Does Bible Say I Have to Stay In Sexless Marriage?

QUESTION: Where does it say in scripture that I am required to stay in a marriage WITHOUT sex. If my spouse is not physically disabled, not grossly obese, not cheating on me but just NOT interested in having sex and REFUSES to go to counselling unless I agree to breast augmentation. What ARE my choices?? Where does God command a wife or a husband for that matter to stay in an actual sexless marriage. Not sex one time a month or 4 times a year, which is sexless nonetheless, but NEVER. Please give me a straight honest answer…………..Thank you.

ANSWER: Rather than go through all the passages in the Bible that speak to marriage, I believe we can answer your question by looking at just one. It’s found in 1 Corinthians 7:2-5.

“Because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (New Living Translation)

Quite simply, your husband is sinning. Though he apparently attempts to, he cannot rightfully justify his sin by blaming it on you because you do not have breast implants. Paul gives no criteria that one mate has to meet in order for the other mate to be obligated to fulfill him or her sexually. That means your husband cannot require you to have breast implants before fulfilling you sexually.

My understanding of the word adultery is a violation of the marriage contract. By withholding sexual interaction with you he is committing adultery of a sexual nature. The church would not tolerate his committing adultery by having sex with someone other than you. Why should it tolerate his adultery of refusing to have sex with you? Yes, it’s that serious. Notice that in the passage Paul says that we are not to deprive each other. The renowned theologian Gordon Fee writes about that word: “The use of the verb ‘deprive’ is especially striking. This is the same verb used in [chapter 6] for the man who had defrauded another. It is a pejorative word for taking away what rightfully belongs to another…” (1)

Your husband is taking away what rightfully belongs to you.

I like what Bob Deffinbaugh wrote about the 1 Corinthians 7 passage on Bible.org. “Paul does not stress the submission of the wife to her husband here, as though it is his role to get pleasure from his wife, and her role to give pleasure to her husband. There is mutual submission here, so that both the husband and the wife are to subordinate their interest (pleasure in sex) to the interest of their mate. Consider the guiding principles for what we might call ‘Spirit-filled marital sex.’

The norm is that Christians will marry and that as a Christian couple, the husband and wife will enjoy regular sexual relations…

“A healthy sex life is a preventative for immorality…

“Both husband and wife should eagerly engage in the sexual act as their duty, both to God and to their mate…

“Both husband and wife should not only give themselves for sex, but each should seek to produce the ultimate pleasure for their partner. Reaching the ultimate pleasure in the sexual union is what best insures against immorality…

“Neither the husband nor the wife has the authority to deprive their mate sexually…

“Those Christians who have been forcibly making a celibate of their mate by withholding sex are commanded to stop sinning in this fashion…

“Sexual abstinence is to be a rare and temporary exception to the norm of regular sexual union.”

Therefore, in answer to your question, I know of no passage in scripture that says you are to stay in a marriage in which one mate refuses to have sex with the other. In fact, my understanding of the 1 Corinthians 7 passage is that you spouse is violating the marriage covenant and if he refuses to reprint and fulfill that obligation, you have no obligation to stay with him.

 

(1) Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, The New International Commentary, F. F. Bruce, General Editor, (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1987 [reprint, 1993]), p. 281

 

 

36 Responses to Does Bible Say I Have to Stay In Sexless Marriage?

  1. Danny Gill says:

    Joe, I think you are correct here. However, I’m surprised that you didn’t got a bit further. If the writer does have breast augmentation, it’s unlikely that her husband will be happy. He’s chasing something that doesn’t exist.

  2. admin0 says:

    You are correct, Danny. Good point.

  3. Allison says:

    I believe that there is a good argument to reach this conclusion, but this is not it.

    Obviously, a spouse who refuses to have sex is sinning against their partner. However, sinning against your partner doesn’t justify breaking the marriage covenant. If a wife is not submissive, does her husband have the right to leave? If a husband does not lovingly sacrifice himself for her, is this “breaking the marriage covenant?” Both of these things are commanded in the Bible as well, and are part of a healthy and godly marriage the same way that sexual intimacy is.

    The only dispensation specifically given in the Bible is in cases of adultery. It is explicitly given, and explicitly stated as the only case – and even then, only given in mercy. God hates divorce. Please be more careful when you advocate it, especially when you claim to have Biblical backing for your claim.

