A Reddit user's post has gone viral this week after she revealed the Excel spreadsheet her husband sent her when she left for a business trip. In it, he details the entire month of June into July and the myriad excuses she gave him for not wanting sex. Assuming this is real and not some Internet hoax, it's pretty shocking. And it's also hilariously astute.
She used the typical reasons for turning down sex -- I'm tired, I have to be up early, etc. But she also had some inventive ones -- I'm still sore from last night's sex (REALLY?!), I feel "gross," and I'm watching TV (a Friends rerun).
People are divided over whether the husband's spreadsheet documenting her sex excuses is manipulative and crass and whether the wife is ruining her marriage with her frequent denial of sex. Any married person will tell you: We don't OWE our spouses sex, but we also kind of DO. Sorry. It's the truth. And it's not just me saying that. Experts agree.
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Dr. Tina Tessina, a psychotherapist and the author of Money, Sex, and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, says women need to find a way to satisfy their husbands ... or else.
"Women are way too naive about sex," says Tessina, who is known as "Dr. Romance." "How about finding ways to say 'yes' to the guy you love and only turning sex down when it's really necessary? 'I have a headache' is a Victorian concept and doesn't work."
It's the truth. Here's the spreadsheet that poor man was reduced to making:
The problem, as I see it, is this: Women often view sex as a chore. Believe me, I get it. I have three kids, and after a long day of working, dealing with them, walking our dog, and trying to squeeze in five minutes of "me" time, the LAST thing I want to do sometimes is satisfy my husband's needs. But what about OUR needs? Sex is fun for women, too. We always seem to forget that.
"Women can get themselves in the mood, and they need to learn how," Tessina says. "If wives want to stay married, they need to learn to say yes. If a woman turns her man down over and over, she shouldn't be surprised when he leaves or cheats."
Her advice might be hard to hear, but it's worth following. Competing sex drives can cause marriages to break up. Half the time it seems the problem is not drive so much as level of desire. Women need to find ways to get into the mood. So how do we do that?
It's simple: We think about sex. We make it a priority. This is something men do easily for some reason, but women need to learn to do it, too. Have that fantasy while you are driving the car pool. Think about Bradley Cooper naked on top of you and enjoy it. Remember a particularly hot sexual encounter and roll it in your head while you prepare dinner. If you make sex a part of your thoughts, it will carry over into your actions.
Of course, it's not ALL up to the women. "Men need to learn how to motivate women to have sex, not just demand it," Tessina says. A man who expects a quickie with little work on his part needs to understand that it's different for women. We need some revving.
Ultimately, a marriage will be a lot better when both spouses find a way to get excited about sex together and make it part of their regular routine.
"Sex is an important part of marriage," says Tessina. "If you're not having sex, you're not married -- you're just roommates."
Do you have enough sex? How do you get yourself into the mood?