Refused? A New Tool To Help, part 1

Has this ever happened to you? You attempt, for the umpteenth time this month, to initiate sex with your wife, only to hear something like this: “Again? We just had sex a few days ago.” Or, “Give a girl a break, Mr. Insatiable! You’re always after sex.” The impression is that, somehow, you are not really needy, as you just recently had sex, and you seem to think your wife is the Energizer Bunny.

But here’s the kicker – you know that you didn’t have sex a few days ago, or even a few weeks ago; more like a few months ago. And yet, here she is, appearing to be serious when telling you  that you two are at it like bunnies. You may say that you would like sex more frequently, and your wife may even agree with you that frequency needs to be upped. But not tonight, dear. We’ll do better going forth. But that doesn’t happen, does it?

Well, let me introduce you to a tool that you can use to help you as you start the task of changing your marriage:


Yes, this simple, common, everyday tool can assist you in changing your marriage, and you can use it before you confront, during your confronting and even afterwards. Here’s how:

Before Confrontation

Get yourself a calendar that you can use. It can be your DayTimer, it can be one of those pocket calendars that people use to make appointments; it can be a wall calendar that you will make your notations on; you can even use your electronic calendar, such as iCal for Mac or whatever Windows has. This is what you will be using to start with.

In the above scenario, you know that it’s been more than a week or two, but your wife has some nebulous event that she seems to be recalling, and it just doesn’t seem that long ago. Starting now, make a notation on your calendar of the times that you’ve initiated and of the times that you have actually engaged in sex with your wife. Create your own symbols, but a simple X and O will work, an O representing a failed attempt at initiating, and an X representing a success.

Why are you doing this? Documentation. One of the things that managers are always told is to document events. When a manager goes into an evaluation situation with an employee, s/he had better have documentation for the concerns that they have about the employee’s performance, or it’s just the manager’s word against the employee’s, and here comes the grievance committee. The same thing goes with teachers. Woe betide the teacher who dares to go into a parent conference without chapter and verse written down to illustrate the teacher’s concerns. If that teacher can’t show what little Johnny did, when he did it, and how he did it, there will be a howling holy hissyfit from little Johnny’s mama.

The same thing goes for you. If you are continually being told that your grievance about frequency is just your problem, that it isn’t as bad as you say, your calendar will be available to document the reality of your marriage.

During Confrontation

As I’ve said before, working to change your marriage is not a peaceful act; there will be blowback. And that calendar that is your friend and tool will be seen as the weapon of a foe. When you say that sex is occurring all too infrequently, and again receive assurances that this is just in your mind, that all is well, and you then pull out the calendar? You’ll think D-Day had nothing on you. Allied forces trying to establish a beachhead on Fortress Europe will have nothing on you, in terms of firepower turned on you and your calendar.

One objection will be that the calendar just can’t be right. But when you explain that you aren’t making things up, that the calendar just shows what is, then there’s no way to argue with the facts. Accepting it, however, may be a different thing altogether.

One reaction will be “What kind of sick-o keeps track of sex on a calendar? That’s just wrong!” Or words to that effect. The answer is, of course, “The kind of sick-o who wants to have a normal sex life with his wife but is constantly locked out. The kind of sick-o who needs to show his wife that she is wrong in thinking that they are having sex frequently enough.”

Another reaction will be straight up anger that you are using a calendar to keep track. Oh, she may couch it in terms of being offended that something so sacred and holy (after all, we are dealing with a Good Christian Wife™, here, right?) should be tracked on a calendar as statistics. At this point, remember that you are not responsible for her feelings, nor are you to be guided by her feelings. The answer to this objection is basically, “I’m sorry you don’t like it, but the calendar doesn’t lie. It tells just how bad our sex life is, and I’m not going to stop using it just because you don’t like what it says.”