  4. Brian says:

    That’s a fundamentally unsound analysis, I think, and one that seems to resolve down to, “If your spouse sins against you, you can leave him/her.”

    Consider the implications: by this standard, any occasion in which one spouse fails his oath of marriage is full, acceptable grounds for divorce. Has he ever refused? That’s grounds. Ever failed to cherish? Grounds. Ever felt a moment’s lust, and refrained from acting on it? Grounds.

    The natural objection to my argument here is that, “The sin has to become a pattern” – but that would be a Scripturally unjustified claim. If refusal violates the marriage covenant… well, then, it’s violated the very first time. Departure is justified already, and any choice to remain is an act of grace but not required to avoid sin.

    And to be sure, that’s what we’d say in the case of what’s more typically termed “adultery.” A man who cheats on his wife – even once! – yes, that may justifiably be grounds. We don’t require that she wait to see if it becomes a pattern first, because the violation is obvious and present. The same doesn’t seem to hold here – why so?

    Fundamentally, I think the advice goes wrong from the beginning – because it isn’t sufficient to consider only this one passage. What it says must be considered in the context of Matthew 19:8, where Christ gives exactly one acceptable justification for divorce: infidelity.

    Now, perhaps Christ’s meaning there can be construed to include refusal! Such an argument could, perhaps, be constructed – but no such argument is in evidence here. Based solely on the evidence present, yes, refusal is certainly sin – but to divorce on those grounds alone is as well.

  5. Paul Byerly says:

    I think Joe covered what has been questioned when he said “My understanding of the word adultery is a violation of the marriage contract. By withholding sexual interaction with you he is committing adultery of a sexual nature.”

    I agree that sexual refusal, especially total refusal for no good reason, is a breach of the marriage covenant. I also see it as well within the meaning of the Greek word porneia, which is the word Jesus uses in Mt 19:9. As such, sexual refusal is part of the sexual immorality for which Jesus allows divorce.

  6. Linda says:

    Interesting that Joe puts his thoughts online for all benefit, but Allison hides her website.

  7. Tony says:

    This may be true or not. However, I would be leary of letting someone unilaterally decide such a course of action.

    I would think this is something that would be addressed by the process spelled out in Matthew 18, where the church examines the evidence and goes to the sinning spouse and asks him/her to change their behavior.

  8. David says:

    Anyone who would quickly dusmiss his podition obviously does nit understand the pain of that type of marriage. I wouldnt stay in that kind of marriage. Period. Its no marriage at all.

  9. tim says:

    Jesus stated that “because of hardness of heart” divorce was permitted; then He went back to Creation- confirming God’s marriage design of “leaving-cleaving-and becoming one flesh (having sex)” (Matt.19)

    It’s not our job to judge another person’s heart; but from the limited information in this example, a husband who refuses to fulfill his sexual duty to his wife, and who demands she change to meet his percieved needs…my sense is this could quite possibly fit “hardness of heart”

    Maybe placing divcorce on the table could open the door to marriage counseling- healing- restoration…

  10. Robin says:

    Could this person be using Sex as a tool to get what he wants?

  11. Mrs. Late Bloomer says:

    By refusing to have sex with his wife he is unilaterally deciding to act like a married man. He is the one ending the marriage by not fully partaking in the marriage bed. What if this wife was refusing to have sex with him unless he got a penile implant so that his penis would be larger?

  12. Brian says:

    @Paul – Part of the unsoundness of the article, I think, is that he nowhere notes adultery as the *only* Christ-granted reason for divorce. Like I noted in my first post, it may be that adultery can be construed to include refusal, but that’s a case that needs to be made. Joe doesn’t make it here; if “we can answer your question” with just 1 Cor 7, then he’s not even acknowledging that it needs to be made.

    Put a little differently: the article can only address whether something is grounds for divorce if it actively considers what Christ gives as grounds for divorce. This article doesn’t.

    Returning to my original argument: if our standard is “any violation of the marriage contract,” are we to say that one instance of refusal justifies divorce? One moment of lust? One failure “to love and to cherish?” These seem like the necessary consequences of equating all marital sin with adultery for the purposes of divorce-justification – but surely they also mean that virtually any spouse could justify divorce under Christ’s restrictions!

