Stressed out and confused about sex with wife

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

  1. JustADude

    JustADude Fapstronaut

    I always struggle with that advice. It is not the first time I have heard it. And I mostly agree.

    But, is there not an opportunity to help the person 'to wake up'? I don't mean actually try to force change the person, but only help with the first step... help them see that there is even a problem? Then, after that, the rest is on the person. Admittedly, I can't force her to see the problem, but I can try to show her the light every once in a while. If she still doesn't see it, I have to decide if the relationship is still worth it, and then I have to learn to live with my decision and be strong and happy with that decision. Aren't staged interventions a way to help someone 'to wake up'?

    In our marriage, there was a time where my wife was convinced she was controlled by her emotions and that was who she was, and that she didn't have any problems, she was just 'being herself', a ticking emotional time bomb. She finally sought help, but only after I stood resolute and refused to cave or apologize for her bad behavior. In that situation, it took action (or lack of action) on my part for her to start questioning herself and become introspective about her behavior. Maybe that could happen again.
  2. I think this definitely could be seen as a bit of an attack, and to be honest I think the wording of some of those could be better. I read some as being quite old fashioned and patronising towards women. Some of it doesn't sound too far this, which is massively funny n entertaining but let's face it.. is a world of the past for good reason.

    Maybe share the husband side as well so it's at least a balanced viewpoint.
  3. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

    Lol, I wish I knew what it was to help someone see they are “ wrong”! I decided to make my marriage the best it could be in spite of my husband because at the time divorce was not an option. Perhaps if I had told him I was done, he would’ve changed earlier? The thing is, if you’re truly done then you have to follow through if they still refuse to change and I knew I wasn’t about to divorce with very young children at home. So, I changed my expectations. I found joy in other places rather than hoping my husband would see the light and change.
    JustADude likes this.
  4. Nicko Stretch

    Nicko Stretch Fapstronaut

    Of course you can help your wife change.Yes, she will be the one ultimately to make the decision to change but you have a big influence on her environment. By letting go of the idea that sex is the problem and focusing on the obvious communication issues you have as a couple, you may just foster an environment where your wife can start trusting you again.
    By turning towards your wife with love and respect she may let herself be vulnerable enough to discuss the issues which you are so desperate to resolve. But I think that will take time for her to believe you have really changed and are not just doing this whole thing to get more sex.
  5. AfricanSunset

    AfricanSunset Fapstronaut

    I hate it when books written by men states that women should just dish out sex. As if we can do this without sufficient emotional connection and a lot of other stuff. Sex is also so nondescriptive.. Do thay meen orgasms or actual love making where making the other person feel loved is the objective if orgasm comes or not? There is a huge difference.

    Before my marriage I fantisized about doing all theise things with my husband and more. I wanted to drive him wild. But after I married it became very clear very quickly that my husband was only using my body to O and feel better.

    It was the most selfish and meaningless sex. If i just looked at him or inisiatet anything he would see it as an oppertunity to satisfy himself. There was no sexual tention or playing I could build between us as he had no self control and just wanted to O as soon as possible.

    He MO alot with wat you guys call death grip. Apart from him having no focus or pacience or drive to do any thing for me he wanted to penetrate asap but then took forever to O. It became extremely painfull for me and it seemed that he could only O when he saw the pain on my face. He would then verbally abuse me after becouse he did not feel better... Just a few hours after he would start putting pressure again for another "session". Ot was a living hell for me.

    This was his idea of sex. And I dont think more "sex" or inisiating of anything would have helped.

    At that stage I did not have the knowledge or the words to understand what was happening to me as I married as a virgin.

    I had nothing left to give. I just stopped inisiating. Sex became a painfull chore, emotionally and psycologically draining.

    I am sure that you are a more caring husband than my x.

    But maybe if you dont put any presure on her for any sex just be there for her and work on yourself she will have some breathing space to feel her feelings and to inisiate in her own way.

    If you have ever just used her body as an extention of your sex addiction. She prob felt anything but loved and would avoid inisiating something that hurts her.

    You are going to have to be more patient with your wife.

    Stop thinking about what you need and how little she is dishing out. Start thinking about how you can blow her mind with your patient love.

