What’s a Wife to Do When Her Husband Wants Her to Participate in Sexual Sin?…& a Link Up!

Ever since I started my series on What to Do When a Husband Doesn’t Love His Wife with Christ-Like Love, countless wives have emailed me seeking advice for their hurting marriages.  And because I’ve clearly heard God share with me this year to meet the women where they are at , I’m going to continue to answer those emails to the best of my ability.  (Just a note, if you have emailed me asking for help, please know that I will get to answering your question!  I just haven’t answered yet because of the time factor involved.  Sometimes many of the emails I get from wives are dealing with the same topic so I’ll address the root problem.  Other times the issue is very specific in nature, like today’s question.  I don’t generally share the entire email for the sake of length but in respect to what this wife is dealing with I’m sharing all of it today.)

Dear Jolene,

I read your blog, and follow you on Pinterest, so I feel that I can ask you about this, knowing that you have a biblical stance regarding marriage and relationship issues. I have a question that I haven’t seen answered in any blog, Christian forum, or marriage book. It’s something that occasionally comes up in my marriage, and although it doesn’t go anywhere (call it Divine Intervention), it worries me, and it hurts me when it does rear it’s ugly head.

A few years ago I married an amazing man. He and I were both married before, and we were/ are determined to make this marriage work. He and I attend church together, and raise a family together. I love him dearly. Before we were married, he outlined to me that his past marriage and relationships were riddled with major trust issues- each woman cheated on him, and when he wasn’t in a committed relationship, he was extremely sexually active. A few months into our marriage, he revealed to me that he was interested in participating in a threesome with me (and another woman). He also informed me that he had been a swinger before finding Christ, and that it’s something that he occasionally misses. Throughout the years of our marriage, this issue has come up time and again. During our conversations, I will admit, a curiosity has developed- but not as far as to carry out any of these tasks. I have done some reading about swinging, and I understand the “thought” behind this lifestyle, I am just certain that it is NOT for me. My husband understands, and doesn’t pressure me…. but it still comes up every so often. He misses the lifestyle, and has commented that he kinda wishes that I was interested in participating in it. He’s also conflicted, because he knows that this is a sexual sin, and he doesn’t want to sin- but he and I are both aware of the desire that is still there. I’m understanding more and more that sexual sins are their own addiction- but I still feel a small bit as though it could be that I’m not enough… something is missing (aside from multiple partners), that makes him desire this.

I’m not sure what type of advice you could offer. I have suggested counseling, but we have other issues dealing with our family/ children that has taken immediate precedence as far as counselling is concerned. I also know that it is not something that he wants addressed in front of the children. I would appreciate some advice though. This came up last weekend, and although he’s apologized, I feel as though I’ll be dealing with this for the rest of my life.

I’m also certain that I’m not the only one out there with this situation.

Signed,
Everywoman

Dear Everywoman,

Thank you for having the courage to contact me.  I hope I can shed some light on your situation as well as offer you some biblical guidance and encouragement so you don’t feel so alone or discouraged in your marriage.

First, let me just say that what I’m about to share can be applied to any sexual sin that a husband wants his wife to participate in.  So, feel free to add pornography to the list because I’m sure there are other wives who are going through this battle with their husbands.  And second, as you said in your letter, sexual immorality is not for you, but let me add to it; it’s also not for any Follower of Christ to take part in.

Now in dealing with your husband.  A wife does not need to hear about her husband’s sexual sin fantasies.  Period.  So my encouragement to you would be to tell him to keep his mouth shut about it!  Of course tell him this in a kind, loving, respectful, and gracious way.  And make sure you maintain some self-control while you do so you don’t haul off and slap him! ;)  Because, well, that’s just not walking in the Spirit, now is it?  Him wanting to discuss things that he wants to do with you and other women is not something you’ll tolerate him speaking about.  It’s non-negotiable and it’s not even a conversation you’ll entertain.  Now if your man wants to talk about his sexual fantasies with you that does not involve sin, then by all means feel free to share that with him.

