Letter To My Wife

This is the letter I am planning on giving to my wife this coming week.

Dear K,

I have decided to write to you so that I can get my feelings/thoughts across in a clear manner. and one that is not unclear or ambiguous.

I am very upset at your apparent lack of concern for our sexual/intimate relationship. I am also tired of paying money for therapy which does not produce results. I am aware that you are taking medication that robs you of libido... but I see no real action on your part to help in this.

I need intimacy and sex. It is an important difference between being married and just being roommates. Without it, there is no real spiritual connection between us. I am saddened that your upbringing has twisted your view of healthy sexuality... but again; I DIDN't cause it, I am not responsible for correcting it... YOU ARE.
You listen well enough to me when I talk/complain about this, but I don't see you taking EFFECTIVE actions to resolve it. I am also tired of being made to feel unreasonable and selfish for wanting a healthy sex life. YOU ARE A REFUSER... willingly or not, the result is the same. I don't see you taking responsibility for it.
This repeated sex deficiancy has taken a brutal toll over the years in our marriage. The crushing blow was last night after you swore that we would have sex tonight, you spent the best time for sex, ON THE COUCH WATCHING "JACKASS"... that makes me feel like I am not even on your list of priorities. At this moment I have almost no attraction for you. I'm not even sure if you are capable of desire at this point. Again, your issues are your own. Take control of them or be dragged under by them
 I have felt neglected & unappreciated for years.  And just so you know, I am considering separation so I don't constantly have to be teased by what I cannot have. You have not expressed desire for me in a decade, and that sends a damning message to me: You don't want me. Throughout our marriage, I have felt controlled, not in a blatant way, but in a subtle way. You treat me like I am your roommate, not your husband. I feel you think you are entitled to a certain level of support without responding in kind. Yes, you are a very good mother, a fair wife... but an absent lover.
 I think our marriage is dysfunctional.  The dysfunction “started” with the lack of intimacy & sexual expression. The lack of sex in our marriage has been a HUGE disappointment to me!  And I mean our ENTIRE marriage.  (NOT just since the birth of our last child) It is what started this drift in our marriage. Sex is what separates married people from friends & siblings. It is the glue that keeps couples connected. Otherwise, you are just roommates. I have no fond sexual memories of our recent married life.    You would throw me a few crumbs from time to time & that would just keep me hanging on.  I think it is pretty sad that after being married for so long, I probably had more sex with my previous girlfriend than I have had with my wife.
The dysfunction in our marriage has now permeated to every aspect of our relationship.  I do not feel welcome or wanted in our relationship. I'm just a 'NAG'.
I care about you & love you.  But not the way a “Husband" should love a “Wife"  Those feeling are long gone.  I have thought about your suggestion, “to work on it”.  I have thought about what I am capable of doing at this point in time.  I don’t see our relationship improving beyond what it already is, a “friendship”. I don't know if you have the physical resources available to advance.  I cannot give up any more of myself.  What would be the point of going through the motions?  Counseling is not going to work if the two people are not on the same page.  And I don't know if we are on the same page. What are you're goals for counseling? You shouldn’t be totally surprised by the direction our marriage has taken.  

  I hope that you can respect my feelings & opinion, even though they are different from yours.  I am scared.  I have fears.  But I am not going to let my fear paralyze me.
I am sad that it has come down to this.   I  now need to know where we are headed. Clearly and concisely

Thank you

cvann5 cvann5
51-55, M
18 Responses Sep 9, 2012

I echo nutmeg99's response to this post. Thanks for posting it.

I could have penned this myself. Wow!

See a lawyer and plan for hte divorce, now. IF she turns a corner (most likely she will not- hasnt yet, has she?) it will have been an expensive fire drill...but most likely you will be getting a divorce soon...best to file first. And if she knows you are serious, maybe that will be the motivation she needs.

Truly, you will likely get a better return on this investment than you did on the "threrapy" i bet. Good luck!

