Return to the Marriage Forum

 o
Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Posted by mrgreenlawn (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 15, 09 at 11:08

First a little context about the relationship. In general, life is good for us. My wife and I are both mid-30's and in good health. We have a beautiful one year old daughter. This is the first marriage for both of us. We live in a nice home (with nice landscaping - thanks GardenWeb ;) ) and both work full time and earn good incomes.

Pre Marriage
We met at church about nine years ago and began dating very shortly thereafter. Out of respect for our religious beliefs and her wishes, we were not sexually involved during the two years we dated prior to marriage. I had had a small number of experiences prior to meeting my future spouse and she had had none. It was difficult (for me at least, she seemed to have an easier time) to be chaste during our dating and engagement but we managed based on the promise of a robust, rich and fulfilling love life in our marriage.

Wedding to Baby
She and I got along very well early on. We were very close emotionally although sex was infrequent (once every month or two). This was a source of tension as I would frequently (several times a week) try to initiate and be rejected. The times we talked about it she would say sex shouldn't be so important to me.

A few years into the marriage when we were trying to conceive we had sex more regularly (once a month when her calculations indicated ovulation).

Conception to baby's first birthday
Not surprisingly pregnancy and baby put our sex life on (temporary?) hiatus. More surprisingly my wife became more distant. She actually recoiled at any affection even non-sexual contacts like hugs or pecks on the cheek. We fell into a situation where any contact initiated by me was rebuffed and left me feeling rejected and frustrated. If I hold off and allow her to initiate any contact, we simply don't have any at all - that's been the status quo for the last six months or so.

Recent Developments
A couple weeks ago we had a minor "breakthrough" which gave me some hope that things can improve for us. We were going through our usual routine of my wife showering our baby affection prior to us leaving for daycare and I said something to the effect of "what about me, don't I even get a 'good-bye' or 'have a good day'?" Her reply was that I am her roommate not her husband. When I asked why she felt that way I was floored when she said "because YOU have been rejecting ME sexually since the baby came". We had little time to talk further and I didn't want to argue but rather to use the opening to make positive progress. I suggested that we plan to have a "date" to spend time together that evening after the baby was put to bed and she agreed.

Well, evening came and I made sure all of the household chores were done but I was disappointed to discover that she was in "don't touch me" mode once again. She said she was tired and wanted to be left alone. I can sympathize with being tired so I suggested we take a rain check until the following evening. The following evening - more of the same. And the next. Rather than provoke conflict I just haven't pursued the subject with her since then.

On one hand, if my wife has needs (physical, emotional, or otherwise) that aren't being met I want to understand and do my best to meet them. On the other hand, I'm beginning to feel manipulated and used (as a sperm donor, a live-in au pair, and a maid). All of the rejection and confusion are having a negative impact on my emotional well being and even my job performance. I really need to make some progress. I've been doing a LOT of reading and I hope that people in this forum can give suggestions that will help. So, am I missing something? What can I do? Or am I just deluding myself hoping that things can improve?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

marriage counsellor maybe? if she doesn't open up to you, maybe she will tell someone else what bothers her. something bothers her. is she resenting something? could you ask her to go to a counsellor together?


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I know she is resentful and we have talked a bit about it.

She told me she is resentful because during the late stages of her pregnancy she wanted me to have sex with her but I didn't want to because I would never forgive myself if something happened to the unborn baby. I tried to stress that it wasn't that I was not attracted to her but that I was uncomfortable with the idea and worried about the baby's safety. I don't ask her to do things that make her uncomfortable in the bedroom and I think it is reasonable to ask the same courtesy in return. But I understand how she could find that hurtful. I'm pretty sure she hasn't forgiven this despite my apologies and that it was more than a year ago.

As far as counseling, I've been going on and off for about three years. She won't go because she says I'm the problem and I'm the one who needs to change. I would very much like for her to go with me (to this or any other counselor of her choosing) but historically she has refused. I suppose it would not hurt to ask again.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

she would still benefit from therapy on her own even if she thinks it is your fault, at least she could talk to someone about her pain and find some resolution. she probably fell unattractive when you rejected her and baby-safety felt like an excuse to her. she would need to talk to someone about it, you can't change it and she has to either end the marriage or forget and move on to a new stage with you.

you know it won't go away on its own. My exhusband didn't find me too attractive after the birth of our daughter because I gained weight. it was 21 year ago and we are divorced long time but believe me I still remember it. it comes to my mind here and there that many years after. so she didn't forget it and she probably won't.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

"She won't go because she says I'm the problem and I'm the one who needs to change."

She's wrong. It's your marriage that has the problem.
And it's your marriage that may not survive if you both don't get busy trying to save it.

Neither one of you is talking openly and honestly to the other. There's a LOT of pent up hurt and anger -- probably for both of you -- and you need a safe place to talk things through. You're not without blame in this situation, but neither is she!
She could have told you - should have told you "Honey, when you said you didn't want to have sex during the last trimester, I felt really fat and unattractive." She should have told you this RIGHT when it happened -- not MONTHS later. Doubtless, there are many other things she hasn't told you -- How being a new mother makes her feel as a wife and woman. (Good, bad, sexy, UNsexy, exhausted? -- all of the above?) And there have to be things you haven't told her. -- About maybe feeling cheated or deceived about promises of sex after marriage? Resentment for constantly being blamed? Hormonally out of whack from lack of sex? Remote from lack of emotional intimacy? Used for a paycheck?

By accepting all of the blame for your marriage -- or by appearing to -- that makes you a doormat.
And I'm sorry, but there's nothing sexy about a doormat.

If she wants to save her marriage, SHE needs to get off her backside and get to work on it.
Let her go alone for a few sessions if she insists, but she NEEDS to go.

If she won't then that should tell you something about what this marriage means to her.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Regarding the body image / rejection issues, thank you for sharing your experiences finedreams. I'm glad I posted here because a fresh perspective is very helpful. I think I may have greatly underestimated the extent to which she may feel hurt. I have always thought she is very attractive and that hasn't changed. She put on some weight post baby but in all the right places ;) I know she doesn't feel super attractive right now but she gets upset when I tell her how attractive she looks - it seems a bit paradoxical.

Regarding the doormat comment, I should clarify that she didn't send me off to counseling. I asked her to go and she declined so I sought out some on my own for the sake of trying to get some input for effecting positive change in our marriage. She doesn't know that I have been going. It isn't a secret but I didn't want to make a big deal out of it. I accept that there is plenty of blame to go around for both of us regarding our current situation.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

"she says I'm the problem and I'm the one who needs to
change"
It is a sign of maturity that you recognize that there may be a need for changes on both sides. However, if this *all* harks back to what happened during pregnancy, and she insists you need to change, but she won't tell you *how,* then she needs to be reminded that no one can change the past. Maybe a list of the things you have tried, along with their frequency, would help her to think about it. If she rejects every one of them as inadequate or unwelcome change, perhaps she could be persuaded to add a few that *would* be acceptable? I used a question mark because I have my doubts whether anything can be accomplished so long as she insists on holding on to old resentments.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

"It was difficult (for me at least, she seemed to have an easier time) to be chaste during our dating and engagement"

"We were very close emotionally although sex was infrequent (once every month or two)."

"...she would say sex shouldn't be so important to me."

"...we had sex more regularly (once a month..."

"...my wife became more distant. She actually recoiled at any affection even non-sexual contacts like hugs or pecks on the cheek..."

And I have little doubt there's plenty more you didn't write.

Sir, your wife doesn't like sex. The conversations you described is her trying to cover herself so she doesn't have to admit it. Very common. She won't change. I'm sorry for you.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Asolo's right about that.

And if your wife has body-image issues, what she hears when you say she looks beautiful is "I want sex". When you tell her you love her, she hears "I want sex". When you go to kiss her or show her affection in any way, she hears/sees/feels "I want sex". And if you indicate that you don't want sex, she hears/sees/feels "See? He thinks I'm disgusting!"

If she won't go to counselling and begin to trust you with a little honesty, your marriage is doomed to failure. (That doesn't necessarily mean divorce -- just failure. You two could go on forever in a loveless room-mateship.)

And for you to be going to counselling but not telling her?
Not exactly honest and trusting of you either.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

"Out of respect for our religious beliefs and her wishes, we were not sexually involved during the two years we dated prior to marriage....but we managed based on the promise of a robust, rich and fulfilling love life in our marriage."

Two years! In the prime of your lives! And you didn't see the handwriting on that wall? Due respect for religious beliefs (disingenuous to say, because I have none) but this woman was hiding something. She still is. And the church won't be picking up the pieces.

Basically, she's got everything she wanted. The lifestyle, the baby, and a husband that she can manipulate to maintain appearances....except that will soon be coming to a close. She doesn't like you and won't be living with you much longer.

She said "...I am her roommate not her husband." And then avoids any/all discussion promised. I have no doubt she will continue to -- because she's getting away with it. It's working just fine for her. This is the beginning of your end. She'll get the house and child support. She doesn't need you or want you for anything anymore. She's smart. Watch what she does next.

I am sorry, but this is all laid out. I don't know if it was part of a plan from the beginning but it is somewhat typical and it does smell to the sky.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Nope, she does not like sex, but that doesn't have to mean she is frigid or that she'll never change. There may be reasons though she might never confess it. If there is something about you (BO, BB, or whatever) that turns her off and prevents her being close and intimate with you, that is something women almost never come out and say. If sex is not good for her or you are an inconsiderate lover, women don't come and tell their husbands that either normally. If you say/do things that drag her down mentally/emotionally, she won't want to be bothered with you, so any excuse will do that she can come up with. There could be any number of reasons.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I'm surprised at you, thermometer. Whatever her reasons -- over two years courtship and continuing into the marriage isn't any kind of OK in my opinion.

She had this issue (whether general or just with him) and she married him anyway? Bad dog!


 o
ps to previous....

Should have said in first post in addition to "she won't change".....

Actually, it would be completely unreasonable to expect her to.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Asolo, I think people are, or should be, allowed their religious convictions. You quoted him saying "It was difficult (for me at least, she seemed to have an easier time) to be chaste during our dating and engagement", but neither of you can know if it was difficult or how difficult it was for her. Basing supposition on his conjecture doesn't necessarily lead to an adequate conclusion. I only see the problem beginning after they were married. Naturally, no sex for two years was difficult for him, but that doesn't mean she had a problem just because she didn't give in to her urges and his urging. To say she does not like sex I think goes too far. Women have desire like men do perhaps not as frequent for most. I cannot be convinced a woman would turn down good sex and frequent orgasms every single day unless she is in pain, something turns her off, or there is nothing in it for her. He gave us no indication his wife is made of rubber. LOL


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Thermometer, you have no idea and neither do I.....except for the behavior described...which seems rather definitive after a nine-year track-record, wouldn't you agree? Wouldn't any rational observer agree?

She doesn't like sex! People who like sex don't avoid sex. It's not an accusation. It's an observation. Surely we don't have to argue this?


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Oh, I didn't know we were arguing until your last post. Well, I still am not, but you may continue if you wish. I still assert and contend that we cannot conclude she doesn't like sex, only that she doesn't like sex with him. We certainly don't have any other testimony or details into her life and psyche to assume otherwise.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

"I still assert and contend that we cannot conclude she doesn't like sex, only that she doesn't like sex with him. "

Fine. The hair is split and we do agree that she doesn't like sex WITH HIM. Whew. Glad that's over.

I haven't disallowed anyone's religious convictions. OP brought up "religious beliefs" and I responded completely in context.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I agree with Asolo. She doesn't like sex, but that's not the problem, the problem is that she isn't even willing to explore why or how to make it better. You sound like you are doing things to try and improve the situation, and she is doing nothing. I think that people that refuse counseling don't care enough about the relationship to even try a make it better. She is putting all the blame on you. She is upset you refused sex a few times when she was pregnant? I think that's an excuse. She's refused you sex many times so she can't get bent out of shape about that.

From my own experience, if someone doesn't like or doesn't want to have sex, and is unwilling to try to get help to change that, unfortunately things will never change. I left a long term relationship for the same reason. I should have seen the writing on the wall in the beginning, just like you. Once every month or two in the very beginning of a relationship is a warning sign. You should be all over each other at that point! I really think finding someone sexually compatible with yourself is of extreme importance to a relationship, learned the hard way.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

We had a good talk last night. She says that she doesn't have anything against me but she is just too tired. It was good in that I felt like we communicated well without her getting upset and defensive.

Oh well. I've been hearing that reason for a while. For the past couple months I've been running myself ragged doing almost all of the household chores and caring for the baby all morning and evening so my wife can have more rest and free time in hopes that she won't be "too tired" when bedtime comes. I think that is going to end now and we'll be going back to something more closely resembling a 50 / 50 division of responsibilities. It hardly seems fair that she have 4 to 5 hours of free time a day while I have none.

I may not have a love life, but at least I can avoid driving myself crazy trying to change something I cannot. If I'm very lucky maybe she'll turn off the TV and pay attention to me eventually.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

There are many people -- male and female -- who don't like sex. The reasons are as varied as the people themselves. There's nothing wrong with it. It's just another variation among people that requires neither approval nor disapproval -- only acknowledgement. There's no reason to criticize or blame unless/until they represent themselves as being otherwise which -- especially in matters of courtship and marriage -- they so frequently do. From OP's description, it appears likely to me that that is what has happened here. It is not at all uncommon.

IMHO, sexual compatibility is like any other personal characteristic that should be explored in courtship. The common saying about how "all of that will come naturally" is so far off the mark as be unworthy of comment. Conversation will not cover this ground. It's important and should not be assumed.

