my own money when I met him. As Shelia has noted, many people who are not Christians read these comments. We surely don’t want to tarnish the name of Christ by implying He commands such misogynist claptrap. I don’t think you did mean to imply that, but I wanted to strongly clarify this point.

        I have no idea if the woman who wrote in to Shelia has been working through her hypersensitivity issue before now or not, but I’m assuming the best about her and about her husband (I am not, for example, assuming he understands how uncomfortable she is and doesn’t care–I’m assuming he’s a good, kind husband). Without knowing more about the situation, I think empathy and the FULL counsel of Scripture–“bear one another’s burdens”, for example, or “live with your wife in an understanding way”, as well as the verses regarding headship and submission— is most helpful.

        Reply
      • Matilda

        Because Brad, you are wanting to enter into your wife’s body, into the most intimate part of her body. That is not the same as going to work. If you can’t see that, only God can help you. Also women menstrate and have babies, they also breast feed. ALL of this is God ordained & any man of God understands this will effect sex.

        Reply
  14. NGS

    Hi, I really love your Blogs as well as J. Parker. Only problem is my wife does not! I downloaded 31 Days & Good Girl’s Guide as well as Sex Savvy and found it really helpful….for me. But yet again my wife hasn’t really paid it much attention. And when we do have sex she doesn’t like to be touched and many times just tells me to get done! Kissing is also kept to a minimum. We have 2 wonderful boys of 7 & 9 and I don’t know how to regain intimacy and passion in our marriage again. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Kate

      I’m sorry you are going through this. I have been reading through Gary Chapman’s five love languages book. It has been a great help for me to see what our love languages are. Maybe make her dinner, or take her to a movie. My husband and I just went and seen War room and it was fabulous. Hope that helps a little. Good luck.

      Reply
    • Matilda

      Honestly NGS I would pray. The Lord knows what’s going on and if you ask I believe he will show you what to do and what not to do. Pray for your wife & pray about the situation.

      Reply
  15. Angie

    I just want to thank Sheila and Kay for their continued input on strong subject matter such as this and standing up for women being human beings not their husband’s property. “Christians” such as CJ2498 in the above comment made me run screaming from the Christian religion as a young lady. I have only recently been exploring a return as I am learning how the bible has been interpreted erroneously for so many centuries and men and women are finally taking into account the whole of the bible instead of cherrypicking verses to fit their personal agendas.

    Reply
    • Angie

      Sorry, I meant to say “Christians” like the Cassie in the above comment, not CJ.

      Reply
      • alchemist

        I don’t think it’s a time thing. There have been orthodox and non-orthodox Christians since Jesus came. Read 1, 2 and 3 John. He was addressing serious heresies less than a 100 years AD. This is why orthodoxy is a big deal. Theology and doctrine are wonderful and important. But it has to be based/ rooted/ saturated firmly in the Word. Not pieces of the Word or cherry picked verses. All of it. It can be difficult and confusing, but you should continue to wrestle with it and pray about it and study it.

        This is also why having a *good* church is vital. And why picking elders and preachers is a big deal. A church should consist of a bunch of people seriously studying to Bible and talking about it respectfully and with humility. People with the gift of teaching should teach. The others should listen. People should be humble and gracious. No-one should accept things blindly (that’s actually in the Westminster confession.) Sometimes people should agree to disagree.

        Reading old books is also useful. We can easily be blinded by the errors of our time.

        But doctrine and orthodoxy y’all. It’s important. Even more important is reading and questioning and praying for yourself. The most important thing is love (as Paul defines it. Not as the world defines it). People who love one another doesn’t use scripture as a club to bash people with.

        Reply
    • Kay

      Thank you for your kind words, Angie. I don’t have it all figured out, but there is a lot of harmful stuff out there. Satan is certainly having a field day in our congregations. The damage is devastating. One of my friends wrote about his need for a “church detox” for a few years before he was able to join the church community again. His faith in Christ did not waver, but he was “church damaged” and needed to heal from that. I think especially when it comes to our sexuality, it is time for us to call out all of these terribly harmful teachings. I am thankful for Sheila for precisely this reason! The church people are running from is not the true church at all and it is time to reclaim our territory.

      Reply
  16. Steff

    Totally agree sheila. Its so important to communicate – and to recognise both people’s likes/dislikes – even if they change everyday!

    I can’t stand kissing on my neck except about 1 in 100 i can cope with it but it involves all my concentration (my mum and grandma both have sensitive necks too and will always try escape a kiss on the neck from us kids who think its funny). My husband and I now when he wants to kiss my neck and starts I let him get in kne or two then quickly start to kiss his neck instead – which he loves.

    Breasts totally depend on the day (mostly ok) so he just cruises with that or lets me know if its especially what he wants that day so we balance it out.

    Reply
    • Steff

      Ack so many typo and bad grammer in that comment. Apologies! That’s what I get for commenting while on the bus/walking.

      Reply
  17. cj2498

    Hi! I just read your comment to me. This lady Shella your talking about has said you need to make it a point to do what ever sexual thing that your husband what to do at less once a month. That sound ridiculous to even till a women that. If a women does not like to do certain sexual activities with their husbands they should not feel obligated to do it . They should not be told to suck it up and do it because thats what the bible say. Its about time for christian Women to know that they are just as good as a man, they can do anything a man can do. They need to know that a man does not have the last word. So if you don’t want to do something or don’t like want your huband is saying or doing start speaking up to show there husband, daughters and sons that women are just as important as a man.

    Reply
    • alchemist

      Nobody said they weren’t.

      Marriage and all of Christian life is about mutual submission. We are to try and outdo each other as servants. If you have a servant’s heart towards your husband you will want to do what you can to accommodate him. Likewise, he should seek to serve you by respecting you and trying to please you.

      Saying “I don’t have to do this cause I’m just as good as a man” is not a very productive mindset. It also misses the point. Christ is the most important and powerful being in the universe. He became a poor carpenter that was tortured to death for sinful, rebellious humans. He didn’t say “I don’t have to do that because I’m more important than them”. He served us. Even when it meant a horrible, humiliating, excruciating, drawn out death. We should serve one another.

      Reply
    • Steff

      Hi there!
      I agree with both yourself amd Sheila and I personally don’t think your opinions conflict. Here’s why:
      – being forced to do something is wrong
      – we shouldn’t ever do anything morally reprehensible or wrong (even if doing so would please our partner)
      – the bible calls us to love one another and to do to others as we want done to ourselves
      – we shouldn’t HAVE to do anything we dont want to do or don’t like (though that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it)
      – because I love my husband, I may CHOOSE to find ways to do things I don’t love/like or hate that he does like. This is a gift, not a requirement.
      – if I can work on changing from not liking something that my husband loves, to being ok with it, why would I not want to try and change? Do I HAVE to; no. The SAME goes for him trying to do things I like even if he doesn’t. This is the same thing as learning to like baseball because he does, or him learning to like dancing because you do. This doesn’t have to be all the time. You certainly don’t have too – but choosing to do so out of love (even if occasionally) is a wonderful gift.

      All of these things I EQUALLY apply to husbands and wives.

      I hope that makes sense. It’s a definitely a balance. I think as Sheila says, we should look into why we (or your partner should look into why they) do or don’t want to do something. If we can talk about it honestly and respectfully and both be willing to compromise (note exception for things that are plain wrong) our marriages will be stronger and more fulfilling.

      This doesn’t mean being a doormat. It isn’t a requirement to give or change. It is a gift that we should both want to give each other.

      Reply
    • The Baby Mama

      I’m sorry, but I disagree – I may be equal to a man, but I am not a man. Therefore I am not the same as a man. My husband and I are not the same. We are different. And it is those differences that need to be celebrated, and sometimes a middle ground has to be found. We also can’t do anything that a man can do – and I don’t want to. I like the fact that God made us different – He created men to be strong, and women to be feminine. I think that is beautiful. We are just as important, and our opinions count, but your stance sounds aggressive – a like it, or leave it scenario and I don’t agree with that. Where is the gentle communication through love and patience and understanding to get to the point where BOTH are happy and fulfilled?

      Reply
      • Angie

        Baby Mama,
        Women are feminine but we are STRONG also! Please don’t teach that we are weak. I certainly am not. Many a man would have given up from the things I and many of the women I know have been put through. And yes we CAN do the same things men can. We can be surgeons, astronauts, weightlifters, teachers, FBI agents, anything. Of course you and your husband are different. You’re two different people! I am different from my husband too. I am ALSO different from you! Even though we are BOTH women and moms! For example… What is your favorite stress release? Mine is running, as hard and as fast as I can for as long as I can. My “manly” hubby would rather sit in front of the boob tube than do something physical. A lot of ladies would rather go shopping, or get their nails done. So, yeah, we’re different.

        Reply
        • The Baby Mama

          Hi, Angie

          I never once said we are weak. I know that we are not weak – but we are strong differently to men. We can endure pain in a way that would make most men weep. But, physically, men are stronger than women. And I kinda like it that way.

          And my favourite way for stress release – is RUNNING! Ha ha, so perhaps not that different after all? 😉

          Reply
        • BradA

          Why have a husband at all Angie, if you can do everything he could provide?

          “Women can do anything a man can do, only better” is a common theme in our modern society, but would indicate the lack of a need for men if true.

          Reply
          • cj2498

            You sound exactly like a typical Christian male that my husband and I grow up with watching them think that they are so much better then a women. Your outlook is the raisen I never dating anyone that grow up in the church until i meet my husband and he even agree how christian men treat women make him sick. He does believe in God. But he doesn’t believe they way the church thinks so little of women is right. So you are telling me that my 17 daughter ( that has been with her boyfriend for almost three years) doesn’t deserve to be loved because she has enough self-confidence and believes in herself so much she does not need a man to defined, Tell her what to wear, how to act. is completely ridiculous. I am proud how stronge and self-confidence and independent my daughter has become how she doesn’t believe that a man responsibility is take care of a woman and rely on him to protect her. She has learn that you can’t just rely on a guy to protect you, she has to be responsible enough to beable to protect herself. she helps pay for things when her and her boyfriend go out even when he doesn’t like it, but he respects her independence and her believes that men and women are equal in every Calgary of life

          • Angie

            I never said women can do things “better”, just that we are ABLE to do the same things. Why have a husband then? Because I love him and he loves me and we make a great PARTNERSHIP together. Marriage is not a dictatorship. Yes I can provide for and protect myself. My husband is needed for loving me as he needs me for loving him.

          • Christine C

            “Why have a husband at all Angie, if you can do everything he could provide?”

            I can make a living for myself. I can keep my house by myself. I do all of the home repair things by myself. But God made us with a deep craving for companionship, and that’s why people get married.

          • Allicat

            BradA, why are you so down on women? Really, why?

            Let me ask you this, since you are so hung up on comparing holding a job to sex. (No comparison in my opinion, but anyway, I’ll try.) You state you are obliged to hold a job and support your wife monitarily. Which, in the way I interpret the Bible, I agree with. (Although certainly many women can and do work outside the home and partly or wholly support their families, myself included.) Now, say you hate your job, it makes you unhappy and you are miserable.

