My wife and I have been married for ten years and together for 15. We have a three year old son.
Throughout our relationship, she has NEVER initiated sex. I used to ask her to do this, but I gave up years ago when it became clear this would never happen. I understand that some people have stronger sexual appetites than others and I've always tried to respect her feelings on this.
For the last few years, whenever I try to initiate sex, she often sighs or grunts as if I have just asked her to wash the dishes. Some of this I am sure is due to having a child and the fact that we both work. But this happened even before our son was born. For the record, I am very athletic, with a good face and body.
Her disinterest in me extends outside of the bedroom, too. Frequently when I come home from work, I find her on the couch watching a reality show, and she won't even look up to acknowledge I've come home. I'm not looking for a blow job at the door, but literally, I enter, say hello and she will mumble hello without making eye contact.
Most of our friends would never believe this about her, because in public she is considerate, charming, possibly even over-friendly. She will do anything to appear polite for friends and strangers often at sacrifice to herself (and me). However, when it is just the two of us, she seldom makes any attempt to be sociable. Most of our conversations are detail oriented about our son or home, etc. Sometimes I feel we are business partners rather than husband and wife.
I've asked her point blank if she has lost interest in me and she assures me this is not the case.
I don't drink more than a few times a month and never to excess, I'm not abusive, verbally or physically, I'm very affectionate, frequently compliment her on her appearance. I help around the house. I'm very involved with our son. Most people find me very charming and funny.
Is this just ten years of marriage? Parenthood? What went wrong?
That's a tough one. On one hand I'm wondering if she is suffering from depression. Do you have any hobbies together outside of raising your son? Perhaps start to have a date night with her - no television or movies. Even if you just stay home and play board games, it will get you interacting. Apparently it seems as if she is forgetting how to do that with you.
When was the last time she had a medical check up? Could be meds if she is on any, causing low libido. Possibly depression, OR could be some underlying resentment for something.
Maybe she has just gotten lazy and comfortable in the mother/wife role. You still need to discuss this with her. Also, even if she "assures" you nothing is wrong in her words, her actions seem to not be matching those words. Look at the actions, and what shes NOT saying to you.
I don't think that 10 years of marriage means little sex/intimacy, and hardly an interaction with your spouse. There is definitely a cause for this, or like Jamison explained...she's become complacent. A successful marriage comes in part from being mindful every morning what makes your spouse feel loved...you both may need to return to that point to learn again what makes the other click. If there are other "distractions" going on then they also need to be addressed. Does she work full time as well? Is she just tired? Exhausted and low on energy? This can certainly be a culprit for busy mothers. Keep digging...there's a reason...
A successful marriage comes in part from being mindful every morning what makes your spouse feel loved...you both may need to return to that point to learn again what makes the other click.
Thank you for what you said above. It makes a lot of sense that if we are caring, loving and respectful of our partner, love will grow. When too much selfishness gets into the marriage, it will die eventually. It's like giving your plants water everyday.
I see an I love you but I'm not IN love with you talk in your future.
she has enough ware with all to be friendly and fun around everybody but you.
time to get to the bottom of this or time to have a back up plan.
Just plan a suprise date with her. Make sure you have a babby sitter and she is free one eve and take her out on a date.
dinner and a movie whatever. during the date be as positive as you can and try your best to just have fun. After the date say I miss having fun with you and just point blank ask her whats up.
if she evades the questions just say listen I not a fool I can see your not interested in me or being around me maybe its time to shake hands and go our separate ways, I"ll be the best part time dad I can be.
Thank you everyone for some great replies.
Mindful Coach... I've tried the date night idea in the past. It works for a little while but the same issues eventually return.
Conrad... I looked at some of the Nice Guy and am ashamed to see myself reflected there. I will definitely pick up the book.
WayTooAverage... I'm mixed black and white. My wife is second generation Korean American. However, her parents were fairly laid back for Korean immigrants - no Tiger Mom stories. But her mother did leave the family when she was young and she stayed with her father.
Hate is just love gone bad. If she actually hates you, it is simply because she once loved you too much and something you did knowingly or unknowingly has hurt her beyond a breaking point. I'm not saying it's all your fault. Another way to argue would be that maybe if she had done something to hurt you so much, maybe you would not hate her so much. But she is probably not very good a coping with past hurt.
Whatever it is, the simple answer is to keep telling her how you feel, while trusting her with your feelings - and please, please, please: listen to what she has to say. Just listen, without feeling blamed. There is a good chance you will discover that she deserves compassion and understanding as much as you yourself do, probably more.
