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Boldly throwing this out there - sexless marriage help

Old 07-23-19, 03:01 PM
  #1  
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Boldly throwing this out there - sexless marriage help

Boldly going where I probably shouldn't (ie waaaaaaaay TMI), but hopefully someone has some experience and wisdom.
Failing that I'll settle for some quality wise cracks.

Basic situation. Everything as OK as you could expect after almost 20 years together, but after first child things have changed. Wife has had a few medical issues since baby (now 2.5 years old). Erratic periods. Wild hormone issues. Lack of libido (of any sort, not just me). I've been seeing a counselor. My wife has seen a sex-therapy person (WTF filter? A therapy person with an 'apist' gets flagged?).

We're pretty much looking at a sexless relationship. Anything beyond a snuggle and a cuddle risks becoming an awkward teary apology fest. She's wonderful and we love each other (ie absolutely no interest in separating), but it isn't entirely ideal.


WTF do I do now? I seem to be in a position of not being able to win no matter what i do.

Options:
- hold tight and see what happens, avoiding any hint of sexual activity to avoid trouble
- accept that this is what it is and masturbate a lot
- consider the odd visit to 'professionals' to satisfy the carnal urge
- other...

Foo, don't let me down!
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Old 07-23-19, 04:10 PM
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Beyond the therapy, is there other medical care in the picture? Seems like there's medical issues beyond lack of interest. Are they being pursued with the appropriate doctors?
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Old 07-23-19, 04:25 PM
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This is an example of when consentual non monogamy might be appropriate. That's a conversation I'm glad not to be a part of.

Your needs are legit. There are a lot of marriages that wind up in a similar state, but without medical reasons. That's roughly as bad as cheating in my humble opinion, for one person to arbitrarily end another person's sex life. In your case it's not arbitrary.
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Old 07-23-19, 04:27 PM
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Toddlers can wear out a parent. Even more so if you waited 17.5 years to have your first kid, which would indicate neither of you are in your high energy 20s.

Also, your wife has a new love in her life and that love is your child. Before that, you got all the love. You only get a portion of it from here on out. Such is the life of a dad.

Anyway, the sex situation could improve when the kid gets in grade school and momma gets more R&R time.
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Old 07-23-19, 04:33 PM
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The internet pretty much has whatever you are looking for.

That being said: Explain your needs in defined terms going forward. Plain, open & honest communication of your expectations (& her expectations of you) goes a long way. She may be super cool with whatever her partners needs are, she may not. But what neither of you gets to do is place judgement on the other. Sometimes that can be difficult...for both parties.

The correct answer to any & all relations is: "Ok, how do we move forward."

Marriage/family life is what the involved people define it as. Don't let perceived cultural expectations define what it means for you or your family. Nothing but misery and heartache can result. Between you & your spouse(s) sit down, define what the relationship means, the expected roles/behaviours are & where any boundries specifically exist. Understand that it goes both ways. Stay inside whatever that agreement is. You may find that it may simply means you need to assume laundy/dish duties. Or some other obligation so she can collect her wits. You may find it is much, much more involved like deeper emotional self-worth/frustration issue.

Part 2: It sounds to me like she is grappling with the "motherhood" role & what it means...Struggling to define a new self-identity. To best help ask her what she thinks she needs, (if she even knows), then from that, suss out what she actually needs. Then do your best to that end. Be prepared to say so plainly if you get grief.

Last edited by base2; 07-23-19 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 07-23-19, 04:36 PM
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Your wife might have a (more serious underlying) medical issue, as Altair suggests. I'm not trying to scare you, but those symptoms could be consistent with something like ovarian cancer or some other endocrine diseases. Get to the bottom of this with a qualified medical professional. Approach this as a medical concern, not a relationship concern, and get appropriate medical attention. London is one of the best places to do this, and you have many options. Pursue them.
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Old 07-23-19, 07:55 PM
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Old 07-23-19, 08:57 PM
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I also suspect a medical issue from childbirth. Now this is definitely asking for TMI, yet, does your wife smell funky down there since childbirth?
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Old 07-24-19, 12:10 AM
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Old 07-24-19, 12:53 AM
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That's a tough one. Had a similar issue with my second marriage. Loved my second wife, but some endocrine system and hormonal changes really changed her entire personality.

