The Worst Marriage Advice: Cut Him Off

“Girl, I would have cut him off.” “If I have to ask my husband a million times to do something, I cut him off.” “If my hubby misbehaves, I just cut him off.” “My husband knows better than to do that, girl, I’d cut him off so fast.” “I’ve asked him time after time to help out around the house, I’m cutting him off.” “He only seems to listen when I cut him off.” “If I don’t feel appreciated, I just cut him off.” “When he acts like that, I cut him off.” “Cut him off, he doesn’t deserve it.”

If you aren’t familiar with the phrase “cut him off,” it simply means to withhold affection and/or sexual intercourse from your husband for a period of time determined by the wife. I’ve heard this advice given to wives by wives. I’ve even heard wives confess aloud that they regularly withhold sex in order to get their way or alert their husband’s attention concerning a specific matter. Cutting your husband off is probably one of the worst pieces of advice you could ever follow. And it’s definitely a terrible piece of advice to give to your married girlfriends. In fact, following this advice can be detrimental to your spiritual walk and your marriage. Although a person may have good intentions, their recommendation of this advice may cause them to inevitably, although maybe not intentionally, put asunder what God has brought together (Mark 10:9).

So where did the attitude or idea of withholding sex from a spouse even come from? I’ll tell you…the World, because is certainly didn’t come from the Word. Society and media tell us that it’s okay to use sex and to withhold sex as a means of getting what we want. You can’t deny it, it’s all around you. Just turn on the television and if you’re willing to take the challenge, take a look inside your own household at some of your own ideals. Unfortunately, some wives are guilty of using sex as a deal maker in order to place a negotiable price on getting their own needs met. The problems is, you have to keep making deals. “If I cut him off for a week, he’ll do what I say.” “If I put it on him really good tonight, maybe he’ll do it then.” God did not intend for you to take the gift of sex and turn it into a transaction for your husband’s services or getting your emotional needs met.

God created sex for the purpose of marriage. His intentions were: (1) to create/enhance oneness and pleasure between husband and wife, (2) to provide a means for us to bear fruit, multiply or simply procreate and (3) to be glorified as couples engage in this act of worship. Sadly, many Christian wives have taken sex and completely destroyed it’s meaning simply because they do not understand or refuse to view sex as sacred. Worst of all they are continually perpetuating this act as acceptable behavior. Some have either knowingly or unknowingly thrown this precious gift back into the face of God with their actions. They’ve taken His gift and His purpose and used it to incite fear, shame, guilt and many use it to control their husbands. This is not what God intended.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, “The husband is to fulfill his marital duty to the wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to the wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self control.”

When we committed ourselves as Christian singles to the covenant of marriage we automatically subjected ourselves to the authority of the verse above, whether we knew it or not. God did not give husbands and wives a magical power of authority between their legs, but a mechanism that is used for pleasure, worship and service. The pleasure comes from the act of sexual intercourse itself. The worship comes from engaging in regular sexual intercourse with your spouse as a means of appreciation and honor of God’s gift. The service comes from the fact that we are told, NOT to deprive one another of sex and also NOT to think of our bodies as your own. We serve God by being obedient to His instruction regarding sex. Denial of affection and sex can be spiritually dangerous for you and your spouse. Even the Word says that deprivation of sex can lead to temptation and a lack of self control. In fact, the only time a couple should abstain from sex is so that the two can devote themselves to strengthening their personal relationships with God through prayer and even this needs to be mutually agreed upon. Ephesians 5:21 tells married couples to submit themselves to one another out of reverence to Christ. Sexual intercourse is just one way of submitting to one another and since the bible gives instruction about it…the act of sexual submission is viewed as obedience and reverence to our God.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating the behavior of a spouse that drives a person to the point of wanting to withhold sex in the first place. It’s not okay for your husband or wife to disregard your requests or your needs. However, every couple needs to do their best to develop or enhance open communication that causes you both to become more responsive to the other’s needs. This can’t be done overnight. It has to be a work in progress and there may even be lots of trial and error until you find what works. Be advised that while you’re looking for the tools to become more responsive to one another, all advice isn’t good advice…like “cutting him off.” Some people may think they are giving you good advice and may even come from a place of sincerity and love, however; when you arm yourself with the Word you can determine for yourself whether that advice is directly or indirectly aligned with your spiritual walk.¬†Remember, love, especially Christ-like love, isn’t about how much you can receive, but how much you give.

Let’s have a heart to heart ladies and gents. Are you guilty of withholding or using sex to get what you want in your marriage? How has this served you? Do you find that it works or that it brings tension and marital discord? How you do feel about relinquishing control of your body to your spouse? What do you find difficult about being obedient to God’s will for sex in marriage? What tools and or suggestions do you have for couples that struggle with meeting God’s will for sexual intercourse? Do you think its dangerous or wise to withhold sex from your spouse? Why? Are husbands guilty of cutting off their wives?


