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Whoever initiates sex, the other person must be receptive (within reason)

  • Agree

    Votes: 16 69.6%
  • Disagree

    Votes: 7 30.4%

  • Total voters
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Discussion Starter #1
Having read lots of posts on here and in my experience of being married for 15 years, there is one simple rule that everyone should follow to keep a happy marriage:

"Whoever initiates sex, the other person must be receptive"

Obviously there are caveats to that sentence, like I'm not suggesting you have to have sex if you're feeling sick, extremely tired etc. Then a simple explanation of the reason why you don't want to would suffice, with a suggestion of we'll do it in the morning or tomorrow instead etc. "I've got a headache" doesn't suffice!

Simply going from a person who used to have lots of sex to one who doesn't, followed by a partner wondering why, feeling rejected etc is a recipe for disaster.

Agree? Disagree?
 

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Agree? Disagree?
I disagree! Let me back this up by sharing a similar thought in my marriage. I thought that this should work with something as simple as a hug. If one person wants a hug then the other person should accept it. Sounds simple right? Oh... it was not!

So I asked a therapist about this one day and cited wedding vows of, "to have and to hold" thinking that asking for a hug would be perfectly OK. I wanted to know why on earth would it be OK for the other person to refuse a spouse something as simple as a hug. The therapist replied that the idea of required hugs would not solve problems. She told me that it would be better for me to say to my wife, "I am open to giving you a hug, just let me know when you are ready?"

Afterwards when I had a followup discussion with my wife, she was open to giving me a hug. BUT, she felt strongly that I should not feel entitled to one when ever I wanted it.

Keep in mind I was just talking about a simple freaking hug here. Now do I think initiating sex anytime I want should require my wife to accept my advance? Oh hell no!

There are even times I want to masturbate and I end up being told no by myself because I decided I was not in the mood enough to have to have it and just preferred to be lazy. You would think if you tried to initiated self pleasure, that you should accept that for yourself. But NO! I don't know about you, but even with self pleasure, I have to put in the effort seduce myself before I'll eventually give in and go for it.

Regards,
Badsanta
 

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I also think that is one of many rules for a happy marriage.
I have read that there are some marriages where this works. As if access to each other's genitalia is like having communal property within the marriage. I admit that idea seems rather nice.

However each relationship has different dynamics and the idea of making this a rule could be problematic for some couples.
 

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I also think that is one of many rules for a happy marriage.
FTW

Anyway, my W was not receptive the other night. She was tired. I had no problem if sex did not happen. However, I was able to get the Mrs. in the mood. Then off to the races. My next days note in the old lunch pail read, "Thanks for getting me in the mood when I wasn't. It was fantastic." Yeah for me!
 

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I would say that if one of the participants in the relationship is dismissive or indifferent to the other's desire for intimacy, the marriage is likely over except for the paperwork. I'm not sure if I necessarily agree with the way the question was asked but I did vote "yes". It might be a chicken and egg kind of question.
I think that when your spouse comes to you about anything, and your dismissive that’s a bad sign in general.
 

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Having read lots of posts on here and in my experience of being married for 15 years, there is one simple rule that everyone should follow to keep a happy marriage:

"Whoever initiates sex, the other person must be receptive"

Obviously there are caveats to that sentence, like I'm not suggesting you have to have sex if you're feeling sick, extremely tired etc. Then a simple explanation of the reason why you don't want to would suffice, with a suggestion of we'll do it in the morning or tomorrow instead etc. "I've got a headache" doesn't suffice!

Simply going from a person who used to have lots of sex to one who doesn't, followed by a partner wondering why, feeling rejected etc is a recipe for disaster.

Agree? Disagree?
That’s exactly how I feel rn I’m feeling rejected all the time when my husband and I first met we always had sex up until we got pregnant then everything went downhill, no sex at all during my pregnancy and then barely ever afterwards like every 3-5 months maybe and it’s only how he likes it and only for no more than 5 minutes and I feel I’m always begging him not because I’m always aroused but because I feel we’ve drifted away from ea other I’ve spoken to him about this several times and it just doesn’t change we’ve been through a lot too and he’s telling me he’s tired like emotionally tired and I understand but what about me? I feel tired physically and emotionally and I do love him with all I am but I’d not if I can keep doing this it’s been years now of the same tiredness/rejection and I want to feel wanted, loved and instead I keep feeling like our marriage will end either way 😢
 

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...it’s been years now of the same tiredness/rejection and I want to feel wanted, loved and instead I keep feeling like our marriage will end either way 😢
Welcome to TAM!

I am fairly certain that even a Catholic priest would agree with you and help you divorce your husband.

There are those that have sex 2-3 times a week and complain they need more and that is a rather mild problem. If months are going by and nothing happens then that is a serious problem. If your husband is unwilling to go to therapy or make some serious changes, then you need to prepare yourself to leave. You'll find a lot of helpful advice on this forum.
 

