Rimalot

The Sexless Marriage Syndrome

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I just read this in the comment section of a site talking about alpha and beta males. I thought it shed some light on the problems some board members have with sexless marriages.

The first part is a quote from a female poster, the rest is the post by a man.

If it’s a long-term love people want, there’s a lot of compromise involved, and I think sexual chemistry is often one of the compromises.

That’s precisely the problem, and you expressed it beautifully, but only from the woman’s perspective. She’s sacrificing sexual chemistry for other considerations. But the guy views it differently: he’s sacrificing random variety for what he thinks is a sure thing, never realizing she’s already discarded sex as an object. To the guy, this exchange seems mercenary, since sex with his wife remains a prime motivator for marriage.

I’ve seen three marriages among my friends founder this past year on this point, when the wife stops “feeling it” for her husband (little surprise there, since she’s never really felt it to begin with, since she married him for other reasons). And since the reasons why she doesn’t “feel it” any more remain locked within the female subconscious, he’s left scrambling to get back in her good graces without knowing exactly how. She eventually gets addicted to the power this gives her over her husband, it’s a game where she defines the rules at her whim.

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That is quite insightful, particularly the following.

She eventually gets addicted to the power this gives her over her husband, it’s a game where she defines the rules at her whim.

If she always says no, eventually she will lose that power.

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That is quite insightful, particularly the following.

If she always says no, eventually she will lose that power.

Its not all about power. Some marriages have simply 'run their course' and they do not fancy one another any more. Some people are content to live with each other because they still love their partner, but there is no sexual attraction for one or either of them. If it is the man, then he can punt (should he feel inclined) If it is the woman, what is she supposed to do? Not everyone wants to spoil a good arrangement/way of life by having sex outside of their marriage whether it be paid for or not.

Lots of women marry for reasons other than love, but grow into that marriage. Power within marriage tends to shift on it's axis from one person to the other. It's not all cut and dried.

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Lots of women marry for reasons other than love, but grow into that marriage. Power within marriage tends to shift on it's axis from one person to the other. It's not all cut and dried.

surely then that is a marriage under false pretences? Though that doesn't mean any one side is to blame. Brings up the classic question of is it better to marry someone who loves you but you don't love or who you loves but doesn't love you. For the person who marries for something other than love surely once married they achieve more of their goals than the other person, so with less at stake they have the power. But if they didn't marry for love but pretended to can they expect monogamy?

Only thing these debates make me glad of is still being single :-)

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surely then that is a marriage under false pretences? Though that doesn't mean any one side is to blame. Brings up the classic question of is it better to marry someone who loves you but you don't love or who you loves but doesn't love you. For the person who marries for something other than love surely once married they achieve more of their goals than the other person, so with less at stake they have the power. But if they didn't marry for love but pretended to can they expect monogamy?

Only thing these debates make me glad of is still being single :-)

Don't forget those who enter into arranged marriages as well !

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Its not all about power. Some marriages have simply 'run their course' and they do not fancy one another any more. Some people are content to live with each other because they still love their partner, but there is no sexual attraction for one or either of them. If it is the man, then he can punt (should he feel inclined) If it is the woman, what is she supposed to do? Not everyone wants to spoil a good arrangement/way of life by having sex outside of their marriage whether it be paid for or not.

Lots of women marry for reasons other than love, but grow into that marriage. Power within marriage tends to shift on it's axis from one person to the other. It's not all cut and dried.

In any couple there tends to be a general equality in terms of the basics: class, education level, career type/level, age, looks etc. There are 'mismatched' couples of course, where one partner is much older or better looking, but there is generally a trade off, which is usually money and status traded for youth and beauty.

Although love is a very real emotion, there is always a large element of hard headed bartering in most relationships, and a calculated realist in the breast of even the most ardent romantic. When it comes to a long term partner, men generally try to get the best looking girl they can get, unless they are insecure; then may settle for a less physically attractive woman who they think will stay faithful to them.

