Lonely marriage

timonlineJuly 9, 2008

I've been married for 2 years and am feeling very lonely within my marriage. The problem is largely down to sexual intimacy - my wife has had little interest in sex since day one of our marriage and only does it out of duty - maybe a couple of times a month if I'm lucky. She is often very critical of me and of my body. My wife recently discovered that she was pregnant - great news - but we havn't had sex for 2 months now.

My wife's problems stem from a combination of guilt, depression and tiredness. She was seeing a counsellor but now has no energy to do so and so I see little hope of any of her issues ever being resolved.

It's not all bad and we do have some great times together but much of the time I feel very low and we're unable to give each other the emotional support and intimacy we need. I feel very lonely, not having anyone to share my feelings with.

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"....my wife has had little interest in sex since day one of our marriage..."

Wondering why she married, then. How were things during courtship?

Reluctant to say more because of my personal experience with the issue which, in my case, was pure deception -- and heartbreaking.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 7:21PM
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Things were OK during the courtship. Initially sex was great but then she suddenly decided she wanted to wait until we were married - so I waited thinking (hoping) everything would be find when we married.

I don't (and darn't) think it was deception on her part but we are where we are.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 1:56AM
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Why is she tired ? Does she have a tough job ?

You have taken on additional responsibilities with the pregnancy and future child, so there is more of an incentive to sort this out, isn't there ?

Perhaps you should go and talk to someone like a counsellor and find out ways that you can deal with your loneliness and uncover the cause of the problems. They may give you the communication tips on how to get to the cause of the distance between you and your wife. Maybe she is just not happy with her self and this could lead to low self-esteem.

In her present state of mind, pregnancy is going to put additional pressure on her.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 3:54AM
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"She is often very critical of me and of my body."

This sounds kinda nasty. Are you different now than during courtship? What is the nature of the criticism?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 11:58AM
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She's tired as a result of various things but mainly lack of sleep, new (PT) job and the pregnancy I guess.

You'd have thought the pregnancy would be an added incentive but she seems to have shut down from trying to work through issues.

I have been to see a counsellor and am trying to work through strategies but my wife & I just seem to end up arguing when we try to discuss.

In terms of criticism, things about me not smelling sweet as roses, not showering for long enough etc. I think I have a reasonable level of hygiene but not up to her standards, but a lot better than when we were courting. I'm tryingt the best I can.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 1:57AM
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Reasonable level of hygiene, well....can you do better ? What do you mean by that, do you shower every day, do you wear a deodorant ? Sorry to be so blunt !

Pregnancy is VERY tiring, I can assure you. Pamper her.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 4:04AM
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You know, you're probably just going to have to wait this out. Some woman get VERY sick and tired when they are pregnant. I would throw up at the smell of anything cooking, so I would guess a little manly sweat could send her into dry heaves.

Your wife may really not have the energy to see a therapist now. But, I would be very careful and keep your eyes open to her having postpartum depression. It oftens is worse with people with a history of depression.

I don't know what her guilty problem is, but if there is any way you can help ease that with her,it may help. Regarding the tireness, anything you can do around the house would help. I would seriously try to do it all. Pitch in and work until you have to go to bed too. It is a hard time for many women who really only seem to have time to work and sleep. She doesn't have the energy to entertain herself, much less worry about your loneliness.

Don't even expect sex now, but be sure to take a big interest in the baby and her growing body. You can buy some baby books for her, etc.

I know you feel lonely but not having someone in sink with you that you can share your feelings with 100% of the time is just life. Some people may luck out and have it most of the time, but most don't and have to learn to go through dry spells and lonely times. You made a committment, you have a child coming... try to fulfill your loneliness some other way. And, I don't mean another woman. There are many people going through health issues with spouses that learn to satisfy their loneliness by voluntering or with misc. hobbies. I'll tell you what though, if you pick up all the household chores and duties, and offer daily foot massages to your wife, you probably would be too tired to even think about being lonely. You're bored; but that's not her problem to fix.

