Reader Question: Help! My Husband Wants Sex Everyday!

by | Aug 12, 2019 | Uncategorized | 31 comments

My husband wants sex everyday--and sex has become very one-sided
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What do you do if your husband wants sex everyday, but isn’t interested at all in how you feel about it or how you feel during it?

On Mondays I like to take a reader question and take a stab at answering it, and I thought that, since I hadn’t done an Ask Sheila video in a while, I’d try to answer it in video format!

Here’s what she asked:

Reader Question

My husband wants it every day. Really. Like 350 days a year is what I can honestly say. I am just a vessel… like a cigarette butt container outside a door. I know he needs it. I know that he’s wired differently than I. I don’t say no unless I get a chance to fall asleep when I’m sick or something. I’m so tired. I want to feel loved, but I’m so busy making sure everyone else’s needs are met. I’m not even good at having sex any more. I just make sure there is lube when I’m ready for bed because that’s when I know he will want it. It isn’t fulfilling. I have been to counseling. I asked him to go to counseling with me, but he would not go back because he said the woman didn’t even know him and implied that he had a sex addiction. Maybe he does. He loves the verse about my body isn’t mine, but he never gets to the end of that verse. I am trying. I am praying. How do I become a better wife? How do I enjoy sex? What do I do when he gets so mad if he doesn’t get sex very day?

Here’s my answer (below the “My Latest Videos” module):

The problem here is not really that the husband wants sex everyday.

The problem this reader was having is more that her husband was seeing sex as entirely one-sided. It’s like I talked about in the post on how we need a new definition of sex–we think that sex i “man puts penis into woman’s vagina and moves around until he climaxes.” That definition, however, means that she’s quite irrelevant to the whole process. She can lie there, and experience nothing, and it’s still sex.

Why would some men start to think this way about sex?

All kinds of things contribute to it. Some men honestly don’t understand that sex feels differently for women–that women need foreplay; that sex is about more than the physical. Some men have been watching porn so long that they see women as sexually just being there for them to use. One of the effects of porn is to make sex not intimate at all, but more about taking. And sometimes we just grow up in this culture seeing sexual fulfillment in an entirely selfish way–what I want, I deserve to get.

But sex is supposed to be so much more than just a physical thing. It’s supposed to be a mutual joining, where it’s about “knowing” each other, as the Bible talks about it. Treating her like an object wrecks everything.

But as I also said in the video, sometimes women are the ones who make sex one-sided.

Recently a woman left this comment on the blog:

 

I think it’s simple. God made orgasms for men and a wives duty is to make your spouse orgasm with your full participation. Women don’t even need orgasms to conceive so they arent relevant for us. I focus solely on my husbands fulfillment and God has blessed us profoundly.

So many men are here, on this blog, because in their marriages, it’s the wife who just can’t get excited about sex or understand that pleasure was meant for her, too. Good guys actually want to bring their wives pleasure, and when the wives consistently say, “it’s okay, I just want you to feel good,” these men feel empty. 

When we grow up with the messages from the church that sex is about giving him what he needs, it’s easy to feel like sex isn’t for us. But that’s not healthy. So check out these posts, and then invest in something like 31 Days to Great Sex so that you can start a great challenge with your spouse on figuring out how to make sex for both of you!

Are you and your spouse sexually disconnected?

31 Days to Great Sex helps you flirt, be more affectionate, talk–and especially spice things up!

No blaming. Just solutions–and a whole lot of fun!

Why do you think people get this idea that sex is one-sided–and that’s how it’s supposed to be? How can we fight it? Let’s talk in the comments!

 

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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

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31 Comments

  1. Katherine

    I suspect even if their husbands do t want sex every single day, an overwhelming number of women (myself included) have felt like a PIV “vessel” or a cigarette butt container outside the door. Personally I liken this empty, one-sided sex to feeling like I provide the hole for him to masturbate. And just like a hole, it does indeed leave one feeling empty and dark Several years into our marriage, with little success in making things more mutual, I was spiraling into a deep, dark depression. It got so bad that on an impulse I pulled over one day into our local (secular) mental health center in town that offered counseling. I sat down with a woman and explained what was happening (or not happening, was more accurate) and how it was deeply affecting my mental health. And I will never forget her cynical laugh when she said “Oh honey. You just married yourself a selfish lover” and waved me out of her office. That was it. No “come back and see me again”. No “let’s make sure you don’t jump off a cliff”. Just a boot in the backside with no real hope or encouragement for a better future.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, Katherine, that’s so awful! I’m so sorry that a counselor would treat you that way!