We didn't find out until too late that she had some pretty serious problems that should have been caught earlier if our doctors had been competent. She had a pretty serious thyroid problem, which affects everything (ironically, I just had surgery last year for thyroid cancer, 20 years after our divorce, and I finally understand what she was going though).

In addition to that she reacted very strongly and badly to birth control pills. But she was also extremely self conscious about a persistent acne problem. Being an actress (a very good one) she wanted to get that under control. The prescription medication to control the acne required her to be on multiple birth control -- she took the pill, and we used condoms or other physical barrier doodads. One side effect from the med for acne was severe birth defects. And the prescriptions messed up her mood disorder pretty badly.

During our final couple of years there was very little intimacy. By that time it really wasn't even a priority for me. My own health was pretty bad by then, along with serious back and neck injuries from a car wreck. So we just sort of fizzled and drifted apart. In retrospect I wish we'd made more of an effort at counseling and to tough it out through a difficult period. The sex had been great earlier in our relationship, but for years mostly I missed her company, not the bouncy bouncy stuff.

If you love your wife, figure out a way to make it work. There's always hope that a new therapy, prescription, etc., can resolve some of the problems. Sure did with me after I finally got proper treatment for my longstanding thyroid problem. The past couple of months I feel better than I had in 20 years. If my second wife and I had insisted on competent medical care, it's possible we'd still be together.
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Old 07-24-19, 02:11 AM
  #11  
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I don't have even a half good answer. However, the thoughtful responses thus far speak volumes about the character of people around here. OP, I hope you get it sorted out.
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Old 07-24-19, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
This is an example of when consentual non monogamy might be appropriate. That's a conversation I'm glad not to be a part of.

Your needs are legit. There are a lot of marriages that wind up in a similar state, but without medical reasons. That's roughly as bad as cheating in my humble opinion, for one person to arbitrarily end another person's sex life. In your case it's not arbitrary.
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Old 07-24-19, 03:02 AM
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Hug and hold her a lot. Ensure that there are no undelying medical issues. Be patient. Do not seek "others..." emotionally it will not be good.

Be patient. No one ever died from lack of sex.
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Old 07-24-19, 03:36 PM
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Thanks everyone. Lots of thoughts here. Will try to fill in some blanks.

Birth was a caesarean. Not exactly planned or emergency, but her sister and cousin had long labors followed by emergency c-sections so we flagged that so the docs wouldn't do a 'wait and see' but would move to a caesarean if things stopped progressing. So no vaginal birth or any of the associated damage that can occur.

Wife had an IUD/coil installed later on as she wanted to avoid going back onto the pill. This seemed to give her REALLY heavy periods, and with no clear solution she had it removed and went back on the pill. Cycle didn't become regular and she felt 'flat', so now off the pill again. Very strong moods during her period. Cycle anything from 19-25 days.


Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Toddlers can wear out a parent. Even more so if you waited 17.5 years to have your first kid, which would indicate neither of you are in your high energy 20s.

Also, your wife has a new love in her life and that love is your child. Before that, you got all the love. You only get a portion of it from here on out. Such is the life of a dad.

Anyway, the sex situation could improve when the kid gets in grade school and momma gets more R&R time.
Yes, we are tired, but this is more than that. My wife is back to work full time and I'm the 'primary carer'. For a while I was full time, now that the little one is older there is some daycare and I'm working part time.

Originally Posted by base2 View Post
The internet pretty much has whatever you are looking for.

That being said: Explain your needs in defined terms going forward. Plain, open & honest communication of your expectations (& her expectations of you) goes a long way. She may be super cool with whatever her partners needs are, she may not. But what neither of you gets to do is place judgement on the other. Sometimes that can be difficult...for both parties.

The correct answer to any & all relations is: "Ok, how do we move forward."

