I Need Help to Save My Relationship
This is my first post, and my first attempt at seeking advice/help for my current problems. For some background, I am 30 years old and my wife is 27, we've been together about 9 years and have been married for 4. We met when we were teenagers and I was always scared to talk to my wife as I viewed her as amazingly beautiful (I had very low self esteem and was about 300 lbs at the time). A few years later we began talking and hanging out, and it didn't take long for me to fall in love with her. At that time, I was 22 or so and had dropped out of school, was working a dead end job and would drink and smoke cigarettes and pot pretty much daily. As we grew closer, I felt inspired to do something better with myself. I guess I thought I needed to be worthy of her affection (although the only thing she ever talked about being concerned with was smoking cigarettes). I started working out 5-6 days a week, following a strict diet, quit smoking, and only drank socially and stopped over doing it. I lost nearly 100 lbs and enrolled in school again on my way to 2 degrees and am now almost finished earning a doctorate. My love for her basically inspired me to be a better human, and I feel so proud to be her husband and to be a father.
Like all relationships, we've had our fights over the years. At one point in time about 7 years ago, being the immature person that I can be when I'm upset, I decided that whenever we had an argument of some kind, I wouldn't have sex with my wife the next time she tried to initiate it, (at the time, we would have sex AT LEAST once a day). However, this lead to more problems in our sex life. At first, this was maybe once or twice a month, but my wife is a very sexual person and I didn't know it at the time, but me blowing her off when she would try and initiate sex hurt her very much. Arguments became more frequent as she would ask why I wouldn't have sex with her as often and I would just say "i'm tired" or "I don't know". She became suspicious of me thinking that something must be going on, and I did not want to tell her "oh, it's because you made me mad on this day". At this point, I saw what I had done and wanted to correct it, I would initiate more often and would always go along when she did. But I found that I had put some kind of pressure on myself and now would sometimes be awkward or forced or would have really delayed orgasms. This of course made things worse, and while every other aspect of our relationship was great, our sex life continued to suffer. I was/am so scared that if she knew how this began I would lose her but I wish I would have talked with her about it now.
As I progressed through school, we had 2 children and I continued to work as well in order to provide for my family. But as school got harder, I began feeling more and more exhausted, and our sex life got worse. I would look at my wife and would feel aroused or she would try and initiate sex, but constantly in the back of my mind was "if you don't go to sleep, you only have 7 hours til school, and then an 8 hour work day, its ok this once" or "I have an exam tomorrow, i need rest". Always some excuse in my mind I suppose. This got worse and worse, and I'm now at the point where I feel I have absolutely no energy at all despite how much rest I'm able to get. I'll be up at 7 with my kids, then go to class or work and come home and study until 11 or 12. When we go to bed, I pretty much never initiate sex and when my wife tries, I rarely go along. Not that I'm not aroused, I'll usually have an erection as soon as she touches me, but I'll just let my self keep falling asleep. (at this point we're now having sex maybe twice a month). A few months ago we had a huge fight about it and it was the first time I realized just how much not having sex has hurt her. I thought that since I was doing ok without it that she was too. But after that fight, I realized how much it has affected me too. I miss the closeness that comes with it, and I no longer take care of myself to the point where I've gained about 40 lbs (and she is still attracted to me somehow), I don't feel like I have any energy whatsoever. Since the fight I've been trying to touch her and let her know I love her, and devote more time to her. We have had somewhat erratic sex with a slight increase in frequency. When my daughter turned 5 she started sleeping in our bed for some reason, so when we do have sex its on the couch, the living room floor, master closet etc. Not as intimate as either of us would like. During this time since the fight my grades have suffered quite badly, to the point where I've gone from a straight A student to wondering if I'll even be allowed to the next semester. I have an exam tomorrow and have been studying ~5 hours per day for it.
Last night we had another big fight. It is Monday now, on Friday my wife participated in a fundraiser for the local children's cancer center, and after went out with the other girls that were a part of it. I have trouble sleeping when she's gone and was half asleep when she got home (about 2AM) and could tell she wanted to have sex but I was so exhausted I just went to sleep. Saturday she had a photo shoot (she is a part time model!!!) and got home around midnight, and again I could tell she wanted to have sex but we didn't. Last night I finished studying about 12 and she said wanted to talk, in my head I though "I just want to go to bed, I'm so f*cking tired" I looked at my phone to check the time and sighed. I didn't even notice that I did it at the time, but looking back it was super rude. Of course, this hurt her feelings, and today she told me she's tired of the way things have been in our sex life. She said she doesn't feel like I love her or want her, and she feels ugly and sad and she doesn't want to be here. I told her I try, but she said my words don't mean anything if my actions don't match. I know this problem is my fault, and I'd do anything keep her from going. I do not want to lose my wife. She is the world to me and inspires me in everything that I do. I just feel so exhausted all the time, but I feel that is not fair to her. Please, any advice would be greatly appreciated.