Wife wants only affection and has zero desire for sex! - Page 2 - Talk About Marriage
Sex in Marriage Sexual 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.

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post #16 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 11:17 AM
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Re: Wife wants only affection and has zero desire for sex!

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Originally Posted by ptomczyk11 View Post
My wife is big on affection, she loves to cuddle, hug, kiss, etc. which I enjoy as well. The issue is when she does this I naturally get turned on and want to be intimate with her. Lately, I've stopped initiating sex when we show affection and we do the cuddle, hug, kiss, etc. that she loves.

We have had the sex talk before and she is fully aware of my higher sex drive and how I would love if we could strive for at least 1 - 2 times a week for sex; which I believe is completely doable.

Footnote: I can't even remember the last time we had sex it must be 2 months now, and the worst part is we don't have any kids.
There are unlikely to be any kids when you don't have sex.

So she is getting what she wants out of the relationship without really caring about your needs? Unless you agreed it beforehand the physical intimacy is not a take it or leave it optional extra in a marriage, even the Bible is pretty clear on that.

Quote:
So presently, we've been just showing affection as "cuddle buddies" and I no longer initiate sex because it doesn't make me feel good knowing she doesn't "lust/desire" me sexually; so what's the point of trying to sell/convince her into having sex with me. And she "never" initiates sex; so I know that day will never come...so by the looks of things I'll be celebrating my 3rd month of "sexless marriage"...

Outside Perspective:

1. Women: Do you sexually desire your husbands? Do you ever initiate sex with your husband?

2. Men: Does you wife find you sexually desirable? Does she often initiate sex with you?
XW: Not that I was ever aware of. No never.

Wife: Yes, and she tells me so every day. Yes, frequently. And it's a really wonderful feeling that makes you feel alive and worthy.
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post #17 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife wants only affection and has zero desire for sex!

Thanks for all the replies!


================================================

@Young at Heart Yes, what Michele Weiner-Davis says in the video resonates with me exactly. It's so crazy how she nails exactly how I feel about this whole sex situation.

@Holdingontoit Regarding your rule # 1, this was never an issue at the beginning of our relationship; it kind of sneaked in the back door as time went on.

@intheory Yeah, I'm not worried about her finding other actors attractive but the part that bothers me is that this lead into a discussion of how often she masturbates and she tells me that she does masturbate which shocked the hell out of me. I'm like, you know how important sex is to me and you are masturbating instead of trying to have sex with me? And she's like well sometimes I do it because it's just easier and faster.

================================================

It's just so hard to get her to understand how important intimacy/sex is to me. I've told her in the past that sex is not just sex, it's a lot more important to me because when we don't have sex it just makes me feel distant and not as close to her anymore. I try to explain it to her by saying it's probably exactly like how you feel if you don't get any affection.

She goes on to say well it's a lot easier for you to show me affection than it is for us to have sex, basically saying it takes a lot more work to have sex than to give her a hug/kiss. And I'm like, of course it's easier than hugs/kisses but that's not what it should be about; it's about me being unhappy and feeling like a roommate to you instead of being a lover/husband for you.

And exactly how Michele Weiner-Davis says in her video; by her never wanting to be intimate with me it doesn't make me want to be affectionate with her because I feel so distant from her.

She goes on to say that it's not just me, all of my friends and most girls feel the same way about sex. And again, I'm like I know this is not a problem unique to only us, hence TAM forum, but I'm not concerned with how your friends handle sex with their husbands or how other girls feel...I'm trying to tell you what makes me happy.

Last discussion we had, she goes on to say I'm trying to be a good wife for you; I cook dinner, do the laundry, tell you how handsome you are, buy you gifts, tell you how much I appreciate everything you do...I've done everything except strip down naked and jump your bones but you still seem annoyed/distant with me.

I didn't want to bring up the sex again because we have had the same talk before so I just kept my mouth shut, but in my head when she said "I've done everything for you except strip down naked and jump your bones" I just wanted to scream!!! It's so frustrating to hear that from her; I don't care about the other things if she would have just done that 1 thing it would have made me the happiest husband in the world and would have brought me so much closer to her in terms of affection.