There is the possibility of an ultimatum, such as, “If you continue to use a calendar to track how often we do or don’t have sex, then there won’t be ANY sex!” That one’s easy, or course. Remember, the calendar is only part of The Talk™, that you are presenting the need for finding possible methods for changing and improving your marriage. If your wife issues that kind of ultimatum, this issue is something that can no longer be handled between the two of you. If you are threatened with this sort of ultimatum, calmly say that since she feels this way and is so adamant, that you now believe the marriage requires counseling, and that you will be scheduling counseling sessions with the pastor.** Inform her that she is welcome to come with you, but that you will be seeing the pastor/counselor with or without her. Nothing scares a GCW™ more than having the facade of her happy marriage destroyed before the spiritual leaders she seeks to impress.

A Good, Bad Example of The Calendar

Last year, one couple’s rocky sex life became a viral sensation on the internet. A woman made a post on reddit telling how her husband, as she was leaving on a ten-day business trip, sent her an email with a spreadsheet chronicling the last few weeks of their so-called sex life. You can read a report about it here at this link to a HuffPo report. Click on the spreadsheet and enlarge it, and you can see how he set it up and entered information.

If you click on the spreadsheet, you will see that the man tried to initiate sex 28 times in a six-week span, but his wife only agreed to sex three times (each time was more than two weeks from the previous occurrence.) In that span,

4x, she said, “I’m gross/sweaty and need a shower” (didn’t take shower)
3x, she said, “I’m watching Friends/movie/TV”
4x, she merely gave a non-verbal rejection
3x, she said, “too drunk, ate too much”
2x, she said, “I’m too tired.”

The guy did a good job in preparing this spreadsheet and set himself up well for having a good discussion with his wife. At this point, however, the guy blew everything by being a total jackass. Instead of preparing The Talk™, he was a total bellend and sent the spreadsheet to his wife with a truly stinking snide remark, and then turned his phone off, so his wife couldn’t call him. And, unfortunately, we don’t know the end of that story, because the wife never came back to give the follow-up.

But, if you google “man’s no sex spreadsheet”, you will find just how many websites and news sites wrote about him. Most articles criticized the guy, like I have, but if your read the comments below each article, you will find that while most people thought that while he was a total dick for the way he acted, he was more than justified in creating the calendar/spreadsheet and documenting the lack of a sex life in their marriage.

As you will be.

Next post, using the calendar after confrontation.



** This is just me, but I like the idea of saying, “May I quote you when I go to my first counseling session with the pastor?” I know – not nice, but I am a coot.


Filed under Marriage & Sexuality, Marriage and Sexuality

3 responses to “Refused? A New Tool To Help, part 1

  1. I think the calendar idea has real merit. However, I would suggest that you disclose your plan to use it and explain that the purpose is to have an unbiased record of what’s actually happening or not happening. If you secretly keep track of it and then present it as “proof”, I think the refusing spouse will see it as an attack, “See I’m right, you’re wrong.” If your goal is to be right, then it will probably be effective. If you want to inspire change, not so much. Even with an upfront approach, the refusing spouse may still get angry, but at least you know you’ve handled yourself with integrity.


    • Hi, Sandi,

      I’m thinking that ANY thing the refused uses, either before, during or after, revealed or unrevealed, is going to be seen as an attack. The refused could have the character of a St. Francis of Assisi, but if s/he tried to do anything to change the status quo, it’s an attack.


      • I agree there will be spouses that consider anything an attack, but that doesn’t remove the obligation for the refused spouse to operate with integrity.
        Can you think of a scenario where not being upfront about what you’re doing would be more helpful than being open about it?

        Sneak attacks are great in battle, but if your spouse is the enemy perhaps it’s time to re-examine yourself.

        For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

        Keeping track on a calendar so you can present it to your wife is not sneaking anything past the enemy of our souls (or God, who knows our true motives, for that matter).

        This brings to mind the saying “won the battle, but lost the war”. Sorry, I don’t know who said that, but I bet you do.😉


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