    There is a YouTube vid. Be a Michael Hosea man.

    Watch it

    Please dont send her this list of what she is not doing enouth of. If you have been PMOing during your marriage you dif have not been talking care of her properly.

    Just start taking care of her. Pray for her. The rest will come.
  6. Hi. Thank you for this. I'm not religious at all, and I'll be honest struggle with posts where people lay on the religion angle to heavily in a way to fix a problem. Just not my thing, not saying it can't be anyone else's. (For another story, but I believe this is part of my upbringing ironically).

    Anyway, I'm rambling... taking the message from your post and the video you suggested, and (for me) leaving the religion aspect to the side. Boy v Man. Wow. Yes. I see myself so much in that explanation it hurts to admit. I do think, I hope, that over the last (almost) 90 days that I have been showing more of the Man I can be and less of the Boy I was. But it's a great reminded that there is still work to do.

    So again. Thank you.
  7. Brokenwife

    Brokenwife Fapstronaut

    I whole-hearted agree with Nicko. Change your focus to what you can change to help the relationship. Wanting her to change and ‘trying’ to help her change will only make her dig in deeper/be more resistant.
    I feel as though I was in a similar position to your wife - my husband bought all sorts of books to back up his thinking and theories. He tried everything he could think of to ‘help’ me change. The change only started happening when I saw that he had taken onboard my point of view and put changes in place in his own life.

    I’m interested that your wife told you intimacy means different things to you both and she thought it was about a 6. That’s a 6 on her scale. Yet you applied it to your scale and it appears you got angry/frustrated. You are as much wrong with your marriage as she is. You aren’t listening to her.
  8. Brokenwife

    Brokenwife Fapstronaut

    Forget the section on husbands. Read the section on wives. Do everything in that section without expecting anything in return.

    It also appears that you are so focused on what your marriage lacks that you are ignoring all that it has.
  9. I'd be interested to see the "what a husband should do" section too if you're ok to share it?
    JustADude likes this.
  10. JustADude

    JustADude Fapstronaut

    I feel a need to defend myself. You all made a lot of incorrect assumptions about what is going on.

    Try to keep in mind, that in order to keep my already too long posts short, I leave out a lot of details... I often leave out the positive things, why? Because I am not typically looking for help with the things that are going right in my marriage. So yes, you are like doctors, only getting the bad news.

    Both my wife and I grew up Catholic. These days, I am closer to atheism than I am to Catholicism. So, why did I choose a book so deeply rooted in Christianity?
    a. I still believe there is a lot of wisdom and knowledge in traditional teachings and in the bible.
    b. My wife relates better to Christian viewpoints versus secular viewpoints.
    c. I bought 5 books all with very different viewpoints. Only one of those books was written by just a man (not this book). 1 book was Christian, the rest were mostly secular, although all of the rest of the books seem to draw a least a little of their knowledge from eastern traditions (taoism, buddhism, hinduism). I have read 3 of the books so far and am 40% of the way through the 4th book. I chose this book because I knew it would have a very different perspective than the rest, and a very conservative perspective.

    Yes, my wife said she rated our marriages intimacy at a 6. We talked today. It turns out that from her perspective, even when we share similar definitions of intimacy, that she still rates our intimacy at a 6. And this reflects reality, she is getting more of what she needs, she feels more intimate. I'd rate us as a 2 or 3. So, what is wrong with pointing out that we view the quality of our intimacy differently. That is OK and it serves a purpose. I think we have bigger problems, she thinks we have smaller problems.

    The "Wives: What your Husbands Need" was posted without context. These were intended to be creative ideas Wives could choose to do if they felt close to and safe with their husband. They are suggestions of things that your husband is likely to appreciate in an intimate fashion. I used the list to make a point. Almost none of those things happen... out of that entire list, my wife might hug me once every 6 months, she might compliment me for intellectual accomplishments once a month, and a surprise romantic night maybe once every 2 years on my birthday. The point I was trying to make is... how can we realistically consider our 'intimacy good or ok' (a '6') if we fail so miserably at this list. I don't expect nor do I want to expect my wife to do even 15% of the things on that list. Sure, I'd love it if she did them all, but that would be stupid, she has to be herself. My sole point is, this list shows that we have an intimacy issue in our marriage, that is a reality. And our first step should be for us to open lines of communication. Then maybe read books together, go to counseling, marriage retreats, youtube videos, etc.. Instead, the response I was getting is... things are not that bad, let's just be nice to each other and things will get better.

