Why would you do this to someone you love?
By Kim Olver — Last updated on Jun 10, 2023
Photo: Hananeko_Studio / Shutterstock
As a Choice Theory expert, I know that trying to guilt your wife into having sex will be a lose/lose/lose proposition. You will not have the enthusiastic sex partner you really crave, she will not be feeling amorous toward the person who coerced her, and your relationship will grow weaker because of it.
Whenever one partner tries to get the other partner to do something they don’t want to do, either through complaints, threats, or guilt, the result is akin to pounding a sledgehammer against a concrete foundation.
The first couple of times, maybe nothing happens. After some time, you may notice a chip in the concrete, then a crack and eventually, you will be left standing in the concrete rubble holding the sledgehammer wondering what happened to your relationship!
Trying to externally control your wife into having sex will set up a situation where she will want to do it even less.
External forces only go so far when it comes to intimacy
So what do you do if your wife doesn’t want to be intimate? I know there is only one reason people do anything — it’s because they want to. If your wife isn’t having sex with you, it’s because not doing that is what she wants.
You may be thinking you can get a lot of people to do what you want by being convincing enough and you might be right. But the reason they would comply with what you are asking isn’t because of your convincing argument, which is external.
If your goal is for your wife to want to be intimate with you, then stop using external behavior like complaining, threatening, and guilt-ing. Start by asking for what you want and then, listen, really listen, to both her verbal and nonverbal responses.
If she wants to, she will. If she says she wants to but then does not, you can be fairly sure she doesn’t want to. So again, what are you to do?
You can’t always get what you want
How do you make anyone do what you want? You can’t! Try holding a gun to the head of a person who doesn’t care if they live or die and you will likely not be successful in getting them to do something they don’t want to do.
But if you can provide information that will make the person want to live, then it’s possible for you to get what you want.
In relationships, there is typically a person who lives for the sex and the other who lives for the romance. In the beginning of a relationship, both things are abundant.
Later on, though, at some point, one or both of you will slack off a bit. Perhaps, you will pull back from the romance and your wife will pull back from sex ever so slightly.
In the beginning, you may not even notice. But over time, if the frequency intensifies, it can feel like a painful rejection.
If you are like most couples, you won’t recognize your complicity in this deterioration but will only notice your partner’s lack of enthusiasm and wonder why she changed. A relationship needs both sex and romance to survive.
Change your source of motivation — focus on her
For you to get what you want, you must counterintuitively stop thinking about what you want and begin to think about what your wife wants. This is counterintuitive because we were all taught the Golden Rule as children — to treat others the way you want to be treated.
If you want more sex, then you are likely being more sexual with your wife when what she craves is romance. Conversely, if she wants more romance, she is likely to be more romantic with you when what you crave is sex. Both of those approaches exacerbate the situation.
As a couple, let me introduce you to the new and improved Platinum Rule by Dr. Tony Alessandra. The Platinum Rule says, “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.”
If you want more sex, you need to be more romantic. If your wife wants more romance, she needs to be more sexual but this article is about how to “get your wife to have sex” with you so I’m mostly talking to you when I say be more romantic with your wife.
Emotional intimacy first, then physical
Romance starts long before you get to the bedroom. You want to show your wife that she is the most important person in the world to you.
When a woman feels that way internally, she will be feeling more sexual toward you. You need to be careful though about your motivation. If you are only being romantic to “get” your wife to have sex, you will become frustrated the moment she doesn’t immediately respond.
You need to be more romantic because you recognize how important it is for your wife to feel special and want to have sex with you.
Looking at Gary Chapman’s love languages. What is it that your wife appreciates most? Quality time, an act of service, words of affirmation, physical touch (non-sexual), or gifts?
In order to get what you want, you need to set the stage for supplying what it takes for your wife to internally want to be intimate with you.
Do you need to shower first, brush your teeth, or clip your nails? Do you want to set the stage with candlelight? Do you want to help cook the meal, or get the kids to bed? Remember you are going for her internal motivation to want to be with you.
You know her best. What do you think will help?
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Kim Olver is the author of Secrets of Happy Couples: Loving Yourself, Your Partner, and Your Life.