The Madonna - ***** Complex

While talking to friends and through some research of my own, I think that my fiancee is suffering from the Madonna-***** Complex. There seems to be different variations on the definition of this condition... but the one that seems to fit us best, is that he views Love and Sex as 2 seperate things that cannot be combined. He views me as the wife, mother of his kids, perfect, virginal, old fashioned good girl house wife. Anything relating sex to me is dirty, wrong, and not right. Which would explain why he uses the fact that we have to be really connected with each other to make love, and that any sort of of spiced up sexual experimentation with me just isn;t his thing.

Meanwhile he seems to get off by occassionally watching ****. He gets his kicks from ***** like figures in his mind that have no connection to love.

Before I came to this realization, he had mentioned to me about a month ago, that he has had this problem of sex of women that he truly loves! Have I hit the nail on the head.

Has anyone had any experiences with this condition? Any thoughts? Either way... I'm not prepared to play the virginal, old fashioned house wife the rest of my life. My ex loved dirty sex, and love making, and thats what every relationship deserves!

troubled31 troubled31
50 Responses May 12, 2008

After I broke up with my gf recently I did a little soul searching,a little praying,and a little research online and discovered The Madonna/***** Complex.
Everything about it hit home with me. I definately looked at my last gf as a Madonna. I didn't understand why I wasn't attracted to her physically after the initial courtship. She was beautiful inside and out. Before her I had definately lived the party life,one night stands and a lot of female friends.
I gave all that up for her thinking she was the one,but since I had this complex,I saw her as too pristine to demean with sex,and since I had commited to being faithful to her,I wasn't having sex at all. I was willing to accept this fate at 55,in part because I thought it was a natural phase occurring physically,,and also because I loved her that much that sex took a back seat to just being with her.
Now that I know what I'm dealing with I am converted whether I can overcome this perception that I have of women,that they are either good or bad. Pray for me because I won't accept this flaw in myself. I want to love the next woman I choose as my equal,and be able to love her for her mind and her body,to make her happy and never feel lonely,sad,or unsatisfied.
Thanks for listening.

You are correct... You have hit the nail on the head. My husband suffers from the same thing. After I got pregnant, he stopped showing interest in me and more into **** now than ever. If I had any idea it was going to be this way I would of never of married him. Now I have a 3 year old son, a home business I cannot walk away from. He won't see separating as an option so I am stuck. Listen to your gut. This is something that is very difficult to change. Best of luck to you.

Hello Troubled,

I am sad to report that i have had years of experience with the Madonna-*****-Complex. I tried just about everything to remedy the situation, but he was unable or unwilling to make long term change.

We went to counseling and two flew across to country for "sex addiction" treatment after two counselors suggested it. I was stunned to learn that "sex addicts" are not necessarily interested in intercourse. There is a sub category that sex therapists refer to as "sexual anorexic". He was... is a very sweet, kind, generous, gentle and good man, yet, he had a penchant for **** and pros, and an aversion to intimacy. Additionally, he felt a great deal of shame about it, which often led him to act out more.

I am not sure if this is what is going on in your situation. Here is a link to more info. about it: ( I can recommend some good books if you think this may be what you're dealing with.

Keep on keepin' on ~ With warm Aloha,

Yes yes yes nail on head exactly ... He watches **** and masturbates but wont have sex with me .. I am a pervert for wanting to do the things he happily watches in **** its ridiculous!!!!!!!! Hes a intimacy phob as well as lazy!!!! X

Personaly, I think you need to turn the burner on and flip the switch to his desire. He gets turned on by "bad, Naughty Girls" Then be one, be the best one you can. Tell him, This is the deal you can spank your monkey or take the real thing! Now come get it!<br />
It will take some guts I am sure, But you have to be secure in your sexuality to pull this together. Show him how a real woman is, be a tigeress and leave him begging for more. He may have a submissive side that you need to control, take him and use him for your pleasure!!!<br />
<br />
Don't give up on being a great wife and mom, your not just a sub wife who is safe, be the dangerous sexy creature you are. Best of luck.

Unfortunately she can't I have tried it causes him to get mad uncomfortable and her to feel rejected

Soooooo true!!!!

I don't think you understand "Madonna-***** Complex."

