When I hear comments from women that they “have no time or energy for sex”… I get it.
I hear what you are saying.
Your responsibilities and details are overflowing at Niagara Falls rate.
You’re the wife and the mom and the keeper of all the info that everyone needs but doesn’t seem to have the forethought to manage themselves.
Like that it takes a minute and a half to pop the microwave popcorn…
…or that the extra syrup is kept in the back of the pantry…
…or that there are certain articles of clothing that absolutely can’t be dried.
You are the one who makes sure everything has its license.
The dog. The cars. The teenage driver.
You know what to put in the party bags for the gradeschooler’s little shindig on his 7th birthday.
You know that you can’t send snacks to school with any peanut products.
You are the one who is thinking about summer camp registration in April. You make all the appointments… dentists, doctors, mammograms, Algebra tutoring.
You plan most or all the dates with your husband (if there are any dates).
You manage the leftovers. And the calendar.
You coordinate a million different details at work (whether you work outside the home or in it or both). You know what size bag the vacuum cleaner takes. You know how to stretch a pound of hamburger into a meal for 5.
You’ve potty-trained toddlers and puppies. You always manage to find the athletic cup for which the 10-year-old has looked “everywhere,” but can’t seem to find on his own.
You are a competent, capable, beautiful woman…in more ways than you receive even passing acknowledgement for.
And at the end of the day… after all this… your husband wants to have sex. And you think, “I’ve got nothing left to give. I don’t even have anything in me to want to desire sex, let alone actually participate in it.”
Even if you have experienced orgasm…really great orgasm… even that isn’t enough incentive on many nights. You try to offer him some microwave popcorn. He wants more than popcorn. He wants sex. He wants it with you. And he wants it often.
Is this you? Do you feel this way?
I don’t make light of it, because hey I’m all about wanting you to feel less alone, not more alone. I still arrive at this place, though… that sex in marrriage is not “optional.”
It’s not simply an item on a smorgasbord of relational components that you can easily pass by, like skipping the cashew chicken at the Chinese buffet. (“I’ll take a lot of my pillow please. No thanks on a naked husband laying next to me. Maybe next time).
So your reality is telling you that you have no time or energy for sex. But your gut is telling you that you can’t keep operating in that mode. What are your solutions?
How do we find more energy and time (or re-position our daily life) so that intimacy isn’t always getting nixed? (I don’t have to do a lengthy study. I know it’s getting nixed in a lot of households on a lot of nights).
No time for sex? I get it. How do you feel?
Copyright 2010, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.
21 thoughts on “No Time For Sex. I Get It.”
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I think you have to be willing to not always have sex be a big production. Sometimes a brief intimate coupling is better than putting it off until you have time the energy for an hours-long, multi-orgasmic extravaganza. Quickies are like fast food. You wouldn’t want to live on it alone, but once in a while it’s OK to grab some to stave off your hunger.
To many, I would typify the kind of woman who doesn’t have time for sex. I have four kids, aged five and younger. Am breastfeeding through the night. Homeschooling the oldest two. Managing a house and the home-based business books. Etc.
However, long ago I realised that I had to notice when we had sex and correct it when we didn’t. So I keep a small calendar at my desk and make a little mark on each day we make love. So when I’m sitting at my computer, I notice the days ticking by and if we’ve had a two-day hiatus.
Simply by keeping track, I’ve been able to initiate it more often. And then I try to build on my previous month’s number to increase the frequency.
When I first started this method, my libido was so low we could have gone without sex for months and I wouldn’t have minded. But since we’ve increased the frequency, my libido has improved. So if you have a low libido, my advice would be — have sex until your libido picks up too!
I also agree with the fast-sex idea. Sometimes I just go in when I notice he’s in the shower, locking the door after me. Other times we take a break in the middle of the day to “talk” in the bedroom. Fast suits me, and frequent suits him.
There are other times for long love-making, but not when you have littlies in the house, ready to throttle each other or when you’re exhausted at night.
And practice saying “yes”. Even in the middle of the night. Even when you’ve been up several times to all the kids (and the dog). Try it. You’ll feel better for it in the morning!
