This question is mainly directed towards woman on the board. I'm a 35 year old male. I've been married to an amazing and beautiful women for 7 years. I have ended up on the site because of the sad state of our sex life. In the last year we have had sex only 3 times.
A few things about me:
- I'm fit and attractive. I am not saying this to boast but just being honest so you don't think I'm some smelly ugly little pig.
- I'm a gentlemen and I respect woman and I don't degrade or belittle my wife
- I do not have sexual fetishes or request anything 'dirty' from her.
- I do enjoy sex, but probably no more than any man/woman.
- I contribute around the house more than most men I know
A few things about her:
- She is gorgeous and elegant woman and does not have physcological 'body issues' or self confidence issues.
- She works hard and has a great career but does get quite stressed
- She is quite a tough woman and generally not one to express a lot of emotion
- She get's angry at me VERY quickly, which I think is a big problem in general. She does not tolerate me making the smallest of accidents, misunderstandings or inconveniences.
- She does have what I believe are very high expectations about everything and everyone
We used to enjoy really amazing, fun and spontaneous sex, but that was years ago and is a distant memory. I now don't even bother initiating now and I'm lucky to get a kiss on the cheek or a hug.
She never wants to talk about sex if I bring it up and she seems to brush it off and thinks it's normal for couples to just stop having sex for months on end. I personally don't think it is healthy at all. She just roles her eyes and tells me that 'when things get better, the sex comes with it.' Sometimes I think she must be right and I must be hopeless. At other times I can't help but feel like this is one big power trip or that she simply has no interest in me whatsoever. I don't believe that she is having an affair because I know she would not do that.
She does express unhappiness in our marriage at times, mainly caused by what she feels is my lack of consideration towards household tasks, and some communication lapses. I also experience unhappiness with her anger and constant demands, but I believe these are the challenges of marriage and you grow and work on them.
I really do try. I prepare diner 2-3 times a week and help her every other time. I clean and do all the vacuuming. I do things around the house, take her to nice places for dinners, write littles notes to her, call her every day at work. I keep trying, but obviously not enough. I don't do this for sex. I do this because I love her and want her to be happy.
However there is a missing piece in my life. I do not have any physical intimacy or sex in my life and it is changing the way I feel about myself and my marriage. I feel completely rejected. I also feel vulnerable in the sense that if I ever find myself in a situation, where another woman propositions me for any sort of sexual intimacy, that I might act on it - purely out of the desperate need for sexual connection. I have for the first time in my marriage found myself looking at other women and desiring them, which really scares me...
I'm left wondering if not having sex a suitable reason for a marriage to fall apart? To me that sounds completely absurd, but then I think about how unhappy I am about this one single problem and how completely rejected I feel.
Anyway the purpose for this post is that I would love any guidance that the woman here can offer that might help me to understand what might be going on and how I can approach it. You seam like intelligent and level-headed ladies and perhaps you can help educate me.
Hi Monolog and welcome to ehealth: Yes, you are right...You should be having a sexual wife and your wants are not out of line...Question: Was she hot and sexual before marriage and did this top soon after marriage?....Or, did it gradually stop?....How old is she?...I can tell you for a fact that when a woman stops having sex that part of her goes into her own built in hibernation stage.....She doesn't want to be bothered.....She forgets the wonderful feelings of a hot man fingering and loving her....Kind of a frigid part of her is born....
I have been married to one man all my life...Raised three kids...I attribute part of our happiness to our wonderful sex life...It is the thing that kept a husband close to home when women came after him...I wonder how many women consider a ring on a man's finger as his chain....
I hope that I am one of those intelligent, level headed women you talk about, but I have this going for me....I have been married over 52 years and we have sex at least once a week and often more...
She is 33 and no the sex has gradually stopped during marriage. After the first few years really. For the most part our relationship is great. We have our disagreements, as we all do. We have the same interests, we love one another's families and all get on. We have great friends and a good quality of life in general. But it is as though she has decided to just put sex aside in her mind as something she does not desire with me, and that every thing else in the marriage is pretty normal. To me that is very dysfunctional.
I always used to tell her how much I desired her but I ended up feeling like I was being perverted or creepy or something. I have told her how rejected I feel and her response is quite insensitive. Often she shrugs it off as though I'm just being dramatic. I've though of getting counselling for it. I've also thought of getting medication that might just remove my sex drive. That sound nuts I know, but I feel like it would at least make the problem go away for me on the surface, although there would obviously always be a sense of hurt below the surface.
Monolog, I am at year 28 and your story is my story and is a lot of stories. It is so sad. It is consuming. I have read on this and there seem to be no "fixes" until a wife understands her role as a wife and what a good man is. They've had few if any good role models. They do not understand the heart shredding the constant rejection does. Has anything changed for you since the original post?
