Is There A Good Way To Tell Your Husband “No Sex Tonight”?

Jay Dee

Is There A Good Way To Tell Your Husband “No Sex Tonight”?

Nov 17, 2012

Wondering how to tell your husband “no sex tonight” without hurting his feeling? Is it even possible? The answer is simple, but the explanation is longer.

OK men, I’m going to address you a bit further down, but this part is for the ladies:

Short answer: No.  I don’t mean “tell him “NO””.  I mean, there is no good way to tell your husband “No Sex Tonight”.  Here’s why:

No matter what you say, how you phrase it, he’s still going to hear that you have unilaterally decided that this component of your marriage is not happening tonight.

Now, what would happen if you tried to start a conversation with your husband and he, instead of responding verbally, handed you a card that said “No talking tonight”, and then went back to watching TV.  Chances are, you’d be fairly upset.  Why? Because one person decided on their own what was happening in the marriage.

Some of you know how it feels to have your spouse decide their not coming to church today, not interested in praying today, don’t want to do devotions together today.  It hurts to have a component (spiritual in this case) taken away from your marriage without consent.

Now (speaking in the context of marriage), sex without consent is marital rape.  No sex without consent is what many of in the marriage blog-o-sphere would term “refusal”.  Both are a breaking of the marriage vows, and I’d argue both are sinful.

So, how do you tell him it’s not happening tonight?  You don’t.  You shouldn’t, and, you shouldn’t have to.  Here’s why:

OK Men, Listen up now:

Men, we’re the heads of our households, we are the leaders of our family.  We should be the shepherds of our little flock as Jesus is our shepherd.  That means we nurture, we provide, and more importantly, we care for them, including (especially) our wives.

So, when your wife comes to you and says “I’m really tired tonight”, you have a choice.  You can say “Well, let’s try to be quick tonight so we can get some sleep.” or “I know dear, get some rest, we can connect another time.”  She’s made her wishes clear.  She’s tired, she wants to sleep.  Now, you could hold her to your marriage vows but if she’s truly tired, then just let her sleep.  It won’t harm you to wait a night (assuming you’re connecting regularly and have recently).

So, what do you do when your wife comes to you and says “I hope your not expecting anything tonight” or “nothing tonight dear, I’m too tired”?

Recognize that she does not feel safe with what your decision would be if she gave you one. She has taken the decision away from you, which means she doesn’t think you can make a good one.  Now, this probably isn’t conscious, she might not be aware, but it’s there.  If she trusted you to make a good decision, then there would be a discussion, or she’d let you decide.  But she doesn’t trust that, and so she has played the veto card and taken your ability to decide away as a parent does to their child when they aren’t mature enough to be trusted to make a good decision.

So, what do you do?  First, explain to her what she did.  In most cases, I bet she has no idea that she’s just pulled you down a peg by making a decision for you like that.  She’ll probably either apologize or think it was nothing.

Second, if she keeps doing it, then you need to accept that she doesn’t trust you, and that’s something you need to change by becoming someone trustworthy.  Perhaps you haven’t made good decisions in the past, I know I haven’t.  Next time you know she’s tired, maybe preemptively say “Look, I know you are tired, what do you say we get some sleep tonight?”  Note: Don’t do this every night or you may find you have no sex life at all.

After a while of proving you can make good decisions, then she might start trusting you to make them with her again.  If not, you may have to explain again what exactly she is communicating when she does this.

Women: Do you do this?  Do you understand what you are communicating?

Men: Does this happen to you?  What are you doing about it?

Looking for help?

38 thoughts on “Is There A Good Way To Tell Your Husband “No Sex Tonight”?”

  1. Paul H. Byerly says:

    Good balance here!

    The usual sticking point is ” (assuming you’re connecting regularly and have recently)”. Most reasonable men can do as you suggest when they are having sex regularly – it’s when she is always tired that there is a problem.

    My bride and I have had back and forth discussion over any number of things, sex included, where we each try to understand how much the other needs something, or needs not to do that something. The goal is to figure out which need is stronger. So, for example, if I want sex and she needs sleep, how much do I need sex and how much does she need sleep? s there a compromise that gives us both some of what we need? Is one of us so deeply in need that the other says “you need more, I’m here for you”?

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Your discussions with your wife sound like what I’m trying to get at with this post. I needs to be a discussion, both parties involved, not a one side gets to pick. No one should have veto power.

