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?
@seekingchange, I would answer, no. Yes, I regularly have a physical desire for sex…BUT I feel loved when my wife & I make love, I feel complete and “at one” with her. When we get out of sorts, we both feel disconnected…and yes, I can certainly become edgy sometimes without us connecting physically, EVEN IF there’s no orgasm (which sometimes happen at my age). I believe it’s because God put that desire to be one in us and when we’re married, we can fulfill our design and purpose of “two becoming one flesh”.
It is definitely easier for my wife sexually when we have connected emotionally first, so sex is icing on the cake for her (and yes, she does enjoy it, initiates, as well as offers herself to me when I’m under times of stress). On the other hand, it’s easier for me to desire her and desire to meet her emotional needs when I’m feeling sexually fulfilled, like I can and want to move mountains for her to feel loved. It’s a circle of LOVE & RESPECT and also PHYSICAL & EMOTIONAL INTIMACY. We have to be willing to meet each other’s needs…sometimes it means reaching around and meeting that person where they’re at to break the “crazy cycle” like Eggerichs call it.
The situation you describe in your initial post can sometimes work for a season (we all have those as individuals and as a couple)…BUT eventually, if the priorities are not adjusted, the relationship will collapse. Andy Stanley talks about one “dropping the rock” when a burden one was asked to hold for a season can no longer be held, that’s when one sees the disintegration of the situation or relationship. I’m sorry you’re feeling like you’re 3rd in the priorities. That’s gotta hurt.
I know if my DW felt that way for longer than a week or two, she’d let me know how she was feeling and communicate lovingly, we needed to change and ask how she could help me… AND what was I planning on doing to reconnect with her. Right now, I’m neck deep in Cmas stuff and she knows it’s they way it is (she even offered a quickie before dinner and a return for rehearsals). She knows that she has Fridays for connection time BUT she’s also wiling to sacrifice that for a “season” if necessary, knowing that I’ll feel less of #2 so she can feel like she’s #1. Either way, she also knows she’ll have more of me after the production…and more after the Cmas season.
You have ever right and should bring it up for conversation again because I’m sure it hurts and he needs to show empathy and display love. I know my DW bounces things sometimes off of wise, CHRISTIAN girlfriends who are farther along in their seasons of marriage and sometimes come back to me with conversation ideas, especially if I’ve stepped out of bounds…BUT with the people she talks to, she gets wisdom AND comes back with a gentle spirit so we can engage in meaningful conversation and problem-solving.
I’ll also quickly add, men and women are different (DUH!) and who we are and our sexuality is complex AND we all have our issues, personalities and tendencies. Marriage is one way God uses to make us holy as we pursue Him and each other. Sometimes my wife puts me on a pedestal and expects me to meet all her emotional needs and I’m not Jesus so it doesn’t go well. Other times, I open my mouth and completely swallow my foot with her and it can take a while to unpack my and/or our issues and how they play into her needs and insecurities.
SC, I do remember probably saying something similar to my wife about sex and why I married DW early in our first year of marriage. It was insensitive of me, a bit misunderstood by her and played into some of her insecurities too. It didn’t go well and took awhile to work through (both that night and several days) =/ If DW asked again, I’d probably still say it again because it’s true, I did get married to have sex since it’s the only way for one to morally/righteously have it…HOWEVER, I’d fill in a lot more of the edges now (AND DW would have a better understand of me and feeling secure in our relationship) BUT if my DW or any other woman feels that’s the only reason she’s valuable and important in a relationship in providing a hole for penis pleasure, she’d definitely have a right to be hurt and angry. The reality is my wife was asking a deeper ? about her value and worth to me and needed reassurance about that. Since I answered to what she considered a shallow answer & lack of some context to her question and it didn’t meet her immediate and emotional needs, it got us going into a crazy cycle. (Yeah, that was a doozy from me, couple that with blending a family, teen step daughters (my BOYS are grown), a sometimes poorly working “sensitivity filter”, an an early perimenopausal woman and we can start some crazy “discussions” going!!!)
I know this is an old thread, but I had thoughts on it along with DoveGrey’s Question for Guys about Initiation thread, which I felt tied in with it, at least for me. I didn’t have the time last month to get those thoughts typed, or more rather this thread didn’t get priority above others, but now that I’ve had a month of reflection and have a bit of time, I wanted to type it up. As usual, please note that what I type here is my perspective as one man in one relationship.
To answer the question:
“Is sex a God-given magnetic force that keeps a man drawing towards his wife, pursuing her, and staying committed to her?”
The answer is a super-clear “sometimes”. To explain that answer, sex does work to do this, but it’s not that simple all by itself. First, and somewhat straightforward, is that the relationship has to be healthy enough to have sex in the first place. With minor squabbles, sex can help draw me in to fix things, because I still desire Zelda and being one with her, so I’ll work to fix the minor trauma to have that…great. But if it’s a major fight (rare in our marriage), the desire for sex is gone and so some repairs are needed before the desire for sex can come in and help.
Second, and the main reason for me coming back to this thread, is that there are other things that can do this besides sex, and each has a different impact. The way I envision it is not as a magnetic force, but instead as a large reservoir of water (or pick your favorite beverage) that feeds our union. Several things can fill up that reservoir, and I have an innate desire (as the head of our union) to make sure there is plenty of liquid in the reservoir (which is what I pursue my wife in search of). Things that fill up that reservoir do it in different amounts, and they drain at different rates. As SC answered in a recent thread, resolving conflict helps the marriage–and it fills up the reservoir (and make-up sex afterwards tops it off further). Non-sexual things like quality time together, discussing our kids, talking about our future, or reminiscing about the past all help. Sometimes, particularly if the reservoir is dry, the small amount of liquid added to the reservoir with these non-sexual acts will temporarily increase my desire to fill it up substantially with sex. Here are a few ways that sex (and related things) can interact with the reservoir:
- Solo porn+masturbation is like adding water to a reservoir with a huge hole in the bottom–it immediately exits. I remember when doing this that I would feel the emptiness while still O’ing. It was that empty and just left me wanting the real thing (while being physically incapable for a time after).
