how can i help my friends have better sex lives?

Q: I was at a birthday celebration dinner for a friend recently with a small group of married women. One of the women brought a “girl’s night out” game, a deck of cards with a variety of questions (many about sex). One of the cards had us each rank our sex lives. I have a healthy and happy sexual relationship, and my closest friends know it. Although I ranked myself a 9.0, one of the women ranked me a 10.5! Sadly, though, most of the women only ranked themselves a 5….My question is, how do you suggest I approach this issue with these women? They are all Christians, and I would love to have some material (a website, a book, etc.) that I can refer them to. I’m not sure how to get them interested, but I’m confident that they would respond positively if I could direct them to the right material(s).

A: Unfortunately, your score is the one that would be unusual while your friends’ scores would more likely represent the general population. My friend Barry McCarthy, PhD, is an outstanding sex expert, researcher, and writer. Recently he wrote me, “Emphasize the crucial importance of positive, realistic sexual expectations: The most important being that less than 50% of sexual encounters among happily married, sexually functional couples have outcomes that are mutually satisfying, and 5-15% of sexual encounters in marriage are dissatisfying or dysfunctional.” In short, sex ain’t always great…

However, there are ways to increase sexual pleasure and fulfillment as long as both partners have positive, realistic expectations. Kudos to you for wishing to help your friends with that. There are several books available that guide couples through processes to enhance their sex lives. Forgive the commercial, but some universities use my book Becoming One in this area. The book has three sections, becoming one emotionally, becoming one sexually, and becoming one spiritually. In my estimation, a married couple cannot work on just one of those areas, but must work on all three to make their relationship and sex lives better. I also recommend unreservedly any relationship and/or sex books by Les and Leslie Parrott. You can find them on Amazon as well as other book sites.

You may wish to refer your friends to the Christian Nymphos web site. (Yes, I’m serious. The site exists and is written by Christian women to help each other have better sex lives with their husbands. Tell ‘em Joe sent you.)

Also, help your friends think about these matters:

  • Women who are fatigued have difficulty getting aroused.
  • Anyone overweight, man or woman, will have associated sexual problems.
  • When working on better sex lives, most people need to start with the other dimensions of their relationship.
  • Toys can help. So can variety.
  • There are ways to overcome sexual inhibitions while still adhering to one’s beliefs and values. (I have a “sexual experimentation scale” that I’m testing with couples right now. Email me at ask@JoeBeam.com if you would like to be part of my testing of this profile.)

The four areas that sex therapists often work with are Desire, Arousal, Orgasm, Satisfaction.

  • If a person has limited or no desire but can become physiologically, emotionally, and psychologically aroused so that s/he can enjoy sex and be orgasmic, then she will do well to have sex regularly without waiting for desire to be strong.
  • If arousal or orgasm rarely or never occurs, then explore whether the situation is situational (this person, this place, this time, etc.) or global (she would still have these problems even if she were married to a hunk and life was absolutely wonderful).
  • If satisfaction relies on impossible expectations or fantasies, sex will never be what she wants it to be.

Better yet, ask them to join me at http://www.marriagehelper.com/marriage_forums in the section about sex and we’ll interact about any and all questions, thoughts, problems, etc. I’m happy to discuss these matters directly and help in any way that I can.

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wife wants no sex because of our problems

Q: My wife and I are having serious difficulties. She told me she wanted a divorce but now she is willing to give us some time to see if we can work things out. However, she doesn’t want me to touch her, much less try to make love to her as we work through this. I love her very much and want her to love me. How do I not touch her or want her as we work through this?

A: This is a very difficult question.

On the one hand, I understand the wife’s emotional boundary that precludes her from wanting any physical contact with her husband as they try to solve their problems.

On the other hand, I know that in I Corinthians 7: 2-5 God said, “But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (New International Version)

Rather than writing my own explanation of that verse, I’ll just quote the same verses from The Message. “It’s good for a man to have a wife, and for a woman to have a husband. Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder. The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to ’stand up for your rights.’ Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. Abstaining from sex is permissible for a period of time if you both agree to it, and if it’s for the purposes of prayer and fasting—but only for such times. Then come back together again. Satan has an ingenious way of tempting us when we least expect it.”

