withholding sex from your husband

Should a Christian wife withhold sex until her husband does something she wants him to do, and after he does that task, she will have sex with him?

Our Answer:
What makes us think this is the husband talking!?

Sex should never be used as a bargaining tool, withheld as a punishment, given only as a reward, or used as a tool of manipulation.

That being said, however, it would be foolish to think that a husband's actions would not affect a wife's desire to please her husband sexually. When a husband is selfish, and ignorant of his wife's needs and desires, her motivation to please him may be nil. During times like this, it would be wise to take to heart the Bible's reminder, when a husband "loves his wife, he loves himself!"

In essence, attitude is everything! If a husband has an attitude of sacrificial giving and service toward his wife and, in turn, his wife has an attitude of honouring and respecting her husband, then sex between them will focus on pleasing the "other".

We happen to believe that the husband is most often the key to success in many marriages. By this we mean when a husband takes his place in the relationship as the leader who will extend self-sacrificial love to his bride, then his wife will respond to his lead with greater physical enthusiasm when she knows she is cherished and valued.

Comments for withholding sex from your husband

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May 18, 2010
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Amen to That
by: Anonymous

Amen to that.

Aug 09, 2010
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Stop the male bashing
by: Anonymous

Women seem incapable of admitting that sinful behavior within a marriage by the wife can occur without provocation by the husband. Note the tone of this article...it's all predicated on the assumption that the husband is at fault somehow. If only he'd do this or that, sweet little suzy homemaker would fall in line and be the submissive little Proverbs 31 wife she wants to be, but simply can't because of the insensitive, ungodly, thoughtless, spiritually lacking pagan husband of hers. This kind of narrow mindedness is prevalent in churches today. (When was the last time you heard a preacher take women to task for not fulfilling their obligations in a marriage?). No, some women are mean and vindictive like my wife. She claims to be a Christian, but has insisted on no physical contact and separate bedrooms for the last 15 years. She waited until we got married to tell me about all her sexual hangups. And to top it all off, she says this shouldn't bother me since men don't have needs, just desires, thereby making the fulfillment of them by the wife something optional. And according to my wife, it shouldn't bother me that we sleep separately, because "I'm asleep!". I'm convinced she's being used by Satan to destroy our marriage, and she has. And when Paul told spouses not to withhold sex from each other, it was a command, not some suggestion that was conditional on the wife going through her checklist and concluding that her husband's behavior met her holier than thou criteria before she submitted.

Aug 10, 2010
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Male Bashing?
by: Jim and Carrie

Male Bashing?

Perhaps we are guilty as charged!

Yes, in what is usually a short question or comment we might assume too much and begin by putting emphasis on the husband and his key role of leading in the relationship--and that means him doing the hard things first.

Our answer may seem stereotypical--because it is just that, typical. That being said, we acknowledge that many husbands are "saints", and the wife needs major adjustment. Nevertheless, the role of the husband to love like Christ loved doesn't change.

Remember, when sex is withheld, nothing good happens in a marriage! Make sure you do your utmost to get good Christian counselling.

Dec 11, 2010
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I love him but......
by: Anonymous

He says working out would help, but he doesn't have time. He is usually too busy running around for everyone else at church. I thought that you were supposed to take care of home first! I am not happy with just one "great" time a week.

Feb 18, 2011
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15-years is enough !
by: Frank

I have endured the past 15yrs. (of a 25yr.marriage), in virtually a non-touching and non-sexual environment. I even came home from a sales trip to find our Love Sofa, had been discard and replaced with two individual recliners with a table in between. I respected her initial attitude of "No Sex" because of her change in life, then having to put her Dad in nursing home, her Mom coming to live with us, daughter being married, job change. However later when I approached her about "Getting our love relationship back on track", she "Poo-Poo'd" it as, "Get real Frank.....that stuff really isn't that important for people our age" (72/65).
We've gone to counseling (Christian and others) with no success. She's told me several times, "If what you want is to chase the young ones then I suggest you get your things and boogy on down the road; I don't like the idea of divorce but I'm sure I could survive it."
She does not like to be touched, no hand-holding, no caressing, a kiss from her is "just a peck", and considers my cuddling up with her at nite as being "Paw'd or groped".
I'm seriously considering divorce but that will go against St.Paul's teachings....at least the way I read and under it. To her that would not make a difference....she considers most bibical teachings to be "Male oriented" . I tried to explain St.Paul's message but she ended listening to me with, "It's MY body and no-one is going to tell me what to do with it!"

