Skip to comments.When A Woman Isn't In The Mood: Part I (Dennis Prager On Why Sex Is So Important To A Man Alert)
Posted on 12/23/2008 12:09:15 AM PST by goldstategop
Given our preoccupation with politics and economics, it is easy to forget that for most of us micro issues still play a greater role in our lives. So here are some thoughts that, as heretical as they might sound, have been found extremely helpful, sometimes even marriage-saving, from listeners to my radio show, which features a male-female hour every week.
The subject is one of the most common problems that besets marriages: the wife who is not in the mood and the consequently frustrated and hurt husband.
There are marriages with the opposite problem -- a wife who is frustrated and hurt because her husband is rarely in the mood. But, as important and as destructive as that problem is, it has different causes and different solutions, and is therefore not addressed here. What is addressed is the far more common problem of He wants, she doesn't want.
It is an axiom of contemporary marital life that if a wife is not in the mood, she need not have sex with her husband. Here are some arguments why a woman who loves her husband might want to rethink this axiom.
First, women need to recognize how a man understands a wifes refusal to have sex with him: A husband knows that his wife loves him first and foremost by her willingness to give her body to him. This is rarely the case for women. Few women know their husband loves them because he gives her his body (the idea sounds almost funny). This is, therefore, usually a revelation to a woman. Many women think men's natures are similar to theirs, and this is so different from a woman's nature, that few women know this about men unless told about it.
This is a major reason many husbands clam up. A man whose wife frequently denies him sex will first be hurt, then sad, then angry, then quiet. And most men will never tell their wives why they have become quiet and distant. They are afraid to tell their wives. They are often made to feel ashamed of their male sexual nature, and they are humiliated (indeed emasculated) by feeling that they are reduced to having to beg for sex.
When first told this about men, women generally react in one or more of five ways:
1. You have to be kidding. That certainly isn't my way of knowing if he loves me. There have to be deeper ways than sex for me to show my husband that I love him.
2. If this is true, men really are animals.
3. Not my man. He knows I love him by the kind and loving way I treat him.
4. You have it backwards. If he truly loved me, he wouldnt expect sex when I'm not in the mood.
5. I know this and that's why I rarely say no to sex.
Lets deal with each of these responses.
1. You have to be kidding.
The most common female reaction to hearing about men's sexual nature is incredulity, often followed by denial. These are entirely understandable reactions given how profoundly different -- and how seemingly more primitive -- men's sexual nature is compared to women's.
Incredulity is certainly the reaction most women have when first being told that a man knows he is loved when his wife gives him her body. The idea that the man she is married to, let alone a man whose intelligence she respects, will to any serious extent measure her love of him by such a carnal yardstick strikes many women as absurd and even objectionable.
But the question that should matter to a woman who loves her man is not whether this proposition speaks poorly or well of male nature. It is whether it is true. And it is true beyond anything she can imagine. A woman who often deprives her husband of her body is guaranteed to injure him and to injure the marriage -- no matter what her female friends say, no matter what a sympathetic therapist says, and no matter what her man says. (Very few men will confess to the amount of hurt and eventual anger they experience when repeatedly denied sex).
Of course, there are times when a man must simply refrain from initiating sex out of concern for his wife's physical or emotional condition. And then there are men for whom sex rarely has anything to do with making love or whose frequency of demands are excessive. (What excessive means ought to be determined by the couple before the refusals begin, or continue.) But the fact remains: Your man knows you love him by your willingness to give him your body.
2. If this is true, men really are animals.
Correct. Compared to most women's sexual nature, men's sexual nature is far closer to that of animals. So what? That is the way he is made. Blame God and nature. Telling your husband to control it is a fine idea. But he already does. Every man who is sexually faithful to his wife already engages in daily heroic self-control. He has married knowing he will have to deny his sexual natures desire for variety for the rest of his life. To ask that he also regularly deny himself sex with the one woman in the world with whom he is permitted sex is asking far too much. Deny him enough times and he may try to fill this need with another woman. If he is too moral to ever do that, he will match your sexual withdrawal with emotional and other forms of withdrawal.
3. Not my man.
Many women will argue, understandably, My husband knows I love him. He doesn't need me to have sex with him to know that. And this is especially so when Im too tired or just don't want sex. Anyway, my man only enjoys sex with me when I'm into it, too.
The importance of mutual kindness to a marriage is impossible to overstate. But while necessary, it is not sufficient. Women can understand this by applying the same rule to men. Most women will readily acknowledge that it is certainly not enough for a man to be kind to her. If it were, women would rarely reject kind men as husband material. But as much as a woman wants a kind man, she wants more than that. If a man is, let us say, lacking in ambition or just doesn't want to work hard, few women will love him no matter how kind he is. In fact, most women would happily give up some kindness for hard work and ambition. A kind man with little ambition is not masculine, therefore not desirable to most women.
Likewise, a kind woman who is not sexual with her husband is not feminine. She is a kind roommate.
Furthermore, a woman who denies the man she loves sex is not kind.
4. You have it backward.
Every rational and decent man knows there are times when he should not initiate sex. In a marriage of good communication, a man would either know when those times are or his wife would tell him (and she needs to -- women should not expect men to read their minds. He is her man, not her mother.)
