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Im writing to you to get both a collective opinion and advice. My wife and I have been together for over ten years and our sex life is pathetic, at least i think it is. We do have a few kids and over the past couple of years, sex, what was in my opinion poor before, has gotten worse. Now i know kids can have a large impact on the sexual relationship between a couple but i wanted to reiterate that sex for my wife has always been as she says not enjoyable and thus our sex life has always been sub-par. As you can imagine we have talked about this issue over the years and she never has an explanation about why she doesnt like sex. She usually gives answers like, "I just dont find it enjoyable" and is passive when trying to discuss further. She has never let me give her an orgasm nor has she done anything interactive during sex. We have tried counseling but it never has gotten down to the root of the issue although the counselor thought it could be a control issue on her part. I have thought and asked her is it me and i do believe her when she says its not. Lately sex has gotten really pathetic though. When she does give in to my asking for sex (about once or twice a month) it is usually done so with stipulations of no kissing or much touching. When i try to discuss this with her and tell her this situation isnt normal for a married couple she says, and believes, that most married people are in the same situation as we are and it is completely normal. Im treated as though my requests for a healthy sex life is abnormal. I find that hard to believe which is one of the reasons im posting.

I am a very sexual person and enjoy sex a lot. It deeply bothers me to not be intimate with my wife. I want her to enjoy sex and would do anything she would want sexually. I love her very much and feel this is the one thing in our relationship that is wrong.

Any incite or advice would be appreciated.
 

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Ahubby

There could be any number of reasons for her lack of interest. Physical, emotional, psychological…. Since you have tried counseling already it may not be emotional but that is usually my first instinct. That possibly you are not providing her with some need and because of that she has withdrawn physically. The fact that she doesn’t kiss you and is not interactive would support this idea. That was the root of the problems in my marriage. Counseling again might help. Also try reading Chapman’s Five languages of Love to see if you are not connecting in your love for each other. Definitely have her speak with her OB/GYN to rule out any physical problems. Let her know intimacy is important to you and you want her to enjoy it also. Sex lives can improve. Good luck.
 

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Hi ahubby,

Do you know if she was abused growing up? Does she even think that there is a problem? How is everything else in your marriage? Do you help her and understand her emotional needs? Are you a supportive husband? When you initiate sex is there any fourplay before you get in the bedroom. Hugs and kisses during the day, compliments? This really helps. Reevaluate your situation and think back about any disagreements or things that are happening in your life at the moment this can effect both of you in the bedroom.
 

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That is a very pertinent question, was she abused as a child? Your wife not wanting to kiss seems a red flag to me, that perhaps she was forced to kiss someone or something she didn't want to.
Has your wife ever been examined genitally for more than a pap smear? It is possible that the birth process might have injured her, or if she was abused, there could have been some kind of injury there? I know this would probably be very difficult to get her to agree with, because I suspect she hates Pap smears as much as sex. A woman gynecologist or a man gyno with a very sensitive manner should examine her, and maybe an ultrasound included to make sure there is nothing physical the matter.
I commend you, ahubby. It is obvious you love your wife and long for a sexual, comforting relationship. I hope you can achieve it!
 

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So many guys forget that lovemaking is something that needs to happen all the time in daily life. And I don't mean doing it on the kitchen table! I mean just touching your partner, holding their hand, talking to them, appreciating them.
 

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My ex-wife and I had this same problem. Alot of it was a mind set and alot of it was both being stubborn because we felt that neither was getting what we wanted. Problem is men and women have an issue of not realy talking or listening until it is to late. What we discoverd after the divorce is that we both wanted the same thing but, that we needed to go about it diffrently. I was not full filling her need of basicaly being corted to and made to feel extra special. She was not filling my need to fill desired and wanted. We were both selfish and neither would give to the other because we wanted the other to give to us. Seams stupid but I see so many marriages like this. Some how you need to find what she needs. It could be as simple as a date away from the house to maybe just cuddling and watching a movie together. One of you has to give in to the other nees first.


Have some fun seeing how women and men can view simple things diffrently. Enjoy a laugh over it at She's Right - He's Right
 

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How often do you help out around the house, how do you take care of your body? Did you have sex with her before marriage? What are her religious beliefs?

These are some key issues that you didn't address in your post and these all have a HUGE impact on how she views sexuality within your relationship.
 

