Sexual Abuse In Marriage, Part 1 [Guest Post]

Morning friends,

I am enjoying a much-needed vacation with my family in Hawaii. It’s so fun to see this beautiful island from the eyes of our sweet grandchildren. Having tons of fun and they are loving spending time with their Nana and Poppop.

For the next three weeks, I’m going to do something different. We will have a series of blog posts on Sexual Abuse in Marriage by Darby Strickland.

Darby is one of the counselors that was on the panel with me taping curriculum for the Southern Baptist Church on Helping the Church deal with those who are abused in a caring way. You may also want to print them off to give them to your pastor or counselor.

Sexual Abuse In Marriage Part 1

This is the first in a series of three blogs on the sexual abuse of women in marriage. My goal is to help counselors and pastors to recognize when a wife is being sexually abused by her husband and then offer appropriate help.

In this first blog, we will define what marital sexual abuse is. In the second, we will talk about why women might not realize what is happening to them. And in the third installment, I will offer some thoughts on how to help women in this situation.

God created marriage to be something beautiful and sacrificial in which the hearts and bodies of a man and woman are united as one. Sex is supposed to be a culmination of this emotional and spiritual relationship expressing unity, peace, and love (Gen. 2:24; Prov. 5:18-19; Song. 7:6-12). Given this foundation, the possibility that marriage could be a place where sexual abuse or violence occurs is almost unthinkable. But sadly, it does happen—and with surprising frequency.

Though the recent #metoo movement has revealed the prevalence with which people are violated sexually, my heart remains heavy for wives who are victims of marital sexual abuse. Their stories remain untold, and I am concerned that many pastors and counselors are unaware of its occurrence.

I hear many stories (too many stories) of women being abused, violated or even raped by their husbands. It is a frightening reality for these women—one that they usually endure in isolation. The Lord is not silent on such horrors, nor should we be. My goal, therefore, is to identify what sexual abuse in marriage looks like so it can be recognized more readily and these women can get the help they need.

Sexual abuse in marriage occurs when husbands make demands on their wives that are not based on love. These demands for sex are not sanctioned by 1 Corinthians 7:3-5,2 though the passage is often used as a goad to require a wife’s compliance. To be clear, the men who do this are troubled themselves. They usually have deep-seated problems including a weak or non-existent relationship with God and an inflated sense of entitlement. They believe that other people (including their wives) exist for them—for their comfort and to meet their needs, including sexual ones. When their wives fail to respond as desired, it often results in a pattern of coercive and punishing behaviors designed to force their compliance.3

Women can sexually abuse their husbands, but it happens at a substantially lower rate.2 This passage is often incorrectly applied. It does not give husbands permission to demand sex from their wives and does not sanction pressuring women into thinking that it is their “wifely duty” to give in to such demands. These distortions fail to account for the fact that sex is a gift from God designed for his purposes, not our own. Space does not permit a full discussion of the passage, but for a better way to look at 1 Cor. 7:4-5 see Tim Challies’ blog “Two Different Ways to Think about Sex in Marriage.3 I have written about this at length. You can see my books here.

Sexual desire perverted by entitlement damages a couple’s sexual relationship in many ways. Here are a few examples of what it looks like:

Unrelenting pressure – Most couples need to work out differences in sexual desire or appetite, but what I am talking about here is a husband pleading for or demanding more sex in such a way that the pressure never lets up. Women tell me stories of being lectured (some for hours), being degraded, told there will be no affection unless it culminates in sex, or made to feel responsible for their husband’s use of pornography. Sex-on-demand has become an expectation or a “right” within the marriage. I have found this pattern to be the most destructive in relationships where the husband is also disengaged from other foundational areas in the marriage such as parenting, household management, and connecting relationally.

Callous disregard – There are many occasions where sex is neither desired nor conceivable: an illness, a new baby, a particularly difficult day, a house full of guests, or after an abusive rant. But instead of yielding and caring for the whole being of his wife, a common characteristic of an entitled husband is to disregard his wife’s circumstances and expect or demand that sex proceed as usual

Unwanted acts – When a wife has made it clear that she is uncomfortable with a particular sex act or implement, an entitled husband insists, disregarding her comfort. Other examples include: when a wife says something hurts and the husband does not stop, undesired sexting, or being filmed while engaging in sexual activity without consent. In some marriages, the abuse is so severe that a wife is too frightened to even give voice to her preferences.

