How to balance “responsive desire” vs “not now, it’s not a good time**”??

**I am defining “it’s not a good time” as if continuing on will have an overall more negative impact rather than positive. It may stir up the negative feelings of hurt, anger, being used, resentment, etc.

Let’s face it, to many lower drive spouses, more often than not (if not almost always) there doesn’t ever feel like there’s a “good time” for sex. (Stars have to align up just right, anyone?)  They are too tired, too distracted, too busy, etc, etc.

How does one who may not feel up to sex, know whether it’s responsive desire at work and all that’s needed is to get started, or that it’s truly a “not now, because it’s not a good time” moment?

What’s a wife to do if she is willing to see if her responsive desire will kick in, but realizes mid-way through, that it was truly “not a good time”?  Does she be honest and stop things? Keep quiet and just fight those negative feelings on her own?  Talk about it afterwards? Something else?

Are there any tell-tale signs to look for that it’s one or the other, before making the choice to try or to say “not now” ?

What are your thoughts, ideas or experiences? Are there any links to articles/blogs who have addressed this specific aspect of the complexity of responsive desire?

Under the stars Asked on March 1, 2020 in Those who say/said no.
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9 Answer(s)

    I wonder if it makes a difference on the different temperament of each spouse?

    Years ago, it was a much bigger problem. DH initiated without thinking about how I was feeling, the hard things I was going through, and such like. Than, it made me extremely resentful. I also felt like the stars all needed to align.

    Lets just say we both have learned so much. Mostly from my reading on the old TMB. Than sharing with DH.

    My temperament is of such that I just do it. Most things in my life, I don’t stop to think of whether I want to do it or not. If it needs to be done, I don’t give myself the option of not doing it. The old me would have told DH after, maybe the next day, how furious it made me. The new me doesn’t stop to figure out whether its a good time or not. And DH and I both know just a couple touches will do it for me and get me going.

    But, I have tried hard to lay down some responsibilities and my workaholic tendency, so that I don’t have to feel its never a good time. That being said, my DH has also grown, and is much more sensitive, so he would not initiate if he sensed something was wrong, or the timing wasn’t right. I am also leaving my worries and stresses outside our bedroom door! But, it does take practice, although its easier for me than it is for some people, again due to my determined nature.

    Now don’t get me wrong. I have such a responsive desire only, that I basically never desire sex. Many times I hope DH won’t want sex tonight. A couple years ago, though, I decided to think about it as a relaxing activity, versus one last box to check off. It all makes a difference. With my DH’s gentle nature, I would not tell him anymore how upset I was. But that maybe depends on a husband’s nature?

    The funny thing is, with how negative I felt about sex, there never was a time I didn’t enjoy or consider stopping it. Ha, and many times once the first 2 minutes of getting over my responsive desire are up, I think to myself that the hardest part is over and I am good to go.

    Blanket on a secluded beach! Answered on March 1, 2020.

    Thanks Brynna.  I have no doubt that the temperament of the spouses makes a difference on this… and not just the temperament but also the history/experience of the couple/individuals.

    on March 2, 2020.

    TBH, I sometimes question to myself if I should even post on some of your questions. They are really good and make sense to me. However, our temperaments and marriage dynamics seem vastly different. I do like to think maybe they will help someone else, someday!

    on March 2, 2020.

    Bringing different perspectives to the question, especially the processing questions, are always a good thing for me.

    on March 2, 2020.

    Ok, that’s good to know.

    on March 2, 2020.
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      I have to say something… to be clear, I am pretty sure footed in my faith and knowing where I stand in my relationship with the Lord and what He has called me do and to be, though I am always learning and growing.  I do fairly well at letting my heart and mind be guarded in Christ Jesus.  I can easily take comments that I know aren’t applicable to me and dismiss them.  I have a husband who is very well pleased and satisfied with his wife, and often “arises and calls me blessed, and praises me”.  He is not being defiantly sinned against, and I can say with certainty that he carries zero feelings of being “defrauded/deprived”.  So, the following is not out of personal offense/defense.  It’s for the sake of others out there, whom may being wounded and damaged unaware.  And for the principle of the matter.

