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Married with little to no intimacy.

Community Member

Hello, I've been married for 15 years and with my wife for 17 years. Have 2 children 12 and 14.

Nothing too uncommon with that 🙂

What I have an issue with is the lack of intimacy in my relationship. We don't go to bed together, rarely hold hands or kiss n cuddle. I happen to be a man who likes getting cuddled! And virtually no sex. This has been going on for a few years now and I don't know what to do to change it.

I've spoken to my wife about how I feel to have an open discussion with her rather than bottling things up but she uses the classic exuses of being 'too tired' 'stressed with work' or just wants to 'relax'.

Lets tackle the tired part first. She stays up every night watching tv for 4 to 5 hours so if she was really ttied then she would come to bed earlier but then she would have to fend off any attempt I might make to cuddle and kiss or instigate intimacy. It is always me who does this and I feel so rejected every time she knocks me back.

Work stress. Yes I get that at times too but it doesn't stop me wanting to spend quality time with my wife. Even if it was just to lie in bed and talk that would be an improvement.

Desire to relax. Yes I would like that as well. I've said many times to come to bed earlier and we can give each other massages with no strings attached but her desire to relax is just linked to watching tv, window shopping on the iPad and on all her social media sites, Facebook, instgram, twitter etc.

The lack of intimacy in the relationship is definitely the elephant in the room with us.

She just thinks I'm over reacting and over thinking things. She often refers to me as 'worse than a woman'! Sorry that I'm an emotionally aware male who has feelings!!!

Any ideas of how or what I can do to change this situation?

I was thinking of couples counseling in the New Year to see if that helps.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

1 Reply 1

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear Fullsp

Hello and welcome to Beyond Blue. I am sorry that you are having such a difficult and I appreciate how unhappy this is making you. Talking with your wife is, or was, a good idea. It has certainly given you and your wife the space to say what you each believe. It sounds like a good idea to go to marriage counselling where an external person can help you to further explore your feelings. I suggest you try Relationships Australia. They have low fees, or possibly no fee.

This is one suggestion only. I am presuming that there have been no problems early in your marriage and this current state is fairly recent. I wonder if your wife has become addicted to the various electronic activities. You have said she watches TV a great deal, uses FB and all the other social media, shopping via iPad. I wonder if this satisfies her emotional needs. When we talk of addiction mostly it is in connection with alcohol, gambling, drugs of some sort. But people become addicted to all sorts of things. FB has a lot to answer for in this area. Usually it is the younger people but it's not unknown for people of all ages to become addicted to all forms of social media.

Window shopping can also be addictive, focusing on what could be rather than living life in the present with what we have. It's like daydreaming what we do if we won Gold Lotto. I'm sure most of us have fantasized about that at times. Although it's a nice dream we know what our real life is and that we are basically happy there. Fantasizing once in a while is OK and does give a nice feeling. When it becomes the focus of your life then everything else loses its interest for us. I wonder if this is what is happening with your wife.

Perhaps you would like to phone the BB helpline on 1300 22 4636 and talk to one of our lovely people. Another option is to have a chat to your GP. If your wife will go with you that will be a bonus. If I am correct your wife will need help to overcome her addiction. She may need some counselling, or she may manage with help from your GP and you.

Remember this is my opinion and I may very well be wrong. I suggest you check out this possibility. Start from when you first noticed your relationship slipping and if the TV and FB etc started to be a large part of her life at the same time. Talk to BB and your GP. Please let me know, if you wish, what happens.