I received this question yesterday through our anonymous Have A Question page:
When ever I ask my wife for sex she doesn’t say no but she just says she has to do a few things out side and then she will be right back but by the time she gets back a lot of times an hour to 2 hours later I’m either to tired and ready to go to bed or no longer have any interest is having sex. Do you have any thoughts that might help?
I’m calling this a passive rejection. It’s when your spouse doesn’t say “no”, but they make it clear they’re not interested in some other way. So, how do you deal with this?
Talk about it
Firstly, you need to talk about it. I get a lot of questions regarding sex and marriage, and most of the time, the answer is simply to discuss it with your spouse. I know, it’s an unpopular response, because talking about sex is scary. But, the truth is you need to discuss it if you want to have any real change in your marriage. Anything else will just be surface changes only. They might net you more sex … but not a better marriage. So, talk about it with your spouse.
I would say something like this:
Honey, can I talk to you about something? When I suggest we have sex and then you find a couple hours of busywork to do, I feel abandoned. I feel like you’re saying you have no interest in me as a spouse. I’m sure that’s not what your intent is, so I was wondering if we could come up with a solution to avoid that unintended outcome.
Of course, put it in your own words.
The key parts are:
- Make it about your feelings, not about her actions. In a business, this dynamic needs to be completely reversed (behaviours, not feelings), but in a marriage, emotional intimacy is just as important as physical intimacy. You need to share what it is you are feeling. Plus, it comes off as less confrontational.
- Suggest that you don’t believe that she’s doing it on purpose while still being clear about the consequences (your feeling abandoned).
- Invite her to solve the problem with you. My advice would be to have a suggestion ready, because I can almost guarantee she’s going to respond with “I don’t know…“. The point is not for her to solve it, but for her to feel involved in the solution.
A possible solution
One possible solution is to initiate sex earlier. Don’t wait until bed time to initiate sex. Then, when she goes off to do her busywork, it’s too late when she gets back.
A lot of women need time to switch gears and get into “sexy wife” mode. So, suggest sex a couple hours prior to bed time, then offer to help with the busywork. That way you can get it done quicker, plus she’ll feel more connected. It would still give her the time to switch gears as well.
The other possible solution is simply to order her up to your bedroom and don’t take “I’ll be up in a few minutes” as an answer. Make it clear you mean now. Something like “Well, I plan for us to be having sex in 5 minutes…it’s up to you whether or not it’s in a bed, in the kitchen or outside in the garden.” This approach works better on some wives than others, though I think that has to do more with delivery than the reception… it has to be done with confidence, without apology, with a bit of a mischievous grin in order to pull it off. It’s difficult to pull off, but more fun if you can.
Those are my thoughts. I welcome others from our readers in the comments below.Have a Question? Ask it here!
37 Questions for spouses to ask each other about sex
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