The other thing...I've been reading an interesting book, "No More Christian Nice Guy". Makes lot of sense. I agree with the author in that pastors tread too lightly on confronting their female congregations on faults and sins. I've seen man after man come forward and give testimony about being addicted to porn, alcohol, infidelity, gambling.....but can not remember any female members have come forward to testify in public as the men are compelled to do.
Seriously, we know women are guilty of the same.

So, where do I go with that first issue?

Thanks for listening!

Frank

Feb 24, 2011
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UnGodly Action ?
by: Frank

Would a wife's action/attitude be considered "UnGodly" if she refuses/rejects sex because she is no longer interested or enjoys it?

Feb 24, 2011
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...to Frank
by: Jim & Carrie

Dear Frank,

We?re very sorry for your situation, and for all you?re going through...

From our point of view, the marriage vows are ?until death do us part... for better and for worse? Unfortunately, you?re in the ?for worse? part of things right now.

We believe that God?s love does change people--and that your wife needs a good dose of God?s love. We think your situation is like that of Joseph in the Bible when he was thrown by his brothers into the pit, only to be sold into slavery in Egypt. This was, without a doubt, the worst thing that ever happened to him! The worst thing, though, also became the best thing that ever happened to him--because it led him to Egypt, where God would change his life!

Frank, you are in a situation where God?s love is needed to transform your wife--and that love is best delivered through you! Ephesians 5 speaks of how a husband is to give his life for his wife, as Jesus did for the church. That means sacrificial, unconditional love. You will have opportunities every day to demonstrate Jesus? love to your wife and prove to her that your love is pure and not self-motivated.

Wives are hard-wired with a capacity to respond. Obviously, it seems that everything is going the wrong way; is it possible that it?s time to simply love?

Your wife needs to be cherished, valued, and loved--that is your job. Become a master at delivering these things to your wife. We believe your love expressed through your attitude and actions will win your wife over to you! Start doing the kinds of things you did when you were courting and wooing your wife.

We will be sure to pray for you to experience God?s grace throughout the disappointments and frustrations in your marriage.

Sincerely,

Jim and Carrie

PS. We just saw your question "ungodly action?". Yes, a wife's refusal/rejection of sex is ungodly... but it wouldn't be good for you to tell her that! Remember Jesus' word about not pointing out the fault of another person when we have our own faults! Matthew 7:2

Nov 08, 2011
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Let's be honest
by: Anonymous

I have been a minister of the gospel for 17 years and a pastor for six, and I must say that there has been a bit of an imbalance in the church concerning sex in the Christian marriage. The men are often presumed guilty until proven innocent when issues arise. The truth is many women use sex as manipulation or it is so low on their priority list that it is infrequent at best. If you ask 100 men, would you rather have sex with your wife 5 times as often out of obligation, or just a little bit more, but know that she desires you sexually 90 percent would choose the latter. Men have a need to be desired by their wives, when they don�t feel their wife desires them it drains them emotionally and inhibits their ambition. Wives if you want your husband to be more of what you desire in a man, affirm him (stroke the ego), and let him know you desire him. Remember for all the things you want from him he only wants two; to be affirmed and to be sexually desired. If you do this you will see a great change in him.

Nov 08, 2011
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REFERENCE TO:Feb.18,2011
by: Frank

In addition to her non-intimate, non-sexual attitude, she has also engage in what may be known as, "Financial Infidelity". There is such a thing when a spouse spends, hides expenditures which put the entire marriage in danger.
We have made agreements that over a certain amount of expenditure we make a joint decision....but while she expects me to comply she just spends and I find out about it when it comes through bank account. We need to make repairs to house, replace hot-water heater, air conditioner unit....but she spends it before I have a chance.

