A lot of couples fail to talk about their sex life with each other. Many are afraid to discuss what they’re doing. If you think about it, it’s kind of funny. I mean, they’re willing to be naked and physically intimate, be opening up and being intellectually or emotionally intimate and talk about it…that’s too much. I take it back, it’s not funny, it’s sad.
Unfortunately, one of the scenarios that sometimes results from this sort of dynamic is that one spouse is quite unhappy with their sex life.
Sometimes it’s a wife who hasn’t orgasmed in years because her husband won’t bother to put in the effort. Sometimes it’s a husband who is feeling sexually starved. Could be a wife that is bored with just having missionary position sex, or a husband who feels abandoned when his wife runs off to the bathroom to shower immediately after sex.
Too often we make the mistake of believing that if sex is good for me, then my spouse is probably happy too. But, that’s not how it works. Especially if you don’t talk about it.
For my wife and I, we have a lot of differences in our preferences. She’s happy with sex once a week or maybe less. I’d rather have sex 2 out if every 3 days. This used to be quite a sore point for us, and everyone will simply tell you to compromise, and at surface level, that’s what it looks like we did. We generally manage 2-3 times a week. But, it’s not the compromise that made the difference. It was the discussion.
Compromise is a byproduct, not a solution
From talking about sex, my wife knows that sex is more to me than just a physical release. It’s how I best feel connected to her. And I now know that sex for her is a lot of work. Not physically, but mentally. Switching gears for her is quite difficult. Add to that the exhaustion of having 5 children, including one that still breastfeeds at least once in the night, and it’s hard for her to choose between sex and sleep.
I mean, she could just lie there and say “here I am, do what you want”, but she also knows I want a sexually engaged spouse. So, when I initiate, she’s honest about where she is in her ability to provide that. If she can’t be engaged, I’m not really that interested.
Not only that, but I know she wishes we had more sex, because she knows it important for me. For us. That means a lot to me.
So, we both understand each other’s thought regarding sex, and that’s what makes our current frequency more than a compromise. Because generally a compromise just means neither spouse gets what they want.
And it’s not just frequency. This same type of discussion happens about positions, activities, length of session, etc.. In almost all of these facets, we need to balance opposing preferences. Not simply so we can compromise, but so we can understand and be more loving in our living.
Without that conversation, this is a non-starter. I’ve dealt with too many couples where one spouse thought everything was fine, and it turns out their spouse is feeling tortured. Too many where they assumed their sex life was good, when in fact their husband or wife was dealing with some serious temptation, and that their sex life was making it harder to resist.
So, ask your spouse: How would you rate our sex life? What would make it better for you?
13 thoughts on “Was it good for you?”
Conversations are sooo important!
Meaning no disrespect, when one spouse wants sex 4 times a week and the other wants sex 1 or less a week, to have sex 2-3 times a week is a compromise (neither spouse gets want they want). Now the attitude from each spouse towards the compromise will have a big impact though which lends itself to a healthy or unhealthy compromise. Does this make sense?
I disagree, a compromise, by definition means that each sides makes concessions. I’m not making a concession, and neither is my wife. Therefore it’s not a compromise.
Jay, when we had a sexless marriage, I tried to figure out why I hesitated to talk to my wife about my need for sex. Both my wife and I had made assumptions that was not true. When you challenged me to “take the bull by the horns” and talk to my wife, I found out that we both wanted a sex life, and thought the other did not. I ask myself, “how could I have been so wrong?” Yet, even now as we discuss almost everything sexual, there are a few areas that I cannot speak to my wife about. I am more adventurous and learning more than she is, and she tells me she cannot handle certain sexual subjects. These subjects include toys, positions, games, experimenting, bondage, anal, etc. So, I feel for peace in our sex life, I keep those to myself. Do you think that is wise?
I think it’s wise sometimes not to push boundaries too hard too fast. You two have had a massive change in your life with regard to sex in the last year. Give it time. She may never be willing to explore all of them, but given time, she should at least be willing to talk about them. It sounds like she knows you want to talk about it, so it’s not like you’re hiding it.
Ironically there were areas in our sex lives that I never discussed with my wife because I thought she’d think less of me because we were “Good Christians”. But my wife and I decided to take the one year challenge and do the stuff we could do and try the stuff that challenged us. Turns out there were a few big surprises for us, such as sex toys (turns out she’d been curious about them too) and playful spanking (she didn’t even know just how much it would turn her on during sex) to name a few. If only l’d to the courage to talk to her years ago we might have discovered sooner the things we know now. Thank You for doing the 1 year challenge, it changes our sex lives for the better :-).
Wow, thank you. I sometimes wonder if anyone is doing the challenges. Mostly I just get “nope, not doing that” from people. I’m thrilled to find out that they’re helping someone. Thank you for sharing!
just to give the flip side to “nope! not doing that!” i’ll say that, when i see the challenges (i miss some of them), i either think “done that!” or “ooh, gotta remember that!” i think the challenge is very helpful!
oh the things we discover when we ask! great article as always, Jay Dee.
When I see the “Are you kidding?” “Count Me Out” and “Disagree” reactions to obviously good ideas like this article presents, I really wonder what thought process is behind that. I guess I would hate to be married to someone with those attitudes toward what might be very important to their spouse.
I’ll admit, I’m curious as well. Unfortunately, a lot of the people who hit those reaction buttons won’t comment. That’s why I put them there, so if people don’t feel comfortable commenting, they can at least participate in some way.
Talking about it can be a double edged sword. You may wind up opening some doors to greater happiness for one or both of you, but you may also find there are doors that are locked, bolted, and barricaded.