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I Am Starting To Adapt. Is That A Good Thing?

I've been married to a sweet woman for 8 years. Our sex life was always fantastic, until she got pregnant. After my oldest was born, she let me know that motherhood took too much out of her and things would take time. We probably had sex twice in about 8 months. Being used to sex 4-6 times a week, this didn't sit well with me.

I was younger then and probably acted with less maturity than I should have. I asked why she couldn't "take care of me" once in a while, despite what she might feel or not feel. That didn't go over too well as you might expect. The third time we had sex after my son was born, she got pregnant again. I guess we're not very good at birth control. ;)

Cutting to the chase, we ended up having three children in 38 months. The youngest is nearly 5 years old. We've been to counseling for our marriage. This included discussions of our sex life and many other issues. For me, most of our issues stem from lack of intimacy. My wife is a great mother, but perhaps not the greatest in other areas. I'm sure I'm no peach all the time either. That said, I think you're more likely to forgive someone for leaving the kitchen a mess or leaving the car on empty if they gave you some amazing sex the night before.

Most of our therapy indicated that she was afraid of getting accidentally pregnant again and that's why she was not interested in sex. In 2008 I got a vasectomy, thinking it would be amazing. For about six months, we started having more regular sex, then back to (new) normal.

She's a wonderful person in so many ways and a great mother but she eventually told me that she simply doesn't want sex. I asked her to check with the doctor about it and let her know that it's a big deal for me. It's simply not a big deal for her and she doesn't see a problem.

So after years of rage...and I mean smoldering rage...I started to put sex out of my mind. If we have sex once a month, that's pretty good. But instead of being constantly angry, counting the days until the next ovulation when she *might* be interested....I stopped caring. I just realized this a few months ago.

It's good because anger and frustration and the hurt at being rejected isn't a good thing. But...this can't be good either, right? I am still attracted to my wife, but even fantasies about her are dashed most of the time because my mind inserts the fact that she would likely reject me. I can't even pretend we're going to have sex.

Like many others here, I have three young children that I love. I don't want to see them 50% of the time. I'm not complaining as this is a bed I've made for myself. I just wish it was different. I had an incredibly romantic view of marriage. Not just in a sexual way, but in a sweet way in which you keep dating your spouse. I did that for years, but now, it's ridiculously hard to bring home flowers, to spring clean the house when she's away, or even plan a girls weekend for her to let her relax, when none of that has ever led to any more affection. This is my first EP post. Thanks for reading.
harveyspecter harveyspecter 41-45, M 17 Responses Jan 3, 2013

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Vasectomies. Every man should get them at some point. Lol...I think its great you did.

Rejection is one of the most bitter realities of life. I've also found that it doesn't matter if the rejection is intentional or unavoidable....the sting is the same. Kudos to you for being so determined.

Harvey, my facts if life are almost exactly like yours except I'm the wife... 3 kids within 3 years starting in 2005... But I guess after that its ll about perspective isn't it?

Love is doing things with no expectation of reciprocation.... Just love her in the ways she needs to be loved and see if that helps. Have you read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman? Here's the link to the website... It could really help the both of you. (: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

Having had four babies... and having to do a lot medically to get them... I understand what we women go thru... the problem is we need and want sex so much more than we realize. What I came to realize after my youngest turned 2 and stopped nursing and stopped needing me so much... I was empty. I wanted the emotional connection but realized after 13 years of baby making that we had no emotional connection anymore. He never seemed to care or notice. But let me say that women do not realize until too late that babies can fill that spot of husband. We meet their needs 24/7... they fill that emotional spot and we forget that sex can feel good and fill things that need to be filled still. I'm not defending her, I'm just saying I know this... I know this feeling of I dont' need you because I have these sweet little eyes that fill up my heart and soul and that think I can do no wrong, etc. But gawd, sex is sex and I freaking need and want it too.

Thank you so much. This is really good.

