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Perhaps An Insight Into the Guy's Problem...

All of the stories here are all too familiar. What's frustrating is that they all reflect a fundamental change in the relationship early on in a marriage...which fortunately, is something I might be able to help out with. Many guys get married before they really understand what it is to PARTNER with someone. I'm not talking about the same-sex "partner", but the real joining and combining of lives that is absolutely necessary in a marriage. This kind of change takes a lot of courage to enter into - if you're not ready or aware of it. What typically happens is that within the first few years, the couple who has previously been on individual paths and decided to get married, now finds that they are having to be on the same path - and that means compromise, a lot of it. For many people, that kind of change becomes associated with a loss of the self. I had wanted to be a police officer, but my wife convinced me that a dangerous career was going to cause us problems together, so I gave that up. I no longer regret that, but it took time. The same went for her having to give up living in a big city to live a more suburban life to follow my job. In all of that, you can start losing your personal identity. Sex is an expression of identity, of the self, and it's best when you aren't thinking about change, aren't worried about bills, responsibilities, or whether or not the sheets you just purchased represent an emasculation. Married sex has baggage just like all sex does - but it's different baggage. For men, the loss of independence in life can be a bedroom killer. If they don't feel in control of their destiny any more, and they blame that on you, then why would they feel sexual? They don't . I'm not saying this is good, or that anyone should just lay down and never change. What I'm saying is that it's everyone's responsibility to recognize that change and compromise MAKE and DEFINE marriage. You don't stay married for 13 years without fights and disruptions, and you don't weather those times without compromises both big and small. The problem, then, is to remember that your sexuality, virility, and "manliness" is not an expression of your individuality or independence as much as it is two people in love sharing that moment, or just scratching an itch. For the guy, however, if effort is no longer being put into sex, if his partner isn't "showing off" as much, or both have become less-attractive to each other as a result of "relaxing" - you're no longer dating, so you don't have to try as hard, yeah? No. But that's a common pitfall. What can really help is to help your husband find and clarify the parts of his life that are still absolutely his - how he dresses, his routines, how he works out, what his job is, whatever... - and then show him how absolutely essential he is to the functioning of your family (with or without kids), then he can start building a solid sense of self and individuality within the context of the marriage partnership. We're babies for life, most of us, and we need to be told a lot of things to make us feel good about ourselves - not that we're pretty, but that we're strong, capable, your hero, and all of that. Once we lose the feeling of being the hero in the relationship, it's hard to get that back, and it's doubly hard to recover from it. Hope this helps. Good Luck
TheTreeIsMe TheTreeIsMe 36-40, M 100 Responses Feb 13, 2007

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I think this is a common problem, maybe we look at other peoples relationships through rose tinted specks, my husband never approaches me for sex, i have sex with him about 3 times a year, and thats if i approach him, its over and done with in seconds, he suffers with premature ***********, so i guess that is the route cause of our problem> he also needs to take viagra, which doesnt make me feel lusted after, to be with somebody who has to pop a pill to have sex, is just wrong, but im married to the guy we have kids , what do i do, have an affair, leave him, no im not happy, quite sad and lonely, but he is dependable and pays the bills, not sure i could cope withut him, i dont work. were would i go, ive spent years telling him how unhappy i am, he *********** himself in the bathroom, so its not that he has no urges.

Thatsit!! I'll never married again!! What for..What a trap!! My boyfriend is a handson 37 year old men, own propety and business I ALWAYS COMPLEMENT HEM and Thank hem even for spending time with me. I got my own business too, help hem with hes, I am a singer and very popular good looking woman, guys keep asking me out etc, but my men the one Iam crazy about always have an scuse to avoide sex with me wich is very depresing, I cant understend it.He wont let go of me even do I have breake up with hem 2times...Thank you to all of you for this amazing and very helpful storys, now I can see the future with hem and there is no way I am going to give up sex for the rest of my life to cover hes *** from loneliness while doing all the hause work at the same time.FREEDOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!!