So, what is the husband to do? We know that if he forces himself on his wife, she will resent it and feel that she is being raped. If he forces himself on her, it actually is rape. However, the obligation placed on her if she is a child of God is that she is to be fulfilling him sexually as he is to fulfill her in the same way. I realize that an argument could be made that if he were fulfilling her in other aspects of marriage, she would want to make love to him. Yet, that isn’t mentioned in that verse. As my friend Bill Harley discovered a few years ago, when one partner starts fulfilling an important emotional need within the other, typically reciprocity takes place and each gets what they need. In short, by making love to him willingly, she increases the likelihood that he will do the things she wants in this marriage.

Why should she be the first one to do for the other? My response to all couples is that the one who is the most mature should make the first move. I believe that. Yet, there is also a level of need that should be considered. By nature, a man needs orgasm — just as by nature a woman needs orgasm — for many reasons ranging from relief of stress to decreasing likelihood of certain diseases. (Not making that up; it’s a medical fact.) The ideal would be that she is the most mature and that she fulfills his sexual need even before he starts fulfilling her most important emotional needs in marriage. However, if she cannot or will not, then I don’t know what will work in this matter unless he can survive as long as it requires for her to feel differently about him.

In the passage above, notice that even God recognizes that he may not. He says that a couple should not go without sexual fulfillment because they become more susceptible to temptation. I’m not saying that her refusal would justify adultery on his part, but I am saying that if he commits adultery, that passage indicates that she shares part of the blame.

I’d love to hear your comments.

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male that does not have “good sexual drive”

Q: I am a 46 yr old male going on 11 yrs of marriage. I do not have a good sexual drive. What should I look into to help pick up my desire and drive? I have a great wife who has way more drive then I do.

 

A: Allow me to do something that I rarely do in this blog. Rather than answering the question myself, I direct you to two books.

 

First, I strongly suggest you get a copy of Men’s Sexual Health by McCarthy and Metz because it will answer your question, and many of the other questions that come with it, in much greater detail than I can in this column.  I know both these clinician/researchers and have become friends with Barry McCarthy. Though our views aren’t always the same — mine fit within my Christian world view — I deeply respect what Barry and Michael have to share. Order a copy online or pick one up at your bookstore. If you find a statement that doesn’t jibe with your world view (for example, if you are Christian and something they suggest contradicts your value system), dismiss it for your situation and move on to thier next point.

 

Just the other day I consulted with Barry McCarthy before submitting an article about pornography to a Christian web site. These men have good sense, tons of research, and pull no punches in sharing with me what we men need to know about sexuality throughout our lives.

 

Second, you may wish to look in your library for The Science of Orgasm, by Komisaruk, Beyer-Flores, and Whipple. They explore the medical and scientific research about orgasm for both men and women. I have talked with Beverly Whipple and honor her for being listed as one of the fifty most influential scientists in the world. The world view of these three authors isn’t that of mine as a Christian, but their work is definitely a valid contribution to the knowledge we need about sex.

 

In chapter fifteen, Herbal Therapies, they discuss a few herbal products that have been tested in humans in double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. Obviously, I will not replicate their chapter here, but I will share a few points you may find interesting.

 

(You MUST not try any of the following products without first consulting your medical professional. Each has side effects and if you have certain conditions these side effects could be disastrous. Got it? Don’t use any of these without medical advice from the physician or pharamcist who knows your conditions and meds you take.)

 

GINGKO BILOBA

 

Of gingkgo biloba they write, “While more comprehensive and well-controlled studies are required, it seems that gingko may be one of the few herbs that have aphrodisiac properties.” However, it does not always have that affect and not do so for you. If your medical professional agrees and you try gingko biloba to enhance your sexual desire, you may wish to use Gingkoba because it is a German brand and in Germany this is a prescription drug. That likely makes it of very good quality. Also remember that the herb’s effect may not come until you’ve taken it for several weeks.

