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@oceantracks,

It's funny--I am the lady sort of in your wife's situation, in that I'm 57yo and past menopause. It really DOES change things. I mean, there is a lot less sensation, and even though I can be moist at times, it's nothing like it used to be! Some things that used to work, aren't unpleasant but don't work the same way--some things don't work at all like they used to! Then you add in just the general weirdness of getting older--aches and pains and tiredness--and it can feel discouraging. I miss the days I used to be a firecracker in bed. Now I'm more like a candle maybe ;)

But there are a couple things that stand out to me in what you've written. These are all things that YOU can change:

1) If it were me, I would be really upset and sad that you got over your pinched nerve deal and never came back to bed. It comes off a litle like "Well if you aren't going to have sex with me, I'm not going to sleep with you." I'd recommend just examining yourself and your reasons for still being on the couch. If you're using it to punish her, you really need to work that out. My rule is that we never, ever go to bed separately, so figure this out and get back in the bed.

2) If she is experiencing pain, and she says she is so believe her, what other things could you two do that are physically intimate but not painful? For example, what's gonna happen the day you can't get a woody? That's it? Physical closeness is over? I think as we get older, we all have to make adjustments so that we can continue to make love to our partner as long as we're both alive. But making love isn't only PIV. It could be oral, manual, horizontal, vertical, mechanical...whatever physical way works FOR BOTH OF YOU. So not only would I recommend looking at or trying other "positions" but maybe also opening up to the possibility of other physical options. Like...well to be blunt, how about kissing each other? Do you kiss? Do you french kiss? Do you make out like school-kids? Why not? If you don't, make a date and go do that! Make sense? In other words look at it as being intimate with someone you love in some sort of physical way--not PIV sex only. ;)

3) You're both home but don't spend time together. She says she wants a dinner at a nice restaurant but the two of you don't go. You joke about getting a hotel room but don't do it. I'm not harping on you--I'm just pointing out that she has made it clear that she'd like to spend time with you doing personal, loving things, but it's not getting done. DO IT! Here's the thing--spoken as a lady--when my Beloved Hubby makes the effort to have coffee with me every morning, and lunch on the phone every day, and dinner together every night I know that's his way of saying I am important to him. When he makes dinner, yep it unwinds him but it's also his way of taking care of me. When he takes me out places, it's his way of showing me off. When we take the time to talk and share, deeper than "how was your day?" I know that is his way of loving and sharing himself with me. So if he stopped doing all that, what would it say to me? I'm not important to him. He doesn't care. He doesn't think I'm worth showing off. He doesn't love. I'm not worth sharing himself with. :(

This may be the kind of message you are giving your wife by being home together all day but spending no time together. Is that what you want to communicate to her? You say you don't want a roommate, but are you treating her like one? If so, stop it. Treat her like a lover!

Now, it sounds like she's like me--I grew up on a farm and I'm fluffy but I'm tough. I like working and stuff doesn't gross me out and I'm not utterly gushy day-to-day (although I have written poetry to the right fella). But if my Beloved Hubby's actions were communicating to me a general lackadaisical disinterest, I'd be discouraged! I'd feel like "He doesn't care about me and only wants me for the one thing!" So if this is NOT what you want your wife to feel like, just think about ways that are "you" but that also communicate to her that you LIKE her...that she is IMPORTANT to you and INTERESTING. Purposefully have some fun with her--like when was the last time you took her to a concert? or a baseball game? Fun builds friendship which builds caring with builds love which builds wanting to be intimate (not just physically but in all ways).

4) "I really like this time we're in if it weren't for the pain stuff I'm dealing with..."....it's either that she's oblivious or just wants to avoid the subject. She has even said "You are making too much out of this, I'm HERE for heaven's sake, I love you." I'll be blunt--it sounds to me like she is not even close to understanding how her actions are leading to destroying her family. And make no mistake...but denying you for this long, this often, eventually the day will come that you will be tempted or become so fed up that you leave. She is thinking "Okay we get to retire and do all those golden age things and yeah I have this pain but he is committed and will never leave me" and it really HAS NOT occurred to her to in her old age, she will be alone and have less than half of the income and resources she has now. That she will have to figure out how to change the oil in the car, fix the plumbing, or negotiate the social security red tape BY HERSELF...unless she starts making some effort.

