In Need Of An Outlet And SupportI searched for a support group, and here I am.
I'm a 41 year-old man with two kids and a wife of 17 years with no libido. Things went south when the kids were born and have never recovered. Before that, the only problems we had were the normal sort that small-town Midwestern kids who were too smart for their community but too inexperienced to know how to get out and so got married too young, had. We went to college together to escape and thinking it would be the doorway to a better life (and it was in a round-about way) and got married the fall after she graduated. We waited 5 years before having children. We should have waited longer. We decided to have kids because our careers (such as they were) had stalled and we couldn't think of anything else to do. Plus all our hometown friends/family had toddlers already. About the time our son was born, both of our careers had started to take off in unexpected directions. But now we were tied down.
If any of this sounds like I resent my children, please believe me that I love them more than anything. But in the interest of getting to my point, I have to confess that many of my life choices are dictated by my responsibility to my children, first, and my needs second, if at all.
Anyway, 12 years later, and we're stuck in an unfulfilling cycle. Well, I am anyway. Here are some facts about her that are relevant: She's had some serious health problems that peaked about three years ago. She has polycystic ovary syndrome, which she has been receiving poor care for since the birth of our second (and last) child. I say poor because about three years ago a cyst the size of a grapefruit, burst and almost killed her. The doctors who treated her where astounded that someone could be receiving treatment for PCOS and not know about a grapefruit-sized cyst. Prior to this event we had chalked up her low libido to the hormonal imbalances her condition brought about. I was unhappy, but what could say? By all accounts, she was seeking treatment and wanted our sex life to return to a fulfilling state.
After her recovery, unfortunately nothing changed. Nothing but her attitude about it. She has since received much better treatment. She has lost a considerable amount of weight (one of the excuses was that she didn't feel attractive and so therefore was unable to tap into her sexuality). We still only have sex about once every six weeks, and only if I initiate. It's always on her terms. I am rejected more often than not. It always feels like it's something she's letting me do to her, not something she is participating in. I'm not sure what undermines my sense of worth more, being rejected or being allowed to "do it to her". I always feel worse after.
We have talked about it many times and she expresses what I take to be genuine regret that just has no interest in sex, and feels awful for me, but still, she'd be satisfied if things never changed and we stopped having sex all together.
Here's the thing. I truly love this woman. She is my best friend and partner in just about every way. I don't want to Not be married to her. But I can't ignore the fact that being in this situation has turned me into a person I'm deeply unhappy with. It's affected all of my other interpersonal relationships. I have very few friends and none of them close, anymore. I'm in an almost constant state of depression. I don't really enjoy any activities or hobbies anymore.
I'm hoping I can find some support here to help me turn this around. I accept that the answer is probably that we need to separate and look for happiness somewhere else, but at the moment I know I'm not capable of it.