 

ARGINMAX

 

The authors refer to a study of the men’s version of ArginMax over a four-week period in which a sexual function questionnaire demonstrated an 89 percent increase in the ability to maintain an erection,  a 75 percent increase in satisfaction with overall sex live, and a 20 percent increase in number of orgasms. For a study of the women’s version of ArginMax they wrote, “Significant improvements in the ArginMax treatement group were also reported in sexual desire, reduction of vaginal dryness, frequency of sexual intercourse, and orgasm.”

 

That means that ArginMax may be more valid for women who wish to increase their sexual desire than for men.

 

Remember that various medicines one takes may affect his sexual desire. Ask your physician about how each of the meds you are on affects sex drive and ask if their are others he may transfer you to that have less effect. Similarly, be aware that your own physical condition, especially being overweight, will definitely negatively affect your sexual desire. Change to the right meds and get the exercise you need and you may not need anything else to make your sexual desire increase.

 

Finally, there is good indication that an active and fulfilling sex life leads to stronger sexual desire. Initiate sexual activity even when you are “not in the mood” and it may well be that your desire increases in a few weeks just by increasing your sexual activity.

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sex during menstrual period – actually healthy??

Q: I am newly married and my husband and I both waited until marriage to have sex. We are slowly getting use to each other’s likes and dislikes and enjoying getting to discover new things with one another.  But recently my husband got upset because I do not feel like fooling around or having sex with him when I am on my menstrual period. He feels like we will be missing out on 12 weeks out of the year…to put it in his words. How do I explain to him the way I feel during my cycle or what do I do to make him understand it is not that I do not want him but that I don’t feel like doing anything?

 

Also I read your answer to the other virgin couple and what you say is really true. We should be talking about sex as Christians. Especially to couples getting married so that they can be better prepared. I know I still do not feel equipped to deal with it all.

 

A: An old axiom says, “For the first two years of your marriage, put a penny in a jar next to your bed every time you make love. After your second anniversary, take a penny out of the jar every time you make love. You’ll never empty that jar.” That’s overstating it a bit, obviously, but the truth in that axiom is that after being married for a while, the newness of exploring each other’s bodies and trying new things wears off and lovemaking becomes more about intimacy than excitement. (At least, that’s the way it’s supposed to work. If you wonder why, ask and I’ll answer in another column.)

 

A young husband worrying about missing twelve weeks a year actually is a good thing. It means that he wants you with his whole being and does not like the idea of not being able to have that passion every week of the year. The difficulty you have is that because he is a man, he doesn’t understand the physical effects of menses. No man can. I surely don’t. So to help him understand you’ll have to put it into his language. Help him picture having both emotional and physical discomfort at the same time, with an extra helping of moodiness mixed in. Maybe ask him how much he’d want to “fool around” during a week in which he drank a healthy chug of ipecac to wash down a dose of Ex-Lax every day. Yeah, gross, I know. Made me queasy just to write it. The idea is that he has no frame of reference to understand how you feel during your period and you will only be able to get him to grasp it when you tie it to something he can understand.

 

Now let me give the other side of this. I’m not trying to convince you to have sexual activity during your menstrual period, but there are actual medical benefits from it if you do. Women who orgasm during their menstrual period (whether the orgasm is from intercourse, masturbation, etc.) tend to have fewer and less intense cramps. They also decrease their likelihood of endometriosis. (Check out these and other interesting medical facts about orgasm in the book The Science of Orgasm. Not a bedside reader, but a truly scientific book that definitely isn’t porn.)

 

Orgasm is an analgesic but not an anesthetic. That means having an orgasm actually reduces pain  without decreasing sensation (amazing, huh?). Therefore, you may want to try having an orgasm with your husband, even if it is not by traditional intercourse if that is too uncomfortable, to see if there is a compromise the two of you can make so that both can be happy.

