Husband Trials : The Sex-periment

Hi Everybody, your friendly world wide web TheHusBlog here, and this post is going to be a little different.  The majority of my posts are a collection of thoughts over a history of experiences, this post is going to be a little more personal.  For the sake of privacy I do not like to go into too much specific personal detail but I have something that I would like to share, but first I have to give some personal background.  To the set the stage for the rest of this post I have to share with you the current situation of my life and marriage.

My wife is currently pursuing her CRNA degree.  For those of you who do not know CRNA stands for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.  For her orientation it was requested that spouses attend as well.  I thought they must just want to share with us the program so we know a little more.

We arrived on campus and easily found the location of the orientation.  Standard fare then ensued.  The faculty was introduced, the classes were discussed, and then things got interesting.  The students were then asked to move to a different building and the spouses were asked to remain.  My wife left to go fill out paper work and such and us spouses (about 50% Husbands, 50% Wives) stayed for a speaker.  The speaker was a wife of a student who just finished his first year.  She then spoke about the challenges of the program.  She spoke about feeling like a single parent to their two children.  She spoke about not only having to care for all of his needs, the kids needs, but the lack of help she received from him.  She spoke about his late nights studying, she spoke about thanking God that her parents lived by them so she had some support.  She painted a grim picture indeed. She capped her talk by saying how proud she was of him, how hard the program was, and how he had changed.  After we all politely applauded the room was eerily silent.  I was thinking what I am sure everyone else in that room was thinking, "My wife(or Husband) will be better than that, she(or he) won't let me down."  One of the faculty members came up after the speaker and said these words, that still ring in my ears, "Make no mistake, for the next two and half years, your needs are not going to be met."  I did not know then what she meant.  I thought in that moment, "Well, that is fine, we don't have kids, I have a busy job and we don't have to go out that much, maybe once a month and I would be fine."  I even started planing the various hobbies I was going to take up to pass the time when she was studying.

We take our spouses for granted.  It is just human nature, we get used to certain things and then expect them to happen all the time.  The one thing that we all take for granted is being first in our spouse's life.  Well, let me tell you, once you are no longer first things get hard.  In the beginning we both adjusted.  She was studying morning, noon, and night and I just let her have her space.  But certain things started happening.  First our eating schedules came out of sync.  She could not take breaks to eat so she would heat something up and take it in her office and I would eat alone as well.  Then our sleeping came out of sync.  She would be up later than me studying, and then she would sleep later to make up for it.  Then she would have to get to the gym to workout the stress that she was under.  Now all of a sudden we weren't eating at the same time, sleeping at the same time, or even home at the same time.  Sex was happening maybe once a month and for the most part it was quick.

Our marriage was in trouble in my opinion.  At first I reacted by being kind of distant and angry.  I mean after all I was the most important thing in her life, right?  Wrong.  I wasn't.  Her priorities were :

  1. School
  2. Studying
  3. Sleeping
  4. Eating
  5. Working Out (stress relief)
  6. Husband
I initiated several talks on the subject, in fact I fell into the typically female role of talking about my feelings.  Each one of these conversations ended badly.  My wife felt attacked and always stated that she was giving me all that she could afford to give.  We trudged on for a while and I started to get the feeling that we were roommates instead of a married couple.  Fights were regular and resolution never came.  We had some good times, an off weekend here and there provided for a nice night out and things went well for a while, and then a month would go by without sex, or she would not be able to go out and I would get angry and fight would happen.  

We made it through last year, and it was a bad year.  I spent a lot of time doing research into relationships.  I read a ton of information and tried all kinds of different approaches.  I leaned on my faith and read the Bible for support but nothing was really working.

August last year my wife began her residency which provides more time away from me and even more stress.  Neither her nor I wanted another year like last year so I started different things.  I would try different tactics to keep the relationship alive.  Keeping the relationship alive meant that I had to do things for me.  I started working out (something I sorely needed to do).  One of my wife's time sucks last year was needing her gym time so last year I started going to work out classes with her, just to spend time and I started to really like it.  Instructors at the gym started to know us as a married couple which really helped.  When one of us wasn't in class the other would be asked by the instructor "Where is your husband/wife?"  It might seem strange but that meant a lot to me.  When you feel like you never see your partner, having someone else ask about them allows you to tell a little bit of their story which keeps them in your mind.  

Maybe some of you husbands reading this right now think, I am crazy for putting up with it, or maybe you are thinking I am bad husband for complaining about a temporary situation, and maybe some of you are thinking, "Wait, sex once a month?"  In any case the situation was what it was.  It could have been much better, but it also could have been much worse.  It really wasn't her fault, she was doing the best she could in a bad situation, and it also wasn't my fault for feeling hurt that my needs weren't being met.  But as a Husband it was my job to either be part of the problem or part of the solution.  I spent much of last year being part of the problem, spending too much energy being angry or hurt and not enjoying the good times I could have.  Many a good night (one where she did not have to study more than a couple hours) were ruined because I had an ax to grind.  We would spend hours talking about MY feelings rather than just hanging out.  

The past six months I have been trying to figure out how to be part of the solution.  When my wife and I first started dating it was a long distance relationship which meant long phone calls, and when she did visit we would spend days just locked away in my crappy apartment in the bedroom and taking a quick break to the kitchen for a snack.  Our dating life was HOT.  After we got married things cooled a little, but we still had a passionate relationship.  Once her school started things cooled so fast that I could not adapt fast enough.  

But now I figured out the issue.  Freud once said, "This issue is NEVER the issue."  I thought it was school, but in reality it was time.  I had to capitalize on what time I had to work with and make things work.