Coercion – Manipulation in the form of threats may also be used, forcing the victim to submit to unwanted sexual acts out of fear or guilt. The husband may imply or state that he will get violent, leave, find “another” woman, expose her in some way, or punish her or her children. The threats do not have to be spoken; oftentimes wives experience punishments without explanation. Coercive sex abuse can be very confusing because after being “persuaded” (a.k.a. bullied), consent was technically granted. The victimized wife is left wondering, “Was I sexually assaulted or did I agree to it?” Whatever form of coercion is used, be it physical, financial, or emotional, any sexual act which is not based on mutual consent constitutes sexual violation. It leaves a wife feeling confused, dirty, betrayed, and assaulted.

Violation –The worst sexual violation is rape, but there are many types of violation. Among them are sexual acts performed while someone is sleeping or intoxicated, unwanted sexual touch, being forced to engage in an unwanted act to avoid another abuse, or a husband ignoring tears or other expressions of discomfort.

Sadly, I have heard many stories of Christian women who were raped on their honeymoon. They were conditioned early on in their marriage to be compliant or be terrorized.

These patterns are disturbing and have no place in a godly marriage.

Marriage does not equal consent. It does not obligate spouses to participate in any sexual act at any time. But devastatingly, many Christian women have come to believe that sex-on-demand is their “wifely duty.” Thus, they have a hard time separating being violated from what they have come to believe is their responsibility. Confusion, shame, and guilt are compounded.

Those suffering from these distorted, abusive demands should not be left questioning what God says about such evils. The Apostle Paul speaks clearly here. “Put to death, therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming” (Col. 3:5-6). Paul is calling on us to eradicate all sexual sin that stands against our identity in Christ—any sexual impurity. He is not setting a low bar here and saying “just don’t cheat on your spouses.” He is saying: Wipe out all sexual covetousness—all your greedy taking—for all sexual impurities deserve the wrath of God.

We, too, must identify these behaviors for what they are—evil. Like Paul, we need to call for the cessation of such terrors and clearly give voice to God’s hatred of such abuses. We need to speak up on behalf of victims—and speak with the full weight of Scripture behind us.

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust.” (1 Thess. 4:3-5).

Friends, what was your biggest ah-ha moment in reading what Darby has written?

This post first appeared on the blog of the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. If you’d like to know more about Darby you can reach her at


  1. Alicia Kaylee on March 6, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    No ah-ha moment here, but it gives validation to my experience. Unfortunately, I was so very blind to the damage being done to me. I always gave the benefit of the doubt to my h. I believed his heart was good. He’s in a caring profession after all, so, he must be (or so I thought). I always thought he had empathy, so it didn’t add up in my head that he really didn’t care whether I wanted sex or not…after all he “had more needs” than me. The manipulation was so covert, I couldn’t put a finger on it. That is the part that makes me feel so ashamed…why did I allow him to use me for so very long?? How could I have been so blind? I’m still seeing a counsellor that specializes in trauma and he is helping me, and I’ve come a long way, but still have a ways to go towards healing more fully. I know the effects of the abuse on me, but I am still struggling to believe in my heart that it was as bad as it was. Articles like this help me to believe my own story to be valid. Part of the problem is that sexual violation in such a covert manner is something you don’t just talk about to just anybody. I have been separated from my h for over half a year now, but I don’t feel like I can tell the reason to most people. (I have a close inner circle of support that has kept me sane and validated, thankfully). There is way too much shame…why didn’t I stand up for myself? Why didn’t I say no? There was no real incident that I can say was the reason I didn’t feel safe saying no, until I started having boundaries when it was proven to me that I was right in believing that no was not an option. Until I started standing up for myself (after many years and with the help of a counsellor), I didn’t know I was in an abusive relationship. I just felt like my husband wasn’t capable of loving me fully. I felt like I needed to show him what unconditional love looked like so he could trust God more fully in His love for him. I felt that it was up to me to be loving, even if he couldn’t love me fully well. After many years, we realized he had a sex addiction and, so I thought we could get past that, if he got help with that. Now I finally know that, even with help with that, he still has a sense of entitlement and lack of empathy, and is therefore not a safe person. I know I am making a good decision to leave, but I want others to understand and know there are others out there (me, anyways) who get how difficult it is to work through the shame that isn’t ours to carry. I didn’t cause him to use me, even though I felt I couldn’t say no, and couldn’t put a finger on the why. My needs were so negated, I lost myself. I am finding myself again now, thanks to God’s leading. Blogs like this have helped me to know I’m right in trusting my gut finally after all these years of ignoring it.God is good and is guiding me each step of the way towards a healthier life. My purpose in life wasn’t just to help my husband (which was pretty all consuming). I have gifts and talents that have been ignored in order to keep my family together, thinking that divorce wasn’t an option in my circumstances. I have more purpose in life than to have it all sucked out of me trying to keep an unhealthy person satisfied, losing my identity and joy in the process. Now I am finding myself again and finding joy and learning to think for myself for once, and not having to process everything through how it affects my h. My relationships with others is deepening and more real than ever because I see my value in Christ, and therefore am able to have even more empathy for others than I did before. I was a victim of sexual abuse, and it’s freeing to be able to say it here. BUT, I am not free in having my identity known. I am still protecting myself and my h, and my children from that being known. There is a lot of fear surrounding that, and I feel like that identity protection is there for a good reason at this point. Reading this over just now, I read it through the eyes of how I think others (besides other survivors) would perceive it, and I feel like I would be judged for not valuing myself enough in the past to stand up for myself, or that it sounds like I am now having too much value on my own happiness and I am making too much of my (what feels like minimal) abuse. I know I am not, but that is how I think the outside word would perceive it.

