What Sex Means to a Man

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In working with couples it is quite evident that men and women each assign different meaning to lovemaking. It is common, and not terribly surprising that many women do not fully understand the nature of the sexual relationship from a man’s perspective. To be fair, men have a difficult time comprehending the nature of the sexual relationship from a woman’s perspective as well.

Sex is the Highest Form of Love

For women, having sex does not necessarily equate with feeling love. That seems to be a learned behavior. For a majority of women, it’s just not the primary way (or initial way) they feel love.

Not true for a man. For many if not most men sex is the epitome of love. Most wives would be hard pressed to find a better way to express their love to their husbands than by willingly and enthusiastically engaging in sexual intimacy with them.

One man explained it this way:

My wife has basically given up on having a healthy intimate relationship with me. To fill that void she goes out of her way to perform all of her other wifely duties. She keeps a meticulously clean house, is a fantastic cook, and in every other way is amazing. What frustrates me is that although those things are important I would ten times rather have an affectionate, loving relationship with my wife than any of those other things.

When enough time goes by, and she senses my frustration building, she’ll throw me the “obligatory bone” sexually, which has about has much romantic feel as taking out the garbage. My wife says that in order for her to get physically worked up for a satisfying sexual experience, it will take her three or four days of just mentally focusing on it, and that is only if nothing like a cross word or problem with one of the kids occurs . . . What are the chances?

It’s very difficult to not let a cross comment slip when there is so much built-up frustration. And then to make it even more frustrating, when she does respond you know that it is purely out of duty, and not because she desires it. She says she loves me, which I believe. It’s just a physical/mental desire thing, she says. It’s not that she’s not attracted to me, it’s just the physical desire for sex isn’t there. She has mentally given-up and moved on to other things.

A Pinnacle of God’s Creations

A lot of the men I work with find themselves in what might be described as a sexual desert in their marriages. They long for that sexual closeness with their wives, but find that their wives do not engage them sexually as they would hope. This deprived state of being certainly heightens a man’s sexual senses. One man living in a sexual desert in his marriage wrote the following on the meaning of sex:

When a man feels the desire for sex there is a sense of anticipation, even anxiety or tension. It is often felt as a tightness in the chest and even some pressure in the head. This is difficult to describe because when I put it in words it sounds unpleasant, but it is not. If it continued indefinitely and without a pleasant climax, I am sure it would lead to a headache and be quite annoying and unpleasant. But it’s not.

These physical sensations are accompanied by an emotional headiness. A man feels bound and sealed to a wonderful future and a lack of will to fight it. The outside world begins to fade and have less effect on his senses.

All his senses begin to intensify, sharpen and focus on his wife. Each impulse from his senses intensifies the emotional and physical sensations. The smell of her perfume becomes very strong and intoxicating. He is convinced that he could detect it from the other side of the earth even diluted by a thousand winds. His vision feels like it is much more acute. Every feature on his wife contains a thousand beauties to hold his gaze. It feels to him that he cannot physically turn his eyes away. Even if he could what reason would there be?

If he catches her eyes and holds them for but a moment, a feeling of weightlessness comes over him, and he feels like he is growing small and moving towards those beautiful pools. Her eyes grow larger and larger in the intensity of his focus until they seem to be the entire world, a world where there is only peace and comfort. Each sense bleeds over into the others.

When he looks at her cheeks, he can feel them against his fingers. When he looks at her lips, he can feel them against his. He is convinced that he can feel it, but he discovers that he is wrong, for the powerful sensation of the actual touch is almost enough to overwhelm his faculties. It seems that he is supported only by the excitement and tension that he feels.

The excitement continues to grow until he knows that his only desire is to be one with her, to be inside her. The senses continue to sharpen and focus. The emotions continue to build beyond what he thought he could bear. By the time of climax, he is unconscious of an external world, he is only aware of the one person who used to be two.

There is much more that I should say here if you are to get a complete picture of what sex means to a man, however I think we can suffice it to say that the feelings and emotions build beyond imagination. And then in a matter of seconds, the feeling changes 180 degrees. What was the most beautiful exhilaration becomes the most consuming peace.

The tension melts almost instantaneously. It would be difficult for him to remember any troubles or cares of the world. All is right, all is peace. Every muscle relaxes, and he lies next to the keeper of his heart. She has the power to take him beyond the veil to taste of a heavenly pleasure beyond this world. Peace and calm as deep as any ocean envelop him.

Sleep comes easily and is often difficult to hold back. To sleep with her in his arms is the greatest peace attainable on this earth. The effects of this experience last through the night and into the morning, when he wakens to see her lying next to him. He comes to know the impossible: that it was not a dream.

Such pleasure, such happiness is possible and she has given it to him. She is now the focus of his existence. He would give his life to keep her from care.

His senses are still acute. The morning sun is brighter than he remembered. He cannot recall seeing a sky that blue before. Or, has the rain always smelled so new and fresh? It cannot be, this is a sudden change that has come over the entire world. Each detail is improved and perfected for he is complete and whole. He marvels at the change that has come over him.

He feels that his heart is no longer his own but lives within her. He fancies that if he strays too far from her side, its life-supporting power will attenuate, and he will die. Here is beauty beyond imagination. Here is the embodiment of all that is good and wholesome and desirable. Here is the pinnacle of all God’s creations, and she, in her mercy, has given herself to him.

Man sees no negative to sex, and numerous positives. Perhaps the most important thing is that most men will never feel closer (more intimate) to their wives than when they are actually inside of her sharing the most powerful expression of love, passion, openness and oneness available to mortals.

I don’t know if all men would concur with this characterization of what sex means to a man, but I think it’s safe to say that especially for men, sexual love communicates that they are loved in a way that little else can.

A Responsibility to Communicate

I do believe that for the sake of the marriage it is every husband’s responsibility to be sure that their wives understand what sex means to them, especially if the meaning is anything like what was shared above. What sex means to a woman may be so different that the intimate relationship has little chance of success without open and effective communication on this vital subject.

I am convinced that many women do not understand how important sexual love is to their husbands, nor do husbands fully understand how best to love their wives. It’s one thing if husbands and wives have these conversations, yet choose not to give the love the other desires, and quite another for two people to live their lives disconnected because either or both do not understand what the other wants and needs.

If husbands out there are unsure of whether their wives understand what sex means to them, maybe they can start with the eloquent portrayal given here and adjust it to fit them, then put it in writing for their wives. I’m a big advocate of couples communicating through writing. That may be a good way to go–on such a topic as this.

If you think it would be helpful, and if you can communicate in a way that your wife will be able to truly hear you, then it could be a turning point in your marriage. After seven years of marriage, one woman told her husband that she hated sex. Hearing that blew him away, but it began a conversation that now, many years later, has had a very positive impact on all aspects of their relationship.

Sex is a powerful form of love for both men and women. Men, especially, may assign great power to sexual love in their marriages. Understanding what sex means to each other and making efforts to meet each other’s needs is a basic trust within marriage.



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Comments
  • Xenon June 18, 2009 at 7:18 am

    I’m sorry to start this out negative, but …

    Not only do many women not understand what sex means to a man, (and visa versa), I think that many women don’t understand just how much rejection hurts. I think that generally speaking, whatever can make the “highs” the highest in your life, is also the thing that can make the “lows” the lowest.

    So, the man above describes how everything becomes more intense – the smells stronger, the sky bluer, the love deeper. Well, unfortunately, I think the opposite also occurs – the despair is deeper, the night darker, the pain more intense.

    I know that when I feel it building in me, and the senses get more intense, that when rejected, I really hurts … perhaps because it is so opposite from what it could be. I sit alone in dark and my brain says it’s not a big deal, that she still loves me, etc. But that doesn’t really help my heart.

    My wonderful wife I think finally got that in the last year or so. Things are much better now. She at least accepts, if not understands, the power of sex for me. The rejections are fewer and farther between, and much easier to accept. I doubt it means the same to her that it does to me, or that it ever will, BUT, she has come to terms with it and learned to accept it as part of me. Most of the things I think she likes about me “outside the bedroom” are tied closely to what I want from her “in the bedroom”.

    I second Laura’s suggestion to write a letter. I writing one now … Two years ago, we wrote many letters, when things were really bad. I started writing one two days ago (she’s gone for a week) that is on the other side now that things are much better. It’s a thank you letter for all the wonderful things she has done for me in the sexual area over the last 6 months or so. A thank you for the fulfilled fantasies and what they mean to me. A Thank you for the new “sexual playfullness” she has cultivated in the last little while. A thank you that is a deep and positive as the letter two years ago were dark and negative.

  • klover June 18, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I echo the comments of Laura, the men she quotes, and Xenon. I never feel more alive in ALL my senses than with true sexual intimacy.

    Sexual intimacy is probably a little different for everyone, but I suppose a lot of men feel the same as the men mentioned above and to myself.

    I have tried to communicate to my wife that for me sexual intimacy is tied closely with emotional and spiritual intimacy and when we make love I feel I am giving all that I am and ever want to be for her — I am giving all of ME INTO HER. It is sacred, symbolic and also actual/real.

    And, when my wife genuinely wants to make love to me and for me to make love to her I never feel more needed, accepted, appreciated, wanted, alive — I exist for this love; this love is the purpose and meaning of life and all creation.

    I believe every man and woman desires and needs this love, this total acceptance, this total giving, this total receiving with your spouse. The object of our existence is to become one with our spouse and Diety; there is no greater happiness, joy, and peace.

    I sincerely hope that all husbands and all wives can better understand and value and appreciate each other in all areas and seek to love more fully.

  • Gladys June 18, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    WOW! What an amazing description from this man that she quoted in the article. Very beautifully written.

    I love my husband. He is my soulmate in every way. WE have a large family and sometimes sex has been drudgery for me and inconvenient at times. We really have to carve out “together time” It has been my quest to try to understand what sex means to him and how he needs it for all the various reasons. That alone, has made such a difference in our marriage. It means alot to him that it is important to me. In that quest came understanding of myself. That woman are very sexual beings as well and we also need it to be whole. I feel I have become so intune to his needs that I literally cannot fall asleep at night if I sense, even slightly, that he needs me. (I have tried a few times-it doesn’t work-he can’t fall asleep either : )) I guess that means we have broken through to a new level. It is a wonderful place to be. We are one truely in everyway. This is how God designed sexual oneness to be. It is heavenly and was meant to be like this.

    My heart goes out to the husbands who struggle in this area and to the wives who don’t catch the vision.

  • JustGettingBy June 30, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    I have noticed that when my dear wife and I have some really close intimacy and I know she felt it also, I am MUCH more likely to take any comments or mild criticism in a positive way. I will often take such comments and think, “that is not the way I think or I don’t agree with her, but I need to please her because I feel so much love for her.”

    When it has been a long time or we have only had pity sex, I find that I am naturally more disposed to negatively react to criticism. It is like it takes an order of magnitude more effort to try and that such comments in a positive way.

    I really wish that a “Freaky Friday” event could happen between me and my wife. I think if we could spend some time in our spouses frame of mind for a few days, we really understand each other better. As much as I would like for her to understand where I am coming from, I want to know and understand what she really feels and thinks – as well as how she views me. All we have are words to try and figure out this stuff and those are shared too infrequently.

  • Depreciated July 1, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    It is nice to know that I am not alone and that many others feel as I do. It makes me realize I am not so abnormal as my wife would like me to believe. My wife does not get this at all. Whenever I get the nerve to bring it up, it just starts another fight. When I get built up tension or feel turned away is really the only time we fight. She never actually says no, she just starts saying how tired she is or how sick she feels before bed time. That is my signal there will be no intimacy. If I could just learn to be happy with having intimacy only whenever she wanted it, we could be the happy marriage poster couple. 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.

    I am truly happy for you men and kudos to you wives who “get it”.

    Thanks for listening

  • Depreciated July 5, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Just wondering why my comments have not shown up on the board. Did I do something wrong?

    • Laura M. Brotherson July 6, 2009 at 10:48 am

      Hi Depreciated,

      New posters’ first comment must be approved, and then their comments thereafter will post automatically. I hope this answers your question. If other posts of yours haven’t posted let me know or you can also just try reposting them.

      p.s. Hey Depreciated, in going through some things on the blog I just found your original comment waiting in the moderation queue. For some reason it never came through to me as an email to approve, which is how I usually see the comments. Sorry about that. Looks like you should be good to go now though. : )

    • Morguerat July 7, 2009 at 8:00 am

      Sometimes they take some time to show up, (and have to be approved, which means Laura needs to read them).

  • Arogen March 10, 2012 at 1:29 am

    A lot of women I think view sex like a movie. Perhaps entertaining, perhaps not one they would like, optional, unimportant, easily put off for when you feel like it and have time to kill.

    For a lot of guys it is like a meal, you need them frequently, they are important, and if you keep missing them there are serious consequences and discomfort.

  • heartbroken August 4, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Great article and follow up comments. I wish there was a way to spread this information. I don’t dare “push this in my wife’s face” but she really needs to understand how I feel. I suppose I will need to start a letter as suggested and hope it does not come back to haunt me.

  • Mischelle44 April 16, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    First of all, I don’t believe a word of the male description of sex. After 24 years of marriage, I can safely say that men want sex because it feels good to them. It is NOT about intimacy. If so, they would never have had sex before marriage, and rape would never, ever happen. Men only want women to enjoy it because it makes them feel like they have done something to be proud of.

    I absolutely love my DH, but he wants sex daily. I don’t want it at all. He insists on my orgasm unless I put my foot down, but I truly don’t want one. Orgasms take a huge amount of effort for such little benefit. I give my husband sex 3-4 times a week, but it is to make him happy. I know he would not give up sex to make me happy.

    Orgasm is like a roller coaster. Stand in line for 30 minutes, get on the ride, take the coaster to the top, and have 10 seconds of thrill. Might be fun a couple times a year, but not more than that. Further, I don’t want to be responsible for anyone’s pleasure. If I really needed sex (and I don’t) I could and would take care of myself if he was not interested. He does it himself often enough, as it is. If he needs to, he could do it. The difference between him and a roller coaster is, the coaster never asks me to get it aroused if it is not already.

    I feel intimate with my spouse when we dance, hold hands, share dinner alone, or take walks in the forest. I don’t feel intimate when sex occurs. It is a series of muscle contractions, much like child birth.

    To add to it, I can’t tell you what I like because it changes daily. Sometimes, I am too sensitive to stimulation. Other days, I would have to have a lot of effort. Since I can’t really define it for myself, it is much too much work to explain what I don’t know to someone else.

    It simply isn’t anything for me to care about, except that it matters to him. I try to do it for him, but he doesn’t understand my lack of interest. He would have it 3 times a day if he could. I might have it 3 times a year, if it weren’t for him.

    To those women who are done with the effort of sex, you are not alone. Those who don’t need it will never be able to match those men who want it all the time. We just have to offer it and make it seem like a good idea.

