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I'm going to keep this short.

I guess what I'm seeking is either validation or condemnation, rather than specific advice.

Been married 15 years, first 10 were great, but since my wife started working, I think we average 1 pity **** every 3 months.

Yes, she's depressed/anxious. Yes we talked about it, yes I believe I'm doing everything I can to make it better.

I stopped bringing it up because of how angry she would get. All that got me was a load of resentment towards her, souring the relationship. After reading a few posts here, I thought maybe I needed to just man up, and weather her anger storm...same result.

I ignored all sexual anything for about a year, which she loved, so... another backfire.

Here's my question:

The solution I found was in myself. In a nutshell, I changed my reason for not approaching her about sex.

She's in therapy, and I'm choosing to back away and give her space, give her time. I want her to get better, I want her to enjoy our time together, and once I started thinking of it as MY choice, it's taken the edge off...

But for how long? I've been in this hold pattern for a year now, and she still seems content to never have sex.

I'm not getting any younger...

I can't decide if being supportive is just enabling, or if I'm actually doing some good.
 

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According to you it’s been 5 years already. It’s ridiculous that it has been this long. In my short handed guess I’m going to say that she knows your just not going to do anything about it and just keep riding the status quo. After that long you either blow it up or just shut up.


That’s my opinion
 

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I've been in this hold pattern for a year now, and she still seems content to never have sex.
My take on it is you've been friend zoned and she likes maintaining the status quo.

Nothing you've done thus far appears to work.

Are you willing to walk away from what is basically a sexless marriage? Are you willing to suck it up and accept how it is? Your life. Your choice.
 

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I think what you are infinity stones...sorry couldn’t it how my mind works....
But seriously on that topic you need to have a A frank conversation laying out that this marriage will include sex on a regular basis or we need to dissolve it and move on her own.
 

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5 years of a sexless marriage? Don’t you think it’s time for a new strategy? How is your fitness level and overall appearance? Have you let yourself go or become slovenly?

It’s time for you to implement your exit strategy. Embark on a self improvement plan to up your game across the board. If she changes and wants to jump back into marriage as a loving wife, great; if not, you will be emotionally and physically ready for what life has for you without her.

Also just to be sure, you need to verify that someone else hasn’t been getting her best for the past few years. Sadly, we get so many threads that start off exactly like this and after probing questions and lots of denial from the husband, we learn that the low drive wife was actually just being faithful to her boyfriend by sexually cutting of the husband.
 

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5 years? You need to make a decision because she isn't going to change. Either accept what is and stay or leave and live your life.
 

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A spouse that is happy to not have sex for 5 years should be called an ex.

Even if you threaten to leave and that "improves" your sex life, you and her both know that it's intimacy under duress.

For better or worse doesn't mean worse in perpetuity.
 

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I'm going to keep this short.

I guess what I'm seeking is either validation or condemnation, rather than specific advice.

Been married 15 years, first 10 were great, but since my wife started working, I think we average 1 pity **** every 3 months.
I think it is pretty strange that you have tolerated a sexless (4 times/year about same as zero) existence in a "marriage" for 5 weeks let alone 5 years!?! Am surprised you remember how after three months. Am surprised that SHE would go without for that long. Personally wondering if she met her "soulmate" at work and doesn't want to cheat on him with you.
 

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But for how long? I've been in this hold pattern for a year now, and she still seems content to never have sex.

I'm not getting any younger...
Buy The Dead Bedroom Fix by @dadstartingover and read or listen to it. See if anything in there sounds like your situation and then do what the text suggests.

You’re right, you’re not getting younger. Your wife is content with your sexual relationship now so unless you change something about the dynamics of your relationship it will stay as it is.

If her illness or the treatment are part of the problem she needs to discuss it with her physicians.
 

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she's depressed/anxious. but yet has a very good job ,
looks like she has got you to put a **** cage on yourself and hand her the key by acting the poor depressed/anxious. card
wife went to medical school.
if she is a fully trained doctor now and a person came to her with this story , and the woman told her that she has not had sex with a year what would she say to that woman

your wife if not a dr she when to medical school , so she knows more than most of us on both sides of the fence
because if you went to her and told her your feelings and that you have not had sex is she not willing to treat you or if it was I with the same thing ,

your are angry in what you have posted and quite right
if my wife forced me into chastity I would be looking for ways out ,
""Been married 15 years, first 10 were great, but since my wife started working"" I am adding two and two and I might be coming up with 6
This one is rough...

I agreed to be a stay at home dad to take care of our daughter while my wife went to medical school.

When you say you feel like a single parent, I get it. It's really hard. I don't know you, but I'm proud of what you're doing. It's cliche to say, but I'ma say it anyway. It's a thankless job.

That being said, I do have a few suggestions, none of which are garunteed to work.

1. It's ok to leave stuff unfinished. If he wants it done differently, he can do it himself.

2. I made certain jobs, "HER", jobs... And refuse to do them, * this is the most important step*

She picks up dog crap every day. Period. I have never, and will never do it.

She walks the dogs.

She cleans/loads the dirty dishes after dinner.

She bathed our child until she was old enough to bathe herself.

I don't nag, complain, or even mention that she has to do it... And here comes the hardest part...

You have to let him fail.

My wife didn't realize I was serious until the night we ate chicken alfredo off of paper towels, because the dishes were all dirty.

Or when her best friend came to visit and stepped in a dog turd.

