After 18 years of marriage - conundrum
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default After 18 years of marriage - conundrum

Iím afraid this is going to be a pretty long post.

My wife and I have been married for 13 years and being together total of 18 years. I am at the point now when Iím seriously thinking about asking for a divorce.

We are a couple where I am the one with extreme high libido and she is with very low. In the beginning of our relationship we had sex often, but after about a year in it my, then girlfriend, had an ectopic pregnancy and they had her left tube removed. Sex after that became not so regular. Three years later, she had another ectopic pregnancy and they removed her right tube. At this point she started blaming me for what happened to her and, although I knew it was not my fault, (we were both in agreement to have unprotected sex and actually trying to have a baby) I think I did take that blame on me. A year later we got married and sex was even less present. I tried to explain to her that Iím really frustrated when I donít have sex for weeks or even months, but she wouldnít change her ways. The interesting thing is, that when we had sex, 8 out of 10 times she will have orgasm with me, often very loud and screaming, with redness on her chests and all other indicators that itís not being faked. But if she was not interested in sex, and I asked her to help me out, posing or otherwise sheíll do it with no interest at all or such bored expression that sometimes I will just ask her to leave it and go away because being so not into me was like a cold shower. She would never go oral, because she was disgusted with it and she slowly pushed me away from performing oral on her as she was also uncomfortable with it.

Then after 4 years in marriage we tried in-vitro to have a baby and it failed. Years of (for me boring and impassioned sex) have followed although I was still able to bring orgasms in her on pretty regular basis, but sex was once in 4-6 weeks for the most part. Few years later she started getting urinary tract infections. She was always saying that she had really bad UTIs when she was a kid and these now were real bad too. She would go on Cipro for 10 days and sex will be out the window for couple of months. After she talked with some girlfriends, she started blaming me that itís my fault and if we are going to have sex itíll be only if I use a condom. She was sure that I have some bacteria that are causing her UTIs. I went to my doctor and he took a swab and found no bacteria, or at least, not the one that was harming my wife. Anyway, I started using condom and for most part there was no UTI problem, but it will still happen from time to time.

Two years ago we did a second attempt at having a baby in-vitro and my wife got pregnant for about a month, but unfortunately she lost her pregnancy and we decided weíre not going to try anymore. But in last year or more, our sex life has improved in frequency. It was still same old, not too much interesting game for me, but it was more often and at least that was an improvement. She was UTI free for almost two years. However, 3-4 months ago my wife got an UTI again and this time took three courses of different antibiotics over a period of a month, to help her. We were using condom as usual but obviously, it is not me who causing it, but the sex act itself. She could have sex with anybody else and it will happen, regardless.

So after more than three months without sex Iím arriving to a point where Iím pretty sure I donít want to have sex with her ever again. I donít want to risk that she gets sick again and go through this entire ordeal again. It is really hard for me to see her suffer, and equally hard to feel her negativity towards me as on occasion she would still blame me silently. At the same time I donít like an idea that at the age of 46 I will have to stop having sex with my wife, and at the same time Iím not interested in cheating or looking for prostitutes. I told her, half-jokingly few days ago that she should help me with this problem and I suggested she hook me up with one of her girlfriends who is single, and quite "easygoing". My wife just smiled and said that her girlfriend would never do it with me because of her and my response was, that in that case we should probably get a divorce. She didnít say anything but I can see that it got her worrying as she increased her cooking and cleaning in the last few days, as well as blowing kisses and saying that she loves me.

So, at the end Iím getting to my online name Ė conundrum. Damn if I leave. Damn if I donít.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: After 18 years of marriage - conundrum

Insist on counseling. If she declines taking steps to improve your marriage - not much point in sticking around.

You really should try to involve a professional therapist to see if the issue can be addressed. If the effort fails, you will know that you indeed made a sincere effort.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: After 18 years of marriage - conundrum

This is a terribly sad story. I do think MC is worth it.

I guess the fairly obvious alternatives to intercourse are not a workable option for either/both of you?



Quote:
Originally Posted by conundrum View Post
Iím afraid this is going to be a pretty long post.

My wife and I have been married for 13 years and being together total of 18 years. I am at the point now when Iím seriously thinking about asking for a divorce.

