Naturally

Virgin Therapists: Withholding. Not manipulative, just angry.

99 posts in this topic

On 2/20/2017 at 6:28 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

I would expect a different outcome if he genuinely believes he made the right choice. Unless he is weirdly mature and immature in knowing that it was the better decision but being sulky that he didn't have his way either way...

If his disappointment is stemming from the decision rather than her behaviour then your interpretation is plausible. Had he felt the decision made was in fact in the best interest the couple why would he continue to act so begrudgingly towards her. Personally, he doesn't strike me as immature.

On 2/20/2017 at 6:28 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

How sure can we be that he made the right decision? She would lose an entry level job, entry level. His job prospect was better than entry level (how much better I don't know) which in a way means it would have furthered his career and his ability to provide for the family. Now depending on how they plan to execute their "roles", in general for which partner is it more important to have a better (paying/secure) job? I'd say the male. Purely because he is likely to fulfill the role of primary breadwinner. If they have kids and don't want to throw them into the daycare hole, the woman will be out of the workforce for every child - will be in any case unless she is working up to labour and soon after (not all countries/jobs have paid maternity leave etc). Unless he has a crap job that is (or would be) paying less than her entry level teaching position, she is not the breadwinner currently nor could she continue to be even if she takes time out for procreation (which could be possible if she had a highly paid job). Even if it his job offer was worse paying, maybe (maybe!) her sacrificing her job could have still been the smarter move simply because it could help speed his career up and thus improve the chances of him being the sole breadwinner when she takes time out for the kids. Anyway, that is really off topic....

Valid. Although conditional upon the couple prioritizing financial benefit of employment over other benefits employment can bring such as sense of purpose, friendships, self-esteem, sense of achievement, increase happiness and mental health etc.

Also dependent on whether the couple intend on ever having children. If not, it would preclude the financial loss experienced during maternity leave from the cost-benefit analysis.

On 2/20/2017 at 6:28 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

Plenty of women separate the two; shown by female one night stands etc. Surely you aren't saying that a woman who isn't in a favourable emotional/psychological state CANNOT have sexual intimacy. We are responsible for our emotions and even more so for the behavioural responses to those emotions. If someone slaps me, I can flip into a rage and beat the person and say "You made me angry and when I'm angry I have to hit someone. It's your fault for making me hit you" or I can first consider why they slapped me (maybe there was a mosquito) which can change the emotional response but even if I become angry I can still choose my behaviour actions be that hitting or not hitting them. Certainly women are more susceptible to emotions but that doesn't mean they have a free pass to the ensuing behavioural responses. It's something that everyone needs to work on. I'm sure there are many breadwinning men who hate their jobs and find it soul sapping yet still get 'er done because they realise it is necessary for the moment. I'm sure no-one here would suggest the man should follow his feelings and abandon the job without another job secured.

It can be separated for those who don't possess the emotional ties or necessitate the emotional coddling to begin with. Emotions are a conduit to love (especially for women) and as marriage is predicated on love, those emotions require conscientious attention in order to maintain the love. Yes, just as sexual desire (especially for men) need conscientious attention in order to maintain the love.

One night stands are entered into with the understanding and acceptance that there will be no emotional coddling. I would also argue that there is no intimacy in ONS and no obligation to participate in ONS especially when one isn't in a favourable emotional/psychological state. Expectations are higher and freedoms are fewer in a marriage for this reason they don't have a "free pass" as you say. The married equivalent of a ONS would be "starfish sex" or "duty sex". Some husbands might jump at the opportunity for duty sex while others won't settle for anything less than passionate and enthusiastic participation from their wife. The later requires emotional intimacy.

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On 2/19/2017 at 4:59 PM, Naturally said:

I understand what you mean now, but what would be your solution in this situation? Should she be intimate with him even though there's an unresolved issue looming?

Also, isn't it simply biology that the male is more sexually dependent on the female (because he generally wants it more), so she doesn't need him sexually as much as he needs her sexually... that shouldn't be a revelation to him.

Your argument is that men are sexually dependent on the women because the men want it more, and the men should know and accept that? Men who aren't in denial already know and accept that. It doesn't make your refusals any more pleasant, though.

22 hours ago, Naturally said:

So you're saying the source of his disappointment is her behaviour of withholding sex during their turbulent time NOT that they didn't end up getting to move as he hoped?

I must ask again, it may be my naiveté but does a wife withholding sex REALLY have that much sway on his decision-making? it seems like such a long shot...
 

The reason he is distancing himself from her is as unbeknownst to her as it is to me. Prior to you stating above that her withholding is the reason for his disappointment @'tis the Bearded One stated a myriad of reasons for what it could be:

Regarding the second part of your statement, In the spirit of total honesty, I am only just starting to understand the astronomical significance husbands place on sex in marriage. But just as you have trouble understanding how the emotional and physical side are often inextricably linked for women, I have trouble understanding how refusing your husband sex is so viscerally damaging to his manhood, self-esteem, mental health, feelings of love, and almost every aspect of life.

I think this right here is the existential difference between men and women being embodied. Perhaps this example here is just one of the things we will never fully understand about the other. On paper, I understand that sex is important to men in a loving relationship, I can even rationalise it with supporting arguments but deep deep down I don't completely understand. And perhaps this is the same with men trying to understand the emotional/physical intertwining for women.

You freely admit that women have no idea how damaging it is when the women refuse to have sex with their husband? Think of it this way... They have a disagreement. The husband recognized that they need to resolve the issue to find a solution that works best. But at the same time, he still loves his wife, and is still attracted to her, so he tries to have sex with her. The woman, on the other hand, recognizing a disagreement, says "damn the relationship", doubles down, gets angry, refuses sex, and treats her husband as an inconvenience until she gets her way.

The fact that your friend (and you, and the women who agree with the sexless woman) fail to realize how toxic this is to the relationship speaks volumes. I thought women only refused sex because they married guys they weren't attracted to because they were useful to them. That explains why they have sex with their boyfriends but not their husbands. I thought that married women only refused sex to get their way because they were ruthless manipulative creatures who weren't attracted to their husband. But the fact that they can't even recognize how toxic their behavior is just makes everything seem much worse.

13 hours ago, Faeries said:

Hey, don't say that. That makes me sad to read. :( Reading these sort of comments from men can be a real downer, and I've been having the same worries as you about finding a waiter. I do not want to marry a non-waiter. I would always feel insecure and cheated almost. I know that sounds crazy but I don't think it's fair (for me). I feel like I deserve someone who actually understands me in that regard, and I could never imagine being with someone who I know has shared those same experiences with other women. I would probably be okay if he was not waiting originally, but still a virgin. But I do believe it is possible for a non-waiter to wait happily with you if 1.) he truly loves you, and 2.) he now believes that waiting is the right thing to do for whatever reason (besides loving you).

Anyway, I couldn't imagine having sex with someone I'm upset with. I would feel disgusted. I don't understand why that is so hard to comprehend. I would never do it just to get what I want. And I would expect that if my husband was upset with me, he wouldn't want to have sex with me either. I guess I was wrong about that though. I suppose I have to get used to it, but there is something about this that gives me the creeps :blink:.

You don't want to marry a non-waiter, and want a virgin waiter. And yet you would feel disgusted if your virgin waiter husband wanted to have sex with you when you were angry? I don't mean to come off as rude here, but I have spent the last 31 years of my life waiting, and for a woman to say that she wants a waiter, but would openly refuse sex for such a trivial reason really does a lot of damage. I have long recognized myself as being in a Catch-22... When I am unmarried, it is my religious beliefs preventing me from having sex. Once I am married, it will be my wife preventing me from having sex.

In essence, both @Faeries and @Naturally both agree with the sexless wife in the scenario. If even the waiters are taking the side of a woman refusing to have sex with her husband, where does that leave the men who are patiently holding out for their wives? More discouragement and pessimism abound.

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On 2/20/2017 at 6:35 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

I realise that. I was merely intending to point out that the argument for withholding isn't "the relationship is impaired because of either my or my partner's position" but rather a "the relationship is impaired because of my position". Not much of a point I'll admit, but if we want to pursue the first then she would be expected to withhold even when she and he wants to because their is still a looming issue.

I got it. There was an undeniably selfish phase where you might say the wife wasn't considering what's best for the marriage but rather what's preferable for her.

On 2/20/2017 at 6:35 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

Which is precisely the same for the female scenario....We know why she want to/does withhold - the question is are they warranted reasons. If, as you say (?), her merely having those feelings is enough to warrant her withholding actions, why can't the male's feelings be enough in an of themselves?

You're right. Let's discuss. 

On 2/20/2017 at 9:09 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

He may be wanting to practically demonstrate how he felt when she rejected his desires (two people can play this game!) to be sexually intimate earlier using his resentment to suppress his libido and desire for reconnection. Or he may be simply following his feelings, her conduct over the course of the argument may have lowered his sexual desire for her. Or he may be suppressing his desires for intimacy because he doesn't want to be so vulnerable to the pain of rejection and withholding in the future.

So if we agree (?) that based on the scenario of this thread, an ongoing discussion where a resolution has not yet been reached is not a sufficient reason to warrant the withholding of sex, barring any serious marital problems (i.e. abuse, extramarital affair, drinking, drugs etc) what would be a sufficient reason (intimacy or non-intimacy related) that you'd accept for a wife to withhold sex from her husband? 

Secondly, what would be a warranted response from the husband to his wife withholding sex? How would a man typically respond?