Those who perpetrate this fraud, consciously or subconsciously, almost invariably attempt to shield themselves from criticism so they may continue to pursue their dream/intention of a "normal" marriage and lifestyle. OP's description of their refraining during years of courtship "....based on the promise of a robust, rich and fulfilling love life in our marriage..." is a textbook stereotype of such behavior.

Other typical expressions are along the lines of "wanting the wedding night to be special" or "remaining true to our religious beliefs" or "being traditional." I'm sure you've heard many others. Unfortunately, in many cases the actual meaning is "I'm not interested. I don't want to do that."


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Spend 1/2 the time you have spent writing and replying to posts giving the poor man a bit of attention and sex and the problem will disappear


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Hormones can be a big factor if hers are out of whack, but she will have no reason to suspect or wonder about it because it's not something that a woman notices. Ask her to see her doctor about it. Getting on the pill can often times bring hormones back into balance, and sometimes it takes more than that. If she refuses to see her doctor, then you'll know she is not telling the truth although you know that part already. You just don't know what it is she isn't telling and you might never.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I just reread first post about how often you did have sex and it seems very infrequent.

somehow i assumed that you had sex very often and it stopped due to pregnancy and etc I misread your posts i guess.

Looks like you guys had very little sex in the very beginning. once every month or two? It is very unusual. Mid30s? I am not saying every day but at least more often than that.

I understand that due to religious convictions you didn't have sex before marriage, but after the wedding you still had it once-twice a months? It is rather unusual.


 o
religion and two years of waiting

I understand not having sex prior to marriage for very religious people but I have never heard of two years of waiting!

Which relgion would require such a long waiting? Who can survive that long?

My only knowledge of very religious families are Jewish Orthodox who refrain from sex and actually any physical intimacy prior to marriage BUT dating and engagement are kept very very short (partially due to not tempting the people), decision about engagement has to come after very short (a month maybe) dating. If a couple is not sure about each other, they shouldn't be dating any longer and have to move on. If however they decide to get engaged, their marriage follows very quickly. Most people I know marry within 6 weeks or so. Surelly everyone can wait 6 weeks.
same with religious muslims, no sex before marriage but again both dating and engagement are kept to a minimum, are short and certainly one can wait few months.

I have never heard of anybody required to wait two years before having sex, it seems rather cruel and unreasonable. It is uneccesary tempting of the body and also encourages cheating because surely most guys would have sex on the side during those 2 years.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Regarding the two years, that time frame is not a religious requirement per se. The no pre-marital sex thing is something that was important to her and for which one can find ample Biblical justification. Actually a lot of my friends did (claimed to have done?) the same thing and as far as I know it worked out well for them. One year of dating seems like a good amount of time to get to know someone. I felt like the year (actually more like 10 mos) of engagement was too long but that was how long it took for all of the planets to be aligned in terms of having dresses made, availablity of the facility she wanted, no other family event conflicts, photographer availablity yada yada.

Returning to the frequency issue, from the helpful replies in this thread and the many other threads I have read in this forum and others the magnitude of the problem is coming into focus more sharply for me. This is a legitimate major problem that destroys marriages, not just a the stereotypical difference in preferences (i.e. he wants to 7x a week and she only wants 2x, or vice versa). I had been thinking this kind of thing was typical for most marriages but I now realize that it is not. As such, I feel much more comfortable talking with my wife about this issue and addressing it as a legitimate problem not just a disagreement.

As far as hormones, that may be a problem. She was on some sort of non-estrogen birth control pill that made her hyper irritable and uber grouchy. Thankfully she went off that a couple months ago and returned to her usual self. I know she goes to the doctor regularly and has been given a clean bill of health.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

iggie - huh? Did you even read the posts? The person posting is the husband. Your answer seems to have nothing to do with his problem, so perhaps you had a different thread in mind.

finedreams, you said: "If however they decide to get engaged, their marriage follows very quickly. Most people I know marry within 6 weeks or so."

Most people marry within 6 weeks or so of becoming engaged? That's a new one on me! And as far as "requirements" for 2 years or any length of time, no. The Bible simply makes it clear that sex before marriage is immoral. Not that there is a any "waiting time" required.

mrgreenlawn - I hope that you and your wife can work things out so that you're both satisfied. Enough for her but not too much, and enough for you but not too little.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Trouble is you're both who you are. She thinks you're overboard and you think she's deficient and should change. She's not going to. After all this time gone by, you can be assured you've got what you've got and that's it. She's different from you in this way. I wouldn't expect that she's going to learn to like sex. She may or may not accommodate you with greater frequency to keep peace but she isn't going to develop a libido that she's never had. Expecting that she will or that she might is wishful thinking.

Is it you? Would she be different with somebody else? No point in even wondering. Solutions start with acknowledging there's a problem. She doesn't think she has a problem -- except for your expectations. In her view, managing your expectations is her only problem.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I know she goes to the doctor regularly and has been given a clean bill of health.

I guess I didn't make myself clear because this statement you made makes it seem you dismissed the possibility, as in it cannot be a problem because she gets a clean bill of health. What I should have included is hormonal imbalance has nothing to do with physical checkup or blood tests normally. Only certain routine things are checked and screened for unless a woman makes specific complaints. In that case, the doctor checks and screens for those suspicious or fitful nuts and bolts. However, hormones is almost never screened for (unless she complains of mood swings, irregular cycles, etc.), and a woman has no idea to tell her doctor to check that. Very often, there are no outward or obvious symptoms, but lack of sexual desire is often a sign. For that matter, out of whack hormones can also cause increased sexual desire. Just depends on which way whack went. LOL


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Do you think you could get her to agree to Saturday 'date nights'?

You take over baby-duty on Saturday afternoons so she can rest, take your daughter out of the house and maybe pick up something special for dinner and a movie on DVD. (We do lobsters -- just boil 10 minutes and serve with chilled white wine, sourdough bread and salad. Get a romantic comedy movie please. Not horror or action. Not porn.)

You cook dinner while she puts the baby in bed, eat together in front of the movie, and spend a few minutes afterward gazing into her eyes and really talking to her. (Stuff the lobster shells into a plastic bag in the freezer until trash day; leave the rest for later.) Then off to the candlelit bedroom for the two of you. Romance her...

No babysitters to locate, screen or cancel. Lobster from the grocery store isn't really expensive compared to dinner out. Easy to up the romantic ambiance with candles and lingerie.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

According to original post, he's attempted the "date night" thing at least three times and was shut down on all three. She's always in "don't touch me" mode, he said. I assume that over all their time together there have been many other instances.

After all this time, she's closely tuned in to his hopes/expectations and knows what's coming waaaay upstream when he even begins thinking of initiation. Right now, with him doing all the work and her having all the free time all she's thinking about is how she'll handle it when he finally risks approaching again. I have zero doubt she'll think of something.

Then, again, lobster and a movie is always good. And some say miracles happen.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I have no doubt she can 'smell it a mile away' -- so the idea is to spell it out up front. Not very romantic, I know, but "How about Saturday nights for me? And every other day of the week, even though I'd love to, I promise not to ask you for sex so you can relax."

That will at least take it 'off the table' the other six nights, giving her a chance to relax and actually get comfortable, without worrying that every glance, every touch, every kiss is really a 'sniff'. When she can stop feeling pressured (I know you're not actually pressuring her, but trust me, if she knows you always want more sex than you're getting, she's always feeling pressured to provide it) When she can stop feeling pressured, she might actually initiate some day...


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Now there's a tidbit that would tell us quite a lot, I think.

mrgreenlawn...has your wife EVER initiated? Does she seduce you now and then?

I suspect the answer will be no -- except for that period of time when she wanted the baby.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Progress! Again good communication turns out to be key. Once she started to feel comfortable talking with me about sex she admitted that she gets satisfaction from what we do leading up to intercourse but intercourse itself is physically painful for her (even gently when she is fully aroused).

So, we just saw to each other's needs last night w/o intercourse. :) We'll do some research and / or get some help so we an reintroduce intercourse into the mix.

It's quite profound how much lower key the household is when you have a sex life. No bickering over stupid inconsequential little stuff. And we definitely aren't feeling like roommates. ;)

Thanks for all of the help.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Bravo! I'm happier than anyone to learn I've been mostly wrong. Hope your good progress continues!


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

If intercourse is painful for her, it could be a medical issue - ovarian cyst, endometriosis, fibroids. Please encourage her to see her OB/GYN for a full exam and ultrasound. If it is a medical issue, it can be fixed, some very easily.

Good luck to you.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Endometriosis is pretty famous for this kind of thing and often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Maybe time for another doctor. That "clean bill of health" thing may need closer examination. Sexual intercourse should not be painful.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

good news. OB/Gyn could certainly help with the issue of pain during intercourse.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Okay, sorry, gonna rain on this happy party. It is very possible that years and years of behavior has always been attributed to pain unmentioned, but doesn't that feel suspect to anyone?

Please stay open to the idea that this woman may be resentful as well. There is a psychological disorder that makes intercourse painful. Resentment and anger are the BIGGEST turn-offs for sex drive on the planet. It's not about disliking sex.

Is she able to climax? Some women never have. This will make sex no more than a chore. This is treatable!

She's a young mother, remained a virgin all her single life - there are going to be deterrents. This DOES NOT mean she doesn't like sex per se, or that she cannot change. Left unaddressed, it is likely she won't, but come on. If she is a healthy woman, this is a head thing and head things can be addressed and resolved.

Or she may have endometriosis.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I have little doubt that whatever mrgreenlawn may find out about the total picture -- even if a curable physical condition is discovered -- the intertwining of components may well prove difficult to deal with if change is required/desired/expected. Nine years of acquaintance and seven (if I've got that right) of marriage with this behavior evident throughout shows itself as a very well established pattern. Such patterns are rarely altered. She sees her task as managing her husband's discontent, not in acquiescing or changing herself.

Overall, I'm seeing that she is basically content while he is not. He sees her as deficient and wants her to change. She sees no need for it. Or does she?


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

As far as the medical health issues, I hope I don't come across as unconcerned. For the sake of brevity I put only what I felt were minimal relevant details in the initial post. One thing I did not mention that is relevant is that my wife is a physician (don't think "ER", hers is a sub-40 hr/week largely administrative job) so, given that she has ten years more medical training than me, I don't presume to give her medical advise very often. But I do appreciate all of the suggestions and I will mention them if the opportunity arises.

I'm getting a bad vibe that we may simply be back on the once-in-a-blue-moon schedule rather than making much of headway. That is an improvement compared to zero times in nearly two years but still not what I would think fall in the bounds of a normal healthy sex life. Granted I'm not working with a lot of data points yet and I hope I'm wrong. I think she may be back on her non-estrogen birth control pills (or grouch pills as I think of them) which I have several times begged her to stay off of and ask her doctor for an alternative.

Without going into lurid detail, she does climax but not during intercourse so I always make sure she is taken care of before hand. Given that intercourse is off the table for right now her continued disinterest remains puzzling to me. As others have stated, there are likely many factors contributing to the current situation.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Oh boy...learning for the first time she's a physician...which causes me to think you are well and truly hosed.

She's got you dominated personally and professionally. She's already familiar with any/all conditions that would cause her coital pain but has obviously decided against exploring further. She's well aware of your coital infrequency being abnormal and clearly unsatisfactory to her own husband -- or ANY husband -- but bristles at his notice, expression, or even hint at discontent. Looks to me like she's dug in and fortified. Given her professional qualifications I cannot think other than that she's always known this about herself and has hidden it from you as long as she could.

I've got a very bad feeling about this.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

So-
1 sexually naive husband, set for simmer
1 deep frozen wife, pickled in the sour brine of religion's unhealthy outlook on sexual matters
1 baby, sweet
Recipe for disaster.

Why does there have to be this silly war between religion and sex? If there is any "sin" about it, it is the mental and emotional castration of people who should be enjoying a very natural and wonderful gift of nature. I would think it would be an affront to the Creator to devalue and demonize this very precious gift. And I have no doubt that that is what is at the heart of this problem.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Yo scarlett2001...hoping to save you.

Don't you know religion is "sacred"? You're not allowed to question any of that kind of thing!


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I am unaware of any Biblical references to sex within marriage being anything other than a good and healthy practice to be encouraged. And the only references to abstainence within marriage being for very limited circumstances and for very limited periods of time.

Unfortunately we humans often add elements to religious practice that there really isn't any basis for (i.e. Bible says don't get drunk and act like a fool and many churchy people take that to don't drink alchohol at all ever). Or distain for sex in general regardless of context.

That may or may not be what is going on in this situation. I suspect the problem is more along the lines of the power / control ideas asolo presented.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I don't think you can expect sex or increased frequency of sex from someone who -- for whatever reason -- doesn't like it and isn't interested. However, I do think you can expect/require honesty from a spouse.

Since your wife is a physician I think that level of knowledge/expertise sort of doubles the requirement. I don't think a physician can beg off by saying she "doesn't know" to any of your questions/concerns, or dance around rhetorically as you've described throughout your marriage to her. As a physician, she knows there's a problem. She knows its her problem. She knows your disappointment is legitimate. And, more to the point, she knows she's been deceptive.

The "bad feelng" I have isn't about her libido or lack of it. The issue isn't the sex. The issue is the deception. As her husband, I think you're entitled to know what the deal is and how it's going to be. As a physician, she certainly knows. From your description, she has conscientiously withheld this information from you -- in the beginning and all along the way. IMHO that is wrong on many different levels. It leaves me with the feeling that she has -- and has had -- a hidden agenda.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I agree with everything Asolo says, except the implication that her behavior was deliberately deceptive from the beginning. Most women don't really set out to deceive a man unless they are also genuinely deceiving themsleves. (Sadly, that self-deception isn't all that infrequent.)

