When is it okay to gently say no?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-31-2010
When is it okay to gently say no?
41
Fri, 09-17-2010 - 1:00pm

As many of you may know, DH and I have a "sex on demand" policy running for the past several months. And until now, this really hasn't been an issue, but here in the past week or so, DH has tried initiating when I'm very intensely absorbed in studying. I'm a university student, and I am at the point where I'm deeply into my major courses. It's tough, and I need to be able to focus on studying.

Is it okay to suggest a "rain-check" until the next morning? Or should I just drop the studying and oblige right then? I asked for a rain check the other day, and though he said he was okay with it, he seemed a bit frustrated. Is there a better way to do this, because I have to make decent grades. He knows how committed I am to getting my degree, and the decision for me to go back was a joint decision.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2009
Sat, 09-18-2010 - 8:34am
...I think we're falling on the subject cliff...I personally think it's ok to sometimes say no EVEN WITHOUT A RAIN CHECK...but, in my relationship, we are not currently dealing sexual mismatch...what he wants, he gets and that has been our policy for a long time...I think with enough time, saying no now and again will not be a problem...it may be too fresh in his mind right now (if I am not mistaken this couple has been separated and are currently working at rebuilding their relationship)...unless he just goes on for an hour each time, I would probably keep up the sex on demand...she may find that with more time, he no longer requests sex at inopportune times...if he does continue this though (without regard for the activity she is engaged in and in spite of a solid time of sexual trust foundation built) there might be other issues and his demands for sex at times when he is quite aware might be a bit hard for her to indulge will have to be addressed...after all, using another example...if he is the bread winner and she continues to demand that he stay home and talk to her or spend time with her because that is how she has her intimacy needs satisfied, he'll probably eventually have to stop missing work and have to ask her to keep her requests for intimacy need fulfillment to a time when he can truly be available...she needs the same respect shown to her activities...after all, she needs time for studying...it would be a different story all together (in my opinion) if she were saying no and passing out rain checks so that she could crochet or watch RHW of DC (not sayin' it's a waste of time)...
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
Sat, 09-18-2010 - 10:27am

it's ok to sometimes say no EVEN WITHOUT A RAIN CHECK



Yes, you're right.



And it's also true that given generosity in the relationship - bothways - the "no" has MUCH less significance or weight than it had before.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
Sat, 09-18-2010 - 10:30am

Tiptoeing, a random thought occurred to me I wanted to run past you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-31-2010
Sat, 09-18-2010 - 12:22pm
The terminology doesn't bother me so much. And no matter what it is labeled, it is what it is, and that is when he requests sex, I provide sex. Even if I think of it as you suggest, "Requested Sex gets High Priority" there is room for potential resentment. Here's why, sex is a high priority for DH (and subsequently the relationship). In and of itself, sex is not a high priority for me. Sexual access is a duty that both DH and I have to each other due to the nature of our relationship (monogomous marriage). A duty I fill because I enjoy our marriage and love DH and not necessarily because I take any actual physical enjoyment from the sex (sometimes I do and sometimes I do not). I do take great pleasure and get a sense of accomplishment from doing my job as "wife" well, but that is primarily internal.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
Sun, 09-19-2010 - 5:57am

OK, understand, that's good.

So, I'd still think expressing the feelings you've highlighted here is going to be great to avoid resentment and stay on the same team - the rule of sex on demand comes with a responsibility and duty of care for your partner, in order to retain the trust that you are also being "looked after" and cared for yourself.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2004
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 9:47am

First off, klet me say you are doing great and

When you see it coming, duck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 12:50pm

I

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-31-2010
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 2:01pm
Glenn, that rule came directly from my HL DH. He does not want me to play act at being into sex if I'm not. He is willing to accept as "good enough" my being willing and welcoming. There are no rules for it. He asks, and I (with on exception) say yes. I do this because he is my DH, and I love him and want our marriage to work.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-31-2010
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 2:08pm

"I think it is time to rethink your agreements, or at least the terminology in which you describe them. I don't think you really want to imply you have a "sex on demand" policy, because you don't, and you don't want him to expect you do. You have a "I realize this is very important to you, I realize I didn't do as good a job of meeting this need in the past as I wish I had, and I will try very hard to meet this need in the future by saying yes whenever I can" policy. I am sure you can shorten that.

Also, I would get rid of the "I am not allowed to initiate except" semantics. You are. You and your husband recognize that, in general, it works better for both of you if you only initiate when you are in the mood for yourself. But you are artificially constraining yourself when you say "I can never"."

I'm not going to argue semantics. The agreement is what it is no matter what terminology we use to describe it. It works this way, DH requests sex and I provide sex, and it works that way no matter if it's "sex on demand", "sex on request", or "I am going to fill this need because it is important to you."

As far as his request or stern suggestion that I not initiate sex unless I want sex for myself, this is for both our benefits. First, I don't have to worry about attempting to fabricate desire when I have none. Secondly, DH prefers this.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2006
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 2:14pm

I think your "rule" about initiation is a good one. It promotes honesty and transparency in the relationship. It is far and away better than the HL expecting the LL to "initiate" at regular intervals, regardless of the LL's natural desire level. I think your DH has a fair understanding of your natural level of desire and is being good and generous by allowing that your participation is "good enough."

I still think your current situation with him initiating reeks of "pushing the envelope" and that a frank discussion of priorities is in order.

roo and snowy siggie