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My wife has lost interest in affection and sex; I need advice.

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  • My wife has lost interest in affection and sex; I need advice.

    I'm really in the dark on this and need insight from women about what might be going on in my wife's mind and heart.

    We've been together a little over ten years. I am her second husband; she is my third wife. We have no secrets or resentments about any of this. She's in her mid forties, I'm in my mid fifties. We both look quite a bit younger than we are and have plenty of energy. We met online and fell in love quickly and intensely. We bought a house a little over a year later. Our personalities are very different: she's very logical; I'm very intuitive. We both value the differences, though, of course, these also create conflict now and then.

    In the first years, I was somewhat unstable emotionally. In 2009 I was diagnosed bi-polar II and within a year and a half had my depression and occasional manic episodes completely under control with medication. I'm completely stable now. During those first few years, we had a great sex life: four or five times a week and mutually satisfying. It tapered a little, then three or four years ago, it started to fall off quickly. Around that time, she said to me out of the blue, "I wouldn't mind if I never had sex again." She even said something to the effect of "I used to need sex to feel secure in a relationship, but now that I'm sure of your love I don't need to have sex." I really didn't know what to say to that. Now we have awkward, unsatisfying (for me) sex every couple months.

    She doesn't touch me. In the morning, we kiss like on a fifties TV show and hug for a moment. When I try to hold her, it usually gets awkward. When I try to kiss her more deeply, she pulls away. At night, we "kiss" and she says goodnight and rolls over. Once a week or less, she'll take my hand or put her hand on my knee. I respond in kind and it lasts a minute or two. If I do more, it goes nowhere. We work at home. I touch her many times a day. I hold her hips and sometimes press against her as I pass behind her in the kitchen. I kiss her neck. When she's sitting, I caress her back as I walk by. When we watch a movie at home, I cozy up next to her and put my arm around her or my hand on her leg. She doesn't respond. When I touch her breast or her behind, she either ignores or waits until I stop then goes on with whatever she was doing.

    I find occasions to compliment her appearance. I notice when she buys clothes. I like her perfume and I say so. I tell her how I love to see her and be around her. I can't remember the last time she said anything like that to me or mentioned my appearance. She was a distance runner when we met and was in great shape. She developed moderate back trouble and quit running. She has constant, low-level pain and sits with a heating pad every evening. Year by year she gained weight. The last few years, she's gained quite a bit and may now be over two hundred pounds. I've never mentioned her weight in any way (I learned this lesson in previous relationships). She's said she feels unattractive. I've told her she's attractive to me. When I look at her naked, she tells me I'm making her uncomfortable.

    When sex was tapering and she responded less and less to my advances, she started to complain I was too tentative. So I was more forceful, and she complained I was pushy. In the last couple years, she has not responded positively to any advance I've made. She says she's tired or freezes and waits till I stop. I quit trying. I started just asking to have sex. She usually says yes, but since she doesn't normally touch me and we don't kiss, this is an awkward exercise of groping and kind of kissing, then a rote series of positions. I feel she's humoring me. She still gets great pleasure from sex, but contributes little and her interest passes quickly. I started to have trouble every time finishing (has happened rarely before). Now most times I have trouble even starting (entirely new problem). One night a few months ago, she woke me in the night and we had sex like we did ten years ago. I mentioned it the next day and she smiled and turned away.

    You would never know to see us that there is no intimacy in our relationship. We get along well. We enjoy each other's company, laugh a lot, go on dates. On appropriate occasions, we exchange cards expressing deep emotions, but she never speaks any of those things to me. (She wrote in the most recent that she looks forward to ten more years together. I'm not sure how she thinks that will happen.) We both express thanks often for courtesies, chores done, stuff like that. We tell each other we love each other, but that used to be daily at least. Now it's maybe once a week. We have a lot of little conflicts. Used to be, I let most things go. I felt surrounded by her love and didn't much care if she wanted to get in the last word or tell me why I was wrong about something. I don't feel that way now and I get irritable easily, so we have little conflicts several times a day that we never had before. It's getting worse quickly as I run out of patience.

