My wife of 16 years is gone for the weekend, then I'll leave on two work trips, effectively separating us for 75% of pride month. I am relieved AF because we aren't on the same page at all and I need a break. One of many issues is lesbian bed death (LBD). Since she got pregnant 14 years ago, we've had sex exactly three times. The last two were solely for me, as she "doesn't feel anything and isn't a sexual person anymore." Fucking awesome. Make me feel undesirable AND like a burden. Three times. In 14 years. Jerk.
If it had always been like this, I would understand, but nope... when I was a 25-year old baby, I was thin and tan and freshly shorter haired. I met a woman (my wife) seven years my senior on Planet Out. She was butch AF and turned me OUT. We had more sex than I could keep up with, but she was down. I was the more vanilla one and turned down butt play. But aside from that, I was down. After we moved in together, things took the sisters-who-love-home-improvement-and-don't-hate-sex-but-have-it-maybe-like-once-a-week turn. I've heard this is typical but it sucks.
Then she changed her mind from wanting zero wives and zero babies to wanting one of each. So she got what she wanted. And I thought I did, too.
It's just that I still wanted to feel attractive AND I wanted my own pregnancy. Denied
on both counts. After she had her baby (who is 💯 mine too in all ways but DNA), she closed the shop. No more sex. But I wanted our first kid and I wanted the future kid so I stayed.
As the kids grow up, I'm starting to realize I need more than suburban motherhood (and a successful career) to keep my life interesting. I take guitar and do endurance races and have friends and even have a side hustle vending at the farmers market. But I need a marriage with intimacy. I need to be adored. My straight college boyfriends BOTH adored me and planned to marry me. The sex was fine, but also just what I came to call "not-gay." I was meant for gayness, and knew that was my future family structure, but fuck all if I shouldn't have just stayed straight! At least I'd have someone who thought I was worth fucking semi-regularly.
So it's not looking good with this was-hot-now-ice-cold relationship. I've far exceeded my parents' record: four years of co-parenting amidst unbelievable hatred and police calls. Instead, my kids have seen 13 years of toleration/co-parenting/sometimes-love, so that's not nothin'.
But Dan. I need to get some that isn't battery operated. And I'm NOT a cheater.
But I'm ok to leave now, right? I've put in many years of co-parenting and co-housing and co-financing and I've participated in all the counseling she will agree to (six sessions over 12 years). I think I'm ok to leave. This just doesn't seem solvable. I'm doing everything I can independently (both personal and sexual) but this LBD is untenable. I'm 41 and still have some good years left!
Tell me, Dan, can I DTMFA?
Oy Vey, Ending Relationship!
Of course you can DTMFA. Anyone can DTMFA. But should you DTMFA?
You want to dump her. You've wanted to dump her for years, maybe a decade, maybe more. Your wife—running with your version of events here—sounds like a selfish dick. And your sexual needs are legit and your desire to have a romantic relationship that includes a sexual component is not uncommon or unreasonable. (Indeed, it's what you thought you were signing up for at the start.) So if it was permission to DTMFA you were after, OVER, you have it. You have my blessing to DTMFA the fuck out of this shit. My readers will inevitably give you permission, too. (Because who doesn't enjoy telling other people to dump their motherfuckers? No one, that's who. Dumping our own motherfuckers is harder.) But now I'm gonna do my job and offer you some additional advice. Or alternative advice.
Maybe, just maybe, before DTMFA'ing your wife and busting up the only home your kids have ever known... you should fuck someone other than your wife. While your wife is still your wife. You know, cheat.
But! But! You don't want to cheat—because you're NOT a cheater—but if someone you're married to isn't interested in sex, you aren't cheating that person out of anything by having sex with someone else. And if your wife isn't one of those not-a-sexual-person-anymore types who believes she can unilaterally end the sex life of the person fool enough to marry her back when she was sexual, she may not care if you seek sexual intimacy outside your marriage. You've got one side hustle going already. Why not add another one? (No one could've predicted: Dan Savage is suggesting you open your relationship—bet no one saw that coming, huh?)
Start by telling your wife what you told me: "We're separate for 75% of pride month. And TBH I am relieved AF because we aren't on the same page at all. I need a break." Tell her you're taking break—don't ask her for a break—and inform your wife that the break you're taking includes the freedom to have sex with other people. You can still DTMFA, OVER, if you absolutely, positively want out. But taking a break is easier than ending a marriage and taking a break now doesn't preclude ending the marriage at a later date. So take a break first.
Finally, OVER, if writing this column over the last quarter of a century has taught me anything, it's taught me that bed death isn't an exclusively lesbian phenomenon. You could've married one of those straight boys who adored you back when you were a 25-year-old baby and be writing me the same letter today.