Your man needs to get help whether he wants it or not since his actions are tearing you and your marriage down.  Of course he’s going to mention that he doesn’t want counseling because that means his sin would be exposed. But I know if I were dealing with a sin/addiction that I couldn’t handle then I’d seek help, that is, if I wanted to change.  That’s the key issue here.  Does his heart truly want to glorify the Lord in his life?  His spirit should be grieved over that fact that he’s wanting to do this.  It sounds like the only reason why he hasn’t moved forward in this sin is because you have said no, rather than because of Godly sorrow.

For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 2 Cor. 7:10 (NKJV)

For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. 2 Cor. 7:10 (NLT) 

I’m not sure that your man wants to change seeing how he continually brings up this grievous topic.   He’s either in bondage to this sin and he’s not wanting outside help or he’s not truly repentant.  

Being that your man is a church-going man, he has a form of godliness, but it sounds like he’s denying it’s power in his life.

“For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.” 2 Timothy 3:2-5

Since he calls himself a Christian, then you have every right to rebuke him in this situation.  You can tell him to stop mentioning this and you can tell him he needs to get help.  If he blows you off and doesn’t move forward to better the relationship,  then you can go to a brother in the Lord and share what’s taking place in your marriage.  I know this may sound harsh but sexual sin is not something to mess around with because it will bring great damage to your soul!

Sadly, your man is not guarding your heart nor is he leading your into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Instead, he’s encouraging you to follow evil.  He’s enticing you and passively pressuring you to walk a path of destruction; a path designed to fulfill his desires of sexual sin and a path laced with debauchery, adultery, and orgies.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil. Proverbs 4:23-27

Debauchery
a. To corrupt morally.
b. To lead away from excellence or virtue.

Orgy
1. a wild gathering marked by promiscuous sexual activity, excessive drinking, etc.
2. an act of immoderate or frenzied indulgence

Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Romans 13:13,14

Your man has created insecurities in you by the mere mention of having another woman in your marriage bed.  It saddens me that you have to hear this.  No wife should ever hear those words from her husband! They destroy the trust, respect, security and love that a God-fearing marriage is designed to provide. Perhaps that is why the other women in your man’s past life cheated on him? Perhaps he planted seeds of adultery and orgies into their relationship and that’s why they left him?

You need to put your foot down about this problem.  Also, let him know he needs to seek out a brother in the Lord that can help him and hold him accountable for his actions rather than coming to you as he shares about his struggles of sexual sin.

Look to Christ for Love and Acceptance

No matter how great one’s marriage is or how Godly a spouse is, no one is designed to meet all of our needs nor love us the way we need to be loved, that role is reserved for one person; Jesus Christ.  He’s called our Savior for a reason.  It’s because everyday we need to be saved.  My encouragement for you dear sister is to hold firm to your boundaries about him keeping his sin to himself, telling him to get help, and then for you to rest in the love that Christ has for you.

 

Live a poured out life for Christ,

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I’m linking up with:  Time-Warp Wife , To Love, Honor, and  Vacuum, Women Living Well, and The Better Mom.

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Link back to this community, either by using the button below or a text link.  Link to your actual “Marital Oneness Mondays” post, not just your general blog address–that way if readers come by later in the week, they can click your relevant post.

 

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Written by Jolene Engle

Jolene Engle

Jolene loves Jesus, her husband, and her boys. She has dedicated her life to searching the Scriptures and applying God’s truths to help Christian women, wives, and moms around the world experience a deep and abiding faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. She shows women how to apply practical and biblical truths that encourage and inspire them to live a life that is poured out for Christ like the perfume from an Alabaster Jar (Luke 7:37). She’s the author of the books, Wives of the Bible: 25 Easy Lessons You Can Learn from these Imperfect Women that Will Radically Transform Your Marriage and How to Create a Christ-Centered Christmas for Your Kids.

28 Comments on What’s a Wife to Do When Her Husband Wants Her to Participate in Sexual Sin?…& a Link Up!

  1. Nikki
    February 3, 2013 at 11:38 pm (1 year ago)

    What if talking about another woman having sex with him, us being involved in a threesome, or me as his wife having sex with some other man while he watches- is the only thing that turns your husband on? Meaning, If that kind of dirty talk is needed to get him (b/c it doesn’t get me going), does that mean that if we stop the dirty talk and he focuses on seeing me as a hot, sexy, woman to be desired- he won’t get turned on? Because honestly I don’t see how a husband who has seen his wife at her worse, argued with her earlier in the day, etc., can see her as sexy enough for him to get turned on and stay turned on.

