Escape the "Friend Zone" in Your Marriage 1

We get a lot of emails from married individuals and couples who get along with each other just fine, but don’t have the awesome sex life they long for. What can you do if your marriage has entered the dreaded “friend zone”?

This video from Charlie Houpert at Charisma on Command is primarily focused on single people who are trying to escape the friend zone with a person they’re attracted to, but the principles in the video are also applicable inside a marriage. The main difference for married couples is, of course, that “just move on” isn’t an option — but on the plus side, it’s very likely that the couple already has some level of mutual attraction!

After the video I will offer some thoughts on each of the main points.

Point 1: Take responsibility — you put yourself in the friend zone when you aren’t transparent with your feelings.

This point is really the most important and we’ve written it before: be specific and explicit about what you want. Your spouse can’t read your mind, and you can’t read theirs. You have to use actual words to express your desires. If you don’t say what you want, your spouse is very likely to think that you are satisfied and everything is great. Or maybe your spouse has unspoken desires too!

Point 2: The most reliable way to escape the friend zone is to focus on bettering yourself.

Rather than begging for more attention, make yourself more attractive. We’ve written posts like:

In addition to the things above, if you want more and better sex then you should invest time into making sex with you more fun for your spouse: enthusiasm and responsiveness can go a long way. (Yes, your spouse can and should work to make sex more fun for you also, but that’s less under your control.)

Point 3: Steady your nerves so you can be transparent with as much confidence as possible.

You’ve got to be bold! Pray. Be humble. Be direct.

Point 3a: Clearly imagine the worst case scenario of “going for it”.

What’s the worst that can happen? Most likely the worst outcome is that your spouse will be uninterested or noncommittal, either towards your specific request or your general desire for a closer sexual relationship. That would be disappointing, but at least you’d know where you stand.

The biggest fear is that your spouse will react with contempt, disgust, or rejection. Ouch. But you can probably set up the conversation in a way to avoid that reaction, which we describe in How To Talk With Your Spouse About Sex. In What Does Your Spouse REALLY Want Sexually? we write about the importance of “saying yes” and being open to your spouse’s requests, which is critical if you’re the spouse who is being approached.

Point 3b: Spell out what “not going for it” is costing you.

Sometimes we’re afraid of saying something, but we lose sight of the fact that saying nothing also has consequences. Do you want to live out the rest of your life wishing that you had said something decades ago? We have received emails from couples who have been married for 30+ years and are only now learning how to communicate about sex and build the awesome sex life God intends for them. They could have been having great sex that whole time, but they didn’t go for it.

Don’t let time slip away.

Point 3c: Avoiding rejection actually lowers your self-esteem, whereas facing your fear increases your self-esteem.

You can praise God and feel good about yourself no matter how the conversation goes. When you act in faith, your faith grows. Each time you talk with your spouse about sex it gets easier and more comfortable.

Point 4: Reveal your feelings without being needy.

This is about how you close out the conversation.

“I love you, and I want to have a great sex life with you. I will do what it takes to be a great lover and to bring you pleasure. Let’s take our sex life to the next level together. What do you say?”

And then just listen and accept the response you get. If your spouse is on board, then awesome! If your spouse is hesitant, then reaffirm your love and keep working on yourself. If your spouse rejects you, bring your tears to God.

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A Wife's Advice for Dealing with Sexual Frustration 2

We get a lot of emails from husbands who are frustrated with the quantity and quality of sex in their marriage. I’m writing this post to capture the advice that I generally give in response to these emails. See also: husbands dealing with sexual rejection and how to talk to your spouse about sex.

It’s tough to give advice because we don’t know everything going on in each marriage, but here are some things that might help.

  • Pray. Ask God to bless your sex life. Ask to have desire for your spouse.
  • Learn each other’s love language. Then be intentional in speaking your spouse’s love language.
  • Try physical touch with your spouse with no expectation of sex. Hug, kiss, caress, but don’t try to immediately follow up. These non-sexual touches fuel me and often get me in the mood.
  • Be a student of your spouse. I love having sex with El Fury because he knows me. He makes me feel sexy and beautiful. Find out what makes your spouse feel sexy, and they will want to have sex.
  • Communication. The more you talk about sex with each other, the more comfortable you will be talking about sex with each other, and the fewer problems you will have.