- Duty sex (or the belief that the sex is duty sex, as Zelda has never given me duty sex even though I thought it was at the time) satiates for a short time, but it’s not a lot of water and drains quite quickly. This seems common for husbands to feel…I remember seeing poll results at TFW showing a 50/50 split between husbands preferring no sex vs. duty sex. (I can’t find it now but may edit to link in the future).
- “Normal” sex with standard positions, husband initiating, etc do a fair job of filling up the reservoir and the water doesn’t drain out too quickly.
- The DW having a really good time fills it up more and it drains even less quickly. Once we added vibes to our LM sessions to get Zelda as much pleasure as me, I found myself much more sexually satisfied even though my physical pleasure didn’t really increase.
- Legitimate reasons for no sexual activity slow the loss of water from the reservoir. Best example here is menstruation. We do not engage in sex during that time, and as long as we have some sort of other bonding, the water exits very slowly during that time.
- As indicated above, but worth mentioning again, any sort of husband/wife bonding slows the liquid loss and/or adds some water. Sometimes, this does increase desire for a tank filling, but only for a short time, likely due to physical tugs (no pun intended).
- Another factor is frequency. If we’ve been having regular sex for months, a dry spell for a week causes much less draining than a dry spell if we’d only been having sporadic sex. This is the opposite of a real-life tank of water that empties faster when it’s full than near empty (Torricelli’s Law).
- Now the fun part–anything that is an explicit showing of desire and action fills up like crazy and drains very slowly. About a week before this OP was made, Zelda shocked me by initiating openly/brazenly at a time where I was already completely satisfied and therefore it was obviously not guilt- or duty-based. To be more specific, we’d just ML two days in a row (quite rare for us), and this was day 3, which essentially never happens since kids. And not just that, but she wanted to try something new. Wow, was the reservoir ever filled up in a way I hadn’t experienced in a long time. It also seemed to “drain” very slowly…the reservoir still has some of that in it even though it’s been over 6 weeks!
So, this is getting really long, but I think my overall vision for this is that the DH’s want to feel loved, reassured of their DW’s love, and see it acted upon. There is a physical component, but physical alone does not satisfy. Our “sixth love language” is sex, and enthusiasm instead of just willingness is a big thing. So the “magnetic force” isn’t necessarily sex, it’s the desire for being loved, affirmed, supported, and desired. Eventually, one might have to have sex to properly fill up the reservoir, but other things can fill it up at least partially sometimes. Every conversation between Zelda and I regarding sex since we started down this journey has worked towards filling up that reservoir. Her “big initiation” was immensely fulfilling to me, and still effects me. That’s why I tied this together with the initiation thread.
@Scott, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have read it through a few times, trying to determine if and how it fits with my own thoughts.
“So the “magnetic force” isn’t necessarily sex, it’s the desire for being loved, affirmed, supported, and desired. ”
I can see this, and it coming into play with other things…. like the saying, “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting the same results.” So a man, rather than changing other factors to make a better marriage and all around experience to get what he truly desires, he keeps the focus and hope all on the “sex” train to get him there.
Also, along that same vein, it reminds me of those seeking that same deep desire/need, and yet keep entering abusive relationships. It makes no sense to those who are out, looking in. Just as I don’t get why a woman would keep putting herself in a place to be abused and be a victim. I don’t understand why a husband would keep pursuing sex the same way when it’s clear the wife really doesn’t desire it….as you say, it empties the reservoir. Why, when it’s clear “duty sex” or other factors, are “worse than nothing”, does he keep coming back and expecting “duty sex”? There has to be something greater driving it, something God-designed…and that’s what I am trying to understand.
“So a man, rather than changing other factors to make a better marriage and all around experience to get what he truly desires, he keeps the focus and hope all on the “sex” train to get him there.”
Sometimes, yes. Part of that is the physical-drive side, but part of it is not knowing any other way to get there. It took me embarrassingly long to figure this out about myself. Really, it took a touched-out wife with whom I deeply desired intimacy of any kind to get started on a better path.
“Also, along that same vein, it reminds me of those seeking that same deep desire/need, and yet keep entering abusive relationships. It makes no sense to those who are out, looking in.”
That is probably an astute observation. I had a close relative throw away her virginity and ~7 yr of her life in a relationship like that (not sure if it was physically abusive at least), and it seemed bizarre that all of us on the outside could see it but she couldn’t.
“Why, when it’s clear “duty sex” or other factors, are “worse than nothing”, does he keep coming back and expecting “duty sex”? There has to be something greater driving it, something God-designed…and that’s what I am trying to understand.”
Well, there’s the physical side, but it’s more than that. I went to porn for a reason besides the physical at times, knew logically it wouldn’t give me what I wanted, but did it anyway. I can’t explain why. And it’s not just sex or marriage, as people of both genders do it with other things in all aspects of life–food, drugs, alcohol, cars, etc. It’s like they’re looking for something but are stuck in a loop. Often, Jesus is what they’re looking for, but not always–as clearly some believers do this too.
Sorry I can’t put my finger on it and can’t put it in words, but somehow things like the DW initiating fills whatever reservoir I’m trying to fill much better than just a “normal sexual encounter”.