    A couple more points:
    a. The book was written by a couple, but mostly written by the wife. The bulk of the advice in the book came from the wife, here are her credentials:
    She’s a doctor of psychology, a licensed marriage and family therapist, a certified sex therapist, a nationally award-winning sex researcher, a certified chemical dependency counselor, an international speaker, and a professor.
    b. The advice in this book doesn't seem too dissimilar to the 5 love languages advice. Except that the authors of this book seem to assume that all men have the same love languages and all women share the same love languages that are mostly different than the men's love languages.
    c. I am not done learning and exploring. Yet, I have found lots of very conflicting advice, often polar opposite advice, I am skeptical of anyone who claims they know with certainty how I am wrong or the right path forward.

    My goal here is to encourage my wife to open a line of communication with me about the lack of intimacy in our marriage. I want to be able to talk to her about it. What is wrong with wanting to get to that point? Just to talk? I don't understand why you all keep claiming this is all about me wanting more sex... I think I have stated about 20 times, that is not where I am trying to go with this. Do you know how difficult it is to find books that talk about marital intimacy without spending lots of pages talking about sex? I am trying to keep an open mind to everything, I am even interested in Kareeza or maybe a 90 day sex fast. But, how can I even go there if I can't talk to my wife about it?

    @Jonnyb4 Here is what you requested. Personally, I don't like all of the bible quotes in the book. It seems like most Christians twist their interpretation of the bible to align with their worldview and this book is probably no exception. But, if you strip the book of all the bible verses and religious undertones, there is still a lot of value in the book, and no I don't think much if any of the advice is similar to the house wife standards of the 1950s. It is hard for me to prove this without illegally sharing the entire book with you. Regarding the list below, I do most of the things on this list on a regular basis. Some of the things I can't do, because we aren't able to communicate about intimate topics.

    "Husbands: What Your Wife Needs

    Learn her.
    “Be considerate as you live with your wife” (1 Peter 3:7). The meaning of the word considerate here, gnosin in the Greek, is to investigate, to seek to know, to live according to knowledge. Husbands, be a lifelong student of your wife’s body. Investigate her body but always remember that before you touch her body, touch her soul. Make the choices for your sexual relationship that reflect your knowledge of her. Learn her preferences for sensual and sexual touch. Also, learn what makes her feel loved, special, important, cherished. What does she like to do for fun? What makes her feel heard? What does she need that will help her enjoy your relationship more? Does she need a nap before you take off on that date? Remember that she may not yet know what her preferences and needs are sexually or otherwise, so be patient as she herself learns. Ask her questions about her sexual likes and dislikes. Find out what she thinks about sex and what the draws and drawbacks are for her.

    Talk to her.
    Ask her questions. How was her day? What is she worried about? How is she doing? What does she need? What is she excited about? Share your feelings. Share your feelings. Share your feelings. Be vulnerable and real about your dreams, your hopes, your worries, and your mistakes. It might surprise you how much your sharing could be an aphrodisiac for her. Compliment her. Tell her what you admire. Tell her what you noticed about her during the day, last night, or last week. Imitate the Lover in Song of Songs and tell her how she is attractive to you—physically, spiritually, intellectually, and socially. Compliment her sandaled feet. Talk to her every day. If you are the greater talker, learn to be the greater listener. If you are more the silent type, learn to ask questions and share openly. Take the time to discuss how she feels about your sexual relationship. Together, read the different chapters and then get some time somewhere quiet and uninterrupted to talk about what you both thought.

    Romance her.
    Romance can be defined in a variety of ways: feelings of excitement and mystery associated with love; doing something special and unexpected; or feelings of emotional attraction and belonging. A sense of lovability is at the core of healthy development. Romantic gestures communicate to a woman, “I am lovable,” “I am important to him,” “I am wanted.” When a husband chooses to do something for his wife, takes the time to plan something special, or does thoughtful gestures at random moments, a wife will often feel desired, chosen, and special. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for romance. What feels romantic can be completely unique to each woman. Some women love flowers. Others prefer a great steak. So go ahead and get the flowers, buy the steak, light the candles, take her somewhere unique and special. Make her a special meal, plan an evening of sensual fun, cuddle watching something together, give her a massage, and make your sexual time together romantic with music, candles, warm touches, and special fun.

