Are you in the habit of always saying no to sex?
It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and you all can comment or link up your own post below.
Today I want to talk about habits–and the habit of saying no.
When kids come into the kitchen and say, “Mom, can I have…” we default to “No.” We assume the words “ice cream” or “chocolate” or “Cheetos” will finish that sentence, and so the No is out of our mouths before they even stop talking. It’s habit.
And the same thing can happen with sex.
When you get in the habit of not making love for weeks, that becomes your default.
Researchers say it takes 21 days to develop a new habit.
Now I’m in the process of trying to develop a new way of handling my morning routine. Some things are so full of habit for me–I get dressed, and then I make the bed. I can’t NOT make the bed. It would bother me to no end. Making the bed naturally follows having a shower. But I distinctly remember at 14 hating making the bed. Sometime between 14 and 42 I figured out that making the bed is an important habit, and now it bugs me if the bed isn’t made.
But while I’m really good at making the bed, I’m not as good at breakfast. So I need to figure out how to make that more of a habit, because I often forget to eat, or else can’t be bothered.
Many of us have made a habit of NOT making love. We routinely say no. We may have other habits, like reading in bed, or falling asleep to the TV. We may take a bubble bath before bed, or check Facebook. We have things we do at night, but in general, it doesn’t involve sex.
How else do we explain the over 42% of women who reported making love less than once a week? Even when I took out the women who reported having a higher sex drive than their husbands (because in that case it may be the guy’s doing that they make love so infrequently) I still ended up with 40% of women making love less than once a week in my research for The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex.
We have developed the habit of saying no–or not saying anything at all.
And we are creatures of habit.
The more we say no now, the more we’ll say no in the future. We’ll start thinking of the evening as “me time” when we do things without our husbands. We’ll start to develop habits that don’t involve him. And we’ll also lose our libidos (because libido is largely a use it or lose it phenomenon).
So why not start trying to develop a new habit? Sometime after dinner, connect by sharing your hearts and concerns. Go for a walk or a hike. Do dishes together. Do some activity during which you can unload some of the burden of today, so that it’s not impeding your ability to enjoy making love later.
Then flirt! Make it a habit to do one flirty thing a day, like in this 16 Ways to Flirt with Your Husband post.
And then, make love. When you go upstairs to bed, ask him to come, too.
Instead of always asking yourself, “do I want to tonight?”–because the answer will likely be no–ask yourself, “Do I have a really good reason to say no?” Make the expectation that you will say yes, not no. Then, you’re more likely to jump in!
Here’s how habits work more practically:
I know what I do in the morning.
- I get on the computer.
- I do my devotions.
- I take a shower.
- I make my bed.
- I throw on a load of laundry.
- And then I forget *ahem* to have breakfast.
It’s quite predictable–as each step is a link in a chain, naturally following one another.
Now, let’s examine the chain and say, If I want to remember to have breakfast, where’s the best place to put it? It makes a lot more sense to put breakfast after devotions and before the shower, because by the time the shower is over I’m so busy running around doing tasks on my house that I often forget. So I’m going to try to disrupt my chain and put it right there, because that’s where the habit is most likely to stick.
Why not turn this “habit” thing to your advantage at night, too?
Maybe your chain could look like this:
- I go for a walk and talk to my husband.
- I put my kids in bed.
- I spend an hour doing something I enjoy.
- We watch an hour of TV together (or read together, or play a game together, or whatever).
- We head to the bedroom together.
- We talk as we crawl into bed together.
- We pray.
- We make love.
Each link in the chain naturally follows another. Break one link in the chain and it all falls apart. So what does your chain look like at night? Maybe it’s more like this:
- We put the kids in bed.
- He gets on his video games.
- I get on my computer.
- When I get tired I turn in.
- He comes to bed later.
That’s certainly what many of you told me on this Facebook post, or in our Facebook chat last week! Bedtime was difficult, because you were often doing different things.
Or perhaps your chain is like this:
- We put the kids in bed.
- We watch TV together.
- I get on the computer.
- He pulls out his files.
- I head to bed alone.
If that’s your chain, maybe you could reverse it, and spend your alone time–you on the computer, him on his files–earlier in the evening, so that you’re together later.
Write out everything you tend to do in the evening, and then ask yourself:
If I wanted sex to become an easy habit, how would this chain have to change? What in our current chain of activities is rendering making love less likely? What would we need to do instead? What more naturally follows so that it leads up to making love?
And then do it!
Don’t default to no. Default to yes. Your marriage will never be the same.
And if you need help on making sex a habit, why not work on my 31 Days to Great Sex with your hubby? Work on it for 31 days, and after that 31 Days you’ll be more used to spending time together at night!
Note: if you’re having a difficult time with sex because of porn use, or physical problems, or simply having no libido, I’ve got a ton of posts here that can help.
Now, what advice do you have for us today? Leave a link to a marriage post in the linky below–or please leave a comment that tells me what you think about this habit idea. And don’t forget to hit “Pin” or share on Facebook!