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My Addition To This Difficult Theme

This is my first story. It has taken me a few months to stop just reading and actually post this lengthy and difficult anecdote.

When I was 29, my girlfriend of almost six years threw a table at me. That ended that. The situation there involved a traumatic brain injury, anger issues that stemmed from that situation and eventually drug use. As a result, our relationship suffered from little to sometimes no libido from her. I tried to be supportive and steadfast, but it was a constant problem between us.

So, when the coffee table was flung in my direction, it was an obvious and easy queue to leave. I had given 110% and could leave without feeling too much guilt about "abandoning" her and our love, as I felt at the time.

At 34, I reconnected with a beautiful woman I knew when I was in high school. I had only known her for a year and thought she was the most beautiful girl ever! She was the homecoming queen my sophomore year and was unattainable in my eyes. However, 13 years later, we reconnected and eventually met up one weekend.

After that, we became inseparable.

We were both a little reserved about starting a serious relationship at first. We had very similar backgrounds in what we had been through. Everything seemed so right and we took the plunge into blissful love.

In discussing these similar backgrounds, my ex and her ex posed such parallels it was unreal. Her ex husband had died of what appeared to be suicide. Mine had threatened it many times, using it as emotional blackmail. She would eventually commit this act months after my now wife and I began dating. In all these discussion, the lack of intimacy and sexual exploration came up. I explained that I could not and would not be in such a relationship again.

We both agreed that that didn't seem to be a problem with our relationship.

However, about three weeks after we were engaged, we found out we were pregnant. We were both very happy, very excited and very scared. It was honestly a great thing lined with the stress that comes from becoming first time parents. We'd planned to have a child if we could, or adopt if we couldn't, so while unexpected, it wasn't altogether unplanned. Once she became pregnant, her sex drive went away. This was no huge surprise to us. We had sex three times during her pregnancy, twice at the advice of her midwife towards the end, to help bring on effacement.

After our beautiful daughter arrived, I made a point not to push for a resumption of our sex life, despite an overwhelming desire to make love to the woman who I'd helped make this beautiful new being with. However, after several months, I began to bring it up. I was asked, as I was during her pregnancy, to please not bring it up -- that she would let me know when she was ready. It was ten months after our daughter was born that we finally had sex again, but it was after she had drank a lot of beer and knew I was needing that connection.

That night was almost a year and a half ago. There's been no physical intimacy. We got married, which I do not regret, about two and a half months ago. We've been to a sex therapist/couples counselor, but only once. We're planning a second appointment soon, but it's tough with finances and finding childcare during the appointment. I'm at my wit's end and so is she. She wants us to be passionate again. She says she didn't want this problem to follow into our marriage, but it obviously has. I, like a fool, hoped this might change with the permanence of marriage, but it hasn't. It wasn't the reason I married her, just a hope -- I married her because I really do love her. However, dreams plague me of cheating with past lovers. What's sad is I can't even have a good sex dream anymore -- those are even plagued with guilt for them not always being with my wife. I want her more and more, but feel myself losing my grip on my patience and resolve.

That's where I stand. We're both so tired of dealing with this issue, but know it has to change for us to both be happy in this marriage. It's worth it. I know it is. I try not to feel guilt for asking this, but can't help it crossing my mind daily: I've put my sexual and emotional needs and wants aside to accommodate hers for two years now, keeping my desire on the back burner. When does my partner eventually put her needs and wants aside for me, for just a short time?

I need that balance and connection.
deltachi78 deltachi78 31-35, M 8 Responses Nov 8, 2012

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Please, do not assume it is normal for women to loose their libido after giving birth and during breastfeeding... I resumed my sexlife 5 weeks after giving birth and more or less all of my friends did the same... The funny thing though, we all were taught and read that women become real women only after giving birth and only after that they start t enjoy sex fully...

Delt -

Been there, kinda. Wife wanted nada until kiddo was 1.5. Now he's 2 and it's a once a week thing and still iffy. Kids will blast libidos to bits. If your wife is still breastfeeding, her hormones aren't even remotely in synch with sex. I know exactly how you feel, regardless of how both us got to feel that way. A LONG time - no lovey dovey. It ******* destroys a man's head and soul. Even now that we're trying to schedule it once a week - yeah, **** -whaddaya gonna do - it isn't anywhere near balanced and connected. I truly believe it won't get much better until the 2 year old is in first grade - if even then. I want to **** everything that moves - but won't because of guilt and because I still love my wife way too much. About a year ago - it came to a head and I was convinced she didn't love me as there was little evidence of it. She claimed she did still love me, and we talked through some issues that were also blocking intimacy. I'm not perfect, and she had her reasons. We overcame those I think - but our lives are still so hard and berzerk and kiddo blasted, it is just difficult. The loveyness is better - but she's just tooo tired to be all that horny. I am too - but I am far hornier than she will ever be.
It sounds like a lot of counseling is in order. One thing we did do that helps was to schedule sex. Yeah..I know. BUT - it works and helps! It's not always great - but I do not care. I just want to feel loved and we menfolk cannot exist without physical love. I can't anyhow. I feel and know your pain all too well. Maybe try the scheduling thing for you guys. See if works. Maybe you'll get laid a few times at least -and more if it works. A lot of it is just getting back in the saddle again. Try like hell to make sure she gets her O too. Whatever it damn takes. If she starts remembering how nice it is - she might want more of them and more frolic. I wish I had learned more - but that is the best advice I got so far and what is kind of working for our situation.

Good luck Delt!

