HAPPY ANNIVERSARY SWEETHEART
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY SWEETHEART
(Disclaimer: Affaircare is a Christian site, and so this reply is from that perspective. We are not judgmental or preachy, but rather answer as if we were speaking to other Christian people, in a practical and loving way.)
We get this question or problem very often from the people on our site, and it is a frequent marital issue and significant Love Extinguisher. Often when libidos are somewhat close, and for the most part Love Extinguishers are being avoided while Love Kindlers are being done, the couple can reach some sort of arrangement that is mutually satisfying and acceptable to both. The couple may jointly agree on 3 or 4 times a week and even though the higher one wishes for a bit more and the lower one a bit less–they agree and both are okay with that frequency.
However this becomes a dire situation when one of the two spouses has a higher libido and the other of the two has a lower one, and the lower one just decides they are not and/or will not have sex. It’s frequent to hear from the higher spouse that they’ve gone months–even occasionally years–in between sexual contact, and usually by then the spouse with the higher libido is going insane about to walk out and leave their marriage. What do they do? There are six concepts that I review on our site, so click on the Articles tab and select “My Spouse Won’t Have Sex With Me” (or here’s a link: No Sex). In our article we go into each concept and define each briefly but clearly. For this blog though I’m going to go straight to answering the question: How in the world is a spouse supposed to deal with that?
The very first thing the higher libido spouse needs to recognize and accept is that nowhere in the covenant vows do they have the right to EXPECT sex, expect a certain frequency, expect to force their spouse, or have the moral option to leave the marriage if there is not acceptable quantity. So the very first thing that a Christian spouse would do is take that option off the table, because Christian marriage is defined by commitment, not by happiness.
The next thing you do is come to a godly understanding of what sex IS. Sex is mutual intimacy expressed on a number of levels including physically. In Genesis it says that “Adam knew his wife…” and that word “knew” in Hebrew is REALLY rich! Here’s what it means: acknowledged, acquainted, aware, became known, cared, chose, clearly understood, cohabited, comprehended, concerned, considered, declared, detected, directed, discerned, disciplined, discovered, distinguished, endowed, experienced, found, gained, had knowledge of, had relations, informed, instructed, intimate friends, investigated, knew, lead, learned, made himself known, noticed, observed, perceived, predicted, provided, read, realized, recognized, regarded, satisfied, showed, took note, taught, told, understood. So the second step is not to say “I’ve tried everything and s/he just will not move!” but rather to look at yourself and your own concepts of intimacy. Practice doing all those verbs! Study sex in the Bible, and by changing yourself and your own heart and your own perceptions, bring yourself into alignment with God’s ideas about sexual pleasure.
The third step–after taking divorce off the table and doing the work to KNOW your spouse–is to review the concept of God-given authority in the marriage, starting with Ephesians 5:22-24 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” Especially to see if you can determine why there might be a power struggle. Often when one spouse is refusing sex or turning it down, it has less to do with feeling tired and more to do with either lack of being connected (see the intimacy step above) or struggling to have power over some area of the marriage. In particular, if a husband is somewhat controlling and domineering, one way a wife maintains some power is by having the power over the frequency of sex! Thus, godly Authority is not “you are to dominate” but moreso, “I’m holding you more responsible to counsel and mentor this person to obey God.”
One way that EITHER spouse can work this out would be the next step actually–call a M.U.U. which is my funny anagram for Mutual United Understanding. Introduce the concept of M.U.U. to your spouse indicating that it is mutual so that both parties are involved, united so that the couple is in harmony, and it’s an enthusiastic Understanding that they reach together. Once the M.U.U. is called, nothing is done until it is resolved: call in sick to work, you don’t stop to drive kids to and from school and extra-curricular activities, you don’t go to your men’s group or her lady’s study until a resolution has been reached because denying it, avoiding it, and ignoring it breeds resentment and tears marriages apart.