            If I were married to you, I would say we work together and figure out, together, what we can do to facilitate a career change so that you could feel more fulfilled and not cringe at going to work, while still obeying God’s instruction to provide. Most likely, that would also require sacrifice on my part. A few examples of that could be living either temporarily or permanently on a smaller income, me working more hours at my job, or moving to a smaller home. I would NOT tell you that it’s “my right” to have you provide for me to my, and only my, level of satisfaction, regardless of how miserable it makes you, because that’s what God commands. Yes, God does say a husband should support his household. (The same as a wife should be available sexually to her husband.) God does not say a husband needs to have a miserable, unfulfilling career. (Nor does God say a wife needs to allow certain areas of her body to be touched or be miserable and crepeed out during sex.) BOTH spouses, in either scenerio, should love, support, and help each other to be happy!

            Why is the poster’s situation so much different? She’s NOT withholding sex. She’s saying she’s willing to have sex. She has a very real aversion to being touched on her breasts. I can relate to this on a certain level. I cannot stand to be touched on the part of my neck that has a scar from a surgery I had at age 4. It’s non-negotiable. And if my husband starting touching me there in intimate moments, it would be a system shutdown. Why would he want that, if he really loved and cared for me?

  18. Alyssa

    Wow. Total lightbulb moment there!! Thank you! I really appreciated you pointing out the connection to developing as a young girl – I started at age 9, and am pretty ample. So much unwanted attention (from guys AND girls) has sometimes made any attention a huge turn off. I want to feel like a valuable person, and not just a huge rack. Just understanding this is going to help communicating with my husband. Thank you!!

    Reply
    • Anony Mouse

      I know how this lady feels, I HATE mine being touched. And that’s not to take control away from or stop my partner getting pleasure, it’s purely a personal thing.
      For all the men on here saying she should get over it and has an obligation to the man/husband; if she doesn’t like it, she doesn’t have to do it. She’s told him not to, so he should listen to her, it’s not about him and what he wants if she doesn’t like it.
      Let’s put it this way; what if your wife really likes to put stuff up your rear and you really hate that.. should you just go with it to please her? No. And I’m pretty sure most of you wouldnt if you didn’t like that sort of thing.
      This has all come about because of the over sexualisation of breasts. They aren’t sexy if you are a woman and hate them being touched, so please if consent is not given, it’s for a reason. Listen.

      Reply
  19. P

    It seems to me as a man that if a husband truly loves his wife as commanded by Paul in Eph5;25-33 and elsewhere then the problem would not arise. The husband should put his wife’s needs before his own and if she asks him to touch her in a specific place or asks him not to then he should do as she asks. Since I consider my wife’s whole body to be incredibly sexy it is no big deal if certain parts are off limits sometimes. Similarly I expect her to touch me or not touch me in places I either like or dislike. It is a two way street. She is the most wonderful woman in the world to me and I love her more as every year passes (nearly 41 now and we are in our mid 70s) and love making gets more exciting too every year. We pray for our marriage every day before we fall asleep.

    Reply
    • Kay

      That’s beautiful! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

      Reply
    • Tim

      I couldn’t agree more. I have been married for over 26 years. I adore my wife and would never desire nor want her to do anything that brings her harm or discomfort. We have enjoyed a wonderful marital relationship and there have been do’s and don’t(s) off and on from different time periods for various reasons. There are always alternatives to any limitation to be intimate. Reading through the comments, some have just shocked me at the “duty call” to just do it.

      I love my wife deeply and want what pleases her more than I want what pleases me. I have gleaned a lot of joy in my life from serving her in our marriage. She also serves me in a reciprocating way. It’s a covenant relationship, not a business contract.

      Reply
  20. Jess H

    Hi Sheila,
    I think Cassie’s comment above was far too harsh, but I do agree with her that your advice above is not Biblical.
    The Bible tells us that a wife does not have authority over her own body, but her husband does. That is a very hard thing to acknowledge, but it is the truth.
    I understand that your advice was trying to help the wife work towards enjoying breast touching more, which would lead to allowing it more from her husband. But the sense I got from the reader email was that she was not wanting to grow in this way, rather looking for someone to give her approval to limit her husband’s access to her breasts.
    I am concerned that your advice to “take control” and “give him one night a month” will provide this approval. And I think this advice tells the wife to assert authority over her own body, rather than let it rightfully rest with her husband.

    I write this from the position of being a wife who often doesn’t like having her breasts touched, married to a husband who is obsessed with boobs (mine). I still struggle with this from time to time (and still sinfully push my husband away at times), but I also do enjoy it now more often than not, so I think we have made progress.
    Here is my advice:
    – acknowledge to your husband that he has authority over your body
    – tell him how it makes you feel when he touches your breasts, but that you don’t want to deprive him
    – ask him to pray with you (regularly) that God will completely take away your feelings of repulsion, and replace them with pleasure.
    – tell him that you will never deny him access to your breasts again, but ask if he would consider limiting that contact while you both pray for a breakthrough here.

    Reply
    • Leah

      So as a wife I have full control of my husband’s body? Great! That means that since he’s the low drive spouse, I can and indeed *should* force him to have sex when he doesn’t want to. Wow. I never thought this verse was giving ANYONE the right to force another to do things they didn’t like, were uncomfortable with, didn’t want in marriage. Sorry, but I just can’t wrap my brain around this one. God never forces us to do anything He wants us to do. He may encourage us to do those things but He doesn’t come down here and force us. He may allow situations and circumstances in our lives that encourage or entice us to choose to do what He wants, but He never forces us. I don’t believe that we human beings have that right to force our will upon others just because that’s what we want.

      Reply
      • Jess H

        Could you please point to where I said the husband should force her?
        If you reread my response, you will see that my advice was for the wife to give him access. If she does this willingly and with a joyful spirit, there will be no forcing or coercion.
        Neither spouse should force the other to do things, but each spouse should willingly give up authority of their own bodies.

        Reply
        • Sheila

          Jess, I love your heart for your husband and for giving to him wholeheartedly. It’s really beautiful.

          However, I’m not sure that what you’re suggesting is actually emotionally healthy. Nor is it necessary biblically. Yes, the husband has authority over the wife’s body, but the wife also has authority over the husband’s body. The biblical model is mutual compromise, not that one spouse gives the other everything they want. It is coming together and deciding how can we love each other while also respecting each other?

          Also, I am not advocating that the wife withhold sex. I am just saying that if there is something which is emotionally and physically difficult for her, that we should find ways to accommodate him while also maintaining her emotional health as she works on her issues. One may be saying “go to town once a month” (or however often), but also trying the “put on a show” and the “take control” things at other times of the month to see if that’s easier. And then you also try to get to the root of the problem.

          But let’s say that the problem was something different: let’s say that a woman had great pain with intercourse (as many on this blog do). Counsellors and doctors alike will attest to the fact that the “just do it” mentality can actually set a woman back several years in recovery. If a couple wants to get to healthy sexuality, it has to be slowly while she figures out what’s going on and works on how to control those muscles.

          Or let’s say that he wanted something else–let’s say that he believed that he was entitled to oral sex everyday. Does that mean that she gives it to him everyday because he has authority over her body? No, the couple should be working at mutual sexuality where they both benefit, not something where only he benefits. (I’m not advocating that oral sex is wrong; I’ve just had women on this blog with husbands who want that primarily, and who insist on it everyday, even if the wife has jaw issues).

          So I think to interpret the verse to mean that she can’t withhold sexually anything isn’t in spirit with what Paul was writing. A man who loved his wife would act as P suggested above and treat her kindly. And would support her as she tried to figure out what was going on. Many woman do have deep scars; to say that they should just ignore those scars and plow through and give their husbands something that makes them so uncomfortable, with no breathing room, actually can set a sex life back quite dramatically and can rob her of the ability to see sex in a positive light and enjoy it. It can cement a deeply negative view of sex for someone who does suffer from a phobia (as in this case) or pain (as in the case of vaginismus or other pain conditions). And in that case what is really needed is compassion and empathy.

          Reply
          • Kay

            GREAT ANSWER, Sheila. 😀

          • Jess H

            Hi Sheila,
            Thank you for responding!
            Respectfully, I disagree.
            But this is your blog, and I am happy not to go on arguing the point. I think my comment can stand alone. Thank you for allowing me to share a different opinion 🙂

      • Jessica

        I see a lot women and men use that against the wife. Oh how the tables would turn of this was a husband who said “help! My wife wants to stick her fingers in the back door and I hate it!”

        Reply
        • Tiffany

          HA! I think you might be right…where is this side of the ‘possible situations’.

          Thank you Shelia for your ministry. I’m recently married and your blog and books have helped me to get past so many issues(before getting married)! Starting out with an amazing sex life with my husband has been a tremendous blessing and I know I owe much of it to you, as you facilitated much of the healing process (along with a tremendous husband who was kind and patient and worked alongside me). Do not be discouraged by the negative because you give such practical advice that helps so much more than the typical advice which is usually given with a great heart but doesn’t actually help much. I know it must be draining work and I appreciate what you go through as some of these stories and comments make me so SAD! But they also make me incredibly grateful for the man I have so at least there’s that haha.

          Reply
        • Tina

          Exactly!

          Reply
        • Melissa

          I agree. I feel like the husband should respect his wife. What if the wife enjoyed shoving her fingers into her husband but it made him feel pain and insecure? He should just suck it up? It sounds like there is a level of respect missing. Is your pleasure worth the love of your life suffering? forcing something that harbors negative emotions onto someone then saying it’s their right is going to not only invalidate your partners emotions but belittle them.

          Reply
      • Leah

        Easy! You say she should allow access to anything at anytime just because that’s what he wants. The verse goes both ways so he should allow her access to anything and everything at all times. I’m sorry, but I whole heartedly disagree with you. If something works for you, then great but Please! stop trying to make it gospel truth, stating it as something that will work for everyone out there because it won’t.

        Reply
    • Kay

      I do agree with you, Jess, that the wife here appears to be writing with the expectation that Sheila would support her in telling her husband off. Not respectful at all. But I guess that’s why I like Sheila’s answer so much. She does not coddle the OP but gives her a variety of ways that SHE can push herself toward change. She is not off the hook here! But as Sheila says in her response here, this wife also has authority over her husband’s body, and he is using his hands to do something that feels like a violation to her. That is cruel. Not to mention disrespectful of her authority over his body. If he is going to love her body as he loves his own, he needs to respect her personal limitations as she seeks healing in this area and do what he can to support her healing. From what she has written, I am hoping her husband simply doesn’t understand how violated she feels when he disrespects her in this way, but it sounds as if she is responding with disrespect as well, so they are stuck on a vicious cycle. Sheila is encouraging this woman to break the cycle by communicating her needs to her husband in a respectful way, and I hope he responds in a loving manner by refraining from touching her in a way that she feels violated.

      Reply
  21. cj2498

    I completely agree with this man name P I have neen only married to my husband for 18 years and we have a Beautiful 17-year-old daughter they we have taught that in a relationship its 50/50 know one has more say so then then the other. She has saw me and her dad go though tough times like when i had A hysterectomy at 26 and she saw him love me and never treated me any different after surgery she always Heard him till me that i am still Beautiful, sexy woman when i didnt feel that way anymore after mine hysterectomy. She has seen how we treat each other how we speak up when we agree and don’t agree with what the other person is saying, how we till each how much we love each other. I personally believe thats the reason why her and her boyfriend has been togeather for almost three years. Even when they had to be supervise for their first year of their relationship.They understood and because if this we watched are daughter fall in love. The reason why i am tell you this is because how you are treated in the bedroom does cross over in every day life.

