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Hello all - sorry in advance if this is long winded.

My wife and I are wildly incompatible, sexually. It's almost always been this way, but I thought things would get better since we are so good together in other ways and she was going through a tough time when it started. We communicate openly, are affectionate, and care deeply for one another. We've been married 18 years and have 3 teenage children together.

There are 2 problems, from what I can tell. The biggest is that she has some medical problems and some issues with depression/anxiety. The medication she takes absolutely kills her libido and causes all kinds of stomach issues. I don't blame her for this, obviously, and don't put any pressure on her - though I do remind her periodically (gently) that I miss having some passion in our lives. I think it's fair to say she's aware of the incompatibility and how it effects me, but when you are in survival mode, it's really hard to get into the mood. I get that.

The second problem, which is 100% on me, is that I cannot break myself away from the idea that I deserve the sex life I had always had in my younger years. I know this probably sounds terrible but I need to be honest. I know it's not right, but I can't help it and have tried everything. I do all of the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and pay all the bills, make all the financial decisions (I ALWAYS consult with her though), and am very active with the kids (homework, field trips and so on). I don't know if I'm good looking or not, but I've made a huge effort to keep myself in decent shape (but I only go to the gym when everybody else is sleeping). I send her flowers and leave her little love notes, I don't drink or gamble, I've never raised my voice to her and I think I'm doing things the way they should be done. I know the world is full of men like that, but I want you to understand a little more about me and how things are here.

To me, a passionate, fun, exciting sex life with the woman I married is really important. I want to play games, explore, send each other sexy pictures or texts or snaps or whatever, and keep things spicy in innumerable other ways. I want to try new things and be romantic and spontaneous and inseparable.

I've tried just about everything I can think of, including ways to kill my own libido via medications (which caused cognitive side effects that I couldn't live with) and therapy. A woman who we were both close friends with had suggested (a few times) that I should pack up and leave or file for divorce - but I don't consider than an option. I do love my wife very deeply, and cannot fathom not being there for somebody who needs my support.

I'm grateful to any of you who may have read all that - and I apologize if I sound insensitive in any way. I'm just stuck and don't know how else to communicate it. Any advice or thoughts are most appreciated.

Thank you - and I hope you, whomever you are, have a fantastic day :)
 

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Well, you will certainly get ideas on here about what to do. Listen to them all, figure out which ones you agree with and give it a whirl! Then in a year, six months, two months, or whatever your time limit is, and nothing has changed (or it changed for a bit but then went back to unacceptable) you need to decide.....for you......what you want. If the sex life you described is what you want, divorce is probably your only option (always exceptions) as she isnt changing. If the thought of not being with her is unacceptable, then start doing more to accept your current situation, because it is not changing.
Just do me a favor. What ever you do, DECIDE. ACT.
 

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Well, you will certainly get ideas on here about what to do. Listen to them all, figure out which ones you ...
Very sound advice, and I thank you for that. I'm just not sure how to come to terms with it, then if I'm being honest, I sometimes feel like I'm being selfish and unreasonable. It's a viscous cycle!
 

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How often do you have sex? Is she happy with her sex life? Does she know you want to improve it? What is her thoughts and side of this.
 

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I am not at all sure that my ideas will work since she is on medications, but here goes.....She probably hasn't hit menopause and I would think her female hormones are probably in check, but you may ask her to get her testosterone checked and if it is not on the higher side, perhaps a testosterone cream might increase her libido. My wife had a low sex drive (always) and is post menopausal. I was diagnosed with low testosterone and once treatment changed my life, she wanted her hormones balanced. Once they were, she developed a significant sex drive. It might be worth looking in to. I know of a number of women of various ages on a testosterone cream for sex drive. I am just not certain it will work if medication is killing her libido. I would certainly check into it
 

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I think you’re going to get lots of advice from women about what works for them etc.

You mentioned about medication suffocating your wife’s libido, at least there’s a reason why.

I’ve read quite a few posts on here now and also read a couple of suggested books like married mans life primer. Medication apart if your wife doesn’t want to be intimate/affectionate etc it’s down to the fact she’s no longer feeling that way about you.

