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I’ve been married over 20 years. Children are grown. I love my husband and he loves me. I don’t believe he’s cheated. I have not either. We have a pretty great marriage, except when it comes to sex. Thinking back this has been a pretty constant thread for us. Of course was no problem at first. But after kids the usual story. Until the past year we always had pretty regular sex despite me having a much lower sex drive. Once a month would be fine with me. Every day would be fine with him. But I’ve always been a willing partner. I’ve tried to explain that ten minutes in I’m glad it’s happening but I just don’t necessarily want to at the outset. But as I said. I’ve probably actually said no less than five times ever. Once I realized how important this was to him I made it a priority. I actually initiated and would keep track. He didn’t want to initiate since I confessed I wasn’t into it at the outset. I could go on but this is the gist. I can’t take hormones due to past cancer. But as I said I’m fine ten minutes in. I always climax. He’s great in bed. This isn’t enough for him. He is upset so many times over the years that I don’t “desire” him. He’s made spread sheets documenting how often we have sex. I’m exhausted. I quit initiating because I felt like he didn’t appreciate my efforts. Instead they just aren’t enough. He wants me to be horney like we just met. I can’t be that person. Literally nothing else is wrong. I’m at my wits end. I’m sick of discussing this. Yes. We’ve been to counseling. Watched porn. I feel like having sex and even good sex. By his own account too. Is a win. But he feels upset. He feels there must be more to it. It’s a literal constant elephant in the room. Please help me. I’m ready to leave sometimes. I’d rather be alone than constantly letting someone down.
 

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I’m so sorry you two are struggling like this. This sounds very familiar, there are elements of your story that hit home for me about my marriage. I feel like your hubby and I have a lot of in common, we clearly feel a strong need to be desired and wanted sexually. I understand the nuances of these situations and definitely appreciate effort and generosity - but for people like us it just won’t ever be the same as a purely natural desire for us. We need to be flirted with, teased, lured, invited, pounced on, and have a very intimate, erotic connection with our partners. If we don’t have that, as nice as everything else is - we will never be truly happy. I’ve come to accept that about myself and it sounds like your hubby is in a similar situation.

I don’t have any answers, these are difficult issues to be sure. I just want you guys to know you aren’t alone and these are not unique challenges that you face. It sounds like you’ve tried a lot of things already, but I’d still recommend some targeted sex therapy. It will help with your communication, it can help standardize expectations and mediate some of the unspoken stuff between you both.

Outside of that, I hope you can find a way to work it out. I greatly sympathize with your situation.
 

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You sound like a good wife.
He sounds selfish.
Maybe find another counselor that can explain to him some people are high drive and some are low. ?
Maybe you will be lucky and his drive will drop and things will balance?
 

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I don't think at this point it's unreasonable to tell him "If you can't accept me as I am, given how hard I try, you can pound sand". If you've worked as hard as you claim here, you've fulfilled your part of the marriage contract. Let him stew in his own unsatisfied desire for a while.

As Stephen Wright used to say "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"
 

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You husband needs to look up reactive response in sexuality. Clearly this is YOUR type of sexual response. He needs to understand that, and learn how to trigger that, and STOP being whiny about it. HE NEEDS to learn about this and you BOTH will be much happier.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I’m so sorry you two are struggling like this. This sounds very familiar, there are elements of your story that hit home for me about my marriage. I feel like your hubby and I have a lot of in common, we clearly feel a strong need to be desired and wanted sexually. I understand the nuances of these situations and definitely appreciate effort and generosity - but for people like us it just won’t ever be the same as a purely natural desire for us. We need to be flirted with, teased, lured, invited, pounced on, and have a very intimate, erotic connection with our partners. If we don’t have that, as nice as everything else is - we will never be truly happy. I’ve come to accept that about myself and it sounds like your hubby is in a similar situation.

I don’t have any answers, these are difficult issues to be sure. I just want you guys to know you aren’t alone and these are not unique challenges that you face. It sounds like you’ve tried a lot of things already, but I’d still recommend some targeted sex therapy. It will help with your communication, it can help standardize expectations and mediate some of the unspoken stuff between you both.

Outside of that, I hope you can find a way to work it out. I greatly sympathize with your situation.
I appreciate your response. It’s nice not being alone and n something. I try so hard to understand from the other side of things. But at some point I feel like we have to accept all sorts of things about our partners and love them as they are. I can’t believe a compromise isn’t possible. Do you really accept that’s the only way for you to be happy?
 