It's a mindset in which a male sees a woman as either as wholesome wife material or a *****. If the wife whom he sees as wholesome and virginal starts acting dirty, dirty, he'll be repulsed by her. There's no balance in this view point. Sex is only for dirty ****** not for virginal wives.

The madonna/***** complex affects women in different ways. I was the "*****" one for 2 years and then finally gave up. It has been 6 years as we broke up with the guy who had this complex, and I am married now, but unfortunately, I still miss the sex with him, and that affects my relationship with my husband.

i posted a comment saw it online for a few minutes and now it is gone. I have done some serious e=research on Madonna ***** complex and it deos not get better on its own if at all. He will blame everyone and you and your mama before attempting to make himself look less than normal so to speak. image is everything and then again who wants to appear weird to others, I don't.<br />
But it is a real problem and it is not just no sex with nice wifey but it leads to other things, ****, just to slap the tip of the iceberg...and it is sad b/c most of these wives, including myself are FAR FROM AN ICEBERG. I am sad about this issue for over 30 years. <br />
women reach their peak at midlife--well documented--and need the affirmation of their husbands in this way and others but if you let him and are faithful to your marriage, he will make your feel like you are his sister or a ***** and then get abusive b/c he thinks that is what ****** deserve. for a lot of reasons, we are seperated now and have been off and on for a couple of years. tried so hard to make it work. <br />
google that complex and you will find lots of answers. if you are not already married strongly consider another choice. you will not change him no matter how "hot" you are or aren't. sorry. you women out there who have mates like this, you really are beautiful!

Madonna ***** or Oedipus victor. You are setting your self up for a really difficult life. Take it from someone who has been in a 17 year relationship with someone that still hasn't explained his problem, in fact he has blamed me for years and it just about ruined me but I am strong and have gotten out of the situation. It's been a rough last couple of years and I am still young enough to find someone capable of true love.

please go to the group " i am a woman in a sexless marriage" on this EP site. look under the topic "my husband prefers p*orn over me".... you will find a link to naomi wolf's article that could clear up a lot of questions for you! she explains why men who watch p*rn are often unable to have a real sexual relationship with their partners. you might find some of the posts by the women on that site as enlightening. i know i did! also go to dr phil's site and look under the archives under "is watching p*orn cheating?". you owe it to yourself. you are going to need to toughen up (i speak to myself too when i say that!!! lol). i really hope you can sort out your problems with your man, but just a word of advice: don't get married until you know that this problem is 100% sorted out (i regret getting married, even though i love my husband dearly..the problem just gets worse, and never gets better on its own). he can lie to you and hide the p*rn and that is why he has to see a therapist and be accountable to an outside person. he needs to prove to you that he is really sorry for his behaviour and is making a real change. the therapist will have to confirm that he has really made effort to make these changes before you can ever consider marrying this man.<br />
good luck. i hope i have not been too harsh. i admit that i am angry when i read about other women who are going through the same thing as i am because i just feel so sorry for them and i know the pain!

Dear Troubled31, so let us know what's happening now please? I'm very interested.<br />
<br />
My experience is from the '*****' side. i saw a guy for 2.5 years who saw me as a sex ob<x>ject. It was amazing and there was a love-like quality there but I realised he would never trully love me for my personality and want to marry me. He has been married twice, both times to women he claims are 'fridget' but I know this is untrue. His last wife left him for someone else and I can understand this, because he would have starved her of all passion and excitment in the bedroom. He claims she would never even go down on him, but I think he was pushing her away. Leading her to the conventional.<br />
<br />
Anyway. Hope you have made some choices in the last few months that you are happy with.<br />
<br />

Your husband should get professional help. Love and sex should go together and be all the more satisfying because of this.<br />
Watching too much *********** could be the root of the problem. He probably relates to sex through *********** and has too much respect for you. He probably has emotional issues which need sorting out. Get him to see a counsellor. Sex is an important part of marriage.

