Romance is the death of sexual attraction

Jay Dee

Romance is the death of sexual attraction

Jul 26, 2016

I was writing another post, and suddenly this thought struck me, so I put it on hold and decided to tackle it.  I think romance may be the death of sexual attraction.  My generation, as well as one or two ahead and behind mine, have

I was writing another post, and suddenly this thought struck me, so I put it on hold and decided to tackle it.  I think romance may be the death of sexual attraction.  My generation, as well as one or two ahead and behind mine, have been raised on this notion of romance being what keeps a relationship healthy.  But, instead, I think romance is designed to level the playing field by allowing one spouse to try and siphon off confidence from the other.  It seems to function as a mechanism for allowing those who don’t want to grow emotionally to avoid that growth and instead bring their spouse down to their level, so that it’s not so obvious.

As Christians, we are called to be complete individuals prior to getting married.  It is God who completes us, not our spouse.  Then, when we get married, two become one.  Two complete individuals join to create one shared life.  It’s bad math, but it’s supposed to be that way.  It’s a mystery after all, according to the Bible.  It’s a living metaphor for our walk with God.  The concept of romance makes the equation more logical.  A half plus a half becomes one.  Romance leverages the idea that we aren’t complete without the other, an idea borrowed from Greek mythology and popularized by Plato’s Symposium in direct opposition to the Bible.

Men are supposed to acknowledge that they are incomplete without their “better half”.  Most of us know the famous “You complete me” line from Jerry Maquire.  It was considered one of the most romantic lines at the time of it’s playing.

Women are supposed feel incomplete without gifts, grand gestures, flowers, chocolate or the like.  If their husband doesn’t provide the materialistic trappings they are told to expect, well, then something must be missing from the relationship, and so they are incomplete.

And most of the world accepts this concept of romance.  They accept that they are incomplete.  We even hear Christian sources talking about finding a soulmate, spreading myths about soul-ties, and the like.  We see marriages fall apart because they weren’t “the one”.  Their spouse failed to complete them.  Surprise surprise.  And we want to believe it.  We want to believe in romance, in being incomplete, because if we’re all incomplete … well, then we don’t feel so bad about being incomplete.  We don’t feel so bad about being so far from God in our walk with Him.  We feel okay at being less, because we aren’t alone.

If we accepted that the concept of romance is here to distract us, well, then we might actually need to start looking at what’s missing.  We might actually have to turn to God to fill the hole in our life.  We might actually have to grow into a spouse that’s worth being with, instead of coercing our husband or wife to be with us so they can feel complete.  What if we rejected this notion that we’re incomplete.  What if we become complete individuals with God’s help, not trying to do so with another fallen human’s help?  What if we were whole before approaching our spouse?  I think that might be a lot more appealing.

Because who really wants to have sex with someone who comes to them as incomplete, as inferior?  Who comes to them with a plan to make us both feel better about our incompleteness?  No complete person.  In fact, I’d argue the only people who want someone to come who’s inferior or incomplete are those who are incomplete themselves.  For some, it makes them feel more whole, or at least less weak.  Temporarily.  But, it’s only temporary.  It’s a salve on an open wound that’s going to need to re-applied.

Instead, we should find our completeness in God, and then approach our spouse with that.  For some of our spouses, it might scare them a bit, but, scared or not, it will inspire attraction, because people are attracted to completeness, because completeness brings confidence.  It brings assertiveness.

However, in some cases, the fear of being left alone in their incompleteness drowns out the attraction.  In some, the drive to drag you back down to their level outweighs the draw of being complete.  For many people, we’d rather both be in sin than go through the trouble of growing closer to God.  But, don’t let them.  Don’t let them stand between you and God.  Don’t let them stand between you and completeness.  For some, it might mean sacrificing sex until they wake up.  It might mean sacrificing sex forever.  I have friends who have sacrificed their marriage in order to grow closer to God.  They don’t regret it.  They only regret that their spouse wanted to stay incomplete.

