Do I Have To Have Sex With My Husband?

Morning friends,

Don’t forget about tonight’s (Wednesday, January 20) free webinar with Pastor Chris Moles and me. We are talking about what it takes to wisely counsel an emotionally destructive person. If you know of a church leader, pastor, or counselor who could benefit from this class, please send them the link. They won’t be able to participate without signing up. Click here to register. If you can't make it tonight, sign up and you will get the replay the following day.

I’d also appreciate your prayers, especially this week. We are heading out to California on Friday for two months like we did last year to visit our daughter and 3 granddaughters. A snow storm is scheduled to hit the East coast on Friday afternoon and we have a lot to do before then. Pray for safety and that our 11-year-old beloved dog, Grace, is good with all of the travel. She loves the car and did fine last year, but this is a long trip and she is a year older.

One more piece of exciting news – on October 14,15, 2016, I am going to host a women’s conference: CONQUER – Becoming the Best Possible You Inside and Out. We will have three main speakers and several break out sessions.

Jill Swanson , Cheryl Martin , and I will be the keynote speakers.

So save the date! You will NOT want to miss it and I would LOVE to meet all of you in person. It will be held at my home church, Faith Church in Trexlertown, PA.

Details to follow in the upcoming months and we will have an early bird registration beginning in April. If you want to keep up with all the details click here.

But I thought you might want to know ahead of time so you can start saving your pennies if you need to travel to get here and save the date. Frontier Airlines has some great airfares to Philadelphia and Trenton airports, which are a little more than an hour from here.

 

QUESTION: I am struggling with God’s guidance in my marriage. My husband of 29 years is emotionally abusive and I have always felt obligated to serve him sexually because of what scripture says in 1 Corinthians 7, to not deprive your spouse sexually. I have considered divorce but Malachi 2 says God hates divorce.

My husband has been nicer to me lately, thinking that maybe I will warm up to him sexually. I know his heart has not changed because he is still sometimes mean and he thinks I am abusing him. I would like to not have sex with him because I don’t like feeling like an object in such a vulnerable way.

I have heard that many marriages are sexless and I would like that for myself but it seems like that is not God’s will. We used to have sex every other day because of my husband’s biological needs, but since I am speaking up more, it’s only once a week now…still too much for me. What can I do?

ANSWER: This is a tricky question that I get asked again and again. The sexual component of marriage is an important part of God’s design for marriage. Marriage is not designed to be sexless, nor is it a good thing. Recent studies show how healthy it is for our body and our brain to have loving physical connection in a committed relationship. God made sex to be a mutual intimate relationship based on trust, safety and love. That’s why he reserves the sexual relationship exclusively for marriage.

The tricky component comes into play when ones marriage lacks safety, trust and love. Then what? (Tweet that)

Sex can be used as a powerful weapon just as money can, to control, manipulate and punish when you feel unhappy or your needs are not being met within the marriage. No spouse wants to feel like “just a body” that is used to gratify physical needs/wants and no spouse wants to feel like “just a paycheck” to satisfy a spouses financial needs/wants.

That’s why it is so important that you learn how to walk in CORE strength right now. You did make certain promises when you married and just because your husband has failed to keep his end well doesn’t give you a pass on keeping yours. Yet, you’re having yucky feelings inside because you don’t enjoy having sexual relations with a man who also regularly emotionally abuses you. No one would. Safety is lost, trust is broken and what’s happening at home feels anything but loving.

That said, you’re on the right track. Apparently you’ve been honest with your husband to some degree (which is the first step of CORE strength: C- I will be committed to honesty, no more pretending). You said he’s trying to be nicer to you, thinking that will warm you up to him sexually. So perhaps he’s beginning to connect the dots that you don’t enjoy sex or want to be physically close to someone who emotionally batters you.

But his niceness often feels like a means to an end (get you in bed) rather than a change of heart (I have hurt my wife by the way I’ve treated her). You fear if you give in, your husband will revert back to his abusive ways because he hasn’t really changed his heart, and if you don’t give in he will revert to his abusive ways because he’ll be angry you didn’t give in. No good choice here.

That’s why it is so important for you to practice two other components of CORE strength. R – I will be responsible for myself and respectful towards my husband without dishonoring myself and E – I will be empathic and compassionate without enabling destructive behavior to continue.

Let’s take the first one: R. You are going to be responsible for yourself in not allowing yourself to be demeaned and disrespected in this sacred relationship. You are not an object to be used but a person to be loved. That means that when your husband is being abusive to you, it is God’s will for you to be a good steward of your heart, mind, and body and remove yourself from his presence if possible. Proverbs 4:23 tells us to “Guard our heart for it is the wellspring of life.” It is well documented that verbal abuse chips away at the personhood of the victim and tears them down. Proverbs 18:21 says “Life and death is in the power of the tongue”, and Proverbs 12:18 says, “Reckless words pierce like a sword.”

Yes we do hear God hates divorce but he also hates lots of other things, especially when someone abuses another person in any way. (Read Proverbs 6:16-19 for a list of the things God hates and the word divorce isn’t in it, although there are many things in it that lead to divorce). And, that verse in Malachi which is often misquoted, isn’t really saying God hates divorce, but actually translates better when you read that God hates a man who divorces his wife treacherously – recklessly or indifferently. God hated that the Israelites were tossing away their wives like used tissues.

In addition to taking responsibility for yourself, it’s important for you to be respectful to your husband when you communicate why you can’t be in his presence when talks that way. If you can’t do it respectfully because you are too upset, then leave and calm down until you can.

The more you are able to stay calm, in control (of yourself) and respectful, the more you will surprise him and invite him to pay attention to what’s going on. If you both engage in the same old destructive dance – him accusing, you defending, placating, pleading, or retaliating then you’ll get the same old outcome.

Lastly, the E step of CORE strength is learning how to genuinely show empathy and compassion towards your husband when he expresses disappointment or hurt that you are no longer able to have a loving sexual relationship with him.

This boundary usually comes as a shock to most husbands. When you are respectful AND truthful about the consequences of his actions toward you and the effect it has on your libido, and do so with compassion – your husband may be freed up to look at himself – even if for a moment. You’re not yelling, you’re not resentful, you are as matter of fact, even sad that it has come to this, but you can’t make him change, the only person you can change is you.

Here is an example of something you might say. “I know you’ve noticed our sexual life has deteriorated lately and I wanted to tell you why. I know a healthy sex life is important and I wish it were different but I can’t feel close to you or even want to be physically vulnerable with you because of the way you treat me most of the time.

I have noticed that you’ve been nicer to me lately and I appreciate it, but I’m scared that you’re only doing that to get me to give in; not because you realize how horrible you’ve been towards me over the past 30 years.

I’ve never heard an apology, I’ve never heard you say you’d stop or get help for the way you treat me. I feel bad that I am unable to meet your sexual needs and I wish things were different between us, but right now, our marriage is a mess and I can’t fix it all by myself. More sex won’t fix the marriage for me – perhaps it will for you, but it won’t for me. In fact, it makes me feel worse. Right now all I can do is I take care of me and be honest with you if we’re going to have any chance of making this better.”

Then let him speak – show compassion and empathy for his feelings WITHOUT enabling destructive behavior or even destructive thinking to come your way. If he starts, just say, “ I wish I could talk with you about this, I see you are very upset, but the way you are talking to me right now is demeaning (or whatever) and I can’t allow myself to be treated this way anymore.” Then go into the other room.

Your husband feels entitled to the wonderful blessings of a good marriage (a healthy sex life) when the marriage relationship itself is crumbling. It’s like expecting healthy corn crops when you planted dandelions. It’s not going to happen.

Up to now he’s told himself the marriage is not that bad if you both still enjoy the blessings of sex. Being honest is the most loving thing you can do for him right now in keeping your promise to love your husband. It’s not unbiblical to say no, if you say it with genuine love.

Friend, what words did you use when you had to have this kind of conversation with your destructive spouse?

222 Comments

  1. Summer on January 20, 2016 at 7:40 am

    These were my words:
    “I need to tell you that I can no longer allow myself to be intimate with you until we begin to fix what’s wrong between us. Please do not come on to me in bed anymore until we begin talking again.”
    Two weeks later he said,”If this is how it’s going to be, I’m leaving.”
    That was 3 months ago, and this has been the best 3 months I’ve had in the last 20 years. I love my life so much, I’m constantly reciting “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” To God in my head now.

    • Aleea on January 20, 2016 at 8:23 am

      Re: “Friend, what words did you use when you had to have this kind of conversation with your destructive spouse?”

      That is beautiful Summer and I have never had to say that (—thank you Lord God!) but those are the right words, I think. Sex should never, ever be a “duty.” It shouldn’t be an act anyone feels obligated to perform for other people. It should never be manipulated or coerced. I know it is so, so hard for each woman, individually, to operate inside this totally broken system where we’re beaten down into thinking things like I have to have sex with him or he’ll leave me or worse sleep with anyone and everyone. Consent is only the absolute minimum baseline, not the goal. It should be so commonplace for us to be comfortable, and happy, and trusting, and respected during sex that anything else would be as incomprehensible to us as building a bicycle seat out of a cactus (or whatever). . . . i.e. enthusiastic consent vs. “grudging consent.” I believe it is important for all of us to examine the reasons why we have sex, and if it is “because I’ll ruin my marriage if I don’t” or “he’ll leave me” or “he’ll make me miserable” or “he will sleep with others/escorts and give me STDs/AIDS” or “it’s my duty” or “I owe it to him” are among those reasons, than that is something we should actively fight– in our own relationships and more broadly in our church culture. —Especially in our church cultures!

      May the Lord richly bless you, Summer. My prayers,

    • Daisy on February 2, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      Thank you all so much for this conversation, and Leslie for your thoughtful response to Summer’s question. Summer you spoke from my heart as your question could have been easily written verbatim by me.
      We just continue day by day, and I pray for relational healing daily.
      I am concerned about finances if we divorce as I’m a stay at home mom of 5. (youngest 2)
      Can anyone share their experiences on that topic?
      2. Literally almost every time we had sex in the past 15 years, I was pregnant afterwards. I am hopeful that our relationship will be healed, and if so we need some pregnancy prevention solutions. I can’t take the pill, he refuses a Vasectomy. Ideas?

      • MHMC on February 3, 2016 at 8:28 am

        Condoms. IUD. I can’t take the pill either, so I had an IUD for five years after my first, and five years after my second. However, I learned that the egg can actually become fertilized, and because of the IUD, it doesn’t plant itself in the uterus, and is “aborted”. I told my husband I couldn’t do that anymore, and gave him a six month deadline to remove my IUD. He just stopped having sex with me completely, and now I’m not on anything. I think its helping my body heal and rebalance after years of birth control.

      • Roxanne on February 3, 2016 at 12:44 pm

        Norplant under the skin or a Depo shot can be useful. There is also a new contraceptive ring. Have you heard of it? There is also a cap that is smaller that a diaphragm that covers the cervix. More strides are being made for a male contraceptive. Why won’t your husband get a vasectomy?

        • MHMC on February 3, 2016 at 4:28 pm

          Those contraceptives use the same hormone as the pill, which she said she cannot take. I can’t have hormones either, so those other options were out as well.

    • Darrell on February 2, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      I just stumbled on this blog and didn’t see how to reply to the blog in general so I hit the reply under “Summer’s” post.

      First thing I want to say to all the ladies on here is that as a man, I am very sorry for the pain I am reading on this blog that has been caused by my brothers and unfortunately, in the past by myself to my wife. The Corinthian passage has often been misused by the church probably since shortly after Paul wrote it.

      Today, in our culture, in the world of pornography and the myth that a man needs a sexual release every X number of hours, great harm is being done day after day, night after night to an untold number of women.

      I am not judging the men who do this as I was once in their place. My addiction to pornography and sexual gratification had me believing that sex was my married rite and that I could not sleep at night without a release. This put great pressure on my wife and unfortunately that pressure actually increased when I started my recovery from pornography and self gratification because I turned all that towards her. However, by the grace of God, I have been free from my addiction for sixteen years now and my attitude towards my wife in is night and day from what it was. We still struggle at times, but we can now talk about anything and sex is no longer the driving force (or wedge) of our relationship.

      I share this with you because I believe you need to know there is hope. There are good resources available for men who want to change so don’t buy into the enemy’s lie that there is no place to turn. If your husband does the work of recovery, not just of his pornography and masturbation habits, but recovery of his heart, he will start treating you very differently. I have seen this in my own life in and the lives of many with whom I work.

      I also share it so you can hear from a man that it is OK and even good for you to stand up for yourself in this arena. What Leslie describes in her blog is very good way to approach it. If your husband responds in brokenness, and seeks help, you will be very fortunate and you will know that he doesn’t want to be this way. If he responds with anger, defensiveness and blame, then you will know his journey into pornography and sexual darkness is much deeper than he has allowed you to see to this point–and that is all the more reason why you need to protect yourself, emotionally, physically and sexually.

      If any of you want to make sure this is really a man writing this, or if you want to hear more about my heart for wives and women in this very painful place, please watch my “Apology To Women” at http://www.protectingeve.com.

      Again, I am very sorry for your pain & I pray the Father will show you His path of health and healing for you.

      Darrell Brazell
      New Hope Recovery Ministries

      • Sarah on February 2, 2016 at 6:53 pm

        Darrell,
        Thanks for commenting on this blog! It is so very helpful to know recovery is possible. I am no longer with my abusive ex, but I want to be a counselor in this field. That is a question I have asked way too often – is there hope? My ex refused any form of help because he never had a problem though the abuse became very severe. So it is hard for me as student of the counseling field, to see hope for those who have been in your shoes. It takes courage for you to speak out, a courage that changes lives. I decided years ago that I wasn’t going to leave the church and merely throw stones at a brick wall, but instead I am determined to grow in understanding and wisdom so I can facilitate changes from within. I believe you too have caused some changes.

      • LA on February 2, 2016 at 11:15 pm

        Thank you Darrell for your honesty and humility! It’s refreshing to here that your battle was won! Unfortunately, many will not heed nor hear, but I thank God for the ones who do!!! Thank God for you Darrell! Thank you for your courage and for speaking up!
        Just breathing and trusting

      • mrsjots on February 3, 2016 at 9:33 am

        Darrell: I watched your video. Your words were spot on. I appreciate the heartfelt sorrow. Master manipulators can read a book on repentance and get really good at “confessing falsely” like the wolf in sheeps clothing. In so doing he can fool many because he sounds very convincing. The real test comes back at home where that same sincerity is null and void. It’s fake fruit. I’m not saying this is the case with your apology to women at all. We are all sinners before a holy God. But, often many of us don’t want to recognize our sin (as a wife) and realize we too need help working on it while our husband works on his own. Sin is serious. God abhors it. It’s why Jesus died the worst kind of death. For those of you who may have missed it, Leslie had shared an excellent webinar recently (with Pastor Chris Moles) when our loved one is involved in the sin of pornography, or destructive patterns of behavior there are some ways to battle this. He must first become more self aware. Secondly, there needs to be an exploration of the man he says he wants to be. Third, as his wife or those who are his accountability helpers, he consistently needs an invitation (gentle reminder) to become the man God has called him to be. God is in the gracious business of redeeming sinners. There needs to be genuine evidence of a changed heart. Leslie and Chris share three ways this will be apparent. 1. The destructive person will evidence humility rather than pride, or selfishness. 2. The destructive person will begin to be grateful for the good gift of a wife, versus feeling entitled to all the privileges of the sexual relationship without being willing to be an honest man of godly integrity. 3. He must intentionally work at godly love versus fear. If he doesn’t want to be a better man before God, he’s not going to be a better person, husband or parent. Re: the area of sexual relations, for us it continues to be a healing process. I am still working through this with the Lords help. My husband is seeking pastoral counsel. He has fully disclosed is sexual sin through our 35 years of marriage. He is in the process of being more intentional and transparent. He is being patient with me. I am thankful he is being more open and honest about being tempted. It takes time and talking and believing the truth of the gospel and our identity in Christ. God is teaching me much about my own heart. What am I choosing to believe right now?

      • hopeful on February 3, 2016 at 4:10 pm

        Darrell.

        I don’t think my husband is into pornography but something is going on. He is defensive, angry, and full of blame whenever I make an attempt to talk to him about our marriage.

        I live heartbroken everyday.

      • mrsjots on February 4, 2016 at 7:15 am

        If you haven’t already, I highly recommend listening to and watching the video Darrell shares. His sincere apology to women is the kind we wives long to hear. That heart change he talks about here is the first step for our husbands recovery.

      • Robyn on February 6, 2016 at 9:02 am

        You post led me to your website. I listened to the apology and was so moved. I shared the link with my husband – not that he hasn’t apologized for much of this but he is not free of the sin and our marriage is very fragile. I have wanted to leave many times – but we have 2 children (13 & 16) and haven’t been certain. Much of my heart is dead to my husband – I suffer and grieve for what’s been lost. I still care about him but the trust has been chattered. I love God and know of His healing powers – experienced it – but unless my husband turns from his sin, there is no hope for us.
        Appreciate your prayers and wisdom
        Robyn

  2. Jean on January 20, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Its hard when you are a wife who has been so neglected and sex is the only way to know that your husband loves you. Then when you hold this boundary, he then opts for porn and still enjoys all the other household benefits of have a “wife”.

    THen it becomes a situation wherein the only thing I would appreciate IS his paycheck.

    So broken.

    • Aleea on January 20, 2016 at 10:23 am

      Jean,
      The structure is very, very broken. . . .but what I see the Scriptures teaching:
      He makes me feel loved & smart & attractive & valued & cared for: I stay
      He doesn’t: I leave ASAP
      Once I leave: This is the really important part to me: I face the facts of being what I am, because that is what changes what I am and ensures (—hopefully, who knows) I don’t attract/ fall for another —interpersonally exploitative, psychotic, emotionally unavailable, devoid of empathy, et.al. Ask lots of questions. Then ask yourself: What is consistent with real love, with Christ’s love? Jesus in Luke twelve says: “Why don’t YOU judge for yourselves what is right?” You have all the consequences, you have the choices. The solution for “I can’t live this way anymore” is basically, “Good! Don’t live that way anymore.” . . . .How are our beliefs functioning? What are they keeping me from confronting? Beliefs are often used to cover over our serious anxieties and prevent a head-on encounter with this disturbing fact: lots and lots of women are abused. Again, we must prevent the Bible from being structurally used as a defense mechanism that provides psychological cover for all forms of abuse, even spiritual.

