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dear talkaboutmarriage.com folks,

My husband and I have been married only 6 months, and he hardly ever wants to have sex anymore. The first month we had sex almost every day. Then it suddenly dropped off. He tells me that he wants it to be really special when we do have sex...you know, the whole quality not quantity schpeal. Well, I agree! But how about a lot of quality!
I think I have a much higher sex drive than him, and I'm just now realizing this. We didn't have sex hardly ever before getting married because we were trying to wait for marriage. The passion was surely there though. Now, often my husband seems annoyed even if I try to touch him or be affectionate. Like he is completely uninterested in anything pertaining to sex with me. He just wants to talk all the time, and just hang out...which is sweet, but doesn't meet my needs sexually at all. He seems so lacking in affection sometimes that it's driving me crazy. I've gotten to the point where I just feel depressed, and want to give up trying anymore. I know he really loves me, and wants the best for our marriage. However, this disconnect sexually is really getting to me.
I've tried talking to him about it, and making smug comments here and there to get his attention. However, he just gets mad when I bring it up as an issue. He is a veteran. So I'm not sure if this might be a PTSD related issue. Even though he hardly has any symptoms of PTSD anymore, because he has been to a counselor a few years ago to deal with that.
Since getting married, I haven't gained any weight or gotten all frumpy. I'm 5'8", 120lbs.. am a decently attractive lady. When I was single I got so much attention from guys! Now, I feel like I get no attention from the one man I'm counting on a little from. I just feel like he doesn't desire me. It's sad...because we're newlyweds. I didn't think this is the way things were going to be:(. I have know one to talk to about it. Because I don't want to expose the private details of our marriage to friends as that would be disrespectful to him, and be embarrassing. I did mention it to my mom, as I know I can trust her and talk to her about things, and it probably wouldn't bother him either. Only, she acted completely shocked that this is an issue in our first year of marriage...which led me to feel even worse.
I love my husband, and want to stand by him, and fix this. What might be the problem here? (and no, he definitely isn't cheating. He's very loyal, and yes I have investigated already just to make sure). I feel like I'm doing something wrong here that is causing me to not appeal to him sexually. I will say that I don't really tend to my appearances as much any more...as in, come home from work and put on the comfy cloths which is what he ends up seeing me in the majority of the time. I don't wear perfume either, usually. I would think he'd still want me though! Do these things really matter that much? What can I do to drive my husbands sex drive back up?
 

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Does your husband view a lot of porn? Sometimes guys get off the track and actually can become addicted to that make-believe world. It's a form of escapism. Has he been stressed out about anything lately?
 

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1. Is he still being treated for his PTSD? This is an important step. As a war time vet he has benefits to get the treatment he needs.

2. Some guys have performance anxiety. He may feel like he is not satisfying you. You need to reassure him he is a good lover. Don't lie though, if he is not, and gently show him what you like. If he reaches O too quickly this is also a performance anxiety. There are methods to work at to help him sustain himself.
 

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You've just been a victim of a bait and switch. You are now seeing who he really is. Now I have no idea what happened to his sex drive but I can assure you with 100% certainty that it has little to do with you. I can also say that there is little you can do to fix it because he doesn't even see it as a problem.

Now I'm going to say this with as much love in my heart as I can muster. Please please please don't throw away your life for a broken man. I married one of those and if I could go back I would have left him. We've been married 21 years and while I have finally fixed this I wasted most of my sexual prime years on him.

And there is no guarantee that you will ever fix this. Hang around here and you will find many women in the same situation. Men addicted to porn, angry men, passive aggressive men, men with ED issues, men full of lies and excuses when at the end of the day THEY are the ones who aren't upfront about what's really wrong. They know they just aren't saying.
 

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Does he work... Our careers/jobs are sometimes an extension of our confidence. And, this can extend to the bedroom. I respect others opinions, but I for one don't think you "should pack up and never look back".

Marriage does not just happen, it takes some work. After 18 years, it has been worth every wax and wane in our relationship. Best of luck.
 

