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Valentine'S Day

Cheers to all.

As the most romantic of romantic holidays approaches, how are you handling it?

I used to be the guy who got the babysitter on the sly, came home from work at noon, sent the wife out shopping for a new dress and cooked dinner for the kids so we could be out at a play by 7pm.

As you might imagine, all of my wife's friends hailed me as the absolute prince of husbands. They hoisted me onto their shoulders and carried me through the village, shaming their own inadequate men with tales of my chivalry, thoughtfulness and obvious rugged good looks.

After the parade on the shoulders was over...I returned home to find my lovely wife asleep. I put the moves on her. You know...the "sleepy" moves where you do the full body snuggle, the kissing, the slight touching of the side breast....

"Goodnight honey."

Wait, what? Goodnight honey? How can this be? How could anyone not have a fire in their loins for the hunk of man who planned such an evening?

Eventually I scolded myself. This is not quid pro quo! How dare I think that I was entitled to intimacy. I had to put myself in her position. I would have preferred it to be the missionary position but...(wait..stop that!). I could see her side. I went to sleep.

Next year...we're going to do it even better. Gold tennis bracelet, Valentine's Cards made from scratch by the children under daddy's supervision. This time, no going out. That keeps us out too late. Mom gets tired. This year, take out from the local italian eatery. Bottle of nice wine and her favorite dessert, Tiramisu. After dinner, a screening of Love Actually.

When the movie was over, I retired to the master bedroom,took a quick shower so I'd smell great and slipped into my brand new grey calvin klein boxer briefs which would absolutely melt her panties right off.

As I triumphantly enter the bedroom, I find her sleeping. My sweet smelling self snuggles up. And...

"Goodnight honey."

As the years go on, my efforts became even more heroic...then trickled down to some tulips plucked from a mulch bed by the homeless guy who sold them to me at an intersection.

And now we arrive in 2013. Your hero has seen this show before. As of now, I'm going to have a calm conversation this evening about how we should probably skip Valentine's day as it's during the week, we could save the money, there's nothing good at the theatres....you get the idea. I'm not really up for donning the mask and the cape again.

But you, gentle reader? What say you? Are you making a stand? Going through the motions? Outsourcing your celebration?

Inquisitive minds wish to know.
harveyspecter harveyspecter 41-45, M 48 Responses Feb 13, 2013

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If I wasn't already married, I'D want to marry you! Its nice to hear SOME husbands still try to keep the romance going. Im finding out, that's truly a rare thing. Hope your wife knows how blessed she truly is! Blessings to u & your family!

I bought a lovely, much younger woman at work flowers...she has been nice to me.

I bought the lady who is my light for now a stuffed bear....which she loved....

I went home and suggested we go out.....turned down....figured as much. Assumed that V-Day ends now when I come home....but I can enjoy it as much as I like - elsewhere.

we don't celebrate valentines. never have. but the next day - early morning sex. why he goes months and then hands me a bone and acts like I can handle sex like I'm used to it, I'll never know. i don't think he was totally please with "wait a lil longer". y'know?

but I don't get it on the regular. don't know what he was thinking. and he actually wanted to kiss me, hmmm.

makes me feel bitter more than anything

I also had a lonely V-day. However it is very confusing, although he tells me I confuse him. We went away last weekend to a boutique hotel that we have gone to over the years- my idea, my planning... And spent most of the time reading. I tried talking, doesn't work. Last night he decided, after 3 days if not talking to me, that he would make dinner, it was nice- no conversation or interaction so afterwards I went back up to my room, where I spend most of my time ( and I say my room because he sleeps in the guest room and has for 5 years) and watched tv and went to sleep naked- which I do every night. Apparently he doesnt understand me because I didn't jump his bones and so my appreciation for the dinner? I'll share my "appreciation" story from about 6-7 years ago. He ordered a lobster dinner, I got all dressed up all the way down to the lace lingerie, we ate dinner (no conversation, as usual) while he cleaned up the kitchen- his idea not mine- I went upstairs to get ready to show my appreciation, when he walked into the bedroom I was down to my lace and then showed my appreciation with a blow job. When he was satisfied he told me to get dressed and he was going downstairs to watch tv. That was the last valentines day we "celebrated".