  2. livinginblurredlines says:

    Ok, here’s the thing in our marriage, there are (very very rarely) times I’m not up for sex. The clearest thing I can do is put on my yoga pants. He doesn’t like my yoga pants. When I wear them, it means I’m not feeling very well at all tonight so the love canal is closed. However, we have a caveat where I will not say no if he really pursues it. (Wish it went the other way around, but there’s always a double standard in life even if it’s totally unfair.) Hubby more frequently refuses me and he does it by withdrawing to his edge of the bed and falling right to sleep. He usually is bone tired due to his job, so I respect that.

    On the flip side, his body language tells me when he doesn’t want conversation, too. He’ll put on a DVD in the bedroom, shut the door, and go to sleep. That means ears are not listening. However, there is a caveat that if something important needs to be discussed, then it gets discussed.

    Does it feel like rejection? Sometimes….usually it feels like rejection when it happens frequently. Before he changed careers, he worked an ever harder job and the bed was closed for fun all week. I respected that because he was not only exhausted, but in pain. Ears were closed, too because he was too tired to listen anyway. Certain life circumstances call for understanding….like when a wife is recovering from childbirth.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Right, now I’m going to argue it only feels like rejection because he’s not including you in the decision what-so-ever. Is there a reason? Sure. Is it a good reason? Who am I to judge. I do think too many marriages have too much going on and need to drop some things or re-arrange their schedules. Being too tired every week to have sex sounds like something is broken to me, but judge for yourself, and it sounds like you did, and he changed careers.

      My point is, there is nothing wrong with saying “I’m really not interested in sex tonight”, but that’s very different than saying “We’re not having sex tonight”.

  3. Dave says:

    As a man in a sexless marriage (on going for several years), I’ve experienced rejection and it isn’t fun. That said, though, I feel like I have a different take on this post. The real problem as I see it isn’t the individual refusal event. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been refused so much (and have become quite good at dealing with the resulting emotions), but I don’t care much anymore when she says no. The real problem is that I have no idea if or when she will ever say yes again. That’s the part of the rejection that really hurts — the open-endedness — the impression that she’s looking only for reasons to say no and never reasons to say yes — the impression that she despises my sexuality and wants nothing to do with it. Those are the kind of things that really hurt!

    So, in my opinion, I don’t care so much about the individual rejection. If you have a headache, say no. If you have the flu, say no. If you need a couple of months to recover from pregnancy, say no. I can handle your “rejection” (even if its unilateral) for whatever reason you’ve got. What I really and truly want somewhere in that rejection is the impression that, when your reason for saying no is passed, you will be looking for a reason to say yes, that the no won’t last forever.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Hi Dave,
      I completely get where your coming from. I’ve been where you are (or similar anyways). The first half a decade or more of our marriage was basically a sexless marriage, and I remember feeling like your feeling. I’m sorry to say, this post was not for you, or someone in your position. You don’t teach someone who is starving how to make a “better” meal. They just need a meal. Hopefully your wife will see what she is doing to you, and your marriage and repent. I’ll have more posts about that in the future. When that’s sorted out, then come back and read this, and see if it fits your life then.

      Sex within marriage is not a “have or haven’t” sort of situation, it’s a situation that can always be improved. In my marriage, we’ve managed to get past the “lack of sex” issue (it took a long time, and wasn’t easy), now we’re working on refining what we have. I pray one day you will be at that stage as well.

  4. J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) says:

    I have to disagree that a spouse cannot tell the other no to sex. But there is a way to phrase it far more as “not now” than “no.” My husband doesn’t always know what has gone on during my day when we finally fall into bed at night, and I may need to inform him that another time would be better. He has done the same to me. And it’s not a big deal when we know it’s coming very soon! (In my case, the guy’s getting puh-lenty, so he’s not too worried about one miss anyway.)

    I’m also so sensitive to the phrasing that insisting on sex with your wife is “holding her to her vows.” The vow is not to have sex any and every time he wants, but rather to not deprive one another. Saying no without knowing when can be depriving, but suggesting a better time doesn’t strike me that way.

    I do appreciate your message to the hubbies, and I think wives need to be very aware of how hurtful an outright rejection can be.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I think I may not have been clear. Part of my point is that if a wife says she’s had a horrible day and would rather not, the husband should listen and back off.

