We hear of this problem so much that it has become the definition of redundant: Spouses that just aren’t interested.

I’m in my early 50’s and I’ve been married to the same woman for twenty years and in a committed relationship for six years before we married. In all that time, she’s never once provided any type of foreplay or reciprocated to mine. Never once initiated or provided oral sex unless I just maneuvered it up that way, because you can’t ask her verbally for fear of using improper terminology that may turn her off. And it’s not cheerful when it is provided. She acts like my dick is coated in rat poison. She never talks during sex, allows me to talk, or even opens her eyes. Up until a few years ago, the lights had to be out. And she’s only initiated sex a handful of times—years and years ago.

She does have some medical problems that make her tired and sore. I'm very considerate of this but no matter how much of the household burden I carry (most of the cleaning, all of the laundry, all the yard work), it's not enough. She ignores my romantic advances even when there are no kids around. I have to ask for sex using this phrase only: "Wanna fool around tonight?" The answer is usually, “We’ll see,” but then the ultimate answer is almost always, “I’m too tired,” or, “I haven’t had a shower.” I feel like a child asking his mommy for a cookie. It’s degrading. When we do connect, I provide very generously for her orally because it turns me on. I eat pussy like a fat kid eats cake. And as long as I’m quiet, we can have very, very vanilla sex while she lays there with her eyes closed. The majority of my married sex life has been spanking the monkey with an assist from Internet porn. She derides this, rebukes me about porn, and tells me it’s nauseating and that I need therapy.

She’s never once told me that she loved me without me having told her first. Never once initiated a simple kiss yet she kisses the dogs freely. Never hugged or touched me passionately without my initiating contact first. When I do complain or want to discuss the issue, she tells me she doesn’t like physical contact, says I’m cruel, says I don’t understand, tells me I’m sick and I’m the one that needs help. I once walked out of the relationship because of this but it devastated both of us. I realized I loved her and we reconciled.

But the intolerable twist that drives me insane: She engages in ribald banter with other men as if she’s some ready, willing, and able swallower. Years ago, before we were married but while we were already in a committed relationship, the 18 year old DJ at a New Years Eve Party asked her out. She thought it was just soooo cute and became his friend and he provided music at our wedding. She hadn't seen him years until Facebook came along. (Yes, snooped her FB.) She wrote a message to him that said she had injured herself dancing. She added: "Actually, I was humping a friend's husband, so you can see I haven’t changed!”

Really? Are you fucking kidding me?

Yet she sucks her teeth and rolls her eyes when I talk suggestively to her. And it's been going on for years. I have remained monogamous throughout despite working in a profession where everyone is fucking someone behind someone else’s back and working on their third marriage. I’m getting too old for a hall pass and wouldn’t even want to be bothered at this point in my life. I know it would never be granted anyway and the mere suggestion would ignite an epic brawl.

So, after years of same old, same old, and her continual refusal to have an adult discussion about my needs or her treatment of me, I know it ain’t changing and I don’t have time for therapy. I know any joint therapy would be directed toward my "unrealistic" expectations and my Internet use would be held up as evidence that I'm the sick one.

Is it even worth beating this old donkey anymore, Dan? And please answer this question for me: Have I been a gigantic schmuck for tolerating this shit all my life?

The Enduring Doormat

My response after the jump...


For the sake of contrast, TED, I'll be brief: I don't see any point in beating this old donkey anymore as things are unlikely to change. And I don't want to call you a gigantic schmuck—you've suffered enough already—but I will say this: I wouldn't have put up with the shit you describe in your letter for two months, much less two decades.

And here's a letter from another reader that came in today... offered without comment... but I will say this:

.— .. -. -.-

.— .. -. -.-

.— .. -. -.-

Okay, here's that other letter:

I've been reader for a long time. Reading the letter from the sister who wondered about getting an escort for her brother prompted me to write.

I'm a 52-year-old straight guy. I'm not gorgeous but I'm not ugly or huge either. About eight years ago I left a sexless marriage. I have three great kids, all teenagers now. I live with my 76-year-old father because he needs my help. About the time I got divorced my career collapsed, forcing me to start over. Work occupies much more of my time than I thought it would at this point in my life. So all told dating hasn't been particularly productive or even particularly possible.

In large measure because of what I'd read in your column after my divorce I started seeing escorts. It's been hugely beneficial. I've been with gorgeous 20 somethings, which scratched an itch that wasnt going to get scratched on its own, and I've been with some really bright, really fun women closer to my age. I've been with black women, Latino women, skinny women, and BBWs. I've gotten to tie some up. But most importantly I know I can still do it. Seeing escorts doesn't replace the intimacy and companionship of an LTR, but it does keep me confident that when that happens I won't vapor lock.

I just wanted to second the motion for SIS, Dan, and thank you for giving me the permission I needed.

Can't Think Of A Clever Acronym

Thanks for sharing, CTOACA.