Sex in MarriageSexual problems are common in many relationships. This section is for discussions about sexuality. Please limit discussions to those asking for help with a problem and those offering advice. Any other threads may be deleted.
Hi, I'm new here, this is my first post-just found this site today, hoping for some advice, PLEASE!
I'm 30, my husband is 32 and we've been married since 2008. I consider him my best friend, he treats me like a princess, yes I'm still in love with him and he's hot-to me as well as other people...sounds great right?
Well, he's always had that typical locker room type humor and we're both total goofs but there is one thing in particular that has always bothered me...he would make jokes about sex, nothing offensive, nothing degrading, but it bothered me...it was much better suited as something you would do around the guys and I would never laugh-this started to bother him...apparently "everyone" else thought his humor was funny except me, this made him make these jokes more often trying to get a reaction out of me. I apologize for not being able to give a particular instance but as I said, it was nothing offensive, just stupid stuff that built up over time...he might have said something like "come to daddy" and then stuck his toungue out at me in a suggestive way, all the while *trying* to be lame, corny, etc...it bothered me, I would be like stop, you're like an old horny guy, he'd say that's the point and not get why I wasn't laughing...I can see why his guy friends might laugh but I was just always annoyed-eventually I felt myself starting to look at him as more of a goofy little brother instead of a sexual being...yes, all because of these jokes, gestures and whatever yes I know that sounds stupid and petty but after about a year or so I would sometimes cry when he would do it and he would just tell me to lighten up...I could feel myself starting to look at him different, our relationship aside from sex was still great but I found myself not being sexually attracted to him anymore...everytime we were to be intimate I would just flashback to the crap he would do as jokes "trying to gross me out" to be funny and sex was just eh, weird, like I was with a relative-not that I would know what that's like, but it wasn't the same anymore...eventually I just avoided sex altogether and would make excuses. I still have a sex drive and as I said, I think he's really handsome but the way he acted with the college humor bs just made me look at him in a different light and changed everything. One day he was telling a joke still trying to get a rise out of me and I just flipped and told him he needed to stop, I wasn't feeling attracted anymore because of them. He apologized, told me he thought I was just being a tight @ss and was frustrated I didn't laugh at him...he had no idea how much it bothered me and he did stop, never did it again. That was around the end of 2009, we haven't had sex since that talk...I feel SO angry that he didn't take me seriously and in my mind tarnished what was a perfect relationship. We'll hold hands and little things not, cuddle etc. but if he touches me anywhere in a sexual way I don't feel a *spark* and I don't know what to do...I go back and forth between being depressed and angry about all this...as for why I haven't slept with him, it's so strange now, between looking at him as a goofy brother and thinking about how much of a big deal it will be I don't want to even get into it...I've told him all of this, we've cried together over it, we started looking around online tonight to try to find solutions, we really are best friends and I want this marriage to work but I need to get past this. I know it sounds stupid but when he acted like that, it took away a certain "mystery" about him, hard to explain I guess it just made him less sexually appealing by being so immature with stupid sex jokes.
He doesn't try to have sex with me, he's so patient and just keeps saying we love eachother and the spark will come back. He will tell me it took 2 years to get where we are (no sex) so it will take time to get back to how it first was...I miss that, I WANT to have that desire for him back, I want my marriage to work, I just don't know what to do.
If I think about having sex with him I just don't get aroused, I feel almost like it's wrong since I looked at him like a brother all the time he was telling me jokes I didn't want to hear.
He suggested I just do it and get it done with, he understands I'm going to feel awkward but after the first couple of times he's hoping things get better. He took me to Paris a couple of weeks ago-no sex I was SO sad to be there and not have a change of heart, I was praying that things would be different over there but no.
I don't want to have sex with him and just go through the motions, I want to get excited over him, I need to know how to get that feeling back. I know there's no simple answer but how do I get past the resentment of him not taking me seriously which in turn made me feel this way?! Porn, costumes, sex games-I don't need that type of a suggestion, it doesn't help-then it's like watching a porn with my brother, get it??? We have talked about seeing a sex therapist but I feel like they would push us into the whole role play thing...Last time we had sex (end of 2009) I started crying DURING sex which was just awful as you can imagine...I was so sad that it was less than perfect and I wasn't turned on like I was in the beginning and it's all his fault, I mean I did try to fake it but after I started crying he lost his erection and then got so upset he couldn't even get it back...
he has NO problem at all when it comes to having sex with me, the spark is still there for him and I HATE that we have such a nonexistent sex life and he knows that. He's so patient with me and will be more than happy to go slow. The thought of it makes me angry, that seems to be a bigger problem. How do I stop looking at him like a kid who f'd up so bad and like a husband again?
