When my kids were young, I used to travel a lot for work.
When I was on a trip I was always lonely and missed home. I’d call home, but my wife wasn’t much of a talker on the phone. Or maybe it was just that we didn’t know how to talk to each other on the phone. I am not sure, but I used to talk forever on the phone with past girlfriends.
Anyway, when I would return home, I was always disappointed because I was hoping for a warm welcome. I was hoping for an enthusiastic greeting or a passionate kiss. I was hoping that she couldn’t wait for the kids to go to bed so we could make love. That was NEVER the case. I either got ambivalence or pent up frustration from being left alone with the kids. That’s understandable, I told myself. This was the most acute point of my frustration, but there was an underlying chronic pain.
I show my love physically. I like to touch and like to be touched. I am passionate. I am not some crazy guy in bed who wants to perform the latest porn scene. All I want is to make love. I don’t want just sex! I want to make love. I want a slow tender caress. I want long extended foreplay. I want to please my partner in bed. I want to know how to meet her sexual needs and desires. I like to talk about her needs and desires and would hope she would reciprocate with interest in my needs and desires. Those have been my expectations. Not my reality.
We have always had a difference in desire. Maybe it’s cliche, but I, the guy, want sex more frequently than she does. However, that’s where the cliche ends. My wife is like a man. She wants a wham bam thank you ma’am, check the box experience. It feels like to me that she is going through the motions to satisfy me and check the box to say she has fulfilled her wifely duties. Of course, she swears she is satisfied when we have sex, but I don’t believe it. And there in lies one of the biggest problems.
My first long term girlfriend and I had an amazing sex life. I dare say perfect. We kind of grew up together sexually. She was very open and we would talk about sex all the time. Later in life she became a sex therapist, little did I know that her sense of enlightenment around sex was unique. I am a pretty sensitive guy and grew up with Dr. Ruth, so I knew to take care of my girl before I took care of myself. She trained me to be a warm, passionate, open and sensitive lover.
Long story short, I would trade quality for quantity but I get neither. I ask her what she likes, she avoids discussing it. Or immediately just wants to fuck with very little foreplay. She really doesn’t like talking about sex. Sometimes I wonder, is she a prude or is she gay??? Or did she just settle and can’t imagine or desire more.
The chronic pain came from my regular advances being declined far more often than not. In my content world, I’d like to have sex 3-5 times a week. And more importantly, I’d like my advances to be accepted more than rejected. However, our sex life at its best was an average of once a week. Now to be fair, there were some weeks where it would be 2-3 times and a few weeks where there were zero, but on average, it was consistently 1 time a week. I know because my frustration had boiled over to the point that I started to track it to see. Over the course of several years, we would average just under 50 times a year. Meanwhile, I probably made advances 150-200 times a year. So I had a pretty shitty batting average. This is especially true when compared to my first LT GF. She almost never turned me down. Quite frankly, I probably turned her down more than she turned me down. In contrast, I have turned down my wife’s advances maybe 3 times in our entire marriage. She turns me down at that rate weekly.
Well, about 2 years ago, after 20 some years of marriage, I decided that it was a problem of expectations, so I decided that I would no longer expect to have sex with my wife, so I stopped initiating. I would let her initiate, but I would stop initiating. Our frequency has declined dramatically. Now we have sex about once every 3 weeks. She has never even mentioned the change. She has noticed that we have been less frequent and makes a point to initiate once we hit the 3 week mark or so. But she never asked why I stopped initiating. I suspect she didn’t even notice.
This strategy reduced my frustration level. However, I do start to have a building tension as we get into the 2nd or 3rd week.
The real challenge is that I get horny and need to masturbate if we aren’t having sex. I don’t feel comfortable masturbating in the bed next to her. She wouldn’t like that. So, I have to find time to be alone to do it. Well, this year, I decided to sleep in another room for a variety of reasons. I snore, she is a restless sleeper. She gets mad at me if I am restless or snoring too loud and keep her up. She likes to keep the dog on the bed and I am slightly allergic to the dog. This has given me ample opportunity to masturbate in the privacy of my own room. However, there are consequences. One is that I discovered that there are some benefits to masturbation to having sex with her. With masturbation, I can do what I want. With sex with her, it is all to her rules. Very little foreplay. I have to lube myself up because as she has entered menopause she needs the lube. She won’t help with the lubing… and she doesn’t want me to apply the lube to her because it reminds her of the gynecologist. and then we fuck hard and fast. wham bam thank you ma’am. Sure I climax, but emotionally it is so unsatisfying. I don’t tell her that because she will dismiss it or withdraw.
So, now I sleep in a different room. I masturbate and I really don’t look forward to having sex with my wife.
This week she went away. I made a point of telling her how much I missed her. I did all the chores around the house so she wouldn’t come home to a laundry basket full of clothes. She came in… the dog attacked her with kisses and she made a fuss over the dog. Then I went to kiss her and she looked down as I approached her to kiss her. I ended up kissing her on the forehead. I am jealous of the relationship my dog has with my wife.
I used to feel the same way with my kids when they were younger, but I chalked that up to a mother making her kids her top priority and her not having anything left for me. Because I shared this kid centric value, I was willing to live with it for the kids. But the dog… that is hard to rationalize.
All this is probably driven by my own insecurities. When I first asked her out, she said no. I was patient and persistent and she finally agreed to go out. We had a 10 month courtship before we got engaged and we were married 8 months later. I think I have always wondered if her lack of desire in the bedroom was driven by her lack of desire for me.
For a variety of reasons that occurred in my childhood, I have always been insecure and harbor fears of abandonment.
The counterbalancing attributes of my wife that makes up the mismatch in the bedroom, are her loyalty and commitment to family and marriage. We share a deep commitment to raising the kids right and committing to marriage for life. As a result, I don’t have a huge fear of abandonment with her, however, I constantly question (in my head) wether this is enough for me. I had a taste of a better sexual relationship in my past relationship and hold out hope that one day I might experience that again.
I am a guy is always trying to better himself. I don’t settle well. So, I think this absence in my life will continue to eat at me… but I don’t think there isa an alternative. I value her dedication and commitment to our marriage and the low or non-existent possibility that she would abandon me, over having a better sex life… although it is a daily struggle. I feel like an alcoholic who has to remind himself every day why he can’t drink. I have to do the same when it comes to sex.
P.S… one question you might be asking yourself is… why didn’t you stay with the first LT GF? Well, there were a couple of big issues in our relationship. First, she was the daughter of a rabbi and I was catholic. Second, she was upper middle class and I was lower middle class. Third, she was getting better looking with age and I was getting worse looking with age…. All contributed played on my insecurities and drove me to not believe the relationship would last. I really feared she would abandon me one day. With my wife, I don’t fear that she will leave me. But I do fear that she never ever really loved me like I’ve been loved before. I fear she just settled.