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Tips for getting through a good marriage without any real love?


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Help, I'm trapped in a wonderful marriage! I joke but this is what it amounts to and it has become incredibly hard and I'm desperately unhappy. I will add context below on how this all happened but here's the tldr version:

 

- Been together 18 years, married for maybe 13, with kids.

- My wife is fantastic. My best friend, a great mother to our kids, a great business partner (that's how tied together we are). An amazing person.

- We get on great, never argue and we try to be good parents (mostly, we're successful at it).

- Romantic love is not there. It's long gone. No passion, barely any sex and it's boring sex.

- I haven't felt that fire in more than a decade and that emptiness has grown into a deep hurt.

 

I thought this could improve as we have talked some of it out over the years. It didn't improve and I realised last year that it has gone beyond the point where that aspect could get better between us. It's done. So I'm at a point where I feel like there is no way out (nor should I want a way out of most of it) and now I exist to be a good dad to my kids and at least a good husband to my wife and then I'll die and that's it - that sounds terribly dramatic, I know. It's quite ridiculous but the feelings go deep and go dark.

 

So the question is: how do I make the best of it?

 

Are there ways I can fill the voids while living out my life? Things I can do or elements I can add to my life so I can continue without feeling like I'm just existing and little more? Am I missing something?

 

Any tips?

 

Keep in mind that “stop whining and get on with it” is an appropriate response – maybe this is more normal than I think. More likely there is no answer - I can't imagine what I haven't played out already in my mind over the years. But I figured this must be something some people go through, maybe those in arranged marriages? I'm not the first person to get here. Any thoughts would be really appreciated.

 

 

 

THE CONTEXT:

 

I didn't have many relationships in my teens or early 20s. I was shy, awkward and panic set in every time with my early relationships. I met my wife (she wasn't my wife at the time – that would have been a real surprise) and she was so funny and we got on so well. We were comfortable together. Only with hindsight, I'm realising I missed some passion even early on – I remember having a conversation with a friend about my cold feet just before we got married but I was reassured that passionate love can be dramatic love and there was never any drama with my wife and wasn't that a good thing?

 

And I remember my father in law telling me that “love is a choice”. I made that choice and did so very willingly.

 

The early years were fun and yet (again only really seeing this with hindsight) the sex was infrequent, dull and then after the kids that dropped right off. My unhappy feelings would come in waves over the years but I'd try to attribute them to different things. When I realised what was truly missing (sex is a big part of it but it's more the spark, the feelings, the passion), I did talk about it with my wife and it became clear that things were different for her – she retained all that love without a need for sex or passion. It's like she could feel deep love with companionship alone. And while I don't know this for certain, even the love she described then seemed stronger than mine and I don't really want to think about the idea that maybe we didn't go into this equally. That maybe I didn't know enough about love or myself before getting into it (don't get me wrong – I was in love with her). But as I brought up the subject again over the years, she always had reasons why we didn't have much sex and said that would get better. And I tried what I could to be a better partner to hopefully inspire an improvement. A few times we slightly increased just the frequency of sex and it helped fill a basic physical need to some extent in the short term but I'm realising that it still didn't bring the passion I hoped it would. And it never lasted long. And yeah, it has been about as dull as sex can be and maybe that in itself is a sign that something just wasn't there or a sign of a big difference in our desires or needs – and I never really wanted to push too hard on that out of respect for her.

 

Meanwhile we made a life together: kids, pets, house and even went into business together. And the thing is – most of those elements are REALLY good. We have struggles and worries but who doesn't? I feel like I should be happy. That I should look at what I have rather than what I don't have. That maybe I'm yearning for feelings that we leave behind in teenage years. And that makes me feel incredibly selfish when I can't push the unhappiness down. And maybe I am.

 

While I sometimes play out fantasies of just throwing it all in and leaving, the reality of leaving or doing anything dramatic like that would be wrong for many reasons. It would be the most destructive thing I could do and make all our lives worse, throwing away all the good for my wife, family and me with no guarantee of me ever finding that happiness. I have neighbours who live alone and isn't my situation better than that? I have seen people break up with their partners and I don't envy any of them. That stuff is really hard.

