Unhealthy Expectations

“I did a search for christian dominatrix. My husband is not a christian and expects so much of me and I am willing, but  I don’t know how to go to the extreams that he wants. He is into humiliation and pain which I see you guys don’t condone, but I don’t know how to fulfill his desires for that. He is really into porn and has had girlfriends all over the US. He has also paid dom’s to tell him what to do. I got involved once and it was ok, but I hated having a 3rd party involved in our sex life. I am not creative to txt him msgs to do and when I try to do it at home he blows me off. He wants me to dominate him, but won’t let me. I am a very very very sexual person. We have had sex once or twice if I was lucky since beginning of Feb. I try to dress up I try to do so much. He is very physical like smacking and grabbing my butt chest etc. outside the bedroom, but he never never initiates sex and when I do I am expected to do all the work. I have begged him to tie me up and tease me, but no cigar. I tried to text him today like your article said that I was enjoying myself and I would show him what I was up to later and he just said. OK and didn’t care. I feel hopeless that I will never have the sex life I want with him. I am so frustrated.”

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We decided to consult a professional on this email and so here is the response from Lauren Jordan, Certified Sex Therapist:

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I can hear how hurt and frustrated you are.  I would urge you to insist to your husband that you start sex therapy as a couple immediately.  From what you are saying, your relationship sounds very one-sided – with you putting all the effort into it, while he stays in a position of denying your desires, and demanding things from you.  This is not healthy, and it will take the help of a skilled therapist to help you two move out of this very negative and destructive pattern.  I can also imagine that he may not agree to go to therapy – but I don’t see how this can get better without both of you working hard to resolve these differences.

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Lauren Jordan, LCSW, CST
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10 Comments

  1. I knew a couple who went down this road, but in reverse – she wanted him to hurt her by spanking her – and I mean spanking hard. At first he told me how great it was, as it lead to the best sex they had ever had. Thing is, for her to keep getting the same thing from it, she needed it to be harder and longer. The further it went, the more difficult it got for him, till he practically cried telling me how he could no longer stand to hurt her so much. It nearly destroyed their marriage, and the harm it did to their sex life may never be fixed.

    Just say no – for both of you.

    Paul

  2. Hi.. I read this site a lot and rarely comment but this is a subject close to my heart. My Ex was like this.. hewas demanding sexually, selfish, self absorbed and not at all concerned about my feelings or what I might want sexually. I asked him to come to councelling with me after some years but he refused. In fact this made him worse and he became even more demanding and his requests became ever more demeaning.
    I am a sexual being (as arewe all!) buthis desires were (to me) perverse. the more i gave in the more he wanted and he began harassing me for sex with other people (threesomes). Eventually to my shame (and because i belived that i should try to make things work) I did engage in a threesome. I still have problems sexually and withmy own self respect years later, this caused me untold harm.
    I could go on for hours but will not tell more unless it is pertinent to the discussion, all I want to do is pass on my experience in the hope this lady might read it and find some common ground.
    now i am engaged to a lovely guy who treats me with respect, I love him and am looking fowards to becoming a healthy married couple.. my only regret is that I did not meet him sooner!

  3. Such a difficult situation to be in. My prayers are surely with you.

    I also must say that the advice proffered by Dr. Jordan does appear a bit self serving. It seems to me that the problems here likely go much deeper than just sex. More prudent advice would be to seek out an experienced licensed Therapist or Marriage and Family Therapist to begin and then later you could accept referral to a Sex Therapist when/if needed.

  4. I tend to think just the opposite. Their main issues right now are all sex related, so it seems like they really need to seek some therapy for their sexual issues first. If i have a tooth ache i go to the dentist. If i have a yeast infection i go to my OB-GYN. If my dh and i are having multiple sexual problems (as seen in her email) then i will seek the help from a sex therapist. If the sex therapist finds out there are other issues going on then he/she can refer them to someone else if needed, but that may not even be needed. Dr. Jordan isn’t just a sex therapist. Here is a quote from her site:

    While this site is primarily focused on sex therapy and education services, I also see people who have depression, anxiety & panic attacks, or other relationship issues. I have been a psychotherapist since 1986. If you are not sure whether I would be a good fit for you in terms of what you are wanting to work to improve in your life, give me a call at 214-692-6100. Or email me at lauren@BoostYourLowLibido.com.

    If I am not the right therapist for you, I’ll be happy to refer you to the best people that I know. It is very important to feel comfortable and understood by your therapist, and to have a sense that they can help you.

