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And can't bring herself to even mention the 'sex thing' in therapy?
I need to remember that there isn't any connection between this and all the whinging from women about not being able to find good men....Sheesh!
As for the question, LW’s unmet needs might go beyond sexual desire and she needs to look into what kind of relationship/s work for her.
If it’s only sex she wants than look into seeing more than one person, which may reduce the chance of an exclusive emotional dependency.
If it goes beyond “just sex” than she should move out as soon as.
LW. What a mess. A man with a family as your lover, so there are all those people who are being betrayed and then your husband.
Why did you have to stay married to him. I'm not sure Dan's " do whatever you have to do...", is apt here. No kids, no physical disabilities. Your husband has issues he won't deal with, so leave him and ditch the other guy.
Then grow yourself a moral code, and stay away from married men with small children.
That doesn't change your needs, of course, but you might catch more dick with honey than, uh, you get the point. Start talking about sex more often. Do your best to build up his confidence in talking with his therapist (assuming he's still going, which he should be) about his sexual history or at least his sexual goals and desires. It seems you both still care for each other, and this would be a win-win for all of you: If he gets the help he needs, perhaps it can save your marriage; making him a happier, more fulfilled and fulfilling husband and making you a happier, more fulfilled wife who gets more than glorified gloryhole service. It's heavy lifting - heavier than most - but it's the hand you're dealt.
The alternative, of course, is to just break up; and it doesn't seem that there is much in the middle.
I also don't understand why she references the campsite rule. It doesn't really make sense in this scenario. Again, I'm not sure it's directly relevant, but it looks like it might be another example of the LW not getting this advice column.
It makes me wonder if she has previously communicated with her husband as well as she thinks she has. Just a thought.
@12: Probably not much beforehand, but why does it matter? People shouldn't victim blame the LW because it doesn't matter what she should have done, just what she should do, and that is (as I'm sure you agree) dump the husband and the boyfriend and work on herself until she can stop going for these guys.
For H.A., do you think it would play out differently if the SS couple was M/M or F/F?
But it's all deference like Scalia to a racist legislature as soon as the writer says they're /doing what they have to do to stay sane/. Why do you /have to do/ this whole thing? Is this marriage likely a good way for this writer to spend her life? Nobody believes it, but there's a polite fiction that of course people know their own choices best. "I'd pull the plug if I were you" padded in a parenthetical is as far as deference can allow.
WIFE, you are stuck, spending your life bound close together with a person you don't love. Getting higher-quality sex will only unstick you, what, six hours per week if you're rocking it? You can do better for yourself, and I say that even if you never date again.
Great advice from Dan, nothing to add.
No Excuses @15: Try before you buy? Don't have a second or third date with a crap shag?
MJMJMJ @16: Wow. Yeah, bisexuals aren't fit for marriage, even bisexuals who (by WIFE's account) have only ever had sex with the opposite sex. Maybe membership in the human race isn't for you.
Has she ever had sex with a teenager? The inexperienced teenagers I knew back when I was one and having sex with them were trying hard to get me turned on because it was implicitly understood that that was the only way they were going to get any further. If I wasn't totally turned on by the way they were kissing my breasts, they weren't going to get in my pants. There was something delightful about the sense of exploration, not fumbling, but genuine eagerness to find out, to touch me, discover my reaction, and keep going. The teenagers in my past were desperate to go down on me. I should look them up and thank them.
I mostly wrote to stand up for teenagers, but now that I'm here, I think my initial question was a good one. How did two such sexually incompatible people end up married? I can only think it's because neither of them had any experience as teenagers.
Now to the boring part. WIFE, tell your husband that the sex has to get better, or you're filing for divorce. Once you're divorced, date only unmarried men until you find one who's both great in bed and great to you in every other way.
"He touches me in intimate areas in a way that feels like he's a teenager—hedonistically groping"
"He won't put his hands or mouth anywhere."
So is he groping or not?
Regardless, @8 is right -- it sounds like he does have some deep-seated issues around sex. This is bolstered by his apparent not caring much that they haven't had sex for six years.