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54 thoughts on “Romance is the death of sexual attraction”

  1. A thought... says:

    Hi Jay, I just wanted to say, I get the point of what you’re saying about incompleteness versus completeness, but I disagree that the problem is “romance”. Romance is not the problem – the problem is what society has turned “romance” into. Society claims romance is about finding one’s “other half” and puts it in material terms, but there is such a thing as biblical romance – one only has to read Song of Songs to see the place romance has in a Christian’s life. Romance is about passionate love for each other as two complete people uniting as one – just because society has corrupted real romance (just as it has corrupted the joy of healthy sex), please don’t dismiss the purpose of romance altogether

    1. Jay Dee says:

      The problem is, we try to use the same terms for both. Whatever romance was has been swallowed up by the modern view of romance, and it’s killing sexual attraction in marriages. That was my point.

      1. A thought... says:

        Maybe it might help to specify the problem isn’t romance but rather the westernised view of romance. The responses after mine have a few with the same concern as me – that the baby is being thrown out with the bathwater as one person wrote. Rather than saying romance is the death of sexual attraction, maybe focus on teaching couples healthy views of romance? Because sadly there are a lot of men who will use your post as an excuse not to show their wives Godly healthy romance that strong marriages need – not material gifts (not those that can’t be given though), but the showing of love and care.

  2. Austin Reason says:

    I wasn’t sure when I first started reading, but if we’re defining “romance” the way you have here, then I agree. If by “romance” we mean that need for a so-called soul-mate, then yes, that kills attraction. Confidence attracts. Insecurity, clinginess, and too much need tends to dampen attraction.

      1. Jane says:

        So you want all us women to Beyonce up with our independent selves eh? I’m very much afraid if you guys get what you wish for you might not like it and might wish you hadn’t put a ring on it.

        Too much need? Bahahaha. If a women wrote a parallel article entitles How Sex Kills Romance and then expounded on how men’s need for sex made them callous and unromantic and focused on meeting their physical needs all the time you’d all cry foul. This is the most ridiculous argument ever. Try not being so one-sided.

        If your wife doesn’t NEED you she doesn’t NEED you. The Bible said cleave to your wife-that sounds a bit like clinging to me-a bit like needing. Your article is actually a recipe for what it’s trying to prevent…

        Insecurity is a whole different matter. And EVERYONE has insecurity. So your spouse is allowing you inside to see. You promised to love them in sickness and in health. (including insecurity with is a form of mental illness) Women are insecure because men are staring at other women, because men are viewing pornography, because there are deep hurts in their past. We could bicker all day about whether insecurity is pride disguised but on some level God created us to be beautiful and our husbands to be ravished by us. Telling us we are beautiful is part of this oh so awful romance-but it helps take away the feeling of insecurity. Tell me-if someone feels something but never says it or shows it-what good is it? I think most women would take the I love you-you are ravishingly beautiful any day over the flowers (who spends money on something already dead) and chocolates. Wives wither where there is no romance buds… you took it too far and a lot of guys on here just got the permission they needed to begin behaving very badly.

        1. Jay Dee says:

          I don’t get the Beyonce reference. I know she’s a singer, that’s about it. But, I’ll respond to the rest:

          I don’t want my wife to need me. I want my wife to want me. I’m not interested in a slave, or a coerced partner. I want a real partner who is my equal in value. Whose submission comes from a place of strength, not of weakness. I want a second-in-command who can take over if I’m indisposed and will hand it back when I’m ready, because she’s not threatened by me. I want someone who will challenge me as I challenge them. I want someone that I can shower with love and isn’t going to grasp it as a lifeline and then become dependent on it, and then resent it when it doesn’t happen the way she wants, but rather who will appreciate it for what it is and reflect it back.

          Am I saying don’t express your emotions? Am I saying don’t say “I love you”? By no means. I’m saying do it authentically, not because you’re filling a hole or trying to make your spouse happy. Because you can’t make anyone happy. Happiness comes from God, not your spouse. Be intimate, be vulnerable. Build something instead of patching holes.

  3. Mike says:

    I will have to read this one again. I don’t yet understand this one.