      I’m sorry, but these “biblical” answers have to be missing something in God’s greater plan and design….they are so one-sided.  Those kind of answers, that really have nothing to do with the actual questions (or if they do, they are not expanded on enough to see the connection), point to the fact that the individual is not being listened to, nor “seen” by some.  Rather than addressing a sister in Christ as a valued child of God, whom is seeking out specific answers for her own growth, change and working on herself, for the sake of herself, her marriage and her relationships (or wanting to put some useful information out there for the silent ones seeking similar, practical answers), you devalue her by shadowing her and making it about her husband and/or some “sin” she must be committing.   It’s fine and dandy to tell (or shame) a wife that she “must never say “no” or “not now” because that is “defrauding/depriving” the husband.” (I disagree, even if I have practiced it.)  Or to tell her, “submit more”.   That is totally dismissing the wife as whole person as her own being, someone who is soul, mind, body and spirit.  What a disservice to tell one half of a marriage, in essence, to shove her feelings and her needs under a rug in order to take care of her husband..and then praise it as “obedience”.   You’ll never have a healthy marriage if you don’t have two healthy parts.  Those kind of answers are often like slapping on a bandaid rather than truly recognizing, tending to, and healing a wound.  And all the while, the questions being asked aren’t actually being answered in those kind of “biblical” answers.

      Under the stars Answered on March 2, 2020.

      I really appreciate this @SC. Well said.

      -Scott

      on March 2, 2020.

      Ummm…that  has been addressed quite a few times (at least by me, i feel like i’m the only one doing it and finally bowed out out of respect for this forum) and it’s like talking to a wall. These “kinds” view Christianity through a patriarchal lense that i don’t believe is scriptural. They believe woman was SOLELY created for the man, that she’s only an “indirect” image of God (not true..) and that women are properties of their fathers and then their husbands.  Instead of doing as scripture admonishes, they focus on the wife and not on their own gender and how they can further the cause of Christ and love and dwell with their wives in an understanding way as HEIRS TOGETHER.

      I already asked for respect for the sisters/wives on this board but it got ignored (i never read the response) I am sorry SC that you have to wade through that. You ARE a beautiful example of a Christian sister even with the imperfections and struggles!!

      on March 2, 2020.

      Just to ask, is it my post that either of you are upset about, or others?  I didn’t mention headship at all.

      on March 2, 2020.

      I’m not sure how you are meaning “upset”, not sure I would use that word, but yes I am addressing yours and LBD’s answers

      on March 2, 2020.

      *Whew*, i was going to apologize if i misinterpreted and went on a tangent.

      on March 2, 2020.

      This has nothing to do with headship in my mind, so please stop assuming/applying that to anything I am saying.

      You asked a question and I gave what I thought was a true and kind answer.  The idea that my answer is not valuing you as a child of God is completely false.  I am trying to be helpful to you and others who might read this thread.

      One reason that I think you are getting some of the responses that you are might be this:

      What’s a wife to do if she is willing to see if her responsive desire will kick in, but realizes mid-way through, that it was truly “not a good time”? Does she be honest and stop things?

      Maybe you didn’t mean it this way, but this comes across as saying it is all about you only and if you aren’t feeling it, then it should be stopped.  Again, maybe you didn’t mean it this way, but It sounds very selfish.  What if a man said this to his wife?  I’m not getting anything else out of this so I’m stopping.  My point here is that this would be incredibly painful for anyone to hear in the throws of passion, and I can’t begin to imagine how harshly someone would take it.

      on March 2, 2020.

      @sd, I believe I addressed the quoting of 1 Cor 7, not headship. And in reference to it not being helpful or applying I said, “or if they do, they are not expanded on enough to see the connection” I still see no connection of what you were trying to say to the actual questions.

