At dinner with the girls from Sensuous on Friday night, the issue came up of the ideal frequency of lovemaking from a guy's perspective and how a wife can let her husband down gently without hurting his feelings when she is tired or not in the mood. This is a question that C and her partner L often get asked when presenting their intimacy in marriage seminars for women.
So, here is my take on this as a husband (my advice below obviously does not apply to couples dealing with specific circumstances like bereavement, disability or long-term chronic illness).
When C and I are having regular sex, then it will not hurt my feelings when she turns me down on the odd occasion. If I am not particularly frustrated from going too long without, and she has been initiating lovemaking from time to time, so that I am affirmed and secure in the knowledge that she does desire me and does desire making love with me, then I can handle a couple of nights off here and there.
The follow-on question is what then is my definition of regular sex? For me, as a relatively fit and healthy 40 something male, the ideal is still near-daily sex, probably two nights out of three. I can skip a night quite comfortably, and two if necessary, but three nights without and I start to feel physically frustrated. By day four I would definitely be grumpy.
In that case, it would be much harder for C to turn me down again without hurting my feelings, and my best advice to wives in that case would be to rather make the effort to take care of your husband in some other way, orally or manually, if it has been a couple of days and you are again too tired to make love. A quick hand-job takes minimal effort and no more than 2 minutes with a bit of lube, which should be manageable for you even after a long day! Alternatively, spend a couple of minutes snuggling and kissing your husband while he takes care of himself, which can be just as intimate and still gives the desired result, with minimal effort required on your part.
As a husband, my wife saying that she has given so much of her best energy to others throughout the day, that she does not have even two minutes left for me at bedtime, can otherwise be hurtful.
And while an oral or manual quickie can fill a gap occassionally when other factors mean you are not in the mood for intercourse, that doesn't apply for an extended period. The emotional and physical oneness of lovemaking and intercourse with our beloved is what we really desire, and if your hectic schedule means that you are regularly too exhausted to make love, then maybe you need to prayerfully reconsider your priorities and see whether you can make some changes to your schedule to give more balance, and to accommodate your intimate relationship with your husband.
A small change for those with young children, that worked for C and me, may be as simple as scheduling time for lovemaking in the early evening, as soon as the little ones go down, rather than waiting until bedtime when fatigue and sleepiness have already set in.
Or if you are a morning person who is generally finished and ready to sleep by 8pm, then rather set the alarm a bit earlier and start the day with a bang, or surprise your hubby by joining him for his morning shower!