In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:
His excuse is always: “I am stressed from work” or “I am tired.” Enough with the excuses, already. Every time I want a hug or kiss or something he acts like it’s this huge problem for him to do it and he huffs and puffs. I feel like he only says “I love you” because it’s routine. I don’t know what to do. I just don’t know who he is anymore or how to fix it because me being open and honest about it always turns into this HUGE fight. He always says that we don’t need to be lovey dovey and make out and stuff because we are married and out of that stage of our relationship now.
I miss so much of what we used to have — the flirting, kissing, hugging, etc. I am just so miserable. What do I do to try and fix it? — Miserable in Hawaii
diamore May 23, 2012, 9:12 am
“We’re out of that stage of our relationship” is a bad, bad excuse. As far as I’m concerned, a couple shouldn’t be “out of that stage”, especially after only being together for about 2 years. Making love isn’t being “lovey-dovey”, it’s sharing intimate parts of who you are with your partner (if that’s how you see it, of course).
I don’t think this really has to do with sex – there has to be another issue going on between the two of you that needs to be discussed. What other things have been ‘going wrong’ in your relationship? What do you end up fighting about other than sex? Maybe he is stressed out and doesn’t want to listen to complaining about why he won’t sleep with you. I dunno, personally, I’d like more information…lol
To be honest, the first thing that crossed my mind is that he’s getting his affection elsewhere, and I only see this in the way he sounds in the letter…
JK May 23, 2012, 9:17 am
I´d like to dedicate this letter to all those guys that say it´s always the woman that stops having sex after marriage.
LW, I guess the only thing I could recommend is couples therapy. I mean it is normal for frequency of sex to fluctuate (a little, not down to once a month, except in extreme circumstances), but the fact that all affectionate gestures have stopped is not normal. And that “that stage is over, we´re married now” is incredibly annoying.
kerrycontrary May 23, 2012, 9:22 am
Affection and sex slowing down so quickly is not normal in any relationship (unless you’ve just had a baby or someone physically can’t do sex). I think that couples counseling is the only answer. This isn’t a problem that can be solved by us readers. Lack of affection and sex are usually signs that there is something wrong either in his life or in your relationship. Maybe he’s completely unhappy at work. Maybe being married didn’t measure up to what he expected. Whatever it is, you need to talk it out and if he’s unwilling to communicate with you then you should probably work through an intermediary like a counselor. I wouldn’t immediately jump to the conclusion that he’s “getting it somewhere else,” but that may become a possibility in the future for him (or even on your side!) if you two don’t resolve this issue.
ktfran May 23, 2012, 9:34 am
I like everything kerrycontrary said.
I only want to add that if he won’t sit down and talk with you, or see a couselor, I would consider MOAing. Honestly. He doesn’t sound like the same person you married, and to pull that kind of bait and switch is wrong. Unless, of course, he is willing to work through these problems.
temperance May 23, 2012, 9:24 am
You haven’t been together as a couple all that long. I’d be curious to know how old you both are.
You should want to have sex with your partner. Period. The fact that he doesn’t want to cuddle or have sex is pretty disturbing, and it’s worse that he’s blaming it on you. He sounds like an overgrown child (who “huffs and puffs” about being affectionate with his WIFE?), and I”m a bit concerned that he might have hid his true self from you in order to get himself a wife by acting affectionate.
I think you need to talk this through with a counselor. Not wanting to have sex or touch your wife is really not normal, and acting like a big stupid baby and whining is not normal.
Addie Pray May 23, 2012, 9:25 am
I think you need a State of the Union meeting. (When I get married, I’m holding annual SOTU speeches – the kind that take over regularly scheduled TV programs.) Schedule a time to talk and then sit him down and let him know how serious this is. (Don’t do it at night after he’s rejected your advances; he’ll just think you’re whining because you want some.) Then you tell him it’s more than just sex. It’s his complete disregard for your needs and then dismissal of your feelings and refusal to compromise. Ask him if there’s something he wants to talk about, you know, like, why he is shutting himself off from you? … If he won’t even listen to you, then that’s …. a really bad sign.
But I don’t know – I’m not sure how long-term relationships work. I am rusty. I think it would be fun to give a SOTU speech though.
SweetPeaG May 23, 2012, 9:32 am
katie May 23, 2012, 9:42 am
(see what i did there?)
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 11:02 am
Addie’s just in the bitter barn about not having a speech to give.
Addie Pray May 23, 2012, 11:16 am
Well, if all goes well on my date tonight, we’ll do it, then we’ll do it a lot, then we’ll get married, then the sex will wane, and then I’ll have speeches to give…. wish me luck!
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 10:00 am
I like this idea. I’m a big fan of writing letters to get my feelings across. So if he gets confrontational when you talk, maybe getting all your thoughts out on paper for him would help.
Something More May 23, 2012, 10:21 am
Me too. I get really emotional when I try to have talks with my SO and usually it’s not even anything dire. I just get all antsy and teary (which i hate!) so I write it all down.
Addie Pray May 23, 2012, 10:23 am
I’m the same way, SM. I get really emotional whenever I am talking about my feelings. It’s really hard for me.
Something More May 23, 2012, 10:46 am
I can thank my ex-husband (together 11 years) whose favorite thing was to tell me that what I thought didn’t matter anyway or that I was crazy. I’m just waiting for the sarcastic response or the “huffs and puffs.” And even tho my boyfriend is the complete opposite, it’s like I’ve been “conditioned” that way. SUPER annoying.
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 10:36 am
Even if you don’t get emotional, I like to make sure I have been clear in every aspect of what I wanted to discuss. I feel like if I write it all out, it will definitely all be there, as opposed to an actual conversation when you might not get everything out/forget some parts.
Something More May 23, 2012, 10:41 am
Yes! I ALWAYS forget something and by that time, the “seriousness” has passed and it’s more of a pain to bring it back up.
bagge72 May 23, 2012, 2:18 pm
Just like Kris and Khloe!
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 2:39 pm
Addie Pray May 23, 2012, 9:44 am
Gasp, you live in Hawaii! I think you should have the Big Talk on the beach with wine (alcohol always makes things better) and one of these: . Your talk will be so much fun.
When I was 14, I flew to Hawaii by myself to visit my brother who was stationed on the big island. On my flight back (Hawaii to Oahu to LA to St. Louis), the Oahu-LA flight got canceled, and I got “stranded” in Oahu for 2 days. By myself, at a hotel. I was scared shitless. (I was the most sheltered, naive, child-like teenager in the whole wide world.) I got so tan that summer. I also developed a love for pineapples. They are the best in Hawaii.
bethany May 23, 2012, 10:05 am
Ooh!! That wine picnic set is really cool!! If only my husband took me on a picnic…
bagge72 May 23, 2012, 2:17 pm
I can’t wait we are going to Hawaii for our honeymoon, and plan on visiting the dole pineapple plantation!
ginger May 23, 2012, 9:27 am
I hate to raise this as a possibility because its probably the last thing the LW wants to hear, but maybe hes sleeping with someone else. A good friend of mine found out the Friday before Mothers Day that her husband had been sleeping with someone else for over 6 months. They had basically stopped having sex and communicating during this time as well, which sounds a lot like this LW’s situation.
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 10:01 am
I don’t think its fair to jump to this.
bethany May 23, 2012, 10:07 am
She “raised a possibility”- she didn’t say that this was what was happening in the LW’s situation. And to be honest, it’s a very valid possibility.
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 10:41 am
I know, I know. But there are a million possibilities. I just felt bad for the LW to come and read that her husband could be cheating, get that in her head and it may be nothing like that. I mean, people are saying maybe he’s gay or depressed or… Well, maybe he’s into banging hippos, or has a secret family, or is a pedophile. Who knows? Of course, its more likely he’s not banging hippos and that’s not the issue, but throwing out a million possibilities doesn’t help.
JK May 23, 2012, 12:05 pm
Yeah, hippos can be mean… 🙂
Natasiarose May 23, 2012, 10:09 am
Eek. I actually think this makes a lot of sense.
GertietheDino May 23, 2012, 9:28 am
Therapy…both together and separate.
THB May 23, 2012, 9:28 am
Well it could be one of several things…
1) He could be depressed. Has anything changed in his life? Something with his family? Maybe the “I’m tired from work” is NOT an excuse. It could be that something is happening there that is really affecting his mood.
2) Maybe the pressure to perform is making him unable or unwilling to perform. However, I do think it is odd that he won’t be hug or kiss you.
3) He could be gay.
Whatever the reason, you need to sit down with him once more and in a very non-accusing way let him know how much his behavior is hurting you and hurting your marriage. Tell him what you need and ask him how you can compromise to get there. Ask him to go to the doctor and get a full work-up. Ask him to go to couples therapy and work through whatever issues have come up between the two of you.
Most of all, he needs to want to improve this situation with you. If he doesn’t and everything between you just ends up in a huge argument again, you have to accept that you can’t do all the work. And then it’s up to you whether or not you can put up with this lack of affection for the rest of your married life.
katie May 23, 2012, 9:29 am
there is no such thing as the affectionate “stage” of a relationship ending because of a marriage. will my married DW-ers chime in here for me? that doesnt just happen. no switch is flipped after the vows are said.
i have no advice for you, but just know that doesnt exist.
