Dead in the water

Low or no sex drive?
MJonline
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Dead in the water

Postby MJonline » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:02 am

I don’t even know where to begin. I suppose it’s good to briefly surmise the positive, for my own benefit if nothing else. Our marriage is, in so many ways, Heaven on earth. In 7 years, we have never had a fight. Sure, we’ve disagreed, but we’ve never had a disagreement we couldn’t talk through without getting angry. We’ve weathered some real storms: the loss of a child, unemployment, almost losing our home…and in so many ways it’s made us stronger. I work hard to make sure she can be with our kids, and she works way harder every day with them. She knows she is loved, and I know I am respected. I think most men would look at what I have and wish they had it so good.

A couple of additional details for context: we were both virgins until marriage, by God’s grace, and we got married older than most – I was 30 and she was a couple of years older than me. We were careful while dating to limit our physicality and focus on knowing and loving one another for who we were. Once engaged, however, we became very physically affectionate, to the extent we both had some very real struggles not crossing lines, and it was very mutual. We both frequently expressed our love and our desire for each other. She initiated contact, excitedly, nearly as often as I did, and it was awesome. Our marriage began the same way. With exception of a couple of months after losing our first child, we were intimate at least three times a week, almost daily at times. And, when we decided to start trying for a child again, it was non-stop. Maybe I just got spoiled. I expected her drive to calm a little after kids, and it did, but not drastically. We still made time together, even when I was working four jobs and we had two kids under three on our hands, at least a couple times a week, usually two to three, sometimes more. Things started changing between kids 2 and 3, and it’s gone pretty drastically downhill.

It started with changes to how we were intimate. I’ve always had a “lady first” rule (because she can usually get there multiple times before and after PIV, and generally once I’m done, my body wants to pass out.) PIV has never really “done it” for her, but for years, I was able to get her intense, long climaxes with fingers instead. After kid 2, that stopped working, so we started using vibrators. We both had some reservations (she wasn’t sure she would like it, and I wasn’t super thrilled about having to resort to a machine,) but I feel strongly that intimacy should be pleasant for both of us, so we went for it. Worked like a charm, until kid 3, when I started having difficulty finding the right place with the vibe. I don’t know how else to say it: I’ve been basically phased out. Sex has become me laying there watching her climax, then a quick, uncomfortable for her round of PIV until I climax, then back to her going solo. Mind you, I love watching her, for what it is. It’s the hottest thing on the planet in my opinion…outside of giving her an orgasm myself, that is. I just don’t love that being the only way. Maybe I should have addressed that trend sooner and we wouldn’t be here, but hey, sex is sex, and I was still getting some, so I rolled with it.

Trouble is, it didn’t stop there. My drive hasn’t changed one iota. I’d jump her every day, multiple times on a good day, if I could. Hers, on the other hand, is gone. I mean completely non-existent. For some time now, I’ve noticed that if I don’t initiate – aggressively – nothing happens. I didn’t worry about it for a couple of days. Then I let it slide even though it bothered me for a couple of weeks. Finally I decided to bring it up. We had a talk – a couple of talks, actually – about the fact that I don’t really feel wanted. I know I’m loved. I know I’m respected. She tells me all the time how grateful she is for me, how much she and the kids need me. And I feel like that should be enough, but it isn’t. I need my wife to want me. I ended up feeling like dirt, not because she responded badly, but because she was genuinely grieved that I felt that way and apologized to the point that I was hurting for her more than for myself. Unfortunately, nothing’s changed.

We always take the week of her time of the month off as it’s a nice opportunity to focus on the other aspects of our marriage – to be intimate in non-sexual ways, and I believe it’s been a very good practice. This month, I decided to just wait and see how long it would take for her to initiate. It’s been three weeks. By the time I post this, it will probably be her time of the month again. To clarify, I’ve not been cold toward her. We always kiss good morning, when I leave the house, when I get home, and good night. I’ve been sure to provide the non-sexual affection that I know she needs: hand holding, cuddling on the couch, etc. I’ve just fought down the urge (and it’s been a heck of a fight) to push her for more. The worst part is, I don’t think it’s intentional. As stupid as it might sound, I think I might feel a little better if it was. If she was mad at me and giving me the cold shoulder, I would get that. If she was sick and not feeling up to it, I would get that. It just doesn’t even appear to have crossed her mind.
I’m writing this because I honestly don’t know what to do. I’ve tried coaxing her out. Hints go unnoticed. Flirtation falls flat. Comments about her body looking nice, suggestive notes, even things like commenting “I’d tap that” on a selfie she sends me seem to outright annoy her. I’ve tried little acts of flirtation and grand gestures alike (I wrote, printed, and bound 300 page book of notes, letters, poems, and fantasies for her for our anniversary) and haven’t moved her needle a twitch. So I’ve tried just choking down my desire to see her initiate and taking the lead myself every time. It gets me what I want in that she doesn’t generally turn me down, but I don’t feel good about it. She doesn’t seem to really enjoy it, and I feel like it’s a chore for her. If we meet in the middle, I‘ll just end up feeling like I’m using her, and I can’t live with that.

