Addressing The Sexless Marriage, part 3


(This is the third of a six-part series; here are the links to part 1, part 2, part 4, part 5, and part 6.)

In my last post, I presented a version of The Talk™ known as The Shot Across The Bow. In that post, the writer, Job29Man, tells how he approached his wife with his concerns that their marriage was becoming sexless. In preparing that speech, Job had done some of the hard work ahead of time, as I recommend that you do.

Today, I’m going to present a different version of The Talk™, but before I do, I need to address the fact that, today, there seem be many barriers to having a decent/good sex life in a marriage. (Remember, I am writing to Christian husbands and wives, so if these don’t apply to someone who strays through my blog, due to Google, c’est la vie.)

Shooting Ourselves In The Foot

When I say that there “can be” barriers, what I am actually saying is that we make those barriers ourselves. Now, we have our jobs, and that’s normal and good. After all, we have to be about making a living to support our family, so that’s not part of the problem. And, of course, there is the family we are creating, and that not a part of the problem; that is part of living our lives together, as God intended. Then the family doesn’t exist in a vacuum; after all, we are commanded to nurture our children and raise them in the knowledge of the Lord, and so, as earnest Christians, we are part of a local congregation. All these things are well and good.

However, the job that I have might require that I work more than eight hours a day. Did I say job? Maybe I’m the owner of a business, and it’s “Eight hour days? Try 12- or 14-hour days.” It could be that one of us (both?) work different shifts, or has to travel. So the job, while good and right, can put up barriers to sexual intimacy, time-wise.

Family? Our pride and joy, right? Wrong! All too often, the Family is a higher priority than the Marriage. There is a Christian aphorism that goes “if you want to know joy, remember that JOY is Jesus, Others and You.” The problem comes when your spouse has to take a number to be included among the Others. The old idea that our priorities should be ranked God, Family, Church and, finally, Others is incorrect, IF your spouse is placed in the Others category. The correct way to prioritize would be God, Spouse, Children, Church and Others. If your focus is on your children over your spouse, you have distorted God’s picture of what a family is supposed to be. The marriage becomes a tool rather than a home.

Lastly, Church becomes a barrier to marital intimacy, what with the many obligations we assume. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that volunteering to serve your church is a bad thing. I’m a Sunday School teacher in our congregation; Wife is both a Sunday School teacher and vice-president of our church’s UMW organization. Serving your fellow believers by creating and maintaining the church is good and right.

What is wrong is when the church occupies so much of your time that the marriage becomes a lesser priority to such activities as AWANA, Worship Team rehearsals, the latest series of teaching classes on Biblical prophecy. When running the Food Bank becomes the equivalent of a full-time job ON TOP OF your full-time job, while your husband is eating TV dinners, uh-uh, not good. “Oh, but we’re doing the Lord’s work, Brother Curmudgeon,” you might say. And my response might be “You’re are destroying your marriage, dummy.” (Yeah, I abuse the privilege being a coot. I would have used the biblical term, from Prov. 14:1, but that might have put me in danger of hellfire.)

The End of Normal Life

So, with all of this as background, I present The End of Normal Life. This is another version of The Talk™, and was written by Job29Man, the author of Shot Across The Bow. This was also posted on The Marriage Bed forum, and is used by permission of the author.

Job was writing to help Refused spouses who kept getting put off when trying to initiate sex. There seemed to be an endless list of reasons as to why sex was “impossible tonight, maybe tomorrow”, but tomorrow never comes. Something else comes up to make sex impossible the next night, and the next, and the next. So Job wrote this version, addressing the need to stop all activities until the marriage is set aright:

When your mate …
1. delays,
2. makes excuses and breaks promises,
3. creates situations where having sex is impossible,
4. has “really good reasons” to not have sex, reasons that “no one could argue with”…
–I’m sick
–The children are sick
–Ministry needs prevent it “today”
–the children, the children, the children, the children…
–I’m tired, so tired, so very very tired
–I’m busy, so busy, so very very busy…

…well, whaddya do?

IMHO one viable option is “Honey, I love you but… This is the end of all normal life as you know it.”

We will figure out …
why you are so sick
why the children are sick
why *ministry* seems to trump our marriage
why other couples have children and sex, but we don’t
why you are so tired
why you are so busy

We will now stop all normal life until we solve this problem.

No more ministry, no more Sunday School, reduce “church” to Sunday morning only,
drop all church leadership and ministry,
reduce homeschool work,
reduce “fun for the kids”,
reduce kids sports and clubs and activities,
reduce all internet, facebook, reading books, and hobbies,
to what can be maintained AND have a good sex life at the same time.

We will not do these things again until we have a good, vigorous, and frequent sex life on a sustainable basis for at least one year.

Our marriage is more important than all these optional things, and we will vigorously research why we cannot hold jobs/have illness/etc. AND have good sex, but OTHERS CAN.