      But you are married to a selfish lover, and it is very, very degrading and very impersonal. It really is okay to set up boundaries, like I said in this video, and say something like, “I am no longer willing to be treated like an object. I’d love to work on how we can connect and how we can feel close and how we can have great passion TOGETHER, but it has to be mutual.” God did not intend for anyone to be treated like an object like that. He really didn’t!

      Reply
    • Wifeofasexaddict

      Dear Friend, your letter is full of red flags. You feel like you are being used because you are being used. In fact, you are being abused. Your husband does not “need” sex. He won’t die without it. My husband found out how long he can go without sex in 2018 when he had a major relapse and he had to move into the guest room for 8 months. By then, he was in recovery, so it was literally nothing sexual. He survived. In fact, he got a lot better through it.

      I advise you to look for a Pure Desire group in your area and make him join it. Hopefully there is a Betrayal and Beyond group for you to join too.

      What is happening it you is not ok, not your fault, and.ypu don’t have to tolerate it.

      Reply
      • Recovering from betrayal

        Amen sister. I’m
        Married to a sex addict also. And I saw all the red flags in her letter.

        Yes- there is a pervasive teaching about sex within the church that needs to be handled.

        But another issue that is grossly underestimated is abuse. And this reader is most likely being abused. Abusive people degrade another of their personhood. BEWARE of anyone who wants to point out verses or teaching or anything that claims ownership of you.

        Reply
  2. Sarah O

    As Sheila has mentioned before, it is rare that sex is really the only problem in a relationship (unless maybe there’s a medical issue). If both partners are earnestly seeking God, loving each other sacrificially, and pursuing greater honesty and vulnerability with each other, it should be reflected in the marriage bed.

    Of all the things in your letter, what concerns me the most is that he gets “so mad” if you say no – ever. This is a problem no matter what he’s asking for. I am literally teaching my four year old “When we love someone, we respect their ‘no’.”

    You may have some harder questions to face here, and you may need some time to get ready for the truth. It would be great to think it’s just an issue of libido, but I think you know it’s not. Your heart wouldn’t be hurting like this. You wouldn’t feel exhausted like this.

    Experiment: explain that you feel your sex life is not all it could be and you’d like to take one week to abstain and commit to prayer about it. How would he respond? How would that week go? How would the non-sexual parts of the relationship be impacted? Would you be safe?

    I’ll pray for you as you tackle this. What you are describing is not a small problem.

    Reply
  3. Nathan

    Katherine, I’m so sorry for what you’ve been living through, and for the awful way that the counselor treated your very real pain. I’m praying that things get better for you.

    I’m always surprised at the large number of women that buy into the “sex is only for men” thing. I think that many churches have, for centuries, preached the myth that God made sex only for the pleasure of men, and that women are just servants/vessels for the needs of men. And that “nice girls” don’t want sex, don’t enjoy it, don’t talk about it, don’t think about it. Just give your husband whatever he wants, whenever he wants, with no complaint and don’t enjoy it. All men and women need to fight this horribly untrue myth

    Reply
    • Jane Eyre

      I think “teach” people that sex is primarily for men by not going out of our way to teach them that sex is mutual. (Many, many thanks to Sheila for her ministry.)

      Sex “looks” like something for men: they derive easy and mind-blowing pleasure from intercourse. It’s almost always over when they climax. A woman usually takes much longer or may struggle immensely to climax. Sex is initially very painful, and can continue to be painful. Our most sensitive part is not stimulated through intercourse.

      Get a young couple on their wedding night, honeymoon, the months after, and how long does it take them to deep-down believe that God made sex for men’s pleasure?

      (My husband is caring, patient, and wonderfully tender, but it’s still really hard on me.)

      I swear, many men only figure out how wrong they are when their wives run through optimism, then love, then patience, then the ability to grit their teeth, and either file for divorce or just cut off relations completely.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Yes, I think that’s a very common experience, Jane. When you combine the teaching that sex is primarily for men with the couple’s experience that sex is easy for men and often difficult for women you get a situation where sex is almost entirely for men.