      But I think unilaterally deciding is wrong. Sort of like if you decided “I’m not going to eat supper tonight, and since you eat with me, you’re not going to either.”

      And yes, I agree, if your having sex “puh-lenty”, this should be a null issue. Something as quick as
      Wife: “I’m not really up for sex tonight, is that OK?”
      Husband: “Oh, OK, no problem, we could use the sleep.”

      To me, that’s a lot more “both parties involved” than
      Wife: “Just so you know, we’re not having sex tonight.”
      Husband: “….oh….ok…..I guess we could use the sleep…..”

  5. Gretchen Waite says:

    Good communication is a must to develop the healthy relationships in your married life. You should share all your problems and feelings with your partner as well listen to your partner and understand. Make some time for each other to share your emotions. Go for outing with your partner and make some romantic plans for short vacation.

  6. Jeff says:

    Its more like; oh, no sex again? I suppose I can just flip my “needs” switch off then and I will be just fine. But there is no switch. She runs things due to my lack of ability to lead and provide. 25 years of my failure, my poor decisions of opportunity, my accepting her orders, without question. we have 3 dogs. I said no to all three. tonight she put more milk in the ice cream maker when I clearly said no more. I walked out due to every, kid and my wife ignoring my leadership ever!! I went tv room in and sat down. she said that I am so mean! I said maybe its you. she struck me on the chest. (no, I’m not hurt) she saw that I don’t appreciate being the ignored Christian husband in our house and it upset her. So the dynamic is that she runs things and encourages others to disregard my words and to disrespect me. So; why would I ever question her atmosphere of NO SEX??!! There is therefore no relief from depression, or temptation or anything to encourage us as a married Christian couple!! it is too late. she is now sick and in pain and I cannot complain. Its at a point where I want separate beds. I have prayed continually. I also prayed for 2 years for a job. Then I got welfare. (answer to prayer?) Aren’t I a real hero? Very sexy being a welfare man, huh? I bet she really wants me bad….no.

  7. Sam82 says:

    Your excellent blog discusses this topic assuming there is some level of communication about this: “So, what do you do when your wife comes to you and says … “. But in my experience of over 20 years of “sexless marriage”, there was no such discussion: only ever avoidance tactics, distraction tactics, anti-libido tactics. Whenever there was a start of a discussion about it, it was always closed down, dismissed, and I was made to feel in the wrong for feeling desire at all. My desire became her enemy, something to protect herself from. Initiation from me was virtually pointless. I was totally at her mercy, waiting endlessly for her to initiate, and that came only a handful of times a year. Any attempt by me to create a romantic atmosphere, show her some special attention, was taken by her as “hunting” behavior and this set off another round of avoidance and diversionary behavior.
    In the end I left.
    I am considering whether to go back, as I feel I have abandoned her, and guilt is my main emotion now. I don’t know what to do. If I go back it will be more of the same, I am sure, and there is no connection left any more. If I stay away and divorce, I will become ever more guilty and fearful of God and judgement for leaving my wife and abandoning my wedding vows. I was in despair before, and am really very miserable now.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I’ve made my thoughts on divorce clear in the past, so I won’t re-hash that, you can read the post if you like.

      Personally, I would be working towards reconciliation using a christian counselor to discuss the difficult topics if you two cannot manage to discuss them on your own.

      1. Sam82 says:

        We had 10 sessions of marriage counseling together, one of sex counseling and two years of pastoral counseling each, and I’ve had six months of weekly personal Christian counseling. All this counseling and I’m all talked-out. How is it supposed to help when all these counselors just ask and then sit back listening for 50 minutes before presenting a bill and a new appointment?

        1. Jay Dee says:

          Are you both interested in reconciling?

          1. InHimalone says:

            we all come into marriage with our own sin patterns I for one do not like to drink alcohol and yet my wife drink everyday. often to excess. I tend to overeat and I am allowing God to work on this and my anger issues.just a few examples.

            The issues of reconsiliation in my experience are that of issues of the heart. there’s no using spending time emotional energy and finances on counseling if both parties are not open to education leading, and instruction. for whatever reason we all at one time or another or for long stretches ignore the Holy Spirit’s leading to address certain issues in our lives. we are in denial for lying to ourselves if we believe that we are perfect.

            Now all I can do is to continue to pray for my wife that God would give her what she needs, be a good and loving husband, and attempt to take care of my self. no I do not mean take care of myself in terms of looking at porn or masturbating, but take care of all my other needs spiritual, emotional, physical, etcetera.