      If you had those thoughts on the part you quoted, why didn’t you actually say that? That’s a direct answer to a question and it also allows for further clarification to be made if needed. Would knowing in the specific incident that husband knew ahead of time that wife was bothered, he could see something was wrong by her face, he asked, she told. He knew it felt too much, too soon, he prayed, and asked (prodded) about being willing to try anyway.

      From what I am hearing in this answer, and I am wondering if it still stands, is once a wife has committed to try to see if responsive desire kicks in, she is committed to the end? It’s wrong to communicate needing to stop mid-way through? I have no problem with you believing the answers are “yes”….which BTW, staying silent and committed is what I did….does it matter how that happened (dissociation/disconnection)? But I am looking for an answer on what’s good steps to take the next time I face a similar situation, how to process things beforehand, so that one doesn’t find themselves in the middle of things thinking “I made a mistake.” Because knowing there’s no getting out of “it’s not a good time”, I just won’t be willing to try in the first place, if I have the same feelings I did.

      on March 3, 2020.

      My interpretation was that the whole reason for the question, as asked, was to avoid selfishness. Knowing her own limitations, knowing her struggles, SC wants help in HOW to best manage those times that it is “truly ‘not a good time'”–which I believe falls under an acceptable situation for a ‘pass’, because she wants to to be a good time, but cannot make it be so for herself. So then the dilemma is, does she roll the dice and hope it might turn into a good time (a time when she is able, through responsive desire to become invested in the encounter) or play it safe and just say “it’s probably not going to happen”. The risk in rolling the dice is that she could be partway into the encounter and discover that responsive desire is not kicking in this time. She then has to decide whether to be honest and say, “I’m sorry, I thought I could be up for this, but it’s not happening after all” (which could indeed feel hurtful to the husband) or just stuff her own needs down (which is very definitely hurtful to herself) and essentially play the part of a servant whose function is to provide for the master’s needs while ignoring her own, (That sounds much more like a prostitute than a cherished wife.) Neither choice is good, thus the dilemma and her request for HELP.

      In short, asking WHETHER to fight one’s tendency to want to avoid sexual union might warrant a scriptural reference demonstrating God’s command that couples submit to one another. Asking HOW to fight one’s tendency to want to avoid sexual union DOES NOT. Asking HOW deserves sensitive, thoughtful, encouraging answers that will help her do the right thing she already wants to do and not heap condemnation on her which only serves to discourage and shame–something most useful to the enemy.

      on March 3, 2020.

      @duchess, your last paragraph is a very good distinction! Thanks for sharing!

      Just to clarify, in my thinking, and I tried to express it by defining it, “it’s not a good time” is much more that just “it’s not gonna happen”. It’s like negative vs neutral. “It’s not a good time” has a definite negative impact on an individual/couple. While “it’s not gonna happen” is more neutral, it is what it is. I have the neutral “it’s not gonna happen” frequent enough (a distracted mind, tired, where I am in the hormonal cycle, etc) and that really has no negative impact on us, it’s still easy enough to give (gift) to him out of love, it just becomes more him focused, and we are both okay with that, as long as it doesn’t become a habit because that points to other issues.

      on March 3, 2020.

      why didn’t you actually say that?

      Because I am trying to avoid strife and still be helpful.  Everytime I bring up 1 Cor 7, I get accused of being legalistic and not taking into account other’s feelings, but the truth is that aligning to 1 Cor 7 (even if it is simple obedience to God) delivers us from negative feelings.  I really do want the best for you and your family.  You sometimes think I’m against you, but I am not.  You know your situation and if I my advice isn’t helpful, just know that I don’t have the full picture that you do and ignore my advice.  On the other hand, maybe it will give you something to consider.

      From what I am hearing in this answer, and I am wondering if it still stands, is once a wife has committed to try to see if responsive desire kicks in, she is committed to the end? It’s wrong to communicate needing to stop mid-way through?