What I think many men fail to realise is that the woman will often marry a beta type man, the non threatening, not very confident man, either in the belief that he is all she can get, or that he will be a more reliable provider and helpmate than the (often promiscuous) alpha male she really desires. When she cheats she is more likely to do so with a more confident, hedonistic, masculine man who turns her on. If she is faithful she has basically traded her sex life for security and stability and however much she may like, or indeed love, her beta man, she doesn't feel a spark for him. So where she may once have made the effort to please him sexually, as time goes on it becomes a tiresome chore to keep up the pretence and submit to giving herself to a man she no longer fancies, if in fact she ever did.

Men punt for three reasons. They are greedy and like endless variety, and value the discretion that paying for sex allows (which is why I punt). They want to punt with more attractive women than their wife or girlfriend (the equivalent of a woman having a fling with a more alpha male). They are getting no sex, either because they have no relationship at the moment, or because they are in a sexless relationship where the woman can no longer be bothered to submit to a man she doesn't fancy any more.

I think that the men who are in a sexless relationship have to face the facts that their wives or girlfriends don't fancy them, unless there is a physical or psychological cause, such as a loss of sex drive due to stress, depression, menopause etc. Now, it may be that the woman never really wanted him sexually, in which case he is really on a hiding into nothing, unless he can transform himself into the sort of man she really likes. On the other hand, it could be that she is simply bored sexually, and that her man's lack of skills, insensitivity, or poor communication in the rest of the relationship, is causing her to not be feeling it any more. If he doesn't turn her on in the rest of the relationship, then he isn't going to do so in bed.

Given that most women are sexual creatures and do enjoy sex, for the physical pleasure it gives them, the excitement and the intimacy, then it is unlikely that any woman has given up sex simply to be cruel, though I'm sure there are exceptions. If sex has dried up then I think it's most likely (other than the physiological causes) that she can no longer force herself to go through it any longer with a man she doesn't desire, or that her desire has been lost due to how she has been treated in the relationship as a whole.

I think all men should actually try to understand what does and doesn't turn women on, which does vary from woman to woman of course. However, from what we can all observe, there is generally a type of man who has no trouble attracting women and turning them on. He is the equivalent of the hot girl with the perfect body every horny guy wants to fuck. Physical attractiveness is an important element in female desire, let's not pretend it isn't. However, women tend to look at the whole man, his confidence, style, humour, etc. and many a handsome man falls down due to a 'bad' personality, and many a plainer man wins out due to who he is below the surface. Just as a man would like his wife/girlfriend to stay in shape and dress in flattering, sexy clothes to keep him interested in her sexually and to please him, a woman wants a man to be the sort of man who excites her. Unless both sides make an effort to please the other and understand what turns them on, then sex is bound to suffer from either a partner's roving eye, or a loss of interest.

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Don't forget those who enter into arranged marriages as well !

True, sorry, but in an a normal arranged marriage don't both sides enter expecting to grow into love? Therefor there is honesty about the expectations. So it's more comparable to a non arranged marriage where both sides enter for love than a non arranged marriage where one enters for love and one doesn't.

I've never been in a marriage of any sorts though, so it's all postulation on my behalf.

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I'd say your views on marriage are more based upon your and your friends experiences, rather than human mating and why people marry.

Take a read of Evoltution of Desire - Strategies of Human Mating. It's heavy, but one of my fav books.

I'll take a look.

I have never been married, nor have I had a very long term relationship (three years is the longest), and I have never experienced the sexual dysfunction in a relationship which seems to plague many couples, so my views are based purely on observation. I do believe that both men and women find it hard to keep the spark going in terms of sexual desire after a number of years, and that the sort of men that tend to attract women are often not the ones they marry. That 'settling for less' would appear to be asking for trouble.

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I'd say your views on marriage are more based upon your and your friends experiences, rather than human mating and why people marry.

Take a read of Evoltution of Desire - Strategies of Human Mating. It's heavy, but one of my fav books.

Not sure if that was in reply to me, but it probably does apply to me.