    • Ruth on January 20, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      I am so sorry. I know that pain. I don’t know. Maybe my situation is to a lesser degree than most here. But the original post and this response in particular, resonate with my pain and sense of rejection.
      Sex is a problem for me on MANY levels. First off, I am naturally inhibited. I was never molested so I don’t have a reason for this. But sometimes sex makes me feel grossed out or even worse violated. It’s hard to say how much of this is tied to the emotional turmoil of our marriage and how much is due to my own inhibited nature. I came from a family that never talked about sex. My parents had a practically sexless marriage as best I can tell.
      As a young Christian virgin woman, I had this idea that sex would be easy and natural. That somehow bc I’d saved myself for marriage that God would bless us with a beautiful sex life. Boy, was I in for a rude awakening! No one prepared me for the fact that intercourse hurts. We use a lubricant but sex was still painful for me EVERYTIME for the few years. After 19 years and 3 kids, I still have discomfort about 25-30% of the time.
      Many ladies say their husbands are sexually selfish and don’t care if she enjoys it. My situation is the opposite and while that is kinda good, it also brings challenges. I feel a ton of pressure to orgasm. If I say I can’t, then my husband says “Let’s try this instead”. He belabors the whole process when I’m too tired and bored to even care. I just want to get it over with! Sometimes he acts disappointed which in turn makes me feel like a failure. the only thing he appreciates me for I just failed at. I blew the only chance I got for praise. (I hope that’s not too graphic to say here. Let me know if that’s a no-no). At times when I do enjoy sex, I feel strangely conflicted afterwards. Part of me can’t stop feeling like sex is dirty.
      Sex is the only way I can keep a similitude of peace. If he’s in a mad hostile mood towards me, the only way to end it is for me to initiate sex. So when I feel the most unsafe and unloved, is when I’ve got to throw myself at him. So degrading.
      I feel resentment towards sex. I don’t think it’s fun to wash dishes or scrub toilets but at least they’re chores I don’t have to put on an act to do.
      So I’m freakishly inhibited and have pain issues. I don’t feel attractive. When you add in his frequent arrogance, anger, impatience, lack of compassion (all with no remorse) towards me and the kids, there is the perfect storm.
      The last time we had sex I was so sad that I cried. Big tears running down my cheeks in the dark.
      There’s a song by the Christian group Sanctus Real that says to husbands – don’t leave your wife “hungry for love”. I am that woman.

      • Roxanne on January 20, 2016 at 1:30 pm

        Ruth. You are not inhibited. Who gave you this horrible label? Why do you say this about yourself? You are a beautifully designed, by our Heavenly Father. You are in an abusive marriage. I guarantee you that if you were married to a better, loving, healthy man, your body would respond perfectly. You can fool your mind, but your body holds the pain. I hope one day if it is in God’s plan, you get to have intimate relations with a loving man. At this point, your husband is not that man. Maybe he can change, but your body still remembers the trauma of the past.

        Having sex is a way to stop an abuser from abusing for a period of time. It keeps the peace sometimes. But it is an evil, degrading way of sacrificing ourselves. It doesn’t change the fact that he is abusive.

        • Robin on January 20, 2016 at 11:51 pm

          Very excellently said, Roxanne.

      • Sarah on January 20, 2016 at 3:19 pm

        Ruth,
        After my abusive marriage, I thought all sex was painful, hurtful, and humiliating. I thought that I was the one with the problem. He told me continually that I had a problem. That I was just weird because I didn’t want sex everyday or because I didn’t want to have it pron style. The hard part is that I believed him. I have been out of that relationship for almost 11 years now, and just last summer I married the most wonderful man. I told him going into our relationship that sex might not even be possible after all I had been through. It has not all been easy, but he is so very loving. Completely different than anything I have ever experienced. We don’t have weekly sex. We are actually lucky if it happens a few times a month, but it’s good. It is an act of love, which is not merely sex. I may never be able to have sex again, but I have found that I can make love with the right person. I too thought that I was sexually broken, but my loving husband has taught me that I was wrong.

        • Lonelywife07 on January 21, 2016 at 12:15 am

          That’s beautiful Sarah…made my eyes flood with tears…God has certainly blessed you.

      • Mary on January 23, 2016 at 9:40 pm

        I understand the tears. My husband has not said he loves me in, I don’t know how long. Six years? Eight years? Somewhere in there. Under these circumstances, along with emotional abuse, sex has left me feeling like a prostitute, because there has been no emotional connection. I’ve silently cried many a night.

        Recently, my husband’s behavior has prompted me to refrain from meeting his needs. I cannot enable his anger and intimidation anymore. It is not healthy for either one of us.

        • Roxanne on January 27, 2016 at 4:23 pm

          Where does it say in the Bible that sex is a man’s needs? We say this, but says who?? We should be saying, that man doesn’t meet her needs, call the elders!!

      • Patricia on February 2, 2016 at 9:51 am

        Very loving response Roxanne. Ruth, I completely understand. The only way to get him to “love” me again was for me to initiate sex. At my most painful times emotionally, after being torn down by him. I’m actually planning on initiating divorce after 21 years of marriage and 7 kids. I’ve believed so many lies for so long, God has finally said,”enough ” and so have I.

      • MHMC on March 9, 2016 at 8:05 am

        Don’t give him sex to keep the peace. In the end, what you’re doing is rewarding his behavior. So, he knows if he gets angry or intolerable, you will give him sex to keep the peace. Just stop doing it. Instead, give him sex when he’s kind, loving and agreeable. Now you’re rewarding good behavior. You’ll get more of what you reward. So don’t reward the bad stuff, only reward the good stuff. It will get really difficult the first few times, but he will eventually catch on.

    • Roxanne on January 20, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      Sex does not mean he loves you. His masturbation while viewing porn is his true love. You deserve better. Can you leave this man so he gets some consequences and goes into treatment?

    • Roxanne on January 20, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      Sex does not mean he loves you. His masturbation while viewing porn is his true love. You deserve better. Can you leave this man so he gets some consequences and goes into treatment, Jean?

      • Jean on January 20, 2016 at 8:58 pm

        I did leave, well, rather, he left me to punish me because he knew i had abandonment issues. Thankfully, by the grace of God I made it through the first six months of his abandonment and filed for divorce. 2 years after his departure, I am free. This supposed Christian man who mentored other men went back to his drinking, online M rated games, and likely, porn. I hope he does get the help he needs. He keeps telling the kids tat he is waiting to see change in me. As far as I am concerned, i am safer if he never sees me again. My life is devoted to Jesus and feeding his lambs (my kids). Thanks for caring and responding.

        • Jean on January 20, 2016 at 9:00 pm

          SInce he was so bonded with his perfect internet hotties, I suspect that he is simply happier to not have to deal with my spots, blemishes and wrinkles. He can play all he wants and drink all he wants and not have me to deal with.

          • Roxanne on January 21, 2016 at 2:40 am

            You go girl!! Thanks for sharing.



    • Robyn on February 6, 2016 at 9:04 am

      I get it Jean – so immature on his part. He can not be the husband you want or deserve as long as he wants to contuing in his sin. That’s the bottom line
      and I’m finally seeing it clearly. It still hurts but the truth will set us free!!

  3. Sarah on January 20, 2016 at 8:24 am

    I never had the courage to set those kind of boundaries during my abusive marriage. My husband used those same scriptures to force me into sexual submission. He was using scripture, and using the things my church taught so it all sounded right. In my situation the abuse got much worse until I finally fled with my small son, but I commend anyone who has the kind of strength it takes to set those boundaries. If I had the understanding that I have now, perhaps I wouldn’t have as many scars.

    • Roxanne on January 20, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Sometimes saying no leads to physical violence and rape. One needs to be careful when declining sex. It is often at night, in bed and one is defenseless because the kids are asleep and you want to be quiet.

      • Sarah on January 20, 2016 at 3:27 pm

        I have been raped in just about every style possible during the four years I was with my husband. I never realized it was rape. It started with obligation, but it didn’t end that way. I got so used to excusing his behavior that when it got bad I still didn’t see it as rape. Even when it resulted in physical damage and a sexually transmitted infection. I agree that saying no can have it’s risk, but saying no early on would have been much easier for me. I think healthy boundaries are necessary in every relationship.

  4. Sarah on January 20, 2016 at 8:30 am

    All of those reasons were used in my marriage along with a few others. I didn’t understand the distraction until after I came out of it, but now more than anything I want to be a help to the church. It seems thought that a lot of the time the church doesn’t feel they belong in bedroom issues so that topic get ignored.

    • Aleea on January 20, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Sarah,
      Jesus wants us to be TRULY free. The things we are told we must/ cannot speak of are the very things about which we must never stop speaking. . .

      May the Lord richly bless you too, Sarah. My prayers,

    • Jess on February 2, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      Sarah I experienced the exact same situations you and the gal who asked the question did. For about twenty years. No amount of being a good or godly wife, reasoning, kindness, giving in, counseling, scripture, or anything worked. Rather, he worked those to his advantage. The truth was uncovered (not by him) that despite sex every other day, he had been sexually involved with multiple partners throughout our 20 yrs and 6 kids. He was/is full of guile and deceived me, all the while Bible carrying, professing Christ. It wasn’t until I first put my foot down (pushing for biblical couples counseling…I don’t recommend it now) that I began to see his true colors more. The abuse escalated at that point. He fooled me again (he’s an exceptional wolf). Then issues got out of control again. Me limiting sex (the result this time to get to the bottom of things) was the only thing that finally brought out his abusive heart for good. The snake turned into a dragon. His actions toward me and our kids were treacherous, though his cover fooled almost everyone, especially in the church . He left us, shifted blame, falsely accused, and set us up for divorce, working things to portray himself as the victim. It was a long, brutal, destructive, and litigious mess. Bottom line: there usually is way more going on than what meets the eye. I was ignorant and naive, thinking I was living a God pleasing life by believing, persevering, and hoping (regarding my X). The best things I did while clinging to God in this were getting a detective and getting DV educated (ARMS). That really flipped the switch, brought me out of his psychological control, and helped me stop doubting and feeling guilty for thinking he may be in the wrong. It’s been a long process and he’s still treacherous from a distance, but I’m becoming wise as a serpent and stronger in the Lord. HE IS GOOD.

      • Roxanne on February 3, 2016 at 12:40 pm

        Jess, this is beautifully written and absolutely true. Thanks for recommending detectives. That was genius on your part. Placate, pray and persevere seems the right thing to do at the time. Who could ever imagine such evil?? Satan. He is the author and directors of such evil activities. I am glad you are safe and hope your children are able to get therapy and avoid interaction with the serpent. Good work Jess!!

  5. Wondering on January 20, 2016 at 10:11 am

    I wonder sometimes if I send the wrong message. My husband separated himself sexually for most of a year. Now that he came back to the bedroom, It seems like it is the only time he is gentle and loving. I crave that, unfortunately. Most of the time it is dark, so I don’t have to look at him. I have also prayed during these times, saying this was for the Lord based on those verses. Afterwards I wonder was that love or lust on my part? Am I sending the wrong message to my husband? We hardly talk or do anything else together. I know he would say it is my obligation and his right based on 1 Corinthians.

    • Roxanne on January 20, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Why do we elevate the sexuality scriptures and down play others? Why do we weigh this one so heavily upon ourselves? He gets to pick and choose which scriptures he wants to obey, yet he darn, sure has memorized the ones that benefit him. Let’s face it ladies men have high sex drives. Any port in a storm works for most men. They are wired differently. Only submission to the Lord reigns them in and teaches healthy monogamy.

    • Libl on January 20, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      There was a time when I realized I loved going to church with hubby because he was so affectionate at church. He would put his arm around me, hold my hand in prayer, pat my knee, kiss my head, help me on with my coat, and speak nicely towards the children.

      But, as soon as we pulled out of the parking lot, he changed.

      I realized I was craving that kind of husband, and that is why it meant so much. But, I realized it was an act. He had a reason for acting like that…..people were watching.

      So, I accepted that that wasn’t my husband. The difficult man the other 6.5 days of the week was my husband.

      Now, he isn’t going to church, and I am happy. I go to church in peace. I don’t even want him to go unless he truly has a heart change.

      Oddly enough, he has been more affectionate towards me and nicer to the children outside of church, and I am enjoying that. However, our sex life stinks. One sided. I do hold on out of fear. I need to build my CORE in that area, but to be frank, I am tired of fighting. I just want to be left alone and rest for a while.

      • LA on January 29, 2016 at 12:50 pm

        I just want to add that Ken Nair does a really good job of painting a whole picture based on scripture. He put many things in context, not out of context! He also has a chapter on the effects that a selfish h has on his wife, physical, emotional and psychological and spiritual. He also counsels women as well!
        Just Breathing and Trusting

    • LA on January 29, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      Wondering,
      I would encourage you to read the book: Discovering the Mind of a Woman by Ken Nair, I found it very affirming and it is scripturally based. Ken Nair counsels men on how to become Christ like and how to love their wives. It cleared up a lot of questions of mine and again I found it affirming of what God’s intentions are for marriage!
      Just Breathing and Trusting

      • Wondering on January 29, 2016 at 10:38 pm

        Thanks for the suggestion. I love the just breathing and trusting. Sometimes I forget how important they both are! If trusting was only as easy as breathing.

        • LA on February 2, 2016 at 11:22 pm

          Wondering, LOL! That is so true! Thank God the one that keeps our body alive is automatic! Trusting keeps our spirit alive! I suppose if trusting were automatic, we would have no need for to seek after God? Lack of keeps me hungry for more! God’s design? Hmmm? I’ll have to ponder that! Thank you for your kind words!
          Just breathing and trusting

  6. Connie on January 20, 2016 at 10:32 am

    I may have mentioned this here before, and this is not a formula, just what I felt that God wanted me to do in my situation. I told him (after 22 years of ‘duty’) that I just didn’t feel affectionate anymore. He screamed at me that he was my husband and I HAD to submit to him, and he was COMMANDING me to feel affectionate RIGHT NOW! I cried out to God the next few days, then sensed He wanted me to study I Peter chapters 3 and 4. Then I went to h and said, “I feel God wants me to tell you that you can have all the sex you want. According to the Bible, there are two kinds of relationships; a master-slave relationship and a Christ-church one. Now you need to choose which one you want. If you want a master-slave relationship, just tell me when you want sex and I will let you do whatever. If you want a Christ-church relationship, you will need to win back my affection, because you have lost it.”

    We slept in the same bed three more years and never touched each other. Then it was all over. Of course, he told everyone, “She hasn’t let me touch her in three years”, but I knew in my heart that I had done the right thing and it was how God gave me the out. He was too proud to admit he wanted a slave, and too proud to humble himself to win me back. That was over 20 years ago.

    • Michele on January 20, 2016 at 11:17 am

      Very interesting Sarah.
      What scared me once was when in the middle of the night, I felt like he was forcing me to have sex. I had to literally fight back to get him off of me. I couldn’t get pregnant again because of health reasons, but it was feeling like he was going to “rape” me. I pushed him away until he left. That broke my trust completely and was afraid to sleep next to him again. He says he doesn’t remember. Could it have been a “sleep-walking” event? or do you think he knew what he was trying to do? It terrified me and I still don’t know what to think about it.

      • Roxanne on January 20, 2016 at 1:49 pm

        Been raped by my husband for years. You didn’t imagine it. It is embarrassing for him to admit what he did. My husband enjoyed the power and control aspect. Today we are together but he realizes he is living the consequences of his sin. I have no physical attraction to my rapist. (Imagine that?) He is actively in counseling, yet trust, especially physical trust takes time and will likely never return for me. We have found our peaceful place and accept the results of repeated trauma on my heart, soul and body.

      • Elizabeth on January 30, 2016 at 10:43 am

        My husband tried that “I must have been asleep too” dodge on me about 3 mos. into our marriage, when I didn’t know any better. When I woke up, I just went “huh? oh okay,” and carried on, so I don’t really consider it a rape, I guess (can you tell I’m not too certain on this?) I believed him when he said he had done it in his sleep, but now I don’t. I was already pregnant at the time, so I suppose he must have felt it didn’t matter whether he got consent or not, since he couldn’t do anything “important” to me.
        Our sex life was always more “pity” than “duty”. He claimed that if he did not have sex, he would not be able to sleep. If I said no, he wouldn’t force me, but would not speak to me the next day, slam doors, yell at the kids, etc. He would tell me it was my fault he was in a bad mood, because I gave him insomnia by not having sex with him. Given a few days, he would cry, say he was going to masturbate, keep me awake talking after I came to bed… it was like our whole “relationship” was there only to serve his biology in the most dismal, minimal way.
        After 5 years and 3 (unplanned, but beautiful) children, I stopped having sex with him about 14 mos. ago, and told him in no uncertain terms that we would never have sex again. He has been my only sexual partner, and I never once enjoyed sex with him (for both physical and emotional reasons). My libido is dead, so far as I know for good. I’m not interested in forming an attachment to another man, I’m just waiting for him to get tired and leave. Any bets on how much longer that will take? In the meantime he’s making me miserable. Also, has anyone else’s h tried the insomnia bit? I’m not sure how common it is, as I’ve never heard anyone else talk about it.
        First comment, thanks for listening.
        PS, I’m Catholic, is that cool with everyone? I don’t intend to intrude, I just need a place to talk and listen, and as far as I know, there’s no resource like this for us Roman ladies.

        • Leslie Vernick on January 30, 2016 at 11:18 pm

          You are welcome here Elizabeth. OF course you need a place to be heard and this is just the place.

        • sunflower on January 31, 2016 at 12:57 am

          Hi and welcome Elizabeth, what a beautiful name. I completely understand the “in his sleep” excuse. I had a counselor who ordered sleep studies to investigate his supposed sleep behavior. The result of the study was that absolutely nothing was wrong with his sleep. He knew exactly what he was doing. My husband too deprived me of sleep and manipulated and nagged to demand sex. In time he violently raped me when I declined. I hope it doesn’t get to that for you. But yes, Elizabeth, he knows exactly what he is doing and it is all about power and control. It is complex and he needs lots of help if he will ever get better. In the mean time you have the opportunity to explore your needs. Please stick with the site and the teaching, you will be blessed.

          • Elizabeth on January 31, 2016 at 1:37 am

            Thank you so much! My mom sent me this post (she is an evangelical Christian); she has been abused for almost 40 years, but in a very different way from my marriage. She has been doing really hard stuff the last couple of years, learning to stand up for herself and know that God cherishes her above and beyond her obedience to her husband. We are traveling the road together, she really wants me to not have the life experience that she did.
            Thank you for the welcome.



        • Marie on January 31, 2016 at 2:02 am

          Elizabeth I’m starting to wonder if my husband is pulling the sleep bit. At times I really do think he’s asleep and I can actually call him out of it– I can say his name a few times and he rolls right over and continues sleeping. I get the slamming doors and yelling at me for not having sex– I’m right there with you. He’ll say it’s sleep deprivation, built up testosterone (which I have learned through studies is false), and anger that I’m destroying our marriage, and on and on.