    I “get it” as one poster said (and in more real terms than you admit), but you don’t get me. I can offer it, but I can’t make myself be interested when I am not. I can only provide and keep my opinion of the process to myself. At 50 years old, I should be able to have a rest sometimes. It is not as fascinating to some women as it is to you. What is in it for us, besides your satisfaction?

    • Rob4Hope April 26, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      I love this post. It is honest and forthright. I’ve been married for 25 years, and the sex is dead,…my wife feels similar to how you do. I’ve posted on this site a lot in the past, but not as much recently. Mischelle, I actually can do understand what you are saying,…one of the things I have learned from thousands of dollars of “therapy” is that your feelings are OK exactly the way they are. You can feel the way you feel, and that is to be respected completely. I can also understand how your husband might (notice I said might) feel about this. In his mind, what happens may be perceived as “mercy sex”–(you give him what he wants to keep him happy and maybe to shut him up),…but for a man, it isn’t as fulfilling as he would like. But, that is OK as well. You are you, and he doesn’t have to be fulfilled if that is not something you are willing or able to do. I really do believe women are entitled to their own feelings and thoughts.

      Now,..here is a wrinkle in this post. I once went to a sex therapist with my wife, and the therapist asked a question: “What is the one thing you can have in marriage that you can’t have anywhere else without breaking moral law?”. I think a lot like an atourney, and after spending considerable time on this topic, the only answer I could come up with is “sex”. Examples of things that don’t fit are:

      1. Money. I can merge my assests with a sibling, and legally we can bind our livelihoods together without breaking moral law.
      2. Children. I can adopt, and I can even, in specific situations, take adopted children “to the temple” and seal the deal. I can also foster or simply be a parent to a sibling or neighbor child in specific sitautions.
      3. Non-sexual intimacy,…like pillow talk. I have a sister who I love, and she has had health problems — bad ones. I have laid next to her in bed, craddled her, stroked her hair and told her how much I love her, and I didn’t “break” any commandments doing it. So, I can even say that pillow talk does not require marriage.

      The list can go on and on.

      4. Deep emotional connection. This same sister,…I have looked her in the eyes and told her how much I love her. WOW! and I didn’t sin either.

      etc, etc, etc.

      The bottom line is sex; only thing that sets marriage apart from any other connection is sexual intimacy.

      Here is the hard part of this wrinkle I just introduced. I think that some people are just not compatible. Period. You don’t like sex, and your husband seems to need it. Since sex is the ONLY thing you can have in marriage without breaking moral law, and since you don’t like sex,…I submit that you can have everything you want without being married. Your marriage is in a position where it can be ended. So, you have a hard decision to make; or like me, you will stumble along for years to come, and the pain will just multiply and fester.

      After spending decades–literally–wrestling with this problem, I am convinced that divorce is the answer to this compatibility issue. Many things can be worked through because they don’t strike at the heart of marriage. But sex is one that is most challenging because it is the “sacrament of marriage” (See Jeffery Holland). When two people feel fundamentally different about sex in marriage, and when it is a “need” for one of them, then they are placed in a position where they have to fundamentally deny how they feel in order to save the marriage. They have to literally sacrifice who they are as an individual for the sake of the marriage,…and that in my opinion, is destructive.

      So, perhaps your marriage is over. If you love your spouse but hate sex, then perhaps you can work something out where you no longer need to be married, and you can just be friends. Whether you believe that is an option or not, there are a lot of people who have done just that, and they have been successful. You get to be friends with your ex–and co parent and so forth–and he is free to pursue a relationship with someone more compatible.

      I’m sorry if you are close to that decision. It is a scary place to be, but also a liberating one.

      I for one am a man who has a need for sexual intimacy. I also need to be with someone who is compatible–meaning, they want to be with me in the bedroom. I don’t have that. My marriage has subsequently died. I’m not interested in investing anything more emotionally with my wife. I believe we could be good friends–I really do believe this–but not marriage. We are incompatible, and no amount of therapy is going to change how either of us feel. I respect my wife’s choice to say no to me,…but that respect doesn’t meet my need; it just leaves me raw and empty inside. Respect goes both ways. If I respect her saying “no” to me, she needs to respect why I want to find someone to say “yes”.

      I have learned that the options are either “learn to live with it”,…or “leave”. I have chosen the latter, and out of respect for her needs and decisions, I am entitled to her respect for my decisions and needs as well.

    • lovey April 28, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      Mischelle,
      Your comments just lead me to want to ask more questions. You seem to have a extremely negative view about sex in your marriage. I wonder why that is?

      Do you not believe that men can not enjoy pleasure and intimacy at the same time?

      Why does your husband insist on you having an orgasm?
      If the way you feel changes from day to day, are you able to share what you want?

      Do you communicate openly about the feelings you have
      about sex- or do you suppress those feelings and give your husband sex grudgingly?

      Since you are the low desire partner in your marriage, you get to control of sexual intimacy that takes place. Do you understand this power?

      Since you absolutely love your husband, do you feel any desire to change?

      Do you believe that the greatest sex organ is the brain?

      Eating is work too. It requires buying, planning, preparing and cleaning up. Should we do away with that since we are both in our 50’s and tired of cooking? Honestly, at our age, we can be at the top of our game right now in our 50’s. Having the very best sex of our lives!
      What is in it for us you ask? Deeper love than you have experienced yet, connection like none other, a happy and content heart that radiates to everyone.

      I believe your attitudes and the way you and your DH have embraced sex in your marriage, has kept you from enjoying the amazing intimacy two people can share.
      This is not a one sided problem either- you’ve reached this place together. If either of you are not happy with where you are sexually, you can work as a team to resolve some of the deepest issues you both face.

      I wish you both well.
      Lovey

    • Arogen May 9, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      I can understand your feeling that way , but only because you are missing an important part of the picture. There are those who are still the carnal, selfish natural man and there are those who are reborn of Christ. The natural man will seek his own pleasure, fornicate, rape, commit adultry, but a man who is reborn of Christ will still have a sex drive, and his desire will be for the MUTUAL pleasure of himself and his wife, with his wife’s taking priority. Sex will be a deeply emotional, even spiritual bonding experience for him.

      I’ll confess there was one night where I was very selfish and I pushed my wife into something sexual she really didn’t want or enjoy and I felt so overwhelmingly horrible for it. I hated myself for it and I never, EVER pushed her like that ever again. There have been time where I failed to give her pleasure in spite of my best efforts but I still had an orgasm, and there have been times where she has had orgasms but I just wasn’t able to get all the way there. When she is satisfied and I don’t finish, I’m OK with that. If I finish and she didn’t enjoy it, I feel like a skunk.

      It’s perfectly normal that you, as a woman get that emotional bonding experience in the other ways you talk about. It isn’t like that for men. Hold your husband’s hand all day long, talk till your voice gives out, but if you can’t enthusiastically and gladly offer him sexual intimacy then it won’t mean much to him no matter how much it means to you.

      You don’t get to decide what he needs to feel loved and accepted, but you do get to choose if you provide him with that or not. It sounds to me like you give him your body and withhold your heart. Duty sex is emotionally empty, so if your lovemaking is just about the physical side and has nothing emotional to it, you bear at least some, and perhaps most, of the responsibility for it. If you have never given him emotionally fulfilling sex, how is he to know how emotionally fufilling it can be? How can he pursue something he doesn’t know even exists because you have never let him have it?

      It should be a joy to your soul to make him feel loved, wanted, accepted, desired. I know I’m being kind of harsh, but I’m doing that in the hopes of waking you up so you two can have a great marriage. 50 is not too old for a good sex life, and sex, emotionally fulfilling sex, is the food that nourishes a marriage. Stop living on dry bread and water.

      • Rob4Hope May 9, 2013 at 7:12 pm

        Arogen,…I wish I knew you personally. Your optimism and “faith”,…well, I envy them. Something is going to break soon in my situation,…I don’t know which way it will break, but it is going to happen. I am right on the edge.

        I wish there was a way to plug your heart into my brain and somehow share some of what you have. Hold the line brother. Sometimes the things you share with me are lifelines…and I mean that with all sincerity.

  • JustGettingBy April 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Mischelle44,

    I would have to say that you are making a generalization that from my perspective isn’t true.  There are lots of comments from many marriage counselors saying that they have found that men really want an emotional connection and an essential part of that is sexual intimacy.  Just having sex often WILL NOT get them there.  Maybe they will tollerate the situation and maybe not even know what they are longing for.

    I am speculating here, but just reading what you brought up a thought came to mine and I think at a very high level it is the same feeling that some men have when their wife does not allow much sex in the marriage.  They get to a point where they are tired of feeling like they are giving so much more than they are receiving.  It sounds like you have tried really hard to make yourself available to your husband, but you feel like he just wants more and more.  Too many years of duty sex and I am sure you are feeling burned out and even “used.”  I am wondering if he still has not grown up emotionally?

    I think that feeling of giving all the time and not receiving can happen the other way.  When a man tries really hard for years doing what you mention makes you feel good and gets rejected when wanting sex.  Any mature guy can take a “not tonight”, but when that is the response almost all the time even when he just tries harder and harder – it leaves a feeling that no matter what he does, she isn’t going to respond in a way that shows him love.  It leaves a feeling of “no matter what I do, she is going to be cold to me because it isn’t important to her” and I all am is a paycheck (I am being used).

    I have listened to several podcasts and it sure seems there is a very hard balance for women to acheive.  If they don’t have sex enough they are “denying their husband” and that causes issues in the marriage.  If they give in and offer chore sex often they are left feeling used.  The interesting thing that I hear on these podcasts from marriage counselors is there is no one way to fix that.  It is a delicate balance.

  • apr April 22, 2013 at 11:08 am

    I agree with you, JustGettingBy; balance is the only way to go. But honestly, I have no idea how to strike this balance with my wife. We both feeling like we’re giving everything and neither side is satisfied. She’s told me that in regards to intimacy, once a year is plenty for her. I’ve tried this and it’s horrible! Any more than that feels like a duty to her and if we go through with it I feel worse than if we had just left each other alone. I’ve tried many, many times to communicate to my wife how important this aspect of our marriage is to me, but it always leaves one of us feeling like we got the short end of the stick.
    I’ve found help, though, in Laura’s straight talk Q&A. (http://strengtheningmarriage.com/qa.php)
    Check out her answer to the question, “What can I do if my wife isn’t interested in improving our sexual relationship?” This has helped me be more patient, loving, and accepting of my wife. I don’t push sex at all with my wife now and hopefully that will give her enough space to be able to think things over. It’s always been me that comes to her about this subject; maybe with enough time she will come to me and desire the oneness that I so desperately need with her. I know that improving our communication is essential to improving our intimate relationship, but at the time being she’s not interested. All I can do is love her and hold tight until a good opportunity comes along.

  • JustGettingBy April 24, 2013 at 11:48 am

    apr,

    It does sound like you are in a hard spot. It shows that you are a good person in that you are saying that you are just going to try and lover her as much as you can and hope for an improvement.

    I agree that such a plan is good and the link to the Q&A is spot on advice. I would pass on two more things along.

    The first is to make sure you read the 5 love languages and understand how your spouse “feels” love – which may be different than you feel. You may feel love when she gives you gifts, but to her you are just wasting money.

    The second thing is when the “just love her” method is not making any changes. I think there are many (most) marriages that really trying hard to do everything to please and love your wife will bring about changes in her behavior. But there can be situations where she is quite comfortable with the status quo and will never change based on just you being the best husband around. She can feel she is the luckiest wife around, but at the same time feel no need to change. That can be from selfishness or just not understanding your differences.

    I certainly took the “just love her” path for a good 15 years reading book after book on how to love your wife without any changes – and that 15 year effort started after our first decade of marriage. I was consumed with trying to do everything I could to show her love. It would take too long to list it here, but I feel comfortable standing in front of the Lord and saying, “I really tried.” The only issue I kept running into was after every 5 or so years, I would emotionally crash with the pain and loneliness in my heart. The last time I went crashing into depression (found out that is NOT a nice place to be) and almost got fired due to my decreased performance at my job that is very nice and I really enjoy.

    So my advice is for you to do like I did and really try hard to please her and hope that will change things. But if you get to where you are many years in and nothing has changed, it is time to change your strategy. At some point if your wife wants a sexless marriage and does not want to work on the issue, then SHE has an issue SHE needs to deal with. You “taking one for the team” will have some limit (maybe you will do better than I), but you doing so is shielding her from working through an important issue. And I feel she is hurting or at least limiting her own happiness by not addressing it.

    Read the following 2 threads and see if you don’t think your wife could be happier if she were to have a sexual awakening

    http://www.ldssexuality.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=876

    and I don’t know how many years I say you wait before you change a bit from the “just love her”, but my feeling is somewhere between 5 and 10 years. But I would also suggest that you do in a very loving and unpressured way, continue to let her know that the situation from your point of view is not healthily for your relationship.

    When you want to look at one such way to change, read the following interesting thread.

    http://www.ldssexuality.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=811

    Best of luck to you! I am praying for you and your wife.

    • Rob4Hope April 26, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      I will possibly take a shot at some of these posts you mentioned here. This topic has become interesting to me.
      ———————
      I want to mention something. In previous posts–like over a year ago or more–I took exception to the quotes in Laura’s book that “validated” sexuality in marriage. I did that because of two reasons: 1) most of those she quoted from are long dead–ie, not contemporary people; 2) she quoted from those who are non-GA people, and consequently are not “authorized” to speak for God.

      I have since been studying this topic a bit more, and am convinced that the LDS church’s position is hostile to sexuality in marriage for the sake of “pleasure”. I can’t put my finger on a single talk in my lifetime given by GA folks that separates sexual pleasure from “pro-creation”. I have heard people like Russell Nelson say that “sex is an expression of love”, but from other addresses given, this is not “amore”,…but purly “agape” love which is by definition self sacrificing, non-passionate, and absolutely non-romantic. This VERY restrictive view of sexual expression, subtly endorsed by the church, has poisoned my perspective on romantic love in marriage, and also poisoned many others.

      I became aware of a situation where a woman who I know told me about MANY girl-friends she associates with. All are good LDS woman, raised in the church, and most have been married 15+ years. Out of the whole group, 80% of these woman have never experienced orgasm. She asked these friends how this could be, and basically the story was the same: “Sex was associated with sin when we were growing up”. And: “There were never any messages that sex was suppose to be fun or for anything other than having children.” Well,…the damage is done. These “good girls” now have holes in their marriage, and the destruction rolls along.

      What has been confusing to me is why the church doesn’t reverse this policy? Why can’t there be more positive thigns said about sex?

      It is really sad, but I believe the reason the church sais so little is because sex is not considered all that important. I really can’t think of any other reasons. This sets up two VERY conflicting and confusing ideas: “Sex is the #1 cause of Divorce” (See Kimball’s quote in Laura’s book), and “Marriage (ie family) is absolutely essential to God’s plan” (see Proclamaion on the family).