    • graceiscome on March 6, 2019 at 3:38 pm

      It doesn’t sound like that at all to me: it sounds like someone who is very gracefully dealing with a very painful situation/realization and doing the very best for everyone involved to carefully and discreetly share her thoughts to help others and herself. God bless you!

    • JoAnn on March 7, 2019 at 4:54 pm

      Alicia, thank you for having the courage to speak up and share your experience here. I thank God for you and pray that He will continue His healing work in you.

  2. Hopeful on March 7, 2019 at 9:10 am

    This is a very painful topic and embarrassing to recognize that this has happened to you. I think that is the reason why there are not many comments. I can relate to this and am so thankful to have this resource. For so long I was emotionally and sexually abused and didn’t even realize it. I thought that my husband was just difficult and that he had rights because of being my husband to do whatever he wanted sexually. Now that I realize that it is abuse and he doesn’t have the rights he thinks he has and I thought he had I am better at standing up for myself and not just taking whatever abuse he thinks I deserve that day. I don’t let him see my emotions and that helps because before I just told him everything that was in my heart and he used it against me when it was best for him. One day I hope to be free from him completely, but at this point I’m happy to just be free from him emotionally. He doesn’t have the power over me he once had.

  3. graceiscome on March 7, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    I too didn’t realize that some of the things my former h wanted me to do were harming me on a deeper level. Perhaps if I had cared enough about myself I would have refused or said “enough is enough” (because I was at least somewhat aware of how it made me feel about myself). Fortunately he was not demanding about it, so I am not sure it would be considered “abuse” (and since I agreed). But because I wanted to attention, I complied. I think we have to be so, so careful when it comes to what we as women allow our husbands to do or say to us just because they are our husbands…because if it crosses a certain line, it can have such a damaging effect on our souls. And on top of that, we don’t want to “help” our husbands to do that by just receiving it. Sigh. This life and relationships aren’t easy, and so need to be put into the very capable Hands of God. Just my thought.

  4. Autumn on March 8, 2019 at 2:26 am

    I want to recommend “Malignant Self Love” by Dr. Sam Varkin. Watch his utube also if you are living with someone you suspect is a narcissist. Each and every action is explained and defined. Wish I found his work years agi.

  5. Maria on March 8, 2019 at 8:23 am

    This is a good video that talks about what consent is. Many universities talk about what consent is during orientation.

  6. Nancy on March 8, 2019 at 1:29 pm


    This is ludicrously ( is that a word?) hilarious. Thank you for posting!

    Our daughter had a guest speaker come into the classroom recently to describe consent. I’m going to show her this 🙂

    ( she’s in grade 9)

    • Nancy on March 8, 2019 at 1:38 pm

      So…as soon as I said I had a video to show her on consent, she asked, “is it the tea video?”. Makes me happy, for once, that she’s in public school 😀

      • Maria on March 8, 2019 at 8:08 pm

        Nice. Many of the kids nowadays are taught this.

