Why the “Married Sex” Video Makes Me Furious

Why the “Married Sex” Video Makes Me Furious

Recently, someone asked what I think about the “Married Sex During the Week” video posted on Facebook and chortled about on social media. Have you seen it? Some women think it’s hysterical.

I haven’t found a single man who does.

And this vast difference points just how clueless we women can be about something that has a huge emotional impact on our husbands.

In the video, we watch as a man’s hand reaches out and rubs his wife’s shoulder as they lie in bed each night.  And each night (“Monday”… “Tuesday” …) she turns and reacts with various degrees of annoyance.  “Seriously?”  she says, raising her eyebrows.  “Seriously?”   “I’m tired… had a long day… on my period…”  The list of reasons goes on.  One night after her usual rejection, she peers back over her shoulder and in a tone dripping with derision asks, “Are you pouting?!”

Finally, one night she rolls her eyes, and says fine, you have five minutes, get it over with.

Ha, ha.

Why is watching this video so painful for anyone with the least bit of empathy, or understanding of how men think?

Because sex for a man is not primarily a physical need, but a very deep emotional one.  

In our surveys of thousands of men for For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men and other books, we found that our men look big and fearless and confident, but have much self-doubt and vulnerability inside. They want to be strong, loving and sensitive for their wives and children, but secretly doubt that they know what they are doing. They long to protect and provide for their families, but secretly worry that they are inadequate. And by far the most powerful affirmation that a wife can give to her husband, the affirmation that goes to the core of who he is and says “you are the man I need,” is showing that she desires him.

When he reaches for her, and she melts into his arms, it is, as one man put it, “A salve that goes very, very deep into the heart of a man.”

Now picture that man watching that video — or watching that in real life.  Instead of enthusiasm (or at least willingness) he sees… derision. Seriously? Are you pouting? You big baby.

Picture his secretly soft heart being shredded by the person who is supposed to care for him the most.

Yeah, I get that it is only a joke. Only a satire. I can hear you now, telling me, “No one is really like that, lighten up.”

Actually, you’re wrong. All too many people are like that. I hear from them every week in my interviews; every time I conduct a survey; every time I speak at a marriage event, or a women’s conference. I talk to those women.  And their husbands.

And I’ve come to believe that if we women could just grasp the emotional importance for men of feeling desired – which is a bit like the emotional importance for a woman of her husband really wanting to listen and have close, intimate conversation with her – we would never look at sex the same way again.

Now, we may in fact be tired. We may not be able to respond that night. I’m not saying we should necessarily put aside our needs to meet his. That’s not the point. We have hard days and may find ourselves emotionally vulnerable too. We need our men to understand us, as well.

But if we care about this man to whom we are wed, what matters to him so deeply should matter to us.

**

NOTE: If you want to see the YouTube video, you can search for it. However, honestly… I’d suggest that you do not watch it. I initially considered posting it for context, but on further reflection, I felt like it was better to not share it at all, because the the side bar of other similar/suggested videos has some very objectionable, sexual content.


Wish Shaunti could speak at an event in your area? You can help! Forward this piece or others to a leader at your organization or church, with a note of recommendation. They can reach Shaunti at NDuncan@shaunti.com.

Shaunti Feldhahn is the best-selling author of eye-opening, research-based books about men, women and relationships, including For Women Only, For Men Only, the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage, and her newest book, Through A Man’s Eyes. A Harvard-trained social researcher and popular speaker, her findings are regularly featured in media as diverse as The Today Show, Focus on the Family, and the New York Times. Visit www.shaunti.com for more.

This article first appeared at Patheos.

8 Comments

  1. A Happy Hubby says:

    Thanks for bringing this up. I still don’t understand why my wife does not get this. She will spend more time arguing that we have too much sex than time that we actually have sex.

  2. A Happy Hubby says:

    And to show that I am not that @#$% husband. It makes me seriously think about how I might be missing what my wife needs. So I spend a lot of time reading and studying what many women say they need. But after about 3 decades of trying, I don’t have any energy left. I am just worn out.

  3. Jill says:

    I don’t know what video you’re referring to, but I don’t find it funny either. All I can think is, there must be deeper issues for a wife in that situation. Life is too short to refuse sex too often.

  4. Anonymous says:

    On Pinterest I’ve seen women make (or you can buy them on Etsy) pillows embroidered with “tonight” or “not tonight” on them. :((

  5. Thankful Hubby says:

    Shaunti,

    I’m so thankful for your writing and research. I actually read your husband’s book, first, and then yours. And, after, I asked my wife if she’d read them.

    She just started For Women Only and initiated a serious conversation, already, asking if what you wrote is really and truly accurate…she was stunned when I said yes…that it was incredible to see you put so plainly into words what I regularly feel and which I was almost in disbelief she didn’t know about me…

    I think your perspective on this video is spot on. I haven’t watched the video, but it would *kill* me if my wife shared something like that on FB…to have her rejection of me privately is hard enough…to make it a public mockery affirmed and laughed at by friends and family…wow, a husband in the scenario’s humiliation is truly complete. Devastating.

    In my mind, the video you described is abusive, plain and simple (emotionally abusive).

    FWIW, regarding the part about wives not being able to respond…this was one subtlety where — at least for me — your book missed a small nuance. Yes, it’s wonderful to have a response, but I also know my wife’s libido is much lower and I know she’s totally content with 1x or 2x per month. And, that’s fine…I don’t take it personally if she doesn’t respond, knowing that. And I don’t want her to stress about it. But, what IS important is having her show she wants me to be happy. In other words, there’s a 3rd option besides “being a wildcat” and “being a cold fish”.

    Thanks again for your book.

  6. Beryl says:

    It makes me wonder why men keep asking why their wives don’t get their sexual needs. Well men you all don’t get our sexual needs. Let me make a suggestion to you all. We scold and scold women for having different sexual needs from men! Hello, we are women ……..people. You can’t keep scolding women for all the problems . Why can’t our husbands understand our sexual needs? .

    God created man and God created woman. Women are not made to be like men. Stop the blaming of women.

  7. Larry says:

    I have read the last portion of your book I got at Olivet University presentation last week and got your book on kindness. I like that portion but I think should have been titled “Coaching Couples” Great ideas for men and women.

  8. Kira says:

    Makes me sad to read this article and others like it. I’m so ready to meet a wonderful man and devote myself to making him feel like the luckiest guy alive, because he makes me feel like the luckiest woman. God has not seen fit yet to send me this man, although I pray for him every day. I look at other women who just take their husbands for granted and I shake my head. I suppose it’s reasonable to conclude they are among those wives who think sex with their husbands is yet another chore to slog through before they can collapse. I get it, I sympathize. The American wife and mother is hugely overworked and stressed out and stretched thin, and it’s a pity. But they don’t seem to get how fortunate they are to be the wife of a man who, presumably, they adore. Or they did at one point. What I wouldn’t give to be the wife of a man I adore. We rarely appreciate someone whom we take for granted. And sex, it’s clear, is at the heart of what attaches a man to his wife. He can’t help it, it’s how he’s made. And we women just think, “Well, who cares, I saw that porn on his computer so obviously his sexual needs are base and disgusting.” I get that, too. What is to us sacred, we can believe is just “getting off” to him. Maybe it’s both, though. Maybe men are more complex than we’ve been led to believe.

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