Wifey Wednesday: Why It’s so Hard to Say Yes to Sex

Christian Marriage Advice

It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I’ll introduce a topic, and then you all can comment or link up your own marriage post below.

Why is it hard to say yes to sex?On my Facebook Page (have you joined yet?) I asked this question:

Why is it so hard sometimes to say yes to sex?

  • he hasn’t paid attention to any part of my day up to that moment.
  • When the house is turned upside down!
  • When a sexual comment is the only conversation I’ve heard from hubby all day…we’ve been married 30 years.
  • When we’ve had an argument and then he thinks he can roll over and we’ll kiss and make up. Yeah right!!!! Or when I’m so tired I can’t see straight
  • .…when the only conversation for the day is a proposition
  • you don’t come to bed until after mid night because you once again fell asleep watching television.
  • When I can’t get my brain to slow down and relax.
  • …when he ignored and/or criticized me all day
  • I’ve been in mommy mode for 12 hours.
  • you refuse to shower for a long length of time.
  • when he wont kiss me and ask me how i am doing or say good morning
  • When I have had to discipline kids allllll day long!!! Sometimes it is difficult switching roles!!!
  • When I feel unattractive and over weight. Regardless of how beautiful my husband tells me I am.
  • When I had small babies with me all day, I felt like someone was ALWAYS touching me. I needed hands-off time.
  • …he has fallen asleep on the couch and stayed there and it happens a couple nights in a row, and then suddenly comes to bed several nights later…

And then there were a few versions of this one:

  • I know it doesn’t last too long….lol

(I’m going to deal with this one in an awesome blog series in September: How to Make Love so it Curls Your Toes! So wait for it. It’s going to be fun).

Whew! That’s a lot of women struggling in this area.

So ladies, we all know we have these issues. We know these problems abound. But we also know that sex keeps a marriage close. It helps you to sleep better. And it helps you to feel more positively towards your spouse.

How, then, do we get over this hurdle and actually make love?

Some quick thoughts for you today:

1. Go to bed at a decent hour regularly

Seriously. The biggest hurdle? Exhaustion. I totally understand. But when we’re always running on 6 1/2 hours of sleep, or we don’t head to bed until we’re ready to drop, we’re hardly going to want to make love.

So go to bed at the same time. Turn off those screens and turn in! And here’s a way to think about it: You need 8 hours of sleep. You also need AT LEAST half an hour in bed first, talking and praying and making love. So you should be going to bed AT LEAST 8 1/2 hours before the alarm is going to go off (or the kids are going to arrive in the bedroom).

Do that consistently, and you’ll likely find exhaustion isn’t as much of a factor.

I know it’s hard when children are really little, but that’s when setting firm schedules and helping them learn to sleep through the night can be so important.

2. Take some time for yourself during the day

Find an hour, just for yourself, sometime during the day so that you don’t need those late hours at night. A friend of mine, who is a foster mom, joined a gym where they offer free day care. Now she can exercise, or just relax in the pool, for an hour every so often while her foster kids are taken care of. She needs that break.

Another friend of mine who works full time takes her lunch hour all to herself. She doesn’t hang out with co-workers. She just goes for a walk and eats while walking, or she reads a novel. She escapes to a food court where people won’t bug her and she just catches a few moments when no one is asking her to do anything.

Get that time earlier in the day and you’ll be more rejuvenated later in the day! And don’t expect that time to magically appear. You have to plan it! Sign up for my parenting newsletter (just look on the right hand sidebar) and you’ll get some free household organization charts to help you schedule this time in. Or get a gorgeous daytime agenda planner to keep you motivated and on track.

3. Find time to talk to your hubby

One of the biggest impediments was a version of, “he’s only interested in me for one thing”. He doesn’t help around the house. He doesn’t speak nicely to me. He spends the evening as a couch potato and then he wants sex.

That can be very demoralizing. But I’ve also found that, in general, the more we make love, the more he actually WANTS to spend time together. It becomes a circle that feeds itself. You make love, he feels more affectionate and generous. He acts more affectionate and generous, you make love. Etc. etc.

