She Feels Like Your Mom and Doesn’t Want to Bang You

angry mom and son

(Image/Shutterstock)

Your mom probably doesn’t want to have sex with you.

I work hard at not judging. Glass houses and whatnot. But that’s a good thing, right? Your mom not wanting to sleep with you? Because, ew?

I don’t know to what extent incestuous relationships’ taboo classification is a byproduct of biological trial-and-error and documented birth defects, or is something culturally driven, and everyone just sort of looked around at one another and agreed: “Yeah, not banging family members sounds like a good rule! I’m on board! Shouldn’t be a problem because I just naturally don’t want to anyway! Because, ew!”

The reason isn’t important.

But for your marriage’s sake, being aware of this general reality is helpful. Because no matter how many times you sarcastically remind your wife that she’s not your mother and you wish she’d stop acting like it, she often feels like your mother.

This is bad for your sex life.

And, gone unchecked, a precursor to the death of your marriage.

What I Meant To Say…

You may be aware of this, and are already super-sick of hearing about it (just like I am), but I wrote a post called She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes by the Sink which several million people read. Depending on who you ask, I’m either a genius who saves marriages, or a huge pussy whose wife actually left—not because of dishes—but because I’m a huge pussy.

A bunch of guys developed heartburn over a particular passage, and even though close to 100-percent of them will never read this, I’ll selfishly feel better having addressed—and hopefully, clarified—my stance.

…..

Shameless Self-Promotion Note About My Coaching Services

I started coaching in 2019. Clients and I work collaboratively through current and past relationship stuff in order to improve existing relationships or to prepare for future ones. Other clients are trying to find themselves after divorce or a painful breakup. We talk by phone or video conference. People like it. Or at least they fake it really well by continuing to schedule future coaching calls and give me more money. If you’re going through something and think I might be able to help, it’s really easy to find out for sure. Learn More Here.

…..

From the “dishes” post:

“But I remember my wife often saying how exhausting it was for her to have to tell me what to do all the time. It’s why the sexiest thing a man can say to his partner is ‘I got this,’ and then take care of whatever needs taken care of.

“I always reasoned: ‘If you just tell me what you want me to do, I’ll gladly do it.’

“But she didn’t want to be my mother. She wanted to be my partner, and she wanted me to apply all of my intelligence and learning capabilities to the logistics of managing our lives and household.

“She wanted me to figure out all of the things that need done, and devise my own method of task management.

“I wish I could remember what seemed so unreasonable to me about that at the time.”

A Closer Look

“But I remember my wife often saying how exhausting it was for her to have to tell me what to do all the time. It’s why the sexiest thing a man can say to his partner is ‘I got this,’ and then take care of whatever needs taken care of.”

This does NOT mean, every day of my life, my wife bossed me around. It does not mean I awaited her daily instruction on how I could be her little man-servant and cater to her every whim.

I don’t write sentences expecting millions of strangers to read them and not know what I’m talking about.

Here’s what it does mean, specifically:

My wife was awesome about keeping the house clean and organized. She ALWAYS did—hell, I don’t know—65- or 70-ish percent of every house chore (dating back to a couple of apartments I lived in alone when we first got together).

Like so many adults today, we both grew up watching our moms do most of the housework while our dads went off to work and mostly stuck to “man chores” like mowing grass, shoveling snow, sanding and staining decks, cleaning the gutters, taking out the trash, etc.

Because I wasn’t as self-aware in my youth as I am now, I didn’t identify the imbalanced workload.

But here’s the key part: My wife—usually on Saturday mornings—wanted to clean the house. I would have been happy to wait an extra week or two because I don’t like cleaning in the same way you don’t want to bang your parents. But I wasn’t going to sit around watching SportsCenter while my wife scrubbed toilets, and vacuumed floors, and dusted furniture, and wiped down bathroom vanities. Even I’m not THAT big of an asshole.

And the second key part: We brought our baby boy home from the hospital and if you’re anything like me, it was VERY surreal and every minute afterward for several months, you’re like: “What the hell do I do now?”

But my wife wasn’t like me at all. She talked to lots of other moms and prepared herself for some of the challenges of caring for newborns. She read the baby books. The ones Seth Rogan didn’t want to read in Knocked Up. The ones I didn’t read, either.

“I always reasoned: ‘If you just tell me what you want me to do, I’ll gladly do it.’”

I wasn’t asking my wife to boss me around.

I was asking my wife to HELP ME help her. Read that sentence again, guys. I wanted to help my wife. I did. But instead of actually being helpful, I put the burden of responsibility on her to manage her life, our baby’s life, AND my life. It was the most stressful time physically, psychologically, and emotionally my wife had ever been through. The health and wellbeing of her and my little son rested entirely on her being the best mother possible. And instead of putting in the work to support those efforts the best I could, I totally abandoned her to do all the “baby work” alone, while I sat around daydreaming of the future when I would be throwing the football around with him in the backyard.