    @David – I’d agree that such a marriage would be terrible to be trapped in. So, too, did the disciples – they found it sufficiently hard that they said, “If this is the case, it’s better not to marry!”

  13. Allison says:

    Linda Lawton Dickerson, does this satisfy your requirement that I have an accessible website before I can have a valid opinion?

    You may notice that your facebook page link doesn’t allow anyone to message you in any way. So I guess your opinion is as invalid as mine.

    You didn’t answer ANYTHING brought up, any objections brought up. You just, ridiculously, accused me of… what? Cowardice? Because I don’t have a website?

    Do you disagree with me? Then tell me why! Don’t just point out that I didn’t choose to make available a website where I publish my opinions. That has absolutely nothing to do with either Joe’s point or mine.

  14. anne says:

    I too find myself in a sexless marriage. However,greater problems exist. He is very angry yelling telling our grandchildren who live with us to shut their face and I’m going to beat your butt. He has never hit me but I am afraid of him. He admits he lies and has a secret and has purposely humiliated me in church. I have no real proof but suspect he is gay by his actions in public. He blames me for all his problems and resents me greatly. I haven’t known if I have a scriptual right to divorce him. I know I am not perfect but have tried to be a Godly wife to him. He is now home all day due to injury at work. I would appreciate any comments

  15. Deborah says:

    Love your analogy Mrs Late Bloomer. If the roles were reversed, I think most men would just up without even thinking about it. Just because their own selfish needs where not being fulfilled. At least she has the courage to pray about it and ask for advise.

  16. Allison says:

    @Anne – you do not have a scriptural right to divorce, no. But you do have a right to safety, for both you and your grandchildren. You may need to talk to your pastor and get counselling. Do no let him hide what he is doing – it is for his best spiritual health that you need to make him stop living an ungodly life.

    There’s another website, themarriagebed.com, with very active forums – if you post there, there’s lots of godly people who could give you immediate advice.

  17. bill says:

    WOMEN HATE SEX-PERIOD.

  18. Terica says:

    I don’t think that he is referring an occasional no. I don’t think people know what it is like to feel the systematic rejection of a spouse. I met my husband when I was 16, married at 20, and I’ve never been able to seduce my husband. Not to sound conceited, but I am beautiful. I was raped as a young woman, but my husband and I married young and avoided fornication. I am the only woman he has ever been with, and I’ve been devoted to him all of my adult life.

    I’ve always hated the lack of sex. On a simple level I feel like there is a part of me I have to lock away to not offend him, on a deeper level, it is hurtful. There is a good deal of loneliness, self doubt, self loathing, Through out my marriage I have never once denied my husband intimacy, and I am a avid Christian, always keeping hope that one day he would notice me.

    Now it has been 9 years. We have no children. And, our friendship has dwindled. We don’t talk anymore. I’ve made efforts. I spoke to him in tears and asked for him to simply tell me we could make it through anything as long as we stayed together. He was like plastic. Like he’s lost hope. And, I just don’t understand, but I’m oh so tired. He’s not cruel, he’s not rude or abrasive. But, I’m afraid now. What I never get to have that relationship I wanted so much? What if I never have children? What if, what if… I’ve given up so much, I gave up ambitions and goals, and made his my own. I never had a ring or ceremony, I never cared. I signed the papers and became his wife. I never blinked at it. Never doubted it was worth it. I loved him, and I love God.

    But, the hurt of it all is suddenly crushing. I’m still so young, and I can’t imagine sex and intimacy and love just being over. It’s like being alone all of the time. It’s like I don’t have a husband, or a friend. It clouds my devotions. It burdens me. It hurts. Some of you will say to pray, because you don’t know me, and assume perhaps I don’t. Some will say to be more God devoted, because you don’t know my devotion to God. But I feel split into pieces, never have i felt so torn apart. Because there was only one person in the world that mattered to me, and when I look in my heart I don’t feel what I use to. Like I’ve stopped caring about being alive, and I’m just existing. Because, I’m a wife. Because if I don’t have my husband I’m just a wife with no one, and there is no person in the world that can fill that void but him, but he won’t. Sexual temptation is a frustration, but loneliness eats at the heart.