So start the ball rolling! But if that’s still difficult because you just haven’t connected, plan time earlier in the evening to do that connection. Go for a walk after dinner. Ask if he’ll help you with the dishes routine after dinner so that you can talk while doing the dishes. Talk about what chores you can assign to each other so you feel as if he has contributed that evening. Maybe he can always be the one to give the kids their baths, for instance. We tend to clean the house when we see what needs doing. Men don’t work the same way. So if you ask him for a specific task, he’s more likely to do it.

If you talk more earlier in the day, and if he does a chore or two, you can get over some of that reluctance. And then see how adding sex to the equation in your marriage can actually improve many of these difficulties that make you distant in the first place!

4. Anticipate

Finally, the reason that we find it hard to say yes is that for women, sex is primarily in our brains. If our brains aren’t engaged, it’s hard for our bodies to feel aroused. So feeling distant, feeling exhausted, or feeling taken for granted all become major impediments because they impact our thought processes.

But remember: it also works the other way. If sex is primarily in our brains, then if we DECIDE to have a positive attitude about it, and we DECIDE to anticipate it, our bodies will likely follow. We are not slaves to our thoughts; we can change them–and these new thoughts can change your marriage. Think earlier in the day: I am going to feel AMAZING tonight. We are going to have AWESOME sex and it’s going to help me sleep so well! I’m going to be able to RELAX tonight an all the worries of the day are going to float away. I’m going to have so much FUN! We’re going to really connect tonight!

Start thinking about the benefits of sex, and thinking about what’s coming, and you just may find that it’s easier to say yes after all!

Now tell me in the comments: which strategy will make the biggest difference in your marriage?

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  1. Great points Sheila! I’ve found # 4 makes a huge difference for me!

    I didn’t always understand that I could CHOOSE, that i could override my feelings and emotions simply by an act of the will e.g deliberately thinking ahead. Now I know! And it’s made a lot of difference. Sometimes, we don’t get the victories we want, not because they are impossible to get, but simply because we don’t understand they involve choice.

    Another way I get over the hurdles is through prayer. Simple, usually quiet conversation with God, asking Him to help me focus, or wake my body up or anything am needing at that point.
    Ngina Otiende recently posted…The Dream MarriageMy Profile

  2. Thanks for the thing about anticipating – I’ve read that on your site before but had forgotten about it. I’m going to do that today! I had a hard time more recently getting in the mood for sex after I went through a sex-crazed period of time when I was hypomanic/rapid cycling back in late February/early March. So I felt kind of dirty and stuff after I got a little more stable, which made me feel like I just didn’t want sex. Actually the first time my husband and I had sex after I got out of the hospital, it was a disaster because I just couldn’t get in the mood, which has happened all of three times (including that time) in the better part of a decade! I can actually remember and count on one hand the times that has happened. In desperation, I read things about that on your site because I needed help with it. And you did help! The part about being a new creation, and that I am created to feel pleasure with my husband, and the foreplay thing, and focusing on the good things my husband tells me because that’s truth. It really helped so that the next time was much better, and I am anticipating it today so I think I’ll be ready without much coaxing tonight! I’m so thankful for the work you do for women, Sheila. I never thought I would need help getting in the mood but I have after all, and the fact that you write the articles that you do geared towards women has been a sex-life-saver!
    Jenny recently posted…shame-free marriage and miscellaneousMy Profile

  3. Making the decision ahead of time to be there for him, because it honors God and God has never failed me, has helped me in those times listed in the beginning. I’m just planning on it rain or shine and that alone has been a huge blessing in our marriage.
    Esther Irish (@LaughWithUsBlog) recently posted…Sticky BunsMy Profile

  4. This is such good advice. Following these four (fairly) simple steps would solve so many problems. Several marriage bloggers written recently about the importance of time (devoting more time to our marriages), and going to bed at the same time and at a decent hour is an important part of that.

  5. Great list! And if these don’t work…please get yourself to the doctor. My wife and I had a terrible marriage, sex was a constant fight. She tested at Testorone levels of 0 (please get tested both blood & either salivia or urine…but make sure the blood work is included as they all test different). We could have saved ourselves the hardest 13 years of our lives…to what has turned into the best years of our lives because gals we really are the reverse…we work at this whole marriage thing from the other end of the spectrum. Even the most hard hearted reprobate will come around pretty quickly giving the type of loving he understands and even the most loving and tender man in the world will turn to steel if he’s not loved in the way he understands.

