Wife will not have sex with me

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Vanna
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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby Vanna » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:17 am

Knowing divorce could be a "possibility" and knowing it has become a "probability" are really two different frames of mind. People are typically much more apt to apply themselves during a probability- and that was my experience when I told hubby I wanted a divorce. Suddenly he realized that I really meant it when I said I couldn't take anymore, and he stepped up and took me and our marriage issues seriously.

That's just my experience, take it for what it's worth. That and a buck might get you coffee at a truck stop.
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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby tigerman » Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:08 am

Fair point....however if I threaten divorce she will likely relent and have sex with me unwillingly, which I don't want. I'm really in a no win situation because as you said, just springing divorce on her isn't good either. Not sure what to do.

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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby Job29Man » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:39 am

Tigerman,

In my opinion you have no justification to leave your wife because it appears you have not done everything possible to help her. What I mean by that is that you have not explained to her in crystal clear language exactly what your thinking is and what your plans (for divorce) are. You are holding to this demand that she initiate sex with you from the goodness of her soul, rather than the 'fear of divorce.' I get what you are saying, and understand why you want it, but there is a way to let her know your plans to leave if things don't change without making it a demand like a "put out or I'm gone" threat.

Your language seems kind of passive to me, e.g. "hand holding didn't happen." Hand-holding doesn't "happen." People reach out and grab a hand. Did you grab her hand? If she pulled her hand away you have the basis of a complaint. If you didn't even reach out, your only complaint could be that she is not an "initiator," but you can't argue that she's not responsive.

She deserves to hear that you will not stay in a marriage with sexual refusal. You owe that to her. Then let her make her own decisions. FWIW we have had other men here who have given their refusing/uninterested wives an ultimatum deadline, which the wife basically said or implied "I will attempt to 'do better' before the deadline" and then the wife ignored the deadline, did nothing, and was shocked that the guy left. So in fact, it may all be a moot point for you, but I think you still need to go through the right steps. Tell her.
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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby tigerman » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:48 am

I can't deny that my flesh wants her to hurt like I've been hurting the past 6 years. The pain of rejection, being ignored and taken for granted has stung me severely. It's probably the cruelest thing I've experienced, or at least it feels like it. I have to be honest, my flesh wants to hit her with a surprise divorce in 2 months. It may sound childish but that's how I feel. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I've heard enough biblical teaching to know better, that I'm supposed to not be feeling/flesh led but led by the Holy Spirit. This would mean that I not only not surprise divorce her but that I not divorce her at all. I just can't say for sure that I'm going to do what God wants in this situation.....and I know I'll suffer the consequences for it.

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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby seeking perspective » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:30 am

Earlier in this thread, you talked about your mental illness. How is that going? And has your wife been able to get support for herself in dealing with the illness and what it has required of her?

If you love your wife like you say you do, you will give her a clear indication of your intent to leave along with a year to truly work on things. What you are seeking is a change of heart, not just a change of behavior.

...Give her a year. During that time, show her what you will be doing to work on your own growth as a husband.

...Give her what she needs to feel loved--even though it may be hard for you given your own hurt. Be sure she has gotten the support she needs and that she has some respite from caring for you if your mental illness requires on-going concern for her.

...Give her a list of suggestions for how she can work on her own growth as a wife. Suggest a list of books or blogs that might be helpful. Recommend counseling--not to "fix" her, but to give her a chance to address any issues that have been interfering with her desire for intimacy that she hasn't been able to discuss with you.

...Give her a standing appointment each month when you will both share with each other what you have been learning and discuss with each other how you can apply that learning in your marriage.

Notice that each of these suggestions begins with the word "give." Don't just give your wife a year to make changes. Actually give her that whole year--give of yourself, give her what she needs, give her your time and service, give her your love. Actively give her a year. At the end of that year, maybe things won't be the way either of you would like--but if you are both seeing some progress in yourselves and each other, then stay together. If nothing has changed at all, that is a different matter.

