Topic: My husband pressures me sexually to do things I don’t like. What’s my responsibility here?
I had the best weekend with my dear friend, Dee Brestin. She invited me to her home in Door County, Wisconsin for some rest and concentrated writing time. We were in bed by 8:30, up by 6am, writing until noon. I finished almost three whole chapters which encouraged me greatly. In the afternoons, we kayaked or hiked, shared stories, prayed together, sharpened one another and laughed a lot.
Here we are together with our delicate handmade flower necklaces we bought at one of the gift shops.
Dee is a wonderful bible study teacher. If you want to join one of her on-line study groups, go to her website at www.deebrestin.com to check it out. She has a new book coming out in September called Idol Lies which is fabulous. I’ll tell you more about it in future blogs.
Question: How should I handle it when my husband continually pressures me to use profanity during sex because it turns him on? I’ve already told him I don’t like to do that, but he doesn’t hear me. I was sexually abused as a child, and I don’t feel this is helpful to me or our sexual relationship. Also, he wants oral sex from me. Sometimes it’s OK, but he pressures me every time, verbally and nonverbally, not letting up until I give in. Am I being prudish or do I have a right to my own feelings about these things?
Answer: You are not prudish and you have every right to your own feelings about your sexual likes and dislikes. Your sexual relationship with your husband is one sided. You’re being treated like an object that is there to do what your husband wants with no consideration or respect for what you want or don’t want or what you find appealing or disgusting.
For those who have been regular visitors to this blog, what’s wrong with this picture? It is NOT a healthy relationship, sexually or otherwise. You are being disrespected and not cared about. This is painful when you are married to such a person and presents quite a dilemma for a Christian wife who wants to honor God.
However, despite what he and others may tell you, the bible doesn’t say that marriage is all about him and his needs. A healthy relationship requires mutuality, reciprocity and freedom. A healthy marriage is impossible without those 3 elements being practiced by both partners. That said, what can you do now that he doesn’t show caring or respect towards you; nor do you seem to have the freedom to say no?
You say you have already told him that you don’t like using profanity during sex and why. He still pressures you to say it because it excites him. You’ve told him that sometimes you don’t’ want to do oral sex but you also indicate that he disregards this and not only verbally pressures you, but you imply that he may force you as well.
It’s time to stand up against his abuse of you in your sexual relationship. Yes, a married person can be sexually abused. Biblically, it is not a spouse’s right to force you to do things that you don’t want to do just because he is your husband. Disrespecting your right to say no to certain practices that you find hurtful, sinful or unappealing is unloving and disrespectful. It’s time to stop protesting and to start confronting his disrespectful and unloving behavior.
Here is a sample dialogue you need to have with him. Prepare it ahead of time and say it in a firm but neutral voice tone. Don’t wait until you’re having sexual relations to say the first part, but you may need to say it again if he continues his disrespect, and follow it with the specific action.
Here is an example of what you might say:
“Honey, we need to talk about something important, when is a good time?” When he agrees to have a conversation, start with this:
“I love you and want to have a good marriage. I desire to have a healthy sexual relationship, but I feel hurt and angry that you continue to disrespect me in the bedroom, pressuring me to say and do things that I do not want to do. Sex is not just about your feelings and needs, but it’s about a loving interaction, and I’m feeling used and abused.”
Then stop talking and wait for him to respond. If he minimizes you or makes fun of you, say “you’re doing it again right now. You’re disrespecting me, and I won’t continue to let myself be treated that way.”
Then stop and wait for him to respond. If he gets mad and walks away, let him. The next time he pressures you to do any of the sexual things you don’t want to do, get up out of the bed and tell him firmly, “I told you I don’t want to do those things, and I feel disrespected when you pressure me. I’m sleeping on the couch tonight.”
If and when he apologizes, thank him for showing concern for your feelings but if he reverts to the pressure tactics during sex, reinforce your boundaries by getting up and leaving the bedroom. Hopefully he will soon learn that pressuring you doesn’t work anymore and it only makes things worse.
As I’ve said repeatedly, you can’t change your spouse, but you can change how you respond and what you do. And, when you change, things change. I pray that things change for the better in your marriage.
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As for me, sex is not a bargaining chip. I refuse to sell my soul to the devil. On moral issues alone, the sofa is not such a bad place after all.
I see this from a different point of view. Going to the "sofa" because of what a woman does not want to do will only send him elsewhere to get what he needs from a woman who will do what he needs. For those men who have the need for certain words or oral sex each time, they need these things to get and maintain an erection. I wonder if women really comprehend the chemistry involved in his requests. A woman is a Princess but she needs to be his, may I say it?, whore in bed. The point is that words in themselves during sex, are not good or bad words. They are words that turn him on and give him the confidence that he can be an adequate Lover to her. When we fantasize about how we want Sex, men have specific code words that please them. It is entirely possible that the woman is too limited in her love making skills because she feels that some actions might displease Jesus, or God forbid, the Angels hovering around watching. Most men at some point in their lives have witnessed some variety of what this woman might think is "porn." However, a woman who initiates, stays on top and uses Tantra Positions will please a man and keep him from wandering. It is a woman's responsibility to train a man in what she wants instead of it being an either/or situation. A Licensed Sex Therapist can help this couple to achieve a relationship that is satisfying to both of them. This has nothing to do with "Selling one's soul to the devil." It is clearly about mutual surrender to grow the sexual element of their relationship.
I disagree with your perspective. Feeling pressured or threatened to do things sexually that you do not want to do or are against your moral convictions isn't a loving relationship, it's being used as a sex object. That is not a healthy marriage.
