“A Wife’s Heart”

Blue? “Sprucing up, CSL?” Today, my words are in blue. Read on, for an explanation.

In May, I asked a couple of my internet friends/fellow bloggers/WordPress mentors what they thought of me writing a post on the oft-heard “All you think about is sex.” One, Chris Taylor of Forgiven Wife, expressed unease with the concept, and so, while I decided to push on with the idea, I tried to take her concerns into account. Since that post, Chris and I have discussed it a bit further, and I asked her if she would like to write a guest post giving her take on the matter, from her perspective.

Of course, as we are both loquacious and given to gnawing on ideas like a beagle on a bone, her post has triggered further discussions and so I suggested that we conduct a brief colloquy on her post. Here is her original guest post:


A Wife’s Heart

I’ve been watching CSL’s posts on addressing a sexless marriage with great interest.

He recently wrote, “As has been pointed out to me, I have a concern for husbands who are suffering through truly sucky marriages that are draining them of God-given, God-intended life.” I’ve certainly pointed that out to him a time or two—only I’ve said, “CSL, you have a heart for hurting husbands.”

(Just a quick note from CLS: well, you have to have your Universal Translator on. Then the message comes through.)

It’s always about the heart with me, and I have a heart for hurting wives—because I used to be one.

CSL’s recent post “All You Think About Is Sex!” hit a little too close to home for me. I am a woman who used to believe (and say) that all my husband thought about was sex.

Although my marriage only once approached the definition of a sexless marriage (10 or fewer sexual encounters in a year), my husband and I had a dismal sex life for nearly twenty years.

As a refuser/gatekeeper, I avoided sex as much as possible. I frequently usually said no to my husband’s advances. My one initiation a year was begrudging (“I suppose you’re going to want sex, so let’s get it over with”). I tolerated sex rather than enjoyed it. I used his actions and words as evidence that he didn’t deserve sex.

Looking at it logically, it should have been clear to me that simply giving in to sex once or twice a week required a lot less time and effort than all my avoidance did—not to mention the time we spent arguing about sex.

Looking at it logically, however, would have missed the heart of the issue—namely, my heart.

The Heart of My Refusal

My heart issues began with some baggage I brought into my marriage. The heart of my refusal, however, lay in relational hurt.

I am married to a good man—one whose love for me and commitment to our marriage has modeled Christ for me in a way nothing else has. The poor guy just didn’t know what to do with a wife who lived everything through her emotions—and he made a lot of mistakes.

My biggest hurt was the lack of emotional connection in our marriage. (I’ve written about it here.) The only feeling he ever communicated to me was, “I’m horny.” When I tried to share my own emotions with him, his usual response was either “Get to the point,” or “I don’t need to know that. Just tell me what I asked.”

I often process my emotions through conversation. The way I deal with problems is to talk through them (yes, sometimes over and over). The talking helps me heal, and the experience of being heard helps me feel close to the person who is listening.

At a time when I needed to talk about some struggles I was experiencing, my husband dismissed my feelings as invalid and told me I just needed to move past it. When I brought up those struggles a few years later (because I still hadn’t dealt with them because I hadn’t yet had a chance to talk about them), he informed me that it was all a long time ago and I should just get over it.

This may sound small, but for a woman who experiences everything emotionally, it was devastating. It was like this every day for years.

He occasionally shared his feelings with me—but only in regards to sex, nothing else. Fighting about sex was the only time I saw his heart. The only time sex was good for us was after we’d had an argument that resulted in him telling me how hurt he was. It was exhausting for both of us.

Just as my husband felt unloved as a result of my lack of connecting with him sexually, his lack of connecting with me emotionally made me feel unloved.

CSL has recently written about grudges. I admittedly am still in the process of becoming a reformed grudge holder—but I don’t know if what I was hanging onto was a grudge or my fear of being hurt.

My response to my hurt was to retaliate in order to protect myself. I was wrong.