 

And yet the unhappiness makes me feel like, in my 40s, I've missed out on life and it's essentially over in terms of my own story – I feel older than my years and like it's too late for me and now it's about being a good memory for my kids who I want to bring up strong and independent. At night (I don't sleep well), I fantasise about do-overs. About waking up and being 15 again and being able to plan a whole new life from there. It's very silly, I know. And as I write that, it seems childish. Not just seems, it IS childish. But it doesn't go away. I work a lot and I think I manage to get through much of this by just burying myself in work but it gets harder and harder to do that. And I feel like I'm just working my life away.

 

Last year was the year I realised that this aspect wasn't going to get better. We had sex just five times in a 12 month period (again, I feel I should stress it's not just the physical aspect but I feel that's all tied together – there's a reason they call it making love, right?). But unlike previous years, when we talked about addressing that, part of me felt that maybe having more sex would make it worse in that I was always holding onto hope that this would improve. And it's not going to improve. Yes, the lack of good sex is a huge frustration especially after all this time but it's a symptom of a larger problem – that connection is missing. And it had been missing for a long time and it's not coming back.

 

So we're housemates with kids. Good housemates with good kids.

 

And when those aspects are good, and they are, I feel like the problem is me. I trawled through the boards looking for people in similar situations to see what advice I could find and what struck me was that other people have far bigger problems than I do. I'm torn between feeling that I deserve to feel love and I have only one life so should live it well and, on the other hand, knowing that other things in my life are good and I'm being selfish and maybe even there's a bit of “the grass is always greener” at work. So that's it really. I'm sure there are other details, other personal baggage that might be relevant but this is long enough as it is.

 

Any help or advice or perspective would be hugely appreciated. I have no idea what I expect anyone to offer or say but I feel I need to put it out there and I searched online for articles and posts that might help but I'm at a loss.

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This story made me feel really sad, especially the fantasies about being 15 again and starting your life over. I can’t give advice as I’m no expert on life or love, sounds like you are in a really hard place, the waiting place, watching life kind of pass you by but not being able to do anything about it. Wish I could give some advice but I wish all the best and hope whatever you do you have a great life.

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If you could start your life over would you do it without your kids? Don’t get caught in midlife crisis or wishing for some wild sex life as a teen . You can’t go back to being a teen so no bother wishing for it . And are you sure this is a real wish to not be married or a midlife crisis ?

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Does love only relate to sex or is there love without sex?

 

There are many types of love and perhaps, with that in mind, the topic title isn’t entirely accurate but I mean lovers love rather than friend love, companion love. And as I tried to get across, sex is one thing (and I know that’s a need some have more than others) but there is also passion - that fire, that desire. The two are intertwined but are still two separate needs in a way.

 

As for whether it’s a midlife crisis, well, the timing fits. But how long do they last? This has been going on more than a decade. It’s possible I have just really mastered the midlife crisis and I’m not letting it go. If it was that, what would I do with that information though? The result and the situation doesn’t really change, unfortunately. But is it possible that this is one big long midlife crisis? Sure, I guess it is.

 

Starting over without my kids - my kids are amazing and I love them to bits. A huge part of the reason that I wouldn’t destroy what I have here in spite of everything is that I wouldn’t ever want to be separated from them. Are they gone in my do-over fantasies? Yep, that’s a complete restart. I know I can’t go back (or can I?). I know I can’t relive the past (but maybe...?). And I know part of that is pining for a past that didn’t exist for me (or did it... I’m joking now, obviously). I think what that is is an escape. A mental ‘out’ that my mind just goes on. I know it’s silly. I know it’s unhelpful. But knowing it and making my brain not do it are very different things.

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Have you considered counseling? Actually working on this instead of just saying it doesn’t work?

 

Only in the early years. We did some counselling many, many years ago. And yeah, I've been thinking of that very recently that maybe we should do it again. In truth, I'm a little afraid of what would come from it. That it might push the situation over the edge. I'm nervous about that. But yes, maybe it's a good idea. I don't know.

