Tacomaster Desires Steadfast Love

UPDATE: I have cleaned up some sentences and added a couple more since I first posted this. A friend pointed out that the words I chose could be misconstrued.

Yes, it’s been awhile. This is my return post, wherein I respond to a commenter at Dalrock’s, who asked for advice.

Tacomaster said: Another awesome post Dal and I liked your table.I’m posting before reading the comments so excuse me if this has been touched on. My wife and I are both believers, married almost three years. Initially she didn’t understand the importance of frequent married sex. I was in Hell the first year of marriage with the 1-2 sex episodes/month.

I went to the young couples pastor at church who was an Omega, married about 15 years or so (told me him and his wife didn’t have sex much either and it was ultimately her decision) and only saw him that one time for advice. I fought with the idea of divorce because I was tired of living a sinful life of having sex out of marriage and wanted this to work. My wife and I waited til we were married to have sex by the way. She had one previous partner.

She’s familiar with the verse you mentioned in your opening and the sex has increased but to be honest, it really sucks. She has a ton of stipulations and rules which destroys the passion and spontaneity of it. Plus the fact that she jumps out of bed immediately afterwards to “clean up” kills the mood—oh, and there’s the pressure to “hurry up and c*m” thing that I hate. I’ve never been a porn watcher in my life (never interested me) but these last few months have gotten into it. Is this what Christian marriage sex is? I can’t talk about this with my guy friends. The sex feels like a duty she’s fulfilling. Any input is appreciated.

Here’s my input: Tacomasters’s (TM from here on out) wife is not interested in loving him, or being married to him. They don’t have a sex problem, they have a love problem. Sex is beyond an obligation; it’s a good and necessary function of a marriage; a fulfilling and wholesome manifestation of desire for that person. It is the epitome and consummation of marriage. To say that sex is an obligation of marriage is like saying a mother has an obligation to feed her children. That is to say: A mother who can, but does not, is no mother at all. TM’s wife does not desire him. That’s to say: she does not desire to be desired by him. The first thing TM needs to do is accept this; which is an extraordinarily painful thing to do. This is where TM finds himself: Married to a harlot who is demanding better emotional payment for her services, but expecting a wife.

It must be understood that the sexes were designed for our benefit and understanding. Man was made first, and woman was made for man. Women were designed specifically to be desired by men, and by that desiring to bring completion and projection. That completion shows in the physical world as sex, when the man’s desire for a woman brings forth ecstasy and life. It’s easy to see orgasm as completion, and procreation as projection of life, but there is also a projection of ecstasy that makes the difficult times more easy to bear. Sexual delight is a marvelous grace; a physical symptom of the blessing that love can bring to the lover and the beloved, the man and the woman.

Yes, the woman is the beloved. I do not say that women don’t or can’t love, because they certainly can, and most often do so when men can’t or won’t. (Nursing homes, orphanages daycares, and hospitals are brimming with women.) Nevertheless, women thrive when they are the object of love. Little girls don’t dream of being possessed by the best man in the world. They dream of be the most desired woman in the world, and they dread being desirable to no one. Grown women fantasize about being swept off their feet by powerful men and forces beyond their control. Their bodies are formed in such a way that they receive pleasure in the most vulnerable of positions. They’re mind-bogglingly pliant, yielding, and literally impressionable. Yet, their physical pleasure centers are arranged in such as way as to be accessible to all but the most corporally aggrieved of men. Their emotions are likewise, and we see this in the breadth of men–and the diverse actions among those fellows–that they find attractive.

The desire to be loved is one of the reasons church is so appealing to women. Even if you made churches more male-oriented: as long as mankind is the object of God’s love, and church–that is, communion–is the most tangible expression of God’s love on Earth then women will be beside themselves to get in. The Israelites forbade women from entering the inner courts (you can’t get much more male-oriented than that), and my bottom dollar says ancient Jewesses were dying for access because they were sure those within were more loved by God than those without. No doubt pagans have the same problem. You can always pick out a hindu woman by her dress, but hardly a man. I don’t doubt that for every male worshipper of Zeus, he was but one pebble among the womanly sands of Hera. Among the Muslim extremists, it is the women who are the most extreme. It is women who hold each other’s daughters down for female genital mutilation. It is women who force the burka on each other. These deformities of culture aren’t hate, but perverted concern; that the subjects of such atrocities might be lovable.

Within Christian marriage sex is the sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, between a man and a woman; between the lover, and the beloved. No one, but the two consecrated by covenant with each other, are allowed to enter into that blessed union. Which brings us back to TM’s problem: his wife doesn’t want to be beloved anymore. They’ve read the passage from 1 Corinthians 7, so she dutifully doles out sexual welfare every so often to fulfill the obligation they believe is set forth in that scripture. The obligation is not to have sex, but to not deny each other of it, and that is the worst case scenario. It is a warning that sexual denial within marriage is a very serious matter threatening the very existence of the marriage, and therefore their relationship with God which is bound up in the Christian marriage.

For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,
the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

For husbands desire steadfast love and not duty, the knowledge of him rather than sexual welfare.* A husband wants to know his wife, wants her to want to be known by him, and wants no one else to else to know her; to keep her separate and secret for himself, which is holy and beautiful and erotic. That passage from 1 Corinthians 7 isn’t a rebuke of husbands and wives who don’t want to have sex with each other. It’s an exhortation to fulfill their good and holy desires with one another.

7 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

We modern Christians (and no doubt earlier ones as well) are putting the emPHAsis on the wrong sylLAble because we are not taking into consideration to what St. Paul is responding. The Corinthians had send him a letter mentioning that the church had decided that abstinence was the right thing for all Christians, married or not. St. Paul’s response is to say: “No! By all means: husbands and wives are supposed to have sex!” The Christian marriage covenant is such a powerful spiritual bond that it is to be that the husband controls the wife’s body, and the wife the husband’s. His words are meant to free them from heresies and misunderstandings that have led them into sin and sexual slavery. St. Paul is not merely obliging TM’s wife to have sex with him; he is removing the false narrative that good Christians don’t have great sex. They certainly do, and to deny one another is to deny not only the flesh, but God’s intent, as well. The implication then is that TM’s wife has, in fact, become a non-believer in their marriage. She is a like a priest who has rejected her religion, but still pays tithe out of superstition. It’s a sort of witchcraft meant to protect her from any allegations of wrongdoing.

Wrongness is not the bloody point! She. Is. Rejecting. Him. And she has no excuse because she has been given that marvelous ability to be lovable, and to be loved. It is not TM’s fault. This is a choice she has made. Even if her emotions are not into the idea of sex, she ought to be saying to TM, “Husband, I desire to be pleasing you, and to be pleased by you.”, which is absolutely true. If she did, she would find that–sooner or later (and the sooner the more she means it)–she would get what she really wants, which is to be loved by a man she considers worthy.

In the meantime, TM, do not ask that woman for sex. Stop lying to her and yourself. Stop trying to do what she wants so that she wants to have sex with you. Tell her the truth for a change; that you want to bang her silly, and that she should let you know when she’s ready. Then, stop talking to her except as necessary. When you do, be as polite and formal as you can. Do not hold hands with her. Do not hug her, or kiss her. If she says she loves you, say, “If you loved me, you’d kiss me.”, and be sincere about it. If she comes in for a kiss, then make it a big one, and escalate from there, groping and fondling and all the things a man wants to do his woman until you’re having sex. If she recoils, do not react. Just go back to the routine, and don’t give in.

Make your world what you want it to be, to the best of your ability. Do the chores YOU think need to be done around the house, and only those chores. Regardless of what the previous arrangements were: This is now your house, and you decide what is important. Don’t slack. Do make it a point to take care of the things you think need to be taken care of.

Get your finances in order, if they are not. Make a budget, and stick with it.

Christ informs us of how we should behave when fasting, and I think it should apply even when we are fasting from tasting the fruit of our spouses:

16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

In other words: Make yourself look good; take care of yourself. Groom yourself and dress well. If you don’t know how, start here. I haven’t gone through the new Style Guide, but I imagine it’s even better than their old style series. You will feel better.

If you don’t exercise, start. At least go walk every day. In fact, it would be a good idea to invite her to go walking with you, but do not ask. Say: “I’m going walking. Come with me.” and then go. Either way, it will be important and good for you to be active. Physical activity will help you think clearer, sleep better, and feel better.

Whatever you do, while you are doing all these things: Try to smile. If she tries to pick a fight with you, say: “I’m trying to love you, not fight with you.” Leave for a bit if you have to, but never for the night. Do not–under any circumstances!–sleep on the couch, or in another room. That is your house, your bedroom, and your bed. You are allowing her to use them because you have grace and compassion.

Trust God to bring you through this trial and her and work this out for your glorification, as He promises to those who love Him.

As a side-effect: she will wonder what the hell is going on. That is good. Intrigue is catnip to women. BUT UNDERSTAND THIS: That you are not doing these things to please her. You will do what is good, and she will choose to follow, and to be your helpmeet suitable…or not. This isn’t about winning her over, or manning-up for her. That boat has sailed, and she has committed to before God regardless if you’re a lady-killer or a loser. This is about you loving your enemy as your Father in heaven does, heaping coals on her head, and not giving way before the wicked.

If she tries to “earn points” or appear like the good wife by paying you compliments, or at least like she’s not so bad** then say something like, “Thanks. If you really liked it you’d kiss me.” Let her know what you want, and that you won’t be satisfied with head pats and compliments. So if she says, “Will you stop that!” You say, “No.” with a smirk, or a knowing smile. If she retorts with something passive-aggressive like, “Geez, I’m just trying to be nice!” then you say, “A kiss would be nicer.” Never lose your frame of reference that this about her accepting your good and blessed desire to love her wholly, and that means physically, and that means sex! This isn’t about her being right, or good, or nice, or anything other than her being fully accepting of her husband as wives ought to be.

All the while: be praying for her. It will do you both good. We have been given no occasion to mistreat our spouses, for we are called to love even our enemies…which sometimes our spouses are. Bear in ming that loving them does not mean doing what they want. It means doing what is best for them.

Finally, stop masturbating to porn. It is poison. It is so tempting because those dead soulless pictures of dead soulless women exist to please you, and that is what you most desire from your wife. Do not let them pervert your good and natural desire. It will corrupt you, and has negative effects mentally, physically, and spiritually.

*I encourage you, dear readers, please: By all means look beyond the verse I’ve quoted to the whole context of the book of Hosea. It’s about a man who marries a harlot who scorns him, and how that is a symbol for how God’s people have abandoned the love of their life; who has provided all for them, forsaken others for them, and Who–with long-suffering–desires for them to be reconciled to Him.

**And she will, because she will dread the thought of actually being “that bad”, and therefore unlovable–the one true horror of women.

151 thoughts on “Tacomaster Desires Steadfast Love

  1. Oh, so you started working out, LOL?

    Seriously, there is lots to digest here, Cane. Your return post is a doozy. Maybe I’ll be back, or maybe I’ll keep my trap shut. We’ll see. Good to hear from you again, either way.

  2. Have you ever written poetry? There is a lot of passion in your words (and a lot of words in your passion!)

    Anyway, this is harsh but I can’t think of any reason it isn’t true and the right advice:

    In the meantime, TM, do not ask that woman for sex. Stop lying to her and yourself. Stop trying to do what she wants so that she wants to have sex with you. Tell her the truth for a change; that you want to bang her silly, and that she should let you know when she’s ready. Then, stop talking to her except as necessary. When you do, be as polite and formal as you can. Do not hold hands with her. Do not hug her, or kiss her. If she says she loves you, say, “If you loved me, you’d kiss me.”, and be sincere about it. If she comes in for a kiss, then make it a big one, and escalate from there, groping and fondling and all the things a man wants to do his woman until you’re having sex. If she recoils, do not react. Just go back to the routine, and don’t give in.

    There is a huge boundary up and it needs to be broken down. They both need to get naked – physically and spiritually – with each other in order to accept each other and have the deep connection they both desire in their hearts. Was there ever attraction here? I haven’t read all the comments at Dalrock’s so I don’t know all the background, but a woman shouldn’t be jumping up to wash away all traces of a sexual encounter as soon as it is done.

  3. Outstanding post Cane.

    We modern Christians (and no doubt earlier ones as well) are putting the emPHAsis on the wrong sylLAble because we are not taking into consideration to what St. Paul is responding. The Corinthians had send him a letter mentioning that the church had decided that abstinence was the right thing for all Christians, married or not. St. Paul’s response is to say: “No! By all means: husbands and wives are supposed to have sex!” The Christian marriage covenant is such a powerful spiritual bond that it is to be that the husband controls the wife’s body, and the wife the husband’s. His words are meant to free them from heresies and misunderstandings that have led them into sin and sexual slavery. St. Paul is not obliging TM’s wife to have sex with him; he is removing the false narrative that good Christians don’t have great sex.

    I disagree with the bolded part, or at least how I’m reading it, because I very much do read the verse as obliging each spouse in this way. What I would say is it isn’t merely creating an obligation to not deny sex. The entire frame of the passage is that marital sex is the solution to sexual temptation, and he comes right out and says that withholding sex creates temptation for sexual sin. Given how short the passage is, the fact that the instruction not to deny sex is repeated so many times and in different ways, I can’t see a reading as saying he didn’t really mean this. I think the larger subtext you are referring to regarding the holy and profoundly beautiful nature of marital sex is there, but I don’t see this as fine print which negates what appears to be the message in the bold print.