      If marriage is so important, and sex is the #1 cause of divorce, then why is so little affirming and positive things said about sex in marriage?

      Hunh?

      ——— I am hoping to post more on this. This is currently the active thread, but I will post elswhere if asked. I hope you all don’t mind this post. I might have a way to resolve some of this,….and that is why the topic is fresh in my mind.

      • lovey April 28, 2013 at 12:20 pm

        I for one am a man who has a need for sexual intimacy. I also need to be with someone who is compatible–meaning, they want to be with me in the bedroom. I don’t have that. My marriage has subsequently died. I’m not interested in investing anything more emotionally with my wife. I believe we could be good friends–I really do believe this–but not marriage. We are incompatible, and no amount of therapy is going to change how either of us feel. I respect my wife’s choice to say no to me,…but that respect doesn’t meet my need; it just leaves me raw and empty inside. Respect goes both ways. If I respect her saying “no” to me, she needs to respect why I want to find someone to say “yes”.

        I have learned that the options are either “learn to live with it”,…or “leave”. I have chosen the latter, and out of respect for her needs and decisions, I am entitled to her respect for my decisions and needs as well.

        There comes a time that you must stand up for what you need and it sounds like that time has come for you Rob. You have every right to have this (without force) in your marriage. I like the confidence your post suggests. I have to agree with you. You have not come to this place lightly or casually- I’m wishing you the best as you move forward in your life.

        Why has the church not said more about positive sexuality? I agree that it would be a good idea. Perhaps it is not religion’s place. Many things in life are left to our best judgement and agency.

        Take care,
        Lovey

  • lovey April 28, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    lovey
    I for one am a man who has a need for sexual intimacy. I also need to be with someone who is compatible–meaning, they want to be with me in the bedroom. I don’t have that. My marriage has subsequently died. I’m not interested in investing anything more emotionally with my wife. I believe we could be good friends–I really do believe this–but not marriage. We are incompatible, and no amount of therapy is going to change how either of us feel. I respect my wife’s choice to say no to me,…but that respect doesn’t meet my need; it just leaves me raw and empty inside. Respect goes both ways. If I respect her saying “no” to me, she needs to respect why I want to find someone to say “yes”.
    I have learned that the options are either “learn to live with it”,…or “leave”. I have chosen the latter, and out of respect for her needs and decisions, I am entitled to her respect for my decisions and needs as well.
    >
    This was a quote by Rob.
    I don’t see a way to edit my post.

  • Rob4Hope April 28, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    Two comments lovey, and they are both positive–so no worries. First of all, when I started reading in this blog that there were women out there who “liked?” sex…..it was something I almost totally threw out as absolute garbage–lies lies LIES! But, there are more than just one of you that has said that,…and it, in a way never before in my life, actually started to open my eyes. I started to look inside of myself and wonder,…hey! is there anything I want? Part of that process led me to get the book “Sexstarved Marriage” by Michelle Weiner-Davis. That book blew my mind,…the first chapter jumped off the page and hit me between the eyes like nothing I have ever read before, including Laura’s book (sorry Laura). So,…I started to wonder what I wanted in marriage. Don’t I get to have feelings?

    About this time, I looked back in my life–like 23 years at the time–and asked myself the question: what type and amount of sex would I like to be happy and feel complete satisfaction with my wife? The answer was,…I want to have flirting and messing around — a pinch or pat on the rear, a lingering kiss, or just a nice plain “makeout session” when I want–and I think I want sex 3+ times weekly. That is what I wanted. When I asked my wife about that, she looked at me like I had lost my mind. That was 3 years ago. Progress since that time–nada.

    Now, about a year ago, a very close friend of mine finished working through a very difficult divorce–and yes, sex was a big part of that mess. But an old flame looked him up out of sympathy when she heard about the mess. One thing led to another, and they ended up dating. When the idea of marriage came up, her face lit up like a Christmas tree, and was met with warm and sincere desire. Not wanting to make any of the same mistakes, they talked VERY openly about everything. IN fact, she asked him how much sex he felt would be appropriate for them if they got married. He said–because he had been hurt in a previous marriage and was also under the assumption that sex is something women just don’t like (there are a lot of us men who have been conditioned by you women to think that you HATE sex), that perhaps several times a month would be nice. This woman is NOT LDS, and hadn’t been poisoned by the culture that teaching some of this real garbage, and her response was incredulous when she said,….that will not do at all! I am thinking that after things settle down, maybe 4-5 times a week! But until things settle down, I am hoping we can have sex every day, maybe even more!

    They are married now. You know how happy it makes me feel when my friend shows up for our lunch breaks with a big stupid grin on his face!?

    I am good friends with this woman–his wife now, and they have something that many couples wish they could have. They are compatible, COMPATIBLE, and sex is something between them that is beautiful, wonderful, sensual and erotic as they are both looking to enjoy the experience, and it pulls them together like super magnets. He looks forward to coming home to her, and she can’t wait to put her arms around him. He looks for every way possible to make her happy, take care of her needs, and treats her like an absolute queen, and she just kicks her feet up and lets that man pamper her, and if she wanted, he would do anything for her.

    You know,…I think she has him totally whooped. Totally,…and he knows it. AND,…he doesn’t care. “Throw away the key baby! I’m yours forever!”

    ——————–

    Bottom line,…there are women out there who want to be with men. I didn’t know that those type of people even existed, and I didn’t even know a single one. Now I know more than one,…one is one of my sisters (of all people!), and the other is this man’s wife who has become a good friend. She believes that sex is personal and special between her and her husband, but she is not embarassed about how much she loves him, and how she shows it at all. She is such a good friend and example.

    Some of us men want THIS! We want to be wanted,…and we want to be persued and made to feel like we are hot!

    Any women out there want to have the world conquered and laid at their feet? Some of us “MEN” would actually make the attempt! If you just knew how to channel that power, that male aggression, that ambition! We were made to conquer the world for our wife, and some of us haven’t lost that in this hostile world.

    WOW!

  • lovey April 29, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Rob,
    Your dream is our reality. And it’s a piece of heaven right here on earth. We’ve been married 30+ years and our love & sex life keep getting better and better. Wish more women could experience such fulfillment as I know is possible.
    I believe there are women & men who are happy and compatible in their marriages-It is those who have great differences between what they want and get who are searching for answers- and some of them are sex starved women who don’t get it from their men.
    I would be careful about lumping all women who don’t want sex because of religious upbringing. Might be a small fraction of the problem. There are many complex reasons people behave as they do.

    One question:
    Why do you think your wife has shown such contempt for you by her refusal of having sex with you on a regular basis?

    I have been studying sexuality for the last couple of years on my own- would love to become a sexuality educator or social scientist- looking for master degree options right now. Interestingly, my hon has been called into a position to serve young adults in the church and my interest in sexuality has been of great help to him. We teach positive sexuality to our young friends and give them Laura’s book when they get engaged. I feel that Heavenly Father has directed my interest in this so my hon and I can be of service to some of His children.

    Can I suggest a book for you to read? It’s deep and has taken some time for me to understand but I have found it to be extremely valuable, both in my marriage relationship and with absolutely everyone.
    Intimacy & Desire by David Schnarch. I would love to discuss 4 points of balance & differentiation with you.
    Check out their rich forum too
    http://crucible4points.com/

    Lovey

  • Rob4Hope May 3, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I posted big to your reply, but it was blocked? Don’t know what happened. Nothing in it was offensive or rude. Don’t know what happened.

  • Rob4Hope May 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Let me try to repost.

    I have broken covenants–yep, I confess I did that. I was trying to fill a hole in my heart and deal with the “rejections” that are the most common aspect of my bedroom. I’m guility. Trying to work back and do the “right thing”, I went to the church for help (more or less for answers), and was BLOWN AWAY by the shame that swirls around the topic of sex in marriage. I honestly believe at this point that the shame I have found has been created BY the church,…not outside it. This has not helped me. I had hoped–REALLY HOPED–that the crap I grew up believing was false, had no basis in truth, and was just plain in error. I can summarize in a conversation I had with my almost 90 year old father. My father said when asked: “Dad, what do you remember about the church’s position about sex?” His response: “Joseph Fielding Smith said that sex was only for having children, and nothing else.”

    Ahhhh…. OK. So, that was what I was raised in. My father didn’t teach me this. This was the general tone and message the church portrayed when I was growing up. Makes sense now. When I did some checking, I found some very VERY confusing statements by J. Reuben Clark, Spencer Kinball, Bruce McKonkie, and others. Even contemporary published church materials say that the “sex drive is a myth”, and that no harmful affects will result in the termination of sexual relations for extended periods of time. Contemporary “apostles” say almost nothing, and havn’t,…at least since 1993. The things said by Jeffrey Holland contradict and put a noose around sex in marriage for “pleasure”, and the swirlling mass continues. I’ve read articles by Wendy Watson,…now Wendy Nelson, and others. These people oscillate between sex being ONLY for having children and nothing else, to making it such an absolute religiously spiritual ceremony that you can’t even feel normal to possibly consider you want to be sexual with your spouse because you feel horny. NO WAY! That is absolutely the “Natural Man”!,…and we can’t have anything like that. So, the message is totally confused and messy.

    I had never contemplated that I should fast and pray for months to achieve absolute purity and complete selflessness so that I could bring piety and spiritual reverence to the marriage bed. But according to Holland and Nelson, as well as Elder Nelson, “amore” is not part of this church. The temple is the most sacred place on the earth, and the marriage is the most sacred ordinance of the temple. AND,….sexual union is the most sacred “sacrament” of marriage. It appears that sex is the pinacle of absolute religious observance–or at least that is one message that has been communicated.

    I don’t think the LDS church is for me. I confess I am a carnal man. Sometimes I just want to make out and mess around with my wife. But, in comparison to what has been communicated by these “authorities”, that is carnal. It trivializes something so sacred.

    Is it wrong to just want to have sex with my WIFE and enjoy a hot and heavy evening together of mutual fun and passion? It appears it is. Spencer Kimball –in Faith Proceeds the Miracle–sais that sex for pleasure is wrong.

    I don’t know how to repent other than to just give up on sex. If I am going to stay married at all,…looks like celebacy is the answer. HEY….the church would agree with that one. I have the documentatino to prove it!

    I am sooooo tired. I am just sooooo tired and discouraged. Can you feel my utter frustration and turmoil in this post?

    Mark this one as a serious RANT!

    (I wonder if this one will be blocked as well?)

    • Laura M. Brotherson May 12, 2013 at 12:30 am

      Hey Rob4Hope,

      Please believe that God absolutely designed sexual relations in marriage to be full of fun and passion. There is no sin in that!

      I wonder though if it might help for you to pay more attention to what God has to tell you directly about sex than the confusion you are feeling from the few documented comments you can find from church leaders (although Chapter 2 of my book And They Were Not Ashamed is full of them).

      It may also be important to understand that one’s sexuality is a conditioned response, so while you’re wife may not have had the best sexual conditioning, any degree of pornography introduced into the mix (especially at developmentally significant times) will have an effect on what you learn and the desires you develop sexually. That’s pretty well documented by the effects-of-porn type studies. That may mean it may be more effective for you to continue to work on how your sexual conditioning is helping or hindering your sexual relationship than to focus on your wife’s sexuality. Unfortunately we don’t have much control over our spouse’s stuff!

      Remember too that we are all carnal to some degree here on earth. We all have a mortal overlay partially covering our true divine self, so part of our job here on earth is to overcome the natural man and work to remove that mortal overlay raincoat. It’s not an easy job!

      • Rob4Hope May 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm

        Hi Laura. Long time no hear, but thanks for the posts.

        I have found myself needing to rethink a whole lot, and the list is difficult:

        1) Church doesn’t have all the answers. Period. That really goes counter to some of the things I was taught my whole life. The “I know the church is true” statement no longer has any meaning. If it was: “I know the church is true, but incomplete”….that would be more inline with where I am now.

        2) I’m getting over #1. Slowly.

        3) Your quotes in your book are great,…but a lot of them are NOT GA folks, and those that are are all dead. So, the refrences are old and (I say this respectfully)–out of date. But, that is OK. It does set a precedence of sorts, and I am making progress. See #2 above.

        4) I don’t want porn, I don’t want acting out, but I also don’t want to feel unwanted either. I have two choices it seems: live in an unreal and sinful fantasy of being wanted, or live in “cleanliness” and accept that I am unwanted.

        5) #4 feels like bullsh*t to me. It makes me angry. But it is the way it is.

        6) If heaven is like this–wife wont roll over and “want me”,..then I don’t want heaven. I would rather be in hell with “carnal” people who actually like “carnal” things like sex.

        And the hardest one………

        7) My anger and frustration are preventing any changes at all. Because of how I feel, I spend most of my time wishing I could end my marriage. Right now, I am significantly happier when I am not home and around her. I think she likes it better that way as well.

        This is all very negative stuff. I have nothing constructive to say here. I’m sorry. I’m very sorry.

        Any spouses out there reading this? You all better take care of your “lover”, or you open yourself up to horrible things. There is a reason satan promotes porn like he does, and how wide-scale it is. Those in that industry carefully create the illusion that the models “want you, and want to be wanted by you.” The whole industry is carefully crafted to provide a solution, a substitute, for feeling unwanted in marriage.

        When was the last time my wife said something like: “Hey, come into this bedroom and make love to me. I can’t wait to have you in me and your arms wrapped around me tight.”

        Sound carnal? Sound wicked? Well,….for this man, this type of thing is absolutely validating, reaffirming, and profoundly connecting.

        If my wife would do this for me and mean it,…it would make me feel something I haven’t felt for over a decade; I would feel like I had a lover who wanted me.

        I can’t remember the last time my wife made an overt invitation that made me feel hot and wanted, even hungered after.

        Bottom line? She doesn’t hunger after or want me. It is that simple.

        • Arogen May 14, 2013 at 9:36 am

          1 God has all the answers, the church is not God. The role of the church is to get you to have faith in Christ, repent of your sins, get baptized, get the Gift of the Holy Ghost and endure to the end in righteousness. That’s it, and it does it by teaching correct principles and leaving people free to apply those principles to their lives in the way that is right for them. It is not there to run people’s lives and tell them everything they should do. You have the Gift of the Holy Ghost and you can go to God yourself in prayer to seek His help with other issues.

          2. Please hang in there.

          3. The quotes are teaching truths or not teaching truths. As you said, they at least set a precedent that you can believe those things and still be a good faithful Mormon.

          4. I know what it is like to feel unwanted by your spouse. Diving into sinful activities will lead to you not liking yourself either. It isn’t worth it.

          5. Read Victor Frankl’s book ‘Man’s search for Meaning’.

          6. Heaven is not like this. A celstial couple are both Christlike. Do you really think how your wife is acting counts as being Chirstlike? The people in hell won’t be having any fun of any kind, while married couples in the CK will enjoy a relationship even better than the best marriage here on earth, including intimacy.

