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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm 33 and have been married 6 years, and we've been together since college. I have a long history of being inwardly critical about my wife’s looks but I quite like her as a person.

Early in college we were mostly happy but I wanted her to have bigger boobs.
Later in college she was a bit heavier and I even told her I wasn’t super attracted to her. She was hurt, stayed and will never forget.
At my senior year formal I was silently mad at her bc she wasn’t sexy on the dance floor and I wanted several other girls instead of her.
We took dance lessons our first year in New York and I was frustrated that she wasn’t light on her feet and wasn’t sexy to dance with.
I was drawn to enough women on the sidewalk that I tried to break up with her. We both cried and stayed together.

The next 3 years were better as I grew balder. She was trim and the other girls I was attracted to clearly didn’t see me.
At 29 I started working for myself and felt more confident and secure than I had in years. Less on my to do list directly increases the time I spend thinking about sex. She remains very busy, often working past 8.
At 31 we have a child and I get a hair transplant (midlife crisis; I don’t want to look 50 at 35. it worked and looks decent.) she’s even busier and spread thin with the kid and she thinks someday she will have time. Every month that passes I think she will never make time for physical activity and sexuality.

I recently asked my buddies on a guy trip, how much mental capacity are you spending on sex. I’m scouting every girl that enters the restaurant. My sexual desire is not quenched at home, so it follows me around. On sidewalks, grabbing lunch or drinks out. There are so many hot, tight women, why didn't I hold out for one? That's right, I have no game.

My wife says she’s attracted to me and enjoys sex. I believe her. But she’s worn lingerie once in the last decade, once, she very rarely initiates sex, and we only do missionary & cowgirl. Oral is a never. I was honestly bored the last go around and am considering how to change it up.

On one hand I’m a five-star asshole. I judge her weight even after she birthed our child, and even at her thinnest I was inwardly critical of her.
On the other hand I’m lonely and powerless. I’ve tried to lighten her burden several ways and give her time for mental and physical selfishness. She refuses. Being a great mom is important to her, and she prioritizes it.

When things are good and we are intimate, I've told her I need her to be my sexy bunny. We do occasionally find that chemistry and she’s a pretty woman, just not horny or especially hot one. Writing this made me realize how long this side of her has frustrated me.

My life is lacking sexual energy. And I’m ashamed to admit I recently turned to Tinder to find it (in chat only, I haven’t met anyone.) I've spoken to 2 counselors about this in the past year. It's just so hard for me to communicate with her without blaming & hurting. When I can't find the words, I just fail silently and can't sleep. When I force the effort, I invariably hurt her feelings and make her feel inadequate. Which -- you guessed it -- leads to tons of sex yay (sad sarcasm.)

Oof. These things are hard for a simple man to navigate.
 

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The problem seems that you want to want her. You don't. You want a woman your wife never was. You can't communicate without blaming and hurting her. Why don't you admit that the problem lies with you instead of blameshifting to your wife?

You're lucky she even talks to you.
 

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At least you are honest about all of this.

Why did you marry her if you felt this way all of this time? That is something you should have never done. You have put yourself into this situation instead of putting an end to it. Now you will be destroying your child’s life as well.

How can she want you when it is obvious to her that you don’t want her?
 

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Waffling my man, your the kind of cat I was grateful for. Their wives made the best lovers. That was a long time ago. I knew how to listen her and make her feel special and beautiful. I'd wine and dine her, at your expense, and give her a needed break her tormented marriage and a husband who, at best, is emotionally abusive. When she gave herself to me, she'd know she was safe and with a man who adored and doted over the delicious curves of body and focused totally on pleasing her as I touched and kissed forbidden places. Neither she or I would care why you're critical of her and told her you don't think she attractive. I do my best to belie that. Neither do I care she's married. She would be my priority and her pleasure is all that matters for the next few hours. Her husband is not my concern. Men like you who prime the pump for men like are a gwadsend Dawg.
 

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Hmm. Don’t want to look 50 at 35 and YOU’RE critical of her looks??