          And thank goodness for your mom. What a provision to have someone walk in the trenches with you who loves you deeply. I’m with you on this one too…my mother isn’t right there with me but she’s got my back– her and my father are major blessings to me! The Lord doesn’t always take the struggle away but I am amazed at how he provides.

          • Elizabeth on February 1, 2016 at 12:26 pm

            Marie, is your husband perhaps just testing the waters to see if you are definitely awake? Because i’m pretty sure it wouldn’t bother my husband if I just slept through the whole thing, as long as he got to do his bit. Have you come up with any strategy for dealing with his sleep deprivation accusations?



          • Marie on February 1, 2016 at 6:06 pm

            He is testing the waters to see if I’m awake most of the time. And if he can wake me up (which makes me angry cause I wake up 2-3 sometimes 4x a night to nurse my son, so any sleep is like gold gold to me). Augh I couldn’t imagine him having sex with me while sleeping and not caring– that’s rape and very awful! I’m so sorry!!! My heart hurts for you. Seriously.

            Sometimes my husband says he was asleep and has no recollection of feeling me up though. So not sure about that one. And I have not figured out his sleep deprivation accusation– however I think it’s just another blame tactic for me to serve him because he’ll come up with more accusations. I have to imagine it’s stress and depression related which for men sex can eleviate it for time but not heal those issues. I long for healing for him not just a bandaid on deeper soul issues.

            Hope that makes sense.



        • Sandra on February 2, 2016 at 8:35 am

          My husband too puts his ability to sleep well and be less stressed and to act happy and healthily on me and how much I am giving him sex. In the Christian community this seems to be a common thing that women talk about and laugh about: “Haha…if we just have sex with him more then he will be happier and more helpful the next day – a win-win! Hahaha.” Well I reject and resent this idea. I should not have to bear the responsibility for him acting like a decent person. Especially if I am feeling unloved and unsupported and emotionally manipulated and destroyed by him. Am I just being stingy and resentful? Or is this a dynamic with truth to it?

          • Carolee on February 2, 2016 at 10:07 am

            You should not have bear the responsibility of him acting like a decent person!! Yet too often I have to remind myself of just that. While it seems that having sex for many of you making comments helps your h to treat you better after it is never the case for me. It’s not a win win. I am just so sick of it. Sandra you are not being stingy. I would add my request to a question on peace-faking comment too. Please Leslie. It’s sounds like a number of us could use that. Thank you so much for this help and support.



          • Roxanne on February 2, 2016 at 10:17 pm

            lundybancroft.blogspot.com

            March 2015 entry addresses men who wake up women at night. Please read it.



          • LA on February 2, 2016 at 11:31 pm

            Hello Sandra,
            Your words ring true! Relationships are meant to be reciprocal… Both giving and receiving… When it’s lop sided or one way only relationship, it’s very difficult to navigate, it’s like trying to get water from a dry well, it’s not going to happen, or it’s going to be really muddy! Both parties have needs that need to be met, I don’t know a woman in the world who wouldn’t open herself to a man she felt loved and cherished by…
            Just breathing and trusting



          • Elizabeth on February 3, 2016 at 6:57 pm

            Marie, may I pray for your baby boy? Will you pray for mine? (7 months)
            We’re fighting for them.



          • Marie on February 3, 2016 at 10:41 pm

            Elizabeth! Yes and yes! I have a daughter too. I am reminded that I want her to have a voice and stand up for herself…that how my husband treats me is how she is going to think men treat women. And for my son to be strong and know how to control his emotions and treat women with the love that is an outpouring of his love for Christ. I pray for them both and in the midst of my decisions I fight for them too. Cut the generational sin and stop the violence. I’m thankful for those I can talk to bc I believe the more it is brought into the light the more it is exposed– the more I learn about family history the more I am not surprised. Talk about it, pray for one another– thank you for having this be one of those spaces.



    • Ruth on January 20, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Connie, wow that was wisdom!!
      If I understand your post correctly, you’re no longer married?
      Did he or you file for divorce then after those 3 years?

      • Connie on January 20, 2016 at 2:44 pm

        After the three years, I checked myself into the psych ward because I was so afraid of his crazy-making, so confused. I had a Christian doctor who, after a few days, told me I shouldn’t be in there, so what was up? A few days after that he said he would only release me after I’d made arrangements to separate, otherwise I’d be right back. My friend helped me do that. She talked to the church elders who told him to play along until I got out, and then I’d cave and take him back. At first I bawled for hours because I thought I was a total failure and God would hate me, but then it was so wonderful to live with the children without him, that it never occurred to me to take him back. When I saw him he seemed like a stranger. I did hope for counseling and reconciliation, but his friends told him to dump me quick, so that was that.

        I was single about 8 years and then married a similar man, not knowing how common this dynamic is and how to detect it. This time I’m setting boundaries and it’s some better, but…..I just don’t know right now.

    • Aleea on January 20, 2016 at 3:08 pm

      Connie,

      That is beautiful and so gentle and gracious (re: “win back my affection”). I don’t know about the first part of your statement but you could, sadly, easily be correct given when the Scriptures were written and to whom (women as property; adultery is a property crime, not a sex crime, etc.). . . . . BUT I love the Christ-church approach: “I feel God wants me to tell you that you can have all the sex you want. According to the Bible, there are two kinds of relationships; a master-slave relationship and a Christ-church one. Now you need to choose which one you want. If you want a master-slave relationship, just tell me when you want sex and I will let you do whatever. If you want a Christ-church relationship, you will need to win back my affection, because you have lost it.” . . . . . healthy people are really marvelous responders when they get an environment of sincere, ongoing affection, caring, protection, nurture, thoughtfulness. Do you want a relationship that is full of what the New Testament calls zōē ζωὴ (bursting with life, a total zoo!) or do you want sex where I am objectified which in turn objectifies you. Listen, you can’t objectify someone without objectifying yourself in the process (re: All the pain of being treated like a mere object; depersonalized; etc.) —Connie, your feelings always matter. The Bible says lots of different things in different places. Otherwise, the walls grow over time and husbands reach a point where they feel no more guilt over degrading or threatening us than you or I would feel after kicking a stone off the driveway. I realize I am just using logic here and not Bible passages but, honesty: How could that be what God wants? re:master-slave relationship.

    • Ava on January 20, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      Oh wow…… That is such a wake up call!!!!! Thanks for that take on the two relationships!

    • Jean on January 26, 2016 at 8:04 am

      Connie,

      That is an amazing “walking out of scripture”. Few women could do that as you did. Thank God for rescuing you.

      In both of Peter’s writings, he was writing to an oppressed people who had no alternative – Christians in Rome. Moreover, those he was writing to were going to die within a year or two. Peter was prophetically giving them the best advice for the “season” at hand – which was to end soon. They were rescued by God by the burning down of Rome. I tend to view 1 PET 3 words to us, as, “try this for a season”. (I hope I am not wrong on that thinking.)

      Alternatively, Paul, guided by the HS, sometimes stood his ground where his “rights” as a Roman citizen would be upheld. Think: Roman Centurion story. As women in a country where we have the right as citizens to protect ourselves from abuse, I took the Paul approach.

      I am inspired that the Peter approach in your case, released you both physically and emotionally from that tyrant in due time. Thank you for sharing your story, your approach. It helps to see God’s hand at work in the lives of the faithful.

    • Robyn on February 6, 2016 at 9:30 am

      What you wrote about ….too proud to win me back….is right where I am. We are a breaking point. I’m prayerful and seeking God at almost every turn of events. We’ve be physically separated in the house for over 2 years. He doesn’t ask for sex and I don’t offer it. We are at a cross-road and I believe in my hear that he is too proud to do what’s necessary to win me back.

  7. No name on January 20, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    My unbeliever h says you don’t have to have love to enjoy sex. He never tells me he loves me during or after. It’s totally physical. He plays the “nice” personality and I know what he wants. After he goes right back to the real him. This used to really confuse me. Now I am onto his game! I go along with it because he’s more bearable. I am afraid though that it mentally binds me to him. I have Stockholm syndrome my therapist says. I pray for deliverance but being financially dependent on him is a deterrent to leaving.
    Isn’t sex a drive and not a need? What do single people do? The need is to be loved right? Since when does not having sex kill you?

    • Roxanne on January 20, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      No one needs sex to be loved. We have affection needs which can be fulfilled in a variety of ways that may or may not be physical. Sex is not designed to be outside of love. Read Song of Solomon. It is a distortion of truth to separate the two.

    • Carolee on January 20, 2016 at 11:47 pm

      Islandgirl, I am so sorry you feel your spirit is shriveled up. I pray Jesus love will be poured on you and you can be refreshed! Real true love is a need. We who are abused can take comfort in knowing that Jesus cares more than anyone how we suffer. He is what keeps me going as I wait on Him.

    • Diane on February 3, 2016 at 9:01 am

      I have been married to this man 31 years. Divorced him remarried him. He is emotionally abusive. But the biggest hurt is having sex with him. I have excruciating pain but he doesn’t care. He kisses me on the head a after and says I’m sorry you have so much pain. But doesn’t speak to me for days. I am in my early seventies. Want to leave but finances scare me.

  8. Ruth on January 20, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Oops. I accidentally put my response for Connie under Michelle’s post instead.

    But to Michelle: I guess there’s no way to know if your husband was trying to have intercourse with you while you were sleeping unless he admitted it. It almost sounds like a demonic attack on you. I would find it nearly impossible to believe he could unconsciously have ‘sleepwalk’ sex with you.
    But no matter what happened to you that terrible night, I am sorry and hope you find healing and peace

    • Melissa on January 20, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      I think it’s important to recognize that forced or coerced sex is rape. If a person is manipulated or controlled into a sexual act that they do not want (or are not able to consent to), they are being sexually abused. It’s sick that so many women especially are made to feel like they have no control over their own bodies, that their sexually is their only value to their husbands.

      After a decade in that kind of marriage to a preacher, I came to believe that my body was currency to use in exchange for a peaceful evening, something I needed, or a feeling that resembled affection. I was his whore. It took a long time to purge my soul from the hell he put me through.

  9. Ruth on January 20, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Here’s another twisted aspect of our sex life. My H considers himself to be a ‘GREAT husband no matter what I say’. His justification for this is partially bc he thinks he keeps me ‘satisfied’. He fools himself into thinking that if I help her O, then I made her happy.
    Are you kidding me? I want to say “Your service for me, isn’t really for me. It’s just to stroke your ego!” Disgusting

  10. Loves6 on January 20, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    I was the same in my marriage for 28 years. Having become Christians I thought it was my duty.
    I was told by my councellor that non consensual sex .. it’s a silent no .. I do not want to do this … is marital rape.
    This shocked me to my core , the physical sickness I felt before and after and the trigger of my PTSD made me realize my councellor was right.
    It’s not lovemaking …objectifying, selfish sex for the man’s gratification and is not ok. It is abuse and it is wrong.
    I’ve moved into a seperate bedroom now … he is being so nice to me .. trying t manipulate me back into the bedroom. I’m making plans to get out
    It has taken me 3 yrs to start coming to terms with much in my marriage. It’s a slow journey of stepping oUT.

  11. Tressena on January 21, 2016 at 12:48 am

    I was in an emotionally destructive marriage. My husband would demand that I fulfill my role as wife while he completely failed at his role, but expected me to hold to Christ like love and forgiveness.

    I remember the Lord spoke to me that was husband was coming to me in lust. I shared this with him. That very same night in marriage class the Pastor stopped and said, The Lord wants me to tell you guys that you are going to your wives securely in lust and not love.

    My life totally changed from that night because it really began to solidify for me that God was hearing my prayers, answering my prayers and speaking to my husband about how he was mistreating me.

    I remember he woke me up one morning just fearfully crying and visibly shaken. He told me God came to him in his dream and told him that he must begin to treat me and the kids better. I could tell he really believed what was spoken to him. Unfortunately, he didn’t hold to his righteous course.

    I held on to my peace, trusted God to vindicate the wrong done against me in the marriage and continued praying.

    I wanna encourage those suffering in emotionally abusive and sexually abusive marriages to cry out to God, hold your husband to a righteous standard, don’t get pulled into his confusion and trust God to be your deliverer when your labor in honoring and saving the marriage has become burdensome.

    Finding Dr. Vernick’s videos helped me in the final stage of my deliverance from this abusive marriage. I was strong, without any fear when I began to hold my husband to a righteous standard and tell him no to sex because he had and was committing adultery. He wasn’t ready to allow the Lord to lead his life and he eventually abandoned me and the children.

    It was difficult for about 18 months because my hope was that my marriage would be restored. I found peace and I often find myself thanking God for my deliverance from my husband’s pharoah leadership.

    Peace be still and you guys Be encouraged.

    • Lonelywife07 on January 26, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      Thank you for sharing that Tressena….I feel I’m in that place now. I have prayed and God has clearly answered in several instances…and yet, my husband won’t back down from his stubborn pride!
      I told him last year, after another discussion about the state of our marriage, “What is it going to take to wake you up…you flat on your back, in a hospital room, staring up at the ceiling?”
      Guess where he was two weeks later? In a hospital, while out of town on business, which a kidney stone! He’s never had a kidney stone in his life…and yet, there he was, several hundred miles from home, in the hospital.
      After he returned home, I reminded him of what I’d said, and his response was, “I wasn’t flat on my back, I was in too much pain!!”
      He couldn’t even admit that maybe God was trying to reach him….that’s when my thoughts turned even more towards separation.
      My husband, IF he is a Christian…is living in deep, deep sin…and he’s blinded by it.

    • Robyn on February 6, 2016 at 9:35 am

      Thank you for this encouragement – I’m so grateful!!

    • Louise on April 28, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      Tressena,
      Thank you so much for your comment. My husband says he “believes in Christ” but he prefers his own view or spirituality. Our marriage has been spiraling out of control for years. After having our Daughter at the age of 44, I went immediately into menopause. I had no interest in sex, no desire. I was tired and worn out and hormonal. I worked part time and took care of our daughter and my hobby farm, and all of the animals. He worked hard to provide for us but had hours of “down time” in front of the TV watching “R” rated movies. He would stand at the end end of the bed for hours telling me how important it was for me to fill his needs. He threatened to find a girlfriend for sex, but I don’t believe he ever did that. Sex was infrequent but I was always guilted into it. There was no level of intimacy outside of the sex. Afterwards he would tell me how much it meant to him to find “intimacy” with me again. It was sex, not intimacy. He really confuses sex and love and intimacy. He says the sex makes him feel loved and his needs are important.
      This has gone on for years. It is very infrequent because ther is nothing close to intimacy in any other aspect of our marriage.
      I have been praying for so long for God to change my heart and change me and help me to be the wife I am called to be. I am now praying for God to release me. There is no communication in our marriage. We don’t talk, we do nothing together. If I show him love and kindness as I am called to do, he expects sex. He insists if I loved him more and showed him more by having sex, he would be able to be more involved in the marriage.
      I attended a marriage/relationship class once a week for 8 weeks. He did not attend but I would share with him what I learned. We have been trying biblical counseling but he doesn’t agree with any of it. All I need to do is “love him more”.
      The Church says I am not allowed to leave since I am a believer and he is not. They quote Corinthians to me constantly.
      I trust God to stay with me and our Daughter and guide me and protect me. But this is not a marriage.

      • Connie on April 28, 2016 at 10:21 pm

        The counselor we went to would say that your husband was trying to be the wife. “We love Him because He first loved us.” The bridegroom is the initiator and the bride responds. Jesus and His church.

  12. Lonelywife07 on January 21, 2016 at 1:56 am

    Thank you for this Leslie.
    I stopped being intimate with my husband 1 1/2 yrs ago…and it was the best thing for me.
    I’d felt “used” for years, but ignored it, thinking it was “my duty”….but then my husband had an emotional affair, and blamed me for it….and I was in such emotional pain, and he didn’t care. At all.
    Now that I’ve had this time to think things through, I can see that we’ve never “made love” it was just sex. For him.
    At this point, 1 1/2 yrs later, I don’t know what the future holds.
    I’ve explained to my husband that I can’t have “sex”, that I need to be able to trust him again, to feel loved by him, not used…and that we need to fix what’s broken on our marriage…he says he understands. That’s it.
    I could resume sex with him….it would make my life easier, but I just can’t. That would not be living in truth, I’d be a “Peacefaker” and I can’t go back to that, not since I’ve broken free.
    My husband does not respect me, I see that now.
    I need to set down some boundaries, he still runs his hands all over my body in bed, even when I’ve asked him to not do that, and I know that this will probably escalate things between us even more, so if you ladies would please pray for me, I’d appreciate it.

    • Roxanne on January 21, 2016 at 2:48 am

      You go girl!! Thanks for sharing.

    • Sunflower on January 21, 2016 at 2:53 am

      Lonely, I can relate to the running the hands up and down the body. My husband has assaulted me repeatedly in my sleep. I get no rest or safety. He is rough and I tell him he hurts me. The next day it happens over and over again. Why wouldn’t someone remember such a thing? I am thinking it is because as he once said, ” He didn’t realize I was there.” It was all about him.

      • Lonelywife07 on January 25, 2016 at 10:16 pm

        Sunflower…I’ve found that my couch is VERY comfy…I get a great nights sleep, you might want to try it 🙂

      • Marie on January 31, 2016 at 12:15 am

        Can a man/person rub their body against you or put their hands up your shirt or down your pants in their sleep? Often I wake up from sleep and I have to sternly take my husbands hand away and ask him “are you asleep!? What are you doing? Are you awake?!” He will finally move and in the morning will tell me “honestly I was asleep I had no clue I was there.” Or he’ll say “I had no clue I did that– honestly I was asleep…” I sometimes believe he is asleep however I know it the past he would arouse me and it would work —granted I was in a deep sleep only to wake up being fondled with. Currently when it happens it is irritating bc I don’t get sleep as it due to my children so waking up on one of my 2-3 hr stretches is very unkind to me. And I remember one specific time where it more forceful than usual but he didn’t remember doing it at all– I was angry and scared but feel like I had no one to be angry at bc it was in his sleep.

        Could this be like sleep walking? Could someone have such a strong sex drive that they, in their sleep, are capable of this?

        • Roxanne on February 2, 2016 at 9:40 pm

          It is not sleep walking. He is participating in sexual abuse with you. No one can give consent in their state. I would like to compare this with a law in the state I live in. No woman can give consent for sex when they are drunk. In other words there is no reason to not listen to a woman’s (or man’s) “No.” A person who is asleep can not give consent they are being assaulted and raped. Marriage doesn’t make it ok to sexually assault or rape someone. It is an activity for consenting adults, not those vulnerable and exploited. How could you ever trust a person who does something like that to you in your sleep? Abuser do this because they don’t have to deal with you talking to them. If it worked for them once they will do it more and more. The power and control of such a sneaky act fuels their need for domination and entitlement. Don’t be fooled.