On 2/20/2017 at 7:04 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

If he saw her actions as manipulative then sure, who wouldn't be disappointed for not being able to effectively disarm the manipulation? That is if he saw his actions as giving in (or being influenced by the manipulation) and not as a realisation of the best choice. I think it is definitely something that factored into the decision. And it doesn't have to be a "I'll give in this time to have sex again" it could be a "If this decision-making process is causing such a rift already, what if I choose the decision she doesn't like? What will our relationship look like afterwards in sexual and non-sexual ways? Do I want to risk such an upheaval this early in our marriage?" Does he believe that had he chosen to enforce his job-change she would try to overcome the rift as quickly and happily as she did when he chose her option? Maybe he believes his job change would have been the better choice but for his wife's potential response and resentment. Similar to how a compromise because of someone's immaturity wouldn't have been the best decision but it may be the best option only because of the immaturity - but it still sucks taking that option because it shouldn't be the best option. Considering the ensuing issue of the wife complaining he doesn't want/is giving enough sex, I'd suspect that having sex again wasn't the primary reason for making the decision....

Sex is generally essential to male intimacy, how precarious would the wife decision-making process be to the husband's withholding of non-sexual intimacy/affection/support? And that is an intimacy she can (and probably does) get to some degree from her girlfriends. The wife is (should be) the only source for sex....

This was a great explanation and a valuable insight into the male psyche that I have never received before, so thanks for the clarity. 

The words "disarm the manipulation" emphasise in no ambiguous terms a power play. If the resolution was in fact reached for the reasons you mention here (not wanting to cause a rift so early in the marriage, fear of choosing the option that is unfavourable to her, long-term consequences etc), then as well as the disappointment and resentment he might have for his wife, he may feel more so for himself because he knows she's got the real power and unless she relinquishes some of her power to him, he is powerless. If that makes sense...

Is this what they would call "emasculating"?

On 2/20/2017 at 7:46 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

I'm trying to remember the book but it eludes me at the moment. It had the concept of giving each other the freedom to say no. Ah, found it; I posted elsewhere in regard to it: http://forums.waitingtillmarriage.org/topic/5673-the-freedom-of-no/ The idea that by giving someone the freedom to say no (typically to a request to do something) without guilty they are more likely to say yes and be genuinely committed to it. And it also shows that the request is a genuine request and not an order or expectation. 

From one angle, yes, this supports your withholding position. [[Though whether we can extend that concept to such an important issue as sex (or at least the extent to which it applies; I'm not advocating marital rape...) is another question. We wouldn't apply this concept to other marital elements]] Certainly, to an extent a partner should be able to reject sexual advances without guilt and ideally the rejected partner not feeling unloved etc. At a point however, this becomes unsustainable. 

It's an interesting concept, one I can understand; knowing an answer of "no" would be accepted unquestionably, you'd feel less constrained and appreciative of this freedom, so much so you might feel inclined to say yes.

But I doubt this concept could be applied to as you said, such an important issue such as sex. Would a husband be willing to hear "no" to his request to have sex with no further explanation as to why? For example, If I said to my husband "Honey, I had a bad day, can we chat about it?" and he replied "Not right now, darling, I'm on the phone with my boss" I wouldn't be hurt. Alternatively, if he replied "no" with no reason as to why, that would sting. I suspect the feeling would be similar if the husband requested sex and the wife said to her husband "Not right now, honey, I've got to go pick up the kids" compared with "no" and just leaving.

Then there's the issue of whether you actually do have a manipulative wife. If she knows you're all too willing to accept "no" with the promise of no questions or hurt feelings, how long will you be willing to endure this in order to give her the freedom to say "yes"?

Then again, it might work for some women who feel overwhelmed by sex, by giving them the freedom to say "no" they feel "safe" to engage with you in a non-sexual way i.e. hugs, kissing, talking etc knowing she doesn't have to fear it will lead to sex and at the same time strengthening that emotional intimacy enough to want to say "yes" to sex. I got you, it just might be rolling the dice a bit. Call me cynical but I reckon' there's so much variability in life, the ebb and flow, things always coming out of left field, you need a plan and a certain level of agreed upon expectation.

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The waters seem muddied to me in this thread. Could I have clarification? Were they in the middle of a fight where they were angry at one another and the wife wasn't interested in sex because she isn't turned on when she's currently angry at someone and/or he's angry at her? Or was she actively using sex as a weapon to get her way? Or, were they not in so much a fight, but rather just going through a stressful time deciding what to do?

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1 hour ago, Dave1985 said:

The fact that your friend (and you, and the women who agree with the sexless woman) fail to realize how toxic this is to the relationship speaks volumes. I thought women only refused sex because they married guys they weren't attracted to because they were useful to them. That explains why they have sex with their boyfriends but not their husbands. I thought that married women only refused sex to get their way because they were ruthless manipulative creatures who weren't attracted to their husband. But the fact that they can't even recognize how toxic their behavior is just makes everything seem much worse.

I find it far more toxic for a husband to feel entitled to sex with his wife during an argument than for a wife to be turned off by the idea of sex during a fight. It seems that the husband in that case is rather dehumanizing his wife -- essentially using her as a sex toy to fulfill a purely physical desire, rather than seeking a genuine joyful sexual connection. I mean honestly -- is sex with a hurt, angry partner who really isn't in the mood at all even going to be any good? Certainly not for the hurt/angry person, and therefore not for their partner either, if that partner has any understanding of the deeper meaning to sex that I would assume people who hang out on a WTM forum all agree is there.

Women *and men* are complicated, multi-dimensional creatures. They will not want sex 24/7, 365 days a year. I doubt many long-time married couples can honestly say they've never had a single dry spell. That is OK. Sex is an important part of a relationship, but, as we on WTM know, it is far from the *most* important. Trust, commitment, communication, and love are. And I think if a wife senses that any of those pieces in a marriage are lacking, she will very likely not want sex with her husband until those issues are resolved. That seems perfectly healthy and normal to me.

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19 hours ago, WakeUp&BeAwesome said:

Very interesting discussion!

I have two concerns:

1. @Naturally Did this couple wait until marriage to have sex? Just asking out of curiosity and I couldn´t find an answer to that in this thread. Sorry, if you have mentioned it somewhere already.

 

2. I know this discussion only encompasses some opinions and is partly highly subjective (like most discussions are), but this statement here stirred up a question for me:

 

 

To the men: I know not every man is the same and I am not a fan of generalizations, but do you consider this more or less true?

And if it is true, how can men wait until marriage to have sex then? Don´t you consider it way too risky if you marry a woman FOR LIFE and you don´t even know how she is going to act in such situations that could have an impact on your "manhood, self-esteem, mental health, feelings of love and almost every aspect of life"?

And  how do you keep your manhood, self-esteem, mental health, feelings of love and almost every aspect of life healthy and intact, in the dating phase with no sex (which might last a couple of years)?

Wherefrom do you obtain positive feelings in regard to the above mentioned aspects of your life during the "pre-marriage-phase"? 

I know this topic is about refusing sex in marriage. But if sex is so intertwined in almost every aspect of your life and emotions and well-being, how can you wait until after marriage to find out if she can make you happy in that area?

If the above statement rings true for, let´s say the majority of men on this earth, then that is probably the reason why waiters and non-waiters are never going to work, especially if the woman wants to wait and the man doesn´t want to. Because then the man will feel rejected, which in return will lead to above said damage "to his manhood, self-esteem, mental health, feelings of love, and almost every aspect of life". This is horrible. Although this is nothing new per se for me, I somehow felt discouraged when reading this, because it showed the whole scope of the implications sex (or lack thereof) has for men.

I guess, I am discouraged again, ´cos I actually think I will never find a waiter-guy where I am living and a WTM-woman probably could never make a regular, non-waiting guy happy, because of the damage she will do with not having sex with him...(I actually think that a waiter and a non-waiter would not be the best fit anyway, but as time goes on, you need to see what options you still have and I read some stories where a non-waiter waited for a waiter.....this is not my ideal scenario, though, but sometimes it seems like I don´t have another choice).

Well, to answer this topic one by one...

 

Quote

And if it is true, how can men wait until marriage to have sex then? Don´t you consider it way too risky if you marry a woman FOR LIFE and you don´t even know how she is going to act in such situations that could have an impact on your "manhood, self-esteem, mental health, feelings of love and almost every aspect of life"?

 

It is very risky to marry a woman not knowing how she's going to react. Hence the ever falling marriage rate. I often wonder if it is even worth the risk. I am risking everything I have and will ever have on the potential of divorce that I am powerless to stop. I am powerless to stop divorce, or sexless marriages... Once I sign on the dotted line, any rights I have are gone... Forever left up to the woman and the woman's divorce court.

 

Quote

 

And  how do you keep your manhood, self-esteem, mental health, feelings of love and almost every aspect of life healthy and intact, in the dating phase with no sex (which might last a couple of years)?

 

It's not easy... Honestly, I haven't even found anybody to date... But it will be a constant nagging in my mind that she's only interested in what I can do for her, and not me as a person.

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Wherefrom do you obtain positive feelings in regard to the above mentioned aspects of your life during the "pre-marriage-phase"? 

 

 

Honestly, nowhere... There is not much evidence to suggest hope.

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Quote

 

I know this topic is about refusing sex in marriage. But if sex is so intertwined in almost every aspect of your life and emotions and well-being, how can you wait until after marriage to find out if she can make you happy in that area?

 

If she's willing to have sex with her husband, she can make her husband happy in that area... if not... then, no.

 

Quote

 

If the above statement rings true for, let´s say the majority of men on this earth, then that is probably the reason why waiters and non-waiters are never going to work, especially if the woman wants to wait and the man doesn´t want to. Because then the man will feel rejected, which in return will lead to above said damage "to his manhood, self-esteem, mental health, feelings of love, and almost every aspect of life". This is horrible. Although this is nothing new per se for me, I somehow felt discouraged when reading this, because it showed the whole scope of the implications sex (or lack thereof) has for men.

It does damage to the men. I'm glad that you as a single woman are concerned about the damage you might do... And disappointed by the married women who don't care about the damage they will do.

I guess, I am discouraged again, ´cos I actually think I will never find a waiter-guy where I am living and a WTM-woman probably could never make a regular, non-waiting guy happy, because of the damage she will do with not having sex with him...(I actually think that a waiter and a non-waiter would not be the best fit anyway, but as time goes on, you need to see what options you still have and I read some stories where a non-waiter waited for a waiter.....this is not my ideal scenario, though, but sometimes it seems like I don´t have another choice).

