Back in the early 80s, I learned the hard way about “premarital sex.” No, we didn’t have intercourse before we were married, but we did a lot of oral. Almost every night for a year. My belief was, at the time, that intercourse was the real deal. Anything that didn’t deposit sperm in her womb wouldn’t bond the two of us together prematurely, so everything else was fair game. Well, I discovered after we were married that technically I was right, but as far as emotional closeness and intimacy went, there wasn’t much difference. We had already drawn from the marital well, even though the two hadn’t fully become one yet. Despite that sin, we did marry each other. She is the only well I’ve ever drank from. We are approaching our 37th anniversary this coming May.
Neither of us are sure exactly why she became turned off to sex, and blow jobs in particular. Was it the shame she felt for doing blow jobs on me before we were married? Was it the picture she found under her parent’s mattress as a kid of her mom doing a blow job on her step dad? Maybe that put it in her mind that it was “dirty and nasty”? Was it the pain she experienced when her hymen broke on our honeymoon the first time we had sex? Because it hurt her to have sex long after our honeymoon, did she initially associate sex with pain? Hard to say.
All I knew at the time was that once the honeymoon was over, she refused to do blow jobs on me. In a year or two, sex itself became very few and far between. To me, I felt she had given me the bait and switch. I was led to believe that I would be getting sex nearly every night. Now, I watched it die down as the years when by. First, it was two or three times a week, then once a week, then one to two times a month. At one point, it dropped to once or twice for a whole year.
I still remember the first time she said, “Not tonight, dear.” Horniness flooded me a few days after returning from our honeymoon. My stiff dick pounded as I pulled my clothes off and I slipped under the covers. I was all ready for some hot sex! When I mentioned it, I don’t recall her reason, but in effect she said, “Not tonight.” Then she rolled over and went to sleep.
I lay there, wondering why she didn’t want to have sex with me? Couldn’t she at least help me by getting me to cum? We were married now, I thought she’d be excited to take care of me. I didn’t understand why she did that. So I rose, and followed the only thing I’d ever heard to do in a situation like that. I took a cold shower. But that just made me hornier as I saw my stiff dick waiting patiently for release. So I did the only thing I could think to do, I gave it a release. I masturbated until I spurt out my cum and I then returned to bed. While it felt good, especially since it was all worked up for it, I would have rather had sex with her. We were married, after all. As I lay there into the night, I prayed that this was a unique situation. Unfortunately, it was to become a more regular occurrence.
This situation hit a watershed moment for me while I was in seminary. On one particular night in the mid-90s. I drove home after work. It was around one in the morning. My usual routine upon coming home—everyone was in bed by then, the wife and two kids at the time—was to watch the news until around three to four o’clock. Then I’d go to bed, sometimes after a masturbation session, and wake up around seven to head off for classes. This particular night, I pulled into the driveway and sat in the car, talking to God.
I had begun to wonder whether my wife still loved me. She said she did, but her actions said otherwise. I couldn’t even touch her without her feeling like I was doing it to get her in the sack. She never initiated sex. I literally had to beg her to have sex. Then when she gave it, it felt too much like, “Oh, if I have to, I guess. Let’s get this over with.” She acted as if sex with me disgusted her.
This was despite the fact that I always made sure she had an orgasm, unless she just didn’t want one. And that once we got started, she always appeared to enjoy herself. I would try to talk to her about needing more, but she would be like, “Oh boy, here we go again! She would act like the talk was something she had to endure. It made no sense to me. Why would she turn down having a good time, for free? Didn’t she know that I needed this to feel close to her? Yes, I had told her that many a time. Why would she deny me something that didn’t cost her anything, that she apparently enjoyed doing, and that she knew I needed?
My only conclusion was that she no longer loved me. If she loved me, she would happily give me what I desperately needed. But all I ever felt from her was that I was a pervert for wanting to have so much sex. That was my perspective at the time, though in reality it was more complicated than that on her end. But that’s where I was at. I had to logically acknowledge that she didn’t care about me. I came to the conclusion she didn’t love me anymore.
So I sat in my car, talking this over with God, often with tears. I was trying to figure out what I should do about it. I started listing out my options.
Option one, we could go to a therapist of some kind. In retrospect, that would have been the smart thing to do. I would have discovered that she felt distant from me. Maybe we could have taken some steps to help her get past her hangups about sex. I could discover ways to make her feel closer and genuinely accepted by me. But, I had never gone to a therapist before. I knew it would cost money we didn’t have, being that we lived on crumbs as it was. So I ruled that out as a viable option. As the old saying goes, if I had known then what I know now, I would have found a way to see one.
