Episode 40: Moving From Roommates to Lovers Again

There are inevitable ebbs and flows in marriage.

It is also possible that the relationship can evolve to where you’re more like roommates than lovers.

So how do you move from roommates to lovers again?

That’s what we discuss in this episode.

Show topics:

  • High desire and low desire
  • The role of masculinity and femininity


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  1. chuck says

    I’m listening to this broadcast, and I’m seeing a real problem with what you are saying this time. You talk about wives who feel that their husbands are doing things to get rewarded with sex and pull away because of it. But what about the fact that, in many cases, the husbands have been told, “If you do more things, if you date me, if you are more romantic, that will help me to want sex.” But what happens is the classical bait-and-switch. The husbands are doing just what the wives want, but they are STILL being refused.

    This was posted recently by a man on a marriage board:

    “Yes. If the [spouse] insists on bargaining, makes the process contractual, they should follow through and honor that. And they should interpret the other’s efforts broadly, rather than looking for loopholes and minor points of failure that they can claim invalidate the whole deal. Because if they’re nit-picking in that way, they are the ones who never intended to honor the spirit of the agreement. I used to feel a sense of “bait and switch” frequently as a result of playing along with this.”

    You often speak about “coming from your alpha energy, or “approaching from you feminine strength”, but you never seem to discuss gender-neutral topics like integrity in relationships. If a man does what his wife asks for, whether in or out of his “alpha strength”, doesn’y she have an obligation to not be jerking him around?

    • robert says


      Ask yourself if an exchange-based relationship is what you really want, where you give romance, housework, etc. and she gives sex. I suspect that you would much prefer it if she has sex with you because she wants to. When you agree to do whatever to get sex, you are buying in to the exchange-based system. Maybe you feel like that is the only way to get sexual intimacy. But this system is never going to get you what you really want, a willing partner.

      You may need to accept the status quo or even cut back in terms of your sex life and focus on other areas of your life besides sex for awhile. Do not push for more/better sex or bring up the problems with your sex life. Do the things that make her feel loved anyway, because you want her to know you love her. Do not due them because you want sex (remember you have accepted the lack of sex for now). This is very difficult because it is hard to show love to someone when you feel so hurt, betrayed, and angry. Prayer helps. Only God’s love working though us makes it possible. This period should last however long it takes for her to understand that you are not showing love to get sex, probably at least a few months.

      After that, you should have a discussion about it again. Remain calm. Explain how much the lack of quality sex freely given hurts you, and how much you desire that intimacy with your wife. If, after you have been doing the things she previously asked for, she tries to say, “If you only did _______ then I would feel like sex,” do not come down to that level by either arguing or agreeing. Tell her that you feel like she is never satisfied even though you did the things she asked for previously. Tell her that saying things like that makes sex feel cheap, and you don’t want to play these kind of games.

      If things aren’t resolved, you may need to bring in some trusted friends, family members, counselors, or church leaders to help you. I would feel these people out to see if they will take sides.

      Ultimately, you have to ask her to tell you honestly and upfront if she never wants to have sex. She may say she never wants to have sex again, but then at least you have the information you need to decide your next step. You can decide to permanently give up on sex and try to create the best marriage that you can given that constraint, or you can decide to leave. When you got married, you did not agree to live in a sexless marriage: Sex is implicitly a part of married life, even if not specifically mentioned in the marriage vows. I think you are justified in separating, and it may be that a period of separation will show her you are serious and get her to address her issues. If not you can divorce and maybe start over.

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