Talk About Marriage banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

First post, so not sure where to start.
I've been married for 15 years and we have 4 lovely kids between 8-15.

Our relationship roller-coasts between good and bad times. Recently it's more bad than good and we're currently at a crisis.

Our main problem is sex. This goes way back. My wife was always the initiator and eventually she tired of me not making the first move, so she stopped trying. Perhaps I got used to her initiating sex far too easily and missed the damage I was causing her. Eventually I took over the role but I have never been able to consistently keep our sex life active.

What happens is that different stresses and pressures get in the way; children, work, house refurbishment. I don't have any sexual hang-ups but my sexual needs seem to decline more easily than most men I know when faced with similar pressures. I see it as a real failing in myself.

Right now it's work and finance. I lost my company and have been trying hard to rebuild my career and keep us liquid. I don't get much support from my wife at the moment and it has been a time when I really have needed it. Understandable - our dying sex life & lack of intimacy isn't going to warm her to me.

Our sex life quickly become less and less frequent and then stops. This causes my wife immeasurable pain and as she becomes more upset with me, she becomes more distant and I feel less loved. It's an awful negative spiral. We have a big social life which makes it easier to hide behind and sex becomes the elephant in the room that we can't talk about. Then, like a corked bottle my wife explodes and we fall out. In those arguments everything that my wife feels has been a failing in our relationship (the failures in me) in the past returns and we fall into a crisis that is very difficult to get out of.

My wife has reached the end and only wants to stay together because of the kids. She currently does not love me and now has no interest in me physically. She is very bitter and angry with me for robbing her of an close intimate relationship. I'm lonely and forever miserable - we both want the same thing but can't find a way forward together and I see separation looming.

I've suggested we go to counselling this week which fills us both with dread and even more so since the last couple of days have been particularly difficult and we are now not talking.

And finally - my father-in-law asked if we could meet. I did, somewhat reluctantly, and we talked. Well I talked and he listened. He's a good man and cares for us both. I told him that I was lonely and miserable and I felt that if we wanted to save our marriage we both had to take responsibility for what has happened. He wrote a note back to us both - his summary of our position as he saw it. It really upset my wife who felt it was full of half truths and painted a negative picture of her and that I was trying to apportion blame. I didn't read it the same way. She is very close to her father and he is trying his best to help us but this was a mistake I think.

I'm really scared that the councillor will facilitate more negativeness and we will be pushed towards separation.

That's my story, I think we can learn to love each other again, I want it desperately, I want to find a way that we each learn how to recognize issues and take preventative action in difficult times and avoid the crisis management which is what I often fall into.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
856 Posts
Tell her everyday that you love her and want your marriage to work. She may not respond or even answer, but she needs and wants to hear this. Ask if she will go out on a weekly dinner date with you, let her father babysit since he seems anxious to help. If she says no, keep asking, we women like to be pursued and wooed! Even when we are withdrawn and brittle deep down we still want to hear that you love us, want to spend time with us, and will do what it takes to make amends. Tell her that she's beautiful and compliment her body. Tell her that her jeans make her ass look sexy, or that she smells wonderful. You have nothing to lose by sending positive messages and affirmations. And on the days she won't talk, keep talking to her, telling her that she is your whole world.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,751 Posts
Inquiry,
Lets pick a random Friday night. You don't have to get up early the next morning. Kids are in their rooms/asleep.

We will pick a "typical situation" which is one in which you are feeling no desire for sex.

In the spirit of being a good spouse, what would happen if you got in bed with your wife and started kissing and touching her. Would that not "get" you aroused. If not, would if while you were kissing and touching her, you let her touch you?

And you know what, if that doesn't "work" for you, it is time to indulge in 'better living through chemistry". Without telling her, you pop a viagra, and THEN initiate.

You took a vow to LOVE your wife. This is a marriage. A MARITAL vow of love includes sex. In fact it includes enough sex to satisfy a reasonable person. My guess is that your wife is a reasonable person and is therefore crushed by your lack of attentions in this area.

Step up and honor your vows. SHOW your wife you love her like a MAN loves his WIFE. And stop making excuses and blame shifting.



Hi,

First post, so not sure where to start.
I've been married for 15 years and we have 4 lovely kids between 8-15.

Our relationship roller coasts between good and bad times. Recently it's more bad than good and we're currently at a crisis.

Our main problem is sex. This goes way back. My wife was always the initiator and eventually she tired of me not making the first move, so she stopped trying. Perhaps I got used to her initiating sex far too easily and missed the damage I was causing her. Eventually I took over the role but I have never been able to consistently keep our sex life active.

