What is a wife to do when intimacy with her husband repulses her?



Is it normal that during my 4 years of Christian marriage I have been satisfied as a woman only 3 times even though we engage in regular intimacy? My husband claims that our intimacy draws us closer together yet for me, our intimacy has become repulsive and instead of drawing me close, actually drives me away from him. How far does my duty as a wife go? Can this still be considered “love”? I cannot continue on like this. What is the solution? Do I simply have to endure this for the rest of my life? Please help me.

I am so sorry to hear of your personal situation but at the same time, I am glad that you are not indifferent to the situation and are seeking answers and a solution. You have already taken the first step by writing to me. It is wrong to believe that this problem will just “work itself out” which unfortunately, many seem to think. If you follow this method, letting things just work themselves out, then the problems just get worse. So again, I commend you for taking action and asking for help and seeking solutions to help your marriage.

Intimacy between husband and wife unifies them

Your husband is correct in saying that intimate relations unify a husband and wife in marriage because this was God’s intention from the very beginning, that husband and wife would become one through this intimate relationship. Here is what God has left us in His Word about the physical, intimate relationship between husband and wife.

24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife ; and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2)

The fact that the phrase “be joined to his wife” refers to physical intimacy is explained in Saint Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthian church where we find the following:

16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.”  (I Corinthians 6)

Therefore, physical intimacy between a husband and wife was designed by God, not just for procreation, but also so that husband and wife can become one (physically) within the bonds of marriage. One of your questions was . . .

How far does a wife’s duty to her husband go?

Let us see how God’s Word answers this question.

3 The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 But this I say by way of concession, not of command. (I Corinthians 7)

According to the Biblical text, you do have a duty as a wife to satisfy the sexual needs of your husband just as he has the same duty to you. That is why the sexual relationship makes a husband and wife’s relationship different from all other relationships. The divine Word of God tells us that on the day that you marry you no longer have authority over your own body. You husband now has authority over your body and you have authority over his body. The context explains that this idea of authority over the body deals with the sexual relationship. This means that you have a duty to satisfy your husband’s sexual desires whenever he desires. Abstinence is possible but only for a short time and by mutual agreement only. Sex is not a manipulative tool to be used by one spouse against another. If you do abstain, it is to be a time dedicated to fasting and prayer. At the end of the predetermined time, you are to come together and continue to enjoy physical intimacy so that you will not allow your husband to be tempted by Satan and wind up discovering that he is committing adultery. Your duty as a wife is to be carried out throughout the entire period of your marriage. This entire teaching found in I Corinthians 7:3-6 is applicable to your husband as well.

Your husband is not satisfied either

The fact that you are not satisfied and are repulsed by your intimate relations with  your husband has not gone unnoticed by him either. Maybe you should appreciate the fact that even though he is not being satisfied in the relationship, he continues to fulfill his duty as a husband. I fear that soon this type of intimate relationship will repulse him as well and this will carry over into the other aspects of your marital relationship. You must insist in finding a solution and the root of the problem between you and your husband. The first step is . . .

Discuss this problem with your husband

Please carefully consider how you will talk to your spouse about this problem. Make sure that he understands that you love him, that you want things to get better, and that you want to make a change for the better. Put things in a positive way when you speak. Maybe you should just start telling him about those three times when you were satisfied during your intimate moments. This will cause him to feel appreciated as a man. It would be a good idea to prepare a meal and the two of you sit down to eat all by yourselves. As you eat, you can talk about these personal needs and share your desire to help improve the situation. Tell your husband what makes you feel good and each of you must determine to do his and her part to bring satisfaction to your intimate relationship.

Seek medical advice

If you can not solve the problem as a couple and if you think that there may be some physical reasons why you are not satisfied intimately then it may not be a bad idea to seek medical advice together. I know of cases when couples were having problems with intimacy and came to me for counseling since I am a pastor. Upon discussing with them, we discovered that the root of the problem was physical discomfort and that there was need of medical help to resolve the problem. I advised them to go seek medical help from a Christian doctor. They did and the problem disappeared. The husband and wife found satisfaction in their intimate relationship. Be careful about seeking medical advice though because some “doctors” have prescribed adultery as a solution which ending up destroying the marriage and the people’s lives.

Fast and Pray

Above and beyond all other solutions, I advise you to fast and pray together.

May the Lord help you overcome this problem so that you can be blessed and satisfied in your marriage.

Translation by: Erik Brewer