From WOMEN’S DAY
Excuse #1: I’m too tired tonight.
Raise your hand if you’re not tired. Between jobs, kids and housework, we’re all running on empty. But careful you’re not using “too tired” as shorthand for “I don’t want to deal with you right now,” says Steinorth.
Bust out: First, sex usually doesn’t take that much time away from sleep (and you might sleep better!). Second, if you really mean there’s too much on your mind, say so: “I’m occupied with the bills/the bathroom leak/my boss’s attitude.” Clearing the air can clear the way for sex.
Excuse #2: I have work to do.
Reaching for the computer, checkbook or laundry basket right when your man is reaching for you is classic avoidance, says Steinorth. We all have busy times; don’t let it become a pattern.
Bust out: Gut check: Does whatever you’re doing have to be done now, or can it sit until tomorrow, asks April Masini, relationship expert at AskApril. If tech is your sex-avoidance crush, banish it from the bedroom entirely. Having it in reach makes it easier to call your smartphone addiction “work,” she says.
Excuse #3: I’m not happy with my body right now.
“Women tend to put vanity ahead of intimacy,” says Masini. When your man wants sex, though, he doesn’t care about a muffin top or thighs that touch; he cares that you want him, too.
Bust out: If you think losing a few pounds will make you feel sexier, go for it, but don’t feel your body has to be “perfect.” Merely trying to improve your physical self (eating better, getting more exercise) can be a boost. And do little things that make you feel sexier, such as getting a new haircut or lingerie.
Excuse #4: The kids might walk in or need us.
Either of these can happen, admits Masini, but offering this excuse is usually a holdover habit from the infant/toddler days.
Bust out: You can try asking friends or relatives to let your kids sleep over, and return the favor when they need it. But remember that your relationship should be primary, says Steinorth. “If you make it clear to your kids that mom and dad have private time now and then, you’re modeling a good relationship and teaching them boundaries.” So put a lock on your bedroom door, and run a fan or white-noise machine.
Excuse #5: We do it X number of times a week. I read that was average.
When your partner asks for sex and you come back at him with an “average” argument, you make him feel bad for wanting you, says Carole Lieberman, MD, psychiatrist and author of Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets. Besides, averages include couples who have sex 12 times a week and those who do it once a year.
Bust out: “It doesn’t matter what anyone else’s frequency is, only what the two of you want,” says Dr. Lieberman. If you two, like many couples, have mismatched libidos, talk about it and try to meet in the middle.
Excuse #6: There’s too much good stuff on TV.
Sounds lame (and you can sub out TV for the Internet and video games), but sometimes entertainment replaces real life, says Masini. Although staying up for Breaking Bad while your husband goes to bed one night won’t hurt anything, always choosing fictional characters over your flesh-and-blood hubby can harm your marriage.
Bust out: Of course you can simply invest in a DVR, but on a serious note, Steinorth suggests powering down all electronic entertainment an hour before bed.
Excuse #7: Our schedules don’t mesh.
You’re sacked out by 9 and up at dawn, and he’s the opposite? Mismatched biorhythms, not to mention real-world scheduling issues, such as night shifts or early commute times, are common in couples.
Bust out: Who says sex has to happen at a mutual bedtime? “Don’t feel guilty about scheduling sex-it’s a good thing!” says Steinorth. Hit the sack when your partner does, and then stay up late. Or, if you can, meet for lunch. “Embrace the quickie,” says Masini. “It’s not a great long-term solution, but it is a way to preserve intimacy.”
Excuse #8: I have my period.
He wants it and you want to curl up with a hot water bottle? This comes down to a difference in comfort-and squeamishness. But using your period as a blanket excuse is a missed opportunity to talk about how you both feel.
Bust out: If having sex during your period isn’t your cup of tea, he should respect that, but intercourse isn’t your only option those days. Also, showers do wonders for messes. “Make compromises and be generous,” recommends Masini.
Excuse #9: I’m mad at you right now.
There’s always something to be mad about, from minor annoyances (the toilet seat’s up again?) to larger upsets (can’t believe his mom is coming on our couple’s getaway!). But if anger’s a stalling tactic for being intimate (“when you apologize and I’m convinced you mean it, I’ll have sex with you”) you’re hurting the relationship, says Dr. Lieberstein.
Bust out: If you’re feeling resentful, or even mildly pissy, tell your partner and work on resolving issues. Or don’t! “The sex alone may ease the anger, or make the thing you were so angry about seem less important,” says Masini.
Excuse #10: What’s the point? I never orgasm anyway.
Ouch. Also: Yikes. “When you write off the possibility of enjoying sex, you aren’t giving him an opportunity to improve his skills as a lover,” says Steinorth. And you’re selling yourself short, too.
Bust out: Imagine how you’d feel if he told you that you didn’t ever please him. You’d be upset, and you’d want to know what to do to make it better. Tell him. Your silence (and belief that he should just “know”) is doing no one any favors.
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