Struggling with Sex - Question


#1

Hi Guys.
The Peace of Christ be with you.

This post may come across as a bit blasphemous, since it seems like I’m trying to go against the Church. Not so. I love the Church and her Teachings, I’m just penning down my thoughts and feelings, candidly at times, asking for advice and feedback.

We are trying to be the best possible Catholics, so we are practicing natural family planning.
We can only make love on “green sticker days”, so we count the days on a big chart.
Now, my “drive” is rather high, so I look forward to these days. But between them, I get more and more frustrated, as the time goes by.
We have some good times, kissing and hugging when we cannot make love, but sometimes that gets me quite frustrated too. The few days before green stickers, it’s all I can do to get my mind off of it. And, of course, being Catholic I’m not allowed to pleasure myself, or look at any provocative pictures or anything, so I’m really, umm…like a kid on Christmas eve, shall we say.

Adding to this, my wife’s drive is not that high, so when the first available day comes around, she is not rearing to go like I am… tiredness, etc all comes between, so that in reality we only get to make love maybe 3 or 4 days into the available days. Sometimes we do not even do it, so the window is lost. That makes me grumpy, but I cannot talk about it, since that would send her on this guilt trip and her excuses are that it’s tough caring for a toddler.
She is also very shy since becoming Catholic, so the sex is very simple. For a period of time, she even told me she doesn’t want to be intimate with me any more since it feels wrong.

So, anyway, the big night comes. We get intimate. Like I said it’s very simple, I stimulate her so that she can be “ready” and then we do it. End of story.
It leaves me feeling rather unfulfilled, to say the least.
Also, since I have been “dry” for about a month, it’s not the longest intercourse ever recorded.

And, like I said above, pleasuring myself is out of the question.
I do think (Very blasphemous thought, this) that pleasureing myself would help though, firstly by getting rid of my frustration, and secondly by making me last longer in bed, (proven fact), so that when we actually get around to doing it, it’s not over so quickly.
I wouldn’t want to even think about doing it, Mortal Sin you know, but I can see it having some merit.

So, is this how life is for a Catholic husband and father? I try to help as much as I can around the house, I get home from a really crazy job, and try to help. I feed, bath, play with and put the baby to sleep, but still the excuses: “I’m tired, had a busy day, I just want to sit”.
I have crazy days almost every day too, but I want to be intimate with my wife. I want to feel the love and the physical show of affection, and also the physical need plays a big part…

Any advice or feedback on my feelings, it’s been going on for quite some time now, and I realised that it’s about time I ask for some advice.

Thanks!

In Christ.


#2

Hello,

I can relate to your frustration. I had the same exact problem you did although my spouse is not catholic adding to the challenge.

I can tell you that communication is key to understand the needs of each other in a relationship. Your spouse should be aware of how you feel and she should be able to express her feelings as well.

You must understand that everything you do should be with the intention to glorify God! The pleasure is a gift God has given us because he loves us but that should not be the center piece of loving your spouse. Unity and Life is what the sacrament of marriage is all about.

You and your spouse must desire to be one with each other and I am sure you have your reasons for NFP but Life is and always will be a blessing.

My personal advice… prayer.

I will pray for you!

Thanks,

Luiz


#3

Is your baby young? If so, your wife’s sex drive may be very low due to breastfeeding or hormones? Maybe she doesn’t feel the same about her body since having the baby (weight gain?). Maybe she’s just really tired after taking care of a baby all day and when she says she wants to just sit & relax it’s because she is worn out. A baby can do that to a new Mom.

You sound like a good husband though - helping out - etc. I wish I had some advice to offer you, but it sounds like you are already trying to do everything right. If your wife were asking for advice, I tell her to do “it” even if she doesn’t feel like it. It will make for a much happier husband & a stronger marriage.

The only thing that makes me think :ehh: is her telling you that she thinks sex is “wrong.” What’s up with that? Is there an older mentoring type woman she could speak to about her feelings which are obviously wrong? (Sex is a beautiuful gift God has given those who are married)

My only advice would be DON’T give in to self pleasure. DON’T allow Satan to convince you that it would help the situation - sin never helps.


