I feel there's a lot somebody should know before responding so I'll try to be concise.
My wife was abused sexually as a child by her stepfather, from as early as she can remember until about age 16, when she finally spoke up and he went to jail for it.
We met through our church, which strongly believes in following the Bible, such that we had a pure dating relationship (2 years) until our wedding night, having only kissed (no tongue) at the end of our dates up until then.
Our first 2 months had plenty of intimacy, and even on a couple of occasions I had to ask her to give me a day to rest, because I was getting sore from 2 or more times of intercourse for several days straight.
Shortly after that, the sex began occurring once every 2 weeks, then once a month, and after about 2 years, once a quarter.
We "tried" to get pregnant in that we never used contraception, and finally in our 5th year of marriage, managed to have a wonderful baby girl.
After that, the intimacy stayed at once a quarter or so.
On year 9 of marriage, I had a business trip where I kissed another woman (no tongue), and nothing else happened.
One year later, my wife and I returned to the church (after having been away for 2 years), and I was encouraged to be honest with her about it to help heal our marriage and help me be honest before God as well.
Ever since that point, we are on our 11th year of marriage, and have not had sex since 9 months ago (one time since I told her).
My beliefs teach me not to self-gratify, but I still fail at that every week or so, and really want to stop, but I really need the intimacy that my wife and I have together.
Aside from that, our marriage is "OK." We get along pretty well, and she is my best friend, and we love spending time together. I don't want a divorce, and don't believe in them anyway, but I need to figure out how to approach the intimacy issue without starting World War III.
Thoughts? Any advice you can give about how I should conduct MYSELF would be helpful as well.
Hello. My wife was abused by her grandfather as a child, and as such her perception of sex was completely altered. As she grew older, she started to view sex and love as the same thing, which led to a long string of partners, and a previous failed marriage as she cheated on him and fell out of love with him. There was also talk of abuse during that marriage (rape) but, whatever, it has clearly changed her perception of what love is.
I married into that. Sex was great (as it always is) at the start. Then I began to receive clear indications that my wife had fell out of love with me. Partly my fault as I move from one job to another and keep messing up our financial arrangements (so much so that my once loving wife now loathes me for it all), but also her fault as she has no clear indication of how to cope in a relationship, is not receptive to any of my needs (including sexual- 2 years and counting!), doesn't trust me( I too, kissed other women on two occasions in 2000 and 2003) and it feels like we are living separate lives.
I also believe that she has had an affair with a friend of ours.
I too masturbate. It is not something to be ashamed of. There has to be some form of release. My wife knows I use pornography and doesn't seem to care much, but I think that there is further resentment because of it.
She has threatened to walk out a few times and has a few years ago asked for a divorce (well, screamed it really). But we are still here, for what it feels like is for the kids. I desperately want to get my marriage on track again, but am beginning to feel that it is a lost cause. This is causing nightmares, depression and anxiety which again affects our relationship. In truth, I think that my wife likes it better when I am not around.
We have discussed it before, to be sure, and had marriage counseling for a couple of months, as well as being counseled by other married couples in our church. I haven't really pushed the issue since my confession to her, but I am beginning to feel like enough is enough. It was years ago, I haven't strayed at all since, and won't. She really needs to forgive me.
I feel like I really go the extra mile in just about every area. I do 95% of the housework (not an exaggeration), I scratch her back and rub her legs every night (unless I'm sick), and have done so ever since we got married. I never curse at her or call her names, and even in our fights, I am 90% the most restrained one.
I'm just frustrated/sad/mad about it, because I feel like that person from her past has put an unbeatable spectre over our marriage.