We totally do that now too. My little son and I. It’s great.

But instead of mom watching from the deck with a drink and a smile, she has a new mailing address.

Generalization Police, Beware!

Many sons grow up hero-worshipping, or at least modeling behavior after, their fathers. Dad watches sports on TV, and does “man chores,” and probably makes most of the money.

Mom cleans and folds their clothes, vacuums their bedroom, replenishes the refrigerator and pantry, cleans their pubic hairs from showers, washes dishes after dinner, and packs lunches.

But mom has an even-harder job.

Mom manages the schedule for EVERYONE in her family. Not just for herself, but for her children’s school, medical and extracurricular needs; her pet’s veterinarian appointments, and her husband’s stuff, too.

It’s HARD to be an adult.

I’ve lived alone about three years now with a young child in grade school there half the time. IT. IS. HARD.

Keeping track of what he needs every day, and for coming school days, and managing my calendar to make sure I’m where I need to be on his behalf. Taking care of his needs alone just half the time, combined with managing my house alone is EASILY the most mentally challenging and taxing work I have ever done, and there is no close second-place thing. And I don’t keep the place 80-percent as nice as it was when my ex-wife lived there. Still quite challenging.

Sons too often grow up this way and end up woefully ill-prepared for adulthood or marriage. It’s bad.

“But she didn’t want to be my mother. She wanted to be my partner, and she wanted me to apply all of my intelligence and learning capabilities to the logistics of managing our lives and household.

“She wanted me to figure out all of the things that need done, and devise my own method of task management.

“I wish I could remember what seemed so unreasonable to me about that at the time.”

Hopefully you get it now.

She felt like my mom because I never took the initiative to identify the needs of our son nor the needs of the household, and then set up whatever personal system I needed in order to take care of stuff. I just derpy-derped around all the time as if me not saying or doing anything would make life tasks magically disappear.

Combine those maternal feelings with a little bit of resentment and a little bit of boredom due to hedonic adaptation, and you’ve just prepared to perfection the She Doesn’t Want to Have Sex with You casserole with a side of You’re Kind of an Asshole gravy.

It might seem hard to believe a man could go through many years of marriage hearing his wife tell him about how exhausting this dynamic is for her, and how much it upsets her, and STILL not get it.

But I’m relatively smart.

And that’s precisely how I experienced it. So I know it can, and does, happen.

But maybe with the help of a Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure visual aid, it won’t have to happen to you.

It’s your mom, dude.

…..

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172 thoughts on “She Feels Like Your Mom and Doesn’t Want to Bang You

  1. […] I started thinking about this because of an insightful comment by @rougedmount on a previous post, where she points out that when wives feel like mothers to their husbands (picking up after them, managing their calendars, reminding them of things they’d forgotten, etc.) they also lose sexual interest in them. […]

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  2. Rebecca Riley says:

    I guarantee that when you decide it’s too much work to bend over and slide your legs into your pants, or move in such a way that you can put on your socks and shoes, and you ask your wife to do it for you, she’s pretty much decided at that point that the marriage has lost it sex.

    If you’re both somewhat disabled and ordinary sex doesn’t work between the two of you, it’s pretty rude to get yours and roll over and go to sleep. It’s the sort of thing that makes your wife uninterested in giving you a hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sailor-Chick says:

    Matt,
    I stumbled across your posts years ago or maybe someone sent me a link to your letters to a shitty husband, either way, I always check out your new posts when I get your email.
    I really love this one in particular because guys as a whole do not seem to get that our sex drive eventually diminishes especially when we feel unappreciated for everything we do for the home that we feel our husbands either 1-does not seem to see/notice and 2-doesn’t seem to care except when we are too tired to have or want sex.
    Do you have any pointers to get this across to my husband? I have mentioned many times how exhausted I am with everything I have on my plate and he always tells me that he does stuff for me on occasion and that I never remember them (ie: occasionally takes out the trash to the end of the driveway, or puts in a load of laundry that never leaves the dryer). I am definitely an Acts of Service love language and he is a Quality Time, and we spend all our time together with the exception of work. I love him to pieces, I just wish he would help me more without me having to ask or delegate. To make matters more frustrating, he was an E6 in the Army and knows how to take charge and get things done, yet he does none of it in our homelife. Again, any pointers are greatly appreciated.

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  4. […] So, I’m going to pick on Jeff, who left this gem yesterday under She Feels Like Your Mom and Doesn’t Want to Bang You: […]

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  5. […] was making it HER responsibility to keep things clean and organized, and to keep projects on-task. When wives start feeling like your mom, they stop wanting to sleep with you because that’s a really normal response in a parent-child relationship. […]

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  6. Janna says:

    Holy shit. You get it. You really get it.

