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Sex in Marriage - How do you compromise?


Marriage & Life Partnerships Debunking the old-ball-and-chain stereotype one couple at a time.

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Old 12th December 2017, 5:11 PM   #1
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Sex in Marriage - How do you compromise?

I'm not sure what I'm hoping to get out of this, maybe some insight into how others feel so I can decide if I have a real problem that needs to be addressed or I'm just dealing with something that all married couples go through.

To set the stage my wife and I have been married for twenty years, I am 49 and she is 57, we were both married previously and have three children. Our oldest (my daughter) is 28 and no longer at home, she is married and lives elsewhere. My step-daughter is 24 and still lives at home, we have a son together who is 16 and obviously also still lives at home.

Like most married couples our sex life started out vigorous and often, about three to four times a week the first two years. After the birth of our son in year four things started a slow but steady decline. I don't want to paint a picture that we are in a sexless marriage, I have read many threads on this site where poor folks have sex like twice a year or something and we are nothing like that. We have sex now twice a month on average, some months maybe once but mostly two seems the magic number these days.

My wife's interest in sex has faltered far more than mine, she has battled menopause issues and Rheumatoid Arthritis which have negatively affected her libido. Where I am healthy and still desire sex on a regular basis she has made it clear on a number of occasions that she doesn't really think about it anymore and if I was to get hit by a bus tomorrow would probably never have sex again and be perfectly happy that way.

When we do have sex it is generally still pretty good, despite what she says she still seems to enjoy it once we get going. I do find myself almost always being the initiator which makes sense with what I mentioned above though sometimes I find myself longing for her to take the reins. If for no other reason her seducing me would make me feel more wanted, it gets old always having to be the one taking charge.

In every other way our marriage seems very good, its always been an easy relationship, our personalities seem to complement each others well and we have a variety of shared interests.

Over the last four years or so I have grown increasingly frustrated with our sex life, I could easily still be a three or four times a week guy and that simply doesn't work for her. She thinks twice a month is a compromise, if it was totally up to her it would likely be more like once or twice a year. I understand that she has physical limitations but it can get really depressing not being able to be with her.

I have started to wonder recently if the problem might be my own, that I may be hyper-sexual or even addicted to sex in some way. I didn't use to think that but now that I can't count on my wife for regular sex anymore I find that I dwell on it more and more. Between the times we are together I spend a lot of time looking at porn and I self gratify everyday sometimes twice a day. My wife is aware of the porn and she thinks I am just trying to compensate for our lack of sex which is partly true but I think there may be more to it. What usually happens is that her and I have sex and I'm happy, then within a day or two I want to go again and she doesn't so I turn to porn. For the next week I'm generally o.k. with the self gratification but it starts to get old quickly and I long for a true physical connection. From there I start to slowly become more unhappy each day and start to resent my wife who doesn't need sex and seems happy as a clam in everyday life without it. By the time we get to about ten to twelve days or so from the last time we had sex I'm a basket case, angry and withdrawn desperate to be with her. Finally around the two week to three week mark she breaks down and does something for me because she can see I'm very unhappy, then we reset and it starts over.

I guess I am wondering if this is normal for long time married couples? I went to a therapist once a year or so ago and mentioned that I thought I could be addicted to sex in some way because I seem to be incapable of being happy without it but he waved me off. According to him just jerking off to porn everyday doesn't make you an addict, even thinking about sex constantly doesn't indicate that unless it has an obvious debilitating affect on your daily life. Since I can still function at work and in public and I'm not chasing hookers and putting my name on Craigslist seeking companionship he indicated that I was a typical frustrated middle-aged married guy and I just had to suck it up like the rest of us.

All I know is that I hate this treadmill I am on, I never feel truly happy and given that my wife will never prioritizes sex anymore at the level I desire it would seem I am doomed to always feel that way. At least until my libido finally crashes then maybe I won't care either.

Last edited by TexasRob; 12th December 2017 at 5:13 PM.. Reason: mispelling
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Old 12th December 2017, 5:29 PM   #2
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"Suck it up like the rest of us"....Wow. I don't think the way you described your relationship to this point sounds outlandish. You have a good bonding and just want to express that with a healthy sexual attraction to...You guessed it, Your wife! Amazing how that happens. You did state that she does come from a previous marriage. She is now in her late 50s and she just wants a partner for security and financial reasons. Do we call that checked out sexually now? I just don't think you can fully bond in marriage without some sort of intimacy involved. And I don't mean bunko gatherings or long walks in the neighborhood. Geeesh!
Sounds like your wife is now a room mate.....
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Old 12th December 2017, 5:43 PM   #3
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She is three years away from sixty.

You are eleven years away from sixty.

You cannot un-marry her now or un-have a child
with her.

When there is a large age gap number the odds
are high that sooner then later that sexual desire
will not match up.
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Old 12th December 2017, 5:59 PM   #4
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My grandparents still went at it like teenagers as I was told by my mom. (uh, okay mom, thanks...) lol Also, I remember transporting at least half a dozen patients in the Geriatric stage due to angina and other maladies from sex...Just sayin'
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Old 12th December 2017, 6:06 PM   #5
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Sex in Marriage - How do you compromise?

Quote:
She thinks twice a month is a compromise, if it was totally up to her it would likely be more like once or twice a year.
Sounds like she thinks she has already compromised.

But if you are really that unhappy then you need to tell her how unhappy you are.
Just pressing her for more sex will turn her off, but if you put your exact feelings on the line, as you have a good relationship otherwise, then she will listen as long as you are not going to dish out ultimatums or threats.
Nothing worse than bitter barbs thrown in her direction or hussy fits, or whiny pleas or the obvious fishing for sex thinly disguised as doing something "nice", like some men do in this situation, all it gets them is less sex than they were already getting... She is not stupid.

