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A Message from Michele
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Sinking into a dark place #2412027
12/07/13 05:03 PM
12/07/13 05:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 15
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Aaron Taylor Offline OP
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Aaron Taylor  Offline OP
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I'm 42 M and married 20 years. 3 kids and what looks like a great marriage on the outside.

To be honest, everything is wonderful except our affection & sex life. I view these as 2 different things.

The first 5-10 years of our marriage, sex, affection was very frequent. (french kissing, holding hands, oral sex(both), arm around each other, 2-3 times per week sex, really couldn't keep our hands off each other.

Then it slowing started to take a nose dive.

First, the kissing & oral sex (which is not a big deal to me) but she didn't want to anymore. I asked about issues and it was my breath...went to dentist and found out I had a bad tooth I didn't realize. Had it extracted, had several cleanings since then...healthy mouth.... doesn't matter. She probably kisses me 1 time a week maybe 2 times now 10 years later.

Next I noticed the other forms of affection.. holding hands, sitting with me, touching me during sex, looking at me, her being on top, her desire to enjoy it wasnt there. It's more of, you can go, I'm tired. You can go, I have a headache.. it's ok. Eyes shut, no emotion during intercourse, only when I help her go during oral sex. It went from sexual intercourse 2-3 times a week to maybe 2-3 times a month to the last 5 years 2-3 times in 3 months.

We've had very open conversations about this and I've honestly tried everything she's suggested from getting my teeth fixed all the way to I have to initiate in the afternoons AFTER a nap, when I know she isn't sleeping.

Last week was the final straw for me. It was the afternoon, like we've had sex many times... she had just been awake for at least 10 minutes laying there looking at her facebook account and she turned over to put her phone away I laid behind her and put my arm around her like a million other times. Caressing her breast I asked if she would like me to "rub" her. Her response was: "I can't stop you, so sure". In a very condescending & frustrated way. I was crushed. (Keep in mind this was another attempt after not having sex since Nov. 7th.)

Here's the thing. I LOVE my wife very much. She's incredibly beautiful, seriously! I know I'm suppose to say that because I'm her husband but it's breathtaking. Very beautiful, sexy and doesn't look 45 at all!

Me on the other hand... I've been overweight since before we met and I know I'm not that attractive. She says that isn't it but I have to wonder. I've tried everything she's suggested I do over the years to no avail.

-Teeth
-Stay home more (work too much)
-Not interested in what I am
-Dates
-Buy stuff
-Too hard because I'm a mom to switch to being a lover
-I'll be fine If I never have sex again (which we went 10 months once without having it)
-Be involved with kids
-Do stuff together

Now, I'll shut up because I know this is long...I honestly feel like in order to have sex or receive any affection from my wife of 20 years I have to take her to a hotel or someplace without the kids and if I'm lucky, get a couple drinks in her before she feels she can.

I know you guys may not believe this but it's not the act of sex that I'm wanting. I can relieve myself to do that... it's the DESIRE from my wife to want me. There is none. I've explained this a hundred times and her response is: I'm not you. Quit trying to make me you.

So, here I sit, knowing I'm fat, but have been working out WITH her (to build our time together and similar interest) and I've lost some weight. I make all the money for our home. I am home every single night of the week by 5PM to do homework with kids or hang out with her or go shopping etc.. whatever she wants. I've taken her to a tropical island, bought her a car, written her notes, tried dating and it is getting worse.

I can feel myself sinking to a dark place in my mind and I don't want to fight about this again. I'm tired, lonely and never felt so humiliated in all my life.

I go to see a therapist this week to which I'm sure she'll be livid but I can't take it anymore.

What am I doing wrong?


_________________________
M42 W45
D18 D17 S12
Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place [Re: Aaron Taylor] #2412343
12/08/13 08:50 PM
12/08/13 08:50 PM
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^


dbmod
Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place [Re: dbmod] #2412353
12/08/13 09:40 PM
12/08/13 09:40 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,593
Rocky Mountains
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melissag Offline
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AT, so sorry you find yourself here. Your post struck a chord with me, because honestly, it could have been my H writing it. Not all the details are the same, but the sentiment is the same.

I don't know why your W isn't interested in having sex with you. She may not even know. Remember that for (most) women, though, sex is more emotional than physical. If the M is not good, she won't be as interested in having sex. Which, of course, leads you to be unhappy, which leads to the M not being good . . . it's a vicious cycle.