I'm at a loss. Sorry !

Apr 15, 2012
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1 Timothy 4:3
by: Anonymous

I understand why men were driven to polygamy. I don't understand why a priest or magistrate needs to be involved in a ceremony to pronounce 2 people as married, when there are no examples in scripture. In the secular world, there is no law against a man having multiple sexual relationships simultaneously (and I don't mean group sex or orgies which are sin) yet it is illegal for a man to have more than 1 wife. Modern Christianity has moved away from doing the things that the people in the bible did, and has instead replaced it with a bunch of rules based on conclusions that have been jumped to. I have been faithful to my wife for 23 years, she withholds sex, and I can tell you, I am tempted, and my words above make it clear what is going through my mind as a result.

The Intimate Couple editors' response to the above comment by Anonymous:
Better read Matthew 19:3-6 where Jesus' standard (and God's original plan) were for two people to become one in marriage.
1 Timothy 3:2 and Ephesians 5:22-33: These scriptures only make sense when one man marries one woman.

Apr 27, 2012
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You have no idea!
by: Anonymous

The pastor's comments are spot on. I just want to feel like my wife desires me at all. When we are intimate and it's not very often, it is made clear that it is only to meet my needs and fulfil her duty as a wife. It is given begrudgingly with an attitude of "lets hurry up and get this done". When asked she says she has desire for me but her actions and words speak otherwise. I can only conclude that she is lying maybe because she feels she should desire her husband. Or maybe she is just so uncomfortable with any desire she might have? I don't know but either way it is always approached as if it is just for me. I am so tired of hearing that there is something I could do to "woo" her. I wish it were that simple. I have tried for 20 years to do that in many different ways. She is NOT wired to respond at least not to me. Until you have lived it you have no idea how difficult and painful it is to be in this situation. I love her dearly and think she is beautiful in so many ways. Last night I wanted and needed to be intimate with her so badly. I just wanted to feel loved by the woman that I have given my life too. And of course she rejected me again. I couldn't sleep so I got up and sat in the living room alone in the dark and prayed and wept. Which is why I find myself here today. I am just looking for help but I am losing hope that anyone other than God can offer any. And he in his wisdom has put us together so I just have to trust him. I feel so lonely and I just want to be desired so badly that I often end up turning to pornography. I struggle to not fall into this sin but my marriage makes it very difficult to stay faithful and I always eventually give in. It would be easier to live alone. At least then I wouldn't have to lie next to the woman I love but can't have. I feel like I'm on the verge of giving up entirely and I fear for our souls. Other than prayers I don't think there is anything anyone can do or say to help. I've heard it all. It's just the way it is. She is a wonderful woman, mother and wife in every other way. But this is hard to get past.

Sep 03, 2012
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withold all the sex you want...
by: Anonymous

My wife (more like a roommate now) believes it's her God-given right to use sex as a reward/punishment. To flippingly use it in front of friends in a disrespectful way (maybe if you're good you'll get some tonight, I wanted that playing card you withheld so I'll be doing the same in bed). I had a choice, succumb to her whims or push back. I chose the latter. I would rather go without than be less of a man. So I took that power she rightfully called her own and dismissed it by not ever initiating or hinting. Sure it was and is tough to fight back my manly urges but I take continued solace knowing she has nothing, NOTHING to really control me with. Sure she can nag but I just ignore it. Now that I no longer need her sex I have stopped all affection and emotion to her. She has no clue what to do. First she was angry I never initiated accusing me of having an affair. I simply told her that she owns our sex life now and she can initiate. I haven't touched her (hugs, kisses, sex) in over 3 years. I find it an easy trade off, I'll go without sex but also don't have to concern myself with all the bs emotional affection and all. Just a thought for you guys when you realize what a mistake it is to get married and she decides she is going to control all the sex in a mean & manipulative way. Just withhold affection and I guarantee it will send her into a tail spin!

