What Are The Odds Of Success?How to begin this one? I’m 28, H is 27, and we’ve been married for 5 years. I was a virgin when we got married, although I’d had sexual experiences previously, and never had the problems that we're facing now. He’d been with one other woman before me, and had never said anything about there being issues with sex. During our pre-marital counseling, I mentioned that 4 times a week was a minimum for me, and he agreed, so I genuinely felt that we were on the same page. On our wedding night, we had sex once, and I asked him afterwards if we could do it again. He said no, that he was tired, and he just wanted to watch TV. I felt rejected and humiliated, and because he was my first sex, wondered if I’d done something wrong. He told me that I hadn’t, that it was great, but that he was done.
On our honeymoon, it was more of the same. I would initiate, and he told me that he wasn’t in the mood, and referred to himself as a “sex camel,” stating that he didn’t need it as frequently as I seemed to want it. I put on lingerie, and he would critique the color of it, and my wearing it in general. He stated that wearing lingerie seemed like a pointless waste of time, so I stopped. We had sex 4-5 times on the honeymoon, and I initiated all of it, and was turned down about half the times I tried. Since the honeymoon, it was a slow decline in frequency. Directly after the wedding, it was about once a week if I initiated it, and now the average is once every 6 weeks or so.
When I initiate, he's usually too tired, or too stressed, or I'm trying it at the wrong time. He’s made comments during sex about how my face looks weird, or I’m taking so long, and I’m just so incredibly uncomfortable even having sex with him at this point. He doesn’t like to French kiss, because he says that he can’t breathe during a deep kiss, plus, he has “bad memories” of kissing previous girlfriends, so he prefers to just give pecks. He’s also told me that he’s not used to needing to do any amount of foreplay, because his previous girlfriends were “always ready.”
In the last year, the only time we’d have sex was when I pointed out, “Hey, wow, it’s been like 3 weeks since we’ve had sex.” I’ve tried explaining my frustrations when I was calm and rational, and when we weren’t in the bedroom. I’ve tried appealing to him emotionally, and have broken down sobbing because I felt so unattractive to him, and he would usually initiate sex at that point. When I don’t mention it, though, it’s gotten to the point where we go months without sex. The last time we had sex was on our anniversary in May, and before that, it had been 3 months. He tells me that he finds me incredibly sexually attractive, but he’s got anxiety problems, and he needs me to initiate. I’ve pointed out that when I initiate, it’s hit or miss for success rate, and that I’ve been turned down so much, I’m a nervous wreck to initiate at this point. For reference, until a month ago, I had never turned him down for sex. For the past year, he has only initiated sex after about a half a bottle of wine, because he says it helps him feel less anxious, which doesn't help my self-esteem much.
I unconsciously turned off my sex drive about 5-6 months ago, just so I wasn’t torturing myself. At this point, I have no sexual feelings toward him anymore. He’s my best friend, he’s a great roommate, but he’s like my brother now. A month ago, I brought all of this up yet again, and told him that I couldn’t deal with it anymore. I said that something needed to change, that I had lost my sexual desire for him, and that we needed to figure things out. He agreed to counseling (finally) and immediately began rubbing on me to try to get me to have sex with him. I told him no, that I wasn’t emotionally capable of having sex with him, and he continued to do so for several days, until I gave in and we had sex. Since then, he “agrees” that sex is probably not the best idea right now. We’ve been going to counseling for 3 weeks, and the counselor is doing individual counseling currently.
I feel so incredibly guilty, because it seems like he’s trying now, and I’ve got lukewarm feelings about continuing the marriage. I’m so full of resentment that I brought it up dozens of times in the last 5 years, and nothing seemed to affect him until he realized just how dire this situation had become for me. I guess my question is: Truly, what’s the success rate? I have no desire to spend 2-3 years in therapy, only to end up right back where we are now, or to work incredibly hard at reaching some sort of mutual compatibility for mildly decent sex once or twice a month. And despite the lack of sex, I have to chime in to the ubiquitous refrain of “he’s a genuinely great guy and I love him dearly.” It’s true. We still have fun together, outside of the bedroom. We still have intimacy - we hold hands and hug and cuddle. And I seem to have something that is rare in refuser mentality - somebody who is willing to go to counseling and try to work on things. Am I stupid for holding on so tightly to my resentments, frustrations, and fears?
And I remember how crappy the dating world was, and how difficult it was to find somebody worthwhile, and I’m crippled by the fear that I’ll never find anything better. Feedback from those in the trenches, or out of the trenches, or who have waded through the trenches is desperately desired.