Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Low or no sex drive?
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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby Learning1 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 7:31 am

Sorry you are going through this. Much wisdom and great advice has been shared by many. You and your wife are in my prayers.

JT77 wrote:My wife, like many wives, is very ambivalent about sex.

Most wives are not ambivalent about sexual intimacy. God did not make woman that way and it is not true for most wives. Most, but not all, woman's sexual intimacy needs and desires will not mirror a man's and may change significantly through the years.

If a wife is ambivalent about sex, than they need healing and restoration and a husband that will fight for them and not bring accusations them of not loving them or worry about the fairness of double standards or keeping score.

You & your wife are on the same team. Have difficult conversations with her about how you feel frustrated and not loved. Please remember you are fighting for her & your marriage and not with her.
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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby Unfulfilled » Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:11 am

Sorry for the long post but I came to this discussion late and thought one long post was as good as several shorter.

Poetess wrote: men are saying (paraphrased): I tolerate conversations and time spent with my life, and in fact I even enjoy it that she enjoys it, though given my own preferences, I'd pass. But she says the same thing about sex, and that's unpardonable!

The key phrase above is that the husbands work at and learn and are expected to learn how to enjoy deep conversation with their wife out of love for her. And the key point is "learn to enjoy it because she enjoys it."

EXACTLY! BINGO! He learns to genuinely enjoy the conversation out of his love for her and his DESIRE for her and DESIRE to meet her needs and prove his love and to demonstrate that desire and love for her GENUINELY! The OP is stating that the opposite is NOT accepted generally or culturally. And THAT is the double standard and that it exists. He is pointing out this existence and is screaming from the top of his lungs that this is wrong! That the wife does not have to nor is expected to GENUINELY learn and GENUINELY and honestly enjoy sex because that is what her husband needs. She is allowed to "endure" sex, or is allowed to refuse sex, or provides chore or duty sex, or can simply lie there and pray that it is over quickly and that is somehow culturally acceptable. But a husband is NEVER allowed nor is it acceptable or loving for a man to "endure" long conversations. He is expected to be GENUINELY interested out of evidence (proof if you will) to her of his love for her. A woman is allowed to make the conclusion that if her husband simply "endures" out of a sense of "duty" or obligation that it is tangible and direct evidence that he does not truly love her. SHE is allowed to be the arbiter and judge by HIS actions what indicates love to HER.

The opposite is NOT true. A Man making the assumption that a wife who clearly "endures" or provides sex out of obligation or duty or a chore is in NO way evidence or proof, and a man cannot draw the conclusion that his wife must not love him. That he is NOT allowed to to be the judge of what her actions mean in terms of her love for him.

The double standard is that SHE can be the judge of his behavior and draw conclusions as to his love for her, but HE is NOT allowed to make a similar conclusion about her love for him based upon her behavior.

I'm not saying that this is the "culture" of this forum or what is generally proclaimed or taught here. I'm saying that this forum is the exception not the rule. We live unfortunately in "rare air" here.

I believe the OP is living and most people live in the "real world". And in that world it is acceptable for a man to be expected to meet the wife's needs and learn to meet her needs the way SHE needs them. And his effort to learn and grow and over time develop a genuine desire and interest in her needs is not only expected but is tangible proof of his love and dedication to her. And this is seen and accepted as evidence of his love for her. Culturally however, the opposite is NOT true. A wife does NOT need to meet his needs in the way that HE needs. Because "forcing" her to have sex is demeaning, repulsive deplorable etc. Therefore SHE gets to decide what constitutes evidence of his love for herself. Not him. While SHE also gets to decide what he needs to do in order to prove his love for her. In the popular culture. SHE is both judge and jury for BOTH sides.

The OP is just calling out this double standard.

Poetess wrote:..If you can do those things for her and not for yourself, why can't sex be the same way for her? And sex doesn't "come naturally" for a woman; it's a lot of work.

Again exactly. HE is expected to put forth the work and effort and learn to GENUINELY want and desire close intimate conversations with his wife. The OP is arguing that the opposite, or the reciprocal is NOT true! It seems culturally acceptable that the wife make no real effort to GENUINELY cultivate and GENUINELY desire to want to have sex and to enjoy sexual with her husband. HE is expected to learn to overcome HIS natural resistance, and by doing so it is proof of his love for her. Yet she is NOT expected to overcome HER natural resistance. To ask her to overcome HER natural resistance is somehow demeaning and cruel and disgusting, revolting and unacceptable. But for the husband it is expected. For him to NOT work to overcome is proof that he does not love her and is cruel and revolting. The double standard IS there. To deny it is simply putting your head in the sand. This forum is the exception of the rule

Seeking Perspective wrote:Does your lack of desire to have long drawn-out conversations with her indicate your love for her?