      In my mind the feelings need to be brought into alignment with the bible’s foremost marital bed teaching in 1 Cor 7 (which is why I brought it up).  Let me reverse the roles to try to explain what I mean.  If my wife approached me and I wasn’t sure I was in the mood or not, I will agree to, but then in the middle of it thought to myself, this isn’t kicking in for me, what would be the right thing to do in that situation?  With an understanding of 1 Cor 7 I know that (1) I’m not giving myself to her, I am bringing to her what she is due because we are married, and (2) There is no unilateral no in the marriage bed.  Could I ask if we could stop?  I think so, but I really think it would be the wrong thing to do and would greatly hurt her feelings.  I think the right thing to do would be do focus on her pleasure,

      But I am looking for an answer on what’s good steps to take the next time I face a similar situation

      My hope for you is that you don’t have to feel the negative feelings in the first place.  If you look at 1 Cor 7 and say this is what the Lord has made, that those feelings you experience can be eliminated and never felt in the first place, replacing them with “I am doing good.  He is pleased with me.”.  1 Cor 7 is not just about our spouses, it is also about obedience and honor to God with what He has trusted us with.

      on March 3, 2020.

      Re: to the negative/neutral –  just adding some extra thoughts….

      The “negative”, “it’s not a good time” = losing ground in a fight for intimacy and in a better marriage/relationship.

      The “neutral”, “it’s not gonna happen” =  standing your ground, we aren’t gaining but we aren’t losing, we are just holding our ground.

       

      (FYI, I have not yet read @sd595’s latest reply.)

      on March 3, 2020.

      @sd, you mentioned bringing feelings into alignment with Scripture, and you give a role reversal, and maybe that’s some of the disconnect between us. I believe what I am speaking about is deeper than just feelings that are easily aligned and adjusted. My impression is you have a similar mindset of what I was trying to clarify with @Duchess. It’s more than “it’s not gonna happen” or “I don’t feel like it.” In your role reversal, what if a grief hit you so hard you were physically unable to stand, let alone to get aroused and get an erection, but your wife is still wanting an erect penis and is bothered or even offended at your lack of arousal or ability… that is closer to a role reversal of what I am speaking of. How handy is telling you of your Biblical sexual duty in that moment? Are you suddenly hard because you thought of a verse? If a man has that kind of control over his mind and body, in the midst of anguish, then I am not sure you can ever understand a woman, or this woman.

      on March 3, 2020.

      It isn’t about getting an erection or not.  Even if I couldn’t get one, it would not absolve me from honoring God by obeying 1 Cor 7.  I can bring my body to the bed, and try to do my best, and whatever that best is into old age, it is.

      I believe you when you are say the feelings are overwhelming.  Please hear me when I say that I hope you don’t have to ever go through them in the first place.  The feeling comes from somewhere.  It comes from some thinking.  It comes from some understanding.  That negative understanding needs to be replaced with a Godly understanding.  I hope that God blesses you with much more than coping with the aftermath of negative feelings; I pray that He heals you from them.

      Are you sure this has to do with responsive desire?  Why would responsive desire not kicking in yield overwhelming negative feelings?

      on March 3, 2020.

      @sd, I guess we are each left to determine what our own “best” is.  An outsider can’t come in and judge another at not giving their “best”.

      Honestly, I am trying to be appreciative of your kind words (2nd paragraph), but the truth is, that ship has sailed.  Damage was done.  A “dark night of the soul” has been gone through and dawned.  Death happened.  And we are on the other side of coming out of that, and we have a “new normal” to figure out, navigate and work through.  There is no “not having to go through them”, we have.

      “Are you sure this has to do with responsive desire?  Why would responsive desire not kicking in yield overwhelming negative feelings?”

      I am not sure I am understanding your question, can you explain it more, particularly the second question?

