Sexless marriage discussion Part II
I was reading the unfortunate tale of the father of twins in the previous thread. I guess my question is this, why would anyone, man or woman, feel that refusing sex for months or years is an okay thing to do to their partner? And then to refuse counseling on top of it? As if that were a normal expectation? Am I the nut, or is that just Not Okay? I know that some marriages apparently have that expectation, so I'm not talking about those where it is part of the contract, either verbal or unspoken. I mean ordinary marriages where there is no physical disability (and even then, surely there are always ways to include touch, even if it's not conventional sex per se?) I know I am 41 which is where some of us women become real nuisances :)-- kind of like 20 year old guys-- but why oh why would any wife or husband think it is okay to refuse sex that long?
I think in Judaism there was a rule where the wife was entitled to sex x times a week based on the husband's type of job... if hard physical labor, less often, if somebody that worked with his brain, every day.
Admittedly, very young children have a draining effect on the love life. You don't feel sexy, particularly if you are breastfeeding and have small persons borrowing your body all day. Still, even if you cannot bring yourself to have sex, you should at the very least recognize it as a serious problem and be willing to talk about it. You can resort to Other Methods which demonstrate affection for your partner and concern about their needs.
I second Carla's good advice about doing one's best to help out with the kids and housework, provide time away for the wife, etc. Nothing wrong with romantic novels and movies which help keep a woman's pilot light going. Ask her why she's resistant to counseling. Even if she doesn't think it will work, there's no harm in trying a set number of session-- maybe four. And it would be a gesture of affection and good faith towards the marriage.
I do wonder if the wife in this case has some emotional/mental issues around sex. A friend of mine had a boyfriend like that. If she made the gentlest suggestion or mentioned something from her relatively tame past, he would not be able to talk to her for days. He told her once he didn't want to be another notch in her bedpost, which is particularly amusing as my friend is clergy with about 3 notches in 20 years of singlehood.
As for me, I will frankly admit that It puts me in a good mood the whole next day. I'm calmer, more cheerful, feel loved and pretty, and am absurdly grateful to my husband for making me feel so good in so many ways. I firmly believe it's like exercise, it doesn't just help you at the time, it helps you long afterwards. There's that EM Forster quote-- "Love is not the body, but it is of the body." So true. Our skin and nerves, the sense of taste and smell, all contribute to the affection we feel for a loved spouse, whose body after 20 years is familiar and beloved territory. The French say that a day without wine is like a day without sunshine. I'm not sure what they would have to say about a lifetime without sex.