Intimacy and Resentment - Page 3 - 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 #31 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 12:38 PM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

AW, from the way you wrote, you did start by having a sexual relationship with your wife that you were happy with. Does she acknowledge that her sex drive is lower than what it was before? It sounds to me like you and your wife could benefit from marriage counselling - if only to help you to address difficult issues without one of you becoming defensive.

At a practical level - three things come to mind that impacted significantly on my desire to have sex in the early years of my marriage. (These were all temporary and/or easily addressed, and we have gone on to enjoy a well-matched and suitably enthusiastic sex life ....)

1. Birth control - what is your wife using? Certain oral contraceptives can have a significant impact on sex drive. The impact for me is so significant that if I take them, then I become almost completely disinterested. Just a comment here - the absence of desire (and any causal relationships) are not always as objectively obvious to the woman as you might think. It took me several months to figure out what my problem was (and it wasn't until I spoke to someone with similar issues, that I did). If your wife can see that her sex drive has decreased, perhaps she could talk to her gynae/GP about this being a possibility and whether it might be worth looking at other options?

2. In my experience, any kind of outside stress can be a HUGE factor. The most effective form of birth control I have ever encountered was undertaking home renovations. We went from a respectable 3-5 times a week to probably less than twice a month ... for most of the 8 months of the project. It did affect both of us, but it definitely impacted on me a lot more. Again, because it may seem as though the overall stress impact is being managed overtly, it isn't always that easy to notice a causal relationship with one's own sex drive. If you go away, or are on holiday, does your sex life improve significantly?

3. Pregnancy concerns - If you are not actually trying to have baby, then it may be that she has concerns (even subconsciously) that she might fall pregnant, when neither of you are ready for that yet. If as relatively "new" newlyweds you are getting the "When" question from others family and friends, then this is probably not helping either. And I will say that, in my experience, worries about pregnancy affect one's entire sex drive, not just the penetrative part. So, suggesting part/alternative delivery - whilst it appears to be a logical solution, isn't necessarily going to solve the problem.

My suggestion would be to talk to your wife, not as much about how her refusing you sex makes you feel (because guilt is not necessarily a good way to start this conversation), but more about how you just don't have as much as you used to. And that you miss that. And to continue working on meeting her emotional needs. (It took me a long time to understand the incredibly negative effect that refusing my husband sex was having on him and our relationship. Maybe some people find it easy to see beyond "I don't feel like it" to "But I can want it, if I focus on the man I love" to the bliss that lies at the end. Sadly, I took longer.)

I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more. ― C.S. Lewis

FINE PRINT: My post is simply my own opinion (unless indicated otherwise). Which I believe I am entitled to express, as best as I can.
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post #32 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 12:39 PM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

Just for clarity, OP, how often would you prefer to be intimate with your wife? How often are you two actually having sex?

Has sexual frequency changed markedly from pre-marriage levels? Or was this an issue during the 4 years you dated before marrying?

You'll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly upon our own point of view. - Obi Wan Kenobi
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post #33 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 12:51 PM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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Originally Posted by RideofmyLife View Post
You may benefit from reading No More Mr Nice Guy by Robert Glover. It's a quick read and free online.
Someone who tells you flat in your face to get the 24 volt Fleshlight instead of the 12 volt one isn't going to be convinced via a DIY pop psychology book...

2 years into a marriage especially...
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post #34 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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Just for clarity, OP, how often would you prefer to be intimate with your wife? How often are you two actually having sex?

Has sexual frequency changed markedly from pre-marriage levels? Or was this an issue during the 4 years you dated before marrying?
In terms of frequency, it's hard to think of an upper limit, lol. I suppose I'd prefer sex daily--not necessarily intercourse, but some type of manual/oral would be great too.

In reality, we have intercourse weekly or bi-weekly, depending on what's going on. She will "take care of me" in other ways maybe once a month.

During the first 6 months, the frequency was off the charts. We had lots of sex. I'll leave it at that. After that, we sort of worked into the current pattern. So yes, this was an issue during pre-marriage, although I mostly tried to ignore it/convince myself it was fine.
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post #35 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 12:53 PM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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Accept it or find someone else... That's some cold logic. I'm still banking on getting through to her, but I hear your point.
Unfortunately, it may take this for her to lay down the defensiveness.