    Thanks Sheila!

    • I should add the doctors are seeing much more of this…whether it’s the food we eat or the water we drink (or the pace of life we live). It’s effecting many, many women (and men).

      • I’ve heard they’re wondering if it’s hormones in the water? So many women being on the Pill, etc. Who knows? It has to be SOMETHING new, though.

    • Such a good point!

      • Sheila,
        I don’t know. This started with my wife long before we moved to the top of a mountain six years, which has our own very clean deep well…so I don’t know how long it can linger. And I’m not a hippie, but organic food has made a huge difference for her as has some supplements. I think our food, water, and not as active lifestyles REALLY plays apart. But I know the birth control pill was terrible for her. It brought on depression, extremely low libidio and mostly month round PMS symptoms…she was only on it six months and it’s effect hung around for another six months…of course that was the first twelve months of our marriage, not a great foundation to start off on….throw in being a minister at age 19 & 18 and living in that fishbowl…It’s amazing we survived. It’s a testament to God’s grace or our stubborness! Here I am 14 years married and the last year has been our honeymoon period…as we never got a first/real one. But please gals, get to the doctor. Those thirteen years were the worst. Miserably lonely, depressed, sad, grief stricken…felt ugly, a failure…and I had everything in the world going for me except that. You don’t know how this effects men…I can’t even put it into words.

        Thanks again Sheila-

  6. Memarie Lane says:

    The biggest turn offs for me are: (1) when he does absolutely nothing to participate in family life or do any most basic chores (such as putting his own laundry in the hamper or leaving his late night snack dishes piled up all over the kitchen I had left clean), then somehow expects me to feel amorous. (2) His frequent frat-boy behavior and speech. No I do not want to “boink” or give you a “mouth hug” or “get a little freaky freak on,” and I HATE it when he grabs my rear end, especially in front of the kids. It makes me feel objectified, not desired.

    • I don’t know what to do about #1, except start leaving a tip envelope out like a hotel maid when you clean up after him and then treat yourself to a pedicure or massage or something. As for his frat-boy speech, you could always respond with, “No, I don’t want to *frat boy phrase,* but I would like to make passionate, romantic, MUTUAL love with you.” I noticed my hubby responded different to HOW we had sex when I started calling it “making love” and using the word “mutual.” After a while, hopefully your husband will catch on and stop using those frat boy terms. As for grabbing your rear end, it is his to touch, after all. However, if he’s too rough, ask him for a nicer touch or something more sensual that you like along with it, such as a kiss on the neck, or a big bear hug.

    • I understand it being unromantic when he uses stupid euphemisms, but I love when my husband grabs my butt (or my boobs), or flips my skirt up to see it, or walks behind me to get a good view! It does make me feel desired. :) The fact that he thinks I’m the hottest woman in the world and he can’t get enough of my body. The look on his face that conveys what he tells me – that God made me just for him, as a precious gift to him! That he delights in me! Like Katie said, a woman’s body is her husband’s to touch, and it’s a beautiful thing when a man does what the Bible says: “Delight in the wife of your youth, and let her breasts satisfy you always.” (He tells me that too. Haha. When he’s touching me he sometimes tells me, “Your breasts will satisfy me always. Even we’re old!)
      Jenny recently posted…shame-free marriage and miscellaneousMy Profile

      • I’ve communicated to my husband that I disliked his slang to reference our intimate time together – he stopped! And it gives me the same feeling when he grabs my butt.

    • Brittainy S. says:

      I know grabbing your bottom makes you feel objectified, but its his way of saying I still want you and that he thinks you are sexy. I would definitely talk to him about the frat terms though.

  7. Great list Shiela. I’ll have to agree with everything you said; like usual. But, I’d like to mention something here to the ladies. I realize that a lot of you have trouble getting in the mood for sex and a lot of women are offended by the idea that all their husband wants them for is sex. Let me try and put another spin on that.

