Don’t Go Sexless—Part Two

In my last post, I began explaining a simple solution to head off the problem of sexless marriage.  I pointed out how couples, generally, get to sexless when one person unilaterally decides to say, “no” to the sexual advances of the other—and sometimes for legitimate reasons. But I went on to reason that simply saying, “no” isn’t the answer and that it will actually work against getting the improvements you want in the relationship.  You need to answer a request for sex from your spouse with some version of “yes”. If you haven’t read Part One, (add link) do so before you continue on.

Let’s go back to the previous examples I gave in Part One—lack of hygiene and when the sex is “one sided”—to address how to use my “some version of yes” solution. If your hubby can’t seem to find the shower or toothbrush prior to jumping into bed for a session of lovemaking, don’t roll over in a huff and bark, “No! Get away!” at him, or pretend you are already sleeping. Simply smile and say, “Yes, dear! I’ll rock your world, just as soon as you shower and brush your teeth. Come see me when you’re squeaky clean, and I’ll put a big ol’ grin on your face.” See, the solution? Do you see how it will end in an entirely different way? For the wife to just say, “no” and roll over leaves the poor guy shot down in flames and leads to ill feelings and a strained relationship for both of you.

Yeah, yeah, I know you women say, “He should just know that I want him clean and spruced up.” Ladies, sometimes guys don’t think about everything like you do and we need reminding. Honestly, you may have to repeat the scenario a few times, but eventually he should get the message and hopefully catch on quickly to the fact that approaching you smelling clean from the shower, with minty fresh breath will be a green light for him.

The other example is a bit touchier, but can still be dealt with. If your Casanova just hops on, does his business quickly, hops off, and moves on to snoring, you can still address it. The next time he makes his move, say something like, “Babe, I really want to have great sex with you, but it’s just not doing it for me like this. Can we slow it down and work at this a bit so I can get something out of the experience, too?”

If the wife is willing, she can get proactive and approach it via text message during the day, or over coffee and the sports section some morning. Flirtatiously say to your hubby, “Hey, guess what I’d like tonight when you get home from work? We can take our time. Because you know, if you “ring my bell”, I’d be interested more often!”  (Play the old disco song for him if you need to! Some of you are old enough to know what I’m referring to. J)

Most men think their wives aren’t very interested in sex but they’re wrong. Women aren’t interested in one-sided sex…because in all honesty men, how interested would you be in having sex if you seldom or never had your “bell rung”?

And let’s get real, ladies. If your hubby’s issue is that he can’t last very long and you keep saying “no” and make him wait two, three weeks or longer between sexual encounters, it isn’t going to solve the problem. What you are doing is creating a very self-defeating scenario. Having regular sex is the best way to help a guy beat the “two-minute drill”. You can also check out the book we carry on our website Sexual Intimacy in Marriage for exercises and help on how to deal with this specific area.

Indeed, this issue of making sure she is also satisfied will require some conflict and difficult conversations, but you have to deal with it. It’s called communication, people. Believe me, it will be way more difficult and uncomfortable after months and years of avoiding the whole thing and not addressing the problem. You will be miserable in your marriage, or have it end in divorce and/or adultery. Again, if there is pornography and masturbation involved that as part of the issue, you must work at taking care that.

Here is another classic circumstance that nearly every couple faces: She’s too tired. Don’t pull the standard are-you-kidding-me eye roll, accompanied by the irritated sigh, and, “Don’t even think about it! I’m exhausted!” Instead, try saying, “Yes, Dear…I would love to make love with you and I will make it worth the wait, but can we do it tomorrow? I promise we will have a fabulous night! I’ll send the kids to the neighbors or put them to bed early and we’ll have a good old time! But tonight I’m just spent.” Plant a kiss on him to seal the deal, but then make good on your promise.

If you don’t stay true to your word, then it’s just like saying “no” to begin with.

He quickly learns that tomorrow never comes and that he can’t win at this game.

The bottom line is that you want your husband to passionately chase you for sex. Because the alternative is a passionless, sexless, lonely marriage where you end up more like roommates bumping into one another at the breakfast table.

