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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are both in our mid 20s and have been married a year and a half. Our problem is that we display our sexual affection differently. My primary love language is words of affection. She does a great job saying little things through the day, such as telling me she loves me or that she is thankful that I did something, but the words stop there.

There is no flirting let alone dirty talking. Flirting is huge for me and I'm turned on by witty foreplay, but I also like just playing around in general, such as roleplaying from time to time or if she dressed a certain way for me or sent me a message telling me to come home in my uniform and letting me know how crazy she is over me when I wear it. I also like spanking and light bondage from time to time. I think maybe I'm attracted to when girls act like bad girls. My wife is great at so many wifely things and she's the kind of girl that makes your family proud, but there's no sizzle, she always speaks out about things like speeding or loud music, etc. We never have makeup sex or angry sex because she won't talk to me until we are able to be perfectly calm so when we use words like "hurt" or "love" when working things out there's no passion behind them. She loves me a lot but I feel as if she comes across as robotic or cold.

The problem goes deeper in that I have a difficult time being that sexually attracted to my wife. I really do think she is beautiful and I love touching her but it is sometimes hard to think of her as being sexual. We have sex quite often but on my end I'm only happy because I feel close to her, not because I want her and that bothers me.

Our history may be affecting this. We'd both had sex before, but she did't want to do anything before marriage. Eventually she was ok with kissing and we pushed things to oral which she later regretted. We were together 3 years before getting married. I messed things up 6 months in by complaining to a former classmate which led to an exchange of dirty pictures via text. I felt guilty and put an end to our conversations shortly and told my wife. She was devastated and rightfully so.

It's been 14 months later and our relationship is great in all aspects except that I'm still letdown by our sexual interactions. I feel bilingual, like I'm constantly speaking a second language to her and never getting to interact in my native tongue. I get off and it feels good, but my constant flirtatious advances go nowhere. We talked about this, but she refuses to flirt with me or roleplay and I'm not into anything like clowns or rape but more normal or at least what I think is normal scenarios like soldier/nurse. We have been to 2 different counselors since my infidelity, both faith based, which overall were good but changed nothing about our sex life. I went to a secular counselor alone but he only asked me questions and offered no advice.

My wife continues to ignore me when I flirt with her. She laughs fairly often but she always turns me down. I have no idea how to change things.
 

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Well, at least you aren't alone, if that is any comfort. I think there are many here in the same kind of situation.

There's a quantity vs quality problem. She's not withholding sex from you but it's sugar free/fat free from your point of view. It's difficult when your marriage isn't sexless because you don't have a lot of ground to fight on. She's giving you what she has. Some days that is probably ok and other days I'm sure it makes you feel very lonely.

My dh and your dw are similar sexually. I can tell you what happens after 20 years. I'm not attracted to him. It's very difficult to get aroused since there is about 70% of who I am sexually that he has no interest in. He's willing to exchange on the 30% without much difficulty. However it doesn't feel satisfying. And then what can you do? You feel small being too critical.

When I first came to this board I thought I just had an orgasm problem. However, that isn't the problem. The problem is intimacy and many years of feeling starved slowly emotionally and sexually.

Someone really can't change who they are sexually, I don't think. They can only give what they have to give. We all have different areas in life that excite us and make us feel alive. I'm perfectly happy using 10% of what my smartphone is capable of. No interest in maxing that out. It does what I need it to do and I go about my business. Some people feel that way about sex.

As for advice on how to change it - if you find a way please let me know. Accept. Divorce. Affair. I feel those are my only three options at this point.
 

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Seems you changed your mind about the type of woman you want for a wife and mother of your children. The woman you married is apparently not a dirty talking, role playing bad girl. Did you let her know that you expected her to transform into someone else when she said "I do"?

You seem to have lucked out in the game of human relationships. You found a good woman who loves you. But that is not enough for you so you cheated and now you complain that she is not morphing into to someone she is not.

You have not been married long and have already cheated and humiliated your wife. Now you are complaining about sexual dissatisfaction. It will not get better. Let your wife go and find a woman who talks dirty and plays roles if that is so important to you. Let your wife find a man who appreciates a good, loyal and loving woman. If you don't want a good girl don't marry one and then cheat on her.
 