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18 Responses to The Worst Marriage Advice: Cut Him Off

  1. A.P. Taylor says:

    Love it, love it, love it!!! My Mom used to tell us the same thing, and how stupid it was for women to withold sex as a punishment. Plus, the woman is not only punishing her husband, but herself – she acts as if he's the only one who needs sex in the relationship, yet I know women who get antsy after not getting it for less than a DAY. So why would she cut off her own pleasure just to teac him a lesson??? Why not just learn how to talk it out so you can both get over whatever the issue is and get back to the sex???

    • Jocelyn says:

      Unfortunately I think a lot of women strongly correlate sex with emotion. While sex does help a woman meet a lot of her emotional needs she needs to be aware that an emotional connection is only a part of sex. A woman's sexual needs include:
      1. Affirmation – building her self-esteem
      2. Connection – Start with emotional closeness, including listening
      3. Nonsexual Touch – Affection is intimacy in and of itself – not the means to an end.
      4. Spiritual Intimacy – Pursue God together; honor God and each other
      5. Romance – anything that shows his care and thoughts are for her

      while a man's sexual needs include:
      1. Mutual Satisfaction – he wants to know he’s pleasing his wife
      2. Connection – feeling understood, listened to, accepted, cared for by his wife
      3. Responsiveness of wife – sex is a man’s way of feeling close
      4. Initiation of wife – Men love spontaneity; they want to be pursued sexually
      5. Affirmation – its lack can cause insecurity, while voicing it helps him be his best

      All that being said…if a wife wants her husband's responsiveness with regards to their problems one of the best ways is to affirm what your hubby does do well. That way instead of nagging or punishment, tenderness and connection probably make a man more responsive.

      You are right though, couples need to learn to better communicate, but at the same time be willing to make that commitment to keeping sex what God made it to be…out of obedience.
      My recent post 365 Reasons I Married My Husband (Reasons 99-105)

  2. @ooh_selene says:

    This was awesome!!! I love the way you tied it in with scriptures!!! sometimes as born again believers we tend to forget what we MUST take care of!! even after fasting the bible tells us to come together so we wont be tempted!! love it, love it!! keep it coming!!!

  3. Modupe says:

    Amen sister! Love this! It’s sad when Christian wives give this wrong advice – so unbiblical. God bless you for bringing people back to the Word.

  4. mjlisa says:

    ok. i have to disagree slightly. not the part on using it as a tool to 'reward or punish' but the fact that you dont suggest another alternate method. truth is, you end up cutting him off, not because you really want to 'punish' him. but because you can't make a mental connection with someone who has hurt you. you just can't get into 'it'. and if your hubby can't pick up on the fact that you're not into 'it' because of whatever fight you've just had, but he still insists on getting his 'way' then that makes it tantamount to him forcing himself on you. surely you don't think the bible advocates forcing yourself on your spouse? yes, the instant reaction to a fight shouldnt be to 'cut him off'. it should be to communicate until the issue is resolved. but telling women to still do what the man wants when they're just not into it mentally (because of whatever fight they've had) will lead to women 'faking it' and letting the man just have his way on her. that doesn't strike me as biblical.

    • Modupe says:

      Hi mjlisa, just jumping in here before Jocelyn – whether we like it or not, the way men mentally connect is through making love. I don't think Jocelyn is saying it's ok for the man to force himself, but just that if a wife meets her husbands needs even when she think he doesn't 'deservse it' she are honouring God and ultimately might find that her husband might be more receptive to talking things over.

      Check out this post which also addresses this issue:

      My recent post 5 Ways to Share Your Testimony at Your Wedding

    • Jocelyn says:

      First, I'd like to say thanks for you comment:

      I totally understand your concern of not being able to mentally/sexually connect because of anger or other emotions. I didn't list alternatives for a very specific reason. That reason is simple: I don't have the answers. If I did, I'd probably be writing a book rather than this blog. *wink*

      Okay…on a serious note, I do believe that a man can rape his wife, and I in no way believe that this is biblical or okay. I believe that while we were given authority over our spouse's body, God is NOT okay with a spouse's decision to abuse this authority. There are very serious consequences (biblical) to misuse of a husband's authority. That being said I would hope that no wife would ever feel used or like they have to fake it with their spouse (although I know this is not the case for all). I would hope that a man who can sense his wife is upset or is having an unresolved issue wouldn't even approach her in that manner, but I am aware that some do. I would also hope that a couple would have a set of communication skills in place so that a wife could acknowledge that her husband wants sex and ultimately so does she but she can discuss with her husband why she can't connect with him on that level. The only advice I do have is that a couple use this time to try to come to a mutual agreement to abstain from sex so that the two can go to God in prayer. I always feel better after I pray. All of my problems don't suddenly disappear, but it helps me to readjust my way of thinking and placement of priorities such that I am not sinning against the Holy Spirit.