    Man, I love him, but how long should I tolerate this? When do I get to say enough is enough, even though the thought of saying it is unbearable? When do I get to feel the healing presence of God, this hurt is so raw! I can understand why some leave, I can’t judge them, I can’t hold it against them. I’ve no doubt that away from this constant rejection that I’d be happier. But I’d miss so sorely the daydream of how things have never been. I’d miss the people I thought we’d be together. All my dreams are with him how can I imagine something different?

    But I think I’ve been crying ,y heart out for years now. I told him I didn’t feel like a woman anymore 2 years back. Lately? I don’t even feel like a person. More like a pet. Fed, housed, and ignored.

  19. Terica says:

    God help me! is there a loving word for me in the world?! It is so much for me to take, is there a Christian shoulder this world over that would understand? It’s overwhelming. How many people walk on my heart so carelessly, because it is not infidelity? Because in my home, in my house, with my daily company I find torment I find no sooth for! Because it is not infidelity, I have no one to reach out to. I’m afraid to speak my heart, I’m shamed to be quite. Because I’m a woman, I haven’t tried hard enough. Maybe I talk too much, perhaps I’m nag or unpleasant. But I’ve laid myself down, my whole heart, my whole self, and I submitted and I followed, and I prayed and I believed, and I hoped and a fought and now I feel only sorrow for it, and not a hand in the world can console me because my sense of lose us soooo very great. Is not the covering of a wife her husband? Is not the priest of my household a man of God?!

    I have suffered as a woman who has scorned him. I have suffered as a woman who has berated him. I have suffered as a woman who has been reckless, loveless and cold. I pray only that God is merciful enough to give me a path I can feel secure to walk on, because my confidence is destroyed.

  20. P.J. says:

    I disagree that it is grounds for divorce, but it is definitely grounds for some serious intervention. For a husband to say he denies his wife sex unless she gets implants is so utterly cruel that it’s obvious such a husband has no love for his wife whatsoever. And a healthy male who turns his wife down sexually is surely getting his needs met elsewhere and is probably addicted to porn or having sex with other female bodies with the breasts he’s demanding her to have. Using other women’s bodies for sexual climax (whether virtual in picture or real) instead of the wife IS blatant adultery and is definite Biblical grounds.

  21. Ella B says:

    Anne and Terica,
    God doesn’t want you to live abused, and I don’t think he’s going to send you to the burning fires of hell for leaving. I’d say both your husbands are in the closet. Have you heard of “projection?”- the abuser lays accusation on their victim to justify and cover their own sins. You are being abused. Pray for grace and get out. Yes God hates divorce, but He also hates abuse. How long can you continue to be degraded? Those who tell you otherwise mean well, but have never experienced what you are. My mother left an abusive marriage of 20 yrs -alcoholic, manipulative, violent- and was judged by naive middle class church ladies with comments such as “every couple have tiffs now and again”. Also… if he’s not doing it with you, he’s definitely doing it with someone- It’s denial to believe otherwise- you might not actually WANT to sleep with him if you found out who or you might want an STD check. No man lives without sex because of your bra size- or anything- It’s covering for something. Yes God hates divorce, and it’s not a light decision- but he also does not expect us to live cruel and degraded lives. (OH, and for the lady with the grandchildren- you need to protect them from him- he is also a child abuser, and they are helpless)

  22. Elizabeth says:

    This issue really gets people up in arms! Let’s just say I’ve been surprised at how hostile people get over this issue- both ways: divorce/leave or stay. I’ve been married for 8 years. The last 3 years my husband has refused to have sex with me completely. He has refused to show any affection whatsoever. Prior to this we had gone for 6 months and then 8 months without sex b/c we didn’t have sex unless I initiated every night and he’d consent once a month or less, and I had the idea that maybe *he* should initiate once in a while. He never did. Now. I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that I have not been the perfect wife. I have used credit cards to rack up a large debt (now completely paid off) and then lied about it the time he asked about a certain card. I got pregnan without his permission- yes, he consented to have sex once a month if I initiated every night. I had no way of knowing that that was the night he’d agree and I’d get pregnant. Did I care? Not really. So I guess that makes me unsubmissive. He yells at me, calls me names, gives me only a certain amount of cash every week for food and household needs and if I dare to use the checkbook or bank card without his permission, he yells and throws stuff and punches the walls and then doesn’t give me any money the next week, or else just decreases the amount he gives me each week for the next month or 2 and then if I’m “good” he starts giving me more. Now then. I’m not asking “Is it Biblical to divorce him?” I’m just asking this: Is there anything in the Bible that says I have to stay with him and put up with the way he treats me and not say anything to him or anyone else? Does God make an allowance for someone who just wants to walk away and keep themself and their kids safe, not necessarily divorce the spouse? Really, we aren’t married anyhow- he hs refused to have sex for over 3 years now. We live in the same house but that’s about it. He has his own life and I’m not part of it, well unless I don’t fix his meals and bring them to him and wash his clothes in a timely manner or clean the house to his specifications…if those things don’t happen, then I’m a big part of his life- a HUGE problem for not doing my job right and he could do a much much much better job and I sure have it good to just be able to live off him and nobody else would ever put up with me. So there you have it. I have read and read and read the Bible but I don’t really see any clear, specific things about abuse within marriage and how to deal with it.

  23. bob says:

    I am a man that has been in a sexless marriage for several years. There has been probably less than 20 times that my wife has been with me intimately in the last 5 years. Every year that has gone by since my daughter was born, almost 20 years ago, it has been a struggle to get her to even care about sex. We are in are fifties, and she has now gone through the change, and there is now no desire what so ever anymore from her for sex in our marriage. We stopped sleeping together years ago, claiming that it was to hard to sleep because of our snoring. But I know the truth is she just stopped desiring that type of intimacy long ago. I have often tried to talk to her about it, and it has been a real struggle between us. The last several years I have just gave up on caring, although I still desire sex and I still love my wife. I know that having an affair would not be the answer, but I have been tempted. I don’t believe in divorce for this reason, because I do still love my wife, and we have been married for 26 years. I do believe she still loves me, but she just has no desire for sex. So this is a struggle for some men also. As a Christian man this is a very hard thing to deal with, hence the reason I am up at 3 am writing this letter on this website. Like Terica, I know what it is like to feel unwanted and alone, and without hope in this area of my life. I now struggle with Pornography, and sometimes depression, and thoughts of suicide. But I than realize that the devil would just love to see this happen, so there is no way I would give him the satisfaction. I guess God never promised us a rose garden. Not in this life anyway. In the words of a good friend of mine ” JUST DEAL WITH IT “.

  24. MS says:

    Terica. I know exactly how you feel. I have been going through this with my wife for 18 years. You wonder why all of your intentions, and efforts as a God following person could have landed you in the prison that you find yourself in. Rejected, unloved, unsatisfied, etc. It’s funny how that act that is so central to a marriage can either make or break you. I too love my wife. I am receptive and willing on the very rare occasion that she wants to have sex, but she is never receptive to my advances. Sex is one thing but the desire to make love to your spouse and get tangled and entwined with them and fulfill that deep longing of body and soul is my real desire. And the rejection that comes when I try is so painful. It’s like having a panic attack all day. I will pray for you girl. Please do the same for me. yours in Christ.

  25. boby says:

    I can’t resist giving my input. I have been married 8 years and gone through the feelings of Terica, bob, and am now in a better place as far as getting my needs met a little better, but the trouble I find now is having the tolerance for less than satisfaction. I am satisfied more often these days, but a far cry from the healthy relationship I envisioned. JoeBeam lists three things I think … respected, liked, and loved. Well I bounce between those often, and its because of my wife’s personality and her lack of sexual desire. I LOVE her, and so I put up with it, because she is otherwise a great person, but bordering friend/acquaintance. Last week we had a landmark argument… the kind that changes things forever, in which she cried and asked me hard questions, and I was so pan faced and numb that it scared me somewhere inside. I have been and still am a die-hard Christian principles person, and I agree with JoeBeams argument and also agree that it lacks clarification. I do however think its perfect advice for the lady and for Terica. By the way if I could put you and my wife in a blender…. I would be happy in the EXTREME. I hate one thing my wife says and truely thinks despite my desperate attempts to convince otherwise, she says doesn’t think she’s pretty and doesn’t feel pretty. I think she is very beautiful, but if only she’d say it like Terica in a mater of fact way, I’d feel like I was getting somewhere with her. Anyways, this marriage has taken its toll, and I have given in to lustful thoughts more than I every thought possible. I have not acted on them, but I fear I would if the opportunity presented itself. I don’t want to hurt my wife, but I don’t think straight under that kind of pressure, so I try so hard to avoid it. Anyways, what I really wanted to say, is Thank GOD for forgiveness. God has given us an infinite portion, and I know there are consequences to sin, but you girls specifically and anyone paying consequences up front, why not take advantage of forgiveness and mercy and free yourselves even if (you can’t make a clear argument for or against) life is more complicated and impossible to survive without forgiveness. As of yet I am still staying with my wife an have no plans to change that, but I am thankful for forgiveness because I do sin in my heart, though I purpose not to. Not the best advice I know, but then again, not the best of circumstances and for that I think forgiveness is your best course of action.

