Dammit, HBO should never have canceled Tell Me You Love Me. The short-lived series about sexless couples—in which we got to see Adam Scott receive a hand job on a prosthetic penis—might not have won lots of viewers, but here we are seven years later and couples still don’t know how to handle that inevitable period of their relationship when they stop having sex for a period of a few months-to-eternity. Case in point, the guy who emailed his wife a spreadsheet of every excuse she’s made to not have sex with him over the last seven weeks.
The wife shared her turmoil on Reddit’s Relationships subreddit earlier today:
Yesterday morning, while in a taxi on the way to the airport, Husband sends a message to my work email which is connected to my phone. He’s never done this, we always communicate in person or by text. I open it up, and it’s a sarcastic diatribe basically saying he won’t miss me for the 10 days I’m gone. Attached is a SPREADSHEET of all the times he has tried to initiate sex since June 1st, with a column for my “excuses”, using verbatim quotes of why I didn’t feel like having sex at that very moment. According to his ‘document’, we’ve only had sex 3 times in the last 7 weeks, out of 27 “attempts” on his part.
She was good enough to provide the spreadsheet in question:
I’m not a marriage counselor, but I’m pretty sure that if you and the spouse aren’t sleeping together as much as you’d like, the way to turn her on is not with passive-aggressive use of Microsoft Office.
They’re a young couple, according to her post, both 26, married two years and together for five. Despite their youth, she cooks and cleans for him and they pretty much sound like a couple from the 50s, which might explain his bewilderment at her failure to provide sex on demand.
This is a side of him I have never seen before – bitter, immature, full of hatred. In person, he’d been acting normal the whole time, maybe a little standoff-ish in the last week. Completely out of left field. Our sex life HAS tapered in the last few months, but isn’t that allowed? We are adults leading busy, stressful lives. I cook for him, I do his laundry, I keep our house clean and tidy. It’s not like our sex life was going to be this way FOREVER, it was a temporary slow-down due to extenuating circumstances.
She goes on to say that since she received the spreadsheet, she’s tried calling him several times with no response. So he’s passive-aggressive IRL too, not just in his email attachments. Keep in mind, he sent this to her as she was about to leave on a ten-day business trip in another city.
People in relationships and people who might be in relationships in the future if you end up falling in love this weekend, a brief warning: You will experience periods when you aren’t having sex. It happens.
Sometimes it’s the guy, sometimes it’s the lady, sometimes it’s both parties going through some shit that makes them not feel like boning for a while.
If this period worries you, the way to address it is to say to your partner, “We aren’t having sex that much. What’s up with that, right?”
Now, obviously, one way to respond would be for the wife to return the spreadsheet with an additional column titled, “The Real Reasons I Didn’t Want To Have Sex All Those Times.” But it sounds like she’s just going to wait to talk to him about this. Like adults do.