Dear Troubled31, <br />
Though I am not married, I may have some advice for you. I have been in a very serious relationship for 3 years now. I share a very similar "problem" to the one your husband is having, and it started a long time ago. Many men who are uncomfortable with sexual intimacy are, quite simply, just that. It's not you, it's not the "virgin housewife" thing, or the "mother of my children" thing. These are attempts at quick explanations that, I'm sure, supply no relief. <br />
Back in the high-school and college days, I was very shy. Hell, nothing's changed. I'm still this way. Any sort of sexual encounter seemed like a chore more than anything else. It was something I had to force myself to do, and only on the occasion where the girlfriend was flat-out screaming or crying at me. And that's just it, I didn't want to do all the work. I didn't really even want to do fifty percent of it.<br />
Bottom line is, he needs you to take control. <br />
You need to scroll up and read the comment from "thedarkestknight" again. Surprisingly enough, he's got it right. <br />
You're husband will not make the decision for himself, so you need to do it for him. He may act like he doesn't want it, but underneath he does. I don't know if you need handcuffs, though it probably would've helped in my situation. <br />
Don't let yourself become the helpless housewife here. Do something. Don't tell him your plans, just do it. Be completely spontaneous.

get back in the kitchen

Okay, I don't normally help out the other guy but you seem nice so here goes:<br />
It appears your guy is ready for some serious role playing. You don't have to be his wife, you can be anyone he might be interested in but you have to truly sell the part. So I say send the kids to the babysitter or relative and set the stage for an incredible evening or afternoon of you being a cheerleader, house maid, nurse, whatever you want but truly dress the part in a sexy outfit and if possible pick up a pair of handcuffs and cuff his butt to something while he is not paying attention and really show him a good time and if he speaks tell him to shhh don't ruin it because I don't know how far this is going to go. <br />
<br />
P.S. If you actually get the handcuffs on him give him the longest combination hand and mouth treatment you possbilbly can before allowing him to explode.. Hand or Mouth doesn't matter because now you have 20 minutes to really explore your role as he recovers for the main event..

Dear Infantary wife35,<br />
I understand you completely! I have been married 22 years and should have realized this on my honeymoon when my husband said he was turned off by my beautiful neglege. Intimacy doesn't exost with us, although he treats me like a queen I have now realized I am a very attractive woman but have felt undesirable by my husband. It has been HIS problem for all these years. He is a **** guy and that is his sad level of intimacy.

You may feel he loves you now , but after years of disappointment and no real intimacy it hurts like crazy . Everytime yo go go out I look at my husband and it hits me that when I get home I am getting none . It blows my confidence . I am no sex addict 2 years and 6 shags down the line I am done . he even told me if we wanted a child we could have ivf as he didn't want to . Get the love tyou deserve . its what keeps you going .

I say, get on the bus Gus...get yourself free. THEN send him to counseling and tell him to give you a call when he gets over the whole 'Madonna' thing.

My husband has had a thing for **** for over twenty years. I have always taken pride in keeping myself up. I'm not bad looking at all and get hit on by many. It still hurts my feelings when he goes weeks without coming on to me. I usally come on to him! If it was not for me--he would have a boring sex life because I taught him everything about SEX! He knew nothing but the missionary position. I am very sensual. I dress up, I touch myself, I am very vocal about what I like etc... He now knows what I like. I have pretty good sex with the exception of doing it myself while were together but then again--he likes to watch. I use him for sex and take what I can get. I have gotten to the point where I don't care who fills the well; as long as I get the water.

All people do not have the same level of need for sex. It is possible for straight men and women to have low desire for frequent-at least once a week-sex. Most people given a willing partner, safe location, health, and time, will have sex. Many people in hetero relationships, who find excuses to not have sex are GAY. That is my opinion. It is sad that the gay person is unable to come out to society. Instead they cause more heart ache and pain.

I'll share my experiences with sexless relationships. I've been in a few, and even been the uninterested one. There's a great deal that goes into a disinterest in sex, and I strongly suggest that both of you see a relationship councilor, not just him.<br />
<br />
The one time I lost sexual interest in someone I was attached to, it was because she treated me like an inferior or a possession. It's unrealistic to think that this kind of thing can be left outside of the bedroom. Any disappointment was handled with a dose of annoyance or disdain, and anything done right was rewarded with very little. She made me feel like an appliance, and her attitude totally turned me off.<br />
<br />
I'm not saying that this is your problem. There are dozens of forms of negative interactions that creep into the sex lives of married couples. A habit of discussing problems at work during foreplay or regularly providing "duty sex" instead of enjoying it can tell your lover that you'd just rather be somewhere else. Passive aggressive demands can make someone feel an inadequacy that doesn't just go away when an erection shows up. Sometimes the way sexual interaction between a couple is approached it can make him feel indebted, and the fear of running up the debt any further can be a total turn-off.<br />
<br />
Again, there are so many things that can lead to this, so you really need someone to look at it from the outside. I wish you luck.