    She has two teenagers who have become difficult. Their father gives them whatever they want and lets them do whatever they want. This is their expectation. They tell her all the time how much they love her but show her little respect. Her son laughs in her face. Her daughter goes from zero to ***** instantly if she doesn't get her way. There's a fair amount of affection between her and them, and they have normal conversations, but conflicts get bad very fast. Her son has personality problems; he has no concern whatsoever for anyone else in the house. When he's medicated, he's much better; it's clear there's a good person in there somewhere. But evenings and weekends, he's not medicated. I've had conflicts with him for a long time. Her daughter and I had a great relationship, then she stopped speaking to me. These conflicts cause my wife pain. Over the last few years, I've gotten better and better at staying out of conflicts with her kids. I screw up sometimes, but in general I add very little to the conflict in the house. She seems not to recognize this progress. Every conflict I get into makes her angry.

    I've tried several times in the last year or so to bring up this problem. At first, I wanted to talk about sex. But I gave up on that. Now I just want to talk about affection, any kind of intimacy. She tells me she doesn't want to talk because she's tired or that she's pulled in two directions (her kids and me), that there's not enough of her for everyone. We were out walking a few weeks ago and I brought up my feeling of being distant from her and asked what I could do to make things better. She put me off over and over until I just let it drop.

    I can't stay in this relationship indefinitely. At the very least, I need some path toward intimacy with her and to feel we're making progress. What might she be thinking? What should I do?

    Give all your love now. For all we know we might be dead by tomorrow.

  • I sense so many things that could be affecting your wife at this point. The first thing I might mention is that in one's 40s the hormone levels drop and she may be in peri-menopause. This is the time period prior to going into menopause. Mood swings, libido changes and even mental/psychological changes take place. She may be looking at the empty nest syndrome coming up in the future. This could make her feel unstable in her role in the home as a mother and a wife.

    Next could be this (and I put this out in the kindest way) you are her second husband - could it be that in the beginning of your relationship she felt you were her knight in shining armour? Now that this is past her original feelings, although true and real at the time, have changed and she no longer is in peril of much that you saved her from. In other words she may not need you in the same way so her reaction to you has changed.

    Thirdly, sometimes we women, can just get plain tired. It's work to get up in the morning, get dressed, look professional, go to work, be responsive to our co-workers etc.
    The last thing we may need is to feel pressured.

    You say you are constantly petting her, touching, etc. This can also wear thin if constantly forced upon her. She just may need sometime to be - in charge of her own body and space.

    This isn't to say she doesn't love you or that the physical side won't come back. It may take far more patience on your part than you are willing to provide. It may mean getting counselling. It may finding out the root causes of her lower back pain and having that remedied. Pain in any amount can be debilitating and pre-occupy to the exclusion of all else.

    As a woman I can look at things from her side and make some suggestions, but don't assume these are the reasons for her coldness. It could be something else entirely. If you can get her to open up to you it may be that she just needs additional help around the house, a vacation from stress or duties.

    Come back here - I'm sure other members will have some advice that may be more helpful. We are a great group of people with varied experiences that might help.
    That which we forget may as well never really happened.


    • Hi Macon!! Welcome to WH! I think you will find some others here who have gone through something very similar.

      It sounds like it could be a variety of things or perhaps even a combination of some of them.

      First, hormones. Has she gotten all of her levels checked out? Does she take any form of bc? When hormones are out of whack, so is libido. When I was in my early 20's taking the pill, I completely lost my sex drive. I even remember thinking, "I could go the rest of my life and never have sex again and be totally okay with that." I went off, hormones balanced out, and like magic my healthy sex drive returned. She is also at an age where she could be experiencing some peri-menopausal symptoms resulting in some imbalances.

      Second, weight. If she is unhappy with her appearance, it doesn't matter how many times you tell her she's beautiful (that definitely doesn't hurt, btw, so don't stop doing that), she's not going to FEEL beautiful in her skin. If a woman feels insecure with herself, her sex drive and sexual responses will 100% reflect that.

      Third, stress. She's overweight, probably unhealthy bp, cholesterol, hormones, etc in addition to the physical insecurities. She's stressed out by her children and that entire situation. I have NEVER seen my mom experience the level of stress and heartbreak she does when she deals with my brother. I think disrespectful, ungrateful children who have issues of their own has got to be one of the worlds biggest heartaches for a parent. Clearly, this would consume her whether she admits it or not.