  8. Margus Waffa Meigo says:

    Are you comletly, deeptly lost you mind ??? Or rather, heart.
    This is so good looking webiste, and then i read this:
    “So, when your wife comes to you and says “I’m really tired tonight”, you have a choice. You can say “Well, let’s try to be quick tonight so we can get some sleep.”

    and to top it off “Look, I know your tired, what do you say we get some sleep tonight?” Note: Don’t do this every night or you may find you have no sex life at all…”

    Starting with first comment “Good balance here!”

    I do not even know from where to start, but if She says NO then its NO WAY you should intiminate, force, or other way make feel not so good about not giving you waht you WANT (is Her love not enought for you?? What if something happens with her vagina, you start to go sleeping around as its “need” or if something happens with your penis you stop being Man for Her?)

    This is so many levels wrong that even hard to start commenting it with out going off guard. This kind of thinking IS what makes her dired and head hurt and in the end you just will not get from the Life what you should as you make her feel like She is obligated to give you sex pleasure, She DOES not any way, or it is considered rape (at least mental, soul), often even mariaged womens does not realize they are abused as they are deluted to think that this is how it is. And out of love she sacrafises her dignity and even makes few voices for you so you can feel good. and “manly”

    at best case she would want YOU to be “sexy”, or manly, and turn Her on (it might take weeks, not just 5 minutes silly!), if she is no ON you CAN NOT demand anything (and it might chnage what turns her on, she is not robot with same program all the time!), its fault for you as man in most cases. If not all, in big plan if you really did get a point what world you born in to and what she come here to do for us. Sex for Her is something WAY deeper and more highly conected then ….
    And yes, there can be Years withe out it, or more. But you still have Life and Her Love
    Do you need love or sex? (what is bigger, …as sex in ordinary Earth terms for man specially..)
    You must be delighted you have someone to look in to eyes, someone to care for, to serve, to hold, … oh man, there is greated special mushrooms and plants for this, to clean your mind, that you would know greator and Her heart more, but our “male millitary goverments” has taken you and your kids away from these teachings… but you Should be able to “get it” just … you must…

    Sex was, is something holy that can (MAybe) also be between couples for TWO way pleasure, but most of te time its DEEP connection, pleasing each other not satisfing you need. Its deepest connection with God you can have here, actually.
    To even start to explain How spiritualy deep beings womens are would make superior complexes for avarage man and would ruin your sex life where you was humping around in her virgina before like in your own pocket, newer cared to even Learn about this deep creation that is around her vomb. And then comes her heart and mind and feeligs… ALL of it have to be in sync to have sext act that is worth, that was desinged originally …

    This is uterly retarded for many house wifes to reccomend them to use her virgina as pocked where you can just jack of in to. You have to look in to Her eyes, have deep realization WHAT you do right now, not thinking to get rid of your boner.

    This was so desturbing i was not even able to write what i wished, will come back some day and hopefully will write something deeper and more easy to read, this was shoking.
    No wonder females talk about man as we would be impensilles if we have additude like that.

    Just becouse you become same body does not mean She lovered permently her high status and have to obey by the lowest mind set, opposite, rather opposite if you wanna get in to ANY gate.
    thank you for forgiving my spelling, but this text is for YOUR benafit, as the ones who do not take it seriously will have their pay waiting for them soon enought, if lucky then in this life so you might have chance to correct your sould and be humiliated only in Earthly world…
    (or did you plan to have this your last 120 years journy here? What you think how they treat the ones who give birth to life and other females up there? How they look at these who do not realise the deepness… No wonder the Angels was able to nick away many wifes already in old times, and they do that in mass scale, as Earth man can not get the point of females has highly as these fallen angels or other extra teresstials … you should be better, you CAN be better then most of them, Easy if you just truly Love)

    Often we wanna end up in pages like that and forget the actual higger reallityes, and how much more advanced is female then man. (bdwm where is the reference to III. point nr3?)

    But lets read a bit more; (NOthing, She “feels” if you think about other matters above Her)

    Thats what happened when 5 star, star people, communist entered to our holy land in Estonia
    as we also mistaked

    This is common now, as females are in open market put my man who might be no more soon

    Look up Katy Perry Undconditionally video to get some point of view… her other videos including ET and others are educative as well. If you are able to look them with humble mind

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Honestly, I have no idea how to respond to this.

