The sin of busyness?

June 25, 2012

in Change, Comments, Marriage Killer, Seeing Clearly

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Know when to stop

One huge thing in the Why I say no to sex survey was a lack of time. Both men and women say no to sex because they’re too tired. Unless you have a new baby, being tired most of the time probably means you’re too busy. “Too busy” is an enemy of marriage, killing some outright and leaving others crippled, maimed, or dying.

I’m sure most of you are thinking “I wish someone would say this to my wife”. Good news: my wife does that often. Now the bad news: too busy isn’t just a female problem! Too busy is a way of life for Western culture, and it’s especially bad in the States. Even as we do too much, most of us feel guilty for not doing enough! This madness is doing horrible things to marriages, health, sanity, and our society as a whole. The question I have for you is this: Are you going to stand up and say “NO MORE!”? No matter what your bride does, are you ready to do what is right even though it is not what your culture expects of you?

I can’t point to a scripture saying busyness is sin, but the inevitable results of busyness are clearly contrary to the life God had called us to live. Being too busy, and especially being too busy all the time, is wrong. It’s also destructive. 

Agree? Disagree? Feel trapped? Sound off in the comments!

This is one of seven posts about busyness:

The sin of busyness? 
Too busy because too much is too important
Checkpoints
Playing “the kids” card
Employment and priorities 
Too busy for good sex 
When church/ministry makes you too busy

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22 comments
nhusband
nhusband

 I have a question. I'm married for 13 years now. I'm still extremely attracted to my wife but she doesn't want to have sex frequently anymore. 1 or 2 times a month if i'm lucky. I tried to talk to her numerous times and she always states that she likes sex but she doesn't feel like having it - not in the mood. I asked if i can do/change something to increase her desire but she always states that everything is great but she is not in the mood. It is becoming extremely frustrating to me because she never seems to be in the mood when i want to have sex but i always have to say yes when she finally gets in the mood. Sex is becoming a topic of stress and tension instead of connection and intimacy. We also now don't try anything "different". It is always the same sex.  

themarriagebed
themarriagebed moderator

@nhusband  I would say you need to work to get her to understand how big a problem this is for you. If she understands she will hopefully be willing to work on it. If she understands and is unwilling, then your problem is not sexual, it's about selfishness. 

nhusband
nhusband

@themarriagebed she definitely understands. We had long talks but she always goes back to "i'm not in the mood". She keeps saying there is nothing she can do. For me it is very strange because i would think that if you like something you would want to do it more not less. Especially if you know that it will create issues in the relationship.

themarriagebed
themarriagebed moderator

@nhusband @themarriagebed  She may have guilt over it. Some women feel bad about enjoying sex because of bad teaching in their past. Others feel they don't deserve to do things they enjoy, which is more about low self-image.

migraine man
migraine man

I married to my wife for 3years now. Fist few month was something like 1x month more when we tryed for a baby but after my son was born we ended having sex one every 6-8 month only. She always complain when I make advances. When I return home after busy work im tired yet I see andd asked she is all fine not really tired but asoon as I make a advance on her then she is tired and got a migraine. I dont know what else to do. This is putting alot of strain on our marriage life. I feel we should be having more sex per week for the few years we are married now. She also still want a nother child but at this point I dont think our marriage will make it if a second child is there. Then shell find more excuses not to have sex. Im at a lost with my marriage.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@migraine man The longer you continue in the status quo the harder it will be to change.

I doubt she is happy with the current situation, but for her the issue may not be about sex. You need to find out what is not as she would like it. Do whatever is right and reasonable for you to do, then help her do what she needs to do to change what she does not like. Then make a bigger deal about changing your sex life.

Work on what she's unhappy about first, then it's your turn.

jraghuvir
jraghuvir

Thanks for offer to help.

We have one daughter who is 3 year old and I am 38. My wife is 33.

I have done everything possible to help - done every single chores including cooking, putting my daughter to sleep every day, I take my daughter out for many hours so that she can have free time. Nothing has worked.

So it seems that I should get her to see a doctor. What kind of doctor though? Just a family physician?

Also what if she just doesn't want to have sex? I mean if after seeing doctor, and confirming that everything is normal? she just says she doesn't want to sex - if I want she can offer to masterbate me. What do I do then?