          7. We’ve talked about when divorce is a legitimate option or not. I can’t make that kind of call for you, you need to evaluate the situation and pray about it. If the circumstances you feel make divorce a legitimate option then you have to decide if it is the best path forward or not.

          A wife saying “Hey, come into this bedroom and make love to me. I can’t wait to have you in me and your arms wrapped around me tight.” to her husband is neither carnal or wicked, it is how it should be, how God intended marriage to be. God put the desire for that kind of relationship in men and he put desires in women to have that kind of marriage too, but society, dysfunctional families etc mess with what God created pushing people to be promiscuous or frigid.

          I’m sorry your needs, and they are needs and they are legitimate, are not being met. I think you need to take action to fix the situation, but you need to decide what kind of action that is, pushing once more to fix the relationship or getting out of it. Just sitting there suffering is unwise and you only delay the choice needlessly.

          Sound carnal? Sound wicked?

          • Arogen May 14, 2013 at 9:37 am

            Whoops, that last line was from a sloppy bit of copy and paste I forgot to clean up. Ignore it.

          • Rob4Hope May 14, 2013 at 11:27 am

            “Sound carnal? Sound wicked?”

            It actually depends on who you ask.

            Arogen, I know people on both sides of this spectrum,….sex for anthing other than children is wicked and carnal,…or “lusty” (can I use that word?) sex is bad.

            And there are others on the other side.

            I am NOT making light of your statement as I respect you Arogen. But, honestly, there are people who do believe that good sex is bad.

  • Rob4Hope May 3, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Thanks for Laura who got a message to me that my previous post wasn’t blocked. It appears to be related to the upgrades, or perhaps something else. So, please ignore the comments about the blocking.

  • lovey May 4, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Hi Rob,
    Go ahead and rant if you wish.
    Of course it is not wrong to want to have SEX with your WIFE and totally enjoy it!
    We are card carrying members, and extra happy that we do enjoy SEX within our marriage-it’s a glue that binds us with such happiness and contentment and allows us to work as a team as we work through the challenges of life.

    It’s been a while since I read Wendy Watson’s book, Purity in Passion. I do remember wondering how she could be a marriage therapist and never had been married until she married Elder Nelson in her 50’s.
    In that book she makes the point that your marriage will be about as good as your Integrity. I suspect that was a helpful tool for some people. Integrity breed respect and is highly desirable in a marriage. Perhaps not someone in a sexual desert situation like your own. It’s definitely not a book that is a “fix all”.

    Ok, you shared your story of how you were raised understanding about sex- here’s mine- My parents are in their 80’s. I’m not sure but I think my grandparents had sex only for the bearing of children. My parents did a little better than that but it was not discussed very much. When I was a child of 7 or 8, a much older cousin who lived with us was curious about sex and experimented on me. It was scary- and I was sure I had sinned – Years later I told my Dad about it when I was 12. He gave me “the talk” on sex in the kindest way- such a burden was lifted. Little else was shared even before I was married. Lucky for me, I married a kind man who helped me heal from that experience. (His parents never shared any information about sex before we married) We have grown together. I am thankful to be sexually whole.

    I’m glad I live now rather than when my grandparents did!
    Here is something you should know that comes from our current church leaders in Handbook 2 which any member can find at LDS.org under21.4

    Married couples should also understand that sexual relations within marriage are divinely approved not only for the purpose of procreation, but also as a way of expressing love and strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife.

    Ok Rob- let’s put the church aside for a moment- And of course you will have to work through the choice you made in breaking your covenants- that is between you & God. (And your leaders)

    You still did not answer my question.
    When you map your wife, why does she refuse to have sexual relations with you?
    Do you think it is purely biological?
    Does she place your children before your needs?
    Is it as a way to punish you? Gain power over you?
    WHY does your wife not DESIRE YOU?

    Kindly,
    Lovey

    Have you picked up a book by David Schnarch yet? He also wrote Passionate Marriage.

  • Rob4Hope May 6, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Two problems going on:
    1. My wife wants me to be “clean”. No acting out, get fixed up with the church, repair relationship with God, etc. This also includes the “disappointment” and “anger” that role off me. You see, when I ask my wife for sex and she rejects me, I feel hurt and angry about it. It is the MOST common thing in this part of our marriage. My wife wants to be able to tell me no at any time, for any reason, for any length of time, and she wants me to be OK about it…….FIRST. No sulking, no m*sturbation, no nothing,…..but to be just fine about it,….as if the rejection doesn’t hurt at all.

    Then, after we do that for a while,…and ONLY after we do that for a while (like for at least several months if not into years), will she consider changing things.

    She tries really hard to stay close to God, to hold her ground, and to keep her boundaries. The way I interact with her is considered abusvie to her. So, I guess I am abusive. I am a SOB. I’m broken because I am rejected sexually by my wife over and over and over. That hurts me,…and because I respond to that hurt with an “OUCH!”,…that makes me wrong.

    At this point, I agree with her. I am pissed right off! I feel serious resentment toward her.

    I’m really bitter about this whole thing. I have found I feel better when I am not around her. Sad but true.

    2. There is a compatibility issue here. Some people like (or need) sex more than others, and what I don’t understand is why that doesn’t seem to even be recognized. This is one of my gripes toward the church that downplays this,…but for some reason chooses to ignore the massive role sex plays in divorce. It baffles me totally,…but that is off topic.

    There have been times in our marriage that have been going well. During those times, I have asked my wife for sex, and she turns me down. She sais something like: “It is too soon for me.”….or “I have too many things to do.”….or “I just don’t feel like it.” Now, I have tried REALLY hard to respect those feelings she has. But, the end result is the same,..I am left without being able to be with her “that way”, and there is no communication of when or even if there will be a reschedule.

    In this particular area, the most frustrating thing is this: when we have REALLY good sex–ie, deeply emotionally connecting, spirtually vibrant, and erotically powerful,…it is at those times that my wife “tanks up”. She is like a camel (and I mean that respectfully). The better the sex, the less frequent she needs or wants it. When we are getting along really well and things are wonderful,…the sex slows down. Why? Because she is able to “tank up”. She sais it is like a “turkey dinner”. She needs to let it settle for a long time before she could even consider partaking again.

    How crazy is that!??? The better our relationship, the better our sex. The better our sex,….the less we have!

    Hunh?

    Wow,….If I can learn how to be a REALLY great lover,….I could work myself right out of the bedroom! I could find myself judging how wonderful my sex life is by how little we have. LOL

    Oh wait,…I am already out of the bedroom,…going on 1.5 years now…..

    Bigger LOL

    #2 has fed #1 for years. YEARS.

    ———————————————-

    I’ve asked my wife for a committment to our sexual lives, including a certain amount of frequency. I have done this in an attempt to feel safe and move away from #1. If I can just feel safe and “wanted”,….I can do so much better at contributing to the healing of my marriage. She will not commit. She refuses. She sais: “I will try to work to help you be happy”. Because of our dynamics, to me this is her way to give herself an “out”. She doesn’t want to committ to this. She is afraid I will hold her accountable, and she will be trapped.

    I’m just hurting her I think. She wants to stay married and work things out,…and I don’t see how that can happen. Sex is important to me. It is foundational. How can I give it up for the sake of the marriage,….and that is exactly what I am being faced with. That is how I feel. Plain and simple.

    I am stil married because of my children. I have one married off, one on a mission, and one at home.

    I am in the middle of something called “relational ambivolence”. It is talked about in a book called “Too good to leave, too bad to say.” That one fits me perfectly.

    I have met with lots of 12 step groups (not LDS) that talk about addiction, relationships, and everything else. In that group I’ve met several people, most being LDS in one particular group. Two specific people have helped because both are in marriages that are sexually starved. I asked them both what they do when they ask for sex and their wife rejects them. Both said, “the secret is to eliminate all expectation of ever having sex.” This is one of the tenents of “LifeStar”,…at least in SL County. This idea of eliminating “expectations” is very common in those who have sexually starving marriages, who “choose” to obey the law of chastity by doing nothing as a result other than to just distract themselves and go along with life as though sex is expendable, and stay married. But I am having a real hard time accepting this.

    In my mind, if I kill the expectation of ever having sex, it will allow me to stay married,….but I will never plan a nice getaway for our anniversary, I will never “look forward” to a romantic birthday present, and I will never crawl into bed with any “ideas”.

    I will be fulfilling the 75% goal of the “Ann Landers” respondees of giving up sex so my wife can just have a hug.

    I bet there are actual women who are reading this who wish that is exactly what they had–no sex–FINALLY,…no sex and just hugs.

    I’m not like that. I feel resentment and anger. Marriage isn’t suppose to be like this.

    Lovely, at this point I don’t think I can heal. The wounds I feel, the resetnment and anger go deap. If I were to heal,…it wouldn’t involve sex because that would take the rest of my life to heal if it could be at all. I’m married because of my children,…but when the youngest is 18 (3 years from now),…I see absolutely no way possible to stay. My time is limited at best.

    ————————–

    WOW!. I just read this. Chalk this up as another RANT!
    This is what a “sex starved” marriage does to man.

    Too bad there is no research about this….

    Oh wait….Spencer Kimball sais that “not getting along sexually” is the #1 cause of divorce.

    Oops…the RANT continues….

    • Laura M. Brotherson May 12, 2013 at 12:12 am

      Hey there Rob4Hope, [love your name here, btw…!]

      Still trying to get caught up on reading and trying to respond to a few more posts here.

      Rob, I have a book suggestion for you to maybe check out. It’s called Passionate Marriage by Dr. David Schnarch. I wonder if you might find it to be helpful. It may also help you understand the concept you mention of getting yourself to an okay place sexually within yourself regardless of what’s going on in the marriage sexually. I’m curious why you’d want to have sex with someone that doesn’t want to have sex with you anyway right now. That doesn’t sound that fulfilling does it?

      It’s a tough thing, but I’m pretty sure you’re smart enough and you know your wife well enough to read her to know what would be most likely to inspire her to respond to you more positively. It’s like Dr. Schnarch said in our trainings today, women don’t usually want to make love to a man who hasn’t got himself and his stuff together sexually. And it’s not even really for your wife’s benefit ultimately, but for you and your own self-respect.

      It’s a tough road that you are on. I imagine the sexual crucible you are currently in will do it’s necessary work on you if you will let it. It’s all a reminder to me that the sexual relationship in marriage is the best possible refiner’s fire for all involved to have to get their crap together. Marriage just doesn’t work very well until we each do. (It’s also called differentiation, emotional resilience, standing on your own two feet emotionally, not being infected by or reactive to another’s anxiety, having a solid sense of self not a reflected or other-validated sense of self, etc.) And it only requires one person to do it, ‘cuz it has an inevitable impact on the other.

      Hang in there Rob4Hope!

      p.s. BTW, you’re not along in the lousy sex department. According to Dr. Schnarch’s passionatemarriage.com sex survey nearly 77% of respondents put themselves in the category of pretty lousy sex! That’s pretty sad, but it makes sense cuz marriage and sex are pretty intense people-growing processes and the sexual crucible is the toughest dimension of them all!

  • Rob4Hope May 6, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    I will stop posting soooooo much. Others are often helped by posting and not with my rants.

    This is the last RANT for a while…. <>

    I had what felt like an “aha” moment the other day. I was reading the quotes above, and saw what ‘apr’ wrote and the link to Laura’s QA section. I think Laura said something like 60% of women do it out of duty. Well, I have wondered for a while about the role of religion in my life, and how “Eros” seems to be considered evil and discusting,…and can only be replaced and corrected with “Agape”.

    Eros or “Amore”–> romantic sexual love.
    Agape–> cherity, which is selfless, even self sacrificial.

    When I hear Elder Nelson say that sexuality is also an expression of love, I don’t hear a thing about Eros–not a single thing. What I hear is “Agape”,…which is non-passionate, even subdued by very nature. “Cherity seeketh not its own, is not puffed up, envieth not,…” and all that. Reverant, subdued, calm and refrained…..

    Two pieced of information came together to me: 1) the story from my friend about the 80% of her friends who are non-orgasmic, and how religion is a VERY complicit contributor of that problem; 2) the statistic that 60% of women do it out of duty.

    Is it possible that in he formative years of a woman’s life, the church has successfull killed “Eros”? Is this not what Laura calls the perfect “good girl”? It has been killed,…or at least seriously stifled.

    And, it is possible that because sex is important in marriage, and cherity means you love your spouse, even if you sacrifice for them,…that “duty sex” is an expression of “Agape”?

    I think BOTH are YES!!! YES YES YES YESSSSSSS

    I wonder, considering this information, if “duty sex” is in fact the way it was intended,…at least unintionally positioned that way by the church’s postion in killing Eros and creating “good girls”,…(and good boys)?

    • Laura M. Brotherson May 10, 2013 at 11:08 pm

      Hi Rob4Hope,

      Just thought I’d try to share a thought or two on this. I wonder if you might be giving “The Church” a little too much credit for the sexuality (or lack thereof) of your wife. As you may remember from my discussion of the Good Girl Syndrome in chapter 1 of my book there are multiple factors–one’s family, one’s religious beliefs/church, as well as society that develop (or damage) one’s sexuality.

      I’m not sure what you’d like the General Authorities to say on the matter. I too agree with Arogen that the Church likely has very good reasons for not getting into the subject, though I do remember how thrilled I was when someone in a General Conference talk not long ago briefly mentioned the importance of sexual intimacy in marriage. That kind of affirmation is great, but I can also tell you that a lot of women, maybe especially those potentially like your wife are likely to dismiss such comments simply because they came from “men.”

      It’s certainly important that the Church provide a balanced and positive view of sex taking into account what’s needed for youth to develop into a good sexual relationship after marriage, but I can imagine that a lot of the focus on youth is primarily to just get them married safely!

      So, in general I think it’s more effective for parents to get their act together sexually, so that they can raise their children with a healthier sense of sexuality. We can try to do some to help minimize the damage society does to one’s developing sexuality, but again that’s a pretty big long shot to do much there, so there’s thankfully always the option for anyone to decide to get the counseling/help they need and to read good books, etc. to get the unlearning and relearning they need to address sexual intimacy issues.

      You’ve gotta remember that good sex (true “love” making) is not a natural occurrence in marriage but a learned behavior between husband and wife. Sex is a team sport. It’s an intricately interwoven cycle that demands both husband and wife work on their stuff and realize and adjust what they are bringing to the marriage bed.

      Really the best place by far for sexual issues to be resolved is within the crucible of marriage itself. There’s no better or more potent environment for each of us to have to get our crap together than in marriage and especially within the sexual relationship of marriage!

  • lovey May 7, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Rob,
    Like a camel? lol. Good analogy. Your wife lacks desire and a desire to change when it is important to you. What is her personality like? Would she rather be right than married?
    For me, I made a conscience choice to embrace my sexuality because it is important to my hon. I’m so glad I did. My desire for intimacy has grown even brighter over the years. The benefits go way beyond the bedroom. We work as a better team, accomplish more and are happier doing it. We work hard and play even harder;)
    Do you think her mind is made up? That she will not change? Does she take any responsibility for the state of your marriage?
    So much of sexuality is a matter of choice. Wish I could spend some time with your wife and share with her the deep happiness that could be hers. And I am not meaning duty sex. Eros is not dead- it is more alive than ever! Agape has its place but Amore trumps in our home.