Looks like a good book, will check it out, cheers for recommending.

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Its not all about power. Some marriages have simply 'run their course' and they do not fancy one another any more. Some people are content to live with each other because they still love their partner, but there is no sexual attraction for one or either of them. If it is the man, then he can punt (should he feel inclined) If it is the woman, what is she supposed to do? Not everyone wants to spoil a good arrangement/way of life by having sex outside of their marriage whether it be paid for or not.

Lots of women marry for reasons other than love, but grow into that marriage. Power within marriage tends to shift on it's axis from one person to the other. It's not all cut and dried.

Insightful as ever Sarah. Certainly that power shift I think occurs in most marriages. Is there not another difference though in that as the menopause approaches the woman looses the urge for sex whereas, in most cases (mine included) the man still has that urge. That's why there are so many aged male punters but (I assume) few equivalent females.

Your other comment about arranged marriages is also important. My parents' marriage was an arranged marriage that lasted for about three years (and resulted in two kids). Two less likely people to get on you could not imagine. It is only in latter life that I have realised the effect that not having a father/mother role model has had on my own attitudes to marriage (and to relationships in general). When my wife lost interest in sex and then wentthrough the menopause I really didn't have any frame of reference to help me deal with it and so just accepted what was happening. I have started punting only quite recently but I have also found that I get on much better with my wife now that I do not feel so sexually frustrated. That's no justification for what I do but does give me some solace. As I've said before here as well, I have also met some fascinating women (I try to be selective in my punting) from whom I have learned a lot (both in and outside of the boudoir!).

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Interesting thread with lots of valuable contributions. My take.

A lot of women go off sex for underlying hormonal reasons, whatever the situational factors. Ideally they'd prefer if their partners went off it too, or, failing that, sublimated their urges by discreetly knocking one out.

One of the psychological aspects of male sexuality that they do not understand is the craving for physical intimacy. So men start punting, then acquire a taste for it, not least because the women they are seeing are younger prettier and more adventurous, and eventually cease to be bothered about bothering her for marital sex at all. So the women get what they wanted in the first place, albeit not for a reason they are usually aware of or would like.

The alternative does appear to be the power game where women routinely use sex or its absence as carrot and stick respectively to manipulate their husbands towards their preferred outcomes in other aspects of married life.

It is the concept of their man's physical intimacy with another woman that horrifies them, even though they are denying it to him themselves, or only grudgingly allowing it on terms. We keep it quiet because, were they to discover, there would be hell to pay.

My question then is to what extent are they entitled to be horrified?

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Interesting thread with lots of valuable contributions. My take.

A lot of women go off sex for underlying hormonal reasons, whatever the situational factors. Ideally they'd prefer if their partners went off it too, or, failing that, sublimated their urges by discreetly knocking one out.

One of the psychological aspects of male sexuality that they do not understand is the craving for physical intimacy. So men start punting, then acquire a taste for it, not least because the women they are seeing are younger prettier and more adventurous, and eventually cease to be bothered about bothering her for marital sex at all. So the women get what they wanted in the first place, albeit not for a reason they are usually aware of or would like.

The alternative does appear to be the power game where women routinely use sex or its absence as carrot and stick respectively to manipulate their husbands towards their preferred outcomes in other aspects of married life.

It is the concept of their man's physical intimacy with another woman that horrifies them, even though they are denying it to him themselves, or only grudgingly allowing it on terms. We keep it quiet because, were they to discover, there would be hell to pay.

My question then is to what extent are they entitled to be horrified?

I think men and women are quite different when it comes to the need and motivation for sex. A woman generally seems to need to have an emotional impetus to have and enjoy sex. Without it she feels used. A man’s sexual urges tend to be more of the scratch an itch variety, even if he may well have a strong need to express affection during sex. I think that is the reason why so many women think prostitutes are trafficked or coerced, because they cannot imagine having sex without attraction, which involves emotion, be it for a man she has just met, or a long time lover.