      Just from the first question, yes, responsive desire is a part of this.  Why?  Because as I mentioned in the very first paragraph of the OP, after me defining “not a good time”, I shared what lower drive spouses often feel.  It can feel like there’s never a good time, because we just don’t feel any sexual desire, and other things in life seem to outweigh the benefit of sex, such as just wanting to go to sleep, or to have some alone time to read and rejuvenate, or our letting our feelings/emotions control us.   Understanding responsive desire allows us to act in faith, that once things begin, desire will kick in.  I don’t know if that is the majority of my personal experience or if it would be having set my mind towards what is to come and being ready…those are my top two experiences in going into a sexual encounter.  Since our “more to less” experiment, and I have been given some space, the third experience of mine would be somewhat spontaneous desire, where I am the initiator.   But another experience I have had to deal with and learn to navigate is that self-awareness (as DoveGrey mentioned), and that can be counted on both of my hands on how many times I have had to face this in the past two years, of how totally depleted I am, where there is nothing in me to give, or at least not enough to meet the cost, and to try to continue on, takes us backwards in our relationship.

      I have had to explain it this way to my husband (which was very beneficial to him), and whether you believe it or not, me recognizing “it’s not a good time” and saying so, rather than shoving myself and my needs under the rug, is a GOOD sign.  It is showing that I AM dealing with my emotion rather than avoiding it and detaching/numbing to just survive. (The vast majority of the husbands I read on here and in blogs, don’t desire a numb and detached wife.)  I am recognizing, and desiring, that my husband and I’s emotional connection and building true intimacy (not just sexual/physical) is important to me, and I don’t want to go backwards out of a false spiritual guilt of the (erroneous) teaching of 1 Cor. 7.  To face my emotions and how they relate to me as a whole, and how certain requests are “too much” or are “too overwhelming”, and then stating what is needed to deal with them, rather than detaching all aspects but the physical, is much healthier as a whole, because now the soul, spirit, and mind are engaged, not just the body.  And speaking from experience, if you keep the soul, spirit, and mind detached from the physical, it won’t be long that the body will be following suit as well, and it becomes just as detached and numb.   I literally lost physical, sexual sensations and pleasures.  I can literally feel a physiological difference when I am open emotionally versus closed off.  (We even have some non-scientific numbers that supports it when comparing my O’s to sexual encounters and where I am emotionally in our relationship.)

      I also don’t want to go backwards out of pride that I committed to “never say no”….that was for a season, and like it or not, we are in a different season (much to my husband’s own doing.) When a couple is working at becoming reattached emotionally and trying to rebuild a connection that was lost, to push an act because it’s a “Biblical duty”, that would in turn cause one to detach emotionally as self-preservation, that is not good for the relationship or the individual.  For a husband to expect that, proves he can’t be trusted and is not a “safe place” to truly be vulnerable in intimacy, because his needs (the physical) are trumping the greater need at the time, which is the fragile emotional healing that needs to happen and be restored.  We often hear that a man can’t just know what a wife is thinking or needs…. it seems a little presumptuous to believe a husband can know how to act out the love of his wife, without ever hearing and taking into consideration what she is actually telling him what she needs.

      on March 3, 2020.

      First things first, I am not judging you.  I am not walking in your shoes.  I have every confidence that you are doing your best.

      but the truth is, that ship has sailed. Damage was done. A “dark night of the soul” has been gone through and dawned. Death happened. And we are on the other side of coming out of that, and we have a “new normal” to figure out, navigate and work through. There is no “not having to go through them”, we have.

      I’m not talking about not feeling feelings that have already happened in the past.  I am taking about the next time that responsive desire doesn’t kick in, not having to go through negative feelings at that time.  It really depends though on where those negative feelings are originating from – deal with that and you deal with them.

      I agree with you that mistakes from the past cannot be undone.  You can forgive them, but that still doesn’t change what happened.  I am a believer however that, though we make mistakes, and others make mistakes against us, that we can find peace and strength in Him.  That the more of Him that we put on, the less of ourselves that we put on.  He allows me to forgive and be forgiven.  He allows me to move forward even in relationships that have had pain and forge something new.