    I’m listening to Pandora and a favorite love song of ours just came on Anne Murray’s “Could I have this dance” Spending eternity with my hon sounds wonderful. If you can’t figure out a way to work through your differences now, eternity won’t magically change things.

    Blaming the church still feels misplaced. I suspect that couples who marry whether they are lds, or not still face trials and challenges when they marry. Marriage is a growing machine. If after these many years, your wife has little desire to meet your needs, you will certainly have some tough choices to make. Are you able to talk as openly with her as you do here? Does she realize that she will be losing you?

    It is helpful for me to ponder on the whys of the gospel. Helps me live them more fully when I do. The law of chastity is one to understand. I truly believe our society- meaning the best place for children to grow up- is best served when two parents, a woman and a man have their children in the committed bonds of marriage.

    It is certainly not a perfect system as you are clearly pointing out. What do you wish the church would say to your wife and others like her? What advise would you give the the younger generation who are thinking about marriage?

    Take care,
    Lovey

    Go ahead and rant if it helps. Really, your writing is not disrespectful – I’m hoping you can share what you share here with your wife and she will have a desire to open her heart to you.

  • Rob4Hope May 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Culturally, I don’t know what I could recommend for the church. At this point, I think their position is carefully crafted, and very skillfully silent on issues that they handle by simply ignoring them. This is not the only issue. For example, I was “informed(?)” that BYU will not allow thesis or PHD disertations to address topics of Blacks and the Priesthood nor Polygamany. I am not sure if this is true as it would imply academic censuring which I have a problem with,…but with regards to Blacks and PH,…there is a lot of dirt out there. And yet, to this date, I am aware of no statements that “correct” things that are published about Blacks being inferior people, and that the only role they will play in heaven is as servants,…even if celestialized.

    This is VERY inflamatory stuff….very much so, but confusing and angering to me.

    I grew up in a school that was 50%+ non-caucasian, and some of my best friends were black, latino, and asian. In fact, I found myself greatful–VERY greatful–for one black friend who defended me in a very frightening situation. I don’t owe him my life,…but I do owe him. He came through. He was a real friend,..a good friend,..and so when I have read some of this stuff,…I feel anger.

    When I was younger, there were people I knew who I didn’t understand. For some reason, they would never (NEVER!!!) say they were sorry. Didn’t matter what happened, what they did or didn’t do, or who they hurt,….they just wouldn’t say the words. Later on I found out that this particular characteristic is indicative, even text-book, of someone who is “shame based.”

    Ahhhh….in hind site,…it makes all the sense in the world. Bingo….

    So, when I read statements that are published by the LDS church that are just plain mean and even unbelievable,…and no one has come behind and said,…”Hey,..this is wrong. We are sorry about this…”…then I wonder if institional shame is something going on here.

    Make sense?

    Also,…(and I want to be VERY careful here)….there is something to be said about not bad mouthing (evil speaking) about the “Lord’s anointed.” Being who you are Lovey, you should know immediately what I am refering to.

    Well, is it part of that promise that actually does give institutional precedence to not going back and making corrections? Is the idea to actually just “ignore” things,…and hence hope that it dies down or is forgotten? I just don’t know the answers to these things,…and from my background, the inability of a person to say they are sorry is a clear indication of shame. I don’t know how it works for organizations,…but if an organization can’t say it is sorry, wouldn’t that also suggest possible shame bassed patterns as well, even at the organization level?

    I will never understand what it means to say: “I know the church is true.” That statement makes no sense to me on multiple levels at this point. For me, there are things I just can’t accept,…and they were said and published by “prophets, seers and revelators.”

    I have been close–if not crossing the line–of apostasy. I am NOT supid. I understand where I am at,…and I am not happy about it. These issues above have been the biggest challenge I have encountered regarding faith issues. In fact, they are with out a doubt the biggest challenges I have encounterd in my life. For some reason, I am an individual who has to know the boundaries. The rules matter to me. In my case, rather than the Church cutting me some “slack”,…I would prefer, even NEED, the rules to be held solid and strong. But, when I have reached to know the rules in this sexual area,…all of this crap just blew in my face. And,….it has opened up other areas of similar yet not as urgent concern for me.

    I was “raised” to believe the church had all the answers. It was, after all, “The Dispensation of the FULLNESS of Times.” What a sureal rush this whole awakening–rattling is more accurate–exprience has become!

    ———-

    Now, you quoted from the general handbook 2. Thank you for that. I will look it up. I need to see that with my own two eyeballs.

    Part of what I struggle with is the shifting lack of coherance with regards to some of these issues. Sex seems to be something the LDS church has wrestled with. They seem to have waffled historically with if it is for having children ONLY (and there are LOTS of people out there who believe that–and I was raised to believe that somehow),..or if it is so sacred that to engage in it too frequently, or for the pure pleasure it can bring,…is to cheapen and detract from its sacred nature,..thus making it sinful in such circumstances.

    Whatever.

    This post only answers one of your questions. Others who have read my MASSIVE posting know I have problems with this.

    BTW, I will have some more information on this particular topic soon. I have a scheduled visit with a therapist/professor who is REALLY in the know on this topic as her practice and professional links have put her in a real birds-eye nest. I am really looking forward to finding out how crazy I really am!

    Oh wait.!!!! I think I already know that!

    WOW…where am I?

    (some would call this “mists of darkness”)…..

    • Arogen May 9, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      Rob, good to see you are still around.

      I understand your frustration with the church not being forthright on teaching about sex within marriage. I think it is deliberate, and for a reason.

      Each one of us has the right to personal revelation, and we are NOT supposed to be a bunch of sheep or robots waiting around to be told how we should think and act etc. It is the job of the church to teach us and provide for us what we need to return to the Celestial Kingdom, so we are warned against sin and the ordinances are made available to us.

      It is OUR job to use personal revelation in managing our personal affairs, including our sexual relationship with our wife. Those who seek God’s help and listen to the spirit will be lead in a positive direction.

      Also, if the church did come out with something specific, it would become a stumbling block for some people. Some individuals who would have joined the church and under the influence of the spirit progressed in the marriage would be repelled by the church’s position on marriage and sex and reject the gospel because of it. It would be no different than if the church came out for a political party, it would alienate a lot of people who really don’t need to be alienated.

      As for the stuff about blacks, sure, past GA’s have said things that by today’s standards are very racist. But that was their own view, and those views were not uncommon in their day. In the absence of revelation, the view of any GA will be influenced greatly by the culture they grew up in and they are as prone to error as any other human. None of those racist views were church doctrine.

      Brigham Young is often held up as an example of somebody who was very racist, however by the standards of his day he was very liberal. He called Elijah Able, a black man who God allowed to hold the priesthood, to be a 70. He declared that the day would come when all worthy blacks would hold the priesthood, and he attributed the lowly station of blacks in society to their being denied education and economic opportunity. Some of the quotes used to brand him are in fact taken out of context too.

      What was going on in other churches in that day was supporting slavery from the Bible, debating if blacks even had a soul, the use of female black slaves as sex toys with no punishment from the church, and the segregation of black Christians into black churches that exist to this day. Every now and then you would get some guys in white sheets with a burning cross out lynching blacks too.

      As for polygamy, again there is deliberate silence and I think for good reason. The fact that we have no sanction from God to practice it makes it irrelevant in most ways, and dwelling on it would only make it harder for people to accept the gospel. My main concern is that too many member mistake the manifesto as being some kind of renouncing of the doctrine rather than just a stay of the practice, but unless God brings it back there isn’t much to gain from picking that fight.

      And that really is what the church is doing, picking what fights it will take on. The most important fight is the one to convert people to the restored gospel and get them to the temple, the rest is optional.

  • Rob4Hope May 9, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Arogen, I have so much emotional flying around inside of me, it is difficult to think and even reason. I understand your comments. But I have read some things from Brigham Young on that topic that are anything but tolerant,…they are as racist as ever. But, I have also read things that Brigham Young said where he came back later and said something like: “What you heard earlier was what Brigham Young wanted to say. Now, this is what the Lord wants to say…”. (Wasn’t that in a church talk or something recently?)… So, that makes me feel better about Brigham,…the guy made mistakes, and he knew he did. And,…he admitted that he did as well. That is in the public record, so that makes me feel better.

    I am in the mists of darkness about all of this. My marriage is in shambles.

    If there are spouses out there reading this,….LOVE YOUR SPOUSE,…and that includes GOOD SEX….cause if you don’t, you open yourself up to some horrible horrible places.

    Like I said in a previous post a long time ago, I wouldn’t even wish this on my worst enemies.

    My 25th marriage anniversary is next month. I don’t know how it will be spent. The last two were spend in separate rooms, and now for 1.5 years I have lived in a separate room. The idea of moving back into the same room as my wife makes my skin crawl. It does for her as well.

    If you think that chastity involves ONLY “thou shalt not…”,…then you had better wake up. When a wife (or husband) starts the rejection cycle, the temptations begin to fly and accelerate as the distance increases.

    • Arogen May 9, 2013 at 9:19 pm

      One thing that bugs me is how some members seem to think that any opinion by a GA is somehow better than another man’s opinion just because they are a GA. I’m pretty sure that Peter James and John thought the world was flat like everybody else. So what. They are not all seeing gods, they are God’s press secretaries and if God didn’t tell them something all they have is the opinion of a man.

      I’m sorry your marriage is in such bad shape and hope for better days ahead for you. Try not to let the mess in that area of your life spill over into other areas as best you can.

      I like how the law of chastity is worded in the temple, it isn’t ‘thou shalt not…’ it is ‘thou shalt … with your spouse only…’. I used to invite DW up to the bedroom by asking if she wanted to go live the law of chastity.

  • Rob4Hope May 10, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Comment about the GA opinion being more authoritative,….oh yeh on that one! I once started reading through “Doctrins of Salvation” by Joseph Fielding Smith, and WOW!,…some of that material sure didn’t seem in harmony with what I was taught about him. It kindof rattled me. But, I was young and was taught that because of who he was, his opinion (and the book wasn’t presented as opinion) was a LOT more important than my opinion. Perhaps that is a seed of some of my struggle.

    Had an old Elder’s Quorem President tell me something that happened in the MTC when he was younger. He said that the MTC President called a meeting of all missionaries, and the purpose was to tell them that if the had a copy of Miracle of Forgiveness in their posession, they were to send it home immediately–that it wasn’t missionary approved reading material, and that they were to stop reading it immediately and send it home if they had it.

    WOW! No kidding!!! I trust this EQ guy,…he was not lieing to me,…and he was not embellishing. This is a true story. So, Arogen, it appears that there really is a general concensus that if a GA says something,….it is true. The problem is,…that is what is taught culturally. I don’t know where you live,…but I live in SLC UTAH!,…and let me tell you right here and now, that is what the culture here is.

    I remember reading the Mackleprang article a while ago, and he mentioned that in Mormon Doctrine by BRM, there is a section about “Sexual Thoughts”. Nothing is written in that area, but it suggests that you look at “Sexual Immorality”. Mackleprang points out that the implication is that all sexual thoughts are immoral. It is subtle stuff like this (and this one is subtle in my opinion) that give such a messed up view. There didn’t seem to be any allowance for sexual thoughts about ones spouse.

    Hey, one other interesting thing. About a year ago in a 5th sunday meeting, a local therapist/missionary was brought in who was commissioned by the local area authorities to teach on this topic, and lectured. He said that our culture, when teaching young people is: “You shouldn’t have sexual thoughts. They are discusting, sinful, and completely wrong. You should save them for someone you love.”

    Now I’m not making this up. He said, and he was teaching that we have a problem, that this is what our culture teaches. Sad. It seems like amore is killed in favor of agape, and then even enjoying sex is wrong. But, that doesn’t jive with what the temple sais.

    I’m done rolling over and playing dead. I don’t care if they are GAs. If I don’t agree, then I don’t agree. And, they are obligated to use “persuasion and long suffering”. The rules apply to them as well. If they don’t have charity, they are nothing. This applies to local leaders as well.

    • Arogen May 10, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      When it comes to actual doctrine of the church, the GAs are the only channel for it, and when they, the Bishop etc. are acting within the bounds of their calling, we have an obligation to accept their counsel. But outside of that their opinions are something we should not treat differently than another man’s opinion. I’m a long way from Utah, but I know the culture there and this tendency to revere the man rather than the calling happens all over.

      The onus is on us at all times to seek confirmation from the spirit before accepting something as a truth, and too many take the easy path of relying on others to tell them what to think rather than find out for themselves, or pridefully relying only on their own intellect.

      If you don’t agree with something, fine, but take that disagreement to God and see what he thinks of it. Sometimes we read into things they say something they did not intend and get bent out of shape for no reason. I’ve heard the before leaving on any trip for the church, BRM would give his wife a very deep passionate kiss on his way out the door, so I don’t think he is quite the prude people assume from a single line in a book. The section in there on sexual immorality starts off with talking about how sexuality within marriage is fine before it goes on to outline what is immoral outside of marriage.

      Sometimes people express themselves poorly, or in an effort to combat one extreme say things that seem to go to far in the other direction without meaning it that way. We must have charity for human weakness like that.

      It has been a long time since I read Miracle of Forgiveness, I don’t recall anything in there I took issue with, but the fact is that the book is his own personal view and as such, even if it was 100% correct, the missionaries of the church should not teach from it because it implies to converts that anything from Deseret Books can be taken as gospel.

      The right path is the one laid on in scripture, prove all things, hold fast to that which is good.

  • lovey May 14, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Hi Rob,
    I’ve really appreciated the comments made to you by both Aragon & Laura- I concur with their solid advice. It is needful for you to grapple with your testimony and understanding of the church- with great pondering comes a greater understanding and a stronger testimony of what is absolute truth and what is mere culture. Not long ago I was hit with an intellectual man who questioned my beliefs about Joseph Smith. I didn’t take it lightly but spent a fair amount of time studying, praying, & thinking about why I choose to remain faithful to the gospel. I do so because I honestly believe that our church does contain the knowledge of saving ordinances for our salvation and is the best vehicle to draw myself and my family closer to Christ and his atonement. Rather than focus on I know the church is true, I find it is better for me to testify on doctrines that I have lived so well I know are truths for me. I know the law of tithing is true- my experiences of living that law have opened the windows of heaven. I know Heavenly Father answers my prayers because He responds to my desires so often and leads me down paths I would not go with His help.