#4

Communicate, communicate, communicate with your wife. And not with the intent to “convince” her to become more “active”. You two need to respect each others feelings, and have both of your needs and desires laid out on the table. It may be a little uncomfortable to talk about, but it needs to be said. Sometimes it’s easier to break the ice over email if she’s rather shy to talk about it in person.

Being frustrated “At night” is NOT normal for a Catholic relationship. However, being"intimate" goes much farther than the act itself. I hope you can also learn to be satisfied with your wife and look at sex as an enhancement, and not a weekly requirement that she is failing at. Do you two spend much time away from the house without your children? Maybe a date night?

Good luck!


#5

Thanks Luiz for the response.

Firstly, yes, we do have reasons for NFP. I don’t really want to divulge them here, but we have sought preistly council on this, so that’s no problem.
I do agree with you that the act should be about unity and life, and I think that the unit aspect is where a lot of it stems from.

I want to share the unit of marriage with my wife. I feel alone and neglected at times, due to not being able to share this.

I think firstly these needs are what I crave, the physical yearning is just a result of these feelings. But after a while, when everyone else is asleep and I’m awake, things get difficult, you know? And Frustrating.

She is very sensitive, and we have tried to talk about this before, with great love and caring, but it always ends in a mess, so I feel it’s going to be even worse talking about this yet again…

I’m a bit stuck…

Thanks for the response and the prayers!

In Christ.


#6

#7

Thank you, this is some good advice.

I know that essentially I need an attitude adjustment, since I have re-hashed the stiuation over and over in my head and the only way out, without Mortal Sin is me chainging my views, perceptions and thought.

WAAAAAAYYYYY more dificult said than done!

Thanks though and thanks for the Post.

In Christ.


#8

dont be too hard on yourself… :slight_smile:
you are the best as you are trying so hard to do the right thing!!!
God Bless you…
People have different needs and thats why Paul says that “It is better to marry than to burn”

maybe you should go to a christian counselor… also the bible says that your body is not your own but your spouse’s…
just my :twocents:


#9

How about doing a Theology of the Body study together? Not that this is going to immediately solve the problem, but it really puts the sexual act into Catholic perspective and maybe will help your wife see the beauty of it more :), as well as teach you both a lot (or remind you…which I know has helped my husband and me!)! It will also open further communication about your marriage and such which is always a plus! :thumbsup:

Hope this helps :).


#10

As the others stated - communicate.

But perhaps they could tell you what it is that you ought to be communicating?

Read up on JPII’s Theology of the Body as much as you can.

I can’t offer you any credentials, or even particular anecdotal evidence that “this worked for me”, but it seems to jive with everything I’ve learned about sex since taking my faith to practice. Try this:

Your job is to communicate to you wife what a great and holy gift your intimacy is. Start by eliminating all the vocabulary that degrades your marital embrace. Even the word “sex” is more appropriate for the biology classroom than it is for the marital bedroom. Find words and terms that build up sex.

Think about it, it is a whole lot easier for your wife to refuse to give you pleasure, than it is for her to refuse to consummate your wedding vows.

The sex that our pop culture sells is not worth much personal sacrifice to maintain. That’s because pop culture’s sex is not sacred, holy, or even a special embrace for married couples.

But the sex that the Catholic Church offers is so divine, that it is worth making sacrifices to do.

Sacred intimacy is worth self-sacrifice. You demonstrate this by steadfastly refusing to gratify yourself. By your actions you communicate to your wife, that you’d rather suffer great periods of dryness in order to hold out for the Sacred Embrace God intends for you.

By your actions you want to communicate the message that YOU are something worth cherishing. Your intimate embrace is reserved only for that woman who will love you more than anyone else on earth (even her own children). And if your own wife is not that woman, then you are willing to live a dry life.

Check out E-5 Men. Start fasting and praying. You’re going to need to be one tough hombre to get through this.


#11

PennitentMan, what method of fertility awareness are you and your wife using? I’m a bit confused by reference to “green sticker days”…a woman is fertile relatively few days in any given cycle, and while it’s possible to estimate when ovulation might occur, it’s never a guarantee. But the fertile window ought not be a month! So one option might be to consider how you’re monitoring this?

