It’s late at night, and you’re lying in bed wondering if your husband is asleep yet–and if he’s expecting anything.
“I’m not even in the mood!” you think. “Why is there always all this pressure on me? He’s probably expecting me to do something, but maybe he should have thought of that earlier, and actually talked to me today about stuff that mattered!”
And the more you think about it, the more ticked off you get.
And you know that your husband is likely lying there, rather disappointed and maybe a little ticked off, too. Why can’t he just accept that you’re tired and not expect something more?
Chances are most of us have had that inner conversation plenty of times in our marriage. (And if you haven’t because your husband never wants sex, I’ve got a series for you, too!) Sex may have seemed like a beautiful promise at the wedding, but a few years–and sometimes several babies–later, and it just seems like a chore. And obligation sex is not sexy.
But how can you make sex something you look forward to–instead of one more thing on your to-do list?
Maybe it’s time to learn to think about it differently! After all, for women our sex drives are almost entirely in our heads. What we think about sex largely determines whether or not we get in the mood. If you think, “I wish he’d let me get some sleep!” you’ll have a lousy time. But if you think, “I want to have fun tonight and feel close to my husband!” your body is far more likely to cooperate.
Need some help getting into the mood? Check out the Ultimate Intimacy Pack!
Getting in that right frame of mind, though, can be a challenge. But I think the key comes to understanding that sex is like a circle:
Understanding the Sex Circle
Let’s say that you’re not that interested in making love because your husband hasn’t been very romantic or wanted to talk much lately. You feel disconnected, so how can you make love?
But here’s the key:
Men make love to feel loved, whereas women need to feel love in order to make love.
When I wrote The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, I told a story that happened to us a few years ago. My husband and I were just overwhelmed with busy-ness. I was speaking a lot, and he was working a lot, and we weren’t connecting. Two nights in a row we didn’t make love because I was preoccupied. Then I was away speaking. When I came home it was the middle of the night and we didn’t, either. The next night I was still tired, but neither of us slept well because both of us were feeling that something was wrong in our relationship. The next night we did.
And then he bought me flowers.
I interpreted it like this: “My husband wants sex too much, so he’ll reward me when we make love, and punish me when we don’t. He’ll be distant when we don’t make love deliberately so that I will start putting out.” And I got really frustrated.
And then it hit me: Maybe the reason Keith bought me flowers was simply because he felt closer to me and lovey towards me. I thought what was going through his brain was this:
“I need to manipulate my wife into doing what I want.”
What was really going through his head was this:
“I love my wife. I think I’ll buy her flowers.”
When we make love, we each produce oxytocin, “the bonding hormone.” It makes you feel more connected towards each other. That’s why after you make love men often want to cuddle and talk. And the next day you laugh more, and you flirt more, and you feel more comfortable with each other.
Here’s where our circle comes in. If you want that comfortable feeling and that laughter, you can wait for your husband to produce it–or you can jumpstart the whole process by making love!
Making Love Benefits You, Too
Wait a minute–am I making it sound like you only make love so that he will be nice to you? Not at all! That’s an added benefit, and I think one that women need to understand more.
But that’s not the only benefit.
We can get caught up in thinking that sex is just for him, but it’s not! Sex helps you feel close and intimate in a way that nothing else does.
And sex can feel amazing for you, too. (If it doesn’t yet, that’s okay! Most couples take a few years for things to work like clockwork. Make it the most fun research project you do together.) It helps you to relax. It wards off illnesses. And it even helps you sleep better!
I used to say no when I was exhausted, knowing that I was disappointing him and disappointing myself. But I’ve realized that I sleep so much better after we make love, because I feel amazing and we feel intimate, which energizes me. So now when I’m tired, I turn to Keith and say, “Come put me to sleep, baby!”
Ladies, here’s my challenge to you: Instead of mulling it over and over, just jump him! Tell yourself, “I’m doing this because I want to feel great, because I want to feel close and intimate with my husband, and because I want to put a smile on his face. And I’m going to feel great!” Put your brain to work for you, and you will have fun!
Sheila Wray Gregoire is mom to two girls who have finally gotten over being the daughters of the “Christian sex lady”. She is the author of seven books, including The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex and 31 Days to Great Sex. She blogs everyday at To Love, Honor and Vacuum.