    However, given the sentences which follow, I’m not sure you and I are really in disagreement:

    …and to deny one another is to deny not only the flesh, but God’s intent, as well. The implication then is that TM’s wife has, in fact, become a non-believer in their marriage. She is a like a priest who has rejected her religion, but still pays tithe out of superstition. It’s a sort of witchcraft meant to protect her from any allegations of wrongdoing.

  4. Pingback: First linkage of the new year. | Dalrock

  5. I will just say that I did exactly this after several calamities brought on by my rebellious wife brought our marriage to the brink. Be warned that if your wife has fully given herself over to rebellion and sin these methods will hasten the realization you must divorce her. It was the hardest, but most Godly and loving thing I have ever done, and it hurt.

    If your wife is good and submissive this will save the situation.

  6. Pingback: Step-by-step instructions for a Christian man in a sexless marriage

  7. @Elspeth

    Heavens, no! Have some sympathy for Mrs. Caldo. She has her hands full as it is without me going to 11…

    @CL

    I have. Funny you should mention it. My father just found one in his Bible when he broke it out to read the Christmas story in Luke 2. Yes, I wrote Bible poetry. Don’t tell Mrs. Caldo or I may have to break out the exercise regimen to recover.

    @Dalrock

    Thanks. I value your criticism.

    At your persistence I went back again and re-read the text in multiple translations. You’re right: There is a clear obligation for sex, and in a positive sense, i.e., that the one provides it to the other, not just doesn’t deny it. (I’m sure this is driving Empath absolutely bonkers) ESV says, “give…conjugal rights”. KJV says “render unto..” and “Defraud ye not…” NASB says “must fulfill…duty…” and “Stop depriving…”

    I like the NASB version best, I think.

    7 Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. 3 The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

    I’ve inserted “merely”.

    Now that that’s settled: I think it’s almost a complete waste of time to tell TM’s wife that she has an obligation. Perhaps it will do TM (and those like him) some good to know, clearly, that their desires are not “dirty”, or “naughty”; that’s it’s not a “base” urge. T, at your blog, is a perfect example of that. One minute she is arguing against the notion of obligation, and the next she reports arguing against a friend who says it isn’t. Tomorrow, when she’s left off the Manosphere for a bit, she’ll take up with the ideas of whatever group she’s put herself in.

    The one way it isn’t a waste is so, in the interest of fairness, if TM has to put his wife away she was clearly told the rules. Other than that: sacrifice–meeting the obligation–is not the answer. Love is. I don’t think you disagree. I’m just using this comment as a springboard for the topic. Maybe I should do another post…

    Thank you again for the link. I’m honored.

    @Ospurt

    Thanks for commenting.

    I will do you one better that this worked for me not only when my wife was rebellious, but when I was horrendous in response.

    There’s a pitfall in thinking that good husbands are being abused by bad wives, or wives who are acting badly out of confusion, or hangups. The nice guy who gets married to have legitimate sex is no more intrinsically good than the wife who wants to have sex with a man she respects. (Which is ultimately the problem: TM’s wife doesn’t respect her husband.) The Christian view is that there are no good people, yet through Christ we can do good things. TM’s wife’s problem isn’t that she’s bad. It’s that she’s not interested in being loved by him; that she’s letting her rebellious nature win.

    Otherwise you’re absolutely right: This course will make her decide what she wants. She can follow her husband and let him bang her silly–or get the hell out.

  8. I do think it is worth mentioning that she has an obligation to cultivate a desire for her husband so that she does not put the responsibility on him to magically push all her buttons just right. She needs to know there is a spiritual war being waged for her mind and heart, and right now the bad guys are winning. She can’t fix the problem overnight, but she can start to cultivate good habits of mind which will blossom into greater desire for her husband.

  9. Cane: I wanted to agree with your recommendations but I wasn’t sure I could until I got to these: ““I’m trying to love you, not fight with you” and “Bear in mind that loving them does not mean doing what they want. It means doing what is best for them.” With love as the motivation, rather than game for game’s sake, I concur. Faced with a near duplicate of Tacomaster’s situation, but without yet having read Dalrock, et al., I responded essentially as you’ve recommended here, but most of the time I questioned internally the correctness — the biblical-ness — of my response. Now I simply wish that I had done it as well as you’ve described it here; I verbalized why I was acting as I was, but it was more in the nature of a complaint than “If you loved me, you’d kiss me.”

    So, for all the good it does, thanks for the after-the-fact validation.

    “This course will make her decide what she wants. She can follow her husband and let him bang her silly–or get the hell out.” After 29+ years of marriage and 4 kids, mine got the hell out. The divorce was final 15 months ago. In the long run, I am likely to be better off. (I’m 52, attractive, and a good earner. But I won’t be dating until my high school sophomore has graduated, for his sake.) I’m less optimistic for my kids, though; it’s been hell for them, especially the two youngest who were still at home and who are now split, our daughter with her and our son with me. Unfortunately, she compounded the effects of her frivorce by rushing into a remarriage — to a twice-divorced veterinarian who lives 400 miles away, necessitating her relocation so that now our kids are geographically separated from each other and from their non-custodial parents rather than just in separate houses. I’m convinced the remarriage will come back to haunt her — he has a confirmed history of emotionally and physically abusing at least his second wife, and I doubt that he is any less interested in sex than I was or will be any more patient with her unavailability when he figures out that that’s the way it’s going to be. To the extent the manosphere is correct about the role of male attractiveness, she has taken a step down — in age, height, intelligence, looks, income, and theology. So one day in the not too distant future, she’ll be divorced again. What a waste.

  10. @Gabriella

    I do think it is worth mentioning that she has an obligation to cultivate a desire for her husband so that she does not put the responsibility on him to magically push all her buttons just right. She needs to know there is a spiritual war being waged for her mind and heart, and right now the bad guys are winning. She can’t fix the problem overnight, but she can start to cultivate good habits of mind which will blossom into greater desire for her husband.

    Yes. Not being truthful with her is cruelty, not kindness. But very few Christians today would tell her the truth out of fear of hurting her feelings. This is especially true for women who had sex with men prior to marrying and then find it harder to bond/respond to their husband as a result. In a recent thread on my site SSM brought this up as an issue, and I pointed to another similar case on Sheila’s blog where the woman had done all sorts of things for other men, but now that she is married she is perfectly fine not having sex, and is outraged that her husband wants her to do for him what she did for all of those other guys. Doesn’t he know she is a Christian now! One of Sheila’s readers eventually pointed out how selfish this overall attitude was, and Sheila agreed with the caveat that she didn’t want to add any guilt and that the woman shouldn’t feel compelled to do any of those acts for her husband that she did for other men if she finds it “distasteful”. Instead of helping this woman confront her very serious sin so she can repent and own the consequences, Sheila wrote:

    Lots of people have abuse in their background, or promiscuity, or tons of problems. You really truly aren’t alone.

    But to just put up with it–to say, this is way I am, and I’m honest about it, so he can’t ask for anything more–isn’t right. Sex is an important part of marriage, and it sounds like your husband would like more. So, no, don’t just “lay there and fake it”. But instead work WITH your husband to try to figure out how to make it great.

  11. I find it disturbing that she put abuse and promiscuity in the same category. It is a shame she doesn’t want to recognize sin for what it is.

    Promiscuity and abuse are not even really in the same category. Promiscuity causes legitimate guilt that needs to be handled through confession and penance.

  12. I didn’t complete my thought…

    I mean that it is much easier to heal from abuse than it is promiscuity, because with abuse there may be guilt but there is the conscious knowledge that the guilt is not legitimate. With promiscuity, penance and contrition are required to alleviate the guilt.

  13. This is a truly beautiful piece of writing. I was very moved by the beauty of the language and the eloquence with which you consider a very important issue.

  14. Man was made first, and woman was made for man. Women were designed specifically to be desired by men, and by that desiring to bring completion and projection. That completion shows in the physical world as sex, when the man’s desire for a woman brings forth ecstasy and life. It’s easy to see orgasm as completion, and procreation as projection of life, but there is also a projection of ecstasy that makes the difficult times more easy to bear. Sexual delight is a marvelous grace; a physical symptom of the blessing that love can bring to the lover and the beloved, the man and the woman.

    I know I’m not allowed to say anything here, but this paragraph is just so incredibly lovely, Cane. But why do so many women seem not to understand this? Maybe you will answer that question for me even without posting my comment.

    [CC: Fixed, and I unbanned you a long time ago.]

  15. Not sure this approach will work as it tends to build up a lot of anger in the man, why? Because he’s still not getting any decent sex out of the relationship, but if he can contain the anger it may work. But as other people have pointed out this all boils down to a lack of respect on the wife’s part. She simply does not respect him and does not look up to him as the head of the household and does not believe that he’ll be going anywhere as he’s the nice beta Christian that’s now trapped in the marriage.

    However, I’m sure that her rebellion is not contained to just the marriage bed and have to believe that her attitude expresses itself in other aspects of the relationship. So I would advise that you start opening your eyes to that and see if you have been placed in a submissive role in the marriage rather than being the head. Do everything that you can to flip that back and put her in the submissive role and see how she reacts. Also in social situations does she put you down or criticize you in front of others or at the end of the day (AKA nagging)? There are all sorts of tells like this that can clue you in on where you sit in her eyes. Lastly, beware if she is making more money or has a higher prestige job than you as if that’s the case you’ll have an even harder time reclaiming your rightful position as head of the household.

    The messages that women get from both the world and the church just re-enforce the rebellious spirit in them and most will fight tooth and nail to not give up on the feminist attitudes and beliefs that they have so be prepared to have this all end in tears. Most women are not willing to change (and really most men aren’t either which is why it’s bad to go into a marriage thinking that they’ll change .. they won’t) and take on the submissive role in a relationship, especially if they’ve been on top throughout the courtship and marriage. So if you started out as the submissive one then trying to take the top role after the fact is going to be a battle that will probably destroy the marriage. That said, it’s a battle you have to fight so armor up and get ready for some pain.

  16. @David J.

    Thanks for reading and commenting. I believe I read your story before, over at Dalrock’s. His blog gets so many comments that I often can’t read them all, but I usually scan to find the personal stories. I was sad to read it both times.

    I verbalized why I was acting as I was, but it was more in the nature of a complaint than “If you loved me, you’d kiss me.”

    It’s important for men in Tacomaster’s situation to accept this. Women already caught up in disrespecting their husbands are almost always going to respond poorly to a complaint. They simply can’t be bothered to care about the complaints of a man they don’t respect–even if he’s done nothing to deserve such disrepute. It’s vicious, but true. If she chooses to submit to the husband he can get an accounting later, if he still cares. My opinion is that it’s a waste of time. All I want to hear is: “Please forgive me”, and, “How do you want me?”

    Every way, madame, but let’s start with the classics.

    @gunner451

    “Not sure this approach will work…”

    Depends what you mean by “sure” and “work”. I’m truly confident that, based on what he’s said, if TM can master himself he can set a graceful path of return for her, but she must choose to accept his mercy. He can’t “work” her choice.

    And you bring up a good point: He’ll have to control his anger. (Eph. 4:26) That will be very difficult, but important. Anger is a powerful solvent of intentions. There are tons of movies about anger motivating people to carry out long-term revenge plots and such, but in real life–for most people–it burns them out and depresses them. They sink into bitterness and quit.

  17. Conflating promiscuity and abuse offers cover for wives that is not deserved. The two are nothing alike. Abuse creates shame born of a violation. Promiscuity produces shame (rightfully so) born of guilt. Bad move on Sheila’s part.

    I’ve read this several times before commenting because I wanted to fully absorb all of the angles. It’s a good post, Cane. Your practical advice on living day to day with the wife was spot on. And that’s not me offering my feminine blessing to your masculine counsel. My husband agreed with it.

  18. @gunner451

    However, I’m sure that her rebellion is not contained to just the marriage bed and have to believe that her attitude expresses itself in other aspects of the relationship. So I would advise that you start opening your eyes to that and see if you have been placed in a submissive role in the marriage rather than being the head. Do everything that you can to flip that back and put her in the submissive role and see how she reacts. Also in social situations does she put you down or criticize you in front of others or at the end of the day (AKA nagging)? There are all sorts of tells like this that can clue you in on where you sit in her eyes. Lastly, beware if she is making more money or has a higher prestige job than you as if that’s the case you’ll have an even harder time reclaiming your rightful position as head of the household.

    It is a good point that the rebellion won’t be contained to just this one area. This is why attempts to dismiss this as “a problem with their sex life” misses the mark so widely. If she weren’t rebelling against him, she would as Cane so eloquently explains be craving to be desired. One thing I would say though is the difference between rebellion and submission can at times be fairly subtle. The kind of transformation which often needs to happen isn’t what I think most people (especially women) imagine. Shakespeare exaggerated it for dramatic effect in Taming of the Shrew, and even there Kate’s profound submission (declaring the sun is the moon, or whatever he decides it is) doesn’t leave her as the kind of “broken” woman I think most imagine when they think of submission. Women love Taming of the Shrew because deep down they want what Shakespeare is selling.

    The messages that women get from both the world and the church just re-enforce the rebellious spirit in them and most will fight tooth and nail to not give up on the feminist attitudes and beliefs that they have so be prepared to have this all end in tears.

