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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm new to this site. Had no one to talk to, so I figured the anonymity of the internet would be best for now.

Need your perceptions of my situation, to see if I'm being unrealistic or am really in a bind.

Here goes:

Been married for 10 years. Just had our first (& probably last) child - the MOST BEAUTIFUL & precious little girl, the new love of my life! Prior to this, for approximately 3-5 years, there has always been an issue of my wife having a low libido, to the point of her suggesting I should seek sex elsewhere, during a couple of heated arguments. We had tried marital counselling both as a couple, & individually, to no avail. In fact, a counsellor had commented one session, that I had few issues, and most of the 'baggage' is from my wife, which she would have to be willing to sort out.

Fast forward 2 the present. We are 14 weeks into parenthood & the 'parenthood' part is awesome. She is clearly the best mom & I, the best dad, that we could have hoped for, for our little girl. Last intimate moment was July of 07. It is now May 08 - 3 months post-birth, and all her physical wounds have surely healed. She is off work for a year, and we have help around the house for chores, so aside from financial stress, she is living it LARGE, & well-deservedly. I had returned to work after 2 weeks off when my daughter was born. I had been patient since July of 07, and had been patient for months after the birth, in hopes of sex in some form or fashion. In addition to the 'lack of sex', the recent years have shown her to be quite impatient & abrupt with me (easy to anger), and almost an 'ignorant' insensitivity of acknowledging me as a husband (eg. she never calls me at work; she never surprises me with affection; she's forgotten greeting cards to me for some special occasions; she displays no thrill of having me come home after a long day at work; she shows zero displays of private or public affection, etc. etc. etc.) And it goes without saying that sex is no where to be found. Last summer, by chance or fate, I had met another woman, and NEARLY had an affair. We (I & this woman) realized it in time, and took steps to cut things off before we both did something we would regret.

The problem is that I am a rather young, virile, attractive & vibrant guy, who is FAR from 'retired' from sexual activity, intimacy, or excitement. She is a gorgeous & young looking woman as well, & it is so bizarre that her libido resembles that of an 80 year old. And her disposition makes me feel more like we are roommates in our house, sharing parenting duties. The most accurate word for our co-existence as of late is 'civil'. As if that wasn't enough.....

Now, add her 'sister' into the equation. She is the only surviving member of my wife, and is from overseas. She is now living with us (indefinitely), while studying english & working part-time, in hopes that she would immigrate at some point. She is the PERFECT guest: does not intrude, is very polite, does chores around the house, adores & helps take care of my little girl, etc.; I can not say enough about the positives). However, perfect guest or not, she will always feel like a 'third wheel' to me, so I struggle with these feelings.

Here is what aggravates the intimacy issues between my wife & I: The sisters hang out frequently (in the home), and talk amongst themselves in a foreign language that I do not understand. They share some great moments with my daugther during the daytime (which I, as a working father, is not privy to). When it comes time for 'family' activities, like strolling with the baby, or taking a 'family' vacation, my wife assumes that her sister is always a part of it. It's as if, her sister is her 'husband', & I, the 'guest'. Strange, sad, but true.

How does one even begin to iron out intimacy issues with a spouse who by nature, tends to clam up, when problems arise, with the added complexities of having a somewhat permanent outsider living in the same house (thus robbing me of even more privacy)?

We share a daughter now, as well as a mortgage, which neither of us could handle if we were alone, which banishes all thoughts of dissolving the relationship. I am adamant to make sure my daughter grows up with her biological parents together in one household & resolved to sacrifice my own needs to achieve this....or shouldn't I? I don't know.

Finally, I am the type that handles stress very well, mentally. However, heavy stress manifests itself in physical ailments. These ailments are a reminder to me about my plight, and I fear that indifference will soon lead to resentment, if I don't figure out another way to deal with or look at this situation. I've been reading alot about the ways of Buddhism, and trying hard to detach myself from my ego, but it's is fricking HARD!

Any thoughts, suggestions, or even just sharing a similar predicament?

Thanks to ANYONE who actually found the time to read through this post. I really don't expect any responses, but I will be hopeful, and check back again in a couple of days.

Cheers!
 