    You have not commented on whether or not you have tried reading either Passionate Marriage or Intimacy & Desire by Dr David Schnarch. Have you? This man has a unique way of looking at the psychology of intimacy- The low desire partner gets to control the situation- sometimes there are very good reasons why they do. As the high desire partner, you can control what you do about their low desire and act from the best in you- including finding someone who has more desire for you. Using the four points of balance, you can work through the difficult conversations that need to take place to work through your marriage crucible. It may allow you to move into a more satisfying place in your marriage or it may lead you to end it. Either way, it will help you get out of the “stuck” place you are currently in.

    I think it would be interesting to take a poll of everyone in the church in a leadership position to rate their marriage and their sexuality. I’m quite certain that most of our leaders are having a healthy and satisfying sex life.

    A few years ago, I knew I would be asked to speak in stake conference before I was even asked and was told directly what I should share. The message I felt inspired to share was not to the children in the stake but rather to their parents. The message was “Children will do better in your home, when they have parents who love one another.” I asked them to put one another first even before the kids or outside demands. I shared the “Gift of the magi” by O Henry.

    I know Heavenly Father desires your happiness now. I hope that you will find ways to connect with your wife in a way she will understand you and the importance of a deep emotional connection that will bless your entire family.

    Don’t you dare give up on that quest,
    Lovey

    • Rob4Hope May 14, 2013 at 11:28 am

      “Don’t you dare give up on that quest”.

      Keep praying lovey. I’m at the end. Im as discouraged as I have ever been in my life.

      • lovey May 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm

        I’m not only praying, I felt impressed to put your name in the temple and that is something I don’t do often. Glad to hear you are making progress.
        I’d be interested in what thesis you are writing.
        Did you get to talk with your missionary on Sunday?
        Take care,
        Lovey

        • Rob4Hope May 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm

          I seem to be an “eternal student”. Degree is “Software Engineering and Database Technologies.” I’m 55 pages into the thesis, and it is ending up as original research. That is making it harder than it otherwise would be.

          I enjoy writing more than I enjoy coding,…so posting on sites like this and others, even though I am struggling to be positive, is a wonderful outlet for me. I use to be a data entry operator (for 8 years) about 20 years ago, and got to where I “learned” blistering fast keyboarding,…so when I write, the words flow VERY fast. Something about the tactile experience of having the words come to my mind, and laying them on the page just feels good to me. I like it. It is one thing in my life that always feels good.

          I have NO desire for going any further in my education. PHd is an option, but I am sick of it: the books, the papers, the research this and that and trying to keep my eyeballs open when I read another technical manual–it is too much; I am sick of study, sick of following trains of thought that just don’t appeal to me like they use to. I enjoy reading,.but not that crap. NO MORE! I’m tired.

          Anyway, this is a little off topic. Thanks for having kindness toward me. My marriage, whether I “fix” what I need to or not, might be over. The damage between my wife and I is massive. I fear I could be a casualty–another statistic in a world where long term marriages are ending more and more in divorce. The trends are there, unmistakable, and I am in real fear I will end up that way. Part of me WANTS OUT! Then,…for some reason something way down in there wants to believe,…and wants to see this thing turn. Maybe it is those prayers in teh temple. I almost don’t believe in that any more,…almost. but, there is still something that tugs at my soul….

  • Rob4Hope May 14, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Arogen, Lovey and Luara (and Mark in another post),…thanks for your responses. Arogen, I have read Frankl’s book several times. Amazing and sureal, and very powerful. I’ve read Laura’s book. I also read a book that was recommendd by someone in another forum….”Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay”. That book talks about “Relationship Ambivolence” and hit me between the eyes with a hamer. I hate it…HATE IT!!!!–when I read one of these self help psycho-babble books, and it hits so close to home I feel like “HOW DARE THAT AUTHOR SAY THIS TO ME!!!” yep,…kindof had that expereince when I read this one. I am in the middle of relationship ambivolence.

    Lovey, I haven’t read the books you suggested yet. I’m getting there though. I have a bunch of books to get through, as well as a thesis to finish….so I am overwhelmed.

    Slowly, I am beginning to feel some peace with regards to the church and the VERY bad feelings I’ve had toward that group. You all are helping.

    I’ve got to figure out how to get back to God. I actually think I need to figure out who God is. My version of Him hasn’t been all that “fatherly” or “approachable.” Anyway, that is where I am and working on it.

    It does feel a little better though to finally feel some peace toward the church. That has been a horrible weight.

  • Arogen May 15, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Rob4Hope
    “Sound carnal? Sound wicked?”
    It actually depends on who you ask.
    Arogen, I know people on both sides of this spectrum,….sex for anthing other than children is wicked and carnal,…or “lusty” (can I use that word?) sex is bad.
    And there are others on the other side.
    I am NOT making light of your statement as I respect you Arogen. But, honestly, there are people who do believe that good sex is bad.

    So what, I know a guy who is sure we never went to the moon and the whole thing was faked.

    People who think like that about sex are wrong, plain and simple. Ignore them. Those are ideas that creep in because they are (or were) doctrine in other churches. Other churches believe that sex won’t exist in heaven, that celibacy is a higher way of living, sex has to be about procreation and even that it is blasphemy to suggest that Mary and Joseph had sex even thought the Bible is pretty clear about them having other kids after Christ.

    You won’t find such things taught by the authorities on the church. Yes they promote having children, but they also teach that intimacy is for bonding the couple together emotionally and spiritually as well. The scriptures are pretty clear on it too, check Proverbs 5:19, does ‘at all times’ and ‘ravished always’ make it sound like they are talking about a marriage where sex is limited to procreation?

  • Rob4Hope May 16, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    I got some info from a therapist last night who is right into the “whos who” of the therapy scene. She told me a couple of things that were VERY interesting…

    1. One of the reasons the GAs avoid the topic of sexuality in marriage is because they recognize there is a vast group of people who have been victimized through sex. Also, this topic is one that is absolutely emotionally charged, and if they even approach it, it can potentially re-victimize those who have been hurt, as well as blow like a bomb with the turmoil and emotional eruptions that will ensue. So, they stear clear of it. It is too emotionally charged.

    2. Spencer Kimball was a good friend of Homer Elsworth, and President Kimball asked Homer to take some of these topics and address them. Apparently Homer said to Spencer that he would write the talk, but not give it until Spencer read it over and approved. So, his talk that he apparanetly gave at BYU in the 80s(?), and Ardith Kapp was there with him, was actually reviews and approved. I would very much like to get that talk. But I will say I have read Homer’s post in Ensign, Aug 1979 where he sais that: “Abstinence, or course, is also a form of contraception, and like anyother method it has side effects, some of which are harmful to the marriage relationship.” Abstinence as a contraceptive being harmful to the marriage relationship? hmmmmmmmmmmmm…..

    3. Duty sex, and the whole idea of “Agape” as being superior and greater than “Amore”, are things that plague our generation. Romantic love is part of the “fullness” we are suppose to have in marriage. If it aint’ there, it is something that needs to be worked on and developed. This therapist, a woman, agrees 100% that “duty sex” is detestible and degrading, even insulting to men. Answering that with something like: “well, if you don’t want the way I make love to you, then we can just stop making love” is a copout. Sexual fire and enjoyment is something that was intended to be in marriage, and God expects his children to come to him, get healed if necessary, even with professional help if required, and buld Celestial marriages.

    4. OK. but point for me coming. This lady knew Carlfred Brodrick personally, and this guy is the author of “One Heart, One Flesh”. She said that Carlfred was one of the most respected scholars in family type studies down there in Utah County as he had incredible credentials and expereince. He was a Bishop, Stake President, and Patriarch (which I mention to indicate he didn’t get “busted” for being outside mainstream) This book is VERY pro sexual marriage. I think Laura quotes maybe from him? Don’t remember. But, the therapist did say that couples have a joint responsibility to Figure it out! this is completely in harmony with Laura’s book.

    5. This therapist knows who Laura is, but doesn’t know her personally, an I don’t think has read Laura’s book. Just FYI.

    6. This lady is aware of cultural trends in our LDS communites. She sais that it appears that during the early 1900s, up through and before the 60s, the church had a different attitude about sexual maters and people handling that part of their marriage, but during the 60s with the “sexual revolution” there was a BIG counter push to counter the uncontrolled abuse going on. It was during that period of time that things got murky and muddled. Now, I confess I am not aware of much being said during the early 1900s about sexuality in marriage, but I can say that the things that have bothered me came from 1960 through about 2000. And now, there is more silence than anything. So, this all jives pretty close to waht I have studied.

    7. This lady hopes that I can work it out. She did say that she is aware, however, of SEVERAL bishops across Utah and Salt Lake County who believe that refusing sexuality in marriage is a grounds for divorce. The tolerance for one (either man or woman) refusing the other partner over and over has apparently grown more thin over the years. I don’t have anything to back this,…but I am aware of one bishop who believes that refusing your partner is abuse.

    Along those lines, I have a very close friend who is messianic jew. The marriage cerimony for those Jewis folks involves 3 covenants–and the third is conjugal rights. That involves a few things,..but basically is sex. This person explained to me that if you want to get married, you have got to understand that this is part of it. Don’t get married if you are not willing to do what you are signing up for.

    I appreciate this friend and their focus. It seems to me that LDS marriages might do better if those who got married understood that not only is sex part of marrige, it is a BIG part and is very important.

    Anyway, I would be interested in any thoughts from these comments, and also if anyone has this Homer Elsworth talk.

    • Arogen May 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      1. Not just those who were abused, but those who have picked up very wrong ideas of human sexuality and marriage would find it very hard to embrace the gospel it the church was activly promoting a sexual mindset they were not ready to accept. My wife told me not too long ago that if a particular sex act was something a married woman had to do, she would have stayed single all her life to avoid it. That was a pretty shocking statement from a woman who wanted to be a mother as much as she did.

      2. I would love to see that talk too. While it wouldn’t rise to the level of being scripture, it would certainly be worth reading. There is a talk by Jeffry R Holland back when he was BYU president called ‘Of Souls Symbols and Sacraments’ that might be of interest to you as well. It is easy to find via google.

      3. Depends what you mean by ‘duty sex’. If a husband wants his wife, but she doesn’t feel any particual desire for sex but goes ahead because she loves her husband and wants to make him happy so she is genuinlly willing to engage, that is a wonderful loving thing. If however she only allows him access to her body and fills her heart with resentment or annoyance or anger over being ‘imposed on’ in that way, that is probably as damaging to a marriage as refusal would be in the long run.

      4. When we were newly wed, we were in a ward with a LOT of newlywed couples and the Bishop had a fireside just for us. Some of it was about the sexual relationship, and it was very much pro-sex. My experience has been that members who have hang ups about sex tend to be converts who grew up in sexually respressive churches.

      6. In areas where the church hasn’t recieved revelation, it is prone to cultural influences. There was a lot of stuff that changed in the 60s that wasn’t good, but at the same time I think a lot of bad things that were swept under the carpet came to light, so attitudes around the whole country about divorce changed in light of what came to light about abuse etc. The emotional abuse of refusal likewise is something that has come to be better understood in recent years.

      7. I hope for the best for you two as well, but in your situation, if you feel you have made every possible effort to salvage the relationship, and you have no realistic hope of it changing, then divorce is an option. If it is the right option or not I can’t say, you have to talk that out with God.

      Yes, sex is a big part of marriage, but it is something the couple should work out during the engagement period. Each of them have their own issues and expectations and there is no one size fits all answer. My DW and I had no clue what to discuss about sex, how to discuss it, or anything like that. I suggested that Laura write a book specificly for engaged couples partly because of this.

  • Rob4Hope May 16, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    There are typoes in this above. Sorry. I wish I could edit and fix.

  • lovey May 16, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Hi Rob,
    I agree this forum needs an edit feature.

    Sounds like you are working hard on your thesis then. Good for you! I am a good reader and I like thinking about this stuff but taking time to post is trickier for me.

    I just ordered a Carlfred Homer book~my parents married on a dare- sounds entertaining.

    Homer Ellsworth penned this for the Ensign I have a question in Aug 1979

    But, on the other hand, we need not be afraid of studying the question from important angles—the physical or mental health of the mother and father, the parents’ capacity to provide basic necessities, and so on. If for certain personal reasons a couple prayerfully decides that having another child immediately is unwise, the method of spacing children—discounting possible medical or physical effects—makes little difference. Abstinence, of course, is also a form of contraception, and like any other method it has side effects, some of which are harmful to the marriage relationship.

    As a physician I am often required to treat social-emotional symptoms related to various aspects of living. In doing so I have always been impressed that our prophets past and present have never stipulated that bearing children was the sole function of the marriage relationship. Prophets have taught that physical intimacy is a strong force in strengthening the love bond in marriage, enhancing and reinforcing marital unity. Indeed, it is the rightful gift of God to the married.
    You can Google it if you want his whole comment.

    There is not even a small doubt in my mind that sex serves to bind and enhance good marriages.

    How do you plan to pitch that idea to your wife?

    Lovey

  • kiss May 17, 2013 at 4:29 am

    Hey!! You can’t all hide over here and not tell me!!

  • Rob4Hope May 17, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Hello everyone, and you to Kiss girl. Good to see you back. I can’t seem to stay away……

    Lots of comments coming out. Arogen, I am way ahead of you with the talk from Holland. I’ve read it several times and am appreciative of it. I’ve also looked at some of Wendy Watson’s (Nelson) material. Part of my struggle came with the idea of Agape vs. Amore, and how the “Natural Man” doesn’t fit with Amore. Lovey is a woman who has lots of yummy Amore going on, so that makes me feel good that a “card carrying” couple has that. I don’t know many,… and there are pockets of people who have problems in this area. The idea of Agape getting into the mix and that translating into “duty sex” was something I asked this therapist about. She said,…yep, I had a point and it makes sense. When I was raised, for example, I was told explicitely that Amore is inferior.

    Hey,..have you all seen the LDS production Legacy? It follows a woman through her life in early church history. Though fictionalized, it does capture something interesting. The woman marries a man named David Walker who was a stone cutter from England. Prior to that marriage, the woman was previouly betrothed to a guy I think was named Jacob. David told this lady,…”But you don’t love him.” She argued with him that yes, she did because charity suffereth long, is kind, envieth not,…etc. David said,…”but marriage is a dear price to pay for such a relationship. Mariage is also delicious, wonderful,…etc” (stuff like that). But, my point here is when this lady was betrothed to Jacob, her attitude was to sacrifice Amore for Agape. They actually captured a part of that in this VERY film! Watch it. It is clearly captured.

    You can’t tell me that this cultural thing isn’t infectious in LDS circles. When shadows of it are captured, even in LDS productions, it makes a lot of sense. I believe my observations are exactly accurate on this point.

    Anyway, what I’m saying here is I was rasied to believe this. I’m not the only one either. But, I think it is wrong. I want Amore in my life. I want the passion, the “lusty sex”, the knowing smile that puts a chill down my spine, and all of it. I feel so sad that it has been missing for so long. What a horrible loss.