      Then there's you. You love her, are good to her, don't cause her problems and so you are her place of "comfort". But now, even you are displeased with her (rightfully so, it seems) and every time she's around you she KNOWS she's not pleasing you, she knows you're unhappy, she knows your unsatisfied and that only increases the pressure. Under normal circumstances, this person would do everything they could to change that but these aren't normal circumstances. I think she feels that by the time she's deal with everything else, she has nothing left.

      I think you have got to take a more direct approach, stop walking on eggshells and be direct with her about how serious this situation truly is for you and for your marriage. A nice, sincere, direct conversation that you don't allow her to just shrug off.
      "Be what you're looking for."


      • Although you have made attempts to seek common ground, they are being cut off by the lack of communication. Maybe counseling would work, with both of you getting advice and analysis from a third party.
        I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
        Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

        From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia


        • Originally posted by macon View Post
          She has constant, low-level pain and sits with a heating pad every evening. She's said she feels unattractive. I mentioned I don't feel that way now and I get irritable easily, so we have little conflicts several times a day that we never had before. ?
          Welcome to the forum.

          Just looked up an article to see what causes low libido in women and this is a common problem. Testosterone in women decreases as one ages. Also, stress increases cortisol which produces prolactin which is the "celibacy hormone.". You can probably find the article if you search low libido.

          Can see several areas of stress in your wife's life.
          First, you two work together. So you're just not away from each other enough, give her some space.
          Love that you touch your wife several times a day and show your affection. However, when one is at home working and in business mood, don't know if that works well.
          Next, she has gained weight, and has constant pain. Certainly not conducive to sex.
          Then having teens, mega stress.
          Then your irritations leading to several conflicts during the day, also adding stress. Would also be wondering, if your medication for bipolar might need tweaking a little.
          And then someone mentioned peri menopause, something else that messes with hormones.


          • To all of you: this is really good. Thank you. I see you're all admins; my wife's a forum admin: I know you don't have a lot of time to respond to everyone who shows up. I appreciate your generosity. (To Amy40--just saw your post but am out of time to respond. I'll certainly read and ponder what you say.)

            Two of you mention menopause. The major downturn started three or four years ago. I thought menopause was a fifties thing; do I misunderstand?

            Birth control: She gets depoprovera shots; she likes not having a period. A while ago, she wanted me to get a vasectomy, which I really didn't want to do. My only justification was I actually kind of want another child, with her in particular, but with her that will not happen. I recognize my age, however, my sons are grown and I've lived with children almost continuously all my life, one way or another, since I was ten. Having children around feels normal to me. Even at my age, life has turnabouts (like what's happening now); I didn't like cutting off that possibility. But I accepted what she wanted and because of our relationship, I eventually told her I'd do it. She then turned around and decided to keep getting the shots. She's always used depoprovera, and, as I write below, that seemed not to depress her libido in the early years. But I'll look into the drug profile to see whether there's something there. Thank you.

            I was startled to read that my affection toward her may work against me, against us. I'm like wtf? Do I just stop? Do I tell her I'm stopping to give her space? What do I stop and what do I keep doing?

            She's in healthcare, so she knows exactly what her back pain is: spondylitis. It won't get better and may slowly get worse. Sex doesn't seem to cause her pain, usually. She's so passive during sex, though, that discomforts really stand out to her because she's not into it and moving around and responding. I mean, bite back, push back; used to be that way. We actually did have sex last night, first time since October, at her suggestion. I put everything I could think of into warming her up and loving on her. She barely responded. It went the same as always in this new normal: satisfaction for her then apparent boredom, inadequacy and dissatisfaction for me. During, she was so passive I asked if what we were doing hurt but she said no, it didn't. The pain drags on her just the same I know. I think it's always a 1-2 (scale of 10) and can get up to maybe 4 or 5 on a bad day. Maybe I need to ask what ways are least likely to cause pain.

            Particularly because of her children's delusion that they're full-fledged adults with full rights, she feels them slipping away. And something else maybe makes it worse between us: I care for my granddaughter (1 1/2) once a week, and my wife sees us together maybe once a month. My granddaughter has warmed to her, but the girl is all about me. It's humbling and a little scary; now I'm older I feel the weight of a child's trust. I don't know what effect my wife's seeing us together might have in light of her relationships with her children. I have warm relationships with both my sons as well. Maybe seeing the satisfaction and joy I often have doesn't help? She might wish I was this way with her children? I was tight with her daughter before puberty, but, as I wrote, that just went away. I work at it now with her son when he's medicated. He's actually pleasant and very easy to engage with when medicated; just that he's a flaming _ when not. I do all I can in this arena, but if you have step-parent thoughts, I'm open.