I don't think a man (or woman) should be ruled by their sex drive or any other appetite. You make it seem that a man has no choice but to "get it elsewhere" if he's not getting total satisfaction at home.
I don't disagree that if a couple is having trouble in the bedroom, that a good sex therapist can be of value, but only when the advice is mutually enjoyable and morally acceptable to both.
I am Anonymous July 4, 2012 2:15 PM responding to Gorrion Rojo
Yikes, that’s placing an innocent person into the position of being an object.
The key words are: “mutually enjoyable and morally acceptable to both”
Yep, mutually and to both…It doesn’t take a self-help manual to figure this one out.
If one partner feels the need to run off to some other place to get want ever they feel is so urgent. That’s not my wrong doing.
Let’s be careful to place responsibility and blame in their proper places.
I totally understand where she is coming from, my husband also pressures me to do things sexually that I don’t feel confortable doing. I also find myself “giving in” when he make comments like “the usal”. Which he says when he doesn’t get what he wants. I have tried to talk to him, but he won’t talk with me. He acts as if he already has his mind made up that it’s all my fault and I don’t even want to have sex at all. I’ll admit that in the past when I worked full time sex was the last thing on my mind. We now have a 7 year old and I am woking part time. I have read comments on line about this topic and how if the husband would help out more at home with house work and kids that it helped the wives fee less stressed and more like wanting sex. I’ve though about this and even that wouldn’t help me. I LOVE my husband more than I can say and I want to please him, but things like oral sex and “the back door” are things that I just don’t feel confortable doing. I want to overcome these issues and feel more confortable doing these things he wants. I think part of it comes from my childhood. My dad was killed in a car accident when I was 3 months old and my mom never dated or re-married. I didn’t have an example of a husband and wife relationship while growing up. I was raised going to church and continue to go when I can now as an adult. Things like drinking and sex was wrong. Now don’t get me wrong it’s not like she said that sex was wrong, but that it was more implied that certain parts of sex were forbidden or whorish. He has commented on occasion that if he can’t get it at home then he will go elsewhere. I have asked him if he has already went elsewhere and he says no, that if he ever does then he will leave me first. I don’t want to reward bad behavior from him by “giving in” to what he wants because he has threatened to go elsewhere or because of his comments like “the usual”. However on the flip side I don’t want to loose him and throw away the 16 years we have been married and break up our family. I feel as though I am between a rock and a hard place. I really don’t want to feel scared to try new things in bed, but I don’t know what to do to overcome my fears. I have tried what he wants and I don’t like it! He won’t accept that and continues to pressure me to do it. I am considering drinking a glass of wine or something similar to relax me before sex. I would have already tried that, but have been scared to sofar. Once again I think that comes from my religous background. I am afraid that something bad will happen. I am open to suggestions.We are not financially able to afford couseling.
I don’t think that as a wife we are required to do the back door thing ! That’s wrong! That can hurt you and I don’t think that he should even be asking for that! Mine asked me and I almost left. I wish I would’ve now. I’ve waisted almost 4 years. I think he should consider your feelings much more and if he can’t then he’s extremely selfish to say the least! As a wife you should be considered too. As for me I’m strongly considering divorce because of similar things you’ve gone through that’ve happened to me. I’m sorry all of this has happened to you. My heart goes out to you.
Gorrion Rojo: you must be a guy.
A wife asserting her right to have a mutually loving and healthy sexual relationship does NOT give a cheating green light to the husband to go find someone else, and to make such a suggestion is perverted and immoral.
Please help! I’ve been married for almost 4 years. Unfortunately we lived with family for 6 months on the beginning of our marriage . Big mistake! But once we got our own house my husband began asking me weird things like ” the back door stuff” and then he pressured me constantly for sex even if he had already had it that day or multiple times. He’d still pressure me constantly and unfortunately I should’ve just left but I stayed hoping it would get better. It stayed the same. For almost 3 years this has gone on! I can’t even relax on vacation ! Made me feel like I had to do it exactly when he wanted and I do get very upset and now he has stopped to a degree. But sex is like a bad job and I feel empty it’s not love making to me at all since he’s pressured me so many times. Now I don’t want to do it at all. I’ve gotten to the point because it’s all just for him. It’s only been kind of ok for 7 months. But I’m considering getting a divorce . We’ve tried christian couples retreat. I just can’t get over what he did . And he had to constantly touch me like he’d put his arm around me in kmart but constantly touched my breast ! I thought what if a kid walks by and sees this! I know now we were raised much differently. We only dated for 6 months then got married . He just had got a divorce and I did too. But I was married to an alcoholic who often left me at home to hang at the bar and prob cheat . So when I met the husband I have now I was so happy he wanted to spend time with me and I thought he cared and loved me. And I did mess up once and we had sex before we got married . I should not have done that . But I thought he loved me and I was so used to being unwanted that I messed up with him once. But then once we got married he throughs a fit . Sex is like a demand and not mutual a lot. That’s why at this point I’m considering divorce. Like I said almost married 4 years. No kids. He wants kids! I’m afraid to now because of all of this pressured sex and lots of other issues. Should I leave? I know I have to decide. But please tell me not all men are like this? I don’t want rude responses please. Like I said almost 3 years pressured and 7 months kind of ok. But I’m still so hurt I barely want to do anything now. In the passed longest he ever went was a week without. And now it’s been 3 or so. He can get very agitated . Stinks because I’m very attracted to him and he’s a good provider and we have a house but I don’t want to feel like a sex slave? If I can’t ever feel comfortable at this point before I get pregnant should I leave? Do you think I’d ever find a man who wants a good relationship?