Last month, Darby Dugger wrote an excellent post about the do’s and don’ts of dealing with a stressed husband. One thing she didn’t address was how to approach sex when your husband is stressed. So I thought I’d address that here. This will also apply to minor depression or feeling defeated, such as getting fired or laid off. It also applies to times of grieving.
Let me start by saying men vary a great deal in this area. Some men’s sexuality just stops when they’re feeling down. Other men look as if their sexuality has turned off, but it’s still going strong, they just don’t express it in the usual way. Some men may be fully capable of sex but don’t pursue it, while others will be unable to have sex or will need more time and foreplay to make it work.
If sex has always been important to your husband, it remains a powerful force for him even if he doesn’t feel able to face it. This makes sex a possible way for you to bless and minister to him when he’s down, stressed, or far too busy. Letting him know you’re still sexually attracted to him when he feels like a failure is huge. Being desired even when he doesn’t feel like sex builds him up. On top of all that, having sex releases all kinds of feel good chemicals into his brain. Sex won’t fix anything, but it can make him feel a whole lot better – which can make it easier to face difficult things.
When he’s down, having sex may be all up to you. You’ll have to seduce or initiate and you may have to be a bit pushy. He may need more foreplay and he may not be as giving as usual. He may not seem very into it, but that doesn’t mean he’s not enjoying it.
If he’s not willing, there is a tactic that may help some of you. Ask him if he will snuggle with you while you take care of yourself. If that’s all that happens you’re still keeping the sexual connection alive. If his body tells you what you’re doing is turning him on you can switch to something else or do something for him after you finish.
If you’ve usually had the higher interest in sex, him being down is likely going to hit your sex life hard. If sex has been a source of stress for him, seeking it now is just adding to his stress or sense of failure. If this is your situation you must move with great care and plenty of prayer.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and being offered sex when I’m down is awesome.
New Survey: Are You The Low Drive Spouse? A survey for women AND MEN who sometimes say no to sex.