At what point do I stop judging myself and start asking her to find answers to OUR problems?

Submitted by Kuwajleen on
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I am new to this forum and even after spending 2 hours reading I feel so much better about my sexual frustrations. One subject or detail that I have not seen yet though is regarding my Subject line. My wife and I are in love. We have been together for over 2 years now. Like all of our past relationships, the sex was intense for us for about the first 6 months of our marriage. As we grew closer together and in love the sex became less frequent. At first I was very disappointed about this because I was still very much attracted to my wife. She indeed admitted that she "has always been that way" - meaning she has always lost a little interest in sex in her relationships at a point - but not entirely. We have talked at length about the issue of me being so attracted to her and her simply not being interested for what amounts to about 90% of the time. She's very kindly assures me that she doesn't want another man, isn't having an affair and is indeed still very much in love with me. The only reasoning that she has given me for the lack of interest in sex is that she says her "mind" wants me, but her "body" doesn't. We have sex about once a month now and about 5 times a month she turns me down when I try to advance on her sexually. The turning down sends my ego absolutely through the roof and when I try to talk to her about it she doesn't know what to say. Actually, a few weeks ago she did say that it makes her feel like I'm unhappy with my life when I get all upset and obsessed over not getting to have sex with her.

At this point I am so confused. I don't know what to do with the intense sexual energy and lust I have for my wife and to add insult to injury she doesn't have it for me 90% of the time. I am not an every day person - I don't need to have sex every day. As a matter of fact, what's more important is that my wife actually WANTS to have sex with me even if it's once a month or less. She says that she shows her love for me in so many other ways and that she wonders if I see it. Of course I do. If I was only interested in having sex I'd be single. Oh, and we're are supposed to be trying to get pregnant too.

I obviously want to find out - if I can - why I am feeling so frustrated. Many thoughts and feelings have gone through my head and heart and not all of them are good. This website has helped already with it's scientific evidence and with helping me realize what I feel is real. It may not all stem from good things but I am not insane. BUT, when do I turn to my wife and ask her to take responsibility and find answers. To me I am being a normal individual who simply loves his wife and wants to enjoy every part of her. Yes, my obsession / frustration with her is something that I can prove through science but there is another side to the story. My wife just takes this situation as "it is what it is" and there is no problem and the more I harp on her about it the less she has to say.

Welcome to the forum

I am sorry that your wife doesn't seem more interested in taking responsibility for the problems you have. However, whose fault your problems are and who is motivated to find a solution are matters of little importance next to whether or not a solution actually exists, right?

Actually, you're really fortunate, because you still have a wife who genuinely loves you, and because by finding this site, you have stumbled into what may be one of the best long-term solutions to your dilemma.

May I suggest you stop judging yourself right away, learn here about how to fix your problems, and THEN ask for her cooperation in learning about and implementing those solutions?

On a side note, when you say you are "supposed to" be trying to get pregnant..."supposed to" according to whom?? Is this a point of some ambivalence or disagreement?

What you are describing

What you are describing about your wifes diminishing appetite for sex is exactly like that of my girlfriend for the last five years. And like you my sexual appetite on the other hand has not known any limit. But I don't feel that pushing your wife in any way is likely to lead to a solution, I actually think it might do the opposite of what you intend. I think if you push her you might scare away that little sex drive she has left and make sex something negative in her mind.

On the plus side I have found that her lack of sex drive might work to my advantage in my trying to gain more control of my own body. I don't know if you have a habit of masturbation, but if you do I suggest you give it a try to leave that habit behind and focus on the love for your wife instead of the lust. This might slow the urges down a little and I've also found it to increase my girlfriends urges ever so slightly.

This is a painfull situation, that I know too well. I have at times considered leaving the girl I love out of fear that I might hurt her by letting lust lead me into bed with another woman. I do love her but at times these urges seem more powerfull then love. I think giving in to the urges less frequently will lessen their grip, and focusing on the love possibly makes it stronger.

I don't think there is a straitforward correct answer to this issue but I'm sure there are a lot of different more or less satisfying solutions and that each person and couple has to find the one that works for them. I wish you both luck in solving this issue so you will have less stress and tension in your lives!
Better and better every time! Wink

My first question would be,

My first question would be, is she on the pill? It's well known that the pill decreases libido in women. When I was on it, I felt like there was a film disconnecting myself from my desire. Not to mention the other negative physiological and environmental problems inherent in hormonal regulation of fertility. But I guess since you are trying to conceive she probably isn't on it.

