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Is "I Just Don't Want To" Enough?


Photo: Henrik Weis / Getty Images
Photo: Henrik Weis / Getty Images
Is saying "I just don't want to" a sign of apathy, insensitivity, or selfishness? If you don't accept your spouse's "I simply don't want to" are you a controlling spouse?

A recent thread on the Marriage Forum evolved from discussing porn, to the meaning of intimacy, and to whether or not "I simply don't want to" is enough of a response to being asked to do something like making personalized porn for a spouse.

Some forum members believe that a spouse should not have to defend their reasons or give explanations as to why they don't want to do something. Others view wanting to delve deeper than "I don't want to" as a way to manipulate a person to do something he or she doesn't want to do.

Some posts from the forum thread: "Intimacy does not mean flaying open one's psyche for the partner's benefit ("understanding"). Intimacy means being aware of and sensitive to the other's comfort zone, accepting that love means both togetherness and separateness. Intimacy does not have to mean peering into one another's souls. Intimacy means accepting that you will not know her every thought and feeling." ~ 11993.67 / Nancy
"If a person doesn't want to do some sex act (which is where this started) why must they defend their reasons why or be called dishonest by you? Why does the imaginary wife owe her husband a detailed explanation of why she doesn't want to make a porn video if it is not so that he can offer counterarguments, and why isn't not wanting to enough of a reason to you?" ~ 11993.88 / shopper113
"Those that allow themselves to get away with "I just don't want to" are cheating themselves out of opportunities for personal growth." ~ 11993.93 / nebortat
I don't see it as narrow minded. I see it as a boundary issue. While I'm a very open person, I have the right to simply say, "I don't want to." and have that answer respected." ~ 11993.99 / marcadav

What do you think? Is "I just don't want to" a cop out on personal growth or should a spouse respect that answer? Please share your thoughts.

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