No. But the point is men are EXPECTED from church, from women and from the the general culture and every direction to cultivate and work on and persevere. That while his natural resistance is not wrong per say. But if he is unwilling to put forth the effort and work to overcome this natural resistance IS wrong. And we do that because we love them. Because we value them. We are expected, directed, if not commanded to set aside our natural resistance in order to overcome our lack of desire for long talks for example. We are expected to eventually to lead to DESIRE that bond in the way SHE needs. The OP is stating other than rare sites like this forum, that the necessity to work to overcome woman's lack of natural desire is NOT culturally expected, it is NOT taught for woman the reciprocal when it comes to sex. That she has no expectation to work to GENUINELY and actively learn to honestly desire to have physical intimacy. That is the point of the OP. The expectation is that if a man truly loves his wife he will dedicate the time effort and work on listening to his wife because it proves his love for her in a way she needs. Yet the reciprocal is NOT expected from the woman to put forth the same level of effort and genuine growth to devote to meet and prove to her husband that SHE loves him. He is expected to learn to DESIRE her and desire to meet her needs. The wife however has no expectation to have to dedicate the time and effort to learn to GENUINELY desire or want to have sex with her husband.

I'm not saying that is what is taught here. Here is one of the few places and is completely counter cultural where it is known and taught that refusal is wrong and is a sin. That in fact a wife does have the responsibility to learn and GENUINELY meet her husbands needs, particularly but not limited to sexual intimacy. The OP is simply stating that outside this site and a few other extremely rare places the opposite is true. That is: a husband proves his love to his wife by giving her time and listens to her and connects with her. He is absolutely NOT allowed to "prove" his love in the way HE finds acceptable. The "test" if you will, is if he meets her needs the way SHE needs. But the opposite is NOT true. The wife is NOT expected to "prove" to her husband her love for him in the way HE needs. She is allowed to "prove" her love in the ways "acceptable" to HER and HER standards. It is without a don't a double standard. And this is the OP's point. Again I do not believe this is the "culture" on this forum. But it unfortunately IS the popular culture.

Seeking Perspective wrote:I can't tell you many times my husband would ask if I wanted to have sex and my response was that I didn't--because I wasn't aroused. That didn't mean I wasn't willing to or that I wouldn't enjoy it once we got started, but it did mean that my arousal and desire worked differently than my husband's. It took us a long time to figure that out.

I understand what you are saying. But why can't the wife who is generally "the great communicator" tell her husband this? It seems like many women don't learn that once they get started they enjoy sex. And upon this recognition and discovery they change their answer from "no" to sex to engaging in sex because she has learned that while she may not be aroused in that second, that she soon will be and that she will soon have pleasure herself and also make her husband happy.

It seems like women do not learn this. To most men that is the equivalent to his wife touching a hot stove and getting burned. And then The next day forgetting that fact And touching it again the next day, and getting burned again. Each day she seemingly "unable" to remember that if I touch the stove it will burn her. Yet somehow we men as supposed to understand and women are seemingly allowed to simply "forget" that after they start having sex that it is enjoyable. It is like the wife has never had sex or experienced the pleasure so that each sex encounter is like the first time ever. How long does it take her to learn that "gee sex with my husband is pretty dang pleasurable?" So next time he initiates, even if in that second I am not aroused, the last 3,000 times I felt like this I changed my mind one I got started, so instead of "shutting it down and slapping his hand away or saying no. I will instead go with it knowing with full confidence like the last 3,000 times that I will soon be enjoying making love to my husband?

I am able to understand if sex causes pain or she has never had an orgasm and this never found sex to be pleasurable. But if a wife has ever found sex to be pleasurable with her husband. She should remember that. I should NOT have to be a surprise every single time!

What if: What if a husband forgot each and every time that a deep conversation with his wife was a great experience. Would he be allowed to resist because he couldn't remember that taking with his wife is pleasurable? Not a chance in H-E double hockey sticks!

So why then is it acceptable for the woman to "forget" sex is enjoyable and be allowed to refuse?

Why is it culturally acceptable for HIM to submit to HER needs, and totally unacceptable for HER to submit to HIS needs? This is the point I believe the OP is expressing.

I think this all boils down to this: the double standard does in FACT exist. It is real. It is unbiblical and wrong and it does need to be completely and utterly demolished! The Bible clearly calls each spouse to equally submit to the other. And the double standard is that men are expected to meet a woman's need the way SHE needs. And he is expected to do what is necessary to meet her needs. but that she has no expectation to learn and meet his needs the way HE needs. She is the judge on BOTH sides. The wife is decides what is proof to her of his love for her and she is also the judge of how much she loves her husband. And when a man expresses his opposition to this unfair situation. He is labeled some sort of bully, fiend or oaf, or some kind domineering sexist pervert.