I know it’s the big joke for young, married women to complain about their husbands bugging them for sex all the time, but it’s not going to be so funny when you are living out consequences of constantly saying “no” to sex with your man.

I wish you could hear the stories that I do from women in their fifties and sixties who, regretfully, helped create these situations. It’s very sad to listen to them talk about how they wish they could go back and do it differently. They wish they had learned the “Yes, if….”solution instead of doing what so many women do when they just say, “No” without an explanation of what they need or what they’re looking for from their husbands.

Again, I highly recommend seeing the movie Hope Springs to get an advanced warning of how truly dismal and bleak a passionless marriage can be. It should serve as a wake up call to couples everywhere to quit saying “no” to sex. It also clearly sends the message: Do not wait for years and years to deal with the issues in your marriage…especially those that revolve around your sex life. You only end up creating an entrenched state of misery. And as the movie shows, it’s really difficult to deal with the aftermath following years of a cold and angry marriage that is void of sex or passion.

Wireless, paperless, bag-less, are all good…but it’s time to put an end to the sexless epidemic. Learn the importance of giving your husband “some version of yes” early on in your married life—or start now. It’s never too late, there is always hope. (Which, by the way, the movie does show in the end.)

Saying, “Yes, if…” will enable both husbands and wives to get what they need in their sexual relationship and create a more fulfilling and successful marriage.

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15 Responses to “Don’t Go Sexless—Part Two”

  1. Ashleigh says:

    My comment is more of a question. You aim the “sexless marriage” at “older” couples but what if you are a young couple and experiencing this type of behaviour already? We’ve been less then three years and already seem to be entering this pattern if too tired, too busy or too whatever. This doesn’t seem normal but we’ve talked about it numerous times and not made any improvements. I can’t imaging this is a good foundation for a longterm marriage/relationship. The feels like roommate is all too familiar of a comment. Any suggestions or thought?

    • Amanda says:

      Hello Asleigh,
      When it comes to sex, I think there is a strong link to how we judge each other in our relationship. Richard Loving in his book “Loving Messages From Papua New Guinea” talks about God warning us not to judge others. I forget the verse, but there are three applications and a great story. 1. Judging others affects your relationship with them. 2. Judging others affects your relationship with God. 3. (Less Obvious) Judging others affects their relationship with God. Story- His wife Aretta was sitting in a cafe with Mrs. Gossip who was explaining that the waitress was so unhappy all the time that she even let go from her last job. So secretly Aretta prayed for her to be released from her anger. Rather than judging her she pictured her in prayer as friendly. When the waitress smiled at them Mrs. Gossip nearly fell over and immediately asked Aretta if she had prayed for her. Judgement can come in subtle packages like assuming our spouse is statistically bound to fail us, comparing him/her to others in our minds, and listening to others complain about them. I’m sure there is more. So, let’s all be like Aretta Loving and not judge, but prayfully picture our own spouses as the best lover in the world.

  2. Becca says:

    What do you do about it when you are already there? 10 times a year would make me feel like newlyweds again. For us, it’s more like two times a year. And he says he doesn’t need it.

  3. Dee says:

    I have been married to my wonderful husband for 11 years. We are both in our second marriage.

    Neither one of has a high sex drive… I noticed that in the beginning of our marriage…and I personally could take it or leave it… but I love him and of course was there for him…,

    But, 2 years ago, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It was removed and then a year later, more cancer was found in the area and he underwent 2 months of radiation.

    Since his operation (and perhaps months before), we have had NO SEX….He says that his tired, or something else silly….I know he purchased a pump (which he casually mentioned does not work)…and he did try pills the Doctor gave him in the beginning…. I, as I mentioned earlier, can take it or leave it…

    We are happy and spend times lovingly without sex. I’m 65 and he is 62…Is there something wrong with us?

    Should we, do we HAVE to have sex to be happy.

    • John says:

      I don’t see a reply here so I’ll answer your question. No, if the two of you are happy with out sex, then more power to you. This article is mainly for relationships where sexual desire is not balanced in the relationship. A couple could have sex twice a year and be happy (this opinion piece would not be for them), or twice a week and someone could be unhappy. The whole idea is to make sure that both people are sexually satisfied, and if there is a reason why sex has stopped, then communicate that reason and help the other person understand what, if anything, they can do to help restore balance to make both people happy.

