If you missed part one of this series, check it out here or scroll down.
Again I want to start with this quote: "Of the men who cheated, 69% never thought it was even a possibility they would cheat on their wives." In other words, most of these men were in love with the woman they married and never planned to stray.
Let me also begin with the caveat that cheating is a sin - their sin, not their wives' sin. Nonetheless, I think it is helpful to hear what they had to say about going from a guy who never expected to cheat, to one who did.
Forty percent of the men cited sexual dissatisfaction as a reason for their infidelity - though only 8% said that was the main reason they cheated. When asked about the sexual dissatisfaction within their marriage that contributed to their choice to go elsewhere, they're responded like this:
- 48% said Sex with my wife was too infrequent.
- 26% said Sex with my wife was unsatisfying.
- 15% said My wife had significantly neglected her appearance.
- 11% said Other.
Maybe you looked at that "too infrequent" answer topping the list, and thought, "Uh huh, just as I suspected. He is insatiable!" But hang on Bessie, we'll get to that topic for sure. Let's start off looking at the other responses first.26% said sex with their wife was unsatisfying - which is kinda brutal to read, right? Are you wondering if your husband would describe sex with you as "unsatisfying?"
Now, I imagine some of these men may have developed unrealistic ideas about sex -from the media, bragging/lying friends, pornography, etc. That kind of thing can taint a perfectly good sex life. And I would not recommend a wife engage in deviant sexual behavior to please her husband.
But for others, I imagine their frustration was while their wives were tolerant about participating in sex, they weren't really interested. Continual lack of interest - even though it may just be that you are tired - weighs on him. He (like you I suspect) wants to feel desired.
In fact, Shauti Feldman's research with 1000 men revealed that when a husband feels rejected sexually, he not only feels his wife is rejecting him physically, but that she is somehow also rejecting him as a whole - a husband, provider and man. Illogical? Yes! However, as a woman, you know all too well that emotions and insecurities feel real whether they are logical or not.
The flip side of this, according to Jim Burns, is "when men feel their wives desire them sexually, it has a profound effect on the rest of their lives. It gives them an increasing sense of confidence and well-being that carries over into every other area of his life." As I read this I thought, "Wow, that is quite a gift a wife can give - and it benefits her ultimately too." ... not really something we should be totally indifferent about when we've pledged our life before God to be his help-meet. I'm just saying.
Maybe you're protesting, "But he doesn't make it fun for me, and it's hard to get real interested in it. There is no romance to it." I once heard a comedienne comment that she liked to talk during sex. She said she mostly said things like, "Beige ... I think I'll paint the ceiling beige." It was funny, and yet sad.
Chances are, he wants to help you with upping your interest but isn't sure how. Jim and Shaunti both reveal that most men want to romance you and sweep you off your feet but they feel inadequate to do so (they hate to feel inadequate by the way). Jim writes, "Men want to be romantic, but they just doubt their ability to pull it off. They are plagued by internal hesitations, perceiving the risk of humiliation and failure as too high." So maybe we can convince them that their risk of failure is not as high as they think?
And for a percentage of the 26%, I imagine their wives are just uncomfortable sexually. Maybe they really are "bad in bed" as the saying goes. They may feel uneasy, tentative, awkward, unsure of themselves or how to do this. But this is something that can be changed if she is willing to work on it - it's a learning curve. This is something the two can work on together even. There are many helpful books on the subject- look here to find some highly rated ones from Christian authors.
Or, some of these wives may be struggling after experiencing prior sexual abuse - which breaks my heart. The good news is there are churches and counselors available to help a gal sort this awful experience out.
Let me once again put this in perspective, the vast majority of these cheating husbands did not stray because sex with their wives wasn't thrilling. (Only 26% of the 40% of men who cited sexual dissatisfaction said this.) So I do NOT want you to read this and feel you must transform yourself into a Victoria's Secret vixen to keep your man (more on that later this week).
If you're up for discussing this - which means either you are brave, or know how to use the anonymous comment option :) - feel free to post a comment or question.
PS. If you're at the magazine rack, check out the article called "Vanilla Sex" in Best You magazine this month.
PSS. Is that not the coolest looking bed in the photo?!