You think you know how it will go . . .
Last Thursday my wife exited COVID quarantine. She and the whole family were fine, but after two weeks of no affection, I was starved for her touch. In the middle of a conversation I went in for a kiss and she put up her hand to block me because she was talking. Didn’t she even miss touching me?
Now, you experienced couples might not be surprised, but I was so dejected I couldn’t even focus on my work. I lay down on the floor of my office in a depressed mood, and I thought, since I’m down here I might as well pray. I asked God, “Why? Why doesn’t she want my affection? How long must this go on? Why? Did you intend for me to marry so I could do without intimacy? Why? Why? Why?”
I decided I’d log on at TMB and challenge you, the best & brightest, to see if anyone has ever turned around a marriage lacking in intimacy. I made my introduction and got a nice welcome. I had it all planned out in my mind to come back later that evening.
After dinner she asked me what I wanted to do that evening. My answer was “Make love.” She shut me down in no uncertain terms, but then a funny thing happened. My prayer was answered. She told me why. I don’t have to like it, but I know she has her reasons, and after some communication she knows I have ambitions of a more intimate life together. She seemed to accept it. At least now I have hope. We ended the discussion with me retelling all the best interludes we’ve had over the years, for which I was thankful.
So instead of my gripe-fest, I’m back to ask some questions. Tell me, TMB, because I need to know these things, things I would never ask a friend or family member.
- Is make-up sex a thing? We’ve never done it. I’ve only heard about it on TV and the radio.
- Do married couples have sex after a date? I know unmarried couples do; it’s practically an expectation. She and I were virgins when we got married and the only time we ever concluded a date with sex was our first Valentine’s Day together.
- Do married couples ever turn to physical intimacy to relieve stress, anxiety, and sadness? People do on TV, but not in my house. She doesn’t want it from me, nor does she offer it when I’m feeling low.
I’m sure I’ll think of more, but that’s a start. I’ll also be back later to slay some sacred cows (if you’ll forgive the reference to Hinduism . . . perhaps instead I’ll smash some golden calves and throw them into the water).
Over to you, TMB.
- Is make-up sex a thing? Yes
- Do married couples have sex after a date? Sometimes. It depends on how late we get back from the date, how horny we are feeling when we return from the date, what the kids are up to, etc.
- Do married couples ever turn to physical intimacy to relieve stress, anxiety, and sadness? I do. My wife, not so much.
Claymore, I’ve received the hand to the chest when trying to get physically close for a kiss, hug, want to comfort her, etc. In my experience, when this happens it means DW is telling me: “You’re not listening”, “I want to be heard”, “Not until I’ve said my peace and I believe you’ve heard & understood me”, or even “I don’t feel emotionally connected to you because (fill in the blank with a variety of reasons)”. All of which means I need to use actively listening skills and mirror/reflect her words/feelings in this conversation to connect with her. (DW and I have been married for 3 years and it is the 2nd time around for both of us.)
- Is make-up sex a thing?
Yes, it is something. Usually my wife wants to because it helps her know we’re ok and emotionally connected again.
- Do married couples have sex after a date?
Yes, they can. Do we? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I’m not a fan of doing so after a heavy meal but DW seems to enjoy doing so if she feels really emotionally connected. She loves when I plan something out with her in mind and a natural response for her can be to want to make love, even if we already did earlier that day. Personally, I’d rather have a great session in the morning on our day off than wait till the evening. With the kids back in school, the afternoon can be an option BUT we’ve had to tell a step daughter she can’t come home with early dismissal between classes & sports. DD is not happy since they’re not supposed to stay there with COVID protocols. When she asks, “why”, we’ll respond, “Do you really want the answer to that question?” 😀
- Do married couples ever turn to physical intimacy to relieve stress, anxiety, and sadness?
Absolutely. Both of us will, although right now with her menopause, it is more likely to be me seeking stress relief sex than her, but we absolutely both will on occasion.
I’m never quite sure what make-up sex is. I do know that if we have had a falling-out with each other, sometimes when we have sex after that its not that great. But, somehow during the afterglow, we come back together again, and we are totally at peace with one another, again.
We rarely do a specific date thing, so sex wouldn’t be planned or unplanned for that night.
I would turn to physical intimacy to relieve stress sooner than DH would. He doesn’t want anything like that when he is stressed.
“Is make-up sex a thing?”
For some,. We never have.
“Do married couples have sex after a date? ”
Not necessarily. We have an expectation of sex normally, unless otherwise agreed upon. Since the beginning of the year, we are actually more likely NOT to have sex after our weekly dates.
“Do married couples ever turn to physical intimacy to relieve stress, anxiety, and sadness? ”
Yes. I do think you are more likely to see it in men.
It sounds to me like you are a very normal man, desiring things many men desire. You are being who God created you to be.
This is a new member and you come off with yet again your marriage issues? And vent yet again under someone else’s post? How is this supposed to help this member? You know NOTHING about his situation. Maybe his wife had bad breath or she just burped–yes i’m being facetious but you have been chastised time and again on this forum for your bitter attitude. Why don’t you show some respect (like you just spewed) toward this forum and it’s members?
The only part i agree with you on is indeed if a wife was shushing her husband and this was done in an attitude of constant disrespect but i am assuming this is not the scenario here and you are not helping lift this new member up one bit with this diatribe. How much more chastising must we do with you before you relent?