For all the people, who think that there is an easy fix to the sexless marriage- I am a successful business owner, smart, independent, I raised 3 kids (he only played with them) but can't get my husband to acknowledge my existence. All I want is to be acknowledged on a daily basis, a goodby when I go to work, a hello when I get home, some conversation about something not having to do with the kids... Just something.

If I had someone do what you did, just show attention, my life would definitely be different.

I realize by reading this I must be at a new low when I am glad that my intimacy-averse husband does not even want to use the day as an excuse to get laid.

Just think, you could be poor Mr. Bates, languishing away in prison for a murder he didn't commit! ;)

Love me some Downton Abbey.

Your story just makes me want to cry.
My last V.Day didn't go the way i imagined , could have cried myself to sleep.
This one is better, beautiful flowers , but all alone.
Let's skip the whole thing.
Not really an Australian celebration anyway.

Well... Since you ARE in the group 'I Live In A Sexless Marriage', it seems pretty obvious to me. However, since you seem to want us to know what happens next, and I won't deny I am curious(I was almost trapped in a sexless marriage, myself), I would just say she might just not know how fortunate she is someone obviously loves her so much.

Happy Belated Valentine's,
TheBareFootedTruth

I think this lies the problem with most men, we ( me included) believe after we do some effort we get a reward. When it's not the fancy dinner, or flowers, but the constant attention to their needs that fires them up.

I have hard time believing you "Prince of Husbands". I don't think husbands like you exist, but may be I am wrong.
I've spend half a day shopping and cooking family dinner (he said we gotta include kids, sure, that's why we are not going anywhere, it's too expansive for 4 ppl to do out tonight), tired and unhappy hubby cam home and got upset with me before we even started eating. Drink got spilled, door slammed - here you go my great night of Love.

@ anet99: Sounds like reality. I hope your evening gets better. and I would hope that a little bit of "Prince of husbands" exists in all men, at least from time to time...but I may be wrong.

I fall in love with the best person ,that is me..

Hi Harvey - your story could be my own - change a few small details and you'd be me.

As others have already eloquently stated, your post seemed to being out a lot of ****** bad advice from people who think they know what folks in our situation are going through.

"Just talk to her?" Really? That's all you've got for me, oh sanctimonious stranger? How about 10 years of weekly couple's therapy - is that enough talking for you? Or perhaps I should go back for 10 more years - maybe I'll make some progress by then. Or maybe I'll just be 10 years older and still not getting the affection and physical intimacy I believe I deserve.

Harvey, you've done all the right things. The problem is, those things are not going to get your wife to want to sleep with you. Why not? Because her issue doesn't have anything to do with you - so it is not yours to solve.

This week in our regular counseling session, I told both my wife and our therapist that I didn't think any amount of relationship skills, of clearing resentment, of problem-solving techniques was going to get my wife interested in having sex with me. I said that I believed her lack of interest in sex was something that predated me - that in fact it had little to do with me. I said that I was no longer taking it personally - that in fact, I thought she might be very happy with a man who had the same level of interest in sex that she did (almost none). That I understood that my wanting more sex than she was interested in having was actually putting pressure on her that was uncomfortable for her - and that I would be glad to stop. I also said that, unless something changed, I wasn't going to be able to stay married to her - but that I wasn't counting on anything changing.

So now we're all absorbing this new information and considering our next steps. And for those of you who HAVEN'T been in a sexless marriage for 10 years, you might want to do a little more reading and thinking before offering unhelpful advice. Or, you know...not.

You are absolutely right. In my first marriage we had sex so infrequently that I can tell you when my two children were conceived and even the time of day. It just wasn't going to happen and I took my two little children and left him. Sex is the icing on the cake of marriage and keeps the interest in each other from running dry. My advice is to leave and find another partner. The kids survive, people adjust, you will be happier being out of the stress. I hope you find happiness.

the was tone of the best things i have read on her so far...so like it is..sorry your efforts are not returned with just rewards..and women wonder why men cheat on them..duh..

