As we all know, there are two things God created that hold a special place in life above all other things. Of course I am speaking about sex and Excel spreadsheets. Few things in life are better. Recently the news media picked up a story about a man who, without his wife’s knowledge, kept track of each time he tried to initiate sex. He noted whether it was successful and what excuses were given if his wife turned him down. After a few weeks of mostly unsuccessful attempts he emailed his wife a spreadsheet showing the results. The wife was so upset by it that she posted it on social media and it went viral.
Now, I would be hard pressed to think of a time where I DIDN’T advocate the use of a spreadsheet, but I think this may be one of them. As I thought about what happened, a few things came to my mind about intimacy and communication that I think we can learn from this.
1. Sex is a big deal, but not always in equal amounts for both people
Most people enjoy sex, but I’d guess it’s pretty rare for a married couple to have identical sex drives. This means, it’s going to be common for one person to want to have sex more than the other. This is a situation that is just asking for frustration and hurt feelings. That’s why it is SO important to communicate. If you’re not happy with the frequency of sex in your marriage you need to talk with your wife about it. It may be that she doesn’t realize how important it is to you. Or, it may be that you’re not doing much to get her in the mood. Maybe she would respond more if you spent more time finding ways to show her love and for you to be connected during the day. Whatever the situation, it can only be improved by communicating.
2. Communication about important issues should be done by talking
I’m all about emails…I send around 200 per day, but important issues need to be communicated face to face. This is true for work situations, friends, wives, anyone! Dissatisfaction with your sex life definitely qualifies as something that deserves a face to face conversation. Email is impersonal and doesn’t leave room for expressions and feedback. Anytime you have an issue with your spouse, take the time to sit down with them, without distractions, and share what you’re feeling. I guarantee you the result will be much better than sending an email or a text message about it.
3. Shaming doesn’t accomplish anything good
Nobody wins when you shame your spouse. I talk more about this in a post I wrote a few months ago (click here to see it). Emailing them a spreadsheet highlighting where you feel they are failing falls into this category. In this situation, the wife in turn shamed her husband back by sharing it online. Two wrongs don’t make a right. It makes two hurt people. If you really care about your wife, put your desire to work things out OVER your desire to have your say.
So what went wrong in the story of this couple?
- The husband failed to talk with his wife as soon as he felt there was a problem.
- The husband’s method of communication (email) was not conducive to conflict resolution.
- The communication was destructive…shaming and putting her down rather than trying to share feelings and develop a solution together.
- The wife responded in a destructive way, shaming her husband back.
My advice to you…don’t email a spreadsheet about sex. And talk with your wife as soon as you feel there is an issue…about intimacy or anything.