Your part in this is that you do bring up how much this bothers you, but for some reason it's not in a way that she is getting the message that "HEY! This needs to change or your comfort, your dreams, your life, your marriage, your family and your world are going to explode!" I think up to this point she's heard it at the level of "I'm not getting enough dessert!" complaining. So on your part, you need to make it clearer that this is unacceptable and you won't tolerate it forever...that she is running the risk of hitting old age alone if she doesn't take this seriously!

Now, I get it--you are committed and married for life. I do get that. But in the same way that you are dismissing her pain during sex, she is dismissing your pain at not having sex! In fact, maybe you could use that as an example to help her understand:

"Dear wifey, you have said that having sex is painful for you, and I have been hearing that as an excuse. I didn't take it seriously. But I've been thinking about this, and I realize I've been dismissive. For that I apologize. But I also want to use my new understanding as an example. When I tell you that having sex 3 times a year is not acceptable and you say 'You are making too much out of this, I'm HERE for heaven's sake, I love you' what you are doing is exactly what I've been doing to you--dismissing my pain. But in my example, I tell you this is painful and keep doing the thing that hurts me. Imagine if you told me sex was painful and I'd promise to have sex less often and then kept having sex with you once or twice a day even though it hurt you! That's what you are doing to me! Now I do love you dearly and deeply, and I realize I have some things I need to change and work on too, but I'm telling you this needs to be taken seriously or our marriage is vulnerable and may die. I do not want it to die, but in order for it to NOT die, you have to understand that not having sex is similar to you telling me sex hurts, and I just keep doing it anyway. I would NEVER do that to you, and it is killing me that you are doing that to me."
 

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Thanks all.

The thing is, you can spend 15 minutes talking to her about this and everything she says ...kind of....makes sense. She shrugs it off and says "It's not forever for heaven's sake, I just need to get out of pain with the vertebrae surgery and feel better. It's hard to think of sex between lack of desire during menopause AND pain." Swears she loves me would have no idea what life would be like without us together, blah blah. I tell her I just don't want to be a roommate.

Tom
Actually, the thing is, if she doesn't do something about this sooner rather than later, it WILL be forever. He back pain will hopefully get better, but I don't see sex drive coming back when menopause is over, because menopause is the STOPPING of producing the hormones that help with sex drive. She is on the estrogen patch which will help, but basically, if she ignores that part of her body for too long, the pain will get worse and worse.

She should definitely talk to her Dr about a topical estrogen and maybe testosterone for that area. The pain is not just because of lubrication, the skin actually gets thinner and more fragile from menopause plus lack of use.

You say she "squirms out of it" by saying lets spend more time together but then "nothing happens." But you also say your kids are grown. So you two do NOT have to be there in the house with them constantly. You are the one who wants more sex. I think you're going to need to take it upon YOURSELF to make spending more time together happen. If you know she's going to crash and burn by night time, start taking her out to breakfast or brunch on the weekends. See if you can get her to the early bird special for dinner. Grab a sixpack and go sit and chat at the park.

It is a fact that most women need to feel emotionally close/connected to their man to have romantic feelings. I suggest YOU plan and set some dates with her and then YOU remember them and stick to them even if she "forgets." Also, she can not feel like going out for dinner because she's tired, but once she gets out of the house, alone with you, and gets attention and fun from you, she'll probably perk up and have a nice time. Get a glass of wine down her throat if you can. ;-)
 

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Tom,
Your reaction to chronic rejection is as normal as it is destructive.