But, to repeat the key point, rejection of sex should happen infrequently. And it should almost never be dependent on mood -- see Part II next week.
5. I know this and that's why I rarely say no to my husband.
This is a wise woman. She knows a sexually fulfilled husband is a happy husband. (At the same time, men need to recognize that complete sexual fulfillment is unattainable in this world.) And because a happy husband loves his wife more, this cycle of love produces a happy home.
In Part II, I will explain in detail why mood should play little or no role in a woman's determining whether she has sex with her husband.
I conclude Part I with this clarification: Everything written here applies under two conditions: 1. The woman is married to a good man. 2. She wants him to be a happy husband. If either condition is not present, nothing written here matters. But if you are a woman who loves your husband, what is written here can be the most important thing you will read concerning your marriage. Because chances are the man you love won't tell you.
If women would wear a yellow construction helmet with a flashing green light on it when it's "time". That would help.
I was given similar advice by my mother-in-law when I married. Unfortunately, I thought everything she knew was as anecdotal as her chicken soup recipe. I didn't really understand until I was 40. Despite the libertine era and all the reading and all the listening, no one was conveying this very basic and significant information.
I laughed out loud when I read that. When my husband used to approach me as I was housecleaning (he thought it was sexy) I'd say, "I can't wait! The minute the trash is out, the bathroom is clean, and the dishwasher is empty, I'm going to get naked!" and I'd start cleaning faster. He NEVER FAILED to help me! It was wonderful.
Another time, when we were thinking about getting married, he used to whisper, "I love you" and I felt insecure. I told him, "If you loved me, you'd shout it out!" So he did. "LISTEN AMERICA! I LOVE JUDITH ANNE!" he yelled in a restaurant parking lot after dinner one evening....
We had a lot of laughs, and a lot of love. 36 years, and boy, do I miss him...
Does, “I need to drain my prostate on a regular basis,” work well at attracting women?
Nice reference. You know, I never finished that damn book...I’m putting that on my list...when I remember where I put my list...
"At least he finished his business before the fabric softener need to go in the rinse cycle."
It astonishes me that men (here) think saying, "But I *need* to go to the bathroom!" is going to inspire women to service them.
Some times nature requires a bone to be cracked to remove the stress.
Please re-read this article, you missed the point entirely.
There's a BIG difference, IMHO, between "having sex" and "making love" which the usually prescient Mr. Praeger seems to have failed to realize in this piece.
"Having sex" even with your wife..involves self gratification, release..which men can normally achieve sooner...hey, Americans invented the "quickie," right? ..and even with your wife, she'll usually be accomodating. "Making love" means that your primary concern/objective is pleasing your partner..that's what gives you the great pleasure in the act..and it always takes TWO in the mood to make love...
It is simple things like that put a woman in the mood.
I guess I am in that low segment.... but the mood still stikes me from time to time, which the wife is glad to see.
She has expressed some of the articles points due to the lack of "action" on my behalf.
“It draws me incredible closer, and having read some of the posts here, it sounds as if it drives some people apart just thinking about it.”
Well - here is one happy female freeper.
But you have to recognize the basic physical differences between men and women.
Women just aren’t ready at the drop of a hat, and it is the smart man who recognizes that.
I read the article. I was commenting on the comments.
Mr. Prager annoys me on a number of topics, so I’m leaving the article alone; his writing it doesn’t make it wrong.
So much to agree with here. Thank you for posting.
Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. If you take sex out of the marriage, something else takes its place.
Sorry, I understand men to be every bit as human, intelligent, spiritual, and civilized as women. Our minds are what separate us from the animals.
Moreover, as a believer, I understand us all to be made in the image of G_d. Faithfulness and self-control are more a part of our nature than wantonness.
The illustration that there is a sub-culture from Mexico that “needs” sex more often than the rest of the nation or from men in the US, is illustrative of the role that cultural conditioning plays.
6. Then theres the woman who knows that if her husband truly wanted sex, hed have taken out the trash and helped with the dishes.
One of my friends had the best comeback. “Ok I’ll quit my job to help you do your job”. Ironically, he wasn’t going to do it because he was running around with a woman at work. He left his wife and married the woman at work. You aren’t going to believe what happened then. Not in a million years. He found out the new wife was running around with a married man at work. The nerve of her.
Agreed, not a good opening line. Style is everything, but it is what it is.
Agreed, talking can be great foreplay - and more intimate, sometimes, than sex. Even in marriage.
Married nearly 35 years.
I’m with Tax-chick.
It isn’t that the entire article is worthless - it has its good points.
But he loses me when he states that women should be having sex even when they aren’t in the mood.
I would agree that a woman-not-in-the-mood should consider engaging in activities that would “get” her in the mood.
I would not agree she should just march into the bedroom and “get it over with”.
Because then you’ve got an entirely different problem on your hands.
Hon, is that you?
But seriously, I do these things with my wife also.
Of course, the kids were always, "Ewwww, DAAAAD!", but it didn't matter.
My wife can be washing dishes at the sink and I'll come up behind her and give her a big hug and then just walk away with an, "I love you".
