Open Forum 3


Welcome to our new “Open Forum 3” discussion page!

We continue to create new Open Forum pages for you to post your questions and comments, and for us all to discuss important marriage and intimacy issues. Please post your new comments/questions to this Open Forum 4 post below.

For additional insights, you can review previous discussions by clicking on the links below. You will then find a list of topics discussed in each Open Forum:

Open Forum 3 Topics

You’ll find some interesting and insightful discussions on the following topics in this Open Forum 3 post:

  • Struggling with “The Good Girl Syndrome”
  • Would our sex life have been better if we had been with other people before we got married?
  • Having children has almost totally eradicated my interest in sex
  • I hate it when my husband gropes me!
  • My wife says that I am not affectionate enough with her
  • Has anybody here done the sensate focus stuff in Chapter 12?
  • My wife has a hard time taking the lead in making sure she is getting pleasure and reaching orgasm.
  • If self-stimulation is used during lovemaking as a way to enhance and bring excitement and joy to each other, is it masturbation?
  • Are there any other good LDS discussion boards about marriage and sexuality?
  • Sex-starved marriage
  • I’m a guy, but I am discovering that I struggle with the “Good Girl Syndrome” too
  • My wife doesn’t feel safe
  • Is it possible for a woman’s body to simply be incapable of orgasm?
  • Sex satiation
  • Priorities in life
  • Confusing relationships
  • How does one get their spouse to at least consider the principles taught on this site and in the book?
  • How to live with erectile dysfunction
  • I am completely scared of that first night of sex
  • What is the premarital exam really for?


This is the place to post your questions and comments and have an open dialogue about subjects related to marriage, sex, intimacy and parenting. I hope you will consider yourself a valuable resource in this forum, as you share not only your questions, but also your own insights and solutions.

Please continue to be attentive to the tone of your posts, so that we can maintain an atmosphere of reverence and respect for each other and the sanctity of sexuality in marriage.

I will try to respond as often as I can, but hope you will step up and share your insights as well.

As you reply to the various comments below it will thread each comment in order (newest posts at the bottom) to make it fairly easy to follow the discussions.

Some readers incorrectly post their questions on our Comments Page instead of here in this forum. I will move those questions over here to this forum to allow for easier discussion.

Thank you all for your participation here! Let’s learn and improve our marriages together! : )



Related Posts

  • Stacie December 20, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    I have to say that I “was” some of these other wives. I didn’t understand the God-given powers that I possess, which, when used in conjunction with my husband’s sacred powers, bless our marriage and make us more unified! I have been married to a GEM of a man for over 25 years.

    We first struggled – well, I struggled with “The Good Girl Syndrome”, which Laura addresses so well in her book, “And They Were Not Ashamed”. I CERTAINLY didn’t think of it as a blessing when I first got married; I just thought it was a way to “figure out” how to make babies. And then, eventually, babies came to us over time.

    But over the course of the past two years, I would look at other couples in church, and I felt prompted that my husband and I have been blessed with these special powers not JUST for bearing children, but for the opportunities to grow closer together. As I have heard numerous leaders express their affection for their wife, it finally dawned on me that their affection wasn’t just nurtured by some platonic feelings that they had for each other. Those feelings were nurtured through sacred sexual powers. This would also explain why there are such severe penalties for breaking the commandment of sexual fidelity.

    Heavenly Father gave me these feelings, along with the desires of my heart, to bless my husband. When I have put his needs ahead of mine, and focus on what brings him pleasure, I have noticed that my love for him increases. And I am able to communicate more easily about HOW I like to be touched, and where.

    But, in so many of the comments above, there really IS something to be said for getting over that good girl syndrome, and recognizing that Heavenly Father has blessed EACH of us with these passions, to be used within the bounds that He has set. A really good book that first opened MY eyes was “Purity and Passion: Spiritual Truths about Intimacy That Will Strengthen Your Marriage” by Sister Wendy L Watson.

    I wish you luck, and hope that other women will have an “Ah-HA” moment, like I did!! It is blessing our marriage.

    Oh, and on the question about whether or not it’s better to have had or NOT been sexually intimate with someone else before marriage, we STILL need to see that we are caretakers of these passions. I agree with what someone else said, about comparing to past liaisons. The important part is to COMMUNICATE with each other, and EDUCATE yourself and help your spouse, if she/he will allow it, by reading recommended material. This has been such a help to me.

  • Arogen April 12, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Here is an interesting article, kind of a case study of what is in the book.

  • Xenon April 14, 2011 at 5:28 am

    I have a question and a challenge to the board.
    The other night, my wife asked “Do you think our sex life would have been better if we had been with other people before we got married?” You see, we were both virgins, and the first couple of years were really rough. Now, nearly 18 years, she says she actually likes sex finally.

    So, we got thinking about that question, and I have been pondering since then a follow-up question. We both believe that living the law Chasity before marriage is a good thing, and that the good parts of that outweigh the bad parts, BUT, we also came up with a few things that were bad. So then I started pondering, what, if anything could we have done differently to overcome those bad things.

    One example, which I’m afraid is pretty vague. We didn’t know very much about how to make it “good” for my wife when we got married. She didn’t climax very often at first. In the years since, we are much much better. She goes basically every time now. But it took a lot of trial and error to learn how to make her go. NOW, if we had not both been virgins, MAYBE one or both of us would have had more knowledge of “try this” and “try that”, and “whatever you do, don’t do that”.

    So the follow up question is … if that is a “bad” thing about both of us being virgins, what could/should we have done (and/or encourage others to do) to make that better AND still have the other benefits of obeying the Law of Chasity? I think reading Laura’s book is one thing that helped us after many years of marriage. I’m sure there are others as well.

    So, that is my question and challenge…. What things might have been better in your marriage (or marriages in general) if you had been with other people before getting married, and then, what, if anything can you think of to help others to overcome that within the Law of Chasity?

    • Frustrated May 22, 2011 at 5:46 pm

      There is no way your marriage would have been better if you had had other partners before marriage. If you look through the very very narrow lens of just sex, then, yes, it is possible to have achieved a better sex life sooner but when you pull your focus back and look at the relationship as a whole then no, it’s not possible because now, at least for a man, you’ll live your life constantly comparing your wife to past lovers which is like a life sentence, really. It’s terrible because, inevitably some of your past partners did some things better than your wife does them, or, they were “built better”. It’s a near-constant comparison game and it’s terrible. Trust me on this one as I have way too much experience, sadly. Sure you struggled and it took you a long time but you struggled with each other and got to know each other and there’s real beauty in that.

      You have a diamond in those years of growth. Don’t compare it to the coal of past partners. Never!

  • Geezer April 14, 2011 at 9:01 am

    I can say with certainty that I would not have married the woman I did. Sounds harsh, I know, but I would have (hypothetically) learned before making an eternal commitment that she is a sweet woman who unfortunately has no libido, is not sexually attracted to me, and feels that these are normal and proper, and that one doesn’t try to fix normal. I would have kept looking until I found an equally-sweet woman who actually was sexually attracted to me and wanted to have sex with me. But because we were very chaste before marriage, I had no clue that I was going to spend my life without a truly intimate companion.

    • Arogen April 14, 2011 at 11:04 am

      That is where I felt I was last August. Things are better now, though still a ways to go. Don’t give up. God has the power to change hearts and heal hurts.

      Does she know you feel this way? It may be hard to tell her, but she needs to know how deeply affected you are and what the cost is to the relationship. She needs to know that she is in real danger of losing you forever if she insists on resisting change. It would probably be best to tell her in a letter. You can take your time, pick your words, and get it all out without interruption.

  • Arogen April 14, 2011 at 10:56 am

    So, that is my question and challenge…. What things might have been better in your marriage (or marriages in general) if you had been with other people before getting married, and then, what, if anything can you think of to help others to overcome that within the Law of Chasity?

    God would not have commanded chastity if it was not the best thing. What you seem to be saying that a better attitude and more knowledge would have been good and I would agree with that, but I don’t see any advantage to getting that knowledge in the school of hard knocks (or the school of getting knocked-up as it were).

    To create a sexual bond with somebody, then break it off, create a new sexual bond with somebody else, break that off, over and over weakens a person’s ability to bond as strongly as before. It is like trying to peel off and re-use some sticky tape someplace else.

    If I had a time machine, I would use it to take a copy of Laura’s book back to my wife and I right after our engagement. What is needed to overcome (or prevent) major intimacy problems is pretty much there. If we had a culture and society that taught those things the book wouldn’t be needed, but that isn’t the case.

  • Isis April 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    We’ve faced the opposite set of challenges from Xenon–when we got married 12+ years ago (virgins, active LDS), sex was great and really enjoyable for both of us. Although my husband has always had a stronger sex drive, I was almost always interested, always (with extremely rare exceptions) had orgasms, and we were generally on the same page sexually. Or at least he would initiate and I would respond and enjoy it.

    I’ve found that having children has almost totally eradicated my interest in sex. My kids are 4, 2, and 6 weeks old. I’m nursing the youngest two. It’s not because sex doesn’t feel good, or that I have problems reaching an orgasm–it’s more that I honestly have little to no interest in sex and don’t miss it very much. I feel touched out so much of the time, and the idea of sex, or even physical touching of any sort, is just TOO MUCH.

    It’s been really hard on my husband because my disinterest in sex feels like rejection of *him,* personally. He knows I don’t feel this way, but it still affects him when time after time he tries to initiate something–even sometimes just wanting to hug or kiss-and I can’t stand the thought of being touched even more. I just want to be alone with no one touching me, no one wanting part of my body.

    I anticipate that this set of challenges is a temporary stage and that once we’re done having children, my own disinterest will be replaced with a greater willingness for physical contact of any sort. Now, it’s not that we never have sex now, but it’s much less often than it used to be. I often find myself avoiding sex, which means I avoid any non-intimate physical contact as well, because it *might* lead to sex…and there’s often tension when my husband wants it and I don’t. So I practice avoidance a lot of the time.

    I know that a lot of the tensions in this issue are my own issues, my own fault, not my husband’s. He’s really patient and (most of the time) understanding, but it has also taken a toll on him and on our relationship in general. But I still don’t know what to do about it when I honestly don’t want physical intimacy right now. I’m more than fulfilled in that area by my own children, between holding and cuddling and nursing and all the other constant daily physical contact that goes on between a mother and her children.

    I don’t know if I have any advice, but I just wanted to articulate what it feels like from someone who doesn’t really have an interest in sex.

    On a side note, I’ve often felt mystified about the big deal with all our religions’ focus on sex/chastity/etc because this is SO not an area I’ve ever felt was a challenge for me. In some ways, I wish I *did* feel more sexually tempted, in the sense that it would be really nice to feel strong sexual desire. I feel it on rare occasions, and it’s really really fun when I do. But most of the time I feel pretty ho-hum and it’s only with some work that I get interested enough to have sex.

    Well, that was kind of random.

    • Arogen April 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm

      Avoidance is at least as bad as rejection, perhaps even worse because you shut him out emotionally AND physically when you do that. Instead of ‘No’, try something like ‘I wish I could because I love you so much but I can’t right now because ….’ The key is to make sure he knows you love you, even if you can’t (not won’t) show your love for him that way, show it in other ways and look for (and create) opportunities where you can. You might be able to find ways to be intimate that are easier to deal with too. How would you like it if he gave you massage, full body or just neck & shoulders, or just feet? What if you soaked in hot tub in a bathroom lit by candles and let him wash your body while you relax?

      • Arogen April 15, 2011 at 10:53 pm

        you love you = you love him, but you probably figured that out.

    • trustee July 11, 2011 at 1:07 am

      I remember when my kids where young. I felt the same way about more touching at the end of the day. Especially when I was nursing babies. After all the long hours of nursing, holding, and carrying babies the last thing I wanted was to have anyone else touching me. You have it even worse if you are nursing two kids. I have two that are very close in age and felt like I was pregnant ( sharing my body with someone else 24 hrs a day) or nursing for years!

      I am a few steps ahead of you in the process. My kids are now teenagers. When they were young I often avoided sex with my husband. Sometimes I would flat out say no, other times I would try to explain, most of the time I would get out of it.

      It has taken years for that hurt of continued rejection to be worked through. I reget it deeply. I had no idea what a divide it was creating. We have a GREAT marriage now, but I wish I had taken better care of our marriage when the kids where young. I would have saved so much heart ache for both of us.

      I know nursing in important and the bonds it creates are important. But if you met my kids you would never be able to tell who nursed for years and who nursed for months. Also if I had been better at getting them on a schedule and making the sacrifices to stick to that schedule then I could have carved out more time for myself and my husband. Which would have made me a better mother.

      Now that we have had our last child, and I apply the lessons I learned from the first two, we are both enjoying parenthood and marriage. And sex is a big part of that.

      This is a short phase of life, but the hurt can last for years longer. Make the time for yourself you need to have something left for your husband. It is well worth it!

  • Geezer April 14, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Does she know you feel this way? It may be hard to tell her, but she needs to know how deeply affected you are and what the cost is to the relationship. . . . It would probably be best to tell her in a letter. You can take your time, pick your words, and get it all out without interruption.

    Been there, done that, at least 2-3 times. Her reply is always one version or another of: “I am who I am, I feel the way I feel, and there’s nothing I can do about it.” Impenetrable logic.

    • Arogen April 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm

      No, not logic. People can change, do change, everybody can or there would be no point to being alive. If somebody resists even trying, even when it means suffering with a bad marriage, then there must be LOT of fear or something else going on. Perhaps past abuse. Time to see a professional IMHO, alone if need be.

    • Frustrated May 22, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      You are dead right, Geezer, that is inpenetrable logic. Women don’t understand that you can only shut a man out for so long and then… Well, with prayer he can last but I can assure you that frigidity has killed a lot of marriages and the women were just left standing there and asking “What happened? I don’t understand it.” It would be no different if a man just decided to quit talking to his wife altogether. At some point (relatively soon I suspect) the wife would explode and just say “I need some contact over here!” Now you have a clue how men feel. It’s just as powerful (more, actually) and it’s a lot more frequent.

  • Rob April 16, 2011 at 12:24 am

    I have a question and a challenge to the board.
    The other night, my wife asked “Do you think our sex life would have been better if we had been with other people before we got married?”

    I’ll admit to wondering about that, but I’ve read enough comments by married people with sexual difficulties to know that the people who came into marriage with more experience have many of the same problems. Inexperience is best conquered by a long-term married team who are willing to communicate and learn together. I think that’s my answer to your question about what could be done – young married couples need to understand that this is an important part of the relationship. They’ll not expected to be great at it from the outset, but they’re expected to be loving and patient with one another and WORK at it. Not having it come naturally to you at first isn’t really an issue. Not being able to tackle improving your love life as a team is a major issue. That’s certainly where we fell short.

  • Chris April 17, 2011 at 8:56 am

    I have a question and a challenge to the board.
    The other night, my wife asked “Do you think our sex life would have been better if we had been with other people before we got married?” You see, we were both virgins, and the first couple of years were really rough. Now, nearly 18 years, she says she actually likes sex finally.

    So, that is my question and challenge…. What things might have been better in your marriage (or marriages in general) if you had been with other people before getting married, and then, what, if anything can you think of to help others to overcome that within the Law of Chasity?

  • Chris April 17, 2011 at 9:13 am

    God’s law concerning sexual relations outside of marriage is valid for everyone, regardless of circumstances, that is “thou shalt not have…” And there are good reasons for that, one of them is: commitment. A sexual relation in marriage is the natural combination and consequence of emotional and spiritual oneness as a couple. Hence, we see again here, as your wife is in despair now, the utmost importance of teaching in a positive way and properly, sexuality to our children. Sexual knowledge is a necessary step of preventing this possible kind of turmoil once we are married. Like you said, “I think reading Laura’s book is one thing that helped us after many years of marriage.” If you had that book in the beginning of your marriage, I’m sure things would have gone a lot better. Nevertheless, it’s good and rewarding also to discover each other’s sexual intimacy as you go along in married life since each one has a different perspective and background (providing you are very much in love with each other and there is a willingness in overcoming inappropriate inhibitions about sex).
    Laura has gone in quite a few ways to explain proper sexuality among married couples. I have looked into several books about sex; “And They Were Not Ashamed” is the best I have read and it gives us enough knowledge for having a great and rewarding sex life as far as I know.
    You do not need to experiment before marriage to find out if you are going to have an overall positive sex life. Most likely, sexual hang-ups will be overcome if you are emotionally and spiritually one, but you need to be aware of the sexual wiring of your spouse before getting married: hence the necessity of learning proper sexual behavior between the couple BEFORE marriage and talk about it.
    Sexual intimacy is a blessing given from God to married couples. It is the fruit of love within marriage. But that fruit can only be savored fully if it is fed by the roots of love like kindness, understanding, patience, selflessness, for the well-being, trust and respect of the other. All of that can only be given within the frame of a long term commitment.

  • Kate4 April 18, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    “Sexual intimacy is a blessing given from God to married couples. It is the fruit of love within marriage. But that fruit can only be savored fully if it is fed by the roots of love like kindness, understanding, patience, selflessness, for the well-being, trust and respect of the other. All of that can only be given within the frame of a long term commitment.”

    I completely agree with this statement. However, I do think there comes a time when you have to decide within you, if you can continue anymore with someone unwilling to bend, listen, or try to or want to be “intimate” and I am not just talking about sex. But being truly intimate. I tried everything I could to please my husband, I read books, magazines tried everything to make him happy. In hopes he might return the favor. I was completely open and communicated my needs to him. Only getting responses like “I don’t kiss, I don’t like to”. Or this is just how guys are. After reading Laura’s book about 5 phases/steps to making love, threw me big time. I had no idea it lasted more than 3 minutes. When I would see a romantic scene on TV I would think “right, that is Hollywood glamorizing it”. Just because they would kiss for 5 minutes.

    I am writing this for a couple of reasons. First reason is, I do think or I am still trying to convince myself, that it is okay to leave a spouse who cannot and is not willing to respect or care for you intimately. And second, It isn’t always the “woman” who has sexual hangups. Guys are and can be even more screwed up, and personally I think women are more apt to try or want to make it better. Wheras it is a ego issue for a guy and they are unwilling to admit they have issues in this area. They are so concerned with “how big they are” rather than what they could be doing to please their wife. Little things like lightly brushing up against her as they walk by, not pretending to dry hump them as they walk by. Or gently lift up their hair and place an intimate kiss on the back of their neck, not poking something else in the back of their head when they are working on the computer. Lightly trace your fingers along her body telling her how beautiful she is giving her time to naturally get ready for him, not forcing her to keep KY in business.

    I do think Laura’s book is good. (did have a hard time mixing scripture with sex, but that could be because I have never truly had a respectful relationship) Whether or not it would have changed my relationship with my husband, I don’t know. Maybe if I would have said No to him in the beginning maybe it would have forced him to be kinder. Who knows. But all of you questioning the what if’s. It is time to stop and just try to put out the effort instead of thinking “poor me” all the time. And if you try for years and years and years, I really wish someone would just say. “It is okay to leave”. It is okay to want more from a relationship. Because for me, I would rather be alone than be with someone who doesn’t care.

    • Rob April 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm

      Kate – that sounds pretty rotten. I think it is okay to leave a marriage when someone is being intentionally cold and calloused and refuses to change, but you owe it to yourself to make sure you’ve done everything you can so you can look back with no regrets. You’ve told him what you’d like to see, but does he know the stakes and how much harm he’s doing? It might take a jolt to get him off his backside. I’m not talking about ultimatums, but openess that you feel unloved and often think of leaving. Just another couple of thoughts:

      Do what you can to support yourself emotionally. Be with good friends, learn new things, work on your own happiness so not you’re not portraying that you need his cooperation to be happy. That might turn his head a little so he’ll begin to put effort in pursuing you, but if not it will still serve you well.

      He’s probably not nearly as much at peace with his behavior as he portrays. He shuts down conversations because he doesn’t know how to change or doesn’t believe he can. Somewhere inside, he’s probably embarrassed and a bit scared. Counseling might be a big help, or steering other guys towards him that can be a good influence.

      Good luck! I hope things look up for you!

    • Arogen April 25, 2011 at 7:49 pm

      My heart really goes out to you. Before you do anything, I would recommend talking with somebody that a) you trust and b) can help. If you are LDS, that may start with being your Bishop. My sister was in an emotionally abusive marriage and her Bishop recommended she leave her husband because of that so don’t assume that they will never consider that solution. I know some Bishops handle things like this better than others, but at the very least I believe your Bishop can set you up with somebody professional from LDS Social Services.

      If you are not LDS, then find a good marriage counsellor you trust.

      You can also go directly to God, he wants you to be happy and will help you if you let Him.

    • Geezer May 10, 2011 at 9:18 am

      “It’s better to be unhappy and alone, than unhappy with someone”
      — Marilyn Monroe

      “It’s better to be alone that to wish that you were.”
      — Dr. Laura Schlessinger

  • Chris April 24, 2011 at 7:18 am


    I do think Laura’s book is good. (did have a hard time mixing scripture with sex, but that could be because I have never truly had a respectful relationship) Whether or not it would have changed my relationship with my husband, I don’t know. Maybe if I would have said No to him in the beginning maybe it would have forced him to be kinder. Who knows. But all of you questioning the what if’s. It is time to stop and just try to put out the effort instead of thinking “poor me” all the time. And if you try for years and years and years, I really wish someone would just say. “It is okay to leave”. It is okay to want more from a relationship. Because for me, I would rather be alone than be with someone who doesn’t care.

    • Chris April 24, 2011 at 7:21 am

      Kat4: Did your husband read the book? If not, have him read it, and if so, it’s time to do some “home” work from the end of each chapter together…

  • Kate4 May 3, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Thank you to all of those who responded to me. I am sorry I unloaded on you all like that. I will try to keep it reigned in a bit.

    Rob: To answer your question, I do feel like I did everything I could. I sat him down numbers of times and explained how I felt. His responses were. “I shouldn’t have to give you a compliment, your self esteem should come from yourself not from me”, or “I don’t like to kiss, that is just how I am”, “any guy who has a little cat nap, doesn’t have control over there actions, it is just how they are”. The last comment he actually said to our therapist at the time and the therapist called him on it. Which resulted in my husband refusing to ever go back to the therapist and inform me that he is perfectly fine and I am the one that needs to go not him. The hard part for me is accepting that I did try everything. It is also hard for me keeping everything to myself and seeing him tell people things like “I tried so hard and she just up and left me”. and then seeing people feeling so bad for him and thinking what a nice guy he is. But there isn’t much I can do about that because it isn’t in my nature to run around telling people what happened, and I realize that he is charming and handsome and that is going to influence people. Maybe I should go on the Dr. Phil show. LOL

    Arogen: I did talk to many people, I talked to my Stake President 7 years ago and he said he couldn’t tell me what to do but he would support me in what ever my decision was. I also went to couples counseling with my husband for about 4 times (then he refused to go again) but I continued. The Therapist wasn’t LDS but was I think Baptist (can’t remember his religion but he was very religious). He basically told me that my husband was textbook Narcissist and he has never recommended someone to divorce but he felt I was making the right decision. I have since moved to another state with my 4 kids and have a good therapist now as well. I really am doing well. It is hard to change things so that you can be happy when you have been taught your whole life to “make it work no matter what”. But as someone once said, (can’t remember whom) “I may be the one making it legal-divorce- but he is the one who broke the marriage vows”.

    Chris: He wouldn’t read the book, I did try to get him to read it. I have no doubt though that he will remarry ver fast, as long as it benifits him. I have had evil thoughts of sending him my copy with highlighted spots and such as a wedding gift. But don’t worry, I won’t. Maybe him with someone else, can create a better bond in which he will treat and respect her better.

    • Arogen May 3, 2011 at 7:57 pm

      For what it’s worth, you have my blessing. I hope you find a man who gives you the happiness you deserve.

    • Frustrated May 22, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      I wish the very best for you Kate4. The one thing I can relate to is when everyone else thinks that you did the bad thing but they never saw what went on behind closed doors. In my first marriage I told my wife “I might have made the public sins but you made the private ones.” Long story and I won’t bore you with it but again, I wish you the very best.

  • Arogen May 3, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    It’s easy to post here about things I wish my spouse would change, or toss in my two cents about what somebody else posts, but I have my own demons to deal with too, and they have been getting the better of me the last couple of days.

    It’s a long story, I’ll shorten it up as best I can.

    I met her at a dance at the end of a 4 day youth conf, she had just turned 15 and had just moved in (military transfer). I was a bit more than two years older. I fell in love with her that night, completely. On the way back after the dance the still small voice was very loud and clear that she was the one I was to marry. I couldn’t believe it, but I couldn’t deny it. I knew that saying a word of that to her or anybody else would be both stupid and wrong, it would cheapen something sacred and make it sound like hormones in overdrive.

    There was no room in my heart for anybody else after that day. I knew you are not supposed to get that serious about somebody that early in life, but God had a reason for telling me. We lived very far apart and in another stake. I was in a small town and had obligations to my parent’s business so I really had to fight hard for every chance to see her. We managed to arrange so we could both be at the same church dance or Fabulous Friday about once a month, and usually spent 60-95% of the time just talking. Lots of letter and phone calls too.

    A year after we met, her family was transferred half way across the country. I only got to take her out on one date in the week between her 16th birthday and her move. I hoped that a year from then she could come to my mission farewell, but nothing was certain and I was filled with fear that it was only a matter of time before some guy there who could give her the time and attention I couldn’t would take her away from me. The morning of our last day together before her move the Lord strongly reaffirmed to me what he told me that first night and I was filled with unspeakable joy even as we said goodbye.

    At the conf where we met there was a lot of emphasis by one of the speakers about avoiding getting too physically intimate while dating, so although spiritual and emotional intimacy between us came very easy, we kept the physical side very minimal. We held hands and danced and hugged, nothing that hinted of any passion through. We didn’t kiss, not even on the cheek, not even when she moved away, not even I left on my mission (she was able to come visit just before I left). We were both OK with that. We were in love with each other and didn’t want to make any mistakes.

    When I left I didn’t ask her to wait for me, but I did make it clear I hoped she was still my girlfriend when I got back. I didn’t want to to feel obligated but be there for me purely out of her own desires. It was more like a ‘you have two years to try and find somebody better, then time is up’ thing. I was confident that by this time she knew I was the one for her too and that nothing serious would result from her casually dating a few other guys to compare against me while I was away.

    Her letters were a real source of strength to me, and it was a blessing to have her to open up to in my letters about some of the trials I had to endure. She was there for me when I got back, and her family had just moved again, closer. Not as close as at first, but close enough for a weekend trip now and then. We were engaged 6 weeks later. Two months after that I moved to her city and we finally could date in a normal way.

    Things did get passionate after I returned from my mission, nothing improper but we got as close to that line as we could at times. I was usually the one that decided it was time to stop for the evening before things would go too far. We married in the temple and we moved to a different city so I could continue to work on my degree.

    Sexual intimacy didn’t go so well in spite of how much we loved each other. Lots of factors were working against us there but I won’t go into details. When we married I told her she was permitted to read my journal anytime she wanted, and she offered the same. I never did it before, never had a reason, but a year or more into our marriage I was feeling very unsure about if she actually did love me or not due to her avoidance of intimacy. I wanted to know what was going on in her mind, and I felt that if I asked her I would just get the answers she thought I wanted to hear. I got her journal hoping to find out what the problem was and found myself reading an entry from the time when I was on my mission. It was her talking about her enjoyment of passionately making out with another guy.

    I was devastated, and very conflicted. But this was over a year before we were married, so I won right? She didn’t do anything with him that we didn’t do before our marriage so there was no moral sin. I shouldn’t be upset, should I? She married me, not him, so I should be OK about it, shouldn’t I? I wasn’t. It sent all my insecurities into overdrive. I didn’t know how to even start talking to her about it. For her this was something out of her past that was long over with so why rake her over the coals for it?

    I felt so betrayed and cheated on. Was I just ‘Plan B’, a ‘good pick’ or ‘family approved’ choice rather than the love of her life? Was I just an approved means to the end of fulfilling her deep desire to have children?

    I told her it was OK to date other guys when I left. I assumed that the line we drew in our relationship was one that she would continue while I was away and she would not cross that line until she crossed it with me. I thought that even though we never said anything out loud about it, that she knew inside that I was the one for her too. A lot of things she said and did over the years beat around that bush a lot.

    I knew if I tried to talk about it that my emotions would get the better of me and I would say a lot of hurtful things that I would regret later. So I kept it to myself and tried to deal with it on my own. Most of the time I could keep it way in the back of my mind, but the insecurities I had were constantly fuelled from it just the same. On bad days it would be front and centre, and I would wonder how things would have turned out if she was forced to make a choice back then, or if I had walked in on the two of them kissing or whatever. I would play out these scenarios in my mind of things that never happened and become very miserable over it.

    It was years before I even just mentioned it to her in the hopes that she would give some kind of explanation, but she clearly didn’t want to do anything like that. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago (more than 20 years after the fact) that we really talked about it in full. She didn’t realize how deeply hurt I was by it and our talk both hurt and helped a lot.

    What I learned is that contrary to what I thought, she didn’t really know I was the one for her like I knew. To her I was the best option available, a good possibility to consider in more detail down the road. She wanted to explore all options to make sure when she did make a choice it was right, no what-ifs. She reached an age where she felt kissing was now OK and didn’t feel an obligation to reserve it for me, although she did feel a lot of conflict over her feelings for both him and me.

    Her attraction to him was physical and emotional, and very much lacking in spiritual unity. He was a new member that in hindsight seemed to have joined mainly to be close to her and he had no real love for the gospel or commitment to it. He dumped her when he realized that she was not going to budge on her commitment to only marry a returned missionary. He knew about me, and was peeved every time she would get all excited from getting one of my letters. She also assured me that I was ALWAYS the one on the top of her list, and that is even in her journal in another place didn’t read before. She regrets that it went as far as it did, but doesn’t regret dating him as that is something that helped her realize that I was the one.

    In other words, even though he had every possible advantage, he was able to spend time with her, buy her things, take her out, even kiss her and be physically affectionate, and even though I had every disadvantage (including not even knowing what was going on), he could not take her heart away from me and gave up in frustration. I can live with that.

    It lifted such a burden off my heart, I wish I had done this sooner but I don’t think I could have done it sooner without just making things worse. I thought this was over, but this past weekend was really hard. All the insecurities flared up big time and left me feeling worse than I’ve felt in a long time. I think there were several external factors, I had had several late nights and was sleep deprived which always affects my mood in some way, and my wife had been away for a few days on a trip with her mother.

    Even so, I can’t accepts this continuing. How do I get past this for good? I know that by the time I returned from my mission she knew, and she married me for the best reasons and we do love each other. I we’ve talked also about her feelings and behaviours toward intimate relations and although there is still a lot of work to be done there, I understand better that her issues with it are not that she has a problem with me.

    I want to be free of this, I don’t want to keep falling into this pit of doubt over and over, I’ve lived there too long already and it has to change for us to become one like I hope we some day can. It’s easy to do when she is close and affectionate, it is hard when she is away or not affectionate. It shouldn’t depend so much on her though. I still have regrets that I took so much for granted and I wish I told her exactly how I felt about her before I left so she could have taken that into account.

    I guess the simple answer is to keep praying for God to heal my heart further and try to discipline my thoughts better but any other recommendations are welcome. Actually, just writing this out has helped a bit, for today at least. Sorry to talk your ears off.

    • Chris May 5, 2011 at 12:16 am

      “Let the dead bury their dead” That scripture became a popular saying. From what I understood from your message, I think you should forget about things of the past with your wife before you were married to her. Easier said than done, I know! But that’s the only way to progress and move forward towards a better life. You can’t change your wife but you can change yourself. What she did before your marriage is her problem and the Lord’s, since there was no commitment between the two of you as you went on a mission. Stop about hurting yourself with what your spouse did before the honeymoon as nothing comes out of it as you can see. to expand your horizons with her like you said in the last post, you to communicate with her. Writing on this forum is obviously a good therapy for you, but writing to your wife about your concerns and hav” a

    • Arogen May 13, 2011 at 11:03 pm

      I had a big epiphany about this a couple of days ago. When my wife and I talked this over before it was just about how I felt hurt by it. Underneath the hurt was the anger that I very effectively buried back then when I was just not ready to deal with it. I burried it so deep I forgot it was there until it bubbled up after the hurt was dealt with.

      Knowing that is what was going on has really helped. A lot of the anger just isn’t valid any longer given what I’ve learned since and exposing it to the light of day is enough to kill it. I wrote it all out, what made me angry and why (in as nice but as clear a way as possible) and sent it to my wife explaining that this was just me ‘cleaning out the closet’ and what I’m saying is to her past self. I was a little worried about how she would take it, I made sure to explain that this was part of me freeing myself from this, not some attempt to pick a fight or anything. She read it before work and we haven’t had a chance to talk about it but she gave me a warm hug as she left so it seems she took it well.

      When I bought this book, I really thought the only thing that needed to change was her willingness to get intimate. I’m amazed how much more there was that needed fixing in both of us. Nice to make some progress though.

    • Frustrated May 22, 2011 at 6:13 pm

      Wow! Great story. Well stated. Not much to say but that as men we can sometimes fall into the trap of thinking our wives only love us when they’re intimate with us. Sexual intimacy is indeed a closeness but it’s not the only one. If she makes a meal you like – it’s because she loves you, if she disciplines your kids as you like – it’s because she loves you, if she keeps the house clean for you – it’s because she loves you. Don’ limit your wife’s love for you to the bedroom.

      Oh, and one last comment. It’s a bit trite but dead on: “Don’t let yesterday take up today.”

      Most guys would die to have your marriage.

  • Arogen May 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I see the wisdom in expressing love in ways that are meaningful to other person, but perhaps husbands and wives should also try to expand their horizons and learn to appreciate the ways thier spouse likes to express their affection as well.

  • Chris May 5, 2011 at 12:29 am


    Even so, I can’t accepts this continuing. How do I get past this for good? I know that by the time I returned from my mission she knew, and she married me for the best reasons and we do love each other. I we’ve talked also about her feelings and behaviours toward intimate relations and although there is still a lot of work to be done there, I understand better that her issues with it are not that she has a problem with me.
    I want to be free of this, I don’t want to keep falling into this pit of doubt over and over, I’ve lived there too long already and it has to change for us to become one like I hope we some day can. It’s easy to do when she is close and affectionate, it is hard when she is away or not affectionate. It shouldn’t depend so much on her though. I still have regrets that I took so much for granted and I wish I told her exactly how I felt about her before I left so she could have taken that into account.
    I guess the simple answer is to keep praying for God to heal my heart further and try to discipline my thoughts better but any other recommendations are welcome. Actually, just writing this out has helped a bit, for today at least. Sorry to talk your ears off.

    Hello Arogen
    “Let the dead bury their dead” That scripture became a popular saying. From what I understood from your message, I think you should forget about things of the past with your wife before you were married to her. Easier said than done, I know! But that’s the only way to progress and move forward towards a better life. You can’t change your wife but you can change yourself. What she did before your marriage is her problem and the Lord’s, since there was no commitment between the two of you as you went on a mission. Stop about hurting yourself with what your spouse did before the honeymoon as nothing good comes out of it as you can see, even though what she did is apparently not a big deal… To expand your horizons with her like you said in the last post, you should communicate with her. Writing on this forum is obviously a good therapy for you, but writing to your wife about your concerns and have “Pillow talk” after, in the privacy of your bedroom is a better therapy for you two.
    I do not see any big problems to overcome your shortcomings since you say you are in love anyways. Trust your wife 100% and you won’t have anymore hang ups with what you feel now.

    • Arogen May 5, 2011 at 5:30 pm

      Thanks, we did talk it out completely a few weeks ago and that really helped. Although I do wish things had happened differently I can see now how it didn’t mean what I thought it meant when I found out and I don’t feel betrayed anymore. It actually played a role in her coming to realize that I was the one for her.

      She had a choice between two very emotional relationship, one that was also physical but lacked a spiritual element but had the potential to develop one, and another that was also spiritual, but had never ventured into the physical yet. My ego would rather that she never found anybody else tempting after meeting me, as it was for me in meeting her, but she wound up at that point eventually so what does it matter?

