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Advice please(30 Posts)
Hello everybody. Some advice please.
My wife and I are in our early forties, we've been together 20 years, married for fifteen of those. We have two teenage children.
We both have good jobs, live in a lovely house, have great friends and a good social circle and good hobbies and activities.
We're a pretty good team. We've had up and downs, but nothing major. We can niggle at each other when we're both tired,
and on occasion we've had full blown rows, some times over silly things, but nothing that has lasted more than a day or two.
We enjoy each others company, and when we do have a (rare) night out together we have great time.
The problem is sex. Or rather lack of it. we haven't had sex for ten years. Or indeed any sexual activity. A kiss on the cheek,
the odd stand up cuddle. that's about it. If I attempt a cuddle in bed, it's soon put a stop to!
My wife says she's just not interested. And doesn't want to talk about it.
I love her to bits, and we talk about growing old together. But this makes me really sad when I stop and think about it.
I don't want to think at my age I'll never have sex again!
Is this a common situation? Do I just have to accept that this is normal for some people, and there are more important things to worry about.
Is it likely to be me? Has she just gone off me completely? Have others been here before and managed to rekindle things?
I wouldn't say it's common, early forties, no.
If your wife is unable to either discuss or seek help then for me, It would be a deal breaker, there is no relationship without sex, in my book, it's a big part of it.
Oh Dear ! You poor thing, I have been married 42 years and we still have sex.
My question is why have you let it go on for so long?
Are you frightened of your wife? Does she hold the balance of power ?
Have you been too easy going to challenge her ? Has she been ill ?
It is definitely not right that she will not talk and I am afraid that you have to find a way to get her to talk. Perhaps if she knew the danger your relationship was in then she would at least talk , as it is the first step towards a solution.
I would take her out somewhere nice and rehearse a script before hand and refuse to be put off. Before you go out decide on what you want the outcome to be. If you can't envisage the next 30 years without sex then you have to tell her. She needs to understand how serious it is for you. You need to keep to the 'I' word rather than 'you' ? As you are looking for a solution not blame.
Whilst you certainly have no right to demand sex, you can legitimately request that you talk about it. Refusal to talk is deal breaker.
Keep very calm and don't raise your voice, but make it clear that if she won't talk, then you are going to do something about it.
Prepare yourself for hearing that she doesn't fancy you, etc. Are you ready for that eventuality ? Have you got a reply in place?
I am so sorry for you.
She mustn't be satisfied with what she's getting. Must be too much of an effort with little in return ... Or so she feels. She may also dislike how you go about getting her in the mood.
She cannot unilaterally decide that you are no longer going to have a sex life and refuse to talk about it. You deserve a conversation about it and you need to be clear just how unhappy this makes you feel.
I agree with pp, you need to be clear what outcome you want. Pity sex won't improve this at all, so if she continues to refuse to talk about it you need to be clear what the implications of that will be. Do you know?
Lack of libido can have many causes, medication, illness, resentment etc. whilst you think everything else in your relationship is hunkydory, she may disagree entirely. Is she on any medication? I think if she agrees that your marriage is otherwise good, then she needs to visit the GP to see if the reason is medical. If it isn't maybe she needs a counsellor.
Can you see yourself leaving over this? Can you see yourself eventually seeking comfort elsewhere? If the stakes are high she needs to know that, it might make her realise that she has everything to gain from sorting this problem out.
Tough place to be especially since its been thru your 30's as well which is when both men & women really enjoy sex in a mature and developed way.
I think a woman can love a bloke dearly, but not be in love with him or be physically attracted to him; especially if in a nice secure lifestyle - but that's no reason to stay together if relationship is dead.
I'm sure I'll get burned for this, however, I reckon a woman in a solid relationship who is so dismissive about any type of intimacy (from hugs to sex) isn't at all happy in that 'solid' relationship! I would also think its just a matter of time before she looks elsewhere (doesn't everyone need hugs/sex eventually???). Dont want to be cruel, but perhaps she is 'involved' elsewhere; or has been in the past. How active/close were you in past?
Intimacy is the defining thing in a relationship - if it doesn't exist then you're just living with a 'business' partner where the business is raising kids and keeping your lifestyle.
