Sorry for the long post but I came to this discussion late and thought one long post was as good as several shorter.
Poetess wrote: men are saying (paraphrased): I tolerate conversations and time spent with my life, and in fact I even enjoy it that she enjoys it, though given my own preferences, I'd pass. But she says the same thing about sex, and that's unpardonable!
The key phrase above is that the husbands work at and learn and are expected to learn how to enjoy deep conversation with their wife out of love for her. And the key point is "learn to enjoy it because she enjoys it."
EXACTLY! BINGO! He learns to genuinely enjoy the conversation out of his love for her and his DESIRE for her and DESIRE to meet her needs and prove his love and to demonstrate that desire and love for her GENUINELY! The OP is stating that the opposite is NOT accepted generally or culturally. And THAT is the double standard and that it exists. He is pointing out this existence and is screaming from the top of his lungs that this is wrong! That the wife does not have to nor is expected to GENUINELY learn and GENUINELY and honestly enjoy sex because that is what her husband needs. She is allowed to "endure" sex, or is allowed to refuse sex, or provides chore or duty sex, or can simply lie there and pray that it is over quickly and that is somehow culturally acceptable. But a husband is NEVER allowed nor is it acceptable or loving for a man to "endure" long conversations. He is expected to be GENUINELY interested out of evidence (proof if you will) to her of his love for her. A woman is allowed to make the conclusion that if her husband simply "endures" out of a sense of "duty" or obligation that it is tangible and direct evidence that he does not truly love her. SHE is allowed to be the arbiter and judge by HIS actions what indicates love to HER.
The opposite is NOT true. A Man making the assumption that a wife who clearly "endures" or provides sex out of obligation or duty or a chore is in NO way evidence or proof, and a man cannot draw the conclusion that his wife must not love him. That he is NOT allowed to to be the judge of what her actions mean in terms of her love for him.
The double standard is that SHE can be the judge of his behavior and draw conclusions as to his love for her, but HE is NOT allowed to make a similar conclusion about her love for him based upon her behavior.
I'm not saying that this is the "culture" of this forum or what is generally proclaimed or taught here. I'm saying that this forum is the exception not the rule. We live unfortunately in "rare air" here.
I believe the OP is living and most people live in the "real world". And in that world it is acceptable for a man to be expected to meet the wife's needs and learn to meet her needs the way SHE needs them. And his effort to learn and grow and over time develop a genuine desire and interest in her needs is not only expected but is tangible proof of his love and dedication to her. And this is seen and accepted as evidence of his love for her. Culturally however, the opposite is NOT true. A wife does NOT need to meet his needs in the way that HE needs. Because "forcing" her to have sex is demeaning, repulsive deplorable etc. Therefore SHE gets to decide what constitutes evidence of his love for herself. Not him. While SHE also gets to decide what he needs to do in order to prove his love for her. In the popular culture. SHE is both judge and jury for BOTH sides.
The OP is just calling out this double standard.
Poetess wrote:..If you can do those things for her and not for yourself, why can't sex be the same way for her? And sex doesn't "come naturally" for a woman; it's a lot of work.
Again exactly. HE is expected to put forth the work and effort and learn to GENUINELY want and desire close intimate conversations with his wife. The OP is arguing that the opposite, or the reciprocal is NOT true! It seems culturally acceptable that the wife make no real effort to GENUINELY cultivate and GENUINELY desire to want to have sex and to enjoy sexual with her husband. HE is expected to learn to overcome HIS natural resistance, and by doing so it is proof of his love for her. Yet she is NOT expected to overcome HER natural resistance. To ask her to overcome HER natural resistance is somehow demeaning and cruel and disgusting, revolting and unacceptable. But for the husband it is expected. For him to NOT work to overcome is proof that he does not love her and is cruel and revolting. The double standard IS there. To deny it is simply putting your head in the sand. This forum is the exception of the rule
Seeking Perspective wrote:Does your lack of desire to have long drawn-out conversations with her indicate your love for her?
No. But the point is men are EXPECTED from church, from women and from the the general culture and every direction to cultivate and work on and persevere. That while his natural resistance is not wrong per say. But if he is unwilling to put forth the effort and work to overcome this natural resistance IS wrong. And we do that because we love them. Because we value them. We are expected, directed, if not commanded to set aside our natural resistance in order to overcome our lack of desire for long talks for example. We are expected to eventually to lead to DESIRE that bond in the way SHE needs. The OP is stating other than rare sites like this forum, that the necessity to work to overcome woman's lack of natural desire is NOT culturally expected, it is NOT taught for woman the reciprocal when it comes to sex. That she has no expectation to work to GENUINELY and actively learn to honestly desire to have physical intimacy. That is the point of the OP. The expectation is that if a man truly loves his wife he will dedicate the time effort and work on listening to his wife because it proves his love for her in a way she needs. Yet the reciprocal is NOT expected from the woman to put forth the same level of effort and genuine growth to devote to meet and prove to her husband that SHE loves him. He is expected to learn to DESIRE her and desire to meet her needs. The wife however has no expectation to have to dedicate the time and effort to learn to GENUINELY desire or want to have sex with her husband.