There is some discussion above about the need to "deal" with the OP's frustration.

I beg to differ! At least in part. I think he is justified by his frustration. The double standard is unbiblical and wrong. Him being frustrated by this truth is in my opinion righteous and properly placed anger. We should not tolerate and we are called to point out, address and correct sin. To not be righteous and vocal to call out the wrong IS to tolerate and condone sinful and bad behavior.

That being said. The righteous anger must be utilized and implemented in a proper manner.

The OP is. DW here. And like all people HER this whole thing is a process. And that process takes people through various stages. One of the first stages for many is anger and bitterness and resentment. It is understandable. But like any 12 (or however many steps) in the journey each person has to progress through them.

I for one completely understand and to some extent I'm still in the same place as JT77. The venting is good and it needs to occur. He is in a defensive position because he has had to live in the defensive world where his thoughts are in the minority or he is or feels completely alone.

I can assure you JT77, you are NOT alone. I believe most people here agree that the double standard exists and furthermore agree that it is wrong. As previously stated there are many wise folks here that have been on both sides and the fact they are still here and have either overcome, or are diligently working to overcome the issues and there are multiple success stories of transformations in themselves, their marriage and the marriage bed is huge.

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby doug-h » Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:21 am

Learning1, you could not have stated that better. Nothing had more impact on my marriage than when I really started fighting for it. We often fight for what a marriage is "supposed to look like", rather than fighting for the marriage we have. When I figured that out, things started changing, and I started seeing the marriage I wanted all along.

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby seeking perspective » Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:41 am

JT77 wrote:I've tried talking to her. She just gets hurt and makes me feel like the bad guy. Then shuts down and won't talk to me. So no, I won't be talking to her about it anymore...at least until I know what I want to do about it. I don't want the cold shoulder on top of everything else.


My recommendation is that you make a choice to let her feel hurt. It is the natural consequence of realizing she has hurt you. It may be a necessary thing for her to feel in order to understand the need to make some changes.

You are not the bad guy for sharing your feelings with her. I know it isn't easy to say things that you know will be upsetting to your wife--but you have the right to your feelings, just as she does.

I would like to suggest that you see if there is a different way you could perceive her shut down and cold shoulder. When my husband used to communicate his pain to me, I would shut down for a few days. It was the only way I could try to process what he had told me. Being faced with any indication that my actions had hurt him created such a deep cognitive dissonance for me (I don't hurt people. I'm the nice one. I'm the one people say have lots of empathy. It isn't possible that I'm in the wrong here.) that I honestly didn't know how to try to mesh what he'd said with what I thought I knew about myself. The moment he reacted to my shut-down (by yelling, by apologizing, or whatever), I snapped out of my cognitive dissonance and back into my previous mindset.

If you don't talk with your wife about this, how do you expect anything to change from her end?

Learning1 is absolutely right about fighting for your marriage and for your wife. Your wife needs to make some changes--but until she understands why her current views on sex are a problem for your marriage, she isn't likely to see that. As her husband, one of the ways you can fight for your marriage is to be sure she has the information she needs and that you don't hide your hurt from her. If it makes her feel bad, well, maybe that's a good thing.
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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby poetess » Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:51 am

Thing is, ranting and raving about a double standard isn't really the "problem" here. A specific marriage is. The double standard question is a side note, and won't be resolved and won't solve anything if it is.

I disagree with the "double standard" thesis simply because I think the real issue is that men and women are different. And that each individual person is different. "Culture" has even less sympathy for a refused wife than for a refused husband, because women aren't seen to "need" sex. Culture at least sees that it's a sad place to be for a man to be without sex. Yet on this board, a woman comes on here and says, "My husband won't have sex with me" and immediately people say "Get his hormones checked; that isn't normal, it's hormonal."

We understand that for a man, it's physically impossible to "fake it" and have enthusiasm his hormones don't allow him to have. A man comes on here complaining, "My wife has sex with me, but without enthusiasm" and he is asked, "Is she on the pill? Maybe it's hormonal" and we find out yes, she's on the pill, so it's likely hormonal, or she's in menopause, but that isn't "enough," because anything less than enthusiasm is "selfish."

It's an impossible standard, to say "Have sex with me even if you don't feel like it" and then "Have frequent and enthusiastic sex with me, because it isn't enough to engage but without enthusiasm." She must "feel" the enthusiasm or it isn't enough . . . and once she is having the frequent, enthusiastic sex, then it needs to be in an endless pursuit of new positions, and then that she initiate a certain percentage of the time . . . that's an utterly impossible standard. I'm the high-drive spouse in my marriage, in spite of the fact that I derive less physical pleasure from sex than my husband does and it's less likely to be in my chosen circumstances, and I find myself worn out just reading some of the expectations of the constantly upping ante.