    • Lindsay Harold
      February 4, 2013 at 6:51 am (1 year ago)

      One of the most sinister things about sexual sin is that it can so easily become addictive. God’s design for sex is for a man to be captivated by his wife and her beauty alone, and for both husband and wife to leave all others and cleave to each other. The Proverbs speak of a man letting his wife’s breasts satisfy him always. They tell him to love the wife of his youth all his life. A man is designed to find one woman and then pour his life out for her and find his desires fulfilled in her throughout both their lives. So, yes, a man is supposed to be fulfilled only by his wife. He is supposed to find her attractive, even after seeing her at her worst. The female body, even when imperfect, is designed to turn men on. And, of course, there is more to attraction and sexuality than just the physical and visual aspects. I am thankful that I have a good man who finds me attractive, even at my worst.

      However, sin corrupts the perfect design for sexuality that God made. And a man (or woman) who has indulged sin (either in thought or deed) can find that it corrupts their ability to think and to act according to God’s design. So it does happen that men can be no longer turned on by the flesh-and-blood, but imperfect womam God gave them. This is particularly common among men who are addicted to porn, but it can also happen to men who have been promiscous (they get used to a steady stream of different women) or to those who have engaged in certain ungodly sex acts (such as threesomes or orgies). These sins can basically reprogram his brain to be attracted and turned on only by such things and not by God-honoring marital sex. It’s like someone being so addicted to junk food that they don’t like healthy food anymore.

      The good news is that this condition doesn’t have to be permanent. God is a redeeming God and can renew any mind that will submit to Him. But it takes work and a commitment to honoring God in your sex life. It takes much prayer and a steady diet of God’s word (especially what it says about marriage and Godly sexuality). It takes learning to constantly control one’s thoughts and bring every one captive. It takes practice being intimate with one’s spouse as God intended – not just having sex, but learning to value eevry aspect of the person God joined you to. And it takes learning to see sex as not just a release of physical pleasure, but as a bonding between two souls and as an act of worship to God. It takes time and effort on the part of both husband and wife. It won’t happen overnight. But it can be done.

      • Jolene Engle
        February 4, 2013 at 9:16 am (1 year ago)

        Excellent response, Lindsay! Thanks for chiming in. :)

      • Lindsie
        March 20, 2013 at 10:46 am (1 year ago)

        I have a similar situation except my husband wants me to watch porn and dress up for him all the time! It’s my fault because I agreed to it several years ago, but now its really weighing on me! I know that porn is a sin and wrong, but my husband feels like if we are both ok with it then it shouldn’t be a problem. I have a problem with it, I just wanted to fulfill my husbands fantasies. But now its all the time!! He’s wanting me to dress up every time we have sex!

        I tell him i want him to be ok with just me. He says, “You know I’m a perfectionist and even more with sex and you dressing up is more intimate to me and you know that.” ” I’m sorry that I’m not worth putting on sexy clothes for me or even my words of telling you that you look hot are not enough.” “I don’t try to get you to look like someone else. They make lingerie so women feel sexy in the clothes!”

        How do I respond to that? I feel like he wants to be married to a porn star!! I can’t keep up with all his fantasies! Am I wrong? Should I be willing to dress up every time we make love?? I know we are suppose to not deny our husbands! I think he thinks that sex should be like the movies!! Im so lost! I don’t know how to get it through to him and I dont want to deny my husband, but how can I get in the mood when I feel this kind of pressure? I could use some encouraging words!! Thank you!!

  2. Angel
    February 4, 2013 at 6:32 am (1 year ago)

    Excellent response Jolene! That is the best response needed in such a situation. I think her husband is not grounding himself in the Word of God and thus wants to engage in sexual sin. We cannot see his heart but we must question if he is truly walking in the faith…if he is, then he is treading on dangerous ground and allowing satan to control his mind.

  3. Jaimie
    February 4, 2013 at 8:22 am (1 year ago)

    This is a tough and touchy subject to discuss, but Jolene, I think you did it very well! I am blessed with a marriage that has no secrets, and with a husband who (for some strange reason) thinks I’m beautiful even when I feel my ugliest.

