My wife and I have been married for 13+ years. As of 4 years ago, all physical relations stopped. She says she loves me but not in that way. Help please.
Your question makes me sad. If expressing your love sexually within your marriage is important to you, but your wife has shut you out, she needs to realize that this expression of love is as important to your relationship as hugs, kisses, sharing your paycheck, raising your children and making a life and home together.
Ask her how she would feel if you told her you still love her, but not in the way that leaves you feeling like you need to get up and go to work each day to help support her and the family? Assuming you fulfilled your role as the responsible, faithful husband for 13+ years, would she agree to your stopping being responsible and faithful? Have you put in your time, and done enough in this relationship, that you are now at liberty to shut down and shut her out of the things that she values in your marriage? I should hope not.
While one might think this is only a man’s problem, there are also husbands who have no desire for sex. I’ve heard from both women and men who’ve struggled with a spouse who shut down sexually. Statistically, about one man to every five women will not have an active libido. In the battle of the sexes, women are most likely to use sex to catch a man and to have children, only to shut down once those feats are accomplished; and men often withhold sex if they are using it as a controlling (abusive?) tactic, or they lack libido due to drug abuse, or they have depression or other health problems. In a perfect world these sexless partners would all find each other and live happily ever after.
Male or female, if sex is important to you, it’s important that your partner honor this in your relationship. To not do so can be very distressing and damaging, enough so that I would encourage you to get professional help. The reasons a person is shut down sexually can be complex and require the help of professionals to move beyond, especially where issues of childhood or other sexual abuse are involved.
If you don’t want to run right to a counselor to help you with this, try to get your wife to agree to a schedule for having sex. You might be overjoyed to have sex once a month for starters, even though having sex once a month is still considered a sexless marriage! Don’t believe me? Google it…
Be patient with her, take baby steps. Leaving all innuendos aside, think of getting back to sex in your marriage like having to prime the old-school, manual, barnyard hand pump. It takes a lot of pumping before the water gets flowing really well again. (Geesh, that does sound ripe for innuendo…)
Don’t resign yourself to a sexless marriage. You owe it to yourself to not roll over to your side of the bed, night after night, and give up on sex. That said, having your wife shut down sexually doesn’t give you a free ticket to having an affair, but I can’t say I wouldn’t take a peak at the travel brochure!
Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~
- What steps will you take to bring sex back to your marriage?
- Why have you allowed this vital part of your relationship to die-out?
- Once you have started the process of revitalizing sex in your marriage, how will you resolve to keep it alive?
- What will you give your wife if she’s willing to give this to you? This ain’t a one way street! The negotiation and compromise of relationship never is!
A final note from Joan…thank you for posting this question anonymously on my website. You are the brave man who has helped many spouses open the dialogue to this important issue. I’m sure that this blog will be shared by many who have been suffering in silence for all too long…and 4 years, my friend, is a long time…
Click HERE to anonymously send Joan your question!