  7. Brave Rabbit on March 9, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    Alicia Kaylee, Hopeful, graceiscome and everyone else

    Thank you for sharing your painful past. I don’t think any less of you or any other person who’s endured the pains of your pasts. You are very brave and helpful to have shared your life stories. It helps to let others know they are not alone. You inspire me to step out and share mine. You are right, it’s hard to talk about it. Just thinking about the shameful acts and events slam me right in the chest like the wind’s been knocked out of me.

    I cringe as I remember hearing the wheedling voice, “If you loved me you would . . .” You can fill in the blanks. I felt I always had to “Prove” my love. I felt more like a piece of property to be used and discarded on a whim. And my needs being left unfulfilled. Soiled in my soul, achy loneliness and self recrimination would follow. Even after a LOT of coercion after one event he said, “I always knew you were a whore.” That night I don’t know who I hated more, H or myself.

    I hate to admit this, I’m still with my H. We no longer sleep together and that’s only because of his health issues. I’m ok with that. It almost feels like Karma. And I’m sad for him and I still pray for him.

    I’m trying to live well and stay well. I enjoy having my own bed and bedroom and feel safe. I still think about leaving because the verbal abuse is still there. I pray to God and am waiting for an answer. Until then I’m working on myself and keep putting the pieces of me together with His help. And maybe God is preparing me and I need to do all of this work first before he will set me fully free. I have a lot of hope and try to not let my past define who I am now or will be.

    God’s blessings to all!

    • GraceisCome on March 9, 2019 at 9:58 pm

      And God bless you, Brave. Just keep talking with God and let His Love embrace you. You’ve blessed me by sharing your story and your move toward healing. Stay the course and in that safe place.

    • JoAnn on March 9, 2019 at 10:53 pm

      Brave Rabbit, Thank you for chiming in again. It’s been a while and I’ve missed you. I am so glad that you now have a measure of peace and safety in your home. The Lord will guide you the rest of the way, and may He grant you more life and peace as you enter into a closer and more intimate relationship with Him.

  8. Janice D on March 9, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    Brave Rabbit, I am so sorry that you have been subjected to such evil at the hands of your husband.His actions and words prove that his heart is darkened and ruled by unholy desires. I am relieved to hear you have a measure of peace by having your own bedroom.I will pray for you as you continue to listen to your Heavenly Fathers voice and follow His leading.You are His precious daughter and He is grieved by your husbands treatment of you.

  9. jocelyn on March 11, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    This blog might be my A-HA moment. After 38+ years of 5-7 times weekly physical encounters that I rarely desired (I was punished if I refused), I am still piecing together this facet of my failed marriage. It is not that I do not enjoy sex, it is that I do not enjoy it 5-7 days a week.

    I do not know if my experience qualifies as abuse. All I know is that I was responsible for initiating something I didn’t want with a frequency that was beyond my desire. It didn’t matter if I didn’t feel well, or I was tired, or if medical professionals had requested that no sexual contact take place for a couple of weeks, or I just didn’t want sex that day. If I did not initiate, the punishment was the good old “you don’t love me” in true covert fashion, it was never actually verbalized. Just stomping out of the bedroom, slamming things around in other rooms and the silent treatment, guilting, sulking, pouting (his favorite go to-hey, it worked). Punishment would continue until his bad behavior was rewarded with sex. The beauty of it all, HE did not technically request sex (verbally), so once again he is not responsible. Wow. I enabled his little boy bad behavior for years in a futile attempt to please and prove that YES, I did love him. Talking or reassuring is/was a waste of time, as he is hypersensitive to anything that can be construed as criticism; he thrives on being a victim. The man is an expert at turning the most benign actions or conversations into attacks upon his person, it seems it is his Super Power… or shall I say his Super Pouter.

    I began to give myself a break about 10 years ago when a national study came out with statistics showing newlyweds engage in sex 85-100 days a year. Hmmm, my experience was at least 2-3 times that. Here you go girl….have some grace! I am still a work in progress, each day is an opportunity to learn, know better and do better. May God bless you all today and gather you close to His heart. We serve a mighty God.