        • sunflower on February 2, 2016 at 9:52 pm

          Marie, My husband has done exactly what you describe. He says it was all a lie. He knew exactly what he was doing. He would say he didn’t know what he was doing because I believed him and he could keep getting away with it. Your husband absolutely knows exactly what he is doing! What a selfish, selfish, selfish man.

          • Marie on February 2, 2016 at 11:02 pm

            What made him finally admit it was a lie? Not that I’m expecting my husband to admit this but I’m just curious.



          • Roxanne on February 3, 2016 at 1:10 pm

            Marie, What made he tell me it was a lie was a result of repentance and counseling. He wanted to change. Consequences started the process. A restraining order and a prayer wrestling match he had with God and Satan one night. He reached out to our pastor who performed an exorcism.



          • sunflower on February 3, 2016 at 1:14 pm

            Wow, Roxanne. The same thing happened to you? Good to hear there is hope for men to come clean about lying.



          • Marie on February 3, 2016 at 10:32 pm

            Wow Roxanne that’s a powerful hard story I’m sure. Thank goodness for dependence and a changed heart. I pray your story is one of continued healing.



          • Marie on February 3, 2016 at 10:33 pm

            I should’ve proofread…sorry. By dependence I meant repentance.



    • Roxanne on January 21, 2016 at 2:56 am

      I meant this comment for Jean. But if ir applies to any of us survivors. Cheer and be proud of who you are.

      • Jean on January 21, 2016 at 7:38 am

        Dear Roxanne,

        Thank you. I still feel very badly. I ENJOYED sex with him as he was very gentle with me. But that was the only time I felt any compassion from him. Otherwise he was an angry and depressed man. I was always trying to make his happy. Consequently I became very bonded to him and addicted to focusing on him. Thus when he left – and he KNEW this – it was total devastation. Many folks tell me that I allowed him to become my god./ my idol. I struggle with this. I believe I became bonded to him as I was supposed to do … ONE FLESH. I died to self for him, but he did not do that for me. He only died to self when his flesh would be served.

        Scripture supports how a woman is affected by her husband. God designed it that way and he commands a usband to CARE FOR her. 1) He will rule over you, 2)Husband is the head of the wife, Christ is the head of the husband 3) Husbands lay down your life – she HAS spots wrinkles and blemishes – love her as your own body, 4) LIVE with her in an understanding way 5) she is the weaker vessel 6) do not be harsh…. etc etc etc.

        I did what I was created to do. Now I am broken. Free, but broken. I praise God that ladies here have found someone to help them thru their brokeness. I thought too that we were on our way, until out of nowhere, he left.

        I need healing very badly. Its all i can do to focus on Jesus and my kids. Sexual trauma bonding is so so hurtful and it goes so very deep.

        • Roxanne on January 21, 2016 at 12:53 pm

          Jean, your healing will come and it will be beautiful! Be careful you do all the work you need to do so you don’t fall into the arms of another man to quickly ease your desires. I would devote 2016 to the year of me. Nurture, learn, grow, read, attend Leslie’s conference in October and in time you will be set free and be healed. Then and only then can you think about your marriage issues. You will think most clearly at that time and have great clarity and peace.

        • MHMC on February 3, 2016 at 4:38 pm

          Exact same for me. I had prayed several times that God would tear downmy uidols and draw me closer to Him. Then one day U realized NY husband was my Idol. It didn’t take long after that for my marriage to completely fall apart, and nt husband has filed for divorce. But God is drawing me to Him, and my husband has pulled away. I realize marriage isn’t supposed to be the end all be all. It is supposed to be a partnership in obedience and worship to God. If its not for God,then it is for self, and that is idolatry. I pray my husband seeks God and obeys Him, but for now, divorce is immenent.

      • Elizabeth on February 3, 2016 at 7:01 pm

        Wow, Roxanne! my husband wants me to get an exorcism! I agreed to it very reluctantly, because it just seems like one more shame tactic for the bad wife who won’t have sex with him. Was it scary?

        • Roxanne on February 3, 2016 at 10:57 pm

          Elizabeth, don’t do it. There is nothing wrong with you. Fooling with Satan is not to be dabbled with. Your husband is trying to abuse you. Maybe you can do a bait and switch. Take him and then leave the room.

          I did not attend the exorcism but my husband said it was literally as scary as hell must be.He describe the gripping presence of demonic spirits on him and the spiritual battle to release them. He distinctly hear God speak when it was over and he has been transformed since. Two sentences were spoke to him, one was to live humbly.

  13. Hopeful on January 21, 2016 at 5:51 am

    This is a very big and confusing area for me. The state of my marriage is so fragile. Having sex with my husband makes life bearable. I want peace and a connection with him. He treats me better before and after, then the pattern of pulling away, indifference, and using me begins. We are in a very bad cycle in our marriage.

    I love my husband and pray for our marriage to be restored, yet I cant live this way much longer.

    • Lonelywife07 on January 25, 2016 at 10:26 pm

      Hopeful…I understand. I had sex for 3 1/2 yrs after my husbands affair, trying to “fix” my marriage, even though I felt used, and then tossed aside, but I did it so my husband would be “happy” and it would keep “peace” in the house…I wasn’t at peace, but he didn’t care about me and how I felt!
      After I read Leslie’s book, and I read the part about being a Peace Faker, I then knew why I felt like I was slowly dying inside.
      I was a Peace Faker. And it had to stop.
      I’m praying for you in this difficult situation.

      • Hopeful on January 26, 2016 at 5:47 am

        lonelywife. Thank you.

        This past weekend during and a day after an sexual encounter, I asked my husband if he has a physical need or an emotional need to be close to me. He has yet to respond in words. Two nights ago I said ” your silence and not answering my question, answered my question.” he reached for me and we both fell asleep.

        I am making baby steps by speaking my truth to him. I have to prepare how I say things so that I do not react out of anger and fear. Whether he responds to me or not…I got my through out. He can sit with it. It’s better than me stuffing my feelings out of fear of confrontation.

        I have no idea what the future holds in my marriage. Do I feel used..you betcha. Do I keep the peace? Always. I enable and overfunction. I am just seeing all of this now. Thank you for your prayers. Same to you ❤️

        • Roxanne on January 26, 2016 at 6:22 am

          Maybe the next blog needs to be about peace faking. It is a strategy we all seem to use to survive.

          • Hopeful on January 26, 2016 at 7:18 am

            I agree Roxanne..



          • Broken on February 1, 2016 at 5:56 pm

            Wow. Yes peace faking. I’m tired of faking.



        • Jean on January 26, 2016 at 8:40 am

          Hopeful,

          I wonder if, in his mind, his equates physical to emotional connection. SO many of these emotionally traumatized men don’t even realize it. Nor will they consider it if we bring it up. They often won’t seek truth and thus relief from their need to “pause their pain with the pleasure button” until they have no choice. So long as they have the option to rule over their wives, this often happens – especially with the narcissists/sociopaths. If he is just selfish and immature and not necessarily n/s, and just needs to grow up a little, then talking to him about it calmly should be of some help. But if he is unphased by your pain, then you are dealing with someone who is bonded with himself.

          I am praying that by you making baby steps to speak truth that the Holy Spirit will work in his heart as well.

          • Lonelywife07 on January 26, 2016 at 7:35 pm

            Jean…and Hopeful also…this is MY husband! You nailed it Jean!
            My husband often told me he wanted sex because he felt “closer” to me…I believe it was a lie to just get what HE wanted!
            I did tell him, over and over again, that sex meant nothing to me, that I felt used, and nothing EVER changed, he would just tell me “I’m sorry you feel that way.”
            My husband is passive aggressive, “a 10 yr old in a mans body” is what they’re often called…and it is true!
            So I have stopped trying to work with him to save our marriage….I’ve stopped beating my head against the proverbial wall. There’s nothing more I can do.



          • hopeful on February 3, 2016 at 4:24 pm

            My husband could care less that I am in pain. I think he enjoys that I continue to ask him for healing and restoration of our marriage. In fact this morning he said some very hurtful things to me. I have been walking around in s state of shock all day..today I had more clarity as to just how much he punishes me and rejects me. He is sick. Pompus, immature, fake, stubborn, hateful, blames me and will never back down from that.



        • Lonelywife07 on January 26, 2016 at 8:00 pm

          Hopeful…I was there a couple of years ago…an enabler, always trying to keep the peace…coincidentally, I was called “The Peacemaker” by my siblings when I was growing up. I guess it stuck with me :/ Always trying to “fix” people…
          It’s small steps, hon….small steps to freedom, you’ll get there. 🙂

          • Roxanne on February 3, 2016 at 11:04 pm

            Hopeful, why do you keep asking him for healing and restoration of your marriage. His answer is No. He got meaner and meaner to shut you up and keep you off his trail. He doesn’t want what you want. Can you accept that?



    • MHMC on February 3, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      Hopeful, that is exactly how my marriage was. It is humiliating and depressing.

  14. Nancy on January 21, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    I appreciate all you girls being so open to share your stories! It helps to know I am not alone! I grew up in a home where hiding your emotions was just part of everyday life. Both of my parents worked and I was left alone for a good portion of my growing up. I did have church and it was a real source of connection for me. I heard wonderful teaching about what marriage was supposed to be like and longed for it to be so for me. Now it is understatement to say that I have had lots of blind spots in my own ways of knowing how to relate to people and most certainly to my own husband.He has is own set of baggage from his own growing up. In fact it is quite similar to me in one sense. No one prepared me for what sex would be like.and it is not that I can not find it enjoyable. It is such a complicated relationship. We have been in counseling for about 3 years. We started going because of an on going porn problem. It was not hardcore just looking for nakedness or swimsuits etc. But I feel he has never been honest with me about all of this. If I find out it is usually because I ask or sense something is wrong. It usually takes a lot of digging and then I am never sure if he is being straight up with me about it all. Needless to say this hits me at lots of levels. Whenever I try to talk about all of this with him he just gets defensive and make me feel crazy! He says he is not doing it now but it has affected our relationship! What happens over time and when he gets tired of it all. He will come back to the scriptural defense and beat it over my head. I know I have my own wrong actions in the relationship and he is much better at arguing his stance than I am! When that happens I feel obliterated. I would love to have a loving sexual relationship but I also have to be honest about my own sexual desires. I feel very unmatched . I grew up with almost no affection and he says that is his greatest need from me.I think trust is our biggest problem not just in sexual things but in all areas of our lives. If FEEL so stuck to know how to move ahead because I think each of us is looking for something from the other and when we try to talk it turns into the blame game!

    • Roxanne on January 21, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      Nancy, is he getting therapy for his porn issues, past or present? I was thinking about the previous blog which mentioned that he has to get help, THEN you can work on the marriage. Your H is using classic abuse patterns to throw you off his trail. There is no hop for your marriage until he fixes himself. I know it is hard because you want to live well in marriage. Just a reminder here, there is nothing wrong with your thoughts or desires! He has the problem, NOT you. Don’t be conned or accept blame no matter how it is creatively packaged.

      I have worked for many years as a health care provider. When an alcoholic admits to a few drinks a day, we document what they say and triple it. We know this guy downs a case a day and his liver function studies confirm it. So I say to you the soft porn is a cover. He is doing much more in private.

      • Julie on February 11, 2016 at 4:47 pm

        Absolutely true. My husband left 15 yr ago, came back after 2 yrs, then left again – both times cause I wanted him to recognize HIS own issue – not just porn issue ; rather it’s sex addiction stemming from an Intimacy disorder. 30 yrs married he abandoned me Feb. 16 a yr ago. Was raging and blame shifting- still is. This sickness goes so deep and we’re retraumatized each cycle. Need a separation agreement and now he may lose job by June in oil as gas. I don’t have a job at present…feel I’ve fought hard in psych. Warfare and spiritual warfare…yet God wants my total reliance on Him (God)…scary, but I am learning each day for my future. God is stronger and we do not bow, but fight the enemies tactics. To the women on these posts, we are women who are God’s daughter warriors fighting a Spiritual battle. God gives me a strategy or a post,etc. that builds encouragement and strength every day. A pleasure to meet you all on this page. . . I believe this has been meant to be in order to benefit us all. We matter, and are loved by God. He’s creative in bringing His light to a dark subject that’s meant to be exposed. We are all part of that plan and His purpose for us is rising up as a voice of strength as we are validated by our similar stories, and we choose our true identity in Christ! Let’s never let go of God’s hand. He will instruct us daily as we step into His plans…for me that is pulling back to be still, rest and be cared by His loving kindness and the fruits of the Spirit are coming without me striving so . ..Thanks Leslie for your book on destructive marriage (a God send) and this blog. Vitally needed.

    • Jean on January 23, 2016 at 11:06 pm

      Yes Nancy,

      Swimsuit, or fully clothed, if he is USING them as visuals for sexual release, then he is BONDING with them and not with you. He is not being vulnerable with you and thus he can abuse you as he is doing. People make the mistake and thus allow men to minimize their habits by calling things hard or soft porn. Lust is lust, period. The Bible calls it as such because the husband’s focus is not on God and his one-flesh union. Matt 5:27, remember? Adultery, period.

      Forgive me if I am coming across too strongly. I am so passionate about this because I have lived it and my marriage has died by it. Read the book called “An Affair of the Mind” to get a good grasp of why he needs help beyond what you might imagine.

      Another good source is to Google “Ted Bundy’s last interview with James Dobson”. He started with soft porn too. My ex started with JC Pannwey catalogs of the 70’s! Its not really the pictures so much as it is the bankruptcy of love in their hearts. Only will a true love for Jesus, replace and erase the need to feed the flesh. Be blessed.

      • Roxanne on January 25, 2016 at 1:04 am

        Carolyn, lovely daughter of God, I weep with you. You have been manipulated and lied to as a victim of sexual abuse. Have you found resources to support you in this specific form of abuse? A counselor once told me that I didn’t have to have sex with anyone at anytime that I didn’t want to. I thought she was living in a fantasy world. I know now she was living the real world, I was living a nightmare. Any chance you can get out of your nightmare soon?

        • Roxanne on January 25, 2016 at 1:06 am

          The above post is in the wrong link, oh, well. I agree that the Tec Bundy interview is worth watching.

  15. Jean on January 21, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Thankyou, no worries about me falling into the arms of another man. I cringe whenever I hear wives complain. I think, I am SO GLAD that is NOT me anymore.

    I do not believe I will ever be able to trust nor be vulnerable with a man ever again. I know that is a long time, but i do think that is what I am facing. My kids are all on the precipice of adulthood and marriage themselves and so hopefully there will be grandkids to focus on.

    Not sure I can afoord Leslie’s workshop, although it sounds AWESOME and very worthwhile.

    THank you for caring and responding. Be blessed.

    • Roxanne on January 25, 2016 at 1:10 am

      Jean, you are right, one doesn’t need a man to be happy, especially a selfish entitled one. At this point, everybody has baggage. Leaning on the Lord is a sure fire way to joy and fulfillment.

  16. Amy on January 21, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    This is an area where I am not sure I would make the same decision again. I basically had numerous discussions with my husband regarding how his behavior caused me to lack interest. I didn’t stop having sex but was only having sex 2 or 3 times a month. It seems unbelievable to me that he couldn’t even make a change or be motivated to get something he said he wanted a lot more of – sex. I don’t think he ever even tried. But in some ways I regret trying to even have that boundry / consequence because just like all the other consequences it didn’t make any difference. It basically provided more reasons for him to blame me and hold me responsible for the state of the marriage – because I wasn’t meeting his needs. I do get it that it doesn’t really matter – he would find something else to blame me for to provide himself the justification for his bad choices and to sooth him that the fault is “both” of ours. This just seemed to provide him with the most fuel. Really in my case not sure it was worth it. He was / is always very kind / gentle about sex and the one area where he actually is not selfish. However, bottom line he cares more about sex than me and he couldn’t even make changes to get something he wanted and that says a lot.

    • Lonelywife07 on January 21, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      Amy….Same here! Before I stopped all intimacy I BEGGED my husband to work with me…help me understand why he had the affair, I offered to go to counseling with him to support him and told him that I believed in him and that we could rebuild our marriage from the ground up. We could make “beauty from ashes”…I was so naive.
      I bought the sexy lingerie that he wanted me to wear, I never withheld sex…this was all after I found out about the affair…I even made excuses for the way he acted, because he had a father who is an alcoholic and a cheater himself!
      I did all of that…and he didn’t change. Not one bit. He LOVED how I was treating him…like he was king of the castle…but he never loved ME enough to want to work on himself or his issues…the fact is, He didn’t WANT to change because he didn’t see where he was doing anything wrong.

      • Amy on January 21, 2016 at 10:44 pm

        I literally have no words for people who act like this – it is not normal. The relationships are so one direction – you were doing all this to meet his needs and still that did not provide any motivation for him to change or meet yours – which I 100% know would have been my outcome as well. My marriage is basically dead which isn’t surprising – you can’t be mean, selfish and not try to meet the needs of others and expect a good outcome. It is so sad, he knows we are in the final days – he doesn’t want it to end – but in typical fashion hasn’t put one minutes effort into that not being the case. It is actually a blessing at this point – it would be more conflicting if he actually was trying.

        • Lonelywife07 on January 23, 2016 at 2:32 am

          I hear you, Amy! My husband and I live in the same house, but we live separate lives. Our marriage is dead also.
          He would never tell you that…he seems content as long as he has the job that he loves and a “family” to come home to.
          If I try to talk about our relationship, try to get him to open up to me, he sits there and says he understands…then walks away, and usually ignores me for several hours.
          So now I live my life, I have church ministries I’m involved in, and my children that make me happy.
          I don’t know how long this “marriage” will last, I do feel that God is possibly moving things in the direction where we’ll be separating, for right now, I’m trying to stay content and wait on clear direction from God. 🙂

  17. Carolyn on January 23, 2016 at 1:52 am

    My husband and I both had sex before we were married. I had one sexual partner before him and he had several. I enjoyed sex and never felt dirty or or used. When we got married I discovered he was secretly masterbating and when I asked him if he was thinking of me he said sometimes. Other times he was thinking of women I knew and was friends with. I was disgusted by this because they were older women and very sweet married women. He said it was because they had large boobs which made me feel even worse because I’m not that well endowed. When we went to our pastors for counsel they said it was my fault, that if I had sex with him more often he wouldn’t need to do this. Early in our marriage if I kissed, caressed or loving touched my husband he said that I had to finish whatever I had started by having sex with him. I pulled back from loving physical touch out of the pressure of having to go all the way every time. He would literally say “once you get the rocket started you have to let it launch”. One year into our marriage I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and had extreme bleeding from my rectum. It was embarrassing and I struggled with having sex often. My husband uses scripture to condemn me when I say no to having sex. He says that the bible instructs us to only withhold sex from each other if we both agree. Even his father stood in front of us and told me that if I did not feel like having intercourse with him there were other ways I could please him like oral sex or a hand job. The sex we have had throughout our marriage has been unsatisfying because it took me longer to climax than him. I’ve been told by a counselor that to change my perception of sex with my husband I should use it to get what I want. He used an example of a woman who wanted a minivan so she promised her husband to have sex with him in it if he bought it for her. I was told by a pastors wife that as a church planters wife it was my responsibility to have sex or please him before he ever left town so that he would not be tempted to stray while away. If I don’t have sex with my husband he becomes very angry with me for a few days and makes me feel guilty. I found myself the other confiding in a friend that I would rather have sex as a prostitute because at least we would both be on the same page and I would have something to show for it. I am disgusted with myself and feel like a failure as a wife. I am disgusted by my husband physically and get sick and scared just thinking of having to be intimate with him. I have 3 children and want so badly to have a healthy loving marriage but don’t feel safe emotional and now suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts. I want to get better but don’t know how with my husband so close and having no space.

