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Should I stay? Am I being unrealistic about marriage?


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Hi everyone. This is a great forum and I am back with a concern of my own.

Hope you can help.

 

Some background:

 

Divorced since 2009. We were married for 9 years, together 13 years. with 2 kids

Ex cheated. Didn't have any remorse, didn't apologize, didn't have any interest in therapy or staying in the marriage, she moved out.

Kids live with me during the week (she is actually the "weekend Dad" unconventional right? but we mutually agreed)

 

After lots of dating, I remarried 3.5 years ago. We have a child together.

 

 

My current situation

 

I am generally unhappy, and feel I married for the wrong reasons.

We are compatible with many of the fundamentals (morals, family oriented, interests, financial), but our "7 Love Languages" are very different, especially sexually.

It's been a stumbling block for me. All women I have been with (about 8 or 9) I had great sexual chemistry with about 5 or 6 of them, but with her, it feels very unnatural, even mechanical.

She has never orgasmed, and hasn't on her own before either. She might have a physical or psychological reason of not having one, but she doesn't care to seek help for it. I've tried everything, many times for long periods of time. Having said that...she seems and says she is content, but I think she doesn't know what she is missing and it affects her interest in having sex to begin with.

 

Some say they know they are sexually compatible/attracted just by kissing each other, even the first kiss they have on a date.

 

I've never felt tingles when we kiss. Sometimes our kisses feel obligatory.

I figured our marriage would need some time to flourish, and we'd mesh physically eventually. side note: Her family was dysfunctional growing up, so I thought her comfort level just

wasn't there yet with me (perhaps her trust in me needed to grow?), but in time would get there. It's been 6 years together, and it's not getting better, I think it's actually getting worse.

 

So you ask....why did you marry her, and why did you have a child together?

 

Well, it felt right at the time and it felt like the passion was just in the growing stages, and everything else seemed to be falling place. I figured the bond would grow.

 

Now I feel like I am staying the marriage for the wrong reasons.....financial, for the kids, companionship.

 

I realize this is a very common theme in marriage, but do I just stay? Am I being selfish? Should I just be happy for what we do have, and not be negative about what we don't have? I know the challenges would be greater if we divorced and I really don't want to go through that again.

Should I just bring my expectations down to increase my happiness? I am already thinking that I will leave after the kids move out.

 

Your opinions are appreciated.

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So is sex 99% of the issue?

 

Great question. I'd say sex is 70% of the issue. Many do put sexual compatibility high on the list of marriage needs. (I am one of them). There are other issues that make up the other 30% of my dissatisfaction in the marriage.

I don't want to cheat and will never do it (on the receiving end of a cheater helps me not do it), but I'd be lying if I said I don't fantasize being with another women.

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I am pretty experienced on "closing the gap" on sexual needs.

 

I am a sex everday guy. My wife used to consider herself a 1-4 times a month woman. We now have a very happy sex life but it did take a conscious effort that started with me.

 

Now that other 30% is a big deal on how I would proceed.

 

Lack of passion and low drive are things that can sometimes be increased.

 

Figuring out whether she is more asexual or whether she just hasn't "blossomed" yet is important too.

 

What are the other issues?

 

They still might be rooted in sex too.

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30% is the little petty annoyances everyone has to deal with when they share a life together.

 

It's personal hygiene, not doing their share of housework, leaving things everywhere, hypocrisy, cheapness, lack of self-improvement and self-awareness.

 

I am not ignorant that I bring my own set of annoyances to the marriage, but I am constantly trying to better myself. Going to see a therapist soon and asking opinions of others.

 

thealchemist: What strategies did you do to close the gap. I am a sex once a week kinda guy. She is once a week too...only because I ask or initiate 100% of the time. If I didn't initiate, she'd probably be content with once a year.

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Sorry to hear this. It must cause some stress for both of you. How old is she? Does she have medical problems or take medication? Start with couples therapy not to fix her sexually but to start the dialogue. Here's an article: Anorgasmia in women

She has never orgasmed, and hasn't on her own before either. She might have a physical or psychological reason of not having one, but she doesn't care to seek help for it.
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Sorry to hear this. It must cause some stress for both of you. How old is she? Does she have medical problems or take medication? Start with couples therapy not to fix her sexually but to start the dialogue. Here's an article: Anorgasmia in women

 

Thanks Wiseman2. It doesn't cause stress for her, just for me. It's difficult for me to enjoy the experience when she doesn't. I reach orgasm no problem, but it's not as enjoyable because it's just a one way street. If I can use a metaphor to describe where she might be at....you will never know the thrill of a rollercoaster or the taste of the best ice cream unless you have experienced it.

The conversation is the elephant in the room for me, so I don't bring it up any longer. I just accept it, but these days it's been troubling me. She doesn't have any medical problems or take any medication.

I fear that seeing a therapist together won't be successful (she takes criticism very poorly, even when presented sensitively.) She comes from the belief that couples should work out their problems together too.

I am seeing a therapist on my own to help me through these thoughts.

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Well I don't know how passive you have been with bringing this issue up with her but it wasn't direct enough.