    You married your husband because you wanted to receive something from him. You wanted someone who would pay attention to you, be loving to you and make you feel cherished. That’s what you wanted out of the deal, and many women complain that they’re not getting those needs met. Now, let me ask you something, what did he want out of the deal? Most of you will quickly respond that he wanted sex, and you’d be right. That’s why men marry, they find someone who they want to have as their lover for the rest of their life. You should be honored that he chose you, because there’s a lot of competition out there.

    If he didn’t marry you so that you would be his permanent lover, then the only other option that you can say is that he married you to cook and clean for him. Is that a better option? Personally (and I realize I’m thinking like a man), I think the position of being his maid is a much lower position than being his lover. If I was a woman, I think I’d rather have a man want to marry me to make me his lover, than to be his maid. In his eyes, his lover is a highly honored position, while his maid is almost nothing.

    I know that there are things that you’d like him to do, in order to meet your emotional needs. I teach men about that. Before you got married and in the early days of your marriage, you probably both did a pretty good job of meeting each other’s needs. But you know something? In most marriages, the wife is the first one to quit that, not the husband. He needs you sexually, because for him, that’s emotionally. You can best motivate him to give you what you need, by giving him what he needs.

    Get rid of the idea that it’s up to him to make the first move. As long as you think that way, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Everywhere in the Bible where it talks about marriage, it talks to the woman first. Why? Because you, as the woman, have more ability to change your marriage for the good than your husband does. While I realize that he needs to meet your needs, I also recognize that you can make him want to meet your needs much easier than he can motivate you to want to meet his.

    • It’s not always the case that men marry for sex. My husband actually used to think sometimes that’s why I married him because my sex drive was always so high. He has sexual trauma in his past, so he said many times that he wished we could have a wonderful marriage, be best friends, love one another, spend our lives together, but without sex. He wished that sex didn’t even exist and was heartbroken that it was impossible. He actually did marry me to be his companion and his best friend, although he has said several times that when we were having such a horrible time of it the one reason he didn’t leave is that I am so hot and beautiful and perfect physically to him! He has never said a single bad thing to me about my appearance, it’s all been positive stuff. And now that he’s healing from his past sex with me is very important to him, but it’s still not the end-all-be-all. He focuses more on the emotional and spiritual relationship, with sex being an added perk. In my usual state of being, I would prefer sex more often than we have it, but I love him so much and have learned not to push myself on him if he says no. Even in a marriage, no means no, especially for someone who was abused at some point. Patience and selflessness are so important in a marriage.
      Jenny recently posted…shame-free marriage and miscellaneousMy Profile

    • @Rich: Your assumption that most needs were being met before marriage would also assume that these most couples are having sex before marriage. As that is not God’s ideal, let’s say two people were not having sex before marriage but yet still felt compelled toward marriage because of mutual admiration, interests, (including but not exclusive to sexual attraction), etc. Sure, I was interested in sex before marriage because I thought my guy was interested in ME. Come to find out, it’s only the body because as soon as we were married, everything else stopped, yet I was supposed to be fulfilling all HIS needs. What a bait and switch. And, with what authority or evidence do you state that in most cases it’s the woman who stops fulfilling ‘her side of the bargain’ first? I think you probably have little of real value to teach other men. I wonder what marriages would look like if men quit trying to teach women a lesson on how to fulfill their sexual ‘needs’ and instead just loved them and pursued them the way they did BEFORE sex was an expectation.

      • LK,
        I’m a man and while I do strongly believe that today’s christian wives are slacking on meeting their husbands needs…I do believe that the reverse is also true. I know that while I winced at Greg’s comments of who quit first, I do think that often a great many gals raised in the church are completely not taught about their husbands sexual needs and meeting them and so many husbands are hurting & a large portion of the rest of the wives who if they come by it naturally often childbirth changes that.

        I believe even more firmly we need to take care of our wives as husbands, and love them as Christ as we are to be the leaders in our house.

        I think men are in general simplier creatures and you’ll find that if you respect him and have frequent sex with him he will try to meet your needs. I’m sorry if you married a bum that is not that way…but make sure you are meeting those two needs before you think you got the old bait and switch. There’s a great many wives out there that think they are meeting their husbands sexual needs when in fact there husbands are in desperate need of more affection.

