Kindness wife is practically killing me with it.

After having "the talk" a week or so ago - and a follow-up talk with our therapist - my wife is finally starting to understand that I'm serious about wanting a life that includes a satisfying sexual relationship. She has admitted that she is the one who has been holding us back - and she has professed interest in doing something about it. No time frame given.

(For those of you just tuning in, we have been in therapy for 10 years).

In the meantime, she is pulling out all the stops. Giving me space - listening to me - lots of smiles, a few hugs. Letting me have my way occasionally, without discussion (she's kind of...umm...a control freak), and not letting every disagreement devolve into an argument.

Sounds good, right?

But what does any of that have to do with sex?

Is my wife trying to make things right? Or just trying to forestall my leaving? Are her efforts a good start? Or would "a good start" be something more like sexy lingerie and scented candles?

What do you think?
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15 Responses Feb 18, 2013

A Woman can not have meaningful sex by flicking a switch maybe a little romance beforehand would be nice, a nice meal, a flower, some good conversation works wonders

Sounds like my situation. Real nice women but can hardly say the word SEX let alone even ask for IT!

I'll be the devil's advocate...I think she may genuinely want to patch things up. I was completely in the closet about how narcissistic/Aspergers I was and once my eyes were opened I could admit to playing a critical role in the demise of our intimacy. But it does take two to tango. Mine refuses to see his role/part in the abusive (withholding affection or sex) dance. Can two people recover from that ? Sure, if you are both willing and trusting. If there is doubt then it won't work (as I found out).

Then slowly introduce her to the kinky trail of lust...start with some soft **** and try some soft blindfolding stuff...first tantric and later erotic...then go to a ***** club together..encourage her to hang out and do ladies nights/bunko etc... She can be rewired...we all can.

As for me... I'm trying to rewire myself now to a more encompassing perspective on adulterous marriages ...and licking my wounds.

You said: "but I do believe she loves me and values me as a husband and partner - and not just because of what I give her and/or do for her.

That said...I think she genuinely had no idea that her sexual limitations would ever be an issue. In fact, I don't think she ever gave it any thought until I started bringing it up a few years back (yes, years)."

Mindful said:
"sometimes two people can be amazingly in love, but just differ in their sexual needs/desires/interests. Yes, it can be frustrating and can destroy a relationship."

And I whole-heartedly endorse both these comments. This is exactly the situation I was in with my dear Ex. Yes, after twenty two years together, it was NOT enough. And that is one of the greatest tragedies of these situations - that the absence of ability to form a truly loving and intimate connection is such a powerful thing that it causes the break down of a relationship that has other good things in it.

If it weren't for those ten years of therapy, I'd be more inclined to give your wife the benefit of the doubt. But if TEN years of therapy has not seen her change, then this change is all about her protecting her territory - NOT about meeting your needs IMO. Sorry :( {{{hugs}}}

I will be brief in my response, but can speak from experience - sometimes two people can be amazingly in love, but just differ in their sexual needs/desires/interests. Yes, it can be frustrating and can destroy a relationship. Ten years of therapy certainly speaks to the different "pages" you two are on. It sounds as though she loves you dearly and fears your loss due to her inability to live in your sexual world. Best wishes.

I think some people can change. I really want to be positive and for people to get what they truly want. Anyway, there's another poster on here (who I have such a soft spot for- love her to pieces)- ExistingHope, and at one point she had written a story called " He finally heard me" Or something along those lines. And I remember being so relieved for her and hoping that she would see the same sort of efforts I had seen after I had been *heard*.
A day went by... no change. Okay she thought maybe he needed to take time to think about it for the weekend. Nope. Still no change.
I think by the 3rd day, she was realizing that he hadn't heard her, at all (or didn't care if he had).
IMO, you would see something instantly. Whatever that something is.. I think if you really open your eyes to it, you can tell if it's real or not.

Regardless of her intent, I doubt she's capable of maintaining her new attitude for any length of time. What kind of person you view her as doesn't really matter as much as how her behavior affects you. Similarly with me, my husband started trying really hard (for him) recently. It lasted about a week. He had me momentarily wondering if I was doing the right thing, but quickly, he affirmed through his behavior that, yes, I'm doing the right thing. He can't change. At least not with me.

Yes, a similar pattern is happening in my house too. I am pointed more and more fully toward the door, and although H is not aware of the extent of my planning, his manner toward me is much more respectful and considerate. He's dropped the passive-aggressive behavior and is actually being proactive about planning and childcare. It's a real pity I can't see this as anything but a ploy to keep me in place. You may have more options, but time will tell.

Hee. We just met. Give it time, VB.

In my experience, once you come back into the fold she can go back to doing (or not doing) whatever she was in the past. My H. and I went through this cycle a number of times. In the end, I remain in my shifted state of being. His behavior has shifted accordingly. As a result, the marriage is different, although I'm not sure H. realizes this.

"Or just trying to forestall me leaving". Yep. That's my assessment . Your wife is trying to put a bandaid on a cardiac arrest. You need to judge whether a bandaid after TEN years of therapy is enough.

What does a control freak do when they feel the control slipping? Re-engage to regain control. My two cents.

Lao is correct IMO. VB may or may not be correct. He is inclined to attribute the WORST possible motives and explanations to the behaviour of others - possibly as a result of his own experiences.

She's temporarily doing everything within her capacity to attempt to placate you.

Sexual expression isn't there though... Difficult to elicit desire from someone who has none.

As Baz states, reset sex will probably happen soon. How long will she keep up being something she's not? Time will tell.

Not essential to avoid - but IS essential to recognise that it is only"reset sex". Enough so you cannot say (for at least another six months!!) "We never have sex". . . . .

Back at the famous "I can't believe you'd give all this up just for sex" speech of hers, you changed the dynamic forever with your response "I know you can't".

Now, the scramble to bring things back to the status quo is under way. You might even get a "re-set" root in the not too distant future.

1 - "Is my wife trying to make things right?"
That seems awfully unlikely. She seems to have no clue what "right" is, let alone a plan to get there.

2 - Or just trying to forestall my leaving?
This one makes the most logical sense.

3 - Are her efforts a good start?
Entirely your call this one. May well be a good start to her agenda of reasserting the status quo. Your agenda ? not so much.

4 - Or would "a good start" be something more like sexy lingerie and scented candles?
Again, entirely your call. It would come as no surprise if these tools were brought into play however, as part of 3 above.

Brother M, I would be inclined to adopt a very benign and objective position here, and just watch her scramble. That process, where she has to pro-actively work to engage you, will not have any lasting appeal for her I'd bet.
But be polite. Be respectful. But most importantly, be OBSERVANT. Your answers to the 4 points you raised will be revealed.

Tread your own path.

The question is it real or fake? My wife is trying to be nice, but it's not really her as she is also a control freak. So I can see that she is having to bite her tongue to preserve the mirage of our excellent marriage. And, there is still no form of sex whatsoever. But she says "don't give up on me".<br />
For you I would suggest asking for something that requires her to give, but is not sex. For example, ask her to give you a back massage for ten minutes, and just watch her process that.