Husbands, this is specifically for you. El Fury recently told me a quote: a man can’t consider himself a good lover until he can do the exact same thing for an hour without moving. This is so true. If your wife is anything like me, I take up to 45 minutes to orgasm when my husband uses his hand. If we use the vibrator during sex it’s about 20 minutes. That’s a long time. It can take a long time for a woman to orgasm. Be patient. Here are some tips:

  • Only about 30% of women can orgasm from intercourse alone. If El Fury focused on my vagina I would never have an orgasm. You have to focus stimulation around the clitoris. Combine that with vaginal stimulation and your wife will go crazy. Keep the attention on the clitoris, it’s likely your wife can’t orgasm without that. That might mean that you give your wife an orgasm before you even have penetration.
  • If you want your wife to enjoy sex, focus on her pleasure first. If she’s not having an orgasm frequently, she’s probably not enjoying sex. Make sure you are meeting her needs and she will be more enthusiastic about meeting yours.
  • Pray for your wife and her sexual needs.
Wives, this is specifically for you:
  • Pray. These are the prayers that I often pray: That I would have desire for my husband, that I would have energy in the evening or be alert in the morning, that we would have a sex life that is fulfilling to both of us.
  • Pay attention to your cycle. I especially want sex right before my period, surprisingly during my period, and about two weeks after the start of my period. I try my hardest to make sure I orgasm often during those times, and it makes a huge difference in my overall sexual satisfaction.
  • Have you ever had an orgasm? If you “think so”, then you haven’t. I still remember my first one, and there was no doubt. I had previously thought there was something wrong with my body. I had thought it would magically happen with the right position during sex. I was wrong! It happened by El Fury touching me the right way in the right spot. Since we figured out where that button was, we have learned so much more about my body, what turns me on, and what gets me to orgasm. Sex became fun!
  • Be at peace with sex. Your husband will never stop wanting to have sex with you. He will continue to pursue you. If you find out what you enjoy, his pursuit will be a good thing and not something that you will forever try to avoid.

I hope this is helpful! Leave your questions or suggestions in the comments.

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A Simple Script for Husbands Dealing with Sexual Rejection 3

One of the most common types of emails we receive is from a husband who feels sexually rejected by his wife and hopeless. He wants more sex, but feels like his wife isn’t interested and doesn’t love him. Frequent sexual rejection can be devastating to a marriage. Men are taught to hide their feelings and make it look like everything is “ok”, so rather than talking directly about our pain we often lash out in other ways: anger, annoyance, frustration, criticism, and withdrawal. These emotional responses mirror back to the wife the rejection that the husband is feeling by denying the wife what she craves from the marriage. This response creates a damaging cycle of rejection that hurts both spouses and the marriage.

We believe that it’s God’s will for every married couple to have a satisfying sex life! We recently wrote a post about how to talk to your spouse about sex, and that’s a good place to start for the general topic. The purpose of this post is to give a hurting husband a simple script he can use to discuss the pain he’s feeling because of sexual rejection by his wife.

First, husbands, as always, you must be in prayer. You should talk to God about sex ten times as much as you talk to your wife. The Bible says that marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for the church, so meditate on Philippians 2:1-11 and learn about Christ’s humility. Don’t just read it once — read it three times a day for a month. Then you’ll be ready to approach your wife in a Christlike manner. Jesus is a loving leader who God exalted because of his humility. Do you want to lead your wife? There’s no better example than Jesus.

Second, here are some words you can say to your wife. Feel free to change things up as appropriate, but remember to be loving, gentle, and honest.

I love you so much, and I want to have deeper intimacy with you. You may not realize it, but it really hurts me when I flirt with you or try to initiate sex and you rarely seem interested. Maybe on the outside I seem brush it off, but inside I’m really hurting. You’re the only person in the world that I want share my sexuality with, and when you reject me it feels like you’re rejecting my love entirely. Maybe you’re feeling frustrated or disappointed also. Can we talk about how to have a sex life that’s more satisfying for both of us?

That should get the conversation started!

See also: Sexy Corte’s advice for dealing with sexual frustration and how to talk with your spouse about sex.

If you have a tip to share, please leave a comment. Have you had this conversation with your spouse? How did it go?

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