This is no relationship just a friendship is what your wife is offering you. This would be a deal breaker for me.
IMO she has a responsibility towards the relationship, this includes getting appropriate help when her problems impact upon you.
If she has no problems and just doesn't want sex, that's all well and good for her but you need to tell her it isn't making you happy.
Are you my h?????
He couldn't understand why (among other things) I no longer wanted sex. And asked if I was gay.
10 years without sex? tbh it's not so much the time without as the fact she won't talk about it.
I'm always amazed when I hear of these situations not least because the partner who doesn't want sex is arrogant enough to think their partner will just put up with it.
You need to sit her down and say she needs to talk about this as you don't wish to carry on as it is.
If she refuses to talk then I think you should tell her that unless she attempts to tackle this issue jointly you will be looking to get your needs met elsewhere.
10 years! frankly she's a selfish person and doesn't give a shit about your needs desires.
I agree this is an unfair situation and at least deserves an honest conversation - though it will possibly be very difficult for her, or you both, to talk about in a meaningful way.
Your W may not know the reason why apart from she has no sex drive and no motivation to do anything about it.
Either she get motivation to address the issues (because it is important to you for example) or she doesn't.
I agree with the advice upthread about how to go about talking about it, but as this could possibly break your marriage, perhaps some specialist help in getting to the bottom of things might be worthwhile?
We are divorcing for this reason, among others.
The only reason I would stay in a marriage with no sex would be for my teenage children. I wouldn't stay if they were younger but teenagers are going to leave home in the foreseeable future so I might have chosen to stay until they leave home.
A married couple I know are in this situation. He sees prostitutes for sex or has the odd one night stand. His wife does not want to have sex with him and knows he is getting it somewhere else. She doesn't ask.
They have been together for about 15 years and have a lovely home. They never had children together but she has children who are in their 20's. They are grandparents now and are in their mid 50's.
They don't want to split up as they would lose their home, have to live alone in separate homes, not be able to have family get togethers and go on holiday together like they do now.
On the face It seems to work for them. I feel sorry for him though because he wants sex. He is a good friend to his female friends (not one bit sleazy). I think he likes the intimacy of women's company and I think he would love a partner who he has sex with.
I would not put up with it because losing intimacy in a relationship would devastate me. Sex is not the only thing in a relationship but I love it and it keeps me very close to my partner. If I didn't want sex with my partner I would give him the option of splitting up so that he could have a physical relationship with someone else.
The problem is her not WANTING to be intimate with YOU! Getting her to realise its unfair, unhealthy etc is superficial because even if she agrees to start being intimate she'd only doing it to keep the peace.
Your teenagers will very soon not need or 'want' you. They will make their own mistakes and become the people they are going to be. I've come to realise that sticking around for the sake of the kids is not necessarily the right thing to do. We can sacrifice our own life hoping that this will stop them making a mess of theirs. This is not the case. Separated parents on good terms are healthier than together parents living a bullshit lie.
Worst still is when people stay together because they have a comfy lifestyle and don't want to split assets. That is going to lead to resentment and deathbed regrets!!
All relationships require tolerance; the levels of which are different for each couple. But this isn't about you tolerating her behaviour or getting to acknowledge, accept and change something. Its the fact she doest want her hubby to 'be tender and loving with her, making her feel like a special woman' and didn't want her hubby to 'smash her to pieces' once in a while when in their 30's (sexual peak?)
TBH sounds like you don't light her fire and she doesn't love or fancy you mate (but there is a woman somewhere out there who would). Sorry to be brutal, but reckon you need to think of what you want for the future and the saying 'I want to be with her' probably isn't the right answer...
Still a possibility that someone else could be involved as it's been so long.
For a DH to end up banging whores is totally wrong on every level (and I'm a mans man if there is such a thing). If its end up like that then your life has been total bullshit.
I couldnt live with someone who I think doesnt love and want me - whats the point, you might as well live with your sister as thats all she is.
Dig deep, think of bigger picture, be real and true to yourself on what this really means.