      I’m just disappointed with myself and frustrated that even after working through all that (it really was the hardest thing I ever had to discuss with her), that as soon as circumstances leave me a little emotionally vulnerable that I have to wrestle with those same insecurities all over again. It’s totally my problem, not hers.

      • Arogen May 9, 2011 at 3:29 pm

        I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and I think what has happened is that when we talked about it I managed to resolve some very deep feelings of hurt, but now that they are gone other feelings about it are coming up. In short I’m somewhat angry. Angry about what she did and angry that she never told me, angry that I never got a chance to work through without all the strings of being married locked in place. I really don’t want to go back and go over this with her again though. Telling her I’m angry about anything is very hard for me. No matter how angry I feel I don’t want to hurt her with my words and I know that it would be so easy for me to say some very cruel things I would regret latter so I tend to bite my tongue to spare her. I know that is something I need to stop doing though.

        • Arogen July 13, 2011 at 11:05 pm

          I realized I didn’t follow up on this…

          I had to put it in an email to her, and the funny thing was that it wasn’t really that I was angry at the today version of her over it, but I was still angry at the 20 years ago version of her if that makes any sense. It wasn’t about chewing her out, rather I needed to know that she understands now what she clearly didn’t then, and verify that we were on the same page now, plus just get it off my chest.

          She actually pulled out her journals from back then and read the entries over that whole time to me which gave a move balanced picture of what happened and how she felt (or didn’t feel) back then. Things were not as bad as I thought.

          What I needed was to know that today we are both on the same page, then it can be done with. Now I finally know that we are. We both wish we could go back and talk some sense into that silly girl, but at least that silly girl wised up several months before I got back from my mission so in the end it doesn’t make a difference.

  • Arogen May 5, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    I found something to day that might be a big breakthrough for us (I hope) and perhaps for some others here.

    Wednesday night is our night for reading from the book and usually we wind up talking about things after. One thing that came up was that for her sex was physically stimulating and everything, but she didn’t feel any emotional rush from it, no increased feeling of closeness or anything like that. I played a hunch today and did some searching on what the effects are of having a lower than normal level of Oxytocin. They symptoms include: difficulty achieving orgasm or having very weak orgasms, vaginal dryness, difficulty reading the facial expressions and emotions of others, lack of emotional connection to other people, difficulty trusting, low pain threshold, mild depression or anxiety. All this very much applies to her. On top of that, ways that can temporarily boost it are outdoor exercise, or stimulating music. Take my wife on a nature hike, camping, or to a concert and it’s like she is a different person. She’ll be talking to her doctor about this, but not till August when she has her physical (I’m not in the USA so it’s government-run-so-you-wait-forever health care).

  • Chris May 5, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Physical exercice is one of surest way to feel comfortable with our body. Doing things out of the ordinary is very good also for the mind. It gives you a sense of accompishment. But aren’t we all like that? So, one way to feel good about sex with your love one is to feel good first with ourself. One of the great medication for experiencing oneness as a couple, is doing things together out of the ordinary like, for example, taking your sweetheart for a regular honeymoon of one week or so. Not only it refreshes your wife’s mind from the usual home chores, but it gives also to the two of you, the opportunity to renew the commitments you made to be together forever. Dating your wife regularly and treating her like a queen will have an impact to the point she will treats you like a king. And like Laura expressed it so beautifully in her book: emotionnal oneness + spiritual oneness invites surely physical oneness. Love, at that point, is an expression that creates and expands the intimate oneness in making the two of you a great whole.
    Then, having received so much goodness from your spouse, you will do everything in your power to keep that closeness and serve her without any strings attached and then she will want to serve you because you really love each other. Hence, we shall realize also that the most important person (apart from the Lord) after you, is your wife. And so, obviously, she deserves our priority above all else.
    Now, speaking about the mechanics of sex, so many things come into considération: negative things of the past, willingness of wanting to improve, being positive and body aging. Adaptations have to be made according to the emotionnal et physical circomstances.
    But when you really love each other, there is always a solution to make a spouse happy when it comes to sex.

    • Arogen May 6, 2011 at 6:15 am

      I can tell you from experience (and I do believe her book has similar examples) that it is quite possible for a couple to be one emotionally and spiritually and still struggle with becoming one physically. I don’t think my wife and I could be much closer spiritually and emotionally, but getting to the point where we have oneness in physical intimacy is still a dream. We can’t tell for sure right now if there is a mental/emotional block or a physical problem behind it, but there really is something standing in our way.

  • Chris May 6, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I can tell you from experience (and I do believe her book has similar examples) that it is quite possible for a couple to be one emotionally and spiritually and still struggle with becoming one physically. I don’t think my wife and I could be much closer spiritually and emotionally, but getting to the point where we have oneness in physical intimacy is still a dream. We can’t tell for sure right now if there is a mental/emotional block or a physical problem behind it, but there really is something standing in our way.

    I am aware of what you said and I agree with that: it can happens , if nothing have been done about the the negative side of the physical dimension. But what makes her being like that about sex now is a question that deserves digging into her past (childhood and teenagehood) if she was cold about lovemaking, starting from the first day of your marriage. Talk to God about it (she should too) as He listens, He will help your wife (if she is motivated to work it out) and you by the way. He does answer prayers about intimate matters. Like you said, I can tell you from experience… Part of the answer could be also the need of a professional help to overcome her hang ups.

    • Arogen May 9, 2011 at 3:15 pm

      Cold is too strong a word, she isn’t hostile, it just seems like something that doesn’t matter to her. What we’ve read so far has helped her realize that my complaints really are based in an actual need not being fully met (I think that the fact that it was written by a woman helped a lot there), and God bless her for trying harder, but I don’t want intimacy to be a chore for her, I long for those rare times when she actually has enthusiasm for it. I hope some day she things and feels about it and wants it much the same as I do.

      We are praying about it and have decided that we will visit the idea of seeking professional help after we have finished the book. At this point I think she hopes if we do that that I’ll be told I shouldn’t like it quite so much.

  • Chris May 9, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    … I don’t want intimacy to be a chore for her, I long for those rare times when she actually has enthusiasm for it. I hope some day she things and feels about it and wants it much the same as I do.

    Sex doesn’t need to bea choire when both of you are in love. In your wife’s case, a sexual relationship could like tithing: you have two ways of observing the commandment of tithing. Either you do it as a chore because you “have to” as a commandment but have not got a real testimony of it, or you to do it because you want to really thank the Lord for what all He has given you and you. He is asking to give you back just 10% of that. Sexual love, when given freely, is a blessing for the couple, even when one spouse does not feel the need for it. It’s like having the pure love of Christ where you give of yourself without expecting anything in return. At this point, sex is an act of love and is the sharing of your whole soul to be really united. Emotions and feelings of love will be there, but your wife might not experiment the physical arousal side of it every time. Offering her sex life to you the same way we should offer tithing to the Lord, without having a “doubtful heart” (D&C 58: 29) is all that is needed to move forward in order for the two to become whole.

    • Arogen May 10, 2011 at 8:21 am

      But just being in love with each other doesn’t make things go the way they should, it takes more. For her, sex is physically draining, and she has a very hard time relaxing and letting go to the point where she can climax. Yes, she can (and does) go ahead with it purely for my sake many (most?) times, but that isn’t good enough for us to really become one. I want her heart in it as well as her body, I want to be the source of joy and pleasure for her as much as she is for me. We’ve made a lot of progress thanks to the book, but there is still a ways to go for both of us.

    • Laura M. Brotherson May 11, 2011 at 2:01 pm


      That is quite an interesting analogy you’ve made of the sexual relationship in marriage and tithing. I hope all couples will get to the point of giving out of love rather than out of duty. I wish I had a magic wand…!

  • Chris May 10, 2011 at 11:24 am

    But just being in love with each other doesn’t make things go the way they should, it takes more. For her, sex is physically draining, and she has a very hard time relaxing and letting go to the point where she can climax. Yes, she can (and does) go ahead with it purely for my sake many (most?) times, but that isn’t good enough for us to really become one. I want her heart in it as well as her body, I want to be the source of joy and pleasure for her as much as she is for me. We’ve made a lot of progress thanks to the book, but there is still a ways to go for both of us.

    It is true, she is not fulfilled the way she should be. At least, for now she is open enough to be willing to go for it to please you (this was the advice of my last message: that’s her sexual tithing for you) . It certainly will take a lot of practice in lovemaking on her side before she will feel the way you like it. You should be thankful also that she reads the book, as so many don’t want to from what I see on the comments on the Laura’s site. It is so true that the book is a great value. Be happy that she has the willpower to move forward towards a better physical intimacy with the help of the book. She is progressing and that’s a good sign, but not as fast as you wish. But, like we say in our country, Paris was built in one day. So patience (keep studying together) and long suffering (You should not be suffering that much, being one already on the emotional et spiritual dimension from what I can guess…) is what you need.

  • Arogen May 13, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    My wife and I were talking about inappropriate inhibitions and she said she would really like some kind of objective standard for what defines an inhibition as inappropriate. In other words, how do you tell the difference between an inappropriate inhibition and a personal preference?

    I said that having an emotional reaction against something you’ve never tried and that doesn’t break any commandments might be the way to look at it, but she pointed out some (rather extreme) sexual practices that we both find revolting, never tried, and that certainly it seem appropriate to be revolted by them (practices involving bodily wastes for example).

    So, what makes the difference between an inhibition and a preference? What makes one inhibition appropriate and another one not?


  • lronngren2blog May 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    On your Q&A page, there is the subject: I hate it when my husband gropes me! That is so what I am going through!!! My husband has been recovering from a porn addiction and the thought of letting him have free reign to touch me whenever and however he wants makes me feel like trash! I’ve tried setting boundries and they make him feel like he will never be able to touch me again! I want to let him, but how do I get him to start slow… build up trust first and then slowly add the touch….

  • Chris June 1, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    On your Q&A page, there is the subject: I hate it when my husband gropes me! That is so what I am going through!!! My husband has been recovering from a porn addiction and the thought of letting him have free reign to touch me whenever and however he wants makes me feel like trash! I’ve tried setting boundries and they make him feel like he will never be able to touch me again! I want to let him, but how do I get him to start slow… build up trust first and then slowly add the touch….

    To build up trust on the sexual side, you need to let him know you want emotional intimacy without any strings attached. In other words, loving your wife for what she is and not for what you want from her, is having a Christlike attitude. If your husband is having in the back of his mind all the time wanting a sexual satisfaction from you, he will have a hard time to buid the trust you need during physical intimacy. Recovering from porn addiction is certainly a difficult process to overcome. A clean up of his mind and the way he thinks about sexuality is a necessary step from him to be freed of these “awful chains” (2 Nephi 28:22). It certainly requires a big sacrifice. The best thing you can do and I can think of to help him is to study together the chapter 10 of Laura’s book which deals with the building of emotional intimacy. You need to communicate about your feelings in an open manner and tell him specifically how you feel now about physical initmacy. It requires a certain amount of communication outside of the bedroom and using the couple’s dialogue is a good way of doing it.

    A part from that, your husband cannot escape the sufferings and turmoil as he stops watching pornography. From what I understand from your post, it seems that your husband, even though you said he has recovered from porn addiction, he still has difficulties to respect you during lovemaking.
    Overcoming porn addiction implies a difficult process of repentance for him and he sure does need help from you, but more than that, he is mainly the one who has to work on his personnal recovery. It’s not easy but it can be done with your help of course AND the help of his bishop. He needs to feel the love of His savior in him and do uplifting things. In acting this way, the adversary has no time and place to come and fill the room of your husband’s heart.

    • Arogen June 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm

      Why in the world is it that when a husband gets affectionate, then tries to move from that to making love, it suddenly invalidates all the affection he just gave? Why do you women so often jump to the worst possible conclusions that we just want to use your body for our own selfish pleasure and the affection was just a means to an end? You talk about ‘strings attached’ like you are being tricked into doing some horrible, unpleasant task. Can’t you instead bask in the proof that your husband loves you, wants you, can’t resist your charms. Can’t you enjoy having the power to seduce him?

      If he really was ‘just wanting sex’ then he could easily get it from a prostitute or from whatever woman is willing to have an affair with him but he turns to YOU, he wants YOU, and in many cases here he waited and saved himself for YOU. ( I’m not talking about lronngren2blog’s case, her husband’s porn addition gives her good reason to view his motives in a different light)

      I love my wife so much, how can I possibly hold her and not want to kiss her? How can I kiss her and not desire her? Nothing makes me feel closer to her than to arouse her passions and satisfy her, to hear her moan and cry out in ecstasy from my touch. THAT is what I want, to pleasure her, and I bet a lot of men feel that way. It’s kind of insulting to get slapped down and have my motives cast as purely selfish.

      Even in a case where his need to receive is greater than his need to give, what is wrong with actually giving yourself to your man willingly and enthusiastically and pleasuring him? Why the resentment and resistance to something beautiful, that will bond you closer to each other? I don’t get it.

      In most cases you women get ticked off at times like that is because of what you choose to think about his motives, and in so doing you rob both him and yourself of a powerful bonding moment of shared passion.

  • Chris June 1, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    My wife and I were talking about inappropriate inhibitions and she said she would really like some kind of objective standard for what defines an inhibition as inappropriate.
    So, what makes the difference between an inhibition and a preference? What makes one inhibition appropriate and another one not?

    Nobody is going to answer you specifically on that because it is a personal matter between you, your spouse and the Lord. What’s OK with you and your wife, might not be with me, not because it is necesseraly wrong or right but because I am not wired that way. It’ a matter of personal taste and attitude. That said, when you love each other and want to make each other happy, there’s always a way to satisfy each other in order to build sexually a strong mariage, but only YOU can make the decision regarding what’s OK or not. A part from the obvious staded in the scriptures, (Fornication, homosexuality, adultery, sodomy, incest, prostitution and bestiality) there is nothing else wrong said about a particular practice between the married couple.
    Again, I would like to refer you to Laura’s book in chapter 7 which deals with the questions you ask.
    You have also her viewpoint on that subject where she answers about a particular practice here:

    • Arogen June 2, 2011 at 10:18 pm


      My wife and I were talking about inappropriate inhibitions and she said she would really like some kind of objective standard for what defines an inhibition as inappropriate.
      So, what makes the difference between an inhibition and a preference? What makes one inhibition appropriate and another one not?

      Nobody is going to answer you specifically on that because it is a personal matter between you, your spouse and the Lord. What’s OK with you and your wife, might not be with me, not because it is necesseraly wrong or right but because I am not wired that way. It’ a matter of personal taste and attitude. That said, when you love each other and want to make each other happy, there’s always a way to satisfy each other in order to build sexually a strong mariage, but only YOU can make the decision regarding what’s OK or not. A part from the obvious staded in the scriptures, (Fornication, homosexuality, adultery, sodomy, incest, prostitution and bestiality) there is nothing else wrong said about a particular practice between the married couple.
      Again, I would like to refer you to Laura’s book in chapter 7 which deals with the questions you ask.
      You have also her viewpoint on that subject where she answers about a particular practice here:

      Every inhibition can be called a personal taste. At some point a decision has to be made over if it an inappropriate inhibition that you should work on removing or not. I understand that different couples will arrive at different places on these issues, but there has to be some way for a couple to determine how appropriate (or not) an inhibition one of them has is for them and that is what I’m not clear on.

  • Arogen June 2, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Technical Note:

    If you have an RSS reader (if not, you might want to get one. I use RSS popper which adds RSS feeds to MS Outlook)

    Anyway, if you have an RSS reader, you can use this URL:

    as the feed for this forum, so you get notified of any new posts.

  • Arogen June 2, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    A long, long time ago my wife and I listened to some tapes about marriage relations by some guy. I actually came across some MP3s of the same tapes recently and listened to them again. There was one thing in them that was really good, and that was what he called ’emotional word pictures’ . It is basically using a story that your spouse can get emotionally connected with to help them understand your emotions about something.

    For example, Let’s say your spouse rebuffs affection from you, and your spouse loves cute animals to pieces, you can say something like: Honey, imagine there was a cute little puppy that loves it’s master, runs to him when he comes home and wants to lick his master’s face to show his love but when he tries the master whacks him on the head with a rolled up magazine and tells him to go away. How do you think that puppy feels when that happens? That is how I feel when you reject my affection.

    It can be used to praise somebody as well. The key is to make the story something that will evoke an emotion similar to the one you want to communicate. You need to know what kind of things tug at your spouses heart to tailor the story to them and it might take a couple of tries. We’ve used it before and it is very effective, but I’ve forgotten about it so I’m glad for the reminder. If you have been trying to tell your spouse how you feel about something and it just isn’t sinking in, try it.

  • Husbandofficer June 16, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    I would like to say that I am looking forward to this blog as an opportunity to open up and talk about my feeling and hopefully get some incite and exchagange informatation with others and professionals. My letters are showing up very large, so large that I can only see two of them at a time, so please excuse my spelling mistakes becuas e of this. I have a question, but I do not want to post until this situatioin is solved.

  • Husbandofficer June 17, 2011 at 6:24 am

    Hello, I have been married to my wife for three years. She has three daughters from a previous relationship (ages 15, 10, and 8). My wife is a beautiful woman that is intelligent with an eye for business. I love her very much and I am proud to have her as my wife. The reason for my post is that my wife says that I am not non-sexually physically intimate enough with her. My wife was abused as a child and equates a high level of physical non-sexual affection with showing love (due to not getting it as a child from her family). Without the adequate amount of physical non-sexual affection, she feels unloved and questions my fidelity consistently.

    To make matters worse, I am a police officer. I work a public job that at times has me around women. Now, I am very professional and would never jeopardize my marriage, my job, or my reputation, but my wife often questions my fidelity while I am working part-time security jobs, whenever I leave the house with my cell phone (which is most of the time), and when we are out together. If she sees a women that she deems attractive, she will often accuse me of looking at her. This situation has gotten so bad I try to purposely keep my eyes down and look away from women to avoid the argument, but that does not work. Now, because of what I do, I prefer to look around and see my surroundings to increase my awareness (I was trained this way). I normally sit in a corner seat to have the tactical advantage of seeing more. I try to see people before they see me, in order to discern their intentions. I have had situations out in public with my family where I was identified as police, there was even a fight involving my wife at a security job I was working out in 2010, so I feel justified in doing this. She accuses me of having a “wondering eye”.

    Also in my field, I was told to avoid large amounts of physical affection in public because a criminal could identify you, then target your object of affection. I normally do not hold hands in the grocery store, department store, or mall. Now, in a park or beach or different environment I will, but my wife takes offense to this as well. I have “thrown caution to the side” and now I will hold her hand in public in full police uniform. My wife is often telling me “she likes you” to most of the women we are around, I tend to disagree, but then if I go to these places without her, she seems curious are questioning to my intentions (video store, grocery store, paying cell phone bill, etc…). I have co-workers that were my friend (female) before I met my wife, I have “cut them off” for the most part to stop the accusations of infidelity and the “she likes you comments”.

    She checks my phone through the internet to see who I am talking to and sometimes calls back phone numbers, hanging up, trying to see if the caller is female. This is a problem for me because I am a detective. I call people all of the time for work. I use my phone for professional and private reasons. I tell her all that I can and I also try to update the phone numbers online to help her see there is nothing going on. I gave her all of my passwords online so that she can check any and all activity as well. My wife is also threatened by my ex’s. I do not talk to any of them, but it seems every few years one my surface to see how I am doing. I typically avoid them, but early in our relationship, I did not handle one well (I did not curse her out, tell her I am married, and in bed with my wife), so now my wife feels justified to question me. In my defense, that ex was very rude and I was trying to avoid a confrontation, which I failed at that when my wife called her back immediately and got into an argument with her herself.

    I consider myself a good guy. I work hard. I work a lot of part-time jobs so that I can afford to buy my wife and daughters many things they want and need. I put them first, above all and I am not a cheater. I love my wife and step daughters, but her complaints, her demand for more affection, and her lack of trust and understanding make it hard for me sometimes. I am wondering is this very abnormal and what can be done. This is a condensed version of all that is going on by the way.

    • Chris June 18, 2011 at 2:24 am

      A very complex situation to say the least… But, first things first, why your wife is so jealous? What made her be that way? Did you do something in the past while being married to her to the point she does not trust you anymore? Was she a jealous woman before she was married to you? Answers to these questions will be a good start to investigate further…

  • Arogen June 18, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    A) abused as a child

    B) a failed marriage

    It isn’t hard to understand why she has trust issue. If Husbandofficer hasn’t done anything to earn further distrust from her then I would think she may need to see somebody about dealing with the demons in her past.

  • Arogen June 27, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Oh my goodness. We had a major breakthrough. My wife has always had a lot of trouble relaxing when making love. I could get her physically aroused to a point but it was a physical tension with little emotional drive behind it, something inside her resisted it. At some point she would say ‘That’s enough’ and I’d have to stop focusing on her pleasure. She has been working on relaxing enjoying it instead of bracing against it and slowly we have been going further and further. A couple months ago we hit a new level of physical pleasure for her, but there was still little emotional impact on her so there was little emotional desire to be intimate.

    This past weekend it was like a dam burst in the middle of foreplay. Something came alive inside her for the first time, something I’ve longed to see for decades. Instead of ‘that’s enough’ it was ‘don’t you dare stop that’, she held onto me as if for dear life and when she said she loved me it was with a fervour I never heard from her before. I’ve never been so happy.

    She is reluctant to say that it was the full deal, but it has left her knowing there is something in this sex thing worth pursuing, something far more than the physical, and she now has faith that she is capable of getting there, that she isn’t ‘broken’ in that area. I hope to God we can make this the new normal for our intimacy.

  • Chris June 28, 2011 at 1:13 am

    Hello Arogen,

    I’m happy for both of you!

  • Zookie July 29, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I would like to comment on the original question, whether the couple would have been better off had they been more experienced before marriage.
    In my opinion and experience, the answer is NO! I was sexually active before marriage, and I can tell you that at first sex was just no good for me. And it probably would still have been that way had we been married first. We were just two virgins bumbling around, with no real idea of what to do.
    What changed the quality of sex for me was getting educated about it. I read books and learned and tried things until we got it right.

    When I met and married my husband, we both had plenty of experience. But that didn’t change things. It was, in part, BECAUSE of my past sexual experience that we had some major dry periods. Sure, we already knew how to have sex, but that didn’t change anything, especially my attitude.

    In fact, I had to do quite a bit of healing over my past sexual experiences, among other things, before I could truly become intimate with my husband and then our sex life blossomed.

    Sex is so complicated! All the emotions and feelings and possibly prior wrong teachings can make an unpleasant stew. But I think if you’re both virgins, but both set out to learn things and try things and be open, willing partners, things will turn out good.

    • Zookie July 29, 2011 at 11:48 am

      Sorry, I think I did this wrong. I mean the question from April 14th. I think I put this comment into a different conversation. Sorry!

  • Chris August 5, 2011 at 7:42 am

    I would like to comment on the original question, whether the couple would have been better off had they been more experienced before marriage.
    In my opinion and experience, the answer is NO! I was sexually active before marriage, and I can tell you that at first sex was just no good for me. And it probably would still have been that way had we been married first. We were just two virgins bumbling around, with no real idea of what to do.
    What changed the quality of sex for me was getting educated about it. I read books and learned and tried things until we got it right.
    When I met and married my husband, we both had plenty of experience. But that didn’t change things. It was, in part, BECAUSE of my past sexual experience that we had some major dry periods. Sure, we already knew how to have sex, but that didn’t change anything, especially my attitude.
    In fact, I had to do quite a bit of healing over my past sexual experiences, among other things, before I could truly become intimate with my husband and then our sex life blossomed.
    Sex is so complicated! All the emotions and feelings and possibly prior wrong teachings can make an unpleasant stew. But I think if you’re both virgins, but both set out to learn things and try things and be open, willing partners, things will turn out good.

    How right you are! My wife and I were both virgins when we got married but very much in love with each other and like you said we were open and willing to learn. Even though our sexual life had been very positive and satisfying all along of our 41 years of marriage, Laura’s book added a new dimension in our intimacy. The result of that is we are even more in love with each other than we were in the beginning. The best gift somone can give to those about to be married is “And They Were Not Ashamed” to make sure they will keep their covenants about the law of chastity: they surely be rewarded sexually after…

  • Arogen August 5, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    My wife and I both waited, and we’ve had a lot of struggles with physical intimacy for a lot of different reasons but thankfully had a strong emotional and spiritual bond to get us through it. Getting through all that stuff together is a bonding experience, and I think it’s a lot better to work those things out together with your eternal companion and share the journey, then to learn through a series of failed relationships you regret and produce a drag on your relationship with your spouse.

    Some people might wish THEY had more experience before getting married, but how many people actually wish THEIR SPOUSE had slept around more? I bet it feels a little different when put that way.

  • Arogen October 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    My wife and I have come a long way in the past year, but we still have a way to go. She is getting much more out of intimacy than ever before, but still can’t climax fully, also (and probably very much related) is that for her sex is pretty much only a physical thing.

    She gets physical pleasure but it doesn’t seem to touch her emotionally much at all, even when it is really good. I think perhaps a therapist might be called for, but we really can’t afford the time or the money. Anybody have any ideas or insight, anybody else here have work through an emotional disconnect like this?

    On another note: she is very sensitive down there, it is easy for her to be sore after. We’ve had a hard time finding a lube that is good enough. Every commercial one we’ve tried irritates her to some extent. We are using mineral oil currently that doesn’t irritate her, but there is still some soreness after most of the time. Any ideas on that are welcome too.

    Lastly, it’s been a long time since there was a podcast, hope one turns up before too long.

    • Laura M. Brotherson February 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      Hi Arogen,

      Don’t know if I’m way behind on this discussion here, but I wanted to be sure you knew about my recent podcast on The Marital Intimacy Show ( so that you would basically have the answer to your question about needing help but not being able to afford it at the time.

      You can find the episode here:

      “Self-Help Sex Therapy”

      Here’s some written info from that episode as well:

      Hope you and others find this helpful!

      Also, just a note that most of the time the barriers couples face in the intimate relationship are relational or mental/emotional versus them being physical or physiological. So be sure to look into those dimensions as well as! Good luck with the journey!

  • Chris October 26, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Does she self-lubricate enough? Could be hormone related and may be at certain times of the month, her vagina is more sensitive than others during the cycle. Does that soreness happen only when you are inside of her? Did you try coconut oil? It does wonders and it is safe and cheap.
    Sex and emotions are also related with her on letting go for having an orgasm. On top of that, It’s pretty difficult to obtain one if your wife is scared to be sored each time after you are having intercourse.

  • Arogen November 30, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Write out a fictional fantasy story staring the two of you, get as explicit as you dare, and send it to him.

    Buy some lingerie and tell him you did. Tell him you can’t wait for him to take it off you when he gets back. Don’t tell him what it looks like, or make him play 20 questions to see if he can figure out what it looks like.

    Send him links to youtube videos of romantic songs or movie scenes

    Text him a hot message in code, then the next day send him the key to the code.

    Basically, play with his mind, make him think of you and the love you share.

  • Arogen November 30, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Has anybody here done the sensate focus stuff in Chapter 12? This is 6 weeks of foreplay with no release until week 7. If it will really help her, I’ll do it, but it won’t be easy for me.

  • Arogen November 30, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Here is the low down on coconut oil:

    very effective as a lubricant, stays slippery.
    makes it easy to imagine you are on a tropical beach
    washes out of bed sheets nicely
    anti-bacterial, anti-fungal
    cheap to buy,
    easy to find unless you want the kind that has no odour

    solid at room temperature, a very thin liquid at body temperature, this makes it hard to apply (using a refillable squeeze tube might work well, you can get them where they sell camping gear)
    breaks down latex / rubber (so don’t use with condoms)

    Sadly for us, this also irritates my wife’s tender parts a tiny bit so it looks like mineral oil is out only option but if your wife is not so sensitive like mine down there, I recommend it.

  • Laura M Brotherson November 30, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Re: Comment — Arogen November 30, 2011 at 4:27 pm “Has anybody here done the sensate focus stuff in Chapter 12?

    Yes. Of course I have : )… and yes it’s pretty tough, but it’s really worth the effort! It’s not just good for her but for guys too. Some of the benefits I list in Chap 12 of my book are:

    — To develop and build up positive, pleasurable associations, memories and experiences with touch and sexuality.

    — To awaken and increase sensuality and awareness of positive and pleasurable sensations in the body.

    — To get to “know” or acclimate husband and wife to each other’s bodies and sexual desires.

    — To learn from each other where, how and what touch is most pleasurable and stimulating.

    — To learn to enjoy giving and receiving the tactile pleasure of sexual intimacy (stroking and being stroked) for its own sake without the psychological pressure and expectation to proceed to climax.

    — To help couples learn to be more conscious, attentive, and fully present in their lovemaking.

    — To help men develop greater control over their sexual energy.

    — To provide an opportunity for couples to “clear the slate” and start over sexually.

    Here’s also a little bit more about the Sensate Focus exercises from my Straight Talk Q&A —

  • ProudHusband December 2, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Along with all of the suggestions of how to stimulate the wife and make sure she is taken care of, is there any advice you might have for extra things that the wife can do for her husband. Examples of:

    1. Manual stimulation on the man
    2. Prostate massage with/without a vibrator
    3. Any other suggestions….

    My wife sometimes feels its a duty to try to do things like this, but i can tell she really doesn’t want to do them. Any suggestions?

  • Arogen December 2, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    > Here is a private Christmas Wish list. I actually gave this to my wife, and (biggest surprise of my life) she has already given me one thing on it (not saying which one). I’m having one Merry Christmas!
    > —
    > My Christmas Wish list for my wife
    > (in no particular order)
    > A passionate love letter.
    > Do you remember the last one you wrote for me? I have it in my planner still and read it now and then. It’s from Sept 17th 2001. I love it, but that letter is feeling lonely and would like some company.
    > An erotic short story from you.
    > Take one of your fantasies (yes, you have them in there somewhere, seek and ye shall find) and write that up as a story for me. Make it funny or serious. Any setting you want, ancient castle to New York penthouse suite to a spaceship. Any time, from the stone age to the far future, what ever you want as long as it’s you and me making each other ridiculously happy. Have fun with it.
    > All the homework from “And they were not ashamed” done.
    > Do you realize we started reading that book in Nov 2010? That’s about one chapter a month. Perhaps we can do some reading over the holidays too.
    > A promise to do it 7, 30 or even 365 days in a row.
    > This would be so awesome. I promise if you give me this I’ll do everything I can to make your giving it as wonderful as my receiving it.
    > To make out like we did when engaged and newly wed.
    > I love those deep passionate kisses we shared. You liked them once before, it would be awesome if you could find a way to get back to liking them and being able to enjoy them again.
    > To shower together.
    > Like the kissing, it would be great if you could get comfortable doing that again. It is intimate and erotic, and the only way my back gets a good scrubbing. It saves water too.
    > Fantasy role-playing in the bedroom.
    > I would love to see you as a biker chick, or Playboy bunny, cheerleader, or whatever. I loved seeing you in that French Maid outfit we had once with the fishnet stockings and the shoulders pulled down off the shoulders, the low cut of the top showing your cleavage… Ah, where was I, right, fantasy role playing. It can be fun to do that kind of thing now and then. Don’t have to always use a costume either.
    > Wear lingerie frequently.
    > It is so sexy when you are ‘dressed for the occasion’. It would be sexy too if I started undressing you and found that underneath your regular clothes you had some skimpy, sexy, lacy thing on underneath. You are beautiful and I love to see you in something that shows enough to please, hides enough to tease, and makes it look like you could get completely naked in 10 seconds or less.
    > Seduce me.
    > Easy job, I know. Still it is fun and a real turn on to be enticed, lured, tempted, pursued and desired by my wife. I can try to make it challenging for a few minutes if that helps.
    > Book of sexy coupons.
    > Coupons can be for things on this list or whatever other sexy and fun things you can dream up. Just be aware I WILL use them.
    > A spirit of fun and adventure in the bedroom.
    > I love being with you. I love having fun together and being adventurous. That goes for in the bedroom too. What I’m talking about is a willingness to experiment, explore, to try things and give it enough time and effort to give them a fair chance to see if they give us new ways to make each other happy.
    > A commitment to shedding unnecessary inhibitions.
    > Hey, I did say it was a wish list, right? You are probably feeling a little uncomfortable reading this part, but please hear me out. I don’t want this topic to take over this letter and overshadow how grateful I am for what you already give me so I won’t dwell on this except to say that I think if you made the effort to shed them that it would be a blessing to you, to me and to our marriage.
    > And last but not least…
    > To have you under the Christmas tree. When the kids are all out you could come to me wearing nothing but some strategically placed ribbons, a bow, a little bit of wrapping paper, and a tag that says ‘For Arogen’. We can go to the tree and I’ll unwrap your intimate gifts, jingle your bells, slide down your chimney and stuff your stocking. Ho, ho ho!

    • Lovey March 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm

      Great list. How is this working out for you?

      • Arogen March 12, 2012 at 9:13 pm

        Thanks, some things she has given me or is actively working on, some thing have not happened yet, some things I expect are still some way off from happening, but that’s OK. I like the direction we are headed in very much, and she does too.

  • ProudHusband December 3, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Also another question,

    In our intimate moments, my wife has a hard time taking the lead in making sure she is getting pleasure and reaching orgasm. She feels unless she is passively letting it happen to her, she doesn’t know how to help herself reach her own orgasm when she is on top. Any ideas as to how to help her feel more comfortable with taking the lead in our love making so she can climax, instead of only enjoying it by just laying there.

    We love your book and have seen the inspiration you have had in writing it. Thank you so much for taking the time to do that!

  • Arogen December 5, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    I can manually stimulate my wife to the point where she is very close to orgasm, but before she actually reaches it, her clitoris becomes sore and she doesn’t want me touching her down there any longer. She gets a lot of pleasure but doesn’t reach the finish line. Is there something we can do differently to avoid that, or what?

  • ProudHusband December 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Does that happen every time or most times? And do you use a lubricant at all? (either her own natural lubricant/personal lubricant out of a bottle?)

    I know my wife has told me that her clitoris starts to get really irritated if it has been rubbed for a long time and gets irritated a lot faster if she is not warmed up / or has any kind of lubricant to help. We have been MUCH more successful when we focus on a slow build up, stimulate as many other parts of her body beforehand, and then start gently touching all of the outer vulva. She has voiced how much better prepared she is for orgasm and intercourse if she has had 20-30 minutes of warm up time (making out, arm, lower back, stomach, thigh and breast stimulation) before I start stimulating her clitoris.

    Of course she has to be in the right mental state when it all begins anyway, otherwise she knows she won’t be reaching orgasm, but she is better at identifying when that is now.

  • Arogen December 11, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    We use mineral oil as a lubricant, it is the only thing we’ve found that doesn’t irritate her down there.
    > It happens every time she reaches a certain level of pleasure, very close to orgasm. We love to take our time getting to that point, but just when you think she is about to climax it’s all of a sudden ‘Ow, please stop, it’s too tender now!’ and we go to intercourse. Her mental state might have something to do with it. She has a hard time letting go of all the other stuff and focusing just on what we are doing together.

  • ProudHusband December 16, 2011 at 8:55 am

    So have you guys tried using a vibrator yet? My wife and I use one every so often to mix it up an give her a different sensation for her orgasm. probably has the best prices for them and you don’t have to worry about going into a sex store. Or they often will sell ones at Pharmacy’s now like Walgreens or Rite Aid. I think Durex and Trojan both have ones in many of their pharmacys. I would highly recommend them if you wife is up for exploring that idea together.
    > Same rules still apply with the vibrator though. She still needs her warm up time.

  • Arogen December 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    We are just getting to that part of the book so it will come up. I’m really not sure how she will react to the suggestion because I would like to try using one on her.