I would have benefitted from CSL’s advice to deal with grudges by letting graced train me, considering whether my right to be hurt was in conflict with following God, and choosing to live in God’s grace rather than immerse myself in my hurt.

I was wrong.

If your wife is resisting sexual intimacy because she is hurt, she is wrong as well. (If you’re a real jerk and are sinning against her, then that statement does not apply. It also doesn’t apply if your wife is carrying trauma such as childhood sexual assault.)

It would be nice if it were as easy as telling your wife she is wrong or pointing out her sin. Really, that would be so much simpler.

Unfortunately, if your wife is hurting, that isn’t likely to work

It may be that the way to her sexual heart is through helping her heal her whole heart.

Healing a Hurting Heart

I didn’t know how to open up sexually when I felt like my husband didn’t love me. My heart needed to be healed before I could even hear what he was expressing about his desire for the intimacy that came only through sex.

As I’ve read CSL’s series, I’ve thought how reasonable it all sounds: the talk, the shot across the bow, the end of normal life, withdrawing romance, withdrawing affection, sleeping in separate bedrooms, removing the wedding ring, etc.

Those are all logical suggestions. When the problem is that your wife needs to change her thinking or is generally just too overwhelmed by life, they may work very well.

Here’s the thing: a hurting heart will not be healed by logic.

Not a single one of these suggestions would have touched my heartache. In fact, some of them might well have compounded the hurt I was already feeling.

If a wife is refusing because of her heart, then, what is a husband to do? How can he help her heart heal?

One approach I’ve written about (see this post) is to create an atmosphere in which she feels loved and safe enough to understand herself and begin to trust him with her heart—and with her body.

Help her grow in her walk with God. Encourage her to seek the Great Healer. Do Bible studies with her if she is interested. Pray with her and for her.

Demonstrate care for her feelings. When she shares something difficult for you to hear, it likely has been difficult for her to say. Honor her courage and trust. If you have done something to hurt her, listen to her. And repent. And ask for forgiveness—for what you did in the first place and for not having heard her before. My husband is a good man and never meant to hurt me—but his acknowledgement of that hurt was what I craved more than anything else.

Demonstrate a willingness to do hard work for your marriage and for her. A clear as it may be that your wife is the one with the problem, show her that you will work to grow as well. Show her that she is worth your effort.

Share your heart and feelings with her, and not just about sex. Yes, this means to talk about your feelings sometimes. It doesn’t have to be deep serious stuff, either. When she asks about your day, share a joy or frustration—and be sure to include how you felt. Saying “I was frustrated” or “I felt encouraged” invites your wife into your world. (If this sounds overwhelming, you may find this list helpful.)

Do not withhold affection. (This directly contradicts what CSL has said in one of his posts.) I realize that it is deeply painful to give your wife a non-sexual hug when you are sexually starving. However, the withholding of affection sends a message that the only time you care for her is when you are having sex. If your wife’s heart already hurts, this will make it worse, not better.

Stay calm in the face of her emotional storm. If your wife is an emotional person, there may probably will be times when she reacts emotionally or overreacts. Be a stable and calming presence to show her that you can be trusted with her strong emotions—even if those emotions are directed at you. I once was able to tell my husband, “A hug is never the wrong response.” So he learned that silence with an embrace usually was the thing that helped me settle down the most.

Acknowledge progress and effort. Slow progress is still progress. Each visible step I took was the fruit of weeks of serious but hidden work on myself—teaching myself new ways of thinking, reminding myself of the pain I’d caused my husband, taking lots of deep breaths, and working to heal my heart. My husband saw none of that—yet I was working hard and making great strides. It seemed like slow progress from the outside, but it was progress nonetheless.

Continue with these efforts even past the point of change. If you support your wife in healing her heart and your sex life improves, keep at it. Stopping when the sex has improved sends a message that sex is all that matters—and that may hurt her heart all over again.

If your wife is one who lives life through her emotions, taking the logical approach CSL describes here may not actually be the logical approach.