She says, so if we never have sex you can't love me and be affectionate it with me. And that's not the case I still love her with all my heart; but exactly how "Michele Weiner-Davis" describes it; knowing my wife doesn't crave sex with me does hurt and makes me feel distant. I have asked her the same thing in the past, if I showed you ZERO affection would you still be happy and want to be with me, and she has said NO I wouldn't be happy and able to be with you because there would be a void that I would constantly feel.

I feel like when it comes to "sex" there is never a "light bulb moment" in her head...so your "affectionate" needs are more important than my "sexual" needs?

I feel "affection (hugs/kisses)" and "intimacy (sex)" should always be both equally important; one should not be more important than the other. It's not about one being easier to perform than the other; I feel both play very important roles to the importance of a happy marriage. I know stress, jobs, everyday life, etc. can effect all aspects of a relationship but I feel like no matter how hard or not in the mood you're in that we should always make it a priority to meet each other's "affectionate" and "intimate" needs.

So going back when she says "so if we never have sex you can't love me and be affectionate it with me", I don't think it should ever even get to this point. If we are meeting each others needs then this isn't even an issue.

This is the part that kills me she always says I know how important sex is to you...no, no you don't because you still don't initiate or give the slightest sign that you want to have sex with me.

Thank you!
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post #18 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 02:08 PM
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Re: Wife wants only affection and has zero desire for sex!

So, OP, it sounds like you've got a better handle on the problem, but none on trying solutions. Maybe trying solutions will rock the boat, and then what will you do?

Love is an ideal thing; marriage is a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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post #19 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 02:21 PM
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Re: Wife wants only affection and has zero desire for sex!

Once you do everything you can think of to be a more attractive partner (which will help you in the next phase whether she responds or not)... which includes getting in shape, not being passive-aggressive, getting your stuff done, being decisive, dressing well, being confident, and all that...

"Wife, I'm not prepared to stay in a sexless marriage for the rest of my life."

Then say nothing, go and walk away. Do not engage her further.

And what you do is you start to live like you're single. Except no dating or sex with anyone else. Just be gone, be free, be happy. Do what you would do if you had a room-mate, not a spouse.

Give her a few weeks or months to think about that and approach you on that topic.

If she doesn't, then talk to a lawyer and divorce her, or talk to her about you having sex with other people while staying married to her if that's an option for you.
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post #20 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 02:25 PM
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Re: Wife wants only affection and has zero desire for sex!

@ptomczyk11: She says, so if we never have sex you can't love me and be affectionate it with me. And that's not the case I still love her with all my heart.

Actually, she is correct and you are wrong. If you guys stay married but never have sex then yes, eventually you will stop loving her and you will in fact begin to hate her guts. So next time she says that, do not fight her. Instead say something like "well, that is not yet the case. I still love you today, which is why I am telling you how I feel and asking you to work with me to find a solution. But, eventually, if things continue on this way and we don't have enough sex, then yes I will eventually stop loving you. I don't want that to ever happen. Which is why I am here asking for your help to put us on a different path. Because the path we are on leads somewhere I never want to go."

Do not accept the underlying implication in her statement. She is implying that you would be bad or wrong or weak or stupid to stop loving her over sex. She wants you to feel ashamed to have a need for sex, or to allow your need for sex to interfere with your love for her. She wants you to feel ashamed for having a sex drive so she will not have to feel ashamed for utterly failing to uphold her end of the marital agreement. You both agree to remain monogamous. And you both agree to do your best to meet each other's sexual needs. That is the "deal" inherent in marriage, and she is failing to hold up her end. Do not fall for her trick. Tell her proudly and overtly "you are darn right that I have a sex drive and that my sex drive is important to me and sex is important to me. In fact, I am proud of my sex drive. I like sex. I enjoy having sex with my wife. I need sex to be happily married. If you are not prepared to help me satisfy my need for sex then you can expect my love for you to continuously erode until it is gone. Is that what you want?" She will rant and rave and accuse you of all manner of failings. Try not to laugh at her. Just remain silent and wait for her to finish yelling and ask if she is done. Then tell her "look, there is nothing that you can say that will get me to stop wanting to have sex with you or to eliminate the connection between the state of our sex life and the state of our marriage. If you want to be married to someone for whom there is no connection between sex and love then we better get divorced because I am never going to be that guy."

