Looking for advice - Page 2 - 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 #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 09:42 PM
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Re: Looking for advice

A couple of thoughts having been in a similar boat I can tell you that...

1) Sheís probably in ďmom modeĒ which means she is consumed with kids. Even if you help out, you canít turn off her brain. She likely sees you as another child to take care of WRT sex.

2) Could be abuse but there are plenty of other reasons why women turn sex-negative after marriage and especially after kids. Is she on anti-anxiety or depression meds?

3) Took 18 years for my wife to admit to something that happened to her. Women are far more likely to experience negativity towards sex based on past experience.

4) Some women just arenít comfortable expressing themselves sexually. Especially if they find out their partners are using porn. Iím here to tell you that you canít create desire from guilt, shaming or manipulation.

5) Women HATE sexual panhandling so the more you complain about it the worse things will get. You need to be a little more aloof about sex. If sheís starfishing you, just quit in the middle and tell her itís not doing anything for you.

6) You really need to ďman up.Ē She sees you as a beta male and while women love to have a guy serving them they donít find it sexually attractive. Hit the gym, go out and do guy stuff. Check out Mating in Captivity by Ester Perel.

7) Most women think sex is only about ejaculation for men which is far from the truth in marriage. Someone (a therapist) needs to convey that it is how you connect to her.

Bottom line - work on yourself before you try to bring her into therapy. Get counseling and quit begging or working so hard for sex.


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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 09:59 PM
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Re: Looking for advice

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Originally Posted by aaarghdub View Post
...
3) Took 18 years for my wife to admit to something that happened to her. Women are far more likely to experience negativity towards sex based on past experience.
...
7) Most women think sex is only about ejaculation for men which is far from the truth in marriage. Someone (a therapist) needs to convey that it is how you connect to her.
...
Bottom line - work on yourself before you try to bring her into therapy. Get counseling and quit begging or working so hard for sex.
I think your #3 example, past bad sexual experience, is so much more common than people realize. It's not just "rape" or some other type of molestation. When we're looking for something traumatizing, we probably make it worse when we think well, you must have had something terrible happen like you were raped, because you inadvertently make it seem like the only thing that could have traumatized her was being raped. Our MC was even convinced my wife must have been "raped" which threw her off the trail for some time. The woman who wasn't raped, at least by her definition, thus feels like whatever she went through, it must not have been that traumatic.

Bad early sexual experiences can include submitting, either willingly or by coercion, to sex that they instantly came to regret. Perhaps they became reactionary, for a short time, to their upbringing. Perhaps the sex itself was hugely disappointing and they saw that as evidence of punishment by guilt.

This type of thing may not come up through normal pre-marital discussions because they feel shameful about it. Matters are much, much worse if they didn't have a close friend to talk with about the experience. It never gets processed on a rational level, just raw emotions that could remain jagged pieces of glass each time she has sex in the future. Vaginismis could result.

I know nothing of this first-hand... no, nothing at all...

#7 is also very important. And again, this could be from early experience with sex, where in many cases maybe it was all about the guy getting off, and then it was over and he was gone. No long term cuddling afterward. Intimacy in marriage can be a very different thing, because sex when married is something shared only with your husband or wife. It's more than just a way to keep a partner interested in seeing you again. It's a connection to their soul. Or can be.

And the therapist. I'll bet most everyone who's been to a therapist has come to the realization they should have done it years previously. Get to it now. It will quite possibly make things worse for a while, before things get better. It's an investment in the forever thing.

And lastly- revisit your marriage, your vows, your promises and dreams to each other, a job review almost, on a regular basis. Stop being afraid to talk about where you are, what's disappointed you, what's been good.
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for advice

[QUOTE=Casual Observer;20065799]Following up on what @Holdingontoit said, how much do you know about your wife's past? Did you have a vetting period prior to marriage, where you asked questions about each other and determined the degree of privacy each of you felt was needed for your history? And privacy going forward? We are products of our history, and her expectations for sex may be based on her life prior to you. If someone was looking for sex to be a wildly orgasmic ride and orgasms turned out to be elusive at best, they might totally miss out on the idea that sex represents a degree of intimacy, not just a physically wild ride, that is shared only between husband and wife.