  4. Chris says:

    Be Intentional. Just like reading your Bible, servicing your vehicle, or paying bills, it just doesn’t happen without planning. I recommend planning ahead of time a two-hour slot every week, out of the house, to connect with your spouse. And also schedule lovemaking. Is it less romantic to schedule it? Nope – if you compare it to being too busy.

    I remember an illustration where two lots of water, sand, pebbles and rocks were laid out in front of two jars. For the first example, the water was put in first, then the sand and pebbles. Guess what? The big things – the rocks – didn’t fit. For the second example, the rocks were put in first. And then the pebbles. With a bit of shaking and tapping, the sand fitted in, and the water saturated the space that was left. Lesson: you fit more in if you deal with the big things first, and the big (important) things are not left out.

    Hopefully the above illustration helps inspire intentional scheduling of life.

  5. Amanda says:

    Sorry Asleigh,
    I just realized how inappropriate my comment was in that it may appear that I assume you are judging your spouse. It is just a revelation I wanted to share because I think that judgements, unclear expectations, unfair expectations, and fears all get in the way of sex. They manifest themselves after the length of marriage you are at. Whether you are judging, or the the one being judged, you still need to recognize it and take it to God so that you and your spouse are not manipulated by false ideas and unrealistic expectations. Otherwise, they may lead to anger and bitterness. So, share your concerns with each other, but don’t compare your way of happiness to everyone else.

  6. Alita says:

    I am experiencing a difficult time in my long marriage, and do not know what to do. My already overweight husband has gained around 100 pounds. We can no longer enjoy the active sex life we had had over the years. I try to deal with my feelings about this, but honestly I have always loved sex and am hurt and angry that he doesn’t care about himself or ‘us’ enough to make an effort to lose weight. The distance between us is growing and when I mention it, he acts as if he didn’t notice. We are two people living in the same house, period. It is sad, really, because he basically has shut himself off from his very dysfunctional family and has no one but myself, my son and our daughter. I have tried to help him with this, but he is a secret eater and resents anything I say to him about pretty much everything, now. I really do not think God would want me to give up on him and our marriage, but I am at a complete loss and am rapidly becoming apathetic about someone who finds it safer to remain in the prison he has constructed around himself to keep everyone out. My feelings are holding me back in my walk with the Lord. I would prefer to be alone than live like this…

  7. Sam says:

    The “Yes,if” approach risks turning the husband into a manipulated doormat, as sex can then become a control mechanism to get the husband to do whatever the wife wants, regardless of whether these things were anything to do with her reluctance for sex.
    It also risks turning marital sex into a form of prostitution, by creating a “I give/do this in return for sex” transaction.

    How do you avoid these pitfalls?

  8. Tracy says:

    I don’t have a sexless marriage and I don’t expect passion all of the time. My problem is my husband is not interested in “returning the favor”.. Its been such a painful subject and source for some of our biggest fights. A few yrs ago he told me I take too long so he doesn’t want to bother. Its humiliating to basically have to beg my husband for an orgasm. I tried for the first couple of years to ignore it but than finally got the courage to tell him how I feel and he gets annoyed than tries a couple of times but goes right back to just expecting me to just please him. Its a terrible feeling and I now just wish my desire for him and sexual satisfaction would go away cause if he does give in that’s exactly what he’s doing.. Just giving in and I know I’ve just forced him to please me. I feel so incredibly sad and alone and angry.. I feel very sexually frustrated and “pent up”. He is so selfish with sex and I just don’t know what to do… I feel like I’m driving him to cheat if I don’t give in and have sex but I feel so irritated when we have sex at least 4 times a week and he doesn’t even attempt to give me an orgasm sometimes for more than a month or so. My resentment towards him is mounting..

  9. Anonymous says:

    My wife and I both appreciate your better marriage info. We’ve been married for only 2 years, and this is the second period of time that we’ve gone without intercourse for 6 months (only this time it was 7 months). It is extremely difficult for me, though my wife doesn’t seem to mind so much.