But give her a year to change, and be a giver during that year.
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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby tigerman » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:46 am

^^^ Thank you for your suggestion. I've been stable for three years now, my longest period of stability since the onset of the illness. I don't require her to care for me when I'm stable, even when I relapsed I was quite self sufficient and high functioning. I've tried much of what you've suggested here over the last three years. I think that's long enough. I'm definitely not waiting another year.

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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby seeking perspective » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:14 am

tigerman wrote: I've tried much of what you've suggested here over the last three years. I think that's long enough. I'm definitely not waiting another year.


If you've tried all those things but haven't been clear with her about the fact that a lack of effort is going to result in a broken marriage, then you haven't really tried.

The reason I suggest a year is that even after knowing how desperate the situation is and that you want to end the marriage, what you are looking for is a change of heart more than just a change of sexual behavior. This can take a long time. A year may not be enough time to make all the changes, but it is enough time to see where progress is being made. Even after my own heart change, it took a full year for things to be changed in our marriage.

Yes, a year is a long time--but if you use that year to truly work on yourself as well as encourage your wife to work on the marriage, you will be better prepared to deal with whatever comes next.
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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby tigerman » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:24 am

Like I said, 3 years is plenty long enough. The only thing I'll agree with is whether I should tell her that I'm leaving well in advance.

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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby Vanna » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:19 am

tigerman wrote:Fair point....however if I threaten divorce she will likely relent and have sex with me unwillingly, which I don't want. I'm really in a no win situation because as you said, just springing divorce on her isn't good either. Not sure what to do.


No, as others have said, there is a good chance she won't wake up even with that. I took a chance, not because I wanted to "threaten" but because I frankly meant it- I had no intention of staying when I told him, I was done, I wanted out, I had already found someone else who appreciated me.

It was his genuine brokenness that made me give our marriage three more months to see if we could work together on building healthy communication and heal. We weren't saved, we had one kid, and I hated his touch, hated the way he spoke or didn't speak, hated his lack of initiative and follow through, hated his avoidance and passivity.

In those next three months, I read Love Life for Every Married Couple, Incompatibility: Still Grounds for a Great Marriage, Personality Plus, and Five Love Languages. I listened to Joyce Meyers teaching set on "The Fruit of the Spirit". I read and shared bits I thought were important, and we implemented the suggestions. He even read one of them (which surprised me).

We learned to communicate and resolve, to hear and be heard, to understand each other and find mutual respect again. It gave us the tools that we have used ever since to face whatever problems have arisen over the years, including the myriad challenges of developing a healthy marriage bed.

I wanted out, I didn't expect him to change- quite frankly I had decided that he was incapable of it, but I was wrong. None of the changes we made came naturally to either of us, but they became natural to us given time and repetition.

In the process, I was humbled- I learned how much of the "crazy cycle" we were in I had been contributing with my own communication and reactions, my own brokenness. I learned so much about myself and him during all of it, and I'm still learning.

There are no guarentees that your marriage can be saved. If you remotely love her, it will be worth the work you do to try, but it's the fruit we sow into it that God can multiply. Make sure that the fruit you are putting into it is His: love, joy, peace, patience, long suffering, self control, gentleness, kindness, faith (Galatians 5) - because we often reap a harvest on the years of crud we have sown, and we have to extensively prune and fertilize our marriage to repair and restore it so it can have good fruit again.

I Pray God gives you wisdom, revelation, and understanding as a husband, father, and man of God. May your efforts be multiplied back to you as you walk out these next months in your covenant with Him and your wife. May new fruit grow and reconciliation and restoration heal you both and draw you together. Amen. ::pray
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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby Unfulfilled » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:19 am

She NEEDS to know you have drawn a line in the sand (concrete). It is only fair to her to know how far this has gone. You cannot assume she knows.

Tell her flat out! There cannot be ANY confusion then.

If there is mental illness history, (edited) how do you know that your are thinking through all of this clearly? Have you gotten outside counseling and brought your wife into some of the sessions? If not I think you MAY be jumping to conclusions.