"we are going to choose the marriage dissolution option for now"

This "for now" bit puzzles me.

I reckon you are going to have to drive this process - and, probably drive it pretty hard. There is rarely a "we" in a marriage dissolution option.

Have you got an exit strategy in your pocket ?

Tread your own path.

We just had "The Talk"... and yes it went south in a hurry. She thinks I'm being selfish and it's only about sex. I am so sorry for her that she doesn't understand it's about intimacy. Separation is now out the window... we are going to choose the marriage dissolution option for now. As she has no active sexuality, she fails to understand the importance of sex within intimacy. I feel sorry for her.

I did not use the above letter and stuck to what this lack has done to me and our relationship. She realizes I am miserable, and it has made her equally miserable for quite a while. At least I feel things are moving in a positive direction.

I'm so sorry. Refusers tend not to understand sex is not "just" sex for us. Take care.

This letter assigns an awful lot of motivation and intention to her, and very little of that is likely true. It may be true that she is unwilling or unable to provide commentary on where things are off for her, but that does not mean you are served in filling in the blanks. Understand something. Your wife has a point of view, whether she shares it with you or not. She is most likely not happy either. If you do proceed together, you WILL be responsible for some of the changes in your relationship dynamic --a lot of the work will fall to you. In fact both of you at times and possibly right now will feel that you are doing all the work in enduring. Do you think that treating your wife as a problem to be solved is going to get you laid? I fet how hurt and angry you are, but I don't think this will help you get together, and I think it would just make a divorce even shittier.

I totally "get" writing a letter. Like most of us, I imagine you have talked this through until you are blue in the face. And there has been no tangible outcome. Also, our spouses are excellent at diverting us from trhe topic, so often we don't actually get to say everything we want to say. My advice? Go with the letter.<br />
<br />
But I do agree that you need to carefully consider what you want. About two thirds of the way through I thought "he is going to say he wants a divorce" because of ex<x>pressions like "I have thought about what I am capable of doing at this point in time. I don’t see our relationship improving beyond what it already is, a “friendship”. <br />
<br />
Then later you say "I now need to know where we are headed. Clearly and concisely."<br />
<br />
I think if I was reading your letter my hurt would prevent me from seeing things in the hard cold light of day - which is what I imagine you really want her to do.<br />
<br />
There is NOTHING wrong with your letter BTW. It is a very normal ex<x>pression of grief over the loss of a marriage. It only needs to be reconsidered in light of what YOU are wanting to achieve.<br />
<br />
The following phrases or sentences are the ones to reconsider in my opinion. IF you are seeking to really get her to change so you can stay, these are the ones that are most likely to work against that goal.<br />
<br />
* I am not responsible for correcting it... YOU ARE.<br />
<br />
* YOU ARE A REFUSER... willingly or not, the result is the same. I don't see you taking responsibility for it.<br />
<br />
* At this moment I have almost no attraction for you. I'm not even sure if you are capable of desire at this point. Again, your issues are your own. Take control of them or be dragged under by them.<br />
<br />
* But not the way a “Husband" should love a “Wife" Those feeling are long gone. I have thought about your suggestion, “to work on it”. I have thought about what I am capable of doing at this point in time. I don’t see our relationship improving beyond what it already is, a “friendship”. I don't know if you have the physical resources available to advance. I cannot give up any more of myself. What would be the point of going through the motions? <br />
<br />
If you are seriously wanting to leave, then leave out the bits about "where are we going?" and simply tell her it is over.<br />
<br />
You have all my sympathy. I hoe you can achieve an outcome from this letter - whichever way the cards fall. Sometimes the worst part is being in limbo . . . . {{{hugs}}}

Thank you so much for the support. We are indeed headed for a divorce now.

That is so sad and exact,y the type of letter I shou,d write to my husband if I had the courage to split up our family!! Good luck

I understand why you would write a letter if, like myself, you have had 'the talk' over and over and nothing has changed. Perhaps you were also thinking that this may shock her into action? This is something I have considered doing many times myself but I think my H may just read it and never mention it and I am afraid of how I would react to that. I have no real advice other than I would most definately take out the mention of sex with a previous girlfriend...that's just asking for trouble.

