I Don't Feel Loved In The Same Way That I Love.

I'm really not good at writing things down.
I feel like I am complaining when others have more to complain about. I can't help the way that I feel.

We have been married 20 years and I love my wife. If I didn't it would be simple.
Because of events in my wife's past she has never been very comfortable with sex except for the very early days when we were dating.
Sex has really always been a problem. There are some health issues too and we have very busy lives. I have to work away from home quite a lot.
We have been to seek external help in the past on two different occasions. It did help for a while. I guess I was naieve in thinking that if I am understanding and patient with her that over time her love for me would help her overcome the events of the past.

The longest gap we have had between sex was about two years.
There were a couple of years where we might have actually managed once a month. When we do manage to get intimate with each other we are very open and adventurous but over the past 6-5 years it has just become so less frequent.

My wife obviously does not have the same level of lebido as me. Her need is aparently quite low. Her need effectively dictates when it can happen and how. My need varies. Sometimes it doesn't bother me all that much and other times I can tell that I feel consumed by the need. When I am feeling a real sexual need sex is always in my mind.

I have tried all sorts of things in the past. I have tried to do things to arouse her. I always make sure she has a good climax and is satisfied when we do manage to get together. I have tried letting her take the lead and initiate.

About 15 months ago a close friend of mine died at a time when I was feeling hopelessly unloved and it coincided with a spell of having to work away from home. I became quite emotionally upset and was really fed up with everything.

One of the long weekends that I managed to get home, I sat down and told her all about how I really felt. I had tried to keep a lot of the frustration from her because I know she feels guilty because she cant do what I need as much as I want. I was honest. I told her that I had been feeling like there is no solution and the thought of having an affair was there. I never did have an affair but I couldn't say that I wouldn't have at the time if there had been a willing woman around.

She was much more supportive that I expected. She said we should try to do more and she would try to make an effort. Working away doesn't help but I get home every few weeks. Sometimes for a week or two. She suggested that we could maybe use a couple of webcams while I was away. I bought her a handy little notebook PC so she could take it to bed with her.

Things have been very stressed and strained since then. Not all to do with sex. Working away leaves my wife and daughter with a lot to do as we have a small farm. She gets quite tired. She isn't all that well quite a bit of the time. She suffers from allergies and intolerances. It doesn't matter how little she eats she cant stop putting on weight so there are a lot of complications. In the ast 15 months or so I think we might have been intimate maybe four times.

I was at home for a month over Christmas to try and take some of the workload away from her. I am now trying to work away for a couple of weeks and then at home for a couple to try and help but the whole situation just seems to be going backwards again. She flirts with me and makes promices on the phone but things just never seem to happen when I am there.

I know she loves me in her own way but I am feeling emotionally drained. I crave the intimacy. To me sex, apart from being good fun, is an expression of closeness. A declaration of wanting someone. I can see us ending up in a situation where the sex stops. Where I will be desperately unhappy but I don't want to leave my wife, my daughter or the rest of my life. I just don't feel like she loves me the way I love her anymore. Maybe that's not fair because she has other reasons but it is how I feel.

Why am I saying this, Im not really sure.
Maybe just to vent it. Maybe because I don't know what a 'normal' relationship is.
Maybe because there are other people out there feeling the same.
Maybe because I don't like the grumpy, needy, one track minded person I am turning into.

I try and pretend it doesn't matter, I try and be understanding but the truth is, it does matter.
KnightTime2012 KnightTime2012
41-45, M
4 Responses Mar 11, 2012

I just picked up on "she eats next to nothing and still puts weight on". This is virtually impossible. Sounds like she is in denial over her calorie intake to me, and you aren't around enough to say "actually you ate x, y and z". I bet you she eats plenty. Anyway, if she's in denial over that she's probably in denial over your sex life too, and again, unless you force the issue, it will steadily get worse.<br />
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Does she mis-remember stuff (not just what she's eaten), like for example saying "it was only a couple of weeks ago" when you complain you haven't had sex for 3 months? Ie diminishing her part of the blame, trying to make it sound as though she's not as bad as you make out? <br />
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Yet if you upset her, it's reversed, and numbers are piled ON? like for example "you haven't done this particular household task for FOUR days!", when you only did it yesterday. Ie increasing your part of the blame for the problems in the relationship. Women are experts at manipulating memories.