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That’s exactly how I feel rn I’m feeling rejected all the time when my husband and I first met we always had sex up until we got pregnant then everything went downhill, no sex at all during my pregnancy and then barely ever afterwards like every 3-5 months maybe and it’s only how he likes it and only for no more than 5 minutes and I feel I’m always begging him not because I’m always aroused but because I feel we’ve drifted away from ea other I’ve spoken to him about this several times and it just doesn’t change we’ve been through a lot too and he’s telling me he’s tired like emotionally tired and I understand but what about me? I feel tired physically and emotionally and I do love him with all I am but I’d not if I can keep doing this it’s been years now of the same tiredness/rejection and I want to feel wanted, loved and instead I keep feeling like our marriage will end either way 😢
A warm welcome to TAM. May I suggest you start a new post, explaining your situation in as much detail as you are comfortable with? We have lots of great people on here, and you will get much more help that way.

So sorry you are going through this, but very happy you have found us!
 

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Agree? Disagree?
Having also read lots of posts on her and being married for 21+ years so far in the second instance, I don't have one simple rule that everyone should follow to keep a happy marriage.

That said I disagree with "Whoever initiates sex, the other person must be receptive". Since I feel that no one should feel obliged to have sex with someone, even if they are their spouse. Regardless of the reason (don't feel like it, want to read my book etc), whenever they don't want to have sex.

As to encountering a notable lack of sex in a sexual relationship, one great solution for that is to have sex with other people. Of which one way to do that when in a monogamous marriage, is to divorce the withholding spouse as quickly as possible.
 

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I disagree. This is a great solution for the HD partner but it just flips the whole not enough sex script. While I've never been in a relationship where there wasn't enough sex or one partner wanted sex too much (though I might bug my hubby too much he never complains).

Why can't relationships be modeled with love a respect for both parties. Where both try to meet each others needs and at the end of the day be understanding if something does go their way? Is sex this mythical thing that should be raised above all other items in marriage?

So if either partner has a job but it doesn't make enough money should the other partner be able to just tell them to go make more money?
If the woman wants to be spontaneously romance the guy has to drop everything go get flowers, make dinner reservations and write some poetry even if he has a headache which isn't a good excuse?
So you are supposed to watch football with your friends but you wife wants to snuggle on the couch and have you feed her grapes while extolling her virtue. You are cancelling on the friends right?
 

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The crux of the poll is "within reason." That implies to me that the requests can't be far outside the comfort range of the recipient in terms of frequency or activities. So I agree with the idea. However, that does not mean there won't be occasional refusals, even for "poor" reasons. And if the couple is seriously mismatched sexually, they have to choose to live with that in some way or split up (which isn't always easy, especially after sharing life and perhaps children for years).
 

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The crux of the poll is "within reason."
Agree. Is it reasonable to expect sex say after she just gets home after pulling a double?

Also, what is receptive? My wife generally won’t say no and make her way to bedroom. That doesn’t mean she’s going to be swinging from the chandelier every time. If, occasionally, the best she do is provide boobs for me to finish myself off on that’s OK.
 

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So, I generally agree with the rule, though I think it should be worded a bit differently, because the way it is worded implies that the non-initiator must day yes, and has no choice (or has no bodily autonomy).

The fact of the matter is when you enter into a marriage, you do lose a little bit of that autonomy. When you make decisions, and when you make choices, you now have to factor your new spouse into the mix... not only that but you have to factor your MARRIAGE into the mix.

When you married, you swore [both emotional and physical] fidelity to one another. When your partner initiates sex, he is telling you, "I have a need for physical intimacy and bonding with my partner." Now, you always have the right to refuse; you have bodily autonomy. However, you pledged your body to this man the same as he has pledged his body to you. If you refuse him (without a really good reason) and will not meet his need for physical intimacy and bonding, you're basically saying, I know I made this vow, but I'm only going to keep to that vow when I feel like it, and I don't care what you want or need. By refusing, you are deeply hurting your partner and in doing so, you are damaging the relationship. Not only that, but your partner is now in a position where you won't meet his need, but he can't get that need met anywhere else without breaking his vows. That is incredibly unfair and cruel.

On the other hand, saying yes is so easy, and it's good for your partner, it's good for the marriage, and you'll warm up and get in the mood and will likely enjoy it, too. (Even if the genders are reversed, and she is the initiator and he thinks he might not be able to perform there are so many other things he can do to please his partner which are also physically intimate and bonding.)

Obviously, there are good reasons for saying no. As a couple, you can discuss these in advance and identify what is a qualifying reason... and you can both know NOT to initiate when such reasons are present. You can set and agree to rules and boundaries regarding physical intimacy. Maybe one person really doesn't like sex when they have a cold, but the other person doesn't care... the latter person won't necessarily know that without a conversation, and will be hurt by the former's rejection, when the former is appalled that the latter asked for sex when they could barely breathe due to chest congestion.


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Having read lots of posts on here and in my experience of being married for 15 years, there is one simple rule that everyone should follow to keep a happy marriage:

"Whoever initiates sex, the other person must be receptive"
I agree that if this is followed by both partners, from a place of excitement and giving, that it will help keep a connected, happy marriage.

I believe that when partners are NOT receptive in this way, it's usually more than simply a sexual issue...I believe it's an issue of caring enough to meet our partner's needs, which, when we expect monogamy, should be taken very, very seriously.

Now, of course, I believe that everyone shouldn't have to be receptive if they don't want to be...but that means they feel as though THEIR needs should come before their partner's needs, and that can become a major problem in the relationship, sexually and non-sexually.
 
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