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Is marital sex a duty? Was I a "bad wife" for not supplying sex?

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Ms_Strong posted 6/17/2014 19:32 PM

I bumped into an old acquaintance that I haven't seen for 3 years who used to be friends with my XH. She's not very tactful and told me all about what my XH said about me while we were going through the divorce and it is troubling me.
The first thing she said was after I told her I was happy and in a long-term relationship, she said "That's good you're happy even though everybody said he's too young for you and it wouldn't last because he'll get tired of you". Yeah, really tactful.
Second thing she said, is that my XH told her that the reason he cheated was that he was "sick of having to be nice to my wife (me) so I could have sex with her once a week." Obviously the fact that he felt that he had to be nice and it wasn't coming from a genuine place is messed up. He used to complain that he wanted to have sex every night but I wouldn't feel like it. After he got home from work he was not very nice to me. Conversations were strained...He definitely acted like a dickhead and was not the nice guy I married. My question to you all on SI - Should sex with your spouse be something you expect as part of marriage? Or is it like when you're dating, that it might not happen? Was I wrong that I liked and still like to feel respected and treated nicely before any intimacy? Do you think that it is a duty of the spouse to supply sex if the spouse wants it but communication and emotional intimacy isn't always there?

fireproof posted 6/17/2014 19:36 PM

No I don't think it is a requirement but I also think if this is a main issue for either people they should voice their concern or seek therapy to find a middle ground.

That being said having to or being forced out if your comfort zone on this area is in my opinion a No.

It is about respecting yourself. Sounds like he was just venting.

persevere posted 6/17/2014 20:41 PM

I'm glad you refer to her as an acquaintance because she's clearly not a friend - what a bitch.

MovingUpward posted 6/17/2014 20:59 PM

Should sex with your spouse be something you expect as part of marriage?

Yes. If we continue to believe that sex outside the marriage is wrong then we are also saying that sex is to be within the marriage. Thus spouses should expect the marriage to be the outlet for sex.

Or is it like when you're dating, that it might not happen?

Yes to this too. Just because you are married you are not entitled to sex at any given moment. So there is a balancing that has to happen and this can get tough when partners have different drives and expectations. Although in a good marriage both partners will be working towards the partnership called marriage.

As for the acquaintance, pretty rude. As for your XH nothing is an excuse for cheating.

asurvivor posted 6/17/2014 21:12 PM

My X thought sex was her duty...Unfortunately it wasn't with me. "Insert cymbal noise here"

hexed posted 6/17/2014 21:16 PM


As my M disintegrted our sex life got worse and worse and it was never great. At the end I was performing out of a sense of obligation. He never forced me but it was awful.

I do think that sex is part of a healthy relationship. If the sex life isn't healthy then issues in the relationship might need to be addressed. We all have different sex drives and that should be addressed if its the only problem.

Sex should never be forced or an 'obligation' imo.

I have much more satisfying, passionate sex with my SO than I ever did with X husband. It is mostly because our overall relationship is better. We are also in agreement that a healthy sex life is important for our emotional connection. We talk about it and acknowledge it's importance. We make physical touch part of the day all day every day which leads to an easier connection. Its just a little extra touch on the arm, hand holding, kissing etc...not full blown gropefest or anything. Even if I'm not in the mood and he is, i feel a connection and intimacy that makes it pretty easy to get in the mood.

OTOH he is also understanding and loving if I'm just pooped, had a bad day or just not feeling it. There's no guilt, no pressure just tenderness. He knows that once in a while, its just not going to happen.

nowiknow23 posted 6/17/2014 21:33 PM

The word "duty" sets my teeth on edge. To me, sex and intimacy are an important aspect of a healthy relationship/marriage, and I wouldn't remain in a marriage without that. But duty? As in you owe sex to someone? Hell no.

Your second question - whether you were a bad wife? From your description, it sounds like a bad marriage - one that wasn't meeting anyone's needs. You weren't treated with respect or affection. Of course you wouldn't want to be intimate with someone who treated you like that. That doesn't make you wrong or bad - it reflects on the state of the relationship, not on you as a wife.

PhoenixRisen posted 6/17/2014 21:42 PM

ask not "is martial sex a duty?" but rather "is chatting with a tactless be-otch a duty?"

that answer to that is no

Don't let her make you question yourself. It's obvious she set out to mentally sabotage you with her comments from the get-go.

somer222 posted 6/17/2014 21:58 PM

What a witch she is!