Calorie counts were right. I have not always worked away and this has gone on for years. We have had the same response from one of the doctors we have seen. Things dont tend to get 'misremembered'. She feels quite guilty about how long it has been at times. Thats part of the reason I try not to make a big deal out of it all the time.

You're lucky then - my wife mis-remembers everything to make me always in the wrong.

thats not easy. It sounds like it could be a defence mechanism though. I must get to be a bit frustrating if she does it all the time.

At the risk of seeming provocative have you considered a review of your lifestyle? What you would prefer and what it might cost to achieve it? Reading between the lines, irrespective of the emotional strains between you and your wife, it sounds to me as if you are unhappy with the amount of time you have to spend away from home, or with the impact that has on your wife AND your daughter? Would you have any hope if you could downscale your commitments that you and your wife would have more time for one another? How practical would your options be in that respect?<br />
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You infer your wife is overweight and cannot lose it. This can have a significant impact on energy levels, libido and self-esteem. Has there ever been any diagnosis as to why she has a persistent weight problem, such as PCOS or hypothyroidism? Have you ever actually helped your wife to more accurately assess what her calorie input should be ba<x>sed on the typical parameters in an attempt to ascertain that there might be an underlying cause?<br />
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Do you think that all these potential practical considerations are just an irrelevancy, that your wife does not see sex as being an ex<x>pression of closeness and intimacy in the same way as you? Did she ever?

You don't need to worry about sounding 'provocative', Im not that fragile.

You are right, there are many things at the moment that can be changed and we are in the process of doing just that but its not always just simple choice. We live in a remote area, I am very good at my technical job, sometimes I have to be where the work is. That's life and economics. I would always rather be at home than away but having a farm we cant both be away at the same time.

we primarily have the farm to grow a lot of our own food. Allergies and intolerances mean there are problems with a lot of what can be bought so the farm is a good compromise. Try buying food that is grain free and not covered in preservatives. Believe me, once you have been away from shop bought food, you can really tell the difference.

We have some animals up for sale but it takes time for the changes to happen.

As for an accurate calorie calculation, yes, we have done this many times. Many different diets. Many food eliminations. Several of them help her to stop gaining weight for a while but slowly it starts again. I don't know PCOS, will look that up. I am home next week and we already planned to see the doctor with regard to Hypothyroidism. It has been looked at before but I think things have changed and it is worth another look.

I don't feel any of the things are irrelevant. Most of them have been issues over the past 20 years in one form or another.

my replies seem to have no formatting at all. Not sure why :-(

Don't worry about the formatting. The design of the site is very poor and inconsistent. Once you reply to a post within a story you lose the ability to do any formatting at all including carriage returns, so no multiple paras. It's frustrating to begin with but everybody gets used to it. Just add extra spacing.

If your wife had PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome) I am sure she would be showing other classical symptoms. Any familial symptoms of weight gain and difficulty in losing it? Mother, sister(s)?

Medical Reasons for Weight Gain

Several conditions can cause weight gain or hinder weight loss, says Rebecca Kurth, MD, director of PrimeCare at Columbia-Presbyterian Eastside and associate professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University.

Among them, Kurth says, are:

Chronic stress. When you live with anxiety, stress, or grief, your body can produce chemical substances -- like the hormone cortisol -- that make your body more likely to store fat, especially around the waist. That's the type of weight gain that really increases your risk of serious health problems. (Extra weight around the hips and thighs poses fewer health risks.)
Cushing's syndrome. This happens when the adrenal glands (located on top of each kidney) produce too much cortisol, which leads to a buildup of fat in the face, upper back, and abdomen.
Hypothyroidism. If your thyroid is underactive, your body may not produce enough thyroid hormone to help burn stored fat. As a result, your metabolism is slower and you will store more fat than you burn -- especially if you're not physically active.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This disease, the result of a hormonal imbalance, afflicts more than 5 million women in the US. Common symptoms are irregular menstrual bleeding, acne, excessive facial hair, thinning hair, difficulty getting pregnant, and weight gain that is not caused by excessive eating.
Syndrome X. Also called insulin resistance or hyperinsulinemia (high insulin levels), syndrome X goes hand-in-hand with weight gain. Syndrome X is a cluster of health conditions thought to be rooted in insulin resistance. When your body is resistant to the hormone insulin, other hormones that help control your metabolism don't work as well.
Depression. Many people who are depressed turn to eating to ease their emotional distress.
Hormonal changes in women. Some women may gain weight at times in their lives when there is a shift in their hormones -- at puberty, during pregnancy, and at menopause.