      I apologize if my advice has not really met with the depth of the question.

      on March 3, 2020.

      My answer was perfectly balanced – as the scripture itself is perfectly balanced. Love and submit, submit and love. If you have a problem with that, the problem is not with me, it is with God’s word. I suggest you take that up with Him.

      I would also argue that the husbands in that scripture actually have the heavier burden to bear under…

      on April 2, 2020.
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        For myself, I’ve just had to be very self-aware. I know that it’s really not a good time if:
        a. I’m tired and I didn’t sleep well the night before. I know myself well enough to know at what point sex over sleep is just self-abuse.
        b. I’m coming down with something. I once had to take a week off work with a hospital visit because my lungs simply couldn’t handle the heavy breathing. And then there was the time when a UTI turned into a vaginal infection that lasted a month….
        c. He’s had opportunity all day but waited until I was busy / going to sleep / heading out the door. That only stirs the pot.

        Other than that, I pretty much assume it’s responsive desire and go for it. If I do realize partway in that it wasn’t a good idea, I think it’s only fair to continue unless there are health reasons to stop. I only recall that happening once, however.

        Blanket on a secluded beach! Answered on March 1, 2020.

        Thanks DoveGrey.  Did any of your self-awareness come from learning the hard way?   Apparently I need to learn from experience, I at least know that if I feel the same way I was feeling, that it’s best to stop things one way or another, and maybe offer a “safe” alternative instead.

        on March 2, 2020.
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          Two things: Submitting and Loving. Both spouses should ramp up their efforts to do their part regardless of what the opposite spouse is doing. Husbands, if your wife is not submitting, work on loving more/better. Wives, if you husband is not loving, work on submitting better/more.

          I would say that is “just my opinion”, but someone had it long before me…. 🙂

          King bed Answered on March 2, 2020.
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            I didn’t answer this question at first because I didn’t feel like I would have anything of value since I am so polar opposite in my experiences, but after my passionate defense of your need for non-preachy help, I feel like I must give it a try. (Take it for what it is worth.)

            I’m thinking back to a time when I did occasionally have some trouble responding to DH and it was because we were not in a good place emotionally at that time. I didn’t feel like he was paying attention to my needs outside of the bedroom so I wasn’t particularly interested in satisfying his urges in the bedroom. I know you have spoken at length about the connection between your feelings of unity with your DH and your ability to respond to him sexually. IF (Please notice the “if”…) IF you notice the times you end up unaffected by responsive desire seem connected to relationship patterns that are frustrating you, COULD (notice this is just a question) Could you ask him to spend some time talking about the things that are bothering you as a different form of the intimacy he was expecting? Then maybe as you come to a better understanding your responsive desire might begin to kick in? That way you aren’t saying “No” but are saying “How about this instead?” and preparing to be better able to provide what he wants the next time? I can’t recall right off hand if you have said how you feel about cuddling and canoodling during conversations, but I personally have found it to be a very intimate way to discuss our differences.

            We’re brainstorming here, so I won’t be offending if this is not the answer you were looking for. 🙂

            Under the stars Answered on March 3, 2020.

            Thank you Duchess for the thoughts, it means a lot.

            on March 3, 2020.
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              The “of course” answer is, both husband and wife share some blame of any problem.
              Sounds like sometimes the wife needs to just deal with it and serve her husband. But it sounds like EVERY time the husband is not getting the job done at making the wife feel safe, cherished, and served. I would say 90% of marriage problems SEEM like the wife’s fault in the moment, when in reality the problem is that the husband just goes and does and acts like a man and then rolls over and says “wanna do it?” which usually ends in his frustration, her feeling unappreciated, then he criticizes, then she shuts down, a fight, yada yada yada.
              Or she rejects and he just backs off feeling deflated.
              Now maybe there are things she needs to work on too. I don’t know.

