I received this question last month through our anonymous Have A Question page:
I feel like my wife is teasing me sexually. I more days that not, in fact I’d say 5 or 6 days a week she does things that arouse me. I don’t mean incidental or accidental things that turn me on. She’ll “touch” me, nibble my ear, call me by the name sexy, remove cloths/display herself for me (always in appropriate ways), ask me to remove cloths for her, etc. these are not incidental or accidental. Yet, when I attempt to initiate sex I am turned down at least 3 out of 4 times. According to my doctor I’m a low drive male, content with sex twice a week, but I’m the apparently the higher drive spouse and we have sex at best once a week. Excuses range from it’s too cold, to too hot, to “I’m tired”, to my stomach hurts, my need hurts, I’ve got a head ache. She once told me I was too tired. I assured her I wasn’t, but she assured me I was and refused to have sex with me for my benefit. I really like that my wife is visually generous with me, but at some point taking half or all of her clothing and nibbling on my ear while rubbing my crotch should signal sex is in your very near future but apparently not. One extreme example, my wife called down to me that she needed help getting out of the shower. I vaulted up the stairs leaving four confused kids watching Arthur. In minutes my naked wife was nibbling my ear and caressing my crotch while I got a few good feels in myself. Behind a locked bathroom door. I asked her if this meant we would be having sex that evening. To which she replied, yes. This was encouraging because my wife rarely promises me anything, I mean she normally won’t even promise to get groceries or pick up an Rx for me let alone sex. We completed the evening’s activities which included a few well timed ear nibbles. Then the kids were in bed and asleep two of her pre-sex requirements. She has been calling me sexy and is practically naked in bed when I show up at attention, only to be rejected. Similar scenarios have played out several times in the last year. I mean l like what she does especially showing her body to me, but 8 days of foreplay seems a bit excessive. The Bible says let our Yes, be Yes, and our No be No. So I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how this isn’t teasing, if not a form of emotional abuse.
I would agree, this is teasing, and not the fun kind. This is emotional abuse and should not be tolerated. However, it’s unclear what’s going on here. Here are a few things to consider.
Talk about the teasing
During the question, I didn’t see once that you actually talked about it other than to ask if you were going to have sex tonight. That’s not what I mean. I mean a conversation that starts with something like
When you tease me like that, I feel like you are intentionally trying to arouse me only to reject me. I feel emotionally abused by it and it’s damaging our relationship. I love the teasing, but when you don’t follow through, it’s hard for me not to feel that you are intentionally trying to hurt me.
If you don’t discuss it, it’s likely never going to change. However, even after discussing it, there are no guarantees that it will.
Set your own boundaries
If she doesn’t stop this abuse after discussing it, then you will probably have to start avoiding the teasing. Don’t go up to “help her get out of the shower”. If she starts anything sexual during times that you know are not going to happen, then walk away. If she asks why, then tell her “I can’t take this sort of abuse any longer, it’s ruining our marriage”.
Start guarding yourself from the abuse. Stop being a willing victim.
Maybe her rejection is an invitation
Lastly, and this one’s a little tricky and sensitive, her rejections might be an invitation. There is a possibility that all the teasing is designed to rev you up so that you will push past her rejections. Maybe she doesn’t want you to stop when she says she doesn’t want sex.
Now, here’s the hard part. If she gives you a firm “No”, then you stop. I am not condoning rape. However, the number one fantasy among women is to be forced to have sex. This is a mechanism to allow them to get the sex they want while side stepping the social stigma (particularly in Christianity) against women desiring sex.
And, to make matters worse, she’s likely not even aware what her plan is, if this is the case. But, I’ve seen it in too many marriages not to discount it as a possibility.
So, what does this look like practically? Assume you are having sex, and then just start undressing her. Unless she gives you a very clear, firm “No”, then you keep going. If she asks what you think you are doing, just say “Well, I’m pretty sure I’m getting you naked”.
It might not work, you might be confronted with a hard “No” every time. But, at least then you know, she’s in it for the abuse and to control you. She’s enjoying being in power and watching you suffer. And then you should start booking sessions with a counselor.
Don’t tease unless you are willing to follow through
The rule in our house is that teasing is perfectly allowed, and even enjoyed…so long as sex is going to happen within the next 24 hours. Of course, there are occasionally things that get in the way (like a baby that won’t go to sleep, or a sick kid, or just sheer exhaustion), but we know they aren’t intentional, and that the plan was the follow through. Worst case, it will be in the next 24 hours…or 48…or 72 (if it’s a really bad week).
My point is, teasing is not a bad thing, so long as the implied (or explicit) promise is actually kept.