        We need to both combat the teaching AND help couples to understand how to make sex good for women, too. It’s a two-pronged thing. We need better teaching on the meaning of sex, but we also need better instruction on how sex should work if it’s to be mutually enjoyable. That’s one reason we made The Honeymoon Course, to try to hopefully stop this downward spiral before it starts!

        Reply
  4. Blessed Wife

    As the original questioner pointed out, there is a second half to the verse about who has authority over whose body. When finding oneself on the receiving end of a weaponized version of 1 Cor. 7:4, it’s entirely appropriate to remind the encroaching spouse of the other half. “I have as much authority over your body as you have over mine, and I say not tonight, because (I’m exhausted) (after 5 times in the last three days, I’m a little sore and need a day off) (it’s too late tonight to make a proper job of it, and I want it to be good for us both).” It’s also entirely appropriate to say “yes, if/after…”, if we can say it honestly and with a joyful heart. Sometimes we aren’t eager for sex because there’s some other issue on our hearts that needs to be resolved first. In cases of betrayal, or when one spouse has a feeling of being used, this is a major issue that needs to be broached and corrected before sex can really be enjoyed mutually again.

    One other point: Anger and argument over being told “no” are a selfishness/ boundary-respect issue, not a “needs” issue. It also sounds like a possible addiction issue, as anger is a common response when an addict is told they can’t have access to their “poison of choice.” My experience with addicts is that they get very angry and defensive with any counselor who correctly identifies and asks them to deal with their issue. They (again, in my experience; I am not a counselor) generally refuse to go back to that counselor, and sometimes to any counselor at all. This isn’t because the counselor is wrong, it’s because they know deep down that the counselor is right but don’t want to change. That is a sign that counseling is in order, and that you as a spouse are going to have to make firm boundaries for yourself about what you will and won’t live with, and stick to them.

    Reply
  5. Tory

    I thought this post was going to be something else. I am the wife, and I want sex every day. After 15 years of marriage, I have accepted that this is not going to happen. My husband is (and always has been) much lower drive than me, he is good with 2-3 times a week, sometimes 4 max. Even when we were 21 year old newlyweds this was the case. Anyway, I don’t think this question is about the frequency so much as the fact that this wife is feeling used. (And that comment you cited: wow, just wow.) nothing wrong with daily sex! But it should be mutual.

    Reply
    • Rachel

      Tory, I appreciate your comment. As a lower-drive wife, I need to remember that my husband doesn’t have the higher drive simply because he’s a man. We’re just different. And no matter the differences, if we see sex as mutual and if we love and respect each other, it can still work well.

      Reply
  6. Jim

    I wrote a post up but it well exceeded the post limit. I will try to shorten it but I’m not sure it will have same effect.

    I at one point wanted sex 4+ times a week. Everyday if I could. My wife never had a sex drive after our 4 kids (she would maybe want it once or twice a month).

    Through a lot of inward inspection I found what I craved was connection. Woman have a huge advantage (in a way). Physiologically you can feel extreme closeness hormonally without sex. Scientifically speaking guys can only come close to those hormonal levels during orgasm.

    Finding this out made me realize that sex was my way to provide that without meeting the root. It was a drug/placebo. The more my wife just basically said “do me”. The more I wanted it because I felt more distance.

    We tried a His night her night of wooing. I won’t go into my part due to limits, but when she tried to woo me (act sexual, playful, be active in bed, have an attitude of want rather than get this over with) I found I was much more alright with sex less often. We set up mon-wed she would try on night and Thur-sun I would try. Giving us allowance for bad days but still a time frame. It worked well when she did it

    Reply
    • A regular reader

      Jim, something similar holds true for us. The more really good sex we have, the less he needs to feel satisfied (to a point!) and the more I want it.

      Reply
  7. Bill Johnson

    As a man living in a sexless marriage, I can attest that men’s “intimacy needs” are just as real as any woman’s, or maybe more so because we can’t lean on our buds the way women can lean on their girlfriends for emotional support. A husband who wants sex that often is basically crying out for intimacy, because, for us, you can’t separate the two. Also, as to the “not taking care of her needs” accusation; I can also attest that many times, women make it as much work as possible as a passive-aggressive tactic to discourage his advances.