I do know that she was married previously and that he was a piece of garbage. Drank a lot, drugs, cheated but I do not believe there was physical abuse. Mental abuse, very possibly. Possibly verbal berating so that she felt inadequate. Iím speculating but I donít think that itís out of the question. Maybe thatís what needs to be addressed.

Again, Iím not really expecting that she completely change and turn into some kind of nymphomaniac. It would just be nice to know that she wants to have sex too rather than just knowing that sheís willing to have sex. An occasional blowjob without asking, slipping into the shower unexpectedly, lingerie for anniversary, just a little something occasionally. I guess some type of mental abuse could cause her to repress doing those things.
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 06:09 AM
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Re: Looking for advice

Its combination of Mommy mode and past history.
I would seriously recommend IC and MC with a sex therapy slant.
This will not get better on its own and you are over compensating for her lousy previous relationship.
You need to find your voice, and she needs to find some closure.
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 08:05 AM
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I rarely tell her no to anything. If she asks me to do something around the house, I find time to do it. If she asks for something(present or just because) she gets it. I regularly take her on trips, which may just be 1-2 nights away from the kids but also might be 3-4 days. So no, she doesn’t get told no often about anything.
When she asks you to do things around the house, are they chores/repairs/maintenance that you should be doing anyways? Make sure you recognize the difference between doing things that solely benefit her and doing things that have to be done (by someone) for the benefit of the family. There's a difference between "can you take out the trash/cut the lawn/clean dishes" and "will you remodel the bathroom because I like the color green".

Are those weekend getaways away from the kids time spent with you or is it her going away alone while you take care of the kids? If it's the former, do you enjoy these getaways? Would you do them if she didn't suggest them?

Aside from sex, does she reciprocate with the gifts or doing nice things for you just because? Does she show gratitude when you do things for her or give her gifts, or does she feel she's entitled to them?
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post #21 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for advice

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When she asks you to do things around the house, are they chores/repairs/maintenance that you should be doing anyways? Make sure you recognize the difference between doing things that solely benefit her and doing things that have to be done (by someone) for the benefit of the family. There's a difference between "can you take out the trash/cut the lawn/clean dishes" and "will you remodel the bathroom because I like the color green".

Are those weekend getaways away from the kids time spent with you or is it her going away alone while you take care of the kids? If it's the former, do you enjoy these getaways? Would you do them if she didn't suggest them?

Aside from sex, does she reciprocate with the gifts or doing nice things for you just because? Does she show gratitude when you do things for her or give her gifts, or does she feel she's entitled to them?
First, all of the above. I take out the trash, load the dishwasher, wash a load of clothes here and there, etc. I donít usually get asked to do any of that. She sits the trash by the door, I take it out. The grass starts growing, I just cut it. We havenít done anything like a remodel because our house is 3 years old but if she asks for it, normally it happens.

Second, normally us without kids. Every now and then itís her with a couple girls and Iíll keep the kids. Thats 2-3 times a year and I normally go somewhere with the guys a couple of times a year too. She doesnít suggest the trips/getaways but theyíre fun and I know she needs an occasional break from the kids/house/etc so Iíll just plan something and line up the grandparents to keep the kids. Then Iíll tell her we have plans. Itís nothing major, just a trip an hour or two away.

Third, she does very thoughtful things for me. Iíll mention something and she will take it upon herself to figure that out and do something for me. For instance, she recently designed and had a sign made for our farm. Very thoughtful and something I loved but hadnít even mentioned.
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post #22 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 10:32 AM
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First, all of the above. I take out the trash, load the dishwasher, wash a load of clothes here and there, etc. I don’t usually get asked to do any of that. She sits the trash by the door, I take it out. The grass starts growing, I just cut it. We haven’t done anything like a remodel because our house is 3 years old but if she asks for it, normally it happens.

Second, normally us without kids. Every now and then it’s her with a couple girls and I’ll keep the kids. Thats 2-3 times a year and I normally go somewhere with the guys a couple of times a year too. She doesn’t suggest the trips/getaways but they’re fun and I know she needs an occasional break from the kids/house/etc so I’ll just plan something and line up the grandparents to keep the kids. Then I’ll tell her we have plans. It’s nothing major, just a trip an hour or two away.