Two other considerations: people tend to gain weight with age for unknown reasons, and though it's not a medical condition, drinking alcohol in moderate to excessive amounts can sabotage your efforts to lose weight. Alcohol (including beer and wine) is a refined carbohydrate, similar to sugar, candy, and white flour. Besides adding calories, alcohol may raise blood sugar and insulin levels, which can contribute to weight gain.

Does your wife have to take steriod treatment for her allergy problems? They can also cause weight gain/problems in losing it. By the way I appreciate that I am teaching my granny how to suck eggs, as they say. That was why I was tip-toeing around the subject.

not a steroid in sight. PCOS is not likely. I found Hypothyroidism last week so will be off to the doctor with her next week. It really does fit now more than ever, Her brother had a pitruitary problem a couple of years back too so it could be in her family.

Thanks for all the info. It is appreciated

4 More Responses

You're articulate and have taken important first steps, both raising it with her, telling her the truth after all this time, and posting on here. Well done!<br />
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Couple of things: forget normal, it's irrelevant given that "normal" spans such a wide range. The important thing is you ain't happy. And even on a statistical basis, having sex every 4 months is NOT normal, and no way is it "reasonable". But you don't say what you would want, own that.<br />
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Second, I think you got the brush off, even given your lifestyle. When someone says they'll "try", I immediately think of Yoda. What's important now is knowing what you want, having a plan to get it, and doing - or not doing. If she joins in proactively, or does not, you'll know more.<br />
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You may find that you will need to be very persistent to make sure she understands in her gut the level of pain and despair you're feeling, otherwise she'll brush it off and trivialise it - after all, you've put up with it forever already....

Normal is just a word that slipped out. I don't like it because I don't think there is really such a thing. My point was, I don't have a lot of other people's relationships to look at. Not ones that have worked.

I don't have a fixed idea of timescales for what I do want. There are times that Im not all that interested. OK, so maybe they only last for a2-3 weeks and they are not that frequent but I can understand. I guess what I really want is a bit of a paradox in this position. I want to feel that I am wanted.

I get your point about Yoda but its a bit shallow in a hollywood way. Only because you cant possibly know all of the details. My wife does have reasons for being reserved. I can cope with that, I think. I guess I expected time to heal everything but somehow time seems to have just created a void. I don't think it was a brush off, not a deliberate one but I guess there could be an element of that.

I have tried persistent before. It doesnt work. It creates dread, fear and withdrawal. That's not what Im looking for, not as a starting point anyway :-)

maybe your right. Its not so easy to see a clear picture when you are very close to something.

Not at all trivialising. Humor helps - or not. Yet the message is serious - your choice, your call. And the commonality is recognition of the situation for what it is. Own what you want. Test whether you're going to get it. Decide what you'll do if you don't. Simple, huh?!

She doesn't love you in the way you want to be loved.<br />
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I didn't feel loved by my Xh in the same way I loved him. Turns out my feeling was right.<br />
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Don't let it impact your sense of self to the point that you notice yourself becoming grumpy, needed and one track minded. <br />
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Don't pretend it doesn't matter since it does matter. Read here lots and post some more. <br />
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Welcome to our group. Sorry to meet you here.

you are right. It is important and I cant pretend I dont feel things because I do.

Its is so complicated though. I do love my wife. To leave I would not only be leaving my wife but lots of other things in my life that I love too. Leaving does not come with any guarantee so for me, at least at the moment, it is a compromise. I keep looking for change. Maybe I have commitment issues in not wanting to leave. Maybe I will change my mind in time to come.