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I'll try to keep it short. We are both 52. Wife and I both have been married before. 6 years into our marriage. She started menopause early - about 6.5 or 7 years ago. Sex was always awesome! Not always a marathon not always every day, but awesome. Then about 2 months ago, the excuses start flying. I'm tired, I hate my job, I hate my body, it's menopause's fault. The menopause one seems to be the one she's sticking with.
I love her FAR BEYOND her body and sex! We have an excellent relationship. Don't get me wrong - we kibitz at times - but we have a great relationship and a strong marriage!
So - here's my question: am I just to sit back and blindly accept that no sex is the new status quo? Because I'm just a selfish man and I still want sex is just too damn bad for me?
I get and understand that menopause is a natural progression and a difficult time. And I've been supportive and accommodating. I'd do anything for her. But - is that just part of it? I should just forget myself in the mix? I've tried - I'm having a difficult time with that. I know the first response is "go to counseling - with or without her". Fine. Ok. Therapy fixes everything. (What the hell ever happened to ice cream fixes everything???) What I would like to hear - from others that have been or are in this situation! What are your thoughts? How did you handle? What is YOUR advice? ANYTHING besides becoming best friends with my right hand?
Thank you in advance for reading as well as any input!!!!!
 

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I'll try to keep it short. We are both 52. Wife and I both have been married before. 6 years into our marriage. She started menopause early - about 6.5 or 7 years ago. Sex was always awesome! Not always a marathon not always every day, but awesome. Then about 2 months ago, the excuses start flying. I'm tired, I hate my job, I hate my body, it's menopause's fault. The menopause one seems to be the one she's sticking with.
I love her FAR BEYOND her body and sex! We have an excellent relationship. Don't get me wrong - we kibitz at times - but we have a great relationship and a strong marriage!
So - here's my question: am I just to sit back and blindly accept that no sex is the new status quo? Because I'm just a selfish man and I still want sex is just too damn bad for me?
I get and understand that menopause is a natural progression and a difficult time. And I've been supportive and accommodating. I'd do anything for her. But - is that just part of it? I should just forget myself in the mix? I've tried - I'm having a difficult time with that. I know the first response is "go to counseling - with or without her". Fine. Ok. Therapy fixes everything. (What the hell ever happened to ice cream fixes everything???) What I would like to hear - from others that have been or are in this situation! What are your thoughts? How did you handle? What is YOUR advice? ANYTHING besides becoming best friends with my right hand?
Thank you in advance for reading as well as any input!!!!!
How much have you actually talked to your wife about this? By this I mean, not after she's rejected sex, but at a neutral point where there is no stress to have sex. You need to make sure she knows how this affects you as well. Has she checked with her doctor to see if there are other issues, maybe being masked by, or presenting as, the menopause?

One of the first things to determine is whether this will be permanent or not. Then you have to determine if a lack of sex is going to be a deal breaker or not. After that you have to determine what you are willing to do, assuming that it is permanent and you are not going to do without sex.

You might want to start with some basic relationship councilling. I tend to recommend Touch of Flavor as a starting point. While they do tend to cater to the kink and ENM communities, most of their relationship advice applies to mono as much as poly. Maybe look at the desire chart. You can also call and set up for live help.

This is the point where several will sigh and say, "I knew he'd bring that up." But when weighing options this is the logical point to start, because it brings the least changes, at least IMHO. Is open or poly an option? If so, the two of you need to determine what your limits are. Be prepared to reevaluate or adjust as you go through it. The big this here is do not do anything behind her back. She may give permission and not want to know the details, but still is consent.

If open/poly is out and sex is a requirement then divorce might well be the path left. I highly recommend that you do not explore this option until you know that it is highly unlikely that she will regain her sex drive. You might be waiting a few years before you take this step.

Hope this helps. If you have questions that you don't want to ask here about ENM, you are free to PM me. I'm sure the few others like me will say as much, but I won't speak for them.

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I’ve been shoe shopping with my wife plenty times when I didn’t want to go. She can have sex with her partner even if she isn’t in the mood.
The real deal is to get down to the reason she is no longer in doing things with you. My wife and I have had plenty of sex that was “just for one of us” with a smile on our face.
 