I refuse to let my marriage fail over this but I feel so hopeless, is it possible to get that spark back that I had before he pulled this crap?! I need to hear there is hope, I need to know people DO recover from this, ugh I'm sure you can hear the frustration I have I know I've rambled, I hope this makes sense, it's so hard to articulate all my thoughts onto here...Thank you.
I apologize for not breaking it up, so much to write and my thoughts were racing...
I DO want to have the desire to have sex with my husband, I'm just very uncomfortable and as I said before, I don't want to try again and end up in tears.
I understand what he is saying, let's try it again and see how it goes-makes sense since he has stopped his jokes and whatnot. I'm so afraid of it being the same as before that I can't muster up the courage to try.
Hubby resorts to his locker-room humour as a kind of readymade key to intimacy. You react against it because it's no substitute for the real thing. Somehow your shared personal vocabulary of love and passion hasn't quite evolved yet. You know there's much more to your sensitive, considerate loving stud, he knows a wealth of melting tenderness is within you; for some reason neither of you can bridge the gap between the locker-room guy and the princess on her throne.
I've looked through your post to see how you folks might share your feelings more generally - do you go to concerts, look at paintings, go for long walks on beaches...do any of a number of things that might define you as a couple who enliven each other on all sorts of levels...I can't quite see it. Yet somehow I get the feeling that you are frustrated that conventional ways of relating haven't deepened into custom-made modes of sharing yourselves.
I've never been to a sex therapist but I get the impression that it's not always a rigmarole of role-playing. I understand that some will steer couples through a process of re-learning their responses and shared sensual pleasures through, for example, non-sexual massage (at first). And so it could be the same with more general relationship guidance - a skilled counselor might look to highlight new ways growing out of established roles and opening up to each other as whole people - weaknesses, vulnerabilities as well as lovers burning with desire! I get the feeling you both have a real commitment to making a go of your marriage - maybe it's worth seeing a counselor to help you over this rough patch?
As I say, this is all speculation but I hope it helps in some way!
We can express our feelings freely and we do...as far as our day to day life, yes-we absolutely go to shows, galleries, clubs, walks on the beach with our dogs, travel more than anyone we know and I still get just as excited to see him when he gets home from work today as I did when we first got together.
Our sex life was fantastic when we first got together...I shrugged off his locker room humor at first but then yes, it caused a rift between us when it came to sex. I started looking at him as a brother figure and told him this *many* times before he realized how serious it was and stopped the "jokes"
We communicate better than most people, it's just this ONE issue that screwed us up...he has apologized many times. I'm trying so hard to get over this, forgive him for taking so ong to finallyunderstand the magnitude of the damage he did to life in the bedroom.
I know in my heart we were meant to be, maybe a sex therapist will work...I'm a therapist myself so it's tough at times to sit through a session where I'm on the receiving end of advice as I can almost predict what they will say next.
I appreciate the feedback, this is making me feel better to get off my chest to someone besides my husband...he's very supportive but it's healty to vent and get other opinions as well, so thank you...looking forward to reading more of them, thank you.
I DO want to have the desire to have sex with my husband, I'm just very uncomfortable and as I said before, I don't want to try again and end up in tears.
You're barking up the wrong tree.
You need to be prepared to cry during sex, and just go through with it. The way back through is the way you came. All the feelings you have are all triggered by your views on sex combined with your views on him. You have basically stopped him flirting with you. His humour was part of his way of expressing his desire for you.
The pair of you are a mess it's true, but you can fix it easily. All you need is the want. You nearly have it. When you want it bad enough you will just do it, and you won't care about the crying.