WOW, I just joined this group today. I thought a sexless marriage was mostly from the women, it is difficult for me to think a guy could be married to a girl and not interested in sex with her.<br />
<br />
I have to agree with Mrgw<br />
had I not thought marriage was important, I would of been gone 10 yrs ago. I do think you should try and work it out, if he wants you to act the good girl part, then be that way all the time and make your point<br />
<br />
however I would not say you should spend the rest of your life trying to fix his problem, but give it a good effort<br />
and good luck . . . .

I think that he is not in love with you,may be you are just the convenient partner.If he loves you, love and sex should be spontaneous. The are just excuses which are symptoms of<br />
relationship break down, you can try and work on your relationship but the statistics of such trend is not in your favor ,good luck.

Same life, same ex. I'll take the love and respect anyday.

Men I didn't forget about ya either. I know that sometime you enter in marriage with a women that you think is awesome and great in bed, and 5 years later when you're locked in, the real women comes out. You must be upfront in your relationship in the beginning. Tell her that you want your wife to have sex 3 times a day, and that you want her to wear costumes and wigs for example. And if she gains weight from having yo kids, then both of ya should join a gym and work out together because chances are if she's gained weight, you did too!! Also sex is a great workout. Be a help to each other and not a hurt to your significant others. Men are great, they are protectors and providers, and you deserve to be treated as kings!!

Hi ladies,<br />
I want ya all to know that no matter what, you are beautiful on the inside and out. Don't be afraid to let yo man know that you want sex and that it better be good!! Let him know that if they don't want you, there is always someone else who does. Don't be afraid to express your desires and let that freak come out!!!

Im in a simmiler situation, i think in the last 5 months my husband and i have had sex twice, and during that we spent a week in California without the kids (what the heck!) during my last pregnancy he didnt touch me once, and now that i have had that baby (over a year ago) he still wont look at me, touch me, kiss me exept for a quick peck on the lips or cheak to say goodbye in the mornings. its very frustrating, i know i dont look like i did when i was 18-19 any more but im not bad for having two kids ( and the only reason whe have them is cus all he has to do is look at me the wrong way and im pregnant). he didnt used to be like this, we have been together since highschool and we had lots of "fun" back then.

I think that MrGW summed up the situation perfectly.<br />
<br />
My first husband thought that I should be ready and willing to have sex any time HE wanted it. <br />
How I felt was never a consideration: I could be exhausted, or unwell, or worried, or upset, it made no difference.<br />
<br />
I'm glad to say that my second husband is the polar opposite. He NEVER demands sex as his, 'right.'<br />
<br />
It's been a while since we made love, because I have a very painful back problem. I know he must be very frustrated, but he understands and never puts me under pressure.

I'm curious to know if your fiance was raised in a devoutly religious home. I was taught or deduced through religous teachings that love and sex were different things. Sex was for procreational purposes only. My first sexual experience/experiment was warped partially due to ignorance and the other because of a similiar mindset to your fiance's. I definitely do not recommend this to everyone, but, changing religion, reading erotic materials, accepting my "gender," (it's ok to be masculine or feminine because I am ____) experimenting with sex with many other partners (not in this order) helped to make me sexually confident today. Oh yeah, being with the right person for me definitely helps. I'm not saying that you're not the right one for him, maybe he has to come to terms with his sexual comfort zone. **** might be one of those outlets.

i would say if he watches **** he is getting it some were i have not seen a man are women that does dont get horney there is no deal in there to tell you not to have sex with your wife that is close minded to me chocjoe

Yes, I think you do it dead on. I am not exactly a "housewife" but I know what you are saying. I also think my husband really does think sex is dirty, bad, etc because of his very Catholic upbringing. He had only been with one other woman before we married and he is totally inexperienced...