    • ProudHusband February 3, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      has that conversation happened yet. I feel like most girls are open to it if they realize that its something you will do together. Something you will use on her, and something that you will BOTH enjoy. It helped my wife to know how much I would enjoy using it on her too

  • Depreciated December 20, 2011 at 11:48 am

    My wife and I were both virgins when we married more than 30 years ago. I also often wondered what it would be like if I had known we would not be sexually compatible. We talked about it before we married and she assured me she was excited about having sex and we would have it a lot. For the first several years, we had sex almost every day, often twice. I figured out, without any help from her, how to bring her to climax and made it my goal to please her first, everytime. (no real sacrifice there, I love it when she does)
    > Then, out of nowhere, she blew up at me about being too demanding and having expectations , etc. etc. etc. and sex dropped to about once a month or whenever she instigated it. That’s how it has been for nearly 20 years.
    > Here is what happened, she thought all those years that I wanted her so often, that I was a pervert. She said she knows lots of people whose husbands are not as sex-crazy as I am. She believed that the things, different positions and oral, etc. that I wanted to try and the frequency that I desired was a result of a pornography addiction and I was just acting out what I saw. I have never cheated on her. She knows I was in a chat room once where a bunch of raw people were talking sex and trash but there were no pictures.
    > She never believed that’s all it was and it is her ez grab proof for her accusation. She believes anytime I tried to increase the frequency, I was “back” into pornography.
    > So, I cannot instigate, I cannot express my desire for her without piquing her suspicions. I wait for her hormones to kick in once a month, she makes the move, and that’s about the extent of it.
    > Whenever I get the nerve to bring it up, it just starts another fight. When we argue, she always wins, it gets ugly, but it is very effective in relieving my desire for her for a while.
    > If I could just learn to be happy with having sex only whenever she wanted it, we could be the happy marriage poster couple. I still love her. My wife is a good woman. She is brilliant, she is a tremendous mother, and with the exception of not being the intimate partner I had hoped I was marrying, she is an amazing woman. I guess she thinks that is enough. Anyone know of a pill, creme, injection that kills male desire?
    > I appreciate the opportunity to vent.
    > Depreciated.

    • Lovey February 26, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      I am so sorry. Wish I could talk with your wife and help her understand all that she is missing too. Intimacy in marriage is the real connector.

  • Arogen December 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    I hope the request at the end of your post is not serious. Your wife seems to have a very different idea of what ‘normal’ means and I think the only thing that is going to get her over that is exposure to other mainstream sources contradicting her ideas. She isn’t going to listen to you.

    One thing about ‘And they were not ashamed’ that really helped my wife is that it was written by a woman, so she didn’t brush it off as some guy trying to con women into submission.

    I’d point out that if you were some kind of sex maniac, you would have cheated on her long before now, or be masturbating.

    Counselling sounds like a good idea, either with your Bishop or a professional. Go yourself if you have to although she might be glad to (from her POV) come along to help you address ‘your problems’.

    You might want to try and send her over to It is a Christian focused marriage board that could give her a new perspective on things. There is a forum there specifically for ‘refusers’ and another for ‘the refused’. Lots of discussion around issues like this. Might be a place you can find some emotional support and advise too.

    There are also some parts of the scriptures that address this if that would mean anything to her. Paul said a couple should not ‘defraud each other’ (ie: refuse intimacy) except by MUTUAL consent, and Songs of Solomon 2:3 and 4:16 are references to oral sex (both ways) so ancient Jews and early Christians didn’t seem to have a problem with it. Don’t use that to try and push her to do it, but it might get her to reconsider the pervert accusation.

    If she really digs in her heels and refuses to participate in anything that would help you might have to do something as drastic as moving her into a separate bedroom. That should be a wake up call to her, plus it might make it easier for you.

    I have doubts about her story of how this sudden change came about in her behaviour however. There could be something else going on, some long submerged memory of abuse that resurfaced, somebody else filling her head with nonsense, perhaps even a mental illness. I don’t know, it just doesn’t make sense that she would be happy and generous one day, then suddenly want all the conflict of refusing you the next.

  • Chris December 20, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    It would be interesting to know why things are so different today from several years ago. How can she be liking it everyday and go to not liking it at all today. Obviously, there is something that happened meanwhile we don’t know about.
    If she still loves you, there is always a way to make a compromise between “every day” and “once a month”. It is time to have a serious talk about your sex life with your wife and try to improve things with the help of Laura’s book. It could be a great commitment from both of you at the beginning of this coming year. It is a matter of communication and common sense between you two, all of that wrapped in love.

    Pray for the Lord to help you in this matter as He is the One who initiated sex in the mind of His children.

    At any rate, like Arogen said it, you are NOT doing yourself a service and a favor by trying to kill your sexual desires towards your wife. You will regret it later on as you become older.

  • Arogen January 1, 2012 at 5:48 am
    • Lovey January 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm

      I have learned so much from David Schnarch’s books. Really eye opening! I’m applying the four points of balance with all my relationships! Check out his 4 points of balance website.

  • Arogen January 1, 2012 at 5:48 pm
  • ProudHusband January 5, 2012 at 12:24 am

    My wife and I have been married for about 2.5 years and have a great marriage. We also have a great love life. We have both learned amazing things about each other, she has overcome a lot of her original inhibitions, and I have understood so much more about what she truly needs.

    My question is dealing with the fact that even though she has been able to orgasm the majority of the time we make love, she is only able to do it if I do everything to her. Which for the most part is great! However, we’ve talked a lot about her taking control at time during our love making, which also includes her getting into things enough to help herself orgasm. I think she still feels tentative about doing things that will give her pleasure because she still has some of the good girl syndrome that says, “ONLY your husband should give you pleasure.” I don’t know if that question makes any sense. But any help on how to help my wife feel like she can take control, get on top and do whatever it takes so she finds her own way of reaching an orgasm. Its just tiring sometimes when all she does is lay there. Any advice would be great.

    • Arogen January 6, 2012 at 1:20 am

      Are you talking about her going on top and controlling the action that way, or about her directly stimulating herself or what? There is a line between sexual learning and masturbation that should not be crossed.

      • ProudHusband January 16, 2012 at 2:57 pm

        In Dr. Brotherson’s book she points out that often times it is easier for a woman to “continue to titillate” using her own fingers while making love instead of her husband. Masturbation is done in secret, without your spouse knowing. This is done together, with me striving to stimulate her in other ways, while she hopefully is able to take control and either use her hands on her own clitoris, or while on top, rhythmically rocking clitoris on my body somewhere. Does anyone have advice or experience/success with what I am talking about. Or how to help my wife enjoy being on top and reaching orgasm exactly when and how she wants?

        • Rob4Hope March 10, 2012 at 4:55 am

          Boy this is a tricky question. I don’t dare answer this and in no way want to be offensive to anyone. I do want to say something about the concept of masturbation. I want to say this respectfully. I’m not interested in opinions on this because, even despite the really difficult place I find myself in with marriage, my wife and I have come to an agreement on this tricky point.

          Masturbation, to be such, usually contains three specific aspects: 1) it is done in secret; 2) it often contains an element of selfishness; 3) it often contains illicit fantasies that do not involve the spouse.

          If those three things are done away with, does self stimulation continue to constitute masturbation? If self stimulation is used during lovemaking as a way to enhance and bring excitement and joy to each other, is it masturbation? Does it contain any of the three elements above? I’m not going to answer that, but I want to suggest a scenario to think about.

          We all know Christopher Reeve–Superman who was injured in a horse riding accident and became paralized from the neck down. His wife stayed with him and did everything for him. All he could do was basically talk. Nothing more. Once during an interview event, someone asked his wife if she missed sex with her husband. Without loosing a stride, her response was: “We still have sex.”

          Question: How as that possible? Obviously they had somehow worked something out that was the best they could do together. They were flexible and had the best interest of each other in mind, despite the sever handicap that controlled so much of their lives together. Is it possible that Dana Reeve, at the request and in connection with her husband, challenged what constituted “clean sex” and decided that perhaps functional and affective sex was important for their relationship?

          Just some questions to think about.

          • Arogen March 10, 2012 at 8:14 am

            Masturbation is sexual self stimulation. Period. I know others take a different view and I don’t pass judgement on them for it, but to me all the trying to draw a difference between married and single masturbation comes across like thin excuses. Secret or not, in front of your spouse or not, doesn’t make a difference, just like watching porn is wrong alone or together.

        • Rob4Hope March 10, 2012 at 2:54 pm

          Arogen, your response to my post on what is masturbation and what isn’t is surprising to me. You ask a question above, quoting from Brotherson about your wife continuing to titilate herself during love-making, but you indicate that when you touch yourself, it is masturation,…period. I don’t understand as this seems inconsistent. If touching yourself is masturbation, then it is wrong for your wife to participate in the way you mentioned above. If this is the case, why did you bring this up?

          • Arogen March 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm

            If you are talking about the Jan 6 post I was just asking for clarification on what ProudHusband meant.

  • Depreciated January 6, 2012 at 4:31 am

    I made a comment just before the fritz and now it is gone. Will it ever come back?

    • Laura M Brotherson January 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      We are working to get them all back up. I apologize again. But it looks hopeful we will get all as it was previous to the mess up.

  • Arogen January 13, 2012 at 3:59 am

    Saw this on another forum….

    One evening, a man and his wife were getting into bed. The passion started to heat up, and she eventually said, “I don’t feel like it, I just want you to hold me.”

    He said, “WHAT??!! What was that?!”

    So she says the words that every husband on the planet dreads to hear…

    “You’re just not in touch with my emotional needs as a woman enough for me to satisfy your physical needs as a man.”

    She responded to his puzzled look by saying, “Can’t you just love me for who I am and not what I do for you in the bedroom?”

    Realizing that nothing was going to happen that night, He went to sleep.

    The very next day He took the day off of work to spend time with her. The went out to a nice lunch and then went shopping at a big expensive store. He walked around with her while she tried on several different very pricy outfits. She couldn’t decide which one to take, so He told her they’d just pick them all. She wanted new shoes to compliment her new clothes, so he said, “Lets find a pair for each outfit.”

    They went on to the jewellery department where she picked out a pair of diamond earrings. She was so excited. The man started to think she was testing him because she asked for a tennis bracelet when she doesn’t even know how to play tennis.

    It threw her for a loop when he said, “That’s fine, honey.” She had never been more excited. Smiling with anticipation, she finally said, “I think this is all dear, let’s go to the cashier.”

    But then the man blurted out, “No honey, I don’t feel like it.

    Her face just went completely blank as her jaw dropped with a baffled, “WHAT?”

    He then said, “Honey! I just want you to HOLD this stuff for a while. You’re just not in touch with my financial needs as a man enough for me to satisfy your shopping needs as a woman.”

    And just when she had this look like she was going to kill him, he added, “Why can’t you just love me for who I am and not for the things I buy you?”

    He didn’t get any sex that night either… but he made his point.

  • Lovey January 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Nice story Aragon. I’m sorry to think some women hold out on their husband in such a way. That’s not been the case in our marriage but I can relate to proud husband’s comments. During our early marriage, I often waited for my husband to make the initial move to have sex. And while our sex life was good, I wasn’t having orgasms most of the time.(I had never been told about orgasms. How are you suppose to learn these things in our religious culture except not to do it before your marriage?) Now my husband and I are both equipped with tools (education with good books and an open communication) our sex life is now passionate and hot! Proud husband I would suggest you read and discuss laura’s book together and in a kind way talk about what you would like to see more from her. I am now confident about my body and enjoy feeling it respond sexually. Sex has so much variety and fun to it. While I still don’t orgasm every time we make love, I now feel super connected in the most intimate way with my husband. He loves it when I’m the one asking for a sexual favor and inviting the interaction.

    • ProudHusband January 19, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      Thanks a million Lovey. What do you think the difference has been for you in terms of being able to gain full confidence in your body and enjoy feeling it respond sexually? Has it just been more time spent with your husband, better communication, or just experience figuring out what felt good and what didn’t? And what has the difference been for you to ask for sexual favors? I feel like my wife sometimes just has sex, or participates in sexual activities because she feels like it has been a few days and I am probably in need of it.

      • Chris January 20, 2012 at 6:17 am

        Communication and willingness of intimate experimentation within the marriage bed are great ways to go towards a better sex life for both.

      • Lovey February 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm

        I hesitate to give a quick, this is how it’s done reply. Marriage is such a growing machine and every couple navigates the course a little differently. I have always enjoyed sex with my husband, now i have more tools in my toolbox so to speak. Early in our marriage I responded much like your wife-in that I waited for him to initiate sex, and when he ejaculated, we cuddled and went to sleep. Early on, I didn’t even know about female orgasm. Sex was more a way to share mutual intimacy and I feel blessed that my husband and I have a truly intimate relationship. Once I discovered my own orgasmic abilities, sex has taken on a wonderful dimension for me. I’m pretty sure my hubby likes my greater sexuality too. Having said that, I still don’t orgasm easily or every time. I am comfortable letting each sexual experience being a little different tune. Sometimes I come first, other times he does or we have sexual moments without intercourse at all. If my husband ejaculates before I am completely primed, I am now comfortable reaching for a vibe to finish myself off while he holds me in his arms. Love, love being sexual in marriage with my hon. Wish every woman felt this way. Does this help?

        • Rob4Hope March 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm

          Lovey, I think your husband should put his arms around you and thank you from the bottom of his heart that you are his and he gets to belong to you. He should also thank Almighty God for such a blessing in marriage.

          Now that my gut reaction is out of the way, I want you to know how much I appreciate this post. I am VERY new to this BLOG site, and I have to remember to work (I read the BLOG all day long, sometimes at the exclusion of my job).

          I don’t know many women who “like” sexulaity in marriage. For several years I felt that those who did were rare, and they mostly just wore a mask, putting forward a fasade of ammiability that was at best an illusion, and at worst a full out lie. Sex, in our culture, and in my case that means LDS culture, is something where the messages are so mixed they are often indecipherable! For example, I once heard a discussion by Dan Grey, one of the LifeStar inividuals in SLC Utah, and a marriage and addiction recovery counselor say: “We teach our children that sexual thoughts need to be avoided. You must control your thoughts because immoral thoughts are evil, discusting, offensive to God and the Spirt. These are things you should save for your spouse.”

          OK, now if you didn’t get that,…read it again carefully.

          The message is that sex is bad, evil, wrong, discusting, and something to be avoided. That is what I grew up with. Then, all of the sudden, I’m married and now its time. What a TRANSITION! What a change! And unfortunately, avoiding the bad things about sex is emphasized ALMOST (IMHO) at the exclusion of anything healthy and good about sexuality. You hear in conference about how to avoid immorality,….over and over and over that message is taught. But, where do you hear about good and healthy sex? Fortunately it appears that this message is being taught more in the Ensign, for example, but it is not something taught over the pulpet, that is for sure. To me, the message is NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO ,….but if you are married.then maybe yes,….but remember NO NO NO NO…..etc. It is just so disproportional.

          Anyway, this is NOT why I wanted to post. My desire is frankly just to thank you for sharing your situaton. A woman who likes sex…..WOW. That to me is still a new and kindof weird thing. In my unfortunate situation, my wife is not a member of that group.

  • Arogen January 29, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Are there any good LDS discussion boards about marriage and sexuality? I found one that I’m NOT impressed with, seems to mostly be members who are into things that are clearly wrong (swinging, masturbation etc.) along with a handful of ex-mormons.

    I like this place, but would like a larger group that is still mainstream LDS and a discussion board format rather than a single comment thread.

    • Laura M. Brotherson January 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      Hey Arogen,

      I think you already know about The Marriage Bed discussion group, and I also know about the Yahoo Group LDS Sexuality that I used to interact with more in the past. Haven’t been in touch much for last year or two so not sure if things are still on track there or not.

      Here’s the link if you want to check them out:

      They were pretty good and insightful when I was there before.

      We do need to set something up like here the discussion board you are wanting, but the manpower to moderate it is the challenge. At this point I’m hoping that we can make this blog/open forum work as best we can and that I can check in more often to add a few thoughts!

      I appreciate what all you all are doing here already!

  • Arogen January 29, 2012 at 2:02 am

    Thanks thanks on restoring all the comments!

  • Laura M. Brotherson January 30, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Hey Everyone!

    We finally got all the comments reposted that got lost between the end of Nov and the end of Dec when the website got messed up…twice! We hope things will be better now. So, just wanted to let you know and we’ll see if we can be a little better about responding to more of your great comments here!

    Thanks for being here! And thanks for sharing your own thoughts and struggles to help others! : )

    You guys are great!

  • Arogen February 4, 2012 at 5:00 am

    has that conversation happened yet. I feel like most girls are open to it if they realize that its something you will do together. Something you will use on her, and something that you will BOTH enjoy. It helped my wife to know how much I would enjoy using it on her too

    No, things have been way too busy, even had to skip a couple of date nights.

  • ProudHusband February 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Dr Brotherson,

    Your section in your book on G-spot orgasms was very short, but the ideas and things you shared in it excited us both a lot! My wife especially, which makes me really want to embrace any idea that she is really excited about. Is there any more advice or other materials that you would give as to how to best explore her G-spot orgasms together? She’s never had one, but we really want experience that joy together.

    • Laura M. Brotherson February 6, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      Hi ProudHusband,

      Checking out the G-spot is a great idea for couples. I’d suggest you even just doing a Google search and finding some reputable sites to get more information. It’s mostly a practice makes perfect situation, but a great way to add some fun, variety and extra connecting to your intimate relationship!

      p.s. I’m not actually a “Dr.” Brotherson, though that’s in the plans someday!

      • ProudHusband February 7, 2012 at 4:11 am

        along those lines… is female ejaculation a real thing? or just made up?

      • Arogen February 11, 2012 at 10:32 pm

        I find it hard to not refer to you as Dr Laura a lot of the time.

  • Arogen February 19, 2012 at 10:43 pm


    has that conversation happened yet. I feel like most girls are open to it if they realize that its something you will do together. Something you will use on her, and something that you will BOTH enjoy. It helped my wife to know how much I would enjoy using it on her too

    No, things have been way too busy, even had to skip a couple of date nights.

    Finally got a chance to talk about it. Not judging anybody else, but we are both uncomfortable with the idea of self-stimulation, manual or with a vibrator, even if your spouse is there as well. She doesn’t see me using a vibe on her as any different either. I told her I was comfortable with the idea of me using a vibe on her to help her learn to orgasm, her exact reply was ‘You are comfortable with way too much’. No surprise.

    Frankly, if we can get to the point where orgasms are a regular thing for her without a vibe, I’m perfectly fine with that. We got so, so close on Saturday morning but our 9 year old came knocking on the door and kind of broke the spell. It was still really, really good. She was able to relax through the part she usually give up on foreplay at and get to the part where she doesn’t want to stop, and I think I found a key to help get here there again more easily so I’m quite happy in spite of the interruption.

  • Rob4Hope March 9, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Hello All. I’ve commented on several of your posts, but am still a very new person on this BLOG. I very much want to ask some questions of you all out there. I’ve found this particular site to be MOST positive and helpful: the comments are respectful, some show a debth of character and insite that is sobering, and the experience and wealth of information is broad. Because of my personal experience, both religiously as well as the pain and struggle I have in my SSM (sex starved marriage) marriage, I have all but lost faith in the institution of marriage. For me at this particular point in my life, marriage doesn’t seem like a blessing, nor does it seem like an institution that brings happiness or health. It is a good tool for friendship and an easy way to merge assets,….but that wasn’t what I signed up for. I wanted more; I wanted a lover and someone who wanted to be with me. That is not what I have.

    Anyway, here are some questions, some religious and some otherwise. Right now I am trapped and you will see soon enough:

    1. I was told by multiple members of LifeStar, both in SLC County and Utah County in Utah State that: “Sex is 100% optional and completely non-essential.” Now, the reason I was in LifeStar was because I had taken my marriage problems outside of my marriage–something I regret doing. But the problems were accentuated by what LifeStar told me. I got the impression that living in celebacy, or very infrequent relations, regardless of how I felt, was completely normal. Consequently, I feel broken. Why? because I have a desire to be loved and touched in “that way” often. Is there something wrong with me to be hurt because of being rejected over and over? From what LifeStar said, it appears I should be able to take rejection without it causing any concern whatsoever.

    2. I was raised LDS. In that faith a scripture indicates that you will take with you the same spirit you have in this life. Basically, the scripture is this: “That same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.” (Alma 34:31–34.) In the case of my marriage, that says to me: “You ain’t getting any now,…so why would you think you would get any there. Dry is all there is buddy.” Now, I am being colloquial here, but you should know this particular scripture frightens me more than any other concept I was raised with in my life. It means to me that the problems in marriage we have now will be there in the next life as well. Frankly, I can’t think of anything more frightening and difficult to contemplate than spending eternity with my wife in this situation. Our problems have been going on for 22 years, and I have good reason to believe they are not going to change (have a look at Geezer’s posts. It put a chill down my spine!!!) So, in my opinion from a religious perspective, NO WAY do I want to go into heaven.

    3. Because of #2 above, I’m afraid I have lost faith in the institution of marriage as well as religion and even God for that matter. I know that Laura Brotherson and others disagree with the concept of taking problems outside of marriage–ie affairs and such. But, staying in marriage doesn’t provide any benefit or help either. I feel like I basically married my sister. So, in my case, I am on my way to divorce. Losing my faith in the institution of marriage also leads me to contemplate cashing in my chips religiously. What could be more hellish than living in heaven with God, just so I can roll over, try to put my arm around my wife, to be told to stop touching her and leave her alone. Which,……..leads me rigth back to #1. Sex is 100% optional and non-essential,…because if i’m in heaven, it certainly will not be in a married state. So, why not jump ship and just plan on going to hell, but at least trying to find a way to feel wanted in the process?

    You all see the problem here? Oh boy do I feel trapped. Anyone have any idea if anything good happens in heaven? (that is NOT a rhetorical question folks. I am REALLY asking, because right now that is the LAST place I want to be).

    • Arogen March 9, 2012 at 11:27 pm

      1. I don’t know beans about Lifestar, but if that is what they say and if they mean it the way you make it out, they are idiots. Sexual intimacy is the food that nourishes a marriage relationship. You won’t die without it, but your marriage will. Just be sure to only eat in your own kitchen. There is not one, NOT ONE, respectable book on marriage that doesn’t emphasize the importance of sexual intimacy in a marriage, especially for most men.

      Consider Prov 5:18-19
      18 …rejoice with the awife of thy youth.

      19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee AT ALL TIMES; and be thou ravished ALWAYS with her love.

      2. You are not ‘stuck’ being exactly the same as you are when you die. You carry the same attitudes etc. with you, but change is possible or else why would there be a spirit world and work for the dead? If a person is teachable here, they will be teachable there and that will give them so much the advantage. The verse combats the idea that when you die your personality will fundamentally change instantly so don’t take it as meaning you or anybody else becomes completely static.

      Now the question comes to my mind of why is your wife like that? If there is something like mental illness, or trauma from sexual abuse or rape or something like that then her actions are not a reflection of her spirit. There are women who because of things like that CAN’T be the kind of wife they WANT to be, and I’m sure after they’ve left this world they will have much more power to be the kind of wife they want to be.

      If she is being selfish and inconsiderate, then in reality she is not keeping her marriage vows to you. If she has been to the temple then she is not even keeping her very first covenant made in the endowment ceremony let alone the marriage covenant. My understanding is that if a couple marry in the temple, they are only together after this life if they a) keep their covenants and b) both still want to be together. If one is faithful to their covenants and the other isn’t or they do not both want to be together after, the faithful one will have the option of spending eternity with a different spouse who was faithful. Bottom line, if you do what is right, repent of your sins, and keep your covenants then you will receive a fullness of joy and NOBODY, not even your spouse can deny you that fullness of joy. Don’t make her your excuse to do what you know is wrong.

      3. It isn’t the institution of marriage, it is that you are both not living up to the ideal of what a marriage is. I know you have issues with things your wife is doing/not doing. But you have your own list of failings too. Start working on that, be the best spouse you can be. You went outside of your marriage and that is FAR worse than anything you said she did. Don’t assume that it’s all cleaned up and over with for her, and keep in mind that she could have left you for that, but didn’t, so there is something there.

      Get serious about saving your marriage, get counseling, by yourself if she won’t go. Focus on yourself, not her faults, and keep repairing the damage you you did with your infidelity. You can have the kind of marriage you want with her, but only if you are willing to do what it takes.

      • Rob4Hope March 10, 2012 at 6:38 pm

        Hard hitting and good advice. I appreciate it. I really do appreciate comments that are clear, relevant, and direct.

        I’m going to process what is being said. Working on personal issues is the most consistent thing that counselors have said to me (or to friends I know who have gone to them)–and yes, I have seen some good counselors. The struggle for me ,…which I have alluded to, is the feeling of being trapped. You mentioined in #2 above that I am not stuck. I recall a statement made by Spender Kimball that was something like this (paraphrased): “If you don’t treat your wife right, when you call for her in the resurrection [men], she wont go with you.” If I looked hard enough, I know I could probably find that exact quote.

        This, to me at least, means we are not stuck; ie, adjustments will still be possible in Heaven.

        Anyway, that is not the point of my response here–it is just someting that jumped out and linked to someting I had learned earlier.

        I hope to make progress with my marriage. I’m not done yet. Like I said in other posts, I have a tight grip on a small sliver of hope that things can be worked out. I’m struggling to understand how to deal with the “intimate desert” problem going on,…and I don’t know how to just accept that intimace is not an option right now. That is hard for me. REALLY hard. Its been going on for a long time–even before my escapades (which ONLY caused problems that I regret).

        • Laura M. Brotherson March 12, 2012 at 8:35 pm

          Hey Rob4Hope,

          Your comments about struggling with your current “intimacy desert” reminded me of my recent podcast “Hungry Dog Syndrome” that may be helpful to you and others. (

          One of the hardest things I have to help couples do in sex therapy is help the husband be able to remove the psychological pressure on their wives to have sex. I know it seems so counter-intuitive to what we’re ultimately trying to accomplish, but because of the way women are wired, men must get their own sexual feelings under control (bridled) so that the wife can free hers…

          We have some very interesting wiring us men and women! : )

          • Rob4Hope March 13, 2012 at 3:14 am

            Laura, with regards to bridling your passions,…I’ve blown that completely. I went to “LifeStar” for a reason. I’ve made mistakes. You know, I’m involved in the “dance of marriage death” and have been for so long I am bewildered. I’m past feeling sad,…I just feel numb.

            Yes, I have PUSHED my wife really hard for sex, and for a long time she gave in. The emotional connection was not there, and it never satisfied. I always felt like she just wanted to get things over with so I would shut up. Pretty soon, with that going on and on, you start to push harder (men do that, and it works in all kinds of areas,…except intimacy), and the pattern continues. Then,…well, your needs aren’t getting met, and if a sense of entitlement gets in there, selfishness takes over and WHAM! you get sucker punched by temptations and blow everything to hell.

            That’s me. I’m in there. My hand is raised,…Yep….I’ve blown it over and over. I’m a pusher, and then a flee-er, and then an acter-outer. Then back to pusher,…etc, and the train of destruction starts a rollin.

            Anyone ever hear the song ‘The Thunder Rolls’ by Garth Brooks? That song puts a hellish chill down my spine! Just the thought of it makes me sick to my stomach.

            Laura, I’m frightened. I’m more frightened than I have ever been. Something inside of me has died. I don’t feel a desire inside to work on my marriage. It feels dead and needs to be entombed.

            I fear lest I am having a particularly difficult night. I chose the name “Rob4Hope” not for you folks out there (sorry),…I chose it for me,…so I could remember that the word HOPE exists and has meaning. I sure need some now.

          • Rob4Hope March 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm

            I’m having fits trying to get my posts to stick. I responded to your post last night Laura, but things are not sticking. I was also EXTREMELY careful about the math equation. Is something up?

            My post showed as being present last night, and this morning,…nada.

  • Lovey March 11, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    In your view, why is your wife creating such an intimate desert in your marriage? Do you think with the right education, she could experience the wonderful benefits of being intimate with you? Having deliciou sex with your spouse greatly improves women’s lives too. I personally benefit, it’s not just a gift I give my husband although I do love the smile it puts on his face. It’s truly a win, win activity we both look forward to.

  • Rob4Hope March 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Lovey, I tried to post a second response to Arogen, but it didn’t show up. I can only surmise it got audited and prohibited,…but it would have given a lot of background information as to my concerns. I felt the post was very respectful, so I honestly don’t know what happened. Perhaps this one will not make it either?

    FLASH. I cut my whole post down to these lines:

    I’ve hurt my wife. She is working to recover.
    I’ve been hurt. I’m working to recover.
    Good information for me has been close to 20 years overdue.
    I have the information now,…but very unhealthy cycles are present and devastating. The cycles are entrenched.

    My wife is quite spiritual, and has been told three times through direct answers to prayer that she is NOT to leave th marriage.

    We are currently separated, and I am trying to find myself and learn to live without sex…..for however long it takes for her and I to heal the rifts.

    This length of time might be the rest of my life.

    I am having problems dealing with that.


    • Arogen March 12, 2012 at 11:18 pm

      Blame the math equation thing below where you enter your post. Easy to miss, and if you forget or answer wrong you lose what you tried to post and it looks like you posted but your post doesn’t show up.


    • Arogen March 12, 2012 at 11:21 pm

      Miracles can and do happen. In one day things can change so much when the spirit touches somebody’s heart. If you both want to make it work and are both willing to do what it takes, it will work. God wants it to work and if he is telling your wife to stay with you, you should take hope from that too. God wants you both to be happy. I hope you are going to church, reading the scriptures, praying and seeking to get closer to God, you need his help to work this out.

  • Rob4Hope March 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Group, here is a second post. I’m going to try to cut it down into two and see what happens. Arogen,…I have a question specifically for you.

    Part #1:
    “My understanding is that if a couple marry in the temple, they are only together after this life if they a) keep their covenants and b) both still want to be together. If one is faithful to their covenants and the other isn’t or they do not both want to be together after, the faithful one will have the option of spending eternity with a different spouse who was faithful. Bottom line, if you do what is right, repent of your sins, and keep your covenants then you will receive a fullness of joy and NOBODY, not even your spouse can deny you that fullness of joy. Don’t make her your excuse to do what you know is wrong.”

    I want to know more about this, and what constitutes a “fullness of joy” with regards to sexual fulfillment, in your opinion.

    I am open minded and thinking about the things you and others have written here. It feels exhilerating (and sad as well) to know that I am not the only person who hurts so much. (Thats kindof sick for me,…exhilerating that people hurt like me? Oh boy,….please don’t anyone misunderstand that.)

    • Arogen March 15, 2012 at 1:21 am

      I would say that fulness of joy experienced by couple in the celestial kingdom would include both spouses having complete sexual fulfillment. You don’t get there without being like Christ, and if you are both like Christ, how can the marriage be anything other than perfect? Problems with intimacy in marriage here on earth usually stem from a lack of correct information, traumatic experiences from the past, and/or medical issues (mental health, hormone levels etc.). In the Celestial kingdom we’ll know everything, be healed of all the past scars, and have perfectly functioning bodies. There is no downside to going to the Celestial kingdom.

      • Rob4Hope March 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm

        Arogen, I appreciate the comments on my posts. I hope that Lovey and others will comment as well.

        I have two followup questions:

        1. I REALLY want to believe what you are saying here. Please describe your “confirmation” about this. Did you pray about this to obtain conviction? Did you read something that brought that conviction?….what happened to get you there? I’m not there. I’m not even close,….BUT I am also keeping an open mind. I am so far down the pathway of bewilderment that it is going to take some real time for me to pull out. Please share your experinece if you feel you can. I’m looking for encouragement and hope.

        2. I want to ask you to comment on what you have said here with what Geezer posted above. He indicated that in his marriage he found disharmony and frustration in intimate realms. He said that had he known the incompatibility he would have with his spouse, he would NOT have married her. His feelings are valid….but if you were to ask his wife, her feelings are just as valid to her. Sex to her is not important, and she doesn’t believe anything is wrong with herself in any way. She is able to connect to Geezer through ways other than sexual, and sex to her is not something she is concerned about. For Geezer to love her, he must take into account her feelings. That is how she honestly feels, and she is–without more information to contradict this–a normal, healthy person. In this case, if they make it to the Celestial kingdom, how is this suppose to be resolved? I am NOT asking you to be God and make a decision, OK — but I am asking for you to recognize the dilema and comment. This feels like my situation. Why fix normal? and what makes Geezer’s feeling any more valid that those of his wife?

        • Arogen March 15, 2012 at 11:05 pm


          I’m not sure how to answer you, I didn’t have to ‘get there’ or specifically had to seek out an answer about it, it just logically flows from my testimony of the Gospel and my knowing that God is perfect, loves us and wants us to be happy. That marriage is supposed to be joyful and include sexual relationships, even after this life. Like I said before, if the husband and the wife are both perfectly Christ like, then how can the marriage be anything other than perfect. In the end though what matters is you getting your own confirmation.

          I grew up in the church, and my parents NEVER talked about sex, so they were not negative about it specifically. Those quotes in chapter 2 of the book were not news to me. I think my hormones made me latch onto the and underscore the ‘outside of marriage’ part of all the warnings. I wasn’t perfect, the first several years of marriage it kind of ground the mental gears to say my night prayer then get naked with my wife. Since we started reading the book I’ve gotten to the point where I pray very explicitly about my intimate life. I pray for my wife to have orgasms and for me to perform well so I can succeed in pleasuring her. I’ve prayed in my heart while making love with her and We sometimes bring up sexual matters when we pray together as a couple.

          You’ve heard all the pro-sex in marriage stuff in that chapter, you know from your own body that you are made to experience desire and seek sexual fulfillment. What you need is for the Spirit to change your heart so your present is set free from your past. You’re on the path to that by being here. Keep reading, keep learning, keep asking, and above all keep praying. Any question you post here is something you should put directly to God in prayer as well, and same for all the questions you aren’t ready to post yet.

          Oh I’m well aware of the dilemma you speak of, that dilemma is there to be overcome, not surrendered to by one side. And by overcome I mean you get to a point where the conflict is resolved. That requires both being willing to work at it, and when that doesn’t exist the marriage suffers due to the un-Christlike attitudes present.

          Feelings are only one part of it, there is also motives and beliefs. If the motive a wife has to do all she can to meet her husband’s needs, and she has correct ideas about marriage and sex her feelings (and actions) are going to be different than a wife whose motive is to seek her own convenience even at her husband’s expense, or a wife who has been taught a lot of wrong things. Now some women might have a motive of avoiding situations that stir up dark reminders of past sexual abuse, or other motives that to them may seem good and nobel, but based on faulty information that results in them acting as if they were mean or selfish. If a woman though of sexual desire as evil, then she would likely think that refusing her husband was good for him and pat herself on the back for being strong enough and loving her husband enough to pour ice on his fire. That is where chartiy comes in, you don’t go ‘You won’t sleep with me enough (or at all) so you are mean, selfish, cruel etc. etc.) They could have good motives and bad information, or be psychologically traumatized, mentally ill, or whatever. My wife avoided sex for a long time because it was painful for her, if I knew that at the time I would have insisted she see a doctor rather than feel unloved and rejected.

          You two will have to dig deeper into your souls and look at what your motives are, what your beliefs are, which of those beliefs are false and should be rejected and replaced with other beliefs, which motives are godly and which are selfish. This is how you both get to the point where the dilema is resolved, but both becoming more Christlike.

          Validating a person’s feelings is just acknowledging that those feelings exist, it doens’t mean they have to be permanent stuck with those kind of feelings.

          • Rob4Hope March 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm

            I wish I had strength to dig deep one last time. OH,….I feel afraid it is not even there. I’m so very tired. I am so very very tired. My wife has told me that after we have really good sex, she feels filled up, and that lasts for a while. Its like a turkey dinner for her–she couldn’t eat another bite. I’ve talked to people I trust, and they refer to her, respectfully, as a camel. She “tanks up” and then carries a large capacity on her back that sustains her for extended periods of time. IN my case, when we have sex, and the better the sex, the less she wants. Why? because she gets filled up, and so it backfires for me. I feel a need for sexual expression more often–i’m coming from a place of deprivation in my opinion– but she can tank up in one swift way and that actually turns her off to the idea COMPLETELY.

