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My wife isn't the least bit interested in sex and I am taking it personally. Should I?

Steven1
Community Member

Hey guys. I am hoping I am not the only guy in this boat... my wife never wants to have sex with me. We are still relatively young (I am 30 and she is 29) and we have been married 4 years, been together about ten. We used to have a pretty active sex life but it has gone dormant since we had kids about 3 years ago. She always says she is tired and makes excuses like she can't be bothered or other trivial things. And she never comes on to me. I always have to initiate it and I feel rejected and horrible when she knocks me back.

Being depressed and having low self esteem probably makes it seem worse, but I take it pretty badly being knocked back and going without sex for months. I feel maybe she isn't attracted to me or in love with me anymore but she denies this. I don't know what to think anymore. Any thoughts anyone?

 

173 Replies 173

CrashCoyote
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Steven1,

Your situation is difficult and it may be hard to get responses for fear of criticism. Lucky for me, I am addressing you, not every person with an opinion that can read this, so here goes.

Such a situation happens to both men and women and can have many causes. It could be a form or depression. Women can be very critical of their bodies and can feel ugly after childbirth. Remember, we are talking about their perceptions, not their reality, and your interest in her may just feel like you are being patronising.

Alternately, (although unlikely by the sound of it) she may really have lost interest in you or being seeing someone else. The possibilities are numerous and I do not have the information to make even an informed guess! You just do not know and she may not even know why she feels this way.

The difficulty, I think, is that in relationships we tend to meet a number of needs of our partner. Some emotional, some physical, some financial et cetera. When that situation changes, two things happen. One is that it creates confusion for the other partner. The other is that the needs still exist.

Can I suggest you tell you wife that the situation is causing emotional and physical difficulties for you and clearly you did not sign up to have no physical relationship for the rest of your life? Then ask her if the two of you can see a counsellor together to try and draw out the underlying issue, which obviously isn't the physical act but the emotion behind it?

The reality is that this will continue to harm your relationship until it is addressed.

Kind regards, John.

Cymru
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
I wonder if you've read Bettina Arndt's The Sex Diaries. I found it helpful to hear how others thought about such situation. There isn't any simple answer ... I imagine you'll hear that "no one is obliged to have sex" and "its your role to make your partner feel sensual" or "you're responsible for your sex life."  "Oh, and there is the view that one ought to sexually fulfill their partner if they aren't to go elsewhere." The Passionate marriage is another good book. There is also that folk become ill or tired, but given support they'll eventually come through. I doubt that ... you do need to do something, but only you can decide. Relationships are constant work - at least in my experience. You at least need to talk about what you've said here.And at time without distraction or when she is tired. Creating such a time can be hard enough. Failing anything else; book a child minder and take her to the Japanese bath house of an afternoon... take the Shiatsu package and don't mention where you are going. This will either break or make the relationship ... you'll at least have a good laugh. 

Pixie15
Community Member

Hi Steven1,

Thought I would just offer this one thought in response to your post. There is an old saying and I am not sure where I first heard it but it goes something like "men need to have sex to feel loved and women need to feel loved to have sex". I know these days it may seem like an old fashioned gender stereotype but it might help to think about ways to show her love rather than asking for sex. 

thanks,

Pixie.

geoff
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

dear Steven, OK this is going to be a sensitive topic, but it's one that needs to be discussed, because the repercussions could easily lead to getting depression or adding to it, and it's NO slant on anybody who responds or who is a continual member on this site, so please it's not directed at anybody only from what Steven has said and those who reply back to him.

I have written many paragraphs only to delete them all, so I'm proceeding slowly, but I too have heard what Pixie says "men need to have sex to feel loved and women need to feel loved to have sex", however I can really relate to what Steven has said.

I have no answers for you Steven, I wish I did, because nothing I did could entice or encourage our sex life to be healthy, and amongst all the s****t that happened there were plenty of periods that we were happy, mostly to no avail. Geoff.

BeingHuman
Community Member

Hi Steven, as previously mentioned it's obviously a delicate, complex subject. Complex as it involves you, your wife and the way you interact...on top of your greater environment! Trying to provide accurate advice is very tricky. I'm 40, male and have been married for 6 years. I love my wife however I will not deny the sex life has dwindled away a fair bit...without yet having kids! 😕

What actions have you taken to change things? Aside from your own vulnerabilities feeling depressed, how does your depression affect your relationship? Would she like more sex in the relationship? (she's not going after it but this doesn't necessarily mean she doesn't wish to be desiring it) If yes, can you work together on it? Maybe it's something else within your relationship she seeks that will follow through with a better sex life?

Roll your sleeves up, sit down with her, get open and start communicating. Learn more about what she needs, learn more about what you need and what you guys as a team need. Let her know that you need her, express that vulnerability.

All that said, I mean to pose those questions in the gentlest way and I have no idea just how much you communicate so forgive any pre judged sounding comments! I think you would have a huge percentage of the population out there relating in some way or another to your issue. You're not alone!! 

 

Hello again everyone. Thanks to all of you that have replied and made useful comments, suggestions and some good advice.

I am 99% sure that my wife is not having an affair. I trust her with my life and she has no male friends or even contact with any men (that I know of anyway). She also doesn't seem that interested in other men!

I think the comments about her not liking her own body are on the mark. She has pretty low self esteem and thinks she is fat when she isn't. She never says anything positive about her body so I am thinking that must be contributing heavily to her loss of interest in sex. And more so especially after childbirth.

She is pretty fragile at the moment and I am not pushing her. I don't want to feel selfish and I hope you that are reading are not getting a picture of someone that is only interested in sex. That isn't what I am saying. I just feel like we have drifted apart and the lack of physical contact doesn't help (it looks like I am a man that needs sex to feel loved)... I had never heard that saying before but I guess it makes sense.

CrashCoyote
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Steven1,

I guess all of our well meaning theories are neither here nor there, really. The common thread is, as mentioned a few times, is communication. It is the one thing that will make or break any relationship.

I understand that she is vulnerable but please don't let her shut you down when it comes to communication as in the meanwhile your relationship will deteriorate further.

Maybe set yourself little goals or a timetable? Tell yourself you wish to at least discuss it with her within the next month and if the opportunity hasn't arisen or she has rejected your attempts at communication, you may need to be a little more insistent that you guys talk.

I don't feel you are just interested in sex. There has been a massive shift in a relationship dynamic between you two and it will change things. Imagine if you left your job and stopped providing financially without giving a reason why or showing interest in getting income elsewhere. I'm not saying sex is the same as working, I am saying that a major and unexplained change has occurred in your relationship and you are allowed to ask why.

You need to realise that if she is suffering depression or anxiety she will be reluctant to face it. No different to any other mental health issue. I think you should ask yourself where you expect to be in your relationship in, say, six months if some lines of communication haven't been opened by then?

Kind regards, John.

Hi again everyone. I had a talk with my wife about how I have been feeling and tried to express myself as best as I could but it didn't come out the way I wanted it to and she just fobbed it off again.

She said sex isn't on her "list of priorities" at the moment. She minimised the fact that we have virtually no sex life, saying it has been due to the pregnancy and the birth, although it has been going on a lot longer than that. She said we will have sex again, when she is ready. I have no idea when that will be and by the sounds of it neither does she.

I told her that I am not going to initiate anything because I don't like being rejected and I am going to wait for her. I think I might be waiting a long time.

pipsy
Community Member

Hi Steven, another thought springs to mind re: your situation.  You've had 3 kids.  Did she have easy pregnancies each time.  What about the births?  Is it possible, she's 'sore' there.  Sometimes lack of Eostrogen can 'dry' a woman, making sex painful.  Embarrassment can lead to her not wanting or being able to discuss it.   Even discussing it with a G.P is difficult, especially if it's a male G.P.  Myself, I'm 64 and have no interest either, mainly due to being an incest victim/survivor, if your wife had  difficult pregnancies or birth, this will put her off like nothing else.  The thought of sex scares her.  Maybe she is just tired because having kids can wear you out.  How old are the kids?  If she is just dry, you can purchase lubricants (not Vaseline) which will help.  Again, a G.P is your best bet.  Maybe a Gyneacologist, you can get a referral through your G.P.

Best of luck.

Regards Pipsy.