I think her behavior may have started out with honest intentions (a genuine strong belief in waiting until marriage), then gradually crossed over into becoming misleading, deceptive and manipulative as her emotional discomfort didn't magically disappear after marriage, and she chose to evade her discomfort rather than confronting it.

Sexual intimacy is the glue that brings two people back together when the ordinary annoyances of our busy daily lives take us elsewhere. It's too important to just throw away.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

It is definitely a form of dishonesty and manipulative. In a way it's like the women who marry 'lifers' in prison, they can feel 'married' without the icky stuff.

My ex told me we were 'roommates' too - I thought it was cold, hard and awful. Eventually I got out of there.

Sounds very one-sided, with her setting the rules. Consider getting out and having a life while you are still young, rather than frittering your years waiting for things to get better- she has to want things to change; clearly she doesn't.

It could also be that she's having an affair, but from the history it would have to be an enormous and drawn-out deception.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Okay -- a couple of comments here:

First, to quote scarlett: "...sour brine of religion's unhealthy outlook on sexual matters..."

I realize some religions may indeed put restrictions on sexual activity in marriage, but the Christian faith does not, at all. This wife needs to read 1 (or 2) Corinthians 7, which clearly states that her depriving her husband of sex is a sin against God. (This equally applies to men depriving wives of sex.)

OP, does your wife know about herbs? Saw palmetto, in particular, (which is also often advised for men for prostate health) has helped a number of women I know personally to have a stronger libido (often much stroner) and also be more able to climax, even during vaginal intercourse.

Wild yam is also very good for this, as is Fennel.

All of these come in capsule form, are available at health food stores, stores like GNC, and even Walmart. A couple of each with at least two meals each day could make all the difference for her -- assuming her main problem is physical, not mental/emotional.

Also -- though you seem to know this, I would simply say that it's best to have the woman craving intercourse before the man enters. Try a night with no expectations on your part, simply asking her to show you what she really likes, what turns her on. Make sure you are freshly-showered and have very good breath too (every night). Lubrication like KY jelly might also be a real help, particularly if she has a small vagina and/or tends to be dry.

A closing note: It's not unusual for women to be very orgasmic during pregnancy. This may have been her situation and could cause her to still resent your refusal to satisfy her then. Unless the OB/GYN has specifically told the wife to avoid sex in general, or certain positions, it's ideal to let her determine when to have sex and how often. She may very well still feel the sting of rejection about that. If so, it may be a huge help if you give her a heart-felt apology and promise her you will never do that again, ever.

I sincerely hope this helps.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Bible study, herbs, and KY jelly aren't going to solve this problem. And, so far he's spent most of his married life accommodating and apologizing so I don't see that one more would do much other than reaffirm his submission.

This is a tough situation. And she holds all the cards.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Yeah, I still say it's time for resentment resolution. An angry woman isn't always aware HOW angry she truly is. It's passive aggressive stuff all over the place here - good news is, that part can be resolved if you can learn how to talk to each other, and it might be a few years of sifting through the krap. Worth it in the end, though -

-From one who knows :)


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

asolo, with all due respect, none of us knows exactly what (if anything) will resolve this situation. We've only heard from the guy, not the wife.

ITA with Amy that resentment resolution is most likely the key here (and I mentioned that). I just figured it wouldn't hurt to mention spiritual and physical aspects, as well. Since the wife identifies with the Christian faith, the scripture I mentioned is totally apropos. If she doesn't know about it, she needs to. (As does the husband)


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Right.....these highly-educated parties met in church, have conducted their relationship (sexual expression in particular) from the beginning with christian principals held in the highest regard, regulating their behavior accordingly -- for nine years , now -- and you think they might not be familiar with Corinthians or other passages having to do with sex and marriage? Big stretch, but OK.

But let's push it, just for fun....let's say DW is unfamiliar with Corinthians and sees for the very first time what this bible passage says her behavior as a wife should be and says to herself "I've been so wrong. I should conduct myself differently." Any opinions out there as to how likely her changing her behavior may be?


 o
ps to previous

For these two, I'd suggest putting the Bible in the closet and maybe the Kama Sutra on the bedside table.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

asolo, your opinion is understandable, since your perspective is not based on Christian faith and principles.

I honestly have no idea what the wife might say or do -- we've only heard from the husband. I do know that Christians are not always familiar with the entirety of the scriptures, and I also know they sometimes lose sight of them when they are overwhelmed emotionally. Which is why I thought the mention of the scripture regarding this situation was apropos.

And, yes, I have seen herbs make a big difference for a number of women. They're often more effective than meds.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I am accustomed to patronizing "understanding" of my "perspective" by people who, like you, really don't know where it comes from or what its based on but assume they do. No problem. Happens all the time.

I assume mrgreenlawn can winnow our responses and decide for himself whether or not there's anything useful to consider.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

(I'm curious how the chip on the shoulder contributes to quality of life? It's one thing to have an opinion, but geez. The chip is more like a chunk. Seems heavy.)


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

No chips or chunks, amy. Mara made a statement about me that was incorrect and I spent a sentence to jump her about it. Although she has no knowledge of what my perspective is or isn't based on, she said she did. I said it was patronizing. It was. That's it. Nothing more. My quality of life is fine.

Not at all interested in snark-wars. I suggest returning to the topic. Hopefully mrgreenlawn doesn't think we're all nuts by now.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

mmm hmmm.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Was that a response? Never known you to be speechless, amy. If you've got something to say, please do say it.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I'm starting to think the wife is a closet, though non-practicing, lesbian and only needed her husband in order to have a child.

She can endure sex with her husband once a month in order to keep him hanging around. But in reality she has no sexual desire for him because she's not turned on by men.

We have a neighborhood family like this and it took 2 children before the truth came out and she kicked the husband out of the house.

Boy, was everybody shocked! The husband says he never suspected a thing. He just thought she (also a physician like greenlawn's wife)) just had a low sex drive.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

asolo, I thought you had said you were not a Christian. If I am mistaken, feel free to correct me on that.

Of course mrgreenlawn can winnow our responses and decide for himself whether or not there's anything useful to consider. That was why I tried to cover as many bases as I could.

I got it, amy. :-)

monablair, the thing which causes me to question your theory is that the OP's wife was resentful about his unwillingness to have sex with her when she was pregnant.

It sure would be nice if we could hear from her.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

mara, we only know that's what she said. We don't know if she meant it.

It would be so easy to just tell her husband that in an attempt to shift the source of the problem to him and his treatment of her.

She still seems to be avoiding intercourse but is somewhat accepting of sexual behavior that could be replicated by a member of the female sex. I find this highly suspicious.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Because I've known women in similar circumstances who were not lesbians at all, for whom the problem was among the things I listed (not to mention the vast possibilities of relationship problems in general), I suppose that's why I thought of those things first.

It really is hard to know anything for sure, even to hazard a good guess, without hearing from the wife.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

"...so far he's spent most of his married life accommodating and apologizing so I don't see that one more would do much other than reaffirm his submission.

This is a tough situation. And she holds all the cards."

I don't like the looks of that staring at me in black and white, but unfortunately I can't refute it either. I would say it is largely accurate.

I've had a lot of sleepless nights recently to think. I'm confident our problems extend well beyond the bedroom. Although problems inside and outside are definitely intertwined.

I'm an easy-going passive person and she is very high strung, meticulous, and assertive. As a result, she generally ends up getting her way. We had some visitors this week and they privately made some comments about how controlling she is. I also got two very nasty and public tongue lashings at a family event for not doing what she wanted as quickly as she wanted. I'm beginning to realize that we have a lot bigger problems than what I was choosing to see initially.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Mara.....You are correct. I am not a christian. (Nor do I know what manner of christian you or OP may be among the countless variations) However, my "perspective" does, indeed, include myriad "christian" principals although "belief" and "faith" are not among them. These certainly are part of my well-studied base. IMHO the bible contains lots of good ideas along with even more certifiable rubbish -- as do all of the many "holy" books. In any event, I think it best to let this topic lie in favor of allowing OP's topic to continue. I feel badly about having allowed my personal irritation to sidetrack the thread. It was an error. I should have let it pass.

mrgreenlawn......nothing new except I am very distressed to learn about your wife's public display. I regard that as a significant addition to your previous disclosures. And a very bad indication. I regard it as the crossing of a significant and well-understood-by-everyone boundary with very bad implications. Even if you decide to tolerate everything else, I don't think you can or should tolerate this. Can't help but wonder what more may be in the mix that you haven't yet spoken of. The story seems to be getting worse and worse.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I hope my suspicious nature isn't getting the best of me, but I'm curious about the fact that you became a member on the very day you began this discussion.

You've not posted on any other forums either.

How did you know to come here for advice?

How can we be sure you're not a troll?

Hmmmm....

You just don't seem all that upset at your situation. I think most men would be reacting differently if their married life was playing out like yours is.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Monablair I doubt he is a troll it seems he has been looking at garden web for a while as he thanked it in his first post,and it isnt hard to find this forum for advice,i stumbled on it by complete accident.Just because a woman doesnt want sex doesnt make her a lesbian,rediculous.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

tracy, I missed the fact that he thanked GardenWeb.

And you're right, not wanting sex doesn't make a female a lesbian. I just mentioned the possibility because this same scenario played out that way with a family in our neighborhood. I do believe it's something that can't be ruled out.


 o
affair?

I might be completelly off but my SO's exwife was "disninetrested" in sex or any form of affection for years attributing it to all kind of things like depression, pains during intercourse, anxiety or her husband not doing things right in bed.

eventually it turned out that she had an affair all that time, and she eventually left SO for that same man and currently lives wiht him. all that time SO tried to fix something about himself or taking her to doctors to fix the problem LOL just to find out that there was no problem except that she slept with someone else the whole time.

i am wondering if your wife has an affair and even if it is not sexual affair could be emotional affair wiht someone at work or even internet affair.

and no she is not a lesbian just because she does not sleep wiht her husband. LOL


 o
more thoughts

although i do not think that OP's wife is a lesbian, i do know a lady who was married to a gay man, it was pure toruture because he never wanted any affection or sex wiht her unless it was those few times when they conceived their children. when he finally came out and they got divorced, they became very good friends.

situations like this are not uncommon. plenty of homosexual people make attemtps to have a traditional family but it always ends up in disaster because they simple aren't attracted to their spouses.

but I still think OP's wife is not a lesiban, i just think she is not attracted to her husband and possibly likes someone else.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

In terms of OP's decision-making I don't think it matters much what the particular issue may be. Her conduct/behavior toward her spouse is either OK or it isn't. Knowing the reasons for it may be interesting but won't solve the problem. After all this time gone by, I see any likelihood of her changing into the satisfying partner she's never been as vanishingly small.

OP's decision will be, essentially, "Is this how I want to live the rest of my life?" Apparently its been tolerable for nine years because he's borne through it and he's still there. Maybe it's good enough. In any event, hoping for change after this long demonstration of consistency is a waste of emotion and intellect IMHO. We're not talking about how she squeezes the toothpaste tube here. This is her entire being. This is who she is. She's not changing into somebody else.

Decision will be -- as it always is in the end -- stay or go. They're both young enough to start again with somebody else if they want a different life.

Appears to me that what OP is doing right now is gathering up a sufficient quantity of issues so that he feels justified. That's what most people do.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Returning to the roommates theme, I have been doing some thinking about that concept. I had a female roommate in the past for several years so I have some pretty well formed ideas about the platonic roommate concept. We were really good friends and got along really well but were not romantically involved. This is the initial take I had on my wife's roommate comment.

However, I think of other roommates I have had where it was out of necessity and we didn't really get along very well but we needed to pair up to accomplish something we could not individually (i.e. get a nice place close to work or school). That is a very different concept and could present the whole scenario in a different light.

I've had a bad feeling for quite a while that my wife has obtained everything she wanted from this relationship (a big fancy wedding and later a baby) and now no longer has much use or need for a husband. It's probably handy to have one around to do house and yardwork and childcare so long as they don't require too much maintenance. That's kind of the vibe I'm getting anyway.

As far as an affair, I would be very surprised due to lack of interest and I have not observed any fishy behaviour. I've done some reading and there is a concept of sexuality or people whose orientation is toward none at all. These folks oppose the idea of disinterest in sex being called dysfunction but rather say it is their natural orientation.

Regarding my screenname, for obvious reasons I prefer to post this topic using an account without a lot of personally identifying information associated it.

(And before someone jumps on the female roommate for several years comment above, we were both romantically involved with others at the time. It's not that we were asexual.)


 o
correction

correction: fourth paragraph second sentence should read "..concept of Asexuality..." in the post above


 o
paragraph 3

Your paragraph 3 is what's going on, IMHO. Suspect hidden-agenda from the beginning. I think you've been had.

Agree asexuality not a dysfunction, merely one characteristic among many within the human population.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I doubt it is her being asexual.

if people feel any kind of affection or warmness towards their spouses(even if not wanting actual sex), they would still want to give or receive a hug, a kiss or a backrub. not wanting any of that is more likely indicating that she is not attracted to her husband, does not like him and does not want him.

maybe she felt differently before because apparently she wanted intimacy during her pregnancy, but now she has none of that. if a man would never want to give me a hug or a kiss, i don't understand why would i want to stay with him.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

. . . character flaws . . . harping on broken promises . . . being duped . . .
A bunch of hogwash!

I say again, no woman would turn down orgasm (and the activity that gets her there wink wink) all of the time, every single day of her life if she has any reasonable expectation that orgasm is actually somewhere in her future. Even if she were a lesbian, why would she turn down oral sex on a daily basis? I could understand in that case not wanting intercourse, but nothing will make me believe she never, ever, ever wants an orgasm unless she has never had one, which is entirely possible. Not all women are capable of orgasm through intercourse, and not all men are capable of giving a woman an orgasm that way. Or so they think. I think mrgreenlawn needs to get off this site and onto some that will teach him a thing or two.....or ten. Buy a book for pete's sake and stop trying to find so many ways to blame your wife for your poor me situation. And make sure those sites or that book fully explain a woman's psyche in terms of making love to her around the clock and not just when you want some or pretending to be a parent just so she won't be too tired. She doesn't want or care for your obvious tactics. They turn her completely off, and her excuses have nothing to do with exhaustion. Learn to read between the lines of her words.


 o
theromometer

thermometer I don't think it is about orgasm. she turns down expression of affection such as simple hug, not even in bed. nothing to do with orgasm.

i am 100% positive that she gets her orgasm by masturbating (if we rule out affairs), people don't need a partner to have orgasm but they need a partner for intimacy. Intimacy is not only about orgasm.

This woman is not interested in any form of intimacy wiht her busband and possibly never was, plenty of people marry despite the fact that they are not in love and aren't even attracted to their partners. OP can try to be a better lover etc but it won't help.

Reread his first post, she never wants to give a hug or kiss on a cheek, never. what is that to do with orgasm or him being better lover?


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

No woman would turn down an orgasm,thats rediculous to say.She probly doesnt orgasm through intercourse with him I know loads of women that dont orgasm through sex.You certainly dont need a man to acheive orgasm.For me orgasm isnt the most important thing about sex,its the whole loving and intimacy thing,ive enjoyed sex without orgasm many a time.I thing orgasm are more important to most men then women.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

"The story seems to be getting worse and worse."

interesting...


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

tracystoke, I don't think you understood my point since you repeated everything I said as if I didn't say it. So it can't be all that ridiculous, can it?

finedreams, that's what I was saying initially, that she doesn't want him. Whether his person, his methods, his treatment of her, or whatever it is, she is turned off from him. If it is not his person per se, then he needs to learn how to treat a woman and learn to turn his wife on. No woman wants to feel like she is sleeping with a child (totally inexperienced and doesn't know what he's doing or how to do it). It makes her feel cheap, so there is no point in bothering. The way he kisses or even how he hugs her can matter a great deal. A woman can feel entirely consumed when all a man does is put his arms around her, and that is what she wants - something resembling feeling and passion from him and him being able to arouse that in her. But if he is barely there and doesn't know how to handle her, she does not want to be bothered because there's nothing coming from him and nothing in it for her. With nothing to look forward to, she tunes him out. It's the only way to deal with her own desires, or rather the only way to ignore her own desires since she knows not to expect anything.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Then, again, she's the one who insisted upon a chaste almost-two-year courtship "...based on the promise of a robust, rich and fulfilling love life in our marriage." (I still think that was silly and the reasons given a cover.)

Alas, we have no idea as yet about techniques being employed or avoided then or now. Nor, except for that single statement, do we know what that "promise" may have been like in their minds then or now. All we know is the status quo is OK with her but is not for him.

Awful lot of water has passed under that bridge to expect changes at this late date. The obvious mis-match is deep and profound. I think it's probably decision-time.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

"No woman would turn down an orgasm,thats rediculous to say"

Hm, my ex turned them down regularly. She eventually admitted once she 'had me,' she no longer felt obliged to be sexual. It was very much under false pretences.

Greenlawn, get your running shoes on. Your daughter will adjust better to separate parents from this younger age, the longer you leave it, the worse it'll be. If you find wife suddenly gets 'affectionate' when you tell her you're leaving, don't be fooled anyway.

Unless she's mentally ill, she knows exactly what she's about and considers the problem's with you (not that you should be punished ad infinitum if the pregnancy sex thing really is an issue and not an excuse, but didn't you hear how sex during pregnancy is not harmful? I thought anyone who'd been to an antenatal class or kept their ears open knew....anyway)

My ex did not want to change and didn't think she should and "I couldn't make her" - your stb ex sounds similarly recalcitrant. Even if you get counselling together, you won't know if she's sincere or not.

I can't remember, did you go to counselling on your own? WHat did they make of it, and I think you have a perfect right to go.

Good luck but I think you know what you have to do.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Regarding technique, none of my previous partners had any major objections to technique - several were very pleased. In my current circumstances I'm operating with some pretty severe restrictions and I'm limited in what I can try. My wife has a lot of "rules" in the bedroom such as:
- no open lip kissing, only occasional closed lip
- only missionary or occasionally woman on top
- my genitalia may not contact any part of her body other than her genitalia or sometimes her hand
- no artificial lubricants

I brought home some women's magazines from the grocery store one day with articles like "150 ways to spice up your love life" and similar with suggestions ranging from special dates to special meals to stuff to try in the bedroom. I suggested we look for stuff she would like to try and I would make it happen. She threw them away without opening them calling them something to the effect of vulgar trash.

As far as the results of counseling, IC thinks my wife has depression. Also thinks I need to stand up for myself a lot more and not back down or disengage when my wife gets aggressive. IC does not think I should leave but says many people have sexless marriages and are okay with it.

As far as my own plans, I'm not looking for reasons to leave. I want to improve our marriage for several reasons:
- my child
- I made a commitment which I intend to keep
- I love my wife despite our many problems

Granted, if a time comes when things are so pathological that it is better for all to make a change then I will reevaluate. But I still feel there is hope and our problems are solvable and I am committed to our marriage.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

wow its sounds like youd be better off making love to a blow up doll than that ,strange woman


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I don't see how your marriage situation is going to improve. What I do see is that you are lowering your expectations about what it will take to make your marriage work. The longer you put up with her mistreatment of you and her disregard for your physical needs, the less she will respect you as a partner. I don't think she respects you very much now anyway, so how much worse can it get?

I don't know how you function in your other relationships, business and social, but you've assumed a submissive role in your marriage. In her eyes, you're not her equal and until you become her equal she's going to continue to hand you the "crumbs" that you appear to be very grateful to be receiving.

Your wife is controlling, cold, verbally abusive and shows no signs of loving you.

Tell me, what is it you love about this woman?


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Just woke up and can't believe what I'm reading. Maybe the post is a hoax after all. What OP described is just nuts.

Mrgreenlawn, you've been conned and swindled. And you just described "pathological". I don't know what it is about this weirdness that you like but there surely is some strong attraction. Maybe that's all the pleasure you need.

After these latest disclosures I'm changing my mind. I'm thinking there's considerable mutuality going on. I'm thinking perhaps you're a good match.

Good luck with that hope and commitment thing.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Judging from some of the reactions to my last post, I think some clarification is in order.

I think my child really needs me on a daily basis. I'm concerned she would not get the level of care and attention that she needs and deserves if I were not in the home every day. I can endure a lot of hardship for the well being of my child.

It would be very inaccurate to say I'm wildly in love with my spouse at this point. But buried under the boatloads of anger and resentment I carry is a small spark which I believe could be rekindled under the right circumstances. Sometimes I think I just can't take it any more and it's time to part ways but then I'll see a brief glimpse of the woman I knew nine years ago - funny, caring, interesting, passionate and I think I really should not give up so easily.

One idea I gave a lot of thought to in the first year of our marriage was that she might have a history of past abuse that she is unwilling to admit to me. A lot of things would fall into place if that were the case - the weird hang-ups in the bedroom, the semi-OCD behaviour, the rapid mood swings.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Is she unwilling to go to counseling with you? I think you should go anyway...often a spouse will show up if they know the other is going and not just thinking about it and it shows some initiative on your part.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Or maybe it was an alien abduction and she needs to be de-programmed by a special team from NASA.

In fact, she's a fraud and you bought it. Your previous paragraph 3 is what's going on.

I do pity the child.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

your genitalia should not touch any part of her body? LOL It is the finniest thing i ever heard. LOL

I think you enjoy humiliation and she enjoys domination, you are just not willing to admit. If any man tell me that my genitalia should not touch any part of his body, i would kick his A$$ out of the door that same moment.

No, your child does not need this. If you think your child does not subconsciouly knows that this is all fake, you are wrong. Kids always know and they never appreciate parents faking nice little family.

hard to believe


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

You're setting an example for your daughter- do you want her to grow up thinking your marriage is normal? Because she will, because that's what she knows. I cannot tell you how grateful I am that my mom divorced my jerk of a biological father (this was a conclusion I came to on my own, not from anything she said) and married my dad. I grew up with affectionate, happy parents who really enjoy one another. My marriage is a lot like theirs- and we're happy.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

"One idea I gave a lot of thought to in the first year of our marriage was that she might have a history of past abuse that she is unwilling to admit to me. A lot of things would fall into place if that were the case - the weird hang-ups in the bedroom, the semi-OCD behaviour, the rapid mood swings"

Don't usually lurk on this side but I think this is the key to your issue. Your wife sounds like she was sexually abused as a child, hence the behavior.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I came to this forum from another one (HD) when someone pointed out the thread...don't be embarrassed--it's SO public anyway, with g'web turning up high on google searches--but I just wanted to add a thought to this discussion:

I really feel for you in your situation. You're in a VERY tough place and I know you're trying to do the right thing, whatever that thing turns out to be. As you mention, one of the first things that came to my mind was a history of abuse, which can present in so many ways...but she needs to be willing to reopen the wound or at least acknowledge it in order to grow past it. Just you understanding that that might be the issue, doing all the work meeting her ALL the way over on her side rather than her trying to meet you somewhere in the middle, though, is *not* a plan for a happy life.

Sometimes you can get drawn bit by bit down what turns out to be a very bad road -- I know that from a relationship I was in before I met DH. Like the frog in the pot of water that keeps getting hotter. Then you suddenly look up around you and say "wow, if I were looking at this situation from the outside, I'd sure be telling that person to *get out* of it!"

At *some* point you may realize that if your wife is not willing to do any work for the marriage, that enough is enough, that there is a healthier alternative somewhere else for you *and* your daughter (and I applaud you for considering her needs), and that you need to start turning your thoughts toward that rather than toward appeasement of this very troubled woman you're married to right now.

You only have one life. Is this really how you want to spend it? There *is* better out there, I know it. I stayed in that first relationship FAR too long because I didn't think it got any better anywhere else (my parents were the only example I had). Once I got out it was like the world opened up and said "We've been waiting for you!" and everything was new and better. Life wasn't weighed down with an overcast of gloom and resentment.

It *can* be better. You can even have a happy life even as a single father with your daughter. Just make sure you get a *good* attorney because you seem to be a trusting, giving person who's inclined to see the best in people when there might be ulterior, less well-intentioned motives lurking around underneath, and because mothers are favored in custody battles. But again, I want to offer you encouragement and hope.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Yep. I agree with cocontom. You are setting a very bad example for your daughter by staying in a loveless relationship. I attribute the success and happiness of my almost 26 year marriage to the fact that both of our parents were very happily married.

Sex is important. I don't normally advise people to listen to Dr. Laura but this time, it may be appropriate. Buy her the book, 'The proper care and feeding of husbands'. If she refuses to read it, run. Get custody if you don't think she is a good mom. You can not fix anyone else. They have to fix themselves. Don't let her big Dr title intimidate you. I'd rather be married to a garbage man than be stuck in a bad relationship with a Dr. She will slowly kill you emotionally. If you think it's bad now, think about being emotionally abused for the next 25 years. Oy!

Pick your next wife by committee. I'm not sure you have a good wife picker gene. You were with her long before you married and I'd bet there were red flags everywhere that you chose to ignore.

OMG, can't let your genitalia touch her? Maybe you should just cut it off now.
You are in a seriously bad relationship. The sooner you admit it, the cheaper it will be at the counselor's office.

Change the channel and star in a new movie. Instead of trying to make this marriage work, start thinking about how you will deal with your daughter's needs as well as your own. Your "wife" isn't a wife. Get a blow up doll, indeed.
At least the doll wouldn't be controlling. You are being abused.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Practically everything you subsequently tell us confirms what I've been saying. Why would she refuse to kiss you unless she finds it unpleasant? And that there were no previous complaints is not an explanation, I'm afraid. Women don't make the complaints, believe me. I never did but have dated guys that I really wanted to. One of them was so bad (terrible lover, totally passionless, jekyl & hyde personality, and extremely narcissistic), I could not understand why previous girlfriends wanted him back (including ex-wife and the girlfriend before me) or why some stayed with him as long as they did. I couldn't get away from him fast enough, but every woman has their motivation, and some women just put up with any ol' thing. Some might be called frauds (want his income, status/stature, etc.), as your wife has been called in this thread, and some women just want to be able to say they have a man or they are married. Some don't have the courage to break off (thinking this man they met is the only man on earth and they will never meet another one), and some lack the self-worth to know they deserve better. Maybe there are other circumstances that motivate women. I'm sure I don't know them all. I only know I don't fit the general profile, except I also do not say some things for fear of hurting a man's feelings, I don't know how to put it into words, or it wouldn't matter anyway if I did say something, as was the case with that guy. There was another guy who had BO whenever he exerted himself or was excited. He began to sweat profusely with even the slightest exertion, and unfortunately his sweat had a terrible, unbearable odor. I never said a word, nor had his ex-wife or any previous girlfriend. It came out the one time he and I tried to (unsuccessfully) make love. I ran to the shower actually feeling violated. I really liked him. He loved me and was a really good guy, but I could not marry him so I said no. I also couldn't attempt any other love-making sessions and never told him why but don't doubt he was perplexed and questioned my excuses, just as you are doing.