    Resolve conflict.
    Be the one to initiate doing the Validation exercise in earlier chapters. Be the one to ask, “Can we talk about that?” If you are the one who usually initiates conflict resolution, make sure to give her the space and time to get to a better place when she is able to talk. As you talk about the conflict, ask her if she feels like you really understood and if she feels truly resolved. If things don’t get resolved, be the one to seek help from the other couples in your life. When you get the help, find out first what you need for yourself rather than vent about your frustration with her. When you’ve had a conflict, go and pray and then come back when your heart is in a better place to resolve the issue. Remember, reaching out for sex when conflict is unresolved can leave a woman feeling used and unloved.

    Make sex work for her.
    Make sure your time together is private. Do you need to teach your children not to come into your room without knocking? Do you need a lock on your door? Find out if she likes to know ahead of time that you’d like to have sex and when and how she’d like you to tell her. This may allow her anticipation to build up and allow her to prepare herself mentally to participate and enjoy your sexual time together. What kind of atmosphere makes sex more enjoyable for her? Consider flickering candlelight, room temperature, music, lotions, oils, incense, and satin sheets (go spend the money and buy them if you think she’d like that). Atmosphere could be quite important for your wife.

    Make sex fun for her.
    Talk first. Talk some more. Then play. Buy a sexual board game like those found on the Covenant Spice website. You can also play any regular board game (like Pictionary or Monopoly) and make up sexual rules. Or just play a card game naked, doing sexual favors for whoever wins the hand (well, as long as no one is winning all the hands). Play the card games and dice games in bed with yummy food and drinks on the side. Have pillow fights and play with water pistols (Really? How?). Fingerpaint each other’s bodies with glow-in-the-dark body paint. Use whip cream, letting her squirt it where she’d like you to kiss, lick, or suck and then you do the same. Dance together. Ask her the kind of music she likes. Put the music on, both of you wear lingerie, light some good smelling candles, and dance.

    Caress and then caress some more.
    Ask yourself, how is your affectionate touch? Make sure that, throughout the day, you give your wife warm affection and touch that is not connected to sex. Cuddle and hold your wife, spooning and caressing, even when you are not going to have sex. Watch a show together, holding her and caressing her as you watch. We dare you to spend an evening touching her sensually and intimately, giving her a great massage and then pulling the blanket up and sending her off to sleep with a kiss. And then, when you do have sex, take plenty of time to touch your wife when you engage sexually. Use the exercises in the previous chapters to learn the type of sensual and sexual touch she likes. Do not go immediately for her vagina and her breasts. Caress her entire body and give her massages. When you do go to genital touch, go light and slow at first. Follow her direction.

    Initiate and plan.
    If your wife has the greater sex drive, initiate. Plan sexual times and make them special. Show her by your initiation that you want her and find her sexually attractive. “Arise, come with me” (Song of Songs 2:10). Think ahead. Planning makes your wife feel special. Take the opportunity to include thoughtful additions to your times together, both on dates and during sex.

    Dates, Dates, Dates.
    She needs lots of them. Enough said!"
    Konzen, Dr. Jennifer . The Art of Intimate Marriage (pp. 271-280). Elm Hill. Kindle Edition.
  11. JustADude

    JustADude Fapstronaut

    Question: I have been thinking about asking her again about a sabbatical from sex. But, I want to understand what that should mean from an intimacy perspective. Are Kareeza type things off limits too? And... if I can't even discuss intimate and purposeful cuddling with my wife... I think it would be a bad idea to have a sabbatical before we have the ability to set ground rules on how that would work in a way that we are both comfortable with.
  12. Thanks for those, as I said.. Just interested to see both sides. Sorry if you felt you needed to defend yourself.

