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Tuesday, August 9, 2022


My wife [43F] and I [43m] haven’t been intimate in bed in over 11 years.
I don’t know where to start. I’m at a loss, I’m hurt, I’m feeling hopeless. I guess I’m reaching out for some perspective.


My first marriage ended because of infidelity on her [39F] part. That relationship seemed pretty normal, healthy intimate life (1-2 times a week), okay communication, finances were a point of contention because she couldn’t budget well. Bills were paid, but we lived paycheck to paycheck. We had a kid together in 2006. In the fall of 2008, she decided to start sleeping with one of her childhood friends. In hindsight, she had probably been sleeping with him for a hot minute (they’re married now).

I don’t know why that matters now. I felt like it needed to be said.

I met my current wife in January 2009. She grew up in the town I was working in and moved back to help her brother take care of his newborn daughter because his baby momma left him and the baby. She dropped everything to move back, left a great job working with special needs adults in a big metropolitan city and moved back to her hometown. She’s a awesome sister.

She needed a job and got hired where I was working. We became good friends, best friends in fact. Our first date was on the first day of spring 2009. We made a joke of it being “Ostara” and we were planting our family’s seed that day. Things were good. I knew she had some trauma in the past but she said she was okay now (then). We didn’t have intercourse until April, maybe 5-6 dates in. We were taking things slow, having fun.


Pillow talk after the first time, I told her I had a high libido and hoped she could keep up. She said she didn’t think that would be a problem and she initiated round 2 of 4 for the night. It all felt like a dream.

She had been staying at her brother’s place. He and his baby momma reconciled and she moved in with me in July 2009.

intimacy was still frequent (2-3 times a week) and enthusiastic. We got married on the first day of spring 2010. We started trying to get pregnant around August 2010 and ended pregnant around the beginning of November. The intimacy, understandably, tapered off. The last time was February before our child was born in July 2011.

The birth was slightly troublesome, he “pooped in the pool” and aspirated some of it pre-partum. He had to spend a month in NICU because he wasn’t getting enough oxygen. She wanted to breastfeed but couldn’t directly and had to pump and it didn’t work. One of the nurses berated her for not doing it even though her nipples were raw from trying to pump so much and only getting a few drops. We came home with him, he was fussy. We didn’t know at the time but he was colicky and lactose intolerant. Wouldn’t sleep, would eat but then cry the whole time, it was a rough 3 months until they figured out he would tolerate soy formula.

Sorry, I think all this stuff piles on to the reasoning for no intercourse


I was making good money and she wanted to stay home with him. No problem. She also hated the school system here and with her education wanted to homeschool. I was onboard 100% (I still am).

So everything except the lack of intimacy has been pretty good. She was worried about it hurting after giving birth. Worried about accidentally getting pregnant because she didn’t want the same thing to happen with the hospital stuff. I was trying to be understanding. A year goes by and I bring it up again. She says okay, she wants to ease into it. We buy condoms and spermicidal lube and that was it. Nothing ever happened.

Either she was tired from our kid, or stressed from health issues. She has severe constipation and has to take laxatives once a week to go. Her doctor says she has IBS and to eat more fiber but it doesn’t help, it just knots up in her guts and gives her bad gas. She’s obsessed with her weight. She’s always been skinny 5’6″, 100-110#. She gained 40# during pregnancy and worked out for 3-4 hours a day postpartum to lose it.

I almost always stayed up with the baby and fed him overnight. I would sleep on the floor in his room or on the couch so she could rest. I didn’t sleep in our bed from when he was born to just a few months ago. I would always kiss and hug her and tell her I loved her, the occasional pat on the butt. The only time it ever got anywhere close to intimacy is when she would strip off and ask me to do a “fat check” and tell her if she was getting fatter or skinnier. She wouldnt use a scale.

Fast forward to 2017, still no bedroom activities. But we were sitting on the couch watching X-Files and she had her legs on me, I was rubbing her feet. Kid was asleep. I didn’t realize it at the moment but the way we’re sitting, one of my toes was against her crotch. She started rubbing against it and I noticed. We exchanged looks and I knew it was on! We started making out and I told her to take off her pants. She obliged and I went down on her. She got off a few times and then we went to get the condoms. Then the kid woke up, that was that.

The next night I decided I was going to sleep in the bed with her and we picked back up. We started spooning, I was rubbing against her, she said don’t make a mess, so I took that as a hint. I started warming her up and went to go down on her again, when I went to lift her leg so 8 could get down there, she screamed. Said something in her back felt like an electric shock. So we stopped. Her back went out and she had to get some anti inflammatories and some physical therapy for it. We never did anything again.

In January 2018 I quit my job unexpectedly because the company I worked for told me to do something morally wrong. I’m under an NDA but think something similar to the Peanut Corporation or America. It was a pretty stressful year, but we’re doing good now and it was the best job decision I’ve ever made. The company I work for now is awesome and treats me very well (and compensates me very well too!).

I will ask her once a month or so. Hey, do you want to make out tonight? Let’s get a bottle of wine, watch a movie? Have someone watch the kid. She’ll say yes and we’ll do that but the make out sesh never happens. I want her to bring it up, I want her to want it!