    Reply
  22. Kris

    I think your advise is wise, but I also think there are just some things a husband needs to respect, as well, whatever the reason. I don’t feel a woman should have to “endure” something she finds unpleasant or uncomfortable just to please a husband’s desires. Seek other ways together!

    Open communication and a willingness to work together, try new things (like the lingerie idea one lady posted above) and make sacrifices, are the things that make a marriage (sex life) work. If a wife is giving, giving, giving but not receiving consideration of HER needs, something is amiss.

    Reply
    • Kay

      I agree with you. Why would a good willed husband even derive pleasure from doing something his wife has to “endure?” Shouldn’t all activities in the bedroom be mutually enjoyable? It is loving to stretch yourself, and I hope this woman tries! But if it doesn’t ever get better for her, I hope her husband can be okay with and respect that.

      Reply
  23. Cassie Above

    If Sheila will post it I will answer the questions posed to me.

    I agree my comment was harsh, but there is a time for harshness. There were times Jesus used harshness, times Peter used harshness and times Paul used harshness- especially on teachers. Which is exactly what Sheila is, a teacher. A teacher by her own admission gives advice vastly different than all other teaching given to christian wives.

    There is not time or space to accurately dismantle the theology Sheila teaches, but her theology is very damaging and if you want to and are willing to read Wayne Grudem’s “Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth”. It’s well over 500 pages but he asks evangelical feminists for their arguments and theology in support of and then teaches using only scripture on every single aspect of their theology and each “biblical” example they give. The evidence against evangelical feminism is overwhelming using only scripture. He also will paint the picture of the damage it has done to our churches, marriages, children and society.

    Scripture is not hard to read or even understand for the most part. It is more that we do not like what it has to say, so instead of shaping our beliefs based on it we try very hard to make it say what we want. Sheila admits that at one point she believed that God hated women and that all sex was rape. She misunderstood both God and human, but instead of accepting the tough and demanding teaching that good places on women (and He does the same to men, just different) she had to force God into a theology that she could celebrate.

    I have no doubt that Sheila does some good, maybe even a lot of it. But she does just as much damage and more. I tell you that most godly men in the bible would reject her teaching if their wife came home with it and tried to apply it. I can tell you that men like my husband reject it. If I became stuck on her theology as the right one I would do much damage to my marriage and household. If Sheila were married to my husband she would have to change, just as she would have to change if she was married to Peter for example. The thing is, if she were to drop the bad theology she could do just as much good, even far more without doing the damage.

    Christ came to save us by paying the ultimate price. He loved us enough to die for us. But He also demands (yes demands) a great, great deal from us. We have to give up our life. We are told that we must become last, that we must serve, that we must be willing to die and that has men and women we have certain duties to fulfill. One of them is that each others bodies as a married couple is not are own but our spouses. Christ came to save us He taught, but also to divide the world. Christ is love and yet He says He cannot widen the path just out of love, the path remains narrow. There requires a response to that love, that act of sacrifice and it requires both men and women to sign over their rights to Him, to obey Him even when it hurts, to keep the covenant with those closest to us and our neighbors. Love is not a feeling, it is an action. But when love does feel, quite often it does not feel good. Love costs. Love costs us to give up control, give up our lives, give up our bodies and our fears. Love costs a great deal, ask Jesus.

    Sheila believes that by not asking women and wives to give up she is doing them a service by saving them hurt (and even teaching God’s Word), when in fact she is robbing them of biblical teaching, of christian teaching, of the narrow road that leads to life. And in doing so she is causing great friction in our marriages and in our homes, not just for this generation for teaching the next generation beliefs that will damage them.

    Christ gave all and He asks for all. All looks different depending on who you are- man or woman, rich or poor, pastor or layman, older woman or teenager. Love costs all and we are not doing wives any favor by promoting teaching that rejects that because it might hurt us. That is what Sheila is doing, trying to save women hurt but in doing so she is causing much more.

    Reply
    • Sheila

      Hi Cassie,

      Thank you for toning down your tone. I think this is much more helpful than the original comment. Please remember that non-Christians read what you put out on the internet; next time, before you write a comment, ask yourself, “what would someone who doesn’t know Christ think about Christ based on what I just wrote?”

      As for Wayne Grudem, I’ve spent quite a bit of time studying his writings, and the critiques of his writings, and I do believe that his attempt to critique the interpretation of kephale was extremely weak, because he didn’t look at the use of it in other Greek writings at the time, which was exactly the point of his critics. Understanding culture is so key to understanding what was meant when it was written. I also don’t believe that taking Scripture, especially 1 Corinthians 7, standing alone, teaches anything other than complete mutuality in marriage. No passage is as “mutual” in heart than 1 Corinthians 7, and yet you are taking it to mean that women should do whatever a husband wants, whenever–rather than taking it to mean that the couple should mutually love and honour each other, which is what is written.

      I’ll have a longer post up tomorrow; I’m in an RV driving for 12 hours today! So I won’t be in the comments.

      Reply
    • Jessica

      Cassie,

      My husband wants anal even though it hurts me a lot. Am I supposed to just suck it up?

      Reply
    • Lisa

      Wayne Grudem’s has been systemically critiqued and discredited by numerous scholars. Possibly the best one is Beyond Sex Roles by Bilezikian. I encourage you to read it, especially the lengthy notes that directly address Grudem’s book.

      Reply
      • Sheila Gregoire

        I’ve always found it really strange that Grudem has made his whole life making sure that women don’t exercise spiritual gifts. He wrote a paper on the 90 things women can’t do in church, or something like that. I’ve always wondered what the Holy Spirit thinks of someone devoting their entire life to ensuring that women’s gifts aren’t used. It just seems like a very strange thing to choose to do. In a world where so many need to hear about Jesus, and where so many are hurting, and where so many just need God’s love, you’re going to spend your life making sure that over 50% of Christians (because women are more than 50% of Christians) don’t get out there and minister. Very weird.

        Reply
  24. Keith Schooley

    One of the things I had to learn in my first few years of marriage was that the things that I just wanted were things that my wife had to work up to. Especially when a man waits for marriage, the very idea that his wife is now available to him is a turn-on. But I found that just going for it (even gently and playfully) wasn’t working. However, a kiss on the back of the neck (just out of nowhere, while she was doing something else) would just melt her. Later we would work up to the rest.

    That said, I’m blessed because my wife never considered any part of herself “off limits” to me. The main issue going on here seems to be one of empathy. The husband wants what he wants, and doesn’t understand why his wife isn’t okay with that; the wife wants what she wants, and doesn’t understand why her husband won’t leave her alone in that way. Neither one of them wants to think about what their actions are saying to the other person. Men quite often don’t understand why women feel squicky about their advances. Women quite often don’t understand that their rejection of their husbands advances (or a certain type of advance) comes across to him like a rejection of him as a person. So he feels hurt and rejected, and she doesn’t understand why. She may feel that that’s not logical–she wasn’t trying to reject him as a person–but her squicky feeling isn’t logical either, and he’s supposed to be understanding of that.

    I think Sheila’s advice, on the one hand, to get him to back off and respect her feelings, but on the other hand, for her to try to figure out what’s causing this problem and overcome it, is precisely an attempt to get to the ideal that each one’s body in some sense belongs to the other. But I don’t want my wife to give herself to me out of obedience to some abstract command. I want her to want me. It’s nothing but pure selfishness to want what you want regardless of how that makes the other person feel–and that’s true whether what you want contact or non-contact. The whole goal (and, I believe, the goal of the biblical marriage and sex passages) is to get us to think as “us” and “we,” rather than “you” and “me.”

    Reply
    • Kay

      Well said, Keith! Especially that last paragraph.

      Reply
    • Sheila

      Love that last sentence especially, Keith! I’m going to expand on this on Thursday (if I get a chance to write a post; we’re driving 12 hours a day in our RV right now!)

      Reply
  25. Jeff Lenz

    I really pray this wife can over come this fear/phobia. My wife to doesn’t care a whole lot for me touching. One night we had a good discussion about it. In Proverbs 5 – Solomon admonishes young men to stay away from the harlot and one way to do that is to rejoice with the wife of his youth. That rejoicing is not playing a board game. It is making love. Then it says let her breast please him at all times. Why her breasts, why not her face? Her vagina? Because the breasts are the most visible asset that is completely between a husband and wife. I can look at the face of every woman I meet, but I can only look at my wife’s breasts. It is an allurement. I am not to look at others breasts, therefore I need to be able to look, to touch my wife’s. To look and not be able to touch is to be starving and only be able to look at a buffet table. Why not the vagina – most of the time they are covered and not screaming to be looked or touched in advertising. Be ravished with her love – make love vigorously! Be free as God created us. Thank you Shelia for your good work and you other bloggers!

    Reply
    • Kay

      Jeff, you make an excellent point that a man can only delight in one pair of breasts, and it is those of his wife, so I think a loving wife would make every effort to overcome this aversion out of love for her husband and his desire to delight in her breasts. I do hope, however, that a loving husband will support his wife in these efforts by exercising self-control while she heals and builds up endurance/tolerance and not sabotage her efforts by touching her breasts against her will and violating her in that way.

      Reply
  26. cj2498

    I completely agree with this lady Kris. In ever relationship there are hoing to be sacrifices and give and take but it can’t ever be just one side. If mine 17 daughter that has not believed in God since sixth grade because she looks and loves science and it has explain everything to her and she doesnt have to rely on blind faith has lean to respect her But her boyfriend that is very religious and does not believes in sex before marrage and has neve tryed to change his mine and he in return he has respected that she doesnt believe in God or marrage. So they came up with agreement to not have sex until they move in together after they both finish there six years college program. So at this time when they both told my husband and i there plain they just turn 16 and 17. I asked them both a year later if they still feel the same way. he spoke up and said i would rather get married after college but i now she doesnt believe in marrage and it would be wrong to get married just because thats what God says is the right thing to do. So if to teenage can respect each other completely different ideas when it comes to sex. It should be a lot easser for to married adults to respect each other

    Reply
  27. cj2498

    I just read a comment that baby mama wrote. I feel so sorry for you that you don’t or can’t feel as strong as a guy. I don’t understand women that say they can’t do anything a man can do. This is thr problem with women that feel that they aren’t as good as a man as strong as Amanda can do anything a man can do then has a daughter . Because you are showing them that they aren’t as good as demand that they can’t do everything a man can do that they aren’t as strong as a man is. This whole concept of Christian women feeling this way is read Dick you list I have a 17-year-old daughter that me and my husband have Struve wrong we have raised her to tell her and show her that she can do whatever a guy can do,she is strong as a gay, there’s nothing that she can’t do that a guy can do,she does not need a guy 2 define find herself she doesn’t need a guy to protect her. she is not in this world to get married and have children and stay home and take care the house for a guy that’s not why she’s was pit on this world. My husband and me were raise in a strick christian but by the time we meet there were way to many thing we didnt agree with the church. Like how they think so little of women and think men are so highly on God pedestal. If you women dont start demand the same respect you are going to teach your children your way. with how women are demand more respect and showing that they don’t have to be defined by a guy. Either your sons are not going to know what to do with a women that can take care of herself and your daughter are going to see all of these young women that are living there lives as equal as a man and wonder why can’t I have that much self-confidence that I know I don’t need a man to take care of me that I don’t need a man to protect me that my opinion and I’m just equal and can do whatever a man can do. I am tell you this because girls have came up to my 17 year old daughter and asked her those same questions.

