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Trying To Motivate For Couples Counseling

I'm a 40 year old woman in a sexless marriage trying to figure out if I have the energy for counseling. DH and I married relatively late (35). Sex was ok while we were dating...not earth shaking but not bad. I always seemed to want it more than he did, which I found slightly unusual, but not really cause for alarm. We decided to get pregnant as soon as we got married since we both wanted at least two kids. I got pregnant right away. Sex started dwindling a bit. Then in my 3rd trimester he said he didn't want to have sex until the baby came because it seemed "weird". Baby came, and still no desire for sex on his part. In the two years after that, we had sex maybe 5 times. On one of those times I got pregnant again. Our youngest is almost 3 years old and since she was born, we've had sex maybe two or three times. I've tried to discuss it with him, and he always says he wants to have sex, but never initiates it. Since we've gotten married I have ALWAYS initiated sex. I mean EVERY SINGLE TIME. I got sick of initiating, I got sick of trying to talk about it and just started living this sexless relationship. We're good parents, decent roommates. I went to a therapist who tried telling me we needed dates and time alone. Didn't do the trick. This year for Valentines day he got me a vibrator....gave it to me in a plastic bag, with some batteries even (believe me, I already have one...it's well used). I wasn't sure of this was a hint he wanted to have sex or that he din't want to have sex but wanted to make me happy. I'm at the point where I just don't care. I don't care to spend time with him, have conversations with him or anything else. I used to be very attracted to him, but now I'm not at all. But the thing is...we have two young kids and I don't want to divorce because of them. I'm a child of divorce myself and yes, my parents were happier apart. But I know what that does to kids firsthand, even in the healthiest of circumstances. So I'm considering marriage counseling. Not sure if it's too late. Has anyone tried it and found it helpful?
Jerseygal42 Jerseygal42 41-45 8 Responses Feb 24, 2013

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Please read my stories. I don't have kids, but went through many of the things you described in your post. If you have any desire at all to keep your marriage together, you definitely owe it to yourself to try counseling. I can't guarantee success, but it will help you at least get your priorities straight.

My husband and I went through a year of intense counseling and we were able to save our marriage.

Shop around for counselors and try to find one that specializes in sexuality and intimacy issues. Fire any marriage counselor who tells you to "have a date night". That is ******* useless dime-store Good Morning America advice. You are waaay beyond that now.

You may not even really feel like you want to go through counseling right now. You are justifiably exhausted and very angry. But I am living proof you can break through that barrier. My marriage isn't perfect, but no one's is.

THANK YOU!

Yes! Before you throw in the towel, do what it takes to make it work. You have beautiful babies to think of. Most people will tell you, "Leave already", "It won't work out, he sounds like a jerk". Well, I'm the minority who is encouraging you to do what it takes so that you can say that Yes! You've tried everything! "I'm leaving my husband because he doesn't like to have sex" - yes, it sucks! It's lonely. It's hurtful. But it shouldn't be THE REASON to leave someone. It's probably a symptom of something else. We've been to marriage counseling (hubbie and I have our own share of problems, believe me). There are other reasons why people don't open up/can't be intimate, etc. Counseling will help you explore those reasons and help people become healthier people. (If you find a good therapist!) And faith. God makes all the difference.

@tropicalislandgirl
Exactly 'what' are you suggesting Sister Jerseygal needs to "try" here (that she hasn't already tried) ????

Well, I guess her question was if she should try marriage therapy. My answer to that would be, "yes". Sounds like she tried individual therapy.

I'm not reading in the story that the husband is even willing to attend, let alone engage.

Not much point in "Marriage Counselling" when there is not even a semblance of a "we" in the dynamic.

But individual counselling for YOU could be very valuable as you negotiate your way forward, with, or without, your spouse.

Tread your own path.

The younger the kids are the easier a divorce is on them.

NO intention onmy part to hurt you here - but consider this. . . .
You know from personal experience that growing up in a divorced family can be hard on the kids. What you do NOT know is how hard it is on the kids to grow up in an UNhappy family because their mother chose to "stay for the kids".

Believe me, I think a two parent family is DEFINITELY best for the kids - but that implies a level of contentment and happiness in the marriage that you simply do not have. And given your history together, you will NOT have this with this man.

Your children will adapt better the younger they are. It is wise to consider breaking up now - rather than waiting till they are older when the break up will be harder on them.

As for counselling - my advice is individual counselling for you, rather than marriage counselling. Marriage counselling might help a couple regain a once intensely intimate and passionate marriage. But your's was NEVER these things - you cannot "get back" something you never had . . . {{{hugs}}}.

I found marriage counseling very helpful. However, that is because it was the counselor who originally asked me why I would stay in a relationship with someone who didn't care about my needs.

Same thing here. The therapist told me after 1 joint meeting & 1 separate meeting with H. that h. was not going to change and my expectations for intimacy were absolutely normal & appropriate. So I had some decisions to make. I told him I already had and outlined my plans.

H. is going to the marriage counselor on his own "for me"--he may not think it's useful, but he has been willing to go. I don't care that it comes from a condescending attitude. It actually has been helpful in that he is more conscious of what is going on. The only reason it has been helpful on his part is that the counselor is quite seasoned, h. can't b.s. him, and h. respects him. We're both way too smart for our own good, so finding this person was dumb luck.

My exit plans have not changed, nor do I expect them to.

Yeah.. you're already done. I'm right there with you. I also have two very young kids. I think counseling would be a waste of money, time and energy for me at this point.

I'll be here if you need someone to speak to - James x