Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Monogamy is it societies Achilles heal?

Community Member

So I like most men an unhappy with the intimacy in our relationship. its been going on and getting worse as the years drag on. Too tired, tto stressed, I don't feel sexy (She is hot as a bikini model) But if im really honest, its not just the sex, its total lack of intimacy. It's stuff like I can't sit on the lounge and hug my wife, if we go for a walk it's only her walk, not where I want to go? If i put something on TV I want to watch, she leaves the room. But its the sex thats the killer. I only feel whole, when we make love. Bit that doesnt happen any more. So then i question my self, am I good enough, is she into me, is this how the rest of my life will be, just a constant hollow existence of empty self doubt?

Now I don't think my wife should have to be intimate, if she doesn't want to be. It's her body and her choice, I don't want her to do me favors. Infact for a while I began to think I was becoming impotent? I knew she wasn't into it, so I blamed myself. I started buying toys, i thought I was inadequate, I thought I didn't please her. How could I think anything but that, she would always be tired or stressed, yet would stay up watching tv hours after i went to bed?? I suggest she come to bed early and would be snapped at.

We went on a holiday and nothing changed.......... but I thought it was the stress, the tiredness? yet 2 weeks on a tropical island made no difference? When we got home after being away I touched her and was snapped at again. I broke, i told her Im leaving before I end up cheating and am labeled that bastard! She freaked out, best sex ever that night, next day, beautiful texts exchanged between us, we were back. I come home on cloud 9 just wanting to sit with her, watch TV, cuddle, stroke her hair. But she won't sit with me? Im not allowed to hug her? I go to bed two hours early and she stays up and watches tv?

5 days later, its the same. Nothing will change, she just isn't into sex. But Im am, we see a councillor in a few days, my doing, last ditch effort. I love her but I can't live like this. This is an empty life. I'll never meet anyone as hot as her, I know that, she truly is stunning, but she kills my soul. Im tied up in knots I'm so strung out.

I wonder if an open relationship is the answer, she shouldn't have to be intimate, but I shouldn't have to be devoid of affection?


Am I wrong? I believe this is the problem with todays society. Men and women are just different. When will we accept that?


17 Replies 17

Community Member
Not a word? To close to the truth or not worth responding to? Not one comment, happy to be told I’m wrong, or right?

Hi farfaraway,

I see that no one has responded to you, and although I’m not sure I’m the best person to respond, I thought I’d jump in. What you ask for doesn’t sound unreasonable, human beings are designed to desire affection, feel loved etc, but I also relate to your wife about not feeling in the mood. I agree with you that the difference most likely relates to the difference between men and women. For example, at the start of a relationship, when everything is new and exciting, I have quite a high sex drive. But after years in a relationship, I grow bored, and prefer more of a companion type relationship with sex about once a week. I also think a fundamental difference between the sexes is that women need to feel good about themselves to want sex, which can be problematic as it’s an internal thing related to energy, fitness etc.

I also know that if I know my partner wants to have sex, I end up feeling pressured and want it less.

While open relationships are great in theory and may work for awhile, I imagine that the risk associated with them is that one of you may fall in love with someone else and want to end the relationship. Because let’s face it, your judgement is clouded at the start of a relationship and think this person is going to be more wonderful.

In reality, I think that you would be better to try and work with your wife. I’d recommend just starting real slow, trying to build non-sexual intimacy without the expectation of sex. If you try everything and it doesn’t work, then consider leaving, but you may end up encountering the same issue over and over.

