The Lie of Marriage (topic is about sex and lack of intimacy)

Hi everyone.

First off a confession, I’ve been lurking this site and the Twitch streams for a while now, trying to build my courage to write this. I am not sure if my post is even in the right place, but I just don’t know where else to turn to. Part of this is just for me to write down my thoughts, unfiltered, the way I have seen things go down, but any advice on how to move from here is welcomed.

So here goes.

I have been married for almost 12 years now. She’s a great girl, I love her to death, she is my mate and best friend, and I don’t know what I would do with my life without her. BUT on the intimacy level this relationship is pretty much a trainwreck up to the level where, in my opinion, in the last 10 years we haven’t had god sex. And though I have heard mention of in passing throughout my life, it seems that this is just accepted as the man’s fate when he marries. I haven’t changed. I am still the same guy she fell in love with all those years ago, I even have my same weight and figure, though a little older. She is all for getting her own pleasures in bed, but the fun we used to have, her willingness to please, all that is just gone pretty much from the moment we got married. The best I have to hope for these days is a distracted quick peck when I come home. I am not into kinky stuff, or excessive in my longings, but these days, and for the last 10 years, she has been completely distracted in bed, as a thousand things are apparently more important than focusing on the moment. On several occasions I have brought up her behavior, and in those times she confesses she is indeed not pulling her weight to have an equal relationship, but she’s not doing anything about it either.
We’ve been to relationship therapy on three different occasions, but there my comments are disregarded with shrugs as if it’s normal for women to basically lie and cheat their way into marriage by being all willing and then taking it away when the ‘prey is caught’, and at the last therapy I was called selfish to my face for even suggesting that I had needs that simply weren’t met.

I don’t want to loose her, she really is one in a million, as I said, she is my buddy, we’ve been through hell and back together. I just feel so powerless. I mean, women have the right to say no to sex, to say anything else is just ridiculous, but these last 10 years have just been draining the life out of me, up to the point where I have started thinking about looking into prostitutes, or being unfaithful, but this would just ruin what we have with lies and deceit. To clarify, I am not asking permission to stray, because I am fully aware none of you is able to give that to me, or forbid me.

I think my real question here is that I just can’t understand how I, and from what I hear men in general, can be treated like this, and it is just accepted as the fate of the married man. How can she be so selfish, so self-centered, not to care for the man she marries, the man she loves? Does she even still love me if she treats me like this? Because revisiting the topic has now turned to her just being annoyed that I am bringing it up again, which if I keep doing it will also stress the relationship to a possible breaking point.

Any which way I turn I feel I am trapped, and this problem of lack of the ultimate expression of love, basically the glue that keeps a relationship together. I understand that a woman needs to feel safe and secure to have sex, but to a man sex is the way to feel safe and secure in the relationship, an affirmation of love, that she wants him as a mate and not just as a meal-ticket, because that’s what I pretty much feel like. Around 80% of all breakups revolve around sexual dissatisfaction, and the only thought that gives me any inner peace is that being alone is worse, which is a terrible comparison to make! Having one leg to hop around on after the other has been maliciously or callously cut off is still better than having no legs at all? What is that for insanity? So why is this somehow normal?
And how do I find my way back to the woman I fell in love with in the time we couldn’t get enough of each other? Is this just a ‘eat a Ritz cracker each day and in the end you’ll be sick of Ritz crackers?’ thing? And if so then why do we tolerate monogamy at all?

As I said, any (well-meaning) advice or thoughts on the subject is welcome, even if it’s a ‘hey man, I’m in the same boat, I feel ya’. And if you feel this topic is inappropriate for this forum, then feel free to ask the Mods to delete it. I write something like this about two times a year when I am at my emotionally lowest and don’t know how to press on, but this is the first time I am shouting it into the void, and publicly show that I hurt inside for the world to see, even if I feel the need to do so anonymously because I feel my words are not acceptable.



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@Wim, this is a place for people to come when they are hurt or have problems. It doesn’t matter what its about, you’re still a human being and you deserve to make your pain known. Trust me, I’ve written about some pretty embarrassing/seemingly ridiculous topics before, but I’ve gotten replies anyway.