People rarely change unless the pain of change is less than the pain of staying the same.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #36 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 12:57 PM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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Originally Posted by astral.wheats View Post
In terms of frequency, it's hard to think of an upper limit, lol. I suppose I'd prefer sex daily--not necessarily intercourse, but some type of manual/oral would be great too.

In reality, we have intercourse weekly or bi-weekly, depending on what's going on. She will "take care of me" in other ways maybe once a month.

During the first 6 months, the frequency was off the charts. We had lots of sex. I'll leave it at that. After that, we sort of worked into the current pattern. So yes, this was an issue during pre-marriage, although I mostly tried to ignore it/convince myself it was fine.
You were probably giving her plenty of undivided attention during those first 6 months too. You can get the passion back. I'd start with the 15 hours a week. Do it consistently and she will feel emotionally connected to you enough to desire sex. If you want sex daily, ask yourself if that's reasonable. Can you pull off a 2-4 hour date every day? If not, chances are she's not going to desire you on a daily basis. If you can commit to dating her (outside of the house, focused on her, meeting her needs for affection, conversation, and companionship) 4xs a week, I'll bet you will see an increase in her desire for you. Think of it this way- every time you want sex, take her on a date first. Realize that this is what most women need to feel desire.
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post #37 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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Originally Posted by Mizzbak View Post
AW, from the way you wrote, you did start by having a sexual relationship with your wife that you were happy with. Does she acknowledge that her sex drive is lower than what it was before? It sounds to me like you and your wife could benefit from marriage counselling - if only to help you to address difficult issues without one of you becoming defensive.

At a practical level - three things come to mind that impacted significantly on my desire to have sex in the early years of my marriage. (These were all temporary and/or easily addressed, and we have gone on to enjoy a well-matched and suitably enthusiastic sex life ....)

1. Birth control - what is your wife using? Certain oral contraceptives can have a significant impact on sex drive. The impact for me is so significant that if I take them, then I become almost completely disinterested. Just a comment here - the absence of desire (and any causal relationships) are not always as objectively obvious to the woman as you might think. It took me several months to figure out what my problem was (and it wasn't until I spoke to someone with similar issues, that I did). If your wife can see that her sex drive has decreased, perhaps she could talk to her gynae/GP about this being a possibility and whether it might be worth looking at other options?

2. In my experience, any kind of outside stress can be a HUGE factor. The most effective form of birth control I have ever encountered was undertaking home renovations. We went from a respectable 3-5 times a week to probably less than twice a month ... for most of the 8 months of the project. It did affect both of us, but it definitely impacted on me a lot more. Again, because it may seem as though the overall stress impact is being managed overtly, it isn't always that easy to notice a causal relationship with one's own sex drive. If you go away, or are on holiday, does your sex life improve significantly?

3. Pregnancy concerns - If you are not actually trying to have baby, then it may be that she has concerns (even subconsciously) that she might fall pregnant, when neither of you are ready for that yet. If as relatively "new" newlyweds you are getting the "When" question from others family and friends, then this is probably not helping either. And I will say that, in my experience, worries about pregnancy affect one's entire sex drive, not just the penetrative part. So, suggesting part/alternative delivery - whilst it appears to be a logical solution, isn't necessarily going to solve the problem.

My suggestion would be to talk to your wife, not as much about how her refusing you sex makes you feel (because guilt is not necessarily a good way to start this conversation), but more about how you just don't have as much as you used to. And that you miss that. And to continue working on meeting her emotional needs. (It took me a long time to understand the incredibly negative effect that refusing my husband sex was having on him and our relationship. Maybe some people find it easy to see beyond "I don't feel like it" to "But I can want it, if I focus on the man I love" to the bliss that lies at the end. Sadly, I took longer.)
Yes, wife is on oral contraceptive, so maybe she can think of another method. She already has done research about its effect on libido, but hasn't followed up. Stress is also huge. I'm finishing a PhD, and she's worried perennially about job security. Both of us could do some work on stress management (but for me that's one benefit of sex! Haha). Soon, I'll be in France for a couple weeks on a fellowship, so we'll see if the pattern 'fluctuates' when I return. Hadn't thought of the pregnancy concern, but I suppose that's possible. She's expressed worries about pregnancy before, so maybe it is messing with her sex drive.