It's "enough" for a wife that her husband engage in conversation and pay attention. A woman who has that conversational level of emotional engagement in sex isn't considered enough. So no, as a woman I personally don't see a double standard; I see that sex requires more from women than conversation requires from men. And I expect men might see it differently, because it's hard as a rule for men to "understand" a woman's feelings and sex is such a deep thing to a man that of course it should be to a woman too. But the double standard isn't the issue here, anyway--this particular marriage is.
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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby suffolk sinner » Sat Nov 19, 2016 11:47 am

poetess wrote:Are you just looking to vent and get "I hear you, brother" feedback from other men?

Because as a woman, I can't see what is complicated about this. I don't understand why any person would not want long conversations with someone they love--and I guess I'm fortunate in that the men in my life all enjoy long conversations, too.


Is the inverse statement also true?

"I don't understand why any person would not want long passionate sex with someone they love."

If not, then Bingo! to the double standard.

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby poetess » Sat Nov 19, 2016 1:11 pm

Nope. Not there yet. When I spoke of wanting long conversations with someone you love, I didn't limit "someone you love" to a spouse. You can't love someone and not want to get to know them--spouse or otherwise. You can love someone and not have passionate desire for them--in fact, we expect that kind of love for everyone in the world except one's spouse. Watch a mother and her newborn baby and tell me that sexual desire is an essential part of love--it is not.

In fact, if you listen to a sermon on the different kinds of love in Scripture, you'll probably hear that "eros" (sexual love) is the "lowest" kind of love, the least holy kind. (Not saying I agree with this, but pointing it out.) I'm NOT saying that a marriage without sexual love is better than one with sexual love, but pointing out that one actually can love another person, and love him/her deeply, without eros. Helping a wife understand that her husband probably cannot "feel" loved without sex, and that she is not loving him well or biblically without sex is a different matter. But assuming she doesn't love him is an assumption too far. She may love him deeply without sexual desire (for physical or emotional reasons) and without understanding of the best way he experiences love.
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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby Unfulfilled » Sat Nov 19, 2016 2:03 pm

^^^^
So in this OP marriage and similarly to so many more we read about.

What corse of action, what is one to do when you have the situation where in this case (knowing the reverse gender roles can also occur) that the wife DOES love her husband but doesn't want/need/desire sex. And the husband has a GREAT need that she be genuinely sexual, and he feels completely unloved. That is the problem here and is unfortunately a very common scenario we repeatedly see and read about.

What to then????

Sure seeking help is great. Having the spouse who is not meeting their mates needs MUST grow and change. But that ONLY works when the "offending" spouse WANTS to seek help. The conundrum that we also see repeatedly played out is that the offending spouse does NOT want to face or work on the issue. That the spouse shuts down, clams up, avoids or retreats, withdraws further etc.

You can bring a horse to water but you can't make it drink. You can even put salt in its oats in an Effort to try to motivate the horse to drink. But if the horse refuses to drink there is not a darn thing the other spouse can do about it.

So then What does the spouse who is with sexually a refusing spouse and on top of that, a spouse who is unwilling to deal with it. Then what???

And for a man who is not getting enough sex he is generally told to suck it up and get over it. But if a woman states that her husband is not listening to her, enormous pressure is put on him to change his ways, seek counseling and "get in touch with his feminine side."

Why is it that you almost NEVER, ever hear a woman told to "get in touch with her masculine side?"

So while it is true that the double standard is not THE issue. It is in fact a significant contributing factor that continues to enable it and give in this case JT77 wife "cover". And gives her some aid and comfort to make JT77 some sort of sex crazed maniac and he just needs to control himself and get over it.

The double standard is real and it is a contributing factor.

I agree that there are different kinds of love. And a love of a parent to a child is different than a love between siblings, or the love of a close friend. But the Eros love is what is a key, significant and defining and differentiating factor that makes the love between a husband and and wife SIGNIFICANTLY different. And that the lack of this Eros love in a marriage huge problem.

You do NOT get married to simply have a mother of father or a brother or sister or friend room mate. You get married to have a completely different love bond and that differentiating aspect is Eros or romantic/sexual in nature love. With out the sexual attraction and sexual relationship there is really no behavioral or expectation difference between that relationship and any other. The sexual component of marriage is defining. It is THE difference maker.

