So you’re not in the mood? We get it. It felt like just when your head hit the pillow last night, your alarm went off. The day was more of the same—rushing to get the kids to school, rushing to work, driving to sports practices, running by the store to pick up something for dinner, dashing in to cook, cleaning up after the kids, homework, and getting everyone to bed. But you’re not finished yet. Your husband seems to have energy for one more thing: sex. What do you do when you’re just not in the mood?
OK, we know this is a sensitive subject. On one extreme you’ll hear from those who say you should always have sex when your husband wants to, no matter how you feel. On the other side of the debate, you have those who say that if you don’t want to, you shouldn’t have to. End of story. We tend to take the middle ground, so here are 4 things you can do when you’re not in the mood.
1. Be honest about why you’re not in the mood.
There will be times when you really can’t have sex—you have a migraine, you got two hours of sleep the night before, you’re an emotional mess after a parent-teacher conference. At times like those, be honest with your husband about why you’re not in the mood. Let him know you love him and that nothing he’s done has caused your refusal. And try to let him know that you will have sex as soon as you’re able. You can even schedule a rain check so he knows you have good intentions. If there’s a bigger problem in your marriage that’s leading you to not be in the mood more often than not, talk to him about it.
2. When you can do it, say yes.
There will be times when you’re not in the mood but you actually can have sex, even if you’re not 100 percent into it. You may be the usual “mom tired” or maybe you have a lot on your mind. In those instances, as best as you can, go ahead and have sex.
Marriage requires sacrifice, so even if you’re not in the mood, doing something for your husband’s pleasure is showing him love and honoring your marriage.
3. Try to relax.
Some women think there’s something wrong with them because they don’t want to jump between the sheets with their husbands as soon as the kids are asleep. But let’s give ourselves some grace here. It’s hard to shift gears from being hung on by kids to wanting to be touched by a man.
When you’re not in the mood, do something to help yourself relax. Create a buffer zone between the demands of the day and romance at night. Ask your husband for 30 minutes to shower, lay on the couch, have a cup of tea… anything that doesn’t require cleaning, planning, or cooking.
4. Act as if.
A wise woman here at iMOM says she tries to have sex when her husband wants to because she knows it’s good for her marriage, because she loves her husband, and because she understands that he has more physical needs than she does. So what does she do when she’s not in the mood? She pours herself a glass of wine and acts as if she is in the mood. Often, she says, by the end of their time together, she’s actually enjoyed it.
And if you think that acting as if is somehow insincere or inauthentic, think about what we do for our children even though we don’t feel like it. We do it out of love.
How do you handle your husband’s request for sex when you’re not in the mood?