        If I was your husband and read your post I’d be either hurt or angry…but you know either would be good. Again, men are much simplier. That one paragraph you wrote is clear enough…honestly sometimes we get lost in the feelings and longevity of our wives talk…not that that is right, but honestly maybe he doesn’t know he’s hurting you. I don’t know many husbands that really want to hurt their wives if they know they are hurting them, obviously there are some…and to be honest I wish I could disown them from my gender but often time as both men and women we are just reacting to the hurt we feel. That is usually the case. Break the cycle. Love him like crazy. If that doesn’t work then let him read your post…seriously. Short written words can have more effect on men. We do concrete things/tangible things…sometimes our wives verbal words are a little to abstract for us to lasso.

        So in conclusion, yes men should be loving their wives and be leading. Without a doubt. Sorry he is not doing that. But give that respect and sex thing a try…if you got at it with all your heart and he’s not hiding some deep problem from you then you’ll likely see a different man within a week to a month, at worst a couple months…and it will only continue to get better as you both continue to do you part of loving the other before yourself. God bless-

  8. Love your 4 points and have found them very true in my marriage! Usually if I am not “in the mood” it relates to one (or more) of the 4 you mentioned. I just love your blog and learn so much from it on how to be a Godly wife – thanks!
    Sue @ Busy Moms Connect recently posted…Mom Tip: How to Use up Mismatched and Holey SocksMy Profile

  9. In our marriage going to bed together (and early enough that I’m not stupid tired) are really the big deals. In general though I think men don’t spend enough time building anticipation in their wives – flirting basically. It’s a lot easier to get going when the motor is already idling than when it’s under about ten feet of snow. Kisses, snuggling, tickling, flirty phone calls or texts, etc all help. So kiss her neck and ask her how her day went, or wink at her as you order her off for a bubble bath while you read the kids their bedtime stories and get them ready for bed. It’s all good :)
    Natalie recently posted…how marriage and food bloggers are alikeMy Profile

    • Natalie,
      That’s so true! We men need to work on that…big time. The flip side is, if it’s not recipricated it’s painful to keep that engine idling if you know it’s not going anywhere at least a few times a week. My wife would have said the same thing a couple years ago…now she wonders where this guy that talks to her, and snuggles with her, goes to bed with her, flirts with her, etc came from…I was here all along just hiding from the hurt. So it’s a circle, a painful or a great one…but it takes two!

    • Natilie I will have to say that from my perspective Robert is right. I sent many texts to my dear wife telling her shes beautiful and she is stunning to me! along with many other things that would turn many women inside out! I also sent her these two texts “your body makes you sexy your smile makes you pretty, and your personality makes you beautiful!” and “Graze my lips and if those hills be dry? stray lower where the pleasant fountains lie!” Now for me that would have wound my clock but she never said a peep about it till I mentioned it weeks later. Different strokes for different folks right? Id love to kiss and hug and do gentle touch and Id like to have sex longer, oftener and sometimes in the kitchen while I am helping with dishes…but like Robert says its more fun when she wants it and its really hard to tell that she enjoys flirting and touching at all or that it helps us. We have talked about this many times and we are in love but what grieves me is what we could have and i know I should be more thankful for what we do have and for her putting up with me for 37 years! I am not perfect but but I Corinthians 13 says” “love suffers long” and it does seem long. She just puts herself into the things at hand and rarely if ever thinks about my needs or wants? Pray for me and with me that she could experience the joy of giving to her husband she gives to everyone else very willingly. No one would guess that she struggles to be into it and sometimes I wish I d know if I am attractive at all to her. Its seems like a duty to her and I think i have tried about everything!

  10. I think guys universally use crazy words to describe lovemaking. *Honking* our breasts and smacking our butts (mine has spanked me in front Of kids so much that every toddler I’ve had has eventually spanked me) are also things they do to show us that they find us attractive. It registers as crazy with us and not sexy. They are being nice though. My husband even sings song parodies about my bottom! And no, it doesn’t turn me
    On. I have however learned to appreciate these bizarre compliments.

