Obnoxious Couple? Husband Makes Bizarre Spreadsheet of Wife’s Sexual Rejections, Wife Posts it on Reddit

In one of the more bizarre things to come from Reddit this week, a man has created a spreadsheet noting the various reasons his wife rejected his sexual advances over a period of about six weeks.

It’s common for couples going through dry spells to feel frustrated.  It might be a sign that your relationship is struggling, or it might simply mean that you have been working long hours, and you don’t have the physical energy when you get home for anything other than a glass of wine and an episode of Orange Is The New Black.

Some couples will actually talk to each other and try and figure out a way to spice things up. Some will vent about it to their friends. Some will cheat. Others will make an Excel spreadsheet noting the date, whether or not there was sex, and the “excuse.”

This is probably not the best course of action.  Judging by how this man’s wife reacted — posting the spreadsheet to Reddit, and calling it “immature” and “inflammatory” — it’s safe to say that their sex life probably hasn’t improved.

As with most scandalous Internet happenings, the reader comments on this story are astute and insightful, shedding more light on the possible motivations for human behavior.  I’m totally kidding.

Many readers seem to think the wife’s actions of posting the spreadsheet to Reddit are worse than the husband’s.  “It’s hard to see how she should be proud of her spinster behavior,” reads one of the many gems posted to this story on National Post.

Another commenter says she is “cold as ice.”  Many share the same sentiment—this woman deserves to be cheated on.

I’m going to take a step back and play devil’s advocate. I don’t think the spreadsheet is a bad idea. Perhaps the execution of his plan was tacky, and came at a bad time (according to the original post, he sent her the spreadsheet as she was driving to the airport on the way to a business trip). Perhaps if this man discussed the idea ahead of time it wouldn’t have seemed so abrasive.

If the spreadsheet had been consensual, it could be a healthy way of communication.  Awkward? Absolutely.  But it might work. Imagine if they took notes of their sex life over an even longer period, like six months. (Like any scientific study, the longer the time-frame, the more accurate the results will be.) They wouldn’t necessarily have to use a spreadsheet—they could go for the less clinical version, and write in a notebook. Some couples’ problems are so subtle, it might be hard for them to realize what the reason is behind their intimacy issues.  Putting it down on paper would certainly help expose any underlying issues. If most of the excuses are physical—feeling tired, “gross,” or too intoxicated, this would indicate that the problem might be solved by getting more rest and eating healthier.  If most of the excuses are related to distraction—wanting to watch a TV show, or getting back late from the gym—maybe the couple can solve their lack of lust by planning romantic nights in advance.



But in this particular situation, the spreadsheet is just obnoxious.  The husband’s commentary drives home the message that this was not meant to be helpful, but accusatory.

“I won’t have time to shower and get ready for dinner” (we were 20min early)

“I just came back from the gym, I feel gross” (didn’t shower until next morning)

The vast majority of commenters seem to think the woman is to blame.  This is troubling.  If any of these people have ever had intimacy issues—and I’m sure they have—they would know that it’s rarely anyone’s fault.  A couple’s sex life is complicated, and just because one person seems to say no more often than the other, doesn’t mean they don’t have a reason. Sex is not an obligation; it is a mutually rewarding experience.  If one person is not feeling rewarded, they shouldn’t have to have sex.  It’s that simple. The best a couple can do is communicate why they are having problems—in better ways than an Excel spreadsheet—and try to figure out a solution.

What we also should remember is that we have no idea who these people are.  We don’t know if this woman loves her husband.  We don’t know if this woman is asexual.  We don’t know if she’s being unfaithful.  We certainly don’t know, as one commenter so eloquently put it, if this woman is wearing “fuzzy slippers and grey sweatpants with a meatball grease stain on the leg.”

For all we know, this spreadsheet could have been made by a creative 14-year-boy who posted it to Reddit for shits and giggles.

Lisa Divenuta
Lisa is a freelance writer and editor living in Brooklyn. She is currently working on her master's degree in nonfiction creative writing (a bit of an oxymoron) at the New School. Her poetry can be found on divenutadrags.wordpress.com. Follow her on Twitter @lisadivenuta
  • TheeLoveCats

    I can see how maybe the excel sheet could work out if it was made to help…..like, if they went to therapy and used it in a mutually productive manner…..but clearly, this guy is pretty self serving. It seems he is doing this to make her feel bad, even worse than she probably already does.
    I hope she sees this as a huge wake up call and gets the eff out…and finds someone who respects and values her.