    My thoughts on the Boy v Man thing are entirely about myself. I do so much of them it was a bit uncomfortable really. And I feel I'm in a similar position to you, where I've done a lot of what is listed above however, really, deep down, if in honest... it's for the boyish reasons not the manly ones.
    AfricanSunset likes this.
  13. AfricanSunset

    AfricanSunset Fapstronaut

    Kareeza is a gentle way of connecting...not off limits...will help you to practice a hold over your urges. She off course can orgasm if she wants to. Except if she also want to practice without.

    I think Kareeza focuses more on the Oxytocin part of Lovemaking rather than the Dopamine... It also leaves you satisfied, like riding a wave...

    Michael Hosea does something like Kareeza with Angel (an x prostitute) to help her experience sex as connection and love making. It takes him 4 months of giving and lots of restraint on his side.
    Him wanting her to experience his touch as love drives him.

    This book, "redeeming love" by Francine Rivers i can recommend.
  14. JustADude

    JustADude Fapstronaut

    Relevant section from my journal today:

    I am having a tough time with my wife lately. I am pretty much convinced that my wife has a strong fear of being vulnerable. I think this leads to inabilities to be intimate, but not just with me, with everyone in her life. She has told me many times how she has to protect herself from getting hurt. And she has a history of getting really mad at people who have broken her trust... so mad that she terminates relationships for about a year, and a lot of the time permanently.

    I was thinking about our arguing over the past few days and I have handled myself fairly well from a 'fighting fair' perspective. I think I raised my voice once. I didn't call her any nasty words. I have been emotional though, got teary eyed twice. But, she has told me that I am being chaotic and that I am on a roller coaster, and that I am making a huge deal about something little. Lots of side comments from her about lots of stuff. The amount of pain and anger coming out of her doesn't align well with what I have said or how I have acted over the past 4 days.

    What am I asking of her? I am asking her to openly communicate with me about improving intimacy in our marriage. As each day progresses, it is fairly obvious that most of the words coming out of her mouth are her attempt to protect herself from having to be vulnerable with me. I am fairly certain, most of her behavior is subconscious. There has been a correlation between the vulnerability of the topic I broach and how quickly she becomes defensive.

    At some point, I am going to have to cut bait, and focus on myself. I am not willing to walk away from my marriage, there is too much good in it, and our intimacy problems are just one part of a bigger picture. I am not sure how to properly 'cut bait' though. I think, I need to find a way to be happy in my marriage without sex with her, but also without porn, and probably without masturbation.

    My problem with having sex with my wife in our current state is this: I don't want sex to be our only intimate connection, and if she cannot connect intimately with me outside of sex in ways that I can appreciate, I think it is probably healthier for my psyche and our relationship if we stay away from sex. I mean... right now, a lot of my behavior with her is in response to my desire for sex with her or my frustration about the lack of sex with her. I know that what I really want is to feel an intimate connection with her, but it is not a good thing that the only way I obtain my intimate fulfillment is through sex.

    She has told me in the past that she does not initiate intimacy, but that she shows her intimacy in other ways, like cooking the family meal, or watching TV with me, or cleaning the house. Well, those things don't fill the void for me... they just don't.
    Nicko Stretch likes this.
  15. JustADude

    JustADude Fapstronaut

    I see my life as a progression in that regard. I don't think anyone goes from being 100% boy to being 100% man. We progress through life maturing parts of ourselves at different times. My father in law lives with us. For his age, he is fairly emotionally immature, in some ways I am more of a man than he is, in other ways he is more of a man than me.

    Maybe one of these days, My wife and I can get to a point where we openly discuss concepts like Kareeza. Sometimes I wish the universe would swoop down and just give myself and my wife a supernatural nudge in the right direction.
  16. Brokenwife

    Brokenwife Fapstronaut

    It makes sense that the things she is doing don’t fill the void for you. I’m not sure if any of the books you are currently reading (and the fact you are reading books to try and understand the problem and come up with a solution is a huge plus in your corner) cover the situation when a partner is doing what they think the other partner wants them to do.

    The books I mentioned have the concept of The Love Bank which another post in this thread also touched on. And there are questionnaires about what makes you feel loved and valued. It covers the reality that what each partner needs to feel valued is different. And that’s ok.

