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Lack of Intimacy in My Marriage & What it is leading me to do


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We are both 40. I've been married for 11 years to my beautiful wife who I love very much and would never want to do anything to hurt her. But, our libidos are very different. I have a high sex drive, craving intimacy on some level on a daily basis or the walls start closing in (btw, this does not have to be just sexual intercourse, but some form of playing). I'd settle for once a week.

Her sex drive is practically non-existent: we haven't been intimate in over 3 months, and on average are intimate with each other about once every 2-4 weeks.

 

She just gets caught up in the daily duty routines (we have two kids) and I do play my part, but honestly she does most of the child-rearing work (I do more dishes, cleaning the house, etc.)

 

Recently, I have made it into a bit of a larger issue, asking her to talk about our problem (which she never does want to talk), and in the ensuing last couple days she has asked if we could just start over and forget the issue even exists. What she really means is she wants me to chase after her again on a daily basis, as essentially I basically gave up chasing her around for sex about 2-3 years ago when I reached a boiling point over the lack of sexual incidents in our marriage.

I agreed, so we'll have to see how the next bit goes I guess.

 

Honestly, at this point I truly believe that if she was to be willing to meet a middle-ground of weekly sex I would not have to do some of the things I feel so guilty about...please read on.

 

Here's the part of the story that will finish completing it: over the last 5 years (almost half of our marriage) I've been going to strip clubs and massage parlors getting "relieved" as a kind of sexual set of escapades to fulfill my high sex drive cravings. I feel so guilty, but at the same time really believe it is the best outlet for me, as I do not wish to cheat on her with a "real" person, so I choose to do it this way which seems like the lesser of two evils.

 

I really need some help: she went away to her parents for a few days this week and since I was on my own I went out this evening to one of those places. I am wracked by guilt, but on another level really enjoy it has released a high degree of pressure for me.

 

Any advice on how to get things back on track would be great.

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Have you seen a doctor re. her low sex drive? Also, have you sought counseling?

 

Does she know about the clubs and massage parlors? If not, are you willing to lose your marriage? I consider this behavior cheating!

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Masturbate?

 

This makes me feel horrible. My sex drive is extremely low, and just like your wife, I try to steer clear from sex, but when my bf becomes a mad man, I give in and force myself. I feel bad that I'm not always horny, but I can't help it. What's even worse is.... knowing that the person you love is looking for an outlet ELSEWHERE, thanks to our lack of sex drive which we can't control Talk about depressing.

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I was in your exact shoes. I was 37 and fighing for affection and sex on a daily basis. We had been married 10 years.

I started going to strip clubs and, just like you, justified what I was doing as fulfulling a need that wasn't being met at home. I wasn't getting any kind of release. But I was doing things that I know my wife would have considered cheating. I thought there was no threat. Like you, I didn't think they were "real" people.

Then I fell in love with someone I met in one of those clubs. I was divorce about a year later.

My advice: Try and make your marriage work before it is too late. Go to marriage counseling. Make her understand how important of an issue this is. If you don't, this issue will gradually get much worse.

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Masturbation (referring to im_the_undead's thoughtful post) isn't the same (for me, imho) as sex. Even if it's a handjob (well, I'm a woman but yeah handjobs can work) or oral, or full blown sex......masturbation is a very lame substitution.

 

My sex drive is very high - I prefer sex daily - even if it is me giving my lover a blowjob, he doesn't have to reciprocate..still I crave the sexual contact, daily. I prefer honestly, twice daily for regular maintenance.

 

I've only had two lovers who matched my sex drive. One, was a complete arse, and we parted ways 3 years ago. hmmm he was my husband, sadly. My 1st husband didn't match my sex drive at all, I was celibate for more than 6 years, in that relationship! My current lover matches my sex drive, but that's a complicated situation. However, I am relieved to be single. There's nothing worse than to be in a marriage or committed relationship and not be able to have sex with the person we desire.....

 

I do understand your reasons for frequenting the strip clubs, for some release. And for you, I"m sure it does make a difference, that it's not a 'real person' (in fact it is a real person but there is perhaps, little intimacy, unlike an emotional/sexual 'affair'......) you get the release, no harm, no foul. But....you are feeling guilty.