If sex is physically painful for her, she’s going to avoid it. People avoid pain. If your sexual routine was mostly/entirely missionary style intercourse, that makes the challenge bigger.

In any marriage, the two hardest questions to answer are also the most important:
1. Who do you love more? Yourself or your partner.
2. Who does your partner love more, themself or you?

How do you think she perceives your desire to have sex - despite the fact that it hurts her?[

Are you open to a sexual routine that for now excludes intercourse?

More importantly, is she?
 

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Be romantic and fun. Blow her off her feet. Surprise the hell out of her randomly one day with no expectations. Remove all pressure of sex, and I'm willing to bet she will come around willingly.

Not, I surprised you with this weekend getaway, now put out. Just have genuine fun together.


Who wants to have sex with someone whos only doing it due to pressure?
 

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Tom,
Your reaction to chronic rejection is as normal as it is destructive.

If sex is physically painful for her, she’s going to avoid it. People avoid pain. If your sexual routine was mostly/entirely missionary style intercourse, that makes the challenge bigger.

In any marriage, the two hardest questions to answer are also the most important:
1. Who do you love more? Yourself or your partner.
2. Who does your partner love more, themself or you?

How do you think she perceives your desire to have sex - despite the fact that it hurts her?

Are you open to a sexual routine that for now excludes intercourse?
Obviously, she loves herself more. She could do hand jobs, oral, or other activities, if intercourse is painful. Instead, she is using her pain as an excuse and not entertaining alternatives, unless I've missed something. It seems she won't compromise, so it is her selfishness that's the problem here.

OP, negotiate for what you want, or ask for an open marriage. As a last resort, leave.
 

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Tom, you refer to your wife as very selfish but have you thought about your own behaviour. For some women in menopause, sex is excruciating. Imagine a cut on your penis that is raw and painful when you get erect. How excited would you be at the prospect of sex? How loved and supported would you feel if your wife kept badgering you about the lack of sex. This is a time when women need the support and understanding of their husbands.
You should read some articles on this online, there lots if you google it.
I also note she is 12 yrs younger than you. You mention divorce. She might decide she’s fed up of your lack of understanding and dump you. It works both ways and your fixation on getting what you want is clouding your view of your wife. She was always a willing partner till now so perhaps some more support and understanding is needed from your end.
 

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Not a lot.

It's a weird situation, as we are both home all day as I'm lucky enough to work from home. So sometimes we'll both jump in the car and go odd places, but not for any kind of fun, just...up to the store, whatever. Once in awhile a quick (but not fancy) dinner out. So we are around each other all day.

We both pitch in on house duties.

She's not, as I said, an overly touchy feely person. But she's not unapproachable. I mean, this morning she came up and said "Hi hon, give me a hug" that kind of thing. It's just...I'm not even sure she gets it, really. She says she's really happy when we look at our life and remember other places we live...she just said yesterday "I really like this time we're in if it weren't for the pain stuff I'm dealing with..."....it's either that she's oblivious or just wants to avoid the subject. She has even said "You are making too much out of this, I'm HERE for heaven's sake, I love you."

Yeah, that and 5.00 will get me a Starbucks.

I don't know. I think just concentrating on myself is the only road I have. Everything else presents itself as complaining. It's a crappy way to live frankly. I don't think I should have to, and yes she's aware of what the Bible says about withholding yourselves from one another. She doesn't have a clear answer. I think she thinks she's not doing anything consciously, it's just the circumstances of pain, and not feeling desire ...for any man...right now. She said she'll go to a top female doctor we found (who is two months out on appointments). Who knows.

I do appreciate all the input, especially input based on similar circumstances. Thanks much.
Wow, now using the bible to thump her over the head. You are a really selfish man. Let me remind you that the bible also says, love your wife as Christ loved the church in Ephesians 5:25 which means sacrificially, same as your own body. Yet she has body pains, issues with menopause and you can only think of your own sexual gratification. You are not following the teaching of the bible and you are the head of the household and are responsible.
 

