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Any act such as control, separation, humiliation or intimidation all can be considered abuse. Additionally, any treatment that damages a person’s identity and self-worth are equated to abuse. Just because you can’t see the bruises does not mean there isn’t damage. Abuse can lead to emotional trauma with long-lasting effects on the victim. But how about sex? Can this be a tool of abuse? Yes, and this is overlooked in relationships. Who is the typical offender? They can be any gender and they can use it as a source of power over an individual. Yet, there is a difference between men and women said one author. "Typically, men want sex more than women do. The one who wants sex the least is the one who is in control, and this is how women use sex as a weapon—to manipulate," Anne Gagliano wrote. She was right because when we go to any vice to control someone like a puppet, there are consequences. Here are 5 thoughts to consider if you're using sex as a weapon.

Women have their part.

Gasp, women have a role in this abuse? You betcha. "Sexual desire in women is extremely sensitive to environment and context," Edward O. Laumann, Ph.D. explained to WebMD. "Men want sex more often than women at the start of a relationship, in the middle of it, and after many years of it," Baumeister added after reviewing several surveys of men and women. However, women have their role. People who use sex with the intention to hurt another person is damaging. If a wife denies her husband sex, it can be torturous to him. "When a wife stops treating her husband like a lover and starts treating him like a child or a handy man, the passion can fade," Gagliano added. Using the excuse that you're angry because your hubby doesn't take the garbage out is weak. Withholding sex will cost you more than a trip to the garbage can, so stop the silly excuses.

Men use a different tactic.

Okay, guys, we know that you play a role in this as well. You may use manipulation to have sex. For example, you may propose buying your wife a new dress or buying a new car if she agrees to have more intimacy. Another example is taking things away from her like money or spending time with her. No matter how you slice it, this is abusive.

It destroys self-esteem.

Emotions are always involved in relationships and sex is connected to this. Sex is more than a fun activity it's also having a mutual respect and valuing each other. When we break this by using sex for our own purposes, it can really destroy self-esteem as the other person feels they are being punished for no reason. This may also make the person feel inferior or even used. Just like in any other relationship that may be abusive, you need to take a stand. If you agree to everything despite knowing this is unacceptable, it will recapitulate. Try asserting yourself and tell them that their behavior is unacceptable and will not be permitted.

It hides the real issue.

When we resort to tools of abuse, we don't get to the real issue that is causing us to act this way. There may be anger, hurt or depression that was never taken care of from the past. Using sex as a tool just masks the dilemma. "When you use sex to solve your problems, all you’re doing is pushing those issues out of the way by having sex, and then keeping them there until the next time you get angry," author Bella Pope explained. You will never fix the quandary unless you address it. Think about it, the reason you may be fighting all the time is that both of you never got to the heart of the issue. Write a list of all the things in your life which are creating conflict and it doesn't need to be about your love life. Sometimes when we see things on paper it makes things clearer.

It makes sex less enjoyable.

Let's get real and understand the person you married is not a dog and they shouldn't be given a reward if you have sex with them. They need to be treated with respect. However, if you think that intimacy will be better, you are fooling yourself. Sex will not be better if there is any abuse involved. You should have sex because you love your spouse. We can find in Ephesians some advice here as well. "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." Look at it this way, who wants bad sex in a marriage and who wants to feel like it is forced?

Take a cue from the Bible and start treating your marriage and sex with respect. We hope you will think again about using sex as a weapon because it's a form of abuse. Not only is it damaging to your relationship, but it can damage you as well in how you show and receive love in your marriage. 
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