How to deal with sexual rejection

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by Atomicflea, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. Atomicflea

    Atomicflea Fapstronaut

    Apologies this may be triggering to some.

    Last night I was feeling frisky in bed and teased my husband until he was erect. There was no movement from him, nothing to indicate him partaking in lovemaking. I stopped and he spoke about something unrelated to what I had just done. He then cuddles me and starts to nod off. I can’t keep things quiet so I ask him if he wanted to have sex (something I hate asking bc it just kills the mood and I don’t want pity sex) and he thought I didn’t want to have to sex?! He goes to sleep and I stayed up just staring at the ceiling.

    I’m at a loss. I just gave him a handjob (no O) and he thought I didn’t want sex. He knows I’m a very sexual person. We had a baby 7 months ago so the evenings when our baby is asleep is our magic hour. My self esteem is already rock bottom and I feel crushed by this. Am I being unreasonable? I don’t know what to do or say? I’m kicking myself for initiating.

    He’s been PM free for 145 days but lately he’s been feeling a bit depressed. He says he hasn’t relapsed and there hasn’t been any indication he’s watched P or Psubs on our accountability software. So I’m not sure how to handle this.

    Cheers in advance.
  2. anewhope

    anewhope Fapstronaut

    Dealing with rejection is difficult but it is an important topic, not least because it is closely related to consent. And it shares the same solution as consent: honest, open, respectful and considerate communication - something that is not easy to practise all the time, even when a relationship is strong, and is more difficult to maintain when there are problems you are struggling to overcome.

    For my example, I am going to switch the sexes around, but I hope we would all agree that the same principles should apply whatever the sexes/genders of the couple involved.

    Adam and Eve have been together for a couple of years and have an active and healthy sex life. One evening, snuggled on the sofa, Adam starts stroking Eve, moving quickly from her shoulders to her breasts. Eve is tired and just doesn't feel like sex. It is clear that Adam is in the mood and wants to make love, so she lets him carry on for a while, in case he is able to awaken some sexual reponse in her body. After a few minutes, Eve decides it's just not going to happen, his touches aren't turning her on and she doesn't want to continue. Should she feel compelled to have sex, even when she doesn't want to, or does she have the right to say 'no'? Of course she must be in control of what happens to her body and must be able to say 'no'. And if she indicates 'no' then of course Adam must respect that and stop what he is doing. He should not try to persuade, cajole or guilt-trip her into saying 'yes', or carry on because she's normally fine with it, she 'led him on' by not stopping him earlier, or simply because he is really, really horny!

    But there are obligations on Eve too. Not legal ones, but obligations arising from their relationship and their love for each other. She needs to find the right way to say 'no' to Adam, a way that is respectful of his feelings and shows him that just because she doesn't want sex at that moment, that doesn't mean that she loves him any less or finds him any less attractive. She has the legal right to withdraw her consent and make that clear in any way she chooses, but saying 'stop that at once', 'get your hands off me,' 'fuck off' or simply shrugging off his hands and turning away in a sulk are not showing him respect and not likely to strengthen their relationship.

    However she says 'no', Adam is likely to be disappointed, but if she does it well AND he is mature and respectful in return then he won't feel rejected. And importantly, he won't be put off from initiating another time.

    She could say:

    'I'm sorry Adam, I love you so much but my body just doesn't feel sexy tonight so I don't want to make love. Can I give you a quicky instead?'


    'I'm sorry, Adam, I love you to bits, but I don't feel at all sexy tonight - I think it might be stress from work. I'm sure I'll feel horny again soon, and when I do, I'll ravage you! Let's watch our favourite show together'

    And, at this point, Adam will be feeling horny, frustrated and disappointed but he must demonstrate his maturity and his love and respect for Eve by listening to what she is saying to him, understanding her feelings and not allowing his disappointment to turn into feelings of rejection.

    All rather easier said than done, and easier to script in a fictional scenario than put into practice in a real-world relationship!

    So, returning to your situation. You kept saying that your husband 'thought you didn't want sex.' Unless he is extremely obtuse, I am sure he knew you wanted sex, but for whatever reason, he didn't. And that was his right. There are many reasons why he might not have been in the mood - you hinted at depression as being a possibility. And that was his right. However, he didn't make the effort to communicate properly to you why he didn't want to make love, to take care of your feelings and to make sure you didn't feel rejected.

    This is a very difficult area and one in which my wife and I struggled in the past. Letting someone down gently in such a way that they don't feel rejected is really, really difficult. Equally, accepting a 'no' and not allowing yourself to be resentful is just as difficult. The only way out of it is open, honest and respectful communication. I think you and your husband need to have a talk about this specific issue. Make it two sided, not specific to him turning you down, but say that you want to find a way to deal better with those inevitable times when one of you feels horny and the other doesn't. Say you want to make sure whoever hears a 'no' feels respected, not rejected.

    Sorry that this was such a long and rambling reply. I hope there is something in it that you find useful.

    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
    SodaSuds, kropo82, Tannhauser and 6 others like this.
  3. Atomicflea

    Atomicflea Fapstronaut

    Thanks for responding @anewhope That was really helpful. I read your reply to my husband and he agreed especially where we both need to improve on. We have a game plan to hopefully improve on our communication and to make sure I don’t feel rejected and he doesn’t feel pressured to perform. Like you said it’s easier said than done and it’s such a fine balance. Ours is an interesting situation where I have always had a higher libido than my husband so it’s finding the right balance for our mismatched libidos especially while he recovers. Thanks again. *big hugs*
    anewhope, Jennica and Trappist like this.
  4. anewhope

    anewhope Fapstronaut

    Another illustration of what sexual rejection feels like when badly handled.

    On your way home to your wife, you pass the patisserie and see two beautiful, handmade cream cakes. You know they are her favourite. The assistant puts them carefully in a presentation box and wraps it in pale blue ribbon. You carry it home carefully, thinking of how pleased your wife is going to be and what a treat it will be to sit down together and savour every mouthful. By the time you get home, you are practically salivating. 'I've got a surprise for you dear,' you announce and lead her to the dining table so she can unwrap her present. She lifts out the little tray, and there they are in all their irresistable glory.
    'I'm not hungry,' she says. 'Oh, and that means you can't have yours either,' and she tips them both in the garbage and walks out.

    Lilla_My, kropo82, Atomicflea and 3 others like this.

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