Im not in any way saying that you should not be friends with you spouse or that the entire relationship is only about sex. My position is that the sexual aspect of marriage is God defined especially and specifically and uniquely to provide sexual bond ONLY beteeen a husband and wife. God himself defined it this way. God wanted the sexual attraction and bond special between a husband and wife that it be unique and a sin for either spouse to engage is sex with anyone else except their spouse.

God is all about "loving your neighbor". But there is only one especially unique love between a husband and wife and that is the sexual nature.

This is why marriage IS a sexual relationship. If there is not honest and real sexual attraction present and desire it is of my opinion that the two people should not marry.

I am aware where "arranged marriages" last life times etc. and many would argue that they are successful. but I truly wonder if just because they didn't get divorced is any true sign of "success". Just as a person living in prison for their whole life may live to 100 years old means that their life was a good life.

Being in a marriage where one or both spouses do not feel loved is no different than being in prison. It doesn't matter how nice and plush and comfortable the prison is...it is still a prison. Being allowed from time to time a congugal visit is well and fine. It is better than nothing. But again when you have no idea when the "warden" will grant you a congugal visit, and then the person having sex with you is a dead fish, waiting for it to be over ASAP. Well....it's still a prison.

And then for the prisoner to be told "suck it up cupcake, this is a life sentence so get used to it." Is it any wonder why the "prisoner " would get a little frustrated?

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby seeking perspective » Sat Nov 19, 2016 2:37 pm

JT77, I know I have been asking a lot of questions here. I want to say very clearly that I am doing this so we can better understand how you have tried to address the situation so far so we can better counsel you about some other steps to take.

Please understand that I (and I would venture to say most of us here) think your wife needs to make some changes in her attitude toward sexual intimacy in your marriage. When we point out that your thoughts about what her actions mean may not be accurate, we are pointing you in a direction of better understanding your wife--so you can address this problem more effectively. Your feelings about her actions and your fears about what it all means are completely real and valid.

UF, it seems to me that you are reading things that haven't been said.

Unfulfilled wrote:And for a man who is not getting enough sex he is generally told to suck it up and get over it. But if a woman states that her husband is not listening to her, enormous pressure is put on him to change his ways, seek counseling and "get in touch with his feminine side."


Not a single person on this thread has told him to suck it up and get over it. No one. However, we can only work with the spouse who is here. We can write pages and pages about what Mrs. JT77 should be doing, but she isn't the one here. He is--so we work with what he can do to effect some changes. That isn't to say that he has caused any of this--but he can try some things to get her attention and to work on his own healing from the hurt.

And then for the prisoner to be told "suck it up cupcake, this is a life sentence so get used to it." Is it any wonder why the "prisoner " would get a little frustrated?


Earlier you made this comment.

Unfulfilled wrote:There is some discussion above about the need to "deal" with the OP's frustration.


And then you said this:

I beg to differ! At least in part. I think he is justified by his frustration. The double standard is unbiblical and wrong. Him being frustrated by this truth is in my opinion righteous and properly placed anger.


Since I was one who had specifically asked JT77 how we could help him with his frustration, I want to respond to this. No one has said his frustration is not justified. Several people, in fact, have said they understand his frustration. Dealing with the frustration does NOT mean suppressing it, ignoring it, or trying to get over it. Dealing with it means trying to figure out what to do with it, knowing how to talk about it, trying to respond to it in a healthy way, and all sorts of other things that do not in any way, shape, or form, suggest that the frustration isn't justified.

We should not tolerate and we are called to point out, address and correct sin. To not be righteous and vocal to call out the wrong IS to tolerate and condone sinful and bad behavior.


I agree--and I also think that how and when we do so can make a huge difference in whether our words will be heard. If the goal is to reconcile a relationship or help someone grow in their walk with the Lord, then it behooves us to correct that sin in a way that will nurture growth and speak love.
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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby poetess » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:11 pm

I definitely agree that marital love should include sex. (BTW, I hate the very concept that talking is one's "feminine side" and sex one's "masculine side." Both are very human activities.) Thing is, many women do not marry to have sex. Ideally it should be on their list of reasons they want to marry; and I'd argue that it must be on their list of planned marital activities, but it is not "the" reason most women marry. Also, sexual desire and love are not interchangeable; it's readily recognized that one can have sexual desire without love. It is obviously also possible to have love without sexual desire.