    • Roxanne on January 25, 2016 at 12:49 am

      Carolyn, lovely daughter of God, I weep with you. You have been manipulated and lied to as a victim of sexual abuse. Have you found resources to support you in this specific form of abuse? A counselor once told me that I didn’t have to have sex with anyone at anytime that I didn’t want to. I thought she was living in a fantasy world. I know now she was living the real world, I was living a nightmare. Any chance you can get out of your nightmare soon?

      • Carolyn on January 25, 2016 at 5:58 am

        I have been in contact with a mentor I had early in my life that is now a licensed psychologist. She has helped me become aware of my emotional and spiritual abuse. I spent 2 hours on the phone with her and by then end was able to accept my situation and the necessary healing and strength I need to find. I actually start counseling with someone local tomorrow and am terrified. I’m not sure what will happen. Once I accepted the truth about my situation the more aware I find myself becoming of the things I have accepted and allowed especially as a mother. I am discovering how angry I am with myself for not protecting my children better and for not standing up to all the lies and abuse no matter what other new or thought.

        • Roxanne on January 25, 2016 at 10:06 am

          You are a remarkable woman. I will pray for your protection and for wisdom. Once we get the realization of the depth of the problem it changes us doesn’t it? Yet, the next steps are so hard. When my abuse finally stopped, my long time friend said, “I haven’t heard you talk or laugh like that since you were a girl!” The freedom, though hard one, was transforming.

        • Lonelywife07 on January 25, 2016 at 10:35 pm

          Oh Carolyn, I found myself cringing as I read your post!
          I am praying for you! Please know that YES, like Roxanne stated, you have been lied to and manipulated by your husband and those in authority over you!
          The anger you are feeling is normal…I’ve felt the same way….Take it ALL to your Father in Heaven, He loves you and wants you free from the abuse!

    • Robin on January 25, 2016 at 1:22 am

      Carolyn, 5 years ago my story matched yours. Now that I am where I am – divorced – I hear these things and just cringe to think of all I suffered and tolerated because so many church leaders kept telling me I needed too. When the bread what you wrote about your father in law standing in front of you and saying- I literally wanted to vomit. I can’t imagine. I am so so sorry. When my situation got out of control my counselor asked me to go to Donestic Violence Center.i really didn’t want too. But I had been a victim of near violence- and I knew it was time for me to admit I needed help. My experience with D.V. Center was beautiful. So many loving supportive people there to give me advice and much needed life skills and legal aid. Please don’t hesitate to get help. You will be so blessed and encouraged how God has put people in place- to advocate and support you. Don’t do this alone. Reach out and there will be loving arms to embrace you!!!!!

      • Carolyn on January 25, 2016 at 6:02 am

        Thank you for your encouragement. I am allowing myself to accept my situation and the awareness is bringing up so many horrible memories. I feel like I failed my children. I know I need help and I know I need to do what is best for me and my children. I am terrified that no one in my circle will understand and of all the unknowns. The truth is no matter how difficult it’s been there’s a level of comfort that is there kind of like a security blanket. It’s predictable. What if I cause more pain and suffering? What if I’m wrong? I am angry at myself and angry that I feel so scared and trapped.

        • Roxanne on January 25, 2016 at 10:08 am

          You are not wrong. The blanket of security is the Holy Spirit at work providing the peace that passes al understanding. You are not alone.

    • Ruth on January 26, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      Carolyn, you are not a failure to your children. Your husband sounds like a selfish, terrible creep. I can’t believe how many people have you humiliating, wrong counsel!

  18. Aleea on January 23, 2016 at 5:58 am

    Much of the teaching and preaching in the 17th; 18th; 19th; much of the 20th century: “The remedy for marital abuse and stress is not in divorce. It is in repentance and forgiveness, in sincere expressions of charity and service. It is not even separation for a time.”

    vs.

    Choose to see your value. Choose to let go. Choose dignity. What we wait around a lifetime for with one person, we can find in a moment with someone else. Re: We ruined each other by being together. We destroyed each other’s dreams. Divorce isn’t a tragedy. A tragedy is staying in an unhappy marriage, teaching your children the wrong things about love. They just totally absorb it no matter what you say. Churches should be exposed for the perversions they have committed against families living under the pressure this kind of “marriage”.

    That said, a new marriage does not hold out the freedom to have satisfaction, but the possibility of a freedom from having to seek that out. It is critical, possibly, to realize that others are not fulfilled and excessively happy, either. Many marrieds at my church pretend to be having all the fun that others are imagining but that act, when they are honest, is very exhausting, also unfulfilling and destructive to the self too. Just like the Good News of Christianity is instead of God being that which fills the gap at the core of our being, Our God testified to in the Scriptures exposes the gap for what it is (—more stinking idols being created), —obliterates (eliminates, liquidates) them, and invites us to participate in an utterly different form of life, one that brings us beyond slavery to ALL idols, especially the idols of satisfaction (—I am really happy) and certainty (—I know for sure that I know). Our culture of idols has turned God into a product to be marketed, something that will satisfy, rather than God as one who cannot be marketed, and has come not to satisfy us, but to free us from our need for satisfaction —to me, but who really knows, that is a HUGE difference. The Good News of Christianity: You can’t be fulfilled; you can’t be made whole; you can’t find satisfaction, not here, that is just another “Go After It” idol. The fantasy is of “them” having all the fun and satisfaction that is blocked off from “us.” I think often we only let go of our bitterness when we discover that the other is not having some access to a full life that we are not (—while they may be happier in small concrete ways), but they still suffer much from all the same things that everyone else does. —They live on the earth too! (—and as the apostle John says late in his life: ”. . . the whole world lies inside serious wickedness.”)

  19. Lonelywife07 on January 23, 2016 at 10:53 am

    I’m not sure what you mean Aleea, but I’m not interested in remarriage at all, and I’m certainly not looking at other marriages, because I’ve found, like you stated, that there are many unhappy marriages out there.
    At my age, almost 55, I’m learning to be content with my ministries and my family…and to not make my husband AND fixing our marriage, my idol, which is what I was doing prior to finding Leslie’s book.
    I am in an emotionally abusive marriage, my husband has had two affairs that I know of in our 30 yrs together…he has flirted with other women right in front of me, then he becomes angry and ignores me for days, when I tell him that it hurts and degrades me.
    My husband has also, on two occasions in the last 6 months, become physical with me…small things, but still.
    I have been praying and seeking God about separation, NOT divorce, and this week I called three of my friends, very Godly women who I know will pray and pray hard for me to know Gods will in this situation, so now I wait on Gods leading and direction. 🙂

    • Robin on January 23, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      Lonely wife in glad to see your growth in seeing the need to separate yourself from the abusive behaviors of your husband. He punishes you for bring up his flirting in your presence? Obviously he doesn’t care to hear your desire for him to respect and value you. God is not pleased and I’m sure you are exhausted of his ongoing pursuit of other women. I am praying God will open a door for you to be released from any further abuse. God always has a plan for a future without abuse!!!!

    • Aleea on January 23, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Lonelywife07,

      “. . . this week I called three of my friends, very Godly women who I know will pray and pray hard for me to know Gods will in this situation, so now I wait on Gods leading and direction.” . . . . . Wonderful. What can any one really do but seek God’s direction. I am praying for you also.

      “I’m not sure what you mean Aleea” . . . . I just mean, in contrast to the usual pep talk and gloss over at church about how happy and satisfied you can be, I understand marriage, the Good News, all of it as a message not offering satisfaction or certainty, but actually involving really embracing the idea that we can’t be whole, that life is very, very difficult, and that we are often completely in the dark. God is not a product that will render us complete, remove our suffering, and reveal the answers. Jesus shows us an incendiary approach to faith that invites us to joyfully embrace our brokenness, resolutely face our unknowing, and courageously accept the difficulties of our existence. Only then, at least this is what I see, do I see Jesus showing that we can truly rob life, marriage, and even death of its sting and enter into the fullness of God. Otherwise, we just turn God into one more idol to get what we didn’t get from the other idols. God wants us to love Him, not His blessings. —Anyways, I know you know that already and you also know: He loves you. You have the greatest value. He gave His life for all your worth. . . . I say this only to encourage you: Do not cling to anything or anyone in this world and wholly be His. God alone, Christ alone, the Holy Spirit alone! Seek God in your heart, and you will find God there. Enjoy intimacy with God (—I’m not where I want to be on that; —I’m not where I should be; —but Thank the Lord God, I’m not where I was!!!) . . . . Do not be frightened by changes but be led through both the high and low places, as it pleases God (—That is so hard for me too!) . . . .I’m seriously praying for you!

    • Roxanne on January 25, 2016 at 12:55 am

      Even the same physical stuff is against the law. It was really smart of you to get some prayer partners. The more people you tell, the safer you will be. You are in the greatest danger when you try to separate. Will you please get a safety plan from a domestic violence shelter?

      • Lonelywife07 on January 25, 2016 at 10:56 pm

        Roxanne, I really don’t worry about my husband being violent…but trust me, I won’t take any chances…I have a brother and three sons who will defend me, but my husband grumbles under his breath a lot, but rarely shows anger…and the new locks will be in the house, ready to be installed on the doors as he leaves.
        I’ve done my research, I do know that things can get ugly fast, so I will be prepared.
        My 2nd son is looking to buy his first home, and he’s also looking for a place where I can come live, with his siblings, IF need be.
        He’s a sweetheart, so loving and kind. He always tells me he wants to be the opposite of his father….and he is. I am blessed with my children.

        • Leonie on January 26, 2016 at 4:28 pm

          Lonelywife07
          That must help you feel a little less trapped and that you have a place to go to if you need it. I am so glad you have some men in your corner. I know my sons will never behave the way my ex behaved. You are right, things can get bad in a hurry, especially once they realize that you are finished and wanting to leave. I was too scared to tell my ex and made my own plans without informing him. Maybe when he looks back he could have seen the change. I think he thought I would never leave because he had me where he wanted me! Be safe!

  20. Leonie on January 24, 2016 at 1:06 am

    Lonelywife07 that was my experience as well. I was not allowed to talk about my husbands unfaithfulness. When I did that is when I saw his rage and got physical with me. Then I knew I had hit a raw nerve with him. He got physical with me several times and at first I discounted it and didn’t take it seriously and felt it wasn’t too bad. Then I began to realize how at risk I was. If I said the wrong thing or if he suddenly decided I had an evil motive he could shove me onto something and I could get hurt. Something today triggered a memory from about a year ago that reminded me how extensive his web of lies and deceit had become. He had left work and talked with me on the phone for about 45 minutes. Then I didn’t hear from him for about 1.5 hours. (He did have a long commute.) Then he called saying he was at a shop in town looking for a particular bottle of wine and did I remember what it looked like. Then he called back 40 minutes later saying he was still there and couldn’t find it. A week later a massage parlour phone # was on the phone bill – he was pretending he was on the road and then at a shop while indulging himself – yet again.
    Then I realized the ridiculous extent to which he went to trick and deceive me. Just this week on ACFJ there was a comment about how luring is a behaviour that abusive husbsnds do. My husband lured me to trust him while tricking and deceiving me. That had been such a big part of his efforts to hide his cheating in our marriage. I am so thankful I don’t have to worry about being super detective any more, what a relief. We separated the past May. I had gone to the police because of the physical abuse that made me scared to confront him and break up and ask him to leave. The physical abuse was meant to keep me in fear and it does make it hard to leave – even while it was a huge reason to leave. Take heart, you are realizing and speaking truth and getting to the place where you will be able to do what you need to. God will help you, strengthen you and lead you if you decide you need to leave. I am so glad you are confiding in ladies who can support you & are praying for you!

    • Lonelywife07 on January 25, 2016 at 11:26 pm

      Yes Leonie, my husband goes out of his way to show me receipts when he’s spent money, or if he gets a call from a number I don’t recognize he’ll call it right back to prove it wasn’t another woman…but to me, this is more damning then the lies he would tell me when he was having the affair!
      He’s soooo careful to reassure me…unlike in the past when he’d blow up and accuse me of WANTING to find something, or if he got a strange text from other women (he used to get A LOT of those the first year after the affair) he’d get angry if I got upset…so now, he’s trying so hard to reassure me…so it does make me suspicious.
      I’m trying to just stay well, and not let it bother me. I have to believe that Gods got this, so He will reveal it in his time, IF there’s something to reveal, until then, I’m waiting on God.

  21. Robin on January 24, 2016 at 2:35 am

    Hmmmnn do I have to have sex with my husband.? When I was married to my destructive spouse it never really occurred to me that I could question this. The church taught me my body was not my own and I must submit to my husbands desires. Many years later when I had no dignity or respect, I was able to view the video Leslie did on this subject and I immediately stopped all physical contact and required my husband watch it with me. It was a life change for me. For him it was another opportunity to hear the Word and honor his entitlement to do to me whatever he wanted, as his wife. I certainly wish I had this information much earlier. I don’t blame the church, they are not perfect in all their teachings and today I choose to forgive them and take responsibility for my own life. But hearing from all you ladies reminded me how grueling and wrong it is to feel I need to keep my end of the deal (sexually) when I was daily being abused. As soon as I gained knowledge from the video I stopped sinning against my self, and started living like a daughter of the King that values herself!!!!!

    • Lonelywife07 on January 25, 2016 at 11:27 pm

      Amen Robin!

    • LA on January 31, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      Why does the church not preach that husbands body is yours also and if a h can demand a “Yes” from a woman, then can a wife can say, “Access denied ” to a man? Is not God the God of freedom? Is He not the God of relationship? Are we not all created equal in God’s eyes? They lay a heavy burden on our shoulders, and do not lift a finger to help us carry it? Rules rules rules exist where there is no grace and mercy! Grace and mercy operate within the context of relationship. Where there is no healthy relationship, rules are the norm. The church’s teaching on this seems very one sided and patriarchal. Jesus never spoke to a woman in scripture the way my h spoke to me… Without grace and mercy and kindness and respect… How is anyone supposed to respond to this treatment? Would a man want to partner with another man as a friend if he was spoken to with such disrespect and manipulation through shaming? I don’t think so!!!! It’s so all so lopsided…
      Justbreathing and trusting

  22. Aleea on January 24, 2016 at 5:05 am

    . . . . . Listen to the Holy Spirit and take back your mental sovereignty at every turn. . . . You have all the consequences so you have all the choices. The truth that Jesus came for is that He wants you to be totally free on so, so many levels. That should always inform us. . . . Many churches are about control, more control, conformity, order, more control and shaming, shoulding, blaming (to have order and control) BUT I like how everyone here really gets that scapegoating: ________ is the reason for my ________ just sets us back. . . . . .Control doesn’t validate love; it validates the nonexistence of trust. Anyone that can’t see that has proven themselves to be unworthy of your time because why would you spend your life with someone that can’t tell the difference between a diamond and dirt? But once we get beyond that, realize there is not something which can satisfy our desire/s and render us whole. . . . . The Bible shows that is not only oppressive, because we can never seem to grasp it, but also is oppressive because of the way that we think others have “it”. When we are truly able to see the other as being just as “riven” as the 1611 KJV says, severed with lack (just shattered) torn apart, split, rent, etc. as we are then maybe, maybe reconciliation and real forgivenss becomes more possible. Not going back to them!!! . . . . just reconciliation and real forgiveness so that our hearts can be really, really free in Christ. . . . To approach this from a different angle, I recently talked with a woman who divorced an abuser and subsequently said (crazy!) she felt bad because she knew that he was very unhappy as a result of the split. Maybe she should have used that time to really forgive because she told me of how, a couple of months later, she found out from a friend that he was much better and in a new relationship. When she heard the news she expressed joy to her friend. However she admitted to me, and herself, that the initial “sorrow” she felt at him being really unhappy actually contained a form of hidden pleasure while the “pleasure” she had at thinking he was happy veiled a deep sorrow and anger. . . . .Oh my, God has His hands full with us, no doubt about it. . . . . Lord God help all of us all, especially me Lord.

  23. Jean on January 24, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Aleea,

    > she admitted to me, and herself, that the initial “sorrow” she felt at him being really unhappy actually contained a form of hidden pleasure while the “pleasure” she had at thinking he was happy veiled a deep sorrow and anger

    THat would probably be me too! SADLY…..

    • Aleea on January 25, 2016 at 3:09 am

      Jean,
      I just love the honesty and I know what you mean. . . . .I sure find s-e-r-i-o-u-s inconsistencies in my life. The point is to draw out how our belief that there is something which can satisfy our desire and render us whole is not only oppressive because we can never seem to grasp it BUT also “it” is oppressive because of the way that we think others have “it”. When we are truly able to see the other as being just as riven with desire and lack as we are then forgiveness/ reconciliation becomes more possible. Forgiveness/ real reconciliation NOT going back with interpersonally exploitative, psychotic, emotionally unavailable, devoid of empathy, et.al. husbands but actually really, really forgiving them and really, really wanting their best in Christ. So we can be really, really free ourselves.

  24. Nannyof5andMommyof2 on January 24, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Aleea,
    We yearn for the “Thing” because it promises satisfaction without changing us. We run away from God because God changes us.

