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When you're not in the mood, it's often easier to feign fatigue than give in to getting it on. But even the most seemingly innocuous excuse to avoid intercourse can hurt your marriage. Here's how.
Your body and brain work on the principle of "use it or lose it," explains Madeleine Castellanos, M.D, sex therapist and author of Wanting to Want: What Kills Your Sex Life and How to Keep It Alive. If you avoid sex with excuses, you won't forget how to get down. "But the more you put off sex, the easier it becomes to skip it altogether," Castellanos explains. Regular, satisfying sex benefits your body and your mind, she points out, while "too many excuses starts a bad cycle of avoidance that only grows if left unchecked."
Not only that, says Gloria Brame, Ph.D., sexologist and author of The Truth About Sex: A Sex Primer For The 21st Century, but excuses often become full-fledged lies. "We know how frustrating and angering it is when someone seems to brush you off with dumb lies," Brame says. And when you decline sex with an fake excuse rather than fessing up to the real issue, "you can get caught a cycle that leads to other fibs and misunderstandings, and it can herald the end of good communication," Brame warns, "which is so vital to a marriage's longevity."
Brame has counseled couples on the brink of divorce, husbands convinced their wives has lost all interest in sex, "while their wives privately tell me they've got very healthy libidos but wish their husbands did a few things differently in bed," she says. "Until they worked with me, their lack of communication about their mutual sexual needs almost destroyed their marriage."
Castellanos says that rather than brushing off bedroom activities with excuses, it's better for your marriage to address the underlying issues compelling you to cop out. "Avoiding sex repeatedly is like any other symptom of your body and mind trying to tell you that something is wrong," she explains. "It may be as simple as your life being out of balance, but it may point to more serious issues that need to be corrected. When your health, your life, and your relationship are balanced, there is a healthy desire and experience of sex that continues to add to your energy and happiness."