My best friends are in a sexless marriage. I find that I want to have compassion for both of them. Your insights have helped clarify my perspective. Thank you.

My husband is exactly the kind of man you speak of...constantly needing validation that he is "the one" "the leader and breadwinner" of our happy family..If anyone is not happy for any reason he wonders why when he has done all he has for our family damnit!!! How dare anyone not feel utter joy for what he does for "us"!!! I and the children have to fake constant gratitude most of the time so he dosnt get "pissy", for he will surely hold out on me or make me pay for my ungratefulness in some way...<br />
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Screw him being a hero..what about me? Why am I not the ******* hero??? I worked 15yrs as a nurse and then stayed home with the kids once they got to be older so someone was always home for them..Why am I not the shiz-nit for shaping and molding our children to becoming what they will become..1 is in Honors College of Engineering and our daughter is in all AP classes and a merit scholor...Where the **** was Mr. Hero as I helped to prepare our kids for life after high school..Oh stupid me he was saving the world until 7p every night so it is safe for all mankind!!!<br />
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I so understand a mans need to be looked up be appreciated and yes on some occassions to be the hero..but the wifes or at least I need to feel wanted, needed and appreciated as well..It has to go both ways for a marriage to work..I am sick of everything being on his terms including sex..For the first 7yrs of our marriage there were no rules...we would screw just because, I knew if I went with no panies and showed him that he would pull the car over and we would go at it..There is nothing I have not done for him or to him..I dont know what has changed for him..I am still attractive and I have an incredible body. I am 13+yrs younger than him..I get looks all the time..I know I arouse him just touching his leg but he resists me now..Why? The answer he gives me is he dosnt want to be a slave to his libido..Has he lost his mind? Hes not religious..Everything works in that dept..I dont know what to think and after 3yrs of this treatment I have started 2 affairs so I can get what I need.<br />
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I will not be made to feel unwanted anymore. I know he loves me but its not enough not for me..You can read my full story in I had an affair..So take note refusers we will not put up with your bullshit reasons anymore..Im done and if you need to feel like Mr. Macho Man to even get it up you will be disappointed..Your woman might humor you for awhile just so she can get some but even good sex is not worth making yourself feel stupid putting up with some guys childish ego needs..<br />
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I have told my husband if he dosnt give it up more frequently that I will leave him..I have given him 4yrs by then all the kids will be in college. He will try for awhile but then stop..I always have to remind him and it will get better for awhile again. I know most of you dont get any at all and while its horrible I still dont understand it or why my husband wants to "tame" his libido..Like I said I only have to kiss him or touch him and he is aroused..I feel it so I know he is but I get refused..Why? Why? Why? Why? Why does it have to be when he wants it? Is there anyone out there that has a clue????

You know, I've been with my other half for a long time. And I've stayed at home with the kids for many years, thereby losing my identity, self esteem, femininity, independence and so forth - and I still wanted sex. So tell me why, now I work and he doesn't, won't he come near me? His masculinity is damaged, his caveman impulses, whatever? Well, sorry, I too think it's selfish bs and I've had enough of that thank you. I believed that being a couple meant taking the rough with the smooth, working together and all that; I was wrong. And believe me, I have tried everything I can think of to awaken what seems to be dead. What's the answer? I guess give up the job - become less than I am - turn back time?? Sorry, no. I think moving on may be the only way - then maybe he can find someone who doesn't emasculate him.

I can relate to a great deal of the dialogue in this blog. I have been married for less then a year and my marriage is slowly becoming sexless. It's neither of our first marriages, but we are still relatively young (under 40). I have tried not to push the issue with my husband as he shuts down and becomes defensive, but it really is starting to make me angry. We had a very normal sex life in the beginning and during our courtship. It seems like once we said i do he started saying I don't... want to have sex with you. <br />
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I know rationally it is not my fault and there is some deeper issue at hand. He refuses to go to counseling and I am going alone... a very sad situation. The strangest part is that he is extremely affectionate with me... constant hugging and cuddling, long deep kisses which just make me weak in the knees and interactions which suggest a happy and loving relationship. The spooning in bed, however, rarley turns into "forking" and I feel let down and frustrated. I just wonder if I or should i stay or should stay I go. I love this man deeply, but I didn't sign up for a sexless marriage. Any advice that doesn't involve a hostess?