Logic won’t heal a hurting heart—but love and care can go a long way.

Another way to put it might be this: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade—but be sure to use the amount of sugar that is right for each person’s taste.

If your wife is one who responds to calm logic, then follow the recipe that CSL has provided. However, if your wife is a woman who does better with an emotional approach, be sure to adjust the sweetness and care accordingly so she will actually drink the lemonade you’ve prepared.


An excellent article, with many good insights into the heart of wives that a curmudgeon probably doesn’t have.

But. (You knew that had to come, right?)

But being the right royal pain in the tuchas that I am, I have questions and musings, and I have all the tact of the kind of doctor who pokes you where you’re hurting and asking, “Does that hurt?” Don’t you just want to smack him/her?

So Chris and I are going to talk, via posting, about some of the ideas that she has presented. Be looking for these posts to appear over the next few days.

(By the way, I’m going to park my humility for a second and pat myself on the back and say that props have to be given to yours truly. After all, it’s not too many bloggers who would invite a guest blogger/poster to come to their site and say, “He’s wrong.” So pardon me while I break my arm patting myself on the back.)



Filed under Marriage & Sexuality, Marriage and Sexuality

36 responses to ““A Wife’s Heart”

  1. MrsStud

    Followed you here, Chris, from your blog. Interesting back-and-forth . . . I have to say that I get what CSL is saying AND I get what Chris is saying. I think the issue needs a multi-pronged approach! I am the one in my marriage who initiated the change to more frequent sex (though I am the lower-drive spouse), but if I hadn’t, I think CSL’s approach would have possibly freaked me out so much that I might have shut down completely. Then again, while distant and mysterious men don’t make women feel *safe*, they do seem to ignite women’s libido, so perhaps I would have craved him physically more if he had backed away a bit. It’s a complex dance.


    • Hello, er, uh, “MrsStud” *ahem*

      If you think that this back-and-forth was interesting, be sure to tune in next week, as Chris and I begin discussing A Woman’s Heart. Together. In the same post.

      And I completely get the he’s right/she’s right dilemma. It reminds me of that scene in Fiddler On The Roof, in which Tevye says “You know, you’re right” to two people arguing opposite opinions. When confronted with the fact that both can’t be right, he responds, “You know, you’re right too!” 🙂


  2. TB

    I second what Chris said about withholding nonsexual affection. For years the only time my husband touched me was when he wanted sex. It naturally led me to believe the only thing he wanted or needed from me was sex. Our sexual distance started when our first child was born. It took nine weeks for me to heal and even then sex hurt for a few more weeks as my body still needed time to adjust to post baby feelings. Add three more children over the next four years and I was exhausted all the time. My husband thought he was helping but the reality was I didn’t need a husband working hard to advance his career. I needed a husband to change a diaper, empty the trash, play with the kids, to take a physical load off my shoulders. And to show me he cared, to say how much I was doing to raise a family. I often felt like a single mom, always doing it all alone. Then our youngest was diagnosed with cancer at the age of three. I remember one night when my mom was at the hospital and I was home. My husband’s first concern was sex, not asking me how I was doing or if there was anything I needed. The divide grew. He would get angry at me when I didn’t want to have sex. But in reality he was angry all the time. I tried to tell him to be gentle, that it was hard for me to be affectionate to someone who was always angry. He still didn’t see it. During our whole marriage be had been using porn (I knew but didn’t address it like I should have. I only said something every few months and didn’t really share how deeply it hurt me like I should have.) Then 14 years into the marriage the affairs started. A few one nighters at first. But when those didn’t feel the void he found someone he could connect with emotionally and sexually. Pretty weird for someone who didn’t share his emotions with his own wife. I discovered the affair when it was into its third year, and during that learned of the previous ones. I was devastated to say the least. I share this because what may have started as something little, something not against you at all, like the exhaustion and time needed to heal after childbirth, can spiral and get bigger and bigger. Your wife needs your help both physically and emotionally. If my husband had not focused on merely his needs and wants all those years but had listened to my pleas for help and longing for an emotional connection we could have avoided years of my refusal and his affairs. It’s been nearly a year since I discovered the affairs. We are still together and our marriage is improving. Weekly marriage counseling using a method called emotionally focused therapy was really helped. We are both getting to the emotional level of why we do what we do and respond how we respond. There are still days I am not sure I can stay with him. I have shared that with him. He actually listens to me now. We still have a very long way to go but we talk more and have sex more. He has learned that I do better being able to transition into the sexy wife if I can talk about what is on my mind first and we can connect emotionally before we physically connect through sex. So my advice is to talk to your wife, love her, truly love her, hug and kiss her without expecting anything in return. Ask her what you can do to help. And if the answer is to wash the dishes, do it without complaining. Two of be sexiest things a man can do for his overloaded wife are housework and playing with the kids.


