When Making Excuses Not to Have Sex Hurts Your Marriage

Skipping out on sex can cause relationship strain

Updated 07/05/18

Stocksy

When you're not in the mood, it's easier to feign fatigue than it is to muster up the energy for sex. Pretending you have a headache, saying you're exhausted, or just not feeling it are normal excuses we make to get out of sex. They are "sexcuses," if you will.

If this is something you're doing on the reg, you might have a real problem going on.

If you're making sexcuses constantly, you need to ask yourself why. If you don't want to have sex, it's likely because you're not getting what you want out of your sex life. Figure out what is holding you back. Sex is a valuable part of partnership. Having a good sex life may seem like a less important issue when there are so many others to consider, but this isn't true. Sex is as critical as any other component of a relationship. It deserves credit.

Here is how making excuses not to have sex can damage your relationship, and some advice on how to make sex better so you want to do it.

The more you put off sex, the less you want to do it

Have you found it easier to fake a headache than to climb on top for cowgirl? You may be doing harm to yourself over the long-term. 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, your body stops responding to pleasure in the same way. Your clitoris can become somewhat disengaged from the body and your vaginal muscles can atrophy.

Once you get in the habit of watching Netflix over bonding, it's simple to stay there. "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."

You don't want to end up in a loop of excuse > no sex > excuse > no sex. This is not healthy. You may think that having sex isn't a big deal, but it is. You're putting strain on your relationship by denying both yourself and your partner the chance to intimately bond.

Confronting the real issues

Getting what you want requires opening a dialogue. Women are often told to "take what they can get." We're not given agency to explore our pleasure or our bodies. If you think you don't enjoy sex, it's quite possible you're not giving your own body the attention is deserves.

Lying does not fix the problems in your sex life. It is a way to get out of dealing with the root of the issue. Exploring relationship concerns is not a highly pleasant experience—denial often feels like the quicker fix.

If you deny sex, you don't have to deal with the "why?" Are you getting what you want out of sex? If you were having regular orgasms and receiving the clitoral stimulation you need to enjoy sex, you'd be less likely to make an excuse to skip. Have you thought about this? Perhaps you did not even realize that a focus on your pleasure in an option. It takes two people to have an egalitarian sex life. You deserve to get what you want out of it as much as your partner.

Gloria Brame, Ph.D., sexologist and author of The Truth About Sex: A Sex Primer For The 21st Century tells Brides that excuses are lies and your partner is aware of it. "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 communicating with your partner about the real issues, "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."

If you're avoiding sex, you need to sit with yourself and figure out what is going on. "Avoiding sex repeatedly is like any other symptom of your body and mind trying to tell you that something is wrong," Brame 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."

Explore some options. You might consider seeing a sex coach or therapist to work through what is troubling you. Masturbate and figure out what feels good for you. Here is a guide to making the most of self-love experiences.

Sex is absolutely fabulous for women when we take the time to venture into our own pleasure zones. Don't just make excuses, actively find ways to make your sex life better so you can be an excited participant.

Gigi Engle is a sex educator and writer living in Chicago. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @GigiEngle.

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