Encouraging Growth & Save a Marriage - 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 #1 of 185 (permalink) Old 12-01-2019, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Encouraging Growth & Save a Marriage

I'm a guy, early 50's, who many would describe as "having it all": good wife, healthy kids, big income, successful business owner, etc. I should be the happiest guy on the planet but one issue continues to haunt me: our sex life.

Even there, I have no big reason to complain. While she used to be a refuser/gatekeeper when the kids were younger she's come to understand that sex for me is far more than a simple physical release (which she used to think). For me, sex is the primary means of my emotional connection with her. Perhaps it's a personality defect in me but if our sex life ain't great then my emotional connection to her begins to fade. Happy to report she almost never says no anymore.

My challenge is our level of sexual compatibility and eagerness. I'm the far more "sexual" person who almost always has something bouncing around my head. It's just how I'm wired. Thing is, after being married 25 years I wonder if I'm losing my sexual attraction to her. I have no ED issues but during most sexual encounters with her, I have to fantasize HER having a loud orgasm (which isn't her, normally) in order for me to climax. There are times even that doesn't work and things go south quickly as she takes it personally if I fail to finish and she closes herself off for a day or two. I've seriously considered faking it to avoid that. I am on TRT if anyone's curious.

Imagine you could plot sexual desires and adventurousness on a linear scale. Mine would be very wide while hers would be much more narrow. I think there is some overlap between our two "scales" but not a ton. In her own words, she has no sexual fantasies. If gently pressed, the best she could come up with would be some unusual location, like on a deserted island. She's very satisfied with our status quo. Outside of the bedroom I've communicated a number of things I'd like her to think about and, when ready, come to me and say "let's do this". At the time she says sure! It never happens. It just has no significance to her at all.

It's important to say I know there's absolutely nothing wrong with her. She is who she is and I know I can't change that. When we married, I had only been with a few other women, one of whom was a sexual assault survivor, and understandably had ongoing major issues with sexual intimacy. Idiot that I was, I had a major KISA complex so we only had sex a handful of times over the course of several years, as I tried to help her heal. That relationship profoundly changed me. To this day I can't stomach any kind of rape scene in media and I'm also extremely sensitive to my wife's consent in whatever we do sexually, perhaps to an unhealthy degree. For example, if I suggest something sexually to my wife, and she responds with anything short of eagerness, I write it off, even tho I'd really like to try that (the thought of "pressing" myself sexually on a woman makes me physically ill). The frequent result is frustration on my part (mostly hidden to her).

What disappoints me most is the low value she ascribes to our sexuality, beyond having some kind of sexual relationship. Specifically, she simply doesn't think our sex life is worthy of much (any?) of her mindspace. Example: for our 20th anniversary, I took her on an extremely nice trip. Weeks ahead of time I gave her a very simple and fun assignment: with a smile, I asked her to think of one sexual act we had never done (there are many easy things in this category) and then on our anniversary trip I'd ask her what she'd come up with and then we'd do it. That way there'd be no pressure and she'd be in full control. When the time came, we're in this beautiful place, I asked her what she had thought of. Answer? Nothing. She hadn't given my request a minute of thought. I'll never forget that moment for the rest of my life. I was crushed on the inside, tho I did my best at hiding my profound disappointment, not wanting to ruin the trip over this. Only recently (years later) did I ask her about this, and she had no answer why she didn't think my request was worth any of her time. This still stings.

My wife is in every way a good person. She's faithful, a great mom, and almost never complains about anything. She does a magnificent job running our household. She works part-time just for fun and as a way to get out of the house. I take her out on "dinner dates" about 3 times per week.

Another wrinkle: she had never tried marijuana before but was willing to try with me now that it's legal (I hadn't smoked anything since college many years ago). We had the perfect opportunity not long ago and so we did. After a few hits I suddenly remembered the cautions how today's weed is stronger than decades ago, and we were both seriously baked. Thing is, we then had the most intense sexual encounter of my life, by orders of magnitude! The wife who's almost always been a "one and done" orgasm girl, must have orgasmed strongly at least 20 times. After I did (mind-blowing) she pulled my hands in with a toy because she simply wasn't finished yet (me absolutely loving every second of that!!). When we (she!) finally were done, I started this joyous laughter - laughingly saying "WTF just happened??". It was the stuff of dreams. I was thinking - I KNEW it!! I knew there was a sexual beast in her and we just unleashed it! Alas, the next day, the first words out of her mouth were, "I don't remember much, but I definitely NEVER want to do that again". Again, crushed. I had just had the best experience of my life, and it sure as HELL seemed like she did as well, and then the balloon popped with those words.