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Well, at least you aren't alone, if that is any comfort. I think there are many here in the same kind of situation.

There's a quantity vs quality problem. She's not withholding sex from you but it's sugar free/fat free from your point of view. It's difficult when your marriage isn't sexless because you don't have a lot of ground to fight on. She's giving you what she has. Some days that is probably ok and other days I'm sure it makes you feel very lonely.

My dh and your dw are similar sexually. I can tell you what happens after 20 years. I'm not attracted to him. It's very difficult to get aroused since there is about 70% of who I am sexually that he has no interest in. He's willing to exchange on the 30% without much difficulty. However it doesn't feel satisfying. And then what can you do? You feel small being too critical.

When I first came to this board I thought I just had an orgasm problem. However, that isn't the problem. The problem is intimacy and many years of feeling starved slowly emotionally and sexually.

Someone really can't change who they are sexually, I don't think. They can only give what they have to give. We all have different areas in life that excite us and make us feel alive. I'm perfectly happy using 10% of what my smartphone is capable of. No interest in maxing that out. It does what I need it to do and I go about my business. Some people feel that way about sex.

As for advice on how to change it - if you find a way please let me know. Accept. Divorce. Affair. I feel those are my only three options at this point.
I award you 1000 internet points for "sugar free/fat free sex".
 

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One thing I notice in your post is that you talk about all the ways that your wife does not please you.

What about the things that you are doing or not doing that turn her off? Cheating is one of them. But I'm sure that there is more because she's not acting like a woman whose needs are being met.

Did you have women in earlier relationships do the things that you now want your wife to do?

You and your wife are not compatible. things like being flirty all the time comes from a person's core. She's either a flirty person, or she is not.

There are some books that we often recommend that help couples identify and talk about their needs. If you are willing to put time into this you can try them. But I think you are asking for her to be someone you knew she was not when you married her.

The books are:
"His Needs, Her Needs" and the "5 languages of love"
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
We actually own both books, you may notice my reference to "words of affirmation" being my primary love language. Hers is physical touch, so we do a lot of cuddling through the day which I also like. Other books we/I've read include Every Man's Struggle, The Love she Desires the Respect... and a few others. She didn't like His Needs Her needs because she said she felt like the book blamed the wife for the affair.

In regards to whether or not I was up front with her about my sexual desires before we got married, I was, but you can't really display those things if you are waiting for marriage, right? Well, you can be flirty, but I guess I just thought that would happen over time. Furthermore, no one is perfect, and so I went with the girl who I loved and who would be a good mother even if we didn't make fireworks. Perhaps that was naive of me, but I thought that I was doing the mature thing at the time and when I brought it up to a Church elder I was told that that sort of thing didn't matter.

Several of my past relationships were rather passionate. Lots of chemistry and more open sexual activities that just naturally happened. It's not like every day was a big show either, a little flirting goes a long way, like pulling me down by my tie to kiss me or straddling me and pushing me down on the bed. I actually have sex now as often as I ever did, but yeah, it's often very low on sugar and spice.

In regards to what am I doing that doesn't turn her on? Well, I have asked that question and I get told everything is good. Obviously I messed things up for a while, but I have put a lot of time and energy into trying to meet her needs since then. She wants sex daily, and she tells me its very satisfying to her, so I think it's really more about being and less about doing. Just being a good husband and paying attention and holding her goes a long way for her.

Last night I complemented her and kissed her a lot while she was cooking. After dinner I wanted her to try on parts of my uniform because I thought she'd look hot, but she got upset. When we got to the root of the issue it was that she said she would feel embarrassed and that it'd make her look fat. FWIW I have a 33" waist and my wife is a size 10, I don't know how that translates, but the pants are designed for a belt so they are a bit larger even though I really don't think she's bigger than I am. I complimented her and told her that I thought she looked great.

Not sure if anyone has read Athol Kay's Married Man Sex, I find it kind of misogynistic and offensive at times, but I think there's also some truth to be found in some of what he says. I just took the lead and was very aggressive with her and she liked it a lot. It was enjoyable, but the problem and the whole point of all of this is that I can only do this so many times without inspiration. Wouldn't you feel the same way?
 

