The Pain of Sexual Rejection

No one likes facing rejection. The worst type of rejection is the kind that occurs when we reach out to our partner to give and receive mutual pleasure only to be pushed away or cold-shouldered.

No matter how similar a couple’s libidos are they rarely are in synch one hundred percent of the time. In fact, 15% of men and 34% of women say they aren’t really interested in sex. It is a rare thing for a couple to have perfectly matched sexual drive.

Fine, you say. What about same-sex couples? They must be in sync since they are the same sex, right? No. Even same-sex couples have differences in sex drive.

Transitioning from single and dating to married and frustrated can happen to anyone. Sexual desires and frequency are rarely discussed before marriage. Living apart can create a rhythm of any time we are together we have sex. Once married and sleeping together nightly the disparity between desire and frequency can grow to create a chasm between even the closest of partners.

Sex needs to be discussed outside of the bedroom, not in the heat of the moment. The more we can talk about our issues without blame, the greater our understanding of our partner and the more intimacy we have. Without a discussion about sex, we are often left in the dark about what is going on beyond our visual awareness. The problem is that sex is a sensitive subject. The more we discuss the truth of our desire for pleasure and the frequency we prefer to be sexually intimate the more ease we have between the sheets. Our vulnerability however keeps us in check.

We are never so vulnerable as when lying naked next to our partner, reaching out to engage in intimacy. Our desire to be loved is on the line. When we are rejected by our partners we feel hurt, abandoned, angry, even resentful unattractive, and unloved. Lashing out at our partners helps no one. Yet, the issue is a lack of understanding that is rarely communicated lovingly. Anger in the bedroom leaves palpable energy hanging in the air so thick we can cut it with a knife. No one wants to be walking on eggshells especially in bare feet!

We Need Greater Understanding

A lack of desire can be from fatigue, depression, weight gain, not feeling sexy or attractive. We might be responding to a conversation earlier in the day that caused one to feel upset or unloved. Unless the previous argument is resolved, sex is likely out of the question. For those that are only affectionate when they want sex, you might want to look at other ways to show affection than just sexually. It can be quite annoying if the only time you touch your partner is right before wanting sex. Touch outside the bedroom brings a couple closer together. If the only time you hold hands, kiss or hug one another is a prelude to sex, something is wrong.

Reasons For The Disparity

When we don’t feel attractive sex may be the last thing we want. Health issues like diabetes or arthritis can literally be a pain, keeping us from wanting to be intimate. Low self-esteem from weight gain and self-induced body-shaming can keep us from wanting to engage in any kind of sex act.

“I’m not interested.” “I am too tired.” What our partners are really saying is they feel hurt, broken and they don’t feel like giving to us. In return, when we are rejected we can feel humiliated, resentful, angry, and hurt. We might feel unloved or unlovable. We might feel like we want revenge. Our conditioned mind might be screaming at us, “I can have anyone I want and I think I will!”

I can find all kinds of people who want to make love to me!” That is what we think in our heads. Rejection is really not about us, as much as the other person. However, we are the ones that we feel. Our emotions build up. We might even experience rage and powerful resentment.

If we have a history of rejection in our childhood this pattern can be carried forward into our intimate relationships. We take the rejection personally. Yet, it might not be at all. We may wonder if it is the way we taste or smell or even the way we look. When rejection happens with regularity it can deeply affect our self-esteem. We might feel humiliated and deeply hurt. There is nothing worse than being rejected in bed.

Over time if this pattern of rejection continues we start to close down. We might close our hearts and become cold and even mean. We stop being kind, affectionate, or even wanting to engage emotionally with our partners. There are a lot of ramifications to rejection.

It May Not Be About You At All

Having been on both sides of the equation, I know how it feels to be rejected repeatedly. It brings you down. You might start gaining weight or check out of the relationship emotionally and mentally. There are many reasons that someone may not want to engage in sexual expression at all. Understanding your partner is paramount to keeping your marriage together.

Reasons People Don’t Want Sex

  • low hormones
  • menopausal symptoms
  • prostate issues (men)
  • erectile dysfunction
  • depression
  • work or financial stresses
  • low self-esteem
  • physical pain
  • illness
  • trauma from the past
  • flashbacks or unresolved childhood sexual molestation
  • being criticized and unappreciated by partner
  • emotional abuse
  • threats of violence
  • they don’t orgasm (feel what’s the point?)

We Need To Connect On An Emotional Level

We have no idea what our partner is experiencing unless we ask.  “How can I help you to feel loved? Because right now I don’t feel loved by you. I know you are hurting. How could I help you feel loved by me?” What is it I could do or say that would help you to feel loved? What’s going on with you that you don’t want to make love? What is it that is stopping you or preventing you? What’s going on in your mind? Allow me to understand you.”

Sex Pistols And Other Weapons of Mass Destruction

Sometimes sex is used as a weapon of control. Most people think that only women use sex as a weapon, that isn’t entirely true. Both sexes can wield the weapon of mass destruction as easily as another. Sex should never be used as a control mechanism. The more conscious we become, the more loving and compassionate we need to be.

The dark side of rejection is that both parties are not having a good time. It is likely that no one sleeps very well in this scenario instead, you’re both lying there feeling hurt and broken. The rejecting party won’t sleep well while fuming either. If you just made love everyone would be less stressed feeling infinitely closer wrapped in one another’s arms snuggling with one leg over yours. Blissful sleep generally follows great sex. Regret is what we eat for breakfast the morning after instead of butterfly kisses on our cheek.

Honesty Is Needed

We need to be able to look at ourselves without blinders. We need to see what part of this experience was our responsibility. Did we act callously? Were we unappreciative or argumentative earlier? Did we leave a conflict unresolved? We can’t expect our partner to want to worship us in bed if we have been an ass.

This rejection thing it’s not one-sided. It’s two. And we need to be able to look at what is going on with the other person as well. Are they feeling unloved in some way?  Are they feeling broken? When we start having compassion for ourselves, we can also have more compassion for our partners. 

Being loved requires us to love ourselves and that is the foundation for happiness and blissful relationships. When we lovingly accept ourselves and have compassion for ourselves, we have infinitely more compassion for our partners.  

And that is what we all want. Much love to you. 

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