Some Days You Just Don’t Wanna (Have Sex)

It’s Thursday, and I should be writing a Q&A with J post, answering a reader question. I should be, but today I really don’t wanna.

It’s not that I don’t care about y’all — I definitely do. It’s not that I’ve lost my will to write on the subject of sex in marriage — I definitely have not. It’s not that I’m unable to put up a post — I definitely can (obviously).

But yesterday, the day I’d planned to actually write the post, was a particularly grueling day. Without too many details, a family member of mine unexpectedly ended up in the hospital and I spend my day there juggling medical issues, family dynamics, and a ball of worry. Things had greatly improved by the time I left last night, and I felt certain I’d wake up today ready to delve into a reader’s question.

However, my body and brain are tired, and I don’t know how helpful and insightful I can be today. I’d rather skip a week than toss something out that cheats the question and my readers.

Which brings me back around to my subject of sex in marriage — because yeah, I can still draw parallels to sex with all kinds of things in my environment. I’m not among those who believe that wives should be at the beck-and-call of their husband’s sexual urges. I completely understand the well-meaning behind those who advise women to always be available for sexual intimacy with their husbands. But you know, some days you just don’t wanna. And I get that too.

Some Days You Just Don't Wanna (Have Sex)Certainly, there are times when you cannot engage, due to illness, family obligations, etc. But there can be times when you’re simply not up for it, because you’ve been strung out to exhaustion by other things in your life. And I think that’s fine — if it’s not a pattern.

Ongoing refusal and gate-keeping are not merely unwise, but can rise to the level of sin. After all, we are commanded not to deprive one another and to become one flesh with our husbands. If making love in your marriage is the exception rather than the routine, then you need to take a good, hard look at what’s amiss in your lives. Are you too busy? Struggling with relationship issues? Ignoring physiological obstacles? Just being selfish? Whatever it is, you need to address it.

But in a healthy marriage, you’ve established that sexual intimacy is a given. Your husband knows you find him desirable, sees you prioritize physical intimacy, and understands that if you say not now, you have a good reason. You’ve also experienced for yourself the delight of sexual pleasure, the importance of this physical connection, and the satisfaction that comes from the one-flesh experience. So if you really don’t feel like it this one time, you also figure you have a good reason.

Maybe you can’t pinpoint exactly why, but you know it’s not disinterest or an unwillingness to engage sexually with your husband. You can explain that gently and lovingly to your husband. AND you should probably suggest a make-up session — a rain check on the not now.

You see, not now isn’t the same as no. Not now says this moment isn’t ideal, but you’ve got it high on your priority list for as soon as possible. But no leaves your husband hanging and wondering if and when your libido might come back around.

The hubbies I hear from who are upset about the lack of sexual intimacy in their marriage are almost always those who get rejected regularly and feel up-in-the-air about when the next encounter might happen. Or whether his wife will ever understand why he desires this kind of intimacy so much. The men who get a not now from time to time can deal with that. Especially when they know that they won’t have to wait long before she’s jumping back into his arms, preferably naked.*

I just wanted to let you know, wives, that I believe it’s okay to pass on sex now and again. You’re not there to be his booty call; rather, you are equal partners in creating and maintaining regular and satisfying sexual intimacy in your marriage. Make that your priority, your pattern, and your passion.

And you have my rain check on answering a reader question next week.

*Of course, a substantial percent of marriages have higher-drive wives who experience the opposite of this description. If you’re in that category, remember that you’re completely normal and I want your husband to understand these principles about prioritizing sex in your marriage. You have my compassion and my prayers.

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6 thoughts on “Some Days You Just Don’t Wanna (Have Sex)

  1. Eric

    As a husband of more than 50 years, I’ve heard this a “few” times, and I’ve learned to understand my wife. Last night we were unwinding from 12 days away (both business and visiting family–which can be even more tiring)! I’d come home hoping to finish off my wife’s 80th birthday with a bit of fooling around (Yeah, she’s 80; beautiful and still all there, thank the Lord).

    Well, her sister wanted to take us both out to eat. At a bar & grill. So we went. The din in that place was deafening, but we managed to find a table on their patio, so I enjoyed it. Well, sorta. I’d rather been home; I hate crowds, and I wanted sweetie ALONE. We got to bed around midnight, both tuckered out. 80 years will do that to you.

    But by three AM, after a little spooning both of us were in the mood. I’ll cut the story here, except to say, that “don’t wanna” doesn’t necessarily mean “wait til tomorrow night.”

    Eric

    Reply
  2. Holly

    Well. How do I deal with only him getting satisfied?
    Sometimes I don’t want to because I feel like he is eating a banquet and I only get to smell it.
    I have never had an orgasm with him and we have been married 15 years. He is not willing to do what I ask.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      I have many other posts about how to talk to your spouse about sexual issues, but ultimately you gotta sit down outside the bedroom and tell him that the status quo is unacceptable. Explain why it’s so important to your sense of intimacy that you also experience great pleasure and sexual satisfaction. Let him know that you need mutuality in your experience. And then follow-through with some boundaries, if necessary: “I’m eager to engage in sex with you, but if I feel like you’re merely using my body, I won’t be able to continue. I need us to be together in sex, not separately pleasuring ourselves.” What’s tough sometimes is staying calm and firm, while also expressing how much you love and desire your husband. Those two need to stay in balance.

      Pray for wisdom before you start any such discussion. And search around my website a bit for some other ideas. Honestly, with 600 posts, it’s a little hard for me to suggest which particular ones, but see what you can find. Saying a prayer for you myself. Blessings!

      Reply

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