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Old 9th April 2008, 08:17 AM   #61
Raymond
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Re: Husband doesn't want sex

Hi Alice. I saw the first one where a lady is talking about opposition on NBC to them which is happening today, but God is opening up really good christian stuff on TV and other ways. I have put it on favourites and will play one to my wife. They look fun and a good way for children to pick up faith, needless to say adults as well. Thankyou.

Hope it's going alright with hubby. I am praying good things will happen re: church and p.

Raymond
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Old 4th June 2008, 06:18 AM   #62
lilybloom
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Unhappy Re: Husband doesn't want sex

Oh my gosh I am so relieved I ran-across this forum. I am at my wit's end with my husband's confusing sex drive. We have been married for 21 years, after only a 6 month engagement. I was 21 when we married, he was 30 and had been married before (once). I was so young I didn't know what a healthy sexual relationship consisted of. At first I thought everything was normal...his infrequent sexual appetite was puzzling at times, but I just thought that I was the abnormal one for wanting it more than he. He also has a problem with sexual performance - this is very hard for me to say - but he isn't able to control his sexual climax. At most he lasts for 15-30 seconds. I'm sorry if this offends anyone...I just don't know how else to say it.

Again, I was so young and inexperienced that I thought that sexual intimacy once or twice a month with a duration of 30 seconds each time was normal. I never felt satisfied, but I thought it was me. After a while I educated myself and found that at our age we should have been intimate more often. I would initiate, he would either say he was tired, or it would end with PE. I encouraged him to get help. He was offended, and would go into denial about his problem. This went on for years.

Finally, about 10 years ago I told him that I couldn't go on like this. I was going crazy - I thought I was the reason he didn't want to have sex so I was exercising, dieting, even resorting to cosmetic surgery to make my body more appealing. I was clinically depressed with very low self-esteem, and so so angry. We went to marriage counseling, but he always seemed to want to blame me for his PE. This was so confusing as I've never been critical of him, I try to reassure him that he is a wonderful man, I take really good care of myself (I have been told by many people that I am very attractive), I wear the latest trends in clothing, I'm intelligent and formally educated with a master's degree....I try to be the best I can be. I also work to contribute to the household income.

So the counseling didn't work. I finally placed an ultimatum: Get help or I am going to move out. He went to a different counselor who told him he may have an anxiety disorder. He left the counselor's office and never returned. His ability for denial is legendary, obviously.

Well...I never did move out. I started a new job, and he all of the sudden insisted that we build a home in an affluent part of the city in which we live. He started buying me expensive jewelry...he's always been a good provider, and has always given me the sweetest gifts on my birthday, etc. and sometimes "just because" gifts. Amidst all of this change I didn't have the heart nor the energy to leave.

Now we are going on 22 years of marriage and nothing has changed. He complimented me on my looks earlier tonight. I replied with "well...maybe we can have some loving later if you would like that." He said "sure, I'd like that." Then he immediately got busy doing things around the house. That was six hours ago. So here I sit in my pink nightie in a chair three feet away from him in silence while he watches television. I am angry, frustrated, depressed, and so so lonely...any suggestions?
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Old 4th June 2008, 01:06 PM   #63
Raymond
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Re: Husband doesn't want sex

Hi Lilybloom. I trust you have read the posts on this thread and have some idea of what is discussed. We are not experts and only offer opinions. PE in the male can happen and some marriages do suffer from this but that obviously is not how God designed it so there is something wrong either physically but more likeley mentally. Usually the problem occurs because of over stimulation in the brain. One of the common reasons I believe is because of the use of pornography and these images in the mind. Another obvious one is solo MB which is also to do with images cultivated in the mind. Both of these are like a mental adultery. If it was any of these you probably would have known about that by now. It may just be a practical thing of learning about it more. There are many good books out these days. Personally I find that practice makes perfect. I hope you don't find that offensive but these things are legitimate in a marriage and you should be enjoying the best there is. The husband should be relaxed and taking his time and coming into it from a good marriage relationship which helps enormously I find.

I think it may just be a question of your husband being willing to buy good books on the subject, not those which just tittilate and make it worse. I think a good christian site is www.themarriagebed.com It is discussed in depth on some of those threads if you can ignore all the other stuff that people talk about. Some of that can be off putting but there are good threads in with it as well. The main thing is he must be open to making adjustments if necessary and not live in denial. That is probably the biggest stumbling block he has.