The final two steps start with Love/Respect. Our marriages are a model of God’s love for us when we did not “deserve” it. God himself made a covenant with the nation of Israel and honored that covenant even though they were a “stiff-necked people.” And I believe this is what He wants us to model too. The commandments we have in Ephesians 5:33 are “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Note that it does not say “Husbands, love your wives if they are good wives, meet your needs, and give you plenty of sex” or “Wives, respect your husbands if they earn it, send you roses, and leave you love notes.” There’s no clause like that! In fact, it says to love her like Christ loved the Church, and He loved selflessly when the Church did not love him and was faithless. So in this step, we are commanded to do what is against our nature and offer exactly what our spouse needs.
The sixth step relates to the Our Bodies concept, namely that when you choose to marry you volunteer to release exclusive control of your body and state that you now share that with your spouse. I Corinthians 7:3-5 tells us: “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
This last step is taken after you’ve fully completed the other five steps and there is still no progress made in the healing of this issue. At that point, the final step is to sit down together, read together the verses in I Corinthians that say that the wife is held responsible to counsel and mentor her husband’s physical body to obey God’s ideas of sexual pleasure…and the husband is responsible to counsel and mentor his wife’s body to obey God’s ideas of sexual pleasure. Point out that it CLEARLY says right out “Do not deprive one another…” and indicate that the continuing refusal to participate in mutually satisfying sex is sin. This is not likely to be a very “popular” discussion, but facts is facts! At that point if they are aware it’s wrong and still choose to not obey, the problem isn’t “how much sex” but that there is unwillingness to obey God.
I just found out I have been honored with the Sunshine Award by my friends Stu and Lisa at TheMarryBlogger.
I want to say thank you very much to Stu and Lisa. It feels very good to know I inspire the world. 🙂 Or at the very least both of you. 😉 After the week I’ve had this was a real treat.
The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity & creativity inspires others in the blog world. The rules for accepting this award:
Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.
Link the nominees within your post.
Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.
Here are 12 of the new blogs I look to most often for inspiration. 🙂
I guess tomorrow I’ll be doing a lot of commenting on twelve special blogs!!
Think of the love in a marriage as a campfire. There are actions that can be done to stoke the fire and make it hotter–those are Love Kindlers. There are actions that can be done that are like putting water on a fire–some are like dribbles out of a holey bucket, and some are like dumping a big old bucket of water on the fire. Those are Love Extinguishers. When two people first met there were no Love Extinguishers because they put forth their best image and the two were not sharing a home, bills, and chores yet. At the same time there were TONS of Love Kindlers. Think about it! People in love tend to spend a lot of time together; they talk to each other and get to know each other–and they actually stop and listen; they do fun things together like go bowling or take walks; they look good for each other and flirt…. See all those kindlers? And sure enough, the fire of love blazes and they get married.
Like all young couples they thought their love would “conquer all” and never even considered that one of them would cheat. Sure that happens to other people, but their marriage was different and special and it would never happen to them.
Then enter just a few Love Extinguishers.
The Loyal Spouse put the Disloyal Spouse through college so they could get ahead in life, and the Loyal Spouse always thought that his/her sacrifice would be paid back worth it “someday” when they were successful as a couple. Meanwhile, Disloyal Spouse worked and worked to climb the corporate ladder, thinking that he/she was “providing for the family” and doing it to get ahead. The Loyal Spouse began to be involved with their own college, work or activities and forgot to take time for Disloyal Spouse. In fact, when he/she did see Disloyal Spouse, he/she complained because Disloyal Spouse wasn’t helping out with the shared household chores. And Disloyal Spouse also forgot to make time for him/her and began working longer and longer hours at work. Sometimes they didn’t even see each other awake for DAYS…and when they did, one or the other of them had negative things to say. Maybe she’s not a great money manager (or the opposite, a controlling penny-pincher); when he’s home he’d rather sit in front of the TV or PC to veg out. They don’t talk anymore…and the Love Extinguishers are dribbling on the fire. Then more Love Extinguishers are added–kids are born and there’s even LESS time together; she gains some weight and he wear sweats; he yells at her about bills and she disrespects his job; he wants sex and she doesn’t feel connected to him so she resents it. The Love Extinguishers are getting to be less like a drip and more like a downpour.