I am so very very sorry. I am doing laundry tonight.

some people just don't want or like sex , it just is like that. Is she off it for good or do you think it is just a phase with her. If your kids are young it may be just for now. if not please be aware that as a woman living with a sexless man it destroys you. look after yourself you need to do that.

staying alone as no one wants me and it is a sad day indeed.

i do this every year tour not alone

yes it makes me feel bad on Valentine's Day, somehow I feel less of a woman.

well if you were here i could try to fix that

Tonight we are going out. I don't know where as it is a surprise. I'm trying to remain positive and I've chosen my wardrobe with extreme care to avoid any unwelcome comments.

Dress above the knee: "won't you be cold?"
Cleavage: "do you want a scarf?"
Tight jeans: "are you sure you are comfortable in those?"
High sexy heels: "we might have to walk a bit. I worry about you twisting an ankle in those"
Glitter or sparkle: "oh. That's. um. Dressy"

I'm settling for a long fit and flare skirt, a plain camisole and a black flyaway jacket. Sensible pumps. Battle armor on!

Ok. I hope this isn't insensitive, but I'm actually picturing you heading out with actual battle armor on. I'm wondering how he'd react to that. "Too stiff!"

Thanks for sharing, and I speak for most men when I say, we're rooting against the scarf!

Not a bit insensitive! Sometimes I feel that way too. Just need my mace!

I think you should always feel like you can talk to the person you're with. And I can understand where you're coming from and think it's high time you did talk to your spouse. That said, I think your method is wrong. Today isn't about just you or the love you feel you're not getting.. and let's be blunt.. when we say love what we really mean is sex in this context. If you choose to go through with what you are thinking of doing you cheapen your point. I'd say go celebrate the day. And think about all the people in the world that don't have a special someone to do the same. You may not be getting sex but you are lucky nonetheless. And tomorrow, when Valentine's Day is over with, then choose to talk to your spouse about how you feel about this particular issue. You have needs and it's important that she be made aware of them and I truly don't mean to sound like I find those needs invalid. Intimacy is highly ranked in our hierarchy of needs. We all share in our need for it. That said, Valentine's Day should never be an opportunity for us to make a statement to the people we care about in respect to how we feel their love is falling short. Conclusion? Great idea.. bad timing.

I really appreciate you reading my story and taking the time to respond. As it happens, I decided not to say anything last night. Perhaps I'm just a spineless noodle as I sometimes suspect. I'd like to think the reason is the one which won out in my head. I have two daughters under the age of 7. They went to school today and everyone was exchanging gifts of affection. They are being told that it's a special day. I am afraid that if I let the day go by without showing their beloved mother ample and public affection, I risk lowering their expectations of how men should treat women. I have no PhD in psychology, but I do believe that how I treat their mother, and how I treat my girls will affect they way they relate to men in the future. I've known many wonderful women whose fathers abdicated this incredible responsibility and it seems many never got over it.

Or maybe that's a cop out. Who can say? I'm a complex guy.

I respectfully reject the idea of going through the motions on Valentine's Day for the sake of letting the day pass pleasantly. It's not a birthday or a religious holiday. It's a holiday about romance. I believe that refusing to go through a sham would be particularly appropriate today versus other holidays. I wouldn't make a point about romance, intimacy or sex on Thanksgiving, Christmas or even New Years because those are special days for other reasons. Today is about giving yourself to someone else. I've done that for years, with very little given back.

In fairness, the story does not give all of the background, or the countless discussions. Or the questions that go unanswered. Your advice is reasonable in most respects considering what you know, and I appreciate it.

Really nice the way you talk about daughters. They learn from your relationship. Show them how it should be

Ahh, agree. I hope your wife can at least appreciate the example you're providing your daughters even if she can't reciprocate the effort.

Yes it is. A fathers example is so important.

Thanks so much.

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I suggest reading " she's asking for it ".

I think women really love being romanced the way you have been doing it, but when that bedroom door closes, they want you to be an animal.