    Reply
    • The Baby Mama

      Really? So if my husband lifts weights up to 20 kg’s, I should automatically be able to do the same? Because I’m just as strong? Please don’t feel sorry for me – I’m quite happy to celebrate the differences between the genders. I think God created men to protect their women, and for women to nurture – its a natural order of things. Having said that, if I wanted to be an astronaut, there is nothing in this world stopping me from becoming one (well, except that I barely passed math and science at school…;-) ) That has nothing to do with strength, but more with determination and knowing what it is that you want to do.

      As I said to Angie:

      I never once said we are weak. I know that we are not weak – but we are strong differently to men. We can endure pain in a way that would make most men weep. But, physically, men are stronger than women. And I kinda like it that way.

      Can we achieve anything any man can? Of course we can! But, and this is so off the topic of what Sheila is trying to get across, when the athletes in Iron Man compete – the men’s race in a quicker time than a woman. And that is exactly how it should be. There are very few women that can weight lift, run, race, and compete directly with a man. And that was the point I was trying to make. It is how God meant for things to be…

      P.S.. I never once said we weren’t as good as men. In some cases, we are better than – but they are still physically stronger than us.

      Reply
      • Angie

        Actually, I HAVE lifted more weight than some men in the gym. And no, I am NOT a butch kind of woman either. I love being feminine. But I love being physical, hate desk jobs, and am not very nurturing. My husband hates anything physical, Loves his desk job, and is way more nurturing than me. Is he less of a man because of this? Am I less womanly because of how I am? Not at all. I’m just trying to point out that “traditional” gender roles and biases don’t always apply, or work! The lines are often blurry. I hate it when people try to put gender in certain boxes. It’s more about personality diifferences that make us all different.

        Reply
        • The Baby Mama

          HI, Angie

          We may have to “agree to disagree” here. I truly believe that God created the genders to be different – both physically, and emotionally, and intellectually. And while we are equal and both are dearly loved by God, we are not the same. I have a friend (female friend) who does body building and is super strong – and can bench press most men under the table. However, out of all my female friends she is the only one. None of my other friends can do that. If you read, Pam Farel’s Men are Like Waffles and Women are like Spaghetti perhaps you’ll better understand the point I am trying to make. (Sorry, I’m not very articulate!)

          If you go to focus on the family, Dr James Dobson will tell you about studies that they’ve done where they’ve given boys dolls, and girls trucks – and the boys took the dolls apart to see how they work, and the girls wrapped the trucks in blankets and tried to feed and soothe them. Yes, personality differences make up a large part of it, but we can’t deny gender differences as well. And perhaps those personality differences are such based on gender and genetics. I suppose it can be quite complex.

          And now, I’m going for a run… Summer is finally back here (finally) and I have to enjoy some of the outdoors a bit.

          Kind regards,
          The Baby Mama

          Reply
  28. cj2498

    Sorry for all of the misspelled words. I was saying it out loud on my phone.

    Reply
  29. Cynthia

    While I generally love this particular activity, there were several years where I was nursing and this area was strictly hands off. I had some intense pain at first, even once I was over that hurdle, there would be some low-level discomfort. I was touched out in that area, and any contact would make me cringe. Even now, while it’s pleasurable again, the wrong sort of touch suddenly brings back a sharp memory of the pain.

    Some people simply have areas of their body that are more sensitive that usual. With my husband, it’s his navel. I don’t really understand it, but he knows how his own body feels, and he clearly doesn’t want to be touched there.

    Be honest with your husband. You love him. You appreciate him. You like having sex with him. You have an issue with your breasts that has nothing to do with him or your feelings toward him. Unfortunately, it feels bad enough that it automatically kills your sex drive and makes you want to turn away, which is the exact opposite of what you want. You’re pretty sure that he’d rather have you wanting to be close to him and turned on and having enjoyable sex. [Phrased that way, I hope my husbands would say “sure” and not “nope, I don’t care”.] If you are willing, you might talk about having some times where you gently and slowly experiment and see what you can tolerate, but it probably shouldn’t be in the heat of the moment when it’s likely to kill the mood.

    Reply
  30. Angie

    When I was pregnant my breasts were EXTREMELY painful. They were OFF LIMITS because I would screech in pain from the lightest touch, even from myself! Now what if my husband had ignored that and constantly touched them anyway? I would have begun to HATE him, even if I allowed it. Luckily my hubby LOVES me truly, AND respects me, so he was very careful around my chest. He hates causing me pain, even emotionally. Maybe the woman in the email question should find out what her husband absolutely hates and do THAT a few times. Not as punishment, but to show him how she feels when he disregards her feelings. I wouldn’t normally suggest being disrespectful like this, but it sounds like it may be the only way to get her point across. Some people are very thickskulled if they don’t understand a particular feeling.

    Reply
    • Keith Schooley

      I think there is a huge difference between “this physically hurts me” and “I feel yucky about this for some reason I don’t even understand.” The first needs to be unconditionally respected no matter what; the second needs to be worked through in the way Sheila suggested.

      Reply
      • Angie

        So emotional pain is ok to disregard but physical pain is not? There are many Christians that say I should have just sucked it up and let him touch me anyway. This poor lady is asking for help to overcome this issue, I can hear that she’s not trying to “get out of her duty” to her husband. It’s like when some women don’t want to have sex, they are told to do it anyway. But when a husband (such as mine) has no interest in sex (and for no good reason, it’s just not on his to do list) no one tells HIM to “take one for the team!” I think her hubby could be a little more sensitive to her feelings about this since she seems to be a “good wife” in all the other areas.

        Reply
  31. cj2498

    I don’t understand why people on this site keeps saying there is something wrong with this lady Its completely ridiculous. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this woman to have areas of her body that are only for herself or her babies. Does anyone realize that women have breasts to beable to feed their babies at a age were they rely solely on milk to make them healthy and strong. they wort design to please their husbands. That is the number one reason why God put them on a female body. So for this women that asked for help what to do to make her husband understand thats is uncomfortable situation he’s putting her in. when he touches you on breast when you have voiced your opinion. Just tell him. I love you and i proved it when i said I do in front of God and all of are friends and family. But its not you personally its a turn off when you touch my breast. There are other parts of my body that you can and i give you permission to touch. But my breast is not one of them. I love you and if you love me you will respect how I feel. To this lady with this question. If none of any of these opinions have helped you please look up other other way to help you make your point across to your husband. Because the one person in this crazy world you should feel the most comfortable with and beable to open up with is making you feel the complete opposite way you need to make him understandbefore before you start to resent him.

    Reply
  32. Jessica

    I have a similar problem. I used to love it and then I nursed a baby for 18 months, weaned him when I was four months pregnant and then am still nursing the second. I figured out that I could nurse a baby to sleep and the flip a switch for sex. After starting nursing, my husband touching my breasts became repulsive because I was using them to feed a baby. Luckily he totally gets that and he realizes were just in a season of life that’s more difficult in the bedroom department. My husband didn’t grow up as a Christian and I am thankful for that. I have several female friends whose christian husbands demand things like no breastfeeding because the breasts belong to him, or to have as many kids as possible even after pregnancies that have almost killed their wives. The hardness is not kind or gentle

    Reply
  33. Angie

    I am sooooooo thankful for my husband. In spite of the issues we have, he thankfully is not the hardhearted, demanding, dictator so many of the other women have. He is kind and sensitive to my emotions and thought processes on my issues with body image, sex, and previous abuse. And he is pro-women’s rights. So glad our daughter will be raised knowing she is just as important as every other human being on this planet.

    Reply
  34. Nicole

    Reading some of these comments literally made me want to vomit. For those of you criticizing the woman who came and asked for advice, shame on you. She asked a genuine question, genuinely trying to find a way to make peace with her husband who is obviously not respecting her boundaries. Yes, a good, healthy marriage will have boundaries. And healthy people will have boundaries too. Sometimes those boundaries might be physical, and they might seem silly to others, but marriage is not just for the benefit of the husband! The husband is commanded in the New Testament to “love his wife as Christ loves the church”. Is he loving his wife by being downright disrespectful? It sounds to me like she is doing her best to love him and says he is “a wonderful man”, so she is not trying to withhold sex. Getting to the root of the issue as Sheila suggested will help, but continually enduring a constant annoyance and disrespectful behavior will not, and may even completely turn her off to sex. I mean, is the guy so set on touching his wife’s breasts that he’s willing to have her be frigid in bed?!

    The Bible talks a lot about treating others the way you want to be treated. If my husband doesn’t like something or doesn’t want to be touched a certain way, then I respect that! Why should I as a woman, expect any less from him? Just because I’m called to “submit” and he’s not? (By the way, to submit, does not mean to obey-it literally means “to get under, to lift up”, therefore the person doing the submitting is held in higher regard than the person being submitted to!) Remember in Ephesians that we are commanded to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ! And all of you saying the harsh things that you’ve said, in none of your posts is there ever compassion, which I’m pretty sure Jesus was full of when He walked the earth.

    I’m thankful that my husband treats me with utmost respect, love, and compassion; and I would never even have to have a conversation with him about respecting my boundaries. He knows I would do anything for him, and he’d do the same for me. We are partners in life, best friends, and teammates who are striving for the same goal.

    The last point I will make is that marriage is supposed to be a reflection of our relationship with God. 1 Corinthians 13 says that “Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs…” Love always puts others before itself. If he loves his wife, then he should respect her, and if she loves her husband, then she needs to be willing to get to the root of the issue and make a peaceful compromise with her husband.

    Reply
    • Kay

      YES!! My thoughts exactly!!

      Reply
  35. Angie

    Well said Nicole!!! Bravo! These men with their dictator like attitudes towards wives kind of skip over the “love your wives as Christ loved the Church and GAVE HIMSELF UP for HER.” Blindly obeying your husband is a Muslim doctrine, not a Christian one. I researched it.

    Reply
  36. Kay

    I couldn’t help myself; I had to talk to my husband about the dialogue here. 😉 I really appreciate what he had to say.

    Him: Not going to lie, it would be absolutely horrible if you suddenly hated me touching your breasts. I love your breasts. They are amazing. I would be devastated.
    Me: But if it made my toes curl and I was gritting my teeth because I am so turned off by it, would you insist on touching them?
    Him: No, of course not. Just like I didn’t touch you when you were pregnant because I knew it was too much. Touching them is no fun when I know you don’t like it. But I would probably mourn that for the rest of my life, not to overdramatize. It was disappointing when you were nursing, but I knew it was temporary so I didn’t mind too much. But I would miss that terribly if I lost that for good. Yours are the only breasts I can enjoy, and I happen to enjoy them… A LOT.
    Me: If I were committed to trying to work through this and asked you to go at my pace, would you?
    Him: Duh! Just like after the girls were born, I followed your lead until you were comfortable again. I would do whatever I needed to do to help you enjoy my touch again!

