Stressed out and confused about sex with wife

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by JustADude, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. JustADude

    JustADude Fapstronaut

    29 days since I looked at porn. I am no longer feeling the urge to look at porn. However, I feel sexually frustrated.

    I have been married for 15 years. Our sex life was never good. Sex has gotten better (more frequent and less anxious), but our sex has never been good. Maybe 10 times in 15 years have we had anxiety free, loving sex. Is this normal? Is this healthy?

    To make matters worse, my wife is impossible to talk too when it comes to sex. Her guard goes up, she is defensive, sex words bristle her. A few weeks ago, when I tried to talk to her, she told me she doesn't like the word 'sex', because she thinks society over sexualizes everything. She doesn't like when I say 'let's make love' because she thinks it makes me sound like an old man. We have sex only at night with the lights off under the covers.

    4 weeks ago, I tried to talk to her about our sex life. She got really really upset because she said I was trying to pressure her. We ended the conversation with me saying that I didn't really get to talk about what I wanted to talk about and I requested that we talk later when we have calmed down. Well... I tried to talk again last night and that did not go well.

    Examples of things that concern me:
    * Her: "You should not look outside of our marriage for how our sex life should be (i.e. books, advice, etc.), that is between you and me." Basically, she says she is unwilling to look outside the marriage to find help with our sex life problems and that she doesn't want me to do that either. What!?!?
    * When I asked her about her opinion about me masturbating... "Masturbation is private, I don't want to know about that." so I said, "But, what if I masturbate too much, do you care about that?", her: "No, that is private". Basically, she acted like that topic is off limits and that what I do in my private time has nothing to do with her. How does that make sense?
    * 15 years of marriage and 2 years of dating prior. My wife has never once initiated sex. She has never once done anything to show she is physically interested in me, other than, consensually having sex with me. Hugs from her are very rare.
    * 90% of our sex ends in frustrated sighs from my wife. She doesn't want to talk about why usually. But when I do get her to talk... I was too fast, I took too long, I hurt her, I was going too slow, It wasn't the right spot, I am not feeling it, I hate condoms.
    * I would love to pleasure my wife first, but she doesn't like me pleasuring her orally, she doesn't like me using my hands.
    * Mainly because our communication about sex is so difficult, last year I asked if she wanted to introduce toys into our bedroom. I was trying to spice things up and since she never talks to me about sex, I have no idea what she wants, it was really a shot in the dark. The answer was an emphatic NO. I didn't really want toys in the bedroom either, I was just trying to feel her out.
    * Her: "The more you talk to me about sex, the more pressured I feel and the less I want to have sex".
    * Her: "By talking to me about sex you are ruining a good thing", Me: "There is not a good thing to ruin", Her: "(Sarcastically and angry) Thanks for the talk" then she stormed off.
    * First 5 years of marriage, sex less than once a month. Next 5 years, twice a month. Last 5 years, 3 times a month. Only time it has been different is when we were trying to have kids, then it was 2 times a week.

    What I want from my wife:
    * Her to initiate sex with me sometimes.
    * Her to be open to exploring her sexuality with me. I would be open for anything. I just want to share my sexuality with her sexuality.
    * More frequent intimacy, doesn't have to be sex, doesn't have to lead to O.
    * Less frustration and anxiety linked to our sex life.

    For most of my marriage, I coped with these problems through PMO. I am no longer looking at porn and I am not sure how to move forward, because I can no longer sweep the problem under the rug with my PMO habit. There are kids involved and 15 years of a decent life built outside of the bedroom. I am not willing to walk away from my marriage.

    Please help.

    EDIT: FYI: Our entire marriage, I have had a high libido. I would have sex every day multiple times a day.
    EdricKr and Deleted Account like this.

  2. Wow! Sorry to hear that mate, I wish mine could be better with my wife initiating things too - she still gives in and spoils me though, we have sex most nights as long as I give her a back massage after, etc. The longest we've been without sex together is 3 weeks - which is good considering we've been together 10 years! I just wish she'd come onto me and initiate it though, it seems like me making all the effort!
    JustADude likes this.
  3. Nucleus

    Nucleus Fapstronaut

    IMHO you really need to sit down and have a conversation with her. Tell her it is of the utmost importance to you. She is supposed to be your best friend... it’s one of the roles a wife is supposed to have.