            "She may not need you in the same way so her reaction to you has changed." She's said as much. I feel short changed, to say the least. Very early on, recognizing the difference in our ages, she made a point of saying she liked a lot of sex, implying I needed to keep up. That was never remotely a problem. I had the--I think--fair expectation sex would remain central for us. She recognized as recently as a year ago how it brings us together; as sex waned, she used to use the term "reconnect" when speaking of having sex. Not any more.

            You commit to a person, not to a way; I know that. We're only human though; we want what we want and can't unwant it. Maybe her need for me has changed; my need for her hasn't.

            Her weight: nothing I can do. I know that. What I hear you saying is I need to back off even more. Do I hear right? Is this more of the let-up-on-the-affection thing above? Feels like giving up, but I kind of understand. But not really. Any clarification would help.

            The main messages I hear from you all are a) gently confront and tell her where I am, where this will go if the situation doesn't change. b) Maybe suggest going to counseling. The counseling idea won't go over well, but I don't guess any of it's going to go over well.

            I've read in a men's forum men's accounts of this situation. None of their women regained their interest in sex. The men who reported doing anything, left. That's a self-selected sample, not representative of the general population, but there it is. My wife is a kind, thoughtful, loving woman. We get along very well. Before this, our relationship was the best my life has ever been. I'm hoping against hope and doing what I have to to feel I've done everything.

            If you have more to offer, I would value that very much. But you've given me a lot. It will seem I don't do anything with it: I'm really bad at confronting, nevertheless, some time soon I have to move this on to the next square.

            I feel fortunate to have received your thoughtful, caring responses. Thank you again,


            Give all your love now. For all we know we might be dead by tomorrow.


            • We were going somewhere but that's delayed. I have time. A response to amy40 and an addendum.

              Amy40: I'll read up on hormones.

              Giving her space: When I go out of town to visit my son, she reports kind of knocking around in the house being lonely. She appears not to want that space. When I confront, I'll ask.

              My meds: I have been rock steady for several years now and have no problems in other areas of my life. My irritations arise as reported: I just don't feel like letting it go any more. Yesterday I got in my car and left. I was really, really angry over something very small, but it was the nth time she'd cut me off as she did and all this here totally occupied my mind. It's starting to scare me. I'm actually more and more stable in all other areas of my life (my equanimity with her children is a great example); only with her am I growing short. You are completely right to point this out. However, I just can't see my meds causing an issue between my wife and me.

              Touching: for me, no amount of touching and being touched would be too much. I'm probably at the far end on that. Others above have also suggested pulling back with my wife. Looks like that's what I have to do, though how that will help or change anything, I'm sure I don't know.

              Addendum: I've also thought about darker responses. I don't want an outside relationship, but internet hookups look like they'd be fall-out-of-a-chair easy. In the men's forum I read, some suggest this solution. Others suggest getting together with a couple who like to share each other sexually. Still others have suggested a sex club (my wife and I did this once in our first few years [her suggestion and she arranged it] but agreed not to have sex with anyone else then or as a result of that visit). Honestly, it was the dogginess of the suggestions in that forum that drove me to look for a women's forum. I mean, what else could I expect men to suggest?

              Based on things you've written, I conclude that suggesting to her any kind of autré sex is out of the question, outrageous pressure, a cruelty. I felt that to be true, but it's helpful to have it confirmed one way or the other.

              As for going outside our marriage: I don't want the complication of an outside relationship. But I wonder about finding women on the side and various other shades of illicit sex. I've heard of relationships with a sexual imbalance where one partner gives the other permission to have sex with other people. I know very well a gay couple who have this arrangement. That's two men, though. Men and women are different.

              I suspect any woman would find this suggestion an appalling betrayal. Plus the possible complication of sexual diseases. I've taken no step toward this or even considered it except in this abstract, what-if way. Such a step would be very weird and uncomfortable for me, if I could bring myself to do it, and I'm not sure I could, but I'm looking in all corners. I'm interested to hear, though, how this looks from your perspective.