(SIDENOTE : If you are the spouse of a CRNA and going through the same thing I have stated above and don't know what to do, please drop me an email at  I mean this sincerely, it is a hard road and it will leave you doubting yourself.  If you ever need someone to talk to please send me an email.  I promise to respond, I know this problem and everyone needs a sounding board.)

Okay faithful readers that is the set up.  Now here is the experiment.  As you have probably figured out sex does not happen all that often while the wife is in school.  So I have a goal.  I want to increase physical intimacy, doesn't have to be sex, but passionate physical contact would be good.  I have tried several different tactics to keep the flame burning while she is in school but to be honest it is hard.  For men we will give up all kinds of things for sex, but for women it is different, and she is not easily put in the mood after a 24 hour shift...  

This idea hatched while reading too different articles.

Which lead me to this article:

That second article was written for women, but it held a lot of truth for me.  I tried talking, which I thought would be my wife's language, but in truth, it wasn't working.  So instead I am trying non-verbal communication, mixed with a huge dose of understanding.  Rather than just listening to what she has to say I am taking it to heart and acting on it.  

THE GOAL : Increase Intimacy (To be honest, any type of physical attention would be good, doesn't have to be sex)
THE CHALLENGE : Wife is working 24 hour shifts and 8 hour shifts with very little time off.
THE PLAN : Make her feel loved.

Let me state in advance, that my goal here is not just to get sex(I know, the post is titled the "Sex-periment, but the Intimacy-periment doesn't have the same ring).  My goal is to show my wife how much I love her, how much she turns me on, and how much I have to offer.  My goal is to increase physical intimacy, which does include sex, but it is not limited to it...

What follows below is bullet points related to my days, what I did to show the wife how much I care.

  • Never appear in shabby or sloppy clothes.
  • I held her hand while we watched TV, normally I don't do that, but I wanted physical contact.
  • Snuggled up next to her at bed time.  Tried to initiate sex, but shot down, was totally cool about it.
  • Never appear in shabby or sloppy clothes.
  • Held her hand in the morning while we slept.  Then snuggled up next her.
  • Got up before her and brushed my teeth so that my breath was fresh in the morning.
  • Continued snuggling until she got up to go to bathroom
  • We went to workout together, it was awesome.
  • Had lunch with her and mother in law, touched and held hands during meal.
  • She had to go to bed early because of 24 hour shift on Sunday.  Wrote a note about how much I love her and left it in her car for the morning.
  • Wife is working 24 hours, so I spent the day doing laundry and making sure the house is clean.
  • Had a really good day just hanging out, really missed the wifey though.
  • Got home had a stressful day at work.
  • Talked to wife about her day, which sounded totally exhausting.
  • We both went to bed tired.
  • Got home pretty late because Tuesday is a day with personal trainer after work.
  • Watched TV for a while.  Wife got home, talked with her a little bit.
  • Broke my not appearing in shabby clothes rule, was in my robe.
  • Broke the shabby clothes rule AGAIN!  This is hard.  Feeling frustrated with my job and I am not being as cool as I want to be.
  • Talked a little bit, we both went to bed tired.
  • Guess who had another 24 hour shift again?  That's right, my wife.  She was at work, I was supposed to hang out with a friend.  My friend had to cancel so I was at home alone.  Played video games, watched TV, wasn't a bad night but I thought of my wife often.
  • Took the day off from work, got up early and made breakfast for her when she got home.
  • Ate a good breakfast (to be honest, I made food that I like instead of what she likes so I feel like I lose some points here, but she didn't say anything)
  • We both went to bed.
  • I got up around 2.00pm.
  • Hung around for a while, wife got up and went to the gym.
  • She got home and we went out for an amazing meal and date.
  • I made some index cards with what I thought were cute questions for us for the drive.  Wife was not having it.  She thought they were stressful.  I was confused because I thought they were cute and fun, but she was not having it, so I let it go.
  • Got back home and watched a little TV together, I wanted to cuddle a little bit, but so did the cat.  Our cat is feeling abandoned so we both just pet the cat.
  • Went to bed, and I stated to put the moves on, and she was EXHAUSTED.  I could see it in her eyes, she did not want to be, but she was.  She went to sleep.
THE RESULT : To be honest, the week was full of learning.  First I learned that I am not as awesome as I think I am.  There were a couple days there where I was too tired to really make an effort.  Before this started I thought I would come out looking like the greatest husband in the world, but to be real, I just came out looking human.  I also thought that my wife would come out looking like an exhausted student, and that WAS true.  

We had some really nice moments during the week, mostly it was just simple things like holding hands and talking.  In science, you have to let the data guide you, not be a slave your own hypothesis.  My plan to make her feel loved through non-verbal communication did in fact work.  She was more touchy with me during the week.  Did we have sex as a result of my plan...  No.  Did we become more connected as a couple...  Yes.  

I did learn that I am not all that I think I am.  There were a couple days where I really "phoned it in."  The very thing I thought my wife was guilty of, was the very thing I was guilty of.  The two things couples fight most about is sex and money.  Well, let me just say that we don't fight about money.  But the truth is that I have some work to do on that front as well.  

This experiment ended on day 8, I am finishing writing on Day 10.  I stopped logging my thoughts and just hung out with my wife.  Day 9 was a good day.  We went out, had a great meal, and had a long, long, conversation in which I realized that I am just as high maintenance as I think my wife is (that will be the subject of another post I swear).  I am not going into details about Day 9, but let's just say that day 9 was a good day indeed.

What does it mean that the day after my experiment ended was the best day in a while, well, I will let you, the faithful reader be the judge of that...


3 Response to "Husband Trials : The Sex-periment"

  1. I just re-read this post again I feel the need to post a comment. This post was very personal and I had my wife read it before I posted it. My wife does know about this blog and she is free to check it out as often as possible. I keep nothing from her in this area because I feel like that is the only fair thing to do...

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