JK May 23, 2012, 9:31 am
It is total BS.
JK May 23, 2012, 9:42 am
Things evolve, I guess. I mean, we don´t really make out anymore, but we do hug (those usually turn into family hugs, since the 4 year old butts in), back rubs, pecks goodbye and hello. And my husband has a great butt, so I usually grab it at least once a day 😉
katie May 23, 2012, 9:46 am
that makes sense. that is real life! but to literally, after the honeymoon just be like, oh well im done with all that affectionate crap. we dont have to do that anymore, were married.
come on? really?
JK May 23, 2012, 9:51 am
No, I totally agree with you . I just didn´t want anyone to get the idea that things remain exactly the same, either.
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 10:04 am
I feel a little bad pointing this out, but let this be a reminder to everyone who marries sorta quickly (well, and that communication is key). Its quite possible this guy does think this is just how it is once your married. Maybe if they talked more, or spent more time together before marriage, these things would’ve come up.
ktfran May 23, 2012, 9:37 am
I’m not married, so I can’t answer your question directly . . .
But growing up, my dad would always kiss my mom. And when us kids were all like “ooh, gross”, he would make a big show out of it. Like swing her around, lean her back and kiss her. Disgustinlgly sweet. And gross since it was my parents.
JK May 23, 2012, 9:43 am
That is so sweet. It must be nice growing up with parents that love each other.
SweetPeaG May 23, 2012, 9:51 am
Man, I totally hope to be the kind of Mom that grosses my kids out like this! Awesome!
bethany May 23, 2012, 10:09 am
My parents used to make out in the kitchen, and my dad would grab my mom’s butt. Totally gross! They’ve been married for 39 years, and they have a great relationship (as far as I can tell).
Taylor May 23, 2012, 10:33 am
That makes me happy =)
ktfran May 23, 2012, 10:54 am
Yeah, my parents reached 36 this year. They’re a great example of a loving relationship based on respect and friendship. And believe me, they had struggles. Money, death of a 1 and a half year old child, three more girls, eek!
KKZ May 23, 2012, 4:21 pm
I once overheard my dad proposition my mom in the kitchen while I was in the dining room finishing my dinner. It totally shocked me because my parents were completely nonsexual with each other in front of us kids. Routine hugs and kisses, but I can’t remember any butt-grabbing or anything of the sort, and I’ve never walked in on them doing anything or something like that.
I kinda feel bad for my dad now. I can’t imagine my mom is an easy person to have sex with – she has a lot of hang-ups about what’s appropriate/inappropriate (she is Swiss and boundaries are BIG in Swiss culture). She thinks “french kissing” is totally gross (which I can imagine translates to other sexual acts too). Now that she’s hit menopause, she’s admitted to me her desire for sex is pretty low and sometimes she’d prefer if she and my dad could just “act like old friends” and remove the sexual element. 🙁 And they’re not exactly a “sit down for an open discussion” kind of couple either. But they’re coming up on 25 years and still going strong, from everything I can tell, so I guess it can’t be all bad.
SweetPeaG May 23, 2012, 9:38 am
I am not yet married, but I always hate to hear that crap about people in marriages being miserable and non-affectionate and rarely having sex- and that is just the way it is. I am convinced that doesn’t need to happen. Glad to hear people chiming in that it doesn’t.
cporoski May 23, 2012, 12:28 pm
But there are phases. This LW hasn’t said how long this trend has been going on. But I think it is all about the adjustment. I am seeing this as a hiccup and not a long term problem.
mandalee May 23, 2012, 10:07 am
Complete untrue. I got married in August and with sharing too much information, sex got even better after we got married. We were both more comfortable expressing our needs or weird stuff we wanted to try. I mean, you dedicate to spend your life with one person emotionally and sexually, why not keep it interesting?
We’ve been together 5 years and of course we are not as hot and heavy as were in the beginning, we’re still really affectionate.
Skyblossom May 23, 2012, 10:12 am
Our marriage is still affectionate and we’ve been married for nearly 25 years. I think affection is important to keep you relating to each other, plus it feels good. We snuggle and kiss and hug and make out every so often when the kids can’t see us and slip off for a nap when the kids are around. We’re so old we need lots of sleep 😉
Jiggs May 23, 2012, 10:56 am
Nope, it doesn’t end. We go through stages of more and less, but it’s a constant that it happens, period.
ChemE May 23, 2012, 10:58 am
We’ve been married for 7 years, known each other for 10. And we don’t have sex as often as we used to, but partly because the beginning of our relationship (even after we married) was long distance, so when we met up, we basically wouldn’t go outside the entire time to make up for lost time. Then when we finally did move in together, I’d say that first year or so we spent every second in our apartment naked (which makes it slightly awkward when relatives like to randomly stop by without calling), but as we got used to being around each other all the time, it obviously lessened. We still have sex, far more than once a month. But we kind of cycle, we’ll have sex every day for a week, then maybe once or twice the next week, full on the next, and then nothing for a week. It depends on work, family and what’s going on with life.
But we are still very affectionate towards each other even if we don’t have sex. I think you have to feel that way towards your partner, I mean you married them with the intention of spending the rest of your life together, why be with someone you don’t want intimacy with.
cporoski May 23, 2012, 11:46 am
I think Stage is the wrong word, I think it is the end of courtship and that does take adjustment.
SweetPeaG May 23, 2012, 9:31 am
Ugh, that sucks.
Is your husband on a medication that kills libido? That could be part of the problem. But, it doesn’t explain his lack of affection and rudeness towards you.
I would take a hard look at your approach (although, I suspect none of this is your issue, but you gotta try everything!). When I went through something similar, I was always told that complaining about our lack of sex was a “turn off”. So, before you complain (as much as I don’t blame you for doing so)… do something that might get him in the mood. Offer to give him a massage- since he is so stressed at work, how could he turn this down? Try on something sexy if you think that might help. I feel like the problem is obviously much deeper, but if there are things that might ease his level of stress and get him to remember the way you two used to be, it might be a good starting point. It might help him to regain some of the close feelings.
And, YES, go to couples therapy, if he will agree to it. If he won’t agree to it, then go alone. Maybe a good therapist can give you tips on how to talk to him. This is your marriage, so it is worth trying all sorts of stuff. There could be some underlying anxiety in his life that this could be stemming from. But, in the long run- he needs to know this is no way to run a marriage!
Good luck. I am so sorry you are going through this.
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 10:06 am
maggie May 23, 2012, 1:39 pm
I agree that these are good ideas. But, and I’m being a debbie downer here, I’d mention from experience that frequently making an effort to be seductive and sexy, only to be shot down every time, is even more soul-crushing than being rejected in your sweatpants.
va-in-ny May 23, 2012, 9:36 am
It’s time for the 7 Day Sex Diet!
evanscr05 May 23, 2012, 9:40 am
Sometimes when men have a significant rise in their stress levels, their ability to be “in the mood” drops off drastically and it results in what you are going through right now (though, I will admit, this may not always be true 100% of the time). Not too long into dating my husband, his stress level sored due to his job and all of a sudden we went from pretty much every day to once a month or so. It was awful. I too got on his case about it a little too much, which only made things worse. I had to learn to express myself a little differently so he didn’t feel attacked (and thus naturally defensive) or to add to his stress level.
We, too, got married in September, and while we’ve never returned to our intial dating level frequency, it’s certainly more often than it has been. I actually think getting married has UPPED his ability to get in the mood. I’m more his now (in his mind since we made it legal), and I think that’s something that turns him on some. He works 60+ hour weeks at a job he’s not fond of while putting in a lot of time on school work AND being a new homeowner (and all the fun that comes with that), he’s pretty stressed out most of the time and has very little time as of late for other activities. HOWEVER, it’s still more often than it used to be, and when it isn’t, I don’t pressure him about anymore because it gets me nowhere. I know this about him, so I try to find other ways to satiate myself, or to get him in the mood without asking him about it. You have to figure out what works for your particular man. I know guys are all different, but using the “we’re married now” line is definitely a cop out.
Has anything in life suddenly changed? Does he have a lot more on his plate from his job or his family? You don’t necessarily need to go to counseling to get to the bottom of this, but you do you need to find a better way to approach him with your needs. He probably feels attacked, or nagged, and who wants to get it on when they feel like they are doing it out of obligation rather than pleasure? Really think about what you want to say to him and how you would feel if you were in his shoes. FInd a better way to approach the topic, because it definitely needs to be discussed, so you can figure out WHY there has been a shift. Once you know why, you can start figuring out where to go from there.