You'll be doing yourself a huge favor the next time you see her to just walk away from her. Do not talk to her, do not engage on any level.

She intended to ruin your day. I think she succeeded. Toxic!

Maxiom posted 6/17/2014 23:09 PM

I don't post in NB often, but this is kind of a sore spot for me lately, but I do agree. Sex is not a duty, but it is a part of a healthy relationship.

In my circumstance, my wife and I have very different sex drive. Mine is off the charts.. hers.. well. I would say its not unhealthy, but its not even in the same ball park as mine. Its an issue, but one I hope we can work out. Still.. this does not entitle me to an affair.. nor would it entitle anyone to an affair.

Just the other day "The Women" was on TV.. and it got to the scene in the Lesbian bar where Debra Messing's character began the whole.. "what did you do to cause this?" Bull crap. Which pissed my wife off.. so she turned it off. With this innudation in media of cheater apologists, im not surprised at this is the prevailing mentality for the majority of people not affected by infidelity.

LydiaE posted 6/17/2014 23:37 PM

Duty sex is the worst-- for the giver and the receiver.

If sex has begun to feel like a duty or a chore, both partners in the marriage are to blame. One might be selfish or clueless or just not open to instruction. It is definitely a chore and a libido killer to feel pressured to perform sex acts that are painful, unsavory, or just plain banal.

The high sex drive/low sex drive phenomenon is also tricky. Often times the low sex drive spouse might blossom sexually with someone else. Often times the high sex drive spouse might just be really bad in bed. People who are mismatched sexually get married all the time.

Your ex is a jerk for saying that about you and your acquaintance sounds horrible. I always wonder about men who complain about wives/girlfriends rejecting them sexually. It is not really something I'd be bragging about if it were me. It would be an embarrassment.

Sad in AZ posted 6/17/2014 23:56 PM

Sex should never be a duty, but it should be an important part of a healthy marriage in some way, shape or form. Also, if you're sexually mismatched, there is going to be trouble, but no, it's not a reason to cheat.

It was very frustrating to me that the X was no where near as interested in sex as I was. When he developed ED, we moved to another form of sex, and it was what it was. I never considered him a 'bad husband' for not being as sexual as I was, though.

That's why it was so hurtful when I discovered he was using viagra with the OW--thousands of dollars worth. He wouldn't even discuss it with me. I even offered to pay for it. Bleh.

Sadmumma posted 6/18/2014 05:44 AM

Yes.. Sex should be a part of the marriage.

But I think within the marriage you also have a right to be respected and valued.

Communication communication communication.

But if he's an idiot, you can talk till the cows come home and he's still going to be an idiot and not get it.

NaiveAgain posted 6/18/2014 06:33 AM

1. Don't ever talk to that nasty hyena again. She doesn't have anything for you that you want/need to know.


Was I wrong that I liked and still like to feel respected and treated nicely before any intimacy
HELL no! Sex is not a duty. It is an expression of love and intimacy between two people. If one person treats you like crap all day, why would you want to get naked with them?


Do you think that it is a duty of the spouse to supply sex if the spouse wants it but communication and emotional intimacy isn't always there?
I think it is the duty of both partners to talk about it. If one partner wants sex, but the other is not feeling the bonding necessary to be in the mood, then it is time for discussion.


That's good you're happy even though everybody said he's too young for you and it wouldn't last because he'll get tired of you".
My SO is 20 years younger than me. We have been together now for 1 1/2 years. We are very happy. When someone says things like "everybody says".....she is trying to hurt you and also make it sounds like she is the authority on this subject and the entire rest of the world is against you, because she has "everybody" on her side and she is authorized to speak for "everybody." The only people I know personally that talk like that are sociopaths who have to use the term "everybody" because they realize that what they alone say just isn't that important.

he was "sick of having to be nice to my wife (me) so I could have sex with her once a week
So, if he really said that, he is a tool.