1. The Yuck Factor
Women do not share the same sense of humor as men, not always. And when a man treats sex, the subject of sex, and the acts of sex in the same manner that he did when he was 10 or 12 years old, an adult woman has zero ability to find the humor. Whether his displays are words, motions, faces, what have you, she has no appreciation.
2. The Piece of Furniture
He objectified you numerous times and called it joking. No woman wants to feel like an object, a piece of furniture. His "jokes" reduced you to the status of a blowup doll, rather than a human, emotional, and sexual being and made you self-conscious and embarrassed for being exactly that - human, emotional, and sexual - with a sundry of complex feelings.
3. Intimate Trust
It's like going to see a doctor, who spoke ill of you to another person and made something ugly about your bodily functions, as if every single living being doesn't have bodily functions. Or made fun that you have breasts, as if every woman doesn't have them. He violated something very personal and intimate because you expect a doctor to be respectful and to hold your trust in confidence. You don't expect he would even form certain thoughts, much less express them openly. The difference is, you would find a new doctor and never go back to the jerk. But finding a new husband won't help this marriage.
4. A Woman's Deepest and Personal Thoughts
Basically he showed you how little regard he holds for love making as being intimate, personal, and the ultimate in wonderful, physical love. If he had any respect at all, he would keep his joking to a minimum and only with like-minded immature men. But, as you said, he brought the bar room and the locker room into your bedroom, and not only there but also into the living room, the kitchen, and ingrained it into your psyche. He showed you that his 10-year-old mind thinks of sex as something nasty that people do together and by thinking that way, he exponentially magnified every insecurity you have and every woman has them. He is child who needs to grow up.
Understanding what this is and how it came about should help you to feel less guilty. We all have our quirks that manifest themselves into turnons and turnoffs, and he definitely turned you off by making you feel less safe and less of a real woman.
You may not know what to do, but what you REALLY don't know is this is not your problem to fix. It is his problem of his own creation, and it's up to him to fix it. But, his suggestion that you simply do it and get over it is the ultimate in inconsideration. Reading the early portion of your story, I kept thinking "what an inconsiderate jerk." I couldn't believe he just kept doing it, ignoring your protests. I thought "what a child she married" for him being entirely insensitive to your objections and constantly asking him to stop. Then, reading his stupid remedy made me angry. He has dumped this problem all on you both as being your problem and as being something you need to fix by simply getting over it. He is extremely immature.
I honestly have no idea how this can be reversed, but I do have a suggestion. He needs to win your confidence by showing he is the mature MAN you need him to be, and I don't think he can do that while you both live together. I think you should separate for a short but specified period of time. During that time, he is to court you as if you just met and just began dating. He has to earn back your trust and prove himself a mature adult. As long you are staying together, I can't imagine it will work because you will continue seeing the same man you love but the same man who turned you off by revealing how immature he is and by having so little regard for love making. He needs a chance to redeem himself and turn you back on again.
We hug/snuggle all the time, at night when we sleep, during the day watching movies etc.
He masturbates frequently, about 5 times a week...he has a high sex drive...myself, maybe about 3x a week or so, I still have a sex drive that's pretty high as well.
Yes, you're right, I've stopped him flirting with me, it was uncomfortable and I didn't want the next step to be rejecting something sexual if he tried it so I just avoid it altogether.
Kissing...the first time we kissed aside from a peck on the lips since all this started was when we went to Paris a couple of weeks ago. I just made myself do it...wasn't terribly awkward but I didn't feel chemistry either...I was most likely analyzing the situation too much as it was happening.
I don't know what I'm waiting for to be honest, I guess just for time to pass and not feel so resentful and angry, hoping I wake up one day and things are different. The thought of crying during sex again seems unhealthy to me and I'm worried it will damage the relationship more, no?
now I begin to get a fuller picture. Correct me if I'm wrong but I have the impression of a warmly caring, loving, committed relationship with a rich range of expressive outlets. Yet despite earlier healthy enthusiasm, love-making has ended up in a cul-de-sac.
I wonder if your man is basically profoundly shy or insecure about sex or maybe not very experienced and the locker-room palaver is just so much bravado to brazen through his anxieties? Are you able to discuss the dynamics of the locker-room stuff without it turning into a confrontation? I'm puzzled that he can give of himself in what seems like a complete way yet repeatedly, blindly, stumbled into the college 'humour' trap.
