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Hi. I am hoping to get advice from some men (or women) about a problem in my marriage. I am 30 and my husband is 32. We have been married for 8 years & living together for 2. We have 2 small children, ages 3 and 9 months. I left my job after the birth of our second child and I currently stay home. My husband works long days and OT to support his family. I do all the cleaning, cooking and the vast majority of childcare and responsibilities. I love my husband dearly. We get along very well. He has a great sense of humor and always makes me laugh. He is a fantastic father to our babies and dotes on them. I think of him as my best friend, and I think he feels the same. The problem we are having is about our sex life. Since I became pregnant with our first daughter 4 years ago, I don't want to have sex as often as I used to. This doesn't mean that we don't have sex, or didn't, it was just more infrequent. We could (and do) occasionally go a week or so without doing it, and I know my husband hates this. He has a very high libido and would be happy doing it every day. I don't really feel the same way. I hardly ever refuse him, but he has decided that I should be the one to initiate it most often because he wants to know I'm into it. The problem is that I don't do this often enough for him. I probably do that twice a week, even when I'm not really feeling it, but he's still unhappy. Am I wrong in wanting him to come on to me instead? I feel awkward having to do it all the time, and sometime I feel like a fake. If he were to romance me a bit first, I'd probably respond better. He also has a bad temper and goes into a funk where he isolates himself from me and the kids when he is unhappy. That is a huge turnoff, making this problem worse. I feel that he is placing all the blame on me for this- is he right? Things are different now & I'm not 21 anymore. The kids wear me out and most of the time I feel like a mom, not like myself. I feel that he is acting a bit childish. I also believe that the only way to make him happy would be to keep doing all the initiating and playing a part that I don't feel is true. Any thoughts on this situation? Any advice is appreciated!
 

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If he wants sex he must initiate it. It's ludicrous for him to expect that you'll initiate when your libido is lower he just needs to get over it and be the initiator.

Aside from that it sounds like he's working hard but he needs to realize the hard work you do; if you were to switch places with him I doubt he can even handle one day let alone one hour doing what you do
 

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I understand his thinking, but it is flawed.

Prior to his request you ask all the time so he knows you are in the mood, did you turn him down often, or frequently? Often times the HD spouse asks the other spouse to do the initiating ebcause they don't want to get rejected. He might see it as a win-win, where he doesn't get told no (which hurts) and you don't get nagged to do something until you want to.

Have you talked to him about how this current arrangement makes you feel? If so, what does he say?
 

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kingsfan is right...he hates rejection as much as many of us and thinks he solved his problem by placing the initiation burden on you.

He thinks that since you are the one initiating, in his mind that you truly want him, but that just isn't always the case.

I think you can easily talk this one out and get him to understand that when he has the need, he needs to let you know and you can always throw in a random initiation ever so ofter to keep him from feeling like he is always bugging you for sex.
 

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If you do not refuse when he in initiates, then he should keep his complaints to himself. As long as he is getting it and the two of you are enjoying one another, then it shouldn't matter who grabbed who first.

I would like my wife to make the first move once in a while, too, but I do not let it effect anything else.
 

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I don't agree 40isthenew20. I understand what you mean, but being asked once in a while reassures you it is a mutual thing. If you are never asked, you do wonder after a while if you are getting it because your spouse wants to, or if it's because he/she would rather have sex that deal with the consequences of not having sex. A lesser of two evils sort of thing.

Essentially, it is duty sex.

Most aren't fine with duty sex.
 

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Hi guys! Thanks for your replies. Kingsfan, prior to our current "arrangement" I did turn him down occasionally, but it wasn't the norm. It was mainly because of the pregnancy or how I was feeling, not because I didn't find him attractive. I think he is very good looking, and in very good shape. I still have a few extra pregnancy lbs to lose, but other than that, I think I look Ok too. I never intended to make him feel rejected, but I am afraid that is what I've done. IndyTM, we have had several conversations about this over the last few years, and even went to a counselor last year. The counselor offered some insights for us both, but mainly laid the problem at my feet, saying because I loved my children as much as my spouse, that I was in the wrong. He has mentioned this in every ensuing conversation. It drives me insane! I would love to have things go back to the way they were when he'd initiate the majority of the time, but I don't think that will happen anytime soon!
 