We are a couple where I am the one with extreme high libido and she is with very low. In the beginning of our relationship we had sex often, but after about a year in it my, then girlfriend, had an ectopic pregnancy and they had her left tube removed. Sex after that became not so regular. Three years later, she had another ectopic pregnancy and they removed her right tube. At this point she started blaming me for what happened to her and, although I knew it was not my fault, (we were both in agreement to have unprotected sex and actually trying to have a baby) I think I did take that blame on me. A year later we got married and sex was even less present. I tried to explain to her that Iím really frustrated when I donít have sex for weeks or even months, but she wouldnít change her ways. The interesting thing is, that when we had sex, 8 out of 10 times she will have orgasm with me, often very loud and screaming, with redness on her chests and all other indicators that itís not being faked. But if she was not interested in sex, and I asked her to help me out, posing or otherwise sheíll do it with no interest at all or such bored expression that sometimes I will just ask her to leave it and go away because being so not into me was like a cold shower. She would never go oral, because she was disgusted with it and she slowly pushed me away from performing oral on her as she was also uncomfortable with it.

Then after 4 years in marriage we tried in-vitro to have a baby and it failed. Years of (for me boring and impassioned sex) have followed although I was still able to bring orgasms in her on pretty regular basis, but sex was once in 4-6 weeks for the most part. Few years later she started getting urinary tract infections. She was always saying that she had really bad UTIs when she was a kid and these now were real bad too. She would go on Cipro for 10 days and sex will be out the window for couple of months. After she talked with some girlfriends, she started blaming me that itís my fault and if we are going to have sex itíll be only if I use a condom. She was sure that I have some bacteria that are causing her UTIs. I went to my doctor and he took a swab and found no bacteria, or at least, not the one that was harming my wife. Anyway, I started using condom and for most part there was no UTI problem, but it will still happen from time to time.

Two years ago we did a second attempt at having a baby in-vitro and my wife got pregnant for about a month, but unfortunately she lost her pregnancy and we decided weíre not going to try anymore. But in last year or more, our sex life has improved in frequency. It was still same old, not too much interesting game for me, but it was more often and at least that was an improvement. She was UTI free for almost two years. However, 3-4 months ago my wife got an UTI again and this time took three courses of different antibiotics over a period of a month, to help her. We were using condom as usual but obviously, it is not me who causing it, but the sex act itself. She could have sex with anybody else and it will happen, regardless.

So after more than three months without sex Iím arriving to a point where Iím pretty sure I donít want to have sex with her ever again. I donít want to risk that she gets sick again and go through this entire ordeal again. It is really hard for me to see her suffer, and equally hard to feel her negativity towards me as on occasion she would still blame me silently. At the same time I donít like an idea that at the age of 46 I will have to stop having sex with my wife, and at the same time Iím not interested in cheating or looking for prostitutes. I told her, half-jokingly few days ago that she should help me with this problem and I suggested she hook me up with one of her girlfriends who is single, and quite "easygoing". My wife just smiled and said that her girlfriend would never do it with me because of her and my response was, that in that case we should probably get a divorce. She didnít say anything but I can see that it got her worrying as she increased her cooking and cleaning in the last few days, as well as blowing kisses and saying that she loves me.

So, at the end Iím getting to my online name Ė conundrum. Damn if I leave. Damn if I donít.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: After 18 years of marriage - conundrum

I don't know about counseling. I suggested it in the past and she was furious that I would even considering that. Like telling a total stranger our secrets, etc. Now that I think about it, I'm afraid it's because she know that her "logic" or arguments will loose.

I'm sorry, but what "fairly obvious alternatives to intercourse" you have in mind?

Thanks!
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: After 18 years of marriage - conundrum

Personally I consider a strong aversion to counseling a big red flag. And I agree with your statement - which is she knew an objective third party would not allow her to get away with bad behavior. No rational person attacks their partner for suggesting counseling. The sessions are protected conversations meaning the therapist immediately loses their license if they ever disclose what you have told them.

Does your wife often bully you this way?

As for alternatives: My wife has had a condition a couple times that makes intercourse painful. Once for 2 months, and once for about 6 weeks. And in both cases she offered oral entertainment regularly. The first time - 2 summers ago - I only took her up on it once. But this last time this past summer she was adamant that I lie back and let her pleasure me at least once sometimes a couple/three times a week until her condition was healed.

Ideally the alternative would be regular oral sex - in both directions.

If she does not like doing that sorry for you - bare bare minimum she gives you a really good full body massage and a first rate hand job while she kisses you on the mouth - or nipples or ...