THank you Scott and Lauren for your comments…very good insights! I agree wholeheartedly that all sexual encounters are not the same…sometimes quick is just fine. I had a gal say to me once, “It can’t be 5-star restaurant every night. Sometimes McDonald’s is just as satisfying.” I agree with what you’re saying too Lauren (thank you by the way for being so honest and open about your circumstances… a lot of women can relate). The more you have sex the more your libido will likely increase! Thanks!
My wife always has a legitimate excuse. For almost 19 years legitimate excuses. Ultimately, she puts on her list what she wants on her list. Its all good stuff. She would even say that sex is a good thing. It just never makes her list.
Helping more around the house? : ) I actually do. Probably used to more before than now. This just makes room for items #11 and #12. It doesn’t put sex, #23, anywhere in range. And the list starts anew every day.
Ultimately it really is a matter of priorities. Bottom line, my wife doesn’t desire me. She says she does but what do I care for words? Words are air that comes out of her mouth. What she DOES says “I don’t desire YOU, and even though you’ve told me many times how rejected you feel, I don’t love you enough to make your needs a priority and besides, I haven’t been on FaceBook in three hours. Never mind we haven’t had sex in three weeks.”
She never forgets date night though. Even calls me at work to remind me almost every week. Date nights NEVER ends in sex. She loves them though. Loves the time we spend just chatting and chatting and walking arm in arm through the shops. having ice Cream at Cold Stone and walking through the bookstores. On occasion I used to suggest stopping by a motel – the answer has never even once been yes. That would interrupt our date. ( I haven’t suggested that in 3 years and only did perhaps quarterly.)
I feel like I can finally exhale! I am going through this and it’s so hard! I too have four boys, and I am the “house-manager”. My husband has gone from being angry to simply adapting to the lack of sex in our relationship. I love being intimate with him, however between his work week and the kids I feel as if there is not enough time in the day. I already feel as if I am running myself thin, but I want to have that intimate moment with him… I don’t know what to do. Please help my marriage is struggling. Even I find time to spend with him, he feels as if I am only doing it b/c he is upset. I wish he knew how I felt. I don’t have any friends, i have no one to talk to about this. Any advice would be amazing.
I don’t know if you guys are regular church attenders, but at least for Christians, church is a good place to find good supportive friends. Not every church is a good fit though. Even a great bible teaching church may not have folks in it that are a good fit for your family. Its OK to shop around amongst good churches for one that serves your family needs best and that you can serve in as well.
Years ago we had a family member who was widowed. Eventually she wanted to remarry but there weren’t many available men in the singles group at our church. She went to another church (also a good church) where there was a thriving singles group and found her current husband. What better place to look for a husband than church? It’s not WHY she went to church, but it why she picked THAT church amongst the choices of good churches. They still attend there all these years later and are very active. I know some areas don’t have many church choices while others have tons, but if you do have choices, I’d encourage you to look around. Churches with active kids ministries tend to have lots of Moms with kids that you can make friends with.
Blessings to you.