Just my experience from the formerly refused husbands side.

There is a big difference indeed. Animal = HOT

******* = NOT

So VERY true 1hotcouple! I'm a lady in the parlor and a **** in the bedroom!
Yes, being romanced makes a woman want to please her man.

Sorry to hear that, damn thats ******. If I was a guy and the woman is like that, I mean come on. You should stop being so nice and trying to buy it from her. Some women just need to stop being treated like a freakin princess, thats when they think they are and think they can just do what they want. Some just needs to be treated like a **** and be made to feel like one.

I dont know about you but some women do like that. Some have just gotten tired and bored, some just need some spice in their life.

And really, im sorry but I think that is like too selfish to neglect HIS needs. This is not a one way street. You dont just take and take, you give some too or dont bother taking any your way!

sex and love are separate. to see them as necessarily mandatory together is kinda naive; the need for such exist separately and both need to be satisfied

and why is it so weird to have sex because you just want to?

if she knows and shes not doing anything about it, I'd say its on her end where the issue lies

and after being showered with such, its not enough for her to feel liked? and wanted???

it really does not look like a self esteem issue, sorry. your lover is asking you to **** him, how can one say she's not desirable to him???

again, excuses excuses... too much bs

hey those last few replies were supposed to be for someone else! ugh I dont know if she deleted it or I clicked the wrong button here

the last two were from someone with this long *** reply to me. but its gone now?

as I said, in 15 years I think he shouldve recognized his own neglect and faced the issue (which is his) to fix it. you neednt have to ... go through 15 years of it?!

sorry, but its a part of our responsibilities of being a lover to look into our lovers needs and our roles in fulfilling them and work towards being capable, and not just sit around and 'let it be' and be all lax and carefree and ignore it

@RainSage: You sound like an amazing woman

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Ah yes . . . been there, experienced that. I'm one of those ones still going through the motions. It's a day that it's all on us, after all . . . the man is supposed to show his undying dedication and affection for his one true love. There aren't any ads that press women to remember their "special someone" with anything, somehow . . . the entire day is aimed at men not disappointing women. Ok, maybe get him a card, and a bag of Dove's hearts at 7-11, if you really want to go over the top.

So yes, spend the money on a nice gift, send flowers to her office, so she can show them to everyone, and hear all her co-workers sigh about how lucky she is, make dinner reservations, and hold her hand on the way back to the car . . . that's what society expects. But don't expect anything physical if that's just not what you two do anymore. After all, if it doesn't happen the rest of the year, then why would someone suddenly be possessed with unquenchable lust and passionate desire just because it's Feb. 14th?

travler, all i can tell you is: the drive by last minute 7-11 type approach to holidays is not the sole territory of thoughtless wives. it's also the territory of thoughtless (or even angry/bitter/resentful) husbands.

i always went out of my way to do extremely thoughtful, caring, loving things for my h on Valentine's day. after all, he's my h...the man i had chosen for my life partner.

the last *good* Valentine's day that *i* had was when pregnant with our daughter. but by then sex had already stopped because "the baby might see/hear!!!!!"

since then? every.single.year--without exception--he has picked a fight. the first year it was because i hadn't lost all the baby weight and i was "fat" (18 lbs past the weight when he & i met). the second year it was because i wasn't "seductive" enough. (cough cough---nobody could've met his criteria). the third year he just came out and said it pissed him off having to honor me, what about HIM? (by the way, his arguments were the same on Mother's Day each year a few months later). after spending 3 successive so called romantic holidays upset and in tears after trying to discuss calmly with him i metaphorically threw up my hands and said that's enough.

told him don't do anything for me. i don't want it. no flowers nothing. lets just do for our daughter.

this year? (i filed for divorce which he's aware of). i got roses with a teddy bear at work. i am bringing them home for my daughter to enjoy.

as always be careful about making blanket statements based on gender. in our (ILIASM) marriages, it's not about gender---it's about the intimacy averse spouse.

Smithy - perfectly said!

@Smithy: SO VERY PERFECTLY SAID!

