Monday, October 6, 2008

Sex in marriage- Do you check the "optional" box?

I have compassion, really I do. And I usually see this written by refused husbands more than by refusing wives. On marriage forums I often see husbands write in for advice because their wives refuse sex to one degree or another. I get that. However, many times if anyone, male or female, suggests ways to overcome the problem, the husband begins back-peddling and defending his wife's refusing habit by making excuses for her. What gives? Is the refusing a problem in the marriage or is it not? This is where I lose patience. Help me out!

One of the main reasons/excuses that I have been increasingly seeing husbands give is that their wife is afflicted with "sexual aversion". What exactly is sexual aversion? Does anybody really know? Does it mean the wife doesn't like sex? If so then I guess my next question is- Why did they get married when they knew they did not like sex? It is challenging to even find reliable explanations to define sexual aversion. I'd like to learn more so if you know of a good link, please post it.

One online source describes it as such:

A. Sexual aversion, mistrust, or inhibition of sexual pleasure due to:

1. Past experiences of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.

2. General personality problems with attachment, rejection, co-operation, or entitlement.

3. Depression or anxiety.

My understanding of this is that it is presented as a psychological issue, a serious psychological issue which would require serious sexual counseling. It is so sad, though, that many wives who claim to be plagued with SA won't get help and the husbands are afraid to back their wife in a corner and (gently) demand that she get help if she wants the marriage to survive. It is as if the familiar issues of the marriage are more comfortable than working on change.

What will it take to change that mentality in the wives and in their co-dependent husbands? I don't have solid answers, only a few ideas. However, every time I suggest one of my ideas it gets booed down as being too harsh. Well, being syrupy nice doesn't usually bring about change, does it? It seems that husbands who are that way with their wife... the wife interprets that to meaning that the refusing is no biggie. After all, husband doesn't seem all that alarmed so why get in a huff over it? See what I mean?

I recently read an article that kind of pertains to this so I thought I would post it. The article is entitled: "Death of a Marriage- The belief that Sex is Optional" and you can read it here. . The article is 5 pages long so be sure you read all 5 pages.

I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and/or opinions on this topic.


luvmygirls said...

Not a bad article. I'm glad it really stated that sex is not an option, but then gave the disclaimer about legitimate medical issues. I think that's important. My bride and I went for most of our marriage with a mediocre sex life because I'm an idiot and I didn't catch hints half the time. Then she got sick with a chronic musculoskeletal issue and there were times I wanted to ML, but I didn't want to be a burden when she was in pain. God finally changed my heart and she opened up saying that it hurt her for me not to make passes at her. Now we are free to talk about if we want it and why we don't at certain times but we both understand why it doesn't happen for us sometimes. At least we agree on how important it is to us. Maybe one day we'll get the frequency lined up the way we like, regardless of what else is going on.

Gemma said...

The article seemed good to me as well. I think I am on a mission to sound the trumpet to married individuals that passionate, frequent sex is NOT optional but it is mandatory in marriages.

And yes, most couples at one time or another have to make allowances for health issues but like I always say--- In most cases, it should be the exception rather than the rule.

This is what GR and I teach our college kids and it is what I tell everyone else when opportunities come up.