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Seems you changed your mind about the type of woman you want for a wife and mother of your children. The woman you married is apparently not a dirty talking, role playing bad girl. Did you let her know that you expected her to transform into someone else when she said "I do"?

You seem to have lucked out in the game of human relationships. You found a good woman who loves you. But that is not enough for you so you cheated and now you complain that she is not morphing into to someone she is not.

You have not been married long and have already cheated and humiliated your wife. Now you are complaining about sexual dissatisfaction. It will not get better. Let your wife go and find a woman who talks dirty and plays roles if that is so important to you. Let your wife find a man who appreciates a good, loyal and loving woman. If you don't want a good girl don't marry one and then cheat on her.
I agree. This issue comes up again and again in these forums, the guy has fun with the sexual women then marries the virgin who he thinks will make a good mother. Can't sexual women be good mothers too?
 
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Have you done any self reflection? Why did you give up sexually compatible women for a woman who wanted to wait 3 years till marriage to have sex? It seems so odd that you expect her to be like the woman you had sex with and did not marry.

Compliment her because you really mean it not to get her to display herself. If you are genuine and patient, she may change. If you keep pushing an manipulating, you are likely to be frustrated. Don't have children unless you work this out. Either lower your expectations and appreciate what you have or D and find a comparable woman.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am complimenting her for things that I do truly value. She's not a virgin, but we didn't have sex together and she hasn't since high school. You bring up a good point about children. I definitely want to wait for a number of reasons. She wants kids now, but I guess that seems to be pretty natural when women start turning 24, 25.

Why did I give up sexually compatible women? I guess that is a complex question and the answer depends on which girl. If you were to ask why I chose my wife, we were in love and I felt that she understood me like no one else and that it would be the Godly choice.
 

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I see some huge red flags. First is that book (which is called Every Man's Battle if I recall correctly) It argues that men’s sex drives are out of whack due to societal influences and that at any rate the preferable course of action is to let your wife “off the hook”. The context is “yes your wife is responsible for meeting your need but you can sacrifice yourself rather than putting her in the situation of either refusing your need or doing something she dislikes”. The book also has a suggestion that wives take care to not turn-on their husbands if they are not in the mood for sex. Did you buy that book on your own?

Two, your church does not sound sex positive. A church elder told you a fulfilling sex life does not matter? Seriously? When you talked to those two counselors following your affair, from where did the referrals come?

Three, your wife did not go to the secular counselor. That makes her sound narrow-minded and resistant to change.

Four, it seems like your wife has some serious sexual shame. She had sex before you, but with you even getting a kiss was an eventuality?

All signs point towards her not going further than she does now. If anything, I would guess she is trying to roll things back. Not responding to your flirting and bringing that book into the discussion are clear signs.

The smart move would be for you to move on. You are young and will have a strong sex drive for many years. Your wife, while not refusing, isn’t into it and is taking care to not encourage your sexual appetite. I have to wonder why your wife chose to marry you, but that really does not matter since she is not here.

If you do try to make this work, you must find a better church. Also, you can try to work on maybe reducing straight frequency in exchange for more variety and playfulness in case she is feeling burnt-out. But, keep in mind that you two will never have more sexual potential than right now; if she’s already feeling stressed by your drive (which really aren’t exceptional), what do you suppose will happen when kids, careers, etc. get into the mix?

Any way you slice it, absent a huge change of heart from her, your sex life will be near the bottom of an increasingly long list of things to do. Does that work for you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
There are some interesting replies from different ends of the spectrum. I don't just have sex with my wife as a means to an ends. I want to make her happy and I want to feel close to her. I often ask if she wants me to go down on her. Often times I just head that way. She says no a lot, but sometimes she lets me. She usually masterbates during sex to get off.