  4. LatterDay Marriage says:

    I’ve got to disagree with some of this. God commanded man to cleave to his wife and become one flesh with her. Paul taught that neither is the man without the woman or the woman without the man in the Lord. I take that as God himself setting out a need for men and women to be joined in a sacred bond to fully become everything God wants us to be. A man and a woman united in a loving marriage are something greater than the sum of the parts.
    In a marriage like that it isn’t material gifts of flowers etc. that matter, it is the bond of love the ties the couple together. That bond needs to be maintained and strengthened by both spouses and gifts can be a part of that to an extent, but service, forgiveness, thoughtfulness, generosity and being considerate are far more.important. Romance is just an effort to keep the bond strong.
    As for sex, it’s a two way street, or it should be at least. Both husband and wife are fallen mortals, each of them giving and receiving from each other with the end result being something wonderful that can’t be obtained by two people who don’t have something to share and/or don’t need anything shared to them.
    I agree that Satan tries to twist things to his own ends trying to get people to leave their marriage to find ‘the one’. God said to cleave to your wife, you become soul mates for each other, you don’t go looking for somebody else. It’s that process of becoming soul mates for each other that forces both husband and wife to become a more Christlike person, bringing both closer to God in ways they would not be able to alone.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

      If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed,[a] if his[b] passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry-it is no sin. But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better. – 1 Corinthians 7:32-38

      Seems to be clear that marriage optional and that we aren’t missing out on completeness at all if one doesn’t marry. Don’t get me wrong, I think marriage is beneficial. I think it’s adds pressure to quicken the process of being refined, but it’s not necessary to being complete.

      1. Jane says:

        Proof test proof text
        holly jolly proof text
        proof text proof text
        prove me right yum!
        (To the tune of fish heads fish heads)

        1. Jay Dee says:

          Did you want another one?

          So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. – Colossians 2:10

      2. LatterDay Marriage says:

        So why would God command men and women to marry and cleave to each other and become one flesh if it’s a bad thing? Also, I think it’s pretty obvious that being single is not a sure fire way for somebody to be devoted to God, and being married is not a guarantee of being worldly.

        I take what Paul said as counsel to not let your marriage or worldly things distract you from the things of the Lord. Taking it as his saying that marriage is something better avoided would be contradicting himself. It was Paul that said neither is the man without the woman or the woman without the man in the Lord.

        1. Jay Dee says:

          Why would Jesus say that some are given the gift celibacy if permanent singleness is not a viable option? God doesn’t hand out useless talents I don’t think.
          My point is, God is enough, and when you realize and accept that, it will make your marriage better, because you won’t be motivated by a fear of losing what completes you. Instead, you will be motivated by love.

  5. Sue says:

    I think of romance as valuing the person. It is a way of showing that your partner is important to you. You care enough to do things that will make them happy.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      You care enough to do things that will make them happy.

      That’s exactly what I mean. We need to learn to be content, to be happy and joyful without the romance. If not, then we become dependent on it, and mastered by it. This is counterproductive.

      If you can learn that, then doing things for your spouse becomes not about making them happy, but because you are happy and you want to share that. It’s a very different mindset, even though the actions might be the same.

  6. Christ Tian says:

    I don’t get this post maybe I’ve missed something?

    Adam was lonely without Eve and God saw it. When you move into a brand new house there is nothing wrong with it, it is whole but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to add furniture! Adding furniture to that house completes it and turns it into a home and that’s how I feel about my husband. Without the furniture is the house in some way inferior? No. Does the house somehow make the furniture better? Absolutely not but the two together bring about a completion so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with feeling “completed” by someone as I am sure that Adam felt that way about Eve because without her he could not complete (that word again) the assignment that God had placed on his life.

    Similarly with romance, I think for me romance is just thoughtfulness, my husband buying me chocolates or roses out of the blue, me putting on a nice dress and doing a dinner he really likes or buying him a gift because I saw it but then there’s what I call “practical romance” such as my husband taking our son out so I can get a bit of extra rest or helping me in the house or spending time with me, for me these things are the “sex outside of the sex” they are the things that keep us connected and make intimacy flow more easily between us.

    I would say that the worldly idea of romance kills marriages because there is a false expectation that somehow you ALWAYS have to be romantic, that if your life isn’t one romantic trip and meal after another there is something wrong and that’s just not true. In the You and Me song by the Wannadies they sum up what marriage is about most days (well for me anyway): “Then we watch TV until we fall asleep, not very exciting but it’s you and me and we’ll always be together.”

    So maybe I’ve missed something but I wouldn’t say romance kills sexual attraction at all and neither would I say feeling completed by someone is a bad thing (although I do agree that we shouldn’t go into marriage hoping someone will make us whole and be our everything).

    1. Robyn Gibson says:

      Hi Christ Tian,

      “Adam was lonely without Eve ….” This is not true. Adam was not ‘lonely,’ he was ‘alone’ as in solitary. When we interpret the word as lonely it means we are viewing Eve’s creation through a romanticism. Lonely is a feeling; it is a relational word; ‘alone’ is a functioning word. Her purpose was to empower him to his fullest potential. Yes, a romantic relationship is one of the results of Eve (a wife) fulfilling her purpose; it is not THE purpose of it.