I'm arguing that "you don't love me" is a non-starter; whether it is said or left unspoken, it puts the other person on the defensive. But remember, love is primarily an action, a choice, and not a feeling. So it is perfectly legitimate to try to explain to one's wife, "I do not feel your love when you reject bonding with me in the most intimate way God created for husband and wife to show love." A year or two before I married, I read For Women Only. Even though I wasn't yet married (in fact had not yet even met my husband), I took to heart the things the author says about how and why sex helps a man feel close to his wife. Years before that, I had heard that when a man is heading out on a business trip, sometimes his wife's natural inclination might be to pull "away" a little bit before he leaves because she will miss him and it hurts, but he needs to go off on the trip with her sexual love fresh in his mind (especially if he will face temptation on the trip). Again, I wasn't even married yet . . . but I stored that away as "something to know about husbands in case I ever marry."

The reason I socked those things away for reference is that they are not self-evident. Touch speaks love to me, but touch doesn't necessarily have to be sexual. (I'd equate my husband's choice to touch me sexually more with desire than with love. I know he loves me with or without sex--but does he find me attractive?) We hear again and again on these boards from women who come to a point of understanding that sexual love is a very important part of love to their husbands. It isn't "love" that is missing here; it's "understanding." But a husband's nurturing love for his wife is part of what makes a wife want to understand her husband and love him well. That's a generalization, and not always true, of course. But "I love you more than you love me" is self-defeating and a non-starter. So is demanding that lack of sexual desire equals lack of love--it doesn't necessarily work that way for women.
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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby Learning1 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:38 pm

Hi JT77, I feel your hurt through your words in your posts ::bh . Again,I'm sorry you are going through this.

1. Is your purpose in posting to grow and fight for your marriage to be what God intended it to be ? To equip yourself with wisdom & gain understanding from those that have walked this path?

OR

2. Is your purpose in posting to prove & have all like minded posters shout "yea and amen" that your marriage has a double standard ? Since your marriage does, nearly all marriages must have double standards as defined by you?

If you are posting to hear group think answers to Question 2, it might make you feel good in the moment. Question #2 can make for some emotionally laced interesting debates. I am always up for a good debate. But it is not really gonna help your marriage.
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” C.S. Lewis

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby Unfulfilled » Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:44 pm

My previous posts about sucking up was not meant to say or imply that others on the post or this site said those types of things. Rather it was to reflect the cultural influence that perpetuates the double standard.

I did not make that clear. I apologize for that.

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby Vanna » Sat Nov 19, 2016 11:13 pm

I'm sure it can feel like a double standard when your marriage is hurting and your concerns don't feel heard or understood.

Perhaps if we understood more of the specifics about your situation then we could be more help?
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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby Leah » Sat Nov 19, 2016 11:24 pm

I think we teach people how to treat us. If a man is not satisfied with the way he is treated by his wife, he needs to change some part of the equation.
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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby ViggoDK » Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:43 am

JT177, basically I agree with you! The double standards, you describe, are certainly real. To me, it is not at all a new realization. I have been sexually refused for decades so I have had plenty of time to think about it.

Over the years I have probably been through all phases of despair - including the phase where you are right now equating lack of sex with lack of love. I think your reasoning from a male perspective is very accurate. To me it would not make sense at all to claim that I love my wife and at the same time to say that I do not want to have sex with her. It is a built-in contradiction because, to me, sexual desire for her is a completely natural and unavoidable consequence of loving my wife. Therefore, my logic was exactly like your logic: Since my wife would not have sex with me, she obviously did not love me!

Today, I am convinced that my wife actually does love me. She just sees love (including married love) in a very different way than I do. One of the biggest differences seems to be that women (as opposed to men - or at least me) are able to completely separate love and sex.

The problem is, obviously, that there does not exist a unique definition of love. Love can be many things: You can even love a kitten (but I do not want to be loved that way, because it does not involve respect). It is probably fairer to compare with love for a brother which is, of course, also a good thing. It is probably something like that our wives mean when they say that they love us.

poetess also compares with the love a mother feels for her newborn baby so we are probably on the right track. Even though I, of course, agree with poetess that this is ALSO love, I still think it is love in a completely different sense than between a husband and his wife. In other words, I do not want my wife to love me like a brother. I did not marry because I needed another sister. I married because I needed a WIFE and I married HER because I love HER.

Even though I now definitely feel loved by my wife, it does not mean that I disagree with your observation of double standards. I just don’t equate lack of sex with lack of love anymore.

Still, I struggle a lot with how to interpret the logic of refusing. I see refusing (and serious gatekeeping) as insisting that an important part of the relation must be 100% on the terms of the refusing or gatekeeping spouse. My problem with that is that it only makes sense to insist on something being 100% on one’s own terms if you consider your partner to be worthless. If you recognized that the partner had just the slightest value in his own right, you would ALWAYS seek a compromise.

Looking back at my married life, the feeling of being seen as worthless was, without comparison, what hurt me the most. Of course, for the young husband, the disappointment of never having sexual intimacy with his wife is huge. Nevertheless, in the long run, the feeling of being seen as worthless hurts a lot more.