Right about then…enter stage left the Other Person. Other Person is a colleague at the Disloyal Spouse’s office, a classmate in a college class, or an old romance from “way back when” found on Facebook. The Other Person has no Love Extinguishers because they are putting forth their best image. The Other Person is happy to hear from them–they dress up/look nice and wear cologne–whereas the Loyal Spouse is at home wearing jeans and a t-shirt. The Other Person knows all about work or the class…what he/she does…how he/she does it…what is hard about it…what is easy about it…what the Disloyal Spouse struggles with…and probably spends 8 hours a day with them–whereas the Loyal Spouse is bored hearing about work or school, has no idea how hard it is, and spends hardly any time with Disloyal Spouse. Pretty soon, the Disloyal Spouse starts talking to Other Person about a fight that he/she had with the Loyal Spouse the night before…and Other Person is understanding and takes their side. Then Disloyal Spouse starts going with the Other Person to work conferences or extra-curricular activities and kind of “seeks out” OP and sits by him/her at lunch. Soon, they are talking like teenagers at lunch–phoning each other on the cell phone “for work”–and emailing all night long. Part of the Disloyal Spouse is thrilled that someone else thinks they’re neat! They are happy…and a little love zing of amphetamine hits their brain. Then they flirt a little and the Other Person flirts back! And pretty soon after that, one of them mentions that they have feelings for the other … and that’s it. The decide they are “in love” and kiss.
If you’d like this article and want to do more, here what you can do!
1) To know more about how affairs start and how they progress, check out our article “How Do Affairs Start?”
2) If you need help or know a friend who’s marriage has been affected by an affair, you can Contact Us on our Contact page!
3) To learn how to Love Everyday and make your marriage affair-free, click the free download.
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According to the article on Shine “Who Cheats? Docs and Stay at Home Moms” members logging into a married “dating” site were asked their profession. The top five professions for those logging on to cheat….er “date”… were:
2. Stay-at-home Moms
4. Administrative Assistants
5. Real Estate Agents
2. Police Officers
4. Real Estate Agents
What does this survey tell us?
Well, it would seem that all of these professions are very stressful jobs with long hours. I think it’s interesting to note that for both men and women, being a real estate agent seems to be risky profession for being vulnerable to an affair. I also note that most of the women’s professions are what I would call “caring” professions where they have to care for another person. My guess is that women in these professions spend long hours away from their spouse, are not able to relate to their spouse some of the stresses of the job, and crave some appreciation for all the caring effort they put in. Likewise I note that all of the men’s professions are the ones we might call the “powerful men” who have positions of trust and larger earnings. Here, my guess would be that the men spend long hours away from their spouse, are not able to relate the stresses of their job to their spouses, and also are the type to crave some appreciation for what they do.
The biggest message I get from this list is that all of these professions are “normal people.” Not only celebrities, professional athletes, evangelists, rock stars and politicians are unfaithful! The doctor can flirt with his nurse if his spouse doesn’t make the effort to understand the stress; the stay-at-home-mom can find a thrill from the old boyfriend on Facebook if her husband doesn’t make the time to offer some assistance and really appreciate her for all that she does! So STAY VIGILANT and keep your marriage affair-free by making the time and taking the time.
Here on Affaircare we strive to bring our readers content that will strengthen their marriages and make them affair-free. When I heard this song I just knew that I had to share it’s wisdom. The lyrics are powerful so please listen to it more than once.
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Here’s what you need to do: Listen to the song by clicking on this link. If you agree with us that this song has a powerful message that couples need to hear, share it with EVERYONE you know.
Please leave a comment below with how this song has blessed you and your marriage.
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This “married giggle” has been brought to you by Igniter Media Group and Get In Here Ministries–and Affaircare. 😀