 

I should stress that it's a bit more than "just saying it doesn't work" - I probably wrote a bit too much so maybe the time frame didn't fully come through but this has been a very long road with markers and conversations and attempts to improve along the way. It isn't something that just happened or was just decided or declared. What has changed is that I find it harder and harder to stop it all leaking out, like I could keep it in my sticking my fingers over the holes year on year and now I've run out of fingers. And yeah, last year was the first time that I felt it's just gone. That we didn't fix it well enough or get us on the right path and whatever embers might have been there are dead (I'm mixing metaphors all over the place) but, maybe more than that, it could be just that we have different needs.

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Honestly, its time to stop talking about it ad time to start doing. Be romantic and sweet with your wife. Bring her flowers if you used to at the begining of your marriage. take her away on a getaway away from the kids. I don't have kids, but have had house guests and believe me, its not too sexy having sex with other people in the house -- you have to be quiet and to the point if at all. Are you touching her non sexually - hugs, holding her close, etc,? If she is in her high 40s or more, it could also be due to hormonal changes. Feminine moisture products may help.

 

What were the circumstances in which you had sex those 5 times? was their wine involved? Were the kids away at friends? what was it? There must have been contributing factors. are you only counting penetration as sex?

 

Sounds like you otherwise have a good marriage and its worth fighting for.

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How often do you plan dates? How often are you doing new things together, or doing adrenaline filled activities together which could be like ATVing, snorkeling, scuba-diving, jet-skiing, karate classes. When was the last time you complimented her, coped a feel after letting her know how hot she is?

 

What you are in is a rut, and ruts can last years and years.

 

Relationships are what you put into it - if you want romance, be romantic! Retraining your brain starts with you first. Sometimes when you slip into a routine, that's fine and all with the kids, but that passion builds when you switch it up. It does not just magically appear and stay there forever. You need to make a marriage work. I guarantee you, for every super hot woman, there's always someone tired of her too. And I mean, grass is greener on the other side.

 

Being friends and really liking your partner is not always there. The other part is actually dating your wife. Do new things together. Hot Air Balloon, museums, cooking classes, etc. I know it's hard with kids and work, but find the time even if once every other week.

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btw, it looks like there is "real love" - just not penetration.

 

is your wife feeling not so sexy because she didn't lose all the weight from the last child all these years, etc? She feels that its harder to stay in shape?

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I doubt your situation is all that unique, what is unique is your honesty and openness about it and with yourself. What we see here mostly is people that have cheated or been cheated on because of something like this or other destructive behavior that ultimately kills the marriage. Like they didn't know how to fix it and were to chicken too face their spouse so they sabotage the marriage until there is only one option left which is divorce.

 

I seriously doubt when you did counseling last time you had a full grasp of what was missing or going on so I strongly suggest you set up some marriage counseling right away. This doesn't mean you will resolve this problem and all kinds of passion and love will fill your hearts but it will allow both of you to see things as they really are, understand how each of you truly feel and then decided together what needs to be done. You see if a couple comes together to work it out sometimes the solution is to end the marriage but doing it in counseling the marriage can end on the best possible terms.

 

I don't think you are being selfish or unreasonable, you are being human...

 

There is something that needs to be mentioned is that if you are not happy your children are affected. Children learn how to be in a relationship from their parents and if your kids live in a family where the parents are roommates then they will grow to think that is what a healthy relationship is supposed to be.

 

Right now you have zero to lose and everything to gain be seeking out a quality therapist. Yes I know you fear the outcome but a question unasked has the same answer whether you ask it or not. Thinking of your wife. Perhaps if the marriage ended she would be happier, she might even meet someone that she feels passion for too. Right now if I were you I would hate to think my wife has sex with me out of duty which kind of what sounds like is happening.

 

Be brave and don't give up your happiness just so the boat doesn't get rocked.

 

Lost

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- Been together 18 years, married for maybe 13, with kids.