Guy Friday May 23, 2012, 10:15 am
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love your advice here. If I could thumbs-up it a million times, I would! The exact same thing happened with my wife and I. My stress level spiked at work, which resulted in me working myself too hard and getting sick, which basically meant that I wasn’t really “in the mood” too often over the past year. Now, I wasn’t as bad as this guy; I’ve never stopped cuddling and kissing and being cutesy with my wife, but the sex wasn’t really happening, either because I wasn’t in the mood, or I wasn’t feeling well, or I’d try and the parts just wouldn’t cooperate. Getting married helped that somewhat, both because of the “she’s more mine” thing you mentioned (which I know sounds chauvinistic, but, hey, it works for guys) and because the honeymoon was the first time in over a year where I really had no stress and no concerns, which — surprise, surprise — made me more able to get in the mood. But it’s not perfect, and until my work life gets a little more manageable, my wife’s accepted that it’s not going to happen every night and that it not happening doesn’t mean I don’t think she’s sexy as hell.
One point I’d add to your analysis is that a lot of times when men get upset about women mentioning it or “nagging” us, it isn’t really about the nagging; it’s about the guilt we feel about not being able to satisfy the woman we’re with. It’s hard to explain beyond the admittedly excuse-like response that it’s a macho thing. Personally, when I couldn’t perform, I felt terrible, because I love my wife and I WANTED to rock her world every night, and I never wanted to make her feel unwanted or undesirable. And it was insanely frustrating to basically fall into a cycle of “we don’t do it, she gets upset, we fight . . . rinse, lather, repeat.”
Now, maybe it is about getting married too early for this guy. Maybe it’s stress. Maybe it’s health issues. Maybe it’s a vicious cycle of self-confidence destruction in the way I mentioned above. Maybe it’s all of the above. But I’d say that before you bring in an outside party to mediate, maybe it’s worth sitting down sometime and just opening up to one another. He may have an understandable reason as to why his mood has changed that he’s just afraid to tell you.
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 10:43 am
I was hesitant to suggest its emasculating for the guy to be nagged/coerced into performing. Glad you did. Great comments, the two of you.
Will.i.am May 23, 2012, 11:20 am
Something else to look into is physical activity. Were you two more outgoing and physical with the gym or outdoors before marriage, and now have both become “couch potatoes.” In my prior relationships, I had a trend of getting lazy within a relationship, which would kill my libido.
Now that I’m doing physical activity 4-5 days a week, I could easily have sex 4-5 days a week. My sex drive increases the more active I am, and decreases the lazier I am.
cporoski May 23, 2012, 11:51 am
this is a good point. If my husband goes to an all you can eat crab legs night, I know there will be no action. A too full belly does not help.
Something More May 23, 2012, 1:14 pm
We call those “crab leg sweats.”
cporoski May 23, 2012, 1:16 pm
Ha!!! I had to role him out of that place, I swear. Last time, it looked like he was pregnant with a crab baby he ate so much 🙂
ReginaRey May 23, 2012, 9:46 am
I think there are two possibilities here (of course, there are probably more than two, but these are the two I think MOST likely).
One — He could have something going on personally that’s affecting his desire for intimacy. Depression, perhaps. Stress at work can definitely take a toll on a person’s sex drive and zap their energy, but I highly doubt that’s the *only* thing going on here. “Stress at work” is the first go-to excuse that people use when there’s something more going on that they may not want to discuss, or that they simply can’t put into words.
Two — You got married rather quickly, which means that your relationship didn’t really have time to fizzle BEFORE you got married. You got married when most people are still in the “honeymoon” phase of the relationship — when you’re still in that lovey-dovey, nothing’s wrong in the world, we’re head over heels in love kind of stage. It seems like that phase, at least for your husband, has come to an end and reality has perhaps set in. Does that mean he wants out of the relationship? Not necessarily…but I wouldn’t rule that possibility out.
No matter what, it’s pretty obvious that you and your husband aren’t communicating with each other…which needs to change, pronto. And if he tries to brush it off and make excuses, I’d definitely recommend some couples therapy. You two need to learn how to communicate what’s going on in a healthy way, without making the other one feel unloved or disrespected.
And while I don’t want to be a total drag, I will say that I think it’s a bad sign that your husband seems “put out” by having to show you physical affection. I’ve seen it happen before, and I’ve done it to an ex-boyfriend. In my case, the reason I was put out by giving my boyfriend affection was because I didn’t really want to be with him anymore. The spark had died, and I had realized we weren’t right for each other…I was just having a hard time admitting it to myself. It’s likely not what you want to hear, but LOTS of relationships end after two years…people have time to test the waters, fight, grow apart, and test their compatibility in that time…granted, most people just get to break up at that point if things aren’t compatible any longer. I’m not saying this relationship is doomed, I’m just saying that you need to be cognizant of the fact that there’s a difference between problems you can work through, and a lack of compatibility of a relationship that’s rather new…married or not.
katie May 23, 2012, 9:49 am
the only thing i dont get about the “stress at work” excuse is why now? was he stressed before? their sex life before the wedding was presumably good, so why now? what has happened at work to so drastically change his ways?
Guy Friday May 23, 2012, 10:02 am
Hey, work happens. I mean, when I started dating my wife, the stress level was, I grant you, lower than it is now, but I also had that whole “new relationship” adrenaline going where I could spend every night at her place, head home around midnight, get up at 6, and still function at work. But as time passed, the adrenaline wore off (which is to be expected), my case load graduated from pot and drunk and disorderlies to armed robberies and sexual assaults and whatnot, and that made me have to put more energy into it. And since they’re more serious crimes, more of my clients wanted to go to trial, so now I had to start to do more prep work and . . . you get the picture. If your work load wasn’t gradually getting more advanced at work, it may be a problem with your job, you know?
katie May 23, 2012, 10:05 am
well i totally understand that, and yes, expect that as you progress in a job- but wouldnt the LW add in that factoid of information? isnt that a very relevant detail? the letter then becomes not “why arent we having sex at all anymore” to “my husbands job is becoming very stressful, and because of that, we arent having sex anymore”… those are very different, in my mind.
maybe she doesnt know/doesnt understand what is going on at his job? maybe he isnt even telling her that his job is getting more stressful?
evanscr05 May 23, 2012, 10:17 am
When it happened to me, I didn’t correlate my husband’s uptick in responsibilities at his job with our home life. My job stresses are so different from his, so I couldn’t wrap my brain around the fact that he couldn’t unwind when he got home, so I, too, thought the drop off was related to me. It absolutely wasn’t, even if the nagging made it worse. So, it’s possible the LW is either unaware of what he puts up with outside of the home, or she just hasn’t connected that with his lack of affection.
Guy Friday May 23, 2012, 10:17 am
Well, I think you answered your own question. She may not have included it because she doesn’t fully understand how her work has progressed. Hell, my wife grew up with a big-firm lawyer father, and SHE didn’t even grasp how dramatically my work world had shifted until I showed it to her (which, to be fair, most guys probably wouldn’t think about, because you’d think his simply saying “My job’s stressing me out” would be enough without necessarily having to do a compare-and-contrast from previous years.)
katie May 23, 2012, 10:20 am
well, i certianly hope that is the reason for it all. i feel like tackling that would be much easier then tackling this guys weird view on marriage or an affair or something…
Addie Pray May 23, 2012, 9:49 am
What the hell!? You quit corporate America and then BAM you find things to do besides Dear Wendy? Unacceptable. And reckless. And irresponsible. Think of all the letter writers that you did not advise? They are off making bad choices and living miserable lives because of you … How do you sleep at night?! Come back.
Addie Pray May 23, 2012, 9:51 am
You know what, I’m so upset with you, that we’re on a break.
ReginaRey May 23, 2012, 9:53 am
Nooooooooo! AP, this isn’t healthy! We can’t do this to each other! Don’t leave me, I love you!
Addie Pray May 23, 2012, 10:02 am
I pouted for a little bit but I’m over it now. I feel better. Welcome back. I love you but I’m not “in love” with you, though with time I will get there.
ReginaRey May 23, 2012, 9:53 am
I’m back, I’m back! The one bad thing about NOT working in corporate America anymore is that I’m no longer at a computer the second that a new DW letter goes up. But I’m working again, so my mornings will be dedicated to DW-ing once more, never you fear.
Addie Pray May 23, 2012, 10:01 am
Famous last words. I think you’ve shown your true colors. When not miserable trapped at a desk, you do things like read, take walks, cook meals, visit friends and family too, I’m sure. You know, “live life” or what have you. In the mean time, dramatic misunderstood teens are sleeping with their exes, desperate single moms are trying to find daddies instead of focusing on building stable homes, I’m emailing Engaged Balls!, gay marks are being bitter, and of course 80s babies are doing their whiny thing…. Sigh.
In other news: I’m going on a bike ride, then getting new glasses, then going on a DATE!
bethany May 23, 2012, 10:10 am
Who’s the date with?!?! Details!
Addie Pray May 23, 2012, 10:17 am
It’s with New Balls, of course! 😉
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 11:04 am
Addie Pray May 23, 2012, 11:19 am
Don’t worry: I will not drink wine and smoke cigarettes with him on his porch.
ReginaRey May 23, 2012, 10:17 am
Is it with a certain lawyer??