    The reason for us stopping is that I have absolutely no trust in contraceptive methods. I understand that there are many methods that have a 99.5% success rate (including surgeries and whatnot). However, that little unspoken law of the universe pretty much assures me that I will fall into the .05% unsuccessful catagory.

    In case you are wondering what the unspoken law of the universe that I refer to is, it is the same one that told me that as soon as my wife jumped up on top of the washing machine at the laundry mat to adjust the time on the wall clock, that at that moment the owner was going to walk by and see her. And BY DINGY (!!!) he sure did. She was up there for a full second before he walked around the corner, up to the door, and came in a saw her on top of his washing machine. She hurt herself trying to get down quickly…etc. This sort of thing always happens. That one time, when chances seem most unlikely that things will go wrong, IS THE VERY TIME THAT THEY ALWAYS DO. That’s how we had our first child.

    (But don’t worry, we love her to pieces and are very glad to have her in the family. We only wish that she came later as we would have been better fitted to care for her at a later date.)

    Anyways… I know that one solution is to just have children, but I see it a lack of intelligence, self-control, and/or just plain old irresponsibility, to have children that one cannot properly care for.

    If you have any ideas, help, or suggestions, they would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

    ~Anonymous

  10. anonyomous says:

    I am in the same boat however we are not married. When we were first together and before that, we were really passionate about each other. He would text me and we would talk about being together all the time. When we finally became an item, we had sex every day. I knew it would dwindle down over time, but it was almost as if it completely disappeared overnight. Now I feel unwanted, sad, depressed, hurt, and resentful. When I bring it up I get the same old “of course I want you” and “of course I think you’re beautiful” but those words are meaningless to me without action. Any time I cannot take it any longer and I bring it up, It just starts a fight and we do not speak for a couple of days. He won’t go see a doctor and I am left to feel alone, lonely, and like I just have a roommate and nothing more. It kills me inside because I love him dearly and I am still very attracted to him but he never seems to want to be with me any more. There really are no words to describe the pain I feel and sometimes I wonder how long I can go on like this, feeling like I have a live in friend who USED to want me but no longer does. I am beyond depressed.

  11. Nick says:

    These articles have been an interesting read. Being almost 30 and with the same woman for 12 years, it is probably pretty obvious that there has been a decline in sexual activity.

    My problem is that I have tried, many, MANY times to talk to her about the issues we have regarding sex, and even that gets turned around and rejected. She refuses to speak to me about it, or even admit there is a problem. I tried for the first 9 years and always got rejected unless there were specific conditions that were met. Not once did she tell these to me, but I slowly figured them out over the years:

    Sex happens once a month, during the same time in her cycle. It cannot be within 2 hours of going to bed, or getting out of bed. She cannot be intoxicated, although in public she can’t keep her hands off of me, the moment we get home, she flops down on the couch/bed and is completely disinterested. Cannot be hungry, or have eaten within the last hour. Neither of us can be working that day, every room in the house must be clean.It can’t have been promised, because she will never follow through on that because it is, “too much pressure”… and the list goes on. I really wish I was making this up.

    It has even managed to get so bad, that she has actually scolded me for having an erection on more than one occasion. I feel as though I’m at my wit’s end and I have nothing left. It is now at the point that I can’t even masturbate without feeling guilt. I really don’t know what is left.

    Now, the once a month that she says a passing comment about wanting sex, I can’t. The few times I can somehow manage to even maintain an erection, it feels like a chore at the best of times. It doesn’t help that she also refuses to try anything (it took 5 years just to talk her into trying a second position), and refuses to reciprocate anything done for her.

    I’ve looked into everything from how to lower my own sexual desire to chemical castration because I feel like I am at such odds with her regarding sex. I’m sorry this might seem like a bit of a rant, but I could really use some help. Really, anything.

  12. Chris says:

    I am on my third marriage and been married now for 2 1/2 years and have had relations only 3 times. I desire the need but she doesn’t. She has her own excuses which are not mentioned in your articles. My wife has mentioned to me about brushing my teeth and I have complied but still get rejected even to just kiss. She won’t even let me discuss sexual things with her, she just says I don’t want to talk about it. I’ve even tried flowers and romantic cards. I get nothing but rejection. Any suggestions?

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