@ Everyone who said DTMFA: Exactly!

LW...after you tell her you want a divorce, don't have vaginal sex again. Chances are that she'll get pregnant and you will have a mess on your hands. Just get out as soon, and as cleanly, as possible.
C(AI)F - You asked if you've "missed something before I take any life-changing steps." If what you say about having a "really great relationship apart from this big issue" is true, and you want to try and save your marriage before you divorce her, you need this book:

"The Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011" by Athol Kay

Also read Athol's blog ( to understand how female hypergamy caused her to become less sexually attracted to you the moment you married her. Reading Roissy's blog ( will help you understand how some of the evolutional psychology discussed in "Sex at Dawn" works on a practical level in today's sexual marketplace.

I think we're all bringing our own experience to bear here. That's all we really can do.
So I'll just say this: for whatever reason, this couple's sex life is a sham. The husband is desperate and very unhappy; his wife doesn't sound particularly happy or satisfied either.
No blame.
I think he should try one last time, really clearly and explicitly, to talk about this with her. Make it clear that he is miserable and that he wants and deserves a satisfying sex life in his marriage. Tell her he'd like that sex life and that marriage to be with her, but if she is unwilling or incapable of fulfilling him--with her own needs being met, considerately too, of course--then they need to end the marriage, citing truly irreconcilable differences, and move on to look for other relationships that may bring each of them what they want. Luckily, no kids yet, and at age 31 (presumably, the wife is a similar age), there's still plenty of time for each to find a more suitable partner. Don't waste time casting blame or looking to call someone a bitch or an asshole, or a douche. Just chalk it up to youth and mis-matching.

I hope that he and she ultimately find happiness.
It actually sounds like she might be stepping out on the LW. If she's interested in sex (pile of batteries lying around) and throwing up obstacles to sex with the husband... it sounds like she's still into sex - just not with the LW.

Sounds like they didn't have a lot of time together before they became roomies, and so maybe it turns out they really aren't all that compatible but are afraid to admit it.

I also wonder if she suffered some sort of physical or emotional abuse/violence earlier in life.
I hope they both see a counselor (together or separately) and figure this out so they can get healthy. That's key, whether they stay together or not.
I don't understand the hater trolls commenting on this guys epic email. I agree with Dan, start over while you still can... and keep going to the gym! Good luck!
@103 - I went to Athol's blog, and read his post about ten things a man should look for in a marriageable women. He said that a woman is not worth marrying if her breasts are bigger than a B cup, if she is not a virgin, or if her parents are divorced. Sorry, after reading that, I can't take anything else he says seriously.
@103: "Also read Athol's blog"

Yeah, if you're some sort of loser who believes in pseudoscientific evo-psych.
Wait for the wife's letter: "Dear Dan, My husband gained 200 lbs after our marrige; he's lost 40, but he's still obese and I am not attracted to him anymore. What should I do?"
These people calling the writer a douchebag are just cruel. (And terribly misguided.) I feel really sorry for the guy, and I think he should get a divorce.

He lost 40 pounds for her.

He goes without sex for months, even over a year some times. No sex for 1.25 years after 3 months of marriage. Crazy.

His wife won't talk about the problem. She cries to get out of talking about it.

She makes him shower before every time. That's crazy. Can you imagine how stupid and demeaning that would seem if you had to do it every single time?

He goes down on her before they even have sex. She does not.

She woke him up in the middle of the night twice to have sex. What the hell? He works more hours than her!

She won't meet him in the middle with handjobs.

She only works part time. Jesus, make an effort lady.

Good luck man, divorce will be hell but your life will be better. You will make a great husband some day to a wife who deserves you.
The sex frequency driving off a cliff (15mo dry spell) 3 months after marriage seems way too coincidental.

Seems like active deceit to me.
One thing I'd like to point out on the showering deal. Birth control changes a woman's sense of smell; his smell may have turned her on before the pill and doesn't now, and that's part of why she insists on showers. That doesn't excuse her from trying, though, and if she's not willing to try blow jobs (what kind of unfair crap is that?), or talking about it then there's no effort he can put forth that will make a damn bit of difference.

I agree with Dan; DTMFA.
A pox on both their houses. She doesn't want sex with him and doesn't care enough about his unhappiness to do anything about it, might be hanging on because being married allows her to work only part-time. He is not attractive to his wife for some mysterious reason. Maybe she is a cold fish, or maybe he has terrible unkempt hair/embarrasses her when they're out in public/won't do the dishes. We don't know. Also, he's so obsessed with getting her naked that he gave her sexy coupons and outfits for HER birthday? Dude. I'm sorry you're desperate but that is not going to help. 

These two are just not a match. They should break it up already. It's too bad about her employment situation but that's not enough reason to keep a bad marriage going. 
I agree with @40. They are in a sort of rut where she wants some affection that does not lead to sex, and he cannot figure that out. Both are being immature (but maybe especially her) about not communicating what is going on. She thinks he should just automatically understand that, and act accordingly, but some men are not so subtle, and sometimes need to be told exactly and directly what she is thinking. It's remarkable the level of passiveness and laziness in them both. It's probably too late to save this one.

On the other hand: Seandr, you crack me up. You just may be right, which means the wife is gross and evil (and faking orgasms, besides). Poor LW.
Unbelievable how many Sloggers can't seem to follow this letter. HE wasn't complaining about the showers/hour/head routine, he was speculating that that's why SHE shuts him down - because her requirements for sex take too long and SHE'D rather not bother. Obviously he's willing to do whatever it takes! And you know, I'm not usually this fussy but it's irritating when people misunderstand something and then use their misunderstanding as a basis for tearing a guy up. You're condemning him for 'complaints" that aren't there.
"Hey Sweetheart, whaddaya say we jump in the shower and I go down on you for half an hour and then we have sex?"

"No, that takes too long."

"Oh...what if we skip the showers?"


"What if I try to get you off in fifteen minutes?"

To defend the cleaning maniacs out there : a lady's urinary tract is pretty short, and getting an urinary infection from sex has already happened to me. This is why I insist on having my friend brush his teeth before any sex (we usually begins with 69ing). Of course I brush mine as well.

As for the smell, I love his body smell but not his halitosis, thank you very much.
Taking both a shower before sex is not too much to ask, whatever the reason may be, and it doesn't indicate that one can't bear the other's smell. It can be needed for any kind of reason, physical or psychological,

In my case, when I take a shower before sex, it has less to do with me being an hygiene freak than with performing some sort of ritual cleansing, with roots in my survivor issues. I am not going to explain that to my partner - talk of a mood killer ! For all he knows, I'm taking my hygiene seriously, and I like him to do the same.
Maybe it's just Slog fatigue, but why are we spending 119 comments to argue about what's a reasonable demand -- hour-long sex, requisite showers, step-by-step process, etc. -- when these two people obviously just can't work it out? Whether he's the crazy one or she is, or they both are, they're not happy together and neither one seems to be able to work with the other. The first solution was great. Divorce. Don't look back. Find a person who's the same kind of crazy or not-crazy as YOU, and you're fine.

But yeah, for the record? He's made an effort. I'm REALLY tired of people on one hand bitching about lazy husbands and then accusing husbands making an effort of being "creepy" and "desperate." I openly concede that yes, a man can do things for the wrong reasons AND come off as pressuring a woman, but there's a lot of leeway there. A lot of things he's done are the same things a woman can do and be lauded as the perfect partner. What the fuck is a guy supposed to do?!?

@118: I'm fairly sure that UTIs come from fecal bacteria and has less to do with teeth or the mouth (which of course can contain fecal bacteria). Having a good pee after sex will be much more reliable than brushing teeth.
There's something I don't get about the outrage over him giving her lingerie on *her* birthday. I find it totally acceptable, encouraging her to value her body is very positive, it doesn't have to be misconstrued as pressuring her into being sexy for him, many women like to clothe sexy just for themselves.

I would have been really shocked, if he had given her the same coupons on *his* birthday. For me, that would have meant "hey, I intend you in those clothes to be my gift", as if she were an object for him, not a person. It's cute and giving for a someone to dress up, in order to offer oneself to a horny partner on his birthday, but it's totally repulsive to pressure one's partner into dressing up, for a gift to oneself.

And I agree on both of them needing to divorce. There are no kids to suffer from a divorce, and that marriage is going nowhere.
@119 You would explain your feelings to your partner at some point, right? after several years of marriage?
@120 Gloria : thanks for the tip, Wikipedia also links fecal bacterias and UTIs, especially escherichia coli. But since those bacteries are anaerobic facultative, like many in the mouth flora, and do resist the mouth environment (though don't prolifere in it, as I mistakenly thought before your comment), I think I'll keep to my teeth brushing procedure.

I very seldom have urinary infections, I had one right after beginning to have sex with my current partner, and before that I had almost never been the receiver of oral sex ; it's been 3 years of teeth brushing before 69ing and I've not had another infection since, so I find it reliable enough for me. Besides "voiding after sex" "has not been confirmed to have an effect on UTI frequency", says Wikipedia, and I don't have the leisure right now to risk a UTI by researching scientifically the matter on myself... But thanks anyway for the tip. I'll remember to use it if the teeth washing fails.
@122 mizmojo I'm not married to my partner.

I'm still married to my husband, who has moved away some years ago, and whom I told before marriage that I was a survivor. He spent the whole marriage abusing me psychologically, and blaming every and all the difficulties that I came gradually to feel, on the fact that I was a survivor, to the point that I ended up feeling that I was a forever damaged and toxic being, and that the better gift that I could ever make to my 3 children was killing myself. I got lucky before I actually did it, because he then started cheating openly on me, he even made me invite knowingly his mistress in my home, and though he tried to make me believe it was another consequence of me being a survivor, I didn't buy it this time, and I finally saw him for the abusing peace of shit he was.

So, to answer your question, no I'm not discussing my survivor thingies with my current partner of 3 years. He knows I'm a survivor, because I accidently let it slip while discussing other stuff about my kids, since I've made no secret to them of having been badly abused by my father and that's why he's not a father anymore and they'll never meet him - which is all they need to know, really, but they do need to know it. But that's it.

I do not accept to be limited by my past in my sex life. I've spent years of seeing "incest" and "sexually abused" in my husband's eyes, everytime I was not 100% into sex with him (which meant always since, by the way, he was a very lousy lay, masturbating himself into my body for all he cared), I don't want that to ever happen again.

Survivor stuff I can discuss anonymously on the web, and with my shrink. I don't have sex with those people.
@mizmojo : I realize I forgot to add that my husband made me talk at length on all my survivor issues. He was especially interested into knowing in great detail the sexual abuse. Though that made for very painful sessions of confessions, crying, and triggers galore afterwards, I thought it showed he cared for me. It didn't.
C(AI)F's story bears a very strong resemblance to a friend's story whose wife was a lesbian. The only way she ended up being able to come out was when he ended the relationship. He was also a "Nice Guy" who was eager to please, emotionally blind, and poor at taking care of himself.

I would think she might be chronically depressed except for the constant masturbation. Has he checked her browser history?
Cleanliness is good, foreplay is good. 15 months of a dry spell.... 12 weeks in to the marriage? Definitely not good. He needs to move on but she may need it too.
Let's say, just for the sake of argument, that the LW is the Stinkiest McStink Mobile to ever stink up an elevator and that having sex with him takes less time than getting vaccinated. Let's say he has the misfortune of being the worst, most selfish, and most stinky straight male lover in the history of humanity. None of that would change the fact that his wife will not talk to him about their sex life, uses tears to thwart any of his attempts to do so, sees to her own sexual pleasure without any concern for his, and has kept him in this state of constant rejection for years.

It doesn't matter what her reasoning is. It doesn't matter what he is or is not doing for her. The main point is that she's not talking to him about it or showing any concern for his sexual well-being. That's not a marriage.

Having said that, I also have to say nonsense to the people saying that it's perfectly reasonable to require everyone involved to shower every single time you have sex. Remember, he said every time, like a ritual. That means some combination of the following: an OCD like fear of germs, hangups around sex, an unexpressed dislike of your lover's natural scent, or putting up obstacles so that you don't have to have sex in the first place. Sure, it's nice if everyone can show up to play clean, but in real life that doesn't always happen and there are times when you shouldn't want it to happen. Spontaneity and a sense of urgency matter in sex, especially over a lifetime.

@121 I suppose it all depends whether she likes to clothe sexy. We haven't heard her side of the story at all. The problem could be that she doesn't feel sexy AND wearing sexy clothing would help that, but I think chances are slim. It's much more likely that the problem is somewhere else in the relationship. LW's account doesn't really add up--he's either missing something or not telling us about it--and it makes me doubt that his prescription of more sexy clothing would be the solution.
I mean, he wants to sex her. She's well aware of that, and feels bad about it (whether it's because she's a frigid manipulator or has every reason to reject sex with LW is up to you to decide). Something that's supposed to make her want to have sex with LW is not a good gift for her.
She has an active libido, witness the batteries. She's not only not into him, she's somewhat repulsed, witness the mandatory showers before she'll touch him. Getting treated like that will corrode a person, which is why he probably packed on all that weight before getting a grip and hitting the gym.

It might be a question of her sexual orientation, or it might just be how she feels about him in particular. In either case, it's not fixable. An amicable divorce would serve them both well.
Any partner you cannot shower with is not a healthy one sexually. Move on!
As one of you said above...
She sets down conditions that are diffcult to mee; only initiates sex when she's either desperate, drunk, horny-beyond-belief, or knows he won't be able to follow through and she can get points for being in the mood; feels pressured by him; cries when he tries to bring the topic up for discussion; apparently masturbates frequently alone.
She's just not that into him.

Indeed. It's obviously a couple that doesn't work together, so they should be looking for more suitable partners. I'm not going to point fingers at any of them; just saying they should be looking for someone else, at least for their sexual needs.

It's a bit surprising that people would spend so much time discussing whether or not showering before sex is good, bad, indifferent, too much, too little, just normal, reflects hygiene obsession, is just a normal concern... Not that I'm against it, or the discussions about foreplay; it's interesting to read what others think about these things. But it seems to be of little importance to the LW.

I'll say they should talk once more, with feeling, and with full honesty, about their sexual needs. If it doesn't work, either open up the relationship, or split up.
@40 That's interesting what you say about any physical affection turning into perceived pressure for sex. It strikes me as something unfortunately all too true.

@126, in my experience, a depressed person can definitely want to masturbate all the time and not have sex. Masturbation can have nothing to do with sex drive and everything to do with tension, stress, boredom, etc. It can relieve anxiety for a little while.

I'll bet the wife isn't attracted to the husband, but feels too awful about it to tell the truth. I think a divorce would do them both good. They married too young, that's all.
What a bunch of femi-nazi, armchair analyst morons, starting with #1 and #2 . . .

I agree with #7. Clearly she does not care about the environment. Obvious grounds for divorce.
She's not into him. He's only into her because she's the only woman who has allowed him to fuck her at all for most of his adult life. They got married too young and neither one of them knew any better. Not a crime (on either side), just a tragedy. I've seen it happen before. They will both be really sad when it ends, but it's not too late for both of them to find someone else.
@135: What sort of person reads a sex-positive advice column and has the bright idea to use the phrase "feminazi"?

I agree that they're overreaching, but a word coined by an anti-gay, misogynist bucket of hate is probably not the best way to counter their argument.
Wanting your partner to have showered that day before sex, and to have showered after working out or something like that, that makes sense.

Wanting you to always shower IMMEDIATELY before sex is not normal and I don't think it's reasonable. That is not a normal standard of cleanliness, and even if the LW were complaining about it being too much work, I would agree - but it doesn't seem like he was complaining about that being too much work.

I am, of course, giving him the benefit of the doubt and assuming he showers regularly anyway so that he doesn't go to work disheveled and smelly.
@137, I agree. I'm someone who thinks words aren't guilty of the intents of their users, but @135's use of "femi-nazi" is just pure emotionality without anything better behind it.
I just want to point out to those of you who think it's something he's doing that's made this horrible situation...

If he needs to trim, or she doesn't like the way he smells, or she wants more foreplay, why does she start crying from him bringing up that they don't have much sex? Surely, if it's something he can fix, she would've already told him, and he would've fixed it. I think she just hates fucking him, and there's no way around that and the reason she cries instead of talking to him is because she knows that talking in a reasonable manner can only lead to her putting in more effort or him leaving her.
@9 Kind of similar to what I was thinking. Like, a guy that gives me gift certificates for toys and lingerie and takes me on an 11 day trip? Sounds good! Sign me up for that deal.

Also, the way I read the showering issue is that she's making excuses to try and keep him away. ie: I'm on my period (for the whole vacation? probably not). It takes too long. You're too smelly. I have a headache, etc. Unless he has a hygiene or health problem then there's no reason to demand a shower every single time they have sex.

It seems like he's already made a lot of effort to please her and she hasn't responded. However, I think that he should at least make a last-ditch effort to save his marriage. Find out if she's depressed or needs to change bc, like Dan said. Plus, he should at least ask if she'll think about an open marriage before serving divorce papers, even though he thinks she'll say no. Once he can say he did anything and everything to save it then he's free to divorce in good conscience.
@141: " Plus, he should at least ask if she'll think about an open marriage before serving divorce papers, even though he thinks she'll say no. Once he can say he did anything and everything to save it then he's free to divorce in good conscience."

If she says yes, he's stuck in this miserable relationship for how many more years?

It sounds like they're not just unhappy in the sexual realm. Laziness in other aspects seems to be grating on him.
141: why bother with an open marriage? There is nothing to open up here, and no real marriage to save, only her financial support and sense of security.

He doesn't owe her that, so he should cut his losses and dump her ass. Now, before she tosses a kid into the mix to assure her claim on his paycheck.
I wonder what he does for a living. If he is some kind of high-status person.

I used to think that it was misogynistic to think that there are women who just want to get married to some high-status man, but since those days I've met some of those women. And although I have met only a few who I think were actually coldly calculating in the sense of lying to a man about liking sex in order to get married, there are a lot more whose behavior patterns fall into a gray zone.

As sad as it is, we as a culture have not moved so far away from the Jane Austen world in which the primary goal of women is marriage. Women often feel like failures if they are single. I think this fosters a toxic approach to relationships; instead of being with a man because she enjoys his company and having sex because she likes to, a woman is likely to be with a man (at least to some extent) because she thinks he is Serious about her and have sex because it's expected and he can break up with her if she doesn't put out. What I'm trying to say is that women often put less thought than you might expect into selecting a partner they are actually into, focusing instead on themselves as a Product and trying to get the best possible Value (tall, handsome, cut abs, solvent, good future earning capacity) for that Product.

This isn't really good for anyone.

And before you all get crazy about how anti-woman this all is, let me just agree with you. I think it is terrible and disgusting and I don't entirely blame the women, I blame the Patriarchy too. But I have also spent the last several years on the campus of a Fancy East-Coast Institution, watching the courting behaviour of women in their early- to mid-twenties. And they are for sure doing the thing I describe. It seems likely that Mrs C(AI)F did it too.
@144: You assume a lot. There are plenty of men and women who find themselves passively exploitative, crippled by depression and unable to deal with themselves and their own situation, let alone their lack of success careerwise, and certainly can't pull themselves out of the hole enough to deal with their rapidly-deteriorating relationships. Not defending her, but clarifying tha this probably didn't start off as you're suggesting, nor does it share that "gold-digger" sort of vibe to me.
@145 - The wife doesn't give off a depression vibe to me. They have fun together; nothing seems to have really changed over the course of their relationship. She seems content with the situation, except when asked to talk about sex. Assuming that she is roughly the same age as him, I'm struck that neither the LW nor his wife seem interested in children (or radically opposed to having children.) Maybe they're just both super passive, not interested in rocking the boat or making any changes to their nice life together... until he finally admitted to himself that their sex life was non-existent and that became intolerable.
@137: A troll does that; don't feed it. :-)
I can relate to this guy. It is terribly frustrating to not even be able to talk about it without coming off as the bad guy. Just last week I tried to bring up the (lack of sex) subject with my wife by expressing how I felt (sexually frustrated) in a non confrontational way. In the end I apologised for being frustrated (while thinking wtf?). I think what bugs me most is my wifes lack of ownership of the problem - in her mind (or so it seems) it is solely my problem for wanting sex so much.

I saw a comedian do a skit in which he complained that some women don't take responsibility for sex - a girl complained that he didn't make her wet. No, he says, his job is to get hard -her job is to get wet.

This strange double standard certainly applies to my marriage - my wife has actually told me it is my job to figure out what will turn her on when she is admittedly not sure herself.
@148 - If you are experienced and know what you like, and she doesn't know what she likes... it seems like it would be more helpful to take a team approach to figuring out her desires, than to just put the burden on her and complain that you guys don't have enough sex. Does your wife masturbate? own and use a vibrator? read sexy stories online or in sexy romance-novels? There are common paths to figuring out what gets a woman excited...

148: dump her. If kids are involved, wait, then dump her when the kids are older. Beware of affairs by you, since that may play against you in the later divorce.

I'm serious. Women who de-couple sexually from their spouse pretty much never come back around. Don't bother holding onto false hopes of a second spring in your marriage.
A few years ago, this could have been my husband writing this email. We're doing better now, after a shit ton of work on both of our sides. It was simultaneously as simple and as complex as everyone here is imagining.

We have kids, so we had a huge reason to work at it (and continue to do so). Since they dont have kids, I think they should divorce.
Ms Erica - Do we know from elsewhere that Mr Mother (I do like that name) is experienced and knows what he likes, or was that just something off of which you thought you could work, because it doesn't seem to be explicitly stated in #148. There's certainly nothing wrong with your suggested approach, but in this case it appears that Mr Mother, so to speak, is at least potentially willing to practise their tennis, only Mrs Mother refuses to pick up her racket. That leaves little for him to do but hit against the backboard, which is better than nothing, but will limit the potential improvement in their mixed doubles.

All this tennis makes me think that maybe we could somehow convince Billie Jean King to write an advice column. I recall Chris Evert saying on several occasions that BJK has always been full of advice about everything and rarely able to wait to be asked before dispensing it.
@143, I disagree in principle, since it might be the case they have a good relationship in areas other than sex. But he doesn't talk about that, and obviously the sex issue is destroying whatever he has with her; so ultimately, yes, I think they should part ways.
@144(tau), who wrote:
But I have also spent the last several years on the campus of a Fancy East-Coast Institution, watching the courting behaviour of women in their early- to mid-twenties. And they are for sure doing the thing I describe. It seems likely that Mrs C(AI)F did it too.

My experience is that, at that age, many women are doing crazy things that don't reflect the wisdom they will attain in later ages. I'm not denying that there are 'gold diggers' or women who behave the way you describe; I'm just saying this tends to change over time, as the person matures.

Also, again in my experience, young men in this age range -- early twenties -- aren't exactly selecting girlfriends on the basis of their compatibility together either. Trophy girlfriends and the need to impress their peers abound in their rather primitive behavior. Again, this tends to change as they get older and more mature.
@149, @152 -- I have to agree with Mr Ven that it seems Mr Mother is interested in trying the team approach (hence his attempt at starting a conversation), but Mrs Mother is not so interested.

I do see what he means by there being women who think that the whole problem of sex is in the man's hands -- he's the one who likes it so much, so he has to figure out how to turn her on. There may be some truth to that, but it's of a sad kind, and it bespeaks of marriages without true bonding and without true empathy between the partners.
@152/155 - I don't know that Mr Mother is more experienced, but he is clearly more motivated. Mrs. Mother seems fine with the current situation. So -- it is unproductive to say that it is her problem to figure out what turns her on. She doesn't have a problem, in her view.

His first task (Task A) is to persuade her that she does have a problem (his pain & frustration). If he's successful at that task, they can move on to their joint problem (Task B), which is that she doesn't see why she should be interested in sex. I don't think that marriages are fixed by the woman being a martyr and putting up with frequent sex she doesn't enjoy. She needs to figure out how her body works and what gives her sexual pleasure. For that, stories, vibrators, hot showers, and frequent masturbation have generally been found helpful. I guess I was thinking that if they are young, and she is just inexperienced with pleasure, then he might be able to bypass Task A by making Task B especially appealing.
@156 (EricaP), who wrote:
She doesn't have a problem, in her view. His first task (Task A) is to persuade her that she does have a problem (his pain & frustration). If he's successful at that task, they can move on to their joint problem (Task B), which is that she doesn't see why she should be interested in sex.

I agree that this is the view from her perspective -- she may very well think she's got enough sex. But it's the apparent lack of interest in the situation of her husband that I find sad. Ideally, it wouldn't be "necessary" to achieve Task A -- i.e., convince someone that his/her partner's lack of sexual fulfillment is a problem. If they love the person they're with, they should care about things like that in the same way they would care if their partners were having problems at work, or had a health problem or condition -- the normal empathy you have for people you care about. And yet there often is indeed a need to achieve Task A, and that I find sad.
I apologize if what I was trying to say came across as saying that this woman (and many others) are 'gold diggers'. That was not my intention at all.

What I was trying to get at is that it seems to me that a LOT of young women, and particularly a lot of young women in the middle and upper-middle class, approach relationships as though they are a product and need to find a consumer. This is just a fact. A lot of the fashion choices, cosmetic alterations, working out, etc are specifically intended to appeal as much as possible to as wide a range of men as possible, either explicitly or implicitly to maximize the chance of a man Being Interested. It is a mindset in which a woman has asked me about not shaving my legs or what I do (or more accurately, don't do) with my hair and been flabbergasted that included in my reasons along with being lazy is a specific intention to repel many men. Because the idea of dating someone who liked me hairless is not appealing. Not that I date anymore, but whatever.

Anyway what I am trying to say is that many young straight women, for reasons that I blame largely on culture and history, are not accustomed to seeing themselves as agents with choice in mate selection. They see themselves, sadly, as objects to be chosen. They want certain things - a husband, a house, a kid or two, dinner parties, the good opinion of neighbors A WEDDING - and it's not clear that the specific identity of the man in question is that important. Someone who is attractive enough, nice to her, reasonably competent and solvent with a nice family and Serious About Her - that's probably enough. And I am not saying those are bad things to want, actually they seem pretty reasonable as basic requirements.

But it seems not to have occurred to a lot of these women that choosing someone they are ALSO really hot for is a good idea, or that they could break up with a Good Boyfriend (it's okay!) just because of not being that hot for him.

It's sad.

And I know this is now a ludicrously long comment and I'm sorry. But I think this is an aspect of the Supposedly Low-Libido Wife problem that Dan basically misses, because how would he know about what 22-year-old straight girls say to each other about their relationships? But so many of these stories are about relationships that started during that age, 20-25, and I have developed some skepticism that these women really are innately low-libido. I think a lot of them just did a really bad job of partner choice.

:( doesn't change the prescription, I guess.

Start Counseling. 6 weeks before Christmas or not, getting divorced is going to be difficult. Get some help to make the transition the least painful. NOT THAT I KNOW, but is there any tax/alimony/legal disadvantage about being married into the new year? Start lawyering up, to get your ducks in a row during the preflight.


PS: The opposite of love is indifference, not hate.
@158: "What I was trying to get at is that it seems to me that a LOT of young women, and particularly a lot of young women in the middle and upper-middle class, approach relationships as though they are a product and need to find a consumer. This is just a fact."

Saying something is "a fact" is a good sign that you have a flawed understanding of what a "fact" is. Saying that doesn't add weight to your argument, it tends to do the opposite.
158, the concepts you are struggling to express are done in a much more refined manner at a blog located at Careful not to linger there too long.
I'd say he has more to learn at… , 161.
@162: I have the impression that 158 is a "she".

It is a mindset in which a woman has asked me about not shaving my legs or what I do (or more accurately, don't do) with my hair and been flabbergasted that included in my reasons along with being lazy is a specific intention to repel many men.

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