    This is true, but there is a counterpart to it. Most women are exhausted at having succeeded in rebellion. This is something which would be difficult to overstate. Check out the end of my “untethered” post. I put links in there to two different women on answers who when I spoke to this it simply pierced them, and they were extremely grateful. See the comment left by one of Sheila’s readers, and note that even Sheila was pierced by reading it (at least for a moment). If even Sheila with her masters degree in Women’s Studies and her incredible rebellion against Scripture in this area is pierced by it, all women can be pierced by it.

    I’m not saying that you are wrong that it couldn’t well end in tears, because that is a real risk here no matter what Taco does. However, I think we always need to remember how much she desperately wants and needs to submit. She is miserable in her rebellion, and if we have empathy for her here we can better understand how to approach her. Cane’s advice incorporates this thinking of course. I would add that if Taco ends up in a place where they are talking about it and she sincerely seems to want to stop rebelling, knowing how to frame this to her will help a great deal:

    Let me give you what you are thirsting for! Let me take away that ache of not having a husband you can lean on when your emotions storm over you! God wants this for you. I want this for you, and deep down, I know you want it too. But I can’t give it to you if you keep rejecting it.

    I used thirst above, but another word would be exhaustion. These women feel like they haven’t slept in weeks. Rebellion feels just fine at first, but the longer they go the more excruciating it becomes. Communication for women is often more about feelings than logic, so being able to communicate directly with her feelings will be one tool to have handy.

  19. Also, there are ways to address the “whispers” more directly than I described above, and I think this is something Taco should be ready to do. Very often the woman’s psychology is “I can do better”, which initiates self torture via her own hypergamy. That hypergamous voice is designed not to be ignored, like the 24×7 crying of a baby. She has the moral obligation to fight this temptation, but it is worth noting that it is possible to (mostly) put this monster back in its cage. “I can do better” in many Christian women’s minds then leads to “God wants me to be happy”, so there are dual rationalizations which are intertwined. But there are ways to address these tangled threads at the same time.

    Someone mentioned sending a woman to my site and she saw the truth about EPL and Stella and reported being “deflated”. This is what a woman being choked by her own “I can do better/God wants me to be happy” rationalization needs. If she is a fan of either book/movie, showing her the daily mail or SFGate articles should be very effective. Another way to do this is to look at women you knew when they were married and are now divorced. When my wife talks with other women who are considering divorce, she always asks them to consider real life women they know who divorced and then asks them if those women ended up with a better husband. For reasons we understand in the manosphere, reality is the opposite of the fantasy. The wife ends up being pumped and dumped by men of similar value to her husband, or ends up digging so deep that she becomes the source of mocking gossip among her female friends. Everyone knows a story about a divorced aunt/sister/whatever who brings the loser who still lives with his mother to family functions, because going alone would be even more embarrassing. Find that story. The other side of that same story is how much better the ex husband typically makes out. Women loath the idea of divorcing and finding out their husband is dating women 10 years younger than her, while she is getting pumped and dumped or only being courted by losers. Help her see that staying married is her best chance at having the husband she wants (and studies prove this) will help her put her own rebellion down.

  20. I love it! It’s a fantastic piece of writing and great thoughts. I have a question/thought though and would love some input, because I am entering into this phase within my own marriage. The need for honesty, I believe, is critical, and I don’t want to be deceptive with my wife about what is going on. I’m not trying to trick or manipulate her. I am trying to put my home in order as God sees it. I imagine my conversation to include a statement about how the marriage without passionate, enjoyable, and exciting sex (for both of us – not just “duty sex” from her – I don’t even want that at all!) will never last. This is biblical. My needs aren’t being met in this area. So, ultimately, the marriage will fail if the matter is not addressed. If she asks something like, “You mean you’ll divorce me?” My answer will be “Perhaps, yes. Or you will divorce/leave me. There won’t be love between us anymore so the marriage won’t last. Period.” She can chew on that and then decide what, if any action, she will take. I refuse to subject my children to household and marriage portrayal that doesn’t include love and respect. I will NOT set them up with that idea of marriage – that was what my wife had growing up and that is why she thinks (somehow) that it is OK now.

  21. Each time I reread this post it sinks in deeper how perfect it is. I’ll pause after this to give others a chance to comment, but this is pure gold:

    In fact, it would be a good idea to invite her to go walking with you, but do not ask. Say: “I’m going walking. Come with me.” and then go.

    If you do this with cheer, with anticipation for the wonderful things you are about to experience, it will be very uncomfortable for her not to follow. Not following will give her a feeling of being left behind. Her leader just departed, and she failed to follow. Now she is alone, her man having left during a time she knows she is pushing him away*. Even if she doesn’t show this and doesn’t follow at first, it is very likely to win her over after a while. But as you say, do it for yourself, not for her. Come back invigorated and with a glowing smile. She won’t be able to help wondering what fun and fascinating things she missed out on. She can only find out by not letting her feminist rebellion cause her to be left behind next time. If she asks you about it, give her just enough to whet her appetite for more, and then become playfully mysterious. When you are doing this (playfully mysterious), your eyes should be smiling even if your face is mock serious.

    *You aren’t trying to give her the sense that you might be walking out on her, and if you are thinking this way it could make it worse. I’m just pointing out how her hamster in this case can for once work in your favor, when all you are doing is going out for a pleasant walk.

  22. @Caldo

    I would agree with you except my situation was the good husband being abused by a bad wife.

    We did not find out until our 7th year of marriage that my wife had Borderline Personality Disorder with Bi-Polar (diagnosed by two different psychologists). What prompted us having her evaluated was a horrible breakdown with legal and family consequences that nobody should ever have to deal with. I met and married her during a long term phase where she was mostly normal and not subject to her underlying problems. I think her inability to bear children when we started trying in our second year of marriage, and the medical condition that we found caused her infertility (kidney disease), unleashed the borderline she had been controlling fairly well through the first several years of our relationship.

    Because we could not have out own children we were in the process of fostering children to adopt them when she had the breakdown…which caused her to be arrested and with an end result of the children being taken away. All hope for family was lost forever by her actions alone (yeah I’ve dealt with that loss twice). That was five years ago.

    I was destroyed and out of obligation loved her through that and helped her re-build, but I was not the man I used to be because of her actions and the profound loss she brought into our lives, but I still led her out of that darkness….and she repaid my kindness and leadership with sabotage. I could have love my sick wife until the end if the sex, submission and honor was there…but her sin and crazy had consumed her no matter what I did, game included. Her decision was to stay in the crazy, my decision was to divorce her and reject her hurting me. Game hastened that process.

    Now game is part of my rebuilding process…..and the search for what I want in relationship going forward.

  23. Sorry, a bit more.

    Once you have her following you out the door, be sure to keep that dynamic. The ideal for both of you is you showing her the way, laughing and pointing out fun and interesting things as you go. If she wants to hold your hand, your hand goes first (with the back of your hand pointing the direction you are walking or have her hold on to your bicep. Also walk on the side with the curb since this is where the threat of danger (traffic) is. If she starts to pull away just a little, loosen your grip enough that it is easy for her to break free, and keep moving in the direction you have chosen. This will give her the choice of following and continuing to hold hands, or being left behind. If she heads off in another direction, simply (and cheerfully) point out that she is going the wrong way and keep going. The right way is over here (and then keep going). If she gets out in front of you, do the same by first advising her of the “right way” and then make a turn. The point is, you are the one who knows the way, the one who knows where the wonders of the walk are. She either backtracks to rejoin your lead, or she goes off by herself, but she doesn’t lead you. As with the initial pull of you walking out the door, she may really resist/test this at first, but over time it will be very difficult for her not to.

  24. For husbands desire steadfast love and not duty, the knowledge of him rather than sexual welfare.

    Is it true? Reading in the manosphere, a woman could get the idea that men care only for sex and for being respected and not so much for being loved.

    Today a commenter left this remark about his wife on my blog:

    The worst part is that she didn’t outright reject me that often. Its just that foreplay was her favorite time to inform me of all my shortcomings and failures.

    So very cruel. It seems to fit with what you wrote about desiring love, not (just) sexual welfare.

  25. @Dalrock

    Once you have her following you out the door, be sure to keep that dynamic. The ideal for both of you is you showing her the way, laughing and pointing out fun and interesting things as you go. [...] The point is, you are the one who knows the way, the one who knows where the wonders of the walk are. She either backtracks to rejoin your lead, or she goes off by herself, but she doesn’t lead you. As with the initial pull of you walking out the door, she may really resist/test this at first, but over time it will be very difficult for her not to.

    Exactly right.

    And, It’s good for both of you. It’s about accepting your God-given role as head of the wife and setting patterns for her to follow; patterns that will continue for the rest of your life. Keeping those habits of thought will have a ritualizing effect; a sort of catechism of headship.

  26. @wheelmonkey

    Total honesty is crucial. Does she want to end up like her parents, or is she willing to put in the effort to do better? Does she want your children to grow up as she did?

    These are questions she needs to answer for herself and for you. She’s probably convinced herself it’s OK or ‘not the end of the world’ or something like that, but deep down we all want an intimate bond with someone. This requires getting past one’s fear and just being – like I said earlier – naked with each other in every sense. The basic fear is that we won’t be accepted, so we hide ourselves. When we do that, we don’t give anyone the opportunity to love and accept us truly and we defraud ourselves of what we really want and need.

    Just don’t be the one to bring up the “d-word”. If that’s where her mind goes, that’s up to her. Fair warning without coming across as desperate is fair game I think.

  27. @SSM

    Is it true? Reading in the manosphere, a woman could get the idea that men care only for sex and for being respected and not so much for being loved.

    Always keep in mind that an awful lot of husbands find their way to the Manosphere because they’re not even getting that mere obligation (h/t: Dalrock) of at least begrudging respect and sex.

    “Love” is a big word in English. Men, I believe, are really more interested in having their love received. That’s how they most desire to experience it. “Respect” is one of the words closest to the spirit of “accepted love”.

  28. @ Sunshinemary: The lack of interest in meeting a husband’s needs and desire for sex is directly related to, or rather a symptom, of a lack of love and respect by the wife. At a minimum, if there’s a problem for the wife in doing that, either physically or mentally, then their action should be willingness to pursue either an alternative or a remedy to the problem. To blow off the husband’s need is just disrespectful, unloving and cruel. It would be like if a father stopped positive interactions with their kids (playing ball, school stuff, being involved, etc.), it’s not so much cruel that they are not doing those things, but it’s symptomatic of a man who doesn’t care about the well-being of his kids.

  29. Your comparison of being a good wife with being a good mother really struck a cord with me. I’ve been meditating on it. At first I didn’t “get” it when I related marital duties with motherly duties..such as pouring their cereal and changing diapers and all the boring/and or unfun tasks of motherhood… but then when I related it to the joys of motherhood, like the breastfeeding relationship, and the delight you feel when being needed and appreciated…I then saw the parallel.

    The Bible mentions breastfeeding many times.. a child at the breast is often an analogy for Israel. I can relate to the role of mother far more than I can relate to the role of the male lover in a marriage. Your suggestion has opened up a new dimension in my understanding. After I have let it simmer for a good while I will expand on your thoughts at my (old) blog.

  30. @wheelmonkey

    If she asks something like, “You mean you’ll divorce me?” My answer will be “Perhaps, yes. Or you will divorce/leave me. There won’t be love between us anymore so the marriage won’t last. Period.” She can chew on that and then decide what, if any action, she will take. I refuse to subject my children to household and marriage portrayal that doesn’t include love and respect. I will NOT set them up with that idea of marriage – that was what my wife had growing up and that is why she thinks (somehow) that it is OK now.

    That’s the wrong tack and frame of mind. The frame of mind is this is your life, and your marriage. When you’re ready to talk about divorce you’ll tell her. I would not even answer such questions; responding instead with a deadpan, or quizzical look.

  31. That’s the wrong tack and frame of mind. The frame of mind is this is your life, and your marriage. When you’re ready to talk about divorce you’ll tell her. I would not even answer such questions; responding instead with a deadpan, or quizzical look.

    Exactly. Also- verbosity in men is often an attraction killer. It is fine in writing, but when speaking there is something about a man rambling on and on that seems so effeminate. If you really have to express yourself with a lot of words then it is best to write a letter. Words are like cash..you flood the market with them and they lose their value. Keep your words meaningful by using them sparingly. Let your actions do most the talking.

  32. Perhaps I am an outlier, but I like words used well. Talk to me baby! If someone is interesting I like listening to them talk. I don’t think I could live with someone who was aloof all the time or never told me what was on his mind. Too much kvetching isn’t good, but everyone needs to unload from time to time. You women do know that men will go to prostitutes because they will listen to them, right? Same goes for mistresses, even if they are still having sex with their wives; it’s not all about the sex.

    That said, questions like “will you divorce me?” don’t really deserve a response, because those are simply trying to catch you out and make you the bad guy.

  33. Too much kvetching isn’t good, but everyone needs to unload from time to time.

    I don’t disagree with that. If the respect is already establish then a man doesn’t need to be as self-conscious about proving that he is The Man. If that foundation is shaky then a more conscious effort is probably required.

    It is kind of like if a woman is married to a man whose attraction for her is weak. Until that situation is resolved she might need to put extra effort into putting her prettiest face forward.

  34. @CL

    Perhaps I am an outlier, but I like words used well. Talk to me baby!

    Of course women like talk; and once she becomes his baby again–by listening to what he’s already said–she’ll get some more. Much more.