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You sound like a good wife.
He sounds selfish.
Maybe find another counselor that can explain to him some people are high drive and some are low. ?
Maybe you will be lucky and his drive will drop and things will balance?
I’ve hoped for that so many times. Thanks so much for responding. Ugh. I’m so sick of the same discussion. But it’s probably worth another shot I suppose
 

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I don't think at this point it's unreasonable to tell him "If you can't accept me as I am, given how hard I try, you can pound sand". If you've worked as hard as you claim here, you've fulfilled your part of the marriage contract. Let him stew in his own unsatisfied desire for a while.

As Stephen Wright used to say "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"
Ha ha. If only it weren’t so miserable to live in that atmosphere
 

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You husband needs to look up reactive response in sexuality. Clearly this is YOUR type of sexual response. He needs to understand that, and learn how to trigger that, and STOP being whiny about it. HE NEEDS to learn about this and you BOTH will be much happier.
Thanks for responding. I’m going to look into this as you suggested
 

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wow...are you my wife? She could have written the exact statements from her view on our marriage. I can tell you, being in the same side as your husband, it is emotionally very hard to accept. It may be a fact, but reactive desire is complicated for a higher drive partner who sees desire differently. In my case, the struggle is about all the sexual expression outside the bedroom that I craze (that cannot come from reactive desire), as well as the carnal type of sexual expression that comes from pure lust and desire. Those are very hard to go without.

My wife is much like you, and once things get started, she is into the moment, and almost always has an O and enjoys herself, but it still leaves me feeling lacking.
 

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wow...are you my wife? She could have written the exact statements from her view on our marriage. I can tell you, being in the same side as your husband, it is emotionally very hard to accept. It may be a fact, but reactive desire is complicated for a higher drive partner who sees desire differently. In my case, the struggle is about all the sexual expression outside the bedroom that I craze (that cannot come from reactive desire), as well as the carnal type of sexual expression that comes from pure lust and desire. Those are very hard to go without.

My wife is much like you, and once things get started, she is into the moment, and almost always has an O and enjoys herself, but it still leaves me feeling lacking.
MIA - imagine if it is your wife!! Lol.
 

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Once a month would be fine with me. Every day would be fine with him.
Lack of affection is often a marriage killer, and it's justified. Affection is just as important an aspect to marriage as love, fidelity, trust, communication, etc. It's totally understandable that your drive may not be what it once was, but it's not acceptable to just expect him to accept a virtually sexless marriage. I'm sure if he took away one of the foundational aspects that you need in a marriage, you would be frustrated.

Even if your drive never changes, you should take the initiative to find ways to show him that you find him attractive and make him feel desired even if has nothing to do with sex. For example, do things like cuddle and fall asleep in each other's arms, caress his back when you're in the kitchen, lay your head on his lap while watching TV, and so on. These kinds of intimate actions can make him feel more desired on a regular basis without all the pressure of sex. You should be proactive about these kinds of actions so he doesn't feel like he's starving for affection and begging you to appease him.

You should also be proactive about finding ways to genuinely enjoy sex more. Just being willing and compliant does not make for emotionally satisfying sex. He wants to feel like you enjoy it rather than he is manipulating you into doing it. So rather than him feeling like he's responsible for all aspects of making you enjoy intimacy, you should take steps to help yourself enjoy intimacy. Maybe that means you treat yourself with manicures, bubble baths, wear lingerie, destress your life, or whatever would make you more conducive to intimacy. You may never get to the point where you're dying to jump his bones, but at least he should feel that you are genuinely happy when he initiates.

If you don't want to improve things, you should divorce so he can find happiness somewhere else. Duty sex and sex 1x/month are going to kill his self-confidence and make him feel like a loser. It's clear he's upset about this and it's causing him a lot of internal strife. So if you can't help make things better, show him that you love him enough to end it so he can avoid this downward spiral and find joy somewhere else.
 

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You sound like a good wife.
He sounds selfish.
Maybe find another counselor that can explain to him some people are high drive and some are low. ?
Maybe you will be lucky and his drive will drop and things will balance?
Kindly, this isn't a good way to approach the challenges.

Crossing your fingers and hoping he will want less sex is opening more doors to larger problems with harsh solutions.
 

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I’ve hoped for that so many times. Thanks so much for responding. Ugh. I’m so sick of the same discussion. But it’s probably worth another shot I suppose
I'm sensing a very real lack of your understanding that this is indeed very real and quite serious problem in your M.

If you're not attracted to being an important part if your Hs life sexually than it may be best to tell him outright you'll never again be interested in him that way.