    You will get lots of conflicting advice but you will have to sift through it all and pick out what you think applies to your situation. Only you really know your wife and what could work. In my situation, if my husband had been more honest about how truly unhappy he was, I may have taken more notice. But I didn’t listen or understand because it seemed to me, in our situation, it was all about sex. Not sure if this will help. Keep trying things, something will just click into place.
    And keep trying to talk to her, if you let the matter drop, it may just get swept under the carpet and you’ll feel even more confused/frustrated. Maybe ask her why she walked away to check the chicken cooking and didn’t come back when you were trying to have a conversation with her. Ask her why she won’t discuss things that are important to you? You may have done this already. Also tell her, if you haven’t already, that her prioritising a cooking chicken over a conversation you have initiated, tell her how that makes you feel.
    I apologise that my earlier comments may have led you to feel attacked/judged. That was not my intention.
  17. Brokenwife

    Brokenwife Fapstronaut

  18. JustADude

    JustADude Fapstronaut

    The book I talked about above, 'The Art of Intimate Marriage', actually contains excerpts from 'The Love Bank' and recommended reading it. I did see your previous reference to the book and I do appreciate the recommendation. Thank you for the help and the kind words.

    One of the best parts of the nofap forums is that I can come on here and work out my feelings. I appreciate the pushback even though sometimes it is hard for me to read.

    CORRECTION: I guess the name of the book mentioned in the book was 'His Needs Her Needs'.

    Here is the reference from the book:
    "Harley, in His Needs Her Needs, uses the idea of a love bank and explains how the lack of intentional nurturing impacts relationships."
    Konzen, Dr. Jennifer . The Art of Intimate Marriage (p. 81). Elm Hill. Kindle Edition.

    I went back and checked and I guess we are talking about the same author and book. You also recommended 'Love Busters'
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
  19. JustADude

    JustADude Fapstronaut

    Boundaries between my wife and myself moving forward:

    None of the following
    a. sex with wife.
    b. heated foreplay (i.e. touching that is designed to ramp up to sex)
    c. Masturbation and or orgasm
    d. Any touching, talking which has a direct or an indirect purpose of leading to sex (for example, deep sensual kisses are a no go, but a simple kiss would be ok, or holding her close to me would be ok, but caressing her breasts would be off limits)

    Yes to the following:
    a. cuddling
    b. kisses and hugs

    These boundaries will remain in place until we are able to communicate about our intimacy and work together on our intimacy problems. The 'No List' will stay in place even if she tries to initiate sex.

    Why am I doing this?
    a. The Mr. Nice Guy Book talks about not settling for leftovers and crumbs in my love life.
    b. I need to find a way to be intimately close to my wife without sex. Right now, sex is the only way I succeed in feeling intimately fulfilled. This is leading to lots of problems... my wife thinks I only want sex and that I am using her. I am either pursuing my wife and acting lustfully or I am bummed I am not having enough sex. It is a frustration filled roller coaster for me. I should be able to feel intimately fulfilled without sex. It is unhealthy the way things are now.
    c. I can't force my wife to heal herself and I can't wait around forever in an unhealthy state of mind not knowing when she will realize there is a problem we need to work on. Until we get to that point, I a path of healing that I can take for myself.

    How am I going to broach this subject to my wife?
    a. I could tell her, but I am pretty sure that would come across as me trying to punish her for her inaction.
    *b. I could politely opt out of sex if the opportunity arises.*

    I choose b.

    Also... now that I am thinking about things from a no sex perspective... my sexual advances and caresses throughout the day become weird. Most of the time I do them to revv up my wife's engine. I guess I need to only touch her in ways to feel close to her, without the end goal being to get her into the mood or help her psychologically prepare for sex. (I added 'd' to my no list to account for this).

    On the side, I will continue to try to open a line of communication with her, but I won't push things as hard and I won't get as upset when my attempts to help are swatted down.

    Let me know if you think I should modify this in any way. And, am I crazy for wanting to do this?
    Nicko Stretch likes this.
  20. AfricanSunset

    AfricanSunset Fapstronaut

    I thibk it is good that you are setting limits yourself to help you build intimacy outside of sex. BUT I wont set limits on your wife though. She might feel realy rejected. Serve her if she wants orgasmic intimacy.

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