It does sound like there’s something going on besides the little one - you both might benefit from speaking with your priest, together or individually? She may be feeling depressed, shut-in from community ties, overwhelmed…which will affect her own energy level. Or perhaps the two of you have underlying “stuff” in the marriage that’s affecting her in ways different than it’s affecting you? In that case, facilitating communication could help.

And finally, I agree with the other poster(s) who’ve suggested date nights & non-sexual ways to connect…it can be hard for moms to step back into their “wife” role - it’s a bit schizophrenic to go from June Cleaver to Pamela Anderson and back :wink: My husband always gets bonus marks for flower-bringing, random cheerful phonecalls from work, bringing me a cup of cocoa, etc…perhaps it might work for you?


#12

USCGWife:

PennitentMan, what method of fertility awareness are you and your wife using? I’m a bit confused by reference to “green sticker days”…a woman is fertile relatively few days in any given cycle, and while it’s possible to estimate when ovulation might occur, it’s never a guarantee. But the fertile window ought not be a month! So one option might be to consider how you’re monitoring this?

Yeah, sorry for the jargon :slight_smile:
We use the Billings Ovulation Method, it tracks mucus. My wife’s cycle is a bit irregular, but we find it quite effective.
We do it like this:
Red sticker is when her flow starts. After that it’s green untill the mucus changes to slippery. Then it’s “hands off” so to speak untill after ovulation. After voulation you count 3 non-slippery mucus days and then it’s green again, untill the next flow
Lately there are only about 2 days between red stickers and the start of the sticky mucus. And after the ovulation, there is about maybe 1 week, probably a bit less before the flow starts. This late time slot usually goes hand-in-hand with headaches with her, I think it may be hormone related, leaving precious little time to be intimate.

It does sound like there’s something going on besides the little one - you both might benefit from speaking with your priest, together or individually? She may be feeling depressed, shut-in from community ties, overwhelmed…which will affect her own energy level. Or perhaps the two of you have underlying “stuff” in the marriage that’s affecting her in ways different than it’s affecting you? In that case, facilitating communication could help.

We have been talking about that too, she has a lot of friends that she has met through community services and the church, so no lack for social life really. I’m not too sure about “stuff”, there is none that I know of, but then I guess I wouldn’t know if there was…

And finally, I agree with the other poster(s) who’ve suggested date nights & non-sexual ways to connect…it can be hard for moms to step back into their “wife” role - it’s a bit schizophrenic to go from June Cleaver to Pamela Anderson and back My husband always gets bonus marks for flower-bringing, random cheerful phonecalls from work, bringing me a cup of cocoa, etc…perhaps it might work for you?

Oh, we do plenty of that. Last date was Saturday. (Green sticker started on Sunday btw, but no fun time has been had…) Last time I brought home flowers was Monday a week ago. I make her a night-cap tea every night. I massage her back and shoulders around 3 times per week…cook once or twice a week…

Thanks for the post, Any other advice would be appreciated!

In Christ.


#13

Here’s an idea–move the toddler’s bedtime to an earlier time. Then you can have time to sit, talk, watch a movie, read, take a bath, etc. so that the wife can “unwind” a bit before heading to bed.


#14

My advice: (this is coming from a wife with a 9 m. old baby)
When/if you do talk to your wife about this - don’t do it in bed, late at night. By this point you are both tired after a long day, your wife is probably a little more emotional, your are probably more frustrated. Find a time to discuss this -in a very nonromantic place/time (like at breakfast). That way your wife will see that you really want to work this out- and she won’t think you are just trying to guilt trip her or manipulate her (I am Not saying that is what you are doing) Also this helps to keep your bedroom free from this sort of tension and arguing. And she won’t come to bed on the green sticker nights thinking “Great, here we go again…”

Another thing to consider is that your wife has a young toddler who is all over her all day long. This is probably meeting her need for phyiscal contact - so she doesn’t crave it from you.

Have you heard of Pope JP 2’s Theology of the Body? Christopher West does a great job of breaking it down into simple language in his books The Good News about Sex and Marriage and Theology of the Body for Beginners. His website is christopherwest.com/. You can also get them at Amazon.com. Another great place to get some info/help would be the forums at the Theology of the Body Website. This is link to their forums. Check out the Forum titled Marital Chastity tob.sprav.net/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi There appeared to be many questions similar to yours on this forum.