    • TB, my heart hurts for you. Your marriage sounds like it’s had one pile of hurt heaped on another, time and time again.

      I had a full-time job, and most of the household and child-raising work still fell onto my shoulders. I desperately needed help—and I needed my husband to just do it, not wait to be asked and then disagree with me that something needed to be done. Reading your comment brings back so many feelings of being alone in my marriage except for when my husband wanted sex. I still have pieces of that heartache that haven’t fully healed within me.

      At the same time, though, even in the midst of describing your own hurt, I can see pieces of your husband’s hurt as well. I want to mention two things, although they may not be issues in your marriage anymore.

      The first thing is that many men have a deep need to be good providers. Working hard to advance a career can seem selfish—and to an extent, sometimes it is a selfish desire for glory and value in the workplace. At the same time, though, even a selfish career focus is often tangled up in a man’s true need to provide what his family needs and desires. (It isn’t too different from how even when a woman feels a deep need to make a good home for her children, it’s easy to get caught up in having the perfect décor, the cleanest kitchen floors, and clever-looking snacks that look like they belong on Pinterest.)

      My point is that your husband’s career efforts met his need to provide. If you complained about his time and effort at work, he saw that as just as much a rejection of his needs as you felt his time at work was a rejection of your need to not feel so alone in parenting.

      The second thing is sex. I can’t imagine how horrible it must have been to have a child with cancer. Any health challenge with a child is devastating and terrifying—and I imagine this is so much more pronounced with cancer. Although we never faced anything that overwhelming, we had many times when life threw us something scary. And every time, there was my husband, wanting sex. It seemed so selfish to me at the time. I have since learned much about men and sexual connection. Sex is the most effective path to emotional connection for most men. It has to do with the bonding hormone oxytocin and the fact that the only time men experience a high level of the hormone is at orgasm. Sex provides the biological mechanism that helps them feel emotionally bonded and connected to us. When you wanted your husband to check on you to see how you were and what you needed, it was because you needed to know that he was emotionally connected to you and that he cared about you. In wanting sex, he was seeking the same thing with you—in the way that made sense to him. He was trying to give you what you wanted—just not in the way you wanted it.

      So I look at your comment, and I see that early on, there was a lot of hurt felt on both sides of your marriage bed. Sadly, your husband’s choice to step outside the marriage through porn and infidelity magnified the hurt and added a great deal more pain. Your decision to stay and work on the marriage is admirable. I have watched good friends respond very differently to this kind of situation. A marriage that survives infidelity can become so amazingly good and strong–but the path to get there is far from easy. With two good-willed people, though the odds are in your favor.

      Your last sentence caught my attention: “Two of be sexiest things a man can do for his overloaded wife are housework and playing with the kids.”