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Tom, you refer to your wife as very selfish but have you thought about your own behaviour.
Yes, the OP knows that there is a major problem and still pushes for sex. I agree that it's frustrating that his wife doesn't seem to be bothered about his sex life, but it is what it is. The OP has a choice: he sticks with her and enjoys his wife's company with no sex, or divorce. It's a stark choice but at the end of the day there is no obvious solution. Don't do what I did: keep making the same mistake until you drive your wife away. If the problem is really bothering you, have a final talk. Don't give ultimatums but just explain that you can't leave without sex and that your options are limited.
 

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It’s a shame there isn’t much in the bible about ‘manual labour’; would you be opposed to the idea of asking your wife to provide a...helping hand (or mouth) to tie you over?
While she also tries the stuff workingwife suggested.
Gosh, I’m horrified to read all these things menopause can do...Is this how it goes for the majority of women?
Maybe it’s ok if the husbands get ED at the same time or something...Bit it doesn’t sound encouraging if one is horny as a dog and the other is dry as dessert.


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Maybe it’s ok if the husbands get ED at the same time or something...
I wish I had ED or no drive... :laugh: Problem solved. It's not just the sex, it's the intimacy and deeper connection which disappear. Personally, I found it impossible to keep the connection going. After 18 months of no sex I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel, despite what my therapist (woman) tells me.
 

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@oceantracks have you and your wife considered hand jobs, fleshlights, or even sensate focus (kind of like tantric without the penetration)?

Counseling with a sex therapist will be good for you and your wife but understand that in your case most of the recommendations provided will be alternatives to vaginal sex. You both will have to be open to that.

Can you be happily married to your wife if vaginal sex is no longer a possibility?

Can you be happily married if oral sex is possibly off the table as well if her neck issues go unresolved?
 

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I wish I had ED or no drive... :laugh: Problem solved. It's not just the sex, it's the intimacy and deeper connection which disappear. Personally, I found it impossible to keep the connection going. After 18 months of no sex I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel, despite what my therapist (woman) tells me.
Lack of sex is one thing, but lack of intimacy and connection is even worse. I've experienced both in my first marriage.

Having no drive might work if you spouse also is not interested. But ED isn't really a "solution" in that case, as men can have orgasms without erections - good oral can still make that happen.
 

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I wish I had ED or no drive... :laugh: Problem solved. It's not just the sex, it's the intimacy and deeper connection which disappear. Personally, I found it impossible to keep the connection going. After 18 months of no sex I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel, despite what my therapist (woman) tells me.


I think (and I might he mistaken?) you can have ED and still sport a strong sex drive...which seems the worst combination to me out of all.


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She's not, as I said, an overly touchy feely person. But she's not unapproachable. I mean, this morning she came up and said "Hi hon, give me a hug" that kind of thing. It's just...I'm not even sure she gets it, really. She says she's really happy when we look at our life and remember other places we live...she just said yesterday "I really like this time we're in if it weren't for the pain stuff I'm dealing with..."....it's either that she's oblivious or just wants to avoid the subject. She has even said "You are making too much out of this, I'm HERE for heaven's sake, I love you."

@oceantracks part of intimacy should be a soothing and healing place for someone struggling with pain. It appears that your wife may be avoiding nonsexual intimacy (soothing and healing) to avoid the physical intimacy (the part that may be uncomfortable and painful at the moment).

In my opinion you should focus on nonsexual intimacy to help bring the two of you closer. You also should discuss the idea of alternate forms of sexual intimacy that can be shared comfortably. The easiest form of this would be for her to encourage and support your efforts for self gratification. While that sounds awkward, the two of you could go shopping online for some fun novelties. One example that comes to mind is one of those TENS pain relief units for your back/neck. You can also buy TENS accessories intended pleasure release for your penis. You could role play and pretend your Johnson has a fractured vertebrae that needs attention and have her be your nurse and administer your treatments.

 
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