I can almost hear some of you saying: dude, either accept that's who she is and deal with it or leave her and move on. Leaving her would absolutely devastate the kids and devastate me financially. I do love her and do want us both to be happy together. The thing is, I am hung up with the possibility there's so much more in her sexual being if only I could coax it out. I've always envisioned marriage as a growth in getting to know your spouse on a deeper level continually, and that includes an ever-deepening sexual connection with a sense of adventurous exploration. For her, she knows that sex is important in a marriage but still doesn't think it warrants more thought than doing the same old routine. Again and again. Some might say if I'm bored then she sure is as well. I truly don't think so in our case. I know exactly how to push her buttons because what so stimulates me is seeing her pleasure.

90+% of our fights over the course of our marriage have to do with sex. My conclusion is that we must really suck at communicating on this topic and now there's so many past hurts that it's almost as if the well has been poisoned. Any convo now is laced with mines and she inevitably brings stuff up from 15+ years ago. I can't/won't change her, but is it wrong of me to want her to increase the value of our sexual relationship because it means so much to me? Is there any way to encourage her to expand her horizons, actually give some mental time to sex? I haven't figured out if having a more sexually enthusiastic wife is a need or only a desire but I fear for our long term future if we can't at least get on a positive track. I've noticed my own attitude towards sex staring to deteriorate and left untreated I know that will have a destructive impact on the relationship.

Thank you for reading this tome and in advance for your helpful ideas.
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post #2 of 185 (permalink) Old 12-01-2019, 11:54 PM
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How was she when you were dating, and few years of marriage? If she was more open then you got the ole bait and switch.

My take; do not discuss sex with her from now on. It’s a libido killer for her. Get in shape. Join a club, any club will do. Get out of the house. Your wife has to realize, without you, life will be difficult.
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post #3 of 185 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 06:23 AM
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Re: Encouraging Growth & Save a Marriage

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Thank you for reading this tome and in advance for your helpful ideas.

I have no advice for you and I've been there, in you shoes. I was frustrated about our sex life too, I was putting up with it for the sake of the marriage only to get the shock of my life when my wife turned the sex tap off after the kids left the house... so, be careful what you wish for...
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post #4 of 185 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 07:24 AM
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You know who your wife is and you also know that no matter what you do you wont be able to change her. So what it boils down to is if you are willing to spend the rest of your life the way things are. If everything else can make up for what you are missing sexually then put it all behind you and concentrate on what is good in your marriage. If it can't, then leave. Resentment will grow and destroy any marriage. Being unhappy is no way to spend your life and by extension she will be unhappy too.
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post #5 of 185 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 07:39 AM
 
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Re: Encouraging Growth & Save a Marriage

You have the perfect storm of issues here.

1. Fundamental sexual incompatibility
2. Wife's anxiety toward sex (alleviated by marijuana... and the anxiety/shame returned immediately after)
3. Your age. You are hitting your peak (thanks, in no small part, to testosterone... I'm also a TRT patient, so I can relate). Is she menopausal? If not yet, she will be soon... and you're in for a whole other ballgame.
4. You have the constant underlying negative tension of "my husband needs sex all the time", and that just hurts your cause. NEED is a giant libido-killer.

Your only hope is to increase your independence from her. If that results in her further pulling away and becoming less validating and less physical with you... then you have your answer.

You are primed for an affair. Both of you (yes, even her). Be careful!

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post #6 of 185 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 08:17 AM
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Re: Encouraging Growth & Save a Marriage

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You have the perfect storm of issues here.

1. Fundamental sexual incompatibility
2. Wife's anxiety toward sex (alleviated by marijuana... and the anxiety/shame returned immediately after)
3. Your age. You are hitting your peak (thanks, in no small part, to testosterone... I'm also a TRT patient, so I can relate). Is she menopausal? If not yet, she will be soon... and you're in for a whole other ballgame.
4. You have the constant underlying negative tension of "my husband needs sex all the time", and that just hurts your cause. NEED is a giant libido-killer.

Your only hope is to increase your independence from her. If that results in her further pulling away and becoming less validating and less physical with you... then you have your answer.

You are primed for an affair. Both of you (yes, even her). Be careful!

My book may be of interest to you: https://www.dadstartingover.com/the-dead-bedroom-fix
Men in their 50's are not hitting their peak, that happens about 30 years before that.