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If he wants sex he must initiate it. It's ludicrous for him to expect that you'll initiate when your libido is lower he just needs to get over it and be the initiator.

Aside from that it sounds like he's working hard but he needs to realize the hard work you do; if you were to switch places with him I doubt he can even handle one day let alone one hour doing what you do
This is a perfect answer if you are looking to breed resentments and channel someone else's problems. It is fantastic at assuming the H does not appreciate his W's work and could not do it himself.

What your husband is looking for is to be desired and accepted. He likely knows you would not turn him down, but does not want pity or duty sex. You not wanting him, for whatever reason, feels like a rejection of him - not a rejection of sex. Many men and some women equate sex and love - if you love someone then you want to have sex with them. Moreover, if you love someone, you want to do what makes them happy (e.g., no one would just give strangers backrubs, but knowing it makes your spouse happy makes you want to do it). That is why he gets into a funk when he is rejected - it is very emotionally painful and feels like being unloved (you not wanting to have sex with him out of pure desire and not wanting to have sex with him to make him happy).

Picture it this way, without him understanding your position fully, your lack of interest in him is the equivalent of him calling you ugly (or fat) but still taking advantage of all you do around the house.

The solution, if there is one, is understanding. You both need to understand what is going on. Your sex drive or sex drive for him is waning. Do not blame it on the kids or the demands of life, because that is not it (your appetite is not waning, your need for sleep is not). You are just changing. It may be hormonal changes from having children or nursing or maybe having a family makes you more comfortable and less sexual. Nine months may not be long enough for your body to adjust back, especially if you are/were nursing and caring for 2 children. Maybe, subconsciously, seeing him as a father, provider and caregiver makes you more secure and less attracted to him.

Try reading "sex starved marriage" (first chapter is free on Amazon) and/or "his needs, her needs" and "five love languages" so that you and him can understand what is going on, why he needs you to desire him and why he gets in a funk when you do not.

I am not saying you personally have a problem or are at fault for not wanting sex, just that you and your husband have a problem in that he is feeling unloved and needs to understand what you are going through.
 

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Hi guys! Thanks for your replies. Kingsfan, prior to our current "arrangement" I did turn him down occasionally, but it wasn't the norm. It was mainly because of the pregnancy or how I was feeling, not because I didn't find him attractive. I think he is very good looking, and in very good shape. I still have a few extra pregnancy lbs to lose, but other than that, I think I look Ok too. I never intended to make him feel rejected, but I am afraid that is what I've done. IndyTM, we have had several conversations about this over the last few years, and even went to a counselor last year. The counselor offered some insights for us both, but mainly laid the problem at my feet, saying because I loved my children as much as my spouse, that I was in the wrong. He has mentioned this in every ensuing conversation. It drives me insane! I would love to have things go back to the way they were when he'd initiate the majority of the time, but I don't think that will happen anytime soon!
Interesting post.

It's hard to understand exactly how your husband seen it when you rejected him. I believe you when you say you did it occassionally, but the real question is how did your husband view it? Did he view it as occassional as well?

When me and my fiancee were having issues a few years ago about sex, we finally had an argument/discussion about it. She swore she only turned me down maybe 25-30 per cent of the time. I had been keeping track and in reality it had been about 90% of the time for about a year and a half, and fell to about 50% of the time for the most recent six months prior to our argument. The reason it fell to 50% was because I asked a lot less during that time, while the frequency remained the same.

I'm not saying you are wrong, but maybe your husband views the rejections as more frequent than you do.

I find the counselors comments odd. I think you should love your spouse and children equally. Not one over the other. Have you considered finding a new counsellor? I'm not sure where you live, and as such I don't know if you have a lot of variety in your counsellors, but if you can try out other counsellors, do so. You should find one that both you and your husband agree to.

Frankly you could point out to your husband and counsellor that your husband takes priority over your children at sometimes, and vice versa. I'd assume your kids take priority in the morning when you're trying to get them off to school, and your husband takes priority at 9:00 p.m. when you are tryiong to get freaky in the bedroom. Life is full of different people and they all have certain times when they are the priority. Making sure that one doesn't get to much/to little attention is the real goal, not saying someone should be the end all, be all, no matter waat.