Sep 03, 2012
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just remember...
by: Anonymous

Withhold affection to your wife and she can experience how you feel on a daily basis.

Dec 31, 2012
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February 2011 "Followup"
by: Frank

I wrote the notes about living with my wife in an environment that was/is "Non-Intimate, Non-Touching, Non-Sexual" as well as being "Financially abusive". It is going on two years since and nothing has changed....in fact has even gotten worse but I took the recomendations offered and worked with 'em. I got totally involved in my church's men program, "The Quest for Authentic Manhood", which is excellent. I also joined an online support group, "No More Mr.Nice Guy" which has helped me see my short-comings in being a leader as a man as well as a husband. It continues to be her attitude that "If I don't like her neglect, then I can just get going". While I benefited especially from "The Quest for Authentic Manhood", I feel that churchs drop the ball in regards to programs offered to women. They offer "Bible Studies" when what they should offer are studies and workshops like the "Authentic Manhood" series men experience. Anyway, I appears I am very likely going to move-on in my life (yes, even at 74). If not, according to my cardiologist and my urologist (heart attack 1996/Prostate cancer free since 2001) the stress may cause both illnesses to return with vengence.
I find it difficult to believe that Paul, could "Preach" to married couples when he never experiences the ups and downs of marriage.

Dec 31, 2012
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question....
by: Frank

....I wrote an update to my entries of Feb.2011, but never saw 'em posted. Is there a "Delay" for editing review? Just wondering and I understand if there is.

Editor's response: Frank, we did receive your Dec. 31, 2012 entry. We do review every question and comment. We are behind in reviewing submissions, and for that we apologize.
-Jim and Carrie
www.the-intimate-couple.com

Jan 02, 2013
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Non-Intimate/Non-Sexual marriage continues
by: Frank

Good Afternoon. I sent this followup note (regarding questions I asked about two years ago) but apparently I did something incorrect and it never arrived to you.
After about two more years of Counseling, Christian Counseling, Quest for Authentic Manhood Groups at the Church,OnLine support sites, Self-help books, I was told by two mature marriage counselors that she (my wife) is not going to change. My cardiologist told me that the stress will destroy all my 16yrs.of heart attack rehab, and my urologist suggested I get my stress under control or my prostate cancer could return.
My wife turns a blind eye and deaf ear to my suggestions and urging that we work on this. She has taken the attitude that she finds no reason to have a sexual relationship with me, nor anyone else, and NO ONE is going to tell her what to do, PERIOD. On top of all that she has no respect for the family finances and spends as she see's fit. Right now I had barely enough to pay our monthly house-note because of her excessive Christmas gift buying for her family.
I believe, even at 74yr.of age, it is time for me to "Cut my losses" and end this marriage.

Jan 15, 2013
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Withholding Sex for Years
by: Anonymous

It's a horrible travesty when a wife withholds sex for long periods of time, in my situation, for years. My wife never has time, feels like it, feels well, or some other reason. It is frustrating for a husband to go so many years without any intimate contact. Counseling does not help. Within Christian principles/precepts, one would want to remain in the marriage, and regardless, who wants to start anew in a new marriage or relationship anyway? What an exceedingly stressful situation.

Feb 20, 2013
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Still Here, but.....
by: Frank - Houston,Tx.

Good Afternoon!
I am still hanging into this marriage of 27 years but my patience is wearing quite thin. Lots of promises from her about the lack of intimacy in our marriage....however she does not like me to touch her, hold hands, hug her, in public. I see couples in our Church small group who touch....I find it pretty neat. She's happy with the way things are and feels that if I don't like it, "Tough".
Some time ago I ran across a paper (maybe on this site) about the value of touching/holding hands. I printed it out and left it where she would "accidently" see it near the PC desk. I asked if she had seen it/read it and she said yes but she really doesn't feel like that is something necessary...especially in public.
As far as I am almost convinced, "This marriage is dead....period." I can't believe God intends/expects a couple to endure a "Cold" relationship, especially when one is not caring enough to work on issues. We are commanded to take care of his creation (our bodies). To stay in this for me will be certain to cut my life short with another heart attack or a return of the prostate cancer.
Any input????

