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I guess this is a recurring story but here goes. I've been married to my wife to 9 years and we've been together 15 years. For most of that everything has been great until the arrival of our son 6 years ago. After that things got difficult and we ended up in a bit of a rut with no intimacy between us and infrequent sex.

Things came to a head a little while back when I caught my wife sexting a co-worker. I pretty much blew up at this and although I'm convinced I caught this early and nothing else happened I'm still pretty sick about it.

One good thing that came out of this is that we did a lot of taking and I found out a lot of things I didn't know about. I should point out that my wife doesn't normally talk about problems so this was the first time we really talked because I was heading for the door. Anyway I had discovered she felt I was uninterested in her for a number of reasons and I have worked very hard to own this problem and be a better husband. From what I can tell my wife seems to be happier now and my efforts seem to be working

The problem was/am unhappy too because of a lack of intimacy between us. We are having more sex now but its really duty sex which is pretty hollow and unfulfilling. For example I'm not really allowed to touch my wife anywhere and she wont kiss - its all over very quickly although she does seem to enjoy it while we're doing it. she absolutely wont initiate though. Outside of the bedroom its a similar story - no hugging or touch etc. We used to be very affectionate so I've found this hard.

I brought this up again recently and my wife said I put too much importance on intimacy and shes not really into it. So me its the very foundation of marriage (and previously our relationship) so I don't understand this position. Between the sexting incident, the lack of my wife's interest in my my ego is pretty crushed and I feel profoundly lonely.

I'm not sure where to go from here. My wife wont engage in any real conversation on the problem and counselling/therapy is out for her at least as she refuses to go. Everything else in our lives is good and I still love my wife but I cant go on as things are.

I need some new ideas on what to do next
 

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Have you told your wife that this lack of true intimacy and affection is a deal breaker for you and that you don't feel loved by her? Does she really know that by telling you it's not important she's telling you that YOU aren't important and you don't want to stay married to someone who views you that way? Does she know you might end the marriage over it?

She might agree to counseling if she thinks her marriage is on the line. I think an awful lot of women just don't understand how important sex, intimacy, and affection are for men even when their husband tells them. It's not until the D word comes out that they start to understand. This happened with friends of mine. There was no sex or affection until he flat out said "If things continue this way, I will fall out of love with you and then I will want a divorce." Once she realized how important it was to him she made real changes in order to fix the problem. She wanted her marriage but had closed off the intimacy/affection portion for some reason. She worked hard to bring it back and things improved. I know things still aren't perfect but he says they're "good enough" and gets balanced out everything else about the marriage that is good. I never did hear what her issues are and it's not my business but she was able to work on them to improve things.
 

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Have you told your wife that this lack of true intimacy and affection is a deal breaker for you and that you don't feel loved by her? Does she really know that by telling you it's not important she's telling you that YOU aren't important and you don't want to stay married to someone who views you that way? Does she know you might end the marriage over it?
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This, exactly this, and all of this !!!!

Remaining in your current situation will rot your soul from the inside out.

While not to the level your experiencing I had some of this in my marriage when the kids were young (no sexting stuff either). I made it VERY clear this is not what I signed up for in marriage and things resolved very quickly.

Now with that said: Do you still date and pursue your wife? Do you make her feel wanted .... If not then that's on you.
People get real lazy once paired up. Don't get lazy.

One more thing: Some women will leave their husband in the dust while they beat the mommy montra drum as loud as they can.
 

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Things came to a head a little while back when I caught my wife sexting a co-worker.

We are having more sex now but its really duty sex which is pretty hollow and unfulfilling.

Outside of the bedroom its a similar story - no hugging or touch etc.

I brought this up again recently and my wife said I put too much importance on intimacy and shes not really into it.
Your wife is into intimacy. She is just not into intimacy with you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My wife definitely doesn't understand the real issue. We've talked many times and she has told me I just needs to ask for sex and she wont turn me down - in reality I know shes just going through the motions to try an keep me happy and the genuine intimacy is lacking.