Practice celibacy? I am ready to try that out. Sincerely. I know it can work. There are monks who do that - their focus is meditation, service to the world. Don't you think when Gandhi was thinking of whole country, he probably didn't care about his sexual desires? It is possible, no?

Seperating from my wife is not an option. Firstly, she loves me, we have daughter, we want to have another child and finally, I think there is more to life then my sexual desire. What if my wife died and I never got married? That would be it for my sexual life, right?

May be I will miss out on intimacy front, but world needs so much help, I can just keep doing my volunteering work (I teach meditation) and I love music, so just focus my energy just on that.

At least one good thing is that she clearly has said that she doesn't want to have sex, and has no excuse - it was hard to clearly even say that - perhaps it was too embarrassing for her to admit as she knows very well that I want sex - and I want to clarify that even once a month for me would be fine, even once in 2 months would be fine. But she just says no sex at all - so it is not about frequency.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@jraghuvir If there is no physical reason for her lack of drive there is likely a mental/emotional reason. Those can be overcome, but she has to want to work on it.

It is exceptionally rare for a couple to have a solid long-term marriage without a decent sex life. I'm not going to say it never happens, but I've never seen it where both are happy and they still connect well as a couple. Sex is far more than physical pleasure and it is a necessary part of a healthy marriage. If your wife can understand that, perhaps she will be motivated to work on sex for the sake of the marriage.

FRD60
FRD60

So what DOES the husband do in this situation??

I've been married a little over 20 years. Sex has gone from maybe once a week, to once a month, to every few months, to now every few years.


When I met my wife I did not just fall in love because she was beautiful (she was and still is), but funny and we enjoyed doing the same things. Our first date was a hike up a mountain together where we looked at the stunning view of the valley below.


While I had premarital sex with other partners, she did not believe in this and I respected that. Now I think that was a big mistake. While others point out the divorce rate for those who participate in premarital sex I would submit that it is higher because those who refrain from it are normally religious and stick with dead marriages due to biblical teachings.


I gave up my career for my wife's. I take care of the kids, cook and clean the dishes. I do everything I can to make sure she is not tired and care for her. I keep myself fit. I think I have been an attentive, caring lover. All has been for naught. There is NO physical contact between us unless I initiate it. If she does touch my I almost think something is wrong.


She comes home and plops in front of the TV and stays there until she goes to bed. When I try to get her to walk the dog with me, go on a date, something, anything, I get nowhere. It's been that way since almost day one of our marriage.


I've gotten to where I go to bed later than her to avoid the frustration and anger I feel in bed. Several years ago I turned to pornography. Yes it was wrong, but I felt it was better than having an affair. Of course she discovered it, things got worse and I went through the humiliation of having people in church find out. I think in some ways it was a relief for her as she now had an excuse for denying sex.


I know every time I hear of a man leaving his wife it is the same thing. The church members cluck about how evil the man was to run off with another woman. My thought? He was not getting cake at home so when he was offered some at a bakery he took it.


Personally I get pretty upset with what I hear in church at times. I think if most in my church had their way there would only be 38 books in the old testament, not 39. Any guess which one they would cut? One guess- there is NEVER a bible discussion on it except at marriage seminars and it is very, very rarely quoted.


So again, what does one do? This has gone on so long. I've obviously tried talking to her. She even admitted recently that she never really liked sex that much.


I still love my wife and love how she looks. The thought of hurting her horrifies me and I try to keep reminding myself that we are taught to love our wives as Christ loved the church. He died for me, so I must endure. Our kids are teens and I am convoluted. I don't want to leave for them, but they are old enough to see our marriage and I don't like what they are learning from it. My parents did not have a marriage like this- I don't want them to think this is how a marriage is suppose to be.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@FRD60 The chruch certainly has major fault in this, and I am the first to discuss that. Family is also a huge factor - what we learn first we learn best.

After 20 years I doubt there is much hope she will change. Yes I've seen it, but it is exceptionally rare and it seems to be about the woman, not anything done by her husband or others. Must of us are unwilling to look at certain sins without ourself, and the longer we go, the less likely we are to confront our sins. Living in a church culture that allows or even supports ignoring our sins makes it even worse.