 

Either way, find a way to have intimacy, even if that isn’t sex as usual. There can always be holding, caressing, and expressions of love. If you find that orgasm during menses isn’t for you, you may find that leading him to orgasm in some fashion will be an incredible action on your part that will lead to reciprocal action on his part in other parts of your life together.

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marriage suffering from husband’s porn addiction

Q: My husband is addicted to porn and our marriage has been suffering for the last 4 years. We tried counseling about a year and a half ago and just a few months ago he tried going to a coach. He thinks we need to work on our marriage. I don’t believe it will do any good as long as he is not working on the porn addiction, but he won’t listen. Any advice?

A: Why not work on your marriage and his porn problem at the same time?

First, the porn. Find Celebration Recovery in your area and urge your husband to go. You can find the closest meeting by clicking here. Insist that he go. After all, you are in the driver’s seat in this situation. If he doesn’t want to get the help he needs, I suggest you consider making him do so anyway. Addicts don’t do well with their addictions until they have to face the consequences of those addictions. No matter how much you complain, as long as an addict can get away with his addiction, he will. Write a contract telling him what you will do if you find out he is using porn. Sign it and give it to him. If you catch him, you MUST do what you said you would do in the contract and make him face consequences or the contract is useless.

Many couples who attend our LovePath 911 workshop for couples in crisis have at least one spouse with an addiction. This workshop is not designed to deal with addictions, but we have found that addicts who complete the three-day workshop now have the motivation to deal with their addictions.


Our LovePath 911 workshops usually are held in Nashville, Tennessee.

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71 yr old man wants sex from 67 yr old girlfriend

Q: I am a 67 old woman–widowed–I have been dating a 71 year old widower for 2 years—I believe it is wrong to live in a sexual relationship before marriage–no matter what age you are or what your circumstances are–He on the other hand thinks it is okay because we have both been married before–and are older and more mature, and etc.  We have broken up numerous times because of this issue–but really are attracted to each other–I think we love each other–but I am not ready to get married again –at least not right now–is it wrong to keep seeing him -knowing he wants more from me–He keeps pushing me to travel with him and make our relationship more intimate– I am really torn–because I want to be with him–but I want my independence and want to practice my moral values—I do not find this particular issue addressed in many places–could you please give me some advice on how to handle this situation?  Thank you

 

A: It seems that when one person wishes to do what another person wishes not to do, they can be very creative with their arguments — even if the arguments really don’t address the matter at hand. For example, what difference does it make if you are older or that you have been married before or that you have had sex previously in your life? Do any of those things change your belief system about right and wrong? In short, the man wants you and is finding whatever words he can that might influence you to yield. However, you stated that YOU believe that it’s wrong to be in a sexual relationship outside of marriage no matter how old you are or what your circumstances are. If that is what you believe, then stick to your beliefs.

 

Integrity is the willingness to surrender everyone and everything for one precious jewel — to know within “I did what was right.”

 

I wrote the above sentence a couple years ago, had it printed elegantly on special paper, framed it, and gave it to each of my three daughters for Christmas. If they learn nothing else in life from me but that one principle, I did my job well.

 

So at age 67, why would you want to sacrifice your own integrity by violating your own beliefs? If you are sure that you do not yet wish to be married again, and also firm in your belief that sex outside of marriage is wrong, then your suitor either has to back off entirely on his wanting you to have sex with him, or you need to send him on his way. Why? Because usually even the strongest person finally will yield if pressed long enough. Decide what is more important to you; his companionship or your inner peace.

 

Then act accordingly.

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cannot live up to his internet porn fantasies

Q: Last night my husband told me that we haven’t had foreplay since we have been married.  I am stunned by this, but not completely in that I know I can’t live up to his Internet porn fantasies.  I’m married to an admitted sexual addict. What do I do?

A: Being married to an admitted sexual addict is tough, especially when you feel that he is comparing your lovemaking actions with those of people in porn.