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@NtheToolManD

#1 Ice cream still fixes everything! LOL :p

#2 Nope menopause does not = no sex ever!

#3 If menopause is constantly being brought up as "the reason" she doesn't want to have sex, my first advice to you would be to book a doctor's appointment with her primary care physician, attend WITH HER so that you two can speak to a doctor, and then find out if there are physical issues via blood test, examination, and whatever other tests a doctor deems necessary.
a) if some physical reason is found (hey at 52yo our bodies start to have issues!), then get a treatment plan, do what you can do to help her follow the treatment plan, and actively participate in treating the physical issue AND communicating with the doctor about how it is/is not affecting your sex life.
b) if no physical reason is found, ask the doctor for a referral to whatever counseling, therapy, or sex therapy they think is appropriate. Here's why: it may be a mental health issue, a couples counseling kind of issue, or just some odd sex thing she's gotten into her head and the referral would be different depending on the issue. She may need a counselor and a psychiatrist. The point is to let the doctor open up the next door, whatever that next door might be.

#4 Final thought: I am a 58yo lady. I started menopause in my mid-40's (so also fairly early) and I can't even remember the last time I had a period. My libido went from "I gotta scratch this itch!!" to "Yeah that's a fun thing to do. I would enjoy that." So what may be happening is that she's waiting until she feels that "scratch that itch" feeling of being horny, and as you age that drooling horniness may or may not be as intense or may not show up at all. That doesn't mean sex stops!!!!!!! And shoot, once it gets started, it's passionate. It just is different (not the same) as in your 30's and 40's. So the "excuse" about menopause is just that...an excuse. Don't accept that. What you do accept is that sex in the 50's and 60's is different than younger years, and maybe more deliberate. Things change, take longer, take more friction (or too much friction), need more lube, whatever! It is not the same, it's still that close, loving physical connection! Sex goes on for a lifetime in whatever way it can go on.

So if it's a physical thing...treat it. If it's not a physical thing, then figure out what's up and address it.
 

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Thank you! There's a part of me that feels sex (or lack thereof) is a deal breaker. BUT - I couldn't imagine my life without her either. I know - I'm selfish!! We've discussed the issue extensively at neutral times as we are both working from home because of pandemic. She says it's all because of menopause - but sure was abrupt! I truly thought maybe she was involved with someone else. However, that'd be virtually impossible since we're always home together. As for poly - never really gave it much thought. She keeps saying she worries that I'll go outside the marriage for sex - so not so sure that'd fly. I'm just at a loss!!! And - I've "done for her" with a smile on my face (shoe shopping AND sexually)!! Never even gave it a second thought. I don't "demand" - but I DO feel selfish as hell *****ing!! Am so confused and, well, I guess that's why I'm here!
I cannot even begin to thank you both for responding!!! Was expecting to be blown off as just another guy only worrying about himself and getting laid. And that is not the case at all!!! Just feel as though I'm expected to flip a switch and shut myself down when I'm not ready..... Am I making sense? Or am I an idiot? (Its ok - I can take the truth!)
 

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I was in somewhat of the same situation you are in.
In the interest of brevity, I'll link to it:Why so many sexless marriages?
Basically after my wife pushed the envelope too far, I gave her three options. If it hadn't been for me getting mad as hell and changing the dynamic, I'd still be in the same situation as you.
However if you do what I did, you better be ready to walk the talk.
Best of luck.
 

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Well, my wife has always been LD. She has never been able to keep up with me sexually. I'm a twice a day, every day guy, even now at age 65.

When menopause hit her, it hit hard! Her LD became ND very qucikly even though she no longer had to worry about pregnancy. Pregnancy fears was one of her excuses for her LD.

Now, after a radical hysterectomy, sex isn't even a consideration.

I'm sure there are women out there that buck this trend, however, I wouldn't know.

I wish you happiness, and good health for the structural integrity of your dominate hand.
 

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You make complete sense. Let me make it easy for you:

“As a man I feel validated, desired, and loved by my partner when we have physical bonding.”

It’s universal for most men... it’s just that most men can’t seem to get it out in those words...or clarity of thought.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel that from your parter .... human touch.
 