      1. Chris Tian says:

        Yeah, yeah I see that and agree and that’s what I wanted to say actually. When I’ve spoken to singles in the past I always point out to them that Adam’s relationship was linked to purpose, when you know what your purpose is you will know how you fit into someone’s life and or how they fit into yours. Thanks for correcting the lonely/alone thing, it’s very true. xx

    2. Jay Dee says:

      neither would I say feeling completed by someone is a bad thing

      Doesn’t sound like you missed it. We just disagree.

      1. Chris Tian says:

        It would be nice to know why. I saw what you replied to Robyn and I agree with that, I just don’t get the purpose of this post, still either way I learnt something today and I will definitely read through the responses and this post again when I have more time…possibly something will leap out at me. xx

  7. Robyn Gibson says:


    Are you saying, I bring more to the table when I be the best Robyn I can be … the best wife I can be. Rather than being weak in patience because my husband doesn’t fill up the car for me and expecting *him* not forget …. I grow with God so He ‘completes’ me in this area. Thereby expecting my husband to do all the growing so I don’t have to?
    I also believe that romance, as defined by most modern (aka feminism) women, kills sexual desire.

    1. Jane says:

      wow Robyn, your comments rarely lift others up, especially other women-particularly younger women. Older women in the church are supposed to be teachers to the younger women but you just judge us. Are you so perfect and your generation so perfect? Almost every comment on here by you is “I found the secret-ME-and if you just do exactly as I say your marriage and home life will be perfect too.” You know what-it’s less that you made all these right choices and more that you are blessed by God with these things. How dare you be so prideful. You have no idea the women you are hurting.

      God sends the rain on the just and unjust. You might be happening to get rain right now supposedly by all your good choices but if I make the same choices and get drought what then Robyn? Lose faith in God-become a feminist??? It’s not nearly so simple as you make it out to be. God is accomplishing so much more than your narrow view. How bout trying to love a feminist the way God does for once.

      1. Jay Dee says:

        wow Robyn, your comments rarely lift others up

        That’s an incredibly hypocritical statement to make based on this and your other comments.

      2. Robyn Gibson says:

        Jane: It is doubtful that I am hurting women. I do counsel lots though and have been thanked many times. But it is also true that I offend much more 😉
        … just like you. You are not hurt my little snowflake just extremely sensitive and frustrated and choose to express it in loud criticism and complaints at and towards others. I’m sorry you are so grievously offended at my perspective of marriage. In ignorance, you have misspoken about me.

    2. Jay Dee says:

      Yeah, that concept of being confident in who you are, not in going to your spouse as a supplicant to try and fulfill you. That’s what we need God for, not our spouse. In fact, if you take it further, it becomes idolatry to try and get that sense of fulfillment from your spouse instead of God.

      That doesn’t mean we don’t still have to grow. But being complete will make us want to grow, instead of being afraid of it. If we’re incomplete and trying to pretend we’re complete, then growth is scary, because it means we’re not “there”. But, if we’re complete, we can accept the fact that we can still have further potential while being complete. It’s not scary to grow, it’s an adventure.

  8. K says:


    Strong’s Concordance
    badad: isolation, separation
    Original Word: בָּדָד
    Part of Speech: noun masculine
    Transliteration: badad
    Phonetic Spelling: (baw-dawd’)
    Short Definition: alone

    NAS Exhaustive Concordance
    Word Origin
    from badad

    isolation, separation
    NASB Translation
    alone (6), apart (1), isolated (1), itself (1), lonely (1), secluded

    So it seems the word alone in Hebrew means lonely. That is how I always thought it was supposed to be interpreted. I believe man was not supposed to be alone/lonely. Man and woman complete in my beliefs.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      It can mean alone or lonely. Hebrew is a concrete language. There aren’t a lot of works to express abstract ideas. In short, if you want to say someone is lonely, you basically have to express that they are alone. The concepts aren’t identical, it’s merely a limitation of the language. One cannot make an assumption one way or another based on that word.

