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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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  • 1 Post By Anon1111
  • 2 Post By Hicks
  • 1 Post By PHTlump
  • 2 Post By GettingIt
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default At Impasse

Well, off and on TAM for past year or so. Site is immensely helpful to help understand I am not alone.

Brief catch-up on story. Married 20 years, both 45. Three teenage kids who are wonderful.

Over the years lost appreciation and respect for each other and did not do well to meet each other's needs.

Have been in MC for nearly two years. Been very helpful to understand each other better, communicate better, understand what we have done to contribute to situation.

At present, friends working towards common goals and raising the children to be as happy as we can.

Our impasse------physical intimacy. I do not need quantity --- once every 7-10 days would work. What I have always loved is bringing my wife to orgasm. To know that I am responsible for bringing her the kind of pleasure only I can bring her. This makes me feel so connected and special to/for her.

For her, she just cannot enjoy / tolerate sex with me. She says she has a physical reaction that triggers anxiety. She says it is from all the years of me "expecting" sex and perceiving that is all I wanted from her. Not true, but does not matter. She is where she is. About once every two weeks, we have "pity" sex where she begrudgling takes care of me physically. Very mechanical, no interest, no pleasure. MC continues to tell me to be patient and work on the other aspects. I AM TRYING!

I had bad episode last night and told her I could not do it anymore and that I was going to move out. I have no intentions to do so as I could not tolerate life without my kids. I did not express my feelings well, and ultimately did apologize. That said, I just can't go on desiring the woman I love but always getting rejected.

She wants to continue MC - I will. But, I am not hopeful it will help. And, more importantly, I have no idea how to react in a productive / positive way when that feeling comes like a freight train every week or two.

HELP PLEASE!!!
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: At Impasse

I am in a similar situation. About 10 years younger, younger kids. Marriage counseling for 16 months, everything improved but the sex (which actually got worse). Got fed up and stopped the counseling for a few months, now thinking about re-starting.

I understand completely the feeling of trying so hard and then getting overwhelmed by the rejection every so often and feeling like the only way to change things is to leave.

What I try to do these days is to have zero expectations for sex and to focus on making my life enjoyable outside of my relationship. I treat myself to stuff and indulge myself in things that interest me without asking my wife's permission. It does not replace a sexual relationship, but it gives me things to look forward to/be happy about. If you are not already doing the same, I'd suggest finding something along those lines and treating yourself well in that arena.
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: At Impasse

All the mc in the world will not fix your marriage if your wife allows the past to affect the present in this way. Does the mc have strategies for your wife to replace her marriage harming past oriented thought tapes with something productive and future oriented?
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: At Impasse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
All the mc in the world will not fix your marriage if your wife allows the past to affect the present in this way. Does the mc have strategies for your wife to replace her marriage harming past oriented thought tapes with something productive and future oriented?
Why keep on wasting money on the mc just my opinion.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: At Impasse

Quote:
Originally Posted by dignityinshambles View Post
For her, she just cannot enjoy / tolerate sex with me. She says she has a physical reaction that triggers anxiety. She says it is from all the years of me "expecting" sex and perceiving that is all I wanted from her. Not true, but does not matter. She is where she is. About once every two weeks, we have "pity" sex where she begrudgling takes care of me physically. Very mechanical, no interest, no pleasure. MC continues to tell me to be patient and work on the other aspects. I AM TRYING!
Your problem is that you can try as hard as you want. If your wife refuses to try, it's all for naught. And it doesn't sound like your wife is trying. It sounds like she has her views and she isn't interested in changing them.

Your counselor wants you to be patient. For how long? You've been at this for 2 years. Will it take another 2? 5? 20?

If you want to remain married, I suggest you try another counselor. Tell your wife that the current counselor obviously isn't helping much. Your wife still can't stand sex with you. Maybe a change in counselors will work. Maybe she is just never going to let go and have fun. It certainly gives her a great deal of power over you. To know that you can absolutely crush someone's spirit every couple of weeks must be an intoxicating feeling.

