Sex & Marriage: Are You a Withholder Too?

Sex & Marriage: Are You a Withholder Too?

Sex and marriage. It should go together like a horse and carriage, right? Not always, apparently. In the last couple of weeks, I notice that I’m kind of avoiding sex. Well, more than kind of. I’m definitely avoiding sex. In the time it takes to say “multiple orgasms,” I’ve gone from hot to trot to ‘Sorry, Honeybuns, I love you but I really need to see how this episode of Catfish turns out.’

I don’t get it. I’m still as desirous (a.k.a. horny; take that, people who think married moms shouldn’t use the word horny) as ever, but my libidinous needs in the last week or two don’t seem to translate into physical intimacy with the hubs. And the big question is: Why?

As we all know, good sex begets good sex. Which would mean, if I had to guess, that not having sex frequently also causes its own chain reaction. But how many times constitutes often enough? Most of my peers would probably say intercourse twice a week with your long-term partner, especially when there are young kids in the picture, means you’re a sex rock star. Regardless, here’s why I think my brain and my vagina are not currently in perfect harmony.

1. Just call me the “Withholder”
During the week of the Sex Challenge, I have to admit, I got cocky. Smug. I thought doing it three times in a week would be a snap. But a few days into the challenge my hubby did something to upset me, something so offensive I’m pretty sure I couldn't even remember it a day later. As punishment, he wound up in a very cold, dark, and sex-free doghouse. Ugh. I used to scoff at wives who got mad at their husbands over piddly garbage and then froze them out. When did I become a woman who uses sex as a way to exert control?

2. Finances freak me out
Over the course of about 3 days last week, I went from saying I will rent forever to signing 17,534 pages of paperwork on a new home. It’s a huge financial commitment, especially for someone still trying to get back on track after having a kid. I feel ashamed that I don’t have much money to contribute to the down payment. And I feel emasculated by the whole process, which doesn’t even make sense since I think you need to have a penis to feel emasculated. Why don’t we have a comparable term for women? Evaginate. Let’s try it in a sentence. The process of buying a home has left me feeling evaginated and as a result I am avoiding sex. Ok, not perfect, but at least it’s a start.

3. I’m happy, and that’s scaring the sex right out of me
Beyond all the anxiety and self-inflicted drama, here’s what scares me the most: what if I’m holding back on having sex because, deep down, I am afraid of being happy? I’m at a point right now where, miracle of miracles, things are going well. So well that I’m petrified it’s all going to fall apart. Maybe the reason I separate myself from my husband physically is because I get overwhelmed with all of the ways our lives are completely interwoven and how much I freakin’ need and love him. Maybe somehow I’ve gotten it into my head that keeping him at arm's length will quell the nagging and persistent fear that our life together can’t really be this good.

Whatever the reasons for this unexpected Shut Out, I hope it ends soon. At this very exciting moment in our marriage, I don’t want to push hubby away. I really do need him, in every sense of the word.

[photo credit: cooldesign/]

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