Some of you may recognize this question from our Personal Grooming Survey (go fill it out if you haven’t already):
Is it unreasonable for me (husband) to expect my wife to continue to remove pubic hair, like she did when we were dating? We’ve been married 11 years (second for both of us), and she’s indicated that she thinks that shaving or waxing is “too porno” for her, and refuses to entertain the idea. She claims that NO ONE does that every week, month or more than once or twice a year… As I write this I’m starting to see a pattern in our overall love making, Oral is fast becoming a thing of the past; and we’re settling into a Once a week Sunday night routine…
Now, there’s a lot of stuff in here, so I’m just going to start going through things that pop out for me:
Like she did when we were dating
This is one of the problems with premarital sex. Sex before marriage is exciting and taboo, and so it provides these massive dopamine spikes along with massive oxytocin bursts. Together these great a powerful cocktail of hormones that make you willing to do just about anything to get that feeling back again. It also tends to make you more aroused more often and easier, just by thinking about your significant other. And when you get aroused, parts of your brain start to shut down. Parts that help us evaluate risk or distasteful things. And so, many people find themselves doing things they wouldn’t normally do, and probably won’t do again once their hormones settle down.
I get a ton of emails from husbands (overwhelmingly husbands, but occasionally a wife) saying that their spouse used to give them oral sex (before marriage) and now doesn’t. Or used to have anal sex and now doesn’t. This leaves a lot of men feeling tricked, they feel like they had a bait and switch pulled on them. And they kind of did, but it wasn’t intentional. In fact, their wives have had a similar bait and switch pulled on them, because their hormones were telling them they were insanely attracted to this person, and when it wears off … well, then you start to actually have to be intentional about maintaining a relationship. Suddenly their husband isn’t as hot as he once was (even though nothing has changed in his appearance).
My point is, sex before marriage is dangerous, and it’s wrong, and while we can’t go back and change it now that we got married, we do need to realize that we’re going to have to live with the consequences. And sometimes that means realizing some things that we thought were on the table, aren’t. Because our spouse wasn’t in their right mind when they weren’t your spouse yet.
NO ONE does that every week…
I hate generalizations, especially surrounding the topic of sex. It drives me crazy. You know why? Because I get a lot of teary emails from people who break the stereotypes. Women who are being refused sex by their husbands, men who’s wives won’t communicate with them. When people say “noone does that” or “there must be something wrong with you if you do”, then I get really annoyed. Sadly, I hear statements like this from so-called experts in the field of marriage and sexuality as well, and it makes me cringe every time.
And then I go write a survey to find out just how many people do do that.
Now, our Personal Grooming Survey is still running, if you haven’t, go fill it out before I do my analysis, but I wanted to grab some quick interim stats:
So far we’ve had 140 women fill out our survey and 15% groom their pubic hair daily. In fact, 10% shave themselves bare every single day. 44% of women who filled out the survey groom at least once a week, nearly half of them shaving bare.
In short, “No one” is a complete fallacy.
Shaving or waxing is “too porno” for her
This is another thing I see often that sort of annoys me. Spouses saying they don’t want to do something because “that’s what they do in porn”. You know what? Porn is designed to ensnare people using their God-given sexual desires. So, a lot of the time they are using something good for something evil.
I mean, if we did nothing that was in porn, people wouldn’t have sex at all. Now, there are things in porn that should not be adopted, but the reason they shouldn’t be done is because it’s not healthy, or it’s against’s God’s will, or it will damage us or our relationship. Not because it’s in porn. That elevates porn to an unhealthy place. It basically gives porn the power to tell us what is good or evil. A place that should be reserved for God.
When someone says “I don’t want to that that because they do it in porn”, I hear that they are giving porn a place beside God, in an inverted sort of way. I’m not sure if that makes sense to everyone else, but that’s how I see it.
“Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” also comes to mind.
In short, just because something’s in porn, doesn’t make it good or bad. Porn is bad, not because it’s porn, but because it’s adultery. Threesomes are bad, not because they’re in porn, but because it’s sexually immoral and will hurt your relationship. Random sex partners are bad, not because it’s in porn, but because it’s fornication and will hurt your future relationships.
In the case of shaving, I think it exists in porn because it shows something that is normally hidden. Sexuality is something that, especially in the church, is often very much cloaked in secrecy. There are so many Christian married couples that never see each other naked. Sex is done in the dark, under the covers, at night. I’ve gotten emails from husbands who say they haven’t seen their wife naked in decades, despite having regular sex.
Growing up in that sort of environment, is it now wonder that we’re interested in being able to see more? To have the hair removed so that we can see our spouse?
Now, there are many other reasons that I’ll discuss in a later post, but I think this is the reason it’s in porn. Not because it makes women look pre-pubescent. I think that’s just propaganda by those who want to keep sex a hidden thing in the church, even between spouses.
I’m starting to see a pattern in our overall love making
Marriage takes constant work. People don’t drift together, they drift apart. And sex tends to go with it. I’ve often said that sex tends to be an excellent barometer for marriage health. I’ve yet to see a healthy marriage with a terrible sex life, and I haven’t seen a marriage with a healthy sex life that is in trouble.
If your sex life is waning, I can almost guarantee the rest of the your marriage is as well. Time to start fixing the marriage, then the sex will likely come back. Work on communication, work on showing your spouse you love them. Work on learning their love language and focusing on it. Which leads me to:
She’s your wife, focus on her, not on yourself
I know, you’re disappointed and probably feel a bit tricked and rejected by your spouse’s attitude. But, she’s your wife. You promised to love her, no matter what. And love doesn’t just mean deciding to stay together. It means actively working every day to try to make their life better. That doesn’t mean give them everything they want (because most of us want things that are unhealthy for us), but you should give them everything they need, and then some things that make their life even better. Even when they aren’t doing the same for us.
Now, there is a time to confront issues, to point out sin in our spouse’s life, just as they can do to ours, but that takes knowing when their heart is open to that. The strength of the relationship, and your spouse’s heart will determine how much you stress you can put on the relationship. If you aren’t communicating well, if your acting more like enemies than lovers, if you’re unable to confess sins to each other, then holding up a mirror to your spouse’s sin will likely damage your relationship, potentially beyond what it can bear.
But, if you have a truly intimate marriage, or at the very least, spouses who are committed to actively loving each other no matter what, and are intent on following God, then you can hold up a mirror to their sin, and they’ll thank you. It will be hard, the relationship will be strained, but it can take it and even grow stronger as a result. But, from my experience, this is a rare marriage.
Most often you have to gauge the strength of the marriage and their strength of will to love both you and God, against what their sin is. Often that means holding your tongue and supporting them the best way you can while you wait for God and your spouse to work on their heart together. Hopefully while modeling a strong relationship with God yourself, and strengthening the marriage from your end.
But, even if she never comes around, your job is, and will always be, to continue to love her. In sickness and in health, till death you do part. Often we don’t think about what that really means. Love is a choice, not an emotion. Choose to love your wife, even if she’s having trouble loving you in the way you want.