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Thank you! There's a part of me that feels sex (or lack thereof) is a deal breaker. BUT - I couldn't imagine my life without her either. I know - I'm selfish!! We've discussed the issue extensively at neutral times as we are both working from home because of pandemic. She says it's all because of menopause - but sure was abrupt! I truly thought maybe she was involved with someone else. However, that'd be virtually impossible since we're always home together. As for poly - never really gave it much thought. She keeps saying she worries that I'll go outside the marriage for sex - so not so sure that'd fly. I'm just at a loss!!! And - I've "done for her" with a smile on my face (shoe shopping AND sexually)!! Never even gave it a second thought. I don't "demand" - but I DO feel selfish as hell *****ing!! Am so confused and, well, I guess that's why I'm here!
I cannot even begin to thank you both for responding!!! Was expecting to be blown off as just another guy only worrying about himself and getting laid. And that is not the case at all!!! Just feel as though I'm expected to flip a switch and shut myself down when I'm not ready..... Am I making sense? Or am I an idiot? (Its ok - I can take the truth!)
I have real problems with this idea that you can't derive great joy and pleasure doing something for and with someone else, doing something that might not be your favorite thing, but it becomes something you enjoy because it's special for your partner. It's a love & empathy & friend thing. It's what people do for one another. My own weird example- the last thing in the world I want to do is clean the kitchen. And for years, ok decades, the kitchen was my wife's place, not mine. About 10 years ago I got religion. Don't know why, but I had that moment where I realized, I love my wife, I enjoy spending time with her, why not help her in the kitchen. And so I did. And I really, really enjoy it. I look forward to it. Why? Because it's doing something for her, something she appreciates. I love it. It makes her feel good. It makes me feel good because it makes her feel good. Similarly I'll go shopping with her. She thinks this is weird.

So why isn't sex like that, only more so? In a marriage, assuming you're not poly, isn't sex that ultimate expression of marriage, something shared exclusively with your husband or wife, nobody else?

The other thing, a really serious danger, is the effect long-term rejection has on the partner with the unmet desires & needs. Do a search on "Ted Talk Sex Starved Marriage." Watch if first by yourself, and then with your wife. She might have that "OMG is that me?" moment. My wife watched it twice and wants to see it again. One of the issues many people have is that they'll "get" something for a while, and then lose awareness of the issue.

Sorry, late night ramble. Just get this stuff dealt with sooner than later.
 

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You make complete sense. Let me make it easy for you:

“As a man I feel validated, desired, and loved by my partner when we have physical bonding.”

It’s universal for most men... it’s just that most men can’t seem to get it out in those words...or clarity of thought.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel that from your parter .... human touch.
I agree with everything except the “validate” part in that you’re basing your self-worth on someone else’s opinion/feelings. Men express love/emotion through sex and most women aren’t like that, don’t get it or reject the premise. Anything in bed more than what she wants is “porn reenactment” You should know whether you’re good in bed or not or attractive enough.

Women go through a series of software updates through life: Dating, marriage, child birth, divorce, menopause, grandma and widow. Very similar to going from Windows 98 to XP to Vista to 7 and so one. Same operating system just some differences. Some features you like and dislike are added and removed.

The point is most men grieve the loss of sexual love that has been replaced by familial love. One partner can’t give you that love anymore and sure as hell won’t let you get it somewhere else. So you feel trapped.

This isn’t much different from one partner (the breadwinner) retiring from a lucrative career as a professional (doctor, lawyer, pilot) at 45. They lost the career drive and now just wants to just hang out on the boat all day. The other partner, used to a cushy lifestyle, mourns the loss of material things and the cushy retirement they were gonna have (and the one they’re friends have). They’re only option now, is to meet their own material needs. So out of love for other, the breadwinner takes a job as a part-time tourist boat captain at $20/hr to make ends meet. They still love their partner just as much. They just don’t have any urge to show love through things anymore but realize the other’s need. The other just has to readjust their expectations.


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Showing love through acts of service is different than lovemaking. Erotic love is different than all the others (platonic, familial).