What happens is that different stresses and pressures get in the way; children, work, house refurbishment. I don't have any sexual hang-ups but my sexual needs seem to decline more easily than most men I know when faced with similar pressures. I see it as a real failing in myself.

Right now it's work and finance. I lost my company and have been trying hard to rebuild my career and keep us liquid. I don't get much support from my wife at the moment and it has been a time when I really have needed it. Understandable - our dying sex life & lack of intimacy isn't going to warm her to me.

Our sex life quickly become less and less frequent and then stops. This causes my wife immeasurable pain and as she becomes more upset with me, she becomes more distant and I feel less loved. It's an awful negative spiral. We have a big social life which makes it easier to hide behind and sex becomes the elephant in the room that we can't talk about. Then, like a corked bottle my wife explodes and we fall out. In those arguments everything that my wife feels has been a failing in our relationship (our failures in me) in the past returns and we fall into a crisis that is very difficult to get out of.

My wife has reached the end and only wants to stay together because of the kids. She currently does not love me and now has no interest in me physically. She is very bitter and angry with me for robbing her of an close intimate relationship. I'm lonely and forever miserable - we both want the same thing but can't find a way forward together and I see separation looming.

I've suggested we go to counselling this week which fills us both with dread and even more so since the last couple of days have been particularly difficult and we are now not talking.

And finally - my father-in-law asked if we could meet. I did, somewhat reluctantly, and we talked. Well I talked and he listened. He's a good man and cares for us both. I told him that I was lonely and miserable and I felt that if we wanted to save our marriage we both had to take responsibility for what has happened. He wrote a note back to us both - his summary of our position as he saw it. It really upset my wife who felt it was full of half truths and painted a negative picture of her and that I was trying to apportion blame. I didn't read it the same way. She is very close to her father and he is trying his best to help us but this was a mistake I think.

I'm really scared that the councillor will facilitate more negativeness and we will be pushed towards separation.

That's my story, I think we can learn to love each other again, I want it desperately, I want to find a way that we each learn how to recognize issues and take preventative action in difficult times and avoid the crisis management which is what I often fall into.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,361 Posts
Hi,


What happens is that different stresses and pressures get in the way; children, work, house refurbishment. I don't have any sexual hang-ups but my sexual needs seem to decline more easily than most men I know when faced with similar pressures. I see it as a real failing in myself.

Right now it's work and finance. I lost my company and have been trying hard to rebuild my career and keep us liquid. I don't get much support from my wife at the moment and it has been a time when I really have needed it. Understandable - our dying sex life & lack of intimacy isn't going to warm her to me.
In other words, neither of you is prioritizing your marriage as being THE MOST IMPORTANT THING that either of you has.

What if you did? How would things be different? What would each of you do differently and how would affect your feelings?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I'm ashamed of how easy I've let it slip. My wife has been very explicit at what upsets her, lack of sex, intimacy, making her feel special. What should be a simple and natural part of our relationship sometimes feels like a mountain to climb for me so I try to reassure myself that things will get better by focusing on the other problems.

The stresses are very real, difficult & scary but as Kathy writes the most important thing we have is our marriage.

Yes, it's easy to shift blame. Of course relationship problems are caused by both parties but I recognise that my wife's issues are a symptom of the problems I have caused her. So obvious when you think about it like that.

I love my wife tremendously, would never do anything to hurt her but I'm simply not very good at relationships but I have to find better copping methods.

I'm not a defeatist and I'm not going to give up, writing this thread wasn't easy and was a starting point. Perhaps I should share it with my wife. Is that a good idea?

We have an initial meeting with the therapist tomorrow. I know it is not going to be easy but thanks for the mix of comments, it's been very helpful to get me thinking about how to handle these conversations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
856 Posts
Well you don't have to be ashamed....just get out of your comfort zone and be affectionate and reassuring. Marriages run cycles, you can rebuild with positivity and affection. Sometimes it means doing things that don't come naturally to us, but making it your job to convey how much you love her and how much hope you have for your future with your lovely family can only help. Yes she is hurt and withdrawn, but don't you pull away, smile at her, ask for a hug, say I love you, even when it's damn awkward!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,190 Posts
If I was your wife, I near know I would feel like her, sorry just being honest here...For some of us, these things (yes, sex) is just that "emotionally fullfilling".....women were made to be the object of a man's desire (or so I believe)....to FEEL & experience our husband's NEED of us in this way....that he is still INTO US..... To have this taken away.... It's simply devastating...
sinking....crushing...while most women are off complaining how they wish their husbands would leave them alone. It's just too emotional of a thing to live with.