      1. Sparhawk214 says:

        Sort of new here and reading previous posts. I’m with you Jay Dee, my reaction to this was: What?????

        1. Jay Dee says:

          Welcome to the community Sparkhawk!

    2. BJ says:

      Something tells me that a person who takes Katy Perry songs seriously as models for living is not catching on to the concept of biblical, holy sex!

    3. InHimalone says:

      Sadly I hear someone who has been deeply hurt many times.

  9. Cathie says:

    Holy shit, I can’t believe how rude and needy you are. Seriously is sex that important that you would guilt your wife into something she doesn’t want to do? Sex is a want not a need, your life does not depend on sex. Food/water yes but not sex. It’s psychological, and you have two hands. Use them.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      My life doesn’t depend on it, but my marriage does. And it’s not just psychological, is physiological as well as emotional and, I’d argue, spiritual.

      As for suggesting that I can replace the relationship with my wife with the use of my own hands, you are sadly mistaken and don’t see the impact healthy sexuality has on marriage: there is no comparison.

  10. Yvonne Chase says:

    Why would you want to tell your husband no sex tonight outside of sickness or some tragic emergency?

  11. Bonnie Way says:

    I do agree with you that it needs to be a discussion or a decision reached together… however, I know that I’ve often told my husband, “I’m really tired tonight,” and feel like he doesn’t hear that (he deals with sleep issues, so he’s always tired). We also use NFP instead of birth control, so there are nights when I say, “No, not tonight, because we’ve agreed we don’t want to get pregnant this month,” but I guess that no comes out of a previous discussion and agreement about planning our family, so it’s still something we talked about and not exactly a surprise to him. 🙂 So yeah, I’d agree with your tips – couples need to discuss this. And my husband does prefer if I say “let’s do something quick ’cause I’m tired” instead of “No, because I’m tired.” 🙂 So we can both give a little there and still be happy. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Aussie Bloke says:

    My wife has possibly said “no” to me twice in our 37 year marriage. Both times she had a good reason. I would not stay with (and would not have married) a woman who thinks she can use sex supply to manipulate me, to reward me or to punish me. At our wedding, when she promised to love me, she was not promising to feel nicely towards me, but to actively meet my needs and put me first. I did the same to her. Sex is part of the deal.

    Men have a physical sexual need. A man’s wife is the ONLY provision God made for that need to be met. If a wife does not meet that need, she has failed to love him, and she has contributed to his sinning to get that need met another way. There are many biblical texts which state things like the woman’s body is not her own, it is his; conversely the man’s body is not his own, it is hers, and couples should not abstain from sex except by MUTUAL agreement, and then for only a limited time so that the occasion to sin does not arise.

    But then again, my wife loves being intimate with me because she knows it is a time when I express my love for her. Fellas, make it LOVING!!

    By the way, in the few minutes after a man orgasms, he is deeply appreciating his partner and what she has given him, and his bond to her is deepening.

    1. HopefullyHelpful says:

      The problem is “I would not stay with…”
      The Bible also says, unless there is fornication, you’re stuck (unless you want to be single–and dry–the rest of you life and be responsible should your spouse commit adultery after the divorce). And not getting any is not fornication. So, we’re stuck.
      You’re a lucky man.
      Make sure she knows how much you appreciate it. Those others among us have you as a target.

      1. Jay Dee says:

        You’re not “stuck”. You both have an opportunity to grow. Learn to be content in all things while still holding each other accountable. It’s a difficult balance to strike. But, it can be done.

        1. HopefullyHelpful says:

          Yes. We’re stuck. I was particular about that word (sounds better than “cleaved”.)
          Gen 2:24 “This is why a man is to leave his father and mother and stick with his wife, and they are to be one flesh.”

          Stuck is Stuck.
          We need to realize that, and until we do, we keep trying to fight it, growing in many ways except together. And if we just go and learn to be content, then we are never motivated to change anything, just become a punching bag. We can accept the situation as transitory (unfortunately, without a time limit), but we should definitely not be content.
          It still just gets a little under my skin hearing the leave-if-no-sex camp. Hopefully I’ll grow out of it.

          1. Jay Dee says:

            Stuck implies you want to leave but can’t. Cleave implies intentionally staying together. There’s a reason they use that word.