Welcome to my world... I am a waiter who would love to have a good relationship with a sexually active wife... But I see that as an impossibility... But hey... They say that misery loves company. :D

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1 hour ago, Steadfast Madcap said:

I find it far more toxic for a husband to feel entitled to sex with his wife during an argument than for a wife to be turned off by the idea of sex during a fight. It seems that the husband in that case is rather dehumanizing his wife -- essentially using her as a sex toy to fulfill a purely physical desire, rather than seeking a genuine joyful sexual connection. I mean honestly -- is sex with a hurt, angry partner who really isn't in the mood at all even going to be any good? Certainly not for the hurt/angry person, and therefore not for their partner either, if that partner has any understanding of the deeper meaning to sex that I would assume people who hang out on a WTM forum all agree is there.

Women *and men* are complicated, multi-dimensional creatures. They will not want sex 24/7, 365 days a year. I doubt many long-time married couples can honestly say they've never had a single dry spell. That is OK. Sex is an important part of a relationship, but, as we on WTM know, it is far from the *most* important. Trust, commitment, communication, and love are. And I think if a wife senses that any of those pieces in a marriage are lacking, she will very likely not want sex with her husband until those issues are resolved. That seems perfectly healthy and normal to me.

Another female saying that sex is not the most important issue to a relationship? :P

While I agree, this is exactly the kind of female attitude that has so many guys running from marriage.

You say that the man is feeling "entitled" to sex with his wife even when there is an argument. Can't you also concede that the woman is feeling "entitled" to punish her husband in order to get her way in the argument? Or is further punishing a "hurt angry partner" who isn't in the mood for further punishment more fun?

You also didn't make a statement to comment on the rest of my post.

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On 2/20/2017 at 8:15 PM, Dave1985 said:

And the fact that you even admit that women can't understand why sex is so important to the husbands puts the concept of a "loving, sexually active wife" further into the "implausible" category. Just the way it is being talked about here ("not manipulative, just angry") shows that the wife puts little to no value on it. Even the very attitude that "he should go out of his way to provide for his wife and family, and be thankful for whatever "scraps" she rarely throws his way" shows a belief system that men are required to fulfill their obligations at all times, while women can do whatever they please without caring about the man at all.

Help me understand. My heart and mind are completely open to understanding. 

"Can't understand" meaning not inherently natural to us, not as in impossible.

I think you'll find many women don't understand, not due to willful ignorance but because we don't think like men and unless we are taught we don't know. How much women know about this and how well they understand it is a reflection of the quality of instruction and discussion we've received. 

Oh Dave, we had an agreement earlier, remember? no-one is saying that a husband should be neglected and accept whatever pitiful sex she tosses his way. A husband's needs has equal importance to a wife's needs and a husband should have equal power in regards to sex as a woman. Do you agree with this?

On 2/20/2017 at 8:51 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

As per your question, Naturally. Yes. Why not? If she loves her husband and knows sex is one of her husband's deeply treasured love language? Certainly as @Dave1985 mentioned, the issue must be addressed. It is not for the wife's OR FOR THE HUSBAND's benefit that the issue isn't addressed. It will cripple the relationship in some way at some point. And both partners should realise that if either of them is having heaps of sex when they don't want to it's not going to be good in the long run. The husband might be unaware of her lack of satisfaction or he may not have the skills (yet) to do anything about it in which case the wife can help. AND this needs to be addressed relatively soon. Frequently the issue isn't brought up until the sufferer "I CAN'T take it any more!!!!" blows up, expects the partner to get the f*** in line overnight and the partner is "Woa whut?". The partner's reform timeline needs to start from when they are made aware of the issue, not the months or years the other has been suffering it undeclared.

Fair enough. Many minor problems/conflicts/disagreements can be drawn out over a long period of time. We should maybe think of sex as a necessity for the marriage rather than only for the husband, it might help women understand. The wife might be upset or irritated with an issue that might take some time to resolve. While the husband takes steps to resolve the issue perturbing her emotionally, the wife should recognise his efforts in attempting to restore emotional intimacy and make an effort to help the marriage by maintaining the sexual intimacy. 

I agree, too many spouses keep quiet about things that are bothering them which just builds resentment until the person blows up and it's just disastrous to come back from. Communicate early and communicate frequently. I read about this couple that every Friday night ask each other: "Have I met your needs this week? and what else could I be doing to make you happy?" How love-affirming is that! Their relationship satisfaction must be through the roof.

On 2/20/2017 at 9:09 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

There are women who crave sex from their husbands as much as husbands crave it from their wives. I'd consider the suffering they go through to be just as bad as for males. I read a blog from such a woman for a while (unfortunately she switched it to private and I haven't requested access) she was quite open and it was harrowing to read at times. I wanted to punch and shake that husband something fierce! Terrible...

For sure, take a look at Reddit Deadbedrooms. I'd say it's about 50:50 of husbands who don't want sexual intimacy to wives who don't want sexual intimacy. Although a selection bias undoubtedly exists and perhaps women are more likely to seek out help when they're the HL compared to men that are HL.

On 2/20/2017 at 9:09 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

As husband we will have the most ability to influence our wives towards mutual understanding and a mutually satisfying intimacy - sexual and non-sexual. Quality male leadership probably isn't that much better off. That is something very important to bear in mind. You can't just look at the wives out there without looking at the husbands. Just look at some of the husbands/boyfriends out there....poor ladies

Truer words were never spoken.

 

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6 hours ago, Dave1985 said:

You don't want to marry a non-waiter, and want a virgin waiter. And yet you would feel disgusted if your virgin waiter husband wanted to have sex with you when you were angry? I don't mean to come off as rude here, but I have spent the last 31 years of my life waiting, and for a woman to say that she wants a waiter, but would openly refuse sex for such a trivial reason really does a lot of damage. 

Dave, why would a husband want to be intimate with his wife when she is angry/annoyed/ upset etc? This is a genuine question. Educate me. Is it because he's feeling the turbulence in the marriage and is wanting sex to reassure that everything is okay and that he is still loved? Is it because he may be upset too and being with her sexually will calm his heart? Is it simply the need to orgasm and your wife is hotter than your hand? What are the reasons a husband might need sex during this time?

6 hours ago, Dave1985 said:

Your argument is that men are sexually dependent on the women because the men want it more, and the men should know and accept that? Men who aren't in denial already know and accept that. It doesn't make your refusals any more pleasant, though.

A man who wants to be the leader in his marriage should probably not accept it. I'm a proponent of husband and wife having equal sexual power in marriage. Unfortunately I don't see a way this can happen naturally, it can only happen if the lower libido spouse relinquishes some of their power to the higher libido spouse. Fortunately, I've considered a way that this could happen that even YOU might appreciate. maybe.

6 hours ago, Dave1985 said:

Think of it this way... They have a disagreement. The husband recognized that they need to resolve the issue to find a solution that works best. But at the same time, he still loves his wife, and is still attracted to her, so he tries to have sex with her. The woman, on the other hand, recognizing a disagreement, says "damn the relationship", doubles down, gets angry, refuses sex, and treats her husband as an inconvenience until she gets her way.

I think we can all agree this is manipulative and unacceptable in a loving marriage.

6 hours ago, Dave1985 said:

In essence, both @Faeries and @Naturally both agree with the sexless wife in the scenario. If even the waiters are taking the side of a woman refusing to have sex with her husband, where does that leave the men who are patiently holding out for their wives? More discouragement and pessimism abound.

hmm I don't think I agreed with her as much as I understood her. But hey, I'm capable of forming new opinions based on new information presented to me; and that's what you guys are doing, you're helping me understand. When I see reason in your explanations I'm able to adapt my stance accordingly - isn't the brain fantastic!

5 hours ago, wny said:

were they not in so much a fight, but rather just going through a stressful time deciding what to do?

More this.

 

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21 hours ago, WakeUp&BeAwesome said:

1. @Naturally Did this couple wait until marriage to have sex? Just asking out of curiosity and I couldn´t find an answer to that in this thread. Sorry, if you have mentioned it somewhere already.

She did, I think he did too but i'm not 100% certain.

 

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6 hours ago, Naturally said:

Help me understand. My heart and mind are completely open to understanding. 

"Can't understand" meaning not inherently natural to us, not as in impossible.

I think you'll find many women don't understand, not due to willful ignorance but because we don't think like men and unless we are taught we don't know. How much women know about this and how well they understand it is a reflection on the quality of instruction and discussion we've received. 

Oh Dave, we had an agreement earlier, remember? no-one is saying that a husband should be neglected and accept whatever pitiful sex she tosses his way. A husband's needs has equal importance to a wife's needs and a husband should have equal power in regards to sex as a woman. Do you agree with this?

What can I do to help you understand?

And yes, I agree that both partners needs should have equal importance.

5 hours ago, Naturally said:

Dave, why would a husband want to be intimate with his wife when she is angry/annoyed/ upset etc? This is a genuine question. Educate me. Is it because he's feeling the turbulence in the marriage and is wanting sex to reassure that everything is okay and that he is still loved? Is it because he may be upset too and being with her sexually will calm his heart? Is it simply the need to orgasm and your wife is hotter than your hand? What are the reasons a husband might need sex during this time?

Why would he want to be intimate when she is angry? Let's rephrase that... Why would he want to feel a loving, sexual connection to the woman he married when there is a problem of some sort? Why would he want love and support from a woman who claimed to love him "for bitter or for worse" during an argument?

To draw this line of thinking out to its ridiculous conclusion (and help show you the man's point of view on your actions), why should the man want any level of love or respect from his wife? They are in argument mode. Shouldn't he be trying to do the most amount of damage possible without getting arrested? Shouldn't he view his wife as the enemy until the argument reaches a conclusion that benefits him?