              To answer the last part, I recently found the Delight Your Marriage podcast. It was started primarily for wives with how-to, why this, try that kinds of episodes. And they’re great. But also there are some great Hubby episodes too. Particularly useful to me was “Encouraging Your Wife’s Sexuality”, episodes 156,157, and the bonus episode “156/157”. It opened my eyes to how my wife’s problems are really MY problems. And she listened and loved it too because it gave her feelings a voice.

              Queen bed Answered on March 1, 2020.
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                Knowing about responsive desire should make it easier for a wife to engage with her husband, and for her accept the bible’s teaching in 1 Cor 7, but it does not redefine the teaching of 1 Cor 7.

                California King Answered on March 1, 2020.

                Not helpful to my situation.

                on March 1, 2020.
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                  i THINK..maybe a good response (depending on the person) is to ask your husband to let you know in advance if possible, that he wants sex so you can have a period of time to think about it. Maybe it is truly not a good time because of emotional or physical issues or real time restraints and be honest that you are dealing with responsive desire and you need a little time to sort things out and that he KNOWS that your desire is to always make him happy (which i’m sure he does) but also let him know it would always be helpful if he could not take it personally should you ask for a rain check.

                  REGARDLESS of the admonition to submit or ” Corinthians 7″ (which i do not believe means that a husband or wife can demand and expect sex every time they want it, i think it’s a general application that BTW everyone should take seriously) i think it is a wise husband to listen and dwell with his wife in an understanding way that she struggles with desire and that if she is constantly expected to push those feelings aside, they will surface in some negative way down the road that will not do either one of you any good.  She is a human being, after all.  Caveat: I wish all wives understood responsive desire and had good will toward their husbands  but we’re talking about ladies on this forum who already understand this.

                  On the floor Answered on March 2, 2020.

                  Thanks SOA. I do know that knowing in advance can definitely be helpful to some. In my case I do/did know. Maybe that’s a sign to look for, when things aren’t changing (mentally, emotionally) when intentionally working at it (trust me, I did multiple things to try to get myself in the game and get prepared) and I still feel that way…well. And if there’s tears that come with the idea that it feels too much, that may be a sign as well.

                  on March 2, 2020.

                  Oh my gosh yes, tears are a huge sign. I hope your H knows about this (and of course knows it’s not his fault but you like you said, cannot sweep things under the rug in the name of submission as it will come out probably in health problems.) You know from personal PM’s what i’ve done to get myself in the mood (that pretty much back fired just so you know) as i just don’t know, either…..

                  on March 2, 2020.
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                    I have one thing to say is that refusal for legit reason should be obvious and we husbands can figure that out. A series of refusals is
                    not ok and assuming that husband will be fine because “he should be understanding and loving” proves only that she (in this case) is naive and needs a lesson in “the care of husbands.” Refusals send message to him that her “I love you’s” are false and bent on misinformation on her part. Consequently he will resort to spending cash on guns, golf, boats or cars as a remedy. However, his depression only remedy is a healthy sexual relationship.

                    Double bed Answered on March 26, 2020.

                    My advice is not to spend cash on toys or live selfishly.  This is only going to make things worse!

                    Leading is having a discussion with her about the problem and stepping it up until she repents.  By stepping it up I mean not letting it go, having a harder discussion where she is told in no uncertain terms that she is sinning against him, having a discussion with their pastor together, non-physical discipline such as doing less for her that she wants done, and ultimately separation or divorce if it comes to it.

                    on March 26, 2020.

                    I agree that maintaining some type of accountability/pressure to discuss & work through the issues appropriately is important and is leadership for a husband, as much as I believe it is critically important for a wife do not a husband get away with poor behavior either.