I agree... no sense in being more hurtful than is necessary

Hi Evann. I tend to agree with most of the replies. To be honest, it sounds like I could have written it myself. While reading it, I could feel the hurt, pain and frustration. This is my opinion on the letter. And it's just my opinion, I'm far from an expert because I'm in the same boat as you. If at all possible, face to face would be better. I like what KendallM said in that maybe you could reword it just a little to make it sound less "blaming" and describe more of how it makes you feel and how the relationship is just not healthy for either of you at this level. And here is the tought part, at least it would be for me right now, to be as clear as possible of what you expect/want and be able to have an alternative plan if she just flatly refuses to do anything about it. The question that you and I, and other people like us, have to answer for ourselves is "are we ready for seperation and ultimately divorce if the 'refuser' won't agree to help?" I go back and forth on that question on a daily basis. Which I guess shows that I'm not ready to make that decision yet. I will one day tho. I'm confident that I will gain the strength to have the "talk" and see where my wife stands. My thoughts are with ya buddy. Truly.

Thanks for the critique. I will definitely have to re-write when my head is much calmer and I can convey things more effectively.

Give her the letter and it will build a higher fence between you both.<br />
<br />
Only reason I say this is because you tell her you are considering a separation.<br />
<br />
Do you want a divorce? <br />
<br />
If this is the case the letter explains it. However if you are wanting to work on it then I would not give it to her.<br />
<br />
Also I feel writing her a letter kind of dodges the responsibility of face to face negotiating the relationship.<br />
<br />
At times, I feel the letter is a effective tool but it does not have the same results of a face to face deal. Maybe some notes in hand to discuss?<br />
<br />
You feelings are valid and that is what you ultimately want her to get. She most likely will get your feelings at some point. Good chance it will be after you are gone. <br />
<br />
So you just have to decide when do I leave.

I don't know that I intend to give her this letter; it was more of a purgative for myself. The feelings are quite real... and, yes divorce seems eminent.

Yea getting them to Get It Is really difficult and your letter does have words she needs to here. if you can get her to listen to you without turning the conversation a different direction then do get the emotions and you are feeling out there! Putting them out on the table and being direct will put the problem right there between the two of you rather than her not knowing what you feel.

If she acknowledges your feelings and does not respond then you most definitely have what you have.

If she does not ask what she can do to fix it or give you some kind of response that gives you strong encouragement maybe a good question would be is , how do you expect our marriage to sustain?

Would be interesting to see what her response would be. My wife felt offended by it and it pissed her off. It had some impact for sure.

You hang in there man. If you have ins benefits for mental health I would recommend a therapist to help you work through this. It will give you knowledge and tools in your tool box to deal with her and great guidance with the situation .

I have very good health insurance... and she has agreed for us to seek therapy. We will still separate for a while to cool off and get some space.

Well good luck. That deal will take some work in order to get you to where you need to be, good or bad. The separation thing I think is my next move if I don't get a defined change in my wife. I have always had the mind set it is either get it or just get out. No separation will fit in ! My psychologist has suggested it a couple times. I just have felt that it is a divorce threat to my wife and she would just blow up. And she will. Till death do is part? Bulshit!