Proof being that a women who tells her husband she’s not in the mood, doesn’t like giving oral sex etc would have no problem dishing it out for a new fella. That’s for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How often do you have sex? Is she happy with her sex life? Does she know you want to improve it? What is her thoughts and side of this.
Well it's June and we've fooled around a little twice this year. Sex is like an annual thing for the past few years. When we fool around she has pretty intense <you know> and leaves me pretty scratched up. When we do talk about it, she says she understands that it's hard for me, and she turns it into a discussion about how I deserve more/better/etc. I reminder her that it's no more her fault than it is mine and that we can work through it together. I don't know if that means she's happy with it, but on her list of things to worry about, it's not even in the top 20. I often feel like my needs just don't matter to her, but when I look at the medical issues she faces, where some days she can barely put her feet on the floor without pain, I'm reminded that it's damn near impossible to think of others when you're miserable.
 

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HOw often do you initiate? What is her response?
When you talk about it and she say you deserve more have you said yes. I love you and I think we should be able to have great sex at least once per week. Can you commit to that?
 

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Thanks for the response!
I don't really initiate much because she's often not feeling well. And when she IS feeling okay, and the planets are all in alignment, I often chose to do other things like take her out to dinner or hop on the motorcycle for a nice ride through the country - so she knows that I want to spend time with HER not just jump right into bed. Maybe that's a mistake and I should try being a little more assertive again? I guess part of me doesn't want it to be charity sex, if that makes sense. I want her to enjoy it and crave it like I do.
In fact, I've been sleeping on the couch for nearly 4 years now (kids think it's because I snore and don't want to keep the whole house awake). If I asked her to commit to once a week (or once a month) she would probably happily agree, but it I'd say I'm 99.98% confident it wouldn't happen.
 

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Well it's June and we've fooled around a little twice this year. Sex is like an annual thing for the past few years. When we fool around she has pretty intense <you know> and leaves me pretty scratched up. When we do talk about it, she says she understands that it's hard for me, and she turns it into a discussion about how I deserve more/better/etc. I reminder her that it's no more her fault than it is mine and that we can work through it together. I don't know if that means she's happy with it, but on her list of things to worry about, it's not even in the top 20. I often feel like my needs just don't matter to her, but when I look at the medical issues she faces, where some days she can barely put her feet on the floor without pain, I'm reminded that it's damn near impossible to think of others when you're miserable.
I get that someone may have a hard time feeling good when they do not feel good (with regards to medical issues).

Without going into detail, how treatable is your wife's medical condition? Is she avoiding a surgery because there are financial or emotional issues she is struggling to overcome regarding a potential treatment?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I get that someone may have a hard time feeling good when they do not feel good (with regards to medical issues).

Without going into detail, how treatable is your wife's medical condition? Is she avoiding a surgery because there are financial or emotional issues she is struggling to overcome regarding a potential treatment?
Thanks for digging in :)

She has a connective tissue disorder, which causes significant pain in her joints when it flares up. There is no known cure, no surgery, and nothing to do but try to control the symptoms.
 

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Thanks for digging in :)

She has a connective tissue disorder, which causes significant pain in her joints when it flares up. There is no known cure, no surgery, and nothing to do but try to control the symptoms.
OK, so since there is no known cure you just have to try and make the best of things.

A second problem you are likely dealing with is that your wife is probably struggling with her self esteem and feeling inadequate. If you complain about sex it will likely only serve to validate her fears and make the problem worse. So you need to approach from a different angle. Ask yourself how can you use sex to improve your wife's self esteem and allow her to feel that she is enough to please you?

First of all every complaint can be transformed into a compliment!
  • We don't have sex enough = I enjoy being with a wife that I strongly desire all the time
  • Your medical issues make things difficult = Even though things get challenging for us, you are worth it
  • It is hard for me to initiate sex because I worry you would rather do other things when you are feeling good = I should initiate sex more often so that we can choose together when the moment is good instead of just allowing myself to get frustrated.
...and you will also need to work out ways for your wife to reject your sexual initiations in a loving way. Perhaps the best way is to increase nonsexual intimacy with hugs and back rubs or anything that is soothing towards one another. You don't want to get angry or frustrated and allow her to see that.