I bet that she’s the more attractive partner. I am so certain of this.

I bet she’s actually the one getting the looks from men on sidewalks and you CANNOT STAND IT can you? But she’s loyal isn’t she and doesn’t need the looks from the sidewalk like you do. She just wants you to see her. But you’re too busy hating your own body.

In fact, she’s probably smart as well as beautiful, maybe she’s even taller and people out there are constantly praising her and all you hear from people is how lucky you are to have her and what’s she doing with a guy like you. ( what is she doing with a guy like you)

You know all of this and you hate her very guts for it. So you tear her down.

I hope you do leave her for a really ugly woman. With and ugly heart, soul and ego and face and body too. Just like yours.Your perfect match.
 

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OP, I was married for 15 years to a guy I eventually came to realize felt about me like you feel about your wife. Basically, he simply felt he deserved better and had done me a huge favor by marrying me and was doing me a huge favor by staying. But I wasn't someone he actually wanted in a real way.

Me? I found it rather soul destroying to be married to someone who felt that way about me. Because I was never enough. Never sexy enough, pretty enough, hot enough, kinky enough, good enough. No matter how much I tried, or gave, or dieted, or dressed up for him, or rocked his world in bed. It was just never enough - I was never enough. Even long before I could really articulate what the problem was, some part of me always knew that while he really wanted sex, he didn't really want me.

After I left him, it took several years of healing for me to move past the constant, low-level, stress of living that way and rebuild my self-esteem. There's just something super freeing about no longer spending everyday with someone who has a vested interest in helping you to feel bad about yourself. And, quite happily, I discovered that I was good enough, more than good enough, for plenty of other quite interesting - and very interested - gentlemen. And I'm now remarried to a man for whom I'm not just good enough, but perfectly suited.

OP, you say you haven't cheated, but we both know there's a "yet" in there somewhere just beneath the surface. And, really, you're not exactly being faithful at this point anyway.

So, my advice would be to divorce your wife. Be honest in a kind way, be amicable and fair, even very generous. Do it before you blow up your marriage and family any further by cheating. Your wife deserves a chance to be with someone who loves her, just as she is. And you can look for someone who suits you better. You two are not right for each other. You never have been and never will be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The problem seems that you want to want her. You don't. You want a woman your wife never was. You can't communicate without blaming and hurting her. Why don't you admit that the problem lies with you instead of blameshifting to your wife?

You're lucky she even talks to you.
thanks to all those who gave empathetic replies. in my venting, i told a one-sided story that left out the good of why we've been together for 15 years. it's not a balanced picture.

the criticisms of me here are valid. i even called myself a five-star asshole. the truth is i dont feel the same way every day. sometimes life is beautiful and we're very happy. other times i'm discontent, and when i am it's almost always about the physical or sex.

i suppose my real ask here is how to navigate my feelings and get to better habits of thought.

I'm sure many vain people have felt this way about the person they love and married. if i gained a bunch of weight, i'd expect her to have conflicted feelings. perhaps it's be better to "fix" my feelings than admit them. my life would be better without these feelings. but being honest with myself is obviously important, and as some of you say perhaps i havent been honest enough.

on the other hand, i think physical attraction is affected by emotional connection (or lack thereof), so it's probably no coincidence that things are harder for us with a young child during a pandemic. maybe the ebb and flow of our relationship over 15 years shows that we married the wrong person. maybe it doesn't. i don't know.

scapegoats aside, i dont want to be or feel like an asshole. i married a great woman and am genuinely proud of her. does it make me broken to feel more physical attraction for other attractive women? pure attraction for them can't be wrong (?), but my turning that into frustration with her is wrong and unfair.
 

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I recommend individual counseling. I also recommend you let your wife go so she can find another that is let say...less critical of everything about her. Good luck.
 

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Generally speaking, low self confidence will manifest itself as all sorts of sexual problems.

A good place to start is trying to find something positive about your wife, and compliment her each day. Ask her to do the same for you and work as a team for each other's self development and STOP putting each other down.
 
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