From a wife:
My husband gropes me and makes crude comments to me about wanting me sexually. It makes me feel like a piece of meat. How can I respond respectfully to that?
****This post has my ideas and suggestions to consider. I am not a therapist, a counselor, or a pastor. Please weigh everything I say against Scripture. Decide what is best for you. I am not saying I have all the answers. This is the beginning of a discussion. And it is in a situation where I know the wife is safe. There is no infidelity going on. If you have SERIOUS issues in your marriage – infidelity, abuse, addictions, uncontrolled mental health disorders – please seek godly, experienced, qualified help! Thanks!
Sometimes what our husbands mean for good – we can take in a whole different way. Especially when we are not feeling very emotionally/spiritually connected.
I believe that you may be able to learn to hear your husband differently. His attempts may feel a bit uncouth to you – but he is trying to show you that he desires you and wants you and he is trying to flirt with you – many wives would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have their husbands show desire for them like that.
Most husbands are NOT saying that you are “just a piece of meat” to him when they come on to their wives like this. (Yes, I am sure there can be exceptions)
- He is most likely saying that he loves you, that he wants you, that he desires you and wants to connect as deeply as possible with you – those are really, really good things.
- Men often view sex as a very spiritual, emotional and physical thing.
- Sex is often the deepest way many men desire to show and receive love with their wives.
DID YOU KNOW?
Men often have a big oxytocin rush right after sex?
That is the bonding hormone that nursing mothers have so much of that bonds us emotionally with our babies. Women have higher levels of oxytocin then men all the time -much higher levels. It’s a big part of why we can be so nurturing. But we also get hits of oxytocin with love letters and long, deep, face-to-face conversations. Many men feel MOST spiritually and emotionally connected to us when they have sex with us in marriage.
Men usually connect sexually FIRST in marriage then they are more open to emotional/spiritual connection. Women are the opposite, usually. We usually need to connect spiritually/emotionally first to be ready to connect sexually.
That is kind of a recipe for a disaster if we are not careful. It helps if each spouse tries to stretch to meet the other’s need first many times. This is part of how God uses marriage to make us holy and selfless.
I would love for you to think of it as you are ministering sexually to him and promoting the glue and bonding that God designed sex to be on every level in your marriage. And realize that he may be much more open to emotional and spiritual connection when he is feeling sexually connected.
I do not at all intend to say that sex is the only time a man can bond with a woman. Or that men are slaves to hormones. My hope is to help us see that just like certain things often help us feel bonded (cuddling, love letters, talking, talking and more talking) – sex can be a really important way that our husbands want to bond with us on a level that is much deeper than just sexual.
I love the way this man described bonding for men. HOW BEAUTIFUL!
DAVID’S VIEWPOINT (A Christian husband):
As far as the underlying problem of feeling like a piece of meat, this is a devastating feeling to have or belief to hold if in fact it’s not the husband’s attitude but merely the wife’s interpretation of it. I’m going to assume that the husband is a Christian and/or that, either way, he’s not an outright slug who actually views his wife as just a piece of meat.
If that assumption is correct, the wife’s mis-interpretation of his advances will not only embitter her (which she is realizing and asking about), but it will also frustrate and hurt him. He’s being accused (if only in her mind) of not loving her, of being completely selfish, and of having only base desires toward her — seeking fulfillment of those desires with her only because she’s the nearest available female.
I can’t speak to where this slant comes from for this wife, but I can describe where it came from for my wife. Some of it was sexual dysfunction in her background. That background in turn exacerbated the (distorted) message that is so easy to pick up in the church that sex is dirty and shameful. Related to that distorted message is the message that men especially have out-of-control, depraved sex drives and that their sexual motivations are entirely selfish.
In fact, as April and Shaunti Feldhahn and others have tried to explain, that’s rarely true when we’re talking about most husbands’ sexual attraction to their wives. He chose that woman to marry in significant part because she is the woman he wanted to have sex with for the rest of his life; he wants to have sex with her as often as reasonably possible, not with any and every woman he sees; and he wants to have sex with her to demonstrate his love for her and to receive from her assurance of her love and her affirmation of him as a man.