Raymond
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Old 31st August 2008, 03:03 AM   #64
looiuy
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Lightbulb Re: Husband doesn't want sex

Hello,

I just read all the posts and one major point which can work is involve the community, speak with the pastor's wife and have her tell her husband, or speak to another woman and have her ask her husband to intervene. This could be the real booster and if he gets mad.. hey you have been mad 2-20-30 years already... if he is selfish enough that he let's your pain hurt you just so he doesn't have to touch you (he has hands he could have touched your body with, a mouth to kiss your body and so on, massage etc) yet he does not do this, there are so many ways to please a woman without regular intercourse... he needs a course refresher, ladies let the men know what you want and if they don't listen find a male messenger to help, invite someone like the pastor to your home to speak to him while you are not there but when you know he will be there, just have him knock and say he is there to talk to him ... once you take this course of action don't wiggle out and don't be scared, search the Bible for verses on community involvement and consensus and group helping and remember:

this is NOT about a non-functioning male organ, it's about a husband who is not passionate about his wife, who is too selfish to think and use other ways to satisfy his wife and to even kiss her appropriately (i.e more than the kind of peck you would expect from him kissing mama's cheek), and if he huffs and puffs and kisses you or really looks like he's not enjoying it, then hey he needs to obey God not you and read what duties God gave him toward his wife, if he can work 8 hours a day and watch TV he needs to reach a point where he is passionately able to be passionate with you.
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Old 31st August 2008, 09:10 AM   #65
Raymond
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Re: Husband doesn't want sex

You are right Loolay. Proverbs tells us to be intoxicated with our wives in the bedroom. That's almost a command, but a lovely one. Surely if we are obedient to that God will heal anything untoward.

Raymond
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Old 22nd October 2009, 04:09 AM   #66
mmh
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Re: Husband doesn't want sex

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilybloom View Post
Oh my gosh I am so relieved I ran-across this forum. I am at my wit's end with my husband's confusing sex drive. We have been married for 21 years, after only a 6 month engagement. I was 21 when we married, he was 30 and had been married before (once). I was so young I didn't know what a healthy sexual relationship consisted of. At first I thought everything was normal...his infrequent sexual appetite was puzzling at times, but I just thought that I was the abnormal one for wanting it more than he. He also has a problem with sexual performance - this is very hard for me to say - but he isn't able to control his sexual climax. At most he lasts for 15-30 seconds. I'm sorry if this offends anyone...I just don't know how else to say it.

Again, I was so young and inexperienced that I thought that sexual intimacy once or twice a month with a duration of 30 seconds each time was normal. I never felt satisfied, but I thought it was me. After a while I educated myself and found that at our age we should have been intimate more often. I would initiate, he would either say he was tired, or it would end with PE. I encouraged him to get help. He was offended, and would go into denial about his problem. This went on for years.

Finally, about 10 years ago I told him that I couldn't go on like this. I was going crazy - I thought I was the reason he didn't want to have sex so I was exercising, dieting, even resorting to cosmetic surgery to make my body more appealing. I was clinically depressed with very low self-esteem, and so so angry. We went to marriage counseling, but he always seemed to want to blame me for his PE. This was so confusing as I've never been critical of him, I try to reassure him that he is a wonderful man, I take really good care of myself (I have been told by many people that I am very attractive), I wear the latest trends in clothing, I'm intelligent and formally educated with a master's degree....I try to be the best I can be. I also work to contribute to the household income.

So the counseling didn't work. I finally placed an ultimatum: Get help or I am going to move out. He went to a different counselor who told him he may have an anxiety disorder. He left the counselor's office and never returned. His ability for denial is legendary, obviously.

Well...I never did move out. I started a new job, and he all of the sudden insisted that we build a home in an affluent part of the city in which we live. He started buying me expensive jewelry...he's always been a good provider, and has always given me the sweetest gifts on my birthday, etc. and sometimes "just because" gifts. Amidst all of this change I didn't have the heart nor the energy to leave.