      1 Corinthians 7:32-38 however does make it clear that one does not need to be married to be complete.

    2. Robyn Gibson says:

      K: If man was lonely that means God is not enough for us as Adam was alone with God in the garden. We know this isn’t true; God is complete and more than enough for us. I do not believe that man was created to be alone either but that doesn’t mean he was lonely. As I stated earlier, it depends on if you interpret with an already presupposed romantic view.

  9. Jane says:

    You’re posts are usually more well thought out. This sounds like throwing the baby out with the bath water… which frankly makes me suspicious of your motivation.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I’m glad you feel my posts are well thought out 🙂

      1. Robyn Gibson says:

        It WAS a great post … with a heavy undertone of deep spiritual concept. That’s what makes it difficult to capture with mere words.

  10. Jane says:

    I think if we took this post to its natural conclusion a lot less people would get married in the first place and therefore, at least in the Christian world, not be having sex anyway. (but maybe that’s a good thing) Sex is great-but it isn’t everything. It kind’ve seems sometimes like this blog is a bit obsessed and could start wildly cutting everything from life that keeps anyone from having sex constantly. Fun thought, but pretty impractical and then most kids would grow up raised either by society or feral. Hey-I really enjoy sex too-but I realize that there’s a point where even hot monogamous sex could become an addiction that detracts from other God-given responsibilities.

    Also-sometimes I find this blog really one sided in terms of gender. As in a lot of things women like are being eschewed in favour of what men like. A lot of generalizations too-by both the poster and the comments section. White men like to imagine the world is persecuting them but it is fairly obvious to anyone with eyes that to be white and male puts you at the top of the heap. To be anything else-including female… well.

    Also-pretty sure in the Song of Solomon their were materialistic gifts given. Sandals…perfume…Any of this sound familiar??? Tain’t Tom Cruise and Hollywood making all of us miserable with this horrible romance stuff. Twas the Bible. Maybe God created women to take delight in romance like he created men to take delight in female beauty. So many male assumptions being made on here today it’s wild-even more than usual…. Also-Adam could have been complete in his relationship with God but GOD decided Adam didn’t have to be entirely… Huh. Maybe he realized if the species didn’t feel at least a little incomplete that there wouldn’t be a species.

    Also-your premise is wrong. I enjoy sex in part (I’m a woman by the way and pretty ridiculously high drive at that-sorry for too much information) and partly why I enjoy sex is that for a while I do feel complete-again-tmi-but when my husband come out I feel LESS complete and then not complete again till we are together again. My desire for sex is no different at any time-if he were needy or bought me chocolates it wouldn’t affect a thing. I am pretty much ready to go at the drop of a hat. But it would sure feel nice to have some romance included. You’re only seeing it from the male perspective. How do you feel when your wife grabs you and says I wanna have sex right now! How do you know that’s not how she feels if and when you do something spontaneously romantic? No affence-Jay-your blog has helped me in a lot of ways but this wasn’t your best thought out post. I’d think about about some more and maybe add a part numero deux when you’ve had a night to think about it and re-read Song of Solomon a dozen times.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Your natural conclusion is very different than mine. I do think there would be fewer marriages, but that’s because there would be fewer divorces. And no, I’m not trying to cut everything from life except sex. Rather, I’m looking to remove all the distractions and deceptions that keep us from having true intimacy.

      And yeah, the blog is a bit one sided in terms of gender…because I only have one gender. My wife doesn’t post too frequently I’m afraid, so it’s not quite balanced, that’s true. I’m not going to write like a woman. It’s just not in me.

      The point wasn’t the gifts, it was the impetus for the gifts. Why are the gifts given. If they are to make your spouse happy … I think that’s a problem. If they are given because you are happy that’s very different. If Solomon was giving gifts to keep his wife happy, then I’m going to say he made a mistake.

      As for how I feel if my wife grabs me and says she wants to have sex right now, it depends on why. If she’s doing it to keep me happy, because it’s a duty, I don’t want it. If she’s doing it because she feels good, that’s very different. And that’s what I see in Song of Solomon: a wife who is already complete and whole, who is happy and wants to express that happiness. She’s not doing sex because it’s a duty and she needs to keep her husband happy or he’ll feel incomplete.

      I hope that clarifies.