You might be afraid to do that. You may be tempted to say that might lead to the worst outcome imaginable - that she divorces you. Trust me, you would be wrong. The worst outcome is not divorce. The worst outcome is staying married to her and staying sexless.

When you can see it coming, duck!
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post #21 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 02:38 PM
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Re: Wife wants only affection and has zero desire for sex!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptomczyk11 View Post
Thanks for all the replies!


================================================

@Young at Heart Yes, what Michele Weiner-Davis says in the video resonates with me exactly. It's so crazy how she nails exactly how I feel about this whole sex situation.

@Holdingontoit Regarding your rule # 1, this was never an issue at the beginning of our relationship; it kind of sneaked in the back door as time went on.

@intheory Yeah, I'm not worried about her finding other actors attractive but the part that bothers me is that this lead into a discussion of how often she masturbates and she tells me that she does masturbate which shocked the hell out of me. I'm like, you know how important sex is to me and you are masturbating instead of trying to have sex with me? And she's like well sometimes I do it because it's just easier and faster.

================================================

It's just so hard to get her to understand how important intimacy/sex is to me. I've told her in the past that sex is not just sex, it's a lot more important to me because when we don't have sex it just makes me feel distant and not as close to her anymore. I try to explain it to her by saying it's probably exactly like how you feel if you don't get any affection.

She goes on to say well it's a lot easier for you to show me affection than it is for us to have sex, basically saying it takes a lot more work to have sex than to give her a hug/kiss. And I'm like, of course it's easier than hugs/kisses but that's not what it should be about; it's about me being unhappy and feeling like a roommate to you instead of being a lover/husband for you.

And exactly how Michele Weiner-Davis says in her video; by her never wanting to be intimate with me it doesn't make me want to be affectionate with her because I feel so distant from her.

She goes on to say that it's not just me, all of my friends and most girls feel the same way about sex. And again, I'm like I know this is not a problem unique to only us, hence TAM forum, but I'm not concerned with how your friends handle sex with their husbands or how other girls feel...I'm trying to tell you what makes me happy.

Last discussion we had, she goes on to say I'm trying to be a good wife for you; I cook dinner, do the laundry, tell you how handsome you are, buy you gifts, tell you how much I appreciate everything you do...I've done everything except strip down naked and jump your bones but you still seem annoyed/distant with me.

I didn't want to bring up the sex again because we have had the same talk before so I just kept my mouth shut, but in my head when she said "I've done everything for you except strip down naked and jump your bones" I just wanted to scream!!! It's so frustrating to hear that from her; I don't care about the other things if she would have just done that 1 thing it would have made me the happiest husband in the world and would have brought me so much closer to her in terms of affection.

She says, so if we never have sex you can't love me and be affectionate it with me. And that's not the case I still love her with all my heart; but exactly how "Michele Weiner-Davis" describes it; knowing my wife doesn't crave sex with me does hurt and makes me feel distant. I have asked her the same thing in the past, if I showed you ZERO affection would you still be happy and want to be with me, and she has said NO I wouldn't be happy and able to be with you because there would be a void that I would constantly feel.

I feel like when it comes to "sex" there is never a "light bulb moment" in her head...so your "affectionate" needs are more important than my "sexual" needs?

I feel "affection (hugs/kisses)" and "intimacy (sex)" should always be both equally important; one should not be more important than the other. It's not about one being easier to perform than the other; I feel both play very important roles to the importance of a happy marriage. I know stress, jobs, everyday life, etc. can effect all aspects of a relationship but I feel like no matter how hard or not in the mood you're in that we should always make it a priority to meet each other's "affectionate" and "intimate" needs.

So going back when she says "so if we never have sex you can't love me and be affectionate it with me", I don't think it should ever even get to this point. If we are meeting each others needs then this isn't even an issue.