Quote:
I had bad episode last night and told her I could not do it anymore and that I was going to move out. I have no intentions to do so as I could not tolerate life without my kids. I did not express my feelings well, and ultimately did apologize. That said, I just can't go on desiring the woman I love but always getting rejected.
Don't threaten divorce unless you're divorcing. However, don't apologize for snapping when your wife is passive aggressively killing your sexual identity.

Quote:
She wants to continue MC - I will. But, I am not hopeful it will help. And, more importantly, I have no idea how to react in a productive / positive way when that feeling comes like a freight train every week or two.
You're really in a no-win situation. If your wife offers sex and you decline, then you're giving her exactly what she wants. However, if you accept, you're weak for accepting pity sex because you have no other option. It's heads she wins, tails you lose.

Athol Kay called it When She Hates You With Her Vagina | Married Man Sex Life
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: At Impasse

It's called sexual aversion disorder. It is very treatable with the right therapist.
Marriage Builders has several right ups on it. You can find other info all over the web.
How to Overcome Sexual Aversion
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: At Impasse

Quote:
Originally Posted by dignityinshambles View Post
Well, off and on TAM for past year or so. Site is immensely helpful to help understand I am not alone.

Brief catch-up on story. Married 20 years, both 45. Three teenage kids who are wonderful.

Over the years lost appreciation and respect for each other and did not do well to meet each other's needs.

Have been in MC for nearly two years. Been very helpful to understand each other better, communicate better, understand what we have done to contribute to situation.

At present, friends working towards common goals and raising the children to be as happy as we can.

Our impasse------physical intimacy. I do not need quantity --- once every 7-10 days would work. What I have always loved is bringing my wife to orgasm. To know that I am responsible for bringing her the kind of pleasure only I can bring her. This makes me feel so connected and special to/for her.

For her, she just cannot enjoy / tolerate sex with me. She says she has a physical reaction that triggers anxiety. She says it is from all the years of me "expecting" sex and perceiving that is all I wanted from her. Not true, but does not matter. She is where she is. About once every two weeks, we have "pity" sex where she begrudgling takes care of me physically. Very mechanical, no interest, no pleasure. MC continues to tell me to be patient and work on the other aspects. I AM TRYING!

I had bad episode last night and told her I could not do it anymore and that I was going to move out. I have no intentions to do so as I could not tolerate life without my kids. I did not express my feelings well, and ultimately did apologize. That said, I just can't go on desiring the woman I love but always getting rejected.

She wants to continue MC - I will. But, I am not hopeful it will help. And, more importantly, I have no idea how to react in a productive / positive way when that feeling comes like a freight train every week or two.

HELP PLEASE!!!
I'm sorry you're in this situation. It sounds very, very familiar.

But I can tell you that I was once very much like your wife, and things have turned around completely for my husband and me.

Let me ask you two things:

1. Before things between your and your wife soured, how was the sex? What was her "style" in the bedroom, were you satisfied with your sex life, did she seem enthusiastic about both giving and receiving pleasure.

2. As far as you know, does she have sexual urges currently? Obviously she is not feeling desire for you, but does she masturbate, watch porn, read erotica, seem sensual at all in her own right?

If the two of you once had sexual chemistry, and if she still feels like a sexual being in her own right, I would say that, with willingness and work on her part, she could overcome the resentments that are causing her aversion to sex with you. I would recommend that she seek individual counseling.

For ten years I struggled with not feeling desire for my husband because of problems we'd had in our marriage. (We are in our mid 40's, have been together for 24 years.) We did everything we could to repair our marriage, but although things between us got better, the sex never did.

I don't think you can help her fix this. If her attitude towards sex is, "he's getting what HE wants when we have sex, and I'm not," then things won't improve. It can't be a power struggle with a winner and a loser, or the resentment will never fade.

If she can bring back the part of her that feels empowered when she willingly gives you pleasure, then she won't feel like you are taking something from her.

