What was the reason you were most recently refused?


    What was the reason you were most recently refused? What was your reaction? How quickly were you able to continue to be kind and loving after being refused?

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      @Husband In Training

      If you are getting that many No’s, it sounds like you and your wife may already be firmly entrenched in what is commonly called the “pursuer-distancer” trap.  I could probably write half a book to answer your question, but I’ll try to be concise and hit the highlights.

      • If this is a firmly established pattern, you may need some professional help to “undo” the rut you two have found yourselves in.  “Handling the no” well can prevent problems, but suddenly doing it well after a history of not doing it well won’t necessarily undo existing problems by itself.
      •  John Gottman says he discovered that the husbands who respond “Oh, okay, you’re not in the mood, what ARE you in the mood for?” tend to have better sex lives; it’s about not severing the emotional connection when the answer is “no.”
      •  It is easier to “handle the no” well if you don’t take the “no” personally.  She’s just not in the mood, vs. taking it as a personal rejection.
      • The latest insights into love relationships come from studying attachment styles.   Many pursuers in the pursuer-distancer trap have an anxious attachment style.  It is unrealistic to expect them to not take it personally, or to respond like Gottman describes.  In that case, it is much better to maintain the connection by expressing hurt or disappointment in a non-blaming way, (I-feel statements that avoid trigger words) rather than to cut off connection in silence or getting angry.   A good therapist can help you learn to do this, or I am willing to coach you on that.
      • Poorly “handling the no” is the leading cause, but certainly not the only thing that can lead to low sexual frequency.  There’s a whole laundry list of things that can lead to low sexual frequency, either by themselves or in a complicated web of frustration.

      IIRC, your wife’s health is also a significant deterrent to your sex life?  I know your situation is much more complicated than simply how you handle the no, but that could certainly be one piece of the whole puzzle.  I know it’s virtually impossible not to take it personally when it’s so pervasive.  Besides “handling the no” it would also be beneficial to learn to speak up for your needs in a way that helps her be able to listen and doesn’t make her go “Shields up!”  Perhaps a good counselor could help you learn to do this.  The Gottman Institute has a list of Gottman certified therapists on their website and I can vouch for their methods having been through it myself; EFT trained therapists are also a good bet.


      On the floor Answered on September 4, 2019.
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        I could write the encyclopedia on this one… I’m pretty sure there aren’t many excuses I haven’t heard:

        I’m too tired
        Doesn’t feel good
        I feel nauseous
        I have a headache
        I have a migraine
        The migraine medicine makes me feel weird
        I’m too hot
        Your too hot (Temperature – this is actually the most recent excuse on this list)
        Stomach ache
        Back hurts
        Shoulders hurt
        Neck hurts
        Have a cold
        Sinuses hurt
        Cervix feels bruised (yes I heard that one)
        We have to get up too early
        It’s too late
        You waited too long to ask
        You waited too long to come to bed
        All you think about is sex
        I don’t feel like it
        I only wanted a goodnight kiss (peck)
        I’m not the sexual person you are
        Do you want me to throw up on you?
        I just can’t do that – I need you to go to sleep
        I did too much today – I can’t
        And so on…

        Basically most of this can be summarized as, “Your sexual desires are appreciated, but they’re the lowest priority on my list. Please don’t ask. I’ll let you know someday if and when I have some interest. In the mean time , thank you for being an awesome husband in every other way.”

        Twin bed Answered on May 25, 2019.
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          Her reason for refusal is simply- not in the mood. Its very painful to be refused when horny. I have heard NO a couple of times and I wish I always heard YES.  It makes me feel very bad and a number of times , I would just refuse to talk to DW to make her know I feel bad about not ML. I am of the opinion that ML should be often to keep us connected and close to each other.

          Sometimes when rejected and not assured of ML later, I just conclude that prayers must be said for God to intervene. Especially after we have agree that we ML regularly about 3 times in a week. I am tempted to believe that the devil want married couples to stay away from sex and singles to rather engage more and more in sex. The objective is to create more room for temptation leading to sin (fornication and adultery)

          Our God is a great God . He made sex beautiful and great to keep married couples together close to each other and live happier lives.  All marital problems can be solved first with prayers and ML.

          King bed Answered on May 28, 2019.

          Please see my comment to you in the answers.

          on September 2, 2019.
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            Idk if youd call it “refused” but hubs gets rely tired sometimes and just cant stay awake. We ml at least 2-4+ times a week tho, I understand. It makes me feel a little sad sometimes, and if I rely pushed him to wake he would certainly try but he works hard every day so I feel bad soemtimes.

            Queen bed Answered on May 20, 2019.
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              My DW has been sick with some sort of virus the past few days. Prior to that, she was completely wiped out from long days at a work conference and coming home to our 1 year old. I do my best to help out with dinner and chores around the house, including working together with our 1 world year old. Prior to that, she was on her MC and she is not interested in any sexual activity during that time of the month.

              It’s been a few weeks since we have ML, save one time last week when she was happy to give me a HJ. She made a promise to me early last week saying, “I will give you a HJ tonight and I promise to ML before the weekend.” Then she got sick.

              I asked her a couple nights ago is she’d like me to MS her, but she said, “That sounds absolutely horrible.” I thought she was on the mend, but she apparently was not.

              I am doing my best to be more vocal and explicitly ask her if we can be intimate. It still hurts when she says no, but I’m doing my best to continue to choose to love and serve her through it. Sometimes I’m left fuming or just plain horny and I need to just take a walk, change my scenery, or simply MB so I can get to sleep.

              I asked and I shared because though refusal feels lonelier than anything, I am learning that it is much more prevalent in marriages than I thought.