This is too big of an issue to let things go by with assumptions!

Tell her, and tell her ASAP.

That is my opinion.
Last edited by Unfulfilled on Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby LovesHisKitten » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:07 pm

tigerman wrote:Like I said, 3 years is plenty long enough. The only thing I'll agree with is whether I should tell her that I'm leaving well in advance.


So, you've decided to leave and you're just trying to decide when and how to tell her?

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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby Learning1 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:30 pm

tigerman wrote: We have been married 10 years and have two children ages 8 and 7. I suffer from mental illness. I have had seven relapses of the illness since the initial onset...my wife has been with me for every relapse.


You have been married ten years of marriage and have had suffered from seven mental health relapses.

What is your estimation of the amount of time in years that your wife has had to be a caregiver to you rather than a wife or during those periods of mental illness / 7 relapses you not been able to function as a husband to your wife or a father to your children ?
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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby sunny-dee » Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:42 pm

tigerman wrote:Like I said, 3 years is plenty long enough. The only thing I'll agree with is whether I should tell her that I'm leaving well in advance.


I am going to say this as the wife of an alcoholic (sober about 48 hours now, so fingers crossed). You have absolutely no idea what you were like when you relapsed. I say this because my husband has no idea what he's like when he's drunk. He is never violent or angry, but he is unpredictable and frequently unkind. I wake up multiple times a night to see if he's gone to urinate somewhere in the house, because he's done that a half dozen times. I wake up and shift him when he's snoring because he skips a beat sometimes and I worry about sleep apnea. I make excuses to my stepson on why daddy is "asleep" at 7pm and can't do family game night. He forgets entire conversations, breaks promises he doesn't remember making, misses special nights out I've been talking about for weeks. We maybe have sex maybe twice a month and I will never have children (well, fingers crossed again on some medical intervention) because of the way this impacts his sleep patterns and libido.

My husband knows none of this.

He is high functioning in that he keeps a good job, we don't have major money troubles, we don't even fight much. But it is a struggle in a relationship because I frequently feel alone and unwanted. If I had children (we only have my stepson on weekends), I think it would be so much worse because I would live with not only feeling abandoned for myself, but also having to safeguard and build up someone else. Not to pat myself on the back, but God got onto me about seven months ago, and I have been actively working on my heart and attitude toward my husband. Without that, honestly, it would be very easy and pretty much inevitable that I would look at him as a friend and roommate and nothing else. Because when he is drinking, he is not a husband to me.

And you were unpredictable and unsettling and not a husband for SEVEN YEARS. More than twice as long as you've been stable. Honestly, if it were me, it would take a year before I would even sort of begin trusting the changes in you.

Fair or unfair, your actions for seven years impacted her feelings toward you. It is really hard to remain vulnerable when you cannot trust your partner. It is really hard to regain that trust. It's not like you went on a long trip and came back and now you can pick things up, which is kind of the vibe I'm getting. Your actions (not saying this for blame!) while you were relapsing altered your relationship. Even the rough waves of hope-relapse are enough to alter that relationship. You can't just pick it up; you need to rebuild.

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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby tigerman » Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:21 am

LovesHisKitten wrote:So, you've decided to leave and you're just trying to decide when and how to tell her?

Basically, yes. I'm giving it a couple of months and if nothing changes, I'm leaving. The rub is, whether I tell her now that I'm leaving in 2 months or just spring it on her later. The answer is probably obvious that I should tell her my intentions about leaving if things don't change.....but I'm so angry with her that my flesh doesn't want to do it. You'll have to read back this thread from the beginning to see why I feel that way.

sunny-dee wrote:And you were unpredictable and unsettling and not a husband for SEVEN YEARS.

I'm under no illusions how difficult it is to live with me when I've relapsed.....but you know what? She also can be difficult to live with at times and I would never dream of refusing sex for 6 years because of it!

Learning1 wrote:What is your estimation of the amount of time in years that your wife has had to be a caregiver to you rather than a wife or during those periods of mental illness / 7 relapses you not been able to function as a husband to your wife or a father to your children ?

