Kimberly: Next question we have, this one’s a bit lengthier, but here we go.

My wife and I have had sex twice in the last five years. Last time was about two to three years ago. Disclosure, she is hurt by the fact that about 10 or 15 years ago, she found pornography on my internet history. I know that hurt her and I have apologized, asked for forgiveness, prayed about it. This is something that happened a long time ago. There is stuff that she has done as well, but I’ve forgiven her of what she has done and it’s not a barrier for me to pursue her romantically.

The Bible speaks about this, devote yourselves to prayer for a season, but she doesn’t respond well to me using scripture to try and get her to do something she doesn’t want to do. Often, she sees it as manipulation. I see it as an intentional unwillingness to meet an important need, sort of like manipulation on her part. I know accusations in part will not bring about a solution and I know that God wants us to enjoy intimacy, including physical, as a married couple, and that this is a gift to both of us as we seek to put God first, but we are very stuck.

She told me that she will let me know when she’s ready, but it starts getting a little like score keeping at some point. I try and meet her needs so that she will meet my needs, but she keeps playing the former sin card.

Joe: Well, first of all, I’m very sorry for your situation. Now, this is rather lengthy, so let me break it down, if I may. Okay. You say, 10 or 15 years ago, that she was hurt because of the fact that she found that you were looking at porn. Now, I can understand the hurt. One of the things that occur, many times, with women, if they found out that her husbands are looking at pornography, is that they begin to compare themselves to those other women. One woman phrased it to me this way once. She said, I wish I could have plastic surgery from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet, so maybe, my husband will want to look at me rather than those women on the internet.

In other words, it’s a self esteem killer. Even, interestingly, if they start off watching the porn together, it winds up being a self esteem killer. So, I can understand the hurt. But, hurting is not the same as punishing you years later. Now, how long did they say, Kimberly,  since they’ve had sex at all? Two or three years?

Kimberly: Two to three years since the last time.

Joe: Two to three years ago.

Kimberly: Mm-hmm.

Joe: So, punishing you, by saying, okay, we’re not having any sex at all, seems to be an extreme overreaction to the hurt. I mean, you understand that she was hurt and I’m assuming that you acknowledged the fact that she was hurt. If not, it’s not too late to say, you know, I’ve been thinking about it and I’ve come to understand how you feel about having found that porn, that it made it appear that I prefer them over you and I’m certainly sorry that that happened and that I hurt you that way. Or just ask her even more, can you help me understand more about what you’ve felt? May not be the wisest thing to ask her that now, 15 years later, but at least on one occasion, to say, I’ve been thinking about. I understand the pain.

But that pain, in my estimation, does not justify the fact that she doesn’t want to be sexual with you now. Now, you refer to a passage. 1 Corinthians 7: 2-5, is the passage that he’s referring to. It just so happened my undergraduate degree is in Bible. My Ph.D. degree, my doctorate degree, from the University of Sydney, was earned by studying the causes of marital satisfaction, and sexual satisfaction, and the correlations between marital satisfaction and sexual satisfaction, so, I do have a fair amount of Bible knowledge, because of my undergrad degree and my graduate degree, my doctorate of course, is including involving marital satisfaction, so I’ve studied a lot about what you’re asking me about.

So, in that passage, it says that to avoid immorality, I’m paraphrasing it now, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband, and each should fulfill the other sexually. The idea being that, if you’re married and your spouse is not being sexual with you, what do you do with that sex drive? And it says that you fulfill each other and if you don’t, is to give yourselves to prayer for a time, meaning, this doesn’t go on forever, so that you will not be tempted, because of your lack of self control.

So, the passage you’re referring to actually is a Bible passage referring to the situation, and it is directly applicable to your wife. But what you just said was, if I show it to her, it’s manipulation on her part. I can understand how a woman would feel that, yet in this particular situation, I think, understand, I’m not God. I’m giving my opinion. I think the manipulation, really, is on her side.

You say, what do you mean? To continue to refuse having sex with you for something that happened a decade ago, and the fact that you haven’t made love to each other in two to three years, this appears to me to be a convenient card to play. Now, if it’s not, if there’s something else going on there, I still don’t think this is the key. It’s just what she’s using to keep from dealing with whatever it is.

So, either this is the card she plays because she just doesn’t want to have sex with you, or there’s some reason that she doesn’t want to have sex, and this is the card she plays to keep it from happening. I don’t think the passage, in other words, is going to fix your problem.

You say, what is? Discovering why. What is the real reason that your wife doesn’t want to make love to you? Unfortunately, I’m not sure that you can discover this just between the two of you, because if over a decade you haven’t figured that out, it’s not highly likely that you’re going to figure it out by trying to talk about it now. Possible? Anything’s possible. But, this is the kind of thing that may require a therapist or counselor, or require dealing with one of our coaches and Kimberly will tell you about our coaches in a few minutes if you’d like to know more about that.

Somebody with whom your wife can feel comfortable enough, at ease enough, to be vulnerable to say this is why I really don’t want to make love to my husband. Is it because the relationship is really, really bad? If so, then that needs to be taken care of. Is it because of the fact that she has some kind of a sexual inhibition or hang up? If so, then somebody needs to help her discover that. Is she just wanting to punish you for the rest of your life because she’s that mad from way back then? If so, then somebody needs to help her figure that out as well.

