Dear my beautiful wife
I have a problem. It is my problem, but it affects both of us:
In the years we have been married we have complemented one another perfectly. As a partnership we are perfect in nearly every way, and it does not surprise me that our marriage has worked successfully for so long when others our own age fail to do the same. We agree on where we want to go in our lives, and what we need to do to get there. With you, I make better decisions in my life and that’s a fact.
The one and only area which causes me concern is our intimate relationship. I don’t just mean sex, though I can see why it might seem that way. Whilst you have never been incredibly touch-feely, I have always responded well to physical intimacy. I have always liked to know the person I am with wants to be with me by what they do, rather than by what they say.
Whereas you have changed a little over the last few years, in that your desire for physical intimacy may have declined slightly, mine on the other hand has changed significantly, and it is in this ‘gap’ the problem lies. Frankly, I find myself yearning for a relationship which includes far more desire and passion than ours. We have discussed this over the years, as the issue has developed. I understand when you say that sex is not so important to you, and that you believe I am being unreasonable in what I am asking of you. Please understand this is important to me, and I hope that is enough for you to give this issue the consideration it deserves.
Regarding sex: I wonder if we have managed to create a situation whereby we are rarely intimate without sex. This may be as a result of a combination of factors: you believe any intimacy will lead to sex, which you may not want; I believe the chance of rejection is so high I am not inclined to instigate intimacy unless I want to have sex. We either have sex or we do nothing, even though there is so much more to intimacy than just sex.
Whatever we do, I hope to produce in you a response which indicates your pleasure. I want to develop our intimacy, so that we want to be with one another without the pressure. I want us to be comfortable with one another, and honest about what we desire.
I thrive on your response to me: my desire is inherently linked to yours, and if there is no evidence of desire for me by you, then it is difficult for me to express my desire for you. Sex has therefore become a chore: having sex provides relief, rather than pleasure (like a fix). I want us to have sex because we want each other, not just because it has been ages and I can’t take it anymore!
The feeling I get when you really hold me against you tight, when you kiss me passionately, and when we make love together (as opposed to just me making love to you) is so rare that is has become a fixation for me. I notice the gaps between these expressions of our love more and more.
So we go round in circles: I don’t want to come to bed early because I don’t want to lie there staring into the dark frustrated, having been rejected by you (again). When we do make love you barely respond, so there is more relief than enjoyment for me; there certainly is not the pleasure I believe we would otherwise have if it were a more relaxed, natural activity. I have long gone past the point where I would consider stopping making love to you to ask you why you are not joining in; instead I just get on with the task in hand.
Sometimes it is different, and we experience a mutual, enjoyable passion that reminds me why I love you so much. That this is possible for us makes it all the more frustrating that these occasions are so rare.
And so, I find myself asking questions:
How important is this to me, and how does its importance compare to the other elements of our partnership which are so good?
Can I honestly be happy in a marriage which does not include these elements?
Can you and I create a marriage which includes these elements?
If not, what do I do about it?
You always asked me to talk to you before I go to the point where I would consider an affair. Though I am not at that point (indeed I don’t know where it is), I need to know you understand my feelings so that we can work out a way to avoid that situation together.
Please know that I am not asking for some kind of fake act on your part; you either want me or you don’t. Just know that I love you and I want you, and all I want is for you to want me too.