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how about psychological? could she have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) which stems from anxiety? she may have so much anxiety about pleasing you and herself that she would rather avoid it. it could be that she thinks about sex being dirty with sweat, sperm/semen, breathe that kind of thing and would rather avoid it.

the kissing part is also a red flag to me. either she has a sensory integration disorder...which doesnt make sense to me since you two already have kids and have been intimate with each other or ... the anxiety part where she thinks that if you kiss her the expectation of that act leading to sex, thus, the anxiety of performance.

my other main thought is whether she was sexually abused as a child. if she didnt go any further in the counseling sessions...then i would assume something has happened. it may hurt her emotionally/psychologically (revisiting those images) and socially (what would her husband think of her then? would he reject her? thoughts like this) to go any deeper and that could be why she didnt open up during the sessions.

i think the lack of sex stems more from something deeply rooted that is not exposed on the surface. it is a sensitive issue with your wife. the good points are that you love her and have the patience and determination to try to understand her needs as well as your own.
 

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You should ask your wife the exact question you are asking here, via a hypothetical friend -- except flip the genders of the victims, and replace "sex" with "never shows me emotion". I guarantee you she'll say something like "she should leave that dolt since he is too selfish to meet her needs".

Then tell her you think that is a very interesting answer, and ask her how would she feel if that advice was given to you guys. Most likely she'll pull a "thats different" attempt, but don't allow her to do so -- it is NOT different, it is exactly the same. A spouse is CHOOSING not to meet the needs of the other spouse, and is choosing not to work through the problem.
 

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So many guys forget that lovemaking is something that needs to happen all the time in daily life. And I don't mean doing it on the kitchen table! I mean just touching your partner, holding their hand, talking to them, appreciating them.
I love the way you put this. It's so true. How can I remind him of this without siiming pathetic or too needy?
 

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I must say me & my wife fall into this from time to time. Just recently to be exact. I was getting tired of doing it myself & did something about it. I became very forceful with it & she actually enjoyed it. Not that this will work with all but I think in your case a big discussion is needed before it is too late.
 

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Since you state that this has always been an issue, I really cant or wont jump to the conclusion that there is someone else present. I really feel that she does have some issues with sex and they could steem from a lot of different reasons. However, if a counselor nor you could get to the root of them, I am not sure who can help her if she is not willing to help herself. It is not normal, no matter how long a couple has been married to not have sex. If you cant have a healthy sex life with your spouse, then who? I would suggest appealing to your wife in a different manner, not confrontational, just inquisitively. Inquire about the number of sex partners she has had in life, and maybe delve into her childhood a little bit. A life-altering experience can make a woman not enjoy sex anymore, and so can emotional issues that go untreated for a long time. I even experienced this before.
 

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ahubby, you need to make her sit down with you an talk. What she is doing is controling the only aspect of your marriage she can and that is sex. It often amazes me to hear, well what are you doing to help out around the house or maybe she isn't getting from you.

Now, I would assume since you are posting here you have probably tried all of the "well if I cuddle more she will want to", "if I take out the trash maybe she will want to"..

When in all actuality it is HER sexuality. And her withholding the one basic thing in your realtionship that keeps you from being only roommates is wrong.

I would also ask, is she on hormonal bitrth control. HBC is KNOWN to cause libido issues and depression in women. It is something to look into.

I am married with 4 children. To the SAME man for 15 yrs. When we first married I withheld sex for a long time. Saying to my husband "your such a jerk is that the only thing on your mind"...Well yeah it is if your not getting it...I know this now.

And see another thing is I hate when people say "it's just sex"..No it's not just sex, it is intimacy it is passion and it is desire for one another...Yes sex is a need within a marriage ..If your not having sex with your husband or wife you are basicaklly roommates..Thats it..
 

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ahubby, you need to make her sit down with you an talk. What she is doing is controling the only aspect of your marriage she can and that is sex. It often amazes me to hear, well what are you doing to help out around the house or maybe she isn't getting from you.

Now, I would assume since you are posting here you have probably tried all of the "well if I cuddle more she will want to", "if I take out the trash maybe she will want to"..

When in all actuality it is HER sexuality. And her withholding the one basic thing in your realtionship that keeps you from being only roommates is wrong.

I would also ask, is she on hormonal bitrth control. HBC is KNOWN to cause libido issues and depression in women. It is something to look into.

I am married with 4 children. To the SAME man for 15 yrs. When we first married I withheld sex for a long time. Saying to my husband "your such a jerk is that the only thing on your mind"...Well yeah it is if your not getting it...I know this now.

And see another thing is I hate when people say "it's just sex"..No it's not just sex, it is intimacy it is passion and it is desire for one another...Yes sex is a need within a marriage ..If your not having sex with your husband or wife you are basicaklly roommates..Thats it..
well said.

draconis
 

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"Well yeah it is if your not getting it...I know this now."

