Let me preface this piece by saying that my husband and I have been married for six years. We cohabitated for close to eight years before that. I’m not a marriage expert by any means, but being with the same person for a decade and a half, I feel inclined to share some insight.
A friend sent me a link to an article referencing a reddit thread where a woman received an email from her husband that included a spread sheet with how many times they’ve had sex compared to how many times he had attempted to initiate sex over a period of about seven weeks.
First let me address the absolute immaturity on the husband’s part. Sending your wife a sex spread sheet to a work email and basically saying he won’t miss her for the entire ten days she’s gone, tells me he has the emotional maturity of a spoiled child.
As an adult, as a married adult, you should have the maturity to address frustrations with your partner face to face.
According to her reddit post they are both 26, they’ve been together for about five years and married for for the past two. They purchased a house about five months ago and spent the majority of the spring renovating. She had put on some weight over the winter and was also working hard to get back into shape. In addition to the stress of being newlyweds and taking on a mortgage and home renovations, this young woman has taken on nearly a double workload at her job due to employee layoffs and is now going away for 10 days on business.
As a someone emotionally compromised by stress, I empathize with this young woman. If I am stressed, frustrated, or just emotionally ill at ease, it can be near impossible for me to get in the mood.
Over the years, there have been many times my husband hasn’t understood my emotional disconnect from my libido. My libido does not function if my body is under any type of stress. Sex and intimacy are the farthest thing from my mind when I am trying to find balance between my day to day life and my emotions. Where as he finds his balance in sexual intimacy when he feels off kilter.
This is where you learn to communicate in your marriage.
I don’t know what causes me to not want sex any more than I know what causes my random panic attacks. I know it’s an issue with myself and I know that it affects my marriage, as well as other relationships in my life. It’s frustrating. Thankfully, my husband and I have learned through many failures in communication, to put our pride on the back burner when our partner comes to us with an issue.
Intimacy is an integral part of marriage, but what we fail to realize is that intimacy is different to everyone.
Intimacy is not sex.
Sex is great! But you will spend less time having sex in your marriage than you will doing just about anything else.
If you think that just because you put a ring on it, means you’re entitled to sex whenever you want it — you’re wrong.
Marriage isn’t about sex.
If you think it, you may want to go sit down next to those fighting against marriage equality because you are obviously too focused on sex to realize that marriage is more than what happens between the sheets.
Marriage doesn’t entitle you to ownership or power over your spouse’s sexuality.
Marriage is a partnership. It is renovating houses, it is paying bills, it is supporting one another through job changes, family drama, friendship drama, taxes, and all the tedium that happens in life. It is about facing all the hills, valleys, and insurmountable mountains of life and death with someone willing to selflessly place your needs ahead of, or at least on the same level, as their own.
Marriage is knowing that you may not always understand what your partner is going through, but you will do everything in your power to empathize and uplift them even when you know you don’t have the tools to solve their problem or a way to measure their pain.
Married life is not for the faint of heart or the weak of spine.
Sex is a ribbon wrapped around the gift that is marriage. It’s the sprinkles on top of the frosted cupcake.
Marriage is not guaranteed sex whenever you want.
We don’t talk about sex and sex lives that much in our society because we seem to have this ridiculous notion that you shouldn’t be doing it until you’re married, and once you’re married you should be doing it all the time.
I’ll be honest, the only people I know that have sex more than a few times a week haven’t been having sex with the same person for more than a year or are teenagers just figuring out that sex is awesome.
When they say sex gets better after you’re married, they leave out the fact that you learn to appreciate quality over quantity. The best sex you will have in your life is when you are deeply committed to the person you are with and you plunge the depths of emotional intimacy you never thought you’d reach. This level of intimacy isn’t reached until you have seen one another at your worst, ugliest, most vulnerable moments, and you still think to yourself “Damn, I am so in love and attracted to this person.”
I won’t lie, maintenance sex is a thing.
Sometimes you have sex just to have sex.
It’s like going to the gym, you do it because you know it will make you feel better; it will bridge that intimacy gap that develops due to the banality of every day life.
Sometimes you have maintenance sex once a week for a few months at a time. Other times, you hump like rabbits. Every relationship is different. Every person is different.
Do I think this young woman could have made a bit more effort in the bedroom? Sure. But that effort shouldn’t come from a place of entitlement and resentment on her husband’s part. Sex that both parties are completely into is the best sex.
Sex when one partner is just doing it to please the other usually ends in dissatisfaction, resentment, and ultimately things like infidelity and divorce.
If her emotional needs aren’t being fulfilled enough for her to feel frisky, then she needs to be able to communicate that to her husband. I’ve been that wife; it’s hard to do, but it’s necessary. You have to find a middle ground and it takes work. If she is feeling emotionally drained or neglected, it’s up to her to express that and ask her partner for help in bearing some of that burden.
Her husband needs to understand that part of being married is learning to communicate your sexual needs in a grown up way. If he’s hurt that there’s not enough sex happening, he should approach her like an adult. Face to face, let’s have a talk about how needs aren’t being fulfilled and find a way to ensure mutual satisfaction.
You don’t send a spread sheet attachment to a snotty email and ignore your spouse when you know you’ve deliberately hurt them. All that says is that you aren’t mature enough to surf the big waves that marriage brings.
Camicia Bennett: Founder of The Well Written Woman, Florida Native and cerebral creature, she loves her husband, yoga, red wine, potty humor, swearing superfluously and putting hats on her dog. If given her druthers she’d be surfing the web and writing randomness from someplace sunny and tropical whilst sipping her favorite vino. Oh wait, that’s exactly what she does.You can find her randomly sharing her own brand of slightly pretentious propaganda at her personal blog.