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The roles seem to be reversed for me.. The last time my husband and I were intimate was July 26th 2010. He was super busy with business trips, etc. and away for weeks at a time, while I was at home tending to the needs of a 4 year old and a 17 month old from March 2010 to November2010, AND pregnant with baby #3. Sex was only once a month, but in June 2010 he became distant. He turned down my requests (It takes a lot of courage for me to initiate, btw), didn’t even blink an eye at my hints, and even stopped with the hugs, back rubs, and holding hands, because he said he was afraid it would lead to sex. Work ended November 2nd, and even though we still had a week before the baby, sex never happened. I kept hoping he would initiate, as I was mortified to be rejected again (and I never reject him). But nothing happened. So now the baby is here, and I have 4 more days left until the 6 week post-partum “no sex” ban is lifted. Although I’m breastfeeding, and have two other kids to take care of, as well as the other usual responsibilities, I don’t think he will want sex once we can. I don’t know how to bring up the subject without him shutting down, and us being in a funk. And I don’t want to mention anything before Christmas, because I want it to be a happy time. But I’m dying here! I know my husband has looked at porn in the past, but I don’t know if he has since the last time we had sex. If he has, then I feel like he has decided that the women of porn are what he prefers, and I feel like I have been replaced. Also, I don’t think porn belongs in marriage, and I believe it to be cheating. But that is an issue that him and I will only forever agree to disagree on. I’ve changed my bad habits, gone with and without makeup, dressed nice, and sloppily, got contacts, gotten better at cooking, seen the positive in things more than the negative.. I am running out of ideas! I’m trying to not be so jealous when he goes out with friends (I have a bit of social anxiety and don’t have many friends), but I don’t understand why he has to go to bars. Even if it is just with the guys, and he plays pool and darts. I have my own issues to work out, but I don’t feel he values our relationship as important enough, to try to change his issues (not drinking so much, exercising, sleeping better, quitting smoking etc) either. Our decrease in sex isn’t really sudden. Back in 2008 I briefly mentioned it, and all he said was “I don’t know what to say about that”. I think that means that he knows, but he doesn’t want to hurt my feelings. But us not getting intimate hurts my feelings anyway, and it takes a lot for me to not allow my self esteem to plummet, etc. I hate how the one who doesn’t want sex as much gets to be the one to veto whether or not it happens. What do I do? January 10th 2011 will be 6 months of no sex.. that is only 4 weeks or so away… 🙁
Thank you MS for sharing so openly about what you have been facing. I am so sorry your husband has been so unresponsive and doesn’t appear to want to work toward more intimacy. Of course, when one spouse wants things to look healthier and the other doesn’t, it is painful. This is true with any aspect of marriage (finances, parenting, in-laws, etc)., but it is particularly heartbreaking when it involves sex because there is the element of rejection.
I agree with you totally that there is no room in a marriage for porn. My guess is that this is desensitizing him and giving him an unrealistic viewpoint of sex.
If you have expressed that you want the two of you to deal with the issues in your marriage and he is not willing to move together toward healthiness, then I encourage you on your own to get support. I’m not sure what this would look like for you, but you need other safe people to talk to….simply so you can express outloud your sadness and frustration. For some people, professional counseling is good, but even developing a few close friendships with other women. Could you become involved in a women’s Bible study or a MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers)? This may help more than you realize and they often provide childcare so you can bring your little ones.
Also, I encourage you to reach out to the Lord and lean on Him to sustain you through the hurt your husband is causing you. I’m not trying to over-spiritualize things… I just know from personal experience that the comfort of the Lord and His word have helped me through the darkest days of my life.
The truth is that this issue of his lack of interest in sex is not because of you — I know your self-esteeme is taking a hit, but he really is the one who is not being a husband to you. He has issues that he is not willing to face, which is sad. It’s about him and what he won’t take responsibility for. You are being the responsible and mature one by expressing that you want things to be healthier. If he truly doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, then he will stop hurting you and take steps toward being an honorable, respectful and compassionate husband.
Again, I am so sorry you are experiencing this. My heart goes out to you…
So I sent my husband an email, that I was working on for about two months, before I felt that I had it worded perfectly, in a way that wouldn’t put him on the defensive, etc. but still covered all my thoughts, feelings, concerns, doubts, etc.
Although we still haven’t had sex, I am happier that we were able to talk about the issues without him shutting down or getting defensive. He works in politics, and he told me that he was afraid to have sex with me before November 2nd, because he was worried that it might cause me to go into labor early. I only wish he would have told me then.. oh well.
He says that I haven’t been replaced, which I believe. And he says that he hasn’t looked at porn, which is harder to believe. But, he has been to the doctor, he is going in for blood work soon, and he is even going to a sleep center to see if he has sleep apnea. He seems willing to work on this, and he certainly doesn’t deny that he has a problem.
Any ideas on the best way to be supportive?? He says that he still finds me attractive, and wishes that I wouldn’t worry so much. This problem isn’t something he enjoys having, and he hates see his problems affect me, my confidence, my self esteem etc.