As to premarital sex, it does not work as you think. We've talked to plenty of couples who have all kinds of sex before marriage, then it was as if a switch were flipped when they said "I do". Premarital sex is not a predictor of what sex will be like after marriage.

believejmw
believejmw

Been together 15years with my husband. We have five kids together, the oldest being 12 and the youngest 6. My husband is always working late or it seems making excuses to not come home because I need his help with the kids when he does. I also work full time. When he get's home late: He wants sex. The moment I lay next to him after doing everything to get kids ready for next day of school...he immediately wants to touch me. I am tired, and I also feel it is all he wants from me. He does not want to talk, He does not want to help out as much with kids. He goes out a lot by himself, and I cannot because of no Baby sitter.....

He is verbally abusive at times...He is always involving his mother in our marriage and family issues...

I LOVE SEX!! But I don't know what to do... My marriage is falling ... I am scared .... Any advise???

He thinks I don't give him enough pleasure????? I do give him pleasure even when I really don't feel it with him???

ABP
ABP

What do you say to parents of special needs kids? Saying, "Unless there is a new baby in the house" isn't accurate. Sometimes there are actual legitimate reasons for stress and busyness. It's exhausting, and most marriage blogs aren't exactly helpful in that regard. "Just make time for each other" or "stop doing so much" isn't always practical advice.

mudanis
mudanis

My wife told me: "I don't like sex". That was it. after 12 yrs of pretending she put a stop to any physical activity. She cant tell me why and refuses to do anything about it. Having a religious background means I have no avenue of release. I see more and more people with this problem. All the experts can do is give obviously stupid and selfish advice like: have an affair, do something to make her jealous, masturbate frequently, or even rape her. yep. expert advice. where the hell did we go wrong?!?!

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@mudanis Yes this is a growing problem - for both men and women who have a spouse who is unwilling to have sex or to have it reasonably frequently.

In part I blame the chruch for not teaching about this. We rightly tell people that adultery is sin, but we ignore what the Bible clearly says about saying no to sex with our spouse.

We also fail to address with with couples before marriage. 

Jonathon
Jonathon

My wife is so tired all the time. She works as a teacher and when she gets home she is still working, either grading papers or trying to work on something in regards to the education system standards. Its really frustrating to me. I feel real fourth rate to her. We've been married for 7 years and I'd say 5 years ago when she started working I really saw a change. We went from having sex the first 2 years 5x a week to maybe 3x a month. It got so bad that I started keeping track how much we were having sex per month a few years ago and literally we have decreased significantly in the last 5 years. I don't know, I feel like she's married to her job and sleeping. I really think she's done with me. I don't want to bring it up because in her last marriage her ex-husband only wanted sex and I don't want to be compared to him. But I'm really feeling like I have no energy left. I tried to bring it up the other night because I had mentioned to her that I would like to have some intimate time together and she seemed to be on board because she smiled and winked but when we got to bed she was asleep right when she hit the pillow. I'm really stressed. This has been getting worse for the last 5 years and I'm to the point where I don't know what I'm going to do.

Pearl
Pearl

Un-busy is hard for mom's to understand. It's a snowball effect, too. It starts small and keeps building. If you're not aware, pretty soon you are just holding on for the ride because the schedule is so crammed. I was in the midst of the 'sin of busy.' But, I came to realize the best thing I could do for my kids was mentor a happy marriage and dote on their father. In the adult world, adults don't have every whim satisfied. Kids don't need their every whim satisfied either.

Andrew Jardine
Andrew Jardine

Thank you. The kids thing is a great example. My wife's extreme busyness has generally been in causes that I think are good. But when do you your church assignment 150%, but can only muster 10-15% for romance and sex, that is evil.

Joe
Joe

God's word instructs us to be good stewards of our time. Good stewardship seems to be a delicate balance between being too busy and being too lazy - whether it's part of the time or all of the time.

Marv
Marv

My bride says if our kids want to do a sport or activity we shouldn't say no. I tell her that if it means we're always running them somewhere with no downtime it's too much. Her answer is "It's for the kids, how can we say no".

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