when he isnt in the mood the most important thing is to not take it personal....... there had to be sex at one point if u have kids....... try to talk more.... maybe a vacation together alone... get inside his head in anyway u can...... be tactfull but not manipulative.... its very hard to play the game to figure out what is wrong u dont want to hurt their feelings.... talk about eachother's needs and see what happens...... have you guys talked to a doctor or therapist.... is there a chemical imbalance... find out what turns him on.... if he like **** u can get some pictures done and slid them in a magazine and surprize him...... some guys would like that ? go to a ***** club with him..... when u get home he might be turned on...... who cares if he is thinking of them or you the important thing is that he goes home with you and you are the one to *******...... if he needs that smutt to get turned on use your resources..... show him you are naughty too....

my wife has lost the passion for sex in our marriage and it really hurts because for me without the sex there is no passion and without passion you are dead anyway. makes you wonder what am i still doing here, because i think we all have a right to live. And right now i fell i am dead cos i am stock in a sexless marriage even when we have sex, i make all the moves and she is so detached i cant remember the lats time she got wet or even tried to come

i agree. i know how you feel i met madonna once

I agree leave him. I am married to the same type of person. She absolutely dosen't believe in sex and marriage. I have stayed due to the kids and keep thinking that would change. Don't spend the next 18 years like I have it never gets better.

i think my husband might suffer from the same thing i dont know caught him with **** and we never have sex if im naked he wont even look at me im a big girl but im porportioned nicely im not ugly by no means so i think ur right that or all the **** has secret messages imbedded in their movied telling husbands not to have sex with their wives and watch more ****! LOL and how am i supposed to feel compared to thoes women im avg kinda below it seeing im heavier wouldnt he think it would hurt my feeling lol the men just dont care

ya... i agree.. leaving him doesn't solve the problem...he should see a councelor. i infact feel sorry for him too..looks like something is really wrong...

If his libido with you never changes or gets even less frequent, are you going to be able to live with that without getting frustrated, lonely or sad?<br />
<br />
If not, then you shouldn't get married to him. He MIGHT change with counseling, but then again he might not. Because of this, you need to decide whether you will be able to settle for your current state of affairs without harboring anger, mistrust or contempt. <br />
<br />
Be brutally honest with yourself about it. If you think that you would end up feeling unhappy, unattractive, depressed or angry if the situation continued or got worse then it would be better for you to find someone that would be better for you.<br />
<br />
No marriage is good if one partner is totally ignoring the needs of the other partner.

I some times think men that dont want their wifes, are doing it some where else....! just my thought ....<br />

Hi, New to this site.<br />
Interested in the story here that its the man who's lost interest. Is there a reason for this. Is it like most marriages where the sex bit becomes boring, same face, same poke poke. I quite get the bit where his face is in the screen on the blue movies as I know a friend like that. His wifes a little stunner too. Same poke he says. <br />
I never lost interest in my wife in the 32 years we have been married. But due to serious back problem she has she lost interest due to the pain she was getting about 5 years ago. I need a **** every day and get by with ****. Funny though, your all sexed up before coming, then after you couldn't care less. <br />
Years ago during our marriage I used to tell her fantasy sex stories to get her going before sex, she having it off with anyone, one at a time of many. Fantasy sex can bring a whole new meaning to a flagging relationship. We never quite got to the point of making my stories reality though, but it sure would have been horny but dangerous.

This has turned out to be a very good discussion on this problem (and believe me, it's a problem for us men also). We all should understand that there are different situations which would require a different solution/tactic to solve. This very same situation where our sexual appetites differ happens in many unions. There are just as many Wives who have (seemingly) experienced a decrease of their sexual appetite as there are men who have. As Partners, we need to understand that there are many different causes of this. It seems quite unfortunate though, as some have described their situation, that either the Husband or the Wife has began to deny satisfaction/pleasure to their Spouse. When this happens, there is certainly much more wrong in the union than simple anger or "revenge". We need to look at the many physiological causes such as the onset of some condition like Diabetes or another disease. Plus, there might be a psychological element. I just think that we need to look beyond our immediate needs and desires before we reach a conclusion which may be either completely invalid or only part of a much larger problem. It should be our Love rather than only our desires with which we approach this.

