To defend my wife, I don't think she realized this about herself. Not fully. I get the impression she was somewhat promiscuous before we met. Not as bad as some of her friends. But I think she consented to sex fairly frequently in order to prove to herself that she was "over" her past. That she was in possession of her sexuality.

I think she sorta kinda knew I wasn't that physically attractive to her, but I was smart and funny (which she finds attractive), and she figured I would make lots of money and she would deal with the sex to get what she wanted. What went wrong?

A couple of things. First, she did not expect to have such trouble with emotional intimacy. Although she would not admit this for years, she recently admitted she "freaked out" during our honeymoon. It suddenly hit her that we were married, and I would be there every morning for the rest of our lives, and that I expected sex on a regular basis. Sex began to terrify her in a way it had not before the wedding.

Second, we moved to a different state. So we were away from our long time friends and "alone" together. More freak out from too much intimacy.

Third, as a result of my move I made less money and worked fewer hours. Less money. More time together. Ack, must flee!!!

And of course, the more I pushed for sex, the more she withdrew.

I don't think she consciously planned to deceive me. I think she knew she would have to manufacture desire to some extent, and she thought she could. I think she was surprised when she couldn't. And then all the internal and external pressure to stay married kicked in.

Back then divorce did not seem like a permitted choice. Both our parents are still married after around 50 years. Even 20 years ago we could not conceive of getting divorced. And we were both in our 30s (well, she was 29 when we got married), so we wanted to get started on having kids. We did. And then we both felt even more stuck.

So while I think she knew she wasn't all that hot for me, I don't think she knew how difficult it would be for her to consent again and again and again. Which, when I phrase it that way, makes it hard to understand why I haven't given up yet.

When you can see it coming, duck!