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First you have to look at the culture that your wife and her sister grew up in. Many asian families are like what you describe. It would sound like your wife is the older of the two. But many asian societies believe any family member is obligated to help any other as family is the most important thing. I think our society has really lost so much from not having extended families.

draconis
 

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July07? Unless she had medical reasons during her pregnancy, that would be a big red flag to me. I think you need to sort out what might be cultural differences in her day to day behavior/affection versus something going on with her emotionally or medically that would cause her to be so distant. If it's been this long since you've had sex, I think you need to address that directly with her in a calm way to figure out where to go from here. It may be working for her but if it's definitely not working for you don't ignore it because I don't think it will change until you address it head on.
 

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I agree with what you said about valuing your children. I think every married couple should do whatever it takes to stay together, even if only for the sake of the children. But I also think that we as couples should do everything in our power to work together toward building a mutually fulfilling, healthy marriage.

I've noticed that frequently when there are sexual intimacy issues in a marriage, there is a real need for healing past hurts, restoring love in the relationship, and tending to emotional needs that are not being met in the relationship. When one or both both parties are willing go to work on their relationship issues, it's amazing how sexual issues can be more easily corrected.

If the counseling you received didn't work, tryu another counselor. Also there are a number of excellent marriage renewal programs, intensives and workshops that are getting some amazing results.

Hang in there and keep seeking. God designed marriage and He has a way to make it work for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you to everyone who commented. Just typing out my thoughts has been somewhat therapeutic. My baby girl is my number one priority, so I will take whatever measures, and sacrifice whatever marital happiness I seek, in order to provide her with a pair of stable parents. How I deal with satisfying my deprived marital needs, only the future knows. And I will 'do what I have to do' without any hangups or guilt, because I truly believe that one party is & never has, made much of an effort to make our marriage strong & healthy. Such a shame, but such is life.
 

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How I deal with satisfying my deprived marital needs, only the future knows. And I will 'do what I have to do' without any hangups or guilt, because I truly believe that one party is & never has, made much of an effort to make our marriage strong & healthy. Such a shame, but such is life.
I hope I am wrong, but this almost sounds like you are justifying an affair in your future...I would seriously consider having a much needed discussion with your wife before getting to this point. Maybe a very direct approach "I'm having trouble wanting to stay in this marriage with the way things are and I know I can't keep going on like this" so she at least is made fully aware of the state you are in and has the opportunity to do something. Yes, she should want to on her own, but it could be there is something going on with her or she just needs an awakening.

If you are at the point where your little girl is the only thing keeping you there, think of her growing up in a home with parents that are roommates. That's what she will learn about relationships and it's very likely she will mirror that in her own relationships. For the sake of all three of you, try to reconnect with your wife.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm pretty certain there's nothing 'going on' with her. She has pretty much everything she wants: a companion (in her sister), a baby (our baby), a year off work to relax (maternity leave), and an excuse to avoid intimacy (she JUST had a baby, right!). She's living quite a charmed life, I must say. I on the other hand, is filling the 'void' of the absence of what I feel is a real spouse, by focusing on my daughter, my work, & my hobbies. With her sister doing chores, I, the gourmet cooking, I would say she's got it pretty good.

An 'awakening'; YES, she sure needs one of those! However, this would be the SECOND awakening. What you suggest (talking about this with her), I've been through once already around 2 years ago. It'll sound like a broken record. I thought the counselling sessions, the frank in-depth talk, the threats of leaving, etc. were effective & the issues were put to rest. But it seems they all went in one ear & out the other. How many times does one have to TRY to bring awakening to their 'clueless' partner?

Re. staying together for the sake of my daughter. I've weighed the pros & cons, and the pros win out. It would wreak such financial havoc on everyone involved, that it can't be an option right now, or in the forseeable future (unless I win the lottery!).

I will be 'tolerant' of her lack of interest in me for a year & then I plan to re-evaluate the situation. I figure, a year's time, will give her a chance to naturally 'come around' & will give me a clear indication of whether or not she will ever be likely to change.

Interestingly, she has a close friend (who is now my daughter's Godmother), who is in a very happy marriage WITHOUT sex. That was a bizarre arrangement that both husband & wife were ok with. I wonder if this has had an influence on what she sees as a 'good marriage' which could survive without sex. I've brought this up before, & she denies that she is influenced by it or endorses it at all.

