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Missing intimacy, love and sex in marraige

I'm frustrated to the point of asking complete strangers for advice on the internet, lol. I just found this site and this is my first post, please excuse any breach of etiquette on my part.

I'm a 35 year old guy who's been married for 11 years (serious relationship for 5 years prior to marriage). I love my wife and she's a wonderful person...smart, beautiful, hard working and the best mother I could ask for to our children (6 y/o and 2 y/o). When it comes to our marriage, however, I feel as though rather than a wife who loves and wants to be with me, I have a great friend or teammate in running the house, raising the kids, etc. Our relationship has lost nearly all of it's intimacy and what sex we do have feels gratuitous. My sex drive has always been higher than my wife's, but I've always been fine with that...I have at least a little understanding of the physiology of men and women and understand the differences in our sexuality. With that said, I was very happy with our sex life in the early years of dating and even marriage. Now, however, I find myself completely frustrated more with the lack of intimacy than sex...it's starting to dominate my thoughts throughout the day, leading to a lack of productivity as well as feelings of resentment and depression. I can see now that this has been building for a long time, but it doesn't seem to bother my wife in the least. If I don't bring it up, it doesn't get brought up...business as usual, smile, peck on the cheek on the way out the door, "luv you hon" and on the way. I'm so sick of trying to roll over and cuddle or snuggle at night and just being completely ignored. Several times now, I've made a pact with myself that I wouldn't try to initiate any sort of physical "love" unless my wife did first...invariably, we wind up sleeping in the same bed without touching for weeks until I give in out of complete desperation...to her credit, she's decent about "taking one for the team" and throwing me a quickie every now and again...I don't want that though, I want a wife who wants to be with me. I'm now convinced that my wife would be completely content without having any physical intimacy in our relationship whatsoever. Now, this lack of interest on her part is causing me to be less interested in her...my libido has crashed, I've lost interest in having sex with her and I'm finding more and more that I don't even want to be around her. We can't kiss (aside from a quick kiss that I'd give my mom or daughter) because she's afraid of germs, I can't touch her breasts because she breast fed our kids and now that's all she associates her breasts with, I can't perform oral sex on her (which I absolutely love to do) because she thinks it's gross...she's completely out of tune with her body, won't self stimulate, won't get naked in front of me (though I tell her all the time how beautiful I find her and how sexy her body is) won't try anything new or different, etc. Sex for me should be a long, drawn out affair...I like the foreplay, the kissing, caressing, fondling...loving...when we do have sex, she's pushing to get it done as quickly as possible...very little foreplay and after more than a couple or few minutes of penetration, she's done...she starts making sounds like she's in pain, gets a terrible look on her face, etc. I literally have to make a concerted effort to orgasm as soon as possible anytime we have sex....unfortunately, to me, orgasm is only a small part of sex.

Now, allow me to share some thoughts about what I think some of the underlying problems might be. My wife and I both work full time. When it comes to careers, we have a bit of a role reversal and I know this is a major issue with my wife. I'm a real estate broker and in recent years the horrible housing market has had a terrible impact on my income. Conversely, my wife is in a commission based position that she's worked into a very good job with good benefits and a great income...much more than anyone expected including my wife and her boss(es). So, at this point in time, my wife is the major bread winner in our family. Now that we have children, my wife would like to be able to work part time to spend more time with the kids (and I'd love for her to be able to do so) but current finances prevent that. I know, as does my wife, that I could be earning much more in another career, but my real estate office is a family owned business and my leaving would basically cause the business to collapse...something I absolutely loathe the thought of, but would do if that's what it took to save my marriage. Bear in mind, we're by no means poor, we live well and are comfortable...real estate has allowed me to take advantage of a few deals that have put us in a beautiful home...we drive nice cars, take vacations, etc. I know my wife resents the fact that she's the breadwinner, but to change that would be to change careers, which would be devastating to my father and our family business. I recently took a second job, at my wife's insistence, working a few nights a week. The job is ridiculous, and in my mind, the pay is not worth the time I'm away from my family (about $15/hr average for about 15-20 hrs a week...my wife just a week ago bought a $45,000 vehicle) but I know with my wife, it's the principle. Anyway, I know the fact that she makes more than me causes my wife to lose respect for me, but I have a hard time just hanging my dad out to dry.

