Looking for advice - 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 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 05:04 AM Thread Starter
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Looking for advice

My wife and I have been married for 9 years. Two kids(18 months and 3 yrs). Our sex life leaves a lot to be desired but it’s not because of the kids. Our sex life has been about the same for the entire marriage and I’ve just tolerated it. My wife is always willing to have sex but never shows emotion during. Dead fish. I enjoy performing oral sex on her and do so regularly. I have to ask for it from her and it’s either “no” or 30 seconds of bad oral. She’s non-adventurous with sex as well. Missionary, occasional doggy if I ask, sometimes on top but refuses to do anything. She absolutely despises lingerie and says it makes her feel like she’s not good enough. She has never initiated sex. When I’ve tried to talk to her, she gets defensive and it goes nowhere. I don’t know where to go or what to do. Therapy? Just live with it? I do love her and I believe she loves me but I desire something more intimately. I’ve tried weekend romantic trips without the kids and it just seems like sex is a act she’s willing to perform but only because of the trip and that’s limited to once on the trip. I don’t know, someone tell me something. Maybe I’m the problem. Do I want too much?

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 06:16 AM
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My wife and I have been married for 9 years. Two kids(18 months and 3 yrs). Our sex life leaves a lot to be desired but it’s not because of the kids. Our sex life has been about the same for the entire marriage and I’ve just tolerated it. My wife is always willing to have sex but never shows emotion during. Dead fish. I enjoy performing oral sex on her and do so regularly. I have to ask for it from her and it’s either “no” or 30 seconds of bad oral. She’s non-adventurous with sex as well. Missionary, occasional doggy if I ask, sometimes on top but refuses to do anything. She absolutely despises lingerie and says it makes her feel like she’s not good enough. She has never initiated sex. When I’ve tried to talk to her, she gets defensive and it goes nowhere. I don’t know where to go or what to do. Therapy? Just live with it? I do love her and I believe she loves me but I desire something more intimately. I’ve tried weekend romantic trips without the kids and it just seems like sex is a act she’s willing to perform but only because of the trip and that’s limited to once on the trip. I don’t know, someone tell me something. Maybe I’m the problem. Do I want too much?
Sadly, this is the best you're going to get. Based on your own claims, your sex life has always been like this. You are essentially asking your wife to change into someone she's never been.

If you want to stay married, rather than focusing on the negatives, you should focus on the positives. What was it about her that made you fall in love and marry? Is your family life good aside from the sex? Do you have fun with your wife outside the bedroom?
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for advice

I say that it has always been like this but that’s not entirely true. I used to travel for work a lot and she would greet me in lingerie when I came home from a long trip. The sex wasn’t wild but it was good. I guess what I hope for is that she acts like she wants to have sex. Maybe a birthday blowjob that last more than 30 seconds and without asking. I don’t expect her to turn into someone she’s not. Both of us are probably in better physical condition than when we started dating so we haven’t “let ourself go”. Still asking for too much?

To answer the question, we have fun outside the bedroom together. Other than driving me up the wall occasionally, everything is good. She’s the same beautiful, caring woman that I dated 10 years ago.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 06:35 AM
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Re: Looking for advice

Have you asked her what she wants/needs to be into sex?

Follow the evidence where it leads and question everything.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for advice

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Have you asked her what she wants/needs to be into sex?
I’ve attempted to have “sex” talks multiple times and it’s always a disaster. She gets defensive, accuses me of not loving her, cries, etc. I’ve read blogs/articles prior to broaching the subject. Do it outside of the bedroom, not before/after sex, not while the kids are around, etc. None of that works. It’s like talking about sex is taboo. Sex is utilitarian. Sending a flirty text insinuating sex later? Ignored. Making comments of a sexual nature about an upcoming trip? Cut eyes and ignored. I feel like we are adults and talking about anything should be easy. It’s not. We can talk about just about anything else but not that.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 07:08 AM
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I say that it has always been like this but that’s not entirely true. I used to travel for work a lot and she would greet me in lingerie when I came home from a long trip. The sex wasn’t wild but it was good. I guess what I hope for is that she acts like she wants to have sex. Maybe a birthday blowjob that last more than 30 seconds and without asking. I don’t expect her to turn into someone she’s not. Both of us are probably in better physical condition than when we started dating so we haven’t “let ourself go”. Still asking for too much?

To answer the question, we have fun outside the bedroom together. Other than driving me up the wall occasionally, everything is good. She’s the same beautiful, caring woman that I dated 10 years ago.
Yeah, I think you're still asking for too much. There are seasons to marriage just as there are to life. You are in the "baby raising" season of life. I don't think you should give up having sex with your wife but I do think you should lower your expectations of her.

If she is open to it, you two can seek assistance from a marriage counselor who specializes in sex therapy. They may be able to get her to talk about sex without feeling pressure.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 07:26 AM
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Re: Looking for advice

I'm with Lila, therapy is probably the best right now. Things are going to get worse if needs are not met. Whether that is between you two, or you agree to an open marriage, depends on what you two are like and agree to. Another tool to try might be a passion chart. Lookup A Touch Of Flavor. While the site is geared towards poly and kink, relationships are relationships, and most tools work well regardless of mono or poly.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 07:41 AM
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Re: Looking for advice

Confused:

There are indeed seasons to a marriage.