You know you both leave relationships that have some similar patterns. And you are drawn to each other. Hmm. I would say individual counseling for a period of time before couple therapy. I left one dysfunctional relationship only to be drawn to another relationship of similar problems. I have learned why recently and i wish i would have known then what i do now. I would not be in thos relationship at all.

There is a reason you gravitated to her as she you and i suggest learning that. It will give you so many answers to questions that you dont know you have yet.

"When does my partner eventually put her needs and wants aside for me, for just a short time?"

THIS STATEMENT IS A PROBLEM. Your W should not need to "put aside her needs and wants" to be with YOU. She should WANT to be with you. I know having kids put me out of commission for a few weeks to maybe a couple months after the emergency C-section and preemie kid, but TWO YEARS?????

You haven't said, after the post-partum, is she on anti-depressants? Some of those can damage the sex drive, and that's something that shoudl be brought up with the doctors - there are other meds out there.

SHE is SERIOuSLY damaging the relationship, and YOU are being a doormat.

No, it is NOT normal to NOT want sex for two years after a kid arrives. She needs to grow the F up and either (a) get to the doctor to get her head and hormones worked out or (b) realize your marriage is NOT going to last and this is NO way to bring up a family.

Eventually you are going to get tired of waiting, and your love will go away. We've all been there.

No anti-depressants. I guess that by that statement all I meant was that I'm open to going to counseling, giving her time to work out issues and for us to work on this part of our relationship. But something has to give now and then in the meantime!

Have her thyroid and adrenals checked. Get info from ThyroidSexy on Facebook. Doctors do not understand this disease at ALL like they think they do...and it is very difficult to treat effectively. Pregnancy, stress, and fatigue can do irreparable damage to a woman's hormonal glands. I am hypothyroid myself, and tho I am treated, I still do not get the attention I need from my dr to fully address the hell this invisible disease unleashes. Loss of libido is one of the top side-effects.

Well done for "coming out" and posting. That can be a big little step if you let it, because it signals that this is a big problem. It is a big problem, and I can tell you that it can carry on for many many years, not only the post-partum era.

Nothing's going to magically change here, and one of the impediments to that is that you are not really owning your own needs and being positively assertive enough. You seem to be so respectful and New Age that you are neglecting yourself, and this is no good for the relationship or you child. I think both of your have swallowed the toxic meme of I-only-have-sex-when-I-want(desire)-it, perfect moment stuff.

My feeling is that you could well do with working on yourself first, particularly in the areas of being more positively assertive, and knowing what you want, what you stand for, and not being afraid to own it and ask for it. You're letting her off the hook right now, and she's lapping it up. At some point you have to let go of feeling selfish for getting what you want (most people here are way too un-selfish, so it would take an enormous shift to actually be selfish!). And you don't need to be all "Nice" - I'm definitely not saying be nasty, yet owning and satisfying your needs is actually good for the relationship, it's not selfish.

The other aspect to start to develop is a sense of time and a plan. Be accountable to yourself, and come to understand better what you can do - sometimes little and not-that-scary steps are well possible.

Of course, it sounds like she has problems and baggage, whether this is PPD or otherwise. It's her call to do something about that, of course you can offer help, but it's not within your power to change what she does. You can give her honest information of course about your feelings, that's best done when you have a bit more clarity and determination. All you're getting from her is words, actions are the things that matter.

I am sorry for what you are going through. I hope that together you can work this out so you can both live a fulfilling life. I don't know the answer to your question of when your partner puts their needs and wants aside for you. It hasn't happened in all of my 22 years of marriage. The difference I see in our situations though is your wife realizes there is a problem and is willing to try and resolve things. My husband is content with his life and even considers us happy.

This is a touching story...rated up!

I am truly sorry for your pain especially after your difficult previous relationship. What we can't predict is how things will turn out. We think we know, but that's simply not true.

A couple of things give me hope in your situation is the fact that your wife is trying to figure out her issues and your original discussion and subsequent agreement about the importance of intimacy.

You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders and genuine love for your wife. The fact that you had a good sex life prior to the pregnancy is also something that gives me hope because you know it's possible with her.

Whatever the future holds, make sure you leave no stone unturned. If things don't improve, you will want to be able to tell your daughter that you did everything you could to rekindle your relationship.

Sorry to hear you're going through this. Is your wife acting different or does she seem depressed? Might be post partum depression. Blessings to you.

She had her stint with postpartum and seems fine now. She says, and I totally see and understand this, that her biggest issue right now is continuing to adjust to her new role as mother. I work 65 hours a week so she can stay home with our daughter -- why have both parents work just to spend one whole check on childcare? That's been our philosophy. She's very independent and isn't used to relying on anyone, much less a man. So the transition has something to do with it, I know. I'm trying to continue to be understand and supportive, but, as I said in my post, when does the pendulum swing my way? I hate to sound so selfish, but after two years, I'd just love an hour ever few weeks when I can have my need to feel her love filled again.

Oh, and my working so she can stay home was not something I forced or decided: I offered long ago to stay home so she could keep her job. She wanted to be able to be with our daughter during her young years. So this was not me demanding to be the man and her to stay home to be the woman or anything so chauvinistic as that.

Oh yes, if she is used to working, staying home is a big adjustment. We moved this past summer and I was unable to find a new job teaching school. I'm going nuts. Of course I don't have a baby. My children go to school.

You are right though. The pendulum should swing your way too. Maybe you could get some flowers, find a babysitter, snd take her out for a romantic evening. Who knows?????? Just an idea....

Thank you. Yes, I do try to show my affection and love for her -- randomly, not just on special occasions. We try to take advantage of the occasional mother in law visit and such to go out together. She is trying, but it never leads to any physical affection. I do cherish our time to one another, though, regardless.

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