    • Aleea on January 25, 2016 at 3:32 am

      Nanny of 5 -and- Mommy of 2,
      Yes, that is exactly why we run from God and move toward idols. Also, it could be that when we’re obsessing about the “Thing” (that will bring us satisfaction or certainty) that’s idolatry, when we’re obsessing that someone else has that “thing” we’re coveting. . . . . Nannyof5andMommyof2, now that you say that, —that actually really dawns on me afresh because the reason we want the idol is that we think we can have satisfaction, certainty, et.al. without being changed. . . . hmmm. . . . .and God is all about changing us and that is usually maximum discomfort. To me, the Good News of Christianity is instead of God being that which fills the gap at the core of our being, Our God testified to in the Scriptures exposes the gap for what it is (—more stinking idols being created), —obliterates (eliminates, liquidates) them, and invites us to participate in an utterly different form of life, one that brings us beyond slavery to ALL idols, especially the idols of satisfaction (—yeah, I am really “satisfied” and really “happy”) and certainty (—I know for sure that I know “NO doubts”). Our culture of idols has turned the Lord God into a product to be marketed, something that will satisfy, rather than God as one who cannot be marketed, and has come not to satisfy us, but to free us from our need for satisfaction —to me, that is again, a HUGE difference. The Good News of Christianity: You can’t be fulfilled; you can’t be made whole; you can’t find satisfaction, not here, that is just another “Go After It” idol. The fantasy is of “them” having all the “fun” and “satisfaction” that is blocked off from “us.” Anyways, that is what the Lord has been giving me in my prayer and Bible readings of late, but who knows, the Bible says a lot of different things in different places. But the reason that may be really important is that once we understand that, maybe we can engage in real forgiveness leading to real freedom in Christ. Otherwise, it is just like a BIG idol swap, if that makes any sense.

    • Roxanne on January 26, 2016 at 6:27 am

      I guess I never experienced running away from God. He is everywhere and in all things. He surrounds me with peace in the darkest hour.

  25. Lonelywife07 on January 25, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Thank you Aleea, that means so much to know you are praying.
    It’s very hard for me to even think about separation…30 yrs married…but I’m branching out, starting a home based business, so that I can make my own money and see how I can support myself.
    My husband has NO idea that I’m even thinking this way…I’ve tried to live well in my situation, and will continue to do so, but I do want to be ready when God says “It’s time!”
    I do have the support of my older children, and for that I am VERY thankful! 🙂

    • Roxanne on January 26, 2016 at 12:04 am

      I think I found a home based business I would like to support! Hooray for you and much success!

    • Aleea on January 26, 2016 at 4:27 am

      Lonelywife07,
      —I love to pray for people! —I pray for you, your husband and your older children. . . .the fact that I can have ANY part in God’s Kingdom (no matter how small) is almost overwhelming.

      You say above: “. . . . If I try to talk about our relationship, try to get him to open up to me, he sits there and says he understands…then walks away, and usually ignores me for several hours. So now I live my life, I have church ministries I’m involved in, and my children that make me happy. . . . . . ” Maybe this is totally naïve and asinine in your situation but how about using the internet to find lists of really interesting or really radical, like paradigm shifting questions and use those to get him talking: 1) What is the biggest thing you are carrying in your life right now? 2) What would you want me to say about you at your funeral? 3) Would you rather make your internet browsing history for the last 12 months accessible to anyone for a year, or give up the internet for a year? 4) Would you rather know when you will die or how you will die? Notice I start off kind of okay and then just get angry (—I hate people that are just polite stones. . . .I repent Lord, but I just do! —Change my heart!!!) . . . . .but Lonelywife07, you can do better than me, I’m totally sure of that!!! —Seriously, I use lots of questions at home. I get the base material from the web and modify it so I can start conversations: Why do Christians get divorced at the same rate as non-Christians? Get lots of talk going, it will eventually move to the relationship. . . . . .As I had a guy tell me on a plane recently —Oh my, I was trying to share the gospel: “. . . .There’s nothing more narcissistic than being sure that you are built in the image of an all-powerful Creator-God, and that same God answers your prayers, knows your name, and has a personal relationship with you. The entire UNIVERSE was built with you in mind, give me a break!” . . . .Well, that did not go well but at least that cat had a pulse and we really had one lively discussion. It got other people talking too…

  26. Jean on January 26, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Aleea,

    Thank you for your kind response. I always perk up when i hear/read the word honestly associated with me. I just read recently that that is a trait of “empaths”. Funny how those two came together in 24 hours.

    At any rate, in another post you wrote, —I hate people that are just polite stones. . “. Perhaps if you could look at those people as having been SO SO HURT by sociopathic narcissists then you could see that the polite stones just can’t bear one more drop of rejection and thus, the politeness. Until they can find strength and healing in Jesus (to duke out the conversation with a disordered character), this is the best they can do to survive. I do know this from my own experience. I was raised by selfish people and then got into a relationship with a very selfish person and it was all I could do to get out and keep my kids safe while still having enough sanity left to raise them. I had no spare energy nor emotions for speaking truth to a fool.

    God bless your spunk and courage.

    • Aleea on January 26, 2016 at 11:47 am

      Wow Jean!
      . . . . —that is an outrageously good point!!! We can’t ever know how others have been scarred and emotionally disfigured, —horrible stuff. . . . . I do understand waiting to be rescued and no one showing up. That was my childhood. I have rescued myself so many times from my mother(xm) that I have become self taught in some of the ways of compassion for those forgotten. . . . . . That is pretty amazing if empaths intuitively know sensitivities, tastes and even thought patterns of the people they’re around without projecting, cold reading, et.al. My counselor is dialed-in like that, —it is unbelievable. . . . . .Maybe an empath is just a real Christian? Think about it: naturally giving, spiritually attuned, good listener, world-class nurturers, et.al. But then again, maybe it is more than being highly sensitive and not just limited to emotions? I am sure it is possible to be affected by other people’s energies and intuitively feel and perceive even unconsciously others’ thoughts —but I wonder about how accurate it all is, if not fairly obvious. —Anyways, excellent points Jean!

  27. Charlotte on January 26, 2016 at 11:09 am

    I have been lurking here since I first saw the subject of this post “Do I have to have sex with my husband?” What a topic! Thank you for opening up this discussion and for all who have commented. It is a very painful subject for me as I know it is for others and a very difficult subject for me to articulate. I am older and have been married 35 years. It was around 2004 that he moved out of the bedroom mainly because I could not sleep with his snoring, jerking and kicking in his sleep and flailing his arms. He has never come back and that’s about the time our sex life ended. There were problems before this but they had not come into my full awareness. Around the time that he moved out, I had started to have very repulsive feelings about having sex with him. I actually felt like vomiting when I thought about it. I grew up in a very abusive home and never really knew much about love or sex. After all these years, I really don’t equate the two together. My husband is not affectionate at all and I crave that – or at least I used to. Sex was just an act that I performed like a circus animal. This is embarrassing to say but I never really knew that I was supposed to get anything out of it and certainly, his treatment was not conducive to allowing that to happen. After many years of performing, something in me just snapped and I knew I couldn’t do it anymore. I tried to talk to him many times but I have never been able to discuss anything with him in an adult manner. He always turns and twists everything around to make it seem that it is my fault.

    I have prayed for many years for guidance but it just never seemed that the time was right to leave. So we live in the same house but separately. He is cordial at times and abusive at other times. But the biggest change for me is that I no longer have any expectations that he will change. I see and accept him as he is. I love him as a person and a child of God and my heart aches at times for him and his lack of compassion and what might have been.

    As terrible as it is to say, at one time I wished that he would find someone else so that I would have a “legitimate” reason to leave him or that he would leave me. But to my knowledge as surprising as it is, he doesn’t seem to have any interest in other women or porn. I am not even sure he has any interest in me sexually other than an object. To say the least, it is a very strange relationship.

    I have tried to understand this situation for many years but I don’t think there is a way to. He is not willing to listen or to see his part in any situation. It is sad that he is still a little boy in a grown man’s body and will probably go to his grave that way. He will occasionally say things to me such as “I have done all of these things for you and I still don’t get any.” I had some back problems a year or so ago and he told me that the reason was because I hadn’t had sex with him and if I did that would make it better. I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of thought process you would have to have to express something like this to someone you supposedly loved under the circumstances. Who is this man? I could never have sex with him again. I believe a part of me that I have worked very hard to resurrect would die again. I have my self-respect and don’t feel used and objectified. I am sad at times that I have never known what a loving sexual relationship is and at my age probably never will. But I am in a much better place than I’ve ever been in my life. I know that my life in God is top priority. My marriage isn’t although I treat him with respect but will not allow my self-esteem to be damaged by him. His innuendos mostly roll off my back but sometimes there’s still a momentary sting.

    • Aleea on January 26, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      “I have my self-respect and don’t feel used and objectified.” “I treat him with respect but will not allow my self-esteem to be damaged by him.”. . . . .That is really good that you can do that, Charlotte. You must be drawing from the well that never runs dry and are able to embrace what you need to be free in Christ! . . . Thank you for sharing some of your story. . . . I’m praying for you Charlotte and your husband too.

    • LA on January 26, 2016 at 8:01 pm

      Hello Charlotte,
      I understand completely the heart wrenching and energy that is required to try and figure out why anyone can treat another so poorly! Especially your husband, who is supposed to love you and vowed to do so! I don’t understand how the love can get so twisted in their brain! I want to be loved on earth like Christ loves me with gentleness and kindness! One thing I’ve learned is that you can’t figure out crazy! It’s not possible! It’s like a maze that you will get lost in trying to figure it out! Another is a technique I learned on Utube of all places that helped me with the stinging words as I tried to detach and guard my heart, it’s called “observe, don’t absorb”. The man is a counselor for people in narcissistic relationships. It’s about detaching and watching instead of engaging your heart and emotions. Watching their body language and antics as if you are watching a movie. Saying things like ” well that’s interesting” or “really that’s what you believe?” Or say nothing and walk away… OBSERVE, DONT ABSORB… I even repeated in my head as he spoke, ” I am actually watching a manipulator,( or little boy in a mans body, or whatever seems to fit for you… (repeat this in your head as many times as needed!) it really helped me to disengage my emotions from what was being said as he cast out the bait to see if I would bite… This helped me to change my behavior and gave me peace… Hope this makes sense?
      And any counselor worth your time and $ will be very kind and gentle with you! Remember, they work for YOU! You are interviewing them for a right fit. Yes they can challenge you to think again, but if it feels like they are not supportive, they aren’t being supportive! If it doesn’t feel right and good, find another counselor!
      Just Breathing and Trusting

      • Charlotte on January 27, 2016 at 8:16 am

        Hi LA,
        Thanks for your message. I agree about detachment as this is something I have been learning for quite a while. It has taken me a long time and a lot of practice to get there but it does work. Many times I am hooked before I realize what is happening because matters of the heart carry so much hurt and pain. But with enough practice, it is possible to observe and not absorb. I used to be “lost” for days after an attack by him. But by practicing detachment and coming to a place of acceptance, I have been able to see the truth about him. I am able to not get hooked most of the time now. I believe that it is only by the grace of God that I have been able to do this and protect my heart. I have prayed for so long for guidance in my marriage. Through writing this, I realize how very far I have come. And yes I have a long-awaited peace.

        I don’t know if you are familiar with Richard Rohr but I discovered him several years ago and his daily meditations are a continuing source of comfort to me. Here’s an excerpt from today’s meditation:

        “I recently visited the 9/11 Memorial at the site of the Twin Towers in New York City. A huge waterfall drops down into the darkness of a lower pool whose bottom you cannot see. It struck me deeply as a metaphor for God: mercy eternally pouring into darkness, always filling an empty space. Grace fills all the gaps of the universe. Counting and measuring can only increase the space between things. Even better, water always falls and pools up in the very lowest and darkest places, just like mercy does. And mercy is just grace in action.”

        “Open me to grace upon grace upon grace.”

        I have certainly been in the lowest and darkest places.

        I do have a very supportive counselor who has helped me through all of this.

        “Just breathing and trusting.” How beautiful. I am doing the same.

        Blessings to you – Charlotte

        • LA on January 27, 2016 at 10:11 pm

          Hello Charlotte,
          I almost named mt 1st born Charlotte, there was a country song about “Charlotte , she’s as pretty as the Angels when they sing… Just a swingen’… that’s where I first thought of that name… I really liked the daily meditation, beautiful word picture! Very true! Thank you, I will look up Richard Rohr, I love the way God uses “nature” to teach me about His Nature! Pun intended! Me too on the supportive counselor, she’s a gem! Just Breathe and Trust is what the Lord spoke to me after a BC diagnosis! He said more than that, but that’s what I learned to do…That was 3 years ago, I use it as my “signature” because I am reminded every time I type it! Kind of a memorial for me…
          Just Breathing and Trusting

  28. Ruth on January 26, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Amen to that Alea!

    Recently, someone I work with said to me “Did you know that ‘Jane’ is divorced?” They were kinda surprised bc Jane who’s new at our business is only in her early 20s. My old mindset would have answered “how sad”. But my mind is going through a paradigm shift. So I answered “good. Better than wasting her life away.” I’m not saying we should throw away marriages especially where children are involved. Nor, do I think we should hop from one marriage to another. But current Christian teaching on this gives makes marriage a life sentence no with parole.

  29. Ruth on January 26, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Amen to that Alea!

    Recently, someone I work with said to me “Did you know that ‘Jane’ is divorced?” They were kinda surprised bc Jane who’s new at our business is only in her early 20s. My old mindset would have answered “how sad”. But my mind is going through a paradigm shift. So I answered “good. Better than wasting her life away.” I’m not saying we should throw away marriages especially where children are involved. Nor, do I think we should hop from one marriage to another. But current Christian teaching makes marriage a life sentence no with parole.

  30. Marie on January 29, 2016 at 10:52 am

    This post is very timely for me. Currently we are in the middle of this and I’m starting to name some destructive and scary places in my marriage. I also have a yucky feeling that sex is just a duty or a tasks and honestly my husband is ok with that because he thinks love will follow if the motions are there. He thinks I’m withholding sex and destroying our marriage in the process. However I have told him numerous times that I feel unsafe and his words are hurtful, right now if I have sex I will resent him and feel used. He still sees me as withholding and puts that in the same playing field as his yelling and shaming.

    Currently I am in research mode of the 1 Corinthians 7 passage because he has named that as a reference point. To which I know context is very important and I know Paul was speaking to the church for a specific time and purpose. I also realize that everything is very easily thrown in my direction without a self examination. Paul speaks to the man as well as the woman here. Also my husband has reference Every Mans Battle…specifically the part in the book where the wife didn’t want sex, realized it was a way to serve and actually proceeded to serve him and fell more in love as they protected their marriage together. Yes I see the point, however I see the point if the husband is also finding healing in broken places (like porn and mainly identity in Christ– regular intimacy is a bandaid to deep wounds at this point). I currently feel as though I’m to solve his lust struggles with regular intimacy (not only sex but general hand holding and physical affection). If I don’t a conversation follows of how destructive I am being— who wants to have sex after being yelled at and told what they are doing is wrong? I feel like a child getting scolded for not seeing his point as valid and right.

    I guess my question is how to resolve the 1 Corinthians passage and the book Every Mans Battle? Im doing a little research but thought I’d pose the question here too. With two littles and minimal sleep my researching times are very rare.

    • LA on January 29, 2016 at 5:28 pm

      Hi Marie,
      I would encourage you to read Discovering the mind of a Woman by Ken Nair, he writes from a Scriptural perspective and counsels many couples, men and women. He has a very good section on 1 Cor:7, putting it in context as to whom it was written and why it was written! The book is about God’s plan for marriage and how husbands in particular are to become Christlike in their love for their wives. God’s plan is for all to become like Christ, however men carry a greater responsibility because they are the head, or “strongman” of a household and are instructed to lay down their life for their wife as Christ did for the church… The book is very affirming and is a required read at a Bible College in Missouri. That is how I found out about the book, a good friends son was in classes there! Good luck on your quest! Also Ken and Nancy Nair have a web page, you may find additional info there as well?
      Just Breathing and Trusting

    • Roxanne on January 29, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      I would suggest you abandon all the readings you are doing, and pray. It sounds like the holy spirit has already has spoken to you. You KNOW the truth and are just being brainwashed into thinking there is something wrong with that message! The heck, with Every Man’s Battle, it is just a tool your husband is using to manipulate you. Ask him how he is doing with Song of Solomon? Where is his love for you?

      • Marie on January 29, 2016 at 10:36 pm

        At first he mentioned John Eldredge and actually I agreed with a lot of what was said. Eldredge emphasizes our identity in Christ, God as our lover and finding our center. I didn’t read it but in skimming the book I saw a lot of truths and actually what I long for in my husband. I don’t want peace I want healing. He sees me as withholding and I see me as not wanting to taint what is to be holy and sacred. I need to trust the tugging of the spirit.

        Plus any scripture in my mind used to tell a woman what to do (in the sense where she feels bondage) seems against what scripture is about– grace upon grace…freedom.

        I’ll do the research for me because I know only the Lord can soften our hearts- his heart. Ultimately the Lord is in control and I stand in that place as dark as it may seem right now.

        Thank you ladies.

        • Leslie Vernick on January 30, 2016 at 9:47 am

          I dont’ know why this one went into my approve bin as your comments usually automatically get approved so that’s why it didn’t show up.

          • Marie on January 30, 2016 at 10:47 am

            No problem…sorry to repeat myself twice. Guess I needed to doubly know it in my heart 😉



  31. Connie on January 29, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Marie,
    That book, “Every Man’s Battle’…..it is first of all not every man’s battle. Some men who follow Christ do not have an issue with this. Second, the book focuses on porn. My nephew was learning to ride a bike, focused on the tree, and chanted, “I’n not gonna hit that tree, I’m not gonna hit that tree”….smash!!! Whatever our besetting sin is, focusing on it is the absolute wrong thing to do. Focusing on Christ, I believe, makes it all fall away. Also focusing on the wife in a good way, as in meeting her needs, etc. One man asked God to deliver him from porn and then a friend asked him to help clean an apartment. When he got there, the whole place was littered with girly magazines. He cried out to God and suddenly all the pictures in front of him transformed into someone’s daughter and sister, and he wept. His ‘problem’ was gone because God renewed his mind and softened his hardened heart. I found that the book almost made men feel special because they had this ‘so difficult battle’. And they were told not to tell the wife? Um, talk about encouraging lack of trust. What else is he not telling me?

    And since we’re talking about sex here anyway, many people don’t realize that because sex is a bonding thing, SG (self-gratification) bonds one to oneself, hugely feeding narcissism. One gets so self-focused that when anyone around you has a need, it is highly irritating and annoying because your fantasies have been interrupted.And first sex is imprinting, like when a chick breaks out of its egg, the first thing moving becomes the mom. Whatever a man’s first experience, he wants to repeat. If it was sneaky and quick with no real love attached, that is what he keeps looking for. If it was after dinner out, in a motel, he will look for a mistress to take out to dinner and a motel. If it was after a huge wonderful celebration with his beautiful bride and the approval of God and everyone he knows, then that girl will forever look like that young beautiful bride to him, even when she is old, and he will want to repeat that experience forever. God is amazing and we have such a penchant to mess up His best for us, don’t we.