    Reply
  8. Emmy

    Something a bit different, and likely not the problem of the reader with the question. But there are some men who really believe a woman automatically enjoys PIV just as much as he does.

    I really can’t figure out where or from whom my husband’s sexual education comes from, but he believes these kind of things. Perhaps not that extreme, but still very much in that direction. He claims that’s how sex was “designed” (PIV) so it should work fine for both. He thinks that IS mutual. I do not possess the rethorics to convince him otherwise.

    I do not feel exactly “used” because he is not ill willed and he claims he enjoys sex only when I enjoy it too. I do however feel misunderstood and not heard all the time.

    Reply
    • Jim

      Coming from a male perspective, It’s various different things. One sex portrayed in main stream, even not in porn just regular movie and tv, doesn’t show a woman having to manually stimulate anything else. Just one on top of the other enjoying it.

      As a male, most are logical. To us, God designed X and Y. X goes into Y so that’s how sex is. We don’t know there’s a Z (being the clit) because logically it’s X and Y to us. We assume without education that X and Y is all that’s “needed”.

      Education, sadly because of the above two and because mainstream it is still not really ever discussed in a proper way, most men just never are taught. Unless they either watch porn and specifically see it or specifically go looking for something they didn’t know existed or they have previous sexual partners that explain it then it remains unknown. Sadly all but one of those above options are unhealthy to a man and outright sin. Even when trying to seek out info it’s hard to find something that’s not laden with sexual images.

      Unless very self aware, most people assume people are like themselves in most things, sex is no different.

      When I first started having sex with my wife (regretfully my GF then). I was clueless. Though I wanted to know how to please her and constantly asked. I knew nothing about the vagina or anything about her actual pleasure areas. It took time but I learned.

      Keep this in mind that very little women think of or I should say at least acknowledge, the primary difference that a man has that a woman does doesn’t really pleasure you to orgasm. To a guy that hits harder than you think. We are enraptured with what your differences due to us. It can bring us immense pleasure. We assume and want our parts to do the same. When we hear it doesn’t it’s a big blow we can’t understand. Then inadequacy kicks in because the one difference we do bring to the table ,while intimate, doesn’t really please you to the ability it brings to orgasm.

      Reply
      • Emmy

        Jim, sure I understand what you mean and I agree and you are right: the wife should not make the husband to feel inadequate. I try to be very careful not to do that but always approach things from the positive side.

        In some other thread I wrote the story about her asking for some whipped cream with her pudding and him responding very “frugally”, in order to illustrate how difficult it is to get him to understand what I would like. I have not yet found the rigt way to ask, but making him to feel inadequate is a thing I try to avoid by all means. Because if that happens, I’m afraid we are going to loose even what we have.

        It just keeps me busy: how did he end up whith those ideas he has. We did not have such bad marriage classes in our church. We always had acces to good books on marriage. If he read them, that’s an other question, but we have books by Tim la Haye and such in our book shelf.

        I don’t know how to proceed. I’m just stuck. But I still don’t want him to feel bad or inadequate.

        Reply
        • Jim

          Oh in no means do I suggest his feeling inadequate is because of the woman. It’s merely a human nature.

          As males we tend to think that a woman’s parts are pleasurable to us. Naturally people assume what’s pleasurable to ones self would be reciprocated in the other. We mirror how we feel on another person.

          I assumed everyone liked cereal because I liked cereal so much when I was younger. Obviously it sounds stupid now, but I think you understand the point. Many times without thinking, we think others should be like us.

          In this aspect guys can find immense physical pleasure from a woman’s parts (this isn’t the only aspect of intimacy but physical is a part). So we naturally assume that women feel the same with our parts.

          It’s not your fault that isn’t the case, it’s how God formed us. The inadequacy comes up because an expectation we set up without knowledge turns out to be false. We then wonder, why? I may be an outlier but my first thought was “it must be me”. I don’t blame that on my wife. It was just the first thing I thought.

          Then with knowledge I learned that’s just how God made women. It’s one of the reasons I believe the Bible tells us to dwell with our wives in knowledge.

          I won’t lie it can be a very touchy subject but I hope he starts to understand that God created us like this.