              There are plenty of victory stories out there, but I am encouraged when I hear and read of others going through their own struggles in the pursuit of marital intimacy, and emboldened to persist in pursuing my dear bride.

              Queen bed Answered on May 27, 2019.

              You are absolutely right to be vocal and explicitly ask your wife about intimacy instead of assuming she doesn’t want it.  I had an issue with unexplained pain that lasted 5 years There were a lot of nights I was in far too much pain to be interested in sex and my DH was so kind to just care for me and nurse me but there were many nights when I was in some pain but had he mentioned he desired me, it might have taken my mind off my pain and put it on something better. I gradually got the idea he just didn’t really want sex, when he was just assuming I never felt up to it. My limitation was real, but didn’t have to be as much of a limitation as we both let it be because of poor communication. Keep letting her know how much you desire her, not because your are horny or have a backlog (pardon the pun) of physiological need, but because she is precious to you and desirable and beautiful and a treasure. What woman can resist being worshiped by her husband? (Not to be confused with the worship that belongs only to God.)

              on May 27, 2019.
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                Mostly it’s “too tired” or “too stressed.” Which I’ve heard as “it’s my lowest priority.”

                I’m just trying to be patient and not get angry about it. If I do get angry, it’s another week without sex. The trouble is that I start getting anxious and irritable from frustration after just one week. Two is murder. I have no idea how I stood it for a years-long dry spell.

                Queen bed Answered on September 2, 2019.
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                  @Sam- “It makes me feel very bad and a number of times , I would just refuse to talk to DW to make her know I feel bad about not ML.”

                  John Gottman has found that this is the #1 predictor of lack of sex in marriage, when one spouse gives the other spouse a negative payout for saying no to sex.  When one partner severs the connection when the other says “no.”  Handling the “no” is the biggest predictor of how much sex a couple will or will not have.

                  On the floor Answered on September 2, 2019.

                  i agree, when my husband gets mad at me for saying no, the last thing i want to do is open my legs so to speak to be intimate with him

                  on September 2, 2019.

                  ShadowSpirit thanks for the comments.

                  Hmmm its not easy when a spouse (hubby) needs ML and his DW says NO a number of times.

                  How should husbands  handle “no”responses so that sex can be often, if possible everyday.

                  I am sure God is not pleased with saying NO to ones spouse when they are horny. So HE inspired Paul the Apostle to write about that in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5.


                  on October 8, 2019.
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                    @ Shadow – I’d like to hear more about “Handling the no”. I get about 350 “no”s per year. I’m apparently not very good at handling them, and I’m wondering if there is some obvious improvements I could make. Like others have mentioned after enough of them, patience and understanding turns into frustration and eventually hurt (and a myriad of other emotions)

                    Any insight?

                    Twin bed Answered on September 4, 2019.
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                      After reading the notes here I see myself in almost all of them.  I’ve heard all all these reasons for “no” from my DW, and the list just keeps getting longer.  I think what’s most disappointing is that she doesn’t make any effort to overcome the limitations and issues, she just says that’s the way it is.  So, if she’s too tired every night, and some nights are out of the question due to migraines, there really is no hope for change if she doesn’t want change.  Yes, we’ve had the discussions about trying to find a solution, but she spends the entire talk listing the reasons why it’ll never change instead of looking for solutions.  My wish is that I could just get to the place where I could give up, but I don’t know how to do that without giving up on her as well.

                      I’m not sure why I’m even posting this, other than to commiserate, but wouldn’t it be great if all of us could one day come here to talk about the changes the Lord has brought into our lives?  One thing I’m exploring is whether my attitude toward sex is improper.  Hey, if I’m the one who needs to change, then I need to do it.  I guess we’ll see what happens, but until then, sex is a sad part of my life.

                      Keep looking up!

                      Twin bed Answered on September 15, 2019.

                      I like the point where you stated that

                      “wouldn’t it be great if all of us could one day come here to talk about the changes the Lord has brought into our lives”

                      It appears there are alot of problems in marriages. But marriage is just about two people -a male and a female. So cant the two just sit and agree on an issue at a time? Cant the two agree on each others desire for sex ? Its like one says no you cant have sex to the other and thats it.


                      on September 16, 2019.

                      rwprice – Thank you for sharing, I am glad you did. I’ve found myself being encouraged during the myriad of low points over the past few years when I’ve found that real people are dealing with the same issues I am. It doesn’t make me feel entirely better, and it makes me hurt for my fellow brothers and sisters. But it’s also helpful at times to get it off my chest, rather than feeling like I’m alone and going crazy in the same vicious cycle (that term really seems mostly apt in this situation) over and over and over again.

                      How long have you and your DW been married? Was there a moment where you felt a shift in your marriage, or has frequency been a struggle since day 1? Thanks again for sharing.

                      on November 27, 2019.
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                        Hi guys. All I can say is that I’m with you. Like I posted earlier my wife did give duty sex last night which was the first time we have had sex in about a year. I get rejected non-stop. I don’t find it hurtful, it’s just part of life. I’m going to look into this John Gottman thing… I don’t really trust therapists, they can make things worse… I have resorted to simply trying to find joy in other areas of my life like work, reading, the Bible, and other things….
                        If anyone finds answers please let me know. It’s a very nasty thing being married to a wife who refuses sex after giving every indication there would be plenty of it…. especially if we are generally good guys…

                        Cot Answered on October 6, 2019.

                        Thank you for sharing, @Christianbuthuman. When you say you’re getting rejected, is she rejecting your advances? Is she rejecting your explicit verbal requests for sex or intimacy?

                        I ask because I’m wondering and rejection in our marriage looks different in various seasons and in various advances. Thanks for adding to the discussion and sharing other ways you find joy. Found any specific reading to be more helpful in this specific situation?

                        on November 27, 2019.
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