Your relationship is not working. I wonder if there's any way it can be repaired, or if it is a true case of your sex drive not matching hers?

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No we haven't sought counseling. This is largely in part to her not acknowledging that the problem is a problem with her. She always says she doesn't want to be blamed for this "issue" (lack of sex to meet my desires), and she believes it is "both" of our issues.

 

Also, we are both of the same mind regarding how once you seek out counseling it's like it's become real, and seeking counseling "doesn't sound like us".

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Well, as mentioned it seems she (and I, I suppose) is willing to give this a shot with a blank slate starting from now on, but because of the very long history here of this behavior, I will have to believe this when I see it. I don't think someone is willing to "flick a switch" and suddenly want it all the time. It seems she may have some physiological problem (hormones, etc.) or just a very low body image, but frankly I don't care as I am attracted to her.

 

Frankly, we are in a sexless marriage and I have recently confronted this exact topic with her as mentioned. It seems she is willing to start anew, so we'll see.

 

I try to forget what's happened, but it's hard as I can't help thinking "yeah, yeah, whatever" when she says it will get better.

 

Finally, we have two young kids so I would never leave her for at least a number of years as I could not:

a. bear being without her (like I said, I love her)

b. bear being without seeing my kids every day

c. be in any way responsible for my kids growing up in a divorce family

 

However, if this continues like it has, I can't see being with her once my kids have grown up a bit into their teens

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So, of course she would be very upset and likely even leave me (I don't think she holds the same opinions as I do about stickign together for the kids) if she knew about the extracurricular activity. You are right, I should stop that behavior. I won't tell her ever about though because frankly it would do no good (i.e. i'd be honest, but she would leave me).

 

Now, what am I supposed to do forever more about these unmet urges? I plan to throw myself at her again continually (daily) like I used to do during our first 5 years together. It is very hard to do as I would be turned down 90% of the time back then, and that's played on my psyche in our relationship. But I guess I will try.

 

If this doesn't work though, I can't guarantee I'll stay away from the strip joints.

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and in the ensuing last couple days she has asked if we could just start over and forget the issue even exists. What she really means is she wants me to chase after her again on a daily basis, as essentially I basically gave up chasing her around for sex about 2-3 years ago when I reached a boiling point over the lack of sexual incidents in our marriage.

 

When a woman has children and is constantly attending to their physical and emotional needs - yes, her husband cleaning up the house helps, but when she has the role of "mommy," she may not feel all that sexy all the time and might very well exhausted. I think you should chase her, but not how you think. It shouldn't involve begging her for sex, but essentially dating your wife. Send the kids to grandma's or get a sitter or exchange kids with a sibling once a week or every other and have a proper date. It doesn't have to be that expensive - anything that is a night out without the children doing something grownup = a walk in the moonlight, ice cream, dinner, even a night at a hotel every few months. If you do this, you will find sex on the day to day basis will improve. Also, put a lock on your bedroom door, even a simple hook and eye so that a child can't just stroll in the room at any old time and that will improve things when there is no chance of a little one bursting through the door at any given moment.

 

Don't try to have sex with her every single day off the bat, IMHO - which is nearly impossible if you have kids unless they are in school and you can manage a mid day rendezvous.

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I think you both need counseling, as there are two parties here. If she isn't willing to work things through,you may have to consider divorce. You are not doing your kids any favors by remaining in an unhealthy marriage, and if they find out about your outside activity, it could emotionally scar them for life- your son will end up like you and your daughter would end up with a cheater. This really behavior really screw with a child's psyche, are you ready to deal with that b/c you need your weekly release. Put your kids needs first!

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My kids are 5 & 7 (two girls).

 

We do go on dates, and over the last couple years have made a serious effort to do as you suggest (get a baby sitter, etc. and go out on a date). We were just out on one this past week.

 

Yes, it does help and usually leads to us getting intimate soon after, but frankly we are talking still only an average of once every 2 weeks at the very best when we are doing all of these things. Frankly, it starts to turn into a bit of a game about who is going to initiate it.

 

It's just: I crave sexual intimacy daily; she rarely craves it at all: and even when we are intimate from time to time, because of the infrequency of it, it always seems like she is not doing even at those few and far between times willingly, and that it is in some sort of service to me because I'm the one who wants it all the time.

