Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Anti-Harried Wife Syndrome Part V, Are You Having Enough Sex?

We have a sex crisis in American culture. It is insane. We hear a lot about the crisis of sexuality that goes on outside of a sacramental marriage--all bad! But there is another hidden crisis of sex--we're not having enough sex inside of marriage!

Again, be a social anthropologist for a moment. How many married women think it is completely okay to be too tired for sex for months at a time? I admit it. I was one. There are all kinds of excuses, mostly I'm too tired after an exhausting day of caring for your children!

Here is a quote, from a source not usually on my radar (or my blog)--I was doing some research for a single girlfriend of mine online and this insight smacked me between the eyes yesterday.

From Greg Behrendt's book "He's Just Not That Into You,"

"I'm about to make a wild, extreme and severe relationship rule: the word busy is a load of crap and is most often used by assholes. The word "busy" is the relationship Weapon of Mass Destruction.  It seems like a good excuse, but in fact in every silo you uncover, all your going to find is a man who didn't care enough to call."

(Sorry Jesus for using profanity on my blog, I felt it sort of added an important element to this quote.)

So here is the thing wives, we all use the "I'm to tired honey, don't take it personally" line--but it's all a bunch of baloney.  Our job is to love our husbands. That marital promise is not covered by a tiny peck on the cheek for weeks on end.

I want to stick up for men in general here. My husband is a gentleman. He is not going to insist on his right to love making when I'm puking from a migraine, or in the death throes of agony in morning sickness, or even weeping after the much anticipated pregnancy test is negative for yet another month.

My husband might encourage me to let myself get into the mood when I'm depressed about a homeschooling failure, or a fight with my mother, or a failure to lose weight soon enough after childbirth. That's not him being inconsiderate of me, that's him loving me.

If you find yourself often being "too busy" or "too tired" for sex, something is seriously wrong. Ask God for help, and fix it. Take a vitamin. Start running. Quit a Committee. Hire a babysitter. Call a friend. See a therapist. The one thing to usually avoid is blaming your husband.

My adaption of Mr. Behrednt's quote for Christian wives, is "when we claim we're too busy for sex with our husbands, we're not being right, we're being jerks."


  1. Haha my favorite line "take a vitamin." I do think health and nutrition are a big reason why women are so tired now a days.

  2. I'm glad you added the morning sickness caveat. I get severe nausea for months at a time at all times of day and it just isn't going to happen then. I would also add the immediate postpartum period when your hormones are crazy, your body hurts, you are completely overwhelmed, and the thought of one more person touching you is going to send you over a cliff.

  3. Hmm, I don't know Jenny. In the "if one more person touches me I'll jump off a cliff" post-partum period (which I unfortunately am all too familiar)--I'd vote that is a time that it's actually more important to say yes to sex.

    I hate nursing. It puts me in such negative & depleted mood. Yet its really important to be reminded that my body is a beautiful work of Art and not a mere work horse during that dreary time.

    I guess what I'm trying to say in this post is Sex in marriage isn't about "only when I feel good", but also humbly allowing my husband to "help me feel good."

    I always give myself the out "if I'm not feeling this in five minutes, we'll stop." Once I set the default to that mantra --it's amazing that I'm having sex way more often during the pregnancy, and post-partum phase of this--my hardest, most colicky fifth child--than ever before.

  4. If you take immediate postpartum to mean the first six or eight weeks, then yes, I definitely think women should get a pass. There is just too much pain and fatigue and everything else. (at least I think so!!) If immediate postpartum means the first six months or more, well, then it is probably time to make more of an effort.

    I think the biggest change many couples need to make is going to bed at the same time - no more staying up late on the computer or watching TV or whatever for either person. Because, really, it can be the husband's fault just as much as the wife's here. Sure, the wife might have been interested (or willing to try) when she went to bed at 10, but doesn't want to be woken up at 11:30... or vice versa, of course!

  5. Oh, that's funny. My quote "newborn" is seven months old and I still think of myself as "post-partum." I like that combo--New Moms get an automatic pass for the first 8 weeks, but after then try your best.

  6. So then we all agree! I was mostly talking about the first 6-8 weeks.

    In all honesty, I don't really start feeling it again for 4,5,6 months, but that is not fair to my husband. So it is very reasonable to me to try hard after the first 8 weeks even if I don't really want to. But before 8 weeks, it is hard for me to even imagine.

  7. Advice -- you want less frequent sex? Marry a Japanese guy. There's a reason the birth rate is so low over here!
    They're like camels in the desert -- they can go a long way before they need an oasis. (Of course, the other problem, of the wife perhaps needing more than her husband [ahem!] is entirely possible...)
    I will stop now.

  8. Jenny,

    I lose all libido when I'm pregnant. That's actually how I know before I even skip my period. My body is like "I'm done my work here, go away." During pregnancy trying to consciously be open to more frequent sex is helpful because I could seriously go the whole nine months with nothing.

    So post-partum (an important note, I've never, ever given vaginal birth--it's all c-sections) I get this incredible lift. It's like "Oh, I've got my body back, my husband is good looking again!"

    That actually causes L.'s problem because I'm all excited to start up a second honeymoon while my husband is exhausted because there is a non-sleeping newborn in our house!

    This is all painful and hard. Rejection hurts. It doesn't get less painful because there's a wedding band on your finger, it gets more hard. Its now about the deepest part of your heart!

    Thankfully God is good. Marriage is strong. We just keep muddling through and God will give us the Wisdom and Grace to increase our unity in this important area!

  9. I really agree with the go to bed early together comment! Much better than watching a show!