That’s my take on it anyways. Anyone else have another?Have a Question? Ask it here!
11 thoughts on “Don’t tease unless you’re willing to follow through soon”
I wouldn’t go straight to playing the abuse card. I am not saying it isn’t abuse, but first round of speaking up and setting boundaries, it might be a good idea to give her the benefit of the doubt that she isn’t intentionally being a jerk. Simply tell her how you feel about the tease and rejection bait and switch and ask why. If she doesn’t repent and continues, then you can speak more firmly. “I will not tolerate being teased with no follow through.” Jumping right to calling her flirting and teasing abusive isn’t a good idea unless you are sure she is deliberately doing it to abuse you. You really don’t want to slap such a label on otherwise great behavior, especially if it can be worked out initially.
I don’t think what this lady is doing is a nice or even a right thing to do, but I have another angle to consider it from.
Is it possible she is insecure, she teases and gets a response which demonstrates to her she is desirable and desired?
I believe you may have figured it out. My wife does the same thing. It’s been going on for years. We’ve been together 10 and married 5. In the last 5 years I’d say we’ve had sex maybe 30 times. I asked her what she needed and we’ve talked about it. I give it to her and nothing changes. I tell her she looks pretty, I hug and kiss her more. Every night at bed I rub her forehead until one of us falls asleep. I even bought a massage table for her. One night I gave her a full body massage, about 45 minutes. I was rejected. Another night about two months later I got the table set up, candles, music – and she started to get uncomfortable and opted out of the massage because I might want sex. Ordinarily, I would tell her that’s fine and give her the massage. That night, I said, “oh, okay” and I took everything down, went to my computer and watched a movie (not porn). Yesterday she was touching on me and nibbling my ear and being flirty. Again I was turned down. The odd thing is, after months of this, I stop initiating and I stop being as affectionate and begin to shut down toward intimacy. She loves to flirt, even lets guys on line flirt with her. I believe she likes the attention but why she’s terrified of sex with me makes no sense. And I’m no slob, I’m physically fit at 43, I have abs, I keep clean, I trim. I make sex all about her, I’m not a selfish lover. I’m tempted to cheat, so rather, I shut down and then I get blamed for rejecting her, lol.
I agree, she could very well want to see him take her, so to speak. If he says he’s a low drive man, that means he’s content to not have that much sex. Maybe he needs to see if she wants him to take the reigns from her. Instead of asking her if they’re allowed to have sex, just grab her and start kissing her. On the flipside, if she has control over him with her constant teasing, he can be the one to say no. To that part. She rubs his crotch, move her hand away. She nibbles on his ear, move his head away. Tell her later. Let her want him.
My wife does this quite often, and I must admit it now leaves me even more frustrated, hurt and definitely feeling I don’t measure up or not desired anymore. I’ve had conversations about this with her before…….but nothing changes.
I am actually falling into a depression I believe
my wife does this and weve been married 6 months. shes teases or shell playfully fight me and i just lose the will then shell say stuff like well guess you aint getting none. and im to the point where im so depressed i don’t care anymore. i drink in the morning i dont smile anymore. and she asks whats wrong and i tell her and shell come up with reasons as to why she hasnt. i feel like less of a man already and she makes me feel lower. she even says at some points i deserve it. i didn’t knoe sex with my wife was supposed to be a literal reward.
Super late response, but I was looking for answers to my own frustration. It has to be an ego thing, right? Like ‘haha I can have or not have you whenever I want, watch me prove it’. Shut that down if you haven’t already. I hate being teased with no end game. Manipulation is not sexy.
Yeah 2022 any form of no can be twisted and used against you, my wife does the same thing constantly, only to reject me when there is free time or would rather stare at her phone, make yourself a priority, mirror her actions and see how she likes it are all just going to destroy your marriage. But the marriage is possibly already destroyed anyway so what’s it gunna hurt?
My wife does this, too. I will be minding my own business and she will come up touching my body intimately, kissing my ear, or making sexual innuendos and lewd comments but if I pursue it’s a firm “no, later” and of course later never happens. I’ve heard all the same excuses, too. Too tired, don’t feel good, she ate too much, it’s too hot, too cold, she’s stressed out. Or it becomes a game where there is no end to the hoops I’m expected to jump through to get laid. It’s all about control. For myself, I have finally realized she honestly ain’t worth all that. It hurts to say it because I do care about her, but I can get it better elsewhere with less effort and time. Women need to wake up and realize your man will definitely stray if you keep playing games and withholding sex. No matter how much he loves you, he will eventually lose interest and move on.
Her bad behaviour doesn’t negate your responsibility. That’s not a license to get it somewhere else.