All that said, I get the sense that either you or your husband, or both of you, find it difficult to discuss this issue. I sense it's a very touchy subject. Still, an honest, no arguments discussion on it could do wonders for you. To much unsaid hopes and expectant mind reading going on from the sounds of it, and that will only build the frustration and resentment on both ends. Have a talk about it and start the talk by saying that you want to just talk about your sex life and that there will be no judging going on. It's just a discussion. Let it out, just you and him.
 

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Hi guys! Thanks for your replies. Kingsfan, prior to our current "arrangement" I did turn him down occasionally, but it wasn't the norm. It was mainly because of the pregnancy or how I was feeling, not because I didn't find him attractive. I think he is very good looking, and in very good shape. I still have a few extra pregnancy lbs to lose, but other than that, I think I look Ok too. I never intended to make him feel rejected, but I am afraid that is what I've done. IndyTM, we have had several conversations about this over the last few years, and even went to a counselor last year. The counselor offered some insights for us both, but mainly laid the problem at my feet, saying because I loved my children as much as my spouse, that I was in the wrong. He has mentioned this in every ensuing conversation. It drives me insane! I would love to have things go back to the way they were when he'd initiate the majority of the time, but I don't think that will happen anytime soon!
FYI, before I married my W I made clear that there is never any way I could love her as much as our future (now 4 current) children. For both of us, the children come first. Putting the kids first does not mean you do not find him sexually desireable, that comes from somewhere else. For me, what is important is whether my W comes ahead of me - I always put her first (among the two of us). That prevents excuses or any thinking like "I am too tired to . . ." If she needs something done, or needs some emotional fulfillment, it is more important than what I want. If either of you find yourself being defensive in discussions/arguments, it is a good sign of selfishness or self-centeredness and not putting the other person first and really listening to their issues.
 

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FYI, before I married my W I made clear that there is never any way I could love her as much as our future (now 4 current) children. For both of us, the children come first. Putting the kids first does not mean you do not find him sexually desireable, that comes from somewhere else. For me, what is important is whether my W comes ahead of me - I always put her first (among the two of us). That prevents excuses or any thinking like "I am too tired to . . ." If she needs something done, or needs some emotional fulfillment, it is more important than what I want. If either of you find yourself being defensive in discussions/arguments, it is a good sign of selfishness or self-centeredness and not putting the other person first and really listening to their issues.
I am afraid I would have to disagree with this sentiment and adhere to your couselors admonition. Your spouse should come first in your relationship. That doesn't mean that you neglect the needs of the children.
 

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The problem is that I don't do this often enough for him. I probably do that twice a week, even when I'm not really feeling it, but he's still unhappy.
Question:

How obvious do you think 'not really feeling it' is? We're not talking about answering the telephone or channel surfing during sex are we? :)
 
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If he wants sex he must initiate it. It's ludicrous for him to expect that you'll initiate when your libido is lower he just needs to get over it and be the initiator.

Aside from that it sounds like he's working hard but he needs to realize the hard work you do; if you were to switch places with him I doubt he can even handle one day let alone one hour doing what you do
:iagree:

He needs to take responsibility, too. You're doing more than enough especially that you don't turn him down and you've disclosed through your actions that it is important to you still. I wish my W was as considerate.

And yes, you're doing a lot at home and still manage to have sex. He needs to appreciate the work you put in inside and outside the bedroom to make your marriage work. Also, kudos to him for working OT to support the family.
 

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The kids wear me out and most of the time I feel like a mom, not like myself. I feel that he is acting a bit childish.
I think you answered your own question. Explore this. Are you too much of a “mom”? You are you.... That’s a lot of things including mom... Work on how you see yourself to balance it back out. Try to see yourself as a woman and what you can do to help that image of yourself instead of boxing yourself into simple roles because that’s the easy way. Life and people are complex. See the whole picture. What hobbies do you enjoy? What things help you feel alive instead of on autopilot? Where do smiles come from?