                    On the other hand, it seems like you’re talking about using  a heavy hand and the Bible for a billy club and that hardly seems like a Eph 5 husband to love and care for his wife like Christ loved His Church. I don’t believe the idea of holding back acts of service as “discipline” honors Christ or one’s vows…and to throw in separation and divorce at the end seems quite premature and far fetched for a discussion about “responsive” vs “not tonight”. If it’s an ongoing habit, then there are bigger issues than sexual refusal that should be addressed with at least a pastor and probably better, a trained a CHRISTIAN counselor.

                    on March 26, 2020.

                    I’m not sure what about “non-physical discipline such as doing less for her that she wants done” can be taken as “heavy hand and the Bible for a billy club”.

                    Ephesians 5:25-27 teaches husbands what God expects of them:

                    25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

                    Doesn’t sound very inactive now does it?  Doesn’t sound like do nothing and just leave her in her sin does it?  Not surprising.  God wasn’t inactive with His wife Israel.  Jesus also wasn’t inactive with His church.  You want to know who was inactive?  Adam with his wife Eve.

                    It is a *huge* *huge* mistake that husbands are not being active in leading their wives into holiness as Ephesians teaches.  It can absolutely be done without physical discipline if only husbands would step into the being the leader God made them to be – the one that saves their marriage and leads their wife into holiness resulting in strong marriages and families.

                    I am not discounting what a good Christian counselor can do, but it is not their job.  The verses above say it is the husband’s job.

                    on March 26, 2020.

                    Christ woos us. We have an absolute responsibility as the Church to obey.  It’s his kindness that leads us to repentance. This does not mean that a husband cannot (and should not) directly confront his wife’s sin, i’ve said many times on this forum one should have that conversation that it is wrong to defraud (both ways) but also there is a way to do it that is still leading, guiding, “washing in the Word” and that usually isn’t done by a strong hand with firmer and firmer and “harder” discussions, because as a wife i would submit if my husband admonished me that i was sinning in that way but i certainly COULD NOT respond emotionally and physically in the way he wants or demanded..just not possible. There was one time my husband came at me in anger and it set us back and in no way am i going to call that i was sining. I am a human being, i am his wife, i submit and obey but he is unloving and not dwelling with me in an understanding way if he comes at me in an angry rebuke in the sexual area.  I think that is where prayer especially is needed on the part of the husband.

                    on March 26, 2020.

                    Yes SD, it sounds to me like you were talking about guilting and shaming with a harsh attack. I have found it a lot easier to pray about things and ask probing questions to my spouse or others I counsel.  It USUALLY goes a lot farther that a “You’re sinning” approach. And yes, I believe punishing a spouse by NOT serving them as much is harsh and unloving and not something Jesus would do and not a Biblical model for a Godly spouse, and appears to be more of a parental role that a husband.

                    I also see your idea of dragging one’s wife before your pastor or elder board because she doesn’t please you or meet your sexual need correctly as petty, wrong and abusive. It looks and feels more like those who brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus and they apparently forgot the man. What was Jesus’ response and who was He more gentle too? The accusers or the woman?

                    Great pastors aren’t necessarily good counselors and I’d submit that  marital issues can be both spiritual and/or emotional and most pastors are not equipped to deal with deep seeded emotional issues with many layers.

                    on March 27, 2020.

                    We don’t disagree that a husband should start with patience and prayer.

                    We disagree on what to do if that fails.

                    I’ve seen many here advise a husband to be inactive and wait years and decades if necessary for his wife to grow while she does not repent and continues to sin.  Again, if you want to follow Adam’s example, sit by and do nothing and see what happens.

                    The bible teaches something very different.  God has assigned him the responsibility to wash his wife in the Word so she can presented as holy to her husband.  The biggest mistake that a husband can make is giving up, being inactive, and washing his hands of it which leads to stagnation and decay.  It is failing both him and her.  I could go into the many examples of how God has dealt with His wife Israel and how Jesus deals with His bride the church to prove that the example husbands have from God is an active one, all of this is in scripture.

                    Like you both, I don’t want to see harshness or abuse, but it is also abuse for a husband to be inactive in his wife’s holiness.

                    on March 27, 2020.
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