I'm not saying that is what is taught here. Here is one of the few places and is completely counter cultural where it is known and taught that refusal is wrong and is a sin. That in fact a wife does have the responsibility to learn and GENUINELY meet her husbands needs, particularly but not limited to sexual intimacy. The OP is simply stating that outside this site and a few other extremely rare places the opposite is true. That is: a husband proves his love to his wife by giving her time and listens to her and connects with her. He is absolutely NOT allowed to "prove" his love in the way HE finds acceptable. The "test" if you will, is if he meets her needs the way SHE needs. But the opposite is NOT true. The wife is NOT expected to "prove" to her husband her love for him in the way HE needs. She is allowed to "prove" her love in the ways "acceptable" to HER and HER standards. It is without a don't a double standard. And this is the OP's point. Again I do not believe this is the "culture" on this forum. But it unfortunately IS the popular culture.
Seeking Perspective wrote:I can't tell you many times my husband would ask if I wanted to have sex and my response was that I didn't--because I wasn't aroused. That didn't mean I wasn't willing to or that I wouldn't enjoy it once we got started, but it did mean that my arousal and desire worked differently than my husband's. It took us a long time to figure that out.
I understand what you are saying. But why can't the wife who is generally "the great communicator" tell her husband this? It seems like many women don't learn that once they get started they enjoy sex. And upon this recognition and discovery they change their answer from "no" to sex to engaging in sex because she has learned that while she may not be aroused in that second, that she soon will be and that she will soon have pleasure herself and also make her husband happy.
It seems like women do not learn this. To most men that is the equivalent to his wife touching a hot stove and getting burned. And then The next day forgetting that fact And touching it again the next day, and getting burned again. Each day she seemingly "unable" to remember that if I touch the stove it will burn her. Yet somehow we men as supposed to understand and women are seemingly allowed to simply "forget" that after they start having sex that it is enjoyable. It is like the wife has never had sex or experienced the pleasure so that each sex encounter is like the first time ever. How long does it take her to learn that "gee sex with my husband is pretty dang pleasurable?" So next time he initiates, even if in that second I am not aroused, the last 3,000 times I felt like this I changed my mind one I got started, so instead of "shutting it down and slapping his hand away or saying no. I will instead go with it knowing with full confidence like the last 3,000 times that I will soon be enjoying making love to my husband?
I am able to understand if sex causes pain or she has never had an orgasm and this never found sex to be pleasurable. But if a wife has ever found sex to be pleasurable with her husband. She should remember that. I should NOT have to be a surprise every single time!
What if: What if a husband forgot each and every time that a deep conversation with his wife was a great experience. Would he be allowed to resist because he couldn't remember that taking with his wife is pleasurable? Not a chance in H-E double hockey sticks!
So why then is it acceptable for the woman to "forget" sex is enjoyable and be allowed to refuse?
Why is it culturally acceptable for HIM to submit to HER needs, and totally unacceptable for HER to submit to HIS needs? This is the point I believe the OP is expressing.
I think this all boils down to this: the double standard does in FACT exist. It is real. It is unbiblical and wrong and it does need to be completely and utterly demolished! The Bible clearly calls each spouse to equally submit to the other. And the double standard is that men are expected to meet a woman's need the way SHE needs. And he is expected to do what is necessary to meet her needs. but that she has no expectation to learn and meet his needs the way HE needs. She is the judge on BOTH sides. The wife is decides what is proof to her of his love for her and she is also the judge of how much she loves her husband. And when a man expresses his opposition to this unfair situation. He is labeled some sort of bully, fiend or oaf, or some kind domineering sexist pervert.
There is some discussion above about the need to "deal" with the OP's frustration.
I beg to differ! At least in part. I think he is justified by his frustration. The double standard is unbiblical and wrong. Him being frustrated by this truth is in my opinion righteous and properly placed anger. We should not tolerate and we are called to point out, address and correct sin. To not be righteous and vocal to call out the wrong IS to tolerate and condone sinful and bad behavior.
That being said. The righteous anger must be utilized and implemented in a proper manner.
The OP is. DW here. And like all people HER this whole thing is a process. And that process takes people through various stages. One of the first stages for many is anger and bitterness and resentment. It is understandable. But like any 12 (or however many steps) in the journey each person has to progress through them.
I for one completely understand and to some extent I'm still in the same place as JT77. The venting is good and it needs to occur. He is in a defensive position because he has had to live in the defensive world where his thoughts are in the minority or he is or feels completely alone.
I can assure you JT77, you are NOT alone. I believe most people here agree that the double standard exists and furthermore agree that it is wrong. As previously stated there are many wise folks here that have been on both sides and the fact they are still here and have either overcome, or are diligently working to overcome the issues and there are multiple success stories of transformations in themselves, their marriage and the marriage bed is huge.