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When Sex is at the Bottom of Your List

By Barbara Rainey

First posted on

Today’s post is a question compiled from several I have been asked over the years. It is addressed in my book, Letters to My Daughters which is why I replied, “Dear daughters.” It’s a topic that books have been written about, but here I’m sharing a few things I learned that helped me in this part of our marriage.

Dear Barbara:

This is a little embarrassing. But please tell me that sex is more than I think it is. It’s fine. Don’t get me wrong. But the initial passion has pretty much cooled off, we have all the kids we want, so I kinda don’t understand why it’s so important still. Honestly, sex seems like the last thing on my list of needs because I am tired ALL THE TIME! But it still seems so much more important to my husband. What can I do?

Dear Daughters of Eve:

Dennis always said he’d be a millionaire if he had a dollar bill for all the times I said how tired I was! And sex was at the bottom of my to-do list more times than not. I can totally relate to your question and dilemma.

Making sense of our sexual differences sometimes felt like we were from two different solar systems and didn’t understand each other at all.

Marriage is a living relationship which means it needs feeding and attention to stay healthy and grow. All living things experience seasons of growth. Like our baby granddaughter who is teething right now; growing teeth isn’t comfortable or pleasant. Older kids go through growth spurts where they need more sleep and food and sometimes experience growing pains.

Similarly, in marriage seasons of growth are not usually easy. Learn to see differences or clashes as opportunities to deepen your understanding. In the sexual dimension of marriage, understanding is especially crucial for it is here that we most long to be known for who are and accepted completely.

We’re very different sexually

My mother’s simple advice to me before I got married was, “He’ll like you much better naked,” and “it gets better with time.” She was right about both, but in the beginning I didn’t think we’d struggle in this part of marriage.

In fact, I thought our sexual differences were fairly simple. But like so many women before me, I soon discovered that we could have a disagreement, and he could immediately set that aside and be interested in sex. Or that he didn’t need any conversation before being ready. Or that we would be in the middle of lovemaking and he wouldn’t hear the crash just outside our apartment walls!

Men have a natural ability to compartmentalize. It’s clear men and women are not the same.