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Things It Took Me A While To Figure Out

The overwhelming negativity of the posts in experiences like this one is the reason why I have not read or posted much here recently. Two key reasons for that is that I don't need to be more depressed about my situation than I already am, and also my wife is not as evil as most of the refusers referenced herein.

As a matter of fact, my wife is not evil at all. She just has no interest in sex. She almost never initiates (once a year maybe), she never brings up the subject of sex in conversation, and she never offers any kind of non-sexual physical affection without me asking for it. The only time she is interested in sex is in the early morning, and only then if her hormones are right for it. Unfortunately that means it has to be a quickie and happens maybe once a month. By the time I get home from work or whatever else I am doing she is too physically tired or distracted by some project or TV show to be interested. If I bring up the subject of sex, at best she will roll her eyes and sigh as if to say "not this again" before responding. Every few months we have a conversation that goes something like this: (and this is me paraprhasing)

Me: I wish you desired me

Her: I find you very desireable

Me: Thats hard for me to believe because you don't like sex

Her: What? thats absurd, why do you say that? We only dont have sex because you never ask.

Me: You told me yourself that you "never think about it." People generaly think about the things that they like.

Her: I never said that

Me: Yes you did, I remember it clearly. Whever I bring it up you seem frustated like you are thinking "not THIS again"

Her: We seem to keep having this same conversation. You have just made it up in your head that I don't like sex so you dont ask. I do think about sex, its just that you are never around when I do. And when you are, you don't ask, so it makes me think you dont want it.

Me: So what you are saying is that the reason we dont have sex is that I don't ask you?

Her: Yes

Me: So you are saying that its my responsiblity to initiate all the time?

Her: No, thats not what I said.

So who do you think won this argument? There was no clear winner, and no action points were made. The take-away for me is that our paultry sex life is all my fault. That she does desire me but I "refuse to see it". (That, and she has significant health issues that make her unavailable for sex much of the time.) The infrence, then, is that she has done all she can and its all up to me.

I keep thinking about the times when we actually do have sex, and how "into it" she seems when we are actualy in the act, and then the rest of the time where she acts like its the last thing on her mind--it seems in a way as if she is two different women. Then it occured to me ... the meaning that has been eluding me all this time: She desires me only so long as she feels like I am pursuing her. When she feels I am not pursuing her, she has no deisre. She, and a lot of marriage bloggers, see this as normal for a woman. That women who actually puruse sex with their spouses are somehow not normal, or an internet myth perpuated by people who spend too much time looking at ****.

So my connundrum is that I need to puruse her more, but its really really hard to get myself into a frame of mind to pursue someone who seems so utterly uninterested in me, and is available so limited a time. I have had to pretty much give up on the idea that we will have anything close to a satisfying sex life, which makes me not want to even try to initiate. To say the situation so frustrating is to put it mildly.

I gotta say that its really hard to believe that she desires me when she tells me she does, and yet does not act on it. Am I wrong to want her to pursue sex with me? How about wanting her to just come up to me in the living room and sit on my lap while giving me little kisses for no other reason but that she thinks im a cool guy? (that has never happened in the 8 years we have been married) And if I am not wrong, what good does it do me?

My wife in not evil. She is a good person and loved by everyone I know. I do love her and respect her, and I have no desire to get divorced, but at the same time my desire to pursue her has pretty much gone away. Mean time my sexual desire has not gone away. And that whole situation just makes me sad.
LostInTheWoulds LostInTheWoulds 46-50, M 10 Responses Dec 6, 2012

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actions speak louder then words...she wants her crossword puzzles, so she picks up the book and does them. If she wanted sex from you, she would be waiting like a puppy dog for you to come home from work. Actions...actions...words are empty air. Your intuition is telling you something is wrong but your ego distorts your view of reality. Wake up my friend.

hey...equal rights and responsibilities are all good but ultimately yeah, it kind of is your responsibility to keep sex alive and well in your marriage. not just bec you are the man but bec you are the one with the greatest need. so while i understand that it is difficult to psych yourself into pursuing her when she has given you no indication that she will be receptive to this...well...are you attracted to her? do you desire her still? bec many men pursue women every day that haven't given them the slightest indication that they will be receptive, right? that's how a lot of people meet :) dont ask her for sex, make her ask you by making her want it. figure out how to do that to her. if there is absolutely no way, well then dude, you're SOL in that department like a lot of us seem to be...but for now...keep trying and good luck.