    Another thing. I think you should take a much more dominant role with her, especially in bed.

    a good video is “Real Squirting Orgasms” (warning: not porn but it is super explicit) from Ideagasms. Teaches you how to make her explode. Ideagasms
    also did “The Girlfriend Training Programme”. It’s hard to get these days. You might find it on a torrent or something. It’s by this utter genius called Stephane Hemon. Changed my life I tell you. Gives you more than a few tips on how to handle a woman with intensity and love.

    also there’s the work of David Deida which might help you to handle her and the sex. He is not as hardcore as Ideagasms but he’s still good.
    Anyway, your problem is VERY serious. Tell your wife that you intend to repair the relationship and the sex and you won’t take no for an answer.
    Deleted Account likes this.
  4. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    I have been through what you are going through. I wanted nothing but to please my wife. I was happy to just focus on her sexual pleasure, oral, toys, but this is not what she wanted. She wanted to be deeply connected to me. She sees sex as an extension of our love for each other and she wasn't feeling that love, so sex was worthless.
    The solution was to take sex out of the equation for a few months and really focus on connecting with each other in an affectionate way. We have learned so much about each other and my wife no longer feels pressured into having sex, or feels that every time I touch I am just after sex. We bring each other much sensual pleasure through physical contact and words. We kiss lots and have a deep mutual respect. As people say, if you carry on doing the same thing, you will get the same results, so try something different.
  5. Shadow_Monk

    Shadow_Monk Fapstronaut

    It sounds like you certainly have a difficult situation on your hands. I'm not even going to try to guess what all the issues may or may not be. But in my opinion, it sounds like like the immediate problem is that you feel like there is an issue in the relationship, and your wife is giving you explicit messages that it's not OK to discuss the problem. If that does not get addressed, it will wreck whatever is left of your marriage.

    You say that leaving isn't an option, and that's admirable. A lot of men would choose to throw in the towel at this point. Since you aren't one of them, my suggestion is that you start going to couples counseling. Alone if necessary. Together is preferred, but if she believes the purpose of the counselling is to convince her to give you more sex, she's going to resist. You have to make sure that your goal is to build REAL intimacy in the relationship, which means your hearts and minds need to be naked with each other, not just your bodies.

    Best of luck to you, this is certainly a challenging battle you have. I'll be following your journey brother.
  6. JustADude

    JustADude Fapstronaut

    Thank you for all of the heart felt responses.

    @Shadow_Monk I want to stay married for 3 reasons:
    1. Sex is just one facet of my marriage, other parts of my marriage are going well.
    2. I believe that my wife will come around, given the right motivation, given enough time, etc. I don't know what the proper course of action is to get there, but it will happen.
    3. We have lots of beautiful awesome kids and a wonderful life in spite of our marital issues.

    @MrBony Thank you for the book recommendations. I want to buy a book, but, I have received a lot of recommendations on books and there are so many different opinions about what to do in my situation. I believe that each marriage is different and potentially requires a different solution. How do I find the book that is right for me? I have been searching the internet for a book that fits me, no luck yet. I have read about 7 relationship books, none were too helpful, although I have learned a little bit from each.

    @Nicko Stretch Over the past 15 years, I feel like I have tried everything. Being patient and taking sex out of the equation has been tried. Maybe we didn't try it the right way. I am starting to feel very strongly that my wife has repressive feelings about sex that she needs to deal with... she told me yesterday I was being vulgar. If you saw how PC I am and how I don't use dirty words or talk dirty, you'd understand how confusing it is for her to call me vulgar.

    @Wugazi32 You are a lucky man to have a wife like that.

    I do think there is a lot of truth to me needing to be more assertive in my relationship. Over the 15 years of my marriage, I have learned to be more assertive and that has almost always resulted in an improvement in my marriage. My main reason for being unassertive in the past is my own lack of clarity about what is right or wrong, good or bad, for my marriage. I don't want to be assertive unless I am sure that the position I am being assertive about is correct. This is hard, because I only know what I know from my own experiences, most of what I assume to be good marital behavior comes from my parent's less than healthy marriage. How can I stick to my guns about a topic if I am not 90% sure that I have the right guns?