          A great book I’ve read that retaught my thinking process was Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas (I think it was him). He asks the question “what if God made marriage to make us Holy rather than Happy”. You really start to look at these differences and ask the question “Why would God make man this way and woman this way? What does He want me to learn?

          Reply
  9. Praying 4 Better Days

    Thankful I found this site & story.

    I cried because this hits close to my heart & I’m not even married yet. I’m a 30+yr old virgin waiting for marriage & I’m proud to say I don’t mind waiting for my blessing. At first my boyfriend loved & admired me for my virginity…now he hates it. And I’m cool with that new knowledge so I can let him go but what hurts my soul…is that he’s a good man & respectful in EVERY aspect of my life except for his views on SEX. He’s caring, loving & FAIR in all other areas except for…sex. Because of this one flawed area I question if he can learn to do better considering the old saying “when you know better…you do better.” I don’t believe he was ever taught better. Because there’s really nothing worldly to teach boys better. Self-entitled TV portrayals of men getting sex often twists views on healthy sex just like porn. It’s a real shame how this corrupts real relationships.

    My boyfriend doesn’t respect sex…it’s only physical to him. Right now he feels that any kind of physical intimacy from me should lead to…sex. If a hug, kiss or massage doesn’t lead to sex, he says he feels cheated. He says that I’m getting something I want but he’s not. How can a man love you but not love all of you? Suddenly he tries to act like a hug & kiss would be a sin. To me there’s no reason to even consider sex if you can’t enjoy a hug or kiss. He doesn’t want to cuddle with me if it doesn’t lead to sex.

    He ignores & denies my feelings about sex so I already know that me & any other woman are no more than a body with holes for him to fill. His views are unhealthy…& I wish he would/could unlearn it. He learned the wrong thing about sex a long time ago & he’s been suffering from not knowing true intimacy. And that goes for every woman he gets in a relationship with virgin or not. I’m a virgin & even I know how powerful intimacy is & I pray for that connection. I want that for him even if he never finds it with me. And I’ve talked to other reasonably good guys thru the years…who learned about sex the wrong way and it’s so sad as to what they believe. I hate it.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I’m so sorry! I really am. I think you have to consider whether this is a man that you want to be committed to. If he isn’t caring for your heart, and he isn’t respecting your boundaries, then is he really worth it? You’re spending a lot of your life on this man. Does he deserve it? I can’t answer that question for you, but I will tell you that before you marry someone, it’s so important to know that they respect you and that they care for you. Someone who just wants to take what he wants and doesn’t respect your boundaries is very dangerous.

      Reply
    • Jim N

      I’m so sad to hear your story, yet uplifted in an aspect. I’m uplifted by your story because you are keeping to the standard that God has put. That sounds simple, which it is, but simple does not mean it isn’t difficult. You’re heart must be so torn in two, but I hope I can speak some words of encouragement.

      I’m a researcher and as such have read many books (especially recently) on relationships and marriage. Many tell the story like yours (you’re not alone!) and many have the ending of giving in. When this happens the relationship fails an extremely high amount of the time 90+% within the next year.

      I have since been very careful in this area when trying to give advice. Either Gary Thomas or Chip Ingram has a true story given very much like yours. He told the females perspective first (not telling us that he had two different perspectives). I immediately condemned the man because of wanting to force the woman toward sex. Conflicted She gave in to him in this story. She said because she loved him she chose to break what she saw in scripture. “How dare he” I thought. “She wants to do what God says and this is what she gets. What an uncaring and unloving guy!”. The story went on that they both enjoyed sex very much and felt closer than ever, but she grew more attached and he didn’t follow the same suit. She wanted to give up her choice of college to follow him to his college as to not have a long distance relationship. To which the relationship ended “What a jerk!” I thought.

      Then he said but wait. Then proceeded to tell this story from the guys perspective. A good Christian boy that also wanted to follow God. He said they started with kissing, then heavy kissing, to prolonged make out sessions. Not direct touching of private’s, but sensual touches were present. Without consciously acknowledging it, they had taken step after step toward sex. He portrayed it as they had walked all the way to the line and now stood closer than ever to what seemed so appealing. He had told her that he felt urges after making out and the sensuality that was present then wondered why it was so different then just having sex. Now his thinking turned toward that sex is just the natural progression of what they started long ago. That to take the next step in closeness meant having sex. Chip or Gary pointed out in their session that at that point the boy strongly presented that he thought sex would make them “even more close”. He said after they gave into sex that on his side the guilt built up. That her pressing to be closer and closer felt like smothering. He didn’t want her to give up what she worked hard for and the relationship was straining from their choices. Stating that he couldn’t live with her giving up what she wanted to follow him when they weren’t even committed in marriage. She wouldn’t give in to a long distance relationship as she felt it would fail as they both craved sex now. So he, for the betterment of her future, cut the relationship off. Chip or Gary said this boy truly felt convicted that he was willing to give up his feelings/relationship for her betterment.