You are so right when you say that you cannot live up to his “Internet porn fantasies.” No one can. I’m pretty sure that if he were married to a “porn star” she couldn’t live up to them either. Unless a person has an addiction, an emotional problem, sexual dysfunction, or mood disorder, she doesn’t have sex all day long every day, yet in a porn movie she (or he) has sex with a new partner doing new things every time the scene changes. It makes it appear that these actors will do anything with anyone at anytime and anywhere. However, because they are actual human beings, that isn’t the case. They perform for the camera, collect their checks, and go home. As they get older, they typically get out of porn — at least the acting part — and move on to something else.

So, yes, it is a fantasy for everyone involved. I once asked a stripper that I was trying to help how it felt to have such power over men. She replied that it is all a fantasy based on financial transactions. That pretty well sums it up. Porn actors have frenetic sex on camera whenever they get a paying role. “High class” call girls sometimes pretend to be girlfriends as well as sexual partners if the client is wealthy enough to afford her service. It’s not about sex; it’s about money. One person pays another to play a role and if the pay is good enough, they play it enthusiastically. But it’s acting, not relating, caring, or loving.

Are some of these folks in the adult industry (or amateurs on the Internet) suffering from addictions, emotional problems, sexual dysfunctions (such as hyperactive sexual drive disorder), or mood disorders? Sure. These folks will have sex on camera (or whatever) without necessarily being paid, but whoever lives with them has a miserable life interacting with a person with such problems. They don’t need more sex; they need professional help to learn to love themselves in the right way. If your husband were married to one of them, they would at first feed their sexual addictions and then generally destroy each other emotionally.

I wrote all that to affirm what you already know in your mind, but I hope to make sure you know it in your heart: You are not the problem and you should NOT try to be what he wants you to be in terms of these fantasies. Being a good lover is important in a marriage, but fulfilling sexual obsessions can hurt more than it helps.

I suggest that you demand that he find a local group of Sexaholics Anonymous and attend regularly. Our seminar for troubled marriages can be extremely helpful as well.

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mom caught son masturbating…how does dad deal with this?

Q: My wife caught my son masturbating. She is shocked. What do I tell him? What do I tell her?

A: It’s certainly understandable that a mother would not be happily surprised to walk in on her son and catch him masturbating. Probably shock is the right word for what she would feel. However, as you would imagine, this occurrence is NOT unique, and, therefore, in the general sense not shocking at all. I think we can pretty well assume that parents have caught their children masturbating for as long as their have been parents and children.

The first time your son or daughter “played” their genitalia was at a very young age. Lots of parents have experienced a two or three year old son showing them his first erection and doing so with total innocence. He isn’t ashamed but curious and wants you to tell him what’s happening. Wise parents don’t faint, scream, or perform an exorcism when that happens. It’s just a natural part of life and the kid’s body tried out the equipment. He’ll forget it even happened — unless you traumatize him — and will discover the experience all over again when he is a teen; only this time he won’t show you or tell you about it. It’s just the way we are made.

Similarly, many parents happen upon their daughters at about the same age (2 or 3) rubbing their clitoris. The little girlds aren’t perverts; they just discovered something on their body that felt good when they rubbed it. Soon they’ll forget it’s there and will rediscover it about a decade later. Again, wise parents take it in stride, don’t make a disaster out of the situation, and help their children understand modesty and such without making them feel guilty or that they’ve done something wrong. Nothing evil is taking place. A kid is just being a kid and exploring thier body.

That doesn’t mean, however, that you should be unconcerned if your six year old orders dirty movies from the cable company, or if your seven year old daughter is masturbating and has an interest in sex far beyond what is typical for her age. When a child is a couple years old, it’s exploration. When s/he gets older, it truly is sexual and typically that doesn’t happen until about the teen years. If it happens earlier, it is definitely worth looking into with a counselor/therapist who is trained especially to work with children. Grammar school kids unusually interested  in sex, or caught doing sexual things (with self or others) need to be gently and carefully examined and evaluated. There is a likelihood that someone older has been teaching the child what children shouldn’t be taught.

