Is sex a God-given magnetic force that keeps a man drawing towards his wife, pursuing her, and staying committed to her?
In my 6+ years of really trying to work on my sexuality, making changes, and trying to understand my husband and men, there’s still some areas I really struggle with understanding.
I have heard men say that it’s not all about the sex, they aren’t using their wives for sex, etc. And I have felt and heard other women talk about feeling used and all their husbands only care about sex.
What other message can be derived when a husband makes choices solely around his belief of his chances at sex?
This seems to be my husband’s priorities:
2) Urgent matters
We had a situation this weekend that made this very clear… and I even pointed it out to him this morning, he saw it, and I asked him what message that gives. He had no answer but to say he really loves me and such. I plan to bring it up again. How does a wife work through that? Is there a positive way to look at this kind of situation without feeling unloved, demeaned and used? Surely there’s a logical and good reasoning or explanation behind this? Is sex a God-given magnetic force that keeps a man drawing towards his wife, pursuing her, and staying committed to her? (Even though it makes her feel that’s all he cares about.)
What’s your experiences? What are your thoughts and perspectives?
I don’t have much to add, but I had several hours of driving today, to think about this. You all have had such good thoughts.
In my black and white view (sorry, its my temperament!), if sex is a God-given magnetic force that keeps a man drawing towards his wife, pursuing her, and staying committed to her, wouldn’t emotional intimacy, connection and love, be the other magnetic force that keeps a woman drawing closer to her husband, pursuing him, and staying committed to him? Without either, a marriage is a far cry from what it could be.
This is interesting, and a good question for sure! For me.. I’m HD (like hyperdrive) and my mind can skip to sex in a second. We can be playing scrabble and something could make me think of sex. This can give the illusion and perception that its ALL I think about or care about. In fact, DW and I have had a similar conversation to the one you’re describing, where she says something that alludes to her feeling used for sex or “as long as you get sex you’re happy”. Typically those comments are in moments of frustration related to other things. I do my best to try to let her know how valued she is outside of the bedroom. This has been an intentional act from me in the past few months. Daily affirmations, both about physical beauty and non-physical traits.
To plainly answer your question, however, the honest answer is “I’m not sure”. I thought it was a good hypothesis then began thinking of the HD wives who have low to no drive husbands. For me, I don’t ONLY care about sex.. I care about my wife, BUT.. in part what makes her a wife and not a friend.. is sex. That is an important aspect. It also shows me that she craves me and cares fully about me. If she wants me to care for her fully “outside of the bedroom” isn’t it fair to ask that she fully care about me “inside the bedroom”. Luckily and by His grace, our drives and desires align pretty closely so it’s rarely an issue, but when it has been an issue, it has been a byproduct of a different unrelated issue.
I’m not sure if any of this is making sense. I keep getting interrupted by work 🙂 Perhaps I should get back to it.
Good question. Simple answer is yes. (And if I stopped there, I would avoid a plethora of potential minefields! LOL!)
That is likely a helpful analogy you imbedded in your question: “Is sex a God-given magnetic force that keeps a man drawing towards his wife, pursuing her, and staying committed to her?”
But as you aptly state and understand, there is much more involved than that alone.
Yet, if sex is (in part, at least) a God-given magnetic force, it would seem that there would be a God-given corresponding magnetic force that would keep a wife drawn to her husband, pursuing him, and staying committed to him? Or, would God have instilled a force that causes her to withdraw or retreat? I have my doubts.
Or, is it really a one directional force? Like a magnet and a piece of metal? That would seem to me to be a design flaw which lacks mutuality.
Since you offered the magnetic force as a analogy, I was led to think of two horseshoe shaped magnets. When both north poles face each other and both south poles face each other they repel aggressively. But when the opposite poles face each other, they have a strong attractive response.
So, where powerful sexual differences exist, might it be that one or both spouses are orientating their poles in the wrong direction?
It seems to me it is God’s plan that they attract. Whereas since the beginning it has been Satan and the forces of evil intentional mode of operation to cause the opposite result.
You also raise the topic of priorities. Similar to properly aligning our own “magnetic” poles (or, if you like, our sexual organs), our priorities also must be rightly aligned by the unitive power of God’s Spirit.
No, I see sex as the God-given form of unity, where two become one. Sex should be what’s pulling a married couple together, not a way to drive them apart. It seems, from reading so many of your posts, that sex isn’t a priority, it’s an obsession that can never be satisfied, no matter what you do. God designed sex to be pleasurable for both male and female. If it’s not, that’s what needs to be explored: why doesn’t sex make me feel unified with my spouse? In your case, it’s because that’s all you feel he cares about.
Seriously, if sex is a priority over urgent matters, that’s an obsession. I think our sinful nature can take anything that’s God-given and good and turn it into something sinful.