I just don't get some girls.... I for one would be so sad if my Man didn't want to make love to me.... sounds like you put the effort in there... Iam not sure how old your children are but I know they can be full on... I for one never turn my man down, middel of the night in the afternoon whenever inside, outside, upsidedown..... I only have one child tho who is nearly 15, but my last partner had 3 and it was pretty full on at times.... but never turned down pleasure.... but then Iam just a horney little girl... If a girl feels sexy and beautiful she is more likely to want to show herself off... My guy sent me Red roses, brought me a hot sexy black number and a blue bullet with 5 speed dials, try that maybe?.... good luck and I hope you get some good loveing soon....

It is hard to have sex with someone who does not acknowledge except for they want sex. Intimacy equal sex for me.

Several years ago, I bought some sexy lingerie and walked into our bedroom in high heals.
My husband said, "what the hell is that?" and I responded that I thought I would wear something fun to seduce him, because it was, after all valentines day. After puttin some moves on him, he responded that he didnt feel like having sex, but that he would take a blow job. I told him that that was what I had given him for my birthday last month and he said, no you didnt. We argue about whether I did or didn't until he said, "I don't remember" and I said, "Well, that's too bad that you don't remember it because it's the last one you'll ever get from me, anyway." And it was. But --- I'm still married to this guy and feeling badly, guilty, scared of divorcing him. I have to get over it and move on. I tried everything, except divorce, which I must ...

to all the well meaning folks who've meandered in here offering advice:

PLEASE read a bit regarding living in a sexless marriage (long term) before commenting. you have absolutely no idea how many iterations all of us here have gone through trying to connect, in ANY way possible, with our spouses--all to no avail. you really do not know what you're talking about.

so thanks for the well meant advice but it is singularly unhelpful.

You have a future in diplomacy.

hee! nah. i am just as likely to blurt out unrepeatable phrases. when writing i have time to tone it down.

Frankly, I am DONE with diplomacy, Smithy, but I admire and respect u for keeping your cool!

WHERE DID ALL THESE JUDGMENTAL IDIOTS COME FROM????

Two sides to everything, not to say you are in the wrong at all. How long have you been married? There has to be something that can be done to change this

I agree with the two sides to every story. Unfortunately, I am one of the parties and cannot properly present the other side. As far as there having to be something that can be done to change it? Sure. I can leave. I'm aware of that option.

OMG! Not another person with thisadvice!! Really, Rain, do you think that those of us in this ****** situation have NOT tried communicating? I mean, REALLY???

Please please please - would you and all the other well meaning folk just STOP to think for a moment about how insulting it is to suggest this? Do you really think people get to the stage of feeling like their marriage is all but over and FORGET to talk to their spouse about it??

And do you really think these difficult, complex long term issues can be resolved with such ease . . . ???

something that can be done, I did not mean leaving. There are so many of us in this same puddle of mud. Even with talking and trying we are still in the same hole. Who knows what can be done in your situation to resolve it. But since no one but you knows your position, you only know how to approach it or resolve it.

I think people should get what they deserve. I hate it when I see husbands, or wives, go out of their way for a spouse that is not appreciative and deserving. To me, if a man did that sort of stuff over and over when I didn't deserve it, I would feel like it wasn't really sincere. He was just doing his duty. Once that happened, how would I be able to tell when he REALLY was gesturing to show how much he loved and appreciated me?

That would be a huge problem for us.

As for your story and your Valentine's Day wonderfulness... Really? Really?!!! I can't imagine. I would... well, do exactly the opposite of what she did. I've had years where I got nothing more than a Happy Valentine's Day wish and others I got flowers. How do you not want to have a romantic night when you get flowers? If a man did what you did, I'd be begging him to skip the movie and get it on!!!

