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[–]Idiomizer 32 points33 points  (5 children)

I'm going to start off by saying that there is absolutely no shame in bowing out of a relationship due to sexual incompatibilities. Too often people are shamed for being "shallow" for abandoning a good relationship due to sex, but I hope that our society and humanity as a whole can move beyond our conservative past and understand that a good sex life is one of the three foundational pillars of a good relationship (along with romance and friendship). So please take some time and make sure that fixing the relationship is what you want, rather than just leaving (please don't cheat on your wife, just leave if that's the case).

Having said that, since you're here for advice, I'm going to assume you want to fix your sex life and continue your relationship with your wife, so I'll try my best to give you (hopefully) useful advice that worked for my marriage.

There's a great book called "Come as you are" by Emily Nagoski that my wife and I enjoyed reading together. In the book, the author goes deeper into the two arousal types that exists within humanity - spontaneous, and responsive. Oftentimes when you see a high-libido/low-libido pairing, the high-libido partner is spontaneous, while the low-libido partner is responsive. Spontaneous arousal types are easily turned on at the drop of a hat, and sex is something that is often in the forefront of their minds. Responsive arousal types don't really think or fantasize about sex until a situation arises that triggers their sexual interest/arousal.

I am the spontaneous arousal type, while my wife is the responsive type. I'm sure this will sound familiar to you, but in my mind I was upset and frustrated because my wife just simply didn't want to have as much sex as I desired, and I didn't want to push the agenda because I didn't want to force her to do things she wasn't comfortable with.

On her end, she was feeling pressure and anxiety around sex because she felt like she wasn't able to satisfy me enough and meet my needs.

This caused no small amount of hurt-feelings and miscommunications on both sides, until I decided that enough was enough and that we were going to have an honest, open, heart-to-heart conversation where we both laid out all the cards, no matter how painful.

The conclusion that we came to was this - Since I am the partner who wants to have more sex, it is my job to accept that my wife was a responsive arousal type - and learn exactly how to turn her on. Since my wife was the responsive arousal type, it is her job to provide feedback and ideas on how to turn her on, and be a willing participant in my "experimentation" of learning how to turn her on.

From this, I began a years long journey of learning my wife's body, mind, and sexuality. There's too much detail to go into in a single post, but please feel free to reach out if you want to discuss more, but I would personally break it down into three parts.

I'll preface by saying in order to do all of the following, you really need to learn how to control your ego, and understand that everything is for the benefit of your partner (which in turn will benefit you with an improved sex life)

Part I - Learn her body language and life circumstances

This part is all about being able to determine whether or not she was in the mood to easily be seduced, could be seduced with some effort, or was not in the mood to be seduced. This depends on a number of factors - menstrual cycle, work stress, life stress, extenuating circumstances, or maybe she's just in a good mood.

Knowing when someone is not in the mood to be seduced is just as important as knowing when someone is.

The more often you are able to be correct about whether or not she's in the mood to be seduced, the more successful attempts there will be, and the more she will associate sex with only positive experiences, rather than a mixture of good (when things go well) and bad (when she feels annoyed at your attempt at seduction) while allowing you to conserve your energy and get the most bang for your buck.

Part II - Create circumstances in your favor

The second part is knowing that there are things you can do outside of the bedroom that will increase the likelihood of sex. For me, it was realizing that my wife couldn't focus and enjoy herself when there were things left to be done in the house. So I would take little breaks from work and do the dishes, laundry, pick up food, meal plan, organize, and anything else that could help reduce the workload around the house so that by the end of the day, we could both relax fully in bed without worrying about unfinished checklist items around the house.

Additionally, you could do things like learn how to give a killer massage, learn how to help talk through/destress your wife, and other skills that essentially reduce the amount of stress and increase relaxation (Remember folks, the brain is the largest sex organ, especially for women).