- My wife is fantastic. My best friend, a great mother to our kids, a great business partner (that's how tied together we are). An amazing person.

- We get on great, never argue and we try to be good parents (mostly, we're successful at it).

- Romantic love is not there. It's long gone. No passion, barely any sex and it's boring sex.

- I haven't felt that fire in more than a decade and that emptiness has grown into a deep hurt.

You titled your post not having any real love. With the exception of sex, you do have a very loving marriage. It just is lacking in sex and romance.

So just be clear on that.

Marriages of long duration rarely maintain that type passion you describe without a concerted effort on your both your parts to create it.

 

So what you have here is a relatively normal marriage. A good one at that.

 

You can blow it all up and find some passion in something new, but you will trade that for the exact same thing, probably minus the amazing partner, wife, mother and family as you, yourself describe.

 

It takes work. Yah, I get it. It's not sexy. But you are pretty much no different than most marriages of 18 yrs. Those that have that passion you desire, commit to it and put the effort into being creative and cultivating it.

 

From what you describe I think your marriage and the two of you deserve it.

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Sounds like you're stuck in a rut. I'm married with 2 kids. I had a GREAT dog but she recently passed away.

 

Go back in your memory and remember how both of you were as a couple when you were young. Put the spark back into your marriage. Go on date nights, take daily walks together and enjoy good times together without being lumped with kids all the time. Take walks together with the dog every night.

 

Also, take good care of your health. If you don't workout regularly and eat right, it's so easy to become a very negative person. Whenever I take better care of my health, I'm more positive, upbeat, it relieves daily stress and I'm easier to get along with. I no longer whine and complain anymore. I count my blessings and become a very grateful person.

 

A lot of times, chemical changes occurs in the brain especially as we age so you need to infuse endorphins and seratonins to prevent and ward off depression and negative thoughts.

 

The grass is not greener on the other side. It's true. People have worse problems than you. Work on what you have and make a better marriage for you and your wife. This will show your children how to be a devoted husband and will teach them how to make their marriages happy someday, too. Don't give up. Put forth the effort and keep the love steady.

 

Marriage isn't about constant 24 / 7 excitement. Have your own life, too. Do what you enjoy outside marriage such as health, fitness, have good friends, eat well, have hobbies, etc. This makes you a well rounded person so your spouse isn't your whole life. Also, as mentioned previously, carve out time just with you and your wife everyday such as walks at the end of the day or a meal out. Learn to be a couple again when you didn't have children.

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I agree being married 25 years and together for 30 not every day is going to be a passion sex party. But you keep reconnecting and reconnecting and reconnecting over time .

 

I wouldn’t throw away a good life for a bit of woowoo because the woowoo may have little else to offer.

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When people talk about the fact that long term relationships require work, that's exactly what they are talking about. It's not about clinging on and persevering through constant arguments and incompatibilities, it's about learning how to keep that romantic fire going. That's the part that takes work and it's too easy to become complacent, to get lost in being a dad/mom, get lost in chores, and soccer practice, and school lunches, and bills, and so on.

 

Different couples do different things. Some make a point of having a weekly date night. Others go on an adults only trip once a year or so, to spend time with each other as adults, to reconnect romantically and stop being mom/dad for awhile and start being man/woman. Other couples take up hobbies like rock climbing or tennis or insert your choice of poison here. Again, the point is to have adult time with each other and do something that excites you both and keeps the spark alive or keeps rekindling it regularly. An ongoing reconnect.

 

Regarding counseling, I think you need to consider not "we" but you yourself solo. You are pretty lost in the "I'm not happy, it can't be done, I'm doomed" land that's your own internal mental creation. Your wife can't help you fix you and your toxic mindset. It's something you need to cure for yourself. Your mindset isn't just destructive to your marriage and the life you've built together, it's destructive to you personally.