I think she does love you, but she also thinks about herself. It may seem obvious, but even when you love someone and they are pressing about a topic you don’t like, you get a bit annoyed and defensive.
And if you think or say stuff about being unfaithful,while trying to talk to her about this subject, it will not end well. Nor do I think it will end well even if you don’t say anything to her and do it. You wouldn’t feel right with yourself.
I don’t think this happens to married men every time, but people are complicated.
I’m sorry you go through this, and that I can’t say much more, because I’m not experienced in this type of thing. But post on here whenever you want, ok? This won’t last forever, and I believe you can find a way out.
Hold Fast

Hey, thank you for replaying.
I don’t see a way out either, just a continuation of the last 10 years. You say this won’t last forever, but I don’t see how this will change. But I do appreciate the sentiment of your words. :slight_smile:

Nothing will change if you don’t do anything and let it go on, my friend. You love this person, then you should let her know the pain you’re in. Take her some where quiet where you guys can talk uninterrupted. Do you think she would want to be lied to, because in a way you are, by not telling her how much this hurts and letting it go every time it is brought up.
Don’t give up :slight_smile:

You just gotta keep being honest about how you’re feeling. Keep bringing it up that you are dissatisfied. Especially if she is apathetic to it. Maybe she is feeling something that you don’t know about. If it’s bothering you that much, the only way to get to the bottom of it is to be honest and say it’s been really frustrating. If you want to still be with her just keep bringing it up and feel out her reactions and opinions. That’s hard man. Hold fast. Keep fighting especially if you want to be with her

I have, multiple times, we’ve even done couples counselling/relationship therapy (see original message). And though she recognizes the problem, she empathizes, but nothing changes as her sexuality has pretty much shut down shortly after we moved in together. Everything else just seems to have a higher priority than being together.

Holding on and keep bringing it up is pretty much what I am doing, but I have lost hope anything will change. She is a solid 10 in just about everything for me, apart from the sex that has dwindled from a great 8 to a meager 5, very likely lower.

Have you tried helping her relax and feel safe? For example giving her a massage, glass of wine, a bubble bath? Maybe she needs to be taken care of in this particular departments to help her sex drive come back. Just my thoughts! I wish you the best man. Marriage is not easy. And you’re not alone.

She has everything she could ever want, I am a caring husband. Her experience of the relationship is a solid 8 ‘if I only didn’t complain so much about the sexual part’, while due to the sexual part my experience of it is hovering around a 6, sometimes dipping to a 5. (1 out of 10 scale, 10 highest). In fact, part of this problem might be that she is too spoiled. She was pretty spoiled by her parents and it is how she basically expects life to be. Plus she is easily distracted, there might be traces of light ADD there.
I don’t think this is about anything I could do to better the situation, I see the problem more lies in to get her to realize that this relationship is just not equal, that the love is mostly flowing one way. I don’t think she ever really learned to care, or share, or care enough to share (first is based in emotion while the last is based in thought). And I have just lost hope that talking about it will change anything, while I find I cannot accept things as they are. I cannot make her change, she has to want to change, but there is no reason for her to change as it is all flowing in her direction, and she is happy with that. She would have to be willing to give up some of her comfort and time to care more about me, but that would take a realization of love, and possibly fear of loss, but that’s a very tricky road to walk without loosing it all.

I get it. I’m in an almost similar situation where my husband has been living this easy, simple, selfish life and has neglected me emotionally for years. I suddenly stopped trying and fighting for his attention, partly because I started giving my attention to another man. (I realize this is wrong, and I’m getting help). But I just don’t love him anymore. But there are other underlying issues that I won’t go into because this thread is about you. But since there is a threat of this marriage ending in separation, it has finally opened his eyes to where he needs to learn that he needs to start investing in his wife and not continue living this complacent life. But I’m afraid it’s too late for me.
I hope this route doesn’t happen to you, but its not fair that she isn’t giving you what you need.

Thank you for the kind words and showing me that this is not just happening to me. A partner being self-absorbed, egocentric, is a terrible thing to live with, because their ease in which they go through life caring only about themselves just corrodes your confidence and makes you wonder if you are caring too much, if it maybe is really just your own fault, in the end in your loneliness making you happy you’re getting any attention at all from anyone. Time and time again, especially on good days, I think it’s all worth it, that the sex doesn’t matter, that we have such a good life together, while on the bad days, and in the last years I have to be honest, there have been a major majority of bad ones, I am just trying to get through the day, hoping something will somehow magically change, that they will see the light and suddenly everything will be alright. Getting the blame passed onto me isn’t helping either, comments about me being selfish for wanting, no, deserving love, or ‘if I just didn’t complain so much’ really undermine my self-confidence. She is just no longer attracted to me, that is just a fact. I am not new and exciting like I once was when we started, or a problem that needs to be solved. I hate being a problem, I hate that I need to speak out, to say things like ‘hey! I’m still here! This is a relationship, you’re not living on your own here!’, which makes me the one creating a problem time and time again, because she is just too blind, or uncaring, to see it. But I also see I don’t really have much choice but to put up with it, because being alone is worse.