 

There is quite a bit psychologically that it seems that I need to overcome.

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So what you are saying is I should negate my primal (and what seems to me as normal) human needs just so my kids don't get scarred for life "if" they find out?

 

The issue is my wife and I really do get along quite well as friends, and neither of us could imagine living our lives without being together...it's just I need more intimacy just to be happy. So I guess I'll just be unhappy then?

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I think you are being very selfish. This behavior is very destructive to your kids and partner. You are cheating!

 

Either get some help or get out of the marriage, but do not continue down this path.

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No we haven't sought counseling. This is largely in part to her not acknowledging that the problem is a problem with her. She always says she doesn't want to be blamed for this "issue" (lack of sex to meet my desires), and she believes it is "both" of our issues.

 

Also, we are both of the same mind regarding how once you seek out counseling it's like it's become real, and seeking counseling "doesn't sound like us".

 

 

Here are some things that may help (I was married for 20 years and went through a similar issue). One is for you to realize that the issue is not her "fault" nor is it your "fault". You each simply have different sex drives at this stage in your lives. It will help the situation immensely if you put blame aside and think of this as an issue for both of you to work through.

 

Next - Understand that it is very common for a parent's sex drive to diminish with all of the demands of the day (and night) to contend with. And often a diminished sex drive is a symptom of depression. Making sure you take a huge initiative to complete chores around the house and spend time with the children to give her some "me" time is crucial. Also, it is important to make sure you two go on date nights without the kids on a regular basis - it is crucial for the health of your marriage to schedule those dates in your marriage.

 

Stop going to the strip clubs - masturbation is fair game but the other is definitely cheating on your wife and essentially eroding your marriage.

 

If you two are not willing to go to counseling, then at least get yourself a book called "The Passionate Marriage" by Dr. David Schnark, a well respected sex therapist. This author's premise is that often the lack of sexual intimacy in marriages is a symptom of your marital health. Once you work on your marriage, then the sex and more importantly the intimacy will fall into place! There are exercises which lead you as a couple to a more intimate and healthier relationship.

 

Lastly, it is so important to focus on what is right about your wife and what you truly appreciate about her each and every day! If she feels that she is truly loved unconditionally then I believe that she would be more open and giving with you. But if you are only focusing on negative issues then she is not going to feel loved.

 

So every day before you go to sleep I want you to think of three little things about your wife that you love and appreciate. And it can be big or little things. And be sure to tell her how much you love and appreciate her as much as you can (genuinely of course). When you start to think of those negative little things that annoy you about her then STOP those thoughts and immediately think of things about her that you appreciate. What are her personal qualities that attracted you to her in the first place? What do you appreciate about her as a mom? (For example she may be a very loving mom, she may be great at reading to your kids, she may be great at guiding your kids through life, etc.). What do you appreciate about her as a person? (She may be a very kind person, she may be thoughtful, she may be funny or creative or a great reader....).

 

The more you can appreciate about her (even silently to yourself) the more positive your marriage will be.

 

Be sure to smile at her frequently and be loving, kind, gentle, and patient.

 

Be sure to laugh together!

 

Offer her backrubs because you know how hard she works (and make sure you have no sexual expectations at that time - in fact take care of your needs first and then offer the backrub). If you have no sexual expectations at that time then your wife will feel loved rather than lusted after.

 

At some point see if you can gently discuss whether you can schedule a regular time for sex - we had to do that in our relationship and honestly with small children it was the last thing on my mind (and the first on my husband's lol) and I had to force myself to go along with it since we had that commitment. Yet, once we got going then my body seemed to wake up and find the energy...

 

See if you can come up with a compromise between the two of you - or let her choose how often and even mark it on your calendar if you have to and then stick with it!

 

Please do understand that this is your marriage that is at stake!

 

Good luck

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Everything changes when kids come along. You can't act like horny teenagers all the time because quite frankly you are not always alone. If you tend to get intimate after a night away from the kids, instead of being resentful because its not more, I would think it would motivate me. You know what the key is to having sex. Now, try to figure out what else goes on. Are you extra charming during those dates, etc? Also, what I would do is go out even more frequently or date at the house where the kids go and you stay. I would also do things like rubbing shoulders or feet even on days you don't have dates to continue the physical contact.