Embodying a partner’s desire for a clean kitchen as a form of love is a whole different thing. You appreciate her strong desire to have a clean kitchen... are in essence now on the same sheet of music in terms of desire for cleanliness.

WRT sex, one partner is expressing physical, erotic love while the other is receiving an “act of service” in return. One parter is there for positive connection and expression of emotion. The other, all things being equal, wouldn’t be thinking about sex absent their partner. They’re not on the same desire page. She only acknowledges he needs sex but she honestly doesn’t have desire for it. She is expressing a platonic/familial love by having sex. It’s not what he is seeking but that’s all he’s gonna get. In the kitchen example, you BOTH now desire a clean kitchen. That’s the big difference.


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Menopause doesn't equal no sex.
Hysterectomies don't equal no sex.
Consult a physician, make sure any fears she has are allayed.

After an all clear, look for the real reasons she doesn't want to be intimate
 

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About 10 years ago I got religion. Don't know why, but I had that moment where I realized, I love my wife, I enjoy spending time with her, why not help her in the kitchen. And so I did. And I really, really enjoy it. I look forward to it. Why? Because it's doing something for her, something she appreciates. I love it. It makes her feel good. It makes me feel good because it makes her feel good. Similarly I'll go shopping with her. She thinks this is weird.
I would love if my husband grabbed this concept right here!
ALL of the housework is mine, All of it! He will do things if asked, toss towels in the wash, load the dishwasher... and I am truly thankful for that. I guess there are guys that won't even do this? He would say every cup or plate he puts in the dishwasher is for me. And its a struggle, because of "my high demands and being a neat freak" which is false.
I would love to laugh over cleaning the kitchen in the evenings, or weeding the garden together on a Saturday. Something! Something where he enjoys working or being in MY world!
Sorry for my pity party, I just woke frustrated.
From one wife to you though, thats great that you do this for/with her!
 

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So - here's my question: am I just to sit back and blindly accept that no sex is the new status quo? Because I'm just a selfish man and I still want sex is just too damn bad for me?
Hormones and an active libido will help facilitate sex, but a person is still fully capable of enjoying sex without that.

Will things be different? Yes!

The primary thing is that you need to learn all over again about how to have sex with your wife and learn what it takes to make her feel loved and emotionally connected to you. You have to allow her to completely see you with your flaws and all. Likewise you have to help her with the confidence to allow her to show herself to you.

Easier said than done.
 

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Thank you! There's a part of me that feels sex (or lack thereof) is a deal breaker. BUT - I couldn't imagine my life without her either. I know - I'm selfish!! We've discussed the issue extensively at neutral times as we are both working from home because of pandemic. She says it's all because of menopause - but sure was abrupt! I truly thought maybe she was involved with someone else. However, that'd be virtually impossible since we're always home together. As for poly - never really gave it much thought. She keeps saying she worries that I'll go outside the marriage for sex - so not so sure that'd fly. I'm just at a loss!!! And - I've "done for her" with a smile on my face (shoe shopping AND sexually)!! Never even gave it a second thought. I don't "demand" - but I DO feel selfish as hell *****ing!! Am so confused and, well, I guess that's why I'm here!
I cannot even begin to thank you both for responding!!! Was expecting to be blown off as just another guy only worrying about himself and getting laid. And that is not the case at all!!! Just feel as though I'm expected to flip a switch and shut myself down when I'm not ready..... Am I making sense? Or am I an idiot? (Its ok - I can take the truth!)
You and her need to figure this out. I have told my Fiancé, when we were just dating how important sex was.

This can be fixed and she HAS to want to fix it.

For the record, not all woman are the same, my F is 62 I think, has been through MP and is hot to trot all the time.

Our sex is great, and as much as I love her, if it was not we would not be together. Short of some type of REAL HEALTH issue that actually prevents having sex, it is on. And it has to stay on.

Other women will say they are not like mine, ok, that is good because we are not dating.

You need to be firm but gentle about this, and let her know how important the sexual part of your relationship is and has to continue to be.

Do not let this continue, or it will end badly...
 

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Menopause changed things be time for us. Sex is different now than it was 20+ years ago. The in the bedroom charge were fairly easy for us. The getting into the bedroom changes were more difficult. It’s different, not better, not worse, it’s just is.