But there is always HOPE... If you truly want to save this marriage... Are you up to the task ?

I would recommend a book like this to JUMP start your erotic feelings for each other ...these things start in the mind... Libido it wonderful... but it is not everything ...Sex starts in between the ears , so experts say >>> Kosher Adultery: Seduce and Sin with Your Spouse: Books ....... It is all about getting the "Passion" back -after it feels it has dried up in a marriage - because of the stresses, kids, work load, time restraints, etc.

Your wife likely has a mountain of RESENTMENT to overcome here, this must be uprooted.. new ways of BEING , sharing, caring for each other - creatively changing what was into something exciting and NEW... and forgiveness given.... I did a thread on this issue ... "Resentment Test" in the 1st line ...

http://talkaboutmarriage.com/sex-marriage/41826-resentment-sexual-emotional-etc-how-robs-us-intimacy-we-crave-most.html


After communication has begun regarding sexual intimacy... I feel the ideal attitude should look something like this >>

http://talkaboutmarriage.com/sex-marriage/37724-joy-brings-importance-allowing-our-partner-turn-us-love-making.html




Then there is always >>>
The Love Dare:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,853 Posts
I keep thinking that 'inquiry' is actually a woman. No offense, just typically it is the woman who shows very little interest in sex.

I am the man who is HD and it is my wife who has little interest in having sex with me. All I can tell you is that I know how your wife feels. Thinking it is probably worse for a woman.

I keep initiating and sometimes my wife 'allows' sex. I feel like a charity case. Sometimes she really gets into it and then I feel used. She isn't there because she loves, desires and cares about my happiness. She is there because she feels guilty or because she feels horny. Not out of love.

It affects who you are. I have three great kids. I have a very successful business. Everything should be great. But yet, because of the lack of intimacy, I feel depressed at times. My wife talks about exercising and eating well so that we can live a long time. I almost feel like the sooner I die the better. It is a frustrating experience living in a relationship where you see someone everyday and you want to be close to them, but the energy they give back is to stay away.

If you truly love your wife, give her what she needs. Show her that you care. Don't wait for her to come to you. That won't meet her needs. Hug her when you walk in the door. Sit close to her when you watch TV. Show that you want to be close to her. The sex will follow naturally from being affectionate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Just out of curiosity, have you been tested for Low T? With children that young, you should be about 40 years old or so and should not have such a steep decline in sexual desire.

Also, I think MC is the best possible choice for you right now. You two need help communicating and that's the entire purpose of MC. You need to better understand where she's coming from (even though she's been extremely specific) and more importantly, she needs to know what you're dealing with.

Get your testosterone checked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,578 Posts
First, why would anyone meet with their fther in law to discuss marital problems, especially alone and without the other party? Just a recipe for disaster as you already know.

Get to counseling. Both of you need to get everything on the table in front of an impartial third party so you can help straighten this out.

And get to a doctor to rule out any physical problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,505 Posts
ugh.

I like the fact that you seem to have a pretty good idea of what is going on - or at least can enunciate it clearly. Everything you say makes perfect sense.

To me - what you describe - company failure... 4 kids... oh.. and lets add a renovation on top of it - something that can be a disaster all by itself! Plus the little disconnect the 2 of you have about sex doesnt help. You have a social life and yes it can keep things (on the surface) under control until the dam bursts again.

I am totally with you.

Full disclosure - I have NO experience in solving that sort of fissure.. but I do have in my head a certain amount of distrust for marriage counselors and the (I assume) personal prisms through which they view things. Wrong or right - I think psychologists and therapists get into the field FIRST to help themselves. I also think the good ones are professionals that can impartially offer tactics to deal with conflict. Bad ones can do more damage than good. Just so you know where I am coming from.

But I think therapy would be a good way to get independant, outside, uninvolved feedback and strategies to apply. I guess. I would want to do 2 things - 1) do my homework and find someone that came recommended by someone that you have (both?) talked with and 2) get a counseling male/female 'team' to help avoid a perception that one person or the other has nobody that really understand their point of view.

"I think we can learn to love each other again, I want it desperately, I want to find a way that we each learn how to recognize issues and take preventative action in difficult times and avoid the crisis management which is what I often fall into."

^^^ This. If you can express this to her one way or anoter and get her on board - as a team - to select a couselor(s)... I think that would be a good start.