So the saga continues.....
 

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Hi Incognito-

You referred me to your post from mine in the Men's Lounge and ironically, your situation here mirrors my past a bit after my first was born. I'll see if I can help to explain what your wife might be experiencing. After the birth of my son, I also was a SAHM and suffered from a low libido. However in my case, I had no help with chores around the home and attribute my lack of desire for sex to sheer exhaustion and my husband's critical nature of everything I did (from parenting to cooking/cleaning).

My husband also stopped treating me like women like to be treated. Compliments were farther and fewer in between and with the criticism, any attempts to basically "grope" me were not received favorably. We're all tired with a new baby, but sharing those intimate moments (pillow talk, just general loving, hugging, cuddling, etc.) is what helps to keep things going. My husband was struggling with really hating his job and so none of the above happened in my house and over time withered away all together (but that is a whole other story).

I agree having your SIL around the house is probably a buzz-kill, but have you tried taking your wife out for dinner or retreating to your room to rekindle the early days of your relationship- not necessarily sex, but whatever it was that got you going for each other long ago? Maybe starting with the "little things", it'll bring you back to the sex you crave?? Just a thought. Good luck to you.
 

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I'm probably going to get criticized for this, but I don't see anything wrong with going outside of your marriage for needs that are not being met inside it. Why not take a mistress? A married woman who is in a similar position--spouse with low or nonexistent libido, but who is needed for economic security, child-rearing help etc. would seem a perfect choice.

You would not be depriving your wife of anything, right?
You're not going to divorce her, and if you had a mistress, I'm betting that you'd be nicer/happier/more content with life...making you an even better husband/father. I would not advise being open about this with your wife, however; some cultures are OK with the husband having a mistress, some are not.
 

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Incognito - I am sure you have impressed any men reading this that you have been able to go for almost a year ( next month) with out sex. An amazing amount of patience & will power to not seek elsewhere.
You mentioned that your wife's libido seemed to have fallen off in the last 3-5 years. what was it like before? were you satisfied with the frequency beforehand? Were you trying to have baby? sometimes the "pressure" to get pregnant makes sex seem more like a "task" then the loving act it should be. Do you think that might have anything to do with it?

YOu mentioned the counselor said your wife might have some issues to work through. did the therapist expand on that? you hate to think this - but maybe your wife had been sexually assualted/raped or molested earlier in life & somehow that is reflected in how she is acting now? . . . Often what has happened to us in the past or how we saw our parents act - will play a role in who we are today.

I liked the idea that some gave above about try to "date" again & just have fun to rebuild your intimacy. Especially because your sister in law is with you - you will really need to make a concerted effort to get away - just the 2 of you. Someone else mentioned a "marriage encounter" - sounds intensive but sounds like you might benefit from it?
YOu mentioned that your wife & sister talk in their language to each other, I would mention to you wife that as courtesy to you, if you are sitting with them, they speak in English. Express how it makes you feel & that you feel like an "outsider" in your own home. I would hope that your wife would not want you to feel this way & would change her ways.

It is noble for you to stay in your marriage & sacrafice your happiness ( but not sure if it is worth it to life an unfulfilled life - in many ways) . However, it sounds as if you are already growing a bit rersentful ( her sister, she has help with baby/chores, no work for a year, etc) - you don't want that resentment to grow & manifest until it is out of control. better to try to control & resolve issues that are causing resent now - before they become unmanageable.

One last comment, as a mother of 2, I can attest that children are an absolute joy and will bring an unbelievable amount of happiness to your life. However, the 1st few years are the most difficult ( especially if it is your 1st child - parents are hyper vigilant with baby #1) The baby demands lots attention, obviuosly because they depend on others for everything ( food, bathing, dressing/diapers, bupring, middle of night snacks, etc) Having a child can strain any marriage & yours was already under strain to start with, at least from your perspective.
It may be a difficult time to try to make many changes in your lives due everyone adjusting to your new baby. But do try to make things better for you sake.
Good luck & keep us posted on how things are going.
 
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