  35. I actually agree with both of you, CL and Gabby (*surprise surprise). My husband is not a big talker in general. He often likes to listen to me talk, but he measures his own words carefully. I find that alluring. Makes me hang on to his every word. He does have moments of verbosity, and I really appreciate those too.

    When he starts talking a lot he assumes, rightfully so, that what he has to say is interesting. Because he is not easily animated, my interested is piqued no matter how distracted or how far into my own head I may have been when he started.

    The difference is where the conversation comes from. There are people who prattle on from a place of insecurity, for the purpose of gauging relationship health or to extract a certain response. Women are most prone to this, but men can do it, too. I know this because I’ve heard my husband counsel a young husband to stop doing it.

  36. Cane is rather used to my commenting style and I take a bit of liberty here, so forgive if my comment seems wishy washy. I don’t mean to be.

    I truly believe that there are times when much talking is wonderful, and times when silence is golden, and a man dealing with a rebellious wife needs to know which is which.

  37. @Elspeth

    There are people who prattle on from a place of insecurity, for the purpose of gauging relationship health or to extract a certain response.

    That’s true. There are also people who don’t say much because there isn’t much going on in their heads. (Which is still better than those who talk in spite of having nothing going on in their heads). But yeah, this all assumes a reasonably harmonious relationship. There tends to be a lot of talking in absolutes as if “be aloof” applies all the time.

    Being ignored (by someone whose attention I care about) is not fun. I imagine that could be pretty effective depending on the circumstance. For the more stubborn woman, here is the recommended course of action:

  38. LOL. Funny clip. I’d never seen that before.

    I agree that some people are quiet because they don’t think. And I also agree that those people are markedly wiser than those who prattle on even thought they haven’t thought deeply about anything. Who was it that said, “Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and removal all doubt”, or something like that?

    The absolutes concerning aloofness? I agree with you on that as well. I would hate to be ignored by my husband, and thankfully that isn’t a problem I have. He isn’t a big talker, but neither am I ignored. Our personalities work well together after 2 decades and conversations are deep and meaningful even if they are not constant and ongoing.

    Personalities vary wildly, which is why I agree with you that presenting aloofness as the only acceptable frame for a man to take is not good. It might be intriguing at the beginning of a relationship, but long term, it can be problematic.

  39. Pingback: Some Sounds of Love-Making | Things that We have Heard and Known

  40. Who was it that said, “Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and removal all doubt”, or something like that?

    Lincoln.

    But God puts it better. Actually, I’m surprised no-one has cited any of the verses in Proverbs which equate loquacity with folly. Reading through the article and its comments, Scriptures kept popping into my head — we really should use them…

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  42. Yes, Mensch. You are correct. Is this better?

    Proverbs 17:28 ESV
    Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

  43. This isn’t just a Christian marriage issue. I’m a Hindu and I can tell you that in my culture sex, even between a married couple, is practically shamed. Both parties are made to feel guilty for wanting it and even more, its considered shameful for a wife to express direct desire for her husband. Traditionally we live in what we call the joint family household where brides go to live with the husbands parents. Marriage is seen as primarily a duty to family and society and if the young couple become too attached to one another it is perceived as a threat to the unity of the larger family. Sex is seen as the primary way in which a husband might bond more to his wife than to his parents. That could result in him actually moving out of his parents home to set up a smaller nuclear family with just his wife and kids.

    The above structure and its concomitant fears makes for a very frustrating sex life.

  44. @cane–I appreciated your insight and opinions above but I don’t agree with 100% of what you said in your post above. However, I was intrigued by your comment ” (Tacomaster’s wife)…is not interested in loving him, or being married to him. They don’t have a sex problem, they have a love problem”. I agree with that comment whole heartedly. She expresses love in other ways like actions and words, etc. It would be nice to have the sex I envisioned Christian marriage to have. It was interesting that your marriage comment because I have wondered if she got married to just get married; to just check off a box in her list of life goals. I wonder if I would be aware of my situation if I would have been a virgin coming into the marriage.

  45. @Tacomaster

    Thanks for commenting.

    I wrote out a very long reply (nearly as long as the post), but I will wait to post it. What I have to say right now, I don’t think you’ll want to hear, but it could be that I simply shouldn’t say them.

    In the meantime: I recommend you check out how the females responded to what I had to say, and I hope you found something useful, if not 100% of it.

  46. I hope it’s okay to post all this here, but I wanted to give an update on where I am at with my situation, as I’ve commented a few times and really really related to this original post.

    So tonight, this happened:

    I told my wife that I did not feel satisfied with our sex life. She responded with, “Well, what else is new!? I can never satisfy you!” I told her that was untrue, and that the first several years of our marriage, even after our first child, I was just fine and never complained. She said the fact that I bring this up makes her insecure and really not want to have sex with me because she’s worried I’ll be critiquing and scoring her, and that she’s been “trying” lately with sex but now feels defeated by her efforts. I explained that I’m not telling her if she’s “trying” or not (maybe she is on some level), only that I have unmet needs, and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to honestly express my needs. She questioned if I just wanted more sex and thought that once per week was just fine. I clarified that it’s really not about our quantity, but quality, and much of the time she’s not even comfortable during sex – I can tell. She agreed with my observation and said she just doesn’t feel the same about it anymore.

    I told her we should be challenging ourselves at this point (8 years of marriage) to keep passion and intimacy alive. She said she didn’t know what that looks like in my mind. I told her she does and I’ve already said it – that it’s like our first few years of marriage (nothing weird, just excitement, comfort, oral sex, pleasuring one another, etc.). She said she didn’t feel that way anymore and lots of women are like her, so she maybe she should just back to “faking.” In actuality, my sexual needs or desires have not changed one bit since we’ve been together for the last 10 years. Hers have. That doesn’t mean I’m unwilling to budge or compromise, but I also shouldn’t have to just go with her zero sex drive either.

    I told her to not bother “faking” interest in an intimate & sexually active relationship with me, and instead maybe it would be better to just not have sex for a while until such time (if ever) we can feel passionate together again. She also said she feels like I’m just looking for reasons to divorce. I didn’t respond to this.

    I’m typing a lot of stuff here, but truly I did not use a ton of words with her – I was careful not to do so. I also exhibited limited emotional reaction, even when she was breaking down in tears about how she is a failure in her job, vulnerable, etc. I showed absolutely no frustration or anger, that’s for sure. At most, I only gave confusing looks when she’d bring up divorce, not knowing what I wanted, that I just want sex 4 – 5 times per week, etc.

    By the way, as a Christian man I did a TON of reading, praying and thinking about how to approach this issue in our marriage.

  47. @David J.
    I’m sorry to hear about your divorce after all those years of marriage. If you don’t mind sharing, since you said we are in nearly identical circumstances, was your wife always like mine? Did it happen after children? What steps were taken to fix the situation, if at all any? As i mentioned, I spoke to a pastor at church who was pretty unhelpful. This whole situation has a been such an emotional drain on my life. I hate that I spend time and energy upset and stressed analyzing and dwelling on this. I worry that the stress will manifest itself into physical ailment eventually.

    @wheelmonkey
    I’m sorry to hear about your situation man. At a marriage conference, the wife of the team said “wives imagine if your husband didn’t talk to you for 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, or 2 years. That’s how he feels when you don’t have sex with him for 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, or 2 years”. I think wives sometimes just don’t “get it”. And with the lack of passion? Ya, thanks a lot. I’ll be praying for you.

  48. Wheelmonkey- Holy performance anxiety, Batman.

    I’d skip the guilt trips and just tell her what you want. IE “When I get home I want you ____ and ____.” Or during the act maneuver her in the specific position that you are desiring. Asking her to perform like a circus seal is going to make her nerrrrrvvvoooouuuusss.

  49. @Wheelmonkey

    I suggest you ignore Gabriella. Making fun of your wife isn’t very helpful. You know that ‘husband’ is also a verb, right? When a man owns a piece of land, he needs to work on it and uproot weeds and the trees pruned. He needs to till and fertilize his fields, keep the weeds out, guard it from trespassers and harvest the bounty.

    Especially for those Christians who want a submissive wife, this is necessary. There used to be societal support and sanction for this, but now we are essentially on our own and so it is going to require more attention when the outside world is trying to pull your garden apart all the time. It’s unfortunate that this is not taught or widely known anymore. Cattlemen learn about animal husbandry; married men should learn about wife husbandry.

  50. @Gabriela: How did I give a guilt trip & what do you mean by “performance anxiety?” You’ve made some great comments previously, so I’m just trying to understand. Thanks!

  51. Oh, and I would never make fun of or ridicule my wife. She may feel that way at this point, like I’m critiquing her sexual performance in cruel ways, but I am not doing any such thing. Merely stating my need for a more intimate sexual relationship. She needs to deal now with how to move forward (or not).

  52. I wasn’t making fun of his wife.

    Wheeler is making the mistake of asking her to take the lead in their sex life. Maybe I am wrong but I think he may have misinterpreted Cane Caldo’s advice. I thought CC was telling you to ignore her if *she rejects your advances*…which means you still make advances.

    Wheeler- It sounds like you have decided to quit making advances until her enthusiasm improves. If I were in her position I would have performance anxiety. I think you might be making the mistake of turning the relationship dynamic around.

    I actually agree with CL here. Husbanding is a verb. You can’t expect her desire to increase if she is taking the lead in your marriage.

    The examples I used above were the kind of “advances” I am talking about. You want to show her that the dynamic in your relationship is that you take pleasure in her, you lead her and she follows. Which means you make an attempt to take pleasure in her and you only give her the cold soldier if she rejects that attempt.

  53. That is where I’m a bit stuck and feel like she needs to address some issues first, like putting our marriage at the forefront of her mind and seeking to figure out why she has no interest in me sexually. As a side note, I consider myself attractive (work out often), in better than average physical condition, dress well, and have very good personal hygiene. I’ve already been down the road of taking the lead in the bedroom, and she simply refuses things or become very awkward and uncomfortable. This is what I want her to address. The things we used to do, like oral sex, are suddenly gross & undesirable. For example, the last time we had sex she begrudgingly let me perform oral sex on her. When I/she finished (and I know she enjoyed it!), I came up to meet her for sex in the missionary position. She turned her head from the entire time and wouldn’t look at me. She has said before that she doesn’t want to “smell herself” on me afterward, but this is also a new thing. Honestly, I felt like I was raping her. It was awful!!!

    I agree that she probably does have performance anxiety now, but I don’t know how to address that given all the information I just cited. If she says she wants to work on sex, even with the performance anxiety, I would be supportive. I would never say, “Well, that really sucked. Thanks for nothing.” I would talk to her mostly in positives about what I do enjoy – that’s almost always what I do. I tell her what I like, and I even told her that last night when she wanted to know specifically what I was wanting. That’s when she rejected me and said didn’t think she could do that for me anymore.

    Where does that leave me???

  54. On another note, she has said to me that I should be grateful for whatever I am given in our sexually relationship and not complain because something is better than nothing. Fundamentally, I disagree with that on so many levels. We are in a marriage and should be able to speak openly, frankly and maturely about things, whether they be sex, parenting, faith or whatever. When we resign to not discussing things anymore out of fear of upsetting our partner, then we stop growing together and become stuck.

    Anyway, I truly would like some advice on though on proceeding at this point. The one thing I’m being very certain not to do is withdraw my kindness. I refuse to be angry or resentful, even though she is giving me the cold shoulder at the moment. I will continue to communicate in kind words and follow through on my duties as husband and father. If she wants to discuss it more, I will, but I don’t think I should keep pushing. She is an avoider though, so that may also turn into the end of our marriage… ???

  55. This is the paragrah that seems most relevant to your issue:

    In the meantime, TM, do not ask that woman for sex. Stop lying to her and yourself. Stop trying to do what she wants so that she wants to have sex with you. Tell her the truth for a change; that you want to bang her silly, and that she should let you know when she’s ready. Then, stop talking to her except as necessary. When you do, be as polite and formal as you can. Do not hold hands with her. Do not hug her, or kiss her. If she says she loves you, say, “If you loved me, you’d kiss me.”, and be sincere about it. If she comes in for a kiss, then make it a big one, and escalate from there, groping and fondling and all the things a man wants to do his woman until you’re having sex. If she recoils, do not react. Just go back to the routine, and don’t give in.”

    You let her make some IOI (indicator of interesting)..such as the “love you”, and responding well to a kiss. Then you escalate. At the point that she recoils you stop. If she doesn’t recoil you go on. You are basically rewarding her for good behavior.

    This is a crude example, so forgive me…but if you were trying to train a dog to come when you call you wouldn’t say “I’m going to stop calling til you learn how to come”. The dog is not going to decide you are Alpha without you displaying dominance.

    I love the idea of inviting her for a walk and leading the way. That is a good example of an exercise that establishes dominance. You can also do things like ask her to bring your a plate at dinner, or bring you a beer..etc. But no affection until she stops recoiling at your sexual advances.

  56. Avoidant personalities tend to take the path of least resistance. That is the good news. The bad news is that you aren’t going to be able to kill her with kindness. You are going to have to make her world much less comfortable for her. If dominance exercises don’t help you might need to separate for a little while so she has to feel uncomfortable by your absence.

  57. @wheelmonkey

    Was she on artificial hormonal contraception when you met? Did any of this coincide with her going on or off of it? What about pregnancy and childbirth – any changes noted in those cases during and after? Any other medications, like SSRIs?