I’m just happy to have gotten this far! 🙂
My baby is 3 months old…I am EXHAUSTED. Any ideas for finding more time and energy for sex would be greatly appreciated!!! My poor husband already suffered through my pregnancy because I was sick for 9 1/2 months and sex was the LAST thing on my mind. Now he’s suffering again!
Hi Lois… thank you for your comment. I hear you and feel for you. You are not alone.
I’ll email you too, but my initial thoughts are…
1. Be patient with yourself. You have a lot on your plate, so don’t waste even one ounce of energy beating yourself up about the toll your exhaustion is taking.
2. Lower your standards on things that really don’t matter that much. Things like a clean house or laundry that’s always completely done can take a back seat for awhile. It’s okay if you occasionally run out of cereal. It’s okay if you have to order pizza for dinner more often than you used to. You are in the midst of a very demanding time of life… cut yourself some slack. Life is messy. The messiness isn’t going to go away.
3. Ask your husband for 45 minutes of uninterrupted time to yourself each evening. If 45 minutes is too much, shoot for 30 minutes. Take a hot bath. Go for a walk. Sit on your deck alone. Go for a drive. Use this as a time to reflect, rejuvenate and connect with God (and with yourself).
4. Be honest with your husband. Apologize for not being more sexually available and express to him that you genuinely want the two of you to work on this together.
5. Fiercely guard your calendar. When you learn to say “no” to a lot of things, you have capacity to say “yes” to the things that matter most.
6. Pray for more energy and availability to have sex. Ask God specifically what it’s going to take for sex to become a higher priority in your marriage… and listen to His answer.
Lastly, increase your physical touch that isn’t necessarily sexual. Engrain into your heart and home the expression of love and affection. Touch. Hug. Rub your hands on your husband’s back. Laugh with him. Wrestle with him. Kiss him when he least expects it. Cuddle on the couch with him. Do it with enough frequency that it becomes your natural tendency. The more you nurture genuine physical closeness, the more you are creating circumstances conducive to sexual intimacy. It’s not that sex needs to always happen on the other end of all those touches. It’s about creating a tone of affection.
I hope this is helpful Lois… be encouraged and uplifted and know that you are not alone… Julie
I am struggling because I feel like my husband doesn’t enjoy sex or doesn’t find me attractive. We don’t have sex very often and I need more. My story is kind of long. This is second marriage for both of us. We are both Christians and committed to our marriage. I had 5 children from my first marriage and we now have a two year old together. The two year old sleeps with us most of the time. We have tried to remedy this but without much success. I realize that is a huge hindrance but even if that keeps us from having intercourse I wish my husband would at least show interest. I have been very open about my desire for more intimacy more touching. I am 8 years younger than my husband. I am not overweight, I workout 4-5 times a week. I keep the house clean, homeschool the children, give my husband back rubs and foot rubs and try to be attentive. I just don’t feel desirable to him. I am really struggling. I want to have that physical intimacy. I really feel that it is important. When I talk to him about it he just says that we are fine and that there is no time. I try to let him know that I am not fine and that it is hurting our closeness. I don’t think he feels that it is that important. What is wrong with me? I thought men wanted sex? It feels like he does not want me. What can I do?
Thank you @Struggling for your comment…
I encourage you to check out these posts I have on this page, to possibly give you some insight…
I’m sorry for what you are going through…. my prayers are with you…
Hi Julie, im a working mom. my husband and i work different shifts and there is 3 days of a week where i only see him for 30 minutes or so. This past week he’ve been giving me hints that we dont make love anymore, or at least not like when we first began the relationship. (althou we do it at least 2 o 3 times a month) we also have a 1 and a half yr old baby that takes a lot of my time. yesterday he told me that I probably enjoy my time more when im at work than next 2 him and that hurt me greatly, because i honestly LOVE my husband. we make a really great couple and enjoy each others company, but the truth of the matter is that my sex drive is on the floor..i think between my overnight job, the keeping of the house and my daughter, everything drains the little energy i may have left and the last thing on my mind is sex. he also works every day for 12 hrs except for sundays. i really want 2 be there for him and i dont want him 2 feel rejected because it is not the case..i still find him as sexy as when i met him and althou i tell him he says he doesnt believe it and its just words..that i dont really show it. Btw, we do have date nights every once in a while, go 2 dinner, movies, etc..but it doesnt necesarily ends up in sex because most of the time our baby wants 2 sleep in our bed. what should i do? i would do anything to make him happy and my marriage work. thanks in advance.