Thank you so much for replying and for your honesty. I agree with you the risk of the open relationship could be that one could fall for another partner.
If im honest, I wonder if I would even meet anyone else? Let’s face it, it is extremely difficult to meet someone just for sex. To be clear when/ if we were to agree on this I wouldn’t be taking women out to dinner or lunch, forming loving relationships. In my scenario I would only want to meet someone who wanted a physical relationship.
How or why I think this would work. I agree with you, all the things you say and feel about intimacy as the relationship goes longer. It seems most women say the same things. You want a companion you can’t change your feelings, but the male still wants and needs sex, so they are always pushing trying to move the relationship in that direction, but that causes the women to feel pressured and the man to feel rejected. No one wins and the problem is amplified. Then they argue and each justifies their position, I feel both are correct. They want different things though.
Like you say, the more a woman feels pressured to have sex the less likely she will want to, but the same for the man, the more he is rejected, the more he wants it, the more frustrated he becomes, the more likely he will cheat. It's a lose lose situation.
But and this is my experiment. What if he said, I love you honey, you don’t have to sleep with me if you don’t want to. What if her reply was, I love you too, you can sleep with other people just always come home to me. All of a sudden, no one is giving up anything. It’s not a one way street. Both partners needs are met. He isn’t getting rejected, she isn’t getting pressured. They are two people who realise and accept their needs are different. Could he even find a purely physical relationship, it’s not easy, but all tension and owning and expectation is gone. Would it even awaken the sleeping libido in the wife?
I don’t know, I just know it’s the same old discussion here thread after thread, what we’re doing isn’t working, women are pressured, men feel rejected and it ends in cheating, divorce and broken families, or unhappy, empty, unfulfilled lives of resentment.
The whole just work at it, doesn’t really seem to pan out from where I’m sitting. If the truth really sets us free, let’s start talking truthfully.

There should be no shame in wanting to be sexually active, nor sexually dormant. Sex is not love, love is not sex.

I apologise to anyone if I seem to be going on and on. Its just I need to get my thoughts out of my head and doing it here, I think is helping?

If I take it further, most here and on other threads seem to imply, you have to work together to sort this out, fix this problem.

So everything the guy is doing, is aimed at more sex in the relationship? But women aren't stupid, they realise, this change in their partner is expected to make a change in them.... but that just creates more stress and anxiety, am I right ladies?

I don't think there actually is a problem that needs to be fixed. You to change behaviour, the person needs to admit there is a problem and want change. All the literature and help in the world won't stop a smoker from smoking.

The nicest, most caring husband in the world, won't make a woman feel all sexy and want to jump into bed. Especially when it comes off the back of a husband who is ready to leave.

Having sex, when you feel pressured to, obligated to, or you're just doing it to please your partner isn't the answer. It's bad for the whole emotional relationship.

Why do women feel the need to say the reason they don't want sex, is stress, or tiredness, or whatever. Why is lack of libido in a women an effect of some other factor, and not just the fact that, they don't feel like sex anymore? Why can't women just be honest and say you know what, Im just not into it anymore?

You have that conversation, "it's nothing to do with you my darling husband, I just don't need sex anymore. You pressuring me for it, creates friction in our relationship.I'm not going to lie to you anymore, its not stress, it's not tired ness. Im just not into sex!"

Many different cultures allow multiple wives. Why is that? Is that their version to tackle this life long problem? I don't want another wife, I just crave the touch of a woman? Maybe that makes me a bad person, but 99% of the males I talk to all suffer from the same problem/ disappointments at home. So men are sneaking around until they get caught and society then labels them the bad guy?

Hi Farfaraway

Your posts are thought provoking and I appreciate your honesty.

I do, however, have a question. What do you think would happen if, instead of sneaking around, men spent that time nurturing their relationships?

I'm talking about the little things. Actively listening to the details of your partner's day. Paying compliments. Equally sharing the work load around the house, without having to be asked. Leaving one unkind thing unsaid each day. Wiping your partner's tears on a bad day. Watching a romantic comedy every once in awhile. Making time to go to the grocery store with her or running some errands together.

I'm not suggesting you aren't doing these things but I am saying that marriage and keeping the flame alive takes work.

Believe me, I know. Married 30 years, with two adult children. Love my husband more than ever. Is the sex the same as when we first married? No. But is it still good? Yes. Is our friendship deeper? Yes. Do we unreservedly know we can count on each other? Yes. Am I looking forward to growing old with him? Absolutely.

You won't get any of this type of joy or love from a casual sexual partner. But if you work on the relationship you have with your wife, you just might get something more important--with hopefully some sex.

I'm really pleased that you and your wife are going to seek counselling. Keep an open mind and a loving heart.

Kind thoughts to you

Hi Summer


thanks so much for your reply! I guess the real reason I’m looking at leaving or seeking an open relationship is because I’ve tried those options, to the best of my limited male ability for at least 10 years.