Great story with some really important insights. I appreciate having male insight given so lucidly. I am most often refused because he is tired. My husband will say he works long hours and he does it all for me and the kids. It makes me feel like a worm hearing that because I see sex, making love, whatever word you choose as a way to connect, relax, express yourself, be loved and love back. I see it as a welcome break from the day-to-day but I fear he sees it as an exhausting chore. He often accuses me of not having a life and that I need to get out of the house more so I am not so reliant on him for my social interactions. I always thought it was him misunderstanding my motivations or needs. Maybe it is more as you say, that he is the one feeling out of control and suffering from loss of self-identity. That's a very intriguing reversal from how I have been approaching this. I have never viewed him as weak or anything other than a great guy, a good provider, a good father. I think I will tell him that. Thanks!

same here. my hubby said "you need a friend" cuz i want to cuddle with him while we watch a movie n stuff like that. and if i were to complain, him bing into anthropology n stuff, says that love and marriage is abnormal for couples to do stuff together and romance and stuff. he says theres no evidence that people of the bible and stuff did that. yeah . . . oh joy.

Good points with real value. The problem usually is communication often we are people pleasers and we give more than take so we become exploited. At first this is seen as pleasing our loved one however can revert to resentment later. There must be compromise and agreement but to many who live through the problem for them the compromise is one sided but this is not communicated at the time. Sometimes resentment fades or the decision turned out to be the right one sometimes not. Sharing is vital and even if this ocassionally results in argument this is far better than living through a damaging resentment which can destroy a relationship

i am women and i can relate to this story, i was always independent, looking out for myself, always had a strong sense of who i was, and what i wanted to accomplished in life. i am not married (soon to be) but my boyfriend and i lived together for 1 1/2 year (so be were practically married) i felt like i had lost myself, my individuality. to compromised, for the things he wanted or compromising but loosing either way. i had to come to realization i cant win them all, but i can voice my opinions and compromise in a way where we both win and loose.

ok I get the postive feedback, the building of ego, the stating he is important to every day life etc...but what if... he is never and has never contributed to the house hold financially, He refuses to discuss anything of importance, he spends all his free time getting as drunk as he can? what then is his excuse? He chooses to detract from life. and yet he still insists he is in the marraige ...kind of seems that he is his own distractor and there is no amount of verbal afirmation that can correct it.

Women & men have a lot more in common that people usually assume. "Loss of independence in life" is as much "a bedroom killer" for women as it is for men. <br />
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When you write that a woman should "help your husband find and clarify the parts of his life that are still absolutely his - how he dresses, his routines, how he works out, what his job is ... and then show him how absolutely essential he is to the functioning of your family " you are putting a lot of responsibility on the woman for the man's feelings. So, in order to feel independent the man is dependent on his wife to point out his independence? Sounds like this guy might need some outside (psychological) help to be truly independent.<br />
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You also wrote that "we need to be told a lot of things to make us feel good about ourselves - not that we're pretty, but that we're strong, capable, your hero, and all of that". Women/wives also want and need to be told by their partner that they are valued for being strong, capable, and their partner's hero as well. Telling us merely that you think we're "pretty" wears thin very quickly, and reflects very shallow values on the part of men. <br />
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In reality (looking past all the superficial barbie doll/princess crap that abounds in our culture) women, like men, have similar psychological needs, and need (and deep down, want) to be valued for thier competence, intelligence, bravery, and (non-cosmetic!) abilities as much as men do. Believing in (and acting on) all the essentialist gender stereotyping garbage that's out there does hurt relationships because it tends to result in men believing that women are some kind of different species to men.<br />
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It's really important to see that the similarities are far bigger than any differences (unless, of course, you are with a brain-washed barbie doll).