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Thanks for the feedback. This forum is great! To answer a few questions. Yes, he does work, and works very hard. He excels in his job. Yes, he was treated for PTSD 6 years ago for a few months, and is an Iraq war vet.(USMC). He doesn't seem to have a lot of symptoms of PTSD now, but I do see it from time to time. He said he had no sex drive at all "0", for at least a couple of years after getting out of the military. I also have PTSD from a traumatic event that happened to me a couple years back. I go to counseling for it now.
He doesn't look at porn at all..really has no interest in it. He doesn't even masturbate. He seems to have a lack of interest in sex in general, not just toward me..lately anyways. like I said, the passion was there when we were dating, but we just didn't follow through hardly ever since we weren't married yet. Once we got married it was good for abt a month..sex nearly ever day. Now, it's only like twice a month happening. I would prefer to do it at least 3 times a week. I think he can settle for much less. I am 29, he is 31. So we are still young and energetic! I think this should not be happening, and I want to do whatever I can as a wife to help the situation.
I am unwilling to get out of the marriage because of such a thing, ever. The thought has not even crossed my mind. Besides, my husband is a GREAT man, and I love him dearly...I just did not fore see this being an issue. Divorce will not ever be an option. We are both aware that marriage takes a lot of work, and doesn't come easy. I don't feel as though I've been tricked or anything: "bait and switch". He pretty much is now, who I knew him to be...pretty honest, and strait forward guy.
I just feel as though something has happened in our relationship that has caused the sex the die down, or that I've done something wrong. I was criticizing him some before, and he got on me about that. I didn't think men can be so sensitive abt that. My husband is very confident, and he absolutely has no performance issues in bed. I really enjoy sex with him, but maybe I'm not voicing that enough. Maybe I need to work on complimenting him more.
This whole marriage thing is just so new for both of us. It's whole different ball game from dating and just having boyfriends/girlfriends, that's for sure.
 

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question: can men start avoiding sex when there wife is wanting to get pregnant?
Maybe this is the problem. I do want to have a baby, and he knows that. He wants to wait a few more months, and that is fine with me. However, I am eager about it. Maybe this is making him avoid sex with me right now? I mean, its not like I'm saying, ok lets go have some baby making time. I mean, the notion of kids isn't even a topic when I'm wanting to have sex with him. It's just sort of a lingering known thing that I want it to happen now vs. in a few months. I'm not wanting to have sex with him for just this reason, either. I've always had a very healthy sex drive.
 

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I could see the avoiding sex if you want a child but he doesn't (what form of birth control are you using?), but if he's not masturbating either, then he's just low drive.

Have you talked to him about this? Let him know this is really bothering you? What does he say, besides "quality, not quantity"? How long did you two date prior to getting married?

C
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question: can men start avoiding sex when there wife is wanting to get pregnant?
Maybe this is the problem. I do want to have a baby, and he knows that. He wants to wait a few more months, and that is fine with me. However, I am eager about it. Maybe this is making him avoid sex with me right now? I mean, its not like I'm saying, ok lets go have some baby making time. I mean, the notion of kids isn't even a topic when I'm wanting to have sex with him. It's just sort of a lingering known thing that I want it to happen now vs. in a few months. I'm not wanting to have sex with him for just this reason, either. I've always had a very healthy sex drive.
Possible, but I don't think that this is the issue. I am concerned about the short amount of time he was treated for PTSD... It may be all he needed, but then again, it is not like an infection treated with antibiotics. It can be a lifetime condition, but certainly not debilitating and symptoms do minimize over time with treatment.

My question is how much do you talk to him about the lack of sex? Mind you don't phrase it as to pressure him because he may resent it. Try to have conversation about it. You need to allow him to be candid about it. However, us guys we are not good with saying how we feel, so you need to ask very specific questions (no open ended one).
 

