Prayers for an Ice-cold Marriage

I hope I’m not the only one dealing with this, and I doubt I am. There is power in prayer, and my marriage needs it more than ever. I’ll start by saying I love my wife to death, and I would do anything to spend every day of my life with her. This is not a bash on her, but a cry for help. It’s a prayer request for healing and sexual revival in my marriage, not just physically but emotionally as well.

What do you when you feel your marriage dying and it seems there is nothing you can do to breathe life back into it? You try to love more, hoping it will be reciprocated, but it is never acknowledged. What do you do when it feels like you are the only one fighting for your marriage? When you’ve prayed for God to soften her heart and love you back as much as you love her?

The first sign of her withdrawal from me was the intimacy growing cold as ice. She says that it has never been white-hot, but those first couple of years were as steamy as they could be. We couldn’t keep our hands off of each other. I remember her asking me one time, on Groundhog day, to do it before I went to work. I actually woke up to a blowjob, and was a good 30 minutes late for work because we couldn’t stop what she had started. Those were the good days.

Now, at 33 years old, I am lucky if it happens once every 2-3 months. And sadly, even when it happens, I can feel that she is almost lifeless and void of any pleasure in being with me physically. It hurts to think of it. I want nothing more than to spend the rest of my days alongside her, but I feel like we won’t make it unless her love for me can break out of its shell and grow back to life again.

A little backstory. A few years ago her brother took his own life. Amidst the chaos of that season, she asked for a seperation from me so she could figure out what she wanted to do. At this point, we had two kids and had been married for four years. 2020 may be bad, but the worst year in my life was 2016. I found out once we started working things out, months later, that she had an affair, and that was why I was asked to leave my home. Though leaving was an option on the table at this point, God led me to forgive and hold onto my marriage.

Now, four years later, it seems like our marriage is back on a downhill trend. Every conversation is looked at with a mirror of negativity, regardless of the topic. When she gets like this, I feel like any argument she brings up is putting her on the brink of leaving so I shut down. I don’t know what to say, and I definitely don’t want to say anything that would further separate her from me.

One of the worst struggles for me, though, is the lack of physical intimacy. That is my primary love language, followed by words of encouragement, which are almost non-existent anymore.

I struggle with porn and sexual addiction; since I have been with her, I have kept my bond to her as far as other women go, but porn is a constant thorn in my side. I try to stay away, but I’m constantly drawn back in because that is the only intimacy I get to feel anymore. The worst part is that there is no afterglow in porn. There is no fulfillment afterward, only guilt and the feeling of diminishing the Holy Spirit inside of me. I am a man of God, but in moments like these, I just feel like a disappointment. I’m a worship pastor, but after falling to this temptation again and again, I feel like I shouldn’t even be up there. I want to be more for my wife, my kids, and my church as well as the lost people around me. It all starts and ends with love.

I’ve prayed for a white-hot marriage a million times over the past six years, and it seems like every time I pray, it doesn’t seem to be a priority for God. I feel like those prayers are falling on deaf ears. Even deeper, this longing for love and passion with my wife leaves me depressed, and my thoughts drag me through the darkest of places. It leaves me with a lot of feelings running through my head: would I really be missed if I wasn’t here anymore? How quickly would the world just move on like I never existed at all?

Fortunately, I would never do that to my family and friends because I know that God has a plan for me as well as my marriage. I just want a healthy marriage, and to see the love I give to my wife reciprocated back to me. But, I need God to step in and finally close these gaps. Only God can breathe life back into my marriage. Only God can breathe life back into me. Only God.

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17 replies
  1. drummssticks says:

    First, thank you for reaching out, brother. I am sure there are many here that are going through what you are. Second, I would like to help you through this journey as a brother in Christ. If you want to PM me [Sorry, but MH won't publish PII, including social media handles.] If not, then go find a good Bible-believing church that has a small group for those that struggle with porn. It is hard to admit, but once we acknowledge it, then that is another step towards healing. Keep studying the word, and if you keep having problems with porn, then have a battle plan. Paul says in Ephesians to put on the full armor of God to prepare to battle against the fiery darts of Satan. The Bible also says to flee or run away if you run into that situation of sexual immoral. I am here praying, and I hope to hear from you so we can help you with your journey towards freedom from porn addiction.

  2. lion hearted says:

    First I want to thank you for your honesty; you ARE NOT the only one with the same struggles!! We also went through periods of little to no intimacy. The break through came when we did Freedom small group at church. There was GREAT HEALING IN MY WIFE and I BOTH!!!!!!! The Holy Spirit broke down all the WALLS!!!!! LOVE CAME RUSHING IN!!!!!!!!!!! THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE THAT I FELT THE PEACE THAT PASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING!!!!!!!! I have been a Christian since I was 12 yrs old. I thought everything was good between God and I. Boy, was I wrong. My heart was a heart of stone, but God took that heart of stone and GAVE ME A NEW HEART OF LOVE !!!!! Doing a seach will yield churches across the country that do Freedom [adds MH: originating from Church of the Highlands, Birmingham, AL; curriculum and leaders' resources available for free on their website. We also found entire 10-week series on YouTube with the terms Church of the Highlands Freedom and clicking the Videos tab.] Another similar class is Sozo [from Bethel Church in Redding, CA].