      It is definitely a complicated issue which only starts to be resolved with open and honest communication. God is holding husband's and wives who enter into this covenant of marriage to a higher standard of love. Love is not, forcing your wife to have sex because you know the bible says she should when you know she's emotionally unavailable and hubby is not meeting her needs. I'm afraid for any woman that finds her marriage turning this direction. A husband should assert loving authority over his wife…I repeat…while this is authority…this is not love.

      So all in all…I think that sex can be held off as long as a couple mutually agree and are using that time to pray about the situation.
      My recent post 365 Reasons I Married My Husband (Reasons 99-105)

  5. Naomi says:

    Great post, also Mjlisa has a interesting point. I agree, sex should always be a positive, joyful element of a marriage. It should not be used to punish AND it should not be engaged in if either partner doesn't want it. At the same time, I think that communicating with your spouse fist about the problem and then adding in physical intimacy can help to rekindle warm feelings and let you move forward with your relationship. But I agree, it's a complicated situation!
    My recent post Things you DON’T say to your wife

    • mjlisa says:

      i think you nailed it naomi! intimacy can help rekindle warm feelings. i just think both parties enjoy that intimacy more when they're BOTH into it. now. in reference to modupe's comment , i'm in two minds about that. technically i don't think anyone neeeeeeds anything other than food and water (heirarchy of needs). Thinking men (or even women) "need" sex sort of implies that if they don't get it, they'd be justified in looking outside for it. what if god forbid, the wife had an accident and could no longer provide it? shld he divorce her since she can't give him that "need"?

      • mjlisa says:

        modupe used the word "deserve" – but sometimes the reason a woman isn't into it isn't because she doesn't think he "deserves" it. but because quite frankly her mind isnt there. she may have had a bad day at work, and the man wasn't even interested in helping her overcome it. she may have lost a loved on. she may have had a horrible day with the kids. its not always about an offence by the husband. the only way he would enjoy any intimacy with his wife, despite how his wife feels, is if she fakes it. and no matter what, i dont think women should be 'faking' it because they're trying to follow the bible. God doesnt ask us to lie =)

        • The Inner-Self says:

          Mijlisa, I can concur with your sentiment about how a woman may not be into it due to other factors, ie. kids, work , etc. Please remember this, the moment you have allowed these things to enter into your spiritual state of mind, so much so, it guided you away from your husbands emotions, you lost your spiritual focus. Remember, God said to not place anyone before Him. He did however say next to him is Man, therefore, after God is your husband.

      • Jocelyn says:

        I think the only need we as humans have is God's love, food, shelter…etc… I don't think we can consider sex a need and I hope that in my writing I in no way communicated it. In a previous comment I list the sexual needs of men and women but that was with respect to the needs that must be met in order for a spouse to be receptive to sex.

        It is true…if someone is placed in a position to no longer be able to have sex…where is the love? Love should be the epitome of marriage. A love that reflects Christ's relationship with His church. Being one flesh is so much more than sex. Sex is just an addition to what makes marriage wonderful…it's definitely not the whole thing.
        My recent post 365 Reasons I Married My Husband (Reasons 99-105)

  6. Lori Alexander says:

    Thanks for linking up at Always Learning! I have a passion to see godly, happy marriages and this advice is VERY good! Men love and need sex. God created them that way. Keep up the good work.


  7. Bonnie says:

    I've never "cut him off." I have thought about it. We're going through a low time in our marriage right now (though honestly, all four years of our marriage have been tough) and I just don't feel like it. He wants it. Lots. And I struggle with it. He'll want sex after we've had a big fight and I feel like I still need some time to recover emotionally from the fight. I'm not allowed to say "no" ever. If he wants sex, he pushes until he gets it, and sometimes I've ended up feeling raped. It doesn't matter how I feel – even if I'm absolutely exhausted because I'm sick and the baby has been up multiple times, he's gotta get it. So sure, I know what the Bible teaches about sex. That doesn't make it any easier.
    My recent post Growing Up Sisters

  8. Pingback: Sex advice - MARRIAGE ADVICE ON SEX

  9. HDW says:

    I miss having sex with my wife. We have been married nearly 10 years and she would only have sex about 3 or 4 times a year. Recently, she started an emotional affair with a man and it has ended but she wont even let me touch her now.
    I am very lonely; I am trying to meet her emotional needs but none of mine are being met. I ask God for the strength to go on, one day at a time.
    I feel like I am getting weaker and weaker though. Every day, my wife says she does not love me. She says that she made a mistake marrying me; she says that the thought of being with me sexually repulses her; she says she loves me as a brother or friend or former lover.
    One day at a time, Dear Lord. Give me strength to love my wife, and perform loving acts for her, one day at a time.

  10. Shellye says:

    THIS is an EXCELLENT blog!! So glad I happened upon it! I'll certainly be sharing this post with my Facebook friends!!

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