    • http://www.theflounce.com AlexisO

      I also read (can’t remember where since this story is everywhere) that the email said “This is why I won’t miss you while you’re gone for 10 days” with the spreadsheet attached.

      She should make her own spreadsheet that’s titled “This is why I’m divorcing you”

      • botenana

        Yea, the whole thing – feminist or not – was pretty fucked up by the husband if it was true. When I looked up the thread on Reddit before it went super viral and sexcel sheets have been made since then, the woman’s complaints seemed pretty legit – she’s not been told by her husband that there’s any problems and then after a nice goodbye, he sends a message to her saying “Oh by the way, I won’t miss you while you’re gone for ten days, here’s why” – to her WORK email address where anyone on the server can read it, by the way.

        • http://www.theflounce.com AlexisO

          Sexcel! Yeah, the was an update on HuffPost from the woman (I guess) that said they have been really busy and stressed out so it was a dry spell due to that. She also pointed out that she does his laundry and makes his dinner etc. So if this is true, the guy sounds like the king of douches.

    • Andy Dimo

      Why would you assume that a woman, for whom you have no other information other that she humiliated her husband as a response to a whiny behavior, deserves to be valued and respected? I mean hey, maybe she does maybe she doesn’t – we don’t have enough evidence if you ask me, but how would anyone arrive to the conclusion that she does with only negative evidence?

      Kinda funny comment, implying it’s husband’s fault, considering how much the article complains about people making biased and unsupported assumptions

      • TheeLoveCats

        She deserves respect and to be valued because she is a person. That being said, so does he. She doesn’t have to have sex with him, nor does he have to with her just because one asks. She didn’t humiliate him and she didn’t do it publicly for that matter. But he did -hence why I am implying that he is the problem here.

        • Andy Dimo

          1) Then the husband deserves some respect and value as well since he is also a person, although you neglect to mention that and just called him self-serving
          2) I have never claimed the she owes him sex but it is a problem when a couple doesn’t
          3) According to this article, the wife posted it online. And yes that’s humiliating.

    • Lisasaysss

      Yeah there was NO way this was going anywhere good, and he absolutely knew that. Everyone that’s saying she humiliated him is forgetting that this was 100% anonymous. Sure, he might feel humiliated for being such a dick, and he should. I imagine she must have felt humiliated to have it thrown in her face like that, how her husband is making her seem inadequate and telling her she isn’t pleasing him.

      IMO both of these people need therapy.

  • http://theflounce.com Jen Pink

    I can see a mutually agreed upon record being helpful, but keeping score for the sake of going, “Busted!” or posting such a private thing online, those things can’t be good for longevity… IDK, sex was never an issue for us at 26.

    • http://www.theflounce.com AlexisO

      Here’s a link to a woman who kept a diary of her ex-husband refusing sex. According to the story she sent it to her friends in diary form and the friend made it into a spreadsheet.

      I’m looking forward to sex power points.

      • WrongAsRain

        Oh god. i thought it was kind of fucked up that this couple shared their sex spreadsheet with Reddit, but I guess some people (if they are real people) are rather public about these things. I have this old fashioned idea that I wouldn’t share my sex life on the Internet. It doesn’t appear to be helping anyone.

    • Lisasaysss

      I know, it’s very strange that they’re only 26. I kept forgetting that!

  • Andy Dimo

    Well, no, the reason that the wife is getting more negative comments is because what she did is far worse. Her husband sending her the spreadsheet is at best a weird, lame “funny” way and at worst a passive-aggressive whiny assholish way to approach your wife about the subject.

    On the other hand the wife humiliates him by publishing their sex-life (although I think it was anonymous at least), based on sexist misandristic notions (a man who can’t get sex is less than a man), also presenting herself as the dominant (see people? I control his sex life. I shame him publicly whenever I want. He is p**sy-whipped!).

    Yet if a woman was humiliated because of her sex life, feminists would go berserk and lament about how unspeakably sexist our society is.