In summary, I agree with you JT177: There are, certainly double standards, and it is not fair!

Still, I also agree with seeking perspective:

I have learned (the hard way, of course, like I've learned most lessons in my life) that thinking about what is fair in this way is not good for the marriage. I am not saying there is no double standard--just that it isn't good to spend time dwelling on it.


She is right: Focusing on what is fair is not good for your marriage!
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want; (Psalm 23)

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby JT77 » Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:07 am

To help clarify the discussion, and where I'm coming from:

1) The Double-Standard is an essential part of the problem. If I'm right about it, then the course of action is completely different from what is needed if I am wrong about it. Although, the double standard isn't really the point. The point is:

2) I believe sexual desire is essential to romantic love––just as essential as the desire for all other forms of intimacy. That's the point of the double standard. We treat everything *but* sexual desire as essential to romantic love, and it ends up negatively impacting men, typically. If I'm wrong about this, then the course of action moving forward is completely different from the course of action if I'm right.

3) So yes. There does need to be a "debate" or discussion in order to try to find out if (2) is accurate. Not to assign blame / guilt / etc... but to clarify where the problem is. If (2) is right, then the problem is in her, and likely some sort of psychological dysfunction that is separating sexual desire from romantic love. I suspect this is the case. And I suspect there is something about our culture (maybe, especially Christian culture) that cultivates such a dichotomy in women's brains. If that's the case, it is unhealthy, and must be addressed appropriately. If (2) is wrong, then sex is really just a random side-bonus that I should get over.

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No Sex = No love. I agree with this statement.

Postby Job29Man » Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:24 am

I've never been concerned to be politically correct, so here's my unfiltered thinking on the matter, spoken not to anyone on this thread, but to the PC-world-at-large.

There are some things that you are "not allowed" to speak, because it makes you a horrible person, or judgmental, or unloving.

1. Never tell someone that their spouse is probably not a believer. "How dare you judge!" comes the challenge, "You aren't God! You can't possibly know the person's mind or heart!" No, I can't, and neither can you. Only God knows for sure, BUT God spent a LOT of time in Scripture on teaching us to discern between good and evil, friend and foe, believer and deceiver. This must be for a reason. IF we say "He/she is not a believer" it ALWAYS means "According to your own description" or,

"according to his/her actions ... all indications are that he/she does not show the 'fruit' which is expected of believers so it is reasonable to conclude, for purposes of how to understand and respond to this situation, that he/she is 'not a believer'."

2. Never, ever, ever tell someone that they are being a "bad father" or "bad mother" or "bad spouse." No, that is forbidden. "Why do you feel the need to 'name-call?' " My neighbor may "in deed" (indeed = in + deed... get it?) be a bad father, or my acquaintance may be a bad wife, but *I* could never be a bad husband. Scripture be hanged; even if the Bible paints a clear picture of a bad father/wife/son etc and you match that description, still, don't ever actually SAY the words to someone. In fact, don't even think it in your heart, though it is a helpful step in assessing where to begin helping the "bad father/wife/etc" down the road to improvement.

3. Never tell someone that their spouse probably doesn't really "love" him/her. Again "How dare you!" (blah, blah, blah) To them I say "Dude/Dudette you are the one who brought up the topic. You are the one who describes the behavior, the 'fruit' of your spouse. I base my conclusion on YOUR testimony."

IF we believe that "love is a verb" and not just a noun, THEN we can verify love by looking at the actions.

So, IF love in marriage includes more than the promise to "feel" loving emotions, but to actually "do" love unto the other, THEN the actions will tell the truth.

And IF having sex with one's spouse is a necessary part of the "love" of marriage, THEN IF you really "love" (verb) your spouse you will have sex with him/her. Period. We try to make it more complicated than that, but it's really that simple.

Now (follow the logic) we may reasonably conclude that IF you withhold sex from your spouse, or make it contingent upon unreasonable conditions, THEN logically speaking, you don't really "love" your spouse. It only "sounds wrong" if you disregard logic because the conclusion is so horrifying as to be "unthinkable" to you.

Now the "offended one" will start listing excuses, caveats, special exceptions, ad infinitum. And there may be reasonable excuses for sexual refusal in marriage -- sometimes -- rarely. But it seems that most of what's described on TMB about refusing spouses and gatekeepers, does not rise to the level of a truly reasonable/allowable/legitimate excuse. It's just plain selfish, sinful, wrong.

