I received this question last week through our anonymous Have A Question page:
I am a 32 year old mom of three little ones, with a pretty good sex drive (2-6a week) but my husband has much higher than me. We have sex 5-7x a week and it seems he would like more. I know he doesn’t mean to make me feel like I’m just a sex toy but sometimes I do. We do pretty much everything you talk about and he hasn’t watched porn in about 5 years. I wish he would be satisfied with a bit less but anytime I’ve hinted at this, he feels rejected. Not what I want! How do we get on the same page while also both being satisfied
There are times when it’s acceptable to say “we’re having too much sex, and I can’t take it”. It can happen that too frequent sex can actually damage a relationship, or cause harm to one spouse.
Now, I’m not saying that too much sex damages a relationship. Don’t anyone misquote me here. But, there are times when your current relationship and/or life circumstance cannot handle it. That it throws other things out of balance.
And this can happen in any aspect of the marriage. If all you do is talk and nothing else, you may find a time when you need to tell you spouse “I need to take a break from talking for a bit.” or “I can’t handle this much conversation”. Again, this doesn’t mean a lot of conversation is bad. It just may be out of balance.
With 3 young kids, daily sex can be out of balance. It can mean you don’t get any time to connect other than physically. It can mean you never get time to be an individual and do your own thing. It can mean you feel only appreciated as a sex object.
And in times like that I think it’s perfectly acceptable to sit your spouse down and say “I can’t keep this up. It’s damaging our relationship.”
We’ve had this conversation in our marriage in fact. There was a time we were having daily (or near daily) sex. But, it was unattainable. It was amazing for our marriage, but it was ruining us physically. We were exhausted, and living like zombies (albeit quite happy zombies). But, still, even though we were both enjoying it, we needed to slow down. We both hope to get back to that, but with 5 kids, including one that still wakes multiple times a night, frankly, our goal is twice at week these days. And some weeks we miss even that.
So, how do you do it without hurting your spouse? You don’t. It’s going to hurt more than likely. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to do. And your spouse, hopefully, will recognize that. It hurt when my wife said we need to slow down. But, she was right. And sometimes it still hurts a bit when I think back to those days and feel a sense of loss. But, I know we both want to get back to that some day, when we can maintain a balance, and then I don’t feel so bad. We’re doing the best we can with what we have.
My advice: be honest, and express what you are feeling and thinking. Tell him that you don’t want to hurt him. Tell him that you’d love to keep this frequency up, but you can’t manage it at this time. Tell him that if it continues that it will damage your relationship. Then, let him decide what’s more important: sex, or your relationship.
And that’s where it becomes difficult. My wife told me she can’t keep a daily frequency up knowing she had made a promise never to say “no” to sex. So, it became my decision about whether I wanted to keep up daily sex, or if I wanted my wife to be healthy and sane. Well, that wasn’t even a choice for me, I chose to keep my wife healthy. After all, it wasn’t like she was saying “I don’t want sex ever again”. And this isn’t a “headship and submission” thing, this is a just a “no spouse has veto power” thing. The same would hold true if the genders were reversed.
So, explain the situation, in a loving and compassionate way, and then wait for him to make a decision. To me, that’s the biblical way to handle this.
Now, if he doesn’t agree that you need to slow down, and you truly believe its damaging you (you personally, or your relationship, then you should involve a third party in accordance with Matthew 18:15-17.
I hope that helps. Anyone else want to offer any thoughts? Do so in the comments below.Have a Question? Ask it here!