Lots of angles to consider here. But, when I read your original ask, Seeking Change, I saw myself. I suspect my wife has had similar moments of questioning and wondering about me in the years we’ve been married. Your question is a help, reminding guys like me how our reactions and asks can be felt and understood by the most important person in our world.
Sex is a primary dimension of every married relationship, even if it’s not working very well; it can define a relationship at the most elemental level; it spills over into other aspects of the relationship; it can add to or subtract from the relationship; it never is neutral. In God’s original design, I am convinced it was the signature of the divine, a union imagined to cement souls, conceive new life, and bring unspeakable pleasure. Of course, like all things in the Creation, this has been corrupted. Misunderstandings, power deferentials, self-preoccupation, fears and doubts, broken places, and all the rest can be birthed and fostered by our fumbled sexuality.
Still, there is a beauty and wonder waiting for all of us in the sexual union of marriage, when we get it right. I think all of us know that–and hopefully, all of us have had moments of experiencing that. I know my wife and I have; we’ve had some misses, too.
My wife loves me, deeply. She respects me, admires me, and trusts me, completely. It was inspiring to read, SeekingChange, your comment above in this thread (after you posed your question) outlining your affirmation of your husband, too. He has a gift in that read that many men never receive. For all of her commitment and love for me, though, my wife doesn’t always appreciate my sexual drive and constant appetite.
We’ve talked about this many times. My best explanation to her has been that sex is for me a constant companion, a hunger and thirst that cannot be ignored. I wrestle with it every day. Unless I am very intentional about focusing on other pursuits (e.g. “urgent matters”) it will try and take over the wheel. I have learned to intentionally focus on the Word, in prayer, and submerge my sexual desire into that sea. I have learned to work out, running the track at the gym, lifting weights, to retrain my physical impulses. I have learned to dive into my work, which is a work I believe noble and find very satisfying (even as it can be very demanding). I have learned to invest in doing good for others, taking a break from my sexual pursuit.
And, I have learned to focus on my family–and especially my wife. How can I nourish and please her? One more Hallmark Christmas movie? I’m not trying to be flip here, I just know she really finds watching the Hallmark channel these days, with me by her side, to be a pleasurable and fulfilling experience. I’m good with it (although the plots are predictable, the stage is impossibly picture perfect, the sentimentality is palpable, and, full disclosure, I find my mind wandering into a sexual realm watching the movies, imagining what the lead handsome guy is going to end up doing with the pretty girl next door, although that is never portrayed, just implied : ).
My wife loves to cook and see me in the kitchen. She is always pleased when I offer to clean the bathrooms. She loves it when I work up a sweat in the yard, preparing the flower garden every spring that is so important to her. And so on. I know that by investing in these simple gifts that bring her life, I am also bringing my raging hormones into line.
But, I cannot shake the hormones and my hunger and thirst for her: holding her close, feeling her skin, seeing her naked, caressing her every part, head to toe, consummating a sexual act. I’ve been good at keeping that sexual hunger focused on her and her alone; but the hunger is real.
When I’m starved–especially if some days have passed by without being able to dine at her table–I can get cross. I find myself prone to withdraw. When I conclude that there is no near-term hope for sex, I am naturally driven to submerge my desire in one of the ways named above (reading the Word and prayer, running off to the gym, finishing up a work project, retreating with the kids, whatever). It’s so difficult to sit still with my wife, sometimes, and know that her sexuality is closed off. It’s boorish. It’s lame. But, it is a guy-thing. No excuse here, just a reality bite.
What to do? Speak openly and thoughtfully about these things. My wife can withdraw from me just like I can from her when her expectations are not met. It’s a two-way street. It’s just that our expectations are not always aligned.
In an important way, my wife is reassured by my constant hunger for her. She knows I am attracted to her, that I would do anything for her, and that I dream of her, only. When she is not in the mood or unable to focus on sex at the mere mention of the name, it is on me to reassure her of my love otherwise, On the other side of the coin, it is on her to reassure me that I am one, amazing, and desirable hunk of a man, even when sex is not on offer that day. Every guy craves this. And, it’s a good way to address his appetite and drive, putting it back in the box for awhile.
Is sex a God-given magnet for a man in marriage? Should be. Can be. Yes, it is. It can be a magnet for a woman in marriage, too, drawing her to her husband. Every husband I know longs for it to be so.
Thanks, SeekingChange, for opening the door for this thoughtful conversation.
Yes and no. I think sex is the glue that holds things together until other bonds truly develop. Think of it as a graft in a fruit tree. The grafted limb would fall away pretty easily if there were ot something mechanically holding it in place. As the graft matures, the tape and twine serve less of a purpose.
It isn’t a perfect analogy, but I think it is close.
I know if sex was the only glue, that I would not be with my wife right now, and I suspect a lot of other men would say the same thing.
There have been a lot of questions/topics the last couple weeks that deserve a lot of thought and a lengthy answer that I haven’t had time for…this is one of them (those other are still on the back burner being processed by me). But instead of nothing, I’ll give a quick answer and then come back for more later.