Feb 21, 2013
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Lots of stuff here I relate to
by: John

Wow, if you take time to read all the comments it's really shocking. As a married man going on 13 years, I can really relate. The minister's comments really nailed it on the head. To me, it's really about her desire to do it, not just "doing it"..She treats our 3 minute smorgasbord (one time per week) like taking out the trash as a "duty" so she doesn't have to hear me complain about it (which I do) and then when I complain, she says it makes it worse which is quite literally a no-win situation.. Of course, in my anger I turn to porn in some passive aggressive way of getting back at her and then feel all the guilt with that since I really do love the Lord Jesus and want to do the right thing. I am a good looking man at 38 years old (not vain at all) and get hit on all the time and feel like wow is this some kind of joke? Like I could have all these women except the one I want. and I assume many men feel that way and it's really a tough situation especially if your like me and truly love your wife and kids and would never want to hurt them. Women just don't get what rejection does to a man's self esteem.

May 31, 2013
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well said
by: Anonymous

I'm sick of meeting his needs sexually and he isn't meeting my needs emotionally. And yes I've asked him in a non nagging way many times that even though it's not natural for him to be concerned with my emotional needs to please try because it is important for me to feel loved.

After three years of marriage and me handling my business in the bedroom and house/children etc. giving him honor and respect all about but he still doesn't give me the affection (unless he wants sex), affirmations, emotional support, etc.

Oh he also puts his mom and dad and other family members before me which really hurts after seeing this choice made repetitively.

Now I'm just sick of it even though I like sex I'm not into taking care of someones needs when after so long they have ignored mine and continue to do so again and again.

That is why I am going to put my foot down.

You can only give if you are filled. I've been on empty and depleted over-withdrawn so much that something different has to be done. I hate the thought of having to withhold sex especially since the BIBLE says not to but if the husband is the leader of the house and he is not Ephesians 5:25 or the other scripts that say how to treat your wife then how can he expect it to be reciprocated.

Jul 10, 2013
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Very Confused
by: Anonymous

I was also able to have sex with my wife even in the wee hours of the morning, and that was okay with her. We were able to have sex almost every morning. But just lately she had used a maneuver on me that totally blew my mind. While trying to enter her I noticed her legs were tight and closer to me then usual. That made it impossible for me to enter her! And then I had to give-up! She said she was sorry and went back to sleep. We spoke about it briefly the next day, and it seemed to be okay. The very next night (early morning) I tried again, and she did the very same thing. I laughed and went back to sleep. A few hours later I tried again, and she gave me the same response! I think she found a way to keep me off her!! So far I don't know what to do.

Aug 06, 2014
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"Leadership" Isn't a Cure-all
by: Longplay

Having lived for 35 years in what has been, since and including the “honeymoon”, a statistically sexless marriage, I have to agree with some of the commenters here that the Christian community needs a more balanced and a broader approach to this problem.

Having numerous times during those 35 years sought support from the Christian community, I see the primary problems as 1) the view of women as faultless and men having sole and final responsibility for marital problems and 2) offering no serious recourse to those trapped in such a marriage where one party is intractable.

Regarding the first issue there is obvious Biblical support for the sinfulness of the sexes being equal in quantity and quality. This is in fact the foundation of the message in both testaments; we are all sinful and have fallen short, each independently each with sole responsibility. The original sin was committed first by Eve who then tempted Adam. Adam’s fall was his own responsibility and he was held responsible for it by God. Note that God did not judge him sinful for not having shown leadership within his relationship with Eve. Eve’s fall was her own doing.

Hosea had a sinful wife and her sinfulness was not due to a lack of leadership on Hosea’s behalf. The same Proverbs that admonishes a man to “rejoice in the wife of your youth” (5:19) – which in my case behaved in the area of sexual intimacy as if were a seventy-year-old – is the same Book that tells us that “It is better to live in a corner of the roof Than in a house shared with a contentious woman” (25:24), thus recognizing the existence of the independently sinful woman.