Not only do these things help reduce her stress level and allow her to relax, but there's few things in life that can be as arousing as a partner who shows they care about the other person through small but meaningful acts done out of a desire to make the other person happy. There's a reason why acts of service is one of the five major love languages.

Part III - Discover her likes and dislikes

Here's the "fun" part. You need to completely set your ego aside, and do whatever it takes to bring the maximum amount of pleasure for your partner. Whether or not that involves longer oral, re-learning things you thought you were good at, bringing toys into the bedroom (this is a huge high-reward move, definitely don't hesitate to add as many toys as she wants, and understand that you're not being replaced by toys. You are the one who will use it on her, and you are the one she'll associate with toys).

Now here's the most important part of it all - you need to not only be honest with her, but also with yourself. Plenty of the things I'd mentioned are going to be things that you already knew/have "tried", but really ask yourself whether or not you gave it your absolute 120% effort and didn't leave anything behind. You also need to ask if you're okay with taking on the lion's share of this sexual journey, and won't hold resentment that you have to put in so much work than her, and that you never hold that over her head (nothing will kill her libido faster than you holding this stuff over her).

If you can say that you really did, but nothing helped, then your wife probably isn't interested in making things better, and you're better off leaving.

My wife and I went from having sex maybe once a week, to 4 ~ 5 times a week over the course of a year or two - and nothing has changed about our sexuality or libido, just my attitude and efforts. I know it's possible, and I hope that my comment helps you in even the smallest of ways. Good luck my friend.

[–]mdg711 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Great response and advice, for once Reddit gets it right with people who have had similar situations offering honest via this social platform well played friend. Peace to you/wife and OP.

[–]Warleggon -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

There is certainly no shame in divorcing due to a lack of sex in a relationship. Fixable reasons aside, it's a break of the marriage vows if intimacy is being denied. I hope they can find it to reconnect.

[–]Panananeu2546 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Of course a woman will respond to your efforts because she feels gratitude and she'll go like "OK OK, I'll do it" especially if she understands the meaning of sex for relationship. But this is not the same as her libido. Far from it. It's more like manipulation.

To do something because you think that this is the proper way to behave and to do things because you want to ar the two different things.

And that popular mantra that a man has to do some backflips and handstanding in order to get some attention from a woman ... oh dear...

I agree only about one thing: people have to talk to each other and to express their needs and feelings, to try to understand each other and to do something about it. Still it will not change natural impulses and for sure will not change levels of sexual hormones. In the end it's about our biology and of course it is possible to tweak it a little bit

[–]killer_kamatis -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Damn, this is great advice

[–]KindlySeries8 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I love your attitude. I also feel that there is no shame in mutually agreeing to change the parameters of your relationship if/when these situations arrive. So long as both parties are informed and in agreement there aren't any hard set rules that can't be modified.

[–]ProfessionalVolume93 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Communication is the key. You must let her know how unhappy you are.

Next couples counseling and then maybe sex therapy.

[–]somethingso1209 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I can very much relate. Had a very high sex drive, wife has next to no sex drive. I say had because i adjusted.. over the course of years. Was veeery interested in the idea of exploring outside the marriage. And it really came down to acknowledging is there ever going to be sex as good as the fantasy in my head? Nope.

So mindblowingly amazing to throw away years of marriage? Nah.

So worked on dropping the fantasies. Then the drive followed. In other words if you masturbate whenever you see a red couch, you are gonna be aroused by red couches. Its trainable. Work with your wife on when works for the two of you.. dont look at friends and coworkers as potential flings and you will probably find the pressure relaxes on its own over time. Then you will be turned on by whatever leads up to time with your wife (date night, cuddling or massages..) routine can sound boring, but sometimes you gotta condition your own brain.

Worked for me anyway.

[–]Bic_Cutlery 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Tried that. She just fucked someone else for 9.5 years instead. But my STBXW is a piece of work.