Involve your husband... Even silly things help to break the mommy role. The wife and I have stolen our kids Wii and played Guitar Hero just for the fun of it. Learn to enjoy the little moments and build on them so you don’t see yourself as just a mommy. You see yourself as you, the complex creature you really are... Why? Because mommies don’t have a sex drive when there are diapers to change, meals to prepare, and a tired husband wondering where his hot, passionate wife disappeared to and nagging about it. You need to find that girl again too. Slap your husband’s behind and tell him to “dance a little jig for ya”... Basically, have fun in life. When that’s shared with your spouse, things just tend to develop on the attraction front. So yes, I know it’s weird advice because it doesn’t deal directly with sex itself... but it seems like a libido/attraction thing going on instead. So I’d focus there. Dates work because they are a fun escape... with little ones around, it’s not easy, so focus on those in-home moments you can create between you two.
 

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Hi. I am hoping to get advice from some men (or women) about a problem in my marriage. I am 30 and my husband is 32. We have been married for 8 years & living together for 2. We have 2 small children, ages 3 and 9 months. I left my job after the birth of our second child and I currently stay home. My husband works long days and OT to support his family. I do all the cleaning, cooking and the vast majority of childcare and responsibilities. I love my husband dearly. We get along very well. He has a great sense of humor and always makes me laugh. He is a fantastic father to our babies and dotes on them. I think of him as my best friend, and I think he feels the same. The problem we are having is about our sex life. Since I became pregnant with our first daughter 4 years ago, I don't want to have sex as often as I used to. This doesn't mean that we don't have sex, or didn't, it was just more infrequent. We could (and do) occasionally go a week or so without doing it, and I know my husband hates this. He has a very high libido and would be happy doing it every day. I don't really feel the same way. I hardly ever refuse him, but he has decided that I should be the one to initiate it most often because he wants to know I'm into it. The problem is that I don't do this often enough for him. I probably do that twice a week, even when I'm not really feeling it, but he's still unhappy. Am I wrong in wanting him to come on to me instead? I feel awkward having to do it all the time, and sometime I feel like a fake. If he were to romance me a bit first, I'd probably respond better. He also has a bad temper and goes into a funk where he isolates himself from me and the kids when he is unhappy. That is a huge turnoff, making this problem worse. I feel that he is placing all the blame on me for this- is he right? Things are different now & I'm not 21 anymore. The kids wear me out and most of the time I feel like a mom, not like myself. I feel that he is acting a bit childish. I also believe that the only way to make him happy would be to keep doing all the initiating and playing a part that I don't feel is true. Any thoughts on this situation? Any advice is appreciated!
Sounds like your new identity is "mom", not "sexy wife who loves to screw her husband". Many women seem to become sexless, or close to sexless, when the kids start popping out.

Men, just like women, need to feel wanted. He's likely tired of being the initiator who wants it all the time, but is racking up loads of rejection just to get the once or twice a week you throw him.

LD/HD combos don't work. Somebody has got to change. So it's either you finding a way to bring back your mojo, or him finding a way to dump his.

One of you have to choose.
 

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I took this same tack with my wife many, many years ago for one simple reason: waiting for her to initiate was the only way to have decent sex. When I initiated and she grudgingly accepted if not in the mood, it was sorta obvious (no channel surfing, but almost certainly picking out a new color scheme for the room).

By letting her initiate, I always knew that sex had at least crossed her mind, even if seen as an obligation, and that she was willing to engage. I guess if it's for my benefit, it can at least be on her terms.
 
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No Ocotillo, no channel surfing!! Racer, I loved your reply. I think you hit the nail on the head. I don't spend enough time doing things just for myself, and we don't do that as a couple too often either. date nights are awesome, but it's hard to find a sitter for 2 kids their age in the evening-- no one wants to deal with bedtime! Kingsfan, you are right, we do have trouble discussing this issue. He, in general, can be a bit defensive and blunt, and he has unintentionally hurt my feelings before about thsi. I am aware that I am responsible for half the problem, but not all of it, and that's the way he seems to view it. But I'm not good at being totally honest in general-- I'm too concerned about hurting someone else's feelings. I am what many people would call a doormat. But that's not really an issue here. My husband is a kind man who would never hurt me purposely, and he can't help how he feels. I'm sure my life would improve in many areas if I could grow a bac
kbone and say what I'm really feeling all the time! Thanks again for your insight everyone. I have a lot to think about.
 

