Posts tagged battle of sex in the home

Desperate househusbands

Does helping with housework help your sex life?

Sex Begins in the Kitchen, Dr. Kevin Lehman’s 1981 book, tells men that a wife’s responsiveness in the bedroom at night is the cumulative effect of the attention she receives during the day through things like conversation and helping with housework.

desperate househusbands

from Homemaker’s Encyclopedia, 1954

Research seems to confirm that very notion. In 2008, the University of Kentucky found that “the happier a wife is with her husband’s participation in housework, the more sex she has with him.” The research was done for the book by Neil Chethik, VoiceMaleand was the first to officially link housework with sex.

But hold everything!

Last year, a broader study seemed to contradict the idea that when a man does more housework it meant more sex. “Egalitarianism, Housework and Sexual Frequency in Marriage” actually showed that husbands who did more of what is usually considered women’s work had less sex.

Are the study findings contradictory? Is one set of research findings flawed? I don’t think so. I believe it just shows what’s really in play here.

The 2008 Kentucky study had to do with a wife’s satisfaction with the amount of chores her husband did, while the more recent study tried to equate the amount of chores with the amount of sex.

The 2008 study revealed that a husband doesn’t necessarily have to do half the housework, just enough that his wife felt supported and appreciated. The 2013 study found that husbands who consistently reported more sex were those whose contribution included tasks that are generally considered more manly, like yard work and taking out the trash, versus tasks that many think of as more womanly, like cooking and cleaning.

Marriage involves cooperation and complementarity. A man and woman, husband and wife, mother and father all offer something unique to the family that benefits the others. But it isn’t just about doing what comes naturally and intuitively.

We husbands need to be reminded that wives want to be both appreciated and desired. A woman may want the home to be a pleasant place and often approaches chores with that as the end goal. A husband who recognizes this and joins with his wife in that common purpose earns her appreciation.

A woman rarely appreciates a man who takes it easy while she’s taking on more responsibility than she feels she can handle. Not only can shouldering all the work make her resentful, it also tires her out and makes her less energized for intimacy. Men are wired to compartmentalize parts of their lives like sex and work, but women process things much more holistically.

Here’s a funny story that illustrates this. It’s from a psychotherapist writing about the 2013 study findings in the New York Times, and comparing them to her own experience counseling couples.

A couple in therapy had been working on making their marriage more egalitarian. Things were going very well, but the husband noticed that they were having less intimacy. He wondered aloud in their session if she no longer found him attractive. She assured him that she did, especially when he came in from working out at the gym and she could see his muscles when he got undressed to take a shower.

He then reminded her that the very same scenario had happened the day before, but that rather than desiring intimacy, she criticized him for throwing his clothes on the floor. She saw his point, but it didn’t change the way she felt.

As men, we have a hard time understanding these types of seeming inconsistencies in women. We desperate househusbands think that because we treat our wives with honor and chip in around the house without being asked or nagged, our wives should appreciate us back with intimacy. In fact, one of the theories about the recent findings was that the men who did the most around the house may have reported the lowest satisfaction with the amount of sex because they were expecting more sex for their contribution.

However long you’ve been married to the woman in your life, you probably have come to realize that there are some things about her (maybe even most things) that you’ll never understand. I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that of all the admonitions Scripture has for husbands, being sensitive to our wives makes the short list.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life... – 1 Peter 3:7a, ESV

Being understanding doesn’t mean being able to make sense of everything your wife says and does. It’s anticipating her needs and putting her first above all people, including yourself. Scripture also challenges wives to be sensitive to their husbands’ need for connection through sexual intimacy, but that’s not the focus of this blog. The truth is that both my wife and I need to selflessly offer our bodies and our lives to each other, but the only one I have control over is myself, so I’ll work on that.

When we treat our wives with the honor they deserve as joint heirs of the grace of life, when we love them sacrificially as Christ loves the church, they’re more likely to take notice of that grace and are more likely to feel the security to offer themselves to us unconditionally.

When stepping up means running away

Every Mans Battle–Helping our sons fight sexual tempation

Many issues are robbing men of their manhood today, but none is more widespread and detrimental than sexual immorality.