WHEN HE FLIRTS and GROPES IN A WAY THAT YOU DON’T LIKE
Some things that other wives have tried are to
- Accept his flirting graciously whenever possible (I am not an expert – this is just my opinion. This topic is open for discussion!). One of the most alluring traits of femininity is our openness to our men – our openness to their desire for us, our willingness to respond to their ideas, their desire for us, their attraction to us and their overtures towards us. Maybe say something like, “Aw! I’m glad you can’t keep your hands off of me.” 😉
- If you really hate the method he is using, maybe you could find a flirty way to ask for what you might like better. (Ideas, ladies?) Maybe whisper, “Can I tell you a little secret? I really love it when you X” And tell him an approach that you find to be more appealing. ie: “I really love it when you come up behind me and put your hands around my waist and hold me when I am doing the dishes. That just makes me melt into you and relax.” Or – “I really love it when/if you take my hand and start slow dancing with me in the laundry room/kitchen. That turns me on!” Or “I like it when you play with my hair and tell me the things you love about me. I feel week in the knees when you do that!”
- Smile at him and say something flirty and sexy back to him and be thankful that your man wants you and thinks you are hot. 🙂
- Be sure to be extra appreciative whenever he approaches you in a more refined way and tell him how much you like what he said/did.
- Try initiating flirting yourself sometimes. Then maybe you can set the tone and control the way things play out a bit more.
YOU CAN ASK FOR WHAT YOU NEED!
When your husband is groping you and making sexual comments towards you, instead of being offended – I wonder what might happen if you show a willingness to want to say yes to him in an appropriate time and place (unless he is involved in an affair or truly being abusive).
If you are not feeling spiritually/emotionally connected enough to have sex at the time – some ideas that could be helpful might be:
- I want to say yes to you. If you can help me relax for a few minutes, I’m all yours! (a massage, a hot bath, help with chores, etc.. then be sure to be available to him after he helps you!)
- I love it when you want me like that. I need to get myself simmering – I would love to talk for about 15 minutes and cuddle and give me a chance to warm up and feel emotionally connected to you. Then you can have me!
- Flirt back with him, and then say with dramatic flair, “If ONLY I didn’t have SO much to do tonight! I REALLY want to make some time for US. 😉 If the dishwasher fairy happens to come take care of the dishes while I get the kids to bed, that sure would give me a lot more time to change into something interesting.”
- Stop what you are doing when he gropes you and give him all of your attention. SMILE at him. Pull him close to you. Tell him what you want to do with him and give him something amazing to dream about until you have time to be together.
- Tease him in a friendly, flirty way – “Hey! You act like all THIS belongs to YOU!?!” mocking that you are irritated …pause …. and smile and say, “I am one LUCKY girl that I’m all yours!”
- If you are not in a sexual mood whatsoever – think about what might get you into that mood and ask him for that. Or ask him if you can spend the first 15-20 minutes just kissing and cuddling so you have time to warm up a bit and really focus on all the things you admire and love about your man. Be really present with him. Tell him what you like.
- Give him ideas about what might please you. When he flirts with you, you could say, “You know, I have been cooking up this little fantasy – and I would really love it if you would do X with me.”
- Wear things you know he loves to see you in sometimes. Fix your hair and makeup the way he likes it whenever you can. Let him know he matters to you and his preferences are important to you.
THE WIFE’S RESPONSE TO ME:
After sitting here a while pondering your reply I have decided that my prayer needs to be this – that the Lord would allow me to really hear my husband’s heart in this area, that it would be louder than Satan’s lies about my limitations and failures.
- You’ll discover quite a lot about how men think and feel in Shaunti Feldhahn’s book For Women Only (she has a new version coming out March 19th!)
- His Brain Her Brain by Dr. Walt Larimore. I think you will find that your husband is showing his love for you, it doesn’t sound to me like he is trying to be insensitive. He is just overcome with his desire and attraction for you – not just your body – but ALL of you. That is a great thing! 🙂
- www.oysterbed7.com – a Christian wife’s blog for women with low libido or who are feeling hurt and disconnected in their marriages and there is a lot of turmoil over sex.
- www.forgivenwife.com – a wife who used to refuse her husband sexually often, but whom God has changed. Her marriage and sex life has been healed by God. She ministers to wives who tend to try to withhold or restrict sex in marriage.
- Withholding Sex in Marriage – 5 minute video by Peacefulwife
- Being Available to Our Husbands VS Marital Rape – 10 minute video by Peacefulwife
- If you are dealing with a husband with a porn addiction, that is a very different situation, please check out the resources at www.xxxchurch.com.