  26. Helena says:

    The majority of preachers who preach on the topic of marriage don’t acknowledge that it can be a torment that starts from the inside. It is one of the articles on this website that I have ever read about the factors that destroy a marriage from the inside. How about impotence from day 1 of the marriage? I find ten Muslim forums dealing with it until I come upon a Yahoo Answers question that is about it. Why don’t Christians ever talk or preach about marriages in which the “oneness” doesn’t exist on a physical level? I realize no one who has never experienced the soul-numbing effects can understand the depths of desperation, feeling all alone, because obviously the spouse is secretly ashamed and not able to acknowledge the wife’s panic and suicidal thoughts. And then, the majority of Christians say “unless it is adultery and/or immorality…” Yes, this is in the Bible. Totally agreed. Except, what qualifies as immorality? But is this all? Is it not immorality to get married when one knows that he is impotent, and possibly sterile, and only hopes that there is a cure for that which he may find after he has tied a woman “for better or worse” to him? If the bride agrees to marry knowing that her husband has this issue, is she an accomplice in this sin, or just a perfectly stupid person? I have forgiven my husband. I asked for forgiveness from God and from him. The situation is the same. Fruitless, meaningless, barren, formal marriage, with a gulf, a Grand Canyon between us, and guilt, and shame and sadness every single day. Is this the cross that we need to bear? Is this a burden to be carried until death parts us?

  27. Sunshine says:

    I’ve been married two years. I’ve been abstinate the majority of my Adult life due to my religious beliefs.
    When I married someone of like faith. I thought . I’m finally going to get to have sex. I was so excited. After we married on our Honeymoon I had to beg him everyday to have sex. When we got home, he said he didn’t want our Marriage to be built on sex alone. It slowed down. He got me pregnant that relieved him for 9 months. We’ve had sex 3 times since my son was born. My son is 8 months old. I’m getting very frustrated…. I love my husband. I tried talking to him bout it and he always says here we go again… Your trying to use the word of God to meet your sexual desires. I even went as far as asking if it was me my looks, weight, if I nagged to much. Now his excuse is the more you ask me the further away you push me. Im in the prime of my life. I’ve served God all my life. I don’t deserve this. He says he loves me just has no sexual desire . How can I change his mind , I always have to initiate. I feel like he does love me. What can I do? Any suggestions?

