Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Denied One Strikes Back (or Time To Change)

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:"
--Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV)

Even as a Denied One, I have to admit, sometimes refusal is a no-brainer: Sick, injured, that time of the month and such, are pretty much things the other spouse has a duty to excuse, no questions asked. But how about on those other occasions? What do I consider refusal?

"You, funny man."
"Pervert. Don't you think of anything else?"
"I'm not in the mood."
"Why don't you take care of it yourself?"
"Again? We just did it last month."

And many, many others (I'm sure you have your own list.)

Refusal is a door that never opens or that gets slammed shut in your face. But once your hand is numb from all the fruitless knocking and your nose is bleeding from having that door slammed in your face once too many times, you start losing your enthusiasm and just want the pain to stop. Even if it means no more sex.

When matters have reached this point, we slowly start turning into something we don't want to be: our spouse. This is where I found myself two years ago.

Me and my bride are watching TV after the kids are asleep, when all of a sudden she gets up, turns off the TV and heads towards the bedroom, stripping off her clothes.

"Could you leave the light on," I ask her.

"Why? Aren't you coming?"

"Not yet.  I want to get in some reading first."

"Read tomorrow. Hurry up; I thought you wanted sex."

It's a trick, I tell myself, be strong!  "I'm too tired," I tell her, almost sweating with the effort.

"You said last week you wanted sex," she accuses, though, actually, it had been two weeks since I last said anything. And two and a half months since our last, brief, unsatisfactory encounter. But I wasn't stupid enough to point all that out (I do learn some things, after all.)

"I'm just too tired," I insist. She says something unpleasant and closes the bedroom door not softly (#3 is sleeping, so neither of us would dare slam the door.)  I feel proud of myself. After leaving her be for a month, gently prodding for two weeks, and whining for two more, I had decided that complete abstinence would be easier than keeping this pattern going.

Of course, I had made this decision before. Many times. Hopelessly in vain. Because, regardless of how angry, sad, empty, used, worthless, unloved, rejected, etc. I might feel, my bride is still irresistible to me. But this time, I was strong!

Ten minutes later, the door opens loudly.

Something unpleasant, she says, then. "Are you coming or not?" she barks.

"Not in the mood," I say, feeling triumphant at finally throwing back those words. She says something even more unpleasant, virtually slamming the door closed.

Ten minutes more, and I'm feeling almost giddy at my new-found freedom. YES!

The door opens again. Very softly. I look up, ready for the coup-de-gras.

And I see my own pain in her eyes.

Don't feel like such a strong man now!

I can almost see Satan sitting in the far corner, fingers twitching in greedy anticipation at what I'll do next, so I begin to ponder on 1 Corinthians 7:3 and, of course, "never return evil for evil to anyone." And then on the correct meaning of render in 1 Corinthians 7:3. So I got up and rendered to my bride the affection she was due.

[Satan Exit Stage Down]

It was short and unfinished yet, somehow, we were both satisfied--if only for one night before the next cycle began. And I have never denied her since, nor will again. I will not subject the one I love to the pain I feel. Period (I hope you're not disappointed.)

What lessons did I learn?

First, that, even though she was refusing me, she still needed to know I was interested in her. She needed me to keep asking. That was the affection she was due, and when I stopped rendering it, she got scared and when I refused her, she was hurt.

And, second, that it was time for a change:  I had taken my first step.

My prayers to you all.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


  1. I feel so sad for the refused. How can I make sure that my sons don't fall victim to this awful dilemma? We gave our sons a great living example of a healthy marriage (emotionally, physically, intellectually, spiritually). I would hate for them to suffer without the physical connection in their marriage.

    My beloved husband has never suffered with refusal...ever. He has told me that my worth is far above rubies. That's why I usually go by the name FarAboveRubies. I see sexual refusal within marriage as sin against God and the refused spouse. Sad.

    1. Well, I know understand why FarAboveRubies.

      Sexual denial is a sin against God, the spouse and, in some ways, even against the denier as well. But how do we protect ourselves against the sins of others?

      Even Jehovah does not do that. He gave us the right to sin, but though he also reserves the right to punish us for them, he does not extend this right to us. We are not even allowed a divorce except on grounds of pornea.

      As my children continue on their quest to become adults, I find myself considering this issue more and more, specially knowing personally the devastating effects denial has. But what advice to give? The best, to me, is the Bible. Marry in the Lord, with someone who truly is vested in the way, not just talk, who is willing to give heed to spiritual counsel and God's Word, regardless of how unpleasant to them it might seem.
      For more practical advice, I am favoring of writing down a "marriage contract" every so often, and then having them review it as they get older, to see how their opinions might change in the future. As they get closer to marriage, they should have their futures write down their own contract, and then they should review them together to see what each is really thinking.
      Problem is, we cannot look into the future or into a person's heart, and there is absolutely no guarantee about life, so I guess a good, solid instruction in God's way is about it. Because they may not find someone far above rubies, and may need to settle for fool's gold.

      But with faith and God's love, even fool's gold can be made into something precious to you, even far above rubies. Or else, why are any of us still trying?

  2. At one point in our first year I decided I would just wait until she asked for it, or at least asked why I wasn't asking any more. I broke down after 3 weeks and she never even noticed I stopped asking. That was as close as I could come to doing what you did.

    I think you did the right thing in not continuing to refuse her, but I think this should be a learning opportunity for her all the same. She got a taste of what she has been dishing out, and she may need it pointed out to her that the hurt she felt in those minutes is something she has caused you to feel far longer and far more often. Not in a mean way but a loving, teaching way.

    One thing I did that I think helped was to ask my wife what it was that she gained from refusing me that made it worth the pain and stress and conflict it created in our marriage, then not let her brush the question off with some non-answer.

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