 

Also, keep in mind that after kids, a woman's hormones change too. as the kids get a little older she could be more in the mood.

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Unfortunately these things almost never get better. I think you should seriously consider divorce because it is clear she doesn't want to take equal responsibility for a good sex life, doesn't see the need for it and is taking refuge in a lot of nonsense excuses. If she wanted sex she would find time for it and I bet she isn't too tired to o the things she wants to do. Don't let her or other people put the blame on you and make you the one responsible for seducing her or making things right. She has an equal responsibility and isn't living up to it.

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I wish everyone on this site would stop saying that people don't change and things never get better because you are wring and they do, not everyone is the same...

 

I was depressed for a year and a half and no-one noticed it, it only hit me in the face when I went to a therapist and was told I'd been depressed and it explained why I had no sex drive because I was really angry with my ore half due to unresolved issues from ages ago that I have never sorted therefore I neer wanted tobe intimate with him. I wasn't doing it intentionally, it used to drive me nuts that I couldn't do anything but i just didnt k ow what to do, self esteem and cofidence at an all time low and when he told me he was leaving, I got help!!!

 

Once I started dealing with my issues,i realised what the problems were and discovered that I loved being intimate with that person and I wanted to be.. What I am trying to say is this, people can change if they really want to and sometimes it takes outside sources to show you where are going wrong and what you need to do. She may not know she has anything wrong with her and it's inky in hindsight that I see that sitting in my pyjamas all day long watching sky news on tv and not really leaving the house except to go to work was not normal behaviour. My other half at the time also didn't see it because he was wrapped up with the lack of intimacy issue from his point of view.

 

If you love her, tell her she needs to seriously fund out what the issue is, you will go t a therapist with her or go for moral support or she can go on her own but you can't live the rest of your life like this and you love her and want to be with her but you can't be like this.

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I wish everyone on this site would stop saying that people don't change and things never get better because you are wring and they do, not everyone is the same...
Unfortunately, the evidence on this and other forums is that so few do change as to make it negligible. All that usually happens is that people make every effort, try everything that is advised and nothing changes. Then they find they have wasted years of their lives in frustrating and unhappy relationships when they would have been much better advised leaving and finding someone on the same page as they are sexually.
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I cannot relate to all the excuses given here for her not wanting sex because of the mother status ...

 

I am a mother , I clean the house , I do the washing , the ironing , the shopping and go to work ..not once has my sex drive dwindled .

 

however ..I will admit that it does seem to be the norm for women to say they lose their sex drive after kids ...now whether that's to do with their physical appearance when naked I don't know . By that I mean having kids can leave a lot of women looking like the map of Russia naked , boobs that look like spaniels ears and weight gain they

can't seem to shift ....

 

The only logical thing you can do is bite the bullet and do what you both fear as been to "real" and see a sex therapist ...

 

or stay in a sexless marriage until the kids leave home ...

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Sorry but this one forum and a couple of others are not the benchmark for millions of people and their behaviour.. If we all think negatively and that the whole world is against us and that no one can ever change and they will follow the same pattern of behaviour for the rest of their lives, no wonder none of us will change, we are told by others we never will.

 

I am not necessarily saying that in this particular case, this couple will be able to stay together but I posted my example to prove people can change for the better, I know other people that have and have saved their relationships. It takes two and I have lost count of the amount of people who leave other people and go on somewhere else and still find their libido isn't in tune with someone else's, it's a common problem you hear a lot of and people need to get to the route of the problem since a lack if intimacy is normally because there is an underlying issue that someone hasn't dealt with. My therapist has given me the belief that I can change the way I feel and think, it won't change overnight and it won't always be perfect but you can't generalise and simply tell people to get divorced and after a year of therapy, self help books and wanting to change, I know ive changed and I and others can see the difference and they have encouraged me all the way.

 

This man says he loves his wife, wants to be with her and make it work, relationships are never easy, hard work and need working at everyday, I've leary my lesson and wish I hadn't given up so easily and actually got help sooner!

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