Red Flags All Over. Any Advice For A Marriage Going Down South?

This is my first post. Sorry for potential typos and/or grammar mistakes as English is not my mother tongue.

I have been reading this site for over a year now. I've decided to pitch in my story. Sadly, I am afraid that it is not very different from the other many stories I've read here. Also, I am writing it more for my own relief and for seeking help. I doubt it would be helpful for others seeking help. My most sincere apologies.

I've been married for over 10 years now. This sexless ordeal has moved from being a mild nuisance type of problem to a really big deal depending on the year and time. My wife has never been a sexual person and our best streaks have been a few weeks of 1-2 times per week. The most common scenario is to have sex once every 10-15 days on average, with many streaks of almost a month with no intimacy.

I know this is by no means a bad situation, specially after the much worse stories that I've read here. Still, I see all the early warnings and signs that make it clear that this situation is not really going to improve but rather the opposite. Thus I am seeking for help before this really goes beyond the breaking point.

Let me add a few more facts and context. To the best of my knowledge I am a supportive husband. I take care of all the minor things in the house, do dishes, laundry, most of the cooking and I bring a large chunk of the income to the family. I try to listen and to give support. At least I have never been told otherwise.

We had our first child recently. After all the previous years with little sexual activity I was really hesitant. However, she really wanted to and I finally gave in. I do not regret in the very least as my child is just a lovely small baby. However, I feel the splinter in my side... having this baby probably means that now things got a whole lot more complicated.

Having the baby meant a long time with no sex during her pregnancy and basically no sex in the months after the baby was born. Now that the baby is here I bath him, change diapers, feed the baby bottles, cook even more and collaborate even more in the house chores. I changed my work routine so that I can get to work early and from the moment I step in, I do not stop with chores. I do them with pleasure and passion.

The problem is that sex is really slowing down to a standstill. What is worse is that when we do it is completely passionless, automatic and cold.

In the past I tried to talk her into other sexual activities, like lingerie, spicy movies, more talking, more preliminaries and being interested in what turns her on, what does she like, etc. Nothing like this worked in the past to arouse her or at least not in a meaningful way. Now that we have a small baby I do not even dare to venture here again. Tried flowers, tried presents, tried passionate hugging and cruddling, etc.

We had several talks about this in the past to no avail. Have to admit those talks were not overly serious in the sense that I did not clearly state that this was really hurting me all along.

So... any advice on how to approach my significant other? I am really hesitant about how to raise the issue. I would not like to make things worse and quite frankly... I do not want to wake up one day, 10 more years into my marriage and realizing that I lost 20 years of a healthy sex life.

Sorry for taking so long... too many things in my head to put it clearly and succinctly.
fastmax fastmax
36-40, M
5 Responses Jan 16, 2013

What a bad space to be in. Afraid to share our heart with the one to whom we have entrusted it. This is called "walking on eggshells" and is one hallmark of a disfunctional relationship.

If I understood you are stating that I am afraid of raising the issue -once again- on the fear of hurting her. Yes I am. You are right. In the past raising this issue has resulted in a varied of responses. From the classical. "You are exaggerating, most of my friends do it once a month tops... you should be happy" to the "you're a perv... sex is the only thing you think about". Honorable mentions go to volcanic eruptions because she is too tired and I do not think about her feelings or sending her a short email trying to raise the issue in a non face to face scenario (trying to avoid the shame on her part) to see an empty inbox afterwards, etc.

I live my wife far too much to hurt her feelings but as said... I am now on the verge of considering if this almost sexless marriage is what I want 10 years from now.

Thank you very much for your response. I really appreciate it.

Although the jury is still out - on account of the infant potentially causing a hiccup in proceedings - it does seem that what was (not) going on pre infant means the jury ought not have to deliberate too much longer.

Where-as the jury will likely convict, it then falls on you as "judge" to apply an appropriate sentence. That's where this process usually goes guts up and goes no-where.

Lots of people are prepared to be on the jury, very few are up to applying the sentence.

Tread your own path.

:) wow, you are testing my English. Nice post. Yeah, you hit the nail. The baby is just precipitating things... I was already on panic mode several years earlier. This judge is willing to continue the hearings to have a better idea of what sentence is needed! :)). Thanks for your time and patience.

Brother fastmax you need to be direct and honest. Stuff her feelings you have been far to considerate to her feelings and look where it has got you.

Unfortunately if any change is to occur with her you need to let go of this fear of upsetting her and instead you need to rock her boat so hard until it capsizes.

I like you bring in the majority of income and i used to extensively cook, clean, mop, and participate in extensive house chores.

Not any more brother fastmax. I came to realise that i work to hard and bring in a comfortable living for the family and only to come home and play super house husband as well.

No instead i wised up realised that my wife had broken her side of the marriage contract through her lack of intimacy so i withdrew the gestures of kindness i used to display like supplementing her house chores even though she works less hours and contributes far less financially.

I suggest you do the same.

Stay Strong & Good Luck

Dear Frustrated1978, I really enjoy your posts. Wise words and sadly from what I see (or rather, read) from experience. You are right that continuing this way and feeling bad about the lack of intimacy would be really unfair. We will have "the talk" (God, I hope it goes well) and I will be patient and supportive. After that, if things do not work out (I am talking maybe one year or more from now) then I will follow your advice. If she does not meet my most basic needs, then I will consider my stance as a super husband.
Really, thank you guys, you are really helping!

I'm not sure how old the baby is, but that can be important at this stage. A new mother, particularly if she is breast feeding, can feel as if her body is "owned" by her child. Add this to lack of sleep and it can result in feelings that "one more call" on her body (eg. for sex) is just more than she can bear at present.

I encourage you to talk to her as Maleficent has said. And I would add that you could ask her what she needs from you. Does she just want to be held and cuddled? What does she need to feel loved and safe with you before she can relax enough to enjoy sex?

Personally I would not make TOO big a deal about frequency but concentrate on the fact that she doesn't seem to be enjoying it and that leaves you feeling a lack of intimacy with her. Let her know that if SHE is not njoying it,that conveys itself to you - then you feel you are making her do something against her will. And that this is a HORRIBLE feeling for you.

If she tries to avoid the conversation, insist she tell you a time when you can discuss this. Tell her you know it is uncomfortable for her - and that it uncomfortable for you too. But your marriage is VERY important to you and you need to work out how to go forward so you are BOTH happy. Best of luck!!!

Baby is four months now. I completely understand as I help around and see that the baby takes a large chunk of her energy. As other posters have said, it is the 10 previous years that really worry me. The baby is just the final drop in the bucket (not sure if this is the expression). I will approach her and I will be really patient knowing that the baby is really a factor now.
Thank you really much... just reading your answers helps so much!

You need to be direct with her. You are far to worried about hurting her feelings. Think of the control she has in this relationship. She gets to decide how often you have sex. She decided that nothing turns her on without even giving it a chance. She even controls your ability to be open about your feelings because there is an implied threat that saying something will 'make things worse'. My STBX is very much like your SO and over the years I gave up control over almost every aspect of my life without even realizing it just to keep him happy. The trouble is, it was never enough. Tell her exactly how you feel and how much his is hurting you. If she chooses to try and work things out great, you have a shot. If she chooses not to then you will know exactly how little you mean to her.

Wise words and even better advice. Thanks a lot. In the past talking has had volatile reactions from her side but you are right... I need to approach the issue, as gentle as possible. Thanks a lot!