Does that make any sense? For a long time my husband and I had sex just two or three times a month, when I felt desire around ovulation. It was nearly impossible for me to feel desire if he initiated at any other time. I would rarely have sex with him on these occasions because it felt so awful. He could tell, and didn't want me to fake it or give him duty sex anyway.

But after I found this forum, I better understood what sex with me meant to my husband, and I actively sought to purge the last of my resentments. It was one of the best things I have ever done--for ME. I had forgotten how much I loved being a sexual being. I no longer feel like my husband is trying to take something from me. I so, so enjoy giving again.

I wish your wife could see that repairing her libido is something that she should do, not for you, but for herself. Resentments are bad for more than sex lives; they are bad for wellness of the heart and soul. You had a hand in planting those resentments, but only she can release them.

One of the most important things I realized was that just because I was the one with the damaged libido, it wasn't my "fault". My husband had a part to play in the demise of our intimacy; it's just that I was the one who ended up most changed, with the damaged libido and loss of my sexual self. I felt relief when I realized the root of the problem, and that I had the power to fix it ALL BY MYSELF. It's that power that I feel unleashed in the bedroom now. Very heady stuff.

Peace to you, and good luck.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: At Impasse

Thank you all for your words of wisdom. I find it amazing how strangers across the globe, so willingly, help others. A few responses below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon1111 View Post
I understand completely the feeling of trying so hard and then getting overwhelmed by the rejection every so often and feeling like the only way to change things is to leave.

I wish it would not build to this reaction. I know reacting this way only causes us to slide backwards

What I try to do these days is to have zero expectations for sex and to focus on making my life enjoyable outside of my relationship. I treat myself to stuff and indulge myself in things that interest me without asking my wife's permission. It does not replace a sexual relationship, but it gives me things to look forward to/be happy about. If you are not already doing the same, I'd suggest finding something along those lines and treating yourself well in that arena.
Zero expectations! I try this route about every two weeks. Impossible for me. Maybe if I was castrated, I could eliminate the expectations.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
All the mc in the world will not fix your marriage if your wife allows the past to affect the present in this way. Does the mc have strategies for your wife to replace her marriage harming past oriented thought tapes with something productive and future oriented?
MC has it figured out and is trying with my wife. Wife cannot let go of the resentments that got us here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHTlump View Post
Your problem is that you can try as hard as you want. If your wife refuses to try, it's all for naught. And it doesn't sound like your wife is trying. It sounds like she has her views and she isn't interested in changing them.

I think she wants to change them, just, is not jumping in with a full head of steam in doing so. And, I have no way of influencing her to do so. When I try, she views this as pressure.

Your counselor wants you to be patient. For how long? You've been at this for 2 years. Will it take another 2? 5? 20?

If you want to remain married, I suggest you try another counselor. Tell your wife that the current counselor obviously isn't helping much. Your wife still can't stand sex with you. Maybe a change in counselors will work. Maybe she is just never going to let go and have fun. It certainly gives her a great deal of power over you. To know that you can absolutely crush someone's spirit every couple of weeks must be an intoxicating feeling.

We are in process of switching counselors. I totally agree, she does thrive on the power. She would never admit to that and consciously, I dont think this is an issue for her.


Don't threaten divorce unless you're divorcing. However, don't apologize for snapping when your wife is passive aggressively killing your sexual identity.

I hear you....if I don't apologize, I feel horrible for my part. I do realize her passive aggressive resistance and rejection plays its part in my snapping. I am thankful I finally understand the interplay.


You're really in a no-win situation. If your wife offers sex and you decline, then you're giving her exactly what she wants. However, if you accept, you're weak for accepting pity sex because you have no other option. It's heads she wins, tails you lose.

SO TRUE - IT TOTALLY SUCKS, but, what is a man with urges supposed to do?!

Athol Kay called it When She Hates You With Her Vagina | Married Man Sex Life
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zookeepertomany View Post
It's called sexual aversion disorder. It is very treatable with the right therapist.
Marriage Builders has several right ups on it. You can find other info all over the web.
How to Overcome Sexual Aversion
Just clinked on link and read it. Yep, she has a full blown case. I know I contributed to its onset. I am trying soo hard to no re-play my part in it. So hard to do when the rejection and dislike is prominent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GettingIt View Post
I'm sorry you're in this situation. It sounds very, very familiar.