    A part of me deep down inside wants kids (either biological or adopted) but I just can’t bring myself to have kids with my husband. We are in a similar situation with the im doing all the house chores and planning everything and working full time and he’s just mowing the yard and going on fishing trips.

    My biggest fear is that I would be doing all this on my own. His reason for wanting kids is “someone to take care of me when I’m old.” HA!

    I work as a hospital nurse and I can tell you, your kids don’t have to like you much less love you when they are adults. I told him this. This is Not a legit reason to bring a person into the world. By putting that responsibility on them before they even exist? For his own selfish needs?

    Anyway, sorry about the tangent. Just found your blog and most of you stuff hits the nail on the head for me as the wife. I’ve been thinking about divorce, hell, I’ve mentioned, but he just seemed so ambivalent about it that it made me mad and I just walked away.

    It’s taken me years to realize it but I married a narcissist. We can’t even communicate because he turns everything around on me and then I end up feeling so guilty. I just get so upset I just shut myself down and walk away.

    Im sorry for the weird rant. Just wish your posts were required for spouses prior to marriage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      I’m so sorry you’re living that. I’m so grateful that feel like I’ve legitimately made the turn. I very much want to be part of the solution.

      Thank you for being here and sharing here.

      Like

    • Katia says:

      This is why I wouldn’t even entertain having kids with my ex. I don’t want to be mom and dad the way most people grow up, I want an actual partner.

      Like

  7. Kay says:

    In this situation now. The mental load is all on me with our chores, groceries, and our three pets. I used to fantasize about adopting a child with my boyfriend one day but now the thought petrifies me. All my career goals would be put on the back burner for his needs, and the child’s needs, and the pet’s needs, and keeping our living space clean. I have bad allergies and severe asthma and recently had an 8-month long eczema flare up when I have never had eczema before.

    I had pus weeping out of sores on my formerly flawless complexion, my depression was spiraling out of control, and I was in my last year of university just trying to keep my grades up while we also struggled financially. He knew I was DESPERATE to have a clean space to live in but he didn’t really do much to help, he was a dead weight. I think that really hammered home the fact that my health doesn’t really matter very much to him. I feel worthless.

    Every time I try to stand up for myself he turns it back onto me and frames me as this cold ice-queen. I’m not withholding sex because I don’t have any sexual desire left to withhold! I went to stay with my mom for three months during quarantine because she was terrified that my skin would be permanently damaged by all the swelling and sores and she knew that I’d be stuck inside an apartment that I was already afraid to go home to as it was. I think my boyfriend saw this as a personal attack against him and he was annoyed with me for leaving.

    My skin healed within a few weeks and then I got Covid-19 and was bedridden for nearly a month. Then I had to wait to be approved to get back on a plane so I didn’t risk spreading it. I didn’t choose to be gone that long and I wasn’t off having a great time without him. Well, when I came home he slept past my noon arrival time and I had to take a nearly $80 cab ride home with a screaming kitten (my mom’s cat had had kittens and I couldn’t resist).

    Then I walk in the door and the apartment was a nightmare. I could barely breathe through the stench of animal feces and the bottoms of my feet were black with dirt and crumbs after a few steps. Our older cat was significantly heavier and it was showing in her face and the ferret’s cage was caked in feces. There were also stains from his greasy hands on the walls by the light switches, rotten things in the fridge, and peanuts (which I am allergic to) all under the bed and bedroom floor. I promptly had a massive panic attack and had to be talked out of it over facetime by my best friend.

    I know he was depressed having to live alone but my eczema never would have gone into remission had I not left. I have been diagnosed with depression on three separate occasions so I know how difficult it is but a dirty living space is a HUGE trigger for my mental illness, and my allergies, and my asthma, and he knows that. I told him to go and get a diagnosis if he thinks he has depression because every time I talk about struggling with it he says “Well, I think I have depression too!” which I just find so gross and manipulative at this point. He was so considerate and sweet and very obviously adored me before we moved in together and now he just feels like this big un-groomed child who’s holding me back and making me miserable. Even when he makes an effort to fix things it’s inconsistent and I just can’t keep getting my hopes up only for things to go back to a mother and son dynamic all over again.

    I feel like I’m only holding on because this is my first relationship, we’ve been together since I was 18, and now I’m 25 and I’ve never been in the dating scene before and it’s intimidating. His mom is also terminally ill and I wanted to support him through that and I really love his family. I feel like both of our families kind of expected the whole highschool sweethearts thing to continue forever and it kind of feels like a failure as illogical as I know that is. It feels like a waste because our personalities and senses of humor are so well matched but I can’t waste my life mommy-ing him instead of pursuing my dreams so I really doubt that this can be fixed.

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    • You need to move out, take the pets with you, and end it permanently with him. It will never change and never get any better. Only worse. I speak from 18 years of experience with a man exactly like this. It has only gotten worse. Run. Run now, and never look back.

      Like

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