Addie Pray May 23, 2012, 10:19 am
That’s the guy!
kerrycontrary May 23, 2012, 9:52 am
Your 2nd reason is why I think people need to be together a good amount of time before marriage. I know a ton of women who are like “oh my god he’s the one we never fight” and I’m like “yeh, because you’ve been together 4 months! You shouldn’t be fighting!”and then a year later they are broken up. You really do need to see how compatible you are with that person after all of the hormones fade.
ReginaRey May 23, 2012, 9:56 am
I know, that’s why quick marriages scare me so much. I was convinced with two different boyfriends that they were “it,” and at the 2 year mark-ish, I was thinking the total opposite. There are a lot of things I think you need to be able to experience as a couple before you get married…and only so many experiences can fit into a short amount of time. The longer you’re together, within reason, before getting married, the more time you have to “vet” your relationship.
Also, I never really got why people got married quickly, anyway. I mean, if you’re so happy, you can be happy and together WITHOUT being married, right?? What’s the big need to rush into a marriage when you can be together, happily, without rushing into a huge, huge commitment? I don’t get it. Never have.
MJ May 23, 2012, 10:12 am
I think the older you are, the more likely you know what you want, based on experience, so it doesn’t seem so scary to jump in.
Also, if you want kids (and you want to have them as a married person) your time is limited.
temperance May 23, 2012, 10:50 am
I know a fair amount of religious people who get married quickly because they don’t want to be tempted to have sex.
ktfran May 23, 2012, 1:07 pm
YES to both you and MJ!
Knowing who you are and what kind of partner you want can easily change the tracectory of a relationship. I think this is more true the older you get.
Also, religion does play a role. Both of my parents are Catholic. My mom was 18 and my dad 20 when they got married. They’re each others firsts. Also, they are still together, 36 years later. See above about how you can tell they still love one another. They were only together a year anf a half before they got married.
Skyblossom May 23, 2012, 11:16 am
I agree RR. If it’s a relationship that will last a lifetime it will last a few years before marriage and if it doesn’t last a few years you’ve saved yourself a bad marriage and a divorce.
katie May 23, 2012, 9:57 am
Skyblossom May 23, 2012, 10:32 am
Your second reason was my thought exactly. This marriage happened to quickly. Many, many relationships fall apart sometime between twelve and twenty-four months and the partners move on. This couple is already married so it is much more difficult for them but I think the husband is checking out emotionally. He sounds like he’s done with this relationship but can’t break up because they’re married. Sooner or later he’ll leave.
LW – since you’re married I suggest counseling if he’ll go with you but I doubt that someone who complains about kissing and cuddling will go to the effort of counseling. Try because you’re married and you’ve made the commitment but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t work.
Zepp May 23, 2012, 3:21 pm
I’m glad someone brought this up. Most relationships fizzle at the 1.5 to 2 year point. If I married every guy I was in love with at the one year mark I’d be divorced 5 times already.
londonlin6 May 23, 2012, 9:47 am
Walk, don’t run to therapy! I had this exact same thing happen to me when I moved across the country to live with my (now ex) boyfriend. Took that relationship 9 months for me to finally MOA, but as you are married, and cannot pick up and leave, I would say try out therapy. Is he just sitting around, online, drinking and watching TV? Do you go to bed way before he does? Do you ever have date night, or anything like that? If you have tried to communicate with him, and he is not getting it, I would say, “I want us to go to a therapist and work on these issues, as I am not happy”. If he refuses, and says that he does not think he needs to go, Seperate. Life is too short, & trust me, men don’t change, if they dont want to. Sounds like he does not.
Best of luck-
Lindsay May 23, 2012, 9:55 am
I know you’ve tried telling him why you’re upset, but maybe you should amp it up a bit. He needs to know that this isn’t just a little annoyance for you, but that having sex and being affectionate are must-haves for you in your marriage. What did you say when he said you’re out of that phase now? Because I’d be completely shocked if someone said that to me, not to mention, even just thought it. So, tell him you guys have to go to therapy and work this out, or you might have to cut your losses.
FireStar May 23, 2012, 9:57 am
From what I understand it is natural for intensity to ebb and flow in a marriage. You are not going to be hot and heavy all the time – kids come along – work, stress, fatigue chip away desire – people have to schedule alone time. But it sounds far too early in your marriage for all of that to be happening. If your husband’s behaviour changed so drastically then you have to get to the bottom of it. Maybe it is stress and he has to manage it better, maybe there is a medical reason and he should have tests done or maybe there is some psychological reason that can be addressed in therapy. Sit him down and tell him that you both have a problem in your marriage and you need to put a plan in place to address it. You married a man who was affectionate and considerate. When affection dies so does a marriage and surely he doesn’t want that, does he? Does he know what happened to his drive? Has this happened to him before?
Some people treat marriage as a finish line – you had the party, you crossed it off your list and now you can rest on your laurels… but the opposite is true. The work starts after your wedding day – compromising, being considerate, putting someone else’s needs above your own – and doing all those things every day all day long. Hopefully you married someone that can meet you halfway so being married doesn’t FEEL like work all the time. Hopefully he just needs a wake up call so that he realize what is required of him so you both can be happy in your marriage. Good luck!
Budj May 23, 2012, 9:59 am
Two words……shake weight.
katie May 23, 2012, 10:01 am
is that a south park reference? because i definitely just watched that episode because it was the food one. and it was hilarious!
Budj May 23, 2012, 10:57 am
mmmm creme freche.
katie May 23, 2012, 10:59 am
jamie oliver- crying- but cafeteria food is supposed to be healthy!!
omg i died.
Sunshine Brite May 23, 2012, 10:00 am
Have a sitdown with him sometime when you’re not necessarily in the mood to try and talk some of this out. Couples therapy would probably be beneficial if this is what his concept of being married is and maybe even a medical workup
cporoski May 23, 2012, 12:35 pm
I think this is really premature for couples therapy. This might just be a two month dry spell.
Sunshine Brite May 23, 2012, 6:32 pm
True, but that isn’t spelled out either way. It’s something to consider.
Fabelle May 23, 2012, 10:01 am
This isn’t normal– I mean, frequency of sex does fluctuate as the relationship progresses, but something is wrong if you’ve gone from having sex “all the time” to “barely once a month.” (And even then, it’s only because “gets tired of [you] complaining so he just gives in.”)
It’s one thing for him to be too tired or stressed SOMETIMES. Things like that happen. However, he shouldn’t be so “tired” that he can’t cuddle or kiss you. Being “lovey-dovey” isn’t reserved for the honeymoon stage (and, even if it was…you guys should still be IN the “honeymoon” stage)
His ideas about relationships, affection, marriage, & sex seem to be all twisted, and I can’t even speculate what could be going on based on this information. He could be straying, or (like someone suggested above) he could be gay? (It’s not unheard of for those raised in a restricted upbringing or area to marry in order to stay in the closet)
Michelle.Lea May 23, 2012, 10:05 am
for you and your marriage, deal with this now. go to counseling together. it’s possible he’s dealing with depression, so make sure he gets checked out.
however as someone mentioned above, if he refuses to work on issues, you may need to MOA. it took me almost 3 years to do this, and looking back it was horrible feeling. there were other issues as well (it’s almost never only about the sex), and he would not face them with me.
mandalee May 23, 2012, 10:16 am
I think you and your husband really need to start communicating. Couple’s therapy would obviously help, but so would re-connecting-whether it be date night, a road trip for the weekend, or coffee in the morning.
I know I didn’t respond well when my husband used to complain about the lack of sex we were having or the fact that I wasn’t affectionate sometimes. Once we started spending time together, the intimacy happened organically. You just can’t complain and huff your way back into connecting physically. I understand you are frustrated, and you should be, but approaching a martial problem with frustration is only going to make it worse.
If he’s not open to spending more quality time together, then you should express to him that the only option is couple’s therapy, because you can’t continue in a sexless marriage.
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 12:55 pm
gay analyst May 23, 2012, 10:20 am
There have been 57 comments so far, and nobody has asked whether you have gained weight since 1) you started seeing each other or 2) you got married.
Speculation about whether he’s having an affair, has personal problems, is having problems with how the relationship is going, etc. is all well and good, but I guess people want to stay away from directly asking if there is a reason he may not be physically attracted to you.
Nadine May 23, 2012, 10:55 am
Maybe because we know that women tend to be their own harshest critics when it comes to weight, and we feel sure if there was a change in this area, it would not only be mentioned but agonized over?
katie May 23, 2012, 10:57 am
yes, that probably would have been mentioned.
i feel that there is a general weird-ness about that in the letter in general. there are no ideas about why, no thoughts as to what changed, no theories- nothing. just, he stopped. there has to be more too it.
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 11:01 am
This really could just be a short dip too though. I know I have spouts of time where I’m not in the mood, for a slew of reasons. Its not like she’s saying they haven’t had sex in years. She isn’t clear even how long its been since he’s changed, from how I read it. She didn’t say since the day we married. Could just be a couple months.
Something More May 23, 2012, 11:15 am
I don’t know if it would have been mentioned. No woman or man for that matter wants something physical like that to be the reason their SO doesn’t want to have sex with them. Because the person we’re with should be attracted to us inside and out, blah blah blah. Which IS true, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t think that would have been the first thing she would have copped to. We are our own harshest critics, sure, but most are in denial that it *could* be a reason because it shouldn’t be one.
If she would have written “I gained 20lbs and my husband of 8 months won’t sleep with me!” we would have (probably) got on him for being insensative, an asshole, selfish, etc… Not to mention all of the “If he can’t handle some weight fluxuation then you should MOA!!!”
gay analyst May 23, 2012, 4:11 pm
Yeah, you’re right. People are definitely introspective enough to mention all the important details. If he isn’t showing her physical affection, it’s definitely because he’s gay and there are no possible implications for her physical attractiveness re: a straight man.
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 4:16 pm
Yea you’re right. Its definitely because she got fat. There is no other reason, ever, in the history of the world, that someone hasn’t wanted to have sex.
LW, dump the weight before he dumps you.
gay analyst May 23, 2012, 5:47 pm
Yeah, definitely. Thinking back, each time I’ve heard men express physical disgust toward fat women, they turned out gay! You’re right that it’s impossible for a woman to gain enough weight in 21 months to go from “acceptable” to “serviceable” to “ugh.” An extra can of soda a day only adds up to 27 pounds over that time, and really, anyone can carry that sort of baggage without consequence.
He’s definitely gay.
On a more serious note, I can’t decide which competing theory — “secretly gay husband” or “she certainly would have mentioned a weight gain” is less likely. How many secret gay boyfriends are in the market, anyway?
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 10:59 am
Idk that its possible to gain that much weight in such a short period of time (8months) that he would go from wanting to sex her all the time to once a month. Also, suggesting that he’s gay is a pretty good way of directly asking if he is not attracted to her. Just sayin.
Fabelle May 23, 2012, 11:05 am
Most LWs mention if they gained weight ( I remember a couple letters like this, & most do say things like “I’ve gained x number of pounds…”), but besides that– I agree with LBH that the time frame here hasn’t really been long enough for this woman to have gained a significant amount of weight (or otherwise change in appearance)
cporoski May 23, 2012, 11:58 am
I would guess because of the lack of time, that it isn’t as much about weight as both people getting too comfortable. When you are dating, you get ready to see each other. When you live together you only start to see each other’s worst side. Do you know how often people get dressed up for work then come home and get into thier nastiest sweats.
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 12:58 pm
Guilty! I was the worst offender of the Nasty/Comfy Sweatpants thing. I get all dressed up for work, then look like crap in front of him. Well, thanks to lovely DW scaring me into getting too comfortable, I went out a month or two ago and got a bunch of really nice looking PJs, slips, things like that. Not only did he notice it the first night, but every night since. (ok, not every single night, I still need my sweats people.) I feel more like “engaging” at night now too because of it. So thanks DW.
cporoski May 23, 2012, 1:02 pm
It is so easy to do! sweat pants are just amazing, but you can find comfy pretty things too 🙂 I am glad you are getting more action 🙂
JK May 23, 2012, 1:05 pm
Ugh, I really have to make more of an effort. Since I´m home all day (except for kindy pick up/drop off and errands) I´m a real slob.
My husband (luckily) doesn´t mind too much, but I feel like shit sometimes.
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 1:06 pm
I don’t think my SO was ever really bothered or turned off by it. Honestly.
YOU will end up feeling better for it though. Go get some cute boyshorts and throw on a tight tank top!
JK May 23, 2012, 1:13 pm
It´s too cold here now for that! I guess the cold doesn´t help. I suffer from it, so I´ve always got heaps of layers of clothes (even inside, with heating), and I sleep in flannel pjs with thermal socks. Very sexy hahahaha (I even have Elmo pjs!). IN Summer I do make a bit more of an effort!
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 1:18 pm
Good point, its gotten warmer in the past month where I live. If it were still cold, I’d probably be in flannels too.
cporoski May 23, 2012, 2:35 pm
Here in philadelphia they have a sexy yoga pants beauty pagent. those are at least better than the thermal socks.
JK May 23, 2012, 2:40 pm
But thermal socks are def. better than having cold feet. Nothing gets me in a worse mood than cold feet.
cporoski May 23, 2012, 3:26 pm
I am not trying to hate on thermal socks. But when you were on the prowl and trying to impress your hubby when you were dating, did the thermal socks come out right away? If they did, then this is a non issue.
SweetsAndBeats May 23, 2012, 2:45 pm
Admittedly, I still wear kinda gross stuff when I’m alone. But Old Navy and H&M both have super affordable, cute jammies to wear around the house when the boyfriend is staying over.
Or, if I really don’t feel like wearing something even remotely uncomfortable, I just go sans shirt but keep my yoga pants on… He always seems to appreciate that.
jlyfsh May 23, 2012, 10:22 am
I would suggest marriage counseling most definitely. For what it’s worth my husband and I have been married for just over a year and while the sex/kissing/hugging frequency is different it’s still very much there. I don’t think we’ve ever said good bye without a kiss, even when one of us is sick the other will give a kiss on the forehead or cheek.
I will also say that some people show love in different ways. My husband doesn’t always shout how much he loves me from the roof tops, but he’ll throw in a few of my favorite candies with my lunch or buy the kind of ice cream he knows i love or a dozen other little ways he has of telling me he loves me. Ask your husband how he knows you love him, and ask for answers other than you married me. Maybe that will show you what he thinks loves means and help you better understand him. I still go back to my first suggestion and many other people’s suggestion of therapy so that you all can learn how to communicate better.
2_J May 23, 2012, 10:40 am
With all due respect, and i mean that, you guys are great and is Wendy of course, i just feel this one won’t benefit as much in the “your turn” section. I’d like to hear Wendy on this one.
As for the LW, as a guy who sometimes makes fast decisions without thinking about it all the way through, because of great excitement or emotion , whatever the case, maybe he is or has been regretful about getting married. Maybe some kind of oppurtunity presented itself that he would have loved to go for but being married made this no longer possible? I don’t know, but like a alot of us has said, it is not normal for the sex life or the physical intimacy to make such a drastic turn. There is something major going on in the background that either you’re not being able to see, or he is keeping from you.
Jessibel May 23, 2012, 10:42 am
I agree with everyone else who has said couples counseling. If he refuses to go with you, go yourself.
There are tons of reasons why this could be happening, from an affair to stress to him regretting getting married, to him just being a total poophead. Personally I think the “we’re out of this stage in our relationship” excuse is a load of BS, because I’ve been out of the make-out stage with my husband for ages, and we joke about it all the time and then try to make out with each other. My girlfriends and I all joke about how once you hit a certain point in your relationship, making out just doesn’t happen anymore, but if it’s important to you, he should make an attempt. From what you’ve written, it doesn’t exactly sound like he’s being honest with you, and if he’s angry at your attempts to communicate, then the only thing that I could suggest is counseling. When you bring it up, try not to be accusatory, say something like “It’s been very frustrating for me that we seem to be having communication problems and I feel that we may need an unbiased third party” or something to that effect. Good luck! I hope everything works out for you!
Addie Pray May 23, 2012, 10:43 am
HEY YOU GUYZ!!!!… Tomorrow is my half birthday. What should we do to celebrate?
Addie Pray May 23, 2012, 10:51 am
Ok, I know, to celebrate I’m getting off the couch, putting pants on, and going on a bike ride around town, then to get new glasses, and I think I’ll have lunch on a patio somewhere. Here I go. I’m shutting this laptop down. I’m gonna S that D, shut it down. I love Liz Lemon.
CatsMeow May 23, 2012, 12:58 pm
I got back from vacation yesterday and spent most of the day on the couch in my underwear. I caught up on TV, took a nap, watched a movie, drank wine, and played Uno with my boo. Ah, what I wouldn’t give to NOT be at work right now.
rachel May 23, 2012, 1:15 pm
psst. It’s my actual birthday today. :p
JK May 23, 2012, 1:18 pm
Happy birthday!!” I´ve been waiting for you to post all day!
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 1:20 pm
rachel May 23, 2012, 1:40 pm
Thanks! I’m planning to celebrate with ice cream and beer later. One and then the other of course. Two of my favorite things.
bagge72 May 23, 2012, 2:34 pm
I didn’t want to creep you out on FB, so happy birthday!
iwannatalktosampson May 26, 2012, 9:21 pm
Bagge! I just added you on FB like two days ago and didn’t send a message or anything so hopefully you realized it was me!
bittergaymark May 26, 2012, 9:26 pm
You should add me if you still want to see those Bali pics…
iwannatalktosampson May 26, 2012, 10:00 pm
Um I absolutely do. Can you link me?
bittergaymark May 26, 2012, 11:30 pm
i am the only one! 🙂
Grilledcheesecalliope May 23, 2012, 5:17 pm
But they are yummy together, guiness and vanilla bean floats are my adult life.