Perhaps you do need to lower your expectations.

However, there is nothing that says you have to deliver a high level of service for your wife (assuming you, in fact, are) when she effectively refuses the same.

Have you ever told your wife "no, I don't really feel like it" to something she asked you to do for her? Not the kids, not the house, not within the purview of your responsibilities...but specifically for her?

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 08:09 AM
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Everything about your marriage seems happy and normal except for the sex based on what you have said.

I would first say keep that in mind always. That being said , sex is a big part of closeness in a marriage. It sure seems like she has some sort of apprehension about doing it and talking about it. Therapy would seem to be the best option at this point
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 08:59 AM
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Re: Looking for advice

What ever you do - do NOT lower your expectations.

When you lower the bar and allow less, that becomes your new standard.

People just do the strangest things when they believe they're entitled.
But they do even stranger things when they just plain believe.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 09:57 AM
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Re: Looking for advice

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Originally Posted by Confused-d View Post
I’ve attempted to have “sex” talks multiple times and it’s always a disaster. She gets defensive, accuses me of not loving her, cries, etc. I’ve read blogs/articles prior to broaching the subject. Do it outside of the bedroom, not before/after sex, not while the kids are around, etc. None of that works. It’s like talking about sex is taboo. Sex is utilitarian. Sending a flirty text insinuating sex later? Ignored. Making comments of a sexual nature about an upcoming trip? Cut eyes and ignored. I feel like we are adults and talking about anything should be easy. It’s not. We can talk about just about anything else but not that.
Odds are good she had trauma in her past and never dealt with it. If that is the case, 0% chance you can resolve it just between the 2 of you. She needs professional help. But the first step is for her to admit what happened, and that it had a long term impact on her views toward sex, physical and emotional intimacy, vulnerability, etc. If she won't admit that the abuse changed ehr for the worse, odds are she will never change.

The people who have success generally adopt the attitude "I am not going to allow the abuser to win. I am not going to let them occupy space in my head. I am not going to let them dictate my behavior (remember, rape and abuse are much more about power and control than about sex or sensation). I am not going to let them interfere with my marriage or other intimate relationships". If she won't admit to herself that the abuse happened, or that it changed her (for the worse), then she cannot possibly get into the mindset that she needs to fight back against it.

Sadly, there are many victims who think they can short-cut the process by declaring "the abuse had no lasting impact on me. I am fine as I am." Even though their behavior screams out that this statement is false. If they will not admit to their internal inconsistency, and keep insisting that "this is just who I am", then there is very little chance that they can participate in a mutually satisfying sexual relationship.

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 10:25 AM
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Re: Looking for advice

Libidos and ranges of sexual interest vary a lot between people. It sounds like she used to flirt more (lingerie etc), but maybe was never into more extensive / adventurous sex.

Its deeply unfortunate, but it may be that what you are getting is all you can get. What you want is not unreasonable in general, but may be unreasonable for *her*. It may just be a fundamental sexual mismatch.

Believe me, I know from experience how depressing / frustrating this sort of thing can be - after >30 years married in a similar situation.

So - all I can suggest is that you change your expectations and be happy with what you do have - which may make sex more fun for both of you. Or leave. I don't see much chance that she will change.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 06:30 PM
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Confused:

There are indeed seasons to a marriage.

Perhaps you do need to lower your expectations.

However, there is nothing that says you have to deliver a high level of service for your wife (assuming you, in fact, are) when she effectively refuses the same.

Have you ever told your wife "no, I don't really feel like it" to something she asked you to do for her? Not the kids, not the house, not within the purview of your responsibilities...but specifically for her?

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I agree with this. Having been reading about relationships on this forum for years, time after time husbands are here posting about their unsatisfactory intimate lives (scenarios in which their wife just isn't interested in putting time, energy, enthusiasm into their sex life together, don't give a rat's that her husband is unhappy, don't care, and even shame him) while at the SAME TIME he is personally treating her like royalty... what a twisted message that sends. That only she matters. That he doesn't matter much. That what he feels doesn't matter.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for advice

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.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 09:29 PM
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Re: Looking for advice

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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.
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.

Then again, is it possible that you're looking for something unrealistic? Maybe you're looking for that wild ride and missing out on intimacy yourself. Maybe your past was such that you associate sex with the physical act and not the feeling that comes from spending the night cuddled up with the woman you love after you'd made love. Sometimes wild monkey sex doesn't afford that type of feeling.

Perhaps we write off our wives as being not into sex enough because we're trying to connect with the wrong type of sex. A small bit of compromise might find a sex life that's more frequent and more passionate than you thought possible. Maybe the thrashing about gets replaced by longer moments of exchanged pleasant memories and thoughts of the future.

You have something many don't. Your wife is apparently not repulsed by sex. She may have inhibitions that actually do need to be addressed, especially if based upon past guilt. But it's possible it's simpler than that and the solution is at hand.

I think we need not just the 5 Love Languages, but perhaps the 5 Ways to Experience Sex. I don't know about the number, maybe it's 3? But point being, if we don't understand what meaningful sex means to our wife, how do we expect her to happily anticipate sex with us?
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