Again, short answer, the passage is not going to fix it, even though it directly applies to your situation. In my opinion, what’s going to have to happen here is either you helping her, which I don’t think’s going to work, but it could. Or somebody else helping her, is going to help her figure through, think through, understand why is it you don’t want to make love to this man. What’s the real reason?

And by the way, if you try to do it on your own, or if you try it with some counselor who isn’t very skilled with this, the first reason she gives is probably not going to be the reason. It’s going to be the subterfuge. It’s going to be what she’s been telling herself for a while to keep from dealing with what the true issue is. So, it may take a little digging to find out what that is, but until you do, I don’t think you’re going to solve this. It’s not just about the porn, although, that may have triggered it. There’s something else going on here.

Kimberly: Mm-hmm. A lot of situations that we talk about, especially at Marriage Helper, we give foundational principles that work in majority of situations. But there is always, if you’re going to think of it in percentages, maybe 80% of what you find in our articles, through stuff like this and our podcasts, will help you with that first 80%. But it’s that last 20% that’s very situational to you. It’s in those specific details that we can’t get in 180 words. That you can’t tell us just in a quick period of time, and we can’t fix, and that’s where the value of coaching does come in. One of the things we have found over the past many years that we’ve been doing this at Marriage Helper, is that there are some very good counselors out there. There’s also some counselors who end up, how can I put it lightly?

Joe: Causing more trouble.

Kimberly: Causing more trouble than they’re doing good. So, when we started our coaching program here at Marriage Helper, about two or three years ago now, we’ve really did it just as, for people who had gone through our workshop and were needing some aftercare, but as it’s grown, those people who, they haven’t come to our workshop. That’s not where they are. They can’t get their spouse to come, whatever the issue might be, but they’ve started with coaching.

That coaching, first of all, our coaches are amazing. All of them are trained by us. They are hand picked by us. You’re not going to become a Marriage Helper coach unless you meet our expectations, which are incredibly high, it’s very selective. And they go through our training, are only allowed to use the material that we provide for them and approve of them, because we have an amazing success rate in what we do. And so, our coaches are awesome. And, if that’s a place where you are, like this couple, where maybe you’ve gotten 80% there. Maybe you haven’t even gotten that far, you’ve hit a wall, but maybe you need that specific help for the rest of it, our coaching program is amazing and I wouldn’t say that unless I 100% agreed with it.

I was trained, in my master’s degree, I was trained as a marriage and family therapist, so I understand how therapy and counseling works and I understand how our coaching works. Our coaching is extremely effective and we do a lot of good with it. So, if that’s something you’re interested in, shameless plug, because it’s awesome and it’s life changing. We’ve seen so many people change. So many marriages made even better through our coaching. You can always give us a call. I’m sure we’ll have the number or the website up at some point, but you can call us anywhere in the world with our toll-free number, which is, 866-903-0990, and I’m sure we’ll repeat that throughout, but we’d love to get you connected with one of our coaches. Anything we can do, that’s about our coaching.

Joe: If you decide to see a counselor or therapist, just check them out first. Counselors and therapists tend to be really good if they’re trained well and if they’re good at what they do. Like, every profession on the planet, some people are better at it than others. Some are really good. Some are mediocre and some are not good at all. If you find a good counselor, they tend to be really, really good at helping people with individual issues. So, for example, if she has a specific sexual hang up, like from childhood, that’s where the counselors really shine.

If it has to do with your relationship, some of them are outstanding in helping you with that and some aren’t. If it has to do with a relationship or whatever, and if you call for one of our coaches, I want to say, if she’s willing to talk to one of our coaches, I would suggest one of our female coaches for her based on this issue.

Finally, let me say this. It must be getting difficult for you to deal with your sexual drive, in the sense that you haven’t had sex in two or three years. I wonder, I just can’t help but wonder, I’m not saying this, I don’t know this for a fact at all, if somehow, she is thinking you’ll go back to the porn because of your sex drive to find some kind of relief.

Could that be a test to see if you’re really going to be faithful to her no matter what? Possible. Could that be that she wants you to do that so she can be madder at you from now on? That’s also possible. All I’m saying is, please find some way to deal with this, even if you have to look her in the eye and say, I can’t live like this. We’re going to have to have some help, and then get that help. Because if you live a celibate lifestyle and you don’t want to live a celibate lifestyle, somewhere, somehow, it’s going to bite you. I mean, bad things are going to happen because you can only control this so long.

So, please don’t prolong this. Please don’t put it out into the future somewhere, because that kind of temptation for sexual fulfillment can be overpowering. I’m referring you back to that same passage you referred to, it said you’ve got to fix it so you’ll not be tempted because of your lack of self control. So, I urge you again, look her in the eye and say, this is something we have to deal with and get whatever help you need to get, please.

Kimberly: That’s good. Thank you, Joe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

close
Facebook IconYouTube IconTwitter IconAdd Us On Google+
[Free Guide]
[Free Guide]
[Free Guide]
[Free Guide]
[Free Guide]
[Free Guide]
[Free Guide]
[Free Guide]
[Free Guide]
[Free Guide]
[MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT]
[MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT]