Apologies up front about the epic email. And (possible) over-use of parenthesis.
I've listened to enough podcasts from yourself to probably know your opinion on this one but I just wanted to email to see if I've missed something before I take any life-changing steps. Also, writing (okay, typing) everything down might help clear my own mind. So maybe I'll have solved my own problem by the time I get to the end of this.
I'm a 31-year-old male, married for eight years, and my wife has lost just about all interest in sex of any kind. At least with me. There's a collection of used batteries that suggest it's not the urge that's missing. We have a really great relationship apart from this big issue.
To be honest, I think the issue has a lot to do with laziness. She's always been a why-do-something-today-when-you-could-put-it-off-to-tomorrow type of person and I'm starting to think that she just finds sex too much of a hassle. She's never been interested in quickies; sex always involves both of us having to go for (individual [tried that]) showers first (at her insistence) then generally involves 10-15 minutes of foreplay for her before me going down on her till she cums. Then we get to have intercourse. So, any time we want to have sex, it's a good hour's worth of effort.
When we first started dating (10 years ago now) we had a decent amount of sex. Not a lot but a decent amount given how much we saw each other. It tailed off a bit when we moved in together then almost died away when we got married. We average about once every six months. The longest dry spell was a delightful 15 months. That started after 12 weeks of marriage.
Any time I bring up the issue, she tells me I'm "making [her] feel bad" or I'm putting too much pressure on her. The last time we had a serious (tears etc.) conversation about the problems, she made an effort for a little while. She initiated sex for the first time in years but chose to do so at 1:30am when I had been up and working from 6am and was due to get back up at the same time the following day. I went through with it (of course I did) but it was less than successful, shall we say, for me. There was one more similar occurrence a few months later with the same result.
I thought that the problem may have been with me—since we've been married I put on a good bit of weight. So, I hit the gym and lost just short of 40lbs. The only difference this has made is that, while she's still not interested, I now get occasional attention from women when I'm out with work colleagues. Which I've not acted on but the temptation to do so isn't decreasing with time. So, what do I do? I love her. We've had some great times together but I'm really starting to resent her now. Any time I bring up the issue I feel like I'm trying to bully or pressure her into sex and that's not what I want. As Cheap Trick so eloquently said, I want her to want me.
I've brought up the idea of blow/hand jobs or aiding myself but she won't even discuss that. I got her a bunch of Ann Summers (female friendly sex store over here) vouchers for her birthday. We went shopping together and she bought some very nice outfits. Hooray I thought. They went into the closet and have never seen the light of day since. I tried booking a get away for us last year but she had her period the whole time we were away apparently. All 11 days. She doesn't have a stressful job—she works part time and has more days off than on.
I've thought about using sex workers but it's not a long term solution. An affair is an option but I don't want to be "that" guy. There's zero chance of her ever consenting to an open relationship.
Are we doomed? Is there something I've missed?
The tone of the email probably mirrors my feeling on the subject exactly—anger, resentment, disappointment and depression.
I don't know what to do.—Completely (And Ironically) Fucked
Do you have kids?—Dan
I can see how that would have been a useful bit of information. No, we don't have any kids.—C(AI)F
Then get a divorce.
Do it now, C(AI)F, while you're young enough that finding new partners who either wanna have sex (in your case) or don't need much sex (in her case) will be relatively easy. But enough with the sexual deprivation and emotional manipulation: get a divorce. (I'm presuming here that you've already run though all the obvious things—er, obvious things that you don't mention in your epic letter: She's had have her hormone levels checked (low levels of testosterone can lead to a lack of desire in women), she's checked to make sure the birth control she's using isn't flatlining her libido, and she isn't struggling with depression.)
If you want to stay together because everything else about your marriage is great, C(AI)F, then tell her you're staying but only if you're free to have sex with other people. She's free to do the same. But if the choice is marriage and sex once every six months if you're lucky or divorce, you're walking out Door #2.
Be calm, be cool. No drama, no recriminations. She isn't interested in sex—or in having sex with you—and it's time you both accepted that fact and the consequences that flow from it.—Dan
Thanks for the response. I kind of thought that would be your advice. I guess I just needed to hear someone else say it. I'd like to think there's something I can salvage from the relationship but I think you're right. I'll give it a little time to think over—six weeks before Christmas isn't the ideal time to break up a marriage—but I can't see anything changing in that time. Thanks for being a voice of sanity. Can't tell you how much it means.
Now off to the gym to add to that 40lb weight loss with some Lovecast on iPod.—C(AI)F