Rachel May 26, 2012, 10:36 pm
Grilled Cheese! Where have you been?
katie May 23, 2012, 2:29 pm
damn you beat me to it!! haha i was gonna say that you and AP are like birthday half-twins.
happy birthday! enjoy the ice cream and beer! because its your birthday, i suggest doing a whole tasting of each. maybe 4 ice creams, 6 beers. do it up!!
Addie Pray May 23, 2012, 4:04 pm
Happy birthday! (Ok, your birthday is wayy more important than my day-before_my-half-birthday.)
I just biked downtown, then out to the west loop, then up to west town and around ukranian villiage and wicker park and then up to bucktown and logan square then east through lakeview and down into lincoln park and now I’m sitting in the sun, eating sushi, and reading a book called “Mormon America” which is… Very informative. All to celebrate Rachel of course! 😉
It’s a good day.
Will.i.am May 23, 2012, 10:55 am
Did you two get married in Hawaii? As in, you are both from the island, or did you travel there with him for personal or military purposes? It doesn’t make much sense for him to change this drastically from September till now, especially if nothing too great has happened to change the course of the relationship.
I don’t condone this, but you could try and do some snooping on his past. He could have a string of relationships that ended up like this. Be lovey dovey for 6-9 months, then stop all affection all together. This is your marriage, so do what you can to save it, but for it to turn this sour, this fast, is alarming.
Sia May 23, 2012, 11:24 am
I think that this is an issue about their marriage, not about their past. And married life is probably hard enough without dragging one’s luggage into it.
What good is snooping in his past going to do? Maybe she will, in fact, discover that he has a string of similar relationships. And then, what? What good could she do with that information, except use it as an excuse to either get out, or point fingers because he’s the one with a recurring issue? I think this would just cause further damage.
Will.i.am May 23, 2012, 11:30 am
In a marriage, to me things are totally different. Marriage is a one time thing, so I’m on the hook the best I can to save it. Maybe she can notice this trend of what he does and try to reverse it. Divorce is not an option to me, which explains why I’m not married and haven’t beared children at 28. I’ve seen it too much and I don’t want that to be me.
You marry and man or woman and you inherit whatever problems or skeletons they have. It’s your job to stand by them and help them through whatever problems they have, if it’s within reason. You don’t get married to bail on the person when times start to get tough. That’s what a relationship, with no ring, is for. I know that sounds shitty, but I have a much easier time justifying leaving a girlfriend, then leaving my wife!
Sia May 23, 2012, 11:47 am
I agree with everything you’re saying, except for the part about spotting a trend in someone else and try to reverse it for them. I see this as a problem between the two of them, and my point of view is that it already seems complicated enough without dragging his past into it.
If I was the wife here, I’d want to focus on a solution to this problem, rather than go searching for a non-immediate origin. And if the husband is committed to making things better, he will reveal the parts of his past that are necessary for solving things – if there are any – in due time. No need for her to go looking for them, then.
Will.i.am May 23, 2012, 11:54 am
Makes sense. I don’t disagree with anything you are saying. Maybe I’m never meant to be married, because I can write off someone too quickly. These marriage letters just scare me to death.
Sia May 23, 2012, 11:58 am
moonflowers May 23, 2012, 11:18 pm
Yeah, it’s not fun to see all the things that can go wrong with something you’re hoping will last a lifetime. But it might help to remember that only people with problems write in to DW – all of the happily marrieds are off squeezing each other’s butts in the kitchen and grossing out the kids instead of writing in. 😛
laxhaxtax May 23, 2012, 11:06 am
I hate to even think this but I went back and read the way she describes the sex before marriage. It doesn’t sound healthy even then. I so want to be wrong but this man sounds like he may very well be gay. She should ask him. There are gay men who grow up wanting a family life so badly that they try to overcome their needs to “make” it happen. Living in the house with her where her feminine personality is everywhere may be more than he can manage. If he is then you need to get both of you out of the situation.
I have been married many years and the sex never went away except during the last part of pregnancy and for a while after the births. Other than those time my husband and I have sex several times a week.
Something is so clearly terribly “off” here that she cannot afford to let this go
oldie May 23, 2012, 12:59 pm
I think you’re right, LW’s husband is a closeted gay and she is his cover for his work/social life. The short time before marriage makes sense, since this limits the time he has to pretend to be heterosexual to court you. Now he’s got you and what he wants is a respectable, platonic homemaker to ease his life. Does he have enough unexplained away time or flexible enough work schedule that he could have a boyfriend. I don’t think he wants a family life or he would be more activiley trying to have kids. Perfunctory sex even while courting seems a red flag. Talk to him, he may or may not be honest. Likely MOA time really soon.
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 1:05 pm
You must love soap operas. 😉
CatsMeow May 23, 2012, 1:32 pm
“Gay” was my first thought too, but I don’t have anything to back it up. In fact, I’m not really sure why it popped into my head. Just a hunch.
DMR May 23, 2012, 5:42 pm
You’ve got to be kidding? Guys who cuddle their girlfriend and watch TV together are gay?
bittergaymark May 23, 2012, 12:11 pm
Tell him you either both work on this issue — or you’re leaving because you didn’t get married to have a platonic roommate…
cporoski May 23, 2012, 12:22 pm
LW – I need to tell you about the marriage trap. It happens often in almost every relationship. People get too comfortable. It is both sides. He says the “Stage is over” and that means courtship. That is true, he doesn’t feel like he has to woo you. Also, you have to work harder to keep the spark alive. So try these things…1.) only wear pretty things for awhile and pretty underwear. So no nude bras and stretched out panties. Wear pretty pajamas and don’t wear your nasty sweats. 2.) don’t eat in front of the tv. sit at the table. 3.) offer to give him a massage while you talk about his day. Hear about his stress and work it out of his neck while you do it. He will feel loved and relaxed. 4.) if you are the one who cooks, stay away from carbs. 5.) send dirty texts while he is at work about how much you love and want him. 6.) try the morning before work, most guys wake up in pretty good shape to give it a go. 7.) watch sexy tv. I mean like any HBO series – Game of Thrones, true blood. It wont be forced but it is like, “Whoops, naked people” 8.) talk about your feelings but do so when you are walking outside. There is alot less pressure on a conversation if you aren’t staring at each other.9.) dress like a girlfriend. My husband told me that I don’t show him enough boob anymore. I thought it was innappropriate to be showing my stuff when I was married but he likes the boobs coming out on date night. 10.) take a look at your finances. Money is the biggest stressor so see if there is a way to keep those in order so he feels more comfortable.
When my husband and I were dating, all I had to do was be in the room. But I would take over an hour to get ready just to see him. When we got married, he saw all my looks including just getting home from the gym. It takes work to keep the fire alive. Don’t nag him, or pout because just like Guy Friday says, it just puts more pressure. This situation is common when you are married so don’t fret. You can easily turn this around.
temperance May 23, 2012, 12:37 pm
Carbs? Should I ask why she should not cook carbs?
I also don’t agree with the comment that she shouldn’t “nag” him. (I hate that word. HATE.) I don’t think it’s healthy for her to be expected to suppress her natural sexual urges.
cporoski May 23, 2012, 12:51 pm
Simple carbs lower sex drive. type it in to google and you will be shocked. SO staying away from the hamberger helper and going to a chicken salad can do wonders. I just listed 10 ways to spice up the relationship so obviously I am not telling her to supress herself. What I am saying is that simply nagging doesn’t work. Sex on demand is not good sex, ask anyone who has been trying to conceive for a year. You need a spark.
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 1:03 pm
OMG. I’ve never heard this! All I do is eat carbs. Jeez, this place is depressing me. Yesterday with the margaritas having calories, now this.
I LOVED your advice above.
cporoski May 23, 2012, 1:25 pm
Ha, I know 🙂 It is always the fun stuff that causes the most problems. People are acting like this is the end of the world, and I think a few small tweaks can get them rolling in the hay in no time.
PFG-SCR May 23, 2012, 1:44 pm
I think this is a great list for couples who have been together for a long time. But, the LW and her husband have not. They should still be in the “can’t keep their hands off each other” phase.
I think there is something causing her husband to not be interested in sex with her. It might be that he is suffering from depression or other health issue, or it might be that he is very unhappy with her and the marriage. It’s too soon and too sudden to be a simple fix, like “eat less carbs”.
Good luck to the LW – my advice is to address this ASAP. Don’t waste time when such a significant red flag is flying.
cporoski May 23, 2012, 2:09 pm
But how easy is it to go to work, bring home fast food,put on your sweats, eat in front of the tv or play with your phone, and go to bed. When men are stressed, they just want to zone out. I just think that they should look at how they spend thier days and start there.
kerrycontrary May 23, 2012, 3:05 pm
I have to disagree that sex on demand doesn’t work. That’s how my boyfriend and I do it. Like “I want to have sex right now, take off your clothes” and it’s been that way for almost 3 years (and he has seen me in good/bad moods, ugly/pretty, nice/mean). We also do a lot of scheduled sex like “ok we are busy this morning so lets do it this afternoon”. While I think the pressure of conceiving puts a strain on scheduled sex for those couples, sex on demand can work a lot of times.