Marriage/family life is what the involved people define it as. Don't let perceived cultural expectations define what it means for you or your family. Nothing but misery and heartache can result. Between you & your spouse(s) sit down, define what the relationship means, the expected roles/behaviours are & where any boundries specifically exist. Understand that it goes both ways. Stay inside whatever that agreement is. You may find that it may simply means you need to assume laundy/dish duties. Or some other obligation so she can collect her wits. You may find it is much, much more involved like deeper emotional self-worth/frustration issue.

Part 2: It sounds to me like she is grappling with the "motherhood" role & what it means...Struggling to define a new self-identity. To best help ask her what she thinks she needs, (if she even knows), then from that, suss out what she actually needs. Then do your best to that end. Be prepared to say so plainly if you get grief.
We've had parts of this discussion, but not all of these points. More work to do.


Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Your wife might have a (more serious underlying) medical issue, as Altair suggests. I'm not trying to scare you, but those symptoms could be consistent with something like ovarian cancer or some other endocrine diseases. Get to the bottom of this with a qualified medical professional. Approach this as a medical concern, not a relationship concern, and get appropriate medical attention. London is one of the best places to do this, and you have many options. Pursue them.
She's seen a specialist to deal with some of the known issues. I'm presuming they checked for the obvious ones.

Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
I also suspect a medical issue from childbirth. Now this is definitely asking for TMI, yet, does your wife smell funky down there since childbirth?
Not that I've noticed (but not that I've been down there a lot!).


It's a hormone enhanced psychological thing - that's what we're working on.
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Old 07-24-19, 03:43 PM
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For your reference:
The Cute Unit wandering in the garden
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Old 07-24-19, 04:06 PM
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I was thinking about this a bit more when riding today. It might simply be menopause

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-...s/syc-20353397

(I'm thinking if you have been together for 20 years she is probably around 40 or so. Some people start the process earlier. My (British) wife is going through this in her mid-50s. There is enormous variation in terms of onset and symptoms.)

BTW nice garden, especially if that is in London. Looks like a cute kid. (If it was my wife, she would kill me for posting a pic of our kid.)
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Old 07-24-19, 04:56 PM
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Our daughter boomeranged on us after she graduated from grad school in 2007 and moved back in with us. It doesn't appear that my daughter will ever be able to support herself and move out due to having nearly continuous migraine headaches. 12 years now without any intimate relations for us. You get used to it after a while and it doesn't bother you so much. Becoming a self-gratification expert helps too. We are almost 66 now. If we were a lot younger and had to go thru this, it would have been a much bigger issue. Cheating on her is not going to gain you anything in the long run but a divorce. Is there any way that you can arrange a romantic weekend for just the two of you? Maybe let the grandparents keep junior for a few days?
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Old 07-24-19, 06:15 PM
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I could try to express this more tactfully, but I don't have time, so.... pretend

Even if the wife doesn't have a desire for sexual fulfillment, it is part of the duty of both marriage partners to provide sexual fulfillment for their partner, as possible. I don't see how a wife would be actually unable to have sex, if the husband has an erection and lube. The husband can have sex, the wife gets a poky cuddle. Take one for the team.

Unless there's some kind of medical issue such that that would actually be painful, that's different. But even in those cases, the wife could provide, ahem, multiple forms of alternative stimulation.

Now how to discuss those possibility with the wife, it certainly wouldn't be easy, and I don't have any good ideas.
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Old 07-24-19, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by radroad View Post
Cheating is the opposite of what I said. It's only cheating if it's against the rules.
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Old 07-24-19, 09:07 PM
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No one should resign himself or herself to a lifelong sexless marriage.

Sexual intimacy is an integral part of a marriage.

Others may have already suggested this, but it bears repeating.

You and your wife need professional help. First to determine whether there is a physiological basis for the lack of sexual intimacy.

If there is no physiological basis, then you need to explore psychological or emotional reasons for no sexual relations.

If you don’t do either, then your options are limited and not too pleasant.

You can resign yourself to a lifetime of a sexless marriage. But you will end up resenting and eventually hating your spouse.