    • ruth8318 on March 12, 2019 at 1:44 pm

      Jocelyn, you are DEFINITELY being abused sexually and emotionally. Good Grief! Just from a physical standpoint I have always wondered how ladies

    • ruth8318 on March 12, 2019 at 2:00 pm

      Jocelyn, You are definitely being sexually and emotionally abused. He wants you to enable his selfish actions.
      No 2 marriages are alike. Certainly no 2 abusive men are exactly alike, but one common trait they usually share is a entitlement mindset. They think they’re entitled to sex when they want it regardless of how they’ve treated their partner and yes, some have the audacity to put the responsibility on the VICTIM TO INITIATE!! Ask me how I know? 🤮
      You’ve been put thru the wringer more than I have. If I had to have sex 5-7 times a week, then I might have ended up a closet alcoholic. But the Lord knows what we can handle. I have extreme anxiety about kissing. Groping – ick. I would hold my breath.
      So.. now that H and I are doing a separation I have a brief list of the reasons why I CANNOT GO BACK. When I get lonely or feel weak in my resolve, I read the list.
      The top of the list are my anxieties about physical intimacy. (It also includes his angry views of God, His Spiritual abuse of me, his misogynistic views of women, and his hurtful favoritism of our youngest child.)

    • Ruth on March 12, 2019 at 10:06 pm

      Jocelyn, you are DEFINITELY being sexually and emotionally abused. I don’t even know how you can tolerate sex any longer after that kind of treatment.
      I am so sorry for your situation. 💔☹️

    • Happy on March 13, 2019 at 4:49 pm

      Jocelyn I can in some ways relate to your experience and I also have had a hard time understanding what was wrong with me. And now I understand there wasn’t anything wrong with me…

  10. Annie on March 12, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    Jocelyn if you are wondering if your experience qualifies as abuse please reread your own words in brackets. ” I was punished if I refused”. Communication is not all verbal, of course he was technically requesting it with his toddler “body language”, stomping , slamming, pouting. Give yourself the freedom to stop being an actress, to stop pretending to want what you dont want. Leslie talks about abusers wanting fantasy wives.

    • jocelynnixon55 on March 12, 2019 at 3:34 pm

      Thanks Annie, I don’t talk a lot about the sexual part of the destructive marriage relationship mostly because it was so pathetic. However, if it can be a learning experience for someone else, good! It speaks volumes about who I became, it is so sad that I didn’t find the strength to stop “acting” way before I did. I should probably have an Oscar. After leaving the marriage 3 years ago with the help and support of friends, family, church family this and many other resources, I am finding healing and taking a hard look at why I would allow the many things I did (not just this week’s subject). Trophy wife, I will have to investigate, I never felt like anything of value in his eyes nor did he ever express it, I was more just another highly useable object. My value to the ex was not in my personhood, only what I could provide…mom, taxi, childcare, gardener, housekeeper, employed, etc…The past 3 years have been about trying to sort things out and taking responsibility for who I became, leaving the ugly past in the rearview, preventing such things from becoming a repeat in the future and moving forward. If this rings true with any of you out there, get counsel, share with a trusted friend, work on your CORE and take your life back, it will be HARD but well worth it. God has a plan for life more abundantly, each day is a beautiful gift, open it.

      • beloved2677 on March 13, 2019 at 11:15 am

        Well said. You are an inspiration!

        May God richly bless you.