Sex is probably the best way for a man to feel connected to his wife. Looking at it from this perspective, doesn't the man seem more reasonable for wanting to feel loved by his wife, even if there is an argument that isn't resolved? If you look at it like this, the man seems to be perfectly reasonable, and the woman seems to be an entitled princess throwing a tantrum until she gets her way.

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7 hours ago, Dave1985 said:

Another female saying that sex is not the most important issue to a relationship? :P

While I agree, this is exactly the kind of female attitude that has so many guys running from marriage.

You say that the man is feeling "entitled" to sex with his wife even when there is an argument. Can't you also concede that the woman is feeling "entitled" to punish her husband in order to get her way in the argument? Or is further punishing a "hurt angry partner" who isn't in the mood for further punishment more fun?

You also didn't make a statement to comment on the rest of my post.

"Female attitude?" I know many guys (including my own partner) who are with me on this one. I'm actually wondering if something about long-term waiting leads to this kind of intense emphasis on sex I'm seeing from the guys here. Because among the men I know personally in the real world...sure, they would all say it's a critical part of a relationship, but I can't see them arguing for this need for 24/7 365/day availability regardless of all circumstances like I'm seeing here.

I think that you're making an uncharitable assumption about every woman who isn't in the mood for sex during an argument. It's not about punishing the husband, she's just not in the mood due to the emotional upset in the relationship ("no sex until we calm down, clear our heads, and work out a resolution that suits us both"). If she has a pattern of using sex as a weapon to get her way, ("no sex until this argument is resolved 100% in my favor") then yeah, that's messed up, and I don't think a single woman here has argued otherwise.

Which rest of your post?

Quote

You freely admit that women have no idea how damaging it is when the women refuse to have sex with their husband? Think of it this way... They have a disagreement. The husband recognized that they need to resolve the issue to find a solution that works best. But at the same time, he still loves his wife, and is still attracted to her, so he tries to have sex with her. The woman, on the other hand, recognizing a disagreement, says "damn the relationship", doubles down, gets angry, refuses sex, and treats her husband as an inconvenience until she gets her way.

This is again, I think, reading the actions of the wife in the most uncharitable way possible. It goes back to what I said above -- it's not about "damn the relationship," or treating the husband as an inconvenience. It's about "let's fix the relationship before performing the ultimate expression of a loving harmonious connection with another human being." If a husband and his wife otherwise have a happy and active sex life, why does he need to sleep with her so badly *in that particular moment* to the point where it is supposedly inherently damaging to him to be turned down?

10 hours ago, Dave1985 said:

You don't want to marry a non-waiter, and want a virgin waiter. And yet you would feel disgusted if your virgin waiter husband wanted to have sex with you when you were angry? I don't mean to come off as rude here, but I have spent the last 31 years of my life waiting, and for a woman to say that she wants a waiter, but would openly refuse sex for such a trivial reason really does a lot of damage. I have long recognized myself as being in a Catch-22... When I am unmarried, it is my religious beliefs preventing me from having sex. Once I am married, it will be my wife preventing me from having sex.

I would also be pretty disgusted if my partner pushed sex on me in the immediate aftermath of an unresolved argument, or in the middle of a period of intense disagreement. I think you are underestimating how scary and horrible a bad argument in a long-term relationship can be. They're not "trivial" at all. It's like your whole world is crashing down.

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In the case of a fight where there is real anger on one or both sides, I would definitely say it makes sense not to be in the mood for sex. I think this would be true for a lot of men and women. I think I generally wouldn't be in the mood for sex with my wife during a time like this. I'll ask my friends (they're all guys) to see if I'm an outlier on this.

If it's more just a disagreement and stressful time, I'm sympathetic to the view of the partner wanting sex. Yes, stress (whether it's from work, family, friends, whatever) can lower libido. I don't think anyone should feel like they have to be up for sex 24/7 to be a good spouse. But, I don't think it's good to refuse your spouse for an extended period of time if it isn't a fight and is more of just a stressful time and/or disagreement. It's not good for either partner involved. In healthy marriages, both partners should want sex. I don't think it's good to shut down (sexually or emotionally) whenever things aren't going 100% smoothly and especially if your partner isn't really doing anything wrong. At the same time, it's tough since I really don't like the thought of someone having sex during a time they absolutely don't want to. The specifics of a situation likely matter, but I'm inclined to say a partner whose libido ceases (or he/she thinks ceases) entirely during just a tough time needs to work on fixing that. Whether or not that's applicable in this exact situation, I can't say for certain without knowing exact details.

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On 2/20/2017 at 11:27 PM, WakeUp&BeAwesome said:

And if it is true, how can men wait until marriage to have sex then? Don´t you consider it way too risky if you marry a woman FOR LIFE and you don´t even know how she is going to act in such situations that could have an impact on your "manhood, self-esteem, mental health, feelings of love and almost every aspect of life"?

And  how do you keep your manhood, self-esteem, mental health, feelings of love and almost every aspect of life healthy and intact, in the dating phase with no sex (which might last a couple of years)?

Wherefrom do you obtain positive feelings in regard to the above mentioned aspects of your life during the "pre-marriage-phase"? 

I know this topic is about refusing sex in marriage. But if sex is so intertwined in almost every aspect of your life and emotions and well-being, how can you wait until after marriage to find out if she can make you happy in that area?

If the above statement rings true for, let´s say the majority of men on this earth, then that is probably the reason why waiters and non-waiters are never going to work, especially if the woman wants to wait and the man doesn´t want to. Because then the man will feel rejected, which in return will lead to above said damage "to his manhood, self-esteem, mental health, feelings of love, and almost every aspect of life". This is horrible. Although this is nothing new per se for me, I somehow felt discouraged when reading this, because it showed the whole scope of the implications sex (or lack thereof) has for men.

Without answering your question, do you not think that there are aspects in the control of a husband which impact on a wife's "womanhood, self-esteem, mental health, feelings of love and almost every aspect of life"? In which case, we can ask the exact same question, except that it might not be related to sex. So why is it so "bad" when it's sex instead of something else? Do we here have some upcroppings of overly prudish culture saying sex is bad or that the man is an "animal" if he wants/needs sex? Bearing in mind that women can crave sex just as much as males.

There is a difference between being refused sex and choosing not to have it. In my current state I'm not supposed to have sex according with my beliefs; I am in marriage. Having sex for me right now is not even an option, even if it was offered (which has occurred). I don't entertain any hope of having sex tomorrow or next week or next month which may be dashed by a wife's rejection. If I ask someone on a date, or am in a non-marital romantic relationship with someone and they would refuse to have sex with me I'd see that as a good thing and not as a rejection because I'm not expecting or hoping to have it at that point. UNLESS they really wouldn't want to have sex with me even if we were married. Even then, the connection, and hence the strength of the rejection, would be nowhere near as strong as with my wife. The whole aspect of hope, anticipation, raking up the courage (which depending on how bad it is can take a lot, particularly when your wife thinks your an animal for wanting "so much" sex) and then rejection is a big part of the problem - which is why in counseling in order to assist matching unmatched sex drives scheduling sex can help. This sex schedule as to when sex will happen can help the higher sex drive person cope with a less than desired frequency because he has certainty. These can be quite flexible. The book Sex, Men and God explores some. 

Certainly, if the non-waiter feels rejected because of your moral code that can be an issue but it is different from the situation where there is no moral code preventing you and you choosing on the basis of your feelings to neglect your partner's sexual needs. When a waiter is refusing sex because they aren't married, I'd suggest they want sex but won't choose to because of their morals. When married and withholding they can choose to but they don't want to. 

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4 hours ago, wny said:

In the case of a fight where there is real anger on one or both sides, I would definitely say it makes sense not to be in the mood for sex. I think this would be true for a lot of men and women. I think I generally wouldn't be in the mood for sex with my wife during a time like this. I'll ask my friends (they're all guys) to see if I'm an outlier on this.

If it's more just a disagreement and stressful time, I'm sympathetic to the view of the partner wanting sex. Yes, stress (whether it's from work, family, friends, whatever) can lower libido. I don't think anyone should feel like they have to be up for sex 24/7 to be a good spouse. But, I don't think it's good to refuse your spouse for an extended period of time if it isn't a fight and is more of just a stressful time and/or disagreement. It's not good for either partner involved. In healthy marriages, both partners should want sex. I don't think it's good to shut down (sexually or emotionally) whenever things aren't going 100% smoothly and especially if your partner isn't really doing anything wrong. At the same time, it's tough since I really don't like the thought of someone having sex during a time they absolutely don't want to. The specifics of a situation likely matter, but I'm inclined to say a partner whose libido ceases (or he/she thinks ceases) entirely during just a tough time needs to work on fixing that. Whether or not that's applicable in this exact situation, I can't say for certain without knowing exact details.

I totally understand and agree with all of this. Occasional dry periods are understandable, but if it's at the point where it's been a month+ with no sex (ish, actual timeline would really depend on the people involved and the specific stressor), or one of the spouses constantly shuts down sexually due to the slightest problem, then that is something that they need to work on overcoming.

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It's not withholding if the person is genuinely not in the mood because her mind is not at ease, and she would need to realize that without anything physical he might even feel like he's become unimportant or their marriage is at stake. Learning to think at least a little like our counterpart is helpful, and being able to convey those thoughts to each other, even in anger, is a skill most people don't have until it's too late, if ever.

I think it's important to remember that, contrary to what most people want to believe, men and women are wired differently. Men are more physical, and women are more emotional. Not to say women don't need sex, or men don't have feelings, but the way we feel connected differs (in MOST cases). So, in a case like iths, communications become triply important, or even more. Sometimes even getting a third, non-biased, party involved could be helpful. Especially if a resolution cannot be agreed upon in a short period of time, say less than a week. Which means they put everything but work, and sleep...sleep is important, especially now, so that fatigue does not make it worse...aside and concentrate on each other, and discussing it. There are many ways this can be done.