              I don't like admitting these thoughts to you. If you've been in my situation, however, you know that you cast around for absolutely anything that lets you preserve your relationship. Recognize that I've also spent years trying to accept that, okay, I guess my life will not have sex or intimacy in it any more.

              Last edited by macon; 01-07-2017, 04:09 PM.

              Give all your love now. For all we know we might be dead by tomorrow.


              • Welcome macon! So glad to have you here, and while I admit I didn't read 100% of your initial post, I can easily see your dedication and love for her. So very nice to encounter this.

                my apologies, also, for commenting when I've not read all your words.

                First, yes, hormones and menopause/perimenopause can absolutely strike before our 50's. I am 44, and began having serious hormonal fluctuations over 2 yrs ago. Women in my family experience menopause early. Also, hormonal birth control can be very harsh, and though you may not have seen sexual side effects earlier, it can be a side effect of the injection.

                Another question that jumps out at me is her spondylitis diagnosis. Is she on meds to treat autoimmune? is she managing symptoms through any other means, besides heat? Such as diet or anti-inflammatory drugs? does she get adequate, quality sleep?

                The only other comment I have, until I hear the answers above, is that I think you should change your mindset about confronting her. you said something about not doing well with confrontation....
                I do believe she needs to understand the importance of these things, but don't view it as a confrontation. it isn't. I think she doesn't understand the seriousness of this, and how close she is to losing you.

                So view it rather as a heart to heart discussion where you share it all, wide open, and give her also an opportunity to do the same. Tell her everything. Tell her how you feel, what you think, where your mind has been going.
                I had to do something similar with my ex husband. I had to lay it all out there. I asked nothing of him, at that point. I just spilled my heart and soul and I told him where I was and where I believed our marriage was, and how I was sick inside to believe we were losing ourselves, that I was terrified to lose him.
                At that point, they have a choice to make, and it is their choice, not any badgering from us. She needs to see just how deeply you're hurting.

                That's all for now. I will check again for your responses later today.


                • Welcome, Macon!

                  1. The same basic issue you have is what brought me to this site. The people here were so instrumental in helping me deal with my situation that I've stuck around for years.

                  One of the main things that helped me was seeing others in the same situation - men, and to my surprise at the time, women...a lot of women of all ages. Search the site and you'll see women in the 20's to their 60's complaining about lack of erotic affection.

                  This was important to me because I thought that my situation might just be a thing that happened - after marriage, women just stop wanting sex. But some of the stuff I would read from the female members of this site was just like I had written it! On top of that, some of these women were well into mid-life, years or decades into marriage talking like my sex-crazy teenaged girlfriend. In some cases, they were in their late 30's, 40's, or 50's and hitting some kind of a weird peak. It gave me hope. There's hope for you too.

                  Here are a couple of recent posts: https://www.womens-health.com/boards...in-my-marriage and https://www.womens-health.com/boards...5669-sex-surge. There are tons more. Use the search feature.

                  2. A few things jumped out at me about your posts: the lack of communication, feeling unsexy from the weight gain, and this:

                  Originally posted by macon View Post
                  "I used to need sex to feel secure in a relationship, but now that I'm sure of your love I don't need to have sex."
                  Originally posted by macon View Post
                  "Very early on, recognizing the difference in our ages, she made a point of saying she liked a lot of sex, implying I needed to keep up."
                  It sounds like your wife is really in love with you, but doesn't understand your sexual needs. She probably also has a view of sex that you don't understand.

                  I remember this one time after I had been married for years and suffering with some serious frustration, I blurted something out in the middle of the night about it - I'm talking like 2 or 3 A.M. laying in bed with my wife asleep. It startled her and made her feel bad, which, of course, left me feeling badly too. I will never forget what she said: "I thought we were cool."

                  She had no clue. Years before that, she had caught me with a porn video (back in the days when you actually had to go to the store and get a cassette). I told her that we weren't having enough sex. She was shocked, angry, and felt betrayed. I did my best to tell her that I had some of the same feelings. I thought that she got it, only to find out years later, that she still did not.

                  We're in our 17th year of marriage now, and our situation has improved. A couple of days ago, I actually caught myself hoping that she wouldn't wake me up for sex the next morning. Like a dumb jerk, I actually said it. I was thinking to myself, "What a dramatic turnaround."

                  It's taken a lot of work, time, patience, and loads of communication. In my opinion, that's what you need.