Wow, it was reading a story about myself. I know exactly how you feel 100%. Just this morning we had a very similar conversation. She tells me that all of this is too much pressure, 24 years of marriage soon, and all I am is sad.

Im sorry about that ... it does suck!

I don't want to pry but I'm wondering if you wife's health issues have anything to do with her lack of sex drive and not wanting to make the first move. Perhaps her energy in the morning is because she is refreshed and tiredness in the evening because her illness leaves her fatigued. Also, maybe she sees you as her carer rather than her lover or that she's not desirable because of the illness. I only suggest all this because I'm in the same boat; my husband is ill and I've tried to rationalise why he doesn't seem to want sex with me. Maybe I'm projecting or over analysing. What do you think?

Oh I know her health issues have a lot to do with it. The do because for her, sex is a primarily physical act. So when the physical prompts (hormones) arent there and she has other physical stimuli (headache, etc) sex moves to the background. For people like me, for whom sex is a primarily mental/emotional activity, even when we feel sick we still want sex. Unfortunately, neither side of that argument can relate to the other, so all we can do is cut each other slack.

I try to do that for her, but it does hurt to not be wanted in "that way"

I've actually found the folks on EP pretty helpful. Sure, there are negative emotions all over the place, but why not? Most of us are HURTING DEEPLY at some aspect in our lives and here is a place to get the pain out, if just a bit. As to the low sex drive and communication issues here, I will suggest a book I read that helped me understand my low/no-sex drive wife and -- for a little bit -- helped her to be more sexual and open. It's called the "Sex Starved Marriage." Get it from the local library or Amazon or B&N. Ask your partner to read it, too. Use it as a basis for discussion.

I'm soon to divorce after nearly 40 years of marriage to a nice, good woman who hasn't a clue about intimacy, touching, holding, cuddling, sex, etc. I'm DONE ASKING AND PURSUING. I'm DONE being rejected for the 10,000th time. I'm DONE feeling that I'm being PUNISHED for something I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT? There HAS to be SOMEONE out there who would enjoy a guy who wanted to cuddle, snuggle, make love, enjoy "adult playtime" and make a life -- even with a 61+ year old guy. One more year in this disaster and I'll be loonier than I already am.

Good luck and best wishes to all of you seeking to find some "happy middle" in your sex lives. God, what an awful place to be when sex between a man and a woman should be the most wonderful, intimate, fun, pleasuragle and BONDING experience!

I can't believe how accurately you just described my situation. I have been trying to get a handle on just what the issue was, but you have summed it up. Thank you for sharing.

And, on a separate note, I understand what you are going through.

Thank you .... I wish you luck too, my friend!

I wish you both luck.

I don't have the highest hopes. Like you, I am aware that my situation is what it is. Can you really fundamentally change someone?

Thank you, L3D

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I feel for you. I've had similar conversations with my husband but with reversed roles. I typically initiate. He says he desires me, but I feel like he'd rather watch tv or play video games since he rarely initiates. When we do get together, I'm left unsatisfied, although I do like the intimacy of being with him. I wish I knew what to tell you to fix the issue with your wife.

Thank you. There comes a point where you get tired of doing all the pursuing, and I am there. She wants me to pursue her but has no desire to reciprocate. I guess to her thinking she shouldn't have to because I am the one with the higher drive, but that completely ignores my wanting to be wanted. Ultimately there is nothing that I can do to fix the issue, because its a matter of the heart. Many people have told me, including a commenter below, that I should just issue an ultimatum or take her by force, but that won't fix anything. You can't change someones heart by issuing an ultimatum or forcing the issue. But even if I wanted to do that, the act of me issuing an ultimatum would completely backfire--bringing her to the point of tears and prompt accusations that I don't value her. So that is why I wait and hope, but without any anticipation or expectations, and a heavy heart.