To answer your question, I assume that the boy caught by his Mom is a teenager and not a first grader. That changes the picture. Teens sometimes masturbate. Boy teens and girl teens. Hormones are flooding through their bodies that they don’t understand. Hair is growing where hair didn’t use to be. Voices change and bodies begin doing things they didn’t do before (such as the onset of menses). The yucky boy or girl down the street isn’t so repulsive anymore. Running from cooties evolves into running after cuties. Somewhere in this change, a boy or girl likely will discover that a certain part of their bodies swells and has interesting sensations when they think of sexual things. Most will masturbate to enjoy the sensation and to gain the tension release that comes with completion.

Does that make it right? Not necessarily, but it does make it natural.

There are some who think the story of Onan in the Old Testament (Genesis 38) is a clear example of God’s condemning masturbation. Actually, in context it is a clear example of God’s reaction to a man who was given a specific duty (impregnate his dead brother’s wife so that the deceased brother would have an heir) and then didn’t do as commanded. He turned it into an event for his own sexual gratification rather than to give his brother an heir. I don’t see any reference to masturbation there. Actually, there is no reference to masturbation anywhere in the Bible that I can find. So when you ask what God thinks about masturbation, you have to rely on Biblical principles rather than a specific Biblical statement.

We know that a married person is told not to lust after someone other than his/her spouse. Jesus called that adultery in the book of Matthew. One of my friends said he knows that masturbation is wrong because you cannot do it without lusting for someone you are not married to. I asked if it would be okay for a married man to lust after his own wife and masturbate while on a business trip. He didn’t know how to answer that question. From my viewpoint, masturbation isn’t wrong unless it is focused on a person you don’t have a right to. A married couple, for example, could masturbate together and there would be no sin.

So how does this relate to a teenage boy caught by his Mom?

In my opinion, Dad or Mom or both sit down with the boy and go over all the information about the “birds and the bees.” Talk openly with your son about sex and what it is intended to do both in terms of procreation and as an expression of love and commitment. Help him understand that if he focuses on some specific girl — either one he knows or has seen in a magazine, online, or whatever — he is lusting after someone he has not right to. IF he can masturbate and concentrate on the physical sensation rather than sex with a person he shouldn’t be having sex with, I see that as natural and not sinful. I’m not suggesting that you encourage him to masturbate. There is pretty good evidence that if a person masturbates a great deal, it will negatively affect a fulfulling sexual relationship with a spouse. If he wants to have great sex with his wife to be, whoever she may be, he should not “mess up the wiring” by excessive masturbation now or ever. Of course, then there needs to be a discussion of how NOT to shock Mom or anyone else in the future by ensuring privacy.

Finally, I would talk with him about porn and how that if he uses it, especially with masturbation, he will set himself up for expectations in marriage that no woman will ever fulfill. Not even a porn actress. Those actresses don’t crave sex every minute of every day and they are not willing to do anything anywhere. They do it on screen for a reward, usually money, and then they walk out the door being an everyday person with a real life just like the rest of us, and real life isn’t nonstop sex. If he wishes to set up expectations that will never come to be in his life, he will never be happy. Every decision and every action has both short-term and long-term consequences.

In summary: Don’t panic. Don’t make your son feel like some sort of pervert. Teach him and help him learn how to make good decisions. Whatever you do, don’t ruin his future by making normal sexual desire into something of Satan.

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husband stares at pretty women