 

Or you need to convey to her the this a big issue to you and it isn't going away.

 

I would try to just have a very open conversation about it and if she won't give you that then you need to convince her how important it is to you until she talks to you about it.

 

She really might be more of an asexual person, and there might be nothing you can do.

 

Or she might just need some proper coaxing.

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If she's never had an orgasm, not even by herself then I can understand why, to her, sex isn't as important in the marriage as it is to you.

 

I think you two would do better seeing a sex therapist then you would a marriage therapist. Hopefully you'll learn ways that will relax her enough to let herself go and you'll learn ways to allow her to relax enough.

 

In the beginning, during the new relationship energy stage, the passion and sexual intimacy is enough to motivate coupling (even if she's not orgasming) but once that new energy dissipates, (which it will in all long term relationships) it takes a whole lot more for desire to rear it's lovely head. You two have to learn how to get the 'desire' back. Women (at least I think the most of us) don't get aroused just for the sake of it... we need to be seduced more times then not and if the seduction part of the relationship has dwindled, so will the desire which is why she never initiates.

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If you want to break up because your "love languages" are not compatible, then you really don't understand love languages. The point is to understand what your spouse's primary love language is and for them to know yours. If she is giving you sex, is having a good time doing it, etc, then why are you picking at her because she doesn't orgasm. A lot of women have a hard time orgasming and it can be physical - it has nothing to do with how satisfying you are. And also, have you taken the time to really take the time with no kids in the house, no kids due home, etc, and really taken the time to explore? Or is it all about your experience?

 

You married her knowing what this situation was and to dump her because she can't orgasm is pretty low.

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we need to be seduced more times then not and if the seduction part of the relationship has dwindled, so will the desire which is why she never initiates.

 

have you ever heard "sex starts in the kitchen?" If you speak harshly or snap at your wife during the day she isn't going to be hot for you when you close the bedroom door. And also, take your time. The idea of "having to perform" in an alloted time is stressful.

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If she's never had an orgasm, not even by herself then I can understand why, to her, sex isn't as important in the marriage as it is to you.

 

I think you two would do better seeing a sex therapist then you would a marriage therapist. Hopefully you'll learn ways that will relax her enough to let herself go and you'll learn ways to allow her to relax enough.

 

Thanks ThatwasThen I think this is the takeaway. If I can't just deal with it, a sex therapist might be the only way to work through this issue. When I talk about "my needs" to her, it just gets into an argument about being selfish, which I can assure is not the case. I do a lot of things for her, more than most guys I'd bet.

Thanks again.

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have you ever heard "sex starts in the kitchen?" If you speak harshly or snap at your wife during the day she isn't going to be hot for you when you close the bedroom door. And also, take your time. The idea of "having to perform" in an alloted time is stressful.

 

Indeed, I've heard that and most days I do it! Good food for thought for anyone. thanks

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If you want to break up because your "love languages" are not compatible, then you really don't understand love languages. The point is to understand what your spouse's primary love language is and for them to know yours. If she is giving you sex, is having a good time doing it, etc, then why are you picking at her because she doesn't orgasm. A lot of women have a hard time orgasming and it can be physical - it has nothing to do with how satisfying you are. And also, have you taken the time to really take the time with no kids in the house, no kids due home, etc, and really taken the time to explore? Or is it all about your experience?

 

You married her knowing what this situation was and to dump her because she can't orgasm is pretty low.

 

Just to clarify, I cater to her love languages very well. but at the end of the day she makes a weak attempt of fulfilling mine. I see a couple in their 80's holding hands and it's the sweetest thing ever, I envy those seniors.

When I hold her hand, after one minute she says your hand is too hot, or some other excuse.

Her biggest love language is listening. I am very good at listening. As many women do, she drones on and on negatively about her coworkers almost daily, and I listen patiently and unbiased and give her feedback ONLY when asked.

 

Secondly, she "gives me sex" as you put it, but is not having a good time doing it. TBH, I feel so guilty that for me, it's fireworks having an orgasm, and for her when I look up at her it appears like she is doing taxes. I go down on her for a long time with varied techniques and SHE eventually asks me to move on. I have explored everything with her, and offer the "does that feel good" "do you like that" stuff.

Of course, oneu could say my ego is in play here, but it feels good pleasing somebody...is that so bad? I like opening the doors for people and volunteer work too. I get a great feeling to give in this way. The same goes for giving to my wife whether its a nice dinner, or in the bedroom.

 

And no...I am not going to "dump her because she can't orgasm". It's not realistic and there is too much at stake.

 

My inner (optimistic) voice keeps telling me: "Sex is not a big deal, so what if she doesn't like nice long kisses, doesn't hold hands, etc. She has other qualities that make up for it." But sometimes, I think back to other sexual experiences

with women before that we're really great and wish they could be part of my marriage.

I don't look at porn, and I'll never cheat on her. Just want a good solution.

I suppose sex therapy is the only option, or for me not get hung up on it. Maybe I should approach it as "she's not complaining in the bedroom, maybe I should just accept it as it is...and enjoy the experience myself anyway.