    • Leslie Vernick on January 30, 2016 at 9:56 am

      Yes we do.

    • Rose J on February 5, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      Wow, there is a lot of truth in how men bond to themselves with Self-Gratification.
      Unfortunately, I have a spouse who adds sexual deprivation & withholding of romantic touch to the list of “normal” abuses.
      As Marie mentions, my needs are exceedingly irritating to him. Maybe I am interrupting one of his fantasies since he gets most easily annoyed when I bring up anything resembling a need right before his bedtime?
      As far as sex and narcissists go, I have learned that there are different types of Narcissists.
      I am married to the so-called Cerebral Narcissist who doesn’t desire sex with love. You will never find him cajoling or otherwise romancing his partner for the purpose of having sex with him. He is so above such groveling in his mind-therefore the label of ‘cerebral’ as opposed to ‘somatic narcissist’.
      Needing a loving spouse for the pure pleasure of making love is revolting to cerebral narcissists.
      Sex to this type is solely to obtain more narcissistic supply. more glue for the sexual identity he has self-created.
      A cerebral narcissist does not ‘make love’, he ‘has sex’.
      The thousands of dollars he has spent on porn related items were all aids for him to use while gratifying and bonding to himself.
      He would only wants sex with a person when it would be a conquest. Or if he could coax the partner into some kind of headline news, dangerous sex (like in places he could be discovered, where others can easily witness him.
      He likes to use non-conventional positions, or dress the woman like a pornographic object (often in public) to fulfill some fantasy about himself.
      Sometimes he will get affectionate to control/manipulate the partner for something he wants or to show her what she has been missing, to create desire in her so that he can frustrate it.
      He might have sex with a person to get revenge on a spouse.
      My cerebral narcissist of a husband will occasionally settle for ‘hit and run’ sex where I will be asleep before he quickly wakes me in order to gratify himself.
      In the twenty one years we have been married, there has never been a lasting pattern of gratifying sex.
      There have been years where we may have ‘made love’ two or three times with no explanation other than ‘I don’t know’ or ‘you’re not being aggressive enough’ or ‘you don’t try to be sexy for me’ or ‘you don’t submit to me’.
      He has even admitted that he withholds sex to punish me.
      So, unlike some spouses, I don’t have the bedroom as a carrot for him. This fact makes him so happy because then I cannot ‘control’ him, I am powerless in this way too.
      The only carrot I have really is to keep him from getting lonely, to manage the household, take care of the social obligations, to make his lunches for work, and to have a supper on the table every day at 5pm.
      I’m thinking that there has to be more of us out there who have suffered the pain of a needlessly sexless marriage.
      As much as it can be embarrassing for a man to admit he is an abused spouse, it is embarrassing for me to admit that I cannot get my husband to desire me for my self.
      He does tell me that I am pretty and beautiful and sexy but it seems as though that is for his benefit because he really enjoys it when other men ogle me or tell him that I am too pretty for him.
      The fact that HE is immune to my attractiveness gives him much satisfaction. Especially since he knows that the withholding of his body is so painful for me.

  32. Nancy on January 29, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    I hear ya on this one! I too would like to know the answer. This describes so much of my own journey!

    • LA on January 29, 2016 at 5:31 pm

      Hi Nancy,
      I would encourage you to read Discovering the mind of a Woman by Ken Nair, he writes from a Scriptural perspective and counsels many couples, men and women. He has a very good section on 1 Cor:7, putting it in context as to whom it was written and why it was written! The book is about God’s plan for marriage and how husbands in particular are to become Christlike in their love for their wives. God’s plan is for all to become like Christ, however men carry a greater responsibility because they are the head, or “strongman” of a household and are instructed to lay down their life for their wife as Christ did for the church… The book is very affirming and is a required read at a Bible College in Missouri. That is how I found out about the book, a good friends son was in classes there! Good luck on your quest! Also Ken and Nancy Nair have a web page, you may find additional info there as well?
      Just Breathing and Trusting

      • Leslie Vernick on January 30, 2016 at 9:50 am

        I haven’t read that book yet but the 1 Corinthians 7 passage was a radical change from the perspective of husband’s to wives. Women in that culture already knew full well their conjugal duties to their husbands. What was radical in that culture was for Paul to give wives the same rights as husbands. They were equal in rights and responsibilities. That little word LIKEWISE husbands showed Paul’s desire to get away from the cultural view of women as property and not as persons.

        • Marie on January 30, 2016 at 10:44 am

          And honestly if you look through scripture and where women show up, it’s always pointing to giving them a voice and seeing them as human. It’s the pattern so why would this passage navigate away from that very pattern and freedom. Thanks Leslie this is so helpful for me as I navigate trusting my instinct and knowledge (really I’m starting to notice it as a prompting of the spirit) that has been seemingly drowned out of named as “ridiculous.” I know in my heart here is freedom in scripture and I find my footing there as a daughter of the King.

        • LA on January 31, 2016 at 3:01 pm

          Hi Leslie,
          In Ken Nair’s book and the teaching of 1Cor:7, he claims that historically, the people of Corinth engaged in temple prostitution, both husbands and wives. So this scripture is Paul’s way of putting “sex exclusively” back between a husband and a wife. To not defile the marriage bed through temple prostitution but to come together in a sacred relationship honoring one another. I hope you get a chance to read his book Leslie and give comment…
          Just breathing and trusting

  33. Nancy on January 29, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    My response was to what Marie shared in her post.

  34. LA on January 29, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Any Ladies interested in this 1Cor:7 passage?

    Go to Lifepartnerschristianministies.com to read about Ken and Nancy Nair’s books and how this ministry got started!

    Just Breathing and Trusting

  35. LA on January 29, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Any Ladies interested in this 1Cor:7 passage?

    Go to Lifepartnerschristianministies.com

    Just Breathing and Trusting

    • Jean on January 29, 2016 at 11:06 pm

      The Nairs are one the few ministries and books that i trust – and I have read A LOT of different books.

      EMB’s has good intentions but wrong focus. I love the way Connie describes it above.

      As for that website that isn’t linking … it is missing the “r” in “ministries”.

      Try this one Lifepartnerschristianministries.com

      • LA on January 30, 2016 at 11:17 am

        I noticed I left out the r after I posted, I don’t know how to edit a post? Or if it’s possible? I’m definitely NOT a techie! Lol thank you for your correction! Feeling grateful!
        Just breathing and trusting

  36. Marie on January 30, 2016 at 1:11 am

    I had a response but I guess it deleted, so I will try again. My husband initially recommended Heart of desire by Eldredge. I pulled it off our shelf and skimmed the book. I thought this is good stuff because even in his passage about lover– at the end mind you— he was quick to say yes you are likely to meet a woman and fall in love but we are not talking about that and if so it comes after/later. He addressed first and foremost seeing and knowing God. This is my outcry that my husband would have healing and find his identity in the right place. To be before the Lord.

    Well he referenced wrong and said Every Mans Battle, which we don’t have and my heart sank. I know this book comes with mixed reviews.

    As far as Cointhians goes— I realize that any studying I do is for me. I cannot change hearts, that is my Saviors job. Plus I realize any scripture used to correct a woman (especially one that is used to seemly tells her how to act when she already says she feels unsafe) doesn’t line up with the heart of the gospel. Grace upon grace and freedom. Plus when it’s constant that you are trying to fix someone (your wife) you’re missing it and can’t — you need to look at self.

    So yes I need to trust the spirit and ultimately I know that the Lord is in control above all else. I rest there when it is so seemingly dark right now.

    Thank you ladies!!

  37. Jessica on January 31, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    I caution not to go down the road of obligatory sex. Big mistake For me. My husband always blamed his verbal battery of me and our children on my lack of interest in sex. We were having sex but he wanted more and more and more. Not enough sex made him angry and tense, you see, causing him to lash out at all of us. He would be nice for a few days and I would start believing everything was going to change we would have sex, but soon enough the abuse would continue, and even got worse. I had sex with him to avoid the consequences of not having sex with him. After withdrawing for a while I finally explained that I needed to have a healthy emotional relationship in order to have a physical relationship. No great relationship improvements so far but I feel I have reclaimed some dignity. If you’re afraid that he is only being nice to get you in bed watch carefully. don’t dismiss your gut instinct. Is he trying for emotional closeness as well?

  38. Broken on February 1, 2016 at 11:58 am

    I’ve been in an abusive marriage for almost ten years. We had counseling together today and the counselor said I need to be an instrument of grace to my husband and come alongside him to show him love. My husband wouldn’t acknowledge he is an abuser. He says things like yeah, I get angry. Or yeah I’m not perfect. You demand me to be perfect. I feel like he manipulated the whole session and the counselor fell right into it. Telling me I need to work on condemning my husband. By condemning he means have conversations with him. I have a hard time talking to him because it often turns abusive so we do not talk much. I feel like they want to minimize what has happened. He has emotionally and psychologically abused me. He has physically abused me. He has spiritually abused me and he has sexually abused me. How do I have a relationship, a marital relationship, with someone who is so damaging? How do I come alongside him and show unconditional love and grace when he cannot accept he is abusive? He wants to do what he wants and have me show grace. He said Peter cut off a mans ear in anger and yet he has written books in the Bible. I said fine, but Jesus did not like that Peter did that and I bet the guy he harmed doesn’t want a relationship with him. I don’t know how to do this anymore. I feel like I’m going crazy. Like I’ve made him this way and it’s my job to just love him through his abuse. Are there no consequences for abusive behaviors? I want to glorify God. That’s what the counselor said I would do if I am an instrument of grace to Nathan and come alongside him. So if it’s hard to do that, am I not glorifying God? Please help. Please guide me. I feel so lost.

    • Marie on February 1, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      First off I would advise you go to counseling yourself, not together. Typical power and control scenarios end up like you are describing– the counselor doesn’t see it and the perpetrator controls the session as well as gets more fuel for the fire (which sadly is what he has been handed). Also I would ask, when interviewing counselors if they understand power and control and the violence cycle. If they don’t then move on…it may take 3-4 counselors to find the one that fits. I would tell your husband that you need to work through some of these things on your own and hopefully he’ll see it as you getting “help” when really you need affirmed and a place to safely process. You do not need more weapons against you (“the counselor said you need to work on this…”).

      Also it is sad that your husband would use the story of Peter to excuse his behavior. I’m learning as I go too but it seems as though your husband is being very Pharisee-icle (a Pharisee) and making very damaging excuses for his horrible behavior. Also as a note anger is always the surface issue of a deeper feeling– be it rejection, guilt, loss of control, sadness etc

      Those are some initial thoughts. I’m glad you are questioning this counselor and seeking more and more. Keep it up– the Lord is stirring something and not having you settle for a reason.

    • Roxanne on February 1, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      Please tell me broken that is was your first and last appointment with a counselor who is not prepared to work with people in abusive relationships. First of all you need SEPARATE counsel for your safety. Do not, do not, do not believe a word of this instruction or advice. Read Lundy Bancroft’s book, Why does he do that? Try Angry Men and the Women who love them, by Paul Hegstrom too. Contact your state’s domestic violence hotline and get some referrals for counselors who specialize in your husband’s problem and has sensitivity to helping you get the help you need.

    • LA on February 2, 2016 at 4:33 am

      Hello Broken,
      Your post sounds way too familiar to me! Kinda like you’ve been reading my journal? I want to pass on something that was spoken to me that brought great relief and some distress. ” He was broken long before you came along, you didn’t break it, and you are not going to fix it” which of course released me to quit trying so hard to “get him to understand” ie. (Banging my head against the proverbial wall of his conscience). As far as a conscience goes, I’m not sure he has one. This always stuns me, when men compare themselves to “someone who’s done worse” as if worse is a standard to rise above?! How about compare yourself to the attributes to Christ’s : love,peace,joy, patience, kindness, goodness,gentleness and SELF
      CONTROL?!
      It’s ridiculous to compare myself with an axe murderer, as I won’t have to do any work on myself and I can feel proud that “at least I dont murder with an axe” instead I choose to use a butter knife? Soul murder is soul murder, no matter how it’s done.
      One cannot learn to love unless one is able to humble oneself. Pride is an evil beast, sneaky and treacherous!
      I pray you are easy and gentle on yourself and realize you are not crazy, crazy people don’t question their sanity! God’s speed…
      Just breathing and trusting

  39. Leonie on February 1, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    It sounds like you need a counsellor that can recognize the abuse dynamic in the relationship. Going home, praying and trying harder to be nice to him is not the right thing to do. You only help him make you more of a door mat by doing this – it is kind of a way of agreeing that his treatment if you is ok and you are up for more of it. (Which obviously is a lie).
    Have you read Leslie’s book called the emotionally destructive marriage? There is a chapter that is entitled “when trying harder becomes destructive”
    There is nothing wrong with your mind – you are not crazy – reread your post – he is horrible to you and you are trying to get help. It is hard when you have to convince the counsellor (or anyone) and they get it so wrong. It takes a long time for regular people to realize that you are not with a regular guy but actually with someone who is deliberately evil ( he probably feels entitled to treat you so badly for some reason) and you need help and the destruction needs to stop. People who don’t live in abuse can’t imagine the truth of what you are living through and they give him credit for being a normal person with the same good will that you have. These kinds of men present well and fool most people in their lives but you and your children live with the truth of it.

  40. JR on February 2, 2016 at 8:23 am

    My husband has not touched me in almost 6 years. HE doesn’t feel like it. I stopped begging years ago. It was humiliating. In the last 10 or 12 years, I can count on one hand the number of times. Sex isn’t just for men. He is not into porn or other women. He just has no drive or desire. Where does this leave me? I feel like a roommate, a paycheck, a maid, a cook, a personal assistant but not like a wife. I have a lot of resentment built up to the point that, if he were to suddenly decide that HE feels like it, I would be so angry with him I would tell him not to even think about touching me. I’m feeling rather lost at the moment. He still gets all the other benefits of marriage. I can’t tell you how deeply this hurts. I didn’t think asking/wanting/desiring sex with my husband was too much to ask for. I have already explained my needs, wants and desires and why I need that intimacy; it’s not just a physical thing. Apparently, it is too much of a sacrifice. We can’t even sleep in the same bed. He acts out his dreams and gets violent and I put with too many years of being kicked and punched till I moved to another room several years ago. I miss sleeping next to him. I don’t like to go to bed alone. But I can’t sleep in the bed with him for fear of waking up to being punched in the middle of the night. Will he do anything about this problem? No, again, I see it as I am not worth the effort. I feel very much alone oftentimes.

    • Connie on February 2, 2016 at 11:01 am

      Several years ago we went to a marriage intensive in Florida, and the leader said that it is very common for husbands to withhold sex from their wives. Porn makes normal sex really boring, and also, well, whatever she wants, I can withhold it and that gives me power over her.

      Another thing he said, which I have not heard anywhere else, is that men are designed to meet the emotional needs of only one woman, and if his mom used him to meet her emotional needs (because his dad didn’t), he will feel like he’s doing incest when he has sex with his wife, because it feels like his mom, especially if he’s trained his wife to mommy him. Not sure about that theory, but it was interesting.

  41. Lea Ann on February 2, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Regarding the idea that because, “God hates divorce” we should not divorce… Why would anyone believe that the God who sees inside of our hearts, knows our true motives, and loves us would hate divorce over our suffering? Does anyone believe that God places that piece of paper at the courthouse over the real life feelings of his precious children?

    God hates the abuse, mistreatment, and the divorce which happened in the spiritual realm. A divorce happens in hearts LONG before the piece of paper at the courthouse “legitimizes” what happened long, long ago.

  42. Gail on February 2, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Hi all,

    I’ve a bit of encouragement for you along these lines. Read
    ‘Yours, Jack’ by C.S. Lewis; especially the year 1956–the chapters are divided up by year. It is an abridged collection of some of the man’s letters. He struggled with masturbation, and had much to say that was useful. What’s most amazing to me is how much he knew about how things should be in a marriage before he ever married. Read the whole book–an intelligent, reasonable, godly man who is in active pursuit of Christ-likeness really isn’t too much to expect. His was not a life of privilege–there was nothing that made things easier for him. Nothing, that is, but his relationship with God through Christ. It’s just so refreshing to know that there has existed at least one modern man who was genuine with God, and, in turn, with others. (My husband manages me–like a resource or personnel; I’m for his benefit. He keeps an imaginary harem in our shower, and is, of course–naturally, fondest of them/himself.)

  43. Hopeful on February 2, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    My husband withholds all kinds of affection, refuses to kiss me, rarely asks me any questions about my life, never responds when I tell him things about my day or life, refuses to talk to me about our financial situation, doesnt include me in social things or events in his family. This week he never told me about a funeral because he “didnt want to spend the day with me because of my behavior the night before.” which was standing up for myself and speaking from my CORE. So he went with out me.

    But he reaches for me at night, concealed in our bedroom and I give in. I am losing my dignity for myself.

    He needs help. I am losing myself.

  44. Leonie on February 2, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Hopeful, it sounds like you are trying to get your voice back but your husband is punishing you for it. Keep working on your ‘core’ but be aware that it will only make him angry as you get your voice and yourself back. I am praying for you, you are precious and loved. The spirit of God who is within you will comfort you and reveal truth as you ask for it and seek Him.

  45. Ann on February 2, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    I left my husband of 30 years (a man I worshipped in the beginning), because I was worn out from trying to fix myself, so our marriage would improve. In his eyes, I was the problem, and the marriage was fine.
    If only I would have had the courage and strength and wisdom to care for myself, before he destroyed me with his sarcasm, criticism, disdain, public humiliation, withholding affection, financial control, and sexual activity whenever HE felt like it (no matter how tired, sick or disinterested I was). It was his right as my husband (in his words).
    Reading this post today, along with all of the comments, has been difficult. I have blamed myself for the divorce, for not being strong enough to forgive someone who loved me, but didn’t know how to treat me like a wife instead of a possession.
    I’m beginning to understand I wasn’t crazy or possessed by Satan. I was fighting for my life.
    I have lived with a lot of shame and guilt since the divorce, but I think I will hold my head a little higher tomorrow, and the day after. My adult children, and the Christian community, will never know or understand why I left him.
    But I am beginning to have my eyes opened and my feelings validated. I am thankful for the peace and contentment I feel tonight.
    Bless you, Leslie, for having the courage and conviction to speak the hard truth.

    • Roxanne on February 4, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      Ann, I am so proud of you that you had the courage to leave a distractive relationship. Many here are suffering and can’t find the courage to leave. They are beaten down physically, emotionally and financially. I am sure you HAVE forgiven him, I am not so sure that he was someone who loved you. Can a narcissist really love anyone? It is great that you are not adding more sad stories to your family life. I pray the burden grows lighter for you and you see God’s true calling on your precious life, lived now without a destroyer at your side.