This is the part that kills me she always says I know how important sex is to you...no, no you don't because you still don't initiate or give the slightest sign that you want to have sex with me.

Thank you!
Dude, you blew your opportunity. when she made the comment about stripping naked you should have jumped all over that. Staying quiet reinforced to her that her need for affection was more important for your need for sex.

You needed to tell her that yes that is exactly what I need from you. I can do all of those other things for my self. I know you do them lovingly and I appreciate that but they mean little compared to me compared to a loving passionate physically fulfilling sex life.

Then explain to her that if she can't live in an unaffectionate marriage why would she expect you to live an a sexless marriage. Explain that sharing all that affection with her just makes your desire for a sexual relationship greater. To you love affection and sex are all intertwined into one feeling. Remove one part and the whole thing will unravel.
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post #22 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 02:47 PM
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Re: Wife wants only affection and has zero desire for sex!

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Originally Posted by ptomczyk11 View Post
Last discussion we had, she goes on to say I'm trying to be a good wife for you; I cook dinner, do the laundry, tell you how handsome you are, buy you gifts, tell you how much I appreciate everything you do...I've done everything except strip down naked and jump your bones but you still seem annoyed/distant with me.

I didn't want to bring up the sex again because we have had the same talk before so I just kept my mouth shut, but in my head when she said "I've done everything for you except strip down naked and jump your bones" I just wanted to scream!!! It's so frustrating to hear that from her; I don't care about the other things if she would have just done that 1 thing it would have made me the happiest husband in the world and would have brought me so much closer to her in terms of affection.
Maybe you could hear what she is telling you. She's concluded that NOTHING she does as a wife matters in the least bit to you, just sex.

She's not feeling loved and isn't getting emotional intimacy from sex. And, it's possible she isn't getting anything from it physically, either, like orgasms. So she has little interest in "doing it for you" because she doesn't feel that you appreciate anything else she does for you as a wife.

WHEN did that start happening? How long have you been married? How old are you two? Do you have kids? Have you slacked off on the dating aspect? Are you, and have you, behaved like a romantic dating partner during your marriage?

Lots of people giving advice, but you haven't given much to go on about the state of your marriage and how it got there. You just keep talking about sex. And that's how it comes across to her - you just care about sex, not her.

.
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post #23 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife wants only affection and has zero desire for sex!

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@ptomczyk11:
Do not accept the underlying implication in her statement. She is implying that you would be bad or wrong or weak or stupid to stop loving her over sex. She wants you to feel ashamed to have a need for sex, or to allow your need for sex to interfere with your love for her. She wants you to feel ashamed for having a sex drive so she will not have to feel ashamed for utterly failing to uphold her end of the marital agreement. You both agree to remain monogamous. And you both agree to do your best to meet each other's sexual needs. That is the "deal" inherent in marriage, and she is failing to hold up her end. Do not fall for her trick.
@Holdingontoit Great point above, this is "exactly" how I feel lately when I bring up sex. Obviously, this isn't the first time I've said something to her about "how important sex is to me" but the way you described it above is exactly how I feel once she is done speaking her peace. She makes me feel like I'm a bad husband because I enjoy and want to have as much sex as possible with my wife.

She has said I know guys need sex more than girls and if they don't get it that can lead them to cheating. The part that kills me is she is smart and she is fully aware of how important sex is to me, but she doesn't do anything different. It's always me buying her flowers, writing cute/loving notes, etc. trying to be affectionate with her; hoping that she will eventually put my needs first and be more intimate but that day never comes...it's like she just keeps dismissing it.

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Dude, you blew your opportunity. when she made the comment about stripping naked you should have jumped all over that. Staying quiet reinforced to her that her need for affection was more important for your need for sex.

You needed to tell her that yes that is exactly what I need from you. I can do all of those other things for my self. I know you do them lovingly and I appreciate that but they mean little compared to me compared to a loving passionate physically fulfilling sex life.

