There are a lot of married people that feel that sex is an obligation. They want to please their spouse, but it feels like more of a chore to mark off their to-do list than it a way to connect on a deeper level with their spouse.
What gets someone to the point that they feel like sex is an obligation rather than a privilege?
These are a few possibilities that make someone resort to duty sex-
Poor understanding of sexual intimacy-
Many people do not have a good understanding of the need for sexual intimacy in marriage. This goes for both people in the relationship, both the high drive and the low drive spouse.
You are not orgasming-
If you are not orgasming, then you are going to be less motivated to have time together. It is vital that you experience physical pleasure during sex.
Way too busy and stressed-
Having a full schedule causes you to be overly tired and stressed out. This makes it hard to get excited about being intimate with your spouse.
If you are addicted to porn, it can make your desire for physical intimacy go way down on the list. There is a lot of guilt associated with porn use, and it re-wires your brain to think differently about sex.
You think your spouse is being selfish-
Whether your spouse is trying to or not, if you feel that they are being selfish in some area, whether in regards to sex or not, you will struggle to throw yourself into the passion and pleasure of being together.
Past sexual abuse-
Sexual abuse can wreck your view of physical pleasure. Since the abuser has taken from you something you didn’t want to give, you can also feel that way with your lover.
If you have a promiscuous past, it can cause you to feel guilty, which leads to avoiding this time with your lover.
A Steady Diet of Duty Sex is Damaging to Your Marriage
It is one thing to be physical with your lifelong partner on occasion. It is another thing for you to have a steady diet of duty. When you see all of your physical interactions as something you have to do, it will build resentment in you.
The Bible does tell us that we are not to deprive our husband or wife of sex. I think that you do have to fake it till you make it sometimes when it comes to intimacy. However, duty should be a bandaid, not a long-term solution in your love life.
What To Do When Sex Feels Like a Chore
The first thing you need to do is figure out why it feels like a chore for you. I know that there was a period of time when it felt like a chore for me.
A lot of it had to do with the fact that I had two young kids getting up during the night. I felt like I was racing the clock every night to get to sleep for a few hours before they got up. Due to some lack of communication and understanding on both my husband’s and my part, I put physical intimacy on my chore list.
In order for me to take it off my to-do list and put it on my desire list, I had to do the following.
Instead of seeing it as something that I had to do for my husband, I saw it as a gift from God for my marriage. I reminded myself that I had chosen abstinence while I was single in order to give myself entirely to my husband. I was squandering our time for lovemaking, and that needed to change.
Work Through Past Issues
I had some past issues that I needed to work through which was affecting my love life. After many conversations and intentionality on both of our parts, I was able to get through some hurts I had experienced in the past. Being free from those hurts allowed me to throw myself into the passion of being with my husband.
I know this sounds a bit counter-productive when you are trying to take it off of your to-do list, but scheduling it ahead of time really does help. It allows both of you to feel anticipation and excitement and structure your day so that it can happen when you are both ready.
Don’t schedule it for a week out, instead, get up in the morning and decide that it will happen that night. Of course, sometimes things come up that can’t be avoided or rescheduled, but as soon as you can make good on the promises, you need to.
Reduce Stress and Busyness
Both you and your spouse need to come up with a strategy to reduce the stress and busyness in your life. I know it can seem like there is no wiggle room in your schedule, but I promise that you can reduce it if you put your mind to it.
It might require you to give up television shows, social media time, letting housework suffer, backing out of commitments, saying no to new obligations, and so on. But you need to make your love life as big a priority in your life as income, children, bills, or work are.
Your love life needs to be as much of a priority as earning an income, educating your children, paying bills, and so on.
Initiate Love Making
I had a tough time initiating for the first few years of our marriage. My husband would rarely approach me when I was already in the mood. I decided that to get it off of my to-do list, I needed to get more comfortable initiating.
It really helped me feel more excited about our time together because when I was more in control of when it happened, it helped me out. I was able to get myself in the mood, and it helped my husband feel more loved and appreciated.
When it comes to having love-making on your to-do list, I hope you will find ways to put it on your need list. Stop shortchanging yourself and your spouse. Embrace the gift God gave you and find ways to be more excited about it!
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