You will also need to be completely open and share with her the things that you do and enjoy when you engage in self pleasure. You should explore ways to allow that to happen in her presence so that the practice can become something that brings you closer. She will probably have a lot of questions! She may get upset about you using porn! She may try and use those things to continue harming her self esteem... but insist that you want her to indirectly participate in that with you from time to time. Perhaps simply by hugging each other in the process, or better yet hugging each other while completely nude. Ultimately what she needs to experience is that she is not completely responsible for your sexual pleasure but that you can be responsible for that and share that with her. Odds are she will begin to respond and/or it will trigger a strong argument that may help reveal and underlying problem that has yet to surface.

In addition to that you can try to encourage her to demonstrate what she enjoys with regards to her own self pleasure. This is not easy and may not happen, but at a minimum she should be able to share with you some stories of her own self exploration from her past. The purpose of this would be to get her comfortable with the idea of shifting responsibility for one's pleasure is something that can also be shared in a positive way. It can also be rather fun. It can also unlock all sorts of new potential to enjoy each other's sexuality in the midst of medical challenges.

Hope that helps, or at least give you some new perspectives to consider.

Regards,
Badsanta
 

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OK, so since there is no known cure you just have to try and make the best of things.

A second problem you are likely dealing with is that your wife is probably struggling with her self esteem and feeling inadequate. If you complain about sex it will likely only serve to validate her fears and make the problem worse. So you need to approach from a different angle. Ask yourself how can you use sex to improve your wife's self esteem and allow her to feel that she is enough to please you?

First of all every complaint can be transformed into a compliment!
  • We don't have sex enough = I enjoy being with a wife that I strongly desire all the time
  • Your medical issues make things difficult = Even though things get challenging for us, you are worth it
  • It is hard for me to initiate sex because I worry you would rather do other things when you are feeling good = I should initiate sex more often so that we can choose together when the moment is good instead of just allowing myself to get frustrated.
...and you will also need to work out ways for your wife to reject your sexual initiations in a loving way. Perhaps the best way is to increase nonsexual intimacy with hugs and back rubs or anything that is soothing towards one another. You don't want to get angry or frustrated and allow her to see that.

You will also need to be completely open and share with her the things that you do and enjoy when you engage in self pleasure. You should explore ways to allow that to happen in her presence so that the practice can become something that brings you closer. She will probably have a lot of questions! She may get upset about you using porn! She may try and use those things to continue harming her self esteem... but insist that you want her to indirectly participate in that with you from time to time. Perhaps simply by hugging each other in the process, or better yet hugging each other while completely nude. Ultimately what she needs to experience is that she is not completely responsible for your sexual pleasure but that you can be responsible for that and share that with her. Odds are she will begin to respond and/or it will trigger a strong argument that may help reveal and underlying problem that has yet to surface.

In addition to that you can try to encourage her to demonstrate what she enjoys with regards to her own self pleasure. This is not easy and may not happen, but at a minimum she should be able to share with you some stories of her own self exploration from her past. The purpose of this would be to get her comfortable with the idea of shifting responsibility for one's pleasure is something that can also be shared in a positive way. It can also be rather fun. It can also unlock all sorts of new potential to enjoy each other's sexuality in the midst of medical challenges.

Hope that helps, or at least give you some new perspectives to consider.

Regards,
Badsanta
Good advice Badsanta,

I'll add my nickles worth (we don't have pennies in Canada anymore)

Masturbate, masturbate, masturbate!

Yes, I typed masturbate! Three times too.

Try to get your wife involved with your masturbation sessions. Make those sessions very special and don't scrimp on duration and light some candles too.

Buy yourself a masturbation sleeve, lube, and other devices as you might like. Use them with her at your side. Keep the bedroom warm and ask her if she would like to lay naked on the bed beside you. Optionally, have her wear a skimpy outfit or even just her bra and panties.

Just lay back, start stroking gently to the desired hardness, then lube up and begin using the sleeve. Don't rush a thing, take your time! Make eye contact with your wife. Moan and thrust while stroking. Talk to her softly.