Today she told me something really interesting. She had just gotten back from a friend's and had come to a revelation that she had been keeping herself from being skinny because she was so worried that it would make her vain because she'd be so incredibly beautiful. She said that she's always been either extremely beautiful or fat and ugly and that she doesn't know what it's like to be normal. I thought this was kind of weird but I continued to listen. She said that she had cried at her friends house because she realized that now she was keeping herself from being skinny that it had become a barrier to God also. Again, I didn't completely follow, but I said that maybe it would be a good example of being healthy to the young girls that look up to her. She agreed on that and said that she wouldn't consciously keep herself from being skinny anymore. I'm not really sure what to make of this.

Yeah, she won't go to a non faith based counselor with me, but things are pretty rosy from her perspective, and we don't fight much anymore from mine, that it doesn't seem like we need to.

In regards to porn, I used to watch. I also caught her watching lesbian porn, which I was ok with, but I wanted to talk about it. She freaked out and wouldn't talk about it. I know that she's watched that multiple times and I want to discuss why she likes this and what it means for our relationship. FWIW she kissed her best friend in hs for some boys but she said it was gross and she said that she's not interested in women at all.
 

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So what exactly did you do to help your wife get over your cheating? Doesn't sound like a woman that feels all that close to you, and probably doesn't trust you. That will ensure a woman keeps a wall up. Have you spoken to your wife about this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Actually, we went to lots of counseling. I got rid of my phone and I no longer have facebook. We talked about it a lot. We have done quite a lot in this regard. The woman I sexted with lives on the other side of the country. It was very difficult for a while, and rightfully so, but she does trust me now and she even tells me how proud she is of how I've changed. We have done a lot of talking and our communication has improved a lot. Our relationship is in a lot better shape than it was a year ago. We cuddle a lot and she always tells me that she missed me while I was at work.

Things were actually like this, in regards to our chemistry or the way we expressed our sexuality from the beginning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I didn't "demand" sex in the way that I want it. I have just told her that that's what I like, and it's not just sex, it's broader than that. She never uses terms of endearment, flirts with me, things like that. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it's just what gets me going and makes me feel loved and wanted. I am just letting her know that these are things that I like. I was angry at first in the marriage, you are right, but I haven't been that way in about a year. Just disappointed.

It's great that your relationship has evolved over time. That sounds like you slowly opened your eyes to other things that were out there. Did you even realize it was happening?
 

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Hi Catherine,

Not sure what you mean by “single-minded focus on sex”. I know a marriage takes more but I am working with the information I was given.

Also not sure what you mean by demanding sex the way he wants it. I do not see the OP demanding anything. At any rate, there is a huge difference between expecting your every wish be met (which is unreasonable) and expecting your spouse to be playful and providing more than tolerating PIV (which is entirely reasonable and not un-Biblical).

As far as him knowing he was going to have to work for sex, keep in mind they are observant Christians. The command to abstain before marriage is accompanied by the command to meet your spouse’s need so he or she is not tempted to stray. The OP’s wife seems to have embraced only the first part (and I’m curious to know how she justifies that). While the OP did not expect to just show up and be serviced, he also did not expect decent sex to be an uphill battle.

It would be nice if his wife would come around and lose the shame. I would advise the OP to set some milestones for progress, lest the years roll by with little or no progress. A better church is a must - his encouragement does not stand a chance against an institutional message that a good sex life is unimportant.
 

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I would add, from my personal experience, that he probably needs to lower his expectations as to what constitutes success. In my case with a woman very much like this, the pace of change was truly glacial.

Take what you really want out of a satisfying sex life and reduce it by 75 or 80%. That might be the realistic target that's actually obtainable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I appreciate all the different perspectives, but lets clear some things up. I never said I was a sexual victim, I said that we display affection differently. Here are some key examples:

It makes me feel affectionate and loved when I am called terms of endearment. My wife is indifferent.

I enjoy flirting, it makes me feel close and wanted. My wife does not.

Minor roleplaying and teasing make me feel affectionate and close to my partner. My wife will often laugh when I do this but never participates.

Having someone raise their voice at me doesn't bother me so long as we don't get to swearing, screaming, etc. It often leads to passionate make up sex. My wife will not talk to me if I raise my voice above a normal conversational level. I think that anger can be bad, but to kill all arguments until we are no longer passionate about an issue can also kill passion. We never have had makeup sex.

When we have a disagreement over something I do not like having someone quoting Bible verses at me and talking to me like they are trying to convert me.