I've tried to lay out the issue as clearly as I can but it doesn't seem to be getting through. What confuses me is she is making an effort to keep me happy by making sex available but to be honest I'd prefer a heartfelt hug vs unenthusiastic duty sex.

We've made some progress lately so I dont want to start raising threats but I do need to get the message across some how.


About making her feel wanted - I was failing here and this is one of the things I've been working on.
 

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If I were you I would go into detective mode. Read up on the signs your wife is having an affair. A drop off in intimacy, yet she sexts a coworker? Big red flag sir. I would snoop all he electronics for evidence of communication with her AP. I am 99% certain she is currently engaged in an affair.

You need to take the blinders off and look at this situation logically...AFFAIR for certain.
 

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I've tried to lay out the issue as clearly as I can but it doesn't seem to be getting through. What confuses me is she is making an effort to keep me happy by making sex available but to be honest I'd prefer a heartfelt hug vs unenthusiastic duty sex.

Have you told her that? I'd tell you that you're noticing her efforts and you appreciate them. Then be honest and say "to me, it's about the expression of love. Sometimes I'd kill for a spontaneous hug from you just so I know you do love me."

About making her feel wanted - I was failing here and this is one of the things I've been working on.

By working on it, do you mean you're doing to her the things that make you feel loved or have you asked her and then followed up by doing the things she says make her feel loved. You seem to need physical affection to feel loved. Do you know what she needs? Because if you're not doing the right stuff it won't really help her feel loved at all. I need physical attention too. A lot of guys show their love differently than that so I'd need to tell my partner exactly what I need. Spontaneous hugs, kisses, etc. Nothing makes me feel loved more than a good hug. But your wife might be different.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If I were you I would go into detective mode. Read up on the signs your wife is having an affair. A drop off in intimacy, yet she sexts a coworker? Big red flag sir. I would snoop all he electronics for evidence of communication with her AP. I am 99% certain she is currently engaged in an affair.

You need to take the blinders off and look at this situation logically...AFFAIR for certain.
Yes, I have already done this and the inappropriate interactions with her co-worker seem to be resolved (I went in pretty hard on this) although I am keeping an eye on it of course. I''m pretty sure the other guy has backed off - lets just say I gave him a bit of a scare and he doesn't want to be meeting me again.

The drop off in intimacy has been a long term problem since the birth of our son so I dont think the texting thing is the root cause.

On thing I have noticed is that my wife wont do things with my that she does with our son and I do wonder if there is some sort of psychological thing going on. For example she'll pick our son up and show affection my hugging and kissing but she wont do the same with my. What she will do is things like spooning in bed so I but she wouldn't turn round face to face as she claims shell get too hot.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've been doing things she specifically said she wanted - that is she wanted to me talk more and show more interest in her day etc. I've also been taking her out on dates etc and she does seem to be happier.

I've tried to explain what I want but she hasn't got it yet - its quite difficult to have the conversation though as she'll try and shut it down. She's always been like that and doesn't like to talk about problems like this.
 

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I've been doing things she specifically said she wanted - that is she wanted to me talk more and show more interest in her day etc. I've also been taking her out on dates etc and she does seem to be happier.

I've tried to explain what I want but she hasn't got it yet - its quite difficult to have the conversation though as she'll try and shut it down. She's always been like that and doesn't like to talk about problems like this.
Well, if you're sure she's not having an affair, I'd be blunt with her and say "I'm working hard to do what you asked for, but you're not doing the same. That needs to change."
 

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I was in same boat as you, similar circumstances as intimacy dropped to near zero, only to find my FWW in an affair.Thankfully, via MC and IC the spark is back, and at 57 we have what my wife refers to as “rendezvous” at a minimum of three per week. All this wise ol jarhead is trying to tell you is keep your eyes open. There is more going on than you realize. The fact that she sexted a coworker is indicative of that. Be vigilant. Tell her MC or you are going to pull the plug on the marriage. That is the only way you are going to knock her out of the funk.
 