      1. Jane says:

        But a lot of men are only going to see the incomplete thoughts in the post and take it the extreme and I think you know that…

        1. Jay Dee says:

          People will take whatever thought they want from what they read. If they’re open to learning, they’ll get it. If they aren’t, what I write won’t make a difference. The same thing happens with the Bible. In order to be 100% clear and cover every possibility, I’d have to write a book for each post. It’s not feasible. Instead, I have a collection of posts across an entire site, that, together, compromises a more full thought. It’s more than a book’s length, and still growing daily.

          1. Robyn Gibson says:

            “Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. ” ~Oscar Wilde

    2. K says:

      Agreed! Feel the same way in everything, including husband and sex with not complete.

  11. Jane says:

    It might have been good to include that you didn’t think “romance” was bad but for us to examine our motivations for it. Therefore why villainize romance? We can corrupt anything we touch if we choose. Why are we singling out romance???? We should be examining and asking God to examine us fully in every area of our life. Some incomplete thoughts this morning. Maybe a follow up post?

    1. Jay Dee says:

      That’s why I open it up to discussion 🙂

  12. Jan says:

    This has sure been interesting. I must say there were a lot of good points in the blog but never did see a connection to romance. I believe much is being over-thought and connections made that don’t flow out very logically. My biggest issue was with the statement that essentially seemed to say we need to be complete individually before considering marriage. Well, if that were the case I guess none would ever marry. I suscribe to the ideas (paraphrasing) as expressed by Gary Thomas in “Sacred Marriage” that through marriage and the work it takes to build intimacy our personal areas of brokenness and incompleteness, etc are exposed to us and can and should serve to draw us to God for growth, holiness, completeness. I choose to romance my wife both because I am happy and to make her happy (as I believe she was designed for romance). And even in times when I have not been happy in my marriage I still chose to romance her and put in that effort for sake of her need ( not just want) and out of love for her and out of what I believe God would expect of me. Somehow that vow of “for better or worse” comes to mind. I thank God for a wife who accepted me broken and incomplete. And she does complete me. Not in lieu of the true completion that only an intimate relationship with God offers but a completeness representative of the relationship God desires from us. I am thankful that God has used our marriage through my wife, through our marriage process (struggles and good times) to bring me/us closer to him in our brokenness. As in the song “Broken Together” by Casting Crowns I am thankful that we have developed the grace to be broken together in marriage while using it to grow in Christ and be healed and restored to each other and God.

  13. Ken says:

    Anybody here familiar with “keep your love on” by Danny Silk? This reminds me of his “powerful vs powerless people”

  14. libl says:

    Then I must be one of the most independent women out there because there is virtually no romance in my marriage. Actually, I have gotten to a point where I don’t need my husband anymore. Because of his absences over the years, both emotionally and physically, some he induced, and others he couldn’t help (job, health), I can live life without him. Unfortunately, because he isn’t romantic, and can be rather selfish, especially in the bedroom, I have a hard time wanting him.

    But, because I am a good little Christian wife who must love and respect, give sexually, and not leave him, he gets off scotch free on ever having the incentive to be more than the guy who brings home the income and ejaculates in me.

    So, little to no pursuit, and only on his terms. I have to earn it. A professional-style massage every weekend for a month might earn me a 30 second back rub. Staying up late every night per week to clean the house, do bookwork, and prepare homeschool might earn me the ability to sleep in. Taking care of his seriously ill self for 3 years earned me the ability to nap off a headache while he watches the kids.

    And we have sex at least 3 times per week. I am enthusiastic, and do things his way, but do I get romance? Holidays pass by with a shrug of, “I didn’t have time to get you anything.” No date nights. No pillow talk about my dreams and ambitions. No back rubs, foot massages, hair brushings, foreplay. Never sent flowers, rarely texts sweet things….

    It sickens me that men get to mansplain away the desires of a woman’s heart with no recourse. Little wife just has to suck it up and live empty. If she mentions it, she’s “needy” and “insecure.”

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I think you’re projecting something here that I didn’t write.

      I don’t think you should ever do anything for your spouse that you don’t want to do. Sounds like you are doing a lot you don’t want to. Sort of a “I’ll keep allowing you to be bad so I can complain about it.” What do you think?

    2. Jane says:

      Hi libl,

      I don’t hear what Jay hears at all. I hear a woman who still loves her husband and still hopes against hope for a change even while becoming discouraged. I doubt very much you would still be there or doing these things otherwise. I understand your lonliness and your frustration. I don’t know why this happens but I do know that as a woman, other women in the church (I’m Baptist hahaha) would knock me into shape if they thought I wans’t being a good little wife. Where are the men to stand up and tell your husband how to be a husband and sacrifice himself as Christ did for His bride? Are we genuinely going to stand tall and confident in the face of that? All fine and well to say yes, and maybe we should. But it’s a whole lots easier said than done.