    Yep. He’s a keeper. 😀

    But I share this conversation not as much to show how I think men should lovingly respond to their wives (although I think this is great), but because I want the wives reading this to hear the heart of her husband. The husband in this post obviously loves his wife’s breasts just like my husband loves mine. Out of love for her husband, I do hope she tries some of the things that Sheila has mentioned above simply because of how much it would mean to her husband, and I hope her husband, out of love for his wife, will willingly sacrifice his “right” to fondle her at his will but follow her lead in this area as my husband did for me. I hope they BOTH push themselves out of love for one another. She has nothing to lose by trying and everything to gain! Perhaps she will be able to overcome this and learn to enjoy her husbands touch. Wouldn’t that be wonderful! If she says no, the husband really does need to respect that; groping her against her will is sinful and selfish. But I also think it would be selfish on her part to just say “Tough!” and not strive to grow in this area. It would hurt her husband tremendously and be something he may “mourn for the rest of his life.” LOL. I hope she will be compassionate toward him as he shows compassion toward her while she seeks to overcome her aversion.

    Mutual love and compassion. Huh… That sounds… Biblical.

    Reply
    • Sheila

      Wonderful!

      Reply
    • Nicole

      Thank you for sharing the dialogue between you and your husband. It’s so refreshing to know that there are still a few sensitive and loving men out there who care about their wives! Your hubby sounds like a great guy! 🙂

      Reply
    • Tim

      I agree with your husband 100% and it is exactly the way I feel toward my wife and how I have respected certain periods of time in our life.

      Reply
  37. Keith Schooley

    That was absolutely beautiful and perfect.

    Reply
  38. L

    Wow. I can’t believe some of the freaky interpretations of Scripture some of these commenters have. It’s scary in its ugliness. However, I’d like to not address that foolishness, but another possibly helpful thing to try for women suffering breast pain and sensitivity. Sometimes these things are not psychological at all. They are hormonal and physical.

    I can’t imagine anyone insisting a man who had had a vasectomy or a recent circumcision be required to fulfill his marital duties while recovering from that. Lacerated penis? That’s no excuse for withholding your body from your horny wife! Oh, your back is out? Slipped disk? Suffer through missionary whether you like it or not! There’s no place for love here — there’s a duty to perform. I think Jesus’s comment on the sabbath being made for man and not man for the sabbath would be fitting here. Sorry. I thought I wasn’t going to comment on that aspect of this whole conversation.

    Back to what might be helpful: lymphatic breast massage. It helps drain excess lymph (and maybe estrogen, for all I know) from the breasts. I use it when I have breast pain, and it helps so much. Perhaps his touch would be more welcome after she tried some on herself regularly. It’s interesting to me how helpful it can be, since our instinct when we have breast pain is to Not Touch! A solution may be thoughtful, careful touch that heals. Perhaps she could teach him how to do it, he could be part of the solution, and enjoy helping her out. I’ve undergone two breast surgeries over the course of our eighteen year marriage, had many times of breast pain, and post surgical care. I am so thankful for a husband who treats me and my breasts carefully. Any time they don’t hurt, he’s welcome to them. But I do ask for gentleness when I need it. And on occasion, he’s mentioned pain I am unintentionally giving him.

    Over the years, everything about sex has gotten better and better. But it certainly wouldn’t have if my man had been a boar in bed.

    We worked through vaginismus in our first months together. I consider it a blessing now, although it felt devastating at the time. He learned more about how I work, I think than we would have otherwise. We spoke to a friend who was medical when we had trouble early on. I so appreciate seeing that issue addressed on this blog. But the kit looks a little clinically frightening compared to what we did. There was no way I would have gone through that process without trauma. Before each of my sisters got married, I spoke with each one to tell her what could be done privately with her own husband and some lubrication should they have any issues. If my husband had been impatient and rough, it would have been worse.

    Patience, men. Gentleness. Kindness. They go a lot further towards a fulfilling sex life than Authority and Duty. All kinds of hang ups can be worked through in love that will only get worse with force and guilt trips.

    Reply
    • Sheila

      Great thoughts! I have similar issues with lymphatic pain, though not in the breast tissue. It’s actually in my throat. But I find my husband rubbing there really does help me feel much better!

      And I so totally agree with you about how Jesus would react. This is so scary to see people spouting this.

      Reply
  39. Amber

    Wow this comment section scares me. Is everyone forgetting that a husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church? There is a term for a man who continually and deliberately does something that causes his wife pain–an abuser.

    Reply
  40. carolrose

    I have a question. If the husband is withholding sex (long-term), and wants to rub on or grab the wife (which includes her breasts), knowing it is a turn on, does she have the right to have him to stop?

    Reply
    • Sheila

      Absolutely. But I think there’s a bigger issue going on here that really needs to be addressed. Why is he withholding sex? And why does he think it’s okay to do the one when he won’t do the other? Either there’s some real selfishness and/or immaturity here, or there’s some real brokenness that needs healing. And so I think seeing a counselor to work these things out would definitely be in order!

      Reply
  41. carolrose

    I am sorry for this being so long. If you want to, delete it.

    I don’t feel like going to a counselor is an option for us right now. We have been married since 2004. Before we got married I told him I wanted to be a stay at home mom. We talked about having kids together. We talked about how many we wanted and what we wanted to name them. Both of our first spouses put us out years ago. Both of our divorces were in 2000. We met in 2003. We had no choice in the divorces except protecting ourselves financially. He has a son from his previous marriage. When we were dating he told me the only way we would ever have anything was if I got a good enough job that would make it happen. When we got married my student loan debt was $15,000. In 2006 it was decided that I would go back to school. If for no other reason than I wouldn’t have to pay my student loans while I was in school. He is an only child and has just the one child. He was raised to get everything he wanted. This is how he has raised his son also. If we had $400 left over after paying the bills, it wasn’t enough. If we had $900 it wasn’t enough. When I was in school I maxed out my student loans. I didn’t need all of it because I got scholarships. We have since got custody of his son. His son doesn’t live with us, he lives with my husband’s mother and father. The reason my husband gave me was because we didn’t have enough money. My husband and my husband’s mother decided we wouldn’t receive child support from my stepson’s mother. Every paycheck, every day, his son wants something and I am wrong for not making sure he has it. He is 18 now and if he wants to eat out every meal, I am supposed to provide. My husband and mother and law decided my stepson was not to get a part time job.
    You will notice I refer to his son as my stepson or his son. Every time I have tried to get close to him I was told he has a mom. I was told he is not yours. This from my husband. 2006 was the time we had decided to try to start having children. He began to withhold sex. Not surprisingly, I had trouble getting pregnant (if for no reason it was because we weren’t having sex). I had 8 surgeries. I was told over and over if I wanted children I would have to have them soon. When I would tell my husband he would tell me it wasn’t a good time. I eventually had to undergo infertility treatment. I took the medicine probably 4 months. My husband made sure he didn’t touch me. I had one more surgery, was told I was out of time. My husband still said it was not a good time. I bled every day for a year. It eventually got so bad I had to have a hysterectomy. Even though I was bleeding so bad I had to have my husband agree to adoption before I would have it. It has been a year and a couple weeks since the hysterectomy. I am grieving. I am grieving alone. He has made the reference that the way I am being (when I am crying) is an attitude I choose.
    A couple weekends ago I told him I was mad at him because I felt he chose not to have children with me but wouldn’t tell me. He told me to not tell him our marriage was in trouble. He asked me if I wanted him to leave. Over the years he has had a free ticket. I took a lot from him because I wanted children. Things I can’t forgive. I could if he would acknowledge and change but he won’t. He leaves me here at home all the time. I have never been able to make plans that include him. If he is here he sits in front of the TV. Either I can watch what he wants to watch or be by myself. I never know if he will be here during the day or not. If I say anything I am being a certain way. He makes a reference to me and my comments. Now I am working on my masters. I don’t even want it. I am having to take out extra student loan debt again. When I try to talk about it, he says its ok because it is our debt and when I’m through he will be helping me pay it. I never have been able to make a payment. How will then be any different. We owe $17000 on our trailer. That is it for his debt. Both of our names are on the note. Besides it, now I have $95000 in student loan debt. My tuition is $1500 a time but I am having to borrow $5000 to pay for our way of life. I pay the bills. He won’t let me turn anything off. He won’t let me let anything go. I am burying myself. He starts talking about retiring and 8 years and me supporting him. He withholds sex. He wants it maybe every 6-8 weeks. He is fine if something is done for him and that be it. I am grieving over not being able to have children. I know I will never be able to adopt. He won’t agree to it.
    He will do something nice for me in front of my family and that is all they see. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t talk to my pastor because he is my brother. Every time I have tried to find Christian counselors it hasn’t worked out. I showed him that verse in the Bible about our bodies not being our own and my husband brushed it off. If I try to initiate sex before the 6-8 week mark, he asks like I am trying to make him do something he doesn’t want to. It has to be his idea. He will rub on me, knowing it is a turn on, and then leave. He has low testosterone. But like I said he is fine every 6-8 weeks for something to be done for him and that be it. I don’t think that is low testosterone.
    When I mentioned earlier he leaves me here, he goes to his mom’s every day to see his son and mom and dad. When he gets home he will talk to his mom or son 5-10 different times. If I ask questions about them, to try to be involved, he answers me real short.
    He is very critical. When we leave church he will talk about my brother’s preaching, something about my nieces or nephews, my parents, or anybody. We have gone to a friend’s house maybe three times since we have been married (remember we have been married since 2004). When we leave he will talk about the couple, their kids, if they have any. He fusses at me all the time. When I say something to him about it he says he can’t say anything to me anymore. I have had to build wall to protect myself from him hurting me. I can’t keep doing this. He doesn’t see there is even a problem. I don’t want to hurt him, but he is killing me. I have nobody to talk to. I am here, in this bedroom, alone every evening. If it is a weekend, I am here alone.

    Reply
    • carolrose

      Does anybody have any kind of advise for me?

      Reply
      • Anne

        carolose,

        What you are describing is usually considered emotional abuse. It’s not okay for any man to treat his wife like that. It wouldn’t be okay for a woman to treat her husband that way. You need to talk to someone you know about this- someone you feel is safe. It sounds like your husband is trying to isolate and control you- you can’t fix him, but you can refuse to be isolated. I don’t know everything about your situation, but there might be chance for healing in it. Many people who resort to this kind of behavior are deeply broken. They feel scared and out of control so they make someone else feel that way too to make themselves feel powerful. If they are willing to go to therapy they can change, but you staying there will only enable him and torture you. For his sake and for yours you need to end the silence and seek help.

        Reply
  42. John Q

    I have been fighting this battle with my wife for the past 5 years. She was a virgin when we met 6 years ago and I have tried working with her and she always finds an excuse for her freaking out about being touched. It’s not just her breasts but almost every part of her body; her legs, butt, breasts, vagina, stomach, shoulders. We have sex maybe once every two months and I’m 30 years old. And when we do have sex she only wants it to last less than 5 minutes and then she says it hurts too much. I do everything I can for foreplay to get her aroused and have tried everything. I never wanted my Marriage to revolve around sex but I can’t continue to be damn near celibate when I’m married. I’m starting to understand why so many people cheat and I’m not gonna lie, but I have thought about cheating myself but have not done this yet. She acts like a rape victum but has never been raped. I don’t know what to do. It almost seems like the only way I will have a healthy sex life is if it is with someone else. I think this problem will eventually lead to divorce if I can’t find some way to make it work.

    Reply
    • Sheila

      John, I’m so sorry about this. I’m sorry for you and your frustration, and I’m sorry for your wife who is missing out on so much of what God planned for her.

      If I can make a suggestion, it sounds as if you’ve kept this between the two of you, and now you’re getting despondent and considering (or at least having fleeting thoughts) about cheating. That’s not a good situation.