      • Alicia Kaylee on March 13, 2019 at 12:10 pm

        jocelynnixon55, I completely understand where you are coming from. I was expected to have sex daily and was put down because of my lack of “interest”, and there were lots of complaints that I never initiated!! My value was what I did, not who I was. Jocelyn, you said “My value to the ex was not in my personhood, only what I could provide…mom, taxi, childcare, gardener, housekeeper, employed, etc…” I have said almost those exact words many times. I lost who I was, as I disregarded my emotions. I had to “tune out” in my head in order to make it through. I had become really good at avoiding my feelings It was easier to appease my H than to stand up for myself. I tried verbally to reason with him, but his “needs” were always trumping me (not just sexually, but the sex part was the most dehumanizing part). I felt so trapped, believing I had no reason for divorce, but so frustrated that I was just being used. I believed my H was needy. I was responsible for his feelings. Teaching at marriage seminars was so bad for an abusive marriage….one seminar essentially teaching that the husband feels loved when he gets sex, so he then feels loving in return. If a marriage is stable and healthy, and the husband values his wife this may not be such a terrible concept to teach, but in our case it kept me believing that I needed to give in to my husband to get love in return. Certainly his loving behaviour did seem to revolve around getting his sexual desires met. I knew that our marriage didn’t feel healthy, but didn’t think it was abusive. I now know that it was, but, at the same time need to keep confirming this truth in my head to really believe it in my heart. Even writing this publicly is helping me to declare the truth to myself.I am seeing a counsellor, have an amazing small circle of people that I can talk to and reading books and this blog are helping me validate my own story (and am no longer living with my H, but am moving towards divorce). I agree that this is a HARD journey and well worth it!! God is guiding and will continue to do so. I look so forward to being even healthier than I am now, and am so thankful to be on this journey and being so much healthier in my understanding of God’s view of me, which, in turn I can see how God views others more clearly as well….we are all loved by God and He is so desiring for us to be in an intimate relationship with Him. I second what you said, Jocelyn, to others out there that “If this rings true with any of you out there, get counsel, share with a trusted friend, work on your CORE and take your life back, it will be HARD but well worth it. God has a plan for life more abundantly, each day is a beautiful gift, open it.”

  11. free on March 16, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    I can relate oh so well. I was/ is married for 28 years. my h used my desire to please God, twisted scripture and his own addiction against me. I use to say how can a woman be so blind and not know. Then i was floored by his pornography addiction and sex almost daily and constant deceit. I realized that I was blind. He use to say, if all you have to offer is your body then don’t blame me when i treat you like a piece of meat. Then it went to your body is not your own then why would you use sex against me. He then started forced anal sex and sex while I was sleeping. The only good thing about ambien( it would knock me out) but i was bothered when i woke up. Rape is rape and it effects the very soul awoke or sleep. What really stung was after years of counseling and he did it again he said… the Bible doesn’t call it that after I confronted him. My body is recovering from years of abuse and my sleep schedule is interrupted horribly. My gynecologist pointed me in this direction after she recognized my symptoms. The sad part about this story is my h is a minister, mental heAlth worker as well as other things. I was diagnosed 2 years ago with a type of cancer that was removed and he said, you probably got it bacause of the way you treat me.Now that i have begun to put boundaries in place he spoke to my pastor and his wife saying that I don’t pray enough and they showed up at my door. I was out done. So what’s next …praying and allowing God to unravel these knots.

    • ruth8318 on March 21, 2019 at 9:23 pm

      Your abuser may be a ‘minister’ but you described is someone is EVIL. This person has none of this presence of Christ in them if he would say you got cancer bc you weren’t a good wife – that is 100% WICKEDNESS. That is not something a born again person could do without being convicted by the Holy Spirit. I very, very rarely would make a guess as to someone being lost or reprobate but this man sounds like the people Jesus talks about in Matthew 7
      18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
      21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
      I am so sorry for all you’ve endured. God sees through his facade.

  12. Freely on March 16, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    I came to the realization that even though I was married for 28 years I was not his first wife. His first wife was the pornography which started at the age of ten, his second wife was/is that first love that broke up with him after they experimented sexually for years as children (he never got over) and went to a hotel with her and then there is me the one he married. He has been faithful to porn his entire life and how I didn’t see it still baffles me. So it’s been a triangle in the marriage. Now that I recognize abuse, like demand that I sleep naked, or business as usual after he was/ is continually busted,he has the nerve to say I at least waited 4 days and I at least ask you before I have sex…..I didn’t recognize the spiritual abuse until he called my pastor and his wife and said I am not making time for him. They showed up at my door saying rebellion is as witchcraft. So now his thing is spend time with me. He sneaks to the doctor and get prescription for viagra. I have heard it all…..from all you offer is sex so don’t get mad when i treat you like a piece of meat or you are not your own, to be a Christian wife. Last week, he had sex while I was sleep and I confronted him the next morning I said, this is rape and I asked you not to do that. He said the Bible doesn’t call it that. I use to be on my period for 7 days and by the fourth day he would try and make me perform. The sad part is my h a mental health worker and a minister. My gynecologist pointed me to the book Emotionally Destructive Marriage and this website. My sleep is so disturbed because he use to wake up in the wee hours of the morning and look at porn. Even ambien doesn’t work that well but at least some stuff I just didn’t remember he did because of it. At one point I wrestled with why God would allow this. I loved God, marriage, and my children. I still battle that and what I realize is that my silence gave him and those demons strength. I pleaded with him to get counseling personal and couples but he would stop as soon as the counselor zeroed in. So one counselor asked why am I still married and the husband of the counselor said because of the financial abuse. He controls the finances when she left her job to raise the kids. What’s even worst I was a Social Worker and lead intercession prayer warrior. So finally I am Putting boundaries in place and he is flying in a fit of rage. He can’t understand why I don’t want to be around him. I realize that when I leave it’s been a long time coming. Slowly I am moving toward independence with Gods help and healing.

