Sex is an important part of intimacy in long-term relationships. When it is good, sex plays a big role in helping a couple connect, both physically and emotionally.
No matter how well matched a couple’s sex drive is, it is normal not to always have the same desires or timing. There will be those moments when one of you is ready to get intimate while the other is not up to the task or you just cannot pique their interest.
A couple will not always have matching sexual desires. With sex playing such a major role in long-term relationships, many are faced with the harsh predicament of saying no to your partner without hurting the relationship.
Lilian Marema, 38, describes the first two years of life after marriage as sexually fulfilling. Sex was frequent and spontaneous and things seemed to be going well for them until a baby came into the picture.
She became absorbed in her new role as mother, and juggling this with work and wifely duties often left her drained or distracted. On days like this, sex was the last thing on her mind.
“There was just so much to do now and I assumed that he would understand when I didn’t want sex,” she says.
Initially, she simply declined his advances with a simple “no” and he seemed to have no problem with it. As the days that she was not in the mood became more frequent, she noticed that he was pulling away and even stopped asking.
Spare his ego
He also seemed to grow bitter and picked fights with her for the slightest reasons. It was during one such tiff that he blurted out that she did not love him or even appreciate him as a man anymore.
“It hadn’t crossed my mind that he was taking my refusal to have sex as a personal rejection,” she says. She took to constantly reassuring him that her reduced interest in sex had nothing to do with what she felt about him. After some time, he started believing her.
She had found herself staying longer in the sitting room or falling asleep in the baby’s bed so that she would not have to make up excuses for not wanting sex. However, she found that honesty, accompanied by a counteroffer, had better results.
“I stopped just telling him ‘no’ and began giving him an option; something to look forward to. I would give him my reasons and then suggest a time that I felt I would be up for it.”
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