Maybe your wife is more of a Hera or Demeter archetype than she is an Aphrodite? Some women gain more fulfillment out of their role as wives or mothers than they do as lovers.

Is your wife physically healthy? A body that is not well-exercised leads to stagnation, in a very real physical sense. She may have an energy leak in her sexual chackras due to poor muscle tone, poor circulation, or a history of trauma to the area from surgery or other means. Those are just a few of the many reasons she could be physically lacking in desire.

The more spiritual or psychological aspects of desire are more complicated. The purpose of this site is to point out the necessity to approach your beloved with generosity rather than the idea of getting something. It sounds as though you aren't "getting" what you want, and as you've pointed out, the more you try to discuss it, the more she clams up.

I think that you should propose to your wife that you both foregoe sex for two months. That way she will feel safe being physical with you, she won't feel like anything physical is inevitably going to lead to sex. Let her know that you still want to share a lot of physical affection. And then enjoy that for all its worth.

In short, consider doing the exchanges.

You're definitely *not* crazy

Biology is quick to cause separation between lovers. As you've experienced, typically one partner loses interest and the other suffers the steam of frustration coming from the ears...or wherever. And generally one or the other also begins to look seriously at *other* partner possibilities.

So what you're experiencing is normal. It just sucks. Smile

Now that you know that you're up against your design, it's easier to calm down and think strategically. The only solution I've found to this "out of sync" problem is not one you will like the *idea* of, but it *is* one you may learn to like the application of.

It turns out that while orgasm *seems* to be the only way to feel relief from sexual is not. Bonding behaviors and gentle intercourse with periods of relaxation can accomplish the same end...differently. And you may even find that over the long haul you have less frustration this way.

First step, get the sparkle going between you regularly. Bonding behaviors ( are a clever strategy for restoring and strengthening the gushy feeling between you and your wife, because they speak directly to both your subconsciouses without words or argument. However, they don't achieve this goal as well if they're used as foreplay. (Foreplay is too greedy and goal-driven to speak to the bonding mechanism in the brain.) So bonding behaviors can help recalibrate the relationship between you, but they work indirectly. The "Exchanges" that someone mentioned above are a 3-week program of these affectionate activities that strengthen bonds. The first two weeks don't include intercourse, but you may find that your frustration *decreases* while doing them. That's quite an important discovery for many reasons. If you want to try them, email me privately and I'll send them. Here's an article about them:

When it comes to intercourse, vigorous sex can backfire. Best case it leads the lovers to be "addicted" to each other for a time (with the help of an extra dollop of "honeymoon" neurochemistry). However, among mammals sexual satiety is actually a signal for "OK, we're done here...time to lose interest and move on." So that great lovemaking you're providing for your wife, in your attempt to be the best lover she could ever want, may actually be sending her a subconscious mating signal that makes her *less* interested *because* she has been so thoroughly pleasured. (In contrast, some women get hooked on orgasm and just get more and more demanding. That sounds good, but if it has ever happened to you, you know it can actually push the *man* away after awhile. It's not comfortable to be someone else's "fix.")

See how sneaky biology is? The ancient Chinese Taoists cracked the code thousands of years ago. They figured out that if you don't send that "sexual satiety" signal to each other, both partners tend to stay more interested. Their biological "job" is not ever done, so the good feelings continue to flow. The trick is to learn *how* to make love without intense frustration. This requires a very slow, gentle approach with lots of periods of relaxation...and no orgasm (although it will happen from time to time). This article gives you an idea of why relaxation works best:

I totally understand how unfair it seems that your wife isn't meeting your needs. (In my first marriage, it was my *husband* who pulled away from me.) But the thing is, she doesn't *know* why this is happening, anymore than my ex did. Anymore than *any* of us have...except for a few pockets of wisdom, here and there, through the ages. So discussing it with her won't help. She feels something akin to mild revulsion, and as you realize, making love with her in that state is not satisfying to you. At least now you realize that you shouldn't feel insulted. It has nothing to do with *you* or anything you did *wrong.* Nor did you pick the wrong woman.

You just have to find a way to tiptoe around biology, and still nourish you both with frequent loving contact. This requires "rebooting" the relationship, with the emphasis on non-foreplay affectionate exchanges, and then slowly adding intercourse back in...without hammering on the sexual satiety.

I know this is the exact opposite of the advice that you will read from any conventional sexologist, but I can't help noticing that most relationships prove annoyingly fragile, or unsatisfying over the long-haul. From everything my husband and I are learning, standard sexologist solutions (like watching porn and adding a vibrator to the mix) get short-term results that ultimately assure that biology wins.

Welcome to the forum. Let us know how you get on.

It's just such a relief to

It's just such a relief to read your sensible advice Marnia. I have been thrashing around somewhere near the other end of the spectrum from Kuajleen and I have to say my reality can be like riding a dreamtime eel in whitewater.

I left my sons mother in the first year after he was born because sex once a month really didn't work for me. Man that's painful.

Kuajleen, I really encourage you to try the principles on this site. You will learn things about yourself that are really worth knowing. Sex without orgasm can be wonderful. I have had an experience of a radical shift in my relationship around sex as a result of applying this info. Also my own attitudes are changing fairly rapidly. Good luck!


Your story resonates with me, to a certain extent. I can remember various periods during our married life when my wife’s and my sexual appetite seemed way apart. I certainly wouldn’t disagree with the suggestions so far offered, if both you and your wife are willing. However, although I have a consuming interest in the theory laid out on this site, and my wife and I enjoy Karezza on a regular basis, we have not given up orgasm, nor tried the Exchanges, ourselves. Since I can only speak with authority about what we have tried, I must preface my comments by emphasising that the core teaching on this site ought to be the first port of call for any couple wanting to experiment with Marnia’s ideas.

However, if the Exchanges prove to be a difficult proposition, may I suggest an alternative? Next time you have a discussion about this issue with your wife, you could propose scheduling a portion of your your intimacy in a structured way. Initially, this might seem off putting, especially to people more used to what they think of as spontaneity; but from our experience, regularising what is usually haphazard works brilliantly in rebalancing equilibrium in this area. I think it is because it divides the responsibility for initiation, and anticipation, of intimacy equally, so both parties end up alternately seeking the other out, or welcoming their advances; and it does this in a way that guarantees no fear of rebuff.

By ’intimacy’ I mean to include any sexually arousing activity, anything from Marnia’s list of bonding behaviours, or anything else that involves the two of you participating to the exclusion of others. So, you or your wife might want to make love, share a massage, cuddle on the sofa, take a walk, or hold hands. The only stipulation would be that whatever the activity it must be undertaken willingly and wholeheartedly. Obviously, for this to work, there has to be an understanding that neither of you will choose activities that the other abhors, or that the other would find difficulty fitting into their normal schedule.

You would need to decide between yourselves the frequency of events; but the core of this approach is to agree to request intimate contact of some form regularly. We tend to do this on a daily basis (that is, each of us, every other day) not just because we enjoy it so much, but because we’ve found that anything less frequent runs the risk of getting forgotten. I hesitate to suggest this as a starting frequency for you, though, because it might be hard for your wife not to see it as a ‘back door’ route for more sex.

The answer could be for you to agree to each ask the other for an intimate activity every other day; but for there to also be an agreement to limit sexually arousing requests to no more than once a week - or whatever is mutually agreeable. That way, your wife could be confident she would not be under any obligation to be sexually active more than twice a month (double what you say is currently the norm); you could look forward to a minimum of two sexual encounters a month (assuming you decide to ask for them); and you could both wallow in the luxury of knowing you were free to ask for whatever else you fancied at least once every other day.

None of which means you can’t have any amount of intimacy outside of this structure. That’s up to how you approach life. It’s simply an agreement that each of you will independently choose what you would like to happen between you, with the expectation that that request be met with enthusiasm, at least once on each of your designated days.

Although it hasn’t all been plain sailing, we’ve been delighted by the outcome of this simple approach. Not the least gratifying part has been an increasing appreciation of, and appetite for, both sexual and non sexual intimacy, along with a growing understanding of the difference between the two, from both of us, in pretty much equal amounts. We've also grasped that orgasm, while still very enjoyable, can be an option rather than a necessity.

Thanks, Sood

Great practical advice for breaking the deadlock...assuming two willing partners (right Curious Fellow?).

It's very comforting to move *toward* activities you like ("I think I'll have a back rub tonight, Honey.") than just *away* from what the other partner is finding objectionable for the moment. That regular connection between you is *so* important.

I actually think of the bonding behaviors/karezza approach to intimacy as "a smorgasbord of all our *other* favorite things about sex," and that works well. (Intercourse is still in there, too, of course.)

After all, if you go out to eat and they're out of your favorite dessert and you have to have a different one, you still enjoy your meal very much. It's when the choice becomes "sex with orgasm or nothing" that the real pain begins to build up. And that can happen quite innocently, as both parties come to treat *all* affectionate contact as foreplay for orgasmic sex. (Then one avoids it while the other gets even hungrier - and justifiably so.)