Updated: Sep 15
How Sexual Rejection Wounds Your Man and Your Marriage
You may have perfectly good reasons for not being in the mood! You feel:
Stressed or overwhelmed,
Bloated, unattractive, unsexy,
Moody, sad, or annoyed,
You’re not getting the emotional connection from him you desire,
You don't get the kind of lovemaking you desire, or have pain,
Maybe withholding is your way of encouraging him 'to do better?'
True, but notice that most reasons for not making love emanate from within you, and are not under your man’s ability to change? While its normal and reasonable to feel this way sometimes, a marriage can't thrive without physical bonding; after all sexual intimacy is the only thing you can only get from each other.
Here’s what your man likely hears or feels when you turn him down, especially on a regular basis:
You are not attractive/desirable to me
I’m too busy with everything and everyone else, and your needs are not important to me
Sex is not important, why are you making a big deal of it/being so selfish?
Go do yourself and leave me alone (in his mind, like a teenager or a loser!)
I don’t love, admire, or respect you.
We are all sexual beings, created from sex...what’s a husband to do? He has vowed life-long fidelity to you and now is involuntarily celibate?!
Maybe he’s stopped initiating and you are veering into a sex-starved marriage? Did you know that a man will often stop initiating after as few as three consecutive rejections?
The risks of not nurturing your physical bond may include:
Not getting the ‘best out of your man;’ him not pleasing and delighting you
Physical Touch may be his love language: He feels most loved when his woman desires him and enjoys sex with him, so he feels unloved
Men, as descendants of hunter/warriors, go through life ‘armored up’ with emotions controlled. During and after sex may be the only time he truly lets his guard down and his heart truly open. Do you notice how much softer, open and loving he is after sex? And how this effect can last a day or more? The way to his heart, may not be his stomach; but about 12 inches below!
Thanks to biology and testosterone, men have a physical urge, a hunger for sex that many women cannot understand. The average man produces enough sperm each month to impregnate every woman on the planet!
A sexually frustrated man shows up grouchy or emotionally shut down.
When a man feels his sexual needs are not met, usually the affection, attention, playfulness and loving behavior dries up as well. You feel lonely, and you both lose.
Does this sound familiar? Of course the opposite may be true in your relationship, and you are the higher desire partner and/or he is not interested? Which is just as painful and empty, and is increasingly common. To learn more about this, see my article "Why Doesn't My Man Desire Me?" A Large Study Reveals Men's Surprising Responses.
I’m an intimacy specialist and psychotherapist for women, helping them create sexy, loving marriages and bedrooms.
If your desire is low, it may be that you are not getting the kind of lovemaking you desire, or you are inhibited by negative conditioning, body image, disappointing emotional connection, and/or the inability to relax and "get out of your head." Also, your desire may be there, under the surface, but it needs the right kind of touch and connection to turn-it-on. Notice how you may find yourself in the mood and enjoying yourself, even if you did not start out 'in the mood?' That's normal for women in long term relationships.
Female sexual pleasure is complex and if you are not delighting in your intimacy, you are not broken! You just need support, skills and a mindset shift! If we want to get the best out of our men, ladies, be his cherished woman, and make want him want to be your hero, we’ve got the get this part of the marriage right-- connected and mutually enjoyable!
If you are stuck and need support and inspiration, I invite you to respond to this email, and/or set up a complimentary heart to heart call!