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Thank you so much for all your responses. I had no idea what to expect by way of replies and I feel like I have a lot to process here and a lot to think about. And I think some (probably all of you) have hit upon some very important aspects. I think it's clear that I could have worded the thread title better - "real love" was not the correct term and instead I should have used a term that separates a friend/family member love from lovers love, if you know what I mean. Because as wrong as I got the term, the total lack of the latter over a very long period is definitely a problem for me. And by that I mean inner feelings rather than just sex, which is something I also could have been clearer on. I'm not looking for 24/7 sex parties (although it's always nice to be invited!).

 

So some things for me to think about:

 

"How often do you plan dates?" - I saw this response and I delayed responding to it because @tattoobunnie your post really got me thinking. Everything you write is correct. The word "rut" jumped out at me and hit me right in the face. And I think it exposes a personality flaw in me that I know is there and I have to admit to: I get stuck in ruts, I get very comfortable in my ruts, I often wish I was out of the ruts and yet at the same time cling on to the comfort and safety of them. That's a problem in me and you're absolutely right. I guess one thing that delayed my response is that my first reaction was that, yes, I did all that date planning and time together several times over the years in an effort to improve this and it didn't get better but, no, I'm not doing it now and maybe I can't claim to have done it enough in the past, or to have done it well enough. So I need to think about where I land on that and what I can do from here. But everything you wrote sounds right and I hugely appreciate your post.

 

"is your wife feeling not so sexy" - Yep. And it's not a baby weight thing. This existed before that. I think my wife was always the funny one of her friends, never the hot one or the glamourous one. But I don't think these things are mutually exclusive and I think she can be incredibly sexy but I don't think she has ever believed that. So that has been something I have tried to help with her over the years and I think I have largely failed. Her mom has passed on some weight issues because she's borderline anorexic and I know she commented on my wife's weight a lot during her childhood. So my wife feels she has more issues with weight than she actually does and, for years, I tried to tell her and show her that she is just right the way she is... weirdly after all this time, I'm wondering if that may have sent the wrong message - that rather than it showing that she looks great the way she is, that maybe it came across that her looks didn't matter to me (it's kind of the same thing but one might send a message of apathy, if you know what I mean). I don't know. I think I got some of that wrong over the years but, yes, she doesn't feel sexy and I've struggled to help with that.

 

"There is something that needs to be mentioned is that if you are not happy your children are affected" - And now from my wife's baggage to my own. My father was a rubbish dad and then left us which was really for the best as difficult as it was. He had absolutely no connection with us as a dad. And I vowed to do better for my children and, as it happened, I didn't even need to - the moment my kids were born, I adored them and wanted to love and protect them and I can't even imagine how a father could not feel that for their kids but I guess it happens. And while I don't get everything right and have had my fair share of parenting fails, I have done better - a LOT better. My kids seem really happy and strong for the most part. I don't think where I am is affecting them right now or has done so yet but you're so right here and that's something I need to keep front of mind. I need to do what's right for them. And that's also why I would never let this go to extremes or have a meltdown or consider an affair or any of that nonsense, because it would affect them. But it does mean I need to sort myself out within this.

 

"I had a GREAT dog but she recently passed away" - So sorry to hear this. Dogs are so great.

 

"Have your own life, too." - @Cherylyn this was just one line in your really helpful post (thank you!) but it may as well have been written in neon in the way I was drawn to it. In spite of all of the thinking about all this that I have done, I don't think I ever considered this part. Because in reality I don't have my own life. I don't think I ever saw that as a problem in itself. I only really have one close friend who isn't one of my wife's friends and he moved to a different country some years ago so we don't get to see each other much which leaves me alone in that regard. I don't feel hugely lonely but, yeah, when pointed out I don't have much going on beyond life with my wife. I do exercise and I have hobbies but my hobbies are basically an extension of my work and keep me contained at home - they're not an outside life of any sort. Do I need more of a separate life? Would that help?

 

"Your wife can't help you fix you and your toxic mindset." - Ouch. This stung a bit, @DancingFool. But maybe the fact that it stung is a sign that it struck a nerve and you're right. Maybe this is all just a mindset problem. I think I was open to that being a possibility and for that to be the reply so I'm surprised that it was hard to read it when I saw it. I need to consider what to do with that because you could be right and maybe dressing up my own issues as family or marriage issues is the problem. That's very difficult for me to untangle right now but I know I have personality flaws - that's no surprise. So I need to give this some thought. Thanks for your reply.