      I wish we could talk. You got a lot going on and I got a lot going on and I’m willing to bet (But Baptists don’t BET!) that he won’t let you get counselling. I am actually going to pray for your marriage-not just say it, but actually do it.

      Hey Jay when you were sexless and suffering-did it feel good for others at a different point on the path to lampoon you and take pot shots? This lady is one of your readers-your meal tickets. SHE’S HURTING! Weep with those who weep for crying out loud. How’s that for a proof text…

      1. Jay Dee says:

        I have no doubt she loves her husband. That wasn’t the question.

        Do I wish people had asked me difficult questions when I was sexless and suffering? Yes! How I wish they would have. Probably would have cut years out of our misery. I’m not unsympathetic, but I’m not going to sit in the ditch with her and say it’s okay to stay there if I can possibly help her out of it.

        And it would be a huge disservice to hold my tongue just because someone is my “meal ticket”. I used to have a pastor say “I could make a mega church, I know how … I just couldn’t do it and preach the truth.” I don’t care if I’m popular, that’s not my mission. I felt it had to be said, and maybe I’m wrong. Maybe she’ll never read my blog again. But, what if I’m right and her marriage changes? Maybe not today, and maybe she can’t even see it today … but maybe one day it triggers something. I’ll take the risk.

        1. Jane says:

          Nothing you said had the potential to change her marriage. Did I hear you offer sage advice? NOPE. Just judge her.

          But I guess we aren’t supposed to weep with those who weep if it means we end up running a mega church…whatever that was supposed to mean. We just laugh with those who laugh??? How about getting her husband’s e-mail and talking to him mano a mano??? Put yer’ money where yer’ mouth is? Isn’t this the advice you keep giving out on here? She obviously’s got no-one else willing to do it and I’m betting (there’s that evil betting comin’ out in me again) he wouldn’t listen to a word she said. A CHALLENGE for you Jay. Do something huge. Talk to this lady’s husband! Are you CONFIDENT enough?

          1. Jay Dee says:

            If libl’s husband wants to talk to me, I’d be glad to. However, injecting myself where I’ve not been invited could damage their marriage further. You can’t hold someone accountable who hasn’t given their permission to be held accountable. I don’t coach people who don’t want to be coached. It’s unethical and unwise. And I won’t be goaded into doing something foolish, just because you used caps. I’m not even going to delete your comments. That’s how confident I am.

            Now, if she wants someone to talk to her husband, she should follow the Matthew 18:15-17 advice and bring it to people he trust and respects and has given that permission to.

            1. Robyn Gibson says:

              …. shouty capitals are revealing.

  15. Jerry(not Maguire) says:

    This has been a painful thread to read. I’ve observed that hurt and pain in a relationship can cause a lot of anger. I’ve observed that settling for a legalistic definition of a marriage can cause anger, resentment and blame casting. It stings me that the doctrine of some churches can cause this, and it isn’t the first time I’ve seen that happen. I wonder how one could determine the behaviors of another simply by pointing to gender, color, faith or any other thing one could use to generalize, and then point the finger of judgemental-ism in accusation. That said, I think I understand the concept behind the original post. I read that the prevailing cultural definition of romance is incorrect, that romance from a biblical perspective is good, that men and women are completed in their relationship with God and not in a relationship with each other, and that an imposed notion of the worldly definition of romance can kill a desire for sex. Did I understand that correctly? If so, I can’t disagree with any of it. If not, then perhaps I have to re-read it.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      You got it. That’s what I was trying to say.

  16. Bee says:

    I crave verbal foreplay from my husband.The song of Solomon is full of it. This is what makes me feel loved,desired and romanced. From your post this is something I should go to God for? This will kill my husbands desire for me? Not having my needs met is killing my desire. I have verbal intimate needs he has physical. Why are his more important?

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Being dependent on your husband instead of God for your emotional fulfillment will ultimately kill sexual attraction. That was my point.
      Just as him needing sex to feel emotionally fulfilled will kill your sexual attraction for him eventually. Because ultimately, you can’t make him whole anymore than he can make you whole.

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