Just yesterday, I had a conversation with a girlfriend who is busy with her first child and is desperately trying to balance her home-life, career, and marriage. When the subject of sex came up, she confessed, like many stressed-out wives, that sex was the last thing on her mind, especially when she felt like she was dealing with things on her own.
We laughed about the metaphor that Gail Crowder once told me that women are like spaghetti and men are like waffles: Men can have a crappy day, full of responsibilities and problems, but once the time comes for sex, men are all for it, easily compartmentalizing the worse of their days, while women can’t seem to separate the “spaghetti” that is her day out of her mind. If the day, or the recipe, isn’t just right, then forget about the prospect of sex.
I was reflecting my friend’s situation and Gail’s metaphor and wondered how all this responsibility falls into the mix. Then, this morning, I found a recently published study conducted by John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health of Sub-Saharan African women that determined that the more responsibility in decision making a woman has, the less often and shorter lasting sex occurs between she and her husband.
Well, I don’t know about these good folks at John Hopkins Bloomberg, but after growing up in an matriarchal environment where my mom and aunts were left primarily to themselves to care for the home, finances, and children with little decision making support or input from their husbands, it’s not a surprise to me that even African women aren’t into getting down.
How can these mentally and physically drained women and unsatisfied husbands have more frequent, enjoyable sex, while meeting each other half way? According to the study, the answer is clear: make more decisions together.
When a woman feels like her partner is more engaged in the decision making process especially when it comes to family finances, child raising, and home management, the less stress she experiences because she knows her husband supports her. Women need to release the urge to be a control freak and allow her husband to make some final decisions solo and collaborate more on solution finding. Collaborative decision making creates stronger bonds, reduces stress, and helps resolve problems more quickly.
So, how can a couple make decisions together without having to make sacrifices and feel like they’re playing a losing battle? The answer is to learn the Win-Win Waltz. I went to the poweroftwomarriage.com, a marriage coaching website, to find the perfect activity that can help couples make decisions together. Dr. Abigail Hirsch explains how important shared decision making is and how couples can learn the Win-Win Waltz to get on the road of joint decision making…. which just so happens to lead to more frequent, enjoyable sex!
Do you sometimes feel like you’re the primary decision maker in your marriage? How do you manage your home life and sex life?