Hello @Working Wife…. thank you for taking the time to comment.
Your situation is not uncommon… the demands of work, different shifts and a young child are definitely draining and can take a toll on a couple’s intimacy… not just sexually, but emotionally as well.
I encourage you to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your husband, expressing that you do want sex to become a higher priority and you are hoping the two of you can work toward that.
I would definitely do all you can to get your daughter out of your bed and sleeping in her own bed. I know this can be hard, but if you stick to a plan and make it very clear she has to stay in her bed, within a week I think she will see you are serious. In the long run and the short run, I believe it’s just better for your marriage and your family as a whole if she is sleeping in her own bed (and not in your room).
I don’t have easy answers about the work demands, but the reality is that nurturing your sexual intimacy will be worth the effort it takes. And if you start to embrace how healthy sex is for you individually, in addition to the relationship, that should give you some incentive as well.
I know sex takes energy, but it’s not an unreasonable amount of energy. Don’t worry about the house or laundry, etc. a couple nights a week… let that stuff slide so you can devote some moments to your marriage. If you already are carving out time for date nights, definitely make sex a part of those date nights (but find other times as well).
Ultimately, I imagine you don’t just want a mediocre marriage… you want a great marriage, right? Nurturing sex is definitely a part of that. I can tell that you love your husband… the two of you becoming more dedicated to healthier intimacy is possible…
Don’t give up, okay? Your marriage is worth it!
My wife will always find a way out of sex, we both work, have two teenage sons 18, and 16. I do well more than my share of the house work, but to no avail. She often large blocks of time of work, and still no sex. some nights we go to bed and watch tv for hours and still no action she texts her friends, phones her mother plays games on her phone but no sex.
At this point I am unsure about how I feel about it. I guess I feel it is my fault. I am 49 a couple pounds overweight and feel that why would she want sex with me anyway.
So life goes on, and one day who knows maybe I will just walk away from it all.
“Too busy” or “Too tired” are the oldest lies in the book. No one is so busy that they cannot take a single hour out of their week or month to be with their spouse.
Eventually you come to realize the truth – they just do not want to have sex with you, whether they are busy 24 hours a day or only 2.4 hours a day. You have to get through the excuse period first.
I can understand the period right after a baby is born. That’s an incredibly demanding time. However that is usually the time when the spouse finds out how long you can go without, and this becomes the new benchmark which is then gradually increased until frequency declines to near zero.
I’ve heard every excuse in the book. When you call them out on each one eventually you learn what you really do not want to learn. Your spouse is probably done with sex even though you are not. Sad but true.
Im Baffled ! I am a woman and it is MY HUSBAND who is always too busy to make time for our intimacy.. Then when he does come around after Ive complained and feel totally rejected I dont want to be near him. This cycle is tearing our marriage up. We us to be extremely close but now It seems that all he does is fill his schedule with things that are less important. Im 100% discouraged and angry. I have gone to counseling with him but to no avail. I love him deeply but I am so torn emotionally that some days I dont know what to do anymore. I draw near to God and suffer the pain of his loss of affection.
My husband never had time for me, he made sure of it. He always hated sex and me also, it was my fault that we had sex once in the first place. So since we’ve been married he has wanted nothing to do with me. He won’t talk or sleep with me so he does what ever he does. I thought he was gay or he a gal on the side. I hired people to follow him and they found nothing. The only comment they had was he is boring. Now we are in our upper 60 and I put up with all his garbage for almost 50 years, it wasn’t worth it. I should have left when I was younger