Don't be a cake eater.
 

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But he feels upset. He feels there must be more to it. It’s a literal constant elephant in the room. Please help me. I’m ready to leave sometimes. I’d rather be alone than constantly letting someone down.
Your husband is very ungrateful.

Send him over to the "Dead Bedrooms" sub on Reddit and let him read there for an hour or two. He'll see what it's like for other guys who are married to women who don't give a rat's ass how much they want sex, and who don't try to please their husbands at all, who never initiate sex and say "no" ALL THE TIME, and for many men, it's been YEARS since they've had any type of sex at all.

I can't believe your husband is making spreadsheets and whining like a baby because you're not walking around like a dog in heat and humping his leg with desire all the time. The guy needs a damned hobby if that's what he's doing with his time. Your efforts of always making yourself available and initiating sex with him and making sure he's satisfied just aren't enough for him. Honestly, he's just a selfish, whiny ass.

Drag him to your gynecologist so they can explain to him - in words he can understand - how menopause works and how it robs many women of all their desire. Maybe THEN he'll finally get it and stop making this ALL ABOUT HIM.

And if he REALLY gets it, maybe he'll take the time to THANK YOU for all the effort and care you've put into your marriage making sure you're NOT one of the many, many "dead bedrooms" you see on Reddit every single day.
 

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I’ve been married over 20 years. Children are grown. I love my husband and he loves me. I don’t believe he’s cheated. I have not either. We have a pretty great marriage, except when it comes to sex. Thinking back this has been a pretty constant thread for us. Of course was no problem at first. But after kids the usual story. Until the past year we always had pretty regular sex despite me having a much lower sex drive. Once a month would be fine with me. Every day would be fine with him. But I’ve always been a willing partner. I’ve tried to explain that ten minutes in I’m glad it’s happening but I just don’t necessarily want to at the outset. But as I said. I’ve probably actually said no less than five times ever. Once I realized how important this was to him I made it a priority. I actually initiated and would keep track. He didn’t want to initiate since I confessed I wasn’t into it at the outset. I could go on but this is the gist. I can’t take hormones due to past cancer. But as I said I’m fine ten minutes in. I always climax. He’s great in bed. This isn’t enough for him. He is upset so many times over the years that I don’t “desire” him. He’s made spread sheets documenting how often we have sex. I’m exhausted. I quit initiating because I felt like he didn’t appreciate my efforts. Instead they just aren’t enough. He wants me to be horney like we just met. I can’t be that person. Literally nothing else is wrong. I’m at my wits end. I’m sick of discussing this. Yes. We’ve been to counseling. Watched porn. I feel like having sex and even good sex. By his own account too. Is a win. But he feels upset. He feels there must be more to it. It’s a literal constant elephant in the room. Please help me. I’m ready to leave sometimes. I’d rather be alone than constantly letting someone down.
I'm not sure I followed all of that.
You two have regular sex and you do not refuse him if he starts touching you and shows that he is wanting you?
The problem is you told him that you do not really want it .....at the outset?
I guess you shouldn't have told him that.
I guess this should have stayed one of those little white lies the lady's talk about stuff with sex, stuff they do not tell their guys.
It sounds like if you just didn't say "I don't want it" this issue would never have come up.
I am not really sure why that was said. What good could have ever possibly come from it.
 

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Frankly, hubby must be consuming too much porn because he sounds totally disconnected from reality (side effect of porn use). He’s bought into the lie that women are supposed to act like men in regards to sex. My wife isn’t like that, his wife isn’t, you’re not...I don’t know a single woman (outside of crazy teenage girlfriends, stories, or porn) that acts like what hubby here expects. It’s his own fault for watching so much porn that now he’s bought into the lie. Of course, he could probably get help for this- but like just about every modern man don’t dare take away his porn or right to do what he wants with his body!

The paradox is that over the long term I’m not sure a man would even want a woman to behave like that. I mean, what man would really like to have a woman that acted like a man? It’s mostly the “thrill of the chase” that keep men coming back. I get though that men think this is what they want..... just don’t think it would actually work in real life.

maybe if hubby can get clean from porn and just really ponder it he’d realize how blessed he really is and just accept the reality of the situation. Porn is just really damaging to men and marriage.. it just really is.

Seems like if wives take another step then the men take it further and he’ll next be asking for something even more ridiculous or perverted (you see this trend on TAM all the time). I think a lot of this perversion and dissatisfaction is fueled by porn.
 
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