Now we are going on 22 years of marriage and nothing has changed. He complimented me on my looks earlier tonight. I replied with "well...maybe we can have some loving later if you would like that." He said "sure, I'd like that." Then he immediately got busy doing things around the house. That was six hours ago. So here I sit in my pink nightie in a chair three feet away from him in silence while he watches television. I am angry, frustrated, depressed, and so so lonely...any suggestions?
I felt as if I was reading about my life! I have already posted my situation, so I won't go into all of it again. But, I'm ALWAYS the one having to initiate sex with my husband. Although I, too, have been told that I'm attractive, I've never had high self-esteem. So my husband's disinterest makes me feel even worse about myself. He refuses to go to a doctor or therapy. I, too, have threatened to leave, but still stay. When my husband compliments once in a blue moon, I'm tickled to death. I get compliments throughout the day at my job, and although these make me feel better about myself, it's my husband that I want to impress. But nothing I do seems to make him want me physically. I don't know what to do. I've come out and told him that I'm unhappy, and he just changed the subject. I don't think he realizes how unhappy I am. He also does not address anything, but seems to think that if he does not have to talk about a problem, it will go away. He's making it very difficult for me to love him, which makes me sad.
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Old 22nd October 2009, 08:38 AM   #67
Raymond
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Re: Husband doesn't want sex

Whilst I do have a good sex life it seems very attractive to me that a wife would actually initiate. Wow! It's always me in my marriage but I have accepted that. I think it should generally be the man so obviously there is a problem there in your marriage.

In these cases I always check whether there are hidden sexual diversions in the husbands life such as porn or solo MB. I have discussed these things before, going around the houses, and in the end thats what it turned out to be. I know that is not always the case but it is worth checking here first as they are the obvious things.

Has he always been this way or is this a late development? Other things that can affect it are overwork and excessive drinking. These limit the sexual drive in men and probably women too. Whilst lack of excercise won't kill the sex drive excercise will increase it. I have found this in my own life.

Sex is very important as you realise and while it is not everything it is a vital part of marriage. Take that away and you will know it.

I think if you look into these obvious things before going deeper it will be a good start.

Raymond
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Old 22nd October 2009, 10:01 AM   #68
Ageing Grace
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Re: Husband doesn't want sex

Hello, MMH & Lilybloom.

Thank you for writing here. You both strike me as paragons of patience & understanding! However wise, and however loving you are, it must be a struggle to maintain your self-esteem when there is such a void in your lives where intimacy ought to be. My life is pretty lonely these days, but this loneliness is nothing like the agony I felt while married: lying next to my husband; unacknowledged; unwanted; undesired. I admire your tolerance.

Stating the obvious, lack of marital sex is a problem when the couple's desires don't match. There are many happy couples who hardly ever have sex, just as there are many who still can't keep their hands off each other in old age!

Mismatched sexuality isn't always about frequency. It could be about individual styles of loving; a fetish that only thrills one partner; differing imaginations; changing expectations or, of course, the effects of age and illness.

Everybody knows that a healthy marriage is a balancing act. In all areas of our lives together, we need to give and take as we balance our partner's wishes with our own. Power shifts subtly from one to the other and back again: this actually strengthens the bond between partners and enhances intimacy.

What seems to have happened, in both of your marriages, is that the power balance has become skewed. Your husbands have made unilateral decisions about marital sex - in parallel, intimacy has become eroded leaving you (and quite possibly your husbands, too) feeling lonely and out of place. Quite simply, both men are behaving selfishly in the matter of sex.

Premature ejaculation is an expression of selfishness, too. That's why we forgive it in boys, but not in older men who should have learned the art of give-and-take. As Raymond says: excessive self-gratification, with or without pornography, often leads men to focus on fantasy and a quick ejaculation, at the expense of true loving sex. Again, this is selfish and causes a loss of intimacy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by looiuy View Post
this is NOT about a non-functioning male organ, it's about a husband who is not passionate about his wife, who is too selfish to think and use other ways to satisfy his wife
The reasons why a person might become selfish like this are many and varied. There could be an unpleasant past experience, buried for decades, which slowly poisons the mind. It could be a 'passive-aggressive' response to a power imbalance elsewhere in your relationship. It could stem from a fear of ageing, of feeling less virile than before. It could be caused by an illness, such as depression or diabetes. Or by an outside source of gratification, in the flesh or in fantasy.

In terms of the effect it has on you, the spurned partner, underlying reasons barely matter. There is an imbalance. Your desires and feelings are being permanently scorned in favour of his. No wonder you're unhappy.

