By now, you've likely read many articles and blog posts about the man whose spreadsheet about his marital sex activity went viral. I held off on writing about it until there was some form of a comment or response from his wife. Her response (or explanation) is as follows; "Our lives have been crazy busy. We spent all spring renovating our new house. At my job, I was given nearly double my usual workload after some of my colleagues were laid off. I gained some weight in the winter and have been busting my a** at the gym to get rid of it..."
Despite the fact that this is a couple who are both 26 years old who should be having lots of sex, the internet immediately came to the defense of the wife. The overwhelming response was that a wife doesn't owe her husband sex whenever he wants. What got lost in the hidden agendas and feminist talking points is that sex is a necessity to maintain intimacy. It's not about meeting a man's demands for coitus or that women have less ownership over their bodies as wives. I think what this spreadsheet tried (poorly) to exhibit is that rejection of sex and intimacy effects men too.
Intimacy is just as important to a successful marriage as communication and honesty. It often gets lost in the mix, though, because life happens. With women more commonly working outside of the home, sex slides down the totem pole of priorities very easily. Add to that the pressure of raising children and physical changes and you can understand why a woman would turn down sex with her husband. Women today as more tired than our mothers and grandmothers were. The thing that perhaps we men don't recognize is that women have the added pressure of looking and feeling sexy. That internal dialogue translates into the external action. So if she doesn't feel sexy or see herself as attractive, it's hard for a woman to have that desire to want to have sex at all. Even if you didn't believe that as a man, that "excuse" was given legs by the husband's own spreadsheet and his wife's backstory.
To play devil's advocate, intimacy in a marriage isn't based solely on the physical act of sex. Intimacy is inclusive of so many different things. Sometimes intimacy exists to re-introduce you to each other. When you're married, you take on different roles that didn't exist in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. You become a provider, a person's place of security, and eventually a parent. All of those roles take precedence over being the freak you used to be. It doesn't have to be that way. Something as simple as scheduling a regular date night can create an atmosphere for the intimacy and for sex to happen without it feeling obligatory. Couples need to make couple time a priority.
It's humorous that women will find reasons to not have sex with their husbands, while men don't care the circumstances or conditions under which they get it. We just know that we want it. However, sex and intimacy is so much more enjoyable when you both are able to get into it at the same time. Which brings me back to the original point that men don't handle rejection, especially when it comes to sex, very well.
Nobody wants to hump a dead fish. The trade off in having enough sex is that is someone has to make intimacy a priority.
As a wife, it is your job to make you man feel appreciated and loved. Men don't need a lot to accomplish that. When a man truly loves you, his attraction to you is a given. Granted, that may change. But in general, him seeing you naked is always enough to get sex on the brain. Continued rejection (particularly from sex) inevitably leads to resentment. And resentment is one of the larger seeds that give way to infidelity.
It's unrealistic to think a married couple has sex every night. That phase definitely has a short shelf life the older the couple is. A couple can't overlook or ignore the intimacy that brought them together in the first place. Aside from chemistry, attraction, and common lifestyles, sex is an important factor into a couple having a long-lasting marriage. Intimacy is the foundation for great sex. So no matter how busy life gets or how tired either of you may feel, remember that before you took on any of those extra roles, you are a man and a woman who used to love having sex together. Plus, if life is that distracting, sex is scientifically proven to be good for you.