      This can be true. Nothing made me want my husband more than watching him be a good daddy. (In fact, a recent interaction between my husband and our adult son still had that effect on me. 🙂 )

      It is a problem, though, when we tell our husbands that what we need is more help with the housework and the kids—and then it isn’t enough, and we still resist sex. I’m embarrassed to admit that this describes me for most of our marriage. I didn’t understand myself enough to know that what I needed wasn’t assistance as much as it was acknowledgement and appreciation. So my husband would do what I asked—and because it wasn’t what I actually needed even though I thought it was, it would never be enough.

      Sadly, many men do these things–to the point where they do most of the housework, desperate in their attempts to show their wives that they care–and find that they never seem to do quite enough to “earn” sex. That is when my heart hurts for them.

      I love what you say about how you and your husband have figured out the conversational connection helps you make the transition to a sexual connection. That is a way of meeting both your needs. And knowing that he understands that probably makes it easier for you to jump right to the sexy stuff now and then since you know the caring and conversation are right there waiting for you.

      I am sorry that your marriage has included so much pain—but I love seeing that healing is happening for you and your husband. Thank you for sharing this (and for agreeing with one of my comments, too!).

      Liked by 3 people

      • Awesome, awesome response, Chris. I noticed some of the same hurts. I immediately thought of the example another marriage writer gave (maybe Shaunti Feldhan) when they returned home from a funeral and her husband immediately initiated sex. Most women would be horrified by that, but once you understand what sex means to a husband, it only makes perfect sense. It is comfort sex. (Somewhat akin to comfort food after a bad day. 😉)

        I personally am struck by your comment about how your husband’s service wasn’t actually the issue; it was your need to feel appreciated. This is so true! I will be chewing on that for a while. I think I am guilty of this.


      • Excellent answer, Chris. So, so much good stuff there. One “story” that has forever changed my view of sex is similar to what happened here. I think it was Shaunti Feldhan who shared that upon arriving home from a funeral her husband immediately initiated sex. (Or maybe it was Sheila Gregoire after their infant son passed away??) It sounds so out of place and inappropriate to most women, but knowing now what sex means to most men, it makes perfect sense. It is comfort sex! (Akin to comfort food for most women 😉). Comfort sex is actually very, very powerful, in my opinion. I can’t think of any way more powerful to communicate “We are in this together.”

        I am personally struck by your comment about how your husband’s acts of service we not the heart of the issue but rather your need for appreciation. I struggle with this but I haven’t seen it until you said that. Thank you!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • (Oops, sorry about the double post. I thought I lost my first comment and did it over.)


      • It was a huge a-ha moment for me to realize that although I needed help around the house, it wasn’t the lack of help that I found so upsetting. It was that I needed to feel acknowledged in what I was doing for our family.


  3. Hey, CSL, thanks for letting me come over to tell you you’re wrong. I’m happy to do that any time! 🙂 (For the record, you’re often right, too.)


  4. SomeoneElsesBigGuy

    As a long time reader of Chris’ material, and a new one to CSL, I will say this: based on my reading of both blogs, my wife is definitely in the “hurting heart” category. The things Chris describes and the way she describes her feelings match so well with my situation that it hurts to read it sometimes (thanks for all you do!).

    So I agree with Chris: if this is where your wife is, you need to tread carefully or the hurt will never heal. Our hurt, her hurt, is a childhood thing that continues to haunt us both today.

    That said, I have noticed lately that she has started to look for blocking actions to stop forward movement, to blameshift to me and to ask for things that will never really fix anything (beware the “I need space to find my sexuality” play….it is either a sly person looking to get out of growth or a hurting heart looking for safety. In either case, it is not a solution, it is refuge). CSL’s advice, about stating your needs and pushing for change, has place here (albeit gentle place for the hurting heart). I am still trying to figure out what that looks like.


    • Hello, glad you could make it.
      As to your comment, please stick around. Starting next week, Chris and I are going to be discussing, in depth, “Wife’s Heart.” Not to give anything away, let me just say that it appears we will be addressing matters akin to your situation. Suffice to say, just sitting down, fat and sassy, isn’t an option. Stay tuned.