    —-

    Lovey, I am also up on the Ensign article published by Homer Ellworth and love that you see it clearly as I do. Originally I found the article by Mackelprang that captured some of my frustration, and in a later study, I read more that Mackelprang wrote, and saw his reference to Ellsworth’s article. The thing that jumped off the page at me was how “OUT OF THE BLUE” that Ensign article seemed. There isn’t much published that is as overtly PRO sexual relations, and for sex being more than just making babies. Those article are RARE–really rare, but they are also shining examples of a pro-amore type of love in marriage, and I am finding myself clinging to them more all the time as a type of “iron rod” that counters all the negativity that has infected my life.

    Can I just say how much I thorughly appreciate the conversations we are able to have on this site, and how much I appreciate you people and your interactions. I don’t know a one of you,…but you are kind and compassionate to me.

    • Arogen May 17, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      I saw Legacy when it first came out, I got it out and checked out the part you mentioned because I couldn’t recall it very well. The woman felt rather obligated to marry Jacob for all he had done for her. When David confesses his feeling for her and she describes her love for Jacob as ‘kindness, unselfish, long suffering enduring all things’ etc., he plants a big kiss on her and tells that it is also exciting and along with all the long suffering God wants us to have joy. And he is the one that gets her, not Jacob. The message of the movie in that area is that a good marriage has BOTH Agape and Amore. Her Agape only engagment was a bad decision on her part and breaking it off to be with David was the right thing to do.

      The natural man will take Amore and use it to sleep around, seducing women and using them selfishly for his own pleasure. A man reborn of Christ will bridle his Amore, which doesn’t mean he suppresses it or denies it, it means he focuses it on his wife none else. She is the object of his sexual desires and there is no sin in it. He doesn’t selfish use her, he seeks mutual pleasure and joy, emotionally, spiritually and sexually. Becuase he bridles his passions in this way he can share a deeper and far more meaningful love and joy than any pick up artist out bed hopping every night.

      When I talked about somebody making love with their spouse willingly and happily even though they do not feel a burning desire for it themselves at that moment, it isn’t that their marriage is lacking in Amore, it just means at that particular moment in time the hormones are not kicking in for one of them. It isn’t ‘duty sex’ so much as it is ‘joyful service sex’. No resentment, no resistance. And once they get started the desire will show up far more often than not. I see nothing wrong with that, I think the ideal would be that anytime one spouse wants it, and it is possible for the other spouse to engage in it, they should both happily go for it.

      Don’t set your standards or expectations or take your cues on what is right or wrong based on how other members are acting. Right and wrong are not determined by a vote, and a couple with all kinds of issues living the gospel can still get things right in the bedroom, and a couple who has everything together at church can be way off base when it comes to sex. You study it out and decide what you think is right, then take it to God for confirmation. IMHO, a marriage should have passion, joy and mutual sexual satisfaction in it, that is what God intended and you describe wanting is right and good. If it helps any, we are another temple recomend holding couple with a lot of Amore going on. It wasn’t like that 3 years ago, not because of the kinds of things you are wrestling, we both understood that passion in a marriage was no sin, but there were other obstacles to overcome.

  • kiss May 17, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    You are our little work in progress!!
    When you say card carrying,, what does that mean?
    Temple recommend holders?

    I wasn’t getting notifications ( I was, then they must have stopped) so last night I read all the comments on this article as I hadn’t read it before and saw you lot were chit chatting again.
    Aragen, always good with the wisdom, lovey, good luck with your studies, you will do well. More people need to tell the youth and the YSA that sex rocks. ESP married gourmet sex, like Laura mentions in her book.

    You want toe curling sex, now and again, to make the mundane married sex worth hanging in there for !!

    I teach youth Sunday sch and a counsellor in YW women’s, my youth know from me that sex is GREEeATtTtT! But to not be sexually ignorant on their wedding night, to know that it is a gift from god to married couples. If they choose to abuse that gift, and use it in a way it wasn’t intended…look out.
    Etc etc

    I’m not sure if I read sunshines comment on here or on the forum, re 13 yrs of passionless feelings due to some crazy pre marriage internal exam and operation..what is wrong with you people.who does that?!!! It is soooo an American thing. Why mess with nature. You are like a pencil, I bet you weren’t after he had a play around.
    You need to sort that mental blockage out. You have been molested, and that is sooo not right.
    How ridiculous , I hope no engaged woman reading this, feels the need to be fingered by a doctor. Crazy.

    Anyway, quick question for rob, what is your love language and what is your wife’s?

    If you haven’t done the test on line or in the book, do it tonight.
    I am sure after 1 1/2 yrs of not sharing a bed, she will at least take this test for you, even if you repulse her on every other level.

    Let us know what you both are.
    I hear you re compatible and people should be to make a relationship work, , but I think if both of you are physical touch…that makes your marriage a whole lot easier. Than if one is and one is gifts etc.
    We are both physical tough..thank goodness.

    We can be fighting and screaming and hating each other for 2 weeks, but still have great sex!!

    I know, now that is crazy!!
    And yes we are card carriers….
    If I have image , right.

    Anyway, let me know.

  • kiss May 17, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Ps he is also a Scorpio, they are very passionate. He is not hot looking, looks like lord Grantham off downton abbey, but was a convert so that helps……. 😉

  • Rob4Hope May 20, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Hey, where is everyone? Kiss, you are “Down Under?” Lovey, where are you generally located? Arogen? I’m in Salt Lake County (which I did say once before). I know Laura is up there in Idaho.

    I wonder where others are. Not many people post save us few these days. I would be interested in just knowing where the posters are generally.

    I’m curious, that is all.

    I am also VERY much interested in preserving anonymity. Only a few know who I am. Being anonymous allows me to post more of what I really feel. Can you tell,…I haven’t held back much have I….

  • Rob4Hope May 20, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Kiss, I read that Love Language book a long time ago. I am touch,…95% touch, and then maybe 5% service type stuff. My wife wants emotional connection that comes from service and talk. She enjoys touch, but absolutely non-sexual in nature. So, she is about 45/45 % split on service and talk, and 10% touch.

    About like that.

    Part of me is shifting to finding enjoyment in talk, especially written. She isn’t into that, so I have to find other ways to do that.

    • kiss May 21, 2013 at 1:18 am

      Oh, shame! Pity you are not both the same, makes it a lot easier.
      Thanks for sharing.
      And yes, I’m in the pacific.
      Although going to salt lake in January…whoaooaoa.
      Just for 3 days.

  • Rob4Hope May 21, 2013 at 8:18 am

    This difference kiss,….with the love language,…makes it REALLY hard. I use to wonder when I read Sir John’s post several years ago about “perfect sex” being in heaven. In my mind, I see my wife having perfect sex as infrequent and containing abrupt transitions. That is perfect for her. In my case, sex is slow, frequent, and luciously yummy. We are in a very weird and difficult place.

    Unfortunately, if heaven means that my wife doesn’t get to “role over” and start something, I don’t want to go to heaven. It will not be heaven for me. It is that thought — and that is a serious thought for me, not some trivial respite–that makes me wonder if the LDS faith is for me. It makes me feel trapped in something I don’t want. When all is said and done,…I really am wounded deeply inside. I feel shattered. Most days now I just feel numb–like I am walking around in a dream.

    Sir John (or someone) said: “Heaven is a happy place.” and the point made was “it is that simple…Heaven is a happy place.” You know, I am really having a hard time getting my head around that one. Maybe I will be resurrected with a body that just never feels any libido desire, and I wont miss it at all. I just don’t know. But I struggle with wanting to even consider going to heaven. It sounds like a lonely place to feel unwanted forever.

    yikes!

    (my musings reveal real pain dont they).

    • Arogen May 21, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      Rob, I think your concept of what ‘perfect’ means needs some work. People in the celistial kingdom will enjoy ‘perfect sex’ because they will be perfect people, free of false ideas about sexuality, free of unnessary inhibitions, free of the trauma of whatever past negative experiences they had, free of selfishness and cold-heartedness, and being inconsiderate etc. etc.

      The desires we have now are tainted by our flawed natures, so don’t think that the perfect we can attain to after this life is a fulfilment of those tainted desires, it is the fulfilment of the desires that go along with being perfect in character. The more we perfect our character, the more we perfect our desires as well. The thing you fear the eternities being is not perfection, but permanent imperfection and that isn’t what it will be. If a husband and wife are not both perfectly satisfied and pleased, then it isn’t perfect.

  • kiss May 21, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Ummm, how about we focuss on the here and now and not on ‘ heaven’ which is at least a millennium away…and then some. And if you live in your body to 100 ( cos the saviour is back and you haven’t died) then you have 1000 yrs to live on earth before satan comes again and takes those he wants, and THEN we get allocated places to go…
    It’s a long way away mate!!!

    How about you sort your life out now and get that numbness to go away by taking some action and either deciding to stay in your marriage and your church and making the very best of it, or getting out of your marriage but staying in your church, or getting out of both.

    Time to make some decisions.
    It has been years in the making..now it is time to act.

    You and the wife are on 2 different roads. Do you merge, so you can both be happy, or do you turn right and go find something else for the rest of your days on earth.?
    I know we are the same age and honestly…if you are going to make any decisions now is the time, not when you are 58 or when the last son has left home…etc

    You are all miserable, why delay the inevitable?

    You are in separate bedrooms now, can you just be done with it, move out, rent a room in a shared house with 20 yr old girls and have a life mate.

    I’m not saying date, cos you are married, but just get some space. No women for a bit. Just so you can sort you out.
    No thoughts of heaven, no thoughts of the wife next door in the next room, finding you repulsive.

    If you need to lose weight, get a good hair cut, sort your wardrobe out and throw out the 1984 track suit DO IT

    Just start making a life for yourself. Stop wallowing.
    If you hate where you are at….you are the only one to blame.
    You made those choices to be where you are.

    Stop blaming the church, the wife, your job, your last kid. Take responsibly and change it.

    If you are not happy, only you can make yourself happy.
    Find out how..and follow your heart.

    Personally I wouldn’t block out Heavenly Father, but if you have to block out your ward and find a new one and move into that, then do it.
    If you are miserable with the wife and she is with you, then get some space between you and see if time apart with the odd date will work.
    Maybe there is something still there.
    I don’t know, I’m not living in your hell.

    I just don’t want to see you living in it any longer.

    Make some decisions by Wednesday.
    This can’t go on like it is surely!!

    Come on buddy!!!

  • Rob4Hope May 21, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    I’m laughing Kiss. Your shake down wasn’t taken badly at all. The comment about the 1984 track suit got me laughing. Fortunately, I don’t need to loose weight, have really good health, and — well, I wish I had more hair,…but that is another story.

    Here is the decision–I’m ahead of you on this–I am doing the following:

    1) Reconciling with God and the church. Somewhere along the line I really did get a witness of BofM. Its for real,..all my own, and it is solid. I can’t brush that aside…so going to hell is exactly what will happen if I decide to turn. The question for me is not whether I want to go to hell–I don’t. But, do I want to go to heaven? Not like this. NO WAY!

    2) My wife wants more emotional connection. I am going to fake it, but that is all I got. I am going to physically do things that will help her and be kind. I don’t have the feelings behind those things,…but I can do it because I have control over what I choose to do. Things like dishes, talks, avoiding sexual contact, praying for her (that is a hard one)…etc.

    3) I can’t give up the option of leaving,..but I am going to work on having hope and faith that when the time is right, I will be able to make a decision to stay or leave. My wife has asked for more emotional connection, and she wants to work on her sexuality with me.

    I will try to post and ask for support. You all want to see a work-in-progess last ditch effort?

    Hold on……………it is coming.

  • kiss May 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Fabulous!!!!
    That is excellent.

    I am glad she is on board too…brilliant.
    Pray for her and For you, so you know how to give that ‘ emotional ‘ connection.

    Also pray for a sense of humour so you can make her laugh. Having a funny husband , even if you don’t really fancy him, is a turn on.
    But it has to be funny in her head ( hence the prayer) not sarky ‘ it’s a joke’ funny ( when clearly it is not)
    Make her laugh everyday. At least once…more if poss. That is my challenge to you.

    Have fun together.
    Laugh, touch, talk, just be friends again.

    Start fresh from today.
    All the hurts in the past, are that…in the past. Start fresh from tonight ( your time…Wednesday our time)

    When you fight, fight clean, no bringing up past hurts, that were apologised for and accepted back then..so why bring them back up with this fight.
    Etc
    Tell her as well..so you are both on the same page.

    Start fresh and new.

    The sex will come.
    Maybe she hates her body, maybe She thinks she is no good at it. Make sure you let her know that she is the only one you want to ‘ do it with’ and re enforce how hot you think she is etc, cos if a woman doesn’t think she is attractive to her man, she will shut down.

    But then don’t follow through! Just talk to her…don’t show her.
    When she eventually believes you, she will defrost and start relaxing around you and once she knows whatever she does you will love and she ‘ isn’t getting anything wrong’ she will feel more confident.

    Good luck! Always love a work in progress.

    Well done on deciding to stay in the church. Now…no more talk saying ‘ I’m not sure’
    You have committed and that’s the end if it, now be 100% on board.
    No butts….

  • lovey May 21, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Hi Everyone,

    I like your directness Kiss. What do you think of her advise Rob?
    Your direct approach reminds me of something I learned from a great book- (even though it sounds like you are caring for your pet rather than your husband “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands” An important lesson I still practice from that book is to communicate directly what your needs are. Now I am much more direct about what I really want from others- husbands, children, & friends- I don’t expect them to read my mind or my sly hints. How does your wife respond to directness?

    I was thinking about the Garden of Eve the other day and how Eve was the first to partake of the forbidden fruit. I have no doubt that was a good choice. What I found interesting though, was Adam’s willingness to join Eve when she shared that she had and he would be left a lone man without her. He gave up his will for his wife.
    We can choose to do that for each other.
    Sexual touch is very important to my husband. I’m glad I got on board and joined in the fun. Holding hands is important to me- when I reach for his hand, he always accepts it. We really grow as we make room for both our needs.
    I just got on to type and you are both here. That’s fun!
    Rob, stay with the truths that you feel.

    I live in the Mormon belt as well.
    Kiss, I’d love to hear a little more about you as well.

    • Arogen May 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      Waaayyyy off topic here…

      I wouldn’t say that Eve made the best choice, how could disobeying God be the best choice? Adam made the best choice he could, because Eve put him in a position where he had to choose which commandment to keep and which one to break, and if he choose otherwise they would be eternally separated and where would we be?

      I know there is not one scrap of revelation to back this up (or deny it) but IMHO, if Eve had refused, at some point they would be ready and God would have allowed them to partake, and they would have entered mortality with the spiritual maturity to avoid sin on their own. What Satan did was get them to transgress so they would become accountable before they were really ready, giving him power to tempt us.

      There is a part in the BoM or PoGP where God says that this world is the most wicked of all the worlds He ever created. Think about that. This is where the Son of God had to come to find people who would crucify Him. Perhaps this is the only world where Eve partook when tempted.