    • Lol, my husband does song parodies about parts of my anatomy too! Especially my butt, he’s a butt man. You’re right, they really are being nice and sweet in their own crazy way. And it doesn’t necessarily turn me on either, but it makes me giggle and hug and kiss him all over because he’s so adorable when he does things like that, which is what he’s going for!
      Jenny recently posted…shame-free marriage and miscellaneousMy Profile

  11. The “Anticipate” thing works great for me. In fact, just yesterday my husband came home from work early (during the kids naptime…if you get my drift). Apparently, he had been planning on doing that all day; I told him he should have told me what he was planning because it would only be better for both of us! It is definitely hard to immediately switch from Mommy Mode into Wife Mode but having all day to get my head in the game really helps.
    Elizabeth@Warrior Wives recently posted…Best Medicine For a Man ColdMy Profile

  12. I find that anticipating seems to make all the others happen easier. When I tune in my brain, I think I should take a little break for myself in order to be available and prepared for “later”. When I tune in my brain, I find more instances to send messages, make a quick call or talk directly to my husband and to listen well. When I do these things, the bedtime automatically happens earlier.

    Funny thing, that anticipation.
    Amy recently posted…Dying to Self Gives Life to MarriageMy Profile

  13. Along with anticipation comes prepping/planning…I don’t leave chores or other big to do list items til the end of the day (when I’m exhausted) I know that if I get the things done and out of the way earlier, I will be more relaxed by evening. I know it can be a challenge, especially with a young family, work etc…but its just like working out…plan for it, make it a priority, deal with the excuses that keep us from doing it.

  14. I can totally relate to a lot of those reasons you mentioned. It’s not like I don’t want to “want” my husband, but I’m sometimes too tired, too grungy, too grumpy, or not feeling loved enough to do it. My husband and I have frequent conversations to sort out these issues with our marriage bed and I couldn’t ask for a more patient, understanding, forgiving, and loving husband. Wonderful suggestions.
    Hannah recently posted…We Do Sex… Among Other Things!My Profile

  15. Great list. I’d like to add Just Do It. When a woman is out of the habit of having sex (especially something other than “duty sex,” it can be hard to even remember how to say “yes,” If it’s been a while and you’re waiting for the right time, just do it. Putting it off doesn’t make it any easier.

  16. CoffeeCrazed says:

    Some of the facebook reasons listed I can totally empathize with. On the other hand, for some of those, the responsibility lies squarely with the person with the concern.

    If you don’t feel like a wife because you’ve been in mommy mode, well, wife is your first priority.

    If you are concerned about household chores, take a look at what he DOES do. You might be surprised at the things that happen while you are washing floors. It may not resonate here, but studies have shown that marriages where men do a lot of domestic chores are 1/3 less sexual than those where traditional roles are held. Viewed the opposite way, there is 50% more sex in relationships that are traditional vs. egalitarian.

    Consider the times where you have had good talks and you may have rebuffed your hubby. Consider if you have had good prayer times that you didn’t want to sully afterward with having a little romp.

    I have lived the horrendous situation where another hurdle was always erected to a fulfilling sex life. Eventually, a man is going to give up. And eventually, that patience that may be adored…goes away.

    • I’m not making excuses for those turning away their husbands, but you are using statistics in a flawed manner. If those numbers are true, they represent a correlation, not a causation. Why are the chores more equal? Perhaps because both parents work outside the home, which would make them both more exhausted and less likely to make love. I am a stay-at-home mom and I do most of the housework because I’m home. However, I do expect my husband to help with things when he is home (doing the dinner dishes, getting our kids ready for bed, etc.) and he is a great man who does these things willingly. It seems that you are using those stats as an excuse for husbands to ignore their household responsibilities, as if somehow men doing less chores makes for more lovemaking. Just as women must stop turning away their husbands and make an effort to get in the mood, a man must make an effort to show his wife that they are partners in ALL things.

      • CoffeeCrazed says:

        I also said to look at what he does do. Did not suggest that the husband doesn’t need to do anything at all. However, it is very easy for any individual to view their concerns through their own lenses and forget that there is other stuff that is done around the house.

        I do tend to be somewhat brief at times. What that study showed was that men who eschewed domestic chores in favour of the manlier chores, enjoyed marriages with 50% more sex than those with husbands who dug too much into the domestic stuff. It is actually pretty easy to see why that might be the case.