Make Up Sex – DW and I have never had make up sex after an argument.
Sex after a date – Not usually. If we have gone out to eat we are usually ‘too full’ to have sex. Also, my DW prefers sex in the morning, so sex in the morning after a date has happened.
Sex to relieve physical stress – I do seek sex from DW in times when I am anxious. My DW becomes less interested in sex when stressed.
Make up sex? For us, the answer is usually “no”. But one particular time after a several months-long estrangement that was serious, we had the most passionate and sensuous session of LM in our 46 yr marriage.
Sex after date? Sometimes (mostly) unless something we ate is giving either of us an upset stomach, gas, or indigestion. If DW waves me off, she usually gives me a rain check for the following morning.
Intimacy to relieve Stress? Yes and no. Since my retirement (and my son’s alcoholism and addictions are no longer a factor in our day-to-day consciousness) I/we are not stressed nearly as much as I /we used to be. .. so LM for pure enjoyment and closeness is much more frequent than it used to be. Back then, my inability to “let it go” often effected my arousal and even if I was “up”, DW was often similarly negatively distracted or preoccupied. So our intimacy would often be limited to cuddling and falling asleep. There is a place for “duty sex” but it was never very satisfying for either of us.
I am blessed that in many ways these are the best years of our marriage.
Here are my responses to your bulleted questions. As per the usual, this is for my marriage, and every union is unique:
- Is make-up sex a thing? Answer: absolutely. We don’t fight/argue much, but when it does happen and then resolve, and the resolution is near normal sex time, we almost always ML with a nice session. I believe the “mechanism” by which this happens is the emotional intimacy and vulnerability required to settle the dispute with a “meeting of the minds”, and you both finish feeling closer to the other.
- Do married couples have sex after a date? Answer: Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I think that DW thinks it happens more frequently than it does. I probably think it happens less frequently than it does. Overall, sex on a date night is more likely than a normal night. But the best opportunities come after you attend a wedding together. 😉
- Do married couples ever turn to physical intimacy to relieve stress, anxiety, and sadness? Answer: Yes. I’ve mentioned it on TMB before, but one of our most emotionally intimate encounters ever was shortly after my mom died. With respect to my DW, Mondays this school year are super hectic for her, and Sunday night is all about prepping for Monday and being ready to go out the door. Doing that gets her really worked up to the point where she would struggle to sleep…so we chat a sensual chat where she unloads that followed by hot sex, which then helps her go to sleep.
A few other things to address in your question:
- Not wanting to be touched. Several options. (1) Touch might not be a good love language for her. Do you two know each other’s love languages? (2) She might have needed to re-connect in other ways before wanting to be touched. (3) She may shut down in that way when swamped with other things, especially with kids if they touch her. (4) She might not like kissing even if she would like to be touched in other ways. Interesting note: my wife not wanting me to touch her non-sexually for several months last year is what triggered me to “fix” our intimacy!
- The why. Seriously, if you want TMB’s input then you need to tell us the answer to the “why” from your wife!
- Anyone ever turned the marriage around. Yes! We certainly did. Ours had been decaying for ~6 yr before hitting rock bottom when my wife got touched out. It’s certainly possible.
- General thoughts. It sounds to me like your DW and you need to improve both communication and knowledge. Do you both know about responsive desire, how it works, and whether it applies to her? Did she used to be more sexual and has it waned with kids…if so, why? Does she have mental hang ups from growing up in Purity Culture or similar? Have you explained the intensity of your drive and how important sexual union is to her? Does she both enjoy sex and orgasm on a regular basis when you do have it? These two are not the same, and in my opinion the large majority of women need to be saying yes to both parts of that question in order to grow into a healthy, mutually enjoyable sex life that can stand the test of time (decades).
Hope to hear a good update from you!
@sd595, you are right that it is scripturally and historically normal. I was born a little too late, I’m afraid. Sometimes I think I’d be willing to give up penicillin, refrigeration, and instant replays to live in a more emotional, more sensual, more human world. Go read The Brothers Karamazov if you want a good example.
I mentioned my marriage length in my introduction, but I don’t mind retelling. I’m in my late thirties, been married nine years, and have two kids under four.
How absolute @CJ is! We must speak by the card, or equivocation will undo us. DW put her hand on my chest, she did not shush me. It was innocuous, but at the time it felt like rejection.
CJ, my friend, I appreciate your eagerness to help. I can see that you and I share some frustration. I would not be satisfied with generalized answers like “you need to communicate/spend time in prayer/meet her needs”, etc., which is why I came looking for fellow marrieds who have actual experience reviving a moribund sex life. You sound awfully cynical, and I may have come across that way, but inside every cynic is an optimist scratching and clawing to get out. I’m not ready to divert myself with toys yet, and I hope never to reach that place. If it were truly hopeless then there would be no point for such a forum as this.
Thanks to everyone for the responses. Notwithstanding the fact that this is deliberately an anonymous forum, I will not share DW’s reasons out of respect for her privacy. I came not (this time) looking for advice on how to improve our intimacy, though I am sure I made clear that I am not satisfied therewith. I may ask later, but in the interest of holding our marriage bed in honor, I will choose my words thoughtfully. My point was, I got to see things from DW’s point of view, and it was an answer to my prayer wanting to know why. As in, why me? I don’t have a solution yet, but at least I understand the problem better.