I had the best weekend with my dear friend, Dee Brestin. She invited me to her home in Door County, Wisconsin for some rest and concentrated writing time. We were in bed by 8:30, up by 6am, writing until noon. I finished almost three whole chapters which encouraged me greatly. In the afternoons, we kayaked or hiked, shared stories, prayed together, sharpened one another and laughed a lot.
Here we are together with our delicate handmade flower necklaces we bought at one of the gift shops.
Dee is a wonderful bible study teacher. If you want to join one of her on-line study groups, go to her website at www.deebrestin.com to check it out. She has a new book coming out in September called Idol Lies which is fabulous. I’ll tell you more about it in future blogs.
Question: How should I handle it when my husband continually pressures me to use profanity during sex because it turns him on? I’ve already told him I don’t like to do that, but he doesn’t hear me. I was sexually abused as a child, and I don’t feel this is helpful to me or our sexual relationship. Also, he wants oral sex from me. Sometimes it’s OK, but he pressures me every time, verbally and nonverbally, not letting up until I give in. Am I being prudish or do I have a right to my own feelings about these things?
Answer: You are not prudish and you have every right to your own feelings about your sexual likes and dislikes. Your sexual relationship with your husband is one sided. You’re being treated like an object that is there to do what your husband wants with no consideration or respect for what you want or don’t want or what you find appealing or disgusting.
For those who have been regular visitors to this blog, what’s wrong with this picture? It is NOT a healthy relationship, sexually or otherwise. You are being disrespected and not cared about. This is painful when you are married to such a person and presents quite a dilemma for a Christian wife who wants to honor God.
However, despite what he and others may tell you, the bible doesn’t say that marriage is all about him and his needs. A healthy relationship requires mutuality, reciprocity and freedom. A healthy marriage is impossible without those 3 elements being practiced by both partners. That said, what can you do now that he doesn’t show caring or respect towards you; nor do you seem to have the freedom to say no?
You say you have already told him that you don’t like using profanity during sex and why. He still pressures you to say it because it excites him. You’ve told him that sometimes you don’t’ want to do oral sex but you also indicate that he disregards this and not only verbally pressures you, but you imply that he may force you as well.
It’s time to stand up against his abuse of you in your sexual relationship. Yes, a married person can be sexually abused. Biblically, it is not a spouse’s right to force you to do things that you don’t want to do just because he is your husband. Disrespecting your right to say no to certain practices that you find hurtful, sinful or unappealing is unloving and disrespectful. It’s time to stop protesting and to start confronting his disrespectful and unloving behavior.
Here is a sample dialogue you need to have with him. Prepare it ahead of time and say it in a firm but neutral voice tone. Don’t wait until you’re having sexual relations to say the first part, but you may need to say it again if he continues his disrespect, and follow it with the specific action.
Here is an example of what you might say:
“Honey, we need to talk about something important, when is a good time?” When he agrees to have a conversation, start with this:
“I love you and want to have a good marriage. I desire to have a healthy sexual relationship, but I feel hurt and angry that you continue to disrespect me in the bedroom, pressuring me to say and do things that I do not want to do. Sex is not just about your feelings and needs, but it’s about a loving interaction, and I’m feeling used and abused.”
Then stop talking and wait for him to respond. If he minimizes you or makes fun of you, say “you’re doing it again right now. You’re disrespecting me, and I won’t continue to let myself be treated that way.”
Then stop and wait for him to respond. If he gets mad and walks away, let him. The next time he pressures you to do any of the sexual things you don’t want to do, get up out of the bed and tell him firmly, “I told you I don’t want to do those things, and I feel disrespected when you pressure me. I’m sleeping on the couch tonight.”
If and when he apologizes, thank him for showing concern for your feelings but if he reverts to the pressure tactics during sex, reinforce your boundaries by getting up and leaving the bedroom. Hopefully he will soon learn that pressuring you doesn’t work anymore and it only makes things worse.
As I’ve said repeatedly, you can’t change your spouse, but you can change how you respond and what you do. And, when you change, things change. I pray that things change for the better in your marriage.