So the years go by, I start to become resentful. There always seems to be an excuse, too tired, too stressed, it’s laxative night, a close family member passed away and she misses them, one of our dogs is sick, one of our dogs had to be put to sleep from old age a year ago and she’s upset about that, etc.

So after our 12th anniversary this year I’d had enough. I told her that this was important to me, to our relationship and something had to change. I was tired of feeling alone in that way. I told her if she was not attracted to me, that was fine but I needed to know and we needed to do something about it. She said she didn’t think she could. She needs to feel safe and loved and liked. I told her that I needed to feel needed and wanted. But she said she couldn’t do that if she didn’t feel like I liked her. I do like her but I’m so frustrated with not having intimacy, it’s all I think about. She says she feels objectified when I try to initiate.


She then brings up the stuff with her ex from years ago and breaks down and tells me exactly what happened. I told her I was sorry, she didn’t deserve any of that and consoled her. I reached out to HR at work and they have a great mental health program. She thinks therapists shove pills down your throat and she won’t go to one in this small town and they’re expensive. Our insurance offers free counseling, even online. She said she would look into it, so I brought the information home. She said she looked at it and is working through things, her childhood, not being good enough for people in her life, her mother leaving on Christmas 35 years ago when they were at her grandma’s house, etc. I can tell she is because she is visibly upset about it.

She finally says she understands what I need and she’ll do it for me because she’s scared of me leaving her. She also scared of not doing something right or being a disappointment.

We both talked and understood that penetration was going to be down the road a ways, but she would give me a hand. A month ago I got her to lift her shirt and I got to fondle her chest a bit. Which is progress because she’s very prudish, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. Later that night I told her I was hard and couldn’t stop thinking about her. I was going to go take care of myself and asked if she wanted to come watch. She said she knew that as soon as she showed me her chest that it wouldn’t be enough and I would start pushing for more and more and now she was right because she was disappointing me and she didn’t do something right. I was aggravated and I said, that’s fine, let’s go to bed. She started going through all the things again, about wanting to be loved and liked and treated nicely. We argued about it for an hour. I told her that I did like and love her but I was frustrated and aggravated about no intimacy. Yes, attitude will reflect that because that’s a big deal to me.

She said fine, let’s go take care of you then. I said no, I didn’t want it to happen like that, the moment was passed and I was done. She insisted. So we went to the bathroom. It took me forever to get hard again because I knew she didn’t want to be there. She had her shirt up, that was it. I tried kissing her, kissing her neck, she wasn’t into it. After about a half hour, I finally said screw it and faked it. Grabbed some toilet paper, pretend to wipe up and said thanks.

The next morning she said it was stressful for her and she needed some time to decompress from it, don’t be surprised if it takes a week for her to be better. So, I gave her some space. Through the week, we talk about what she’s thinking and feeling about it and she seems to be better m. So that next weekend I ask 8f we can try again. She accused me of only being nice to her because I want to screw her. So of course I’m mad and frustrated. I feel like I can’t win. If I’m nice and attentive it’s because I want to get laid. If I’m quiet and giving her space then I don’t care. One of the issues is that I want her to want me, not just let me stick it in her, that’s not the point. But she argues it is the point really because I won’t be happy until that happens.

That was a month ago. Last night I was kissing her goodnight before I went back to the couch and I said, can you at least open mouth kiss me? She said no, my jaw hurts. So that led 8nto an argument about the same thing. She needs to feel safe and liked and loved and I don’t make her feel that way unless I want to get laid.

So, this morning she was complaining about being fat, which she’s not. She felt sweaty and that she could smell herself. So she comes over to me and says, see what you think and pulls down her pants. I think, well this is a good sign. So I stick my nose down there, honest opinion, slightly musky, her normal scent. Definitely not “smelly”. That was it, no other action or response. She said she was going downstairs to exercise. I said okay, let me have a sniff after you’re all sweaty, before you shower? She gave me a look and I said, just let me be weird huh? She said okay.

I’m outside with one of the dogs and she comes out there to say she was done. I said okay, we went inside and she went to take a shower. Nothing.

So here we are, tonight. I get the kid to sleep about 8:30. I doze off for about an hour. She wakes me up says one of the dogs needs to go out. So I take them out and the other, for the night. I go to lay next to her on the bed and ask her if she wants to watch something or what she wants to do. She said honestly? I said yeah. (I know what’s coming). She said, I’m pretty tired and it’s late and we’re going to her dad’s tomorrow at 1 and she has to take laxatives so she doesn’t know how she’s going to do that because normally she takes them about noon so she can go the next morning. I said that’s fine. She said no, I can tell you’re upset. I said yeah, I’m aggravated, there’s always a reason that we can’t spend time together. She said that’s part of life, right? I said, yeah you’re right. I love you.

I slept in our kid’s room last night.


I have no idea what to do. I feel like I can’t make any headway. If I bring it up I’m an asshole that only wants to get laid. If I’m nice I only want to get laid. If I’m give her space, I don’t like her. If I say something needs to happen then she worries I’m going to leave if she doesn’t just “give in” so then doesn’t feel safe. If I leave she won’t have an income or a place to stay, I’ll be abandoning her.

I’m sorry, there’s a lot to unpack. I’m hurting, I’m sad, I’m furious, I’m embarrassed. I can’t talk to anyone else about this.

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