DH and I had an amusing conversation last night. We were about to turn in for the night when DH told me about an article which he recently read on Yahoo news. Legislation was passed in Afghanistan to allow the Shia men, an Islamic sect, to deny food and sustenance to their wives if they refuse to meet their husbands' sexual demands. I couldn't find the Yahoo news link but instead found this alternate link with a summary of the news. DH went on to tell me that the Shia men, on average, required sex at least 4 times a week from their wives.
I asked DH what his expectations were. "Is it 4 times as well?"
DH grinned and said, "No, it's 3 times a week."
"What if you don't get it?"
"I can't do anything about it. I don't control your food!" and he patted my tummy playfully.
I know that we have read in countless literature on the "normal" frequency of sex in a healthy, happy couple. No matter how hard we try not to compare, we find ourselves distressed when we fail to live up to the "normal" standard. I believe there is no right or wrong answer as to the appropriate number of times a couple should have sex.
Coincidentally, a friend shared with me her views on sex in a marriage. She regards it as a form of communication. Therefore, if love making is indeed a form of communication, then would you want to communicate with your spouse only once in a blue moon? The obvious answer would be no. However, if you are like me, there is always something that takes priority over coming together with your spouse. It can be the form of fatigue, stress, an endless list of chores to be done, selfishness (wanting "me" time more than "us" time) and just plain lack of interest.
There are many times that I prefer sleep over sex and many times, sleep wins this battle. I recently came across a Bible verse in 1 Corinthians 7:4 which says that a wife's body does not belong to her but to her husband and likewise, a husband's body belongs to his wife. This verse made me think. Am I intentionally depriving my husband from "his body"? Sure, my reasons were valid as I was really tired, busy or stressed. My soul screams, "What about my needs?"
The worldly understanding of sex is based on the question of "What can we get out of it for ourselves?"
The sex that God wants us to enjoy is based on the question of "What can I give to my spouse for his/her pleasure as a sign of my love?"
When I think about sex in the way that God intended it to be, I find it easier to say yes despite all the challenging deterring circumstances. I dismiss my own selfish thoughts of "Why should I give in to him when he hasn't been nice to me this evening?" or "I am so tired, can't he see that?"
Instead, I focus on the things I can do to make DH feel better especially after he has had a long stressful day at work. I must admit it's not easy and I am still a very selfish person at heart. As with every other aspect of marriage, this area requires a lot of hard work and a strong commitment too. I find that if we persevere, we will reap the benefits.
One of the immediate benefits would be an improvement in our communication skills!