Out of curiosity, how long did it take you to figure this out? My gf has this stupid idea that withholding it and not telling me why is "OK" and that maybe I'll just stop asking and be happy with out it.

So am I going to have to wait 15 years before she figures it out or do I just have to up and cheat or dump someone who is perfectly good in other ways.
 

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You know after so many yrs of my hubby dealing with this he finally said it has to change or I am done. And we did seperate, but for nly a month. It took me less than that month to realze that I was about to loose everything I wanted in a man because I was to afraid to give in to valnurability...
 

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Juls:

I'd love to hear more details about the specifics of your resolution.

1) Do you believe he would have followed through if you had not returned? Ie: if you, during said month, decided not to get back together, would he have done the divorce thing?

2) Do you ever think he wonders whether or not you were sincere in getting back together? I have considered telling gf I'm calling it quits, and following through. However there would always be a doubt in my mind if she came back about whether she really wanted me, or just didn't want to be without the house/car/benefits...

3) What was the vulnerability that you felt you were afraid to give in to?

I am not far from being forced to make the same ultimatum myself. I don't want to, but I don't see anything else carrying the necessary weight.
 

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HE had gotten to the point that yes he would have followed through. I was so wrapped up in every other aspect of life that I had left him behind. And I knew when he said I'm done something was really wrong, it's sad that it took me getting to that point to open my eyes...

He did "wonder" what my intentions were for a while. He did communicate those fears to me..He worried I was "just giving in to get him back and then back to square one"...But in time he realized this was not the case.

My fear issues boiled down to me. I feared giving "ALL" of myself to anyone person. I gave what I thought I could handle loosing and kept the one thing I knew I still had conrol over and that was my sexuality. I feared if I gave all of everything I had in me that he would use to to hurt me. (baggage sucks). When in reality me withholding did more harm. I have a man whom loves me and everything about me and wanted to share it all with me. But I choose to keep the key thing that makes relationships into marriages..

I remember I used to say to him.."Well I have been cleaning your house all day and taking care of your kids and I'm tired now, how dare you get mad at me for not having sex with you"...He finally got to the point he said to me "you know I can get a maid to do all that, I want YOU. I want the intimacy and passion back and if I have to hire a maid so you won't be to tired for me then so be it"..and he is right..Now I know this. Now I know that the dishes could have waited and that time with him is more important.

He is a wonderful, very fair man. ANd he just got to his breaking point almost 3 years ago. See he could have mimiced so many other men and women I read about..."other than our sex life EVERYTHING is fine"..That was us...We had a wonderful open line of communication marriage, except sex.

I hope this makes sense it's 5 am and I am trying to type!
 

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***But I choose to keep the key thing that makes relationships into marriages..

This is a very powerful and true statement. We often hear the flip side ("we're roommates") but seldom someone admitting. I know you've been through a powerful journey and learned a lot and am happy to hear it worked out.

***cleaning your house all day and taking care of your kids

Pet peeve here: I hate when a person tells his/her spouse "your kids" when they are "our"s.

***"you know I can get a maid to do all that, I want YOU. I want the intimacy and passion back and if I have to hire a maid so you won't be to tired for me then so be it"..and he is right..Now I know this.

Yeah this is the crux of it. If there's zero sex and lacking emotional intimacy, then really what is either person getting.

What you said about being afraid to give though was also very enlightening. I can imagine from his point of view, he also felt a bit insulted or shortchanged. Its like: "I MARRIED you, we have two kids together, where do you get off withholding anything on the grounds of "being afraid""

I am so happy to hear that things worked out, I really am. I had been afraid of getting to that breaking point and issuing an ultimatum or similar. I know before I do that, I will try forcing conversation. I'm sick of getting the "I don't want to talk about it" or "not now" or any other excuses for lacking in communication. I can see though that if she still uses those excuses, then its time to imply we might be better off taking a break.
 

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Chopblock - you decide what IS the most important thing. Yeah, for a lot of people and couples sex is very important. It is not so important to others. But if it is important to YOU and she is not talking to you or actively trying to figure out why she does not want sex - then you have more problems than sex.

I used to think a few months in a marriage was nothing to go sexless. And in the whole scheme of life a few months is really nothing. But not talking about it, not seeking answers is way more problematic and even if the sex comes back that other problem will still be there.
Lots of people are "perfectly good" but maybe they are not the right ones for us.
 
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