    These things can have a significant impact on sex drive as well as attraction. Think about it, don’t necessarily answer it here (her medical history is none of our business), and do a bit of research if it is relevant.

  58. I do empathize, though…in case my tone doesn’t express that. It is frustrating to clean a spouses mess. It seems unfair because she caused this problem by not cultivating desire and she isn’t the one cleaning up the mess. Asking you to up the Alpha is making you do all the work.

    I have had similar problems in my marriage. I made the mistake of letting my anger over an issue ruin my attraction for my husband. My anger was justified in the beginning, but I nursed my grievances too much and for too long and eventually felt contemptuous. I had created all kinds of mental road blocks to intimacy and I simply couldn’t get over them without help. It was like I dug a hole for myself so deep I simply couldn’t get out of it without someone throwing me a rope.

    In the beginning some of the things my husband did resulted in me digging my hole deeper (guilt trips, telling me he wasn’t inlove with me, threatening divorce, etc)… but eventually he started doing stuff that made my respect for him grow. Of course, this was only because I was willing to have my mind transformed. If I obstinately refused to see him in a positive light then nothing he could have done would have changed my desire for him.

    Eventually, when you are out of the hole, you won’t have to try so hard. What she needs to show is a real willingness to increase her desire…even if she hasn’t figured out how, if she at least wants it then that means she is open to transformation.

  59. That sounds equally awful, Gabriella. I’m sorry for your experience, though it seems you came through it and that gives me hope & makes me happy (happy as I can be right now).

    I’m 100% in and she knows that. We are 1/2 through the day after our “talk,” and it’s COLD in here! She’s barely talking to me. I am continuing to speak with her, continue my duties and be kind toward her. I am committed to being someone that she sees in a positive and attractive light, even though I know she doesn’t at this moment.

    I don’t know if she wants the desire back or believes it’s even possible. We are in a weird situation too though, because truly I know of nothing I’ve done to decrease her desire. She just cites that it “happens in all marriages.” I totally disagreed with her on that, and even for those that see things fizzle after a while, they work and challenge themselves to reignite the spark. She wants us to stay close, in love, be friends and all that, but not grow sexually. She thinks that will continue to die as we get older and I really don’t know how to convince her otherwise. It wouldn’t be hard for her to seek counsel, read a book/article or whatever, but she’s not doing that (yet).

    We’ll see…

  60. @CL: She’s pretty averse to seeking medical assistance, so there is little point in me suggesting that. She said last night that they “can’t do anything.” She’s been a couple times before, and was even given a recommendation to a cream to use but she didn’t use it. It remained unopened in our bathroom for over a month then disappeared. I never confronted her or said anything about it. She thinks I’m obnoxious enough as it is. She also doesn’t believe, I don’t think, that we are ONE. That her body is mine, and mine is hers. That we should be able to openly communicate and talk about concerns and stuff. She is, obviously, very defensive.

    @Gabriella: I missed your previous post that mentions it might not be possible for me to kill her with kindness and that a separation may need to take place. I don’t know yet about that. I’m not going to bend over backwards the kindness or anything as I don’t want her to think I regret or apologize for the discussion I began. I’m just not going to be cruel. Instead I’ll be pleasant, continue with my work as a father and treat her with respect. If she can’t get over this, then I’m not sure what will be next. I’m prepared to move on if need be though – I’m just not excited about it . Her reaction in the weeks to come will be quite telling about where her heart is in all of this.

  61. @wheelmonkey

    When I advised Tacomaster to check out how the females responded: I meant to note the positive response. I did NOT mean to take their advice. They’re not totally wrong, but I suspect neither TM nor yourself are able to understand what they’re saying.

    We are 1/2 through the day after our “talk,” and it’s COLD in here!

    There is a reason I did not prescribe having a “talk”. At this point, “talks” can almost only be fights. Unless your goal is to fight: stop. Some of the folks over at TalkAboutMarriage are under the impression that what I have recommended is retaliation, or punishment, or withdrawal. That’s because they’re infected with ideas about power struggle. This is about desire. My advice are not arm-twisting techniques, but about being who God has called you to be, and having the type of marriage that glorifies God and each other.

    1. You can be honest in silence.
    2. Watch what women do, not what they say. There are multiple instances of women in scripture straight-up lying to God. God overlooks it each time I can recall. (probably a post there)
    3. DON’T COMPLAIN TO HER. It does no good for several reasons. Complain to her in this context is pathetic. Complain to God in prayer–wholeheartedly. This is one of the biggest reasons not to “talk”. Speaking is complicated. You haven’t established your own frame yet, so there is nothing for her to respect, even if she were so inclined. In your state, and your under-developed frame of mind, if you start to “talk”, the complaints are going to bubble out of your sad little face–that’s how she’ll see it, anyway. Said another way: When you are fasting, anoint your head and wash your face, but be sad with your Father in secret, who will reward you. Complaining is the emotional equivalent of a dirty, grubby little face and tousled hair. Show that to God, who loves you.

    You’ve also expressed the mindset that it’s her turn to get with the program. I don’t disagree, but these things cannot be considered in the absence of what we know to be true about the female nature: they are followers and responders.

  62. ” St. Paul is not obliging TM’s wife to have sex with him; he is removing the false narrative that good Christians don’t have great sex.”

    “I disagree with the bolded part, or at least how I’m reading it, because I very much do read the verse as obliging each spouse in this way. ”

    Women can oblige easier than men by virtue of our anatomy. It’s painful when we are not sufficiently lubricated but the mechanics of it can still take place. Not so with men. What to do when the husband’s manly part just won’t rise to the occasion?

    [CC: Please pick an email address, and stick to it.]

  63. @wheelmonkey

    No, no! I didn’t mean to seek medical advice, but that certain medications can affect things. I’m certainly the last person to recommend SSRIs to anyone, just to make that clear.

  64. I like what Cane Caldo said about your frame being underdeveloped. That expressed better what I mean when I say that your tone seems to be that of someone who is switching the dynamic…its like you are expecting her to Man Up! That probably isn’t going to happen, and if it did it wouldn’t increase her desire for *you*. She could learn how to masturbate on you..which is what I think most contemporary sex advice towards women is aimed at. I’m almost positive that most the sex-advice I read is trying to tell women how to self-pleasure on their husband, so he is fooled into thinking she actually likes him.

    That isn’t really what you want, though at the moment it might seem better than nothing…. Increasing her sex-drive without changing her desire for you is going to make her more liable to cheat. It is one thing to be unattracted to your spouse, it is another to unattracted to your spouse and horny.

    That is why I think it is important not to make the Bad Guy her sex drive. First of all- she may seriously believe it is something she can’t fix. Secondly- a high sex-drive wouldn’t necessarily fix your relationship dynamic. You can have a low libido but still enjoy your husbands enjoyment of you.

    The main problem is she has allowed the seeds of contempt to grow, and the seeds of love to die. If that had not happened then even a low libido wouldn’t ruin the relationship.

  65. So, we didn’t really talk, which is why I put it “talk” in quotations. I simply told her that I was dissatisfied with our sex life, then let her go from there. I really don’t think I came across as a complainer or whiny or anything like that.

    I think I posted earlier that I’ve done the “action” thing when in bed. Meaning, I’ve tried to suggest things, move her into positions, romance her those ways. That is part of the problem. She recoils from such efforts and will say, “This is weird…I don’t want to do that,” and things like that. Plainly put, she won’t follow my lead.

    I didn’t attack her sex drive. She brought that up, not me.

    This less than 24 hours, but I don’t expect her to initiate any sort of physical contact in the near future. As it is right now she’s not even speaking to me unless she absolutely has to.

  66. @wheelmonkey

    So, we didn’t really talk, which is why I put it “talk” in quotations. I simply told her that I was dissatisfied with our sex life, then let her go from there. I really don’t think I came across as a complainer or whiny or anything like that.

    “You’re doing it wrong.” is a complaint. So is, “You did this wrong.”

    “Let’s do this.” is leading, as is, “I’m not doing that anymore.”

    Does that make sense?

    I think I posted earlier that I’ve done the “action” thing when in bed. Meaning, I’ve tried to suggest things, move her into positions, romance her those ways. That is part of the problem. She recoils from such efforts and will say, “This is weird…I don’t want to do that,” and things like that. Plainly put, she won’t follow my lead.

    You’re trying to ride a horse that won’t accept the saddle. Something has gone terribly wrong, and your wife shouldn’t be bucking the saddle…but she is. My suggestion is too start much smaller–like going on walks. Accept your position as the leader who anticipates the needs of those in his charge. Needs, not desires. Needs includes fulfilling wants, but it’s not all of it. Spend time thinking about this. Spend more time thinking about what God wants of you. This will help cast the right frame of mind.

    All these things work together.

  67. I think some women just are not psychologically equipped to deal with a lot of stress outside the home. Is her income necessary? Anyway she can quit and find another job? Or be a SAHM? Don’t have to answer here, just some things to think about.

  68. So, now I’m feeling nervous, hesitant and a little freaked out that things are going to continue on downward spiral because I tried to bring forth a problem in our marriage that I am having and it was met with extreme defensiveness and anger. In fact, that is more troubling now to me than the actual problem itself; that I can’t bring up a problem to my wife without her becoming angry, defensive and throwing out the “D” word to me. This is not the sign of a healthy marriage, is it?

    I’m not trying to make her or her sex drive the “bad guy,” but mostly I want her to acknowledge that we have a problem to work on. She won’t do that. I believe she continues to see this as my problem because I don’t accept her as is, when it’s actually not that I don’t accept her, but I don’t accept that our sex life is dead. Ironically, the fact that I love her as much as I do is why I’m pursuing this issue and want to work with her on it. I just can’t be the only one doing the work. Does that make sense???

    Maybe, as some have indicated, I could have done this better (just by leading more and talking less) or that I have now given her “performance anxiety,” and not only will the sex stop but it may never begin again because I have created even more of a self-conscious mindset in my wife. Unfortunately, me leading in the past has not worked out for me, and me saying nothing does nothing to address my needs but actually sends the message that everything is fine when it is not. I’m fine not having sex for a while at this point because I don’t want it anyway if it’s not intimate, passionate and engaging. I’m probably more nervous at this point about where all this is leading in terms of other problems for us, and the fact that my wife is barely speaking to me 2 days later.

    I feel like damned if I do and damned if I don’t. Sigh…

  69. Stick with me here, and read to the end. I am being your friend.

    I feel like damned if I do and damned if I don’t. Sigh…

    Your mindset is all wrong. Damning is an action taken by someone with the authority to condemn. She does not have that authority. The husband has authority over the wife. In the Kingdom of God this servant has authority over that servant, and the Kingdom of God is at hand! She can kick and bite and refuse and scream divorce as much as she wants, and yet she is a helpmeet under authority as we all are servants under authority. The Master will return, and there will be a reckoning. Be of good cheer!

    When Jesus is on the cross, He does not take issue with the crowd (society), the Romans who are crucifying him (the courts), or even the Jews who lied and betrayed him (the wife who played harlot because the Messiah wasn’t “man enough” for them. He cries to God: “Why have you forsaken me?” He does for many reasons (not the least of which is to fulfill prophecy) but because He knows all things are in God’s hands, and the Father wants us to come to Him…just as you want your wife to come to you.

    Are you doing this? You have the luxury of not being nailed to a physical cross, yet there is little in your replies of your conversations with God about this. No, He is not going to reply audibly any more than He did to His own Son on the cross.

    You are not to “try to have sex with your wife”. You are to desire to reflect and manifest the love of Christ for the world (though the world knew Him not) that God has consecrated solely for husbands and wives no less than He has consecrated priests and prophets to their callings. In this, you and your wife are not so dissimilar. You want her to fulfill you first, just as she wants you to fulfill her first. With that in mind: If you bid her to come to bed with you, and her response is pitiful at first: do not be surprised because she is reflecting your own sin; your pitiful attempts to fulfill the merely physical and ignoring the glory of the spiritual.

    “Do not muzzle the ox while he is treading out the grain”. This command appears three times in scripture, and it’s about not stopping the laborer from enjoying the fruits of his labor. Let the animal enjoy itself as it WALKS over the harvest to produce SEED. You are to be about doing the work.

    Furthermore: You have not done any of the things I recommended–which I did in the spirit of a man walking in understanding with his wife (1 Peter 3), and with the intent of washing your wife with the Word (Ephesians 5)–but you have done what I said NOT to do. Now you are feeling hopeless, having done nothing with what was given to you in love. Here, you are the bad servant.

    Do not speak of divorce. Do not speak of her wrongs because she is trapped in sin, but forebear them. Do not speak unless you have something to offer her.

    Do walk. Do bid her walk with you. There are recurring themes within scripture; particularly as regards relationships: bread, wine, blood, trees, sheep, harvesting, threshing floors, seed and not the least among them is WALKING.

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  72. My reply may have been eaten…I don’t see it a day later. Anyways this is a wonderfully well done post and I’m happy to have had a chance to read it.

  73. Pingback: Welcome Aboard, John | Things that We have Heard and Known

  74. In a situation I was in, there was sexual abuse predating the marriage by many years, which led to the “get it over with” and “immediate trip to the bathroom to wash up” attitude. I wonder if some questioning would lead to something similar for Tacomaster.

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  76. I’ve reread this post three times since SSM linked to it the other day. Thank you for all the time and energy you spent writing it. You really have a lot of wisdom man. I have so much to digest and have really been spending time in prayer and in the Word seeking to discover what God wants my next step to be.