1 More Response

Good luck

Are you totally done? If so, give her this letter.<br />
<br />
Or are you secretly hoping for a change? If so, this needs a serious re-draft. I suggest that you focus on the pain the lack of intimacy has caused you and how it has affected the bond you feel in the marriage Also - as a woman - this letter makes it sound a bit like you simply have a physical need that she hasn't fulfilled...almost tick-box like. Instead talk about the emotional aspects of physical connection. Because if it was really, really just physical you could take care of that yourself. Also don't call her a refuser, she's not likely to even know what that means in the full sense of the way we discuss it. <br />
<br />
Because I'm a refused spouse too, I can read between the lines of your letter. I know how much this hurts, how it damages the bond. I know the shock of realising I had more sex with a boyfriend of a year and a half than I had in my marriage of a decade and a half. <br />
<br />
I also agree with MaryRyan - it isn't clear what you expect of her. It sounds like "Things suck. You suck. You aren't even capable of making a change or understanding my needs. Let's call the whole thing off, maybe."<br />
<br />
I hope this doesn't sound too harsh. I want you to get what you want, once you figure that out.

Hi, <br />
<br />
Thought I'd comment too. Powerful words here and to me I completely feel your pain. It is horrible. I too am in a situation where sex happens rarely - the worst part about is the blow to your esteem, you feel undesirable, unwanted and just a utility in your house. I have had discussions with my wife about our situation, the last time I said, 'I feel that if I don't initiate, we'd never have sex'. Her response after a pause was 'probably!'. I can't describe how that hurt. Never before did I feel like such a tool in a literal sense. Just this guy who brings home the bacon, gives everything he has earned to family and nothing left for me.<br />
<br />
So, with that said, I sort of respect your effort to write a letter despite some saying that writing it is a bad idea. Maybe so, perhaps you can just say the letter, ie, memorize your thoughts and ten just deal. Where I agree with others here is that it is a little open ended. The undertones seem to say 'I am out of here' so, you sort of need to think about that and as others have said, get an exit plan. Also, lose the caps, they sound like yelling and I think you need to stay a course of these are the facts and leave the angry suggestions aside, or, let them go.<br />
<br />
In a way I admire you. Be prepares however for a possible flood of emotions and keep reminding yourself the facts. Also take some time to consider why it must be like to be on antidepressants. It's no fun to recognize the fact that you need emotional augmentation to function - I know being one of them. I am a guy and my sex drive is about a 10th of what it used to be. It sounds like you are not clued into that and sympathy in that area might be worth some investigation first.<br />
<br />
Either case, you posted you letter here, so heed the advice of others. I think the better thing I do is re-word it so that it describes and focuses on the fact you cannot handle it anymore and, the thoughts of continuing that way are stronger than the love that is left.<br />
<br />
Try to sound as though you are no longer capable of living with it as opposed to cadging blame all over the place. I say that especially considering her past, nobody deserves rape. Your letter as is will confirm her thoughts that you are insensitive towards it and will likely drive her deeper into a hole.<br />
<br />
Good luck.

You make many good points...but I think you are sending some mixed messages. You state how you perceive things, and what you are considering doing about it, but I don't think you clearly state what you are seeking from her. The only thing you ask is when you say "I want to know where are we headed". If I got this letter, the first thing I'd likely say is "I am not sure what you are looking for from me", not to be smart, but I would really want to know. Do YOU know what you are expecting from her? Are you clear on what it would take for you to feel you can remain married to her? She can't meet an expectation of which she is not aware.<br />
<br />
Personally, I am not big on letters. I think that if you can't talk about it face-to-face, you don't have much chance of solving it because you are not able to deal with each other directly. But...to each couple, their own. I wish you luck with this...

I feel your pain but I hope you have an exit plan. Most likely you will need one after giving her this.<br />
<br />
Stay Strong & Good Luck

I gave your letter a quick review.. I feel your pain.. I have my own problems that is why i am reading here tonight.. but the letter seems too long, a little cold... the statement you made "I care about you & love you" does not come thru very strong....especially with the next line. Sounds like you think this is too far gone..and that your only interest is sex... Believe me in know that is important.... BUT, do you really want to save this relationship? Most likely you are going to need someone like a counselor or pastor to consult with. There needs to be an ex<x>pression hope on your part that there is a solution ... Well anyway it is late and these are just random thoughts. I wish you the best....

If you haven't got a do-able exit strategy in your pocket, don't give her this until you have.<br />
<br />
Tread your own path.