                  Best wishes. And, WELCOME!
                  "Those sowing seed with tears
                  Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126


                  • Atskitty2 and Stilness: thank you so much for your direct and thoughtful posts.

                    Atskitty2: You have a good point about looking at my attitude about "confronting." It's the wrong word, but I don't have a better (and I'm a writer). You're probably right, I should put the conversation in a different category. Plan for a conversation in which I open myself up, not one in which I put her on the spot, even gently. The message really is "this is where I am, this is what I need, and this is where I see us going if things continue as they are." Preparing with the premise of "who I am and what I need" versus "what's wrong and what needs to happen" will give me a better vocabulary and make me hear things differently. Thank you!

                    The menopause thing sucks. I guess it is what it is. No way ask her on this topic without showing my hand, either. That's a big oh well, I guess.

                    On spondylitis: she researches everything exhaustively, getting into medical journals and reading whole research articles. Pretty much all she talks about is healthcare. (It's kind of annoying, but I knew this going in; it's not that bad.) Autoimmune is a problem in her family, and she's got some kind of dryness thing as well. But she is _all over_ this stuff; I have to trust she's found any help there is for her condition.

                    I appreciate your sharing your experience with your ex-husband (the "ex" is a little disheartening, but thanks for being honest). Courage in vulnerability is hard. Hearing from others who've accepted the challenge is helpful. Thank you very much for reflecting on what I've written and offering your insight and wisdom.

                    Stillness: Yours is the first account I've read from a man in which his woman recovers any sexual interest. From all I've read before, this is a one-way road; your words are encouraging.

                    You write: "It sounds like your wife is really in love with you, but doesn't understand your sexual needs." This is truer every day. You will probably understand my problem: I'm old enough that I don't get hard at the drop of a hat, and mutuality is important for me, both in terms of compassion and, I'll admit, ego. The few times we have sex any more, she's bored and playing along. She comes easily--used to be great; now not so much. Pretty soon, she's just waiting around and I've got nothing. Sometimes the downer mood between us makes it impossible for me even to start. This first happened early last year. Never (apart from problems with a psych med) had this happened to me before. Now failure is normal.

                    I never make any effort to initiate. For a year, she turned me down every time. So I quit trying. I started just asking (at reasonable times) "so, want to have sex?" That was usually a yes, but then she started criticizing my wording and telling me I should ask in different words. I'm like wtf-ever! So I quit asking. Now, any sex we have, she initiates. You'd think I'd be thrilled when she asks. I want it, of course, but I dread it. We have no intimacy, so it's always the same forced kisses and awkward groping, the same outcome, and less worth it each time than it was the time before. It's getting surreal how cheery and fun our life together is apart from the frozen ash of our sex life.

                    She's gained a lot of weight and may feel her body turns me off and think that's why I don't ask and why I have trouble. Maybe she thinks I've just lost interest. She refuses to talk about intimacy or sex, so she can't know why. So, yes, she hasn't the least idea what my sexual needs are, and she actively avoids finding out. I can't believe this is happening. This not the kind of woman she is, not the kind of relationship we have. But facts show she is that kind of woman and ours is that kind of relationship. This surreality is part of why I hold back: I keep thinking, nah, you're overreacting. Go to sleep. You'll wake up and it'll be better.

                    Women responding here to my posts (so openly and thoughtfully--I half expected to be flamed out of the forum) have enumerated evidence in my posts that she is overwhelmed, over-stressed, and treading water. This helps, but of course it doesn't help. I can't make her children treat her better; I can't make her body have less pain. Now I see that what I need is just another demand, and a complicated one too. Maybe time will change things. Her younger child is a sophomore in high school: I could wait it out. This time three years from now, both kids will be away at college and things might be on the mend. Or maybe I'll just be three years older.

                    I guess at root, I don't think she can pull it out. I think she's too overwhelmed to respond now, and I think changes in her body make her unable to respond later. I owe her the chance though, and not out of charity: this was a fabulous relationship for us both. I never thought I'd have such joy. I'd rather be with her than with anyone else.

                    People here have given me a lot I can use to develop a way to bring this up and ways to channel the conversation. You've given me some hope that maybe this can turn around. Thank you so much for your insights and for sharing your experience. I wish I could buy you a beer and take you to see the Cubs.

                    Give all your love now. For all we know we might be dead by tomorrow.


