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.
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.
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.
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.
and remember to be decent to everyoneall of the time.
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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.
"The Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011" by Athol Kay
Also read Athol's blog (http://www.marriedmansexlife.com) to understand how female hypergamy caused her to become less sexually attracted to you the moment you married her. Reading Roissy's blog (http://heartiste.wordpress.com) 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.
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.
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.
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.
Yeah, if you're some sort of loser who believes in pseudoscientific evo-psych.
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.
Seems like active deceit to me.
I agree with Dan; DTMFA.
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.
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.
"No, that takes too long."
"Oh...what if we skip the showers?"
"What if I try to get you off in fifteen minutes?"
As for the smell, I love his body smell but not his halitosis, thank you very much.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I would think she might be chronically depressed except for the constant masturbation. Has he checked her browser history?
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.
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.
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.
@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.
I agree with #7. Clearly she does not care about the environment. Obvious grounds for divorce.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.