But I can tell you that I was once very much like your wife, and things have turned around completely for my husband and me.

A ray of hope - thank you.

Let me ask you two things:

1. Before things between your and your wife soured, how was the sex? What was her "style" in the bedroom, were you satisfied with your sex life, did she seem enthusiastic about both giving and receiving pleasure.

Traditional style and setting, but, unbridled passion. Something I had never experienced before. Something I have found interesting is that in nearly all cases, she needed to drink 2-3 glasses of wine to settle into mood. Sex without wine was not an option. That is not the case for me. I sometimes resent that she has to be a bit tipsy. She is a high type A and has trouble relaxing. I think her personality style has compounded the sexual aversion described above.

2. As far as you know, does she have sexual urges currently? Obviously she is not feeling desire for you, but does she masturbate, watch porn, read erotica, seem sensual at all in her own right?

She hides it well. Not sure if she masturbates (we sleep in separate rooms). Does not watch porn, says she hates reading erotica (although she has 50 shades of grey in bookcase next to bed). She watches every episode of bachelor and housewives....I suspect this does something for her. Thoughts?


If the two of you once had sexual chemistry, and if she still feels like a sexual being in her own right, I would say that, with willingness and work on her part, she could overcome the resentments that are causing her aversion to sex with you. I would recommend that she seek individual counseling.

She says she will consider individual MC....trying to gently push her - fine line here....

For ten years I struggled with not feeling desire for my husband because of problems we'd had in our marriage. (We are in our mid 40's, have been together for 24 years.) We did everything we could to repair our marriage, but although things between us got better, the sex never did.

Exactly where we are at.

I don't think you can help her fix this. If her attitude towards sex is, "he's getting what HE wants when we have sex, and I'm not," then things won't improve.

That is her attitude. And, yes, I sadly agree it wont change.

It can't be a power struggle with a winner and a loser, or the resentment will never fade.

If she can bring back the part of her that feels empowered when she willingly gives you pleasure, then she won't feel like you are taking something from her.

Does that make any sense? For a long time my husband and I had sex just two or three times a month, when I felt desire around ovulation. It was nearly impossible for me to feel desire if he initiated at any other time. I would rarely have sex with him on these occasions because it felt so awful. He could tell, and didn't want me to fake it or give him duty sex anyway.

But after I found this forum, I better understood what sex with me meant to my husband, and I actively sought to purge the last of my resentments. It was one of the best things I have ever done--for ME. I had forgotten how much I loved being a sexual being. I no longer feel like my husband is trying to take something from me. I so, so enjoy giving again.

I wish your wife could see that repairing her libido is something that she should do, not for you, but for herself. Resentments are bad for more than sex lives; they are bad for wellness of the heart and soul. You had a hand in planting those resentments, but only she can release them.

One of the most important things I realized was that just because I was the one with the damaged libido, it wasn't my "fault". My husband had a part to play in the demise of our intimacy; it's just that I was the one who ended up most changed, with the damaged libido and loss of my sexual self. I felt relief when I realized the root of the problem, and that I had the power to fix it ALL BY MYSELF. It's that power that I feel unleashed in the bedroom now. Very heady stuff.

Peace to you, and good luck.
Words of wisdom. Gettingit - I envy and am very happy for you.

Would love to hear more suggestions. I am very passionate about at least doing my part. Start IC on Thursday, I am excited.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: At Impasse

I am in a similar place and I have to agree with Anon1111. I also believed that I would not be able to refocus but I did by spending most of my nights after the kids go to bed at the gym and by focusing on being a really great dad for my kids. It has been immensely rewarding for both my physical and mental well being. It still hurts that my wife isn't interested in me physically anymore but I know I can still make my marriage work even if it isn't ideal.
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