We both still want and expect “sex” (in quotes for a broad sense of the word). It won’t be PiV every time, and sometimes it may be me finishing my self off on her boobs, but we are getting naked and up to something. Taking pressure off (for her knowing she doesn’t have to provide PiV every time and well me just pressing the issue, she already knows it’s important) helped get us into the sack more easily/often.
 

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Hormones and an active libido will help facilitate sex, but a person is still fully capable of enjoying sex without that.

Will things be different? Yes!

The primary thing is that you need to learn all over again about how to have sex with your wife and learn what it takes to make her feel loved and emotionally connected to you. You have to allow her to completely see you with your flaws and all. Likewise you have to help her with the confidence to allow her to show herself to you.

Easier said than done.
The bolded part is a real issue and it's possible that sex itself may reinforce her feelings of inadequacy elsewhere... as in, is that all I'm good for.

But I think you put too much emphasis on what the guy (in this case) has to do when, unfortunately, it's the wife (in this case) who has to have a change of heart and see things very differently. She has to understand what rejection feels like, and she has to understand that, in a way, she's putting too much importance on a single thing (sex), or perhaps too much "this is me, mine, I can do what I want with my body" which is OK to a point, but marriage is a shared emotional and physical experience, not just one or the other. In that way it's similar to every other thing you do for each other that shows you care about them and it makes you feel good doing something for them, with them.

When a partner decides to withhold physical intimacy, the other partner may "retaliate" and withold various niceties that had become taken for granted, and somehow that doesn't seem "fair." Why not? Why isn't it fair to become withdrawn and question commitment when that happens?

Sex is an invasion of our privacy. It can be a welcome invasion, or an annoying intrusion. I wonder how much of this does go to strange notions of privacy? Maybe not so strange, but at the very least, not understood or discussed.
 

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Showing love through acts of service is different than lovemaking. Erotic love is different than all the others (platonic, familial).

Embodying a partner’s desire for a clean kitchen as a form of love is a whole different thing. You appreciate her strong desire to have a clean kitchen... are in essence now on the same sheet of music in terms of desire for cleanliness.

WRT sex, one partner is expressing physical, erotic love while the other is receiving an “act of service” in return. One parter is there for positive connection and expression of emotion. The other, all things being equal, wouldn’t be thinking about sex absent their partner. They’re not on the same desire page. She only acknowledges he needs sex but she honestly doesn’t have desire for it. She is expressing a platonic/familial love by having sex. It’s not what he is seeking but that’s all he’s gonna get. In the kitchen example, you BOTH now desire a clean kitchen. That’s the big difference.


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"New car sex", "Diamond ring sex", "Expensive vacation sex" are all quite real and all could be seen as a response to an "act of service." He or she thinks so much of me that he or she did this and I'm going to do something special for him or her tonight. The desire wasn't there before the act of service. In a negative way you could look at this as transactional sex, but I don't think it's really all that negative a thing. Marriage itself is a transaction, with promises made till death do you part.

OK, the kitchen example. Yes, you both get a clean kitchen. But I never made that big a deal about it. It never bothered me before. What makes me feel good about it is that it's something SHE wants, and I can help with it. It's really that simple. Sex may be something I want and she should, seriously, get some pleasure from doing something for me. With me. As would be the case for so many other things that are NOT unique, that would have so much less importance, than sex. The context here is sex within an LTR or marriage, for people who view that as the appropriate place for sex. In other words, this is their only acceptable outlet. Affairs and hookers are not allowed.

When we say "I do" we should be promising, for as long as we love each other, to not build a wall from our partner around our bodies. As long as love is still there and physical issues don't prevent it, rejection of sex either puts sex on way too high or way too low a pedestal.
 

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marriage is a shared emotional and physical experience, not just one or the other.
It might be important to note that the emotional side of things is the key to better unlocking physical pleasure. Not the other way around. Perhaps in the early years one can use hormones and physical pleasure as the key to unlock emotional closeness which is likely how most men work.

So in the movie cars you know how you have to learn how to "turn right to go left" in order really do it? Well now can you do that in reverse? :)
 
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