Your letter sure sounds typical, buddy. I could've written most of it myself. It is my wife's birthday today, and to celebrate - we'll surely avoid sex. She is going to buy her own gift too - as anything I've suggested so far will not be right. After shooting all my ideas down, she told me what she wants for her bday - but wouldn't let me buy it. She will get it this weekend. Everything has to be on her terms. Initiating sex? Bad idea. I tried it last week and got NO NO NO NO NO NO. Wow - ok - I get it, harsh female. We had sex later that week - when she initiated it. It was even pretty decent. Nevertheless - all has to be on her terms. I have got to the indifference point, the smoldering rage point, so many times now - I just don't know what to do. I keep trying to distract myself with activities. Fitness - for example. She'll want me more if I'm more fuckable and fit. Not really. But at least I'm fitter and it keeps my mind occupied. Maybe somebody else will notice and offer me a ****? I dunno. I don't want to go through a bunch of horrible divorce hell. I love my wife for some reason still. I'm just so burnt out with this sex thing I could die of it. She just visited her sister and took the kids with her for three days. I wish she would she would go longer and more often. It was peaceful and I got the place clean and serene. Got to do what I like to do - eat what I like to eat, and exhale. No desire to chase floozies then - just enjoyed the peace and quiet and the lack of her presence.

Fwiw, I'm finding that being a 100% parent 40-50% of the time is at least as good as life was before, being just a 50% parent 100% of the time. I'm having a great time, and I don't believe that my relationship with them is suffering or that they are in any way missing out on anything. It may even be better in some ways. Happy to discus with you via pm or phone.

And I still think that my ex is one of the best looking women I know. But who cares if you don't get to sleep with her?

"That said, I think you're more likely to forgive someone for leaving the kitchen a mess or leaving the car on empty if they gave you some amazing sex the night before."

STOP PRESS - Recent findings indicate that sexual frustration can make people irritable and short tempered.

I can remember my ex having a mild epiphany when it finally sunk in that sexual frustration, rejection and the cold lack of intimacy affected my mood. Not that she actually did anything to change that, just that she hadn't realised there was a connection.

My wife would consider that a birth defect, viz., sexual frustration making someone irritable and short tempered. Ergo, most males have this birth defect, just like most women have trouble with arousal and ****** at some point in their lives.

it may not be the best comment you'll get on your story, but despite of a lot of other stories from men, I do feel a bit more sincere approach... and kindness in yours.
(or it is maybe the "stopped caring" which takes off the (overly) negative edge.
or maybe I am in a good mood today and i see everything in pink:)
anyway I just felt like sharing this.
(and on the long run, it may not be as a workable relationship as it may seem to you for time being as the issues you do notice without having sex to mask it, will not disappear, but in fact there will be more, and you'll notice more, and the original core would still be the lack of sex

Thank you for the kind words.

<p>-----"....I stopped caring"</P><br />
<p>You have gone through the stages of grief, and this phase, the 'I stopped caring" phase is the final one. This feeling does not mean you do not love your spouse (read many stories on here many foks, even divorced ones, still state that they love their spouse), but it means you have reached a stage that, over the long term is more than likely irreversible:</P><br />
<p>That stage is INDIFFERENCE.</P><br />
<p>From here on out, nothing your spouse does or does not do will revive your "special intimate" feelings you once had for her. They have been demolished under the unloving assault (this can be done in a nice manner too, it does not have to entail overt nastiness). Over the long term the refuser gets what they want (if you allow it)- to keep the spouse at a distance while still enjoying all the perks of marriage.</P><br />
<p>Her dismissal of your needs has caused irrversible damage that will not be undone. Trust is now gone, to be replaced by that most toxic stage that a marriage can enter - INDIFFERENCE. Indifference ushers in that strange neutral feeling, a distance that is most difficult to bridge. The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.</P><br />
<p>The only way out of this would be for you BOTH to recognize the problem and BOTH, working together by pouring your blood, sweat and tears into finding and executing a long term solution. It is gut wrenching work that is not for the faint of heart.</P><br />
<p>I do not see evidence in your story that the wife would be willing to work with you on this issue, so, the consequences of this over the long term will be your indifference that could very well lead to a future divorce.</P>

My comment comes from being a person with a high sex drive. The real biological reason we couple up is so that we can get regular sex when we want it and need it. It's not just to have children. I would find it very hard to be in a relationship where there was a lack of intimacy. You have every right to resent your wife for not having sex with you. I do understand your not wanting to be a part time dad and the child support would probably be high. I would pursue more counseling and I would also consider natural hormone replacement therapy. I take wild yam and it increases the female libido. I would suggest it to your wife. I began taking it for peri-menopause, but noticed it had a nice benefit of increasing my sex drive. Good luck!

Marrying to ensure regular sex is exactly the wrong thing to do. Humans marry so that they are not obliged to have regular sex any more. Then they create myths of normalcy around marriage.

Marriage to avoid the obligation for regular sex? That's an interesting theory I've never heard. Is there more to it?