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He just wants you to want sex with him. If you don't want sex with him then it is almost certainly one of the following problems.

1) Hormonal issues on your end, possibly due to having kids. If this is the problem then you need to work on it with your medical team.
2) His behavior or appearance has changed and he now seems less sexually attractive to you. If this is the problem then he needs to change.

You should not be using your kids as an excuse for a poor sex life. You will just end up raising those kids on your own. If the kids have two parents that love each other they will be better off than otherwise.
 

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Just take it an account that you are setting an example for your children. The way you two show each other love and/or display affection is what's going to carry over into their future relationships. They look it as "this is how mom and dad carried on when they were happy (appeared) so this is what's acceptable. If the tone is set that when you two aren't happy that everybody else (the kids) are effected by your problems.

Communicate, communicate. Have to voice what's on your minds straight to the point, cut and dry, no sugarcoating. He told you what his need is. Have you told him what your need(s) are? In marriage I've learned its a give and take. Somebody is always going to give more, take more at different times. What lies between that is compromising. Look at it this way. You feel more comfortable with him initiating, so wouldn't that mean you have to be more receptive to his advances/less rejecting? It has to even, something has to give. In these situations when you want to make it work, play on a level grounds. If he wants you to initiate more then he should be meeting certains that you have to make you want to initiate more. You see where I'm going with it? Scale it out. Even it out. Weigh eachs others needs but don't make that between the two of you the others need is greater. In reality both of you should be willing to satisfy each others needs equally. You have to communicate though.
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I think you answered your own question. Explore this. Are you too much of a “mom”? You are you.... That’s a lot of things including mom... Work on how you see yourself to balance it back out. Try to see yourself as a woman and what you can do to help that image of yourself instead of boxing yourself into simple roles because that’s the easy way. Life and people are complex. See the whole picture. What hobbies do you enjoy? What things help you feel alive instead of on autopilot? Where do smiles come from?

Involve your husband... Even silly things help to break the mommy role. The wife and I have stolen our kids Wii and played Guitar Hero just for the fun of it. Learn to enjoy the little moments and build on them so you don’t see yourself as just a mommy. You see yourself as you, the complex creature you really are... Why? Because mommies don’t have a sex drive when there are diapers to change, meals to prepare, and a tired husband wondering where his hot, passionate wife disappeared to and nagging about it. You need to find that girl again too. Slap your husband’s behind and tell him to “dance a little jig for ya”... Basically, have fun in life. When that’s shared with your spouse, things just tend to develop on the attraction front. So yes, I know it’s weird advice because it doesn’t deal directly with sex itself... but it seems like a libido/attraction thing going on instead. So I’d focus there. Dates work because they are a fun escape... with little ones around, it’s not easy, so focus on those in-home moments you can create between you two.
Great post Racer, well said and very true. Something I should have said as well. Sadwife, you can't be happy about anything if you're not happy in life. Get your happy back, and if you can, do so while involving your husband. Besides, nothing's more sexy and attractive than a happy, smiling wife.

Kingsfan, you are right, we do have trouble discussing this issue. He, in general, can be a bit defensive and blunt, and he has unintentionally hurt my feelings before about thsi. I am aware that I am responsible for half the problem, but not all of it, and that's the way he seems to view it. But I'm not good at being totally honest in general-- I'm too concerned about hurting someone else's feelings. I am what many people would call a doormat. But that's not really an issue here. My husband is a kind man who would never hurt me purposely, and he can't help how he feels. I'm sure my life would improve in many areas if I could grow a bac
kbone and say what I'm really feeling all the time!
It can be hard. I know. Me and my fiancee have terrific communication...until the issue of sex comes up. We're better at it now than we were, but it's still an issue and it's taken years to get here. That said, you have to build that communication up somehow. I think it'll be a bit easier than you think, just because this is something he obviously wants, so he'd likely be more open to talking about it. Just be sure to come at it in a non-judgemental way (both of you). It's just an open discussion, no blame either way. Talk about all things sexual. If you don't feel comfortable talking about it all in one session, do it over many sessions. Schedule talks if you have to. Just get the communication flowing, and in a non-judgemental way. This will likely not come easy at first, but it's a needed means to an end.
 
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