AT, is your W happy? Has she complained about anything that bothers her (aside from the teeth, or the headache, or whatever - that's all just BS reasons, whether she realizes it or not)? I can tell you that in my case - and I realize this in retrospect - I felt that my emotional needs were not getting met, and so I withheld sex. It wasn't that I didn't want to have a good sex life with my H, or that I didn't love him or desire him. I just didn't know how to get there, because it felt like when we had sex his needs were getting met, but mine still weren't. (I don't mean sexual needs, I mean emotional needs.) So there we were, stuck. For a very long time. Each focusing on our own needs, and what the other was doing wrong, and expecting the other to fix it. Guess how well that worked out? It didn't. He left me.

(I don't think I have ever written that before. Ouch.)

I am not sure that right now your W is going to be able to verbalize (or even understand herself) WHY she is not interested in sex. Sometimes it takes a really serious look in the mirror, digging pretty deep and being painfully honest with oneself, to figure this stuff out.

Have you read the SSM book? I have not, but understand it might be helpful. You could also do with reading DR, I think.

Most importantly, you need to let your W know exactly how much this is hurting you. I
I'll be honest . . . she might not get it. I didn't. I didn't get it until my H said enough - I'm outta here. He thought that he had been very clear, but to me, I really didn't understand the seriousness. Do not threaten her, do not beg her, do not make it about the sex itself - explain to her that you need this to feel connected to her. I always got annoyed with my H because I thought he was just in it for the sex part, and that made me feel like I was some sort of hooker or something - like I wasn't good enough if I didn't put out. (I am so embarrassed now that I thought these things.) But now I get it - men AND women need to have intimacy in a M. They just do.

Here on the DB boards, we talk about focusing on YOU, not on your S. Think about her complaints in the M. Really think about them. Don't invalidate her feelings or make up excuses or reasons for them. Think about whether the complaints are true - look at how you act to her. Are you happy with yourself? Are there things about yourself you can change? Maybe try some 180s for things that haven't been going well, and see if that changes the dynamic of your relationship. I think it can really have a profound effect. I would suggest reading SSM and maybe DR too.

One other thing - do NOT feel badly about your desire for more sex in the M. It is a perfectly valid and reasonable need. I think it's fantastic that you are here, trying to do something about this. I think you have found the right place. My H told me once he had been on some boards and the takeaway for him was, "Melissa, I was on some boards that say that if this isn't better than within a year, I will be having an affair or divorcing you." I can tell you those boards did a lot more harm to our M . . . I took it as a threat, which made me back away even more, and I guess H took it as some sort of edict or maybe permission.

I know I am rambling, and I apologize. Make your needs known in the most vulnerable and nonthreatening way you can. But MAKE THEM KNOWN. Do not apologize for it, and let your W know that it is important to you, and how much it hurts you. I don't know if that will help, but it's the first step. Would she consider any kind of counseling? I hate to say it, but the only thing that made the light bulb go off in my head was H telling me he wanted a D. I am not recommending that you do this - because if you threaten and it's not real, it will just make matters worse - I am just telling you that it is possible that your W seriously just doesn't get it. I can tell already she doesn't get it by her response: "I'm not you, quit trying to make me you." That tells me that she is completely discounting your feelings on this subject - no wonder you feel so crappy. But - you can't change her. You can only change you.

Keep posting so you can get off moderation, and I know you will get a lot of help here.


me: 44 XH: 42
M 11 years
D10 and S8
Bomb drop 9/27/13
D final 7/1/14
Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place [Re: melissag] #2412563
12/09/13 04:17 PM
12/09/13 04:17 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 15
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Aaron Taylor Offline OP
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Aaron Taylor  Offline OP
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melissag

Thanks so much for your response. That makes sense to me and no I haven't read SSM or DR. I probably should.

We've had MULTIPLE discussions over the last 10 years about this. Not to be negative (because I'm a VERY positive person), but it has gotten worse, not better because of our discussions.

I just wish I could take something to make my desire to even want to have sex away. I know that is silly but I'm so frustrated.

One discussion we had I felt like we made progress. She explained to me that she just doesn't think about it... EVER. So, since I'm the H I need to be the initiator and ask her if she's interested. We explained it like going out to eat. She's not even thinking about going to say... Taco Bell but if I suggest it, she may be interested.

While I do NOT understand why she NEVER thinks about it, I thought...well, I guess I'll try... so I did, but it just fizzled out.

Then, one time she said, let's have sex every day so you don't have to worry about if we are or aren't.

At first I was floored. I'm sure every H would love his wife to say that, but the heart behind it was jacked up. She just wanted me to shut up and stop asking her for sex, so she was "willing" to lay there while I satisfied myself. Sorry but that is NOT appealing to me AT ALL!