      My eyes now opened after the story. What a fool I was to think I understood their thought process , either of them, so quickly.

      Reply
    • Jim N

      Continued thought from above post..

      The truth is he might just feel sex is the next progression to your relational closeness. that it may not be malicious. I am not sure how much of the above steps I mentioned you have taken, but to him it may be too strong of a temptation to be at the line of sex. Hence why he feels that kissing and all the other stuff continues to put him in an area that he isn’t safe with.

      Or I don’t deny that the possibility that he just wants sex also. And he is mistreating you

      We are only told once to flee from a sin the rest we are told to stand and fight. That sin is youthful lust in 2 Timothy 2:22. This played out by Joseph and Potiphar wife.

      If he can’t trust himself to be at the line then maybe the relationship should take a few steps back from the line. This may mean cutting out some activities you already do.

      My suggestion is to talk. If possible, a good Godly couple could be very helpful to negotiate this tempestuous course. I pray that this can work out for Glory if God and the both of you wether it’s time to fix some things or possibly time to end it. My heart goes out to you either way.

      If I may suggest a book, Love, Sex and Lasting Relationships by Chip Ingram is a great way to learn to buck societies thinking and learn about building a Godly relationship from the ground up.

      Reply
      • Praying 4 Better Days

        Hi Jim thanks for the reply.

        I’m afraid in my boyfriend’s case it’s his tunnel vision perspective of what sex is. He truly only sees it as something physical. To him sex is mechanical & it’s like operating a robot. He’s believes it’s basically like playing a video game & playing thru the sequences…to get to the finish. So he uses a round the bases approach to sex or at least trying to with me…which means a 2sec kiss, a 1 sec grope here, & 3sec squeeze there. If it doesn’t get him there fast…he’s not interested.This self-programmed sequence he thinks he’s doing for me to get me turned on…is actually what it takes to get him off. That’s the tunnel vision that plagues him from even believing that sex could be anything else but physical. He’s not mindful enough in the sex department to try to see it thru anybody else’s eyes. His blinders prevent him from seeing that sex is emotional & mental.

        I believe he respects my virginity…but he’s also threatened by it. Because since he only sees sex as being physical…he feels that I’m not attracted enough to him. So I’d say he’s feeling rejected because I reject the sex. He doesn’t/ can’t realize that I’m not rejecting him. He see sex & himself as the same. He doesn’t understand why I don’t react, feel or get turned on the same way he does.

        From what I’ve read alot online from men’s views on sex…it’s pretty much the same tunnel vision. You can’t help but have a disconnect when you’re not mindful to seek & respect other perspectives. The reason why I haven’t gave up on him is because he’s actually mindful & respectful in all other situations except for sex & intimacy. From what he’s very recently told me he basically got misguided by an older male relative that he respected growing up. He believe everything he was taught & doesn’t know he was taught the wrong things.

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          That’s so tough! I would just say that it’s a really bad idea to commit to someone or marry someone who will treat you like that sexually before it’s sorted out, because if he’s treating you like that now, it will continue after marriage. He will make sex all about him, and it will feel very empty.

          Reply
  10. Crystal

    After 25 years of this, I finally discovered a term and description that suited my husband…”Intimacy Anorexic”. It’s another label for passive aggressive, but a little more specific to intimacy. It opened my eyes to the point I realized this treatment has been deliberate. He wasn’t “just a selfish lover”, he was hateful to withhold this from me as a form of repressed anger.

    We’re separated now that I have realized it’s not just a form of ignorance (he’s had 25 years to learn, and I have tried every which way to “help” him figure this out…and it always struck me as odd that he wouldn’t… because he could be very loving in other ways….so I put up with it for way too long.)