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Thanks ThatwasThen I think this is the takeaway. If I can't just deal with it, a sex therapist might be the only way to work through this issue. When I talk about "my needs" to her, it just gets into an argument about being selfish, which I can assure is not the case. I do a lot of things for her, more than most guys I'd bet.

Thanks again.

 

What about making it about "her needs" = find out what SHE likes and do more of it. if she doesn't get anything when you go down on her, what does she like? In all fairness -- are you having sex when she has to get up at 6 am or when the kids are sick and restless/constantly getting up at night. Have you considered a little getaway?

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I think your "other 30 %" is quite a big deal O.o!!

 

As is the fact you're the progressive type eager to adress your own setbacks, while she categorically refuses to improve on anything.

 

Do I understand correctly the only "glue" keeping you with her is finances, children and similar matters of convenience? Is there, for you, any "partnership" in this partnership that you appreciate and would like to hold on to?

 

Might you extrapolate on the terms you used to describe the 30%? They would be pretty upsetting to me.

 

I honestly feel bad for you. You jumped into this with too little thought, true, but it seems a shame to condemn yourself to an overall unsatisfying relationship, especially seeing as you havent been in a good one for quite a while.

Exactly what would need to change (it very much seems its not just the lack of sex), and in what way, for this to be fulfilling for you, and do you think it realistic the change could occur?

 

Does she harbor resentment for you for some reason, or distrust?

 

If you were to think of your "mistake" ( marrying her) as a hidden intention, what might the intention have been?

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Sounds like this is more about passion than just sex. That everything physical, even holding hands or kissing, is just mechanical. She's the obligatory "good wife" in almost every way, thus, you might be really well suited to be roommates and share a life in that way. But not in the hot, sexy way, nor in the 80 year-olds holding hands sweetly way.

 

I get it. This isn't just about her not ever having had an orgasm, although I think that might be a huge symptom as to her underlying psychological barrier towards greater intimacy and passion. Even women who never orgasm can love to hold hands, kiss, cuddle. Your wife does none of these.

 

At this stage, with this much life built together, please seek great therapy before just walking away.

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What about making it about "her needs" = find out what SHE likes and do more of it. if she doesn't get anything when you go down on her, what does she like? In all fairness -- are you having sex when she has to get up at 6 am or when the kids are sick and restless/constantly getting up at night. Have you considered a little getaway?

 

He has already said he is making it about her and she's not responding or giving him feedback about what WILL help make her respond so I'm not understanding why you're making this HIS fault.

 

Op: Do some research into sex therapy and then see if your wife is open enough to want to go with you to help her start enjoying things. It is exciting and arousing to see one's partner in the throes of passion so I hope the two of you can work it out with the help of a professional. Hopefully, You'll find different ways to connect outside of the bedroom that will lead to more play inside of it.

 

Good luck

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  • 1 year later...

Update:

It's been over a year and things still feel the same. We argue about stupid things, and I feel generally unhappy in the marriage.

I throughly enjoy time spent with my kids and friends and family, but one on one with my wife is more of a chore.

What is sad, is that I don't look forward to the future when the kids move away from the nest. I will probably have a more "roommates" relationship with her....or likely leave the marriage after the kids move out,

and enjoy my senior years single and ready to mingle, or with someone who wants to hold hands, shares the same interests, and enjoys new experiences together.

For now, I am trapped and I think I just have to accept it. I made my bed, now I have to sleep in it.

 

I am really working at:

- the "happy wife, happy life" and doing much more than 70% of the household stuff, and many other things good husbands do. It hasn't worked in the past, but maybe it will take time?

- trying to see the positive in the marriage. She is loyal (unlike my ex), she is a great Mom to our kids, she doesn't gamble, she doesn't beat me, she isn't a drug abuser.

so things could be much worse.

  • Like 1
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Update:

It's been over a year and things still feel the same. We argue about stupid things, and I feel generally unhappy in the marriage.

I throughly enjoy time spent with my kids and friends and family, but one on one with my wife is more of a chore.

What is sad, is that I don't look forward to the future when the kids move away from the nest. I will probably have a more "roommates" relationship with her....or likely leave the marriage after the kids move out,

and enjoy my senior years single and ready to mingle, or with someone who wants to hold hands, shares the same interests, and enjoys new experiences together.

For now, I am trapped and I think I just have to accept it. I made my bed, now I have to sleep in it.

 

I am really working at:

- the "happy wife, happy life" and doing much more than 70% of the household stuff, and many other things good husbands do. It hasn't worked in the past, but maybe it will take time?

- trying to see the positive in the marriage. She is loyal (unlike my ex), she is a great Mom to our kids, she doesn't gamble, she doesn't beat me, she isn't a drug abuser.

so things could be much worse.

 

Would your wife be happy knowing you consider being with her "a chore"? Just because she doesn't abuse you doesn't by default make her a good wife or partner to you. Also, many people are better at being parents than spouses. Being a good parent doesn't make you a good spouse.

 

I guess if you have decided to stay, you have. I'm not entirely sure why if you're so miserable?

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