Unfortunately it sounds like the two of you have different libidos..One with high and one with low...Would she be willing to see her OB-GYN for something to help her out?...Please understand you are not perverted or creepy...You are normal...She is the one that is escaping from a place where she doesn't want to go...
I don't ever suggest this unless it is completely necessary, but would she consider watching Porn with you?...It is possible that watching other couples make love that she would realize the wonders of love that she is missing...I take it that you have no children so this would not be a problem...Here is another one...If she won't, why not you watch a hot suggestive movie...See if you can awaken her interest...She may be bugged at you, but you could say if you won't do it with me then I may as well watch it myself....Please understand we don't watch Porn, even though I see nothing wrong with a couple that needs and wants it, but in a case such as this, I not only see no harm nor see no other alternative....You are normal....She isn't...
I feel guilty as I have never gone out on the limb like this before and suggested this...Yet, I think back of when I was young and tired and my husband wanted sex and if I saw a hot movie of sexual contact and actions, I would have been putty in his hands....You see many things go on in the mind of a woman....Take care...
Thanks Caroline. I haven't thought of suggesting porn, but to be honest I think it would back fire. I think she would take offence and think that I am being dirty and that I want to drag her into that world. I'm worried it would only add to the already great divide.
I used to offer to perform oral sex on her, to touch her, massage her, or do anything at all she wants, without any expectation of anything in return. Sincerely. I thought that might make her realise that this isn't just about me wanting to be gratified. I want to see her experience and enjoy sexual feelings, to lay her head back close her eyes and completely 'let go', detached from any sense that she would need to do something in return. However she is still not interested.
Your responses are reassuring though. It's so nice to see women speak of sex in such a comfortable manner.
Often when I see these types of posts I find one "Reason" may often be left out in these discussions.
I'll cut to the chase and say it.
At the peak of your relationship was she sexually satisfied? Many women (myself included) often lose a want of sex when they are not satisfied. This often ends in harboring resentment and bitterness (like snapping at every little thing).
If this is the case, this is not your fault or hers but a lack of communication.
Many women will fake it, especially at the start of a relationship, so as not to bruise any ego's. This faking generally continues as its a lie and they don't want to fess up, especially years down the road.
This was me for many years. I didn't want to hurt someones feelings and in my long term relationships because of my unwillingness to communicate I would suffer for it and become bitter and no longer want sex. Why would I when I could get the job done myself in just a few minutes?
I'm not saying this is the case for you. In fact maybe it's quite the opposite, but I'm always surprised when talking to men that the majority I have spoken with over the years think that just penetration will get a woman off (when very few women can achieve this) or the lack of knowledge of the clitoris.
Needless to say, my partner, who I have been with for over a year now is the first person I refused to fake it with (I'm 30 now). Instead I grew up and maintained an open communication and directed and showed what my specific needs were to achieve my peak. Now I have a healthy sex life for it.
Again, if this is not the case with you, I apologize, I just see this often left out in discussions.
To Monolog I want to say, your situation is serious, and you do have to address it. A healthy happy marriage should include regular physical intimacy, for God designed good sex as a wonderful and important glue for bonding husband & wife together.
My two cents here, which I haven't seen anyone else mention - look into the idea that your wife may have very low, or fluctuating levels of testosterone. This can cause lack of arousal.
I realized I had this problem around age 40 after having 3 kids, being stressed out, etc. I talked with my gynecologist and he first gave me testosterone cream, which worked really well, but had too many side effects. I discontinued it, and frankly, had a hit-or-miss sex life for a few more years. Yes, there is far more to marriage than regular orgasms, but I & my husband both felt rather cheated.
I brought the problem up again with the nurse practitioner about 4 years ago & she suggested I take a combo pill of esterified estrogens and methyltestosterone. I am so grateful for this RX & my husband is also! It delivers a STEADY level of hormones; recent research shows that this is important in helping a woman become aroused. But maybe that is not all that is needed, so...
I also have to give a round of applause to DotCom for her excellent reply! Oh so true, so true. Explaining what you really want can be so complicated and hard...but that is a thought worth looking into also. When sex was new & exciting, I had orgasms almost every time, and I know it wasn't due to him being a Casanova! But as the years passed, and life started piling more stresses on, it became easy to fake orgasm when needed, and it was done to avoid hurting my husband's feelings. After all this time, your wife may find it hard to admit, and you may find it hard to hear, but you obviously are a strong & loving man, and I'm sure you would be up to the challenge of finding out what really works.
