• Wife not interested in sex... what to do?

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    OrdinaryMan [sign in to see picture]
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    My wife does not seem interested in sex (or at least not with me) and I don't know what to do to get her back into bed.

    We've never exactly been 'swing from the chandeliers' types (though I'm up for being a lot more adventurous than she is) but we've only had intercourse ONCE in the past 7 years!!!

    There are all the usual excuses when I try to talk to her about it (eg. we've got kids, I've got housework to do, it's the middle of the night/day, I'm tired, women don't have the same appetites, etc., etc.) and when I do try to raise the subject, she just goes straight into 'victim' mode, asks "why's it my fault" and storms off. And note here that I am open to listening and modifying my behaviour, looks, approach, etc. to make her happy, but I've tried everything from 'softly, softly, kissy-wissy, let's make beautiful love' through to more of a 'hey babe, fancy a f***?', but nothing seems to work.

    There's the occasional handjob or blowjob (we're talking average once a month here) but I get the impression that's more because once a month or so SHE feels horny and wants to rub one out herself and does me as a kind of 'favour' when she's finished.

    Sex seems totally mechanical to her, where she doesn't seem to need the sight or touch of a man to get off, she just spends 15 minutes with a finger or battery powered friend, goes from A to O as quickly as possible and that's her done for the next few weeks.

    I've really tried to be as understanding and forgiving as possible re. all the excuses and even went for a vasectomy last year to ease any unwanted pregnancy anxieties, but she's still not been near me.

    What do I do, as I can't go on like this for ever?

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    blonde vixen13 [sign in to see picture]
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    Ok since she clearly doesn't want to talk about it I think you would write her a letter. That way she can't get on the defensive and walk away. Plus when she sees the effort you have gone to to write everything down she might realise how big a deal this is.
    She needs to hear how inportant sex is to you and how she's affecting you.
    You have needs too.

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    Trouble Loves Me [sign in to see picture]
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    blonde vixen13 wrote:

    Ok since she clearly doesn't want to talk about it I think you would write her a letter. That way she can't get on the defensive and walk away. Plus when she sees the effort you have gone to to write everything down she might realise how big a deal this is.

    This is great idea, and will also allow you time to articulate how you feel without the risk of saying something in the heat of the moment which you may regret/might not help your cause. Open up to her, but do it in a way which will give her time to think about things rather than just the standard, defensive response which you're currently getting.
    Have you thought of/tried taking her away for a night, if possible? Maybe a change of scenery, and some allocated time to rediscovery each other, would be useful?
    Good luck!

    1392643056
    OrdinaryMan [sign in to see picture]
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I have thought about writing a letter, but am worried it might come across as too 'formal' or 'impersonal'? A bit like handing her a writ...

    I agree, sex is an important and integral part of a relationship. Without it, I'm feeling uncared for and unwanted. I would have hoped she would appreciate my desire for her and want to cement our relationship in this way, but I think she just takes a 'that boat has sailed' attitude, now we have our kids and we're no longer in our twenties.

    Equally though, I don't want to be treated as a charity case by her. I have my self respect and need her to want me like I want her, not just to 'lie back and think of England' so I'll stop going on about it..

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    scarab9 [sign in to see picture]
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    ouch...there's a lot of people that post on here with the issue of partners not being up for sex as often as they are, but once in 7 years?!

    I don't think that the usual advice is necessarily going to be enough. It's also going to depend on how you've approached talking about it previously - you may have been absolutely amazing in your approach, or you may have been frustrated and it's shown, only you can really say and certainly no one would think bad of you if it's the latter as it can be incredibly difficult.

    My personaly suggestion would be as mentioned, a letter, as it's obvious any verbal approach is being seen as a confrontation and likely both of you are then not thinking as emotionlessly as serious discussions sometimes require. You'll obviously have to explain why it's important to you in as caring manner as possible, emphasise the good in your relationship etc.

