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(27 Posts)
YorkshireDale Sat 25-Apr-20 23:09:15

Hi all,

Wondered if I could get your opinion on something. My wife and I are both in our 40's and have been married for 12 years, with no kids. In that time our intimacy has all but fizzled out.

We were intimate together only once last year and so far not at all this year.Whenever I've tried to initiate anything I get a different rejection. But whenever I've tried to talk about it, I normally end up with an upset wife telling me to "go out and find someone worthwhile". Obviously I understand this is a likely to be a defensive type reaction so I try and just calm the conversation down and let the topic go.

On the rare occasion we do talk about it, my wife says she just doesn't want that, and doesn't see it as important. I think you may have gathered by the topic that I feel it is important. It's not as important to me as my marriage and the woman I love, so I've been just resigned to not being intimate with my wife at all. But it's really getting to me lately, as (personal needs aside), I feel like we're becoming more and more like flatmates rather than a married couple. If we avoid any mention of sex we're a great couple, but as soon as it comes up it's nearly always a quick route to a defensive argument.

Before anyone mentions helping with housework etc. I do lots of it and always have.

I'm very much in love with my wife. I just feel like sex once a year is a real bruise on what is otherwise a great partnership.

Any suggestions / opinions / advice would be a real help!

OP’s posts: |
Krazynights34 Sat 25-Apr-20 23:13:55

Has she started menopause?/peri menopause?
Both serious libido killers.
Usual suggestions- nice, loving time together, no pressure for sex etc...?
Do you still kiss?

fuzzymoon Sat 25-Apr-20 23:15:20

Has she explained why she doesn't want a sexual relationship?
Some people don't have the desire too or want too which is fine. However if this is the case you need to decide if that is something you can live the rest of your life without.
Does she show affection in other ways. Hand holding, a cuddle , a kiss ?
Sex is not just an act it's a way of showing love and being as close as a couple can be.

YorkshireDale Sat 25-Apr-20 23:17:17

Hello! No not yet, and no anti-depressants either.

That's what I've been doing really, just doing other things, going out places or having nice meals etc. We're great whn we're like that, but I have a tendancy to spoil it by trying to take it further. This has come down to maybe trying once every month or two, so hopefully not OTT.

We do still kiss yes

OP’s posts: |
YorkshireDale Sat 25-Apr-20 23:19:44

Fuzzymoon, no the best I've got out of her is that it's just not important to her. That's on the odd occasion it doesn't get the angry / upset reaction.

I can and I would do without, if that's what it takes. Just I'd rather try and bring it back into the marriage if I can

OP’s posts: |
Krazynights34 Sat 25-Apr-20 23:32:28

Talking to her?
It’s possible she doesn’t feel good (or something like that).. I certainly didn’t after baby number two, who didn’t sleep and my c-section stomach made me feel awful. Didn’t stop my husband wanting to have sex but I didn’t feel even vaguely human, or desirable. It’s different now, but it took time.
I think it sounds like you have a great relationship but you can’t really talk about this..?

YorkshireDale Sat 25-Apr-20 23:43:12

I used to be a lot more confident about striking up a conversation about it, but it just gets such a bad reactio most times, that now I just keep quiet. My wife knowing me as she does, can tella mile off when something wrong. But more often than not I daren't raise it, as it is seemingly the topic that upsets her most. I never seem to get more than "that's just not important to me", if I mention that it is to me that's when I'm told to go and find someone else.

It's so odd though because so long as we just don't mention that topic, you're right we have a great relationship. We do all sorts together, get on really well, have our own space and a good mixture of our own friends and shared friends. All good really.

I'm not wanting things on a daily basis. Just maybe a few times a year would be nice.

I did suggest couples therapy at one point but that didn't go down well at all.

OP’s posts: |
AnneLovesGilbert Sat 25-Apr-20 23:44:07

I always wonder when a couple does it but very rarely how the rare times happen.

For most people, the more sex you’re having the more you want it and vice versa. It’s like a reflex, I think people get out of the habit.

It’s not just that lack of sex in your relationship that’s the problem. Being unwilling to properly talk about things is almost as corrosive.

The comment about you finding something worthwhile sounds like either crappy self esteem talking or manipulation to make you feel bad enough for having raised it to stop you doing so again.

If she’s not prepared to talk openly and honestly I think you’re on shaky ground. Have you suggested counselling?

You’re right, sex is what defines marriage from friendship. A mutually agreed celibacy in a marriage is one thing and I’m sure in the rare cases where it’s truly mutual it works well but taking it off the table unilaterally and refusing to even talk about it is shit. Sex is a huge part of my marriage, it’s remained a strength through pregnancy, new baby, illnesses etc and I’d be extremely unimpressed if for no reason at all my husband said it wasn’t happening anymore.

AnneLovesGilbert Sat 25-Apr-20 23:48:31

X post.

it just gets such a bad reactio most times, that now I just keep quiet.

Hmm. That’s not a feature of a good relationship Dale. It’s manipulative and controlling. There’s part of your marriage that’s making you unhappy and when you try to discuss it with your wife she shuts you down by dismissing your feelings and suggesting you get divorced or, what, have an affair?

YorkshireDale Sat 25-Apr-20 23:50:56

Hi Anne, yeah I did suggest counselling at one point but it got a pretty bad reaction.

Obviously when you're in a situation like this you look inwards as well as outwards. So I've been making sure I'm not being lazy around the house. I've bought holidays, flowers, been back to the gym and trimmed down, new haircut, new shower gel just in case!