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We were together for a year before getting married, and been married for six months now. So all in all a year and a half. I was fully aware of the PTSD, and all relevant history before getting married. Most of the men in my family have been military men, including my dad having been a drill sergeant for 8 years. So it didn't really bother me. Although, I didn't know at the time that his could have an effect on his libido.
I would say that he does still have some symptoms of PTSD, but I'm sure not nearly as bad as before. He said that the counselor told him that he was good to go after the duration of time spent in counseling. I think he'd be unwilling to go to counseling now for that. He thinks he's fine. The symptoms I notice now is that he gets mad, and frustrated very easily over things, often. His reactions can be very intense. He's never been abusive though.
I've tried talking to him about our sex life, in an appropriate manner. I've tried many approaches actually. Each time he gets frustrated. Then the situation gets worse because that frustration carries over in to the bedroom. Then I start feeling all depressed and unloved, and my sex drive goes down as well. Until the next time I try.
I can tell he's working on at least being more affectionate. I do notice him putting a lot of effort toward that now. There is nothing sexual about it though. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to settle for affection until the next time there is some action!
I think what is really frustrating about this, is it seems to be nearly impossible to seduce a man with low libido (if that is that case).
 

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I've tried talking to him about our sex life, in an appropriate manner. I've tried many approaches actually. Each time he gets frustrated. Then the situation gets worse
The worst thing you can do with men like this is talk about it. I tried talking for YEARS with my supposed LD man to no avail. Out of all the things I tried that was the LEAST effective method.
 

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I think your husband needs professional counseling. He apparently is sincere about working on fixing whatever is bothering him, but it may be too much for him to handle by himself.
 

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And the ptsd is still there. I recognize the symptoms because I have it. Mine is pretty much gone but I've also done almost 4 years of IC.
 

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First I'm always reluctant to use binary classification on individuals... As a 52 year old man I would love to have sex 7 days a week on average, my wife 2 days a week... But these are average desires and both us wax and wane through those feelings. Most of us are on some spectrum.

Ok, man speak. Wife talks, we get a little irritated and upset about the topic. Interpret, we acknowledge, understand the problem and know we need to do something about it. Having said that don't expect results overnight. Also don't push it by bringing it up too often... He will then resent it a go the other direction.

On a more serious note, I don't think he is not over his PTSD... This may or may not be affecting his sexual desires, but that factor should be eliminated. You may also want to suggest both of you get a physical... You could address it to assume you both get the physical before starting a family.

Don't give up hope on this guy... I can see you love him and that alone will go a long way.
 

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You both need to talk it thru, go slow and do not make him mad. Just go slow and tell him what you want and need. Give yourself a time limit, 90days or 120 days. At the end tell him, OK time is up, my move.
 

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You must address this issue now because it will only fester as the years pass by. Your relationship with him is so young that it seems highly unlikely that you are causing any of his behavior. There could be a medical reason such as a low testosterone level. Or, psychological as you have suggested. But, it might just be that he loses interest in sex after he has had his fill of it in a new relationship. He may not even realize this about himself.

Now is a great time to get this issue resolved. Sex is very important and to some people it is critically important. Sooner or later resentment will build up and you will have an affair or leave him.

Marcus
 

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Thanks for all the feedback. Very good advice and suggestions! After reading, and thinking it through I think the possible lingering PTSD symptoms do play a role. Other factors: He is in the midst of making a job change, but to a much better position. He is successful in his current position as well, but the growth opportunity is not there. This may have been stressing him out, and I didn't realize it. Also, when we first got married he was drinking around 2 beers a night, on most nights. I know this can cause testosterone to go down. So maybe this was a factor before. He's stopped doing that now.
Anyhow, after his last interview the other night, which went very well, and is expected to get an offer....he pretty much was all about sex! Although, it probably won't happen again for at least another week.
Men really do operate in a very specific way it seems. I'm learning that more and more by actually being married to one now. You don't really see that so much when your just dating.
Also, its interesting that different people's sex drive, and general desire for sex really can vary greatly. I know my husband might have things going on psychologically, and in other areas of his life that might be affecting his sex drive. However, he has made comments before that he hates how society paints men as being these sex hungry animals, because they aren't all that way. (my experience would beg to differ.) Meanwhile, he feels that most women he's known have a much higher sex drive than him, and so thinks that women are the more sex hungry creatures. I think he's just generally not a very sexual person...just doesn't seem to see this as very important. He has said that we just haven't gotten into our groove yet. Maybe this will improve over time. I'm just going to try to keep being patient about it, and not keep bringing it up.
 
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