I can feel your pain through your words. I’m so sorry friend. I pray that a good change will come your way in your favor. And please don’t feel bad for speaking out. You don’t deserve to live on the back burner the rest of your life. You have the right to speak your feelings. They are valid!

Thank you for sharing and I’ll start by saying obviously I don’t know the inner workings of your relationship but to a certain degree I can understand your frustrations from personal experience. I would say a big thing for my wife and I was making more margin in life, trying to have more time to connect on a personal level. Remembering why we fell in love in the first place. The one thing I’d ask is has she ever said she doesn’t find you attractive? If not I’d try to avoid that lie we tell ourselves. To figure intimacy out we had to take a few steps back to look at what was hurting within ourselves that played into the lack of intimacy. Hope it doesn’t come across as making stuff about me just thought some of our story could help.

Interesting thoughts… No, she has never said she’s no longer attracted to me, nor that she (now or in the past) finds me not attractive, and yes, it is partially a time issue. She has a very demanding job which eats up a lot of her time, and she basically needs weekends to recoup from that. I understand that. But it leaves little time for us together, which is part of the issue. When she has holidays, she always needs a couple of days just to basically reset her mind to having free time, but after that feels the need to go out and experience things because her job is so demanding, and when there actually IS time to be together, she is very easily distracted by her own thoughts and has focus on being together. For her us being together is we both sitting on the couch watching Netflix while we eat, or us sitting near each other while she works. She lacks focus as well as dedication, devotion. Through our many talks she knows she is lacking, and at times she does try, but her trying results in about 5 minutes of together time, after which she is distracted again, or just gives up because she’s bored. She likes sex, but she has no intention, no incentive to initiate. Where in the first two years she still tried to seduce and play, all of that has just died off. She just doesn’t try to give anymore, because for her it’s fine the way things are running. She’s reaping the benefits, she’s enjoying herself, and giving is difficult, so why change it? And that indicates, to me, that she doesn’t really love me, because if you love someone, yo want to share, you want to give and care. Only the shock and fear of when I comment that this relationship is failing gives her any incentive to do anything at all, which most of the time is half-assed and begrudgingly given, simply because giving is more difficult than receiving. I can only translate her behavior to plain selfishness, serving her own interests, and not caring. Her father is pretty much the same, so there is a life example there, and her parents are still together but in a constant state of semi-divorce, which makes her mother look like the bad-guy for always complaining. I don’t want to be that way, I don’t want to be the all-the-time-complainer, but it is either that or accepting this is just going to be it, which makes me cry inside.

I know this sounds bizarre but my wife and I not watching Netflix/tv while we ate did a lot to help us. Just making it a point to eat at the table with nothing on was big. Obviously it didn’t solve everything but it was something small to start with. Some of your descriptions about her sound really familiar to me. I’d say if your together and she gets distracted with her own thoughts explore those thoughts with her to keep connection. Are there any shared interests or hobbies you can make a little time for? Even something small like if you both like coffee checking out a new coffee shop. I think my biggest piece of advice is also the hardest (and I struggle with it) is work to respond to her in love whether she is coming at you out of love, anger or frustration. I can be really self righteous so it’s hard to do but it always seems better in the long haul. In its basic element it’s what we all want out of a spouse, she may not see it right away but over time she may and the love you show can cause her to change. And there’s always the chance she won’t change but in your heart you’ll know if you operated out of love you’ve done all you can.



I’m sorry you are not in a good season with your wife. I have seen marriages fall apart, and I don’t want you to be another statistic. What I can suggest is that you can write of what you feel and think on a paper, and give it to your wife, so she can read it. If talking to her is not going anywhere. Love is a choice, and do your best to love her.

We have talked about my problems again yesterday, and she just sits there. She listens, but she knows she can’t do much. Her selfishness is in her nature, it basically is who she is and why she is a success at her job. She says she fears to change, as it will change her, and also that it saddens her that I can’t overcome my longing for this intimacy that she just doesn’t feel.
We’re trying to ‘up’ our sex-life yet again, but to be true I have little hope as we have tried it so often, and it always failed. We both don’t want a divorce, we are better people together than when we’re apart, but I can’t live with this missing love in my heart as well. So I am stuck at keeping on trying again, trying to climb uphill in a gravel-pit. Because that’s what it feels like. And I know that if I keep kicking enough eventually the gravelpit will level out, but at the same time that is a lot of work, and I am so so tired of keeping on trying.

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@Wim I see. There is not much I can say. I’m sorry.