During times of turmoil, I do believe, sometimes, we have to go through at least some of the motions. If you're upset, and not in the mood, maybe you still give a kiss, or hugs, or little bits of contact, so that the physical connection isn't felt as though it's been lost. In his part, he should try to keep telling her he loves her, and being emotionally affectionate, so she doesn't feel that all she is is a sexual toy to him. Telling each other you love each other, even if you're not feeling it. We don't feel our feelings 100% of the time. Which is why love is not just a feeling, it's a choice. You CHOOSE this person, above all, because you have felt love for them, and know you will again. Feelings are chemistry, hormones, so they are subject to change according to conditions, but that doesn't make them less real, and it's why relationships are work. If both sides aren't willing to work to pull the weight, your carriage is going to fall apart.

Im no expert, just my thoughts and observations.

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On 2/21/2017 at 3:18 AM, Faeries said:

And I would expect that if my husband was upset with me, he wouldn't want to have sex with me either. I guess I was wrong about that though.

While we've been discussing it as mainly a female issue this isn't necessarily the case. How might your perspective change if you consider yourself the one yearning for sexual intimacy but your husband is withholding for the reasons discussed here? Men can withhold for the same reason as women:

Another myth-buster revealed by the survey was what women said were the causes for their husbands’ lack of desire. Contrary to popular belief that the only reason a man would turn down sex is because “his machinery isn’t working properly,” or their wives are extremely unattractive, this just isn’t so. Men, it seems, turn off to sex for many of the same reasons that their wives do- emotional disconnection, underlying resentment or unresolved problems, depression, stress and so on. In fact, one of the most common reasons men reject their wives’ advances is that they feel their wives are critical or bossy. Nagging simply isn’t an aphrodisiac. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/divorce-busting/200804/sex-starved-wives

22 hours ago, Naturally said:

 

On 11/3/2016 at 10:45 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

As far as initiating, I think for (dominant) males at least it is closely linked with leadership and a sense of masculinity. She has undermined his leadership and demonstrated how much control she can and will wield by denying sexual intimacy "until she gets her way" (although the background issues are still unresolved, she is sexually available again; only the initial conflict is "resolved" in her favour....hmmm). This would be particularly damaging if she expects him to be "the head of the household" generally. He might also be resenting himself for giving in. 

Based on this, do you think a husband would feel happier and more secure, and a marriage more likely to thrive if the husband (assuming he's the higher libido spouse) held more power of when sex is had?

I don't think I've ever heard anyone complain that they have too much "power" [except see below]. Too much responsibility, yes. Why wouldn't a spouse be happier if he/she knew he/she could get sex when they wanted sex and avoid it when they wanted to? Just because he might be happier (or think he is) doesn't mean that the relationship is better and that the character transformation and growth that should come out of a marriage will come. Half the issue resides with the wife. If she hates it, then it is highly doubtful that he will be "happier" for long. I think the true happiness of such a scenario would arise out of knowing that the wife is happy about that dynamic too. You haven't addressed this, but just in case: while initiating sex is sometimes seen the dominant role (and usually associated with the masculine) there are "feminine" ways to initiate and even if initiating was done in a masculine/dominant way, I personally wouldn't mind it. I don't think any husband (unless he is uber controlling) would have a problem with the wife initiating - it shows she wants sex in an active, premeditated way. Indeed, one of the most common complaints of husbands is that their wives don't initiate sex enough. HOWEVER, that is taken from my more dominant mindset (though I have submissive tendencies too). So if you have a submissive husband, he probably won't enjoy the "power" as much as a dominant. Indeed, he may prefer the wife to exercise the majority of power. Yet, I imagine, even within such a dynamic, withholding because of not wanting to have sex [rather than as part of their sexual play] would still be hurtful. Unless there is some kind of she-genuinely-doesn't-want-to-have-sex-with-me fetish....I don't know....haha

On 2/21/2017 at 3:24 PM, Naturally said:

Think of it this way, imagine the pain a man might feel when his wife refuses him sex. That's the same pain a woman feels when she's having sex with her husband at a time when they're not emotionally engaged.

Do you have any articles that explores this? Even if we accept this premise, it is one thing to say "This conflict has created enough of a rift between us that I won't have sex with you until the conflict is resolved" or "This emotional disconnect is high enough for me not to want sex with you but I'm willing to work on it even if the conflict remains unresolved". If the husband should work on handling not having sex every time he initiates then surely shouldn't the wife work on her attitudes towards sex when she doesn't feel emotionally engaged? Otherwise, if we accept that at any one time rejection pain = unwanted sex pain there won't ever be a win-win situation. And if it is equal, why should the husband always bear it?

 

Out of interest, what type or level of conflict/disagreement do you women consider sufficient to withhold sex in marriage? What about general disconnection that isn't caused by an identifiable/explicit conflict i.e. not being caused by something done wrong but rather a lack of doing things right? What about factors that are outside of your partner's control, such as work stress?

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30 minutes ago, 'tis the Bearded One said:

Out of interest, what type or level of conflict/disagreement do you women consider sufficient to withhold sex in marriage? What about general disconnection that isn't caused by an identifiable/explicit conflict i.e. not being caused by something done wrong but rather a lack of doing things right? What about factors that are outside of your partner's control, such as work stress?

If I were a guessing man, I'd say that their threshold probably falls somewhere around the line of forgetting to mow the grass. :P

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23 hours ago, Naturally said:

Had he felt the decision made was in fact in the best interest the couple why would he continue to act so begrudgingly towards her.

Well, [and I think I mentioned it somewhere else?] he could still believe the right decision was made but begrudge the decision-making process. 

 

23 hours ago, Naturally said:

Although conditional on the couple prioritizing financial benefit of employment over other benefits employment can bring such as sense of purpose, friendships, self-esteem, sense of achievement, increase happiness and mental health etc.

Also dependent on whether the couple intend on ever having children. If not, it would preclude the financial loss experienced during maternity leave from the cost-benefit analysis.

Certainly! I remember there was a thing on many women preferring their husbands would spend less time at work (thus earn less) and have more relational time even though their lifestyle will be more frugal. This is something that needs to be clearly communicated by the wife. 

 

23 hours ago, Dave1985 said:

They have a disagreement. The husband recognized that they need to resolve the issue to find a solution that works best. But at the same time, he still loves his wife, and is still attracted to her, so he tries to have sex with her. The woman, on the other hand, recognizing a disagreement, says "damn the relationship", doubles down, gets angry, refuses sex, and treats her husband as an inconvenience until she gets her way.

This is similar to the point I want to bring out.

I don't like conflict. I wasn't raised with particularly good conflict resolution skills being instilled in me. I am quite sensitive to criticism and conflict. I realise I will have a lot of learning and growing to do when it comes to handling conflict in a productive and healthy manner. Conflict with someone you are married to has far greater implications than for any other person in your life. (Unless you're very loose on the divorce and remarriage standards) And thus it will be different from any conflicts you've had with other individuals. I've stated that sexual related issues can be reasonable grounds for withholding. Let me add to that if partner's abuse each other e.g. one beats up the other. It would be highly unreasonable for the abuser to expect intimacy (sexual or otherwise [okay well some non-sexual vulnerability will be needed to resolve the issue obviously]) from the victim before healing has occurred. How much time is reasonably for reconciliation depends on the type and level of conflict. When it comes to conflicts over say decisions [rather than hurt] I think it would be best to try and treat it as @Dave1985 described: an issue/conflict arises, it needs to be resolved, but in the meantime we still love each other and should act like it. If the marriage is not under threat, why should we enable the discontinuance of aspects important to a healthy marriage? If my partner were to commit adultery, I would withhold sex until things are sufficiently resolved because if they aren't I won't be having sex with her anyway. But if it's a decision over which town to move to regardless of which town I will be moving to I still intend to have sex with my wife so why stop during the decision-making process? Can't we still aim towards loving each other during the process? If I committed adultery and my wife complained but still acted wifely and still had sex, for me it would be like "Okay, so she doesn't like my adultery (duh) but it doesn't seem threaten the marital relationship at this point". If I committed adultery, I'd expect the default to be "this relationship is over" and the only hope is shaping up and seeking forgiveness and reconciliation. So why should the default for a conflict that does not threaten the existence of the marriage(/relationship) be one that questions the continuance of our intimacy? You may say, that conflicts with my addition of withholding after abuse since I don't believe abuse (short of infidelity) is grounds for divorce. It is however, grounds for separation and a severe discontinuance of intimacy (deterioration of the relationship) until things are restored. Which town we move to or which school our kids go to or where we holiday etc do should not have relationship destroying capabilities so why treat them like they would be during the decision-making process? 

I realise that it may be difficult having a conflict and yet maintaining respect, love, and affection (in all its forms) as if (or close to) the conflict wasn't occurring. I don't want our conflict to be a me against you; I want us to be able to tackle it as partners for the good of the marriage which will be the good of us both. If the default response to a conflict is withholding of sexual intimacy until some unknown point in the future, I think it will make it harder for me (and anyone who desires reasonably available sexual intimacy) to bring up conflicts in a timely manner. 

There is also a bad relational "game" that a person who doesn't want to have sex can start playing to avoid the situation. I think it is beneficial to avoid the elements of such a dynamic even in its innocent stages. Here's the an excerpt from Berne's book Games People Play:

TLDR: whoever wants to avoid expected intimacy creates a conflict which gives them a "justified reason" to either reject an initiation or preclude the initiation altogether.       