  77. Cane:

    I had forgotten this one. Thanks for linking back to it.

    This is much better than “just get it” and “just figure it out for yourself”. It acknowledges that most men simply cannot do that, or have forgotten how to do that; and have to spend some time unlearning the unproductive practices learned over time.

  78. I am just coming to this blog. This post was linked to a comment by J in a post on to “To love, honor, etc.”

    I have not read widely in this blog yet, but my impression is that you, Cane, are trying to work out an understanding of “game” that is not really the Game that the secular bloggers are working from. Have you developed this in a systematic format? If so, where could I access it?

    It would seem that this post (and the thread) are pretty central to your project. It seems you have a fair number of differences with “Dalrock,” (I have read a little bit over there).

    I have also gone over to Zippy Catholic, whose views have a lot in common with my own, since I am Catholic. Still, I am supposing that both of you are trying to describe something Manosphere-ish, even if you have grave misgivings about the scientism/materialism of that approach. (I cannot even begin to unravel the mysteries of the Manosphere. There is so much of it. And all blogs have a “preaching to the choir” kind of character. Manosphere, especially. A lot of cheering and very little cross-examination for the purposes of securing the truth.)

    I apologize for my sort of analytical bent here–it is an occupational disease from my working life. My real interests are far more personal than analytic, but I am more than wary of bad advice, bad worldviews, and the internet in general.

    By and large, I like your theology–probably a great deal more than Dalrock’s. You have a sense of natural law and the proper use of language that is very important.

    In any case, I would like to start a conversation with you about your perspective.

    I should say that I like this post, though I don’t guess anyone could really be happy about the advice, which reflects a very bad situation for Tacomaster. Still, from what I have read in the thread, the way ahead for him has to be of a radical character.

    Well , enough for now. I hope you have occasion to respond. It is Good Friday as I write this. A blessed Holy week to you.

  79. Should I dare tread the dangerous ground that would be deigning speak for Cane?

    Yea, why not. He’ll fix it if its wrong.

    rbthomas, I am pretty sure Cane is not trying to work towards an understanding of Game in the sense that you seem to be asking when you inquire about a systematic format. If I want to be simplistic I’d wager he would refer you to 66 books in particular if you were seeking a systematic dissertation on anything, game included.

    Cane doesn’t want to develop yet another iteration of game…..gosh I hope not anyway. That’s part of the core problem with game, it is an incentive to wade in with esoteric nonsense that sets the writer permanently above the reader in that the writer gets it, the reader can never get it.

    It may mean one need ask Cane for clarification from time to time, but certainly he is not needlessly cryptic like game definers are with their “you don’t get it because you don’t get it” mantra.

    I allow that it may be just a corruption of the word game that prevents a true Christian rework, but nevertheless, I do not believe it is reworkable as such. Christian game and secular game share one thing. They are both game. Innate is some necessary “gilded cage” allowance. That makes it never a good thing regardless how many ways the various tools are heralded as efficacious.

  80. @rbthomasjr

    Welcome.

    Empath is largely correct in his description of my view, but I will try to tack some ideas that may illuminate my position.

    I have not read widely in this blog yet, but my impression is that you, Cane, are trying to work out an understanding of “game” that is not really the Game that the secular bloggers are working from. Have you developed this in a systematic format?

    Game as it is written about, is mostly nothing. What is not nothing, is aimed at pulling psychological tricks on yourself to get women to follow your unchaste lead, i.e. to be slutty with you. If you can sort out that chain of thought and it’s implications, then you have sorted out Game.

    The desire to find a systematic approach to human relations is the primary malfunction of those who look to Game. Humans are predictable, and their behavioral problems are endemic. We also know that they are in some way systemic because they are related to the Fall. If you can figure out what all changed with the Fall (physically, spiritually, emotionally, environmentally, etc.) then you might be able to begin to approach a system of behavior. Obviously, we can’t do that. Ironically, our fallen natures preclude it.

    However, we can certainly learn an individuals behavior enough to interact with them in a meaningful and profitable way.

    Most men that come looking for the kind of help they think they need to be “better” with women are simply nerds, and they simple need to stop being nerds. Being a nerd is nothing more than not doing the things the masses think are cool, and doing the things that the masses think are not cool.

    The nerd can stop being a nerd anytime he like; even though there is no pattern to what is and is not cool (which frustrates the natural nerd), but he still knows what cool is. It’s the thing everyone else is doing that makes no sense. If he wants to be cool–and therefore have some Game–then he needs to do those things that make no sense but yet everyone is doing anyway, and he needs to stop doing those things that only the uncool kids are doing.

    Mind you: I’m not suggesting anyone do anything. I’m just laying out that the basic problem of those who want to get “better” with women is to an introspective and nerdy arrogance. Why is fantasy football cool and DnD uncool? Because it is. There’s nothing to cool but popularity.

    Empath noted that if there were a system to life it would be the Bible (66 books), and he’s on the right track. Except let’s note that the Bible is not an instruction manual, though it has a lot of them. It’s not just a history book, even though it’s full of history. It’s not just a theology book, even though it is obviously theological in nature. It’s not just…

    There’s a lesson there, and it’s that humans don’t need a system to understand the things that are really important. And if you give them a system, they’ll use it to destroy themselves and others.

    Who is J, and what post linked here? I’m interested.

  81. Thank you, Cane. You have certainly answered the “systemic” part. Let me ask you a question that might drive our conversation deeper. What do you think about today’s modality of marriage counseling?

    BTW, I am slowly reading through your past posts as time allows.)

    Best,
    RT

  82. Gabriella said (all those months ago):

    “What she needs to show is a real willingness to increase her desire…even if she hasn’t figured out how, if she at least wants it then that means she is open to transformation.”

    How is this done, exactly. I would be interested in how she did it. (If she is still around to ask.)

  83. “What she needs to show is a real willingness to increase her desire…even if she hasn’t figured out how, if she at least wants it then that means she is open to transformation.”

    Gab was assuming that the wife “wants it.” That’s often not the case. I don’t think it was for TM.

  84. Yes, that seems true. The scenario seems to be that *after* TM gets his wife away from rebellion, she needs to increase her desire. (She is “open,” luckily). So, how? I guess I am just interested in the sources a woman would access to make that happen for herself.

  85. @rt & others

    I’ve been a bit sick lately. I’ll respond after I get caught up on other priorities. You’re not being ignored–just postponed.

  86. @rt

    You’ve got a bunch of stuff here, so I’m just going to reply in order.

    What do you think about today’s modality of marriage counseling?

    Well, the loud counselors–the ones we hear–are not only loud, but usually lousy. There really is a massive bias out there that girls are nigh angelic, and boys are near beasts. This presents a two-fold problem:

    1) Who is going to blame the angel when beasts are so nearby?

    2) How do you correct an angel? It’s easy with beasts; “Bad dog!” and a whipping do the trick. The angels must be gently lead to their own angelic conclusions with soothing tones and encouragements. If they don’t reach them, that must be because God has something really special in-store for this angel!

    That is what I’ve seen, read, and heard.

    Oh, J is the woman who writes the blog, “Hot, Holy, and Humorous.” [...] I think J and Sheila Gregoire are friends.

    I have to say I am a bit surprised; if pleasantly.

    “What she needs to show is a real willingness to increase her desire…even if she hasn’t figured out how, if she at least wants it then that means she is open to transformation.”

    How is this done, exactly. I would be interested in how she did it. (If she is still around to ask.)

    Gabby has retired from this field, but each individual can only change their own mind. A husband (in the case under discussion) can help by giving opportunity. This is extraordinarily hard on a man’s ego. Someone in the position of being sexually denied is going to be compelled to despair and bitterness; not only because he’s just a mortal, but because he’s being wronged!

    As far as how she does that–how she finds the desire to simply desire sex–that’s just a decision. There’s no system to it, and she won’t actually find “this one weird trick” that will make her want to be turned on for her husband. If she makes the decision, pretty much any advice can help after that; like a placebo. It’s more about her letting go of whatever she is holding against her husband and herself.

    Generally though: Blood-flow is always good, therefore some exercise is good. It’s also a chance to talk and touch.

    People around these parts hate to hear that old chestnut that “women are like slow-cookers”, but it touches on a truth. It would be more accurate to say wives are like a husband’s pot roast. Women, in general, are not necessarily slow to heat up, but wives who have gone cold, thick, and tough aren’t going to get cooked fast.

  87. I have a huge problem. I am not attracted to my husband at all. I married him because he was really nice and funny. The problem is that he’s unmanly. Example: me: “I feel so much safer when you’re here at night. Little sounds don’t bother me.” Him: “Well, I could use myself as a human shield”. He is also afraid to climb a ladder and paint our high entry way. I’m afraid too, but I’m able to push through and do it. I’m confident in my ability to successfully not fall. It frustrates and repulsed me that I’m braver than him. I have no hope for my marriage. I need a man, but he is barely one. How do people treat their spouses with selfless love and respect reguardless of their lack accompanying emotions? I am loyal, and want to be the best wife possible. I have tried everything, and it is acceptance time. Are there groups for spouses commuted to honoring their vows no matter what? Should I save up money and see a Christian therapist (I have a hard time believing they wouldn’t suggest divorce). If I read lots of stories about men who have affairs and squander money I feel better about him. I just have to make sure I’m constantly comparing him to the lowest denominator men. It is exhausting. There has to be a better way.

  88. Hi Becca:

    Women in the old days used to be taught to find a mediocre schlub and make something of him. That’s sadly a lost art, but some of the best tactics can be reconstructed.

    This is an excellent article, full of good tips, which is relevant to the problem you describe.

    http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/how-to-encourage-a-husband-to-show-more-leadership/

    The bottom line: Women have always had the ability to outmaneuver men. If you follow these directions, you’ll be manipulating your husband into becoming a better man — you’ll be using your feminine wiles for a good purpose, in other words. Try it out!

    You should also ask an old married lady about this, if you have such a source (your grandmother, perhaps?) Old folks who have a track record of good relationships often dispense wise advice. It’s a safe bet that such a woman knows how to get her husband to do something, without nagging or fighting, in a way that makes her husband feel more manly, and increases her attraction to him at the same time.

    Good luck!

    Boxer

  89. Oooh! Thanks! I completely agree with you. People had arranged marriages and married out of necessity for millennia. I’m looking forward to unearthing some of that wisdom.

  90. Don’t forget that you’re actually very lucky to have a husband. That in itself suggests you’re smarter than most of the local chicks I see, who seem totally clueless, and are in and out of countless, repetitive, four-month “relationships” with the “love of [her] life” — only to find, time and time again, that their “perfect man” was an asshole… over, and over, and over, hehe.

    He’s not Brad Pitt or George Clooney, but it sounds like he is also not a drunken crackhead with a violent streak. Start working on him, and you’ll both end up in a great place.

  91. Becca:

    This is my first posting on a blog. I can’t resist the temptation to chat with you.

    To me it sounds like you are talking yourself into either cheating on your husband or leaving him or both. You need to grow up and live your live in a meaningful manner by not screwing over your family. Your vomiting your feelings on the blogs is more than disrespectful; it is appalling.

  92. Migratedinsanity: This is a Christian blog. It seems pretty catholic, at that. This is the last blog that would condone cheating or divorce. I meant what I said. And if your reference to “blogs” implies that I’ve commented elsewhere you are mistaken.

  93. Also, what else do you suggest I do? Condfide in a friend? The pastor? It’s not exactly something you can tell anyone you know. Maybe guys shouldn’t mention their wives have gained weight either. Such is life.

  94. I actually have commented on a couple of other marriage blogs. I had forgotten. There is no information on this subject anywhere. At least not on how to be a good wife in spite of te feelings. If you do an Internet search of “I’m not attracted to my husband” you find tons of threads of women who feel this way. They say things like “His touch makes my skin crawl”. Everyone becomes angry that the poster feels like that or other women agree and say they have the same issue. There are no constructive solutions offered. Just because a problem makes people feel uncomfortable doesnt mean it should be ignored.

  95. Becca:

    My name is migratedsanity; not migratedinsanity. Perhaps as I continue to have further communication with my exwife I will devolve my name to migratedinsanity. The experiences of life are directly linked to this migratory llama. (a little lingual diversity for the folks)

    I believe this is a Catholic blog as well; but it is a Christian Catholic blog. I can explain that if there are any takers.

    I did not deduce that you blogged elsewhere. I said this is MY first blog entry. You and I are separate, distinctive beings.

    I am glad to hear that you do not plan to totally hurt your husband, family and self by leaving your reservation. I’m quite reserved myself in some ways.

    No, don’t confide in a pastor. You are wise to know that. I suggest that you confide in your husband. The outcome might be surprisingly fruitful, after a bit of difficulty; but then again it might be fruitless.

    I never mentioned to anybody when my wife of the time was gaining body fat. It was readily apparent.

    Nice to meet you and chat with you. I’ve got plenty of time to chat further if the blog owner is willing to accommodate.

  96. Mrs. Becca:

    I have a slew of posts on my blog about how to be a good wife in spite of feelings. Since you chose this bog particularly because it’s a Christian blog, I assume you are Christian so my posts could help you. If you are not committed to living Christian truth despite how you feel, my blog isn’t for you. But it is full of practical advice for loving your husband well, which more often than not has absolutely NOTHING to do with how we feel.