That's a hard thing to estimate and like I said earlier, I am quite self sufficient and high functioning when I'm not well. It's not like I spent each day in bed feeling sorry for myself while she ran the house.

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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby seeking perspective » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:03 am

tigerman wrote: The answer is probably obvious that I should tell her my intentions about leaving if things don't change.....but I'm so angry with her that my flesh doesn't want to do it.

Since making changes will take far more than a year and you're only willing to give her two months, why are you even bothering with the two months?

I'm under no illusions how difficult it is to live with me when I've relapsed.....but you know what? She also can be difficult to live with at times and I would never dream of refusing sex for 6 years because of it!

No, but consider what she might think she has been refused--a partner she can trust, emotional connection, or whatever. She could just as easily say, "He also can be difficult to live with at times and I would never dream of refusing [insert whatever she might think you've deprived her of] for 6 years because of it!"

I am not saying that she is right to refuse sex--but I am saying that her point of view and her hurt are just as valid as yours. You may feel alone in your suffering, but that doesn't mean you're the only one who is suffering.

I am quite self sufficient and high functioning when I'm not well. It's not like I spent each day in bed feeling sorry for myself while she ran the house.

What support has your wife gotten for being the spouse of someone with chronic mental illness? It doesn't matter how many days you were actually incapacitated. Consider how many days her life was affected by the mere possibility that you might be incapacitated. You are fooling yourself if you think your mental illness has not affected your wife. And you are fooling yourself if you think it has nothing to do with her refusal. I am not saying her refusal is your fault, because it is not. However, her experience in caring for you, shouldering the burden for your home and family, and not having a life partner she can rely on are the context in which her refusal has taken place. It isn't your fault, but she hasn't exactly been given a relationship in which she can feel vulnerable enough to pursue healthy sexuality.

Your hurt is real--but your selfishness is leading you down a path you should not be traveling at this point. I do think refusal is a justifiable reason for divorce--but not until you go through a process that actually has a chance to work. You haven't done that yet. In my opinion, you should work on your anger and develop some compassion for your wife.
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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby tigerman » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:06 am

sunny-dee wrote:And you were unpredictable and unsettling and not a husband for SEVEN YEARS. More than twice as long as you've been stable. Honestly, if it were me, it would take a year before I would even sort of begin trusting the changes in you.

It's obvious you haven't read this thread from the beginning. I said I had 7 relapses, they lasted a couple of months each. I didn't say I relapsed for 7 years. Big difference. Also, if you had read you would have seen I've been stable for the past 3 years. What's her excuse for that time period??

seeking perspective wrote:Since making changes will take far more than a year and you're only willing to give her two months, why are you even bothering with the two months?

What about the past 3 years??? If making changes will take more than a year she's had plenty of time to come around.

seeking perspective wrote:I am not saying that she is right to refuse sex--but I am saying that her point of view and her hurt are just as valid as yours. You may feel alone in your suffering, but that doesn't mean you're the only one who is suffering.

Again she's had 3 years to work this out.

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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby Unfulfilled » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:30 am

Tiger,

I know the pain, the anger, the bitterness etc. but I fear you may be taking a major step without even really fully exploring all the options for working this out.

Have you and your wife gone to counseling together as a couple, and individually? If not placing a strong boundary of honestly pursuing counseling is a must before you just up and walk out.

Yes in your mind it has been 3 years. But what is it in your wife's mind? Do you REALLY understand her burdens throughout your marriage to understand her baggage or why that baggage is so hard to just drop and walk away from?

There are countless things to consider. But what I can read here, you have had quiet expectations and time lines that your wife was being measured against without her really realizing it. Or realizing the order of magnitude associated with how she is measuring up.

You are still assuming that she "knows" you are contemplating leaving. Yet I don't believe you have stated that you two have ever specifically talked about that.m especially in th VERY near term.

Again I believe you owe it to her to talk to her about just how close to the edge you really are to walking out.