With little or no result. I think the reason it fails is because you deliberately try, you out the effort in, but the result stays the same.

I make the kids lunches, I do the washing the floors, I do more than any mate I know.

I also work away, 12 hours a day and when I’m home I’m told I have to feed the dog because my wife did it while I was working 84 hours a week.

I guess I reached the conclusion it’s BS. There is always another excuse, another stress, another reason...

Hi Farfaraway

Well I certainly applaud your efforts for trying. Ten years is a long time and I can understand why the situation has had an impact on your self-esteem.

I'm wondering now if there could be other factors at play. Perhaps there is something physical going on with your wife, such as a hormone imbalance or for some reason she finds sex painful (some women do).

I think you also need to consider the state of your wife's mental health. Is it possible she is experiencing depression? Or could she be dealing with a past sexual trauma, such as childhood abuse or rape?

How old are the kids? I ask because I know when my children were in primary school I was exhausted most of the time. And, after working all day (paid or unpaid), helping with homework, cooking dinner, washing up, putting children to bed, etc, all I wanted was some time to zone out and be alone, often in front of the tv.

My husband helped out too after working all day but I carried the entire mental load. The last thing on my mind was sex--and not because I wasn't interested but because I was completely drained.

Maybe your wife is in the same boat? Perhaps early mornings are a better time to try and initiate sex?

Just some thoughts for your consideration.

Kind thoughts to you

Dear Farfaraway

Hello and welcome to the forum. I am sorry you had to wait so long for an initial reply, it does happen sometimes. We do our best but things do fall through the cracks at times.

I am also sad that you are having such an uncomfortable time in your marriage. I cannot speak for your wife and her possible reasons for appearing to reject you as it is different for everyone. Neither do I blame you or judge you because because your needs are different to hers. I'm not sure if men and women have such vastly different needs. In some cases this may be true but on the whole I believe a couple want and enjoy their togetherness whether it is through sex, holding hands, sitting together in a companionable silence etc. We all have a human need to be touched and held.

I do applaud you for trying to make your wife's life enjoyable and to bring you both together. I think you must congratulate yourself for this.

You said you were going to counselling. I think that is a very constructive action. Please don't expect an overnight change in either of you because it takes time to get to the cause of this difficulty. What that cause is and whether or not it can be put aside I have no idea. Also, please do not expect the counsellor to 'side' with one or other of you. Their job is to encourage both of you to talk about the difficulty and look for solutions that suit you both. No doubt the counsellor will ask questions and may remind one or other of you that you have said something and now appear to say something which is the opposite. Keeping you honest so to speak.

Please feel free to post your thoughts here as often as you wish. This is what the forum is for. We have a need to express our doubts and fears as well as our joys. It's also true that as we grow older our needs change. However I do not think you are particularly aged.

I would like to hear from you again. Do you think you can tell us anything about your counselling? I don't mean anything personal or private. Just a general comment about how it is all going.


Hi Summer

Yes I guess it could be something physical, hormones etc. My concern would be, why do we need to have the massive shifts in our lives to initiate change? Why do I need to threaten to leave for things to change? How come last weeks blow up see's this week looking much brighter?

Im happy to explore counselling and see where that takes it. I know I have to keep an open mind and I intend to. I guess the cynic in me just says weve had these discussions previously, and I read the same thing over and over on the internet. Its a really really common problem. It's not unique to us or to just one demographic. So I think, things will be better for a few months and then just may return to the norm. Some older fellas I've worked with have said thats what will happen lol.

Hi White rose

Im not really expecting anything from counselling, though I was hoping for some direction. OK lets try this or that, I don't know. Its all knew to me. I did suggest counselling some 7 years ago, but my wife wouldn't have a bar of it. She said there was nothing wrong with our relationship and wouldn't go. Ironically 6 months later I felt we were more in-tune and in love then we had ever been. But that then lasted 6 months and slowly returned to the norm, and then here we are now?

My wife admits to me she had lost her sex drive and feels she should go to the doctor, or do something, maybe buy some horny goat weed, but no appointments booked etc.

Leads me back to my thoughts, there is nothing wrong with her, she is perfectly normal.