It was a very poinent commentary; today I am married twenty years, however, my wife informed me that we will no longer acknowledge the marriage that took place way back when. The reason? That is up for debate, but the facts are such--we stopped having a healthy and fulfilling sex life. It was almost right after we got married and I actually didn't remember how far back my displeasure was until my old buddy reminded me that I started complaining to him about a year after our wedding. Instead of the conventional affairs or indiscretions, I *********** and fantasized; when the internet matured, I utilized chat rooms and web-cams to share sexual experiences with other women. At any time was there ever any thoughts of crossing over the line into a physical and emotional affair; what I did was scratch that itch and I felt that it was safe and within a tolerable acceptance with my wife. Of course I kept it secret until she recently found out and went ballistic. I thought she would scold me and reprimand my behavior---wrong- it turned out into a full blown catasrophy that is resulting in what looks like our final times as husband and wife- I'm not living at home and life is upside down. If I could take it all back and be miserable with no sex I would gladly exchange it but we all know that things can be undone- this is a final event in our relationship; the trust is gone- all that is left is disdain and scathing commentary of what an adulterous scum I am that betrayed her trust.

I'm sorry but I'm tired of stroking a man's ego! I'm tired of my hubby having complete control when it comes to sex, and always getting rejected! In my mind there is NO excuse to always say no to sex.

Thank you for your story. It has helped me already understand my husband more. My husband of 4 years won't make love with me. He is 48 and I am 40. I come from an abusive background. His first love died from injuries from being gang raped and beaten. I've asked him if this is a reason for not having sexual intimacy. His replies are always vague. I've gained 100 lb.s over the last 3 years. He has told me he feels inadequate around me. He won't go to the doctor. Meanwhile I'm in therapy. I cannot get any answers or plausible reasons for why there is no intimacy. Yet your story has given me some more insight. Again, thank you.

What a bunch of hooey. A man doesn't need a woman to validate his maleness. What's this "individuality" nonsense? A bunch of touchy-feely rubbish from the scrap heap of pop-culture psychology. Your man wont make love to you because he lost his maleness by stepping into the role of husband and father? Poppycock! Husband and Father are definitive male roles. When you step into them, you leave off being a man-child. You step into full maleness. What Mr. Tree is spouting is a childish longing to cling to his Peter Pan ways; to have Wendy and keep Tinkerbell too. You want to be his Tink? Go ahead. Enjoy "raising" the perpetual adolescent.

Marriage is a two way partnership. There should not be more emphasis on one partner to validate the other partner's identity. You are still the same person whether you have to pay bills, run a house or raise children. This is all part of growing up. If you are not willing to grow up then you should not get married. End of story. It is ridiculous for men to think it is the woman's responsibility to make him feel more like a man. I gave up a lot of things in this marriage because it wasn't what my husband wanted and I still am called selfish, vain and bossy. You are supposed to be two people in this together for better or for worse. When does the better happen? After almost 19 years I am still living in the worse and hoping one day it will miraculously become better. I think the only way to live peacefully in this world is to be completely alone and leave the men out. They are far too much work to keep their precious ego and "sense of identity" intact. Take the responsibility on for yourself and stop blaming it on the wife for not making you feel like a man. We all go through the ups and downs of life together and most of us still would like to have sex at the end of the day. It is a stress reliever not creator, or that is how it is supposed to be.

this is very insitful

Thank you so much for this! This as given me a lot of insight to some of husband is might be reacting and as lost the interest in sheet time :o) Awesome Story!!

if u find that u no longer fancy ur hubbie its cruel 4 both of u 2 keep tryin. it wont work and the feelings dont come back

self esteem plays a big role in everyday life.