I love my wife more than life itself, and certainly more than sex. My code is that I live to be better than I have to be. Getting my way, getting sex, if it’s at any expense to her, isn’t good enough. Unfortunately, cutting off that need isn’t working. If I could flip a switch and shut my drive off permanently, I’d do it without a moment’s hesitation. I know that her drive is no different. She can’t flip a switch and turn it back on. I wish with all my heart this wasn’t an issue, but here we are. Does anyone have a suggestion?

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poetess
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Re: Dead in the water

Postby poetess » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:26 am

You've been married less than seven years and you have three living children . . . so I assume those children are pretty young, right? Can I ask the approximate age range?

It sounds like you are in a hard season, and I'm sorry about that. I also strongly suspect it is a season, and temporary, and that you can get through it together and come out strong on the other side. Women are often in their peak libido in their thirties and forties (that has been true for me, but I'm not alone in that), and the years with multiple young children is simply not the peak libido for most women.
Marriage--what a wonderful image of Christ's love for His bride!

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JEM0121
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Re: Dead in the water

Postby JEM0121 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:33 am

I haven't been here very long and I am definitely not an expert. :oops: BUT, from someone that went from having a very easy time to orgasm (PIV, Oral, Manual) to going months where NOTHING worked, to now having them, but having to WORK at it, it can be frustrating for both people. She probably is just a frustrated as you that the toy is the only thing working.

How old is your wife? You said she was a few years older than 30 when you married 7 years ago. It could very well be hormonal. I'm in my early 40's and hormone imbalance hit me like a ton of bricks.
Last edited by JEM0121 on Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

MJonline
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Re: Dead in the water

Postby MJonline » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:07 am

The kids are 1,4, and 5. Adorable, but absolutely a handful. I'm 37, she's 42. I'm quite certain hormones are part of the equation. Additionally, we're both tired all the time thanks to our demanding, but rewarding jobs (I work 12 hour days and she's a stay at home mom/teacher/nurse/maid/chauffer/you get the idea.)

It's not that I want to "fix her" at all. I hope I was clear about that. It's more that I need a way to cope and to get me head around the fact the she loves me whether she wants me or not. For me, those two things are so interrelated, it's hard to understand. I won't cheapen her by resorting to porn or masturbation. There's no place in my life for that. But as any man understands, there's no putting the genie back in the bottle for male sexuality. I find I'm starting to get a little grumpy, to put it mildly.

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JEM0121
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Re: Dead in the water

Postby JEM0121 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:48 am

If she is 42 then I'd wager that it IS hormones. My testosterone was so out of whack (ok, non existant--no number AT ALL) and it caused all sorts of issues. Little to no sex drive, always being tired, almost impossible to orgasm (without a toy), anxiety,, depression. I don't think trying to find out if something is wrong that can be helped by seeing a doctor is "trying to fix" her, but more keep her healthy, keep your marriage healthy and have her feeling her best.

BTW, there is the same age difference between my DH and me. 5 years, and I'm older. :D

ETA, is she using birth control pills by chance?

Unfulfilled
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Re: Dead in the water

Postby Unfulfilled » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:13 pm

Have you told your wife that you are hurt, feel guilty and unwanted because of her lack or even recognition of her complete lack of sexual connection?

If not she NEEDS to know. Just like you cannot read her mind, she cannot reas yours. Since ot is clear that she loves, honors and respects you. I think you can count on her good will that she will be empathetic to your situation.

It is fairly common unfortunately for many wives and mothers of younger children to lose priority. Putting the kids above their husband (I am not talking about health and safety things). But I think in that season of life where the kids are all complete need and “take” from a stay at home mothers, by the end of the day she’s got nothing left and little desire to give anymore.

One of the most important things kids need is the best relationship between mom and dad. So the marriage relationship is at least, if not more important than the parent child relationship. In the heat of the young childhood battle. It is sooo easy to lose that perspective.

So have the discussion. And I would suggest some dedicated “alone” time set aside for mom and dad. So even a weekly date night. Some time for momma to recharge, even take a nap before going out (get a baby sitter, or find another couple where you trade nights to watch each others kids so you each get a date night every other week). Make sure that your return time to relieve the baby sitter is after their bedtime so you can habe your own intimate bedtime after having time to reconnect outside the bedroom. Where your wife can have adult conversation and stimulation in some peaceful setting. Which hopefully will make her more “present” and engaed after you get back to the bedroom.


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