                                                        ******

1 · CORNER

Thesis: Corner illustrates more clearly than most games their manipulative aspect and their function as barriers to intimacy. Paradoxically, it consists of a disingenuous refusal to play the game of another. 1. Mrs White suggests to her husband that they go to a movie. Mr White agrees. 2a. Mrs White makes an ‘unconscious’ slip. She mentions quite naturally in the course of conversation that the house needs painting. This is an expensive project, and White has recently told her that their finances are strained; he requested her not to embarrass or annoy him by suggesting unusual expenditures, at least until the beginning of the new month. This is therefore an ill-chosen moment to bring up the condition of the house, and White responds rudely. 2b. Alternatively: White steers the conversation around to the house, making it difficult for Mrs White to resist the temptation to say that it needs painting. As in the previous case, White responds rudely. 3. Mrs White takes offence and says that if he is in one of his bad moods, she will not go to the movie with him, and he had best go by himself. He says if that is the way she feels about it, he will go alone. 4. White goes to the movie (or out with the boys), leaving Mrs White at home to nurse her injured feelings. There are two possible gimmicks in this game: A. Mrs White knows very well from past experience that she is not supposed to take his annoyance seriously. What he really wants is for her to show some appreciation of how hard he works to earn their living; then they could go off happily together. But she refuses to play, and he feels badly let down. He leaves filled with disappointment and resentment, while she stays at home looking abused, but with a secret feeling of triumph. B. White knows very well from past experience that he is not supposed to take her pique seriously. What she really wants is to be honeyed out of it; then they would go off happily together. But he refuses to play, knowing that his refusal is dishonest: he knows she wants to be coaxed, but pretends he doesn’t. He leaves the house, feeling cheerful and relieved, but looking wronged. She is left feeling disappointed and resentful. In each of these cases the winner’s position is, from a naïve standpoint, irreproachable; all he or she has done is take the other literally. This is clearer in (B), where White takes Mrs White’s refusal to go at face value. They both know that this is cheating, but since she said it, she is cornered. The most obvious gain here is the external psychological. Both of them find movies sexually stimulating, and it is more or less anticipated that after they return from the theatre, they will make love. Hence whichever one of them wants to avoid intimacy sets up the game in move (2a) or (2b). This is a particularly exasperating variety of ‘Uproar’ (see Chapter 9 ). The ‘wronged’ party can, of course, make a good case for not wanting to make love in a state of justifiable indignation, and the cornered spouse has no recourse. Antithesis. This is simple for Mrs White. All she has to do is change her mind, take her husband by the arm, smile and go along with him (a shift from Child to Adult ego state). It is more difficult for Mr White, since she now has the initiative; but if he reviews the whole situation, he may be able to coax her into going along with him, either as a sulky Child who has been placated or, better, as an Adult.

 ******

 

23 hours ago, Naturally said:

So if we agree (?) that based on the scenario of this thread, an ongoing discussion where a resolution has not yet been reached is not a sufficient reason to warrant the withholding of sex, barring any serious marital problems (i.e. abuse, extramarital affair, drinking, drugs etc) what would be a sufficient reason (intimacy or non-intimacy related) that you'd accept for a wife to withhold sex from her husband? 

Haha I like how we are thinking along the same lines. I pretty much asked this question above (I hadn't read this part). Let me put it this way: can I accept that a partner [either gender but female for me...] could validly reject sex on the basis of psycho-emotional factors? Yes, along with serious marital problems, headaches, menstrual cramps, health issues, job stress, physical/mental exhaustion etc etc. But if she has as a UTI (for which it is entirely reasonable to pass on sex) but refuses to treat it which leads to the prevention of sexual intimacy for an unreasonable period then yes, I'd find that unacceptable. That is abusive. Likewise, if she takes an unreasonable amount of time to process the emotional upheaval of a conflict [resolved or not], I'd expect her to work on that. Some people have a harder time with emotional volatility (don't think that's the right term...) but it is something that everyone should be able to work on. And as long as she is willing, working on it, and making reasonable progress that's okay. Similarly, if I am so chronically stressed out from work that I have an insufficient interest in sex for the health of the marriage then that is something I need to address. To me, withholding has connotations of being manipulative, abusive, and/or over extended periods.

Here's a little infographic:

When is Withholding Sex Abusive?

 
ABUSIVE
NOT ABUSIVE
She doesn't feel like it because of an argument that just ended.
 
X
She rejects sex after an argument that took place a week ago.
X
 
She refuses sex because of a medical condition.
 
X
She refuses to seek treatment for a condition that prevents sex.
X
 
She refuses to offer alternate means of pleasure when she can't have sex.
X
 

Source: 

https://pairedlife.com/problems/Withholding-Sex-What-to-Do-About-It 

 

On 2/21/2017 at 5:37 PM, Naturally said:

Secondly, what would be a warranted response from the husband to his wife withholding sex? How would a man typically respond?

I'll try and get to this eventually as this is an important but tangent issue; I'm trying to catch up with the rest! This thread has taken off! :) 

 

On 2/21/2017 at 5:37 PM, Naturally said:

she's got the real power and unless she relinquishes some of her power to him, he is powerless. If that makes sense...

Is this what they would call "emasculating"?

In general, not referring to this specific case here, I imagine it could take a lot for a man to ignore his wife's immature tantrums. Why? Because society is more likely to side with her unless the unfavourable decision he enforced is obviously the right choice. [Even then he might have some feminist attack of "Who made you boss to make the right decision", who knows] He'll also need the wherewithal and confidence to be sure he has actually made the right decision. She'll probably have all her girlfriends on her side and females tending to be better in covert putdowns, backstabbing [or is that just stereotypical?] and the like she can easily try and slice him to ribbons in front of other people and if she doesn't do it in public it can be in private. A marriage partner has an extraordinary power to hurt their spouse because of the intimacy and knowledge of each other. Certainly, immaturity doesn't mean maliciousness but it can be a fine line particularly if she becomes overly critical. If he has the wisdom to know which decision is right, the confidence to enforce it, and the endurance to whether a potential storm he can take a take-no-prisoners approach and hope his wife matures up. Or he might let the issue slide and try and work on it less confrontationally. 

The term emasculating is frequently bound to the male role and identity. If we premise that the male should have at least an equal amount of power or more in decision-making, be the leader, then yes, it could be considered emasculating. There's also the definition of generally making weaker though it tends to be tied to males ie ever heard the term used towards females ie she felt emasculated....? haha

 

On 2/21/2017 at 5:37 PM, Naturally said:

But I doubt this concept could be applied to as you said, such an important issue such as sex. Would a husband be willing to hear "no" to his request to have sex with no further information as to why? For example, If I said to my husband "Honey, I had a bad day, can we chat about it?" and he replied "Not right now, darling, I'm on the phone with my boss" I wouldn't be hurt. Alternatively, if he replied "no" with no reason as to why, he'd be dead. ok maybe not, but I'm sure that would sting. I suspect the feeling would be similar if the husband requested sex and the wife said to her husband "Not right now, honey, I've got to go pick up the kids" compared with "no" and just leaving.

:lol: The thought of this concept as a solitary "no" hadn't crossed my mind to that extent. I see it more in relation to requests of favours. As in if you ask something of me, why should a simple "no" be insufficient? Why do I have to try and justify it with "I don't have the time" "I have plans already to couchpotato" :P etc. I might have to look it up again....

 

On 2/21/2017 at 5:37 PM, Naturally said:

If she knows you're all too willing to accept "no" with the promise of no questions or hurt feelings, how long will you be willing to endure this in order to give her the freedom to say "yes"?

Precisely, if we applied it to duties and obligations and partner needs it starts breaking down if overused though it shouldn't be used for some at all.

 

On 2/21/2017 at 5:37 PM, Naturally said:

by giving them the freedom to say "no" they feel "safe" to engage with you in a non-sexual way i.e. hugs, kissing, talking etc knowing she doesn't have to fear it will lead to sex and at the same time strengthening that emotional intimacy enough to want to say "yes" to sex.

What also works well to address that fear is scheduling who initiates on what days/sections of the week so that on their non-initiating days they can extend physical intimacy without making the partner apprehensive of an initiation. 

I'm actually more interested in your view on the reverse psychology paragraph of mine below the one's you replied to.

 

23 hours ago, Steadfast Madcap said:

I find it far more toxic for a husband to feel entitled to sex with his wife during an argument than for a wife to be turned off by the idea of sex during a fight. 

If I may ask: do you consider spouses to have any sort of entitlement/expectation to sex?

 

22 hours ago, Naturally said:

I read about this couple that every Friday night ask each other: "Have I met your needs this week? and what else could I be doing to make you happy?" How love-affirming is that! Their relationship satisfaction must be through the roof.

Amen! 

 

22 hours ago, Naturally said:

Reddit Deadbedrooms

I'm aware of it but have haven't really read anything from there yet. Its as yet an untapped resource :) thanks for pointing it out anyway.

 

15 hours ago, Steadfast Madcap said:

this kind of intense emphasis on sex I'm seeing from the guys here

...does that include me??

 

15 hours ago, Steadfast Madcap said:

I would also be pretty disgusted if my partner pushed sex on me in the immediate aftermath of an unresolved argument, or in the middle of a period of intense disagreement. 

I didn't think anyone was advocating this....Unless you're an abusive guy who has some sort of tear fetish, you'd feel like a rapist...

I think there might be a big disconnect over the type and level of the disagreements/conflicts (and the level of emotion involved) the "opposing" sides are considering, which was why I asked the question in my previous post.

15 hours ago, Steadfast Madcap said:

It's about "let's fix the relationship before performing the ultimate expression of a loving harmonious connection with another human being."

Are you suggesting the relationship has to be "perfect" before this ultimate expression of love? There are issues that can take years to heal and reach a pre-hurt level. Due you make an allowance for progress towards "fixed"?

 

Oh, my goodness, this takes so much time ! hahaaaa

 

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@'tis the Bearded One

I don't think any human being is entitled to sex from another human being. In a healthy marriage, however, both parties should be freely giving sex fairly regularly, so I would say having an expectation of sex is reasonable.

