Marriage and sex.
Dear Positive Way, my husband and I only have sex once a month, and when we do it only last for a few minutes. He is never here because he works 2 jobs. I never want for anything. He pays all the bills at our house that we just recently have. So what shall I do? I don’t believe in cheating. I am a Christian woman who works and goes to college. Please help me with this problem. Signed, Andrea, age 31.
Dear Andrea, Sex can be an integral part of the intimacy of relationships. Sex is usually not an issue unless one person is dissatisfied or you are fighting over it. Having said this, I believe that you have given us some very important information in your question and you can use this to bring about the change you desire. I’d like for you to consider the following points.
- “He is never here because he works 2 jobs.” Perhaps you miss more than sex. Maybe what you are really missing down deep is that connection that a loving couple can have when they share time together. You also work and go to school (a job in and of itself). That’s two people and four jobs. If the stress and burden don’t get in the way of a relationship then the lack of time will. Now, I’m going to give you a fifth job. I want you to start working on your marriage by making sure that somehow the two of you have quality time together as often as possible. That means that you are going to have a “date” once a week. It doesn’t matter when you have the date but it matters that there be no stress, no strain, no money talk, no job talk, no school talk and no distractions. Do what you enjoy now or what you did when you were dating. Since you want to change the situation it is up to you to take the lead for now. Eventually he will want to take over for some of the dates.
- “I never want for anything. He pays all the bills at our house that we just recently have.” It sounds like your husband is acting in the role of provider. He has taken on the job of making sure that you have what you need to be comfortable and is willing to sacrifice by working two jobs to make that happen. And you are working your two jobs as well. When men and women are tired it is hard for them to engage in long love-making even if they enjoy it. Stress is one of the best contraceptives known to man since the dawn of time. I suggest that you reevaluate your lifestyle to see if there are ways that you can save money and then see how much income you really need. Maybe you and he can cut back a bit on the hours and still be comfortable. In our Love and Money section of this website there are some great ideas for saving money. Then you can have less stress and more time to enjoy each other. It is also important that you acknowledge the sacrifice that he is making for the family. You almost cannot say that too much; especially as you help him redirect some of his energy toward the relationship.
- “…it only last for a few minutes.” We are not sex counselors but we do understand that men tend to take on a great deal of responsibility in sexual relations. That responsibility can add to an already stressful situation. The net result is often a short time together. Please consider taking more of a leadership role. Take the time to give him relaxation, comfort and pleasure. Then guide him gently in the ways that you would like to experience your pleasure. This may take some time as it is a role reversal. One small step at a time is much more likely to succeed than a rush to getting everything you want at once. Patience is a virtue.
- Please read the following articles Get of the Merry-go-round, the selection of articles on communication, and Rekindling Romance. Much of this material is derived from our book “Talk to Me” which has more detail on communication.
Men often look toward their wives to be the spiritual and social leaders in the family while they have their noses to the grindstone in the role of provider. You have the opportunity to reinvent your relationship by taking a leadership role in the job of working on your relationship. It sounds like you have a lot going for you both. Now is the time to reevaluate what you both are working for and what really matters to you. Good relationships are harder to build than a house. And they take far more maintenance.
We wish you the best.
Please understand you have free will. This advice is given only in the realm of personal growth and self-help. This is not to be considered a substitute for therapy or professional counseling. We wish you well.