Learning about this would help you with your struggle against impurity and would help your wife see that sex is not impure but is the holiest and most beautiful things a husband and wife can do together. I could list for days the ways that this teaching has changed my husband and my life.


#15

Here’s another something I was thinking about. I know you’ve said your drive is higher than hers and whatnot… but what is the message you are sending your wife? That you desire HER, or that you desire the act itself? Are you truly seeking a closer relationship with your wife, or are you simply wanting more action in the bedroom without the level of emotions that come along with it?

There is nothing wring with having a higher drive as long as the other person is on board with it. But in your case, you wife obviously is not. One thing you may want to consider is talking to a counselor through Catholic Charities. Their fees are minimal, and they will help you stay on track (usually) with the Catholic faith when it pertains to marriage and the bedroom. You can work on your issues with seeing the act as intimacy between a husband and a wife, and she can work on her issues with the act as being “wrong”. Maybe you two can meet in the middle. :wink:


#16

I know what you mean. I feel neglected as well due to my wife’s Protestant(anti-Catholic) beliefs and her mother’s constant interfering in our marriage.

For the late night “craving”, first go and empty your bladder and then pray the rosary. By the time your done praying you will be half way asleep.

I hope this helps.

Luiz


#17

As someone else said, if your wife was here I’d have some advice for her but since she isn’t I’ll have to give you what I have.

Unfortunately I have no guarantees; just some thoughts…

Perhaps you need to get more physical exercise. I know you’ve said you work exhausting days but that’s not always the same thing as burning physical energy. This will use up some of your sexual drive energy just so you feel better.

I’m wondering if your anxiousness to engage in sexual relations is showing itself in one of two possible ways that may be putting your wife off, perhaps without her even realizing it. (I’m not excusing her but as I said earlier, she’s not here.) You may seem exceptionally eager or you may even seem desperate. Some women can find that eagerness/intensity to be a bit scary. If you seem desperate, that might make you seem unattractive.

One of my reasons for suggesting physical exercise was so that you take the edge off of your eagerness. (Sometimes husbands need to play ‘hard to get’ to spark the interest of the wife). She may also find your display of physical power to be attractive. (Just don’tstart verbally boasting.)

Again, no guarantees. (Sorry.) But who knows? It could work.


#18

Oh, and I might add too… The intimate embrace the Catholic Church offers is worth fighting for.

I think a lot of men are afraid to fight with their wives as they’ve been brainwashed into thinking that if you stand up to your wife, you are being an overbearing chauvinist. Be very careful though. You have to take the position that you are fighting on behalf of the marriage, not for the sake of your personal gratification. This can be demonstrated, by taking the risk that having a heated discussion might “kill any chances”.

Of course, all rules of civil engagement ought to be followed in such duels.

Refer to the embrace as “the marriage debt” once. That will spark a good spat. It is a legitimate term, and ironically one that actually helps build human sexuality up to the level that God intended. Before you use the term you need to be prepared to defend it.

You’re not alone. There’s a number of guys on this forum who aren’t convinced that all women are just sitting on the sidelines waiting for their husbands to just love them in the right way and then they’ll instantly turn into ideal wives. In fact, I’m beginning to suspect that in some instances the women are just plain selfish and unwilling to sacrifice. I realize that’s a pretty radical notion given todays feminist mindset.


#19

No, definately not, when we do talk about it, I always make it clear that it is her that I desrie to have relations with, not the act…it’s always about the spouse and not the physical act…if it was, I think I would have fallen into Mortal Sin a long time ago…
It’s the emotional one-ness that I crave.
I mean some times I even find myself googling romantic words…not even knowing why, just to see what comes up. I have googled words like “unconditional love”; “acceptance”; etc So it’s definately about the Unitive aspect and not the physical.

I guess I’m just concerend about it, not being fulfilled may lead to bad things…and that is what I’m trying to avoid…I want to defend and preserve my marraige, and honestly, the best way I can see to do that is just to accept and deal with this.

I’m trying to find ways to deal with this now.

Thanks! :slight_smile:


#20

I have started praying the liturgy of the hours night prayers now :slight_smile: Will possible branch out to the evening prayers too.


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