            1. HopefullyHelpful says:

              The CJB has it as “stick” which I like because it clearly implies voluntary or not, once that one-flesh union has been achieved, it is permanent. Hence we have all the Biblical advice/rules to make it enjoyable and not the “dealing with contentious wife” scenarios. This is also the way Jesus basically explained it as well, so we should have strong motivations to make things work out for everyone’s enjoyment and realize the intentionally part was before the marriage took place.
              After all, we’ve all heard of stick-to-it-tivness, but probably not cleave-to-it-tivness.

      2. Anonymous says:

        I can see what you are saying about being “stuck”. In my case, I was a biker and a fairly wild bloke before we married, and my wife knew that “no sex” would not be tolerated for long. She was a fairly wild girl herself and had no Christian background. It’s a bit different for a Christian couple (we are both Christians now). But my point holds – sex is part of the deal, and the woman needs to know that regular sex will be required unless there’s a very good reason why. For marriage to work as God intends, both partners need to be doing their part. People on the path to marriage need to know this. The woman needs to know that this is a part of the deal before she promises to love him on the wedding day. Her body is not her own, it is her husband’s. She has no right to abstain from meeting her partner’s sexual needs unless it is for a limited time by mutual consent. I am not going to accept a sexless marriage. God never intended men to go through life being sexually frustrated.
        Whilst I may not have the right to divorce my wife if she refuses sex, I do have the right to show her from the Scriptures why she is expected to meet my sexual needs. That might sound hard, but I think a wife who is withholding sex needs to be treated very firmly. Her position is untenable. If my wife wants me to treat her as the Bible says I should, she needs to know that its a two-way street and she’d better be doing the same.

        However, my wife likes to have sex with me, as it is a time when we connect at a deeply personal and intimate level and afterwards both of us feel more together, recharged and ready to face the world again. Sex is a time when we are very close and loving to each other. Everyone benefits.

        Men, if you want sex, give your wife love. Women, if you want love, give your husband sex. It’s the way God designed it to work. And both of you, your body isn’t yours, it’s your partner’s. For real.

        1. Butterflywings says:

          Anonymous you talk about the woman needing to know that sex is required and if she doesn’t provide sex, then she needs confronting with scripture, but why put it all on women?

          What are women supposed to do when the are repeatedly denied. I’ve tried gently giving him scripture and I’ve begged our pastor to back me up. Our Christian marriage counsellor told us when we were newly weds that once a week or less was completely normal for young healthy newlyweds. Our pastor said take it up with our current marriage counsellor when I said in our appointment with him how we have sex less than one month now. We are early 30s, hubby is healthy and only works part time by choice. He has time to play on the computer 6+ hours worknights and 12-18 hours on non work days but having sex even once a month is too “time consuming” for him and if I want him to spend time with me, he claims he’ll have to drop another day of work per week (i.e. If I want him to spend hour with me talking or having sex or anything really, even just spending time as a family with me and the kids, he “needs” another day off work so he can spend the rest of the day on the computer to “recover”).

          He won’t even read his bible or go to church anymore. Showing him scripture just sees him turn his back on me and pretend like I am invisible like a toddler would when being told something they don’t want to hear(he will literally stick his fingers in his ears at times). I give him the addresses of sites like this one – he refuses to read them. I’ve bought a dozen books about Christian marriages. He won’t read any. And none of the Christians in our life will confront him about his behaviour. A few have tried about his gaming addiction but gave up very quickly. I give my husband love, respect and sex. I would happily give him sex anytime he wanted. My first husband and I had sex up to six times a day. There was rarely a day we went without. but for my second husband he won’t give sex or love despite having both freely offered.

          All I get from my husband is nastiness, spite, disrespect, contempt or, on a good day, indifference.

  13. Mitch says:

    My wife never initiates, leaving me in the position of always taking a big risk when I ask for sex. So when I work up the courage and ask and get shot down, it is devastating because I know I will have to come back tomorrow or the next day and work up the courage all over again. There should be a rule that says that whoever says “no” has to be the one to initiate it the next time and they have to do it within a day or two. Because our marriage has created a horrible pattern where I get refused, I come back again and get refused again, until eventually I wear her down and then I get duty sex that is without enthusiasm. Since I have some pride and dignity, this pattern is horribly insulting to me and I would just rather masturbate and leave her alone. Sadly, this happens a lot simply because I cannot accept that she will never initiate. It isn’t fair. If she ever did initiate, I think I would consider it the best day of my life.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Have to talked to your wife about this? Told her that you resort to masturbation when she refuses regularly? Suggested the rule?