I'm a bit more liberal than you are when it comes to situations where divorce is applicable, so my perspective on this differs a bit. I wouldn't consider witholding sex to be abusive, except in the specific situation where it is being used to manipulate or punish the other party. However, if it goes on for too long, then it may still be grounds for a divorce if nothing is changed. Just as I would consider an unemployed spouse sitting on the couch all day refusing to look for work to not be abusive, but it would certainly be grounds for a divorce if they refused to get help working on their issues. Likewise, I also see the situation Naturally presented as being something that could be relationship threatening -- my husband going behind my back and applying for a job in another city away from my friends and family and work, and then expecting me to uproot my life for the sake of his job? I would be deeply questioning the kind of person I married, at that point.

No relationship will ever be perfect, but I do think it's fair to wait until general harmony has been restored before pursuing sex. As for things that take years to work out -- well, those are probably issues that I would consider it reasonable to divorce over. Coming at this from my own experience: my partner and I maybe have one really bad fight each year. I don't think it's ever taken more than like, a week, for me to feel like we're back to our loving selves. If fights are happening much more often than that, or it's taking a really long time to move past the resentment, then I'd say the relationship has a much bigger problem than a resulting lack of sex.

As for what type of conflicts or issues are justifiable reasons for turning down sex, I think there's wayyy to many individual situations or scenarios imaginable to ever really begin to come up with a comprehensive list. First of all, I do think just "not being in the mood" is a valid reason, as long as your "not in the mood" phase doesn't drag on too long. Work stress, family stress, being tired, not feeling well -- again, all good reasons. Big life changes, like having a baby or a death in the family, probably warrant an even bigger drought, even though the spouse isn't doing anything wrong in that situation. Pretty much as long as the lack of sex isn't being used to punish or manipulate the spouse, I don't think there's a "bad" reason to not be in the mood. It becomes dysfunctional not when a specific reason isn't "good enough," but rather when there's always some kind of excuse they're coming up with to put off sexual intimacy. I think the average married couple has sex what, once every two weeks or something like that? So I think if a spouse has put off sex for, say, two months, and it isn't because of a major tragedy, then they need to take a serious look at themselves and their marriage to see what they can do to work on that.

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6 hours ago, Steadfast Madcap said:

In a healthy marriage, however, both parties should be freely giving sex fairly regularly, so I would say having an expectation of sex is reasonable.

Agreed. Kind of like you have a "duty" to provide but not a right to receive?

6 hours ago, Steadfast Madcap said:

Just as I would consider an unemployed spouse sitting on the couch all day refusing to look for work to not be abusive

Though that falls within the definition of financial abuse....

It seems that while you don't call neglect abuse, you consider it grounds for divorce.

6 hours ago, Steadfast Madcap said:

my husband going behind my back and applying for a job in another city

I didn't realise it was "behind her back"....and it did occur before they were married. Though you'd think she should still be made aware when engaged....

6 hours ago, Steadfast Madcap said:

As for things that take years to work out -- well, those are probably issues that I would consider it reasonable to divorce over.

As an example, I was thinking of infidelity. Which certainly is a grounds for divorce. But I was thinking of past the point where I might accept her reform as genuine and I want to continue the marital relationship. There is still going to be a fair bit of hurt and rebuilding of trust and issues to work through. While couples can have a better relationship post-infidelity than pre-infidelity, it's a lot of work and time to get to that point. 

7 hours ago, Steadfast Madcap said:

I think the average married couple has sex what, once every two weeks or something like that?

Found this:

According to the Kinsey Institute, 18- to 29-year-olds have sex an average of 112 times per year, 30- to 39-year-olds an average of 86 times per year, and 40- to 49-year-olds an average of 69 times per year. Thirteen percent of married couples have sex a few times per year, 45 percent a few times per month, 34 percent two to three times per week, and 7 percent four or more times per week.

http://www.yourtango.com/experts/lissa-rankin/sexual-frequency-how-much-sex-enough 

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On 2/20/2017 at 7:46 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

I'm wonder whether the reverse psychology could be useful in this case. Personally, I'd find it far easier to respect and make the effort and take the time to reconnect non-sexually if my wife provided the option of being sexual intimate in circumstances which we're discussing here ie withholding due to emotions/disconnect. I would be far happier forgoing sex knowing that it is available but that my wife preferred not to. She shows her willingness to make a sacrifice for the sake of reconnection and further removes the possibility of manipulative withholding. In a way she is submitting and making herself vulnerable. It makes me want to execute my leadership role in caring for her and reciprocate in the sacrifice. In a way it avoids the potential mexican standoff in regard to which is harder: the wife having sex when not feeling like it or the husband connecting without sexual intimacy. Of course, this places the woman in the more vulnerable position (which depending on beliefs you may disagree with in principle) and opens her to potential abuse but here's to hoping the ladies on the forum don't get married to idiots or exploitative narcissists. In which case different strategies are in order for basically...well everything :mellow: 

Being able to say "no" without an inquest into why communicates respect for the individual and the no hurt feelings in response communicates a trust for the individual that their "no" is not malicious.

If you assume both partners' approach to the marriage at any one time is one of genuine love and self-giving then I believe the reverse psychology might have a chance of working because both partners will grow in love because they feel understood and respected and therefore more inclined to respond to the other with love.

It might work for this scenario, although conditional on "no" being the exception, not the rule. "Yes" therefore must be the default position in the marriage from both spouses which, as you've mentioned, will put the woman in a more vulnerable position. Although if she does trust and love her husband and he indeed possesses the qualities that she loved enough to marry him, she may be willing to submit in this way. His acceptance to hearing the words "no" will also likely further her trust in him and subsequently further her ability to be vulnerable to him.

On 2/22/2017 at 3:57 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

I don't think I've ever heard anyone complain that they have too much "power" [except see below]. Too much responsibility, yes. Why wouldn't a spouse be happier if he/she knew he/she could get sex when they wanted sex and avoid it when they wanted to? Just because he might be happier (or think he is) doesn't mean that the relationship is better and that the character transformation and growth that should come out of a marriage will come. Half the issue resides with the wife. If she hates it, then it is highly doubtful that he will be "happier" for long. I think the true happiness of such a scenario would arise out of knowing that the wife is happy about that dynamic too. You haven't addressed this, but just in case: while initiating sex is sometimes seen the dominant role (and usually associated with the masculine) there are "feminine" ways to initiate and even if initiating was done in a masculine/dominant way, I personally wouldn't mind it. I don't think any husband (unless he is uber controlling) would have a problem with the wife initiating - it shows she wants sex in an active, premeditated way. Indeed, one of the most common complaints of husbands is that their wives don't initiate sex enough. HOWEVER, that is taken from my more dominant mindset (though I have submissive tendencies too). So if you have a submissive husband, he probably won't enjoy the "power" as much as a dominant. Indeed, he may prefer the wife to exercise the majority of power. Yet, I imagine, even within such a dynamic, withholding because of not wanting to have sex [rather than as part of their sexual play] would still be hurtful. Unless there is some kind of she-genuinely-doesn't-want-to-have-sex-with-me fetish....I don't know....haha

Nothing wrong with a wife initiating. It's probably most men's dream; it's telling him he is desired and wanted by his wife. But empirically, this is what's most likely to be absent during a time of conflict from the emotionally afflicted spouse, followed by the refusal of sex when the other initiates. 

Who initiates might be one aspect affecting how turned on a spouse gets. But what's common to the submissive or dominant is the desire for sex and if it's being withheld, especially for long periods of time, kinks such as who initiates takes a back seat to getting any sexual intimacy at all.

On 2/22/2017 at 3:57 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:
On 2/21/2017 at 3:24 PM, Naturally said:

Think of it this way, imagine the pain a man might feel when his wife refuses him sex. That's the same pain a woman feels when she's having sex with her husband at a time when they're not emotionally engaged.

Do you have any articles that explores this? Even if we accept this premise, it is one thing to say "This conflict has created enough of a rift between us that I won't have sex with you until the conflict is resolved" or "This emotional disconnect is high enough for me not to want sex with you but I'm willing to work on it even if the conflict remains unresolved". If the husband should work on handling not having sex every time he initiates then surely shouldn't the wife work on her attitudes towards sex when she doesn't feel emotionally engaged? Otherwise, if we accept that at any one time rejection pain = unwanted sex pain there won't ever be a win-win situation. And if it is equal, why should the husband always bear it?

Likely a false equivalence. Just an attempt to get Dave to understand women are human beings too and capable of feeling emotional pain equal to men.

In a perfect scenario, there will never be unwanted sex pain because there'd be no conflict resulting in there never being rejection pain. But life is problematic and there will always be disagreements and conflict, so yes, I think it's reasonable to say each couple will have to sacrifice their needs at one point or another for the greater good of the marriage. I can't help but wonder if it's more difficult for one gender than the other to put their needs aside and serve their spouse's first - What hurts more, to be rejected emotionally or to be rejected physically?
 

On 2/22/2017 at 3:57 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

Out of interest, what type or level of conflict/disagreement do you women consider sufficient to withhold sex in marriage? What about general disconnection that isn't caused by an identifiable/explicit conflict i.e. not being caused by something done wrong but rather a lack of doing things right? What about factors that are outside of your partner's control, such as work stress?

This is not an ironclad answer but I suspect I'd be less inclined to have sex with a husband who is aware of any conflict or disagreement of reasonable seriousness (sexual or non-sexual) that he and I have and he's deliberately choosing not to take active steps to resolve the issue.