    One other thing that changed our life/marriage is The Holy Ghost Hit List. When you have anything, anyone, or any situation that you are struggling with, you put those thing on a list and surrender each one to The Holy Spirit!!! You don't tell God how to fix it or when to fix it. Each day You PRAISE GOD FOR THE ANSWERED PRAYER!!!! About a year ago, a pastor shared the hit list with us, and there have been so many answered prayers that we have had!!!! WOW, WHEN WE GET OUT OF THE WAY, THE HOLY SPIRIT SHOWS UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Maxlove says:

    Man to man, let me first thank you for your candor and honesty, and for using the discretion of this site to share safely. That's a tough one, brother.

    I'm not in the habit of giving advice of any kind. Too often even when I have stated point blank that I'm NOT looking for advice, I get it anyway as if it were welcome. That said….

    If I *were* to offer advice, it would only be to do what you're doing already – praying. I will offer that I found a chapter in one of Christian author, doctor, and sex therapist Ed Wheat's books: 'How to Save Your Marriage Alone.' It helped our marriage several years back. It might not be much to offer, but such as I have, I'll pass along.

    I'm in my 60's now, and so I've experienced both extremes of sexual fulfillment and frustration. I know what it's like. So let's do this, since I'm in a dry season with intimacy myself: when praying for my wife and marriage, I'll be thinking of you as well – and if you pray for me, we'll get through this together.

    Even if you were the only one sharing your frustration (which I doubt), you and I are not the only ones going through this.

    God will work it out. And I'm not just saying this casually. I've been there, and I am there.

  4. King Arthur says:

    I am a Worship Pastor too. Have struggled with porn. But, I'm 63 and have been married 41 years. Also, you can try CR, I've done that. Or, you both may need a Marriage counselor. I'll be in prayer. Whatever, hang in there…as I heard from someone who had been married 50 years, several years ago.

  5. LovingMan says:

    BearedOne06. . . First of all, know that God loves you. I would recommend that you and your wife go into marriage counseling and individual counseling. If she won’t go into individual counseling, still go yourself. You are clearly a good man, and you do more good for your children and wife and others than you realize. In my opinion, pornography does drain you of the Holy Spirit, so maybe fantasize about your wife if she’s unavailable for sex, and get your sexual release by masturbation when necessary… but porn (as you clearly know) is not the answer. If you both go together to marriage counseling, you may yet save your marriage. Things may yet become wonderful again. But if that does not work out and your marriage fails, know that God still loves you. I had a failed marriage, and it was a huge challenge. But I survived and went on to marry, a few years later, my current wife. I have found great happiness too. I remember the pain, but that makes the current happiness all the better. Most, if not all, marriages go through rough times. My current wife (years ago) considered leaving me. But we worked things out. God bless you in your future, and stay close to Him.

  6. Sapphire says:

    BearedOne06 I am new member to the site. But I feel your pain so deeply as it is so relevant in my life right now. The only message of hope I have for you is YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Happens to women too. I know your pain is real and deep. I don’t know if it helps. I hope so. You deserve passion and affection. No matter the kids, or stress, or work, you deserve to have your needs met lovingly and joyfully. I think it’s easy to think you deserve ice when that’s all you’ve been given for so long. But it’s not true! For this time of pain, cling to God, and have faith that he will restore what is broken. I don’t know why God can’t make us all on the same page. Why can’t good marriages stay good? Why can’t affection and desire be contagious? It feels like Satan crawls into marriage, and taunts you with God's rules for marriage as you suffer inside it. “Want sexual release and connection? Go to your spouse…they don’t want you? Tough luck,” and the devil snickers and laughs as you suffer. Watching you fall into sin, trying to get your needs met or pretend you don’t have needs. As a woman, I feel so rejected being the one constantly reaching out for intimacy and getting shut down. Weeks fade into months, longing turns to resentment. I will pray for you. Maybe just one more prayer will be the thing that causes change in your life. I hope so…

  7. PacMan says:

    Many people demonize porn… I am not one. I think addiction issues can be harmful, but I wonder if a lot of guilt after jacking off comes from human man-made propaganda, not from true Holy Spirit convictions. I can’t answer for you.

    The main thing I want to comment on is your role as worship pastor. Obviously if someone is pointing their life AWAY from God, they should not be leading a flock. But, any notion that your “goodness” qualifies you as a church leader is a false gospel. Believing that because of your brokenness and sin you are unable to be worthy of being a pastor is maybe the worst lie you can believe. If the Gospel is true, we are made righteous by Christ alone. If you forget that, it will mess up everything else in your life.

  8. Mercury7 says:

    Praying for you. Your pain is intense, and rightfully so – marriage is intended to be rich and intimate, and when that is not the case, it's natural to feel pain. We know God CAN heal all things, but sometimes He chooses not to. I am also a pastor (retired now), and that does make our struggles even more painful because it's our desire to be unhindered in our service and to be a godly example. Of course, as humans, we never fully attain those ideals. For a site with the option of messaging with other Christians, you might look at Songs of The Believers. It's another good site like this and with the option of one-on-one conversations. In your situation, you certainly need one or more people that you can talk to deeply – and as a pastor that can be hard to find. May God bless and help you!

