Needing To Vent, Even If No One Reads It

I know my story won't sound strange to you all, and I take some comfort in that...

My wife and I have been married for 6 years. While dating, it was good. She seemed genuinely attracted to me. Physical intimacy was strong, passionate, and mutual.

Then, 4 months into our marriage, we got pregnant (on the pill).

She had lost a ton of weight for our wedding and was feeling good about her body for the first time in her life, and that was all wrecked by the next 9 months (even more because of what breast feeding did to that part of her body...) Now let me be clear - those were HER issues. I still find her VERY attractive. So much so that I ache physically just to touch her. I do not think her body has been "wrecked" by the pregnancies or nursing, but she does, and as all the men on this forum know, that's all that matters. Nothing I say or do can change the fact that she's back to hating her body.

Though that was hard, we did start to reach some sense of normalcy in our sex life after our daughter was about 2 or so.

But then she wanted kid #2. 

Something happened with that second pregnancy. Now, sex is often painful for her. I've told her she should ask about it, and she has, but I'm no longer allowed to mention it because she feels like even by me ASKING, I'm criticizing her that she's "not doing enough." Her OBGYN saw nothing at the last exam. I think it might be what's called "vaginismus" (basically, stress- and anxiety-produced pain)

Now, we have some trust issues, and we are in regular marital counseling. But the sex issue is killing me, because I feel so helpless, so pathetic, and so alone.

I hate that I will curl up behind her as I scratch her back every night (she has a hard time falling asleep). And once in a while I'll whisper, "I want you..." "I've been having dreams about us being together." And she'll just lay there, silent. This does nothing for her, or to her. I understand she's dealing with her own issues on this stuff, and I WANT to be there for her, but she's from a family where THEY DON'T TALK about issues - just ignore them and they'll go away. I hate that I can make myself vulnerable, share my aching for her, and it doesn't affect her. Basically, for anything to happen, I have to ignore that she seems uninterested and make it happen myself. I can do this once in a while, but over time, you really start to feel like a kid in a candy store begging for a piece of candy. I feel pathetic, unattractive, dismissed, ignored, and embarrassed. And when I try to share these things in a non-confrontational way (I'm not telling her it's her fault), she still takes it as "I'm not being a good enough wife," which then leads to her drawing in on herself even more and me feeling even MORE of the emotions I was trying to communicate to her.

Man - I just don't know what to do anymore. I just feel so overwhelmed with it all. What turns me on is the thought of her wanting me. Sometimes, I ********** to pictures of us back when we were happy, and even that makes me feel so embarrassed and pathetic. **** doesn't even help - I just want her to want me again.

Thanks for listening...

losthubbymke losthubbymke
26-30, M
9 Responses Mar 13, 2010

I just had a thought...(yeah and those do hurt sometimes ;} ) Has she had her hormone levels checked? There could be something in her system thats "off" since the 2nd pregnancy seemed to kick the depression into high gear. Postpartum even comes to mind. Just a thought if maybe if that, and a whole host of things, hasn't been checked it needs to be.<br />
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Take care~

Sorry to say so, but your wife is incredibly manipulative. No matter how you handle things, she manages to turn it around so that YOU are at fault. As ThingV says so eloquently, this leaves you twisting in the wind . . . .<br />
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Anyone threatening suicide and refusing to take action about it is being VERY manipulative. She may not recognise how manipulative her behaviour is, but that doesn't mean it isn't manipulative.<br />
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I often suspect that the spouses who "won't" go to counselling do so because, at some level, they realise a Counsellor will "call" them on their inappropriate behasviour. And unlike their marriage partner, the Counsellor is not vulnerable to their manipulations and will tell them the unpalatable truth.<br />
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I umderstand your despair at the possibility of divorce - none of us comes here WANTING a divorce. If we did, we'd not bother with this forum. Instead, we are all seking the "magic bullet" solution to this awful situation - sadly there isn't one.