Q: I am a Christian and my husband claimed to be one and attended church when we met. We’ve been married one and it’s been a war, not a marriage. All his life he was attracted to and lusted after pretty women with long hair. Of course, he kept this hidden from me. A friend of his told him before we met that he went after women like a shark. He’s admitted his thirst for women. He wouldn’t miss looking for them. While driving he’d watch in the rear view mirror and if they’d pass us, he’d turn his head a full turn to watch them go by. In restaurants he’d keep looking at them. Driving by he’d turn his head looking if they were on the sidewalks. In church. We tried a couple of churches and he’d pick out a pretty women sitting alone. He’d keep looking at them. Staring, really. During tv commercials he could be reading the paper. If he’d hear a female voice, he’d put the paper down long enough to check them out. If they were pretty, he’d watch the commercial. If they weren’t pretty, he’d continue reading the paper.  Most of our married life this habit persisted. We had screaming battles to put it mildly. He claims it’s out of him now. I can’t know because he claimed that repeatedly in the past and wasn’t over it yet. But even if he is, the damage is done in me. He has destroyed several things in me. I can longer trust him. When we’re apart, or even if he’s just outside I’m wondering how many women he’s staring at. That’s what he did. And right in front of me. Stare and stare at these women. Every time I see a pretty woman I now feel so ugly. And, compared to the women he stared at, I am ugly. I don’t feel I have any respect left for him. He claims to love me. He didn’t know what true love is. He’s been married 5 times and been through an unbelievable amount of women. He should consider the problem could be him. But he doesn’t want to hear that. And he won’t talk. He’ll scream for a moment and then storm off. I tell him I need to talk. He won’t. He almost acts like he can’t. I don’t believe this marriage will last. He treats me fine when we’re not fighting, but, we’re usually fighting. We fight almost daily. It’s ridiculous. I’ve prayed over and over about it and given it to God. I know, according to the Bible, he’s committed heart adultery over and over. He claims to be sorry. He claimed that over and over and would yet persist in his addiction to women. I don’t know if I have any more love left for him. If so, not much.  I tried and tried to get him to agree for us to get help. He never would. I don’t know whether  to tell him to leave or not. It is my home. I don’t feel there is any hope. Does God expect me to live like this indefinitely?

A: You are right, of course, that in Matthew 5:28 Jesus said, But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” However, as I began reading your email, I confess that I found myself wondering if he were as bad as you say or if your own insecurity might exacerbate your concern. I also confess that by the time I got to the end, I came to believe that he does have a problem.

If I understand correctly, at least the good news is that he is not physically active with any of these women. Not saying that makes it right; just that it would be even worse if he were. I understand that his continual staring at other women makes you feel “ugly.” It seems to me that women regularly compare themselves with other women and in their minds often come off as second. His actions hurt and you have every right to be hurt by them.

When you say that after five marriages it should occur to him that he may be the problem. I don’t mean to be offensive, but I wonder why you didn’t think the same thing before marrying him — that he has a problem. The old adage is that women marry men thinking they will change and men marry women thinking that they will never change. He was what he was; he is what he is. If he changes, it will be through what is called “a significant emotional event.” The good news is that those can happen. The bad news is that the often they don’t.

Do you have a right to leave a man who continues in sin though he continues to say that he won’t do it again? Forgiving a person who repeatedly sins and asks forgiveness is Biblical. (Matthew 18:21-22) Living with that person is another thing altogether. We can forgive and love the person but we do not have to tolerate his/her continued misbehavior. In my opinion, the Matthew passage you cited gives you right to divorce him. BUT WAIT! (Always wanted to say that…) Before you do, there is more to try.

I strongly suggest you check out our workshop for marriages in crisis, LovePath 911.

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eBook about fantastic orgasms

I’m putting together an eBook in which real people tell others their secrets to sexual ecstasy. You can get a free copy of this eBook (when it is ready) if you would like to know what other married couples are doing that lead to great sex! (Details below.)

I ask people to share their thoughts in five areas:

1. The experience. Give as many details as needed for someone else to replicate. No detail is too small or unimportant.

2. Why this experience causes such great orgasms. (How you feel about it and why.)

3. A desire that I believe will lead to a great orgasm but haven’t tried yet. Give enough detail that someone else could do what you have in mind.

4. Turn-offs that I have experienced that prevented satisfying orgasms. Give enough detail that someone else would understand why this is a turn off and would know how to avoid it.

5. If we could provide information, implements, or anything else that you feel might make your sex life better, what would you want it to be? 

If you wish to share your methods/secrets/experiences to benefit others, you may do so at http://www.lovesexmarriage.net/sex_study.htm. Everyone who does so and provides a valid email address will receive a free copy of the eBook when it is ready, even if we don’t use the information that person provides.

Either way, watch this blog for the eBook information when we publish.

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