To me the real question is why WIFE would have married this man in the first place. Based on what information she provides and what information that often appears in letters to Dan, but does not in this case (e.g., religious upbringing, children, etc.), WIFE had to know that the sex was epically bad prior to getting married, and perhaps for a time she could convince herself that bad sex didn't matter, but ship set sail long ago. Given that WIFE mentions her age, but not her husband's, I'm left to believe that there is a significant age gap between WIFE and her husband, and that what drew WIFE to him (at age 23) was his income and the lifestyle that he could provide. WIFE made a huge mistake in marrying someone with whom she was not sexually compatible, and compounded that problem by carrying on several affairs. It's time for a divorce, and not, as Dan suggests, for an ultimatum to her husband to allow her to have her sexual needs met elsewhere.
WIFE has also demonstrated incredibly poor judgment in identifying suitable partners. It wouldn't hurt her to find a BFF to get a second opinion on men before getting into another relationship.
Either way it's been 15 years and he only seems to be hating her and sex more as the years pile on. The exacts are less important than her extricating herself from all these diseased relationships.
Here are my comments on this one. She's misquoting/misappropriating Dan's advice. First off, her citing the campsite rule had nothing to do with age, such as when she was first with him. If you re-read it, I believe she is talking about a more current situation. I don't think she understands the campsite rule, which is basically "leave it better than when you found it." I think she's taking it as "don't force someone to do something they don't want to do" which is fair, too, but not the campsite rule. Others have already commented that she didn't have a pass to cheat on him with Dan's "stay sane" clause. That being said, I think people are too quick to judge and say DTMFA. Maybe I can say this because despite having the same experiences, I stayed. With work AND someone who is willing to work, it is possible to improve things. Family is very important to some people, and yes, some people are more "stuck" than others. In my case, he is a good guy, too. A great guy, in fact. And I never lost sight of that, even with the stuff going wrong. But as Dan says, there's no settling down without settling. It sounds like she truly wants to work, and that he could probably go back to counseling. I was in this same place not that long ago, but I opted for making it better in my marriage. For those saying this husband is a complete A-hole, just reread the first part of the thing. I know it's one of those 'he's great, but...' but she does make a good case. It's an advice column for god's sake, she's going to focus on what's wrong.
Or, yes, Undead, he was older and still inexperienced. That's a possibility too. Or older and experienced at bad sex with a string of girlfriends who eventually left him over it. Who knows.
Why did she cheat rather than leave, with no kids involved? Well, because they're such a great team in all other ways, and because their families get along great (another bit of evidence against a large age gap). And because women are socialised to sublimate their sexual desires, to not consider good sex important when your husband is a good provider, helps around the house, yadda yadda. Maybe she had the first affair because she wanted to find out whether other men were better lovers, and stayed when she discovered she could have her cake and eat it. Divorce is painful and messy; she clearly found an easier path.
Sharp @39: Indeed, I do think WIFE has to take some of the blame. She only half-heartedly asked for oral; if she really wanted to fix the problem, she'd say, you learn to do this and do it right or no PIV for you. She chickened out of bringing up their sexual issues at counselling. I'd guess she finds sex nearly as difficult to talk about as Husband, no doubt shamed by Husband's calling sex talk "rude." I think she needs to get some sex-positive counselling, whether or not she stays with Mr Issues here.
The three main protagonists in this story need to stop and take a good look at themselves.
He does not make eye contact during sex, and indeed feels like he is not at all present.
Intercourse lasts about 5 minutes ... He makes me feel like a blow up doll.
I'm guessing the "for years" part means that the guy wasn't always this selfish.
Roma @45: Either that or it didn't bother her in the beginning. Possibly, like I said, because she knew he was inexperienced and expected things to improve with practice.
She doesn't really mention a better time or hope, only his current/ongoing disdain for her body, her self, and all that he views of her.
Time to check his browser history. If it's straight porn, is it some kicky stuff he can't bring himself to ask for? If it's gay porn, there's your explanation and his marching papers or your hall pass. If it's the vanilla stuff you've been doing, he's just an inconsiderate jerk in bed.