      • kiss May 21, 2013 at 10:23 pm

        I have heard that all the other worlds the children of god are begotten…as in they are all good and saved basically
        But isn’t it great that we got to come to the earth where the saviour also came instead of just reading about it!

        And with eve partaking…no one can ever blame god for ‘ getting them into this mess’
        They had to do it, if god had said go for it, then we could blame god for all our woes on this most wicked of planets!!

        Do you think other gods have a Jesus who did what our Jesus did for OUR gods children ? Do you think other worlds need a Jesus, or was one enough? Either OUR gods worlds, or other gods worlds..
        Will our worlds ( if we ever make it) need a Jesus, or will ours be enough?

        Anyway, must do dinner!

        • Arogen May 21, 2013 at 11:29 pm

          Having a savior is tied directly to the Fall, but we really don’t know how things happened anywhere else, and if it happened differently what impact that would have on all the rest. With Christ’s sacrifice being called infinite I kind of think it has to cover all creation though. In the end it doesn’t matter, we are here and we know what we need to do and who we need to put our faith in. I just have a bit of an issue with the theory that God told Eve not to eat when He actually wanted her to. That is dishonest. And then to punish her for doing what He wanted her to do is unjust, so I don’t buy it.

          He didn’t want them to partake, and the conditions here on this planet would have been better if they had not, but in the end Christ undoes all the bad stuff except what we choose to not repent of so in the long run it doesn’t matter but in the short run it puts us through a lot.

        • Rob4Hope May 22, 2013 at 11:18 am

          Truman Madsen sais that the scripture in the New Testament where Jesus said he could do nothing but what he saw his father do is literal. Jesus was shown in vision the life of his Father when He was mortal.

          Truman went onto say that God (our father) actually was a savior for another family where he was a brother.

          It is funny that Truman then said: “We are in deep water here!” Yah figure?

          This stuff can blow folks away. It seems absolutely herasy,…but to me it actually makes sense. I don’t found my beliefs on this because I don’t know for sure….but the statements have been made and it might fit. If we are following the same pattern as God has followed, and we are to partake of “Eternal Life” (which is His life), then we will be making worlds.

          Surely that is what is being considered here….

          I think the pattern repeats, and there are other saviors.

          • kiss May 22, 2013 at 2:22 pm

            I ‘ heard’ the saviour use to be a Holy Ghost somewhere else.
            That was in relief society once!! Ha ha
            Maybe it is true..maybe not.

            I know we are just chit chatting…cos I know you all KNOW we just have to follow the saviour…full stop.
            One day we will know…

          • Arogen May 22, 2013 at 2:33 pm

            I don’t think you can take it to that level of literalness like it being some kind of time loop. For example, we will be resurrected and never die again, so we won’t be able to do what Christ did, You only get one trip through mortality. But we can become a savior of others through temple work for the dead.

      • lovey May 24, 2013 at 8:19 am

        Here’s my perspective on Adam & Eve.
        Can children who are under the age of 8 break commandments? They can transgress those commandments but not break them. Eve acted likewise. She transgressed the commandment God gave to Adam and Eve. We have no idea how long they spent in the Garden before that took place. Without the Fall, Adam and Eve would never have had the opportunity to have children. We would not have arrived. God knew what choice Eve would make. It was part of His perfect plan. Satan may have thought he was fooling God but he was not. I appreciate the fact that Adam and Eve made the courageous choice to stay and live together with opposition. We really must have sorrow to experience joy.

  • Rob4Hope May 21, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Hello Lovey. I read that book by Slessinger. “proper care of husbands” I’m pretty sure that is the one you are refering to. I actually liked her. She was a no bullcrap lady….all the way, and she called it like it was. Then it all blew up and you know what happened.

    Anyway, you ladies had better stay part of this blog. If you all drop off, I will be hard pressed to find ANY support from the female group…and I need your help and support. Sure, you are anonymous, but your caring comes through your words. I need a sounding board. I actually need to have a way to sound feelings and get a female perspective.

    Arogen,…your job is to beat me up (nicely), and help me hold onto the pathway. I think I have some church discipline coming,…and going through that is not something I am able to do alone. I wil need to have a support network because there is a part of me that really wants to flip the finger, tell them to stick it, and just walk. Rebellion and anger are things I struggle with. It is more of a shield than anything else because I am hurting inside. I really am.

    Anyway, I am hesitant to put a timelimit on this last ditch effort, but I am thinking 90 days, and then take stock and see if it is time to keep going, or cut bait.

    Any ideas one way or the other would be interesting.

    If I couldn’t write, I would be in a horrible place. Writing, right now for me, is absolutely essential. It is my way to feel connected…

    • Arogen May 21, 2013 at 9:14 pm

      I’m here for you buddy. You have my email address too don’t forget.

      Point your anger and rebellion at sin, at Satan, at all those influences that pull you away from God. Rebel against that. The leaders of the church are there to help you, they are part of your support group too. It is their job to help you along the path to forgiveness, not to punish and condemn you. Whatever consequences they feel are needed, are for the good of your soul.

    • lovey May 24, 2013 at 8:21 am

      What all blew up? I’m not sure what happened?

      • Rob4Hope May 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm

        We are talking Dr. Laura Schlisnger. I don’t recall the exact details, but I think there was something said on one of her radio shows about homosexuality. Laura is a VERY jewish woman (and that is OK with me because I have family members who have converted to judaism),…and to her, gay actions are not OK. Well, somehow she said something “politically incorrect” and the network went after her. Her show was cancelled, and she is persecuted,…that type of thing.

        Probably something in google about it.

  • kiss May 21, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    My story is on the 3 rd forum chat thing, nearly at the bottom of the page, when i was trying to ‘ help’ our rob here!! ( as you had all tried)
    Husbands leaving, 2 temple marriages etc etc, all very dull!
    http://strengtheningmarriage.com/blog/marriage/open-forum-3
    I joined after you had.
    January 3 rd 2013 was my first post,
    Had to comment cos arogens wife had had the big O!
    That was my first post after spending 4 hrs reading the forums.

    Then everyone moved over to this article and were commenting and I was left behind!!
    I like to give me 3 cents worth, asked or not.

    So some of my story is over there. ESP when rob was talking about divorce.
    Mine was thrust on me, but he has a choice…

  • Rob4Hope May 21, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Lovey, you asked a question about Kiss’ suggestions. I’m onboard. I can’t keep going like I am.

    I read a book a while ago (and I mentioned it above I think) called “Too good to leave, too bad to say”…something like that. It talked about relationship ambivolence. It was so accurate it kindof freeked me out a bit. It pissed me off as well because I don’t like books that are so accurate they hit me between the eyes.

    What Kiss is saying is basically analgous to: “quite driving the tractor around in the field. Either put the plow down or go home!”

    I’ve been aware of my “stuck” place for a long time. The reason I haven’t left the marriage is because of guilt–no kidding. I have wondered that if I could somehow treat my wife better and see if I can leave the past int he past, then is there a posibility it can heal? I don’t know. But, we have tools now that we didn’t have a year ago, and now is the time.

    I am on the high road to hell (I mean that exactly the way it is written) with my complete stuck situation. I am not contributing to anything right now, and that is just flat out wrong. I am not like that. So, it really is time to fish or cut bait.

    Like I said, you all drop off, I will somehow crawl through the screen and throttle you!

    Tonight I am going to visit a support group and build my circle stronger. I will be posting regularly. This is the only writing outlet I have right now, and I think I need to find other outlets as well. That part needs to be increased.

  • kiss May 21, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Rob, good idea.
    3 mths, brings us to august and your summer holidays.
    Then take stock.
    Till then just DO

  • Rob4Hope May 21, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    WOW! You are right there are the computer. Your message just came through….

  • Rob4Hope May 21, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    It is 5:36 PM right now. What is it down under there….like Wednesday moring early?

  • kiss May 21, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    And ps
    I ain’t going anywhere, now you are stopping the whinging and are going to fly. I want to stay around to hear the stories!!!!

    Church discipline is a good chance to clean the slate, and move forward. Without it, you will stay where you are…as you KNOW!!

    So yay for it.

    Yay for the saviour who can take your crap and get rid of it. If it wasn’t for him, we would have to lug all our crap around with us.

    Love the tractor comment,

    You should start your own blog. I’ll join. Easier to write on your own site maybe.?
    Just send us the link and we can all follow along there .
    Up to you though. You can add pretty pictures of gifts you bought the wife!!

  • kiss May 21, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    11,41 Wednesday morning.
    I’m on the iPad…still in bed!!

  • kiss May 21, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Umm, hello…have you all gone to bed?

  • Rob4Hope May 22, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I wrote a big post and it is gone. ARGGGG!!!

    • Arogen May 22, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      yeah, there seem to be certain words that if you use them, your post is flagged for moderation and just vanishes automatically. I think 0r@l sex is one of them.

  • kiss May 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Always copy and paste before you send it, just in case you lose it. Or do it on a word doc..if it is long, and then copy and paste it right here. Or copy and paste as you go…just in case the website decides to take you somewhere else.

    I hate that!!

    Anyway, it is thurs here now, hope your meeting support group thing last night ( tuesday night?!) went well.
    And you have some more tools and systems to help you.

    Cos it is a big job, but you have the shoulders to do it!

  • kiss May 22, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    It might be waiting moderation then…
    So not lost forever , lets hope.

  • Rob4Hope May 22, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    I think it was my stupid machine! I didn’t use any words that were bad at all. It was an off topic post,…but so relevant….

    I will recreate here and copy it in case it gets lost…..

  • Rob4Hope May 22, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    CRAP!. My post from today earlier also is not here!

    I must be flagging all kinds of moderation or something. I don’t know what is happening.

    ARGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Arogen May 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm

      If you trigger it, at first you will see your post with a little note under it about awaiting moderation, then later it vanishes. I’m sure its all automatic, I don’t think there is any live monitoring of the posts.

      • Rob4Hope May 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm

        I saw no such messages on these posts,…but did before. On these posts, it showed when I refrehsed, but when I closed the window and restarted, pop….vanish. Frustrating.

    • Laura M. Brotherson May 22, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      Rob4Hope,

      None of your posts are being flagged or moderated on this end. Once I approve someone’s first post they will all post automatically. I’m so sorry you are losing posts. I’ll look into it more on my end, but just know I’m not stopping anything…!

      I am also not sure why the RSS feed for these blog comments aren’t automatically being sent out like they usually do when anyone posts a new comment. I have my webguys on it though. We’re in the middle of overhauling the whole website http://www.StrengtheningMarriage.com, so I’ll see if that has anything to do with it. It shouldn’t though…

  • Rob4Hope May 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Laura, am I in the dog house or something? Give me the rules so I can get my posts to show. I really don’t know what happened. I spent some time on it as well.

  • kiss May 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Get your own blog mate. Won’t happen then!

  • Rob4Hope May 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I will create my own blog tonight and share. Too much work went into those posts. It is unfortunate…

  • kiss May 22, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Whoaooaoa! Can’t wait. Cos I am not getting notifications from this website, so just pop in and have to see if any new posts etc, and if arogen has answered way way back…I sometimes miss it. I do look left to see who wrote after me though but sometimes miss some if a heap of new names appear.
    I will sign up to your blog, then I will get notifications when there are new musings from you.
    I am sure lovey, and arogen and maybe sir John and pw etc will as well. We want to give you our support…our little work in progress. And we will still be in this site as well. But sometimes when your life is so HUGE , better to have your own space.

    Google blogs are good, as are others. I don’t have a blog, started one 7 yrs ago, and did one post…bored me!!

  • kiss May 22, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Arogen
    I don’t think you can take it to that level of literalness like it being some kind of time loop. For example, we will be resurrected and never die again, so we won’t be able to do what Christ did, You only get one trip through mortality. But we can become a savior of others through temple work for the dead.

    We won’t become a saviour etc, only godhead people do that, quite frankly…phew! Can’t be doing all that as well . It can get very deep though. Which is good, cos who wants a religion that is only on the surface.
    But the Holy Ghost will need a body one day, so does he become an only begotten somewhere else..etc etc
    I digress….all very deep!

  • Rob4Hope May 22, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Try “Rob4Hope.blogspot.com” and see if you can get in and do anything.

    Something technical is most definately happening here. I lost 2 very large posts and I just don’t know what happened.

  • kiss May 22, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    It worked!! I’m over there….

  • Rob4Hope May 23, 2013 at 8:02 am

    I can see some of your posts. thanks. I will continue to post here, but only to comment on others. I have some stuff that is pretty big I want to post on that personal one.

    Anyone who wants to visit is welcome. I am not trying to be exclusive folks–I am just having problems on this site for some reason. Some of the posts I’ve placed here–big ones that took a lot of work–vanished, and I should have saved them but didn’t. ARGG!!

    Anyway, that is the dea.

  • Rob4Hope May 24, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Hey,…I got a moderation flag!? Hunh?

  • kchampion8 June 11, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I feel like I’m kind of showing up late to the party, but I thought I would share my feelings. I am a woman and I’ve been married for 11 years. We have a few kids, the youngest is just over a year old. In this moment in my life, sex is such a low priority for me. The main reason is because after meeting all my kids’ needs, taking care of a household, etc, I have very little energy for my husband. I love my husband. I want him to have his needs met, but my energy is not unlimited. I’m not saying it’s right, but it is what it is. I know that I should make more of an effort, but it’s easy for me to say that he hasn’t taken me on a date in forever. My husband works a lot and we don’t make a ton of money so it’s hard to find time for just us. I don’t feel like my husband makes the effort to “court me” or even connect with me on a daily basis, but then he wants me to be intimate with him. My love language is quality time/service and his is a BIG physical touch. On top of that, something happened early on in our marriage that made me lose some respect for him and it’s very hard for me to trust him. If I have a hard time respecting and trusting someone, it’s really difficult to be vulnerable and intimate with him. I love him and I don’t want him to feel rejected or sexually frustrated, but I feel like we both have to come to the table and work on our stuff. Divorce is not on the table and I would hope our kids and our marriage would be worth more to him than sex. I just got Laura’s book and I’m excited to start reading it. Hopefully it will help us.

  • lovey June 12, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Welcome Kchampion8,
    You are right of course, its not easy giving, giving so much when you have young children and then having a husband that wants a piece of you as well.
    Laura’s book is an excellent place to start.

    From your post I hear a couple of things coming through.
    You resent giving your husband the sex he needs because he wants his needs met but isn’t very considerate of meeting your needs. Quality time is my love language as well. You might try the direct approach- Ask directly to go somewhere that you fancy- share your gratitude and desire to have more times like these. It need not be expensive but whatever money is spent will certainly be worth it if you both feel happier.

    The other issue you may need to work on is the trust one. Forgiving your spouse and learning to respect him again. You are quite right in that you both need to work on these issues together. Is he willing?

    Just understanding yourself is an important step. Feel free to post along the way.

  • kiss June 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    What lovey said!

    And welcome and I hope the book helps.

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