Think of what our sons are exposed to as they grow up. The culture is saturated with sexual images on television, in movies, on the Internet, on their phones—everywhere they look. Most boys see hard-core pornography by the age of ten, and many become addicted to online pornography as teenagers. It isn’t a matter of wondering if they will see pornography; it’s more of a question of how much they’ve seen and how they should respond. In thousands of ways, they are told that the mark of a real man is his sexual experience.  It really is, EVERY mans battle (including women, i.e., our daughters especially).

Is it any wonder that they grow up with a warped perspective of their sexuality? That they carry those views into their twenties and thirties, and ultimately into their marriages? That their sexual experimentation eventually impacts and undermines their marriages?

Asking My Son “THE” Question

I’m still not sure what caused me to ask my fourteen-year-old son the question, but one day around dinnertime I said, “I’ve been thinking about you recently, and I was just wondering if you’ve been looking at any stuff you ought not to be looking at?”

He knew exactly what I was asking. He looked at me as if I were omnipresent and said, “Well, as a matter of fact, today at lunch as I was eating my sandwich in the classroom, a couple of guys brought a Playboy Magazine into the room and asked me if I wanted to look at it.”

I tried to be calm as I asked, “So what’d you do?”

He responded, “I wrapped up my sandwich . . . and walked out of the room!”

At that point I broke into a huge grin and shouted, “Yes!” as though my son had just scored in the Super Bowl. He had.

What’s Your Role, Dad?

In our culture, we cannot afford to forsake our sons to sort through this complex issue alone. If you had to face it alone as a teenager, I’m truly sorry. You know how destructive this issue can be. I urge you to let your experiences motivate you to protect your son from those entanglements. Join him in the battle. Step into his life. Help him. To do that, you’ll need to step up and out of the issues in your life that are like quicksand.


Here are some helpful websites and other resources to turn to for help, recovery and prevention (descriptions are from the related sites):

  • Freedom Begins Here:  Whether you’re struggling with pornography addiction, or just want some help talking to your son about Sex,we have designed our resources to equip you with the necessary tools.
  • Every Mans Battle Video: We’ve known those who have failed in their battle for sexual purity, and we know some who have won. The difference? Those who won hated their impurity. They were going to war and were going to win – or die trying. Every resource was leveled upon the foe.
  • FamilyLife’s Passport to Purity: Your child begins the journey into adolescence in a world of sexting, bullying, online stalking, and moral defiance. Innocence is under attack, and you cannot win the battle with a single awkward talk or a strict set of rules. The primary defense for your child is a strong relationship with you and with God.
  • Every Mans Battle (the book) (from FamilyLife store):  Millions have found Every Man’s Battle the single greatest resource for overcoming the struggle and remaining strong in the face of temptation. With extensive updates for a new generation, this phenomenal bestseller shares the stories of dozens who have escaped the trap of sexual immorality and presents a practical, detailed plan for any man who desires sexual integrity.
  • The Purity Principle by Randy Alcorn (in FamilyLife’s store) Some people have given up on purity. Some have never tried. Bestselling author Randy Alcorn shows us why, in this culture of impurity, the stakes are so high — and what we can do to experience the freedom of purity. Impurity will always destroy us; purity always leads to higher pleasures! Choose wisely. Let the insights of this amazing book — written for old and young, married and single — help you gain your footing on the path to truly lasting joy.
  • Internet Filters for your computer.  We’ve included a link to a page that has reviewed the top filters for you to review on your own.  Additionally, Covenant Eyes and XXX Church are other filters/accountability services for your review.


**NOTE that other than the FamilyLife products (identified specifically), the inclusion of a product or service is not an endorsement of the product, price, effectiveness or anything else related to the item, so any purchase is at your discretion and FamilyLife/Stepping Up is not responsible for any issues you may have in further pursuit of any products or services listed.  This is simply a list to help you get started finding resources to help you find other resources that might help in your circumstances**

Rainey, Dennis (2011-05-11). Stepping Up (Kindle Locations 1433-1444). FamilyLife Publishing®. Kindle Edition.

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