No joy though.

When it did happen I think it was because I mentioned we were about to hit the end of a year with no sex. That triggered something at least

OP’s posts: |
YorkshireDale Sat 25-Apr-20 23:52:34

I think it's just a bit of self-deprivation when she says things like that, as if she's seeing it as a complaint rather than a discussion

OP’s posts: |
Scott72 Sun 26-Apr-20 01:15:49

Apparently even the idea of sex with you makes her anxious or physically uncomfortable. There could be all sorts of reasons for this. But the most likely is the relationship has run its course. You say you still kiss. How often though, and does she seem to enjoy it or just endure it? If even kissing makes her uncomfortable, that's another bad sign. Whatever the problem though, it can only be solved if she's willing to talk about it. She's not, so I don't see much hope here.

CatAndHisKit Sun 26-Apr-20 02:04:02

I don't like this 'go and find someone else' response as a quick retort. Very disrespectful and hurtful, as if to say ' I don't care if we split up'. Yet it sounds like she enjoyes the rest of the relationship. I wonder if it's because of a financial imbalance, i.e. she enjoys the lifestyle / social ilfe that you provide or contrubute to significantly?

It's quite unusual for a woman to be emotionally happy and enjoy her H's company yet totally dismiss the sexual side and not wanting to resolve via counselling if it's some kind of 'glitch'.

You sound like a very good person, and practical yet romantic enough, so it's a shame if you aer being manipulated.

Basically I think you need to establish if she does love you, though you do seem to be determied to stay together.

PrimeroseHillAnnie Sun 26-Apr-20 02:25:12

Your marriage has to work for you too. If sex is important to you and you’ve done all you can to rekindle the passion in your relationship then I would start thinking about the long term. Is this how you want to live the rest of your life ?. If not , you need plan B.

Scott72 Sun 26-Apr-20 07:47:47

Just rereading your posts YorkshireDales looking at it objectively your marriage seems almost dead. "go out and find someone worthwhile" she almost sounds jealous there. So she just never wants to have sex with you ever again, and whenever you bring up the topic gets angry and jealous? That's not good.

lonelySam Sun 26-Apr-20 07:54:56

Ashley Madison ;) and open marriage if you don't want to end it. Truth is, once the sex is gone from a relationship bringing it back to a level satisfactory to both parties is very difficult and that's when both parties are willing to do the work. Which your wife isn't.

category12 Sun 26-Apr-20 07:56:07

Have you ever pursued the conversation further? She reacts with anger/upset and you get nowhere, she says sex is not important to her - but it is to you. You have to follow through on the conversation, not just let her close it down.

borntobequiet Sun 26-Apr-20 08:30:14

It sounds like you’re best friends.
Perhaps that’s what you should be.
The relationship you describe, where one partner is simply not interested in sex, and there are no children, isn’t really a marriage, is it?

Aly92 Sun 26-Apr-20 08:39:14

How long ago did it fizzle out. Can you think of any traumatic moment that may have done this for her? You may be willing to compromise but it’s not something you should do. It’s one thing to not do it but to not even be open to talk about it or to counselling it’s out of order.

She’s counting on you to just put up with it knowing full well she’s not in the right. So don’t. This isn’t a loving relationship where both partners needs and voices are being put into consideration. Stop settling it may be time to move on

ukgift2016 Sun 26-Apr-20 08:39:49

Is she asexual?

I agree with other posters that you sound like great friends but it doesn't sound like a fulfilling marriage.

RandomMess Sun 26-Apr-20 08:40:27

If your wife is in her 40s she is very very likely to be peri-menopausal, it can easily last a decade...

If she won't even discuss the topic with you then you need to decide whether you can continue or not. It clearly is making her unhappy on some level which can't be good for her esteem either.

itshappened Sun 26-Apr-20 08:58:59

You mention you don't have children... was this a choice or did you have any problems trying to conceive? I ask because I have lost my libido since having children and I think it's because I saw sex as a means to having children and have lost the desire aspect of it from having had numerous miscarriages and then difficult labours etc. I am wondering if she has some sadness relating to sex which might have caused her to close off this aspect of your relationship.

LiteraryType Sun 26-Apr-20 09:32:44

Could you write your feelings down in a letter? That would make a big impact and allow you space to really put into context your thoughts and feelings without her reading a subtext or interrupting. It'd work for me.

Slightlylost1 Sun 26-Apr-20 12:43:22

I could have wrote something similar 12 years ago, as such i never confronted it, occasionally (once a year or less) we'd have sex, usually after i'd got to the point of giving up. The resentment builds up, and you just end up living like housemates. You start looking at other women, and then an affair. You need to confront it now, or If you don't have kids think about leaving. There is only one life and you need to be happy, and trust me it will eat into you eventually. This is from someone who failed to take his own advice.

NoMoreDickheads Sun 26-Apr-20 18:32:57

I get what she means that it's just not important to her in that if you don't have much of a libido at some point, sex isn't important at all, it just isn't part of your life at all.

That's why she doesn't like being asked about it, because it's asking her for something she doesn't want (not necessarily wrong of you to ask now and again, but that's just the way it is.)

I had this happen with a partner, and honestly I wish he had seen someone else for sex, as it would've taken the pressure off me. (Even if the person doesn't mean it to be a pressure, it is if you don't want it.)

Have you thought of taking her up on her suggestion and going elsewhere for sex? (Not behind her back or anything.) Or do you think she doesn't really mean it?

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