Then explain to her that if she can't live in an unaffectionate marriage why would she expect you to live an a sexless marriage. Explain that sharing all that affection with her just makes your desire for a sexual relationship greater. To you love affection and sex are all intertwined into one feeling. Remove one part and the whole thing will unravel.
@Always Learning Yes, you're right I have to stop letting her make me think that I'm the bad guy because I just enjoy having sex with my wife. I need to start saying that "yes, my love will fade from you if we are not having sex because your love would too if you were not getting any affection".

She has also said to me is, you don't require much as long as I give you sex you are happy. I'm like yes, that intimate bond I have with my wife is one of my biggest requirements; besides that I'm a very easy laid back guy; so it's hard for me that she says & knows exactly what I need but still does nothing.
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post #24 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 03:08 PM
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Re: Wife wants only affection and has zero desire for sex!

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1. Women: Do you sexually desire your husbands? Do you ever initiate sex with your husband?
Yes I sexually desire my husband. Does it mean that kissing and cuddling put sex on my mind? Not usually. Does it mean that I think about sex a lot? Far less than he thinks about sex. Yes, I do initiate sex with my husband, but it wasn't always like that. That came over time as I grew more confident sexually.

If your wife's issue is because she feels depressed when she feels fat, then I can give you some perspective on that. My self esteem and my body image were rock bottom when I met my husband. When I did feel sexual desires, masturbation seemed safer and less scary because I didn't have to see myself, or think about how someone else is looking at me. If I did have to see myself or think about how I must be looking to him then it would kill my libido in the moment. But those basic sexual desires are still there, as evidenced by the desire to masturbate.

Your wife may have this kind of a mental block. If she is able to get depressed over feeling fat (as I can too), then I bet she can become instantly turned off by seeing herself or having to be intimate with you (because of her negative view of herself, not because of you). Ask her questions more along this line and about her past sexual experiences (if any) to find out whether this problem is truly because of her negative self image or if she actually doesn't want sex with you in particular.

That being said, if her problem is her body image she still has to be willing to acknowledge that she is causing a problem, that sex is important in a marriage, and should be open to working on it. She also needs to have a basic concern for your happiness and satisfaction.

I had a lot of mental blocks around sex, but I knew I had a problem, I knew sex was important in a marriage, I was open to my husband's suggestions and I cared about how he felt. We have a great sex life, my mental block is gone, and I have an improved self image.

Ask more questions, like why exactly is masturbating easier and faster? Why do you like hugs better? Is it because you don't have to look at your body and you are repulsed by your body? Does your own body turn you off from sex?

"Show forgiveness, enjoin kindness, and avoid ignorance"
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post #25 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 03:22 PM
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Re: Wife wants only affection and has zero desire for sex!

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My wife is big on affection, she loves to cuddle, hug, kiss, etc.
It sounds like non-sexual intimacy is one of her needs. If she can't meet your need, you shouldn't meet her needs.

And you don't want "sex". Would you accept corpse or starfish sex from her? No you wouldn't. You want "an intimate, fulfilling sexual relationship" with her... the counterpart to monogamy. You can't have one without the other.
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post #26 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 03:31 PM
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I was once in a relationship where it was "easier" to masturbate than have sex with my partner. It was easier and more satisfying because I was not enjoying the sex, and was not satisfied afterward. In a relationship with good sex, I'd much rather do him than myself.

This may not apply to you, but it jumped out at me from your description of her thoughts on masturbation. Give it some thought.
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post #27 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife wants only affection and has zero desire for sex!

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It sounds like non-sexual intimacy is one of her needs. If she can't meet your need, you shouldn't meet her needs.

And you don't want "sex". Would you accept corpse or starfish sex from her? No you wouldn't. You want "an intimate, fulfilling sexual relationship" with her... the counterpart to monogamy. You can't have one without the other.
@Chris Taylor Yes, exactly. In the past, when I was always initiating sex there would be times where she would say "do we have to, can't we just cuddle on the couch", and that already would start getting under my skin because then I would say "forget it" and she would be like "no, no we can do it".