 

Thank you for your help, everyone. I needed to get some stuff out and see what others thought. To get different perspectives. I don't really have anyone I talk about this stuff to so I really appreciate all of you taking the time to reply and give me your views.

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Greg,

 

You are good at reflecting on yourself but without action it is just a mental exercise. Whether or not you can get more passion in your marriage or if the marriage keeps going or ends you need to make some basic changes for you. Friends are important and I totally get how you can get comfortable and not want to upset the tea cart. Life is far to short to not live it. Can you say you have been living or just surviving? Maybe 40/60? Think about that.

 

Have you ever asked your wife what she wants? Have you ever asked her if the lack of passion between you two bothers her? Have you ever asked her what her fantasies are? (sexual or otherwise) Have you ever asked her if she had her way how often would she want to be intimate or at all?

 

These can be very hard questions to ask not because they are tough to bring up (they are) but because hearing the answers could be extremely hard to hear. Fixing something that is broken without knowing what part is actually broken is nearly impossible and really just dumb luck if you pull it off at all. You need to know where your wife stands on these questions and she needs to know where you stand on the importance of the things that are leaving you feeling unloved. Which brings me to my last point. Being with someone that shows no desire to be intimate with you can put a pretty big ding in how much you feel loved by them. Do you feel unloved?

 

Brutal honesty is one of the toughest things we can do and being brutally honest with ourselves is probably the hardest.

 

I think your next step is figuring out what page each of you are on so you both can decide the next chapter...

 

Lost

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Have you ever asked your wife what she wants? Have you ever asked her if the lack of passion between you two bothers her? Have you ever asked her what her fantasies are? (sexual or otherwise) Have you ever asked her if she had her way how often would she want to be intimate or at all?

 

Yes, we've had these conversations and yet I'm not entirely I have the full picture when it comes to the answers. I was just about to write that the lack of passion doesn't bother her at all but I think it does... but a lack of sex doesn't. So the intimacy and kissing and cuddling is a need for her but not sex itself. She says she enjoys sex but it's not a thing she needs. She seems to believe that women don't have the same desire for sex as men but trawling through these boards reveals she is very wrong about that - just different people have different sex drives and need different things from it. I haven't pushed much further beyond that and maybe there's a level of fear involved there and we need to get even more direct about all of this. I don't know exactly where it would leave me if she bottom line just doesn't like having sex with me because that it has become very clear to me that it's something that's important to me. I obviously don't want her doing anything she isn't comfortable with.

 

I don't feel unloved... but I feel undesired. Does that even make any sense? I'm not even sure why they're different as I write that. I don't fully understand my feelings on that one.

 

You are good at reflecting on yourself but without action it is just a mental exercise.

 

I know this. You're right. I need to do something here. And you're right that there are probably some answers I don't want to hear. You're hitting on something that I probably didn't see in my first post which maybe DancingFool was picking up on - I have kind made this all about me. And I think maybe the reason is that, if it was just all me, if I was the only one with a problem, then it would mean everything else is okay. I don't think my wife is struggling with these things the way I am... but maybe she is. I don't know if that would make it worse or better. I probably need to find that out.

 

The thing is, we have had some of these conversations. Going back years. Nothing I could say to her should be a surprise. But my wife is a very optimistic person. She sees the best in everything and that's usually great but I think that also means she doesn't always see problems as being serious when they are or at least have the potential to become serious.

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You and I share the same problem - we're with partners that we honest-to-God love and cherish, except for one huge problem, which is that the lack of intercourse and intimacy is a potential wedge in the relationship/marriage. I've posted about my issuer, too.

 

What you said about not feeling unloved, but feeling undesired - that hits the nail on the head. There *is* such a thing, because that's how I feel, too.

