Tag Archives: Sexuality

Of Resets, Resolutions and Reality: part 1

Wellreset1

Well, I thought I was done with aphorisms, but while reading old posts for a project that I am working on, I realized that one of the aphorisms that I mentioned needed another going-over. Rather than the Gamble Rogers’ line about works speaking for themselves, I am going to flesh out some thoughts I have on the Bob Jones line, I don’t care how high a man jumps when he gets saved; I’m more concerned with how straight he walks when he comes down.

Two years ago, I wrote a couple of posts about what “Better” looks like; you know what I mean–“I’m sorry, I’ll try to do better.” In the first post I talked about the need to get down to specifics when having The Talk™, to not speak in broad, amorphous generalities, and in the second post I wrote about ways to start defining “better”.

But in re-reading those old posts, and going over the comments that followed them, something occurred to me that connected with the Bob Jones line about how straight someone walks, as it might relate to sexless marriages. After all, we are all capable of making multitudes of promises. The question is whether we keep those promises.

Reset Sex?

When I wrote those two Better posts, I hadn’t yet run up against the concept of “Reset Sex.” However, after I learned of the term and its meaning, I realized that I had read about the phenomenon many times over in the testimonies of refused husbands and wives.

What is Reset Sex? Reset Sex is sexual activity that occurs after a spouse has had The Talk™ with his/her spouse, telling the gatekeeping/refusing spouse of the pain that they are feeling due to lack of intimacy. And voila, sex begins to happen. The question, however, is this: does this represent a true sea change in the marriage, a well-intentioned resolution, or merely Reset Sex?

A regimen of sexual activity might be undertaken in sincerity by a husband/wife, who hears what their spouse tells them and truly wants to do right by the marriage–this isn’t Reset Sex. Conversely, this same course of sex might be engaged in by a less-than-caring spouse in order to placate the complaining partner. This latter activity is Reset Sex.

The defining factor of Reset Sex is that it is only temporary, by design; the temporary revival of the marriage bed is a staged placation, in which the well-known “intermittent reinforcement theory” is observed. As has oft been noted before, refusers/gatekeepers know how to give just enough intermittent reinforcement in order to boost hope. And after enough intimacy has been introduced in order to create hope in the heart of the refused, the old ways are re-instituted. In essence, the marital clock has been reset to zero and the counting starts all over again–until the next time another booster shot of hope is needed. In essence, nothing has changed; instead, you’ve just been reset and your sentence has been extended.

Resolution Sex?

A good-willed spouse promises to do better, and fully intends to do so but after a bit, routine and ingrained habits come back, and the newly-undertaken sexual revival begins to peter out. This isn’t Reset Sex, as it lacks Machiavellian intent; however, it is the equivalent of a well-intended New Year’s Resolution–“I’m going to start going to the gym”, “I’m going to lose weight”, etc. This is a well-intentioned attempt to revive the marriage bed and is not begun with a nefarious intention to merely reset the hurting spouse. Unfortunately, it is merely a promise without a plan.

Failure to plan is planning to fail.

This is a well-known business adage, and I like it. I realize that it comes from the business world, but there is real wisdom behind it that is applicable to all areas of our lives, and is an explanation of why Resolution Sex fails.

The Bridge Between Resolution Sex and Reality

When Wife and I began attending the Methodist church that we are now members of, the pastor applied a word to the Christian faith that I had never heard before:

Intentionality.

The concept that he presented was that we don’t achieve the things that we want in our lives by being slipshod in how we approach our desires. We intentionally work for them. And if we want to be good disciples of Jesus, we need to be intentional in our walk with Him. We will do the things that bring about the growth of Christian graces in our lives.

And this is absolutely applicable to marriage, as well. While a resolution is an attempt to find ways to break out of old habits and complacencies that had led to marital stagnation in the first place, failure to define real, achievable goals, to visualize just what will be involved in turning a couple’s intimacy around, just means that they, through misplaced deference and sensibilities, are going to try to blindly grope toward a goal that they can’t even describe. They, in essence, plan to fail because they fail to plan.

In my next post, I will talk about how being intentional can help you to transforming your marriage bed.

CSL

Disclaimer: I am not a counselor, doctor, or pastor. For that matter, Wife says I don’t play well with others. My advice and comments come from my concern for hurting Christian husbands and wives. Someone once said to me, “Church shouldn’t hurt”, and I believe the same thing goes for marriage. I’m going to call ‘em as I see ‘em, but please, don’t take my word as gospel. Yes, read what I say, pray about what I say, but do your own “due diligence.”

 

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“Stop pressuring me!”

pressure

(Let me preface this post, and stress as strongly as I can, this one caveat. If the cause of sexual gatekeeping/refusal in your marriage is due to legitimate issues of the past, such as seriously bad teaching or the result of past abuse, then sexual reluctance is understandable. Understandable, yes, but not necessarily permanent. If it comes to light that there has been past physical or spiritual abuse, then it is incumbent upon both, and I stress, BOTH, spouses to be understanding of each other and to work on healing, so that the marriage can be put on right footing.)

I realize that I haven’t written a post for this blog in a while, and I guess I apologize for that,… er, sort of. Unlike many of the other marriage and sexuality bloggers (whom I truly enjoy and honor), I don’t see myself as a writer. Instead, I’m more like that old guy that you know of who gets himself in a state and then proceeds to grace the world with his wisdom, whether wanted or not.

One of my aids for writing is my idea folder on my laptop, which contains word processing files with snippets of ideas or quotes that I’ve culled over time that I thought, somewhere in the past, might be a good topic to think on and to write about. This is a post that is triggered by one of those older snippets. Continue reading

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Are You Married to a Sex Skeptic?

skiptic

Many years ago, I made the following observation: Sermonizing is the sin of the deadly earnest, no matter what theological colors you may be wearing. As I have aged, all that I’ve observed of the world around me convinces me that I was wonderfully prescient back then.