Somehow this leads me to wonder if, when things were good, love-making was fun for you, the kind of insane opening-out of body and soul that had you both shrieking with laughter? Or are you perhaps a little more decorous and prefer a more muted union? What I'm driving at is this: if he needs to let go on every level, including one which seems gross, but you prefer a more restrained consummation then maybe you're both leaving out something which to the other is precious, vital. If that's right then you might just have the starting point for a lot of talking.
And, by the way, I see nothing unhealthy in crying during love-making as long as it's not the tears of despair or a humiliation of some sort. My lady and I used to laugh, cry and go from A through to Z of emotions and then just collapse with sheer exhaustion from it all - wonderful Could you think of crying as sharing more eloquently than words can express?
Hi Steve, I suggested my husband go on here to vent and hopefully get some advice-I haven't actually read what he wrote, those are his private thoughts and I respect that. Your impressions of our relationship sound pretty on point, we love each other a great deal.
He has stopped with the college humor and as for whether he is insecure in the bedroom, I have never thought so. He's been with a lot more people than me (6 here vs. 20+) so I would assume he's not very insecure but I'm not a guy, I don't know if numbers go hand in hand with your self esteem, although I would say that tends to be the case with females...
I deifnitely prefer something more muted and traditional per se when it comes to sex, he prefers to assume the role of a porn star lol. He actually discussed a couple of things in therapy and his doctor's exact words were "don't bring that sh*t into the bedroom or your wife is going to leave you"
I wouldn't say I'm boring or prudish by any means but I don't want to be spit on or get facials all day either...just not my thing. We have spoke about this obviously, which is why he spoke to his therapist about it...again, he didn't think the spitting was a big deal, I did, his doctor agreed it was an extreme fetish and said if I didn't have a problem with it then it was alright but I'm not. If we weren't married I could deal with it but I'm not going to go the rest of my life pretending.
I never have tears of humiliation but despair, somewhat yes. I cry because I get so frustrated that our sex life has become so screwed up and I don't feel the same chemistry as before he started with all these jokes. I guess what is most important is the fact we're both really making an effort...I don't want to have time apart as suggested by another poster, I love my husband, he's sorry and I believe that. It's just going to take a lot of time to get over him ignoring my pleas to stop acting out as he did in the past...
I read your husband's post and you're right, he is a sweetheart. He was being immature and he admitted to it, and he wants to find a solution just like you do. That's half the battle, and it's admirable you both are fighting this battle together. I also find it admirable how well you're to communicated.
Okay, so you reject my suggestion. I urge you to re-consider because I think you need that time apart, and I think you need to miss him a little. It doesn't have to be a long period. You can determine a week, a month, or whatever, but I think missing him along with his pursuit of you will do a lot of good. The idea is to follow the same (or similar) path that led you to love and marriage because along with those, there was considerable amount of respect that you had for him and you trusted him to be the caretaker of your heart and your most private and intimate thoughts. You didn't know him as you know him now, so missing him a little and him wooing you all over again will help bring back the infatuation and the spark. What I expect is you will learn to trust him all over again.
Incidentally, you two have a lot of work to do. Hopefully not an awful lot, but you know nothing happens over night necessarily, and there probably are no quick fixes. So, I think rather than dismiss out of hand, you may have to, at some point, consider suggestions you initially object to. So with that said, if the problem persists much longer, then please reconsider trying my suggestion.
But okay, if brief separation is out of the question, I still think it a good idea for him to woo you even though you are already married and living together. I'm not the only who thinks it's a good idea. This movie will show him how it's done. Rent it. Watch it. Follow the principles. The movie is accompanied by this book, The Love Dare, which will guide him through a 40-day challenge. I wish you both really well.
You are a Therapist yourself - And you are feeling what most therapists would say/do would be of no help in your particular situation. I wonder what the typical approach would be here? I take you have exhausted that.
I also think time apart might be helpful ,starting completely fresh somehow, looking at the relationship as brand new, or allowing yourself to do this, training your MIND to no longer revert back to what was, but what "can" be.
And I would say, for YoungB, NO MORE MASTERBATING during this time, this will only hinder desire, and work against your efforts.