            She once told me that I should be grateful that we didn’t need to have more sex because she was satisfied. I should be grateful that I am satisfying my wife, and that she can go throughout the days without feeling a need for sexual connection because she was already filled. Because of those types of conversations, and because of the immense sting I feel when I am rejected, I have found and been completely surprised to find I might add, that when I feel amorous, all I have to do is think about sex with my wife and those feelings get hit with a cold towel in the face. I feel my erection, if I have one at all, deflate in a microsecond. Why does the very thought of sexual relations with my wife serve as the most potent cold shower I could have even taken?

            I have some real soul searching to work through. It seems to me that these differeneces in this area are very natural ‘irreconcilable’ ones.

            Arogen and others, as I awoke this morning, alone, I feel so very empty inside. I didn’t think marriage was suppose to be like this. I don’t know where I will find the strength to even try again.

            I can’t stop thinking about divorce. Divorce seems like the best thing in the world right now. There has to be a women out there who would consider being my lover and wife.

            I’m sorry. so very very sorry for bringing these feelings to this site. I have no other outlet where I can really share them. Please pray for me.

    • Arogen March 15, 2012 at 1:22 am

      Oh, and I know what you mean about the relief of finding a place like this. That’s normal, nobody wants to be a special case or have nobody who understands.

  • Rob4Hope March 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Part #2:
    I want to mention something about my “escapades” that needs to be said. (My mistakes were made after the intimate side of my marriage had deteriortated significantly.)

    It is common for people to feel a sense of retribution when such mistakes are made. I can understand that. This site is dedicated to saving marriages, and for someone to engage in infidelity (like I have), is completey contrary to what this site stands for. It is completely contrary to marriage and marital vows. I accept that folks. I get the message. The mistakes I’ve made are being dealt with through proper channels. I am not hiding my mistakes from those who need to know.

    Though I understand why a sense of retribution and discust is normal, I hope that you all can understand the flip side of being a recepient of such feelings. Pain, the kind that goes really deep, when enhanced (in a bad way) by serious error–that pushes the pain even deeper and even challenges fundamental self worth, opening up a sense of vulnerability to temptation and self loathing that can not be explained unless experienced. That is the price of serious mistakes. When a feeling of “Yeh, you got what you deserved” is communicated from those who feel a sense of retribution, and if those people are “religious”, it makes the pathway back home seem VERY undesirable. I have experienced that in my life. I have also found that the people who are the most loving, concerned, and desirous to help, are also those who have expereinced the most pain in their lives as well. I have sat in 12 step meetings, surrounded by individuals who have done everything this side of murder, and have felt the Holy Ghost more strongly than any other place in my life. I have several friends who have come back from dark places–darker than mine–who have reingaged the light and temple covenants,…and they say the same thing: the Spirit felt in those meetings where people are getting real, is more powerful than anywhere else they have ever felt it. I have gotten the impression that church is often thought of as “a rest stop for the saints” when in reality, for some of us, it should be “a hospital for sinners.” I need the latter here,..not the former. I’m not a saint. I’m a sinner.

    While in a meeting once, I mentioned that I know what it feels like to sit in a room (church meeting) filled with over 500 people, and to feel absolutely alone. I then mentioned that I believe that one group of people who understand that better than most are those struggling with same sex attraction. I was surprised that after the meeting, I was approached by an LDS individual (man) who was trying desperately to repent of sins committed and deal with his issues, and who, for the first time, felt like he could tell his story about hating himself because he was gay to someone who might understand. Because of my understanding and connection with him (and others), I made a good friend that day. When someone looks at you with tears streaming down their face, and sais: “You are one of the first non-gay people who understands me!”….well that does something to you. How much is the worth of a soul folks? This man was an ex-bishop who had felt trapped and alone for over 40 years of his life. This man is not going to burn in hell: he is already there. How does judging him help him want to come home?

    I wonder how many individuals visit these types of sites ( hoping to solve marriage issues, but are afraid to because they engage in pornography, masturbation, and many other things further down that pathway in their individual lives? I for one hope they will stay. I really do hope they will stay. Like I said above: “I don’t need a rest stop for saints; I need a hospital for sinners…because I am one.”. I am absolutely thrilled and hopeful because I have found this site!,…and the information is teaches. This is a hospital room for me.
    I hope my comments here will be taken in a compassionate manner. I’ve opened up and let it out. I have said what I really mean and wanted to say. I am not justifying what I have done, nor the struggles I have to come back from that darkness. I have felt bewildered, long before my mistakes were made, about marriage and why I felt like I did. If I could have found good information and support for my struggles in marriage, there is a real possibility the mistakes I made could have been averted. Good information wasn’t to be found. It is here now. I sure hope others can avoid the mistakes I have made….and solve their marriage problems as well. Put those both together (marriage problems and serious sin), and the pain from both, and you can find yourself in a most dark place. I hope those of us who are in this dark place (and I believe there are many of us) can find Christ, solve marriage problems, and get out of hell.

  • Rob4Hope March 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Everyone, I have some more questions. Before I ask them, here is some more background:

    I’m a guy, but I am discovering that I struggle with the “Good Girl Syndrome” from a different perspective. I’ve been socialized to think that God (and the LDS faith) don’t believe in sex for anything other than procreation, and definately not for “recreational” reasons. I’m just coming to grips with these feelings and understanding why I feel a seething anger and resentment towards God, church, and wife. My feelings of anger make me want to “cash in” on what I was raised to believen (ALL of what I was raised to believe) because I feel broken inside–broken because I have a libido in the first place. Having a libido in the first place is something that I have been taught, both inside and outside the church in VERY SUBTLE ways, is wrong and evil at worst, and at best something that must be controlled and bridled to the extent that if my wife tells me no for ever, I should be completely happy to platonically skip to heaven hand in hand with my sister–sorry, I ment wife.

    More than anyone on this site, I identify with Geezer.

    I am currently separated, and part of what I’m trying to do is uncover and understand what is going on inside. Why do I feel such anger and frustration? What is under there way down deep? Hence, some of the questions are posted below as I uncover stuff.

    Also, I am trying to move through a spiritual process of changing beliefs,…but to do that, I need help. Prayer and study are certainly aspects, but I’m asking for support and insite here.

    My beliefs are burried REALLY REALLY deep under bewilderment and resentment. It is proving difficult to even find them and try to understand what is going on, let alone articulate.

    Please be patient with me. I’m really hurting and my family is well on the way to destruction.

    Here is some of the stuff that I struggle with:

    1. Charity love vs sexual love.

    I identify with Geezer in the posts above (like I said), and just listening to Brothersons’ book again, I am reminded of the Ann Landers comment where women wrote to her–tens of thousands of women wrote to her–indicating they would rather their husbands just hold them and to forget about sex ever happening again. Now the argument goes like this: since Charity doesn’t ask anything in return, and since my wife is one of those who would rather be held and forget about sex completely, then if I was a pure and truly charitable man, I should be able to respect my wifes feelings and simply hold her without wanting anything in return. I have tried to do that, and I fail. It makes me feel broken. It makes me feel like having sexual feelings in the first place is bad, because sexual love is most certainly not cheritable love. Sex wants, cherity doesn’t.

    2. Abstinance in marriage vs sexual expression in marriage.

    This one is difficult to express because there are SUBTLE messages that I have somehow internalized. My whole life I have been taught NO NO NO NO…..and very rarely has there been a yes. An example is this: “Chastity is the crown of beautiful womanhood, and self control is the source of true manhood, if you will now it, not indulgence. Sexual indulgence whets the passion and create morbid desire.” This quote comes from the “Parent’s Guide” put out by the LDS church, and is under the section about preparing children for marriage. The way this is presented gives me a mixed message about sex in marriage. There are also things in there that indicate sexual expression is appropriate in marriage,….but look at the statement carefully. In my mind, I have to “indulge” to be sexual with my wife. I have to get aroused and help her get aroused, and we both have to “indulge” if we are going to be sexual. BUT!….self control and NOT indulgence (of the sexual type) is what defines true manhood.

    Statements like this are peppered through church writ. To illustrate in a way that might be more clear, please remember Spencer Kimballs “Miracle of Forgiveness”. In that book, statements are said such as (paraphrased): “Such sins SEEM to be amoung those that are forgivable (emphasis added)”. Or, “Engaging in sexual sins makes things INFINATELY worse (emphasis added)”.

    An infinite atonement can not cancel out an infinite sin. And, are such sins forgivable since they only “seem” be be among those that can be?

    note–I use Kimballs work because so many are more familiar with that. But please understand, subtle messages about abstinance are taught in ways that are hostile to married sex. I know people who believe that to be one flesh, they only need sex rarely. Why? They fulfiled the commandment like this: “We were sexual last year. Why do we need that again this year? I mean, come on!,…you are such a sex crazed maniac. Why can’t you show your manhood through self control? We were ‘one flesh’ last year, and that is enough.”

    You all get the drift here folks? I have been taught this my whole life….and as I push away the anger, I see that I buy into some of this. It makes me feel broken to have sexual feelings in the first place.

    The message:
    At best, sex is NOT a founation of a good marriage. It is ONLY a “nice to have”,…but essential….absolutely not.

    3. Sex as an expression of love that is selfless vs sex that includes appitite.

    I don’t even know how to articulate this without just coming right out and saying stuff. Sometimes I feel horny. It makes me feel broken and wrong. I have been taught my whole life that if I am to have sex, somehow the “Celestial Standard” is for that to be a completely selfless act, an expression of love. When I feel the way I do, …. I don’t know what to say. It seems like I’m wrong because I feel horny in the first place. So, those feelings must be surpressed. That is hostile to sexual expression in marriage, because how can I be sexual without the biological changes necessary to be sexual? And for me, those are interwoven with feeling horny.

    The messages I have internalized is I should ONLY feel horny when my wife is interested in sex (which she very rarely is) and then those feelings should ONLY exist to give selfless sexual expression to my wife. I feel so broken because sometimes I want to (sorry, I can’t think of how to say this any other way) “get good and laid with a fully engaged horny wife who likes lusty sex.”

    Folks, the Celestial Standard of what has been presented to me…..all of this selfless stuff that gets pounded over and over and over,…. I can’t think of a more horrible place to be than in a Celestial state with my wife, unless I can somehow rewire myself so I never again feel horny. I have about 20 years to go until Geezers solution will kick in. Of course, there are drugs that might help (anti-depressants have a profound affect on libido).

    Selfless sex is so sanitized that I feel guilty if I get an erection. Better to not have sex at all,…and hence the problem. I feel horny sometimes. Shame on me.

    Since the sex-drive is a complete myth (see Family Guide book by LDS Church),…something must be wrong with me for feeling horny, and being unable to give completely selfless sexual expression to my wife (who doesn’t want it anyway).

    Can someone explain to me how sex can be a completely selfless expression of love?


    Well, there is some stuff to chew on. Like I said, some of this stuff is REALLY deeply burried inside of me. I feel broken. My marriage is broken as well.

    I ask for clear, concise and honest responses to these questions. They are asked in all seriousness.


    • Arogen March 15, 2012 at 1:14 am

      Warning: I tend to use ‘you’ a lot when I don’t mean you personaly, just some person.

      1. Charity love vs sexual love.

      Charity doesn’t mean being a doormat. You don’t have to like what she is doing. If you let it turn into personal resentment and anger towards her, that is not charitable, but it doesn’t mean you have to agree with or like her decisions or actions or attitudes, or do what she wants you to do. Recognize that she has things she is struggling with, have empathy for her weaknesses and do what you can to HELP her, not take some kind of revenge on her. Sometimes helping somebody means you put your arms around them and hold them, sometimes it means you tell them things in a loving way that you know they don’t want to hear, but need to hear, sometimes it mean refusing to join them in their wrongdoing. It doesn’t mean you can’t try to teach her a better way to life, or disagree, or take a stand, just act out of love and concern for what is best for them, even if that is something they don’t understand or agree with.

      When it comes to sexual love, if all you want is your own pleasure and you have little consideration for her pleasure or for the relationship, that is not charitable. If what you want is a MUTUALLY satisfying relationship, then you are trying to SHARE something wonderful with her, you are trying to bless her life with a better marriage and deeper love and closer bond to her spouse than she understands. If you pursue a better sexual reationship as something that will be a blessing for you BOTH you have nothing to be ashamed of.

      2. Abstinance in marriage vs sexual expression in marriage.

      Chastitiy is not virginity, chastity is keeping the law of chastity. Sometimes I invite DW up to the bedroom by asking her if she wants to go live the law of chasity. There is no amount of sex my DW and I could have together that would make her unchaste, and as long as it isn’t keeping us from meeting our other obligations there is no amount of sex between a married couple that God would be displeased with. Also, you are taking a parents guide for talking to unmarried teenagers and treating it like a its a marriage guide for adults, and taking other things much more litteraly than intended. All sins can be forgiven except for denying the Holy Ghost (and to do that you need a perfect knowledge of the divinity of Christ, not just faith), or to commit cold-blooded murder as a member of the church.

      I agree that the church, in doing all it can to keep singles from breaking the law of chastity do not lay a great foundation for the understanding of the role of sex in marriage. You have got to reject the false ideas you’ve been fed and understand the difference between those views and what the gospel really says. Paul taught that a husband and wife should NOT refuse each other unless it was by mutual consent, and even then only for a short time. You are not broken to have a strong sex drive, you are normal, and your desire to connect sexually with the woman you married is GOOD and from GOD.

      3. Sex as an expression of love that is selfless vs sex that includes appitite.

      There is nothing wrong with feeling horny as you described and desiring a wife who feels like that and joyfullly engages you intimatly, you are designed to have those feelings. What is good or bad is how you act on those feelings. Seeking to satisfy them through masturbation or from sex outside of marriage is not good to say the least. Letting those feelings drive you to use your wife sexually with little consideration for anything other than your own pleasure is wrong. Likewise it is wrong of your wife to be inconsiderate of your feelings and needs, and sexual fulfilment is a need, not an option. A lot of women really don’t get that, but they need to be educated about that.

      If you felt horny like that, and she had the flu and was really sick (fever, throwing up etc), would you take it as a personal rejection for her to not want to have sex just then? No, her reason for saying no is perfectly valid and understandable.

      The celesital standard is that you BOTH do everything in your power to do to meet the sexual, emotional, spiritual and temporal needs of the other. It is NOT you commit yourself to a life of misery for the sake of your spouse’s convenience.

      You also really need to drop the ‘If I benifit from it then doing it is not selfless’ stuff. What is the most selfless act in history? The Atonement. Was Christ blessed for doing it? Absolutley. Selfless is about what drives you do it, Christ wasn’t haning on the cross thinking ‘Man, I’m going to get such a huge reward from Father for this!’. You mission, should you choose to accept it, is to help your wife shed her own wrong idea, blossom sexually, and discover the pure joys God created for you both to enjoy within marriage. It sounds like it won’t be an easy job, if you can get her to listen to the book that that may help. Marriage counseling sounds like a good idea too. You are still going to have to exercise some self control when she isn’t at your level, but don’t beat yourself up for wanting what is lawful and right for you to recieve.

  • Rob4Hope March 14, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Everyone, my “second post” — the Part #2 — I can’t get it to post. Unfortunate. Something in that post is flagging it as wrong or inapproriate. Unfortunate and sad about that. I REALLY had something to say,…and I felt it was in good taste and non-offensive. I guess I am mistaken. (and yes,…I was super careful with the math equation thing to iliminate “bots”).

    • Laura M. Brotherson March 14, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      Hi Rob4Hope & everyone else,

      I hope we have resolved some of the issues that the new captcha was causing when posting comments, but my webguy is still looking into things as well.

      You do need to be logged in before commenting, so it should ask you before you even begin to create your comment, so hopefully it won’t get lost when you try to post it.

      I did find a few comments in the spam folder (not sure why) that I have now approved. I’m checking into why they were flagged.

      I sure appreciate the heartfelt discussion here and hope everyone will find some hope, insights and strength as we all try to participate. I’m especially grateful that people can come here and find that they are not alone in their situation. I’m also grateful to those who share what they have learned to help others along the way.


  • Rob4Hope March 14, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Crap!. Now my posts are all showing up. OVER and OVER and OVER. I’m sorry. I don’t know why they were blocked and now show up. Other posts have NOT behaved that way.

    Oh boy!. My appologies! Things are not consistent with how my posts are handled.

    • Laura M. Brotherson March 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm


      I think I’ve cleaned up the duplicate posts, but let me know if not. I think you should be able to edit and delete your posts(???), but if not let me now which one’s to delete still.

      • Rob4Hope March 14, 2012 at 6:11 pm

        Looks good with the duplicates being removed. Thank you SOOOOO much.

  • Arogen March 16, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I wish I had strength to dig deep one last time. OH,….I feel afraid it is not even there. I’m so very tired. I am so very very tired….

    Don’t apologize for being her and posting what you are posting, that is what this place is for. And what you are experiencing is NOT what marriage is supposed to be like.

    Consider writing her a letter and saying something like this:

    If your baby was hungry and crying at 4am, and you were tired and not hungry yourself and would rather just sleep, would you let your baby starve until you felt like getting them some food later on when you felt hungry too? Would you not make any effort to feed them before they got to that point of being so hungry that they were in pain and crying out like that?

    I have a need that lawfully only you can fulfill, and I live in pain because it is rarely ever fulfilled. I won’t die from it, but our relationship and marrieage is on life support because it is being starved to death this way. We can keep going like this until it all falls apart, or we can both work to make this marriage as good as it should and could be. We are rapidly running out of time to get this fixed. What are you willing to do? What do you need from me to make this work?

  • lovey March 17, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Wow, I’m touched and amazed at the clarity each of you give as you share such a personal side of your life. Truly, each of you should be given a medal for what you’ve been asked to endure in your marriage.
    The letter idea is a good one, Aragon. (You really share lots of sound advise.) Don’t you wish every person who has left their partner (both women & men) in an intimate desert should come to this site and read about the pain they have caused. Rob, you have articulated your position so clearly. I hope that you will one day feel whole & sexually fulfilled.
    Some of my own pondering:
    I too have felt that our church is heavy on the no, no, no but really silent on the go, go, go:) (Other than the commandment to replenish the earth) I’d really like to be someone who helps educate others about all the positives about sex.
    It always helps me to ponder the whys- Why do we ask our people to be morally clean? It makes sense to me that raising our families is so, so much better with a father and a mother who work together as a team.
    I believe a lot more could be taught helping couples learn to be a better team- and I strongly believe having a robust, healthy sexual relationship makes me a happier person and parent!
    Interesting that a few years ago I knew ahead of time that I would be asked to speak in stake conference. Even though I was a leader of children, I was given by the spirit that I was to speak about marriage- respect & love for one another, putting your spouse ahead of your children.
    Given what I know now I should have told everyone to go home and have more sex!

    I have had my own past to work through. As a young 7-8 year old girl, I was sexually abused by a much older cousin who lived in our home. It was traumatic for me as a young girl. I remember so clearly the worry filled nights I wondered if the incidents had happened before or after my baptism. Thankfully, when I was 12 and this cousin was out of our home, I finally told my parents. They believed me! My dad was our bishop at the time and gave me really loving council and lifted the burden of gilt from my shoulders.
    I was scared to share this part of my life with my husband to be but when I did, I am thankful to report, he has always been wonderful about it. I worried that I would be traumatized by that experience. I am a whole and sexually happy person today. I thank all the fathers in my life – My Heavenly Father, my dad, & husband. I am living proof that we can be healed by all sorts of problems.

    When I think about living in the celestial kingdom with my husband, I have no doubt in my mind that we will continue to be sexual beings. Can’t imagine life without it!

    • twrobertson March 19, 2012 at 12:50 am

      I am glad that you shared with us the important that the couples as parents and husband/wife are sexual being. It is so important in the relationship to keep happiness going forward throughout our lives. 🙂

    • Arogen March 19, 2012 at 1:14 am

      There are several positive statements from the leaders of the church, but they don’t ‘trickle down’ much. When it comes to dealing with the youth I think the mind set is that they have to fight like crazy to keep teens from doing it before marriage, and they assume that after marriage their sex drive will take care of things, or perhaps that talking about how wonderful married sex is will fuel temptation.

      I agree the church does little to help engaged or newly married couples make the most of their intimate life other than to emphasize some very general principles, but I think we have to keep in mind that it isn’t the church’s job to tell us how to live our lives in every area, we have to take responsibility for some things on our own, using our own knowledge and access to personal revelation to fill in the gaps.

      If the church came out with a lot of clarity and detail on the husband wife relationship, it would be a barier and a stumbling block to some members, even drive them from the church. Likewise with investigators. The church is about helping us keep from/ repent of sins and recieve the ordinances of the gospel, and encourages us to pursue a path that should lead people to be able to work out the details of their personal lives through personal revelation. If they started doing this, why not do it about politics or other areas? If the members became dependent on the church to tell them how they should do everything they become blind followers.

      I think moral cleanliness is about a lot more than making the husband/wife team strong. I think this ability to procreate is the most god-like power mankind has been given, and there is a sacredness to joining your body to another’s that makes willfully doing it outside of marriage a form of disrespecting the sacred.

  • lovey March 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Just read Laura’s post what sex means to a man. Wow, so powerful and so true. Sexual love is so, so deep!

    • Rob4Hope March 19, 2012 at 12:00 am

      I’m in trouble. Wife and I had a talk. There is something going on that is so frustrating to me. My wife doesn’t feel safe–and I can do something about that. There are several things that she will not do for me: she will not kiss me passionately, she will not have sexual relations on consecutive days (that is a hard stop), will not on every other day (about 90% hard stop), and will not have spontaneous sex with me. Over the years and having acting out problems,…it has hurt her. We have disfunction in these areas for so long that these things are dead in her. She believes we can address the kissing part. However, the others are dead. Now, here is something that is beyond my control. My wife is a “camel”,…meaning, she tanks up and then I have no control over her needs. For her, the better the sex, the more she tanks up. That tank last for a minimum of 3 days, meaning I can ONLY be with my wife 2 times a week if she is willing at all. If we miss a day, or a week, or whatever, there is no “catchup”. My problem is that the lack of spontaneuity requires a schedule, and the schedule slides all the time because of this and that. I really need to have a period of time where I have sexual relations much more regularly. It is not an option. My wife tells me: “You should feel happy that you are satisfying your wife’s needs”. Yeh right. You know, If I get really good at love making, It just backfires into my face because I fill her tank up really good, and then her accessibility is even that more removed.

      I am trying to clean up my act and be the kind of husband my wife wants. But I have no hope at all of reconciliation. Is divorce a sin? I am so unhappy. I regret my marriage. I wish I had remained a bachelor. I have lost hope. This has been going on for so many years.

      Anyone on this post ever get divorced?

      • Arogen March 19, 2012 at 1:46 am

        I’m not really clear on what you mean by ‘feel safe’. Is it that she is afraid of having her heart hurt if she bonds to you again? Avoiding intimacy might be a self defense against that, keep the bond from forming so you aren’t able to cause as deep a wound. She may be experiencing some emotional (past abuse?) or even physical pain from sex and is trying to avoid that. It might not be that, but whatever it is I think you need to understand as best you can what motives or ideas are driving her actions.

        And I’m not convinced this camel thing really represents how she feels, it sounds more like she is trying to find a way to make you feel better about not getting as much as you would like without telling you her reasons for not wanting more. People don’t each chocolate because they hungry, they eat it because they find it enjoyable and pleasurable. The question is how do you make sex her ‘chocolate’.

        As for divorce, you need to go talk to your Bishop. Each case is unique, but don’t say there is no hope because there is. There are couples who have felt like you feel at one point, but who today have happy marriages with the spouse they almost left. If you really think you have nothing left to lose and it’s over, then there is nothing to lose by going to see the Bishop, together if possible, alone if not.

        • Rob4Hope March 19, 2012 at 12:04 pm

          The “camel” thing really is there Arogen. It has been almost since the beginning. My wife honestly feels like I should be grateful and happy that I can satisfy her sexual needs. However, she does not feel that way about satisfying my sexual needs. It is one sided. She feels justified in these feelings because I have hurt her.

          The part that is so very frustrating for me is that if she is unable to be sexual with me — which is very often — she will throw me a bone as it were. “Why don’t I just give you a hand job honey. That will take care of your needs.” I feel insulted and unwanted. She doesn’t understand why I would feel that way. To her, she is doing all she can, and that should be enough to take care of my needs regardless of how I feel.

          I think there are biological, spiritual and deep emotional barriers in her that will not be overcome in this life. As I fret and stew over my feelings, rather than accepting what is plain to me, it causes all kinds of problems in my own life.

          Folks, I had the most hellish night last night trying to sleep. My inner peace was so disturbed that I tossed and turned through most of the night. The only place I felt peace finally was with the following:

          1. This life is the “2nd Act” (See Boyd K. Packers talk on the three act play of mortality), and this life is meant to have the problems and concerns.

          2. IN the next Act (Spirit World and Resurrection) my needs will be met and I will have a fullness of joy, including sexual fulfillment. I will know what it is like to have “morning sex”, and then have a choice of whether I want to have a little more fun that evening or perhaps into the next day. I will actually have a CHOICE.

          3. If I can get myself cleaned up, back to the temple, and honestly striving with all my heart to love and obey God–because I want to–then HE will carry me through this and someday wipe away my tears.

          These ideas allowed me to sleep. I am so very grateful for them.

  • Rob4Hope March 18, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Everyone, thanks for the posts and help. I am getting some feedback from others that is proving helpful. I have asked 3 women some questions about marriage and sexuality–3 women outside of this BLOG and who are so very different in beliefs and spiritual/emotional makeup that you wouldn’t know they were or even could be from the same gene-pool of life (I don’t mean that in a Bad Way. They are that incredibly different!!!!) Anyway, what they are saying is so consistent that I have come away a bit shocked.

    A woman wants to feel loved and appreciated FIRST. Period. Sex is an expression of love that must proceed from that place. IN each case, when a woman is ONLY touched because her partner wants sex, but not touched or interacted with any other way, than that shuts her down really fast. Add sexual acting out into that mix and that can create a knee-jerk reaction in a woman that makes sex seem like touching a hot stove. It is something that just gets smashed and removed from life in general.

    Lovey and any other women out there who read this BLOG,…please tell me what your husbands do to help you access your sexual feelings and to have a desire to express that kind of love to your husband? I very much want to continue learning about this.

    • Arogen March 19, 2012 at 2:22 am

      I agree with what those women are saying, a woman needs to feel emotionally secure in the relationship before she can risk opening up her heart (and her body) to her partner. She needs to feel there is a bond of love and trust and that making love with him isn’t something she is going to regret later. Asking a woman for sex is asking her to make herself as completely vulnerable (physically, emotionally etc.) as she can be. Kind of scary.

      How to make a woman feel secure and loved like that varies from woman to woman. You might want to check out Gary Chapmans’s website/book on the 5 love languages:

      If you want to know what her language is, ask yourself what kinds of things she does for you. How she tries to express love to you is likely how she would like it expressed to her (and clearly, physical affection is not her language). Or you can try speaking them all and watching what kind of reaction you get from each.

    • Laura M. Brotherson March 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm

      Hey Rob4Hope,

      I haven’t been able to fully read all your posts yet, but I just wanted to be sure that you had read or could start reading my book “And They Were Not Ashamed.” It’s very difficult for men to really understand how women are wired sexually, and many women don’t fully understand themselves, so a good place to start is to be sure you have the context that’s needed for a good intimate relationship. (Be sure to read chaps 3, 4 & 5 especially!)

      [from Rob4Hope March 19, 2012 at 12:00 am]
      “Over the years and having acting out problems,…it has hurt her. We have disfunction in these areas for so long…”

      Regarding the above comment, my gut feeling–having worked with a lot of couples with sexual addiction in the mix–is that you have a very hurt wife that is still reeling from the betrayal and broken trust that generally occurs with any kind of emotional or sexual infidelity. My guess is that your wife has come to have negative associations with sex that you will have to work very hard to undo.

      Your humility, repentance and sincere desire to redress the wrongs you have done will go a long way toward helping her to heal her heart (and yours too!)

      I’d suggest you ask your wife to write you a letter to you explaining where she is with you through everything…including sexually. (It’s very different than a conversation, where she may not feel emotionally safe enough to tell you the truth–except maybe in writing!) These will be the keys for you or the guide for your actions.

      You seem to be getting what this serious marital challenge may all really be about for you…

      [from Rob4Hope March 19, 2012 at 12:04 pm ]
      “3. If I can get myself cleaned up, back to the temple, and honestly striving with all my heart to love and obey God–because I want to–then HE will carry me through this and someday wipe away my tears.”

      …I do think that your focus needs to be about (1) overcoming your natural man, developing mastery over yourself and your sexual desires; and (2) doing what you can to repair the damage done to your wife’s heart.

      You probably no longer have the luxury of getting your sexual needs met while your wife is trying to recover from the heartache she is likely experiencing. Don’t deceive or distract yourself by thinking that your “great lovemaking” makes her want you less. I can pretty much guarantee that it’s her emotional pain that is more likely to be causing her reticence toward sexually connecting with you.

      You’re certainly in a very tough situation… I know you still have needs. Thus the difficulty I have to trying to help husbands see that it can’t be about them for a while now…it’s got to be about what your wife needs!!

      Arogen and others have also given you some great counsel that I hope will also be helpful to you.

      Hope something here will be useful to you. It may be something best addressed in a phone consultation at some point though! Hang in there!

    • lovey March 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm

      Yes! So TRUE! Many of the reasons sex is so good with my hon is that he honors me, body & soul.
      Honors my body- cherishes my personal beauty & never looks elsewhere for something better.
      Honors my dreams- he takes me places even when they are not on his list & is fully present when he does
      Honors my soul- respects who I am becoming
      Critical? Never! Horny? Often enough I feel desirable!

  • Rob4Hope March 20, 2012 at 9:53 am

    All, thanks for the advice and help. Yes Laura, my wife is hurt. I wish there was a way I could undo what I have done. But please remember, I identify more with Geezer than anyone else. My wife gives me such mixed messages that it is frustrating and hurtful. In my situation, for the past decade at least, the following rules apply:

    1. No morning sex ever. This is a no no, period.
    2. No spontaneous sex. I can count the times we have had that on one hand for the past 10 years.
    3. Any request for sex must be given with 24 hour notice.
    4. Sex can not happen any closer than 3 days apart, if it is to happen at all.
    5. If I want sex and my wife doesn’t, she will provide a “hand job”, but I am not to touch her, and I must show gratitude that she is taking care of my needs–or else I am ungrateful and putting pressure on her.

    #5 is completely insulting to me. I can masturbate myself in complete isolation just fine thank you.

    This has been going on for at least 10 years. Whether it is right or wrong, sometimes I have taken care of things myself. I feel like I have been locked into a closet and the air vent is controlled. I am given enough to barely stay alive, but at what cost?

    I oscillate between anger and depression–the two final stages in grieving before acceptance and hope. What do I grieve? the death of intimacy in my marriage. I identify with Geezer….I’m just 20 years to young for things to kick in and my feelings to naturally diminish and die.

    • lovey March 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      Don’t lose hope and keep reading and understanding what steps you need to take to get you & your wife on track. It is important that you believe in your heart that change is possible- one day in the not so distant future, you will have the intimate, satisfying life you so desire. Take Laura up on a phone conference. She has tools that will help you both. Also keep reading. Passionate Marriage or Desire by David Schnarch, Seven principles for making marriage work and one for your wife is The proper care and feeding of husbands.
      Get yourself worthy to go back to the temple by all means. Life here is meant to be joyful and it can be. Now, today.

  • nephthys March 21, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I have a question for all you sex-savvy peeps: is it possible for a woman’s body to simply be incapable of orgasm?

    I ask because after more than six years of marriage I have yet to experience one and I’m wondering what the heck is wrong with me. And despite my reassurances, my husband often wonders the same thing about himself.

    A little background: I am a perfectly healthy woman in her late twenties with no history of sexual abuse and taking no medications. I don’t experience any pain with intercourse. On the contrary, I love having sex with my husband! Our marriage is awesome, exemplary even. Our libidos seem evenly matched; I initiate as often as he does and we enjoy making love at least three times a week, which seems pretty good considering we have two very high-needs kiddos. In a perfect world we would make love every day, but life gets in the way sometimes.

    We’ve studied Laura’s “8 Ts of the Female Sexual Response” hoping to find some answers, but none of it was a revelation to me. Our lovemaking is lacking in none of those things, including clitoral stimulation. My husband is a very attentive and uninhibited lover. I feel safe and comfortable with him. We work together to figure out what feels good to me at the moment. I truly enjoy clitoral stimulation, it feels great, but it has never resulted in orgasm, even after more than an hour. Indeed, before our first child was born it was not unusual to spend an entire day making love, just enjoying each others bodies, which was fantastic but not orgasmic for me, unfortunately.

    So what the heck? At one point I just decided that it was a physical impossibility for me and chose to focus on the amazing pleasure and intimacy I do get from making love with my husband. However, every once in a while I look around and wonder what’s wrong with me. And who are all these wives that can orgasm and yet choose to go weeks and months without sex? What is UP with that?

    So am I just in super deep denial about Good Girl Syndrome? I don’t want to rule anything out because I would like to get to the bottom of this. I’m willing to do the hard work and the soul-searching if it will lead to greater intimacy with my husband, but I really don’t think Good Girl Syndrome is my problem.

    • lovey March 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      Of course there are many women like you & me. You could be writing my story as well. I’m a happy, healthy woman having sex often and yet had not a clue what an orgasm even was for many years. That still did not stop my husband and I from experiencing something really worthwhile & fulfilling. That said, having a female orgasm is worth pursuing and I’m pretty sure you’re not broke. Early on I think I mostly focused on my husband’s pleasure, now I am more aware of what is happening in my own body too.
      Have you ever found the picture in a magic eye book? It takes a certain amount of mental focus almost a shift of focus to really see the picture behind the colors. Having a mental mind shift also helps to bring me to the point where I can focus on my body enough to have an orgasm. Besides Laura’s book, “Women’s Anatomy of Arousal” was a help for me. Using a vibrator on my clitoris brings strong orgasm waves where the walls of my vagina pulse in a rhythmic way. (Which I only do with my husband present and works best when he already has me fully aroused. I’ve noticed that the hot tub helps my body respond much quicker too.
      Have fun practicing but remember to enjoy each sexual experience for the gift it is whether you orgasm or not. If I were to base the happiness of our sex life by my orgasms it would be a dismal story. Sex, at our house is worth having with or without the big O.

    • Laura M. Brotherson April 25, 2012 at 11:45 pm

      Dear Nephthys,

      I have been thinking about you frequently since you first posted sometime back, and have been wanting very much to respond! Your situation is similar to the many couples I work with in counseling.

      I’m sorry things haven’t been easier for you–especially with all the good things you already have going for you, but I guess I’m the eternal optimist and believe that most women can reach orgasm. At least, my approach is to believe that those that haven’t just haven’t found the right ingredients or the secret ingredient yet! : )

      I’m also sorry if my book and such have been somewhat discouraging to you at times. I can imagine how that could happen while you are trying so hard to make things work.

      I’ve been compiling this list for some time (and will likely continue to add to it), but I’ve finally been able to sit down and put it together for you and others to hopefully use.

      I’m linking you below to a list of many of the extra ingredients women have needed to reach orgasm. I hope you will find something here helpful, but will especially keep looking until you find the missing key for you and your husband!

      This is what I have typed up thus far of the helpful hints that maybe you could try! I wish you well and hope you will keep us updated if you’d like!

      Blog Post — “Orgasm’s Secret Ingredients”

  • Rob4Hope March 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Lovey, have you ever watched some of the Star Trek movies? In one, Piccard says basically: “This situation could not have been more cunningly devised, even by a Romulon.” In my case, it couldn’t have been more cunningly devised had it not been Satan himself (which it probably was).

    One of the reasons I want to go back to the temple is to pray about divorcing my wife.

    How messed up is that! The temple represents eternal families,…and I want to go pray about a divorce? I don’t know if I could even qualify for a recommend with that going on in my mind.

