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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I have a pretty good marriage on all fronts except our sex life. It has been degrading for 15 years for a whole variety of reasons, with blame on both sides. I have been fairly unhappy with it for a number of years, which drove me to accept a low sex marriage and frequent masturbation to keep my sanity. I know that low sex and masturbation can be a chicken and egg discussion, but the end result is the same.
After being on TAM for several months and reading NMMNG and MMSL, I have decided that I must do something to make changes. The first thing I need to do is get past my passive aggressive tendencies, which would usually mean I would "ask" my wife to do something to enhance our sex life, and she would not respond favorably, and I would sulk off and stew in my resentment, thinking that I was doing a good thing by not creating conflict.
So I have boiled down my unhappiness into a few major topics that I want to discuss with her, starting with what I will do to change. I'd like comments on whether this is a good idea or not.
Here goes:
Things I commit to doing for my wife:
1. I will try very hard to not be passive aggressive. I will make my desires known and not just walk away expecting her to figure out why I am angry.
2. I will be completely open to my wife sexually. Nothing will be out of bounds, and there will be no judgement if she wants to try something. (she's conservative, but maybe she is afraid to ask me if she wants to do something)

Things I NEED from my wife:
1. I need our sex life to be a high priority. It cannot be considered something you fit in after all the chores and errands are done.
2. I need my wife to play an active role in enhancing our sex life. She needs to be an equal partner in finding ways to make sex fun. She can't expect me to do all the driving while she sits in the back and back-seat drives (back seat drivers never have anything good to say).
3. I need my wife to stop giving mixed messages on what she likes and what she doesn't like sexually, and if she likes doing something just because I like it, then she can't use that as leverage against me, i.e. "I only do <insert act> because you like it, not because I like it". No more of that. You either like it, or you don't like it. If you do it to please me, then it is a gift you are giving me, and you can't have strings attached to that gift.
4. I need my wife to never again tell me I'm perverted or not normal for having male urges and fetishes (I don't ask for anything that involves other lovers, anything illegal or painful). I've learned on TAM that what I like is no different that the majority of the men on this site. I don't expect her to like everything I like, but I should not be considered a deviant in her eyes just because she is more conservative.

Let me know if telling her the 2 things I will do for her and the 4 things I need from her is a good idea or if I should handle it differently.
 

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The two things you are telling her is good, but I'd add one more. Tell her WHY you are doing this. You need to articulate that you are doing this for a number of reasons, including that you NEED a better sex life and that your marriage will be stronger due to a better sex life. It will help your self-esteem, you confidence, your love for her and your overall views on life. You know why you want to improve the sex life, so explain it to her in as many ways as you can. Odds are she doesn't understand that for you (and most men) sex in a marriage isn't just about an orgasm, but is about a lot of emotional needs being met. It's like going through a marriage without her getting a hug from you, or only if you complain about having to give it first. Make her see why you want to focus so much time on this and why it is a need.
 
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Here's my advice to you.

Don't communicate this list to her. Make this list your reality.

What do I mean?

For the things you are going to do, just do them.

For the things you need, don't hand your wife the list. Make them your policies and manage your communications to your wife so that you can relate these policies in a relatively frequent way... So rather than hand her that list say the following things periodically.

1. "Wife, you sure put your marraige at the bottom of your priority list, I find that strange".
2. You have a policy.... "Sex is a full contact sport"
3. If your wife says that you say pleasantly, "Ha ha ha... Yeah Right! and then walk up and look at her in the eyes and embrace her".
4. You tell your wife... "I am sexual and proud of it. Marriages are sexual." Embrace your sexuality with confidnence... Reject non seuxal marriages and maritial partners with disdain and paint them as abnormal and lacking.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
well said, kingsfan.

OP, you described yourself as passive aggressive. Did you come into the marriage with a PA style or did that come about from you or W shutting off communication?
I used to be a lot more aggressive and verbal, but also I argued because I wanted to be right. Both of us were not very good at a productive arguments so they usually created a lot of hurt feelings. Oprah once said, "You can be right or you can be happy." That is the only thing Oprah said that I ever remembered. So over the years, I changed my approach and decided that arguing wasn't making me happy so I became more passive while my wife flipped roles and became a lot more stubborn. I stopped sweating the small stuff.
Now we rarely have disagreements on anything but sex, and I just don't like seeing her hurt or crying. But she is also very stubborn and will not easily open her heart/mind to new ideas. She is very set in her ways, so we have arrived at a place where sex is infrequent and boring (more to me than her).
 

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I used to be a lot more aggressive and verbal, but also I argued because I wanted to be right. Both of us were not very good at a productive arguments so they usually created a lot of hurt feelings. Oprah once said, "You can be right or you can be happy." That is the only thing Oprah said that I ever remembered. So over the years, I changed my approach and decided that arguing wasn't making me happy so I became more passive while my wife flipped roles and became a lot more stubborn. I stopped sweating the small stuff.
Now we rarely have disagreements on anything but sex, and I just don't like seeing her hurt or crying. But she is also very stubborn and will not easily open her heart/mind to new ideas. She is very set in her ways, so we have arrived at a place where sex is infrequent and boring (more to me than her).
That sheds light on the subject. Thank you.

I'm sure there is a middle ground to what the Oprah said. You want to be happy, but you also don't want to lose your voice. I can relate to this. So then you want to fight fairly and change your dynamic. Both of you need to meet at assertive instead of PA or aggressive. This also means that you win some and lose some. It also means that W cannot be so stubborn. This is difficult because you mentioned that your W doesn't seem to have much stake in improving the sex life.

I'm glad to hear you're trying to make changes. I am, too.
 

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Numbers 3 and 4...she sounds passive aggressive too.
I would suggest that you explore the concept of emotional needs with her in marriage. That she is able to figure out what hers are and you are willing to work on those as well.
She may feel that it's a one way street.
Also if she's that prude she might not even know what she wants or she likes things but doesn't think it's ok so she lies and says that it's for you only.
She sounds like she was raised Catholic.
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Yes, she was raised Catholic.
I have started the more assertive part of the approach and I told her that sex needs to be a priority. That seems to be working well. We have had sex 3 times in the last 4 days.
But I haven't had the talk about what else I need from her yet. I need the appropriate atmosphere or her defenses will go up.
 

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Yes, she was raised Catholic.
I have started the more assertive part of the approach and I told her that sex needs to be a priority. That seems to be working well. We have had sex 3 times in the last 4 days.
But I haven't had the talk about what else I need from her yet. I need the appropriate atmosphere or her defenses will go up.
I'm glad that you are seeing some changes. Keep us updated.
 
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