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 3:14 pm
I think sex on demand the way you describe it is very, very different than what was meant above. Sex on nagging demand, when you know the other person isn’t interested or you’ve been fighting about it, doesn’t work well.
cporoski May 23, 2012, 3:42 pm
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
KKZ May 23, 2012, 4:59 pm
Spontaneous sex is good. Someone demanding that you have sex is not. When I was having issues with my sex drive a few years back, I got a couple books on it and one of them described the dangers of “obligatory” sex, or having sex just because the other person asks/wants/demands it of you, when you have no desire of your own. That was a huge problem in my relationship for a while because I never wanted sex, so all the sex we had was obligatory and it made me really resent him for even asking.
So from that perspective I can kind of sympathize with the husband here because I know what it’s like to be going thru a period of no desire and not knowing why, and every attempt on my partner’s behalf to get me going, or even to talk about it, just pissed me off or made me feel bad so I used every excuse I could think of to avoid it. And yes, nonsexual physical attention waned during this time too. And I sympathize with the LW because I saw how tough it was on my partner to be constantly fielding my rejections. I hope it’s not a worst-case-scenario here and still salvageable, but it could take time and work and both parties need to be willing to contribute.
Caris May 25, 2012, 10:39 am
I eat carbs all the time and im horny (is there a better word to say this?) all the time. Your carb theory is wrong. It is healthier overall to stay away from carbs though 😛 .
Elle May 23, 2012, 12:25 pm
Another idea that I haven’t seen yet – maybe he has a madonna/whore complex? As in, now you’re his wife, no longer a girlfriend and he treats you differently? I heard Dan Savage suggesting it once.
Fabelle May 23, 2012, 12:54 pm
I thought of this too, because he seems so deadset on “This is the way things are now.”
laxhaxtax May 23, 2012, 12:56 pm
I forgot to mention two friends of mine who were married to gay men for 6-7 years before the guys came out. Both women said their sense of self worth took such a beating that it took years for them to recover enough to trust another man. I don’t want to think this is the case here but whatever the reason this woman is clearly hurting and probably asking herself what is wrong with her.
cporoski May 23, 2012, 1:03 pm
Wow! in this day and age, that seems like such a high number. your poor friends.
Slamy May 23, 2012, 3:25 pm
My mom’s last husband (#4!) was a closeted gay man. She had to do some snooping and found out that he was sleeping with men. She says she’ll never marry again.
cporoski May 23, 2012, 3:28 pm
That does sound like something that would happen in My mom’s generation but not as much with my peers. does that make sense?
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 3:32 pm
I agree, but I know someone that happened to also, at 29 years old.
CatsMeow May 23, 2012, 4:30 pm
It happens a lot more than one might imagine. I come across it a lot in my line of work. (It depends on geographic region too, I’m sure. I see it a lot more in St. Louis than I did in Las Vegas).
va-in-ny May 23, 2012, 4:56 pm
I know a girl who is with a guy right now and everyone in her circle swears the guy is gay. But, she says he’s definitely not. It makes me wonder if this type of thing happens more often than we realize…
ktfran May 23, 2012, 6:03 pm
My friend’s cousin got married. He later told her he was guy and wanted a divorce. Fine. Next thing she knew, she was getting a call from a friend. He ex ended up on MTV’s True Life, or whatever that show was, getting a sex change. They showed wedding photos. She was at least blurred out. That’s got to suck not getting a heads up. Seriously.
ktfran May 23, 2012, 6:03 pm
* gay. Not guy.
Something More May 23, 2012, 11:13 pm
Lili May 23, 2012, 6:53 pm
TO tie all the letters together, I wanted to add that I have a sneaking suspicion a friend of mine has a gay husband based on Facebook posts and photos. I can’t explain why I think so, just that my pretty accurate gaydar pings when I see photos of them on facebook. And the way she gushes, IDK happy people aren’t off bragging and gushing. they just aren’t. Insecure people are. So it makes me wonder if thats what it is. Also, they got married after she gave him an ultimatum. We know how good those are.
Stephanie May 23, 2012, 1:05 pm
Not to hate on religion here, but I would be interested to know if the LW husband was raised in a very religious home. My husband was, and as a result he has had some serious guilt issues related to sexuality. I know in his case, us getting married kind of triggered some of these issues (even though we had already had sex), because of the extreme ideals and expectations he had had placed on him (from his religious upbringing) about how he would treat his wife. My husband has has had some difficulties feeling like he isn’t “violating” me or “demeaning” me by having sex, and it’s something that we have both had to work very hard on. That said, he has always been affectionate and cuddly even while struggling through these issues, and has never “huffed and puffed” about my desire for sex/affection. I consider myself religious, but I’m the first to admit that religion can really screw people up, especially when it comes to sexuality.
bittergaymark May 23, 2012, 1:18 pm
I’d also be curious as to how she treats her husband. I remember being invited over for dinner at a friend’s house and simply being shocked by what a total bitch she was to her husband. I initially figured she must have just had a bad night or something, but did think: “Wow, and this is what she says IN FRONT of company…” At any rate, a few months later, another dinner, another petty installment of Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Puppy…
A few weeks after that, we had lunch alone and she tells me she feels unattractive because lately her husband doesn’t want to sleep with her. So, I gave my old, sly, double-edged standby from ALL ABOUT EVE… “I wonder why?” She totally didn’t get it. And so I proceeded to tell her that maybe just maybe it was because she frequently was such a wretched shrew to her poor hapless husband…
This did NOT go over well. It was a very bad lunch.
Although she later phoned me to tell me that she had thought on it and that maybe I was a teeny bit right. At any rate, they divorced a few years later. He met somebody new and wonderful… (Which really wouldn’t have been too hard as my stupid friend really was a relentless bitch to him at all but two of the later dinners I attended.)
Now he is remarried with two adorable children, happily–I think. I mean, I’ve had numerous dinners with them and it’s never once been awkward. Meanwhile, my friend is alone at 44 and (rightly) terrified that she will never have kids… I’d feel badly for her, but WTF? Talk about making her own bed. And after witnessing the shocking way she treated her husband, I have no reason to think that she wouldn’t have just been another hopelessly fucked up MOMMIE DEAREST… Oh, well. Sucks to be your own worst enemy, I guess.
FireStar May 23, 2012, 2:13 pm
I never understand these types of couples – wasn’t she like this before she married too? It just happened post-vows? I see these men with just wretched women and they laugh off the women’s antics but I just keep thinking – seriously? THIS is what you want to wake up to for the next 50 years?
JK May 23, 2012, 2:17 pm
That´s another reason I think it´s so important to live together before marriage… like it or not, while dating you can keep showing your best side only. When you live together you learn to love each other warts and all.
I know there are people that will still keep up the facade to get married, but it´s ahell of a lot harder!
bittergaymark May 23, 2012, 2:21 pm
I don’t know what happened. I really do think the change was in her. I had never seen that side of her before and we had worked together in some rather trying situations, too. I think both men and women can fall victim to this type of behavior…just taking their partner for granted and using them as a mental punching bag…
demoiselle May 23, 2012, 3:30 pm
I think that people can very easily fall into patterns that emulate the family life they grew up in, which wouldn’t necessarily apply to behavior in friendships or in work situations . . .
cporoski May 23, 2012, 2:20 pm
Sometimes I think people don’t know how they sound. My MIL is mean to her husband and her daughter was mean to her now ex husband. I think she didn’t know any other way to treat people. It is a very hard lesson to learn.
katie May 23, 2012, 2:21 pm
i like this idea…
painted_lady May 23, 2012, 9:31 pm
Albee reference FTW. Seriously, though, it’s interesting thinking about how many people I know treat people they’re extremely comfortable with – family or similar – far worse than people they know less well and like less. My mom is a terrible culprit – she has said some really inappropriate and uncomfortably disrespectful things to me and my dad and brother. For two years in high school she’d tell me at least once a week that I smelled like mothballs and when the dermatologist told her I had eczema she looked at me and said, “Ew!” And she is so sweet to people outside the family, but I don’t doubt for a second that she loves us.
My mom’s excuse has always been, “But you *know* me and I would never say anything just to hurt you!” That doesn’t fly at all. It took me forever to figure out why that statement didn’t make sense, but finally I said, “Right, but you’re saying these things, and I know you love me, so what the hell must the rest of the world think?” Anyway, the point is, people need to realize that hurting the folks you love is both possible and sometimes more damaging.
bittergaymark May 23, 2012, 2:22 pm
Of course, my initial post above was just one possibility. The secretly gay concept is one worth looking into, I suppose…
SweetsAndBeats May 23, 2012, 2:50 pm
I really thought you’d jump right to that as soon as I finished reading the letter.
CatsMeow May 23, 2012, 4:36 pm
Do you really think so? Or are you being sarcastic?
I hate to automatically assume that a man not wanting sex from an available/willing woman means he must be gay because there are MANY reasons for a man (or anyone) to not want sex, but there was something about this letter that made me think “gay” right off the bat. I still can’t put my finger on it.