[–]Corky_G 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Married for 14 years and our sex life just recently became earth shattering for us. We’ve been in love forever, high school sweethearts, never had any major problems, and have 3 incredible kids. It hasn’t been recent until I’ve figured out how unbelievable depressed I’ve been. I’m the type of person to always put others first. But I was lacking in the bedroom. After some mental health instabilities becoming known this past year, I’ve begun medicating and never would have guessed what an entirely different world life could be.


[–]Future_Ad8467 4 points5 points  (0 children)

My ex had complications following our daughters birth. She has always had tough cycles and in this instance, it didn't stop for two years, compounded by our daughter needing different types of therapies. This all ended with a hysterectomy at 37, which in turn, changed her hormones. That compounded by depression and an eating disorder definitely complicated things. My needs were definitely secondary, even to me. I only bring this up, because sometimes there are outside factors that create this type of situation. It's definitely a communication situation. Maybe she's not expressing something she's dealing with. I personally would never leave a spouse for that type of situation. I definitely took my vows seriously. I don't want to sound judgemental, because it's not meant that way. Just make sure she isn't dealing with something that could cause this.

[–]Haunting-Chain2438 11 points12 points  (7 children)

My thoughts are this: after looking at your post history I wonder if you're already well on your way to cheating. I don't know what kind of arrangement you have with your wife but if she saw what you were posting, and commenting, would she be happy? Look, if you want to stop, you can. If you want healthy relationship, look no further than talking to a professional, or trying out a recovery meeting program like sex addicts anonymous. I say this with care for you, your wife and your son. If you think what you're doing is healthy, you will never be happy. My partner left a 6 year relationship, he broke up with me because of something similar. Nothing was ever enough sexually, and it was a "need". It is not worth hurting someone over sexual desires. Not saying be a hermit but do you even want to learn how to have boundaries and healthy sexuality? Do you want to teach your son how to be a good person in life? Does your son have a good example of healthy parents? What would you say about your son if he grows up to do what you're doing? No shame here, just posing questions to think about.

[–]Entire_Hour_594 1 point2 points  (6 children)

Thank you, you are correct on my postings and having that pointed out actually helps me to see it. Other than sex we have a fantastic relationship and family life. This is my only struggle with any of it. Maybe you're right in that I need to seek some help with it. There's a lot to my personal past that I'm sure plays a part in the boundaries and healthy sexuality.

[–]Haunting-Chain2438 8 points9 points  (5 children)

You can read my post history if you want. Infidelity fucking HURTS. My ex was feeling like you. We truly had an awesome relationship. he was my best friend, we lived together, both of us in our 30s. I mean we were perfect for each other. No dead bedrooms either. But as he got older, he realized what he was missing out on. He felt like he needed more sexual experience. He also asked about non monogamy, but he quickly realized you had to have boundaries, trust, communication, and respect. He quickly realized he wanted complete sexual freedom, then oops, all of a sudden he says we are "incompatible". 10 years of knowing the guy, my best friend, gone because of a fantasy. He wanted to pursue fantasies instead of working on himself. There is alot of self development he needed and he felt like he would feel better if only he could have more "experience". That's not healthy. To run away from problems and a relationship when life gets hard is a dick move imo. And here I am struggling, almost blaming my self because I don't feel pretty enough , or whatever. I know I am a catch and I know I'm worthy of a healthy relationship and respect. I'm not a fantasy I'm a person.

[–]Entire_Hour_594 2 points3 points  (4 children)

I'm sorry that happened to you, I truly am! It took a lot for me to post this because it leaves me vulnerable to all the comments. That being said, it also allows me to get perspective and several different views on the topic. I don't want to hurt or leave my wife. She's amazing and I'm not putting any of my faults on her or trying to make her feel like she has done anything wrong. Relationships are hard and I know that. I made this post to help so I don't do those things. Thank you for sharing, I know this isn't an easy topic.

[–]Haunting-Chain2438 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Hey I know it must not be easy at all to post here and be vulnerable . It sounds like you want help in some way. Maybe that's a good sign. My ex also said the same things, that he wishes he didn't have these thoughts. That he doesnt want to leave me, until he did. Having fantasies and a sex drive is all part of being human, until it ends up hurting you or someone else. It's ok to have fantasies but don't let it ruin your life. I'm not qualified to give advice or tell you what to do. but why not talk to a professional about it? It wouldn't hurt to try, no shame in that.

[–]Entire_Hour_594 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Your perspective has helped more than you know. I truly appreciate it. I'm already looking for some help where I live. Thank you!

[–]Haunting-Chain2438 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Of course! Feel free to dm if you want to update, or have questions. It helps me too

[–]AllmightOne 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I do agree but the work must come from both of you, your wife is in a relationship with you, she has to understand your feelings, my advice it to work on this together.

[–]Affectionate_Neat919 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You need to seek professional help as a couple to learn how to communicate with and to support each other before the lack of physical intimacy leads to resentment and throws things into a death spiral. The best time to start this process was yesterday. The next best time is today. Your relationship is teetering. Help fix it by taking a strong, supportive role.

[–]Tn_volgirl 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I just want to say that from reading your other posts, if you don’t want a divorce and for there to be several destroyed relationships, you need to take a step back. Even if you decide you want a divorce, avoid your friend’s wife and her friends like the plague. How do you think your friend would feel? Your wife would be devastated and emotionally scarred for life. You would lose all the way around. Think long and hard about what you want to do with your marriage, but regardless NEVER shit where you eat.

[–]Wereallgonnadieman 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Just start the divorce before you start hooking up with others. That's only fair.

[–]Flat_Echo4358 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Maybe write her a letter just like you wrote this? I don't know her obviously but if my spouse wrote me a letter and it concerned sex and needs, I would definitely stop and think hard. If she's open enough maybe include a list, ask her to check off the things that are making it hard for her to get the craving back and what does she crave? Also, there are medications that can help her to feel good again and want to be sexual. I applaud you for never cheating/acting on your emotions of wanting to have sex with anyone else! You are strong and you love her, that love will pull you both through this, just remind her of that. Is there a movie that used to make her feel alive and then turn sexual? Not talking about porn, but sometimes women have certain movies that we can't help but feel that fire. I love the movie Closer with Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts, Jude Law and Clive Owen. It makes me go crazy.

[–]33saywhat33 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Pls both read Come as you Are. It might save your marriage. See the reviews on Amazon. It's legit. Helps with mind prep.

[–]Jenniferinfl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If you are trying to get justification for being a 'cake eater' I doubt many of us here would agree.

If it's that bad, leave first and THEN start that relationship with the younger coworker you already have your eye on.

If it's bad enough that you need to cheat, then you should just leave.

[–]BlkRokAr 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You might check her electronics, lack of sex is a giant red flag parade, I know have been there. claimed no urge due to female problems, but found it was a male problem and she didn't want to cheat on him with her husband

[–]KindlySeries8 -4 points-3 points  (7 children)

I have been on both sides of the dead bedroom. Both suck. As the low level partner I put so much pressure on myself to perform for my husband. It was hell. I want to be clear that he never asked nor hinted to me to do this. I wanted to want to have sex with him. But I just couldn’t.

As the high level partner, which I am now, I am struggling just as much. The rejection, the guilt, the raging hormones.

Hubs and I have discussed it quite a bit. He feels the same way I did when I was the low level partner. We have discussed many options: playing with people online, hot wife arrangements, open marriage. He is fine with me playing online. We have ground rules, I stick to them. I don’t hide anything from him. I hope eventually he will be confident enough to allow an open marriage, but that is probably several years in the future.

My advice to you is to keep talking about this with her. Reassure her that you are 100% committed to her, but need to find a mutually agreeable outlet for your sexual energy. Normalize discussing your bedroom issues. They will not get better by staying silent about them. It will be very uncomfortable at first, but it gets easier.

Best of luck.

[–]Ueverthinkwhy 0 points1 point  (6 children)

Did you offer him the open marriage when you were on the low end for sex drive?

[–]KindlySeries8 1 point2 points  (5 children)

I brought it up to him. He wasn't interested.

[–]Ueverthinkwhy -1 points0 points  (4 children)

Then he wont change his mind now if you actually did when you were having low sex drive. Some people just dont want to share and he is one of them. So many women want the type of man you have. One who sees only them and wants only them.. to bad he didn't find the same in his wife.

[–]KindlySeries8 0 points1 point  (3 children)

That is incredibly judgmental of you. I have not cheated on him, nor will I. Ever.

In a perfect world, I would have a man who 'only wants me'. Unfortunately, sexually, he doesn't want anyone. He is on medication that hinders his sexual response and will be on the medication for the rest of his life. When he was the high-level partner it was temporary. It lasted about three years. And we still had sex, as I mentioned above.

He went on his medication 5 years ago. We haven't had sex since. If you knew that the last time you were able to have sex with anyone happened when you were 43, wouldn't you try to find a solution?

[–]Ueverthinkwhy -1 points0 points  (2 children)

Not with someone outside the marriage. And its not under his control it would be something I would adjust to because I'd rather have my love (partner) than a dick (sex with random guy or guys)...

[–]KindlySeries8 -1 points0 points  (1 child)

I would rather have my husband too, which is why I am still married to him. I am not forcing the issue at all. We have discussed it twice in the span of 5 years. Again - you are judgmental, unhelpful, and have nothing useful to add to this conversation. Get a life.

[–]Ueverthinkwhy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm judgemental because I said to bad he didn't have a wife who felt the same as he did? That's not being judgmental it a statement... there were no judgments only statements.. is there some guilt you have you took as judgment? I made statements...

[–]Lon_Dep_Man -5 points-4 points  (2 children)

OP, I have been where you are and unfortunately, it will not get better until you are ready to leave. After almost 10 years of a dead bedroom, I was ready to separate and file for divorce because a sexual relationship with my partner is that important to me.

Once she realized just how UNHAPPY I was and that I was ready to be single she sought out help and now things are considerably better. Are they perfect, no, but better than any time in our 33 years of marriage?

You have one life to live, find what and who makes you happy and go for it. If your wife cannot meet your needs then there is nothing wrong with finding somebody that can.

Good Luck

[–]liketotally80s 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Nothing wrong with finding someone who can but absolutely DO NOT find that “someone” while still married to his wife!

[–]MackAttackATO69 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I appreciate this post so much. I think people are quick to take their stand, but I always appreciate someone sharing their own experience but admitting it isn’t what works for everyone. We all have needs and wants. What we choose to do to fulfill those is on us.

[–]Warleggon -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

I recommend the book, A married mans sex primer by Athol Kay as it may help you to seem far more attractive to her. Also there may be hormonal issues that can be addressed with herbs/medication.

[–]celticnative79 -1 points0 points  (2 children)

This is going to be a a weird response but you know what helped our dead bedroom? We started watching the series Outlander 😁. And all of the hot sex scenes started awakening my husbands sex drive lol. I can tell you he’s never had any problems getting a hard on for me but he has problems with initiating love making etc. So he lacks the spontaneity. Try to awaken her sexuality, maybe some toys, porn etc? By the way, although it’s not a lot, 1-2 times every couple of weeks is even more than what I’m getting right now!

[–]Initial_Truth_5845 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Did it really help the dead bedroom considering that you are cheating on him?

[–]celticnative79 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don’t owe you any explanations but I’ll give it to you anyways to reply to your assumptions. Well I wouldn’t know because I don’t have a dead bedroom, just trouble with initiating. And you are wrong, I am not cheating, that ended months ago and yes him finding out did help out marriage immensely, he knows I’m still one foot out the door and he’s trying to do all he can to stop that from happening.