Well, as a man that the wife refused to let call the shots around her house after marriage, and after repeated thefts by the wife's son and his friends, I started becoming angry and resentful towards my wife. At that point in our marriage my wife had already lost her sex drive, so my marriage quickly became one of A) little to no sex, B) little to no say-so on security at the house we shared, and C) but I better do 95% of the chores inside and outside the house AND pay the mortgage. Gee, wonder why my attitude towards my wife became angry and resentful!!!!!!!! Thankfully my wife kicked me out a short time ago, that probably saved me from a nervous breakdown.

That is a shame. There was obviously terrible communication from the beginning. I do think men really need to learn to be proactive and brave about communication in relationships.

If DeadbutAlive had a wife like mine (before she got sick) then I understand why the "communication" was broken....I say something like "hmmm could we perhaps try this my way - since your way did not work last time? She says - Do you want a divorce .... total avoidance of the issue and escalation of the tension results. My reaction is to grow sullen and fearful to start a conversation ...because it will always turn into a blow up where she pushes every button I have and the only recourse I have is to remove myself to another room and be quiet ..I am brave...but I am not stupid.
If discussion always escalates into an attempt to make me lose my temper so that the unreasonableness of my character can be pointed at - then there is no point in starting the discussion. This way she always wins. Since I have learned to deal with that by cutting off the route of starting a circular and temper raising argument, she now is uninterested in intimacy and characterizes even my comment to another drive on the road - (like the idiot that passed me in a school zone) as proof of my angry nature.

I would not be so touchy and angry if there was a let off valve here...but she closes the lid and directs the discussion into an indictment of my character rather then admit there might be a different way to do X. Then she decided to also close the sex lid as well. Bravery ? I have discretion in it's place ..but love is draining away because of it.

"Thankfully my wife kicked me out a short time ago, that probably saved me from a nervous breakdown." Why couldn't he leave on his own? Why wait for the wife to take action? Sounds like he should have left much, much earlier. You can't blame the wife that he stuck around for so long while he was so unhappy &amp; felt so badly treated. And keep in mind, you're only getting one side of the story here.

Wolfy1, why even stay in such a depressing pointless situation?

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Aha! So *that's* why all my, "God, you are SOOO sexy!"s haven't worked... I'll give the strong/hero business a shot and see how it goes, thanks, hon!

Thanks for the male insight I do see this to be a factor in the not feelin like a man thing. But have to say if you truly love someone you do not make them feel like this. Cut the I am man or woman BS. Just be open all the time either tell us ur not attracted to us anymore or stand up and make it right. Be willing to seek help be it counseling or meds or just even be willing to have your T levels tested. Dont give us excuses give us a solid reason.

this actually made me start thinking deeper about my problem. My husband and I have been married for 17 years and we haven't gone through anything like this before, but I just went back to school about 2 months ago and that is when our real problems began. He uses a different excuse for his lack of sexual drive, but some of the things you've said makes me wonder if maybe somewhere inside it is bothering him that I am going back to school? I don't know, but it is something to think about and I am glad that you posted this. :)

Well written, and great insight into a common problem.



Wonderful post - so true.<br />
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I've tried with my husband. He's just too damaged from the false accusations. He's given up.<br />
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He won't even listen to genuine compliments.<br />
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It's tough. I'm very giving but he doesn't want any of it. Not the affection, praise, compliments, or sex. <br />
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Sucks to be me. ;)

This is a reasonable definition of a problem between couples -- men and women. Not just men. It is, aside from defining independence and propriety through the proxy of masculinity - almost verbatum what my wife has said, in defining her own loss of connection to her sexuality - getting lost in married life. Here is, for many couples, the elusive "why". Especially for those where it slips almost directly after the wedding day, and again after the kids. Don't get caught up in trying to pose masculinity definitions around this. It is about a connection to self-identity and sexuality first --those things can be expressed as masculinity or femininity later - or simply as sexuality.

I really enjoyed reading the "other" part of the equation. Very well thought out, honest, and frankly gave me some food for thought.