    He’s also refused counseling numerous times (I think I accepted it because we are tight financially, and never really could “afford it”. He’s been told at this point, to get counseling asap, I don’t care how much it costs, that it’s HIS problem and he needs to figure out how many extra jobs he’ll have to pick up, and DO IT. I already know he won’t….so I’m on my way out the door at this point…..)

    Thank you for talking about these real and tough topics.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, Crystal, that’s so sad. Intimacy Anorexia is a very good term, and very applicable in many situations. I’m so sorry, but I’m glad you found your voice and your worth.

      Reply
    • Melissa

      Thank you for sharing your story. I just found this website today and I’m so glad because I thought I was crazy. We have been together for over 20 years and married almost 18. My husband has always had a healthy sexual appetite, but I have NEVER been able to keep up. This is the one thing we have always fought about. He wants it in some form every day and is unapologetic about it. I have tried to express many times that I need more intimacy to want more sex. He gets angry and said I’m the one that sends mixed signals, when in actuallity, I’m the one that has to inititate it every night. But if I don’t, we don’t have sex, and then he gets mad. I’m so freaking confused and feel like I’m not being heard at all. He won’t go to counseling, period. We have two young girls and I don’t want a divorce because he’s great in so many ways. I just can’t figure out this issue.

      Reply
  11. Gail Crowder

    This is very interesting. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
  12. Samantha

    Okay so this sounds like my spouse. We have arguements about 3 times a week that escalate to yelling and screaming at 2 am bc he isnt satisfied. I was abused growing up so sex isnt a direct must have desire for me. He knows this and after 7 years this hasnt changed. We have his 15 yr old half the time as well as my 10 yr old. His duaghter no longer comes here bc he is an addict and cant stay clean longer then 2 weeks. I am not and never have been. Problem is now he wants sex every day. He says he thinks about me all day and gets mad that we have a toddler together who doesnt sleep. I mean we have tried cry it out and everytji g she just doesnt sleep. I give him 45 mi. Of attention at night i. Our bed. It got so bad i was sore. And wanting to cry. We agreed to mon, wends and friday as well as every ither weekend. However its now every weekend bc he will get mad and tell me that its my wifely duty to make hi. Happy and he then fights with me and yells til ungodly hours at night until i cave and have sex with him he then gets mad bc to me i now see it as a job. I am a stay at home mom i do t bathe unless he says i can bc he tjinks i am a cheater bc his ex wife was. I am just tired of feeling like i am not good enough

    Reply
  13. Elizabeth A

    My husband wants sex every day. An accident disabled me 10 years ago. although I am not paralyzed, I have severe nerve damage with some spinal cord damage. Some of my lumbar (yes-think “down there”) nerves have no sensation while others, particularly the sciatic, cause pain CONSTANTLY, & I do mean 24/7/365.

    We DID consult an orthopedic surgeon & neurologist. Sexual dysfunction is common with thisinjury.

    Since I can’t orgasm he says I can at least cooperate by making it exciting for him. He wants to change positions constantly & since I admitted most don’t hurt I should be glad to do that much. Not hurting doesn’t mean fun or comfortable, just a dragged-out chore.

    Now he thinks I can make up via tittilation. He wants me to be naked at home & “go commando” when we aren’t. He thinks looking over at me in public, knowing I’m sans undies will really turn him on. I said absolutely not & he exploded. I think it’s disgusting & degrading. He says I’m being selfish & prudish since nobody will know. I say HE is selfish & inconsiderate.

    I feel like a pacifier or a blowup doll. I don’t want to get divorced but I don’t want to do what I consider a nasty sex act in the name of duty either, & I don’t want to be a nudist either. This is not my fault

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Elizabeth, it’s not. He is not treating you well. It sounds like he is objectifying you and not putting you in safe situations or respecting your own needs and wants. Can you see a licensed counselor together? if not, it’s okay to draw boundaries over what you will and won’t do. And you may not be able to orgasm, but perhaps you’d still like a backrub or something else intimate that he can do for you. It’s okay to ask for that as well. Sex is still supposed to be mutual, and you do not need to give up mutually pleasurable connection because of your disability. You do not need to be used sexually for his pleasure without getting anything in return, even if your orgasm is off the table. But if he can’t see it that way, that is a problem, and I’m so, so sorry.

      Reply

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