Last edited by Diana7; 12-02-2019 at 08:25 AM.
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post #7 of 185 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 08:23 AM
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Re: Encouraging Growth & Save a Marriage

OK you are probably not going to listen to me, but discontentment is deadly for a marriage. Thankfulness is vital, and from what you have said you have SO much to be thankful for, many would give so much to have what you have.

You are craving the 5% that you think you must have, and risking the 95% that you do have. When ever that discontentment comes into your mind, think of all the good things about her, you children, the marriage, your home etc and stop feeling sorry for yourself.
A lot of marriage is about compromise anyway.

As for the drugs, I agree with her, there is no way that I would risk damaging my mind or body with that stuff.
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post #8 of 185 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 08:35 AM
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You are craving the 5% that you think you must have, and risking the 95% that you do have. When ever that discontentment comes into your mind, think of all the good things about her, you children, the marriage, your home etc and stop feeling sorry for yourself.
It amazes me that some people think along the lines that the sexual aspect of a relationship is so little important. "5%"? Really? "that you think you must have" Yes, a healthy sexual relationship IS a "must have" in a marriage. And I don't think yearning for a more sexual contact with the person you love is "feeling sorry for yourself".
So, should he feel "grateful" for whatever she does condescend to give him? That makes for an uneven marriage and that is not something that is good for EITHER partner
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post #9 of 185 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 08:35 AM
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Diana this advice reads like blowing the OP off in a "just deal with it" kind of subtextual way. Rug sweeping.

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OK you are probably not going to listen to me, but discontentment is deadly for a marriage. Thankfulness is vital, and from what you have said you have SO much to be thankful for, many would give so much to have what you have.

You are craving the 5% that you think you must have, and risking the 95% that you do have. When ever that discontentment comes into your mind, think of all the good things about her, you children, the marriage, your home etc and stop feeling sorry for yourself.
A lot of marriage is about compromise anyway.

As for the drugs, I agree with her, there is no way that I would risk damaging my mind or body with that stuff.
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post #10 of 185 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 08:55 AM
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Re: Encouraging Growth & Save a Marriage

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Diana this advice reads like blowing the OP off in a "just deal with it" kind of subtextual way. Rug sweeping.
it's because the OP has no other option... actually, he has one: destroying his marriage and family. Which is ok, if he is really unhappy.
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post #11 of 185 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 09:12 AM
 
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Re: Encouraging Growth & Save a Marriage

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Men in their 50's are not hitting their peak, that happens about 30 years before that.
Sorry, Diana... no. If a man plays his cards right (and with pharmaceutical help, as I pointed out), he CAN be in great shape, look good, have a maturity and wisdom that only comes with age, have his finances in order, etc. The world is his oyster.


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post #12 of 185 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 12:00 PM
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^^^^
You’re on point Dad.
A men’s value lies in his ability to provide, protect and give guidance. Therefore his value increases with age.

A woman’s value lies in her beauty, fertility and sex appeal. Therefore her value decreases with age

Gentlemen you are the prize, act as such
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post #13 of 185 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 12:06 PM
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Re: Encouraging Growth & Save a Marriage

What is your current frequency like? Although the sex might not rise to the level to fully meet your needs, how accommodating do you feel she is to having sex?

From many stories on the board, I think the current situation is about as good as it will get. It might get a little better, but I don't think it's likely that she becomes all that more passionate about sex. It sounds like it's not that important to her, but she still makes an effort for your sake. That seems to be most common version of "success" in these kinds of situations.

You may need to make a decision about what is more important to you: a passionate and fulling sex life, or the relationship you currently have. I have no doubt that you could meet someone who would give you everything you want sexually, but there's no guarantee about the rest of the relationship. There will be exes, step-kids, and all kind of other relationship differences to deal with. And from the dating threads, it seems like just finding someone worthy of a relationship is an adventure itself. If you want to keep your current relationship, you will likely need to think a lot about what a compatible solution will be given your needs and who she is.

Last edited by wilson; 12-02-2019 at 12:48 PM.
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post #14 of 185 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 12:13 PM
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Re: Encouraging Growth & Save a Marriage

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I am hung up with the possibility there's so much more in her sexual being if only I could coax it out. .
Those are the exact thoughts and words of every single man that finds himself in your position and there are PLENTY men in your position.


Here are the very simple facts that you already know: Your wife isn't into sex like you are and NEVER will be.....EVER.