And of course you pleasure her however she likes - other then intercourse.

The alternative - no sex at all - would not be acceptable to me.





Quote:
Originally Posted by conundrum View Post
I don't know about counseling. I suggested it in the past and she was furious that I would even considering that. Like telling a total stranger our secrets, etc. Now that I think about it, I'm afraid it's because she know that her "logic" or arguments will loose.

I'm sorry, but what "fairly obvious alternatives to intercourse" you have in mind?

Thanks!
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: After 18 years of marriage - conundrum

My wife and I have a pretty good relationship, except where sex is subject. In my opinion, she is a bit of a control freak and extremely defensive. Our fights in the past were so ugly that with time I just resolved to avoidance. For the most part I did it because of the guilt that she was throwing at me, as well as the guilt that I felt myself. We are from Europe and there was a war in our country in the 90s. She was pushing me to run away as soon as it started, but I didn't want to leave and wanted to stay and fight. She stayed with me and endured all the horrors one can imagine for 4 years. For that I always felt a guilt, but will get angry when she will use that as her argument that I'm somehow responsible now to take care of her for the rest of our lives.

As far as alternatives go - I don't think that'll work. She was never into oral sex and even pushed me away from performing it on her years ago. I don't remember when was the last time we kissed passionately mouth to mouth. She usually avoids it and is more interested in kind of pecks on a lips or cheeks - makes me feel as if I'm her brother or a baby.

I'm afraid, I know what I have to do, but I have another conundrum. I want to do good by her and make sure that she's financially secured, but right now we are both unemployed more than a year, and my small business is doing very poor right now. The only solution might be to sell our house and split the profits. We could make maybe 70-100,000 out of it and I'll be OK with 15-20k for myself.

I would really appreciate if some of the ladies on this forum will pitch in and gave me their opinions. I appreciate everybody's input, but will really like to hear from woman's point of view too.

Thanks!
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: After 18 years of marriage - conundrum

I'm with MEM11363 on this one. Just because the rollercoaster is broken doesn't mean the entire amusment park should be shut down. Hand jobs, blow jobs... there's still lots of fun to be had. Wives who make consistently poor attempts to be sexual with their husbands risk becoming ex-wives. It's just natural consequences.

But if she doesn't even kiss you...

I'd suggest a marriage counseling or divorce ultimatium. When a man suggests marriage counseling and the women refuses it's a major red flag that something isn't right. (Not so much when a woman asks a man to go to marriage counseling. Men typically view marriage counseling as slanted in the women's favor and gives them about as good odds of success as a woman would view their success chances at "marriage boxing" where men would have a natural advantage and issues are dealt with over three, 3 minute rounds.)
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'd suggest a marriage counseling or divorce ultimatium. When a man suggests marriage counseling and the women refuses it's a major red flag that something isn't right. (Not so much when a woman asks a man to go to marriage counseling. Men typically view marriage counseling as slanted in the women's favor and gives them about as good odds of success as a woman would view their success chances at "marriage boxing" where men would have a natural advantage and issues are dealt with over three, 3 minute rounds.)

I'm interested in this statement. Is this how most men view marriage counseling. I have been trying to get my husband to go to no avail. I am at the point where I plan to file for divorce and move on because he refuses to go and the marriage is not getting better.

Don't mean to highjack the thread-just thought this was a decent statement and I was hoping for further explanation.
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: After 18 years of marriage - conundrum

One more thing to add. In all these years, and even now - I know and I can sense that despite all I said, my wife do love me. There are many, many things that I'm happy about, but the parts that make me unhappy are really pressing hard on me.
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Old 11-21-2009, 02:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: After 18 years of marriage - conundrum

Strongenough, how can I sign up for this "marriage boxing thing", and can I use my feet? LIL
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Old 11-21-2009, 02:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Strongenough, how can I sign up for this "marriage boxing thing", and can I use my feet? LIL
I don't know. That was Atholk's quote. I am awaiting his response.
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I don't know. That was Atholk's quote. I am awaiting his response.
Well the whole thing of sitting down, and talking about your thoughts and feelings, and discussing the relationship... this entire approach is based on skills that are feminine based. It's about one step away from having a tea party with dolls. Most men are already out talked and verbally outclassed by their wives already. Counseling just seems like an arena designed for them to lose in, except this time the stakes are just that much higher.