  28. Linda says:

    Wow! And I thought I was ALONE in this TORMENT! It’s so sad that so many of us live with such complete rejection. It tears at the soul of the individual. It colors our world in shade of dull grey. There are times when I dream of some mystery man who loves and desires me. And in the dream I am deeply in love with him. But upon awakening…deep, deep sigh…it only serves to hopelessly remind me for the whole day of the loveless marriage I must endure. My husband projects onto me that which truly he is guilty of. He refuses accountability for his behavior. He yells and curses and a few times has even spit on me in front of my son! Since 2009, he has touched me three times…of those four years listed, in 2011, it was zero. I am not perfect…but I have tried to be a good and Godly wife, regardless of my brokenness caused by his complete rejection. I’ve asked God to help me to forgive him over and over…because I resent him for “leaving” me emotionally and physically. I fight the temptation to even THINK of another man! It is so hard not to do but I do this because I am a child of God and to even think of another person would be adulterous. And this is frustrating because my husband has robbed me of his love physically (there is no afffection or sex whatsoever!)…to be able to at least think about someone loving me would feed the need inside but I cannot do this. God tells us to be patient in adversity…God is gracious with me in my imperfection and because of this I have no ground not to forgive my husband’s neglect. But how does someone continue in a marriage completely devoid of love, friendship, companionship, trust? My husband married me knowing my past (three pre-marital relationshps). When we were first married, he told me twice that I remember, “I never thought I’d end up with a girl like you”…meaning, he thought he would have done better. He also believes “I’m too good for you!” And in 2009, based on my three prior relationships, he told me “you gross me out”. Supposedly he is impedent now…but I see him doing nothing to remedy the situation. He doesn’t want me. And his explosive temper and misjudgments of who I am, his lack of appreciation, his complete selfishness in daily living, has caused me to wonder just what I ever fell in love with 13 years ago. Tonight, he had one of his explosions of temper and his customary tantrums, breaking some buckets in the process. My son asked me why I stay…I tell him because I’ve already dragged him and his brother through one divorce. And that I don’t want his younger brother (the only child from my husband) also through a divorce. But most importantly, I can’t disobey God and divorce this terrible man.
    I am so broken. They say it takes two. But sometimes it only takes one. As long as I am quiet and do not defend myself, he remains calm. He cannot be held accountable, regardless of how gently I present my argument. I hate living like this.
    Perhaps God would not mind if I simply separate….how much unmerited hatred can one person endure from their spouse? My dreams of loving and being loved…what do I do with them? This is more than merely loneliness, this is torment…absolute torment. God help all the hurting people on this site…I feel your pain…I live your pain…I am so sorry for your hurt…you don’t deserve this..God indeed loves you dearly…focus on the prize of Jesus, where you’ll spend enternity…this is a place where He will wipe away every tear…a place that I believe Paul describes as being a place too wonderful for us to even imagine! God bless you and bring healing to your wounded souls! The tears I shed are for your plight as well as for mine. Lord bless and heal you and give you the grace to endure what you must…and the guidance toward the path His will desires for you.

  29. Trying to Stay Committed says:

    Like Terica, Linda, Sunshine and Anne, I am struggling right now with what to do. I am the sole bread winner (he lost his job last year), the mom of two, the wife who says “okay honey”, to all sorts of “big boy” toys: power tools, the muscle car, the boat, the snowmobiles, the camper. I had a male cousin say “You are a dream wife!” My husband has only applied to a few jobs in the past year( and I am the one who has to find them andd convince him to apply), he only helps with some cooking, some of the laundry and vacuuming the living room (and only on his terms)…oh…and taking care of all the cars and his toys. It is up to me to do the rest– putting away the laundry, keeping the rest of the house clean. If I have to work and can’t play (go snowmobiling or boating) or if I want to take a day to go with a friend, he pouts.

    But the worst of it is that for the past 5 years, he has barely been able to touch me, let alone kiss me or even say he loves me. At first he said it was because he was so miserable in his job he could not think of being close to anyone– now, well now he won’t even talk about it. We tried counseling, but essentially the counseling did not make him change one bit. We have been sleeping in separate rooms for 4 years and when I ask if he thinks we’ll ever move in together again he simply does not answer and walks away. I know I yell too much. I know I have gone up a size in clothes and I am getting older, but I don’t think I am as undesirable as he has made me feel by his refusal to even touch me. (When we walk through a tight spot like the hallway or kitchen he turns sideways to avoid even brushing against me) He is a good father… and I still love him… in fact, tears are streaming down my face as I write this because I would give anything to just have him put his arms around me or hold my hand when we are watching a movie as a family… I would be happy with that; I would just like to be held to have some affection.

    I worry what my children think of marriage. My young daughter sometimes says “Can’t you talk nice to her?” or “Are you ever going to go on a date?”

    Last year I prayed and said “God, I made a committment, I view marriage as a sacrament, and I am going to stick with this.” And I felt God helped me grow and mature as a person as a result. I do think He will honor my commitment. But I am so lonely. And I feel so desparate sometimes.

  30. I left after 15 years. Big mistake. I have had major depression since and feel I might not make it alone. I left after almost entire time of begging for sex. I thought twice a month was terribly empty for me and he barely kissed me. In the end, I regret not booking a weekly appointment for counseling with him for all those years. Just go alone or make him go. Tell him, its biblical or whatever you learn from therapy. Book with your pastor and church. Let him read your journals of emptiness. Write a response letter you wish he’d say, so he can see what it is you want to hear. I had a high sex drive and I regret that I didn’t listen to only Christian music and read the bible daily. Also praying and telling God I want less of me and more of his word. Also I regret I didn’t read the bible with my husband daily. Make him read aloud every day and watch programs from 700 club and other things daily to keep us intimate friends. Cuddling and holding.

