Seeking insight and help

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-26-2006
Seeking insight and help
Tue, 02-06-2007 - 12:04pm
I have been married for nearly eight years to a women that I love dearly and adore. We has a great sex life prior to our marriage and before children, who are now 5 and 7 years old. Once my first arrived, our sex life evaporated. My wife suffered from post partum (sp?)depression and I believe still suffers from mild depression. I love to cuddle her, hold hands and spend time just being together on the couch but when we have our time together, she usually sits in one chair and I in another. When I try to initiate lovemaking, she tells me theat I am pressuring her...I do not attempt to initiate lovemaking more than once or twice a month. She says she has no sexual desire, does not think about it, and gets upset when she knows that I masterbate.Lately, within the last few months, I have become very frustrated, lonely and angry and it is beginning to hurt our relationship. I did read a Sex Starved Marriage and A Passionate Marriage, and found both to be helpful in understanding my responsibility and how LL is not an abnormal thing. I guess my question is, I have asked her to go to counselling and read the books that I have read and she counters that this is also pressure. Also, when wqe discuss this issue, she states that my desire is to "get some" "or "have sex"...I try to tell her that being physically connected to her is LOVE for me, and that I deeply crave her to want me romantically. She does not get it. I am now seeing a counselor because I am having trouble controlling my anger...I am also trying to be a better husband by learning better ways to communicate and become more understanding/accepting. But does she have any responsibility to try to deal with this issue. It hurts me that she does not want to do anything about it and knows that it is negatively imnpacting our relationship. Any insight would be helpful. Thanks.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2006
Tue, 02-06-2007 - 3:39pm

"But does she have any responsibility to try to deal with this issue. It hurts me that she does not want to do anything about it and knows that it is negatively imnpacting our relationship. Any insight would be helpful. "

Sure she does. Hard part is getting her to see it. I take it the books you've read don't provide much in possible ways to get her to see this.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-26-2006
Tue, 02-06-2007 - 3:49pm
I have tried, as some books suggest, trying to explain to her that the act of intercourse for many, many men is pure love, that is to say that it is not jyst getting off but romane, tenderness and connection all in one...but when I try to speak about it...she gets very defensive. So I am leaving it alone for a while.
Avatar for holdingontoit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2004
Tue, 02-06-2007 - 5:32pm

My experience on this and another discussion board is that, for men, once you try being nice, tending to her needs, speaking gently, helping around the house, etc., if you do not gets a positive response within a couple of weeks or months, you are not going to get one. Females tend to respond fairly quickly to being treated well, if they are going to respond at all.

If you have curbed your poor behavior, and she has not responded at all, then you face a difficult choice. She is probably not going to respond unless you make it clear you are leaving if she doesn't. She may not respond to that, either. Or she may respond by filing for divorce immediately to protect herself financially. So be careful before you "take it up a notch".

This stinks. We feel for you. Wish we had more options to offer.

If you choose to stay "for the kids" or "to uphold my vows", I hope you take solace in behaving admirably. Because you are. I wish I could offer you hope of solace in another manner. But I can't.

When you see it coming, duck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2007
Wed, 02-07-2007 - 10:15am

Your wife I am sure is feeling that mommy pressure.
The stages of the male female relationship are quite
primal, more so than I think people realize.

Stage 1, courting, passion, romance, not being
able to keep your hands off each other.

Stage two, learning to coexist in the same dwelling
(whether that means marriage or not)

Stage three, children, and focusing on their needs
and the needs of the household.

Stage four, empty nest syndrome & happily ever after

Stage three is where the fork in the road happens for most couples.
The man typically is still going through stage 2, and
longs for stage one.

The woman has her main focus on stage three and stages 1&2
are just passing thoughts.
ie: oh I remember when we used to be able to grope and
play anywhere in the house(stage 1)
I hate how he leaves his clothes on the floor(stage 2)

So how in the hell does a couple manage all these mixed
thoughts, and feelings?

If there was one answer for that, there wouldn't be
a billion, message boards about this subject, or
a billion books about it either!

You know your wife better than anyone, and you know
what her triggers are, and yes they are still the same
as they were when you first met.

I will give you my perspective.
I have a very HL, my husband's is mid range.

I would happy with an interlude every single day.
I know that this is an impossibility.
The day to day blah's (as I like to call them) of life
often get in the way.
As a woman my first concern is to always make sure my son
is out of the picture when it comes to sex.
I cannot feel comfortable if he is awake, and roaming
the house.
It is my job as a mom to make sure I am "on duty"
when my son is home and awake.
So intimacy will fall to the way side every time in that
scenario, even with my HL.

Having two children as you do, I can only imagine
places that much more pressure on your wife
to be a mom.

With pressure comes stress, again a killer of the libido!

So my suggestion for you is to make a point to reconnect
with your wife as you connected in stage one.

Not always easy to do I know.
Date her, and court her again.
Pursue her as you did in the beginning.
Set up arrangements for someone to watch
your children so you can be alone, and she
doesn't have to be "on duty".

The smallest things do matter to a woman,
and if you take the initiative to ensure
her worries are taken care of I guarantee
she will be more receptive.

A night together whether it is out to dinner
or a dinner in will work wonders.
But it will only work if the kids are out of the picture!
(So make sure the sitter you get is someone your wife would
trust with her life!)

Valentines Day is coming up, and I think it would be a
great surprise for your wife if you set everything up.
The sitter, the place and time.
An invite out explaining to her that you have
taken care of everything, the kids, the place
the time etc.
A wonderful heartfelt letter or card, some
flowers ( and no you don't have to spend a ton of money
on flowers either!) a simple bouquet will do, which
you can find at any local grocery store.
Because it is the gesture that matters.

Reconnect with her, let her know with words, emotions
and actions, how much she means, and that all of her
efforts as a mom and wife are not taken for granted.

Do not make it just about the sex, make it about
the fact that you do love her dearly and want her
to truly know it!

I sympathize with your anger and frustration,
and the rejection you must feel.
I'm sure a certain part of you holds resentment
as well, thinking why it is MY responsibility to cater
to her!

Well, those of us with a HL, are usually the ones
left to suffer, because we have a need that goes
unfulfilled, so it is necessary for our own sanity
to make sure we cater to our LL or Mid Libido partners
with compassion and understanding.

Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-21-2003
Wed, 02-07-2007 - 11:23am

Very interestig post. Your 4 stages strike me as accurate (in most relationships).


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-26-2006
Wed, 02-07-2007 - 1:58pm
Your stages description is fairly accurate as to where we are right now. In fact, I am flying my wife out of town for five days to visit a friend who is having her 40th birthday...trying to give her some space and relief fromt he kids. My daughter goes to school full time in September, so I hold out hope that once that begins, she will feel less stress and maybe feel more romantic. We have been talking a lot more, both of us making an effort to communicate and have a few glasses of wine together, go out, ect. I guess it is just me in that I am nearly exhausted with patience, feel very unattractive and underappreciated. But September is not that far away so I am going to hold on until then. But your message was very helpful. Thanks.