    Anyway... my goal moving forward is to get my wife to agree to the following proposal:
    "We both pick out a book for each other to read. We both read both books and discuss them. We have the right to veto the other person's book choice, forcing them to choose a different book."

    Finally, I always want to hear the opinions from the spouses on this forum. I need a sanity check from the other side.
    Brokenwife and Deleted Account like this.
  7. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    I can show this post to my wife if you like but I can tell you what she will say.
    She would say:
    Why are you blaming the lack of intimacy in your life on your wife when it is clearly your use of PMO that has caused the problem? 30 days free after years and years of using PMO as a coping and avoidance strategy is no time. You have a lot of deep personal work to do before you even think of asking your wife to change. Stop masterbating, stop obsessing about sex and do some personal growth work so you have the insight to recognise how much hurt and damage you have caused your wife.
    That is what my wife would say, but of course that would only be her opinion, and she does have strong opinions.
    I am sure you may have issues with her analysis of your situation but I have to agree with her from my personal opinion. I thought I was using PMO because of her issues. It wasn't until I desexualised my life that I realised the effect regular PMO and my promiscuous mind was having on our relationship.
  8. JustADude

    JustADude Fapstronaut

    @Nicko Stretch
    I can't know anything for sure. I will always do my best to pick the best path forward.

    Having said that, I do not believe the situation is very black and white at all. As in, I don't believe 99% of our intimacy issues can be blamed on my PMO problem. From my perspective, my wife can't even say the word 'sex' or 'masturbation' without feeling vulgar. We cannot discuss sex or intimacy without her heckles going up. It has been that way since before we were married, years before she knew about my porn problem. As I have grown older and wiser, I realize that this is not normal, and that being able to openly discuss intimacy and sex is usually a good thing in a marriage. I have also learned that it is not solely the high libido spouse's burden to bear, that the burden and responsibility to meet in the middle should be shared. My wife does not believe that. She refuses to question her own beliefs on the subject. Of course, you have to take me word on all of that. We are all in different situations, I don't think it is fair or right to blame a majority of our marital problems on porn, porn is an easy scapegoat.

    Also, I never thought I was using porn because of my wife's problem. I have been using porn since before I met her. Porn did allow me to mask pain and frustrations in my life with orgasms.

    Maybe you are right, after 180 days of no porn, maybe I won't want as much sex. Time will tell. But, as far as I can tell, having a high libido outside of porn, is normal. I look forward to seeing how things play out. Even if my libido and sexual urges reduce after many many days of no porn, that still doesn't address the lack of intimacy and lack of ability to talk about intimacy in my marriage. It doesn't explain why my wife is absolutely against reading books about improving intimacy in our relationship, or her getting mad at me for looking outside of our marriage for intimacy advice.

    EDIT: If I wasn't clear before. The lack of intimacy and repressive sexual stance has been an issue in my marriage all the way back to when we were dating. Unfortunately, I was too young, immature, inexperienced, and naive to understand this was a big issue. We both grew up in conservative Catholic environments, we both went to Catholic schools. Neither of our parents ever talked to us about sex, her parents are divorced, her parents never showed physical affection towards each other publicly. My parents had their own problems and still fight all of the time. We were trained to be dysfunctional partners by our parents and we are slowly healing ourselves.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
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  9. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    I am glad you are keeping an open mind. It took me 4 years to get to the point I am at now after some 6 month periods of no porn and then relapse. The difference this time was not just stopping porn but stopping my obsession with sex. An obsession I labelled as 'high libido'.
    A couple of points I am confused about:
    Which one?

    Are you classing intimacy and sex as the same thing? You say you rarely get hugs, that is more than just a sexual issue.