This is my long-explanation way of getting to my personal strong belief that "[b]IF he/she refuses to have sex with you (without a legitimate excuse), THEN he/she doesn't really love you."[/b]

IMHO it is best for a man/woman in such dire straights to recognize the naked truth. Maybe your spouse is NOT a Christian. Maybe your spouse is content to be a "bad wife/bad husband" and simply doesn't care. Maybe your spouse doesn't really love (verb) you but is just going through some of the motions for reasons known only to him/her.

You can't hope to solve such predicaments until you recognize that they exist.
Wanting to become like Job, as described in the Bible, the book of Job chapter 29. Hence the screen name.

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby sunny-dee » Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:36 pm

Oh, I agree if someone isn't having sex (barring, of course, some kind of medical / psychological reason), it's because they don't love their spouse romantically. The only quibble is that I agree with some of the other comments -- there are a million different kinds of love, and many of them lack a sexual component.

Your spouse may truly love you, but not in the way you want or that you love them or that matches what we would typically think of in a marriage. But there may still be love there of a kind.

I have come around to truly believing my husband loves me. Apparently, sex (with me) only crosses his radar every 3 - 6 weeks and there is literally nothing I can do to influence him sexually. For a long time, I took the complete lack of sexual connection (along with some other things) as a sign that he didn't love me, and when there were actions or words that seemed to express love, I simply didn't believe them. After awhile, I started to realize he really does love me. Just, not the way I thought originally. But I can carry both of these thoughts: he loves me AND he is not that interested in sex with me. They're not mutually exclusive.

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby SeekingChange » Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:37 pm

Maybe I am missing something....This
JT77 wrote:Conclusion: I don't think my wife loves me as much as I love her. And I don't think the wives who don't enjoy sex love their husbands as much as they should.(emphasis mine)

....seems to be different then this....
Job29Man wrote:This is my long-explanation way of getting to my personal strong belief that "If she refuses to have sex with you (without a legitimate excuse), she doesn't really love you."


There's a big difference between not HAVING sex, and not ENJOYING sex.

I think there is often a double standard, but I believe there's a double standard in a lot of areas in our marriages and in our lives. Instead of comparing our own deeds with another human, so that we seem superior, we should compare our love to Christ's...and I would guarantee We. All. Fall. Short. I'm pretty sure Christ didn't "enjoy" the process (suffering, being crucified, dying, etc) of Him showing love to us and the world, but for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross.

For those who know my story and those who don't, as a former refuser/gatekeeper, I did NOT enjoy the process of dying to my old self, and becoming a "new and generous wife". It was very hard work. It cost a lot of tears, pain, hurt, and just learning to die to my flesh, my will, my desires, my self. There were many times me just saying "yes" was the victory, even if it came with hidden tears. There were many times I was having a spiritual battle in the mind, while my body was in the act of love. I very much found the JOY on the other side, and much of it was very unexpected. There would have been a lot more damage done, a lot more obstacles to work through, a lot more mountains to climb, a lot more battles lost and me being defeated, if I had a husband who was saying, "because I don't "see" you enjoying this, you don't love me". He actually could have discouraged me enough, I would have given up and said, "What's the use?"

When my actions of sacrificing my "self", my desires, my will, for my husband, because of my love for the Lord and my love for my husband, comes into question and I am judged "guilty" of "not loving him", because I don't "enjoy" sex on the same level as a man... well, I think the "measure of judgement" is skewed and wrong...because the "man" is setting himself up as the "standard", and frankly, he is not. I will be the first to say, that I way too often do NOT love my husband as I should. Period. But for some reason, my husband seems a little blind to that fact because he seems to feel and know he is loved and he looks at the totality of our relationship, not one little speck where I am falling short at the moment.

If I was speaking to your wife, she would hear how I have learned how a man is different. She would hear how a man's sexuality is tied to his "being". She would hear my testimony of the conviction of my sin and the change that took place in me, and therefore, the change that took place in my husband and in our marriage. When being obedient to the Lord and His ways, there are ALWAYS blessings.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: Frustrated with Double Standards. No Sex = No love

Postby MayDayGirl » Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:07 pm

sunny-dee wrote:I have come around to truly believing my husband loves me. Apparently, sex (with me) only crosses his radar every 3 - 6 weeks and there is literally nothing I can do to influence him sexually. For a long time, I took the complete lack of sexual connection (along with some other things) as a sign that he didn't love me, and when there were actions or words that seemed to express love, I simply didn't believe them. After awhile, I started to realize he really does love me. Just, not the way I thought originally. But I can carry both of these thoughts: he loves me AND he is not that interested in sex with me. They're not mutually exclusive.


I agree . . . Having a low sex drive does not mean you don't love your spouse. However, I do agree with Job, in part, that a spouse who refuses to have sex or requires their spouse to jump through numerous hoops just to have sex, doesn't really understand what love is.


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