For example, if your theology is Global Warming, then you come at the debate with the fervor of an Al Gore, demanding that anyone who disagrees with you be locked up or sent to re-education camps. And if your theology is abortion, then “By Billy Bedamned Hangtree, keep your laws off my body! Sorry, Kiddo, it sucks to be you ‘cause Mama wants to shake her groove thang!” Continue reading

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What Is Better, Anyway? pt. 2

better

In my last post, I commented on how refused husbands could relate to and apply the wisdom and knowledge that Chris Taylor, of Forgiven Wife, poured into her blogpost, “I Promise, I’ll Do Better.”

The first part of her post dealt with questions she recommended that a recovering refuser think about asking her husband in order to be intentional in rebuilding their marriage. She told how after discussions or fights about intimacy, she would say to her husband, “I promise, I’ll do better,” but not know what ‘Better’ looked like. I suggested that when refused spouses are given that amorphous promise, they start thinking about what ‘Better’ would actually look like. So, in this episode I want to present a couple of thoughts on her further suggestions about planning and communicating with your wife after your discussion.

Continue reading

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Hard Things to Hear #6: Lady, It’s Not About You!

(This is the sixth of a seven-part series; here are the links to part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, and part 7.)

In John 6:60, some objected to what Jesus was saying: “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”. While I’m not Jesus, there are some who will attest that I provoke the same reaction. Might be what I’m saying, but it’s possible it might be my manner. Be that as it may, I’m going to pull rank and lay some things on the line in the next few posts. I’m going to present some things that might be hard to hear, but trust me; forty-three years of marriage is coming at ya!

Last week, I laid into clueless, selfish husbands who refused to learn how to be lovers to their wives. I have read so many anti-testimonies from wives whose husbands have been clueless gits and treated sex as if it was simply a guy thing. You don’t know how good it felt to say some of the things I said in my last post. Unfortunately, too many guys get their ideas about sex from other bell-ends like themselves, and so know nothing about their obligations in marriage. Continue reading

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Hard Things To Hear, #5: It’s Not About You, Dude!

(This is the fifth of a seven-part series; here are the links to part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 6 and part 7.)

In John 6:60, some objected to what Jesus was saying: “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”. While I’m not Jesus, there are some who will attest that I provoke the same reaction. Might be what I’m saying, but it’s possible it might be my manner. Be that as it may, I’m going to pull rank and lay some things on the line in the next few posts. I’m going to present some things that might be hard to hear, but trust me; forty-three years of marriage is coming at ya!

This week, we are going to get down and dirty; we are going to talk about where the rubber meets the, uh, uh …  (sorry ’bout that). Guys, just because you have a dick doesn’t mean you have to be one, got it? (Wife will ream me for that line.) Guys, now that the women have all fainted, let’s talk. There is a famous line that says that a woman needs romance for sex, whereas all a man needs is friction. So, guys, you need to realize that just because you can have sex with a greased knothole, that doesn’t mean your wife can get turned on at the drop of your drawers. Continue reading

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The Why and How of My Now, part 5

(This is the fifth of a five-part series; here are the links to part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4.)

The Original Question

From the first post in the series:

“So you don’t believe in the institution of Marriage, do you?”

“No, not the Institution of Marriage that the Church teaches. What changed my perspective? Believe it or not, the beginning of the improvement of my marriage was the trigger.”

This must seem to be a real conundrum. Four years ago, I was a miserable old coot, praying to die, but holding the idea that “God hates divorce.” Now, I am an extremely happy man, ecstatic in his marriage, who believes that the Church is making people miserable by its rigid worship of Marriage. That just seems so incongruous. Doesn’t it seem like it would be the other way around, that the miserable man would have the “low view” of marriage and not the other way round? Continue reading

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The Why and How of My Now, part 4

(This is the fourth of a five-part series; here are the links to part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 5.)

So, New Year’s Eve, we had The Talk™, and as a result said talk, decided on our actions steps:

  •  me, prepare for the night and not the day.
  •  me, come to the bedroom with her while she goes to sleep.
  • us, schedule, ‘ahem’…. intimacy.

So, after The Talk™, we put everything into motion. Usually we have some TV time at dinner, with our daughters, until about 8:30-9:00. I moved my shower/shave portion of my day to after we finish our TV time. Continue reading

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The Why and How of My Now, part 3

(This is the third of a five-part series; here are the links to part 1, part 2, part 4 and part 5.)

So, there I was: old (61), retired, disabled, depressed. Who was I to think that I should still be able to enjoy intimacy with my wife, right? After all, that stuff is for the kids, randy little buggers that they are. I should have been telling myself, “CSL, you’re a Good Christian Husband™, and need to learn to suck it up and suffer for the Kingdom and Marriage, like GCHs™ have done down through the centuries.”

Yeah, well, I wasn’t dead yet, and I didn’t feel like being buried before my time. I told Wife that I felt we needed to talk, and so one night between Christmas and New Year’s, we went to our bedroom and talked. And talked. And talked. Continue reading

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The Why and How of My Now, part 2

(This is the second of a five-part series; here are the links to part 1, part 3, part 4, and part 5.)

So, there we were, in 2010. A Good Christian Couple (GCM™ and GCW™), not unhappy. But not happy, at all.

Me

Due to arthritis, sleeping downstairs, in a recliner. Because of her responses to harmless banter, I “knew” that she didn’t really like sex, and basically put up with it. So I stuffed down my wants to just once a month, so as not to “inflict myself upon her any further” (a line from Cat Ballou – I speak fluent Cinema.) December of 2010, I didn’t even bother, so we officially arrived at Sexless Marriage status – less than once a month. Continue reading

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