    But since this is a feminist article and this is done to a husband by his wife, let’s all try to come up with excuses such as we don’t know what was going on in their house (because I’m sure that a wife that humiliates her husband in this way would be an incredibly understanding and good person who got fed up by her husband’s antics. Apparently women don’t have agency when it suits them not to have one).

    Let’s focus on comments about grey slippers instead and call it “playing the devil’s advocate”. That makes sense.

    • http://theflounce.com Jen Pink

      What an incredibly objective and insightful analysis from our new resident anti-feminist. Thanks for sharing, Andy.

      • Andy Dimo

        You are welcome, Jen!

    • http://www.theflounce.com AlexisO

      It was posted anonymously so the husband shouldn’t be humiliated except for you know.. making the thing. So we can move on to the important stuff like the entitlement and expectation that he deserves sex whenever he wants and then making a document as a way to shame her.

      • the_mouse_

        Maybe you’re a foreigner to anonymous communities, but anonymity does not immunize one from humiliation. As an extreme example, would a Significant Other posting naked pictures of you that didn’t include your face fail to embarrass you? And, I don’t know about you, but a committed monogamous relationship without physical intimacy would not be worthwhile to anyone I know, so I boggle at the accusation of “entitlement”. Certainly you don’t think intimacy in a committed monogamous relationship is entitlement? Whether the husband’s dissatisfaction was appropriate to what he was receiving from the relationship is up for debate, but note this: his excel entries were not daily; they were intimate about twice a month. If I was with someone that couldn’t bear to be intimate with me more than twice a month for reasons including “watching a Friends rerun”, I would feel unloved, ashamed, undesired, and, well, humiliated. I’m not sure how you arrived at the conclusion that he felt he “deserves sex whenever he wants”, either; his issue seemed to have been frequency, but who’s to say what he would have been happy with? Twice a month is pretty damn sparse for a young couple. Hell, he might have been satisfied is she simply initiated from time to time, as his notes suggest he was the sole initiator while being rebuffed just under 90% of the time. If that sounds like entitled whining to anyone, I have to wonder at their capacity for compassion and empathy.

  • Chantal O’Connor

    It may not be the classiest way to bring up the intimacy issues in the marriage but it certainly gets the point across! Personally I can’t blame the man for being frustrated. She clearly has little interest in him and he has reached his limit. How is an unfulfilling relationship healthy for either? It really does call into question whether or not they should be together anymore.

  • the_mouse_

    I found this essay extremely confusing. As you said, “Sex is not an obligation; it is a mutually rewarding experience”, but there is nothing to suggest that he feels his wife is obligated to give him ‘X’ amount of sex per month, as he appears to accept all her rebuffs without argument. Instead, he is clearly disheartened by having sex twice a month as the sole initiator who is rebuffed 22 out of 25 times for this period of time. If presenting her his “side” of things is “just obnoxious”, I’m really at a loss for what IS an acceptable way to say “MY NEEDS AREN’T BEING MET IN THIS RELATIONSHIP”. As you said, we don’t know anything about this couple, so there is no reason to assume that he hasn’t made other attempts at bringing up what is clearly an important issue for him. Quoting again, “The best a couple can do is communicate why they are having problems—in better ways than an Excel spreadsheet—”, however that may well have been his last stand after many prior attempts to broach the subject. You’re right, no one is at fault, but now that he has communicated his needs clearly, it is in her court to respond. He’s wanting, she’s not; what else is there for him to do? I don’t think posting his attempt at communication on reddit (however tactless it may have been) demonstrates any desire on her part to find or work towards an amicable solution.

    Like I said, if someone’s needs aren’t being met in a relationship, they need to communicate that. Whether it is a man, woman or whatever, they should be able to count on their partner’s help and support. Or is a man’s desire for sex the special case in which that expectation of empathy, support, and working together as a team is null and void? I wonder at many of these comments that suggest he kept this journal to maker her feel bad. Something tells me there is little desire to imagine what it feels like to be rebuffed by your partner for sex 10% of the time, let alone 90% of the time.

    “There’s no way he ACTUALLY wants sex, he just wants her to feel bad for turning him down” is the twisted undercurrent I’m sensing…