      • SomeoneElsesBigGuy

        Well, I guess I have a question for you 2 then…:)

        The big problem area here is my having ANY emotional reaction to a “no”.

        Let me state that no is the default answer, with no rain check or anything like that. When there is a “tomorrow”, 50% of the time she does not follow through. I have gotten to the point that I try not to care about any kind of follow through, otherwise it hurts like the dickens (whatever those are).

        So “no” is the likely answer, so while I steel myself against it, there are times when the hurt is too much and I will have an emotional reaction. I admit that in years past, I would get angry and moody, but I have managed to flush that out….probably been 5+ years since I had an episode like that. Now I just feel sad, lonely and ….well, unloved is probably the best term.

        Example: the other day I asked, and was told no AFTER she encouraged me to tell her what I found sexy about her….I let some intensity through and in the end, she said “let’s go eat breakfast”….not even the courtesy of a “no”. I asked if that meant “no” and it was and I was overwhelmed with feelings of embarrassment. I tear came to my eye as I rolled over….I tried to make light of it…”Sorry, I let that one go too far, need to pull myself together”, but now, almost a week later, she says she is still “healing” from that day…that my emotional response upset her, that she doesn’t feel like she can say no and that she feels pressured to have sex.

        My question is pretty simple: what am I supposed to do? I have worked for years to shape my response, to try and make it loving and try and make it so she doesn’t have to deal with my feelings but it doesn’t always work, especially if I have put myself on the line heavily or it has been a long time.

        I really don’t want to hurt her, but I feel like I am being asked to have no emotional investment in sex…at all…ever…or she will head off the deep end. I feel for her, I do, it is hard when you feel someone is disappointed in you, but I feel backed into a corner and am not sure what I am supposed to do…am I really supposed to have no reaction, to have no feelings or want or lack?


      • This is a lot to try to unpack in one comment to one post, so I’m not going to try to; it’s just impossible.

        But I am not without thoughts or suggestions, or for that matter, questions. This is something that, were you and I to try to discuss, I would prefer email, where we could dialog back and forth.

        My gut reaction is anger. I don’t know how long you have been married, but when I read that you have felt unloved for at least five years…. Then to have an incident described to me, whether accurately or not, pure tease, and then blaming you for your reaction? Not happy. No. This is where Chris would try to warm me to make my blog a “safe place to land.” Breathd, CSL, breathd. Calming breath.

        Here is my immediate recommendation: hie thee over to The Marriage Bed forums, register immediately. The url is:

        Once there, I believe you have to sign up to enter the Sexually Refused forum, so do so, and start reading. Then start posting. There are many, many good people who can commiserate or point you in directions to go.

        By the way, your feelings of being unloved are authentic. If you are unloved, then it’s no crime to feel it. So why should you fear your wife’s reaction?

        Anyway, The Marriage Bed. Go. Now.


      • SEBG, I’m thinking about my reply, and I need to let you know that I was not blowing you off. When I read your comment, I got mad; not at you mind, your situation.

        My advice to go to TMB still stands; register on TMB. When you start reading in the Sexually Refused forum, you will find that you are not alone; not by a long shot. And there are many people there who will be willing and able to both hold you up and to help you. So that is still valid. However, if you want to talk with me further, you can find my email address near the top of the page, on the right, just under the About Me section. I’ll give what help I can.


  5. Pingback: “A Wife’s Heart” Colloquy #1 | The Curmudgeonly Librarian

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  8. Object of Contempt

    [I’m approving some of this comment, as it opens up an interesting line of discussion, something I hadn’t thought about before. ~ CSL]

    [W]hen does a wife ‘feel’ safe? A husband cannot /make/ her feel anything she doesn’t want to feel. Whether that is safety, love, passion, or anything else. He can encourage it, but she has to intentionally pursue her husband and change her mind or else nothing he does will make any difference. If a husband has been severely hurt and emasculated, when will she make /him/ “feel” safe? How will this man be able to impress her if his spirit has been torn up? I think feelings are very important, but I don’t think the problem here is that the husband needs to jump through more hoops to satisfy her feelings… essentially making her feelings the authority that decides when things are “good”.