Aside from the financial aspect, I do whatever I can to be a great husband and father. I cook dinner (I'm a very good cook) every night that I'm not working my second job and while my wife is tubbing the kids and getting them ready for bed, I do the dishes and clean the kitchen. I do my fair share of the cleaning and housework as well as all of the home repairs, outside maintenance, etc. I do my own laundry and my wife does hers and the kids. Since our kids have been born, I take one weekday off every week to spend time with them (this started back when I was super busy in real estate and wound up working a lot of Saturdays and Sundays). I try to make time for me to watch the kids, so my wife can have "her time" and encourage her to go out with friends, recreate, etc. I try to do special things for my wife...a dinner out, a special weekend away, she just took a 5 day trip with a girlfriend while I stayed home with the kids. Recently, I sent the kids to my moms and had flowers and a bubble bath waiting for my wife when she got home from work. I ushered her into the bath as soon as she got home and while she was soaking prepared one of her favorite meals. After the tub, I gave her a nice full body (non-erotic) massage and fed her a beautiful dinner...then it was lights out, see you in the morning. I'm not trying to brag about the things I do for my wife here, I just want you to understand, I'm not one of those thoughtless, self-centered, alpha-male jerks.

If you've made it this far, I really appreciate your diligence, I know this has been a ridiculous, rambling post...this is the first time I've tried to verbalize my feelings to anyone other than my wife, and I have a head full of thoughts! Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. I'm sure I can go on an on with further explanation, examples, etc but I'd like to hear what people have to say after reading this...what would you suggest? A while back I kind of made peace with the fact that this is how it's going to be from now on...I'm not willing to divorce for my children's sake so I pretty much resigned myself to dealing with an unhappy marriage until my kids are out of the house...recently though, I've started to realize that that's A) likely impossible and B) completely unfair to myself. What to do? Thoughts?
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replied October 26th, 2012
Extremely eHealthy
Nothing really springs to my mind after reading your post, in the way of advice...

Clearly you have both fallen into a bit of a rut, become creatures of habit in your attitudes toward each other and forgotten how to talk about and express your feelings.

Most importantly, I feel, you need the security and satisfaction of being able to express your love for your wife in a more physical and intimate way and because she has deprived you of that for so long you are steadily falling out of love with her!

Is it possible she no longer loves you?

It is a fact marriage is 50% sex and 50% sense of humour - when sex is absent sometimes it should be possible to laugh about it but when sex is absent too much the sense of humour rapidly follows and the marriage is in serious jeopardy...

Nothing will improve unless you talk and make your wife realise she is being downright selfish and unfeeling - careers and money really have nothing to do with personal relationships.
It is the women who take conjugal duties seriously in spite of personal appetites who are worthy of great respect - those who will not compromise and force their lack of appetite to dominate and deprive their partners are people completely unworthy.
The contract of marriage is about sex and anyone that discovers they don't like that, they shouldn't have signed...

It is fortunate you have been able to control your appetite for so long - for many men sex is a need second only to food and if left unsatisfied can be a very controlling and mind-changing influence.
That alone is a great compliment to a wife undeserving of such - I suggest you find a way to tell her...

Every successful relationship needs rules but these can easily be swept aside in the hurly-burly of everyday life and work creating unwise and undesirable habits - not having regular sex is one such: making an appointment with one's wife for the purpose of a love-making session is one way of tackling this.
Setting aside a particular time or day each week or month is another way...

Plain language is best!

Good luck!
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replied June 8th, 2013
I just googled 'lack of intimacy in marriage' and ran across this post. For goodness sakes...what I wouldn't give to be your wife.. Wish my husband shared one fourth of your enthusiasm and need for intimacy.. :/
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replied February 22nd, 2016
Some doctors have found that often in a woman's body there isn't enough testosterone. No, they don't need as much as men, just some. Doctors can prescribe just a little to help with their "desire". it's worth a try. There is more help at my friend Don's internet site Marriagestabilizer.com
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