I've been in a relationship for 19 yrs nearly 12 yrs married, I have got NO children from this marriage and in the last 2 yrs completely NO SEX LIFE we live like brother & sister & like the guy above advised there may be other traits that outweigh this problem but it still hurts like hell I TRULY know this as this man is gorgeous in lots of other ways but he has the biggest **** problem & does treat me like the virginal bridge/wife I once brought this up that I was sick & tired of him w***k**g over his mags & DVDs he smacked me out & took out my front tooth that was nearly 6 yrs ago and we had already been together for so long so I took the better the devil you know than the one you don't & he promised he was just as sexual as me (so he knows I'm a very sexual person) and it would improve huh it got worse & I know I shld have left once hit & I always thought I would as I am a fairly strong woman & mum had put up with that & had left so I thought I would NEVER stay but I wanted to try & work it out but if the other person does not meet you halfway I truly believe they NEVER will and be careful if he will not go to counselling my husband wouldn't & even put me down for it so I never went and I've been going through so pretty emotional times luckily for me I have some really excellent friends. Take care and really look at your situation as it is YOU who will suffer.

Please tell me you have left this jerk of a man. You deserve much
better than that. Get out quickly, run & do not look back.

please ask your man to see a counselor. I watched my parents deal with this problem my whole life and in the end they went 10 years without having sex and evetually divorced. The problem will not just go away on its own, he needs professional help to talk it out and find the roots of his complex.

The thing is that once you are married with children, busy, etc, you won't remember the good things everytime you want sex and he doesnt, and your frustrated, there just will be no time to rationalise and figure things out, and that is when the **** really hits the fan big time. 13 years later I'm still waiting for the sex life that I thought that married life would bring, and he is happy to let me wait even though he knows I don't want to. I now think its plain sadism (the desire to inflict pain on another) but without the sex (!) and you will too down the line.

I don't know how that would feel completely but I do go through the sexless marriage.I was use to an ex husband wanting sex all the time to one that only wants it once in awhile. I even got in lingerie and he just looked at me and said wow and went downstairs. He didn't get the hint or he wasn't in the mood. That really hurt my feelings, so I do not go to him anymore because I don't like the feeling of being turned down.I try to talk to him about it then he got mad and said I put him under preasure.We are married what the heck?I just like to feel wanted once in a while and I'm sure you feel the same way.I wish I knew what to say to you but I know that I already got married so I have to make it work.As far as you go maybe have a long talk with him before you get married.

Excuse me, but, a lot of people are simply offering their own reaction to this situation. Isn't the purpose of this discussion group to offer advice (help?) to each other? Sure, just extricating yourself from the situation will end it, for you, but that is not dealing with or solving the problem. Maybe the Husband has qualities which are desired by Troubled31 which far outweigh the bad things. The last two bits of "advice" (personal opinions) offered will not help because they don't appear to be solutions to the problem. Should we just "throw out the baby with the bathwater" when that bathwater becomes too soiled?


Hello Troubled,<br />
<br />
I hope you get out of this relationship as soon as you can, and without any scars. Be glad that you figured this out BEFORE getting married!

Just a thought, maybe he needs to have you "be" the Virginal good girl/Wife. When you see him watching **** or some other kind of sexual behavior, you should act angry, scared, and etc... like the Virginal Wife that he thinks you are. Next time he wants to touch you, have relations and etc... just inform him that good girls don't do that. After a while (I'm sure it'll be a very short while) he'll be going crazy. That is when you are to inform him that he is getting exactly what he wants. Then it'll be time to have a serious discussion with him because he'll be listening quite intently

JasonL, you seem very knowledgable about these issues. I presume there is an analogous scenario for women who had toxic relationships with their fathers. Such a scenario would fit my wife perfectly -- a toxic relationship with her father and an eager early sexual relationship with me that has all but disappeared. She attributes he pulling away because she finds fault with me for behaving just like her father when in fact I am about as different from him as anyone could be.<br />
<br />
The notable difference is that I think my wife is virtually asexual with no interest in p*rn or self-fulfillment (as far as I know, at least....). She is more in the sex is dirty camp and that she has other priorities.

Yes.. I completely understand. I live in a similar situation. It has been this way for me for 12 years! Just remember that it is HIS problem- not yours.

THanks Jaze2! I agree that sometimes you have to let the feeling come from the action. He never does that. It seems I have to do everything to set the mood correct, to peak his feeling to want to provide action... although so far it hasn't worked for me, so whats the point?!