The Common Way Husbands Coerce Wives Into Sex, Without Even Realizing It

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Joined: Nov 2022

Photo: LightField Studios / Shutterstock The Common Way Husbands Coerce Wives Into Sex, Without Even Realizing It

I have a client whose marriage is struggling.

Her husband works too hard, has attention issues and doesn’t prioritize her. For years, she has been trying to get him to consistently notice her, to want to spend time with her, to enjoy the things they used to enjoy together. And, most days, she fails.

Unless she has sex with him.

Three reasons guilting-tripping your wife into sex is pure manipulation 

1. Spending time together isn’t optional — or a bargaining tool.

She tells me if she has sex with him, something she knows he wants twice a week, he will be way more willing to spend time with her.

So, she has sex with him, and he does something nice, then things go back to the way they always are, her feeling lonely and disconnected, him doing his own thing. Until they have sex again, and the wheel turns.



2. Making your partner feel guilty about sex damages the relationship.

Another client has sex with her husband twice a week because, if she doesn’t, she feels guilty. My client works full-time, manages her children’s schedules, and keeps the household running smoothly. Her husband helps, but she is the one who keeps the train on the track. More often than not, the last thing she wants to do at the end of the day is have sex.

Her husband wants it. He has made it clear he does and often sulks when he doesn’t get it. The next day, he is irritable, and the more time passes between sexual encounters, the less helpful he is around the house. My client believes she is responsible for this behavior because she didn’t have sex with him, and so she does begrudgingly.

3. Intimacy out of obligation is coercion. 

I am sure many women have found themselves in similar situations more than once and probably with different men throughout their lives. And I am sure many women have accepted this pattern is okay. Being told by men, “This is how it has always been. Men want sex, and women give it to them.”

Should women feel obligated to have sex with their husbands?

Is it okay that women must give their bodies to their husbands or boyfriends because that is “the way that it’s always been done,” or because some god says they must do it?

The coerced sex that still haunts me 

When I was in college, I was in a friends-with-benefits relationship. It was consensual, fun, and satisfying. Then, one day, he showed up at my dorm room, drunk. I had been studying and was in bed reading. He made it very clear that he wanted sex. I did not and said so, but he kept pushing it, kissing me, and touching me until we ended up in a position with him on top of me.

I remember so clearly, 40 years later, making a conscious decision at that moment to give in and let him have sex with me. After all, we’d had sex before, and I should give it to him and be done with it. So, I did. Surprisingly to me, I walked away feeling hollow, used, and hating myself. I have had a fraught relationship with sex ever since.

Some people might think my college experience was different from my clients. After all, they are married and want to do things to make their husbands happy. My question: Is it really that different?

The Common Way Husbands Coerce Wives Into Sex, Without Even Realizing It

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Should you ever have sex when you’re not in the mood?

My answer to this question: Only if it makes you feel good in the end. I am not saying we need to have an orgasm. What I am saying is when we are lying next to our man after sex, do we feel connected and loved?

Or do we feel like we have sacrificed our body for someone else? Even if we haven’t experienced any physical or mental pain, many women go into a sexual encounter un-enthusiastically. Some women ultimately might find pleasure, but most do not.

Sexologist Kassandra Mourikis states that having sex with someone because one feels guilty or because one feels it’s their responsibility can have physical and emotional consequences. During the sex act, if a woman isn’t ready, she can feel physical pain in the moment, not something anyone should feel during the act of sex.

Repeated instances of having sex as a duty can lead to avoiding any physical intimacy, no longer enjoying a sexual experience, and looking at sex as a duty instead of something enjoyable. Most importantly, having sex for someone else can lead to long-term mental health issues.

All this can ultimately lead to the death of the marriage, which is what a woman is trying to avoid by indulging her husband.

An internet search using the keywords “women must have sex with husbands” found hundreds of articles about why women are obliged to have sex with their husbands. But I think it’s time we question this age-old assumption and take a look at why we feel we must have sex with our men.

We must ask ourselves why we tolerate sex when we don’t feel like it and where this belief originates. Is it our responsibility to make our man happy at the expense of our relationship with sex and our mental health?

In my perspective, Ms. Mourikis sums it up perfectly: “Each person is responsible for meeting their pleasure,” women set their boundaries around sex and men by respecting those boundaries and taking their pleasure into their own hands.

Sexual abuse is very common.

RAINN reports that every 68 seconds, an American is a victim of sexual violence. Females are far more likely to be abused and assaulted, and 90% of victims who are adults are women. This is especially prevalent among women who also happen to be college students, which makes their risk three times greater.

Anyone affected by sexual assault can find support on the National Sexual Assault Hotline, a safe, confidential service.

Contact The Hotline or call 800-656-HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member.

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Alex Alexander is a pen name for an author at YourTango 

Source: YourTango


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