There is so much I wish I could tell you. Obviously, I cannot but you do need to know, which is the reason I suggested you find some websites or books that can teach you things. No, I am not talking about pornography, and please do not go that route. I can see that you are willing to learn and that you've made some effort to improve your situation, but the effort failed miserably because it was the wrong approach. Your wife has some issues, and one of them is her issue(s) with you that she is not speaking up about. Another is her (based on your posts) apparent inexperience. Yet another is your (based on your posts) apparent inexperience, keeping in mind no prior complaints is no explanation, nor is it confirmation that you are the world's greatest lover, nor does it indicate there is nothing to complain about. And to say your previous lovers were satisfied is something you cannot possibly know. Women lie. Women fake orgasm. Women don't speak up.

Your approach was the wrong one because you left it up to her. You left what goes on in the bedroom in her hands. Isn't that what you are here complaining about? Indicates your own lack of experience. Lack of experience begets prudishness and shame (ashamed of sex, ashamed to discuss it, ashamed to make suggestions [so she threw the magazines away], ashamed of her own body, ashamed of your body, and a sundry of other problems neither of you can pinpoint or explainm which is what brought you here). If you rocked her world, she would not keep her hands off you, there would be no lack of frequency, and there definitely would not exist all these "rules." The favor of experience liberates a woman from the bondage of her upbringing and religious dogma, dogma that, as has been explained in this thread, makes people think the Bible teaches against sex. It does not. The Bible encourages sex between husband and wife.

By "inexperience," I am not saying she should have had numerous lovers. Experience does not mean promiscuity. It only means she has not had a good one. She has not had a lover who was himself experienced enough to unlock the wonders of her body and introduce her to the joy of sex and love making. For example, every woman can have a vaginal orgasm through intercourse, which is the reason I stated earlier that people only think they can't, so they consider my words "rediculous." Most men and, unfortunately, most women don't know about her G-spot, where it is located, or how to bring her to orgasm by that means. For all those reading and think they know, no the G-spot is not located anywhere on the outside. Every man can bring a woman to orgasm no matter his size. He just needs to know the positions that optimize access to it. Again, you have a lot to learn. I know you do because of what I have explained to this point and because I know your wife would not turn you away. Very simply, it feels too good. She would want it over and over and over - orgasm and the activity that gets her there. It is human nature, so I'll say again that you give us no indication your wife is made of rubber.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

greenlawn, golddust has it exactly right: you cannot fix anyone else. You can only work on being the best you can be, and allowing yourself to be continually disrespected for any reason is not fulfilling that mission.

The woman you married knows the real reason she is dishonoring you and your marriage. She may never tell, and seems from the start unwilling to hold sacred her vows and commitment to your "marriage." She is the only person who can address whatever her issues are and, so far, she's not willing to honestly do so with you. From what you've posted, I'd not continue to take on the blame for her disfunction, but you are responsible for allowing the sham to continue.

Deborahnj may have it right that the woman you married may have been emotionally/sexually abused as a child. She may be gay; she may just be selfish and immature. Whatever her reasons, your future is not bright for a happy, genuinely loving and supportive relationship.

Nine years is too long to have invested without trust and love, and your prospects for a good relationship seem slim to non-existent if she is unwilling to change. All indications are she is not, and that you've been a sperm donor but not treasured as a spouse. Domineering, disinterested in any form of affection, verbally abusive -- these are not the responses of an emotionally healthy person. Accepting and allowing this type of behavior indicates that you too have much soul work to do. Please consider changing therapists as the one you've seen seems not to have helped you gain constructive insights.

Sorry to day, it seems you are still deluding yourself about your marriage by trying to justify your participation in an abusive relationship. You need to come to clear-headed terms with why you choose to remain in this unhealthy relationship, and, if you decide that you are entitled to enjoy a good marriage, set yourself clear objectives and an exit strategy if this woman does not or cannot contribute her 100% toward a wholesome marriage.

You are not doing your child any favors by modeling a sham marriage; in fact, I'd suggest your are actually harming her emotional well-being. It may help to consider the types of relationships you hope she will be prepared to enter, and from what you've posted I can't imagine that she will be well-equipped. It will not be easy, but your primary job as parent is to give your daughter the emotional roadmap and stability she will need to have a full and loving life. She deserves that, and so do you.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Sir, your wife doesn't like sex. The conversations you described is her trying to cover herself so she doesn't have to admit it.

I also got two very nasty and public tongue lashings at a family event for not doing what she wanted as quickly as she wanted. I'm beginning to realize that we have a lot bigger problems than what I was choosing to see initially.

One or both of the following things are going on:
1. She has religious hang ups about sex that she simply can't overcome. This may or may not have anything to do with what is written in the Bible -- it can be completely tied to what she was taught as a child.
2. You two are simply not sexually compatible. Not every couple is. Just beause you've had successful sexual relationships in the past with other women does not automatcially mean that you will be able to please every woman you have sex with.

The fact that she is lashing out angrily at you indicates that she is unhappy in a lot of ways. One of the main ways MAY BE that she is sexually frustrated. The obvious solution would be to have sex, right? The problem is that the sex she is having is not satisfying her. Probably for one of the above reasons.

Sexual incompatibility also would account for her not wanting you to touch her, kiss her, etc, even in non sexual ways. She is totally turned off and anything even remotely intimate is abhorant to her.

There is only one possible path to help this marriage. She needs individual counseling and the two of you need couples counseling. No other way for things to get better.

You need to put your foot down and insist that these things happen or the marriage needs to end. It's going to anyway, sooner or later. As others have pointed out, a miserable married couple is not a good example for a child. Staying together "for the sake of the children" is wrong for a lot of reasons.

Marriage takes the efforts and commitment of both people. No matter what the problems are, no matter who is perceived to be at fault, either both work to resolve them or the marriage will fail. You have to make it crystal clear to her that unless she will work with you to resolve all of your problems, the marriage is over. This is no way to live.

Oh, and if you do split up, don't be surprised if she remarries and ends up in a happy fulfilling sexual relationship with a different man. If the reason she doesn't like sex IS lack of sexual compatability between the two of you, she might be able to find that compatability with someone else.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Wow, this OP is sounding more like a hoax with each subsequent 'revelation'.

If it's not a hoax, then it seems to me this woman does have serious mental/emotional issues. Perhaps there was sexual abuse in her childhood. Perhaps something else is wrong -- very wrong.

One thing is certain: There is nothing in the Bible to support the [supposed] woman's issues.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

"One idea I gave a lot of thought to in the first year of our marriage was that she might have a history of past abuse that she is unwilling to admit to me. A lot of things would fall into place if that were the case - the weird hang-ups in the bedroom, the semi-OCD behavior, the rapid mood swings."

That was my first thought at what you posted.

If her whole family is religious it would be covered up or not believed. It could have been a minister or family member. There may be not only emotional damage but physical damage causing pain or other problems.

----------

As others have said we are only hearing one side to the story and often even the well intended, do not see themselves as others do. Therapists often only hear one side too. Of course as has already been suggested adding counseling for her, along with couple's counseling, could be the best way to improve the marriage or end it on a good note with both parties leaving the marriage still respecting the other person, but most often, therapists are in it for the most money possible, and won't do anything to "resolve" anything.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Regarding some posters comments, no I do not enjoy being miserable nor do I get off on what you are calling humiliation. Having said that, I see nothing shameful or humiliating about giving a woman pleasure - it seems a natural part of a relationship. In a perfect world I would like to see more reciprocity in my marriage though.

Regarding what I am calling "rules", I am using quotes because it isn't like my wife had a placard installed above our bed on our wedding night. The "rules" are things I have inferred based on her behaviour. When your partner freaks out and says don't do that or that they don't like something you get the idea and file away not to do that stuff because they are uncomfortable with it. The no genital contact thing has to do with her aversion to coming into contact with pre-ejaculate or semen. The no open lip kisses thing is somehow related to germs in her perception. I'm not sure the reason for the other stuff. In retrospect, I see a lot of red flags extending back through when we were dating.

I think I need to push the counseling idea very hard. And find a really good counselor. I think the one I have been seeing independently off and on is not giving me the greatest guidance.


 o
RE: thermometer's comments

There is an old addage "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses not zebras." The idea being to look at the obvious cause before looking for exotic explanations.

Is it possible the majority of my past partners had been feigning pleasure? And that my wife fakes orgasm? And that she has been lying to me for seven years about the causes of our problems? Possible, yes. Likely, no.

Or do we take the many statements made at face value as truthful and accept the obvious explanation? That my wife finds sex pleasurable but for many complex and interrelated reasons just isn't that into it.

I've read a lot of threads in various forums from men who detail what they perceive as their sexual prowess and IMO these guys come across as complete d-bags so I'm not going to do that. I will say that in past relationships things in the bedroom have flowed a lot more naturally and uninhibitedly and everybody enjoyed themselves more. Things definitely seem to be off chemistry / compatibility-wise in my marriage and that seems to have been the case since day one of our marriage.

Just because I am relatively inexperienced compared to many my age doesn't imply that I am not very well read and knowledgeable on the subject. But at some point that knowledge needs to be applied and practiced and that is difficult with an unwilling spouse. Would I be better off with more practical experience than I entered the marriage wtih? Surely, but the only way to add to my practical experience at this point without my wife's participation would be infidelity which is not and will never be an option.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Have not read the whole post, read pieces of comments left plus all of the OP's posts.

I do think he's telling the truth and feel he made this account specifically for this post; to get help with his marriage.

I honestly feel that for whatever reason, you 2 are not compatible and probably will never be. What I've found is that yes, there is a perfect fit so to speak between women & men; with my hubby, and he says the same thing, sex has never been this good with anyone else; it was like we were made for each other. It's possible you are too big for her; possible she has female issues - fwiw, she may not be fully healed down there after the baby. If the man is larger, yes it's going to hurt where she had stitches after delivering.

Then it's possible that due to your size/shape she can not experience an "O" with intercourse. The comment that said she very well may have a great sex life with someone else if you 2 split is right, she may find someone that fits her better.

My 1st impression when I found this post yesterday was you probably can't fix this; and after reading more, I still think so. You've invested a lot of time with her; nothing has changed, it may be time to move on and find someone that will make you happy; move on to let her find someone to make her happy.

All relationships change with time depending on ages; at one point the male may want it more, or the woman may want it more; sexual drives can not always be in sync. With you 2, it doesn't sound like it ever was.

I realize we only have one side of the story but from what was posted, you've done a lot of giving; what has she given? She's holding a grudge because you were afraid to have sex with her in her last trimester? If she's a Dr, she knows that is common.

Sexual abuse? possible.
Lesbian? possible.
Medical problems? possible (common to be depressed after having a baby.)
Maybe you 2 are not compatible sexually? also possible

Staying together for the kids? Please don't. I'm the product of one of those marriages, it did not set a good example for any of us.

Last advice - give a certain amount of time to find a resolution; if you do not, separate. Do tell her this though so that she knows this is serious. If she knows the marriage might end she might get serious and seek counseling. If she's a known Dr, she might feel ashamed in counseling; so you may have to adjust for that.


 o
enough

this is not about sex, this woman doesn't like you, she doesn't wnat to even give you a hug or a kiss, she doesn't want you to touch her. this is not about orgasm. what don't you understand...it is not about sex. even when i do not want sex I still hug my partner on a regular basis, nothing to do with sex, it is about affection and love. your wife doesn't feel any of that. it is not about open lip kissing (plenty of people do not kiss) or other minor details. your wife is not attracted to you. how much more proof do you need?

i don't think you are for real, nobody in real life is that naive. I am getting annoyed wiht this thread, you don't listen to anything hat people tell you. and you are either making it all up or enjoy your current situation. it is ridiculous.

one does not need to be sexually experienced to know what is affection and warmth in a relationship, your marriage had none of that that from the very beginning and you keep talking about orgasm. there is no warmth/afection/love/ respect in this marriage and you keep talking about orgasms. open your eyes. what you describe is awful.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Is it possible ... that she has been lying to me for seven years about the causes of our problems? Possible, yes. Likely, no.

Actually... it IS possible and even somewhat likely. Look at it from her point of view. She's been hearing her whole life about how great sex is from movies, TV, etc. Finally she experiences it and for some reason, whatever that reason, she doesn't enjoy it. It's NOT the wonderful experience she's been led to believe it would be. What conclusion is she to arrive at? One possibility is that it's her fault, that there is something wrong with her. But that's very hard to face up to. So rather than face that possibility, she lies - to herself and subsequently to you.

She's in denial. Sex is supposed to be wonderful. The whole world seems to think so. But her experience is the opposite. She doesn't want to think there might be something wrong - really wrong - with her. So... she's too tired, it hurts, you rejected her during the pregnancy, etc. and on and on... Excuses about why sex is not living up to its promise.

Whatever the REAL reason is, whether it's religion-based repression that she can't overcome, sexual incompatibility, abuse as a child, whatever, therapy is most likely the only way for her to come to that realization. Until she actually does face up to and understand the problem, it cannot be solved.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

"I see a lot of red flags extending back through when we were dating."

"....aversion to coming into contact with pre-ejaculate or semen."

".....she has been lying to me for seven years about the causes of our problems? Possible, yes."

"Things definitely seem to be off chemistry / compatibility-wise in my marriage and that seems to have been the case since day one of our marriage."

"....an unwilling spouse."

I hear hoofbeats. Anyone else hear hoofbeats? Your continuing revelations are incredible. If you want to do the Occam's Razor thing, it seems to me that she doesn't like sex and she doesn't like you. She does know herself and has, from the beginning, presented herself deceitfully in this way. She has obtained what she sought and has been successful so far in managing it. From what you've written, she will continue to be and you'll continue to go along with it.

Nine years in. Medical professional. Mid-thirties. Lot's of very successful experience managing you. And you think she's going to change to some version of satisfactory quickly, slowly, or ever? Via religion, introspection, counseling, or phases of the moon this isn't going to happen. Obviously it's been more-or-less OK with you for nine years. In another nine, you'll still be writing stuff just like this.

I actually do wish you well in your efforts but I think you're being utterly unrealistic. This is how your life's going to be. Accept it or don't. Or maybe analyze it continually for the rest of your life like you're doing now. You'll never run out of curiosity and new theories and she'll never run out of new reasons to maintain her distance.

This is going nowhere. I'm moving to the bleachers.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

greenlawn,

I believe you. Can't quite figure out *why* but I do. Forget your wife for a minute. Let's talk about you. You are hanging on to this woman who doesn't like you, isn't attracted to you and treats you mean. You don't appear to trust her with your child.

What makes you cling so hard to your miserable life? A clingy man with no boundaries just isn't attractive to me. I've dated men like this a time or two and I end up feeling smothered. While I believe you, I'm starting to get that clingy vibe and the smothered feeling.

Do you have friends outside of your relationship? Hobbies or passions? Are you an interesting person? Sociable? Do you bring great conversation into your marriage? Good sex starts a long way from the bedroom.

Just asking...


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

greenlawn, you've gotten a lot of honest feedback yesterday and today. Your willingness to try to make your relationship work is commendable, as is your rejection of adultery as an easy fix. For most, escaping into an outside relationship may provide sexual release, but will not solve what ails the marriage.

Ponder whether you are committed to a concept of marriage or whether you are committed to the woman you married. If the former, it's time to grow up and take the blinders off. If the latter, then you must try to find a way to honestly communicate and become each other's best friend. Implicit is total reciprocity: the willingness of both parties to ensure his/her actions support the well-being of the other. How do you envision a healthy relationship aside from sex? Do you have enough of those elements that are critical to you that you can honestly see your relationship with this woman working? Not your wishful vision of her, but this woman as she essentially is. If so, then maybe you have a shot at a good marriage if the two of you can learn to treat each other with respect, in public and behind closed doors. So far, you seem to be skidding into destructive patterns that will get progressively worse unless they're addressed. No one has the right to trample your dignity, nor can they without your complicity. Time for each of you to do a time out and learn better coping skills.

The thing is, as others have flat out told you, the problem in your relationship is not about sex. As your therapist indicated, some people live together quite satisfactorily without sex. If two people can tolerate each other's interest or lack thereof, fine. It's not fine when sex is used as a form of manipulation. It's not fine when one enters into marriage withholding essential information about one's self, one's intentions or one's ability to love wholeheartedly, i.e., without reservations promote the welfare of the other in such a way that one's own dignity is not compromised. When a marriage is entered upon false premises, it is not a valid marriage according to many religious teachings, if that's important to you.

From what you've shared, all indications are that your marriage may not have a healthy foundation. It may be that your wife has never learned how to treat others with consideration, and that she has been too heavily invested in role-playing instead of learning to navigate the roles she undertakes. At the very least, your wife has enormous sexual hang-ups and emotional problems and has not learned to successfully deal with them. She may never. If she doesn't, do you like her as she is anyway? It seems not. Marriage is more than two people working to acquire a nice home, having a child, or even dedication to the institution. Re-read the last paragraph of your initial post.

"On one hand, if my wife has needs (physical, emotional, or otherwise) that aren't being met I want to understand and do my best to meet them. On the other hand, I'm beginning to feel manipulated and used (as a sperm donor, a live-in au pair, and a maid). All of the rejection and confusion are having a negative impact on my emotional well being and even my job performance. I really need to make some progress. I've been doing a LOT of reading and I hope that people in this forum can give suggestions that will help. So, am I missing something? What can I do? Or am I just deluding myself hoping that things can improve?"

You've tried to accommodate without directly addressing these concerns to the only person that matters: your wife. It's time to stop deluding yourself that your relationship will improve without consistent and concerted effort from each of you. Marriage is not a 50% /50% proposition; at minimum, it's 100% from each. If one of you is not in it for the right reasons, based on respect and true friendship, it will not be optimal. In your case, it doesn't sound as if the foundation is there, but only the two of you can determine that.

Staying or leaving will take courage; both courses have enormous ramifications. Too bad you didn't address these problems before bringing a child into the world, but now that you have a daughter you must consider what course will best provide for her emotional well-being. You've read testimony from children of unhealthy marriages who did not feel that their parents sticking it out benefitted them. Others may see it differently. There is no certain path that others can recommend as working for everyone. Only you and your wife can determine which course has the most potential to serve the highest good for all concerned?

You have the ability to communicate quite effectively. Do so honestly with your wife. Give her a chance to consider what it is she wants from life and whether the two of you can re-frame your interaction so that both of your emotional and physical needs can be met. It may be that the best solution is parting, but you owe it to yourselves to ask the hard questions, be honest in your assessments, and to act with grace in moving forward.


 o
golddust's questions

Always good to do a self-check, but I don't sense Greenlawn is not socially aware or adept. In fact, I give him kudos for exploring these tough questions and yearning for change.

His analysis so far seems that he has given thought to his contributions to the marriage, and that his wife has been taking advantage of his laid-back personality. They both seem ready to burst from the anger and resentment each feels toward the other. Rather than confront the issues and work toward resolution, each has been childishly holding on to corrosive baggage all married folks encounter at one time of another.

The vibe I'm getting is that he's too willing to accept her domination, not because he enjoys the role but because he has been afraid of confronting the issues with her. It's not easy for the non-aggressive types to go up against bullies, but they can learn to and must do so if there's any hope for an adult relationship.

Now greenlawn, that's not to say you don't need to improve in the areas golddust recommends, but I really think you need to learn to approach your relationship as an adult by learning how to come to a resolution with your wife over the myriad conflicts and hurt feelings that are damaging your marriage. These may or may not be resolvable, depending on how badly damaged her psyche is, but if you approach her with concern and consideration you'll find out if it's worth investing further.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

"The vibe I'm getting is that he's too willing to accept her domination, not because he enjoys the role but because he has been afraid of confronting the issues with her."

In business or situations outside marriage, I am very good at influencing decisions and holding a hard line in negotiations. There is one big difference in marriage. In business, no negotiation has ever ended with "Well Mr. Greenlawn, you make a very strong case for your viewpoint. I can't refute your logic so we will proceed as you recommend. By the way, you're not going to be having sex for a very, very long time."

Nor has anyone in business ever threatened to take my child and move out of state.

These kind of threats or "trump cards" only need to be mentioned once or twice before they lurk behind every glare and echo in every pregnant pause in marriage. The no sex threat first was dealt on our honeymoon still remains in the air. It isn't truly a "trump card" in that I will generally choose my dignity over sex in most cases.

From the legal research I have done, she likely would be able to leave and get primary custody of the child. I could make a strong case that I am the child's primary caregiver but that would be a roll of the dice. So, it isn't so much that I am afraid of confronting my wife as that I potentially have a lot to lose. The discussion / negotiation process is very skewed and not very effective if one party is overly dedicated to keeping the marriage together and the other is ready to walk at the drop of a hat if they don't get their way.

The most likely end to this marriage isn't me leaving or things slowly fizzling out. It is me sticking up for myself and her leaving as a result.


 o
RE: problem solving

"What I do see is that you are lowering your expectations..."

"she doesn't like sex and she doesn't like you"

"Ponder whether you are committed to a concept of marriage or whether you are committed to the woman you married."

This whole thread has been very thought provoking and has opened my eyes to the larger scope and context of what I perceived as the initial problem. On Jul 15 (the date of the OP) I had never heard of the concept of emotional abuse but now I understand that it is something I have been living with for most of my marriage. The comments above have really been on my mind for the last day.

Do I enjoy being treated poorly? What is my motivaion for sticking around in a bad marriage?

I think I may be committed to solving the puzzle of why our marriage doesn't work. In my career, researchers spend years and often decades working to solve scientific problems. In that context, dogged determination is a positive trait. In a marriage, I think it may be a maladaptive trait. It may just be ego on my part - the feeling that given sufficient time, data, and resources that I can solve any problem and that a failing marriage should be no exception.

OTOH, my parents have been married for about 40 years. They were really unhappy and dysfunctional for much of that time (~years 5-25). But they pulled it together through counseling and willingness to make changes in their lives and have been very happy together for the last 15 years or so. I guess that has been example to me and I hope to replicate that success. Again, perhaps I am deluding myself.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

The reason I've been beating on you so hard is that what you've been describing is so very similar to my former marriage. Medical professional; religious; promising; deceptive; hidden agenda.

She didn't like sex or typical displays of affection but pretended she did during courtship. Upon proposal and acceptance, she changed instantly insisting abstinence during the engagement would "make our wedding night special." On our wedding night she dropped the bomb -- sex was a problem for her. She didn't like it and didn't want to do it anymore. All kinds of religious stuff (catholic) thrown in to justify it. Except she did want a baby! I owed her a baby! I bore with it for more than a year figuring, like you, that things would evolve "naturally" upon my continued exemplary conduct. Of course they didn't.

Thankfully, she was unable to conceive although she blamed me for that, too, notwithstanding all the test results to the contrary. When the divorce got rolling, I learned that she -- with her mother as mentor -- had orchestrated the fraud from the beginning. I was the means for mother to get her troublesome daughter out her house and the means by which the daughter could have a "normal", "acceptable" married life -- beginning with quitting her job and "retiring" to be a home-maker. Except she had no home-making skills and wasn't interested in acquiring any. The entire thing was a conscientious deception from the beginning.

As you've made each of your disclosures along the way, the similarities hit me like a gong. In that way I am, of course, personally biased in my opinions of what you've described. I thought fessing up about that might be appropriate.

On the other hand, you've described having been made a virtual slave to your own wife's agenda. That's no good for you and won't be any good for your daughter. You have all the evidence you need to confirm the truth of it. I would recommend leaving.

People like your wife don't like having their plans foiled. I suspect your divorce will be a barn-burner.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

If one leaves, the outcome depends on the people, the attorneys and what state/county you are in. I have a SIL that was in N. Carolina that got screwed; he has not been allowed to take his daughter out of the state on vacation; but I think finally has been granted that right. In NJ, it's a little more fair; depending on who you speak to.

You have to know your rights and what to ask for. Her not taking the child out of say a 50/100 mile radius without your consent is fair to ask for. You can also specify she can't move out of state without your ok. I'm currently stuck in NJ due to it.

I know someone in Mass that had custody of the son with the wife having the girls until she screwed up so bad; I think he has all of the kids. You remind me of him; the way you write. Most men do not write like you, I can tell you are a successful man; just like the guy I know.

He has been documenting everything using google blogger. His blog is private, you can make it so that no one but you sees it. You would not believe the stuff he has documented. She's a huge computer user; let's just say, nothing is private that she does. He sees it ALL.

I know why you stay, as I'm guilty of it too. I spent an extra 3 or 4 years in a bad marriage hoping things would change, and they did for a bit, then it would go back to the same old.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

You've gotten two perspectives which are useful if your marriage doesn't survive. Divorce is certainly an option if your wife cannot bring a healthy attitude to the relationship, and shared custody is the minimum that you can pursue. Unfortunately, some people are simply too toxic and too damaged to change, and separation is the best solution. You don't yet feel that you're ready to leave, so it's time to deal with this in a different, mature way.

No, to answer your last question, I don't think it's delusional to work toward a successful and happy marriage despite a rocky start. It just requires an entirely new way of responding to the current dynamics. Both of you are highly intelligent professionals, perhaps with similar emotional constructs despite her being more high strung. As a scientist you can appreciate that dogged replication of the same variables will produce the same result and not achieve the desired breakthrough. Your challenge, sir, is to change the variables to try to achieve the desired result. Capiche?

One approach to consider is simply opening your heart and spirit, even though that certainly does not guarantee success. Forget the layers of learned inappropriate interaction, and give your wife the opportunity to recapture her bearings and become again "the woman I knew nine years ago - funny, caring, interesting, passionate."

Your situation is hardly unique -- okay, maybe the sex "rules" are a bit much-- but it seems we all enter relationships with lessons to learn. Whether we learn what we need to in order to have a joyful experience is highly dependent on our willingness to move beyond the petty limitations or stay mired in the muck of hurt feelings and resentment.

Often we are challenged to provide the unconditional love and support each of us truly wants.

That's not definitely the same as allowing yourself to be exploited. Shake off the victimhood and deal with your wife as an adult. She cannot control what you do not allow. If you have set too low expectations in the past, raise them!

There's no benefit to accepting disrespect as it impedes your growth as well as diminishes the offender. Your child certainly does not benefit by seeing a shrewish mother or a submissive father. She needs to see two people who effectively work to resolve inevitable conflicts.

Sometimes, it helps to let the other person know that the rotten behavior of the past decade won't be tolerated. Apologize sincerely for whatever you have contributed to her resentment, but firmly indicate that it's time to grow up and model better, healthier behavior for your child. Acknowledge the inner wounds you both have brought to the relationship, then unequivocably break the pattern. It takes two to tangle, but it only takes one to change the response.

Assuming that your wife is not psychotic but merely neurotic, in your shoes, given the perspective you've shared which may or may not fairly and accurately depict her, I'd find someone to care for my daughter for a week while my spouse and I took a trip to a relatively secluded and peaceful spot. Minimize the distractions and allow whatever good feelings still exist to manifest. Now that you have time to relax in a changed -- and hopefully beautiful -- setting, I'd begin to have an honest exchange about my hopes, dreams and expectations and explore whether there is any common ground on which to build anew. There may be a lot of resistance and reluctance on both your parts to make a fresh start as it means dropping defenses and set patterns, but if you truly want to grow you have to come clean. You also have to be willing to accept that she may not want to change the dynamics or she may actually prefer to move on. For some, it's far easier to leave rather than change and for others it's far easier to be afraid to rock the boat. Neither path leads to a breakthrough.

You cannot control her responses; you can only change yours. Giving in to emotional blackmail has only reinforced the pattern so you know that's ineffective. Stop, though it may lead to divorce and separation from your daughter. While that potential is not what you hope for, it may best the best solution. It need not be as detrimental for your daughter as you fear or as bleak for you. Growing up in a dysfunctional home may be far more difficult than being reared in separate households knowing you are well-loved by both parents. At least you will have a shot a building a happier life for yourself and with your daughter rather than merely struggling with a facade that serves no one well.

Although your parents have a happier ending than some, clearly their difficulties helped shape your emotional framework which only illustrates my point about considering the skills your daughter will acquire from your example. Perseverance is admirable, but so is living joyfully. The key to your parents' success is that both were willing to change. If you find that not to be true in your marriage, then your outcome will not be as positive.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

OP, you say you want "the woman I knew nine years ago - funny, caring, interesting, passionate"....Did she ever exist?

I see nothing in your description of your years with this woman that indicates any sense of passion between the two of you during any time you've been with her.

1. no premarital sex ( that's okay, but I imagine there was little kissing or touching)
2. before the baby was born sex was infrequent (once every month or two).
3. while attempting conception, intercourse was limited to once a month
4. during pregnancy she recoiled at any affection, even non-sexual contacts like hugs or pecks on the cheek.
5. you mention a dry spell of 2 years

AND:
- no open lip kissing, only occasional closed lip
- only missionary or occasionally woman on top
- my genitalia may not contact any part of her body other than her genitalia or sometimes her hand
- no artificial lubricants

My goodness, sir! Tell me which of these behaviors or rules spells out PASSIONATE BEHAVIOR to you.

You're living in a fantasy world that exists only in your imagination. What you're looking for isn't in a marriage with this woman, and I don't think it ever was.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

life is too short to be anything but happy, I know it sounds a bit clishe but really who says one has to endure this kind of life, what for? church says divorce is a sin or what? who needs this kind of life, you won't live 200 years right? it is much healthier for everyone including this child to move on. and yes alienation of affection good enough reason for divorce. I would contact a lawyer now. after initial shock you will be a happy person. it is prefectly fine to be single or persue new relationships or do whatever else, who the heck needs this misery?


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

"...yes alienation of affection good enough reason for divorce..."

Oops...mistake. I'm not Joe Legal, but I believe this is a tort action against a third party, not husband or wife. Try wikipedia for starters.

Don't know where OP lives but in most states you basically don't need a reason. If you want out you can get out. Division of assets and child support remain as contentious as ever but the divorce itself cannot be prevented for lack of "cause". You cannot be legally forced to stay married if you don't want to be but your financial picture will certainly change.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

From the legal research I have done, she likely would be able to leave and get primary custody of the child.
I don't know what legal research you've done, but have you seen a lawyer? I know you're not interested in pursuing divorce at this time but most lawyers will give a free first visit during which you can ask these kinds of questions and get good information based on your specific case.

But they pulled it together through counseling and willingness to make changes in their lives and have been very happy together for the last 15 years or so.
The key words here are "counseling and willingness to make changes".

The discussion / negotiation process is very skewed and not very effective if one party is overly dedicated to keeping the marriage together and the other is ready to walk at the drop of a hat if they don't get their way.
Your wife holds all the "trump" cards, or so it seems. She can withhold sex, she can threaten to take the child away. It's possible that since she does hold all the "trump" cards, she is counting on the fact that you aren't going to play your hand. And her bet is paying off.

You can stay in this misrable situation for who knows how many more wasted years (waiting for your daughter to grow up?) but one thing is certain, the marriage will end sooner or later if nothing changes. And since she has no incentive to change, it won't.

I'm just wondering if seeing a lawyer which will get you some definite facts, in addition to making it clear to your wife that you are seriously thinking of ending it, won't put at least some of the "trump" cards back into your hand.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I misspoke asolo. I guess I typed in a hurry. "Alienation" was the wrong word. In some states refusal of sexual intercourse and lack (that's what I meant) of affection falls under "extreme cruelty" and is good enough reason.

I was not talking about reasons legally per se, I meant if she objects and says nothing is wrong in our marriage then he can always say: we have no sex and no affection, how is that OK? no affection and no sex doesn't indicate any kind of marital relationship at all (at least for me it doesn't).

And who knows. She works outside the house and possibly has an affair.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

"Ponder whether you are committed to a concept of marriage or whether you are committed to the woman you married."

--------------------------------------------------

Near the end of my first marriage (to someone who sounds remarkably like your wife in many ways), I told my then husband that our marriage was in serious trouble, and that I was going to make an appointment with a counsellor. I then said that he could go with me to discuss how to save our marriage, or that I would go alone and discuss if our marriage was worth trying to save.

It was a very effective tactic, and is one I would recommend most seriously.

At that point in my life, there was nothing I feared more than trying to raise my two-year-old son as a single mother. I felt that allowing my marriage to 'fail' was the worst kind of personal failure. There had never been a divorce in my immediate family, and like your parents, mine had made it through a lengthy 'rough spell' thanks mainly to my mother's dogged determination outlasting my father's 'difficult' disposition...

But counselling proved to be a godsend! Finally having the validation that my Ex's treatment was truly as unkind as it felt! Counselling helped me realize that his abusive actions were the result of his own limitations as a person -- not of any flaws of mine. (He always had 'reasons' why it was my fault, and those reasons always contained a 'grain' of truth.) And eventually, I was able to make the decision to walk away, knowing that I was choosing between a life of known degradation and unhappiness and a 'second chance'.

Anyway -- Our son began to thrive when I began to heal. And when I kicked that emotionally abusive jerk out of the house, gave him half of my (oops - legally 'our') money, and began living life without the constant drain of walking on eggshells -- wow! The sense of strength, of competence, of freedom! It was intoxicating. Once I had that freedom, I met and married the man of my dreams within a year, and my son grew up knowing the security of a loving marriage and watching two people treat each other with love, kindness and respect.

I wish you the very best, Greenlawn.
There's a chance you might find it with your wife IF she is willing to go to counselling and really work at her issues.
But if she's not, know that your only chance for finding personal happiness and for showing your daughter a healthy, loving marriage lies in 'fishing elsewhere'.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

There is so much to wade through; I can't read it all. But I will say this, no-sex is a symptom of the larger problem seen in this marriage, lack of any intimacy. May (lowspark) is probably the closest with the non-compatability thing. And any sex or affection just heightens the differences in how you approach the lack of intimacy (on every level, not just sex). It may make the chasm more obvious to and for her. Worse, more painful. She may not have any issues, except specific to this marriage. Hope, I hate to say it, but there is little hope for changing. She may be perfectly fine, but not perfect for you. I wish the best and that you find your other half instead of a room-mate! Life is too short to blame or to live with less than what can make you both happy.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

People certainly can change and once he goes to a marriage counselor with her, then he will know whether she is capable and willing to change. There may be deep unresolved issues in her past that need to be dealt with first before concentrating on their relationship.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

She has refused to attend counseling, bumblebee. How can he get her there?
Looks like *he* is the one having trouble with their loveless marriage, not her.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Where will her motivation to change come from? She's got everything she wants. All that's left is to get her slave-husband to leave her entirely alone instead almost-entirely alone while he continues to do all his other chores.

She won't go near a counselor. Put it in the bank. She knows what she's doing.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

"Where will her motivation to change come from? She's got everything she wants."

I'm glad you shared more about your personal history Asolo, as it sheds light on why/how you think the way you do. While I'm certainly not disputing your version of your own marital history and Ex's motives, I suspect it's far more common for the woman to genuinely not know how she feels about sex and intimacy pre-marriage than to go into a marriage under knowingly false circumstances with a devious plan. Now she may be deliberately ignorant or suspect that she may not be all that 'hot' for the physical and 'messy' aspects of marriage -- but I doubt most women are as deliberately deceptive as your experience would cause you to suspect. But regardless of her intent -- The result is the same.

Though I don't think she has everything she wants at all. I suspect she'd truly love to feel the same level of desire for you that you feel/felt for her. That she'd love to somehow discover that 'fairy tale' happiness she always heard about! But can't admit that to experience it, she has to take emotional and physical risks in ways that make her profoundly uncomfortable...

Counseling --


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

"...regardless of her intent -- The result is the same."

If you think a counselor of some ilk is going to re-orient a physician with nine years of this marital experience already under her belt, all I can do is wish you well. If you've got the bread and are willing to spend the rest of your life on that merry-go-round all I can say is tra-la-la. Might even be a tweedle-dee in there somewhere.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Sorry, I didn't make it all the way through the comments, but IMO "She's just not that into you". Seriously. Move on. Life is short, you deserve someone that wants you like you want them. Period.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Wanted to congratulate you on your green lawn. Mine is now brown, thanks to the drought.

You know, we all have a belief system: religion, professional ethics or just what mommy and daddy role modeled for us. But when our core beliefs clash with reality - that is painful. And confusing.

Seems to me that your beliefs sort of lead you into accepting this situation and they are now keeping you in it. You want to do the Right Thing, according to what you believe, but it just isn't working. It isn't making you happy and it isn't solving the problem.

How long can you continue to suck it up in the name of doing what you think is the right thing? And is there an alternative that you can use? Last question: the counseling you are receiving, is it from religious people? Are they really helping you see all the alternatives?Because at some point, you are going to have to "think outside the box."


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

"Last question: the counseling you are receiving, is it from religious people? Are they really helping you see all the alternatives?"

good point.

Nothing against religious type of counselling...But i have a collegue who is staying in absuive marriage (way worse than OP described). She isnsited they go to counselling because otherwise she was inclined to file for divorce.

They both are very religious so her DH insisted they go to strictly Christian counselling, more so counsellor that he personally knows and the same one that attends their church. Mind you every session they attend and every complains she has ends up wiht their counsellor saying: no matter what you made a vow, no matter what God is on your side, no matter what you do the right thing, when you have problems just go to Church and tlak to God, just go pray some more....

She becomes increasinly frustrated because she gets nothing out of session, but her Dh gets everything: she is told to stay no matter what. Now he is still abusive and she is still miserable.

My other colleague asked her why wouldn't they go see a secular counsellor. she said she'd love to, maybe it would help but her DH says absolutelly no. probably because he knows that they would no suggest staying in abusive marriage and pray it gets better.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

In the past week or so I have been trying a two pronged approach:
1) Being extra conscientious in how I treat my wife and an extra good listener (in case I am contributing to the problem without realizing it)
2) Not tolerating any derisive or abusive treatment; not letting any snide remarks go unchallenged

The result:
Initially a lot of raised voices and shouting for the first few days. But things have settled down in the past couple days and things seem to be getting better. We have had company the past week so I may just be seeing her public persona which is generally a lot nicer and friendlier than the private persona.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

So glad you're taking better care of yourself. It will get easier, by the way, once you simply start being true to yourself and treating your wife like an adult instead of tolerating childish BS. If she slides back into the unpleasant private persona, simply call her on it. Tell her you'd appreciate her modeling better behavior for everyone's, especially your child's, sake and to bring back the public, more likable persona as she's not being her best. Maybe the two of you can find a funny name that serves as a gentle reminder when the evil twin starts to emerge.

Regain your center and refuse to interact on less than a mature level. If she starts down a path trying to belittle you, simply tell her you won't deal with her on a petty level but will happily explore the subject when she's able to so in a mature way. Then disengage. Each and every time, until it becomes clear that the game is over. Be kind, but be firm. Your marriage might get stronger, but you definitely will. You will feel much, much better in the long run.

It's okay to be who you are as long as you're guided by compassion, integrity. and goodwill. If the other person attempts to diminish your spirit, don't acquiesce. Once you learn to treat each other with civility, perhaps there's a chance that she can unravel her sexual hang-ups. If not, you have to decide if you want a fuller, happier life and, if so, go after it. Picture such a life, and then take the steps necessary to achieve as close to your ideal as possible

You can't rewrite history, but a couple of examples from your earlier days: "Sex shouldn't be that important t you!" (How dare she!!! Whenever you hear "shoulds" that are a denial of who you are, unless in the area of truly harmful addictions or dangerous behaviors, it signals the other person has overstepped respectful boundaries. Conceding seldom leads to constructive results.) "Well, it is, and why is it not important to you? I want a normal, healthy marriage. Do you?"

Honeymoon threat: "That's not a game I intend to play. Do you want to be married or did you just want a wedding?"