  9. LoveMySexyWife says:

    I am praying for you! Jesus sometimes heals, sometimes it takes death and resurrection.

    Our marriage died after seven years. It could not have been worse. We had both been unfaithful. I realized I was a sex addict, including pornography. But by our tenth year, we had a new marriage. God can and will do a new thing. We have the best Counsellor of all – the Holy Spirit. There was a lot of forgiveness that had to happen. But I was committed … one key is for both of you to be facing towards Jesus. "Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author, and PERFECTER of our faith!" Despite the fact we had a deep division in our marriage, the closer we moved to Jesus, the closer we came together.

    By our tenth year, we had a new marriage, and we renewed our vows. I was happier on that day than even our wedding day – because of the joy of what King Jesus had given us … a new marriage … with Him as our faithful foundation. It hasn't been perfect; no relationship is; it's volatile. Every day we are either building or damaging the relationship … and there are times it takes what we call a "relational correction," but over time, we get to higher peaks. I can say, despite the volatility, we had a better marriage by our 20th year than even the 10th, as good as I thought that was. And the 30th year was better than the 20th.
    It's a growth process, like a tree getting older; some years are better than others, but we keep on growing. Praying for you, my brother in Christ. May the joy of the Lord be your strength.

    • StillLikeNewlyweds says:

      Thank you LMSW for the way you put that.

      When I first read your post, BearedOne06, I was reminded of something I heard in an Art of Marriage video study. It was a comment from a wife. She had been on the verge of giving up on their counseling and their marriage because she couldn’t see it working out. The counselor said to her, “You are a believer, correct? You believe you are saved from your sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?” To which she strongly affirmed. He continued, “So you believe that God can raise Jesus from the dead, but He can’t save your marriage?” She said that was the moment she realized she wouldn’t give up.

      We Christians sometimes forget that the very core of our eternal life is death. You can’t have resurrection without it. For the believer in Christ, nothing is too far gone for him to save, for he gives life where there is death.

      We, as will many on this site, will be praying for you.

  10. Grace911 says:

    I feel how deeply your pain is engrained in your spiritual life, and I'm so sorry this is happening to your marriage. I know exactly how that feels – kinda like you're on the edge of throwing up, all day long. We've been there. There are a plethora of spiritual/physical/emotional reasons that can cause these issues, but, as Christians, I believe we are more inclined to lay everything at the feet of the spiritual and neglect other possible causes. Don't forget to examine the very real and impactful physical causes as well. For women, hormone issues can be huge. What a relief when I discovered that I wasn't really a disinterested "frigid fish," I needed to correct a near-zero testosterone level. Yes, women NEED this at a certain level too! Once corrected, I couldn't believe the difference in my feelings toward my husband – and neither could he! It saved our marriage! I recognize that this is not always the case, nor is it usually a single issue. Often, though, the physical becomes so tangled up with emotional and spiritual issues it takes a LOT of work to sort through. Another area for women to examine is a Father/daughter relationship and how that affects the wife/husband interaction. In short, don't over-spirtualize your difficulties when there can be other very real causes as well. Be sure both of your lives are in balance physically, emotionally, and spiritually. A very qualified (not necessarily only a Christian but one who carefully considers all sides) counselor can help you sort through a very big mess.

  11. Waggs1 says:

    Yes BeardedOne, you definitely are not alone. Many endure this and there are a LOT of couples in almost every church or congregation going thru this at any given time. My wife and I are in that group.

    We have been married 43 years and it was trouble from the time we got back from the honeymoon. Over the next few months I kept prying until she finally told me what was going on. Turned out that she had been severely sexually abused in grade school. I was the first person she had ever told. Over the next few years, bit by bit I got a picture of what happened. The abuse lasted 4 years, 2-3 times a week. IT was from a teen age relative. Then she let the other shoe drop: "That all just proved to me that what my mom was right – that God hates sex. It is nothing but an evil tool of the devil." Who tells a grade school kid that? 7 or 8 years old??

    So why had she even bothered wanting to get married? She wanted someone to love her (husband) and to be a mother. Why did we not talk about that before the wedding? 1 – she had not told anyone what had happened and did not think it would be a problem. 2 – our congregation had a very strict rule about not talking about sex until AFTER the wedding. The church leadership had been known to break couples up and even ship one of them off to a different part of the country if it was violated. So we did not talk about it.

    Things have been up and down ever since. I will not bore you with the details. But I eventually gave up on it ever getting much better.

  12. Frankie says:

    You have my prayer. To suggest counseling is obvious. But it is critical that both of you recognize the issue as a problem and want to solve it for counseling to be of value.

    It may help for you to know most if not all of us go through times like you are describing. There is a movie on the subject called, "Fireproof" that you might find of help, especially the recommendation in the movie that the husband try the suggestions in a book called, "The Love Dare".

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