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I've been doing things she specifically said she wanted - that is she wanted to me talk more and show more interest in her day etc. I've also been taking her out on dates etc and she does seem to be happier.

I've tried to explain what I want but she hasn't got it yet - its quite difficult to have the conversation though as she'll try and shut it down. She's always been like that and doesn't like to talk about problems like this.
She knows exactly what you want but she’s not interested.
If you can, check her internet browsing history and see if she has researched divorce law in your state. Try and find out if she’s been talking to a lawyer.
And keep an eye on her texting buddy, they may just be hiding their relationship better.
 

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Your wife's emotional affair is proof positive that she DOES have sexual desire, but her needs are not being met within the confines of your marriage.

Marriage and kids can easily kill a wife's libido. The early relationship energy is long gone, and it's been replaced by the comfort, boredom, familiarity and stress of "normal" life. She needs the oomph. She needs that tension.

You have a few avenues to go down:

1. Talk it out. Appeal to her rational side. Keep swatting away her affair partners (trust me, she's not done yet).
2. Work on pleasing her. Do the fixer-upper things that will make her feel appreciated and wanted. Relieve the stress of parentdom.
3. Work on yourself.

Believe it or not, #3 is the only viable option.

You're not alone, obviously. I have written about dead bedrooms. It's one of the two most clicked-on posts of mine. The other is about signs of a cheating wife. That's not a coincidence.

Dissecting Dead Bedrooms
 

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I've tried to explain what I want but she hasn't got it yet - its quite difficult to have the conversation though as she'll try and shut it down. She's always been like that and doesn't like to talk about problems like this.
If you talk to your wife and complain about the quality of intimacy or the quality of sex, all she will hear is that you think she is inadequate. She will probably shut that down fast because it is a hurtful conversation that might be making her feel rejected. If by chance in the meantime she has caught you watching porn and trying to hide it, that will only serve to make her feel overwhelmingly inadequate.

Have you ever tried complementing her and working to boost her self confidence?
 

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I guess this is a recurring story but here goes. I've been married to my wife to 9 years and we've been together 15 years. For most of that everything has been great until the arrival of our son 6 years ago. After that things got difficult and we ended up in a bit of a rut with no intimacy between us and infrequent sex.

Things came to a head a little while back when I caught my wife sexting a co-worker. I pretty much blew up at this and although I'm convinced I caught this early and nothing else happened I'm still pretty sick about it.

One good thing that came out of this is that we did a lot of taking and I found out a lot of things I didn't know about. I should point out that my wife doesn't normally talk about problems so this was the first time we really talked because I was heading for the door. Anyway I had discovered she felt I was uninterested in her for a number of reasons and I have worked very hard to own this problem and be a better husband. From what I can tell my wife seems to be happier now and my efforts seem to be working

The problem was/am unhappy too because of a lack of intimacy between us. We are having more sex now but its really duty sex which is pretty hollow and unfulfilling. For example I'm not really allowed to touch my wife anywhere and she wont kiss - its all over very quickly although she does seem to enjoy it while we're doing it. she absolutely wont initiate though. Outside of the bedroom its a similar story - no hugging or touch etc. We used to be very affectionate so I've found this hard.

I brought this up again recently and my wife said I put too much importance on intimacy and shes not really into it. So me its the very foundation of marriage (and previously our relationship) so I don't understand this position. Between the sexting incident, the lack of my wife's interest in my my ego is pretty crushed and I feel profoundly lonely.

I'm not sure where to go from here. My wife wont engage in any real conversation on the problem and counselling/therapy is out for her at least as she refuses to go. Everything else in our lives is good and I still love my wife but I cant go on as things are.