    I know full well how hard it is to challenge ones own beliefs.
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  10. JustADude

    JustADude Fapstronaut

    I realize those two quotes seem to disagree with each other. I have been using porn as a coping mechanism since I was about 15. I was introduced to porn when I was 13 by my brother's friend. Porn has been an easy way for me to mask pain for everything in my life. Does my wife sometimes cause me pain? Yes. Is that her fault? Sometimes. Is it my wife's fault that I chose to cope with that pain with porn? No. Is my wife responsible for my porn use? No. Am I using porn because of my wife? No.

    I think that clarifies the apparent conflict of the two statements.

    Intimacy and sex are related. Some sex is a way to be intimate, other times sex is not intimate at all. My wife has never initiated intimate touching with me, she has never initiated sex with me, she has never brought up the topic of sex with me, never ever in 15 years. If any intimacy starts, it has to start with me. She sometimes likes to be hugged, but she rarely gives hugs, maybe 30 times in 15 years has she hugged me.

    I looked at the first page of one of your journals. You wrote, "We had been keeping a 'love journal' over the last 4 years".
    Yeah, nope, not in my marriage. I would love to do something like that. 10 years ago, I even suggested a similar idea. I think the words... "No Way" and "That is weird and uncomfortable" were spoken by my wife.

    I value your advice and your perspective, but I think I have more going on in my marriage than just a porn problem. What sucks, what really sucks, is how porn has muddied up the waters so much. I wish I had never been introduced to porn by my brother's friend. I wish my parents had talked to me about porn. I wish I had learned how to cope with my anxiety in healthier ways at a young age. I think, I would have married someone else had all of that been true. But, if I had been less broken, I probably would not have been drawn to my wife, who had her own problems. The world can be a cruel place, we tend to find people just as broken as we are... I think one of the beauties of marriage is realizing that we are where we are for reasons that were ultimately out of our control and we try our hardest to grow and make the best of things. Our marriage has come a long way over the past 15 years, we are stronger than ever, but... sex and intimacy... not so much.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
  11. Shadow_Monk

    Shadow_Monk Fapstronaut

    Catching up on this post.

    Really hit home. That's how my partners and I all grew up. Every relationship I've ever been in has been dysfunctional. It's only in the last few years that I've found one that could be described as "recovering dysfunctional" We're still screwed up, but we acknowledge that and we work hard at dealing with our flaws.

    One more book you might look into is No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert Glover. It's basically about the type of guy who didn't grow up with good strong male role models to teach them about love, life, etc. and so they grow up trying to be peacekeepers and people pleasers. It may or may not speak to you, but I know hundreds of guys who read a chapter or two and said that it described them perfectly.

    Regardless, keep researching books, you'll find one that resonates with you. And get a free peek at them at the bookstore or library first and don't waste a ton of money on a book that doesn't work for you. Good luck
    JustADude likes this.
  12. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    Thank you for the clarification.
  13. JustADude

    JustADude Fapstronaut

    Thanks for the recommendation. I read the reviews on Amazon and the book seems very relevant. 10 years ago, I was definitely the prototypical "Mr. Nice Guy" and it was causing a lot of problems. I bought the book and am going to read it, because I have never read a book on the topic and I think I probably have more work to do. Thanks!
  14. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut

    This statement makes me glad that 1. My husband left the Catholic church before we met and 2. that I talk to my kids about sex at all of their different stages of development.

    But on to your pressing issues, I am curious, do you think you wife was ever sexually abused? I only ask because of the way that you say she talks about sex. It could very well come from the conservative Catholic upbringing but to not want to be touched or to not desire intimacy or to act like sex is "dirty" and something that you should never do with the lights on...just seems like a red flag to me.

    I'm sorry that you are going through this difficult time. I hope that you can get her to open up to you but even if you can't, I recommend that you still work on YOUR recovery for YOU.

    I think so too. I don't see you trying to blame your wife for your porn addiction, rather I see that you are trying to open up to her and she isn't having it and according to you has never really been up for that kind of intimacy.

    Would like to write more but have to go.. Sorry again. :(
    JustADude likes this.
  15. JustADude

    JustADude Fapstronaut

    It has crossed my mind. I asked her once if she had been. The question caught her off guard and she said she hadn't... I *think* she was telling the truth. But, honestly, I don't know, since she hates talking about those things so much, it is hard to know.