Another thing you could do for your wife, is buy her some nice sex toys and make them available between you in bed. And, don't cheap out, buy a good collection of quality toys. At least one for clitoral stimulation. And, if you know she likes insertion toys, make at least one of those available too.

Now, I'm betting, that in the above scenerio, you might end up with couples sex or mutual masturbation more often than not. You just have to make your wife feel attractive and wanted!

Just my $0.05!
 

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Go back and read the third sentence of your first post. Then read it again. It is you who decided that the situation was acceptable when you married her. Honestly it is unfair for you to expect her to suddenly change. In reality it should be you who learns to change and lower your sex drive. It’s not her problem ... it’s yours.
You can decide to live like this ... or you can decide to move on. There are countless men that come through this place with a similar story. Take note NOW that you will NEVER get that passion filled wife you desire. You didn’t marry that type of woman ... from the start.
 

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Now, I'm betting, that in the above scenerio, you might end up with couples sex or mutual masturbation more often than not. You just have to make your wife feel attractive and wanted!
The OP should also be aware that mutual masturbation, and being completely comfortable doing that (just as one does solo) in the presence of a spouse can be challenging and may not happen. Especially if one of the two is struggling with self esteem issues.

This would be very different from a perhaps common coupled experience to where a man with mild performance anxiety struggles to climax, pulls out, and then quickly forces himself to climax via an iron-fisted-jackhammer routine. That type of experience is not exactly healthy. It is one of avoiding confrontation while experiencing arousal difficulties to help end the experience and escape from further intimacy.

In contrast mutual masturbation is about really allowing yourself to be seen by your spouse. Not an easy thing to do.

Regards,
Badsanta
 

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You sound like you are in the same boat as I. Two or three times a year, though this year I didn't even get my birthday sex. She says it's her, not me. She's promised she's "gonna" change for years. No matter what I do nothing changes. Things are coming to head now in my situation (and I'm ahead of you in this difficult process), so I'm willing to offer my help and experience. I know how soul crushing this is.

I'll get more in detail about my situation if you ask, but have you heard of that guy Athol Kay?

Mr Kay says there are only 6 reasons a spouse refuses sex. Figuring out which one you are dealing with is a great starting point for deciding your future options and actions.

That worked for me, in terms of getting my life moving in a different, positive direction as opposed to going around in the same endless painful circle.
 

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Thanks for digging in :)

She has a connective tissue disorder, which causes significant pain in her joints when it flares up. There is no known cure, no surgery, and nothing to do but try to control the symptoms.
I am taking a different approach and it won’t be popular....that vague medical no treatment available problem you mentioned above....seems to fit perfectly with her “no sex” approach to life. I promise if there were some financial award for her to show up (insert anywhere or anything) that “disorder” would not be a problem.

I think you need to man up.
 

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Well it's June and we've fooled around a little twice this year. Sex is like an annual thing for the past few years. When we fool around she has pretty intense <you know> and leaves me pretty scratched up. When we do talk about it, she says she understands that it's hard for me, and she turns it into a discussion about how I deserve more/better/etc. I reminder her that it's no more her fault than it is mine and that we can work through it together. I don't know if that means she's happy with it, but on her list of things to worry about, it's not even in the top 20. I often feel like my needs just don't matter to her, but when I look at the medical issues she faces, where some days she can barely put her feet on the floor without pain, I'm reminded that it's damn near impossible to think of others when you're miserable.
So, my suggestion -- SCHEDULE your time together for sex. If she enjoys it so much and you do, say "Saturday mornings" we will have sex. YES it takes the "spontaneous" out, but it WILL help you keep the emotional closeness that sex provides, and she should understand that.

IF she isn't feeling good due to a flare up, you can try Saturday night or Sunday-- just have those "fall-back" times already worked out.
IF she doesn't feel good AT ALL, well there is next weekend to try again.
IF you find that she never feels good on the weekends, but is ok during the week, that should tell you something.
 

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To me, a passionate, fun, exciting sex life with the woman I married is really important. I want to play games, explore, send each other sexy pictures or texts or snaps or whatever, and keep things spicy in innumerable other ways. I want to try new things and be romantic and spontaneous and inseparable.
I think every guy on this forum would agree with you - myself included.
 
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