    Thanks for hosting the link-up!

  4. Amy
    February 4, 2013 at 10:47 am (1 year ago)

    Great job Jolene! I am so thankful to have found this blog!

    There is a series of devo books by Stormie O’Martin. Check out The Power Of A Praying Wife (it also has a workbook) and it covers different areas for a wife to pray for her hubby, including sexuality. Each chapter is short, easy to follow, comes with Scripture references and even a prayer to help you get on track in praying for that topic of that chapter.

    • Jolene Engle
      February 5, 2013 at 10:20 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks for sharing this resource, Amy!

  5. Laurie Collett
    February 4, 2013 at 4:02 pm (1 year ago)

    Thanks for the honest post dealing with this sensitive issue, and thanks for hosting.
    God bless.

  6. Dawnita
    February 5, 2013 at 2:49 pm (1 year ago)

    Just a note. A friend of mine noticed #15 in your link-ups is probably not what you want in your party…

    • Jolene Engle
      February 5, 2013 at 3:34 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Dawnita,
      Thanks for bringing that up. I read the post and it’s in Biblical disagreement to same-sex marriage.

  7. Melinda (Auntie Em)
    February 5, 2013 at 5:41 pm (1 year ago)

    Thanks Jolene, for another linkup, and dealing with this very sensitive issue compassionately!
    And I love your new picture at the top!

    • Jolene Engle
      February 5, 2013 at 10:21 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Melinda! :)

  8. andrea
    February 8, 2013 at 7:41 am (1 year ago)

    Hi. I see that my comment was removed. I understand if you do not want it on your site, but in interest of helping the woman who asked for advice, can you please send my comment to her directly and let her pray and decide for herself what is best for her. Thank you.

    • Jolene Engle
      February 8, 2013 at 2:06 pm (1 year ago)

      Polygamy is sin; it is adultery. Why would I promote that? It’s contrary to what the Bible teaches. Just because it is a sin recorded in the Bible, this does not mean it is acceptable in God’s eyes. God’s plan for marriage is one woman with one man, not multiple spouses, therefore, I will not promote nor encourage a woman to follow a path that is outside of God’s will for her life.

      • Amy
        February 8, 2013 at 5:11 pm (1 year ago)

        Jolene, this may be a stupid question. But in the Old Testament many of the men had multiple wives plus concubines (i mean guys like Moses and Jacob) So I can see how someone can be confused. But how would you explain the difference.

        For me I feel its disrespectful and selfish for a spouse to ask this of a partner.

        • Jolene Engle
          February 8, 2013 at 9:31 pm (1 year ago)

          Amy, your question isn’t stupid, just honest. :) Let me try to bring some clarity…
          Just because the Bible states facts of what’s taking place, that does not mean that God condones the actions. Fact: many men had multiple wives/concubines. God’s Plan: let’s go back to the beginning in Genesis where God designed one man for one woman. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24 You can’t become ‘one flesh’ with two wives.
          “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:2

          • Amy
            February 9, 2013 at 12:07 am (1 year ago)

            Thank you Jolene. Yet another one of my often wondered questions has been answered.

  9. Lindsie
    March 19, 2013 at 9:53 am (1 year ago)

    I have a similar situation except my husband wants me to watch porn and dress up for him all the time! It’s my fault because I agreed to it several years ago, but now its really waying on me! I know that porn is a sin and wrong, but my husband feels like if we are both ok with it then it shouldn’t be a problem. I have a problem with it, I just wanted to fulfill my husbands fantasy’s. But now its all the time!! He’s wanting me to dress up every time we have sex now!

    I tell him i want him to be ok with just my body sometimes. He says, “You know I’m a perfectionist and even more with sex and you dressing up is more intimate to me and you know that.” ” I’m sorry that I’m not worth putting on sexy clothes for me or even my words of telling you that you look hot are not enough. I don’t try to get you to look like someone else. They make lingerie so women feel sexy in the clothes!”

    So I feel like he wants to be married to a porn star!! I can’t keep up with all his fantasy’s! Am I wrong? Should I be willing to dress up every time we make love?? I know we are suppose to not deny our husbands! I think he thinks that sex should be like the movies!! Very lost! Could use some encouraging words!!