Your tone need not be condescending or adversarial, but sincere promptings to her better self. Nine years in, you can still stop the blackmail. No, you can't force her to be what she doesn't want to become, but you can make it clear that you want a good marriage, are willing to be a good husband, and if she can't be a good wife, that you will end the charade..

Life is very short, and you've lost a decade to BS. While you've acquired some trappings and truly delight in your daughter, you've lost so much time and opportunities for a richly rewarding marriage. Live and learn. But don't just mark time; this is the only go-round we're certain of so learn to live fully, love wholeheartedly, laugh till you feel it deep down and surround yourself with like-minded types who are committed to building a better world.

I choose not to spend my life with folks who are too selfish to give their best. My husband and I are far from perfect, but we've built a good life together because we early on learned to cherish and support each other's strengths, overlook or at least tolerate our shortcomings, and try to treat each other kindly. When we have our rough moments, we've learned to not cut into each other, apologize and move past the hurt feelings. This formula seems to work for many and in all types of relationships. We have friends from myriad backgrounds and disparate interests, but those we're closest to share the desire to live with gusto, joy and compassion. They're also willing to help others find their way. Though none of us can be happy all the time, we can all try to bring out the best in ourselves and others. You'll get there, greenlawn, and the rewards will make up for the last few years of being stuck.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

The result:
Initially a lot of raised voices and shouting for the first few days. But things have settled down in the past couple days and things seem to be getting better. We have had company the past week so I may just be seeing her public persona which is generally a lot nicer and friendlier than the private persona.

After 10 years, do you really think things are going to change?
If they do, for how long?
Then you go back to the way it was, do what you posted again, and it's good again, but for how long?

Do you see where I'm going with this?
I did this for almost a year.
Eventually he told me he wanted out.
That's a year of my life I can never get back.

Post back if it got you sex because I doubt that changed.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Personally I think it's a red flag (not to mention, totally unfair) when the abusive partner chooses the counselor (whether secular or faith-based) -- come on, that's asking for trouble!

I know a lot of pastors and trained counselors whose counseling is faith-based, and not even one of them condones any abuse at all, particularly physical abuse.

Not one of them would give the wife the advice which was related above. I know for a fact that every one of them has advised such women to GET OUT and not come back (or else require the husband to find another place to live -- her choice) unless/until the abusive husband is willing to change and DOES change. Period.

In such situations, a prolonged separation is advised, with the husband being required to submit to Biblical teaching re: loving his wife as he loves himself, and also being accountable to more than one man of integrity.

If the husband is willing to do this, if he is willing to be gut-level honest about himself, there is a good chance he and the marriage can be changed. If he is not, that tells the wife what she needs to know.


 o
Roommates or Husband & Wife

re: "If her whole family is religious it [abuse] would be covered up or not believed."

dilly_dally, this is your opinion, to which you are entitled. I did want to point out, though, it is not fact.

Having been involved in education for several decades, I have seen at least as much evidence of abuse (to be honest, I've seen more) in families who were non-religious as I have in families who claimed a faith.

I've noticed several posts in this thread which reveal anti-faith bias -- thus, I thought it pertinent to point out this truth.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Not necessarily ant-faith, but pro-common sense. For example, I don't see how a person who has never experienced sex or marriage or even living daily with someone in an intimate relationship can help a couple. Yes, he may be trained, etc. but it's still second hand info, and there is an agenda that he is supposed to encourage the couple to follow.

I have been to church weddings where the officiant asked the congregation to pray for the new wife to be subserviant to her husband. I sure would not like to have to depend on that philosophy in a counseling relationship.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

scarlett, the pastors and counselors I mentioned are all married.

The Bible commands both husbands and wives to submit to one another in mutual submission to God. Also, for husbands to love their wives as Christ Jesus loves his people and gave himself for them.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Yawn.

Jeez, people, we don't even know what religion they are!


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

The OP wasn't asking for religious advice, he was asking for advice on how to get his wife to become a participant in marital relations.
In spite of all of our suggestions, I think he's still right where he was when he originally started this thread.

This situation reminds me of being on a merry-go-round. If you want a change of scenery you just have to get off the ride.

The OP's wife is, among other things, a control freak and a bully. She has threatened him into submission and that's how he's living his life.

As long as he's in fear of his wife leaving, and the wife knows this, he'll never be in a position to negotiate any kind of deal with her.

As we've told him before, any change will have to begin with him. I just don't see he has the strength to make the changes.

By the way, mrgreenlaw, you say you're an "easy-going and passive" person. Sir, I'd say you're way beyond passive.

You say you can be a tough negotiator in business matters. You need to bring those skills into your home.

You say the outcome of tough negotiating at home would be no sex for a long time? Right now, it sounds like the well ran dry long ago.

And, though you are a successful business man, obviously educated, seem to be well informed.....you say that until 7/15/09 you were unaware of the term "emotional abuse".
Now, that's hard to believe.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

As long as he's in fear of his wife leaving, and the wife knows this, he'll never be in a position to negotiate any kind of deal with her.

That pretty much summarizes the whole thing in one sentence. Until Mrgreenlawn makes up his mind to end the marriage if necessary, nothing will ever get resolved. He has to actually begin proceedings of some kind so that the wife knows he means business.

This won't necessarily make the marriage better, it's no guarantee that she will actually take steps to improve things. The marriage probably will, in fact, end. But I don't see any other chance for things to improve. As long as you continue to do nothing and accept the way things are, nothing will never change.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

You haven't been back. Are you living with the public persona or the private persona? And have things gotten better for you?


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I am new to this thread, but I had to comment because it looks like no one else has touched on this:

Am I understanding correctly that your wife wanted to be intimate with you during the end of her pregnancy? You guys had very little sex/intimacy for years and then when she was pregnant she suddenly wanted sex and you refused for not a medically valid reason, but a hang-up of your own? OR is she just saying she wanted to have sex, but at the time she didn't or something else. You didn't expand on that...

My marriage at times had a lot of similarities to yours, but no where near that extreme. AT times I had trouble with even rudimentary affection when I thought my husband only wanted sex, etc. I felt very sensuous as I got more pregnant and my sex drive was also up. It would have done great damage if my husband had rejected me sexually at this time. Also, this time period helped me understand that sex drive is a very physiological thing. Some women don't need a lot of sex. Hormones play a role.

Anyway, I have a different perspective on this. I am sure your wife has a different take on the situation you presented. I think you and others on this thread are pretty sinister in framing the situation as deception worthy of you scheming to leave her and take her child with you. In light of that, it is hard for me to see you as innocent victim here.

I do think that it is fixable. It sounds like your wife has some (now major?) hang-ups about sex and you have one as well.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Regarding scheming, my only scheme is to get my marriage on track. This is accompanied by discussion of the consequences of allowing a marriage to fail.

Regarding any comments from other posters about not trusting my wife with the child, I don't believe that is the case. I think the child is better off with two happily married parents than any of the alternatives. Thus a healthy marriage is the goal I wish to achieve. I do think Mrs. Greenlawn lays a guilt trip on me sometimes on the (rare) occasions I get away for an afternoon with friends. But I trust the child is in safe hands.

BTW, Mrs. Greenlawn discovered this thread whilst rummaging the browsing history on Mr. Greenlawn's laptop. :-o Welcome to GardenWeb

Mrs. Greenlawn is preparing an extensive rebuttle for posting.

I think the discovery of this topic could be used as a positive thing. It's a lot to put on the table all at once and the presentation is, well, indelicate given that it was intended for anonymous eyes only. Fortunately, I believe we have agreement to try MC which I think is a positive step.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I'm glad your wife is going to participate. I have always thought you should have just shown her this thread anyway.

I would start a new post ...this one is about to close
and that would keep her posts on her own thread.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

As Mrgreenlawn says, while trying to find webpages I'd previously veiwed while planning our vacation, I pressed the wrong button, or did DD? Anyway all the pages came up as tabs and here was the original post. I glance at it and think, "this sounds familiar". I start to read it then DD whacks the computer again and it is gone. I tell DH about it when he came home. Later I read this thread. You all seem to enjoy the soap opera. Some of you seem to be considering the problem and offering advice and well wishes. Thank you for your concern. I was going to write an huge rebuttal but I'm not really interested in airing dirty laundry nor do I feel I need to defend myself by detailing what I consider personal. I will say that I disagree with parts of his account. Also, I was not truamatized, not homosexual, not medically or mentally ill. I love and like my DH, want to be intimate with him. I agree that I'm stubborn, complacent and can be selfish. From his posts I see that he is distressed and I already know there is a problem. If he wants to do couples counseling, fine, I'm not opposed. Our communication clearly needs an overhaul as what I perceived as an off hand comment (during a tense moment or arguement? can't truly remember) was to him a genuine invitation to therapy. If mrgreenlawn wants to continue this discussion with you, I'll stay out of it. I have no intention of creating my own posting.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Whoa! Guess that's about the end of that!

Kinda like getting caught whacking only much, much worse.

Vast amounts of "no comment" to both of you.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I hope you will both go to counseling and really give it a fair shake --

There is so much more to marriage than just "being nice" (this is mostly to MrsGreenlawn). True intimacy is more emotional than physical -- a precursur -- and it involves taking a very big risk. From what he's written, it's clear he loves you very much and wants to make your marriage work. I hope you'll forgive him (in the short run) for posting here until you're able to actually thank him for somehow bringing this all to a head.

I wish you both the very best --
It is out there, and available to those willing to take the plunge.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Interesting. It is rarely identified as a betrayal for folks to discuss their business on these boards - but now he's been caught, and he's in big trouble and suddenly he's not worthy of comment. Because he was caught.

Seems odd...? Was it wrong or not, for him to come here and get some answers and support? And can you imagine being her, reading all these "projections" and commentary on her sexuality? Wow, my heart goes out to her with this. (PS I still think this is an anger issue). I hope these two can figure this stuff out and be happy.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I'm trying to figure out what part of what she says is bothering y'all. Is it that she said you were all wrong about her "dysfunction" (if you'll read my above comment, I never said it was her problem, but a marital problem), or that he is "caught"?

She said thank you for your concern. I take that at face value. She said he overreacted and I take that at face value. She said she "disagree[d] with parts of his account", and boy have I been there! I get ya Mrs. Greenlawn.

You may have noticed, I comment on this often in my responses here. It's awfully tempting to be one-sided when the other spouse isn't present and it occured to me a long time ago (from my own personal experiences!), some may mirepresent the hardships in order to garner favor here. It's not helpful to the marriage for the person to lie, but serves nothing more than validation purposes. It's a shame when that happens as it indicates the person writing has no interest in changing the marriage, but only more wants to change the person about whom they're writing.

That reflects a total lack of acceptance for the non-represented person's shortcomings when that happens, and boy is that wrong! Just my $0.02.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

plenty of people post their personal problems here and that's what these forums are for. nothing wrong with that. at least he was not lying.

somebody was caught on stepfamily forum, bioparent came across steparent's postings. stepparent was lying about custody, child support, stepkids etc. plus making unpleasant comments about stepkids. bioparent was furious! no wonder.

mrgreenlawn seems to be truthful but then again i feel for her, I would be devastated to find such posts out. well it reminds all of us that nothing is anonymous or private on the Internet. have to think twice every time we post.

but maybe somehting good would come out of it. mrs greenlawn will either work on her issues or mrgreen lawn will move on as her finding his posts was a good push!


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

I'm sure this was not exactly a pleasant discovery for mrsgreenlawn -- and of course mrgreenlawn has dealt with unpleasantness himself.

I sincerely hope this discussion helps them to open up to each other, both with a counselor and alone, and helps to bring healing to their marriage.

All the best to both of you, mr & mrsgreenlawn.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

"It's not helpful to the marriage for the person to lie, but serves nothing more than validation purposes. It's a shame when that happens as it indicates the person writing has no interest in changing the marriage, but only more wants to change the person about whom they're writing."

I think the issue might be with different interpretation of the same events rather than lying. It is not the first time when spouses/partners/lovers see the same events in a completelly different light.

And although I understand how mrsgreenlawn feels knowing that he shared it here, i hope she understands that most (all?) men after 9 of years of THIS (all of this, not just no emotional intimacy) would be out of the door long time ago, but he didn't sleep around and didn't leave but actually made an effort to ask for honest advice and go to therapy. Hopefully mrs greenlawn can appreciate it.


 o
RE: Roommates or Husband / Wife?

Yes, I hope she can appreciate he didn't leave and didn't sleep around. That is, if those things would have mattered to her. I cannot say for certain how she would have felt. Nevertheless, I don't believe he wanted help or honest advice. He rejected even the slightest suggestion(s) that he, himself, might be the reason for his wife's unresponsiveness. And, the more Asolo and others villainized and demonized his wife as devious, deceptive, and diabolical, the more he posted things she has done or new things that she did. I still keep wondering why so many people jumped and continued to blame her when no one knows anything about him or the things that he did. For example, there couldn't possibly have been any reason for her public outburst or embarrassing him in front of company. No one even wondered because she is so awful and unstable. He painted himself the loyal, subserviant, loving, long-suffering, extremely patient husband and father, while very skillfully and intelligently guiding opinion and garnering favor. I hope this thread and this, my last response to it, opened her eyes to what she has been living with. I'll bet she has been very confused for an awful long time. Yep, maybe she is abundantly grateful he did not sleep around (as if we know....waaaaay too many assumptions in here) and that he didn't leave. But if I were she, he'd be out on his a$$ tomorrow.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: This thread has reached the upper limit for the number follow-ups allowed (150). If you would like to continue this discussion, please begin a new thread using the form on the main forum page.


Return to the Marriage Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here