Does she know that you want to fix it? Sounds like she has checked out to some degree and I dont know if it would help for you to say somehting to acknowledge that... god that would be pretty hard for me to even say out loud... but I think that perhaps getting all the cards on the table as to the current state of affairs... finding common ground at least on that... may be enough to get things rolling? Even if the ground rules for starting are *only* to allow you both to get a handle on the resentment and anger and avoid more blowups and damage. Maybe better things will follow.

Doing something is better than doing nothing - and better late than never. Pithy platitudes dont help, but I think framing this as a way to ease the conflict and tension may be the way to go as a start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,361 Posts
I'm ashamed of how easy I've let it slip. My wife has been very explicit at what upsets her, lack of sex, intimacy, making her feel special. What should be a simple and natural part of our relationship sometimes feels like a mountain to climb for me so I try to reassure myself that things will get better by focusing on the other problems.

The stresses are very real, difficult & scary but as Kathy writes the most important thing we have is our marriage.

Yes, it's easy to shift blame. Of course relationship problems are caused by both parties but I recognise that my wife's issues are a symptom of the problems I have caused her. So obvious when you think about it like that.

I love my wife tremendously, would never do anything to hurt her but I'm simply not very good at relationships but I have to find better copping methods.

I'm not a defeatist and I'm not going to give up, writing this thread wasn't easy and was a starting point. Perhaps I should share it with my wife. Is that a good idea?

We have an initial meeting with the therapist tomorrow. I know it is not going to be easy but thanks for the mix of comments, it's been very helpful to get me thinking about how to handle these conversations.
If it makes it any easier, you can take comfort in the fact that you don't have to be good "at relationships." All you need to do is get good at showing loving steps toward your wife.

You could start with a goal of doing one thing per day to show her that she's irreplaceable to you and is the most important person in your life. What could you do today to let her know?

If you're still at a loss, I encourage you to check out the 5 Languages of Love (you can Google for tons of info.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all for taking the time to think about my problems and help me think through things quite differently. I hadn't really considered physical problems (I'm a 49yr old man by the way). I will get it checked out but I don't think there is a simple answer.

I think my problems with sex are probably more deeply rooted. I was never abused but my family have never shown any real feelings or emotions to me or publicly to each other. I never thought it to be strange until I met my wife, whose family could not be more different. Going to see my father-in-law was a massive error - what was I thinking. Reading through his summary again today I can see why my wife would be so hurt. To many areas for misinterpretation!

Finding common ground is very difficult at the moment, she feels very angry and cheated and I doubt this is the best way to begin any form of counselling. However, we need to try and handle this if we are to move forward.

Lets see how it goes tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Hi a bit of an update since last week. Yes, it was difficult - very. I was pleased with the councillor she seemed to understand and gave us some hope. We've booked up for 6 more sessions. Fills me full of dread though. Firstly she asked, did we want to stay together - Yes. I didn't expect my wife to say that. What's the motive she asked, for my wife - the kids, the family but not me. She can't imagine being physically attracted to me or loving me at the moment because the resentment is very deep. The councillor thought this was a good and positive start, something to build on, but it left me feeling quite hurt.

The councillor thinks we need a referee to allow my wife to unload (and me I guess) so we can try and find a way to park the past and then try and find a way back together. The problem is that I jump between feeling deeply upset and then very angry. And then pretty guilty - I don't feel I have have the right to be angry, but I can't help it. I'm angry at my wife for not supporting me and loving me when I really needed her but she's angry at me for depriving her of a loving relationship. Her pain came before mine...

After counselling. I thought the remainder of the week would continue to be truly awful but we've made an effort to be pleasant to one another and stopped any social activity. It's all very weird to be honest - a bit like being back at school after being dumped by a girlfriend. I've been left feeling quite isolated, it seems like everyone in our neighbourhood knows what's going on. I might be a little paranoid but I don't think so.

Ironically it's our wedding anniversary on Friday and I had booked some tickets to walk over the O2 - if you live in London you will have some idea what I'm talking about, if you don't you are probably thinking why would anyone want to climb to the top of an extremely high tent! I've asked myself the same question as heights seem to get more difficult to handle the older you get. Tickets were booked a while back so I gave my wife the chance to back out or take a girlfriend but she wants to go together. I have to be careful not to read too much into this I think but it was a kind gesture.

I re read through some of the posts on this thread and have been thinking as to how I can make some inroads but the territory of saying nice things, touching each other or laughing seems so far off limits its untrue but I'll try.

Thx
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top