One of the two things will happen if you approach her with what you feel and what in her behavior makes you feel that she hates you:
1. She will be simply indifferent and try to avoid the topic. If you push her or plead with her, she will accuse you of irritating her. In this case, she is not interested in fixing anything. She wants things to be this way. So it means that she really doesn't have a genuine reason to treat you badly and is doing it out of some hidden jealousy, or her nature itself is like that and her true colors came out. If she is indifferent every time you approach her with a sincere desire to talk to her and tell her how you feel, then you must leave her. Do it at the first opportunity. (That's for you to figure out how to manage that change in your life, given other factors in you life..)
2. She will try to listen to you, and then tell you how she feels. This is the proof that she is treating you badly simply because she is feeling hurt by something you have been doing without realizing it. But all in all, she is genuine. Put your feelings in the backseat at this point, and listen to what she feels. It's not about you; it's about her. Don't try to prove her wrong. Instead, try to understand that she is a different person who sees life differently. Try to see things from her point of view; and try to show her how much you love her in small ways: maybe you can buy her flowers, chocolates, take her shopping, complement her on her appearance etc. If you do it constantly form there, everything will fall into place in a few weeks. She will forgive you for hurting her, and you should also do the same.
All the best buddy. God bless you.
Her disinterest in me extends outside of the bedroom, too. Frequently when I come home from work, I find her on the couch watching a reality show, and she won't even look up to acknowledge I've come home.
Ricky, as other posters have noted, she may simply never have loved you. Yet, if you feel that is not true, it sounds like your W may have mild to strong traits of SPD (Schizoid Personality Disorder). SPDers (i.e., those with strong traits) feel lost when living alone. So they have a strong desire to live with a spouse. Yet, they have trouble establishing personal relationships or expressing their feelings in a meaningful way and usually remain passive in the face of unfavorable situations. It is common for their communication with other people to be indifferent and concise at times.
The result is that they rarely form deep relationships with people, which is why their romantic relationships are mostly focused on relatively superficial things. And their friendships may consist in relatively superficial exchange of information. Yet, if your W really is an SPDer, she is a rare type that would be hard for a therapist to diagnose -- as I note below.
Most of our friends would never believe this about her, because in public she is considerate, charming, possibly even over-friendly. She will do anything to appear polite for friends and strangers often at sacrifice to herself (and me).
Generally, SPDers avoid that type of interaction with other people. Instead, they spend time alone with only a few family members. Those SPDers, who meet the Diagnostic Manual (DSM-IV) definition of the schizoid personality, are what psychologist Ralph Klein calls overt SPDers.
Klein observes, however, that there is a small subgroup of SPDers whose dysfunctional behavior is covert, i.e., hidden from casual friends and business associates. Klein calls these people "Secret Schizoids" because they appear to casual friends as being socially available, charming, engaged, and considerate -- while at the same time remaining emotionally withdrawn and sequestered within the safety of their own internal world.
I feel very nervous about replying and not sure if I'm the best person to give advice, I feel that you have described me currently. My sex drive has never really been high, but it has gotten lower since the children have been born and I feel so tired running the home. I think I've rarely initiated sex. And I think hubby has come home many a time and I haven't given the welcome that he has wanted.
I don't hate my husband, I do love him. We've been together for many years, but married for 6. Things have been a bit stressful over the last 6 years for us and maybe I have been a bit low in mood/ depressed. Not affecting my day to day life, but making life seem a bit dull and tedious.
So, when your wife assures you she is still interested in you, maybe she is. Maybe she is depressed. It's good that you are respectful of her, good at doing house stuff/ chores and a great father to your son.
I guess you do need to get to the bottom of it. There is no point in both of you being unhappy.
Do you get to go out on your own together? Do you hold hands while out?
I know what Ricky is going through. My wife doesn't work, hasn't in 20 years but she complains that I am not providing the level of security and financial income she demands. I make over $180k a year but it's not enough, and oddly enough she came from nothing.
When she drinks she totally turns against me, saying I am a rotten husband, lousy father etc...when all I have done the last 15 years is be at every game for my daughters, coach for 10 years, do everything they want. Maybe I am an enabler, giving too much.
She can find the negative in anything. I ask her if she wants to go back to work, and she says" she has no skills, she can't do anything".
I am in a no win situation. Nothing I do makes her happy. Yes, I am not perfect, but I have never cheated on her, never physically hurt her, I work 15 hour days to provide as much as I can and I am even looking for an additional source of income so she doesn;t have to work.
She used to be on meds but not anymore(I am now, I got a Vas 10 years ago, she didn't want to do the woman thing, and I even got a c-pap for my snoring recently)
On Friday when she was drunk, she said she wants a seperation from me, that I am to be blamed for everything. We lost money in the stock market, that's all my fault...I guess I am am worn down and don't know what to do.
Any thoughts outside of talking to her, that won't work. I am now going through resent, and staying away from her.