One of the problems with two of the three types of sex every married couple should have is that sometimes one spouse is not in the mood for sex.
Whether one spouse wants to be spontaneous or a romantic encounter has been on the calendar for a week, there are times when one person wants sex and the other does not.
These times can cause great frustration within a relationship. One can feel rejected, the other can feel pressured. Neither are the desired outcome. (See: What Your Husband Wants from You in Bed)
To help couples with this common frustration, I encourage implementing the 24–hour rule.
The 24–hour rule states: a spouse is free to turn down the initiation of sex by their spouse or to cancel planned sex for whatever reason they wish, but if they do so, they must initiate sex within 24 hours.
- Got a headache?
- Too tired?
- The house too messy?
- Is the game close?
- Just don’t feel like?
A person can turn down sex for whatever reason they wish, however, sex is important. It is a vital aspect of marriage. It is so important that if a spouse chooses to turn it down, they need a plan for the next encounter and they need to initiate the next encounter.
Consider the benefits of the 24–hour rule:
It frees us from pressure. Sex should not be the result of pressure or coercion. While a healthy sexual relationship demands discipline and all discipline means sometimes doing things we don’t feel like doing, when it comes to sex a person should always be free to say “no.” This gives such an opportunity.
It gives hope. How many spouses (especially men) have wondered to themselves or said out loud, “Are we ever going to have sex again?” The problem with being turned down for sex is rarely missing the event that night; it is far more about wondering when it is going to happen next. By communicating a time frame, it shows that one spouse is turning down sex for the moment, not forever. And it gives relief to the other spouse who knows sex will happen soon. (See: The Greatest Aspect of Sex)
It communicates expectations. One of the problems with being turned down for sex is it makes one less likely to initiate again. When a couple has gone some time without sex, they can get in a strange dance where no one knows what the other is thinking. This rule eliminates the confusion.
No rule can solve every problem and this rule will not be a quick fix to everything. However, it can help. The simplicity of it offers great freedom.
What is another rule which could help common frustrations regarding sex?