Option two I considered briefly. But it was an option on the table for a few moments: I could go elsewhere to get my sex drive satisfied. There was a girl at work—I worked with a bunch of women in an office at a bank. I had discussed with her her sexual frustrations with her boyfriend. And I may have egged that on by mentioning my difficult situation with my wife. But a warning light clicked on in my head when she told me what a compassionate and caring guy I was. That said to me, “Back away from this conversation! This is how you end up cheating! Warning Max!” So I simply would nod when she said stuff about her live-in boyfriend. I stopped all attempts to be in a conversation with her about it, and eventually such talk died off.
At any rate, I knew I could probably get her in bed if I really wanted to. I just had to say the word or ask her out for a drink after we left work. No one would be the wiser. Except for God, and those things have a way of leaking out. As I prayed that night, I saw images of a broken family because dad cheated on mom. I thought about the kids and how their lives would be forever changed. I knew it first hand, because my mom cheated on my dad and they got divorced. Me and my brother’s lives were fractured. I had always wanted to never put my kids through that, if at all possible. So within thirty seconds of voicing that option, I knew I could never go that route.
Option three. It appeared the only other option was to give up the thought of ever having much sex with her. I would live out my life in a sexless marriage. But it was difficult to let go of what appeared to me to be my God-given right to have regular sex with my wife. I felt cheated, that I was giving up something important with her, a connection I should have with her. The truth was, I was going to give up something very important that we both needed to stay connected. There were to be long-range consequences to my decision. But I saw no other option.
So I decided that evening that I would stop asking her to have sex. I vowed not to start another “sex discussion” with her. If sex was to happen, she would have to initiate it. That would release the pressure on her to have sex. It would, in time I hoped, result in a change in her attitude about sex.
Still, I felt I was giving up something that was critical for me to feel close to her and the kids. It hurt to let it go, but the fact of the matter was that I did love her. I was ready to make that sacrifice for her, if that’s what she wanted. I would learn over time to be content with masturbation. Still, this was not the marriage I thought I was getting when we said, “I do.” How can we go from getting it nearly every night right up to our marriage, only to have it quickly die off? Especially no more oral sex once we were married? So, I wept at the thought of doing that, and mourned the loss of that connection. Must be due to our premarital oral sex, I thought. And who knows?
But then I realized something. The One who knew all that was going on in this complex situation–God–would give me a miracle. I didn’t know how to fix it, but He did. So I asked God for a sign of his choosing that would let me know that this would turn out right in the end. I had no idea what sign to expect. But He certainly provided the sign in a big way as I walked into the house that evening, defeated.
You see, my wife is a sleep-a-holic. She would go to bed around 10 pm and sleep like a log until she woke up. And even if she did wake up a bit, she would go back to sleep like nobody’s business. However, when I came to bed that night, she woke up. Then, to top that off, she asked me for sex! Yes, she really did. I couldn’t believe it.
So I slipped into bed beside her. I recall pounding her that night. I really hoped to “seal the deal” by cumming in her. As I started to near the climax, I knew it would happen, and I thanked God for what was to come. Because the mind-blowing orgasm I had that night was more to me than simply a physical feeling. It was the sign from God that we would, in the future, improve in this area. And we certainly did, despite a few more bumps down the road. But that night, I shed tears of joy. God gave me hope that I didn’t have when I came to bed. He knew I needed that, so He moved her to wake up around three in the morning and to want me. And she did get all of me that night.
I didn’t tell her this backstory until several years later. I revealed my story when another significant event happened in our marriage. At first it appeared to be a disaster, but God ended up using it for our good. Since then, around eight years ago, she regularly gives me a blow job when we have sex. Without fail. It took twenty-nine years of zero blow jobs to get there, but she finally got there–no thanks to me, though much enjoyed by me!
Please don’t believe I’m trying to make my wife look bad in all this. I must add that I was so involved in work and school at the time that I was gone a huge part of each day. I was gone from around 6 am to 2 pm, and from 4 pm to sometime late into the next morning. Then I would normally be home on the weekends. She, without realizing why she felt that way, didn’t feel all that close to me. I wasn’t providing one of her necessary needs as well: companionship. Without that connection, internally she felt like I was a stranger wanting to have sex with her. We had no knowledge of how to meet each other’s emotional needs. That caused a later crisis that I’ll detail in another story.
But the surprising message in all of that was God wanted to give me hope that she and I would eventually change. It didn’t change that night. She still continued to act like she didn’t want to have sex with me, as if it disgusted her to even think about it. But within three to four years of not asking for it, or pressuring her to talk about it, she opened up and more readily had sex with me. She even expected and instigated it on occasion.
That night, however, was so special to me because I felt not all was lost. I knew she did in reality, buried inside her mind somewhere, want me. I had to learn how to coax it out of her. Thank you, Lord, for that sign. I knew that not all was lost, that she did, indeed, love me.
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