We encourage you to invest in your husband. Love him. Meet his needs—for his sake and for the sake of your marriage. How can you do that? Pick a few of the following suggestions, and begin the process of meeting your husband’s sex needs.
- Realize sex plays a major role in helping men process life. Sex has the miraculous ability to clear a man’s mind, helping him solve problems. Women often resolve problems by talking things out; men often solve problems when they have sex with their wives.
- Say yes as often as possible. The fastest connection charger is to say yes to sex. Basically, if a wife gets only one thing from this, it needs to be the importance of saying yes. If you want to connect with your husband, the best way to do that is through sex.
- If you must say no, don’t say it right away. When your husband wants to be involved sexually with you, don’t immediately close the door. Recognize it as a real need and consider that your positive response is one way you can love and serve your husband. Again, remember the apostle Paul’s words: “Love is patient and kind…It does not demand its own way.” Then, if you must say no, be prepared to do two things: Give an honest reason for the delay, and then suggest a time when you might be more ready to respond to his needs.
- Decide to enjoy sex. Sex actually starts in the mind. You can choose to enjoy sex, or you can choose not to enjoy sex. Your decision becomes a trajectory for your relationship – inside and outside the bedroom. In a majority of couples we talk to, we find that women really do enjoy sex when they start out by choosing to enjoy it.
- Help your husband know how to please you. If your husband does not know how to please you, teach him. Men are not mind readers—especially in bed. The great myth is that men automatically know how to be great lovers. Where did this myth come from? Where do we think men learn these great secrets to passion? The junior high locker room? Not exactly the pinnacle of great knowledge. The movies? Again, not real life. Your husband needs to know what gives you pleasure. When you are making love, place your hands over his and lead him. Whisper in his ear what you would really like him to do. There is nothing embarrassing or shameful about that kind of communication.
- Get over shyness. God designed us to be sexual, to be vulnerable. Wives, start to voice your needs. When you become more specific about what you desire in the bedroom, both of you will benefit. Trust us, a husband will not respond in disgust or outrage. Husbands, make sure that you do not misuse that trust. What you and your wife do is not something to share with your buddies. What happens in the bedroom is private.
- Realize your husband’s emotions may not work like yours. A woman easily shifts from one emotion to another. For instance, if her husband doesn’t talk to her much, she may think “What did I do wrong this time? Is he sick of me? Do I make him do too much around the house? Does he think I’m fat and old? Maybe there’s someone at the office he finds more interesting and attractive.” Women can go from point A to point Z in a matter of 60 seconds. Meanwhile, he’s thinking, “I’m really tired. I can’t wait to watch that action movie tonight.” Many men don’t think beyond the first emotion unless there’s a problem to be solved. They don’t usually overanalyze or go down the list of cause-and-effect. Wives will make progress in their marriages when they realize this truth.
- Take the 10 percent challenge. Wives, what would happen if you responded sexually to your husband 10 percent more than you do now? When can you start applying this challenge? The next time your husband says something that sounds like this: “I was thinking, maybe we could hire a babysitter Saturday night and spend some time alone.” “I feel like turning in early tonight. Could we put the kids to bed now?” “We haven’t made love for a few weeks. Can we have some private time?” Many women ask us, “Am I meeting his need if I respond a lot but not every time?” Yes, but really, that’s the wrong question. The number is not important. What matters is the nature of the response and the connection that happens when you and your husband work toward anticipation and sexual satisfaction. Even a small shift in your responsiveness can bring your husband much joy and improve your marriage.
- Create a game plan. It may help to set up a game plan so that your husband will not take your hesitancy personally. The game plan can include the following aspects:
- If you must say no, be clear about the reason. If you’re not sexually responsive to your husband’s sexual advances, tell him why. It may be fatigue, fear the kids will overhear, or unresolved conflict. Instead of withdrawing, communicate and graciously tell your husband what you’re feeling. When you husband understands what you see as obstacles, he is better able to work toward resolving the issue.
- Know what to expect. When a wife is not able to respond, one of the best things she can do is to let her husband know when he can expect to have sex, whether it is later that night or the next day. That usually resolves the situation much better than saying, “I don’t feel like it,” and going to sleep. Talk together about how many times a week you would like to have sex so that both of you know what the expectations are. You may feel awkward about planning ahead for sex, but planning ahead works for many couples. It takes the guesswork and conflict out of the situation and gives a couple rhythm and anticipation.
- Follow up on a promise for sex. If you must say no, make sure that your “no” is “not right now, but soon.” This is so important. Wives, follow through on your “later.” We know that sometimes “later” has to be changed, too. But a healthy marriage is based on trust; your spouse should be able to trust you will follow through on what you say.
- Know each other’s needs and sexual rhythms and show empathy. If you need to say no, don’t just say no and leave the why up to your husband’s imagination. Ask him if this is a time when he really needs to have sex, no matter what. If it is, try putting aside your own needs to meet his. But never engage in sex if you would be bitter or angry toward your husband afterward. Also, consider the last time you had sex. If it’s been a few days, take your husband’s desire seriously. Ask yourself if making love would help your husband think clearer or help him fight the battle of purity better the next day. If all else fails, and you must say no, plan to have sex another time.
Want more coaching from Gary and Barb? Their e-book devotional, Renewing Your Love, is only $3.99! Download it here.