Yes, you did read that right. Even though I am a celibate husband, I really feel that a celibate wife has it worse. There are many reasons for this, but I want to talk about three of them.
First, a wife forced into a celibate marriage has few female friends with whom to talk about this. Anytime she is out with her married friends, they are all talking about how they can’t keep their husbands away, their husbands want sex all the time, and their husbands want sex even when they have not been emotionally connected, whatever that means to any particular woman. The celibate wife may sometimes chime in when she hears this, but inside she is dying because she does not understand why her husband does not feel the same about her. If she talks to older women, they tell her to be thankful. Even if her husband is good to her in every other way, the fact that he does not desire her body is slowly killing her. She puts on a happy face for her kids and family, but at night, she looks at her body, trying to find the flaws that keep her husband from wanting sex with her. While hearing the complaints from her friends, she may have the very un-Christian thought that she would love to meet the husbands of her friends and show them that a woman can be sexually enthusiastic.
Second, the celibate wife’s self-esteem is suffering greatly as the weeks, months, and sometimes years go by. She may be exceptional in her career, run the perfect household, and have the most wonderful children, but silently feel as if she is a failure as a woman. Even though she may hear from others that she is a vibrant, attractive woman, the constant rejection of the most intimate part of her spirit is tearing her down from the inside. She continues to inspect her body, wondering why the one person who promised to have and hold her is still refusing the most basic part of marriage. She begins to wonder if there is some man, somewhere, who would find her attractive and would want to enjoy her feminine delights.
Lastly, she is now very vulnerable to another man. Maybe it is at work, the grocery store, or at a child’s school function. But at some point, another man tells her how pretty she is, that she must spend a lot of time at the gym, or that he loves how she takes care of herself. Oh she may not end up in bed with the man, but the thought of being appreciated really lifts her spirits. After this happens, her husband may notice that she seems happier, more cheerful, or even satisfied. However, the rejections continue on a regular basis. If the compliments from the man or men continue, the celibate wife will find herself drawn like a magnet to the other man or men. Even if she does not succumb to temptation, she will enjoy being appreciated, and become less forgiving of her husband.
So will a church ever discuss the fact that some women actually enjoy sex and have a God-given right to receive it from their husbands? Of course not, silly.