Since you both say your husbands are unwilling to explore problems within the marriage, or in themselves, I don't think you'll get very far by searching for clues as to why this is happening. When you focus your own energies on worrying about him (what he thinks; what he wants; what he feels; what he 'should') - you are essentially pushing the balance even further towards him. That will make you even more unhappy, and destroy even more of what intimacy remains.

If you can manage it, I think you both need to take a much wider view of your marriage - and a more pragmatic one.
  • Are your needs & feelings being respected in all other areas? How much give-and-take is there, really, between you?
  • While you're thinking about it, are there areas where you have dismissed his wishes?
  • Has the balance in your marriage become rigid, rather than flowing evenly between you as time passes and things change?
I would ask friends and family for input on all the above, though I realise not everyone would like to do that. You could always post in these forums about it!
  • Are you still in touch with your own sexuality - do you still know what you want married sex to be like?
  • Do you still feel 'like a woman' in your own right?
  • It's great that you're both confident in your attractiveness.
    I know from bitter experience, however, that it's easy to become fixated on how attractive we seem to other people. Past the age of 21 or so, that's not a particularly healthy way to be thinking.
Feeling sexy is more about feeling alive than mere cosmetic appeal.

So what to do about it?

You're clearly not getting anywhere by discussing it with your husbands. So don't. Actions speak louder than words!
  • First, your own self-love.
  • Get creative: take up a new sport, return to your old passions, join an art class, learn a new language, go to comedy clubs, jazz clubs - whatever floats your boat.
  • Make it your priority to fill your own life with joy and enthusiasm! Get back in touch with old friends, or make new ones. Accept invitations to do charity work, join church groups, visit new places.
  • Surprise yourself. Fall back in love with your self!
  • Next, your relationship.
  • Where you found stagnation, rigidity and control (on either side), change it! Don't talk about it, just do it. If you always do the accounts, ask his advice on family finances. If he always drives, take the keys and the wheel. If you wish he'd empty the dishwasher, just ask him. Hand him one end of the sheet when you're folding laundry. Compromise on how the family eats; just shake the rules around a little.
  • Where you feel under-appreciated, invite praise! Women are terrible at this: we get peeved when we're not praised, yet we're always putting ourselves down. Who's to know we wanted applause? Say "I'm really pleased with this dish I cooked / wall I painted / achievement at work / amusing story / new haircut / etc, ISN'T IT GREAT?"
  • Where you want more everyday affection, try to stay open for it without chasing it. I realise you've been doing it for a lifetime, but could you have simply fallen into 'closed' habits? When you both walk with hands in pockets, the possibility of holding hands has gone. If your hand swings loose, sometimes close to his, then the possibility is there. Maybe you could move a little closer when you're sharing a task, or a joke - you know: seduce him. Very gently.
  • Then there's sex.
  • There's no way you can force someone to initiate sex. As you know, pleading and yelling are both horrendous turn-offs. What you can do, however, is make yourself appropriately (and un-pushily) available. See if you can picture how you'd behave if you wanted an old friend, who'd never thought of you 'that way', to start thinking! Gently - subtly - slowly and nicely - available.
  • This works better if you completely abstain from initiating sex. I know it's hard, and feels weird, especially when you've built up loads of coping mechanisms to deal with your situation. But it's humane, low-risk, good fun once you've got started - and it can work!
  • One other idea, totally opposed to the above, is to mutually resolve to have sex every day for a year. This has also worked wonders for many stagnant couples! You start off agreeing that "you don't have to enjoy it, just do it anyway" and, apparently, you find fairly quickly that you're enjoying it after all. There's a sound logic behind this; I'm just not sure either of your partners would agree to it. What do you think?
  • There's a very simple technique to delay ejaculation, which I would tell you about if this were a more free-speaking forum! Beats me why they don't teach it to boys in high school, but the majority of men seem completely ignorant of it until somebody shows them ... Look it up on one of those other forums, Lilybloom, it will at least improve the experience for you both, if not resolve the bigger issue.

I'm very sorry this has been such a long (and rather dull) post. It just seems that so many people are suffering this painful, and private, problem - the more ideas we each put forward, the closer we might come to finding solutions that work for some couples.

When you become used to the idea that sex in your marriage is bad - or non-existent - that silent strain undermines so much of your relationship, doesn't it? The easy intimacy goes, we start to feel nervous around each other and everything starts to feel hopeless. But I don't believe it is - at least, not always. The process can be undone; it's finding the right mindset that takes time and effort.

