Originally Posted by IND Average Guy View Post
I'm a husband in my 40s, who has been happily married for 22 years. We have two teenage kids, with one leaving the nest for college this year......
....For the last 5-10 years, any sexual experiences have been very few and far between. I would say that we average once every few months. I really try to not let it bother me, but lately it's been nagging at me, and has me down in the dumps. Perhaps I'm going through a mid-life crisis. It's not that we aren't intimate at all. We hug and kiss every day, and often hold hands. She has a stressful job, that can sometimes extend into the evening, and requires travel most every month. I often give her body massages before bedtime, as I know she gets tense and stressed due to work and kids issues. The massages used to lead to sex, but she is normally too tired for it anymore. She has always had an issue with her weight, but it's never bothered me, as I still find her very attractive.
....the subject of her weight is almost taboo, and can really cause her to be hurt and upset.....
.....I just wish that there was something that I could do without making it an issue with her, and potentially hurting her feelings. I would really appreciate any thoughts and/or suggestions that someone may have who has faced these issues.
Been there done that. First congratulations on your weight loss.
First, look in the mirror and say the following words. "I am in a Sex Starved Marriage."
Second, get the books MW Davis, The Sex Starved Marriage, Glover's No More Mr. Nice Guy, and Chapman's the 5 Languages of Love. Read them study them, compare the advise and examples in them to your situation with your wife. Those three books (plus a few more) along with a great sex therapist helped save my marriage.
Third, if your wife is unhappy with her weight, it will make her feel less sexy regardless of how much you tell her she is sexy to you.
Fourth, you can not and should not try to change your wife or force her to do things she doesn't want. You can inspire her, you can reward positive behavior to reinforce change, you can change how your react to the way she treats you , and you can talk to her. You need to understand that she is not "broken," "damaged" or in need of "fixing." The two of you have just drifted apart in terms of sexual frequency and need to negotiate a new compromise that will work for both of you.
Finally, you and your wife can go to a sex therapist. There are marriage counselors who have extra training in sexual problems and dysfunction.
I would like to digress and try to explain what I think Bad Santa was trying to explain (at least from what worked for me.) In Chapmans the 5 Languages of Love, everyone has a primary and secondary love language. It is the way that a person communicates how they love their spouse. I am a touch and words of affirmation guy. When my wife and I drifted apart and I wanted to tell her how much I loved her, I would put my hands on her shoulders, give her a massage, hold her hand, hug her, etc. My wife interpreted that as constantly pawing at her to get sex. When I praised her, my wife felt I was buttering her up to get in her pants. I was just trying to express to her in a non-sexual way how much I loved her. Your massages, hand holding, etc. may have become counter-productive.
Instead to feel loved my wife needed quality time and acts of service with an occasional present. Once I figured out rituals to do that my wife felt very loved and started to be receptive to working with the sex therapist on reestablishing sexual relations with me. Your mileage may differ.
What I took Bad Santa as saying is that you need to observe how your wife communicates her love to you. To do that you need to watch and understand what she is doing. For my wife, cooking a hot dinner was a way of saying I love you. After I figured that out, I brought her coffee in bed in the morning as a act of service to start her day feeling loved. I also became her sous chef and dish washer at dinner, so she had the extra time and energy to create more elaborate dinner meals and feel she expressed her love even more so.
Now before, I leave this topic I want to issue a big warning. In Glover's book NMMNG he warns about how covert contracts poison a relationship. A covert contract is where you massage your wife's back and expect that she will fulfill her half of the contract you are trying to impose on her which is to have sex with you. Unfortunately, she hasn't bought into your covert contract and like wouldn't even if you discussed it explicitly. When I bring my wife coffee in bed in the morning there is absolutely no expectation on my part that I have created any kind of quid pro quo for sex.
Good luck and yes, seek the help of a sex therapist.