If she loves you and it she sounds like she does, then she will not want to see you unhappy.
Communicate.
Women tend to like adult communication.
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Old 12th December 2017, 6:09 PM   #6
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Does the disparity in sexual desire carry over into the non-sexual physical intimacy? Examples describing yes or no?
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Old 12th December 2017, 6:10 PM   #7
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I guess intellectually I knew that one day our age difference would be more telling, when we were 29 and 37 it didn't seem a big deal, now, different story. I just didn't expect this kind of decline, and that it would affect me so profoundly, I didn't realize how much I would miss the sex until is wasn't on the table anymore. Now I pine for the days when we she used to tempt me into bed with sexy outfits or we would make out on the couch like teenagers during our favorite shows and end up doing it on the floor.

I realize those days don't last forever, I'm just not ready to let go and she seems like she already has.
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Old 12th December 2017, 6:15 PM   #8
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You want 3x a week. She wants once every two months. You compromise at once every two months, basically. If she's going along more often, she's making a big effort for your sake. Usually these situations default to the frequency of whoever wants it less. Yes, it sucks, and there is rarely a happy solution short or finding a new mate.

At her age, it is going to be an effort to get in the mood. Sex may not even occur to her without an external stimulus. Perhaps some hormonal supplements (progesterone, estradiol, and testosterone cream) would help boost her libido, if she's willing to pursue that option with a hormone specialist or endocrinologist.

You can try all the usual things - more attention, more romancing, more dates alone as a couple, especially away from home, etc. They may have a temporary effect, unless you are very lucky. Usually, such things end up being enjoyed for themselves, and don't lead to more sex. You won't know unless you try. Good luck! (You'll need it.)
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Old 12th December 2017, 6:17 PM   #9
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Carhill -

We actually are still relatively affectionate with each other, she still kisses me when she comes home from work everyday and likes to cuddle with me on the couch when we watch T.V. She likes to hold hands in public when we go for walks so all that kind of thing is still there. Heck she will even still flirt with me quite often but that can be a two edged sword, back in the day the flirting led at least half the time to something more, now it generally doesn't mean anything. Sometimes it ticks me off that she will flirt with me and get my hopes up and then come bedtime just come in and roll over and go right to sleep.

I'm like - "Hey weren't you just flashing your breasts at me while I was brushing my teeth and talking about how much I must like them and then - nothing?"
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Old 12th December 2017, 6:19 PM   #10
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Iíve always been very skeptical of a couple being able to talk their way out of a mismatch in sexual desires. Mostly, because a person canít just turn up their sexual desire on demand.

If you go to your wife and tell her everything that you shared with us, what can she do with that information? She can have sex with you more often, but it will be unwanted on her end. Sheíll essentially be performing a duty. And youíll then realize she is only having sex with you because you are pushing it on her, but that will ruin things for you because you will want a willing and enthusiastic partner in bed, not a duty f*** that feels like you are masturbating with a lifeless doll.

In my opinion, your two options are to ďsuck it upĒ like the therapist told you or you can leave the marriage and find a partner with a similar sex drive.
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Old 12th December 2017, 6:25 PM   #11
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Central -

We touched on the idea of hormone therapy but she is reluctant and I can't blame her, her mother did that kind of thing when her libido died and she ended up getting breast cancer later which the doctors blamed on the therapy. The same thing happened to her Aunt who died from cancer the year we met so I understand her fear and would never force that on her.

We do date nights on occasion, sometimes it leads to sex sometimes not, I try not to force the issue one way or the other but I will admit given my higher libido I'm disappointed when it doesn't. At the end of the day I guess I get jealous of the fact that she can lead her life without sex and be perfectly happy and content while I am miserable more often that not.

That leads me back to this thought that there is something wrong with me, why can't I be happy when I'm not having regular sex with my spouse? It doesn't seem to bother her and I have friends that I have confided in who think twice a month is dandy and don't understand what I'm complaining about.
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Old 12th December 2017, 6:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbedFenceRider View Post
My grandparents still went at it like teenagers as I was told by my mom. (uh, okay mom, thanks...) lol Also, I remember transporting at least half a dozen patients in the Geriatric stage due to angina and other maladies from sex...Just sayin'

smilin...lol...ahem...love this post had to repeat it...by the time i find my guy who will be mine for life i might be geriatric i do reckon in that walkers could be used as props if you put some silk ribbons on them....

hey op....do you have regular date nights.......two times a month.....to me isnt a compromise.......deb
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Old 12th December 2017, 6:29 PM   #13
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except I could see where OP does communicate with the wifey and tell her how she makes him feel. And he wants to express that to her. Why doesn't she want to be with him? If it is a round about statement about age or doesn't need it...Then you can see that she just doesn't see him as the partner she married. Just a room mate. I can see that "duty-sex" is also gross. Partners who lay there are just as bad as anything else. Very emasculating.
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Old 12th December 2017, 6:33 PM   #14
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Be_Strong -

Yeah that is kind of the ridiculous part though isn't it, I love most everything about my wife except for the lack of sexual intimacy so if I went looking for another partner what would that ad look like on the internet -

WANTED - A woman who is exactly like my current wife but likes sex - Thanks

Just seeing it spelled out makes me feel even worse.
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Old 12th December 2017, 6:39 PM   #15
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After thinking about this some more, I think you should approach your wife and ask her if there is anything that she thinks YOU could do to increase her desire to have sex with you. Itís less confrontational that way and instead of coming across as a demand that she has sex with you more, it comes across as an offer from you to do more for her.
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