The idea that I am sexually selfish is simply not true. I often offer to go down on my wife and I never turn her down when she asks me to do anything physically. I never said I was perfect I was simply asking for advice on how to address this issue with my wife. You can't possibly believe that it's selfish of me to want to flirt back and forth with my wife. Maybe that's just not how she displays affection, and that's not a bad thing, people are different I get it. Maybe the fact of the matter is that I chose to marry someone who would be a better friend and a better mother than someone who I had a lot of chemistry with. Perhaps that was wise, perhaps it wasn't, but I thought I was making the right decision and I love my wife and want to make it better. Perhaps differences of personality are more difficult to change than habits. Perhaps they can't be changed and they should just be accepted. I don't know, but I never once said I was a sexual martyr.

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I have been thinking a lot lately about how I've changed since my early 20s. I used to be really judgemental, which is something the Bible says not to do, but happens quite often. It's very difficult not to be that way and I have made it a personal goal to change that and also to be more positive. I think my wife is like this too, and I probably made it worse by being this way through our relationship. I want to be an example of being positive and not complaining about the little things. We actually do a good job of not nagging each other, that's one thing I really like about her, but the fact of the matter is that being negative about other things will still bring the mood down.

I also thought about some things about my wife. She often locks her feelings up despite being very socially outgoing in some ways and even embracing awkward and weird funny social circumstances - something that I was attracted by, but that playfulness hasn't been there in an affectionate kind of way. She has told me multiple times that that silly warm openness has been a defense mechanism due to things in her past. This was way before my sexting, which I get is difficult to ignore, but has absolutely nothing to do with the causes of our differences. I want to understand my wife better and I want her to understand me better. I know it sounds like I'm complaining here, but I'm not. I want a solution. I want more warmth in our marriage.
 

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He needs encouragement to make sure that anything he tries rings his wife's bells along with his. She is unlikely to have sex that makes her feel bad just so he has pleasure. That is the opposite of a Christian marriage, right. Mutual pleasure. That is not to say he needs to live with what he has neither does his wife. Since he is the more adventurous than his wife, he is the one that needs to lead them to new things that are mutually pleasurable.

The more she realizes she can have fun too, the more she will loosen up and try some of the things he like. Right now, he is considering himself only and that will not work. In this situations, it is the women who is expected to change not the man. The way it works IRL is that woman have more sex if they enjoy it. He needs to loosen up - get rid of the notion that his wife is required to do things that make her feel bad.

He needs to make sure that she always has as much pleasure as he, it's not all about him, and he has to be careful not to turn her off. It puzzles me how anyone can get pleasure when their partner is unhappy. There is nothing in the Bible that favors one person pleasure over another. The message is very clear - mutual pleasure. They can both be tempted to cheat if they are not satisfied so he has to make sure not to turn her off by making her not enjoy sex.
The Bible does not favor the husband over the wife or vice versa, but it does favor more sex over less sex. The context is if you don't have sexual urges you should remain single and serve God. But those who lack that gift (to remain happily sexless) should find a spouse to meet that need. The wording of that command ("Do not deprive") makes the meaning unequivocal.

What you are suggesting is unlikely - that the OP's wife would refuse her husband that which she would provide in an affair. If that did happen, it would be because she did not like him much, not that she found his sexual requests per se off-putting.

I think the root issue is she sees sex (or certain aspects of sex) as dirty. I do not think he will be able to lead her towards a better sex life. The sense of shame can run that deep! She may actually feel guilty that she likes certain things and partaking in them would increase her sense of shame rather than increase her comfort level.

Knowing how the Church looks down on homosexuality, I absolutely would not start poking around that confession she made. I would insist on a more sex-positive church and on some counseling for her to get rid of the bad teaching she has had.
 

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I have a hard time with these threads. You seem to have gone out of your way to find a loving, faithful woman who is by her own nature conservative. You then wait for years never having sex and marry. Then you expected what.....the porn star in the bedroom? I'm not saying it's impossbile to find but when you don't have sex before marriage this is the gamble you take. It's seems like if you divided out what you were looking for everything is compatable with the exception of the sex. You have to take the lionshare of the blame on this OP.