CarolineEF also had lots of good advice, (although I'm glad Monolog rejected the porn idea). She's right in that most women can get used to a sexless life far more easily than most men. That means that YOU have to take the initiative here. Yes, it's old advice - find a good counselor and/or a good marriage seminar. My husband & I really liked "A Weekend to Remember" conference we attended (these are put on by Family Life in cities all across the USA in the spring and fall).
Finally, I pray that you can talk to your wife "in truth and in love", she will have a heart that is receptive toward you, and together you will find the right path to a joyful unity in mind AND body. Be encouraged! It sounds like your relationship has a lot of positives, and you build on those.
I get slightly mad & frustrated when I hear about people who have the opportunity to have sex with someone who generally cares about them yet they do not want to know.
I'm also 35 & happily married (well apart from sexually). Due to a disability my husband is 'limited' in a sexual way & due to depression & stress, has no interest in any affection at all.
Difficult to handle when for the last 17 yrs he has ALWAYS loved seeing me naked & always touched me regularly. Also difficult due to the fact that I have many opportunities to have sex else where but up until now have managed to remain faithful but for how much longer? I do not know.
I sympathise with you & want you to know that there are other 'loving' marriages that suffer greatly in this department.
Your wife seems like a person who is highly scheduled. Perhaps asking her to set a aside a time, maybe two or three days in advance, would give you an opportunity to talk. Setting aside a time to talk may make her more open and likely to pay attention than just trying to communicate to her when you think is a good time.
Another factor could be that you are holding back in expressing your feelings in attempt to be polite. Perhaps epressing your feelings more blatantly will get her attention.
Oh my God, that could be ME writing that story! Your relationship sounds so PRECISELY like my own situation, it is eerie. Right down to the parts where you do much of the housework, and take care of her needs sexually (without penetration) simply because you love her and want her to be happy. And it's exactly the same way for me (married for 23 years)...she simply shows no interest, and seemingly has zero libido.
But here's where it gets kind of sticky. You say your wife is a hard working career woman -- so is mine. And you don't think she's had an affair, because you "know she would not do that". Unfortunately, women do indeed "do that" -- even the ones you would least expect to. Mine did it to me -- twice. And I never saw it coming. And because she found two other men that she fell deeply in love with, I will apparently never seem good enough in her eyes...even though I continue to try really hard (both of her affairs -- one in the 90s, the other about a year ago -- have been confirmed as over). So I reckon that is why she doesn't want to sleep with me -- she's been with others who I guess she considers her soulmates.
I truly hope that is not the reason for your predicament, but I just want you know that that possibility exists. If it's eating you up inside as to why she's treating you this way, perhaps you should have a frank discussion with her. Does she work late or out of town much? Serious questions may need to be posed.
Best of luck....I really hope this turns out in your favor, because I can tell you love her very much.
Is there any hope for having a healthy happy marriage, with sex on a regular basis when you have been the destroyer in the past, but have learned to be a compassionate person and partner now. If so , how long should one hang in to see if my spouse can overcome the prior damage inflicted by me. By that I mean no physical abuse, but not being emotionally available for her, and saying mean things to her in the past. I feel like I owe her the opportunity to change as I have , but how long is fair before I am over punishing myself for my past transgressions? Am I fighting a losing battle? Is it time to cut her loose and allow both of us to find something different, it's painfully obvious that I don't turn her on anymore, the thought of intimacy does not cross her mind when it comes to me, she will masturbate when I am gone for a week, but we will go much longer than that when I am home if I don't initiate it!
I have had the same problem with my wife. We have no problem communicating, so it has been easy to approach the subject. Ultimately, after attempting the usual fixes, nothing changed. We just agreed that I could have a girl on the side as long as I stuck to a bunch of obvious rules for safety. It was not a perfect fix, but life is much easier around the home these days, and we still love each other very much.
Hi Monolog, thanks for this post. I am really glad to know that I am a normal man. I have been patient for away too long. I have never cheated on my wife. At this point of time, the only thing that keeps me with her is my two daughters. The youngest is 8 and the other 10.
I was shocked by the comment from the oldest who told me two months ago... "Daddy why don't you divorce , and I will come with you."
I never told them anything about our problems, sometimes kids are smarter than us.
p.s.: Monolog, could you please update us on your situation? I hope it went for the best.
Our sex life had been at least above normal I think, until my wife got breast cancer. It was detected early and after surgery, radiation, and now long term low dose chemo, it appears to be held at bay. But sex now has not been for more than two years ... and even hugging and kissing is gone, though she says she still feels physically very close. What had been the most spectacular of a physically loving relationship is now but a frustrating memory. I know there are lots of issues here ... and it gives me a guilty overcast to be thinking of looking to an outside physical relief in a marriage which is otherwise without equal.