My little story:

The first Mr Grace and I had stopped having sex. You know, we were always tired or busy - then one of us was ill & had to sleep in the spare room - then we'd sort of lost the habit - and started to feel awkward about sex - so we didn't do it at all - and stopped hugging each other, stopped kissing - and eventually almost stopped looking at one another. He pushed me off him a few times, and then my wounded pride stopped me trying.

After a lot of hard thinking (too little, too late) I decided on pretty much the approach I've outlined above. I chose to believe our downward spiral could spiral upward again, and I chose to feel positive. We got along much better, enjoying each other's company and having fun together again.

After even more time I tried again, only this time with all the tricks & trimmings I knew he liked (but had stopped caring about, because my pride was injured). He burst into tears. He said some lovely things, then he said "it's too late".

What he meant was that he'd already committed to someone else. It really was too late. He got involved with someone else because of the way we were; we were already downhill, she wasn't the cause of our problem. When he said "it's too late", he meant it would have worked if it had happened sooner.

With hindsight, I know that marriage wasn't a good one; it would have ended anyway, once I'd sorted myself out. I learned a very big lesson that time, though.

I learned that pride and dignity are two different things. Fragile, hard and brittle, pride has no place in a loving relationship. Dignity is honest, strong and flexible. It empowers love.

AG

Last edited by Ageing Grace; 22nd October 2009 at 10:10 AM. Reason: formatting
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Old 22nd October 2009, 05:52 PM   #69
mmh
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Re: Husband doesn't want sex

Thanks, AG, for the encouragement. I know that my husband is not into porn or secretly masturbating. I also don't believe he's having an affair. As I stated before, I DO believe that it stems from past unhealthy relationships and being with dominant woman. I don't want to be a dominant woman or the "head of the household". I've always wanted my husband to be the one who makes the final decision, and me to nurture and take care of him. He's happy with me making ALL the decisions, taking care of the finances, etc. I HATE doing this because it causes alot of stress. He lived alone for 4 years between marriages, and was extremely independent. As soon as we married, he became passive, so I had to step up to the plate.

Now, for the sex situation. He has never been affectionate- except at the beginning of our relationship. I fell in love with him before he began to withdraw. Like most women, I thought once we married, I could change him. However, as I stated before, it's like we now have to deal with this issue since the focus isn't on anything else (i.e. his ex-wife, the children). I don't like the feeling of rejection from the other relationship and am tired of constantly thinking about him. I want to put those thoughts on my husband, but I'm finding that hard to do. I know that the other relationship was supposed to just be about sex. However, he provided me with the emotional and physical things that I've been missing. We both began to develop feelings for each other, and to protect himself, he broke things off. So, I'm not only dealing with the issues at home, but also a "break-up" that has caused me pain.

Other men flirt with me at work, and I flirt back. I enjoy feeling that men still find me attractive, since my husband doesn't make me feel that way. There are times when I wish I was single, so I could get my needs met without betraying my husband. On the other hand, I like the companionship and knowing that there's someone here for me.

I'm so confused and am miserable about this situation. Depression is an issue for me, but lately, it's gotten worse. I cry for no reason and hardly ever laugh anymore. I've thought about just going away somewhere to gain perspective on everything. But, I have no money and don't want to return to my parents' home. Last night, I ordered several books recommended on this site. I'm hoping my husband will participate and be willing to do what the books say to "rekindle" our relationship.

I've talked to several friends about this situation, but they don't know what I'm feelings. I hate that any of us have to go through this. But, having the support of someone going through the same thing does provide some comfort. I will definitely keep up the these posts and am thankful for any/all advice.

Thanks!
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Old 22nd October 2009, 08:25 PM   #70
mmh
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Re: Husband doesn't want sex

Amber,

I, too have my MSW, and work as a therapist. It's very hard to know that me and my husband need counseling, but he won't go. And, like you, my husband was extremely affectionate before we began a sexual relationship (we waited 9 months before we had sex). He's only been with one other woman (his ex-wife) and when we first got together, it was exciting and passionate. Several months after our sexual relationship began, he began to withdraw and no longer initiated it.

