Probably the last big taboo in Christian discussions is sexual rejection. And by that, I mean when the wife is the one being rejected. Most people assume that it’s only men receiving rain checks from their spouses, but I assure you that it’s raining on all of us.
Sometimes well-meaning female advice-givers will write articles about how we wives should all make sure to satisfy our husbands (Which is very true!), and the comment threads quickly fill up with responses from the choir she’s been preaching to. Everyone is in a chorus of agreement, “Yes, women who reject their husbands are very mean meanies,” and nodding and feeling virtuous… until some frustrated wife dares to ask, “What if you want to have sex with him, but he doesn’t want you?”
I can hear the crickets chirping from across the interwebs.
She’ll quickly be inundated with advice from women who don’t know what they’re talking about because they live on a completely different planet than she resides on. Usually it’s things that make wild assumptions about her like:
- You’re fat and unkempt. So, it’s all your fault.
- You’re unpleasant and he hates you because you’re a bitch. So, it’s all your fault.
- You’re a prude. So, it’s all your fault.
- You never wear lingerie and walk around in jogging suits every day. So, it’s all your fault.
- You never initiate. So, it’s all your fault.
There is absolutely no place in the Churchian sphere for women whose husbands just don’t want them, for whatever reason. Maybe he’s focused more on other women in his life and can’t be bothered to pay her any attention, maybe he’s out of shape and it’s affecting his libido, maybe he refuses to adjust the sex schedule to her natural pattern, maybe stress at work or frequent travel is reducing his virility, maybe he’s cruel and gets off on rejecting her, maybe he’s got a porn habit, maybe he has some sort of health problem, maybe he’s trying to avoid impregnating her, maybe he’s a pervert and only interested in sodomy (whether with men or with women), maybe he just… doesn’t want more sex than he’s getting. Maybe he wants none at all, or he only wants it with someone else.
So, what does a wife do if she’s caught in that situation and is frustrated and depressed?
- Don’t talk about it to people who can’t commiserate or who won’t even admit that your situation is a possibility. Just don’t. It’ll make you even more frustrated and depressed, and the advice they give you will just backfire and turn your bedroom into even more of a war zone.
- Talk to your husband about it. Maybe. It’s possible that he’s purposefully trying to make you miserable or that he can’t help the situation, and in those cases keep your mouth shut. If you bring it up gently and he responds by being defensive, then back off. It’s a dead-end. Talking to him is usually pointless, I’m afraid.
- If he makes a good-faith effort to meet your needs, but keeps lapsing back into sexual indifference, realize that he’s just like that and you’re just going to have to adjust accordingly or spend the rest of your married life humiliating yourself by begging for sex from someone who doesn’t want to give you any. There’s only so much of that your psyche can take.
- Drink more alcohol, preferably wine. Yes, this is Biblically-sound advice. See Proverbs 31 — the part before they talk about the Good Wife, is spent talking about how she might need some booze to fall asleep at night without masturbating. Sort of.
- Go to bed early and get up early. The late hours are the worst, for some reason. It’s best to skip right over them by sleeping through them and then get up refreshed after a night of sweet dreams. You know what I’m talking about; erotic dreams, like beer, are proof that God loves you and wants you to be happy.
- Pray more. Really. But try to stick to formal prayers like the psalms or the rosary, so that you’re not reduced down to sobbing and begging God to make your husband sleep with you. Tack that on at the end, but don’t constantly whine about the cards you’ve been dealt as if this were the end of the world instead of the end of your orgasm. There’s no need to wallow in self-pity.
- Try praying for your husband, for once. Not for what he can do for you (you already spend waaaaay too much time thinking about that), but for what you wish for him that he would also wish for him.
- Get something else to obsess over. Some women get really into seemingly-pointless hobbies like scrapbooking or extreme workout routines for this reason. It does help. Try not to redirect to your kids, as you don’t want to make them as bonkers as you are.
- Don’t act bitter and don’t let yourself go. Don’t give in to the temptation to make your outsides match your insides because you’ll just end up making your insides even uglier to match. Be pleasant and try to stay cheerful, for your own sake. Sometimes being more (asexually) physically intimate with your husband can help, sometimes it’ll just make you hornier and more miserable, but a smiling face makes you both feel better.
- Avoid mentions of sex. Don’t read books that describe sex acts, don’t watch romantic movies, and definitely don’t hang out with girlfriends who think you’re a loser because your man doesn’t want to shag you. This will drive you up the wall with envy and lead you down the path that ends up at either divorce or cupcakes. Don’t go there!
Hope that helps.