She may be thinking to herself that she is making progress. But those changes are invisible to you. And she may be thinking she and the marriage is maybe slow, but moving in the right direction. And she may honestly have no clue you are days away from leaving.

Again I understand pain and disappointment and seemingly waiting forever. I'm experiencing much the same thing right now. But you owe it to her, to yourself, to the marriage and to your children to do absolutely everything thing possible before calling it quits.

Pour some cold water on the anger, try to get the anger under control and slow down and try to be more collected about the situation.

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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby sunny-dee » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:32 am

It's obvious you haven't read this thread from the beginning. I said I had 7 relapses, they lasted a couple of months each. I didn't say I relapsed for 7 years. Big difference. Also, if you had read you would have seen I've been stable for the past 3 years. What's her excuse for that time period??


I did read. And what you -- like my husband -- don't understand is that it takes months to rebuild trust. You have 2-3 months of relapse, then what 6-8 months of stability, and then another relapse? That entire cycle is a problem, not the 2-3 months relapse. Because you can't trust the good times because they will end.

This three years is the first time in your entire marriage that you have been stable enough for her to even begin to trust you. You don't have a 10-year history to fall back on. Her excuse for that time period was that for the first year, she didn't trust it.

And I'll be blunt, for the two years you've been posting, you have shown very little compassion or understanding on why your wife may not feel intimate with you. Even if you are mentally healthy, you are not giving her an emotional foundation to work with. I need to reiterate -- YOU DO NOT HAVE A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR WIFE. You do not have a good history with her. You do not have the nostalgic "remember when" moments to fall back on during rough times. If you want sexual intimacy with her, you have to start building that shared, emotionally intimate relationship. Because she has been wounded.

I am not saying your wife is a saint, but she's not here to talk to. I'm talking to you.

For most people, I would say that the typical advice (date nights, helping around the house, helping with the kids) is a good start, but with you, I think you need to try something different. I looked up your condition on Wikiedia (so, you know, expert), and it sounds like your personality can be prickly. I would start there. Try these three things for a full month.
1. Only think good things about your wife. Cut off any negative or critical thoughts and counter it with a good thought.
2. Stop saying any negative, accusatory, or critical things to her or about her. Not even little "jokes."
3. Try to say something nice to her once a day.

And, if you can, give up any thought of divorce. I'm not saying that you won't eventually get divorced. What I'm saying is, don't think about it or fantasize about it or plan for it. It is a thing that doesn't exist. Act and think like you're committed to your marriage, like this is it.

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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby tigerman » Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:55 am

Unfulfilled wrote:Have you and your wife gone to counseling together as a couple, and individually?

Yes, we went to counselling. She went to two appointments then cancelled the 3rd because she took on a part time job at my kids' school. That was a year ago, she never went back. The counselor told her she has to work on forgiving me. As you can probably see, that hasn't happened and now I have my own unforgiveness to deal with.

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Re: Wife will not have sex with me

Postby doug-h » Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:17 pm

now I have my own unforgiveness to deal with.


You are seriously telling yourself that your forgiveness of her depends on her actions?

Brother, you have no idea what forgiveness is. It is unconditional, or it doesn't exist. You get nothing for it except the freedom it gives your heart.

For the record, I don't think you are necessarily unforgiving. You are obviously hurting. I get that. You can hurt and still forgive tho, if that is your intent.

You need to get your heart right before you do anything, because a decision made in the moment while you are hurting, can have lasting consequences. I'm not saying don't leave, but don't leave angry. That anger is likely blocking out a lot of what is going on around you, and blinding you.

I will tell you now, don't even consider a rebuttal that I don't know what I'm talking about. I can assure you I know more about anger than you are likely to learn in your lifetime. 3 years is a blink to me where anger is concerned, so don't even go there. The one thing I learned above all others, is that you hurt people that you would never want to hurt.

I'm tempted to say to do what you want, because you are going to anyways, but the truth is that what you want is an intimate relationship with your wife, and if you do what you are contemplating, that is pretty unlikely. Do what you know is right instead.


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