I, too, am a Christian. What concerns me is that I don't feel guilty about the affair I had, and to be honest, I would have another one. I have talked to my husband so many times about this, but he does not see that we have a problem. He does not kiss me unless we are going to have sex, because he does not "see the point". We have opposite kissing styles, so even though our sex life is good (when we have sex), his kissing no longer turns me on.

I miss that passion and excitement we had when we first got together. His thoughts? No one can be together as long as we have and still have passion. I miss that and want it back! My self-esteem has gotten so low because he never looks at me THAT WAY. I can walk through the house naked, and he doesn't even look away from the TV. I talked to a male friend of mine, who said that this is not normal. He said that I should be beating him off with a stick because he should respond when I'm naked. I have back problems for which I take medication and it has caused me to put on some weight. I'm constantly worried that is the problem, although my husband says it's not. He was this way when I hadn't gained weight, so I believe him.

His first wife left him for another man, and while I could not understand how someone could do this, I now understand. I have even threatened to find someone else to meet my needs, but he just thinks I'm joking. I can tell him about things other men say to me, and he just laughs. I don't know if he doesn't think I'll cheat or if he just doesn't care anymore.

I don't know what to do.
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Old 22nd October 2009, 08:29 PM   #71
Raymond
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Re: Husband doesn't want sex

Amberheller there seems to be many problems going on here. One of the biggies for me is the porn. That can have a devastating effect on the marital intimacy. Read through some of these threads on it and you will see what I mean. It is really mental adultery and does divert the sexual drive onto these women he looks at on online. As a christian you will know that Jesus said if a man looks at a woman to lust after her he has committed adultery with her already in his heart. Isn't this happening in porn? As a man I know it is. How can God honour his marriage when that is happening?

You have to confront this Amberheller as it is not right. No all men do not do it. You don't have to be militant just confront in a normal voice. It will be hard to have a happy marriage with this going on. His intimacy should be with you and only you. Commitment means sexual commitment as well. One wonders what he is doing in the bath with his laptop quite frankly.

Maybe some of the other problems come from the porn as well in the way you have been replaced by this stuff. It is quite potent and can seriously affect ones spiritual life and relationship with God. To get free one must really want it and even then it will be a battle depending on how long it has been going on. A good movie that might help is "Fireproof" if you can get hold of it.

What you must remember is there is nothing wrong with you so don't let your self esteem be affected. It happens to very attractive women as well and the problem is the porn and what it does to a man. I'd really try and get some fellowship if you can. It is a big spiritual battle taking place in the part of your marriage which is supposed to be the most intimate and you will need all the help you can get. If he refuses to change you just might have to sadly use that option you spoke about.

Raymond
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Old 22nd October 2009, 10:29 PM   #72
mmh
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Re: Husband doesn't want sex

Amber,

Although our situations are different in many ways, I see SO MANY similarities. When I was having my affair, the other guy could become aroused by just talking to me. I have literally straddled my husband and began kissing him, only to receive no reaction from him. Like you, I have trouble accepting compliments- people have commented on this to me. I'm self-conscious about myself, which also brings comments. Although I'm no great beauty, I am evidently attractive, as men tell me I am. But, I'm always talking about my weight and other features that I'm ashamed of. A guy at work asked me the other day if I was ashamed of my body. When I said that I was, he told me that he could tell by the way I act when he compliments me. I NEVER get compliments from the man who I want to impress, so I assume that he no longer finds me attractive and desirable. If he doesn't find me that way, why should anyone else? I've found myself wanting to be around men who do flirt with me and compliment me. I dress up on the days when I know they're gonna be at work so I can get attention. Isn't that horrible and kind of sad?

MMH
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Old 23rd October 2009, 01:27 AM   #73
mmh
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Re: Husband doesn't want sex

Amber,

I know what you mean about trying to decide if you've got the strength to make it work. I think that my husband loves me as much as he can. However, I don't think he has the ability to love me as much as I love him. Like your husband, he says he cares and that he loves me. But his actions show something different. I threatened to leave him about 3 weeks ago, but he asked me to stay. For a few days, he treated me with a little more attention. That stopped. Then we went for over 2 weeks with no sex and no mention of it.