This idea of placing women on a pedestal not granted to men is evident throughout the Christian community, from pastors to counselors to writers. I have personal experience with all three and the vast majority see all marital issues primarily from the wife’s perspective.
In the case of non-church ministries, though I hesitate to say it, I believe part of this is due to their primary audience being women, who want to have their ears tickled.

Another large part of this problem is projection on the part of those doing the ministering, who to a man seem to have wonderful marriages and revel in telling others about their great relationships. When is the last time you read a Christian book written by a man with a bad marriage? But is the quality of those relationships due to the husband’s spiritual leadership, or is the husband’s ability to lead due to the quality of his spouse?

Many of those ministering in this area comment on how “blessed” or “fortunate” they are in their wives. If this is true then it is an admission that there then can be marriages that are not blessed, and unions that can be unfortunate. That being the case, it is not truthful to hold one party, usually the man, responsible for both causing the problem and determining its solution. Doing so is similar to Job’s friends telling him that he must have done something wrong to have seen so much trouble in his life, which we know was not the case.

Specifically regarding sexless marriages, I contend that no one who hasn’t experienced such a relationship can fathom the hole left in the soul of the spouse who is deprived the intimacy of the marriage bed. The consequences to both physical health and mental health are great and at the least, someone wanting to minister in this area needs to read deeply about these issues. Not only is the marital bond reliant on the conscious bending of one’s will, but is also reliant on chemical bonding that takes place when hormones are released during sex. God designed people this way; we are both mind and physical matter – and for a reason.

What must the Christian community do to better address this issue?

1) Recognize, and state, that both men and women are inherently, and independently, sinful, and that in many cases, no amount of Christian “leadership” can change someone’s heart.

2) From the pulpit to the airwaves to the written word, stress the importance of sexual intimacy within marriage to a level commensurate with that used to stress the importance of abstinence before marriage. Stress that withholding sex within marriage to the level of its becoming a statistically sexless marriage, is equivalent to sexual infidelity outside of a marriage.

I will note that in my case I was abstinent before my marriage at age 26, and the devastation was that much more severe for having waited so long. At times I wish I hadn’t abstained.

3) Don’t fall into the teaching that lets women think of Christ as their “lover”.

I see this in Christian writings and songs. If a woman wants to live the life of a nun, she should then become a nun and not a wife.

3) Provide and support a guiltless way out of sexless marriages. It must be communicated that divorce or, as in the old days, annulment, is acceptable when there is intractability in this area after all other options have been tried.

I remained in my marriage for several reasons; a sense of guilt, i.e. it’s my fault; a sense that divorce is un-Christian; a sense of resignation, thinking that whatever I try with any woman, the result will be the same, so why even try for a second marriage.

Whereas in the past a woman in a bad marriage had few choices and was in essence trapped, those tables have been more than turned, making a husband’s chances for success in “leadership” that much more difficult. In today’s world, even a perfect husband will lose half of his assets to a sinful spouse upon divorce.

I will again note that in my case, I have been the sole bread-winner for our 35 years of marriage and that for a great many of those years, my spouse has been essentially “retired” from all but the simplest of household chores, which in today’s world are extremely light compared to past generations.

I will conclude by saying that I doubt I will be getting a divorce at this point. When you reach the point where sexual intimacy can no longer be rewarding due to an aging body, no amount of second chances can fill the hole left by a lost youth.

Through essentially shaming my wife by finally finding some good Christian books on the importance of sex within marriage, my wife did ask for my forgiveness. However, that too does not fill the hole left in me. She got what she wanted, i.e., no sex and no responsibility. I did not get what I’d dreamed of, i.e. sexual fulfillment and the spiritual bonding that is tied up with and flows from the physical bonding.

Men are not angels; we can forgive but, short of a lobotomy, cannot forget such a loss. The resulting “marriage” is one in name only, a practical living arrangement between roommates.

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