    When we first started dating, I tried to ask her about her sexual experiences with previous men. She said she never had sex, but she wouldn't go into the details about what kinds of "non-sex" had occurred. Point being, there are definitely things she is not willing to tell me.
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  16. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut

    It's hard to be intimate that way. In fact, I think that is pretty much an impossible task. It seems like there are some big underlying issues that have kept her from being intimate with you. But that is just my impression from what you're writing.

    I don't know what the right way forward is for you. I don't know how you fix a problem if you can't talk about it. That's why I immediately thought that she was abused. People who have been usually have a difficult time being open in general. I think it might be important to find out if she was abused and to hopefully get her to talk about it.
  17. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    I do feel for you with your wife's lack of communication. And no, my wife was not closed to the extend you describe. In fact she loves contact, kissing, hugs, touches. She appears to get more pleasure from my touching her head than her genitals! She says she loves that fact that she can relax while I touching her in bed now, because she knows I am not about to try and penetrate her. We have had penetrative sex in the the last 5 months twice and that seemed like a natural progression from a long touching and kissing session.
    You say your wife likes hugs and you do too but she never initiates. Maybe this is an area you could be working on now while pondering the dilemma of the sexual issues. If you start asking for hugs, saying you would like a hug now please, or explaining why you would like a hug so she understands your need for closeness and affection, maybe with time she will feel confident in offering hugs? I know this is a tiny step, but hopefully a tiny step in the right direction.
    You could start by saying you feel you really would like more non sexual physical contact, you find it comforting and reassuring. Just an idea.
    GID2020 likes this.
  18. JustADude

    JustADude Fapstronaut

    I am down for that. First though, I want my wife to admit there is a problem with intimacy that we need to work on. She is currently telling me that everything is fine and will fix itself. I'm like a broken record...Me: "Umm... no, it has been 15 years of almost no intimacy, and 15 years of no intimacy initiated by you, I think we have waited long enough for things to just fix themselves, it is time to try something else". Second, I want my wife to be able to talk to be about intimacy and sex. Then, at that point, hopefully we can both talk together and agree on a way to strengthen our intimacy.

    Any advice on effective ways to break down this communication wall between my wife and break down her barrier to looking to others for guidance. Honestly, I am quite surprised by her apparent fear of allowing the world to know about our problems and letting the world into our private life, even though I am only suggesting we read a book or 2 together. It is like I am risking removing the foundations of her long held beliefs on the topic of sexuality, and she doesn't want to face that possibility. I have a hard time understanding that perspective, but I see it in others with regards to religious beliefs and political beliefs.
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  19. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    It sounds like you believe that your relationship will be much better if you have more sex with your wife which she initiates.
    If she does not want more intimacy and does not want to initiate it(which it seems is quite clear), will you end the relationship or will you accept her choices and work on other ways to foster intimacy?
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  20. JustADude

    JustADude Fapstronaut

    While reading "No more Mr. Nice Guy", I ran across this:

    Many of the Nice Guys I've worked with have expressed a heightened interest in sex, yet they frequently feel frustrated in their attempts to get these needs met. This is usually because their actions pretty much guarantee that they won't get what they believe they want. Nice Guys have an uncanny knack of picking partners who, because of childhood sexual abuse or other negative experiences with sex, tend to have a difficult time being sexually expressive. When these partners do make themselves available to be sexual, it is not uncommon for Nice Guys to do something that further ensures that they don't get their needs met. The Nice Guy may respond by taking control rather than letting the sexual experience unfold. He may focus on his partner's sexual needs before she has a chance to pay attention to him. He might start a fight by making a comment about her weight or her past unavailability. All of these strategies pretty much ensure that the Nice Guy won't have to experience the fear, shame, or anxiety that might get triggered if he actually allowed someone to focus on his needs.
    -Glover, Robert. No More Mr. Nice Guy

    Interesting and relevant insight. I'm about halfway through the book, I can relate to 75% percent of the nice-guy Robert Glover refers to in the book, I either used to be that nice guy or still am. Some of the stuff isn't applicable. But, so, far some nice insights. I am hoping later in the book there will be more about how to move past some of my problems.
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