Thank you all - i am still addressing the despair that so many of the stories on this forum end in divorce. I don't want that to be our route, but to some degree, that's not within my control, and I have to recognize that, do the best I can right now, and take each day as it comes - easier said than done.<br />
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Thank you for the suggestions, though I will have to admit, I've tried the direct strategy, and that's when things got far WORSE in our physical relationship. She has been suicidal for quite some time, told me about it finally, and then I started suggesting she seek counseling. Then, I went to counseling myself (for myself, and to set an example for her). Then, I tried pushing it. I tried making the appointment for her (you can't do this, by the way). Then, I tried the direct approach - in consultation with my counselor, I confronted her, and said that if she didn't seek help, I would have to take the kids and leave because I didn't feel safe. She interpreted this as, "I can't trust him with my deepest emotions," or "he can't handle my suicidal thoughts," or "you're using my suicidal thoughts against me." My threatening to leave has since been cited several times as the reason she lost trust for me, and incidentally, that is when things turned really sour in our physical relationship (because, she tells me, she can't trust me now...)<br />
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So, I'm 'doing the right things,' but it's not helping. That's why I'm "lost"<br />
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Whew - thanks for listening, everyone - I do find your comments supportive and reassuring.<br />
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God bless you all...

i agree with enna30 ...<br />
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Why don't we just tell them the truth ?<br />
No body wants confrontation ... it feels bad, and nobody wants to feel bad or make another person feel bad ... do they?<br />
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Well seems the unresponsive spouses want us to feel bad ... <br />
Manipulation is a great way to avoid the issues .... <br />
We are the ones that have to let it go ... not allow them to make us feel anything because<br />
nobody can make you feel anything .... feelings are under your control.<br />
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You are in marriage counseling .... that is wonderful .. no matter the outcome, it is a wonderful avenue in addressing these issues. <br />
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I am guilty too ... of not standing up for myself .. by believing that he can't help it .. that is just the way he is .. but the controlling, manipulating nature .... well, that is just mean-spirited.<br />
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Blessings and hopes for happier days

"I'm not being a good enough wife," <br />
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II'm wondering if you might get a break through in communication - probably via a HUGE fight! - if you answered "Yes, you are NOT a good enough wife!"<br />
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It seems to me that she trots out this statement because she knows it stifles any further discusssion about issues as you reassure her that she IS good enough . . . . <br />
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Confrontation is not usually a great communication strategy - but in your case it might just provoke a really honest response from her.<br />
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If you choose this route you will have to stand up to a lot of tears and self accusatory comments, and just keep saying something like:<br />
"I'll tell you why you aren't good enough when we can have a quiet discussion rather than a screaming (crying, hysterical) discussion . . " <br />
Much easier said than done! Good luck.

Oh yes, we're in counseling, and I recognize the communication is at the center of it all. Trust me, if the kids weren't in the picture, it would look different. But for now, I'm just pouring all of my energy into being the best dad I can be, attending to the issues that are raised in counseling, and trying to hang on to hope even though I don't see many reasons to think this will ever change in the long term. Thank you all for your comments - sometimes, it's just good to get confirmation that you're not alone.

Lost, <br />
No, unfortunately your story doesn't sound strange to us. But it is a concern that the two of you are so very young to be in this state, and with children to consider.<br />
When you say " I understand she's dealing with her own issues on this stuff, and I WANT to be there for her, but she's from a family where THEY DON'T TALK about issues - just ignore them and they'll go away " - Sounds key. I don't think you've mentioned counselling, have you tried that, together or individually?

You're really not alone you know- so many of us here totally understand - you're not pathetic, helpless, and so on, although I really really understand how it feels that way. And it isn't just sex is it - it's the affection and touching and so on. <br />
You sound like such a lovely man and you're absolutely doing all the right things - I hope it works out for you.

I totally understand about wanting to be wanted. It really is a cruel thing to withhold affection...There are so many little things that spouses can do for each other without sex having to be in the limelight. I know I miss it, but I miss the closeness it brought more. That was when we connected and not just in a physical way. After was when we had our best talks. <br />
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I just want you to know I hear you and I understand and you are far from being alone.<br />
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My Best Wishes and Warm Thoughts~