  5. I guess where I would disagree is that neither of us can know that their #1 main problem is sex related. There could be many other things here of which sex is just a symptom. Obviously there are marriage and communication issues as well as individual issues that have brought them both to the place they are now. It’s important to realize that when we disclose our problems it is human nature to talk about what we are most comfortable sharing and hide the deeper underlying issues which are more painful. It is in this way that the example differs from yours. With simple medical problems it is possible for us to diagnose ourselves. A yeast infection is a yeast infection, we’ve all had them before. Psychology is much more complicated. I don’t doubt [Dr.] Jordan is very talented and qualified and helps a great many people doing God’s work. What I do question is whether the problems presented here could be solved by sex therapy alone. The dilemma is where is the best place to start?

  6. Hi just wanted to drop an encouragement here that God is big enough to help here and He is the one that needs to be sought for wholeness in a marraige. I am so surprised that no one mentioned the fact that this woman’s dh is not a christian and has a porn problem. These are HUGE issues that should be taken to God (many, many men struggle with porn; he is not alone but that absolutely doesn’t make it ok). And pray, pray, pray that your husband will see how that is cheating on you with his eyes and turn from it. More than that, pray, pray, and pay that God will work things in his life so that he will receive Jesus as his savior. Not to say that your sex problem isn’t very legitimate–it is–but what’s more important than where he will spend eternity??

  7. A lot of people who do sex therapy are also licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, or licensed marital and family therapists. It’s not an either/or… I think that it would be very easy for them to find an LMFT, LPC, or LCSW that also does sex therapy–they can focus on sex at first, but someone with this broader training would also be able to recognize and address any broader issues that come up. Clearly communication is a problem, but it’s unclear from the original post if it’s just sex-related communication or communication more broadly. Another thing that might be useful to discuss is how differences in faith play into their marriage. Regardless of what they want to talk about, though, I don’t think any decent sex therapist would be stupid enough to ignore other large problems they might have, and if that particular therapist wasn’t equipped to handle these concerns as well, they would have an obligation to refer out to someone that could.

  8. Very well said. Just a word of caution though pertaining to therapists. It is always a good move to try your best to find the right therapist BEFORE you step in the office rather than rely on a therapist referring you to someone else after you’ve already stepped through the door.

    The reason for this is simple. Making a living as a therapist is difficult. Every patient you see regularly is money and everyone wants as many clients as they can get. While one would hope that referrals would be the norm it is far too common for a therapist to continue working with a client even if they’re not helping instead of referring them on.

    And in a case where one partner may be resistant to therapy all of this is even more critical. Too often people with great needs wind up giving up on therapy and declaring that it “doesn’t work” and never going back when the reality is that it may not be the therapy that didn’t work but instead the particular therapist chosen wasn’t the best fit for the people and problems present.

    I guess the way I would sum it up is this. Ask around. Find referrals. If you’re trying to bring a resistant person into therapy make sure you’ve done your HW and are comfortable with the therapist you’re bringing them to. Always try to find the very best fit because you’re worth it and may not get a second chance. And lastly don’t be fooled by credentials. Find out what the therapist is EXPERIENCED in treating and not just what they are credentialed to to do. Often these are very different things. If I need an electrician I want to hire an electrician and not a carpenter who has done some electrical work.

  9. I am the woman who sent the original e-mail. God is an awesome God and I have a promise that my man will be saved. His salvation has always been my number one priority. Not for myself but for the glory of God. We are honestly on the same page believing in Christ Jesus but he just hasn’t gotten to the point that he is ready to give his life to serving God. It’s coming soon though.
    As for therapy it’s a def. no. He won’t even let me read him my e-mail, but finds it amusing that it got sent to a professional therapist. God gives me the grace to make it through all other issues that my marriage brings my way. I just want a healthy sex life. God can take care of everything else. I told someone close to me that I don’t want to get to heaven and have missed out on the best part of being a human and she so gently asked me to read the scripture and pray about it. I said that God says that he hates divorce and she told me that first of all I should have no other Gods before God. This made me stop and think. Have I made sex a God in my life. I just have to reevaluate things and maybe sex isn’t in my near future. Maybe my relationship with God needs to be a little stronger.

  10. Unhealthy Expectations, just wondering how things are working out for you and DH?
    I’m sure there may be some that may not agree but it’s o.k. to say no when your husband makes a request of you, especially when it goes against God. There is nothing wrong with a woman grieving over something God has rightfully given to her, needs are there to be met by both partners. When one partner abuses this right much damage takes place, sometimes to the physical body but also to the emotions and spirit.
    I used to think that I had to be a “Yes dear” wife to everything expected/requested of me. It took me some years to realise that showing my husband I had healthy boundries in Christ was what convicted him through the Holy Spirit. He saw my stregnth in the Lord and found security it that witness alone. When we become a “Yes dear” in an unhealthy relationship we can compromise ourselves as a christian witness. This is easily seen by many poor standards that sadly many members of the body uphold (yes i’ve been very guilty of this in the past).
    may your DH come into the fullness of Christ’s saving grace if he hasn’t already. Hold fast to our Saviour and believe He desires the very best for you. You and your DH remain in my prayers.


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