Hence my point about "marriage boxing". The option to lace on boxing gloves and hammer at each other for a bit, puts women at a obvious natural disadvantage. If asked to do "marriage boxing", I'd think most women would feel like that was an appointment they would like to delay. (See two men thumping each other with boxing gloves angrily can actually improve their friendship - this makes no sense to women)

The other concern I have about marriage counseling is that it is the socially approved method of allowing marriages to come to an end. If you just walk away from your marriage you're regarded as a bad person. But if you can say "well we tried marriage counseling, but nothing worked", then it's ok to end the marriage as a good person. Also it can be used as the method for fishing for a good reason to end it all. ("I just discovered the whole time he was controlling and abusing me, I need to do want I want to do, and the counselor agreed")

So a man that is asked to marriage counseling by his wife, can often view it as a one way trip to the end of his marriage. So they can avoid it as a way (in their minds) to stay married.

There is a real trap here in that men can have so few relationship communication skills that the marriage gets in trouble, and the "solution" to fixing the marriage is using relationship communication skills in counseling. The deeper problem is that men have no training or instruction over what the heck they are meant to do in a marriage and living with a woman. If working on your marriage could be reduced (explained, or reframed) to some sort of tasks and action steps (that weren't just talking about the problems), men would be more inclined to go along with it. (I am working on this )
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Atholk~

Thank you for the response. Again, not to highjack the thread, but I am very interested in your response and well it makes a lot of sense.

I am in a position where I need to deliver an ultimatum. We fix it or I am gone-no more waffling inbetween. Do you think I should use the ultimatum of marriage counseling or divorce? I cannot understand how counseling will help if someone is forced to go. However, that being said, I cannot continue to live like this, so do I deliver that ultimatum? Or should I just say the marriage is over and hope and pray he says we will go?
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: After 18 years of marriage - conundrum

StrongEnough,

I truly think it is fair to say to your partner - whether you are the man or the wife:

I am not happy. I believe we have tried to fix our marriage without outside help - however we have not succeeded. I am willing to try to fix it with the help of a MC. That only has a chance of working if you actively participate and are committed to trying to make things work.

If you are not agreeable to counseling and to your active participation in the process I understand. Lets try to part amicably. I want a divorce.

And then he has a choice to make. And it is very binary. Yes or no. And in a nice way you can explain that when the counselor gives you two homework he does his. Not doing it = not being committed = end of marriage.




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Atholk~

Thank you for the response. Again, not to highjack the thread, but I am very interested in your response and well it makes a lot of sense.

I am in a position where I need to deliver an ultimatum. We fix it or I am gone-no more waffling inbetween. Do you think I should use the ultimatum of marriage counseling or divorce? I cannot understand how counseling will help if someone is forced to go. However, that being said, I cannot continue to live like this, so do I deliver that ultimatum? Or should I just say the marriage is over and hope and pray he says we will go?
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:48 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: After 18 years of marriage - conundrum

I think once it is clearly framed as a "Divorce or Marriage Counseling" decision, then you're going to overcome that last resistance of counseling if they want to stay married.

"We need marriage counseling" is quite a different approach than "it's either marriage counseling or divorce".

I would go so far to actually contact a few marriage counselors, ask them expected costs, what their success rate is. (You'll likely get some sort of waffle about "all the couples that want to stay married and work on it succeed, I'm just a means of communication" which basically implies to me the counselor is useless, find one that will actually say "I'm batting about 40%, which is better than most" or something similar.)

Likewise contact a few lawyers offices and ask rates etc. Find out what the basic process is. You don't have to talk to the attorney, usually the office staff are pretty much fine with the general process.

Create two packets of the information. Put in big envelopes and mark one with a big and one with a big . Highlight the counselor you think is best, say "this is who I think we should use". In the attorney packet highlight the best option and say, "this is who I will use, you would need someone else". Give them the packets and talk them through the contents. I'd give them 48 hours for them to come to a decision. Don't get into a debate or screaming match about things, just ask for a decision. If they fold and choose counseling (which might just happen within the first minute of seeing the two packets and the contents!) then book the counseling appointment right then and there. Even if all you can do is leave voicemail for the counselor saying you want an appointment. Do not let the moment pass.

If they say "ok you win, I'll go to counseling". Say "it's not about winning or losing, it's about us". Book the appointment. I'd really suggest being in physical contact with your partner as you make that call.

Sorry for thread drift the OP has some tricky issues and counseling seems appropriate.
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