        Everyone in a relationship needs to pull their weight. If either is a slug, it’s gonna come out in the relationship. But men who do the yardwork, shovel the walk, mow the lawn, clean the gutters, change the oil, put up the Christmas lights, fix stuff, build stuff, teach the kid’s to ride a bike, …that’s a man’s domain. I think the study shows that women don’t need another woman in their life.

        And y’know what? I matched my (yes) ex, stride for stride, in everything. Child care, domestics, and…meh. Didn’t matter.

  17. I work midnights, I do all the house work he very rarely helps out. I’m always tired clearly since working midnights and we have a 5yr old, 2 cats and a puppy. He takes more attention and time with his dog then our daughter. I’ve tired thinking positive all day to get my body in the mood but then he’ll do or say something causing and argument and then I’m done. Completely turned off. I’ll sometimes end up giving in cuz I feel bad cuz it’s been awhile and well it don’t last long so might as well get it over with right. I’ve faked it so many times now and he don’t know and if he does he don’t seem to care cuz every time it’s been awhile it always turns into a conversation about him and his needs his feelings blah blah. If I try telling him what’s going on with me it’s just me complaining that he don’t do anything right. See all about him him him. I’d rather please myself, which I do most of the time. So yea that’s why it’s hard to say yes. :-/

    • Steph,
      Sounds like you have it pretty rough….not much to lose then. Tell you what. Make love to him every day for a week, then drop it to four times a week for another three weeks…report back. 75% odds you will have a much different husband. If that’s true and he has changed keep that up. If not, smack him upside the head for me! I’m being serious on everything but smack him upside the head…and really I’m serious on that too.

  18. For me, talking is the key. Communication helps me to connect with my husband because it allows me to hear his heart. I could be tired and not even anticipating sex, but he makes me feel special when he takes time to hear me talk to him. It shows me that he cares, he loves me, and I’m important to him. That turns me on…
    Tiffany Godfrey recently posted…Marriage and Communication: Marriage and MoneyMy Profile

  19. I have found that my hubby is SO willing to help in the house and with the kids if he knows it will help me be more relaxed and happy and therefore more receptive to him. Also, I recently discovered that he loves it when I put little love notes in his car for him to find in the mornings when he goes to work. (We’ve been married for 22 years!! I wish I had known this sooner!) We’ve also started sending each other “invitations” by text message during the day. (Nothing inappropriate. Just letting the other one know that we have plans for the evening…) When he sends me a message letting me know what he has on his mind, I try to make sure the house is in order and the kids are ready for bed on time so I can have some “down” time to relax and feel ready for him. I also know that, if I’m already feeling tired out, I might need a quick nap if possible. It makes me feel much more interested when I know early in the day that he’s thinking about sex with me all day and looking forward to it! And I find that I look forward to it all day too! This may not be the answer for everyone, but it has definitely made a huge difference for us.

  20. I think that anticipation can be a fabulous motivator. I find that if I can take a couple of minutes out of my busy schedule to think about what fun can be had after the kids head to bed, then it’s something that I anticipate and look forward to as the day comes to an end. And sometimes a quick phone call to my hubby can start the ball rolling during the daytime hours!
    Tina recently posted…Tips On Making Your Kids Swing Sets SafeMy Profile

  21. What if arousing his libido only increases his interest in porn and looking lustfully at women in public? The more stirred up he gets the worse the situation gets.

  22. Definitely #4- Anticipation! It’s so important to think positively – it definitely sets the mood. Great article (as usual!!) Sheila! Thank you.

  23. Anticipate. Yes. We figured that one slowly. I remember the baby days well. I also felt like being clutched at in bed was the last thing I wanted after being clutched at all day by several sets of little hands. It was also very hard to get time for myself so as not to feel that way. I didn’t communicate that need effectively to my husband. But we are out on the other side and things are better.Much better!

  24. heidi w says:

    Whats even better than being prepared to say “yes” is YOU initiate with HIM. So he gets to be the one to say yes, and doesnt always feel like you arent interested in him, attracted to him or that he is using you by being the only one asking!