    I won’t put them all here as links because the blog owner seems pretty busy at present and who knows when I’ll gt fished out of moderation. But you can start here:

    http://lovingintheruins.wordpress.com/be-a-big-girl/

    Those might be helpful to you, as I have found that rehearsing your own fabulousness while juxtaposing it against what you perceive as your husband’s faults are not the path toward a more fulfilling marriage.

    My credentials are very few. Just a Christian wife and mother of 20 years who probably doesn’t know half as much as I think I know, but I have learned a little along the way.

  97. Thank you eels perch. Autocorrect always keeps things interesting, huh? I’m sure you know plenty! Thanks for the link.

  98. “To me it sounds like you are talking yourself into either cheating on your husband or leaving him or both. You need to grow up and live your live in a meaningful manner by not screwing over your family. Your vomiting your feelings on the blogs is more than disrespectful; it is appalling.”

    At least Becca realizes what she’s doing and seems to want help. Some of us would be glad if our wives would make that much of an effort.

  99. Becca:

    You won’t go wrong by following the advice from Boxer and Elspeth. In my opinion, if you weren’t attracted to your husband you probably won’t ever be. That said, now that you’re married there’s not much that can be done about your lack of attraction. The most that can be done at this point is your obedience to your vows.

    If I may ask: Why did you marry your husband if he was “nice” and “funny”? Did you believe that this was sufficient for a marriage? If so, what led you to believe that?

    You say your husband is “unmanly” and you list a couple of examples like remarks to you about “human shields” and he’s not brave enough to get on a ladder. Did you know of his “unmanliness” before you married? If so, why did you marry him? If not, why did you not discover it?

    Respectfully,

    deti

  100. Deti,

    I have always chosen weak men. I have a hypothesis as to why. My dad beat the crap out of my mother and me when I was a small child. Even after he was court ordered not to contact us, we feared for our lives. To top it off, my mother frequently bad mouthed men and read me news reports about rape, exc. my grandfather and step dad were fantastic, but I thought they were the exception. I once had a boyfriend throw me in front of an actor at a haunted house and run! I dated him for a year after that. Nice and safe were my top priorities in choosing a mate. I was ignorant. I just didn’t realize that most men aren’t that bad and how much I would one day desperately need a man. And no, I’m not trying to justify cheating or divorce. Who comes to a catholic forum for support for that?

  101. He’s a great father and a great guy, though. It’s just kind of like being gay. I love women, just not in the bedroom.

  102. @Becca

    Welcome.

    You’re carefree in your commentary here, but you don’t mention where you’ve talked with your husband about your concerns. You’re a wife, so you’re commanded to be submissive and that should come through even when you are bringing his challenges up for discussion.

    Being submissive is not about being passive, or ignoring him, but about placing yourself under him. For an example: You shouldn’t have painted the entry way. Let that spot go unpainted until he can’t stand it. The trick for you as a woman in that situation is that it’s going to bug the crap out of you to let that entry way go unpainted. What you have to do is tell that part of yourself to shut up.

    He doesn’t have a problem of treating you like a doormat by not painting the ceiling. He has a problem with fear, or possibly money for safety equipment. Either way, he’s not up to a task a man ought to be able to manage one way or another. Your job as a wife is to recognize that, build him up, tamp down your inner criticism, and let him handle it. He has to confront his fears, and that’s a bigger problem than the color of your ceiling. You painting it shows that your priorities are out of whack. Happens to all of us.

    What you can say is something like, “What is your plan for the ceiling? We’ve talked about it, and I thought you had decided on doing X. Is there anything you need me to do to make that happen?” You’re bringing the problem to his attention–taking the burden off your shoulders–yet allowing him to be the man in the situation.

    Men struggle with passivity and indecision, but women struggle with control. They feel like if they don’t take control then no one will. The paradox for a wife is that the more control she gives her husband, the more she gains. Not the control he takes, but that she gives willingly and freely. A husband who is confident his wife will stand behind him is more likely to go forth in confidence, and therefore you will go forth in his confidence. This runs counter to our feelings, but not only does the Bible teach us this: Experience also bears it out.

    If I read lots of stories about men who have affairs and squander money I feel better about him. I just have to make sure I’m constantly comparing him to the lowest denominator men. It is exhausting. There has to be a better way.

    There is, and it’s to focus on what he’s good at; which you mention he is a good father (which I assume includes provider. If you can paint your ceilings you’re in your own house and he can’t be doing that bad.) and a pleasant fellow in general; funny, and kind. Your confession that the way you deal with your frustration with his short-comings says more about you than him.

    You have at least of a bit of a drama queen in you; as a lot of women do. Gossip, heartache, and tragedy are things you find not only appealing, but you find solace in them. This is very common with women as you were made to be more emotionally exuberant creatures…but you’re fallen like the rest of us and in a lot of women that comes out as a search for misery in others. Feeding that misery pet is doing you no good, and only makes it hungrier. As you’re discovering, it doesn’t actually satisfy you, and in fact the negative feelings you have towards your husband do not abate, but are getting stronger. That’s you. When you seek out misery you’re bringing that misery into yourself, into your marriage, and directing it towards your husband. It doesn’t matter that you’re looking at a cheater, and then saying “At least my husband isn’t a cheater.” It’s feeding the sin nature in you, and that will only destroy your confidence in your husband, your marriage, and ultimately your faith in God.

    Be happy both that (in the big manifest ways; no adultery, etc.) you are honoring your vows and that your husband is honoring his vows. It’s not pride to reflect that you are blessed and that you have been used by God to bless your husband. You two have more blessings to give each other if you just remain strong, and keep your eyes on the prize. Taking all of this together, the picture I’ve tried to paint is one where you are both struggling to shed yourselves of your weaknesses; side-by-side. He with fear, and you with control. (Take some reassurance that most marriages are like this from time-to-time; sometimes for years, and even if the parties do not say so.) Forgive him his fear and rein in your desire to take over. Encourage him that whatever he decides to do about such small things as paint, or imaginary break-ins will be ok with you because you love him, and above all because you have faith that God knows what He is doing with the two of you.

  103. Gossip, heartache, and tragedy are things you find not only appealing, but you find solace in them.

    Is that a reference to the fact that I discussed this on the web? I need anonymity. I can’t just go around bad mouthing my husband to anyone who knows who he is.

    Yes, I’ve told him these things. He doesn’t take them seriously. He thinks it’s all me. I just don’t have time to be the wife and the husband. He doesn’t see that. He thinks that its perfectly acceptable to have things around the house broken for years, or a tree growing 2″away from our fireplace vent (1full year).

    I can fake respect. Faking admiration is harder. Faking sexual attraction is almost impossible. It’s so hard. I know he can tell. Honestly, a list of things to do in bed to hide lack of attraction would be nice. Not on here, but maybe someone can create a list of tips somewhere. There seems to be a need for it.

  104. We have been together for 12 years. He does several things a week that repel me. He allows the children to hit him and yell at him. They’d never hit me, and when they hit him I eventually discipline them. As they get older and further trained this behavior stops. He says that it isn’t age appropriate to correct a toddler who hits and yells at a parent. We had this conversation yesterday (again).
    I really think its coping time. Men used to not expect porn star sex from their wives. That’s where I’m struggling. Not only do I have to do it, I have to act like I love it.

  105. Actually, the inverse of this situation would be interesting. How does one encourage the submissiveness and helpmeet character of a wife?

  106. @Becca

    Gossip, heartache, and tragedy are things you find not only appealing, but you find solace in them.

    Is that a reference to the fact that I discussed this on the web? I need anonymity. I can’t just go around bad mouthing my husband to anyone who knows who he is.

    No, it’s a reference to this statement:

    If I read lots of stories about men who have affairs and squander money I feel better about him. I just have to make sure I’m constantly comparing him to the lowest denominator men. It is exhausting. There has to be a better way.

    Yes, I’ve told him these things. He doesn’t take them seriously. He thinks it’s all me.

    Try telling him in the way I said above. If you experience feelings of foolishness, that’s your pride talking to you. It’s not foolish.

    I just don’t have time to be the wife and the husband. He doesn’t see that. He thinks that its perfectly acceptable to have things around the house broken for years, or a tree growing 2″away from our fireplace vent (1full year).

    This is your sin nature talking, and it’s a lie concealed as the truth. There is no expectation that you be the husband except that you have taken it onto yourself. Therefore cut it out; for both your sakes! If you really believe the ceiling, tree, and broken things around the house are his business, then leave them to him. How serious are these problems? Are they serious enough where you actually got down on your knees and begged him to take care of them?

    Leaving those things to him drives you crazy, right? And you don’t feel like you should have to “humiliate” yourself by begging, right? That’s because the problem you have is that you are arrogant and a control freak. Try not to get angry, and listen to what I’m saying: The effect of sin on women to turn them into arrogant control freaks is absolutely normal. That’s where Satan attacks women most frequently so that he can sow discord into marriage; into what God has joined together. The one real physical symbol of submission is the one most put aside.

    What you need to be working on is praying for God to humble you; understanding why you’re prideful; and how to be forgiving of a fellow Christian’s weaknesses as you would any other.

    I can fake respect. Faking admiration is harder. Faking sexual attraction is almost impossible. It’s so hard. I know he can tell. Honestly, a list of things to do in bed to hide lack of attraction would be nice. Not on here, but maybe someone can create a list of tips somewhere. There seems to be a need for it.

    [...]

    We have been together for 12 years. He does several things a week that repel me. [...] I really think its coping time. Men used to not expect porn star sex from their wives. That’s where I’m struggling. Not only do I have to do it, I have to act like I love it.

    Here I have more straight-up sympathy for you.

    Bottom-line: if you make yourself available to have sex when he wants to have sex, then I think you’re doing well; all thing’s considered. Keep it up! (rimshot!)

    Be honest about it: Make sex about his pleasure if he is the initiator and you’re not feeling into it. Sex is like church: You don’t always feel like going there, but it’s good for you no matter what, and anyways it’s not just about you. If he complains that you’re not “into it” enough, then tell him, “I’m here for you. Have your way with me.”, and if he still says that you’re not enthusiastic enough, then LATER (not during sex!) you can have a discussion about what would turn you on…like doing those manly things.

    Do NOT say, “I have a hard time being attracted to you because you fear painting the ceiling and you won’t trim the branches near the fireplace.” DO say, “You know what? It’s hot when I see you up there all taking care of our business.” If you are so bold (which would be awesome): Just be sure that your mouth is writing checks that your butt is able to cash; as my dad says.

    @Minimus

    How does one encourage the submissiveness and helpmeet character of a wife?

    Read the original post above to Tacomaster. There’s another one on here called “Welcome Aboard John”, and one called “Do Not Monkey Around with Despair”. I think those all touch on this.

  107. The “stories” I read about tragedy are on the peaceful wife blog and the respect date blog. I subscribe to several blogs being a good Christian wife. I don’t read them for the “gossip”, I read them for the advice. One of the side effects is I feel more appreciative of my husband after reading about some of the other husbands women have to deal with.
    I do have sex with him whenever he wants. He is most demanding of multiple orgasms on my part which is the hardest thing he could possibly ask of me.
    We have had years of this struggle. He actually loves it when I do the work myself. It’s funny, we have a 7-year-old son treats me the way is like my husband to treat me. Carries in groceries, held me back from the street once when he thought I was going to be hit by a car. I’ve been pretty good about my end of the marriage for a couple of years now. The problem is, I know he wants real respect, admiration, and attraction and I’m at a loss. People aren’t stupid. They can tell when you’re going through the motions. He can tell I’m not legitimately interested and excited about the accomplishments he is proud of. He mentions it sometimes. But I smile really big, use an excited voice, sometimes I ask questions. I don’t know. What I’ve gathered from this thread is to just keep doing what I’m doing. Forever. Whether it blesses me or not. That was my plan, but I was hoping there was something else. I have read Fascinating Womanhood, Created To Be his Helpmeet, The Surrendered Wife, For Women Only, the part for wives in Love and Respect. I’ve really pulled out all the stops. I’ll check out the blogs linked above.

  108. Whether it blesses me or not.

    Exactly. You’ve had a breakthrough. However I truly believe that it will bless you at some point.

    Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9

    One of the things you absolutely must do is cultivate a deeper spiritual life. I can’t say that I’ve ever experienced exactly what you are describing, but I do know what it is to feel despondent about a particular area of your marriage. There is no substitute for drawing near to God.

    The light of Christ in you can shine so brightly that your husband can be affected by it. I know this is true.

    In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. 1 Peter 3: 1-2

    I am currently reading Celebration of Discipline. It is a good resource for getting on the path to growing spiritually when you’re kind of weary and don’t know where to begin.

    http://www.amazon.com/Celebration-Discipline-Path-Spiritual-Growth/sim/0060628391/2

    Take all of the practical advice Cane is offering you here. It’s good advice, and his admonishments (though harsh) are usually quite insightful. But to really be able to get where you need to go and be the wife you need to be from here, it’s gonna take a heck of a lot more than willpower and good intentions. Your will ain’t that strong.

    Trust me.

  109. Yes! The will power is where I fail. If youve never read “The Peaceful Wife” blog I think you would love it. He has a list of things husbands find disrespectful that is very helpful. I have been so blessed by her ministry. I’m really excited about looking into your ministry. You sound fantastic! :)

  110. @Becca

    I do have sex with him whenever he wants.

    That is excellent, and it is what I gathered from your previous comments. I meant to encourage you to persevere!