You can cheat on your spouse and sneak around for some sexual relief. But this is a no-win situation for both of you. Eventually feelings of guilt will outweigh the sexual thrill of new conquests.

You can divorce your spouse. But Divorces are messy and expensive. Plus you have a little girl and you don’t want to put her through this.

Please seek out professional help.

Good luck my friend.
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Old 07-24-19, 10:59 PM
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@johnnyhK you're obviously a great person, it's been reflected in your posts here since the dawn of time. I really hope this works out for you.
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Old 07-24-19, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
no one should resign himself or herself to a lifelong sexless marriage.

Sexual intimacy is an integral part of a marriage.

Others may have already suggested this, but it bears repeating.

You and your wife need professional help. First to determine whether there is a physiological basis for the lack of sexual intimacy.

If there is no physiological basis, then you need to explore psychological or emotional reasons for no sexual relations.

If you donít do either, then your options are limited and not too pleasant.

You can resign yourself to a lifetime of a sexless marriage. But you will end up resenting and eventually hating your spouse.

You can cheat on your spouse and sneak around for some sexual relief. But this is a no-win situation for both of you. Eventually feelings of guilt will outweigh the sexual thrill of new conquests.

You can divorce your spouse. But divorces are messy and expensive. Plus you have a little girl and you donít want to put her through this.

Please seek out professional help.

Good luck my friend.
+1
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Old 07-24-19, 11:34 PM
  #23  
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Move to Utah and become Mormon?
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Old 07-25-19, 12:26 AM
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Early onset menopause has been mentioned. Not at the top of the list for now due to how the doctors diagnose it (ie what signs they see over what timeframe before they call it). She's 38.

I don't post full face photos. Garden is in London. We have a very large shared garden (7 acres or hectares - I can't recall - but it's a about 150m from our balcony to the river across a formal garden/lawn and then a wild meadow.


Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I was thinking about this a bit more when riding today. It might simply be menopause

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-...s/syc-20353397

(I'm thinking if you have been together for 20 years she is probably around 40 or so. Some people start the process earlier. My (British) wife is going through this in her mid-50s. There is enormous variation in terms of onset and symptoms.)

BTW nice garden, especially if that is in London. Looks like a cute kid. (If it was my wife, she would kill me for posting a pic of our kid.)
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Old 07-25-19, 12:35 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by coopman View Post
<snip> If we were a lot younger and had to go thru this, it would have been a much bigger issue. Cheating on her is not going to gain you anything in the long run but a divorce. Is there any way that you can arrange a romantic weekend for just the two of you? Maybe let the grandparents keep junior for a few days?
Well, there is 'cheating' and there is 'cheating'...my view is that an affair with someone has an emotional tie and is very much cheating. Visiting a professional and paying a fee for a service has no emotional element and either isn't cheating or is a different class (ie forgivable?). In an ideal world I think I would be discussing this and asking permission to pursue that.

We have very few relatives nearby, so the completely free weekend ain't gunna happen. However, as lovely as the time away would be I'm not sure it would solve the issue.


Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I could try to express this more tactfully, but I don't have time, so.... pretend

Even if the wife doesn't have a desire for sexual fulfillment, it is part of the duty of both marriage partners to provide sexual fulfillment for their partner, as possible. I don't see how a wife would be actually unable to have sex, if the husband has an erection and lube. The husband can have sex, the wife gets a poky cuddle. Take one for the team.

Unless there's some kind of medical issue such that that would actually be painful, that's different. But even in those cases, the wife could provide, ahem, multiple forms of alternative stimulation.

Now how to discuss those possibility with the wife, it certainly wouldn't be easy, and I don't have any good ideas.
This was discussed by the sex therapy person and we even experimented with 'scheduling' techniques. Was all a bit awkward and not particularly arousing for me - I basically felt like an a-hole for the unnatural slightly forced/contrived act and really didn't get in to it mentally or physically.


Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
Move to Utah and become Mormon?
OK. Now this is the kind of outta-left-field answer I've come to expect from Foo.
Not considered this but will ask for more details next time some clean cut young American knocks on the door and offers to bring Jesus into our home...
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