Imagine if you will this scenario.
It’s a Monday morning. You wake up feeling frisky. You wrap your arms around your loved one and whisper seductively in their ear.
You get shut down.
It’s a Wednesday night, you come home from work after a big day, but you are rearing for some action. You pull out your best moves. You get shut down.
Sunday morning this time. You are both awake and chatting. You reach out to your partner and they shut you down. Again. For the third time in a week.
How would you feel? Would you feel discouraged? Upset? Unloved? Or wouldn’t it bother you at all?
This was me, a year and a half after I got married. I tried for a whole year to get some action to no avail. What’s worse is that every single time, my husband gave me a different excuse as to why he wasn’t interested.
The giving and receiving of both sex and affection, I believe, is heavily linked to self-esteem. Think about how good you felt the last time your partner hugged you, kissed you, or told you they loved you. Think about the first time you actually “made love” instead of ripped each other’s clothes off in a frenzy of sex.
The time and attention you receive in these situations makes you feel good doesn’t it? It makes you smile. You go off to work knowing that someone loves you. At different points during the day, something will remind you of them and you find yourself smiling again.
On the flip side, if you aren’t receiving this love and affection, you can feel bitter and annoyed. Frustrated and alone. For me, even seeing couples holding hands is enough to make me cranky and cynical. Seeing others so happy and in love only served to remind me of how miserable and unloved I felt. And don’t get me started on chick flicks!
Isn’t compromise or give and take, part of being in a relationship? For instance, if you drag your husband along to see the Backstreet Boys, it’s only fair you go and see Nickelback with him.
Being in a relationship is about the two of you. It shouldn’t be about one person over the other. I’m certain that there are things that you expect your partner to do in the relationship and I’m sure they do it to make you happy. If for example you both work full time, some of the workload at home is likely shared.
Why is it though, when the topic of sex comes up, people are so staunch in their opinions? If someone doesn’t want sex, that’s it, they aren’t interested in it, that’s the end of it and the other person in the relationship just has to accept it?
Not everyone is compatible with their partner when it comes to sex. Some have high sex drives, some low, or maybe you just aren’t both keen at the same moment. But just like reaching a compromise in other aspects of your life, surely a compromise in the sex department is possible?
If you have ever staunchly refused your partner sex, have you considered how this makes your partner feel? When you slap their hand away, do you think that reacting like that has a negative impact on them?
I can’t tell you how everyone feels, but I can tell you how I felt. After a year of rejection, I felt worthless and unloved. I was made to think there was something wrong with me. In my head, if you claim you love someone, you would want to do things that make that person happy. If that person was unhappy, surely you’d be willing to compromise?
By the time he died, three years ago I was miserable. Since he’s been gone I haven’t missed him one single day. Would this have been different if he was willing to compromise? Yes it would. I wouldn’t have been left wondering why he married me in the first place. I wouldn’t have felt the relief of being removed from a loveless marriage.
So when I hear negativity towards a partner who wants to have sex, I notice. I’ve seen some labelled sex mad, and accused of thinking about sex all the time. I think, really? Maybe though it’s just sex with YOU they are thinking about. Maybe they want to get closer to YOU and be intimate with YOU. Surely that is a good thing.
I want to make clear what it’s like when someone is the loser in a sexless marriage, where no compromise is possible or even discussed. As I’m writing, the feelings of loneliness and frustration come flooding back. It’s been nine years since I’ve had sex and only now have I fought, tooth and nail, to gain some of the self-esteem that was lost during six years of a loveless marriage.
If you have been in my position, have you successfully discussed a compromise with your partner? How were you able to broach the subject? How has this compromise helped your relationship?
I will tell you this: in my next relationship, my needs will be met. If not? We’re going to have a little chat.
*Anonymous a regular Mamamia reader/commenter who prefers not to reveal her real name. She comments on the website as Evil Cupcake.