Constraint and Dedication in the Bedroom

A few days ago I wrote Dedication, Constraint and Staying Married and The Goal Should Be More Dedication talking about how dedication and constraint prevent divorce. The basic idea was that dedication is things that keep us married because we enjoy the relationship, while constraint is things that keep us married because leaving would cost too much.

Today I want to apply the ideas of dedication and constraint to our sex lives.

Constraint and Dedication in the Bedroom

If sex rocks your wife’s world, then she will be dedicated to having sex. She is drawn to it because she enjoys it (and because she is a woman that enjoyment might be as much or more emotional than physical). The constraint side would be the wife who has sex so her husband will stop asking, or because if he goes more than a few days he becomes a real bear to live with.

Constraint works for a lot of men… more or less. It does get them sex, but it’s not the kind of sex they want. It’s mercy sex or “let me know when you are done” sex. It’s certainly not sex she is enjoying, so it’s not adding any dedication on her part. It works for a while, but it eats away at her desire and willingness to have sex. More constraint than dedication is a sure way to have less and less sex year after year. It’s a death spiral that will never lead to more or better sex.

So how do you make sex something she wants to do? I realise a lot of you feel that will never happen. Some of that is on her, but odds are some of it is on you. Without knowing it you have said and done things that made sex unenjoyable for her. Chances are some of what you thought would being dedication were not seen that way by her.

If sex is a struggle in your marriage, I suggest you start thinking in terms of dedication and constraint. Reject constraint knowing it’s selling away the future of your sex life for a hand-out now. Take the long view; sacrifice today so it’s better in the future. 

One simple change is to not be grumpy over a lack of sex. I’m not saying don’t ask, I’m saying don’t gripe when she says no and don’t be rude or distant until she says yes. On the other side, when sex does happen, be extra loving and helpful. So from her perspective not having sex doesn’t make you mean, while having sex makes you much nicer. 

When it’s been a while and you’re desperately horny, don’t give in to using constraint to get sex. Even if it works, it’s not taking you where you really want to go.

Image Credit: © yumanda |
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2 Comments on “Constraint and Dedication in the Bedroom

  1. What about the sex a wife wants to have for her husband and the relationship but not necessarily for herself? Does it count if she’s dedicated to her husband’s needs and the relationship’s needs to place those needs above her own, even if she doesn’t get much out of sex for herself? Would that be considered dedication or constraint sex?

    I agree, positive reinforcement usually produces better results then negative reinforcement.

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