      I know it seems as if sexual problems are extremely personal, so there’s nothing we can do about them, but we’re in the body of Christ for a reason. Sometimes we need outside help. And I’d seriously suggest talking to a counselor who can guide you through how to talk to your wife about this and how to get her into see a counselor. Because she’s missing out on so much, too!

      I doubt that there is anything that you can do on your own. So please do see a counselor and then talk to your wife firmly and say, “we need to get to some help. We really do. This isn’t normal, this isn’t good, and we’re robbing ourselves of what God intended for us.” That’s really the only way to get healing–and I have known so many couples who have come through on the other side, once they got some help!

      Reply
    • Ang

      As someone who did have issues in the past and was a virgin in some ways when I married, I can understand her struggle. It was maybe the first year for me, but it was pretty horrible at first. It took a lot of time, patience from my husband, and practice. If you lovingly try to work with her, promise her from me (another woman who has been there) it does get better!

      Reply
  43. Ang

    Wow! Always a difference of opinion. In reading the post, I thought it was a good article with some good points and ideas to it. In reading the first 10 or so comments after, I feel like people are up in arms about something that maybe shouldn’t be so combative. Aside from biblical principle, I think each situation varies by couple. You should do what works for you. In no way did I see the writer suggest that the wife withhold sex….quite the opposite in fact. I have a hard time believing that the wife would not try to follow the advice. If she didn’t care, she wouldn’t have asked in the first place. The writer is simply proposing to find a compromising solution…which is also biblical. If I am uncomfortable with something my husband is doing, he will stop. He would never force me to do something that will emotionally or physically harm me. He may desire to do “that thing” and continue trying in the future, but would never push ahead regardless of my protests. That is not love or respect, it’s not biblical, and if the man really cares about the woman, is not enjoyable for either one.

    Reply
  44. Gemma

    I think the questions and suggestions are great, but the problem I face is that in the moments where we can sit down and talk like adults about what I like and don’t like (and same for him) it’s a really positive conversation.

    BUT….

    All of that goes out the window when we are actually in the throws of it. If I call him on it, and ask him not to, remind him of the conversation, his response is anything but adult like.

    Reply
    • Dave

      Gemma, I understand your situation, my wife and I have a similar problem and it has pretty much destroyed our sex life. We love each other very much and have a great relationship (other than sexual). We can sit down and talk like adults and make all the rational and loving compromises that we want. But during sex (especially as I’m getting more aroused) being told that I can’t squeeze my wife’s breasts (and other such “rules” that come up from time to time) is such a complete turn-off that it actually prevents us from reaching a satisfactory conclusion. Apparently the problem is just as acute from her perspective.

      She never complained about this until about 5 years into our marriage and the situation is very damaging. Neither of us wants to divorce, but a sexless marriage is not a good option either.

      Reply
  45. Kat

    hmm I’m not usually a trolled, but I do think that reading people’s comments on such topics gives really good insight to cultural issues, and what’s on people’s hearts…so here I am!

    Here are a couple things im picking up…
    The topic of sex hits a nerve of control, marriage roles, gender issues….

    Sex is supposed to be the physical expression of literally coming together as one flesh, just as a married couple literally is. It is supposed to be full of desire, passion and pleasure.
    It can be easy to think about meeting our own pleasure during sex, namely because the desire and the intensity of it. But sex is supposed to be this beautiful thing where both people are intensely enjoying each other, partly because of the pleasure being given, but also because they are thoroughly enjoying giving the other person pleasure. Wow….God works this way too…so strange 😉

    You can throw in the “well the wife’s body belongs to the husband ” etc, or each person has obligations, but then you have left relationship and HONOR…which any relationship without this will dry up and die eventually.
    If a spouse is having issues with touch, the call is to love them through it. Love endures all things. ” but can’t the wife do the loving and just endure?” The wife is the one experiencing fear, not husband in this situation, and our call as Christians is to love ( casting out all fear). Perhaps the wife will never get to the point of letting her breasts be touched, but Jesus is going to ask “did you love.” Not “so did you get what you wanted?”
    The reality is, is that Jesus called us to love, regardless of what the other person does.

    A great book God Loves Sex, Dan Allender. Fascinating perspectives.

    Reply
    • Sheila

      Lovely, Kat. Thank you.

      Reply
    • Melissa

      I felt so ill and even powerless reading some of these comments. Your comment brought ease to my heart.

      Reply
  46. Carol Rice

    Yesterday morning after we were dressed and getting ready to leave the house, my husband grabbed my breasts, asking permission first, which I granted, even though I find it unloving; this is his normal — grabbing my breasts.

    Same day, in the afternoon, while in the car, he became angry and frustrated because I took too long in the supermarket; he times me regularly. I had a sense it was not safe for me to take the 45 min. journey home with him, but got in the car anyway. We then had an argument over this; he will not listen. He wanted to get home sooner – no particular reason stated before going into the supermarket. He then began to hit me in the head while he was driving the the car. I deflected his hits with my hand and now I have a bad bruise and seriously swollen freaky looking hand.

    We have been married four years and my husband will not ever have a conversation with me. He mostly watches TV.

    I want to leave him but have no where to go.

    Carol.

    Reply
    • Sheila

      Carol, please, please, get some help. Call the police or go to a women’s shelter. This is abuse. This is not a simple case of your husband not being able to have a good conversation with you. He is hitting you while he was driving, which is unsafe on two levels: first, he’s hurting you; but second, he’s distracted while driving which could cause even more bodily harm.

      If he’s timing you while you’re shopping; if he’s grabbing you when you don’t want him to; that is ABUSE. Please, please get some help. It will only get worse. I know you feel like you have no where to go, but there are shelters that can help you get on your feet. And that is better than being beaten down for so many years that you have lost all sense of who you are. I’m so sorry, and I pray that you do get some help!

      Reply
  47. Mike

    Love making seems to be only when it’s good for her.

    We’ve been married for 23 years. I love my wife with all my heart. However, I feel a big change in her over the past few years.

    She is going through menopause and trust me… I’m being very considerate and patient with her. I’ve read countless articles on how to be supportive of her needs, and I honestly think I’m doing a good job. Trust me, this is more than just a Hot Flashes issue!

    I do however have a major concern about our lovins routine… which is what it has become.

    Anytime I make advances at night I get the cold shoulder. She seems to think all is well because we occasionally try and have lovins on some mornings, and when we do it’s always very rushed and not very fulfilling or intimate.

    I’ve tried to explain how this makes me feel, but she gets upset with me and acts like I should be happy with what I’m getting when I can get it. She then proceeds to tell me that my touching her in intimate places does nothing for her. When in the past she was the one who would grab my hands and place them in areas on her body. Oh, I was also informed that she doesn’t need to make love as much as me, and that she would be fine without it. Now that’s a major issue for me! I’m getting red flags all over the place. How concerned should I be?

    Well I hope you don’t say… Yep, it’s that man thing again. He wants more and she’s not willing to give it so he’s pissed.

    It’s not that at all. What I’ve tried to explain to her is… it’s more about quality love making than quantity. She feels I should be happy with some quick quickie. I honestly think she feels if she can get me to feel good all our problems are over.

    I have tried to explain to her that when we make love it should be about us enjoying each other and not about making me feel good. I’m really concerned this is leading towards some really bad heart ache. I’m at a lost. Any advice?

    Reply
    • Sheryl

      It sounds to me like your wife sees sex as primarily, or even purely, physical, with the goal of getting orgasms, and that this worked just fine when your libidos were in synch, but with her hormones gone whacky, now this belief system something the two of you need to deal with.

      How does your wife feel about non-intimate touch? Backrubs, foot massage, that sort of thing? When the hormones aren’t humming, sometimes going for the slow burn works best. If she was grabbing your hands and directing you back in the day, then maybe she’s always preferred the fast burn; the problem now is that her body isn’t cooperating. She seems to be seeing sex as satisfactory so long as it includes a particular event (orgasm); when what matters most in the long run is the act (lovemaking, which can include all manner of touch and may or may not include orgasm for one or both partners).

      Not gonna throw “just like a man” at you, but sometimes understanding and communication matters more than consideration and patience. The problem is that she herself may not understand what’s really going on! Maybe her own lack of interest makes her feel frustrated and angry, to the point that sex itself is starting to make her feel bad, and she just wants to get it out of the way so she doesn’t have to think about her own failure. Maybe she feels unattractive and past her prime, and the problem is as much psychological as hormonal. Maybe she is embarrassed by her need for lubricant. Maybe she was once a fan of romances, and your sex life had always compared pretty reasonably to that, and now her whole concept of what sex is and what sex means is being challenged. In romances, when two people are in love, the sex is always great. In real life, not so much.

      Plenty of people, romance readers or not, figure if they can get the sex right, things will be fine. And if sex is the actual problem, they’re right. But often the problems in sex reflect other problems that are only remotely related to sex, and the sex doesn’t get right until those other issues are dealt with. I think your concern is valid, but you may need to throw your net a little wider to get at the root of the problem.

      Reply
  48. Kay

    I’ve obviously said plenty already, but after a new more recent experience I would also like to recommend that a woman get her hormones tested if she is unsure why touching her breasts is such a turn off. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, my breasts were often painful to the touch, and my husband was very respectful of that, as I’ve discussed above. But after I miscarried last October, my hormones went CRAZY. For the first time in my life, having my husband touch my breasts did not hurt but produced a visceral reaction from me where I literally cringed and withdrew from his touch. It wasn’t just him, however, I could not stand even the water in the shower on my breasts; I had to cover them with my arm. It was extremely distressing to me, because the only word I can use to describe what I felt was extreme disgust. I was devastated. Asking my husband to refrain from touching my breasts because it hurt me was one thing, but asking him not to touch them because it disgusted me felt horrible! I felt like such a failure as a wife and did not know how to explain what I was feeling in a way that didn’t hurt his feelings. I began to experience other symptoms of a hormone imbalance, however, so I got them tested and sure enough I had almost NO free testosterone in my body. I started a bioidentical replacement cream and within one or two weeks I could handle my breasts being touched again.

    As I’ve said repeatedly above, I am so thankful my husband loves me well and refrained from touching my breasts during that time. It was distressing to me too, but I fought to try to fix the problem. It took several months to get to the root problem, however. I’m so glad he was patient with me in the meantime. I feel cherished when he is considerate of me in this way.

    I am now very early along in my next pregnancy and my breasts are once again very sore; they hurt so much that it wakes me up if I roll onto them in my sleep. It would be cruel for my husband to insist on doing a “drive by honk” of my breasts as we used to be able to. That has never turned me on, but it didn’t bother me at all so I didn’t mind. Now it would bother me tremendously! But as Sheila mentioned, timing is key. With a little foreplay, when I am aroused I can still enjoy having them touched, only much more gently than when I am not pregnant. I am married to a kind man who accommodates my changing needs, and since this is our last, he knows that this rollercoaster won’t last forever!

    Reply
  49. Kay

    Aha! I’ve hit on the word missing from the conversation: cherish! (Can’t take credit for it, that’s all Gary Thomas.) In this instance, I hope both the husband and wife will ask themselves how they can make their spouse feel cherished as they work through this situation as TEAMMATES, not opponents. The husband can cherish his wife by refraining from touching his wife’s breasts until she is more comfortable with it, but the wife can also cherish her husband by seeking to work through her hang ups just because it is important to him.

    Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned and difficulties arise, especially sexually, difficulties that we didn’t ask for and certainly don’t want. I hope that each spouse can seek to cherish one another as they work through these issues… together!

    Reply
  50. P.A.

    Before our first child my wife got a lot of pleasure from breast stimulation, but once she started nursing things changed drastically and they didn’t change back on their own. Even a couple years after she had stopped nursing they were still off limits. She knew I missed that and she decided to endure short periods of my enjoying her breasts to see if anything changed. At first it really was just a few seconds before she said I had to stop, but before too long her body started responding like before.

    Reply
  51. Michelle

    Sheila, thank you so much for the link to this post on your most recent post! I never knew it was something you wrote about, and it is an issue I’ve been having. I so want to say how crazy some of these comments are. I can’t believe how some people think, and I thank God that I am married to a man who loves and respects me as much as I do him. He is higher drive than me usually, but he doesn’t just want sex, he wants me to enjoy it, he wants me to be pleased.
    I have gone through different stages of what the reader was feeling. Sometimes I detest when my husband touches my breasts, so much so that it makes me completely turned off, makes me want to jump out of bed and cover up. Other times I am able to clear my mind of everything that causes me those feelings, for long enough for me to enjoy it.
    I’ve got to the root of my problem, bit haven’t completely figured out how to fix it. The issue arose from something that happened when I was in elementary school. (Tauma#1)I would always have my mom or step dad (only dad I knew, been around since I was 3) lay with me till I fell asleep, I loved it, I felt so comforted. But one day my step dad fell asleep before I did and his hand made it’s way inside my shirt onto my breast area, keep in mind I had no breasts, but obviously I was horrified, not knowing if it was intentional, I acted as if I was asleep and rolled to my stomach, and that was it. He was still asleep, and didn’t do anything like that ever again. I did mention it to my mom and she said it was an accident and she was sorry, and that was how he slept with her so he must have not realized (trauma #2 was knowing that’s how they slept, which was weird and gross to me). My husband and I started dating when I was 15, one day when we hung out he told me how he wanted us to watch a movie together, we layer together watching it till at one part of the movie was a man licking a woman’s large breasts, (trauma#3) I was horrified that he would not only show me this movie, but not even have the decency to turn away from viewing that part while he was there with me. A similar thing happened with 2 other movies while we dated, with breasts showing and him watching, which developed a full blown insecurity in me (I am very small chested, at 15, and even now at 23). The final thing that I struggle with when my husband wants to touch or do anything with my breasts, is the fact that I nursed our 2nd baby for a year (issue#4), I felt very dirty and guilty letting him do those things to me, knowing I fed our child with them, and feeling like it was wrong that he would make me feel good in that way.
    So majority my “ick, runaway” reflex comes when I have a flashback of my stepdad hand in my shirt as a kid(usually happens when we start off, if I am laying on my side and he is behind me). The other times I get a “I don’t want to be touched there, I want a bra on right now” feeling is when I’m laying on my back, and my already small chest becomes nonexistent, and he wants to lick my breasts. I just get flashbacks to that movie, and I am so self conscious and saddened, it reminds me how flat chested I am and how large the woman’s breasts were who he saw that being done to. I fall into the trap of comparison, thus making me disgusted with my body and wanting to push my husband away (same goes for when he randomly wants to grab for me, or wants to sneak a hand in my shirt).
    I have realized that two things have helped for me, prayer and taking my thoughts captive (pushing away the flashbacks and focusing on the moment, just my husband and i, and the fact that I am the one he loves and desires, the one he married, and the only one he has been with sexually)
    Thank you for the post shiela, and for recently linking it. I think you have this woman great advice. She shouldn’t just deal with the repulsion everyone, but try to have foreplay other ways, while still trying to give her husband times where he can do it (and try to withstand it) and still trying to get to the root of her uncomfortable feeling with it.
    For my situation, I’ve told my husband when I am in a phase when it’s really uncomfortable for me (haven’t told him why, because I don’t want to traumatize him too), but he completely respects me. During those times I try to gift him my love and affection more, in the form of sexual acts he enjoys but I am not too crazy for, such as oral (both ways), as a reminder to him that I love him and our intimacy. He also knows that if it’s uncomfortable I will gently move his hand aeay, and he will touch me somewhere else instead. If have been moving his hand away lately, and he doesn’t try to touch my breasts one day, but I am feeling ok with it, I will move his hands there, which he appreciates.
    Your a great help Sheila! Don’t let these crazy people discourage, or enrage you lol.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, Michelle, I’m so glad you commented, because that’s EXACTLY what I mean! Sometimes stuff just happens and these “traumas” add up and they do affect how we see certain sex acts or how we experience parts of our bodies. I’m so, so sorry that all that happened to you. I totally understand the “ick” thing!

      And it sounds like you’re choosing to go forward in a really healthy way. He’s respecting you when you just can’t handle it and you do it gently. And in turn, when it’s okay for you, you invite him. That sounds really very healthy!

      Reply
  52. Bob25yrsmryd

    Michelle has not been honest with her husband. How is he supposed to guess why she is having problems. She sounds happy to cut her husband off with this threads excuse of never needing to work it out and dishonest relationship communication.

    Here’s mine… when a wife has cut a husband off for 10 years from mutual intimacy except for a possible annual mercy visit to the vagina and begged for hugging during masturbation, which is met with scorn and guilt trips. She has never sought help for her anti-intimacy illness and appears to be happy that she won’t ever need to enjoy making love to her husband again.

    What right does a husband of 25+ years have?

    Reply
  53. Amanda

    After reading some of the comments on here, I realized that I’m incredibly lucky I didn’t get married to someone like Trevor. In some weird twist of fate, he might be lucky he’s not married to me either. If he was and pulled the mess he’s talking, he’d be missing his teeth via a kiss from my fist… Out of love, of course. LOL!

    Reply
  54. Carin

    I don’t understand something. What if I just simply do not enjoy something and never had and never will. I really dislike all his foreplay. It’s always the same boring thing. He will hold my hands and gauge my receptivity, then start to kiss my lips and face, then start slowly caressing my whole body. Guess he thinks he’s warming me up. Soon to follow is touching me down south. Which is what I really HATE! I feel like I’m his experiment to try and see if maybe this time it will feel good. It wont! But he keeps on doing the same thing over and over. Then he wants me to tell him what feels good and what doesn’t. How do I say nothing without hurting his feelings? Why cant he just use his penis and use that for a while until I prefer it inside.
    That is my preference and I do not think I have a problem.

    Reply
    • Jeremy

      Hi Carin. That all sounds pretty frustrating.

      Maybe I’ve misunderstood, but it seems to me that your husband is asking you to tell him what you want him to do, but you’re not saying anything?

      Or is it the case that when you do tell him what you’d like him to do, he acts hurt, so you feel there’s no point in saying anything?

      It sounds as if you need to talk to him about what you want from him in the bedroom. He seems to have been programmed with the idea that women want to be approached the way he is doing, and in some cases that might be right.

      But obviously people are all different and you have to find what works for both of you.

      I’m not married so there’s not a lot more I can say. But most of these good blogs like Sheila’s and J. Parker’s seem to be saying that communication and talking about what you’d like (as well as exploring different approaches) is a big key to satisfying lovemaking.

      May God guide you to figuring it out.

      Reply
  55. Ashley Easter

    I have something I think is important to cover. If this woman (or any woman) says to a man (including her husband) “do not touch me here” he should not touch her there. If he does without her consent this is sexual assault.

    If she does not enjoy being touched there but still allows him to do so that is different. In that case I recommend looking into the suggestions given above for making it more pleasant.

    It’s important though for women to know they can ALWAYS say “no” with or without reason. She can say no and look into ways to make it more comfortable saying but until she give enthusiastic consent he does not have a right to touch her.

    Reply
  56. Brent

    He has a right to leave. It’s trauma. Life has all kinds. You don’t need to continue punishing yourself or anyone else because of it. It’s hard to let go of something you identify with for most of your life. Even if it’s bad for you or relationships . There may be some Muenchausen’s syndrome in some cases.

    Reply
  57. Jeremy

    Wow, this post has produced a large number of comments – and I’m late to the party. Not married, either.

    But for what it’s worth, it seems that those who are saying the wife’s body belongs to the husband and she should just yield to him, are overlooking the necessity of trust when being intimate.

    Saying, “It is my right to do this, so you should just XYZ…” doesn’t build trust.

    For example, I’m attracted to a woman who is hurting and cautious about relationships because she recently went through a divorce. I’d love to take her out on a few dates to get to know her better, but she doesn’t feel ready for that. However, she is happy to invite me to events with her group of friends.

    I don’t get to say “I’m a man of God, so you should just trust my motives.” That trust has to be earned. And actually I’m finding I feel a lot more gentle (fruit of the Spirit!) loving (ditto!) and patient (again!) when I consider scenarios in which she might say, “I don’t feel ready for such-and-such”, and I listen and accept her and love her where she is at. If I can’t do that, I’ll never have the love and mutuality I’m hoping for.

    Loving your wife as Christ loves the church means allowing her to experience a process of revelation and growth rather than just laying down demands.

    And to those who insist upon saying, “I work and earn money, so why shouldn’t she give me sex?!” that really appears to miss the point that these things should be given joyfully and freely. Even if something is a “duty”, it should be given willingly and cheerfully – God, after all, loves a cheerful giver, not one who feels under compulsion.

    If there is no joy in giving, as other readers have pointed out, one needs to explore the reasons why that is so and concentrate on building that trust and making things better.

    That’s what I hope I’d do for my wife, anyway.

    Reply
    • Sheila Gregoire

      I think that’s beautiful, Jeremy!

      Reply
      • Jeremy

        Thank you, Sheila. :o)

        BTW this may have been pointed out already, but I’m wondering where one draws the line with the idea that a woman should just knuckle under to her husband’s demands. If a man gets off from being physically violent during sex, e.g. hitting his wife (and there are some who do…), should the wife just see putting up with this as her God-given duty?

        I am totally down with the idea that we should strive to give of ourselves to our spouse. In the right context, that’s healthy and good. But there’s a nice Bible verse that says:

        In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
        After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church… (Ephesians 5:28-29)

        If you wouldn’t force something on yourself when you were feeling unwell, unprepared or unable, you shouldn’t force it on your spouse.

        Reply
  58. Amanda L.

    Just wanted to give my two cents…

    I came here looking for advice for my own marriage and took a look at the comment section. Some of these comments (similar to Brad A.) disturb me to my core.

    To the men who agree with him:

    Forcing unwanted sexual advances on someone is sexual assault, regardless of where she’s your wife or a stranger. What’s most disturbing is you’re using the Bible to justify your terrible ways.

    One could only imagine how low your self esteem has to be to believe your wife owes you sex, even if it hurts her. No woman with half a brain would have any desire to sleep with a man who’s selfish enough to only care about his needs during sex. Your logic doesn’t equate to love. You’re just men who go on power trips with your wives to hide from the reality that you suck at sex.

    Congrats! You’ve managed to give the wives on here a reason to thank God everyday that we’re not married to husbands like you.