Zepp May 23, 2012, 3:31 pm
I vote most likely they just got married way too quickly and this relationship has fizzled out after a year and a half, as most relationships do. Also, if they are in Hawaii because they are military, that would explain the rush to get married. (to be together, they get paid a lot more just for being married, etc). The military has super high divorce rates because people rush to get married for the aforementioned reasons.
Pinky May 23, 2012, 4:18 pm
Dear Letter Writer,
I’m in a sexless marriage also. Mr. Pinky is the sweetest guy on the planet. He’s also overweight, takes an anti-depressant, blood-pressure medicine and has low testosterone. On top of that, he’s got craptacular work stress.
I’ve known Mr. Pinky for a very long time. I’ve invested a lot of time and effort into my relationship. I’m also in my mid 40’s. There’s no one else that I’ve met that’s even half as kind as Mr. Pinky. So, I put up with it. I’m not happy about it, but I’m dealing with it.
The DW readers have already given you a myriad of reasons why he might be avoiding sex. Since you’ve only invested a year and 8 months into the relationship, how much more are you willing to invest? Four months? Four years? How old are you? Do you want children? Is the relationship worth salvaging?
lets_be_honest May 23, 2012, 4:24 pm
Thanks for sharing. Interesting.
christinalovesdogs May 23, 2012, 4:19 pm
maybe he is cheating. go to therapy. being over that stage is a terrible excuse.
katiebird May 23, 2012, 5:45 pm
To me it sounds like he is secretly gay. I hate to make assumptions though, and no matter the true reason you guys need couples therapy. its the only way.
Meredith May 23, 2012, 8:47 pm
Get yourself into marriage counseling. It’s not an admission of failure, it’s a sign that you love each other enough to want to work out your problems. Something is going on in your husband’s noggin that he is not sharing with you. The counselor will help you both learn how to communicate in a healthy way. When you go, please remember to go in with an open mind and heart, and not with the mindset “Good, this counselor can help my husband realize what a bozo he’s being!” You will be surprised at what you discover about yourself in the process. Things will probably get worse before they get better. Keep going. You’ll be glad you did. This is coming from a woman who dragged her husband of 15 months to therapy. It took us six months going every week to hit a break through. We have been married almost five years and are so happy now. Good luck!
BettyBoop May 23, 2012, 11:42 pm
My dear, sweet, kind boy, does not want any sex at all when he’s stressed out, depressed, anxious, tired, unhappy, etc… It’s was a trial learning how to handle this because when I am any sort of unhappy I would far rather have lots and lots of sex to relieve the tension. My opinion would be to have a no stress conversation about this at a time when you have NOT been pressuring him for sex or affection and tell him you would like to explain your position and then have him explain his so you can try to understand what’s going on. He may have a of reasons why he doesn’t want to have sex but you’ll never find out what they are if he feels attacked. This goes doubly if he’s a true introvert. I am a massive introvert and it can take months or years for me to truly let got of an event where I felt attacked. It’s also cumulative, so the more times something happens, the worse I react to it. Not to say he’s an introvert, but it may help to treat him as one. Let him know you want to talk about this problem soon, and maybe schedule a time, in a week or so, to give each of you time to gather your thoughts and approach it calmly, rationally and try to understand his feelings before broaching your own. This may feel unfair, but you are the one who needs change, you already know what you want/need, and it can really help to understand what he needs and then work together to reach a compromise. Just don’t expect quick and drastic change, you have to take time to make a marriage work. More likely than not, it’s a phase and all of his reasons are just bluster because he feels attacked and hasn’t figured out a way to safely express what’s going on and what he needs. Give him that opportunity as soon as you can so that you may create an appropriate plan for the future.
DMR May 25, 2012, 6:16 am
Bottom line seems to be, it could be any number of things.
– end of the ‘passionate phase’
– an affair
– he’s gay (I seriously doubt this, but others think it’s possible)
It’s your job to talk to him about it and find out what the problem is. And if you demand honesty from him, you have to be prepared to react calmly and sensibly and be an adult about it, when he tells you.
LW May 26, 2012, 7:27 am
MY HUSBAND IS NOT GAY PEOPLE. I mean really thats the only thing you can think of bc we got married so fast and stuff.. thats BS. We were and still are in love so who cares if we got married a little over a year after we met. It also has notibg to do with him getting paided more money bc we r married now. I also found out recently that he has only has sex with 4 people before me and has only had 2 serious relatioships. He has been under alot of stress at work and stuf, and we have been bc i am not working he does seem to have some depression issues and we r woekibg on that.. i have toned down my getting pissy if je denys me and it has worked. We had a calm conversation about everything he told me things that had been wrong and we are so much better now. Oh and I DIDNT MARRY A CHEATER!! HE HAS NEVER CHEATED ON ME AND IS NOT HAVING AN AFFAIR!!
Rachel May 26, 2012, 6:11 pm
Whoa there, LW. You wrote into DW looking for insight and advice. What everyone else has written weren’t criticisms, merely observations. Your immediate leap to defense of your marriage (and use of all-caps) seems pretty aggressive.
I don’t anyone thinks there’s anything wrong with getting married fairly early in the relationship; however, I think they’re pointing out that you may not have had a time to discuss how to handle situations (like sex drive dropping and the day-to-day stresses) that can be reasonably expected to come up that aren’t all sunshine and rainbows.
It may be stressful for him to be the sole responsible person for the financial stability of two people and whatever that entails (bills, insurance, mortgage/rent, student debt, etc.). It’s exhausting to work under stress, and he may need the time that would otherwise be devoted to you (and your body) to rest up just so he can deal with all that responsibility. Have you considered picking up some work to help shoulder some of the finances so he won’t have to work so hard on his own, thereby freeing up some nerves and time for one another?
rachel May 26, 2012, 8:06 pm
Well said, other Rachel 🙂
bittergaymark May 26, 2012, 7:52 pm
Yikes, LW. So defensive…
Trixy Minx May 26, 2012, 8:07 pm
I know. She came asking for advice yet want to get all mad about what everyone is telling her.
Caris May 26, 2012, 9:24 pm
So you write in seeking advice and then you go and get all defensive because of some comments. I’ve read most comments and most people gave you really good advice and based on what you mentioned in the letter made observations, and only some came up with the assumption he might be gay. I really hope you and your husband find a way to solve the problem you are having.
p.s: Why all that rage and caps lock LW? And sorry if I sound like an asshole, but you might want to check your grammar/spelling before posting.
Zepp May 27, 2012, 5:40 am
LOL, i have to say, i found the “he’s gay!” comments pretty ridiculous as well
Addie Pray May 27, 2012, 6:11 am
“That’s the only thing you can think of?” – that’s not the only comment made, but I guess that’s the only comment you zoomed in on. So it’s not true? Fine, brush it off. Check that off the list. No need to get defensive or disregard all the other advice on this thread. It sounds like you went from questioning the situation, and hence your writing in to Wendy, to having it figured out (e.g., “we are so much better now”) – that was fast. I guess all you needed was a little chat, which is what the majority of people were saying, even though those who wondered if he might by gay – just, you know, to cover their bases and give you their complete observations. Hopefully you’ll update us later when you’ve had a chance to take all of your advice to heart. It sounds like you’ve decided WHY it is your husband is rejected your advances – the stress. Not sure if you decided that’s the reason to prove to everyone it could not be because he is gay or cheating (not that I think those are true, it just sounds fishy that now you seem to accept that stress is the root cause). It doesn’t sound like anything has improved for you yet though. Maybe understanding that stress is a legitimate factor that could turn someone off from sex was what was needed to get you to be ok with the lack of sex? Was that really all that was missing before? I would imagine, though, you’re still… wanting sex! Re-read all the other advice above. It’s all fine and dandy that he’s so sure it’s sex, but what about the bigger picture here? That he is making YOU feel bad and that he is minimizing YOUR feelings and not caring about YOUR needs?
Addie Pray May 27, 2012, 6:13 am
Meant to say toward the end, “It’s all fine and dandy that he’s so sure it’s ‘the stress’ [not “sex”], but what about the bigger picture here?…”
laxhaxtax May 27, 2012, 11:29 pm
It must be scary to be in a marriage that is NOTHING like you imagined. Sure, the honeymoon stage ends but sex shouldn’t but until you meet the problem head on you are fooling yourself. All of the responses were given in hopes of helping you and hoping you would take them in good faith. Old saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different result”. You have nagged, flirted etc to no avail. THERE IS SOMETHING VERY WRONG WITH YOUR MARRIAGE. I use the caps just as you did to make point. Ignoring these suggestions is not going to change a thing. Ask him questions and don’t let him try to turn the tables on you by telling you you nag etc. He needs to be honest with you. I hope he is not gay for both your sakes. It is one possible reason but the responses were varied and should give you some really good ideas if you pay attention.
DMR May 27, 2012, 11:25 pm
LW, did you miss the bit where it’s your job to find out what’s going on? That you have to ‘man up’ and talk to him about it?
We’re just speculating, that’s all. it could be anything. Go and talk to your husband.