To make it light (speed), we’ll stick with the Star Wars theme (Hyperdrive) and hear what Obi-Wan Kenobi might say about a HD’s view of sex:
“It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.”
While I’m being lighthearted (and do not mean offense, I know it’s a serious question), that’s not too different from how many HD men see it. Yes, it is a bit like the “glue” term that Doug used.
But it’s more than that, while sex can draw together, it can also wedge apart. It’s hard to imagine anything in this world pleasing me more than Zelda initiating, being excited, and suggesting new things in the MB…and she did that recently so I remember quite well how it feels. I would rather have that than winning the lottery. Similarly, it’s hard to imagine anything in this world hurting quite as much as being refused for seemingly no reason. Sure, there are some one-time things like the death of a child or similar, but those are extreme events. Keeping with the Star Wars theme, for HD men, sex is a powerful “force” that has the power to build or destroy. And that building or destroying can come from either the HD or the LD spouse, the man or the woman.
For a time, I wanted my HD taken away, even though I’m pretty sure I have an entirely normal drive. I asked God to take it away, as I felt it caused far more trouble than good. These days, I’ve changed my tune and pretty much see it as the “magnetic force” you describe. It is a very powerful tool that can cause much harm, but the good it can do is otherwordly when properly handled. It is an enormous burden to bear, but no more than the burden of being called to lead my wife and kids…I don’t know if burden is the right term, maybe yoke?
Also, I want you to revisit your 1/2/3 priority list you made. Comparing 1 & 2, what if you two were ML and someone broke into your room with a gun? Would #1 still be #1, or would #2 suddenly top it? Then think about 1 & 3…in your DH’s mind, #3 may be part of #1. These things are somewhat relative and a matter of perspective, and it appears that the urgent matters were not that urgent to top sex for your DH, plus he may be thinking that having sex is part of the you category. I realize that he may be (pretty much objectively) wrong in both of these categories, but it’s still a possibility that’s how he sees things. I also realize we the readers do not have enough information to say more definitely, so I’m just throwing out an option.
Okay…that ended up way longer than intended and not a “quick answer”, but I still might add more later. 🙄
@Scott, (I answer vs comment because I believe it helps with the OP.)
I would bet money that my husband does view #1 with #3, but when #1 isn’t a part of the situation, #3 drops down on the priority list. Also, when #3 becomes a #2, I know he will make me a priority. But should I always have to set of all the alarms and flash red, for him to make me a priority over all other “urgent matters”?
Here’s a scenario…. he falsely believes #1 is off the table, therefore he chooses to focus on a #2 (all the way until 3:30 am on a morning he has to get up and “work”). At 1:30 I wake up not feeling well, the manner in which I felt, it made my anxiety rise and I was fighting keeping panic at bay. I call him (he’s downstairs, I am in bed) telling him I don’t feel well and ask him to come up. He asked if I could wait 5-10 minutes for him to finish, I reluctantly agree…. I honestly had the thought, if I die before he comes up, at least he will know something was going on…. and if you did the math, two hours later he comes up. (And I live 😉 )
This morning, he’s expressing how much he wants #1 with #3. I mentioned how he gave up his Saturday night opportunity. That’s when he realized he falsely assumed #1 was off the table. When asked directly, he admitted that if he knew sex was an option, he would have made some time in his work to come upstairs (not totally putting off #2)… YET, with a direct request of his presence from his #3 was delayed and ultimately rejected (and I rarely ask for things.)
Any positive spin a husband (or wife) want to put on that? I am truly looking for one, because I just can’t see anything but #1 being the most important, even if #3 is tied to it. #3 wasn’t enough, so as I see it, we can’t say #3 is the motivating factor.
I am having a hard time here…I hate to be blunt…but all I’m hearing is selfishness. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Eph 5:25 Jesus didn’t love the Church AFTER taking care of himself…he didn’t take care of the Church AFTER other matters…Jesus’s first priority is the Church and he loved us SO much, he died for us. Is he (your husband) sacrificing daily for you?? Because he darn sure is asking you to sacrifice for him. When was the last time he did something, expecting nothing in return? I’ve spoke of my past…If I ever think about anything but serving and cherishing my wife FIRST, I am wrong. Nothing matters more then being selfless for her. If I’m asking for sex every day because I think I need it, I’m asking too much. I’m loving myself more than my wife’s heart. I’ll go a year without #1 for #3
Regarding: ALL_IN’s answer:
Quick question: should “we the readers” (1) answer the question as asked in a vacuum, (2) answer it knowing the full context of what the asker has “publicly” divulged over time at TMB site, or (3) some combination of both? If #2, then ALL-IN has a potentially excellent answer. If #1, then maybe not so much. I am new enough here to not know typical expectations here.
And kudos to ALL-IN for the year without #1 for #3 statement.