Within your life, there is an aspect you are passionate about, desirous of, enthusiastic to engage in, and an essential part of the authentic "harveyspectre".

This aspect of the authentic "harveyspectre" your missus couldn't give a flying **** about. The fact that this missing aspect of the dynamic makes you miserable is of no note to her at all.

Tell me how these are the (in)actions of someone who actually cares about you.

Tread your own path.

Yeah. This comment hits home for sure.

Harvey: I am in my 8th year of this. The first year, I asked him to go to the doctor, opps, he forgot to tell the Doctor that it was a big deal for me. So of course, the subject got dropped. Then he told me that sex was immature; I felt embarrassed like a sleeze for wanting to be intimate with my husband. Then I went through the whole doubting whether I was attractive thing; For the first time in my marriage, I started returning men's glances and allowing them to make passes at me because I needed affirmation. Then I got to the point where I wasn't even interested in my husband, didn't even consider him to be a man. Smoldering Rage, followed by apathy or thinking that you just don't care --just can't care anymore, know this one well too. So, for nearly a decade, I have resented the position that I was put in. Now, my desperation to get out of my marriage is a constant! Like you, I have children and there is a lot at stake; I have only been stuck because I needed to plan. But eight years is enough, I am leaving in 2013. (Somehow, I think that you ended up here by accident, I would venture to guess that you would do almost anything, if your wife would be with you. If the stories here are any indication, your wife is unlikely to change. Whatever, the truth is, you probably already know it. One piece of advice find a safe place (like this board) and friends, to support your honest discussion of the issue. It is a serious one and you need to start considering how you will handle it.

welcome to EP, here on ILIASM you'll find a very supportive bunch. we can be blunt (i think one guy called us brutal), but understand we are coming from a place of support, compassion &amp; wanting to give you the benefit of years of experience (in some cases decades) living in sexless marriages.

as a woman in a SM, i questioned everything, tried everything i could think of (and then some!) and went through the various stages of numb, anger, pain, anger, numb, etc., yada.

many, many many discussions. no therapy -- he refused, point blank. i went for a couple sessions but felt it was wasted time &amp; $$; i know what *i* want, and have done as much as possible to entice it into happening. as one other member said, you can't MAKE someone desire you. they just have to desire you.

in my case, there are elements of control, punishment, etc. in my h's lack of sex, you will read about the passive aggressive spouse who refuses. i challenge you to look at your relationship--beyond the sex. most of us come here thinking if only we could fix the sex issue....but, upon closer examination, there's a lot more going on than just denial/refusal of sex. such is the case with my marriage, and why i am getting close to finishing up my exit strategy. yes, we have a fairly young child. however i believe we will ALL be better off after divorce. the tension in my house is palpable. the sarcasm, criticism, non stop barrage of complaints is pretty much constant (and no it ain't me doin that). our child is picking up on and mimicking the negative behaviors. i want so much better--for me, and for her. at this point the eventual divorce is as much for her benefit as it is for my own.

so read a LOT. keep posting. you'll find much to think about and all of it (well, most...) helpful.

good luck.

i feel for you. I understand your wife's perspective as sex for some women can feel more of a shore than the passionate lust we first experience with our partners at the start. Maybe you could plan a weekend away without the kids if possible, if not a romantic evening in. It may be she never relaxes enough due to the stress of having a family life, that she doesn't have the passion needed for love making.

"o bring home flowers, to spring clean the house when she's away, or even plan a girls weekend for her to let her relax"

You can bet your sweet self that if my STBX even once did any of that sh*t I would have jumped him on the spot in delight...

Haha. His loss. :) In fairness though, I followed what appeared to be the common playbook for sexless marriages. Don't concentrate on the sex, concentrate on the relationship. It's possible I didn't hit the right things to improve.

I've been in a almost sexless marriage for about 2 1/2 years. My reactions to the situation change. I was very hurt at first and wondered what I was doing wrong. Then I put in the back of my mind and stayed busy so I wouldnt think about it. Then when I would think about it I would be sad, and then my saddness turned to anger. Now I know what I need to do but I still debate the decision daily. My husband and I dont have children so its easier to make the decision. Well I havnet fully made it yet, if i did I would be moved out and I'm not. I understand not wanting to get a divorce if children are involved.

I hope your marriage gets better. Good Luck.

Thanks Jen. It seems like there are stages of a sexless marriage, similar to the stages of grief. Though we don't go through them at the same pace or same order.