  25. My husband and I were having problems with this area, we haven’t even been married for a year! What I discovered is that when I was “in the mood” things went great, but when I was tired or distracted and he wanted sex it became a battle. I’m very type A and I don’t like feeling pressured into things. We sat down and had a very frank discussion about how he felt that I only wanted sex when I initiated the act when really it was just because I felt like I was being pressured or coaxed when I wasn’t interested. What we wound up deciding was that when I was feeling ok about having sex, I would give him cues. I like to flirt with my husband, but we decided that it would be better if I reserved the more sexy flirtation for times when I was sure that I wanted sex. If I don’t give him cues, he knows that I am not likely to be ok with sex that night. This has greatly reduced the stress on our sex life.

    • Rachel,
      Your husband may act ok with this, but what choice does he have. My guess he is probably not…and you are hurting him, deeply. You are the one deciding both of your sex lives. You are the gatekeeper…he has no say.

      • In other words, you are the one doing all the pressuring. You don’t like it towards you but you are fine doing it to him….

  26. I noticed recently that my usually higher drive has waxed cold and I wondered why I really didn’t want to bother having sex with my husband. So, I sat down and thought about it and realized that I was being resentful about:

    1. Almost always being the one to initiate, do most of the movement/workout/effort, and I almost always got little to nothing in return. I’d like to climax at least once a week (preferably two or three times), not once every 6 months. Yes, I have spoken to him about this and things are getting better, but he still doesn’t always “get it.”

    2. When the kiddos start having tantrums, or tears, or the house seems in a bit of chaos, he disappears and leaves it all in my hands and then comes out when the storm passes and says he was “just trying to stay out of your way!”

    3. When I spoke to him about how I felt about him watching Game of Thrones and seeing all the sex and nudity, he disregarded my feelings. And THEN snuck out and bought the 2nd Season and got mad at me when I found one of the discs in the computer DVD drive!

    So, that’s what kills it for me, though I never say no to him. EVER!

  27. Newish reader and been reading through some of your old posts, as well. I can’t help but feel it’s a little inconsistent that you recommend daycare in this post, but come down on it so harshly in others. Have your thoughts changed since your original posts? Or do you feel that there is some sort of time limit in which daycare is acceptable? Personally, I would have serious reservations about using a drop-in daycare.

    • Kellie, my problem with full-time day care is that the child is with a caregiver more than that child is with you. I think that this can cause some serious issues. I do think, though, that leaving a child for an hour at a gym, if you’ve investigated it and made sure it’s safe, is fine. I don’t think a child has to be with you 24 hours a day, and there will be times that you have to leave a child with someone else. I just don’t think that should be full-time. I think it’s really up to each family to figure out what the right ratio is for them, though, and everybody has different circumstances. But we do leave our kids in the nursery at church, for instance, and I don’t think this would be a whole lot different, except that most gyms have more toys and equipment for the kids than most churches do! :) The key is to know the individuals who are in there, I think.

  28. Great article (as usual), but I can’t believe we have to wait until September for the new blog series! It sounds totally AWESOME!

  29. Bethany says:

    I find it’s helpful to spend my lunch our reading a book about a healthy sex life with my husband. It puts it on my mind and I really need to be intentional about that since those thoughts don’t come so naturally to me. It’s been too long since I’ve read one, so I just started Sheila’s and I’m excited for the growth that can come from it. My goal is to be more intentional about reading wholesome truths about what God created sex for until the lies are completely washed away that the world engrained in my mind. Here’s to the continued renewal of my mind!

  30. Rebecca says:

    Number 3 really helped us. I always made making love a priority, but when my wonderful husband started to help with dishes, or run errands, or help me accomplish my priorities, etc. I have become more and more attracted to him. As he practically meets my needs I feel so much closer to him and it gives me a lot more drive in the bedroom. :) He’s the best !!!

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  1. […] with Messy Marriage, To Love, Honor and Vacuum, Romance on a Dime and TALU […]

  2. […] linked with Wifey Wednesday, Mommy Club Link-Up, Simply Helping Him, Works for Me Wednesday, Pour Your Heart Out, Titus 2 […]

  3. […] go along with yesterday’s post on why it’s sometimes hard to say yes to sex, J at Hot Holy and Humorous reminds us that just because he’s stopped asking for sex […]

  4. […] Why It’s so Hard to Say Yes to Sex from To Love, Honor, and Vacuum >> Sheila addresses some of the common excuses that women […]

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