Now you state you guys have been to counseling so that means she is willing to work on the marriage and that's great. I would look into sex therapy perhaps as a way to see if she will open up. HOWEVER you do new dto realize this was no bait and switch. You picked her and accepted her this way. By default not having sex before marriage at minimum implied that you accepted her sexuality as is as well. You can't punish her for that now. She is who she is and who you married.
 

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"O ye of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Did you find anything about cheating, deception, selfishness and hurting a loved one in the Book? Or does her sexual sins eclipse all. Anything about treasuring a good wife? Let me expand you knowledge of the good Book. You first assignment is to read The Parable of the Talents.

She is having sex with him frequently as required, out of love. He cheated on her but she forgave him, out of love. She did not D him as she had a Biblical right to do out of love. Yet, she is still not enough. He picks her apart and is disloyal enough to allow strangers to call her a bad Christian because she uncomfortable with sexting, parading around in sexy costumes, talking dirty about sex.

She would be lucky if he left her to find a woman who is a Christian passionate sex partner, likes to sext, parade around in sexy clothes, and talk dirty. His wife is not worth his time and effort since these are essential elements of a good relationship.

She would be lucky if he left. I'll bet she will find a man who would treasure her and view marriage as more than sexual pleasure.
Hi again,

I did refresh myself on the parable of the talents, and it can cut both ways here. An argument can be made that the OP has not nurtured what he has and is reaping what he sows, as you imply. On the flip side, you could tell his wife "you have a husband who waited for three years, and rather than reward him, you seek to discourage him."

I am not minimizing his cheating, which is a bad thing. But, people don't just cheat for no reason. How long do you suppose he had been suppressing his sexual desires before he succumbed to temptation? While he is certainly not blameless, why is his wife held blameless for not meeting his need?

If you ask me, frequent intercourse with a present partner meets the minimum responsibility. The sex described here does not, unless the OP agrees to accept it. IMO, that's why that book is in play. Someone is suggesting he let his wife off the hook so she does not have to choose between sex she does not want or being an inadequate wife.

Yes, it is a hard system to within which to exist if one is an observant Christian. There are the dual requirements to be pure until marriage and meet your spouse's need without having been intimate previously. I am well aware a consequence of this is a LD person (man or woman) can marry a person with a similar drive, have a natural amount of sex, and be in good standing; whereas that same person can marry a higher-drive person, have the same amount of sex (or more), and yet be falling short because the spouse is not satisfied.

But, that is the way it has to be. If you tell someone "you have this God-given need", and "you must meet that need only within marriage", and "divorce is strongly discouraged", then it must follow that your mate is responsible for meeting those needs.

Also on a personal note, I take a dim view of anyone in any organization who sets out to meet just the minimum requirement. I have encountered people like this in my personal life, at work, and at school. I've found they don't care about the impact their lack of effort has on others. And, most of them are unhappy when their minimally acceptable output results in minimum reciprocation. This can be the person who just gets by at work being pissed off at getting crappy assignments or a small raise. And, yes, this can be the person who gives just enough sex finding their spouse is similarly apathetic.

Let's say the OP's spouse (to use a common stereotype) wants to have the "American Dream" life - a nice house, nice possessions, etc. They start talking about the future and he says "I don't want to work that hard at providing. I think instead we should get a little condo. There will always be the necessities but we will live frugally, and I'll retire at 55 and enjoy my free time." She will get the minimums met, so should she just say that's good enough and accept it?

I think at the end of the day we are having the age-old discussion over the role of sex in marriage, except from a different frame of reference (Christianity). I don't think that sex is everything in a marriage, but it is very important - to where it is a deal-breaker. You can be a good sex partner and yet a bad spouse. You cannot be a bad sex partner (except due to medical impossibility) and be a good spouse. I suspect you disagree with that, and that's where this debate will remain.

At any rate, I think you tone that the OP's wife is getting the short end of the stick in the marriage is undeserved. She might be better off if he left, and he might be better off if she left. Despite what Scripture says, sex-negative attitudes ("sex is not that important", or worse) abound and that is probably my biggest peeve in that regard.
 
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