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I have a question regarding sexual relations with my wife of thirty years. For at least the last twenty-five years of our marriage, I have found my wife's interest in sex to be less than enthusiastic. She'll deny this fact (and has!), but her interest noticeably declined after we had our first child. Our second and third children arrived in quick succession. It's not as if my wife ever had a strong sex drive. In fact, I can't recall my wife ever initiating sex, at least not post-kids. I remain very attracted to my wife and she claims to be attracted to me. But it never fails: I have to make the move in bed. I hope for some reciprocal interest but usually get some excuse like, "I'm tired," or, "Can we do it the morning?" But "it" never happens in the morning. Rinse/repeat the next night. I've calculated that I've been rejected like this about three times a week, which means I've been rejected about 150 times per year. That's 3750 times in the last twenty-five years! This accumulation of these rejections has adversely affected my attitude towards her. I wouldn't say I have a fragile ego, but over time the "push-aways" (rejections) have taken their toll. I have sexual needs! And unlike many other married men, I prefer not to "deal" via masturbating in the bathroom alone. I'm attracted to my wife and want to have sex with her! We have discussed the problem but she simply denies it's an issue. Once in a while she "gives in" and has sex with me but she's only doing it to get it over with. She goes along but she clearly wants it to be done with—no extended foreplay or doing anything that might extend the act. So even when I get sex, I feel bad about it. I'd like her to want it too.

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What do I do? The larger problem is our marriage has had other communication issues, which are fairly common to every marriage, but this lingering sex problem has a way of cranking up those other problems, ultimately jeopardizing the state of the marriage itself. She insists it isn't a problem while I feel like it's a big problem and possibly a dealbreaker.

Anonymous

Fuck other people.

Once it's possible—not now, of course, but hopefully soon—go find someone who wants to fuck you because they're into fucking you or wants to fuck you because you hired them to fuck you. Ideally you would inform your wife before you started fucking other people and give her permission to go fuck other people herself, A, and who knows? The awareness that you're fucking other people and/or getting to fuck other people herself after thirty long years of marriage might rekindle her interest in fucking you. Sometimes opening up a sexless marriage—even if one person had to force it open—brings sex back into the marriage.

And if the current state of your sex life with the wife is a dealbreaker—after three decades and three kids—then what do you have to lose?

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I'm sorry, A, but if this how it's been for twenty-five years... that not a lingering problem, it's a baseline. Nothing I say here is gonna turn your wife into someone she's not. Or make her feel something she doesn't. Or turn your wife into a more sexual person than she is. Or make wanna fuck you the way you wanna fuck her. You have every right to feel hurt—getting rejected nearly 4000 times has gotta sting—but your only workable/non-magical-thinking options here are making peace with the fact that your wife isn't into sex with you or at all and beating off in the bathroom or making peace with the fact that your wife isn't into sex with you or at all and finding another sex partner/other sex partners.

If there are other reasons why you wanna stay with your wife—and after thirty years inertia is a good enough reason—then go discreetly do whatever you need to do in order to stay married and stay sane.


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