    I envy your relationship Lovey. There is no excuse for immorality–I accept that–but please understand how helpful it would be for me if my wife were there for me when I needed her–not when she decided it was time. In such a situation, it would be an absolute pleasure to give her my full attention, time and affection. I do not know what that is like. I can say I have been married for 23 years, and I don’t know what that is like.

    I need help to understand how to weather the “sexual desert”. I do not have hope that things will get better. I believe our pattern might be fixed. I am affraid to have hope folks. It will just be one more time when I try and get my dreams smashed in my face.

    • Arogen March 22, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      There was a talk about divorce in Gen Conf not that long ago. There are legitimate reasons for it. Plus, it is never wrong to pray and ask God about anything if it is an honest question. If you are willing to take His counsel then ask away, even if that means praying about divorce in the temple. You really don’t have to wait till then to pray and ask however.

      • Rob4Hope March 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm

        Can someone respond to the issue of frequency? There are real differences in what I would hope for and what my wife wants. Also, I have several friends which have given up on this. The argment is basically the same in each case: “I’m not interested. You focus way too much on that.”

        I’ve read the book and what Laura says. However, this can be a real sticking point for a lot of people, myself included.

        For example, I know a man and wife which are generally a one time a week couple. The husband is not happy about this,…but he doesn’t get to choose. If you read “The Sex Starved Marriage” by Weiner-Davis, you will note that the person with the lower sex drive is the one who establishes the frequency.

        So, what is this man to do? He has done all he can. He has found peace in other areas,…but is unable to bond with his wife at a level he would want. She is unwilling to make changes.

        He does not believe this is worthy of divorce. He holds onto the faith that someday, perhaps in the next life, there will be reconciliation. However, how tender and careful can someone be? This man has done all he can.

        • Arogen March 23, 2012 at 5:21 pm

          Not sure how much help I’ll be here, but not that long ago we were twice a week, 3 out of 4 weeks. I would have loved every day and happily gone for every second day. My wife wasn’t just uninterested, she found it physically and emotionally taxing to have sex and needed a time between encounters to ‘recover’ and ‘brace herself’ for the next one.

          Turns out she found it very uncomfortable but didn’t say anything. She is a redhead, very sensitive skin, and just chalked it up to one of those things a redhead has to live with. Because of that, she always rushed us through sex and she never got the pleasure from it she should have so there wasn’t much upside in it for her other than it’s effect on me, and that just fueled her resentment that I enjoyed it so much and she couldn’t. Laura’s book helped in a number of ways. It made her realize that what I was saying about my need for sex was legitimate, not manipulation and not selfishly exaggeration things to try and get what I wanted. It got her to start using lube, so sex was a lot more comfortable, and it got her give me the time to get her stimulated and make it really good for her (although she still hasn’t had an O yet, but has come really really close). Now she is very willing and frequency is not an issue at all.

          Like I said before, I don’t buy this camel thing your wife is saying. When you like something, when you enjoy it, you don’t avoid it and don’t wait until you have some driving need for it to enjoy it again. I think she is NOT enjoying it, perhaps even faking it (dw did that too at times), and telling you that to try and avoid it, but trying to avoid hurting your feelings further by saying she doesn’t enjoy it.

        • lovey March 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm

          Frequency can change as life stages do. Do you have children in your home that still require a lot of energy and attention? I think many women welcome and cherish sex more frequently once children have grown a little older.

    • lovey March 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      You paint a very bleak picture of how you feel about your marriage. Can you recall happy memories that you and your wife share? If you have any desire to save your marriage, you will need to dig deep to resurrect the positive and focus on that. Hearts and feelings can be healed. This may take great sacrifice on your part.

      Recently, a close family member chose divorce when she felt emotionally bankrupt after many years of marriage. Her choice comes with great sacrifice as well. She has moved on and remarried, but has left many scars behind on family members. I hope she will find the happiness she seeks.

      I hope you will find help and answers to your prayers. The gospel of Jesus Christ will bless you as you seek His help and guidance.

      • Rob4Hope March 25, 2012 at 8:01 pm

        Lovey and Arogen, I appreciate the sensitivity and kindness you display to me. You both have been supportive, as well as Laura. Though I don’t know either of you personally (and probably never will), I think we could be friends.

        I have some news, and hopefully some hope. First of all, I have been married 23 years. My wife and I talked about our sexual stewardship, and she feels that we have not had a healthy sexual period of time for those 23 years, with the exception of the first few months. After we conceived our first child 3 months into marriage, my wife got sick. After delivery, she went into PPD for close to 6 years. During that period of time, from conception to delivery, close to 7 years, there were significant problems. I felt cut off, abandoned, and she felt trapped and alone. I didn’t know how to help, and she was so afraid that she wore a mask–a VERY GOOD mask–because she was afraid they were going to take her baby away from her. Needless to say, the intimacy of our marriage went to pieces. During this period of time, I was given alternatives (temptations) to deal with “My sexuality problems.” I bit that hook, and it caused all kinds of problems. It put us on a cycle of communication faults, blaming, and in my case, sin. Those patterns are so easily reinforced when you are really hurting and you don’t or can’t find answers.

        Anyway, we are separated right now–you all know that. I am in the process or personal evaluation, and also trying to change and work through some of my “angst” and frustrations. My wife WANTS to work things out. She has been clear about that, and that is a wonderful thing. Part of that is she believes we both need to get our needs met and feel happy in the marriage, and that because sex has been disfunctional for our whole marriage (with about 3 months of exceptions–and this is HER assessment which I agree with), then we really do have to start over.

        My job is multi-fold. 1) Get my temple recommend back. 2) Deal with the angst and frustrations I have–which include forgiving and moving on inside 3) working to build safety safety safety. My wife’s job is to forgive me, reach inside of herself and come to grips with the “angst” she has, and to commit herself to work for a win-win in marriage. This includes allowing accessibility for sexual expression. I asked her about this today, and the question was: “If you are accessible to my invitations to be sexual, that is a wonderful thing. But over time, if I am always and only the one who makes the invitation, I will begin to feel unwanted again.” She understood that, and knows that she needs to make invitations sometimes as well. She needs to “desire” me sometimes. That is good it was talked about.

        Anyway, the truth is I will not know if this can be fixed unless I do my part. I am trying to buckle down and get on with it. Wish me luck. I will keep posting.

        • Laura M. Brotherson March 25, 2012 at 8:58 pm

          Dear Rob4Hope,

          I am soooo thrilled for you and the hope that is present for you! I’ve been meaning to respond to some more of the recent posts, and I don’t usually check it on Sundays, but I wanted to at least give you a pat on the back for your endurance and the hope that you’ve expressed! : )

          Your wife sounds willing to look at her side of the situation especially if you will willingly do the same. It won’t be easy. Sexual issues are by nature pretty complex with many different layers (thus the difficulty with orgasm for many women as well!)

          It sounds like you are pretty aware of the many factors on both sides that got you to where you are today. I encourage you to continue to focus on your side of things (those things you actually have some power to change) and let God do the rest!

          I and likely many others here are very hopeful for you! Thank you for sharing your difficulties in helping others to not feel so alone. And thanks to everyone who has shared their thoughts with you as well!

          I recently sent an email to some of my clients about adversity and conquering our challenges that I may send to you as well if you would like.

          Take care! Hang in there and keep a close connection to Heavenly Father as your personal confidante through this all!

          • Rob4Hope March 25, 2012 at 10:47 pm

            Thanks for the reply. I want to say something…as best as I can in good taste. Every now and then, I just have to scratch my head about this whole thing. When those times happen, the first and most potent thing that comes to my mind is: “You know,….sometimes sex is a royal pain in the ARSE!”

            If you need to pull this post, I will understand.

            Anyway, it is time to press forward. I did receive your reference to the talk. I will give it a read and see if I can “liken it unto myself”.

  • nephthys March 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks, lovey, for your kind and thoughtful response. It’s good to know I’m not alone. I admit, a vibrator is one of the few things we haven’t tried. I’m not against vibrators by any means— I know many couples find them very helpful. But if we do end up going that route and it works for me, I will probably need to grieve the fact that it was a machine that brought me to climax for the first time and not just my husband. Does that sound silly? I’m a hopeless romantic, I guess.

    I recently bought Laura’s book and I’m working my way through it. I know it’s helped a lot of women and improved the sexual intimacy of many couples, but I fear it’s having the opposite effect on me. I’ve been reading up about primary anorgasmia (meaning women who have never experienced an orgasm). Apparently there is a 7-10% community prevalence. Even though prognosis is good with the standard treatment, that still leaves about 1% of the female population that will not orgasm under any circumstances. 1% seems like such a small percentage as to be negligible but it really isn’t. If statistics determined that 1% of all air travelers died in a fiery inferno, you would drive instead.

    Anyway, this is all to say that Laura’s consistent reference to orgasm as the divine right of married women and something that will inevitably occur with “time, effort and . . . reprogramming” seems a bit unwarranted and even harmful to women who are physiologically incapable of orgasm. I have been a good steward of my sexuality. My husband and I have nurtured our sexual intimacy and treasured every moment. Even through difficult times, those long postpartum months, we’ve made it a priority because we’re head over heels in love with each other. We’ve done everything right and yet my orgasm eludes us. To be told that our sexual relationship does not measure up to the standard and that we are not truly one because my body will not cooperate is incredibly hurtful.

    • Arogen March 23, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      How about your husband use the vibe on you?

      • nephthys March 23, 2012 at 7:33 pm

        Yes, that’s how I was thinking we would use it. But resorting to mechanical stimulation is just not what I pictured when I imagined married life. Sigh.

        Sometimes it’s maddening how difficult this is for me. Which doesn’t make me feel very sexy. Time for some positive flooding!

        • Arogen March 24, 2012 at 9:44 pm

          My wife is in a similar boat. She can get a lot of enjoyment out of it (now that we’ve cleared up some things that were in the way of that) but hasn’t every had an orgasm (yet). She might get there, she had mentally written off the idea of every having one up until a year ago. Since then we do get close and every couple of months it seems we get a bit closer, but so far it is still a goal.

          She isn’t at all open to my using a vibe, or to oral. I’m not comfortable with the idea of her using a vibe on herself but I’m fine with me using one on her. I feel like I owe her big time for all the climaxes she has given me and I dearly want to pay her back any way I can.

          • lovey March 25, 2012 at 7:58 am

            Love your attitude. You are bound to be blessed by it! I suspect some of the reason it is hard for some of us women to orgasm is the focus on ourselves it requires.

    • lovey March 25, 2012 at 7:46 am

      I agree, it is sad and frustrating that a husband’s touch is sometimes not enough to bring on the classic orgasm experience. I think perhaps many women like us simply have a higher set point for orgasm than others. I am working to lower my set point and look forward to the day when my hon sends me into orgasm heaven.

      I really resonate with your last paragraph that you have been a wise steward of your sexuality. That’s beautiful! My husband and I have been married many years and we are still madly in love as well. Really, I would prefer to have my own problem with orgasms than sexual desire problems many couples face. I strongly believe that sex has strong powers that greatly blesses marriages. It seems many couples haven’t tapped into their potential.

      Try not to be discouraged. We both have many years of sexual adventures ahead. Much of the wonder with sex is the fact that it keeps changing and evolving into even greater heights. One appreciates the view from the top of the mountain because of the climb.

      • nephthys March 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm

        Thanks, lovey. Your posts have been so encouraging to me. You always have the right thing to say.

  • Rob4Hope March 24, 2012 at 3:21 am

    Arogen, what does “dw” mean?

    • Arogen March 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      Dear Wife. Sorry about importing acronyms from other boards.

  • twrobertson March 24, 2012 at 9:16 pm


    My wife uses the vibrator on her while I am with her or help her. It is important that each other care about each other to make it work and happy.

    Vibrator is the most helpful to use for her.

    Sexually is important in marriage always to make it happy, comfort and always with love.

  • twrobertson March 24, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I have something consider to discuss with you all.

    My belief is that masturbation is consider without spouse nearby.

    When you are as husband and wife do to each other or do it your own in front of each other is considering called mutual masturbation because it is of helping with each other to have connection and loving way to feel good about the marriage intimacy the right way.

    • Rob4Hope March 27, 2012 at 6:45 am

      Two thoughts: First, some couples have to do what they can to maintain sexuality in their marriage if they are going to have it at all. Dana and Christopher Reeve were one such couple. When asked if she missed sex because her huband was paralyzed, Dana responded: “Oh, we have sex.” The question is how? They worked it out as a couple. They were presented with a difficult position in life, and to keep the “home fires burning”, they had to figure it out. So, I believe (and it is my opinion), that in a healthy marriage, there is some latitutde with what is OK. Dana and Christopher had a healthy marriage. They also had some challenges. They used that latitute to “work it out”.

      Second thought… careful. I know from experience that there are traps associated with “Masturbating” in front of each other. Sure, it can be a lot of fun, but it can also: 1) become and excuse to NOT have intercourse; 2) become and excuse to have sex all the time, perhaps multiple times a day, and thus actually be a way to mask sexual addiction; 3) become more regular and “normal” than intercourse because it is easier for men–ie, no forplay and wooing of the wife; 4) can become (this is an important one), a way for a wife to get her husband to shut up–so to speak–because he can “get it over with and we can get back to normal life”. These are just a few off the top of my head,….but I would advise care. You have to be careful about your motives

      This backfires in a lot of marriages. I know a LOT of people, and I speak from some personal experience You don’t want to have the kind of heartache that can come from some of these.

      If you read Laura’s book, she talks about wives giving her husbands “quickies”. The principle there is that this can be an expression of love and care. But, it is NOT the main meal. In the case of what you propose above, perhaps keeping the idea of a “quickie” in mind is applicable.

      Only my take on this. I am TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY unqualified to give any advice other than complete opinion. I know there are a lot of people who feel that this is masturbation and sinful, period. However, with the case of Dana and Christopher, I would ask the question: because of their circumstances, does that completely alieviate their responsibility for sexual stewardship? I don’t think it does. I believe there IS latitude in marriage.

  • twrobertson March 24, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    I am grateful to have Laura to be part of us in this forum/board to support with understanding.

  • Rob4Hope March 28, 2012 at 10:32 am

    This is a post for everyone. A little background first to let everyone know where I’m at….and then a question.

    I’m separated and will probably be until June at the earliest. I’ve been calling in favors all over the place, and also beefing up my own personal support network and friendship outlets. I am isolated where I’m at–flat mate has to travel often and is gone for weeks at a time–so that isolation is NOT a good thing. It is REALLY easy in such a situation to slip back into bad habits with internet and other areas,…especially when I feel unwanted, as I do. I’m trying to protect against that. Anyway, while online I have been trying to learn about addiction, answers to questions about marriage, and also something specifically related to “sexual satiation”–ie, what does that REALLY mean, is it possible, and how is it possible when desire levels are so different between two people that freqency issues become a war zone.

    Part of this search has led me to two web sites: and another one that is quite interesting: Those sites are somewhat linked, and the information is hard hitting.

    There is discussion on both sites about balancing sexual expression with moderation, and extremes are presented. A basic tenent presented is that when people use (ie porn,masturbation and orgasm), they damage their brains ability to feel pleasure during normal sexual situations with their spouse. This is important because they liken porn use with a male drive to seek “peek experiences”. And, peek experiences, not just porn use, blast the brain with dopamine and change the threshold levels of satiation. So, when I began to read this, and threshold levels changing, my interest was aroused.

    On the site, there is talk about a balance between healthy brain function and healthy sexual connection with ones spouse. Because men seek “peek expeiences”, we go after the crazy stuff…ie, cliff diving, extreme sports, and yes,…super incredible sex (if possible). However, when such “peek experienes” are acquired, they blast our brains with dopamine like I said. Our brains down regulate the dopamine receptors, which then requires us to seek higher levels of peek excitement to produce the same effect. The end result is addiction. That was pretty clearly pointed out in the site, and carefully used in the other site for background as well.

    Now, on the reuniting site, they talk about sexual expression through something called “Karezza”. The basic goal, at least from what I can understand, is to limit peek experience in sexual expression with spouse so as to preserve healthy brain function while also preserving connection. It appears to be a way to apply significant moderation to sexual expression. For example, men who are committed can enjoy intercourse, but are to limit ejaculation to 2 times a year or something like that.

    They are thus presenting a continum: on one side you have people who have full blown addiction that just blast their brains with dopamine and cause damaging changes; on the other side you have extreme moderation with people who engage sexually, but limit their climatic experiences to what could be considered rare and sparse, but the goal is to maximize brain health and emotional connection–while still having a sense of sexual expression.

    That leads me to my question(s): what does sexual satiation mean with regards to emotional and physical components, and how does that fit with regards to finding a balance between peek experience and moderation that can hit extremes on both sides? Also, how does frequency and quality fit into this mix?

    I don’t have a clue what satiation means with regards to sex folks. Like I said in a previous post, my wife and I agree that we have had sexual failure in our marriage for 23 years.

    I would be interested in some direct answers and examples if they are possible. I don’t have a clue where I am in this mix, buy my mind is open and seeking a foundation that I can pray about and actually formulate a decent question. I’m doing my homework to get there.

    • Arogen March 30, 2012 at 9:40 pm

      I don’t think satiation is any different with sex than it is with food. There are times you hunger and need it, there are times where you can eat if you choose to, but you are not driven by a hunger, and times where you have had enough that you need to stop and digest for a while.

      There is enjoyment in a feast after a fast now and then but not in constant hunger that never gets fully satisfied.

  • Rob4Hope March 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    I messed up on the web sites. They are these:

    • Rob4Hope March 29, 2012 at 8:51 am

      Yep, its me again. Another post.

      Today, this morning, I felt the same old feeling I have grown so accustomed to: a deap and unmet longing inside to be wanted.

      I had a waking dream, the kind that happens right as you open your eyes in the morning but arn’t quite awake yet. I have been reading Victor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”. It is about his survival in a Nazi concentration camp, and is for me a VERY encouraging book. But in my mind, just before waking up, I saw myself as one of the emaciated prisoners. My wife came and served me a meal,..a nice and delicious meal. I ate,.. It was wonderful. The next day I was hungry again and needed to be fed. My wife told me,…”It’s too soon”. There was no meal and I went away hungry and empty.

      In this dream, I was missing over 100lbs on my bones. I was a walking skeleton. As I protested that I really needed to be fed, my wife’s response was….”The food I gave you yesterday should be enough for any normal person.”

      I awoke and felt a hole inside of my chest and stomach. It feels like something inside of me has died. It is always there. I drug it, I distract it, I ignore it, I wish it away, I am trying to pray it away,…but it is always there. As I felt it again, I wished with all of my heart that I could please,…just stay in bed today,….wrap the coverers around me tightly and somehow, any way possible,…please, just drift into dreamless sleep. Just let the world close off and cease to exist.

      • lovey March 29, 2012 at 5:14 pm

        I’ve read and loved that book too. His integrity and strong character pull him through. I’ve had the same feeling about you. I feel an ernest desire from you to grow from all that you have been through. How do you think your wife would respond if she read this post and felt your longing for her love and care? It seems you had a breakthrough in a recent conversation with her. My husband and I checked out the porn on your brain link you suggested. Really frightening stuff. So glad you are making the commitment to stay away from what is not real. The real deal is worth all the work, forgiveness, using Christs atonement you must to get to a peaceful place. One with positive, delicious sexual expression with your wife.

        • Rob4Hope March 31, 2012 at 9:35 pm

          Everyone, you have been kind to me. I can only say thank you. With all my heart I hope you will all protect your marriages. I don’t want anyone to go through what I am. I’m broken inside. The pain doesn’t end, just goes on for ever.. I’m going away for awhile. Don’t know if I will be posting again. I hope everyone will find hope and happiness.

          • Rob4Hope April 8, 2012 at 8:49 pm

            Everyone, something in Laura’s book sticks in my mind. It relates to her statements about God’s interest in the success of his children’s intimate relationships. Laura appears to believe that God is personally interested in the success she and her husband have sexually. That, I would believe, is a very comforting thought.

            I wish I knew some of you people out there personally and I could ask for “a testimony” about this topic from you personally. The reason I would want it personal? — its because I would be able to look into your eyes, and from that, I would know if you were wearing a mask, if your feelings didn’t back what you were saying, or if you were sincere. I’ve learned a great deal from people, as much from those who were liars and crooks as from those who were honest. One such lesson–call it good or bad if you will–is a sense of tremendous skepticism. When I am able to see someones face when they speak, it means more to me. Hence, I really wish I knew some of you.

            Example of sincerity behind a statement: Jeffrey Holland, paraphrased: “The thing that brings delight to God is the thrill He receives when He is merciful.” That statement, while looking at Holland’s face carefully, communicated that he believed that statement himself with all his heart. It shook the ground where I was standing when he said it….

            Anyway, I need to bolster my own personal belief that God cares about my success in this most difficult area. I am praying about it, working toward it,…and it would help if I could at least hear some stories from you folks who have already achieved this, even if only through written form.

            Do you have a “testimony” that God wants you and your spouse to be sexually successful and happy together? If you do, please tell me how that came to you? How did you gain this knowledge in your life and has it blessed you? If so, how?

            Please don’t everyone drop from this forum….not yet. I’m not done yet. I still have work to do and I need help.

      • Arogen March 30, 2012 at 9:43 pm

        Love that book, the key as you recall is for your trial to have a higher purpose. In your case, perhaps that purpose is to lead your wife to a healthier mindset about intimacy, to be the one that loves her so much you can hang in there through the hardships and bring her gently to the point where her issues are healed.

  • Chris March 30, 2012 at 10:19 am

    I am grateful to have Laura to be part of us in this forum/board to support with understanding.

    Same here. It is always nice to have Laura’s expertise point of view on the matter.

  • twrobertson April 10, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    I am curious to know what your ‘priority’ in your life beside God/Church (which I know mostly on top). I am trying to remember somewhere that marriage with Spouse in one of top priority. Then kids, etc. Anyone can share with me?

  • twrobertson April 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I love sex very much in my life and marriage.

    When I was young I was never taught about women/girls’ body of information like period (even I lived with my mom and sister) before married to my 1st wife. I am in second and current marriage now. I love my wife very much even she have health problems (like depression, thyroid, asthma, diabetes and arthritis) but she love me and willing to make love when we will do. We shower together every other day (to save water and with our love together). She is very supportive what I went through in my previous marriage. And vice versa to my wife in her previous marriage as well (her ex went through a lot of mistakes outside of marriage).

    When I read mostly all of this forum and make me an agreement that marriage life is important to have equal pleasure, sex/love making, physical touch, etc are great tools to use. 🙂

  • Arogen April 12, 2012 at 6:55 am

    I am curious to know what your ‘priority’ in your life beside God/Church (which I know mostly on top). I am trying to remember somewhere that marriage with Spouse in one of top priority. Then kids, etc. Anyone can share with me?

    1. God
    2. wife
    3. kids
    4. country
    5. me

  • Rob4Hope April 13, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Arogen, I don’t like the list you have. Its a personal dislike,…in my case, because your children are ahead of you so far, your needs (and wants) are pushed down the list quite far. With this list, you could end up never getting your needs met. As I recall, the talk by Elder Ballard was that EVERYTHING we do is associated with blessing and fostering family life. So, here is a different take on your list:

    Jesus said the second great commandment was “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” I have pondered this for years–literally — because the wording is not common language. The word “as” changes everything. It can be synonymous with several other words, such as “like”, “along”, “with”…etc. All of these add a slightly different flavor to the phrase, but I believe they are all correct.

    In my understanding, the responsibility of putting God on the top of this list is accurate. However, I believe wife, self, and children are ALL on #2 or close to it. You are to love ALL at the same level,..not independently, but in tandem as part of a unified whole, particularly your wife,…and she is to love herself by loving you; you are to love yourself by loving her, etc.

    This whole concept has come to me over time as I have tried to understand some material presented by Susan Johnson in her book about Emotional Focused Therapy, and also in some of my own therapy sessions with those who work with that concept. You are an individual, alive and functional–feelings, emotions, needs, wants, etc. Your wife is the same. Physically you are separate. However, your union in marriage creates a third entity, something that is ALSO alive and functional, with feelings and all the rest.

    Now my understanding from conference is that your relationship with God is paramount–you are to love Him with heart, soul, mind and might. But, you are to love your wife with all your heart,…and you twain shall be one flesh. Your marriage becomes a unit of priority, and it fits with the second commandment. Your emphasis is ON your marriage, and the way to build yourself is for you to build that: it will please your wife, enlighten her life and love greater than she could even possibly accomplish herself. Likewise, as she builds her marriage, it builds you in ways, as well as her,…etc,..etc.

    So, In my opinion, your list is wrong. It is
    1. God.
    2. Marriage
    3. Children
    4. all the other stuff….including personal stuff that isn’t necessarily bad or good,…just stuff.

    Remember, God said that if you are not one, “you are not mine.” So, yep,…you are far down the list,…but that is OK,…because you are no longer just you. In God’s eyes, you and your wife are the new unit of measurement.

    In this new list, your needs get met, and so do your wife’s. Why? because you and she are no longer individuals. You are FIRST and FOREMOST husband and wife,…and only then, afterward, are you individuals.

    I also would like comments.

    —PS. Please can I get someone to respond to my question about “testimony” above. I really need help in this area. I’m hurting and need my faith strengthened any way possible. I struggle with believing God cares about my personal needs with physical intimacy. My wife and I,..unfortunately…have not been unified on this list. Please forgive me folks for hypocrisy. I speak above from an ideal I hope to some day actually have a chance to live.

    • Arogen April 13, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      You aren’t taking it quite as intended. I’m not saying that anything the kids want comes before anything I want or need, I’m saying that I’m not going to meet their needs at the expense of God’s or my wife’s needs. As for my needs, I invited those kids down here and have an obligation to them, so I feel it is right to make their needs a priority, but sometimes what they really need is a Dad who has his needs met so I don’t feel bad about inconveniencing them to maintain a healthy balance in life. Also, I would hope my wife puts my needs ahead of the kids in her list.

      • Rob4Hope April 14, 2012 at 9:57 pm

        Understood. It is difficult to know exactly what things mean sometimes. Anyway, priorities often flip around a bit don’t they.

  • Arogen April 13, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Anyway, I need to bolster my own personal belief that God cares about my success in this most difficult area. I am praying about it, working toward it,…and it would help if I could at least hear some stories from you folks who have already achieved this, even if only through written form.
    Do you have a “testimony” that God wants you and your spouse to be sexually successful and happy together? If you do, please tell me how that came to you? How did you gain this knowledge in your life and has it blessed you? If so, how?
    Please don’t everyone drop from this forum….not yet. I’m not done yet. I still have work to do and I need help.

    It isn’t directly about sex, but the whole story of how I met my future wife certainly showed me in NO uncertain terms that God cares about my personal happiness and relationships. Satan tried to destroy me to keep me from meeting her, God rescued me from that and freed me from a burden of self-doubt and insecurity that I carried for years so I would be ready to be in a healthy relationship. Then later, the second I laid eyes on my future wife he spoke to me very clearly and told me to go sit with her. At the end of the dance we were in love, and as I went back where I was staying God spoke to me very clearly and told me she was the one.

    It took a lot of effort and dedication to get to the point where we married over 4 years later, but God worked things out and confirmed what He said to me the first night two other times.

    More directly about sex, the summer of 2010 was one of the lowest points of our marriage as far as intimacy goes. I could see that we were on a path that would lead to a very bad place if we didn’t make a change and that’s when I got proactive about things and got the book and talked her into reading it with me. I used to feel weird saying my prayers at night then making love, but now I pray about our intimate life in very specific ways, and I don’t feel the spirit withdraw, and God does hear and answer. The transformation in our marriage has be fantastic, it really is better now than it has ever been, even when newly wed. At one point I asked my HT for a blessing, not really telling him much about why since it was so personal. He said in that blessing that God was pleased with the course I was taking with respect to my relationships.

    Ask yourself what you want for your children, don’t you want them to have a wonderful marriage, great sex, joy in their companionship? Of course, and why should God feel any different than that about you?

  • Rob4Hope April 14, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I felt a little brush of the Spirit as I read your post Arogen. I haven’t felt that in a long time! YOU HAVE GOTTEN MY ATTENTION! I’m gunna read this another 5 times.

    • Arogen April 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      Glad something I said helped. If you have any questions let me know. I wish there was a private message feature here.

  • Rob4Hope April 16, 2012 at 5:08 am

    email me directly if you feel you can Arogen.
    I created this account and e-mail to preserve my confidentiality, but also to make it possible to access me.

  • Rob4Hope April 16, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Here is a fun story that makes me feel good to recount.

    I once had a friend who taught me something at a dance. He asked a girl to dance with him, and she told him “no” very clearly. He was surprised,…but his response was so uncharacteristic of typical that it struck me. He came over to our little group and said: “I just asked to dance and she told me no. What is wrong with her? What is her problem? Why wont she dance with me?”

    The reason this response was odd was because in his mind, there was absolutely nothing wrong with him. He was a person who a girl should LIKE to dance with, this girl didn’t. So, from his perspective, he was completely OK with himself. He wasn’t angry about this situation,…just perplexed. From that story I learned something about self confidence and self acceptance. I’ve seen that in people–honest self confidence and self acceptance. It is moving and powerful.

    After my mission, I was dating for the express purpose of finding a wife. I adopted the attitude of my friend as I am a very social person–VERY social and friendly around people. I like smaller groups and ejoy people. So, after dating about 7 different girls and not feeling anything particular about any of them, I went to a dance in Draper Utah. It was NOT a very good dance–very few people there, and like most young adult dances (at this time 25 years ago), no one was dancing. Has that changed?

    Anyway, there was a girl who walked in, the only one in the entire room who was wearing a dress. I looked at her and she looked at me, and I got a rather strange feeling,…I felt anxious. Because I was already disappointed with the dance, I passed her by and went out to drive home. She smiled at me as I left.

    In the car as I was heading home, I audibly said to myself–“I bet that is the girl I’m going to marry.” Then I thought to myself,…shes in the dance,…what am I doing out here? On the heals of that idea I thought that God doesn’t work single deals,…If im suppose to be with her, I will meet up again somewhere.

    Aproximately two weeks later there was another dance. This one was very well attended. I was walking along a side and not paying attention to where I was going. As I looked up, I found myself looking directly into the eyes of this girl, and the thought crossed my mind of “Oh yeh, how coincidental is this!” Someone jumped right in front of me and took her out onto the dance floor. I wasn’t going to miss my chance to meet her and possibly loose her in this crowd, so I followed them out on the floor and waited right there as they danced. When that dance ended, she turned directly to me and we danced to the next song. I asked her if she would please let me have a name and telephone number as I would very much like to get to know who she was. She said she didn’t have anything to write with (and I didn’t either) so we began to leave the dance floor to find something to write with,…and as I turned to walk toward the door, she took my arm. When she did that, the anxiety was gone,…it felt exactly like it was suppose to feel. I felt surprised with how comfortable I felt as she took my arm and together we left the dance floor. This was the beginning of so many different “knock you in the head obvious” heavenly interventions that I can honestly say that God was directly involved with my marriage. It is orchestrated and the “tender mercies” continue.

    Among some of these interventions, My wife was told almost audibly that she was to marry me. She has been told three times to stay and fight for our relationship.

    If I look back, it is amazing –totally amazing — how many “tender mercies have happened. Your post brougth back some memories that I had forgotten about.

    Why is it that in the dark places and the pain and sorrow I have felt, that I forget some of these miracles?

    • Arogen April 17, 2012 at 9:07 am

      It’s called ‘the mist of darkness’ for a reason 🙂

      Keep a journal, and go back and read your journals now and then. It is AMAZING how much we forget.

      Write up all these experiences you are talking about, perhaps write a copy for your wife. I bet as you write, you will remember more, and bringing these things back to her remembrance might help.

  • Rob4Hope April 17, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Arogen, I have received and read your personal e-mail. We are kindred spirits as well I think. It is an interesting coincidence that I am in my 23rd year of marriage, considering some of the things you said. I appreciate your kindness and tenderness in sharing that story and also confirming and encouraging me in my own struggles and quest. Thank you.

    Do you all remember a talk called “Tender Mercies” by a young guy named David Bednar?

    For a long time I have appreciated the hymn “Lead Kindly Light”. When I am feeling particularly down, I pull that open and read the words. They apply so much to how I feel that it feels uncanny sometimes. During the last conference, I fell asleep as I was listening, but I awoke in time to hear Elder Holland speak. On only two occasions have I felt like the ground almost shook beneath my feet, and both times have involved Elder Holland. The first was when he delivered “Broken Things to Mend”,…my all time favorite talk by any speaker I know of in history. The second time happened as he delivered the next installment of that original: namely, “The Laborers in the Vineyard.” In both talks his message is the same: “Come home to God. There is still time. He can fix things. You are not lost.”

    I felt that talk go through me with overwhelming emotion. For the choir to follow that talk with “Lead Kindly Light”—well, it couldn’t have been a more obvious “Tender Mercy” than had God hit me in the head with a club.

    I often hear conflicting little voices in my head—they come across as thoughts and sometimes feelings or even like I am being nudged or pulled one way or another. During reflection on what happened when the choir sang this hymn, I heard that voice cast doubt: “That is only a coincidence that has nothing to do with you.” IMMEDIATELY on the heals of that thought, another popped in: “Remember what Elder Bednar said during his ‘Tender Mercies’ talk, and how the hymn he mentioned affected him, namely ‘Redeemer of Israel.’ This hymn and talk is exactly the same thing happening to you.”

    I confess I bowed my head and wept for a long long time. It was a tender voice of love and concern being offered at a time of absolute pain and suffering.

    I wish I was a stronger man. I fear that I need continuous help at this point. I loose hope so quickly that it feels like my emotional bucket has massive holes punched in it, and as soon as cool lifesaving water is added, it begins to drain just as quickly. I am working on this. It has been difficult. Contemplating divorce is a horrible and frightening specter. But, I do not believe God wants that for me. If He did, why would He have orchestrated so many things to pull my wife and I together? Again, I am grateful to Elder Bednar, who said that God’s tender mercies are continuous and constant. I am living proof that this is absolutely essential. I’m being carried right now.

    Again, thank you for the kind words Arogen. They are appreciated.

    • Arogen April 20, 2012 at 7:21 am

      Glad to help. I think just in the short time you have been here you have made progress. Keep going, God wants you to make it and while he won’t do for you the things you can do for yourself, He’ll make sure the rest gets done.

  • Rob4Hope April 24, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    I wish things could stay clear. It appears that so many relationships are so variable to confuse everything. Here are 2 completely true stories (with names changed to protect identity)….

    (Laura, I would love a comment on this)….

    Have a friend I will call Steve. He was involved in things he shouldn’t have been–making big mistakes in his life. After several disciplinary session and what I would call the most sincere repentance of anyone I have seen in this life, (Alma the younger NOT being an exception even though he has been dead for thousands of years), this guy has his life together. However, from the beginning, his wife was not there for him. This is NOT an excuse for his choices, but it does explain a little of his pain. After a decade of doing everything in his power to heal the relationship, including patience, prayer, abstinance, and everything else, Steve was wondering why his wife was unwilling to be there for his needs physically because she HAS forgiven him. It is NOT about safety or any type of unrepentant sin–the guy is clean, more than most of everyone I know.

    Well, during a marriage class one time, Steve got a prompting that his wife was acceptable exactly the way she was to God, regardless of whether she was ever sexual enough for him. This thought caught him offguard, but he humbled himself and accepted God’s will. So, in his case, he prayed and was told that the differences in this physical area are not solvable in this life. Because of how painful this has been for him, he pratices the most careful thought control of any person I know. He is now at peace. He believes he can have joy in this life with his wife, but his relationship will only yield sparse physical connection. She has told him repeatedly that she wishes they could stop all physical intimacy, including the little they have.