I have put up with so much during the 12 years we have been together. But, I've stayed, hoping that one day, he would put me first and make me a priority. His children are 21 and 17, so they no longer depend on him as they once did. His ex-wife, who has caused numerous problems for us, has chilled out. So, one would think that since we have no children, we would have a great marriage and spend lots of time together. But, we don't. I have talked to him until I'm just tired. I even bought a Dr. Phil "Relationship Rescue" book. I completed about half of it and read my answers to my husband. His response? "There wasn't anything in there that I didn't already know." He then continued to watch TV. I'm tired of sleeping alone (he sleeps on the couch because I snore. But when we go out of town, he can tolerate it). I don't know how much longer I can take it. After I threatened to leave, I decided to give him about 4 weeks before I made a decision- and the decision would be based on how his actions. And, nothing's changed. My needs are not his needs and I feel they should be. I don't think me and you are asking too much. Marriage shouldn't be one-sided and it sounds like it has become that way for both of us. I'll pray for you and thanks for your support. Let me know if you need to vent.

Meg (MMH)
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Old 23rd October 2009, 08:48 AM   #74
Ageing Grace
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Re: Husband doesn't want sex

Hi, MMH & Amber

No, it's not horrible of you to seek the validation you need by dresing up for work! Sad that you need it so badly, but that's not your fault ... it's actually healthy to know you can attract admiration at will

MMH: Since you are a therapist, it'd be interesting to know your thoughts about your husband's passive aggression? What you said about his ceding all responsibility to you upon marriage makes it look like he could be a classic case. In a textbook, he'd be acting out some historical fear & resentment of women (not you in particular, just your bad luck). Of course there could be other reasons for his behaviour change - I'm thinking of my Aspie ex - but passive aggression seems to fit your bill so far.

Since it isn't your choice to be in charge of everything, I really think you have to do something about the imbalace of power, rights & responsibilities within your relationship. It may not fix your sex life - but it will, at least, alter the dynamic between you for the better and, more urgently, mitigate your own feelings of resentment. Can I suggest it's time you booked yourself in for an assertiveness course?! Either with a colleague or with yourself, as long as you start putting it into practise ...

Amber: You are suffering spousal abuse in so many ways. Your husband is a bully. Frankly, I think your sex problem is the least of your worries right now - although I'd suggest he's using his preference for porn as yet another means of putting you down. Grrr.

Being nice to bullies doesn't work. You have two choices (other than quitting). You can fight tooth & nail, or adopt a calm & dignified stance - in which you simply don't respond to his negativity. That is, respond if you like but only in a clear and practical way. Did you read Yogamad's thread here, entitled "My husband hates my family"? Her current thread shows just how far she's come, in the space of a few months

For both of you, the sex thing seems to be part of a greater and more pervasive problem in your marriage. It's not as if the whole thing would sort itself out, if only you had a good sex life - unfortunately

Please look after yourselves: especially Amber, you need to get back to church and work on your self-love. I wish you all the best - if only I could travel this particular path with you in person (I've had so much experience with bullies, blast them!). Virtual hugs will have to do for now.

AG xx
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Old 23rd October 2009, 10:25 PM   #75
Ageing Grace
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Re: Husband doesn't want sex

Bless you, Amber, you won't get told off

Somebody like Raymond can give you better guidance on god & divorce. Meanwhile, I feel that prayer/meditation does help us to find our true path. So do writing down our thoughts & feelings and getting other points of view - which is where these forums come in handy!

Possibly you won't be able to seriously consider leaving until you have tried everything. Without knowing your husband, I haven't a clue whether he's likely to respond to steady assertiveness on your part. When a person has got used to bolstering their own ego by trampling on someone else's, a total change of attitude by the underdog can really throw a spanner in the works. It might help to clarify your own thoughts, too - it's hard to make decisions when you've lost faith in your ability to do anything right

Dealing with a bully spouse is different from dealing with a workplace bully. The aim is to genuinely improve the relationship, rather than win a power game. Therefore I tend to recommend a 'calm, charm and detachment' offensive An advantage of this is that you can amuse yourself (and your friends) greatly while doing it ... everything's better if you can get a chuckle out of it!

For most bullies, it's just not as much fun when you don't get a reaction. If your husband is likely to escalate his attacks to violence, then non-reaction would be a poor choice. Nonetheless, you do need to regain a foothold in your marriage so as to help your self respect.

Is writing here doing anything to help you get a clearer view of your dilemma?

Remember to take very good care of your self! I still keep self-affirming flash cards in my handbag, and I'm not ashamed of it

AG xx
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