Sure, you lay there and read the newspaper while I do my business. It just came off like you're an animal and can't control yourself so I'll spread my legs and let you do whatever you need to do.

I just can't do that.

I know it takes her longer to "be ready for sex". I get that, but why?

Why do I have to perform open heart surgery before she's ready...

-spend enough time at home....check
-be involved with kids...check
-do some housework...check
-be interested in what I'm interested in...check
-buy me gifts....check
-do little things for me...check
-put it on the calendar...check
-Temperature is right... check
-Kids asleep.... check
-brushed my teeth...check
-showered....check
-t-shirt on....check
-lights on..no off? ok.... check
-humidity is 60%...check
-I initiate again....check

It's impossible. I DO all these things for her because I LOVE her deeply... not because I want to have sex with her.

If she isn't in a hotel, its nearly impossible. A drink in her hand helps us skip from step 1 to 30 with only 15 steps left... as long as I hurry up and don't take to long.

Even during intercourse a couple of times I told her after I pleased her orally (not complaining about that, I enjoy doing that, it's just our pattern, I please her orally and then she lays there eyes closed until I go) But anyway, after a couple of minutes she opened her eyes and said, what's wrong? I said nothing. She said why are you stopping? I said, I want it to last longer...her response. Just go, I already did and this is why we do this...so you can feel good. In other words, hurry up, it's all about having an orgasm so have one already. Once again, frustrated and back to square 1.

I am sorry for venting, I don't mean to...I am just so tired and want to give up.

I won't divorce her, so with that, I know I'm in for hell the next ?? years until I die. Unless I can figure out a way to get rid of my desire for sex and just enjoy what I get.


_________________________
M42 W45
D18 D17 S12
Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place [Re: melissag] #2412572
12/09/13 04:49 PM
12/09/13 04:49 PM
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Accuray Offline
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AT,

Sorry you've come to this place. I agree with Melissa that your W's suggestions are likely diversions to take the focus off of her, versus things that are really going to work.

The unfortunate truth is that people cannot will themselves to feel sexual desire. When you discuss her lack of desire, it seems to make her defensive, and she's likely to shut you down rather than getting into it with you. If she feels defective, or that you feel there is something wrong with her, it's going to work against you in the long run.

There are a couple paths that people typically try when they find themselves in your situation:

1) Try to become as attractive as possible: There are many resources out there about adopting "alpha male behaviors" and avoiding attraction killers, plus the opportunity to get in better shape, dress better, etc. Unfortunately, I haven't seen a lot of success on this path when you get to the point you're in. It certainly can't hurt, but more often it seems to be a torture-fest where people exert lots of effort with an expectation of some return, which usually doesn't happen. That said, you'll be better positioned if your relationship cannot be healed.

2) Ensure your spouse's needs are met: People tend to withdraw in relationships when their needs are not being met. If their withdrawal doesn't encourage the behavior they want, they get resentful and put a wall up. Unfortunately in marriage this can all happen without voicing any complaints. Another path to pursue is to ensure that you are delivering what your W needs in the way she needs it. "The Five Love Languages" is a good book for you to read in this regard.

If you are hitting the mark, you'll see it in your W's happiness. If you deliver what she needs and she's still not willing to step up for you, you have a real problem -- but I don't think you're there yet.

Looking at your situation, what has happened to you is not all that uncommon. Sex often falls off after kids, and passion often slowly degrades. Your root complaint here is that you feel undesirable. May be work pursuing some IC to see if that feeling can be resolved in ways that don't involve W. (i.e. are you looking for her to provide something that should come from within?)

So all that said, there are two things at play here: (1) having sex, and (2) feeling like W desires you.

If W will work with you on #1, but never again achieve #2, will you be able to find peace?

Acc


Married 18, Together 20, Now Divorced
M: 48, W: 50, D: 18, S: 16, D: 12
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 7/13/11
Start Reconcile: 8/15/11
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 5/1/2014 (Divorced)
In a New Relationship: 3/2015
Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place [Re: Accuray] #2412605
12/09/13 06:33 PM
12/09/13 06:33 PM
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KarenR Offline
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i hope you will talk to one of the DB Sex Starved Marriage coaches. They are experts in helping you come up with a specific plan on how you and your partner can get your relationship back on track. It is often counterintuitive to what you 'feel' like saying and doing. You will find your sessions extremely helpful. Take good care.