When women withhold sex I would imagine it is because she simply cannot face it. One woman once described it as the equivalent of a man trying to force himself to have sex with a limp dick. Another compared it to eating chocolate cake while someone is cutting your leg. These are strong reactions, and show that a woman often finds it very hard to simply lie back and think of England when she doesn’t feel desire.

Some women may well manipulate men by withholding sex and creating a barter system. However, they are able to do this because they are not in love. A woman who is in love (rather than just loving her man), or who has that adrenalin rush of sexual desire, is not likely to make things difficult or be hard to get. So I cannot help but conclude that sexless marriages are, for the most part (and leaving aside the physical causes), the result of the wife no longer loving or desiring the husband.

He thinks she should still spread them anyway, as a ‘marital duty’. She has other ideas.

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People are too lazy and too selfish .. Simple as . It's all about ' What can you do for me? ' ... a spark goes out of a relationship when two people stop trying , stop listening to each others needs , go back to default mode and never compromise .... So they do what comes natural and end up looking else where . Not all marriages are on the rocks , some are real happy ... and no thats not my faith talking .... they just are , because they BOTH make it work . I have known some people in a relationship where they give up soo easily and ready to end everything over the smallest of things ... its hard to please someone .... everyone has high expectations . Men and women have different needs , women want affection and romance to last ... men want a delicious sex life ... i hope that when i find the one , we will know each other well enough to unite these needs together . I have learnt so much from this job and that is ... to listen to your partner and be honest with what your lacking ... don't dwell on the fact everything has dried up .. get off your high horse and do something about it or lose the one you love . : ) x

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I think men and women are quite different when it comes to the need and motivation for sex. A woman generally seems to need to have an emotional impetus to have and enjoy sex. Without it she feels used. A man’s sexual urges tend to be more of the scratch an itch variety, even if he may well have a strong need to express affection during sex. I think that is the reason why so many women think prostitutes are trafficked or coerced, because they cannot imagine having sex without attraction, which involves emotion, be it for a man she has just met, or a long time lover.

When women withhold sex I would imagine it is because she simply cannot face it. One woman once described it as the equivalent of a man trying to force himself to have sex with a limp dick. Another compared it to eating chocolate cake while someone is cutting your leg. These are strong reactions, and show that a woman often finds it very hard to simply lie back and think of England when she doesn’t feel desire.

Some women may well manipulate men by withholding sex and creating a barter system. However, they are able to do this because they are not in love. A woman who is in love (rather than just loving her man), or who has that adrenalin rush of sexual desire, is not likely to make things difficult or be hard to get. So I cannot help but conclude that sexless marriages are, for the most part (and leaving aside the physical causes), the result of the wife no longer loving or desiring the husband.

He thinks she should still spread them anyway, as a ‘marital duty’. She has other ideas.

Obviously it is not about insisting on performance of conjugal contract. As if that would work.

My issue is that a case can be made that there is a double standard operating here where women don't want sex but don't want their husbands getting it elsewhere. Prostitution fills the gap.

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Really interesting post. What about the situations where the woman wants sex and the man doesn't?? :-) I've ended up being in a marriage where I have sex with my wife Once or twice every month. Main reason being that there is no physical attraction anymore and the inability for me to cum when we do end up having sex (no problems her climaxing). Love her to bits and want to have children, but she has made it clear she won't have kids until we 'sort out' our sex life! Resentment on both sides.

I feel guilty for not satisfying her need ( and believe me she makes me feel guilty!) and at the same time think I need to be a bit more selfish and think about my own needs.

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An interesting side discussion for me is 'does my wife not want sex any more?' or 'does she not want sex with ME any more?'

Mine has had some fairly horrific mental problems (see posts passim). If the upshot of this is that sex with anyone is impossible, then i have to be the 'carer' (plus if she can't fuck anyone, then she's unlikely to be able to start a new relationship so leaving consigns her to eternal solitude, which is a horrible thing to do to someone). Not a great situation but I did say 'in sickness and in health' and I meant it.

If on the other hand, she has lost interest in sex just with ME (or in our case, is clinically incapable only with me), then it's a whole different ball game. Especially as I've met someone amazing.

Tricky problem.

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As many women discover, to their cost, having used sex as a weapon once too often.

xxx

Pru

That is quite insightful, particularly the following.

If she always says no, eventually she will lose that power.

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I just read this in the comment section of a site talking about alpha and beta males. I thought it shed some light on the problems some board members have with sexless marriages.

The first part is a quote from a female poster, the rest is the post by a man.

If it’s a long-term love people want, there’s a lot of compromise involved, and I think sexual chemistry is often one of the compromises.

That’s precisely the problem, and you expressed it beautifully, but only from the woman’s perspective. She’s sacrificing sexual chemistry for other considerations. But the guy views it differently: he’s sacrificing random variety for what he thinks is a sure thing, never realizing she’s already discarded sex as an object. To the guy, this exchange seems mercenary, since sex with his wife remains a prime motivator for marriage.

I’ve seen three marriages among my friends founder this past year on this point, when the wife stops “feeling it” for her husband (little surprise there, since she’s never really felt it to begin with, since she married him for other reasons). And since the reasons why she doesn’t “feel it” any more remain locked within the female subconscious, he’s left scrambling to get back in her good graces without knowing exactly how. She eventually gets addicted to the power this gives her over her husband, it’s a game where she defines the rules at her whim.

Just spotted this article today.

Not really had time for thought about it, but this quote did strike:

"And the one doing the shunting should be encouraged to concede that, actually, expecting someone who wants sex to go without it permanently is asking them to go way beyond any reasonable definition of fidelity."

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Just spotted this article today.

Not really had time for thought about it, but this quote did strike:

"And the one doing the shunting should be encouraged to concede that, actually, expecting someone who wants sex to go without it permanently is asking them to go way beyond any reasonable definition of fidelity."

It's interesting that a woman wrote that the wives should 'given him one'!

I think men and women should be more realistic when it comes to relationships. A woman has to realise that few men can live in a relationship without sex, and a man has to realise that if a woman no longer wants sex, she is either suffering from some unfortunate physical issues, or, she doesn't really love him any more.

Women in love love to fuck.

I think the advice that agony aunts and uncles give is also probably not always helpful. I don't say that helping around the house more, helping with the children and offering back rubs would not all be very much appreciated. However, in some cases the advice seems to want to mould the husband into some 'new man' type, all nice and sensitive, which is about as sexy as a limp lettuce.

Without having to go all Captain Caveman, a man can probably spark as much sexual interest by being strong, confidant and sexually assured, as he can by being all caring and sharing. If a woman has settled for someone she never really desired deep down, then after the initial honeymoon period has gone, all the back rubs in the world aren't going to make her want him. It will probably do the opposite.

We can none of us control who we are attracted to. A man can't will himself to be turned on by Doris Karloff, any more than a woman can will herself to be attracted to her husband. The problem occurs when she wants to remain in the relationship, due to having children, ease and comfort, familiarity, financial stability, the fear being alone, or, even worse, the sheer effort of going out dating again.

When it comes to punting, or extra marital activities, I think a wife will feel that the man shouldn't be having sex with other women because if she is not being turned on enough to have sex with him, then it is unfair that he should get turned on elsewhere. She has given up on her sex life and avoided cheating, so why should he have what she has denied herself?

It is a dog in a manger attitude for sure, but from the woman's perspective it is understandable. He doesn't do it for her, doesn't make her wet for him, and yet she is willing to stick in the relationship. Why should he have what she doesn't?

Again, I think it all comes down to fundamental differences in how men and women view sex. Women tend to need a strong emotional drive to enjoy sex. They need to be comfortable with the man, but not too comfortable. There needs to be a spark of excitement and they need to be attracted to the whole man, physically and psychologically. Men tend to just want to fuck a good looking woman and respond sexually in more overtly physical, rather than emotional, ways. As I said before, it's an itch that needs to be scratched, and it doesn't always need any one particular woman to do the scratching.

The fact that men might want more cuddles as the article suggests doesn't mean they behave in ways more typical of feminine sexual desire, just that they like physical intimacy more than has been previously supposed.

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Just spotted this article today.

Great piece, I found it yesterday. Interesting comments too, such as this one from "GenerallyHappy":

I've been married a long time to a truly wonderful woman, who decided sex had served its purpose when our child was born. That was nearly 20 years ago.

Our life is generally very happy, I love her very dearly and we look after each other, but it's very difficult, as the article states, when one of you is still interested in having a sex life and the other isn't. You know all the things you are supposed to do - be patient, be understanding, try to gently build intimacy back etc. Sometimes and for some people they may work. For me they didn't.

I ended up tackling the question head on a few years back, and was met with floods of uncomprehending tears - genuine distress - and cries of "I thought we were happy" and "I thought we were past all that sort of thing".

Oh, and nice plug for this site from "Brownly" on p3 of the comments!

Edited by Vin DaLoo

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It's interesting that a woman wrote that the wives should 'given him one'!

I think men and women should be more realistic when it comes to relationships. A woman has to realise that few men can live in a relationship without sex, and a man has to realise that if a woman no longer wants sex, she is either suffering from some unfortunate physical issues, or, she doesn't really love him any more.

Women in love love to fuck.

I think the advice that agony aunts and uncles give is also probably not always helpful. I don't say that helping around the house more, helping with the children and offering back rubs would not all be very much appreciated. However, in some cases the advice seems to want to mould the husband into some 'new man' type, all nice and sensitive, which is about as sexy as a limp lettuce.

Without having to go all Captain Caveman, a man can probably spark as much sexual interest by being strong, confidant and sexually assured, as he can by being all caring and sharing. If a woman has settled for someone she never really desired deep down, then after the initial honeymoon period has gone, all the back rubs in the world aren't going to make her want him. It will probably do the opposite.

We can none of us control who we are attracted to. A man can't will himself to be turned on by Doris Karloff, any more than a woman can will herself to be attracted to her husband. The problem occurs when she wants to remain in the relationship, due to having children, ease and comfort, familiarity, financial stability, the fear being alone, or, even worse, the sheer effort of going out dating again.

When it comes to punting, or extra marital activities, I think a wife will feel that the man shouldn't be having sex with other women because if she is not being turned on enough to have sex with him, then it is unfair that he should get turned on elsewhere. She has given up on her sex life and avoided cheating, so why should he have what she has denied herself?

It is a dog in a manger attitude for sure, but from the woman's perspective it is understandable. He doesn't do it for her, doesn't make her wet for him, and yet she is willing to stick in the relationship. Why should he have what she doesn't?

Again, I think it all comes down to fundamental differences in how men and women view sex. Women tend to need a strong emotional drive to enjoy sex. They need to be comfortable with the man, but not too comfortable. There needs to be a spark of excitement and they need to be attracted to the whole man, physically and psychologically. Men tend to just want to fuck a good looking woman and respond sexually in more overtly physical, rather than emotional, ways. As I said before, it's an itch that needs to be scratched, and it doesn't always need any one particular woman to do the scratching.

The fact that men might want more cuddles as the article suggests doesn't mean they behave in ways more typical of feminine sexual desire, just that they like physical intimacy more than has been previously supposed.

There is more to it than those points you have raised. Firstly - this is not a war between the sexes as some people seem to think. The guy who said his wife only wanted sex until she had their child is not alone. There are women who are like this and they do not intend to be so. It seems that Mother nature steps in as a contraceptive after the baby is born, and never leaves... until she wants to have another child, and it's not funny if you are in a marriage like that - for either of you - because the constant pressure to have sex when you do not want to must be horrible for her; and then there is this poor husband who has done nothing wrong - must be thinking he drew the short straw........

It's hard work keeping a marriage alive when you are in love and fancy each other, let alone when you have a family, and a job and are tired most of the time. The cuddles thing for some women is a thing they dread, because a cuddle leads to sex, and they are craving sleeeeeeep...LOL

Setting time aside for sex ruins the spontaneity. It's a difficult one, and communication is the key. I agree some women use sex as a weapon, but they don't deserve to be beaten with that weapon by a husband who only wants to have sex when and if it suits him.

Men are from Mars you know

LOL

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Mostly agree with Sarah. Women's sex drive does change, particularly after they have had all the babies they want, and it is not cynically trapping a man into marriage with no intention of carrying on the sex. Some do, but it is not fair to tar them all with the same brush.

I don't really understand the point about the husband who only wants sex when it suits him. That sounds like a man who refuses to play when his wife wants to play, criticising her for not wanting to play when he does. I suspect that is not what you meant. I think you may have meant that a husband should not accuse his wife of using sex as a weapon, when all that has happened is that her desire for sex has just gone away, in which case I agree with you.

Unfortunately, communication is very often ineffective even when carried out with sensitivity, and just entrenches people in their positions.

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There is more to it than those points you have raised. Firstly - this is not a war between the sexes as some people seem to think. The guy who said his wife only wanted sex until she had their child is not alone. There are women who are like this and they do not intend to be so. It seems that Mother nature steps in as a contraceptive after the baby is born, and never leaves... until she wants to have another child, and it's not funny if you are in a marriage like that - for either of you - because the constant pressure to have sex when you do not want to must be horrible for her; and then there is this poor husband who has done nothing wrong - must be thinking he drew the short straw........

It's hard work keeping a marriage alive when you are in love and fancy each other, let alone when you have a family, and a job and are tired most of the time. The cuddles thing for some women is a thing they dread, because a cuddle leads to sex, and they are craving sleeeeeeep...LOL

Setting time aside for sex ruins the spontaneity. It's a difficult one, and communication is the key. I agree some women use sex as a weapon, but they don't deserve to be beaten with that weapon by a husband who only wants to have sex when and if it suits him.

Men are from Mars you know

LOL

A woman not wanting sex after childbirth is a physical issue, and, as I said in my post, there are always physical reasons why women, and indeed men, go off sex. There are also psychological states which can depress a sex drive, such as stress and depression. And, as you mention, a desperate need for sleep can also be a passion killer.

I'm not sure everyone would necessarily agree with me, but I would always see a low libido as a serious problem (in myself if I had it, or in others), which needs some sort of treatment, with differing treatments depending on the cause. However, in some case I think sex dries up, not because there is anything physically or mentally wrong with either partner, but simply because one, or both, no longer fancy one another. Sex may have become routine, or the once desired partner is no longer desirable.

I think it is often the case with women that they marry a man who was simply available at the right time, just to be married and have children, and after a while the impetus to pretend, and the motivation to breed, goes and so does their sexlife. With a man he may have married her when she looked nice and made an effort, but dull routine and a poor diet has made her not quite what she once was. I noticed that one of the women commenting on the article mentioned body issues, her own and her husband's. His extra weight and beard made him much less sexy to her, so men aren't the only 'shallow' ones.

Women generally seem to find it very hard to have sex without attraction, just as men find it hard to get hard for an ugly woman. The problems really arise when a husband or wife no longer wants to do the dirty, but won't face the needs of the other, fairly and squarely. If you don't seek help or admit that you no longer fancy your other half then you are not behaving fairly to them.

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I'm in this situation at the moment - my wife has totally gone off first sex, then affection since our child was born. She says that all her energy goes into work / child, which I can understand for sex, but not for affection.

(and no, she's not having an affair, because she never goes out apart from to work, where she works a busy job with very short hours. I'd be quite frankly impressed if she could fit one in. :D )

I'm working on it with patience (it's been a couple of years since birth of child), but if becomes clear this situation is permanent, I will have no choice but to end our relationship. At the moment I'm living with a housemate, not a spouse.

Edited by miaow99

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