This was timely. The other night I was on the couch with my wife after the kids were in bed. We were cuddling and being affectionate and I became aroused. After I shared that I was sexually charged, she replied very bluntly, "No! That's not happening tonight!" That type of rejection is painful, but I've learned not to respond to it. She wanted to resume cuddling and was rubbing my leg and thigh. I was literally in pain. I got up abruptly and said no, that I can't do that if it can't lead to more. She was visibly upset with me and said that she was just loving on me. She didn't realize that she was getting her needs met for nonsexual affection at my expense. And to her I was just being an ******* for shutting it down. I think she really thought I was punishing her. It wasn't a good turn of events. Usually I can just suck it up and cuddle - I really love that too. But for whatever reason my desire level was too high to tolerate that. The whole situation is like water on the campfire.
I've been in this situation before! And I would actually be OK remaining on the couch and cuddling if I got a sense that my wife enjoyed me being aroused by her, even if it was not going to happen. But when a spouse REJECTS the fact that she is getting you aroused and insists that those feelings are unwanted at that time, YES it hurts and is painful.
My wife always accuses me of just arbitrarily getting myself aroused as if it was an untimely decision of mine to mess up a perfectly wonderful moment. She could almost never see that I was very attracted to her and that it was being close to her that was getting me aroused.
I later found out she had very low self esteem about her body image, and literally thought she looked like, "a big fat cow" in her own opinion. It took me a while to appreciate that my arousal would cause her anxiety in the forms of:
- she thought I had been watching porn earlier in the day and needed to relieve that sexual tension by using her (NOT TRUE).
- she could not accept that I was aroused by her, and becoming physically intimate would force her to confront her own body and contempt she had for her own looks.
I have been working aggressively to help her improve her self image and see that she actually is beautiful. Our teenage daughter even got involved in the debate over self image and got VERY UPSET at her mom for calling herself fat. She told her, "mom, you are beautiful!" This made my wife start crying. Hearing it from our daughter was much more sincere and honest for her to hear than compared to hearing it from me. When I would tell her, she just convinced herself that I was lying and trying to manipulate her. She has had, and still does have trouble believing it.
I am not sure if this is the case for you, but it is something to be aware of. Women, no mater how fit or slim they are, get bombarded by advertising that tells them they will never look good enough in order to sell them more products. Meanwhile us men are often like honey badgers with regards to our self image! Wow, look at this HUGE scar I got across my face honey, doesn't this make me look cool (just an exaggeration)!