    • ruth8318 on March 21, 2019 at 9:02 pm

      Your story is heart breaking.

  13. Coming to terms with myself on March 20, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    My “ah-ha” moment was reading the words that having sex with someone while they’re sleeping is a violation & is sexual abuse. Numerous times I pretended to be remain asleep when I’d be awoken at 3 & 4 in the morning because he was having sex with me. I can still remember the silent tears just waiting for him to “be done”. After almost 25 years of marriage, we’re now separated. He’s been having an affair & living with another woman for all but a few weeks of our separation. After all the threats over the years of “the women at work say I’m hot” and “I could get it anywhere if you don’t want it” and “show me that you love me”, I’m finally seeing peace on the horizon. Not that there aren’t days with many tears, but they’re fewer & farther in between.

    • ruth8318 on March 21, 2019 at 9:03 pm

      I am so sorry for the extreme suffering you’ve endured. 😢

    • moonbeam on March 22, 2019 at 5:31 pm

      Terms, I heard a similar, being raped in my sleep. I was told I should always be available and it should be exciting to be awoken from my sleep. Not giving consent whether married or unmarried is still rape. So Terms, you were repeatedly raped.

      I am glad you are free now. Have you thought about seeking counseling for rape trauma?

    • Moon Beam on March 23, 2019 at 3:50 am

      The attacks in your sleep were rape Have you considered as part of your healing seeing a rape counselor or joining a sexual assault support group?

      So glad you are getting free. It takes time to process the abuse but life gets so much better!

      I heard an expert once say, “Did she cry after the act?” An answer of “Yes” is an excellent indicator of marital sexual assault. Weeping is not a normal response after sex.

  14. Ann on April 2, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    The form of sexual abuse I lived with has similarities to all the above but a difference not mentioned. My h flips back and forth between wanting sex and enjoying it on one day to then ignoring me and insulting me when I do rarely agree. He lets me know I am not good enough. I disappoint him sexually, so he says.

    He always has a different tactic but the message is clear, he wants sex, “sacrifices” by giving up porn for me, (implied but not stated), a martyr trying to win back my love, while insulting me when he gets it.

    His other tactic has been to get me started then finish himself and ignore the arousal he started, aka trick me into helping him by appearing genuinely loving then just using my body as an object. Yet he told me I traumatized him to see me in lingerie. He flips from one extreme to the other, Jekyl and Hyde.

    This sounds pathetic and ridiculous. I am not an overweight or homely woman. Mens heads turn when I walk by and I don’t even want the attention . I cringe.

    Over the last decade, I have stood up to being raped by him, rage, financial abuse, threatened physical abuse but still receive emotional abuse. I no longer feel condemned by scripture for not wanting sex with him anymore. Sex has become pretty much nonexistent. He still pouts and guilts but after learning I do enforce tough boundaries, doesn’t force himself on me anymore. He doesn’t get it.

    I have learned God’s truth about marriage and sex and that is NOT God’s plan.

    Husband operates with all the traits of covert narcissism. I take a day at a time. This farce of a marriage is 25 years old.

    • T.L. on April 3, 2019 at 2:42 am

      Dear Ann,

      I am so sorry for the extreme abuse you have received.

      “Over the last decade, I have stood up to being raped by him, rage, financial abuse, threatened physical abuse but still receive emotional abuse.”

      Why are you still accommodating his behavior by remaining with him? He is a terribly wicked man. You are not obligated to remain in this destructive legal arrangement which is no marriage.

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