Dear Mrs. Happy:
Do you think it is wrong for a man who is married to consider having himself altered (through castration)? The reason I asked was I was walking with my wife on the road and was talking to her maybe about increasing the number of times we are intimate per week—which, at this stage, is anywhere from once a week, to once every two weeks, to once every three weeks and has been up to three months! She told me that if I wanted to have sex more than we do that I should have married someone else, because “I am tired.” This just about killed me inside, because that leaves me absolutely nowhere to turn! I am so sick of how I feel inside that I don't know what to do. I never thought I could feel depressed, but I do. I would love to hear your solution!
--A readerDear Reader,
Two thoughts occur to me right away:
1. If a woman doesn’t want to have sex with her husband, there is a reason. It may have a lot to do with you, and it may have very little to do with you. And,
2. It is a good thing to open a dialogue about sex with your spouse if things aren’t right. But once you initiate the conversation, you must continue with it and not lose hope. Yes, you may suffer blows and hear some things you don’t want to hear, but when you open up the site of a deep wound, the festering substances begin to seep out. Like any good doctor, you can’t flinch or run away when the nasty stuff comes to the surface. Pull yourself together and face it. Put your trust in God, and He will walk you—and your wife—though this.
Right now, you are discouraged because you took the chance of starting the conversation, and you got scorched. You realized there is no quick or easy solution and that there are probably deeper issues that lie behind your wife’s response. Discouragement quickly turned to hopelessness, but you must stop this slide into despair. God knew exactly how your wife was going to respond—her words show there is inner pain--and if you have Christ in you, you can bear what she says with God’s help.
Remember, God allowed this wound to be opened. Now trust that He has a plan for redemption—for you, your wife, and your marriage. Is there enough Christ in you to see this thing through? Love suffers long (1 Corinthians 13:4). Will you bear with your wife and create a secure atmosphere in which she can receive the healing touch of God?
Mrs. Happy tries to convey to women how devastating it is when a man is rejected sexually by his wife. This is a how a husband processes repeated sexual rejection: If you don’t love my body, you don’t love me. The truth is actually more complex, however, because a wife’s revulsion or reluctance for sex may actually have very little to do with you.
In Mrs. Happy’s observation, there are three major reasons why a woman doesn’t enjoy or anticipate sex with her husband, though she loves him:
--Sex isn’t physically satisfying, meaning she seldom if ever reaches orgasm. Admit it, brothers: If you didn’t get the payoff of orgasm from sex, you wouldn’t be doing it. Well, guess what—it’s the same for your wife. It just so happens that she is physically capable of having intercourse whether she’s aroused or not, unlike you. But when she yields to sex time after time without the physical release of orgasm, these are the kinds of words she might use to describe it: “awful,” “gross,” “dirty,” “a chore,” and so on.
--She has had traumatic experiences with sex. Rape and abuse from the past can destroy a woman’s interest in sex and block her ability to experience orgasm, which requires a degree of surrender to her husband. How many women have been sexually violated? Mrs. Happy has seen a show of hands at various women’s gatherings, and it’s as much as 50 percent. Many of these women will need the healing touch of God and gentle, loving support from their husbands to experience wholeness.
--There are underlying issues in the marriage that haven’t been addressed. If a woman is disappointed in her husband or harbors unforgiveness toward him, she will not be eager to make herself vulnerable to her husband in sex. Also, women need a secure marriage to enjoy sex to the fullest. Infidelity, pornography, and continual financial problems will sap her interest. Think of her sex drive this way: She’s a Maserati, and you’re a Mustang. They both pack a lot of horsepower, but the Maserati is more complex, breaks down more often, and costs more to fix. Her sex drive is more delicate and must always be handled with care.
Your wife could be affected by any of the factors noted above—or by something else, such as depression. You did well to open the dialogue, but now you must stay with it. Let your wife talk as much as she wants to while you listen without adopting a defensive posture. It will take more than one conversation, and a patient, loving response from you. Brace yourself and hear her out. Both of you will probably have to face some uncomfortable things.
You might discover that it would be best to obtain counseling from a mature Christian couple who aren’t afraid to discuss sexual issues. But first, listen—and throughout your time of patient listening, pray. Just tell God what’s on your heart—pour it all out like you’re talking to your best friend. With Christ on your side, you have every reason to hope.
Mrs. Happy has been married to one man for a long time.