But going back to your reply, it isn't just about the "sex", it's more important to me knowing that she enjoys it and wants it as well and doesn't make it feel like I'm bothering her or it's a chore to her.
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post #28 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 04:29 PM
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Re: Wife wants only affection and has zero desire for sex!

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Originally Posted by ptomczyk11 View Post
Outside Perspective:

1. Women: Do you sexually desire your husbands? Do you ever initiate sex with your husband?

2. Men: Does you wife find you sexually desirable? Does she often initiate sex with you?

Keep in mind that what and how you find your wife desirable, such as a sexy figure and long hair, may not translate into her vocabulary of sexuality. So if you ask is my body sexy and do you like my hair, she may very well think to herself, "not really" and conclude that she just does not lust for you. You get your feelings hurt.

You have to find out what things are in her sexual vocabulary that turn her onto you. It could be things like the way you smell after you shower and put on some cologne, or when someone in the family tries to humiliate her but you stand up for her honor. In contrast if your wife rained down hell on your dad for talking sh!t about you, you'd probably get upset and have to explain to her that men kind of enjoy hazing each other as a way to bond and her reacting that way just made you look like a püssy. Then she gets her feelings hurt thinking you do not want her to care about you getting ridiculed.

So the PERSPECTIVE and CONTEXT is what you need to think about when it comes to you wife being turned onto you. Male and female sexuality, while similar, function in context with the sexual languages that have been taught to them. Men and women that grow up in the same family are often taught different languages from their parents, as is obvious by visiting the toy isle in any store. Boys grow up playing with boy stuff and girls grow up playing with girl stuff, and it shapes their personalities and sexuality in fairly profound ways.

Regards,
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post #29 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 04:53 PM
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Re: Wife wants only affection and has zero desire for sex!

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@Holdingontoit Great point above, this is "exactly" how I feel lately when I bring up sex. Obviously, this isn't the first time I've said something to her about "how important sex is to me" but the way you described it above is exactly how I feel once she is done speaking her peace. She makes me feel like I'm a bad husband because I enjoy and want to have as much sex as possible with my wife.

She has said I know guys need sex more than girls and if they don't get it that can lead them to cheating. The part that kills me is she is smart and she is fully aware of how important sex is to me, but she doesn't do anything different. It's always me buying her flowers, writing cute/loving notes, etc. trying to be affectionate with her; hoping that she will eventually put my needs first and be more intimate but that day never comes...it's like she just keeps dismissing it.



@Always Learning Yes, you're right I have to stop letting her make me think that I'm the bad guy because I just enjoy having sex with my wife. I need to start saying that "yes, my love will fade from you if we are not having sex because your love would too if you were not getting any affection".

She has also said to me is, you don't require much as long as I give you sex you are happy. I'm like yes, that intimate bond I have with my wife is one of my biggest requirements; besides that I'm a very easy laid back guy; so it's hard for me that she says & knows exactly what I need but still does nothing.
Don't let her separate sex from your emotional needs. It looks like she does not make an emotional connection with sex. Keep reinforcing that it is not just sex you want with HER. If sex was all you were after you would have likely left when it stopped. The proof that it is the main way you make your connection with HER is that you are still there trying.

You should look into doing the 5 Love languages test with and look into the book, His needs Her Needs. Do this to show her that you are different than her and your need to feel loved and sexually desired is real and should be as important to her as her need for affection is to you.
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post #30 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 04:58 PM
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Re: Wife wants only affection and has zero desire for sex!

You are talking past each other. You both need to work though the book Five Love Languages. She is talking in her Love Language of Acts of Services. She does all these things that would make her feel loved. Then she gets angry and frustrated when they do not cause you to feel loved. In response, you ask her to do the things that would help you feel loved (Sex), and she replies "why would I do any of that crap when I could give you the Acts of Service that are so much more valuable?"

And the common analogy to use when she says you ONLY want sex is: it is like air. When there is enough available you don't think much about it. When you aren't getting enough, it is all you think about. It is not the only thing I want from you. But when I am not getting enough it is hard to notice anything else. Help me get enough that we can focus more time and attention on other things.

When you can see it coming, duck!
Holdingontoit is offline  
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