I obviously feel strongly about this subject, but here is what happens when you tell someone it is their duty to have sex with someone because they are married.....being the good little "insert my former religion" girl I was, I felt it was my duty to have sex with my first husband to keep him satisfied and happy in the marriage. He ignored me, treated me like a servant, didn't care about my emotional needs, and was very controlling. I would lay there and stare at the ceiling, sometimes while tears ran down my face, while waiting for him to hurry up and finish. Never again. I actually love sex and with my new SO, who takes the time to make sure my emotional needs are met and makes me feel like a priority, the only time I am not in the mood for him is when I am sick.

Sex is not a duty. It is a privilege and a sacred expression of the bond between two people. When that bond starts to crack, it needs to be fixed or it is time to move on.

[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 6:34 AM, June 18th (Wednesday)]

EvenKeel posted 6/18/2014 07:31 AM

Geez avoid this person going forth! She has nothing positive for you.

I agree with you. No one should have to have $ex in or out of a M. When I found out my X was cheating, something very intimate died inside of me. I tried to continue to have sex, but it was all mechanics.

When I found out the running around continued; I was done emotionally. I stopped having sex with him.

To have sex with him when my heart wasn't there, was like being violated. It was such a sad, empty feeling.

But the past is for your NB relationship , how do you feel now? Do you feel that connection and desire?

I was so worried something might of permanently died inside of me during my M because I lost all desire. I am so happy to report that is not the case. I have been able to connect very deeply (and sensually) in my NB relationships. Have you been able to reconnect?

SBB posted 6/18/2014 07:32 AM

I have a much higher libido than the sad clown - I always have. I would do it every night if I could. My libido is back to that level now but for the last few years of that M it disappeared. I blamed having kids but in reality it was because we were completely disconnected.

He was unkind to me, emotionally abusive, distant, moody, tired, uninvolved in our life, unplugged and had PE issues (I love a quickie, I don't need much foreplay and am very quick/easy to orgasm but 2 mins every time bugs the shit out me - it felt disrespectful) - all of this killed my libido. I barely even masturbated.

I still initiated and responded to sexual contact around 3 times per week. It wasn't enjoyable, mostly BJs for him and he was done in 2 mins or sometimes too drunk to come (I hate stinking drunk sex).

There was no connection yet he's trying it on and get angry when I rebuffed him or would get angry that I wouldn't give him a BJ even though I had told him I wanted sex because it had been BJs the last few times. Didn't matter.

I'm sure he has blamed my lack of libido for his cheating. Never mind that for the first 6 years he knocked me back more often than not.

So no - sex isn't a duty. It is an aspect of connection and intimacy, not the only one or even the most important one.

Since I got rid of him my libido came back with a vengeance. I don't have to deal with PE, ED, moodiness and disrespect.

norabird posted 6/18/2014 08:26 AM

Was I wrong that I liked and still like to feel respected and treated nicely before any intimacy?

I just want to weep t this question! Honey, no, you are not wrong. You should have been treated with love and care and you were not; a drop in sex (to a pretty normal level for a long-term couple, I think) is the fallout of HIS behavior and rests on him.

You had a bad husband--that is why you didn't want to have sex. He blamed you because he is probably an entitled asshole.

We all deserve to have sex from our partners if we treat them lovingly and with understanding that sometimes life gets away.

But a slip of paper saying you are married does not equal a 'redeem for sex regardless of how you treat your partner' voucher.

I am so sorry that this acquaintance has brought back a feeling of guilt or responsibility. If someone expected me to have sex with them and yet gave me no kindness or attention, I would never want to be intimate with them--and I have a pretty high libido.

Ready_to_run posted 6/18/2014 10:30 AM

If you believe in marriage in the biblical sense then we are to become one person once we are married and our bodies are no longer our own anymore. So, yes in that sense, it does become part of the deal and we are not to deny our bodies to our mates. (unless of course we are physically unable)

If you don't believe in the biblical context of marriage then I guess you just get to make up your own rules and that is where confusion reigns IMO.

tabitha95 posted 6/18/2014 10:56 AM

I love having sex with someone who makes me feel special. When I was the only one taking care of the house, kids (when they were small and needed constant care), bills, pets, etc....all while having a job....and then I wasn't greeted with a hug or kiss or even nice words to make me feel special...then I didn't really want to have sex with him. Wasn't it his duty to support me in non-sexual ways?

InnerLight posted 6/18/2014 14:29 PM

I think it's the duty of the husband to create an atmosphere in which his wife is open to receiving his sexual advances. Kind, thoughtful, considerate actions and gestures come first.

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