    Reply
  59. Nana

    Long story short had a baby, 6 wk mark told good to go, 6 months of unbearable pain during sex called dr told to go pelvic floor PT. A dr shoves their fingers painfully into u for an hour to break up scar tissue for months. Then b/c u r to tight from the injury u have to lay in bed @t night with dilator. (tightness and pain r common 4 women after birth & menopause) I didn’t even know this was a thing!My PT was always booked & said almost everyone came in pleading for help b/c their marriage was being ruined b/c of sex.
    it is not uncommon for woman 2 not want their nipples grabbed/sucked if she bf. Maybe there can be a compromise (talk to a sex therapist) but guilting only leads to an unproductive emotional cycle. They taught us in pre cana that women typically become sexual through emotional intimacy so making her feel like its her duty/pained/uncomfortable isn’t helping her want to jump in the sack.
    I believe in mutual submission if you dont like something I hope she wouldnt do it to you & likewise.
    Libido is a huge problem for many. Libido killers- ageing, breastfeeding, menopause, birth control, anti depressants. Heck she might need anit dperessants if she has no libido, no support and is getting pushed around b/c she doesn’t know how to deal with things out of her control.
    Woman have not been gifted with meds to help with this. I have inquired on vitamins, pills etc to help with libido & was told 2 try the pink pill that will cost ab 2k for 3 months or get a needle in the vagina to help repair the muscles & help the libido for 1k but doesn’t always work!
    I understand u are horny, feel rejectet but submit & respect each other & support each other go down the path together
    I remember saying we would love, honor & respect each other in our vows I dont remember anything ab a body part that causes distress to be used by the other for pleasure. Work together see a sex therapist, go to the OBGYN. if you are one flesh then act it and support each other 2 figure out how to over come a hardship so that there is no anger, pain, or any form of suffering.

    Reply
  60. Brian

    I’ve read many of the comments with a lot of interest. I’m a 65 year old male. My wife and I will be celebrating our 42nd anniversary later this year. Since menopause, intercourse has been uncomfortable and often painful for her. Through most of our marriage I convinced myself that she wanted sex almost as much as I did. I can no longer convince myself of that.

    Through most of our marriage we made love two or three times a month. Like many males, I’d have been thrilled to multiply that several times. We are now down to once or twice a year, but my desire has not lessoned.

    How can I call it “Making Love” when it is mostly her giving and me taking? She would give — often — if I asked, but I can no longer find any language that does not feel 99% selfish.

    I intentionally come to bed later than her most nights. There is usually a very limited amount of non-sexual touch in those first few moments when I slip into bed beside her. But my hands want to keep exploring. Her body still delights me. I long to touch. Those first few moments in bed are often the most painful moments of my day, so much of the time I deliberately delay them.

    I’m a published poet. I’m supposed to have all the right language, but I can’t find any way to express my longings that doesn’t put pressure on her to “perform.” And I can no longer convince myself that is an act of love.

    Her companionship is still a treasure. We share words of love multiple times daily. We hold hands when we go on walks. We hug and kiss frequently, but somehow always when there is little chance of things going farther. We haven’t showered together in the last year. I think we’ve made love once in the last 12 months.

    I wish so much I could just snuggle up with her, delight in her body, touch, but not want more. I think she would delight in that too, feel cherished. But I’m not very good at stopping with just a snuggle, so usually I limit my touch — probably too much.

    I see a more selfishness than I want to admit, looking back over 41 years of marriage. I see a lot of selfishness in the hungers that plague me today. I’m convinced God planned sex for our joy and pleasure, as well as for procreation. But I confess to having prayed many times that He would take all desire away. He has never granted that request.

    Still, God has blessed me with a wife who is a treasure. That she has put up with me for all these years; that we still share a bed; that we still delight in each other’s company — I’m convinced I have far more to be thankful for than to complain about.

    Reply
    • A5R

      Hey Brian, your story sounds very much like mine. My wife asked me not to touch her breasts, whether she was clothed or not. After a further 2 reminders I resolved (and resigned myself) to never do so again. I may look at them longingly from time to time, but I make no comments and accept the situation.
      Further to that, for most of our 44 (and counting) year marriage I was the instigator (requestor) for sex. I began to feel it was one way enjoyment, so one day decided to wait for her to instigate sex – like a test to see if there was any desire or need on her part. That was over 5 year ago – with no sex. I’m not happy with this aspect of an otherwise great relationship. Neither of of us looking for another partner.

      Reply
  61. Anon

    In our case, my wife was fine with me fondling her breasts… she even encouraged me to do it! But then came menopause and things changed drastically. I will not go into all the details but there are times when I know her body is not cooperating. For us, it is not about control, or phobias, or her mental state. It is about hormones (or the lack there of).
    In any case, thank you for your insights. I am grateful for the valuable knowledge you added to my limited understanding of the subject.

    Reply
  62. Joe Caveman

    I must say, I never considered that this might be a problem for some spouses, and I pray that it won’t be in my marriage. That said, I think your advice is perfect. This seem so to have been a particularly controversial subject, and I think the solutions that detractors have proposed in their comments either unilaterally fail to take into account the wife’s interests, or fail to take into account the husband’s interests. I think you strike a great balance.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thanks, Joe!

      Reply
  63. Me

    Where’a the advice option where she tells the man to get over himself, no means no, this is one VERY small, TRIVIAL issue that he’s making all about himself and guilting her to try to coerce her into something that is CLEARLY a hard limit?

    There is no compromise necessary here. Not everything has to be. This is a no, and he should be glad he can have sex without groping her breasts if she hates it. He should respect that. I worry for this woman.

    Reply
    • MrGuy

      That attitude is how marriages end, right quick. It’s not a “small” or “trivial” issue. Some men don’t care or need sex much, or crave their wife’s breasts. Fine for them. But for many men, no breast play = no sex, and no sex = no marriage. And no, this isn’t cruel or selfish. Men are wired to have physical needs satisfied. That’s part of what they want and need in a partner. It doesn’t mean the man has to “get over himself”. It means a major component of his happiness will never be satisfied. Telling him to “get over himself” is like telling somebody whose lifelong dream was to be a writer, or an engineer, “Well, too bad, I don’t like that, so you’ll just have to get over yourself”. Yeah. Do that, and see how long your marriage lasts.

      Reply
  64. TGIF

    I am a good man. I am married to a good woman who doesn’t want me to ever touch her breasts. I suffer because I want our sexual and intimate connection to be exceptional but instead, it is limited. She usually decides when we have sex. This comes from too many rejections that came my way. I just finally just stopped approaching. I have learned how not to touch her breasts. I am striving to be the kind of man who will give his wife anything that she needs.

    She tells me that she wants to be approached but when I do she sighs as if she is disappointed to have to perform or something. I guess that amounts to me not believing her. She never says that she misses it or me. All this being said……I miss her.

    I don’t understand the “no touch” on breasts thing. The kids touch, the dog paws, nursing goes on and on. Nothing I have ever seen yields the reaction I get should I accidentally touch breasts. It’s an over reaction from my point of view. Still, I try to give her what she needs. I try not to judge.

    I don’t believe that she wants to talk about it. I think she is happiest with the way things are. I feel disconnected to her. Seeing naked breasts on women besides my wife just leaves me lonely. Many of the things I read in this post hit home for me.

    All my life, I have been “can do” kind of guy. But not this. There will be no conversation from me. It’s too sensitive of an issue and it includes so much rejection.

    I just thought I would post. I wish you ladies saw it as more than just sex because it is. I wish you gentlemen would refine the examples you use and find kinder words. Remembering that it’s difficult on both sides.

    Reply
    • MrMan

      Man, how I feel your pain. For me, a woman’s breasts are absolutely THE thing when it comes to sex, cuddling, comfort, intimacy. To be denied access to them kills everything for me, when it comes to being physical with a woman, and when physical intimacy dies, everything else dies. I don’t care what anybody says. A relationship with a woman without physical intimacy is no relationship at all. I endured EXACTLY what you describe with my now-ex-wife for nearly 20 years. I remarried to a woman who absolutely LOVED that part of our relationship, but after a few years, probably brought on by the onset of menopause, she changed completely and now is just like my first wife! What a disaster. I was so sure I would never have to suffer that denial ever again. And now it’s been 8 years like that, so I no longer believe it was just menopause. It was a permanent change in her and it has destroyed our lives.
      I applaud you for hanging in there and trying to please her and be a good husband. I wish I could be more encouraging to you, but I can’t be, because I have lived what you are living, and I know how it ends. You and she have reached a tragic impasse that will be a wall between the two of you forever.

      Reply
  65. Vanik

    Even though it’s been 6 years since the post, I’d like to post a comment as well. I’ve read about 200+ comments in this content. I’ve seen many people putting biblical references, including Christianity and God’s influence in marriages, women as sex objects, males as sexual predators and dominators, and whatnot. In my perspective, I’d recommended that both the wife and the husband see a gynecologist, a sex therapist, or a psychologist unless they have already done such consultation by now. A thorough medical checkup will most definitely clarify the actual problem with the wife’s overly sensitive breasts. The final medical report would be beneficial because both would be educated, especially the husband, about the wife’s condition. Because let’s be clear about one thing, he won’t stop sucking on hers, and she will always feel extremely repulsive, keeping him at bay, and in the process ruin their relationship altogether. Once he understands this through medical processes, he will understand his wife’s crucial issue’s depth. I believe the husband is a considerate human being.

    And, one more thing, God sent both men and women to this world to make this world a better place. We have to co-exist together. So, instead of hurting each other, we should heal each other. We are all God’s children, and it is upon us to build upon this “institution” we call marriage.

    By the way, I’m a man.

    Reply
  66. Shawn

    My wife developed an issue with having her breasts touched so I stopped, but it came at a cost. I used to rub her feet every night for 45 minutes, even though every minute after 10 was painful in my hands. I found the suffering bearable because it made her happy. When I found her not willing to make the same sacrifice, I stopped as well and she understood. For those of you misunderstanding the socio-economic comparison of sex to provision, please read the following for perspective, not to change your mind:

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/insight-therapy/201305/the-price-sex-women-rule-men-drool-the-markets-cruel?amp

    Reply
  67. Tiffany

    All these Christian, abusive men, wanting to put themselves first while they commit psychological and emotional damage to those they say they have made a contract with to love and honor.

    Reply
  68. William

    Hello,
    First, thank you for the article. I want to go further into “Timing.” Background: There were no issues about touching before, but now after a second child and some mastitis trauma we are here: “Similarly, many women find their nipples too sensitive to touch, but just before orgasm they actually want them sucked or pinched.” This is us now. It’s a timing issue. We’ve identified it, but now what? How can we go back to how we were and not just those brief yet joyful moments?

    Reply
  69. Great Husband

    I came across this website and find the age of equality is messing up with equality. In todays world womens power is going to many of their heads. If you do not like something then compromise….if not then why did you get married. Marrage has many ups and downs. Sometimes I dont like certain things but I do it because I love my wife and I do things I sometimes dont like because the love and comittment I made to my wife. If there are women that dont like certain things then wait to get married and find someone that is more like you….but we know opposites attract and many women play the switch either after marrage or after child birth and expect men to deal with it. Women have been given much power and we see where this has taken us. Look how messed up the world is getting we we do not follow gods rules. I sure many of you strong feminists will have your say but it is out of line with reality and the way things should be.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      So you’re saying Jesus says that a woman who feels trauma with a particular part of her body being touched should let her husband touch her there, and a husband should feel he has the right to cause his wife trauma? That’s what Jesus says?

      And this is what makes you a “Great Husband”? The idea that you can contribute to your wife’s trauma because God says so?

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *