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I wonder if, with sex, we tend to get lazy and a bit judgemental of our spouses without examining what we are really doing or not doing to make things better.

Why not have fun with a seduction and make efforts to fill all of our spouse's senses with sight, smell, touch, taste, hearing?

Nothing wrong with this at all - and it should be a mutual effort.

In my cynical opinion though, the problem with this advice in many of the situations people face here is that this too ends up being completely one-sided. The sexually neglected spouse now feels the burden to put on a major broadway production to have their need met. The other spouse may or may not respond. Ideally they would reciprocate such grand efforts - but, pardon the cynicism - if things are one-sided already, they will likely continue to be.

Also, the spouse who already feels sexually neglected hears advice like this and it smacks a little of "blame the victim" mentality. Lousy sex life? You must be to blame! You must not be putting enough effort into getting your spouse in the mood, meeting all their emotional needs first, etc. The problem is YOU. You haven't fulfilled all the obligations and pre-requisites". Where is the expectation of meeting ech other half-way? The whole concept of mutuality (is that actually a word?) gets tossed out the window with advice like this.

This kind of simplistic advice probably works wonders in healthy, open, honest, mutually fulfilling relationships where both partners are conscientious in their efforts. I'm not sure it really helps in the sad pathological marital situations that often confront here. Not that it shouldn't be tried! But if mutuality is missing, it is just kicking the can down the road. The underlying issue still needs to be solved before something like this will work.

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It is,

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Where is the expectation of meeting ech other half-way?


I'm sorry but no matter what I MAY try to incorporate into my M regarding SF nothing will ever get my W to meet me half-way. I could go on and on as to why this will never happen but my situation might not be releveant to the sich of others. In many a case and in my case the burden in the M regarding the lack of SF falls heavily on my shoulders. My W states she is making attempts to meet my needs as often is possible for her at this time.

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the spouse who already feels sexually neglected hears advice like this and it smacks a little of "blame the victim" mentality. Lousy sex life? You must be to blame!


Now due to this lopsided burden I don't look at this type of advice as a need to BLAME anyone but rather a way to optimize the best possible outcome. "What can I do to optimize my chances of having my needs met". Which means the burden falls on me to be an extremely attractive and healthy marriage partner. I believe due to certain circumstances we all fall short on this to some extent. We all have our warts or incompatibilities in our M.

In order for this lack of mutuality to be solved there has to be acceptance from our partner. But what if the partner relays that they are doing all they can? What then? I can't force my W to change or force her to provide SF more often. The best I can do is work hard at myself to be attractive to her in hopes that that will make her WANT to make things a little less lopsided.

Last edited by MrAlias; 08/29/07 01:00 PM.

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MrAlias - I don't disagree. My screen name indicates my acceptance that, after years of trying to make it not so, at least in my M, things are the way they are and I don't actually expect things to change nor do I expect my W to meet me halfway either. But that has come at a cost.

I did take it all on my shoulders and tried the broadway productions, tried to be the ideal marriage partner etc. thinking this would "earn" my having my needs met. HA! (gotta find that No More Mr. Nice Guy book)

But I reached a point where there was no real return on this emotional investment. I could feel it coming on and I remember quite clearly the feeling when my heart slammed shut. It just wasn't worth it any more.

I'm not recommending this for anybody else - its a bad spot to be in. The point I was trying to make is that if the starting point is a one-way relationship the the prognosis is not good - unless you are able to be comfortable shifting your expectations to an extremely low level and are able to tolerate the uneven relationship.

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I did take it all on my shoulders and tried the broadway productions, tried to be the ideal marriage partner etc. thinking this would "earn" my having my needs met. HA! (gotta find that No More Mr. Nice Guy book)


I do take it all on my shoulders and am trying to do the broadway productions, I am trying to be the ideal marriage partner, etc. thinking this is who I want to be. Granted it isn't giving me exactly what I want but I do get a slice of what I'd hoped for and for me it keeps me invested in the R.

This is very situational, of course. I mean if you are doing all that work and don't ever get anything for your efforts then the R probably isn't worth it and then you have a decision to make.

You see for me my W gets a lot of credit for all the other things she does for me and for our family. She's kind and upbeat most of the time and I like being with her. She's remorseful and aplogetic when she knows she's hurt me. She's got a good heart.

If someone, and maybe this is you, has a partner that isn't meeting hardly any important ENs and is a pain to be around ... well I would suggest to someone who's done all the work you've stated you've done that maybe it's time to think about doing something else, maybe doing a 180 or initiating a Plan B or maybe ending the R.


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Guys this is not a complicated issue.

Spouse 1 has a need for sex.

Spouse 2 can either stop what they are doing and have some sex or ...not.

Those are the options.

Sex is sex..unless we have a gourmet evening [or afternoon or shower or...] planned we are talking about roughly 30 min of your day.

Let's look at what other things a person does every day with that same amount of time.

Channel surf?

Take a shower?

Drive to the store?

I have spent MORE than that amount of time on THIS forum today.

There is no reason why a person could not reasonably meet that need every single day IF THEY WERE WILLING TO.

It's the UNWILLINGNESS to have sex when they don't feel aroused that is the core issue.

Generally speaking a person with LOW libido is not going to magically become aroused because a few candles got lit...that sort of thing is icing on a cake already baked and ready to go.

Meeting that persons needs won't create arousal either...if you meet their needs they might feel good about you IN GENERAL...maybe even so much so they'd like to meet your needs theoretically...but not in a way that is inconvenient.

This is a SELFISH frame of mind.

If a person chooses to be available to meet the need for SF when the need exists and to stop struggling and foot dragging and fighting...they are more likely to BECOME aroused and to appreciate the niceties like candles et all.

They are using their strength to pull away and wondering why they feel so distant.

The first step in this issue is for the person who is reluctant to choose to stop being reluctant because their unwilling spirit is damaging a relationship they value.

Use their strength to draw closer instead. Feelings follow actions...the choices that we make determine our perceptions.

I don't appreciate 3 am wake up calls but if one of my children started crying there is no question that I will be hauling my kiester out of bed to tend to them because I OWN my role as their caregiver and assume responsibility for the tasks involved in the job.

Meeting your spouses needs is not OPTIONAL if you want to have a thriving marriage.

You reap what you sow either way so figure out what you value and invest in it.


Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once ~Shakespeare
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Well said. Right to the core of the issue.

It is funny how there seems to be a double standard for ENs.
For example, Substitute Financial Support or Conversation or any of the others for SF in most of the threads like this one and both the problem and the recommended solutions sound almost comical.

"I want to have Conversation every day but she only wants it twice a month"

"Maybe if you meet all her ENs first she'll be more willing to meet your need for Conversation"

Oh boy - now I'm going to have a hard time reading threads without making those substitutions... like adding the words "in bed" after reading a fortune cookie

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Precisely IIWII.

A person who concluded that they only felt like going to work twice a month would be fired.

A person who was only willing to speak to their spouse twice a month or under very specific circumstances would be accused of spousal neglect...even three tmes a week would STILL be neglectfull.

Telling the spouse whose needs are going unmet to just try harder is absurd and cruel imo.

Instead encourage them to hold their spouse ACCOUNTABLE for their decision to withdraw from the marriage and settle into freeloading on that issue [aka I'll do it when I feel like it].


Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once ~Shakespeare
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I am in a marriage relationship for the past 15 years. I have succumbed to my husbands lack of sex drive over the years because I didn't want to end the marriage. Now it's coming back to bite me. Recently in one of my depressed modes I made contact with an ex boyfriend and by just talking over the phone I realized "big time" that I am so unfufilled sexually that it's driving me crazy. I have spoken to my husband about my needs but it's almost as if he doesn't want to hear me or doesn't want to do the things that would satisfy me sexually.I enjoy oral sex but he does not, I would think it would be a good trade off give his lack of libido. Nice guy but driving me crazy

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How in the world would someone know just from his post whether or not he is meeting his wifes SF needs?

Sometimes the people that give advice on here make a LOT of assumptions, maybe too much.

Noodle, how exactly do you hold them accountable for withdrawing? It sounds good, just don't see how.

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I have no desire for sex with my husband. Had a hysterectomy, on HRT, had hormone levels checked, getting a second opinion with a new doctor. It feels like a chore, he has a higher sex drive than me. I told him a few months back that I loved him but was not in love anymore and think this is why I have no desire. There is no spark, no romance, it's all the same routine...boring.... Women should not have to "relieve" or fulfill their H needs because it makes them happy, it's like a chore if we are not into it.


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I am a woman and my #1 need from my spouse is physical intimacy and he happens to be the one with the low sex drive. It increased for a period of time, but now it is right back to nothing again. No porn, no lust or masturbation issues on his part. He just doesn't have a drive and it is very hard not to feel resentful. Right now I feel hurt and unloved. He is a good husband, helpful, we talk, do things together, share kisses, but he just doesn't care much about sex.

I just don't understand?

I have the same issues...Great Husband in most ways... Love him immensely- but I need SF...frequently- and he just does not have the same drive...One other thing I've noticed: when he is tired, stressed, etc. --No sex, uh-uh- ain't happening..It's the opposite for me- when I'm stressed, or frustrated- I need it more- it helps me to relax and to feel closer to him...so usually ends up- when I need it most- he wants it the least... dilemma... often times- I've tried avoiding SF requests, initiation, etc. when I am stressed; try to be in a calmer more loving mood- tell him I want him because I love him, want to be intimately close...sometimes that works- often things remain the same... The flip side-- I NEVER turn him down when he initiates and often I even offer him "alternative" SF methods ( oral, usually)---which he NEVER turns down even if he doesn't feel "in the mood" for SF/love-making... and he almost NEVER returns the favor in any way...sometimes that get s me very flustered; feel like I am doing ALL the giving, and getting nada in return...I've seriously been trying to request less and less from him-- stop offering him BJ's, and start saying "No" sometimes...see if any of that registers... But I want and need his SF attention so much-that I find that denial of him (and ultimately myself)is danged near impossible for me to accomplish...then comes the "Loving by Choice" concept- I really try to keep that in mind, too- and still do for him, regardless..... but sometimes... I just want to have MY needs met, you know?


-not just 4myself anymore... for BOTH of us ...we survive together, or not at all....
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Here is my 2 cents.

To me, one of the key factors in marriage is intimacy...
Without intimacy in a marriage, it is just 2 people living together. I know, I am living it.
Life today pulls away at intimacy. Think about how much affect work, health, money, etc have on it. Intimacy has to remain important for the marriage to last.
There are so many levels intimacy.
It can be anything from a warm smile or chuckle to the big O.

When the selfishness of one person outweighs the intimacy needs of the marriage, the marriage is on a downward slope.

Like you, I ask, what happens in a marriage when a woman decides she does not want to be intimate?
Masturbation releases the physical pressure but does nothing for the real problem.
What happened in your marriage? I suggest looking into what was happening at that time.


~Life is short, when you think about it.~ Find what is important and enjoy the time.
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4myself, I don't see in your post that you guys have actually sat down and discussed your ENs. Have you? If he's a great guy otherwise, sounds like he'd be willing to delve into your marriage a little, at least for your sake. Ask him to fill out the questionaires, as just a stage in your marriage - do NOT tell him that it in any way is tied to your feelings about set, or he will back off. The issue of sex can come up at a later date, after you've worked on some other issues, like O&H.

You may find that something in his past is affecting his drive. And you can help him work through it, once you know what it is. If you can get him in a happier place, your marriage will improve in many ways. Everyone has issues; some choose not to address them, but may be grateful for their SO helping them to get there, if it brings some peace.

You may find that it is a miscommunication of some sort. Maybe at one point, you said something that he took as a slam, and he's been reticent ever since. My husband told me 30 years ago (when I was pretty) that if I ever got fat, he'd divorce me. He wasn't serious, and he promptly forgot he said it, but as I age and get heavier, it is a constant, daily concern for me. To him, it's a non-issue. And we just this year discussed it.

You may find there is a medical reason; if he knows your eagerness, he may be willing to get checked out. I know that my H, at 54, has issues he didn't have at 30. But honestly, I'd look into it. There are all kinds of reasons for low drive based on chemicals, diet, etc., and the person doesn't even realize it's happening.

You may find he doesn't realize the benefit or even need for pleasing the woman. His father or brother(s) may have never taught him about that. Perhaps you can help him learn a whole new world. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Basically, I guess, I'm just advocating communication.

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I NEVER turn him down when he initiates and often I even offer him "alternative" SF methods ( oral, usually)---which he NEVER turns down even if he doesn't feel "in the mood" for SF/love-making... and he almost NEVER returns the favor in any way...sometimes that get s me very flustered; feel like I am doing ALL the giving, and getting nada in return...I've seriously been trying to request less and less from him-- stop offering him BJ's, and start saying "No" sometimes...see if any of that registers... But I want and need his SF attention so much-that I find that denial of him (and ultimately myself)is danged near impossible for me to accomplish

This is a dangerous situation because the resentment over feeling neglected and giving more than getting can build up and cause a major problem.

In my situation there are many other serious issues in my M (no point really in listing all that here) but frequency of sex was one of them. As part of MC my W agreed to a schedule - which I had reservations about. I didn't want "duty sex". But MC recommended that we try this at least to get back on track. Looking back I think this was a mistake. I couldn't get it out of my head that this was simply an obligation being checked off (and that's pretty much how it was done on her side) so eventually the whole thing broke down.

Eventually other problems in the M overtook the sex issue but between those problems and the disaster of duty sex I completely lost all desire for my W. I simply couldn't put my needs at her mercy any more. I would never have believed with my strong sex drive that this could happen - but it did. Some mental scale inside me tipped on the side of self-protection over desire and a massive wall went up.

It has been over two years since we have had sex - or even slept in the same room. I feel completely stuck - not knowing how to go forward, and certainly unwilling to go back. I can't envision any solution.

The point of all that being - do try to find a way to deal with this now before the resentment inside you builds up to catastrophic levels.

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Okay. I am totally new here, but need advise bad. I will try to make this as short as possible, but I dont know where else to turn. I have been married going into our 14th year. I love my husband with all of my heart and am sure he loves me. We have been thru a lot the last several years. Yes, I use to be a terrible wife. I took him for grantid for a lot of years, assuming that no matter what he would always be there and always want sexual relations no matter what. I had absolutly no sexual desire unless he initiated. Well, that use to be true. I am 36 and he just turned 40. Three years ago I had a stupid moment and made a big mistake with a job and ended up having to serve a year away from him and my family. I had a whole year to sit and think about my life and realized how stupid I was. I had everything. Yes, he stood by me thru it all and is still beside me. However, when I got home, things have changed. While I was gone he also went thru the death of his mother as well and had to take care of our daughter financially by himself. Yes, I put him thru it. Now, I want sex all of the time and he says he has no desire. He said that he had to go a year without having sex and now he could care less about it. Can this be true. He did not have an intimate affair while I was gone, yes he talked to a girl (friend) and they both say nothing happened. He loves me very much, even she told me that. Anyway, I dont know what to do. I feel so awful and just want to know if I should just give him time and let him know that I am here, like he was and is there for me? We have a great relationship other than this area. We get along, cuddle, kiss, hold hands, but only have sex about once every 3 weeks. Please help me understand what is going on. I dont want to accuse him if it really could just be stress, etc.

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IMHO

I think this is one of the most complex issues to deal with in marriage due to the number of aspects to it. People have beliefs of how SF should be in a marriage that are difficult to change. They may be based on morals or bad experiences in past relationships or in childhood. There is also the aspect of control of one's body and the different things people engage in when having SF. A particular act that is no big deal for one person may be quite a big deal for the other spouse.

Another problem is limited access to the EN. If one person desires more conversation they can talk to friends or family members until the spouse, hopefully, comes around. If it's RC you can again do things with friends and family while you are working on that issue in the marriage. If it's financial support you can get a nother or better job yourself. If you employ this same principle with SF you quickly encounter problems!!!! ONLY the other spouse can give SF that results in physical and emotional happiness. Nobody else can do it. That makes SF one of the most difficult ENs in my thinking.

I've experienced the mismathed libido issue in my marriage for over two decades. Chris123 didn't say if this problem always existed or if it just got worse in the past 5 years. I would hope that if it was good once he could get back to that point by having his W get a physical and counseling. If it's been bad since the beginning of the relationship then he should get counseling for himself because it will probably never improve. In order to stop being hurt over this issue I have given up on SF ever improving in my marriage. Eliminating the expectation has made it a little easier to bear.

I've read everything I coud find on this issue, made sure I was meeting all of W's ENs, avoiding LB, doing everything I can to make her want me and nothing has helped. It's like some foods. If somebody hates spinach they're not going to start liking it because you washed the walls or brought home flowers. Providing the ENs does make the relationship beter in general but it's no guarantee the resolve Sf issues. SF seems to me to be a more complicated issue than other ENs.


"When you say it’s gonna happen now Well, when exactly do you mean? See, I’ve already waited too long And all my hope is gone" The Smiths
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I am also in an emotional state over sex drive, consistancy, en, or just closness. I have pulled back from my husband because my feelings are so hurt that I cannot express yet how much this effects me. I am with you on how complex this issue is in a relationship. I am feeling so hurt by my husbands turning me down for sex that I don't know what to do. I try and meet all of his emotional needs yet the same is happening for me as you. I don't have any answers at all. However. I don't know how long I can go without this level of closness. How are getting there.

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The only thing that gets me thru, is that I truly know he loves me. I dont know what is going on (maybe going thru midlife), but he is at least affectionate. I pray that he will once again want me sexually. It is heart breaking when H turns you down, trust me, I know. But, I try not to think about it. I know it is hard, The more he says no, the more you want it. I am thankful that my husband does show affection. It at least gives me hope.

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I am a woman and i would say that SR is prolly #10 on my EN quiz, #1 on his. My situation is a little different. Complete hysterectomy at 31, hrt, my hormone levels are out of whack so I have gotten a second and third option to get those in check and of course the fact that after 16 years of marriage, SR is like a routine and is the same ole thing every time. If we (females) are not getting ours, it's not satisfying to us and is difficult to want to do it! And to do it with it feeling like a chore, that's not enticing either!


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Very interesting thread here.

I feel I have a lot of resentment built up where SF is concerned. My H has SF higher up on the EN scale then me. He expects or wants me to meet this need, but then refuses to meet my higher ENs. I feel used. I feel the only time he wants to show me affection is when he wants SF.

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Telling the spouse whose needs are going unmet to just try harder is absurd and cruel imo.

And yet, that is exactly what I feel is being said to do here. Your H wants SF and as his W it is your responsbility. Okay...and what I am suppose to do about the intimacy I want that is going unfulfilled.

For me, it is very hard to be enthusiastic about SF when I get little affection outside of the bedroom. Don't get me wrong, my H is a great guy and we get along great, but he just is not interested in showing me affection unless it is when he wants SF or SF related. This does not help my desire for SF. My H's idea of romance is lighting a candle before SF...and that isn't even every time.

Isn't this a two way street here?

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