    He is most demanding of multiple orgasms on my part which is the hardest thing he could possibly ask of me.

    This is not so excellent, and is a result of the pornification of our culture. I’m not talking about the biological workings, but the way our desires get twisted by our knowledge of other people’s business. Talk to an older woman that you respect because she lives out the Biblical ideals.

    The problem is, I know he wants real respect, admiration, and attraction and I’m at a loss. People aren’t stupid. They can tell when you’re going through the motions. He can tell I’m not legitimately interested and excited about the accomplishments he is proud of. He mentions it sometimes.

    These things happen; even in the Caldo household. It seems like the solution is to fix what is wrong. In this case for you to find a way to be excited, etc. But I think your side of the solution is actually to forgive him for his unnecessary demands, and to seek his forgiveness for not being as excited as you want to be.

    To some people, this sounds very prudish, and super-phony spiritual, but I find it freeing and very real and physical. Sometimes when Mrs. Caldo and I fight (she’s an instigator, and I’m belligerent) that’s literally where the argument ends up. I’ll say something like:

    Well, we’re in a real pickle here. You’re a shrew and I’m a jerk.

    Her: Pfft! Whatever.

    Me: There’s not a lot of hope for change in our situation, you know…

    Her: Disdained silence.

    Me: In the meantime, since we’re stuck with each other…wanna shag?”

    Her: You’re unbelievable.

    Me: Why are you still dressed?

    I don’t see why you can’t reverse that. Intimacy and sex isn’t just about orgasms (as you know), but about enjoying each other. If you are having difficulty enjoying the purely physical aspect of sex, then make it enjoyable and fun in other ways; good humor goes a long way towards showing the other that we enjoy and appreciate them.

    What I would caution you against is focusing on Emotional Content over enjoyment. Many of the female marriage and sex blogs I’ve read put way too much emphasis on how to make yourself “feel closeness”; or the opposite: How to make yourself perform even without “feeling close”. I eschew that. Sexual pleasure is about en-joy-ment. You bring the joy into the act. This is confusing because we think sex itself should be the source of joy, but it’s really our spirits.

  111. Many of the female marriage and sex blogs I’ve read put way too much emphasis on how to make yourself “feel closeness”; or the opposite: How to make yourself perform even without “feeling close”. I eschew that. Sexual pleasure is about en-joy-ment. You bring the joy into the act. This is confusing because we think sex itself should be the source of joy, but it’s really our spirits.

    I don’t disagree with this, Mr. Caldo. My question to you is this: How does one bring joy to the act when they are not joyful about engaging the act in the first place? Where does this joy come from?

    I’m well on the record with my disdain for trying to gin up feelings to make one *able* to do what she needs to do in marriage. But I also think that the joy you refer to needs to be cultivated. it doesn’t appear out of thin air, particularly when a woman lacks any admiration, respect, and sexual desire for her husband at all.

  112. Great point. I’ve tried to focus on what a great provider and loving dad he is. It’s not really hot, but it helps. Fantasizing about other people works, but it is a sin! It’s so tempting when he wants multiples. It works fast, but then, of course, I feel guilty. God is good, and I feel ashamed to willingly sin (except with traffic laws).

  113. @Becca

    I want to be helpful, but for the sake of my own weakness, it’s probably better if you talk to some other women rather than having me contemplate what you just said.

  114. Becca:

    Discretion is vital when in mixed company.

    A couple of thoughts before I exit the conversation:

    1. Check out the blog Holy, Hot and Humorous. I haven’t read her in a long time, but from what I recall, she’s very good about the practical stuff.

    2. Exercise. Aerobic and strength training. It helps more than you realize. Oh, and eat well, as well as find a good vitamin supplement. Look into evening primrose oil and black cohosh.

    3. Pray. This is often treated as a separate issue, but our sexual relationships are spiritual.

    4. I’ll be praying for you and you can email me at elspeh.breathinggrace@hotmail if you want to discuss anything further.

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  117. This post is truly outstanding. Thank you. I’ve put into practice about half of it in my failing marriage, and will work on the other portions starting tomorrow. It’s not that I didn’t know what to do, but you laid it out clearly. I want to honor Christ and serve him in my marriage. Thanks so much – Prov Erbs

  118. Cane, I am very interested in your take on my situation. Please email me when you are free. I can give you access to my blog, I’ve taken it offline, if you are interested. For the last 24 hours I’ve been doing exactly what you’ve told TM to do: not ask for sex, not be angry, just act like a roommate, etc. She hasn’t been frigid, but more neutral. I’m over 40 but I feel like such a kid when reading your blog and Dalrock’s. I have so much to learn. Thanks, I look forward to your thoughts via email. – Prov

  119. @PE

    To be clear: You should never ask. When you have stabilized, you can initiate, imply, suggest…but never ask.

    There’s not a set time limit to these things. I think that if you want to squeeze her ass and say, “Hel-lo! What do we have he-ah?”, then you should go for it.

    Seriously: Don’t ask.

    There’s a post here somewhere to a guy named “John”, and another to “Wheelmonkey”. You might check those out too.

  120. Ive been praying for her and not asking for sex. Today I grabbed her ass and she said stop touching my butt! I smirked and left. Now she hasnt done anything to touch me or move towards me. If I dont touch her itll go a long time without her touching me though now she lets me touch her non sexually while she stays like a statue. Better than before but not like we used to be. Im sleeping in my own bed shes in the guest room her choice. Do I stop touching her until she touched me? She knows I want her sexually but shes treating it like a weapon. Any next steps for me?

  121. @PE

    Better than before but not like we used to be.

    The fact that it is better than before is good, but these are new days. It is never going to be like it used to be. You’re going to have to go through an escalation process to get to a new and better relationship, and you’re going to need wisdom, confidence, perseverance, forgiveness, peace and joy to do it.

    Today I grabbed her ass and she said stop touching my butt! I smirked and left.

    Perfect! Keep it up. Let’s use this as an example of applying wisdom, confidence, perseverance, forgiveness, peace, and joy.

    Confidence: You’re married. Take courage in that. You have the right to touch her body. Her body is your body. Your body is her body. You’re not doing anything wrong. At this point, you’re not even expecting anything of her, really. You are one flesh with her, and you are not hurting her. Her pride may be hurt, but that is sin nature; which is a cancer. It’s not actually her.

    Perseverance: Recognize that while it is true you are married, some part of her (your body) is disordered, and when you try to move your “arm” (her) one way, it spasms another. It has to be retrained. You’re going to have to keep up the regime even when your feelings are hurt; just as it hurts to do physical therapy, or strength improvement training. Keep your eye on the prize, and don’t pay too undue attention to your “muscles” (her) telling you to stop, or complaints against serving her healthy food.

    Forgiveness: She really is disordered. Her protests against wholesome acts (such as “Stop touching my butt!”) should not be internalized by you. There are only two choices when she does something which she should not do: You can either forgive her, or you can keep a record of her wrongs. The former allows you to do what is right and continue in your training. The latter will give you a detailed spreadsheet that will form into bitterness and despair. You’ll need to forgive to escalate into (as I suggest in the post above)

    I kept Wisdom, peace, and joy for last because they must pervade throughout all these. Is it her pride that is hurt, or are you actually harming her in some way? Is is your pride that is hurt? Is it time to escalate? Are you really serving her healthy food? Are you secretly keeping a record of despair; even from yourself? What other things can you do together (such as take walks, which could become a time to hold hands)? What is the joyful response to her complaints? Praying specifically for her and her needs will help you sort this out, as will reading the Bible. (“You shall love your neighbor as yourself”, and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”).

    Related: Be sure that nothing you are doing is counter-productive to your goals. Don’t, for example, go out of the country for six weeks. (That struck me as really foolish. It would have been better to be fired.) Don’t move out. Don’t live separately. Don’t leave the master bedroom. Don’t take up with other women; whether real or virtual (not that you have). Don’t respond to her foolishness with bitterness. None of those things would excuse her rejection of you, but they are still counter-productive.

  122. The most difficult has been forgiveness. I realize now that I want to keep no record of wrongs but my own sins get in the way. I’ve also put my own ambitions on top of my family. Although I’ve used it as justification to provide for my family since I work hard and make a good income to provide for my family, I’ve made that my idol. My self esteem was so low b/c my focus was on sex, that I put all this time into work b/c I was respected there both by men and other women. My frame as off and as you say I’ve done many many foolish things including 6 weeks away from home for a promotion. We don’t talk much, but we’re going to church as a family and she agreed to go to mid week family worship and I’ve been going to a mens prayer breakfast weekly in addition to Sunday worship. I’ve had too many idols, including my desire for sex, for too long. It’s sobering to think that most likely things will never go back to how they were before, but I have a new opportunity now. Thank you Cane. I never thought a blog online with a stranger or strangers would encourage me to make such a deep change.

    I felt hurt like you said so I wasn’t escalating properly, but rather doing it out of keeping a record of wrongs and letting the bitterness fill my heart. Also, I put what should have been energy into my calling as a father and husband into my work. The fact that I felt like I was a success at work vs. at home with my wife, that drove me further into work. Although we are in a new state across the country, I have been offered a pretty significant promotion. I turned it down but they told me to think about it for a 6 months since the project won’t start for a few years. Although it’s a dream position of sorts, it would require us going back to the area where she went crazy with the CrossFit gyms. She’s working out now, but asking me permission if she can go and thanking me if I let her go a few nights a week. I’m 99.9% sure I will say no (again) to the promotion. I don’t mind downgrading our lifestyle, just I have to reorder my priorities.

    Will be back again to reread all this, I’ve gone through your entire blog once and will slowly go through each article again. I hope one day the Lord will give me the strength to guide others as you have guided me. All my leadership and success at work seem pretty worthless now, I’d trade all of it to work at Costco or somewhere else if I could have avoided the last year of my life. Thank you. PE

  123. Some more practical advice needed. I notice that if I touch her first she reacts or just lets me. But if I dont touch her, she wont touch me at all wont even mention sex. I feel like she doesnt ever want me to bring up sex. Yesterday was the 3rd day in a row I slapped her ass. She got pretty mad and said dont do that. Today I decided not to say anything or touch her, just do stuff I needed to do around the house. She said nothing and didnt even look at me. Should I continue just ignoring her amd not touching her? Or try to escalate more daily even if she gets angry? It seems I could make a case for both based on your advice to Tacomaster. Thank you!

  124. @PE

    Whenever I walk by my wife, or she walks by me, I put my hands on her in some way; a light swat on the butt; slide my hand across the small of her back; a kiss on the cheek; run my fingers through her long hair; put a hand on her hip as I reach around her for a glass while she’s doing dishes…just making contact. Perseverance, peace, joy.

    It is not her behavior that earns or dissuades this, but because it is my right as her husband and I want to. I’m a man, I’m affectionate, and I can. Her attitude does not get to determine what I want, and I like to put my hands on my wife. Wisdom, courage.

    If she gets mad don’t respond with anger, or by saying “I’m sorry, but…” Be clear. “You are my wife and I am your husband. I like to touch you and I am supposed to touch you.” Forgiveness, peace.

    You don’t need more practical advice. You need to apply what I said above to your own situation: Wisdom, confidence, perseverance, forgiveness, joy, and peace. When you don’t know what to do or how to respond, then ask yourself how those would apply to the current dilemma. The practical advice I gave is only to demonstrate those traits; which is what is really important.

  125. Thoroughly depressing. (its a figurative term, I’m not literally depressed by it). The drama unfolds in countless homes across America, more, countless Christian homes across the so called Bible belt of America.

    Be it denial of sex, denial of respect, control and manipulation, lies and obfuscation, full on jettisoning of husbands tacitly endorsed by nearly all who are aware, so forth, and legions of folks with advice.

    Advice ranges from the simplistic “if you love something let it go” cliche, to game preceded by some descriptor….married…..dread….whatever, to what is described here, persevere, and virtuous long suffering which is indeed a call to Biblical obedience. In one way or another, ranging from the good way to the barely making it good way, it seems the majority of men are at least not throwing in the towel.

    Men cast about for anything. Counselors tell them to supplicate more, or learn how to communicate like a woman better, or, you gotta learn-her-heart, whatever that even means because that’s like telling someone to watch a casino card game and “learn” the hand that wins the pot, then you will win every pot thereafter with that knowledge. Nope. Changes every time like a random number generator.

    That’s not complaint, its a statement of a fact ,the statement of which is sometimes characterized as a complaint. “Its hot outside” could be an observation, or it could be railing against God’s goodness that he sends sunshine. Usually its the former.

    What are you blathering Empath?

    The utter dearth of reinforcement of relational biblical dynamics among the peers of the other party. THIS would more accurately by called a complaint.

    Man’s creation and purpose. Is it expressly that he be caught in an endless struggle with a spouse, or is that (that struggle) just an aspect of his weeds in the garden, his cross to bear, or is the question misguided…bearing in mind is a rhetorical or theoretical question. Does the answer even matter? In the purist sense, no, it does not. But, its a little stretch but not too much in my opinion to say then that someone somehow denied food ought not say so, ought not say anything because scripture says so. Note: This is not a comparison of food and sex. Its not limited to sex, its about the entire morass that is American Christian marriage. Is there an injustice? May we advocate on behalf of others who suffer it? Or, because we are men and to do that would be akin to complaining because we have some skin in the game, can we not thus advocate.

    Cane, your deconstruction of this vent gas is eagerly anticipated.

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