I agree that we need to have some honest conversation. I'm going to try to do this as soon as I can.
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post #38 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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You were probably giving her plenty of undivided attention during those first 6 months too. You can get the passion back. I'd start with the 15 hours a week. Do it consistently and she will feel emotionally connected to you enough to desire sex. If you want sex daily, ask yourself if that's reasonable. Can you pull off a 2-4 hour date every day? If not, chances are she's not going to desire you on a daily basis. If you can commit to dating her (outside of the house, focused on her, meeting her needs for affection, conversation, and companionship) 4xs a week, I'll bet you will see an increase in her desire for you. Think of it this way- every time you want sex, take her on a date first. Realize that this is what most women need to feel desire.

2-4 hours of daily dating is probably unrealistic for both of us, which is why I'm fine with a bit of compromise. But definitely something to aspire to!
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post #39 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 01:28 PM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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I need to figure out her intimacy needs a little better.
You might want to start with something easier like first figuring out if dark energy is a pure cosmological constant or are models of quintessence such as phantom energy applicable?

Just a little humor.

Last edited by Steve1000; 05-18-2017 at 01:55 PM.
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post #40 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 01:35 PM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

Astral,

After maybe - what - one year or two the passion left. But then at year four - you married A2. By marrying her - you sent a clear and convincing message that you not only tolerated her treatment of you, but you WANTED a lifetime of it.

So now - you are thinking - if she only wants to have intercourse once every week or two - the answer is for her to just pleasure you in between. Not going to happen.

You want to have passion - you need to create it. And you are meeting all her needs except her need for excitement.

I bet you worry about how she reacts to everything and she doesn't worry at all how you react to anything.



Aside from the earliest stages of our relationship, I haven't felt like my needs for sexual intimacy have been prioritized enough in the relationship. I feel like I am fully committed, and do a lot to make sure she feels loved in the way she needs. It doesn't seem fully reciprocal, from my perspective, and this has led to a lot of pain and a build-up of resentment. Psychologically, my habit is to defer to others and avoid conflict, which has made this a sticky situation to work through. Regardless, I'm beginning to understand that I need to assert myself and advocate better for my needs in the relationship.



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Accept it or find someone else... That's some cold logic. I'm still banking on getting through to her, but I hear your point.
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post #41 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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You might want to start with something easier like first figuring out if dark energy is a pure cosmological constant or are models of quintessence such as phantom energy applicable?

Just a little humor, but I'm only 1/2 joking.
You clever beast. That is a certified zinger.
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post #42 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 01:37 PM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

It may work and is worth a try, but in many cases like this, nothing will change here desire.

30 years of trying and I am convinced that there is nothing I can do that will result in my wife wanting sex more than about every other week.

In real life of course, if both people work 2-4 hours every other day may simply not be possible depending on what chores have to be done.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica38 View Post
You were probably giving her plenty of undivided attention during those first 6 months too. You can get the passion back. I'd start with the 15 hours a week. Do it consistently and she will feel emotionally connected to you enough to desire sex. If you want sex daily, ask yourself if that's reasonable. Can you pull off a 2-4 hour date every day? If not, chances are she's not going to desire you on a daily basis. If you can commit to dating her (outside of the house, focused on her, meeting her needs for affection, conversation, and companionship) 4xs a week, I'll bet you will see an increase in her desire for you. Think of it this way- every time you want sex, take her on a date first. Realize that this is what most women need to feel desire.
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post #43 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 01:37 PM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

Withhold cuddling and conversation, and see how long it takes to get her attention. Maybe if you do, she'll understand why sexual intimacy is important to you. Right now, only her opinion matters to her, and what you need simply doesn't matter to her. Yes, your resentment will grow unless this is dealt with soon and decisively - otherwise, in a few years you'll be filing for divorce, or living in a miserable, sexless marriage.

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

CELIBACY IS NOT HEREDITARY.
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post #44 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 01:38 PM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

Ignore, my post was posted twice.
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post #45 of 147 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 01:39 PM
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Re: Intimacy and Resentment

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Someone who tells you flat in your face to get the 24 volt Fleshlight instead of the 12 volt one isn't going to be convinced via a DIY pop psychology book...

2 years into a marriage especially...
It's actually an excellent book. Have you read it?
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