Once the baby comes, hopefully your new family will go into a new direction. Maybe your wife then can get on some medicine or seek the counseling she needs. Sorry, if I sound rude, I just don't have a lot of compassion for men that complain about being lonely when their wive is overly tired from pregnancy. I have a feeling if you were going through it, you may have a different perspective.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 10:18AM
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The fellow did say the problem began on "day one" of the marriage. I'm sure the pregnancy isn't helping the issue, but it isn't the problem. (Why do people always have babies whether things are working or not?) I don't think turning into her foot-servant is going to solve anything in particular.

Some people just don't much care for sex. Sometimes they pretend they do for a while in order to get what they want otherwise. Don't know if that's what's going on here. ( As I said, I have a personal bias.) Seem to be some red flags, though.

Women have better noses than men. "Trying" isn't enough hygiene-wise. Really should get that act together regardless of anything else. However, still don't get the changeover from her courtship behavior to her marriage behavior even before the pregnancy. Bad feeling about that.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 12:52PM
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"I don't think turning into her foot servant is going to solve anything"... Ok, well, generally men have been letting women be their foot servants for years.. I'm just saying if she's tired and sick from being pregnant he needs to pick up the slack. There's really no reason he can't do the things she was doing.. why was she doing them to begin with? You've obviously never been pregnant or with a woman while she was pregnant, but it's beyond very tiring for many woman. Some get very sick and if men are looking for sex, or want some time together, they are simply going to need to pick up the slack. Actually, they should do most of the housework if their wife can't, just because they are good guys. Or they should hire a maid. It sounds like she's working outside the house too, so who's job is it to do the housework if the wife is sick and tired? And, don't know if you've ever had foot pain, but it can get bad in pregnancy too.. offering a massage would be nice and sensual to some extent. She's sick and tired because she's carrying his baby, she wasn't out partying; he owes it to her to pick up the housework and give her a few massages if she's just too tired to do her fair share.

I have a feeling this problem wasn't really all that bad before the pregancy issue. Soemtimes things get exagerated when pregnant and then people go back and piece together how bad it used to be, when there really weren't many complaints beforehand. I've seen it happen all the time in other circumstances.. some one wants to have an affair and so they go back over the ten years and complain how their husband was never there for them (played golf on their honeymoon), etc. when it really is more of a current problem but they just like to pull up old stuff. Fact is, she's pregnant now, cut her a break. Doesn't really matter how it was and she doesn't sound like she was the devil incarnate before anyway. You're dealing with the here and now and the future.

Just so you guys can sort of relate to the smell thing... Let's say you have the stomach flu and some semi-sweaty guy wants to snuggle up next to you and even lay on top of you. That's how it feels at times when you're pregnant. Smells are magnified...even good ones. And...the changeover from the courtship behavior... I'm still betting his hygiene wasn't as good after he was married as it was before, plus you're generally in a lot more situations when you are married to be not so clean. I never smelled my husband after he cut the grass when we were dating, had I, I may have thought twice about marrying him ;-)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 1:36PM
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The way to go is forward. Not dredge all that has happened in the past, you can't fix those problems.

What's in the future ? The child needs caring responsible parents, who love each other. That is what should be worked on, now.

How can they find love and caring - well a good place to start would be for him to help her in her time of need. Give her a foot massage, do the housework, cook the dinner, go to the shop. What can she do - she can show that she appreciates all that toil.

When a woman is pregnant she needs help, and her husband is the person to help her, that is what love is.

She may have morning sickness, and smells will make her puke, simple as that !

Imagine being unwell for 9 months, it is the toughest thing I have ever done.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 5:38PM
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IMO, even if she's not 'into it' right now, she should at least be willing to 'put up with it' every so often just to meet your needs. Ask her if she will do that for you, and do it -- even if it's not terribly satisfying for you. That will ease some of the pressure and keep the resentment from building too high. Then in a few months (after the first trimester mainly), she should be feeling a bit better and should participate at least a little.

But I'm afraid I'm witl Asolo on this one. I think the pregnancy is more of an 'excuse' than a 'reason'. If the problems started after pregnancy, then I'd agree with the other posters above. It is exhausting! Same with the alleged hygeine issues. If you shower once a day, baring a medical problem on your end, that should be enough. If you shower after work, that should be more than enough. If it is a medical problem (and there are such things) then she should be concerned enough about your health to mention seeing a doctor and fixing it.

