Feeling Helpless In Marriage Hell
I have been married to my wife for 21 years (we have two children). Sex has been a steep uphill struggle. My wife has never really wanted sex, whereas I'm 3X a day capable. Even in our young 20's there were years (yes YEARS) that passed and my wife acted as if no sex was just fine. When she did allow it (read mercy-sex), I could just feel that she did it out of obligation. However, she wanted a baby before 30 and we started having some sex, and she got pregnant quickly--actually after the third try. Not bad. After that there was no sex whatsoever for 20 months (9 months after delivery). After that, wham, pregnant again after four more encounters. Ditto. No sex for another 21 months. Where does that leave a extremely vigorous young man? This has been the trend. I felt ecstatic to get sex once every six months. Label me oversexed if you like, but I could easily have sex three times a day. Six months w/o sex is eternity. Now its been years. I'm a capable, healthy, in shape man.
She's is gone a lot (3-4 days a week). I've been both mom and dad since my children were born. When home, she's "tired;" I've heard it a million times. After 15 years of excruciating patience, just forlorn and heartbroken, I gave up on sex with her. Yea, I know, just fix it, but I can't fix somebody else I've learned. I'm not perfect either. I still love her, care for her, keep my eyes off of others, committed to her, and take every precaution to meet my family's needs. An affair or any extra-marital sex has been absolutely out of the question for me. After years with no sex, 1000s of turndowns, interminable foul moods, my hands slapped for even touching her, denials of access, and "headaches", something has broke within me. To hell with it. I resolve:I will not renig on my commitment, and that isn't a cop-out. I stopped wanting to have sex with her. Further, I stopped wanting to even have the desire to have sex with her. There's no desire to have desire--a weird non-feeling. I truly care for her, but sexual passion for her just left me dissillusioned, disheartened and ExtrEEEmly !^*%# frustrated. She was so heartless about it. I remember begging her to just be a little more open and she relished making me "sleep on the couch," using sex to manipulate me. Quid pro quo is one thing, but sexual manipulation of a spouse is horrible--especially when it is a power play. I felt like I was just around to sire her children and once that was done, I was just here to support them and care for them.
Now, here's the twist. About 6 months ago, my mother-in-law died and my wife has been acting much more selfishly and egocentrically ever since. Something snapped. I'm very puzzled, but there's lots of turmoil in her past with her mom and family that's hidden, secrets that she won't reveal.
Then last week she dropped a bomb: said she was considering a separation or a divorce. One of the reasons was because "we had not had sex in so long an that she felt like it wasn't normal and it was my fault." I was too hurt, cut deeply, to even talke about it since she will refuse to see she's projecting. Suddenly, she claims she wanted sex, but I was the problem. She puts a damn pillow in between us in the bed as a barrier. When home, she goes to bed every night about 7pm and watches soap operas till 10 and then falls asleep.
I have ever been faithful, available, true, dedicated, and supportive--trying to give her space and time to rest. But she has almost returned to a stage of adolescence and immaturity. An example: our 18th wedding anniversary: I bought her a new beautiful vase with very nice flowers and a card to express my love to her. I couldn't get them to her as she was flying in. I put them on our table and she got home before me. Later I got home and my daughters were there when she asked me what the flowers were for. My daughter said in disbelief "mommy don't you know?" She said "no." My daughter reminder her that it was our anniversary. She had completly forgotten and kinda blew it off as insignificant. This and many other callous behaviors (dozens of "occasions") have given me an intuition that she just doesn't give a damn about me or our marriage.
BTW, if she divorces me, I'm double screwed because I will be fired from my job soon after the divorce, no questions asked. Don't ask, just believe me. With no job, custody would surely be in her favor. I'd have no leg left to stand on and she knows this. In fact, I think that's the only reason she's been holding back, she'd feel guilty for destroying a man's whole life when he's done nothing but be good and gentle to her.
Update 3/21: My wife has affirmed plans to separate or divorce. She also has demanded that I change my job so that when she leaves I won't get fired. ?? It just looks like she wants me to switch jobs so she can easily and without guilt, divorce me. If she divorces now, I lose my job, and my ability to support our two children. Is my job the only thing keeping her from divorcing? She saw a counselor alone. No help for me. The lady told my wife that divorcing me was a good thing for her. And the counselor didn't even try to look into inner conflicts.
Looks like I'm screwed: I'll lose wife, family, job, home, and in the social circles I'm in, I'll definitely be a divorced outcast (read loser). Somehow that just isn't fair to someone who has tried his hardest to make things right. God help me.