    In his case, this is what Neal Maxwell would call “A Hard Doctrine”. It is also contrary to what you say in your book to a degree Laura. I’m sorry to be lead to believe that there are some couples who are not to be happy in that area in their lives, regardless of what either one of them does. This is one such couple. This man, for the sake of his wife, sacrifices his feelings. He values marriage enough that he will go without sex for the rest of his life if necessary. Can you emagine that?–it is his #1 love language, and in this area, his marriage is unfulfilling. He can not be told regularly that he is loved by his wife, yet he loves and sacrifices everything for her, including some of his most precious happiness.

    I asked Steve if he believes there will be more abundant phsyical relations in heaven. His response?–“I don’t allow myself to think about that. I focuse on now, and leave to God whether there will be any changes at all in the next life.”

    For him, that is as good as it gets. He accepts that the “sexual desert” will not change in this life. But, he is absolutely sure he is on the pathway God wants him on.

    He also said that even though God has told him that his wife is fine, regardless of how he feels about his situation, he receives support from God. When he feels needs and desire to be loved, he turns to God for validation, not his wife. This has been his lifestyle for 15 years.
    Have another friend who is a bishop. His wife lives in the sexual desert with him. He has carefully approached her multiple times over a period of many years, but she is unwilling to move closer in this area. She believes that more sexual intimacy with her husband compromises her, though she is completely safe. “It is just too much.”

    He was asked about his marriage one time in a safe non-church group. His response:”I feel peace, but unfullfilled and unsatisfied.” This man also doesn’t believe these problems will be solved in this life.


    Arogen, one of the reasons I asked some of the questions I did months ago about the next life was because if I am totally honest, I believe I am in this group mentioned above. I don’t believe my wife will ever move out of the sexual desert. I expect we will have physically intimacy, but it will be sparse and difficult. I have been trying to find the faith I need to join the ranks of my freinds above.

    Laura, I once asked you if you believe God wants His children to be happy sexually. I don’t believe that is universally the case in this life, regardless of marriage. I think there are several “hard doctrine” cases where it is God’s will that his children be at peace,…but happiness (real happiness) in this area is somewhere still distant. My first friend Steve is willing to allow God to decide what “happiness” means, even if that means he will never be sexual again. In his case, he is leaving EVERYTHING up to God and exercising faith, because of how powerless he is to affect change. His wife holds the keys, and even though she doesn’t use them, she is completely acceptable to God.

    I don’t know what sexual happiness is. I’m also an unusual man,…I have at least 10+ VERY close personal freinds who are men. Several of them also do not know what sexual happiness means, nor what happy marriages really are. They are still married because of their covenants, and for them, the objective is to achieve peace. Happiness–deep happiness–is stomething that their marriages do not yield.

    • Arogen April 24, 2012 at 9:39 pm

      I think Steve took the message the wrong way. I think Steve should take from it that his wife not meeting his sexual needs was not something he should count as a sin or something that makes her less worthy of exaltation. She still has areas where she can and should grow (or is she a candidate for having her calling and election made sure?) and there is nothing wrong with trying to improve in those areas, but don’t hold it against her as a sin for being imperfect.

      As for the Bishop, we are talking about a situation not fully under his control, and we can have peace even when others make choices that negatively impact us.

      It may very well be that whatever conditioning or trauma or mental illness has made these women like this will not be addressed in mortality, but it is not for mortal man to make that judgement and give up. Even so, if they both stay faithful and enter the CK the traumas and false conditioning and whatever genetic or mental health issues we have hear will be gone and nothing will hinder them from having a fulfilling and satisfying eternal marriage.

      God does want us all to happy, eternally. That at times means passing through a refiner’s fire to purify us and make is capable of achieving greater happiness, and some trials can be life long, but they do not continue after the resurrection. Nobody will have the happiness God wants for them until they enter the CK.

      From what you said before about God bringing you and your wife together, you know she is the one you should be with, so strive to be with her and do what you can to make your relationship as good as it can be. God can work miracles, and unless God has given you a revelation that says it will never get better than it is now then it would be wrong to quit. I think it is somebody else that wants you to quite, wants you to think that it’s hopeless and you have nothing to look forward to. God doesn’t pull down the spirit of man like that. Stop listening to your enemy, look what listening to your enemy has got you so far.

      • Rob4Hope April 25, 2012 at 8:33 am

        I love your honesty and directness Arogen. I really do.

        I gave the impression that those women being acceptable to God was a justification for them to not work on their relationship, or perhaps was harsh toward them because of the similarity I have in my relationship, or that their husbands blamed them. Both of the mentioned men (and they are both real people–NOT ME though) love their wifes truly. However, in both cases there has been trauma,…and yes, both marriages are in the refiners fire. Both of these husbands are doing exactly what Laura suggests in the “hungry Dog syndrome”, and that is taking all the pressure off completely. Because this approach has yielded no increase in physical intimacy after several years (which is quite sparse in both of these men’s lives), they are in a place where they have been forced to accept things as they are. To them, it brings hope that perhaps someday things will change for the better. But in the mean time, things are as good as it gets. They both continue to work and love, but sex has lost its power. The intimacy these men enjoy in marriage is limited and increase is outside of their control. They have been in the “sexual desert” long enought that they have to “bloom where they are planted”–in this case, the sexual desert.

        I know Steve VERY well personally. He is a man of enormous faith! He takes his problems to God and the Spirt attends him. He is strengthened that way. It is an example to me of how someone can press forward, hold the line of faith, and live well, even in the midst of a specific trial.

        Arogen, I really appreciate your faith and feedback as well. you caution is well received.

      • Chris April 26, 2012 at 11:42 am

        Wow, this Arogen is a very wise man…
        Yet I have a hard time to accept the case of Steve as it is. I don’t know all the pros and cons about this man’s wife but if she is in love with him, couldn’t she accept to pleases him sexually once in a while? Or at least try do something about it in order to overcome her issues?
        Now, if she is not in love with him anymore, I could understand why she would avoid any physical affection.

        Like Laura said in her book “sexual ignorance is not a bliss”. Would Steve still married her if he knew before the wedding, his wife would come up after with big sexual hang ups?
        I can only admire his willingness of staying in the boat no matter what. I can see that having faith in God is a real bliss there for him.

        • Arogen April 27, 2012 at 10:15 am

          Thanks, but sometimes wisdom comes as a result of foolish mistakes.

          Steve’s wife might have a mental illness, or some trauma in her past that makes her less able (and so less accountable) in this area, so I don’t rule out Steve’s experience as being true. I think what he was told was to modify his attitude toward her though.

          I sometimes wonder just what level of detail we knew about our life here when we chose to come. What if back then we did know all the horrible things that would happen to us, but also knowing what would come out of it chose to accept the very trials we have today.

    • Laura M. Brotherson May 9, 2012 at 11:42 pm

      Hi Rob,

      I’m finally getting to commenting on your comment as per your request (…though people don’t have to specifically request a comment!)

      Because I work with many couples that sound in many ways similar to Steve and his wife, I can say that there are many reasons (unknown to us) that his wife may not be willing or able to respond to him sexually. Of course that can range from trust issues that remain from something like pornography or infidelity, or it could be more about her own personal issues (i.e. abuse, depression, etc.) that have little or at least less to do with Steve. Just as a side note, just because Steve is repentant or clean it may or may not have any direct bearing on where his wife is in her own healing or recovery process.

      It sounds like Steve was certainly blessed with a feeling of unconditional love and acceptance for his wife despite her lack of responsiveness to him and his intimate needs. I do think you may be jumping to a possibly inaccurate conclusion that the sexual issues won’t be resolved in this life, but nevertheless the point, it sounds like, is that Steve has been able to come to a place of peace with his less-than-ideal sexual situation.

      Beyond the gift of peace and unconditional love that Steve was granted (or had “developed” from his many positive efforts to overcome their challenges, it sounds he was “blessed” with another potential gift in the making–an “opportunity” to develop an exquisite degree of mental discipline and self-mastery. It’s often not a welcome gift, but it’s achievement is a great gift indeed!

      I do believe him when he says that he does have peace and joy despite what may seem to outside observers a very sad situation sexually. I have seen many people develop the ability to also have peace and even joy in a wide variety of difficult and less-than-ideal circumstances. I believe that is the calling for all of us to some degree to seek God’s grace and enabling power to endure and even find joy in life’s many challenging and even unfortunate situations.

      I guess it makes me think of the couples where there may be one spouse with an advanced disabling disease such as Multiple Sclerosis, or sexual abuse, or past infidelity that is not yet healed on the part of one of the spouse’s where the other has been able to develop such a relationship with the Lord that they are able to obtain peace and even joy because of the acceptance/surrender and unconditional love (love without conditions, love despite trying circumstances, etc.) that they are able to have for themselves and their spouse despite…the list is endless!

      Yes, I can imagine a husband going through life sacrificing sex with his wife because he has made a covenant with the Lord to love and to honor her (and the marriage) for better or for worse, no matter what! I can also imagine a wife sacrificing emotional connection with her husband for the rest of her life because she has made a covenant with the Lord to love and to honor her husband for better or for worse, no matter what! I can also imagine unmarried individuals sacrificing sex and the associated intimate companionship for their whole lives because they have made a covenant with the Lord to be chaste and virtuous and endure to the end, no matter what! I could go on and on…

      That’s not to say that everyone should just suffer whatever horrible situation they are in, but my personal and professional guess is that the “less-than-ideal” situations in our lives are the means by which the Lord can polish and refine his children here in mortality.

      I can’t tell you how honored I am to know of your friend, Steve! I know of others like him! I do believe that he is doing the best he can with a very difficult situation and even thriving in it because of the “heart transplant” he has had with the help of the Lord! I love what you said:

      When he feels the need and desire to be loved, he turns to God for validation, not his wife. This has been his lifestyle for 15 years.

      That is incredible and awe-inspiring. It is exactly what I have had to painfully help clients learn and develop for a wide variety of very difficult situations that they too face that they do not have the direct power to change. And the truth is that getting to the point where you truly don’t need the other person to change is exactly what increases the chances that they will! And sometimes the whole thing is simply about us learning to have faith, trust in the Lord and a willingness to surrender our will to His will (and timing!).

      It sounds like Steve and the bishop you speak of have both gotten to that rare state of true, surrender. It’s trusting that somehow God will make things right just like we are promised repeatedly in the scriptures:

      D&C 122:7 – “And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.”

      D&C 105:40 – “…and all things shall work together for your good.”

      Romans 8:28 — “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God…”

      2 Nephi 2:2 – “…thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.”

      Mosiah 4:9 — (God knows more than we do! Even when things don’t make sense we can trust in God) — “Believe in God; believe that he is…believe that he has all wisdom, and all power…believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.”

      Rob4Hope, yes I do still believe that God does universally want us all to be happy sexually in our marriages in this life, but He also recognizes that that may not be the case for everyone. Agency and our life experiences play into the choices we each make and the abilities we each have.

      Sexual fulfillment and joy in marriage is certainly something every couple ought to work toward, but there will always be situations or circumstances that may preclude that, at least for a time. Not everyone gets everything they want in this life…think of those couples who are childless, think of those individuals who are spouse-less, think of those who struggle with compulsive behavior and addictions who have not yet overcome the addiction…the list can go on and on!

      I personally do not think you are that unusual that you have many close friends that are not happy with the sexual relationship in their marriages. I do believe that there are so few marriages overall that really get what God intended for not only the sexual relationship, but for the relationship as a whole that I am not surprised at all.

      I think I once estimated that of all current marriages it would be may be 15-25% of marriages that I think really get it! This is exactly why I do what I do to help couples try to get it! The path is not easy for most of us and it inevitably requires some major “heart surgery” to help us become the polished and refined souls that God wants and needs us to be!

      I hope something here gives you and others something helpful to ponder! Hang in there! : )

  • Rob4Hope April 27, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Steve actually has more peace and harmony with his wife than he ever has. They are intimate about 2 times a month….maybe a little more. However,…they do have a LOT of nonsexual touch, and it is affectionate and close. Steve has moved away from sex being as big a need, and has moved into accepting attention, affection, and long talks and walks as his love language. He WAS told to change his attitude. This IS as good as it gets,…but he is able to hold the line and have enough peace and happiness to keep going.

    However, just yesterday (literally), I was on the telephone with Steve and his wife (they are NOT related to me, but are close friends), and asked a question about my relationship with my wife. I heard his wife say: “I have told Steve many times I would be fine if we never had sex again,…but I have sex with him because I love him and it is important to him”. In her case, however, sex is sparse–VERY sparse. But, Steve has a good attitude.

    He has told me that they are actually having BETTER sex than they ever have,…not more–just better. However, this guy made a shift. Don’t know how he did it, but he did. Sex is not his language any more. He switched it somehow.

    Yes, the wife has trauma in her past. She was hurt badly as a young woman by people who should have protected her. Nuff said. It colors everything.

  • Arogen May 6, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    To me, there is a huge difference between ‘I’m could make love with you but I won’t’ and ‘I can’t make love.’, and perhaps Steve’s shift was to realize that his wife was NOT rejecting him, she just had a far more limited ability to do that than he did and she was giving him everything she could.

  • Arogen May 16, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    We’ve made some progress on the orgasm front. She is having what she calls a mini O, this is where she hits a sexual peak, but she doesn’t have a big releasing orgasm. It just kind of goes away, usually with some very small contractions (too small for me to feel if I’m in her at the time). There have been times she has had more than one in one session (current record is 5).

    Any idea what it would take to turn these into a full blown O?

  • Rob4Hope May 21, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Congradulations. I hope things can continue to progress for you.

  • Arogen May 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Laura, if you need an idea for new book, may I humbly suggest one specifically written for engaged couples, to help the with preparing for having a sexual relationship with each other. Perhaps a His and Hers version.

    I know there is a lot of overlap with your current book, but with an engaged couple you have the challenges of NOT being able to fully explore sexuality like a married couple can with each other, and the challenge of trying to work out expectations etc. when one or both may not have the experience to know what their expectations really will be once they get into it. I can make a list of things I wish we had talked about or been told about when we were engaged, but never even came close to touching.

    Plus, your current book I think is seen (to some degree) as a tool to help a marriage in some kind of trouble and not as a tool to prepare for married life. I think it would be a good thing and fill a big need to have a book like that from you. If you start now you might be done before any of my kids need it. 🙂

    • Chris May 31, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      I, personnally having given Laura’s book to engaged couples two months before their wedding, they all thanked me for the help it has given them in introducing them to a happy sexual life.

      I Think this book has given enough details on how to cope with this side of married life, giving at the same time, the opportunity to the couple, discover by themselves and with the help of the Lord what is appropriate for them or not. Parts of the mystery in sexual matters has been, I guess, volontary omitted in order for the new wedded couple to create a sexual intimacy of their own that should not be divulged to anybody else, bishops included. The Lord has given us commandments as to what to do and not (thou shalt not commit adultery….) and a mind to think and ponder toghether as a couple, as to what is right or not for them within the marriage bed and the book explains that also.

      Having said that, what do you have in mind and what is needed to be added since Laura has already gave several ideas on how to prepare your kids and future wedded people in sexual matters?

      • Arogen June 18, 2012 at 6:43 pm

        Wasn’t thinking so much of new or different information, but just presenting it focused specifically on the audience of engaged couples. The focus of the current book leans heavily toward couples who have been married a while.

  • Arogen July 18, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    There is some kind of problem with the RSS feed for the podcast, it keeps downloading all the epsodes over and over.

    • Laura M Brotherson July 21, 2012 at 10:00 am


      We will look at that immediately. Thank you for letting us know. We apologize for the inconvenience.

    • Laura M. Brotherson July 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm

      Thanks Arogen!

      We have seen the problem and are working with The WIN (producer of my podcast) to fix the problem. While we are figuring that out though we have disabled the RSS feed for the podcasts, since I haven’t been able to post any new ones lately anyway. Hoping to get back to that sometime soon!

  • RM8 July 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm


    Do you know of any good marriage / sex counselors in Olympia/Tacoma WA area? I noticed from one of your Bio’s that your are from this area.

  • Arogen August 16, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    I think DW and I are moving into a new phase, mostly the focus has been on the physical intimacy challenges, and while we don’t have all those worked out yet, I find my attention turning more and more to the emotional intimacy side of things. We love each other deeply, but emotionally I don’t feel like we are ‘equally yoked’. She is somebody who doesn’t want to get ‘too attached’ and prides herself on being ’emotionally independent’. It’s like she has this wall around her heart and I can only get so close and no further, while I wear my heart on my sleeve. End result is she tends to cause many unintended hurts. We’ve talked about it before but not in depth but now it seems to be coming up more often. Not sure how to deal with it, pouring my heart out to her doesn’t seem to make any difference.

  • jay August 29, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Apologies if this topic has already been addressed elsewhere on the blog or forum, but in the past I’ve experienced extreme problems with PE, to the frustration of my wife and our sexual relationship, and have began experimenting with several techniques to alleviate the problem (kegels, breathing exercises, etc.) I also have spent some time short term “edging”, or masturbating just short of the point of orgasm, as a means of finding some measure of control. The sole intent is to understand how my body works and reacts, and not as a means just to pleasure/medicate/soothe myself. I do this alone, as I am better able to relax my thoughts and focus on control, and my thoughts are centered on my spouse. Would you consider this to be sexual learning or just masturbation? I’m really not trying to rationalize any wrong doing, just not very clear on which side of the line this practice falls on.

  • Laura M. Brotherson September 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm


    I wonder if a focus on helping her feel safe emotionally and helping her to feel that she is enough/good enough and acceptable to you the way she is might be particularly helpful in allowing her to open her heart a little more to you. When people keep a wall around them it’s often because they have learned that they must in order to protect themselves…just a few thoughts to consider! : )

    • Arogen October 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      I’ve never intentionally mistreated her in any way. And what I’ve unintentionally done is pretty minor. I’ve gone to great lengths to make her feel loved and appreciated.

      She has confirmed my feeling of us being unequally yoked, saying that I do love her more than she loves me, but she could not love anybody else more than what she loves me, she just has less capacity for it than I. Given that you can’t love your neighbour more than you love yourself I agree with you and also think she is dealing with some (undeserved) feelings of guilt or unworthiness over some negative experiences from her past.

      On the good side of things, she had her first orgasm a month ago, and she’s had a few since then too. As long as she is not too tired, she can get there. And I do think that is helping her improve our emotionally intimacy as well.

  • supertbone November 11, 2012 at 9:46 am

    How does one get their spouse to at least consider the principles taught on this site and in the book?

    I have been struggling with a wife whose sexual desire is pretty low and who is very prudish. Before marriage things seemed promising but once married, it has ground to a halt and it feels like in order for sex to occur I have to jump through some major hoops, the stars have to be in alignment, and nothing can be on TV that is worth watching. Very rarely do we have sex and even when we do she treats it like she is doing a chore. She’ll eventually orgasm, but even at the end of the day sex is all on her terms. No lights on, no lingerie, no oral. No nothing.

    I have explaining her how I feel and have her read the book but she refuses says that I should just deal with it. I have tried to go to counseling and she takes in personally and refuses to go. If I had know marriage would be like this I would not have done it.

    • Arogen November 28, 2012 at 9:35 pm

      Either you decide to put up with her behavior, or you draw some lines and attach consequences if she crosses them. Like moving to a separate bedroom or something.

      I’m not saying make threats, just tell her if she chooses A the result will be this and if she refuses to do A the result will be that and leave her to make the choice without pressure from you.

      If you don’t treat it like it is important, she won’t believe you when you say it is important.

  • Rob4Hope November 24, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Good luck. You are not alone. 23 years of this has been going on for me. There are a LOT of people in this situation. Unfortunately it is the #1 cause of divorce–sexual disharmony.

    I don’t know why there are so many women (and men to — they are out there to) that don’t get it. I mean, what is it? Are they getting married because it is the “right” thing to do? Because they want children,…only? Because they want the stability that a second income brings in? What is it?

    SupertBone, there is a statistic that really makes sense: for those where sex is working in the marriage, they indicate it is about 10-20% or their satisfaction. For those where it doesn’t work, it accounts for 50-70% of their dissatisfaction.

    I am in the latter group, and my wife doesn’t understand why I am so frustrated. Duh!

  • lovey November 29, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Sorry to hear your story. Not all women feel like your wife does. Why do you think she would tell you that you must simply deal with it? I wonder what your wife’s up bringing was like? Do you have sex worth having when you have it? Has there ever been a time in your marriage that she has been more open ti intimacy? Does your wife care that she is not showing respect for you when she won’t consider your needs or even to read a book that is clearly important to your marriage?

    Super, Rob and Arogen, or anyone
    How can we improve the education of our young single adult population with regards to the positive side of sexuality while still teaching them to stay away from the negatives of pornography. Perhaps our young adults are struggling to accept the wonderful and positive side of sexuality because of so much negative conditioning. What do you wish your wife understood about this now?

    • Arogen November 29, 2012 at 7:30 pm

      I think it needs to start BEFORE they are young adults. Often youth get hammered with a very negative view of sex by youth leaders scared to death of them breaking the law of chastity. Chasity needs to be taught in a way that promotes a healthy sexual relationship in marriage rather than hinder it. Plus I think boys tend to hear ‘Don’t have sex UNTIL YOU ARE MARRIED” and girls hear ‘DON”T HAVE SEX until you are married.”

  • Rob4Hope December 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Wife told me something that made sense but hurt. I don’t agree, but perhaps I am totally wrong. She said the following pretty much:

    1) I can not predict when and if I can access the intimate feelings I have.

    2) This is common among all women.

    3) I need safety, and if I can access my feelings, then great. But if not, that is too bad. Will have to just do something else.

    4) I will make no guarantees of whether I will ever meet what you say are your minimum needs.

    This is a better place than “sex is completely optional and 100% non-essential”,…but it still hurts.

    She is sayingt that there are no women out there who have any predictability with their bodies. They don’t know if this type of activity or that type of touch, conversation, experience will in any way “turn them on.” Are women really that completely unpredictable? Is it really the case that two people can’t make a plan to have a nice evening with any confidence at all that there will be intimacy?

    This conversation with her makes me feel like she is saying two things–covertly saying them, but stills saying them–I can’t be sexual with you when you want with you having any confidence that I will be there when you want me,…and there is no where you can go to find anything different.


    Are there any women out there who EVER feel anything sexual with any predictability of any type? Is sexual fulfillment in marriage really completely out of control with predictability, fulfillment, or any anticipation being available at all? Seems like a total loss.

    • Rob4Hope December 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Oh. I should add that this unpredictability means there is no way to “anticipate” a happy aniversary in a nice hotel with a single bed; no way to ask for and have any anticipation for a nice birthday present, etc. IN fact, the last three years these events have all ended badly.

      My wife said that she would “give herself to me” when we got married. I didn’t know that meant that I had no control at all over intimacy. When I ask, I can wait 6-8 hours just to find out that it can’t happen–“just don’t feel like it”.

      That is a real feeling she has, and needs to be respected,…and I am trying. If I didn’t feel like I would go to hell for divorcing this women, I would leave.

      Does God play games? Marriage isn’t suppose to be like this.

      • Arogen December 14, 2012 at 7:08 am

        I’m not sure what she means by ‘access’. If she means she can’t predict what days she will feel desire spontaneously, that is how it is for a lot of women that but that doesn’t have to be a barrier by itself. If she means that most days she can’t get to a state of arousal and desire no matter what stimulus there is then it sounds like there is something interfering with a normal response. Could be medical like hormone levels or the side effect of medication (even some over the counter medication can have an effect), or emotional barriers like negative ideas of sex or problems in the relationship, past sexual abuse, porn use or depression.

        ‘Most women’ usually means ‘most women I hang out with’. It may be common for women to have some kind of physical or emotional barrier like that, but those are things that often can be overcome. I think it way more common for women to just have the mistaken idea that they need to feel desire first rather than just be willing to go ahead and let the desire awaken during foreplay. ‘No, I just don’t feel like it’ is something said by a woman who does not understand that if she says Yes she soon will feel like it very much. Laura’s book covers this and I think it helped my wife a lot, especially that the information was coming from a woman so she couldn’t write it off as a man trying to con women into putting out. Another good book might be ‘The proper care and feeding of husbands’ by Dr. Laura Schlessinger.

        There are lots of women out there who are the high desire spouse in the marriage. There are lots of women out there who are the low desire spouse who understand that if they are willing to go ahead get sexual that the feelings will awaken. There are lot of women who make the transition from being a ‘refuser’ to being sexually generous or who overcome relationship issues and negative attitudes about sex.

        As for ‘safety’, my question is what is it she feels she needs to protect herself from? Is sex physically painful for her? Does she feel if she opens up to you too much that you will hurt her feelings? Does she mentally beat herself up if she doesn’t perform to your satisfaction, or does she feel judged or citisized by you? Does she have past negative experiences that will trigger emotional distress if she gets sexual?

        There is always some element of unpredictability in life, my wife can’t tell when she will have her next migraine or be sick. She is in perimenopause so her period is not predictable and now and then she has a nasty mood swing that leaves her a lot less willing for a few days, but those are the exceptions, not the rule. I know it sucks when circumstances mess up some romantic encounter you have planned but that is part of life. If your wife rarely is able to feel desire even when she goes ahead with foreplay then there is some underlying cause to that. The first step if overcoming that may be her coming to believe it is something that can be overcome.

        Sexual fulfillment is not some unattainable goal nobody reaches, but it doesn’t come easy in most cases. I think God made it like that to force us to change and become a better person by going through the process of working it out. Hang in there and don’t lose faith. God didn’t send you here to suffer, although I agree it can feel like it at times.

  • Rob4Hope December 16, 2012 at 8:26 am

    I don’t know any LDS women who are “high desire”,…but I’ve heard they exist. I have several friends who have wives that are not LDS who are VERY high desire-love sex and think it is wonderful. They think I am crazy for staying in this marriage….absolutely crazy. I agree with them.

    My wife told me recently that she will (notice the future tense here?) never know when or how to access her sexual feelings, or if they exist for that matter,..and she said: “All women are the same way.” Bullshit!

    Also learned recently that safety for my wife means she can reject me at any time, for any reason, for any length of time, and for me to accept that rejection gracefully without “punishing her or acting out.”

    Acting out means using porn, masturbation, and fantasy to deal with frustrations.

    Accepting things the way they are means celibacy–becoming her sister,…and not having any desire that isn’t easily, gracefully, and if necessary, permanently turned off “without any negative consequences.”

    She will not “guarantee” my sexual needs (is there such a thing as a sexual need?) will ever be met, but wants me to be committed, fully connected, and emotionally safe at all times regardless. If she tells me she is not in the mood or just doesn’t feel like it, she wants me to accept that as is, no questions or negative consequences, and continue to have a happy marriage (?).

    We are not healing. 24 years this has been going on.

    A few months ago my wife and I talked, and I thought she and I were on the same page that sex is not optional or non-essential. I’ve since learned that sex is optional, for any reason, and that I should accept things the way they are and stay connected without any negative consequences for my needs not being met.

    Frequency is also something that can’t be addressed because of this. I’m the high desire person, and my wife is ND (no desire). But love is to accept the other person they way things are, and if they change…great. But, don’t expect it.

    “Men are that they may have joy” is suppose to be a rule. What if marriage causes sorrow and discontent?

    My wife wants safety and emotional connection–but that means sex can be discarded. How does that produce joy and happiness.

    I’m baffled.

    PS. There is no answer for me folks. My marriage is dead. I just don’t know when or how to leave.

    • Arogen December 17, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      Everybody wants to feel good about themselves, to see themselves as a ‘good person’. One way is to actually BE a good person, to change and improve and live up to a righteous standard.

      The other way is to say everybody else is the same as you, that it is the job of other people to change to accommodate your weaknesses and sins, to dig into your foxhole and refuse to be dragged out and call it a virtue. Sadly, this sounds like what your wife has done.

      It is wrong what she is doing. She is SINNING treating you like this. She is failing to keep her marriage covenant and she has no right to expect you to accept mistreatment without her facing any consequence for it. She has no right to expect emotional connection in return for rejection or love when she give contempt. You didn’t covenant to be a doormat. Stop feeling hurt and get angry (not mad, don’t loose your cool). If you are not going to treat this as something important, she won’t ever.

      You can’t force her to change, and she won’t change if she has no reason to change. As long as she can get things as she likes them doing what she is doing now, she will keep doing them. Your choice is to accept it or draw a line and attach appropriate consequences to her behavior. I don’t know what those consequences should be or where the line should be drawn. You are going to have to work that out. It could be moving ot a different bedroom, different home, or other things altogether. Pray about it, talk with your Bishop.

  • momsomeday December 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Size. I’m not sure that’s the problem, but it sure isn’t helping.
    I love my husband dearly, and while I don’t really want to have sex, it seems important to my husband so I want to try. But I just . . . can’t do it. It just never occurred to me that this could even be a problem. I’m actually taller than him–he’s only 5’6″. Been married four years and we still haven’t . . . for a long time now it seems we have just both given up even trying. And we’ll never have children if we don’t figure this out soon!

    • Arogen December 25, 2012 at 11:18 am

      If you are saying that sex is painful, I hope you have gone to see a Dr about it. There are a number of reasons that could be as well as ways to resolve it, even if his size is the cause of it.

  • Rob4Hope December 23, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Mom, I actually don’t think what are feeling is all that unusual actually. The number of families growing to sexlessness is on the rise!!! I want to validate your feelings. Some women don’t feel sexual desire much (and some men to). For those of us who do feel it, being matched with someone at the other extreme is serious. The problems mount and frustration, anger, and even hatred can grow. I am in such a position, and not only am I struggling with my marriage, but my whole position on faith, God, religion, and whether I have anything else to give is being challenged. Marriage, and sexuality in marriage, is a very important and serious matter. It can not be treated lightly or discarded and passed over.

    Now, your feelings, like I said above, are not all that unusual. Laura, in her book, admits to having similar feelings in her earlier years. She was able to work through that. If you have the same desire, then by all means, get some help. Please don’t feel hesitant to hook up with a good marriage or even sexual counselor. Your marriage and future family are SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than feelings of shame that might cause hesitation. Get help now. Don’t put it off.

    On the other side, if your husband is OK with things, then count yourself blessed and lucky. I personally know some families where they have decided that sex is no longer part of things. Though it is rare (at least in my circle of knowledge), some of these folks appear happy and well adjusted. They are doing just fine. But, I would be cautious about this approach. Men (and women) are subject to temptations that can come down this pathway, and if your husband finds himself aroused on occasion, then that temptation–when it comes (not if, but when), could find a mark. This could be the beginning of a very sad destructive pathway. So, please be careful.

    Good luck with whatever you choose. There is also the option of adoption,…and I know some families that have chosen that rout as well, but not for your particular situation. It is an option though.

  • Rob4Hope December 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    After some time, I am coming to grips with something. Our culture (LDS that is) is shame based. The focus is always on minimizing pain and suffering, not on maximizing happiness and joy. Because you are suppose to have a good marriage (whatever that is), you must avoid sins like p0rnography and things that go with it. Because you need to protect marriage at all costs, you need to sacrifice whatever is necessary. In fact, it is Christlike to endure pain and suffering for the betterment of others. For example, if a person contemplates divorce over sexual disharmony, a bishop would say: “You would get divorced over that? ” or “How could you possibly consider that an important enough reason to consider divorce over?” It all says the same thing: what you feel isn’t important enough because you need to sacrifice your happiness, your future, for the sake of your marriage. I got married for a reason. It is sad to find out that in the view of others, that purpose actually was wrong in the first place.

    I’m past frustrated at this point. I’m tired of being made to feel that I am dysfunctional because I have the audacity to want sexual relations with my wife several times a week,..and that somehow this is un-Christlike, un-manly, and that I serve God and my church better if I deny my feelings and live with what is forced upon me. I am not like Sir John. I don’t believe there is merit in suffering. I also don’t believe there is any evidence that sex will be better in the next life. It all supports the same thing,…it is appropriate and good to suffer, to hurt and to be unwanted and discarded in marriage.

    My wife thinks the only possible reason a person could possibly want sex as much as I do is sexual addiction. I went into marriage a complete virgin 25 years ago. I thought marriage was going to be wonderful. I thought marriage was about having your lover and best friend in the same deal. BOY was I misled. Now I discover that sex in marriage can ONLY be the result of sexual addiction, and that sexual feelings are not part of God’s way.

    Why do I feel bad when I even have sexual feelings? Why do I listen to my bishop who says I just need to read my scriptues and keep the law of chastity when doing so doesn’t involve sex with my wife? Why do LDS authorities say marriage is so important and don’t say a damned thing about those who fall apart because of sexual dysfunction? Why are all the messages I get say that it is noble to sacrifice the very means by which I can pull closer to my wife because,…after all, it isn’t important enough to get divorced over, when in reality it was the thing that was suppose to hold us togegher in the first place?

    I’m celebate, and my wife and I have never been more distant. But that is OK. It is better to be like this than to consider divorce. Yeh right.

    Sex is not important in marriage. Oh, sorry, I mispoke. After all, we had sex last month one time. That is clearly enough for ALL normal men who are not sex addicts. If you question me, just ask my bishop.

  • Rob4Hope December 28, 2012 at 11:45 am

    One last comment,..question if you will. I have been taught my whole life that divorce is a bad thing. I have also been taught that masturbation is a bad thing. Now, consider this: In my ward/stake, if you are interviewing for the temple recommend, they come right out and ask…”when was the last time you used pornography or masturbated.” That is a question approved and used in my stake. If you answer that in a dissatisfactory way, you will NOT be allowed to have a recommend, and possibly even take the sacrament. There are consequences attached to that activity because it is wrong and bad.

    Now, why is it that two people can divorce and there are no consequences? If I up and decide to leave my marriage and get a divorce, will I be told to not take the sacrament? Will I be denied a temple recommend?

    Ummm… Let me see how this stacks up. Masturbation will keep you from getting a temple recommend. Divorce doesn’t register. So, it appears that divorce is NOT a serious sin, nor a problem at all with the church. There certainly aren’t consequences attached to it. BUT, that horrible, incredible problem of masturbation. There are consequences attached to that one.

    This disparity of emphasis is absolutely baffling to me. A celebate marriage that can only broken with masturbation is a serious offence. But, ending such a marriage is not. And from a church that is absolutly in favor of marriage? I just don’t get it.

    I guess I am teetering on the edge of full apostasy again.

    • Arogen December 29, 2012 at 10:38 pm

      I wouldn’t describe it like that myself. I think the church sees it’s role as keeping members from sin and living gospel principles, and leaves the rest to the members to work out for themselves via personal revelation. I know that can be frustrating at times but I can see the reason for it.

      You Bishop is there to help you live the gospel, but he is not a trained marriage counselor so his ideas on what constitutes a normal sexual relationship are his own. It sounds like you will have to stand up for yourself in that area and educate him a bit perhaps, give him a copy of Laura’s book and tell him to read at least the first two chapters and anything else to open his eyes, like sending him here perhaps. I’ll be happy to answer his posts.

      In the April 2007 General Conf. Dallin H Oaks said the following:
      “There are many good Church members who have been divorced. I speak first to them. We know that many of you are innocent victims—members whose former spouses persistently betrayed sacred covenants or abandoned or refused to perform marriage responsibilities for an extended period. Members who have experienced such abuse have firsthand knowledge of circumstances worse than divorce. When a marriage is dead and beyond hope of resuscitation, it is needful to have a means to end it.”

      Is this not your situation? Has she not ‘refused to perform marriage responsibilities for an extended period’? Are you not in ‘circumstances worse than divorce’? The only real question here is if your marriage is ‘dead and beyond hope of resuscitation’ or not. If your Bishop is not helpful in resuscitating it go to the Stake President instead.

      In the first presidency message in the April 2007 Ensign, James E. Faust says:
      “In my opinion, “just cause” for divorce should be nothing less serious than a prolonged and apparently irredeemable relationship that destroys a person’s dignity as a human being.”

      Also check out Chapter 3 of the marriage and family relations course. Give that to your Bishop too.

      Sacrifice is giving up something good now for something better later on. It is not self harm for no purpose. It is about pursuing what is in your best interests in the long term, not subordinating your own best interests for the sake of somebody else’s. There are times where marriage requires sacrifice, and even life-long sacrifice, but God has very clearly promised in scripture that whatever we give up for the cause of living the gospel will be returned to us many times over.

