Being “In the Mood” is a Poor Gauge for Deciding to Have Sex


sex-in-marriageDo you wait until you are “in the mood” to have sex?

Are you doing a lot of waiting and very little lovemaking?

Being in the mood to have sex is not the best way to sustain intimacy in your marriage.

It’s just not.  It’s a crappy gauge.

And if you are never or rarely in the mood, then pretending that this is “just how it is” probably isn’t helping things either.

Yes, I know.  There is more to marriage than sex (a friend reminded me of that recently.  Not that I needed reminded. I am, after all, married, so of course I know there’s a lot more going on than sex).

BUT, if a husband and wife really could be having sex on a fairly regular basis and they aren’t, then how can we possibly argue that the relationship is all it could be?

God wants married couples having sex — not because He is a tyrant who just doles out commands haphazardly.  Nope.

Rather because He is a love-filled “for you!” Creator who knew that marriage is hard — and that a husband and wife would need powerful ways to stay connected emotionally, spiritually, physically.

And because He is the designer of marriage, offering it as a covenant relationship with unique responsibilities and privileges (sex being both a responsibility and a privilege).

“But what if my marriage sucks, Julie?  What if I really am never in the mood because we have bigger deeper issues?!  What then?  What do you say to me then?”

“Or what if I really do want to want to have sex, but I simply have no desire?”

As for the marriage struggles, I would say that I’m genuinely sorry for your pain. As someone who has suffered the pain of divorce, I know painful marital discord in the worst way.  And though my current marriage is much healthier and stronger, we still experience hard stuff in our marriage.

As for low desire, I would say to first look at why you think that low desire might be there.  If it is because everything else in your life is getting first dibs on you always and you are exhausted and spent, then it likely is time to re-evaluate what balance means.

If your low desire is due more to a physiological reason, talk to your health care professional.  (I recently watched a webinar on low sexual desire in women and I am hopeful that the FDA is moving closer to approving more medications for treatment of low sexual desire in women).

If you are on hormonal birth control, talk to your health care provider about possible negative side effects this could be having on your sexual desire.

Regardless of the reason behind you not being in the mood, I offer this:  Unless you are in a physically or emotionally abusive relationship, you need to do what you can to strengthen your marriage.

I don’t know what that looks like in your unique situation.

I don’t know if that means addressing difficult issues in your relationship, talking to your doctor, setting priorities better or re-evaluating wrong or vague messages you’ve heard about sexual intimacy in marriage.

I do know this though.  If you are choosing to coast through marriage with little or no sex, you are robbing yourself and your spouse of something profound.

What could you do today to start to turn that cycle around?

Be brave.  Be honest. Be real about what needs to change for the better in your marriage.  And then do your part to work on that.

Just don’t rely on “being in the mood.”

Copyright 2014, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

9 thoughts on “Being “In the Mood” is a Poor Gauge for Deciding to Have Sex

  1. John says:

    you know its bad when the best excuse you get is “not in the mood”. I can almost take those now. what I can’t take is:

    1) The dog is acting funny

    2) The ballgame is on.

    3) I’m too tired (then stays up to midnight watching TV)

    4) the rainstorm might wake me up later.

    and others of similar insanity.

  2. Just says:

    Your article is painfully true. One sexually starved husband described his love life like trying to get the space shuttle off the ground. Everything had to be just right or the mission was scrubbed. Then, when there was an actual lift off, it would be another long time before the next mission. And then the whole cycle would begin again where conditions had to be just right for anything to happen. Which pretty much describes my love life.

    I didn’t know that sexual intimacy had become such a chore for my wife.

  3. Charles says:

    Your post is right on target as usual, Julie. Now if I could just get my bride, of 30 plus years, to read it and believe it. 🙁

  4. Amy says:

    Sometimes, although maybe very rarely, it is the wife waiting on her husband to be in the mood, not too tired and for his tv show to be over, before sex occurs even though she is always ready and wanting to.

    Sometimes it is the wife who gives up initiating because she’s tired of being turned down even though her husband is a fantastic lover and does enjoy making love with her but sex just isn’t high on his list of priorities.

    And sometimes, well most of the time in this household, it’s the wife baffled as to why her husband wouldn’t want to make love more often when the moments they do are amazing, fantastic and awesome according to him.

  5. Dan says:

    Interesting how the comments are all men up to this point. Friday I was ready. Then Saturday. Then Sunday. She had some physical pain issues with a knee injury so I didn’t bring up my interest. Monday after three day of R&R for her knee and her saying it was much better, I told her we needed to. She responded, “Really? That’s the furthest thing from my mind.” I told her it had been on my mind since last Friday. She agreed but wanted to shower first. Fine. After the shower, I poured a couple of glasses of wine, we talked and then did the deed. Her turn first, then mine. Five minutes into it, she was INTO IT. After all was over, she was soooo happy we had had sex. NO. You can’t rely on “being in the mood.” I understand it because I have not been in the mood at times, but sometimes you just have to choose to take one for the good of the team. It is not often that you regret it. Also, keep in mind, if time or energy are the issue, there are different types of sex to meet the needs of most any occasion. It doesn’t always have to be full-blown intercourse with extended foreplay. It may even be release for only one of you and not both. The point is to be sharing physical intimacy together; connecting and bonding on as regular a basis as possible and you are responsible for making it “possible.”

  6. El Fury says:

    It’s important that we all take responsibility for our moods. It is extremely difficult to discipline our bodies and minds, but we need to bring them into submission to our wills and to God. “Self-control” is one of the fruits of the Spirit, and it doesn’t just mean to not lose your temper. It means to have dominion over your flesh. Take ownership of your excuses and take action to mitigate them.

  7. In the Mood says:

    Sadly, usually a woman not in the mood for lovemaking is not in the mood for reading articles such as this.

  8. H says:

    The only time we ever have sex is when she is in the mood for it. Usually after her time of the month when her emotional state makes her feel guilty for not having sex since the last time she felt guilty. That’s it. I get monthly guilt sex as long as nothing prevents it from happening in the few days after her cycle. Otherwise, the feelings will pass and I wait until the next month. Sometimes I will only get a ‘hand’ instead of sex. Her mood and hormones rule everything.

  9. Jody says:

    I’m never in the mood for sex. Therefore,
    we schedule sex once a week, no more no less but at least it’s on a regular basis.

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