    This isn’t theoretical. In counseling with my wife, this has been thrown at me by my wife and the counselor. I want my wife to be happy and safe, but her /will/ is the problem, not her feelings. And, although I don’t entirely agree that “the talk” was a good thing for my marriage, I think seeking to cater to the feelings of someone who is contentious is worse. Perhaps in a marriage that had a good history for a while, it would work out better. I can’t say because I have no experience with that.


    • Object of Contempt, your name says so much. 😦

      I wrote this post specifically about how a husband can help his wife heal from hurt that came from their relationship–in other words, from him. My husband didn’t cause my negative feelings, but his actions and words did place barriers in my life that I had to respond to in some way.

      This is not at all about a husband jumping through hoops or making his wife feel good. This is about doing what he can to heal damage that he has caused. It is still up to her to determine how she feels about this. Healing his damage is a matter of removing one of the barriers to her own growth–but she still has to make the decision to move forward.

      No one is responsible for another person’s feelings. One of the biggest growth areas within me has been owning my feelings and not blaming my husband for them. A wife’s feelings should not drive the marriage.

      This particular post was for husbands who have hurt their wives. On my blog, I write to wives. Quite a few of my posts are about developing compassion for hurting husbands, understanding that a husband who has been sexually refused has a great deal of healing in front of him, rebuilding his trust in her, and taking responsibility for our own feelings. I write to wives about the very things you describe.

      When wives are ready to make a change, my blog can give them a good place to start.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Object of Contempt

    [note – I edit to control my blog and readers. Sometimes we need help in understanding that we are patients, and not physicians.]

    The truth is, I have hunted through a lot of marriage blogs and none of them address this kind of situation. A man who is abused this way needs something more than a “man up!” pep talk, or admonishment to take responsibility. The hit to his confidence and his soul in general may be huge.


    • And to me, this is huge. While Chris writes of the hurts and injuries to a wife’s heart, we do need to take into account reciprocal hurts and injuries to a husband’s heart.


    • What I have said here is intended to help husbands who may have hurt their wives. That is not the case in all marriages, nor is it the case that the husband has hurt his wife more than that the wife has hurt him. Admonishing one spouse to take responsibility does not cancel out the obligation to the other spouse to do the same thing.

      The reality is that in many marriages, both people have hurt each other. My husband and I had hurt each other, and part of the healing of our marriage has involved both of us owning the ways we have hurt the other.

      When I write to wives, I say much about how we have hurt our husbands in our sexual refusal. What would you find helpful to your confidence and soul?


      • Object of Contempt

        Chris, CSL,

        I left several comments about a week ago when I was hurting more than usual. I don’t remember what parts CSL edited out anymore, and I don’t mind that he did so. My remarks may have sounded mean or unfair, I’m not sure exactly what prompted the editing. Any inappropriate remarks were my fault. I’m sorry. Please understand that I was motivated by the hurts, not by malice or disrespect for either of you.


      • We’re okay, OOC,

        I’m new at actually dealing with comments, and so am feeling my way with them.

        If I recall correctly, my concern wasn’t for me or Chris, but other readers. And, no, you weren’t disrespectful of them, either. But I did note that you were speaking from your pain, and as I say, this is all new to me, so I’m feeling my way. In the side bar, there is an email link, so if you are having times that you are feeling really raw, you can use that. I’m glad you’re still here.

        Have you registered on TMB, yet? There are a lot of good people there. It’s totally anonymous, so you can feel free to unpack your burdens with them. I’m really not kidding, OOC, they are good people.


  10. Pingback: A Wife’s Heart: Colloquy #3 | The Curmudgeonly Librarian

  11. Pingback: “A Wife’s Heart”: Colloquy #4 | The Curmudgeonly Librarian

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