  14. Mitch says:

    I believe the response I got was, “If you’re having a problem, you just need to pray about your self control.” I told her the pattern was contributing to sin and she just said she would “think about it.” That was 2 months ago and things are right back to same-old same-old. Now, yet again, I have to bring up the courage to confront. We went to marriage counseling a few years back and the marriage counselor pretty much took her side and said that sex was a desire and not a need so I should just deal with it. I was dumbfounded by his statement but wasn’t equipped with a biblical counter-argument at the time. But the damage was done. Now I wish I could go back in time and punch the marriage counselor in the face.

    Obviously, I wouldn’t do that, but those are the feelings I’m dealing with. I feel like so many Christian leaders reflexively take the wife’s position out of fear of seeming sexist that the husband is just assumed to be at fault. The problem is that this destroys my motivation to fix the things that really are my fault if I know I’m being blamed for everything. I told my wife that our pattern of sexlessness was a sin we were BOTH committing and that it needed to be fixed. But she kind of rolled her eyes and said “whatever.” She just has no heart to solve this problem and I think I just need to stay off marriage blogs because just talking about it depresses me.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Unfortunately, many marriage counselors are struggling with their own issues in marriage and project that onto their clients. You never get to see how a marriage counselor acts in their own relationship, how they deal with their own struggles. Sadly many are ill equipped to deal with their own lives let alone others, and as a result do a lot of harm rather than good.

      As for the “whatever” comment in response from your wife, perhaps next time try following up with “Are you okay with the continuous damage we’re doing to our relationship with each other and with God?” Don’t let her dismiss the issue. She’s probably hoping if she treats it like nothing then you will drop it. I think we as Christians need to get better at making sin uncomfortable in our lives and in the lives of those around us. Not by “bible thumping” and making everyone feel bad through shame, but I think serious questions have a place that gives the Holy Spirit an opportunity to move.

  15. Mary says:

    You shed light on something so important. I’ve never told my husband no to sex. And that might shock a lot of people, but there is a reason. I can’t remember a time that he knew I really didn’t feel well and tried anyway, or if we are in bed and he is rubbing on my back and can tell I’m drifting off he just loves on me till I fall asleep. But if I am squirming under his touch, arching and breathing faster he knows how I’m feeling. He will still outright ask me though often and I always reply honestly. If I’m not in the mood at the moment I will tell him, and he is more than happy to love on me and show me affection to get me there.
    On the flip side though, he seems embarrassed when I flirt with him 1st. Often I ask him or indicate I’m interested in him and he flat out declines. I still try to read him like he does me. I don’t try on nights I know he is tired or upset. I feel so unwanted though. Even though he does initiate with me, the fact that he so frequently shuts down my advances makes me feel like he only wants me when the mood strikes him, but isn’t really attracted to ME.
    Like I’ll be in the kitchen cooking and he will come up behind me and grab my bottom or spank me (which he knows I find cute, just from him, others might not find it cute). I always lean back against him, or giggle happily, or spin around and hug and kiss him. I know the intention isn’t so start something right there. He is just showing affection and I’m showing I respond. But if I do the same, he acts totally stoic. I could come up and speak sweetly in his ear, kiss his neck, play with his hair, etc. and he’ll just look at me like “what are you doing?”
    There have even been multiple times I’ve done something like get out of the shower and come sit on his lap on the couch and he will literally say something like “can I help you?” Or will just give me a pat on the leg like “ok babe, cute, but get up.”
    It’s been on my mind so much lately. I just feel so unwanted and invisible. We have a toddler and I just feel like I’m “mom” but I dont get to be sexy or desirable to the man I love. It really breaks my heart. It has made me feel like I should start telling him no, but I don’t have the heart. There never really is a time that he asks that I really don’t want to or can’t be taken there. I mean seriously, even if I’m not 100% into it, I’ve never regretted making love to my husband and to make him feel good and happy is worth anything. And I don’t want to give him that same feeling of rejection. I like that he knows I want him. That he can come to me and that can be a way he is accepted and safe, no matter what else the day has brought. But I don’t know how else to make him know how it feels without saying “no” some. I’ve tried explaining how I feel about it all many times now with no change. I just dont know what else to do?

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