I always give her a kiss and a, "Love you", when leaving the house. You never know, it could be the last time you see each other in this life.
The last thing she hears from my lips before we sleep is an, "I love you". If I die in my sleep that's the words I want her to hear from me last.
I DO hold her hand in public. People even remark on it. "Are you two newlyweds?"
All in all, if you pay attention to each other, express your love for each other openly, and WORK to make the marriage a happy, healthy, loving marriage - all is well.
“Now she may have a valid reason for that outlook, but if she does, then she should come clean with the man and explain what is causing the mood. If he is displeasing her in some way, she must tell him, or get back to loving him fully.”
OK - let me put it this way.
Think of a time at work where it’s super-hectic, and you’ve got a huge “to-do” list running in your head.
You don’t have enough time to get it all done, and everything on your list is important.
In the middle of the craziness - a buddy stops by your office, sits down, and wants to visit.
Your laundry list is still running in your head - you aren’t into the conversation with your buddy because your mind is elsewhere.
It isn’t that you don’t like your buddy, or even that talking to him isn’t important to you.
Your buddy thinks you’re giving him the could shoulder and leaves your office feeling slighted.
It may help to realize that for the most part, men are aroused (visually) differently than women (emotionally), hence the "sudden urges". If women expect men to be aroused emotionally, same as they, they're searching for something that's not there.
Can my wife be your new best friend? There is money in it for you, if you want.
There are plenty of urologists in the phone book.
“Animals? Well that is a little more than degrading regarding mens nature, but men are more in touch with their animal nature, “
women have a “nature” too, and it is the smart man who understands the female response - and that guy isn’t going to be the one complaining about not gettin’ any.
Well, I had a great husband. We were a good match, and used to love to tease each other. Anything silly thing to get involved, play, mess around, cuddle, &etc &etc. He didn’t seem to mind to help but I DID make it worth his while.
I do, but we’re not animals. If your wife doesn’t want to, it’s not “making love” just humping. I wouldn’t insult my wife by humping her.
Last night when I got home from work my wife wasn't feeling good. She has a condition called fibromyalga. When it's cold, or there is precipitation coming, or it's windy, it really affects her.
She had spent most of the day with a friend that recently had a kidney transplant taking her to the doctor.
Once I got home I fixed dinner, brewed the pitcher of tea, juiced a gallon of fresh fruit juice, and cleaned up the mess.
I didn't do it in hopes of having sex.
I did it because I love her.
Someone who gets it.
Nice to see.
Glad your husband is apparently happy.
I’m sorry for your loss.
You clearly enjoy the wonderful memories.
"WHERE is my SUNDAY paper", the irate customer calling the newspaper office loudly demanded, wanting to know where her Sunday edition was.
"Ma'am," said the newspaper employee, "today is Saturday. The Sunday paper is not delivered until tomorrow, on Sunday."
There was quite a long pause on the other end of the phone, followed by a ray of recognition as she was heard to mutter,
"Well, shit .. so that's why no one was at church today."
Thank you. One of the greatest things is to see our married children clearly having a wonderful time together....
Son married 18 years to a just terrific wife, daughter married 15 years to a super young man. When you see the kids give each other those “looks” throughout an evening or watch them laugh with each other, it just brings back all the great times Rob and I had.
ping for later
It’s nice to hear - they clearly are modelling their own lives after the good example you set.
It’s tough for these younger ones to find that. Many seem to be jaded and afraid of marriage.
My experience was once you fell in love you couldn’t stop talking about getting married.
I guess I’m not very hip.
1 Corinthians 7:2 But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command.
—Think of a time at work where its super-hectic, and youve got a huge to-do list running in your head. You dont have enough time to get it all done, and everything on your list is important.
But if you are like that day-after-day, then there is something wrong with your approach to work and your buddy is going to stop trying to engage you.
I have the same problem most men have in marriage regarding less lovemaking than I’d like. The flaw that I see in your analogy is treating the husband as a “buddy” from work. To continue with your analogy, I wonder if making love with the husband is even ON many wives’ “list,” and if so, where on that it list it is placed in priority. If it isn’t on the list, the chance of getting it “done” is pretty low. Ask a wife what is on her list on a particular day, and see if having sex makes that list. Then ask the next day, and the next... This is the problem many men, including myself, have. If we don’t even make the list, how is that NOT being rejected? Very few wives have to wonder if their husband would like to have sex on a particular day. They know he WOULD. Failing to make time for him, knowing that it is important, is no different than telling him he just doesn’t matter.
A “personal” relationship that is drudgery indicates that the rest of the relationship is drudgery, too. And it takes both spouses to make changes that result in a better situation for everyone.
The wife who is dutifully “performing” just because a man needs to evacuate his prostate at regular intervals is the wife whose husband can’t understand what was wrong when she leaves him the day the youngest child leaves home. “But everything was just fine!”
you missed the point entirely.
I’m married to a smart man.
I’m trying to explain what it is like for a woman whose mind isn’t engaged.
A woman’s brain has to be involved or things aren’t going anywhere.
A smart man knows how to get her to forget about her list.