                    • Macon,
                      Does you wife ever participate or go with you when you care for your granddaughter? 1 1/2 that is a fun age.
                      Can't imagine you two not going out and doing fun things with a grandchild and not having a great bonding experience.

                      You also mention being out on a walk with your wife. Know that she can't run anymore but if you both can get out more and walk, that might help her some physically.


                      • Originally posted by macon View Post
                        I'm a writer
                        Uh oh. The standards just jumped up a bit around here. Now we all have to be at the top of our games.

                        Originally posted by macon View Post
                        Yours is the first account I've read from a man in which his woman recovers any sexual interest. From all I've read before, this is a one-way road
                        From what I've read, it's the other way around. Their reproductive vicissitudes allow for some weird libidinous phenomena. It's us that normally see a decline past 40 with no hope of recovery. If you read enough, you'll see quite a few men and women that report that about themselves and their spouses. There's just never an instance where a woman talks about her man or a man talks about himself seeing late peaks. Whereas it's common for them.

                        If you read around enough, you'll see a few women lamenting ignoring their husbands when they were younger because the shoe is on the other foot now and they can't rightly be angry. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad. That's why part of me feels so much for women who have the high drive, because there is pretty much no hope for their mate to have a natural physical increase, unless there's some medical issue.

                        For you and I, there's hope. And for anyone whose mate is willing to love unselfishly, they can make it work, even with a disparity in sex drive. Because really, what in a relationship isn't asymmetric and variable? Thus the vows - better, worse, sickness, health, etc.
                        "Those sowing seed with tears
                        Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126


                        • Amy,
                          Thank you for writing. I hadn't thought of that, but it makes total sense. My wife does come with sometimes and my son and his wife visit us occasionally. My wife clearly wants my granddaughter to feel close to her, and that's starting to happen. I love seeing them together. But it's as if there were glass between us. We laugh and enjoy the time together with her, but my wife never touches me at these times and no warmth between us ever results. As I think about her touching in general, she touches her children, too. Just not me.

                          The more I hear from people the weirder her distance sounds to me. It's like my wife is my sister and anything more than polite gestures would be unseemly. Could it be that she's actually tired of me but doesn't have the energy for a divorce right now? I'm sorry, I'm in like a frenzy these past couple days. So much information coming in, things I didn't know or understand. It's just so weird to live with a woman, love her company, feel she loves yours, have fun together, but for intimacy to be a ghost.

                          Would a woman who's ashamed of her weight really become so body-less as to show almost no affection to the man she loves?

                          Give all your love now. For all we know we might be dead by tomorrow.


                          • Stillness,
                            That's really good to hear. All my previous reading has been in men's forums; the level of discourse there isn't what I've found here, so I'm not surprised to hear the reporting is inaccurate.

                            And I do understand about asymmetry; I'm just, well, really mad.

                            Writing: not to worry. It's a relationships forum. Writing workshop is down the hall

                            Thanks for your attention and helpful observations. M

                            Give all your love now. For all we know we might be dead by tomorrow.


                            • Would a woman who's ashamed of her weight really become so body-less as to show almost no affection to the man she loves? Yep. Self-confidence and just as equal if not more powerful, self-loathing can and does affect a persons desire.

                              Lots of people have great experiences with the depo shot. But no one will ever convince me that forcing your body to be so out of whack that it doesn't have a period any longer is normal and doesn't come with it's own list of side effects. The depo shot has also been known to cause weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, loss of libido, emotional roller coasters, etc.
                              Declining a vasectomy because you want to have more children, when you know you can't (or shouldn't) have more children with her at her age, is sort of a slap in the face to a woman who is having to take artificial hormones every day to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Especially when those hormones have such life altering side effects. Isn't it ironic that the very thing we have to take to prevent the pregnancy, makes us not want to have sex to begin with?

                              Lack of libido can also cause a loss of affection. Once sex becomes an issue, then every touch and sign of affection is often taken as a potential segway into sex. I remember when I had no sex drive, I began withholding other types of physical affection too because every time I touched him (even a hug), he'd get turned on and then initiate sex. I didn't want to have sex, so I stopped that affection unless we were out in public somewhere where he couldn't initiate sex. Sounds horrible doesn't it? Well, it was. Thanks birth control!

                              "Be what you're looking for."



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