    • Jolene Engle
      March 20, 2013 at 1:03 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Lindsie,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your situation! No, you are not wrong for feeling the way you do. Porn messes with the brain! It’s one thing to fulfill your husband’s sexual fantasy that he has when he’s being intimate with YOU, as opposed to him having sex with you and fantasizing about other women or porn stars. He should embrace you for you. Not your sexy clothes and not images of other naked women on the screen. But…he’s not. He has an addiction and he needs help. I’d put my foot down about what he desires regarding the porn watching and the dressing up. A wife feels degraded when her man only seeks to satisfy himself sexually (and especially in this situation!) Watching porn is a sin. I wouldn’t tolerate it. I’d offer to help him get help for this addiction. If he’s unwilling to do so, you can’t change that, only the Holy Spirit can change his heart. Keep lifting him up in prayer. And make sure you’re not denying him of sex either. Just let him know you’ll have sex without the porn and without you feeling like you need to get dressed up like a porn star. Make sure when you speak with him about this your tone is loving, gracious and with a humble heart. I’d set boundaries rather than enable him in his addiction. I hope this helps.

      • Amy
        March 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm (1 year ago)

        So dressing up bad? I love to (ON OCCASION because let’s be honest lingerie is not comfortable) dress up for my hubby. I love to surprise him by slipping on something sexy, walking into the room and seeing his eyes almost pop out of his head. But he has never asked or required me to dress up. As for porn…. My hubby is in the military and does get deployed. I don’t care if he watches it when he is overseas (but he takes care of business on his own than find someone else) but when he is home porn is not allowed. Thankfully its never been an issue, but I know for some folks it is, there are therapists that special in this area and a TON of resources online and in book stores for dealing with it honestly and lovingly.

        • Jolene Engle
          March 20, 2013 at 2:33 pm (1 year ago)

          Oh goodness, I am NOT against lingerie at all!! The issue here is when a husband REQUIRES a wife to wear it. Because of the porn that has been brought into the marriage, he is trying to recapture that type of sexual fantasy on a regular basis.

          • Lindsie
            March 20, 2013 at 4:10 pm (1 year ago)

            Thank you so much!! I really needed to hear that!! God bless!!

  10. KL
    April 11, 2013 at 9:59 am (1 year ago)

    Hi! I just wanted to share a resource with everyone. My husband and I have been married almost 2 years. We have a wonderful intimate relationship, but early on, it was definitely a learning experience and effort for my husband to break from his “single man” habits which involved staying up late past me on the computer and ocassionally looking at pictures of women, for instance on google images or clicking the links on the side of an article on a news page. Scary! I hated it! I knew Satan was just waiting for him to stumble and it was like he was testing he waters- seeing how far he could go before temptation would take him. I’m blessed and lucky to say that he was always forthcoming and honest with me, immediately, and he recognized that it was an issue for him immediately as well – he hated it more than I did! He felt dishonoring but it was also a habit – one that was hard to break. It is not even a problem anymore, but it did take the better half of 2 years for him to change his internet browsing habits – one of the resources that he took upon himself to setup for our home was a K-9 web protection software. It controls browsing and makes certain websites off limits. We blocked facebook, pinterest, and the obvious ones – but the best part is that the ADS on the sides of pages, and also inappropriate images are blocked!!! Ladies – for those of you who shop on sites like Victoria Secret, your web browser learns where you shop, and then places ads for these same online shops on your web pages (who wants their husbands to be surprised by a porn image! Make sure you search on a seperate browser (google -chrome) and delete your browsing history – your seemingly harmless shopping could be the temptation problem!! Back to K-9 web protection, the part that allows it to be effective in your home is that it’s password protected and can be installed for free on every computer, even your iphone! My husband had me set the password, so he doesn’t know it. He’s protected; we’re both happier; he doesn’t even have to be tempted (1 Cor 10:13 – FLEE SIN! right? don’t even let temptation be available!). I highly encourage everyone to check it out – at least for those of you with husbands who truly want help! http://www1.k9webprotection.com/

  11. sex
    June 10, 2013 at 6:15 pm (11 months ago)

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly
    long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Anyhow, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

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