Interesting take. Full disclosure, I did do an amazing job at Valentine's Day for many years. My wife seemed to revel in the ability to brag to her girlfriends, and quite honestly, I was happy to provide that. In fairness to her, she was pregnant for 3/4 Valentine's Days during a stretch. I don't count them as far as being romantic. Some pregnant women get the itch, mine never did. However, I continued to be quite sweet for several years after our last child was born. Last year I slacked off, knowing that it was just another day. This year I am doing nothing. Your point about sincerity? I'm not sure what to say there. It's tough to say that the mother of your children who keeps them safe and loved every day didn't deserve a special day. But not, she wasn't romantic towards me, on a day designated to show affection. I was sincere. I love her and wanted to show her that love physically. As that is dying, so are my efforts.

@RainSage: Yes, I agree, you should lether read your story. I think it will touch her deeply (I know it would me). Please let us know how everything goes. Best of wishes to you!

Okay, then I'm going with what another poster said. She suggested a book too. Just take her! Don't cuddle, jump her! Of course, if she starts physically pushing you off of her stop, but I have to say, sometimes we get lazy and the cuddle thing doesn't turn us on. We want to be taken. Sometime tried for. Try texting her you're fantasizing about her earlier in the day when you can't be together, then ravage her. It doesn't need to be Valentine's Day!

My husband bought me a dozen roses, and handed them to me without a kiss, without a hug, without a touch, just 'Happy Valentines Day'. I gave him candy and a card that took ages to pick out because there's not point pretending he's my 'everything' anymore. So, dinner with the kids, TV, blah blah blah. At one point we meet in the hallway and i say that if I don't get love soon, I am going to die. So he puts his arms around me for a minute, then taps my should - his sign that that's enough. Anyway, it's Valentine's Day after all, so I go to bed, dim the lights, spray some perfume, get naked. He comes in, sees me and is annoyed. He says he'll rub my back, which he does, like he's kneeding dough, no love to that touch! And then he's done, and I say thanks and we lay there for a minute in awkward silence until I turn off the lights, let him off the hook. Another Happy Valentines Day to me. Whooopeee.

That is one reason I'm no longer married. At least you two are in the same room. lol

Married couples seem to forget communication. Have you ever tried asking here whats going. That you noticed this over the years, and it made you wonder. Just ask!! Nicely

WOW!! What a revelation!! "Just ask" . . . Is that all we have to do?? I wonder why that just never occurred to us dum ole folks here!!!!

Well Rose, I would be troubled too if I believed everyone else in the world was SO dumb they needed this type of advice . . . !!!

Hi,

I have been reading the email trend and is amazed at how many mariages is going through the same type of issues.

My husband and I were maried for nearly 17 years before he passed away. I would give anything to have him back!! there are so many things we could have done better....

One thing I can realy say is that when you are married for a long period you tend to live past each other, forget who you fell in love with. When you eventually get the time to sit and talk, you talk about the kids or about work, or something meaningless. there are some important things which we forget to talk about or avoid at all costs, but if we do manage to talk about it, life begins to change and you realize that you cannot be alone and start loving again. A relationship is a 100% vs 100% give and take. Communication and sharing is one of the biggest rocks that you can build your relationships on and in doing so Honestly goes along with it.

If I can give my 10c worth of advice, I suggest you try communicating on the following (even if you think you know the answer the his/her question):
- Can you remember how we met? What do you remember?
- What attracted you about me? I will tell you what attracted you to me
- What do you love about me? I love the following about you......
- How can we make our sex life more fun? We need to do something different, maybe have sex in the closet or on the stairs, send the kids to their friends and go somewhere, do something we never did.....
- What do you dislike in me - tell me things you don't like...
- How can we get to know each other again?

I hope this helps a bit...

Monica

@Monica: Thank you for sharing this! I'm going to read it with my husband...along with a few others in hopes to improve our communication.

I don't really believe in Valentines Day .. I like it just for a bit of fun rather than the grand gestures, but should I ever be treated to an evening such as you describe at the beginning .. I can't even imagine NOT responding with the enthusiasm and attention such effort and thought deserves

I don't seem to understand why wives do such things. I am sorry. Maybe try a different approach such as romance candles bath tub massage. I could never be able to give advice because I am not married but..... I know what it feels like to be the other woman and the men talk to me about it. Such a shame