    The difficult bit is it doesn't sound like something that's going to be easy for her to change if it's been so long. I'm guessing there's something or several things underlying her lack of desire (for sex in general from the sounds of it, not just for you) and she may not even be aware of it conciously. I'd say you may need to prompt some self-evaluation by asking her to think about how it makes her feel to think about sex and about sex with you and see if she can put it in to words. Basically it's going to be a drawn out recovery of her sexuality and in a way the actual sex part may be the last thing to come from it. In the meantime you've got to really just try not to pressure her.

    I can imagine this will be very difficult and I'm sure you'll be very concerned that any attempts to approach it will make things worse as well. It may be worth trying to speak to a councillor either as a couple of her on her own if she's willing too.

    Seriously wish you good luck and hope it works out for you.

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    OrdinaryMan [sign in to see picture]
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    Yeah, I did think maybe suggesting going to a Relate sex therapist (anybody used one?)

    I'm hoping that it would mean she and I could talk to someone separately, so that we can both put our side to a stranger, before bringing it all together - is that how it works?

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    Fluffbags [sign in to see picture]
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    OrdinaryMan wrote:

    Yeah, I did think maybe suggesting going to a Relate sex therapist (anybody used one?)

    I'm hoping that it would mean she and I could talk to someone separately, so that we can both put our side to a stranger, before bringing it all together - is that how it works?

    I was going to suggest this. I went with an ex. It was too little too late to save that relationship but councilling can help massively. Also bear in mind that it doesnt have to be both of you. You can go alone, so if she poo poos on your suggestion to go, I would still go alone and pick up some useful help and advice for yourself. I think watchng you go every week alone might also make her think more about how serious this is for you.

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    sweetlove666 [sign in to see picture]
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    how old are your children? 7 years seems kind of specific, so is that when you last had a child?

    if it is it might be that her body has changed since having children and her sex drive might have suffered because of this. Is she on any medication that would affect sex drive? I know she might be unwilling but if her drive has changed it might be worth talking to her doctor about it

    you probably are allready doing this, but is there more you could do around the house, so the "I have to clean up/cook/ do X" can be alleviated because it's allready been done?

    therapy does sound like it will be helpful for the both of you, and I whish you well

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    OrdinaryMan [sign in to see picture]
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    I think I might suggest it then. As you say, that was part of my aim to let her see I'm serious about dealing with this as a problem, not just being a 'whinging bloke'. Trouble is, she's quite 'traditional', so I think she'll think it's a precursor to divorce or something. But maybe that might make her take it seriously.

    Not sure she'll go for it though... the weight loss bit might appeal, but not the more babies bit ;-))

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    OrdinaryMan [sign in to see picture]
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    sweetlove666 wrote:

    how old are your children? 7 years seems kind of specific, so is that when you last had a child?

    if it is it might be that her body has changed since having children and her sex drive might have suffered because of this. Is she on any medication that would affect sex drive? I know she might be unwilling but if her drive has changed it might be worth talking to her doctor about it

    you probably are allready doing this, but is there more you could do around the house, so the "I have to clean up/cook/ do X" can be alleviated because it's allready been done?

    therapy does sound like it will be helpful for the both of you, and I whish you well

    Yes, sex pretty much stopped after our last child, though she also witheld sex after the first child too, which under duress she later admitted was because she thought I didn't want another child and was angry about it (!)

    The trouble with trying to reignite her sex drive (if that's what needs doing) is that she doesn't feel the need. It's a bit like persuading her to go to brussel sprout eating therapy, when she hasn't the slightest desire to eat a brussel sprout in the first place...

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    sweetlove666 [sign in to see picture]
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    OrdinaryMan wrote:

    I think I might suggest it then. As you say, that was part of my aim to let her see I'm serious about dealing with this as a problem, not just being a 'whinging bloke'. Trouble is, she's quite 'traditional', so I think she'll think it's a precursor to divorce or something. But maybe that might make her take it seriously.

    Not sure she'll go for it though... the weight loss bit might appeal, but not the more babies bit ;-))

    you probably need to be really careful with this. I know in my last relationships when we both needed to change, being strongarmed into something I really didn't want to do made me even more resentful and unwilling to participate. I know you arn't doing this with your wife, but it might feel like it to her!. it also may scare her too much if you do this

    It might be more helpful for you to go on your own for a start, and ask for help from the therapist/councillor about ways to support her into getting help, or ways to show her that you are in it for the long haul.

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    MrsMcX [sign in to see picture]
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    I agree with all of the above, write a letter, and mention in the letter you want to go to a therapy session. You should also write in the letter how attractive she is to you. I know when we've had dips in our sex life it's because I've felt unattractive and needed some reassurance, but 7 years is a really long time for that to continue going on.

    Hope you find some solution, and keep us updated, so hopefully in the future if someone else on the forum has this problem they can be helped out too.

    Good luck :)

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    OrdinaryMan [sign in to see picture]
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    Ok. Thanks all for your help.

    I'll mull over my options and let you know what I decide to do and how it goes!

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    naughtywildfun90 [sign in to see picture]
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    Maybe her self confidence has gone down, I'm just slowly starting to regain mine and when I thought back I can see how bad my OH must of felt, he thought I was pushing him away when truth is I just didn't feel comfortable without clothes xx

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    I Wish [sign in to see picture]
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    sweetlove666 wrote:

    OrdinaryMan wrote:

    I think I might suggest it then. As you say, that was part of my aim to let her see I'm serious about dealing with this as a problem, not just being a 'whinging bloke'. Trouble is, she's quite 'traditional', so I think she'll think it's a precursor to divorce or something. But maybe that might make her take it seriously.

    Not sure she'll go for it though... the weight loss bit might appeal, but not the more babies bit ;-))

    you probably need to be really careful with this. I know in my last relationships when we both needed to change, being strongarmed into something I really didn't want to do made me even more resentful and unwilling to participate. I know you arn't doing this with your wife, but it might feel like it to her!. it also may scare her too much if you do this

    It might be more helpful for you to go on your own for a start, and ask for help from the therapist/councillor about ways to support her into getting help, or ways to show her that you are in it for the long haul.

    I know that feeling but the quote about Brussel sprouts is so true.Made me laugh thou.
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    OrdinaryMan [sign in to see picture]
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    An update…

    So I composed a three page letter making it clear (several times) that I love her, want to be with her forever, but can’t go on without sex. I complimented her appearance and explained that I find her attractive and sexy and told her how much I enjoy us making love and how I think improving our sex life would strengthen our partnership and the family as a whole. I made it clear that I wasn’t blaming her and that if I needed to change in any way, I would do it.

    So…

    It was received rather emotionally – as was to be expected – and she replied in a letter to me. Her letter was full of how she feels trapped with our home life, doesn’t feel sexy and in my view trivialised the issue, saying ‘I knew something was up with you, but I didn’t realise it was just about sex…’ Crucially for me, she doesn’t once in her letter say she loves me or finds me attractive.

    We did have sex once after discussing everything again later that evening, so I suppose that is something (although she complained at my squashing her!). I know I’ll need to give this time, but I still feel really hurt she didn’t take time to echo any loving feelings and although it’s early days, there are no further signs of change.

    Still no dresses or skirts in evidence (she says she’d wear them if she went back to work, but clearly not for me); the knickers and the pyjamas are both still on in bed; her Valentine present (a nice lockable pink box for her toys) unused because she ‘hasn’t had time to fill it yet’; she still goes out the door without saying good-bye; she blows a raspberry against my lips when I try to kiss her; she doesn’t sit near me on the sofa unless I insist as I did last night (met afterwards with “I’m not 20 anymore you know – my back’s killing me”); she has not approached me physically (even a reciprocating stroke in bed) and when I suggested earlier today that we might use our free afternoon to ‘enjoy ourselves’, I was met with the old familiar look of “are you mad, why would I want to do that?” It seems ‘Doctors’ on the TV and the game on her laptop were more enticing…

    Then later, I showed her an old video of us ‘together’ from before we were married, in the hope it might stir some sexy feelings, but she might as well have been watching paint dry (for the 30 seconds she bothered to look at it at all). I suggested I make a copy for her, thinking perhaps she might like to look again in her own space, but she just sneered and said “why would I want a copy, you’ve got one…”

    The suggestion of going to a sex therapist was kicked into touch. She said she didn’t mind my going independently, but she found a ‘good walk’ and ‘chat with her girlfriends’ to be good for her.

    As I said, early days, but I’m not terribly optimistic…

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    Mr Gooner [sign in to see picture]
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    How long have you been together?

    Has anything that could of happened over the past 7yrs that has affected your sex life? I know I went through quite a patch unaware that I had pretty much just had no desire for sex. I had got ill and unbeknown my testosterone level was low. Since then I'm now having injections for this.

    Again I don't know your age and your partners age. But could it be something to do with age?

    I think really you need a good chat. I know sex is important but at the same time also it's not the be all in a relationship. But I do applaud you that you haven't go out and cheated on your partner which I'm sure a lot of blokes would do.

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    blonde vixen13 [sign in to see picture]
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    That was very brave of you to put yourself out there and express how your feeling. Proud of you.
    Although she may not look like she has taken much out of what you had to say, she is a women and that means she will replay every word over and over in her head for days or weeks to come. She will possibility slowly start to make small changes and if she does make an effort make sure you show her how much it means to you.
    I would suggest you both try getting out for dinner, a drink in the pub, go see a movie. Start to make time that is dedicated just for the two of you. Where you both have to talk and you can find a way to reconnect and bring back that spark that started the relationship. Because it's that spark that leads to sex.
    I'm sure you both talk at home, but when there is housework that needs done of a tv near by that often causes distraction which means the conversations are never as meaningful as they would be if you where out and about on a date.
    If you could afford it could you suggest a mini getaway somewhere. A night away in a nice hotel, maybe book her in for a spa treatment.... Help her relax so you an enjoy yourself later in bed.
    I hope things get better soon. Speaking to a therapist is definitely a good idea. Good luck x

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    OrdinaryMan [sign in to see picture]
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    We're early 40s, been together for ~13 years. Two kids.

    No unusual events or traumas, outside of everyday normal life.

    Yes, I think it's at least partially age related on her part, but I'm trying to show her that shouldn't be a barrier to anything.

    You're right about the cheating and I won't pretend I'm not tempted. It's a shame she doesn't stop and think "sh*t, I'm lucky he hasn't gone off with someone else by now..." Perhaps she'd even like me too, and get off her case.

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    OrdinaryMan [sign in to see picture]
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    Thanks for your kind words. I'm just sorry she didn't see fit to reinforce our relationship in loving words as I tried to do. I thought it's supposed to be us men who are crap at that?

    I'm afraid I don't think she will mull it over. I'm the one who does that - she always complains I bring-up things she's long forgotten. I think she'll do what she's always done in the past; think we've cleared the air and reset the bar with one lousy roll in the hay and now hopefully I'll shut up for a while.

    Alas, a getaway is not possible at the mo. We have no family / friends support to take the kids and finances are tight as I've started a new job. Even then, at the appropriate point where we get to the 'bedroom' she's likely to say 'ah, I see, so that's what this is all about... just a plot to get me into bed'...

    The distractions are there because she deliberately uses them as a barrier. If she really wanted me, I'm sure she'd put her laptop down and turn-off the TV.

    Basically, I think she can see the marriage is in trouble, but even so, that doesn't make her want sex with me, so she'll only do the bare minimum she can get away in the hope it's enough to stop me going.

    Clearly she can't even manage to say "I love you". Bizarre though it may seem, that may be enough. If she were genuinely affectionate and cuddly towards me in other ways, I could perhaps forego the sex, knowing that I'm loved anyway. But without sex or any other display of affection, well I don't know...

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