I have not read your husband's posts, although he was very very immature, it sounds he really didn't get it at the time, he is sincerely trying NOW, and this is SO very important, he has stopped this behavior & wants to satisfy you in every way, he is doing all he can to redeem himself. Beautiful ! This should allow for complete forgiveness of the past, and allow for some soon love making -even if you feel it may end in tears (gotta start somewhere) -AFTER your sexual desire has built itself up -with no masterbating.
Some may find this a strange thing to do, but if you see him as a brother, do a little test -to see if that is REALLY how you see him or just think you feel about him. You had desire once for this man, it surely can be REVIVED again. Go into a bar separately, sit away from each other -but where you can see each other. Allow him to act "single & available" & do some chatting/flirting with other women, and see if anything rises up within you -watching his interaction, realizing that OTHER women desire YOUR MAN. You may be surprised! Your reaction will separate what you think you feel about him and what you REALLY feel about him.
Maybe...he is against a separation, not for it at all...I could try the bar thing I suppose...right now I'm just feeling very angry...A TON of this is about anger, I can't believe he wouldn't get that I wasn't amused and would let something go on for so long that I look at him like a brother...Yes, I would LOVE for him to get payback for it but that's not healthy or the answer...his payback is the fact his wife can't look at him in a sexual manner anymore...he tried last night to just touch me, rubbing my head, arm-innocent stuff...I just got really angry and asked him to stop petting me. I know he was trying to do the right thing but I was so mad that I wasn't getting turned on due to the way he acted so I just put an end to it.
I avoid sex for the sole reason that I don't look at him the same...I am 100% sure it has nothing to do with the relationship fizzling out, it's not punishment for how he acted, it's just uncomfortable because I don't feel any chemistry which in turn makes me MAD!!!!
I have forgiven him, I just can't get past the anger...each time I feel angry it takes me back to when he would act that way. I feel betrayed, he's my best friend and although he didn't know how much it bothered me at the time, he still hurt me and I'm still p*issed as you can tell...I don't know how to get past this...we get along fine day to day, but as soon as I see 2 people kissing, holding hands etc. my blood starts to boil and it starts all over again
a few disconnected thoughts...firstly, I don't agree with the suggestions of a temporary separation - it sounds as if you both very much want to be together and that things are good until you approach the thresh-hold of sex. My guess is that a sustained dialogue will be a lot more productive than a period of silence.
there are a few words appearing which I haven't noticed before: spit, facials and fetish. Perhaps the spit and facials are bound up with the 'porn star' role? Taken together with the grotesque locker-room caricatures, has some qualified person suggested this all constitutes a genuine fetish? While I have no expertise in these matters I understand a sexual fetish is a kind of displacement of shared sexuality, a process of investing objects or rituals with erotic totality. That's to say the person can't 'get off' without their ritualized behaviour or without the object in which they 'store up' their erotic ju-ju. From what you've said it seems to me that this doesn't describe your hubby - there may be echoes but it doesn't sound like the complete man.
And then there's your anger. I can understand it - all you hold precious seems to have been parodied, undermined - and I have felt similar anger myself for equivalent reasons in the past. This might sound like hippy talk but eventually I found something bigger than anger and that was the desire to understand. My lady made herself very, very emotionally naked - as never before - and I simply couldn't help but feel real love and desire growing again for someone who had entrusted me with all that was dark within herself. I don't think i've shared so profoundly with anyone else. Have you and hubby talked exhaustively - constructively, without blame or accusation - about what drove his behaviour? It might just be that you find something new within him that will touch you to the quick. And then maybe anger will become redundant.
A temporary separation doesn't seem right for us, although I can see why it was suggested.
Yes there are things that are bound up with the porn star role but he can *definitely* get off without doing it...it's something he likes but we haven't done that in a long time and it didn't make me angry, the jokes and disregard of my feelings did.
I think we have talked exhaustively, yes. We have been over and over the past more times than I can count...it's always the same-he thought I was overreacting, I think he's a damn idiot for thinking I would make a big deal out of something for over a year if it didn't really and truly bother me...we can talk about anything and everything together and we do. I would say he's totally naked with his emotions when talking to me now but that doesn't change the fact that he ignored me for so long and caused this mess