 

I think that there's a lot of tip-toeing around what you really want to say, which is that you want your P in her V. Don't make apologies or excuses; you feel how you feel, no matter how silly you think it is. It's human to feel this urge and it's definitely a natural need.

 

 

You need to sit down and tell her that while this issue is not a deal-breaker for you, it's definitely something that you think about a lot and something that is important to you and your happiness, and may become a bigger issue. You need to be honest about what your expectations are - meaning, asking yourself what all you want physically from your wife and what you'd like to do about that. Because at the end of the day, your wife may be one of those women that don't have any sexual needs, and that is okay. It just means that her needs (or lack of) are different from yours, and it may mean that you and she need to consider other possibilities in terms of how to get you in a mental and physical happy place. It sounds like while you have spoken about it in the past, you are inferring a lot of how she feels, or what she needs/doesn't need, based on your own interpretation. She needs to explain to you in honest terms, in her own words, so that you can reconcile it in your head.

 

I get it. Talking about something like this, to someone you already deeply love and respect, is hard. You don't want to hurt their feelings, but neither do you want to continue feeling the way you do, because you know that eventually, the resentment will fester. If you do love and respect her, and she you, you can talk about this rationally, in black and white, and come to a resolution, an agreement, a compromise, or something in which both of you get your needs met.

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Greg,

 

Yes you can feel loved but not desired and I am sure there are tons of people in relationships that feel the same way.

 

So if you ask the questions and she openly and honestly answers you will both be way better off. Even if the answers aren't what you want to hear at least you know. So if she admits to having sex is just a duty in her mind then of course you would adjust your expectations.

 

If she enjoys cuddling and kissing but not the actual intercourse maybe there is something else going on.

 

Reading your words it sounds like you will not divorce over this and just want a way to survive until death do you part. I commend your faithfulness to your vows but I am not so sure it is a good idea for either of you.

 

Lost

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you want your P in her V.

 

This is true.

 

And yes, you're all right that we need to have a more direct, very honest conversation about it. I am nervous about the possibility that it reveals a total incompatibility in our needs and then what we would do with that information. It would feel really weird to have those surprises after so many years and I just don't know how that would work. Could it leave both of us just feeling really unhappy while also now knowing that the other is also unhappy? I guess the hope is that we arrive at somewhere much better than that. At the risk of endless procrastination I feel I need to get a certain amount of my own thoughts together before those conversations in that I'd love to come with solutions but maybe they just have to come from both of us.

 

Reading your words it sounds like you will not divorce over this and just want a way to survive until death do you part.

 

Yes. Unless it revealed that my wife is desperately unhappy with me, in which case a split would be much better for everyone. I don't think she is though and I feel like we're a very LONG way from divorce.

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It's those very conversations that add or create emotional intimacy.

 

I can't think of a better opportunity then to risk that sort of vulnerability with the very person you committed your life too.

 

Yes, it does challenge things sometimes. But look at it as a great investment into something you've already put a lot into.

 

What is your alternative? To stay the way you are and drift further apart?

 

It doesn't need to approached as a complaint or a negative.

 

Approach it as a need or a desire. It can be viewed as a compliment that you desire your wife and you wish to feel more connected and intimate, emotionally and physically with her.

 

Invite her to come up with a plan that benefits the both of you.

 

Take your marriage to another level. Win/win for everyone.

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This is true.

I am nervous about the possibility that it reveals a total incompatibility in our needs and then what we would do with that information. It would feel really weird to have those surprises after so many years and I just don't know how that would work.

 

 

Something important to remember is that no one has complete compatibility with one other person. There are always going to be a few things you don't match up with. But that's where your priorities come into play - how important are your differences, and how much is your marriage with this particular person worth to you?

 

From what I gather, your wife is a great partner, companion, and friend, and those are really difficult things to have, even without adding sexual chemistry. Is sexual chemistry important? Of course is it. But how does it rank with the other things? That's what you'll have to decide, and what we're here for (as a sounding board). I believe it starts with having an open and honest conversation with her, though. And if you try to spend a certain amount of time getting your thoughts together, it's likely you'll be looking up advice again next year, and the year after.

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