      If you live worthy of the celestial kingdom, you will will have the opportunity to be the husband to a celestial wife (who may or may not be your current wife), and in theory perhaps more than one wife at that. Marriage exists in the celestial kingdom so that marital intimacy can exist there, and there will not be any selfishness or sin or hurt or pain in your celestial marriage relationship.

      There are things that are inherently sinful, like porn or masturbation, and things where motive and circumstances play a role. Murder is a sin, killing in self defense is not. Divorce is not a good thing when it is done without a just cause. When there is a just cause, it can be good thing, or at least the best possible option. The toll divorce takes on young kid has to be taken into account. While a person might not have to account to the church for their divorce, they will have to account to God for it at some point. Divorce should be seen more as the result of sin (adultery, abuse, abandonment, selfishness etc.) by one or both spouses, not as a sin in and of itself.

      Also, you need to stop letting other people tell you how to feel about yourself. If somebody thinks wanting sex with your wife 3 or 5 or 7 times a week is wrong in some way, reject their idea, THEY are in the wrong and you have nothing to feel bad about. What you want is not wrong and you have to accept that and don’t let other people push you around. If your Bishop says something you disagree with, ask him to back it up from the scriptures or from the handbook. If he can’t then that is just his own opinion. Do your homework, read up what is on about divorce and marriage and these issues. You only teeter on the edge of apostacy because you are not clear what really is gospel and what is somebody’s personal opinion.

  • Rob4Hope December 30, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Processing. Processing…..

    • Arogen December 30, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      Also, perhaps ask you Bishop if her not giving sex is so important that she should destroy her marriage rather than change that.

  • supertbone December 31, 2012 at 1:47 am

    Sorry to hear your story. Not all women feel like your wife does. Why do you think she would tell you that you must simply deal with it? I wonder what your wife’s up bringing was like? Do you have sex worth having when you have it? Has there ever been a time in your marriage that she has been more open ti intimacy? Does your wife care that she is not showing respect for you when she won’t consider your needs or even to read a book that is clearly important to your marriage?
    Super, Rob and Arogen, or anyone
    How can we improve the education of our young single adult population with regards to the positive side of sexuality while still teaching them to stay away from the negatives of pornography. Perhaps our young adults are struggling to accept the wonderful and positive side of sexuality because of so much negative conditioning. What do you wish your wife understood about this now?

    The adults in my wife’s family are stand offish to the physical. There has been very few times when my wife makes it more than a chore. To her that is what it is. She told me so, it isn’t on her priority list. I was told not to question her on this. Of course before we were married what she communicated was that things would be 180 degrees from what they are now. We are busy people and I realize we both have a lot on our plate ( I help out at home BTW) but why can’t US be as important as the housework?

    I was also told to no longer participate on such forums because talking about our relationship openly wasn’t cool to her.

    • Arogen December 31, 2012 at 9:18 am

      Well, I’m glad you are still hear anyway. As head of the family you have to take the leadership and do what you consider best after getting her input, even if what you consider best is contrary to her views.

      It sounds to me like you may have to rock the boat a bit on this (not in anger or bossiness, but firm leadership with love). If you just put up with things and don’t make an issue of the problem, or back away from it if there is resistance, she will not consider them to be important either. She’ll continue to act like that knowing it will maintain the status quo.

      You can’t give in to her not wanting to talk about it with her, not unless you are content to let things go unchanged. There is a chance that she may have had some form of abuse in her history that makes this hard for her so you do need to tread carefully, but she needs to know that the path she is following is leading to the destruction of her marriage and may result in divorce or worse if not corrected.

      If you were married in the temple, lovingly call on her to live up to her covenants, including the very first one she made in her endowment ceremony and also the wording of the sealing ceremony itself.

  • Rob4Hope December 31, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Well, I have to chime in on some feelings and things. Something that is the “pink elephant” in the room that never gets address here (it seems to me it doesn’t) is that sometimes people are just incompatible. In my case, it is OK for my wife to be very low desire or no desire, and it is OK for me to high desire. That is OK folks….it is OK for people to have their feelings. In my case, I believe my wife’s very best, and my very best does not lead to a place of harmony. There is immense space between us in the area of physical appitite and desire. She feels what she feels. I feel what I feel. The solution of her pushing her sexuality out of proportion to find harmony with me, and my slowing and killing my sexuality to find harmony with her is NOT a good solution when it hurts either of us. But, unless we push,..there is no middle ground. So, somehow, either way we get hurt. There doesn’t appear to be a win/win situation for me.

    I have been spending a LONG time looking back as what happened, and why things are the way they are. My wife received “confiramtion” that marriage to me was good. However, I did not. I felt like It was my choice. I felt like I had made the right choice, the best that could be made. But, in hind site, there was a gigantic RED Flag. I didn’t have any experience to see it, let alone judge what it was.

    I went to the marriage bed at 22 as a complete virgin. I had never had a waking orgasm in my life to that point, and I didn’t even know what sexual release felt like, how it happened, and even if it was even important. I did what I was suppose to do,…I kept myself clean and went into marriage exactly the way the church wanted,….clean, pure, and ignorant. Mind you,..I was given the little booklet that talked about the spearm and the egg, about being considerate, etc. But, I had no idea that sex was important, that the church even cared or anything. Why? Because it was never talked about,…ever. My family was a good LDS family, and like all of those families at that time in my neighborhood, they left it to the church to teach us church doctrine. Since sex wasn’t part of anything associated with marriage (to the church), why would my parents talk about it?

    Now, fast forward 25 years later, and the message about marriage being so important that you are trapped in hell is so important, it becomes more noble to suffer than to get out. And, I have to go to a church leader to get the message at 46 years old that sex is even important?

    I mean get real folks! Lets get real here.

    Maybe,…just maybe people are not compatible. The church doesn’t care. The only thing that matters is sacrifice. The church teaches that marriage is fundamental. The statitics show that sex is the #1 cause of divorce. And this fundamental REASON for divorce that tears apart the fundamental unit of the church receives NO fundamental time from the church?


    The church has a policy I don’t understand in the least.

    Well, my views are changing. It doesn’t matter what the church does or doesn’t teach to me anymore about marriage. I reject what my parents taught me that the church has all the answers. I don’t think they do have the answers. I think that perhaps people are just not compatible. It isn’t anyones fault. I think that sometimes we just make mistakes. I don’t think God wants us go spend the rest of our days in pain and suffering. If the does, than I don’t want to have anything to do with him. I reject a god that believes that sacrifice is superior, and I think sex is important in marriage–to me. It is NOT important to my wife,…and that is fine. We are just not compatible.

    I wish I had mas*turbated at least 1 time — a single time — in my first 22 years of life. I had no idea that I would want physical release later in my life. I would have PERHAPS had a little more experience that just maybe,…sex was someting that felt good and would be desired. But, I did what I was suppose to,…and I went into marriage absolutely ignorant.

    • Arogen December 31, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      The root cause of incompatibility, sexual issues in marriage, and unhappiness in a marriage in general is a lack of being Christlike by one or both spouses. If two people are both committed to making a marriage work, it can be made to work. If one or both are more committed to themselves than to the marriage, it will not go well. The church goes after the root cause.

      The problem is not a lack of per-marital sexual experience either. That would cause more challenges than it would solve. The problem is a lack of being Christ-like after the wedding, the lack of truly ‘giving yourself’ in marriage to your spouse as God intends. Your wife’s behavior as you describe it is wrong in God’s eyes and that is not the fault of the church even if certain members of the church have given her bad information. Likewise, sex is not the cause of divorce, the sexual issues are only a symptom of the un-Christlike behavior that is what leads to divorce.

      Instead of relying on your parents etc. to tell you what is what, you need to do your own homework. The church DOES have the answers but not every member knows or understands it correctly so it is up to you to find your way through study and prayer. Don’t ignore what I posted before about sacrifice and divorce, you seem to want to cling to incorrect ideas about those.

  • Rob4Hope January 1, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Arogen, you are direct,…and I am actually fine with that. Your perspective about thing being un-Christlike is something I had NOT considered. Why? Well, the boundaries get smeared. I can hear: “If you loved me, you would stop asking me to do something I don’t want to do.” That is probably a VERY common retort for two people who want to disagree with sexual relations, where one shuts the other down, be that man or woman. You remember that I was involved in an old Life-Star years ago, and also several years with some 12 step groups? Their attitude is that sex is completely optional and non-essential. That has been established as a lie,…but it is a jump to take it to the next level of sex actually being important, especially when your whole life you have pounded in your brain: “FOLLOW THE PROPHET!”,…and he and his associates say so little.

    More than anything,…I know you recognize this is a serious place of bitterness to me. I can’t even think about some of this stuff without feeling anger well up inside of me. No wonder I am such an easy target for pessimistic temptations.

    Anyway, I am processing what you have said. In both this site and in personal e-mails, I express appreciation and gratitude. Thank you for taking the time to write.

    I actually struggle to pray to God Why? (since the scripture most certainly say that the “evil spirit teaching not a man to pray”,… Well, it is because I feel almost sure that God will say to me: “You are broken and sex is NOT that important.” You think satan has anythning to do with that? (and that is not completely retorical). Well, I have felt broken for a long time about this,…and some of that came from well meaning yet mistaken priesthood leaders who didn’t convey what they should have. I’m getting off track here.

    I will see waht I can see this coming year. I hope my marriage can be saved.

  • Arogen January 1, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Yeah, that is a common retort, but it is a tactic to resist changing by deflecting the need to change back on you. Blame shifting is a very common passive aggressive tactic. Just shift it right back on her telling her you want this BECAUSE you love her, and if she would co-operate instead of resist you could both be happier. My wife does blame shifting too and sometimes it is hard to notice it in the moment but when you do call her on it.

    About prayer, one thing I learned is that you have to be honest in your prayers. Don’t pray what you think God wants to hear from you, pray your honest feelings and thoughts, even if they are angry or critical. Be honest and talk straight with God and he’ll do the same back, and even if his answer is a rebuke of some kind, it will make things better. I’m speaking from experience here.

  • Rob4Hope January 2, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Dangerous suggestion about prayer. VERY dangerous in my situation. Sometimes honesty might get me struck with lightening!

    But, I really understand your post. I am tired of the bitterness I am feeling.

    With regards to something you mentioned to me elsewhere Arogen,…about the idea of compatibility vs. Christlike attitude. I think that sometimes compatibility can be virtually insurmountable. I am finding I can’t let go of that thought at this point–at least not yet. I’ve had a 25 year marriage where sexual frustration has existed right from the beginning,…and sexual affection and accessible, at this point, is an essential. Take it out and you have a deal breaker. I don’t want this marriage to end with a deal breaker. But, if the situation can not be overcome, I have to do what is necessary.

    This is going to be the most eventful year of my life. WOW,…what a rush. Things either get fixed or it ends.

    • Arogen January 3, 2013 at 8:29 pm

      I know it feels dangerous to pray like that, but it is the right thing to do. Go ahead and unload, that is what he is there for. Like I said, I’m speaking from experience, be straight with God and he’ll be straight with you. Bottle it up and you are pushing God away. He won’t hit you with lightning, he is not vengeful.

      It isn’t easy to be Christlike, and that can be what makes it hard to be compatible. If people choose to hold onto some unChristlike characteristic, they can make themselves incompatible, so in that way, incompatibility does exist, but it exists because of the choices people make. They could choose otherwise.

  • kiss January 3, 2013 at 2:34 am

    I’ve just spent the last 3 hrs reading the posts since April 2011. I wasn’t going to comment, but I just wanted to say when I read mrs arogen had finally exploded…I wept.

    Your insights are really good arogen, your advice is really good. Those specific prayers are paying off big time, in your marriage and on this forum.


    I just wanted to add my 3 cents for rob4hope. As I read all your story in one sitting today , I feel there are some things I just wanted to share.

    I am female….I hear your pain, and your frustrations. You are my age. At our age you should be pumping it mate. You are in good condition, money should be good, you hopefully won’t have lost your hair yet and the middle age spread is only just appearing. You should be a sex machine in bed. You sound like you are 85 yrs old and have been for all your married life.

    I can’t change the past, but I want to give you some ideas to make the future a little brighter. I don’t know if you are still separated, you haven’t said if you have moved back to your house, but all you can do right now is work on you. Forget the sex for now. Let it go. Drop it at the saviours feet and pick it up when you are in a better head space.

    You say you can’t attend the temple….mmm, not a big turn on for a woman, you say you don’t pray..another no no for a woman. You prob don’t do any scripture reading either..another turn off.

    Why don’t you start with those 2 things and pay your tithes and fast offerings so you can work towards a recommend?

    A worthy priesthood holder who is 46, and can wear a suit well and has a great sense of humour and can make ladies laugh, is a real catch.

    If your wife doesn’t see it when you have achieved your spiritual goals, then her loss.

    You my friend, have the world at your feet. Start making the most of it. Stop the sex thoughts 24/7 and start sorting out the spiritual ( and physical if need be) and educate your self also during this time of what women want and need.

    They need fun, they need to dance, ( in their lounge as you pass them just for a second..and you sing some Harry connick etc) they want to be kissed standing up so their loins throb and then nothing more…
    Walk away.

    Be mean and keep her keen!

    Hold her hand as you walk to the car, help with the groceries.

    Tell her sex is off the table till you get your gospel life sorted. Is she ok with that? ( she will say yay) but flirting is on, is she ok with the odd hug, the odd bum squiz.

    I would assume your wife is maybe a bit younger than me? No little babies anymore…time for some big love just for her. Time for her to know you love The Lord above all else and she comes a very close second and always will and so that when you look at her, she ‘ sees’ it in your eyes, that you love her, that you ‘ want ‘ her…women like that, but they don’t want full on thrusting…just that ‘ you lust after her’ after 24 yrs. you find her HOT

    Tell her in a text

    Just don’t cave, till you have that recommend in your hand, cos when you have that, you will be a different person.

    You will want different things, as will she. You will be different people.

    Life will be better.

    She will fall in love with you all over again…cos she saw what you ‘ could’ achieve.

    When you get that recommend, then start the intimacy again…slowly…candles, a massage, kissing. Not just her boobs, her mouth! But don’t tell her..this is your surprise to her and boy will she have a good time!! Trust me. When The Lord is in your bed, there are fireworks!!!

    Wishing you well for 2013.

  • Rob4Hope January 4, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Sound advice, and worth a good read, and then some. Difficult to navigate though.

    What happens when my wife wants all of that at the exclusion of sexual fulfillment? What do I do then? Do I follow Christ by killing my libido? Is my wife really required to change her inner self and sexual feelings in order to be more Christlike?

    Attraction requires someone to have sexual feelings in the fist place. Please remember my story about “Steve”. That is a real person, and my situation has some striking similarities.

    I never knew when I got married that the way to show love with my wife was to NOT be sexual, and to consider that this was a normal way of life for her needs.

    But, then again, if I am working on myself and have things right with God, sex in marriage is non-essential,….right? I guess what I am saying is how do you reconcile agency with someone who doesn’t want to be sexual? Getting a temple recommend will accomplish something,…it will allow me to attend the temple. But, considering that this will somehow change my wife from someone who suddenly wants sex negates the fact that when I did have a temple recommend and did everything you suggest above, she still didn’t want sex.

    Folks, maybe there are some people who just don’t like that. This site is very devoid of addressing compatability issues. Arogens post about there being a time for divorce is well received by me. It means that I have options.

    I wish it didn’t give me hope to know I am not trapped–and that divorce is a way out if needed. I wish that when I think about that it didn’t give me peace. But it does.

    One thing you are saying, and I believe this is true. I need to do everything I can…EVERYTHING that I CAN do for myself. I need to be the best person I can and then try one last time to help this sitatuion get fixed. But, if that means I have to give up the possibility of having a happy sexual relationship in my marriage, I would rather not be married. Period. This will be a most interesting year indeed.

    • Arogen January 5, 2013 at 7:59 am

      It is a righteous desire to have a healthy sexual relationship with your spouse. It is NOT a righteous desire to exclude sex from a marriage, in fact getting married can be seen as a promise to meet your spouses sexual needs as best you can so I would say this is an area where your wife has a responsibility to change.

      You can’t make her however, and what you are to do if she refuses is something you will have to make a decision about. Just because Steve feels on certain path is the right one for him in his situation doesn’t mean that is the right path for you, so don’t feel obligated to do what he is doing, find out from God what your path should be and God will help you walk it and be happy as you do.

      Also, don’t underestimate the blessings that come from obedience. Getting yourself ready for the temple can open doors to blessings in your marriage. If your wife’s heart is going to change, it will be the spirit of God that will change it, and if your life is not right with God then that will block the spirit from being able to work. You might want to read “Drawing on the Powers of Heaven”. While it is mainly focused on missionary goals, the same principles can apply to goals in your marriage.

  • kiss January 4, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Oh, I’m sorry, I assumed the first 3 mths before the pregnancy was ok? My mistake. Yes if it has been crap the whole of your married life and she hasn’t bothered to try one bit, then yeah…not much is going to change her but a lightening bolt.
    That still doesn’t let you off the hook re making yourself right with God. And you know what ? when you are…then he will guide and direct your life ‘ for good’ and you will know what to do. Don’t worry about all that now.

    I don’t know why you are so anti divorce.?

    I have been married a couple of times in the temple cos men up and leave me, ……just how life is.

    Anyway, she might pass away by the time you get that recommend in your hand, so don’t worry about your libido just yet. If you choose to marry again, just make sure you are both on the same page when it comes to rose petals in a double bath 😉

    ( and send me her phone number and I will have a ‘ chat’ with her before the nuptials !)

    Interesting year ahead for you…very exciting!

  • Rob4Hope January 5, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    First three months were good. Next 25 years have not been so good. The therapists help. They provide hope where none has been, so I am giving it the last big shot this year. I have been opposed to marriage because I have felt like I would go streight to hell for it. That is what I have to deal with–and it is NOT meant to imply anything about anyone else.

    I want to express gratitude tonight for those who post,…even though I have been IMHO a “hard case”. It was because of this site and others like it,. at well as through the help of a good counselor, that I even have come to believe that sex is a good thing, and desirable. For a long time, that has not been the case. Why? well,….sorrow over what appeared to be a false dream (a happy sexually fulfilling marriage) took a tole.

    Anyway, I am working to press forward. I’m not giving into the divorce yet,…but I am prepared to take that route. That is NOT meant as a threat,…it is just that I am feeling that I have choices, and that makes a difference in my life.

    • kiss January 5, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      It’s another option…..there are lots of choices and you will know which path to take.
      For now try and build a ‘ friendship’ with the wife. Start to enjoy her company….with no strings attached. Try and laugh every day, even if it is something some one did that really shouldn’t be laughed at!

      Try and build that trust and love back up. It will take baby steps and many of them for you to feel ‘ in a good space’ but you will get there. It isn’t about her, it’s about you being happy. Happiness comes from within. Make it happen my friend

  • MrShorty January 5, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    It’s almost creepy, but there is one thing in these last couple of posts that came to me while getting dressed a couple of mornings ago. It is the idea of hope. I was thinking about the “involuntary celibacy” post – in particular where the writer talks about how single people at least have hope of some day getting married and having a sexual relationship. He, on the other hand, apparently feeling that divorce was not an option, felt completely hopeless. In your last couple of posts, you’ve mentioned how having divorce as an option gives you hope. It is interesting to me how important it is to just have hope for a better tomorrow. It seems that, for myself, I see this play out, too. How much better I feel about my marriage on those days when there is at least a glimmer of hope that she will turn around at some point. Contrasted with how awful those days are when it feels like there is no hope at all.

    (I’m sure the same kind of thing could be said for other relationship problems. The gaming widow who hopes or lacks hope, depending on the day, that her husband will get off the computer, for example.)

    One observation, maybe coming out of Arogen’s advice to make your own mind up about the importance of sex in marriage. Your wife can pontificate all day long about how important sex “should” (or should not) be in marriage. All the “shoulds” mean nothing when you, her husband, appear willing to end the relationship over sex. Sex is obviously important/necessary for you, whether she thinks it should be or not.

    • kiss January 7, 2013 at 2:56 am

      If the savior is involved, there is ALWAYS hope. We just have to tap into it. It is there for the taking….
      It is up to us.

      And we are so prideful we shun it!! Ha ha

  • Rob4Hope January 7, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Actually, this is not as simple,…but I appreciate the comment. The savior I have been taught to believe in expects sacrifice, even at the expense of happiness. It sais in the scriptures that we are to love our wife like Christ loved the church and gave his life for it. OK,…great. So whether I am happy or not is not the emphasis. The emphasis is to love my wife at all costs. I don’t know how to articulate this and I am a very articulate person. This is subtle, and it is something woven into who I am, was raised to be, and have had reinforced. A stoic Christlike person is someone who is willing to sacrifice everything for the good of the whole, including happiness.

    And it is because of such a belief I wonder if I want to be associated with such a God.

    Suppose, for example, that a family doesn’t have enough money to pay their bills and their tithing. So, they decide to follow the commandments and pay their tithing. Now in our culture, we focus always on the outcome that ends happy–they find money, someone pays a debt to them, or they somehow get that meal they so deparately needed. But, what is NOT talked about, almost like it is taboo, is when the “ram in the thicket” does NOT appear. Sometimes the family has the home forclosed on, or the sickness gets worse and ends badly, or the children get taken from the family because they are dying for lack of food. This stuff is NOT talked about,…but what we say is,…well at least they kept the commandments, even though they suffered.

    It feels almost heartless when we negate the full spectrum of human expereince at the exclusion of those who were NOT blessed in ways that provide a happy ending in life.. Then we say: “Oh, but they will get their blessing in heaven” as though we have some clarvoiant perspective of being able to look into time and space. When people hurt, they hurt. Sometimes there is NOT a happy ending.

    Well, I’m sorry to be the party pooper on this one. But I am not convinced that there is great sex in heaven. As far as I can tell, there is nothing but speculation that there is sex in heaven at all. What everyone says is NOT backed by clearly written and authoritative information. It is all “code” , as though even talking about sex is a sin in and of itself.

    Any why is that? A question I have never been able to understand completely is why is sex such a forbidden topic? And the divorces roll on,…they just roll on.

    So, where is the hope? Is hope there because if I stick with it, and there is no “ram in the thicket” I will be blessed because I stayed married in a marriage that is anything but heavenly? Is sacrifice worth the suffering when I am not sure at all there is something better on the other side?

    I think it is rather incomplete when we as a culture praise those who sacrifice and are delivered at the end, and negate those who sacrifice and get smashed as a result. As a culture, we will find some way,…any way possible,…to put hope into our pain, and we will pretend or ignore the other times sacrifice ends in ruin or prolonged unhappiness.

    Sometimes there is not a “ram in the thicket” folks. Sometimes there doesn’t appear to be answers. Sometimes the sickness doesn’t go away, the job doesn’t appear, the belly remains hungry, and the hearts remain broken.

    It all comes down to faith doesn’t it. Perhaps in heaven sex is unimportant. Perhaps it doesn’t even happen. I don’t really know. It doesn’t really matter does it. What appears to matter NOW is to believe that sacrifice is more important than happiness.

    Man is that they may have joy,….except when you need to sacrifice that joy for the happiness of someone else. That is what our culture teaches.

    Man is that they may have joy,…but if you suffer for keeping the commandments, that suffering is better because joy is not the objecttive,…the sacrifice is, even if you get hurt in the process. That is what our culture teaches.

    Look really hard at what you were taught, what you believe, what you think. You tell me how many times you recognize that there isn’t always a “ram in the thicket” , and when there isn’t, how you feel about the situation. You tell me if sacrifice isn’t paramount in those cases….

    • kiss January 7, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      Yes, the WIFE is to Love the husband as Christ loves the church. So she better start giving up some of that sweet loving!!

      I have never heard of sex mentioned in heaven till I read it on here. So don’t be thinking that that is a given. Americans can sometimes have some weird understandings.
      ( no offence…but come on, your temple recommend interview questions you mentioned above are sooooo not in the hand book in the pacific)

      Yes there are no rams in the thicket sometimes. I was raised a member, told to marry in the temple, converted my boyfriend and we were sealed etc did all the right things. Were together 5 yrs, had a 3 mth old, he decided he was off. I was 25 yrs old , a single mother and divorced. This wasnt in my young womens lessons!!???? Don’t talk to me about ‘ no’ rams. Where was my eternal marriage. Why did my son have to forego a father, cos of a decision by said father.?? Etc etc

      We have all had non appearing rams.
      If you think everyone but you is living a perfect life, wake up.

      But we also know that when we are trying our best to keep the commandments ( and only you can answer that honestly ) a ram appears more times than not.

      Sure my car got repossessed cos he wasn’t paying the lease, but we were paying tithing!, sure I had to work and had no home, cos that got sold, sure I was a single mother for 4 yrs till the ram appeared and again, the guy joined the church ( I may have not served a mission, but my goal is flirt to convert) I got unsealed and re sealed!! And we now have 5 kids… And life goes on.
      But why wasn’t I taught in young women’s that husbands decide fatherhood is too hard and up and go.


      Why is life a test? Why is it so hard?
      Because this is the vineyard. The carnival comes later.

      You sort your life out and get it in order…..then you will have the tools to work out how that life is going to unfold.

      If your wife knows how you feel about her and you really can’t stand eternity with her, and she is cool with it all and wants out…then fair enough. But if she doesn’t realise she better pull finger or she will be a 3rd or 4 th wife to someone else in the eternities …all cos she let you go, she needs to wake up and smell what she’s got.

      Yes we all get sick, even though the temple covenants say we will have health and strength etc , yes we lose our jobs, yes we lose homes, but The Lord is bound and that is the ram. That is the peace that you get.

      If you haven’t had the Holy Ghost in your life for a while…it’s time to change that.
      If you aren’t feeling his influence and the godheads love for you everyday, it is time to change that and only you can do that

      If you aren’t feasting on prayer and the scriptures…sort it out.

      When you have, then share with us the insights and the clarity you have been given.
      We will rejoice in the ram and have a hangi 🙂

      • Arogen January 8, 2013 at 8:47 am

        Like I said before, you have been taught a false idea of sacrifice. What God wants us to sacrifice is the short-term thrills the natural man is attracted to in exchange for the long term joy of the righteous. Sacrifice is so we can have real, lasting joy and happiness.

        The blessings of tithing etc. are real, but there are times God puts us to the test like Job. When that happens the blessings are held in reserve and come to us when the test is over. God keeps his word, but in his time and in his way. Live the gospel and things will be fine in the end, and if things are not fine, then it is not the end yet. That takes faith, and that is what we are here to learn, and how do you grow faith without it being tested? I had a Bishop that said ‘You won’t get to the Celestial Kingdom without a good war story to tell.’

        Sex is something treated with a good deal of sacredness and reverence, withing marriage it is not a sin at all. When something is a sin the church is pretty clear about saying so. The power to create a moral life is the most god-like power we have been given, and sex itself is often viewed as a sacrament, a way of renewing the marriage covenant. Sex is treated by the leaders of the church much the same way as the endowment ceremony is, not like sin. See this talk:

        It is doctrine that a married couple in the CK will continue to have children and raise them, and even if that only means spirit children, then there is still some form of intimacy reserved for a husband and wife to be able to do that and the sex we have here is just a warm up and there is something even better waiting for us there. I don’t want to get too ‘deep’ but Brigham Young and others have taught that Adam and Eve were physically born of Heavenly parents, their bodies were formed the dust of the earth the same way your body was formed of the dust of the earth inside your mother.

        Where is your hope? In Christ, only. He knows what you are feeling, he felt it himself in Gethsemane and he can help you through it and lift the burden off your shoulders if you let him. Get right with God and miracles WILL happen in your life. Perhaps miracles even better than what you would ask for. You are his child, he loves you and wants you to be happy but you have to trust him enough to do what he asks.

    • SirJohn January 8, 2013 at 4:26 pm


      I wanted to chime in and say amen to Arogen and Kiss’s expressions of hope. I think there is “loads of hope,” to quote C. S. Lewis, “Aslan is on the move.”

      I love the way C. S. Lewis words things. I love the chronicles of Narnia. I tend to over think and complicate gospel topics and reading his parables for kids puts things in a simple light that helps me understand complex reality better. Life IS complex, however that does not mean that the simple principles do not apply to complex situations. Here’s several simple principles that came to mind while reading your post:

      God is good.

      By definition God is good. He loves his children and wants to see them happy. There is a lot of complexity to daily living that muddles this issue for us, but the basic principle is that God is good. I do not believe in suffering for sufferings sake. I know that this life can be roughly defined by it’s aches, pains, disappointments, sufferings, and eventual death. That is reality. It’s reality for those who believe that God is good as well as for those that don’t. You can’t get out of it by not associating with God. I know that when I practice virtue* in my life, I have greater peace and happiness in spite of my challenges. I have also seen this in other’s lives. The happiest people I know are invariable paragons of virtue.

      * note: by virtue I do NOT mean sexual chastity. I mean all the virtues such as patience, kindness, humility, valor, etc. Also note that I believe chastity in marriage includes frequent curl-your-toes sex.

      About 6 years ago my Father was diagnosed with cancer. The doc said it was late stage, metastasized, unknown primary, etc, etc. The upshot was very little hope. My mom and dad decided that they were going to have a “happy cancer.” I don’t generally recommend using those two words together in the same sentence. You’re liable to get a punch in the mouth from any cancer patient within arms reach. Dad quit work. He did chemo and, his hair fell out, and he was all kinds of sick, and all his favorite foods tasted nasty, and he lost his appetite, and always felt week and tiered. They also laughed and joked, and traveled, and visited with family, and had a happy cancer. After a year of happy cancer, Dad died.

      You could say that there was no ram in the thicket. Dad was moldering in the clay and Mom was left picking up the shattered remains of her life. However, I believe that there was a ram in the thicket for Dad. God himself provided a lamb. Because of the sacrifice of Christ, I believe that my father is in a better place.

      Was there a ram in the thicket for my mother? I’m sure she has had a harder time since Dad died than he has had. But she has had happy fun times as well. I believe that making the best of the bad situation during cancer better prepared her to enjoy happy moments after Dad died. She practiced the virtue of cheerfulness and she’s been blessed for it. Is she happier than she would be if he had not died. Deffinitely not. Is she happier than she would be if she had been angry with God and wallowed in bitterness and self-pity. Definitely. God’s blessings are only occasionally a cessation of a source of trouble. More often it’s a strength and wisdom to deal with life as it is. Many will say that this is a cop out and that if there are no real tangible blessings, what is the point? The point is that she IS happier than she would have been.

      I love C. S. Lewis’s lecture the Problem of Pain. Read it. This life is hard no mater what you do. God loves you and wants to help with the challenges.

      I want to respond directly to your example about paying tithing and not always getting any blessings from it. In full disclosure, as a recipient of Church’s welfare assistance in the past, I have nothing but good things to say about it. I have also been in a position to help several bishops with welfare issues. Even disregarding any miraculous monetary blessings, I have never seen a case where the churches assistance was less than the tithing paid. These cases (mine included) invariable have low income and high bills. The first type of assistance the church gives is food. The value saved on the grocery bill is almost always greater than the tithing they pay. In addition the church often helps with other bills as well. It’s true that some continue to have additional financial woes for some time after working with the church, including loosing their home, but that’s not because of the church but in spite of it. I’ve never heard a christen say in response to suffering, “well, at least they kept the commandments.” The response in almost invariable, “I’m so sorry you have to go through that. How can I help?”

      There is a heaven, and it’s a happy place.

      I don’t believe it’s a cop out to say that my father is getting his reward in heaven. I believe it. I believe in heaven and that it’s a happy place. You’re absolutely right that we don’t know what exactly heaven will be like. But the definition of the word is a place of peace, beauty, and joy. It’s not just poor doctrine to say that people could be unhappy there, it’s poor English. The word for the place of unhappiness is “hell”. If you want to speculate as to whether you will be happy after this life, the correct way to say it in English is: “I’m not sure if I will go to heaven or hell.” When you say, “I don’t know if I will be happy in heaven,” it’s similar to saying, “I’m not sure if red is red, perhaps red is blue.” It just destroys the definition of the word and renders the sentence nonsensical. If you do believe in heaven than it’s irrational to choose transient pleasures over eternal joy.

      Sacrifice means subjecting your will to God’s

      I know there are other ways to define sacrifice, but especially in gospel conversations, I think that almost all “true” sacrifice falls under this category. It’s not self flagellation. I think too often we get the impression that we need to suffer in order to call it sacrifice. The highest example of sacrifice is Christ atonement. At that time he defined sacrifice for all of us by both his actions and his words when he said, “never the less, not my will but thine be done.” God was not pleased because Christ suffered. God was pleased because it made human happiness (both mortal and eternal) possible. The standard LDS definition of sacrifice is “a broken heart and a contrite spirit.” The Churches web site says “To have a broken heart and a contrite spirit is to be humble and receptive to the will of God…” There must be a point to the sacrifice or it’s just stupidity.

      Often when we are facing a challenge, it feels like doing the right thing is sacrificing earthly pleasures over eternal happiness. However, looking back, most of my life’s challenges were more similar to my mountain biking excursions. I always started from home in the valley and cycled up mountain trails and then back home. It was almost always a tough push uphill followed by an easy fast ride back down. Cycling on the mountain path is definitely much easier and results in less scrapes and bruises than riding off the path in the brush and boulders. Life always moves forwards. You can choose whether to ride on the path or forge another route. The path is less painful. When I followed God’s counsel, it increased the immediate pleasure as well as the eternal.

      Related to this principle is are the competing philosophies of abundance and scarcity. I prefer the philosophy of abundance. As it applies to the idea of sacrifice, abundance means that there are very few situations that don’t have a possible win-win solution. Neither do I believe that the win-win solution is particularly elusive or requires miraculous intervention. For example, if a wife is battered and bruised continually by an abusive husband, I believe it’s in the best interest of both the husband and the wife if the wife leaves. It’s easy to see how this benefits the wife. Some people, including battered wives, have a hard time seeing how this may benefit the husband. Many abused wives feel like they have a religious obligation to sacrifice their happiness to stay and help their husband. However, her leaving may be the impetus that inspires him to be a better man. At the very least, it removes the possibility (for a time) of him adding more tally marks under that specific sin.

      The summary of all of this is simply to say I know that staying close to God and following his counsel will lead to an increase in happiness in spite of continued pain.

      I feel like I would like to give you some advice, which is always dangerous, so take it with a grain of salt. Just remember that, although I’ve read all your posts, I don’t and can’t know what is best for your situation. Also remember that I understand something of the pain you suffer.

      Don’t exclude the possibility of divorce as the best option for you. The church does encourage divorce in some situations. I agree that many people are too quick to divorce and so, most of the time, discouraging divorce is good policy. I think broken marital vows with no indication of remorse or a willingness to change is a good reason to divorce. I believe that no desire for physical oneness qualifies as breaking marital vows.

      Consider carefully your own happiness. I don’t think I was wrong in considering divorce, however when I did there was something that always troubled me. I saw myself as severely damaged and I could not see entering another marriage on fraudulent terms. I would have to tell any potential future wife that my last marriage was very rocky sexually, that the lack of sex heightened my anxiety towards it, and that I might struggle to not feel frustrated or angry at each turn down, even if they were rare. Even if I was able to find someone willing to accept me on those terms, I did not want to sell myself short in that way. I wanted to be valued and desired and sought after. I decided it was much better policy to get myself healthy before I made any decisions about divorce. I wanted to be a sexually confident, attractive mate, before I put myself “back on the market.” I realized that there is nothing sexy about complaining about lack of sex. I realized that even the best marriage in the world is going to have moments when one is in the mood and the other can’t get there. I realized that I needed to learn how to accept refusal with grace and dignity before I divorce. I wanted to move to a better situation with greater confidence and less like a whipped dog with his tail between his legs. I realized that my marriage at the time was the perfect school house to improve that aspect of myself.