Third, she does very thoughtful things for me. I’ll mention something and she will take it upon herself to figure that out and do something for me. For instance, she recently designed and had a sign made for our farm. Very thoughtful and something I loved but hadn’t even mentioned.
All of this sounds good. I'm just trying to figure out if what @farsidejunky suggested would work for you. Is there anything that she asks you to do that you do as a favor just for her that isn't necessarily reciprocated (i.e. it's not something for the benefit of the family or you) or something you do that you don't necessarily enjoy doing but do it because she's asked you to do it?
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post #23 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for advice

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All of this sounds good. I'm just trying to figure out if what @farsidejunky suggested would work for you. Is there anything that she asks you to do that you do as a favor just for her that isn't necessarily reciprocated (i.e. it's not something for the benefit of the family or you) or something you do that you don't necessarily enjoy doing but do it because she's asked you to do it?
Not that I can think of but if you threw out an idea then it might make me think of something. I mean, I donít like unloading the dishwasher but I do it. Thatís not what youíre referring to though
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post #24 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for advice

Another consideration that may matter one way or the other is that sheís a SAHM which I know can be a full time job. However, both kids go to preschool/daycare three days a week so theyíre around other kids often. Sheís not balancing a career and a household.
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post #25 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 11:42 AM
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Not that I can think of but if you threw out an idea then it might make me think of something. I mean, I don’t like unloading the dishwasher but I do it. That’s not what you’re referring to though
The examples that typically come up are visits to see her family, listening to her talk about her day, providing emotional support when she needs it, watching a TV show or movie that you may not really enjoy.

Is there anything you don't do because she'd be upset that you were doing it without her? Example spending time with friends or working on hobbies?
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post #26 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 12:41 PM
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Re: Looking for advice

I see two options on what is happening....

1. In general, she cares about you, but just is feeling defensive about her inadequacy in this area, and transitioning to being mom really did get her sideways. This could get better with discussion and / or therapy.

2. In general, she is not into you / attracted to you / doesn't think your "needs" matter. She needs you around for your chores and paycheck and trickles out enough faux affection to string you along.

Either way, don't chase her around or accept pity sex. Man up, start focusing on yourself, your interests, your health / shape. This might fix both scenarios above.

If you have already discussed this, continuing to beg / ask looks weak.

What would happen if you just didn't initiate for a while. Might be a good experiment. You'll figure out if you are dealing with option #1 or #2.

If she eventually asks why you stopped initiating, she is probably #1, you can ask about how it feels when someone doesn't initiate....and push for change.

If she doesn't say anything and just goes about things the same, actually enjoys not being burdened with your requests, you know it is #2, and you have a bigger issue to deal with.

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post #27 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 01:48 PM
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Re: Looking for advice

[quote=Confused-d;20065819]
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Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
Following up on what @Holdingontoit said, how much do you know about your wife's past? Did you have a vetting period prior to marriage, where you asked questions about each other and determined the degree of privacy each of you felt was needed for your history? And privacy going forward? We are products of our history, and her expectations for sex may be based on her life prior to you. If someone was looking for sex to be a wildly orgasmic ride and orgasms turned out to be elusive at best, they might totally miss out on the idea that sex represents a degree of intimacy, not just a physically wild ride, that is shared only between husband and wife.

I do know that she was married previously and that he was a piece of garbage. Drank a lot, drugs, cheated but I do not believe there was physical abuse. Mental abuse, very possibly. Possibly verbal berating so that she felt inadequate. Iím speculating but I donít think that itís out of the question. Maybe thatís what needs to be addressed.

Again, Iím not really expecting that she completely change and turn into some kind of nymphomaniac. It would just be nice to know that she wants to have sex too rather than just knowing that sheís willing to have sex. An occasional blowjob without asking, slipping into the shower unexpectedly, lingerie for anniversary, just a little something occasionally. I guess some type of mental abuse could cause her to repress doing those things.
This might not be about you and her. This is about stuff she's brought with her. That's a terrible past, frightening, something that very few would leave without some scars. It's amazing she's done so well; equally amazing that what you know about her past you mention almost casually, as if you didn't know much about her prior history, just that being married was part of it and it was a bad relationship.

There's a potential mine field here that I wouldn't suggest going it alone on. IC & MC would probably be a good place to start. She's likely damaged by her past, but she's not dysfunctional. She's intact and I think I'd be much more concerned about making sure her past is resolved (for her) before dealing with intimacy.
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