I need some new ideas on what to do next
Welcome to my world. Unfortunately, I don't have any advice because this is just the way things are with us and I don't see it changing. I feel your pain and sadness.
 

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I don't mean to sound nasty but I think many men don't understand that it can be very likely that they put themselves into this situation. What is more confusing to them is when the think that they WERE giving her what she wanted. I could write a whole page on this but no need .... Kindle is likely loaded with books on it already. Get to reading.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Your wife's emotional affair is proof positive that she DOES have sexual desire, but her needs are not being met within the confines of your marriage.

Marriage and kids can easily kill a wife's libido. The early relationship energy is long gone, and it's been replaced by the comfort, boredom, familiarity and stress of "normal" life. She needs the oomph. She needs that tension.

You have a few avenues to go down:

1. Talk it out. Appeal to her rational side. Keep swatting away her affair partners (trust me, she's not done yet).
2. Work on pleasing her. Do the fixer-upper things that will make her feel appreciated and wanted. Relieve the stress of parentdom.
3. Work on yourself.

Believe it or not, #3 is the only viable option.

You're not alone, obviously. I have written about dead bedrooms. It's one of the two most clicked-on posts of mine. The other is about signs of a cheating wife. That's not a coincidence.

Yes, I have been going though a very similar thought process. In fact I've been working on option 3 for a while - I've really got myself into shape by hitting the gym and am now dressing better etc as well as making other improvements like talking to my wife more. Unfortunately my wife seems to be oblivious to these efforts although I have been picking up compliments from women at work so I cant believe its not noticeable.

I'll read your posts.
 

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If you talk to your wife and complain about the quality of intimacy or the quality of sex, all she will hear is that you think she is inadequate. She will probably shut that down fast because it is a hurtful conversation that might be making her feel rejected. If by chance in the meantime she has caught you watching porn and trying to hide it, that will only serve to make her feel overwhelmingly inadequate.

Have you ever tried complementing her and working to boost her self confidence?
The "talk" does nothing but flagrantly advertise that the man is not attractive. She KNOWS she's not turned on. She would love to BE turned on, but she's not. It's not a choice. Sure, having sex is a choice... having an affair is a choice... but being genuinely turned on is not a choice.
The man might as well sit her down, start crying, and scream in her face, "I'M NOT ATTRACTIVE! I'M NOT ATTRACTIVE! I'M NOT ATTRACTIVE!" Yes, she knows.
 

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OP,

In whatever steps you take be sure and remember you yourself are valuable, important, bring a huge amount of items to this relationship, and it's NOT all about her and you're definitely not solely responsible for present circumstances.

Once you've communicated your concerns to W clearly, don't keep on repeating yourself ad nauseam everyday. W will only see that as whiny, needy, and unattractive.

W doesn't sound like she's acting like an adult in her half of the "talk", or, and very likely, she doesn't care enough about your issues to change anything.

Sadly she is using your stability yet likely still having an EA at minimum or worse.

She's trying to make you think it's abnormal to have an affectionate wife, don't let her.

Maybe start playing the imagination game; if tragically you didn't have to worry about her cheating, or how to convince her to put you first in the M again, what would your life look like? If a more peaceful frame of mind starts to form, that's something to consider.

It's not all you creating this problem.

That's the first objective of an SO who may be doing something "wrong" is to make the other feel like it's their fault. As in deflect, obfuscate, anything but take responsibility.

Her actions are showing you that she doesn't believe you're important enough for her to make changes. Tragically.

Things can't stay this way forever. You should be prepared mentally, emotionally, and financially for all outcomes.

And don't be whiny. One can never "debate" an SO into all of a sudden saying "you're right, I've been wrong and an ass, how inconsiderate of me, I'll change right now".

Or "earn his way" back into regular sex and great relationship. Unless a W wants you, for you, you can't ever do enough around the house to "earn her love". She will ride that to a D, on her timetable, while getting her emotional and physical needs met outside the M.

Hang in there.
 
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