I'm not in your position but I can surely understand what that frustration feels like. My wife has different "sexual levels" as well. I think it is just how woman are wired.

So what can you do about it ???? The answer is easy ....you can think about how much you like shopping for shoes. WAIT .....what did I say? Yes all you have to do is
think about how much you like shopping for shoes. You see its like this: Your wife is as interested in thinking about sex...as much as you are in thinking about shopping for shoes.
If you had told her to think about a pair of shoes she wanted and you would get it for her on that trip ..... she would have had those shoes picked out. You can insert clothes if it
makes you feel better.

How much time do you spend thinking of shoe shopping: The answer is ZERO. Which is her answer for sex. Just because she likes shoe shopping doesn't mean your
going to have it in YOUR head all day.

Does it suck? Sure it does. But that is why it isn't in her mind ..... it is just not important.

I'm not going to bother with all the books you can read of female attraction bio-mechanics and communication...blah blah blah.....

I'm also not going to point the finger at your wife and say bait and switch or none of that other mess .......


THE REAL SOLUTION LIES WITHIN HOW VASTLY IMPORTANT IS THIS TO YOU AND WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO DO ABOUT IT?

It sounds like your life is too wrapped up in other ways to split ..... and lets be honest ...SHE KNOWS IT !!!!!
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post #15 of 185 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 01:38 PM
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Re: Encouraging Growth & Save a Marriage

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^^^^
Youíre on point Dad.
A menís value lies in his ability to provide, protect and give guidance. Therefore his value increases with age.

A womanís value lies in her beauty, fertility and sex appeal. Therefore her value decreases with age

Gentlemen you are the prize, act as such

^^^^ great point! I would also add the cost of a man exercising his agency goes up. His only option is to leave by which the cost increases exponentially over time. If itís bad enough, youíre gotta have to be prepared to shoot the hostage but Iím not advocating that.

I like the shoe analogy earlier but I think food is a also a analogy. Sheís a foodie and youíre fine with frozen pizza and a beer on Saturday night. She wants to dress up, go out, enjoy the ambiance.Ē Youíd be like ďwhatís the point of going out? Why canít you be happy with what we have at home? You donít need to go out... youíre obsessed with food. I like pizza and in the end it goes in your stomach... done. Why get dressed up and spend $150 when we can stay home watch Netflix? Why does food have to be so fancy? You donít NEED fancy restaurant food. Thatís all you and your friends talk about is going out to eat. Itís like youíre obsessed. Is what we have at home not good enough for you?Ē

Some people donít think working full-time for a great salary is all that either and losing any interest in work would be applicable here too. But that would be waaaay too passive-aggressive.

To borrow a phrase from Ester Perel, there is no solution.... but a dichotomy to be managed.

Iím in HRT and can relate. Women are and can be highly sexual but it really is a low priority unless their hormones dictate or using it to get something they want. Just had a discussion of the sexual feedback loop with my wife. She likes sex, says she feels very connected but I have a psychological issue because I donít feel connected. I told her that she hates to talk about sex so I donít and she is choosing not to reflect that ďconnectionĒ back at me in a way I can understand. So what am I supposed to think? Quiet after that.

Guys just want to have their wives express passion, love and a desire to please them and see them enjoying themselves. Thereís 1) she doesnít enjoy it and doing it anyway 2) she enjoys it and itís fine 3) she is turned on by you enjoying it. Itís not rocket science. Your wife giving you an awkward hand job during foreplay with her eyes closed is different than had she looked directly into your eyes, grabbed your junk and in a sexy voice said ďletís see how hard I can make you comeĒ or ďmmm I love watching your face when you come.Ē Itís disheartening to realize sheís probably wondering where the towel is, how long this will take and what she needs to get a Target.

Honestly, if she doesnít remember I donít see an upside to bringing this up... unless you want her to dump on you for not being able to drop sex.Ē

A manís esteem is tied to how a partner reacts to you in bed just how it is. Women can tell a guy he needs to get over it and heís insecure or a pervert. But a man canít tell a women she just needs to quit feeling insecure because of all the other women she sees in TV and magazines.

You never cultivate desire by complaining there is none. Youíve said your peace. You really just have to take what you can get and take care of yourself the rest of time. I think if you just stopped pursuing it, that might change things. You could make a point by stopping in the middle and saying itís not doing anything for you but if she needs to be finished off manually off you can do that.

Go hit the gym, hang with your buds and become more desirable.


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