  46. Brenda on February 3, 2016 at 4:48 am

    Leslie,
    I loved your article re: 3 Ways to spot a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Absolutely true, and going unnoticed in Christian circles. The wolf always hides his teeth while around the sheep with the exception of behind closed doors where his family of sheep are eaten alive.

    Thank you for the reminder.
    Brenda

    • mrsjots on February 3, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      I second that, Brenda! It is so very confusing to pastors during counseling sessions. Especially where there is a sheep (the wife) and the wolf (the husband). They scratch their heads and have a hard time grasping the depth of deceit that is actually going on. They decide to give a homework assignment: For a month read and comment on (pastors choice) of several scripture verses in a journal: What is God saying to you? At the end of the month I’ll read both and then we’ll meet. A pastor who has very little experience with destructive relationships and counseling individuals will be eaten alive by the wolf! And the wife knows it! There needs to be separate counsel in these cases with accountability partners and intentional goals with qualified counsellors who know the tactics and patterns wolves perpetuate. Thank you Leslie!!

      • Roxanne on February 4, 2016 at 7:58 pm

        I had a counselor who said to my husband, after this I think I would like to meet with you and just learn from you and be a friend. So great was his deception! You could have knocked me over with a feather. Hook, line and sinker the counselor (licensed Christian with a PHD) bought my husband’s charm.

  47. hopeful on February 3, 2016 at 9:38 am

    LA I love ho you end your posts..Just breathing and trusting.

    I need to do this.

    • LA on February 4, 2016 at 1:44 am

      Hi Hopeful, yes, you do, it’s a good daily reminder for me! Just breathing and trusting… As I look back on my marriage, I realize that h very rarely asked me any questions about what I thought or what I believed. He was too busy tooting his own horn about what he thought and believed, talking on and on… Instead he posed questions in such a way as to create a trap. Damned if I do, damned if I Don’t, trick questions, so I began to answer instead by asking him a question, such as “why do you ask?” Or I’d say, ” hmmm, let me think about that” the thing is, he’d get my attention and then squash me like a bug, no matter how I answered I was wrong. He had no sincerity, and used this to control and shame, and after my answer went through his “filter”, he hadn’t heard a word I’d said anyway… It was like conversing with a blender! It made me sad that he really didn’t care… It was all about him… Very sad indeed! I do hope you find yourself again, and remember, you may
      feel lost, but God knows exactly where you are! His eye is on the sparrow! God speed to you!
      Just breathing and trusting

  48. Elizabeth on February 3, 2016 at 10:12 am

    I stumbled on this site via FB. I’ve seen and experienced much in my life, but I still found it shocking to read post after post of broken-hearted women!! I, too, was in an emotionally abusive marriage for years, finally realizing that this man was not going to change.

    I encourage you all to STOP tolerating and cajoling, while believing that you are being a good Christian by staying! Your husband is causing untold damage to you and to your children! Your kids need to see a strong mom; it’s their only chance for survival. Pray for strength, and find a safe way to leave!!

  49. carol on February 3, 2016 at 10:20 am

    I have been reading these posts and seeing the themes. One of them, the man is just not trying or curious to see what is troubling his wife, let alone to work on it.

    My husband continually has used our ‘bad’ past as a weapon against me. Then he ‘forgives’ me for that past and presumably ‘lets it go.’

    This last time, I let myself loose not letting him get a word in edgewise. The pressure had built and the lid flew off. He came back to me and said he just needed to heal. I said okay, I understand that. I also need space to process what you have been doing which meant sexual space and emotional space.

    He went to his former advocate thru counseling…cried during a message on repentance, came back to me telling me he was sorry and he needed to let the past go and keep giving it to God. I told him I forgive him. Then he quickly went to ..’so are we okay?’ It felt like he wanted to get back to the sex life we had. I responded that while I forgive him, the things he addressed were not the issues. I told him some of the issues on the table but he does not hear me. When I spoke to my counselor, she said it doesn’t surprise her because she and his advocate knew he never repented initially…What!!! and they put us back together?! I knew that but I cannot believe that they knew and didn’t say that and make things my choice to come back together. The church decided the details of us coming back together. We both had no input.

    So now, it has been several months with increasing tension of course. But in many ways, I feel so free to not have to ‘perform’ in the bedroom for a one sided relationship. I intend to leave but am still getting the ducks in a row….it takes time to leave sometimes…I feel fear at time of being on my own financially and the permanency of divorce.

    I also do not know if God wants this for me. In my heart, this is what needs to be done. I just know and cannot turn on so many voices this time around that I cannot hear myself or God’s spirit guiding me.

    Again, there is uncertainty and certainty in what I am doing. I think it boils down to this…the emotional, verbal and financial abuse has its common root in that I do not have a voice if it conflicts with his. I am voiceless. His voice is the only voice he hears and I would even say He has not heard God’s voice either. I used to hear God’s voice before we got back together. Since being back together now for three years, I rarely hear it. My current counselor said it is because all of my time is spent hearing my husbands voice and making sure he is okay. I can see that.

    I cannot wait to be separate even with all the challenges of 4 kids one being a medically fragile baby. I have begun an intake counseling plan with a local shelter to see how they can help me to make the break.

    If I can do this with a medically fragile baby where I have 16 hours a day or nursing, a therapy team, a medical team, tons of equipment such as a ventilator, suction machine etc, anyone can do this that has kids or young ones. I am scared and yet moving forward. Inside, I know it to be right and I am trusting that God will be able to make sense of it all for me in time.

    • LA on February 4, 2016 at 1:58 am

      Carol,
      I pray that God meets your every need according to His riches in glory! I pray He answers your needs in such a way that there will be no doubt that it was from His hand to your heart! I pray His angels watch over you and your precious baby and children, that He would comfort, heal and protect you all! He never sleeps nor slumbers and may His Grace surround you today and always as He leads you through…
      Just breathing and trusting

      • carol on March 16, 2016 at 1:58 am

        thanks…it is going very slow…which makes it hard…I keep trying to find the good in it all…

    • Roxanne on February 4, 2016 at 8:04 pm

      It will be an honor and privilege to pray for you during your journey. You are doing the right thing. What a blessing for your children and a reason to hope for their future. It will be exciting to hear how God loves you during your time of transition to emotional, physical and spiritual safety. He will provide!

  50. Daisy on February 3, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks you all for your input! The pill was ineffective for me, and as I was looking into finding a hormonal alternative, I realized how incredibly unhealthy it is. I believe that when 2 people decide to have sex, they should both be responsible for the outcome anyway. So, my husband does not pressure me, but reads the “no go zone” actions I send out. Thank God. When we do have a lucid moment of reconciliation, I provided a large pack of condoms???? He somehow still thinks that a Vasectomy would be “un-manly”.
    I am praying for reconciliation with us, although it mostly seems impossible to me-God changes lives. I have begun to finally tell him what I think and feel-and although that offends him, I am freed by speaking the truth in love to him.

    • Elizabeth on February 3, 2016 at 11:47 pm

      “The truth will set you free.” It has a whole new meaning now – thank you for that, Daisy.

  51. hopeful on February 4, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Roxanne

    That is a very good question. I don’t know why I am in denial that he has “drawn the line in the sand ” as he said to me yesterday morning. I am beginning to gain clarity and see that the way he treats me is mean and very punishing. He is sick and living in darkness.

    I am scared. That’s probably why I keep trying to fix and figure him out as well as looking for avenues for him to join me in healing our marriage.

    I may have to take action and I am scared to do that. The good news is that my path isn’t so clouded with vines and burrs. I am starting to see light.Little by little.

  52. hopeful on February 5, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    So incredibly sad. My heart aches for you.

    I suppose my situation is somewhat similar. My husband withholds physical touch, kisses, sex as well..now that I think about it. I am being punished. Do you think this is happening to you as well?

    I work all day, do the laundry, clean when I can, take care of the majority of my children’s schedules/activities, make sure he has hot fresh coffee every morning, clean bed to sleep in, and I get nothing. I do this to keep the peace and to provide an illusion of a functional home for my boys.

  53. hopeful on February 6, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    OH MY..THIS SOUNDS LIKE MY SITUATION.

    My husband and I sleep together, but we have very little going on between us, unless it’s about the kids.

    He is so hurt by the way I have treated him, that he won’t budge and let down his pride to heal our marriage and keep our family together.

    We are stuck in a crossroad facing a broken bridge.

  54. Jen on March 6, 2016 at 8:44 am

    My “second” husband and I have been married for two years now. (Note: I was married to a porn addict for 15 years. Advice: Seek Him and Seek Help now! They cannot stop on their own and it will get worse! Newlife Ministries with Steve Arterburn)

    For two years, my new husband treated me like a princess and carried for the kids and me. I relocated and soon became his wife. A month later, he became increasing distant and started spending all of his free time to himself or in his man cave on the computer (no, he is not into porn, but Youtube basketball and music videos). I realized that he was separating himself from me. I am not allowed to open his mail. He decides what I am to know about anything involving him or his family. We are NOT a team.

    In October, I decided I would start emailing him as a form of communication because his anger outbursts would not allow for productive conversations. I voiced my concern about his secretiveness and wondered if it was a family thing because his sister is also distant and I have yet to meet any of her friends. He forwarded my email to his mother! Although he has been in contact with the family and participated in events, I have not. She required that I apologize to her for saying what I did as she did not like me saying anything about her family. I felt so betrayed and I can’t shake it. Since, I have realized just how many lies my husband tells and has told.

    We are in counseling now and I know counselors tread lightly with men, “but” my husband still feels justified to “tell his mom on me”! He continues to leave me in the dark about family events. I think he wants to avoid being a room with me and his family. It’s such a mess. I am unsure as to how I will proceed in the future, but I have also decided to not participate sexually for awhile. He cannot understand that he cannot lie to me, tell on me and expose my thoughts to others if he is my protector. But that’s the problem, he behaves like my enemy. The counselor has given him an assignment to meet with me and his mom and straighten things out by apologizing to her for getting her into this and then apologizing to me for the betrayal of trust. This was a month ago and we live 30 minutes apart. He keeps saying he has not had time.

    • Connie on March 6, 2016 at 10:06 pm

      How do you know he isn’t into porn, because he says so? Why would you need to be secretive watching sports and music? My second h got angry when I opened his mail. Years later he admitted it was because he was afraid there would be stuff from his porn sites. He hid it from me for years. He had special programs on his computer that deleted things forever so they could not be found. Did you tell him when you were dating that your first h was into porn? Then he would have to be very secretive, wouldn’t he?

      One of the biggest marriage issues is not leaving and cleaving. If he (like my h) is pitting you against his family, he is not trying to be a husband, never mind the lies. Without truth, there is no marriage. One thing I’ve learned is that whatever boundaries you make, be sure that your attitude is not to manipulate him to change, but to protect yourself. You are not his savior. Dr. Phil says there are no victims, only volunteers. About 2 years ago God said to me, “No more excuses.” That is when I started seeing how many things he said were excuses. Wow, they are expert at that! And also how many excuses I made, not only for his stupidity but also for my not doing anything about it.

      • Jen on March 6, 2016 at 10:27 pm

        He is doing online trading of stocks when in the computer. Unfortunately, I am a good detective because my first was into porn. My h never clears the history so I see exactly what he’s visiting. Honestly, if it were porn, then at least I’d have a reason. He truly enjoys being alone to himself with people in the house. It gives him the option of interacting or not. One of his primary hurdles with me is “wanting” to connect. He doesn’t seem to get the importance now that we are married. Just before sex would be enough if I allowed it.
        I’ve given myself until August to see true, honest, progress. I simply can’t do this dance anymore. It’s exhausting. We have six kids between us and he doesn’t connect with them either. I’m so overloaded. I feel like the male in this relationship.

        • Connie on March 6, 2016 at 10:44 pm

          As a married couple, you should be privy to what he is doing on the computer no matter what. I totally get how exhausted you are. I just read the other day, “If a person drains your energy, they are not your friend”, or something like that. We sometimes get fooled into thinking that they are clueless about relationships, but I’m guessing he was attentive before you were married, so that isn’t an excuse either. If he was clueless, you would have noticed it before marrying him. He will not make one step toward changing by your or your counselor’s words, only maybe by consequences. He wanted a maid, not a wife, and will do anything necessary to keep it that way.

  55. Jen on March 7, 2016 at 6:57 am

    Connie, you are so right. It’s very comforting to speak with women in the battle even over my counselor as he tries to keep everything neutral. The problem with that is men like my husband always see it as a “win” because from their perspective, the counselor is placing blame/responsibility on you. As soon as we leave, the dialogue and desire to do better, understand better and respond kinder fades.

    Thank you for your encouraging words. I already know what’s best for my kids and me. I just have to muster my plan and stay strong in my faith. We practically live alone now! He is more withdrawn from them than me.

    Once again, thank you.

  56. Jen on March 9, 2016 at 7:34 am

    I hope someone will see this and be able to answer. It’s me again, Jen. I’m trying to think of a boundary to put in place to protect my kids from my husband’s mood swings. Most nights at the dinner table he does NOT engage in our conversation. It’s me and the kids talking. He says absolutely nothing! I still make his plate every night and pretend he is not even there, but honestly I wish he wouldn’t even eat with us. I feel horrible because I’m thinking they look at me as weak and why would she allow this. He knows I hate his behavior. What can I do?

    • MHMC on March 9, 2016 at 7:40 am

      I think you’re doing the right thing already. The only boundary you can really put up is to not engage with him when he acts that way. You don’t need to punish him for his mood. If you’re in a good niid, and engaging with your kids, and act happy regardless if his behavior, you will already be “punishing” him. And hopefully he realizes how miserable he us, and eventually follow your lead and engage with his family.

    • Leslie Vernick on March 9, 2016 at 11:03 am

      I agree. Ignore him and go on with the kids in a positive way. Initiate positive discussion at the dinner table like “What was the best thing that happened to your today at school” or “Let’s list five things we are thankful for today” or “Name something you’re proud of yourself today” and let him be in his own space.

  57. Jen on March 9, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Thanks to everyone for the support. I heard about this on NewLife and immediately downloaded the book. I think I will subscribe to the support group. It’s unfair that my mom is my only support. I don’t like divulging so much to her, but she’s so safe, smart and totally pro-marriage.

    Like you, Mrs. Vernick, I hope that one day my pain can be used as hope for someone else. I dare each day to be an overcomer and not a victim!

    Once again, thank you for your ministry.

  58. Jess on March 9, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    I would respectfully caution anyone who does this in believing that he will catch on or is being genuine in his kindness. I lived with an abuser/sex addict who would be real nice to get what he wanted every time. My giving in when he was nice never changed him in 20 yrs. He had no intention of changing. He was also cheating on me this whole time with multiple partners. Some men are just users. Everyone is a pawn to be positioned in a way that gives them what they want. Some men just don’t change and are very covertly destructive and predators..

  59. Jess on March 9, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    There is usually a lot going on behind the scenes. I recommend seeing a private eye if you are able. It was the best thing I ever did. Never let on to your husband about this. Get his phone/computer/whereabouts checked. It is eye opening. You aren’t crazy.

  60. Jen on May 13, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Praise report! It’s me, Jen, and I’m the one whose husband shared an email I wrote to him with his mom “and” I’m the one whose kids were being ignored by their stepdad. We went to counseling and little by little the walls came down. I think the counselor simply asked the right questions and my husband decided to wake up each morning and make a choice to love me. He has also realized that he is so important to his step kids and the influence he has on them. He told me that he’d notice all the little girls at his impoverished school and how the ones without dads behaved. Slowly his heart has softened.

    Now the biggest thing he will have to do is make things right with his mom. This is the real test! She’s his biggest fan and biggest emblem. From what I understand she wants the conversation to be quick and done. To me, that says I really don’t want to hear about my son’s actions being inappropriate. She has a way of not wanting him to ever suffer consequences. I’m thinking I need to hear his script before we go over there. It’s been nearly 8 months since I’ve seen her. Little does she know that this was the counselor’s assignment for him back in February!!!!! Avoidant personality?!!! Advice welcomed.

  61. Yearning to be desired again on June 17, 2016 at 1:35 am

    I want to address a few things I have heard. Men do feel closer with sex – they need sex to feel close and we need to feel close to have sex. Not sure why God made it that way, but he did. So your husbands are telling the truth on that. Also, both my husband and I, in theLast initiated sex while the other was asleep. In fact, he ended up with some sexual issues (that were more of an issue from the excessive drinking he started after losing his parents and stress etc) that it worked better when initiated when he was sleeping and relaxed. For the first half of our marriage sex was amazing and yes I had woken up with bits or pieces places but I never felt badly about it as our relationship was good. That’s probably the difference. Now the last half of our marriage after him losing his parents and finances and messy house with 5 children & some other things (all of which he blames me for -except his parents death) he started drinking a ton and hanging out at a friend’s place where he the wife ended up in an emotional affair. Which he denies but eve. Her husband saw that but allowed it all to go on as he wanted out…. It’s been horrible. He says of his penis isn’t out the it doesn’t matter…. Problem is – he rarely has sex with me anymore. Ladies, I feel for your husband’s! Now withholding for a time for a good reason is one thing (until he has been checked for STD’s after an affair, or not on a night he has been mean etc), but telling someone they can never have sex again is cruel. That’s my husband’s “punishment” of choice for me. He withholds all love, affection, and sex. It feels HORRIBLE. And makes me feel all sorts of horrible feelings. Today after being gone for a couple of days at my mom’s, I sent him a sexy pic announcing I was “home”. He flirted a little back and said “maybe later” but he needed a nap and to do some side work. And then it just so happened that all 5 kids were gone tonight – that does not happen. I texted him 2 hours after he had left to go do his sidework and told him. He didn’t act interested at all and I waited 6 hours for him alone. He didn’t come home from working at someone else’s house for 6 MORE hours. Plus he hates going to bed late because he gets up at 4 for his actual job! That was purely a slap in my face. He even called me to tell me he was running someplace quick before he came home. I asked to go with him and he said he was already near his destination. I think my error that I did to cause this punishment was perhaps showing him that our account was overdrawn again because more expensive pills came out… Interestingly almost all the pills are sex related but yet he isn’t intiating with me. This article is helpful for those wives dealing with men who can’t keep their hands off, but right now that hurts as I would love that. Him treating me as undesirable and not worth it – really hurts. He knows sex and love is important to me but because he blames me for money issues which is important to him – he withholds it. Please don’t punish your spouse this way – it backfires! (Now I understand the “for a time” and back together for things but sentencing someone to the choice of no sex, divorce, or adultery is horrible and not fair. There needs to be an end to it….

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