SWM 097 – September 2022 Anonymous Questions
Welcome to 2023! I’m working to catch up on questions we received in the past months, and these seven are from September.
Before we get to that, I wanted to let you know that on January 21st at 8 pm EST, I’m going to be running a webinar about our Becoming More Sexually Engaged course for Christian Wives for anyone interested. We’ll go through the first module, talk about the course, and answer any questions you may have. The webinar and the course are for wives, and I highly recommend husbands do not pressure their wives into joining. You can register for the webinar here.
With that out of the way, on to the questions.
Question 1 – Where are you?
Where are you?
I live in Saskatchewan, Canada. We moved here from Ontario last year.
Question 2 – How to hide bruises
My wife and I, from time to time, have intimate moments where we are both relatively forceful and aggressive. All in good fun; we both sincerely find it very enjoyable. However, she is often left bruised in weird spots that make me worry what The Public Eye might think.
Anyone in the supporter’s group have experiences like this? Any advice on how to prevent this or disguise it?
Noone in the group had experience with this. However, my wife gets a lot of bruises just from bumping into things, and one other had experiences hiding hickeys, which is similar.
Without knowing where the weird spots are, it’s a bit more challenging to give specific suggestions, but in general, low iron will cause more bruising, as will alcohol use and some medications. As for hiding it, our only idea as a group was with makeup and clothing.
Of course, it almost goes without saying that if you’re being rough enough to bruise – be careful.
As for the public eye – I’m not a lawyer, but so long as she’s on board with it, you likely do not have to worry about the law. If any readers are lawyers – correct me if I’m wrong. But yes, some people may look at you funny if she continues to show up bruised. The best advice I can give is that if someone talks to you both about it – don’t lie. Just tell them you were both a bit rowdy in bed and smile. They’ll likely not have any follow-up questions. But if you lie and each tells a different story, it will not look good.
Question 3 – What role do I have in God changing my heart?
Hey Jay, thanks for the awesome podcast. I really love it. Here is my situation. I was addicted to porn for about 7 years. I really got attached to the types of videos I was watching. But about 3 years ago I decided it was time to quit. I installed covenant eyes and since then porn hasn’t been a huge issue for me, however the masturbation habit persists (even though I am trying to quit that as well). I also have a girlfriend that I have been dating for about a year. She is awesome and she loves God. But I am facing very strong temptations to advance things sexually with her. I know this is wrong, but I am also very strongly wanting this – to the point that I may do it. I have a very deep heart issue, probably caused by my prolonged porn use in the past. But I don’t know what to do about it. I have been praying for years, I have memorized several verses on the topic of avoiding temptation, I have opened up to close friends for advice, and the list goes on. I feel like I have exhausted my options, and that there is nothing left for me to do but accept my hypersexuality. Here is my question: what role do I have in God changing my heart? I know he can do it, but after praying for years I feel like he just won’t.
First off – good for you for quitting porn! That is a fantastic achievement. Also, I highly recommend CovenantEyes for anyone else battling with porn, or wanting to protect their kids from porn.
The good news is that you’d likely be facing very strong temptations to advance sexually with your girlfriend, even without porn use and masturbation. That’s relatively universal.
Now, for the masturbation part, I think quitting cold turkey is extremely difficult, especially if you don’t have another outlet. For married people, I tend to involve their spouse if possible because it’s much easier to redirect that energy than to put it on pause.
For someone single, I suggest tapering off instead. Don’t try to all of a sudden stop, but rather try to slow it down. I don’t know what “hypersexual means to you,” but if it was three times a day before, try cutting it down to twice. Then once. Then once every other day. Go slowly. Move forward when you feel stable at the new frequency.
Memorizing verses, praying, and getting support will all be good and helpful. But at the end of the day, you have to make some practical changes, and unless God is going to miraculously rewire your neuropathways, which He doesn’t seem inclined to do, that means you’ll have to make them yourself.
To answer the specific question, though – what role do you have in God changing your heart? I’d say a significant role. God will convict you, but He won’t change your heart. I would say He can’t because that would remove your free will.
I’d also say that God has already convicted you, and you’ve already had a change of heart. You don’t want to do it anymore. So, you did that part. What you’re looking for is a change of behaviour.