  31. Jennie Ortiz says:

    I just got married after being alone single mom no dating just being a godly woman raising my kids I am trying to adjust because not having a man for so long I didn’t get married for sex I love my hhsband he shows. Me a real love I never had in the past . I have no desire to have sex I am 52 the doctor says some woman lose the desire in. Menapause is this considered sin I am happy just don’t desire the sex or being Intamate or oral sex nothing need answers please help I pray god vives me the desire but nothing…….what to do

  32. Brandon says:

    I think that withholding physical intimacy is what leads most married couples to divorce. The sexually deprived spouse has often had their partner reject their requests of sexual expression for months, years and even decades. The deprived spouse is usually not allowed to express themselves sexually anywhere other than with their partner. Every need corresponds to something to satisfy it and eventually their sexual needs will overcome their willpower. Their physiology will take over, leading to pornography and/or affairs. Sexual satisfaction is that important often times. It is what it is. I believe that this happens to good, faith filled Christians all the time. Unfortunately, there is only one place for married couples to go to have there sexual needs met, each other. This is marriage. The Bible makes it clear and evident that sexuality is an important part of this commitment and decision. If you can’t or won’t meet these needs you had better have a plan when one partner can’t receive what they needed to quell their sexual needs. It might end up very bad otherwise.

  33. ann says:

    Husband will not take ED pills for fear it will make him blind.Therefore I’m living in sexless marriage. We’re seniors and I came close to leaving and staying in condo. Which is worse, him not taking the pills or causing the spouse to live a sexless life. MY libido has never changed always 3-4 x wk is fine with me. I can’t leave now because I need surgery on both knees and in handicap situation right now. If I gain my strength back after surgery things just might be different.

  34. henry says:

    I am a man of nearly 48. My wife refuses since 2001. I decided to stay. We have 3 kids. Unfortunately it was after marriage (10 years later) that an autistic syndrom was discovered. My wife never accepted and does not want to go with me to marriage couselling. She is a Catholic. Before I met her I converted myseelf to the RCC. Nut as a teenager I became a believer in the Lord Jesus. Now I know this is refusal is also the consequence of my ‘conversion’. The rc priest will not react a protestant elder biblically would do according to her refusal. Hope Joe Beam wil contact me.

  35. marie says:

    In reading through these I can truly relate to the hurt and rejection of both sexual avoidance and little affection. I have reminded my husband of what Paul said about depriving each other. One of his responses was that I have a warm place to live and food to eat and I should be happy. I took that to mean that I shouldn’t ask for more than that and that I am not deserving of love, warmth, affection and sexual intimacy. The stories that I read here seem to me to be abuse. I am not a Bible scholar but, I am a born again Christian and would like to know if God expects people to stay in an abusive marriage. There have been instances where a husband or wife has killed the other in abusive relationships. There are marriages where men and women physically and emotionally abuse each other and their children are in danger for their lives. I grew up in that type of environment and I know the devastation of that. Isn’t there a place we come to where we are condoning evil? What about allowing yourself to be controlled by the evil and manipulative ways of another? The stories on here are not an occasional I’m not in the mood but, sound like habitual lifestyles of cruelty and abuse. I read on a Christian site that God cares about the marriage institution but, he cares more about the people in the institution.
    Aren’t there certain things that make a marriage a marriage? Sexual intimacy is the seal of your marriage. I wish I had the answer. I pray for each of you that The Lord Jesus will keep you safe in every way and heal and restore you all.

  36. loyaly lonley says:

    My wife has not permitted intercourse for over 20 yrs. I’ve always chosen to focus on her disability as the reason and chosen to extend what I thought was compassion and grace. Only in the past day or two have I come to see that part of the reason I’ve let it go so long without pressing for a change/solution is that I struggle with inferiority and deep inside do not believe I deserve to have this very special part of life. As a result not only do I ache to connect with the woman I love but cannot stand myself for not being worth her willingness to come one step in my direction. I’ve been told many nice things about my looks, intellect, and personality …. but for some reason, no one but my wife serms to think so and her opinion doesn’t translate into desire. This is all very painful.

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