Karen, Resource Coordinator
The Divorce Busting Center
303-444-7004
karen@divorcebusting.com

Give me a call if you'd like to schedule an appointment to speak with a Divorce Busting« Coach.
Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place [Re: KarenR] #2412645
12/09/13 07:44 PM
12/09/13 07:44 PM
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Accuray Offline
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Originally Posted By: AT
Sure, you lay there and read the newspaper while I do my business. It just came off like you're an animal and can't control yourself so I'll spread my legs and let you do whatever you need to do.


I know exactly what you mean -- this is a very frustrating place to be.

You might want to shift your perspective on this one however:

Instead of viewing this as a negative situation where your W is treating you like a dirty animal, you could view it as a positive -- that your W, who is not feeling desire right now, is willing to do this FOR you as an act of love.

Her offer to have sex with you every day was actually very generous, she's trying to work with you here in a way that she doesn't feel compromises who she is.

So she's giving you this gift and you're saying "it's not good enough, you're not selling it"

I guarantee that's her perspective -- that she's giving you something and you're saying it's inadequate.

The predictable backlash from that is that she stops having sex with you altogether because what's the point? You're not going to enjoy it anyway so why bother?

If you think you're hurting now, wait until you get there!

If you want your W to work with you, you do need to acknowledge the effort she is making and be truly thankful for it. If you're going to express this genuinely, you need to get your head there first.

Now if you're able to come to terms with all that and it's STILL not good enough for you (and I can understand why it wouldn't be), then you need to lovingly engage her to work with you for the benefit of your marriage, not because anything is wrong with her. That's a very important distinction.

"Low Desire" can be physiological, so she could have her hormones checked and discuss the issue with her doctor, it can be psychological, and she could pursue that with an IC or a sex therapist, or it can simply be "her sexuality" and not the result of any physical or psychological issues.

If its the third category, then there is literally nothing you can do except ask her to be a better actress and try to find peace with it, or decide to leave.

Acc


Married 18, Together 20, Now Divorced
M: 48, W: 50, D: 18, S: 16, D: 12
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 7/13/11
Start Reconcile: 8/15/11
Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 5/1/2014 (Divorced)
In a New Relationship: 3/2015
Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place [Re: Accuray] #2412706
12/09/13 09:37 PM
12/09/13 09:37 PM
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Posts: 12,602
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MrBond Offline
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"it's the DESIRE from my wife to want me."

Understandable. I know your W said that your weight and physical appearance have nothing to do with it, but have you thought about getting a makeover?

You could always bump up your workout regimen to lose more weight faster. Spend the money for a trainer rather than therapy. It'll help with your M and your self esteem.

How heavy are you currently? Is your W on the active side?


M-43 W-40
2D - 9 and 5

Emotion, yet peace.
Ignorance, yet knowledge.
Passion, yet serenity.
Chaos, yet harmony.
Death, yet a new life.

RECONCILED AND WISER
Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place [Re: MrBond] #2412726
12/09/13 10:00 PM
12/09/13 10:00 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 15
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Aaron Taylor Offline OP
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I appreciate all of your thoughts and ideas...

MrBond... we both have trainers and she is in wonderful shape... I am about 70# overweight.

I know I'm disgusting and she tells me: "you were big when I married you, it doesn't bother me"

I'm bald and have hair on my back.... a makeover won't help that.

I honestly believe that she's disgusted by me and it's hard for her to even come near me because of it.

Weird thing is that when we married she was about 50 pounds overweight and for the first 15-16 years of our marriage she didn't even care about her health/working out etc.. But now she does (and I do too, just not as intensely as her) and I think she just can't stand the sight of me.

She won't kiss me, barely touches me at all in an affectionate way and really doesn't think anything is wrong with her. "I'm not you, I don't know what to tell you." she says.

Accuray.... I hear you. I just can't bring myself to have sex with her to be selfish.

The thing I can't understand is that this wasn't always her. She couldn't keep her hands off of me when we were dating through the first 5-6 years of our marriage.... and it all died.

I'd totally understand if this is the way it's been from the beginning and that I was asking her to do something she's never done, but it's not.

KarenR.... I'm going to see how Thursday goes with the therapist and go from there...but I may take you up on that.

Thanks again everyone... appreciate your time.


_________________________
M42 W45
D18 D17 S12
Re: (NA) Sinking into a dark place [Re: MrBond] #2412728
12/09/13 10:03 PM
12/09/13 10:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 15
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Aaron Taylor Offline OP
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MrBond, I also sink in my spirit when I think about the only way my wife would want me is if I was lean, fit and trim. I really thought love was more than appearance.


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M42 W45
D18 D17 S12
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