I agree with you on so many points. Ultimatums and force are never the solution. Have you considered therapy?

We went though couple therapy together 6 years ago. It worked for me. It didn't work for her because she didn't like the counselor. Maybe its time for another try? I would have to ask her when she is in a good mood, but thats not a bad idea. But as with any therapy, you have to believe you have a problem before it can be of any help, and as far as my wife is concerned, its me that has the problem because I have "unrealistic expectations".

I was thinking of sex therapy as opposed to couple therapy. I asked my husband if he'd go with me so we could better our sexual relationship. He agreed but then could never give me available times for an appointment. Sex therapy could possibly help you.

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i have a really goofy question. Are you at least frinds with her? Do you have conversations and other intrests together? My wife an I are in the same boat but are not even friends. That is why I ask. My biggest problem is I'm the one who doesn't want it anymore because of all the hurt and fighting and just lost interest.

I can say that we were once ... but its hard to say so now. We used to do all kinds of fun stuff together. Now she suffers from depression and is generally sick all winter, so she withdraws into herself most of the time, and when she is not feeling sick she is busy cleaning/organizing. For me the bottom line is that we don't do anything fun together anymore, and when we plan something fun, she usually gets sick and can't do it. However, she expects me to be romantic to her anyway, and I do try, but she hardly ever responds to my reaching out to her. Then she complains that I never do reach out to her. I often feel like we are speaking a different language ... its frustrating.

You need less talk and more actions.

By asking pestering her with questions, she'd think your a needy little *****.

I know you respect the women deeply, but evolve or die my friend.

Initiate action without saying anything, that puts the ball in her court.
Words aren't going to achieve much, they aren't going to give you reliable answers
either - as her emotions fluctuate daily and she can say whatever she wants.

Actions! Put it on her like a boss.

What LostInTheWoulds writes sounds very, very familiar.

More actions, perhaps. Conversations about the subject indeed seem circular, so they do little good. But actions are routinely refused (like 50:1 or 100:1 or something like that). With just "NO!" or "Go to sleep!". After long, long time and hundreds and hundreds of refusals it is finally sinking in: she is just not into me like I would like her to be. It is tiresome to pursue someone indefinitely, and in a marriage it shouldn't be expected. But maybe it is more "hardwired", intuitive behavior than we'd like to think.

so some guys think that asking a woman for sex or doing some kind of quick grope is 'initiating'. its not. if that sounds like you....well maybe youre on the wrong board and should be figuring out how to improve your skill set. youd be surprised by how differently a woman will respond to different approaches to the same end...marriage is no different than not being married. ultimately women dont want to be taken for granted and yes, sometimes life gets in the way of being in the mood. if you dont put the effort in to get her in the mood first she's never going to say yes when you ask.

I suffered that for three years now and I stopped trying to seduce him. I stick with flirting on ep and reading erotic stories and watching ****. It hurts less than to get refused again and again and again......

Thats pretty much where I am now. It isnt where I wanted to be, but like you said, it hurts less. Thank you for your comment :)

RickieChickie, I know exactly what you are saying here. I'm tired of trying and trying to entice my wife into having sex. I've tried pursuing her, as the OP has suggested, and it just gets me more and more frustrated. Always seems to be a "too" in front of all her excuses, too early, too late, too tired, too busy, too many things I need to get done, etc.. I also agree it hurts less and less the more I get rejected. So I just stop asking and pursuing her. Once every three months is all she desires sex. What am I suppose to do when I desire her and desire sex more than that? Exactly what I'm doing now- EP and the internet. Sad but true.

Exactely! I hate the word too. Is it nice that they have so many excuses? It would be more honest if they would say,you neither attract me, nor arouse me so bugger off!

Wouldn't it be nice if they could be that honest with us? She keeps telling me that she desires me (only when I ask) but I would rather not be told that she desires me if her actions show that she clearly does not.

Yet one more confirmation of where I fit in her priorities: Last night she had to finish shopping online at one website because they had a sale that ended at midnight.

It feels even more awkward if she keeps on telling you that she desires you.
My husband says he "likes" me. Pshaw!

Exactly right.

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