And this reminds me of Paul’s writing in Galatians:
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I admit that the law is good. In that case, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh; for I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do. Instead, I keep on doing the evil I do not want to do. And if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So this is the principle I have discovered: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law. But I see another law at work in my body, warring against the law of my mind and holding me captive to the law of sin that dwells within me.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with my mind I serve the law of God, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.Galatians 3:15-25
So, you are in good company – Paul had similar struggles. Now, whether his battle was with masturbation or something else, we don’t know. Still, the point is, he had the conviction, the change of heart, but was struggling with the practical piece – overcoming the deep neural pathways of habit. Without understanding how the mind works, he resorted to saying it was his sinful body at war with his spiritual self.
These days we know that many parts make up the brain and work interdependently. You can have a conviction, change your heart, set your mind on something, and have another part of your brain go, “yeah, but I’m going to do this other thing instead.”
So, give yourself some grace, as God does, and work towards the goal. I’d also have a frank discussion with your girlfriend about it. If you’ve been dating for a year and you’re getting to the point that it’s difficult not to jump into bed together – I think you’re ready for an adult discussion about your struggles. If she can’t handle it, it’s probably a good idea you didn’t get married because marriage comes with many struggles and difficult conversations. And she has every right to leave if she wants, but talk about it sooner rather than later because if you start having sex – that will make everything more complicated.
Question 4 – Mother of 3 young kids isn’t as interested in sex as husband
So to start with my wife and I have been married for 10 years, and we are both in our 30s. I have a desire to have sex more often than we do, but I get the feeling she doesn’t like it nearly as much as I do. We don’t talk about sex much if we do I bring it up, I haven’t kept a log of our sexual activity but the average is about 3 to 4 times a month at most. So my question is what can I do to get her more interested in sex? It is worth mentioning that we have three kids under 7 about 2 years apart, so could it just be that she is tired? I find it hard to believe that being tired is the only reason however, because our sex life was not much more active in the almost 3 years prior to having kids.
Thanks for any help you can give!
Whenever someone says, “I get the feeling my spouse…” my first response is, “talk to them about it and see if you’re right.” You’d be amazed how many marital problems get resolved when you talk about them.
Now, that said, being a mother of three kids generally comes with a side of a lack of sexual desire. Not always, but very often. And you are correct that it’s not just exhaustion. It’s exhaustion, combined with being touched out, increased stress, increased responsibility, having all her sexual parts repurposed for motherhood, and some other things mixed in.
But, as you said, it could be something else, too, because it started before motherhood. So, it could be harmful teachings about sex, birth control, trauma, hormone deficiency, or a host of other things.
I’d start with reading the free ebook Where did my sex drive go? Read it together, or read it separately and discuss it. That would likely give you a framework, vocabulary and opportunity to talk about it like adults and then create a plan that works for both of you. If you’re still struggling after that, let me know.
Question 5 – How to recover from faking orgasms?
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question!
I have been with my Husband for over 5 years now. Married a few months. When we got together, I was so young and so stupid that I thought it would be a good idea to fake orgasms for him. I really couldn’t come doing sex but didn’t want him to feel as a failure, so I faked it for years.
Once you start with that, he expects it, so how do you stop? I have actually had a conversation with him maybe a year ago. Because I was simply unhappy with him never really trying in Bed because why would he. I was just unsatisfied and explained that I was faking it a lot and didn’t come as often as he thinks. That went surprisingly well, he wasn’t happy, but he wasn’t angry at me either. He said of cause that he doesn’t want me to fake it.
Now old habits die slow and while I’m no longer faking it, he isn’t really trying to get me to orgasm either. It was too ‘easy’ for him, too long. He doesn’t know, that I actually came only 3 times in our relationship. All from oral, which he doesn’t do if I don’t ask for it. What is your advice?
Very simply – you tell him you need oral sex in order to have an orgasm. You cannot expect him to just discern this on his own. He’s not a mindreader – if he was, he would have known that you were faking it.
For everyone else reading, this is why you don’t fake orgasms. It’s not just the “coming clean.” It’s the retraining of both spouses that is hard. You can’t fix this with a conversation. It starts with a conversation.
The next part is going to take longer. You have to try and throw out everything you know about how to get you to have an orgasm, and that’s pretty hard. Watching your spouse having an orgasm for many men is a big deal, so the habits and behaviours you use to get them there become almost hard-coded in the brain. Trying to change that isn’t easy. Not impossible, but it will not be easy or quick. Working through it will take time, patience, grace and ongoing communication.
So – ask until you no longer need to – either because you’ve learned to orgasm another way or because he does it without being asked.
Question 6 – Husband wants to be pursued
You probably haven’t heard this one before and no, this isn’t a joke. My wife simply never tries to romance me. She never wears sexy outfits, lingerie, etc. She doesn’t talk sexy and doesn’t seem to understand talking dirty. I’ve suggested kinky things I want to do and she says that if she “gives me an inch, I’ll go a mile “… I try to do little romantic things like buy her flowers, tell her how beautiful she looks, open the car door, etc. and it just doesn’t seem to get reciprocated. Now I feel like she just expects me to find her sexy because she’s a woman and she’s my wife but I have to be honest, that’s not enough. I don’t find her sexy. Frankly I want her to chase me for a change, stroke my ego, tell me I look hot. I want her to tell me I’m a catch, tell me all the sexy things she wants to do to me. This idea that men just want sex all the time is a fallacy, I want to be desired and appreciated and then maybe I’ll want to have sex. Her playing “hard to get” doesn’t make me more interested in sex with her, it makes me incredibly disinterested. How do I get her to romance me, make me feel desired.
I hear this more often than you’d think. The first comment in the forum was that it was interesting how many men think they’re unique in this feeling.
So, there are a few “red flags” here. The biggest one is that you both have taken adversarial roles toward each other. You see each other as the enemy fighting a zero-sum game rather than as partners working together to overcome an obstacle.
If you continue this attitude and the behaviours you mention on both sides, you will end up in a sexless and dead marriage.
The only way out that I see is sitting down and having an adult conversation about your needs and desires, then doing your best to meet the other’s, and assuming that your spouse loves you and is doing their best, even when you feel like it’s not enough.
I’d start there. If you are still waiting to see progress soon, you should get help, like marriage coaching, or a couple’s therapist, because this current trajectory ends poorly for everyone.
I do want to note that it’s true that many women default to the role of the pursued, not the pursuer. As such, they don’t have any habits, behaviours or skills to pursue their spouse. They figure if they’re available – that’s enough. This topic comes up a lot when talking to women about initiating sex. Many feel “being available” counts as initiation, but it’s not. Showing your spouse that you desire them is a habit both sides should build. As a result, many men often feel undesired, unwanted and generally like they’re pestering their wives when they initiate. This dynamic is problematic for two reasons.
The first is because for many men, their initiation of sex is a bid for intimacy. When you begin to feel that your spouse isn’t interested in intimacy with you, in knowing you and being known by you, then it feels like they’re not interested in a relationship with you. That is a terrible thing to communicate. I’m not saying it’s true, but it’s a prevalent feeling among men.
The second is that men tend to lose their self-confidence when they feel they’re pestering their wives, and one thing I hear over and over again from women is that they wish their husband was more confident when it comes to sex and initiating.
So, if you’re a wife – stop training your husband to have a lack of confidence. Initiate with actions – not just by being available. If you’re struggling with this – check out our webinar for our Becoming More Sexually Engaged course, because initiating is one of the topics we tackle in the course.
Question 7 – Where do you get your garbage theology?
What biblical or therapeutic training have you had? Your opinions and angles are so terribly hurtful to marriages and women who stuck in sex-addict relationships specifically. I have not run into such patriarchal and anti-Christ teachings, (or should I say misled personal opinions) in the 2.5 years of scouring the internet, podcasts and every Christian book on the subject of marriage, sex, and porn addiction. Where do you get your garbage theology?
It’s hard to give a non-snarky response to someone who is so overtly being hostile. I think one of our forum members sort of hit it on point, though:
If you “scour the internet” and read “Christian” books looking for the “right” theology, then I can see why there might be some confusion. Maybe try the Bible?Supporter forum member
That’s where I get my theology from – the Bible, which I try to reference as often as possible. I’m sorry you feel biblical guidance is garbage, sexist, harmful and anti-Christ teaching. I would love an opportunity to show you it’s not. Feel free to reach out if you want a genuine interaction.
As for my credentials, you can check out podcast episode 30, in which the first question asks about my training.
And that’s it for today.
If you have any questions of your own, you can submit them anonymously on our Have A Question page, and if you’d like to see the questions as they come in and participate in the discussion, consider joining our support forum. We sometimes get people who submit a question anonymously and then join the forum to see the discussion and offer additional information anonymously.
Thanks to all our supporters who help lend their thoughts and ideas.
Lastly, if you’re a wife, don’t forget to register for the webinar about our becoming more sexually engaged course if you’re interested in seeing what it’s about.