If he's lack of doing something right or not doing something at all is deliberate then yes I would withhold. For example, if I've tried many of the birth control options available and they each present a problem to my health, libido or comfort and I ask him to get a vasectomy and he refuses, this is him deliberately not taking steps to resolve an issue and I would withhold. (I would probably also withhold in this situation because he's showing a blatant disrespect, selfishness and complete lack of concern for my wellbeing)

On 2/22/2017 at 7:11 PM, 'tis the Bearded One said:

Haha I like how we are thinking along the same lines. I pretty much asked this question above (I hadn't read this part). Let me put it this way: can I accept that a partner [either gender but female for me...] could validly reject sex on the basis of psycho-emotional factors? Yes, along with serious marital problems, headaches, menstrual cramps, health issues, job stress, physical/mental exhaustion etc etc. But if she has as a UTI (for which it is entirely reasonable to pass on sex) but refuses to treat it which leads to the prevention of sexual intimacy for an unreasonable period then yes, I'd find that unacceptable. That is abusive. Likewise, if she takes an unreasonable amount of time to process the emotional upheaval of a conflict [resolved or not], I'd expect her to work on that. Some people have a harder time with emotional volatility (don't think that's the right term...) but it is something that everyone should be able to work on. And as long as she is willing, working on it, and making reasonable progress that's okay. Similarly, if I am so chronically stressed out from work that I have an insufficient interest in sex for the health of the marriage then that is something I need to address. To me, withholding has connotations of being manipulative, abusive, and/or over extended periods.

The infographic was helpful but the word "abuse" is a very forceful term. Not that withholding sex isn't abusive, but perhaps the length of time that sexual intimacy is denied is a valid determining factor for whether it's abusive or not. Granted this is highly subjective, but I can't agree that withholding for a week could be classified as abusive. What would be the damages incurred after a week of refusal? frustration, annoyance? The consequences of withholding for 6 months may be more significant that it would be considered abusive; loss of self-esteem, depression, insecurities/inadequacies etc.

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6 hours ago, Naturally said:

Being able to say "no" without an inquest into why communicates respect for the individual and the no hurt feelings in response communicates a trust for the individual that their "no" is not malicious.

If you assume both partners' approach to the marriage at any one time is one of genuine love and self-giving then I believe the reverse psychology might have a chance of working because both partners will grow in love because they feel understood and respected and therefore more inclined to respond to the other with love.

It might work for this scenario, although conditional on "no" being the exception, not the rule. "Yes" therefore must be the default position in the marriage from both spouses which, as you've mentioned, will put the woman in a more vulnerable position. Although if she does trust and love her husband and he indeed possesses the qualities that she loved enough to marry him, she may be willing to submit in this way. His acceptance to hearing the words "no" will also likely further her trust in him and subsequently further her ability to be vulnerable to him.

Totally agree. Well put :) 

6 hours ago, Naturally said:

I can't help but wonder if it's more difficult for one gender than the other to put their needs aside and serve their spouse's first - What hurts more, to be rejected emotionally or to be rejected physically?

I tend to get the sense that women tend to be the more self-sacrificing. You can "reject" someone emotionally - say a husband bulldozes through his wife's feelings and insists on having sex regardless of her emotional state kind of a "I want your body but I don't care about your emotions". But I'm not sure we can separate physical [sexual?] rejection from emotional rejection. Wouldn't you feel emotionally hurt if your partner says "Your body disgusts me, but I love everything else about you!" [that may be a bit extreme...] or "I don't want to have sex with you right now; I don't want you or me to feel that love connection"? Simply because men have a stronger physical need for sex [just on a purely physical level sperm is being produced 24/7 and needs to be gotten rid of in some way] doesn't mean that there are (or can be, particularly in relationships) strong emotional and psychological factors linked with it. Sex has a deep emotional impact for us. Our sexuality is a core part of our identity. If a wife is aware of these factors when turning down sex and reaffirms/validates them, I think the sexual rejection will be easier to take - however, too much rejection and you will likely make your words sound hollow. I've copied out an article below from http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/sex-and-intimacy/understanding-your-husbands-sexual-needs/sex-is-an-emotional-need [it seems to be a part of a series of articles]

Sex Is an Emotional Need
By Juli Slattery

Shaunti Feldhahn's best-selling book For Women Only underscores the fact that sex has a deep emotional impact on men. Feldhahn interviewed several hundred married men about different aspects of marriage. Not surprisingly, sex dominated their expressed needs and desires. Perhaps the unexpected twist to Feldhahn's findings was the men's feelings behind their sexuality. The vast majority of men indicated that being sexually fulfilled in marriage significantly impacted their confidence and their masculinity. Seventy-seven percent agreed with this statement: "If my wife was an interested and motivated sex partner, it would give me a greater sense of well-being and satisfaction with life."1

A man's ability to perform sexually, to arouse and please his wife, is central to his confidence as a man. The impact ripples into practically every other area of his life.

Think of the word impotent. Although we use it as a term to describe the inability of a man to achieve an erection, the broader meaning speaks volumes. Impotent literally means "unable to take effective action; helpless or powerless." A man who feels like a failure sexually, feels impotent — helpless and powerless — in all areas of his life.

Dr. Archibald Hart, in his extensive work regarding male sexuality, has concluded that a man's sexual prowess and the need to perform sexually is a fundamental emotional need. While some men become obsessed with proving their masculinity through sexual conquests, others avoid sexual interactions because they fear failure.2

As I mentioned earlier, men are extremely sensitive to sexual rejection and take it very personally. In Feldhahn's research, men confided that when their wives say, "Not tonight," men really hear, "I'm not interested in you."3

A man can have sex with his wife every day of the week and still feel emotionally rejected by her. Having his wife just go through the motions isn't enough. Again, he longs to know that he is pleasing her and that she is sexually interested in him.

This partly explains the lure of sexual outlets like porn and fantasy. Think (briefly!) about sexual images you've seen of provocative women. While their body parts are exposed (and airbrushed!), the most sexual thing about them is their availability. Their eyes and pose scream, "I want you, and I won't reject you!" Read Solomon's description of a woman trying to entice a man into adultery:

She threw her arms around him and kissed him, boldly took his arm and said, "I've got all the makings for a feast — today I made my offerings, my vows are all paid, so now I've come to find you, hoping to catch sight of your face — and here you are! I've spread fresh, clean sheets on my bed, colorful imported linens. My bed is aromatic with spices and exotic fragrances. Come, let's make love all night, spend the night in ecstatic lovemaking! My husband's not home; he's away on business, and he won't be back for a month. (Proverbs 7:13–20, The Message)

Notice that Solomon doesn't mention anything about the physical attributes of the woman. She is attractive because she wants him. She is taking advantage not only of his physical desire but of his emotional need to be desired.

Translation: You cannot compartmentalize your husband's sexuality. You cannot love him as a husband but reject him sexually. From his perspective, his sexuality is a central part of who he is as both a man and a husband.

Shaunti Feldhahn, For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2004), 98. ↩
Hart, The Sexual Man, 72–73. ↩
Feldhahn, For Women Only, 100. ↩

6 hours ago, Naturally said:

This is not an ironclad answer but I suspect I'd be less inclined to have sex with a husband who is aware of any conflict or disagreement of reasonable seriousness (sexual or non-sexual) that he and I have and he's deliberately choosing not to take active steps to resolve the issue.

I can understand that. What I'm curious about, and I touched on it before but not so directly. So far we've been largely equating the conflict/[a decision that needs to be made] with the emotional disconnection that is strong enough for a wife to withhold. Do the two need to be inextricably entwined? Does the conflict have to be resolved before the emotion improves or can we work on the reconnection first? Does the decision have to be made before there can be a reconnection? Obviously, it will depend partly on the conflict e.g. if I beat my wife [God forbid] I wouldn't expect a reconnection without first a resolution. But what in the case of a decision of say, moving cities, or what school the kids go to? Or will there not be any emotional disconnection unless the husband somehow hurt his wife in how he approached it? Like @Steadfast Madcap mentioned with going behind the wife's back and expecting her to uproot her life for him without input/query?

6 hours ago, Naturally said:

If he's lack of doing something right or not doing something at all is deliberate then yes I would withhold. For example, if I've tried many of the birth control options available and they each present a problem to my health, libido or comfort and I ask him to get a vasectomy and he refuses, this is him deliberately not taking steps to resolve an issue and I would withhold. (I would probably also withhold in this situation because he's showing a blatant disrespect, selfishness and complete lack of concern for my wellbeing)

Sure, as long as we are properly weighing up the risks of a vasectomy...

 

7 hours ago, Naturally said:

Granted this is highly subjective, but I can't agree that withholding for a week could be classified as abusive.

If the conflict was resolved, can you give a ballpark figure of how long it might take for the emotions to settle down to discontinue withholding?

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16 hours ago, Naturally said:

This is not an ironclad answer but I suspect I'd be less inclined to have sex with a husband who is aware of any conflict or disagreement of reasonable seriousness (sexual or non-sexual) that he and I have and he's deliberately choosing not to take active steps to resolve the issue.

If he's lack of doing something right or not doing something at all is deliberate then yes I would withhold. For example, if I've tried many of the birth control options available and they each present a problem to my health, libido or comfort and I ask him to get a vasectomy and he refuses, this is him deliberately not taking steps to resolve an issue and I would withhold. (I would probably also withhold in this situation because he's showing a blatant disrespect, selfishness and complete lack of concern for my wellbeing)

Wow... If you don't like your birth control pills, you will refuse to have sex with him because he refuses to get an irreversible surgery that could leave him in constant pain... I just don't know what to say... You are so far beyond unreasonable, it just boggles my mind. I'm glad to be single...

What if he were to cave into your ridiculous demands, and you were later to decide that you want kids? Would you divorce him, and take a sizable chunk of the assets? Would you have a child with another guy and have the feminist family courts make him pay for them? Would you be withholding then because you want kids now, and his own choices made it an impossibility? Would he once again be single, and forever unable to reproduce because of your actions? I just don't know what to say...

16 hours ago, Naturally said:

Likely a false equivalence. Just an attempt to get Dave to understand women are human beings too and capable of feeling emotional pain equal to men.

I didn't need any further evidence that women can be power hungry sociopaths.

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15 minutes ago, Dave1985 said:

Wow... If you don't like your birth control pills, you will refuse to have sex with him because he refuses to get an irreversible surgery that could leave him in constant pain... I just don't know what to say... You are so far beyond unreasonable, it just boggles my mind. I'm glad to be single...

A vasectomy is actually reversible. 

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