Nobody owes sex to anyone, but nor should they expect their partner to stay in a sexless relationship if that does not suit them
If I were you, Op, I would exit your marriage as kindly as possible and find someone who is on the same page as you
Please don't lower yourself to cheating or using prostituted women
Would your wife like to be treated to a massage or a facial at your local beauty salon? This might help her get used to being touched again by someone. She is maybe really tense when anyone tries to touch her and has shut herself off. Does she like a soak in the bath? How about getting her some lovely bubble bath and running a big bath for her in a candlelit room. Some body lotion for after for her to massage in would leave her feeling pampered and maybe she might let you rub some on her back or neck
lol the wifes been frigid for 10 years - I don't think a face pack and a candlelit bath will make a difference. THIS is about SEX not candles, cuddles and foot rubs and 'maybe' getting permission to rub a bit of lotion on his wifes neck! besides why is your answer still ALL ABOUT THE WIFE??!! It's the wife that needs to think about her Hs needs in this one!
Frigid is such a horrible word, isn't it
One of those words that is pretty much only applied to women
Agree re 'frigid!'. Horrible word. There will be a reason for this. I'd worry about why she feels she can't talk to you about it. Maybe your not as close a couple as you think. Maybe she's too scared to tell you. Maybe in her head you are just companions and she's happy with that. Frigid lies all the blame at the wife's door without there being any responsibility for the husbands role in all of this.
Shes the one not willing to discuss it so yes the blame does lie at her door - How the hell it can be his ' fault' when as far as i can see he has put up quite calmy with the situation for 10 years is beyond me.
This would be a deal breaker for me too. 10 years without any sexual activity and
reading between the lines little in the way of affection combined with an utter refusal to either talk about or work on the situation? You and she need a heart to heart. If she just doesn't ever want to have sex again, that's very much her choice and she shouldn't be pressured into it but she needs to tell you where you stand so you can decide whether to stay in a sexless relationship with someone you love dearly or whether to break your own heart by leaving and satisfying your needs elsewhere.
Thank you all for your responses. I really thought I may get flamed on here for being a self-centred, sex-obsessed man!
It's reassuring to hear that others think it not fair, but I guess that doesn't solve the problem.
We are going to have to sit down and talk, but I am scared that it could ultimately result in separation. Something I really don't want.
That may well be the best result for us, but it doesn't make it an any less terrifying and upsetting prospect.
There may be many reasons why she doesn't want sex or intimacy. Her refusal to talk about it is the most worrying bit.
The tricky thing is that you don't want her to feel pressured into it, as there's nothing so offputting as feeling pestered or pressured. It sounds like you've been very respectful, so yes you need to talk about the elephant in the room. Good luck.
Hubbyhelp, I think you really need to make your mind up on whether this is enough for you to seperate over. Unfortunatly you can't expect her to change really can you? If that's just the way it is then that's it.
The least she can do though is talk about it. However, if she doesn't then you have to ask yourself again, is this a big enough issue to leave her over? I don't think anyone would blame you for leaving, ten years is long long time. If you don't leave then you'll just have to accept you'll never have sex again. Rock, meet hard stone.
Nipped on and named changed to reply to this one. DH and I are early 50s, no sex for 10 years entirely down to the way he's treated me since we've been married (25+ years) - I simply couldn't bear it any longer. I've told my husband its over and said that we can't live like this, that he should take the chance to meet someone else etc. He won't accept it. He's not very keen on the children either but won't give them up, says I won't get his pension, this is his house etc. He thinks that all this is yet another example of what a despicable person I am, that I've ruined his life and I need to put it all right. He has health issues and has said that I am not getting away with it, I need to stay here and will be his carer when he retires, he's entitled to that. That the sooner I shape up and give him what he deserves, the better. I've asked that we go to counselling (about splitting up) talk about finances, consider our options, but no - the only problem in our lives, he tells me, is me. Once I am "sorted out" everything will be fine. Frankly his attitude scares me much more than any aspect of separation.
That doesn't sound like your relationship Hubby. However, I think you need to decide that this marriage is over, its good that you get on, but you are young enough to start again. I agree with everyone who has said that scented candles and back rubs are off the agenda - there is nothing on earth or in heaven that my husband could offer to tempt me to have sex with him again. If your wife won't talk about it, and you are not scared of what she might do (unlike me with "D"H) then I think you just have to insist on talking and tell her its over.
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