3. Soldier on. I've been the bread winner and the SAHD, and both jobs are really hard. Compromise as best you can.
you need to get back to work I would say the same thing to any woman here your child is going to school and old enough to go to care after school before you pick her up
get a job and then the the feck out of it , this woman knows she has put your **** into a invisible chastity cage for men and she holds the key
 

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If she is in therapy, give it another 6 months. If things don't improve, pack your bag. There's nothing else you can do about it. Of course, people might say that she has mental issues and therefore you are abandoning your wife in time of need, but you only know how bad her issues are. If she is functioning well, you have your answer.
 

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But for how long? I've been in this hold pattern for a year now, and she still seems content to never have sex.
The ultimate question is can the therapist determine if she has a sexual aversion (perhaps this is why she gets angry when you bring it up) as a result of some past trauma, or does she inherently have little or no ability to enjoy sex. The second of which likely has no solution and therapy will not change a person into someone that they are not. A therapist can only help someone be more confident about who they already are.

...in my opinion!

Badsanta
 

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In another reply the OP talks about his wife going to medical school while he is a stay at home dad. He ultimate makes things her responsibility like washing dishes, walking the dog, and picking up after the dog to which he will allow her to completely fail at these things:

My wife didn't realize I was serious until the night we ate chicken alfredo off of paper towels, because the dishes were all dirty.

Or when her best friend came to visit and stepped in a dog turd.
In my house we all take turns washing the dishes. No one person is solely responsible. We have dogs and we all work with them to maintain a regular schedule. The dogs poop in the morning just after being fed and sometimes in the evening before going to bed. During these two times they always have a routine of being out in the backyard for about an hour whereas they spend the rest of the day in doors. No one visits the house by coming into our home from the back yard and the dogs have only ever had one accident in the house (because one was sick at the time).

I'm not judging the OP because to each their own. I'm just pointing that there are different philosophies about housework. When the female is a stay at home mom, many working dads will help out around the house but I've never known any working dads that are solely responsible for dirty dishes and picking up dog poo from around the house.
 

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The ultimate question is can the therapist determine if she has a sexual aversion (perhaps this is why she gets angry when you bring it up) as a result of some past trauma, or does she inherently have little or no ability to enjoy sex. The second of which likely has no solution and therapy will not change a person into someone that they are not. A therapist can only help someone be more confident about who they already are.

...in my opinion!

Badsanta
I agree with the above, but I get the feeling that we tend to underestimate the consequences of depression/anxiety on these boards - a lot.
 

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Why are you continuing to allow her to be comfortable in the midst of your own discomfort?

There are things you can do that don't include divorce. However, it also requires you to not only deal with her ager towards you, but to also be strong enough to tell her "no".

Remember, her bellwether for sex is whether or not she feels like it. You could simply...embrace that position, whether it is listening to her about her day, squishing a spider, or opening the pickle jar.

"I don't really feel like it."

Look, man. A sexless marriage brought me to TAM. Nothing...and I mean NOTHING worked until I figured out that choosing whether to meet a spouses needs was not an option solely for her.

This isn't to say I was prepared to divorce her, but I was more than willing to make our relationship so uncomfortable that she might leave. This left her a simple option: either have a warm, MUTUALLY FULFILLING marriage, or one where out partner did not matter.

She fought like hell to maintain how it was, with her needs being a requirement and mine being optional. But I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired, and put my foot down.

Also, stop with the pity ****ing. This leads her to resent you for having to do it, but even more importantly, it leads you resenting yourself for accepting it.

Love yourself enough to refuse to tolerate the intolerable.

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I agree with the above, but I get the feeling that we tend to underestimate the consequences of depression/anxiety on these board - a lot.
This is fair. There is a reason that they say mental illness is something the entire family suffers with.

That said, we all have our demons to deal with. Some better...some worse. We have a choice what we will allow.

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This is fair. There is a reason that they say mental illness is something the entire family suffers with.

That said, we all have our demons to deal with. Some better...some worse. We have a choice what we will allow.
I agree, but she is in therapy. It can take a long time, so it's really up to the OP to decide how long he is going to "allow" this situation to last. From what he is saying, I get the feeling he is dismissing his wife's issues. I certainly dismissed my wife's. We don't really know the extent of the OP's wife issues. Having been through all this, I would say it's not easy to be in such a situation and it will be difficult to leave a vulnerable person. That said, you only live once and I would encourage the OP to take all the necessary steps if his life turns into hell.
 

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I agree, but she is in therapy. It can take a long time, so it's really up to the OP to decide how long he is going to "allow" this situation to last. From what he is saying, I get the feeling he is dismissing his wife's issues. I certainly dismissed my wife's. We don't really know the extent of the OP's wife issues. Having been through all this, I would say it's not easy to be in such a situation and it will be difficult to leave a vulnerable person. That said, you only live once and I would encourage the OP to take all the necessary steps if his life turns into hell.
There is certainly room for a discussion about dismissal of her issues.

That said, this can quickly become a "chicken or the egg" type of discussion.

Lastly, if my wife were to reduce our sex life to a pity **** every three months, and played the gaslighting or guilting game that is occurring with the OP, I would have difficulty finding ****s to give over her anxiety and depression.

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If her illness or the treatment are part of the problem she needs to discuss it with her physicians.
This.

I would be incredibly patient with someone who acknowledged that a healthy sex life is important, and was actively working to improve. Incredibly patient.

But shaming and gaslighting? That leads to the thermostat being set somewhere south of absolute zero.



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