I'd make getting back into counseling a high, high priority.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 8:29PM
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Thanks for all the comments - it appears to created something of a debate!

The problems did start from day one - my wife has never initiated sex, apart from when trying to get pregnant and has never put her whole self into it.

I understand that pregnancy can be tough and I do do a lot to support her emotionally and practically, doing most of the housework, despite a full time job and 12 hour days.

I'm not bored - just lonely, drained and feeling unsupported most of the time.

As for hygiene I shower ever day and use deodarent but apparently that's not enough!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 7:50AM
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I think that your problem is much more serious than taking a longer shower. If it were that simple, then it I don't think you would end up arguing when you discuss the issue.
You seem to be willing to take positive action here.

You said, "My wife is very critical of me and my body."
This implies that there is much more going on. Initially you had sex during the courtship, but then she "suddenly" wanted to wait until after marriage. So, that was the first sign that something was wrong.

I think that a counselor could help you both resolve this issue and take the appropriate steps. Three key questions come to mind in this situation:

Is your wife attracted to you?
What is she dissasfied with during sex?
Why did she marry you?

I think that it would be wise to stop having sex until you resolve these issues. If she is only participating "out of duty" then that only reinforces the negative feelings she has. It's not healthy for you either.

I hope that you can work things out, and I think that a counselor is the best option.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 10:15AM
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Agreed --

The problem isn't pregnancy.
The problem isn't your hygeine.
The problem isn't your body.

The problem is that your wife doesn't want to have sex with you.
She's throwing up excuse after excuse as a smoke screen, but that's all they are.
Don't even ask her 'why' anymore because each answer will just be another painful smoke screen.

Is she available for emotional intimacy?
Or is she avoiding that too?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 10:51AM
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"The problems did start from day one - my wife has never initiated sex, apart from when trying to get pregnant and has never put her whole self into it."

This is sounding more and more like the age-old story. If that's what it is, now that she has her pregnancy, your sex life life likely remain over. Sorry to learn of this circumstance. Sorry to have to consider the likelihood of this agenda.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 2:32PM
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When you talk to the counselor, I would also address her reaction to your feelings of lonliness.

If she was really in love with you, I would expect her to give you some kind of positive reassuring response. It doesn't appear that she did that - in fact, quite the opposite.

You stated that you both are not getting emotional support from each other either, so it's very important that you both talk to a counselor together before the baby is born.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 7:50PM
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    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 4:26AM
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When I'm king, spamming and telephone soliciting will be capital offenses.

Disease and penury upon you, swine!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 1:11PM
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Pregnancy made my sex drive shoot through the roof. My husband is having the OPPOSITE problem...hahaha. He can't keep up poor guy. I AM tired all the time but boy howdy I perk right up at the smallest hint of the possibility of getting some nookie. Sorry TIMONLINE, I'm not trying to rub it in.

I have to agree with the mojority of the other posters. It sounds like she's avoiding sex with you. I can't say why but regardless you need to have a serious heart to heart. Let her know that you are feeling neglected. Any woman in her right mind who LOVES their spouse would wake up and smell the affair brewing. I'm not even in the slightest suggesting that you would or SHOULD cheat but if my husband came to me with these concerns I would take them very seriously. Bad things happen when people feel abondoned emotionally and sexually. Bottom line.

If she STILL shows no concern I would question how much she values your realtionship. Hopefully all she needs is to have it laid out straight to her...good luck.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 3:26PM
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Everyman's dream wife!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 5:14PM
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My Hubby is happy anyway :)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 4:44PM
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I also was randy as all he!! when I was pregnant, even with morning sickness and intense sensitivity to smells. It's the HORMONES, guys. People with no sex drive either have low hormone levels, some pyschological barriers or they just don't love the other person. These three are hard enough to sort out, but with pregnancy an issue, well, good luck. You may just have to be the most patiemt man on earth for the next year or consider other options.

I propose that in the future, people take a hormone-compatibility test before they are issued a marriage license. It could solve a lot of problems. My present husband is my third - and we are SO compatible in that way that it makes up for a host of other problems, as you all have heard me whining about here from time to time.

By all means, try to get her to go to counseling if possible, at least to act as a pressure release during this time. I wish you luck.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 8:55PM
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