This is “the end of all normal life” until we get “a healthy sex life.”

“But That’s Controlling!”

So what? It’s better to control the marriage than to let the marriage be controlled by others outside the marriage, whether it be church, Little League, homeschooling, hobbies and electronics, or what-have-you.

“Why should our kids have to suffer?” Because you are using them as a weapon and a wedge to avoid intimacy with your spouse, that’s why. The kids’ soccer practice, kung fu lessons, music lessons, etc., are extraneous activities, not necessary to the development of marriage and home.

“But the ministry of our church will suffer if I’m not teaching/leading worship/being den mother in Royal Rangers.” Well, that’s too bad. I’m sorry that the church’s ministry will come tumbling down, and crash and burn because the one irreplaceable cog was removed. However, your first priority is your marriage, and that is in trouble. When we get our marriage fixed and running right, then we can re-engage in other activities, but not to the detriment of our marriage.

Simple Summary

As Christians, we like simple statements, supposedly pithy, that help to get a single, important point across. One formula that I’ve seen many times goes like this:

“If you’re too busy to pray, you’re too busy.”
“If you’re too busy to read your Bible, you’re too busy.”
“If you’re too busy to spend time with God, you’re too busy.”

Well, if you’re too busy to have a healthy sex life with your spouse, you’re too busy. ‘Nuff said.

Having said all this, Wife says that I need to include a disclaimer. Here it is: at the top of my blog, it says: Pithy insights from an experience old coot. It doesn’t say anything about me being a marriage counselor. (I’m probably better than they are, anyway.) Just understand that, as I have said in previous blogs, you know your situation, and you need to decide when and how to begin the work of changing your marriage. After all, God doesn’t do Jedi Mind Tricks™.

In my next post, I want to present some action steps that you might consider using in addressing the sexless state of your marriage with your spouse.



Filed under Marriage & Sexuality

16 responses to “Addressing The Sexless Marriage, part 3

  1. sandi

    I would disagree with you about God doing Jedi mind tricks. I believe He does. We call it conviction of the Holy Spirit. I don’t know why it happens to some and not others. I don’t know about the timing either, but I believe it. I’ve experienced it. I know that I’m not alone, not by a long shot.

    That doesn’t mean that a spouse can’t try these other approaches. They may be part of what God uses to open the eyes of the blind.

    I wonder how often this approach works? Seems like it could only work if a spouse was willing to submit to the other’s authority. If a spouse were really willing to do that, would this sort of thing be necessary in the first place? I guess it would force all the cards to be put on the table at least.


  2. bonnie

    thanks…and looking forward to your next post. May God bless your marriage, your ministry, your family…


  3. This is a great post! But what if it’s your husband who is the refuser? He can’t quit his job (his #1 priority according to him, I’m like #4) until the issue is resolved. He says no EVERY time i initiate. I finally just stopped initiating so our sex life is pretty much dead which has lead to an extreme emotional disconnection. Do you have any advice for me?


    • My next post, Options and Actions. 🙂
      Until next week, hie thee over to Amazon and order a copy of Michelle Weiner Davis’s The Sex-Starved Wife, where you can pick up a used copy for 1¢ plus $3.95 shipping. (

      I’m going to go down a quick check-list that I see used when the refusal archetype is turned on its head.

      1 – Porn a possibility? I can bring to mind a number of situations in which the guy would rather watch porn and masturbate. Quicker and easier. Truly selfish. This calls for a well-timed, well-placed, old-fashioned hissyfit!

      2 – Testosterone levels are low. Can get them checked through bloodwork.

      3 – Past sexual abuse may cause sexual issues.

      4 – Intense job stress, whether externally- or internally-imposed. You say “he can’t quit his job until the issue is resolved.” Use my email, if you need to fill me in. As this sentence stands, I’m simply at sea.

      Finally, about the stopping to initiate, or to push for sexual intimacy? In the words of the great Fleetwood Mac, “Don’t Stop.”


      • Chuck

        I agree with you (and Fleetwod Mac by the way) but sometimes is easier said than done. When you are rejected time and again we get so offended than eventually you don’t want to get exposed to rejection anymore!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I see that you are reading through the Addressing series. Good. #4 has several suggestions on how to approach a sexless marriage in order to try to change it.

        Yes, you are right that it’s much easier to stop initiation because it’s easier to suffer in silence rather than face interminable rejection. When that becomes the case, I’m all in favor of moving the refuser out to the couch.
        Why? First, no chance for rejection.

        Second, none of the agony of being so near, yet so far.

        Third, the message is communicated loud and clear, “The bedroom is for lovers, not roommates.”

        Fourth, it makes celibacy endurable. Yes, men have a sex drive, but for ages, men have been able to live celibate lives. But that should not be the case in marriage. If the wife imposes celibacy, she finds a different place to sleep.

        Will be praying for you, Chuck.

        btw: Fleetwood Mac? What lyric of theirs are you referring to?


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