      I vowed to not let her rejections get me down or control my emotions. I’ve come to believe that is a big part of the commandment to “bridle your passions.” It doesn’t mean to squash your sexual feelings, but rather to maintain your sexiness (not be pouty and whiny) when you ain’t get’n any. One thing I discovered after a long while, is that my wife’s attitudes changed. She started saying things opposite from what she had said before. She expressed frustration that we were not having enough sex! Not that everything is all better now, there are still many challenges, including extended trips through the sexual desert, but it’s much better with much more hope of improving. I’m forced to admit that a significant portion of her lack of desire was because I was not desirable.

      Your wife may or may not be in a similar situation to mine. Regardless, be the best you can be and have confidence in your attractiveness as a husband before you move towards another relationship.

      I know that God loves you and wants your happiness. There are good things to come as surely as there are hard things to come. Look forward to the good times and strengthen yourself for the bad times.

      • Rob4Hope January 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm

        Sir John,…you overwhelm me–in a good way. I am going to read your post at least two more times. If found myself hanging on your words,..tasting them, savoring them,…reaching out with my feelings and crying out: “Is anyone there!?”….

        Everyone,…I don’t know any of you at all really. But do you realize that somehow, through this blog site,…you are throwing me a lifeline?

        Perhaps through this site “Aslan truly is on the move…”

        Puts chills down my spine! and tears in my eyes….

  • Rob4Hope January 8, 2013 at 6:19 am

    Kiss girl,..I love your post! You are a fighter,…and that is a GOOD thing in my opinion. You didn’t back down from my challenge. But, you also didn’t negate that there is some real pain going on in my life and marriage. My testimony is also hurt–or should I say it has been challeneged with things that weren’t taught,…and still aren’t. I will give your post a few more reads, and respond later.

  • Rob4Hope January 8, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Well, what you are talking about Arogen is what Neal Maxwell use to call “hard doctrine”. The perfect example is when Paul in the New Testament asked God 3 times to have his thorn in the flesh removed. He was told no. I’m sure it was something that hurt him,..initially. He wouldn’t have kept asking if he was satisfied with the first answer. But, after the third time, and perhaps the third “no”,…he had no choice but to accept it. Maxwell sais that Paul needed to learn something about Paul. So, whatever that thorn was (Truman Madsen commented that tradition sais it was a hunch back spine problem), it wasn’t removed. You and kiss girl are all talking the same thing.

    I feel sorrow–deep deep sorrow–that my marriage is in the state it is.

    I am afraid to approach God about this because I am afraid he will say: “you need to love your wife and stay with her regardless of whether you ever have sex again.”

    Seem far fetched? My bishop told me that. My fear is real. I feel like God doesn’t care about how I feel, and that suffering in my case is what he intends. It is difficult to have faith when my foundation is as shakey as it is.

    I’m processing again. I have a long journey ahead of me. I feel like there is no way out. I feel trapped.

    • Arogen January 8, 2013 at 11:08 pm

      Tell God you are afraid of Him saying that, and why it scares you. I can’t say with certainty what his reply will be, but whatever God expects a person to do, God will help them do it and they will find happiness in doing God’s will. You are His son, he LOVES you and wants you to have lasting happiness and joy.

  • Rob4Hope January 8, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    PS. I took a glance at the Holland talk. I really wanted to use such talks, and also things like Brent Barlow comments in the Ensign years ago as a way to counter the void of knowledge about what the church taught with regards to married sexuality. I asked my Stake President if those things could be considered scripture,…or the position of the church because of the editorial review. He said no.

    I recognize now that the only way I can find out is directly from the source. I will be very disappointed to learn per-chance that they might not be for me. I have a friend who WAS told that he is to love his wife and live the rest of his life in a virtually sexless marriage–because his wife will NOT address the concerns; as far as she is concerned, there is nothing wrong. I recognize that this mans revelation (Steve if you are wondering) does not apply to me,…but it is a precidence. God DOES tell some people that,…and I am afraid.

    If God tells me this,…I am frightened I will turn on him, you, the Church and everything else with hate and venom. I am capable of that,…and it has become easier to hurt and not know what God’s will is for me than to try to find out.

    You could consider this pride. However, in my case it is founded in pain and sorrow. Part of me wants to obey and yield. I just don’t know how when I don’t feel like I have a choice.

    You know, marriage wasn’t suppose to be like this. Had I known any of this before hand,…I would have NEVER married. I struggle to see happiness in my marriage. Perhaps peace, perhaps that can be achieved. But what of excitement, extacy, fun, thrill, and feeling like the best thing in the world is coming home after work?

    Do women understand what they are doing and saying to their husbands when they reject them year after year after year?

    Anyway, time to get off the pitty potty. My sorrow shifts to anger in a microsecond. At this point,…if getting right with God means I have to continue to hurt and suffer because sacrifice is paramount,..then I don’t think I can do it. I’m not Steve. I would rather the marriage end. i would rather be alone.

    Getting right with God and having the courage to even talk to him is a quest all its own. Sad how things told me by therapists, priesthood leaders, and well meaning friends have twisted my faith.

    Trapped I really am.

    • Arogen January 8, 2013 at 11:16 pm

      It may not count as scripture, but it is not contrary to the doctrine of the church so you are free to accept it as truth if you feel the spirit telling you so, but not free to hold others to that standard.

      What you really, really, really need to do is get down on your knees and really open up to God. Let loose and get it all out, tell him all the things you hold yourself back from saying here. He won’t hit you with lightning, he will help you, and he probably CAN’T help you until you do that.

      I’ve been there, I’ve been angry with God over something and it wasn’t until I got honest with God about how I felt about it that he answered me, and he answered me as soon as I said Amen. He can’t help you with something you won’t talk with him about or acknowledge.

    • pw January 22, 2013 at 8:03 am

      Just read your comments above – I’m probably one of the few women who would like more sex and intimacy in my marriage so I do understand where you are coming from. I also understand that you can get totally pre-occupied with not getting enough. I just wondered if concentrating on other things, like making your wife feel loved and appreciated, meeting her needs (without ulterior motives), having fun together, just enjoying the two of you as a couple might just lead to more intimacy? I apologise if you have already tried, I’m new to the site and haven’t read everything you said yet.

      Have you heard of the 80/20 principle? Marriage may be 80% solid but we can get so focused on the missing 20% that we fail to notice the rest.

      Believe me, I know what I am talking about, my husband and I are trying to work through major problems and I keep telling myself this, in fact the 80/20 principle is the reason why my husband did not leave me for someone else even when he was planning to.

      I also wonder if your wife is aware of your thoughts? Have you told her how close you are to leaving – and I would suggest just ripe for an extra-marital affair if it was offered to you…? Please talk to her and tell her. Both my husband I wish we had been more open as it would have saved us so much heartache!! Surely your wife wants to be happy, too, and you both want the best for each other? Are you discussing this? It might be painful but oh, how I wish we had shared painful feelings earlier.

      Just re-read some of your first entries and I just want to say, marriage should be happy, marriage should include physical intimacy, and there are choices open to individuals. I firmly believe that we are not here on this earth to suffer, to only sacrifice, to wait for later, to put ourselves down; I suggest as members of the church we have become somewhat obsessed with having to go through trials and tribulations! I suggests that these notions do not come from Heavenly Father because they do not enhance our spirits or give us light- that’s the way I judge it. I believe that a truly happy marriage means having sex and remember Pres Kimball talking about this, the importance of a good physical relationship to enhance marriage, I certainly don’t want to wait for the afterlife to have sex!!

      Despite my support for priesthood leaders, I know that advice is often personal and not necessarily inspired. Take it with a pinch of salt – in the end, you make the decisions based on what you believe to be right for you and for your wife and for your family and seek confirmation from Heavenly Father.

      And you know what – many of the things I am telling you also apply to myself and my own situation! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reflect.

  • kiss January 9, 2013 at 3:05 am

    He can’t help you with something you won’t talk with him about or acknowledge.

    Please please please follow this guys advice. He knows his stuff!!! Stop putting it off!!! God knows the ‘ end’ so stop being a big wet blouse and find out what is to happen instead of speculating or imagining ‘ he’s going to say this or that or nothing’

    You won’t know till you put all your cards on the heavenly table and wait for his response. Have a pen and paper ready and at the end of the prayer after you have said ‘ amen’ ask if there is anything he would like to say to you? And listen and write what comes to mind.

    Expect to hear.

    Nothing will be bad, cos it will be ‘ the right thing’ for you. So how can it be bad, if the right thing brings you happiness, whatever that is.

    We wonder if. God is happy?
    Mosiah 2;41

    41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

    Does God live in a state of never ending happiness? Yes he bloomin does!!! And you will to. The scriptures say So. Do you want to be happy here though first? Of course!! Will he help you to be happy here…of course. But you have to make that first leap.

  • Rob4Hope January 10, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I am overwhelemed, and to say I am frightened is a major understatement. I an terrified. I have never been more frightened.

    I’m going to write a letter to God. That is the only way I can do this. Then I am going to kneel and read it.

    If there is a giant lightening bolt and earthquake,…you will know where it came from.

    • kiss January 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      It was nice chatting with you over these last couple of days, see ya!!!

    • Arogen January 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      I’m praying for you. It’s the right thing to do and God won’t strike you down for being honest with him.

  • pw January 21, 2013 at 3:51 am

    This seems to be a somewhat taboo subject but I would like to invite some comments about how to live with erectile dysfunction. My husband and I have been married 25 + years and I have probably always been more keen on having sex than him but over the past few years he has been less and less interested. A few years ago he started having problems getting an erection without a lot of manual stimulation and after a while he could not keep it up even then. The doctor told him there was no physical reason; it is psychological and prescribed Viagra. This helps him to get an erection but not to enjoy intercourse and we gave up quickly. Over the past couple of years we have all but stopped any intimacy and have drifted more and more into living our own very busy lives. Although I have craved having sex my lack of confidence has simply not allowed me to try and initiate anything, the rejection hurt too much and I felt too guilty for not being able to get him excited. I also worried that any advances on my part would be interpreted as further pressure. He says he just doesn’t fancy me anymore. There is as always much more to our story but I just need to add that we are trying to improve our marriage. What causes erectile dysfunction and how do you live with it? Is it possible for hom to love me but not fancy me and what can I as the wife do about this?

    • Arogen February 22, 2013 at 9:44 am

      This really sounds like he has low testosterone levels, which is pretty common when you get over 40. Get his T level checked, it is easily and quickly fixed.

      • kiss February 23, 2013 at 11:45 am

        I think your comment below (pw) might have something to do with his problem. Cos he must be able to maintain it with her, or she wouldn’t be hanging around .
        From reading the posts on this forum, porn plays a bit part of him ‘ not wanting sex with you’ as he is exhausted from having sex with himself all day, every day….

  • pw January 25, 2013 at 7:07 am

    My husband told me some weeks ago that he was involved with somebody else and thought he had no option but to leave and had made extensive plans with the new woman.

    I knew it was wrong of him to go, I wanted him to stay, I felt a tremendous amount of love for him and that I could forgive him and in the end he decided to stay. Although there are times when I question this, I felt and feel great inspiration and assurance that this was and is Heavenly Father’s will. Since then it has been a very long and hard journey, he has broken it off but she is pursuing him and I am unsure of how much emotional involvement there still is on his part.

    This has changed everything for us and what we expected our future to bring. He will quite likely be excommunicated so I am on my own as far as church is concerned and it feels incredibly lonely. At present he does not feel anything spiritually, to be expected. When I made the decision that I wanted him to stay I knew I needed to be clear for myself that his return to church would not ever be condition: I would either let go of our marriage or accept him as he is.

    Forgiveness is so easy, letting go I struggle with, the feelings of hurt, disappointment, loss of trust, pain, the questions of why, the betrayal, … they all haunt me.

    Although we are together and life is harmonious, no fights, no arguments, that is not our way, he is still not fully committed to our marriage, he is staying but he cannot promise that he won’t go. We talk but then there are times when going over the same things brings tears but no resolution so we avoid the subject and are just gentle with each other.

    I know he loves me, he knows it, too, and tells me so, but does he love me enough? We are not sure. I never thought him unselfish but he is being incredibly self-centred in all of this. But shouldn’t I worry about making him happy rather than complain that he is selfish?

    He doesn’t desire me physically, that was a problem previously and it hurts tremendously to know he ‘fancied’ someone else when he doesn’t want me. We cuddle a great deal but it feels non-sexual, just comfortable. Can desire come back? Will it come back? Will we ever have a fulfilling physical relationship? Will I be able to forget? I so hope for us to be happy and feel desperate for reassurance that this is possible.

    There are days when I think I make too much of it all, millions of couples split up and people survive, why am I clinging on? But when we are together, watching TV or going on a walk or just chatting, it is so very comfortable, so good, we are best friends, always have been. Why should we throw it away? And I truly believe it is the will of Heavenly Father. I say this with caution because I realise it is possible to interpret one’s own wishes as inspiration. But we were led to each other, I knew without doubt we were meant to be together, we were sealed a very long time ago and there have been a number of times in the past when I had the witness that Heavenly Father wants us to be married.

    I know nobody else can make me feel better but it would be nice to know of others who have travelled this journey successfully and are further ahead that we are.

  • Arogen January 27, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles. I know the sting of betrayal as well, not exactly the same kind of betrayal, but I don’t think that makes a huge difference in being able to relate. When I was on my mission my future wife was much less loyal and faithful than she portrayed herself as during the middle part of my mission. She didn’t break the law of chastity, but she violated the boundaries of of our relationship and she covered it up so I didn’t even know until years after we were married.

    She didn’t know I found out, and I told myself that she married me and had been a faithful wife so there was not point bringing it up and I bottled it all up inside and it ate away at me for 20 years. On top of this she was not interested in me sexually, and it was in the process of trying to work that out that I opened up about how this bothered me and we started working on trying to settle this issue. We are not done yet, but perhaps I can offer some hope and help.

    Like you, I knew God wanted me to marry her. The night we met He very clearly told me (and I do mean tell) that she was the one. God knew at that time what she was going to do down the road. God also very clearly told me it was the right time to marry her when I prayed about a month after I got back from my mission, after He knew what she had already done.

    Some things I’ve learned in the process of working this out is that there is a difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. Forgiveness is a decision made by the person sinned against to let go of any anger, desire for revenge, vindictiveness, or other hostility toward the sinner. That doesn’t mean you must give them the same trust and standing in your life they had before, it doesn’t mean you stop feeling hurt over what they did. Forgiveness is not being a doormat, and forgiveness alone doesn’t bring about a reconciliation of the relationship.

    For the relationship to be healed, there must be forgiveness from the one sinned against, but there must also be repentance from the one who sinned. They have to fully recognize what they did that was wrong (no denial or blame-shifting) and how wrong it was. They need to feel regret for it to the same degree of the hurt they caused by it, they need to confess and come clean so the person sinned against isn’t plagued by questions and doubts about how or why it happened and doesn’t have to wonder if there is anything more being hidden. The sinner has to make restitution and make up for it or undo it as much as they can, and they need to forsake that sin and really commit themselves to never doing anything like that again. Repentance like that can bring about a powerful change of heart, a very real spiritual rebirth, so they are no longer the same person who did that thing. That is the miracle of the atonement, it isn’t just being cleansed of sin, but having out sinful nature changed.

    Anyway… If your spouse does those things, then he can become a better man than he was before, and you can have a better marriage than you had before because of that, but it won’t be quick and it won’t be easy. Be open to the idea that you may need to make some changes too to make the marriage work better. Marriage counseling is a must I would say, see if there is somebody LDS Social Services can set you up with if possible, and go alone if he isn’t willing to.

    He had a testimony once, sometimes it takes the loss of church membership for somebody to learn how valuable it is. If he is willing to pray and read scriptures, alone or with you or with the family, that would be great.

    God wouldn’t tell you to hang on like this for no reason, so trust in His wisdom and do the best you can. He wants you to be happy and is telling you this is the path to take. There is hope.

    While my wife is really dragging her feet on the coming clean part (because she knows doing that will cause me more pain) what she has done has made things much better, in fact our marriage now is better than it has ever been at any time. A couple years ago she said she didn’t care if she ever had sex again, now she is eager for it frequently. I haven’t been able to fully let it go, most days I’m fine but I still have some days where I wrestle with a lot of doubt and fear and insecurity and hurt, but not nearly as often as before. Sometimes you have to ‘re-forgive’. I’ve had to make changes too. Bottling hurts up inside was a really big mistake on my part.

    Good luck. I’ll pray for you guys.

  • pw February 9, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Thank you Arogen, for your comments! We’re still hanging in there… I particularly like your comments about forgiveness and how I might have to keep “re”forgiving, I think that’s so true.

    I also agree with marriage counselling – hopefully we can access it, and yes, I know we both have to make some changes.

  • kiss February 23, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I’ve got Laura’s book!! Whoaoa…it’s massive! Just started reading it, on chapter one. Looking forward to reading what she has to say.

    • Arogen February 23, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      My wife and I had a evening set aside every week were we would read it together and talk about it. It really, really, changed things for us in such a wonderful way.

      Don’t skip out on the homework either.

  • kiss February 24, 2013 at 1:37 am

    Hubby hasn’t seen the cover, just sees me reading. I’m going to include him though in the workouts! ( not that I have read any of them yet, not skipping ahead 🙂 )

    Borrowed a book off a friend called a covenant marriage ( I think it was) so will have a look at that book too.
    Not that we have any issues but always good to see what’s new!

  • kiss February 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I just read this in the Sydney morning herald, here is the link
    and below is the article. Interesting his thoughts…seeing I am reading Laura’s book now and how she says we need to take a stand against satans ways and teach each other there is a better ( much better) way.

    Thought I would share with you all…

    One winter’s evening in 1992, my wife and I were at Melbourne airport awaiting a flight. An older couple came and sat nearby. They had a small girl with them, aged about four, who seemed restless and a little odd, though it was hard to pin down just why. Suddenly, the girl went and stood in front of a man sitting among the many in the rows of seats. Hitching up her dress, she placed one hand in her knickers, and did a kind of dance, gyrating her hips while keeping her eyes locked on his. The man blushed, the old couple looked studiously in the other direction.

    Years of working around child abuse makes you watchful, if not paranoid, and I immediately wondered if this child had been exposed to pornography.

    Since that is often how paedophiles groom children for sex – showing them things that make it appear fun or normal – there was some ground for that concern. Right then the flight was called. I was racked for days with what I have should done. You can’t call airport security and say “that girl was dancing strangely”. Twenty years later, we live in different times. Today it’s likely the child would have merely watched too much MTV.

    The term sexualisation originated in child protection work. It refers to sexual behaviour imposed on someone, as opposed to arising from their own yearnings or desires. Government reports have been carried out worldwide into the phenomenon, and concern has grown that it is a serious problem for the development of girls and boys.

    Most people think it simply means girls acting too sexy too young.

    The trend for cheap clothing shops to sell tacky knickers and push-up bras for eight-year-olds probably epitomises that, along with child beauty quests, and a lack of boundaries around what children see in the media landscape.

    This concern is not insignificant – Latrobe University’s regular surveys of teen sexuality over the past decade show a significant rise in girls starting their sex lives at 14, and having multiple partners while still at school (approaching one in five girls). School counsellors in Britain tell me that 11 or 12 is not uncommon for first sexual experiences. A disturbing proportion are with much older boys. But it’s in normal homes that the most pervasive effects are felt – with eight-year-olds dieting and millions of girls declaring that “they hate their bodies”.

    I believe sexualisation is a deeper and more lifelong issue, perhaps even endemic – and harmful – to gender relations throughout history. Objectification of women was at the core of the feminist struggle. But today, from a completely different quarter, the nature of sexuality for all of us is being modified. For example, boys are being admitted to London’s Tavistock Clinic for sexual abuse of sisters or girls at school and found to have been addicted to online porn for years. Some of these boys are only 12 or 13. But it’s not just children who are affected.

    Our whole environment is overtly sexual now and it is changing a once-private activity, with considerable emotional intensity, into a consumer activity with no meaning at all.

    In normal development, young people acquire their sexual feelings through hormonal promptings, beginning in the early teens, and most experience considerable shyness and reserve about this. Mid-teen girls are often attracted to very asexual boys (think boy bands) perhaps because this creates a level of safety. Boys too experience strong romantic feelings that may surprise those who believe they “only think of one thing”. Young couples find holding hands so delicious on its own that it takes months before they would want to go further. Trust and respect are established over time. This is important since the release of oxytocin in sexual activity ties our hearts into bonds which can leave us wounded if they are broken.

    Today this is all changing. Many boys learn their sexuality from porn, and fixate not on deep connection, or tender passion, but instead on treating girls like sacks of meat. Distressed girls tell counsellors of gentle boys suddenly becoming callous and hurting them because they think that’s how sex is done.

    There is something special being lost here.

    For many young people, sex has become a performance, overlaid with worry about “How do I look? What tricks do they expect me to perform? How do I compare with others?” Separating sex from personhood is what sexualisation does. It’s robbing us of closeness. Little wonder we have one of the most depressed and lonely generations of young people ever.

    It’s not just the young. Porn use is very high among adult men, including married men. It’s possible that porn is filling a gap in our closeness and lovingness generally. We live in a society that is often too rushed for affection, for attunement between husband and wife, or parent and child. We are a cold culture. Consumer goods and food, have replaced intimacy in our lives.

    Our earn-and-spend culture edges us towards seeing ourselves as a product. We modify our bodies to compete better in the marketplace. Advertising teaches our young to evaluate themselves merely by their looks.
    Unless we redirect ourselves to inner value – kindness, creativity, patience, loyalty, and passion – then we will have nothing to offer our young apart from our credit cards.

    Steve Biddulph is the author of Raising Girls, and The New Manhood (Finch Publishing).

    Read more:

  • Rob4Hope February 26, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Hello Kiss girl. Thought you were gone. I served a mission in Queensland,…so I know where you are. Great article. And,…very true. I am a victim of this, as is my marriage. It is difficult to know the right way when there is damage and so little information sometimes. Laura’s book is a good one,…and I have seen that other one on the book shelves. AT this point,…I am still just working on basic faith. Keep posting everyone. I’ve become a “lurker”.

    • kiss February 27, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      I ain’t going anywhere till I hear you are all sorted!

      I don’t live on the big island but I do live in the pacific
      I went to cairns 15 mths ago, it was soooo hot!!! Hubby went on the reef, I would love to do that. We took the kids to the Gold Coast in 05, and loved it. Would move there if it wasn’t so hot in summer.

      Sydney was my home for many years. I’m back there end may for a break.
      Love the harbour.

      I’m half way through the book, very interesting,

  • Rob4Hope March 1, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    You know, tonight is a particularly difficult evening. I got some pent up anger that comes out in strange ways. The other day I was reading in Laura’s book–just poking around and scanning–and I read one of the comments about how a zesty and well maintained sex life protects against sin and temptation. My response even surprised me. I felt myself sneer inside, just spitting out contempt and discust at how that felt like such a lie, such a cheat, such a joke, such a deception and “bait and switch”. It was like….WOW,…where did that come from!!!

    25 years. I can’t go back and fix this. My wife and I both agree–one of the things we do agree on–that our sex life has never been healthy, with the exception of the first 3 months.

    I need to keep reading about what it is “suppose to be like”, and praying,…because in my case, one of the biggest challenges I have is believing God even cares about sex. I am amazed at how deep my distrust goes. It is a real problem. WOW.

    • Arogen March 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      I’m glad to see you are still here. I have a question about what you said. Suppose for a moment that God does care about your sexual fulfillment, along with everything else he cares about both for you and for everybody else. How do you think that care would manifest itself?

      Could it not manifest itself through his inspiring somebody to write a book, create a website, and then leading you to them so you can learn what you need to learn and get help and advise from others?

      He isn’t going to take away anybody freedom to make bad choices, he isn’t going to force a spouse to act as they should or stop a couple He knows won’t work out from marrying when they choose to marry. We are not here for a vacation, this is school and in some cases it is the school of hard knocks but we knew that when we signed up for it.

      I don’t blame you for feeling anger. I really hope you will go to God and tell Him all about your anger, being as specific as you can about who you are angry at and what for, even if it is God you feel angry against. Give him a chance to respond, it won’t be with a lightning bolt.

      You could be one sincere, honest, heartfelt prayer away from changing your life forever for the better.

      • kiss March 3, 2013 at 11:12 pm

        The book advises that if the wife isn’t having gourmet sex, her hubby needs to sort that out, and fix it. If she isn’t then receptive to anything he tries and she isn’t into helping him in anyway know what will and won’t work, then she is breaking her covenants ( ESP the chastity one in the temple re only sexual relations with your spouse etc) and she ‘ needs to sort it out’ !!

        So not sure where you are both at. Not sure if she has read the book, or if it is just you. But if it is both of you, write down on a piece of paper with your non writing hand the end of this sentence…sex for me means…..

        And if you want..share it with us!! It will be interesting to see what your heart says about sex, both of you, and not your brain ( which is your writing hand. This is in the book..a little exercise)

        Your non dominant hand speaks from the heart.

        The dominant hand speaks from the brain.

        We want to hear what both your Hearts say.

  • kiss March 4, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Rob4hope, did you read this article? there are links to his previous article and elder Hollands talk if you didnt see them the other day as well, in the artcle above. Read them, you will enjoy them I hope…

  • kiss March 8, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Rob, how are you going? Pw, how are things with you and hubby now ? Hoping that things are improving for you both.

    • Rob4Hope March 13, 2013 at 6:55 pm

      Not good. I have a string of problems in my life, and as I try to face them, it blows up. I also think I have discipline coming up again. It feels like my life of LDS is over. I needed the help 25 years ago,…and just finding it over the past year is difficult. My wife stays with me and I don’t understand that–I really dont; she is not happy with me…and inside I am shattered. I’m sad to say I don’t know how to relate to her at all, and my understanding of basic marriage is completely destroyed.

      For the first time in my life it makes sense to me how two people could be married and living in different states.

      I am grateful for my work. It is the most stabolizing–ONLY stabolizing–thing in my life right now.

      • kiss March 14, 2013 at 12:40 pm

        Sorry to hear your news. I was hoping for some happy decisions.

      • Arogen March 26, 2013 at 6:34 am

        Sorry to hear things have not been going well. Please don’t look at church discipline as the end of something, it is a chance for changing direction, even for starting over altogether. Put some distance between yourself and all the things that push you away from being able to live the gospel joyfully, and please have that talk with God we talked about earlier.

  • pw March 11, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Hi kiss
    Thanks for asking. It’s been on/off for months now, he has nearly left me at least twice, he finished with the other woman twice and last night he finished with me to be with her, he says this time he means it. We will see, of course, although I need to believe him. All I can say to all of you, the agony I have lived through over this few months …. If you can somehow make your marriage work, do so, the alternatives are not happy….

  • kiss March 12, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Ooow, , not fun for you.
    Sorry he is not committing to anything 100%. Maybe just now live your life how you want it. Go out, have fun with old mates, find new ones via house building forums ( my preferred hobby) yours might not be house building!! I have met some fabulous ladies ( we all built our houses in the last 2 yrs) and every 6 mths or so we seem to go away for a few days together. It has been a real blessing. Yay the Internet.
    Re decorate, buy some new clothes, even if they are from the op shop, change your hair style and basically show him, you ain’t waiting around any longer..if he wants a piece of you , he needs to pull finger, if he doesn’t, you ain’t waiting around for death.

    Go on a cruise ( they are sooo cheap in America, down here they start at $1200 for 5 days 4 inside cabin etc) crazy money.

    Decide you will learn piano, or play tennis. Forget putting your life on hold. Start living it.

    He may not come back…mine didn’t, but that won’t stop you receiving all the blessings you are entitled to.

    So grab some high heels and learn to salsa or whatever it is?? Is that a dip!?? Or learn to do the jive etc.

    Start thinking outside the box and start enjoying life. Don’t let one man waste what could have been for you.

  • quietlamb19 April 10, 2013 at 8:40 am

    So I’m engaged, and have heard some great advice from this site, from my family life marriage prep class, and other sources about intimacy in marriage. I was one of those people that had a family that never talked about maturation, nevertheless intimacy, though. I love my fiance, know he cherishes and respects me, and I know that intimacy in marriage is wonderful and beautiful and can make you feel unified, but that does not negate the fact that I am completely scared of that first night. I’m not worried about the arousal process because I know my body already reacts involuntarily. I’m more worried that I won’t like it, mostly in the fear/fact that it will hurt. I’m an anxious person, too, and know that being anxious will not help anything. How do I remedy this?

  • Chris April 12, 2013 at 1:16 am

    So I’m engaged, and have heard some great advice from this site, from my family life marriage prep class, and other sources about intimacy in marriage. I was one of those people that had a family that never talked about maturation, nevertheless intimacy, though. I love my fiance, know he cherishes and respects me, and I know that intimacy in marriage is wonderful and beautiful and can make you feel unified, but that does not negate the fact that I am completely scared of that first night. I’m not worried about the arousal process because I know my body already reacts involuntarily. I’m more worried that I won’t like it, mostly in the fear/fact that it will hurt. I’m an anxious person, too, and know that being anxious will not help anything. How do I remedy this?

    You have the answers in laura’s book:

    Happy reading and it will reassure you all the way for an extremely enjoyable relashionship with your loved one for the rest of your life if both of you follow the advices in that book.

  • JustGettingBy April 12, 2013 at 11:09 am


    It is great that you are looking for help. There is a lot of help to be found – even 10 or 20 years into your marriage. So keep doing that.

    I would agree 100% with Chris that Laura’s book is one of THE best, no wait – THE BEST LDS book on this topic. It talks alot about the good girl syndrom which you may or may not have, but it also does a great job educating on the marriage relationship from many angles – including sex.

    I don’t know how soon your wedding is, but if you don’t have time to read the full book I think there are a few items I would suggest.

    One is to talk with your ob-gyn doctor about your concerns of it hurting in your pre-marrital exam. I have heard that they can give you some various sized “inserts” that can decrease the probabilty of pain by streatching the vagina out a little bit at a time.

    The second is to talk with your future hubby about your concerns. I can guarentee you he wants it to be a good experience for both of you. Make sure he understands that he needs to get you really reved up and fully sexually excited before entering you. Most LDS guys don’t realized that foreplay takes longer than ripping your clothes off (and for most guys on their honeymoon, they are ready before the first button is undone). You need to be able to tell and guide him on what to do and make sure he realizes this may be 30 or 40 minutes, not 3 or 4 minutes.

    Best of luck and do get the book ASAP and start reading it and have your hubby read it also.

  • kiss April 12, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    I have read Laura’s book and also ‘between husband and wife, ‘ if you haven’t also read that book ( lds authors) also read it, I think it had more knowledgable wife not enjoying it for the first few months and the men wishing they had known this might happen etc.
    I’m not sure about the stretching the vagina thing..must be an American thing! We don’t go for pre wedding exams in this country, you don’t want it too loose!! If you are an anxious person like you say, just tell the fiancé you have eternity to get it right and if after an exhausting day, if it’s just not happening, to leave it and try again later..and to talk with him about that now not at 11.39 pm on your wedding night, cos it will not go down well, he will be in a sulk and your first night is ruined, you are both frustrated and the morning after won’t be as nice as it could have been.

    Just explain to him how you are feeling how you are BOTH going to read and not go into marriage sexually ignorant ..and both talk about it now. Don’t just ‘ hope’ it will be ok.
    It takes work and you have time. It’s good you are asking for help now and not 2 yrs done the road. Good on you and all the best for your future together.

  • sunshine April 20, 2013 at 5:57 am

    A question for all of you…what is the premarital exam really for? The reason I ask is because I was told by my Mom that it was a mandatory exam. I was petrified to have anyone but my husband look at my private area. I felt as though I were violated especially after being told by my Dr. that I was indeed a virgin while in front of my Mom. Was this exam merely a trust issue? I was also given a pack of contraceptive pills and told to start on them right away. That day the Dr told me I was tightly restricted to the size of a pencil and that my future husband would have great difficulty penetrating which he said would make it a miserable honeymoon…unless I had a certain procedure done which he would put me asleep for and dilate me on an operating table. So I was coaxed into this procedure and afterward was given a dilating tool to practice with. Which I was very hesitant and embarrassed having to use such a tool after having been told all my life never to play with that area. Also After having seen this Dr. I noticed that I no longer felt any sort of excitement or pleasure from intimacy. I knew I had the desire for intimacy before the Dr’s visit because it felt at times as though I had a surge of electricity fire through my body when I would so much as think of my future spouse which was exciting and electrifying and Even though I had not thought in inappropriate ways I knew something exciting was coming for me once those wedding vows were made. It was a good 6 months before my husband could penetrate me due to my intense fear of private violation. My opinion now of the marital exam is that it is unnecessary and violates that very sacred and special privilege to be shared only with one’s new spouse. Since then in my marriage of 13 yrs., I have been unable to feel anything. I don’t know if it is directly related to this first violation of my private parts but I have a hunch that it is. Nothing seems to work for me. My husband has tried multiple ways and researched many years to come up with some way to get my feeling back. So I also guess my question is…Is there a way to get some kind of feeling back? The desire is there and I just don’t want for my husband to have to put up with my lack of feeling for the rest of our lives.

    • Arogen April 22, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      I’m really sorry to hear that. Is it numbness, a total lack of feeling, or just a lack of sexual response to stimulation?

      Either it is a physical issue and you should see a medical professional about it, or it could be an emotional issue stemming from unresolved feelings over that exam and other negative views of sex, in which case you should seek counseling. Your brain is capable of shutting down any sexual response in reaction to fear. Fear of pain, fear of guilt, fear of loss of control, etc.

      You talk of your husband penetrating you as ‘violating your privates’ and that is not a healthy way to look at it at all. I see a huge red flag in you saying that and think a big part of your issue may be in how you think and talk to yourself about sex. It isn’t violation of anything when you make love with your husband, it is keeping the commandments of God. Staying apart when you don’t have to is a violation of that.

      Also, the pill can really mess with a woman’s sexual response in some cases, so if you are still on it perhaps try something else.

      • sunshine April 22, 2013 at 11:27 pm

        Arogen, I just guess it is a lack of feeling not numbness. It doesn’t feel exciting, it’s like someone touching my arm and how that would feel. I guess I worded my post wrong. I have no issues with my relations with my husband. I just don’t feel much of anything. Thus the desire or thoughts of being intimate doesn’t cross my mind much at all. My husband has tried so hard to spark some romance and I play along but I just wish I could give the same intense interest back. I just think maybe the premarital exam may have effected me somehow perhaps from something the Dr may have done to me while I was out. I just can’t come up with any other cause. I would like to find a solution though.

        • Arogen April 23, 2013 at 3:39 pm

          I’m no expert by any means, but it sounds to me like some kind of mental block. Do you have some fear that you were sexually abused while you were unconscious or that the exam / operation was itself something that was wrong and ‘defiled’ you in some way? That guilt could could shut you down sexually with there being nothing wrong physically with you.

          It might be good to find a professional to talk about this with. And if that really is what you are afraid of, tell your husband about it so he will understand what is going on inside you and not blame himself or think he is a failure in the bedroom.

          Do you ever feel arousal or a desire for sexual gratification from other things, words, thoughts, a song, etc? Nothing in that kind of operation should have any dampening effect on that if I understand rightly.

          • sunshine April 25, 2013 at 10:34 pm

            Possibly an abuse fear…perhaps I should get help. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Arogen May 9, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    I think it is time for a new open forum thread, this one is old and very long

  • Laura M. Brotherson May 10, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Will do Arogen…as soon as I get back in town! Sure appreciate everyone’s good comments and mutual support here!

  • lovey May 14, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Hi Laura,
    I am so thrilled to hear that you are in a workshop with Dr Schnarch! I am a huge fan of his work. It has made such a difference with so many relationships in my life! I teach the 4 points of balance to anyone who will listen.
    The psychology of sexuality is fascinating and I believe its positive use can make families stronger and better. Wish I could find a MBA online program to pursue my interest.

    I agree with Aragon that we need to start a new thread here. Is it possible to add some features like editing your post and also deleting them?

    Love to hear more about what you are learning,

  • Post a comment
    You must be logged in to comment. Log in

« »

Scroll to top